Thursday, January 26, 2012

Half Way There...

... assuming the average gestation of a twin pregnancy is about 36 weeks (give or take), since today marks 18 weeks, we're half way there. Amazing huh? It goes so friggin fast! I still can't believe it. Even after spending a good hour with our babies today, peering into their brains and hearts and kidneys and stomachs and legs and arms, I still am in awe that they are inside me.

I'm also so grateful, so very very grateful.

We had our 18 week ultrasound today and other than taking a peak at our babies, we did notice that I have a VERY marginal placenta previa, where a tiny tiny edge of Baby A's placenta is covering my cervix. This is a bigger issue later in pregnancy and the hope is that since it is still pretty early, as my uterus grows and expands, the placenta will move with it upwards and away from the cervical opening. It seems that is a pretty likely possibility, per, so for now, I am not going to worry. If it stays covering the cervix, a vaginal birth is likely out of the question. If that is the case, then at least my decision will be made for me.

I've been thinking a lot about birth lately. I know my main goal is to have 2 healthy babies, but I'd also really like to have a vaginal birth if the stars align correctly. I know I pretty much can not control the position of the babies and so that will be a huge determination if our OB lets us try a vaginal birth or encourages us to have a C-section without trying vaginally first.

And yes, I am getting a bit ahead of myself, but my mind works this way. I need to understand what the possibilities are, their likelihoods, and then make myself comfortable with each of the outcome. I find I do that best by thinking out loud, or on paper.... thus the blog.

On a more fun note, instead of a picture of my belly this week, I thought I'd share two 3D pictures of the twins. I'm so attached to them already, it's madness. I barely know them, but feel so protective and in love. I simply can not wait to meet them.

Status: 18w0d

Weight Gain: Same status as last week, so I don't know, but I bet it's starting to pile on!

Symptoms: Still headache free (Woot!) and still feeling a few little movements here and there, but nothing consistent yet. At our ultrasound today, it was confirmed that my placentas are anterior, so they put more cushion between the babies and my belly wall. I think this will make those movements a bit harder to feel. As for the gallbladder, still having some pain with more fatty meals, but I did go in for a gall bladder ultrasound yesterday. They didn't find any stones, which is good, but I'm not sure what that means? I have an email into my doctor, so we'll see what she says. Finally, a new symptom of pregnancy, that I'm assuming is going to last, is that by the end of the day, my mid back is sore and a bit angry... Solution??? MORE MASSAGES!! I can handle that :-)

Cravings: Still none really, although tonight, I did have a little hankering for some green pepper pizza, but made some veggy and tofu fried rice instead. I don't think the gallbladder would be up for the pizza.

Aversions: Again, none to speak of

Exercise: Sunday - 3 mile run, Monday - 1 hr spinning, Wednesday - 45 min lunch time yoga at work. What's my excuse this week for only 3 days? It was Restaurant week here! All of the yummy restaurants that you don't normally go to often because they are a bit on the spendy size, do a 3 course meal for $25 per person. So, we had to go to dinner a few nights this week... Had to ;-)

Best Moment of the Week: Today's ultrasound... hands down. Just seeing those babies again, alive in there, moving around and thriving. It brings tears of joy and relief and gratitude to my face. I can't thank the world enough for giving me this chance. I wish I had more words to express this feeling to do it justice.

What I Look Forward to: Making some decisions this weekend on where we are going to register.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Happy ICLW!

Welcome to my blog. I haven't participated in ICLW for quite a few months, but it will be nice to be back and meet some new bloggers.

A little about me and Tidy:

We started trying to conceive almost 5 years ago. In fact, it will be 5 years next month. We've tried everything under the sun: 5 IUIs, 4 IVF (6 total transfers: 4 fresh, 2 frozen). And tons and tons of diet changes, yoga, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, meditation, you name it...

Finally last spring, after our 4th failed IVF cycle with my body, I drew a line in the sand, jumped across it and never looked back. That line in the sand represented my own genetics. We made the decision to try one IVF cycle using donor eggs, from our gracious anonymous donor, Dotty 2.0

And it worked... well...

And we are SOOO grateful...

I am currently pregnant, just over 17 weeks, with twins, thanks to some amazing donor eggs, my husbands swimmers, an amazing team of doctors, and oh I guess my body gets some credit too! I'm so thankful to know that my body can hold a pregnancy.

