Category Archives: Ultrasounds

Ain’t that a Kick in the Head

Ain’t that a Kick in the Head

As I mentioned in the last post, I discovered the babies kicking and contractions for the first time during my week in the hospital. It is truly amazing how much their personalities continue to develop (granted, this may just be occurring in my stressed out, hormonal world – but I have some proof!)

One of the popular activities in the hospital maternity ward is measuring baby heartbeats. This is not as stylish as the IV accessory, but very close in number to the blood test relay. However, I openly admit – the heartbeat measurement is my favorite activity.

In a normal expectant mother (please disregard my claim that “I am normal” from a previous post; it has been disproved), nurses use a fetal heart rate monitor to trace the child’s pulse. This involves a hockey puck-like disc that is strapped to the mom’s belly with a pink or blue giant stretchy thing.

Since our boys are still rather young, the hockey pucks aren’t always the most successful in finding their heartbeats. Many of the nurses used a small hand held dop-tone machine instead. Hearing their pounding hearts never ceases to make me smile. I even think some of the nurses may have checked on the babes just to help prevent a pending stir-crazy meltdown.

Approximately mid-week, a rather adventurous nurse decided that she was either a) bored or b) seeking a challenge and decided she was going to get a trace of our twins – using the hockey pucks. Using high-tech innovative notation developments, she wrapped a rubber band around one of the discs so we’d know who was A and who was B. (Get it? B is for Band.) And the search began.

Baby A wasn’t terribly difficult to find. It just took a few minutes of coaxing to get him to cooperate. Once we had his location pinned down, the puck was secured and I can only assume A returned to sucking his thumb. Baby B had other ideas.

Earlier in the week, Jon had suggested he get some games to keep us all occupied. Baby B apparently took this to heart. Based on his circumstances, Hide-n-Seek was the game of choice. The nurse and I could hear his heartbeat faintly in the background. The nurse continued to move the puck around on my stomach trying to track Baby B down. But B is very good at Hide-n-Seek. He was winning even though the nurse had the sound wave monitoring machine advantage.

Finally the determined nurse muttered at my tummy, “I know you’re there and there’s not that many places you can hide!” About a minute later I heard a strong heartbeat followed by a loud scratching noise.

“That’s him moving,” the nurse explained as she relocated the heartbeat and started securing the puck for the trace. (All the while, Baby A’s heartbeat contentedly beat away on the non-banded puck.) I suddenly felt a huge WHAM from inside my stomach. Baby B had adopted a new strategy at making his monitoring feelings known. That was the end of the trace.

Baby heartbeats are monitored a minimum of twice a day when you’re in the hospital. Seven days in the hospital, no fewer than 20 heartbeat measurements and Baby B was never once in the same spot. Twice a nurse was able to find him on the first try. Twice the dop-tone machine was immediately met with a swift kick.

Every time, both boys had strong heartbeats. And Baby B seems to be intent on battling any pregnancy complications for the duration. Well, that or he is just really bothered by the monitors. But I will say this. I CAN wait to meet them.

1 Comment

Release to General Population

I am normal!

After what seemed like eons since our last visual visit with our little ones, Jon and I returned to the doctor’s today to see how the twins are faring. It has been four whole weeks since our last ultrasound. And wow – are they growing fast! You may notice in the photos posted below that there are none of the boys together. That’s because they no longer fit in a single photo. (Well, that and they won’t stop moving.) Continue reading


Avere Molti Bambini Maschili!

We had another one of our regularly scheduled ultrasounds. Standard, typical, move along folks – nothing to see here. Until the tech’s mild mannered inquiry . . .

“Are you guys keeping the gender a secret?”

“Nope.” I replied, barely letting her finish her sentence. “If you know something, we would very much so like to know that same something.” (I think Jon rolled his eyes at me here.)

“Ok. This one looks like a boy.” (Note: during the ultrasounds, they examine each baby individually for size and other interesting medical tidbits. The majority of the time is generally spent trying to get Baby B to sit still.) Jon and I agreed it very much looked like a boy. When pressed though, the tech told us she wasn’t allowed to make a definitive statement. I wasn’t concerned, there didn’t appear to be much room for error.

We moved on to Baby B. After several failed still photo attempts, we watched a slo-mo version of the tracking video as the technician commented, “This one appears to be a boy as well.”

Two boys!

The doctor came in shortly thereafter to chat with us and review the images/movies. She shared that our technician has never been wrong about the gender because she won’t guess if she’s not certain. Suddenly she gave a very hearty laugh from behind her computer investigation. (Any unexpected reactions from medical personnel unnerve me.)

“They are most definitely boys! No question about that.”

Two boys! I grinned. Jon looked at me and said, “Put up the tent. It’s gonna be a circus.”

I called my Dad at work. It doesn’t take a genius to know he was going to be excited. He picked up the phone sounding slightly concerned about why I was calling him at work (when I should also be at work).

“Hi Dad.” I said calmly. I’m at work, so I obviously can’t talk long, but I thought you’d be interested to know that you’re going to have two grandsons in August.” I actually had to pull the phone away from my ear as he started screaming.

“Due boys! Due boys!” he shrieked repeatedly. He was so excited he couldn’t even keep his languages straight . . .

Others had more muted reactions – but everyone appears excited about the little rascals.


It’s a New Generation – One with Many Ultrasounds

Most parents-to-be have three or four ultrasounds throughout their entire pregnancy. I’m approaching twenty. I suppose one might consider that a perk of being “high risk,” we get to see the twins quite often. It’s like pre-natal Skype.

They are quite photogenic. Being our firstborn, it’s already expected that they’ll be photographed ad nauseum by sleep-deprived, overly excitable parents (“Look honey! He drooled! Isn’t that the cutest thing ever?!”), proud grandparents and their legions of enamored aunties and uncles (“How sweet. Your children are reading The Three Musketeers at only 7 months.”) So, we got them started early.

Prepping for the next Kodak moment.

Our first snapshot clearly shows a snowy television screen that the doctor tried to pass off as a “photo.” We have more images a week later distinctly portraying the lima beans (blinking lima beans in the motion picture version). A couple weeks and about 47 Polaroid’s later, I am pleased to share that Baby A waved at me!

“Look! He’s waving. My child is obviously a genius!” I was grinning from ear to ear. The ultrasound technician calmly explained that the little ones were far to undeveloped to do anything conscious, and were obviously just exhibiting jerking reflexes. I eyed her warily, trying to convey the notion that she seriously needed to stay out of my hormonal fantasy world.

As we rounded the first trimester and sprinted into the second, the twins have really begun to show their personalities (I continue to reject the reality of ultrasound technicians and substitute my own much more interesting one). Baby A is generally very content to suck his thumb with the occasional wave to the camera. He turns and stretches as the mood strikes with an “I can’t be bothered with the paparazzi” attitude.

Baby B is a bit more . . . rambunctious. I’m pretty sure I saw him punch Baby A at one point. It’s actually been quite difficult to get a still photo of Baby B. Every time the camera tries to freeze frame, for something like a medical measurement, Baby B thinks it’s hilarious to jerk and move away as quickly as possible. We also think he’s had the hiccups several times. Flailing about, clearly warming up for as many 90-foot sprints as possible, Baby B is clearly the frontrunner in the mischievous category.

Jon and I can’t wait to meet them. Stay tuned for the next post – we’ll give you an early introduction too.

1 Comment