Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Halloween babies!

Well, the last couple of days have been interesting to say the least. I went to the hospital on Monday night for my usual non-stress test. I had dropped off my lovely pee jug that morning so I was hoping to find out the results. I did. They found mild amounts of protein in my urine. That combined with the swelling and elevated blood pressure confirmed what I was fearing - I have pre-eclampsia. The doctor on call at the hospital wanted to keep an eye on me and see if anything changed, so they admitted me Monday night. I had to collect my urine once again and they checked my BP every 2 hours. They kept saying there was a good chance I could deliver this week, before I hit 35 weeks, but they wanted to keep monitoring things. So I had been mentally preparing myself to deliver today and having the babies spend a week or so in the NICU. It wasn't my ideal situation, but I had come to terms with it.

So this morning the doctor comes back after reviewing my labs and I'm certain she's going to say we're doing the C-section today since my protein counts had gone up (up from 380 on Monday to 550 today when they want 300 or less). Instead, she says that being on bedrest at the hospital has helped bring my blood pressure down enough that they feel OK with the babies cooking another week. Plus, my protein counts are at the low end of mild pre-e (severe is considered 5,00 or more and I was only at 500). So I was released today and am on bedrest - I can get up to pee and can shower quickly and walk downstairs, but that's about it. I also need to collect my pee yet again and come back Friday and Monday for more labs and non-stress tests.

I am so happy that the babies will cook for another week, but I had been preparing myself to deliver today that it seems weird I won't be meeting them til next week. Obviously this is the for the best, since they will be born at 36 weeks and will most likely need very little if any NICU time. As of Tuesday they are measuring well - Danny is 5lbs 3 oz and Kate is 5 lbs 1 oz, which is exactly on target.

The hardest thing for me was coming to terms with the fact that it wasn't the babies who were ready to come - it was my body that was failing. I know it's not my fault or anything, but I feel bad that my body and this condition is what's basically threatening them.

So the wndrtwns have a birthday - October 31!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My first trip (and fall) to L&D

Well, yesterday I was my usual graceful self and managed to trip over a computer wire in my office. Thankfully, I fell straight down on my knees, not my belly. I could feel both babies moving afterwards and I didn't have any bleeding or leaking, which is good. But it still freaked me out, so I called the OB. I was scheduled to start having non stress tests this week anyway, so they decided to have me come in for that a few hours earlier, so I left work right away. Brian met me at the hospital and we went up to the maternity ward for the first time.

Basically what a non stress test (NST) does is monitor the babies' heart rates, and checks to see if they accelerate with movement (which they should). It also measures any uterine contractions I might be having. Katie was being quite stubborn and wouldn't let the nurse get a good reading on her heart beat. This of course scared us, even though the nurse and I could both feel her move. The nurse eventually had to get an ultrasound machine to be able to see exactly where her heart was. Finally, after what seemed like forever, she found the heartbeat. Remind me to ground Katie later for being a brat :)

Danny was much more cooperative than his sister and she found heart rate right away. So there were 2 monitors strapped to my belly, then a third was placed to measure my contractions. Plus an absurdly tight blood pressure cuff that I swear was going to cut my arm off. Oh, and I was supposed to stay perfectly still through all this. That was fun. Plus, I'm supposed to go back and do this twice a week.

Overall, the wndrtwns did very well and were moving around a lot. There was no reason to believe that the fall caused any problems. That was certainly a relief. I was told to drink a lot more water - it's possible that dehydration was causing the sporadic Braxton Hicks contractions I've been having the last week or so.

Oh, and today is a bittersweet anniversary - it was exactly one year ago today I found out I was pregnant the first time.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The end is in sight

The end of working, at least. Initially, my OB was OK with me just working up until about a week before the C-section, provided there were no issues with the babies. But she was ready to pull me out right away if there were any problems. Last week I went to the perinatologist (high risk Dr.) and everything is fine with the babies, but he still wants me to stop working or at least work from home starting around 33-34 weeks (which is about 2 weeks away). His concern is not about actually working (I sit at a desk most of the day) but the 45 minute commute each way. He would rather I not be in the car for that long and be too far from a hospital in case I have contractions while driving, etc. So he's recommending I at least try working from home for a couple weeks and then stop working altogether around 35 weeks.

So now I need to have that conversation with my boss. He'll be fine with it - he has 2 kids and his wife is currently pregnant again so I know he'll understand. I was just looking forward to saving as much of my vacation and sick time as possible for after the babies get here so I could get paid in full rather than the 70% I'd get from STD. But I'll do whatever I need to. I've been having some sporadic contractions, so I don't want to take any chances. So now I guess I need to finalize my maternity leave plan!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I promise, those are not track marks

One of the things that most pregnant women have to do is take a glucose tolerance test. This is usually done around 26-28 weeks or so. Most only have to take 1 test - it takes an hour and if you pass, you're done. This glucose test will determine if you are at risk for gestational diabetes - a serious but treatable condition that rarely shows symptoms, so it's really important to get this test done. As usual, with twins I'm considered high risk for GD so I took the test seriously.

The one hour test was manageable. The worst part was drinking the nasty orange drink. I have never been able to chug anything, so it was tough trying to get it down in only 5 minutes. But I did, and I sat and waited an hour to get my blood drawn. I felt sort of queasy during the wait and then afterwards til I could eat, but it wasn't too bad. I left thinking, "Well, I'm glad that's over, and I'm sure I won't have to do it again."

Not so much. A couple days later my doctor calls and says my levels were slightly elevated and they want me to take the 3 hour test. Here's the kicker - the numbers they want to see are 135 or below. I had 136. Yes, 136. I was off by 1 freakin' point. Just my luck.

