Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Do twins run in your family?

As I mentioned in my 'coming out' post my great grandmother had a set of fraternal twins. Now this great grandmother also had 11 other children. The twins were #7 and #8 in that string of children. So it makes me think, if one were to have enough children aren't you bound to get twins eventually?? Maybe not the SECOND go round? This was my mother's mother's mother. Seems pretty far removed if you asked me....

Just to clarify up front for those not familiar:
Fraternal twins is the mother releasing TWO eggs at once and they both get fertilized by two sperm. Basically two siblings just sharing a womb. Gender combinations can be boy/girl, boy/boy, or girl/girl. However boy/girl is most common. This is also common with fertility drugs (which we did not do) because women are getting more eggs fertilized or the drugs are causing multiple eggs to release (I am no expert on fertility drugs and honestly have no idea bout them so that is all I will speak about that)

Identical twins is a fertilized egg splitting and the twins share DNA. In this case they will be the same gender and never one of each. This type is rare and not hereditary.

As I mentioned in my earlier post our twins are Di/Di. Now these are most likely fraternal but on a rare case can still be identical. We do not know yet, after finding out our gender, if it's a boy and a girl we will know for sure they are fraternal, if they are the same gender we still will not know without a DNA test done after birth.

I had heard that fraternal twins are hereditary and is passed down through the mothers. Although after reading this (NYTimes article: The Claim: Twins Always Skip a Generation ) it points out that a son can get/carry the gene (although not effected since they do not ovulate) and pass it on to his daughter. Also says it's a myth that twins skip a generation.

With that being said... my father's mother had a miscarriage with twins. So does that mean my father had the gene and passed in on to me? Maybe that is how I got the gene??? Through my mother AND father. That would make more sense how I happen to have twins after a few generations without them. 

I am also at a higher chance for twins because I already had a child. For some reason this increases your chances....? I am over 30... but not by much (31). Everyone stands a 1 in 30 chance of having twins. This chance for me now goes to 1 in 14 if we decide to try and get pregnant again. Whoa!

"The genes that cause a woman to have fraternal twins are unknown." (source)

So it kinda seems like my question of twins running in the family still remains unknown or at least no the clear answer I was looking for. 

One other theory of twins I have is, as you saw with my great grandmother she had a lot of children. And I feel like in the past people were having bigger families. Maybe since now-a-days people are having smaller families and waiting longer to have those small families. God is blessing people with twins to make up fo rthe fact that these big families aren't being created as much as they used to?? Just a theory :-) 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

We Planned.... God Laughed

Well I'm ready to share my news with the world... well anyone out there who reads my blog I guess.

We are pregnant!!!!
Twin B info removed

With TWINS!!!!
Twin A leg info removed

baby A B info removed

They are Di/Di twins, which means Dichorionic/Diamniotic. A lot of people ask "fraternal or identical?" Well with Di/Di chances are they are fraternal (aka: dizygotic) but there is still a 14% chance they could be identical (one egg fertilized and split early - aka: monozygotic)... but this is not evident on ultrasound. Once we find out the gender that will give us a better idea, obviously boy/girl is fraternal (meaning two eggs fertilized by two sperm). The other types of twins are Mo/Di and Mo/Mo. Di/Di is the safest way of carrying twins, so there's a positive. They have their own chorionic and amniotic sacs. They have their own placenta so no chances they will suck nutrients from the other (possible with Mo/Di and Mo/Mo) and they are in their own bags so no entanglement in each other's cords (like Mo/Mo). This is a site I found that has a good explanation. And to answer those lingering thoughts, YES this is all natural... we were planning to have one baby, God laughed at us and planned other wise. We were not doing any sort of IVF or that stuff. Just a gift of God probably passed on from my great grandma Mary.... who also had fraternal twins. Turns out fraternal twins are hereditary on the mother's side. My mother's mother's mother.... there's the lineage. Which I still plan to do some more research into how twins are hereditary. And possibly the stars aligning from a few months prior when Kyle and I were talking about having more kids and I want 3 or 4 and he states "Why can't we just have 2?" me: "Two is too easy." him: "why does everything have to be harder? Why do I have to try and 'challenge' myself?". Yup God wants to give us a challenge.... er... blessing.

We got confirmation Wednesday, October 30th at our First Trimester Screening ultrasound. Okay maybe I should start at the beginning.... I had a feeling it was twins from the beginning and since twins had never crossed my mind with Isaac I thought it very weird that it was so forefront in my mind. I had a lot of signs that were making me think more and more that I was having multiplies:

