16 weeks: The twin question {pregnancy update}

Previous updates:

 

Last Friday, I had another prenatal checkup.  I always look forward to checkups, but this time I couldn’t wait.  Our whole house has had a sneaking suspicion that this pregnancy might be twins, even though I did my best to convince them that there was no real reason to think so.

Nonetheless, the idea wouldn’t die.  Supporting factors:

  1. I really wanted to have twins this time.  It worked the first time I decided I really wanted a boy, so why not again?
  2. Twins run in the family, strongly.
  3. I’m nearly 40.
  4. I have been much more tired than usual.
  5. Half of the kids have dreamed that this baby is a boy, and half dreamed of a girl.  Laugh if you must – hubby does, and I sometimes do – but premonitory dreams also run in the family very strongly.
  6. I felt movement at 14 weeks, much earlier than I normally do.
  7. I heard a heartbeat on the left, and on the right, with nothing in the middle.  I know it can echo like that, but I also know that twins have 2 hearts.  :)

There were also several convincing reasons to believe that I was not having twins this time:

  1. I had less morning sickness than usual.  With twins, it’s common to get a double dose.
  2. I was not bigger than usual.  I confirmed this by measuring myself at 15.5 weeks, and came up with 17 weeks.  With twins, it’s normal to measure at least 4 weeks bigger than normal, so this put me  comfortably inside the normal range, especially for someone who has earned the title grand multipara.  You could even call me a great-grand multipara.
  3. The dueling heartbeats could easily be an echo.  I kept telling myself this, but it wasn’t working.

So at my checkup, I beat around the bush.  I asked about prenatal vitamin recommendations, assured Jennifer that I was eating plenty even though I haven’t gained any weight yet, and agreed to add dandelion root to my daily routine since I had traces of nitrates.  When she glanced over my paperwork and noted that twins ran in the family, I tried not to look too excited or speak too quickly as I listed off the occurrences.

Lydia was watching and listening impatiently, and our eyes met across the room.  Finally I burst out, “OK.  I already know the answer to this, but I need to hear you say it.  I heard a heartbeat on the far left, and a heartbeat on the far right.  They can echo like that with a doppler, right?  It doesn’t mean twins, right?  I keep telling the kids that, but they don’t believe me.”  What I really meant is, I keep telling myself that but I’m not convinced.

Jennifer smiled, and quickly assured me that yes, it’s all sound waves and it’s very common to hear an echo like that.  She also reminded me that with twins it’s common to have more morning sickness, not less.  Still, I think she recognized my eagerness to know.  We proceeded quickly to the part where we hear the baby’s heartbeat.

When she felt my belly, she commented that I looked like about 17 weeks (with no tape measure – she’s good!), and that was perfectly normal.  No reason to suspect twins.

She also commented right away that she could feel the baby’s back, lying along the right side of my abdomen.  Even after so many pregnancies, I had no idea it was possible to feel a baby from the outside so early.  This tickled me for some reason.  It somehow made it more real, like feeling the baby kick.

Then we listened to the heartbeat.  It was in the 140’s.  She took her time, checking all over, then told me what I already knew.  Just one baby.

After that long, rambling account, maybe you were hoping for a different ending.  Sorry.  So was I, at least a part of me.  But another part of me is breathing a sigh of relief for now.  One baby is plenty to fill our home with a new burst of noise and joy and life, and that’s more than we deserve.  And sometimes surprises happen, too.

Belly pics:

Here’s the weekly pic in my favorite dress.

16 weeks with #11.  Not twins.

And here’s one not in my favorite dress.  I’m only posting this because I said last week that I would be sharing a photo in one of my everyday outfits.  Now you can see once again why I choose to post photos of myself in the dress above.  If you say something kind and affirming about the pic below, I will never believe another word you say.  Be forewarned.

16 weeks with #11

Baby at 16 weeks:

  • Baby is nearly 5″ from crown to rump and weighs about 3.5 oz.
  • Fat begins to form underneath skin.
  • Baby hears external voices.
  • Baby sleeps and dreams.
  • Baby’s developing facial muscles make facial expressions possible.
  • more

Exercise

Remember last week when I said all I did was walk 2 miles, but I would take it as a starting point and try to do better this week?  Well, I didn’t remember.  Why didn’t you remind me?

