After a ridiculous amount of back and forth with the ultrasound place, my RE, the perinatologist and my OB (literally took me the better part of an afternoon), I was able to secure a follow-up appointment with the perinatologist to get some more information about what we were facing. Our appointment was about a week after our first ultrasound.
Chris and Keith met us there, and we started with another ultrasound. This was performed by a far more competent tech. So, as sad as it was to hear, we trusted her when she said that Baby C had no heartbeat. :-( It appeared that Baby C had stopped growing shortly after our last ultrasound (was measuring around 7.5 weeks). That sad news was tempered with healthy reports on Baby A and B, both measuring on track with strong, healthy heartbeats.
And then came the sucker punch. The doctor met with us shortly afterwards, and, with little preamble, informed us that since Baby B shared a placenta with Baby C, the loss of Baby C could have consequences for Baby B. He said there was a 15% chance of Baby B having neurological issues, ranging from learning disabilities to blindness or cerebral palsy. =-O That's quite a range. And there would be no way to know if any of this occurred until birth. So, again, the option of reduction was broached. At this point, to me, it seemed a little ridiculous. Reduce because a baby might be blind, but might just having a learning disability, but most likely is totally fine, but there's no way to tell? :-\ On the brightside, this discussion came with a referral to Stanford, to get an expert opinion. And that referral was very welcome. It seemed clear that our situation was mostly uncharted territory for this doctor, and we were all anxious to see somebody who could hopefully give us more information. Our Stanford appointment was eventually scheduled for the following week.
The double-edged sword that was our visit to the perinatologist cast a pall that made for a rather depressed weekend. Come Monday morning, I decided I needed to turn my attitude around, as much for the twins I was carrying as for myself when I got knocked down again. My nurse from my RE's office had gotten the report from the perinatologist, and thought it would be helpful, I guess, to let me know that it is common for these types of twins not to survive. When I wrote back to clarify, she confirmed that she meant exactly what I thought she did: that we should fully expect to lose Baby B as well, and that that had always happened in her experience. Every time. But she added it was worth getting an expert opinion. :-\ Here we thought we were facing cerebral palsy, at the worst, and now my nurse was practically guaranteeing another demise.
I'll admit, I still harbor a fair bit of animosity towards her for those emails. I can acknowledge the idea that she thought it was good to prepare me for the worst, but I feel like, as a surrogate especially, we know that the first trimester is a tenuous time. Seemingly healthy babies are lost all the time during that initial 3 months. All her pronouncement did was add an incredible amount of stress during an already stressful time. If her information had been somewhat helpful, if there was something I could do to lessen the chance of Baby B's seemingly inevitable demise, I would have welcomed her input. But there was nothing I could do but worry at that point.