It's the moment we've all been waiting for... what are the babies' genders!?!?
At last the husband and I got our answer this week—I was about 17.5 weeks along—and it was definitely not what we were expecting.
So what are these (totally cute and adorable) quadparents having!?
Our first anatomy scan, which is a very in-depth ultrasound measuring and examining everything from the babies' eye sockets to their fingers and toes, gave us the final answer at last. We were so sure it was going to be two boys and two girls! My husband asked the technician to go back and be sure the boy was a boy, since it was the only one in the bunch! Turned out he was and turns out he's gonna be one spoiled little dude for having to put up with three sisters. It's definitely taken me some adjusting because I seriously thought we didn't have more than two girls in there. And I've always wanted boys when I finally decided to have babies. But I never expected the quadruplets either, so I'm learning to adapt!
We were both very excited and extremely anxious for the results of the anatomy scan. It looked for physical markers indicating potential issues like Down Syndrome and cleft lips, and also looked at the chambers of the hearts, the kidneys, stomachs, eye sockets, umbilical chords and so on. Through this ultrasound, they are able to measure their arms and legs, circumference, heads and all to determine the babies size and weight and that they are growing and developing on schedule. All four of our babies passed the scan with flying colors, no potential issues at this time and weighed in right about 1/2 pound each. This is great news!!! Their size, weights and developments are just where they should be.
During all this, however, they also discovered that two of the girls may be identical twins. It's getting so crammed in there that it's hard to tell where the membranes and placentas start and end. Baby B (girl) and Baby C (boy) are clearly in their own placentas, meaning they are not identical to any of the other babies. Babies A and D (both girls) are a bit closer together and look suspiciously as though they may indeed be sharing a placenta.
Twins are a risky pregnancy in general, though most people may not realize this. If they share the same umbilical chord, there are issues like blood passing from one twin into the other, growth restrictions because one takes up more nutrients, chords getting wrapped or tangled around one or both and more. So adding twins to a quadruplet pregnancy definitely isn't a walk in the park! It made me a little nervous, to be honest, especially since up to this point we thought each baby was in its own placenta. But the potential twins do have their own amniotic sacs (which holds the baby's fluid that it grows in, basically) and their own umbilical chords. Moving forward, the technicians will be focusing on the blood flow for each potential twin and their growth and development to be sure one isn't getting ahead of the other. One way or another, when these little kiddos are born we'll know for sure if there's twins in there or not!
The scan itself was an ordeal, I was on the table getting an ultrasound for nearly three and a half hours. They gave me two breaks, which I certainly needed, but it was still a long afternoon. We would have been done sooner, but the resident doctor wanted to come in and check the quads and that's when they began looking at the twin situation more in depth. My stomach was really sore afterward and into the entire next day (from getting poked and prodded with the ultrasound wand on my stomach) and I'm sure the babies had to feel it, too.
Both the husband and I learned to speak up during our doctor appointments, especially when you're not dealing with your primary care doctor. Everyone from the technician to the resident doctor thought we'd done IVF, and three times we had to go over our medical history and correct them that we did an IUI. (You can read about our journey to quads here.) I also was glad I spoke up before the technician checked my cervix, as I had a cerclage (stitches) done over a month ago. She had no idea. Needless to say, we were both a bit frustrated as to why folks hadn't seemed to scan over my medical history and the facts about the pregnancy before just barging in and asking questions that didn't apply. So if you're ever dealing with this situation in any capacity, speak up!!!
Overall, though, everything turned out great and my cervix is closed and measuring long. I'm still learning about what all that truly means, but I know it indicates my body is definitely not preparing for delivery at this time. We need it to stay that way for awhile!
Here's some profile shots of the quadruplets:
Baby A, girl
Baby B, girl
Baby C, boy
Baby D, girl
Knowing these genders definitely makes it all the more real—as if my rapidly growing stomach wasn't enough evidence!! We are beginning to toss around some name ideas and we joke about which of the girls is kicking me in the ribs or poking me in the bladder, resulting in a bathroom break about every 30 minutes. There just ain't much room left in there! I seriously have no idea how I'll keep growing for two to three more months, I'm quickly coming up on the size of a full-term singleton pregnancy. But at least I'm dealing with less nausea these days. Eating is still hard because I either just don't feel like it or there's no room and I have to stop soon after I start. If I do eat a regular sized meal, I literally can't move for like two hours afterward because my stomach feels like it's going to pop!
I also have a home health care nurse coming to my house once a week to give me a progesterone injection near my hip bone. It's done with a long needle and is inserted straight into the muscle. I can feel the oily-like medicine going into the muscle, where it stays and slowly releases over the following seven days until time for the next shot. Immediately after the injection, it feels like a knot in my muscle and by the end of the day I don't notice it anymore. It's pretty amazing what these meds can do these days! Progesterone helps support the uterus and keep it strong, and I certainly need all the help I can get.
Okay, I believe my novel is now complete for the day. I've got some more posts I'm working on, including recaps of our three quad parties/showers and my 17 and 18 week pictures + a bare belly photo!! Oh yeah, you know you wanna see...