Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post brought to you by Harmony Prenatal Testing.
Combining my experience as a NICU nurse with my journey into motherhood was an interesting thing. Having taken care of the sickest of sick babies I was all the more terrified that some twist of fate would add me to the ranks of the soldiers that I so admired. You can add that fear to months and months of nausea and vomiting to the point where I had all but given up on eating, let alone taking my prenatal vitamins. While my fears may not have been super rational (picture a frazzled preggo lady just attempting to keep down her water and crackers while feeling hungover despite the fact that she hasn’t had a glass of wine in months), I was grateful for the non-invasive prenatal testing that I obtained.
While my testing results were negative, I knew in my heart that no matter what the results, they would have allowed me to be better prepared for the baby that I carried. The logical side of my brain knew that if anything were wrong with my child I would want to be as prepared as possible. I would want to give birth at a hospital that specialized in the care my child would need. Did you know that not all hospitals have pediatric surgeons, geneticists, or many other specialties? Not only that, but not all hospitals have NICUs that are designated as level three NICUs, which provide the highest quality of care (locally we have multiple level three NICUs including East Jefferson Hospital, Ochsner, Children’s Hospital, and Touro is opening one very soon).
I realize that prenatal testing can be somewhat of a touchy and personal topic, and I recognize that pursuing genetic testing is a very personal decision. However, I believe that as science changes and evolves there is space to engage in a dialogue about these issues. I have heard women say many times things such as, “Why would I do the testing if I would love and keep my baby no matter what?” or “Why would I endanger my child’s life if I would keep and love them anyway?” While I admit that I have pondered those thoughts as well, I was personally excited when I heard about a new kind of prenatal testing that is available earlier than other tests and is also non-invasive. In other words, with a non-invasive test like the Harmony Prenatal Test, you can find out sooner with no risk to your unborn baby.
Here’s some important information about the Harmony Prenatal Test:
Simple: This test is done with a blood sample.
Safe: Other than the blood draw that you provide for analysis, nothing else is needed to complete this test.
Effective: The Harmony Prenatal Test is greater than 99% accurate for assessing the risk of Down syndrome, or fetal trisomy 21, and it has a false positive rate less than 0.1%, meaning the likelihood that you will be incorrectly told your baby has a trisomy risk is very low. The test evaluates the risk for trisomy 21, 18, and 13, and it also offers an optional analysis of the X and Y sex chromosomes. You should check with your health care provider and have appropriate counseling before deciding if you would like the optional X,Y analysis. The Harmony test does not assess risk for ALL chromosomal abnormalities. You can, however, also find out earlier if you are carrying a boy or a girl, which is a fun bonus. I would have loved shopping for blue clothes even earlier! The Harmony test is offered to all singleton pregnancies as well as all in vitro fertilization (IVF) singleton pregnancies, including those with egg donors. Samples from pregnant women with twins naturally conceived, or those conceived using the patient’s own egg, are also accepted.
For more information about this test, check out Harmony test patient brochure, video and pregnancy guide.
Author’s Note: This is a sponsored post. All facts have been provided by Harmony. All opinions are 100% my own, and please know that we respect your opinions on this topic as well. To make a decision on your own medical situation, please contact your doctor.
I opted out with my pregnancies due to the false positives and decided that despite the result it wouldn’t change my mind of carrying the baby.
However, if I ever have another baby I would probably opt for this testing. After having a micropreemie with a 101 NICU stay I will want to be in the know for everything!
I screened both of pregnancies, but noninvasive. They were both high risk, because I develop a blood condition when pregnant.
I DEFINITELY wanted testing done with my first child. We talked about it for a long time–my husband and I are both pro-life–but we believed that the testing would help us best prepare for any complications.
I ultimately learned that you can’t prepare for everything. With subsequent pregnancies, I had already determined that I would have my babies only at a facility with a Level III NICU, and I knew the anatomy scan would probably catch the biggies like spina bifida, so I opted not to have testing.
It is one thing to say that you would love your child no matter what, but
it’s a completely different experience when you see faced with a reality
that makes you really consider the health of your child. The tests can
offer a path for some where knowing your child has severe
health issues or may be incompatible with life allows parents
to make a compassionate choice and end the pregnancy so their
child doesn’t suffer.
It may not be the choice that all parents make
and there is no judgement for any way that a family decides to act on
the information they gain from prenatal testing. We did not expect our
first pregnancy to have a child that had such terrible abnormalities
but we did. Chromosomal problems compounded by severe structural
defects led us down a heartbreaking road, but we know we did what we
did out of love. I am grateful for the prenatal testing so our baby will
never know a moment of pain. We are Catholic and believe that God
led us to the right decision. It was the hardest thing we have ever done.
As the author of this post, and a former NICU nurse, I want to commend you for your brave and heartbreaking choice. I really really would reach out and hug you if I could. Certainly, I do not know the details and what your family went through, but I do know from your comment that you did what you felt was best with the guidance of your doctors for your babies sake. Not everyone can be that brave. Your baby is so very lucky to have had you as his or her parents. Best to you and your family!