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  #1  
July 21st, 2009, 11:23 PM
MamaRath's Avatar Member
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To start, this is my first post and I apologize for just jumping in on your forum like this. But there is something bothering me and I thought some insight from some of you might help.

This is my 4th pregnancy, although I only have one living child. I had my first doctor's appointment and ultrasound today, which has left me more confused than I thought possible. So here's the basic rundown:

Got my BFP on 6/25/09. Due to history of miscarriage and my age, my doctor wanted to get me in immediately for betas when I got a positive on a home test. So the following day I went in and had a blood draw. Four days after that I had a second draw. The first one came back 226 and the second 1054. Doubling time according to the betabase.info calculator is 1.80 days. My LMP was on May 29th. I've been charting for 6 months and have consistently had a 32 day cycle with ovulation on day 18. That would have put the first beta at 9 DPO and the second one at 13 DPO. I found the following chart online about HCG after being told by the nurse that my first beta was low:

* At 14 DPO, the average HCG level is 48 mIU/ml, with a typical range of 17-119 mIU/ml.
* At 15 DPO, the average HCG level is 59 mIU/ml, with a typical range of 17-147 mIU/ml.
* At 16 DPO, the average HCG level is 95 mIU/ml, with a typical range of 33-223 mIU/ml.
* At 17 DPO, the average HCG level is 132 mIU/ml, with a typical range of 17-429 mIU/ml.
* At 18 DPO, the average HCG level is 292 mIU/ml, with a typical range of 70-758 mIU/ml.
* At 19 DPO, the average HCG level is 303 mIU/ml, with a typical range of 111-514 mIU/ml.
* At 20 DPO, the average HCG level is 522 mIU/ml, with a typical range of 135-1690 mIU/ml.
* At 21 DPO, the average HCG level is 1061 mIU/ml, with a typical range of 324-4130 mIU/ml.
* At 22 DPO, the average HCG level is 1287 mIU/ml, with a typical range of 185-3279 mIU/ml.
* At 23 DPO, the average HCG level is 2034 mIU/ml, with a typical range of 506-4660 mIU/ml.
* At 24 DPO, the average HCG level is 2637 mIU/ml, with a typical range of 540-10,000 mIU/ml.

For the sake of argument, let's say I got my numbers wrong. The most I can be off is 4 days, so let's say the first draw was 13 DPO and the second was 17 DPO. Even at those numbers, my betas are more than twice the "normal" values. And I don't believe I'm off those 4 days, but I'm just giving the benefit of the doubt here.

Then I find this information regarding singletons and twins:

NORMAL SINGLETON PREGNANCIES
14 DPO - Ave 48 hCG - 119 high hCG - 17 low hCG
16 DPO - Ave 95 hCG - 223 high hCG - 33 low hCG
18 DPO - Ave 292 hCG - 758 high hCG - 70 low hCG

NORMAL TWIN PREGNANCIES
14 DPO - Ave 68 hCG - 313 high hCG - 56 low hCG
16 DPO - Ave 146 hCG - 803 high hCG - 112 low hCG
18 DPO - Ave 360 hCG - 1760 high hCG - 200 low hCG

My numbers place me firmly in the normal twins range. Now I know HCG numbers alone don't mean much and you can't determine the number of babies based on two sets of betas. This is where mother's intuition comes in. From the day I got my BFP, I suspected. Then I got my numbers, did a little research and thought maybe. I've over 35 - the age they say the chances for twins just go up, so that increased my odds. Then I talked to my mother, joked with her about twins, and she didn't find it funny. She told me that on her side of the family there were several sets of fraternal twins. The closest two being my mother's mother's sister, who had fraternal b/g twins. Then one of her other girls (not the twin) had a g/g set of twins. So now you add in the family history.

Today I had my first appointment and ultrasound. By my calculations I'm 7w4d. They dated the pregnancy with a vaginal ultrasound at 6w2d. The heartbeat was 107, which is fine based on their date, but doesn't sound so great based on my number. I know I have to be more than 6w2d because that would have placed my BFP at 4 DPO and the two betas at 5 and 9 DPO. And none of that makes any sense.

