My Story

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

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Things I will, and won't miss about being pregnant

33 week update - I gained half a centimeter on my cervix.  Yay!  So we're once again predicting about 2 weeks before I go into labor, or around week 35 instead of 34.  I'm really curious to find out when this will actually happen with all of these changing predictions.

Some pictoral housekeeping just to show where I am at the moment.  The standard belly pics, you know how it goes.  Then we'll get to the meat of this post.

10 weeks
33 weeks

And here's my mini kitty using my belly as a stepping stool. 
I'm becoming acutely aware of the temporariness of my current state of being.  While we haven't made any definite decisions about our future, it's very likely that I will never be pregnant again.  And I feel I need to enjoy what I can of it while I have it.  But that's a bit difficult when most of the time, I hurt and don't like it.

So!  In order to appreciate what I currently have, and in order to appreciate what I'm close to being done with, here are two lists - What I will miss, and what I won't miss about being pregnant!

What I will miss:
  • Maternity pants.  No buttons pinching at my stomach, no constant reminder of whether my weight is up or down this week.  Just stretchy, comfiness in the belly and butt.
  • Societal permission to be huge.  If my shirt sticks to my tummy rather than floating over it, that's perfectly ok.  I'm allowed to have a belly that enters a room 3 minutes before I do.  I don't have to cover it, hide it, feel apologetic about it.  My profile is obnoxious right now, and the more obnoxious it gets, the better.
  • Societal permission to let a few other things go as well.  While I'm not a hairy ape or anything, I'm not feeling the need to be 100% leg hair free if I want to wear a dress.  My leg hair is blond so it's not even noticeable when it's got a bit of stubble anyway, but being too lazy to shave my legs every day has kept me in long pants most summers.  This year, as long as it's obvious that I've recently made a leg shaving effort, I feel it's fine to wear a cotton dress or yoga pants that show my calves.  And sandals without worrying about a pedicure!  It's simply permission to be comfortable and to not be at all self conscious about being comfortable.  I've always been more into comfort than fashion and honestly thought I didn't care what others thought, but now that it's TRULY ok, I'm realizing that I did kind of care before.  At least about a few things.
  • I haven't touched a litterbox in 2 years because I've either been pregnant or about to be pregnant.  No one remind K that's no longer the case a month from now!  I'm riding that little perk as long as I can get away with it!
  • I can eat whenever, and exactly how much I want.  I've never been able to eat much in one sitting, but being pregnant and literally not having the room for my stomach to expand, my requests for small portions is finally being taken seriously.  So I can graze on small amounts all day and not feel bad about going to the fridge again, or only eating half the dinner that K so wonderfully prepares for me.
  • If I don't do a damned thing all day, that's not only ok, it's being encouraged.  It's kind of nice having no responsibilities for a while.  See "What I won't miss" for the flip side of that coin.
  • Napping on the couch.
  • Asking K to do little things like refill my water for me and not feeling like a brat when I do so.  I try to keep it to a minimum, but it's nice to be able to ask if I really don't feel like getting up.
  • I'm visible in public.  People have an opening to say something to me nowadays which is kind of nice.
  • Not being ashamed of being out of shape.  I walk slow, and I prefer to use elevators to taking the stairs.  Nobody is judging me about that at the moment.
  • Nightly footrubs.  I don't like the reason for them (swelling), but I like getting them!
  • Fantasizing and preparing for babies without having to deal with the realities of the daily work involved.
  • My cats love me!  They all want to snuggle.
What I won't miss:
  • Pain whenever I change positions.  From sitting to standing, from standing to lying down, from being on my left side and turning over to my right side.  At some point in the changing positions process, there's a point where the muscles necessary hurt like hell.  Especially changing from one side to the other in bed.  It feels like my pelvis is breaking in half when I have to do the shift in gravity during the rollover.  
  • Lack of sleep.  Yeah yeah yeah, when you have a baby, you won't ever sleep again.  I know.  But right now, I can't even get a solid hour.  Either I'm sore, have insomnia, am only barely dozing, getting up to pee, limbs falling asleep without me, getting up and getting back into bed because rolling over hurts to change positions hurts too much.  So what little sleep I'm getting isn't really sleep.
  • Foot swelling.  My right foot is constantly the size of a football.  Putting it up doesn't help much.  I try, but then I get so bored on the couch that I'll decide I'd rather be entertained sitting at my computer than sitting on the couch with my feet up when that hardly seems to do anything.  I've tried soaking my feet and it doesn't feel nearly as good as you anticipate it will.  The only thing that actually seems to help is having K firmly pet my foot and leg.  After about 5 minutes, the swelling visibly goes down and the aching is relieved for a short time.