I forgot all about this thing called exercise until Saturday, and then I was busy so I had to procrastinate until Monday.  On Monday, I took 5yo Perry and 7yo Rachael on a walk, determined to cover something more than 2 miles.  We had a great time and ended up walking a leisurely 3.3 miles, talking nonstop (well, some of us) and gathering dozens of varieties of wildflowers along the way.  Now we have plans for regular wildflower walks, alternating with trash walks.  Perry and Rachael were disgusted by the litter along the roadside, so we decided to bring grocery sacks next time and gather trash instead of flowers.  Whoever wants to go with us will have to bring and fill at least one sack.

Do you have a pregnancy update for this week?

Link up with other expecting moms at My Joy-Filled Life.

Comments

  1. Sarah Avila says:

    Thanks so much for linking up! My last pregnancy I had twins. My symptoms weren’t any different than when I was pregnant with one. Of course I did get bigger than “normal” starting at about 16-18 weeks. I didn’t even feel movement any earlier with my twins than my singletons. My pregnancy was practically the same as all my other ones; I even carried them until 39 weeks 6 days!

    I still think it could be a possibility for you! Those “feelings” are right sometimes. That’s how it was for me. I just knew going into my ultrasound – and sure enough! Wouldn’t that be a nice surprise for you on delivery?!!

    I enjoyed your update; I hope you will continue to link-up!

  2. I won’t say anything about the second outfit except to say you look good in orange.

    what I really want to know (now that you have told us you are NOT having twins!) is…

    How do you carry your gun when you are pregnant? Not the belly band thing you made surely! I am still waiting patiently for the directions to make my own belly band style concealed carry holster…. very patiently. :-)

    Does your home “go nuts” with Daddy on the “convention route road”? Is he only gone a few days out of the year (convention season)? Or does he work back to back conferences for months at a time in the spring and summer? Our son LOVES the Vision forum booth!
    Blessings, ~Mrs. R

    • Mrs. R,
      I’m still using my belly band any time I leave the house, and most of the time around the house as well. I’m trying to make it a firmly established habit so I don’t forget it the day I need it.
      I’m wearing it in the picture with the orange outfit, and purposely stood in a way so that you can [theoretically] see the gun. I just wear the band a little low in front so it sits below my growing belly; I think it will work nicely for most or all of the pregnancy, though we’ll see how that goes.
      I guess I should make another with a little more breathing room, and could use images from that for the tutorial I keep putting off. Maybe if you weren’t so patient…;)
      Perry only does a few conventions a year, and we do one or two local ones as a family. We miss him while we’re gone, and we’re not used to it! Our schedule falls apart while he’s gone, but it’s not a big deal since it happens relatively rarely.

      • Well… if it’s MY impatience that will get you to let me in on how to make my own concealed carry holster… then I am no longer patient!! :-D

        I can clearly remember the day the 2 year old (she’s now 32) locked herself in the bathroom and couldn’t figure out ho to unlock the door. I had to call the firemen, who were able to get her from the window (I didn’t want them damaging the door in the rental…). All this happened the moment we returned home from seeing Daddy off.

        I’ll have to go check out you in the orange to see if I can “see” your gun!

  3. Laraba says:

    When I got pregnant with our first, I thought twins would be great. After having her, I decided twins would just about finish me off. Of course it would be a blessing but we’ve had 12 pregnancies and no twins (4 pregnancies ended in miscarriage.) I am just confident that God knows what is best for us. We don’t have twins in the family on my side so really, it would be a HUGE surprise though I think about it every pregnancy…

  4. Here’s my pregnancy update (link above). I’m 27 weeks so a bit ahead of you. I was feeling pretty good until a few days ago when I had a nasty spill trying to keep my toddler from having a crash :-) I think the combo of that plus the heat that just settled upon us (90 here in Georgia with accompanying humidity) is bringing on some unpleasant 3rd tri symptoms. But trying to stay positive!

  5. Hey Kim, a question, you never do ultrasound period? We here in Curacao (like in Holland) get one in the beginning to determine how far you are along and i think one more around 20 weeks. So mostly 2. This time it turns out i have placenta preavia, but Im praying that it will move up so I can have a normal delivery later. But Im not really worried about that actually. God will help. But if you never do a ultrasound you wouldnt know right?

