Wednesday, December 18, 2013

TWINS

Now my thoughts are racing all day. TWINS?!

While I had a very healthy pregnancy with Lachlan and he was born right on his due date, this pregnancy will be very different. I have anxiety, and I imagined every little thing that could go wrong while I was pregnant with Lachlan. He had a rather difficult delivery, but everything turned out the best that it could have, given the situation. I didn't have to have a C-section or use forceps. He has been a very healthy baby and either right on target or ahead of his milestones. I had great blood pressure, didn't have gestational diabetes, and worked out throughout my whole pregnancy.

I know that just because Lachlan was so healthy doesn't guarantee that every pregnancy after that would be. But it did give me a little more piece of mind than my first pregnancy. Of course there's always the chance of having a preemie, down syndrome, the cord around the neck (and the list goes on and on), but I felt a little more confident this second time around. I haven't taken as many pregnancy tests as last time and I felt like I could handle any surprise the doctor threw at me. I was wrong.

We're in the middle of finals (our last semester at SVU) so there's been a lot of stress tied up in that. Like I said earlier, I can't keep secrets, so we told parents right away that we're pregnant, but we decided to announce to the public after the first doctor's visit, like we did with Lachlan. And let me give a little more background. The doctor I went to with Lachlan only took a urine sample and asked if I was taking any medications. So basically they told me what I already knew through home pregnancy tests but it was nice to have it confirmed by a doctor. At that office, they didn't give ultrasounds until 13 weeks, but we were moving to California to work for the summer so we asked if we could get an ultrasound before then. They said no, and I assumed that it was just standard procedure everywhere. Well...our insurance didn't work in California...so I didn't go to the doctor. I had a lot of people scold me for this. Whatever. Things turned out fine. My mommy intuition told me it was okay. But I was able to find a 3-D ultrasound place while in California and at 20 weeks, I finally got to see Lachlan. It still hadn't seemed quite real up until the point that I got to see a picture of him and find out that he was a boy. When I was pregnant with Lachlan, I had a lot of dreams of twins and really hoped that he would be. So I was a little disappointed when there was just one baby on the screen. I wanted a boy and girl twin. But I got over that disappointment quickly once Lachlan was born and I found out how challenging just one baby can be.

Fast forward to 2 days ago, I just wanted to get the appointment over with because I assumed that they would only be taking my pee again. Bear was in a final and I had to take a friend to watch Lachlan in the waiting room. I switched to a different office because I had more friends go there and love it, and they had certified nurse midwives, which I wanted to go with this time around. Now I see why my friends liked this place better. I got an ultrasound at 8 weeks! I was so surprised but happy that my 45 minute drive to the office was going to be more worth my time. The ultrasound nurse was very kind and was trying to show me my ovaries at first (it all just looked like grey matter to me). But when she kept moving over my uterus, it looked weird. I could tell there was something in there, but it was hard to locate the baby. It must be because the baby is only the size of a kidney bean at this point and I might be seeing the yolk sac and placenta, I thought. She zoomed in, and I saw the baby's heartbeat fluttering away. I was instantly in love. But wait. Why is there another heartbeat above it? Is that the placenta pumping blood? Then the nurse said, "I have no other way to tell you this, but it's twins!" Then I saw it was two separate babies. Two little kidney beans. I literally said "Ohmygosh" 10 times in a row. Everyone asked if I cried, but  I didn't. My eyes just widened and I've been in shock ever since.

I had had a dream the night before the appointment that it was twins, but thought that it was just like when I was pregnant with Lachlan and didn't think anything of it. So I had to check that I wasn't dreaming while in the ultrasound room.

They're identical because they're in the same gestational sac (the black part in the picture - this couldn't happen if they were fraternal). This means either two girls or two boys because they split from the same zygote. And if they were in separate gestational sacs, there would literally be a line in the middle of my uterus and there would be two black sections. They share a placenta, so there's a little risk with that, but they are in separate amniotic sacs (which is a good thing). Otherwise, they could get tangled in each other's cords or compress each other's cord and restrict oxygen. Identical twins are 3 in 1,000 births. Funny that I was ready for depressing news from the doctor, but this news was the last thing from my mind. All twins are 33 in 1,000 births. The nurse said they'd been having a lot of twins lately.

