Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What a Difference Two Weeks Make...

I popped!

Okay, finally some pictures of the baby belly! My parents were in town a few weeks ago and my in-laws visited this past weekend. I didn't want to post any pictures before that so I could surprise them with the size of my baby bump in person. I know you're not reading this though because you're already skipped to staring at my belly below.

I started a new trimester at the beginning of July. And boy do I look pregnant.

The picture on the left was taken 7/3 at 13 weeks, and the picture on the right was taken 7/18 at 15 weeks, ONLY TWO WEEKS LATER.

My thinking that my 6/7 (9 weeks) pooch was a baby belly is pretty laughable now.

(Mark says my head looks humongous here. "Like a t-ball target.")

Monday, July 27, 2009

Orange You Glad I Didn't Say Banana?

Continuing the march towards normal proportions, baby's legs now outmeasure the arms. And, finally, all four limbs have functional joints. Your fetus is squirming and wiggling like crazy down in the womb, though you probably still can't feel the movements.

We borrowed from Kelsi the National Geographic special, In the Womb: Multiples, and watched it last night. (Wouldn't Womb and the Multiples be an awesome name for a band?) I learned that twins in the womb like to kick each other in the face a lot. Or maybe that was the slo-mo video of CGI babies they showed over and over again.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Am I Having ALF's Love Child?

Remember my weepy post about my nuchal translucency ultrasound from a few weeks ago? Here's the story of the rest of that appointment.

My ultrasound technician was Wayne. He looked like a combination of Wayne Knight - Newman from Seinfeld - and a computer programmer, but better than that sounds. The quality of pictures on the ultrasound machine was ten times better than the ultrasound I'd had the day before in my obstetrician's office. Plus they could zoom in super close on just a small part of the babies. If I'd known that, I would have had Mark come along to watch because I got to see the twins swimming around in my tummy for about 45 minutes. I could easily make out the nose, chin, and restless hands of Baby B. It's possible I teared up and asked for a tissue.

You know how if you're just floating in a pool and someone jumps in, the wave hits you and your body just kind of floats over that hump of water? Baby B would be floating and then his whole body would move like that, as though the amniotic fluid was moving from one end of his sac to the other. Unfortunately the pictures never do justice to what you see live on the ultrasound machine.

Thankfully Baby B was already in a profile position because Wayne needed that in order to make the nuchal translucency measurement using the ultrasound. Baby A on the other hand was not cooperative at all. It looked directly at the camera the whole time, sometimes putting both hands behind it's head as though it was either mocking us or doing the classic model pose. Straight on, Baby A looked like one of the alien skeletons from the end of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
plus= baby A

In fact the ultrasound picture for Baby A was terrible. I don't even know what I'm looking at here:

Am I having one of the alien babies from V?

Wayne adjusted the table I was laying on so that my head was at a lower angle. He said that moving the mom often spurs the baby to turn over. But that wasn't enough. Neither was it enough when Wayne jiggled my abdomen slightly with the ultrasound sensor, nor when he told me to laugh. He reclined the table so even more blood was rushing to my head and said if that didn't do the trick I'd have to walk around the room. Thankfully Baby A decided to turn over from its long nap.

(Later when I told Mark this, he was sad that we woke up Baby A. I said, "Trust me, Baby A's doing enough sleeping.")

Wayne took so many pictures that he had to roll the length of printed ultrasound pictures in big loops around his arm. Apparently the doctor kept them all because I only got to take home these two. The one of Baby B was pretty good at least (compared to Baby A anyway).

That's Baby B's hand floating above its body. I thought Baby B looked like Mark. (Hopefully that doesn't mean Baby A looks like me.)

Baby A?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Baby-ade

Your adorable little fetuses (or is it fetii?) are busy with thumb sucking, toe wiggling, and (not so cute but equally amazing) making urine and breathing amniotic fluid as the liver, kidneys and spleen continue to develop. Lanugo (thin, downy hair) is growing all over their bodies for warmth.

"Thin downy hair?" Sounds like Mark's current attempt at a pregnancy beard. I'll try to post a picture of Mark's "lanugo" soon.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Nuchal Is Indeed Translucent

I had my Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound two weeks ago. Basically it's an ultrasound with the best magnification around to measure the translucent space in the tissue in the back of a baby's neck. This measures the likelihood that your baby will be born with a chromosomal disorder.

This picture illustrates where to find the nuchal translucency as well as... other interesting things. (I found it online.)

I should say first that the decision to choose to do a screening was a hard one. I'll be 35 when I have the twins and the risk of a singleton having Down's is 1 in 200. (If you're 45, the risk rises to 1 in 25.) If you want screening so you know the likelihood your baby will turn out healthy, you have two options. One's an amniocentesis and the other is basically a blood screening (with the option to have the Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound). Before you start nodding off reading this, I'll cut to the chase. While more accurate, the amnio has a chance of 1 in 200 in causing a miscarriage, and because of that the amnio wasn't the right decision for me.