    • Christine says:

      Those who are knowledgeable with normal & natural birth can get an indication that the placenta is not in an ideal position with the use of other waves, like a Doppler. Sounds will be muffled, movements will not be felt as strongly, etc. And should there be that concern later on in the pregnancy, it could be confirmed by an ultrasound… at least that’s what my midwives told me. :0)

    • Sam,
      As Christine mentioned, it’s usually not hard to tell where the placenta is with a doppler. This time it’s front and center again.
      I have only ever had an ultrasound with one pregnancy, and that was to rule out suspected twins. I would certainly do it again if there was a need, but we’ve always been able to tell where the placenta is and don’t have any risk factors that make it necessary. I’ve always been pretty sure about my dates, so no need for an ultrasound to determine how far along I am.

  6. I had the same thing! I was hoping for twins but at the same time also worried that it would be twins! Not that it runs in the family or something but this time I had really bad nausea, far worse than the first 2 pregnancies. And I was huge already right from the start… still am, look like 5 or 6 months pregnant (but Im 16 just like you, actually 15 but my ultrasound put me a week further cause the baby was bigger) anyway I was also a bit let down but at the same time relieved. How would i feed 2 babies if they were to turn out like my last baby, who was non-stop feeding the whole day! lol. You look cute in the pix, nothing to worry about! sam

  7. I am one of a set of identical triplets born on our mother’s 40th birthday. We were # 6,7 & 8 for her. So when I found out we were expecting for the 7th time and found out that this little one would be coming close to my 40th birthday, we all of course wondered what it would be like if God had a really strange sence of humor and repeated history! I am not one that hopes for multiples though, mostly because I am a VBAC2 mama, and birth with a midwife out of the hospital now and having twins or triplets would not allow my midwife to deliver me naturally :-( So I was quite relieved to see only one little healthy baby in there! I am just a week ahead of you, this time around and usually deliver 4-9 days early so I am so excited to see how close to eachother we deliver!!

  8. I’m with Kacie on this one. When I was pregnant with our twins, that was the LEAST amount of morning sickness I’d had. The girls were so tightly mashed together and their heartbeats were always in sync with each other that if we had not had an ultrasound, there was no way we would have known there were two. (Not pregnant now, but in the middle of an adoption…at the feeling overdue point…waiting to get our final approval so we can go get our boys!)

  9. My last pregnancy I had this nagging little thought(twins?). I dismissed it easily(they don’t run in our family, we didn’t find two heartbeats, etc..) even though I was “bigger than a house”-though I never measured more than a cm more than I ever have…
    well the long and the short of it is our baby girl was born(beautiful and perfect), followed a half hour later by her bigger baby brother(beautiful and perfect). SURPRISE! The midwife was amazed, my husband and I were shocked, my two great friends in attendance were thrilled as were the siblings(it was the first birth my three daughters attended, the boys didn’t want to). Moral to my story: don’t dismiss nagging thoughts too fast.
    My commentary on your pix: you aren’t quite as big as I was with the twins…but you never know….I am currently as far along as you are in pregnancy and I am MUCH bigger than you( but I had twins last time-I think they stretch you out).
    Have a great day! Shalom.

  10. Kim, you look fabulous in both pics! I only wish I had been so slender before I started gaining baby weight. :P I feel very cow-like at 24 weeks, but my sweet hubby always tells me I’m beautiful. *blush* I felt so strongly this time that I was having twins, but it was not to be. My extrememly bad morning sickness was from having a girl this time after four boys. I still dream of twins – how crazy is that? Best of luck as your little one grows!

  11. Aileen says:

    I am 30 weeks as of yesterday woo hoo! Hopefully only 10 weeks to go! You look fabulous as always. Even in the second picture you look great and please believe me when I say I would never lie! I look like death this week with the added stress of having to take my sister to hospital on Sunday for Emergency Surgery. Never mind 4 weeks on Friday is my last day at work (hopefully forever!). I am sorry for you that it is not twins but for me I think I would cry if I was told there were 2 inside me. I barely feel able to look after one. Looking forward to next week!

  12. No more pregnancy updates for me – our firstborn son, Phinehas, was born about 12 days ago!

  13. I dunno… I think you could still be a candidate! You seem to carry compactly in past pregnancies so maybe that plays a role?

    Are you having an ultrasound?

    My husband is a fraternal twin. Fun fact!

