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Archive for the ‘Chris’ Category

I’ve always said, “infertility is not over once you get pregnant” – and I can attest that it does not go away and the emotions and jaded thoughts / feelings / experiences likely won’t fade either.  Many of you started reading my blog prior to my successful cycle – and I’m sure I lost some readers when this blog took on a change from my intimate struggle with IF to my same-ride-different-rollercoaster experience with pregnancy.  For that, I do feel sorry because I never intended for those readers to not be able to relate to me or to not be okay reading about a pregnancy when it’s all they’ve ever wanted and more.  The irony of this is that I still struggle with IF every day.  Yes, with a big belly and two moving little beings inside of me.  I probably should have made a post like this sooner, as the subject and words always pop in my head, but it wasn’t until I found myself crying in the car this weekend while listening to a song that I realized I needed to get it out on paper, errr…screen. 

DISCLAIMER:  I’ll also preface this with the fact that I don’t think experiencing cancer and IF can or should be compared – different struggles and variables.  That being said, “research has shown that the psychological stress experienced by women with infertility is similar to that of women coping with illnesses like cancer, HIV, and chronic pain.” 

And with that, here is the song that had me hysterically crying in the car:

 

 
When you’re weak, I’ll be strong
When you let go, I’ll hold on
When you need to cry, I swear that I’ll be there to dry your eyes
When you feel lost and scared to death,
Like you can’t take one more step
Just take my hand, together we can do it
I’m gonna love you through it.
 
What this song really made me think about was the struggle, the emotional mess, feeling of uselessness and helplessness that I felt throughout the two years of TTC.  How I felt ashamed and that I lost a sense of dignity between all the appointments, drugs, scans – so many times up on the table, feet in the stirrups that it became second nature and I could care less who was looking at my private parts.  Staring at negative HPTs every month for 20 months, wondering if it ever will happen.  Then doubting if I even deserved to get pregnant – or maybe I was being punished for something.  I even thought about my pregnancy and how scared I am EVERY DAY that something is going to happen – always waiting for the “other shoe to drop” as the saying goes.  I have a love/hate relationship with my monthly u/s – I love to experience my little peanuts, but I am always so scared that one of these times something major is going to be wrong.  It never goes away… 
 
She said, “I don’t think I can do this anymore”
He took her in his arms and said “That’s what my love is for”
 
And what listening to this song really made me realize was how blessed I was to have someone love me through it – and a few someones.  My husband, close friends, and close family were the ones who kept me going when I wanted to give up.  I know I couldn’t have done it without them.  For those of you still struggling with IF (and that’s probably most of us – regardless of being pregnant, having children, or not) – my once piece of advice is to find someone or a few someones to be your cheerleader, to hold you up when you just can’t do it anymore.  It makes all the difference in the world.
 
And when this road gets too long
I’ll be the rock you lean on
Just take my hand, together we can do it
I’m gonna love you through it.
I’m gonna love you through it.

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I went to my 20 week OB appointment on Monday and everything was good – still two babies with good heartbeats, etc…  I mentioned to her about my back pain and now I have this ridiculous Wrestlemania like pregnancy support belt to try and see if that works.  It lifts the weight off the nerves in your lower back.  The prenatal massage I had on Sunday helped my upper back / shoulders, but the sciatic pain is still there. 

I also mentioned to her that within the last few weeks I’ve been noticing my heart racing / beating hard / palipatating while at rest / etc…  So, she wanted me to call my PCP and see if they could fit me for a holter monitor or refer me to a cardiologist who could.  Apparently it’s common to have a heart murmur develop when pregnant – due to the 50% increased blood flow, it makes what may have been the slightest murmur that otherwise wouldn’t have been detected show up.
 
