When I was a kid, my friends and I (including relatives) used to play a silly game called "Good News/Bad News." It didn't have much point other than to expand the imagination. Essentially, you would tell your friend something like, "My uncle was driving the the store the other day and got into an accident!" The friend would say, "Oh no! What happened?" So you would say, well, the good news is that he's okay but there is bad news..." and the friend would say "and what's the bad news?" You'd say, "the car was totalled, but there is good news!" Your friend would play along, "what's the good news?" "He was able to still get some money for it selling it for scrap. But there is some bad news..." "What's the bad news?" "Well, when he sold it for scrap they found a dead body in the trunk. But there is good news!"
You can see where I'm going with this.
I feel like I'm in the middle of one of those stories. It all started with the IVF cycle when I was told I had no response to the medication... but the good news was that I had some antral follicles that might catch up, the bad news was that they wanted to cancel a monitoring appointment, then the good news was I had 7 follicles, shortly followed by the bad news that my blood work showed I ovulated early and the IVF was canceled, followed by good news that it was a lab error and the IVF was back on, and so on and so forth, until I got pregnant, then I lost a twin, then the twin was found again...
So as of yesterday the good news is that we still have twins! The bad news is that Baby B (we call them Baby A and Baby B for now - Dave won't let me call them Flotsam and Jetsam just yet, hehe) is still in a very small amniotic sac and the prognosis doesn't look too hopeful. I'm still hopeful, though.
After the ultrasound Dr. E suggested that we shouldn't tell anyone about the twins just yet. While it's difficult to discuss, we don't mind telling people, as long as they understand that the situation is very fragile. In fact, I'm happy for people to know because at least by their knowing, they can send us positive thoughts, offer support, and if they pray then they can pray for our situation. Prayers are always welcome and I truly believe they help!
However, I ask all of you that I know in real life to please not mention this to others we know in real life, but if you do, please mention the truth that this is not certain and that only time will tell. Dave and I are pretty open about the situation if we are asked, but it is difficult for us when someone asks us "so, how many are you having? Are you having twins?" or other similar questions as they look at us with a big optimistic smile. It's also difficult for us to talk about twins as if that will be the end result of this pregnancy. Mainly this is an issue we prefer to tell people ourselves, rather than have it passed along.
Dr. E left the room for a little while to make a phone call to the OB department at my HMO to tell them she wanted me monitored more closely. Dave wondered what was taking so long and I told him that I think I just got upgraded to high risk. When Dr. E came back, she said she suspected the possibility that the babies have Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. I had actually heard of this before, but only because I watched a cheesy Lifetime movie a few weeks ago where a woman lost a baby to this. The movie was in error, though, because this woman's twins were fraternal (boy/girl - sort of obvious) and apparently Twin-Twin Transfusion (TTTS) only occurs in identical twins.
Now this is only speculation so far but it looks like a definite possibility. I have many symptoms of it already and this would explain the cramping. If this is the case, it's a frightening prospect, especially since it's happening so early in the pregnancy. We still have a lot of hope that the amniotic sacs will balance themselves out and give Baby B more room so he/she can swim around happily like Baby A. Baby A was sure putting on an acrobatic show for us yesterday in the ultrasound.
Now for the waiting game. The next appointment is the Nuchal Translucency ultrasound, which I booked weeks ago just in case I needed it. This ultrasound is mainly to determine risk factors for having Down Syndrome and since Dave and I would not terminate the pregnancy for anything, we were considering not having the testing done. We have no interest in doing a risky invasive procedure like CVS or amniocentesis so we were considering not getting the screening done, since all it could do is give us more reasons to worry over the next 6 months. As it turns out, this ultrasound is now going to be a crucial step in determining whether or not Baby A has too much amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios) and if Baby B truly has too little (oligohydramnios). Hopefully, they may also be able to tell us whether or not the babies are identical twins sharing the same placenta. I wonder if they will have a difficult time sharing when they are toddlers.
Dr. E told us that they will monitor the situation carefully through ultrasound and if necessary, they may perform therapeutic amniocentesis - so there we go probably getting the amnio we also didn't want, but now it's looking like it may also be crucial. What they may be able to do is to remove some amniotic fluid from Baby A and give it to Baby B.
As a sign of my hope, I continue to have the twin ticker here and on my myspace page. I will continue to refer to them as "the babies" and "the twins" when discussing the pregnancy. Other than that, it's tough to get all excited and talk about actually having twins as in giving birth to twins just yet. What will be will be and we are in the middle of one big "Good News/Bad News" waiting game.