Remember Back When Having A Baby Was Simple?


I received what some would say was slightly alarming phone call from my OB doctor yesterday. While the sonogram report from radiology showed our baby's development to be fine and normal, my blood work indicated partial results that could [potentially, maybe, possibly, by chance, if at all] show [perhaps, statistically speaking] an increased risk for complications. She went on to tell me what my options were, none of which could be 100% certain, and none of which could "fix" the potential "problem", if there's even a problem at all. *SIGH* (More like frantic prayers, tears, lots of deep breaths, and more prayers behind the closed door of my laundry room, which is also my "office" for important phone calls, and is also my prayer closet!)
This all came right at the time that we transition from breakfast/Bible study, to nap time for the baby and homeschool for the big kids. Talk about a way to get the day going!!!!!

First, let me just say, my God is awesome and He has since placed a Peace in my heart and my husband's heart that truly goes beyond understanding. It feels so good to be on the same page as my husband. He called me from work and before I could finish telling him everything about the phone call, he was already saying to me what he thought our course of action should be. And guess what? It was EXACTLY what I thought, too. Here's the plan: trust God and be thankful for the children He gives us. Period. End of story.

Anyway, the doctor's phone call got me thinking about times past. Around thirty-ish-something years ago (LOL), when my mom was pregnant with me, there weren't any genetic tests and days and days of lab work. There weren't routine sonograms, and there certainly weren't 3-D sonograms which give you real live color images of your baby in the womb.

I understand that advances in medicine have come a mighty long way, and over all, I am so thankful to God for that. But on the flip side of that coin, I wonder how much worry and anxiety has also come along with the advances in medicine. When my older 3 children were born, most genetic testing was only offered in the 2nd trimester, if you were over the age of 35 or had a particular medical history. Just last year, when I was pregnant with my youngest son, genetic testing was only offered in the 2nd trimester, but was available to all mothers, regardless of age or history. Now, just one year later, genetic testing is offered (and highly recommended) in every trimester to all mothers regardless, of age or medical history.

My response: WOW! Oh, the unnecessary worry that can come from this. Advances in medicine can create a whole host of things to worry about during such a beautiful time in a mother's life. Being pregnant is a miracle that we should enjoy as much as possible.

Last year when I was pregnant, my blood work came back great. I "passed" with flying colors! But, that good ol' sonogram showed otherwise. There were indicators and markers and red flags and alarms about our son. And the doctors wanted repeat tests and repeat images and repeat visits. My husband and I decided against it because what would it change? For us, any "unwelcomed" findings would never make us choose to terminate the pregnancy. So, what does worrying accomplish? Nothing. All things are in God's hands.

And so I wonder about times past, when Granny's would tell a woman if the baby would be a boy or girl by the way the mother was carrying the child. And then everyone would wait to see if she was right! I wonder about times past, when a husband and wife would wait in great expectation to see their child for the first time, without any "pre-pictures" giving clues on whose nose or profile the baby has. I wonder about a time when mom's and dad's would have 2 names picked out because they had no clue (except for Granny's prediction, of course) about what they were having.

It seems that we've gotten away from that time. We live in an instant world: "We need to know right now!" And sometimes the "knowing" can produce worry, which produces a heart that doesn't trust in God. It's taken me 6 pregnancies altogether to stop and really think this through. So, I pray for strength for my family, as we continue to learn to trust in God while await the birth of our precious gift.
 

*Please know that I am NOT judging or condemning any woman or family who feels they should have testing done during pregnancies. After all, I've done it for every single one of mine, in one way or another. These are just the thoughts that are born out of the decisions I've made.*


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Growing Home

14 comments:

  1. I feel for you,I really! Prenatal testing can be a blessing or a curse. I have seven kids, and all six pregnancies were high-risk for one reason or another. One was labeled high-risk due to a fluke in prenatal testing. For four long months I worried that my baby would have Down's Syndrome. (not that we would have loved him any less!) I calmed down when my Daddy said to me, "Sugar, when you worry it's like telling God that your problem is beyond His area of expertise.It's like calling Him a liar." I saw things differently after that! That baby has grown into a healthy, intelligent 12-year-old boy! God is amazing! The next (and final) time I was pregnant, prenatal testing was truly a blessing! One of my beautiful twin girls was literally dying. A sonogram picked up on her slowing heartbeat, I was immediately prepped for a cesarean, and treatment was started immediately following delivery. Today my "Baby B" is very healthy,save a tiny heart murmur.
    I am adding your family's situation to my prayer journal.My babies and I will be praying for you and yours! Remember God is in control and He will not fail you. I am praying that the Lord will grant you peace and joy and a very healthy remainder of your pregnancy!

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  2. Hi Lexy,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. What your Dad told you are words of wisdom so true. And most of all, thank you for your prayers.

