Today found me once again on my back, slathered in jelly. Oh, how I wish I could say I was in some exotic jello wrestling contest, instead of at the staid, sterile offices of the maternal fetal medicine specialist. At least with the jello wrestling, I would be able to have a definitive result in almost no time (most likely I would not be the victor). Alas, I was slathered in jelly on a very uncomfortable bed at the staid, sterile offices of the MFM for our enhanced ultrasound. This was not the same MFM who made the call – this is the MFM that I like.
While we still don’t have a Final Answer, we do have some more information: no soft markers for Downs. So, our chances have not gotten worse, but they also haven’t gotten better. In fact, the baby was measuring ahead of schedule: 18 weeks on the nose, and I am 17w5d.
The thing is, this information is still not enough. We need to no kidding KNOW one way or the other and the only way to do that in utero is amnio. Initially, I would give an involuntary head shake of absolutely not when posed with the option of an amnio. I had read too many horror stories about miscarriages due to amnios of otherwise normal healthy babies. But, upon learning of our 1:20 ratio and the fact that even the most conservative estimates of miscarriage rates for amnio was 1:100, I knew that I was in a losing head shake battle.
Even though we focused on our vacation, I did devote some private time to thinking about amnio and realized that I would need to know now rather than later one way or the other and that I would not be able to live with a maybe. So, after the ultrasound, I asked when they could do the amnio and was told, “right now!”
No time like the present, so ten minutes later I had my eyes squeezed shut while my abdomen was rubbed with iodine and I got the bee sting in the belly. I’ve been through a shitload of procedures these past four years, but this was a first for me and boy was it uncomfortable. The doc tried to make me feel better by explaining that they didn’t have to put the needle in very far, but frankly, it still hurt like a dickens. Later Mr. X told me that he was surprised that I didn’t start swearing like a sailor. I know enough to know that you do not under any circumstances make sudden moves or noises when a man has a needle in your stomach. It was over pretty quickly and I was sent on my way home with strict orders not to lift anything – does that include fingers? – and to take it easy. I have had no problem following doctors orders.
As for the results, we are doing FISH which should hopefully give us some answers relatively quickly, as well as the usual amnio culture which takes longer. Just like the past week, though, we are taking it one day at a time.