Saturday, April 3, 2010

The one with the amnio

I figured with as many appointments as I'm going to have in the coming weeks and months, I may as well start labeling them. I'm going with the method used to label Friends episodes. (It all comes back to Friends again. funny.)

Thus today's appointment, the 4th in 8 days, will be known as "the one with the amnio".

I find myself in an odd spot lately.
Suddenly I'm doing all sorts of things I thought I'd never do, and facing decisions I thought I'd never face.

Interesting place to be....

Latest on this list of things-amniocentesis.

I am not a needle person. Like in a big big way. I don't do epidurals because I hate needles. I had an epidural with my first child. Learned my lesson. Yes, I'd rather do all the pain of labor and delivery, induced with pitocin, posterior babies, all that jazz-all instead of having that needle in my back again.

So you can imagine a needle in my belly has really never been tops on my list.

Not to mention that I don't do the blood screening tests offered during pregnancy that are used to determine your odds of a chromosomal abnormality, the results of which are often the reason the people do amnio during the first half of pregnancy. Thus I reasoned that amnio would never be in my future.

I'm being proved wrong about all sorts of things lately it seems!

Upon the confirmation of our little baby's problems last Monday, the option of amnio was presented to rule out anything else that we might be dealing with. Both the perinatologist and genetic counselor mentioned that the odds there being anything else wrong with our little boy were extremely low (based on u/s), and that they didn't expect an amnio would show anything else, but if we'd like to go that route to rule out an other possible problems that we could let them know anytime and they'd get us in ASAP.

To be honest, I felt the same way; everything else looks perfect, and the odds of having a chromosomal disorder show up on amnio results is next to zero. But Aaron felt very strongly that we should go the amnio route just to safely rule anything else out, considering if something did actually show up, it would be good to be prepared for any additional challenges and preparation that we (and our drs) might need to take into consideration for care of our little guy upon his arrival.

And so I made the dreaded phone call to tell them, "let's go ahead with the amnio".


After getting reassurance from a friend who also has needle issues but has been through amnio more than once, I felt a little better. She said the same thing that the drs had-it's quick and easy, over in about 10 minutes, not comfortable but not the end of the world.

Ok. I can do that.

And Friday rolled around quickly.

One upside to measuring so far ahead is that there was a very nice sized pocket of fluid available for the procedure. Samuel was very cooperative in sitting quite low to make sure there was no danger of nicking him with the needle. Thank goodness! I was expecting a numbing shot before the big needle, as that is what most people that have talked about amnio have mentioned, but I'm thinking they skipped that on me. (Yep-just asked Aaron about that since I wasn't watching-there was no numbing shot) They cleaned me up, did the betadine rub down, marked the spot and said "here we go-poke and a pinch....and we're in".

The pinch wasn't bad, the poke hurt, but good grief-when a need that big starts going through your abdominal muscles your body fights back! It just keeps pushing and pushing on through which is not a comfortable thing!

It's good to know my ab muscles are still in fighting shape, but I have to wonder if that made it hurt a little more. I could tell that it took a little effort to push it through.

As I'm laying there trying to to think about what's happening I glanced up at the big screen on the wall where you get to watch the ultrasounds, thinking that watching my little guy would be a good distraction.
Watching that screen also meant watching the needle going in. No good!

I quickly looked away.

I tried to let my mind wander when I hear my sweet husband ask, "Is it hard to get out? It looks like you are pulling really really hard!"
Uh, what?
"Well, it's kind of like pulling a thick milkshake through a really small straw since we try and use a small needle."

Hello? I'm right here!

That was pleasant to hear.

Thankfully it was over very soon after that-a much quicker process than I expected, taking only about 3 minutes for the actual procedure. It was a long three minutes while it was happening, but I did think "wow, that's it?" when it was done, so that's a good sign.

There were three doctors in there for the draw, and as it was finished up one of them commented, "Well, that's about as good as that ever goes!" Thank goodness.

I had to verify my name and birthdate on the tubes of fluid, and it took me a second. I was so distracted by the fact that there were two big tubes of fluid just inches from my face. Fluid that had literally just seconds earlier been floating around inside me with my baby. It was kind of surreal. I thought it would be clear, but it was kind of a peachy color almost. I was fascinated by it. I am still fascinated by the fact that they can take that fluid out, not disturb the baby or the pregnancy (with rare exception), and that from that fluid they can tell all sorts of intricate things about your baby.
It's amazing.

The sonographer was very generous in letting us just hang out and look at our little Sam before we got up to leave, spending as long as we wanted just looking at him....his little feet (is there anything cuter than tiny feet?), his hands, his perfectly beating heart, and his sweet little face.

She gave us some amazing profile pictures of our little guy, and to be honest, he's adorable.

1 comment:

  1. reading that makes me cringe and shudder. ew ew ew ew. i got poked soooo many times during my last 2 hospital stays and twice a day injections of blood thinners for the last few months of my pregnancy, still it just never gets any easier.