32 week check up

The 32 week check up began with a non stress test. This time I didn’t eat before going and they seemed to be more active.

I saw the doctor after the test for a growth scan. Both babies seem to be growing on track and look healthy.

Here are the stats:

Baby A is measuring 4 lbs. 8 oz., her heartbeat is 134, and the fluid around her is measuring 3.3.

Baby B is measuring 3lbs. 15 oz., her heartbeat is 133, and the fluid around her is measuring 5.3.

This is the first time the fluid is measuring greater around Baby B than Baby A, but I’m assuming it’s just the pocket they found. Since both babies are currently spooning on the right side of my abdomen, it was hard to know who was who during the scan.

As for me, I am definitely feeling the effects of pregnancy and sometimes I wonder how I am going to make it five weeks. My symptoms include braxton hicks, off and on sciatica nerve pain, fatigue, insomnia, waddling, light headed feeling combined with dizziness, swollen ankles, lack of appetite, and no ability to pick up anything below my knees.

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32 week check up

Nonstress Tests

NR NST

Since my 30 week appointment, I’ve had several non stress test appointments.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “During a nonstress test a baby’s heart rate is monitored to see how it responds to the baby’s movements. The term nonstress refers to the fact that nothing is done to place stress on the fetus during the test … The goal of a nonstress test is to provide useful information about your baby’s oxygen supply by checking his or her heart rate and how it responds to your baby’s movement. The test might indicate the need for further monitoring, testing, treatment or delivery to prevent fetal death.”

If you’ve never had one, here’s what it involves for twins.

First, I start with a mini ultrasound to check:

  • the position of each baby and find their hearts for monitoring
  • note their heart rates
  • check for practice breathing
  • measure the fluid of each sac

After the ultrasound, I sit in a reclining chair with my feet up and my belly tilting one way or the other depending on the position of the babies. Two straps used to place the monitors are placed behind me, then two pillows are placed on either side of me to keep me in position comfortably without using any effort on my part. Next, the nurses place monitors under the straps over each of the baby’s hearts and a third one randomly on my belly to monitor contractions. Last, but not least, they will take my blood pressure sometime during the appointment.

During the test, the babies need to be awake and need to have at least two movements during 15 minutes. If they’re sleeping, the nurses won’t get the results they need.

Do my babies cooperate every time? Not a chance.

So what do they do? To wake up the babies, several tactics are used.

  • First, I’m asked to eat before I come in. This hasn’t proved effective and I might actually try not eating for the next appointment to see if it keeps them awake.
  • Second, I’m asked to drink cold water super fast while in the recliner. This has been more effective than eating for sure.
  • Third, the nurses will use a buzzer near the heads of the babies. Basically, it’s a handheld, loud, noise maker and the babies do not like it. However, it is is effective in waking them up.

My appointments last anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on whether or not the babies cooperate. For me, I find these appointments relaxing since I am able to see my babies, hear their heartbeats, and basically told to do nothing but relax for 15-20 minutes.

 

Nonstress Tests

30 week appointment

I went in for my 30 week appointment with my OB and things are starting get real around here.

If my body decides to go into pre-term labor, I am supposed to go straight the hospital. If it’s under 34 weeks, they will do everything they can to stop labor, however, this also means I should plan on staying there until it’s time to deliver the babies. If that was today, that would mean four weeks in the hospital. Crossing my fingers this doesn’t happen. If it’s after 34 weeks, they won’t do much to slow down the process. Crazy to think they could be here in four weeks!

The babies are looking good at this point, however, they are both breech. I asked what my chances are of having a vaginal delivery and right now they aren’t looking good. Even if both babies turn head down, there’s always a chance the first one could come out vaginally but the second one would need an emergency c-section due to complications from sharing a placenta. Personally, I would like to deliver vaginally because the recovery process will be much quicker for me, however, I don’t know if I’m ready to jeopardize the safety of either baby for my comfort. If a c-section is needed, I’d rather have a planned one over an emergency one so I’m trying hard to come to terms with this decision ahead of time.

It’s also time to register with the hospital I’m planning to deliver at. I am planning to sign up for a NICU tour as well so that I’m familiar with everything in the event they decide to come early. Again, I’m crossing my fingers this doesn’t happen, but I am the type of person that hopes for the best and plans for the worst.

The baby  heart rates were 147 and 149.

I am feeling super pregnant these days. My clothing choices are rapidly dwindling due to the size of my stomach. I’m tired a lot, frustrated I can’t eat what I want when I want anymore, feel lightheaded from time to time, swollen ankles, and I’m sure a few more symptoms I’m forgetting to list. On the flip side, I feel the babies moving a lot these days. When they decide to flip or kick my bladder it’s a bit uncomfortable, but for the most part I enjoy feeling them since it means they’re doing well.

