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CVS Homerton

(23 Posts)
Clappedout Tue 18-Aug-09 03:32:07

Hi, I am due to have a CVS test at the Homerton tomorrow after a 'high risk' nuchal screening result and I'm terrified.

Has anyone had it done there and what was your experience? sad

JumpingJellyfish Tue 18-Aug-09 09:54:10

I'm afraid I haven't had a CVS at Homerton, but did recently have a CVS. It is a very strange feeling, not all that pleasant, but not sore really either (thanks to local anaesthetic). Unfortunately I had a few probs with access to the placenta (first my bowel was too close, then it was too far to my back), so first 2 times after scanning they didn't do it and I had to return a week or so later- third time lucky they could access it well and it was successful. Make sure you have good support for 48hrs afterwards- I felt very bruised and had a few cramps (very normal) and was told to take things easy while it healed. Also emotionally it is fairly horrendouns, especially waiting for the results. I really recommend this new mumsnet board: antenatal tests and choices
You may also find someone there who has had the test done at Homerton.

Good luck and really hope it goes as well as possible.

Clappedout Tue 18-Aug-09 11:10:35

Thanks for that, sounds like you had a bit of an ordeal, glad it was ok in the end. Where did you have it done?

JumpingJellyfish Tue 18-Aug-09 11:56:13

We live in Northern Ireland, so there wasn't much in the way of options here- just the Royal Hospitals in Belfast. The main problem was that here they only offer transabdominal CVS (due to the consultant's experience being greatest in this method), and from the way my placenta was initially lying tranvaginal would have been a better option. Many hospitals in England can do both transvaginal and transabdominal and have experienced consultants who can do both. If we had had more probs with the 3rd attempt we were making plans to go to Nottingham, but also possibly various London hospitals. I contacted ARC (antenatal results and choices) by email who kindly sent me a list of UK hospitals that do tranvaginal CVS, and I could have been referred there had my hospital been unable to perform the CVS on the third attempt. It was pretty stressful as the wait was extended, and time was so important to us. I was incredibly lucky to have good news at the end of it though.

I definitely recommend contacting ARC if you need more info and support, they are brilliant.

designerbaby Tue 18-Aug-09 13:34:11

Clapped out - I had a CVS at the Homerton 2 years ago after several soft markers for Edwards Symdrome were picked up at our 12 weeks scan.

All I can do is reassure you - it was actually a really positive and helpful eperience even before we got the all clear. The consultants at the foetal medicine unit there are amazing.

First they did another, more indepth scan, the check the nuchal measurements and the other things that had been picked up. They have really good kit and are really experienced so this helped a lot even before the CVS – they can give you a much clearer indication of what's what even from that.

While I wouldn't say that the CVS would be one of my top ten ways to spend a morning, it wasn't painful, (just a little unsettling because it's quite a big needle) and I had no bad effects afterwards. YOu can a see everything happening on the utltrasound while it's going on, and you'll be able to see your little bubba swimming around oblivious to what's going on - which helps no end.

They intially said it would be a week before we got the initial results, but in the end they rushed it through (as I had been quite distressed) and we got the initial results (for the major genetic stuff) within 2 days. The detailed stuff came a week or so later.

The whole atmosphere was calming, nurturing and very peaceful, which was exactly what I needed as I was a wreck at the time.

They really are the most wonderful bunch - you don't have anything to worry about. Little things like knowing who I was when I arrived, knowing the history, all really helped make the experience a positive one.

Oh, and while they give you some general statistics for risk of miscarriage post CVS the consulat unit at the Homerton's stats are much better.

I'm really sorry you're going through this as I know how upsetting it is. I realy hope your experience is as positive as mine was, and that you get a good result at the end.

FWIW my duaghter turned out perfectly healthy and is now a happy, energetic 20 month live-wire.

Best of luck - let us know how you get on?



DannyWotty1 Tue 18-Aug-09 13:50:34

Hi I also had CVS at Homerton quite a while ago (DD now 8). I can agree that it isn't the most pleasant way to spend an hour. The needle is VERY long and I opened my eyes to look, however the team were hugely professional and supportive and their reputation is excellent. I had the choice of another hospital but went there on the recommendation of my GP who had recently had two babies of her own and knew the insider story and was able to explain the risks very clearly. I felt very scared and apprehensive and didn't want my DP in the room when the test was done (he waited outside). I seem to remember the place as being very quiet, calm and focussed, there are no queues and you receive the team's full attention.
We got results back much quicker than anticipated (within 2 days I seem to remember) by very kind and sympathetic lady on the phone, followed by paperwork.

It's hard to be in this position but the team really are great and will do all they can for you - the reason you will have been referred there is because they are GOOD. Best of luck xx

lowrib Tue 18-Aug-09 13:57:32

I've also had the CVS at Homerton as we had a 1 in 18 chance of Downs.

