Category Archives: First Trimester

Costa Rica Scare @ 12th Week

Day: 10 11+6

We booked our trip before we found out that we’re pregnant so we decided to go on the trip anyway. It was the last day of 12th week (Dec 12, 2009) and the day before our flight, I was on my feet all day, cooking, preparing snacks for the trip. It was until 1am I finally got everything done and was able to jump in the shower, I remember my feet were so tired and I could barely stand in the shower. We slept for about 3 hours and got up around 4:30am to catch the flight. The two legs of the flights were 1.5 hours then 3 hours, it wasn’t too long but I started feeling the pain in my lower belly, as if someone poking my belly with a needle, I figured it would go away but it actually lasted for a while. Once we got into San Jose, I went to the restroom, and to my surprise, I was bleeding, not too severe but scary enough to make me panic – I never expected spotting or bleeding, especially during the first trimester (although later on I learned that any spotting or bleeding is abnormal during 2nd and 3rd trimester). Here I am – at the airport in a country where I don’t speak their language! I told Michael, Junjie and Lijuan, we decided to talk to someone at the airport, they did find a doctor at the airport with Red Cross, but he didn’t speak English so we had to find someone to translate for us. He was really nice and didn’t seem to worry too much, just asked me to rest as much as I can.

I was seriously concerned, but Michael seemed very calm throughout the whole scare, we set out for Arenal, a 3-hr ride in the van we rented. The road condition in Costa Rica is not too great. I still could feel the pain and had to lay down (thank goodness we had our private transportation). Once we arrived at Tabacon, I was pretty much confined in the hotel room for the following 3 days, although it was the most beautiful place to be confined, I love Tabacon, so beautiful and relaxing. During those days I was pretty tired and felt the discomfort moving around too much…I remember I had to move very slowly. I tried to contact my doctors, of the three I tried, Dr. Gil and Dr. Deigan (ultrasound specialist) wrote back but my OB didn’t provide an email address and wasn’t willing to talk to Shannon, who I asked to place a phone call for me. Both Dr. Gil and Dr. Deigan asked me not to worry about it too much unless the bleeding becomes more severe. I had to say I was in fear, and couldn’t think of losing the twins I just got to know a few days ago – 1 in 5 pregnancies ends up in miscarriage and 80% of those take place in the first trimester.

Looking back, I must have been too tired, and we suspected the air travel somehow compresses the uterus and probably had something to do with the bleeding, like a plastic bottle being compressed during a flight. I also learned that air travel exposes us to a higher radiation so I’d better not fly any more before the boys are here since we were considering going to HK or China to deliver at the time! I’m glad Michael kept his cool and all three of my travel companions cared for me so well during the whole trip and we still had a great time (it’s hard not to in Costa Rica) even though I had to give up the horseback riding and white water rafting!


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Surprise!!! @ 12th Week

Day: 10 11+1

This was THE biggest surprise of my life! I went in for the first ultrasound, we found out that we’re expecting in early November through a home test and I was curious to find out how far along the pregnancy was since I never really had any sickness or reaction, the only reason I did a home test was because my stomach had a little bit discomfort. Michael was away for work, he actually just left for DC early that morning.

So here I was, laying on the bed, all of a sudden the nurse practitioner said, “wow!” I was like, “what?” She turned the computer screen and I realized right away, there were two sacs on the screen and two little guys floating, swimming around. It was too cute…I was thrilled and the NP said it looks like they are about in the middle of 11 weeks. Because it’s a twin pregnancy, they referred me right away to an ultrasound specialist Dr. Deigan, since he needs to get the ultrasound done to eliminate the Down syndrome before 13 weeks, and we were leaving for Costa Rica soon.

Left: The Twins; Middle: Twin B, closer to the surface, lives on the left side; Right: Twin A, lives on the right side

Dr. Deigan determined the due date will be June 27th, 2010, so the twins were between 11 weeks plus 1~3 days. And he measured the markers including looking at whether there’s thickened nuchal fold, or thickening on the back of the neck; looking for the nasal bones, his calculation is 1/7000 and 1/23,000 chance of risks; so that’s pretty good indicator that they do not have Down Syndrome.

By the time I got home from two doctors’ visits, and lunch at Whole Foods, Michael already got in DC, I remember my body was still shaking from the thrill, and we were IMing each other like we always do. I told him that I have news, but it’s not bad news – he guessed it – twins? I really wish he was with me that day to share the excitement but we both felt so blessed, we wanted two kids (and hopefully only two) so it was indeed great news!

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