  • Getting shots once a week.  Nuff said.
  • I know I said I'll miss not having to do anything, but I won't miss not being able to do anything.  There are a dozen little things that would take me 2 minutes to do, if I could do them.  But they require lifting, or bending, or whatever.  Instead, I have to add them to the "Honey Do...." list and wait for K to do them.  I love that he's so willing to do stuff and keeps bugging me to sit down and take it easy, but I hate being the nagging wife constantly asking if he's done A, B, or C, and oh, can you do D too?  The man works full time and it's not fair that he is having to do 100% of the work around the house too.
  • Damp or wet underwear.
  • Vaginal swelling.  I don't know what the hell is happening down there, but this is not the size and shape I'm accustomed to.
  • The bathroom.  This has some sub-topics.
    • Having to pee every time I stand up.  
    • Feeling the sensation that I have to pee and only getting a few drops out when I get there.
    • Constipation and the time it takes to get something out without straining.  Remember my fear of water breaking or pushing out a sac if I strain?  Yeah, so sitting there, maneuvering around, gently pushing for 20-30 minutes, not a fun way to spend an afternoon.
    • Checking my toilet paper to see what's new with every wipe.
    • Tushy wiping is officially a challenge now.  And due to vaginal swelling, the urine stream does not go into the toilet as cleanly as it used to which means it often trickles to the tushy, so tushy wiping is necessary with just about every bathroom break.
  • Various baby movements.  Of course I'd prefer they move than not move, but some rolls make me feel kind of sick, and others really hurt.
  • Food aversions.  Food is just icky.  I miss really enjoying it.  But now I need so much of it, so often, that ugh, I just don't want to bother with it!
  • Skin tags.  They're everywhere!  These go away after pregnancy, right???
  • Constant fear that I'm experiencing some sort of warning signal and not realizing it.
  • Abstinence.  I tend to have a very low libido, but I'm ready to get back on the horse already.  Of course now I'm on official pelvic rest so it's not just our own paranoia, but doctors orders as well.
  • Swelling or arthritic hands.  I know they are bigger since my wedding band doesn't fit, yet they don't seem especially swollen all the time (only sometimes), but they always feel stiff and arthritic.
  • Yes my cats currently love me.  They love me so much that they must be on top of me ALL THE TIME.  And they try to step on my belly on their way to purring in my face or something will startle one of them and they'll sprint across my belly to escape.  The little one is fine, she's very light of foot and can be on my belly all day.  But the 21 pounder is a clod and under every paw it feels like he's bruising me.  He's taken to trying to crawl up by my head and drooling in my hair at night when he used to be content to sleep at my side. 
  • I haven't been able to snuggle with my pottery kitty, Buster.  Because he has trace amounts of the bad bacteria, I've been hands off with him.  I'm just now able to start petting him and giving him some attention again.
  • Going to the doctors.  My doctor is really swell, but I'm so sick of just the process of going to that damned building, parking, waddling in....I've been doing it so much over the last couple of years that it's like a job commute.  You know how a little part of you dies while you are commuting to work, just because of the daily drudgery of it?  That's what it's like heading to that hospital building all the time.  Oh, my fertility clinic was in the same complex so I've been going there a lot even when not pregnant.
  • Excess sweating.  I'm smellier and sweatier than usual. 
  • My stuffy nose.  I'm so sick of blowing my nose!  And there's blood most of the time.  I just want to breathe like a normal person again.
  • Financial fears, with no way of doing anything about them.  I know that finances will get even tighter when the girls are here, but at least in a few months I'll have some options about how to improve things!  But just sitting here, watching the bank accounts drain, and I can't do a damned thing about it, so frustrating!
  • Not being able to plan anything without a disclaimer.  For a few weeks, I've been on call to go into preterm labor at any moment.  So anything I plan in the future, I have to give people the disclaimer that I might cancel at the last minute.
I'm sure I'll be adding to these lists as things occur to me.  But years from now, when I'm trying to remember what being pregnant was like, I'll have this to really remember it by!

Friday, May 18, 2012

We're getting close now

We passed the 32 week mark yesterday and it's looking like I have about 2 weeks left.

I knew things were changing.  This week I've experienced massive nesting, the cats are all over me, and I had a massive meltdown over the frustrations of fixing a cat door.  I've also noticed that when I try to turn over in bed, the pain has moved from muscles in my abdomen to being throughout my pelvis and crotch.  Like the bones are trying to spread and when I roll to turn over, they aren't happy.  And my stupid right foot is in a perpetual state of swollen, now the question is just to what degree it's swollen at any given moment.

