Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Waiting is the hardest part.

The amniocentesis was yesterday.

Before the amniocentesis itself, we met with a genetic counselor and a geneticist for about an hour. They asked us a lot of questions about our family histories, about birth defects and learning disabilities on both sides, etc. We discussed the amnio in depth, and they gave me many opportunities to reconsider my decision to go ahead. They both stressed multiple times that my chance of DS was still in the normal range (1 in 313) versus the arbitrary cut-off of "abnormal" (1 in 311). I knew, in my heart, though, that there was no way that I could possibly wait another four to five months to find out for sure. So, they walked me across the hall for the amniocetesis itself.

Before they started the ultrasound, they asked if we wanted to know the sex.

"Yes." I said. "Yes. We want to know."

Not that it would've mattered.

As the sonographer was measuring the femur length I said "oh. damn."

She looked over, inquisitive - "Is something wrong?"

"Another boy."

Now, when I found out I was expecting again, I said that I wanted to have another boy - as I had the whole boy thing figured out (at least at first). I had tons of boy clothes, etc. I would be a liar though, if I didn't say that I was jealous of other people who were pregnant or recently had girls. As we're not sure if we'll try for another after this one, a part of me was disappointed. But there was a greater part of me that sat in wonder - looking at the screen as our son waved his hand in front of his face and then FLIPPED ME OFF. They weren't able to get a good profile shot so we are unsure as to whether the nasal bones are present (if they aren't - it's a soft marker for DS). However, there were no other indications on ultrasound that were cause for concern (a shortened femur or humerus, cardiac defects, cardiac echogenicities, tricuspid regurgitation, cystic hygroma, duodenal atresia, omphalocele, polyhydramnios, choroid plexus cyst, renal calyceal dilation, and echogenic bowels). Certainly, that doesn't mean that we're out of the woods - but it is good news nonetheless.

We elected to pay extra (or hopefully have our insurance pay extra) to have fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) testing done to expedite our results. The full amniocentesis results are available in about 1-2 weeks, but the FISH results should be available in 24-48 hours.

Most women who had one told me that it was relatively painless - akin to a shot. Now, as someone who gave herself shots for years as part of infertility treatment (both the sub-cutaneous ones in my belly and the intramuscular ones in my thigh - including one in which I BROKE the needle and had to dig it out) I will say that for me personally, that was a bit of an understatement. When the needle punctured my skin, I barely felt it. When it broke through the uterus, I whimpered a bit as a massive cramp wracked my body.

They took out what seemed like an inordinate amount of pale yellow amniotic fluid (two very large vials worth). As the perinatologist was removing the needle, I almost came up off the table it hurt so bad. I had some fairly bad cramping last night - but I have to say, that even though it hurt more than I expected to I would do it again if faced with the same situation.

So... for now, we wait. And I have to say, that as anxious as I was about the amnio I'm far more anxious waiting for results.

I desperately want this baby to be o.k.


Meg said...

I had my amnio on the 16th as well. I was scared of the needle so I didn't look. I would also go through it again.

Shinny said...

Best of luck to you. Hoping that everything works out. Thinking of you and hoping that you don't have any more cramping and can get some rest while waiting for your results.

dee said...

Glad to hear that it went well (the 'well' there being subjective).

The waiting is definitely the hardest part. May your wait fly by with happy news at its end.

Congrats also on another boy!

WiseGuy said...

Here from LFCA!

Congrats on the good news and I hope that the remainder of the pregnancy will be uneventful. Be good and take care.... I shall pray for you...

Nic said...

Thinking of you, and hoping..

Jenn said...

I have everything crossed for you.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and hoping for the best.