Tag Archives: ultrasound

Hanging in

We had a GREAT appointment this morning.

  • My cervix is still totally effaced, but Dr. Zen said maybe she could feel a tiny bit of length. I will TAKE IT!
  • My cervix is still a “loose 1cm.” It doesn’t get any better than “no change” at this point. Yip yip yip!
  • We had a growth scan and Baby A is measure 4 pounds 5 ounces and Baby B is 4 pounds 4 ounces. Baby A’s head is waaaaaaay low. Like, so low that the tech was pressing the u/s probe well below my pubic bone. Yikes! No wonder I feel a ton of pressure even laying around on bedrest.
  • I talk to the babies a lot lately. I have been telling Baby A all day that he needs to stay chill and not bump up against my cervie. And then I tell Baby B not to kick her brother and push him down any more. We need the babies to stay chill. Hubs keeps reminding them that they are getting awesome food in utero (homemade Sheperd’s Pie, chili, burgers, shakes, etc.) and that they won’t eat this well again for years….so they should stay put and really enjoy it while they can!
  • The tech said that she could see Baby A practicing his breathing. Awesome job, sweet little guy!
  • I gained 2 pounds in the past week so I am back up to my weight 3 weeks ago, or 28 pounds total. I continue to eat protein and milkshakes like it’s my job. Because, seriously, it is.
  • My blood pressure was a little high. It almost got me sent to L&D for a pre-eclampsia work-up. They checked it several times…ay yi yi. Fortunately Dr. Zen chalked it up to my nerves about the cervix check, but I heard her telling the nurse we need to keep an eye on it.
  • This is a little embarrassing, but I had to fill out a depression screening form today and Dr. Zen kept telling me I need be calm. I think the midwife who checked me last week must’ve written “This patient is crazyyyyyyyyyyyyyy” on my chart last week. I explained to her, and to Dr. Zen again today, that I am not depressed. I am just scared! And when I am scared, I get teary-eyed. I love my babies so much and want them to have the best start in life possible. I am doing better at managing my fears and emotions…every day we make it is a major boost to my heart and psyche.
  • I downloaded some meditations on iTunes last week and have been listening to them every other day. And I am avoiding bad karma in every way I possibly can. (Including deleting the mean anon comment I got over the weekend. I 200% get it: I am totally and completely lucky to be pregnant, even if I am at severe risk of delivering preemie babies who will be in the NICU for weeks or months. If it bugs you to read what’s up with me, please don’t visit my blog!)

I think that’s it. I am very happy to be where I am today. Thank you lord, for our sweet babies and for letting us come this far. I continue my mantra: One more day, one more day, one more day. All I can do is think about today. Today today today. We love you so much sweet litte Baby A and Baby B.

Advertisements

27 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Zen zen zen zen zen zen zen zen

Greetings from Ante Partum. I was sent to Labor & Delivery at 8:30am yesterday morning, because my routine biweekly checkup with Dr. Zen turned out to be not so routine. All was going well until the cervie check. She pulled her hand out and said, “Well, my dear, your cervix has changed considerably since I last saw you. You’re 100% effaced [no length left] and 1.5cm dilated.” Then she hugged me and told me she was sending me to L&D for steroids for the babies’ lungs and to monitor my cervix and contractions (which I could not feel AT ALL) and to determine if I was in active labor.

Fast-forward through the scariest day of my entire life. I don’t even want to get into it the dark places I have been mentally and emotionally. On the upside, the care here is absolutely awesome: I have been ultrasound-ed, my cervix has been checked so many times that I’m leaking blood, I’ve gotten one steroid injection for the babies’ lungs, I’m on an IV for hydration, I’ve taken multiple rounds of blood pressure meds to relax my uterus, I’ve met the NICU doctor to learn about the potential issues in 30-week babies (shudder), I’ve signed the paperwork for an epidural, I’ve met with seven nurses, a triage doc, the anesthesiologist, a couple of residents and one of Dr. Zen’s partners…..and on and on and on. Today will hold more of the same!

