by Jen on December 12, 2007

in Does this baby make me look fat?

I had my amnio yesterday. Going into it, I was a strange mixture of both nervous and calm. I had an amnio with the Monkeyboy, so I knew what to expect. I wasn’t dreading it, but I wasn’t looking forward to the procedure either, for obvious reasons. I was looking forward to getting it over and done with, so that I could be that much closer to results.

Before the amnio, we had a genetic counseling appointment. We had updated our family history when I had the first trimester screening a few weeks ago, so the appointment was short. One new piece of information was that they’ve updated the amnio risk of miscarriage to 1 in 1000. (I think when I had amnio done with the Monkeyboy they were still using the old 1 in 300 statistic, although my research had told me the risk was lower). The counselor also told me that the same doctor that did my first amnio would be doing this one. That was comforting to hear, because the last one was minimally uncomfortable and had no complications.

Before the amnio, they do an anatomy ultrasound. This one wasn’t as detailed as the one they did with Monkeyboy, but I think I was a few weeks farther along last time. The baby’s heartrate was 151. I asked the tech if she could determine the baby’s sex, but she wasn’t very helpful. She said that “At this point of development, they all have something there…” which isn’t exactly true, although it can still be difficult to tell at this point. Then she made a cursory attempt to look, but said she couldn’t get a good shot. She spent more time trying to measure the leg bone than trying to get a “money shot.” I’m placated by the fact that I will know for sure within two weeks. As far as I am concerned, that’s one of the upsides to having an amnio.

It takes longer for them to prep everything for the procedure than the actual procedure takes. After being thoroughly swabbed with Betadine, the doctor placed drapes all around the lower part of my abdomen. Then the ultrasound tech found a spot where there was a good sized pocket of amniotic fluid, away from the placenta and the baby (although closer to the placenta and the baby than I remember it being last time). The doctor told me he’d explain the procedure as if I hadn’t had it done before, telling me what was happening every step of the way. When the needle goes through the skin, it feels like the sharp pinch of a blood draw. (Have I mentioned I don’t watch this part? I watch the ultrasound screen the whole time.*) Then, when the needle pierced the uterus, it feels like the “shock” you get when you hit the “funny bone” in your elbow (actually the ulnar nerve). At this point, it was a little more uncomfortable than I remember it being, as the doctor sort of moved the needle around a little bit to get it in deeper and in a good position. The needle itself being there didn’t hurt, but the movement of the needle caused me some twingey pains.

He drew a couple of vials of fluid, but kept giving me an update as to how much longer it would take (“About a minute left… about thirty seconds longer…”). When he was done, he said I would feel a burning sensation as he withdrew the needle, but I didn’t. I just felt relief as soon as it cleared the skin. I’ve been sore and a little crampy since then, which is normal, but feeling better all the time.

The tech checked the baby via ultrasound for a few moments after the amnio and also checked the heartrate again (which was 157) just to make sure the baby wasn’t distressed. After cleaning up my orange Betadine belly, we were out of there. The entire process took about an hour.

Results should take about ten days, according to the doctor. I think that’s about what it took last time, too. The genetic counselor has my cell phone number, since I’ll probably be at work when she calls. Now I just have to wait.


*Especially after last time, when the Hubster described the needle as “a broom straw.” I don’t need to see my skin being punctured with a nine-inch needle, thank you.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Valerie December 12, 2007 at 12:40 pm

I’m glad it all went so well. I wish the ultrasound tech would have tried a little harder to see what the baby was for you though. I do agree that is the upside to the amnio you know without a doubt what you are having.

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