Rachel's Amnio Blog
update Nov. 7, 2005
We're going for amnio
The day of the amnio arrives
After the amnio
Days 2 to 5 after the amnio
Nov 1, 2005 - Day 6
Nov 2, 2005 - Day 7
Nov 3, 2005 - Day 8
Nov 4 & 5, 2005 - Days 9 & 10
Nov 6, 2005
Day 6 after the amnio. The time's gone
by quickly. Maybe because there are 4 kids in the house
and maybe because the youngest one (7-1/2 months) came
down with chickenpox on day 3.
This is my fantasy pregnancy – the one you find
out about and you're actually surprised. I import ovulation
& pregnancy tests, so I literally had hundreds around
the house. We knew we wanted to try for another baby,
but I couldn't get organized to do the ovulation tests
properly… I tried for a few days, but not always
at the same time & it didn't look like anything
was happening, so I gave up. A while later, I started
feeling some cramping (I thought the cramps must either
be ovulation or that I was getting my period) so I tried
an ovulation test, which came out positive. I was really
excited to know that we did have a chance that cycle
after all… It was day 28, but it was my first
cycle after delivering our daughter, so I knew such
cycles are frequently messed-up.
Over 2 weeks later, I was feeling "weird".
I told my husband that on the way back from the store
where we'd just looked at parquet floor panels for our
new house. I specifically said to him that I didn't
think I was pregnant, but I did feel strange…
He dropped us off at home (the baby & me) and I,
practically without thinking, grabbed a pregnancy test
& went on to do it, just to get the whole idea of
pregnancy out of my head.
Imagine how surprised I was when the test line came
in even before the control line(!) It wasn't one of
those faint pink lines I'd seen with 2 of my previous
pregnancies – it was a dark pink line. There was
no question as to whether it was there or not. My first
thought was that if it was a mistake (that I wasn't
really pregnant) that I was closing my business (I'm
not going to sell a test that's inaccurate!) I then
remembered that I've sold thousands of them and haven't
had any complaints, so it was kind of unlikely.
In shock, I picked up my baby and wondered what to
do. If I had thought the test were going to be positive,
I never would have done it when my husband wasn't home…
He was due back soon, but in the meantime, I was about
I took the pregnancy strip, put it in a card on which
I wrote – "I'm at least as surprised as you
are" and closed it in an envelope, which I left
on the table.
It took him forever to get home. I mean, it was a really
long time. Torturously long, because I wasn't only waiting
to share the news, I was also feeling bad that I'd done
the test without him. I needed desperately to explain
He finally got home, opened the envelope and the test
strip fell on the floor. He picked it up and understood
immediately. I explained, he wasn't upset, and then
we were both in a whirlwind of shock.
It was exactly the day when we had to return his company
car, so we drove to Jerusalem in separate cars &
I was obsessed with thoughts about having another baby.
The whole way home we talked about it, about the fact
that it was good that we had chosen the biggest room
in the house for our baby, since we'd need to put another
baby in there; that it would be great for her to have
a little brother or sister.
We had a big move ahead of us, moving out of a 5-bedroom
into a somewhat smaller house, arranged completely differently.
Fortunately we'd ordered packing in advance, so at least
I knew we wouldn't have to do that.
The next day, having calmed down a bit, I realized
there was still a chance it was not really happening.
I took a sample that I'd gotten from another company
& tried it too. BFP, as they say. And it was soooo
fast. I don't think I had to wait 10 seconds for the
line to appear.
The first test was Thursday, the second Friday, and
on Sunday my husband went to pick up a slip so that
I could have a blood test. When the value of 19,707
came in that afternoon, I was shocked. I had been hoping
for over 200… In fact, it was so high that I was
worried. I called the nurse in my doctor's office &
she told us to come right by for an ultrasound. We were
there within half an hour.
And there, on the screen, was a tiny sac. Inside it,
a tiny embryo with what I remember as a 1 or 2 pixel
heartbeat. I was in tears. It appeared that I was 6
weeks pregnant - there would be just over a year between
our two babies.
I spent the evening looking up on the Internet what
a very high beta HCG test result means. In general,
a normal pregnancy ruled out all of the scary stuff,
so I calmed down.
My doctor wasn't worried about the high beta. The pregnancy
was easier than the previous one. I was tired, but not
as tired as before. We went for the nuchal translucency
test, which was excellent – 1.1mm, reducing our
risk of Down's syndrome to 1:1500. We also did the accompanying
blood test, where the free beta came out on the high
side (1.58MoM) but overall the risk was still 1:1500.
