Thursday, June 30, 2011

We're Excited!

The visit to the perinatologist was quite informative. As soon as we arrived, I was taken back for an ultrasound. The babies were active, and I couldn't help but notice the absence of two placentas and then the noticeable presence of the gender. I looked at the ultrasound tech and said: "There's only one placenta, huh?" and "They're boys, right?" In response to the first question, she told me I would have to wait for the doctor (which always means "yes" if the news is less than favorable). To the second question, she said: "It's a little soon to tell" (which means, "most likely, but I don't want to say").

Dr. Schemmer came in a few minutes later and did an ultrasound himself. He confirmed the twins are sharing a placenta, but have two separate membranes. He also saw the undeniable evidence that we are have two BOYS! I'm only 13 1/2 weeks along, so finding out the gender today was a shock! Nathan and I both felt pretty strongly that we were having girls, so boys were a surprise. Nathan said he was ecstatic, and I was definitely excited :) How could I be anything other than happy!?

The boys are measuring almost exactly the same size and have the same heart rate. They are right on track for their gestational age as well. All good news! Because they are sharing a placenta, there is a 100% chance they are identical :)

Baby A
 Baby B
This was followed by 15 minutes of serious news. I don't want to call it necessarily bad news, but it was worrisome to hear. First off, sharing a placenta is "not ideal" in the words of our doctor. This means they are sharing nutrients and the possibility of twin-to-twin-transfusion syndrome exist. With TTFS, the twins become connected via blood vessels and begin to share blood. One twins begins to have too much blood, while the other twin obviously doesn't have enough.

File:Twin to Twin transfusion syndrome.svg
Because of this risk, I will have to be monitored weekly and receive ultrasounds to make sure this is not occurring.  Dr. Schemmer told us the worse case scenario (which was depressing and obviously included death) and then told us about modern day treatments, like fetoscopic laser ablation. Using lasers, doctors separate the connecting blood vessels and prevents further TTFS. Only a few hospitals in the world have doctors who know how to perform this surgery and Tri-Cities, Washington (where we are moving) is one of them!

After discussing the health of the babies, the doctor then moved on to my health. I am still sick, and the IV therapy only provides 400 calories a day. Obviously, this isn't enough nutrition for three people. He recommended a nasogastric tube to supplement the IV therapy. Like Dr. Warner, he is opposed to PICC lines (which I am more than okay with). The NG feeding tube will go down my nose and throat and directly into my small intestine. Even if I throw up, I will still receive nutrition, as nothing will be going into my stomach. Dr. Schemmer wanted the tube to be inserted today if possible, but it most likely will have to wait until tomorrow due to radiology (who performs the procedure) being booked. I'm so excited to have nutrition again.

Two boys and a feeding tube. It's been a good day.


  1. That's so crazy that you were able to find out the genders so soon! I'm so glad that you'll be able to receive some good nutrients now and hopefully will find the answer to your hard situation. Weekly ultrasounds will be crazy, but I'm glad it will give you a reason to come here once a week. :) I love you dear and I hope this NG tube will help you feel better!

  2. Wow, two boys. You are such a trooper and I hope everything goes well. They do laser treatment for TTFS at my peri, too. Hopefully the boys will be able to share just fine. :)

  3. Congrats on the good news! As my mother-in-law will attest, twin boys can be a handful, but a good one :) I know that Steve has loved being a twin and they are still really close to this day. I hope you feel better soon!

  4. Sweet! My husband will be super jealous his wants twin boys!

  5. Two boys!!!! Thanks to you and Becky, my girls now have ample choices for their future mate. And I love that it was so obvious on your 13 week ultrasound. That's crazy!

    I'm glad you guys are moving to an area with such a great hospital. That makes ALL the difference with twin pregnancies.

    Still praying for you! I'm sorry you have to have a feeding tube, but I'm sure you'll feel a bit more energized since your body will be getting what it needs.


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