My sister-in-law had a week filled with surprises.
On Tuesday, she went to the doctor because she hasn't been feeling well for a few weeks. The doctor did a physical exam and told her that she was pretty sure she was pregnant based on her findings. They did blood work to date the pregnancy and see if it would be too early for an ultrasound. My SIL has a history of miscarriage as well as difficulty conceiving. She has never carried a pregnancy to term. Since her miscarriage in June, she has had very irregular periods and lots of cramping, heavy bleeding, and just general poor reproductive health that she has battled for the past ten years (she is 40). In December, her OB-GYN told her that she would be very unlikely to get pregnant again with all of her issues and advised against even trying it. She got on the Pill to regulate her cycles and was seriously thinking about scheduling a hysterectomy. So, this whole "You're pregnant!" thing was a bit of a shocker.
The HCG came back really high (somewhere in the high 100's of thousands), so she came back on Wednesday for an ultrasound which showed that she is pregnant. . . VERY pregnant. Fourteen weeks pregnant as a matter of fact!
As she has no idea when she conceived, it's multiples, and she is an older mom, they immediately referred her to a high-risk OB who got her in today for a high-level ultrasound to date the pregnancy and do the amnios. It turns out that these are identical twin girls. Monoamniotic twins as a matter of fact, which is high, high, high risk with a 50% survival rate. Obviously, this last part is a bit of a scary surprise.
My SIL is obviously overwhelmed by all of this. It's a bit crazy to be told all of these things in one week. By strange coincidence, her due date is the same as my sister's - September 10. However, the very latest they will let her pregnancy progress is 34 weeks, so she has already been scheduled for a c-section on August 20 - Will's third birthday! She will likely be admitted to the hospital for close monitoring at 28 weeks at the very latest and her doctor told her that if she made it to 30 weeks, it would be a miracle.
Of course, we are all thrilled for my sister-in-law and also very nervous. If you know of anyone who has had or is currently pregnant with monoamniotic twins, I would appreciate it if you could leave their information in the comments or e-mail me with it so I can pass it along. And if you are of the praying type, if you could say a few words for my sister-in-law and my nieces (how fun is that to say?), I would really appreciate it!