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 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!



Jonalyn said...

Glad to hear you and the boys are doing well. LOVE the octopus! Is that in their room?

JP said...

Thanks, yes it's one of three that Phil's drawn.

Anonymous said...

Janet, we are so glad you and the boys are growing so wonderfully! The amazing facts you listed are both interesting and very encouraging to us. We are so looking forward to meeting those babies!!! See ya soon--SEP and EOP

Myra said...

Very interesting stuff... I guess my singleton belly and your triplets (or is it tripleton?) belly must be about the same size now. :)

Amber said...

Absolutly fascintating facts. It will be so interesting to see how they grow and develop. Twins are always fascinating, triplets, well get used to being stared at.

How reassuring to know they are more developed than singletons. Did you know that breastmilk produced by the body after premature birth is different than for a full term birth?
Someone was definetly looking after tinies!

Meluch+3 said...

Fascinating! Where on earth did you find the odds? I looked and looked and could never find them. (My back-of-the-envelope calculations say 1 in 250,000 or so).

It's good to read you're having a smooth pregnancy. Good luck! Mel