Friday, December 30, 2011

Last Time at the Cabin, Sans Babies

Tidy and I just got back from a little winter getaway to my P's cabin up north.

The first day we were there, we took a 6 mile hike through the woods with the pog. She was EXHAUSTED! I think she went up to her bed by 7p at night (it's usually around 9 or so). It was a beautiful winter hike (although it would have been better if there was snow) through pine forests, meadows and along the lake and sand dunes. We talked about how we love these hikes and hope that we can bring our babies on these through their lives.

The next day we splurged on a spa day. Steam room, massages and pedicures, tea (well, hot coco for Tidy) in a peaceful setting wearing the most comfortable of robes. I could do that once a week if I had the $$. It was bliss and utterly relaxing.

That night, as we laid on the couch by the fireplace, a bittersweet mood came over us. We realized that this is going to be the last time we are at the cabin, alone, without kids. And in that realization, we both had a little sadness, an acknowledge of an ending of the togetherness,  quietness and spontaneity that we currently have in our life without kids. We've love this life. It's been great to us, even with 5 years of infertility, we still found a great groove of Tippy, Tidy and the Pog. And while we are so very excited about our life to be with our babies, there is just a slight bit of sadness of what we are letting go of.

Does that make sense? Anyone else have this realization? It was actually a very sweet and tender moment, knowing how much we both very much treasure the relationship that we currently have. I think, hopefully, this will just make us stronger as we enter life with twins.

Last year, we were also at the cabin around this time and said good bye to 2010.  We started a little ritual of writing down the things we wanted to let go of onto paper and tossed it into the fire. Well this year, we didn't get around to that because 1) it's not new year's eve yet and 2) we felt somewhat nostalgic for this year.

2011 is going to go down in history as the year we finally got pregnant, as the year we conceived our babies. I definitely don't want to let go of those things.

And now...the stats:

Status: 14w1d

Weight Gain: Not sure yet. Won't have another weigh in until my next OB appointment in January. 

Symptoms: Still feeling like a normal non pregnant human except that I am hungry here and there. Nasal congestion is still there, but a little less. Headaches continue, even after some chiropractic care and a massage... 

Cravings: This week it has been green pepper pizza!!! So strange! I definitely don't normally like green peppers.

Aversions: Same as last time, no real aversions, just not craving things I really used to love.

Exercise: Bad week due to the holidays. Sunday - 3 mile run outside.  Tuesday - 1 hr spinning class. Wednesday - 6 mile hike.

Best Moment of the Week: Laying with Tidy on the couch at the cabin in front of the fire holding onto the good that we do have in our lives, somewhat scared of the change, but knowing that we are strong and are going to face our new lives head on, hand in hand.

What I Look Forward to: Finally coming out at work, hopefully this week. I've been waiting on a decision on a job by my Vice President. Long story, but I'm still in the running and I don't want him to know that I'm pregnant until he makes his decision. Hopefully we will find out this week and then I can let me stomach out. Pictures to come soon, I promise.

Friday, December 23, 2011

NT Scan and Body Honesty

Yesterday we had our NT scan. This is the first trimester screening that checks the width of the Nuchal fold on the back of the babies' necks. If the fold is over a certain width, it CAN indicated that the chances the babies have either Trisomy 13, 18 or 21 is higher than the average chances. If the chances are higher, because the fold is larger than "normal" then it can help you decide if you want to proceed further with testing, like having a CVS or an Amnio.

Our twins measurements were all within the normal range and so we won't be going further with any testing. Yay!

The biggest highlight of yesterday though, was just spending time watching them both on the screen, moving around, jumping, jerking, opening their mouths, moving their hands and feet. It was simply and purely awesome.

Here's a few pictures of Baby A's head, Baby B's head and torso and then a 3D picture of them both, hanging out in my uterus. FREAKY!!!  Don't they look so cute all snuggled in there?

I still don't connect, though that those little amazing creatures are actually inside of me. Maybe I'll feel that more when I can start to feel them move, but right now, I just feel a bit fat and hungry.

Which brings me to another thought... Body changes...