    • Kacie,
      I won’t have an ultrasound unless my midwife recommends one. I think she would be willing to do that if I really wanted, but we are members of Samaritan Ministries. While they would certainly cover the cost of an ultrasound, I don’t want to spend other members’ money unnecessarily.

  14. I do that almost every time Kim! I secretly hope for twins and try to convince myself both ways, why I am, and why I’m not :) I have a 34 week update on my blog tonight. http://www.chrisandjenni.com/2012/05/01/34-and-12-weeks-pregnant-but-whos-counting/

    Breech baby :) Little stinker! Thanks for the fun updates!

    • Jenni,
      I don’t know what your history looks like, but 6 weeks is plenty of time for a breech baby to turn. My 5th was breech until 36 weeks, and she was a loooong baby: 23 3/4″ at birth! If she could turn, yours can. :)
      It may sound like an old wive’s tale, but I helped her turn by lying on my back with my hips propped up and placing a bag of frozen peas on her head. I read about the technique on the internet, and it worked like a charm. After staying in a head down position for over a month, she flipped within minutes and stayed that way for the next 4 weeks!

      • Thanks Kim, I’m not really worried about it yet :) I’m only 34+ weeks, he’s been head down since 20 weeks, and I’ve never had one be head down after 20 weeks before. I’ve been doing that exercise you talked about, I have an exercise mat that I raise up, but I haven’t tried it with the ice pack yet, I’m kind of waiting to see if he’s flipped at my next appointment, then I’ll feel a little more serious about it :) Thanks Kim!!

  15. Janelle says:

    I don’t know why, but I always secretly hope for twins–my husband, not so secretly! He wants twins so bad. We have Irish twins, but I guess that’s not good enough for him! :) I just think there is something special about twins…and seeing how my Irish twins interact, I can see how that would be–even moreso!

    I cannot believe how small you still look. My belly is so large…but thankfully my good friend who is due at the same time as me, is just as big as I am. I’m 24 weeks now and finally had an ultrasound where the us tech could see everything she was looking for–I had to go back 4x!!! We also got a clear confirmation that we’re having another boy, so we’ll have 3 & 3! Isn’t pregnancy fun?!?!

  16. Annika says:

    Ugh! I was pregnant with twins with my last pregnancy, and while it was really hard(I was on bedrest for 26 weeks) I totally prayed for twins this time. I also felt movement a lot earlier than most people, and I heard a heartbeat on both sides. It’s a blessing to have a healthy baby, but also a little bit of a letdown when you get your hopes up.

  17. I’m glad our news is finally out so I can comment on your updates and say “me too!” I am 16 weeks with baby #5. My mom was convinced this one would be twins. My dr. always does an U/S at the initial visit and spotted just one little one. Definitely a mixture of relief and disappointment. :)

  18. I love your favorite dress pictures and can see why you love the dress so much. But I love the skirt in the the second picture too. You look great in both pictures!

    I love how much more versatile skirts and dresses are in changing sizes. Since I been married I’ve almost constantly been changing sizes due to the pregnancy- nursing cycle (and also stomach upset from moving halfway around the world), and it is much nicer to have some clothes that I can pretty much always fit into. I am going to have to track down a few more big shirts for this pregnancy though. We’ll see how that goes, because I am so tall here.

    • I completely agree with you, Anna, on Kim looking great (there goes my credibility) and on the skirts. I’m 34 weeks and sooo much more comfortable in skirts and dresses than anything else right now, mostly non-maternity even though I am far from my “normal” size small right now. I’m so glad I’ll be having a summer baby and can wear skirts comfortably for the first several months while my waistline is adjusting.

  19. Oh my goodness! Ya’ll have no idea how much better I feel now! I thought I was the only one who prays for twins each time!! :) Yay, I’m not the only weird one! I talked to my doctor about twins with my last pregnancy and she said that until week 16 or so, there isn’t much difference in size from a singleton vs multiple. So who knows? Since baby #3 (I have 7), I have measured 3 weeks ahead once I get passed 10 weeks. I’m always hopeful for twins, though.

