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September 11, 1998 
19 weeks, 1 day
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Back to Previous Page This was the day of our big "Anatomy Scan" ultra-sound exam. During this examination, the nurse performs an ultra-sound with what is essentially a checklist of parts, and organs to look for. 
For example she found and printed images of the chambers of the heart, the diaphragm, the stomach, the kidneys etc 
Let me say up front, that I knew the viewing audience would be waiting for images since I haven't had any for quite a while. Well, this is a busy exam, and it took the nurse about 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete, and the babies were not co-operating! So even though I asked for images, she was not able to get a good "profile" shot. 
BUT she did come up with this little gem from a quickly turning "Boris": 

Yes, you may (or may not) have guessed. That is an image of a 19 week old "foot". That's all you can see in this image! Right there in the middle in that black patch, heel on the right, and toes on the left! 
So not exactly the portrait that I expected, but still, pretty cool! 

Okay on to the details of the anatomy scan. The scan generally went well. Abigail was "on top" or "up front". Kind of hard to describe, but she was the easier one to view. Boris was in the back of the bus, and it was a little more difficult for the nurse to get at, but she was still able to complete her checklist on both babies.  The measurements indicate that the babies are a good size for their gestational age. 

Now the nurse checks for everything, so since we requested NOT to know the sex of the babies, when the time came, she told us not to look at the monitor, and she went about her business. We looked away, she didn't! SO, they probably know what we are going to have, but we don't know, so as far as we are concerned, it could still be 2 girls, 2 boys, or a boy and a girl. We'll just have to wait to see what we get. We decided we still want to be surprised. 

But as I alluded to above, all was not perfect. All body parts were found to the nurses satisfaction, but she did find one abnormality. 
As far as she and the doctor who consulted could tell, the umbilical cord for Twin B, Boris, only had "two vessels". What they meant by that, is the umbilical cord SHOULD contain 2 arteries and 1 vein, but our baby's cord only has 1 artery and 1 vein. This apparently happens in 1 or 2% of babies. The doctors indicate that this could indicate one of 3 things: 
1) that there will be no noticeable effect 
2) that twin B may end up being a smaller birthweight baby 
3) that it could be associated with a chromosomal abnormality or other developmental problems. 

The doctors did not seem too concerned, but did talk to us about it. All evidence in the ultra-sound points to a healthy baby. In fact, the head doctor said: "If he were here today, I'd introduce you to Dr. So-and-so, whose son was born last year, and had a "2 vessel" umbilical cord, and he is perfectly normal. 

So, wanting all the information I could find, I have searched the Internet, and come up with the following information. 
A two vessel umbilical cord could result in a urinary tract problem, or kidney problems (or missing, but they did see the kidneys) and sometimes accompanies chromosomal abnormalities. 

Here are the sites I found that are reassuring: 

The Three-Vessel Cord - Atlanta Maternal-Fetal Medicine 
(This site give the best explanation of the Umbilical cord's purpose..  
i.e. that the vein brings oxygenated blood to the fetus, while the arteries carry un-oxygenated blood and metabolic wastes FROM the fetus. SO if there is only 1 artery, then that explains the connection with kidney or urinary tract problems!) 

2-Vessel Umbilical Cord - Stanford University School of Medicine 
(gives the condition the name: "single umbilical artery (SUA) ) 

Two-vessel cord - Stork Net - "parents help site" 
(a question and answer specific to this condition) 

2 vessels in his cord - Ask the Midwife 
(a question and answer specific to this condition) 

So I have done some homework, and we feel a little more reassured. 
We don't go back for another week and a half. They'll do another "normal" scan, and check on Abigail's spine (that she was lying on, and refused to roll over to allow a better view!) 

I'll keep you informed. 
We are disappointed, thinking that we never seem to get a break, but we have two babies, who are a good size for their age, that have all of their body parts present, with good beating hearts. 
Also, Maureen's blood pressure is staying down, and that is good considering that on Tuesday, she was taken off her blood pressure medication completely! It will rise at some point, but for now, it is staying in a good range, and we're happy about that. 

Last but not least, the second bear should be arriving any day now!

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