Sunday, May 23, 2010

Out with the old, in with the new

So last night, as I was enjoying a nice dinner with my parents, I mentioned the fact that my belly is already so big that I was getting stressed about how I was going to get the belly ring out of my belly, since the ring opening function wasn't working. Essentially if it didn't come out soon, it was gonna rip out.

Thus, the scene five minutes later, with me and my top hiked up and Dad coming at me with wire-cutting capable pliers. 

I got the belly ring in my 20's, when indie films was my game, and scraping money together for rent each month was my key objective.  Times change.  Yes, if I wanted to put the ring back in, I might be able to, but you know? That belly ring was the old, and there's a LOT of new about to happen. 

I  think I will just focus instead on trying to get the belly back to FLAT after the twins arrive. That, in and of itself, will be a tough objective to achieve.

Just another little defining moment on this cool journey.  What were some of yours?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

IPS Sceening Redux - Who knew the test isn't good for multiples?

No, I am not a medical practitioner, and so please do your research and speak to your doctors before making decisions, but I thought I would update everyone on what we learned from the genetics counsellor we met with on Thursday at CHEO.

IPS screening is not good for women with multiples.  And it is even worse for women with multiples who are older.  How do I know this? No one told me, but going into the testing, I, based on my age, ethnicity and history, was going to automatically get a bad result on this test!  Might have been something I would want to know going into the testing, perhaps...?

So here's what happened.  I was prescribed the IPS screening. This entails an ultrasound, married with a blood test, around 11-13 weeks, followed up by another blood test later (4 weeks later) to screen for certain conditions such as Downs Syndrome, Spina Bifida etc. I took the test thinking "I just want another reason to know we can relax - I am sure the results will be good."  Bad idea.

So yeah.  We were told that our screening revealed a 'positive result' and that each of our twins had a 1 in 250 chance of having Downs.  Although my doctor did say that the test was not ideal for women pregnant with multiples, she did NOT say that the poor result on the test was likely DUE to the fact that we had twins! 

This is what the counsellor revealed to us.  First, the blood test?  Thrown out and not used for our results.  They are not able to accurately measure the protein they are looking for or determine how much each of the twin babies is generating, thus, they don't consider it in the results (amusing, as I took an our off work to go get the bloodwork done).  This also means that BECAUSE they didn't have the information about the protein, they INCREASED the positive (bad) result on the test because they weren't able to have this to factor into it, thus, they increased our odds that the babies have Downs.

Secondly, the counsellor told me that before I even went into the test, based on who I am (see the second paragraph), I already had a 1 in 140 chance of having babies with Downs!  So, as she pointed out, this was also a factor that they used to give us a positive result.

Then....she showed us the only concrete information we had that gave us a true picture of how the babies were doing...she told us the results of the ultrasound measuring the nuchal translucency - which is a measure of the amount of fluid at the back of the neck.  If there is too much (generally over 3.5mm), there could be a problem.  Our results?  Baby A - .9mm, and Baby B - 1mm.  Better than average result.

We had nothing to worry about all along.  A lot of stress for nothing, that could have been avoided with a little time and attention to providing us with the information we needed up front to understand what we were doing.

That said?  We are so very, very relaxed and happy right now, you have no idea.  It's been a good week.

Anyone have interesting stories about their experience with IPS?  Did I get anything wrong here?  Have some better resources on IPS for other women to read in advance of taking the test?  Please comment.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Smokinators - a.k.a death by walking downtown

I never realized working right downtown would be so damned treacherous.  When the 'smokinators' are out (and they are out at all working hours), you walk the sidewalks at your own peril.  Walking to a destination?  The smokinators are walking ahead of you, billowing puffballs of carcinogenic smoke into your face behind them.  Meandering through a small courtyard with lovely trees and planters?  The smokinators are perched like so many pesky pigeons on the planters, sucking on their death sticks and blowing into your face as you pass.  Entering your workplace's building?  Hold your breath and don't breathe in until you are inside.

It's crazy!  Have people still not gotten the message about smoking?  I never realized just how many people still played that roulette game...

And for mommies to be?  It's downright angering to have to suffer through it.  I've taken to jogging ahead of these people and holding my breath.  Later in my pregnancy, I'm not sure jogging will be an option!

Okay...that's my rant for today.  Other than that, it was a good day.

Stay healthy, everyone!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I would just like to know WHY I can't simply be allowed to enjoy my pregnancy

We've made it past 12 weeks.  Cause for celebration, right?  Nope.  Just got a call from my family Dr. to tell me that BOTH twins tested positive for a chance of Down's syndrome on the IPS screening we just went through.

Seriously?  Pissed.  I am angry.  WHY are we that 1 in 100, 200 or 400 that get a positive reading?  WHY can't we JUST GET SOME RELIEF FROM THIS STRESS????

I'm sorry. I am just so very frustrated, and tired, and yes...angry that we can't just have a friggin' normal pregnancy, filled with happiness, and nursery planning and normal, healthy problems...really.  Why?

Thing is...I REALLY don't want to do an amnio.  I don't want to increase, even slightly, the chance that we can miscarry again. I don't want to do these violent tests on these poor, fragile babies inside of me.  It's invasive, and risky and frankly...upsetting to us all.

And further to this?  What the hell would we do even WITH a better idea of the chance the babies have Down's?  I don't think I could terminate this...I really don't...but I don't know.

I'm tortured and upset and I welcome any thoughts, stories, input or information you may have.  Just don't know where to go from here. more essential piece of info...they are saying it's positive, but at a rate of 1 in 250!  So really?  That's less than .5%. 

What the fuck to do?  I'm so tired of this.  Tired of asking why and why me?  Why couldn't we just have had an 'all clear', as we should, after 3 miscarriages in a row, deserve? 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Swipe and See - What every pregnant woman does in her first trimestre

I can't believe the wait is almost over.  Tomorrow marks week 12 for these two little 'goobers' inside me, which all women know is a BIG DEAL.  It marks the end of the first trimestre.  It marks the culmination of many weeks of forming key organs and setting the stage for the growth phases.  If all is not well now, then it won't ever be.

It's a scary thought.

And I am personally very happy that I have my IPS (Integrated Prenatal Screening) ultrasound on Monday afternoon in order to confirm, for the THIRD time now, that all is well and looks healthy.  After three miscarriages, you just really don't let yourself TRULY beleive that this thing will actually work out, ya know?

Which brings me to the title of this post.  I don't know about you, but I look forward to a time when I won't feel compelled to take a look after going to the washroom.  A very personal topic, certainly, but every woman, previous miscarriage or not, will 'get' what the 'swipe and see' is all about.  And you can read all the books and articles you want that tell you a bit of spotting is okay, but for me?...spotting has led EVERY TIME to the loss of my baby. 

But.  This time?  All clear.

And so, too, will my mind be come Monday night.  I can just feel it.  All will be well, and I can start to bond with these two little miracles inside me.  I can be a happy future Mommy. I am crying with relief and happiness at the thought of it.  It has been a long 12 weeks.