My Story

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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Year in Review

Another year that I'll be glad to leave behind.

Started the year out just coming out of the shock of losing the girls and having it hit me full force.  Wow, I'm in a much better place for this New Years!

The first few months were spent in desperate flailing, trying to figure out how to put one foot in front of the other on the path of life.  I was trying to find a job (never really happened), trying to figure out my next fertility treatment, it was just awful.

In spring, I got all introspective, writing all sorts of posts about my philosophies on various life subjects like how to communicate with your partner, how we measure pain, crap like that.  I guess we'll call that my pretentious phase.

Summer was all about failed FET's and massive dieting.  The IVF clinic had me on a roller coaster of false starts and arbitrary rules.  For a while there, every moment of every day was all about how to get the maximum energy from the minimum amount of food.  Calculating maximum protein per calorie.

And then the fall came.  One last full blown IVF attempt.  The do or die.  And I did.

Entering winter, I spent every day sitting in wet panties and going to the bathroom every 20 minutes to check for blood.  And it was often there.  Spent some time in the ER, had wayyyyy more ultrasounds than a person is entitled to, and just sat around, very tense all the time.

And now I enter the new year.  As I enter 2012, I also enter my second trimester with what I was mourning a year ago back in my belly.  It's been almost 3 weeks since my last bleed, and I got a brief moment of baby heartbeat on the fetal doppler yesterday.  I'm finally starting to chill out and actually live every day instead of simply endure it.

Dear 2012,

You have the potential of being the best year of my life.  The year that I look back on and smile about when I'm on my deathbed.  The year that songs are sung about.  Your cousins 2010 and 2011 did some nasty things to me.  The kind of things that ensure job security for therapists.

But generations have been anticipating you, ever since the Mayans made up that calendar.  Now I know that you've been raised to believe you're a bad seed, the end of the world, and all that, but I know you can rise above those expectations.  Just look at how your uncle, Y2K, turned out!  People talked smack about him for years too and he turned out to be really swell.

So you can do it.  You can be marvelous, heralded for generations as the year that the infertiles gave birth.  I know you can.  I'm counting on you.

Knocked up, not out

Thursday, December 29, 2011

It stinks in here

Ugh, I've got robo-nose to the extreme.  I pretty much always have a pretty good sense of smell, but when pregnant, I can't get away from it.

We have a cat food dish within 10 feet of where I sit for most of the day.  And unfortunately, it has to stay where it is.

You see, it has a prescription kibble in it for the one cat that gets a lot of UTI's (which he currently has one and has been peeing in new and interesting places, but that's another story).  It's ok if most of the other cats get into it, except for the one that's diabetic.  She has the opposite bladder problems so if she ate this food, it would make her sick.

So for over a year, we've been trying to figure out how to keep the food available to one, but not the other.  So we finally figured it out last week.  The UTI kitty likes to sit up on one of the cat trees.  Well the diabetic cat can hardly get her ass as high as the couch.  She just doesn't climb at all.  So we put the UTI food up in the cat tree where he now goes to eat, which is in the corner of my office so I get to smell it all day.

And I don't like air fresheners.  I'll use one if I have to, but I'd rather not.  It's just covering one icky smell with another.

But a couple of years ago, I made these garlic dishes.  Small dishes and the bottom is serrated.  Apparently you're supposed to grate the garlic on the serrated part and then put in oil so it becomes a dip for bread or something.

They've been sitting in a drawer untested all this time.

I grabbed an orange from the fridge, and swirled it around in the dish, and I now have the lovely scent of orange zest sitting on my desk!  And whenever the kibble starts to win, I just zest a different spot.  And when I run out of that, I cut up the orange.

I'm hoping to get 2-3 days of fresh smell out of this.  I'm feeling kind of brilliant and smug at the moment.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Twitter account

I just opened a new twitter account specifically for this blog.  I sometimes want to post random little quips or thoughts that don't warrant a full blog post, so that's where those go.

I feel so cheesy and needy saying this but, please follow me!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sonoline B Doppler

I got a new toy today.

I've really been debating whether or not I should get a fetal doppler.  On the one hand, hearing heartbeats can be very reassuring on a bad day.  On the other hand, user error and my own fat belly might make a heartbeat difficult to detect, thus turning a perfectly fine day into a panic attack.

I finally decided to buy it for a couple of reasons.

1)  My paypal account is where some of my pottery sales money goes and if it's under $100, I use it for play money.  If it gets over $100, I cash it out and pay a bill with it, you know, all responsible like.  Well, my paypal account had about $55 in it, and this thing cost $53, soooooooo......

2)  I've been so afraid to buy anything maternity related because of the fear that in the few days it would take to arrive, I might no longer need it, and its arrival would be a trigger.

So I bit the bullet, bought this thing, and I consider it a toy rather than a medical diagnostic device.  If it works, cool, if it doesn't, meh, maybe it will when I'm a week farther along or so.

We retrieved it from the mail and I had it unwrapped and directions open within about 30 seconds.  I glanced over them real quick then handed them to K to look over while I hit the restroom.

In accordance to the advice I've read from others, I laid flat on the floor and we used plenty of the included goo.  I told K to go ahead and press in pretty hard, cuz it's got a lot of belly to get through to try to find a very small noisemaker.  In fact, ok, I wasn't going to do this so soon, but you guys need an honest picture of what this machine was up against.  So please don't get disgusted but here is the belly pic we took on the day of 10 weeks.

And no, that is not a normal outfit for me.  It's a skin tight tank top, designed to be an undergarment, over a pair of leggings that I would never wear in public.  The half sweater thing I thought was cute for almost a whole day when I bought it and haven't worn it since.  I decided to make it a part of my belly pic uniform because the tank top was skin tight enough to display some nipple action and while you're all invited to descriptions of my private parts, I think visual displays kind of cross the line.  I mean really, no one wants to see that.

But now you know what that 3mhz probe was working through.

We located my own heartbeat several times, in several locations.  So put your mind at rest everyone, my heart is in fact beating today.

I took the wand and tried down around the crotch hairline, mostly on the left.  I'm not sure why I thought the left was the better side.  Maybe because that's where Dr. C found one of my girls when we tried this in his office at 10 weeks during my last pregnancy.  I also wanted to show K that he could press much harder than he thought he could.  After 3 or 4 minutes, I gave up and handed it back to him.

After another 4-5 minutes, and several locations of my own heartbeat later, we finally heart the faint sound of a much faster heartbeat.  It was located about an inch above the hairline, and significantly to the right of center.  It was faint, probably because the kids are kind of deep in there, but it was certainly a fetal heart rate.  The machine clocked it at 157bpm which is about right.  Honestly, I'm going to take the numbers of the machine with a grain of salt, so as long as it's within about 15 of what I expect it to be, it's all good.

We called it a victory and were done for the day.  We figured that finding 1 was good enough, trying to find a second one and making sure we weren't just getting the first one over and over again, well that was a bit too much to ask.  I'm quite satisfied with our results for the day!

I don't know how often I'll use this, but I feel better knowing that it's in the house.  If I find myself on that line of being scared, but not scared enough to think I have a valid reason to rush to a doctors office or ER, I have a tool at home that has the potential of putting my mind at ease.  I'm getting over the fear of missed miscarriage.  I think I'm far enough along at this point that if something were to happen, there would be physical indicators to let me know.

And as I start reaching weeks 15 and up, but before I'm far enough along to feel them move consistently, I can see this being a total sanity saver.   For right now, it's a toy.

Monday, December 26, 2011

I did stuff today! Now I need a nap

Pregnancy status - 11w4d and all's well.  It's been 2 weeks since my last bleed, a new record.

Ok, seriously now, when I do I get some energy back?  When I say I can't do anything, I mean I can't do ANYTHING.  I'm just too friggin tired!

I slept through most of yesterday, went to bed at a decent hour, got a full nights sleep (though not as deeply as when not pregnant), and I haven't been asked to expend any energy of any kind.  So I should be fully prepared to actually get off my butt.

K spent a good deal of time cleaning the kitchen today.  We have a huge kitchen counter that tends to become the junk platform of the house. It's conveniently located near the front door so everything we walk in with ends up on that counter.  Groceries, toiletries that made it into the house but not yet into the bathroom, my purse, random things that we use on a daily basis and just set down there for lack of anywhere else to put it.  K did a fabulous job of clearing it, finding a place for all of that stuff to go and then actually wiping it down.

My job was to go through the pile of accumulated snacks that he put into a corner and throw out anything I won't actually end up eating.  So I did that, and extended my work to a kitchen cabinet that tends to end up packed with crap.  I weeded out everything that was past it's "best by" date (which was the vast majority of the stuff) and threw out anything that I tried for a snack but didn't end up liking.  That cabinet is practically empty now.

So in this burst of accomplishing something energy, I decided to glaze a few more test cups to go in my next kiln firing.  That basically means just standing at a sink, painting cups.

That's it guys.  That's all I've done.  On my feet for maybe 45 minutes to an hour.  And when I decided that I needed to sit down again, I had to eat something right away because I was almost shaking from feeling weak and like I had over exerted myself.  I can only guess that I hadn't eaten much protein yet in the day and it was that absence that I was feeling and kind of reeling from.  I've since had some leftover ham and cheesy potatoes from Christmas Eve dinner at my parents and am now feeling like my normal, fat, lazy, sitting self.  I keep intending to spend a few hours out in the pottery studio, and I keep just not doing it.  And that's a fun activity.

