Diary of a Stay at Home Dad: I see a second heartbeat!

So we were in the doc’s office for an ultra-sound.  Tracy was 8 weeks pregnant at the time, she is currently at 10 weeks.  For those of you that have been through the experience, ultra-sounds are not high-def televisions.  It’s grainy at best.  But Tracy has had some issues so we have been through a lot of these.  I’m not an expert but I have an idea what to look for.  So when the doc starts the procedure, she says “I see two sacs.”  Immediately Tracy shoots a look at me, and I’m thinking, can’t be.  The doc tones things down telling us that is not uncommon for a sac of blood to occur or even a sac of the early remains of a fetus to still be present at 8 weeks but the body would take care of that in it’s own sweet time.  Just for the heck of it she labels one sac baby A and one sac baby B.  She focuses on baby A, as she still believes B is some anomaly.

Baby A tale of the tape

Baby A is center stage.  His module, pod, sac, whatever is in front so to speak so he is easy to see.  Yes I’m saying ‘he’ for ease of writing and wishful thinking.  With Frank so taken with golf and exhibiting a great swing already at the age of 2, another son will make a nice friday foursome with my buddy John.  Baby A has a good heartbeat.  If you’ve seen these things before it’s hard but not impossible to spot.  Generally the blood flows left and right across the screen and looks like a lot of elongated static.  The heartbeat breaks up those lines in the form of pulses.  Baby A looks like a huge shrimp but with a prominent heartbeat.  He tapes out at 6 weeks and 4 days, with a +/_ error of 4 days.  He is so small at this point it’s really hard to get a precise measurement.  The doc is basically putting the pipper on what she can identify as the head and feet of baby A and taking a reading.  OK so we have stared at baby A for quite some time, he looks good, all is progressing well.  On to blood sac/baby B.

Baby B’s sac is smaller and obscured by baby A, so what was going to be a tough task has become even tougher.  There appears to be a noticeable blob, to me anyway.  The doc tries to measure it and comes up with 6

Baby B tale of the tape

weeks 2 days.  Now it’s starting to get interesting.  She is hanging on to the “it’s probably a blood sac” theory, and of course she has to.  I could tell she was getting a little perturbed at my over analyzing of the situation.  She clearly wanted to utter that phrase made famous by renowned Ghostbuster Doctor Peter Veckman, “back off man I’m a scientist.”  Link here, memory lane.  She pressed on and tried to find a heartbeat.  I noticed a faint disruption of the right to left lines in what was the upper left corner of baby B’s sac.  Sensing the tension from the doc I say nothing.  The more she moves the little wand around the more obvious it becomes to me.  It’s a heartbeat.  Again, I’m a mute.  I don’t complain at the drive-through because they will spit in your food, this was a little more serious.

Minutes have passed, no exaggeration.  No one is saying anything, but the heartbeat is now as clear to me as baby A’s.  The left to right lines of blood flow are clearly being interrupted by a rhythmic pulse of some sort.  Silent no more I say, “hey isn’t that a heartbeat in the upper left corner of baby B’s sac?”  “Well there is a lot of blood flowing, so hard to tell”, was her reply.  I came back with, “That’s why you’re over there with the equipment and I’m sitting here, I’m not sayin, I’m just sayin, I see a second heartbeat.”  That sounded a lot better in my head but on reflection it seemed a little aggressive on my part.  The doc, she took that as a challenge.  She has entered the zone, intent on identifying baby B for sure.  She was dialed in man.  Her gaze never left the monitor and she didn’t blink for what felt like 15 minutes, but was really only 5.  I’m not even sure she was aware Tracy and I were still in the room.  When she looked up she came to a conclusion, it’s a second baby.  Baby B is alive and has a strong heartbeat to prove it.

So yeah, twins.  Fraternal, one each.  Not identical, meaning separate eggs, not one egg that split.  Not sure who will be affected the most but they are due within a week or two of Frank’s third birthday so I imagine he’ll feel the ripple of this a little more.  So I have my own foursome now, for those days when my buddy John, a minister, actually has to work.  No doubt I’ll need his counsel more than ever at some point. Or I might just start drinking, haven’t decided yet. As one of my five sisters pointed out, girls can golf too.  True enough, but I’m hoping for boys anyway.  I’m not sure how I would handle my 12 year old daughter driving the ball 30 yards past me from the tee.

The pictures are from today, 7 December 2011.  We’re a day from the 11 week mark and the babies are taping at 10 weeks 6 days, so right on schedule.  You can see the 10w6d +/- 4d algebra at the bottom of the pictures, that’s their current ages.  Again on schedule and actually a little bigger than the doc thought.  Also good news.  It shows a June 20 2012 delivery date but we are told to disregard that as twins will come early almost every time.

Brace yourself Frank, your May birthday might get a bit more exciting.

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