Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Prenatal Testing

Prenatal Testing - 2 of the scariest words I think I've heard together! Trying to make the decision on whether or not to get these tests was incredibly difficult for me.

Growing up around children with anywhere from mild to severe learning disabilities, birth defects and other issues, I knew that if there was anyway I could prevent a child from going through that, I would consider it. However, I also knew I didn't want to do super invasive prenatal testing that could harm me or the baby.

At our 'heartbeat appointment' we had to decide if we wanted to do any of this testing. While we could change our mind either way on the later tests, there was a test that if done, had to be done between 11-13 weeks. This was a simple blood/ultrasound test to determine your chances of having a child with different birth defects, one being down syndrome. I thought a blood test and ultrasound seemed harmless enough so I called my insurance company. They said they would cover the majority of the testing, so we decided to agree to do this testing.

Now whether it was a sign or God trying to tell us something, when we get to the doctor that day they can't do the tests. Not only that, but the scheduler for making the appointments was gone as well. They said they'd call us on Monday. Ok, no problem. In my mind, I had made up my mind.

Monday rolls around and the patient services rep calls from the doctor telling me our insurance won't cover much of the test after all. Whether intentional or not, there was a hint of doubt in her voice if we should even do the test. This sent me in to a complete TAILSPIN! The decision I was so sure about 3 days before, was now confusing me more than ever! Nick and I talked about it, I talked to my dad, my sister and then called the doctor for her opinion. These tests have a high chance of giving both false positive and false negative results. I wasn't sure I could handle a false positive after the stress I went through worrying about miscarrige (unecessarily) for the first trimester.

I finally realized I had reached my breaking point. If I didn't get control of my constant anxiety and fear over everything being ok, I was going to spend my entire pregnancy worrying about things going wrong, instead of enjoying the ride. I decided right then I was not having the test and I was going to leave the stress behind me. I have to say, once I made that decision, I have truly been able to let go and enjoy the pregnancy.

These tests are there for a reason, and if it were 100% accurate, I would have paid any amount of money for it. Some people know that it will not change their mind no matter what. However, Nick and I both knew the outcome could affect our decision, which is why we wanted to weigh all our options. Not everyone will have as difficult a decision on this, but for me, it was hard but I truly feel we made the right choice for us.

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