I'm so excited, I don't even know where to start. Yesterday, Meg went in for her week 12 sonogram and for the CVS. I'll get to the CVS in more detail below, but let me tell you that Meg saw the babies moving around for the first time! In fact, they were so active that Dr. Gallagher, our OB/MFM who is completely awesome by the way, had a hard time actually trying to take a picture of Baby B and get an accurate heart rate measurement. I think he had the same issues with Baby C, but apparently it was Baby B that took the medal for being the most elusive.
Just to recap, Babies A and B are the identicals and are sharing the same sac, and Baby C is resting his/her butt on top of his/her siblings.
I didn't get to actually see the babies moving personally, but listening to Meg and Dr. Gallagher share what they saw put an ear-to-ear smile on my face as I was imagining what they were describing. "Wait a second," I'm sure you're saying to yourself right now. "Jeremy is in Chicago and Meghan is in DC. Why does it sound like Jeremy was actually participating in this appointment?"
Oh, the joy of modern technology. If there's a tech dork inside of you, you'll love this. Dr. Gallagher and some other like-minded doctors are beginning to take advantage of a secure, HIPAA-compliant, high-res, low-latency, voice, video, and image sharing technology to be able to treat remote patients (or remote patient family members in my case), as well as participate in the diagnosis of patients in the field, and for consulting with other doctors in more remote locations who don't have specialists available.
"Can't Skype do that?" you say. Well, not like this. Large corporations can pay to have advance videoconferencing solutions that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars so their execs don't have to fly all over, but every small healthcare practices can't afford it...until now. They can securely share images like MRIs and have multiple doctors in different locations all participate in a diagnosis--securely. In my case, I got to see and talk to Meg and Dr. Gallagher on one part of the screen while looking through his shared desktop at all of the sonogram images they captured. I did this in the parking lot of one of my customers, right before I walked into my meeting, on my mac, using the built-in webcam and my 3G connection right after Dr. Gallagher sent me a note on Gchat to let me know they were ready to begin. How cool is that!
The short of it is that all of the babies are doing wonderful! Baby A and Baby C are measuring where they should be--12 weeks and 4 days. Baby B is taking his/her own time and growing at his/her own pace at 12 weeks and 1 day, but still at exactly the same pace as his/her brothers/sisters. The heart rates are all perfect and the NT measurement from the nuchal scan are all within range. The full results of the CVS won't be back for two weeks, but we should find out, definitively, the genders of each of the babies by this Friday. I have to say that waiting until Friday reminds me of being a kid waiting for Christmas morning. The last time I was this excited was the night before my wedding.
Before I get into the details of the CVS, here are three new pics of our growing babies. Keep reading if you have an interest in medical procedures or if you're expecting triplets, too, and want to know more about possible voluntary procedures.
I'm going to make my crow's feet worse if I keep looking at these because all I can do is smile each and every time I think about the fact that these are our babies :)
A CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling) is a prenatal diagnostic test that can usually be performed between 10.5 and 13.5 weeks. The primary goal is to detect chromosome abnormalities. Most people are somewhat familiar with amniocentesis, but they differ in a couple of ways.
One way they differ is that you can perform the CVS earlier than amniocentesis, which allows doctors to make recommendations on the pregnancy if they find anything that could put all of the babies, or the mother, at risk. It's especially important in high-order multiple births. They also differ in that a CVS is used to collect a sample of the chorionic villi, which are tissues that later become the placenta, where amniocentesis is used to collect amniotic fluid, or the birth water. Therefore, the cells from the chorionic villi most often reflect the fetal chromosomal pattern, as well as any metabolic characteristics and DNA patterns.
Meg didn't necessarily fit the profile for performing a CVS, but we wanted to know if any of our babies were at risk. Plus, personally, I really wanted to know the sex of the babies now instead of waiting a couple more months! Really though, we wanted to know sooner rather than later if we were going to need to make any tough decisions and we decided it was worth the risk of performing the procedure. Yes, there is a risk in any procedure like this, but it appears to be similar to amniocentesis. In the end, the decision was ours.
The procedure is an out-patient procedure where the doctor uses a sonogram for guidance. He/she then decides whether to use a transabdominal (through the abdomen) or transcervical (through the cervix) method. In Meg's case, they had to do both to be able to reach both sacs. She said that they numbed her belly for part of it and that it wasn't really painful during the procedure, but that she did feel pretty uncomfortable that evening. Bed rest isn't necessarily a requirement after the procedure, but they definitely want her to limit her physical activity for the next several days.
If you have any specific questions about the procedure, ask it in the comments and I'll get Meg to respond since she was there :)
The next sonogram is in two weeks. I can't wait!