Tuesday, December 26, 2006

What are the sexes?

On December 21st we had an ultrasound in the Ultrasound Department at Kaiser Oakland. Like the ultrasound at the end of November, the machine is of a higher quality. Our goal for this appointment was to find out if we were having boys, girls, or one of each. However, the tech's goal was to take measurements to make sure the babies were developing correctly. (We wanted that too but well.. knowing the sex would be great.) As you can see there are no crotch shots so do not look for any signs that the babies are boys or girls. The top shot is baby B. Baby B is the baby that is higher in the uterus and is most likely a boy, our SON! (There is always a chance that what we believe is the penis is not, but Baby B looked like all boy to us and to the tech, too!) Baby A is lower in the uterus and will be born first. The tech said that she was 52% sure that Baby A was a girl. However it is too soon to know for sure. Because Baby A is further inside, it was harder to see her (?!) clearly, and things were a bit blurry. Therefore, the sex could not be accurately determined right now. For now, we are riding on high on having a SON and a maybe DAUGHTER!! Oh, we are so blessed to continue to have two babies inside Chris that are thriving and growing just perfectly!

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This ultrasound took place on November 22nd. The purpose of this ultrasound was to measure the neural tube at the back of the neck/brain area and upper spinal column. These measurements along with a blood test (Chris' blood) help to determine the odds of having certain birth defects and Down Syndrome. We were pleased to find out that the chance of any of these occurring are very low. The measurements take a long time and thus we were able to watch our babies for over an hour. The technician showed us their hearts, stomachs, and she also measured their heart rates. The babies moved around a ton, including rolling over completely and putting their hands to their faces. The tech was wonderful. She answered all of our questions and pointed out a lot of the movements and internal workings of our babies.

Number 3 Our first visit to the OB

As you can see the image is not as clear as the images we received from the IVF doctor. This does not mean we are any less proud. The babies are still side by side and they still have their yolk sacks. They were moving little bundles of joy. And we already love them SO much!

Can you believe it I (Penny) actually got off my duff and scanned the best photos from the ultrasounds and they are now ready to add to our blog. The above ultrasound occurred on 10/26/06. This is our second ultrasound. Although it is not that clear, we could see their little hearts beating and they moved around. If you look closely at the bottom ultrasound in the top right corner of the sack to the right you can see the yolk sack. The yolk sacs will continue to disappear as time goes on, and the placentas will continue to develop and provide the babies with what they need.

Most of the ultrasound pics from here on are not very clear. I have tried to pick the clearest ultrasounds but ... well you will see the best is not very good.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Guess who's in there???

Hello everyone! Happy holidays! Well, we had an ultrasound yesterday and found out some cool information about our babies! It looks like we are going to have a son!! And, MAYBE a daughter! Baby A, which is closer to the cervix and further inside me, if you will, was a bit harder to see. We did get a pretty decent between-the-legs shot, but things were a bit blurry. The tech said if she had to guess, she would guess that Baby A is a girl. So cool!

As for Baby B, he is higher up in my abdomen and also closer to the surface, so much easier to see. We could see a much more clear between-the-legs shot, or the MONEY SHOT if you prefer. We could easily see a penis and then also the umbilical cord. Baby B is all boy, ladies and gents. We have ourselves a son. Wow! We have a son! And MAYBE a daughter!

We have another ultrasound in three weeks, on January 10th. Hopefully then we will be able to see Baby A more clearly and will know more definitively if our daughter has become our other son, or if she is still a she! lol!

Thanks for all the excitement and for keeping up with us on our twin journey. The ultrasound was so amazing and we were just totally thrilled to see both babies still moving around in there. They are so much bigger now than they were a month ago. They were opening and closing their hands and we could see all their fingers. We could also see the four chambers of the hearts and the two hemispheres of the brains. If you ask me, these babies looked super smart. Maybe geniuses, even! Hello, MENSA? I need a new subscription to your magazine and two membership cards please!!

