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Amnio attempt 2

Time for attempt number two of amniocentesis and again we waited in the waiting room to be called in to see the consultant. I was nervous again but not as bad as before. I felt a lot calmer as I knew today things would be ok and the procedure would be able to go ahead. We were called through and the consultant just did a quick recap and checked I still wanted to go ahead with the procedure. She asked me to hop up onto the bed and she started the scan. Within a few seconds she said to me all is fine, the Aminion and Chorion were fused so it was safe to go ahead. I was then scrubbed up with surgical spirit all over my belly, and the remaining scrub poured all over me. It was soooo cold I couldn’t help but giggle. It went everywhere, down my back, on my jeans, I even had cold wet underwear. She then asked me to try to keep still so she could start as she couldn’t do it if I was laughing. She placed the ultrasound probe on one side to get a good view of the baby and the empty space of fluid next to him. So with one hand on the probe and the other on the needle she gentle inserted the needle into the side away from the baby perpendicular to my skin and into my uterus. We could see on the screen the needle as it entered the space and baby made a little move to shy away from it. He knew when he needed to get out of the way. The assistants then attached a 10ml syringe to the end of the needle and drew off two syringes full of amniotic fluid. All while being perfectly still. When they were done the needle was removed and a spot plaster placed on my belly. And that was it. Done. It really didn’t hurt. No more than the main blood tests I have had done. I honestly thought it was going to be awful and that it would take quite a long time to carry out the procedure but I was so wrong. If there is anyone who is reading this and they are having to make the choice whether to go ahead. Don’t be scared it really isn’t as bad as you think. Yes there is a risk of miscarriage but depending on the reasoning for the procedure that one percent chance may out weigh the knowledge that the results can bring for you.

After it was all done the consultant had a quick look around with the ultrasound and said that so far as she could tell at this gestational age all seemed well with baby. No obvious gaping hole in his heart, all limbs present, size seemed average and heart rate was normal as well. I had to stay lying down for about half an hour to check that everything was ok and when she was happy with me I was taken to a side room. I then had a general midwife check up, blood pressure, heart rate etc taken (all normal) and then the worst part of the whole experience.

Anti D.

You see my blood group is O RH negative which I share with only around 8% of the population. Although this is great for the rest of the population as if I give blood anyone could use it making me a universal donor. But people with O- blood can only have their own if they needed a blood transfusion. The other time this blood group causes issues is during pregnancy. If your baby happens to be a different blood group to yours if you are rhesus negative then you will develop antibodies against that blood group. This is fine if it is your first baby as unless you and your babies blood comes into contact during pregnancy you will not have developed enough antibodies to harm the baby until after birth. But however any subsequent pregnancies can cause you to develop rhesus disease. Your body reacts to the baby’s blood group if it is rhesus positive and will attack its blood cells and destroy them. This can be fatal to the developing baby. So to prevent this happening all pregnant women who are rhesus negative are given an injection of Anti D at some point throughout their pregnancy. This is an immunoglobulin injection that helps neutralise the immune response your body produces so that rhesus disease does not develop. Women are also given an injection of this if they have any sort of abdominal injury or occurrence during pregnancy that could cause the mothers and the baby’s blood to mix. Therefore my first Anti D injection was given after the amniocentisis. Its just a standard injection in your arm similar to any vaccination but it does sting afterwards and I have to say it hurts more than the amnio did.

Once I had hung around the hospital for a while with no side effects like cramping or bleeding they were happy for me to go home. They don’t let you drive afterwards so my husband went to get the car and we went home. I was told to take it easy for the next 24 hours so once we were home I set up camp on the sofa with a cup of hot chocolate, Netflix and the duvet. My husband waited on me hand and foot that day and we began the next long wait for the results which we were told could take three weeks for the full karyotype to come through.