  • Tested positive with EVENING pee at 3w1d!
  • Felt movement at 10w4d
  • Was super exhausted... although I chalked this up to not being able to sleep as much as I did with Isaac since I was on his schedule and not my own. But boy have I been tired. 
  • Pretty much the same symptoms I had with Isaac just stronger and sooner. Now with Isaac I didn't really even feel I was pregnant in the beginning. We went to Vegas when I was 10 weeks and I could tell no difference. This time I got constipation early (yeah fun huh), started getting headaches before 10 weeks which didn't happen til 17-20 weeks with Isaac. 
  • I was starting to show! I know they say with your second you show faster... but really? My plan was that after I had confirmation it was one I was going to have to put myself on a diet. So that makes me feel better. I'm not just getting fat :-P Well I will be but for a reason.
  • Sciatica and round ligament pain already seemed to be in full swing... seriously!?! I was barely 10 weeks... 
  • And the biggest reg flag of them all my hCG... which is more so of a story. They don't set prenatal appointments until ten weeks. So I set mine up and due to time I did my nursing education one day and my midwife appointment the next. It easiest for child care to just do them before I work and have our nanny come a little earlier to watch Isaac. Since it's the building across from where I work this is easiest. So I had my nurse education... nothing new, I did express that I was concerned about twins and was hoping to get confirmation the next day that there were just one. She informed me that it's typically up to the midwife if they are willing to pull in the portable ultrasound machine or not. With Isaac I had some spotting and she couldn't pick up the heartbeat on the doppler so she pulled in the ultrasound and Kyle and I got to see him kicking and jumping around at 10 weeks. I also got labs done at the end of my nurse ed appointment. I asked her if they check hCG and she said no but would add it on since they were already drawing. Just out of curiosity I wanted to know what it was. Also a friend of mine had miscarriage and this was one of the things they look at so if something was wrong the next day I had the first hCG already drawn and would just need another to compare if they were going up or down. Fast forward to the next day, I have mychart. which just means I can view my lab results and appointments and such from a website. I checked literally JUST before leaving for my midwife appointment to discover my hCG read 373,140!!!! They gave a little charting stating that for 1-10 weeks typical numbers range from 64-151,000 and for 11-15 weeks numbers range from 11,800-152,000 and they go down from there throughout your pregnancy.... so this was a BIG red flag in my eyes. When I brought this up to my midwife (who by the way was not one of the ones willing to pull in the ultrasound stating if we don't get the heartbeat today I'll have you come back in two weeks) she seemed more concerned with WHY we drew a quantitative hCG because that is typically not on the standard blood draw list. I responded that I was curious what my numbers were because I had a funny feeling there were two babies in there.... she didn't seem concerned and stated "well it doesn't mean much because we have nothing to compare it too and since we don't normally draw it I don't even have past numbers to compare it too". Then we talked about the first trimester screening which is optionally and checks for downs. It is non-invasive and involves me doing a blood draw and then an ultrasound performed and taking measurements of the babies neck and nose bone. I was getting more interested in this screening just for the chance of an ultrasound because I did NOT sleep well the night before and didn't want this bothering me until the 20 week ultrasound. She did ask if twins run in the family, which I stated "no I don't think so". I think she finally got the point that I was REALLY concerned with twins when I asked at the end of the visit "so if I am carrying twins can I still deliver with the midwives?" which she answered "No, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there" Then she saw the color drain from my eyes and stated "maybe it is a good idea for you to do the first trimester screening so you can have peace of mind". Oh so NOW you get it! That conversation was after she found the healthy heart beat (and pretty quickly) and stating "There's baby #2 in there!"  and me mumbling "what about #3".  So of course I left the appointment a mess because I did not get the answer I was looking for. Well I sort of did I was happy that we had a healthy heartbeat and that everything seemed healthy. I called my mom on the way home and found out that my grandmother (dad's mom) miscarried with twins between my aunt and uncle... then remembering Uncle Emil and Aunt Em (her aunt/uncle, my great aunt/uncle) Ah there it is. So at this point everything was turning to TWINS! I had a minor breakdown that evening concerned about how this would effect Isaac and that the twins are going to need SO MUCH attention in the beginning. 
Since actually finding out my intuition was true... a coaster of emotion has gone through our bodies. The obvious first was shock. Pure shock the first day, it was as if we JUST had a baby as I couldn't even remember my name and birthday when asked before getting my blood drawn. Then another breakdown. When I put Isaac to bed Wednesday night I just hugged him and cried and soaking up all the love of a singleton it has to offer. The next evening I wasn't so emotional but instead thinking "If I have so much love for and from this little boy... does that mean with two this love is going to be TWICE as much... hey maybe that's not the worst thing?" So I'm getting there. Everyone is SO EXCITED FOR US! And I will be soon. The few days prior to our ultrasound I was working on convincing myself there was just one because I didn't want to be disappointed if we found out it wasn't twins. Then I was concerned it was a girl! Since my hCG was so high that would be the next possible explanation. If it's not twins it's a girl! Which thinking that actually brought me back to hoping it was twins. It's not that I don't want a girl, I just hear so much how the oldest boy and girl next FIGHT. I didn't want them to fight. Now even if it's two girls, they can just fight with each other :-P So it's kinda crazy for us right now, we have a lot going through our minds. I always wanted at least 3 kids... but separately. My biggest concern now is the delivery and getting these babies out safely and making sure they are healthy.

So in the midst of all this I had to have a little fun since it was Halloween. Hey this is a once in a lifetime (Dear Lord please let this be a once in a lifetime) experience. I pulled out my old skeleton with the baby, but since there was just one on it I needed to do a little editing. Instead of making a new shirt or adding a baby to that shirt. I bought a tank top and just made the ribs and babies and pulled it over my other to utilize the arms.

Then Isaac and I also got to carving out our Halloween family Thursday during the day.
family pumpkins-1

These 3D photos are kinda creepy but thought I'd share:
baby A B 3D info removed

Baby A
Twin A 3D info removed

Baby B
Twin B 3D info removed

All images are copyright of Daisy Simpson. It is unlawful and illegal to copy, scan, alter or edit the images in any way. This depreciates the photos value as well as my reputation, I take great care in capturing and editing each image and they are each important to me. Thank you for respecting my passion and my copyright.