We will put up some new pics soon. Sorry for the delay in that area! And sorry for the overuse of exclamation points. My Seinfeld enthusiast friends know how disappointed Elaine would be in me as a result of this post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

xo, Chris and Penny

Monday, December 4, 2006

Our First Ultrasound

Although very small these are the first ultrasound pictures of the implanted embryos. I know it is silly but I think they are cute. Because the pictures are so small I will try to explain what is going on. The date is 10/12/06 and what the top left picture shows are both embryos. Yup Lilo and Stich. The top right is also of both as you can see they are each in their own sac thus they are not identical twins and both embryos actually implanted. Although the picture on the bottom right looks bigger it is actually just closer.

The ultrasound measured them at 6 weeks 5 days.

We know that some of our friends and family have already looked at our future twins and we are so glad we get to share this with you. Some of those close to us live on the other side of this continent and others in Europe. Feel free to let us know your thoughts by posting comments.

By the way I actually finished the first draft of my thesis. But I think 168 pages is too much. Oh well at least I completed the darn thing.

I will post more soon.

What's going on in there, little dudes?

So, it's the second trimester and I am thrilled about that. Our risks of something bad happening now are dramatically reduced. However, I know all too well from some close friends that you are never totally out of the woods. At any rate, I am feeling better and the nausea is definitely gone for the most part. I have lost my food aversions and can eat vegetables again. Yay! I am at a weird time of pregnancy, though. As a fluffy (!) gal, I am not really looking pregnant. And I cannot yet feel the babes moving around in there. So, between ultrasounds, sometimes I think, "Am I really still pregnant?" I can't wait to start feeling them move around. Sometimes I think I might be feeling something, but then I am not sure. I am still pretty tired in the afternoons and I fall asleep early at night. And, my goodness, what are these headaches all about? Taking two Tylenol when the pain is really kicking my ass, just does not seem adeqate. So, the mommy martyrdom begins. I suffer for the sake of my babes and their forming organs and important bodily systems.
Penny is going to publish some of the great ultrasound pics that we have very soon. So, keep a look out for them. Good news we have received recently is that I do not (yet?) have gestational diabetes. I failed the 1-hour test by 2 points, but then passed the very disgusting and difficult three-hour test with flying colors. Yay! Also, our Nuchal Translucency Test went well. Through ultrasound and a blood test (mine), both babies were determined to have very low risk for Down's Syndrome, and the other Trisomy disorders (13 and 18, I think). These results were so great, in fact, that we will not be having any further testing, like an amnio or anything else like that. Double yay!
That's it for now. We have about 5 more months to go. HOLY CRAP!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

In The Beginning

On September 10, 2006 these two embryos were implanted in Chris. For those of you who want to know what you are looking at, read the next bit. Should you not care, ignore the next bit.

Each of these blobs are an eight celled, grade 1 embryo that is compacting. The doctors call embryos that look like this 8Ic. To start bragging about the kids from the begining 8Ic are the best embryos at this stage. Compacting embryos are embryos where the individual cells have started to interact with one another through their cell walls.

You are looking at the future Lilo and Stich.

Much to our suprise and pleasure after two years and about a zillion sperm (none of which previously did their job) we became pregnant with these two embryos through IVF.

The really cool thing is that because we had IVF we were able to watch the transfer of the embryos into Chris via the ultrasound! Way cool and yes, we both cried tears of joy.

It is now November and Chris is entering the 2nd trimester of pregnancy. We have had several ultrasounds and the babies are looking great. They are now about 1 ounce each and about 4 inches from crown to rump. They are moving all around inside Chris, but she cannot feel them yet. It is wild to see them kicking and waving and rolling over and sucking their thumbs on ultrasound, but Chris can't feel a thing yet.

All is well here for us and we can't believe that we will have two babies in about 5-6 months. It is totally wild to think about. We will post some ultrasound pics soon. We do not know their sexes yet, but we will be finding out in about 4 weeks or so. We would love to be blessed with a boy and a girl, but we will be absolutely delighted with whatever is in the cards for our little family.

Thanks for all your support and excitement!

Hello. This blog has been created to keep our friends and family updated on the twins. We are very excited and a wee bit scared. For those of you who do not know, we are calling the babies Lilo and Stich for now... yes, after the movie characters. We will share pictures and information as we go.

Because I have never had a blog or a baby before, I apologize for any mistakes I make. Enjoy and welcome to the Twin's Odyssey. (posted by Penny)