Monday, September 29, 2008
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
Thursday, September 11, 2008
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
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
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
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
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!
Friday, August 1, 2008
The ultrasound went great. Both babies looked good, with good heartbeats. Both of these bugs are camera shy and we haven't seen anything but their backs and the backs of their heads for the past three ultrasound scans. At the end of the scan the tech gave me their estimated weights - Baby A is at 4lbs6ozs, and Baby B is at 6lbs1oz. The she says that can't be right because last time they were both measuring a week ahead and now Baby B is still a week ahead but Baby A is a week behind.
I then go into a different room for my appointment with Dr. OB. She says that the growth discordance is not a huge problem at this point - they may just end up being different size people. But (I hate the But) she wants to do a NST exam just to be sure that there isn't placental problems or overcrowding going on - in which case we'd have to deliver. Add to that the fact that the amniotic fluid level for Baby A is starting to get lower and we may be looking at some IntraUterine Growth Issues. Common in 1 out of 4 twin pregnancies.
So, I will have a NST exam weekly until delivery at this point.
The other glitch today was that my blood pressure is looking a little higher than normal. Normally it's on the low side and it is starting to go up - not high at this point but higher than MY normal. So, she wants to keep a closer eye on that. So, I have to have that checked once a week now also. Another common problem in a twin pregnancy.
So, neither issue seems to be completely out of control at this point, but both will still require some extra monitoring. I'm glad though that we're so close to being considered full-term at this point. That is one thing that really eases my mind a bit. I feel like they would both be OK should we have to deliver at any time.
I am going to try not to worry too much - and hope that we're just going to end up with one little chunky baby and one little peanut.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Had another uneventful OB appointment today - will be 33 weeks tomorrow. Heartbeats still good, growth still good and I've gained a total of 42 pounds so far. Getting so big I can barely move around much. But I will take it for another 3 weeks or so - just to make sure these boys are a good enough size to be able to come home from the hospital right away.
I'm now at weekly appointments until the babies decide to arrive. Another ultrasound next week and I'm thinking that will probably be the last one since we only do them every 4 weeks and next week I'll be at 34 weeks plus. I don't foresee myself getting to 38 weeks without giving birth. Maybe I'm wrong, but I've been having more frequent BH contractions and I've been feeling pretty crampy at night and I think the nesting is starting to kick in some. Woke from a nap the other day with an overwhelming urge to organize things.
We've got to do some serious organizing too. The room is not even close to being ready. It is painted and the wallpaper border is hung but that is it! We've got to purchase the carpet, assemble all the furniture, put it in the room, finish washing clothes, and put them in the closets, and wash bottles/nuks, etc and get that stuff organized too. Hopefully it will all get done - I don't think we'll have much time for that after the boys get here. It'll be too chaotic then.
I've also been trying to cook and freeze casseroles so J and I have something to eat the first few weeks with new babies. Thank goodness work agreed to the part-time hours, with part-time vacation. It has helped immensely with my swelling and with my ability to get stuff done around here without complete exhaustion.
Still no names picked yet.
It seems like I wouldn't let J do anything for so long and now time seems to be running out and now I feel like I won't ever get all of the things done that I need to before the babies make their appearance. Having dealt with IF for so long I just couldn't let myself get ready for babies too early. I still struggle with that every day, and with each thing I buy, or wash, or put together. It is still just so hard to imagine that babies will be at the end of this all.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Then shower was beautiful and I have to say that my family and friends have been so generous! We have everything we need - I mean everything. I don't think we'll have to purchase anything for these two little bugs - except toys. That's one thing we didn't get any of - which is fine since they won't even know what toys are for about 6 months anyway. Diapers may be another thing - we did get lots but according to my estimated calculations what we got may only last us for about 2-3 weeks. Yikes! We also have enough gift cards to help with that too though.
So aside from getting the furniture delivered and set-up and actually in the room, I think we're on our way to being ready for these babies to arrive.
