Today Philip and I met with our high-risk OB Dr.Howard to discuss the upcoming cordocentesis procedure. Until this meeting Philip and I were debating weather or not we would even have the procedure. The risks are about 1-2% of the mothers that have this procedure end up miscarrying. 1% doesn't sound like a lot, but for Philip and I, 1 in 100 is a huge number compared to 1 in 1,000 or even 1 in 1,000,000. (For those of you who don't know 1 in 1,000 is how rare our blood condition is and 1 in 1,000 is how often prolapsed cords occur, so Ethan was truly one in a million.)
Anyway Dr. Howard explained today that the percentage is really hard to judge our case by because babies that have to have the procedure done usually have a whole lot more wrong with them. There is still a risk of course, but after seeing the placement of the cord he feels certain that this should be a straight forward procedure. You see, like the picture above Asher's cord is located in a position that allows the sampling to take place without ever entering the actual sack surrounding the baby. Dr. Howard will locate the cord with an ultrasound, stick a needle in the base of it, draw out blood and then we are done! All of this will take place after I have received steroids to hasten his lung development and it will be done in a Labor and Delivery operating room so that if anything goes wrong Asher can be delivered on the spot. After the needle is removed I will be monitored with ultrasound for about two hours. Dr. Howard said that we should actually get to see the blood stop coming out of the cord (craziness) and they will also watch for a decreased flow or a pooling of blood in the cord that would indicate a problem.
When I asked Dr. Howard what was so special about 32 weeks he said that at 32 weeks the baby's survival goes up to 99% so really this is the first "safe" time that we can sample his blood. If his platelets are too low we can up my IVIG and start me steroids that will help Asher develop more quickly.
We are so grateful that Dr. Howard is a Christian and that he totally understood our reservations. He even informed us that if we change our minds the night before the procedure that it isn't a big deal.
Thanks to everyone who prayed with us about this decision. We feel the peace that passes understanding and we know that only comes from our Father.