Friday, April 11, 2008

Amnio, Cramps, and the Aliens in my Belly

I ended up having to go to my perinatologist on Wednesday, instead of Friday, for my 22 week check. Billy was out of town at the Masters so Mems came with me to my appointment. I needed someone there for moral support because if Baby C still had the fluid on his brain, I was going to have an amniocentesis.

They started off with measuring my cervix. It was still long (over 4 cm) and closed tight. Then, they moved on to all of the usual measurements on the babies. When the ultrasound lady measured Baby A's bone length, she had to do it a couple of times because her bones were so long. She asked if somebody had long legs and arms in the family. Mems and I both said that it must be from Billy. In childhood pictures of him that I have seen, his legs go on forever. Well, it looks like Baby A is going to take after him. The girls were up to 1 lb and 3 ozs, and our boy was 1 lb 4 ozs. Those were perfect sizes for 22 weeks so everything seemed fine there.

When they looked at the boy's brain again, he still had the excess fluid there. The doctor explained that the normal range was up to 10, and his levels were around 9.9-10. She said it just looked different than the girls, and she wanted to make sure there was nothing going on. The elevated fluid could be due to a genetic issue, and the amnio will screen for that. We had some genetic testing done before the embryos were put in, but that only screened for 5 of the most common genetic defects. An amnio looks at many others. She told us that in cases where there is no genetic link to the fluid, and a baby has an elevated level, 93% of the time, it causes no problems whatsoever. In the other 7% of cases, the baby could experience some mild learning disabilities and/or motor function/developmental issues.

I decided to have the amnio, just to give me some peace of mind. The doctor said she would have done the same thing, which made me feel better about my decision. I was still a little concerned about the risk of miscarriage, but the doctor said the chances were about 1 in 1000, which seemed doable to me.

The procedure just involved Dr. Mann looking at my boy with an ultrasound, determining the best place to stick the needle to get some amniotic fluid, sticking a needle in through my belly to his sac, and draining some fluid. It stung a little when the needle went in, but other than that, I had no problems. I was instructed to go home, take it easy, drink plenty of water, and call if I had severe cramping or bleeding. I had to break the news to Alice that she had to care for both Cooper and Carley that night because I wasn't supposed to be doing any lifting or strenuous activity.

Everything went well on Wednesday night, but when I woke up on Thursday, I had terrible cramps on my left side. I became concerned after about an hour of the persistent pain and called my doctor's office. I was instructed to come in at 1. I spent the afternoon having blood work, ultrasounds, cervix checks, etc. Everything turned out to be fine, which was such a relief! I haven't had any cramps since then.

The only thing I continue to feel now are baby movements. The babies are so active and big that sometimes you can see them moving around in my belly. Billy was finally able to feel some kicks from Baby B the other night and last night, I lifted up my shirt when we were watching tv, and he was able to see areas of my belly move as the babies kicked and punched and flipped around. It's so freaky to see that going on and know that little living creatures are inside of you. Freaky, but amazing!

I won't have the results of my amnio back for about a week, but once I know what's going on, I will give an update. Until then, I've told myself I'm not going to freak out and worry. There is no need to work myself up over something that could be nothing at all.


Amanda said...

I admire your approach. Jamie and I can both tell you that it does not pay to worry until there is something to worry about, but it is easier said than done. We'll be thinking of you as you wait for the results on little Will. Maybe his name has more meaning than you think!

Jamie said...

Definitely will be thinking about you...and ditto on what Amanda said about worrying. Glad you didn't have any complications from the amnio and that babies are doing well and kicking the crap out of you :-)

kmehawkeye said...

You are so great about handling all of this! I think you handled it perfectly. I will keep you, billy and the babies in my thoughts. thanks for the update.