2/21/2012

Six Days Left

I heard a soundbite on the Evening News last night that struck a personal chord with me.  Rick Santorum made a statement that has been broadcast far and wide....

“The bottom line is that a lot of prenatal tests are done to identify deformities in utero and the customary procedure is to encourage abortions,”  - Rick Santorum

See, I happen to agree with Mr. Santorum on this matter.  I would have previously called BS on this, previously meaning 8 years ago. Now, I know different.  Let me share.

When I was 23 weeks pregnant with the King, the group doctor I was required to see for my 5-6 month appointment came flying into the exam room, very hurried.  He looked at my file, and coldly and summarily said "So, you are 38.  What is the results of your amniocentesis"

As he flipped furiously through my chart, I calmly said "I didn't have one.  I saw no need.  The risks were too great".  He spun around, cut me off and said very clinically and coldly "You only have 6 days to get rid of this baby if there is something wrong with it, and you "chose" to not have an amnio?  At YOUR age?".

Thankfully, I was old enough and mature enough to look at him and say very clearly and precisely (through clenched teeth) "Dr. R, this appointment is done.  Thank you for your time".  And I got up and walked out.

Upon notifying my "regular" OB, I learned that Dr. R had noted in my chart that I walked out of the appointment AMA.

AMA - against medical advice.  No, Dr. R, I walked out because of medical advice.

This wasn't my first trip around the pregnancy block.  I had the appropriate (for me) level of testing for my age including a Nuchal Folds test, and the usual blood tests which would indicate a possible issue.  Both were clean and perfect; further, if they weren't, I had already discussed with my regular OB that it didn't make one ounce, bit or modicum of difference.  Besides, if there were an issue, I was delivering at a hospital with the region's best neonatal unit (which the King spent a day in for other issues, not related to "genetics").  Further, I had waived - in my chart - genetic testing, as my husband's family does have a genetic propensity for an issue.

So here was a doc - a high risk doc nonetheless, who had zero desire, time or wherewithal to determine how or why I had reached any point in my pregnancy, indicating to me only that I had limited time left to "get rid of this baby if there is a problem".

To me, Rick Santorum wasn't taking a "christian crazy" view of this situation - Rick Santorum, at least in my experience, was speaking the truth; I had "six days left" to prove it.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Awesome story! Thanks for posting! Because of being high risk, I also had the typical blood tests just so I could be prepared at birth if they found something in the testing. You obviously chose the right thing to do :)