The high free beta worried me.
At 16 weeks, we went for an early scan. Based on this,
we were hoping to avoid having to do amniocentesis.
The scan was fine. Nothing worrisome. In the previous
pregnancy we'd had "golf balls" and had gone
for a special ultrasound of the heart, but this time
everything was OK.
At 17 weeks, I went to have the AFP (alpha-fetoprotein
or triple scan) test. I was anxiously awaiting the results;
because we knew that if the results were poor we would
opt for amniocentesis.
We're going for amnio
The doctor called and said he'd gotten the results.
We were going for amnio. I understood that it was bad.
I thought he would say our risk was 1:30. I was surprised
when he said it was 1:150. All the values were within
normal range, but together they still raised our risk.
I was able to make an appointment quickly, for that
same week. It could have been sooner, but there were
holidays in the middle. I spoke to my doctor who gave
me a recommendation, so I changed my appointment, opting
to pay privately.
My mind was overflowing with thoughts. What do you
do if the fetus is not OK? If our decision were to abort,
would we want to know the sex? Would we want to see
it? How would it feel to make the decision to end life
– something that completely negates things that
we spend our whole life learning? How would we explain
it to the kids? How would this make us feel about another
And there were answers too. I am lucky enough to be
able to share all of my thoughts, even the craziest
ones, with my husband, who is also my best friend. We
decided that we did not want to know the sex of the
baby. That it would be easier for us. We both felt that
we would rather not see it – for fear of having
the picture in our heads forever. We realized that the
decision would be terribly painful, that there would
be a lot of tears and that we would have to be sure
that we were making the right decision. We would tell
the children the truth, explaining about quality-of-life.
We would be OK both as a couple and as a family. We
could survive it. We would try to have another baby
when the time was right (obviously not waiting very
long because of my age).
Being able to talk about it helped me a lot. I felt
that a lot of the issues were (at least temporarily)
solved. That my husband and I agreed about things. That
we would get through this together.
We also discussed who we would tell about the amnio.
Not wanting to be driven crazy by anyone asking us how
it was, how we feel, did we get the results, etc. We
told a few people and asked them not to discuss it with
us. We said we would let them know when we had any news
and that it would likely take 3 weeks (which is what
the hospital told us).
Holidays meant seeing people and being with people.
It felt artificial to wear maternity clothes. I felt
like I wanted to hide the pregnancy. Like I didn't want
anyone to see me that way or to talk to me about it.
I did wear the maternity clothes. Nothing else fits…
The day of the amnio arrives
I was completely calm most of the time before the test.
I didn't want to be stressed or for stress to in any
way effect the fetus (who, statistically, is likely
to be healthy). Our appointment was for 11 & we
had to run around within the hospital for a long time
before that. My husband found it very frustrating. I
took it in stride, not worried about being a few minutes
late. We were pretty much on time & they told us
there were 2 more women ahead of us. 30 minutes later,
they told us that there were still 2 women ahead of
us. Both women didn't happen to be there when they came
out to call them, and suddenly they pointed at us &
took us in.
My husband stayed for the ultrasound and the prepping
& then I thought it would be easier for him to wait
outside, which he did. The doctor was great –
said 1, 2, 3 and stuck the needle in. My greatest fear
of amnio had been having a needle stuck in my uterus
of which I feel so protective when I'm pregnant. I didn't
feel this fear at all before or during the test. I could
feel the fluid being sucked out, as a kind of tugging.
It wasn't pleasant, but it wasn't terrible. The doctor
told me that the fluid was clear and that it looked
good. I didn't notice when she took the needle out.
After the amnio
Two minutes later, I was up on my feet and walked out
to where my husband was waiting for me (he was surprised
it was done so quickly). I felt a little achy and I
broke into tears – I guess just a kind of mental
relaxation… We sat outside for about 30 minutes.
I had pain that seemed to go down the muscles in my
leg and up my back. We asked the doctor, who said it
was normal, so we went to get a sandwich & a drink
and we drove home. From the minute we got into the car,
I had no more pain. My uterus was a bit achy, but no
cramping, no pain.
I felt some relief at having the test over with &
I felt pretty confident that the risk of miscarriage
involved in amniocentesis was minimal. I took it *really*
easy. My husband spoiled me, taking care of our baby
& the three older kids, doing everything. I slept
a few hours in the afternoon. In the evening I uploaded
a website I was working on for someone else.
