Recently, I was asked in hindsight do I wish I would have consented to prenatal testing. It is a question my husband and I have asked ourselves more than once since receiving Hailey's diagnosis. My thoughts always end up going around in a complete circle. With all 3 children, we took the same approach. We declined all testing unless the doctor thought it was medically necessary. Our minds were made up that regardless of what a test told us, we would still carry our baby until he or she decided to make their arrival. There was never a thought of abortion with either of us.
My pregnancy with Hailey was different the boys'. I had complications of some sort with both of the boys. With my oldest, I had extremely high blood pressure. With my middle child, I had very low fluid and we delivered him with an emergency c-section. None of that came to play with Hailey. I exercised up until it was too bitter cold to go outside and most fitness classes were too uncomfortable. My blood pressure never spiked...fluid levels were always good. My weight gain was good to low. There were no red flags. I have always enjoyed being pregnant and might have enjoyed hers the most. I felt good.
I'm afraid if we would have agreed to prenatal testing, that it would have taken away that ignorance bliss. I'm a worrier...I'm a control freak. Knowing midway or earlier in my pregnancy would have had my nerves fried and my stress level off the charts. I would have spent sleeping hours scouring the internet for information. I would have freaked out over every possible medical complication she could have had. I more than likely would have had a repeat c-section. I recovered much quicker delivering naturally than I would have from a c-section.
The positives to having the prenatal testing...yes, we would probably have known about Hailey's heart defect and been prepared if complications arose during labor. Most of my tears would have been shed and we could have celebrated Hailey's birth more than cried over the loss we felt. The feeling of being blind-sighted would have been lifted and a plan would have been in place.
So...with hindsight generally 20/20...I still have no clear cut answer. I still don't think we would have wanted to know that early into the pregnancy. I enjoyed my pregnancy. I truly believe the only way prenatal testing would have worked for my personality would have been if we could have found out about 2 weeks before her delivery (Definitely not realistic!). Not too much time that I worried for 20+ weeks and the entire pregnancy was filled with sadness and worry. Just enough time to take the edge off and some research could have been finished.
I think the big difference for me was that getting the diagnosis post-delivery, I had a baby there to bond with. I could hold her, talk to her, sing to her. She wrapped her little fingers around mine. She snuggled up against me. I could breathe in that sweet baby smell and feel her heart beat against my chest.
Even though we had sadness at her birth and it took this mom a little to
bond with her little girl. I wouldn't go back to change it. That's
the route we took and it was the route we were meant to take!