So that left the blood screening. Kaiser sends all its 35+ moms to a Genetics class that goes over the screening options. Going into the class I was pretty sure I wanted to do the blood screening, but then I learned that I would receive a positive result on a screening if there was even a 1 in 100 chance of a disorder. So even with a positive result the babies would still probably be healthy, but with a 16% rate of getting a positive result for twins, I worried that a positive result would torment me throughout the pregnancy. A friend of mine found out his daughter had a 1 in 10 chance of having Down's during his wife's pregnancy, and it was a very stressful time for them. (Thankfully his daughter was born healthy.)

So I had the ultrasound and while the technician was in the other room with the doctor going over the results, I got a call from my old friend Justin and revealed I was pregnant. ("How are you doing?" "Well, I'm getting an ultrasound on my twins right now...")

The technician came back with my results from the ultrasound and an earlier blood test and said that all the tests were negative and that the babies looked healthy. I was so relieved I started bawling. I had been really, really nervous. The odds of one of the babies having Down's Syndrome is now 1 in 3,600 and 1 in 86,000 for Trisomy 18 (the other chromosomal disorder which is much rarer). I still have a second blood test later this month so I'm not totally out of the clear. (That 1 in 3,600 is still a little scary but much, much less scary than 1 in 200.)

I cried again when I called Mark and told him, and a few hours later I thought it was out of my system and safe to tell my co-worker, Bing, but then I started crying again. When I was a kid I would ask my mom if she wanted a boy or a girl when she was pregnant with me. She would say, "It didn't matter to me - I just wanted a healthy baby." I thought it was a lame answer back then, but now I totally understand.

Okay, no more long sappy posts for awhile.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Week 12 Ultrasound: Twin B's a Photo Crasher

Mark came with me to see my new obstetrician last week because I had heard we would hear the babies' heartbeats for the first time. Well, that turned out to be false. Kaiser needs a new ultrasound machine because these pictures were grainier and harder to read than ones I have from three weeks ago when the babies were still the size of blueberries. That was too bad - especially since it was the first time Mark's been able to watch an ultrasound.

Here's Twin B. It's so blurry it reminds me of Bigfoot running by.

Here's Twin A (on the left) and Twin B. The doctor was trying to take a picture of Twin A, but Twin B kept inserting its head into the picture. Mark said Twin B was like the guy who can't help but stick his head into other people's photos. Woo! Look at me!

The last time Mark came with me to an appointment, it was a generic one about what happens the first trimester of pregnancy where I just filled out a lot of forms. Hopefully he'll get to experience a "good" appointment soon.

Hiding the Beachball

Don't get me wrong, I'm totally showing, but I think it's weird when people make a big deal over the fact that I'm showing when I'm wearing something that disguises that fact pretty well. Case in point: this dress I wore last week. (Note: I'm not sucking it in here. That would have been a lot of babies to suck in.)

Several of my co-workers were excited to tell me I was showing when I was wearing this. I wouldn't mind if they said it while I was wearing any of most of my outfits that give me a baby belly, but I thought of all my baby hiding outfits this one was one of the ones that worked the best. What say you? Feel free to be brutally honest. (Or less brute, more honest. I do have feelings you know.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Movin' to the Country, Gonna Eat a Lot of Peaches

13 weeks: Peaches!

Your fetus is forming teeth and vocal cords... savor this, their non-functional phase. Baby is approaching normal proportions, with a head now only one third the size of the body. Intestines are in the process of moving from the umbilical cord to baby's tummy. (Much more convenient.)

It's appropriate in this 13th week that each of the babies is the size of a peach. After all, I ate what seemed like a bazillion peaches this week. (Our friends Rachel and Matthew gave us a big box of donut peaches from their yard. They were really yummy, but i now feel like I'm part peach.)

By the way, what kind of peach is only 2.9 inches in diameter? Whoever decided this obviously doesn't get the James and the Giant Peach size round peaches available here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Deciding on a Name... And No I Don't Mean for the Babies

So I finally decided to start a blog. I missed out on three months of twin updates so at some point I'll take a DeLorean to the past to fill that all in.

In the meantime, for my first post I thought I'd share some of the suggestions for the name of this blog. (I should mention that my husband's last name is Pilloff and mine is Mikulis.):

My suggestions:
A Pair of Pilloffs
Plenty o' Pilloffs
A Plethora of Pilloffs (obviously I've watched "The Three Amigos" one too many times)

Mark's suggestion:
Suck It, Non-Multiple Moms

Our friend, Brendan's suggestions:
Have You Met the Twins?

So I went with Eating for 3, an idea that came to me because not only am I actually eating for three but I also love restaurants. So, like Charo on The Love Boat, restaurants might guest star in some posts as well.