In our series The Debate, our community of real moms tackle the pros and cons around common parenting choices. The truth is, like so many decisions around child rearing, there is no right or wrong answer. At HATCH, our job is to give voice to both sides of any debate, peppering real mom wisdom with the necessary facts so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.
To some, the idea of genetic testing is a total no brainer. If you could find out whether you carry some sort of chromosomal abnormality that would greatly impact your child, wouldn’t that be the most rewarding arm prick ever? Absolutely. And yet, like all aspects of motherhood, it’s not a black and white issue. For other women, their entire philosophy of having children ladders up solely to ultimate love and acceptance, no matter the cost, so what’s the point? Does knowing or not knowing really matter anyway?
In our ongoing series, The Debate, we take on both sides of this hyper-discussed issue and hear from two mamas in our community on their decision to take on genetic testing, once again proving the point that to each her own on this wild ride of pregnancy.
No Need For ALL THAT Testing
Stay At Home Mom
I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason. I tend to trust fate, astrology, whatever, and I feel like when life hands me something – be it a job, a situation, relationship etc – it’s my job to make something out of it. So when my husband and I realized we were expecting, we both mutually decided that this was going to be our outlook on pregnancy, labor and delivery, even into having kids and all the way through. Let it ride. What’s meant to be will be, and that things don’t have to be so intense if we could give in to the way of the world just a bit. Regardless of the outcome. Total acceptance.
Because I got pregnant relatively young and before most of my friends. I didn’t even know that genetic testing before pregnancy existed. My OB-GYN never brought it up during my routine pap smears and check ups, so I didn’t think to inquire within. It wasn’t until I went to see her once I realized I was pregnant that she brought up the idea of getting genetic testing. Because I’m half Jewish, and I have certain Ashkenazi lineage and a higher risk for certain diseases, she highly recommended it. She said that it’s better to know of any disorders in advance, so that god forbid something was wrong, we’d know outright and could better figure out a plan.
I thought long and hard about whether or not I wanted to pursue genetic testing. In the end, I decided against it. I know it might sound crazy, especially given our desire to constantly know everything about everything, but it just felt like too much to know. My risks were so small with some of these diseases, and there were SO many to test for, but ultimately all they do is make your stress levels super high, which could totally harm the baby also. I don’t know what I would’ve done or decided had I found out our baby had a genetic disease, so therefore to us, it didn’t make such a difference. Perhaps if you know outright how you’ll handle it, it’s an easier call, but for us, it all goes back to how we wanted to treat pregnancy, which was ultimate acceptance no matter the cost. I’m happy to report that we had a beautiful, healthy daughter in the end. But had we not, I don’t think I would’ve regretted my decision whatsoever.
Need ALL the Info, Thx
Theo, 18 months
There was no way I wasn’t going to have every test done under the planet that was available to me. This started before I even got pregnant. After my husband and decided we wanted to have a baby, I went to my ob-gyn and asked to be tested for a whole assortment of genetic tests. It was important for me to know in advance because if both of us were carriers for a specific disease, then we’d have to look into alternative ways of conceiving, like IVF, where they could test each embryo individually before implantation.
It never occurred to me that there was even a choice regarding genetic testing. I’m the type of person who benefits from having all of the information up front, which can then inform my next steps and my decision-making process. In all honesty, I don’t even know the type of decision I would’ve made if I found out there was some chromosomal abnormality, but I think just knowing would’ve empowered me to prepare and do something about even the emotional conflict that a positive diagnoses would’ve given us. I think ultimately I would’ve felt more relaxed and more poised to plan as well as arrange for any necessary treatments following the birth.
Once I got pregnant, I did all the regular testing that comes with pregnancy. At my nuchal translucency, I was fortunate enough to have had a super low risk of Down’s Syndrome, but I am 100% certain that if the risk was even a slightly bit spiked, I would’ve opted for an amniocentesis as well. That’s just the kind of person I am. I’m totally prepared in all aspects of my life, especially during what was the biggest, most important journey of my life.