Waiting for Amniocentesis Results

And the inspiration of community.

Alison Acheson
6 min readNov 17, 2021

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Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

I was thirty-five when I was unexpectedly pregnant for the third time… so unexpectedly that I really did not clue in for weeks. Other than feeling tired — which I attributed to a new evening job — there were no signs. I was still nursing my middle child, and have never suffered from morning sickness. So by the time I realized the failure of birth control, I was on the edge of amniocentesis time.

Given my age, my family GP sent me off for the triple blood screen test, which led to the amnio being scheduled: my numbers, apparently, were very high. “You’re more likely to have a child with Down’s Syndrome than a miscarriage,” was how it was put to me.

I was still reeling from the news of being pregnant; my brain was not going too far beyond that at the moment. I was seventeen weeks in when I went through the test procedure.

The test

The amniocentesis test itself followed what was at least an hour of counseling for “in case…” even though I’d already been sent the same info to read through. And I’d read through with care.

Then I was in the testing room itself. I remember it as being dark and cold. I remember feeling hungry and anxious. I had two children and had not had to go through anything like this…

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Alison Acheson

My latest book is a memoir, Dance Me to the End: Ten Months and Ten Days With ALS. My newsletter is on Substack: THE UNSCHOOL FOR WRITERS.