Ya know, I'm pretty lazy in real life as it is.  Honestly, I didn't think a person could get much lazier than me.  But this feeling of hardly being able to move from my seat and getting tired after functioning on my feet for 30 minutes is just obnoxious!  At least I've gotten enough energy that I'm capable of staying awake for a full day, so that's an improvement.  But wow, I could really use another energy boost in general, cuz being both this tired and yet awake for this many hours per day = boredom central!

Christmas report

Christmas yesterday wasn't all that exciting.  As many of you know, I'm a complete scrooge and I kind of don't see the point of the holiday when there are no kids around.  I tend to be reminded of what I've lost over the year, and now that I have a genuine anniversary to remember just days before Christmas, I just don't enjoy the style of the festivities.  Parties yes, but red and green decorations with lights and Santa, no.

I don't understand having to buy presents for the other adults in your life.  If someone wants something, don't they generally just buy it for themselves?  And if you see something you think someone else should have, don't you normally just buy one for them and give it to them for the genuine joy of giving, no matter what time of year it is?  K works in retail (though not a store that has anything good for gifts) so he basically gets to watch society get more and more frazzled and stressed out as the month goes on.  It just seems that the stress far outweighs the joy.

My brothers family does big Christmas celebrations.  He's always been more excited about Christmas than I was, I started seeing decorating the tree as a chore pretty early in life whereas he was always excited about it.  My SIL's family goes all out, wrapping every little thing they can get their hands on.  That's kinda cool.  The fun is the unwrapping really so it's likely that we'll do mostly small gifts for our kids, but lots of them so there's lots of unwrapping, and then one or two big gifts.  They are also a Christian household so perhaps that has something to do with the enthusiasm.  But the difference isn't that they have kids and we don't.  They had the enthusiasm well before they had the kids.  Now they just have more family members who get excited.

So for those of us in my original family that don't have kids, Christmas kind of just becomes a second Thanksgiving.  This year, K and I went over to my parents on Christmas Eve with some of their closest friends and we did a potluck Thanksgiving style dinner.  The only difference in the meal between this and Thanksgiving was that someone brought a ham to go with the turkey.  And my parents are pretty much of the gift giving mindset that I am.  They seriously do not want more stuff in their house.  So I make sure that they get my undivided attention for a meal and some games since that seems to be the only thing I have to give to them.  They give their kids pretty much what everyone wants - checks.  We tend to take about 10% and buy something fun (I'll probably upgrade my phone) and then use the other 90% to do responsible things like pay down some credit card debt and make sure I get a full month of bills paid in advance so I can kind of have a month off.

Christmas morning, we went over to my brother's to give gifts and my parents stopped by for an hour or so as well. I'm glad I was able to find gifts that people liked, I think 3 out of 4 of the recipients liked them (nephew seemed to move on from his gift to the next one pretty quickly), but I do always feel a little guilty that I'm not in a financial position to give more than token gifts.  I did try to make sure the gifts were specific to the person, and something they might actually like, but I can't afford to give anything that someone might not just grab for themselves on a whim when out shopping.  They were very generous and got our household a Kindle Fire.  Totally awesome!  And I wish I were in a position to return that kind of generosity.

For having 2 kids, things were actually less chaotic than you might expect.  Whenever the floor became unfindable, they'd take a break from unwrapping gifts and do a clean up.  I'm very impressed that they somehow got the kids to go along with that.  Yes, both kids, ages 6 and 2, would stop with the presents to clean up for a few minutes!

We only stayed for about an hour because Frick and Frack decided that I needed to eat, and I needed to eat a lot immediately.  So we went out to Shari's to get some breakfast.  I had eggs benedict.  Yeah yeah, undercooked eggs - bite me.  I checked that the sauce was a mix and not raw eggs and they cooked the poached eggs a touch over done so they weren't as runny as they normally would be.

K and I got home around 1pm, all of our holiday obligations over, and we decided to put the Doctor Who marathon on TV in the bedroom and just chill out and snuggle until we got bored with doing so.  We woke up about 5 hours later.

Yes, when given a day to spend together and do whatever we want, we sleep.  All hail the most boring couple in the world!

While I enjoyed this holiday immensely, because yes, I really am that boring, I'm hoping our next Christmas will be vastly different with a million and one Kodak moments to try and capture.  I'm still not ready to start saying things like "this is the last Christmas of just the two of us".  Every time my brain goes there, I'm reminded of how I said those things a year ago and how they didn't turn out to be true.  But I got through this holiday season relatively tear free, and I consider that a win.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

One Year, Eleven Weeks

A year ago, I experienced the worst day of my life.  And oddly, I'm not really feeling it today.  I expected to be more emotional but I'm fairly blase so far.  I reserve the right to retract that and become a blubbering mess at any point of course.

Woke up early and had some orange juice because the sugar in orange juice makes babies wiggle.  I wanted to see as much movement as I could on the ultrasound.

Ok, so here's what's going on in there.  We have heartbeats of 161/164 and measurements of 11w0d/10w6d.  No, I didn't keep track of which numbers went with which baby.  As long as they're healthy and pretty much even, I don't worry about those details.

BUT, and with this pregnancy, there seems to always be a "but", I still have a decent sized blood clot that could bleed again.  I've gone 10 days without a bleed, which is a record, and we'll just have to see if that trend continues.  I was really hoping to see the hematoma all cleared up and no longer an issue, but no, it's still there.  It's not a disaster, and it's really fairly small, people have had a lot worse throughout their entire healthy pregnancies, so I just have to hope for the best.

So just as with every other appointment, I'm told that I have 2 healthy babies, but a blood clot to go with them, and we'll just have to wait and see.

Here's the best screen capture I could get that showed both babies and the blood clot all in one.  The main blood clot that they measured is that little dark spot at the top of the circled area.  I'm not 100% certain that the rest of those spots are clots, they might be something to do with the cervix.

Ok, pictures are great, but what we really want is VIDEO!!!  Here's the best 90 seconds or so of babies wiggling.

Ladies, please remember, for your own internet safety, edit your pictures and videos to crop out your personal information that's often splayed across the top of your ultrasound.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

By the way...

I took a belly picture at 10 weeks.  But I'm not going to show it until I can put it side by side with a pic taken at 16-18 weeks.  Why?  Oh, well, because I've never seen an early belly pic of someone who's starting out as fat as me.  My belly size currently has nothing to do with the twins swimming around in there and everything to do with my fondness for chocolate and hatred for exercise.

I have my belly pic taking uniform set aside so I can always wear the same thing for direct comparisons.  I only took a pic at 10 weeks so that if I get deep into the second trimester, I'll have something for reference to see if my shape is changing or if I'm still just the same kind of fat.

Plans for tomorrow

Tonight begins the anniversary of the ordeal of losing my girls.  I think I started realizing something was wrong around 10pm or so and we were heading to the ER by 11pm.  So I'm kind of gearing up for an emotional roller coaster tomorrow.

I knew that tomorrow would be one of my hurdles all along, but I think I'm approaching it pretty well.  It's a hurdle in that it's the anniversary so that's just hard.  And also because my brain associates 11 weeks with the beginning of the safety zone.  It seems like most missed miscarriages happen prior to week 11.  You hear a lot of "the baby stopped growing at 10w2d" but very few people report something like that beyond the 11 week mark.

I've been a very good girl.  I haven't gone in for some sort of emergency ultrasound in 8 whole days!  Aren't you proud of me?  So I decided to reward myself with an ultrasound tomorrow.  Hey, the doctor said I could!  Our schedule is pretty much every 2 weeks but he said if I feel I need one every week, we can do that.  So K and I decided that seeing my little monkeys tomorrow would probably help me get through a very hard day.

We have no reason to think anything is wrong.  I haven't had any bleeding and I'm generally achy around the middle which indicates growth.  But getting some visual confirmation that everything is fine will just make the whole day easier.  And if something is wrong, well, tomorrow is the preferred day of the year to get bad news.  I'd rather our family have one death day anniversary per year rather than two.

Okey dokey.  I'm gonna try to motivate myself to go into the pottery studio today and make some mugs.  My shop had a really good Christmas season and my shelves are looking a little pathetic.  Besides, I've been so lazy and unmotivated that I'm just bored.  Even with boredom as a motivator, I'm still having trouble getting off my butt and doing anything, but I'm going to give it a valiant effort today.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Time to cheer this bitch up

I've been awfully depressing lately haven't I?

Ok, while I'm still not saying that this is sunshine and roses, let's at least blog about something other than gloom and doom!

I had a pretty good selling month of December.  There's actually some room on my shelves for more pottery inventory, whenever I get the energy to actually make some more.

I've been awake during the day without a nap for 3 whole days now!  Major accomplishment.  Most days I try to do that and the moment I sit on the couch for a minute, I wake up 2 hours later with a cat on my lap and the best part of the day behind me.

The more forums I peruse, the more relationships that are described, the more grateful I am that I married one of the good ones.  Seriously, I knew he was special, I've always been grateful, but DAMN I didn't realize how freakishly rare a good man really is!  I just can't believe what other women put up with and consider to be normal.

I can smell EVERYTHING!  And I have 4 indoor cats.  Oh wait, I'm supposed to be cheerful.  Ok, back on track.

