Thursday, 29 August 2013

Happy Dance

My Harmony test came back today negative for all 3 trisomies. I am doing a happy dance. Please join me if you want!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

What's there to worry about?

It's so funny the way our minds work. During my last pregnancy I was obsessed with researching birth defects. I looked at different trisomies, triploidy, polycycstic kidneys, Potters syndrome, Turners syndrome, dwarfism etc. Do you know that there are over 200 types of dwarfism, some of them fatal? All of these I had running through my head as I unknowingly carry my baby with Down syndrome.

This time, there are a whole different set of worries. Still birth. Pre-term labour. Early placental failure. Twin-to-twin-transfusion-syndrome (TTTS). Sigh. I never seem to let it go. The odds are very, very small that it will happen to me. Bust as you know, I hate playing the odds game. Because I always go back to the fact that I had 0.25% chance of having a baby with DS at 34.

With mo/di twins like I have, the risk of TTTS is very real. Basically what happens is that one twin starts receiving all the nutrients and fluid from the placenta, and the other starts to be denied nutrients. This causes one twin to become markedly smaller than the other, and can lead to death for both. It doesn't happen all that often (15-20%), but frequently enough that twins like mine are monitored frequently. I get an u/s every 2 weeks to see how the girls are growing and to look for TTTS. The good news is that if it is caught early and needs to be treated I get a free trip to Toronto to have the surgery performed. Apparently one of the hospitals in Toronto are experts in this surgery so everyone in Canada gets sent there. That would be ok, I could even squeeze in a visit with my Mom and a few friends if I was lucky.

Apparently, because my NT scan was so good (with both babies having identical NT measurements), my risk of TTTS is actually only 10%. Good news, but not a guarantee by any means.

Another risk with Mo/di twins is early placental failure. Basically, because both babies are drawing all their life sustaining nutrients from one placenta, it is more likely to give out early. This is why mo/di twins get delivered no later than 37 weeks. Because after that week the risk of still birth is higher than the risk of having babies born early.

The irony of all of this worrying is that so far everything about the babies is perfect. PERFECT. They measure exactly to dates. Both of them. There is no difference in size at all. They are active, and all body parts are accounted for. And then I go back to 0.25%. Over and over and over. 0.25%. There are just no guarantees.

Why can't I just let this go?

Monday, 26 August 2013

Anatomy scan (preparing for babies)

My 18 week anatomy scan is this morning. I set my alarm for 6:30 am so that I could be ready to leave to make my 8:00 am appointment at maternal fetal medicine. Not to worry, I was awake at 4:30 and couldn't make it back to sleep in time to bother. So here I am at 6:17 updating my blog. Such is life.

I feel like I am in limbo land land lately. I am obviously expecting a baby (measuring 22 weeks pregnant at 18 weeks), but trying not to get too indebted to the idea of having these babies before all the scans and tests look good and before 24 weeks (viability). It's hard. I found a great deal on a car seat this weekend (over 50% off!) so bought it. But not before I made sure I could return it unopened with the receipt if anything happened. I was browsing at Chapters yesterday and found some adorable toys for 75% off that I would have loved to buy for the babies. But I still feel like I can't let myself purchase anything that is just because they are coming, or to just celebrate their arrival. Because when it comes down to it, I am still not sure that we will be taking home babies at all.

Being a realist sucks. Knowing the odds sucks. Knowing that not everyone gets to bring a healthy baby home from their delivery sucks. And knowing that these things are even more likely with twins really sucks big hairy balls, excuse my language.

I get these glimpses of hope. Last night I mentioned to Husband that when the Harmony test comes back that I want to start getting the babies room ready. I have a beautiful shade of antique blue picked out that I am comfortable using if the babies are boys or girls. I happen to abhor pink rooms, so even with girls I am confident that we can make a light blue room feminine. I contacted my friend last night who offered me her crib that she is finished with now that she is done having kids. I found a good deal on a twin nursing pillow so bought it rather than spending twice the price later on. I am slowly, slowly, planning for babies who I don't even expect to bring home yet. I must be insane.

Late evening update: The scan went beautifully. All fingers, toes, limbs and organs were accounted for on both babies. And they were measuring perfectly to dates with no difference between the two - which means no twin-to-twin-transfusion-syndrome. It was very, very good news. We also found out that we are welcoming 2 more girls into our family. Phoenix will have two sisters to love and share her life with. I feel so hopeful.

Friday, 16 August 2013

You've come a long way baby

I was asked a while ago about one thing I would change if I could. I thought about it for a minute and replied I would really like it if my daughters hair would grow back and the alopecia would go away. That's a pretty reasonable thing to ask for right? It wasn't until about 10 days later that it struck me that in that instant of contemplating change, my mind didn't jump to Down syndrome. And in fact it took me a good long while before I had even realized it. You've come a long way baby.

Maybe it's because life has been beyond hectic lately. I've made it into the second trimester and the twins still look great! They are measuring identically at this point, which is excellent news, because if one gets significantly bigger, and the other smaller, we all start to worry.

We had house guests, and family and executed our wedding last weekend. I'm a Mrs.! I was most impressed that I fit into the dress I bought months before I got pregnant and didn't have to deal with nausea on my wedding day as it had miraculously ended 2 weeks earlier.

It's been a wonderful time in my life to share our love, and the blessing of our daughter, with our friends and family. Love, love, love. And two more loves on the way.