Why I Ended Up Getting the Panorama Non-Invasive Prenatal Test

When I first found out I was pregnant with my sixth, I was terrified. Aside from the fact that I hadn’t prepared myself physically and emotionally to be pregnant, I felt like I was overaged to be carrying another baby.

Many women ask me if it’s normal to have fears about the health of their baby. And I always say, of course. I don’t know any woman who doesn’t wrestle with questions like, “Will my baby be normal? Will my baby make it to full term?”

With every pregnancy, these questions have floated through my mind. The only way to overcome them is to remember that God is in control, and to surrender my worries to Him. It’s not easy to do this but I tell myself, The Lord knows what’s best for me, for our family. Whatever His plan is, His grace will suffice.

Today there are options to find out whether your baby is healthy even before he or she is born. Although fairly new in the Philippines as compared to countries like the U.S., the Panorama is one such option. “It is a market-leading noninvasive prenatal screening test (NIPT) that reveals your baby’s risk for genetic disorders as early as nine weeks.

Panorama analyzes baby’s (placental) DNA through a simple blood draw from the mother’s arm.”

My doctor first mentioned this test to me when I was three months pregnant. One of the reasons why I hesitated to go for it was because I didn’t want to be stressed if there turned out to be something wrong with my baby.

However, after consulting with my OB-Gyne, Dr. Regina Capistrano, and meeting with Dr. Clarissa Velayo, who is educating other doctors and organizations on the benefits of this test, I was more convinced to consider it. My fears were allayed as I asked my questions. Dr. Velayo assured me that this was one of the best ways for a mother to prepare for the arrival of her child, as well as to have peace of mind.

If my child was born with genetic issues, I would have to subject them to a series of tests anyway. At that point it would be more invasive for the baby, and I would have to find specialists for his or her specific condition, besides having to come to terms with the shock of what we uncovered. Furthermore, discovering the risks at the prenatal stage would allow me to pray, prepare my heart, talk with other parents or counselors who are familiar with these conditions, and source the doctors and specialists who can help me when the baby is born.

Edric and I discussed and prayed about this test together, and we decided to push through with it. After all, we had surrendered this baby to the Lord.

The Panorama test was a simple blood extraction that was done in the comfort of my home by Hi-Precision Diagnostics. The procedure took no more than fifteen or twenty minutes. I sat in the dining room at 6:30 AM in the morning, watching the vials fill up with blood. (Blood extractions have never bothered me. My veins are so big and juicy, I am a needle’s dream.) The blood samples were sent to the U.S. and I was told that the results would come back in less than two weeks.

At my age, I knew there were very real risks for chromosomal problems. I hoped and prayed for the best, but didn’t discount the possibility of abnormalities. My mom reminded me, “Claim that the results will be good in Jesus’ name!” So I did that then entrusted my fears to the Lord.

Here are some of the conditions that Panorama identifies:

1. Trisomy – a genetic condition caused by extra copies of a chromosome. Down Syndrome, Edward’s Syndrome and Patau Syndrome fall under this category.

2. Sex chromosome abnormalities – this occurs when there is an extra or missing copy of one of the sex chromosomes.

3. Microdeletions – caused when a chromosome is missing a small piece. The severity of problems caused by a microdeletion is determined primarily by the size and location of the deletion.

4. Triploidy – Panorama is currently the ONLY NIPT that tests for triploidy. Babies with triploidy have a complete extra set of chromosomes for a total of 69 chromosomes instead of the usual 46. At 10 weeks gestation, one in 1,000 pregnancies is affected by triploidy. It is extremely rare for these pregnancies to reach term as they typically spontaneously miscarry early in pregnancy. Those few liveborns usually pass away within days of delivery due to heart, brain, and kidney problems. Babies with triploidy also often have birth defects affecting the extremities and face.

Source: Natera

One of the bonuses of the blood test is that gender can be confirmed very early on, also allowing parents to prepare for the arrival of their son or daughter. That part definitely interested me! Of course I wanted to know as soon as possible! (Nine weeks is the earliest recommended stage to get Panorama done.)

