Thursday, May 28, 2009

11w2d - The CVS test experience - not for the fainthearted

The detailed ultrasound scan prior to the CVS test was incredible. We saw all three of them doing acrobatics in utero for the very first time. I always thought that they would move in slow motion through the amniotic fluid, but boy, were they bouncing fast! I promise, I haven't had any caffeine...

The last time we saw them (at 8 weeks), we could see a distinct head and body with limb buds, but no other distinguishable features. This time around, we could see noses, ears, fingers, and toes. Just amazing. My Dh must have whispered, "Wow!" a thousand times. We are in awe.

Here are the (beautiful) vital stats:

Baby A: 4.98 cm, heartbeat: 161 bpm, nuchal fold: 0.007
Baby B: 4.85 cm, heartbeat: 165 bpm, nuchal fold: 0.183
Baby C: 4.74 cm, heartbeat: 165 bpm, nuchal fold: 0.115

Thank you all for your encouraging words about the CVS test. The chorionic villus sampling test is more complex in a triplet pregnancy as the perinatologists obviously need a clear path to access each baby.

If you're having a CVS procedure for a singleton or twins, then there's very little to be concerned about. Like with everything, it's more complex with triplets. We had the u/s technician, and two perinatologists present. The two peris analysed each baby's position on the u/s and worked together in determining the safest route to take for each. Sometimes they can access all three trans-cervically, sometimes all three trans-abdominally, and sometimes they have to use both approaches.

I never luck out in the odds department, so of course they had to use both with me.

They accessed Baby A's placenta through my cervix first, and it was a breeze. I felt no pain whatsoever. It took a little longer than an embryo transfer, but the discomfort was from the spe.culum and my full bladder. I couldn't feel the catheter being threaded through my cervix, or the needle accessing the chorionic villi.

They then had me empty my bladder (phew!) so that they had a better chance of reaching the other two babies.

They accessed Baby B's placenta through my abdomen (no anesthetic, not even topical). The setup for each baby takes about 10-15 minutes as they reconfirm the position of each baby, and plan the best path for the needle. It was quite painful as they have to maneuver the (very long!) needle all the way in, and then move it up and down at least 3 times to get enough of a sample. Baby B's actual procedure was over in about two minutes. If it had gone any longer, I would've bit through my lip.

And then the torture started. They uhmmmed and aahed about how best to access Baby C's placenta. I should've known that this meant trouble. They finally found a safe path, but was nervous that the needle wouldn't be long enough to complete the up-and-down motion to get the sample. (Deep breath.) Some more discussion ensued before they went in. Once the needle went in, there was a long period with lots of incredibly painful maneuvering.

It felt like an eternity. I squeezed my husband's hand to kingdom come while trying to find my happy place as the pain just intensified with each needle movement. I honestly thought it would never end. The nausea crept in, and well, what you don't want to do is throw up with an eight inch needle inside you. And then - thankfully - it was all over. The relief is indescribable. They had me turn on my left side to get the nausea to subside.

After each procedure, the perinatologist uses the syringe to inject the sample into a petri dish, and then they analyse each sample to determine whether they have a sufficient amount of chorionic villi to culture.

The peri who came back to report said they have an excellent sample from Baby A, a great sample from Baby B, and an adequate sample from Baby C. Thank goodness for small miracles, because I sure as hell am not going back for more torture.

It will take the full 14 days to get the results back, so now we wait. Aaah, more waiting! After IVF, we should be good at this, right? Not.


Anonymous said...

Yes, an intense and painful experience indeed. Glad to hear you felt better afterward. The waiting there conception, will the embryo's take, will they hold, waiting for tests are all the anxieties on the threshold to new beginnings...and a whole lot more testing and waiting....kind of goes like that with babies/children....however, it is worth every inch of agony....this too shall pass....

Lorza said...

OMG. That is crazy. I know they can't put you out for that, but wow. That is intense. Thanks for sharing. I am glad you made it through it okay, and thank goodness at least one of the samples was cervical!!! Do you have any pictures?

Mrs. Gamgee said...

You are one incredibly brave woman! The babies' vitals sound fabulous... :)

Jennifer said...

Sorry it was so painful. I am glad to hear such great results on the babies. I am praying for you and you 3 little ones :)

Carrie said...

YOU are such a champion. My total hero! I am so glad they got a good sample from each baby. Their NT measurements are awesome! Go babies!!

I am always amazed at how much they move, too. I saw them today, and A and B were having a dance party in their sac, but C was a-snoozin. I cannot wait to hear your results and find out gender for sure- LUCKY!

Glad the pain is over; onto the waiting... like always right?


K said...

OMG...that's about all I can manage to muster up. Thanks for the vivid description...I am clearly in the dummy category on this kinda stuff. Glad you at least survived the process to blog about it. Get some rest!

Anonymous said...

Another two week wait...of a different kind. I'm sorry you were in so much pain - wonder why they didn't at least to a topical anesthetic?

poppy.f.seed said...

sounds like an intense experience!
I agree about watching the u/s, watching the baby(babies) move is so incredible. We plan to video each one, although we may only get one more. I hope the 2 wks go quickly and you get great results!

mekate said...

Thank you for writing that out! And I am so sorry for the painful parts, and so hopeful for a fine and wonderful outcome for you. As for your "I never luck out in the odds department", for med procedures, probably not, but for your 3 on board? you sure have!

Brave and strong and glad you did not barf. Hope this 2ww passes uneventfully. So glad it is behind you.

Warmly, Kate

Anonymous said...

Hello moms to be. God Bless us all.
Well I tried to go through with the CVS yesterday and the pain was unbearable. It hurt so badly that I could not continue. I was disappointed but I just couldn't continue. As I am 41 I definetly want to be sure the baby will be fine (only son will be 21 in dec). Opted instead for an early amnio. Hope its less painful than cvs. Anyone had an early amnio after attempting CVS??