Genetic Testing

And Information Overload


I’m back with my second installment. I would like to thank you guys for the lovely comments, private messages, likes, and shares on my first post! I really appreciate it; keep it up! :)

Tomorrow makes the start of my 25th week of pregnancy, and I can’t complain one bit. I’m still going through a little bit of information overload, and dragging my hubby along through it all, LOL. But fortunately we still have a close to four months before this baby arrives to prepare ourselves, God willing!

Alright. So one of the first things I did after scheduling my appointment was start reading “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” (Thanks for the book, Mom!). This is supposedly the “pregnancy Bible” — a week-by-week, detailed book on the ins and outs of what you’re going through, and how the baby develops. I won’t argue with that. There is SO MUCH information out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when trying to educate yourself. What I like about this book is that it doesn’t try to force any beliefs of opinions on you one way or another. One way is not always right, and one way is not always wrong, and the book tackles issues from all angles. So, if you’re pregnant, or trying to get pregnant and you don’t already have this book, pick it up.

Moving along, I get to week 10 or so and started reading a little about genetic testing. There are a battery of tests that are commonly run on expectant moms and babies, some you can’t skip (Rh tests being one of them) and there are some you can. The Amniocentesis is the biggie. It will tell you if your baby shows signs of a chromosomal abnormality. The most common one people hear and worry about is Down Syndrome. There are sometimes false positives, and sometimes it can be undetected, but the numbers are typically right. For some couples, this is a determining factor as to whether or not they will terminate the pregnancy, and some just want to know so they can be prepared. For me, though, terminating the pregnancy was not an option I would entertain if there was a chance the baby had a syndrome, and I didn’t want to be stressed for the rest of my pregnancy if that was the case. After a discussion with my husband about it, we decided to forego the testing altogether. I’m finding out as I trudge through this pregnancy that people always have a way of ramming their opinions down your throat about all kinds of things. Don’t listen! This is something that you have to decide for yourself, or with your significant other. There is no right or wrong that works for everyone. I was, however, relieved and thankful that Tim saw my opinion on this testing, and allowed me to do it the way I was most comfortable with. Thanks, honey!

Tim and I waited till I began my second trimester to tell the world about Baby Staggs. I went to a friend’s Halloween party wearing a sweatshirt with an iron on skeleton chest and a baby inside the belly! It was a hit with my friends, and once the pictures hit Facebook, everyone knew. Stuff like that is fun, that’s what good pregnancy memories are made of!

25-WEEKS-ins2By my 15-week checkup, I let my midwife know that I didn’t want to do any of the optional testing. Everything looked great! She was very impressed with my lab results and levels, and asked about the prenatal I was taking. She was going to write me a prescription for one, but since my levels all looked ideal, she didn’t need to. I’ve never been a big supplement person, but one thing I do believe in is a high-quality chelated multivitamin and quality fish oil, which I have been taking for over a year now. My vitamins have adequate folate (aka folic acid) for a pregnant woman, too— which is typically the main thing in the prenatal that women are lacking prior to taking their prenatal. She was impressed! I was only up a few pounds, and my hubby got to hear our baby’s heartbeat for the first time. A friend once told me, there are many things that you can get sick of during pregnancy, but hearing that heartbeat is not one of them. AND I AGREE! :)

One of the other “must-dos” when you find out you’re pregnant is to join and You might be hungry for information, and boy do you ever find it! There is a lot of it out there, and you can connect with other moms. The online community I didn’t need so much— but the daily emails with various articles, genetic testing, caffeine intake, vitamin needs, what to eat, what not to eat, etc, were great. You have to wade through some crap, and there is no way you can abide by all the advice on the blogs and websites, but there is value in some of it, also. Plus, you can track your baby’s growth week by week and share it with excited grandmas to be— which is always fun!

Speaking of what to eat and what not eat… being pregnant is a lot like contest prep or basically, just clean eating! You want to eat yummy, clean foods that are nutrient dense. Some women have it harder than others and can’t choke much down. I had the opposite problem and wanted to eat everything— the only thing that disgusted me was poultry. Even now it’s my last resort but at least I am not gagging at the thought of it anymore! What carried me through the whole pregnancy this far was a high-quality meal replacement shake, along with other non-poultry proteins, and lots of fresh fruit, veggies, healthy fats and yummy carbs. You want to eat a rainbow of colors. And that’s not always possible, or common in our day, so something that allows you to meet your nutrient needs and has what a lot of American diets are missing is key. Fortunately for me, I really didn’t change anything but my caloric intake when I found out I was pregnant. Since I was dieting when I found out, I had to make sure I was taking in enough for baby to grow— WHICH by the way ladies, is only an additional 300 to 400 calories per day. :) So this eating for two business, no no! The baby is teeny tiny, but needs the right stuff to grow best. As fun as it would be to add a bowl of ice cream to the end of my maintenance calories, ice cream calories don’t give you or baby the quality calories you need. This is not to say I don’t eat ice cream, (duh!) but it’s not junk that baby wants or needs on a regular basis. We still go out for a cheat dinner every Friday, though— you have to live a little and enjoy this time, too! ;)

Next week I have my 25-week checkup, and we schedule my glucose testing to determine gestational diabetes or not. I’ll update you on how that’s going, and share with you how Tim and I announced the gender of our baby to our family and friends! It was a very memorable night for us!

Till next time!

Becca Staggs

Becca has lived in Southwest Michigan her entire life. At 32 years old, Becca currently works in Healthcare in the Information Technology field. She first began competing in 2009 and has had success at several local level and national shows. Becca resides with her husband Tim, and they are both personal trainers and wellness coaches— with Becca's continuing education being in Sports Nutrition.

Co-owner of Staggs Fitness since 2009, Becca enjoys helping clients from all walks of life reach their health goals. Tim and Becca are expecting their first baby in May of this year.

Find more of Becca on:

Muscular Development

Her Website
Staggs Fitness Facebook