Published on November 30, 2015

Genetic Testing

When I was pregnant with Tessa, I elected to do the genetic testing. Being my first pregnancy, I didn’t have any experience or knowledge of what all this meant, so I did it. Everything came back negative. Later in my pregnancy, another blood test was ordered, and the genetic testing was mistakenly ran again. The second time it was positive. My doctor was positive that it was a false positive due to the timing of the test in my pregnancy, but had me go to Des Moines to a specialist. The appointment was two weeks from receiving the news, which caused for many sleepless nights. It turned out to be a false positive. Even if it had been positive, we would not have done anything different. But I told myself that if I was to be pregnant again, I wasn’t doing the testing.

Fast forward to this pregnancy. I was asked if interested in doing the testing. Mind you, this was the same appointment, literally minutes, after learning we were having twins. (TWINS!? It still seems surreal!) I said no. Even after being told that twins means the increased chance of issues. I still said no. But then we started telling people we were having twins. So many people started saying, “Oh, well I’ll pray for healthy babies.” This was sweet and appreciated it, but I started over thinking things. On top of that, I was reminded (many times) that I was old to be having babies. Many still call a pregnancy of a woman 35 years or older a geriatric pregnancy. I was 37 when I conceived. Once this was considered old, but to me it seems normal. But I was still told that because I am “old” having babies, that increases the chance of genetic disorders and other health issues. I started thinking even more.

I began doing my homework. I asked everyone I knew if they did the testing. Most said no, because it would not have changed anything. Some said yes for a variety of reasons, but also said that if it was positive, they wouldn’t have done anything different. I educated myself and realized that a positive test result doesn’t mean that either of the baby’s has a genetic disorder, just that they are at a higher risk. Many babies have been diagnosed with a health concern, and born healthy.

Ultrasound with twins

The picture is an ultrasound of baby B,
with Baby A waving in the top left corner!

When I went in to do my 1-hour glucose testing (that’s another blog!), I still hadn’t made up my mind. Ryan supported whatever I decided. As I was sitting in the lab chair, tourniquet tightly around my arm, the lab technician asked me if I had decided yet if I wanted to do the testing. I blurted out, “Um, okay….yes!” She said it would be a week before we heard back. That entire week, I had regrets. I was prepared to tell them I didn’t want to know the answer. But when Jodi called with the results, I didn’t have a chance. “The testing was negative, so it’s all good!” she said. Whew! This “old” lady was relieved. Again, I wouldn’t do anything differently, but every parent hopes their baby, or babies in my case, are as healthy as possible.

I now ignore the opinions of people that tell me I’m old to be pregnant. If I would have had kids in my 20’s, I wouldn’t have been married, which most likely would have stirred up a whole different set of other people’s opinions.

About the Author

Mindy WendtMindy Wendt is a mom with twins on the way! She also works in the Human Resources Department at Mary Greeley Medical Center. She and her husband Ryan currently have two daughters, Taylor (14) and Tessa (3).

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