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Amniocentesis - can anyone offer some reassurance please?

13 replies

pacinofan · 06/11/2005 10:27

I am having an amnio tomorrow morning, and would welcome anyone's words of reassurance please/what to expect. It has been an extremely difficult decision for us to make and the decision was only made on Friday after receiving screening results. I am grateful that I will be seen tomorrow so I don't have to linger on worrying (will be exactly 16 weeks tomorrow) but at tomorrow looms I am feeling very nervous, particularly as I will be alone whilst it is being done - dh is working and cannot take time off. Thankfully, my parents are looking after dd1 and my dad will be driving me there. Will there be a midwife present? How painful is it, and what can I expect to feel afterwards? Any words of wisdom from mumsnetters would be gratefully appreciated, please keep your fingers crossed for me tommorrow.

OP posts:
Earlybird · 06/11/2005 10:36

pacinofan - would it be possible for your dad to stay with dd1 so your mum could be with you during the proceedure? Might be more comforting for you than being alone.

I had an amnio, and it was completely straightforward and uncomplicated. Personally, I felt better by not looking at the needle, and also not looking at the screen while needle was withdrawing fluid. Seeing those things would make me far more nervous.

Would it help you to have headphones on? You could maybe relax a bit more that way.

Good luck. I find that the anticipation of these things is more nervewracking than the proceedure itself.

Trifle · 06/11/2005 10:50

It really is a very simple and straightforward procedure. They cant give you an anaesthetic for it as the needle they use for that is larger than the one they use for the amnio. You get another scan which I always think is a bonus. You are supposed to spend 2 days after doing very little which I did with ds1 but with ds2 I went straight back to the office to work. Didnt feel any discomfort or nausea after. Agree that the thought is infinitely worse than the actual event.

highlander · 06/11/2005 10:53

I had one last year. There will be an echo tech who will do a quick once over of the foetus. A nurse will sit right by you and hold yuor hand, give you a running commentry on what's going on. Listen to her - she'll tell you not to move etc. The doctor will do the procedure. Before he starts he will ask you if you understand what the amnio is for.

Skin cleaned. You don't fell a thing as the needle punctures your skin but you feel a dull ache (very like a period cramp) as the needle penetrates your uterus. Fluid withdrawn and squirted into a tube. They ask you to lie still whilst they ensure there is stil a foetal heartbeat and no leak of amniotic fluid after the needle is withdrawn.

You will then be asked to slowly get down from the bed and to rest for 24 hours (don't drive home).

I doubt you will be able to have headphones on as you need to follow the nurse's instructions.

Good Luck!!!!!!!!!!

highlander · 06/11/2005 10:54

I didn't have an anesthetic as the skin puncture doesn't hurt and the aneasthetic doesn't reach the uterus at all, so pointless giving one.

edgetop · 06/11/2005 11:56

i agree with everyone ,i had mine with my ds, i think however many tell you its fine not to worry you will its only natural, its worth it in the end.hope it all goes well.

pacinofan · 06/11/2005 13:05

Thank you ladies for your swift messages and sound advice. I actually feel more positive about it now and feel better able to face what lies ahead. Won't look at needle actually going in (I never do with bloods either) and will just think nice thoughts, probably about our holiday back in June or just count my blessings (my mum is a great believer in this). I won't be driving at all the next few days, dh is off on Tues and Wed and will book dd1 some extra nursery sessions so hopefully can relax.

Thanks again everyone for your kind thoughts,

OP posts:
Blu · 06/11/2005 13:21

Pacinofan - glad you are feeling more re-assured!
I had amnio, I think they did put a local numbing gel or spray on where the needle went in, and I did find it a llittle painful, for a split second. But nothing to cause upset. I think the best thing would be to ask what will happen before they start, as all places will have a slightly different routine.
It doesn't take long at all.
I don't remember being told not to drive afterwards, and must have driven home, come to think of it.

I had a bit of a bruise, and a tiny puncture mark.

Good luck.

juelgaz · 06/11/2005 21:31

Hi, I had an aminion 2 weeks ago after having the results of my bloods which put me at incresed risk. I too was very nervous and also had to go it alone as it was arranged very quickly and dh couldnt get out of his work commitments. I drove myself there and back. I just laid still and kept my eyes closed during the whole proceedure,I could feel a slight pressure but no pain at all, afterwards they showed me baby on the scan to show all was ok. Took it easy for a few days afterwards, always nice to find an excuse to be lazy! Was really shocked when the results actually came back only 24 hours late, and thankfully all was fine. My thoughts will be with you tomorrow, my midwife that accompanied the consultant was a great support and held my hand during the amnio, I am sure that you will not feel alone.

karmamother · 06/11/2005 22:17

Pacinofan, just to echo what everyone else has said. The needle isn't huge but it is very long so don't let that alarm you. The skin nips a bit but the uterus requires a bit of pressure to puncture so it feels a bit achey. Personally, seeing the fluid coming out upset me & I wish I hadn't looked. Seeing her on the scan afterwards was reassuring. After I got home, I spent most of the next 24 hrs lying down. I was told to phone the MWs if there was any leak of fluid, vaginal bleeding or if I had a raised temperature. I got my result 24 hrs later & was so relieved. Thats what you need to focus on. Best of luck.

Fauve · 06/11/2005 22:53

I had one with each of my two, and they were both very straightforward, not at all traumatic or painful. To an extent I think I tried to think about other things, and not to look, which is what I always do when I have blood taken; but really I have no bad memories at all of either of them. Hope you're feeling more relaxed now

ks · 06/11/2005 22:56

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aloha · 06/11/2005 22:57

Never had one, but wishing you good luck for tomorrow.

pacinofan · 07/11/2005 19:36

Thank you again folks for your kind messages.

Am back home now, having had the amnio at 1030. I won't lie and say it was ok, it wasn't, it took them a while to get the amniotic fluid and it felt bloody awful. Just relieved it is all over. Have had some excellent support, both from mumsnetters and my family, this has without doubt made everything so much easier. Been in my pj's most of the day in bed, dh is doing everything and I am just lazing around reading mags on the settee watching all last week's Eastenders. Roll on Wednesday when the results arrive.

Right, off to do some more lazing around!

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