Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Whose side has the twins?!

I'm sure that I'll get this question for the rest of my life, but it is already getting old.
"Whose side has the twins?"
There are a number of irritating things about this question.
As you all obviously know, these twins were conceived with assistance. Do I really care to share that with anyone and everyone who asks that question? No, not really.
I could answer that they run on my side because that is technically correct. My mother has a set of twin aunts, and twin cousins. But these babies are not naturally occurring twins.
The irritating thing about this question is that people don't understand how and why twins occur in the first place, and if they did they wouldn't ask the question.
Naturally occurring twins run on the mother's side, the father has absolutely nothing to do with it.
Fraternal twins are hereditary. Identical twins are a fluke, a mysterious anomaly.
Fraternal twins happen when two separate eggs are released and fertilized by two separate sperm. They are two sibling who are simply womb-mates.
Identicals occur when a one fertilized egg splits into two embryos. They share the exact same DNA and therefore they look alike and are the same sex.(Strangely there are people who ask if boy/girl twins are identical)
We are 99.9% sure that these boys are fraternal. First, because we put two embryos back. Second, because they were 5 day old embryos and they both have their own amniotic sac and placenta.
Identicals can share a sac and a placenta, or they can share a sac and have their own placentas or they can each have their own sac and placentas. It all depends on how old the embryo was when it split. If they were identical twins with their own sac and placenta then the split would have had to occur on day 3, and these boys were still hanging out in the petri dish during that time.
Enough with Biology 101, back to the initial question.
So, in most instances I will respond with a "We had some help getting pregnant."
The usual response is "Oh... IVF?"
I'm a pretty open person, so I'll answer "Yes."
The stupid response I hear time and time again "We'll at least it's not ____ (insert ridicilous number here, usually 4, 6 or 8)!! Then it's some comment about Jon & Kate or Octomom.
Ugh. I would really love to set people straight on this misconception.
"Octomom" is a rarity. IVF pregnancies don't lead to high order multiples. She is a rare example.
Jon & Kate didn't do IVF, neither did the family with septuplets in Iowa from many years back. They used fertility drugs, but not IVF.
IVF allows you to choose the number of embryos you put back. Most fertility drugs just give you extra eggs to release, for a greater number of "targets" for the sperm.

Enough of the preaching from my soap box. I was just slightly irritated during my O/B appointment today when the nurse taking my blood pressure asked me the question and then proceeded to make the annoying comment.
I figured that someone in the medical field, especially one who works with pregnant women would know how reproduction and assisted reproduction works!

Nothing to report from the appointment. The boys heart rates are still great, as well as my blood pressure. No signs of preterm labor yet. Today's fundal height measurement.... 34 weeks!! Yep. I'm big already, but according to my doctor I carry it very well :-)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Picture Time

A little old... 22 weeks and measuring 31

Bad Blogger

Almost three weeks have passed and I did not even post once.
Shame on me.
I can't say that I've been too busy.
Mostly just working, and when I am not doing that I am resting, reading and attempting to get prepared for the birth of our monkeys.
They really do feel like little monkeys in my belly.
I have a feeling that any woman pregnant with multiples would agree, it's a little freaky having your belly jumping around and moving in four places at once.
I had an appointment a few weeks back. This one included another ultrasound.
The boys are looking so amazing. Their faces are getting more and more cute. Baby B was sucking on his toes when we did a close up shot of his profile.
As of now they are on opposite ends of my womb.
Baby A is very far down with his head resting right on my cervix and his body wrapping up my left side.
Baby B is transverse stretching all across the top of my belly with his head jammed nicely under the ribs on my right.
They were both measuring big. Baby B about one half a week ahead, and Baby A a full week ahead.
Fabulous news for us!!
I met with my OB who told us because of the babies sizes, approximately 24 wks and 24 1/2 wks at the time, that they were considered viable.
I was so beyond happy to hear that.
Getting to 12 weeks didn't ease my anxiety. Hitting viability and 24 weeks has absolutely allowed me to breathe a lot easier.
I started having my manual cervical checks, and as of two weeks ago everything looked good. There are no signs of pre-term cervical changes, and my blood pressure is excellent.
My doctor measured my belly and at 23 weeks I am measuring 32 weeks. That is right about where I am expected to be. They estimate that by 30 weeks I'll measure in both belly size and baby weight to be 40 weeks. Yikes! That is not that far away.