My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My new doctor

I have an issue with doctors.  And I know not all doctors deserve me to have issue with them, I've just had a few bad experiences.

It started with my gyno when I was a teenager.  We tested and tried for years to get that woman to diagnose why I had very few or no periods at all.  We would insist that a lack of or erratic periods were the symptom, and she would say that they weren't the symptom, they just were.  So the cause of my not having periods was that I just didn't have periods.  I desperately tried to get a reason out of her.  A hormone imbalance?  Did I just not ovulate very often?  WHY were my periods so few?  She just refused to come up with a cause and insisted that the symptom itself was the cause.

And being a fat woman, I'm often dismissed.  My problems are because of my weight.  While I agree to some extent, I can tell the difference between a fat problem and some other problem thank you very much.  I don't bother a doctor for a fat induced problem because I figure it's just my own damned fault and I kind of deserve whatever is bugging me.  So I get really irritated when a doctor barely looks at me, doesn't listen, and goes straight into the diet and nutrition routine.

I now have a really awesome GP by the way.  So I'm not completely prejudiced.  I do recognize a good doctor when I find one.

And after my appointment today with my new OB, I'm not sure what I think.  It's clear he's very qualified.  He used to specialize in extremely problematic pregnancies (from crack addicts and the like) and he's cared for and delivered more twins than he can count, so someone as simple as me will be a walk in the park for him.

But I dunno.  Just kinda seemed, like he was listening for keywords in my questions so he could access his database for the answers.  I mean, on the outside, he was listening and was addressing my concerns very specifically, but yeah, I dunno.  He wasn't exactly in a rush to get out the door, but I didn't get that warm, fuzzy, I really want to get to know my new patient feeling from him either.

It's possible that I have a handsome prejudice.  He's rather good looking, slick black hair.  I saw him pass by a few times when I was in the waiting room, and I was kind of hoping that wasn't him because he had that slick lawyer look to him.  Not that I dislike lawyers, my dad was a lawyer and now a judge and he's awesome, but I'm stereotyping here so just go with it.

I tend to associate handsome with conceited, arrogant jerk.  And the last thing I want my doctor to have is an ego.  If any professional has an ego, they are limited by their own knowledge.  If they don't have an ego, they have access to the knowledge of everyone around them and every resource available because they will immediately consult and ask.  So I'd rather have a new guy with no ego than an old pro with a big ego.

So even though the doctor didn't display any of these negative qualities, my prejudices are preventing me from feeling 100% happy with him after my appointment today.

K disagrees.  He got all of the answers to questions that he wanted and felt that the doctor was just great.  I'm hoping I feel that way after my next appointment in a couple of weeks but we'll see.

Monday, October 25, 2010


I haven't been doing pottery because I didn't feel like sitting all crunched up in the stomach and because I thought watching the wheel spin might make me sick.

But now I've got a hankering and I want to get back into the studio.  I think I've squeezed about as much fun out of the internet as I can during this time of laziness and I'm ready to DO something again.

So I sent out a message to a pottery mailing list asking for comfort advice and seeing if there were precautions I should take that I hadn't thought about.  Well, about half of the respondents advised that I simply take a break until after the babies are born.


But don't wannnnnaaaaaaaa!!!!!

I've got my big doctors appointment tomorrow so I'll check with him and see what he advises.  But I'm gonna be a real unhappy camper if I can't engage in my one major hobby for the next year or two.

So I'll just reminisce for the moment.  Plug my other blog and my shop just in case you want to see what I'm usually doing when I'm not cooking up little ones.

Buster, my pottery pal

Casserole dish lid still on the wheel
Pagan platter still on the wheel
Finished blue agateware mug

Friday, October 22, 2010

Back in the saddle again

I refer you to the Sex post on 10/16/10 if you don't know what I'm talking about.

So now to figure out how to give you an idea of how my body is reacting (because it is relevant to the topic at hand) without my husband feeling like his performance is being reviewed in public (which is not relevant to the topic at hand).

But we decided to give a nice ride another go.  We discovered that I can get to about an 8 or a 9 and then my body starts to threaten cramps.  So if we get right up to that 9 point and don't cross over into 10, I can enjoy myself without it being followed with a lot of pain.  So, yeah.  The goal for me is now about 9 so I don't really resent my husbands 10 like I thought I might.

And no upsetting aftermath like last time!  Yay!

And K was really kind of funny about it too.  Even though it was late and he had to get up early the next morning, he decided to listen to a few more songs on the tv (one of those music stations that we sometimes leave on) before turning it off and going to sleep.  He said he wanted to make sure I didn't get upset again and try to hide it from him like last time.  He was spying on me!

I'm still not quite ready to resume our standard schedule, but at least I'm not dreading it for fear of pain and tears anymore.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pregnancy purchases

Ordered my first maternity clothes last night!  Mostly because I need a sleeping bra.  Da boobies, dey're hurtin!  And even though it's early, my stomach is starting to show signs that it's going to round out over the next couple of weeks and I don't want to be caught off guard.

I didn't go nuts though, as much as I like shopping.  But it was a flat price for shipping so it made sense to get a few things rather than just the bra.  So I got me a pair of maternity jeans with the stretchy panel in front, a belly band so I can wear my regular jeans as long as possible and just hide that they're unzipped, the bra that will be both a sleeping and a nursing bra, some underwear (cuz I swear the washing machine is eating them), and a whole set of jammies with a top and pants and are designed for nursing.  I always love new jammies!

I'm kind of hoping that being a plus size girl who has never wanted any clothing to lay against her stomach, most of my clothes will work just fine as maternity stuff.

Once I was convinced that I was actually pregnant, it was time to buy some books!  There are just all sorts of things to know and learn.

But I tend to be a worrier by nature.  Scratch that, a panicker.  And most books have reviews about how alarmist they are and how the book would raise peoples blood pressure with worry.  As long as I'm going to panic naturally, I kind of figured that I didn't really need a book to make it worse.

I'm also a very slow reader.  I didn't want to buy 20 books if I'm still going to be trying to get through 19 of them when the kids go to kindergarten.  And I really don't want to read about week 12 when I'm in week 16 and find out I did something horribly wrong when it's too late to do anything about it.

Besides, there's so much info online that for the time being, my doctors and google can probably guide me along.  I might get more books later, I might not.  We'll see how it goes.

But I figured that it wouldn't hurt knowing what foods I should be adding and what foods I should be avoiding.  That seemed like pretty innocuous information that I could actually use.

So I got -

I liked this one.  It's easy to flip through with basic information.  It's formatted in such a way that even if you spin the pages like a flip book, you're still going to get some info.  Very good to have for general reference.

Seems to have some good info but I haven't invested a lot of time in reading it.  To be honest, I don't really remember what I thought of it.  I likely started reading it and then set it aside and forgot it.  I blame my attention span and not the book itself.

And because it seemed fairly safe and somewhat helpful, I also got

Again, it's light weight info but it has some useful stuff in it.  You write in your own pregnancy calendar and I've made notes about when I saw the first lines on the test, first doctors appointment and stuff.  And I'm glad I did that because as I'm graduating from the fertility clinic and moving on to a regular doctor, I had to fill in all of that information in my medical history and I would have gotten the dates wrong if I didn't have this to refer to.

This has a questionnaire for several pregnancy professionals (midwives, your OB,etc) so you know what to ask them when you are deciding on who to hire.  It also has questions that you should look into with your health insurance.

The front of the book allows you to fill in various contact information so it's all at the fingertips.  There are various places to fill in certain information like weight gain charts and stuff.

And there's a variety of little checklists that help you organize your thoughts. Lists of nursery basic necessities versus what's nice to have, what to pack for the delivery, that kind of thing.

And the info extends a little bit into having the baby home with you such as a weeks worth of poo charts (with an idea of what to expect each of those days).  Did you know that baby poo on the first day is black and tarry?  I didn't know that.  But apparently that's what I can expect.

