My worries suddenly tripled--I was scared about the amnio procedure, terrified of the risk of miscarriage, and deathly afraid of what I would do if the results confirmed a birth defect. I didn't breathe a word of what I was going through to anyone outside of my family. I just couldn't face it, much less admit it. As I lay on the doctor's table with the ultrasound device pressing on my belly and my husband, Bob, holding my hand, tears were streaming down my face. The little baby on the video screen was amazing--playing with its kneecap, moving its legs, turning around.
The amnio came next. While I can't say I saw any of it (I chose to cover my eyes), it was quicker than I expected. My belly was swabbed with disinfectant, the ultrasound showed the doctor a safe spot on my belly away from the baby, and the needle went into my uterus for less than a minute to collect the fluid needed for testing. It felt like an eternity and was not comfortable by any means, but the emotional strain was far greater than the physical discomfort.
While Bob and I waited the standard (and painfully long) 7 to 14 days for the results, the baby became a "she," my belly had a sudden growth spurt so I finally looked pregnant, and with my husband's hand on my belly, we felt her kick for the very first time. The idea of potentially giving up this baby was devastating, especially now that I was four months along.
I was blessed not to have to make a decision: Nine days after the amnio, I got the phone call that our baby was perfectly healthy. I could barely stop crying enough to thank the woman who'd just delivered the good news. Sydney Elle was born on April 29, 2005, at 8:20 a.m. Listening to Sydney breathe and staring into her eyes upon her arrival completely flushed away any lingering worries. She is an absolute blessing and has made my fearful experience a distant memory.