Tuesday, May 2

Pregnancy Weeks 18-19: Amniocentesis

Twitch at eighteen weeks
(When Twitch almost got its named switched to "Chompers.")

Things were going along so well for the first part of my second trimester, and then the Dr called. "Now, I don't want you to be alarmed...." were his first words, immediately causing me, of course, to panic. Turns out the test results from my 16 week bloodwork had come back indicating a higher-than-normal risk for Down Syndrome or Spina Bifida. The Dr wanted me to come in and get an amniocentesis the next day to make sure that everything was OK. For those of you unfamiliar with this most unpleasant procedure, follow the link above, or just take a gander at this handy illustration ----->
Yes, that's a big ass needle going into a pregnant belly. My pregnant belly, in this case. After I hung up the phone, I obviously proceeded to have a full blown panic attack. For those of you who may not appreciate the extent of the stress caused by an amnio, let me explain:

Reasons to Freak Out When You Have Scheduled an Amnio:
1) The big ass needle they're going to stick in your belly.

2) The chance that the big ass needle will cause you to have a miscarriage.
3) The chance that you will find out your fetus has a birth defect.

4) Thinking about what you are going to do if there is a birth defect.
5) Waiting the 2 weeks (TWO WEEKS!) for the test results to come b
6) Wondering if you will manage to retain an ounce of sanity during those 2 weeks.

and, to be fair,

Two Good Things About Having an Amnio:
1) You will know for sure that your baby is healthy and can relax for the next 5 months.
2) You will know for sure whether it is a boy or a girl.

However, I don't know anybody who is willing to go through the six bad things in order to find out the 2 good things. I know I would have been quite happy with the "no news is good news" adage in this particular situation.

So, I went in the next day for the "procedure," and, to my credit, I did very well. That is, I didn't start screaming hysterically, which was my immediate impulse. The ultrasound technician kept commenting on how easy everything went--the placenta was lying on the back of my uterus, the baby was staying still (for the first time in its short life), she found a nice big pool of fluid "as big as Tahoe," etc. And, because she had to take a good look to make sure everything was safe for the needle to go in, we got a nice long ultrasound, resulting in an incredibly frightening picture of Twitch looking like it is ready to chew its way out of my belly.

So everything went well, I was sent home to bed for the rest of the day, and the two weeks of waiting began.

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