Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Risk Factors

I knew I had a few for most possible pregnancy complications, but I was hoping they wouldn't come into play. Lets see
I'm "older"
First pregnancy
Carrying multiples
Existing BP issue controlled by med

This put me at a higher risk for high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. I've been over every book and site on the subjects and there is nothing that can be done in advance and no way to predict in advance. I feel really great, but apparently I'm a mess on the inside.

My appointment yesterday was a bit frustrating. The higher dose of BP medication has resulted in only a small decrease in my BP. The doctor went back over the med specs and it can, for some people, take up to 14 days to show results, so it may still be okay. I have to go back next week to follow up on it.

But then, for the first time, there was sugar in my urine. Oh joy. The Dr and I went over everything I had eaten that day and it was nothing in my diet. She did say that with the volume of pregnancy hormones I have, my body may not be able to cope and I could be one of those who needs insulin to control it. So tomorrow I'll go for the 1 hour glucose test. Honestly, I'm expecting to fail and bracing myself for the 3 hour test. With the extra growth of the boys at this early stage, it's quite possible that I have GD, and have for a while. I guess it's a good thing I had a sugar aversion in the first trimester and no real taste for sweets now.

Anyway, from what I can tell, the boys are still fine. Definitely still growing. My next u/s is on March 5 so I'll know more then. I see the OB on March 10th. Again, I'm feeling really great.

I'm 22 weeks now. Each week counts. At 22 weeks, there is very little chance for survival (69%) and only palliative care would be offered. At 23 weeks the rate of survival is more than double (20%), palliative care is recommended, but medical intervention is possible. And so on. The Women's Hospital put out the stats and guidelines for micro-premies over the Christmas holidays. They highlighted a great success story on the cover of a girl born at 23 1/2 weeks who was celebrating her second birthday. She is the exception and not the rule. My ultimate goal is of course the full 37 weeks. But each time a problem crops up, I need to remind myself that they may come sooner and try to educate myself on the details. I'm living week-by-week right now, hoping for the best, preparing for other situations.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Request

As some of you may remember, I agreed to contribute to a series for CBC Radio about my journey to become pregnant, including the trip to the Czech Republic. Alison has been following me along the entire way and even made it to CZ to interview me there along with some of the Doctors. Now she is looking for input from those around me. The details she has are below. She refers to email, but I suspect comments in the blog would also qualify.
While I'm not going to be anon for this show, you're contribution would be. Please read Alisons information below and let her know.

Hello friends of Chris:

As many of you know, I'm doing a two-part radio documentary for CBC Ideas, the second hour of which will focus on Chris's journey to the Czech Republic to start a family. One of the aspects I will be focusing on in this hour is how important the internet has been in facilitating this sort of endeavour -- not only in setting it up, but also in getting support and advice from friends near and far.

I would really like to be able to include a few of the authentic email messages in the show. I am particularly interested in messages that offered emotional support and specific advice about travelling to Zlin and what to do when you find out you are pregnant wih twins.
The question is: would any of you mind if I used your emails on the show? The author will not be identified and I will have actors reading the emails. They may be like a collage of good hopes sending her off to the Czech Republic.

Thanks for your help and understanding!

Alison Motluk

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

They showed their "goods"

Today I went for the 3D U/S I scheduled because I really wanted to know genders. It was great.

I was a bit concerned because at only 21 weeks, I was worried things wouldn't be distinguished enough or that they'd be too skinny (I've heard that from people). But it was wonderful and they are not skinny at all. Wow.

While not a diagnostic scan, I was able to check lots of things out. They both have lots of fluid around them. Baby As heartbeat was 154 and Baby Bs was 158 which is the same as I get at home. Both are fast, but still in the middle of the range. Add to that, I was able to see that lips are fully formed (no hairlips), hands all have 5 fingers, feet each have 5 toes, ears are adorable. I was a bit concerned of birth defects because of isci and my blood pressure medication and the prednisone etc. That's not to say there aren't issues, but nothing that shows externally.

Oh, you probably want genders now? You'll have to follow along to find out. Don't worry, one will come out very quickly.

We started with Baby A. With instant cooperation, we were able to see the little boy bits right away. He is not overly shy. The pictures of him from this part are very sweet. He seems to be hugging his placenta. At times, he tried to suck on his thumb and his fingers (and I swear at one point he was sucking on his placenta). Then he rolled a bit and showed off his umbilical cord.

Onto Baby B. As per all the other scans, B was not overly cooperative at first. Having an anterior placenta also created some shadows making it a bit more obscured. After some checking and more checking, we were able to get the bottom up view of B showing his boy parts. Yup, that's right 2 boys. It was harder to get the cute shots of this boy. The video shows some nice views, but the stills weren't as great. Then the little boy rolled over again and put his arms behind his head. Along with a perfect shot, it was so neat because this is the exact pose I was in on the U/S bed, reclined with my hands behind my head. So cute.

Then we tried for some shots of the brothers. Um yeah. Now they were both awake and very active. A was doing somersaults at one point. Then they kept hitting and kicking each other (in the head). It was great to watch and gave me a view of what it will be like for the next many years.

I'll load a few pictures now and may load some more later. I'm not sure how to tag them on blogger, but hopefully you can tell from my descriptions which shot is which.

While it would have been great to have one of each gender, seeing them and knowing they are healthy more than made up for it.

On another note, my blood pressure has not gone down at all. So my Dr increased my medication on Monday. I get it checked again next week. I did some quick research, and it turns out my previous dose is lower than any listed value I could find, and my new dose is the lowest that you can get in the US. It made me feel a bit better.