Had a doctors appointment today.  Did my first NST, but not really because Baby A would not cooperate.  I didn't have to press any buttons or anything because she spent the whole time trying to get the monitor to pick up Baby A properly but she's just too buried in there.  During all that fiddling, she got Baby B just fine.

We finally gave up on Baby A and decided to get the info via an ultrasound since I was scheduled for one anyway.  Once again, she was not cooperating.  The two of them are just twisted around each other to a degree that the technician was having a hell of a time figuring out which belly went with which head, etc etc.  And she had decided it was nap time so we had to do juice and massive shaking to wake her up to see if she would move and practice breathing properly.  It took some time, but eventually she did.

As far as we can tell, they are still measuring small.  Not dangerously small, but small.  Baby A is about 3lbs8oz and Baby B is about 3lbs15oz.  Again, they had a hell of a time measuring so these measurements could be way off.

But my cervix has shortened from 2.5 to 1.4 in the last 2 weeks.  And the funneling has increased.  So all of those little behavior clues I've been experiencing the last week indicating that labor is coming?  Not imaginary.  We are now looking at delivering around 34 weeks.  2 weeks from now!

If that's the case, we're probably looking at a 3-4 week NICU stay.  I had been fearing the NICU mostly because I picture breathing tubes and a billion things that can go south, but at this stage the doctor is saying that the primary issue will simply be about getting the girls weight up via a feeding tube since they will be too young to have learned how to suck properly.  Of all the potential scary stuff, that's one I think I can handle.  And ya know, as much as I don't want my kids in the NICU at all, there could be a benefit.  I'll get time to recover my c-section and I'll get a lot more transition time from pregnant to parent to really learn what the hell I'm doing before taking the girls home.  By the time I become the primary caregiver, my body should be pretty well healed and I might have a chance at getting a few nights of real sleep during the recovery.

It looks like I might get one normal pregnancy experience though.  I might actually get the "Honey, I think it's time." moment.

So, how about some 32 week belly pics?

10 weeks
32 weeks

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The shopping spree of all shopping sprees

One of the other gifts I got from my shower, some money.  My parents gave us some money with the strings attached that it is only to be used for baby stuff.  No paying bills with it, no paying down the credit card debt, no other "responsible" things, it's all for the stuff that we want for the babies.

Honestly, without those strings, I would have spent some of it on baby stuff, and put a portion of it towards some of the debts we've accumulated in making these babies happen.  So being told I'm not allowed to do that, damn, I'm like a kid in the candy store!  Here's the view of my front door when I went to feed the cat this afternoon.  I'm expecting tomorrow and Monday to be far more obnoxious actually.

Amazon has landed!
We've gone from not buying anything because hand me downs kept trickling in and we didn't really believe we would REALLY have a use for baby stuff one day, to "holy shit!  I'm 31 weeks and a whole lot of those moms at the Moms of Multiples club gave birth somewhere in week 32.  We need to get moving!"

By the way, when I say we've been getting hand me downs, I'm not talking about an object here and there.  I'm talking TONS.  We have 2 pack and plays.  One huge and one more bassinet size.  While all the clothes we've received have been divided into sizes (newborn - 3months, etc through the first year, and then 12 months+), I can show you what just the 12m+ collection looks like.  Put the other boxes of clothing together that are separated in their 3 month sizes, and we'd have about double this.

That's the jumbo size vacuum bag designed to store several pillows at once.

Buuuuuuut, we didn't get a lot of newborn sized clothing so I do get to shop for that a bit.  And yes, I've purchased some cute pink things, on purpose!  Who have I become???

I started all of my shopping at the local kids consignment shop.  Got a moby, a great diaper bag, one of those belts for compressing your torso after birth, and pretty much cleared them out of nice newborn and premie sized onesies.

Between shower gifts and hand me downs, we pretty much have the bathing thing ready to go.  The white thing hanging above the tub folds to make a tub for the sink.  We'll probably be using that at first for sponge baths, and then the blue double tub when they can sit up a bit on their own.  It fits over the tub so K or I can  sit under it and tend to the babies while getting clean ourselves.  You can't see it in the picture, but I've got a hose thingy that goes from the tub spout and turns it into a handheld shower.  On the railing above the dirty laundry bin, you're seeing the collection of hoodie towels we've received.

Once I cleared out the consignment shop of stuff we needed, I hit Amazon and Babies R Us online and went to town.  I don't like shopping in stores, but I can sure shop online!  And I signed up for Amazon Prime so I get free shipping from there.  It has totally paid for itself!

