February 3, 2009

to screen or not to screen?

Yesterday was the second visit to the doctor- just a quick appointment to go over the results of all the blood tests they drew last time, and another chance to hear that little heart thumping away. There wasn't really anything much to report, and everything came back fine. I've lost one pound since the last visit, but that merely proves my theory that I had plenty of extra weight to start this pregnancy off with and my fat stores are just being redistributed to baby baggage.

At the last appointment we were given a brochure about the optional screening tests that they can do to check for the baby's liklihood of having a neural tube defect or Down's Syndrome. She said it was up to us if we wanted to have the test or not, and just to call to schedule it if we did. Hubby and I talked about it, and we decided that the chances of us (young, healthy people) having a child with any of these defects was relatively small, and we didn't know if anything positive could be gained from having the tests.

Yesterday the doctor asked me about it again, and I made her tell me again why I should or should not want to have this done. Again she said it was up to us, but she said that "most people" have it, just to quell any anxiety they might have because most of the time the results come back to indicate that everything is perfectly fine. For some reason this did nothing but stir up my uncertainty regarding the whole thing, and made me second-guess my initial resolve to deny the testing. It also stirred up all kinds of latent anxiety about the health and well-being of the little one, even though I know that statistics are on my side, etc...

We talked about it some more, and I consulted a friend who is a pregnancy veteran to see what her opinion was. We basically came to the same conclusion as before- we'll pass on the testing and just take what may come our way when it arrives. I know that's what I want to do, but for some reason I cannot wrap my head around why I prefer it that way. It's not logical- I know that were we to have the testing we would end up reassured that everything is fine anyway, but I guess it's the testing itself that makes me all anxious. There are cases where the results of the test indicate problems where there actually aren't any, and of course there are times when the testing doesn't identify problems that are really there. 

Maybe if there was a way to tell me with 100% certainty that everything was fine or wasn't, then I would sign up, but this just seems like such a crap-shoot that I would rather spare myself the sleeplessness and the drama. Does this make any sense to anyone or are we just total head-cases?