Friday, October 18, 2013

FHR & VTS - Not What We Wanted to Hear


One thing is for certain, always count your blessings. So today was not a good day.

The wife went in to see the Doc to have her two day spotting checked out. Yesterday she did not, but this morning there was a light smudge. We learned that this early on in a pregnancy in the first trimester, anything can happen. But when blood happens. It may not be a good thing. While it is very common to spot, red in NEVER good. Well, the good is that the spotting is light brown and not red.

Turns out the diagnosis on the spotting turned to be routine and normal. What did not was the health of Baby B. So feeling a bait and switch right now. Isn't that something! At this stage in the baby development, it's all about the crown to rump measurement and the heartbeat.

So far, Baby A is at par with expected growth and measurements. We may lose Baby B. And that is just downright sad and disheartening. While we have been pregnant for a short time (a month and 3 weeks), we  have already planned their future, their potential names, their breastfeeding aerobatic positions. Aurgh. Just another reminder to live our tenet of one day at a time.

Baby A heartbeat: 140 beats per minute
Baby B heartbeat: 103 beats per minute

The Doc says the range at this stage in their development should be 110-180.

This heartbeat stuff is known as the FHR or Fetal Heart Rate. A key indicator of whether the baby is growing and developing into a healthy critter.

The sad news is that the concern for the Doc was not the heartbeat but Baby B's development in terms of expected size. She measured at just 3.4 millimeters. Baby A is on track at 9.9 millimeters. He is growing nicely since the expected size is 10 millimeters.

Yes, I am calling Baby A a boy and Baby B a girl. I had it in my had that we would be having the pair.

Given this turn of events. It may not be realized and it just outright sucks.

There are always miracles. But statistics are really against her. There is no real "catching up" to do. It may well be God's way of saying, it's not your time. So the feeling of celebration and mourning bundled into one is not a good one. Another to chalk up to this roller coaster of pregnancy. The gestational age of Baby B was calculated as 6w1d. A whole week behind where she should be.

So now what? Enter yet another acronym. VTS. Or the eerie term labeled Vanishing Twin Syndrome. Yeap, there is such a thing. It is real. And it has happened forever. But since science is so advanced now, we are able to pinpoint the fact that what was born as a single baby, it is likely it was a twin at the beginning. Who knows, maybe I was a twin too. But such technology didnt exist in the early 70's.

So with VTS, basically the baby stops growing and is absorbed by the Mom's body. Just like that. It was visible on the ultrasounds we've had so far, and even with a heartbeat, and gone by the next Doc checkup. We are still counting our blessings for the Doc to be wrong. But his prediction is that by the bext Doc visit on Nov. 1, Baby B's heart would have stopped beating the visible and audible 103 beats per minute heard today and be gone to allow Baby A to keep growing and developing.

I continue to pray and hope that Baby A and Baby B will continue on this journey with us. That there is that slight hope of a chance that the ultrasound machine today didn't quite catch the correct measurements. But my mind goes to the visible sacs from the ultrasound. Baby B is less than half the size of Baby A. So we also need to be realistic and not in denial.

I do not like the VTS acronym becoming a part of what defines our journey. But this bump in the road is a part of that experience that we were dealt with.

This weekend will bring more rest and nesting for the wife. Giving the babies the best environment for them to thrive. Hope continues to be alive. Come on Baby B. We are rooting for you. Baby A needs your company in this ride!


  1. Did you know that my sister Noemi was supposed to be a twin? When my mom gave birth to Noemi she had two amniotic sacs and only one baby. The other fetus didn't develop yet the sac remained. Noemi was born at 5lbs10oz, because of the other sac at full term. She was the smallest baby she had, while I was born at 9lbs10oz and I was born 25 days early. I was the largest baby and also am the tallest girl. Just thought you should know. VTS is possible and it happened to my mom and to my aunt(aunt by marriage) as well. Food for thought.

  2. Wow, I did not. I love how sharing an experience like we are, brings about the recollection and sharing of stories from loved ones which usually are not known. Very interesting and powerful. Thanks for sharing. At this stage of our experience we were devastated by the loss but thanks to the overwhelming support we have received from friends and family like you, we looked in the good of this experience and the what can be versus the what could have been. This journey definitely tests so many aspects of your life and relationship. I'm blessed to be living it with the one the was meant for me.