My Story

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

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Do twins run in your family?

I'm getting this question a lot lately.  I expect I'll be getting a lot in the years to come.  I'm not sure how to answer it.

Well, ok, that question isn't so hard to answer.  The answer is no.  Out of 50 billion people in my family, this will be the first set of twins.

It's the follow-up questions where things get awkward.  There's always a moment of confusion that crosses the face of the person like "so, uh, explanation please?" and I know that they want to ask the next question, and I really don't care who knows what, but I'm also aware of the fact that people don't really want to discuss a persons infertility issues within 2 minutes of meeting them.

So the follow-up question is usually something along the lines of "Wow, did you have any idea that it might be twins?"  There's only one answer to that question.  Yes, I knew there were two embryos, we've been pregnant with twins before, I had every reason to think and hope that this pregnancy would also be twins.

Here's the thing, I can't lie.  I don't do the little white lies that society makes us tell in order to allow a conversation to move forward in a polite and purely superficial manner.  I would totally be the first person voted out of Survivor because of this little personality trait.  It's a social convention that I simply don't understand.  And after years of trying to understand it and work within it while growing up, one day I just threw up my hands, declared "fuck it" and decided that if someone asks me a question, I'll just answer the damned question rather than kill myself trying to figure out what they want to hear.

Part of this decision is due to my own failure to figure it out, and in part due to deciding that I'm simply not ashamed of a few things that I've had to deal with that most people keep politely behind closed doors.  Behind closed doors indicates shame and I'm not ashamed.  I battled bipolar disorder for years and despite the millions of people afflicted with this, how many in your life can you name?  Probably not many because the struggle tends to be private.  Not me.  When people ask the opening question of "How are you?" I would respond politely, but honestly.  "I'm having a bit of a difficult depression day, but I'm battling.  How are you?"

It's the same with infertility.  I have no shame.  I really don't give a hoot who knows about my IVF or the fact that my periods are wonkalicious.  But if it's mentioned, the conversation has no other avenues of moving forward.  Unlike the depression answer that allows the conversation to move past that little information nugget, you just can't discuss anything else if I answer the twins question honestly.

Again, I'm not ashamed, I have no intention of keeping that part of my life hidden, and I don't care what strangers or colleagues know about it.  However, I am aware of the fact that it's not the most pleasant of topics of conversation and complete strangers really don't want to walk away from meeting me for the first time with intimate knowledge of my reproductive organs.

So how the hell do I maneuver past that follow-up question?  Again, I can't politely lie.  Even if I try, it just kind of hangs in the air because there's obviously something big going unspoken and we all just smile at each other trying to figure out how to get out of this awkward silence.

So I'm open to suggestions.  How would you answer that follow-up question?  It needs to be honest, yet allow for the conversation to move past an infertility discussion.  Wit is encouraged.  Maybe something along the lines of "Oh, we had a whole medical team hoping for a delightful outcome."  Would that work?  Polite, honest, and doesn't drag down the conversation?  Help!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Diaper Deals

Spent the day collecting craigslist diaper deals.

First was a total of 210 disposable premie sized diapers for $45.  That's about a weeks worth for 2 babies, right?  I'm pretty sure our girls will be in premie sizes for at least a week so I'm thinking that's a good deal.

Then I got a collection of 8 all in one cloth diapers, designed to grow with baby through potty training, and 4 small sized diaper covers for a total of $60. Score!

Now these have been well loved, but the snaps are all in good condition so they are salvageable.

The main problem of course is where the absorbent part of the diaper attaches to the cover.  This gets pulled a lot and the there's a lot of holes.  

But that's ok.  This gives me a couple of opportunities.  First of course is the cheap diapers.  The second, I need to practice my sewing skills.  And practicing on something that will be getting pooped and peed on seems rather appropriate.

So!  I went into my "get rid of" pile of hand me down clothing and found a little white turtleneck.  This will be the perfect material to make diaper patches.

In order to practice with my sewing machine, I made a collection of little pouches by sewing 2 pieces of material together on 3 sides and then turning them inside out.  I opted to do it this way for a few reasons.  

