Life Lessons

TWINS

Yes, you read that right. Twins. I’m pregnant with twins.

That probably explains my non-blogging status the past couple of months. Before my thoughts and memories get too groggy, I wanted to just jot down feelings, because A) These are our last babies B) TWINS! Not something we had ever planned and I want to remember every detail.

I’ve known for quite some time that we’re expecting twins, and I still just can’t wrap my head around it. Over and over, I just picture the moment when I saw 2 little blobs on that ultrasound screen and the way I just started sobbing. Tears of joy? Tears of anxiety? Tears of doubt? Tears of gratitude? Well… they were all of the above.

When I made my appointment, I was a nervous wreck. Having miscarried twice last year and having 2 false pregnancy tests in between those miscarriages, I just had no hope. Shortly after I found out I was pregnant, I just sort of detached myself from feeling anything until I was able to see that little heartbeat on the screen.

When I walked into the u/s room, I was flushed. I had been late to my appointment, I wasn’t feeling well, and I just had some weird feeling that I couldn’t shake. That morning, I had been cleaning out a spare room, and the thought just kept popping into my mind, “Twins. Twins. Twins.” I tried to brush it aside, thinking it was nearly impossible for that to happen. There was no way I could be a mom to 5 kids! No way! But that feeling stuck with me all the way to the appointment…

The tech did the u/s and I saw a little blob on the screen, but couldn’t see the heartbeat. I panicked a little and tried to be patient while she did her thing. Then she said, “We need to do a vaginal u/s, so you’ll need to go empty your bladder and get undressed from the waist down.”

Okay. I was in full-blown panic mode now. Something HAS to be wrong. I did what she asked, and while I waited for her to come back into the room, I just said a little prayer. I told Heavenly Father this baby was in His hands. If there was nothing on that screen, I was okay with having 3 kids. I knew I wasn’t going to ever try and get pregnant again… this was it. I’ll accept whatever happens.

Ha ha. That’s when you know He must have been having a little chuckle up there in heaven… because I was about to get the surprise of my life.

The moment she started the u/s and I saw those 2 little gummy bears, I knew life wouldn’t ever be the same.

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Yeah. What the heck.

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Two little babies. Two little heartbeats. It was in that moment that everything changed. Suddenly I was surrounded with terms like Mo/Di, TTTS, & Monozygotic,  and I was learned that my risk for preeclampsia and preterm delivery were even HIGHER than they were before. Yeesh.

I was just dazed for awhile.

And by awhile, I mean weeks.

It is all so very overwhelming. So many questions. So many different scenarios and outcomes. So many thoughts. So many tears.

So… here’s what I’ve learned so far.

Identical twins occur when 1 egg is fertilized, and then it splits after fertilization. Since one zygote is initially formed, identical twins are called monozygotic. There are different types of identical twins… and it all depends on how long after fertilization the zygote split. The type of twins I’m carrying are called monochorionic/diamniotic {aka Mo/Di twins}. Essentially the egg split 4-8 days after fertilization. They are in the same gestational sac, but monochorionic means they share the same placenta and diamniotic means they are in separate amniotic sacs. If you’re totally interested in all the other types of twins you can read about them here.

Because these twins share the same placenta, they are at a higher risk for TTTS or Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. This means that there is a possibility that one twin may receive more blood flow than the other, while the other twin receives too little. Since there is a risk of this happening, I will get ultrasounds every 2 weeks starting at 16 weeks to monitor the growth of the babies to make sure they’re growing equally. If they aren’t, there are various treatments available ranging from laser surgery to amniocentesis.

Yikes.

At 13 weeks, I had my 3rd ultrasound, and they were both measuring right on target! The u/s tech told me that their umbilical cords are entering the placenta at opposite ends, so TTTS might not be an issue since the blood flow to each baby is happening on opposite sides… but it’s not a guarantee.

I met with a lovely doctor (sadly not my own because she just had her own baby! But she’ll be back in time to deliver me!) and discussed my plan of care.

Starting at 16 weeks I will receive ultrasounds and have dr appointments every 2 weeks. I talked about that one already…

My blood pressure was good. At my previous appointment, it had been a little high, so we were all a little worried that may turn into something, but everything was looking good at 13 weeks! There was no protein or sugar in my urine.

I will not be taking weekly progesterone shots like I did with Colbie. Because I’ve already had 1 preterm baby, I’m at risk of having it again, but things are so different with twins that the progesterone can do silly things to my uterus this time around and cause complications that aren’t worth it. So… no nasty shots in the butt for me! Woot!

I also will not be receiving cervical length checks every time I see the dr. Again, the body is just totally different with twins, and unless there’s a reason to do so, they won’t need to check! Double woot!

I do have to do a 24 hour urine test before my next appointment. They want to get a base of where everything is while my blood pressure is still good. I did this with Halle, but I was admitted to the hospital for those 24 hours, so they took care of everything there. But since I’m doing it at home, I get to take care of everything myself. *Cringe*. Having a jug of pee in my fridge for 24 hours does not sound appealing. At all. I will be disinfecting everything thoroughly afterwards.

My official due date is October 17th, but I will not go past 37 weeks, (because TTTS can happen at any time during the pregnancy, and the risk for  TTTS becomes just too great after that)  which means I will have these babies before the end of September! I can still plan to have a vaginal birth, as long as Baby A is head down. Fingers crossed!

 

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As of today, I’m 15 weeks, and still feel nauseous at night. Food, for the most part, sounds unappealing. I don’t want to cook. Blah blah blah.

I am extremely exhausted. At first, all I could do was lay on the couch because I was nauseous all day and tired all the time. Nothing got done around my house. Now that I’m feeling a little better, I can do 1 thing a day (like fold laundry, or vacuum) but that wipes me out and after lunch, I have to take a nap. Sometimes I take 2 naps a day. And on some days, my naps last up to 4 hours. I’m exhausted by 9 pm and just want to crawl in bed.

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Let’s talk weight gain… It’s usually something I’m concerned with… but not this time. I was exercising really well before my pregnancy, but that’s all gone down the drain. Right now, it’s more important for me to rest when I need to than to overdo it. I have so many other things to worry about, and I’m in basic survival mode. So weight gain has been waaaaay in the back of my mind. However… As of today, I haven’t gained any weight. I lost about 5 lbs and have gained 4 back, so I’m still a pound under my pre-pregnancy weight. My body has totally shifted though…. I have a definite little belly going on!

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All in all? Watching these two little nuggets kick and wiggle is just breathtaking. I often catch myself thinking “How can that be growing inside of me?!” Who knows.

But I’m already so in love. I never envisioned myself as a mother of 5 kids. EVER. 4 was always the number for me. And even after my 2 miscarriages and dealing with Colbie’s lovely 3 year old tantrums, that number 4 became a big “IF”. But we decided to give it a go, and here we are! There are nights when I’ve peed for the 4th time and can’t go back to sleep and my mind just wanders… How am I going to care for these babies and get my kids off to school? What are those first few months going to be like? What if they’re in the NICU? How are we going to afford them? What if I’m on bedrest… in the summer… with my kids home… and no AC? My body already aches… how am I going to make it another {hopefully} 5 months? What does God see in me to trust me with these 2 babies? Doesn’t He know I’m already half insane? {Kidding… or not.}

I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, and I don’t know. There are so many unknowns that play out in my mind day after day. But I came across a scripture gem that has become  my motto…

“Dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.”—Ether 12:6, "Ether 12:6.":

So true. So true. I choose to put my trust in Him and His plan. So, onward and upward with this new journey of being a twin mama!

 

 

 

 

 

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