My Experience With Having Chorionic Villus Sampling (or CVS)

Early Pregnancy with Baby Number 3.

Part 3

(Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here)

*Note* I wrote all of these posts as they happened as a way of dealing with all the emotions that went along with the waiting and the procedure itself. This post was started at the beginning of December and Part 4 takes us to the middle of February.

With the help of Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter I actually managed to have good nights sleep which I really wasn’t expecting. We dropped the little chap off at breakfast club at preschool, I thought he’d kick off about it (and who’d blame him) but he was as happy as can be. We had a cup of tea each and then off we went to Liverpool Women’s Hospital We drove up the M6, traffic was fine which was a surprise. We got there with nearly an hour to spare until the appointment so we headed to the coffee shop. 2 coffees later and a husband drooling over hash browns we decided to go and wait for our appointment in the foetal medical unit. We were told that there were 2 scans in front of us and to take a seat. The waiting room had all the usual pregnancy related posters “are you expecting twins…”, “Are you a victim of domestic violence…”, “pregnancy; your rights…” etc etc. I half read signs and half watched some tripe on the TV about moving to Australia (who is daytime TV even aimed at?)

Liverpool_Women's_Hospital_(6)

After about 20 minutes my name was called and we went into a side room to sign consent forms. We discussed the procedure and they skimmed over the aftercare. I had looked into the procedure a lot as I have said before and I had read that depending on the placement of the placenta they would preform the CVS via my chuff (vagina) while they did a transabdominal scan. I was told by the nurse that this was not the case and that they would preform the CVS transabdominally as well as the scan. Ouch was what came to mind. I had seen this being done on the youtube video (seriously, don’t search for it) so I was not looking forward to it. Plus my poor Hubble really really hates needles, they make him go a bit pale and wobbly so I worried about him too. I really didn’t want to have a huge needle sticking into my tummy as my husband fainted next to me! I signed the form, asked a few questions and then we went back to the waiting room for a few minutes. I obviously looked a bit worried and nervous about the big needle part and Joe was brilliant, really caring and reassured me that I’d be fine and that he would also be fine. I said that if he needed to then leaving the room was fine. To be honest, worrying about him help me and gave my brain something to worry about.

The nurse called us into the huge ultrasound room. The ultrasound machine looked a lot more hightech that the ones we were used to at our local hospital so that was a bit exciting, we’re such dorks. The nurse settled me on the bed thing and told me to pull my skirt down, she shoved some of that medical blueroll stuff into my knickers to protect my clothes from the ultrasound contact gel and then said “just wait here a few minutes while we get ready”. Me and Joe sat there making conversation about the equipment, joking that we should do a sneaky 3D scan while she was out of the room and then I readjusted myself a few times as the bed was hurting my already knackered back. “A few minutes” turned into 5 minutes, then 10 minutes and then 15 minutes. It had gone a bit quiet and then we could hear voices. I could hear snippets of conversations like that sales of avocados were sky rocketing due to the global obsession with so called clean eating and that there was currently a global shortage of courgettes due to the raise in popularity of “courgetti”. All very interesting but I was by now very uncomfortable, I really really needed a pee (I take the full bladder part of the instructions very seriously) and I was a bit fed up of lying there with my rather disgusting stomach exposed.

After just over 20 minutes another nurse and a doctor came in to do the procedure, finally. The Doctor went over what would happen during the procedure and then she preformed a scan to check the baby position, to make sure that the baby was the correct gestation and where placenta is. Then the Nurse and Doctor got themselves ready including prepping a fricking massive looking needle! They then cleaned my tummy with some alcohol wipes. The Doctor then put some gel in a sterile bag and wrapped up the ultrasound transducer and then did another scan to decide where they needed to stick the massive huge needle. It was then that the Doctor decided that my bladder was in fact too full and she wanted me to empty it. Off I trotted to the toilet, thank goodness! I was absolutely busting for the loo. Then we started the process again. Skirt and pants pulled down a bit, sterile blueroll shoved in my pants to protect my clothes, more alcohol to clean my tummy, sterile ultrasound gel and scanning to find the placenta. They were happy with the positioning and continued to decide which area needed to be numbed with the local anaesthetic. Now I have had local anaesthetics when I had a wisdom tooth removed and when I had a temporary filling and they are not nice to have. The Doctor started to numb the area, it was quite uncomfortable until the numbing effects kicked in. Then they explained that they would insert a long hard tube into my womb and into the placenta, then she would insert a smaller needle into the tube to collect the cells. If they needed to they might have to change the position of the tube that she collected the cells from if she couldn’t get a good sample. She also said that she would leave the hard tube in while she checked the sample was a good one under the microscope.

cvs_abdomen

Then the actual harvesting started. I kept my eyes on the screen watching the baby, who gave us a little wave, and I couldn’t feel anything until the tube reached my womb. Then it bloody stung. I can only really describe it as really localised, sharp period pain. Then the needle was fed through the tube and the uncomfortable feeling increased. It was more crampy feeling and I could see the needle going into the placenta on the screen. It felt really really weird. My body couldn’t seem to place where the feeling was coming from but it was very uncomfortable. Not overly painful but there were a few stabs of pain. The Doctor went to check the sample and said she’d managed to get a really good sample but she wanted to get some more cells so that all the tests we wanted could be completed so she went in again. More stabby internal crampy feeling, more grimaces and wincing and then it was all over. Thankfully the Nurse was standing in the way so Joe couldn’t see what they were doing to me. My weird curiousity did get the better of me a few times and I ended up looking at what was going on but I couldn’t really see much. They removed the needle and covered the “wound” with a plaster and wiped all the gel off. The Doctor then did a quick look around with the ultrasound and gave us 4 lovely pictures to take with us. And then she asked if we wanted to look at the cells that she had removed so we both went for a little look at them.

We were asked to wait in a side room for the full aftercare instructions and for the ultrasound report. In the side room I started to feel really weird, too hot, lightheaded, shaky and dizzy. Joe went to fetch me some water and I lay down on a lazyboy type hospital chair. It very much felt like I had bad period pain. Ugh. The water helped. The Nurse explained that I needed to take it easy for the next 2 days, I wasn’t allowed to lift anything, I had to avoid bending or stretching as well. I had to go straight to hospital if I had any loss of blood or fluid and if the pain wasn’t eased with paracetamol and then we were allowed to go home! Yay! When I got home I discovered a rather delightful bruise. And then the waiting begun…

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