So I scheduled the 3 hr test, and decided to just take the whole day off from work in case I felt sick. I was supposed to fast for 12 hours, then drink a glucose drink twice as strong as last time and wait another 3 hours. I had a feeling that if I felt queasy after the 1 hr, this would be even worse. So I fasted, but made sure to stuff myself with high protein snacks right before the fasting started so I wouldn't be super hungry. Surprisingly, I felt pretty OK. I got the drink down and then began waiting. The blood draws were the worst part. I had to give a baseline blood sample before drinking, then another 3 every hour. I have terrible veins and phlebotomists and nurses always have issues finding a good vein from me. So trying to do this 4 times in 3 hours was not pleasant. I ended up with 2 prick marks in my right arm, one in my left, and one in my left hand. And they're nasty looking, too. I looked like a heroin addict or something with all these holes and bruises. It's been over a week now and I still have the bruises.

(Oh, and because I must be a glutton for punishment, I scheduled my Rhogam shot for the same afternoon. So that was another needle prick and another bruise - this time in my upper arm. Good times.)

So now it's over. I felt a little dizzy afterwards but was so happy to get home and be able to eat. After eating and resting for a while at home I felt good, so it wasn't nearly as bad as I had feared. Oh, and this time, I actually passed :) Yay!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I'm it!

I've been tagged by Erin (E_Sharp)

The Rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Write 6 random things about yourself
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

1. I have a severe phobia of bats - I get freaked out seeing them even for a second on TV. I don't even like to listen to people talk about bats.
2. I didn't get on an airplane til I was 24 years old.
3. When I was 10 my parents and I drove cross country in an RV. We saw the Grand Canyon and rode up the CA coast. It was awesome.
4. I hate to have food touch each other. Those disposable plates with the 3 separate areas are one of the greatest inventions ever.
5. I sometimes wonder if there will ever be something I can excel at. I feel like I am so average at everything I do. Even the things I think I'm good at - I'm really just average.
6. I despise wearing closed toed shoes. I would wear flip flops and sandals all year long if I weren't afraid of my feet falling off from the cold.

Now, who should I tag?
1. Stephanie (alpacabunny)
2. Tamara (lovelifeinthesouth)
3. Sara (Calhoun)
4. Mandie (Just Boo)
5. Jennifer (Chrysallys)
6. Mandy (mandybr)

Monday, August 25, 2008

What a difference 2 weeks makes...

Well, it's official. I have "popped". Any worries I had about not looking big enough for twins are laughable. At my last OB appt, I was 26 weeks and measured 32. Strangers ask whe I'm due and nearly have a heart attack when I tell them not til November. I am officially huge. And trust me, I am not complaining. I absolutely love the big belly and feeling the wndrtwns kicking me like crazy. I love that my pregnancy is obvious to the world. And I'm really curious to see just how big I become!

Here are the latest belly pics - there is quite a difference between the second and third!

21 weeks, 5 days

24 weeks, 2 days

26 weeks, 3 days

Quite a difference, isn't it? And for a comparison with a singleton pregnancy, here is a picture of me with my friend at her baby shower - she is EIGHT weeks AHEAD of me. Now she was super skinny to begin with, but still.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Cheese, turkey breast, and a fistfight please...

So this weekend I experienced my most exciting trip to grocery store ever. As I'm sure you would agree, grocery shopping is not exactly the most glamorous chore ever. But sometimes, excitement happens when you least expect it.

It was about 8:30 on a Sunday night, in my little teeny suburban town. I went to the deli counter to buy some cheese, and got in the obligatory line. Suddenly I hear yelling, and I look up to see what was going on. I see another customer - a pretty big and muscular guy - screaming at someone behind the counter - a young looking and scrawny kid about 19 or 20. Suddenly the big guy walks behind the counter, still screaming and grabs the kid by the throat. He's actually choking this kid and then punches him in the face. Everyone is yelling at him to stop, people are grabbing their cell phones to call the police, and a couple of brave customers even got behind the counter to try and break it up. I swear to God, I didn't know where I was for a second. This kind of thing is not supposed to happen at the Giant in Souderton. This is a nothing little town.

So eventually the guys are separated and people try to figure out what prompted all this. Supposedly what happended is this kid made some sort of disparaging remark about the customer's wife (who was in the store, but was doing other shopping while he waited at the deli counter). Apparently these 2 are regular customers and the kid had been saying stuff to/about her for a while. I guess he couldn't deal with his wife being disrespected so he felt he had to defend her honor. I have to say, that while I admire the sentiment of standing up for your wife, there has got to be a way to deal with it in a non-violent way.

What really killed me was the fact that this dude would start a fight in front of his 10 or 12 year old son. Is that really the behavior you want to role model to your kid? Especially since it was obviously not a fair fight - the kid was a beanpole and this guy was all muscle. The couple even tried to leave before the police got there, not believing he had done anything wrong. But the cops got there as they were leaving, and all of us who witnessed the fight were asked to give a report. Muscle Joe got arrested, and the manager took the kid outside to talk - I'd be curious to know if he still has a job. Even though he was the victim in this situation, other customers claim they did hear him making comments about the guy's wife. Definitely not appropriate.

So what was supposed to be a quick trip to pick up a couple items turned into an hour of drama and reports. So be careful next time you have a "mundane" chore to do. You never know what kind of excitement and fireworks might be brewing ahead at that post office or Target.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Introducing our babies- ultrasound pictures!

Here are some of our latest ultrasound pictures. I may be biased but I think they're pretty damn cute :)

Baby A - Katharine (Kate)

Baby B - Daniel (Danny)

Katie sucking her thumb

Danny waving

3D image of Kate

3D image of Danny

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ultrasound today!

This was the big one - the Level 2 u/s in which we would get to see the babies' development and growth, and make sure everything was going smoothly. Oh yeah, and find out the sexes too!

I have had a feeling for weeks now that there was at least one boy in there. I have no real reason to believe this, just mother's intuition I guess. I thought we might even end up with 2 boys. Maybe it's because having 2 boys seems scary to me (I'm definitely a girly girl) so I was mentally preparing myself. We would have been thrilled with anything, but one of each would be ideal.

Anyway, everything measured well and both babies are developing normally! Phewww. I can't tell you what a relief that is.

Ok, here are the results and the real reason you're reading (I know you probably skipped ahead to see this ;)

Baby A - GIRL!

Baby B - BOY!

