I’ve just had Jack, Amy and Izzy for 2 days, and I’m shattered! I had forgotten how non-stop 3 little ones can be, especially when the 3 and 4 year olds are starting to demonstrate their independance. Izzy, who’s 17 months, was really no problem, especially as last night she fell asleep whilst I was bathing her, stayed in the land of nod through getting her into night clothes and didn’t wake until disturbed by the other two at 7.15am. Jack and Amy were a different a matter, I was up with them first at daybreak, about 4am, I convinced them to go back to sleep at about 5.30am (they took a lot of convincing) and then they awoke again at 7am. Anyway, as a result of my lack of sleep I have just been slobbing for the last hour in front of the telly and I caught an advertisement for 1st Response, the pregnancy testing kit which can detect pregnancy 5 days before a woman misses her period. We live in a strange old world really. Morning after pills for those who had a quick shag without taking precautions, lets just hope that not using a condom doesn’t result in chlamydia; terminations of pregnancy on demand; embryo research and cloning on the one hand and IVF, ICSI, egg donation, surrogacy, overseas adoptions and life saving surgery on a fetus in the womb on the other.
Off I just went on a little deviation, what I really wanted to muse upon was the effect of these early pregnancy tests. It’s known that many pregnancies, up to 10% for women in their 20’s and up to 50% for those over 40, will end in miscarriage, the majority of which will be before 12 weeks of pregnancy. However, I was contemplating whether these figures would be higher with the advent of these early, early tests and I came across this “But the actual rate of miscarriage is even higher since many women have very early miscarriages without ever realizing that they are pregnant. One study that followed women’s hormone levels every day in order to detect very early pregnancy found a total pregnancy loss rate of 31 percent.” I think this is really sad on the whole. I meet a significant number of women who have experienced a miscarriage, a few are philosophical about it, but the majority are hugely affected by losing a baby. For those who miscarry after 8 weeks they have lost a ‘fetus’, or foetus as some would prefer, those who discover a pregnancy at 14 days, as these pregnancy tests allow women to do, may start to bleed a few days later and in reality they will have lost a blastocyte, but to them they will have lost their baby and this grief is the aspect that troubles me.
I would envisage that the majority of women using these tests will be those hoping to conceive, I know that it is important that women are aware that they are pregnant as early as possile so that they can alter their life-style, if necessary. But to be honest, if they were planning a pregnancy they should have taken steps to reduce the risks caused by smoking, drinking, diet and medication, prescribed or otherwise, prior to the conception, not leave it until an embryo is already developing.
The whole fertility, pregnancy, childbirth scenario is becoming so high-tec, it may give the impression that it is controllable, and it really isn’t.