The (really really really) good news is that last night I was cleared to eat (yip!) and got moved up to Ante Partum from L&D. My cervix has not worsened since I got here (please please please no jinxies) and also the contractions (which, yes, I now know what they feel like) have mellowed from every 90 seconds to every 5 to 7 minutes. They have taken me off the fetal and contraction monitors so it’s up to me to alert someone if the contrax become more frequent or painful.

I haven’t been able to sleep more than maybe an hour or two hour total, even though I’m no longer on the uncomfie fetal and contraction monitors. It is so hard to quiet my whirring mind. And I find myself crying every couple of hours…with overwhelming fear and love for our sweet little babies. I know that’s not good for me or them so I try hard to breathe through the tough spells. Hubs had to go home last night after our romantic V-day dinner (haha)—he has a major academic deadline this week so the timing is pretty much the worst for him—but he will be back here at some point today (working away) and I know that just having in my room will help. He is definitely my rock. I miss him!

So now we watch and wait and hope and pray and hope and pray and hope and pray that the contrax continue to chillax, and that my cervie stays strong. (It can’t stay long, there’s nothing left of it!)

Please pray for our sweet little babies. It is too early for them to come out into the world, they are so tiny and have so much left to do before we meet them. I am so grateful they were able to at least get an extra day inside of me and that they are getting these amazing steroids. Every day is so very important to their survival and health in the real world.

Zen zen zen zen zen zen zen zen.

36 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Ahh, Dr. Zen

Alrighty, here is a big ‘ol 28 week update.

  • I showed up for my 10am appointment having not eaten or drank anything since last night and they literally had no idea what kind of blood draw they were supposed to do with me, it was chaos for almost 45 minutes. I was like, PEOPLE! I would rather not beg you to draw my blood! I’m just following the OB’s orders! Whatever is going on, can I please just eat my breakfast?! They eventually sorted it out and we did my fasting blood draw and one-hour post-breakfast blood draw. The lab technician explained the confusion by saying, “It’s just so RARE we have people fail the 3-hour GTT.” Thanks dude. 🙂 I splurged on part of a milkshake AND a piece of apple pie on Saturday (with protein, promise!) so I hope that didn’t f- up my results. Oh well.
  • The growth scan was awesome. Baby A (boy) is measuring 2 pounds 11 ounces and Baby B (girl) is measuring 2 pounds 9 ounces. Good good good job, sweet little babies! Keep growing big and strong!!!
  • I got to see Dr. Zen for the first time since our 21 week anatomy scan! She is such a calm, soothing presence and is so honest and articulate. I really really really like her.
  • Baby A is head down and Baby B is breech. Dr. Zen said that, barring the myriad complications that can happen at pretty much anytime now, she wants to do a vaginal delivery with me. This is my first choice, too, as I would like to experience labor. (I know, nutso.) I told her I would prefer the vag-delivery if I could have my druthers, but also that I am 100% comfortable doing whatever is best for the babies, whether that’s c-section or whatever.
  • I can continue swimming, lifting, elliping, walking, working, sex, etc etc etc for as long as I feel up to it. Btw, I am not really feeling up to much these days. 🙂 Just sayin’.
  • Dr. Zen said if I can make it to 36 weeks I’m going to be very big and uncomfortable and that she recommends working from home or working reduced hours, if possible. Unfort, that is NOT possible with my job. If I’m not at work, I’m not able to work. (Side note: I could maybe work from home on Mondays, this is something I’ve requested for post-maternity leave but my bosses are still thinking it over.) She understood the predicament and suggested I simply not take on any new projects starting at 36 weeks. (Oh, to make it to 36 weeks!)
  • Because the twinsies’ feet are in about the same spot, I can’t differentiate movement from them individually. Dr. Zen said I should feel at least three bouts of movement a day.
  • She did a manual cervie check and I’m long and closed. Phew.
  • I gained one pound over two weeks, for a grand total of 23 pounds. This seems low to me, but Dr. Zen isn’t worried so I’m not going to be either. I was eating so weirdly for that week before I met with the R.D., I wonder if that’s to blame?
  • We talked about Braxton Hicks. (Yes, I talk to EVERY doctor about BHs.) Leave it to Dr. Zen to finally make me understand them! She said, “You know when you get up from going to the bathroom and you have some tightness all over your stomach?” Yes, I do know that feeling. “Those are BHs.” So far, I don’t think I experience them much outside of the zillion and one times a day and night I go to the bathroom. We’ll see how long that lasts…
  • What I do have: random shooting pains in my lady parts region. And random stabbing pains on the right or left side of my uterus. It is pretty cool that my body is doing weird stuff, and I try to focus on that and not panic! Sometimes at night I feel crampy-ish—like that heavy pre-period feeling—and it freaks me out because many bloggies describe the time right before labor in the same way. Again, zen zen zen zen. I am trying to trust that if something is wrong, or I’m going into labor, I will KNOW.
  • Speaking of the bathroom, I’m seriously going a minimum of every 2 hours at night. It’s been like this for the past month. No wonder my right groin muscle kills from swinging it over my Snoog so much, this is what I’d call a chronic overuse injury.
  • We’re scheduled to attend our first of two multiples birthing class on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, there’s a big blizzard heading straight for Chicago on Wednesday so I’m guessing it’ll get cancelled. Hopefully they will resked soon, we are now in the anything-can-happen–zone and I would really love to get this class in ASAP.
  • I have not really blogged about it, but I am literally obsessed with the baby room we’re putting together.  Since we have not traveled or hosted guests the past two weekends, and since I’ve phased out all freelance work going forward, I’ve been able to make progress on all sorts of house projects on Saturdays and Sundays. It feels SO GOOD to cross some long-standing items off my long to-do list. Hubs is crazy-busy with some academic deadlines, but he’s a good egg and helps where he can. Stay tuned for deets.

