Caveat Emptor

I apologize in advance if I offend those of you to whom I am related or close friends. Writing this is my catharsis and has been keeping me (moderately) sane of late.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Amniocentesis and the Unquenchable Thirst

14 weeks 3 days
Heartbeat after amnio: 189bpm

We had the amnio on Wednesday, July 25, 2007, one day after my 38th birthday. I had read all about the amniocentesis procedure, so I thought that I was as ready as I could be. What I mean by that is, I assumed that there would be some kind of anesthesia involved, at least a topical numbing of some sort. Well, you know what "they" say about assuming (it makes an ass out of u and me); there was NO anesthesia of any kind! Surprisingly, it did not hurt and I am a big, fat baby when it comes to pain, so trust me when I say that there was no pain during the amnio at all. I had significant cramping for 3 days after the procedure, which scared the shit out of me, but no pain during.

I have to say that the Dr. who performed the amnio is terrific! He is the same Dr. that measured our baby's nuchal fold and to me, he is a rock star! If he can stick that barbecue skewer through my abdomen and into my uterus, suck out the requisite amount of amniotic fluid, and pull that skewer out again without a touch of pain, then he is one heck of a Dr. in my book!!

I spent the 30 to 60 seconds that the skewer was in my uterus staring at the ultrasound machine horrified at the thought of watching our babe making a sudden jump into the needle. s/he didn't, s/he stayed as far away from that needle as space would allow! Now I hate to brag, but we have got one smart kid in there!!!

We should know the results a week from today and of course the gender too, which is sooo freakin' exciting. Now everyone close to us thinks we are having a girl, including my father-in law. It will be so great to know for sure.

The day of the amnio, I felt like total shit all day, even before we went in. I was so nauseous that I sat in the waiting room with a Target bag at the ready. What happened to feeling better during the second trimester? So far, I have felt worse! I felt awful for days after the procedure too. I honestly did not feel better until yesterday. I was just so tired, crampy, and I had a constant headache (probably weather related as it was rainy).

After finally feeling better yesterday, I awoke today with the worst migraine I have had in years. I was actually scared something was wrong with the baby or the pregnancy. I was dizzy, had blurred vision, and could barely pick up my head. We called the OB's office and the dr. on call told Iceman that I could take Vicodin. Thank G-d because Tylenol is like eating 2 M & M's to relieve pain; it just does not work for me. Vicodin did not work well when I got migraines regularly, but it helped this time because I have not taken it in so long. When Iceman told the Dr. that I was scared something might be wrong, she said, "Well then go to the emergency room." I am glad she is not my OB! How about ask why I feel that way or inquire as to my symptoms or something. Anyway, Iceman was right, I do feel better.

I must mention that I have an unquenchable thirst that words cannot adequately describe. If I drank all of the water in the picture above this entry, it wouldn't even make a dent in my thirst. The more I drink the thirstier I become. And the worst part is that my thirst is at its most unquenchable at night, so I wake up every hour to pee. I know I should drink less at night, but I simply cannot do that, I am just too damned thirsty.

I want to wish my girlfriend C a big congratulations on her pregnancy with identical twins!!! I am so happy for you, L, and C (and the dogs, cats, and fish too). I wish you a happy and healthy pregnancy and I will call you very soon! You are a doll and deserve all the best. I wish you still lived here! I am thinking of you. I want you to know that when I talk about you with my husband, he refers to you as my friend with the flat stomach!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Damned If I Do; Damned If I Don't

The genetic counselor (Mr. Personality of an Uncooked Noodle) called this afternoon to give us the results of our combined first trimester screening. Iceman, my mom, and I felt pretty confident after the nuchal fold measurement came back at 1.5mm, too confident I'm afraid.

The good news first:

  • Our chances of Cystic Fibrosis are very low as I appear not to be a carrier. The counselor said that the results are not 100%, but we have a "very low risk" of having a child with Cystic Fibrosis. Sounds good to me!

  • Our chances of having a child with Trisomy 13 or Trisomy 18 are 1 in 4,800. Terrific odds! Before the testing my odds were 1 in 245. Quite a nice improvement if I do say so myself.

Now the not so terrific news. Mr. Personality told me that based on my age alone and before any testing was taken into account I had a 1 in 136 chance of having a child with Down's Syndrome. The combined results have come back that I have a 1 in 80 chance of having a child with Down's Syndrome. Not such good odds, relatively speaking.

In my last post I had said that we would consider more invasive testing if our odds were greater than 1 in 300 and in my mind, 1 in 250 was a possibility as well, but shit, I did not think the results would come back like this considering the nuchal fold measurement. My OB said that it must have been the blood work that swayed the results. Whatever the reason, after discussing this with Iceman, my OB, his nurse, and my mom, we are going to do an amniocentesis. It is scheduled for next week Wednesday, July 25th, the day after my 38th birthday.

I was concerned when they scheduled it next week because on the day of the test I will only be 14 weeks 3 days. I voiced this concern to the lady who called to schedule the test. She said that the doctor reviewed the results and wanted the test scheduled in the next one or two weeks. I am glad to do it soon, but I will double-check with the doctor before he punctures me with that needle.

I have to say, following the initial news, I was upset and anxious, but I feel better now. I do not feel that our baby has Down's Syndrome (poo poo poo, knock on wood, bite my tongue). For the time being, I am comfortable in our plan to do an amnio and will handle each development as it comes.

It will be cool to find out the gender before 20 weeks! Now that is a silver lining!!!

I haven't told my close friend, S or my sister yet; I just did not have the strength today. I am very drained, tired, and constantly THIRSTY. I could drink a baby pool full of ice water in two shakes of a lamb's tale for goodness sake!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

150 Beats Per Minute

Wow!!! I cannot believe how much s/he has grown; s/he is a baby already! I had no idea what wonderful things we would see at this appointment. Look at those fingers. You can even see her/his cheekbone.

We heard the heartbeat today and it was awesome. I was starting to get scared because we had not been to the doctor in 4 weeks and a lot can happen from week 8 to week 12. When I heard that heartbeat I was so beyond words thrilled!! Our OB, who I trust completely (not something that I say lightly or often) said that our baby's heartbeat is "in the girl range." I thought that was an old wives tale, but that's what he said, so if I say she instead of s/he that's why. Just about everyone close to me thinks we are having a girl. It will be interesting to see. Awhile ago my father-in-law said he thinks we are having a boy, but I suspect wishful thinking on his part as his daughter is pregnant with a girl.

We went to the geneticist after our OB appointment and had our first trimester scan where they measure the nuchal fold of the baby's neck as a screening for a trisomy (three chromosomes where there should be a pair). The trisomy's are: Downs Syndrome (Trisomy 21), Trisomy 13 and Trisomy 18 . Our little baby was jumping all around in there and waving her arms. I swear she looked at me a waved!

They do this early scan in conjunction with blood work and then take all of the results combined with my age and give us a 1 in blah blah chance of having a baby with a Trisomy. Obviously this is non-invasive and cannot harm the baby. I am happy to do any detailed scans and blood work that poses no risk to the baby. The doctor said that the baby's nuchal fold should be under 2mm and definitely under 2.5mm. Our little babe's was 1.5mm, which they said was great! We should have the 1 in blah blah results in about 3 days. The medical community has an unwritten cut-off of 1 in 300 being a risk. At this point I am thinking that if our risk of a trisomy comes back as over 1 in 300, then I will not have an amniocentesis, if it is under 1 in 300, then I may.

I am just so happy that s/he is so active and apparently happy. We may have a dancer or a swimmer in there!