12 Week Scan

Today I had my 12 week scan, and I was so nervous. Apart from the morning sickness I had had no other clue that my babies were still ok since the 8 week scan. I sat in the waiting room unable to imagine past laying on the table and checking they were both ok.
The sonographer called us in and the first thing she said was ‘So you’ve got twins in there’ and being the negative nancy I was feeling that day I replied ‘Well I did at 8 weeks!’ and I think she understood that I wouldn’t relax until I saw them again so I lay down, and was holding my breath waiting to hear what she could see. TWO HEARTBEATS. They had both held on!
The scan was amazing and so clear. I have one on the left of my stomach and one on the right, with one anterior and one posterior placenta.
I got to see their tiny hands and feet wiggling around and how they were laying. It was amazing and made it all feel so much more real.
The left twin is minimally larger than the right one but both are totally on track for a 22nd September due date.

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She struggled a bit to get the measurements for the Nuchal Translucency test, but she did manage in the end. One twin had a slightly larger measurement than the other, but all I can do now is wait for the letter in  the post with the results.

EDIT: The results came back extremely low risk for both (though one was 10,000 less likely than the other, with no indication as to which was which!)

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Announcement

I eventually plucked up the courage and announced my pregnancy on Facebook.

I had grand plans for photos involving all the needles used to get to this stage, but in the end I chickened out and went for a simple announcement, and didn’t even mention the IVF.
So it’s official, I am pregnant and proud, not that I would have been able to hide it much longer, I’m getting a proper bump!

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20 tiny fingers and 20 tiny toes…! My little family will be doubling in September.

16 Week Midwife Appointment

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this appointment, I couldn’t remember what particularly happened at this one with Jackson, but I did remember that I got to hear his heartbeat for the first time, so I was equally excited, and nervous that she would either not try or be unable to find one, or both heartbeats. (Does that fear ever go? I don’t actually remember it being this bad with my son!)
I got to meet the midwife I will hopefully continue to see throughout the rest of my pregnancy, and she was lovely, which is really reassuring. She looked for my Nuchal Test results letter which I had forgotten to put in my notes, so I have to bring them to my next midwife appointment, and after all the paperwork was filled in she got me to jump up on the bed and listened to their heartbeats. She found left twin really quickly, but struggled a little to find the right one. However once she found them, they were very clearly different babies as they were in very different places with left twin being quite low down and right twin to the other side and higher, up nearer my belly button and with heartrates differing by 10bpm.
It was so nice to hear, and means I can now relax and look forward to my private gender scan tomorrow as I know they are both alive today, so I won’t be panicking about her not seeing two heartbeats.

Gender Scan

Today I had my 16 week private gender scan!
I get 4 weekly scans from my consultant from 20 weeks, however that left an 8 week gap between the 12 and 20 week scans so I decided to book my own, just to check in, to see if we could find out the gender, and also, as my NHS hospital doesn’t allow children into the scan rooms, this would be my sons only opportunity to see the babies moving on a scan. I was allowed 5 people in the scan room, and by happy coincidence my two best friends weren’t at work and therefore able to come! Which I loved, 5 of the most important people in these babies lives in the room to see them.
She called us all into the scan room and started by checking they both had heartbeats, which, despite having heard them both the day before it turned out I was still nervous about not hearing! But they were both there.

She was mildly confused by the scan report from my 12 week scan which said I had one anterior and one posterior placenta as she said they were both posterior (sometimes they can move as the uterus grows) so I should be able to feel lots of movement (I haven’t felt any yet which is starting to worry me a little as  I started feeling something with my son by 15 weeks)
She moved round both babies and saw all their little details, pointing things out as she went. Jackson was excited about seeing the babies moving. She said they were laying one on top of the other ‘bunkbeds’ as she called it, opposite ways round, head to bottom.
She managed to see that twin one was a boy immediately, however, twin two was sat on their brothers head and therefore it was difficult to see the important bits! She got me to go empty my bladder and have a jump around. This managed to move them just enough and she confirmed that the nub theory was correct and I was indeed adding two more boys to my family.

