• Justine Astacio

Prenatal Testing

After confessing my life-changing experience to my family it allowed me to focus more attention on my soon to be an immediate one.

A cat looking at a window

There were so many other events happening outside of my aunt’s death and my forced resignation from the Department of Education. I was truly facing some of the fears pregnant women go through. For instance, the fear of something happening to the human being growing inside of you, who you can’t always feel or even see.

I remember one of my first test results that came back from one of my doctor's appointments.

I was truly facing some of the fears pregnant women go through.

It indicated that my hormone HCG levels were high, which can mean that my soon to be daughter could have had down syndrome or they were high because she was a girl. No one could have given me a definite answer unless I took an amniocentesis exam that in the past has been advised against because of the small chance you can miscarry. I met with a genetic counselor who pretty much scared the shit out of me and convinced me that I should get the exam done. I went ahead and did it, it was uncomfortable but not as painful as I assumed. The results took about 2 weeks to come back, so you can only imagine the fear and anxiety that I was experiencing during this time. Finally, I got the news and everything came back healthy and my levels were high because she was a girl. To be honest I don’t know what we would have done if the result didn’t come out in our favor.

Even with all of these things occurring, I was still having mixed emotions about my pregnancy and the idea of being stuck.

It was even coming through my dreams. I started to dream about all of my past relationships, not in a sexual way so don’t get too excited lmao. But in a way where it gave me more ammunition to continue to question my current reality and if it is the life I truly want to live. I think it was also because I felt extremely alone throughout my pregnancy, not that I was physically but emotionally, yes. Out of my immediate friends, I was the first one to become pregnant and follow through with it. I felt everyone else was living their life and I was just here stuck in a place where I wasn’t sure I wanted to be. 

Reflection: This "stuck" place is where I remained my entire pregnancy because I refused to surrender. Instead, I resisted everything associated with my pregnancy which was ultimately the main reason why I was so miserable. I would have thought to get those amazing test results would have woken me up a little bit but, unfortunately, it didn’t. Even if the results came back that my baby had down syndrome, I would've figured it out. No matter what happened I would be a great mother and my kid would be amazing. If I just trusted the universe, I would have been happier. I missed out on the beautiful parts of pregnancy but, in hindsight, pregnancy was the easy part.