Sorry guys.  I really am in a decent mood today but I'm just not doing a damned thing lately so I have nothing to talk about.  I'm just starting to get a little bit of energy back (not much, but it's coming) so I'm hoping to start doing some pottery a bit.  As fun as my computer is, I'm pretty sick of staring at it.  I'm pretty sure I've been to the end of the internet and back a few times already.

Random Musings -

Survivor - what the hell Hantz Family?  Ok, so Brandon is a putz, and a nutcase who never should have passed the psych test and been allowed on the show, but at least his nuttiness has a good motivation behind it.  And you all hate him for it?  You love Russell for being an asshole and hate Brandon for trying to be a good guy?  We are SOOOOO going to be seeing Brandon on TMZ a month from now either taking out half the city from the clock tower, or as the victim of a pathetic suicide attempt.

Survivor part 2 - I agree with Ozzy's lessons from skateboarding that kids need to learn that they can survive a fall.  I was never allowed to fall, or bruise, or break a bone, and I think I'm a far more fearful adult because of this.  I hope I have the guts to allow my kids to get a few cuts and scrapes while I'm there to make it better and I don't protect them into oblivion.  That's my goal, but it's going to be a hard one for me to achieve.

Participation trophies are creating a society of mediocrity.  You don't need to excel to be rewarded, and those who do excel get no rewards beyond the participation, so why bother.  I hope this fad is done and gone by the time my kids are in school.

On a related note, just because your mommy likes your singing voice does not mean you are destined to win American Idol.  In the real world, someone WILL tell you "no".  The sooner kids learn this lesson, the better they are able to bounce back and move on to bigger and better things.

My cat is licking my hands and her breath stinks.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Illogical fear

I'm very aware of the fact that most of my fear during this pregnancy is completely illogical.  And I'm starting to realize why.

What happened to me, how I lost my girls, defies all logic.  What happened simply doesn't make any sense.

Basically, I thought I had eaten something that made me gassy and when I went to try to take a crap, I discovered that my body was trying to eject my pregnancy.  That makes NO sense.  I wasn't really in any pain, just uncomfortable.  The same uncomfortable that a person usually is when they eat something that makes them gassy.

And here's the main thing - there was no fluid of any kind before the sac started coming out.  There was no blood.  There was no liquid or discharge.  My body didn't break my water before trying to push out the first baby.  My body tried to eject my pregnancy fully intact.  That's not really supposed to be possible.

Had it been earlier in my pregnancy, had the babies been smaller, I could have very easily have dropped the whole thing right there in the toilet without really any effort.  The whole sac would have simply slid out of my body in one big blob.  It's only because they were big enough to kind of get wedged in there that I continued into labor (which eventually did become very painful).

So at 7 weeks (this pregnancy), when I felt a big clot just slide right out of me, and I looked in the toilet and saw an intact clot about the size of an egg sitting in there, well, of course that's what I thought had happened.  It's not supposed to be able to happen that way, except for me, in my first pregnancy, that's practically what happened.

I had some gas issues last night.  And as I sat there on the couch, being uncomfortable from gas, I watched the clock.  I was paying attention to see if the gas aches came in scheduled waves or if they were just random.  Fortunately, there was no pattern to them.  But this is how I'm spending every day right now.  Every abdomen ache has me watching the clock to make sure there's no pattern, that my body isn't doing a very subtle labor.  Every time I go to the bathroom, I wipe good and close so my fingers can make sure there's nothing trying to push itself out of me.

I know I should be grateful to be pregnant, and I AM grateful to be on the right track to finally bringing my children home, but this pregnancy is not fun.  I've never heard anyone accuse an infertile of not being grateful enough for being in the process of IVF so please don't accuse me of not being grateful enough to be pregnant.  Yes, I am, but that doesn't mean I have my children yet.  It simply means that I successfully got through the IVF struggle and have moved on to Struggle 2.0.

My attitude sucks right now.  Probably because next week is the anniversary of losing my girls and I'm terrified of history repeating itself.  If I get through this, then I'll start approaching the point in the pregnancy at which I lost the girls, and I'll again be terrified of history repeating itself.  What I'm really hoping is that once I get beyond that, once I'm at a point in the pregnancy where I'm experiencing things for the first time instead of just repeating my last pregnancy, my attitude will change and I won't be so scared all the time.  I'm hoping that there will come a time when I can enjoy this fully.

I am trying.  I really am.  But no, I haven't purchased the maternity bra that I need for sleeping because I'm too afraid I won't need it by the time it arrives.  And no, I haven't started rereading my pregnancy books.  And no, I haven't started following mommy blogs and parenting blogs because I'm still not confident that I'll be joining that community any time soon.

It was taken away from me suddenly, with no warning, and in a way that defies all logic the last time.  Intellectually, I'm realizing that what happened to me is really a one in a million chance occurrence.  It should not have been possible.  But that's the only life experience I have on the subject, so all the intelligence in the world can't convince me that it's not happening again at any given moment.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


OB1.  That's what they call the first OB appointment of the pregnancy.  Makes me want to wave my hand and flatly say "These ARE the twins you're looking for" in a male British voice.

I kind of cheated and saw my OB a couple of days early because I was bleeding and having an emotional meltdown.  I don't even know where Monday's meltdown came from.  The bleed was minor, much less than what I've seen before, and I got through the last one far more annoyed than upset.  Guess I had a hormone surge or something that decided to burst out my tear ducts for a few hours.  Oh well.  I've overreacted over lesser things in my life.

No ultrasound since I got one on Monday, but we did all the other basic testing.  "What was your weight before you got pregnant, for the baseline?"  Oh crap, ain't that a loaded question?  Well, 2 months before it was about 250, then it dropped to about 230, then it went up to 235 about the time I did egg retrieval and as I continued to stuff my face now that they weren't forcing me to diet like a mad person anymore, I'm pretty sure it was a solid 240 by the time anything had a chance to implant.  Choose a number, any number!  I'm sure I hit that number at some point in there!

I don't have a whole lot to report about the doctors appointment itself for a couple of reasons.

First, I've mentioned this before but there are new followers who don't know this about me.  For some reason, I just have a mental block on anything that happens in a doctors office.  I never remember it correctly or I forget most of it the moment I leave the room.  I don't know why.  That's why I take K to most of my doctors appointments, so I have someone to confirm things with later.  I consider what a doctor has to say to be pretty important and I'd just really rather have a second set of ears hearing things too so that I don't mix them up.

And secondly, Dr C confirmed that he does actually read this blog.  Hi Dr. C!  Soooooooooo, well, repeating what another person has said and having that person read your interpretation of what they said, that just never goes well.  He told me that he threw out the shoes that I brought up in a previous post.  Dude, you're taking fashion advice from ME?  Whoa, that really makes me call your judgment into question!  But, on the other hand, hmmmmm, do I have some power to wield here?  I wonder.... if I make fun of his thick black hair, can I make him go blond?  Muwahahahahahahaha!  Ok, that would be too evil.

But since you're here Dr. C, I have recommended you to some new to Seattle moms looking for an OB.  One of the reasons - you don't do that doctor thing where you put your hand on the door, obviously ready to leave as you say "anything else I can help you with?"  Nope, you sit there until the conversation is over and don't make a motion to leave until questions are answered.  Is this a new fad in patient treatment?  Because most of my life I've had older doctors who don't know their patients at all, or care, but both you and my GP who is about the same age seem to have a much more personal take on patient care.  Don't lose that as you get older and more know-it-ally.  So there's your patient feedback for the day.

Anyway, I think we're all pretty much on the same page.  He was pretty chill about the last pregnancy, very low key and trusting that things would go fine because no one could see any reason why it wouldn't.  I tried to mimic that and be just as relaxed about that pregnancy.  We can all agree, that didn't end well.  We are not relaxing this pregnancy.  I'll be going in for checkups every 2 weeks, he said we could bump that up to weekly if I feel the need to (I'm really going to try not to feel the need to), we'll be starting progesterone shots at week 16, etc etc etc.  We're going with overkill cautious this time and I'm totally cool with that.

We did do a swab to check that I've got the right balance of bacterias and apparently things are a bit out of whack.  So a week of antibiotics for me.  And here's the funny thing, instead of being upset that there's something that requires medication, both K and my friend KM reacted with a thumbs up, as if it's a really good thing to find this rather than it being kind of a bad thing that this exists in the first place.  One of the side effects of the antibiotic is potential diarrhea and considering how much I've been fighting constipation, I'm totally up for a bit of change of pace in that department.

Metamucil is disgusting btw.  There's just no hiding that crap.  I've tried mixing it with water according to the directions, only using half a dose, trying to hide it in orange juice since it's orange flavored, trying to hide it in a totally different but overpowering flavored fruit juice.  Just no go.  No matter how you mix that crap, it's thick and gross and I don't want to try drinking it anymore.  The Metamucil cookies aren't bad though.  And I've found some fiber gummies so when I'm done with the antibiotic, I'll give those a go.

Welcome to my Paranoia Pregnancy!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The cold, cold bed

K was potentially coming down with a cold last night so he was banished to the air mattress again.  Obviously, he was desperately missed.

Monday, December 12, 2011


The bleeding freaked me out way beyond all proportion.  I mean, most of my bleeds have been significantly worse than this one and I logically seemed to know that things were probably just fine.  And even so, I went a bit into overdrive.  I know, hard to believe, but yes, I freaked and asked to go in to my OB office for a peak at the monkeys to make sure hearts were beating.