Had my 30 week appointment with Dr. OB yesterday which again, thankfully, went fine. Ultrasound showed Baby A vertex, still facing down (so no cute pictures - he must be shy or stubborn) and measuring 3lbs10ozs, and Baby B still transverse and measuring 4lbs3ozs. They are in the 57% and 63% for weight. That eases my mind quite a bit because I am very fearful of having them and they being too small and having to spend a lot of time in the NICU. But growth seems good and if they stay put for at least a few more weeks they should be good size to be able to come home right away after birth. Blood pressure still good, weight gain at 40 pounds (OMG) but I have so much swelling in my feet, ankles, and calves, that I think I'd lose a good 5-10 pounds if it weren't for them. I have been extremely tired lately too - I get up, get to work, and by 10am I'm ready for a nap. So, Dr. OB wrote me out of work half-time. I'm talking to my boss today about reducing my hours. I'm hoping it's OK with them and they don;t ask me to go out completely. I figure if I can work part-time I can stay until the babies are born. I just need a little more rest. Carrying 8 pounds of baby is tough - especially when you consider that I still have another 5-7 weeks to go.
Skipped childbirth class last night. We had a substitute teacher and I was completely exhausted. Figured I wouldn't miss too much. Next week's focus is on medication. Plus Thursday we have a parent's survival skills class where we will learn diaper changing, caring for umbilical cords and circumcisions, taking a temperature, giving a bath, and all other real-life practical things you'd need to know for baby. Looking forward to that one - A little secret about me - I have never changed a diaper in my life.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
That's only about 6 weeks left to go.
I had my 3 hour Glucose test last week. While it was worse than the one hour it still wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. The worst part was sitting at the lab for 3 hours! I read 3 entire magazines in that time. Luckily two days later I found out that I passed. Whew! Apparently even though you can eat and drink normally prior to the one hour test, it is not wise to drink chocolate milk before the test. I think that's what must have thrown off the one hour results. But for now I can continue to eat my carbs and not be overly concerned.
My appointment with Dr. OB earlier this week was again, thankfully, uneventful. No ultrasound this time, just measuring, weighing, blood pressure, and all the other normal things. I am up 33 pounds at 29 weeks. Dr. OB also informed me that I am now measuring the same size as someone pregnant with a singleton at 40 weeks. Have to keep an eye out for signs of PTL now but so far I've only had some slight BH contractions that go away with drinking water or moving around.
My co-workers had a shower for me yesterday. I work with a bunch of very generous people. We got clothes, gift cards, bouncy seats, diaper bag, toys, bedding, and 4 boxes of diapers! Hard to believe that they would want to have a shower for me after I haven't attended one in a few years. But I think since they all knew about our IF struggles they all understood, to some extent, why I wasn't attending.
We began our childbirth classes this week too. Of course everyone in the class had questions for us during the break about twins. We were the most popular couple in the class. I even had a woman who is due in just 4 weeks let me cut in line for use of the bathroom. How bad is that?! She said it would be easier for her to wait with just one baby pressing down on the bladder than for me to wait with two.
I think that the classes will be helpful but not sure how much of the relaxation tips really help. I guess I'm a bit skeptical that breathing is going to help with that level of pain. Looking forward to the class that actually teaches us about all of the different pain relief options available to us.
My family is having a shower for us next week - over the holiday weekend. Luckily Dr. OB said it was OK to travel the 2 1/2 hours to go to it. My sisters were a bit worried about whether I'd be there or not. I'm excited to see them - they haven't seen me since February when I was about 10 weeks along. Boy, will they be shocked!!
After that J and I will have our hands full putting things together, washing clothes, and getting things in order. I'm very thankful for that - thankful that we are getting closer to my hands being full rather than empty.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Everything else is normal except I failed my Glucose Challenge Test. Result came back at 160 and should have been under 140. Now I'll have to do the 3-hour fasting test sometime in the next two weeks. Hopefully this one goes better and I don't really have Gestational Diabetes.
