So here’s a picture of the Peas. It’s from Week 13. Just four weeks later, the twins are already too big to fit both of them in the same picture. We showed the ultrasound photos to Chiara. Initially we had planned to keep the pregnancy a secret until we felt we were “in the clear” (whenever that is!) but then, at about Week 14, she called me out on it. She is belly high, so I guess she has a pretty good view of the belly changes. We were in the bathroom and she rubbed my tummy and said, “Hey, you got a baby in there?”
To which I replied (slyly, I thought), “Maybe. If I do, I think it might be two babies and they would be boys. How do you feel about that?”
“I don’t want brothers. I want a sister.”
As my brother says, “Well, today’s the day you learn you don’t get everything you want.”
Anyway, when we showed her the ultrasound photos, she was clearly devastated. “They don’t look like babies. They look like animals.” Now, I don’t know for sure, but I do have two younger brothers of my own, and I have a feeling that this might be the first time—but not the only time—she compares her siblings to animals.
But back to the Peas.
Last Monday we had two doctors' appointments. One was a high-resolution ultrasound, the other was our regular appointment at the Whipple Clinic.
The ultrasound took over an hour, and thank goodness it wasn’t one of those that you have to have a full bladder for. It’s the one where they take lots of measurements: head circumference, abdomen circumference, body length and cervix length. They counted arms and legs and kidneys and heart chambers. They checked heartbeats and heart rates and made sure that they checked each Pea once instead of one Pea twice.
And everything looked the way it should look. The measurements put us squarely at 17 weeks and 2 days, with the Peas “weighing in” at 7 ounces apiece. (I have no idea how they convert centimeters into ounces, but apparently they can and do). Each Pea has two arms and two legs and two kidneys and four heart chambers. And each one had a heart rate within the approved range. The cervix measurement is to have a handy baseline measurement in case it looks like I am going into early labor. And as of Week 17, I am not. So far, so good.
The other thing the sonographer did was check the blood flow in the umbilical cords. Really cool to see. Artery flow shows up as red; vein flow as blue. This also gives an indication of where the umbilical cords attach to the placenta. To our untrained eyes it looked like the cords were pretty far apart, but the sonographer was hesitant to say for sure.
Later on we had our regular appointment, this time with one of Dr. Whipple’s colleagues, Dr. I-cant-remember-her-name. She was also reassuring and happy with the preliminary ultrasound report.
My weight is up four pounds from my last appointment at 15 weeks, which the doctor labeled as the “upper-end of acceptable” until Matt asked a follow-up question. (Was there “unacceptable” weight gain?) She quickly back-tracked and said that in our case, “fat preemies” are our goal so actually all weight gain is good weight gain; it just means that there’s more to lose at the end.
For the curious, I am up another 5 pounds since that appointment 10 days ago and have already reached my goal of 20 pounds before Week 20 (we are in Week 18 now). What can I say? I’ve always been an over-achiever. My belly is like a huge basketball and my belly button is shrinking and I’ve already had to take my wedding ring off. I look and feel like I’m six months along, not four. Good thing I don’t have to go the full 40!
Next: How I Gained Five Pound in a Week—Without Counting Calories!
© 2010 Janine Kovac