I am a huge researcher and planner. I’m the kind of person who will spend weeks (sometimes months) researching purchases. I can be spontaneous if necessary, but when given the option I want to be as informed as possible for anything important. Pregnancy is no exception…in fact, I am even thirstier for information when I’m pregnant.
This is where I remind you I’m kind of a control freak.
When I was on bed rest during my pregnancy with Madeline, the only thing I could concentrate on was reading about my situation. I read all sorts of scenarios and outcomes, read an entire 500-page book on prematurity, and memorized NICU terms. Everyone around me thought I was insane. “Stop stressing yourself out, don’t read those stories about sick babies,” but I had to. I felt compelled to absorb as much information as possible. And it paid off for me – I was an amazingly informed parent when Madeline was in the NICU. I knew the questions to ask and I understood the answers I was given. I was as prepared as I could possibly be, and felt confident in all her medical decisions.
My dad asked me the other day if I’d heard about the new test, MaterniT21, that can detect Down Syndrome with just a sample of the pregnant mother’s blood. The research posted by the company that developed the test shows a 98.6% success rate for diagnosis. As it stands now, tests for Down Syndrome return many false positives, leading women to have unnecessary amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling, which are very invasive and carry risks. So, this new test should dramatically cut down the number of women who have the invasive tests for no reason (the developers of the test still suggest having an amnio or cvs for official diagnosis).
My dad brought it up because he wanted to know if I would have the test if my doctor offered it during my next pregnancy. I said yes, absolutely. For me, it’s another way I can become a more informed parent. If I found out my child likely had a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I’d spend the rest of my pregnancy devouring all the information I could so I could be as prepared as possible (I say likely because, as someone with a heightened risk for premature ruptured membranes, I would not have an amnio or cvs).
I’ve been talking to my friends about the new test and I discovered that not everyone is a researcher when it comes to pregnancy. I didn’t expect many, if any, to be as hyper as I am about ingesting information, but I was surprised that some people don’t want to know anything about what is going on. No testing, no reading “my pregnancy this week,” nothing. And while I understand the desire to shield oneself from all the bad, awful stories, I am bewildered by the black out on ALL information. There are so many cool things that happen during pregnancy!
I totally know that on a scale of one to ten, I am obsessive. But is ignorance truly bliss when you’re pregnant?