Monday, September 29, 2008

How did I get here?

First I apologize for not having a second of time to post much of anything since the bugs came home. Having twins is more challenging than I ever imagined.
I can't believe that today they are already five weeks old! FIVE WEEKS! I now am on the downslope of my maternity leave (which is freaking me out - but that's another post entirely) and the bugs have changed enormously since their birthday. Both boys are now over 8 1/2 pounds (which seems huge to me but I have to stop to remember that those weights are average for singletons) and Alex, who was my smaller bug at birth, has now surpassed his "bigger" brother in weight.
Life in our house is definitely stressful - to say the least. We are severely sleep deprived, dealing with one baby who has a terrible bout of acid reflux and maybe colic, and trying to acclimate ourselves to having two infants, who always seem to want to have bad days/nights at the same time. I have to say I can completely understand how the divorce rate among families with multiples approaches 80%. J and I have to work hard at not snapping at one another when the stress gets out of control. I know we'll be OK in the long run - but I can see how it is going to take a lot of work for us and the importance of making your marriage a priority as well as your children.

I've thought a lot the past few weeks and months about my journey to get where I am today. It has been a long road to travel - sometimes nearly breaking me. The early morning doctor appointments, the humiliation at having numerous doctors and nurses seeing my nether regions, the tests, needle jabs, bruises from injections, disappointment at failed cycles, excitement with positive pee sticks, heartache over lost pregnancies, stress on my marriage, and complete and utter amazement at the birth of the bugs.
J and I walked the long and winding road for over six years. There were times one or both of us wanted to stop, to turn off the road, and walk a different path. Somehow we kept going - and now I can't imagine what life would be like if we had stopped walking. Don't get me wrong - I am NOT naive at all after this whole experience. I know that there are far too many people who don't ever get off the "road". But I am glad that J and I made the decisions together to continue with treatment, even when they seemed futile. I hope for all IF couples that they are also able to find some way off of their own "road" - whatever way that is - and find peace with whatever decisions they make for their own situations.

I'm pretty confident that J and I will not be walking down the IF long and winding road anymore. Given our ages, and what it took to get the bugs, I can't see that we will pursue any additional fertility treatment in the future. And, I'm also pretty confident that there won't be any magical surprise pregnancies in our future either.
Since we've taken a turn and are walking down a different road now, I've decided to close this chapter of my journey and open the next one. I also don't want to write a lot about parenting after infertility on what started out as an infertility/pregnancy loss blog. I know how much it can hurt to read pregnancy and child related posts when you are in the throes of treatments, decision making, or when you've received news about negative cycles.

So, I've decided to write about our new "road" - parenting multiples after infertility - over here. I'll still be following your posts - sharing information about parenting with those of you who have gotten to that point, and cheering those of you on who are still walking the road. I hope that this blog will provide people facing infertility and pregnancy loss with help if they need it. That was one of my goals when I started it. There were certainly a huge number of you who gave me support when I needed it. I thank you for that. And I hope that maybe you'll stop by our new digs and see how J, the bugs, and I are all doing once in a while.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Because you asked

Here they are - Lan.don on the top and Al.ex on the bottom. Our little bugs just a few hours after they were born.
I'm working on some more posts - I have a lot to share of things I've felt and thought about over the past few weeks. Now just finding some time to actually post them....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Birthday Story

As I promised, our AJ and LJ's birth story:

On Monday August 25th I woke at about 4a.m feeling weird. That's the only way I could explain it. I felt like (sorry if TMI) I had to go to the bathroom or had some awful gas pains. I kept trying to figure out what I had eaten the previous night that would have caused it. It didn't even occur to me that it could be labor beginning. I had told these two bugs it was time to come out every day for weeks -with no results. So why would today be any different?
After trying to go to the bathroom or pass some gas for quite some time I gave up and went back to bed. Couldn't sleep - the pressure in my chest and stomach hurt to much. J was sleeping on the sofa downstairs, as he typically has done since about the 4-month mark of this pregnancy (when my snoring became too much for him) so I turned on the television for a while.
4:30am - went to try to use the bathroom again. Noticed some slight pink spotting on the tp when I wiped. Hum. I guess that could be normal at this point. Maybe I'll call the OB when the office opens at 9am.
5am - one more trip to the bathroom and....well this seems like an awful lot of fluid for me to just be peeing. My water had broken. I found a big bath towel and tried my best to work my way downstairs to tell J. he was pretty calm and I told him that I wanted to call the OB on call to see what to do.
5:45am - called the on call OB, explained what had happened and that we were scheduled to have a c-section later that week. He told me we should head for the hospital then and he'd see us when we got there. I told J to put the suitcase in the car, while I went to go and shower. I don't know why I thought I needed to shower first but I was NOT going to the hospital without one so that's what I did.
8am - arrived at the hospital. Sent to triage where they checked me three times to be sure it was amniotic fluid that was leaking. Hooked up to fetal monitors and told to wait and see what happens.