Luckily, my PCP could do everything there – so I took the hour drive yesterday and she listened to my heart and heard a very slight murmur, but didn’t think that would be the cause of my symptoms.  They hooked me up to an EKG and the EKG was normal except it showed my heart is working harder than normal – which, again, could be the pregnancy or something else.  So, next was to get hooked up to this holter monitor – it hooked onto my pants and had about 5 electrobes on my chest area.  It recorded all of my heart activity.  It sucked to sleep in (and carry around) but it was only for 24 hours.  She also did some bloodwork as being anemic, dehydrated, or elevated sugars can cause similar symptoms.  I was to drop the holter off today or tomorrow (will be tomorrow as work is just crazy and I’ve been at the doctors most of this week) and they will download the results, review it with the other stuff and my lab results, and we’ll know if there is anything to be concerned with or not.  I’m oddly not too worried – shocking, I know…  But it’s important to know if anything is going on.
 
I told my friend last night that I was going to write a book called Pregnancy:  The Shit No One Tells You That Could Happen.  I’m convinced no one tells you as then no one would want to get pregnant!  But seriously, I feel like I could collaborate with other moms like the All Knowing Julie and we could write both an informative and humorous book about the random crap that can happen when you’re pregnant – more than just morning sickness and weight gain.  Maybe it could help others stop with Dr. Google, too.

I did go to an outlet mall last night and got myself a pretty Coach diaper bag – I think both the Peanuts and I deserve it!  It is regularly $400.00 and I got it on sale for $125.00.  It’s the one thing I wanted for myself so I’m psyched!  They actually had a lot of different ones at the outlet which I was surprised as some don’t carry them at all.  I got one I thought my loving husband would look okay carrying, too 🙂

Love me some Coach

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
So, we shall see how the ol’ ticker is doing.  But, all in all, I’m feeling pretty good – Wrestlemania belt and all.

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LOTS of stuf happening this week!  19 weeks is the official halfway point to full-term twin gestation.  Yes folks, we’ve officially made it halfway!  For that, I think I deserve a medal – but I’ll wait for the true gift that comes at the finish line.  Here are some things that have occurred during this 19th week –

Registering

Okay, so registering should be fun and exciting right?  Not so much.  You see, I’m pretty freakin’ good at registering for wine glasses (and knowing just what to do with them) and home decor but registering for baby stuff was WAY beyond me.  Me and the husband ventured out this past weekend and went to three stores.  The first was Buy Buy Baby since they had the bedding that I wanted – except they didn’t.  It was one they didn’t carry on hand but have it on the website only.  Wonderful.  But we poked around and then headed out to the Baby Furniture Warehouse to look for another crib (World’s Greatest Cousin is giving me her crib so we only need to buy one!) since the All Knowing Julie got hers there and they are really nice.  This place kind of skeeved me and the husband out a bit – and everything was seriously between $800-1,000 a piece.  All Knowing Julie got a hell of a deal for hers – and we couldn’t find that…nevermind in the color wood we wanted.  So we left there rather quickly and headed to the baby shit mecca, also known as Babies R Us.  It was at that moment that I wanted to turn right around and walk out and forget this ever happened.  I’ve never been so overwhelmed in my life…well, until I got the book they give you to “help” you with your registry.  We essentially spent 2 hours walking around the store CLUELESS as to what we were doing.  I had some good tips from the All Knowing Julie – but finding a sales associate who could give us more information or help us was like pulling teeth from an alligator.  Here are two things that could have helped this experience:  1 – have people on hand (or as Julie suggested – hire moms to help) to provide guidance and literally walk around with you and 2 – offer snacks.  We were there for so long and I was getting so run down and cranky a.k.a. I needed something to eat – they should give us preggos some trail mix or something while we’re there!  Anyway, we headed home where I proceeded to spend – no joke – 6 more hours over the course of that night and the next day tweaking the registry to a point where I think we’re finally there.  Holy crap.  It was one of the few times during this pregnancy that I really wished I could have had a nice stiff drink…speaking of stiff drinks…

I turned 31 on Monday!

