Baby Ticker

Our Twenty-Three Week Appointment

Bernard @ April 19, 2005, 9:11 am -- [Week 23, Day 1]

Last Friday we had another doctor’s appointment. The appointment started with some basics — a urine sample, a weighing and a measurement of blood pressure. With this appointment, Agnes has just about caught up to me in weight. At the start of the pregnancy, I outweighed Agnes by about twenty pounds. She says that after she puts on a little more weight, she’ll be able to squash me.

The obstetrician did a fairly informal ultrasound. She just verified that the twins had enough fluid around them still. One often find twins starting to run out of space towards the end of pregnancy. Fortunately, that’s not the case with our twins yet.

The doctor said that at our next appointment we’ll see if they’re still growing well, and if they’re close to being equal in size. In each of our appointments, one baby has always been slightly larger than the other. We want to make sure that the discrepancy in size doesn’t grow significantly. With identical twins, there is a risk of a complication known as Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome where, though the twins share the same placenta, one twin takes more than its share of nutrients at the expense of the other. Again, there fortunately is no sign of any such thing with our twins. The doctor moved us up to seeing her every two weeks instead of every four weeks just so things can be monitored a little more closely from here on.

Finally, we got the results of our triple screen exam. This exam tests for neural tube defects, the presence of Down Syndrome and the presence of Trisomy 18. Each of the tests establishes a probability for the likelihood of a problem, and if the probability is above a certain threshold, then further tests are recommended. We chose to do this triple screen to determine if the relatively dangerous amniocentesis was recommended. Our neural tube defect test and our Down Syndrome test came back negative. Not enough data is available on twins to tell us how to interpret the data about the Trisomy 18 test. On the other hand, Trisomy 18 is always accompanied with heart defects and two weeks ago we had a fetal echocardiogram which showed two healthy hearts. We’ll try to get some of the video from that fetal echocardiogram posted soon. Anyway, it looks like we don’t really need to be worried.

So far so good!