Ya know the constipation I mentioned earlier?  Yeah, that's been a bit more traumatic for me than I've been talking about.  When I lost the girls, for about an hour, I mistook labor for constipation.  And there was straining on the toilet and things coming out where they shouldn't and feeling it with my hand.  Shortly after the toilet experience, the undeniable labor started which was pain all around my core.

So this last week, I had some major constipation.  I had some solids in there that took 2 full days of straining and pushing to get out.  Those entire 2 days, every time I pushed, well, ladies you know how when you've got something huge coming out the back, it kind of bulges the front too?  Yeah, I had that going on, so I had a very tactile similarity in my hand when wiping to last year when I was feeling the sac bulge out.  And all of the straining really caused my core section to be sore the last few days, including lower back pain, and every little ache has reminded me of the labor pain.

So heading to the doctors office this afternoon, I just kind of lost it, all sorts of crying in the car.  I'm 10 days away from the one year anniversary of losing the girls.  I'm pretty much in the same life situation I was in when that happened (pregnant with twins).  All the tactile reminders over the week.  And my body feels like it's heading on the road to the same destination I found myself at a year ago - dead babies.

I pulled myself together as well as to be expected and they were able to get me in for my ultrasound very quickly.  And the moment wanda was in place, there was Twin A waving at me as if to say "OMG Mom, would you calm the fuck down?  I'm right here!  Hellloooooooo!!!!!"  Twin B was much more chilaxed but just as healthy.  Heartbeats at 171 and 167, both measuring 9w1d (3 days behind just as they always have been).  They found a small subchorionic bleed, just over 1cm, and that things look good.

I didn't feel the need to talk to the doctor, the ultrasound gave me the info I wanted, but they had me wait a bit to talk to my good ole Dr. C.  I still feel kind of silly considering I've got my real appointment with him in 2 days but he really doesn't seem to mind.  And for some reason, even though I'd been told everything was fine, and even though I believed that everything was fine, I could not stop crying.  It's just been such a hard week and I'm so tired, and I can't handle this constant pattern of bleeding but fine.

So Dr. C comes in and I tell him that I don't understand why my brain isn't communicating with my face and making it stop crying.  He says I've got some PTSD going on.  That when he saw my name on his appointment calendar, even he had a mild panic flutter because what happened with me was professionally the worst day of his life.  So if he's having flashbacks, of course I must be having some major issues.  Yup, that's how I just LOVE to be remembered!

But really?  PTSD?  I kind of feel like I don't deserve that mantle.  Women have miscarriages every day.  And yeah, mine sucked, and ok, the experience was a bit more dramatic than what most women go through, but really?  Was it really such a uniquely horrific experience to warrant PTSD?  PTSD seems reserved for those who have truly witnessed/experienced horrific events, like soldiers returning from war.  How can what I went through compare to what so many soldiers are surviving day after day?  Was mine really that much worse than what other woman are going through every day?

Well, whether I deserve it or not, I seem to be suffering some effects from it.  I just can't fathom going into the new year still pregnant.  All signs point towards things being just fine, but my brain just won't go there.  And as the dates on the calendar swing back around to the same numbers they were when I lost the girls, so does my grief and fear and I'm having trouble understanding that this is a different pregnancy with a potentially different outcome.  I just can't help but feel like I'm simply repeating last December.

The babies are fine, but I'm having a really hard time of things.

***Update***  Just to give you an idea as to why I have a hard time believing I went through something so uniquely awful, I spent most of my life suffering from bipolar disorder.  So I was disproportionately miserable in relation to my circumstances.  So while my miscarriage was the most horrible thing I could ever imagine, I assume that other people have it worse and that my story isn't more horrible than anyone elses.  I talked to my dad.  My dad is a judge and his career has been determining various benefits for people (they've usually been denied benefits several times by the time they get to my dad so don't hate him, he's pretty awesome).  So I asked him if he thought that what I went through would warrant PTSD.  He says yes.  Soooooooo, if the doctor thinks so, and my dad thinks so, I guess it was pretty fucking traumatic and it's ok for me to be dealing with some lingering effects.

Monday Bloody Monday

Well, that was fun.  Several days of not wearing a pad and just being relatively happily pregnant.  Yup, sure did enjoy that.

Bloody wipe this morning.  That's the bad news.  The good news is that it was primarily brown and after cleaning up whatever had pooled during the night, so far it seems to have stopped again.  If this is all there is to this one, it will be the least severe of my bleeds (well, except the first one which was practically nothing).  But I've only been out of bed for 2 hours so it's likely there's a few more waves of blood before this is over.

I had a video job today.  Yup, I'm pretty sure these little suckers are kicking out blood right before I have to leave for video jobs on purpose.  Last time, I cancelled.  This time, I decided to go ahead and go.  The blood was pretty much over, and I'd only be out of the house for 2 hours at most, and I really don't want my rep with the company to start sinking because I keep cancelling due to "medical emergencies" right when I'm supposed to be headed out the door.  I had my video gear in hand, exited the house, came back in to let K know that I would give the cat her medication when I got back and my phone starts ringing.  It's the client.  Her assistant tells me that she's had a family emergency and needs to reschedule the video shoot.  Woot!  I get a small cancellation fee, and I get to sit home and wipe my crotch all day looking for changes to freak out about!

Called my OB's office.  My first appointment there is on Wednesday but I called and reported bleeding and asked if I could come in this afternoon.  I'm still waiting for a call back. I doubt I'll get in before my scheduled appointment.

I can't believe I'm still less than 10 weeks along.  Every day is just taking so freaking long!  The days aren't adding up together fast enough!  It feels like I've been pregnant and terrified for months now and yet I'm still in the "anything can happen at any moment" first trimester.

Screw this.  I'm going to get some decaf Starbucks and go back to bed.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

No news is good news

Haven't been around much because I've had nothing to report.

If I get through today, I'll have one full week of no bleeding.  I've gone the arrogant route and I haven't worn any kind of pad or pantyliner in days!  I'm loving it!

I was looking at one of my ultrasound pics and I swear there's the beginnings of a face in there.  What do you think?

Kind of looks like a slavine from Dr. Who but with more forehead.

Latest in lovely pregnancy symptoms - constipation!  Weeeeeeeee!

Ok, this is one of the reasons I'm pretty sure there's at least one boy in there.  With the girls, my tastebuds wanted vegetables.  Lots and lots of veggies.  This time, all dairy, all the time.  Looks like I'll be stocking up on spinach, eating a few prunes, and cutting down on the cheese.  Cracklin oat bran for breakfast this morning.  I might skip my prenatal today too because of all the iron it contains.  I've just really gotta loosen up what's going on down there.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Meet the monkeys!

I gots pictures!  I'll only post one because it's the best one and why force a bunch of mediocre blobbies in your faces.

Today I'm 8w6d and everything is looking good.  I graduate from the fertility clinic and move on to the high risk ob with an appointment one week from today.

While we can't say for sure that the bleeding is over, she couldn't find any clots that we could predict bleeding.  Does that make sense?  It still might happen, but we didn't see anything today showing that it will happen.  Ok, that sentence makes more sense.

Both babies are measuring just about right, the heart rates are between 155-160bpm which is perfect.  And the doctor saw them each wiggle (I didn't notice it).  While there are obviously no guarantees, things are looking as good as they can look at the moment.

On the symptom front, damn I'm a lucky bitch.  Pretty much done feeling queasy.  I sometimes feel a little bit of stretching in the abdomen which I love because it means they're growing, and I'm having some lower back ache from time to time, and I'm waking up constantly during the night.  But for the most part, yeah, I'm really lucky.

Ok, I partially wanted to get all this out so that people who don't want ultrasound pictures in their faces might have some text before the pictures show up on screen and I think that's enough.  So here we go!

Baby B is on the left and Baby A is on the right, and both are pretty much hanging upside down.  So we're back to calling them monkeys.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I think we're all still here

Fun, fun weekend.  The bleeding started, and it stopped.  I sighed in relief, so it started again.  It now appears to have stopped again.

It wasn't fun, but it wasn't the worst it's been either.  I was expecting a whole lot more.  I guess I must have absorbed a portion of it before it actually bled.

But as far as I can tell, everything should be fine.  I'm having some stretching discomforts in the very bottom of the belly and some constant pressure on my bladder so I always feel like I just finished a gallon of water, even when my bladder is empty.  It's really uncomfortable, but I'll take it.  If things are stretching, that can only mean that things are growing and need the extra room.  Things don't grow if they aren't ok anymore so I'm taking this as a sign that everyone still has a heartbeat and everyone is getting bigger.

Symptoms at 8w4d

  • Always feel like I've drunk too much water.  And like the weight of the fluid is pulling my abdomen down.
  • Minor stretching pains throughout the abdomen.  Pain is almost too strong a word.
  • Feeding has officially moved to the a few bites at a time, a lot of times throughout the day pattern.  I've told K to just cook dinner for himself and expect me to eat a few bites of his rather than have him cook for 2.
  • Still don't feel like I'm sleeping soundly.  But I'm sleeping more than usual.
  • Lots of dreaming.
  • I'm loving satsuma oranges.  I usually hate oranges.  But those are sweet and don't have seeds and I want more.  I think it's the citric acid that I'm finding so appealing.
  • I'm constantly going to the bathroom but I'm not sure if it counts.  I'm doing it more to wipe and see if there's anything there that shouldn't be there rather than to pee.  I've stopped flushing the toilet unless there's a significant reason to do so.  It was getting ridiculous flushing the toilet for 3 drops of urine and a piece of toilet paper all day.
  • My nose is full.  And I'm waking up with a really full yet dry nose which kind of makes for a sore throat until I get up and hydrated again.
Symptoms that have faded
  • Don't seem to be dealing with nausea much anymore.
  • Those major pulling twinges in the very first weeks are pretty much gone.
  • I have a little more brain power than I did those first couple of weeks, but I wouldn't say it's all back.
  • Boobs are generally fine and normal for me at the moment.