This was an interesting birthday – it was one of the few times that I wasn’t waking up in a warm, tropical location on my birthday and I didn’t have the option to enjoy a nice, fruity umbrella drink at lunch, dinner, and in between.  I must admit – I’m spoiled.  In the 8 birthdays I’ve spent with my husband, I’ve been away for more than half of them.  Disney, Naples FL, Key West FL (x2), and St. Croix…  So, waking up fighting for space between my husband and two dachshunds in my bed was quite the wake-up call.  And then…AND THEN I had to work!  Gross – working on your birthday is ZERO fun…I can promise that.  But, I did get some wonderful presents and had a very nice evening with the hubby at one of our favorite restaurants, Solstice.  And, although it was the first birthday in well over 10 years (sorry, Mom…underage drinking admission!) that I didn’t have an adult beverage – I can truly say it was worth it and WILL be worth it in a few months.  I did, however, explain to the husband that he best be working on next year’s birthday travel plans – including a place for the peanuts to stay for a few days.  I mean, it’s only fair right?  Speaking of babies…

I felt Baby Boy move! 

It was seriously the COOLEST experience ever!  Last night while eating some buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese, I felt this rolling sensation in my lower right side and I just KNEW it was Baby Boy doing some flips!  It seriously felt like something rolling around in there – I got this huge smile on my face and proceeded to exclaim “OMG OMG OMG” to Chris and I finally got the words out that I had felt him move and he immediately put his hand there.  I felt so bad telling him it will probably be a while until he can feel it from the outside, but it was the best thing I’ve ever felt!  I am hoping I’ll start to feel movement more often as it was just amazing – and everyone says that is one of the best parts about being pregnant.  Remind me of this when they’re kicking me in the ribs and bladder, mmmkay?

Other than that, we’ve been preparing the house for our additions.  Chris has been working like crazy cleaning out the basement (it’s amazing how much STUFF two people acquire over the course of living in one place for 7 years!) and cleaning out some closets.  I cleaned out our bedroom closet so he can eventually “move in” since his clothes are in the upstairs guest bedroom which will be the nursery.  It was kind of funny piling all my winter pre-pregnancy-sorry-you-can’t-wear-these-nice-things-this-year clothes up and looking in a barren closet at just the few things I *can* wear this year.  But, I do have to admit, pregnancy leggings are pretty much the best things ever.  I’m going to order me a few more pairs of those!  And – the kicker?  The husband thinks they’re “sexy”.  Oh yes – I’ve worn them twice with tunics and he told me both times how “sexy” I looked.  Who would have thought? 

20 week OB appointment on Monday – let’s hope everything still looks and sounds hunky dory!

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Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

I got a call from my OB the day before Thanksgiving and she had my Factor V Leiden and other blood clotting test results and – I tested NEGATIVE!!!  Holy shit, for the first time I actually DON’T have something!!!  I was so thrilled – it was like the huge victory (even though it was very, very minor). 

But let’s get to the good stuff shall we?

My husband was finishing up his training at his new airline and wasn’t due to fly in until late last night.  I had my anatomy scan u/s appointment yesterday and couldn’t change it, so I decided I’d have them keep everything a secret and we’d find out together when he got home.  The u/s went very well!  Here’s a quick run down:

– Both babies looked AWESOME!
– All vital organs and structures looked great.
– HBs were in the 140s and she turned the sound on so I could hear it – love that sound!
– Both have good amniotic fluid levels
– Placenta positions are excellent, no sign of previa
– They saw the infamous bleed, so it hasn’t gone away (but I’m still not bleeding since 17 weeks)
– They are 80% sure on Baby A’s gender / 100% sure on Baby B’s gender
– Baby A is breech and was facing my back / Baby B was head down and facing my front
– My genetic testing came back with a 1:10,000 odds, so I think we’re good there!
– They estimate each to weigh 0.5 lbs!