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Walking out of the scan my mum turned to me and said ‘atleast you have one of your boy names sorted’ Which is true, I have had a second boy name decided since I had Jackson, but all of a sudden it didn’t seem right and I was doubting even that name!
Back to the drawing board.

20 Week Anomaly Scan

I wasn’t overly worried about what abnormalities this scan would show, having had the 16 week scan 4 weeks previously, in which everything looked perfect, however I did hold my breath until I had it confirmed that there were two heartbeats.
They started off the scan both head down next to each other, twin one on the left and twin two on the right.
He was very thorough and checked all their major organs, their faces and spines, and double checked for me that they were both boys (definitely)
He really struggled to get me some decent photos of them because of how they were laying, however, to his credit he really persevered and managed to get some images that look like babies!
He did say that I still have one anterior and one posterior placenta (back to what I was told at the 12 week scan and the opposite of what I was told at my private 16 week scan!) The babies had also gone back to one on the left and one on the right and not one on top of the other… which has me doubting the 16 week scan a little!
They finished the scan with twin one having flipped completely whilst we were looking at twin two and being head up, apparently we don’t start worrying about them staying head down until 36 weeks!
Loving these little babies more and more each time I see them. Just hope I start to feel them move soon!

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Names

A lot of thought and scrolling through endless lists of names has gone into choosing names for these little boys.
I had initially, for years, thought another boy would be called Jacob Kai, but as soon as I found out I was having two boys it didn’t sit right.
I thought maybe Jacob and Tyler, but Tyler was shouted down by everyone I mentioned it to! It didn’t put me off the name entirely, but it did throw doubt on it.
Mason had been on my shortlist for years, so Jacob and Mason was bandied about and I liked that it took parts of my sons name (Jackson) So Jacob and Mason. But it was pointed out that Mason might feel left out being the only one without a J name.
I fairly quickly settled on Stanley as a middle name as it is a name that is in both my mum and dads family.
Finley was a bit of a random one really, but when I was thinking Jacob and Mason I put it as a middle name along with Stanley and fell in love with it, and how well it goes with Mason, so I swapped the order.

And here we are. My two boys.
Finley Jacob and Mason Stanley.

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Planning for the Worst

I am currently 21 weeks pregnant.
Exactly the gestation that I lost my little girl.
This pregnancy has been relatively uncomplicated, and well monitored, yet still the fear remains.
Since before I even conceived I started to think what I would do if I lost this baby, I didn’t purposefully think about it, but thoughts popped into my head and plans formed.
I know I would want them buried in the same cemetery as my daughter, even though I no longer live in the qualifying area, so I am aware that begging and human kindness would have to be involved to even allow that to happen, and that worries me that even that isn’t guaranteed.
These babies won’t have the same surname as my girl as I am no longer with her father, but I would want them to have a matching headstone, preferably next to hers.
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No mother should have these thoughts running through their head before their plans for what they will do with their newborn baby, but this is what loss does to you. I was unprepared last time and I don’t want to be caught out again.
Sometimes though, it worries me that being so organised about that outcome is almost tempting fate, and yet the thoughts keep coming, the plans get more detailed in my head, all while I hope against hope that these babies stay put and keep their hearts beating til full term.

 

Movement

I had started to worry that I wasn’t feeling any movement even though I have two babies in my tummy, I was feeling Jackson a lot earlier last time, little bits as early at 15 weeks, and was even seeing him move by 19 weeks, but when 16 weeks came and went, 17 weeks and still nothing I started to worry.
I sat in the bath at 17 weeks and spent the entire time feeling my stomach and staring at it hoping something would happen, but nothing.
At 18 weeks I was laying on the sofa looking at my stomach and just below my belly button I could see a rippling that wasn’t my heartbeat or breathing, and after that I saw a few more movements that I couldn’t feel at all, but were definitely the babies moving around.
Within a week I had started to feel a few movements, but it was mostly visible movement, having progressed from rippling to actual jabs under my skin.
At 20 weeks Jackson managed to feel his brothers move and it lit up his face knowing that was them kicking.
Now, at 21 weeks I am feeling semi-regular movement. Right twin is reliably awake at some point between 3 and 6am (who knows why I am!!) and left twin between 8 and 10am. Jackson wasn’t a morning kicker at all and all his activity was in the evening. These two only occasionally wake up to kick during the evening. It seems I have two early risers on my hands! Help!
Hopefully they’ll start kicking at a few more points during the day, but atleast for now I know when to check if I haven’t felt them for a while!