So that's where I am right now.  I'm hoping to steal an ultrasound picture from them on Wednesday.  Apparently they don't give them out anymore, but if I bring in a flash drive, they might transfer some over.  My doctor said they don't normally do that but with everything I've been dealing with, I've kind of earned it.  But it will be a different doctor on Wednesday than usual at the clinic so we'll see if this doctor agrees.  If not, I have my first OB appointment the following week and I've requested another ultrasound, ya know, cuz of the bleeding, so hopefully I'll get one from them.

As much as I'd like to say I'm done with the bleeding, I think it's reasonable to assume it's going to happen again.  It's been happening every 3-5 days for the last 3 weeks so I think I have to assume that this is going to be a fairly regular thing for the time being.  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I hate this


This morning seemed to be the end of the fresh blood.  Most of the day, the bleeding has been either brown, or just barely there with my system clearing out some final blood residue.

Just when I thought "Ok, that wasn't too bad" boom, bright red, fresh blood starting all over again.

And I'm 8w2d so it's expected that I would have mild cramps and twinges and gurgles and stuff.  Nothing has been painful, but every fucking twitch has me analyzing what it means and if it could be bad.  I can't determine what's normal 8 week stuff and what might signal disaster!

I'm not really having nausea anymore so the absence of that symptom makes me freak out.  However, the last couple of days, I've been feeling pregnant in that my abdomen has been heavy.  Am I potentially missing a missed miscarriage?  You know, the kind where your symptoms go away because the heart(s) stopped beating but you don't actually expel the fetus(es)?

As I sit here writing this, I'm having a small shooting pain on my waistline, about halfway between my belly button and my right side.

And apropos of absolutely nothing, I got a notice for jury duty in January.  AGAIN.  I fucking hate being forced into downtown Seattle during the potentially snowy season.  The last time I had jury duty, in the same building as this time, I got trapped on a bus for 5 hours because it began to snow hard on the way home and no one in this part of Washington can deal with it.  I didn't even make it home.  I finally gave up when we crawled onto the the exit that would take me to my parents house and had my dad come pick me up from there.  K was behind me in traffic so I just told him to meet me there and we spent the night at my folks.  To tell you how obnoxious this is, on an average day, it takes about 10 minutes to get from my parents house to my house.  But the traffic was SOOOO bad, and so refusing to move, that we were anticipating another 2-3 hours to travel those couple of miles making it pointless to try.  Yeah, I really want the potential of doing that again at around 14 weeks pregnant.  Assuming I can even get to 14 fucking weeks pregnant which right now I'm having some serious doubts about.

Unhappy Alex is Unhappy.

4 more days until my next ultrasound.

Friday, December 2, 2011

And here I thought I might escape

It had been a few days so I thought maybe my doing nothing for those days had changed my destiny in terms of the expected bleeding.


20 minutes before I'm supposed head out the door for the one video job I have on the books this month, I feel it.  That hot, wet little whoosh.  Head off to the bathroom and confirm, the bleeding has started.

I had talked to K about this last night.  The logistics I mean.  This bleeding is, in theory, nothing more important or difficult to deal with than an average woman's period.  So, do I go to work?  Or do I call in sick?  The plan was to go to work unless I was in some sort of pain or the bleeding was especially heavy.

I'm not following the plan.  I live about 15 minutes from the ER.  My video shoot is about 45 minutes away, and I'd be coming home at the height of traffic hour, having to fight through Microsoft traffic so it could easily be 2 hours stuck sitting in my car, bleeding.  And that's if nothing in particular goes wrong.

I called in and said I had a minor medical emergency.  Fortunately, they'll be able to reschedule my shoot for next week so I won't lose the gig.  I'm not expecting anything to happen, but I really want to be sitting at home, in my jammies, phone nearby to call someone to take me to the ER in case it does.

So, anything good on TV tonight?


Went into the clinic yesterday to get another blood draw to test my progesterone.  Also got circles drawn on my butt in case we're going to move on to the progesterone oil.

The said if my progesterone levels was 20 or above, we could discontinue the supplements.  Mine was 109.  Yes, 109.  Over five times what they wanted it to be!  Oh, and here's a little fun fact for you.  When you use the vaginal medication, it doesn't enter your blood stream.  It delivers the hormone directly to your reproductive system without having it absorbed into your blood stream so that 109 I'm looking at, yeah, that's what my body is producing WITHOUT any supplements.  All of the supplements I've been tolerating have been over and above that 109.

So I'll be weaning myself down over the next week simply because I don't want to surprise or shock my body at all.

But you know what?  I'm kinda pissed.  I contacted the clinic a long time ago and said I really hate these things, do I really need them?  They didn't test my levels.  I told them that it was a financial hardship so could I just get them a few days at a time until we decide if I need them or not.  No, they wanted me to get the full supply.  At least they were willing to give me a months worth of samples to offset the financial hardship.  But now that I'm not going to need them, I can't return them!  All that medication is going to go waste because they wouldn't test whether or not I actually needed a medication before insisting that I take the medication.

How many weeks worth of unnecessary medications, at $5 per dose, 3 doses per day, have I shoved into my body?

This is what I mean by I feel like I'm processed.  I don't feel like the care I'm given has a damned thing to do with me or my individual body.  Just so fucking indicative of everything I now hate about the clinic that was pretty awesome a year ago.

In other news, I chatted with the doctor quickly.  Asked her that if I haven't bled yet, does that mean my body is reabsorbing the clot?  She said if I don't bleed in about a week, that's what it would mean.  So there's still a perfectly good chance I could start bleeding any time now.  Lovely.  I'm going to be working for an hour at a very guy heavy facility and then I'll probably be stuck in traffic for an hour or two.  Guess what I think Murphy's Law is going to do to me later today.

Ultrasound in 5 days.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The answers to every internet forum question ever

Because I'm doing nothing right now, I have a lot of time to participate in internet forums.  Especially forums for pregnant people cuz let's face it, that's what I want to talk about right now.

People post so many life problems!  And oh my goodness are the answers so freakin easy that I don't understand why people are claiming these are problems in the first place.

So for the sake of efficiency, I hereby write a list of answers to every problem ever.  Be it a Dear Abby type of problem or a relationship problem, whatever, one of these answers will apply.

  • Say no.  End of discussion.  Reasons and why don't matter.  If the answer is no, just say no.
  • You don't have to be polite to people who are being rude to you.  Feel free to respond to that jerk accordingly and don't feel bad about it.  They were the rude assholes first, standing up for yourself makes you smart, not a jerk.
  • People on the internet can't diagnose your medical issues.  Call the damned doctor if your body does something that freaks you out.
  • You can Google it a lot faster than the rest of us can.  Ask Professor Google before asking us.
  • Move out and get your own place or tolerate the twit you live with.
  • Leave the bastard.  A good relationship requires good people entering it.  If he's a jackass or she's just a bitch, you can't fix it so get the fuck out.  If you always end up with a bitch/jackass, the other person probably isn't really the problem.  
    • Your kids will grow up to do what you do.  Don't tolerate a relationship that wouldn't be good enough for your kid or they will be doomed to repeat it.
    • If they make you feel like crap, there's no reason to remain friends/lovers with them.  Most friends aren't friends, they are just people we are in close proximity with and we call them friends for lack of actually choosing who we want in our lives as friends.  You are not required to maintain a friendship with someone with whom you have nothing in common and who's company you do not enjoy.
    • If at any point in the discussion of your problem you utter the phrase "but I looooooves him" you immediately relinquish all rights to be treated as though you have an IQ larger than your shoe size.
  • Do not sign it until you have read it and fully understand every line in it.
  • You can fix bankrupt, you can't fix dead.  Don't stay somewhere dangerous for financial reasons.
  • If it takes more than 3 sentences to describe all of the complicated factors in your problem because it's so intricate, no it's not.  It's pointless drama.  Grow the fuck up.
  • If the offer is now or never, go with never.  A good offer will still be available after you've thought about it.
  • Write like a grown up if you want people to respond to you.  I don't care how much your friends can read text speak, if it's not on your phone, it's stupid and you look stupid for using it.  Since we have no other way of judging you, you are being judged online by your writing skills.  Either get you some, or shut the fuck up and make room for the grown-ups to talk.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ending Endometrin

The doctors assistant called me today and it looks like I'll get to stop taking Endometrin very soon.

I was given 2 options, either start the progesterone oil shots now, or come in for bloodwork tomorrow to determine if I even need progesterone supplements at all.  They said if my progesterone level is above 20, there's no point in me taking anything.

Well duh, I want to know what my bloodwork says!  I think it's rather ridiculous that they just have you on the supplements without ever checking to see if you need them or not.  Extra medications can't be good for your body if your body doesn't need them, and it's certainly not good for the wallet.  I'm rather amazed that I'm almost 8 weeks into this pregnancy, with bleeding complaints, and twins, and no one has checked the level of this vital pregnancy hormone.

