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Our Decisions About Prenatal Testing

During my first OB appointment, my doctor was reasonably cautious about our potential for having a child with birth defects. She suggested to us that we do all the available non-invasive screens, especially since our insurance covers them, and we agreed. I haven’t really given most of them much of a second thought, which is amazing because this is apparently the only thing I’m not worried about with this baby.

Which is maybe a little ironic given my increased odds of having a child with an abnormality.

I’m having the Nuchal Fold Translucency scan tomorrow afternoon, and really, the only reason I’m doing it is because it’s an ultrasound. It’s been a long 5 weeks since I’ve seen this tiny baby, and since it’ll be another couple of weeks before we can do the next ultrasound (for gender!), I’m snatching up every possible chance for an ultrasound.

I know this test is flawed. It has a high rate of false positives and those false positives can lead doctors to recommend more invasive testing. I know that it might not give us any useful information on it’s own and that we might have to have long, hard talks with our OB. But here’s the thing, I’m not doing invasive testing unless it’s absolutely required.

This kind of goes against everything most of you know about me. I am an absolute control freak, and my personality should say that I would want to know about any possible problems before they arrive, but the reality is that I don’t. You can give me ultrasounds weekly and blood draws daily, if that’s what will make my doctor feel comfortable, but I don’t want sampling of my placenta or my amniotic fluid, at least not at this stage of pregnancy. I do not want invasive testing, even if it could give us definitives.

I want to know as much as I can about my baby, but I don’t want it done that way. I’m not going to put my foot down and say never (hey look! I learned a lesson about things you guys don’t like!), but I’m firmly against it for now, for me. I don’t have scientific evidence to support this, I haven’t spend hours mulling over this decision, but I know that I would rather watch and wait than to go to a test that is potentially, even though it’s a very small risk, dangerous. It’s just not something I’m comfortable with.

Please note that this does not mean that I think that those who have these tests done are making a bad decision because that is not true. These are incredibly personal decisions that only you and your significant other can make, this is just what we decided at this point in time. This decision could change when we meet with our geneticist later this month, but this is where we stand right now

I’m not going to tell you that we are equipped to handle a child with any sort of health complication because there is simply no way I could even begin to predict that, but I don’t think that being completely confident that there is or is not a problem is going to make us any more prepared.

I know that the results of this scan could heighten some of my anxieties, but I also rationally know that no matter what this test shows, there’s (most likely) absolutely nothing we can do about it. This test changes very little for us, and hopefully it only serves to ease our minds and reaffirm our decision to not do invasive testing right now.

So I’m curious, how many of you have had invasive prenatal testing? Did it ease your mind? Would you do it again if the situation presented itself?

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