  1. I wanted each spot to have 2 layers of material.  They are diapers after all. 
  2. I didn't want any edges to fray over time, so by sewing them together and then turning them inside out, the seams and potential fraying points for the material are tucked inside the patch.  The last edge, welllllllll, I'm not sure it's worth the time and energy and fiddly bits it would take to tuck the edges in and sew them to the edge is nice and folded.  But hey, 3 outta 4 pretty edges is pretty good for a diaper patch!
  3. By adding fabric instead of just sewing the holes together, it will reduce the stress on those corners in the future reducing further tearing.
So here's comparison of what the holes looked like, and what the patches look like when put into place.

Friday, April 20, 2012

28 weeks and all's well

Don't have a lot to report.  Why is that?  Because nothing's wrong, that's why.  It's a really weird feeling for me.  Wow, everything's fine.  Just so foreign!

At my ultrasound today, my cervix length is still holding strong around 2.6cm and the twins are still measuring equal to each other, but about 5 days small, but still within the normal range.  Blood pressure is good.  No sign of anything that might indicate premature labor.  Just, everything is fine!

Doc thinks we're actually going to make it to term and will have to schedule a c-section.  Term being 34 weeks or longer.  Can you imagine?  My birth experience might actually be average rather than some panicking emergency.

It does look like we're opting for c-section.  Because I'm a first time mom and we've got twins, things would have to align just perfectly to go vaginal, and even that would have some risk factors.  We just have no idea how much room my body is going to allow for birth because it's never done it before.  Baby A is currently breech and likely to stay that way while Baby B is transverse.  Unless they both turn perfectly head down by 32 weeks (they won't have enough room to change positions after that), vaginal delivery just isn't in the cards.

And I'm totally cool with that.  My whole concern is that things happen as controlled as possible.  With a vaginal birth, there are too many unknowns, less room to work with, just generally a little more complicated.  With a c-section, things are under control.  I asked about the various benefits of vaginal delivery, like how labor helps the lungs, and my doc said that a lot of those theories were actually debunked about 4 years ago.  I feel good that the issue is settled.  Sometimes there's comfort in having options taken off the table so I don't have to consider them.

I'm starting to get some lower back pain pretty consistently.  I'm going to get a decent maternity belt and hopefully relieve some of that pressure.  

Oh!  And I passed the diabetes test again!  Ok, actually I failed the fasting number.  92 and above is failing and I got a 93.  But the following numbers were all within range.  We're upping my metformin to my pre-pregnancy dosage and he wants me to track sugar after meals for the next week just to see how the numbers fall, but over all, no gestational diabetes for me!  Yay!

Probably no more ultrasound pics.  They are so big now that you can't really tell what you're seeing on the ultrasound anymore.  Back to being big blobbies.

We took a carseat safety class and have a clue as to how to install carseats now.  They had the one that we've chosen as one of their models so I got to really fiddle with it which was nice.  K is now on a bit of a deadline to learn to drive a stick.  Even the pros went wide-eyed to learn that we're having twins and I have a 2-door car.  I think he actually got somewhat convinced that we might need to switch cars.  I'd rather he learn how to drive it now rather than wait until he's in a sleep deprived haze after they're born.  He's going to have to learn from my dad.  I've tried to teach him, but I'm a panicky passenger as it is so I just tensed him up.  My dad is completely calm and will be a much better teacher.

And tonight's grand experiment - I think we're going to try sleeping on the couch.  I just can't seem to get comfortable in bed anymore but I'm able to doze on the reclining couch pretty easily.  While dozing isn't deep sleeping, it's an improvement over the achy insomnia I'm dealing with now.  I dunno though.  Just feels wrong and weird.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Stuff I've been up to

Spent some time on the phone with the insurance company today.  Found out that if Obamacare holds up, come August they will be required to pay for me to rent a breast pump, all the equipment and supplies, and any lactation consultant support that I need.  Yay!  Assuming the supreme court doesn't overturn that, that's quite a bit of money that won't be coming out of my pocket.  Wow, politics affecting my actual life.  Whoda thunk it?

I went to a Moms of Multiples meeting.  I went during my last pregnancy and then unfortunately lost my qualifications about a week later.  So I waited longer to go this time.  Mostly because I'm afraid to do anything with this pregnancy that will deja vu the last pregnancy.

