hello, after a few weeks of reading posts, I've decided to add my own as an attempt to help others who may be in the same or similar situation.
After many months of trying, I was delighted to discover I was preggers for the 2nd time. Never felt better than the first 11 weeks, despite sickness and exhaustion. On New Years eve, I notice a brown spotting/ bleed when I went to the loo. It carried on over the course of the next day. I saw my midwife a couple of days later for first appointment and she kindly booked me for an emergency scan. I then found out that my pregnancy probably started as a twin pregnancy but one "vanished" leaving an empty sac. I was happy to still be pregnant and had mixed feelings about possibly loosing a twin.
My 12 week scan went fine (nucal fold 2.3, I'm 37) but my bloods came back as 1/25 risk of downs. I booked a CVS, but due to another small bleed a couple of days before, the consultant decided it was better to wait and have amnio. Also, she was unaware of my vanishing twin, and said that the blood results should be discounted because of this, reducing my risk to 1:73.
At 16 weeks (Monday) I had the amnio, but unfortunately, the sample was contaminated with my old blood, making it brown. I am now in the position of waiting to know if they can tell anything from it, whether by FISH (unlikely) or the longer 2 week process (possible).
I called the Fetal Medicine Centre but can't have the Harmony blood test because of the suspected twin pregnancy at the outset.
I'm swaying between tearful disappointment and anxiety to feeling positive and hopeful. My big fear is having to go through another amnio at 18/19 weeks which may also be unsuccessful (my blood will still be in the fluid) and having the anxiety though the rest of the pregnancy, or alternatively, if the test does work, a late termination of a longed for baby. After much soul searching and research, my husband and I feel that we would not continue with the pregnancy if it was downs.
My question at this stage is whether anyone else had old maternal blood in their amnio sample and whether that affected their result? Also, is it worth me booking a scan with Prof. Nicolaides at the Fetal Medical Centre - could he tell me anymore from performing a detailed scan?
Thanks for reading and I send out my heartfelt best wishes and luck to everyone else who's currently involved in this horrible statistics waiting game.
For your own piece of mind ring ante natal clinic ask for another appt to see your consultant because you have concerns and you could ask her if poss to have an appt to see prof nicklidaes it's protocol good luck hope all goes well.
What a difficult situation. I am currently waiting for an amnio next Monday so I sympathise totally - to go through it and possibly not get a result is terrible. My nhs hospital will scan before hand to look for any other markers. Not difinitive but I know it will help me to have this info.
Sorry - that posted too soon. Meant to add that my ratio is 1:4 so not great. I have a very strong need to know and I think would have this even with better odds do I do understand how you feel. It's a worrying time but it could be worth asking for a further more detailed nhs scan in your circumstances if the amnio hasn't 'worked'. Fingers crossed it has.
I'm in a similar position - went to the FMC today to get a harmony test done and the viability scan showed two embryos, but only one with a heartbeat. I'd had an early scan at 8 weeks (not at the FMC) which had only detected one embryo, so I was quite shocked. I'm now in two minds whether to back to the FMC for my NT scan - their imaging equipment did seem way better than anything I've seen in the NHS and I'm wondering whether Dr Nicolaides would be the best person to do the test... Unfortunately I live 4 hours from London so it's not exactly easy for me to get there. I will get the 12 week scan done locally and maybe go straight for the CVS, but I'm just not sure I trust the talents of the local sonographers anymore!
I don't have any experience with maternal blood contamination, I'm sorry, but I did want to post and say that I cannot recommend the FMC and Prof Nicholides highly enough.
I had my 12 week NT and 20 week scans with him in the centre on Harley St and it was the best money I ever spent. In my previous pregnancy it had not been discovered that my baby had Edward's syndrome (fatal chromosomal condition) until 26 weeks, despite a local private NT (which I later found should have flagged up her condition but the dr was obviously not paying attention/ adequately trained) and NHS scans and so I was anxious to gain some reassurance that this baby would be ok.
Prof Nicolaides and his team were amazing, the equipment was infinitely more advanced and they look at so many different markers to assess risk.... they are leaders in this field. I did feel reassured after my scans and no longer felt the need for any further invasive testing. For the record, she is healthy and just waking up from her nap!
I also live 3 hours by train from London and had a 2 year old at the time, so it wasn't easy but I would definitely do it again should I have another pregnancy in the future.
I really do wish you all the best of luck, the waiting is truly horrendous.