Saturday, July 3, 2010

13 weeks today!

Okay, I should have posted sooner with an update. Sorry about that. All is well. It was a pretty good week. I spent the time that I should have spent posting and commenting on peoples' blogs trying to set up a private blog for our families to follow our progress. Everyone lives out of state so we won't be seeing them much before the babies are born. (And this blog is a little more information than I want to give my aunts and uncles and cousins and inlaws!) We do have a trip to see them planned in August but that will be our last visit with them until who knows when. Except for my mother who is growing more and more excited every day and will be visiting multiple times, I'm sure. She sent me the funniest email this week, rambling on and on about how she wants to be supportive and help as much as possible but she doesn't want to interfere with our lives . . . It became quite funny. I forwarded it to DH and simply said, "My mother is loopy." He replied and said she has the grandmother version of pregnancy brain. No kidding! She's 68 and has no grandchildren, so she's waited a while for this. I used to be worried about her interfering (and never going home) but now I'm grateful that she's so available to help out. I don't have any idea how I'm going to handle two babies at first and she will be a reassuring presence, especially since she's a retired nurse.

We had our first perinatal appointment on Tuesday for the first trimester screen and had a good, long "visit" with the babies. The sonographer probably spent about 15 or more minutes getting what she needed and then the doctor repeated the ultrasound for about 10 minutes. It was mesmerizing to watch them floating around, oblivious to gravity. Twin A was lounging on his/her back at one point, either sucking his/her thumb or picking his/her nose with legs crossed -- as if he/she was kicked back in a hammock. A few times the sonographer thumped on my stomach to get Twin A to move and it was surprising  to see A react. You think they are in their own little world and that what's happening outside the uterus doesn't have an impact on them -- it was amazing to see Twin A jump, like, "Oh, what was that?" For a split second I thought, "Hey, leave my baby alone!" but A very quickly resumed his/her relaxing, kicked-back pose, so I figured it was okay. Funny how that mother's instict kicks in, isn't it?

Here's a close up of Baby A

And here are A's hands and feet in the air

And here is Baby B

And two shots of B's legs (kind of hard to see)

We discussed with the doctor (who we like very much) the bleeding episode and he said that one of the placentas is right on top of my cervix, so he isn't surprised. He said no walking for exercise, no intercourse, nothing strenuous. In addition to the ultrasound, they did a finger prick and ran some blood tests. We had a bit of a scare on Thursday when a genetic counselor called to say that Twin A's results came back indicating a slightly higher risk of Down Syndrome. We met in person with the genetic counselor on Friday morning to fully understand this result. The nuchal translucency measurment, which they take on the back of the neck, helps indicate whether there might be problems such as Down's or a heart defect. Twin B's NT was 1.9 mm and Twin A's was 2.1 mm. Amzaing that a two-tenths of a millimeter difference makes that much of a difference in the risk assessment. Twin B's risk of Down Syndrome was reduced to 1 in 430. Twin A's was only reduced to 1 in 281 and they want it to be 1 in 308 or less. That said, a risk of 1 in 281 is still in the normal range and the genetic counselor said she isn't particularly concerned about this, especially since we did the comprehensive chromosone screening on our embryos with CCRM and everything came back normal. She said there are like 10 additional markers they will look for at our next ultrasound (in 4 weeks) and if there are additional concerns then, we can discuss the possibility of doing amniocentisis.

In addition to the perinatal appointment on Tuesday, we had an OB appointment on Friday (yesterday). I thought we'd get another look at them but was disappointed and confused to learn that all of my ultrasounds here on out will be at the perinatologist's office across the street because the OB's machine can't capture what's needed now. (I began to wonder, why do we need you people? And I actually said something to that effect to the genetic counselor, who works for the perinatalogy office, and she said, "Well, they have to deliver the babies." Aha! So we do need the OB!! But I'm thinking, after three years of appointments in fertility clinics, one of which has a waterfall in the entrance... that would be CCRM.... I'm thinking, "What kind of 21st century obstetrician's office doesn't have a decent ultrasound machine??" Anyway, the OB appointment was almost a non-event. They did a urine sample, had me stand on the scale, got out the fetal heart monitor and listened to both heartbeats, and then we talked with the doctor for a few minutes. We cleared our vacation dates with him, I updated him on my plans at work to cut back hours after Labor Day, we discussed the bleeding episode (I'm still spotting some brown gunk but no one seems concerned), and we discussed the results from Tuesday, which he had just received, which he also was unconcerned about. I don't mean to sound critical of this doctor. He seems great and comes very highly recommended. It's just odd to put my care in the hands of someone who refers patients out of his for all ultrasounds. I don't get that. But maybe I've been in IF world for too long and that's the way it is. I know for "normal" pregnancies, women don't get many ultrasounds, anyway, so maybe that's it. It's still odd after having so, so many scans (I should have counted). I didn't know the procedure was so specialized!

Okay, noon is going to be here before I know it and I'm still sitting on my bed in my pajamas. I have got to get up and get away from the computer. I may go to a few consignment shops that sell maternity clothes today because I'm staring to "spread."

Oh, also! We're going to tell people now that we made it through our two doctor's appointments this week. Tomorrow should be interesting at church and next week, I can't wait to tell some of my colleagues at work. Have a good weekend, everyone!


  1. Just wanted to tell you that sometimes it is a cost vs reimbursement issue. Does the cost reimbursement that they receive justify the expense of a new ultrasound machine, the cost of at least one sonographer, perhaps two, more space in the building, which can be very high and the extra malpractice fees if they miss something on the scan? That is why one OB that I know refers his out, it does not make economic sense.

  2. I was so upset and sad when I realized I wouldn't get an ultrasound every time I stepped into my OB's office like I do at my RE's!!

    My mother came and we spent a total of ten weeks together (we traveled the last few weeks so my grandparents could meet the kid). Everyone thought we were crazy but it was so nice. She loved that time (she lives 1000 miles away) and it totally helped me cause I had no family where I live so she taught me things and helped me. I will always remember that time fondly. I hope you have a great experience too!

  3. Great news! I am smiling after seeing your u/s pics! Cute!

    I agree with you on the shock that comes along with being in a non-IF medical facility! I was amazed at how low-tech my OB/GYN's office was when I went there for my physical this spring. We've been dealing with high-tech equipment for so long that it seems natural that a regular OB would have the same machines!

  4. Wonderful news! I hope you have a great time sharing it IRL. You earned it!

  5. Congratulations on your pregnancy - I have been following your blog for a little while, and have not commented before.

    I was just talking last night about the quandary that IF's go through when they fall pregnant and how that places them in an odd position in the IF community - sort of a bittersweet position really.

    I am thrilled that your journey has brought you to this point, and do hope you keep blogging - pregnancy and motherhood can also be a "6 months at a time" journey in itself.