I always swore I would never have an amniocentesis. There’s just something really terrifying about the thought of having your pregnant belly stuck with a 10 inch needle down through your uterus and breaking into your baby’s amniotic sac. However, when we met with our OB/GYN he did recommend we go forward with it as the fetal cardiologist had suggested we do.
(If any chromosomal abnormalities do exist, such as a trisomy, doctors will not be able to go forward with open heart surgery to save Jonathan’s life. Even though we had a NIPT with negative results it is not 100% accurate and a specific defect seen in the fetal echo indicated a possibility for a trisomy. An amniocentesis is the only way to completely rule out the possibility of a trisomy before birth. Without the amnio, a blood test would have be done after birth which means two days of waiting for results to determine if doctors can move forward with surgery.)
Danny was on board with the amniocentesis and was in fact the first person in the room to say it should be done. Inside of my head I was furious with him. I felt like he was betraying me. He wasn’t, even though he knew how much I did not want to do it. I was ok with the unknown. So what if we plan for surgery then once we get down to it we find out it’s not a possibility and we have to scrap it? So what? I can live with that.
My doctor explained it this way: these are two very different paths for the remainder of the pregnancy with two very different preparations for the end.
Danny needed to know which path we were headed down. He needed to prepare. Should he go forward with making plans to relocate closer to Children’s Hospital or did he need to prepare himself for letting go of his child?
The doctor agreed with him that we needed to know which path we were on. I was angry with everyone and everything. There was one thought that brought me some peace with what the results of the amnio might bring. I could feel tears burning my eyes when I asked the doctor “if there is a chromosomal defect do I get to stay here to deliver?”
The answer: yes.
I know this is horrible but part of me is relieved at the thought that the results will come back and show that there is nothing the doctors can do. Then I know that all I have is to pray for a miracle. I won’t have to plan to leave my home and give birth in an unfamiliar place. I won’t have to plan childcare or spend days and weeks in a hospital, trying to pump and trying to take care of multiple children, with multiple needs, in multiple places all at the same time.
At least then I know what the end looks like. It won’t be any easier emotionally but there won’t be the roller coaster of maybe today he lives but tomorrow will he die? Best case scenario, I deliver at my own hospital with my own doctor, then he’s born and it’s a miracle, he’s ok.