Thursday, October 3, 2013

Prenatal Testing

Last year I wrote about a new blood test that was coming out called the MaterniT21.  It is a noninvasive blood test that can be done as early as 10 weeks into your pregnancy and it will tell you, with about 99% accuracy, if your baby will have any of the trisomies, or Down syndrome.

It was kind of a big deal when this test came out, because the biggest concern for a lot of people was that the abortion rate would increase even more than before if the mother was given a test with an almost 100% accuracy rate that her baby would have Down syndrome. 

I never did prenatal testing with either of my girls.  I never felt like I needed to.  I was young and healthy and had no real reason to think that I would have anything other than your "typical" bouncing baby.  And the bottom line for me was, I wanted kids, period.  I chose to get pregnant and abortion would never be an option for me. 

This spring we decided to go on with our plans to have baby # 3.  We were ready now.  And this time around I wanted to know ahead of time if there were going to be any surprises waiting on me.  So I did some prenatal testing, including the MaterniT21.  Not because the results would have changed anything with my pregnancy, but because this time, I wanted to be prepared if I needed to be.

All of my testing came back negative and my ultrasound looked good, which should put me at ease, but the truth is, I'm more of a nervous wreck this time around than I ever was with either one of my other kids.  I'm not scared to have another child with Down syndrome, heck that would be the easiest diagnosis a second time around.  And I'm not even scared to have another child with special needs.  I'm just worried.  Worried that something unexpected will pop up last minute and throw me for a loop.  I'm worried about my baby not being healthy and having to fight for her life.  I'm worried about not being able to bring my baby home after a couple days and having to be separated from my other two girls and my husband for a longer period of time.  I never even thought about these things when I was pregnant with Sophia, or Jayden for that matter.  My plan was to deliver my baby, spend a couple days in the hospital and come home and be a family, but I've learned so much in the past 4 years.  Like the reality that I once knew, isn't always the truth.

I thought that having prenatal testing done would ease my mind, it didn't.  I felt like it would give me answers to questions that I thought I needed to know ahead of time, it hasn't.  Of course I'm glad that all my testing has came back okay so far, but what does that really mean in the big scheme of things?  I worry because that's just what I do.  I'm a worrier.  But when it comes right down to it, of course I want a happy, healthy, baby.  But no matter what, I've now learned that I am strong enough.  I wanted this baby.  I signed up for better or for worse and I know that I can love any baby God gives me.  Period.    

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