I'm so utterly relieved and delighted that we've got the 20 week anomaly scan out of the way. Because of my previous history of miscarriages, my age, and the fact that we are expecting identical (Modi) twins which come with more risk, I never completely allowed myself to relax and enjoy the pregnancy. I think its more a case of self-protection should anything go wrong. Up to this point we had only told family and close friends that we were expecting.
We were with the Sonographer for 1.5 hours! Can you believe that? And he took such care checking every single part of their bodies - checking that everything looked present and correct. From the tiniest membrane that separates the two, to the position of the placenta and ensuring that the blood flow looked even and correct, to the heart. I found the heart absolutely fascinating. At a mere touch of a button, the Sonographer can see what is venous blood flow and what is arterial!
As well as physical anomalies, one of the key things they are looking for is the twins rate of growth. Because they are identical, they share a placenta. So there is a real risk of something called TTTS - or Twin to twin transfusion syndrome. What happens is that the placenta may be shared unequally by the twins and one twin may have too small a share to provide the necessary nutrients to grow normally or even survive. This means that I will continue to have scans every two weeks so that they can monitor the growth. This is both reassuring as I get to see them every 2 weeks, but also scary as well as it shows how serious a condition this is. Apparently it happens in about 10-15% of pregnancies.
Anyway this aside, we feel like we've reached a major milestone and we now feel that we can start to enjoy the pregnancy and tell the world, so we've put it on Facebook and have been overwhelmed by all the positive messages! My next milestone will be 24 weeks when they are considered 'viable' - this means, that if they are born from this point onwards, despite spending approx 3 months in special baby unit/intensive care - 1/3 of all babies born will survive with no long term problems. This figure increases to over 90% at 26 weeks (although still a chance of cerebal palsy and other difficulties such as respiratory problems as the lungs still aren't considered mature), and 32-34 weeks, where babies born generally have a good chance of survival although again may need help on the respiratory side of things. At 37 weeks the babies will have full lung maturity which is good as our Consultant has already said that the babies will need to be delivered by then because they share a placenta and apparently with twins the placenta starts deteriorating from this point!
As far as I'm concerned, I'm feeling great! I've had no morning sickness during this pregnancy and apart from being a bit tired and alot of back pain which has meant that I've had to stop massaging sooner than I would have liked, and evil heartburn (pretty much from the word go but getting worse as the pregnancy progresses) ... plus sounding like I've run a marathon whenever I have to walk up a hill - things have gone smoothly. I'm very much looking pregnant now rather than just fat! I had a big growth spurt in the last 2 weeks and am now living in leggings and maternity tops! I'm still trying out the best solution for heartburn and if I find it, I'll post it online ... :)