My Story

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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Narrowing down the longing

I'm not sure why this occurred to me today, but it did.

Why, just why exactly do I want children?  I'm not the person who looks forward to little bitty shoes, or goo-goos, or whatever else it is that appeals to a lot of people about babies and children.  I'm anticipating a lot of work that's going to piss me off a good portion of the time.

Considering my attitude, and what I'm anticipating parenting to be like, one would think I would avoid it at all costs.

So here's what it is.

I know and love my husband so well, that I can glance at him, see him doing some stupid thing that only he does, like the way he laughs out loud at commercials as if the jokes are actually clever, and I just feel so connected to him.

When I think of my dad and great guy that he is, I don't think about the monumental moments in my life that he was present for.  Or the great things that he's achieved.  I think of his hands.  His hands doing stupid little magic tricks like where you hold your palms together, hold a pencil in your thumbs, and then turn your hands flat still holding the pencil (yes, I know how to do this).  My dad almost always has something stupid in his hands that he's fidgeting with by way of little magic tricks.

These are the details that define a person.  These are the things that need to go into a scrapbook to give an observer an indication of that person as a person.  Graduation pictures say nothing other than that person wore in a weird hat and a robe for an hour.  Weddings are lovely, but they really have nothing to do with your marriage.  When I take my video camera to Thanksgiving dinners and stuff, I'm zooming in on my dads hands from across the room, and I'm leaving the camera running with tape over the red light so no one realizes it's on because maybe I'll catch a family member doing something iconic of that person.

It overwhelms me that I might have the privilege of knowing and loving even more people in this way.  Two more complete human beings that I'm going to know and understand and recognize and adore so much.  That there will be more people in my life who connect me by just absent mindedly twirling their hair in the way that only they do, or walking with a certain posture like only they can.  I get to be privy to that secret language that only people who deeply understand each other can have.

And that's why I have no interest in your children.  I don't know them the way that you do, and I have no right or inclination to know them the way that you do.  But I'm going to be utterly fascinated by mine.  I just can't believe that I'm going to have the privilege of bonding to additional people as tightly or even more so than my husband.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Trigger me this

I'm in a really weird place at the moment.  Almost paralyzed not knowing how to react.

I'm ok, we're all fine, it's just, well let me tell you how I spent my day.

A friend of mine is a producer at Creative Live where they produce a variety of photography and video workshops.  She hired me to take edit notes for the photography workshop this weekend.  That entails sitting up in a room watching the live stream of workshop in progress, and taking notes on things the video editor might need to know when they are working on the downloadable version.  Things like someone blocking the camera, or the sound in the mic goes screwy, or they have to wait 2 minutes while equipment is failing, stuff like that.

Soooooo, this weekends workshop is called Bellies and Babies.  In other words, how to photograph pregnant bellies and little babies.  If I weren't pregnant, I wouldn't be within 10 miles of that studio this weekend.

Most of the day was spent doing photo shoots with a pregnant woman, and a variety of babies, all under the age of 9 months.  One as young as 6 days old!  And because I'm starting to turn the emotional corner from bitter infertile to happy mommy, a turn I'm fighting tooth and nail but let's face it, I'm turning, I actually enjoyed most of the workshop today.  I caught myself smiling at cuteness several times.

For the last 45 minutes of the day, the photographer/instructor talked very emotionally about the charity she founded, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep or NILMDTS.  This organization does infant photography for families that are losing or have lost a baby.  And there was a video that included some of the images.

I wish I could talk more about the organization, but I wasn't capable of following along very closely for this portion of the workshop.  I was triggered by the whole concept.  And the one image I saw of itty bitty feet at the beginning of the video threw me over the edge.

So I'm just really wonked out right now.  On the one hand, I'm all triggered about losing my first set of girls, what they might have looked like, and I'm afraid that all of the crying I haven't done in the last few months is about to catch up with me in one big sobby mess.  On the other hand, I'm also living the fantasy that everyone who's lost children has, I'm getting a do-over.  I've just crossed my own personal hurdle of 19 weeks.  And yesterday, I got the information about this pregnancy that has started to carry me across the line from being completely pessimistic to having some deep down belief that it's going to be ok this time.  

I think I'm alternating between crying, and being a completely brain-dead zombie.  I'm triggered, but afraid to fully give in to the crying.  I'm happy about the news yesterday, but afraid to fully invest myself into believing it.

I'm......getting licked by a cat.  Yes, that I can absolutely confirm, I'm getting purred at and licked by my itty bitty kitty.  But I have no answers for anything else that I might be at the moment.  I just don't know where or what I am at the moment.

Friday, February 24, 2012

20 weeks

Well, we've passed 20 weeks!  Woot!  I've got pictures, I've got video, I've got info!  Lots of randomness in this post so I'll try to break it up into topics.  The real baby stuff is the last section if you want to skip down to there.

