Monday, March 15, 2010

The Twinless Twin: An 11 Week Journey

Oops, we did it again!: January 24th, 2010

Well, not exactly oops.  As evidenced by another BBT chart, targeting the moment this pregnancy began:

The month started out rocky, as I was fighting yet another illness and on too many antibiotics, but as my temps evened out, evidence supported that we were successful again!  Unlike my pregnancy with Ben, I had a sneaking suspicion that we'd conceived way before tests would indicate a positive.  I had strange symptoms including ridiculous mood swings and intense cravings for sweets.  The night before I tested, I got a charley horse in my calf while stretching and have only experienced such horror during 3rd trimester of pregnancy.  Even though I was still days away from being able to test accurately, I just had an inkling... and an unused test in my cabinet.  My compulsion to pee on a stick got the best of me and the rest is history!

The interesting part of the story is how dark the test's positive line was just days after ovulation.  We joked that the only logical reason for this was because it was twins.  Not so funny two weeks later when the scan showed two sacs on the screen!  Only another countdown was set to begin.  The week long countdown to the next ultrasound because neither sac revealed a baby inside.  At 6 weeks gestation, you would expect to see a little something in there, but we saw nothing.  So we waited.  And stressed.  And considered the possibilities.  Twins?  One baby?  No babies?  It was brutal.  Also brutal was the morning sickness and fatigue that had set in.  My body was playing a cruel joke on me by acting ridiculously pregnant, but we had no confirmation that it was viable.  Until the next ultrasound.

7 weeks:

The first shot is a closeup of our little bean and its yolk sac, heart beating away and looking healthy as ever.  The next shot reveals an empty sac to the left, where a baby was supposed to grow, but never did.  The doctor told us that we had implanted twins, but only one was developing.  She ordered us to come back the following week to look again, to see if perhaps the baby was just too small and we'd missed it this time around.  We were elated that there were signs of life inside, but still nervous about what to expect with the second sac.  We'd confirmed that there is at least one baby to be excited about, and breathed a tiny sigh of relief.

8 weeks:

A terrible photo, but more confirmation that our little survivor continued to grow and get stronger, while the other remained empty.  The first two shots show the sacs side by side, with signs of life in the one on the right.  The bottom shot shows Little Bean all comfy, looking more like a chicken nugget than a baby, but heart beating as healthy as ever.  At this point, the doctor suggested the diagnosis "vanishing twin", which is quite common in early pregnancy, and nothing to be too concerned about.  She ordered us back in two more weeks to monitor the growth of Little Bean, and the disappearance of the baby that never was.

10 weeks:

Hi family!  This is our Little Bean, measuring 10 weeks, 6 days, hanging out sort of sideways with a waving hand and little feet pointing down.  Finally taking the shape of a human, our little baby is growing according to schedule and was wiggling around and bouncing off of walls in true Turner Fetus fashion.  Everything looked great on that side, but the other side revealed that same empty sac, growing along side our baby's, with a full blood supply and placenta to boot:

Medical marvels, yet again!  The doctor told me to take it easy and to come back every two weeks to monitor through ultrasound.  The empty sac poses somewhat of a threat because it is not normal for it to continue to develop if nothing is inside.  With a vanishing twin, the empty sac reabsorbs as if it were never there, and the pregnancy continues with no extra risk.  Our situation is slightly different but the good news is, our little baby is completely unaffected right now, and is happy as could be.  And as happy as the baby is, I am equally as sick.  Luckily, this is a good sign of progression.  At least that is what I tell myself when I feel like I'm on a rowboat in the middle of the Atlantic during a hurricane.  I have also been very, very tired week after week, and really look forward to the end of the first trimester, when they say these symptoms clear up and it gets easier.  I do not have memories of feeling either nausea or fatigue with Ben to the degree that I am experiencing them.  I may have been too excited to care, or have already forgotten the details as second time mamas tend to do.  Ben has been a perfect angel through the experience though, and has gone out of his way to be a nice boy and take extra long naps when I need him to.  He couldn't be making this any easier on me if he tried.

I am officially 11 weeks along tomorrow.  Our estimated due date is October 5th, which puts our kids about 23 months apart.  So far, I've only gained a couple pounds and am still rocking my pre-pregnancy jeans, although that is getting harder and harder every day.  I will likely have to dust off the Bella Bands in the next couple of weeks in order to squeeze some more time out of them, but this is OK.  The longer I can put off huge maternity jeans with elastic waistbands, the better - they are NOT fashion statements by any means.  Although neither is walking around with unbuttoned pants.  In any event, we are so excited to be expecting again, and to be in the midst of another 40 week countdown!  So far, this pregnancy has proven to be quite interesting and fit for a medical journal, but we don't mind, as long as our Little Bean stays healthy and happy in there. 

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