Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Baby Lumps and Viability!




I want to start off by congratulating the boys on reaching viability! Different sources vary on the exact date but it's usually anywhere from 24-26 weeks. So I'm calling it at 25weeks. What exactly is viability you may wonder? Well it's when the babies have a good chance of surviving outside the womb. However I wouldn't feel very good about having them this early just yet because the boys would be faced with many many complications. Our first feel good goal is 28 weeks when the boys have 95% chance of surviving without any long term complications. It's estimated that one day in the womb equals 3days in the NICU, so every week they stay in me means they get to spend three less weeks at the hospital.

I apologize for the crappy scanning job I did on the two pictures above. I posted them cause it's cool to see how far along the boys have come compared to a full term baby. Of course the pictures aren't to scale but you can at least see how big of a difference 34 weeks versus 40weeks makes (our best case scenario would be to make it to 34 weeks). After the trips, all newborns will look enormous to me.

So I've gotten pretty good at identifying the different lumps that appear on my belly throughout the day.

A) Big lump: it makes my normally nice spherical belly look lop-sided, this is usually a whole baby popping out. I'm guessing that he is arching his back and trying to stretch out. Or maybe his brothers are pushing him to one side. It pops out so much I can kind of hold on to it. I would sometimes give them a little shake to see what he would do, usually they would just retract but then one day they retaliated and beat up my bladder so I don't do it anymore.

B) Medium sized lump: usually a head. At least it looks like the right size.

C) Small lump: definitely a foot. You can kind of feel the shape. If I put a little pressure on it it usually retracts. But if I rub it a little they'll keep it there for a few seconds, they must like it. Once there were three distinct lumps in a row and I could tell they were feet. This is the first real evidence, besides the ultrasounds, that there is more than one baby in there.

JP

Monday, July 26, 2010

Videos at 23 weeks

video video video

Here are some videos of the last ultrasound. Sorry they are so short but the US tech is always moving fast since she has three babies to measure. The video in the middle is a cross section of the baby's belly, if you look carefully he has the hiccups.

JP

Saturday, July 17, 2010

23 Weeks Update







The latest 3D pictures of the boys I should remind everyone are still ultrasound pictures so some of their faces or body parts look a little distorted because the ultrasound waves are traversing other body parts, umbilical cords and of course me. So don't expect camera perfect pictures.

So I'm glad to see the boys look like babies now! We had 3D pictures done at 14 weeks and quite honestly they looked like creatures from outer space.

They are weighing in at about 1lb and 6oz each, so they gained about 6oz in two weeks. As for me I'm doing ok but my cervix, which they check every two weeks as well, shorten a little. It is still in the normal range but since it did shorten a bit the doctor told me to cut back my activity by 50%. So I've got to be a good couch potato from now on, but at least I'm still not officially on bed rest.

The boys lately have been really really active. 20 minutes don't go by without someone moving or kicking or sliding. Yesterday they were quite distracting all day long. I couldn't hardly concentrate at work because they were causing such a fuss. They also like to do this thing that feels really creepy, I imagine they are griping onto me and sliding around in their. It's kind of like when you accidentally swallow something that you haven't fully chewed and it kind of scrapes your throat as it goes down. They do it all the time and I think it's their technique for switching positions. It's hard for me to believe that there are three babies in there but it's even more crazy that they can actually move around so much. They are in totally different positions than two weeks ago. Baby A and C are "presenting," their heads are pointing down and Baby B is lying horizontally with his head on my left side and feet at my right.

So who do you think the boys look like?

JP

Monday, July 12, 2010

Triplet-mobile





Phil's aunt Candy and cousin Jason drove up from Davis to deliver our new minivan! A sister from our old congregation in Davis generously donated it to us. It is one of the nicest things anyone could do for us and we are soooooo grateful, not only does it save us a ton of cash it also saves us from the hassle of buying a used car which we were already stressing about when the offer was made. I must add the van is a pretty sweet ride especially because of the little VHS playing TV which will help entertain the boys on long road trips. We already went out and bought some kid movies from the goodwill.

