Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Twin journey

As I promised earlier, I wanted to give some background and more of the full story for those of you who have been asking lots of questions! So.... here goes...hopefully I'll answer all of your questions!

The journey began on Valentine's Day when we found out we were pregnant. We were very excited, yet guarded since I had miscarried before getting pregnant with Kaden. I went through the rest of that day like a zombie- not sure how to feel about the news. I was queasy at night during our couple's cooking class, which I was hoping was a good sign. I called my doctor that day and they wanted me to go for bloodwork every 48 hours for the next week to check my HCG levels (protocol for people who have miscarried before). My HCG levels continued to rise, but at a very normal rate (not to the extreme like can often happen with twins).

The following week morning sickness sets in at full blast. It was like someone just turned on a switch. I was fine one day and NOT so fine the next. I'll spare you the details, but weeks 5-10 were not pleasant. Nausea, extreme fatigue, unable to keep up with life somedays, not knowing what to eat, not able to keep food down, eating in bed before I lifted my head off the pillow, etc.

On Thursday, Feb. 24 we had an early ultrasound, protocol for people who have miscarried before. Of course we were nervous, but also felt thankful we could have an ultrasound so early. Waiting and watching the technician do the ultrasound can feel like some of the longest minutes of your life. I finally asked, "does everything look okay?" She turned the screen towards us and said, "here is a baby, with a heart tone." What a relief! I asked (jokingly of course), "that's the only one, right?" She said, "Well, I'm not sure, I'm not done checking." She proceeded to show us another sac in my uterus. Um.... HOLD ON a second. She saw another sac. She said at that point she couldn't find anything in the sac and it was too early to declare it as a twin, but also too early to diagnose it as a vanishing twin. She recommended another ultrasound in 5-10 days to firm up everything. Andy and I left the appointment in shock, sharing this news with no one but ourselves. Seriously?!? TWINS?!? Wow. I have twins in my distant family, but I didn't ever think it would happen to me. At that point I was convinced that it was a vanishing twin and Andy was convinced we were having twins.

The following week (a week before I was supposed to have my scheduled ultrasound), I had a few complications and my dr. wanted to do another ultrasound to see if things were okay. Unfortunately, because it was so last minute, Andy wasn't able to make it to this appointment (I bet he'll never go into a meeting without his cell phone again!! :). As I again waited very anxiously for a few VERY long minutes, the technician turned the screen and said, "well.... this is Baby A with a heartbeat and this is Baby B with a heartbeat." I'm shaking at this point. I make her show me again, because I'm in denial. I say a quick prayer and thank God for those TWO surprising heartbeats. Wow. I wait as they call my doctor, and they change my due date again (still measuring a bit small, so now they put me at barely 7 weeks pregnant, officially due on Oct. 22). I walk back to my car, shaking, and call Andy to tell him the news. We're stunned. We're still very guarded, we think about the practical things like how we'll afford twins, where we'll put two cribs, and knowing that I won't be able to work at all in the fall. Lots of stuff going on in our mind, mostly excitement, though.

We had a scare after that where the Dr's originally thought we were having mono mono twins- both babies sharing the same placenta and sac, which is a very serious and rare twin pregnancy, with not so good odds of success. With thanks to God, a couple of weeks later they found a membrane separating the twins, meaning that their cords cannot tangle and affect their growth in serious ways. They are still sharing the same placenta, which means that one egg split into two and we will be having identical twins. Identical twins are not actually hereditary, so having slight twin representation in my family doesn't matter apparently.

Once all of the unknowns and scares of the pregnancy seemed a bit more stable, we decided we would tell our family during my spring break in Florida. We told our family and everyone was VERY excited. At first when we share the news, people aren't very surprised about the fact that I'm pregnant again, but when you drop the twin news, they're shocked. Our favorite part of these past few weeks has been seeing people's reactions. It's great! :)

So... long story short, we've been taking one week at a time. We are entering the second trimester this week, and are SO thankful that we've made it out of the scariest of the trimesters. We know that we have QUITE a journey ahead of ourselves with a lot of unknowns regarding normal twin pregnancies, but we're up for the journey. We're starting to actually believe that this is real and that we'll have 2 more blessings in our family in September or October, depending on how the pregnancy goes towards the end. We bought a minivan already (another post on this soon), and I'm gearing myself up for garage sale shopping, which has begun in full force this week. Kaden is starting to realize that he is going to be a big brother. We told him that mommy has 2 babies in her tummy, and he asked if I ate them. Usually we ask him what's in his tummy after he eats, so I believe he thinks I ate 2 babies. He must think his mom is incredibly weird. Kaden eats chicken nuggets and string cheese and mommy eats babies?!!? :) Physically I'm feeling 101 times better, mostly in the past week. The nausea has subsided, my energy is still not what it used to be (but better), I'm still hungry ALL of the time, and I don't feel like I'm going to be sick everytime I smell something out of the ordinary.... although I still gag when I brush my teeth and take my vitamins. Oh, speaking of vitamins- WOW. Twin pregnancies are way more demanding. It's amazing what vitamins and the amount of protein I need to get into my body to feel these twinners. Wow!

We are overwhelmed with thankfulness at this point. Today we got to see our beautiful blessings again (pictures below), and thank God for the opportunity to raise 2 more children. We couldn't have gotten through these past weeks without prayer and the strength that only God gives, and are so thankful we know that God has chosen us to bring these blessings into the world. Pretty overwhelming when you think about it.

I'm sure there are lots more questions I haven't answered, but I think this is enough for one post.

Now for the babes.... (I'm DYING to know what they are... I can't wait until we find out in May!!)

Isn't it amazing how much detail you can see at only 13 weeks?!?

The 3D image kind of weirds me out, but it's still pretty cool.

Adorable. And yes, they are literally on top of each other with only a thin membrane separating them. When Baby A moved today, Baby B bounced up like he/she was on a trampoline. It was hilarious. They were moving like crazy!!!

I could look at these babes all day.


thesloothaaks said...

So exciting, Jen! Congratulations!

Angela said...

Wow. Jen and Andy. How exciting and scary. THanks for sharing!!!! We will pray for you in the weeks, and months to come as God prepares you for the arrival of two babies. Congrats! So glad you are feeling a bit better!
Blessings...Greg & Ang

imagine.create.share. said...

Congratulations to all of you! Sometimes it is almost impossible to wrap your mind around the miracle of a baby, and you have this times two! I will be praying for you and your little ones every morning.
Blessings, Mrs. D