I thought it was funny that when the ultrasound tech was looking for the genitals of Baby B, she wouldn't say penis. Yet she had no problem pointing out his scrotum. "Here's his scrotum, and here's his, um, boy part!" You can say scrotum but you can't say penis? I think scrotum is a weirder word than penis, but whatever.

The only semi-disappointing news was that the doctor pretty much shot down my little remaining chance of having a vaginal birth. I had been told earlier that I had about an 80% chance of needing a C-section, which I was OK with. I've been mentally preparing myself for a C-section but I knew that 20% chance still existed if both babies were head down. But because of the placement of Baby B's cord, it doesn't look like that will happen. With twins it's common for the babies' cords to be more to the edges of the placenta rather than in the center. With a vaginal birth, there's a very good chance that the strain of delivery could cause a serious hemorrhage in the babies, which is obviously dangerous. He basically said I should just schedule a C-section around 37 or so weeks, and if I go into labor any earlier than that, they will just do a C-section then. Pretty much anytime after 34 weeks they won't bother to stop the labor. So while it's somewhat disappointing, I will do whatever is recommended to keep me and my babies safe. And hey, now we get to pick their birthday! :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I'm being brave...belly shots!

One thing that drives me crazy about seeing belly pics in other people's bios or blogs is that of them are super skinny pre-pregnancy. They have flat-as-a-washboard abs til about 8 weeks or so, and then suddenly they get the cutest, tiniest little bump.

Um, yeah, mine aren't like that.

I had a belly pre-pregnancy. So my pregnant belly is really more like 2 bumps - one that's babies, and one above it that's just fat. I'm halfway through the pregnancy and still waiting for that to go away. Not so much. So I have decided to show you all some REAL belly pictures. I hope you enjoy!

::deep breath::

10 weeks, 6 days

14 weeks, 1 day

19 weeks, 4 days

19 weeks, 5 days - full shot

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

East Coast vs. West Coast

I spent last week away from my cozy home in suburban Philadelphia, and was all the way across the country in Olympia, Washington for a conference. Olympia is about an hour south of Seattle and might honestly be one of the most beautiful areas I've ever seen. I couldn't help but notice some major differences between this area and my home back East.

I am a Northerner, a true Jersey girl. With the exception of 2 years in graduate school, I have never lived outside of the New York or Philadelphia metro areas. I loved my time as a graduate student in Virginia, and was happy to get to know another part of the country. Southerners are just so sweet and friendly, but it took some getting used to. Everything is sooooooo slow, and it feels like there's nothing to do. As much as I loved it down there, I was often aching to go back to the craziness and activity of home.

Those who live in the Northeast (which I'm defining as the Boston/New England area down to Washington DC, and about as far west as Pittsburgh) are very different from the rest of the country. Quite frankly, we don't like anybody. We don't trust strangers, we're always stressed out because of traffic and congestion, and we always need to get where we're going a ridiculous hurry. Yet in my limited experience with the rest of the country, it seems that people in the South, Midwest, and West Coast are (gasp!) NICE! It's shocking at first, but I found it to be quite refreshing.

One thing I noticed about Olympia (and possibly Washington State in general) was a strong focus on environmental issues and vegan/organic lifetsyles. Nearly every restaurant we looked at had several vegan options, and even the microbrewery we went to served organic beer. (Wish I could have had some!)

The folks of Olympia also seem to be much more liberal when it comes to, um, chemical enhancement. (Translation - the city is a bunch of stoners.) We passed by a restaurant with a huge sign that read "NO ALCOHOL OR DRUGS". You know you're in a special place when the banning of already illegal substances needs to be clearly spelled out.

The people are interesting too. We were walking towards the microbrewery when this random guy comes up to someone in our group (one of the most unassuming guys you'll ever meet) and says, "Dude, I bet you 5 bucks I can hit you harder than you can hit me!" Yeah, cause that's a bet you want to take. Needless to say, we kept on walking, chuckling to ourselves. I guess he must have been kicked out of the NO ALCOHOL OR DRUGS place.

All in all, it was a great experience, but I must admit I was happy to come back to the humidty, traffic, and general crabbiness of Philadelphia. Welcome home.

The incredible Mt. Rainier, which is simply amazing.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Thoughts on Infertility

I seem to be making a habit of stealing things from other blogs/bios to put in here. You can say I'm lazy but I prefer to think of it as honoring people smarter and more creative than me!

This has been posted in a few other infertility/TTC blogs I read, and I think it makes an interesting point.

So, what do you think people would say to you if you were paraplegic instead of infertile?

1. As soon as you buy a wheelchair, I bet you’ll be able to walk again!

2. You can’t use your legs? Boy, I wish I was paralyzed. I get so tired of walking, and if I were paralyzed I wouldn’t have to walk anywhere!

3. My cousin was paralyzed but she started shaving her legs in the other direction and she could walk again. You should try that.

4. I guess God just didn’t mean for you to be able to walk.

5. Oh, I know exactly how you feel, because I have an ingrown toenail.

6. Sorry, we don’t cover treatment for paraplegia, because it’s not a life-threatening illness.

7. So… when are *you* going to start walking?

8. Oh, I have just the opposite problem. I have to walk walk walk - everywhere I go!

9. But don’t you *want* to walk?

10. You’re just trying too hard. Relax and you’ll be able to walk.

11. You’re so lucky… think of the money you save on shoes.

12. I don’t know why you’re being so selfish. You should at least be happy that *I* can walk.

13. I hope you don’t try those anti-paralysis drugs. They sometimes make people run too fast and they get hurt.

14. Look at those people hiking… doesn’t that make you want to hike?

15. Just relax, you’ll be walking in no time.

16. Oh do my legs hurt, I was walking and walking and going up and down the stairs all day.

17. I broke my leg skiing, and was on crutches for weeks, and was worried I’d have a permanent limp, but I’m 100% healed.

