Helloooo there. So sorry for the extended period of silence. I’ve been nose to the grindstone for the last couple of weeks, and am just now coming up for air.
Yesterday we had our first appointment in the Maternal and Infant Care Clinic. My poor wife felt miserable during the whole appointment, and her misery was exacerbated by the sinking feeling that we’d never get out of the clinic. It was a straight up parade of providers–first the medical assistant, then the nurse practitioner, then the maternal fetal medicine (MFM) doctor, and then the nurse educator. A whopping four providers and apparently we’ll see them all at each visit. There will be no shortage of attention, and no dearth of reading material! We came home with two books and a bunch of papers. Our next appointment is in two weeks, when we will have the nuchal translucency scan.
Thankfully, the MFM doc started out with an ultrasound, which was a blessing because if she’d started with her scary speech I would have cried or vomited or both. Instead, we got to see Bean and Peanut tumbling around in utero. They were kicking and flailing their little arm buds. It was so cute I squealed. Seriously, I did.
The doctor was kind of a Debbie Downer (again!) about the size discrepancy between Bean and Peanut, but after some hemming and hawing and extensive measuring of Peanut, who isn’t as much of a show off as Bean, she decided she wasn’t worried. Both babies have great heart rates, and both are measuring slightly ahead – Bean by 4 days and Peanut by 1. Here they are!
I could have stared at them all day long, but Debbie D turned off the monitor and sat us down for a little heart to heart. First she reminded us that we aren’t out of the woods yet. She said that if everything still looks good in 2 weeks, then we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. Then she told us about the risks of twin pregnancies–higher risk of pre-term birth, higher risk of chromosomal abnormalities, higher risk of pre-eclampsia and higher risk of gestational diabetes. I have to say that part of the visit was really not awesome. I kind of wish the MFM docs could just not tell you all those things and deal with them if the need arises, but I guess it’s good to be prepared. We’ll get a lot of extra monitoring to prevent pre-term birth and other complications, and we really won’t have any control over our ability to travel and do other things in the coming months–it all depends on Bean and Peanut. It’s their show now!
Hello friends! We’ve graduated from the fertility clinic! They didn’t give us a cap and gown, but they did give us a stellar status report on the babes. Bean and Peanut are doing great! They are cute little gummy bears, floating around happily in momma’s uterus. We saw both of their hearts beating Baby A (Peanut) measured 17.8 mm with a heart rate of 178, and Baby B (Bean) measured 19.3 mm with a heart rate of 166.
They are A+ babies, already! Here is a little picture of the buggers. I’m not usually a fan of posting ultrasound photos, but before this appointment I spent a lot of time scouring the web for photos of other people’s 8/9 week ultrasounds so I’d know what to expect…so it only seems fair to help out some other MoMs, too. I think they are cute already!
Peanut (A), Bean (B)
I can’t stop worrying about Bean and Peanut.
My mind cycles through the same fears, over and over and over. It’s something like this:
Peanut is smaller than Bean. Peanut’s heart rate is slower than Bean’s. What if Peanut doesn’t make it? Won’t we feel silly for having told everyone about him? If Peanut doesn’t make it, there are potential consequences for Bean. Is R getting enough food? Is one prenatal vitamin enough? Maybe she needs more. I should write to Dr. A and ask. No, I shouldn’t write to Dr. A because he’s going to think I’m a nervous ninny. I am a nervous ninny. But Peanut is smaller than Bean. Is that normal? Maybe I should search fertility forums about gestational sac size and fetal heart rate. [Spends 2 hours pouring over postings from the mid-1990’s] Well, that was unsatisfactory. Let me search the medical literature for articles about the correlation between gestational sac size and perinatal outcomes. [Spends 2 hours reading said articles] That was mildly satisfactory…But…Peanut is smaller than Bean. Is R getting enough to eat? If I eat extra food does that count? I’ll eat a cookie. That will help. Then the mean household caloric intake will be a little closer to the requirement for MoMs.*
So in other words, friends, I am a Class A Worrier. I am a bit embarrassed to post my fears here, because I know it makes me seem neurotic. Not that I am. (Right?!?)
I keep thinking I’ll feel better after the next doctor’s visit. Or, I’ll breathe easier once we make it 9 weeks (when the risk of miscarriage goes down to 1.5%). But I know me! I know this routine! We’ll reach 9 weeks and then I’ll just fret until the next milestone. And the next. A few days ago I heard this still, small voice saying “Yoohoo, A, welcome to parenthood, where there’s always something to worry about!”
If I keep marking time by milestones, I’ll soon be saying I’ll feel better once they’re walking. I’ll breathe easier after the parent-teacher conference…and while I’m waiting for some measure of safety I’ll miss out on the joy here, now. So the first lesson of Motherhood – let go of worry and be present. Be here, now.
*MoMs – the cutesy acronym for Mother of Multiples.
Yesterday R’s mom (AKA Mimi) made breakfast and asked her husband whether he’d like two eggs or one. He chose one. Then she cracked open her own egg and out spilled two yolks. A few hours later, 2,375 miles away, her daughter sat nervously on a cold exam table and waited. The doctor entered the room, shook hands and began searching for a gestational sac. She found two, and the sweet flutter of a heartbeat in each one.
She cautioned against celebration, saying it is just too early to know how things will pan out. She strongly advised against telling anyone about our twins. We gave it some careful consideration, and then decided to let you in on the secret. Our babies are here, now, and we want to experience the full measure of joy they bring. If you can, please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.