Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Discerning identical twins vs. fraternal twins in utero

I have gotten questions from friends, acquaintances, and strangers as to whether I am pregnant with identical twins or fraternal twins. Or whether I am expect boys, girls, or both.

Can I tell this early, at 12 weeks? Has curiosity killed the cat?

From the little I understand, one cannot tell the difference between identical twins and fraternal twins in utero by the number of yolk sacs or placentas. Fraternal twins, for sure, must each have his or her own yolk sac and placenta. But, identical twins can also have their own yolk sacs and own placentas or any number of possibilities, depending on when the zygote split took place. The earlier the split took place, the more likely the twins have their own yolk sacs and placentas.

Moral of the story, if the babies are the same gender, from my understanding, there's way to determine whether one's pregnant with identical twins or fraternal twins while they are in utero. Once they are born, however, they can be genetically tested to determine what sort of twins they are.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Breaking out the maternity clothes

I am 11 weeks and some change pregnant. I started showing fairly early. I'm talking as early as perhaps 7 weeks. No kidding.

Consider this. This is my third pregnancy. And, I'm pregnant with TWINS.

About a week ago, I decided to stop wearing jeans. Though they still button and zip, they are uncomfortable to sit up. Cutting in in the wrong place. Know what I'm saying? Earlier in the week, I made a second decision regarding clothing. I would stop wearing a majority of my regular tops. Though a lot of my regular clothes are pretty worn (moms are oftentimes the last to get new clothes, right? I've got to say, some of my clothes are really, really worn), I don't want to stretch out what I do have.

Yesterday, I started the vacuum sealing process. Away went my jeans and pants. Next will be my sweaters, shirts, tops. I also whipped out my pregnancy clothes, yesterday night.

I clearly remember being ever excited about wearing pregnancy or maternity clothing as soon as possible with my first pregnancy. I remember that novelty and excitement not being present the second time around. This time? I definitely am not jumping up and down with glee at wearing maternity clothes.

But . . . I don't want to stretch out my clothes. And, it is glaringly obvious I am pregnant (if people start guessing I'm at the end of my second trimester or beginning of my third trimester, I might cry) when I wear my regular shirts. Maternity clothes, for the most part (I'm fighting this), are ruling the day.

My very dear and long, long time friend, Abby, gave me a sweet pregnancy gift recently. Clothing from a store called "Hot Mama*." Look at the shopping bag. What a great idea for a shopping bag. An uplifting, reusable tote.

2011-3-26

I got two tops I am CRAZY about. Love them, love them, love them.

My photographs of the first top certainly do not do the top justice. Too bad. It's a lovely black, well-made, well designed top.

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Very versatile. But, more importantly, this top matches my fun-loving, free personality. This is the real me.

The sunlight's making the top look a bit gray, but the top is dark black.

I can imagine wearing this top after I've delivered the babies and I'm nursing. What a comfortable, fun top.

***

This second top all ready had my attention on the hanger. But my love for the top soared when I tried it on. Very lovely. And it's such a departure from the many boring, drab, unimaginative plain t-shirts I own.

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Look at the eyelet flower detail and the exquisite pattern below.


And, look at the fun design on top, as well.


Unfortunately, this second top is not a maternity top, and I can barely fit the top over my chest as I'm putting it on. So, I won't be able to wear it much now, if at all. But. . . I will certainly look forward to enjoying it for a long time to come!



* Hot Mama has no idea who I am. Hot Mama is not paying me or giving me incentives to endorse them.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fraternal twins?

I have been asked regularly, since Victoria was a toddler, whether my girls are twins. Today, a group of three people hanging out together asked if my girls are fraternal twins.

No, it's possible that I might have fraternal twins this year, but the ones that were sitting before them are 20 months apart. Can you tell who's older?

Do they look like twins to you?

2011-3-19

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Two hearts flickering

The secret somehow leaked out of the bag, even before this blog post was ever written, conceived, or planned. These days, I would rather have prayer and support anyways, than have this kept under wraps. And, well, how much longer shall I wait?

For awhile now I had been wondering whether I should rename this blog, since my youngest is turning three in a few months. Not exactly a toddler anymore, and she is most certainly not a baby in any pediatrician's sense of the term. And no pregnant person in the house.

Until now. . .

Towards the beginning of last month, my period didn't seem to be coming. My cycles are predictable in length from one to the next. Neither are they typically 28 days. Usually shorter. Anything ranging from 20-26 days is usual. 28 days came and went. Nothing.

On top of all that, I was experiencing other symptoms: super tired, itchy breasts, moodiness. But, all these also have been indications of my period starting in the past. By February 7th, I decided to take a pregnancy test.

The directions on those things say that results could take up to 2 minutes after peeing on the stick to show. I peed on the stick, looked at it and it was already positive. Didn't take seconds.

I was in disbelief.

I don't need any refresher courses on how conception takes place. I'm good there. It's just that we weren't looking to add any bundles to the clan. We were using protection most of the time. . .

My husband was equally shocked. He thought I should take the pregnancy test again the next day.

Um, honey, there aren't false positives on pregnancy tests.

Most places here in Colorado won't see pregnant women until they are at least 8 weeks pregnant. By my estimation, I was 6 weeks. Made an appointment for 2 weeks later, with a midwife group.

***

February 24th, I had my first midwifery group appointment. This group normally uses only a doppler at this stage in the pregnancy. But the chance of hearing any heartbeats from the little one using that device this early in the pregnancy is slim. And, given the fact that my uterus is tipped backwards changes that possibility to none.

But, the waiting room wasn't busy, so my midwife nurse did a sonogram. She warned me that their sonogram machine is a bit old and seeing things clearly on it is difficult. We seemed to be having difficulty seeing much of anything on it.

Suddenly, she said that she believed she was seeing two yolk sacs. Let me get any wax out of my ears. What?!

She wanted the OB downstairs with the fancy-schmancy state-of-the-art sonogram machine to take a look. The OB happened to be able to squeeze me in right away.

My mother-in-law, father-in-law, and younger daughter went downstairs for this examination. Er, um, I was not prepared for a vaginal ultrasound. In hindsight, that makes perfect sense given how early I was.

Great older gentleman of a doctor with a great bedside manner and very talkative. Before long, we saw not only two yolk sacs, but we saw a baby in each of those sacs. Two babies! With two hearts beating. Heard and saw both of those little hearts beating.

***

Went back to the midwifery group today. 10 weeks, now. Love the midwife I've seen twice now. She's so kind, understanding, patient. She did another sonogram for the heck of it, and we saw two babies in their respective yolk sacs with two hearts flickering.

I've gained 2 lbs and 7 oz since I last went to that office. The midwife said that that's great. Good, I'll rely on her opinion. I've never been pregnant with two at once before, and weight gain is a bit unnerving for me. I've been showing for at least a week or so, too, to add to the fun.

The two little ones are already moving about quite a bit. Kind of wonderful, considering how small and young those little babies are.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

On this 12th day of not nursing, my little love gave to me

12 roller coaster emotions
11 giddy girl giggles
10 days amoxicillin
9 months, 2 years of nursing
8 big wet kisses
7 hugs and cuddles
6 twirls a-dizzy-ing
5 cries for ma ma
4 requests for nursing
3 blankets covering
2 desiring closeness
and a break for my breasts today.

(Sing this to the tune of the 12 days of Christmas, for some fun).