I have been thinking about this infertility thing and how it affects you once you are pregnant. One thing I think it does is put a lot of pressure on you to feel ecstatic and amazed at everything your body is going through. And to be quite honest, I simply don't. I don't like my bigger boobs. They get in the way when I blow my nose, when I roll over in bed, when I take a shower, when I do anything... and I surely don't like not fitting into my pants. I feel self conscious. I've lived for so long working hard to stay fit and in shape, so as my body is changing, I'm not really a huge fan... yet.

It's not to say that I'm not amazingly grateful or extremely happy that we ARE experiencing this journey, but I just think that it's a false expectation to put on yourself that you are going to enjoy every aspect of it. Some women do, some don't. There's no right or wrong way to go about it. I wouldn't trade my babies for a thin belly again for any reason, but I'm just being honest here and acknowledging that some of us may not really feel 100% awesome in our pregnant bodies and that's O.K.

Now, maybe down the road as this potbelly turns into an actual pregnant belly and I can feel them move more, I will be more excited about my body changes, but I don't think I'm going to get used to these boobs. Ha!

And now...the stats:

Status: 13w1d

Weight Gain: Not sure yet. Won't have another weigh in until my next OB appointment in January. Even though I like to feel a certain way in my body, I don't use weight as a measurement of that fitness.

Symptoms: Many of the mild symptoms that I did have in the first trimester have all but gone away. I basically feel like a normal non pregnant human except that I am still hungry here and there. I'm also having some fun nasal stuff oh, and now my friends are trying to freak me out about using the neti pot with tap water because of THIS fun article on people dying from a flesh eating amoeba... gross, huh? I figure it's really only surfaced in the deep south, so I'm not gonna get my panties in a bundle over it. (I love that saying). Oh, I've also recently had a few more headaches, but I can't tell if they are hormonal or muscle tension.

Cravings: Yesterday I wanted lots and lots of orange juice. I didn't have any, but I had a ton of those little clementines, so I squeezed juice out of about 10 of them... and got like 1/2 cup of juice. It got me through... But today, I'm definitely going hunting for more OJ. I've been reading up about this and I think cravings are so fascinating. I know they are your body telling you that you need certain things. In pregnancy, one of the things you need more of but is hard to get, especially for vegetarians is iron. And that might be the reason why I am craving OJ, since Vitamin C helps you bind the iron that is found in non-meat sources better. I love the human body. It's amazing, no?

Aversions: Same as last time, no real aversions, just not craving things I really used to love.

Exercise: Friday - 1 hr warm power flow yoga, Sunday - 1 hr spinning class, Tuesday - 3 mile run on the treadmill, 45 min non-warm power flow yoga, Wednesday - does 3 games of bowling count? I was actually a little sore in my bum...

Best Moment of the Week: Peeking inside again with the twins and watching Twin A jump and jerk around in there like it had the hiccups. It was AMAZING!

What I Look Forward to: Telling some of our extended family and friends tonight and tomorrow night.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes

I'm still an "Infertile", even though we are finally pregnant. I still have feelings of jealousy of people who get pregnant easily and those who talk about expanding their families to their hearts content. I get slightly angry at people who stay stupid things, like "just adopt" or "just relax". This will always be part of me. I don't want to forget it and I won't. It's made me the person I am today and I like who I am.... well, not really the jealous monster part, but the part that tries to be compassionate towards ever person's struggle, and the part that has learned patience and living in the moment... appreciating what you have... right now.

But I will say, one thing that has changed from last year, is my desire to celebrate the holidays. Last year at this time, I wanted to throw away all of the family cards that we got in the mail, especially the handful that announced pregnancies. I didn't want to put up a tree because... meh... who cares. I was in a funk.

But this year there is definitely a different feel. It's not a complete 180, because I've never been a HUGE holiday person, but I definitely feel more festive, more hopeful, more willing to celebrate other's joys. I even went out and did a little shopping yesterday to decorate.

You will notice a few things in our picture: A tree, some holiday colored pillows for the couch, and a wall hanging of our holiday cards from friends.... with their kids! Yup, they are on my wall instead of in my recycling bin. Oh what a difference a year makes, huh?

P.S.... We think Tidy is pregnant too. His appetite has increased, he's not sleeping well, especially on his back, and he has been a bit more irritable. I can't wait to see HIS bump start to form... LOL!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

1 T down, 2 to Go! 12 Weeks!

Whoopee!!! We made it through the first trimester. Officially today our chances of miscarriage drop to 1%! (Although, I wonder if it's still a bit higher for twins or multiples... but... no need to over-analyze this, right?)

