I wanted to give a quick update and do a Question and Answer type of blog. I want to give a full disclosure that I am not a doctor, (even though I think I could be part of the Meredith Grey family on Grey’s Anatomy) I don’t know everything about mono mono twins, nor do I claim to know everything about any other type of twins. What information I am going to pass along is what I have heard from my own medical team of doctors, what I have researched, and what I have heard from other momo parents.
Q: How have the last two weeks of appointments been?
Last week I had a regular OB appointment and a specialist/MFM appointment. The OB appointments really aren’t that much fun as they only use the heart doppler to listen to the little nuggets, and ask the generic questions about my health. The positive that came from that appointment was she called me in a couple safe headache medicines that have really helped! I can now somewhat function in the morning without wanting to rip my head off. The specialist appointment last week was my standard weekly scan and uneventful. Both my parents were able to come along which was nice! This was Papa’s second time seeing the twins and Mema’s first time, so that was exciting!
This week we had an anatomy scan of each baby and met with the specialist, Dr Boulis. The sonographer was able to find all the things she needed. We got to see their hands, feet, nasal cavities, bladder, stomach, ears, eye sockets, and watch the heart pump blood. They also measured the blood flow in the brain, stomach, and umbilical cords. I’m a human body geek, so this was all SO very interesting to me! We had our consult with Dr Boulis and he wasn’t able to give me a concrete answer on when inpatient would occur- just somewhere between 24-26 weeks. I can say that I have an appointment scheduled when I am 24 weeks and 5 days, so unless something happens at my 23 week appointment I think I will be able to avoid the hospital stay for at least a week. He optimistically called it my “vacation”. Not sure our meaning of vacation is the same…. Where are the sandy beaches, sun, and umbrella drinks located at Methodist Hospital?? He told us that the cords are indeed entangled as of today, and let me tell you, I can see why….. They were all over the place! They literally changed sides of my body from left to right and up and down. It was like they were two-stepping in there and did a couple chinese fire drills to spice things up! All-in-all it was a good visit and they are still beating the odds. Dr Boulis did say a couple times we were going to be famous…. Not really sure what he meant by that, other then the twins are going to be seen by every doctor in the Unity Point OB division and every specialist in their clinic since I’ll be there so much! I haven’t gained enough nerve to ask “how many successful mono mono twins have you doctored?” or “When was the last set of mono mono twins to deliver in Des Moines.” Those questions will have to wait for another day….
Q: Why OB appointments and Specialist or MFM (Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist) Appointments?
A: The OB primarily focuses on my health. While the Unity Point OB team will be delivering the twins, at this point their primary concern is my health. Meaning diabetes, high blood pressure, protein loss, headaches, any other issues. The Specialist/MFM doctors only focus on the twins, placenta and amniotic fluids. The specialists will not be delivering my twins, but will continue to provide my intensive monitoring while enjoying my “hospital vacation”.
Q: Why inpatient at 24-26 weeks?
A: They don’t do inpatient prior to 24 weeks because of viability. If a baby is born prior to 24 weeks the chances of survival is minimal; however, after 24 weeks they can successfully grow the babies outside the womb. CRAZY!!! The babies would have lots of NICU time and he spoke of brain development issues etc if they come that early…. But they can survive!
Q: Why can’t I do home monitoring?
A: First….. I’m not sure I would know how to properly hook myself up to the monitor, let alone want that responsibility incase I incorrectly do something! From a medical standpoint, if I took a monitor home and they saw something that didn’t look good on the scan, they would have to notify me, I would have to load up my car, drive to the hospital, get admitted, and then get treated: emergency c-section or other intervention. Yes, I do live in Des Moines, but even if the driving and getting admitted thing takes 30 minutes that could be the difference in two living babies or not.
Q: Have I had any cravings?
A: No, not really….and John is pretty bummed about that. He was thinking we would be enjoying brownie sundaes every night, but that has not been the case. Early on, I really wanted hamburgers and brussel sprouts. Also, I have reverted back to an 8-year-old child that likes cereal… and all the bad ones- Lucky Charms, Peanut Butter Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, Frosted Flakes. Before being pregnant I can’t tell you the last time I ate any of those cereals! And last weekend I really want Okra and Pierogies. The Pierogies are gone already and I’m excited to make the okra soon.
Q: When is the latest the twins will be born?
A: The latest Dr Boulis likes to let mono mono twins go is 32 weeks. The reasoning is at that point it becomes a risk vs benefit thing. First, making it to 32 weeks is amazing! Second, they will be giving me steroid shots to hasten the babies development of lungs etc for the early birth. Third, the risk of cord entanglement being fatal to one or both babies outweighs the benefit of them staying in utero longer
Q: Are you on bedrest in the hospital?
A: No. Again, from what my doctors are saying, what I’ve researched and been told, us momo moms are still able to get up everyday and walk the hospital. My guess is they will have me on a monitoring schedule and they will need me to be back to my room at a certain time each day for the monitoring; otherwise, I plan on making friends with the nurses, doctors, staff, and other patients. Bedrest could come into play if I develop any other issues such as preeclampsia, preterm labor, blood pressure issues, etc.
Q: How often is monitoring?
A: 3-4 times a day for an hour to three hours a time. (The duration depends on how the babies cooperate). In addition they will do weekly ultrasounds and some other tests too.
Q: Can I feel the babies? A: I can officially say, Yes! It’s crazy!! I think I’ve felt them earlier but now I know for sure it is them! :)
John, the twins and I really appreciate all the prayers and kind words. We are very hopefully that the next 12 weeks will be uneventful and that we will have a very blessed Thanksgiving holiday celebrating two healthy and wonderful baby boys or girls. They say it takes a village to raise a child…. we already feel like we have a village of prayer warriors and amazing family and friends and they aren’t even here yet.