If my progesterone level turns out to be really high, I'll probably taper off the endometrin.  2 a day for a couple of days, then 1 a day, and then none.  The last thing I want to do is shock my body in any way by suddenly stopping a supplement.  If I do still need something, I'll probably taper down the endometrin while starting the shots.  Give my body a couple of days to get the progesterone fully into my system with the shots before fully stopping the suppositories.

Grrrr.  In 2 weeks I see my OB again and hopefully graduate to his care.  I just hate feeling processed by this clinic all the time.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

7w5d ultrasound

Woke up nice and early for my date with Wanda this morning.  Here are the results -

Both babies have caught up in size.  They measured 7w5d and 7w4d so yippee!!!  Heart rates measured 144 and 147 so those are perfect as well.  Woot!

They are definitely fraternal.  They are far apart, each with their own private survival system.  The placentas are attached in 2 different places, they are unlikely to ever fuse together or anything like that.  So in terms of gestational safety for twins, this is the safest twin situation.  As much as I desperately want to bring both home, there's some comfort in knowing that if something horrible should happen to one of them, the other one might still be saved.  Had this been the case with the girls, we might have brought one of them home.  Not very likely, but at least it would have been worth attempting.

Here's the bad news - I'm going to bleed again.  She found some blobs near the cervix that are likely going to dislodge and create some dramatic and scary looking bleeding.  Fortunately, these blobs are NOT where either placenta is located so it's most likely not going to affect the babies at all.  It will freak the fuck outta the mommy, but probably won't touch the babies.  The problem area is closest to Twin B.  Even though it's pretty far from B, if it gets more dramatic and causes some harm there, Twin A will still be quite protected from it.  But again, it doesn't look like it will touch either of them.

So I'm not looking forward to when that happens, on the other hand, I'm REALLY glad to have some warning.  It's going to make it so much easier to intellectualize instead of straight out panic when it starts.  I can know what the blood is, where it's coming from, somewhat predict how long it will last, and be fairly confidant that it's not disrupting the Maybies.  In logistical terms, I'll be able to flush it away without worrying about what it is that I'm flushing.

I told her that I've basically put myself on modified bedrest - I'm not in bed, but I'm not doing a damned thing either.  She said "that's probably wise".  I also told her about my video shoots this week and that my camera equipment is 15-20lbs.  She's not thrilled about that so we're looking at putting my equipment on a hand truck so I can roll it in from the car, and I'll take advantage of any gallantry that the men at the shoots choose to offer in moving the stuff around and loading it back into the car.

I talked to her about Endometrin.  I really don't like any foreign objects near or in my crotch right now considering I've lost to infection before, it makes me leak constantly so I'm wiping myself raw out of fear, and as far as I can tell, we haven't even tested my progesterone level to know if it's even necessary.  The concern is that if I stop taking it, or if I switch to the oil and that takes some time to absorb, my body might interpret the sudden drop in progesterone as the end of the pregnancy.  Sooooooo she's looking into some options.  I dunno, maybe taper down the endometrin while starting the injections or something.  But it's also something that is generally stopped around week 10 anyway so it might not be worth switching course for only another 2-3 weeks.  We'll see.

I also asked how a huge clot is able to escape through the cervix intact.  She said that it's likely the blood leaked through the cervix, pooled in the vagina and clotted there before passing.  So that explains that!

Overall, she's very pleased with everything.  She says I've dropped to the 5% or lower chance of MC category which I just can not wrap my head around.  My brain simply can not make the switch from "maybe" to "probably".  Especially with so much bleeding that's already happened, and knowing it's going to happen again.  The good thing about the bleeding - it means I get to look in my little guys a LOT more often than I would without it.  I have another ultrasound scheduled for next week, and I should call my OB and schedule my first appointment with him for a week or two after that.

So I'm having a pretty decent day!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Still standing

Not much to report but you've all shown so much concern (thank you!) that I feel I should give everyone an update.

For the last 24 hours or so, I would describe any discharge or blood when I wipe to be of the "residue" category.  Brown, not much there, but it's consistently there.

I'm still doing the endometrin so I CONSTANTLY feel like I'm leaking.  I'm trying to limit myself to 1 wiping check per hour because any more than that and I'm going to wipe myself raw and that's a whole other category of discomfort.

Told one of my bosses today that I'm not going to be working for a while.  The doctors said it was fine to do pottery, but I also noticed that on the days I did nothing, no bleeding.  On the days I spent a lot of time at the wheel, bleeding.  So doctors be damned, I'm not doing it until I feel somewhat secure again.

However, my video work is picking up.  I currently have 2 video shoots scheduled for this week and the company that I get the gigs through called me to see if they could book another one on Thursday for me.  That's fine, but they need to call the clients and make the schedules work, I don't want to deal with that.  I know that sounds like work, but really, it's not that strenuous.  I interview someone on camera for a half hour and then I film them doing what they do for 45 minutes or so.  The rest is spent sitting at my computer putting it together.  I'm kind of looking forward to the one on Friday, it's a go-kart racing place.  So there should actually be some fun stuff to shoot.

In pregnancy symptom news, most of it has faded away.  Currently 7 weeks 4 days.

  • My digestion always has a general "not right" feeling to it.  A little on the hungry side, a little on the full side, a little on the queasy side, it can't really decide what side it wants to be on so it's on all of them at once.  But only a little.  
  • When I get hungry, I become starving all of a sudden.  
  • Oh!  Spent about 5 minutes last night sitting in front of the toilet wondering if I was going to have a repeat performance of Thanksgiving morning.  We really need to sweep the bathroom floor.  
  • I don't really get cramps anymore, but rather the occasional odd gurgle.  
  • Shoulders and upper back burn most of the time.  Don't know if that's a pregnancy thing or not.  
  • I seem to be low grade tired all the time, but never solidly sleep.  I seem to be up peeing all the time, or just on the verge of being awake at any given moment.  I don't feel like I'm really soundly sleeping.
  • It still has no dawned on me that there's a chance I'll make it past 10 weeks.  I'm not sure why.  On the other hand, I can't fully picture going through a miscarriage either.  So I have no hunches as to what's going to happen with this pregnancy.  For once, I simply can't figure out the future.

For the most part, I sit here, just kind of holding still because I'm afraid to jostle anything loose, playing cards on the computer, feeling like I'm leaking, and waiting until the hour goes by so I can see if it's endometrin goo or blood flowing into my underwear.  Real exciting life I've got going on here.

Question about bleeding while pregnant - if the cervix is closed, how does the blood escape?  Isn't that like trying to pour water out of a bottle with the lid screwed on?

Ultrasound tomorrow.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Went to the ER Bleeding

It's never 9am on a Monday morning that these things happen.  No, it's always 10pm on the Saturday of a holiday weekend.

Last night after a late dinner, I went to the bathroom to check in the moisture I tend to feel in my undies every hour or so.  That's endometrin for you.  You always feel like you just started your period but it turns out to be a clear, white nothing.

Not this time.  I had soaked through my pantyliner and when I was on the toilet, I dropped a major clot.  I could seriously feel it slide out of my body and when we looked at it in the toilet (yes, I made K look too because I was that freaked) it was something about the size and structural integrity of a full egg yolk.  It looked like some sort of animal kidney or liver that my parents used to feed our cats when I was little.

Here's a logistical problem that you face when something like this happens.  Do you flush the toilet?  Seriously!  What does a person do here?  We opted to not flush the toilet in case it was something that would need to be retrieved for some sort of testing.

I called the clinic and got my call back from the doctor on call and was given the choice of going to the ER or waiting until the morning and getting an ultrasound at the clinic.  Uh gee, let me think about that, BYE!  And off to the ER we went.

Let me tell ya, when you're 19 weeks and in labor, there's a whole lot more rush on your behalf than when you're 7 weeks and bleeding.

I got all checked in, blood pressure, temperature and oxygen levels measured, and was told to wait, so we waited.  I needed to pee.  But I was really afraid of what I would see if I took my pants off so I held off for a while.  When I finally went, there was still blood, but it wasn't as bad as it had been before.

During all of this, I'm trying to come up with a logical explanation for what's going on.  I'm convincing myself that whatever was in the toilet, if it was a gestational sac, it was only 1 of the sacs.  And that the other one could still be in there and just fine.  I'm basically preparing myself to be told that we've lost one and trying to psych myself up to believe that the other one is fine.

Finally, after about a half hour, we head back to a room and I'm told to strip down.  They set up an IV in my hand and take some blood at the same time.  The IV was a precautionary thing, they didn't actually attach me to any fluids, they just wanted the IV in place so that should I need something later, there's no delay in getting it into my system.  On a side note, every time I've typed IV so far in the post, my fingers automatically finished that to read IVF.

Then there was another half hour or so of excruciating waiting.  Bear in mind, that I'm shaking this whole time.  It was a combo of sugar/caffeine from the real coke I had with dinner and panic.  But that kind of tense shaking is not comfy.  While I pass the time inspecting my hair for split ends and color variations, K just sits in the chair next to me and silently waits.  I don't know how he does that but somehow he does.

FINALLY, the ultrasound tech retrieves me and my bed is rolled into a dark room for a date with Wanda.  But first, they do a topical ultrasound to check my kidneys.  WTF?  Ok fine, have a friggin kidney, but the doctor and I clearly have different priorities.  After we've established that I have kidneys, Wanda shows herself and here we go.

