Monday, February 11, 2013

The twin saga

We had a bit of a wild ride last month, when the possibility of TWINS cropped up.  I know, I know.  I spent many a sleepless night, my mind running and not able to stop contemplating the possibility of caring for two babies at once.  I mean, I know people do it, but it just sounds so. hard.

Here's the story --

Back in December, I measured 18 inches at my 16 week prenatal appointment.  Five weeks later, at my January appointment, I measured 29.5 inches.  For anyone who doesn't know, at 21 weeks it is normal to measure 21 inches.  Not 29 inches.

I didn't realize what she was contemplating until she asked, "Are you planning to have an ultrasound with this pregnancy?" as she measured my belly for the third time.  I answered cheerfully at first, "Well . . . only if you want me to," as the slow terror of what she was considering dawned on me.  Twins?!

In addition to what appeared to be a rather large growth spurt, my midwife was reminded of her twin-mamas with some of the things I was telling her: heavy pressure on my pelvic floor, substantial ligament pain, movement that seemed much stronger than it should be, etc.  Though I wasn't ever quite sure it the movement was actually stronger, or if I was just more aware of it due to experience.

She found one heartbeat and two placental tones, which didn't tell us anything because it could have easily been the placenta attached at the back and reverberating off the sides of my uterus.  There was no telling for sure.  She also felt a lot of "baby parts" but couldn't necessarily place the exact position of the head or back or feet, though it did appear the baby was laying in a breech position.  She recommended either 1) waiting until next month's prenatal to see if I was still measuring large, or 2) if I really couldn't stand it, go in for an ultrasound for the final word.

Initially, I figured I would just wait.  I have measured large two different times before, always evening out by the next appointment in both cases.  It seemed silly to go in for an ultrasound just for measuring large.  Right?  Right??  But then I started checking in with one of my yahoo groups, a group that I know has a number of twin-mamas on its list.  Two of the answers, "I didn't find out until my ultrasound at 20 weeks" and "I didn't start measuring large until 20 weeks or so" was enough to spur me into action.

I called my back-up doctor and scheduled an appointment.  A doctor's order is required to get an ultrasound and I needed to connect with him at least once before the birth anyway, so it was going to work out for my benefit either way.

At the appointment, I was still measuring large, though not in correspondence with the two weeks which had passed.  He also checked for fetal heart tones and thought he found two - TWO.  One on the lower-left at 150 beats per minute and then one immediately afterwards on the upper-right at 160 beats per minute.

I think I screeched, "Are you telling me that you found two heartbeats?!", but then he was unable to relocate the "first" heartbeat.  This could have meant that either the baby moved, or the first baby moved behind the second baby.  Either way, there was no telling.  An ultrasound was the way we were going to find out.

We all went in together two days later, thinking that if this was a doozy-of-an-ultrasound with the huge news of two babies, not just one, it might be fun for the boys to witness it.  I didn't sleep very well the night before, as you can imagine.  How would I get anything done?  How I could I ever travel by plane again?  How would we fit everyone into our mini-van?  How could there ever be enough of me to go around?  And so on.

We all filed into the room and I lay down on the table.  The ultrasound tech slopped the glop on my belly, put the instrument down, and said, "There's your baby".  Talk about anti-climatic.

"My baby?  There's only one in there....?" I asked.  She evidently didn't get the memo that this was the sole reason why we were there.  "Yep," she said.  After checking and re-checking and confirming that yes, she would absolutely be able to tell the moment it came up on the screen, I was satisfied.  One baby.  One baby!  There was only one baby.  The relief flooded in.

The reason I measured large is because the baby is in a longitudinal breech position, with the head in the upper-right part of my belly, the feet in the lower-left.  It also measured about a week ahead in size, so it could have been a "growth spurt" in conjunction with the breech position.

 Isn't it just the cutest little thing?

And . . . we know what we are having.  Does anyone want to venture a guess?

(If you know already, shhhhhhhhhhhhh.)


lil' mama said...


I have no guesses. Still thinking about how crazy your life would be with twins and you know it would be twin boys to boot. :)

a. borealis said...

LOL . . . I did briefly entertain the thought that I might be able to handle it a bit better if it were two girls. :)

Eric said...

phew. That would have been challenging. Another boy! Those brothers are going to be tight. Love it. :)