I agree totally with designerbaby - the staff there are excellent - the consultants and the rest of the team - I felt like I was in really safe hands. Also their equipment is really good - they have the latest tech, and are ahead of many other hospitals.

Also, they got the results to us really quickly - they phoned as soon as they heard (and quicker than they had promised).

Thankfully our tests showed no Downs. It turned out that the blood result had been as a result of a 'notch' on one of the arteries in the womb instead, and I was treated for this, and scanned every 4 weeks for the rest of my pregnancy. I really believe that the notch may not have been picked up in some other hospitals, and we were very well cared for.

The CVS isn't nice, but not awful either. Do take someone to (literally) hold your hand if you can.

I remember I did feel exhausted afterwards, much more than I expected. Do plan to take it easy for a day or so if you can, in case you feel like this too.

Also you might want to ask them what they can see in the scan before the CVS. e.g. No nose bone is a possible indicator of Downs. I asked and they said they could see one. Now although this doesn't mean the baby is clear of Downs, I found this knowledge really reassuring while waiting for the results.

My heart goes out to you. I remember how awful I felt, from the moment they called to say there might be a problem until we got the all clear. Although the chance was 'only' 1 in 18, I felt very pessimistic about it and it was an awful time. Do try to hang on to the positive, the chances are everything is OK.

I don't know if this would be any use to you, but I read in the The Rough Guide to Pregnancy and Birth during that week, and it really did help take my mind off it a bit. It has a small section on CVS etc, but it was mainly the tone I liked - very down to earth, but also laugh-out-loud funny, and I found it really helped take my mind off the worries of the test.


<<more hugs>>

lowrib Tue 18-Aug-09 13:58:53

I mean "I read the" not "I read in the". Doh.

Clappedout Tue 18-Aug-09 19:07:01

Thank you all so much for the kind words, really helpful, I might even get some sleep tonight!

JumpingJellyfish Wed 19-Aug-09 11:47:56

Sounds as if the team at Homerton are excellent. Thinking of you lots today and hope your results come through quickly. x

designerbaby Wed 19-Aug-09 18:06:26

Clappedout - been thinking about you today and hoping it all went as well as possible for you. Do let us know how you got on if you're up to it?



mowmi Wed 19-Aug-09 20:14:28

Hello ladies, I recently had CVS at Kings after being given 1 in 2 for DS!
Agree with everyone here - not the most enjoyable afternoon of my life but certainly not the worst.
Results were back late afternoon on the 2nd day and all was good.
I'm 18 weeks tomorrow, so far I've had a detailed cardiac scan and I've been told they'll check growth at 28 & 34 weeks - nobody I've seems overly worried.

Hope all goes well for you too.


Clappedout Fri 21-Aug-09 12:19:24

Hi all,

Still recovering! Not had the result but three days later I am totally wiped out and sleeping a lot, did others find this?

The experience was quite painful but luckily short lived. I did throw a bit of a whitey afterwards and temporarily lost the ability to walk, not helped by the midwife showing me strands of my placenta thinking I was a nurse! My tummy is still quite sore but I am lucky not to have had any cramps or spotting so far. The main difficulty has been trying to stop my 20 mth old DD jumping on me.

Thanks again all for the advice and support, now the wait for results...

designerbaby Fri 21-Aug-09 14:22:37

Glad to hear you're recovering clappedout... hope you get good results. I think the tiredness is as much due to all the emotional tension than anything physical. All the worry and anxiety takes it's toll. Take care of yourself, get lots of rest and hopefully all the worry will be over and done with soon.

I'm currently trying to persuade my DD (also 20 months) that bouncing on the sofa whilst holding on to the back is more fun than bouncing on mummys (admittedly increasingly squishy and inviting!) tummy...

Best of luck,

lowrib Fri 21-Aug-09 22:03:25


Like I said before I did feel physically exhausted afterwards, much more than I expected. Do talk to them if you're worried about it, but FWIW I felt like this and I was fine after a couple of days. I recommend taking it very easy (well as much as a 20mo will allow!)

Although it doesn't happen to everyone, it is definitely a physical reaction to the procedure, NOT just a result of the emotional tension, although I'm sure that doesn't help.

I hope the wait for the results goes quickly, wishing you all the best.

Clappedout Sun 23-Aug-09 12:41:40


We got the results on Friday afternoon, all ok thank goodness, great joy and relief of course. Now having to change gear again and continue as before.

I have to say it was a grim two weeks and not something I would wish on anyone, a very humbling experience too, very grateful for what we have. I am shocked by the brutality of the procedure and the huge emotional ordeal, incredible that there is no simpler less risky test already. I know there is one being developed but it is really appalling women have to make these decisions and then go through this. Anyway, rant over for now, back to being pregnant and trying to enjoy it a bit more.

