#8 – There’s a difference between 15 seconds and 15 minutes!  

It was recommended that I do pre-natal checks for Down syndrome due to my age at time of delivery. There’re two choices. Either I do an OSCAR blood test plus detailed scan or I go for Amniocentesis, which is 100% conclusive and will give me a peace of mind. However, it also comes with a slight risk of miscarriage. After much consideration and discussion with S, we decided to go for the latter, which will involve extracting amniotic fluid using a long needle.

I was extremely nervous as I’m quite a wooze when it comes to needles. I prayed hard that it’d be a straightforward procedure with no trauma. When I laid on the clinic’s bed, I tried to focus on ultra sound screen and not on the impending procedure. Dr. C assured me that it’d be a short one and advised S to sit on the side as she recounted to us that one of the daddies fainted on observing the procedure and she didn’t know who to help…the daddy or the mummy.

Dr. C started poking my lower abdomen with something that felt sharp and I thought that the needle was pricked into my skin. I then realized that it was only a plastic tool to test reaction from baby. Now, that was painful enough for me. Then the real deal came…I felt a sharp prick and the needle was inserted (S later told me that it was rather long). I saw from the scan that my baby was extremely active at that time and was trying to hit the needle with one hand. This happened multiple times and each time it happened, Dr. C will pull the needle out a bit to avoid the baby’s hand. Can you imagine the pain I was going through? I could hardly breathe and S was very comforting and was trying to refocus me on my yogic breathing and that helped a bit. Two nurses came in the assist, one to massage my extremely tensed up legs and the other to literally hold my hand and soothe my stiffened body.

The baby attempted to head butt the needle before Dr. C finally managed to extract the amniotic fluid successfully. It was a traumatic 15-minute ordeal and Dr. C requested that I rest in the recovery room before summoning me back in to assure me that it’s usually a fast procedure and the anomaly that day was due to my active baby. She needed to ensure the safety of my baby. Although I was still recovering from the trauma, S told me that I’m in good hands judging from her experience in juggling the needle, baby, ultrasound scan and the pregnant me, while explaining the procedure to us. After this horrendously painful ordeal, I know for sure that I’ll definitely need the epidural for labour.

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