They also noticed that one baby's left kidney is slightly larger than the right. If it remains only a slight difference, as long as he's able to urinate when he's born we're OK. If the discrepancy in the sizes grows he'll have to see a urologist when he's born and possibly have surgery to correct what could be a urinary tract obstruction caused by a congenital defect. Hopefully that won't happen. It is hard not to freak out when your OB says, "Now don't get upset..." But after hearing what she had to say and doing a little research myself (albeit at Goo.gle University) I do feel fairly confident that even if there is a problem it is correctable and nothing really life-threatening.
I think I'm starting to have Brax.ton Hick.s too. Not sure, because I don't know what they're supposed to feel like, but I do think that's what's happening today. Mostly when I sit in my horribly uncomfortable chair at work. If I get out of the chair and move around they go away. Feels like cramps though. I'm assuming it's normal since they go away when i change positions but if you've got any thoughts on them, please share.
Next appointment - 2 weeks
Sunday, June 8, 2008
My co-workers are also planning a shower for the same week - during the week though after work one evening. I cried when they told me about it and they emailed the invite to all staff. Dealing with other people's pregnancies after our loss and subsequent months of treatment, I can honestly say that I was not the nicest person to be around at work. It is a lot to deal with and we are all entitled to our feelings and coping mechanisms. It's just very nice of them to still plan a shower for me, even though I didn't attend either of the past two they've had for other people in the past year.
J and I went garage sale-ing and found a ton of baby clothes for all ages from newborn to 2 years. They were so cute - I cried when I got them home and started sorting them by age. Ducks and frogs and trucks. So many cute little tiny clothes. Hard to imagine that we will have two little people wearing them soon.
It has een extremely HOT here the past few days and I am really swollen in my ankles and hands. Nothing extreme enough to warrant medical attention but not comfortable either. I cried the other day because my feet were so swollen that it almost hurt to walk.
Are you noticing a pattern here? I have suddenly become an emotional wreck. The tiniest things set me off and I can't control it.
Don't EVER watch Finding Ne.mo when you are hyper-emotional. I could NOT stop the tears last night while watching that movie. The part where the Dad tells the ne.mo baby fish egg that he'll never let anything happen to him (like in the beginning of the movie) is when the tears started and continued throughout the entire movie. Every scene showing how much the Dad loved his Ne.mo and every kick I felt during the movie set off the water works.
I never imagined it was possible to love two people (whom I've yet to meet) so much and I just keep praying that things continue to go as planned and we can meet these bugs in about 90 days.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
The only side effects from the drink are some dizziness and now feeling pretty tired. Glad I took the day off of work to nap in case I needed it. Formerly Pregnant co-worker told me she needed to afterward.
Next OB appointment is on Monday. They won't have my results yet - I think it takes about a week for them to get them. But I'm not too worried. J is diabetic and I've used his tester a few times this past week. I checked a fasting level, and levels after eating and drinking two big glasses of OJ. All of those results were normal so I'm hoping the GCT results will be fine.
Ultrasound on Monday too! I'm excited about that and J is able to go to this appointment with me. I love every peek inside that I can get.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
We ordered and got the border for "the room" in the mail yesterday. We decided on this bedding. This weekend we'll probably go looking for paint samples but are thinking about either a green or yellow. The bathroom these babies will use is already painted blue so we don't want the room blue also.
So much to do, and we've waited a long time to do it because of my fear of jinxing things. But the realization that because we've got twins that these bugs could be here in a short 12 weeks or so really struck me the other day. We have got to get going on things.
Next OB appointment in 2 weeks with another ultrasound.
Next mile marker -- 28 weeks.
Monday, May 12, 2008
First I had a scary day the beginning of last week. I was at work, and needed to use the ladies room, for the millionth time that day. Lately I've been feeling like one of these bugs is sitting right on my bladder. I constantly feel the urge to use the bathroom, but most times, it's not very productive. I went to the bathroom, left, and proceeded to head upstairs to the water cooler. On my way back down the stairs, I felt some fluid leaking out of me. I ran back in the bathroom as quick as I could, fearing seeing red. No red, but definitely something clearish.
