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January 18, 2011

Family Planning {Part 1}

Being the Type A Personality that I am, is it any wonder I am approaching babies like I would any other major event in my life, with extensive planning and research. I guess not a surprise but its still a bit foreign to me as I'm not really sure how I feel about my own children.

Until I was married (and ever since I was a young girl), all i wanted was babies. Forget the husband, I just wanted babies. I always feared that my body would give out before the time would come for me to have them.

Now that I am married and children are more of a realistic near future, I'm scared sh*tless. I won't lie. I am a Type A. I plan and i prepare myself for the loops, bumps and turns that life throws at me. But, because I know you can't plan everything, I do my best to think of all possible scenarios and outcomes. That way, I'm prepared.

But come on, moms out there are laughing at this point thinking... nothing prepares you for children until you just have them. There is no point in planning ... or planning to the extent that I am thinking this through.

But please humor me. I'm a planner. It makes me feel better. It makes me pretend that I may actually have some semblance of control of something I know I won't have control of... and perhaps that is what freaks me out.

I'm also a bit scared b/c I know I will be pretty strict and hard on my children. Even with the Husband, I find myself at times making unrealistic expectations and have to pause... stop myself. I am my father's daughter.

so in the first step of Family planning, I have met with my Ob-Gyn to discuss various things on Friday. Aside from going through family history of diseases and illnesses, we also discussed various immunizations that I have had. I had done a blood test in September 2010 and never got the results of this (one reason why I ended up changing Ob-Gyn), so my new Dr was able to get those records and luckily (since they drew blood yesterday for the pre-op), I didn't have to give more blood and I don't need any vaccinations! YAY!

The Dr. does want us to consider getting a genetic screening test. I've decided if my insurance covers it, I will for sure. If not, then the expense is about $350... and I am still considering it.

The Dr. mentioned four main reasons to do genetic testing.
  1. Be aware. Just knowing can give you peace of mind or better equipped to handle a situation should it arise.
  2. Be Prepared. Knowledge is power, right? You can educate yourself. You can prepare your home. You can know that if a symptom occurred, that it may be a product of the disease and not wonder what is wrong?
  3. Know your alternate options. Let's say the husband and I find out that we both carry a recessive gene for some disease, we can then evaluate our options: No children, Children with the chance of the disease, conceiving with other sperm/egg to avoid the disease, or now with technology - you can do pre-implantation screening where the egg/sperm are evaluated before implanted into the uterus. 
Now, i'm sure there are strong feelings about some of the alternate options - but i'm not here to judge. I'm just amazed at how far science has come to give such options.

But you have to wonder, sometimes ignorance is bliss... What would you do if you had the option of knowing there was a chance? Would that change your actions? I don't know what I'd do, its a very hard question to answer - but if you want to share with me your opinions, I'd love to read them!


  1. we are total opposites~lol. well, almost opposites. i thought i was going to be extremely strict with my girls, too. my mom was with me and i am happy with how i turned out so just assumed i was going to do the same. with all of your planning and researching, don't be surprised if when your little ones get here you decide to change your approach for what may be a better way. i can appreciate being prepared but i think it is also important to be ready to be flexible. there are no absolutes with kids. i just hope you don't plan to the point of not being able to enjoy the excitement of beginning to start your family.

  2. good luck with all these exciting things to think about :-) We got pregnant on our honeymoon...unexpectedly! Ha! No planning... no investigating ...we are over the moon with excitement :-)

    as for the genetic testing.... I thought we would absolutely get this. But in the discussions with our doctor, even the testing isn't 100% accurate. The results come out more like a percentage and you have to act on it then. So you may be given a percentage like, your child may have a 35% chance of having downs syndrome...which is still a percentage, but it's relatively small - does that impact anything? It was too up in the air so we didn't do the testing at all.

    The testing that you are talking about is pre-pregnancy?

  3. both my boys were "surprises" lol . We never did any genetic testing either...."God will only give me what I can handle" was my Mum's response when I ask her if we should.

    Hope everything works out for you ! Good Luck!

  4. Even though I know I want to have kids, there's a part of me that's really scared about the physical and day-to-day aspects. We're getting kittens this weekend, and I'm even nervous about that, hoping I can care for them and give them enough love. Some days, I feel I can hardly take care of myself, so am I really able to be responsible for another life?

  5. AJ ~ no matter what - having child no. 1 is a culture shock. you will never be prepared. Child no. 2 is a new balancing act. Child no. 3 is the easiest to add to the mix -- afterall you have no more culture shocks and you have the balancing down. :-)

  6. I was put the idea of doing the genetic test by my doctor before leaving for our honeymoon. I still have not gotten back to him. In all likelyhood we will be doing it (simply because sickle cell does run in my family and though I don't think I have the trait both my parents do, so it would be good for that and several other reasons). I say do it! In terms of parenting I think just as you....I'm an over planner and fear that I will be an over-expectant mom. But my hubby does reign me in when I tend to get carried away. Love your blog!

  7. I've been following your blog...and love it! I'm in the DC area and would love to know the name of your ob/gyn...mine sounds like your last one, who doesn't report test results. I know it sounds strange to ask someone I don't know, but all of my friends also don't like theirs (must be a DC thing!) I don't know if you are willing to post publicly, but maybe at least the office? Otherwise I'll send you an email.

  8. My ObGyn is Dr. Julian Safran at Capital Women's Care in DC. He's pretty awesome so if your insurance works there, i'd highly recommend him (and that office in general!)

  9. my cousin died of a genetically recessive disease (CF), so i had a 1/4 chance of being a carrier. where i live (ontario, canada), genetic testing is covered if there's a reason for it - not that screening isn't a reason in of itself, but there has to be something to "look for". i asked for a genetic test to find out if i was a carrier. my doctor suggested my dad be tested (so my brothers and i might all be eliminated at once). thankfully, i now know that i have a 99% chance of not being a carrier.

    with most genetic diseases, they can't "guarantee" you're not a carrier, but they give you a really high likelihood.

    the average caucasian person has a 5% (1 in 20) chance of being a carrier! so 99% NOT being a carrier is pretty good.

    i know what i would have done if i tested positive (and my husband was positive, too). you should think about this now - you don't have to decide, but think about it. i would opt for pre-implantation screening, but that's a very personal decision that i don't share in my real life. i have shared it in the past and been "judged" for being willing to "mess" with mother nature / God / my fate. i'm not ashamed by my choice, and i defend my decision, but i don't feel that those who have NOT buried a cousin (or other young family member) for a genetic disease have a right to judge me.

  10. Anonymous checking back in: Thank you for posting that!! Will continue enjoying your blog, and hopefully stop being anonymous with my own blog soon :)


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