Tuesday, January 27, 2009

6 to 12 weeks, and a belly!

A visible belly!

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
(Psalm 139:13-14)

We spent Christmas time with Jess' parents in Oklahoma. For few days we had a couple of 75-degree days in winter time. That's a nice change from Michigan weather, in the month of January we've been in the single digits temperatures. I tell you: it eventually gets old. The days down in Oklahoma were relaxing; we got to see a lot of friends, work on the cars, see Bethany's new place, and meet the Jangla family again. But we wanted to go back to Michigan soon for our first appointment with the first MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine) specialist on January 2nd.

After a short wait we got into the ultrasound room. For the first time I got to see and hear the babies heartbeats (around 176 bpm). It sounds like a train. And they are so tiny, around 25 mm (1 inch). Then we sat down with the doctor. He explained that some doctors (including him) would advise to perform a "Cerclage" (cervical stitch) during weeks 12 to 14. This will help to prevent early delivery or pregnancy loss. But other doctors would advise not to do that procedure and rely on close observation of the pregnancy. Also, he indicated that we should make a final decision to which hospital we wanted to use for the baby delivery. We heard that in our state there are two very good and highly specialized hospitals that deal with high risk multiple pregnancies. So we selected the one closest to home. And this meant to go to a second set of doctors.

On January 16th, we went to the recommended OB/GYN doctor. This doctor has been working on multiple birth pregnancies for around 20 years. And last year he delivered about 3 sets of triplets. So, we felt in good hands. When we talked about the Cerclage procedure, he strongly advised not to perform it. Because the leaser actions that are perform into the mother womb the better chances to have a trouble-free pregnancy. He indicated that in the past in many cases where other patients that he received had this procedure done; the mothers will go into contractions, inducing early labor. Because the stitch will irritate the cervix, which will disturb the uterus and complicates the pregnancy. In other cases the uterus growth can get to the point where the stitch was placed and ripped through it, causing more complications.

He indicated that the best approach is to have amount of rest to be increased as the pregnancy progresses. He also said that it was very good that Jessica didn't have to work, because to be a home at this point of the pregnancy in his opinion, would be advised. Then as the pregnancy evolved, the rest will change from home-rest with minor walks around the house, to limited rest, then to full bed rest, and finally it will require full hospital rest. During the whole process their team would keep a close monitoring of the cervix length. Having ultrasounds performed every 2 weeks. And then weekly observations will be done. He said that as long as the cervix is longer than 2cm, everything would be fine.

The only complication right now is the constant nausea.

Then the doctor proceeded to do an ultrasound. Once again we were excited to see the babies. Now at almost 11 weeks, the babies are now around 38 mm (1.5 inch). And they were moving so fast! I'm so amazed that several weeks ago they were microscopic, and no-visible to the human eye. And now they are visible, with strong heartbeats, we even got to see the blood flow in the umbilical cords. Each one of them is in their own amniotic sac. It was fascinating. And the cervix is currently at 5cm. The doctor gave her prescription medicine to help her with her nausea. Because we've been worried that she hasn't been able to keep any food in her system for the past month. We got the medicine and it finally stopped the vomiting.

Finally, Jess is starting to show a belly. Some people expect to see a huge tummy (come on the babies are only an inch long!). People don't understand that it won't happen in the first trimester. The first three months is a period of rapid development, then the next three months will be period of rapid growth. So, in the next few months we'll see her belly grow at a much faster pace. Plus Jessica is tall, and still has plenty of space in her abdomen. But I know that eventually, the babies' growth will catch up and out-growth her size.

Today (January 27th), we had an appointment with the OB/GYN doctor. Everything went well, and actually the doctor measure her tummy and it is equivalent to a 15 weeks single-baby-pregnancy. So we are good. Baby “A” was kicking baby “C” in the head; it was funny to see. And baby "B" was doing abdominal exercises. Jess weight is also increasing normally, so we don’t have to worry about how much she is eating. The babies average length was 5.5cm (2.2inch), and heart rate was 160bpm.

"My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
(Psalm 139:15-16)

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