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Part 3: I stopped referring to her as the child I lost. She is the child that led me to live!

Amniocentesis according to Mayo Clinic is "a procedure in which amniotic fluid (which contains fetal DNA) is removed from the uterus for testing or treatment" (Mayo Clinic, 2020). This is what I had agreed to. This is what was happening and it was about to happen very soon. As soon as I consented, things were working in fast order. I was being prepped and the medical providers were back and forth, swiftly in and out of the room. Amniocentesis can be recommended for several reasons including, but not limited to; genetic testing, fetal lung testing, family history, abnormal ultrasound findings, treatment to remove excess amniotic fluid, to diagnose fetal infection(s), advanced maternal age pregnancies, and in some cases paternity. It was recommended for me based on babies IUGR, the excess of amniotic fluid and the CPC's (that were no longer there). I knew everyone needed specific answers at this point. There were so many questions, but not enough answers. I knew in my heart that knowing anything for sure was and still is always better than the unknown. At least in knowing, even if it isn't the best news, a logical plan can usually be put in place. The amniocentesis procedure itself is fairly quick, taking only minutes once it starts, but it's very uncomfortable. I would also say it is moderately painful. A long 3-5 inch needle is inserted into your abdomen, then through your womb in order to get a sample of the amniotic fluid that is protecting your baby. In order not to harm the baby, a simultaneous ultrasound is being performed to make sure that the baby is not in or near the pocket of fluid they are obtaining the sample from. There are potential side effects, just like anything else but the risk they warned me about the most is that the procedure may induce labor or miscarriage. Since I was already experiencing contractions this was of higher concern, however, the contractions were slowing down so I was responding to the medication I was being given to stop them which was a good thing. We all wanted to keep baby girl safe inside for several more weeks. Weighing the benefits against the risks is not always obvious, but there was a slight leading edge on having the amniocentesis performed. Now I would have to wait several days for the results. I was discharged the next day, with orders for bed rest and to continue with all my regularly scheduled doctor appointments. As of now, I was ok, she was ok, we were ok! It was Thanksgiving and I was so very thankful.

The weeks inbetween are a slight blur. I was medically taken out of work due to being placed on bedrest for the pre-term labor scare. I was still living at my moms, but the good news was my husband had finally found a home for us in VA, which was super exciting. There was a lengthy process in having our furniture and things shipped from storage in CA to the new house in VA. It seemed to take forever, but there really was no rush. Due to all my doctor appointments and established care, I would wait until the baby was born to move to VA. Finding new providers in a new state with all the history this pregnancy already had was just going to be a bit much for me. My husband was still living on the ship, which was out to sea more than it was in port, so he supported me staying in CT for now. Jasmyn and I were able to go down to VA for a week once our furniture got there. We loved it! I couldn't wait for the chaos to halt for us all, and to settle into a normal family life. My husband and I were still Newlyweds! We had been married almost 2 years at this point and had spent barely any of it together. I could not wait for the 4 of us to all be together living life in the same house. I could not wait for us all to be doing the fairytale things I'd been dreaming of, but all I remember next, is waking up to a nightmare.

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