It’s pretty crazy to be talking about labor and the baby room and ending work and all of that stuff. (Please let everything be okay!!) I am hoping and praying so hard that our sweet little babies keep growing big and strong and that I am able to keep them in as long as possible. So much is out of my control, I am going to just keep feeding them healthy foods, taking it easy when I can, resting as much as possible, exercising when I’m up to it, and working hard at work and at home to create the safest, happiest, most nurturing place possible for them when they are ready to meet hubs and me.

Keep on keeping on. Zen zen zen zen. Positive thinking. All of that good stuff!!!

18 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Anatomy scan, take 2

We had our level II ultrasound this morning. Whew, it was a loooooooooooooong morning! My OB’s office basically does a level II ultrasound when they do anatomy scans, the difference here was that an MFM was overseeing all of the pictures and measurements. Oh, and they did extra measurements to rule out any more soft markers. On both babies. And at the end of it all, the MFM came in to chat about the results and ask for Qs. He was calm and smart and nice. All very soothing to my frayed nerves. I was throwing out some crazy lingo in my questions to the point that the MFM asked if I was a doctor. Hahahaha. Hubs told him I just spend way too much time on Google. Which is so true. (I am totally ready for my med school exam on isolated soft markers!)

But back to the scan. We had a young, smart u/s tech and she happily obliged my request to talk us through everything she was measuring and doing. (I get so nervous when they go silent!) This week Baby A was crazy active. I think my theory that he has a much calmer disposition than his sister is officially out the window. 🙂 They are good little babies and we love them so very much.

The end result…..Baby A checked out perfectly again. Baby B checked out perfectly, too. She still has that echogenic focus (EIF), but it is tiny and very likely harmless. How very likely harmless, you might wonder? Well, Baby B had a 1 in 46,380 risk of a chromosomal abnormality based on the quad screen test results. When FORCED to crunch a new risk number (yes, I made him do it last week, with tears), the director at our genetic counseling clinic re-calculated her risk to 1 in 35,370.