Days 2 to 5 after the amnio
Day 2, I barely did anything even though I was feeling
fine. I did pick the baby up by mistake… Day 3,
by the evening I was doing most things. That night,
at 2am, when my baby daughter woke up screaming, I discovered
she had chickenpox.
Day 4 I went to the doctor who checked my uterus &
listened to the fetus's heartbeat. I got the OK to go
back to my normal routine.
Day 5 I spent mostly with our baby. She's feeling OK
even though she's got it pretty badly. She has pox in
her eyelids. She has pox everywhere pretty much.
Nov 1, 2005 - Day 6
So here I am at day 6. I don't feel stressed. I am
wondering what the results will be. I can picture them
going either way. I am remembering to be happy each
time I feel the baby move. I am remembering that I have
to continue to eat well and be healthy. I wonder how
I will feel if the results are good – will it
be an incredible relief? Will I suddenly be more "into"
the pregnancy? I will continue to write & I will
post the results, whatever they may be.
Nov 2, 2005 - Day 7
I feel like I don't want to plan anything... My in-laws
want to go away for the weekend before my SIL goes to
Australia (for 4 months) and I feel like the near future
is so uncertain that I don't want to make any plans.
I'm wondering if the 2nd week is going to be harder
than the first... anticipating the results. And then
what if they actually take 3 weeks like they said they
might. At least the woman who explained how to get the
results told us that they're updated daily at 3. That
will save us calling more than once a day (you get the
results here over the phone, from a computerized system
-- unless the results are bad, in which case you get
them from the doctor).
The big kids have told a few people that we went for
a test because there might be something wrong with the
baby. We're very honest with them & I guess it worries
them enough that they feel the need to talk about it.
On another note (is G-d trying to keep us busy?), we
heard a boom in our house today & the power went
out... and then we smelled a burning smell. Now 2/3
of the electricity in our house isn't working. The electrician
we called can only make it tomorrow morning, so we gave
the baby a bath by candlelight :-) Her chickenpox are
bad, but overall she had a much better day today than
Nov 3, 2005 - Day 8
Today my husband felt the baby move for the first time.
He looked so happy... I had felt like he might not want
to feel the baby so that he wouldn't feel attached.
He said he did want to...
I posted a message on one of the local boards to try
to see how quickly other women got their results. The
consensus was pretty much 3 weeks. So I've got 2 weeks
to go? Gosh, that seems like forever.
We're putting off planning things until we get the
results. We were supposed to be having a big party for
our oldest daughter tomorrow, which we had to postpone
because of the baby's chickenpox. We didn't schedule
a new date because in any case it would be after the
results & if things are bad & we have to abort
then I don't want to have to postpone it again. Though
statistically it doesn't make sense, I can't help feeling
like this is a bad time to make that sort of plans.
I know I'll be able to put off making the first call
until 10 days have passed, because no one seems to get
results before that... but will I be able to put it
off longer? Sunday is 10 days. Maybe we'll have the
results before my husband leaves for reserve duty on
Nov 4 & 5, 2005 - Days 9
Well, I didn't see the point in not calling on the
earliest day there could possibly be results - it's
a computerized system, so I'm not wasting a person's
time... I waited until after 3 to call on Friday and
the answer's not in. The next possible time is Sunday
The waiting isn't so bad, I guess the hardest is to
think that the doctor might call with bad news &
then wondering what he's got to say and whether he'll
tell me over the phone.
Yesterday it poured, so I guess our garden party would
have been kind of wet... The chickenpox are getting
Nov 6, 2005 - Day
No answer. Today at about 3:01 I mentioned to my husband
that we could call & immediately he was on the phone
to check. I guess it will be the daily ritual until
I started working on the course I'm taking
at the Open University (a Data Systems course) and was
able to both concentrate and move ahead with it. I've
started the course before, but then the course got put
on the back burner when my best friend & now husband
(finally) proposed to me :-)
My in-laws came to visit today & I
didn't really want to talk about how I feel, because
how I feel physically seems so irrelevant and I don't
want to share with them how I feel emotionally...
The chickenpox are nearly gone and our
baby's in a much better mood. Yay! Tomorrow's my husband's
first day at the university where he's starting his
The Results - Nov
That's it. The waiting is over! The results are in
and our baby is healthy :-)
I'm trying to think if I feel relieved or not. I'm
not sure yet, but I do remember thinking that only after
we get good results does the pregnancy really begin
for me... So here we are...
On March 25th, 2006, after discovering
gestational diabetes in the 39th week, I was induced
and our daughter Nomi was born weighing 8lbs 1oz. She
is a healthy and adorable baby :-)