*** My hubby, Mr. Quiet ***

K has been to every single doctors appointment since this IVF attempt began.  Yes, every single blood draw, every internal exam, he's there for all of it.  Like I said before, I married good!  I'm not good at dealing with doctors because the doctors I saw when I was younger, they were all real pricks.  Dr. C and my GP are very different from the pricks, but ya know, old habits of closing off and being on guard, they die hard.  So K goes with me, especially now that I have the addition of hormones to add to my usual issues, partially just to keep me company and to endure the scheduling challenges with me, and partially to remind me of questions and to remember the answers since odds are I won't remember them correctly.

He talks a lot to me.  So I forget that when he's not in his own territory, and an OB's office is NOT his territory, he pretty much just listens.  Doesn't say a word.

So Dr. C's nurse, we'll dub her RNA (as in Nurse A, but NA is too close to N/A and I don't want to be insulting), she comes in and we're talking about how I passed the glucose test.  She gives the remark "I should have told you to celebrate with some cake or something!" and K replies "Oh, she did."

RNA - "He actually speaks!"

Yup.  That's my man.  A man of few words.  And those few words are usually some witty remark that make you realize that he's been paying attention to everything all along.

*** Dr. C ***

Dr. C said he would check my blog to see how I interpreted my appointment today.  I told him that now that I know he reads this, I'm probably never going to talk about him again!  But that just wouldn't be any fun at all, now would it?

So, Dr. C, yes, you got rid of your old shoes, but your current shoes are now becoming old shoes, so says the woman who wears moccasins out in public.  Personally, I vote you keep your comfy shoes.  As mine start getting holes, they become shoes for the pottery studio until they are so worn out and covered in mud that they walk themselves into the garbage can!  Clearly I have my fashion priorities, if it ain't comfy, it ain't worth it.

I was going to campaign to see if I could convince you to go blond because that would just be hysterical, but I won't inflict such a joke on the woman who got you to get rid of your old shoes.  If it were just you, I might be evil and convince you that you could totally pull off being a blond (bwahahahahah!) but nope, can't do it now.  Damn conscience!

Ok, actual information that I took away from the appointment today other than the important stuff about the babies in the final section of this post - because anemia is common, I'm going to start taking an iron supplement with a vitamin C supplement as a preventative measure.  So I guess with extra iron, I'll also be adding metamucil and fiber gummies back into rotation to make sure I poo again at some point.  We're also going to keep me on a low dose of metformin since it might be what's holding off the diabetes and there's no reason not to take it.

I seem to be eating enough, which I was a little concerned about since I'm having to make a real effort to do so.  I'm so sick of food!  No, I guess I'm not really sick of food, I'm sick of the going to the fridge and figuring out what to eat process.  If someone just puts food in front of me, I'm generally happy to eat some of it, but only being able to eat a little at a time and needing to eat several times per day, it's just frustrating.  But according to my book, my weight is on track, and Dr. C hasn't said anything about the rate of my weight gain so I guess I'm doing it right.

And of course, I forgot to ask about the headaches.  Probably because I didn't have one for that particular hour.  And I forgot to ask about these little heart races.  Or, I'm not sure if my heart races, or just needs to pump harder for a few minutes, but I'm sometimes getting the feeling like a random bit of adrenaline is suddenly flowing through me.  Yeah, I forgot to ask, I'm a dork.  Others on my pregnancy forums are complaining about headaches and I understand that during pregnancy the heart has to work harder due to increased blood volume, so I'm going under the assumption that both of these things are normal.  I'll be back in 2 weeks so I can ask then.  I was social enough to chat about politics, but too brain dead to remember my actual relevant questions.  *sigh*

*** Size ***

First, let's check on the belly progress, shall we?  Again, we'll start with the 10 week picture because it's still difficult to determine what is fat and what is babies without a starting reference.

10 weeks

20 weeks
Never in a million years would I have looked at that 10 week picture and thought "gee, I was thin!" but that's what I'm doing!

Ok, so here's the thing - when I started going to the fertility clinic, I was at my very fattest, 266lbs.  After a couple of months on metformin, I lost some weight and kind of hung out in the 250-255lbs range.  I only ever bought 1 pair of comfortable jeans for the 266lb me, but I had a full wardrobe for the 255lb version.  I got pregnant with Girls 1.0, moved up into my 266lbs fat pants, and for about a week was starting to wear a pair of maternity jeans.

When I got home after losing them, my weight was once again peeked at 266lbs.  Over the next 2 weeks, it dropped down to 248lbs where I hung out for a while, and had to dig out my "thin" wardrobe that I hadn't worn in years.  Then the fertility clinic changed all their rules and decided I couldn't get pregnant again until I got my fat ass below 232lbs, so I worked my ass off to get there, and bought 2 pairs of smaller jeans as my body shrank simply so I could get dressed without my pants falling off.  I had no intentions of keeping that weight off which is why I only bought the bare minimum to dress myself.

I started this pregnancy somewhere around 235lbs.  I'm back up to about 256lbs, and have just grown back into what I consider to be my "normal" wardrobe.  I still have some weight to gain before I get out the fat pants, and even more before I get out the maternity jeans.  And being a fat person all along, lord knows I have plenty of tops that will serve just fine as maternity tops.  So why my mother came by to try on some maternity tops that she bought me, I'll never know!  I appreciate the thought Mom, but there's a chance I won't need anything more than the wardrobe I already have!