18. I’d ask you to be in my wedding party but the wheelchair will look out of place at the altar.

19. You’re being selfish, not coming on the hike with us, and looking at all of my track & field trophies.

20. Don’t complain, you get all the good parking places.

21. If you just lose weight your legs will work again.

22. If you would just have more sex, you could walk!

23. You don’t know how to walk? What’s wrong with you? Here let a real man show you how to walk!

24. You are just trying too hard to walk. Give up, and then you’ll walk.

25. Here, touch my legs, then you’ll walk!

26. Just take a vacation, and the stress-break will be sure to get you walking!

27. When *we* were young we only had to worry about having to walk too much.

28. And I bet a paraplegic going to a bookstore doesn’t find books about paralysis stacked next to all the books on running…

So here’s a little hint. If someone you know tells you that she’s trying to get pregnant and it’s taking longer than expected, DON’T tell her to just relax. Don’t tell her to adopt and then surely she’ll get pregnant with her own child. Don’t tell her that God has a plan for her. Don’t say, “At least it’s fun trying!”

Scheduling sex with the person you love isn’t fun. Getting vaginal ultrasounds every other day and intramuscular injections in your ass twice a day isn’t fun. Finding out every single month that - yet again - it didn’t work this month either is Just. Not. Fun.

DO tell her that you’re sorry she’s going through such pain/grief/frustration. Do tell her that you’re glad she told you. Do tell her that, even if you don’t bring it up (because you want to respect her privacy and understand that she might not feel like talking about it sometimes), that you’re there for her if she ever wants to talk or vent. And DON’T feel that because she told you that it’s okay for you to tell your other friends, children, co-workers, neighbors, cousins, mailman, whomever - unless she tells you that it’s okay to do so. Your need to share news pales in comparison to her need to maintain a shred of privacy and dignity.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Calvin and Hobbes get it

This simple little Calvin and Hobbes comic strip so perfectly captures the conflicted feelings of an early miscarriage. Yes, Calvin's talking about a raccoon, but still. Thanks to Totalpanic for letting me borrow it!

(It's a little small but if you click on it you can read the whole thing)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

You mean this is just my personality?

I had a mini revelation the other day. I was thinking about how I worry about all sorts of stupid little things about this pregnancy - like is diet soda safe or did the rum from the 3 bites of tiramisu I had hurt the babies. I often wish I could be like other people and just relax and enjoy things. I had always attributed my worrying to the fact that I had a miscarriage and that makes me extra cautious. But the truth is, I think I put too much stock in that theory. I'm not sure now that the miscarriage changed much of anything. I really think I would still be this insane if I had never lost a pregnancy. Or even if I got pregnant on the first try. I guess being a neurotic worrywart is just who I am. Pathetic, isn't it?

It's ironic that I write about this today, June 10, which was the EDD (Expected Due Date) of our first baby. It's bittersweet to think that I would either have a newborn right now or would be waiting impatiently to go into labor(and today is effing HOT!) I can't dwell on this for too long, because it does no good. Plus, if I hadn't miscarried, I wouldn't have gotten pregnant with the twins, and I realize now that is how it was supposed to be. The miscarriage was a roadblock along the way - a painful and tragic roadblock - but it was part of our journey to become parents. And I'm having a healthy pregnancy now, which is all that matters.

On another note, I had another appointment with the perinatologist today, and everything looks good. Cervix is closed, heartbeats are right where they should be (145 and 153) and everything seems right on track. Now I just need to wait and let them hang out a few more months!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Where did this crazy bitch come from?

Just when my symptoms started waning, and I had the irrational worry of "I feel good! That means something's wrong with the babies!" something happens to remind me I'm still pregnant. This time, it's the hormones. This weekend I somehow morphed from a semi-normal human being into an inconsolable crying machine. It was nuts. Twice I cried over the dumbest shit ever. The first time, I seriously don't even remember the trigger. I just started crying and couldn't stop. The second time, my husband and I were playing Guitar Hero, and I got mad at myself for screwing up, and he got frustrated at me for getting frustrated.

Then the crying started. And not just normal crying. Hyperventilating-I-need-an-oxygen-mask-now kind of crying. It seriously made no sense. Thank God Brian is a sensitive, new age guy and recognized that I needed a huge hug. I've been prone irrational freak outs before, but this one takes the cake.

So lurking somewhere in the fat rolls of my stomach is Crazy Bitch Laura. I hope she doesn't come around too often, but I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of her.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I'm a slacker

It's been a while since my last blog entry. Sorry. It's a combination of being busy at work and just sheer laziness. There hasn't been a ton going on with me or the babies, but we did have a scare last week. ***Warning - there is much TMI ahead***

Last Monday I noticed some pink spotting after a rather, um, strenuous bowel movement. Of course, I get nervous but remind myself it could just be nothing. I called the OB and was kind of blown off by the nurse - "It's just from the straining. Call back if it gets worse." Because I can't just sit and wait, I go back to the bathroom 20 minutes later and check on the spotting. It's still there, and it's definitely coming from the vaginal area. So I call the OB back and thankfully get a different nurse, and I have an appointment scheduled later that afternoon. I call Brian and he is immediately researching bleeding at 11 weeks and what the chances are of this being something serious. (I absolutely love my numbers-researching, analytical engineer of a husband :) )

The good news, is everything turned out OK. The nurse practitioner did an exam and said everything looked fine, cervix was closed and the uterus felt normal. She said it was a burst blood vessel in my cervix, exacerbated by the straining. Pheww! I got an ultrasound as well, just to sure, and everything was great! She said this is very common, and any number of things such as sex or a difficult BM can cause spotting.

So now in addition to being nervous about everything else on earth, pooping is now considered a dangerous activity. The only good thing is that lately, it's not too frequent a threat. Who knew constipation could actually work in my favor?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Graduation Day

Yesterday was my last day with the RE. I've offically graduated back to the OB!

It was a great appointment. The hematoma is gone - YAY!!! And both babies are doing great. Shrimpy (Baby A) was really active today - heartrate at 190 and we even saw a little leg kick! Beanie (Baby B) seemed a bit more subdued than their sibling - heartrate was 173, which is still great. We did get a little wave though! This was the first time we really saw them move in there, and it was awesome. Brian was there as well and it was really exciting for both of us to be there and see it. They're measuring well too - Shrimpy at 9wks 4d and Beanie at 10wks even.

