Friday, September 24, 2010

In Case You Ever Have to Have an Amnio Reduction....

….Which you probably won’t, because only 1-2% of pregnancies even have excess fluid and even fewer have to have an amnio reduction…

Shall I label myself special?!

An amniocentesis itself is very common. That’s when they draw out a small sample for genetic testing or to see if the lungs of a baby are developed enough to be delivered early. This is really quick and relatively painless. The difference is that they are taking out a lot (nearly a liter of mine) of fluid and the needle is in for a much longer time. The fluid goes into a vacuum-sealed jar through tubing that is kind of like an IV tube.

Because an amnio reduction is done so infrequently, those eager-beaver med students were begging us to scrub in. Our med student friend Lindsay was post-call, so she was home sleeping, but I’m sure she was disappointed that she missed the action.

One by one, three med students and one nursing student came in and asked if we would mind if they scrubbed in and observed the procedure. My answer to every one of them was, “Of course! Just don’t touch my needle!”

Matt got all dressed in his lovely sterile garb (complete with bonnet and mask—we should have gotten a picture!) and we headed down to the OR. They had him wait outside just while I got settled on the table and got my belly painted that lovely mustard yellow color of iodine.

They brought Matt in and gave him a seat right by my head. There was no curtain as I’d hoped there would be. This meant that I could and would see everything they were doing. Since I’d already told the doctors I did not need or want the play-by-play of what they were doing, this bothered me a bit. So I did what anybody would do--took off my glasses and shut my eyes!! They remained shut for the duration of the procedure, so I honestly can’t tell you the size of the needle. Ask Matt. J

Speaking of Matt, he was wonderful throughout the procedure. The whole thing freaked me out a bit, and he just kept whispering how much he loved me and how proud he was of me. Isn’t he a good guy?!

As soon as they started, I started to feel nauseous. This was certainly because of my nerves, but telling myself that didn’t make the nausea go away. They gave me some oxygen through a mask, which definitely helped.

The only complication during the procedure was when the vacuum bottles weren’t working properly. This meant that the doctor had to draw the fluid out with a syringe…you can imagine how long that was taking!! One of the med students, Andrea, took off running to go get another bottle. She came back panting with one in hand—my hero! Once the collection bottles were working, it all went much quicker. They were able to take out nearly a liter of fluid, and my levels went from 35 to 20!!! That is a majorly awesome difference.

So they’re hoping that the reduction of fluid buys us at least two weeks. We may have to do another reduction at that time. The semi-good news is that Abby is still swallowing some at this point. She’s not going at the rate she should be, but she’s got some in her belly. Keep it up, girl!

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