So here is the big question. Since the ultrasound today just saw one, did any of you have an ultrasound this early where it was twins but only one was seen that time? I know how crazy this sounds, but the ultrasound pictures I got today were two zoomed in photos. The ones I have found online of twins shows a broader picture so you could clearly see the two sacs. Today it seems she found one and immediately zoomed in and gave me two pictures from her zoom. So I don't have a photo of "the big picture" so to speak.

The only reason I'm still thinking it could be twins is because the HCG numbers are definitely high regardless of the date you use, I am over 35 and have discovered fraternal twins do run in the family. I felt like today I was going to get closure to the "twins or not" question and if she had just found one baby and the dates all matched up I would have been able to say "okay, guess not." However, they are bringing me back next Monday for an additional ultrasound because the pregnancy didn't date as far as expected so they want to have another look to check on progress. This gives me one more opportunity to maybe slow down the ultrasound tech and get her to really look and see if maybe, just maybe, there is another one in there.

Thanks in advance to anyone who managed to read this far, I didn't really expect to write a novel.
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  #2  
July 22nd, 2009, 02:43 AM
Generally Crispy
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Firtst of all, Congratulations! I hope your pregnancy is a wonderful one!

Do you have a link to your chart?

My betas were very high, I wish I could recall what they were. I believe instead of doubling, they quadrupled. The dr said it was not an indicator of twins. I was charting and had two little ovulation cramps and saw two implantation dips so I was pretty convinced.
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  #3  
July 22nd, 2009, 04:11 AM
*TornadoJenn*'s Avatar Jenn's the name
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My twins were easily visible at the 6 week u/s. Good luck. I hope you get the answers you're looking for.
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  #4  
July 22nd, 2009, 05:31 AM
Celry's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Welcome to the board.

My first beta was not very high. Well within the range of a single pregnancy. My second and third were higher and someone pointed out to me that they were doubling about every 33 hours. My first u/s at 6 weeks only showed one baby. My second at 8 weeks showed 2.
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  #5  
July 22nd, 2009, 08:41 AM
MamaRath's Avatar Member
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*Nessy*~ View Post
Firtst of all, Congratulations! I hope your pregnancy is a wonderful one!

Do you have a link to your chart?

My betas were very high, I wish I could recall what they were. I believe instead of doubling, they quadrupled. The dr said it was not an indicator of twins. I was charting and had two little ovulation cramps and saw two implantation dips so I was pretty convinced.
I wish I had a link but it's not all in one place. I know it sounds crazy. I used FertilityFriend for a while and then switched to mymonthlycycles because it's free. Looking at the dates from the past 6 months shows consistent 32 day cycles and I had been using OPKs (which I didn't record online) that were showing ovulation at day 18. I never imagined I'd need to go back and look at all the data once I got pregnant. I was really using it to keep track each month in order to get pregnant. When a new cycle would start I would count the days to see when day 18 would be in order to start the OPKs in time to catch the positive result. I hope that kind of made sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celry View Post
Welcome to the board.

My first beta was not very high. Well within the range of a single pregnancy. My second and third were higher and someone pointed out to me that they were doubling about every 33 hours. My first u/s at 6 weeks only showed one baby. My second at 8 weeks showed 2.
I'm aware the betas don't mean much. And truthfully, with the way I've been feeling, I'm happy with it just being one. I just want to make good and sure that what I'm seeing is what I'm going to get. I don't need the 20 week u/s and the "oh, by the way, there's the other one!"

From what I've been able to find online, they usually don't miss one on an early ultrasound. But there are enough cases that I know it's possible. It's the what if factor that's frustrating. I guess I'm also thinking that the difference in dates might be explained if there are actually two, or if at one time there had been two? I don't know how that would work, I know it's grasping at straws, but I'm concerned about the dating on the one I did see as well.

