Monday, April 27, 2009

Sonogram Photos and Results

I haven't had the chance to post any of our ultrasound pics, so I sat down over the weekend and scanned them all (so far) to put up.  We have a quick ultrasound every time we see any doctor, and from here on out, we'll go over to St. Joes for a more in depth, and much longer, ultrasound where they check all the plumbing and the growth every 4 weeks.

Here's our first one from our 9 week appt.  Congratulations!  It's two blobs!  (Me: You're kidding me!)
Here's from our 13 week appointment.  This is one of the babies straight on. 
(I know, I don't see it either).
The babies were laying with their heads next to each other 
and their bodies laying on either side.
Here are the latest pictures from April 16th, 20 weeks 5 days.  This was the first of the long ultrasounds that we will now have every 4 weeks.
Here's baby A's profile of his head (see his cute little nose) and part of his torso.

He's definitely a boy!  Those are his legs on either side and his 
"manhood" in the middle, right under the word BOY.

This is his brother, Baby B, from the side profile as well.  This one's from a little further out. You can see his head, body and part of his leg.

Definitely another boy! His "manhood" is just above and 
to the left of the word TWIN in the picture.
Both boys look GREAT!  They were already a pound each, Baby A was 15 ounces and Baby B was 16 ounces.  That's great news because the doctors would be worried if one was much bigger than the other.  That could be a sign on Twin-to-Twin Transfusion, where one baby is getting more blood and nutrients than the other.  The technician agrees with the doctor that they might be identical, but she couldn't tell whether the placenta was one long one with two umbilical cords or if they each had their own that met in the middle.  I guess we won't know for sure until they're born and they can study everything.

Also, all of their organs look good; hearts, livers, kidneys, bladders, upper lips, etc.

Another part of the exam was to check my cervix which apparently the shortening thereof can be a major problem and cause premature labor in multiple pregnancies.  I'd like to report that mine apparently was "the best of the day."  Way to go me!  No worries of premature labor yet!

When we left, Scott said to the technician 
"Ok, so I'm just throwing this out there, but it sounds like things are going pretty much as well as they can, right?"  

To which the technician said,
"The only thing that could make this better is... (I held my breath) 
if one was a girl!"

We'll take that for our only complication!  Let's hope that's the worst problem we have!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Big Brother Update

When people ask him "What's in mommy's tummy?" Seth holds up four fingers and says "TWO babies!"  Also, when asked "Who's going to be a big brother?" he emphatically claims "SETH!" I'm sure he doesn't really understand yet, but I think he's starting to get the idea. 

Last weekend, he wanted me to get down on the floor to play "tracks" with him. When I explained it was too hard for mommy to get up and down off the floor right now, he did the next best thing and brought the tracks to me!  Always resourceful!

Half-way there!

Friday marked the half-way point, 20 weeks.  About half of all twin sets are born early, but the longer they "cook" the better, so we are aiming to be part of the other half, so, 20 weeks to go...

Part of me thinks "Wow, we're already half-way there!" then, I look at my huge belly and feel my back pain and think "Wow, we're only half-way there!"

Here's a photo of 19 weeks 5 days, I swear I've grown 2 inches in the last few days since this photo was taken:

In other news, I can really feel the babies moving now.  I've been able to feel flutters for the past several weeks, but now they're really kicking and I can definitely tell them apart.  Baby A is very low, so I can feel him several inches below my belly button and Baby B is on top, so he's just below my ribcage and very busy.  Scott actually felt Baby B kicking yesterday during the loud music at church, so they are obviously a lot stronger now.  It's been fun getting to know them individually.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Identical vs. Fraternal?

A lot of people have asked how we know that our twin boys are identical.  The short answer is that we don't know for sure, and probably won't until they're born.  But, that being said, the Dr. is pretty convinced that they're identical.  Here's the long answer:

The "amniotic sac" that everyone refers to is actually made up of two layers.  There is an outer layer called the Chorion and an inner layer called the Amnio layer.

Most twins, be they identical or fraternal, will have their own Amnio layer or membrane.

Fraternal twins will have their own outer, Chorion layer as well because they developed from two separate eggs.

Identical twins could be in their own Chorion layers too, if the egg split very early on.

But, most often, identicals split a little later and share that Chorion layer while they still develop their own inner Amnio layer.  Our Dr. explained it as they are sharing an apartment, but still have their own bedrooms.

Occasionally, identical twins who split much later, end up sharing both the Chorion AND the Amnio layer.  This isn't ideal and can lead to complications such as conjoined twins.  

So, our Dr. thinks the boys are identical because the membranes separating them are so thin that she struggles to see it on the ultrasound.  This means that they have their own Amnio layer, but probably share a Chorion layer.  If they each had both, the membrane would be thicker and easier to see on the monitor. So, for all you med. students out there, our twins are probably Diamnionic Monochorionic (two Amnios, one Chorion).  

Hope this clears up confusion and doesn't add to it!!