When I received the results of my test ten days later while enjoying my travels in Europe with Edric, I actually cried tears of joy. My friend, Melissa Ongsue-Lee, VP for Sales and Market of Hi Precision, messaged me. She was the one who also encouraged me to get the test done in the first place.

Our correspondence:

I was thrilled to read the two words, healthy and girl in her correspondence with me. Edric and I prayed to have another girl. We thought it would balance out the mix — 3 boys and 3 girls. What a blessing! Thank you, Lord!

Of course, there was this tremendous amount of relief that also followed when I discovered that my baby was low risk in all areas that Panorama screened. That’s the main reason why I cried and celebrated with Edric.

As I did more research on Panorama, I found out that “it is the only non-invasive prenatal test that minimizes the chance that a maternal abnormality leads to a false positive result. Other non-invasive prenatal tests (NIPTs) result in significant false positives.“ (Panorama brochure) In other words, it’s very accurate, which made me even more grateful that I got it done.

Panorama is being used in over 60 countries. More and more women are getting the screening done in the Philippines as well through Hi-Precision. It is pricey. Mine was valued at 39K.

Since it’s something an OB-Gyne may mention but not impose on his or her patient, it’s really up to us to decide whether we want to avail of it or not. The good news is that the option is here and it’s readily available, plus extremely reliable…99.9% to be exact.

My suggestion for moms-to-be is to pray about it, think through the pros and cons, and of course, keep your baby no matter what the results are. God has a plan for your child and for mine. Finding out

The Benefits of Testing for Genetic Disorders While Pregnant

When I first found out I was pregnant with my sixth, I was terrified. Aside from the fact that I hadn’t prepared myself physically and emotionally to be pregnant, I felt like I was overaged to be carrying another baby.

Many women ask me if it’s normal to have fears about the health of their baby. And I always say, of course. I don’t know any woman who doesn’t wrestle with questions like, “Will my baby be normal? Will my baby make it full term?”

With every pregnancy, these questions have floated through my mind. The only way to overcome them is to remember that God is in control, and to surrender my worries to Him. It’s not easy to do this but I tell myself, The Lord knows what’s best for me, for our family. Whatever His plan is, His grace will suffice.

Today there are options to find out whether your baby is healthy even before he or she is born. Although fairly new in the Philippines as compared to countries like the U.S., the Panorama is one such option. “It is a market-leading noninvasive prenatal screening test (NIPT) that reveals your baby’s risk for genetic disorders as early as nine weeks.

Panorama analyzes baby’s (placental) DNA through a simple blood draw from the mother’s arm.”

One of the reasons why I hesitated to

try this initially was because I didn’t want to be stressed if there was something wrong with my baby. The Panorama test is 99.9% accurate to determine risk. False positives are very rare.

I didn’t want to think about the conditions he or she may have for the remainder of my pregnancy. However, after consulting with my OB-Gyne, Dr. Regina Capistrano, and meeting with Dr. Clarissa Velayo, who is educating other doctors and organizations on the benefits of this test, I was more convinced to consider it. My fears were allayed as I asked my questions. Dr. Velayo assured me that this was one of the best ways for a mother to prepare for the arrival of her child, as well as to have peace of mind.

If my child was born with genetic issues, I would have to subject them to a series of tests anyway. At that point it would be more invasive for the baby, and I would have to find specialists for his or her specific condition, besides having to come to terms with the shock of what we uncovered. Furthermore, discovering the risks at the prenatal stage would allow me to pray, prepare my heart, talk with other parents or counselors who are familiar with these conditions, and source the doctors and specialists who could help me when the baby is born.

Edric and I discussed and prayed about this test together, and we decided to push through with it. After all, we had surrendered this baby to the Lord.

The Panorama test was a simple blood extraction that was done in the comfort of my home by Hi-Precision Diagnostics. The procedure took no more than fifteen or twenty minutes. I sat in the dining room at 6:30 AM in the morning, watching the vials fill up with blood. (Blood extractions have never bothered me. My veins are so big and juicy, I am a needle’s dream.)