*** Employment ***

It looks like I'm ready to unemploy myself.  I left my pottery gig because the potty breaks, and being exhausted just didn't make production feasible.  Left on good terms though, I'll have that job when I want it back.

The video gigs have started up again after being slow for more than a year, and I'm finding that I can't keep doing it.  The video stuff was ok for a while, but the last couple of weeks, I just feel like crap when I get home from a job.  The lugging around of equipment just doesn't feel like something I should be doing.  And I'm moving slower than usual so a job that's supposed to take 90 minutes is taking 2 hours.  K went on a job with me yesterday and he did all of the equipment lugging, and he agrees, it's time for me to stop.  Sometimes it's no big deal, but sometimes it's grueling, and there's simply no way of predicting which kind of job you're walking into.  I have 2 more jobs booked, one of which is likely to be cancelled, and then I'm done until the kiddos are ready to be without me for a couple of hours at a time.

I have a very part time admin job that I'll keep.  It's about 2 hours per week, and not even every week, but it's just nice to be useful somewhere even if the paycheck really only covers the gas.  And another friend has hired me to take edit notes for her video shoot this weekend, and that has no physical requirements at all so I can do things like that.  I'm hoping more little gigs like that will trickle in so I'm not completely throwing us under the financial bus.

But, bigger picture - not working for a few months to make sure the kiddos get here ok, that's still cheaper than another IVF attempt if I keep working and harm the kiddos doing so!

*** 20 week anatomy scan ***

Ok, I know that this is what you're all really here for.  It's not about me, it's about the babies, so let's get to it!

It's been a week of good news.  All I have is good news.  I'm so out of my element here!

I'm still just gobsmacked that I didn't fail my glucose test and get to assume I don't have diabetes for another 2 months.  I am going to start checking my blood sugar levels when I wake up so we can just be sure that everything stays ok before I take the test again at 28 weeks.  Lucky me still has my handy dandy blood poking kit that I was taught how to use in my last pregnancy.

Let's check in on the little ones, shall we?  The pictures and videos are getting a little more blobby again.  Mostly because they no longer have much room to lay all nice and profile for the camera.  So the cuteness factor is a little diminished.  Today they were mostly curled up pretty tight, ankles crossed.  But there's some cute swallowing action from Baby B at about 1:15 in the video.

The ultrasound was scheduled to last 20 minutes, but it took us about an hour.  They were being a bit difficult to measure and today was the anatomy scan where they do tons of measurements.

We did finally got a proper potty shot of Baby B and it's confirmed, we've got 2 girls!  The technician says there's always a margin of error, but yeah, both girls.

They both of brains!  And kidneys!  And hearts with 4 ventricles!  They are developing properly, no abnormalities!

