My Story

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

Friday, March 16, 2012

Oh wow, a whole week already?

Sorry guys, I'm not sure what's keeping me from posting.

Every day of this pregnancy dragged on endlessly until I passed that 19 week mark that I was so afraid of.  Ever since then, time has been flying by me.  I realized the other day that I'm a full 4 weeks longer into this pregnancy that I got into the last one.  It took so long for me to break even, now that I have, it's just flying forward at break neck speeds.

I'm at 23 weeks now.  I think it's official.  There's now no way out of this pregnancy other than to give birth.  Ack!  I'm really motivated to keep these kids in as long as possible if for no other reason than to put off that terrifying experience!  But we've made it.  If this all goes to hell tomorrow, the doctors will still try to save my girls.  Another week, and they'll have about a 50/50 chance of succeeding.  It only gets better from there.

I've spent a good deal of this week with doctors.  Apparently the issue with IVF babies is there's an elevated risk of heart defects.  So I spent Wednesday getting an ultrasound for over 2 hours.  UGH!  Ok, I realize that this sounds so wonderful, to get to watch your babies for 2 solid hours.  But seriously?  It gets old.  Especially when the technician is moving the wand around so fast that you're looking more at the camera movements than the babies movements.  Most of the appointment was about the hearts so even if I wanted to look at cute babies for 2 hours, 90 minutes of that time was spent just looking at hearts beating in extreme closeup.

I did get 2 decent pics though.  We got a good face profile, and when they were trying to measure the belly of one baby, the foot of the other baby kept getting in the frame so she took a picture of the foot too.

Extreme closeup of face profile.  The bump near the upper center is the nose pointing skyward.
Belly of one baby is the round dome, bottom of foot of the other baby is on top of it.

And here's where we get our very first "She has so-and-so's fill in the blank!"  I have mutant toes.  The big toe is big, but the rest don't really fall in line.  They are all kind of midgets.  They look like I was just extremely adept at stubbing my toes as a kid, which I was actually, and they just permanently remained stubbed.  Here ya go.  The left is especially mutantastic.  And yes, I blurred out the scale numbers because I've had enough comments about my size and I'm over it.  You people think I don't own a mirror?  Seriously, I'm aware of the fact that I'm fat.  You're not telling me anything I don't know.

Anyway, if you check out the bone structure of the foot in the ultrasound and compare it to my own toes, it looks like at least one baby is going to have at least one normal foot!  That would be daddies foot!

Before I went to this doctor, Dr. C said that they would likely say stuff that would be scary.  They sometimes try to poach patients by scaring them and then saying they can take care of the issue.  It's a classic marketing tactic that actually works quite well.  You introduce a problem, then you show off how you have the solution to that problem with a product or service that you can sell.  So I was warned to take what they say with a grain of salt.  And I think Dr. C gave them a bit of a heads up not to scare this particular patient because she has issues and can't handle being freaked out.  I think he did that because at the end of the appointment, they didn't tell me a whole lot of details and said that Dr. C wants all of the information consolidated with him so he'll go over the details with me at my next appointment.

Even so, here's what they told me -

They weren't able to get a couple of views that they want to get.  But, they were able to rule out anything major and anything they would have been able to look for in those other views would have been very minor anyway.  I was born with a heart murmur that cleared itself up so the little flaws (that they didn't even see) don't scare me.  Glad they ruled out the big ones!

They said that one baby was measuring a little small though.  About a 20% difference between the two.  I'm calling bullshit.  They were exactly the same size a week ago, just like they were 2 weeks before that, and all along since they existed.  And the one they claim was smaller was the one that's buried deeper so she's a little farther away from the ultrasound wand which might explain a slight appearance of being smaller.  I don't think that one would grow that significantly and leave the other that far behind over the course of a week.  And the doctor even said that the measurements have a 10% margin of error.  So if they measured one as 10% bigger than it is and the other as 10% smaller than it is, there's your 20% difference.  I'll have them check that next week when I'm back with my real doctor.

Yesterday was spent at the cardiologist to see what these little adrenaline rushes are.  I got to do an EKG and they checked my blood pressure half a dozen times.  When I talked to the doctor, he discussed a few heart monitor options.  But I'm not getting these attacks very often, certainly not enough to guarantee that a 24 hour monitor would catch one and there is some expense to wearing these machines.  Thanks to some BBC friends, I mentioned that one had experienced something similar due to her thyroid and that I was on synthroid, maybe I was being overdosed at this point or something?  So we opted to do bloodwork instead of the heart monitor since the bloodwork could indicate the source of the problem whereas the monitor would be more about showing him the symptom.  I also asked that my prolactin level be checked since I've had issues with that in the past.  The attacks feel like sudden stress, I know my prolactin elevates in times of stress, maybe I'm experiencing it backwards where my prolactin spikes and I then feel the stress?  I dunno.

But he called back today with the results.  My prolactin is through the roof - for a non pregnant person.  He was all freaked out about it at first because normal levels is 2-24 and mine was 121.  So then it dawned on me, duh!  Prolactin is what tells your body to produce milk!  It's probably elevated because I'm gonna need milk soon!  So he looked up normal levels for a pregnant woman and saw that normal is between 10-209.  So I'm right in the middle of that range.  But he's not an OB so he doesn't really know where it should fall.  He's forwarding the info to Dr. C so we can discuss it at my appointment next week.  But my thyroid is at ok levels, I'm slightly anemic so I'll probably be raising my iron intake.  But he saw no reason to move forward with the heart monitor.

I think this is one of those problems where you threaten to have someone qualified look at the problem, the problem gets scared and magically heals itself.  You know, like that sound your car makes until you threaten to take it to a mechanic.  Hopefully we've threatened my heart with enough doctors that it will just calm the fuck down on its own.

Day with baby class tomorrow.  All day learning just how ignorant I am about all this stuff.  Wheeee!!!!


  1. Wow, Alex! All sounds well. I think of you often, aware that the magic 24 week mark is right around the corner. I'm looking forward to seeing you leave that mark in the dust as you fly toward 36+ weeks!

    I, too, have experience with the Holter monitor. I wore one during my twin pregnancy to try and figure out the frequent and scary palpitations I was having. Turns out they were *just* atrial and ventricular misfires (both together or one set right after the other), made worse by my higher blood volume. Nothing to worry about...but it's hard to remember that when you're in the middle of an episode!

  2. I've done the Holter monitor twice and its annoying to say the least. The tape to hold the pads in place makes me itch. Having to write down every activity I do and the time is such a pain in the butt.

    Glad to hear that everything is going to be okay with you and the babies.

  3. Wow almost 24 weeks! It did fly by! Glad everything is good with the babies. Hopefully you won't have anymore "attacks". Oh and when are you gonna give us another belly pic! I know you just said you have had a lot of comments about your size, but I hope you know I am excited to see your beautiful belly!


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