By this point I'm practically shaking so I go back to my desk, sit down and put my feet up. My head is spinning about what to do so I consult with Dr. Google about pPROM and premature labor symptoms. Everything I can find says that if there is amniotic fluid leaking it would not stop leaking. So, I decide to sit with my feet up for a while, and when I get up again if there is another leak go to the ER immediately. Sat there for 45 minutes, got up and nothing. I also in this time of consulting with Dr. Google found out that if the fetus kicks your bladder you could leak urine. Decided to keep a close eye on the amount of discharge I had over that evening and the next few days (until my next OB appointment) to see if anything else happened. Thank goodness, nothing since then. Apparently, I wet my pants without realizing it. I had no idea this could happen. Another surprising pregnancy "symptom".
Had another OB appointment this week too. I am now 22w4d. Luckily the OB appointment was very uneventful. She just weighed me, took my blood pressure, listened to the two beating hearts, and measured my stomach. I have gained a total of 24 pounds so far - exactly where I wanted to be based on some twin pregnancy books I've been reading. Everything else is good thus far. Next appointment is still going to be another month away (I was hoping to start every other week now because I still get the nightmares and horrible thoughts with the longer time between appointments). But one more monthly visit and then we'll start every other week. Next appointment will be another ultrasound too. Can;t wait to see how much they've grown in there since last time.
I'll have to do my gestational diabetes test before next appointment too. I have my flat orange drink in the fridge ready to go whenever I decide to go to the lab.
Babies have been kicking up a storm in there too, which is pretty amazing! I am so glad to finally be able to really feel them. Not just bubbles popping anymore, but real distinguishable kicks and punches. Love it! J felt it too the other day. He seemed awe-struck and I think this p-word is finally starting to feel more real for him.
A mixed bunch of emotions for yesterday. I am happy that someone actually wished me a Happy Mother's day (although it felt both good and odd to me at the same time). It also made me sad to think about my own mom who is not with us anymore, and how much she would have loved these two bugs. And it made me reflect on where I've been in past years' on this day, made me think of the baby we lost, and of all of the people who still are not even where I'm at yet.
Friday, May 2, 2008
After much debate within my head (and with J) I finally decided that it would be OK to allow my sisters to have the shower they offered to have for me. Just thinking about it still makes me hyperventilate a bit though. But, I am trying hard to feel and start to act like a p-word person. Problem is the old IF feelings always have a way of coming through. My co-workers act surprised that I don't share news about what I'm feeling on a daily basis, and seem shocked that I still worry about and fear upcoming OB appointments. If they only knew what it is really like to be in these shoes.
J and I will probably start painting "the room" by the end of this month - once we can open windows. I figure, if anything, we at least have to have the room painted and have something for these two little bugs to sleep in when they arrive.
I worked so hard for so long to avoid anything p-word related that I have to admit I was surprised this morning that I am already starting to outgrow my m-clothes. I NEVER would have thought you could outgrow these things! And still about four months to go. I may have to have my OB take me out of work simply for the fact that I won't have anything acceptable to fit me to wear to the office.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Since I last shared stories about them they have both since had their babies and I was fortunate to escape baby showers without much trouble. Even being the p-word I don't think I could have gone without completely freaking myself out. Pregnant co-worker returned to work after maternity leave and I have to say she is the kindest person I have ever met. When she found out about my p-word she was genuinely happy and excited for me, even though I could barely muster up two questions to her for her whole pregnancy. She has since been my sounding board when I need someone to help keep me sane and also to answer questions about new baby things. She's a better person than I - I don't know if I could have been so nice given my not so enthusiastic Congrats when she told me she was pregnant.
Annoying pregnant co-worker had her baby too - also a healthy baby boy. She was due to come back from maternity leave next week. Was...
Yesterday we found out that her 6-week old baby became terribly ill over the weekend and passed away from meningitis.
I can not imagine what her and her husband are going through. I wish that I could just take all that pain away somehow...but I know that's impossible. All I can do is pray that they find strength to get through this awful, awful tragedy. I'm sorry M for your great loss. You and your family, and your sweet little boy, are in my thoughts and prayers.