Well, I'm clueless about this whole thing so it gives me a variety of starting points to do more research that I might not otherwise have known about.  Glancing through this was also the first time I'd ever heard of a doula so I figured I should probably do some googling to see if I wanted one.  Not sure I would have ever heard of a doula otherwise.

It seems like a good workbook during the pregnancy and will kind of serve as a scrapbook after the fact once I tuck it away. 

Am I jumping the gun with some of these purchases?  Maybe.  Figured I might as well get a few things before the financial panic truly sets in and I can't justify spending a few dollars here and there.

Symptoms are shifting

We're one day before entering week 10 and my symptoms appear to be shifting.

I seem to have to blow my nose all the time and there's a little bit of blood.  Fabulous.  And I'm sneezing a lot.  I'm not normally a sneezer, but I guess the full nose has brought out my inner Sneezy.

And I'm shifting from not wanting to eat at all to wanting to eat all the time.  I just seem to feel kind of sick whenever I'm not eating.  Just finished off some veggies, now I've got pudding!

And for the most part, I'm getting sloppy.  Not messy, but I mean in the things I'm trying to accomplish.  I'm just not on the ball.

And I'm not sleeping very well.  I've turned into a really light sleeper and of course the getting up to pee every couple of hours.

A little tip I learned when I was on a liquid diet after jaw surgery a few years ago.  When you're going constantly, sometimes things dry and chafe a bit from all the wiping.  There is a moist toilet paper from cottonelle I think, and from time to time, a wipe with that instead of regular TP feels a little bit better.  You're welcome!


I drank a cup of coffee this morning and I'm regretting it.  I'm normally a latte person (I prefer coffee flavored milk to cream in my coffee) but the hubby was heading to McDonalds this morning and asked if I wanted anything.  Since my usual flavored lattes have been too sweet, I thought I'd try a regular coffee with cream and sugar. 

It tasted good at the time, but now I'm not a happy camper.  I have my hair in a ponytail just in case it makes a sudden reappearance.

I'm hoping I'm just hungry and a small bowl of cottage cheese with grapes and blueberries will make me feel better.

I'm awake

I have no desire to be awake.  I have no reason to be awake.  But I'm awake.

Why am I awake?  Because at 7am, my husbands cat decided that her life depended on getting a tour of the bathroom at that very minute.

She scratched at the door and would not stop.  So I finally got out of bed to toddle off to the toilet (it had been 4 whole hours since I last had to pee!) and gave her the much needed tour.

She frantically double checked every nook and cranny and by the time I was done, she was done and wanted back out.  FINE!  So I let her out and head back to bed.

At which point my fluffy boy decides that he just LOVES me and must snuggle and purr and drool on me.

All righty.  That won't help me get back to sleep but at least it's pleasant.  And as soon as he decides he's had enough and leaves, guess who decides to take his place in the middle of the bed?

When she's affectionate, she nibbles.  A little too hard.  And she's just messing with me.  I know she hates me.  This isn't affection, this is a hostile takeover of bed space!  ARGH!!!  She's pushing against me in a faux snuggle, but I know what she really wants.  The moment I let my guard down, this anvil with fur is pushing me right out of bed.  Not today!  I push back!  She whines. Hubby wakes up enough to put an arm around her.  I try again, and she whines again, the hubby nurfles.  She moves to the other side of the husband and he gives her affection.

My territory is saved!  But I've been dealing with cats for the last hour and the feeling of sleep has long left me.  Screw it.

Get out of bed, grab a pumpkin muffin and last of the chocolate milk and bitch and moan on a blog that no one is reading.  Grrrrrr.  I better get a good nap later.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I can eat brie!

We went to get a few things at the grocery store and the hubby was teasing me about how I can't eat soft cheese anymore.  I really like brie and goat cheese.

And I start looking at the labels and realize that most of the say the cheese is pasteurized.  That means I can eat it!  But I'm not going to risk it based on my own ignorant label reading.

And then, like a grocery store commercial, a cheese expert appears.  Seriously!  You know those commercials where the friendly produce guy is teaching the smiling couple how to choose a melon or something?  And you think to yourself "oh please, the only produce guy I've ever seen was a teenager spraying down the broccoli who makes it clear that he has no desire to speak to anybody".  I think that too but here was a smiling employee with Cheese Department on her name tag just about to restock some cheese and she wants to chat!

For about 5 minutes we clarify which soft cheeses are safe, how to keep them fresh the longest, how to tell when it's time to throw it out, etc etc etc.

And now I have a big wedge of brie in my fridge just waiting to partner with some big fat grapes after dinner tonight.  YAY!!!!

I want a girl

I know it's not politically correct to actually have a gender preference, but I do.  I want at least 1 girl.

My real hope is that I'm about to get one of each.  That's what I REALLY want. 

But if they are both boys, I'm going to have a little grieving to do.  If they're both girls, I'm not really certain it will upset me that much.

Maybe it's because boys in my family are notoriously busy as toddlers and the thought of trying to keep up with two of them terrifies me.

But yeah, I want a girl.  I'll love whoever shows up and I'm sure that once I meet whoever is coming, that's exactly who I'll want, but here in my pre-reality, guessing what I want, don't know yet state, I want a girl.

8 week checkup

K and I hadn't really started to plan for twins.  Mostly because we are very aware of vanishing twin syndrome and don't want to count our babies before they're born I guess.

Another weirdness I was going through was "are they still there?" syndrome.  After being tested for something every 48 hours during the IVF process, I went through doctor withdrawal.  2 weeks between appointments?  But, but, but......ok.  But since I'm not particularly sick or anything, I kind of felt like the babies just dissolved away and I couldn't wait for my next appointment to see if they were still there.

I guess that's somewhat logical since with VTS, one baby does just kind of dissolve away.  But yeah, irrational.

The 8 week checkup really cemented what's happening.  Just a little peek at one of them for all of you.

It's a creature inside me all right!  But human isn't the first description that comes to mind.

They were both around 18mm, 155 beats per minute.  They are both growing, and they are growing equally and equally healthy.

And this is when I saw the click in K.  For many men, the click doesn't get there until a baby actually arrives, but this was his click and I got to see it cross his face.  He suddenly realized that yes, we were having 2 babies, and yes, this is real!

But the real news was that we are over some hurdles and our odds of miscarriage have dropped significantly.  The average pregnancy has about a 20% chance of miscarriage (according to the various rumors that I've been able to find around the interwebs).  Our doctor says that we have dropped to the 1-2% chance of miscarriage and we have officially graduated from the fertility clinic and ready to start with standard prenatal care.  YAY!!!

Every few minutes we'll poke each other and hold up 2 fingers.  The recipient either smiles or whacks the finger shower depending on where we are on the fear to excitement scale at that particular moment.

Ok, I think we're pretty much caught up on all of the milestones and I can starting writing more of a long facebook post style rather than a novel.  I have an extended doctors appointment coming up just before the 11 week mark (next week) and I have a TON of questions for that doctor so that might yield another novel.  But for the time being, we're gonna get short and sweet!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I'll be honest with you everyone, this post is the reason I started this blog.  I had an upsetting experience and couldn't find anyone else reporting anything similar.  So I'm reporting it myself.  It's a big topic so I'm going to cover it all at once.  You might prefer to read this at home as I can't promise it will be safe for work.

In terms of sex, I think my marriage is pretty average.  We count times per week (as opposed to times per day or times per year), the husband has a stronger libido than the wife, ya know, pretty average.

The last 2 months have not been average.  We are experience the longest dry spell we've experienced since we've met.  Here's the history:

Before egg retrieval, my hubby K had to abstain for 3-5 days.  After the retrieval, my cramps were so bad that it just wasn't going to happen.  After the transfer, I had to abstain for 5 days.

We finally get the medical green light to give it a go and make a discovery.  Orgasms trigger cramps.  So at the end of sex, my response went "Yay!.....Owwww!!!"

