How much do we really need or want to know?

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Last week I had to go to the Doctor for a lovely eye infection. Yes conjunctivitis is a lovely look. Anyway so I was there getting a script for some eye drops and the Doctor asked if my Hubby had been for his blood test to see if he carries a family gene thingy. (Yes that’s medical terminology, I promise). I mentioned that he hadn’t yet but we’d get round to it.

The doctor than started going on about that there were other tests couple’s could have done before they try for a baby. As she talked about cystic fibrosis, yadda yadda yadda, I sat there and wondered how much do we really want to know, or should we embrace the medical technology that is now available to us?

You see my mother-in-law has this gene 19 thing and had 4 healthy boys and was none the wiser. So when it was picked up in my niece when my sister-in-law was pregnant a flurry of tests followed only to discover that the gene had been passed on in a balanced form. Are you following me? No, don’t worry, I’m confused too.

My point, yes I have one and I’m getting there, is that back in the day when my Hubby and his 3 brothers were born, none of the scans, tests etc were around. Does the advancement in technology make us a bunch of worriers, sometimes for no reason? Or like I said should we be embracing the technology and be grateful that we have access to it in the first place?

I guess it’s a doctors job to give everyone all the options available to them, but sometimes it all scares the crap out of me. Anyway, as always, what do you think?

  • Megan
    February 3, 2010

    With any test, I tend to think: ‘What will I do with that information?’ – so will it affect your decision to have children? Would they even be able to give you any definite answers, or just make you worry more that something is a ‘1 in whatever chance’?

    And I agree – lots of information can be a great thing, but can also serve to freak us out!

  • Bern
    February 3, 2010

    Yeah it’s scary enough. I know when I had Sam, his 18 week scan showed cysts on his brain which could indicate serious problems. We had to go up to the mater and by the time we got there, they were gone. The nurse at the mater explained to me they are like blisters and they can come and go. Awesome. By the time we had Jack (5 years later), they don’t even test for it anymore because it’s a nothing. Just freaks you the fuck out.

    I don’t know, go with your gut (instinct of course, there would be no gut) :)

  • Jodie at Mummy Mayhem
    February 3, 2010

    I think Megan raises a very valid point here. Will finding out affect your decision? We had no pre-natal testing, but had the 12 week and 16 week scans like most do.

    I don’t know. Sometimes I think we have TOO much information these days, but on the flip side of that, I think knowledge is a good thing. Good or bad, I wanted to know everything when I was pregnant. When I went with my Mum to the Dr and I was asking about hormone levels etc, she was so amazed. They just didn’t know that stuff in her day. They went thru pregnancy not really thinking about it. That would be kind of nice.

    But I’d still like to know. It’s an individual preference. x

  • nomie
    February 7, 2010

    We made the decision not to have extra tests done. With Master10 we had a 20 week scan then 1 at about 30 weeks as one of his kidneys was slightly smaller at the first scan – turned out to be nothing.
    With miss8 we had a scan at about 12 weeks and one at 20 and that was it. Additional testing was offered but we decided not to have them done. We had decided that if there were any problems that the scan’s couldn’t pick up on, we’d deal with them when the baby arrived.
    It’s a very personal choice, and I too agree with Megan’s comments & Bern’s to go with your gut instincts.

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