I see 2 sacs as the technician takes a quick look around.  I can see that one of the sacs clearly has something inside of it, the other one, can't see as well.  But regardless, it's there, and that means it's not at home at the bottom of my toilet.  But every time she glances at what's in there, she takes a still picture which pauses things so I can't clearly see if there are beating hearts.  We occasionally think we see some hearts fluttering as she passes by and this is reassuring, but it's not clear.

The tech is extremely thorough.  Much more thorough than the ultrasounds I get at the clinic.  They check both ovaries, including the blood flow through the ovaries.  And finally, fucking FINALLY, she focuses on the gestational sacs and start getting some good looks inside.

Of course, the tech is legally not able to give any conclusions of any kind, but fuck, we're IVF patients, we know what the fuck we're looking at.  And we are looking at Twin A's beating heart. YES!!!  All sorts of measurements get taken and I'm seeing ages like 6 weeks 5 days coming up on the screen.  And we move on to Twin B.  And Twin B is indeed right where it's supposed to be.  And there's beating heart number 2.  OMFG YES!!!!!  I start seeing measurements like 6 weeks 6 days on the screen.  And now K and I are babbling back and forth about how much growth we've seen since my ultrasound a whole 4 days ago and trying to make various diagnoses with each other since the tech is not allowed to join in.

As the panic starts to subside, we head back to my room to await conclusions.  Every so often I still need to wipe and I'm still bleeding a little bit.  A doctor comes in and determines that we're not going to do a pelvic exam, the ultrasound gives more info anyway and why introduce anything up there that doesn't need to be there (thus validating my no penis, no fingers policy during this pregnancy).  I'm told I can go ahead and get dressed and so oddly enough, that's what I opt to do.

After another bit of waiting, the doctor comes in with all sorts of results.  There's some blood in my urine sample (duh) but otherwise it looks fine.  My bloodwork all came in just fine.  And my ultrasound, things look as perfect as they can be.

WTF?  How is that even possible?  How can that much blood, a clot that size, exit my body, and you can't find any evidence of where it came from or what the hell it is?  10 days ago, I passed a clot that was like a smushed pea and they could find the gap where that had come from, but you can't see where a clot the size of an egg came from???  I tell him that I'm picturing all of the lining of my uterus just breaking off in bits and pieces and eventually the piece that's holding one of the sacs in place is going to come out taking the sac with it.  The doctor said that's not what's happening.

Here are the final baby conclusions.  I'm told that the best indicator of fetal strength is the heart rate.  The heart rates are 137bpm and 139bpm - very strong.  So that's really good.  The doctor also says that size and age measurements are not exact sciences at this stage so take those numbers with a grain of salt.  Regardless, we're at 6w5d (Twin A) and 7w0d (Twin B) which is 2-4 days behind actual age, but significant growth from last Tuesday so I'm good with that.

I was told that if I bleed through 2 pads an hour, that's panic time.  But if I have something to panic about before then, I can come in any time and peek in on the kiddos.  I'll likely be doing that every couple of days because I seem to be bleeding significantly every couple of days.  I woke up this morning to quite a bit of blood, but it didn't soak through a pad, and as of 9 hours ago, the kids were fine so I'm sucking it up and not panicking.  Yup, see this face, this is a non-panicking face.  No really, it is.  I always look like that.

When I went to sleep last night (after flushing the toilet guilt free), my big boy kitty was under my arm, my smaller boy kitty was under my other hand, and my mini girl kitty, who never comes up on the bed at night, she was sleeping on my belly.  She was still there when I woke up this morning.

For the next few days, I'm not doing jack shit.  No pottery, no dishes, no nothing.  I'm either sitting or lying down.  Intellectually, I'm fully aware that there's nothing that I'm doing to cause this bleeding, but I don't give a hoot about reason.  I'm sitting here, feeling like I'm having a period and it feels awful.  My brain simply can not wrap itself around the possibility that with all of this bleeding, I might possibly make it out of the first trimester still pregnant.  That just doesn't seem possible.

I'll be keeping my Tuesday ultrasound appointment at the clinic.  Yes, I'm likely going to look in these little ones every 3-4 days because they are scaring the bejebus outta me.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Schrodinger Babies

For those of you Big Bang Theory enthusiasts, you're probably aware of Schrodinger's cat.  But for those who don't watch nerdy sitcoms, the best explanation I've found is at and it goes like this:
In his original thought experiment, Schrodinger imagined that a cat is locked in a box, along with a radioactive atom that is connected to a vial containing a deadly poison. If the atom decays, it causes the vial to smash and the cat to be killed. When the box is closed we do not know if the atom has decayed or not, which means that it can be in both the decayed state and the non-decayed state at the same time. Therefore, the cat is both dead and alive at the same time - which clearly does not happen in classical physics.
So in theory, the cat is both dead and alive at the same time.  The only way to determine which is true and which is false, you must open the box, thus ending the experiment.

Every day that I'm not looking at an ultrasound, I feel like that's what's going on in my belly.  And about an hour after an ultrasound is done, whatever truth was determined becomes theory again and we're back in Schrodinger land.

Every moment that I feel halfway decent, I feel like it must mean all my symptoms are gone and thus I'm doomed.  So while barfing wasn't entirely pleasant Thanksgiving morning (that's the only barf so far, made it through dinner just fine), at least it was a symptom escalation which gave me some security.  But since then, I'm pretty much ok.  A little tired.  The occasional queasy but it's not very often.  Still have a firm belly under a squishy layer of fat.

All in all, I'd rather be barfing.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Today of all days

In my last pregnancy, no morning sickness.  I got a bit queasy, and I think I spit up a little bit once, but not a single proper barf.

Things appeared be going the same for this pregnancy.  Until this morning.  Shortly after breakfast, bye bye breakfast.

So of all days, it happens on the one day a year I'm planning to gather with family and stuff my face?  This should be a swell afternoon/evening.  I hope I don't create an awkward situation for the rest of the family considering the main bathroom is right next to the dining room.

But, this is a sign of a major fetal growth spurt, right?  Just looking for reasons to believe that things are starting to go really well in there.  I'll take whatever straw I can grasp.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Puke bucket

I've been keeping a puke bucket at my bedside, just in case.  I have yet to use it and probably never will.  Someone else has decided it shouldn't go to waste.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mixed reviews

This appointment was supposed to make me feel all better and prove what a silly git I am for panicking.

It didn't.

I still have the clot that was the cause (or result?) of my bleeding last week.  It seems to be stable and not getting any worse, so, yay?

These kids are really far apart in there.  Gives me hope that they are fraternal.  My girls were right on top of each other from the very beginning.

So the doctor started by focusing on the one that was easiest to see.  And it's measuring a few days behind.  The largest measurement we got was 6 weeks 2 days (I should be 6 weeks 5 day) and she measured several times.

The other one was really difficult to see.  I guess it's just really far up there so the ultrasound waves have to travel farther making the image fuzzier.  As she was trying to get a good look, there were some fear moments that maybe it was just the sac and there was no baby inside.  But she did eventually find it and confirm a heartbeat.

Both have heartbeats.  No, I don't know what the rate is.  I'll probably get details like that when the nurse calls me later and I'm in a better frame of mind to ask questions.

But what scares me is that we're in "wait and see" mode.  I said "so it's not time to start celebrating yet?" and she replied "I'd hold off a little bit".  Fuck.

Everything was so perfect with the girls, just absolutely textbook, that anything less feels insurmountable.  This time there's spotting, a few days behind in growth, clots.  How on earth am I supposed to have any faith that this is going to work out ok when absolutely perfect went to shit?

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Natural Pessimism

Oh, THERE you are attitude of mine!  I've been wondering where you've been.  I was so happy pappy that I thought you might have abandoned me.

The last few days I've been filled with my usual fear and pessimism.  Here are the "symptoms" that are sending me to doom and gloom land.

  • Putting in my endometrin - it used to hit resistance that was a bit sore which I would imagine was the closed cervix.  The last few days, it doesn't seem to be hitting anything and it's going in a little farther.
  • I'm not waking up nearly as starving as I had been.
  • I've been feeling a little oogy, but the morning sickness has calmed down.  The queasy hasn't disappeared, it's just not the issue it was beginning to be.
Last night really freaked me the hell out.  I woke up at 3am (why do these things always happen at 3am?) and I was getting some cramps.  Nothing horrible, just the kind that send you to the bathroom to either poop or fart to relieve.  The problem is that they kept rolling over me for an hour.  It felt like a very miniature version of the labor I went through with the girls.  I'd try to have a bm, head back to bed, within a few minutes of lying down, I'm back in the bathroom with the same cramps again.

Around 4am, I woke up K to keep me company.  This had been going on for an hour, he didn't have to work today, and I was lonely and scared.  

I finally evacuated a very soft but significant bm and for the most part, that was the end of it.  K and I stayed up for about an hour watching Dog Whisperer before I tried going back to sleep.  We are really hoping that all of that was caused by the pizza we had delivered for dinner.

The only scary symptom I haven't had is blood.  I've been checked out since the last time I had any type of bleeding and things were fine, and I haven't seen any since then.  

Oh, by the way, for those of you who freak out like me - don't eat beets. They turn your urine somewhat red as well as your poo and when you're studying everything that comes out of you for signs of red, that's just a cruel joke you're playing on yourself.