So please have a look around my blog, leave a comment and join me as we get ready to welcome our twins into our lives.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Do Twins Run in Your Family?


I could just stop there, but I don't.

My usual response to the above referenced question, that I've been getting a LOT of at work lately is this...

"No. They don't. We tried for many years, but needed help. So our twins are the result of using fertility treatments"

And I stop there.

For the most part, people's reactions have been simple and excited. They don't pry more, they don't react like I'm a freak show because I shared this little snippet into my life, and they don't try to give me advice (... I do have a post coming on advice however... soon..).

It's as easy as that sometimes, to just be honest, and not ashamed of the fact that we needed help. It feels good. I feel proud in some way too, and maybe that's not the most gracious way to feel, but I do. I feel like I've conquered 2 things here: 1) my infertility and 2) a bit of a perceived stigma about having to get help.

And with that feeling comes a little bit of freedom from the years of defeat.

And now...the stats and a belly picture!

Status: 17w0d

Weight Gain: I won't have any idea until I go back to my OB in early Feb, but I definitely think I've grown noticeably since last week, so I bet the pounds are going to start packing themselves on.

Symptoms: (While knocking on wood) This week has been headache free! Yay!!! Big positive there. I've also started to possibly feel some movements going on. Right now they are sporadic gas bubble type feelings and little twitchy instances, but noticeable nonetheless. Also, I am still having some gallbladder pain, although I have been adjusting my food back to a more vegan diet, with a small amounts of cheese and fish here and there to get a little fat and protein. I am going in for a gallbladder ultrasound next week to see if I indeed have gallstones. Ugh.

Cravings: This week, nothing really to speak of.

Aversions: Again, none to speak of

Exercise: Friday - 3 mile run, Sunday - 1 hr spinning, Wednesday - 45 min lunch time yoga at work. Once again, other things like work and friends are getting in the way of getting to that gym 4x a week. ... but we'll try again this week. I did get some new work out clothes too, so maybe that will help!

Best Moment of the Week: Nothing really stands out except for some sweet quiet moments at home with Tidy and the Pog. With some of my new responsibilities at work, it has been super busy during the day, so when I come home at night I'm just enjoying a little down time of doing nothing. The simplicity of it is so soothing.

What I Look Forward to: Our 18 week ultrasound next Thursday.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Job Description

Tidy is a middle school teacher. Every Friday, he has his kids do a trivia quiz. This was a question on his quiz today:

I will be taking a second job this summer. Below are a few requirements and descriptions of my future job.

Long term, team players needed, for challenging, permanent work in an often chaotic environment.
Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call.
Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.
Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

None. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills

None required (unfortunately). On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

No health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered
For five points - what is my new job?

That is how he announced to his class today. Cute, huh? I think they are going to miss him very much next year when he is at home raising our twins. He's an amazingly creative teacher (if I do say so myself).

As an aside, we have decided, with out too much real analysis (ie, no spreadsheets have been made), that Tidy is going to be a "Stay at Home Dad" (SAHD) to our babies at least through the first year. YAY!!! When we considered the cost of day care for twins against a teacher's salary, except for maybe the health care costs (which as many of you know isn't a trivial thing), it's kind of a wash. We feel fortunate to have this opportunity and be able to have at least one of us with them for their first year.

And now...the stats:

Status: 16w1d

Weight Gain: I was pretty dang close with my guess last week. The weigh in at my OB this past Monday showed I've gained 10.5 lbs, so if you round up to 11, I was right on!

Symptoms: One migraine last week (HATE!) and a few what I think are round ligament pain episodes. They are just sharp, quick little jabs on either side of my groin that happen when I get out of the car sometimes, or turn over in bed too quickly. I think I've had maybe 2 or 3 of those little pains this week. From one of my baby books it says they can begin right about now. Also, I THINK I may be having some gallbladder pain. It hasn't been every day, but a few days this week, after I've eaten a particularly fattening meal, about an hour after that meal, I will feel a pain in my mid right back. It kind of feels like a pulled muscle, but I've been tracking it to my eating habits and I think it's really the gallbladder. I' going to test it out a bit more this week with what I am eating and then if it continues, talk with my OB.

Cravings: This week, nothing really to speak of.

