Monday, 26 March 2012

Hail Caesar!

Lets talk cravings.  Everybody has heard of the stereotypical pregnant woman scarfing down pickles and ice, that doesn't sound appealing at all to me, but I have had some pretty intense cravings this pregnancy.

Old wives tales will tell you if you're craving "sweet" things, then you'll have a girl, and if you're craving "sour" things then you'll have a boy.  I've never been one to believe in such nonsense, but I can say that if there is any hint of truth in this then I'm most likely to be having a couple of sour little boys!  Don't get me wrong, I've always had and always will have a sweet tooth, but lately I can't get enough sour.  

Earlier in the pregnancy I HAD to make and eat a lemon meringue pie.  Of course I shared with Chris and the kids had a quick taste before they realized they don't really like lemony stuff.  Then, at the grocery store one day I saw limes and had to have something made with limes.  I made key lime bars, and their creamy limey goodness just can't be beat!  (I admit to joyfully sucking the last little drops of lime juice out of the lime halves too.)  Today I HAD to have some Maynards Sour Patch Kids candies!  I texted Chris on his way home from work to pleeeease pick some up for me and their sour goodness totally hits the spot!!!

I have craved some other things though.  During the wonderful (but brief) March heat wave I would have done almost anything for an ice cold beer...but I used common sense and will power and didn't give in.  When I craved a Motts Clamato Caesar Chris gathered the ingredients for me (minus the vodka of course) and I enjoyed a number of virgin Caesar's.  Actually, that's sounding pretty good right about now, maybe after this post I'll finish up the Clamato juice and make a salty, spicy (virgin) Caesar.  Mmmm.  Early on this pregnancy I LOVED Oikos Vanilla Greek Yogurt, ate a few tubs of that.  I also craved Borsht, and made a HUGE pot.  Dill pickles were great for a while, now I'm liking the Yum Yum Sweet pickles.  
Ladies, what did you crave in your pregnancies?  Did the wives tale ring true for you?

Now...for that Caesar....
Pregnant mama Virgin Caesar!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

12 Weeks!!!

Any woman who has been pregnant knows, 12 weeks is a pretty significant milestone to reach, and today I'm there!  I won't be "officially" out of the first trimester until the end of 12 weeks but knowing that I've made it this far is definitely reassuring!

Today was my Nuchal Translucency (NT) ultrasound scan.  I know everyone is waiting to see pictures so I won't make you wait any longer!
 Here is little Baby A!  According to the technician, Baby A was relaxed and she got the measurements easily.  During the NT scan, the fluid at the back of each fetus' neck is measured.  In fetuses with chromosomal abnormalities (like Down Syndrome for example) there is usually an excessive amount of fluid, indicating a possible problem.  The nasal bone is also checked.  In the past few years it's been discovered that 3 out of 4 fetuses with Down Syndrome do not have a nasal bone at 12 weeks gestation, whereas the majority of "normal" fetuses do.
To the right we have Baby B!  Baby B was being a bit of a brat during the this a sign of a future little troublemaker? ;).  The technician needed to get a "profile" picture to measure the nuchal fold and nasal bone but the little one kept wanting to look straight on at the technician, and kept wanting to be the center of attention when she was trying to get Baby A's measurements!  A little attention hog!  Maybe a future superstar! lol.  After having me lay on my side the tech was finally able to get a perfect profile picture, as you can see.  Believe it or not, the twins are actually right next to each other, but it's hard to see by these pictures since they are both taken on either side of the babies.

So my scan was at 11am, and I had an Obstetrician appointment at 1:00pm to go over the results of the exam.  I know in my head that there are plenty of "false positives" with NT scans, but thankfully, it seems we won't have to worry about that because everything came back PERFECT and NORMAL!  The babies are measuring perfectly size wise, and have great heartbeats.  It's such a relief to hear that news after going through the sickness and exhaustion that is the first trimester :).

To be extra sure that all is fine and well I'm also having Integrated Prenatal Screening done, otherwise known as IPS testing.  It's a blood test that tests for Down Syndrome and also for the risks of Spina Bifida.  I'm a firm believer that knowledge is power, and if I can have tests that will help me to be prepared for any problems with my babies I want to know, so although I expect "normal" results, the tests are simple, non invasive and virtually painless, so why not know?  I know some people have differing opinions but I just NEED as much information as I can get.

So there is my update!  I'm pretty excited that my little babies are growing strong and healthy!  I actually got 2 photos of EACH baby, so though they're very similar to the other photos, as a parting gift here are the other 2:

Monday, 19 March 2012

Then Til Now

I thought I'd use this post to bring you all up to date to where we're at now that I'm 11 weeks and 4 days along.

We took a few days to digest the idea of adding two more family members to our menagerie.  We told the kids about TWO babies coming and they thought it was fantastic that they would both have one to hold when they want to!  Such wonderful kids we have! 

Two weeks after that surprising ultrasound I had another one booked, and it was an important one.  You see, the previous ultrasound had shown that there was one gestational sac containing two embryos.  This means that the babies will be "identical", or the medical term is Monozygotic, meaning "from one egg".  This happened when the fertilized ovum split in two, creating two babies that share the same DNA.  There are two types of monozygotic twins, ones that share the same amniotic sac, "monoamniotic",  and those that have a membrane in between the two, giving each their own amniotic sac or "diamniotic".  As one can imagine, monoamniotic twins have a tendency to get their umbilical cords very tangled and knotted, causing one or both babies to possibly not survive because their nutrient supply gets cut off.  Monozygotic/monoamniotic (or Mo/Mo) twins are quite rare, but a very possible reality.  This next ultrasound that was done when I was at 8weeks 3days gestation was to determine whether we were having mo/mo or mo/di twins.  

