Once again, here's your friendly pregnancy post warning. I'm seriously considering stealing Belle's idea of post images of Jaxson and Daisy as warnings for these posts so that 1) people who would prefer to skip these can know to bypass and 2) to spread the kitty love. Anyway, please, please, PLEASE skip this post if you are not in a good place right now. There will be others to come very soon about my recent therapy sessions, which I'm sure you'll find all the more entertaining. Take care of yourself first.
Today Grey and I woke early and made our way to the university for our 20 week ultrasound. I've been very nervous for this ultrasound for a number of reasons, the first being we would determine whether our luck was holding and if both babies were healthy. Both Grey and I have witnessed how birth defects or genetic abnormalities can alter an expectant parent's existence. And though I've met some amazing people with equally amazing children who lead full, beautiful lives, the initial devastation of these diagnoses is not lost on either of us.
The long and the short of it is that both Beats are not only cleared for any birth defect that would have been detectable, but they also had zero soft markers. I'm still floored by this news, as I truly was expected at least one or two (which is common even in healthy babies).
The ultrasound tech was amazing, sweet talking each Beat to get all the necessary images she needed. Somehow she managed to convince a very stubborn Beat A to flip over in order to get a better view of the beating heart. Grey quickly declared her the baby whisperer.
Then came the icing on the cake: Beat A is a He-Beat; Beat B is a She-Beat. After 3 yrs of infertility/loss, we could really have cared less. Still, the news brought tears to both our eyes.
After all the measurements were taken, the ultrasound tech checked my cervix. As of today, it is 4.2 cm long and not budging under pressure. The MFM physician overseeing the ultrasound was clearly pleased with all of this, declaring everything "beautiful."
After the ultrasound, Grey and I wandered down to a part of campus we both were familiar with to grab some breakfast and process/spread the news. For the first time in a very long time, it was evident both of us were relaxed, just living in the moment and all that is to come. We haven't had a breakfast like this in years and it was nice to just be with one another, not worrying about all the other details in life.
After breakfast, it was back to the MFM clinic for an appointment with our care providers and to talk some more about genetic testing. At this point, they don't recommend a quad screen for us, but emphasized that we should think all of this over. At this point, we're both leaning against doing this screen as there is some uncertainty of the results with twins and we're fairly comfortable with the results we have so far. Still, it's something we need to explore.
After that and getting some additional information, our perinatologist poked her head back into the exam room when I had finished dressing and asked if we were interested in participating in a study that would help prevent preterm birth and stillborn.
Side note: For those of you who haven't already, please go support MissC as she prepares to walk for March of Dimes. I don't need to make much of a case for why supporting this organization is important, but one thing I will say is that in addition to a need for funding for this research, access to patient samples is greatly limited.
As soon as I was dressed, the study coordinator who works for the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth came in to talk with Grey and me. The goal of the study is actually to build a repository containing samples and information from women who have both high risk and normal pregnancies. This repository would be available for researchers for such things as the discovery of biomarkers to identify women and babies at risk for preterm birth and stillbirth, to create screening tools for potential adverse pregnancy outcomes, to generate diagnostics as well as treatment and prevention strategies and even for determining the cause of these conditions with hopes of prevention.
Needless to say, after being a part of this community and witness people I love live through the heartache of lossing a child, giving a few extra milliliters of blood, urine, undergo a couple more vaginal swabs, giving up some placental cells, cord blood and filling out a few questionnaires was a no brainer.
Tonight, as Grey and I are looking to the future, we are also taking a moment to remember all we've been through and the way it's changed us. Not once over the past few months have I not woken up without a silent "thank you" passing my lips seconds later. We both know how lucky we are to be where we are today and to have the support from such an amazing community and loved ones. Today's news is an even stronger reminder of that.
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