So not only am I exhausted from the pregnancy, but now I associate orgasm with pain.  Swell.  We hold off for a little bit again.  I test the orgasm = cramps theory on my own to see if it's just a fluke, and nope, it's not a fluke.  Damnit!!!  My libido drops to practically nothing.  Wouldn't yours?  When you no longer want to get to the end goal because it's painful, it kind of puts a damper on the whole process!

Around this time, my husband gets the cold from hell.  He's miserable and could not be less interested in sex if he tried.  My husband has some stomach issues and whenever anything disrupts his body, his body responds by vomiting.  So for the first weeks of my pregnancy, he had the morning sickness misery instead of me!  *Insert evil laughter here!*

So just as he's starting to feel a little bit better and now I'm starting the cold from hell.  I start the bitching of "you did this to me you bastard!" about 7 months before that's usually shouted.  There will be no touching me for some time.

I finally start to feel decent and we get back on that horse.  Ok, we don't actually get on the horse, we get a foot in the first stirrup, but never actually get fully mounted.  Wanna know why?  Because it hurts.  It really hurts.  Even though we've made sure that everything should be ready to go in female arousal land, actual penetration hurts like hell.  And then I remember, this hurts just like a few years ago when I had a yeast infection.

Oh come on!!!  It's been weeks and now I probably have an infection making it hurt?  What deity hates us?  Oh well.  We've got the 8 week check up in a few days and we'll just wait and ask the doctor at that time.

We discover that a fertility clinic doesn't necessarily have all of the testing equipment that a standard gynecologist has.  I ask him to swab and test for a yeast infection but he isn't able to do that.  However, he does take a peek, says yes there appears to be some yeast here.  He tells me to just get an over the counter medication and all should be fine.  We stop by the store on the way home and ready to start treatment.

And again, whatever deity is playing jokes on us strikes again.  The package on the medication says to abstain from sex while on it.  And just to really fuck with me, I drop the final dose into the toilet while trying to insert it.  The toilet that I have urinated in and not yet flushed.  I sure as hell wasn't going in after it.  Since the box also says to check with a medical professional before using this product when pregnant, and since my medical professional was advising rather than prescribing, I decide to just hope I've taken enough doses to feel better and I'll double-check the status of the infection when I see my new doctor around the 11 week mark.

If you're counting along, you'll notice that we've had about 1 1/2 unpleasant sexual encounters in the last approximately 2 months.

It then comes time to get back on that horse.  And this time, we get fully mounted and get a nice ride through the countryside and a standard dismount.

This is when I had the experience that prompted me to start this blog.

I inexplicably got upset.  Really upset.  And I didn't want the hubby to know.  This is the first chance he's had to have sex in about 2 months, it's after 2am and he's going to fall asleep any minute, the last thing I want to do is spoil his afterglow with irrationally crying wife.  I head into the bathroom for the usual post coital clean up and I'm crying.  I don't know why.  He didn't do anything wrong, the experience was perfectly fine, but for some unknown reason I was really upset.  It was like my body objected to being messed with so it was triggering a raw emotional reaction.

The next day I google "sex upsetting during pregnancy" and get nothing.  I tell myself that everyone's hormones do different things to them both physically and emotionally and this has probably happened to other pregnant women, I just can't find evidence of that.

I sit K down for a frank discussion and tell him what happened.  Right now, I just don't want to have sex.  And I don't know when that's going to change.  I mean, it's my understanding that the hormones flip around in the second trimester so hopefully I'll be getting really horny at that time, but for right now, I just don't want to.  I talked to him about my fear of a year long abstinence.  I mean, it's entirely possible.  We pretty much started it about 2 months ago, and if I don't get a horny streak during trimester 2, we might be out of luck for a while.  Trimester 3, I might be told to abstain to prevent the start of premature contractions, and if I do a vaginal delivery of twins, well, let's just say my friend who delivered one child is still having some pain issues 5 months later.

And I'm sure you're thinking "but gee, just because you don't want to doesn't mean you can't perform other wifely duties so your husband doesn't have to fully abstain just because you want to.  There are other satisfying options that don't really mess with your body."

Yes, that's very true.  But there's also a resentment factor.  You see, I can't have orgasms for a while.  They hurt.  And it's not fair.  And while it's not fair to him that he should have to suffer because my body is uncooperative, it's also not fair that he get to have a good time when I can't.  So unless I get to punch him in the balls right after every orgasm so that we're even, I kind of resent the idea of providing one for him.

Yes, my goal in life is to provide my husband as much happiness as I can.  That's not a duty, that's my desire.  So I have to balance his immediate happiness, with the consequences of having a resentful wife.

And I truly have married a saint.  The last thing he ever wants to do is upset me or impose upon me.  He said that if we abstain for a year, we abstain for a year.  And I actually trust him when he tells me that.

I really hope that's not what happens.  Seriously, I don't want that to happen.  The control is now in my hands.  If I want to give it a go, I will control the pace at which we go.  And if I don't want to give it a go, he's not going to pressure me.

I'm meeting my new doctor in about 10 days.  This will definitely be one of the topics we discuss with him.


I'm going to expand on the food symptoms.  Some of the issues I'm having and some of the solutions I'm finding.

As I said in my last post, my usual diet pretty much sucks.  And wow, my taste buds just won't allow me to get away with that anymore.  I've actually lost a few pounds since the beginning of this pregnancy.  And if my taste buds were like this all the time, I wouldn't be a fat woman.  I now honestly believe that fat people and thin people actually taste food differently from one another.

At first, I just didn't want to eat, period.  Every bite was an effort and it was a "have to" rather than a "want to".  I found that a 6 inch cold Subway sandwich was probably the best thing I could eat at any given time.  It had some protein, it had some veggies, it was basically fresh, and I like Subway so I could pretty much force myself to eat one of those sandwiches even when I didn't want to eat anything.  Then I found out about the whole shouldn't have deli meats thing unless it's been heated to steaming, and I haven't been back yet cuz I don't want a hot sandwich.

I started looking at raw veggie platters like they're porn.  I knew I had changed when I actually made myself a raw veggie platter for lunch one day because that's what I actually wanted.  My sense of taste is leading me to a varied yet healthy diet.  I'll want chicken one day and fish the next.

Oh, and milk.  I can't drink white milk anymore.  No matter how fresh it is, it all smells sour to me.  So we're keeping chocolate milk in the fridge and since that's too sweet, I'm pouring myself half white and half chocolate as one of my regular fluids.  Calcium, it's a good thing!

I've given up on trying to plan meals.  I just can't figure out 2 hours in advance what I'm actually going to be able to eat. 

My husband is being awesome through all of this.  He actually enjoys cooking (I hate it) and is becoming quite the foodie thanks to Food Network.  He's always been the primary cook in the house but now it's more difficult and he's really stepping up to the plate.  He's heading to the grocery store pretty much daily on his way home and he calls me from there to ask what I can eat tonight.  It seems like no matter how vague my instructions are, he's able to figure it out.

For example, I can't stand anything dry right now.  Granola bars, crackers, ick.  I really need moisture.  So I gave him that info and asked him if he could find some magical product that was moist, fairly mild in flavor, and portable so I could keep it in my purse because I pretty much need food available at all times.  I had no clue as to whether or not a product existed that met all of those requirements.  He came home with snack packs of mini muffins.  How perfect is that?  He really rocks my socks.

I'm having trouble with full meals.  I've never been able to eat a lot in one sitting and now it's just impossible.  I need to nibble all day and I'm full after a few bites until the next time I'm hungry.  So every night the husband would ask what I wanted for dinner, and this actually started to turn into a lot of pressure.  I don't know!  And I'm not going to be able to eat much of it anyway so leave me alone!  I was getting sick of packing the fridge full of leftovers from meals that I couldn't finish.  I finally told him to just start cooking for himself and expect me to take a few bites from his dinner.  So now he asks me "I'm going to make some spaghetti, do you want some?"  That gives me the opportunity to change the plan if I do want something specific and doesn't force me to figure out a meal we can both eat from thin air.  That system is working out much better.

