I was about 8 weeks pregnant when I went to see my OB. Based on my past, I was hoping to be able to do an ultrasound right then. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible as the techs were swamped that day with other pregnant women. So, I would need to schedule a follow-up with the ultrasound people. That’s fine.
Really, it wasn’t fine, but what was I going to do. I needed to accept it and move on…
He then talked to me about the increased risk of complications due to my… wait for it…
Advanced Maternal Age!?!?!
What? I’m only 34. And, yes, I will be 35 when I deliver, but seriously. In my mind, I heard him say – GERIATRIC PREGNANCY. People are having kids in their 40s & 50s. I’m only 34!!
After I got over that shock, I joined back into the conversation he was having. I think he thought he was having it with me, but I totally checked out for a few minutes. When I checked back in, here is what I heard…
All that means is that you will have a blood test and a higher resolution ultrasound.
OK – I’m in for that. I’ll do anything to see this little peanut swimming in my belly.
When I left the office, I was given a pamphlet with a phone number to call to set up the appointment between 10-12 weeks of pregnancy. As I read the brochure, everything started to sink in.
The part that I missed was that he was asking me if I wanted to do genetic testing to find out if there was anything wrong with our little one. Since I was older, it was more likely that our baby could have an increased risk of complications or genetic abnormalities.
So, I called, I set up the appointment, and I went in. Prior to doing the testing, they need to share with you all of the risks. So, I listened. And then I said…
The only reason why I agreed to do this is because I was going to be able to see our baby. Please understand that I know you must share this information, all of these statistics with me, and I will listen. However, please know this. Regardless of what your information shows, I will not do any further testing. I trust in the fact that God has given me this child for a reason, and I will not EVER give up on this child. If he or she stays with me throughout this pregnancy, I will stay with him or her each day of life. No matter what!
I tried to say it in the nicest way possible, but I am certain she wasn’t expecting that response. And, I’m not sure I was expecting myself to give that answer. She smiled at me and we went on to complete the tests.
When I walked out of the office, I didn’t give the tests a second thought. I went on rubbing my belly and loving on this little child growing in there. A week or so later, I received a call. I have to say I truly forgot I was supposed to be waiting for the call. When the phone rang, I answered it and was surprised to hear it was the office. Thankfully, they called to tell me that all was fine with our little one. Our risks were very low.
When I made those statements to the genetic specialist, I said those things fully believing all would be okay with our baby. I cannot be 100% sure what actions I would have taken if the answer on that call would have been different. What if we did have increased risk? Would I have continued the tests? If I did, did that mean I would have trusted God any less?
I may have wanted more tests to ensure we were prepared to make his the best life possible for this child. What did we need to do? How do we prepare the house? How do we prepare our other children? Our family? What medical resources might we need?
There are so many couples out there who receive calls with different outcomes. My heart goes out to them. I cannot imagine the challenge that must bring into an already emotional time. Truly, I cannot imagine.
Psalm 139:13-16 (GNB): You created every part of me; You put me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because You are to be feared; all You do is strange and wonderful. I know it with all my heart. When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother’s womb, when I was growing there in secret, You knew that I was there – You saw me before I was born. The days allotted to me had all been recorded in Your book, before any of them ever began.