Thursday, November 7, 2013

Amniocentesis: Our experience

2 days before the births of Charlotte and Daniel
Only after having given birth to my own children, I now understand why my mummy is always willing to share her pregnancy and birth stories to anyone!
For those of us who have been blessed with pregnancy, it is a very special time in our lives. For those of us who have been blessed with the births of our children, that is an even more special time in our lives. Both experiences, I will no doubt remember for the rest of my life for as long as my memory does not fail me first.
Sometimes during a pregnancy, complications may arise and depending on its severity, it can be life changing for the child / children, mother, father, siblings and the rest of the family. This is life altering and one that I do not wish upon anyone.
For me, being pregnant with twins via IVF meant more regular appointments and detailed scans.
At our 12th week scan, we underwent a Nuchal Translucency Test by choice to ascertain if our twins were at any risk of chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome. The first half of the test done via a high tech scan was absolutely delightful. We saw both our children – at the right size, heartbeats sounded like galloping horses, one was sucking fingers of the left hand (I am left handed), the other kept shielding the face (just like hubby would), they were kicking, hiccupping, etc.
Then reality hit, twin #2 (Daniel) was sporting an enlarged bladder and had a 1 in 71 chance of having Down Syndrome. Time stood still. We were in shock and tried to grapple with the possibility.
An appointment with the obstetrician was made to discuss the information at hand, our choices, etc. We made the choice to undergo Amniocentesis and was made well aware of the risks associated with this procedure.
This procedure is done without any local anaesthetic and a high tech ultrasound machine is used to guide the positioning of the needle. I chose a friend who had undergone the experience herself to sit with me while hubby and mother in law waited outside.
She held my hand throughout the short procedure. The doctor and nurse in the room with us were very calm and spoke to me softly throughout the procedure. It was a painless and quick procedure. After that, we went home and tried to continue life as normally as we could.
48 hours after the procedure, the doctor who performed the Amniocentesis rang and delivered the news that all parents want to hear. Twin #2's numbers all matched up and he is OK. No words can adequately describe the depth of our relief and gratefulness by the news!

Daniel at 3 days young enjoying a koala cuddle with me

Daniel at 2.5 years. Photo taken just before his grommets operation.
Daniel. Loving life!
Catching curve balls and throwing them back,

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