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Archive for the ‘family’ 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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Ahhh  – I’ve neglected this so much!  With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I just couldn’t find the time to squeeze in a proper update.  My apologies – hope you all had a fantastic holiday season and a great start to your new year! 

Let’s get acquainted, shall we? 

Results from Heart Monitoring

Due to the holidays, I had to track down the results of all my heart monitoring and of course my PCP was out, so it was a little complicated.  But, in the end, all of my labs and the results of the holter monitor came back clear!  So, it appears my little ticker is just working extra hard with the increased blood volume with the pregnancy.  I was very relieved to hear the good news – one less thing to worry about!

Back Pain

Well, the Wrestlemania belt was returned about 4 days after wearing it and not noticing much of a difference.  I wish the solution was as simple as wearing some ridiculous belt but, alas, that is not the case for me.  The pain is complex as it’s my upper back due to the large boobs that have somehow grown even BIGGER and it’s my lower back / sciatic [pain because of the nice sized belly I’ve acquired.  I’ve found that if I sit all day with my feet up, it lessens the pain but that’s pretty unrealistic to do all the time.  If I don’t do this, I end up hobbling around by the end of the day.  It’s no fun and my biggest complaint so far.  I have an OB appointment in less than a week so I’m going to see what is the next solution after the belt failure.  For now, I’m just trying to muscle through it – but it’s tough…

Heartburn

Holy hell – it’s non-stop.  I sleep with a bottle of Tums beside the bed and there is a roll in my purse at all times.  Considering all my organs are squished up, it doesn’t surprise me but it’s KILLER.  It doesn’t help that all I crave is spicy food…

22 Week MFM Ultrasound

The fun stuff!!  I had my 22 week u/s with the MFM on 12/27 and everything looked amazing!!  As soon as the tech put the probe on my belly we saw a penis!  Again, my little boy clearly is not shy and is obviously a boy!  She then went and found Baby A and although stubborn as usual, she was not being coy and she is absolutely a she!  We saw the labia and no penis!  That was about all she cooperated with as we couldn’t get a good profile picture…we did get one of her cute little feet, though!  And when they did the internal u/s to check my cervix length, all you could see was her kicking down there – brat!  He was being good – we got a great profile picture and the tech turned on the 3D and we got to see him!!!  I’ll admit, it’s a bit creepy and awesome all at the same time!

Both babies measured great – he’s 1lb, 2oz and she’s 15.9oz, which puts them right about at the 50th percentile.  They had good fluid levels, solid heartbeats, and my bleed has officially absorbed!!  YAHOOOO!!!  I go back in 4 weeks and we’ll tour the maternity ward and NICU then.  I was so overwhelmed with joy that they looked so awesome!  My mom came with me to the u/s and she loved every minute of it – it truly is so special to see them.

I asked my MFM about travel and he said I am good to go through the end of January.  I’m unsure if I’ll go out to Chicago for work or not, but that to me showed that I’m in really good shape and the babies are looking really excellent.  I also asked him about not feeling a whole lot of movement and he was very candid in saying that it’s completely normal and that women feel it differently and at different times and it’s all relative to the baby’s size, position, etc…  I’ve been feeling it a little bit more often now, but it was good to hear as I thought I should be feeling it a lot more.  I go back to the MFM in 4 weeks.

And finally, I’ll end with some awesome pictures of the peanuts!

Baby A (Girl) Profile

Baby B (Boy) Profile

Baby B (Boy) 3D Precious Face!

His gorgeous button nose is just the cutest thing I’ve EVER seen!

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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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NT scan…went.  So, Baby B was acting up and wouldn’t cooperate for the camera.  He / she was looking straight on so they couldn’t get the nasal bone measurement and she barely got the neck fold measurement.  Apparently with twins, you need both measurements on both babies or else they can’t be considered.  Baby A was lying in perfect position of course.  That Baby B will be my trouble, I just know it! I told Chris it was HIS baby that wouldn’t cooperate… 🙂  But, they did my blood draw and will do the other at 16 weeks and I’ll get results but they won’t be as definitive as they would with pairing with the measurements.  Oh well, what can you do?  In great news, both babies looked awesome!  Measuring right on target with solid HBs of 160 and 155.  Baby A we got an awesome picture of him / her waving and then going to suck his / her thumb and a shot of him / her sitting indian style (or wait – is it called criss cross apple sauce now?).  Baby B had the hiccups – it was funny!

They did see the bleed and it looks like it’s measuring smaller, so it may have shrunk!  She said it looked to be around 1cm now and both of them don’t feel it’s a huge risk at all.  How awesome was that to hear?!  She also said that they have perfect looking placentas and their placenta positioning is great – opposite sides of the uterus. They also commented that the separation membrane between the sacs looked excellent as well!  I go for my second blood draw at 16 weeks and then another u/s at 18 weeks.  Due to having twins, they will be monitoring me in addition to my OB.  I’m so thrilled by that!  I’ll continue my regular monthly OB appointments, but the MFM team at the hospital will be monitoring me via u/s on a regular basis (monthly, then weekly). 