I generally hate food in the morning.  I kind of hold off on eating for as many hours as I can because nothing ever appeals to me in the morning.  I used to deal with this by basically drinking a breakfast from Starbucks and getting a bagel or similar plain pastry if I was feeling particularly peckish.

That doesn't work when you're pregnant.  You wait up feeling a little nauseous, mostly because you're actually hungry.  And my daily Starbucks treat?  I'm allowed to do that still.  But like I said before, it now all tastes like oily, chemically, horribly sweet badness.  So while I still desperately want my usual tall 2 pump white chocolate mocha, what my taste buds remember that as being doesn't exist anymore.

I'm dealing with this by starting every morning off with a glass of orange juice.  I don't usually like orange juice, but I do like the low acid no pulp stuff.  That gets a few nutrients in my body, helps ease the hungry nausea and kind of jump starts my stomach into being prepared to accept some food.  Then I try something mild like a bagel or cottage cheese with fruit slices mixed in.

I was keeping peppermints in my purse for a while.  The vomity burps needed a flavor eraser.  But the mint got overwhelming.  I tried mentos too, but still too strong.  I've found a good medium to be peppermint flavored salt water taffy.  I've always loved that stuff anyway so now I have an excuse to have it in the house all the time.

So, to recap, here is the list of what are now fridge and purse staples:

Orange juice
Chocolate milk
Assorted hard candies and taffy for a bite of sweet and to erase bad tastes
Various muffins
Ice for ice water
Cottage cheese with a suitable fresh fruit to mix in.
Big fat seedless grapes.  nom!
Veggie platter style raw veggies and dip
Shredded cheese to sprinkle on cooked veggies for days that I'm lacking protein or calcium
Thick soups like lentil and chowders

What has exited from my diet:

Starbucks.  I'm trying about once a week to find something I actually like, but overall, just not going there anymore.  I've saved a ton of money this way!
McDonalds.  I tried it today for the first time since this all started.  It wasn't horrible, but meh.
Desserts.  We still have some in the house and I'll have a cookie from time to time.  But generally I'm just enjoying one bite of whatever my husband is getting and I'm good with that.
Spagettios.  One of my go to comfort foods.  I tried it the other day.  Blarg.
Soda.  I'd rather have water or juice.  But it's starting to make a little bit of a comeback actually.
Goat cheese.  I really like this but I'm not supposed to eat soft cheeses.  Poo.
Processed foods in general.  My diet is much more nature based than it's ever been before.

Basically, my palette is naturally leading me to eat a very healthy pregnancy diet.  I now actually want to eat those things that are on all the recommended diet plans.

My first symptoms

I have been really lucky in terms of what symptoms have presented themselves and which ones haven't.  Everyone is different, but here is what I've been experiencing.

Fatigue - from the day this all started, I simply don't want to do anything.  I honestly don't know if I'm too tired to do anything, or if my laziness has reached epic proportions.  I don't want to do anything but surf the internet and channel surf from my comfy couch.

Lack of patience - I'm cranky.  Anything that even remotely irks me is being confronted and addressed when I would usually just ignore it before.  Now for those of you who DON'T know me, that seems perfectly reasonable.  But for those who DO know me, you're asking yourself right now "you mean she thinks she normally holds something back???"  I'm not shy about things that bother me and I snark as a matter of course.  But now, it's even more severe.

To quantify this - as I mentioned before, I have a pottery shop on  I'm a regular in the forums.  It took me about 10 months to get to 1000 posts.  In the last month, I've added over 300 more to my post count.  Soooooo, yeaaaaaaaah.  I'm having even more trouble than usual keeping my mouth shut.

No deep breaths - I'm often trying to take one of those deep breaths and I just can't.  I'll have to work a little bit to get that nice breath that you can feel hitting your lungs just the right way.  I had to give a mini speech to teach a small group of people what to expect on a video shoot and I found that I had to stop several times and just try to breathe.  I didn't have enough air to talk in a monologue for very long.

Morning sickness - This is where I get to say neener neener neener to most pregnant women.  I haven't had morning sickness yet!  Wooooottttttt!!!!  I've gone head first into the toilet once - because I woke up to a coughing fit so severe that it set off some dry heaves, but otherwise, I'm vomit free so far.  Notice how I won't tempt the gods and keep adding "so far" or "yet" to each sentence.  My mother got through 2 healthy pregnancies (2 pregnancies, 2 children) without morning sickness so I'm hoping that's genetic and indicative of what I'm going to experience.

Nausea - My nausea has been very minor, but it is there a little bit.  I get a bit carsick more often.  I've put an open garbage bag on my passenger seat just in case I suddenly need to vomit.  Figure I can just turn and vomit in the bag making clean-up relatively easy.  This hasn't happened yet, but I'm prepared.  And we have a bucket next to the bed too.

My tastebuds do a 180 - I'm a pretty typical American fat woman.  I daily enjoy a white chocolate mocha from Starbucks.  Too many of my meals are provided by McDonalds.  Pretty much the only decent food I eat is whatever my husband freshly cooks for dinner. 

I simply cannot tolerate my old diet anymore.  I am not actively attempting to alter my diet for my pregnancy, my taste buds have done it for me.  Anything that's processed, or contains a lot of preservatives, ugh, it just tastes blechy now.  I can taste every chemical in my food.  My white chocolate mocha?  Bleh!  It just coats my mouth with the oily, chemically, cloyingly sweet badness.

I'm obsessed with food - Not that I want to eat it, I just can't stop thinking about it.  The first several weeks, the last thing I wanted to do was eat.  Nothing was appealing at all.  So my obsession was with trying to figure out what the hell my new palette would be able to tolerate.  I would eat about 3 bites of a meal and I was done.  As the weeks go on, it's getting a little better.  The last 2 weeks, I'm starting to actually EAT which is probably a good thing.

Robo-nose - Yup, I've got pregnancy nose.  This is a bit of an issue with 4 indoor cats and a lot of litterboxes in the house.  I'll walk into a room and walk right back out and announce to my husband that a cat laid a bomb and he needs to take care of it.

I'm not allowed to touch litterboxes while pregnant.  I'm so milking that as long as humanly possible!  But I digress.

Bathroom breaks - I tend to hit the bathroom more frequently than most people anyway.  But now, I'm thinking of just putting a tv in there, and nice recliner around the bowl for comfort, and setting up shop.

Burping - I'm like a frat boy.  At least 4 belches accompany every meal.  The only vomit I'm dealing with is occasionally a burp will bring a little up into my throat and coat my mouth with that distinctive vomit flavor.  I keep hard candies on me to combat that because there's no warning, it's a surprise every time.

My stomach feels funny - When I stand up after sitting, I kind of feel like I have to re-strech my stomach muscles because they want to stay in that pinched sitting position.  And when I lay on my side, it feels like my insides are sitting very heavy and just kind of hanging off of my body with no support.

Nipples - Wow.  I've always had one inverted and one kinda regular but small.  Well, they're both alive and trying to make a break for it now!  The regular one is now bright and alert all the time and seriously seems like it's trying to leap off my body.  The inverted one is now basically normal.  And anything brushes against them is very noticed and I'd prefer that it not happen.  And boobs that they're attached to are a little sore, but nothing major.  Until my 17lb cat decides to snuggle on me and steps on one with all of his weight.  Ouch!

Sex - there are some issues.  But that's going to be it's own post.

While I realize that's a long list of symptoms, for the most part, I'm feeling pretty normal.  Nothing is so severe (other than the laziness) that it's interfering with my normal life.

Twin confirmation

While we were pretty much convinced that we had two babies, due to the hormone levels and stuff, we didn't really KNOW this until the 6 week check-up.

