Talking about tests during pregnancy can sometimes be taboo. Some friends and family choose not go have any extra tests done because they do not want to add any fear, and they also know that no matter the outcome, they will love and treat the child the same way.

I decided to do many tests because I want to be prepared. My older sister has right hemiplegia. She was born perfectly healthy, but at a mere two weeks old, she caught a terrible virus which all but ruined half of her brain. She can not speak, can not walk without assistance, and suffers from many ailments as well as seizures. I grew up having specialized and medically trained babysitters, and spent most holidays at home with our family of five because loud groups would startle her.

My mom, my sister Jeannie, and I dancing at my wedding.

My parents did a phenominal job raising all of us. Jeannie has taught my family more about love, patience, and perserverencr than any other person. The silver lining in context of my pregnancy is that Jeannie’s condition is not genetic so I am not any more at risk of certain issues because she is my relative. Because of my background, however, I believe in being prepared. If my baby has a special need, I want to make sure that my husband and I have proper training and equipment. I want to be the best parents for our baby.

I decided to have the elective screening done, which involes bloodwork and an ultrasound. The results take an incredibly long time. If needed, I may do other tests. Having these tests done is my decision, and is not easy. It’s scary, adds suspicion and worry, but can also bring calmness and answers. I hope and pray my tiny baby is perfectly healthy, and promise to love it, no matter what these tests show.