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Shannon's twin pregnancy journal

Week Thirteen
~ Where's the Wheelbarrow?

April 13 ~ The babies seem to have made it through another week even though I really pushed myself over Easter weekend. I'd invited friends and had to pick up one guest at the airport. Before that, I went to have my hair permed and cut so I'd look half way presentable. I had a scare when I started to spot a little heavier but it quickly stopped. The following day, I needed to find something that fit to wear for the holiday, so it was off to the nearest mall with a maternity shop, nearly an hour away. This was a major excursion involving the whole family. I took it very slowly, and Peter made sure I rested frequently. No spotting at all, YAY!

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On Sunday, we went to church and then to Easter brunch. It was great to be out and about, even though I was not so proudly wearing my brand new navy and white checked circus tent (otherwise known as a maternity jumper). My belly that seems so huge in Peter's extra large sweat pants with drawstring elastic waist barely registers in the front of the dress. It's hard to buy maternity clothes. I worry about buying them and losing the babies before I can even fill out the clothes. I worry anything I buy now won't fit later on. Worry seems to be a constant state with me these days.

Only one more week until my doctor's appointment. Four weeks seems way too long between visits, with all that's been going on. An online midwife that I consulted for advice agreed with me. I am passing the time making a list of all the things I want to discuss with my doctor. I need to settle the hospital issue. We need to discuss amniocentesis. My mother had a child (my half-brother) with Down Syndrome when she was 28. I want to know if there are any genetic problems so that we can be prepared. Although the thought of double amnios (one for each baby) scares me, this seems the only way to go. A maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein test (MSAFP) won't work with twins. The results would be useless with two babies causing elevated levels (misleadingly indicating the possibility of neural tube defects).

Another thing I need to discuss are my seemingly conflicting ultrasounds. The first one at 4.5 weeks showed only one gestational sac. The second (9.5 weeks) and third (10 weeks) ultrasounds revealed two sacs with a baby in each. One of my books on twin pregnancy shows an ultrasound done at 4 to 4.5 weeks and there are clearly two sacs. I want to know if there was something they didn't tell me about the first ultrasound, or if this might indicate that my twins are identical. A possible complication with identical twins is something called twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. The babies exchange blood between each other and one gets a larger share. Surprisingly, it's the twin who receives the larger share that has the most problems (something I learned from all of my reading). In combination with the ultrasounds, the fact that there is one placenta (although there could actually be two fused together) indicates to me that identical twins might be a very real possibility. I can't find any information as to whether amniocentesis can reveal if they are identical if they are the same sex. Just one more thing to add to my list of things to worry about. I'll soon need a wheelbarrow just to cart around this list! Maybe there will be enough room to prop my belly on top?

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