Everyone has been so generous giving us car seats, tons of clothes, bouncy chairs, swings, advice and support. Phil and I would like to thank everyone, we really appreciate it.

The pictures atop, I'm sure you can guess, are of the minivan. One is of my sister and I, she stopped by for a quick visit on her way back from visiting her in-laws. There's also a picture of Candy and Jason volunteering for a demonstration at the Bonneville Dam visitor's center.

JP

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Interesting facts about premies/identicals/multiples


We had our 21 week ultrasound and doctors appointment today. No signs of TTTS as the boys are almost exactly 1 pound each and looking really well, although it is getting pretty packed in there. Baby C had his butt right in baby A's face, good thing there is a barrier in between them, albeit a very thin one. I too am holding up really well and Dr. Clock (my Perinatologist) gave me the go ahead to keep working and doing as I have been before. Which is great because as nice as moderate bed rest sounds the novelty of it would probably wear off after 3 days and then I'd be bored out of my mind. There's only so many light chores and googling I can do in one day. Plus I have a very pleasant job and am a little sad that my days are numbered there. I asked my doc how far along I'd be if I were having a singleton based on the size of my belly and she said about 30-32 weeks along. So I'm only about 5 months yet I look like I'm more around 7 months! I only have so long before I get larger than life : )

Here is some stuff I've learned along the way in this unconventional pregnancy of mine:

-Babies of multiple pregnancies are more developed than singletons. A set of multiples born at 30 weeks will fair better than a singleton born at 30weeks of the same weight. Coincidence? I think not, could it be the way we were designed? Maybe someone was looking out for the tinies.

-Babies born at 34 weeks and above have the same statistical out comes as full term babies.

-Identicals can share one placenta or have their own, depending on when the fertilized egg splits. If it splits at 1-3 days after conception then they will have separate placentas. If at 4-8 days then they will share the same placenta but they will be in separate amniotic sacs (this is the case with my boys, but it's a very thin tissue wall that separates them so they have quite a bit of liberty to move around and interact with each other). If after 8-13 days then they will not only share the same placenta but also the same amniotic sac which can be very dangerous because their umbilical cords could become tangled up leading to decreased flow of oxygen and nutrients (MOMO twins). If after 13-15 days then you get conjoined twins.

-Conjoined twins occur 1 in 50,000 pregnancies while indentical triplets occur 1 in 1,000,000 pregnancies. So our case is actually more rare than conjoined twins!

-There is such a thing as mirrored identical twins, meaning one will be right handed and the other left handed. One will have a freckle on one side of their body and the other will have that same freckle on the other side. I think this is the coolest of the twin phenomena and hope one of my boys is a mirrored twin.

-No matter how early they are born, premies will not get colic (if they're going to get it) until two weeks after their 40week due date...colic does not exist in some countries, probably an issue with western style parenting.

-Multiples in the womb will play games and often the same forms/style of game playing will be seen later in life between them. Game playing helps stimulate brain development...smart boys maybe? Hoping for one to be a plumber because who wouldn't want to make plumbers wages. The other can be an engineer. And the other can be a wildlife biologist. I will teach them to love math and biology. Phil will teach them to love art, nature and folk music.

-Multiples don't seem to be bothered by their siblings crying, they can sleep right through it.

-Multiples can start to develop ways of communicating with each other in their own made up language....this is to be discouraged as it will hinder real language development.

-There is no such thing as boy girl identical twins, in the true sense of being genetically identical this would be impossible. Interesting enough there is a phenomenon were you will have boy girl twins who share all the same genes except the obvious Y chromosome. They will look extremely similar. This happens when a fertilized egg has a XXY genotype. The egg splits into two XXY embryos then for what ever reason one dissolves it's Y chromosome there by becoming a girl XX. And the other one either stays an XXY boy or dissolves one X chromosome becoming a XY boy. Interesting to note an XXY male is a mostly silent chromosomal abnormality but it's quite common, 1 in 1000 males are XXY. Most never know this about themselves but a small percentage develop feminine characteristics leading them to be anywhere from effeminate to homosexual or transgender.

hope you were enlightened!

JP