It is amazing how much contradictory information is taken as the gospel truth. I’ve written about this before regarding foods and caffeine consumption.
I’m learning that pregnancy brings with it a whole new level of what I call Contradictory Information Syndrome.
Let’s start with tuna. I really like tuna. But I must clarify that and say I really like white albacore tuna. We made the switch several years ago and once you make the switch, the regular plain tuna is just, well, yucky. And of course one of the biggest warnings a pregnant woman gets is to not eat white albacore tuna because if you do your unborn baby will be overrun with mercury and you will cause all kinds of horrible things to happen to your child and you will be the world’s worst mother ever and you will suffer in your shame and guilt for the rest of your life… Yada, yada, yada.
So I dutifully followed the warnings and when David went to the store he got us some of the plain tuna even though we had plenty of the good stuff in the basement. Yuck. Truthfully, I would rather not eat tuna at all than eat that stuff. However, tuna is good for you. What to do? So in my curiosity I went online to see what I could find out.
(May I digress here a moment? I don’t usually watch Mad About You, but when I was at my worst with the morning sickness several weeks ago and desperate for anything to take my mind off of how I was feeling, I turned it on. Ironically, they were in the episodes where they just had found out they were pregnant. In one episode they were in a bookstore and Jamie, the wife, was trying to choose a pregnancy book. Her husband told her it was easy. Just look for the book that tells you what you want to hear and buy that one. I like his reasoning!)
Anyway, back to tuna.
So I went online, kind of in a Jamie-like fashion, to see if there was anyone out there telling me it was ok to eat white albacore tuna. I found some interesting information in these articles.
- U.S. Tuna Foundation: Understanding Mercury Levels in Canned Tuna – Exposing Common Myths
- U.S. Tuna Fishermen Challenge FDA Warning
Yes, I realize these were written by “pro tuna” folks. But I thought that the information there was better than all the information I was finding on pregnancy websites where they basically just all cut and paste each other’s articles. I will let people read these for themselves, but I thought they were enlightening.
Anyway, after reading these I decided that I was comfortable with the risks associated with the once a week use of white albacore tuna and last night had a heavenly white albacore tuna sandwich (made with mayo and sweet relish) on toasted bread. It was delicious.
On to testing.
Because I will be over 35 when I deliver this baby, I am considered “high risk”. Well, that may be the case in the medical field, but since God decided I was going to be over 35 when I delivered I guess I don’t consider this especially risky. I consider it part of His plan.
Before I even went in to my first appointment, David and I had researched the whole
“over 35 testing thing” and had come to our own conclusions. However, we weren’t totally sure what to expect in our conversation with the doctor since I had just switched primary care physicians to this doctor. I switched because as much as I liked my previous doctor, we had been disappointed with how he responded to our miscarriage. To us, it was a loss. After hoping for a baby for so many years and to finally get a positive test, it was a true loss to us. His description was that it appeared something happened, but it didn’t take. Well, I suppose medically one could say that, but to us it was a loss.
We switched to the new doctor because he is very pro-life and friends of friends had been very happy with his services. In fact, the first time we met him to do an “interview” and we told him about our miscarriage, he was genuinely sorry. It was a marked difference from the other doctor.
Anyway, on our first pregnancy visit (to confirm the pregnancy) the subject of testing came up. He did not recommend all of the genetic testing, amniocentesis, etc. and actually discouraged the testing because he feels they are unreliable and the potential benefits do not outweigh the risks. I wish I could remember everything he told us, but I was so out of it that day that the facts escape me.
However, I do remember him telling us some very interesting information about the companies that produce all of these new tests and how much of it is motivated by $$$. It had to do with the need to keep coming out with new tests because they were losing money because something else had become obsolete. I’ll have to ask him next time I go in. Or maybe a reader here will know what I am talking about and can leave a comment. The bottom line was he is not a fan of the testing and feels the Level 2 ultrasound around week 20 is a much better tool, but he would do them if they were important to us.
Well, we were very relieved by his attitude because that was the same conclusion we had come to. We did not want the tests. Our reasons were pretty simple. Most of the tests are quite unreliable and offer up many false positives. I did not want to spend nine months worrying about something that wasn’t true. As far as the amnio goes, the odds are 1 in 200 you could hurt the baby to the point of miscarriage. I wouldn’t gamble my car on those odds, let alone a baby! We had no peace about that test at all. We also felt there was no need to test because it would not matter what they found – we would not end the pregnancy. Weighing all the negative odds against any perceived value such as dealing with the reality ahead of time just made it a no-brainer for us.
I know others make different choices and I wonder how many parents have these tests without having all of the information available to them. On many websites where I’ve read, you are made out to be stupid if you don’t take advantage of every test available to you. But I think reading between the lines and doing a little digging on your own often reveals that there is a lot more to most questions than meet the eye.
So we are at peace about these decisions and have had no second thoughts. Of course we hope and pray for a healthy baby and would love to know without a doubt right now that everything is ok. But we will just have to wait until the 20 week ultrasound to get a peek at what is going on in there and who has taken up residence in my tummy!
Stay tuned for more of David and Sallie’s baby dilemmas in upcoming entries including the latest question… To baptize or not to baptize… More on that soon…