Thursday, October 22, 2009

With knowledge comes...paranoia.

When you're knocked up they give you all these testing options. Nothing requires more than a blood test, just screening test to see if you have higher odds for your baby to have this or that. It ranges to the basic downs to fatal conditions. Depending on how your test come back, they offer you actual test to diagnosis the condition, like an amnio.

This doctors office not only offered me the AFP test, but a test to see if I was a carrier of cystic fibrosis. If I was a carrier, they'd test Adam to see if he is & if he was we'd move onto actual diagnostic test.

Any other pregnancy I've passed on these test. I saw no reason to worry myself. The midwife I saw with Jules at a doctors office commented that she was glad I was passing because "it can ruin things." And that is my thought, I don't want to know my odds are higher for this or that.

Then I became a dead baby mom & things changed.

I suddenly wanted every test possible. Hell, if I thought I could get away with buying an ultrasound machine I think I would try to. So when the nurse at the first paper work visit handed me a paper to sign "request" or "decline," I didn't even think about NOT picking request.

You can never have too much info, right? Right. Knowledge is power, right? Right.

I've now been eaten up with guilt for a week over me signing request for those test.

I sit & think to myself "what would it change?" I compare it to Joel. If someone could have told me he was going to die, would it have changed things? No. No amount of prep can prepare you for that experience. If I found out that he had a condition without a chance to live only a short time, if any, after birth would I have terminated or just gotten induced early since he'd have no chance of survival? Would that have been easier?

It wouldn't have. It'd still hurt like a bitch. No amount of preparing can help you with that loss. I would have done things the same way...only difference is I might have went to another ultrasound place to get actual pictures so I could have more of them. But I wouldn't end my pregnancy early, I wouldn't have terminated the pregnancy. It would have been the same. Oh, Adam wouldn't have gotten that vasectomy I suppose either, but that's beside the point.

The only real difference would be those months before. I would have spent every moment thinking that my baby was sick, that my baby might die, that my baby may have died already, that the last thing I felt really was the last thing I felt. In that case, knowledge isn't power. It brings paranoia & fear. We have plenty of that already, I don't need anyone to give me a list of odds of this or that happening to add fuel to that fire.

I feel a huge amount of guilt for Piccadilly because I opted to do those test during my pregnancy. I feel like what I signed really said, "Dear Piccadilly, I have no faith in you & if you die, too, I want to be as disconnected as possible because I'm selfish & can't deal with that ever again Hope you understand. If you're good though, I'll bond & give you acknowledgment. But until we get those results back, Piccadilly, consider yourself a guest."

Yeah, I'm being dramatic. I'll totally admit it. I feel like I'm punishing something the size of a pea just so I can make myself feel kinda better about this pregnancy. Since I wouldn't opt to do any of the actual diagnosis test, because they carry risk I'm not comfortable with, I would get the odds for this & that, then the next several months I'd walk around on egg shells. And even worse, I'd walk around waiting to find out my baby was dead. Even if it wasn't a fatal condition the odds were increased with, I'd just wait for it to happen. I worry I would basically write this baby off. Again, for totally selfish reasons.

Of course, I must not be totally selfish. If I were, I wouldn't feel bad about this.

I can't do this to myself. And I can't do it to Piccadilly. We don't want him/her to live in this dead baby shadow, I don't want to treat my kids differently because one of their siblings died. And considering Piccadilly isn't even the size of a pea yet (I should look that up, I doubt that's right) & I'm already treating him/her different.

So on the 2nd, at my next appointment, I'll let them know they can mark those test off of their to do list. Some people push for them to be done anyway, but I'm guessing with my "history" they will really want me to have them. I'm still taking a pass though. In about 232 days, we'll find out for sure when Piccadilly is born. Since 232 days is a long time anyway, no need to make it seem like longer with paranoia & fear.

It's not any kind of leap of faith, but the same faith I've always had...that things will be alright. I figure if anyone is owed a chance, it's Piccadilly, who beat conception odds anyway. His/her existence alone is enough to show that even when the odds are bad, good things happen.

Plus I hate needles anyway. What on earth was I thinking when I decided I'd be alright with extra lab test? Jeesh.


  1. Yes, Jess I can see where you would feel paranoid about the result, but I look at it as preparation. Time to prepare if something is wrong. I didn't do the nuchal translucency test in the first trimester, but I did the AFP in the second trimester which came back fine. You have a right to know the answers. Sending thoughts and prayers your way for everything to be ok *hugs*

  2. Yeah, but like I kinda said, I don't want time to prepare for something that may not even happen. It'd just ruin the pregnancy for me & I'd have nothing but an entire pregnancy of sadness. I didn't do them with the others, don't regret not doing them of course because they couldn't have told me anything about Joel. The only reason I even agreed to at first was because if there was a chance something could be wrong I wanted to know so I didn't get attached basically. Since I wouldn't do any of the diagnostic test even if my screen test came back high chance of this or that, it would just cause worry & I'm not willing to add more worry or even disconnection from this pregnancy. I don't think it's fair to this baby just because his/her brother died. There isn't anything those test can tell me that will change what I do this pregnancy, so there isn't a need to possibly ruin or stress out over odds this time around.

  3. I think you're making the right choice by not doing the tests. Our doctor advised us that they are only about 75% accurate anyways, so you have a good chance of worrying for nothing even if something comes back on them. Plus even if they had come back positive for anything we would have had the kids anyways.



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