Monday, 29 June 2015

Endless Scans


I said before one of the benefits of IVF is those early pre-12 week scans that you get (and pay through the nose for). I can’t imagine the agony of having to wait until 12 weeks before knowing, for sure, there is a heart beat in there (or in my case two heartbeats.)

Twins, it turns out, is the gift that keeps on giving. 

I have hundreds of scans – and this time they are on the NHS so free. God, I love the NHS. I remember hearing Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes bought a scan machine so they could keep an eye on young Suri in situ. I bet even that didn’t give them the frequency of scan I have lined up.

I had my 12 week scan, then a 16 week one. On Wednesday I have an 18 week one and my schedule promises further scans every two weeks.

The downside of these scans is that they are there for a reason, not simply because everyone loves a twin and wants a peek.

My little dudes share a placenta. The possible complications relating to this is that they have one source of blood so are at risk of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, TTTS (yeah I noticed there aren't enough 'T's in the acronym too). Which basically means one hogs all the blood and they grow unevenly.  They can also take an uneven share of the placenta.

In addition having had pre-eclampsia last pregnancy they want to keep any eye on that (risk factors of pre-eclampsia are - having had it before, check; being over 35, yup; and having twins, uh-huh). 

So far it is all good though. The twins (the twins!!! shit, it still gets me) are almost exactly the same size  - 1.5% difference - and my blood pressure is good. Maybe I should be more concerned but I feel pretty confident in the care I am receiving. If things are going wrong I think they'll pick up on it quickly.

And, excitingly, it means that on Wednesday we should get to find out whether we are having girls or boys.

Which do you reckon they'll be?



Saturday, 20 June 2015

Finding Out


I had absolutely no clue that I was pregnant with twin prior to my first, six week scan.

A friend of mine told her Mum that I was pregnant through IVF. “Twins?” asked the Mum. “Liz wouldn’t be so stupid” was the response.

And I wasn’t.

I had two embryos left. I could have put two back in but I didn’t. Partly because I wanted two chances at a second child so decided to try them one at a time, but also because after having just one child the idea of twins was petrifying a risk we didn’t want to take.

An anonymous commenter predicted twins when she saw my beta numbers. Yes, it was high but this didn’t prepare me either as they were eerily close to my numbers with Olive. You know, my single, first child. In retrospect I now wonder whether Olive started off as a twin too. I bled a fair bit in the very early weeks after that positive test. Maybe I did lose a twin then.

Everything that I initially told you happened at the six week was true, just not the whole truth. This is what happened where the last post left off…

The sonographer, after finding the precious heartbeat and I had relaxed, continued rooting around.

“and I think …” she paused as another blob appeared on screen “yes… you have twins. Another good heartbeat.”

“What?!” I yelped.

Now, I don’t claim to be a genius – but hey should you wish to saddle me with that title who am I to argue? – but the speed with which the thoughts rushed through my head on finding out was reminiscent of that scene in Short Circuit when Number 5 reads a whole encyclopedia in seconds.

This is a fraction of what I thought:
Twins.
Fuck.
They are going to be identical.
Identical twins are a bit odd.
What if I can’t tell them apart?
Will I ever be able to get them to sleep at the same time?
Will I be able to leave the house?
I’ll need a double buggy, plus Olive – a triple?
I won’t be able to get down the steps at the tube station.
Creepy identical twins.
We’ll need to get a car.
How can we afford a car and twins?
The husband will have to learn to drive
Can we afford driving lessons and twins?
Will I go back to work?
Will work cover childcare for three kids? Or will I have to pay for the privilege of keeping a job ready for when school kicks in.
Identical twins … shit
What will the husband say [he couldn’t make the appointment]
Its like my own family, two year old then twins.
My poor Mum
I always wanted three kids
Just not at once
The husband wanted two.
I win.
But identical?
How will I get them all downstairs in the morning?
I’ll need another moses basket…
And cot…
At least I already have two boobs.
They’ll be premature, won’t they.
This is going to be a high risk pregnancy
I hope I’m alright.
I hope they are alright.
Oh shit.

I’m conscious that my initial thoughts were not the overwhelmingly positive ones that you would expect from an infertile about to have more children that she'd ever hoped for. I’m sure many of you who are still waiting for their miracle struggle to read how ungrateful I was. Things have changed since the shock of finding out has worn off, but I wanted to be honest about how I felt.

Now I am just over 17 weeks pregnant - halfway through my pregnancy (the consultant told me he won't let them go over 36 weeks). I still have doubts about how I will cope with twins - or tell them apart - but I am pretty thrilled at the idea of them.