Friday, March 28, 2008

relief & new docs

Ah, Fridays. I like hitting the new mark - it's an awesome feeling to reach another week in the pregnancy. With my past experience of first trimester losses, every week is a gift. Today marks THIRTEEN WEEKS - I think this means I'm officially in the second trimester.

I really debated whether or not to write the scary stuff in this blog. I have found the records kept by other pregnant women, especially those with twins, to be so informative and helpful, so I'm just going to tell it like it is.

Week 12 kicked me to the curb. On Tuesday, I had a very scary bleeding episode, which now, three days later, is resolved. Even knowing as much as I do about normal bleeding during pregnancy, it was a terrible, terrible time. I spent three days on the couch (and doctor's offices), missed those days of work, and finally returned to work today.

I did get to see the twins on ultrasound twice, and they're looking perfect. Twin A's placenta, however, has taken up residence right over my cervix, which is called a complete placenta previa. This early in pregnancy, it's a concern, but not as serious as it would be at the end of pregnancy. The likelihood is that, as my uterus grows, it will lift the placenta off the cervix. This was the only explanation they could come up with for the bleeding.

Because of all this hubbub, I was also (finally) seen by an OB - in fact, I went into the city on Wednesday to meet the high-risk pregnancy team. Fortunately or unfortunately, they are not going to discharge me back to a regular obstetrician, as I have several issues that qualify me as high risk: a multiple pregnancy, a genetic condition called osteogenesis imperfecta (type 1), hypertension, and a history of pelvic fracture (which doesn't appear to be problematic). Shoot, hearing them list this stuff out (and some other things), I actually felt sort of judged for even getting pregnant. I know they didn't mean it that way, but actually, I'm pretty healthy, so it was kind of shocking to be treated as such a serious case.

I was also pretty shocked when the resident sat down to do my intake, and told me that I'd be having a c-section. I think I shocked her back by saying that wasn't really in my plan... Anyway, after talking for a while, they said it was a good thing I was moving to Oregon, because, in her words "they're a little more crunchy out there, and might consider a vaginal delivery." For crying out loud, can you imagine if I was staying here? Not even having the OPTION of a vaginal birth? I mean, I get the risks, and I won't compromise the babies' health, but if the stars align properly, then a regular delivery IS the best option for the health of the babies.

Ok let's move on from that malarkey. The good news this week is that I can now totally feel my uterus! It's SO COOL. The top of it is now right under my belly button, so I expect that my whole belly look will really start to change in the next few weeks.

Next up: 13-week belly pics to be posted this weekend! Woo-hoo!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy New Year, babies!

Yesterday was a special day in the faith I was raised in - Baha'is around the world celebrated Naw-Ruz, marking our new year. Here in Pennsylvania, spring is here in it's early red glow, and the days have been that typical spring mix of rain, wind, and bright, warm sun. It's wonderful.

To make the celebration even more special, yesterday also also marked the 12th week of my pregnancy, a milestone I used to dream of. Here's a little info on what's happening for the two little residents, taken from here:
12 Week Fetus

At 12 weeks pregnant your baby will look like a tiny human being. It is about 6cm long and weighs about 15g. It has arms and legs with fingers and toes and more defined facial features. The body is straighter and the first bone tissue appears.

The face is formed with a chin, high forehead and small button nose. The eyes are developed and although they are shut tight with sealed eyelids, they now show reflexive movements. The ears are visible but are still small.

The tiny brain is now forming neural pathways and the fetus is starting to squirm around, although you can't feel it yet because there is still a high proportion of amniotic fluid all around it.

The arms and legs can move freely and if you have a scan at this stage you may see them moving, which is really exciting! The skin is still permeable to amniotic fluid. The nails on the fingers and toes are starting to grow and if the palm is touched, the fingers will curl.

At around 12 weeks the placenta has achieved its final shape and takes over from the yolk sac to become the baby’s life support system. The placenta is much larger than the baby at this stage. After its initial rapid enlargement the placenta grows slowly and by the time the baby is born it will weigh about one sixth of the baby’s weight.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


At work, Joan always rolls her eyes when I talk about my pregnancy in weeks... "Back in my day, it was all months," she says. Well, here we are, and I'm going to track things in weeks. Since I imagine a lot of people reading could be my family, I'm assuming many of you won't know the common abbreviations, so I'll try to put them in. Just remind me if I start speaking in Internet, k?

So, today I'm 11 weeks, 4 days into my pregnancy... as of Friday, I'll be 1/3 of the way through a term twin pregnancy (36w). I'm aiming for 38 weeks, which would mean the twins could arrive around the autumnal equinox. That would be pretty cool I think, and it would also mean that the three of us remained super healthy to stay gestating until that point.

here I am today... starting to look pregnant!

Last Thursday, I had my final appointment with my RE (reproductive endocrinologist) - the woman who I like to say got me pregnant... ;o) My sister Laurie came with me for the ultrasound and shot a little video of the babies. Baby A was squirming about, and because of the angle, we got to see arms, legs, knees... it was really miraculous. Baby B was quietly resting, and we saw her/his profile, so that meant we saw the nose, the forehead, the chin... and eventually (later in the ultrasound) we saw the umbilical cord, and s/he flipped over. It was so amazing to have someone there with me... it made it that much more real to share the experience with someone.

Here's the video:

Finally, here's my first side-view belly pic... I'm still feeling a little weird about posting photos of my belly... normally I'm a little self conscious of the extra padding, but since twin pregnancy seems to boil down to eating, eating, eating, I figure I'd better get used to feeling fluffy. Things certainly have changed, though, so here you have it: