“It’s noninvasive,” my doctor said. “It just offers you some information about your baby.”
I was 28-years-old, pregnant for the first time, and we were discussing prenatal testing. A simple noninvasive blood test sounded good to me, so I stuck out my arm. I didn’t think about the test again.
A week or two later, my doctor called. She sounded almost accusatory about trying to track me down. As it turned out, the prenatal test run on my blood sample showed an increased chance that I was carrying a baby with trisomy 21, commonly known as Down syndrome. Only then did I begin to ask some of the questions I wish I had considered when I agreed to the tests in the first place: Exactly what information would these tests provide? Why would I want it? What would I do in response to whatever I learned? I had treated the decision to accept prenatal genetic testing as an inconsequential matter that required minimal discomfort and no risk to my health. But I now realized that my initial decision could lead to a series of life-changing ethical, emotional, and spiritual choices that I wasn’t prepared to make.
Continue reading You’re Pregnant. How Do You Decide About Prenatal Testing on The Huffington Post Parents
Photo credit Phil Dutton