There was only one “issue” that is likely a non-issue. Baby B’s umbilical cord is a 2 valve (2V) vs. the normal 3 valve (3V).  This means that in the normal umbilical cord, there are two arteries and one vein.  So Baby B has one artery and one vein.  They will be watching to make sure he / she continues to grow at the same rate as Baby A. I met the MFM and she was great and said they see this a lot and it should be a non-issue, but something to monitor. I go back for my next u/s in 4 weeks!
I then figured since this is likely the ONLY and LAST time we’ll experience something like this, I should do something fun or special.  I ended up taking the secret envelope to a bakery and had them open it and fill two cupcakes with either pink or blue frosting (so I couldn’t tell).  Of course his flight was delayed, so he didn’t get in until 1:30am, but we ran right over and dove right into the cupcakes!  Here is what we found:

Baby A: 80% accurate it's a GIRL!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Baby B: 100% accurate it's a BOY!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We are completely over the moon about it!!!  Apparently Baby B wasn’t shy about showing his goods (note to self:  have early talk with him about this), but Baby A was a little bashful.  We’ll know for sure in 4 weeks at my next u/s.
 
It was so funny – right before we cut the first cupcake Chris said, “I really want a boy”.  That was the FIRST time he has ever made mention of a preference!  I was shocked – and so I cut into the first cupcake and saw the pink and went “oh shit” as he laughed out loud.  (I had a dream I was having two girls and I was hysterically crying – I guess I was really scared of that eh?)  I told him he had to cut the second one, and as soon as I saw the blue I screamed!!!  Then I immediately grabbed the cards because I didn’t know which was the for sure bet and which was a bit iffy. 

It was such an awesome experience – we were up until 3:00am just beaming with delight.  I have new u/s pics I’ll post this week as well!

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Last week was a bit nutty with appointments and follow-ups.  But let’s get something off my chest (pun completely intended):

My boobs are now in the shape of torpedos.  I’ll admit to being large chested, especially for being a short girl, and I expected them to get bigger with pregnancy because DUH that’s what happens.  What I didn’t expect was for them to change shape – and to replicate that of a torpedo. 

I picture Chris as the Sailor

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It’s really disturbing to look at so I’ve refrained from doing so.  It’s also making my bras fit awkwardly – you try and stuff a torpedo into a bra!  Anywho, that’s the latest body change that I wasn’t prepared for at this point – you’re welcome for the visual.
 
I put myself on modified bed rest last week – just to try and see if it would help at all.  I worked from my bed (being sick with a nasty, nasty cold helped make this decision) and only got up to get something to eat or pee.  Well, I’m not sure if it’s coincidental or not but the bleeding as of Saturday was almost non-existant and has continued that way ever since!  I’m not getting my hopes up because we all know how I am and why would something work in my favor…but of course I’m insane so the lack of bleeding has made me think “wait, is something wrong?”  We call that damned if you do, damned if you don’t
 
I went to my 16 week check-up on Friday and had the opportunity to discuss my father’s diagnosis of Factor V Leiden.  See, I knew he had this as it was diagnosed a few years ago but I COMPLETELY FORGOT.  So throughout this entire time during fertility treatment and then my pregnancy, I forgot to mention it to my doctors.  I looked through my fertility blood panel results to see if it was listed there as one of the tests, but I couldn’t find it.  Factor V Leiden is a blood clotting disorder and if I have it, it means injections daily throughout the rest of my pregnancy.  Lovely.  My OB ordered that test, along with a few others, and luckily I was able to get it done at the hospital since I was headed there for the second round of bloodwork for the first trimester screening (NT).  Before I headed to the hospital lab, we listened to their HBs, which were solid, and I requested a pelvic exam to check my cervix.  I’ve been so fearful that my body is going to fail these beautiful babies – I can’t get it out of my mind.  So, she did that and everything looked closed so I am good to go for another four weeks!
 
