Yesterday started off as a normal day at the maternal fetal specialist. The ultrasound tech was doing her thing, and then asked, “Are you sure Baby A (Gabriel) is on your left and B (Zeke) is on your right?” Having had about 100 ultrasounds at this point, I replied, “If there’s one thing I am sure of it is that A’s on the left and B’s on the right.” So, she studied her paperwork more closely and then notified me that the twins had swapped sides. If it hadn’t been for Zeke’s CCAM — the only distinguishing feature between Gabriel and Zeke — we would have been none the wiser to the twins repositioning. I mean, I knew my wild boys had been moving a lot, but I never expected a complete reversal.
Mommy @ 28 weeks. (The red dot on my belly is the tiny scar from the laser surgery.)
The ultrasound and biophysical profiles went fine. However, the differences in the boys’ weights are of growing concern. Zeke is currently 3 pounds, 3 ounces, which puts him in the 34 percentile for a typical 31-week gestation. But Gabriel is only 2 pounds, 10 ounces, putting him in the 11 percentile. Dr. Joy decided to do a non-stress test (NST), which monitors the babies’ heart beats and my uterus. The findings can help determine if all is still going well in the placental environment. Gabriel and Zeke were pretty uncooperative, bouncing around like crazy monkeys. But what the test did show was that I was having minor contractions toward the top of my uterus every 3-4 minutes — minor, yes, but consistent, patterned contractions nonetheless. And here I thought these pangs were just more cool karate kicks.
Therefore, Dr. Joy and company sent me over to maternity admissions, so that Dr. Stringer — my OB who just so happened to working at the hospital that day — could give me an internal exam to check out my cervix and an RN could continue my NST. Thankfully, my cervix hadn’t either dilated and effaced (thinned) — two telltale signs of labor. Dr. Stringer also opted to give me a fetal fibronectin test. The exam tests for a hormone that is only present in a woman’s body during labor. Kim, the wonderful midwife who brought Houston into the world, notified me that my test results were negative, explaining that this means there is a 97% chance I will NOT go into pre-term labor in the next two weeks. Kim passed along the good NST readings and fibronectin results to Dr. Stringer, who finally gave the okay to discharge me around 8:30 p.m., nearly seven hours after my arrival at the hospital for my weekly ultrasound.
Mommy at 31 weeks.
As it stands now, I will have ultrasounds, biophysical profiles and an NST every Monday and another NST every Thursday, and the babies’ weights will be measured in another two weeks. If at that time their weight discrepancy has increased, that will be evidence that my placenta is indeed pooping out and the twins will need to be taken by c-section. I’m 31 weeks now, so gestation then would be 33 weeks … not too shabby for my atypical pregnancy, but still premature.
You know how some weirdos have been rumored to have eaten the placenta (a.k.a. the afterbirth) once their child is born? Well, being that my bum placenta has caused Gabriel and Zeke a bunch of problems during this roller coaster of a pregnancy, Stephen and I are toying with the idea of stomping on my afterbirth, taking it to the shooting range and riddling it with bullets, and then letting a pack of wild dogs devour it. Like I said, it’s just an idea.