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Friday, February 08, 2008

Preparing for Twins, medically

Everyone,

Remember when I posted this? Well, I had an idea about doing a whole series about preparing for twins from my prospective. Each pregnancy is different, and my pregnancy will be different than my sil's. She is having mo/mo twins (one amniotic sack, one placenta) and I am having di/di twins (2 amniotic sacks, 2 placentas). Her babies will be born at 32 weeks, and mine could technically go till 38 weeks. (Ugh, can you imagine how big I am going to be?!) And her doctors have different ideas of what to do than mine do. But I thought it would be fun to give an overview of what I am doing medically right now.

When we first got pregnant, we were still working with our RE (reproductive endocrinologist) but after the first ultrasound when we found out we were having twins at 7 weeks, they graduated us to my regular OB. I had my first OB appointment around 10 weeks so my mom could be there and see the ultrasound of the little guys. The OB put me on a regular pregnancy schedule for the first little bit, with me going every month.

I did not got every month. I went pretty much every 2 weeks. I don't think that going every month is a good idea with twins but that is just me. I had 'emergency' appointments for things like Ed (remember that horrible cough that would not go away?!), some spotting, and follow up visits to the ER. Yes, I went to the ER one night for spotting. Things worked themselves out and here we are. :)

Going every 2 weeks was a big help for me emotionally and helped me to relax. Especially after I had that very late miscarriage, I was always nervous that something would happen to the babies. Having the doctor's check them and seeing them grow every 2 weeks really helped me to not stress as much. I think things also calmed down for me once I started feeling them move.

At 19 weeks, my OB referred me to a specialist for an ultrasound. This is where we discovered they were boys and we met Dr. SA. I really like their office. I was surprised that I would be seeing them as well as my OB but now I am so glad I am. I started off every 3 weeks with them, and now I'm down to every 2 weeks. At these visits, we do a growth scan of the boys and make sure they are growing how they should and one is not getting bigger than the other. They also check their hearts, kidneys, stomachs, etc. It's an hour visit every time I go. They also check my cervical length and have started doing a fetal fibronectin test to see if I am going to go into preterm labor in 2 weeks. I like to think of my peri as the boys' doctor, and my OB as my doctor. Dr. SA does not deliver babies or I would move all of my care to him.

Now that I am 27 weeks (can you believe it! Only about 10 weeks left!) my OB has got me on an every 2 week visit for a month or so, and then weekly as we get closer to delivery. (Pretty standard for a regular pregnancy.) Honestly the only difference I see at the OB this time is that I get a quick ultrasound every time I go in.

My insurance has a nurse that calls me once a month to check up on my progress. They also approved an in home nurse that came to talk to me about pre-term labor. She showed me a little video about the signs and symptoms, and showed me how to feel my belly for contractions. These are all things I already knew, but knowledge is power so it's always good to be reminded. This company that sent the nurse also has assigned me a nurse to call me every Tuesday morning. We spend a few minutes on the phone just talking about my progress and how I'm feeling. They also report back to my doctors and my insurance. It's like a delicate dance between all these parties and me and the boys.

Talking to some of the moms in my online twin group, they also have this phone nurse service but are using more of their services. They have at home contraction monitors that they use for 2 hours a day, medication pumps, and bed rest resources. I hope to not have to use them, but it's nice to know that they are there for my use if I need it.

So at least once I week, I talk to someone medically. In ways, I am glad that I have so much help from my insurance and my doctors. We are all focused on having 2 healthy boys in about 10 weeks and it's nice to work towards a common goal. They all agree that I am doing exceptionally well for twins, which can only further me towards having the boys be born healthy and full term and come home with me from the hospital.

Next up, preparing for twins- emotionally.

Phew, this is a long entry. If you've gotten this far, I'll share a tip with you. IHOP is having national pancake day next Tuesday the 12th. They are giving out free pancakes all day! Will you be there? We will!

Safire

3 comments:

  1. Wow, I can't imagine getting to see the babies all the time like that, that would definitely be reassuring.

    I would love to go to IHOP - if only there were one in a 30 mile range of here. Oh well. :-(

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  2. Hey thanks for the IHOP tip. I remember it being really fun to see my girls all the time. I'm very happy to hear they are keeping close tabs on all 3 of you.

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  3. Glad to hear that you and the boys are being taken care of so well! I would love to be at IHOP -- but even 100's of free pancakes would never pay for the plane ticket ;)

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I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. --Helen Keller