Thanks everyone for responding to my thoughts on my OB in the last post. So much great advice out there. We are going to have our NT scan next Thursday with the Peri that would be ours if we had one so I will definitely ask her some questions. I just adore this community for its wealth of knowledge.

So, this is going to be the first official 'tracking' post of my pregnancy. I've been searching through other blogs and have found different things that I want to keep note through this amazing experience that we are lucky enough to be on.

 But first.. the belly pics:

6 weeks and 4 days. I hope I can get back there some day.

12 weeks and 0 days. There's definitely a little bit of a bump there. I still feel like it's mostly a food belly and bloat right now because of everything that I've been eating, but I think it's somewhat of a baby bump too. Can you see it? I think, if you have a discerning eye, you can see that the girls have gotten bigger too. (Tidy's happy about that! Ha!)

And now...the stats:

Status: 12w0d

Weight Gain: +4 lbs at my OB appointment last week (11w1d)

Symptoms: Up until now, I really haven't had that many symptoms other than extreme hunger, and if I don't have something in my belly, I either feel a bit icky or a bit faintish. My boobs surely have gotten a lot bigger, but they haven't really hurt. Just the last few days, they are more sensitive, but not painful. I also have not had much fatigue or back pain or heartburn or anything. OH! But I am having some nasal stuff. Always have to blow my nose and have some blood in there too. Sorry, I know... TMI. My neti pot has definitely become a good friend.

Cravings: Recently, not that many, other than just food, food and more food. But in the beginning, I was craving turkey. I dreamed of a whole roasted turkey one night that I found under my kitchen sink, and I just sat there in my dream and devoured it. I've also been really into bubbly water lately and juice. My morning routine is to make an egg and toast and have a glass of 1/3 juice and 2/3 Pelligrino. YUM!  That only lasts me for about an hour before I need to eat more though. Finally, fruit always sounds good: strawberries, pineapple, raspberries, apples. Double YUM!
Aversions: I don't yet have any strong aversions either, but I am definitely not craving the things I usually do: Coffee, red wine, vegetarian type dishes. They don't sound bad, but they don't sound awesome!

Exercise: Sunday - 3 mile run, Tuesday - 1 hr spinning class, Tonight - I WAS going to go to yoga, but a nap on the couch sounded better.

Gender: We've decided not to find out!!! So I won't be tracking this.

Best Moment of the Week: Telling a friend of mine at work who has been so supportive of me these past few years. She was having a bad week and she said, "Tell me some good news" and I told her we were pregnant, with twins... and she cried... It was beautiful!

What I Look Forward to: Buying my first maternity clothes.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tippy meets OB

I waked into my OB's office yesterday and one of the first few sentences out of my mouth was, "I've spent almost 5 years and 6 figures on getting to this point. These twins mean the world to me. Are you going to be able to handle me as a patient?"

Wait, did I just say that? MY OB??? OH MY GOSH!!!! I HAVE AN OB!!!

Ha! I wish I was even harsher. Like, "Listen hear buddy. I'm going to co-manage this pregnancy with you, so you'd better be ok with that, otherwise I'm heading somewhere else". But I'm bad at being stern.

Ok, back to the story...So I met with my OB for the first time yesterday and it went really well. I first saw his nurse, who used to work in an infertility clinic before this job, so she definitely has a sense for our background, which makes me very happy. She took a lot of my health history and then shared some materials with me.

Then I met with my OB. I of course was hoping for a scan, or a listen for the heartbeats, but I didn't get so lucky. Instead, we just went into his office, me toting my notepad with questions, and he with a comforting smile. After I shared with him my "opening speech" he just looked at me and said,"Go".  Meaning, ok, girl, it's your show, ask your questions away.