And let me tell you, there was no doubt whatsoever at that moment.

As they were putting the ultrasound wand in place, we very clearly saw 2 embryo sacks, even before it was properly positioned.  Absolutely no doubt about that.

Squeeeeee!!  Fear!!!!!!!!

They measured the heartbeats and they were both at 100 beats per minute.

Wait a minute, backup.  They've existed less than a month and they already have heartbeats?  Oh my lordy lordy! 

The fact that they both had heartbeats relieved some of my fear about a miscarriage.  Many pregnancies don't go to their first doctors visits until around week 10 and they come home devastated because there's no heartbeat.  Whatever happens in the next weeks, at one point, both of my babies had heartbeats which told me that they are at least starting out as viable.  That's very reassuring.

Also reassuring, they were almost perfectly even in size. 

Twin A was 3.40mm in size indicating an age of 6 weeks even.  Heartbeat rate of exactly 100bpm.
Twin B was 4.07mm in size indicating an age of 6 weeks and 1 day.  Heartbeat rate of 101.35bpm.

So I went home and started reading up on Vanishing Twin Syndrome.  We told my parents about this but didn't do the facebook announcements and stuff yet because I was still keeping my brain rational that VTS is very common and could definitely happen.  So just because there are 2 today, that doesn't guarantee that there will be 2 at delivery.

How far along am I?

One of the questions I had about all of this was how far along was I?  I know that makes no sense considering I knew the date and time of both fertilization and the date and time that the embryos were in my uterus.

But when doing research online, all of the pregnancy calendars actually start about 2 or 3 weeks prior to the actual conception.  Week 1 starts at the end of your previous period.  And they guess that the actual conception is during week 2 or 3.  So where did that put me?

When the nurse called to schedule my 6 week check-up, we got that all figured out.  My check up was going to be about 3 and a half weeks after the transfer or just over 4 weeks after the egg was fertilized and the embryo was created.

So, medically, I'm currently 9 weeks and 2 days pregnant.  Yet I've only had actual embryos in my body for 6 weeks and 4 days.

I post this in case anyone else has that same question.

Cramps, cramps, ouch I have cramps!

The first few weeks of the pregnancy didn't have much going on.  We suspected twins but couldn't confirm until about 4 weeks into the pregnancy.

I had a lot of cramps ever since the retrieval process, those were very unpleasant.  I'm told that's common because I had someone poking at my ovaries for an hour and they tend to spasm in response.  And then the cramps continued as a general pregnancy symptom.

A couple of weeks in though, they got really bad.  I was woken up at 6am with the most incredible abdominal pain.  I went to the bathroom and tried to relieve it that way but that did nothing.  I finally woke up my husband cuz I could hardly walk and I was starting to panic.  I had seen a little bit of implantation bleeding the night before so this just really made me freak out. 

We called the doctor and he said that it's normal and everything should be fine, just take one of the pain killers we gave you after the retrieval.  Yeeeeeeeaaaaaaaahhhhh, no.  You see me and then if you believe everything is fine, I'll believe you.  And really?  You want me to take a prescription strength pain reliever in the first weeks of pregnancy?  Ok, so they can see me in a half hour.  Hubby and I get dressed and we're on our way.

They double check everything and insist that everything is fine.  And yes, take the Tylenol with codeine.  That's what it's there for.  Wow, really?  Ok.  But I'm not taking a lot of it!

So I go home, cancel the gig I'm supposed to be at in 2 hours because the pain reliever makes me drowsy and I can't drive, and hang around in bed taking as little of the medicine as I can while still getting the pain relief benefits.  I felt much better, the pain went away, and for the most part, that was the end of my cramps.  I still get a little twinge now and then, but not nearly as constant as it was.

Am I Pregnant?

I've taken a whole lotta pregnancy tests in my lifetime. 

Because I have PCOS and no schedule to my periods (months and months in between them), I would have no natural indicator to lead me to suspect a pregnancy.  And because I spent a good portion of my adult life on depression medications that could hurt a fetus, I simply took a test every 2 months or so whenever I had an active sex life despite all of my precautions so I could switch to pregnancy safe behaviors as quickly as possible if needed.  Yes, I bought them in bulk at Costco.

And out of all of these tests, I had never seen one even pretend to hint at a pregnancy.

The hormone that those tests detect (HCG) is the same hormone that you are injected with to trigger your eggs near the end of the IVF process.  Therefore, if you test too early, you will get a false positive.  The test is detecting the leftover hormone from that injection and not the hormone that your body is producing.

So in between the egg retrieval and transfer of the embryos back into my body, I took a test.  I wanted to make sure that the chemical had dissipated and there would be no chance of a false positive.  The test was properly negative as it should have been.  So now I know, if a test shows up positive, it's actually positive.

It should take about 10 days for your body to produce enough of the hormone to show up on a test.  But I have no patience.  I got my collection of tests and decided to start testing on day 5.  And on day 5, a very, very faint second line was there.  I brought the test to my husband to see if he could see the line and as we squinted, yeah, we both think it's there.  Next day, yup, that second line is about halfway there.  Next day, several tests all saying I'm up with the duff!


This was also our first indication that it might be twins.  When we transferred the two embryos, we were told that we had a 60-70% chance of pregnancy, and a 50/50 chance of twins. 

The fact that the tests showed up positive so early indicated that I was producing a ton of the pregnancy hormone.

So we went in for our official blood test at the doctors office.  They look for a hormone level of anything above 50 to indicate a positive test.  I was at 266.4.  Uh, yeah, that's a whole lotta hormone!  Check a couple of days later because you want it to double.  It was over 600.  All the nurses are teasing me and the doctor with "What did you do!" cuz they all know what those numbers are meaning.  A couple of days later, we're over 1500. 

It's official.  I'm very pregnant!

Friday, October 15, 2010

IVF, round 2

So after several months, it was time to get back on the IVF horse. 

I was supposed to be taking metforman all that time but forgot until I called to let the doctors know I was ready to start again and they asked about it.  Metforman is often taken to prevent gestational diabetes.  Wonderful side effect - I lost about 15lbs over the summer with no effort.  That totally rocked! 

So we started again and this time everything felt like it was on fast forward.  The first attempt had a 6 week schedule whereas this one had a 4 week schedule since we were using different medications this time.  And this time I needed to sit on a heating pad after each injection to get the blood circulating to make sure it absorbed well.

So twice a day we went through about an hour long process of icing my ass, prepping the meds, injecting the meds, then sitting on a heating pad for a while while the meds absorbed.

I was much more emotionally stable this time, but totally obsessed with money because it was leaving us much faster than it was coming to us.  I was doing everything in my power to stay on top of all these expenses and trying to understand what each medical bill was for, etc etc.  Mostly because I wanted to keep my overall stress level down and if I could plan ahead what costs to expect, I could figure out how to take care of them.  I was very anal about going over every fee that I could expect from the fertility clinic.

About halfway through, I get this bill from the anesthesiologist for $600.  Needs to be paid before I go into the hospital for the retrieval.  Ummmm, ok.  Pay that.  Well that was a pretty large bill I wasn't expecting that had a tight deadline.  That sucked.  Then I get a phone call from the hospital to discuss the facility fees that will need to be taken care of before my procedure in 10 days.  Ok, so that will be $2400.  WTF???? 

What???  No, I don't think so.  You want me to come up with $2400 in the next few days or you won't do the procedure???  Just, no!  That's extortion!  If I don't pay this fee, I can't do the last portion of the procedure I'm already halfway through. 

So I question the hell out of them.  What is this for?  Is this not covered by the plan I prepurchased?  You at the hospital and the financial person at the clinic need to talk to each other because there's no way I'm going to owe that much.

And everyone calls each other and they determine that she quoted me the wrong price and that I need to pay them about $1500.  Still sucks, but it was indeed legit and I did indeed pay.  Gripe gripe, grumble grumble.