So I'm expecting a crib, all sorts of sheets, car seats, etc etc etc to be showing up over the next couple of days.  Even pacifiers, teething toys, some cheap packages of bulk onesies, summer hats to keep their faces shaded, night caps to keep their heads warm, a baby grooming kit.....the list of what I bought is way too long!  I don't think I've ever hit "complete purchase" on such a large amount before, ever.  And there was some major hesitation to do it, but I did it!

Oh, and here's what I think most of the dads out there will relate to.

I'm pretty sure these pictures depict K's life over the next couple of weeks.

On a slightly different topic, I think I made my mothers day yesterday.  I turned some suede shower curtains into curtains for the nursery and I had to call my mom to trouble shoot a small issue with my sewing machine.  This is the woman who nearly cried with despair when I asked for a cordless drill for carpentry class in college for Christmas and here I am calling her for advice on the one activity she enjoys most.  Usually she's calling me with questions like this about computers!  I'll show you pictures once the valance arrives because without the valance, the top of the window treatment is ugly.

A few other random places we'll be spending my parents generous baby money gift - I stocked up the household first aid kit with some child friendly products, we'll be taking an infant safety/cpr class at the end of the month, we'll have the handyman fix the hole in our deck and replace the fencing around it for when the kids become mobile, and we might have the window in the nursery replaced because it's a bit drafty.  Oh, and an electrician to install lighting in the nursery.  Right now, the light switch goes to an outlet so you have to plug a lamp into the outlet.  That's just one more cord for kids to pull on when they start to move so I don't like it.

The last major purchase to make, one or two dressers.  I got some wall pockets and a closet organizer so I can start putting a few things away, but right now we have all these clothes and nowhere to put them.

Yup, from nothing to bursting through the rafters in a matter of days.  That's how we roll!

Baby Shower

I had my baby shower last week and it was lovely!

The evening before and on my way there, I was a complete and total mess.  All sorts of crying.  I think I was just in shock that not only do I actually get to have this life experience, but it's going to be at a house and not a hospital room like a normal pregnancy.

Once we got there, it took me a minute to pull myself together and things went great from there.  K came with me.  Yeah, I know, a man at the shower!  How scandalous!  But I'm really uncomfortable in public settings, especially the thought of being the center of attention, and it was a 45 minute drive.  We're very aware that I can go into labor at any minute by this point so we're doing a bit of a co-dependent thing and just sticking near each other.  So he was there to help with presents and to take a little of the pressure off me to be charming.  We gave him the title of "food fetcher" so I could just keep myself in the comfy chair.

My aunt hosted a really good gathering for me.  I'm not a game person so the games were kept to a minimum.  We played the guess how many M&M's in the bottle game and I won!  Only off by 2!  Not bad for a chick who failed algebra the first time around eh?

Everyone had a lovely lunch and I got to chat with a couple of cousins that I don't get updated on very often.  The weather could not have been more beautiful and my aunts house has a yard that's like on the edge of a cliff over the water.  Just one of those incredible views.  Sorry, no picture of that.

Then we went inside and opened presents.  Ok, K opened the presents.  I had a baby wedged in my pelvis so I couldn't really sit up and had to do the half lounge in the chair where you look like you're about to slip to the floor or something.

I'm very grateful for the generosity of my family.  I got a mix of cute and practical stuff, from a breast milk storage kit, 6 months of cloth diapering service (!), to matching outfits and a bouncy chair.  Since I won't buy matching outfits myself, I'll show you what matching outfits I do have now, courtesy of my cousins of cuteness.

Hard to see but those are jeans with those little tops. 
And while my in-laws couldn't be there (they will be visiting in July) they sent us the Cadillac of double strollers.

After all the gifts, there was cake, more chatting, and then the afternoon drew to a close.  It was a great afternoon, I didn't feel awkward like I had feared, and I managed not to cry in front of everybody.  Win!

Again, I'm very grateful to come from a family that has both the means and inclination to give so generously.  I realize how very lucky I am and if it was something I could spread around to everyone, I certainly would.  I'm very fortunate to have a village who wish to help me with this adventure in so many ways.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The conversations you usually don't see

Hi everyone!  I'm having an entertaining day.

Why, you ask?  Because I somehow pissed someone off on an internet forum and they've gone to great lengths to make sure I know that they think I'm a twat.  I would have preferred "twatwaffle" as it has just that little bit extra ooomph to it, but not everyone can be as poetic as I am.

Now, usually, when I get a comment that's particularly rude, I just delete it so the rest of you don't have to read  crap.  However, this is at least the second and potentially the third time that this individual has gone to great lengths to ensure that I'm aware of my own twattiness.

