June 12, 2008

Our Twins' Countdown Enters 20 Day Window

A month ago, I offered an update, saying our family was in a time of transition, as we prepared to go from a two-person household to four overnight, with the imminent arrival of our twin boy and girl. Last week, we saw another major change in our home as our 18-year-old beagle companion, Molly, passed on, much to our dismay. Today, following an array of doctor's visits, we're going full-speed ahead with more change, as the twins' debut date is no longer months away, but only weeks.

Here's an update.
(And if you're looking for tech or social media, you can skip this post)

This afternoon, Kristine went in for what's called a Fetal Non-Stress Test (NST), her third, where the babies' heart rates are measured, and she's monitored to check for contractions, be they Braxton Hicks, or the real thing. In both of the first two visits, contractions were definitely taking place, and as it's too early, even for twins, for these two to show up, she has been on medication in the last few weeks, popping pills every four hours, around the clock.

The NST test involved her laying still for about 30 minutes, hooked up to audible heart monitors, and a ticker tape showing their beats per minute, and any noted contractions. Both babies checked in around 135 BPM on average, spiking up to 150 or higher when disturbed. Despite the medicine, we still observed some contracting, but nothing major to be concerned about.

Following the NST test, we headed in for what might be our final ultrasound, in what's become an every two weeks visit at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto.

The RN and doctor observed both kids are in good shape, both are well-positioned, and don't have any clear abnormalities. At just over 34 weeks, the boy is tracking at 5 pounds and one ounce, at 39th percentile (when measured against a singleton birth), and the girl is tracking a bit smaller, at 4 pounds, eight ounces, at the 25th percentile. The doctors told us that her smaller size was nothing to be concerned over, but it's clear that, as with most men, the boy is already taking his unfair share.

Our last visit was with the OB/GYN, who sounded pleased with the progress, and said all is tracking extremely well. When we first learned of the twin pregnancy, we were told to be pleased with anything over 32 weeks, and that 36 or 37 weeks is considered "full term" for twins. Now halfway through the 35th week, we were told we should not plan on going beyond the 37th week, which puts us anywhere from a dozen to twenty days away from having our lives permanently changed - no doubt for the better, and for the worse different.

While we haven't publicly posted names, as we honestly don't have that part completed, the twins have already gained a nickname from Profy's Cyndy Aleo-Carreira, who has taken to calling them "schwag magnets", after my repeated calls for Web 2.0 themed logoed baby gear. Our home has been inundated with baby gear, to be sure, thanks to an array of giving friends and relatives, not to mention three separate showers, but we're not drowning in logoed apparel yet. The ones we've gained so far have been fun, and I can't wait for the kids to model them, but it's not as if they have a brand for every day of the week.

While I know the change will definitely impact my behavior here, the goal is to keep going, with the blog, and all various activities online, from sharing to participating. There have been doubters, but I'll be watching this case study, as will some of you for sure. We'll try and keep you posted.