So here's what we discussed (Answers in italic)

  1. Do you deem me high risk just because this is a twin pregnancy? If so, should we be consulting with a Peri as well? No, I don't think that you are high risk, just because you are having twins. You will get more monitoring after 20 weeks to make sure the babies are growing well and around the same rate, but no, you don't start out high risk. If you want to see a peri, that's your choice, and you can certainly consult with her if you like, but I don't think it's necessary.
  2. Do we need to do preventative monitoring of my cervix? What are my chances of cervical failure? Do you do preventative cerclage? The data does not support preventative cerclage, without prior failure, nor does it show that measuring cervical length prevents cervical incompetence. This is something that I'm worried about because I've known 3 moms that lost twins in the 20 week mark due to cervical incompetence. He then said that he would be able to better predict anything going wrong just based on symptoms that I'm having. And he will take care of me. He promises.
  3. These are all of the meds that I am currently on: Estrogen, Progesterone, Baby Asprin, Metformin, Lovenox, Prednisone, Pre natal, Extra folic acid. I'm supposed to stop most of them today, but am a bit nervous about it. Do we need to do any other monitoring of blood levels of progesterone to make sure it stays high enough after I go off? No need to monitor any levels. Your progesterone should be high enough because the placenta has taken over the production of progesterone and estrogen at this point.  Clearly stay on the pre-natals and extra folic acid. (See below for Lovenox and Baby Aspirin)
  4. I was tested and found to be MTHFR hetero C, which can sometimes be linked to blood clotting disorders. Should I stay on the Lovenox thru the pregnancy? MTHFR alone is not an indication to stay on Lovenox. If your RE wants you to stay on it, I will support that, but I'd prefer you be off it. If you want to stay on the baby aspirin, that's fine with me. I was worried about being off them both, just in case. I'm glad I can stay on the baby aspirin.
  5. What extra vitamins and supplements should I be taking? I have not seen any research that indicates taking other supplements are beneficial. Take what you want to take, but don't get a stomach ache. lol! 
  6. What are my chances of having a vaginal birth? Of being put on bed rest? We'll talk about that in March. I will probably push you towards a C-section, but if everything is perfect... well, we'll talk. But let's not worry about that until March. As for bed rest, I don't like to put people on it unless absolutely necessary. I like to avoid it and am not a believer that it does much good. I havent' had any twin pregnancies go to bed rest since I've been practicing, and I've had a lot of twin pregnancies.
  7. What are your guidelines on weight gain? 35-45 pounds ish?You started on the thinner side, so you could gain a bit more. Listen to your body. Eat when you are hungry. Go get a burger when you are craving it, but don't get it for every meal.
  8. Are there any books you recommend following? No, I think they do more harm than good. Especially the twin and multiple pregnancy ones. I don't want you to freak yourself out. Come to me with all of your questions and I will get you through his. I want you to trust me and know that we will have 2 healthy babies in the end of this. 
  9. I'm still exercising: running, body pump, spinning, swimming, warm (not hot) yoga. Any recommendations? Your body will tell you when to stop certain things. Do what you want to do as long as you feel good doing it.
  10. Is there any other precautions that I should be aware of being 37 and never been pregnant before? No
  11. When is my due date? June 28th 2012, but you won't go past 38 weeks, so that puts you at June 14th, 2012.

With that, we talked a bit more about him being the right OB for me and he wanting me to feel comfortable with that, so call him any time, email him, whatever I need to make sure this is right, otherwise, I'm welcome to look for someone different who might approach this differently.

What do you guys think? I do feel comfortable with him, and I know he's got a lot of experience with twins, but I do know some of you twin moms out there would subscribe to a more monitored pregnancy and say I should definitely be seeing a peri, right? I'd be happy to hear all of your thoughts. 

One of my main concerns is that I don't want to go down too many worm holes of worry, so I feel like if I'm with this OB who is not going to be overly anxious about every little thing and just let me navigate this with how I am feeling in my body and mind, (which is the route I prefer in life...) well, then he just might be the best choice for me.

We do have a scan coming up with a Peri in a few weeks and I will definitely be asking her questions about the OB I've chosen and if she subscribes to his theories. 

On another note...I've seen some of you pregnant ladies out there on your blogs answer questions every week about cravings and weight gain and such... but I don't know if there is a standard list of things you document every week? If so, can you email me or in a comment below send me a list of those things you document? I want to start seeing how things change over the weeks and that seems like a great way to do it.

Ok, that's all for now. Heading to bed to dream of these babies...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Symptoms - A Lack Thereof

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. Life has been busy...

There's been a few things sucking up my time.

1) I seem to have come down with a kleenex-box-a-day-worth-of-kleenex type cold... and it won't go away. I think this has something to do with pregnancy, because, as we all know, our immune systems are a bit compromised in this lovely state, but boy, do I wish it would go away. My poor nose is so raw and sore that I rub Vaseline on it every night before I go to bed in hopes of making it feel a little better. Oh, and the chest throbbing coughs... those are fun... SO FUN! But my neti pot has been my new best friend.