So now we need a lot more baby gear, even if they're boys. Bear really wants them to be boys, I really want them to be girls. I'm afraid if having 3 boys that close in age, they'll get into all sorts of trouble and just egg each other on. Poor Lachlan has no idea what's coming. Now I'm having different anxiety - about not having the full 9 months to prepare for a baby and that they'll come super early and have all sorts of health problems and I'll have to leave them at the hospital and they'll be in incubators...or that I'll go full term and look like a whale. And how the heck am I going to breastfeed twins?! I feel as unsure as a new mom again. Twin pregnancies usually have to have more checkups and are more high risk and are more likely to end in C-sections (NO!) Hopefully they'll each have smaller heads than Lachlan and they'll both slip right out. (Fingers crossed)

Bear loved having Lachlan sleep on his chest (and still does) - I don't. It makes it so I can't breathe. So yesterday Bear's eyes lit up, and he said, "now I get to have two babies sleep on my chest at the same time!"

I thought life would slow down after graduation. Then we got pregnant. Now it's twins. Heavenly Father has a sense of humor sometimes. ("No sleep for you!")

Q&A:

Q: Do twins run in my family?
A: They haven't been able to prove that identical twins are hereditary. Scientists aren't even sure why the fertilized egg splits in the first place, and if it's because of the mom or dad. Fraternal twins are hereditary because hyper-ovulation is hereditary. Even though it hasn't been proven, my dad's younger sister has identical twin girls and my dad's dad has two different siblings that each have their own identical twins...this will be the 4th pair of identical twins in 3 generations...so it has to be genetic.

Q: Was this a surprise pregnancy?
A: We were thinking about getting pregnant again soon, but definitely after I had graduated. Right when we thought that - WHAM! The same thing happened with Lachlan. We were thinking about it, but a few more months in the future. So it was a little bit of a surprise, but not completely out of nowhere. The twin thing was a surprise for sure though.

Q: Are you going to go natural?
A: I would love to not have a C-section and to have a healthy birth again. But twins are more high-risk. So I'm going to be switched to a doctor, not a nurse-midwife. I'd love to try natural again, but if their heads are anything like Lachlan's were, I might give in an get an epidural again.

Q: Have you been feeling extra sick?
A: No, just super hungry. With Lachlan, nothing sounded good so I wasn't eating as much and lost a lot of weight. Now I just want to eat a little bit all day. If I don't eat, I feel sick. I've only thrown up twice - once because of the smell of giblets cooking the night before Thanksgiving, and once when I gagged myself on accident while brushing my teeth. I have felt a little nauseous here or there, but I can usually eat and it will go away. I haven't been bed-ridden because of it.

Q: Do you know if they're boys or girls yet?
A: No, because I'm only 8 weeks along. The earliest they can tell is 14, but usually wait until 20 weeks just to be sure.

Q: How far apart will your kids be?
A: If the twins are born right on their due date, 20 months exactly. But they'll probably be closer together than that now


4 comments:

Mary said...

Congratulations! We are all so excited for you! I love that Heavenly Father prepared you by sending a dream the night before :) Do you remember Sonja Tenney (I think that is her name)? She nursed twin babies so she could probably give you some advice. We'll be thinking of you and praying for you! And I'm always happy to help while your mom is far away.

grandkrumps said...

Lexi, YOU CAN DO THIS!!! I have a daughter with twin girls....she found a Mothers of Multiples (I think that was the name of it....something like that anyway) and got used "double equipment" from other moms of twins, including clothes. She carried her twins until just a couple of weeks before their due date (they weighed just about 12 pounds together!!) and as she is only 5 ft 3 inches, she was practically square. We will all help you. You will get over the shock and soon you will have the toughest two years of your life (in spite of the fact that you just had a real doozie this past 12 months!). Also the year with the most miracles and the greatest outpouring of love. Like I say, YOU CAN DO THIS. You will just need to tap into your extended family and ward and let them help you. I am thrilled for you!

Micaela L. Hess said...

It's all just so exciting! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences with this.

Shawna Weisinger said...

That's a lot to take in! I'll be praying for you and the little ones! And the journal is a good idea to look back on when they get big to see what you were thinking through all of this :)