I admit, I was sad to leave this office. The nurse, Rhonda, was so sweet. She was so sad to see us leave that she actually started tearing up! She is awesome - she's been with us from the beginning. She's seen every ultrasound, she showed me how to give myself the trigger shot, and she always takes my blood. She was there when I freaked out about my insurance not covering IUI, and when I stared in disbelief at the TWO sacs on the ultrasound! I will miss her, and I promised to send pictures of the babies when they're born :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hematoma update

I had another appt. this week, and things continue to look good. First off, the babies are doing great - measuring exactly 1 week ahead of where they were last week. So 8 wks 3 days and 8 wks 6 days, respectively. The heartrates were up, too - 177 and 179. Yay! Plus, the hematoma is going away. It shrunk from 12mm x 24mm to 8mm x 13mm. So that is definitely a good thing. It looks like it will reabsorb on its own. And I haven't had any bleeding from it, which makes me very happy :)

Finally, they're starting to look more like babies instead of, well, blobs. They actually look like beans, so I'm calling one of them Beanie and the other one Shrimpy. Yes, Shrimpy is the smaller one. Yes, I'm a terrible mother for making fun of my embryo's size. But I think they'll forgive me!

We've also started to tell some people, which is exciting but also scary. I keep worrying that we'll have to untell our family if something happens. I shouldn't worry, because the appointments have been great, but I can't help it. That innocence is long gone. We had dinner with friends this weekend, and she is also pregnant - about 8 weeks ahead of me. It's amazing how calm they were about everything. They didn't really have trouble getting pregnant, and haven't had a miscarriage. They had no irrational worries, they just assumed everything would be fine. And it will be. I guess I'm just jealous of that. I lost my TTC innocence around Cycle 7 or 8, and my pregnancy innocence was gone the second I started spotting last fall. It would be nice to just believe everything will be perfect and not imagine the worst case scenario. Maybe someday!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Remembering Va Tech - 04/16/07

A year ago today, 32 innocent students, faculty and staff died in the tragic and senseless shootings at Virginia Tech. This tragedy really shook me last year, for a number of reasons. I work at a college, so the idea of this sort of widespread violence at an institution of higher education is just frightening. I also attended graduate school at James Madison University in Virginia. JMU and VT were rivals, but there is also a deep connection between the 2 universities. I also have a cousin who is currently a freshman there. He wasn't there last year, but no doubt today is an emotional day on that campus. My heart goes out to everyone who lost a friend or family member that day, and is still grieving over the terror that occurred.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ultrasound update - good and bad news

I went in today for another u/s (I know, I am totally spoiled - I will miss the RE office). The good news- there are still 2 little sacs, and 2 little heartbeats! One was at 159 and one was 161- both very good. One measured at 7w3d and the other at 7w6d, which is GREAT (last time the smaller one was measuring about a week behind, so I'm glad it's catching up!)

However, the dr. did ask me if I had been bleeding. I told him no, and he said he saw a hematoma right next to the sacs. He said it was nothing to worry about, but he told me no sex, heavy lifting, or strenuous exercise until my next appt. next week. Basically it's some excess fluid and blood. He said this can be totally normal, and it will probably disappear on its own but may cause some bleeding.

I'm not too worried - I mean, a hematoma is just a fancy word for bruise, right? But anytime there's something out of the ordinary, you get concerned. So I'm just going to take it easy this week and hope I don't have any bleeding. I'm taking comfort in the fact that the u/s showed the babies are doing great.

Monday, April 7, 2008

It's official.

As if the doubling betas and visible sacs on the ultrasound weren't enough to convince me, the symptoms have started. I am definitely pregnant.

I'll be honest, so far I think I've been pretty lucky. While it's still early, I've heard that most moms of twins feel symptoms right away, and they're horrendous. Mine just started this weekend and have been relatively moderate. Hopefully I didn't just jinx myself to spend the next 2 months chained to the bathroom.

1. Sore boobs.
This was the first. It started a few days after getting the official news. Not terribly sore, but I could feel the tenderness if they were touched. So what do I do? Keep groping myself constantly to make sure I'm still pregnant (with my last pregnancy sore boobs were my only symptom and they went away right before the m/c). The constant fondling not only makes me look like a perv, but makes the soreness worse. Smart girl, aren't I?

I'm sorry, what was I saying? I must have dozed off...
I'm finding it hard to stay up at night, and I get pretty run down during the day, even though my job is sitting at a desk. In fact, it's taken me a while to write this blog post, because I'm not focusing.

3. Constipation
No further explanation needed.

4. Nausea
So far, this has been the worst part. It started this past weekend. I haven't puked yet (Thank God) but my stomach has just It helps to eat a lot of small meals and not let myself get hungry. I hope it doesn't get worse.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Holy Crap, Part 2 (Times 2?)

Holy crap. We went into the REs this morning for the ultrasound, hoping we could maybe see or hear a heartbeat. Turns out, there are 2 sacs! And both of them have a teeny tiny embryo squirming around in there! We could see little flickers of heartbeats in both of them. We could only hear the heartbeat of one, but apparently that is normal since it's still pretty early. One is measuring exactly right, and one is a bit smaller (but they said that was OK.)

The RE said at this point there is still a 20% chance of losing one. But I'm hoping that everything will continue to go well! Brian and I are a little bit freaked out, especially about the financial piece, but we are so, so happy. I cannot believe this! Twins!!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Holy Crap.

I am knocked up. Officially. I can't believe it, but it's happening. My heart was literally pounding while I was talking to the nurse. I went in for betas yesterday morning 14 days after my IUI, and they said they'd call that afternoon with the results. Lo and behold, at 11:10 am I get the call.

My HCG was 117, which is really good for 14DPIUI. I go back Saturday morning for more b/w, so those numbers better double!

Confession: I had actually tested Tuesday night and got a BFP, but I was afraid it was a false positive because of the trigger. I didn't want to post anything and "jinx" it til I got the official word.

Holy crap, is this really happening? :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of my favorite things to do its bake. I've decided to use this blog to post recipes I like. Last night I made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, which were awesome. Nice and chewy, and not too dense. A lot of PB cookies end up with a shortbread consistency, which is good for some people, but I prefer a softer cookie.