I sit here and look at the ultrasound pictures of my babies and try very hard to think only good thoughts. I can't help but wonder why good people so often have to face such horrible tragedies.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Growth is still good and both are still just about the same size, which is really good. Heart rates were perfect - 150 and 160.
I've gained about a total of 17 pounds so far, which apparently for twins is good to gain so much in the beginning because their growth slows down after about 5 months.
She was able to get photos of their "parts", after a little (read: lots) coaxing with A. She put them in a sealed envelope and when I left the OB office I drove straight to J's work. We have been torn about finding out the gender. We always thought we didn't want to know. All we really care about is having live, healthy babies. Then we thought with two it might be easier if we knew. Then we decided we didn't want to know. Then we figured she could just seal them up in an envelope and we could open it whenever we chose to. You can see how this went for us the past few weeks. With envelope in hand I asked J what he thought. First he said we should wait. Then almost immediately he said to open it. So we did...
And we found two pictures - both showing us boy parts!
Next appointment not for another month. I won' have an ultrasound then but hopefully I'll be really feeling those kicks and punches by then.
Another hurdle down and I just hope and pray things keep going well. I can't wait to meet my two little guys.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Supposedly this is supposed to be the best part of my p-word. But, for example, I still have a hard time even mentioning the word. Yes, my morning sickness is gone and my energy is returning a bit. But I still obsessively run to the bathroom checking my underwear every time I feel something down there, I worry incessantly about not having felt the babies yet (even though I'm only 18 weeks this week), and I have awful nightmares about my babies each time I begin approaching another OB appointment.
For someone who has fought the IF battle there is no "honeymoon" phase. There seems only to be fear, worry and anxiety. And if I could fast-forward to September and just have these babies born, I would do so in an instant.
My 18-week appointment is tomorrow. I'm nervous. J can't come with me - someone at his work quit last week and now he has to cover their shift. I'm going to be all alone and I'm scared. Any prayers for a good appointment with both babies doing well would definitely be appreciated. That's what I'll be doing all day today - just praying for good things tomorrow.
Sorry I've been a terrible blogger lately. I promise I will start getting better again.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
The tech and J had a different screen to look at than I did because they were standing facing the opposite way than the way I was laying on the table. When she put the wand on and the image appeared I just about lost it. It didn't look like it was moving at all and it was so far away I couldn't make out a heartbeat. She must have known I was about to freak out because she said that they were both moving around like acrobats and then she proceeded to point out both little hearts beating away. Of course, that brought my tears right away.
We got to see arms and legs, and feet, and hands, and bladders, and what I think will be their genius brains. And did they ever move; they would NOT sit still for one minute. Hopefully in a few weeks I'll be feeling those kicks and they will be very welcome, each and every one of them.
She measured their heart rates and they were 153 and 164. And they were both similar in size which I guess is good with twins, so one is not growing faster than the other.
She asked us if we wanted to know the gender but we said not yet. We're still undecided about that.
After that I met with Dr. OB and all she did was tell me my cervix length was fine (at 43mm) and all bloodwork came back normal. She brought out the doppler too but the twins must have been facing my back at that point because she could barely pick up a muffled sound. I tell ya if she had done that first, before the scan, I would have definitely been sick. I hate those dopplers.
My next appointment won't be for another month. I had hoped for sooner as we had talked about more frequent appointments but she said growth was good and no need to come back for another 4 weeks. At least I'll have another scan then. And I think at that point it will be our Level II.
We got over one more hurdle, we got three great pics and we finally told the rest of our family.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
My sickness is starting to diminish a bit. I'm noticing that it's not so constant anymore, just a few times throughout the day now. But I am still absolutely exhausted - just a regular work day still wears me out.
Went m-clothes shopping. Could not hold off anymore. Every pair of pants I had was cutting into my stomach and leaving big read marks on it. I am actually showing. Don't know if I will make it to next week to start telling people - it's becoming clearly obvious.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
I thought this was a great book. An easy read that only took me a few days time to read the entire book. I related a lot to what the author explained about questioning faith, and questioning treatments.