But I can't help but think that I could very well be one of those people who goes in for their ultrasound and find that the fetus stopped growing a week ago and there's no heartbeat.  My brain seems to have decided to accept and prepare that this is exactly what's going to happen on Wednesday.


I emailed my "symptoms" to my nurse and they are going out of their way to get me seen as soon as possible which turns out to be tomorrow at noon rather than the appointment I already had for the following day.  They aren't getting me in all quick because they sense some emergency, but rather as a courtesy to make the paranoid freak feel better.

She checked with the doctor and he says that the cervix thing, yeah, that wouldn't happen.  I'm pretty much imagining that one (YAY!).  The rolling cramps are a bit of a concern, but I've had that before when I wasn't pregnant, K has had that, so it's reasonable to hope it was just bad pizza.  As for the not waking up starving like I was and not being as sick as I was, maybe a concern, maybe just fluctuating  symptoms that are perfectly normal.

So I'm generally doing the "ultra paranoid, going to drive doctors nuts" thing.  During the first trimester, there's always a 50/50 chance that there's reason to be afraid and a 50/50 chance that it's stupid to be afraid.  I warned my doctors that the happy go lucky, just chill and trust that it's ok, chick that they met last time was gone and boy was I right about that!

However, if something is wrong, I would like more than 24hrs to deal with it before doing a major family holiday.  I'm feeling hopeless, ridiculous, completely silly, and scared all at the same time.

Friday, November 18, 2011

This is different

I know it turned out fabulous, but yesterday was a really rough day.  I spent half the day convinced that I was about to head back to miscarriage misery and that took a lot out of me.  Spent most of the rest of the day kind of shaky coming down from the fear adrenaline.

I really want to thank everyone for coming out of lurkdom to say hi and give well-wishes.  So many of you left comments and chatted with me on my chat widget and it was just great to hear from everybody!  Thank you!

I was hoping to chill a little bit before having anything new to report but not so lucky.  FToday, for the first time, I'm experiencing morning sickness.  I think I'm still really far on the lucky scale because it's not horrible or anything, but it's not pleasant.  So far, just one trip to the toilet and it yielded very little.  But I'm kind of afraid to eat anything now.  I've got my hair back in a ponytail and an extra little garbage pail lined with a plastic bag sticking near my feet just in case cuz it hit me rather suddenly before.

I was supposed to catch up on some pottery today.  I'm wondering if I'm going to be able to handle watching stuff spin.  I'm going to give it a try but I have a feeling I'm not going to last very long doing that.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

First Time Twins, Take 2

We found the source of the spotting.  Under a gestational sac there was a little tear.  Apparently something about as the placenta entrenches itself and grows, it sometimes tears a little bit of the lining, or something like that.

Honestly, I missed some of the finer details of the explanation.  I was a little busy reacting to seeing 2 gestational sacs with yolks and fetal poles, firmly attached, and currently at the right size.

Apparently those little tears and thus a little bit of spotting is more common with twins.  We don't know if they are identical or fraternal, but each has it's own individual sac which is a really good thing.

In six days when I go to my regularly scheduled ultrasound and we can see the heartbeats, dancing in the streets shall commence.  Right now, I'm just kind of shaky.  A little bit of coming down from fear, and a little bit of being elated at twins again.

I'm almost ashamed of myself for being SOOOOOOOOO fortunate to get this kind of lightening strikes twice do-over when so many others are struggling.  I feel like a Survivor contestant who's won a reward and gets to pig out on all sorts of goodies in front of the other starving contestants.  I'm thrilled for me, and just so sorry that I can't spread the wealth around.

Well, for the moment, it looks like this blog will be able to fulfill its original purpose - to document becoming parents for the first time to twins.  Please, let me get it right this time.


6 weeks today, and I woke up to wipe some red goo from myself.  I'm bleeding a little bit.  More than a "huh, is that blood?" but less than a period.

K says he remembers me spotting last time too.  I do not remember this.  I remember debilitating cramps that made me unable to walk for a day, but I don't remember spotting.

Emergency ultrasound in 4 hours (2pm PST).

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bloggin 'Bout Da Boobies

My boobies are starting to fascinate me.

They've decided that they want to be round now and about a half cup bigger.  If they were generally bigger and rounder, I might actually get some cleavage.  While they've got some impressive mass to them (I am a fat girl after all), all that mass is kind of far apart so a cleavage line takes quite a bit of leaning forward, like on my hands and knees, or a roll of duct tape.  But no.  My boobs have decided to add all of their extra side and roundness to the outside of the boob, giving them the appearance of being even farther apart and they're trying to take up residence in my armpits.

They've also decided to get this weird feeling as if there are needles dancing inside of them.

I've got a little bit of soreness, but nothing that makes me truly wince.

K is both loving and really hating this change.  He's loving that I come up to him, lift my shirt, and ask "are these bigger than yesterday?  No really, put your hand there, they aren't usually that round are they?"  But he's kind of hating that because we're abstaining and because they're a little sore, he can't do a damned thing with said boobies.  He inspects visually, double checks size and shape with his hands, and then he has to go back to video games on the computer.

Yeah, I'm a bitch.


Monday, November 14, 2011

More random things

My lists on the Day of a Dozen Things got long so I cut it off there and figured I'd do my pregnancy updates and interactive stuff in a new post.

KM gave us 2 really awesome shelving unit thingies.  This is one of them -

I love shelving things like this that kind of work as functional wall art.  We have some smaller versions of this kind of thing over our bed replacing the need for a headboard.  While this picture doesn't so it, part of it is painted in the same yellow as the nursery.  I'm thinking that they would actually go really well in the nursery, especially if we have 2 kids in there.  One to store each kids individual things.  Of course, we can't put them up until we know what furniture is going to go in there and how it's going to be arranged, so it looks like we have more things to generally pile in that room for the time being.

Random pregnancy notes:

Waking up starving every day.  Who am I kidding, I'm starving all the friggin time.  In fact, I'm gonna go make me a sammitch before finishing this!

Endometrin is evil.  It just is.  Every day I feel like I'm having my period a few hours after putting this stuff in because it just kind of melts back out of you.  And that of course hits my panic button sending me to the bathroom to double check that it is in fact endometrin goo and not something with color to it.  This also means I'm going through packages of pantyliners like crazy.  I insist on changing them every time I pee (every hour or two) because the only thing we can figure from the miscarriage is that perhaps the pads that I was wearing due to incontinence weren't getting changed often enough and that lead to bad things.

My upper back hurts just about every evening.  Probably because I've been doing a lot of pottery for my boss.  But also possibly because I can't seem to get comfortable at night.  That's probably not a pregnancy thing since I'm waaaaayyyyyy too early for comfort issues, but I sometimes just go through a few weeks where I can't seem to get comfortable at night.

Getting the occasional pinch the abdomen.  Usually when I stand up after sitting for a while and it gets mad at me for not stretching it slowly.

The taste buds are starting to change.  This is both a good thing, and a frustrating thing.  Last time, it forced me to eat really healthy.  But it also means that I have no idea what to grab from the fridge because I don't know if it's going to taste the way I expect it to taste.  My usual grande 3-pump white chocolate mocha has been changed to a 2-pump (in other words, half the amount of syrup that's supposed to be in it) because otherwise it's way too sweet and oily.

My flabby fat tummy has a firmness, like a firm bag underneath a layer of floppy fat.

My two younger kitties have been sitting on my belly like it's their responsibility to try to hatch this egg for me.  And just for the hell of it, and because I think they're so damned cute, here's a reminder of who those particular kitties are.

Jipsee, the mini kitty, and her tongue
Mayday in one of his favorite poses

In general, I'm in a better mood than usual.  I'm still tired and kind of unmotivated to do stuff, but when a good song comes on the radio, I'm starting to dance a bit while lip syncing.  This is not normal Alex behavior by the way.

I just really want time to go by a lot quicker.  So many people on the miscarriage boards talk about how they lost their baby in the 5th and 6th weeks, I just really want to get passed those already.  Especially since I'll be seeing just how many heartbeats I've got beating in here the day before week 7.

And now for the interactive part of this blog post.  2 things.

First - does anyone have any use for mini dv tapes?  I have probably about 100 of them that I've used once but because clients really prefer that you pull out a brand new one when filming them, I'll probably not have the chance to use them again.  I've blacked them so there's no actual footage on them.  If anyone out there has a camera that takes mini-dv tapes, I'll sell you as many as you want for 50 cents a piece plus shipping.

Second - I'm thinking of redoing how I do pottery.  In the past, I've just made whatever I felt like making and sold the results.  I'm thinking now of narrowing it down to about 4 shapes, offer each shape in 2 sizes.  Making a gross of them, leaving them unglazed and then people can request whatever glaze combinations they want when they order them.  It would take 4-6 weeks for delivery.

I'm thinking of setting up my own website for this kind of ordering and then all the random stuff I make, the one off items, I'll throw into my Artfire store as kind of my destash.  That would allow me to make things as I experiment with different glazes and new shapes but leaving my own website store nice and clean with the consistent product lines.

What do you guys think of this idea?  It would allow me to do a ton of throwing right now so that when I implemented it (around the time the baby(ies) born), a lot of the time consuming work would be done.  And please, tell me about your favorite coffee mug.  What's the glaze like, what's the shape, what's the size?  What makes that mug the one you reach for every morning?