A few months back, she found me via my business facebook page to tell me that there were people talking shit about me on a new forum that was created and I should see what they were saying.  What really confused me was that the path of finding my business facebook page must have taken a whole lot of clicks, and there were several means of contacting me prior to finding that page.  So I really have to admire her effort on that one.  She went above and beyond.  Then there was someone who identified themselves as being from that forum, who left some comments on this blog and we bantered back and forth a bit until I was pretty sure she had bored herself and then I just deleted the whole thing.  I'm not sure if the second person is the same person, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was.  And now, some lovely emails came my way this morning with the subject line of the name of that forum.  It is the same person as the first incident, and might be the same as the second.  So this is either the second or the third time she has devoted her time to finding me, and publicly hating me.

Since I think she's going to keep bothering me until the whole world knows that I'm a twat, I will go ahead and publish her brilliant observations here for all the world to see.  99% of the time I'm pretty darned mature, but I only have a few weeks left in which I can sink to a lower level before I'm a role model, so just this one time, I'm going to indulge.

For your viewing pleasure, here are Heather's observations on the subject of my twattiness.

Heather Perrone

to me

youre a twat. really theres not much more to say. cant stand your self righteous posts. twat.

Alex Remon
10:32 AM (2 hours ago)

to Heather

Why did you bother to find my email address just to tell me that?  Wouldn't it have easier to either message me there, or to reply to some twatty comment I made so everyone could marvel in your brilliant observation? 

Heather Perrone
10:33 AM (2 hours ago)

to me

nah. no point bringing drama to the board just b/c i despise your post and ignorance. cow.

Alex Remon
10:35 AM (2 hours ago)

to Heather

It's called an ignore button.  You've disliked me for months, so much that you made sure to contact me to tell me there was some forum out there hating on me.  You are giving a person you hate waaaaaaay too much of your attention and time.

Heather Perrone
10:36 AM (2 hours ago)

to me

yahh sure have. and the number of ppl that hate u in that group grows daily. ur a fat fucking twat. c ya.

Alex Remon
10:37 AM (2 hours ago)

to Heather

Oh you got me!  Ouch!  Oh no, people don't like me!  However shall I recover?

*Note*  At this point I started a thread on the forum we originated from to announce that I am, indeed, a twat.  I shortly received this last email (for now at least).

Heather Perrone
11:05 AM (2 hours ago)

to me

u poor attention seeking fat cow. u feel like such a lonely twat u post on bbc to have rainbows blown up ur ass. sad. sad fucking cow twat. put more energy into exercising u fat cow.

So there you have it folks!  According the most brilliant and delightful Heather, definitive proof that I am a twat!  I hope your lives are all improved now that we've cleared that up.

PS - damnit, the formatting on this is wonky and I can't seem to fix it.  Bitch broke my blog!  Oh well, wonkiness is worth it.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

30 week twin belly pic

You know the drill, the 10 week pic to start compared to the 30 week pic taken today!

10 weeks

30 weeks

And what the hell, how about a picture of me wearing real clothes too.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It's my birthday!

I'm 37 today and very grateful that my little girls are still inside and not yet outside to celebrate it with me.  But there have already been a couple of dance parties in there today.  K is working a wonky schedule this week so we're having our Anniversary/Birthdays celebration on Saturday which is actually his birthday.

Had some uncomfortable, slightly scary days this week.  I had some cramping going on, especially after I ate. No pattern though so I was pretty sure it wasn't premature labor.  But I called the doctors office once it had lasted 24 hours and while they were also pretty sure it wasn't premature labor, the nurse didn't like that I had to pause the conversation to breathe through a pain going through me.  So they had me come in for a quick cervix check.

Fortunately, my cervix hasn't shortened at all in the last 4 weeks.  Still around 2.5 or so and holding strong!  Heart rates are good, everything is just going good.  I'm just experiencing some pain because I'm really pregnant.

Today I'm testing a theory.  The cramps seem to be the strongest immediately after I eat.  Especially my first meal of the day.  I think, I'm not sure, but I think the common denominator is milk.  So I'm trying to limit my milk intake today to see if the cramps subside or if they appear directly after drinking milk.  Limiting my milk intake is really hard because it's been my diet staple this whole pregnancy.  And a morning meal without milk, just, how?  Cereal goes with milk!  Breakfast foods with soft flavors all go with milk!  And I hate eating in the morning anyway so I've been surviving by drinking an instant breakfast drink, and that's milk!  And lattes!  Argh!!!!!!

My baby shower is on Sunday and I'm actually somewhat convinced I'm going to still be pregnant for that!  We have a scheduled C-section date, June 22.  Will I make it to that appointment?  I dunno, but it's nice having a definite end date for the pregnancy.

Squeeeee!!!!!  I'm gonna have babies!!!!!