Size wise, there are 2 things that we look for.  First, we want them to measure above the 10 percentile in terms of general size.  The percentiles are standardized for singleton pregnancies and it's just generally understood that twins are going to be smaller, which is why being above only 10% is acceptable.  Second, you want the twins to be growing evenly.  You don't want one at 10% and the other at 40%.  Mine?

~~~~~~Drum roll please!~~~~~~

Measuring at 43% and 44% (aka average size for a singleton!) and a size differential of 0%!

Dr. C says that a differential of 0% is unheard of (as in exceptionally great) and that average singleton size is really healthy for twins.

The last 2 things to look at are cervix length, and the state of the SCH.

In the book I'm generally referring to throughout the pregnancy, When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy, says that at the 20 week scan, if you have a cervix length of 2cm or more, it's likely that you will carry to term.  So I went in today with a very specific goal in mind.  Did I achieve this goal?  4.6cm bitches!  Boo-yah!!  I can't really pull off "boo-yah" can I?  Yeah, let's move on.

And now, the state of my bleed.  The nemesis of this pregnancy.  The ER Trip Generator.  I haven't bled for 2 weeks now.  And the SCH is about half the size it was at the last few checks, so it's pretty much getting squished out of existence at the moment.  I'm not going to tempt the fates and declare anything about it being solved, or gone, or anything like that which might be interpreted by the universe as predicting the future in any way, but there ya go.  Half the size it was, and haven't been bleeding for a while.  Take from that what you will!

The babies are healthy.  They are the right size.  They have all of their parts and those parts are functioning properly.  I don't currently have any diseases or other issues that is threatening their well-being.  I'm still not really feeling their movements, but I'm sure feeling my skin stretch so I have that to tell me that they are still growing every day.

So I'm having a pretty good day today.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nothing much going on

Hi!  I got a comment saying I'd been quiet and wondering if I'm ok.  Yup, we're all fine!  I simply haven't had a whole lot to say.

I'm almost 20 weeks and starting to do the pregnant stance and walk whether I mean to or not.  I was standing in the kitchen yesterday and realized I was standing kind of pushing my stomach out.  So I tried to stand up straight and nope, that is not comfortable at all.  So I guess I've crossed the point where one might do that to try to look all pregnant to honestly really needing to stand like that.

I don't know what the hell is wrong with my coordination while I eat, but I'm ending up with something on my shirt almost every time I eat anything.  Cutting into some eggs at a family breakfast, I flung the entire forkful of egg, salmon, and hollandaise sauce at my belly.  After eating a brownie with a caramel topping, I got up and found caramel on my jammies.  I don't even remember the brownie being close enough to me to get on my clothes!  Sneaky assed caramel!

Just got a phone call from the doctors office.  I passed the gestational diabetes test!  WOOT!!!  I don't have diabetes yet!  I'm completely shocked.  I failed it miserably the last time, I had taken it a week earlier in the pregnancy, and then I only had one placenta making the whole insulin thing more difficult whereas this time I have two.  I guess the metformin and the 20 lost pounds are making a real difference!  I didn't think that small amount of weight loss, considering I'm much more overweight than just 20lbs, would make much difference at all.

Oh, and about taking that test.  As we saw a week or so ago, I vomited up the glucose solution.  So they said to eat 18 jelly beans over the course of 2 minutes and then get my blood drawn an hour later.  So hubby brought home a bag full of the jelly beans I needed.  And so I didn't have to suffer alone, he raced me to get down a serving of them himself.  That's what kind of guy he is.  When we first moved in together, it was still really early in our relationship, like at 5 months.  And I was starting to deal with my sleep apnea so within a few weeks, I was trying out a CPAP machine.  So instead of having this sexy honeymoon phase where I would go to bed with my man looking all cute and sexy and stuff, I had to go to bed with a full friggin face mask.  Oh baby, you sexy thing you.  So my man took the extra mask and slept with that on his face so I wouldn't be embarrassed and uncomfortable by myself.

I think that these things really say a lot about what kind of guy he is and really explain why I married him and why I'm so grateful that he exists in the world.  As I read what other women are putting up with as I read various forums, I just don't get why they put up with it.  My man would gouge his own eyes out before he ever said anything hurtful to me and so many of these women are getting insulted on a regular basis.  Any time I can convince one person to hold out for a man like the one I've found, I'm gonna try to do it.  I'm no prize.  I'm not super thin sexy beast.  I'm not all that special.  Women half my size are being called fat by their men and are being made to feel bad about themselves.  And if a man as wonderful as mine can fall in love with fat, old, ornery me, I don't comprehend why anyone would choose anything less.

Ok, but I digress.  So what else has been going on around here this week?  Still not really feeling baby movements.  They're in there.  We find a couple of hearts beating every night on the doppler, but I'm just not feelin in yet.

We've been dealing with some cat issues.

One of my kitties is super sweet, but really skittish.  This is the one I'm talking about, Shadow.

He wants attention, but gets nervous and runs when you make a move to give him some.  So he'll sit next to my chair and talk to me.  And reach up and tap my arm with his claws.  So I bend down to can pet him, but having this person suddenly looming over him freaks him out and he runs off only to repeat the process a few minutes later.  This routine gets old, really fast.

So I've been training him to come up and use the cat bed that's on the corner of my desk.  My 2 youngest kitties practically live there, but there are times when it's vacant.  I'd really appreciate it if Shadow would come up to where I am so I can pet him rather than have me bend in a position that's getting more and more uncomfortable only to run away.