The author describes her journey through infertility both in terms of a faith journey and a process of scientific discovery. How has infertility impacted your faith journey and your views of science/technology?
Infertility really did not affect my views of science and technology much. I've always been fascinated by science and its abilities. My faith journey however was much more impacted by my struggle with infertility. Growing up Catholic I started out believing that IF must have been some sort of punishment for something I'd done wrong, then it became hard to realize that no matter how much I prayed it wasn't going to change anything. I became angry with God or anything that had to do with religion at all. It also angered me to think that the church would not recognize any children I had conceived through ART - but this was less of an issue for me because I have always viewed the church and God as separate, if that's at all possible. Then the loss of our first pregnancy really changed my views. I just could not believe that my God would want my baby to have died, that it was some grand plan. Working through my grief after the loss, I came to believe that I could no longer pray for what I wanted or needed, that just wasn't how my God works. He doesn't make bad things happen, nor does he make good things happen. Things just happen. I couldn't pray for a pregnancy, otherwise everyone who hoped for that would be pregnant. I can't pray for a healthy baby - otherwise all babies would be born healthy. I can't pray for tangible things. All I can pray for are things like strength to get through the grief after the loss, courage to face every day of this pregnancy, and hope for a better tomorrow. What really changed my religious views the most? - The book When bad things happen to good people.
The author also talks about how many embryos should be transferred at any given cycle. Should there be a limit?
I think there should be a limit based on things such as age, previous ART failures, and embryo quality. I think it is a responsibility of the physician to place the limit, not on some group of people who may never have met the patient though. I think we need to remember that reproductive endocrinology is a business as much as it is a medical specialty and there are people who are in it to make money. Without limits physicians could transfer any number of embryos to help pad their clinic's figures with the CDC, not keeping patient care as their top priority. It would be irresponsible of a physician to transfer a high number of embryos to a young patient with no previous failed cycles. I think RE's who would do this are simply looking to increase their success rates and make more money.
The author mentions that going through infertility and IVF made her think differently with abortion? Has this changed anyone's position on abortion or did IVF change the way you thought about it?
It has not changed my views on abortion at all. I still believe in a women's right to choose and I also choose to believe that the majority of people who have an abortion have struggled in some way with their decision. I don't think most people have an abortion without some serious decision making. I will never understand another person's circumstance unless I am that person so I feel I have no place to judge them for making a certain decision.
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Sunday, February 24, 2008
I have possibly the WORST cold ever in the history of mankind. Or maybe it just seems that way because I'm not allowed to take any kind of medication.
Wednesday afternoon I started feeling the familiar itching in the back of my throat. Thursday was the same thing in the morning so I was pretty relieved, maybe I'd escape the actual cold and it would just be a dry throat. But no, by Thursday afternoon it was a full force head/chest cold. Friday I spent my day at work using up an entire box of tissues and sneezing, I think, once every 5 minutes. Is there some kind of Guinness record for how many times someone sneezes during the day? I'll have to look it up because I bet I beat it.
Saturday, the sneezing continued only this time every time I sneezed it was three in a row. J, while a huge help when I don't feel well, thought this was the funniest thing, and remarked that there was one sneeze for each of us; me, Baby A, and Baby B. I, on the other hand, was completely worried that somehow the sneezing would hurt the babies, and immediately began consulting with Dr. Goo.gle about miscarriages caused by the common cold.
Today, the sneezing has stopped but now I am completely congested. I mean I can't breathe at all!! Nothing I can do helps - not the vicks vap-o-rub, not the throat drops, not the humidifier, and not the towel tent of steaming water. Nothing. Not to mention the lovely chapped face I have from using three boxes of tissue in three days.
