At some point I'll stop saying it, but in the meantime, I just want to say how blown away we are with everyone's response to our news of our little twinkles breaking into the scene this year. You all are so kind and generous with your love & support. We are so fortunate. And in that vein since we are half-way there (crazy, right?!) and I've sufficiently gotten Livin' on a Prayer stuck in your head, I've received a lot of questions that I thought I'd spend some time answering in today's post about our experience thus far.
Do twins run in your family?
The simple answer is no. What many people don't realize is that twins are genetically linked to the maternal side of the pregnant pair and my family has absolutely no twins to speak of. Crazy, right?! Nor were the possibility of twins anywhere on our radar. To further this, fraternal twins (the result of two eggs) are actually more genetically linked than identical. Read on to hear more about what we are having.
Are they identical or fraternal?
This is a question which started out as a very straight forward answer and has since changed a little over the course of time. Initially we were told that they were fraternal; there were clear indications that they as they did not share a sack and where therefore likely the they were a result of two separate eggs. However, at an earlier ultrasound, our specialist made a comment that she thought that they might be identical based on some things that she was seeing. What I have no idea; ultrasounds looks like black and white abysses to me. Without getting too much into the weeds on this one, there is a type of identical twins in which the single egg splits within the first few days of conception, leaving the twins in two separate sacks similarly to fraternal twins, but are the result of a single egg rather than two. And given what the doctors are seeing and the fact that they are the same gender (more rare in fraternal twins), the chances are greater that they are identical. BUT we won't know for certain until they are born. Quite honestly, it doesn't matter to use one way or the other whether they are identical or fraternal; it's more fascinating than anything else.
Are you high risk?
Similar to the identical/fraternal discussion, not exactly as straight forward. Of the risk associated with twins, I'm the least of the risky subsets of twins - they are in separate sacks, independent of each other. With that being said, though I'm not quite at the high-risk age, twins are innately more risky than singletons. We'll be seeing them more frequently (monthly for the time being) and my levels are monitored at a greater stringency due to the fact that I am more susceptible to complications.
Is your care any different?
At this moment, not terribly much. I see my OB and a fetal-maternal specialist once a month. My OB checks on the heart beats and on my health and the fetal-maternal specialist does the ultrasounds to mark progress, development, etc. of the twinkles. These two separate appointments will continue for at least another month. If my fetal-maternal specialist signs off, then I can switch solely to care from my OB who will up my appointments to twice a month shortly.
When is your due date?
My due date is 31 May (moved up from the original June date), but it's highly unlikely that I will , make it that long. The goal is 37 weeks, but quite honestly, I think that anytime after April is fair game. In whatever regard, we are preparing for the possibility of a reasonably longer stay in the hospital, but we are fully confident in the team at the hospitals here and my goal is to keep these little ladies put as long as possible.
Will you have to have a c-section?
Again, like many of these questions, the answer is not entirely straightforward. My ability to have them naturally is dependent upon a myriad of if-then scenarios that are nearly impossible to predict at this time. My birth plan (if you can call it that) with these girls (as it was with their brother) is: go to the hospital, get an epidural, have a baby - and really anything that has to happen between getting to the hospital and having the babies, I'm 100% OK with ensure both their and my safety and health.
What was Scott's response to finding out you were having twins?
As a calm as a cucumber. Which is a little bit of a switch in personalities for us (I laughed at the doctor and asked him if he was kidding - Not a good idea FYI, the doctor was NOT amused). Apparently my husband had a sneaking suspicion that I was pregnant with multiples due to the fact that this pregnancy has been so vastly different than my pregnancy with Liam. Not that we'll get another chance at this, but I'm since informed him that if he has suspicions like this in the future, to share them rather than keep them to himself.
What will you be doing about work?
As many of you have followed my career, you likely are aware that I love what I do. And though I loathe the question are you returning to work? I understand that it's a reasonable question given the change of dynamic in our family, the cost of child care, and just the logistical challenges all together. I do plan to return to work, in the same role as I had previously. We'll have to work on the travel component, but we are incredibly fortunate to have a lot of family and friend support close by. Also, I'm incredibly fortunate to have a supportive husband who is an equal partner in raising our child (soon-to-be children) and I never have any worries about leaving him alone with Liam when I travel.
Has this pregnancy been different than your first?
It has, but I don't attribute that too much to either the fact that it's my second or the fact that it's multiples. I have it on good authority that every pregnancy is different. Having had a singleton the first go round and multiples the second, I don't feel as if either is a fair measure of the other. I think that everyone's pregnancy experience is unique. I will say that outside of the growing so much quicker than the first go-round, that's really the only unique different between carrying a single and multiples. Stay tuned on this one though, I'm only half way there.
What is the one thing that you cannot live without at the moment?
Sleep is a precious commodity these days and the pregnancy pillow has been so crucial in helping to make me as comfortable as possible.
If you have any other questions about our pregnancy, multiples, or generally anything, feel free to shoot me an email or leave it in the comments below. I suspect that I'll be doing a couple more of these run downs.