One thing I might change would be to add more peanut butter. It calls for 1/2 cup, and I added almost 3/4 cup but it still wasn't super peanut buttery. If you like more PB flavor maybe try a whole cup. You could also try cutting down the chocolate chips since putting in the whole bag makes it very chocolatey. However, cutting out any chocolate is equal to treason in my mind, so I will always use the full bag of chips.

Also, the recipe calls for it to bake 12-14 min. That is WAY too long. I like my cookies a bit undercooked, but even when I baked them for 10 minutes they were really brown on the outside. 8-9 minutes seems to work well (if you like gooey cookies).

Recipe: (from


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the corn syrup, water, and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks. Drop by 1/4 cupfuls 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are golden. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

American Idol

I'll admit it. I love American Idol. I have since the first season. I don't care if it's the cheesiest, most corporate produced sack of fake. They actually get some really talented people and I enjoy watching them develop into stars. So yes, I've been sucked in. Sue me.

So last night, we lose David Hernandez. Coincidentally, this is only one week after we learn of his alleged previous job as a male stripper at a gay club. For the record, I couldn't care less if the next American Idol used to give lap dances to horny gay guys. Seriously, what he did before Idol doesn't matter. If he's talented enough, I'll support him. However, I realize that a good chunk of the AI voting public is not quite as liberal as I am in this area, so I do recognize why David's "scandalous" past could cause a problem for the producers.

The cynic in me thinks there has to be a connection between David's premature ouster and this news. He made it into the top 12, so the producers couldn't say, "Well we didn't get rid of him!" But then he magically is gone the next week. Now I'll admit that his performance of "I Saw Her Standing There" was one of his weakest yet, but he had proven himself with some prior stellar performances. He deserved at least a couple more weeks.

So did the producers have a hand in this? Or did the conservative American voters decide a gay stripper was not the kind of role model our children should have? Were they tired of all the Davids and figured we needed to lose one? I guess we'll never know!

Here's how I think the voting will go down:

11.Syesha Mercado
10.Kristy Lee Cook
9. Ramiele Malubay
8. Chikezie Eze
7. Amanda Overmeyer (she's the bad singer who will stay way longer than she should. Thanks Vote for the Worst!)
6. Brooke White (she is super talented but won't connect with America, so she'll go home sooner than she should.)
5. Michael Johns
4. Jason Castro
3. Carly Smithson
2. David Cook
1. David Archuleta

Here's how I think the voting SHOULD go down:

11.Amanda Overmeyer
10.Kristy Lee Cook
9. Syesha Mercardo
8. Ramiele Malubay
7. Michael Johns (even though he's my crush this season, he's pretty average in this group)
6. Chikezie Eze
5. David Cook
4. Jason Castro
3. Brooke White
2. Carly Smithson
1. David Archuleta

Let's see how many I get right!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I've been sperminated!

Yes, that's right. This morning we got to experience the magic of my husband jerking off into a cup and then getting it shoved up inside me through a tube. How romantic. It's not how I pictured our child being conceived, but I also never pictured it taking over a year and having a m/c. So there's a lot to re-adjust to.

I go back in 2 weeks to get a blood test. I won't be using any home pregnancy tests, I'm just going to wait for the results of the b/w. I am going to try (emphasis on TRY) not to think about it during the next 2 weeks. Easier said than done, but I can't keep focusing on this. I'm ready to drive myself nuts.

All in all, this process has been tough for Brian and I. For a number of reasons, we've decided that if this IUI doesn't work, we're going to take a break from TTC for a few months. No charts, no meds, no blood tests. We need to take some time to focus on our relationship and reconnect. If I get pregnant during that time then great, but we won't be doing anything extraordinary to try and make it happen.

I think it will also be a good opportunity for me to expand my blogging beyond just TTC. I need to focus on other parts of my life, so I might as well blog about them!

Monday, March 3, 2008

How I feel about TTC right now :)

lolcat - fail

Who knew dress shopping could be depressing?

I went to visit my parents yesterday, and my mom and I went to the mall. I wanted to start looking at dresses for my brother in law's wedding in May. It's still early but I just wanted to get an idea of what was out there. Now, unlike most women, I'm not a fan of trying on clothes. I have a hard time finding stuff that fits me, and seeing myself in those awful mirrors while shimmying into clothes that are too tight just doesn't make me feel great about myself.

But I sucked it up and tried on a bunch of dresses at Macy's. It seems that the empire waist is a big style now. It looks cute, but it also makes you look pregnant. I already have a belly - from fat, not a baby, so this doesn't help the situation. I actually looked pregnant in some of the dresses, and because I like to torture myself, I stuck my stomach out more to see what I would look like pregnant in this dress.

Suddenly it hit me, that if I hadn't miscarried, I would be about 37 weeks pregnant at the wedding. I would need a super-maternity dress, but I would be so close to having a baby. That thought made me tear up, right there in the dressing room. I should have been ready to pop by the end of May. Now, I'll be lucky if I'm even pregnant at all by the wedding.

I'm sick of it. I'm sick of not being pregnant. I'm sick of feeling like a failure because I can't get and stay pregnant. I'm sick of making excuses for not losing this excess weight. And most of all, I'm sick of letting TTC take such control over my life and my happiness.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"I Would Die for That"

This song always makes me cry. It comes from Kellie Coffey, who suffered through infertility, so she's "one of us."

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What a week

Well, there's been a lot going on this week. Brian came home from his trip Thursday night (Valentine's Day, of course) and the moment he gets home we run up to bed. No, not for romance (get your mind out of the gutter) but because he is as sick as a dog. Apparently everyone at that conference had the same nasty bug, and Brian was not immune. So my weekend was spent playing nursemaid, then patient because of course I caught whatever it was.

Then I get my latest progesterone results, and I nearly have a heart attack because they have doubled from last time. They went from 13.3 to 27.9. That sort of jump seemed crazy to me, so because I have to overanalyze everything, I make myself crazy thinking it means I'm pregnant. But guess what? All it means my progesterone is high. Nothing more, because I am decidedly NOT pregnant. But hey, it wouldn't be me if I didn't overreact to something, right!