Good luck to anyone else out there going through the same thing, it really was a huge support getting advice from others who'd been through it.

lowrib Sun 23-Aug-09 12:56:02

That's fantastic news, Clappedout, I'm so pleased for you. Wishing you all the best and I hope you're enjoying your pregnancy again.

designerbaby Sun 23-Aug-09 19:00:07

Phew and yay! So happy for you!

Can I also suggest that you try, at some point to talk to someone about your experience to kind of get it out of your system a bit? It's a very traumatic thing to go through, and it can give rise (in my experinece) to all sorts of other complicated feelings further down the line. I wish I'd talked to someone properly about what happened and how I felt while I was still pregnant - I think it would have helped.

Just a suggestion - but other than that enjoy the rest of your pregnancy with your lovely little bub.!

Lots of love,

JumpingJellyfish Mon 24-Aug-09 10:07:05

So glad to read your news clappedout
Agree a CVS does feel pretty brutal, and it is emotionally incredibly draining. Really glad you are recovering well from it and hope you have a smooth, healthy and happy pregnancy x

Clappedout Tue 25-Aug-09 09:12:33

Thanks for all the good wishes.

designerbaby, sorry to hear you had repurcussions later on during your pregnancy. Can I ask what sort of feelings, was it to do with the risk of harming your daughter? I am surprised to be feeling guilty, for having a healthy baby, so far, and for even considering our options if there had been abnormalities. I guess it is probably a good idea to talk to someone now, at the same time I want to move one and enjoy the next few months.x

designerbaby Tue 25-Aug-09 22:01:53

Hi Clappedout - sorry it's taken all day to get back to you - I only just logged on!

It wasn't so much repercussions later in the pregnancy, more later on.

There were so many mixed up feelings for those weeks when we didn't know what was wrong with our baby. I confess to sometimes even wishing I would miscarry, because the decisions facing us if our child was confirmed with having Edwards were just to huge to face. I just wanted it all to go away at times.

Then, after we found out that all was fine, guilt that I might have harmed the baby by having the CVS at all - and worry that I might miscarry then, because of the test, even though our baby was fine.

Then, of course, huge, huge guilt that I'd even thought about not wanting her. sad

Then, after she was born I was determined to somehow 'make up for it all' by being the 'perfect' mum - which is the quickest way to drive yourself round the bend that was ever invented!

Now, I'm not at all saying that you'll go through any of this - tbh it is quite possible I was just a bit of headcase anyway, and the whole trauma of the experience just brought out the worst in me!

But I did go through a ling-ish bout of PND, beginning when my lovely daughter was about 4 months old. I had a lot of counselling at the time, and a lot of the issues around that difficult time in early pregnancy came up as triggers.

I was vaguely aware that I'd gone from being really quite intensely upset about it to "oh well, everythings fine, so it's all fine and like it never happened" without really addressing any of the feelings raised.

With hindsight I wish I'd taken the hospital up on the counselling that was offered at the time (I don't know if you have been or not - but you could ask), and worked through some of those feelings earlier.

But hindsight is 20:20, as they say, and at the time I just wanted to get on with being happily pregnant and forget all about it.

Now you're not me, and our situations and prognoses were different - so this may well all be irrelevant. But it might just be worth giving it a bit of thought - or just talking to your DP about it at least, and make sure you're OK with everything that's happened, that's all.

And maybe bear it in mind going forward?

I don't want to give you the eebie jeebies, or be a voice of doom and gloom or take away ANY of your joy at having a positive outcome, and hopefully a delightful pregnancy from here on it.

I just thought it was worth a mention, because I honestly wish someone had mentioned it to me...

Really hope his helps, and feel free to discount any or all of the above!!

Still VERY smile at your good news!


p.s. DD is now 21 months, a complete joy and a delight, I have come out the other side of PND many months ago and am loving being a mum - so much so I'm doing it again! Happy endings any which way, just maybe a bit more of a winding path for some of us!

designerbaby Tue 25-Aug-09 22:03:29

Oh! apologies for the typos - VERY tired ATM!
blush. Hope you can make sense of it anyway!

Clappedout Wed 26-Aug-09 15:09:06

Hi designerbaby,

Sorry to hear about your PND, sounds awful, glad you got through it. Congrats on no.2, when is it due?

I know what you mean about the sudden change of gear, luckily after initially not wanting to tell anyone what I was going through, in case they took the moral high ground, I told my close friends, all mums too, and was able to talk to them frankly about what was going on. I am now so glad I didn't keep it to myself. But as soon as you get the result there is that desire in everyone not to dwell on what might have been as there seems no need, and so you shift back to being excited & pregnant almost immediately. My DP chose not to tell anyone, even his family, which was really hard because we were staying with them when we got the nuchal screning results, so he only had me to talk to and the strain on him was clear.

Anyway thanks for the heads up and as you say our situations were different.

Btw when was your DD born? Mine was on 6th Dec 2007, they must be close in age, she is also very amusing but exhausting, especially at the moment!x

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