Lately, I have been dealing with decisions for my prenatal care and birth outcome. I really wanted to blog about issues regarding patient rights and medical care decisions. While being passionate about this, I keep in mind the vow I took to protect the embryo that is adopted inside me.
At my recent prenatal visit, I was told (and not asked) that I would be having a vaginal exam. I declined to have this done and stated that I would not put my baby at risk of being exposed to bacteria. I stated I that I would not have a procedure that was not necessary. The nurse that was helping had a shocked looked on her face and scolded my decision and said, “But this is protocol.” Like everyone else, I have had bad experiences with health care professionals and the system itself. I have tried to educate myself as an individual and a parent of regarding my rights. I was relieved that the lady taking care of me was a midwife friend and did not react in a way that the whole situation could have escalated. But really, unless I was having a pap smear done, was this really necessary?
In the same appointment, I was asked if I wanted a new test that is being offered to women over 35 (it is a blood tests that tests for several birth defects and will tell you the gender of your baby). It is supposed to be 99% accurate. My first thoughts were “no way” as the outcome would not push me to make a medical decision to terminate this pregnancy; but, I really wanted to know the gender and I thought that, by getting this test done, I would be less tempted to get ultrasounds done that were not necessary so I could know the “secret” of my baby’s gender. Ridiculous, I know, but I know where my weak points are.
I got the test done and, a few days later, a huge article was put in a main news source which revealed that the test results for this type of test from different companies were coming back with false positives as high as 50%! The article interviewed a mom that almost aborted her baby because the test showed it would was severally deformed and the test was wrong (more tests showed the baby was normal). Thank God!
I was very upset from this article and upset with myself that I wasted time and money to do this. I have been evaluating what is medically necessary and what decisions I need to make to protect my baby at birth from unnecessary procedures and forced decisions on me. I hope and pray that moms that have taken the vow to protect the gift they have adopted will educate themselves to make the best-informed decisions.