Finally, today was the big RE appointment. We talked about a lot, and after some tests were scheduled, we decided to try IUI (intrauterine insemination) this cycle. It's strange to think about the fact that I'll be getting pregnant in a doctor's office instead of by having sex with my husband. But overall what matters is a healthy baby, and in the long run, does it matter how it happened? That's how I keep trying to think about it, but it's still weird. It sort of feels like giving up, even though I know it's actually our best shot. So I imagine I'll be spending some time wrapping my mind around that.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Home Alone

DH left early this morning for a business trip. He'll be gone til Thursday. Not a long time, but it still sucks. I kind of like the first night alone - having the house to myself, eating anything I want for dinner, and watching trash TV and Nesting to my heart's content. But I hate going to sleep without him next to me, and that's when I really start to miss him. I guess I need to keep myself busy til Thursday and try not to think about it.

I also got a gigantic mailing today from my RE office. Our first appointment is next Thursday. I'm a little nervous but also happy to be moving forward and hopefully getting a plan of action.

Of course, I am secretly hoping I'll get a BFP on Wednesday so I can cancel the appointment. I'm not holding out much hope, but anything's possible, right?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

DH is normal!

Well, fertility-wise at least. Anything else, well...

Anyway, DH did the SA on Friday, and it looks like everything is good! All the numbers came back in the normal range (motility was on the low end of normal, but it's not enough to cause a problem.)

I am so happy because now this is one less thing to worry about. DH was so worried that there was going to be a problem with him, but I had a feeling everything was fine. It means that if there is a problem it's with me, and that's easier for me to handle. I know, I know, if one person is infertile, then the couple is infertile. But I just feel like I'm more prepared to deal with whatever comes next...I've been preparing for it.

I'm now waiting for my Dr. to call me back so we can talk about where to go from here!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Parenting Dos and Don'ts

Wait, you mean this isn't right?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

4 months

4 months ago today I got my BFP (Big Fat Positive). It was one of the best days of my life. After many months of wondering what the hell is going on with my body, we get the greatest news ever. We are having a baby! Any doubts I had about our fertility were thrown out the window, because I got pregnant without any meds, within the one year mark of going off the pill. We're normal!

Like any woman who finds out she's expecting, I am simultaneously ecstatic and panicked. I'm definitely a Nervous Nellie, so of course I start worrying about miscarriage. I know how common it is, and it's always in the back of my mind.

Even with the positive test, it took a while to sink in. I didn't really have many symptoms except some fatigue and slightly sore boobs. It didn't feel real. I couldn't believe there was actually a teeny living thing in there. I'm not sure if subconsciously I tried not to feel too attached, since I knew it was possible it wouldn't last.

It's hard to explain how I felt when I first saw the spotting. I panicked, called the doctor right away and was thankful they let me come in that afternoon. I knew it was a definite possibility that I was losing the pregnancy, but I also knew spotting can be common and can signify any number of things. I was able to stay positive and assume all was well until I heard otherwise. Then the red bleeding started.

I think that was when the pregnancy started to finally feel real. When I was faced with the possibility of losing it, I suddenly realized just how important it was. Any defense mechanism I was using to try and stay unattached completely backfired on me.

They say a man becomes a father when he sees his baby for the first time, and a woman becomes a mother when she finds out she's pregnant. I'm not sure if that is completely true, but it did raise some questions for me. Was I a mother? Was it a really a baby inside me or just a bunch of cells? I tried to think about it logically, that miscarriages are extremely common and this one just wasn't meant to be. But that made me feel worse. I needed to remember this whole experience not as a medical condition, but as our first real time as parents. I needed to recognize that I lost a baby, and for a mere 2 weeks, I was truly a mother. I had to let myself grieve and mourn, not just the pregnancy, but all the hopes and plans that went along with it.

After the loss, there were even more questions. What if it takes me another 11 cycles to get pregnant again? What if I do get pregnant again, and have another miscarriage? Can we handle that? The answer is, of course we can. It will hurt like hell if we don't get pregnant again soon, and hurt even more if we have another loss, but we can get through it.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

It could only happen to me

OK. So, I hate snow. I always have. I grew up in NJ and now live outside Philly, so while we're not bombarded with snow, it's not like it's a new concept to me. But I still hate it. I tried skiing a couple times in HS, and it was miserable.
My husband really likes skiing, but hasn't been in a long time and has been asking me to go for a while. We finally compromise and decide to go snow tubing with a couple of friends last night. Now, keep in mind, in addition to hating snow related activities, I'm pretty much the least adventurous person ever. I hate roller coasters, water slides, basically any sort of thrill seeking thing. I just don't like being out of control and having that "dropping" feeling. So going snow tubing was a big step for me.
I go up the hill and say to myself, "Ok, this isn't so bad. The hill's not that steep, I can do this." DH kept telling me if I wanted to slow down, I just need to dig my toes into the snow. I go down and things are going well. Since I have no idea how fast I want to go, I start digging my toes in too soon and about halfway down I'm stopped dead. Great. I'm trying to get my momentum back, when suddenly I see someone else flying past me. No, not past me, OVER me. This other woman collided into me and totally wiped out on her tube.
THEY SENT SOMEONE ELSE DOWN THE HILL BEFORE I WAS DOWN! What the F**k?? Her face banged into my boot, and she also hurt her leg. I feel like sh!t because I'm the dumbass who stopped in the middle of the slide - who does that, really? Just me. I know it wasn't my fault, because they never should have let someone else go while I was still there, but I still felt awful. We had to go down to the ski patrol office to file a report and get the other woman checked out. She had a scrape on her face and will most certainly have a nice shiner courtsey of my boot.
And yes, this was my FIRST time snow tubing, our first round down the hill. Quite an experience. Just when I thought this was going to be fun, something like this happens.
After we got done with snow patrol DH asked if I wanted to go down again. Uh, no!! But I felt bad that my friends only got one time down, so I insisted that they all go again at least once. Dh felt bad leaving me alone, but I wanted them to go at least one more time. So they go for one more time and I go in the lodge and get coffee and a cookie. Much better :) After their second time down, we decided to go to our friends' house and drink instead. MUCH better!!
So in addition to getting my period yesterday and moving on to Cycle 15, I'm involved in a rare snow tubing collision. Quite a day for me!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Starbucks did not cause my miscarriage