Aversions: Again, none to speak of

Exercise: Saturday - 3 mile run, Sunday - 1 hr warm power flow yoga, Wednesday - 45 min lunch time yoga at work. I didn't get my goal of getting to the gym 4 times a week... but we'll try again this week.
Best Moment of the Week: There's two actually 1) Hanging out with Tidy's family celebrating his sister and her husband's 30th birthdays. They had a big party at their house with tons of family and friends. I wore a pair of maternity jeans and let my belly be shown. It was similar to that strange feeling when you wear a bra to school for the first time (or was that just my experience)... Like you feel like everyone is staring at you because they know something is different about your body. But this time (unlike when I work my first bra to school in middle school). I felt proud and happy, as opposed to awkward and not ready. 2) Coming out at work!!!

What I Look Forward to: Figuring out where to register and beginning to feel movement in there

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bagels & Muffins

I made a little announcement yesterday at work.

I brought in bagels and muffins to the "treat area" in my staff's row, bright and early so no one would see me. Then I snuck off to my office and wrote a little email with the subject line: "Bagels & Muffins ... AND..."

I composed a simple 2 sentence email to my staff and some of my close coworkers and business partners and hit send... and waited...

In less than 2 minutes, I had a group of 3 former staff and a coworker come into my office and scream... TWINS!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was such a fun and crazy day... I didn't' get a lick of work done for the first 90 minutes. So many "congrats", "Holy cow", "So exciting!"

I figured it was time to tell because the job I had been waiting for my VP to make a decision on was finally decided ( I didn't get it.... I'm fine with that decision... honest). And my belly is going to let itself be known very soon, so I figured I do the job before it did it for me.

It was strange though. While for the most part of the day I felt so happy and enjoyed the joy that others had in their voices for me, I also got scared. For the first time in this pregnancy, the fear of something going wrong, of not having my take home babies, set in. I think it is because after announcing, this becomes even more real, and because it's more real, there's a more real possibility of it being taken away fo me. I know that this feeling will pass, but it was just such a big day yesterday, one I can't lie, have kind of dreamed of.... kind of.

But so many other people know about this now and it seemed so much safer when just a few people know. I definitely feel more vulnerable.

I know this vulnerability will pass and the joy of being able to let my belly out at work take back over, but it's yet another example of how infertility still has solid hold on me in some ways.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Listen with Your Heart

Well, we did it... We told my mom.

I've been nervous about this for so long, trying to figure out the best way and timing to reveal to my mom that we used donor eggs to help us conceive our babies.  As you know, my mom has some strong feelings about IVF in general and has a very strong faith in God and her religion. Because of this, I have not always felt supported by her in my attempts to have a family. My initial thought is that she would greatly disapprove of this method of family building. I was so anxious that the night before we decided to tell her, I slept like crap and had major anxiety dreams.

Tidy and I went back to see our families this past weekend to celebrate his sister and her husband's 30th birthdays. A few days before that we had a discussion and decided it was time to tell the rest of our immediate families. Up until this weekend, recall, only my 3 sisters and my dad know about our donor egg choice (and a few of our closest friends here in town), but we had made the decision to tell everyone else... at some point... we just hadn't figured out when.

Tidy started to think about it and realized that he'd really like to tell his family sooner than later. He felt like it would have been pulling the wool over everyone's eyes to have them wait to meet our babies first and then tell them after the fact about Dotty 2.0 and what a wonderful gift that she's given to our family. He wanted them to be able to absorb the information and see if they have any questions and get used to the idea if they needed to before they arrive.

I was still on the fence about the best time to tell my mom, but I didn't want her to be the last to know, or have others know, not tell her, and have her find out from others. I also didn't want others to be in a position to have to keep this secret from her.

So we took the plunge and decided to tell her.

My mom and I had plans to go shopping together on this past Saturday to look for maternity clothes for me ... I BOUGHT MY FIRST PAIR OF MATERNITY TROUSERS FOR WORK!!!!! WHEEEEEEE!!!!!!... So I thought before we went, I wanted to sit and have a nice conversation with her. I wasn't exactly sure how to frame it, but when I went into the bathroom near the kitchen, I was looking on the shelf and there were a few little pray booklets sitting there... Serendipitously, one was titled "Listen With Your Heart" and I thought, how perfect is that?!...exactly the approach I will take with my mom... ask her to listen with her heart.

