- The doctors are pretty certain that they are identical (monozygotic). For those of you who don't know, that means that there was just one egg and one sperm, and that the egg split after fertilization. They are actually in two different sacks, but it appears that they share a placenta (a huge indicator of identical twins) and the membrane is extremely thin that separates them.
- The doctors are also carefully monitoring the amount of fluid in each sack. Right now, the greatest risk is for Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome which can only occur when there is one placenta. This happens when one baby receives too much blood flow (bigger baby) and the other one doesn't receive enough (resulting in a smaller baby). As of today, both babies are exactly the same size which indicates that they are receiving the same amount of blood. This is a very, very good thing!
- One of the most commonly asked questions is if twins run in our family. From what I've learned, there is nothing hereditary about identical twins. It is simply a genetic abnormality where a cell splits when it isn't "supposed" to. As far as fraternal twins go, there are a lot of factors. It can be hereditary passed through the women in your family; older women tend to have twins because it is more likely for older women to have two eggs release simultaneously; previous pregnancies can play a factor; and obviously fertility drugs play an huge roll. But, with my situation, it does not appear that it had anything to do with heredity.
- Today, these babies are about the size of bananas. We have determined that Baby A deserves a much feistier name than Baby B because I can feel him moving NONSTOP and his heartbeat has always been about 25-30 beats faster than his brother's! In fact, Paige's heartbeat was never as high as this baby (hers stayed around 150 - or lower - all the time, which threw me off a little since we didn't find out her gender before she was born). They generally say that girls have faster heartbeats, but I have a feeling my little Baby A is going to be a spitfire. Good thing! That's exactly what our family needs, a little more energy. We have so many shy, reserved children already, it will be great to have a change. :)
- I am still in so much shock that this is actually happening to us. I think back to six/seven years ago when we were struggling to do anything and everything possible to try to have "just one more baby." We really tried to have our kids closer than three years, but it just didn't seem to work out. That was an extremely hard time for us. Here we are, just a few years later, and we are going to have five kids under the age of eight!!! I never, NEVER - in a million years - thought that I would ever have five kids. We were extremely lucky/blessed to have two. When Paige was born, she seemed like the icing on top of an already adorable two-layer cake. It is just a testimony to me that the Lord really does answer our prayers - even if it takes several years.
- When it comes to names, my brain is still turning to mush. I keep waiting for something to stand out and win me over. It hasn't happened yet. We have tentatively decided to give them both of our father's names as middle names. Now, we just have to come up with a couple of first names.
- I cannot express my gratitude for all of you amazing mothers (and fathers) out there who have told me how much you love having twins. I get such mixed reactions from people that I absolutely cherish the ones with positive attitudes. Thank you so much!
- I have officially given in to maternity clothes. They don't quite fit yet, but nothing else in the closet seems to fit anymore either.
- On a completely unrelated note: Now that we are starting the potty training with Paige, she frequently accompanies me to the bathroom so she can "learn by example." There is nothing better than hearing "Great job, Mommy! High five." And they say that you never get any positive feedback when you're a mother!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
I am officially 18 weeks today, and the babies both look great. A few tidbits I have learned over the past few days: