Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Huffing and Puffing...

...with each step up the hill leading to my office! My-oh-my! I have taken to walking steadily and slowly while regulating my breathes as of a few weeks ago whenever I am walking in an incline fashion so that I am not huffing and puffing too much.

This morning, the pace was quickened because I was walking with a colleague and we were engaged in an animated conversation about toys. By the time, I got up to the foyer of our office building, I was in a mess. I was not perspiring or red in the face but rather, as you guessed it, huffing and puffing! hahahaha...

She apologied profusely for my discomfort as we had both clearly forgotten about the delicate condition I am in. Clearly, my lung capacity has decrease somewhat with two placentas feeding both my babies! Oh well, so long as they are fed and are happy! :)

I have also been told that pregnancy suits me! Well, thank you! The flush on my cheeks, the radiance of my skin, etc...ahhhhhh....

Monday, November 22, 2010

Update at 15 weeks 4 days

The usual complains from fellow pregnant women include weight gain, cravings, etc.

Since I have none of the above two mentioned symptoms, mine is not exactly a complain and rather a perplexing one.

To date, I have lost 6kg, still averse to most foods and have no cravings whatsoever!

The Doctor assures me that as long as I am able to keep food and water down + keep up with all the vitamins, I am okay. I suppose as long as he says it's okay, it's okay with me and the babies.

I no longer live to eat...........and yes, constipation still abounds (not that you need to know).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Presenting the Bump at 14 weeks

Numerous health developments have taken place in the last fortnight and some days are certainly easier than others. Well, life is never predictable at the best of times.

Besides the loving support of my darling husband, intimate network of friends, the other aspect that's been holding me together is my growing bump. It never ceases to conjour a myriad of emotions from within me.

I love making connection with our babies through touching of the bump and by conversing with them. They are with me everywhere I go and I feel so loved.

These photos were taken on the weekend when my babies were 14 weeks 2 days.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A glimpse into helplessness

The dream of parenthood has been on our radar for the last four years. We had known right from the start that this journey would be a challenging one and nothing could have prepared us for what lies ahead. Fast forward four years and today, I am 14 weeks pregnant and very grateful. Right from the start, we made a pact that we want to know everything about this pregnancy – hopefully, more good than the not-so-good.

Last week I experienced a small glimpse into what it really means to feel helpless. It’s not about desire for control. It’s literally about helplessness that we are unable to do anything except wait and pray that all will be well in due course.

At 12 weeks, I underwent a Nuchal Translucency Test by choice, to ascertain if our twins were at any risk of chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome. The first half of the test done via a high tech scan was absolutely delightful. We saw both our children – at the right size, heartbeats sounded like galloping horses, one was sucking fingers of the left hand (I am left handed), the other kept shielding the face (just like Jared would), they were kicking, hiccupping, etc.

It is such a privilege to be able to witness their amazing growth all thanks to modern technology. Our hearts were aflutter with joy and relief. Then reality hit. Twin #2 has an enlarged bladder and a 1 in 71 chance of having Down syndrome. We were and still are grappling with this news.

Yesterday, we met with our Obstetrician who offered us the opportunity to explore our options, verbalise our concerns and values which led to our eventual decision. We understand that many couples have been in our position and have come out at the end, relief that all is well. We sure hope we are one of those many lucky and bless couples.

For us, the risk is much too high for us not to do anything about it. It would be highly unfair on the child and on us not to do anything and proceed to full-term with the knowledge that there may be a potential problem because if it is an undesirable outcome, there is no turning back from then on.

In coming to terms with the decision of undergoing Amniocentesis at 16 weeks and having been made fully aware of the risks involved including 1 in 200 chance of miscarriage, it is a single question that gave us the impetus to proceed and that is “What can we not live with?”

The image that comes to my mind straight away is that of a 70 year old man pushing the wheelchair of a physically and/or mentally disabled adult child aged 33. That is the mental picture I cannot live with. That is not the quality of life we want for our child, let alone the impact it will have on our marriage.

The Obstetrician then offered us the synopsis of a “normal” Down syndrome child (who goes to a normal school) and a “not so normal” Down syndrome Child (with multiple organ failures). I stopped him and explained that both Jared and I come from a family of educators and many of my closest friends are school principals so I am more than acutely aware of the reality of having a child with Down syndrome. The impact on the family is very real and it is for life. We are the ones who will have to live with it daily, not anyone else.

Our obstetrician nodded his head in agreement. His silence further re-affirmed our decision which has not been made lightly.

We hope for a favourable outcome which assures us that all is well so that we may breathe a little better and enjoy this miraculous pregnancy a little more. We love them both very dearly and like all parents, we just want to give them a good quality of life that affords them independence and the ability for them to live life to the full.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Another Milestone: 12 weeks 5 days

Today, I was greeted by my nemesis - Constipation! I shall not go into too much details except to share with you that it was certainly not a good morning to be detained as we had a 7:45am appointment with the Queensland Ultrasound for Women. To cut a potentially disturbing story short, I was very comfortable by the time I had my all important appointment.

For the last few days, I have been wondering if this pregnancy is a figment of my imagination because the nausea has definitely abated (touch wood that it does not return with a vengence tonight!).

In we went to a large room with an even larger LCD screen hanging on the wall - it must have been at least 60 inch! The Sonographer was very friendly and assuring as she applied warm gel on my tummy and began manuveouring the thingy on my belly.

WOW! What we saw absolutely blew us away! The quality of the moving images were AMAZING! We saw our children.

  • They were very energetic - constantly moving and never staying still
  • One was sucking the finger on the left hand (I am left handed)
  • One was shielding his/her face with the hand (just like Jared)
  • Both with very strong heartbeats that sounded like galloping horses
  • One was hiccuping regularly!
The Sonographer took many images and checked many aspects of our children. We saw my placenta, ovaries, the blood distribution, ambilical cords, etc. It was absolutely AMAZING, to state the least.

As with this type of high tech scanning, there's also the other confronting aspect.

Twin #1 is growing very well.

Twin #2 is growing very well and has a complication with an enlarged bladder. We hope that it's just a case of him / her not emptying the bladder this morning and not something more sinister which can be detrimental to his/her well being.

The next is to see my Obstetrician for our 13th week scan next Monday to talk further with him about this and our next BIG scan is in 4 weeks time when I am 16 weeks pregnant to ascertain if this complication has abated.

I now understand what it means to feel helpless as a mother. There is nothing I can do to help Twin #2 except have words with him/her and also to keep a positive outlook - that's one of the best traits I can pass on to our children.

Before I conclude, I would like to offer the following prayer to me and also to all mothers:

Heavenly Father, creator of all things,
you have been pleased to enable
my husband and me to collaborate with you in conceiving our children.
Thank you for your gracious gift.
Help me to guard this new life carefully and do nothing to hurt them in anyway.

After our children's birth, let us lavish them with love and
bring them up in your love and service so that
they will become children of yours and inherit your kingdom.

Be with us, O Lord, in this greatest of tasks to comfort,
strengthen, calm and enlighten us. Amen.