It's taken some effort because he really doesn't like being grabbed and moved, but with a lot of catnip, encouragement, and ignoring him when he's on the floor, he's learned that he's allowed to come up on my desk and I think he's starting to figure out that it's a place he wants to be.  He's jumping up and testing the waters quite often, getting a few snuggles and then jumping down.  A few times, he's gone ahead and sat his butt down in the bed which is a big accomplishment as it signals that he's relaxed enough to sit, albeit somewhat tentatively.

And my big loverboy Mayday has been sick.  He's usually pretty vibrant but he's just been kind of whiny and sad, and really wanting mama time.  Very much like a child who doesn't feel good and just wants to snuggle with mommy on the couch.

We've noticed that his poo has gone liquid again and there was some blood dripping on his back end.  But the blood seemed to be just blood, not mixed with poo, so that really freaked us out.  We're familiar with blood in the stool, but not just blood.  So we got him into the vet right quick and he's got the same bug he had about a year ago.  I don't get why he keeps getting this.  He's the only one in the house who gets this thing and we've been really good about making sure his diet has switched over completely to the food the vet told us he should have for urinary tract infections.  We've asked and asked about what can be done to prevent him from getting this and there's just nothing we can do but treat it when he gets it.

He's the one that climbs across my belly on his way to my face every night for snuggles.  He's 20lbs now.  And a clod.  He really knows how to put all of his weight on just the wrong spot, so I'm really trying to teach him to walk up next to me instead of on me.  So far, that training is not going well.

Busy week ahead.  I'm working every day this week either doing a video shoot, doing admin at a video company, or taking notes for someone elses video shoot.  I didn't mean to pack this week so tight, but if it wears me out, this might be the last week that I accept jobs (other than my once a week admin job).  Ultrasound and doctors appointment on Friday so I might have a new video to post.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Entering Uncharted Waters

Today marks 18w6d.  At this time in my last pregnancy, I was waking up from surgery, deflated belly, and not happy about either of those facts.  This time, I'm still pregnant, I'm not in the hospital, and as an added bonus, I'm not bleeding.  

Yesterday was a mix of great and sucky.  

K had the day off so we were able to start the day with a good snuggle.  Since buying the Snoogle, there's a great lack of snuggle so it was good to catch up.  

On lovey dovey holidays like Valentine's Day and our anniversary, K tends to wake up in the middle of the night and place presents on my desk for me to find in the morning.  He overslept so he tried to sneak out to get the stuff from his car while I was on a bathroom break.  I come out of the bathroom and he's rushing in towards my desk with a stuffed lion with a rose in its mouth and a variety of chocolates.  Busted!  It was adorable.

For the most part, we just hung out all day.  We're not big on holidays and I really try to treat him like it's Valentines Day every day, so we just kind of don't know what to do differently when the actual holiday comes around.  It was also a tense day because of where it fell in the pregnancy.  Last time, the loss started after dinner on 18w5d, so ya know, holding breath.

K made a wonderful dinner of steak, lobster tail, and creamed spinach.  I'm totally spoiled and I love it!

And in the evening, my body decided it hated me.  It started having some gas pains.  Ya know, like the kind of gas I thought I was having the last time but they were actually contractions.  So I'm freaking out.  It's one thing to be a little tense that it might be a difficult night to get through emotionally, it's another to have your body play practical jokes on you to really get you triggered.  All evening, I'm watching the clock making sure that there's no pattern to the occasional gas and asking K "I was in pain last time right?  I wasn't just a little uncomfortable, I was in real pain early on, right?"

We pulled out the doppler (again) and found the heartbeats really high up.  They're pretty much in line with my belly button now.  That actually calmed me down quite a bit.  It was confirmation that it wasn't happening again, because if I was pushing something out again, we would have found their heartbeats much lower.

And here's the weirdest thing.  Ya know how I've talked about maybe feeling movement a few times?  Ok, every time I've felt it, I've reported it here.  So that's 2 or 3 times total.

So I'm sitting on the couch, and I've got my hands on my stomach.  I set them there and kind of press a little bit sometimes, just to feel the hardness of the uterus through the fat.  And while I'm doing that, I think one of them kicked my finger!  But that can't be true right?  I really don't feel them internally, but it seemed like I felt one swift kick externally?  Logic fails on that, but that's sure what it seemed like.  It felt like a pea sized pebble bounced off my fingertip from below.  Some time was spent being shocked at that.

Well, here I am.  Currently pregnant a few hours longer than I was last time.  I've crossed over from "been there, done that" to "what the heck is gonna happen now?"  I feel like I'm on borrowed time from this point forward.  I think, there's a good chance, but I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I just might be having a couple of babies this year.

Let's do this!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ultrasound video

Just because I didn't get around to posting this yesterday, here's my 18w1d ultrasound video.

Twin A is pretty clear, but Twin B is just so far buried that it's hard to get a good shot of her.  But we think she might have been sucking her thumb at some point.

But we did see an explanation as to why I'm not really feeling kicks yet, they're too busy kicking each other to kick me!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Always carry clean underwear

Yesterday was 18 weeks.  Yay!  This is the hold your breath week, and then we get into completely new territory.  Lots of random thoughts from the last 2 days so this might wander a little bit.


I had a video shoot yesterday morning.  And I gotta say, I was a hot mess while doing my job.