30 week appointment

29 weeks and counting

Baby A is on top, Baby B is on the bottom. They’re already copying each other.

I saw my MFM today (high risk doctor) and they’re currently both breech. Both of their heads are hanging out under the right side of my rib cage and they’re kicking my bladder. Up until now, they’ve either both been head down or one head down and the other breech. Luckily, they still have time to turn.

During the ultrasound, I mentioned that I didn’t really feel the babies where my placenta is so the doctor measured the depth for me. It’s more than 4 inches deep where the placenta is located compared to two inches deep where it’s not located.

After the ultrasound, I began the first of many Non Stress Tests (NST). Basically, this means they put two straps around my belly. One strap holds the monitors for the babies heart rates and the other strap holds a monitor to measure contractions. I’ve been instructed to eat before coming in and to bring cold water to drink during the appointments from here on out. They want the babies awake and active. I’ve been scheduled for once a week NST appointments until I reach 32 weeks, then I’ll be going twice a week.

Stats from today’s appointment:

Baby A is measuring 3 pounds, 6 ounces and her fluid level is 5.15.

Baby B is measuring 3 pounds exactly and her fluid level is 3.89.

Unfortunately, the wrong due date was put in so the weeks and percentages were incorrect. However, according to the doctor they’re right on track.

I’ve been instructed to do kick counts twice a day and need to count 10 kicks per baby within a two hour period. They would like me to do it after eating, but it involves laying down and who has that kind of time with a two year old while working full time? Crossing my fingers the babies cooperate and make it a quick process every time!

29 weeks and counting

Here come the stretch marks

With my first pregnancy, the stretch marks didn’t come until the very end and they were confined to the bottom on my stomach. (I did get stretch marks on my boobs and thighs much earlier.)

I am 28 weeks pregnant with twins and fresh stretch marks are making their appearance belly button level on my stomach. *sigh*

Why couldn’t I have been one of those genetically gifted human beings who never get them at all?

Before you ask, I do rub my belly generously with oil every morning. Obviously it doesn’t prevent them, but I’d like to think it’s helping to prevent more of them and/or the severity of them. Wishful thinking?

Considering I have 9 weeks to go to meet my 37 week goal, I have a feeling I’ll be seeing a lot more of them.

Here come the stretch marks

The glucose results are in.

The glucose results are in and apparently my results are not common. I passed the first draw and the one-hour draw with no problems. At the two-hour draw, my numbers came in slightly high at 140. They should have been 115 or lower. So they’re treating me as a borderline gestational diabetes patient.

There goes my free pass to eat whatever I want whenever I want for the rest of this pregnancy. *sigh*

For the most part, I eat healthy but I do like to indulge in the occasional bag of gummy bears, a milkshake, or a deep dish pizza. Looks like I have to give those up or eat much smaller portions.

The good news is that it can be controlled by diet which means no pricking my finger for blood tests on a daily basis.

Complications for the baby include:

  • Excessive birth weight
  • Early (preterm birth) and respiratory distress syndrome
  • Low blood sugar
  • Type 2 diabetes later in life

Complications for me include:

  • High blood pressure and preeclampsia
  • Future diabetes

(Source Mayo Clinic)

So far, I’ve found the meal planning on this page to be the most helpful, especially the PDF on carb servings in 15 gram increments.

The glucose results are in.

TTTS can work itself out

Yes, you read that correctly.

I went in for another ultrasound with my high risk doctor and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to see the membrane and find the Deepest Vertical Pocket (DVP) numbers.

The doctor seemed pleased as well. That’s when he told me that it is possible my twins had a mild case of Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) at the beginning of my pregnancy but it seems to have worked itself out. His possible explanation included that one of the babies could have been sitting on the placenta blocking a blood vessel and nutrients and became unblocked when a baby moved.

I’m attributing some of it to increasing the amount of protein in my diet, drinking more fluids, and slowing down over all.

Why it corrected itself, we’ll never know for sure. I’m just thankful it did and the babies seem to be doing better.

26 weeks stats:

Baby A: Fluid is measuring 6 cm, 27 weeks 5 days, 2 lbs. 6 oz., 147 heartbeat

Baby B: Fluid is measuring 6 cm, 26 weeks 5 days, 2 lbs. 1 oz., 139 heartbeat

As for me, this marks the week my body is hurting. Swollen ankles, tight knots in my calves, and overall just feeling off. I’m definitely feeling the weight of the babies in my back and can barely pick things up off the floor.

TTTS can work itself out