The bloodwork was kind of a pain in the ass – I walked all the way to the outpatient lab at the hospital only to be told that if I had this new order I had to walk ALL the way back to patient registration and register.  Oy.  So, I complied and the patient registration chick sat on a personal call for TWENTY MINUTES as I impatiently waited outside her door.  RIDICULOUS.  I was furious to say the least.  But, we got everything done and I headed back down to have EIGHT vials of blood taken.  Ugh.  We’ll know the results in about a week – hopefully the NT results are good odds and that I don’t have the Factor V Leiden or any of those other things she added.  *fingers crossed*
 
Other than that, I entered my 17th week yesterday and I’m feeling pretty good.  I am both excited and nervous for my anatomy scan next Tuesday.  I’m excited to find out just what is swimming around in there – but nervous they’ll find something wrong.  I can’t imagine there could be much more wrong since we started this journey – but here’s to keeping positive!  Chris can’t be here for the actual scan, so I’m having them write it down on a card and I’m going to bring it to a cupcake place near us and have them fill the cupcakes with the right color frostings!  He’ll be home that night (we hope), so we’ll cut into the frostings and see what we have!  I think that will be fun. 
 
Finally, let’s wrap up with a maternity clothes update:  petite lengths ARE NOT PETITE.  I had to bring the two pairs of jeans and a pair of regular length leggings to the tailors yesterday.  The petite lengths from both Motherhood and GAP were 2-3 inches too long.  Seriously?  I mean, what does petite mean to these people?  And I own petite length jeans from GAP and they’re just dandy.  Why longer for pregnant chicks?  So weird and extremely annoying.  Of course with the holiday, they couldn’t get me everything back by tomorrow so I begged and pleaded and I’ll have one pair of jeans back tomorrow and the rest next week.  At least I can wear more than yoga pants to Thanksgiving…
 
In the end, Happy Gobble Gobble Day!  I know what I’ll be giving thanks to this year!

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Well, my 13th week was pretty uneventful.  The bleeding was light and that made it two weeks of being light, so I assumed that things were getting better and maybe even going away.  My husband came home from his training in Orlando for the weekend, which was awesome, and said I have a belly.  That’s the one and only time he can get away with that comment!!!  We decided to go public with our pregnancy and so we let the parents tell people and we both posted on Facebook.  It was so heart warming to hear from so many people we haven’t heard from in a while, wishing us good luck and positive thoughts for the babies.  Before he left I got the doppler out and he got to hear the heartbeats again – he loves it!

Unfortunately, Saturday late evening into Sunday the heavy dark red and dark brown bleeding started again.  I was so upset.  Here I was thinking that maybe, just MAYBE, the bleed was going away and wham – heavy bleeding.  Total suckage.  I must admit, having the doppler saved me a trip to the ER because I kept checking in on the babies and hearing their heartbeats and knowing all was okay.  My husband hated leaving me like that but it is what it is.  Of course after he left it has slowed down and it now very light – so he thinks it’s him and I told him it probably was.  I’m such a mean wife! 😉

I turned 14 weeks on Monday and it’s amazing to think that in 20 weeks I’ll be close to having two kids (if not already there).  The All Knowing Julie, Chrissy, Heather, and my SIL Lindsay are already in communication about planning my shower.  I sent The All Knowing Julie a tentative list last night so she could get an idea of how many so they find space to hold everyone.  That made things a little real!!  Clearly I can’t register or anything until we know what we’re having, but with wedding and baby showers all the time, they have to start looking for places now.  I also started looking for baby furniture – we’re getting one crib from my cousin so I’m looking for another to match.  It’s getting so so real now – I just hope that everything continues to progress well and that the babies look good at my 18 week scan the week after Thanksgiving.

I called yesterday to try and change the date of the anatomy scan so my husband could be here but of course the hospital and MFM didn’t have any availability.  I was super bummed out about it, but I’ll just have them write it down on a card and we’ll open it together.  I have already been talking to Baby B about him / her cooperating for the anatomy scan…both babies best not give me any trouble that day as I’m DYING to know what they are!!!

I did record one of the baby’s heartbeats on the doppler and then uploaded it to YouTube – I am pretty sure it’s Baby A based on position.  Enjoy listening to one of my little ones!!