Here's what I think happened.  I'm normally such a dietary garbage can that no matter what I eat, it doesn't really affect me.  I think those days are over, at least for the moment.  On my way to the shoot, I had my normal latte (good mix of a little bit of sugar, a little bit of caffeine and some protein from the milk to hold me over) and I also had one of those pieces of lemon loaf.  I think that particular breakfast spiked and then completely crashed my blood sugar.

About halfway into the shoot (they take about 90 minutes), I suddenly had to sit down, had some trouble catching my breath, I was shaking, and nearly vomited.  I tried to soldier on a few times, but finally had to take a real break, like 15 solid minutes, eat some fruit chewy things that I keep in my purse and down some water.  After the break, I barely pushed on enough to get the footage necessary to do my job and got out of there.  Called my bosses and told them that I probably did not make the best impression.


Found out this morning that I've put on 5lbs in the last 2 weeks.  Well, that would explain why I'm a little more huffy puffy lately.  And why I've felt like my belly has popped a bit.

My belly seems to be bulging out, and then deflating.  For a day, I'll feel like I'm huge, and the line around my waist will soften from being pushed out, getting towards round instead of a cut off line between fat rolls.  But then another day it will seem like I'm back where I was a couple of weeks ago.  Still 2 confirmed fat rolls that just read as fat and gross rather than cute baby belly.

At the ultrasound this morning, I was told that they had shifted positions a little bit.  So what I've probably been experiencing is that sometimes they are side by side (on my smaller, but just fat days) and sometimes they are one in front of the other (on my popped out baby belly days).

Either way, it's been a few weeks, so it's belly pic time!  Again, my original 10 week photo versus my now 18 week photo.

10 Weeks
18 Weeks
 Still no dramatic difference.  Oh well.


After my dropped blood sugar fiasco, I had a lovely lunch with Bleeding Tulip.  I don't think she recognizes it, but she's moved forward a lot in the last year.  She's been losing weight (looking good!), and has not only gone back to work, but was able to get a different job when the first one was, ahem, unpleasant.  In the last year, I've hardly been employed at all.  How she's managed to secure herself 2 jobs in this economy, that's pretty impressive!

When fighting the infertile fight, it's really difficult to acknowledge any life progress that isn't baby related.  So while she may not recognize that she's been moving forward in life, she has.

And again, I feel like a jerk.  The only thing I have to talk about is being pregnant and birthing plans, and blah blah blah.  All that stuff that I don't want anyone talking to me about when in the middle of the fertility fight.  And yet here I was, being that very person that infertiles want to avoid.  Sorry about that.

I was a bit overwhelmed with the shocking physical crash I was still kind of experiencing, and the fact that I'm so exhausted just walking 2 blocks to get cheesecake.  I was surprised by my own body failings and really preoccupied by them.


Wondering about the title of this post?  I'm getting to that.


I am proud of the fact that I did actually accomplish something yesterday.  After years of having free accounts at Bank of America, they've started charging me a $25 a month fee of some sort.  Guess what BofA?  I have 2 other bank accounts and simply don't need you!

But.....BofA had 2 things going for them that the other banks didn't have.  I had a business account there so on the rare occasion that someone writes a check out to the name of my business, I can cash the check, and they would also allow me to deposit checks made out to Alex which is how everyone knows me, but was not legally a part of my name until last year.

So I went to one of my other banks, and filled out all sorts of new paperwork.  I had to show them all sorts of identification and the court document acknowledging my name change last year, and write out signatures for both versions of my name.  Yay!  Now they will acknowledge that I'm Alex!  And just for fun, I opened a business account, even though I'm not going to be doing much business in the next year, so I can also deposit checks made out to my business name.  Woot!

This week, I go through every account that does an automatic deposit or withdrawal and point those to my other account, and then I close BofA for good.


Oh yeah!  Ok, really, I try not take what happens on forums as real life, but I've got to report on this.

Folks, the 4th grader in me that used to cry every day because she was unpopular and the other kids picked on her, she learned how to smile this week.

On the primary pregnancy forum that I visit, there are currently about 11,500 people there.  And they have recently begun elections to assign 4 new group owners (aka moderators) to the group.  A bunch of people expressed interest in the job (including myself), the owners of the website reviewed those people, and then came up with a list of nominees eligible for the job.  Well, I was weeded out.  No explanation, just that I was deemed to be not a good fit.  So I'm not nominated.

And to my absolute shock, people are voicing how much they disagree with this decision!  They are calling for people to vote for me even though I'm not on the nomination list because they want me as a group owner!  I'm getting private emails from people who are trying to contact the website owners for some sort of explanation as to why I'm not eligible.  There are threads happening about how much people wanted to vote for me and are just going to anyway.

Out of over 11k people, I'M FUCKING NOTICED!  And some of those people who noticed me, ACTUALLY LIKE ME!!!!  This is just incredible to me.  I'm someone that when I graduated high school, and they did a photo montage of every graduating senior, they forgot to add my picture.

Since this started, my face has been alternating between these two extremes:



Had my ultrasound and doctors appointment today.  I'll post pictures tomorrow, I haven't scanned stuff yet.

This appointment was meant to take up the hour between drinking the glucose crap and getting my blood drawn again, but due to massive amounts of puking up the crap, the second part of that test was cancelled, and I was just feeling like crap when I went in.