So, I have resigned myself to the sofa for today, and most likely tomorrow too. Hopefully since colds only last about 7 days by Wednesday I may just be starting to feel better. If not, I can look forward to some cough medicine or a decongestant in about 2-3 weeks.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
We decided to take a short weekend trip to visit our families this past weekend. Both of my sister’s were going to be in town and I don’t get to see them very often. Also, begin cautiously optimistic that this p-word thing will continue progressing; I figure I may not get to see them over the summer when we usually visit one another. Now, we have told my Dad, Grandma, and my two sisters but no one else in my family (we don’t want to tell extended family until after our next appointment with the OB) We also told J’s parents, grandmother, and one sister, and had planned on telling his other two siblings during our visit.
We get to J’s grandmother’s house on Saturday, where everyone was gathering. We were excited to be able to tell his other brother and sister. But, when they arrived, they both knew already! His Grandmother decided to share our news for us, and also thought it OK to tell some of his aunts, uncles, and cousins. Can you believe that! I was fuming!
They all proceeded to bombard us with questions which we felt really uncomfortable answering. So I did my best to give one word answers and try to change the subject. They even asked if we had names picked out yet! Names!! We haven’t even gotten to the point in this pregnancy of when our last loss occurred. Why in the world would we be picking out names now?!
To top it off, the town we are from is not that big in size. One of my cousin’s sons is friends with J’s sister’s son and we found out on Monday (after arriving home) that she decided to tell him when he was at her house the other day. So, now there are people in my family who also know our news already. And I was wondering why they were interrogating me about my “stomach bug” over the weekend.
So that’s that. I am a little bit frustrated at this point but I guess there is nothing I can do. What’s done is done. Lesson learned though – we will not share any additional secrets with anyone in his family, ever.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Anyway, the appointment went well. Everything seems to be OK. They took 8 vials of blood and I was surprised I could even walk out of the door after all that blood loss. I will have an ultrasound every four weeks because of the twins, which I am thrilled about because the more looks inside the better. And, we decided against any screening tests. So next appointment is not until 4 weeks from now. Ugh! March 12th. I hope I can make it.
Start weaning off of the progesterone today - down to one suppository instead of two for the next week. That makes me nervous but RE said it's time.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Have you ever felt like you are living a big lie? Like you are constantly hiding something from someone and if you're not careful about your story and what you tell to whom, you may end up caught? That is how I feel lately.
We still have not told anyone other than our immediate family, and don't have any plans to in the near future. So every day, I drag myself to work, and try to pretend that I am not feeling like complete crap. I look awful, I don't even have the energy to put on make-up so these people I work with must think something is up. I work with ALL women. Every one of them, except for a few in same-sex relationships, have children. These women can smell a pregnancy. But I continue to say I must have a stomach bug, or didn't sleep well, or excuse, excuse, excuse. I wonder if they suspect? They would certainly never ask (I don't think) after what I've been through.
I've had some phone conversations with family and they've asked about how our baby plans are coming along. (Rude I know but people ask this. Although I have never heard someone ask a couple when they last time they had sex was? But I guess by sharing our IF struggles they feel it's OK to ask) I have to lie to them. I am not a good liar - I wonder if they know? I just try to say that things are coming along and quickly try to change the subject. The one good thing about them is that I live a few hours away and don't see them on a regular basis, so they only hear my phone voice.
Also, had a job interview yesterday for a job I applied for back in September. Felt very decpetive then too. Obviously I didn't mention pregnancy or leave or anything like that but they said it may be another month or so before they make a decision. So what would I do then? I guess I cross that bridge when I get to it.
I don't like being deceptive but I really want to keep this a secret for a while longer. I hope I can keep my poker face on.
My first OB appointment is Monday afternoon. Only a few more days. I'm going to ask if they'll do an u/s either that day or if I can come in around the day things went bad last time for one. It would really help to ease my mind, just a tiny bit. I 've already prepared my list of questions and I'm sure Dr. C may feel like I am a paranoid person, but I don't care. I refuse to let my guard down this time. I feel like that is partly why things may have gone wrong before. I am just hoping and praying that everything goes OK on Monday.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
My goal is to get to around to everyone sometime over the rest of this week.
