Wednesday, January 3, 2007

CVS Test (Thursday, 7 December 2006)

I returned to the Columbia-Presbyterian offices to get the CVS test. The first step was a level II sonogram. The radiologist was a woman who has worked with Dr. Wapner for years and was very easy-going. Because she was upbeat and calm, it helped me relax. She showed me the baby on-screen, and we saw legs and arms moving! She took measurements, confirmed we were at 12 weeks and 5 days, and performed Nuchal Fold measurements saying the baby looked normal and there were no indications of Down Syndrome. She gave me two copies of sonogram pictures.

The Bean still looks like ET.

After approximately 20 minutes, Dr. Wapner came in, and they agreed that the transabdominal version of CVS would be safest in my case, based on where the baby was located within my uterus (the alternative is trans-vaginal). Dr. Wapner looks like Dr. Who – tall with a lot of curly hair. He used a transducer to insert the needle, and in less than 60 seconds, was finished withdrawing material. We talked movies while he performed the test, and he recommended I see “The Queen” starring Helen Mirren, because of the years I lived in Windsor, England, near the castle.

The use of a topical anesthesia is not used for this procedure. At least half of women who have undergone CVS in the past indicated the pain caused by an anesthesia shot was not worth mitigating the pain of the second bigger needle used for the procedure. With my general phobia of needles, I was onboard with using as few needles as possible and willing to have more pain if it meant getting through the procedure as quickly as possible.

When the test was done, Dr. Wapner said the procedure could not have gone more smoothly and indicated I'd have no problems as a result of getting the test. Preliminary results will be available early next week, and final results within 10 days.

Because my blood type (Rh) is A negative and Michael may have a positive blood type (we don't know his), I was given a shot of Rhogam (1) in the rear end before leaving the office, and will now get a Rhogam shot around week 26 and once more after delivery. In this case, I received Rhogam during pregnancy because the CVS procedure (like Amniocentesis) introduces the slight risk that the baby's blood or DNA could interact with mine, and cause my blood to create antibodies against the baby's blood (if the baby has a positive blood type).

I got dressed and felt surprisingly steady on my feet. Took the subway home, laid on the couch, ordered pizza for dinner and watched TV. Slept soundly for the first time this week!


(1) Rhogam: Rh0 immunoglobulin, also called anti-Rh or anti-D immunoglobulin. An injectable blood product used to protect an Rh-positive fetus from antibodies by its Rh-negative mother. The idea underlying Rhogam is if anti-Rh antibody is given soon after delivery, it blocks the sensitization of the mother and prevents Rh disease from occurring in the woman's next Rh-positive child. Rhogam is now given routinely to Rh-negative women after pregnancies in which they carried Rh-positive fetuses to prevent the mother's immune system from reacting to the Rh-positive blood of any subsequent fetus. Rhogam was developed in the 1960s by Dr. Vincent J. Freda (1927-2003), professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University.


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