Between 8am-10am the OB and nurses decided I was not really in active labor yet. Not even slightly dilated or effaced. There were two other scheduled c-sections that day so it looked like I would be waiting until after they were done with those. Luckily my contractions that I was feeling were pretty minor. By late morning they seemed to be getting slightly worse. I can not even imagine what you ladies who delivered naturally must have been through - my minor contractions were kicking my as*!

We ended up sitting in triage for about 6 hours (all the while leaking the amniotic fluid) before they finally took us into the OR for the c-section.
I was scared of the spinal but ready to have my bugs! It really wasn't so bad either. I bit nerve wracking when I heard behind me that the resident was doing it instead of the anesthesiologist (we delivered at a teaching hospital) and considering that I have panic attacks when I get a Novocaine shot at the dentist due to lack of control over my body.
It took what seemed to be a matter of minutes and they were taking Baby A out first (with the OB shocked that he was the littler one weighing in at 5lbs 10 ozs) and then Baby B was out, who weighed 6lbs 8ozs. Not bad for a 5ft2in girl like me.
J watched as the NICU doctors examined them and then left the room because they were both, thankfully, healthy and well.

Once in the recovery room, and the spinal wearing off so I wasn't afraid of dropping them, I finally got to hold my two beautiful bugs. They were everything I ever dreamed they would be. Tiny, perfect, beautiful little beings.
Finally J and I could start the next leg of our journey.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Big Arrival

Our little AJ and LJ have arrived - before the scheduled date that Dr. OB and I decided on. They finally listened and decided to come out on their own. C-Section went fine and since August 25th at 2:41pm our life has been forever changed.
I can't describe the love and the emotions I feel for these perfect beings.

More on the birth story to come...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Plan

OB appointment today went well. Ultrasound still shows Baby A a little smaller than Baby B and both are face down. A is vertex and B is breech. Heartbeats, etc all look good.
Dr. OB said we could try naturally but she couldn't guarantee that even with the best doctor that they would be able to turn Baby B into a head down position after A is born - and I may end up going through labor and then having a c-section for the second baby. So, we decided to schedule a c-section to avoid that issue altogether. A little longer hospital stay and recovery time but I want to avoid having both labor and a c-section so that was the way to go.
Unless these boys decide to come out on their own we'll be scheduled for next Friday, August 29th.
J and I are so excited - less than 10 days and we will finally meet these two little bugs!! A little nervous too!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The dreaded internal exam

I've heard a lot about this exam and it appears as of now that I may have evaded this one altogether. I had my 36 week appointment with Dr. OB today and all she did was a weight, blood pressure, and fundal height measurement. That's it. I went expecting an internal but she didn't do one, and didn't even mention it. Maybe since it really tells you nothing about when labor will truly begin she doesn't do them at all? Maybe she doesn't do them to her worrywart patients in hopes of not causing any spotting for them? Whatever her reasoning I am glad.
So, now next week I will have another NST, and ultrasound, and another appointment with Dr. OB. She also told me today that if these babies don't decide to arrive on their own by next week's appointment, then after getting some estimates on weights from the ultrasound, we'll come up with a delivery plan. Since my fundal height and weight are not growing nearly as quickly as they have she's starting to think it's time for them to arrive.

I can't believe we're almost there. Still no signs that I can see from these bugs that they want out, so maybe we'll be scheduling a c-section after all?
Just one more week, and if no babies, then at least we'll have a plan by then.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

All Shapes and Sizes

Even when they are in-utero people assume twins are going to be alike. Even those that are not identical. Since my last Dr. appointment I've been telling family, friends and co-workers that we need to have an NST due to the fact that we're having multiples and also to be sure the estimated weight difference between the two is not a concern. Nearly everyone comments on how much bigger Baby B is estimated to be than Baby A, and then asks me why? Gee, I don't know, maybe because people are all different.
Apparently at this point it looks like we are just going to have two different sized babies. The NST was reactive this morning, with both babies showing good heart rate reactions to movement. And, did they ever move! The nurse finally ended the test even though they wouldn't be still at the end. There was no sign of any contractions at all either.
So, that means they are both doing well, estimated weight differences shouldn't signal IUGR, and the placentas are doing well also. I'll have another test in about a week or so, if the bugs decide not to arrive by then. I have to admit though - I am getting anxious! J and I finished packing the hospital bags last night and now all there is left to do is a few more loads of baby laundry and then just wait.
Blood pressure is still a little high though so we have to keep watching that.
Group B strep test done - hopefully results will be OK. And, much to my co-workers' surprise I still have yet to have an internal exam. From what I've heard about them though I am hoping that I can escape without one ever! The GBS test hurt enough!