Just trying to make some sense of it all now that I have to do it all again on Monday.
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  #6  
July 22nd, 2009, 09:54 AM
lissy8's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Congrats on the pregnancy!! My first ultrasound at 6 weeks showed two babies, but I have heard many times that the second baby could be hiding. My hcg levels were 17 at 11dpo and 58 at 13 dpo so mine were really low....and I was expecting only one baby but lo an behold there was two. Good luck I hope that if it is twins that the other shows up on your next ultrasound.
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  #7  
July 22nd, 2009, 09:57 AM
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Congrats on your pregnancy! My betas were higher than with my singleton pregnancy and since I had done IVF I figured both embryos took before my first ultrasound which did show two sacs. You should have a better answer when you go in for your second ultrasound. Good luck and let us know what you find out. I am curious to find out how it goes for you.
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  #8  
July 22nd, 2009, 12:48 PM
Heatherjfitz's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Hey there! YES it is possible to not see the 2nd baby! It happened to me! lol. My little baby B was hiding behind her sister so the vaginal u/s did NOT see her! My ultrasound was at 8 weeks. Because we had no reason to believe another baby would be there, at each following appt we only tried to find one heartbeat. Finally at my 20 week gender u/s (when the cover the WHOLE belly) we saw the second baby and we about died from shock! lol. Here are my u/s pics from that first 8 week appt. Looks like only one baby to me! Boy were we WRONG! lmao!







My HCG levels were 1397 at 18dpo and 5794 at 21 dpo.

Good luck!!
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  #9  
July 22nd, 2009, 01:18 PM
*Mandy*'s Avatar Co-Host Moms of Multiples
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I don't know what my beta's were,but my twins were both very visible at 6 weeks.(That's when we found out)It is possible though that one could be hiding!

Good Luck and KUP and Congrats on the pregnancy!
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  #10  
July 22nd, 2009, 01:39 PM
CrystalMay's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I honestly do not remember my numbers. However I also found out at 7 weeks that there were 2.
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  #11  
July 22nd, 2009, 03:14 PM
TheyGrowLikeWeeds's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I remember my number doubling quite a bit. I was a classic twin pregnancy as far as the levels go. However, knowing that there were two in there (IVF transfer of 2 embryos), it was scary to only see one...at first. But knowing there were two embryos placed in there, the doctor dug a little deeper and sure enough, baby B was hiding behind baby A. Had this been a surprise pregnancy, no one would have thought to look further. I'd have gotten my surprise at a later appointment.
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  #12  
July 23rd, 2009, 08:10 AM
MamaRath's Avatar Member
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Thanks again ladies, and especially to Heather for her pictures. I would definitely say there was only one based on that. I realize it's a long shot, but the entire set of circumstances still makes me wonder. As I said, I'm happy with just one, I just don't want the halfway through surprise of "and there's the other one!"

I will definitely update after my Monday appointment and then move on if it's not appropriate for me to be in this forum. You seem like a wonderful bunch of ladies and I appreciate the information you have given me.
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  #13  
July 23rd, 2009, 09:06 AM
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Congrats and good luck!! We found out at 6 wks that there were 2, but they are in different sacs so maybe that helps? (I'm still learning about this whole twin thing!! ) This is my 7th pregnancy and I have 2 kids (other than these 2!) so I completely understand your anxiety! Either way it works out, I hope that it is a healthy pregnancy for you!!
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  #14  
July 23rd, 2009, 09:59 AM
Heatherjfitz's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaRath View Post
Thanks again ladies, and especially to Heather for her pictures. I would definitely say there was only one based on that. I realize it's a long shot, but the entire set of circumstances still makes me wonder. As I said, I'm happy with just one, I just don't want the halfway through surprise of "and there's the other one!"

I will definitely update after my Monday appointment and then move on if it's not appropriate for me to be in this forum. You seem like a wonderful bunch of ladies and I appreciate the information you have given me.

No problem! Good luck with your pregnancy be it one baby or two!
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  #15  
July 23rd, 2009, 10:28 AM
*Mandy*'s Avatar Co-Host Moms of Multiples
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Regardless,I hope you have a Happy and Healthy nine months!

KUP!
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  #16  
July 23rd, 2009, 09:28 PM
mayandsofiasmommy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Betas don't really tell you anything about multiples or not. I've had friends who had WAY higher betas than me and they had a singleton. Now, I do think the doubling time might be quicker for multiples, but again you can't bank on it.

