Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This week's lesson: Ratios

We found it surprising that we forgot they were going to call on Monday. We keep close track of everything involving the pregnancy. We guess with the perfect NT Sca.n measurements we totally forgot we'd actually be getting more results from our peri.natalogist - the final ratios. The office called on Monday as we were told they would and let us know that Baby A and Baby B both have excellent numbers and ironically the SAME ratios. (They're already competitive??) The odds of the babies having Down's Syn.drome are 1/8900 and the odds for Tris.omy 13 & 18 is 1/10,000. These are even higher (or lower odds actually) then our genetic counselor used as her example of great numbers. We'll take 'em!

We feel so incredibly lucky with each and every step of this pregnancy. It took us over 18 months to get to where we are today and we never let a day go by without being thankful for what we have been given. We know now that all of the months of forced waiting, medical treatments, fertility drugs, miscarriages and unsuccessful IUIs were meant to be. If not for them, we wouldn't have these 2 healthy babies growing inside of J at this moment. And for all of you that are waiting for your miracles, we think of you every day and know you will get them soon.

As for our next step, we are excited to see dr. H (our regular ob) on Tuesday. We are pretty sure we will be finding out the sex of the babies. Are there any guesses out there as to what you think Baby A and Baby B will be?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

NT Scan...CHECK!

Yesterday we had our first appointment with our perinatal.ogist. The first thing we did was speak to a genetic counselor about the risks involved in having twins at J's advanced maternal age. That's right. 32 is considered "ADVANCED MATERNAL AGE" for having twins! She's never felt so old.

We seriously don't know how there are so many healthy babies born each day with the NUMEROUS things that can go wrong throughout pregnancy!!! Granted, when you put it in perspective, with J's great family health history as well as our donors, the chances for a lot of the chromosomal abnormalities the counselor spoke of is about 1%. Which leaves a 99% chance of having a perfectly healthy baby... or babies! With all that being said we were still overwhelmed and slightly nervous before heading into our Nuch.al Trans.lucency scan. The counselor said we would want the NT measurement to be about 1 mm and that everything under 3 was considered "normal" but we didn't want to see 2.9 mm or anything like that.

We entered the ultrasound room and were surprised to see a HUGE screen in front of us to watch the scan on. No more sharing the little ultrasound screen with the technician. We were able to watch as she took the measurements and the first measurement of Baby A that she took was 2.6. TWO POINT SIX?!?!?!?! She then took 2 more measurements that were 1.6 and 1.4. She preceeded to go back and DELETE the 2.6 and remeasured the fold, this time as 1.6 mm. PHEW! We both were holding our breath after we saw the 2.6! Then Baby B was measured, it's measurements were an average of 1.5. The perinatal.ogist came in while Baby B was being scanned and walked through some of the complications associated with pregnancy but especially with twins. She talked about preterm labor, pre.clampsia and gestational dia.betes among other things. She went through the preterm survival rates as well which we found very interesting and very PROMISING! She said babies can survive after 23 weeks of gestation in the hospital but granted most of these babies will have a host of problems such as cereb.ral palsey. After 28 weeks, the survival rate for a HEALTHY baby is 80% and after 32 weeks, there was only a 3% chance of complications after birth. These statistics made us feel SOOO much better but we still hope the babies stay in their current cozy home until our 38th week c-section. In the midst of all this talking, the technician announced that the babies NT scan test "scores" were PERFECT with 1.6 for Baby A and 1.5 for Baby B.

We also HEARD the heartbeats for the first time! They caught us by surprise because we were so intently listening to the perinatal.ogist while also watching the show the babies were putting on for us on the big screen in front of us. It was SOOO AWESOME to hear the beating hearts!

Following the scan, J had to do a finger prick blood test and then we were sent on our way. J said she couldn't recall the last finger blood test she had but was sure it was sometime in middle school. The girl taking J's blood said it will be a pretty good pinch. WAS IT EVER! OMG, J thought the girl had cut the top of her finger off! Today she has a pretty bruised finger tip but all worth it for the babies. We should hear on Monday or Tuesday the full results of the NT Scan including ratios of the likelihood of the babies having Down's Syndrome, Trisomy 13 and the likes. We aren't too worried about these results since their N.uchal fold measurements were so great. Right now we are feeling extremely blessed.

Our next perinatal.ogist visit is in 7 weeks (March 4th) where they will do a full body scan checking out every inch of the babies bodies. They told us the appointment will take about an hour as the scan is very thorough and very detailed. Before then, we will see dr H for our regular OB visit on the 27th. We hope to find out the sex of the babies at this appointment but we'll see!

J is feeling great and her appetite has definitely picked up. She is still extremely tired in the late afternoon but still hopes that will lessen over the next few weeks. J's been so busy with work, the naps have fallen to the wayside but today she needs one since we are headed to a basketball game at MSG tonight and will be up way past her (and the babies) bedtime! The babies first (of MANY) basketball games!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Give Us A Hand!

