Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Disparate Duo

Several months ago doctors alerted us to their concern that Lellow was not growing at the same rate as Red. At the time, each baby was just over two pounds, yet Red was a full five ounces heavier than Lellow. However, over the past few months, the 4-5 ounce gap between the two babies remained fairly constant, and so the cause for concern had diminished. However, during today’s visit, the measurements for the two babies were again vastly different, bringing back the earlier concerns.
Today Red portrayed the picture of perfect fetal growth, at 5 lbs 6 ounces, measuring in the fifty-sixth percentile. Red is already above the weight of many singleton babies, and growing like a weed. Our crimson kiddo is still head down, has a perfect heart rate, and all vital organs looked good. The baby even put on a show for a while, showing us that in-utero babies are able to suck their thumbs.
However, Lellow was the baby that gave the doctors a bit of concern. Lellow only measured at 4lbs 4 ounces, in just the 21st percentile. However, the sono-tech let us know that the concern may turn out to be a false alarm. All the other indications were that the golden child was in perfect health. Lellow had a strong heart beat, normal heart rate, and good organ development. And not to be outdone by Red, Lellow did some tricks as well, developing a case of the hiccups once the camera came near.
However, the sonogram nurse had a very difficult time measuring Lellow’s abdomen, on account of the breech positioning and Red’s head smushing Lellow’s tummy. Lellow’s abdominal size measured in the bottom fifth percentile of all babies. This size was inconsistent with all the other measurements taken of the baby; including head size and bone length, which were both above the thirtieth percentile. The stark contrast between the measurements led the doctor to believe that the abdominal measurement was faulty, therefore causing the weight calculation to be low. Also, in what I construed as an effort to alleviate the concerns in the room, Lellow stuck out an arm and gave a nice bicep flex, professional wrestler style, as if to say, “Don’t worry about me, I am doing just fine.” That baby may have inherited a bit of its father’s Napoleon Complex – I may be small but, man, I’m strong! Despite all the indicators that the weight measurement was off, to be safe, Rach will undergo additional testing.
The difference in the weight measurements is enough that the twins are now considered disparate growth twins – a medical term meaning that one twin is growing faster than the other. It’s kind of like that Danny Devito/Arnold Swartzenegger movie Twins, only not as funny. Rachel is now to be monitored twice per week in a fetal test that monitors heart rate, movement and fluid amounts for each child. Today’s test showed that Red and Lellow are comparable in those three categories, further leading the medical professionals to believe that the weight measurement was wrong. We will head back in on Thursday for more tests on our disparate duo, to again ensure that they are doing well. The bottom line is that despite all the medical equipment and fancy detection gear, the science of medicine still sometimes comes down to gut feeling. The doctor’s gut feeling, as well as mine, is that the growth disparity is nothing to worry about, and that both babies are doing just fine.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for keeping us all informed. I'll continue to pray for the health of all of you, and my gut tells me the same thing as your doctor's and yours.
    love, love, love!!