03 January 2007

Prenatal Downs Testing

This article hit the news a few days ago. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=2762171 "Medical Group Recommends All Pregnant Women Get Tested for Down Syndrome"

The main reason: Tests far less invasive than the long-used amniocentesis are now widely available, some that can tell in the first trimester the risk of a fetus having Down syndrome or other chromosomal defects.

It's a change that promises to decrease unnecessary amnios giving mothers-to-be peace of mind without the ordeal while also detecting Down syndrome in moms who otherwise would have gone unchecked.

I can't speak for every woman, of course, just for me. But I know, without a shadow of the slightest bit of doubt, that the moment I knew I was pregnant, that was my baby. Flesh of my flesh, and all that. It was mine. I think a lot of us feel this way, else why would the dead baby card be so effective? You're entirely emotionally invested in this new little person you're growing. Peace of mind? Where in the world is there peace of mind in this kind of testing???? I'm not expressing myself well at all. It's this huge emotional ball for me. But in my heart, prenatal testing is an ordeal, no matter what your answer is. The testing is an ordeal, the false positives and false negatives and true negatives and positives. How do you remove the ordeal from that? There is no way. In a normal birth, you meet your baby for the first time when the bonding hormones are raging, and you are utterly primed to unconditionally love that little thing, no matter what it comes out like. I don't think it matters if it's disabled or abled or male or female or whatever. The work, the real work, of pregnancy, is preparing for the results of that unconditionality. And all their damned poking and prodding and testing won't ever make it any easier, or any better. No matter what decision a woman makes with the information she gets, there will be a toll on her. There will be an ordeal. The only thing we really can control is the grace with which we handle the circumstances we find ourselves in. It's bigger than us, it's bigger than medicine. It's the dance of life, and I choose to call my own steps, thanks. As I take them.

3 Comments:

At 1/04/2007 11:05:00 AM, Blogger MommaD said...

This one got me right here (pointing to heart). I agree whole-heartedly and pray each day for the grace to be the best mother I can to both my babes -- no matter what challenges we face.

 
At 1/31/2007 03:43:00 PM, Blogger Zany Mom said...

So true. The docs were pushing amnio on me for my second child, as I was 37. To their dismay, I declined. If my child had Downs, he had Downs, and knowing that now would not change a thing.

I, too, agree that prenatal testing can be out of control. I can only hope that more moms will be informed and make their own decisions regarding testing.

 
At 9/06/2008 03:45:00 PM, Anonymous Gwen said...

Whole heartedly agree!
I am having my second baby at 38 (39 when the baby is due) and I would not consider ruining this exciting time with the what if worries that these tests convey.

My sister did gentetic counseling and they found 3 or four cells out of sixteen that made everyone wonder just what disaster might be coming her way- she couldn't enjoy the pregnancy, and we couldn't imagine life without our perfect now 8 years old Julie!!!

 

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