I'll be joining officially before the next meeting.  It really is a great organization with really good, pragmatic benefits for its members.  This meeting had a question and answer session with a pediatrician that was really helpful.

Another cool thing about the meeting, I got to see a friend from the birthing class I took during the first pregnancy.  I was hoping she and I might get to know each other after the class, but then when I lost the girls, I couldn't handle watching her with her boys so I had to break off that budding friendship.  Fortunately, she understood and is just as awesome as I remember her being.  We hung out for a while after the meeting.  Unfortunately, I was in hormonal meltdown mode so I wasn't exactly pleasant company, but we're back in touch so hopefully we'll get the opportunity to hang out when I'm not a snotty mess.  There appears to be a small group of snarky bitches in the toddler mommy subsection of the moms of multiples and I think they noticed that I'll fit in with them just fine even if my twins are younger.

Other than that, all I've accomplished lately is getting registered for baby stuff.  Not a clue as to what I'm doing.  But I have a registry on Amazon and at Babies R Us for the internet impaired members of my family.  We pretty much just tossed everything possible on the registry with no expectations that anyone will buy us any of it.  We don't know what we'll actually need and what we won't, and how many of what since we're having twins.  I figure if we put it on the registry, we might get a coupon for some of it, and we'll have it bookmarked if we find out we do need it later.

I was afraid Babies R Us would trigger a major meltdown, but I actually got through it ok.  Probably because it was a weekday, practically empty, and actually a rather small store.  By the time I was pooping out, we were finishing up.

And now, for fun, a few of the items I've registered for.  I'll try to narrow it down to kind of cute stuff.  The code for these pictures will be blocked if you have an ad blocker on so if you want to see the pics, you'll need to turn that off.

27 weeks

Can you believe it?  27 weeks.  Wow.

Ok, it's been a while since an official belly pic so here we go.  First the 10 week and then 27 weeks.

So apparently fat ladies CAN get a baby belly!

Yeah, I know, I've been a bit quiet lately.  Well, it's because I haven't been a happy camper and I feel like I'm nothing but gloom and doom all the time on this blog, so I was being a little shy about bitching and moaning.

So here's the gist.  I hate being pregnant.  The outcome is going to be awesome, but the process sucks.  I'm sorry to all my infertile friends who are hating my guts for saying that, but this has not been enjoyable for me.

The babies are kicking and wiggling.  I'm really grateful that they are, but each kick and wiggle makes me feel sick.  Asking me to be grateful for something that feels awful is like asking me to be grateful for every Gonal-F injection I had to endure to get pregnant.  I didn't enjoy those, and I'm not enjoying this either.  Again, the outcome will be great and it's totally worth it, but I'll be happy when I can move on to holding my babies instead of just cooking my babies.

It really sucks because I felt pretty good during my first pregnancy.  I actually liked my body and felt like we were working together to accomplish something.  But this time, I just feel like blech all the time.

And holy shit, the hormonal meltdowns!  I spent about 48 hours crying because I felt like I had restarted the cycle of grieving again.  Everything I would think about for the girls, I would mourn how MY girls won't ever get to do that, wear that, use that.  For some reason, it feels like the girls of my future aren't real, not really mine, because mine are dead.  I seem to be a bit better now.  But for those couple of days, the crying was just awful.

A couple of days ago, I started feeling some cramps and it freaked me out.  I went to the doctor and got an ultrasound and as usual, everything is fine.  My cervix is holding pretty strong, the girls are fine, it was a mental health appointment.  I seriously can't interpret what my body is doing.  Is that a contraction?  Is it gas?  Because I guessed gas last time and I was wrong, I just don't trust myself to diagnose anything at all.  The doctors and nurses are tolerating my insanity quite well.

No ultrasound pics at the moment though.  I didn't get a chance to scan the last ones we got because K took them to the theater to put on his mirror.  The girls keep him company backstage while he's waiting to go back on stage.