I was SHOCKED at the level of care at the MFM center at the hospital.  I had low expectations as I guess I didn’t know what to expect – that and I didn’t even know about this extended care they offer me for carrying twins!  The genetics counselor was so awesome – I absolutely adored her!  I never met the MFM but apparently he was watching with the counselor.  All I could think of was Oz from the Wizard of Oz – “don’t look at the man behind the curtain”!  The u/s tech was a traveling one and she had the sweetest Texan accent and was so cute – I loved it!  The genetics counselor was seriously so jazzed up about how awesome my placentas were and how great the kids look – I left feeling amazing and all pepped up like it was my own cheerleading squad!  Guys, my placentas are AWESOME!!!  Haha, it was crazy.  My SIL was great to be there with me, too, so it was just a really wonderful experience.

The bleeding is still light, even after all the pushing with the u/s.  I’m hoping this is moving into our past.  I feel so much better after the visit…now to decide when we “go public” with the news…  Probably in the next week or so.

And, well, don’t you want pictures?!  Of course they’re only of Baby A since Baby B wasn’t cooperating so well.

Baby A Sucking His / Her Thumb

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Baby A Sitting Indian Style - little feet on the left!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Baby A Waving Hi!

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I can proudly say we made it from Week 9 to Week 10 without any sort of run to the ER or OB incident, so that’s a success right?  But of course on Monday I had some major black/dark brown Crinone (progesterone suppository) discharge and did kind of freak out for a second.  I did some clearing out Tuesday morning (I know, wicked fucking gross but, alas, this is my pregnancy…) and it was much less throughout the day on Tuesday and Wednesday (just little flecks which is quasi-normal for me and Crinone) and today I did some more “cleaning” and it seems to be all jammed up in there.  It’s so damn gross and it was just so weird that it was so dark and so much with the Crinone but I am proud of myself for not freaking out and not running to my OB demanding an u/s. No cramping and everything else relatively normal so I have to think I shouldn’t be concerned.  It’s probably just some old blood from the perigestational bleed – at least that is what I keep telling myself.  I just want to see the babies on the 20th at my first trimester (NT) scan and know all is okay – I sure hope it is…

My damn MIL asked Chris yesterday when we were going public. There is a family event this Sunday (that I can’t attend due to a charity dinner I’ve committed to) and I think she wanted to tell everyone!!! At first I was pissed that SHE wants to tell OUR news, but then I calmed down enough to be happy that at least she asked. That, of course, doesn’t mean that with a few Pinot Grigios in her she won’t spill the beans anyway but here’s to hoping. People just don’t understand that it’s TOO SOON. I will be comfortable going public once I see them again and if everything is okay. And, it’s our story to tell. UGH.

I just can’t believe how low symptom this pregnancy has been and it makes me super nervous for the scan on the 20th.  I feel like they’re going to find something wrong or everything won’t all be okay…  *sigh*  Damn infertility has made me completely unable to relax into this pregnancy.  I have to keep telling myself that I am literally sitting in the 95% of bringing home at least one, if not two, babies.  Those are pretty good odds.  If only I could buy myself an u/s machine…  I am going to borrow my cousin’s fetal doppler and I plan on using that to check in on them.  I don’t think you can hear their HBs yet, though, since I’m only 10w3d.  But ya, the only symptoms are pure exhaustion and peeing often.  Everyone keeps telling me how lucky I am that I haven’t puked once – but sometimes I wish I was so that I’d know things were still okay.  Crazy, I know.

I have woke up the last few mornings feeling kind of crappy – like I’m coming down with a cold.  I’m trying not to freak out but I wonder if I should be checking my temperature and at what point is a cold / flu / strep risky to the babies?  God, I know NOTHING about this stuff!  I don’t even mind suffering through the cold but I just want to be sure everything remains okay with the babies.  In the meantime, I’m eating soup and drinking lots of fluids and trying to just lay low…

I am surprisingly still fitting in most of my clothes – I’m not saying they look all that great, but I am still fitting.  I am reading Belly Laughs by Jenny MacCarthy and it is so true – I’m at the stage where it looks like I’m fat and not pregnant.  Annoying!  I refuse to buy maternity clothes until after my first trimester (NT) scan on the 20th – once I know everything looks good, then I think I’ll be able to settle into my second trimester and embrace some of this stuff.  In the meantime, I laughed my tuckus off when I was looking through these wicked funny maternity shirts.  You know I’ll be buying a few of these!!!

EDIT:  Got a call back from Nurse Karen (oh how I miss her!) and I can stop the Crinone now!!  Yay, no more grossness!  She said they usually stop it around 7-8 weeks – which would have been nice to know when they graduated me…  But, I don’t think it can do any harm to the babies since some women are on it through 12 weeks.  I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like without gunk coming out of my vagina!!!  I’ll be a whole new woman!

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