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  3. Hi Stacy,
    I was pregnant with my children when the technology was taking off. I never had an ultra sound or any of the really extra tests. The only test I remember having was a glucose test to make sure my sugar levels were okay. I didn't know what I was going to have, well, yes a baby, but not the gender. We picked out many names, boy, and girl. We waited with great anticipation for each birth. So I never knew if there was a "genetic" problem. (This time you'll have to fill me in. I haven't a clue what that is. :) I'll keep you in prayer. Unnecessary worry is probably more harmful anyway. God bless. Glad you survived the storm. :)

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  4. Hi Jennifer,

    Praise God we made it through the storm and we are praying for those who were hardest hit.

    Well, the genetic tests cover a very wide range of things from Downs Syndrome or other chromosomal problems to things like poor development of the spinal chord or blood disorders. Genetic testing may include various blood tests, sonograms, and even amniocentisis, which is extracting a sample of amniotic fluid to test it.

    It can be confusing, it can be complicated, and it can be downright stressful. But for some, it is comforting or at the very least informative.

    For my husband and I, it's stressful and I'm wishing that in my current pregnancy that I hadn't agreed to the blood work. But God works all things out in His timing and for the good of those who love Him. So, I'm standing on His Word and we're just going to trust in Him.

    Thank you for your prayers, my friend.

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  5. I totally agree! I had my babies 10 and 11 years ago right before the trend to do routine ultrasounds and so much other testing took off. I had one ultrasound early with my 11-year old because I spotted and, because we'd had a previous miscarriage, I was scared. But after that, we didn't do any of that. My doc was of the opinion that he'd order ultrasounds if we wanted to pay for them - but he wouldn't bill insurance if it was just to take a look (i.e., if there were no possible medical reason for it). I really appreciated that attitude...and we didn't know until they were born whether we were having boys or girls. How neat to be surprised - as everyone used to be! As for prenatal testing, I really think it's gone overboard...likely because the mentality is that "damaged" children can be "terminated." I would not have approved any prenatal testing even despite our miscarriage because any baby the Lord chose to give me is a baby I would have kept and loved.

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  6. Hi Tina,

    I was thinking the same thing. . .I told my husband that there is probably an increase in the number of mothers that have terminated their pregnancies because they were scared by test results. That makes me sad.

    I agree that any baby God gives us is a blessing. . .period. Even the baby I lost in miscarriage was a blessing, as hard as that was to deal with. . .after that experience the Lord opened my eyes to so much where children are concerned. I am so very thankful for the 1 in heaven, the 4 I'm raising, and the 1 in my womb.

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  7. You are right that pregnancy is now too complicated. I'm wondering if this is partly to deter couples from having large families. Too bad, I'm sad to hear of all this. I know a few ladies who've recently had babies and I don't know if they went through all of this. I used a midwife for all three births. Maybe they are less into these tests? Blessings and prayers to you.

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  8. Yeah, Jennifer, it can be alot. The good thing is that I can deny any test that I don't want to have. The bad news is the way some doctors can react when I tell them no.
    I think midwives are much more understanding that pregnancy is a personal, natural experience and that it isn't so "clinical." I wish I had the option for a midwife, but my insurance doesn't cover it.

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  9. Dear Stacie,
    You are SO right!! Having been through two high risk pregnancies, I agree with you completely. It comes down to this: do I believe in His Sovereignty? If I do, than everything He allows us to face is for our good and His Glory. Period. When I face things from that perspective, His Perfect Love casts out fear. I love your heart! I love your testimony! I love thinking about all the faith lessons your children are learning growing up with such godly parents. May He continue to bless your precious family with Grace. May He use you all in mighty ways to accomplish His Kingdom work. Thank you for being so willing to trust Him!! :)

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  10. Hi, Anne! It is always such a blessing to hear from you.

    I love that you say "everything He allows us to face is for our good and His Glory." Wait 'til I share that with my husband. :) Your comments (along with the other ladies' comments) have just been a beautiful blessing of confirmation for us. Praise God!

    Thank you for your encouraging words and prayers.

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  11. My husband brought up a good point when we were offered a lot of the tests they routinely do nowadays. He is the type that really prefers to "prepare" and values tests for that purpose. Not to devalue one child over another, but to better prepare for a special needs child. I still opted out of a lot of the testing (basically anything invasive), but his differing frame of mind opened my eyes to the benefits of the tests (something which I had not previously even considered).

    I will keep you and your family in my prayers. God knows what is best for us always!

    xoxo & Amen! :)

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  12. Hey Caroline,

    How are you doing? I pray all is well with you and baby girl!! (I'm excited for you!!!)

    I can certainly understand your husband's point of view. For us, the tests just didn't give us that same comfort of knowing for preparation sake. And we are finally (FINALLY!) understanding why testing was always so stressful for us--we began to worry more and trust Him less. . .it only took us 6 times. Ha!

    But God is good and He is gracious and we are SO very thankful!

    Thanks for stopping by and I can't wait to see pics of your precious one! :)

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  13. I know what you're sayin' :)
    You're in my prayers along with baby and family.
    I love your strong faith! :)

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  14. Hi Kristin!

    You are so sweet. :)
    Thank you so much for your prayers.

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