But the ultrasound went great!  Both are still evenly sized, and I'm starting to see specific body parts like a little rib cage, and hands full of fingers.  I think Baby B was sucking her(?) thumb.  She was also kind of buried in there and we still couldn't get a good look at her bits to confirm once and for all that she's a girl, but ya know, still about 80% sure from the last look we got a couple of weeks ago.

The hematoma is holding steady, potentially even shrinking.  So that's a good thing!  The kiddos are getting heavy enough that they are flattening it out.  It's now more of a thick string in there rather than a bubble.  Still trace amounts of bleeding, but overall it's diminishing.

Now that the girls are getting bigger, we had to get reacquainted with Wanda to properly check my cervix length.  Still at 4cm.  YES!!!  The book I'm reading about twins/multiples pregnancy says that if your cervix is 2cm or longer at your 20 week check up, that's an indicator that you're likely to go to term.  Since I don't think my cervix is going to cut in half over the next 2 weeks, I'm feeling really good about that!

Back when I first started having bleeding on a fairly regular basis, well over a month ago, I started carrying a clean pair of underwear in my purse in case I overbled a pantyliner.  While I was at it, I tossed in a pair of socks since I tend to wear non water proof shoes and I live in Seattle.

Oh by the way, this is my giant purse.  I can carry two 2 liters of soda in this thing without having to rearrange stuff to make room.  More pockets than I know what to do with.  So carrying around some extra clothing is no big deal.

So when I went to get dressed after my date with Wanda, I noticed that my underwear was damp.  Ewwwwww!!!  I must have had a little leakage while I was upstairs hurling my guts out.  And I'm not looking forward to putting them back on when it occurs to me, I have another pair in my purse!  Woot!  I pull out my clean fresh undies, get myself dressed, roll up my damp undies into a latex glove at the nurses station and I'm good as new!

And THAT pregnant ladies, is why you should carry around a clean pair of underwear in your purse!

Glucose Fail

I have nice things to talk about from yesterday, but I had a crappy morning this morning and want it out of my head.

And I didn't fail the glucose test, I failed to properly take the glucose test.

I was very good and fasted after about 10pm last night so I could do the glucose diabetes test this morning.  We got our asses out of bed this morning and trucked down to the hospital take the test.  No Starbucks, no McDonalds hashbrowns, just a hungry pregnant woman with her water bottle and a tired husband yawning his way there.

We get to the hospital and totter up to the fifth floor.  They take my blood for the "before" numbers and give me this awful sweetened water mixture.  It's like drinking a bottle full of melted otter pop, and I have to get it all down in 5 minutes on my empty stomach.  I fight my way through.  The sugar starts making me feel sick almost immediately.  But I'm battling and I get it all down.

Feeling a bit off, I walk over to the bathroom thinking maybe I'll feel a little better if I pee.  So I do.  And when I stand up and get my pants back on, it happens,  I run over to the sink and start violently barfing up red liquid.  Ugh!  It was just awful.  My torso was already a bit sore when I woke up this morning, and leaning over a sink throwing up was not helping.  It took about 10 minutes to get it all out of my system.

So I went to sit down for a few minutes and recover.  And then headed back to the sink to get rid of whatever else my stomach could give to the cause.

Just an awful experience.

When we got home, of course I'm still starving because it's been 12 hours since I started fasting.  But of course when you're that hungry, and you've barfed, the idea of eating just makes you queasy again.  So I had a carnation instant breakfast drink and went back to bed.  Stayed in bed until 3pm because I was just wiped.

We're going to try a different version of the test where I eat a bunch of jelly beans and get my blood drawn an hour after that.  Why we can't just assume I have diabetes again and go from there, I have no idea.  But they have to confirm it so woopity doo.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fun while it lasted

Well, trace amounts of brown blood are starting to show up again.  Still very small, trace amounts.

But it was a fun 2 days wasn't it?  Let's all remember the good times I had with clean toilet paper, and not wearing pantyliners.  Oh my but those were splendid days.

Ok, all joking aside, this doesn't bother me a whole lot.  I would MUCH prefer to see it come back as a long term little trickle than to have a huge whoosh followed by a week of clean, followed by another whoosh.  I'm hoping that this is slowing down overall though.  That the babies have gotten heavy enough to begin to exert pressure on the hematoma which would encourage it to clot and stop bleeding permanently.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

One Whole Day

A whole day without blood!  I've just experienced 24 solid hours with no blood on my toilet paper!

Here's hoping that if it starts again, it's the same slow trickle like before.  I'd hate to go a while without bleeding only to have a big scary WHOOSH later.

Ultrasound in 3 days.  I'm very curious as to what my subchorionic hematoma is looking like nowadays.  Have the babies gotten heavy enough to exert some pressure on it and make it heal?

Gestational Diabetes test the morning of the ultrasound too.  I'm fully expecting to fail that test and have to start dealing with nutrition stuff in minute detail.  I'm currently enjoying the various treats that we have around the house, but I'm not stocking up with more.  I have a hunch that doctors will be taking my treats away over the next week or so.  Until then, have you tried the chocolate truffles from Trader Joes?  Those things are awesome!

In 1 week, I hit the point in the pregnancy where the contractions started and I lost the girls the next day.  Obviously, I'm kind of holding my breath.  But if I'm still pregnant in 9 days, I'll have officially crossed the line.  We'll have to see how the next week goes.  By this time in the last pregnancy, I had been dealing with a nagging cough and incontinence for more than a week.  Neither of those things have shown up this time.  I'm clinging to that small difference and really hoping that those were early symptoms of the infection and not having those issues this time means that no infection is coming to get us.

