Archives for the month of: May, 2013

I hit the 6-months pregnant mark on Monday. My belly is filled with 2 24-week babies that squirm and kick and punch like crazy. I’m in love with being pregnant.

I think I’m good at being pregnant, too. Despite some drama, things have been pretty smooth sailing over here in pregnancy land…

Except for one thing:

I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that in a little more than 3 months time, this lump of mine that I adore so much is going to transform into two babies.

How does this...

How does this…

...turn into this? (Please let them be this cute!)

…turn into this? (Please let them be this cute!)

Belle wrote a great post about this recently, and I’m certainly not saying anything new here. It was really comforting to read another person’s story that sounded so much like my own. I’m chalking this up to my finely tuned defense mechanisms that I built pretty solidly for the 2 years of misery we experienced while trying for babies. Now the time has actually come, and I’m not sure how to let myself really settle into all of this. I rub my belly all the time, I watch it move around, but there’s still something missing there where I can’t connect those things with the living beings that are inside. I thought once I felt them kick, that would be it, I would make the connection, but it didn’t happen. I’m still in total denial of what comes after this.

My cat knows something is up, even if I don’t. If I’m sitting down, she no longer sits on my stomach, but sits on my boobs that create a little shelf for her. It’s the most awkward thing to watch. She kind of hates it, but wants to be close, I keep shoving her butt out of my face, but I want her close…It’s hard on us both. Our dining room is turning into Baby Supply Central, and she pretty much avoids everything baby-related at all costs. This cat is terrified of children, and I think she knows that her peaceful days are numbered. Sorry, sweet puss. Apparently this massive belly is housing two tiny terrorizers.

So back to my initial reason for posting: what do I do about this? How can I start allowing myself to feel more connected to what’s happening inside me? I don’t want to miss out on what could very possibly be my only pregnancy.

-Large and In Charge Family Van.

Pardon the pun. It’s my coping mechanism currently.

I went for the high resolution ultrasound today, fully expecting them to find the bright bowel was a mere blip from old, crappy machinery.

No such luck.

Bright bowel is still there, and after an incredibly thorough ultrasound, the perninatologist went over the results with me. He said the brightness was visible through the whole bowel, though still sounded confident that it was very likely nothing. He went over my options, and sent me for blood work to be tested for infections and cystic fibrosis. If my CF test comes back negative, that’s the end of that story. If I come back as a carrier of a CF strand, J will then need a blood test to see if he’s a carrier, too. I guess it’s only if both parents are carriers of a CF strand that there’s a chance the baby will be born with it. The doctor says the chances are like 1% of cases–he’s only seen one birth with echogenic bowel that resulted in cystic fibrosis. He said the chances of infection are really low, as well, as he saw no other symptoms of infection in the ultrasound.

So that brings us to the big one: Downs Syndrome. As I mentioned yesterday, echogenic¬† bowel is a soft marker for DS. The doctor talked about the options that were open to us if we wanted to continue testing (amnio), though said this is really only a recommendation when the chances are greater than a 1 in 200 chance (greater than? less than? I hope you know what I mean). We’re just above that. As a result of our blood work and our NT scan, Baby B had about a 1 in 1600 chance of having DS. Echogenic bowel increases your odds 6 fold, so we’re sitting at about a 1 in 250 chance (the doctor did the math–I trust his more than my own). He said the risks connected to the amnio are nearly on par with the actual chances of finding Downs, and frankly, I’m not prepared to do an amnio at this point. And really…what are we going to do about it at this point?

The doctor kept repeating that he saw no other markers for Downs, and that both babies are growing really well. That was comforting.

Then came the news about Baby B’s kidney situation. Neither him nor his ultrasound tech could find Baby B’s left kidney, leading them to believe that this kid will likely be born with 1 kidney only. Not the end of the world, he explained, but I felt like a frigging truck hit me over.

There is still a chance that they’ll find the kidney at another scan, but they couldn’t see anything this time, nor could they see any blood vessels going to it. Again, the doctor didn’t seem concerned and said there are no real health issues related to people born with 1 kidney. It’s very common, blah blah blah.

All I could think about, though, was SERIOUSLY? Haven’t we been through enough? It’s like this whole stupid roller coaster never ends. As soon as I start to feel comfortable and settle into this pregnancy, I’m bowling-balled with shitty news. I’m feeling pretty sorry for myself today, and am just hoping against hope that we go for a future ultrasound and everything is magically okay. I appreciate the fact that the doctor was so positive about everything, but I just want two perfectly healthy babies. A lot to ask, I guess.

Ugh. This parenthood thing is hard, and these babies aren’t even born yet.

-Wishing things were easier Family Van.

We had another OB/GYN appointment today, which I was anxiously awaiting for after our growth ultrasound two weeks ago. I had it done at the same lab that did our anatomy scan, with the same tech, so I was pretty comfortable with the routine. The tech was great both times, though this most recent one was a little harrowing.

Everything seemed to be chugging along as usual–I wasn’t nearly as anxious as I was for the anatomy scan. We knew everything was there and was okay. As far as I was concerned, this ultrasound was just to make sure both babies were “sharing nicely”, as my OB/GYN always says. Sometimes twins can be resource hogs, I guess, and one takes all the good stuff away from the other. From all I’ve read, that’s more common with identical twins, as they share more stuff in utero, but anyway…

So she was scanning my belly and using an unusually large amount of jelly on my belly (it rhymes!), but this happened last time, too. I was digging that stuff out of crevices for hours. I’m pretty sure when my belly button finally pops out, so will all kinds of dried up ultrasound goo. Delicious. Anyway, she started with Baby A, as per usual, with nothing too exciting to report. Baby B’s scan seemed fine, until the end. She said she needed to go show something to the doctor on staff.

Um…what? Can you fill me in here, lady?

She asked me to de-pants myself while she was gone so she could measure my cervix, so I was lying there, pants-less and afraid, but trying not to spazz. She said nothing when she came back, and proceeded with the dildo cam. I felt so used. So cold. So sticky from all that ultrasound jelly.

She sent me off with more pictures, including two updated 3D pictures of the babies’ faces, but again, Baby B looked like a Melty Face. Baby A is getting cuter and cuter, which makes me hope even more they’re not the same gender.

So let’s skip ahead past the 2 weeks of imagining the worst and waiting for a phone call from my doctor telling me some awful news. When none arrived, I figured nothing was actually wrong with the scan, so I could relax.

Wrong. Well, sort of.

My doctor told me today that Baby B showed a spot of “bright bowel” on the ultrasound, or echogenic bowel syndrome, if you want to be fancy about it. He said he sees it all the time, it’s super common, and he’s not concerned. I wish I could say the same. He said possibilities for causes could be that the baby drank blood (am I housing two tiny vampires?), has an infection, or it was a crappy ultrasound machine. Echogenic bowel syndrome is also a “soft marker” for chromosomal defects, I was told, though the doctor feels that with the great results we got from the NT scan and blood work, the chances of something like this are tiny, tiny, tiny.

Still there, though, so…freaking out a little.

Tomorrow morning I’ll go for a high resolution ultrasound with a perinatologist at the hospital. The good news: I’ll get results right away from the doctor conducting the ultrasound. J asked about whether we should be worried about Baby B’s melty face. Our doctor suggested I ask the doctor tomorrow for a better picture, but assured us he’s never delivered a baby “with no face”.


So bottom line is this: dull bowels are happy bowels. Fingers crossed for the dullest bowels ever tomorrow, for everyone concerned.

Baby B Baby A

-Fingers crossed Family Van.