Sunday, March 23, 2008

The fun stuff!

I think I felt them tonight. I can't be sure, though. I've heard that the babies can be felt this early, and with twins it very might well have been them I felt, or one of them anyway. I was just sitting, watching the Alfred Hitchcock Hour (I love these old shows) and felt a little flutter in my lower belly. It was really low and it was like a tickle. It happened once, and I adjusted my shorts thinking that's what it was, then I felt it again when my mind was still on the area. The second one wasn't my shorts. It was definitely coming from inside.

Oh how neat! :)

So, I had to tell Dave right away. He thought it was really fun, too. I wish he could feel it. A little while later it happened again, and more than just a little bit. I put my hand there, but I couldn't feel anything from the outside, just the inside.

No, it was not gas.

My belly is starting to look to Dave and me like a real bump, too! Dave took some photos and in the photos it's not so obvious to me. It's most obvious to me when I sit down and look down at my belly, which now pokes out and gets rounded when I'm sitting. In some of my clothes you can see a definite bump, but Dave says that nobody could tell it was a pregnancy bump unless they already knew me. So, I made the mistake of asking him if they would just assume I was fat, then. Yes, my mistake. I'll post the photos when Dave gives them to me... in a month or two? hehe, probably sooner.

We are telling more people about the news, good news and bad. This isn't the kind of secret you can keep for long, especially if you are writing everything into a blog for posterity. I told my grandpa today and Dave told his dad about the twin issue. I told my dad about the possibility of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome and he didn't quite understand what it was. To explain better, I said that one baby is sucking from the other, like a vampire. My dad suggested that in the next ultrasound we ask them to look for fangs and vestigial wings. So now you see where I got my sense of humor.

My OB has arranged to see me as soon as possible, which is Tuesday. I have the Nuchal Translucency ultrasound on Wednesday. I sure hope they'll be able to tell me the chorionicity on Wednesday (whether or not the babies share the same placenta). If they are dichorionic (2 placentas) then we don't have to worry about TTTS, but we'd still have to worry about the difference in the amniotic sac sizes.

I met with a genetics counselor at Kaiser last week. I'm so glad I did. She reviewed the blood tests I had already done (not the triple screen but other blood work) as well as my family history. She said we had very little chance of having a child born with a chromosomal abnormality. She said that given our circumstances with the twins that CVS or amniocentesis is not recommended in my case since the twin issues more than doubles our risks of miscarriage from either test, which would make the risk of miscarriage a lot higher than our risks of having a chromosomal abnormality. The problem is, that the triple screen or the AFP blood tests often show a false "screen positive" when there are multiples involved, so we can't rely on any of these tests to have a good idea of what we may be dealing with upon birth. I will try not to let the results panic me - probably easier said than done.

If the babies do have TTTS then if the babies need the laser surgery that can repair the connection to the placenta it can be done at week 16. This is why I'm concerned that they diagnose or rule out the issue right away. We have less than 5 weeks right now to work this out if I need the surgery for optimal timing. Also, the longer the pregnancy goes without knowing whether or not the twins share the placenta, the more difficult it is to tell and we may not know until birth. TTTS can pose extreme risks at birth if the first baby's cord is cut before the 2nd baby's, that is if the surgery is not done. Basically, if one baby dies, or loses connection to the placenta, the other baby gets too much from the placenta and could also die.

If they do have TTTS, we can have therapeutic amniocentesis at any point in the pregnancy, which at that point can give us a better idea of chromosomal abnormalities and diagnose gender (if they are of 2 genders then they are not identical and not monochorionic so they could not have TTTS) as well as help solve the problem of the polyhydramnios and olighydramnios (one baby has too much, the other too little).

It's all very complicated.

In all this research I found some great resources. I e-mailed Dr. Julian De Lia, the doctor who pioneered the laser surgery that helps correct this issue and I told him what has happened so far and asked if he thought TTTS sounded possible. He wrote back asking for my phone number. I gave it to him with hopes he'll call. He's always looking for more cases for his research on this issue since it's very rare. I also wrote to the TTTS Foundation asking for more information. They replied and told me what I can do now to help the babies whether they are with TTTS or not (based on Dr. De Lia's findings) - this should help get better blood flow and nutrients to both babies and hopefully help get Baby B more fluid in his/her sac. I can drink 3 Boost or Ensure drinks a day and I can spend as much time as possible lying on my left side. The drinks are easy, the lying on my left side not so easy. I'm doing as much as I can, though, hoping that they'll tell me in the next ultrasound that Baby B is doing much better.

I feel so much more empowered!!


WaterBishop said...

So much information to digest.

That is very exciting your felt them move!!!

Barb said...

WOW! What a lot of complicated stuff! Congrats to you for being so proactive. :)