My first u/s was at 6 weeks, and she only saw 1 at first. I asked her if she was sure, and she looked again and found more. So, that is possible- if they didn't keep looking around.
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  #17  
July 24th, 2009, 01:21 PM
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I can't help you with the beta question. I never knew what mine were. And I am one of those people that got the 20 week ultrasound shock of , "there's two!" Plus I was 32 and no family history. Are you having any of the other classic twin pregnancy symptoms?
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  #18  
July 24th, 2009, 03:11 PM
MamaRath's Avatar Member
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinsmake4 View Post
I can't help you with the beta question. I never knew what mine were. And I am one of those people that got the 20 week ultrasound shock of , "there's two!" Plus I was 32 and no family history. Are you having any of the other classic twin pregnancy symptoms?
I had next to no symptoms with DD, and this time I have had horrible morning sickness, headaches and have been hungry above and beyond what I remembered the last time. I know every pregnancy is different so I realize this one may just be hitting me harder. It's so hard to get through the day without a nap - by mid afternoon I can barely keep my eyes open.

As far as genetics go, I'm wondering whether that plays a factor or not. My grandmother's (mom's mom) sister had 8 kids, including a set of b/g twins. Of of her other daughters (not the girl twin) then had twin girls of her own. My mom thinks there are other twins in that line as well, but those are the two she's aware of. If a twin was missed on the scan I would find that harder to believe if they were fraternal. I'm thinking more of one hiding behind the other, making them more likely to be identical, which is not known to be genetic, by my understanding. I'm going to be 37 in a few months, so I know I have reached an age where I run an increased possibility of twins.

Stupid question: do identical twins ever runs small? (Meaning dating at an early u/s - I know twins babies usually weigh a little less than singletons at birth.) It seems to me that if one egg splits and becomes two fetuses, it would have some catching up to do and might measure smaller at a first ultrasound if done early enough. It's crossed my mind that I might have had identicals and either the other was missed or even vanished. I don't believe the pregnancy is as young as they dated it, so that's my main focus - wondering what could be the reason to measure that far off, with it not being my dates that are wrong.

I'm afraid it's going to be a long weekend!
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  #19  
July 24th, 2009, 05:28 PM
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I had identical twin girls. I had no medical assistance. In fact I got pregnant while on the pill. I was on it for over 10 years. I had a lot of morning sickness and heart burn, but no reason to believe it was twins. I went for my 16 week ob appointment and was measuring bigger. I had an ultrasound at 18 weeks and their were two. I have no clue about beta numbers. The girls were small for the gestational age. I know that depending on when identical split determines if they will be in their own sac or if they will be in one sac ( very high risk) My girls were in separate sacs sharing a placenta. I had a rough pregnancy starting at 23 weeks when we found out Baby A had a Diaphragmatic Hernia. When I was 24 weeks they were scared the girls had Twin to Twin. Baby A had lower fluid and was smaller. I had an ultrasound and Amnio at 26 weeks and everything was good. I gave birth at 28 weeks due to me developing HELLP. My platelet count was extremely low. My liver and kidneys were failing. McKenzie weighed 2 pounds 2 ounces and spent 2 months in the NICU. Madison was 1 pound 9 ounces and underwent 3 surgery's. She was with us for 5 months. She died from complications from her Hernia.

Last edited by daisy616; July 24th, 2009 at 05:37 PM.
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  #20  
July 27th, 2009, 11:25 AM
MamaRath's Avatar Member
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Well, ladies I want to thank you for all the information you have provided.

We had the repeat u/s this morning and they still just saw one. Measurement today was 7w1d, so they won't be changing the due date. Heart rate was 162, so that was much improved and the doctor is very happy with everything.

When I tried to get some understanding of getting a positive just 4 days after conception and having my levels that high that early, it was brushed off as 'normal.' I don't think I've ever heard of anyone getting a positive pregnancy test 4 DPO, but how do you argue with the doctor? HCG is what it is - I know those levels can vary so you can't really wonder about that. So if anyone wants to know what a positive test looks like 4 DPO, here you go:



So it looks like we have one healthy little bean, which is definitely my main concern. Coming into this I never would have expected more than one, so I'm perfectly happy knowing now that everything looks good.
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