So all over the news yesterday was this new study, stating that consuming high amounts of caffeine can double the risk of miscarriage. Despite the fact that this study comes from a reputable source (the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology) there are some flaws with it. It asked women to record what they consume, which obviously leaves room for error, plus it doesn't take into account the fact that women who consume high amounts of caffeine may also do other things that are risky, such as drinking alcohol or not taking pre natal vitamins. Plus, it only mentions large amounts of caffeine (200mg/day or 2 cups of coffee), not moderate amounts. Not to mention the fact that I have known of many women who cut out caffeine completely during their pregnancy and still miscarried.

That's not to say that this study is useless. It makes a lot of sense - caffeine is a stimulant and crosses the placenta, and can be dangerous for a tiny fetus' development. And it has certainly made me realize that I need to cut back on caffeine when I get pregnant again.

However, I worry that this is something that will continue to frighten pregnant women and make them feel that drinking caffeine will cause them to lose their babies. It's so easy to blame yourself for a m/c, even though it's not your fault. But if you're desperate for a "reason", this seems like an easy one.

Back to me. Now, I know in my head that I did nothing to cause my miscarriage. It is extremely common in early pregnancy, and short of not smoking crack, there's not much you can do to prevent one. (And even that's not a sure thing, since apparently crack seems to be some sort of fertility drug nowadays.) However, when this study came out, I went back to this one day during my pregnancy where I drank a cup of coffee, a glass of iced tea, then another cup of coffee. This was a lot more caffeine that I normally drank during pregnancy, but I figured one day wouldn't hurt. So now this study comes out and I have a mini-meltdown. I think back to that day and wonder, "Oh my gosh, is the m/c my fault?" Now I have NEVER thought it was my fault. I always knew that m/c was common, and I took comfort in the fact that I couldn't do anything to cause or prevent it. But the irrational side of me takes over, and I start to cry. Thankfully my husband is there to make me feel better, telling me it wasn't my fault while understanding how emotional this whole thing is. I feel like an idiot for even thinking something so ridiculous, but it's amazing how quickly you get wrapped up in the emotions.

So while I know I need to cut back on my caffeine, I also know that 1 Cafe Mocha is not going to be the end of the world. Starbucks is still safe :) Of course, you know there's going to be some idiot trying to sue Starbucks for causing her miscarriage. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy my decaf and try not to live in fear.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The most natural thing in the world...

2 posts in one day? Talk about overachieving! Don't get used to it though ;)

We've all heard that having a baby is the most natural thing in the world. As women, it's what our bodies were designed to do. So why the F&$K can't mine do it??

Taking Clomid was a really big step for me. It was the first time I realized and accepted that maybe I can't do this on my own. The one thing that is so fundamental to all women, and I need to take drugs in order to do it. I felt like there was something wrong with me, that I was broken. It's very disconcerting to get to the point of needing medical assistance to have a baby. I had a hard time wrapping my head around that, so I held off as long as I could.

From the beginning, my husband and I wanted to keep the TTC process as fun, romantic, and non-stressful as possible. I didn't chart for the first 6 months. I had an idea of when I was ovulating but never told him. Our sex life stayed normal, which is great. Then I noticed the spotting problem. I would regularly spot for anywhere from 2-7 days before my period. Not normal. Once we got to about cycle 8, I started getting nervous. With my irregular cycles and spotting, I thought we may have some trouble. My Dr. gave me the Rx for Clomid, but I held off a few months because I wasn't ready for "help". We took a couple months "off". If I hadn't gotten pregnant when I did, I would have started Clomid the next cycle. But I got the BFP and figured that would be it, I wouldn't have to worry about it. And then the miscarriage happened.

So now I'm back to where I was. Facing the fact that I probably won't get (and stay) pregnant without meds. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with the decision I've made, because I think it's what I need to help with the spotting, but more importantly to give me a baby. I'm so ready to be pregnant and have a baby, and I'm willing to accept medical help if that's what it's going to take. I just still wish it hadn't come to that. Anyway, it just feels sort of bittersweet. I'm happy to be moving forward, but still sort of sad that I feel like my body has failed me.

The beginning

Well folks, I have jumped on the blogging bandwagon. I'm not sure what possessed me to start this, but I think I'm just looking for a way to organize my thoughts. As is true for most bloggers, I think this is more for me than for anyone else. And if it happens to resonate with someone else, then even better.

For the most part, this blog is going to be about my journey to be a mother. TTC (Trying to Conceive) is not as simple as going off the pill and 9 months later you have a baby. While that may happen for some people, most couples need to make a little more effort.

My story:

9/18/04: Married the love of my life

8/21/06: Closed on our first house

11/06: I take my last birth control pill and we decide to "see what happens"

5/07: I decide "seeing what happens" may not be enough so I start charting to determine if/when I ovulate (a very important step in making a baby!)

9/30/07: I finally get a positive pregnancy test! After 11 cycles we are going to have a baby! I start planning, bookmarking nursery ideas and buying pregnancy books.

10/12/07: I start spotting. I freak out. I go to the doctor. I get blood drawn. I'm told it could be nothing, or it could be a miscarriage. Great. I'm told to go home and relax, get another blood draw, and call back if the spotting gets worse.

10/13/07: The spotting turns to bleeding and my worst fears come true. I know I'm losing my pregnancy. There's a lot of emotions that go along with this, but I think I'll save that for another entry. Needless to say, my husband and I are devastated.

12/07: I start my first round of Clomid - a fertility drug that should not only alleviate my spotting problem, but hopefully will help get me pregnant.

1/08: Round 2 of Clomid...who knows? I'll keep you posted!

...even me. And everybody needs a place to let it out. My blog about trying to have a baby, loss, and life in general.