My blood samples were sent to the U.S. and I was told that the results would come back in less than two weeks.

At my age, I knew there were very real risks for chromosomal problems. I hoped and prayed for the best, but didn’t discount the possibility of abnormalities. My mom reminded me, “Claim that the results will be good in Jesus’ name!” So I did that then entrusted my fears to the Lord.

Here are some of the conditions that the Panorama identifies:

1. Trisomy – a genetic condition caused by extra copies of a chromosome. Down Syndrome, Edward’s Syndrome and Patau Syndrome fall under this category.

2. Sex chromosome abnormalities – this occurs when there is an extra or missing copy of one of the sex chromosomes.

3. Microdeletions – caused when a chromosome is missing a small piece. The severity of problems caused by a microdeletion is determined primarily by the size and location of the deletion.

4. Triploidy – Panorama is currently the ONLY NIPT that tests for triploidy. Babies with triploidy have a complete extra set of chromosomes for a total of 69 chromosomes instead of the usual 46. At 10 weeks gestation, one in 1,000 pregnancies is affected by triploidy. It is extremely rare for these pregnancies to reach term as they typically spontaneously miscarry early in pregnancy. Those few liveborns usually pass away within days of delivery due to heart, brain, and kidney problems. Babies with triploidy also often have birth defects affecting the extremities and face.

Source: www.natera.com

One of the bonuses of the blood test is that gender can be confirmed very early on, also allowing parents to prepare for the arrival of their son or daughter. That part definitely interested me!

When I received the results of my test ten days later while enjoying my travels in Europe with Edric, I actually cried tears of joy. My friend, Melissa Ong, VP for Sales and Market of Hi Precision, messaged me. She was the one who also encouraged me to get the test done in the first place.

Our correspondence:

I was thrilled to read the two words, healthy and girl in her correspondence with me. Edric and I prayed to have another girl. We thought it would balance out the mix — 3 boys and 3 girls. What a blessing! Thank you, Lord!

Of course, there was this tremendous amount of relief when I discovered that my baby was low risk in all areas that Panorama screened. That’s why I cried and celebrated with Edric.

As I did more research on Panorama, I found out that “it is the only non-invasive prenatal test that minimizes the chance that a maternal abnormality leads to a false positive result. Other non-invasive prenatal tests (NIPTs) result in significant false positives.“ (Panorama brochure) In other words, it’s very accurate, which made me even more grateful that I got it done.

Panorama is being used in over 60 countries. More and more women are getting the screening done in the Philippines as well through Hi-Precision. It is pricey. Mine was valued at 39K. I know that not everyone can afford to have this test done.

Since it’s something an OB-Gyne may mention but not impose on his or her patient, it’s really up to us to decide whether we want to avail of it or not. The good news is that the option is here and it’s readily available, and it’s extremely reliable.

My suggestion for moms-to-be is to pray about it, think through the pros and cons, and of course, keep your baby no matter what the results are. God has a plan for your child and for mine. Finding out about defects and issues early on doesn’t ever give us the right to decide whether our baby should live or not. We must trust in the Lord’s will.

I have a friend who gave birth to a daughter with Down syndrome. She didn’t know until after her baby suffered many complications at birth, was hospitalized for weeks and weeks, and was finally diagnosed as having this special need. Today, this daughter is alive and well, and thriving. Her parents have loved her and raised her to the best of their ability. The Lord has expanded their borders by allowing them to minister to other families with special needs children. What felt like devastating news at the beginning has turned out to be a blessing to the world because they have chosen to see her life from a spiritual perspective.

It’s stories such as this one that remind me that all children are a gift from the Lord. Whatever the results of any test may be, there are no accidents because He is sovereign.

Today I am thankful that all seems well as my pregnancy progresses. Even if I got the Panorama done, I still can’t predict what the future will hold for my baby girl, or what challenges I will face when she is born and as I raise her. My greatest assurance is that her life is in God’s hands and I can keep casting my cares and fears upon Him.

“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” (Psalms 139:13-16)

For more information visit on Panorama in the Philippines, check out Hi-Precision Diagnostics.

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