I know it’s COMPLETELY silly to focus on numbers like these, which are just numbers at some point (really, hubs, I know!), but for some reason it helps me. I can’t explain it, but, um, here’s some more food for thought/numbers crunching: Risk of miscarriage from amnio is anywhere from 1 in 350 to 500, based on our genetic counseling office’s rates. Twin pregnancies—even if you only test one baby—have not been tracked as well, but the m/c risk is more in the neighborhood of 1 in 100 to 150.

I want to be very clear about this: I totally support and respect any woman who would make the decision to amnio in our situation (or any situation, for that matter). Believe me, when you hear something like this at an anatomy scan, you cannot help but freak out and want to make SURE everything is okay. It’s just how it is. But given our odds, and all of the reassurance we have gotten from every doctor we’ve talked to, and all of the studies we’ve looked at on our own (like the most recent one, which found only one case of downs in a group of 17,000 pregnant women with an isolated EIF, and she was 38-years-old), we’re not going down that road. It is not a risk to the babies that I can sleep with at night. A 1 in 35,370 risk is one I can live with. It’s essentially the same risk sweet Baby B would have with NO ISOLATED SOFT MARKER evident.

As both Dr. Zen and the MFM told us, this particular isolated marker is really something they “shouldn’t even mention these days,” now that we have other, better tests to calculate risk. It’s an archaic marker that is trumped by NT Scan and Quad Screening results. It’s a variance on normal. They see it every day. Etc. (Have I convinced you everything is okay yet? Haha.)

I’m sorry if this post was too inside-baseball. I have Googled a lot of blogs/sites that have written about EIFs in the past week, and I figured other women may stumble across my blog someday and want to read about how we dealt with this. But this is between you and me, bloggies. I have only told my Mom and we will not tell ANYONE else.

So, the big, huge, giant takeaway: NO NEW SOFT MARKERS!!!! Everything looks good! And they gained a whopping (estimated, of course) 4 ounces each since last Tuesday, which is practically a third of their weights….they are now measuring just over a pound each. Sweet, sweet things! I guess they liked all of the cheeseburgers and steak I ate over the weekend in NYC! 🙂 And hey, while we were there I got my cervix checked again (still measuring 4.3, hold strong, cervie!). The tech said she’d never met a woman who actually REQUESTED a vaginal ultrasound. What can I say?

I am feeling so much better.

25 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Whirlwind

NYC was a wonderful distraction. We had a WHIRLWIND weekend—there is no other way to describe it—of seeing family and friends and eating amazing food and going to holiday parties and laughing til our stomachs hurt. 🙂 Some of my college girlfriends even got together and threw me a mini baby shower. They are awesome girls, I felt so loved and supported. And Baby A and Baby B received their first gender-specific onesies!!! Plus lots and lots of books (I have smart girlfriends, haha).

I think it was the very first wedding where I was stone cold sober (obviously) and I must say that was really fun! Wedding cake tastes extra, extra delicious when you can reallllllly taste it. The wedding was a college friend’s who is older than hubs and me, so most of the guests were friends who were a couple of years ahead of us at school…..there were lots of pregnant ladies and EVERY SINGLE COUPLE at our table had little kids at home. I felt so so so so so so lucky that we are where we are—22 weeks today and feeling so blessed and happy and in love with our twinsies—otherwise it could’ve been a really tough evening of hearing about pregnancy and babies. We were seated next to college friends who had twin boys two years ago. She had a realllllllly tough pregnancy and it definitely made me count my lucky stars that we have gotten so far with me feeling good (knock on wood). It was also helpful to talk to her about gear, etc.

I powered through until the after-party at 12:30am, when I finally had to get the heck out of dodge. Hubs walked me most of the way home through the drizzly cold night, and then I INSISTED that he let me finish the walk alone so he could go back and catch the end of the party with our friends. I had changed into my flats, but darnit if I still didn’t SPRAIN MY ANKLE and fall to the ground about a block after leaving hubs. Fortunately I landed on my side and the only casualties were my glasses (which were crushed on impact because they weren’t in a case because I slipped them into my tiny clutch), my knee, my elbow and, sadly, my ankle—which is swollen and blue. I was so terrified I’d hurt the babies that I didn’t even feel the aches and pains as I hobbled the last block home. Luckily, I felt a few gentle baby bumps as I settled into bed and my tum wasn’t involved in the fall. But still…..scary.

The only downside of the weekend was that we got stuck overnight  on Sunday thanks to the snow storm that swept through Chicago while we were away. But the major upside was that we got to spend even more time with family and friends and since we were staying on the fold-out couch at hubs’s brother’s apartment, we didn’t have to shell out for a hotel room or anything.

But, it is SO GOOD to be home. Where I can get up 5x a night without worrying about waking up hubs’s brother and wife. Where a cat is not pouncing on the bed (apparently I am NOT USED to cats during the night!) and freaking me out. Where our shower has amazing water pressure. Where we have a (new) humidifier in the bedroom to help with my chronic congestion. Ahhhhhhhhh, home sweet home. 🙂

Tomorrow is our big Level II ultrasound with the MFM. I am feeling somewhat anxious about this appointment (shocker, no?)…..mostly because I feel like every time you go under the microscope, so to speak, they can’t help but find something wrong. There really has to be something to the “ignorance is bliss” saying, you know? But I’m trying to see the upside and be “zen zen zen zen” about it all….that we get another opportunity to see our babies. That we get to meet an MFM and have her look EVERYTHING over (with me and the babies). Etc etc.

The truth is that I would really rather not do this. The anatomy scan ultrasound is long, uncomfortable and incredibly stressful. (They will be looking at both babies again, and even more intensely than last week.) But it must be done! C’mon babies, I know you are healthy and perfect. We love you so very very very much!!!! Zen zen zen zen.

14 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Let’s do that again next week, shall we?

After tossing and turning all night and finally getting up for good by 5am because I couldn’t sleep, I am happy to report that I survived the anatomy scan! Yip! Everything is okay. I repeat, everything is okay. But we have to repeat the scan, this time at level 2, with an Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist (MFM) next Wednesday, because of a little spot on Baby B’s heart. I will explain more about that in a sec, but first, I am pleading with you to please please please NOT write comments like “Oh no!” and “I hope everything is okay.” Yes, I know I am putting this out there and any of you can say what she wants, but….please? I need positivity and reassurance right now sweet bloggies. The truth is that I am too weak and fragile to read worry in your words. Thank you in advance.

*****

So now for the drumroll news, the gender(s)……..

Baby A is a BOY!!!!!

And…………

Baby B is a GIRL!!!!!

We are so so so so lucky and blessed to be growing these sweet, beautiful, happy babies. 🙂 We love them so, so, so VERY much. I have said it before but the honest to goodness truth is we would be thrilled no matter what their genders. But it is SO FUN that we have one of each and now we can finally think about names and clothes and nursery decor. Yip yip yip!!!!!!!!!

The ultrasound took about 90 minutes-ish. The tech was very nice, but also very unemotional/poker faced, but she told us everything was checking out great. It was easy to see them moving around and being adorable and measuring ahead of sked at 21w6d when I am technically, based on IUI date, 20w4d. And they are both 13 ounces.

Our little boy’s placenta is posterior (on the back), while our little girl’s is anterior (in the front), which helps explain why I’m only getting gentle bumpity bumps at this point. (A placenta in the front can buffer the kicks and make them more difficult to feel.) The tech said now that I’m feeling things at night, it should really begin to pick up.