That's exactly what Baby A and Baby B did for us yesterday at our first appointment with our new OB/GYN. We were nervous before we got there - would we like her? Would we like how her practice did things? After having such a great experience with our fertility dr, we had high expectations about what we wanted in our new dr especially since they would be the ones bringing our babies into the world. We got an immediate good vibe by getting ROCKSTAR parking right outside the front door of the building. It was a rainy, cold evening and the whole lot was packed. Then as we were headed back to our dr's office, there were pictures on the wall that 100% resembled the flower centerpieces at our Bridal Shower. We took this to be another good sign. Finally we met dr H. She was fabulous. She is so sweet, so attentive, very thorough and took the time to answer every question we had (on our long list) without making us feel rushed or stupid. Another important thing we noticed was that she spoke to each of us in equal amounts - not to just J because she is the patient. She made us both feel equally important and involved. One thing we learned is that we will definitely be having a cesearan as (our) dr's malpractice insurance will no longer cover vaginal births with multiples. We had previously read that 50% of multiples end up with a c-section because both babies are not facing the right way so we weren't shocked at the news (it was just a different reason). We will be scheduled for the c-section during our 38th week which is when twins are considered full term. Hopefully we will make it as she followed this statement by saying that the average for twin delivery is 36 weeks. As for our schedule with dr H, we will see her every 4 weeks up to 20 weeks, every 2 weeks up to 28 weeks and then every week after that.

On Monday our fertility dr said we could stop the progesterone supps. With it having been our lifeline for so many weeks now, we were terrified. We weened off to just 1 a day and after getting a second thumbs up from dr H to stopping them, we are now officially without our security blanket. That is just two less things that J has to remember to do during the day. In the mornings we both had reminders on our work calendars and at night we would leave a small light in our kitchen on until it was done. It is weird how you can forget after so many weeks but strangely it happens.

After the initial office conversation, we all headed to the ultrasound room. Here she did a pelvic check (upon which she said "Boy your uterus sure is growing!") and then a sonogram. Our first non-vaginal sonogram! CRAZY! J thinks it felt kind of weird - not like she would have expected it to feel. You would think it would just feel like something rubbing against your belly but to J it was different. Maybe it was because of the slight pressure that was also used on her growing uterus or the jelly or something but she didn't really love it. Probably just something new to get used to. What we DID love was what we saw on the ultrasound screen! Two waving, moving babies! At one point Baby B (who was sleeping the last time we saw him/her) was completely stretched out - what LONG legs this lil guy has! He/She definitely takes after his moms :) They both had great heartbeats and we got a few more pictures. We can't believe how distinct the hands are at this point. M saw a foot last week and said that it also looked very distinct. They are really like two very small babies!! Here are a few pictures of our friendly babies waving to us and our new dr.

Our dr suggested and we fully agreed that we should have many of our scans done over at the MFM Specialist. She said she recommends it for any pregnancy but especially for multiples. We were glad she was on board with this 100% as we wanted the extra reassurances from a specialist along the way. We are not yet sure how often we will be seeing the MFM specialist but we do know we'll be in for the NT Scan this week or next and then back around 18 weeks for the next growth scan.

When we got home, we read through the paperwork and brochures that were given to us (along with a lot of free samples!). The brochures were mostly about giving birth and the hospital procedures. As we sat in our guest bedroom, which will soon become our nursery, it dawned on us that we had suddenly switched from reading about getting pregnant to reading about giving birth. It was a surreal realization that we'll remember for a long time. We think we are finally beginning to accept the fact that we really are pregnant and staying pregnant this time.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Graduation Day!

We did it! We finally made it to Graduation Day! We never thought this day would ever come but alas it has - and we got sent off with an "everything looks perfect!" record. We also got, as promised, TONS of ultrasound pictures, dating back to the first sighting of our little beans. We'll post a few pictures at the end of the blog.

Baby A was again the highlight of the visit. He/She was dancing around, doing flips, and even waved at us! Baby B was doing his/her thing - and well, snoozing. Baby A had a heartbeat of 160 and Baby B had a sleeping heart rate of 156 ;) Since the range is between 120 and 160, we think we are in good shape. The technician said that the babies were growing perfectly. They are both about 2 inches long! J thinks she feels them bouncing around in there (although we know it is probably just gas) but with the way Baby A was moving about - now it makes you wonder if the fluttering J feels is really them!

Today we are 11 weeks and 4 days pregnant. J's uterus is measuring a little over 13 weeks and our Dr said everything looked and felt great. We can't wait for Thursday when we FINALLY hit the 12 week mark. So, we've read conflicting dates as to when the first trimester is over. Does anyone out there know for sure? Is it the beginning of the 12th week or the end of the 12th week? Either way - we are SOOOO CLOSE! We are having trouble believing we are pregnant let alone just days away from our second trimester!

We have our 1st appointment with our new OB/GYN on Wednesday where they will conduct the NT Scan on our babies. We are excited to be able to see them twice in one week!

Enjoy some pics!