Medical financial tip - Call and clarify every bill you receive.  Don't just write a check.  3 times in the last several months, I have called to question a bill I received and was told "oh yes, that's already been taken care of, you shouldn't have gotten that.  It crossed paths in our computer system."  At one point I was sent a bill for almost $2k and when I called to ask about it, they said that it went out early and that at this point, I actually had a credit with them due to past over payments.  That means that somewhere along the line, I was sent a bill that I didn't owe, I paid it, and they just applied it to my account rather than telling me I didn't owe that money.  Medical billing is a clusterfuck and there's just no disputing that.  So question everything.

So we get towards the end of the process.  The hubby abstains from any emissions for a few days to make sure his contribution is as strong as possible.  Yes, even that is regulated during the IVF process.  And we're off to the hospital to retrieve as many eggs as possible.

Being a fat woman, I had to do this in the hospital and be completely put under.  Most women do this in the office at the fertility clinic. 

So as people pop into my little holding room to do their things (give me my gown, and paper slippers, hair net hat thingy), everyone is saying how I'm just going to get on the table, go to sleep, and we'll be all done.  So I finally get on the table and the doctor there says that I'm going to be put slightly under but not actually asleep so I can respond when they need me to.  WHAT?  I'm going to be awake and staring at the ceiling while someone is doing uncomfortable things in my belly from a really embarrassing angle?  This is not how I was planning on spending the afternoon!  I was planning on sleeping through it!!

So I have myself a little panic attack because the thought of not having control of my body while my mind works is absolutely terrifying to me.  Seriously.  If I'm ever in a coma and the doctors aren't sure if I'm thinking or not?  Pull the plug.  I can think of no greater hell than to be buried alive in my own body and being capable of brain activity.

They then convince me that I'm not going to remember anything when it's over so for all intents and purposes, I will indeed be asleep.  So that's what happened. 

Doctors please note - please be consistent in your messages to the patient.  Hearing a different definition of what's going to happen when you're on the table and the procedure is imminent is unnecessary and terrifying.  It also leaves you open to lawsuits because at that point, you've just changed the patients perception of what is about to happen and they may not be capable of objecting and reconsidering their options at this point.

I don't remember the rest of that day.

I do remember vomiting all through the following day.  I'm very sensitive to anesthesia.  I've vomited in response to every surgery I've ever had and even got the dentist once when he pumped up the nitrous too high.  Ugh, and cramps.  The entire waiting period, between retrieval and implant, I had a lot of cramps.

First bit of news - they harvest 19 eggs
Second - 17 fertilized
Third - 10 looking good

We're going to wait until day 5 to implant because there are a lot of them, they look good, and better rate of success if we wait those 2 extra days.

We decide to spend my last unpregnant day at the state fair and I go on one ride.  I'm not a ride person and I was still nauseous so one was my limit. The day before that I was at a party and in a hot tub and enjoyed a few libations I knew I would not have the opportunity to enjoy again for a while.

We get to day five and 2 embroyos are strong and healthy and ready to be implanted. 

Why did the doctor give me pictures of my embryos in a petri dish?  Seriously? Are they supposed to go on the fridge or what?  But I can't throw them away either because, well, I have them, I should keep them. 

My husband had the best reaction.  See the little bubble in the dish next to the embryo?  Each one has one.  Yeah, that's babies first fart!  Awwwwwww, dat's so cutey tootie wootie pooty!

I got to be awake and watch the process on a screen.  It's an ultrasound view so it's mostly just static.  But then you see the line of the needle enter from the side.  And then you see it spit out the first little thingy then the second little thingy.

The screen was like space invaders from when I was little.  I'm watching the little bullet come out of the gun and the refresh rate is slow so it moves forward one little chunk of space at a time and then kind of disappears.

Oh, here's something they don't tell you.  The whole full bladder thing.  You have to have a really full bladder for this process.  Long story, but you do.  So I'm on the table, FULL of fluids, the process is over, all seems well so I ask to get up and go to the bathroom.  Oh no, I can't get up.  I have to lay there for about a half hour.  Ummmmm, guys?  I managed not to pee all over the doctor but I make no promises that I'm going to make it another half hour.  So they give me a bed pan. 

Oh man, really?  I mean that entire day, this was the worst part.  I have to remain lying down and I have to pee.  I make everyone leave the room because that is the last mystery alive in my marriage and I intend to keep it alive as long as humanly possible.  And my body really fought me when I tried to pee because I wasn't allowed to sit up to do it.  And my body knows that it's not supposed to do that when I'm lying down.  So with some effort, empty bladder, wet tushy, icky!  Yes wet tushy.  Have you ever peed lying down with your hips slightly raised because of a bed pan?  It takes a long path to move south before it finally drips into that pan. 

Everybody comes back in, I feel ridiculous and do my best to clean up while staying reclined.  They wheel me into a little room and say I can go in a half hour.  So hubby and I try to entertain each other in this little room without a clock.  We kind of expected someone to let us know we could head out, but nope.  I think after about 45 minutes I called to a passing nurse to ask if I could go. 

And that was that.  IVF was over, and the waiting began.

IVF, round one

Once we got all sorts of testing done, the final conclusion is that yes, we would have trouble conceiving, but we shouldn't have any trouble carrying a baby to term once we got over that original hurdle.

Not only does my body not ovulate on it's own, but there was a minor issue with my husband as well.  And demonstrating myself to be a horrible person yet again, finding this out was actually a relief to me. 

One of the emotional issues I was dealing with was the fact that because my body is my enemy, I was going to put my husband through a horrible roller-coaster as well.  It was unfair that he had to go along for that ride simply because of my failings.  So finding out that he would have to go through this process had he chosen someone else to be with, well, I suddenly felt a whole lot better and a lot of the pressure went way.  It wasn't all my fault anymore.

So here's the deal.  My body doesn't present an egg.  And his sperm moves quick and there's plenty of it, but once it hits the egg, it isn't able to break through.  So it was like he was trying to get through a locked door without a key, but there wasn't anybody in the house anyway.

What was already my favorite comic illustrated our situation perfectly. We now have my old tshirt with this comic framed and hanging on our wall as a symbol of our struggle.

So the analysis was, if the doctor could harvest some eggs, manually get the sperm inside them, and then plant them back in me, we had every reason to believe that it would be successful.

If you're going to go through the IVF process, the first thing you need to know is that your body is no longer private property.  People are going to be poking and prodding and pushing on what used to be private just about every day.

The second thing you need to know - if you have needle phobia, you will get over it.  Later in the process, I had an average of 4 needles stuck in me a day.  Some to inject medications, others to retrieve blood.  And my veins got very uncooperative for a while which meant several needles to get that blood.

My advice to about needles - if medication is going in, ice the area.  Seriously, you probably won't feel the actual needle and the ice itself will be the sucky part of the process.  If blood is coming out, be hydrated before going to the dr's office.  And if your veins get uncooperative, get some of those chemical handwarmer thingies meant to warm your hands in the snow.  Grab a hair scrunchy and put the handwarmer in the crook of your elbow and wrap the scrunchy around your elbow to hold it in place during your drive to the dr.  The heat will get the blood flowing and make retrieving it much easier.  Once I started doing that, we never had a problem getting my blood again.

So we started the process of daily injections.  Now, when that first box of medications arrived, I started crying.  This was a BIG ASS box and it was completely full of the various things that would be entering my body.  Needles, medications, just horrible, horrible things.  I had to have my husband hide the box because every time I looked at it I started to cry.

For the first time, being a fat woman worked in my favor.  Most women have the option of injecting themselves.  But being a fat woman, we had to make sure that the medication got into a muscle and since my stomach muscles have too much fat, we had to inject the glutemus maximus.  I'm just going to own my spelling mistakes, so, yeah.  Ok, I can't see the circles that are drawn on my butt as targets and certainly can't twist around to make sure the medication is injected properly.  That means the husband has to do it for me.