*****

So everything finished up fine and then we met with Dr. Zen for my 20-week check-up. I ask all of my Qs, she’s being great and Dr. Zen-ish, everything is going great, I’m practically floating off the exam table and my cheeks are flushed with with INTENSE relief and joy and am thinking, Okay, time to put on my coat and for us to call our parents with the news that we passed the anatomy scan! But then Dr. Zen says she has some results from the scan that she wishes she didn’t have to even mention, but she is required to tell us about by “standard of care” laws.

Baby B had a tiny calcification on the left ventricle of her heart, in technical terms it’s called an “echogenic intracardiac foci.” It is not effecting her heart’s functioning in any way. But back in the 90s, before they had developed the NT Scan and Quad tests to screen for chromosomal abnormalities, this was deemed one of a series of “soft markers” for down’s syndrome. Now, because we passed both the NT Scan and Quad Screen with a totally low risk of down’s, and because we are young and healthy, and especially because there are NO OTHER soft markers evident, the liklihood that Baby B isn’t 100% healthy is very very very slim.

But it’s the law that Dr. Zen has to tell us (so we can’t sue the clinic later or something) and the protocol is to send me to the MFM, who will repeat Baby B’s scan next Wednesday with even more intense measurements and special concentration on her heart and other soft marker areas…and then (hopefully) tell me the same thing….that Baby B is fine, but she has a harmless calcification. (I don’t suppose anyone has been through this and can comment or email me with their experience, by any chance?) We can also opt for an amnio if we want one. But we are really leaning away from it, due to the (admittedly very small) risk to the baby (which is increased in twins).

Baby B was SO active and sweet during the ultrasound. She stretched her legs all the way up to her head and grabbed her toes at one point, like she was getting limber for a run. 🙂 I believe in my heart of hearts that she is perfect and healthy, just like her more chill brother!

This did slightly take the wind out of my sails….I admit that I teared up at Dr. Zen’s merest mention that there was something to discuss and found my heart racing and I’ve had it in the back of my head all day long, as hubs and I trekked out to Ikea to start thinking about the nursery. Dr. Zen was incredibly calm, reassuring and understanding. And thank the lord that hubs was in the room to hear everything in his usual objective, calm manner, as well. As for me, you guys know I am anxious and freak-out–prone and I am trying my very best to be Zen.

We go to NYC for a wedding this weekend so that will help pass the time until this next ultrasound…..please let everything be okay with our sweet Baby B.

43 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Tomorroooooooow!

Well, it’s that time again. The final countdown to a major appointment and my stomach is in crazy knots and my heart is racing and I’m asking hubs a dozen times a day Are the babies okay? Are you sure? But how do you knooooow? But why can’t I feel them? Are the babies okay? etc.

We have our anatomy scan tomorrow. My anxiety is ever-present, but it really builds before each OB appointment. Especially big ones like this one.

My Mom, little sister and sister-in-law are throwing a shower for me in KC early in January….I haven’t bought our plane tickets yet because, well, you know. Everything has kind of been at a standstill for the past week or two. It makes me nervous to look at baby stuff online. I totally clam up when strangers or coworkers or friends or whoever asks how I’m doing (it doesn’t help that everyone is suddenly asking if I can feel them wrestling around in there….um, no, but I really really really want to). I just want to be whisked away to an island (a very very distracting island) for the next 24 hours. I want hubs to rub my feet and tell me everything is okay and I want this wonderful, amazing dream to continue.

I will take a warm bath tonight and I have my meditations cued up on my iPhone to help me through the day. Zen zen zen zen.

So yeah. That’s where I am. AHHHH! If everything is okay with the babies then we will get to find out the gender(s) tomorrow. The honest to goodness truth, my dear commenters who have asked over the past couple of months, is that we do not care one single teenie tiny bit if they are boys or girls or one of each. We just want healthy babies (as cliche as that may sound)!!!!!! We love you so much, sweet little babies, and we can’t wait to see you on the special 4-D ultrasound tomorrow!

I am praying with all of my heart that our babies are healthy and big and happy! Please Lord. Please, please, please.

Zen zen zen zen.

26 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized