It was a rough morning leading up to the ultrasound. Jordan was very positive, and imagine that - I was very negative. I couldn't get excited for it as I assumed there would be some inevitably bad news. I cried off an on all morning (again - imagine that!) in anticipation, but then we got there and everything turned around. Our tech, named Danielle, was lovely yet very professional at the same time. Immediately I felt at ease with her which was a completely different feeling than at our 18 week ultrasound last time.
So first order of business - there's 2 there! Yay, I have not fallen into the 21-30% of cases where the 2nd baby "vanishes". Obviously great news. She then proceeds to take us through each baby at a time, explaining absolutely everything about what she's looking at. She of course could not see nearly as much as at the 18 week ultrasound but it was really shocking to me how much these little creatures looked like babies! At 8 weeks they're tadpoles and 4 weeks later they're fully formed, just tiny. I swear one was sucking his/her thumb. Quite advanced for its age I'd suspect.
In the future the babies will be referred to as Baby A (the one who will be born first) and Baby B (the one on top) but she didn't want to label them that yet because they could still change position before the next ultrasound. So she ended up naming them Upper Twin and Twin B lower, lovingly called Twin Blower by its dad.
Upper was way more active and slightly larger at 5.6 cms. Blower was pretty sleepy but did end up performing when required, and measured 5.4 cms. Apparently this is all very normal that they have a minor size difference. Each of them had a heartbeat of 164 bpm, again normal. Those measurements seemed to keep consistent with my original due date of Feb. 5th (making me 12 weeks tomorrow), but Colleen will confirm at our next appointment on Monday. 40 fingers and toes looked good, the brains, stomachs, and tiny hearts looked good, and most importantly to us, they were surrounded by ample fluid. It was too early to see kidneys but she could see bladders. That one caused some tears of relief. By our theory an easily recognized bladder means it's full and if it's full, kidneys are filling it. Please let this be the case. At this point we have no reason to think it's not.
Another great piece of news is that we happened to get one of the two ultrasound techs in Victoria who is certified to test nuchal thickness. In short, nuchal thickness can mean Downs Syndrome or other defects. In long, see here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuchal_scan. Wow - did the Trousdells actually get some good luck by getting this tech? I think so! If you don't qualify you have to pay $300 - $500 for the test (I believe to qualify you have to be an older mom, which thank goodness I'm not yet, or you have to have a history of defects, which we don't fall into strangely enough). Yowsa, no thanks, not for that money. However, apparently when there is availability of a certified tech and you are expecting twins, you qualify! So what that means to us is that she did a very precise measurement of the skin at the back of Upper and Blowers' necks. A measurement of 3mm or less at this age is normal and both of them measured around 1mm. Great news.
Last detail - we're probably looking at identicals as opposed to the original thought that they were fraternal. They were thankfully each in their own sac but she could only see one placenta. In theory I guess one could have been hiding, but if not we're looking at 2 boys or 2 girls that will be nearly impossible to tell apart, at least at the beginning. We'll find out more at the next ultrasound, and of course if they happen to be one of each sex then that theory goes out the window. For some reason I find identicals even more overwhelming than fraternals but it's going to be amazing either way. Seriously though, is it wrong that all I can think of is Daniel and Henrik and how "special" (read: WEIRD) they are?! I mean I guess it's pretty cool to be two halves of the same person and I'm sure they'll have ESP and special connections with each other. But at 30+ years old are they still going to be living together and shaving their red beards EXACTLY the same???
Anyway, enough being silly. All in all a fantastic outcome. Babies are healthy and mom and dad are relieved. Oh, and not to mention that big sister was brought into the know today and she is ecstatic. I have already needed to repeatedly tell her what she is going to help with and I think she is going to take this role very seriously.
We are a happy family today. Welcome Upper and Blower, can't wait to meet you! Just make sure you cook for another 25 weeks :)
Snuggling side by side - froggy legs in the air