  20. My pregnancy update is this: I’m not pregnant! But you are! Congratulations!~ That was a great story and a different ending would have been really excitingly fabulously fun but neither do we feel let down. Right? A happy healthy not yet newborn precious package is excitingly fabulously fun,too.
    Please do believe me. And I do like that skirt in the second photo. You just need a longer shirt. I love the weekly dress which you have been wearing. It’s so nice to have an attractive, comfortable outfit that can take you the whole way.
    I’d have been wearing flip-flops, nail polish, and a toe ring and doing the pregnancy waddle as soon as I knew I was expecting so you just go ahead and waddle and be comfy.
    Can you still enjoy one of your iced mochas? Maybe heavier on the ice than usual. Remember that photo of you being served by your children in various ways (where is it?)? Well, sit back and relax and have fun and rest because even though that was staged, we can tell they are thoughtful children and do those things off camera. Well, maybe not the human-ottoman part. But, maybe.

  21. Christine says:

    I’m at 35 weeks with #3, with 34 days “left” in this pregnancy! :) Which, for my babies, really means I only have 34 days left until it becomes a guessing game at how far past they will come. My babies cook like a slow-cooker, not a microwave. ;) I don’t know what it is about this baby, but the thought of having three kids is making me feel special~ like I have more than the average family. lol!

    • Christine says:

      And for awhile this pregnancy I thought I could be having twins. For awhile I was measuring ~3cm ahead and gaining weight like crazy; but there’s only one. I would be really excited for twins, though, if we had them. :)

  22. I always hope for twins too. :) It’s all part of trusting God knows best though. I really enjoyed this read! I always enjoy your writings.

  23. Melissa says:

    I was wondering if there is a way to not receive your pregnancy updates but still get the rest of your Facebook posts.

  24. abba12 says:

    We’re in the same boat at 15 weeks, we have no logical reason to think it’s twins except that we still do. Plenty of random anecdotal ‘evidence’ that can be explained by other completely logical factors. *sigh*

  25. My last pregnancy I thought I might be having twins because I was measuring big..turns out my uterus was just tipped for a few months. I’m a twin myself, so I have a higher chance of having twins. There are no other twins in my family, but they run VERY strongly on my husband’s side of the family. I’ve read though, that twins tendency doesn’t run down the man’s side of thing, since it all has to do with the dd (either 2, or splits) so I don’t think my husband’s family increases my chance of twins. I just found out yesterday that we’re expecting again (shhhh…it’s not announced on my own blog yet!)..will it be twins? we’ll see!

    I hope your pregnancy continues to go well. :)

  26. Oh twins would be so much fun! I was hoping for twins this time, but nope! :) I’m really enjoying your pregnancy updates!

    I’m 37 weeks pregnant tomorrow, and I need to go for a growth scan because today my midwife said I am measuring nearly 4 weeks behind. I’m nervous because my other babies (this is my 6th) have all measured spot on or ahead for dates. I have already had 2 growth scans this pregnancy but my little man has looked perfectly fine in there. I hope he still is! Otherwise feeling great, just tired now. Not keeping up with homeschooling these past couple of weeks, and I’m getting more distracted all the time with thoughts of birth and baby clothes and so on. I’m getting excited to meet my newest little boy! :)

  27. LOL!! I was dreaming the other night that next time would be twins :) Not pregnant again yet, even though the other kids are starting to ask when we’re getting another baby!

  28. I heard an echo once too. Man, the emotions I experienced in 30 seconds! Thankfully my doctor had an ultrasound machine in the room so we coud find out right away what was going on. If you’re interested, I wrote about the experience here:

    http://www.exodusbooks.com/family/journey-chronicles.aspx?id=43

  29. I always hope for twins too because with my hyperemesis so bad, it would be nice to get two for the price of one, right? But then the HG would probably be a WHOLE lot worse and I couldn’t handle that…so I’m okay with one. :) I’m REALLY anxious to find out of this one is a girl though because I’m MUCH sicker than I was with my boys and I’ll just be devastated if that’s not the reason why.

    • Annika says:

      Emily~ I have hyperemesis too! I was pregnant with twins with my last pregnancy, and honestly the HG was pretty much the same. I did lose a little more weight, but I was sick the same amount as I have been this pregnancy. I hope it’s a girl for you too. =) I was MUCH MUCH sicker with my daughters than I have been with my son.

  30. Melanie says:

    Boy do you know how to write with suspense!!!

  31. Awww! I always hope for twins, too. There has never been a set of twins in my family, as far as I know, so that’s really just a pipe dream. It just sounds like twice as much fun, right? One is good, though. Only half the pushing!

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