Ok, symptom breakdown -

  • I can belch like a champ.  Don't even need soda or anything anymore, I can do a triple belch with a glass of milk.
  • My feet are very prone to swelling.  The other day when they were swollen, I kind of pressed the top of my foot, and my finger left a dent in the swelling!  It was weird and awesome!  And gross.  And a little ouchie.  K is making me foot baths with epson salts and doing a lot of foot rubbing.
  • If I don't fully tend to my feet when they swell, I am punished by my hands following suit.
  • Whenever I eat a meal, I seem to get a stomach ache.  Almost a stomach cramp like feeling.
  • Moving around of any kind is problematic.  Turning over in bed has become an event and I feel like I deserve a high five when I do finally accomplish such a feat.  Putting on socks and changing underwear should be considered Olympic sports at this point.  At some point I'm going to need to clip my toenails and I'm not looking forward to it.
  • Babies seem to have 2 pretty consistent active periods each day.  About an hour after I get up, and as I'm going to bed.  There are some wiggles and kicks in between, but those are the 2 most active times of day.
  • Still peeing all the time and pooing is still an effort.  I'm taking enough Metamucil and Colace that it's usually a daily effort, but an effort none-the-less.
  • I used to have areolas the size of quarters in a nice lovely pink.  They are now about three times that size and fluctuate between light and dark brown.
  • I always feel like my crotch is pushing itself inside out.
  • Hormone mood swings as already talked about.
  • The nausea is starting to come back.  Very mildly, but it's creeping back in there.
  • I'm sweating a bit more than usual and getting hot.  I actually wore a dress out of the house without any kind of leggings or anything underneath it.  I think that's the first time in, oh, ever, that I've done that.
Ok, next blog post will report some of the fun stuff in life!

I have a box of boxes

This is my box of boxes.

The mother box is from my snoogle which I wrote about on Jan 7th.  More than 4 months ago.  As we get deliveries, packages, purchase stuff, we tend to toss the box into the box of boxes thinking that we will break them down and send them out with recycling at the end of the week.

I have gone through a few times and broken down a few boxes at a time until I get pooped.   Those have been recycled.  Unfortunately, they have also been replaced just about as fast as I can get rid of them.

K has also put in a valiant effort to tame the cardboard beast. But apparently to no avail for the volume of the box of boxes will always surpass the volume of the recycle bin.

I'm wondering if this has become a living entity that should be allowed to remain at this point.  So far it seems undefeatable.  The box of boxes might be here to stay.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I just want to be happy

Had an appointment this morning.

The kiddos are measuring at 25w0d so they are about a week behind, but they are the same size as each other so that's good..  They've pretty much been a week or so behind the whole time so it's not a big shock that they still are.

But my cervix has lost some length too.  We're at 2.5cm and there's some funneling.  So I went from being totally awesome, really safe even if it was a singleton, to average risk of premies for twins.


Today wasn't intended to be a measurement ultrasound but I asked her to do one anyway, just so I could make sure they were still growing.  So she quickly did a head circumference on each and that's where we got the 25w measurement.  Using this website, I looked up the proper circumference for a baby at 25 weeks and it says 237mm.  So, for your viewing pleasure, here is an idea of what my babies head measurements currently are.

I wanted to have every indicator indicating that I would make it to 36-38 weeks.  And that's not the case anymore.  We're looking very seriously at 34 weeks, potentially earlier.  And I got some of those scary "reassurances" like - "For every day that you remain pregnant, that's 3 less days in the NICU."  SHIT!  We're at the point where every 24 hours is a victory???  That's not happy!

Intellectually, I knew this all along.  But emotionally, I was somehow convinced that I would get above 36 weeks and would get to take my kids home within a day or two of being released from the hospital myself.  Ya know, like a normal family.  It's hitting me that it's very likely that I will have to watch my kids grow under a glass dome with tubes and wires rather than by feeling how heavy they get every day in my arms or belly.

Why can't any of this go smoothly?  The one thing I had to tell me that my babies might actually come to term and be healthy, after all of the other danger signs I've had to navigate, now that one thing is being taken away from me too.

So in 2 weeks, I have to take the GD test again, and if my cervix is still shortening, I'll likely go into the hospital for a 24 hours observation stay and a round of steroids to help speed the development of the girls lungs in anticipation for early delivery.  Doc says it's about a 15% chance I'll need to do that.

