Friday, November 14, 2008

Is knowing potential problems in pregnancy more helpful or harmful for the mother?

Is knowing potential problems in pregnancy more helpful or harmful for the mother?

If knowing that your baby has a pre-birth problem, gives you and your doctor a way to correct the problem and give the fetus a better chance of survival. then the answer if it is helpful to know. However, in many cases, it is not a clear cut scenario.

Actually, my answer to this question is "I don't know". My my personal testimony makes me convince that this is not a Yes or No answer.

Eighteen years ago, I gave birth to a gravely sick baby. Because the doctors didn't know his problem, they aided in his first breath, otherwise he would have died shortly after his birth. He lived for almost two months, and I watched over him everyday waiting for him to die.

Would it have been helpful if I was told? From hindsight, the doctors would have known about my baby's problems from the numerous ultra sound scans I had since I was sixteen weeks pregnant. Because he had such a rare syndrome, they did not pick it up. But what if they had, how would it have helped me. Abortion is not an option for my religion. A personal friend said, it would be terrible for a woman to go through labor knowing she was delivering a baby who was going to die. At least I was spared of that. However, if I was told, at least I would be mentally prepared.

It took me a long time to recover from my loss. I often ask myself, what if I have known, and asked the doctors not to resuscitate him when he was born, he would have died shortly after he was born, would my grief be less. Sometimes I tell myself yes, I didn't have to wait painfully everyday for two months for his demise and feel his pain. But on the other hand, I had that two months to hold him and love him.

Each woman's situation is different, some opt for a quick fix like therapeutic termination. But they are unaware that all terminations have side effects and they affect the women for the rest of their lives.

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