And so I sat her down at the kitchen table with Tidy and I and asker her just that... please, listen with your heart...  and proceeded to tell her how, back in April, we had my sisters up for a visit and charted out all of our options: Surrogate, Adoption, Donor eggs... not really knowing the right path to go down, but having a feeling that I really could carry a baby and we just needed some healthy embryos, we decided to look for a gracious woman to give us a gift... a seed... to help us on this journey. I was tearing up as I told her how much we were thankful for this opportunity and how glad we are we were able to go down this path.

And she teared up as well and simply said, "god has given us these babies to have in our family"... She thanked us for telling her. And I let out a big sigh of relief.... no judgement, as I was expecting, no negativity about our choice, as I was anticipating... just simple acceptance and listening with her heart.

My mom was definitely the rock star of this weekend!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Little Bit Conceited

15 week belly!!! It's really there... starting to look like a pregnant belly... That's me!! With a pregnant belly!!! Can you believe it?!?!?

This picture makes it seem like it grew a lot in the last few weeks. But while it might look kind of big in the picture here, I think it depends on how I stand, or pose, or if it's in the morning versus the evening.... So I think I'll try to take my pictures all at the same time of day, right in the morning (before the bloat sets in)

So this belly thing is weird still, but I'm starting to want to show it off a little, or at least not try to hide it so much. I'm not sure if it's because I want to convince people that I'm not just a little pudgier, or if it's just that I'm really starting to get excited about this. Either way, I think I need to start 'owning' this belly.

I've found that I feel mostly excited about it when I'm at the gym in my spinning and running clothes kind of looking in the mirror to see if maybe people might think I'm pregnant and think, good for her, she's staying in shape while pregnant. How conceited is that, huh? A good blog friend wrote about this once in her post at the end of her recent pregnancy... and now I totally get it!

But I really think that this excitement about the belly specifically at the gym is due to the fact that I still just get so damn giddy during and after I've had a good workout, thinking to myself "Look at me!!! I'm pregnant AND I'M RUNNING!!!"

...and that's not really any big feat. People run all the time while they are pregnant, way way more than me. But I think its one of the ways that I am laughing in the face of fear with this pregnancy. FEAR.... YOU DON'T OWN ME! After all of these years, of disappointment and worry and what if's, I shall not carry that over into this new phase. I will not let it rule me. And so, as I run and spin with a smile on my face and a little glance in the mirror at the belly, I'm really just reveling in the freedom and weightlessness that I feel from overcoming this part of fear that many of us infertiles have once we do finally get pregnant... The, I-got-pregnant-and-now-I-want-to-live-in-a-bubble-for-9-months kind of fear.

And now...the stats:

Status: 15w0d

Weight Gain: I'll finally know this on Monday at my check up with my OB. I think I'm going to be shocked. Any guesses? 10 lbs, 15???  I'm gonna guess 11.

Symptoms: Tension headaches are still here, but manageable. I"m going to talk with my OB about them at my appointment on Monday to see if maybe they are a sign of anemia.. Other than that, not much to speak of at all, although I am starting to feel a bit more sluggish with the extra weight, for example, it's harder to climb up the stairs at work and it's harder to get out of the car. I think maybe that's because I can't use my ab muscles just aren't as effective as they were before...

Cravings: Still on the OJ thing, and now grapefruits. I've also been really into bagels and cream cheese, oh and green peppers! Earlier this week, green pepper pizza sounded amazing to me! And before pregnancy, I would cringe at green peppers on my pizza! Amazing what the body does, huh?

Aversions: Non really to speak up. My chocolate affliction that I had pre-pregnancy is coming back a bit.

Exercise: Sunday - 1 hr warm power flow yoga, Tuesday - 3 mile run on the treadmill, 45 min non-warm power flow yoga, Today - 1 hr spinning class.... SO it seems that I can get my butt to the gym about 3 times a week, but I think I need to up this a bit while I can and get my body a bit stronger to handle the weight that I know is going to start to pack on. Let's go for 4 times this week, k?

Best Moment of the Week: Nothing really to do with pregnancy, but the Pog has been super sweet lately. Monday was still a holiday for me but Tidy had to work. So Pog and I woke up with Tidy early and after he left, I made a bagel and cream cheese, along with a glass of OJ and got back into bed to read some magazines and do some Internet surfing. Then after about an hour of luscious laying in bed, I feel back asleep for a 2 hour nap. Bliss!

What I Look Forward to: Getting some of our estimates back and the work started on our house. We need some new insulation in the attic and in the ceiling of the garage to get the bedroom area of the house a bit more baby friendly. It's a little drafty right now!