I also got a vaccine booster for whooping cough.  Apparently there's an epidemic in the next county over because that's where all the hippy dippy's who don't vaccinate their kids live.  So my usual "meh" attitude on the subject of whether or not you choose to vaccinate is now more of a rampage.  Vaccinate your fucking kids or we all pay the consequences!  Kids like mine, who will probably be premies, they might have trouble fighting off the common cold.  So if one of those dipsticks comes into contact with my kids, carrying a stronger virus because it's an epidemic again, they could kill my kids.  And don't give me that bullshit about how someone can be vaccinated and still be a carrier because while that's true, not nearly as many people would have it if everyone had been vaccinated for it.  The fewer people coughing that virus into the air (because they did get sick), the fewer people are exposed to it to carry it to other people.

Don't give me links to all the problems with vaccinations, or all the proof that's out there of what evil things they do.  It's bullshit.  Most of it has it's foundation from a doctor who conducted a study that has since been debunked.  And the rest of it?  Guess what?  For anything you come into contact with, 1 in a million people are going to have a negative reaction to it.  That includes whatever is in the vaccinations, or the dirt that sticks to the lettuce in your salad, or some dye that makes your clothing blue.  So I really don't give a shit what anecdotal evidence you have of some parent who is suffering from inflicting a vaccination on their child.  For every one of those stories, there are a million stories that don't exist of a child dying from some disease that the vaccinations protected him/her from.

I've been the person who lost 2 babies to a one in a million chance occurrence.  So yes, I do know what it's like to be that mother.  But I'll take a one in a million chance over a one in a hundred or a thousand chance any day.  So I really don't fucking want to hear it.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Starting to panic


Am I really going to have two babies?  Just how much am I going to fuck this up?  What difficulty am I going to encounter, and then find out the perfect answer for about 3 months too late?  AAAACCCKKKK!!!!!

And worst of all.....what if I don't like being a mom?

Today's panic was set off by a post by a one of my pregnancy buddies on facebook.  She said that her husband looked at her Ford Focus and exclaimed that there was no way all the baby stuff was going to fit in that car.  Uh, I drive a Ford Focus.  And I'm going to have 2 babies.

Then the conversations about car seats and how they fit in the car.  When I shopped to register for a car seat, I didn't even really think about dimensions, I figured they were all pretty much the same.  Because my car is a two door, my priority was a base that stayed installed so that the seat just clicks in and clicks back out without being installed and uninstalled all the time.  I pop into the conversation asking if I'm totally screwed and the buddies tell me I should probably check dimensions to make sure I'm not getting a car seat that will force me so far forward that I'm steering the car with my boobs.

So I check the depth dimension - 30.7 inches.  And I take a tape measure out to my car and measure from the back of the horizontal part of the back seat to where the drivers seat sits when in my most comfortable driving position.  25 inches.  Uh oh.  I move the seat forward to accommodate 31-32 inches.  And I can't even get in the seat, much less consider driving like that.


I spent the rest of the day shopping for car seats based on dimensions.  I found myself with a handful of candidates, mostly convertible seats that will change to front facing when the time comes.  There's only one that has a permanently installed base (and you can buy extra bases separately) and fortunately, it's also the car seat that has a handle as well so that it's a carrier.  The others didn't appear to be baby carriers at all.

This is what I've chosen.

With a different kind of car seat, I had to check the various stroller frames to see if they were compatible.  They are, but not wonderfully so.  Fine, whatever, good enough.  We'll be getting a proper double stroller when the babies outgrow being carted around in the car seat soon enough.

What if I hadn't run across that conversation?  I would have had car seats that didn't fit in our cars!  Luckily I discovered my mistake before it became a big deal to correct it, but shit!  What else am I going to make decisions about that I drastically regret later???  What if our cars are simply too small and we really need to buy a bigger car?  We can't afford a different car!  Fuck, what else can I not afford??

All I can picture in my future now is being exhausted, babies with rashes because I chose the wrong detergent or something, and massive amounts of crying and all of those other things that I've always hated about babies and finding myself sitting on the floor sobbing at how much I've destroyed my life by going completely broke financing a dream that turns out to be a nightmare.  I've never made a decision that I can't undo before!  You can't undo babies if it's the wrong life path!