The ‘Norm’

Most parenting stories start with two people meeting, falling in love and either deciding to have kids (or, I guess, accidently having kids)
And I suppose my decision to have children on my own with a donor is a break away from that ‘norm’.
Or is it?
My parenting story starts like most others, I met a man, we fell in love and we decided to have children.
However, after I got pregnant with our son, he left.
So that’s where the ‘norm’ ends, but it started like any other.
Now most people would, I guess, continue raising their son and wait for the love story to start again, to meet another man and decide to have kids with him.
Why?
My parenting story has started, and time was ticking, not my biological clock, as is normally mentioned in single mum by choice stories, but my sons.
I’ve always known I wanted my children close in age, that was the plan from the beginning, and the longer I waited for my next love story the bigger that age gap was growing.
It wasn’t my sons fault that he wasn’t growing up in the dream family, mum, dad, 2.4 kids and a dog, so why, when it was completely in my control should I deprive him of what I COULD give him of that?
He has a mum. Not a perfect one, but one who’s trying her best, and he has a dog (and a cat) whom he loves (sometimes too tightly) I can’t force a man to join our little tribe, I’m afraid that one is out of my control, but children I could do. I could add to our little family.
So to me it didn’t seem like a crazy decision, it seemed like the next logical step in building my family without the surprise arrival of prince charming.

Since I went public (in my real life) about the fact these babies are from a sperm donor and that I am going it alone, I haven’t had a single negative comment.
Mostly shock, yes, it’s not a standard announcement, but nothing negative.
Lots of ‘good on you’s and lots of ‘you’re very brave’ (I’m not sure if that’s directed at the on my own, or the twin thing!) I’m not sure if I am brave, or stupid, I guess I’ll find out in September!
And maybe that is a sign of the times and growing acceptance around different family setups, or maybe they’re all being negative behind my back, who knows, but I definitely haven’t had a single second of doubt or regret, I honestly believe that this decision is the right one for my current family, and, I hope my twins will grow up to believe it was the right decision for them, too. There’s plenty of love here to go around.

Nub Theory

After my 12 week scan I was happy that they are happy, healthy and looking perfect. My due date is 22nd September, although being twins they won’t let me go past 37 weeks, so looking at delivery early September.

It has now been a few days since my scan and I am an impatient person, so I started to wonder about the nub theory I’ve seen mentioned. I’ve never tried it with either of my other babies, but I thought it would be a bit of fun.

Research showed that the nub of the babys genitals seems to either lay paralell to the spine in the case of a girl, or stick up at atleast 30 degrees for a boy. The nub is clearly visible on both my babies scans, and clearly sticking up. 2 boys? I looked back at my previous 2 12 week scans, but neither actually showed the nub so I cannot confirm or discount it! Websites say that if the nub is clear it has 88% sucess rate… however there are lots of stories where it has been wrong and poo-pooed by medical professionals.

I am taking this with a pinch of salt, however, it is good to have a bit of prewarning, since I was really hoping to have atleast one girl in my brood that I actually get to raise, so atleast when I have it confirmed (or denied) I won’t be too shocked.

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  • An 'Angel Baby' is a baby lost during pregnancy or early childhood, who sleeps in the clouds instead of our arms.

    A 'Rainbow Baby' is a baby born following the loss of an 'Angel Baby', a beacon of hope after a storm, while not denying the storm happened.

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