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I spent another 7 hours at the ER on Saturday due to bleeding.  The good news is that both babies measured on target, had solid heartbeats, and were moving all around in there.  You could even see the tiny bones in their spine – they looked like little halloween skeletons on the screen!  The bad news is – the bleed is still there and hasn’t been reabsorbed.  They called it a subplacental bleed this time and said it was focused on Baby A.

Yesterday, I had my monthly OB appointment and came prepared with my husband and a list of questions a mile long.  (You’ll love this one: when I got my OB card back that tracks everything my OB had left the sticky note in there that the nurse had written that said “Has lots of questions”…I might start getting a reputation at this practice!)  This was my meeting of the 3rd OB other than my main one and I absolutely LOVED her. She sat right down and allowed me to pepper her with my questions (and even my husband slid a few in there).  Basically, she didn’t have the actual prints of the u/s from Saturday but had the report and she thinks it’s the same bleed and not another one – but doesn’t know for sure. Apparently, perigestational bleeds / subplacental bleeds / and SCHs are essentially the same thing.  Who knew?  It is about 3cm at it’s longest length and it’s kind of an oblong shape (which makes me think it’s the same since that is how the original one was).  She repeated what I assumed and that there is absolutely nothing that can be done, nothing can be taken or stopped as far as medicines, vitamins, and supplements go, no amount of bed rest would help, and it’s a wait and see game.  I don’t like waiting and seeing – I just want it to stop already and for everything to be okay.  I’m not asking much, I don’t think.

Essentially, the placentas are generating new cells all the way through Week 14 (I’m currently 12w1d).  As the new cells generate, they dig into the uterine wall.  This is what can sometimes create these bleeds as they continue to dig and implant. She said that the bleeding should stop on or about Week 14 as that is when the cells stop generating and the placenta just increases in size at that point.  She said by Week 12, you’re miscarriage rate is less than 1% – without bleeding.  Since I was diagnosed with bleeding at Week 9, my miscarriage rate was at 50% (TOTALLY didn’t know that one…) but that with each week that goes by, it drops.  So I’m probably around the 40% mark now – but there’s no black and white formula for it.  That is a scary number that I don’t like – but what we’re holding onto is that both babies have been thriving so far and don’t appear to be affected by all the bleeding.  Our new target is 14 weeks – 2 weeks from yesterday. And with that, we likely will hold off announcing the pregnancy more broadly until then.  As I’ve said, it’s always an exciting thing to announce – but telling the story of a loss is much, much harder.  I’m being a little extra cautious about it – but I think I have to at this point.  Although, my intent to not buy maternity clothes yet may have to be waived as I’m running out of yoga pants…and none of my jeans fit.  I did the rubberband trick last night with a pair of jeans so I could go out to dinner.  Oy.  And to think I’ve actually LOST 2 lbs. since my first OB visit?!  Must be from stress as I’m eating and my pants DO NOT fit. 

In more positive news, we got to hear the heartbeats for the first time yesterday!!  That was totally awesome and I’m so glad my husband got to hear that before he leaves for his six weeks of training.  Baby B was the first one and you could hear him / her moving, too – not shocking as that baby never stops moving I’m convinced.  Baby A’s was a little slower – but we’ve already coined him / her with being lazy, so not surprising there. She also checked my cervix as the hospital indicated I did not have a mucus plug (something I thought was essential, but apparently it isn’t) and everything is sealed up nice and tight.

So – we are status quo right now.  No heavy lifting, complete “pelvic rest”, and just try and lie low.  If the red blood returns or the flow increases, I have to go back.  Last night, the flow was probably the heaviest it has been – but I just don’t think it makes sense to call today since I was just seen yesterday and I have my first trimester scan on Thursday, so I’ll get to see them again (with my lovely SIL who has agreed to come along!) and hopefully they’ll still be looking good.  If you read this and are the praying type, please keep the peanuts in your prayers.  We all need them right now!

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