Saturday, August 9, 2014

Twin Pregnancy: First Appointment with Dr. N

One week after our last appointment at our fertility clinic with Dr. P, I had my first appointment with my regular OB, Dr. N. At this point, I was 11 weeks and 3 days along, so I was still struggling with all those first trimester pregnancy symptoms. However - and more prominently - I was also dealing with some serious mental struggles. Going back to Dr. N's office brought up a ton of emotions for me. The last time I had been there was right after we lost B3. The last time I had experienced an ultrasound in his office was when we found out for sure that we had lost B3. So naturally, a flood of emotions accompanied me when I returned to his office.

I reminded myself constantly that things were going so well this time, but it was so hard to quiet that voice in my head that kept telling me that it was going well at this point with B3 also. As time had passed and as we had seen the babies again and again, we found ourselves wanting them more and more. They are part of our family. Our love for them grows deeper and deeper every day. We felt the exact same way about B3, and then we lost it all. It's especially difficult to temper our excitement and joy when we see our children falling in love with their new siblings, as well. Brianna talks constantly about when the babies get here and how excited she is. She kisses my belly and tells them they're cute almost every day. Both Brianna and Brenson pray for the babies and it has been so precious to watch this love develop. 

However, at the same time, I think it makes the fear of losing them even stronger for me. This is something I pray about daily . . . sometimes almost hourly. I pray for peace. I pray for trust. I pray that The Lord will help me temper my anxiety and calm my fear. I know this fear is not from Him. I know it could easily get out of control, so I'm determined to not let it overtake my heart. Honestly, it's hard. I've found that the closer we get to 13 weeks (the gestation we lost B3), the harder it has gotten. But, I have to let my faith be bigger than my fear. It just has to be. 

Because of all this, my appointment with Dr. N was accompanied by many tears. I didn't cry during the ultrasound or while talking with him, but plenty of tears flowed in the car before and after my appointment. They were tears of relief, tears of gratefulness, tears of loss, tears of grief, tears of fear, and tears of hope. 

Chris was out of town during this appointment, so I dropped Brianna and Brenson off with my sister and headed to Dr. N's office. I got there about 10 minutes before my appointment time knowing that I'd have some paperwork to fill out. After I got that completed, I was called back to meet with the financial coordinator about how much all this is going to cost us :-). Truly and thankfully, we have good insurance so it's not too bad. 

After waiting for just a few more minutes, I was called back for my appointment. The nurse (Leann) weighed me first, and I weighed two pounds heavier than my scale at home (but I was wearing clothes and shoes, obviously). That is still about 3 pounds down from my pre-pregnancy weight, but this is no surprise with as sick as I'd been! She then took my blood pressure which was 122 over 80. That is high for me (my average is more like 100 over 70), but I'm sure all the emotions I was feeling had a lot to do with that. 

I did have to wait for a while for Dr. N, but as soon as he walked in the room he gave me a big bear hug and told me how excited he is for us. He is a father of twins, so he loves having patients who are expecting twins. He seriously just hugged and hugged me, and kept saying, "Welcome home, Nellie!" and "Good to have you back!"

We chatted for a few minutes about the protocol I was on to conceive, then he started talking about how a twin pregnancy is different from a "regular" pregnancy. Honestly, it was a little overwhelming. He said that roughly 1 in 5 twin pregnancies deliver between 28 and 32 weeks (scary!) and only 1 in 5 make it full term (which is 38 weeks for twins). That means that the remaining 60 percent of twin pregnancies deliver somewhere between 32 and 37 weeks. He wasn't trying to scare me, he just wants me to be informed of the risks we are facing. Because of this, I will have a lot of extra monitoring. I will have more frequent appointments, start getting cervical checks much earlier, have my blood pressure monitored more closely, etc. 

My 40 week due date is February 16th (right between Brenson's and Brianna's February birthdays!), but he won't let me go past February 2nd (which is 38 weeks). Really though, our first goal is January babies. I would personally love to have the babies on February 2nd, but it's for a really silly reason. February 2nd is eight days before Bren's birthday (Feb. 10) which is eight days before Brianna's birthday (Feb. 18). Isn't that fun?!? Of course, we'll do what is best for the babies at the time (and not everything is in our control, obviously), but it's fun to think about how the numbers could work out :-).

We also discussed the medications I am taking and both agreed that I need to stay on the increased folic (although he gave me an actual script for it), baby aspirin, and daily Lovenox injection. Then, it was time for the fun part -- the ultrasound!

Up until this point, I had only had transvaginal ultrasounds done, and he started with that as well. We immediately got a great view of Baby A who was measuring 11 weeks and 4 days.

Baby A's heart rate was 173 (although it's not on the photo). His prediction is that Baby A is a girl, although it's really too early to tell for sure. 

He also got this amazing photo of Baby A . . . I just love it and have looked at it over and over.

We then tried to get a good look at Baby B, but really struggled. Baby A is down low . . . still in my pelvic region, but Baby B is higher (like just under my belly button). When Dr. N couldn't really see Baby B with the transvaginal wand, he decided to do an abdominal ultrasound.

Unfortunately, Baby B was positioned in such a way that we really couldn't see him/her. We did get this (weird) photo of both babies:

And another of both babies in 4D, but we never did get a good photo of Baby B by itself.

Because Dr. N could never get a good view of Baby B, we didn't get any measurements or a heart rate. However, we could see that Baby B was moving, and as far as Dr. N could tell the baby looked healthy and about the same size as Baby A. That was a bit disappointing, but I'm truly just so thankful for two growing, healthy babies at this point! By the time everything was said and done, I ended up being at Dr. N's office for an hour and a half! Hopefully not every appointment will be that long.

I will see Dr. N every two weeks for a while (I have another appointment this Thursday already!), so I won't do a special post about every appointment. I'll just include the details of appointments in with my weekly pregnancy posts. I started writing my weekly posts at 12 weeks, so I have a couple of those to post and then we'll be all caught up on pregnancy talk!


Johannah said...

I love all the ultrasound pictures! And I'm loving reading your journey through this!

Jessah @ Dreaming of Dimples said...

I can't believe you can see so much detail in the ultrasound pics. Technology is truly amazing!

Joy Lin said...

Sixteen days before Bren's birthday would be fun, too, since everything is in doubles this time around.