6 week, 3 day mo/di twins!
Chris was able to come to this ultrasound, and after the technician took the measurements she needed to take, she called Chris in to come take a look.  They looked like 2 little gummy bears!  Ultrasound techs aren't supposed to divulge much information about the results of an ultrasound, so when I commented excitedly that I could see the membrane separating the babies she said "I didn't tell you that!" lol!  But I was THRILLED to see that the risks involved with having identical twins were lowered significantly by knowing my babies would each have their own amniotic sac!

Chris loved being able to be there and see the little gummies, both close to the same size which is good news and both with perfect heartbeats!  

I had my first appointment with my obstetrician at 10 weeks.  It was pretty standard, going over my previous pregnancy/birth/health history.  I wasn't far along enough yet to do any measurements or anything.  We discussed the possibility of needing a cervical cerclage because of some other issues I've had with my cervix, and at 14 weeks I'll have an ultrasound to check how my cervix is holding up.  I opted to have a nuchal translucency scan, which checks for chromosomal abnormalities (Down Syndrome is one example), which means an ultrasound done at 12 weeks (or this Thursday!).  So, I'm hoping that the scan will come out normal, that both the babies will be at around the same size, and that I'll have another little picture of my bubs to show!  The OB also booked an full scan/gender ultrasound for MAY 10th!!!!  I can't wait for that one and find out if I'm having two little girls or two little boys!!!  I'm 11 weeks 4 days today!

Surprise for the Hubby

I went home from the ultrasound appointment where I'd just discovered I was carrying not one, but TWO babies!  I couldn't wait to tell my hubby but I had to think of the best way to tell him.  He couldn't come to the appointment with me because he was a few days out from his appendectomy surgery, so I had the drive home to think about how to tell him.

I got home, and remained emotionless...hard as it was.  I told him to sit down, and solemnly I said "I know we really wanted to have another baby..."  He had a sad look on his face.  Then I said "But..what do you think about having TWO?"  My eyes filled up again, and I couldn't help but smile.  He said "Yeah right, you're full of crap!", but with a smile, not sure if I was serious or not! I assured him I wasn't joking, and soon both of us were laughing and crying again!

Some of his first words were "We need a VAN!" and shortly after "I'll be getting a vasectomy!" lol.  He was thrilled as we both are, but it's still hard to believe we are going to be the parents of FOUR children in a only 6 short months!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Adventure Began With 2 Lines

That picture represents the beginning of our new adventure.  
Hi, I'm Sarah and my husband is Chris.  We've been happily married for 11 years and we have two amazing children, Evelyn is 9 and Nolan is 7. 

Evelyn was the easiest baby in the world.  She was content 99% of the time, slept a lot, and was happy as could be when awake.  Nolan on the other hand, was a handful!  He seemed to like to avoid sleep, only for the purpose of being miserable when he was awake!  My experience with him was the main reason we waited so long to even consider adding to our little brood.  Finally, after 7 years I felt "baby fever" again and we decided to have "just one more".  I was a young mom the first times around, only 21 and 23 when my older kids were I'm 30, more comfortable, more confident, and most of all, more PATIENT.  Sure, I can handle, even enjoy, a little baby now!  Hubby was on board, kids were on board...but none of us were prepared for what was in store...

In mid-January 2012 our adventure began with 2 lines. A positive pregnancy test!  Yes!  In 9 months we'll have the little baby we've been planning for!  Kids couldn't wait and started their requests for a brother or sister!  
Crap hit the fan when Chris wound up needing an emergency appendectomy...the same day I started spotting, and pregnancy symptoms had seemed to completely disappear so I was pretty sure I was losing the pregnancy.  I'll spare the details...but in the end Chris's surgery went very well and I was told I needed to book an ultrasound through my family doctor. 

I lay there during the ultrasound, telling the technician that I was sure I was miscarrying, and that I knew she couldn't say anything but that's ok, and told her about my husband's plight.  She was nice, and she said "I'll turn the screen in a minute to show you"...Uh...why would a technician show me a miscarrying embryo?  Then I thought, well maybe I AM wrong and the baby is ok???!!  
Then she turned the screen.  There I saw one "bubble"(otherwise known as a gestational sac), with NOT one, but TWO yolks and TWO teeny tiny fetal poles!!!!!!!  My brain couldn't make sense of it at first, and I must have given her the strangest look because she said "that's right, it's twins...identical twins actually".  She gave me the biggest smile and she even started tearing up..I don't know how she kept such a straight face through the exam!

I started laughing, my eyes filling with tears!  How could this be?  I was SO sure I was miscarrying!  Twins! What?  Chris is going to FREAK! We need a van!  Where will they sleep?!  These were the thoughts going through my head as I had a minor meltdown in the ultrasound room.  She must have thought I was a lunatic! 

So, now you all know why we're seeing double.  I'm currently 11 weeks and 3 days along.  Still early in the race, but so far things are looking good.  In my next post I will tell you all about my husbands response to the news!