We had the Nuchal Translucency ultrasound today. We went to Obstetrix Medical Group for it, since Kaiser doesn't have the technology in-house to do this high-end ultrasound. The ultrasound was still covered by my insurance.
We had a list of questions we wanted answered and the doctor there didn't seem to feel the need to discuss those issues. He was most interested in the main purpose of the ultrasound, which was to assess the chances of the babies having a chromosomal abnormality. I have to say that while that was a concern of ours, it was among the least of our concerns at the time.
The ultrasound technician said he believes that the babies are dichorionic and diamniotic based on the membrane thickness between the babies' amniotic sacs. The doctor confirmed that and said they are 80-90% sure that the babies are di-di (dichorionic/diamniotic). That is a relief! I wish they were 100% sure, but we'll try to get that assurance in future appointments. If they are dichorionic, that means that they cannot have Twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). They can still be identical, but finding out if they are identical or fraternal becomes more difficult to determine (I guess it depends on how they look as they are growing up, or to be sure it would require DNA testing). Identical or fraternal - not important as long as they don't have TTTS.
The TTTS scare was still beneficial. We all learned so much due to this. The biggest benefit to come from that scare was the advice I received from Dr. De Lia and from the TTTS Foundation. As it turns out, the severe cramping I was experiencing, along with some other issues and concerns I had, were somewhat caused by malnutrition and dehydration. Dr. De Lia and Mary at the TTTS Foundation recommended that I drink 3-4 Boost or Ensure High Protein drinks per day. I started doing this a little over a week ago and I'm feeling so much better! Further, Dr. De Lia recommended that I do some bed rest on my left side. While it was difficult to do full bed rest, I got my stuff done in the mornings and spent the rest of the day lying on my left side as much as possible. I also got a pregnancy wedge pillow - the kind with 2 wedges, one for the tummy and one for the back to keep me from rolling on to my back. This helped me stay on my left side when I slept.
After trying this therapy for a few days I already felt much better and was having a lot less difficulty processing my fluids. Until doing this I was retaining water way too much! The biggest benefit of this therapy is that the amniotic sac differences are evening out! The ultrasound report said that the amniotic sacs were "normal" size. I wish they could have given me measurements, though.
Both babies are anterior positioned - in my back. I guess this explains why I started getting backaches a few weeks ago. Happy to know the reason and happy to have them. :)
Both babies measure at 12w2d even though LMP they are 11w5d.
This kind of screening (First Trimester Screening) tends to get elevated results when twins are involved. Even so, our results are excellent. Before screening, just based on age, the chance either baby would have Down Syndrome is 1 in 163. After screening, the chances of either baby having Down Syndrome is 1 in 1,793. Before screening based on my age the chances of either baby having Trisomy 13/18 is 1 in 290. After screening the chances are 1 in 5,781. These results are comparable to 20-year-old women. Woohooo! Let's hear it for my old eggs.
So, in summary, the babies are probably not monochorionic, which means TTTS is not likely. It's still possible, but we are a lot less worried. The amniotic sacs are balancing out so I'll continue to do the drinks and the rest at least until week 14, which is when we were told is a pretty safe spot for the twin issue. We probably don't have to worry about chromosomal abnormalities. We still have to push for some answers from Kaiser, and perhaps see about being seen by a high-risk OB, but so far, at least for today, all is well.