Wednesday, May 30, 2007

36weeks: All Aboard the Gravy Train

I have been holding this day in my head as a goal for a long time. I am so pleased to report that we've arrived at 36 weeks gestation for these two little buddhas. I am very, very happy.

Just finished being scanned by the perinatologist (who is a gem, by the way, and not only because she gives me good news). She declared me officially no longer high risk. :) Unfortunately this does not mean that I'm sprung from the slammer (hospital day 44 today!) but it does feel nice all the same.

And anyhow, no point in wishing to be outa here at this point, because things are gonna happen soon. The scenario is thought to be this: we allow nature to do its thing this week as we head towards 37 weeks. If I go into labor naturally, then fine. If nothing happens, then at 37 weeks these babes are fully baked and we'll induce. The doc said it won't take much - just a "whiff" of petocin - as she put it, for someone in my stage.

I am going to give a vaginal birth a go. All my docs agree that things are aligned to make this a reasonable and optimistic scenario for me. I'll be carefully monitored the whole time and will deliver (regardless) in the OR, so if any baby seems to not be liking the labor process, we switch to section. I've got no problem with that.

One additional good thing we learned today is that the babies have closed in on each other weight-wise. This is good, and here's why: Baby A will come out first. She will stretch me out as much as she needs to. Baby B will follow, and he is not any bigger than she is (he used to be!) so ther will not have to be a lot of labor in-between, which can sometimes result in the second baby becoming stressed and need to be delivered via section.

baby A (girl) is estimated to weigh 6lbs 4 oz
baby B (boy) is estimated to weigh 6lbs 3 oz

Of course the weights have a margin of error, but I am told by the nurses that this peri is "famous" for being quite accurate. And anyway, what matters is that they're still growing and the bonus is that baby A has caught up nicely.

So, will my next post be a celebration of week 37 or a birth story? Stay tuned!

(Can you believe it?!)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

34weeks A Whale of a UtRus

Guys, I am huge. Official weight yesterday morning was 164.1 lbs. (remember, I'm only 5'3" and started at 116) No wonder I feel like my legs are gonna snap in half whenever I get up from this hospital bed to pee.

Yesterday was another scan by the perinatologist. She was VERY happy with what she saw. I know this sounds a bit repetitive (thankfully) but baby A's fluid is still low, but that baby still does not seem to be phased. Her fluid measured at an index of 7, deepest vertical pocket of 4.25. Baby B's fluid remains normal.

baby A (girl) is estimated to weigh 5lbs 3 oz
baby B (boy) is estimated to weigh 5lbs 9 oz

( these weights are +- 10%, and many of you have warned me not even to expect that)

The peri did not do an ultrasound of my cervix because she said she really doesn't care much at this point what it's doing - basically said she'd like to see me go longer (and thinks I will), but that from here on, whatever happens happens. My management remains the same - turb when needed, bedrest and much monitoring.

I am continuing on as usual and hoping for big babies with mature lung function after 36 weeks!

Contractions are happening at shorter intervals and are a bit stronger. But everyone seems to be of the opinion that this is no surprise. UtRus is so stretched as to think I am at term. I've been really lucky in that I've not had a lot of swelling, but my hands do feel "tight" and are a bit puffy. Mentally, these next weeks will take patience. I am so eager to get more days/weeks under my belt (so to speak. Do they even make belts this big?)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

33w2d & Hospital Bedrest Day 25

Still hangin' in there and really looking forward to reaching the 34 week mark. Then, all eyes will be set on 36!

Got scanned yesterday morning, and I am grateful for another good report:

Fluid on baby A is pretty much unchanged with an index 6.0 (deepest vertical pocket of 3.25). Still considered too low, and why I remain in da slammer. For sake of comparison, the other baby's fluid index was 10, which is normal.

My cervix remains completely closed & thick and measuring over 3.0 (it's curved a bit) - no beaking even though baby A's head is right down there resting on it. when she gets the hiccups I can feel it in my cervix! Weird. I think tomorrow that instead of Mother's Day, we will celebrate Cervix Day.

So... onward! I am feeling huger than ever, and contractions are getting stronger when they happen. Right now I feel in a bit of weird limbo where it's almost time to begin thinking about the fact that these babies are gonna be here soon... but part of me doesn't want to think about that too much or in too much detail because I so badly want them to stay in longer.

Bedrest, and especially in hospital, can be challenging. I know many people have done this longer than me, and with far more complications, and so I am trying to be stalwart about it. Most of the time I am ok and the days/weeks actually go along at a pretty good pace. But there are other times when it all feels so surreal and I kinda can't believe I'm here.

I do have the sense that later on, this time will be a mere blip and there will be plenty of other things going on in life! Sometimes my fears about becoming a parent, and the added challenge of two babies at once, rise and make me feel quite scared. Especially with the extra time to think. But something has happened to me while I've been here: I realize that I can handle this. Have been doing so for about a month now. And with a fairly good measure of resiliance. I need to lose my surprise at that fact and own it. I also need to entertain the idea that I may actually adjust into the challenges of twin parenthood better than I've been expecting. I know it will be hard, but at least I need to allow for the possibility that it might be easier (or at least more fun...) than I've scared myself into anticipating.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

32w3d Still Lying Here, Still Growin'!

Today is my 19th day on bedrest in the hospital. Some days go pretty fast, others are tedious & repetitive. All in all, I've been mostly in good spirits and we're gettin' there:

We just got scanned by our favorite perinatologist. Though she isn't sending us home - Baby A's fluid showed no change from last week - index of 6.5 - Baby A does not seem to show any evidence of hitting or constricting her cord, which is what they're so carefully watching out for with the low fluid.. All NST tracings thus far have shown two very happy babies. They show no reaction to contractions, have good accelerations, etc...

baby A (girl) is estimated to weigh 4lbs 6 oz
baby B (boy) is estimated to weigh 4lbs 13 oz

( these weights are +- 10%)

Even though I've been having contractions (constantly monitored as things can change fast) my cervix is still completely closed and fairly long (3.0cm) for this stage of twin pregnancy. i am really getting big - after all, I have over 9 lbs of baby in there (plus an extra placenta and amniotic fluid) so I am quite past the size that most people would be with a singleton.

... no wonder with that plus bedrest, walking to the bathroom and back (about 10 feet!) is fairly tiring.

so... onward. this was very nice news today and really helps get me through the more challenging days here in the slammer.

p.s. I am now over 160 lbs. Started at 116! (insert elephant sfx here)