November 25, 2009

Pink & Blue!

Yes, it is a boy and a girl! :)

We had the anatomy scan today (Nov 25 @ 19w6d)... and so far everything looks good! I am so very thankful for how far we have reached and this experience that we have been blessed with. Still a long road ahead, but it is reassuring to see them hale and hearty, kicking and punching their Mommy!

The u/s tech we had was not very verbose, so it was hard to follow most of the stuff she was doing. We were in there for around 1.5 hours... the last 15 minutes were with the MFM, who checked the hearts and some other organs. I would say those 15 minutes were the toughest... since I have always heard that you see an MFM if there is a problem; though I guess for an anatomy scan it is a norm (at our hospital) for the MFM to come in and take a peak at the babies!

The heart rates were at 159 and 163 bpm, and they weighed 11 and 13 ounces (boy and girl respectively). At this stage, they do not measure the length since the babies are curled up. My cervix is still holding up at 3.3, which is a relief. I will be back for my next cervical check in approximately 2 weeks (Dec 11).

I feel like I am getting bigger day by day and it is getting tougher to move around, roll around...! The movement in the belly area is pretty distinct. We might have felt it from the outside on occasions, but it is still not super obvious.

My BFF is coming over for Thanksgiving and we are hoping to do some baby shopping on Friday-Saturday! :)

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

November 16, 2009

Cyclesista Announcement...

Since some of you asked...

There are a few technical changes happening over at Cyclesista, so the site may be unavailable at times. We hope to get it back to normal as soon as possible, and will keep you updated. In the meantime, feel free to submit your details to mybabytobe at gmail dot com (myself), shansterbaby at gmail dot com, babydustdiaries at gmail dot com, or beaxiaojie at gmail dot com and we'll queue them all up for when the site is running smoothly (and hopefully improvedly!) again.

This announcement has also been posted at

18 Weeks

Well, actually 18w4d!!!

Had an OB appointment last week... we did the AFP testing, which came out normal. We also tested for my TSH (it has been 4 weeks since I stopped my TSH medication)... and fortunately it seems to be stable. It just went up from 0.9 to 1.3 (and not the 3+ that it was at my RE's office).

My 2nd cervix check was Friday and things seem to be stable (so far)... my cervix was measuring 3.4 (like last time)... hopefully it stays the same for weeks to come!

And then... we are barely a week away from our 20w u/s!!! I am nervous, excited and anxious at the same time! It will be one of the big u/s, and if the babies cooperate we will know the genders too! It is scheduled for Nov 25 (a day before Thanksgiving)!

MOD - Prematurity Awareness Month

Every year, 20 million babies are born too soon, too small and very sick ― half a million of them in the United States. November 17 is when we fight!

To support and learn more...
March of Dimes - Prematurity Awareness Month!

November 5, 2009

Cord Blood Cell Banking

Few of our friends have opted to preserve the Cord Blood Cell (CBC) of their babies and this thing has always been on the back of my mind. I spent some time looking up information about CBC banking... mainly, the pros and cons, realistic future usage and the cost associated with it. Below is some of the information I gathered...

This is a comprehensive website about most of the information available on the internet... has references to CBC banking world wide:
Parents Guide Cord Blood.

Motivation for banking Cord Blood Cell (CBC).

CBC info on

Facts (pros and cons) (mostly
-Cord blood Cells may be used to treat nearly 80 serious diseases (as of now... probably many more treatments possible in the next several years).
-The odds that a child will use his/her own CBC are anywhere between 1 in 27 to 1 in 200,000 (depending upon the source you look at).
-According to the National Marrow Donor Program, properly stored CBC should be good for up to 10-15 years, after that point, the researchers aren't sure how long the cells will last (NOTE: Some banks give you an option to pay straight up for 25 years storage for a discounted price - may be that is not a very wise step).
-Cells from CBC are less mature than a bone marrow, so there are less chances of the cells being rejected during a transplant.
-Saving CBC is painless as compared to a bone marrow donation (plus you have to find a matching donor).
-It is not always possible to use ones own CBC (depending upon the disease), if it can be used for a sibling, there are still just 25% chances that the CBC will be a match.
-CBC's are generally used only for children (as of now), since they are not known to be enough for treatment in adults.
-There is a lot of research going on in this field, and in the future techniques (besides CBC) using embryonic stem cells or stem cells derived from adult tissues might be the way to go!

Here is a table of private bank features and pricing of banks in the US (as of Oct 2009... other countries listed too). As per the list and general listing on the internet, Cord Blood Registry, Cryobank International, Cryo-Cell International and Viacord seem to be some of the older banks (early-mid 1990's), registered with the FDA (AABB accreditation) and reasonably priced.


Some more reference articles:

How CBC is collected -

Donating vs privately banking CBC

Article against CBC banking by
American Academy of Pediatrics.

Information about
donating CBC


Most of the people we have spoken to emphasize on (things to look for) reliability of the bank (longer they have been in the business, more likely that they have their act together and probably will survive in the future), price (in our case - twin discount?), location (stable - away from natural and/or man made calamities), management and correspondence.

This is a very controversial subject and I am not trying to make an argument here, but with IVF treatment, some IFs have frozen embryos. So, I also tried to look for the benefits of preserving embryonic cells (embryos from IVF) "
versus" CBC, and there is not much information available. But from general reading it occurs to me that... there has been a lot more research done with CBC and there have been several successful CBC transfers in real life... so even if embryonic cells might become prominent in the future (beyond all the ethical controversies), currently they are not very distinctly used. Hence, there aren't any specific storage facilities for embryonic cells like CBC, other than the fertility clinic storage (which is super expensive).

To me the bottom line is... if I am willing to spend $2,000 on a vacation or go buy some new furniture for my house (materialistic things)... I can also spend the same amount to save the CBC! It may or may not come to use, but you know it is there and it may save a life!

NOTE: All the information I have gathered is just by surfing the web, there is probably a lot more information out there (which I am sure I have missed). Finally, saving (or not saving) CBC is a personal choice! If any body else has any more information about CBC or would like to share their personal experience, please leave me a comment!

17 week Update

Sorry, have been MIA! Things are okay here. I did go see the dietitian last week... it was helpful to confirm what all we already knew about eating well, along with some advice about how many calories (and carbs) I need. Monitoring wise, I think I am doing well... there are occasional spikes in the reading, but I am figuring out what is spiking up the readings... so I know better what to control next time.

We had our first cervix check on Friday too! The heartbeats were at 145 and 151 bpm! Both the babies have grown so much! Cervix looked good too (3.4... they like to see above 3 and anything below 2.5'ish is a concern)! I have my OB appointment on next Tuesday (Nov 10) followed by the next cervix check on Friday (Nov 13).

I think I have felt the babies move in the last couple of weeks (starting @ end of 14w)... it's more and more convincing, since it has repeated so many times and is at the exact same locations. As per the u/s technician, the baby on the left is more superficially located... and that is the baby I have felt move more! :)