When I found out I was pregnant with twins, I knew that I wanted to get an amniocentesis. I didn’t get one with my first pregnancy, but I’m now over 40 years old and felt that the risks have changed. I knew going into it that I would be a nervous wreck, so I decided to keep a diary of my thoughts. Here you go…
I am 10 days away from getting my amnio and trying not to think about it too much. I have a friend coming with me because my husband is worried he may say or do something to make me move during the procedure. He’s also a little squeamish. I have heard they wouldn’t let him stay with me anyway and I need to check on that for my friend. I really hope she can be there to hold my hand when a long needle gets inserted into my belly. Twice.
Today is the day. I didn’t sleep much last night and this morning I am ridiculously preparing to go into battle with a genetic counselor I have never met. I don’t want to hear the statistics again unless she prefaces it with the fact that my test results are worthless. I don’t want to hear her telling me about all of the genetic testing I should have. I know what I want – Ashkenazi panel and the amnio. That it’s. No quad screen and no AFP. Nothing else. I am preparing to be treated like a clueless patient who says yes to everything so the medical establishment can fill their coffers. Maybe she won’t be so bad. Maybe when I tell her that a good friend of mine is genetic counselor and I have discussed all of these things already with her she won’t be offended I don’t need her opinion. And all I want now is to have the amnio, go home to rest, and try to patiently wait for the results.
Well, there was no meeting with a genetic counselor like I had expected. And my request for the Ashkenazi panel was met with a “speak to your doctor about it”, which I had, and she punted me to the meeting with the genetic counselor. Nice. I got a good vibe from the doctor right away. My first question to him was, “you have done thousands of these, right?” Any Doctor who gets defensive when I ask something like that is bad news. This guy didn’t flinch: “Thousands, probably. For twins, hundreds I am sure.” He also told me the first trimester screen results were bunk and after the amnio I should not get any more screening. See why I like this man? Not pushing me for more tests, no agenda, just common sense. The ultrasound before the actual test was uneventful. Babies looked good, good size, heart rate, etc. Since I am convinced there are two baby girls in my belly, I asked if they could check. Baby A was not in a position where we could see anything but Baby B presented a clear view and there was nothing dangling between the legs. The gender should be confirmed from the preliminary amnio results in two days, but so far it looks like there is at least one girl in there.
The amnio itself was not so bad. The needle was thin and the I barely felt the first extraction of amniotic fluid. The second was a bit more uncomfortable. The needle was inserted more to the side of my belly where there are more nerves. I clenched my teeth and breathed. They were both done in less than a minute. I could see the needle enter the amniotic sac on the ultrasound. I could clearly see that they never harmed my babies. I could see one of my babes hiccup throughout the procedure, and then I could see and hear their heartbeats when it was over. I feel stiff now but that is probably because I am afraid to move. I came home and slept, and I am taking it easy the rest of the day. I have 48 hours until the initial results come in. I hope I can distract myself enough until then.
Last night I had some cramping. It was unexpected (even though the doctor warned me I may have some) and now I am really worried. Stupid worried. It’s going to a be a long two days…
And….I only got 1/2 the results. Baby A, who was not visible on the first ultrasound, did not give up enough amniotic fluid for the rapid result. Baby A is already causing trouble 😉 Good news is that Baby B does not have any of the three trisomies and is a girl! I should know the full results within two weeks. More waiting. Ugh.
No results yet and I can feel the anxiety attacks lurking nearby!
I. Cannot. Breathe. The anxiety is overwhelming. It is hard for me to catch my breath. Please, G-d, let the results be in tomorrow.
Finally. 17 days after the test, I received a text message from the doctor: All results normal; two girls. Hallelujah!