2) I spent the last two days in Vegas... whooping it up!!!! oh... I mean, grading papers for one of the board exams for my profession. I volunteered for this committee and while I was going through it, I cursed my stupid nice-ness for accepting this "job". And when I did accept it, oh 6 months ago or so, I thought, hey, grade a few papers and get a free trip to Vegas! SO worth it, right? But I guess I didn't figure that I'd actually be pregnant in Vegas....

It was a good experience though, but I've spent much of my weekend after Thanksgiving going through the 1000 papers and making sure that I was being consistent in grading. Then in Vegas, we meet with our grading partner, who graded the same papers, and we have to reconcile our grades and then re-grade any of those papers that were close to the pass-mark so that we could verify that those who passed deserved to pass and those that didn't it was clear that they didn't master the material. I definitely have a new appreciation for the process.

3) And finally, last weekend, I was in Philly for my brother's wedding! My little brother got married!!!!!! It was a beautiful long weekend with family and his friends. And now he's off on his honeymoon, baking in the sunshine of Hawaii... and I'm freezing my little butt off in the cold. Jealous, me?.... Yes, just a bit.

So here I am, just a few hours shy of 11 weeks of pregnant and I am going to now start talking about this pregnancy... ready.... go....

11 weeks.

11 weeks.

That's pretty nuts! I can't believe sometimes that we really are here. I think one of the reasons why is that I've had little to no symptoms. Here's a few of the common early pregnancy symptoms, per the American Pregnancy Association... and how I've experienced them:

  • implantation bleeding - NONE
  • swollen/tender breasts - definitely no tenderness, although around 6-7 weeks, they did start to get fuller and they continue to be. some days they felt less so and other days they felt bigger. right around when I was to have missed my period, I had some nipple sensitivity, but other than that, nothing much to speak of. I still don't need a bigger bra yet, but I definitely fill them out more. My one sister said, "What are you now, a FULL B cup?" Yes... I'd say that I now fill out my "B-cup" bra :-) YAY!
  • fatigue/tiredness - NONE! I still have energy to run and go to the gym and say up to my normal hours. I didn't sleep all that well the first few weeks after we found out, so maybe from weeks 4-7. I would wake up a bit with a racy mind around 3am and couldn't get back to sleep. But fatigue, none.
  • nausea/morning sickness - Little to None. There are times that when I don't have any food in my belly, I feel a bit uncomfortable and know that if I put food in there, it will feel a lot better, but no urge to puke and no major nausea. Feeling VERY luck on this one.
  • backaches - NONE
  • headaches - I've had one migraine, and just recently a few days ago, I've started to get a few headaches in the back of my head. Hopefully these won't last too long and they may also be associated with weening off my prednisone. 
  • frequency of urination - Somewhat, but only because I'm drinking a LOT more water/liquids because my mouth is dry and I feel very thirsty
  • darkening of areolas - Not yet, but they do look a little bigger... probably because I can wear a big-girl bra now. LOL!
  • food cravings/aversions - This is the only real true symptom that I can put a finger on. In "pre-pregnancy" life, I was pretty much a vegetarian and somewhat vegan... I like to call it vegan-ish. But ever since about 5 weeks, when my monster stomach, Snackzilla as we call her, has taken over, I've been craving protein, in the form of eggs and turkey dairy, and sugar, in the form of fruit and juices and jelly.  I've also added back in some wheat as it's just too hard to get lots of food into that endless pit of a belly without it. Peanut butter filled pretzels (thanks Running Mama!) have been my life saver when I'm in need of a quick food fix. 
So there you have it. just about 11 weeks and little to no symptoms. Just the need to eat... lots...  Oh, and this morning was the first time that I put on a pair of work pants and they just weren't comfortable anymore... I think a shopping trip for some new pants is in order soon...

Sorry again that it has been so long. I think I'm going to start trying to update weekly so that I can have a record of my changes. And soon, as I have a difference to show,  I will start some belly pics too... 

Hope you all are well... Know that I'm thinking of each and everyone of you every day, weather you are still in the trenches, in my shoes, or new to the parenting world...