YAY!!!!!!  In all honesty, I think he had the bum end of this deal.  My job was to sit in bed on an ice pack while he measured out the meds and ensured that they were done properly.  I didn't know or care what exactly was being injected and just relied on him to get it done and make sure I took whatever I needed to take.  And by icing up my tush, I hardly felt the needles at all.  He woke me up before he went to work every day and handed me my ice pack.  He went back to the kitchen to prep the needle and came back and did the injection.  I would go back to sleep, hardly aware of what happened and he would go to work.  Then we would repeat the process 12 hours later, but I was more awake for that one.  So yeah, he had to do all the thinking.  My job was to just tolerate the medications and let my body do it's job.

My husband took his job of being the strong partner very seriously.  He knew that I was emotional and he did his best to support me by not being emotional and being strong and reasonable.  For the most part, this was awesome, but it did cause a little bit of an issue that I'll get to later on in this blog post.

And there was a funny side to the Mr. Strong behavior.  At one point, when he removed the needle, I started to bleed a little.  The sight of blood came as a complete surprise to him and all I knew is that he was suddenly very.....efficient.  Whipping around the room getting bandaids and purelling his hands and rushing back to apply some pressure and get the bandaid on.  "Nope, nope!  Nothing's wrong!  Nothing at all!  You just relax!"  He kept bandaids on the night stand after that.

Lupron - it's evil.  During this process, I started falling into a depression.  Now, as someone who was diagnosed and treated for manic depression for about half of her life, this was terrifying.

Like I said in an earlier post, I don't have the depression issues anymore.  Yes, I had the chemical imbalance and truly went through it for almost 2 decades.  But I'm also a success story in that we accidentally found the root cause and fixed it.  My chemical imbalance was brought about by chronic sleep deprivation caused by sleep apnea.  We fixed the sleep apnea.  Then a year later, I went off the depression meds to start trying to get pregnant and we all kept a watchful eye out for my inevitable depression decline.  But it never came.  After a year of no drugs, even the shrink agreed that I simply did not have that issue anymore.  But we still have him on speed dial and keep a watchful eye.  I'm grateful, not stupid.

Ok, so the lupron.  I became sluggish, and my brain started to haze just like the depression.  I couldn't think properly.  It sucked.  And I took it personally that I couldn't function, like it was a personal failing.

I felt better once I ran into a friend who was able to tell me exactly what drug was causing the issue and that her friend had the same issue as well.  And that it does go away.  So if you're IVFing and feeling like your brain just doesn't work - it's the lupron.  It's temporary.  I promise.

So we were 2 days before it was time to trigger the eggs to be harvested.  Everything was going textbook.  Lots of follicles were growing, the doctor was very happy, everything was perfect.  Until that day.

I got the phone call with my blood test results.  I had a hormone surge that was triggering the eggs prematurely.  My choices were to go in and get a shot to hopefully hold off the trigger process or abort this IVF attempt, let the eggs release into my system, try natural insemination and hope we get lucky.  Oh, and we had 10 minutes to make this decision because every hour that goes by before getting the shot makes it less likely to work.

I get on the phone to my husband, and attempt to tell him what's happening while I'm crying.  He decides to come home (which is actually a huge thing, he never leaves work) and before we get off the phone, we have decided to abort the attempt.

I'll be honest with you.  There was a very crass and pragmatic reason we made that decision.  And it was money.  We had prepurchased an IVF plan.  By paying in advance for all the services necessary for IVF, we got it at a slightly reduced rate.  It was about $13k + $6k for the drugs.  If we continued with that attempt, we would use up the single plan we had purchased with a very low chance of success.  If we stopped at that moment, we would owe about $2,000 in doctors visits and would need to replace about $4,500 in medications out of pocket and we could apply the prepurchased plan to our next full attempt.

If we continued and failed, we could not afford a second attempt.  If we stopped and tried again later, it would be expensive, but we could do it.  So that was our decision.

And we spent the following week half-heartedly attempting "natural insemination" knowing full well that it wouldn't work.

Ok, and here's the promised part about the husbands strong and silent type repercussions.

Men - there is being strong for your partner, and there is being absent.  During the months between our attempts, my husband was harboring a secret.  Apparently, when he gave me one of the injections, some of the medicine seeped back out of the needle wound.  He doesn't know how much, but to him it was a considerable amount.  It made him nervous, but he didn't tell me because he didn't want to upset me.

So when the attempt failed, in the back of his mind, he had this nagging guilt that maybe it was all his fault.  Maybe I had the hormone surge because some of the medicine that suppresses that surge didn't make it into my body.  For the record, that probably had nothing to do with it.  My hormones are just evil and refuse to cooperate.

This all came out into the open when we were having a talk about how I was feeling like I was going through everything alone.  He was being strong and supportive to the point of being separate from me.  During that talk, he got upset, told me about what happened and how he was afraid it was his fault.

Men, please don't do this!  Had he said something to me at the time, we could have called the doctor to see if it was an issue that some medicine seeped back out.  We could have been reassured on the spot that all was fine or gone in for an additional dose if all was not fine.  But because my husband was afraid of showing any fear or any doubt and didn't want to burden me with it, he ended up with this weight on his shoulders for months.

Yes, I was emotionally fragile.  But that doesn't mean that I couldn't be there for my husband if he had let me know he needed me.  Sometimes your partner might have a very simple solution to a problem that just hasn't occurred to you.  And sometimes the best thing you can do to support your partner is to be afraid with her so she knows the fear is natural and she's not overreacting.

For our next attempt, I think we communicated much better and felt very together during the process.


I promise this blog will get fun.  But I'm getting out all the angsty stuff first cuz I can't seem to tell an incomplete story and the bad parts at the beginning are a part of my story.  Also because I'm sure others are feeling this way and might feel better not being alone.

I went through about a year of resenting every parent on the planet.  Ok, longer than a year, but it was a daily preoccupation for about a year.

Every parent out there was picked apart in my brain and dissected for their flaws.  And then I would get mad at the universe for allowing such a flawed person to have a baby when I wasn't able to have one.

It was constant.  Ads on TV showing reality TV stars being rewarded for being the dregs of society and talking about their babies.  Next on Judge Judy.....obnoxious 20 year old with several children bitching about her right to out and party and have fun.  A new show about a completely incompetent family getting a baby by surprise because the mother went to jail.  Oh the antics that will ensue!  Reading Lamebook for fun and seeing posts by little tards about how they're off to the abortion clinic so they can get their drink on tonight, whooooo!

Jon and Kate Gosselin get 8 when I don't get any.  Some distant relatives with mental issues and drug problems each get 3 before the age of 21 by different baby daddies/mamas and I don't get any.  That bitch Octomom gets 14 while on welfare, and I don't get any.  That one really got to me as I started shelling out thousands of dollars for testing and then to start the IVF process.  My husband and I are very financially responsible people and our bank account was breaking going through this process.  How the frak did she do this while on welfare and supporting 6 existing kids???

I resented every pregnancy and parent of a child under the age of 5.  My brain was convinced that they were undeserving and it was totally unfair because I was deserving yet being denied.

And through it all, my best friend and daily coffee companion, PR, was pregnant.  ARGH!  Ok, ok, I know, I'm a horrible person.  I know this.  She knows this.  She already had 2 adult children and I really, REALLY resented that she was getting another chance to be a new mother again.  I tried my best to be happy for her, but I wasn't, and she knew that.  She did her best to contain her joy but she's a joyful person by nature and of course it bubbled over and stabbed me in the gut.  It really sucks that we were both working so hard to compensate for my flaw.  For my inability to get over my own issues and be genuinely happy for her.  For the fact that I was vaguely angry all the time and here was a walking, talking target directly in front of me for my anger to focus on.  I resented every update, every personal inconvenience caused by her dietary needs, and knowing that my daily companion soon wouldn't have time to hang with me anymore.