I'll be doing another post tomorrow with a request for input. For now, enjoy the "pictures".

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

5 Months and counting.....

Sorry I left the teaser up for so long, I was hoping to have some more info the next day but didn't and was following up on some other things.

So to put every one's mind at rest right away, the anatomy scan went incredibly well. There was nothing in the report to indicate an issue. Let's see if I can get you the details in a logical way (I suspect not).

At my Dr appointment on the Monday, my urine was fine, I've gained another 1.5 lbs (we'll round up and say I've gained 7 pounds total). My blood pressure, which has always been on the border (even when not pg) was up slightly. Nothing to panic about, but I'm now hovering on the border instead of just below it. It's something to watch. I'm now up to seeing her every 2 weeks instead of every 4. She also was going to try to move the appointment with the OB up (its now 10 days earlier and I'm on a cancellation list).

Then Wednesday was the scan. I'll start off on a really, really happy note for me. I no longer need a full bladder for scans. In fact, I'm to have a totally empty bladder!!!! But I'm sure you don't really want to know about me.

I was able to see both babies very clearly. They have 4 heart chambers each, 2 kidneys each etc. Baby A has a posterial placenta and Baby A has anterior placenta. This explains why I can feel Baby A moving lots and Baby B not so often. The heartbeats continue to be about 10 beats apart, with B being faster. Once again, B did not want to cooperate and took more time and belly poking to get the views needed.

Once we were done with the abdominal scan, it was onto every one's favorite wand. Yes folks, I'm back to needing the dildo-cam again. This was to check on the lower placenta. It was the one less happy note from the scan. At the moment, I have total placenta previa. For the few who don't know, this means the placenta is lying completely over the cervix. Since I haven't had even a drop of bleeding since mid-Dec (knock on wood), the only thing it means is that if it doesn't resolve itself, I'll need a c-section. As the uterus continues to grow, it can move with the growth and this could change. This will be checked at each scan from now on.

I did not get to find out the gender(s). I was one week too early to be told. He did say that if he could easily tell, that he'd put it on the report to my Doctor. This was the reason for the teaser, I was hoping to find out. But there was nothing about gender on the report. I tried to look and I think, maybe, that one is a girl, but I'm not sure. So, I managed to book a scan at a 3D/4D clinic for next week, (the 18th) so I can find out gender (and see them again). My next detailed scan isn't until Mar 5 and I just didn't want to wait. I'll be posting some of those pics for sure.

I asked about size, particularly with my slow weight gain (that I think is picking up a bit). He said that they are well into the top percentile for singletons and at the very top for twin growth. That explains the belly and makes me less concerned about my weight gain (I did put on 15 pounds between the previous DE attempt and this one so maybe some of that is being used).

I have more sonograms, but I need to do some minor cropping. I'll load them soon. But the one I loaded in the teaser is my favorite anyway.

Oh, I do have the Dr Luke book and have talked with my doctor about some specifics. So far, since nothing other than watching my BP is causing a concern, we'll keep going as is and hope there is a cancellation with the OBs office so I can get in sooner.

I also joined the local parents of multiples group. They were an amazing resource right away. One is even an OB herself. It does seem that care varies greatly from Dr to Dr and even twin pregnancy to twin pregnancy within a single doctor. It gave me some reassurance and some great local women who've been wonderful. There are a few other pregnant women in the group, although all are further along than I am. The first meet I went was happily a swap meet. Its one of the few times I wish I had a car. There was even a crib, free to good home that I had to pass on. Knowing genders would have been even better since I didn't want to take the very gender specific clothes. As it was, I'm loaded up on some more gender neutral clothes, every lamaze baby toy ever made, board books for babies and even a playmat with gym. Since I was in total baby mode after that, I took the bus all the way home and then all the way back to a consignment store that was nearby. I lucked out there and got a twin nursing pillow for less than 1/3 the cost of a new one (and there would have been shipping too).

A coworker is giving me a baby bath. So the smaller things are starting to come together. It's the stroller that is going to kill me. I've been researching and talking to people and unless I want to buy multiple strollers in the first couple of years, then I need to bite the bullet and get the one I really want right away. The Bob Duallie is a good choice, but its not recommended until the babies are at least 4 months. The valco is a good option that is usable from birth. One of the families at the local group had one and loves it. But apparently it wont fit in any car trunk so would be hard if going somewhere with friends. And at almost 700, that's a concern. I was 'test driving' some that I know local stores carry and I am totally in love with the Mountain Buggy double. Its usable from birth, has an adjustable push bar (for short people like me) and will turn into a great jogging stroller when the kids turn 1. Last years colors are on sale right now for 750(cdn), about 270 less than this years model(oh yeah, this years comes with a cup holder - big deal). There are only a few left at the lower price so I need to make a decision soon. There is only 1 orange one left and I love orange. I didn't want to buy anything big until 23 weeks. But I may have to. It steered so well and I've looked and looked but can't find a bad review on it anywhere (other than the price).

Anyway, off on a tangent there. My next Dr appointment is on Monday. The 4D scan (yippeee) is on Wednesday. The next full U/S is March 5 (with another one 4 weeks after that.

I'm starting to face the reality that I will likely have to stop working at the end of April. I really need the money but the safety of the kids comes first. They're giving me a key to the first aid room so I can go lay down whenever I want and I'll probably start doing at this every lunch as a preemptive measure. I'll likely start working from home 1-2 days a week by the end of this month. I've already starting busing to work every day (uphill) and busing home most days (even though its not a long walk).

Thanks for all the comments. I really appreciate them.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


All seems to be going well. I'll do a full post either tomorrow evening or Friday, for now, a tease shot from todays u/s.....