And if any of you tell me I'm just being hormonal, I'z gonna cut a bitch!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Things are showing up in my house

We are starting to receive some hand me downs and it's awesome!  I don't even remember bringing a bunch of this stuff into the house, but it just seems to be magically appearing.

And K is partially to blame for that.  He doesn't advertise what he's doing, but he's nesting too, in his own way.  I'm accustomed to having to do all the planning and thinking kind of stuff (paying bills, organizing, stuff like that) whereas he tends to do the more tangible, in your face stuff that needs to get done (like dishes, or laundry).  I just assumed that making lists of baby stuff that we needed and doing the research on products would be my territory.  Stuff like that usually is.

I did ask him to please make all diaper decisions though.  Deciding on what kind of diapers to go with, brands, styles, argh!  Really overwhelming!  Since he's going to be the main diaper man, I decided that he should be the one to determine what he wanted to try, and what would be most cost effective.  I'm taking care of all other categories, but that one is his.

But I digress.  Anyway, he usually hangs out with our kindle in the evenings.  And it's attached to my amazon account.  So I'm finding random items mysteriously being added to our baby registry.  Sneaky little bugger!

And today, I went into our snack cupboard and randomly found that two containers of organic rice cereal something or other have appeared.

Don't let the canned tomatoes fool you, that really is our junk food cabinet.  But some healthy canned food overflowed from our canned veggie cabinet and needed a temporary place to be.

Anyway, what?  When did he get this?  And why exactly?  Ok, so it doesn't expire for a year, and we'll probably use it when we start introducing solid foods, but why is he buying this stuff now?  Last time, he bought outlet covers and cabinet locks when I was only 2 months along.

It must have been on sale really cheap or something.  He's frugal like that.  So, I just have a bit of a question mark on my face, but okey dokey!  He's helping!

Yesterday was my grandmothers 100th birthday party.  Yay!  Lots of relatives!  Totally overwhelming for this introvert!  I actually had a couple of cramps that made me a little nervous and I had some brown goo discharge this morning so I guess I overdid it a bit yesterday.  I'm not sure how exactly.  I sat with Grandma for a few minutes, and then pretty much sat a table having the men in my life (hubby, my brother, etc) bring me food and water for a couple of hours.  But I was absolutely pooped when I got home.

One of my cousins brought several boxes of hand me downs for us so that's awesome!  And my brother said he's got a ton more.

So here are some other things that have now appeared in my house.

Pack and Play Grande!  Will likely live at my parents house.
Pack and Play Normal Sized.

Kickass rocker set.

Ok, this one has a variety of things in it.  The two boxes are clothing sizes 12mo and up.  The bottom shelf is clothing size 6-12 months.  I have a couple more bags of clothes to go through and I'm hoping to fill in those newborn and 3 month shelves a little bit.

The top shelf is stuff that I don't know what it is exactly.  I'll have my friend who already has kids come over and identify stuff I guess.  I think those pepper grinder thingies are food mashers.  There's a few pairs of what seem to be vinyl underwear.  I guess those go over diapers so the diapers aren't so ugly?  Or for catching leaks?  And a piece of white fabric with snaps on either side, it's about 2 inches long.  I guess that's a onesie extender?  So that when your kid outgrows the crotch of their clothes, you make them last longer by giving them a couple extra inches in the crotch? I'm just guessing here at what these things actually are.

Random items for kids of walking and eating solid foods age.

Those signs say Infant Toys, Bibs, and Hoodie Towels
Ok, and I think this is somewhat brilliant.  We have this stupid wet bar in our house.  We don't drink.  I've kind of turned it into a coffee station but I think last night I realized what we can actually use it for.  It's going to be a diapering station!  Check it out - 

There's room on either side for 2 parents to each be working with one child.  The sink is right there for tossing cloth diapers for a quick rinse.  There are drawers already there for holding various diapering supplies, and a garbage can under the sink for disposable diapers.  And we never really use that surface for any food prep so no ick factor there.

Whaddya think?  Am I brilliant?