And I realize that every word of this post defines me as the most selfish, self centered bitch on the planet and knowing that I was being that kind of person only increased my general anger.

So for those of you who are trying to conceive and feeling like the universe is punishing you for no good reason?  I understand.  And why do others who totally don't deserve this, or don't even want it, why do they get it?  Completely unfair.

Even at 9 weeks pregnant, I still haven't quite let go of all the resentment.  I'm still not a natural with babies so when I'm around little AR, I'm terrified I'm going to do something wrong so I just kind of don't do anything and wait for the opportunity to hand him back off to PR.  And part of me isn't actually a parent yet so as weird as it may sound, I'm still feeling a bit denied and my heart hasn't quite figured out that I'm not being denied anymore.

I'm hoping I'll get over that once my twins are grown enough to change the shape of my body or to be felt moving around.  Right now, it seems like my only confirmation that they are actually there are my doctors appointments where I get to see an ultrasound.  It's not entirely real yet.

Ok, next up, I'll whiz through the IVF process.  That could be an entire blog itself, but I'll try to whiz through in one really long post.

And pictures are coming.  I promise.  This isn't all going to be giant blocks of angry text!

IVF VS Adoption, making the decision

Here starts the flurry of posts where I try to go back to the very beginning and get us all caught up.  So, here is my experience in deciding how to go about becoming a mom.

I have PCOS.  If you haven't heard of that, it's a very common issue where instead of your body filling one hormone bucket to mature one egg every month, instead your body tries to fill several buckets so a single egg never really matures and thus doesn't get released and start the next round of hormones in your monthly cycle.  The primary symptom is a lack of or very erratic periods.  From day 1, I would go about 3 months between periods, then 6 months, then maybe 2 months, then maybe another 9 months.

So ever since I was a teenager, my brain made the connection that no period = no ovulation = no pregnancy.

For the next 20 years, I convinced myself that when it was time to start a family, I would go the adoption route.  It was far more altruistic.  My theory was that there are already children out there who need parents, why should I spend my time, money, and emotions going through the fertility processes when those same resources can provide for someone who already exists and needs them?  Sure, when I find my partner, we won't prevent pregnancy and see if we get lucky, but really, I was planning to adopt.

When my husband and I first started dating, I made it clear to him early on that if having his own genetic offspring was important to him, I was not the woman to fall in love with.  I assumed I could not provide that and would not be willing to go through the rigamarole of trying.  He has adoption in his family and made the decision that while it would be great if we get lucky, he wanted to be with me more than he wanted to continue his bloodline.

So fast forward to 4 years into our marriage and deciding it was time to start our family.  We started looking into adoption.  We met with one of the biggest adoption lawyers in Seattle (he went to law school with my dad) to go over what the various options were.  And the more we learned about it, the more disheartened we became.

The government agencies have tons of kids who need homes.  But they push so hard for fostering vs adoption that it makes adoption almost impossible.  We just don't have the emotional strength to bond with a child only to have it taken from us a year later and returned to a birth parent.

Private adoptions basically consist of birth mothers shopping for potential parents.  As potential parents, we become a product in a catalog and we have to market ourselves to try and get chosen.  We can try to find the birth mother ourselves or hire an adoption agency to do the selling for us.  I read articles about potential parents being so desperate to find a birth mother that they would leave a business card with a pregnant waitress to let her know they wanted the baby if she was considering adoption.  WTF???

And in the state of Washington, an adoption can not be legally finalized with a judges signature on the paperwork until 48 hours after the birth of the baby.  So we could easily go all the way through a pregnancy convinced that we would be getting a baby, only to have the mother change her mind 2 days after the baby was born and we would be shit outta luck.

And yet, we decided to go with adoption.  We narrowed it down to 2 agencies and started filling out the paperwork.  And I started dragging my heels.  Every time I went to fill in more the paperwork, I was filled with dread.  Dread of the whole judging process.

Every question on the form was a reason to not consider us as parents.  We're not a Christian household.  I have a history of mental illness (depression issues, no longer an issue due to sleep apnea surgery but yes, mental illness is on my health record).  We don't bring in much money and would need assistance financing the adoption.  With all of these strikes against us, how would we ever get considered by someone to give us their baby?  Like applying for a job, an employer limits their list of potential candidates by throwing out the obvious NO people first and then really evaluate the small list of people who were left.  We would be tossed out in that first round and never actually get to the interview process.

So then I talked to my husband and said ok, I'm in my mid 30's.  If I have a chance to get pregnant, we're coming up on the end of that chance.  Maybe we should do a little more medical investigating before we completely give up on that.  He said that's what he wanted to do all along but because he knew I didn't want to do that, he didn't want to pressure me by letting me know he felt that way.

ARGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!  I love my husband, but this is an example of one of the traits that drives me nuts!  He's considerate the point of lying by omission sometimes.  So I yelled at him a little bit for not telling me how he really felt and we made a doctors appointment.

**K just read this and disagrees with my version of events.  He says that we talked about it several times and that when he let me know his preferences, I basically blew him off.  This is entirely possible.  He probably did mention it and I probably did blow him off.  But I still stand by my assertion that he didn't really look me in the eyes and tell me point blank that he wanted to at least try some other options before we went to adoption.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What this is about

Welcome to First Time Twins!

I started writing this blog when I was 9 weeks pregnant for the first time, with twins.  And I was terrified.  Unfortunately, my fears were founded and at 18weeks and 6days, I lost my girls.  I don't have a lot of details yet about what happened, but it was an infection that lead to PPROM.  I've opted to continue blogging my journey to become a parent, even though it's not going well right now.

Despite the setback I'm experiencing at the moment, I still believe there's a Chris and Charley in my future and I'm writing, in great length and detail, about my attempts to bring them into my home.

But for now, here's the basic introduction.
Hi!  I'm Alex, age 35, and I'll be the mama around here.  I am a videographer by career and potter by hobby.  My video life is known as MegaMouth Productions and I make a lot of those advertisement videos you see on web pages.  In my pottery life, I'm known as UgaBugaBowls and I make functional and beautiful wheel thrown mugs, bowls, and other round things.  Feel free to stop by that shop if you're looking for a gift for someone.  It's all unique and with twins coming, I could really use some more customers!

K, age 41, is my husband of 5 1/2 years and will be playing the role of daddy which is pretty good casting considering that's who he actually is.  In his day job, he's a retail manager for a large chain pet store.  I'll refer to it as Pet Place for privacy reasons.  By night, he turns into the super hero, Comic Actor Man!  He's had some fame in regional commercials and acts on a regular basis in local theaters. 

We are pragmatic, down to earth, and a bit boring.  A good time for us would be a great exchange of wit, and we tend to be sci-fi watching homebodies.  There will be geekery in this blog as well.

Some other pertinent characters -

The Girls - Chris and Charley (Christina and Charolotte).  They aren't with us anymore, but I'm hoping they'll be back in one form or another.  They are my kids and I guess the first pair of bodies they were trying on weren't to their liking so they are out there waiting for us to try to create something more suitable to their lives.  If we can't provide those bodies, we may try to find them via adoption or fostering.

PR, DR, and AR.  They were my best friend family until the Mama Drama post happened.  I thought they were going to be major players in this blog, but oh well!  PR was my best friend for 4 years, a sister really, and then she flipped a bitch switch that really threw me for a loop.

Various cats and extended family members will be introduced as needed.

So here we go with the blogging experience.  Just to warn you, I have no boundaries. I will talk about sex, bodily functions, emotional freak-outs, and whatever else comes to mind.

I'm hoping that there will be a lot of comments, even if an article is several years old.  There is no topic too personal that I won't answer you fully if you ask me something.  And if you have some knowledge about a written topic and I'm too far along to benefit from your knowledge or advice, I'm sure someone else will benefit from it so please write it!