Not much else happening right now. We did tell our immediately family - parents, siblings, grandparents. No one else yet. Still just getting through each day as it comes, praying and hoping that it will be another healthy day. One.day.at.a.time
Intrigued by the idea of a book tour and want to read more about The Jane Austen Book Club? Hop along to more stops on the Barren Bitches Book Brigade by visiting the master list at http://stirrup-queens.blogspot.com/. Want to come along for the next tour? Sign up begins today for tour #10 (Embryo Culture by Beth Kohl with author participation!) and all are welcome to join along . All you need is a book and blog.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
2 beautiful sacs - 2 amazing babies with 2 beautiful heartbeats.
One more hurdle down. Next appointment is with Dr. OB and not until February 11th.
Babies - you keep doing what you're supposed to do in there.
Monday, January 21, 2008
**I'm going to talk about my p-word symptoms now so if you'd rather not read, skip this section**
I've started to have more symptoms but they still can come and go pretty often. I have a near-constant nauseous feeling and I have to eat something every 2 hours. If I go longer than that without food, I start feeling really sick. I also have heartburn, which I never get normally, and I've been burping like a man. Oh, and tomato sauce (the thought of it), which I normally love (pasta, pizza, anything with it) turns my stomach. I've been eating a lot of plain noodles and butter, crackers and cereal. When I can muster up the energy to take a walk it does help me to feel better but those days are few and far between. Most days I just want to go back to bed by noon, and my new bedtime is around 8pm.
I am not complaining at all. These things are helping to ease my mind slightly. Not much, because I was sick last time too, but at least for now I think (and hope) things are OK.
What eases my mind a bit more than sickness is 1. that I've increased my thyroid medicine dose, and my PCP and I are staying on top of it this time. I'm having bloodwork on my thyroid done every two weeks during the first tri. Just need to make sure the levels stay where they are supposed to, and 2. that I've gotten past the point at which last time my spotting started (and continued nearly on a daily basis). I'm hoping that's a good thing. I still check the toilet paper every time I use the bathroom and probably will always. It's good though to have NOT seen that happening this time yet.
My appointment with the RE is Wednesday at 11am. J and I are excited and scared and just can't wait for it to be over. We just hope that everything is going the way it's supposed to in there. After that I'll have to make an OB appointment but I don't want to do that until after Wednesday.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
My appointment with the RE is next week. Then I'll be released to my OB. Haven't even called to make an appointment yet. That's much to far away from now. Plus I'm afraid that if I say this out loud it will come to an end.
So, for now you all are my only outlet for fear,, venting, and worry. Hope I don't make you all crazy along with me.
Monday, January 7, 2008
I did find out today too that my thyroid levels have gone up again, which the nurse explained happens during pregnancy. Now I'm working on convincing my primary doctor, who monitors my thyroid condition, to increase my dose, even though it still falls within a "technically" normal range. I have an appointment with her on Thursday to plead my case. I am envisioning myself having a meltdown right in front of her. You see, while I will never know for sure, my heart believes that the reason I lost my last baby was because of an underactive thyroid, and the fact that no one checked it my entire first trimester. I just can't let that happen again and will do whatever I need to to keep my thyroid at a level that I feel comfortable with, not what the lab ranges dictate.
January 23rd is a long way away. I've been trying to focus only on each day, instead of looking at all into the future. That has seemed to help me some. Plus J has been great at helping to calm me down when I start freaking out.
Thank you to all of you for sharing in my secret. We have decided not to tell a soul until, oh I don't know, there is actually a baby or it becomes so obvious that people start whispering behind my back. So, it is comforting to be able to share this with you all.
Friday, January 4, 2008
Decided to POAS on Monday so as to not worry about my drinking on New Year's Eve.
EPT Early Detection came up with a + almost as soon as I set it down on the counter. I had J look at it too. All we both could say was "hmm..."
1st Beta was Wednesday at 2:30pm - 284
2nd Beta was today at 10:00am - 612 (doubling time of 1.8 days)
3rd Beta on Monday...
Oh. my. God. Oh. my. God.
I'm scared and excited at the same time. I have to try to figure out a way to get through each day without losing my sanity.
Please baby hold on tight and don't let go...