Still going day by day and every day just passes by way too slowly.  I'm craving that moment when I get to hold a baby or babies and someone confirms that I actually get to keep it/them.  Still doesn't seem possible.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The good, the bad, and the ugly

The good - I've been out of bed for almost 7 hours now and no blood so far today!  Now I'm not going to declare the bleeding done with because my body listens and would punish me for such a statement, but I can declare a solid 6 hour break from bleeding has now occurred.  That's right body, no future predictions, only describing the past.  You can't do anything to jinx what has already happened!  I win this round!

The bad - headaches.  Arg.  Low to medium level of pain and it's becoming somewhat constant.  I hate taking pain relievers, but it's becoming necessary.

The ugly - pimples.  On the earlobe, the crease between my nose and cheek, on the chin, just sexy.  When my mom was pregnant with me, she had the mumps so I got a natural immunity to it.  It's too bad we can't give our kids an immunity to zits by taking them on ourselves when pregnant.

2 nights ago, I'm fairly certain I felt baby movement.  Some kind of solid thump thump thumps.  First time I was pretty confident that it wasn't a digestion function of some sort.  Still nothing definite, but it's creeping up on me.  I'm hoping that in the next week or so, it will become unquestionable, and somewhat consistent.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Progesterone Shots

Today I started my weekly progesterone injections.  Wheeeeeee!

I forgot that those things hurt for a bit after you get the shot.  Walked around for about an hour complaining about a bruise on my butt.  Not because it hurt all that much, but just because I like complaining  ;-)  Anyone else needing to do progesterone shots, don't be scared, it's not that big a deal.  Ice your butt for 10 or 15 minutes and you'll hardly feel the needle.  I forgot about it being a little sore shortly after my husband reached his listening to me complain threshold.

This is a completely new concept to me.  A medical service that does house calls!  They actually send out a nurse to come and take your vitals, check the heart rates of the babies, and administer the shots for you.  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  It's awesome!

Random note - she said that leftover needles and syringes can sometimes be used by vets offices.  We have a ton of leftover needles from various IVF attempts sitting in the back room so hubby is checking with some of the animal shelters his work partners with to see if they can be of use to anybody.  So all of you folks who have leftovers and hate waste, that might be a place where they can be used.

Day 22 of small amounts of dark brown bleeding.  17w2d of being pregnant.  And not a whole lot to say about much of anything.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Coming up on 17 weeks

I hit 17 weeks tomorrow.

I had a moment of click where it dawned on me that it's real that there are babies with me where ever I go.  I'm still fighting off that final click when this all becomes real.  I'm simply not ready to jump over that emotional cliff, but it's becoming a little harder to fight every day.  Did the official announcement on Facebook and that just feels like it's inviting disaster.

I did go back and read my blog from this point in my first pregnancy.  There are some very reassuring differences.

When I was approaching 16 weeks, I was complaining of incontinence and a persistent nagging cough I had developed.  I was talking about the doctor having me come in to test for a UTI and stuff to make sure the incontinence was baby based and not illness based.  This time, I'm still pretty leak free and I don't have any kind of cough.  So those first potential symptoms just aren't there this time.

A lot of times, I'm almost feeling like my crotch is pushing itself out, which of course totally freaks me out.  I'm running my finger across my crotch more often than I'd like to admit to make sure there's no sac trying to make its escape.  In reading other people complaining of this, it's pretty common and it's likely because a baby is lying low across the cervix putting pressure there.  In my case, we're actually hoping for that.  The subchorionic hematoma is located very near the cervix and we're kind of waiting for the babies to get heavy enough to sit on it, and put some pressure there to hopefully help stop the wound from bleeding anymore.

But the sensation is still rather terrifying given my history.  I keep having to remind myself that I was feeling contractions and trying push out a BM pretty darned hard for 2 or 3 hours before the sac began to emerge.  It didn't just randomly fall out of my body last time, and it's certainly not going to this time.

Ok, 17 week symptom break-down:

  • Abdomen is still sore and generally heavy.  Feels like I've got a gallon of water swinging around in my belly.
  • Still have a decent sense of smell but it doesn't seem as bad as it was before.
  • Nose still stuffed up.
  • Today is day 19 of consistent, but small amounts of dark brown bleeding.  Just fabulous.
  • Still not sure I'm feeling movement.  I can tell that there's something going on, but then I'll feel the same gurgle elsewhere so it can't be baby.  Can't tell if I'm feeling my own pulse around the uterus, dinner moving along its digestion course, or babies twisting around.  Until I can be sure, I'm gonna say I don't think I feel any movement yet.
  • Not sleeping real well.  Getting up to pee a lot, and just generally uncomfortable.
  • I get tired really fast.  The few times I've gone out to the pottery studio, I get completely exhausted and have to give up somewhere around hour 2.
  • I'm hungry every 2 hours.  
  • Occasional heartburn and headaches.
In other news, we've learned that what K was suffering from 2 weeks ago was Salmonella poisoning!  OMG!  A few of our GP's patients all got it at the same time so various health departments are in contact with K trying to narrow down the source.  

We've determined that it can't be anything from our fridge because there's nothing that's been in there that I haven't eaten and I didn't get sick.  So that narrows it down to a fast food place he ate at without me, and potentially the buffet we went to.  Our plates were similar, but maybe he ate something that I didn't.  We're a bit freaked because we've been so careful about proper food prep, keeping raw meats separate from other foods, etc, and yet I still only narrowly escaped while he got hit.

And that's how things are going as I approach 17 weeks!