Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dear Babies

We got to see you again yesterday. It's so mind blowing every time we take a peek and see you both thriving inside me. You squirm around and hide from the camera here and there. You change positions and on your stronger movements, I can feel you nudging me. This is one of the most amazing things I have ever had the privilege of doing with my body and I am trying very hard to give you all that you need while you are here.

Here you both are at 22w1d.

There's so much more definition in your faces now. I stare at them and wonder if you are a boy or a girl, what color your hair is, your eyes... I wonder what your personalities are like and how we are going to figure out how to care for you when you enter the world. But most of all, I just can't wait to hold you, comfort you, feed you and get to know you. Tidy and I are so very much in love with you.

He left town this weekend to visit with his family. His brother's birthday is soon and he wanted to have some time to hang out with them. He left a bit after we had our ultrasound and after about an hour into his drive he called me and said how very much he missed you already...

You both have made such a huge impact on our lives in these past 22 weeks ... I can't even begin to imagine how much you are going to change our lives going forward.

Grateful that you are here, loving you more than you will ever know,

Mom & Dad

And now, the stats:

Status: 22w2d

Weight Gain: I won't weigh in again until about 24 weeks.

Symptoms: Daily movement is still there, and a few aches and pains in my back by the end of the day. I'm so grateful that up to now, I haven't had that much discomfort. I did go for a pregnancy massage on Wednesday and it was fantastic! I'm going to try to stick with at least one a month to help with the tight back.

Cravings: None to speak of

Aversions: Again, none to speak of

Exercise: Back at it this week! Yay! Monday: 60 min spinning class, Wednesday: 45 min lunchtime yoga and 1 hr prenatal yoga. Thursday: 15 min walk with the dog. This week goal - I am getting back in the pool.

Best Moment of the Week: Tidy did get a chance to feel a little kick, just once, and the look on his face was just a split second, but so precious.

What I Look Forward to: Getting the work done on the baby room so we can paint!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Fear Balls

Not all of pregnancy is blissful.  I think that's an obvious statement, but I want to give it some credence here.

For some women, much of it is NOT blissful. Thankfully for me, much of it has been fairly easy up to this point (knock on wood).  Physically, I think that it just beginning to change. I am starting to feel the effects of carrying around 20 extra pounds. My back gets sore at the end of the day and my innards (love that word) are starting to feel a bit crunched up and achy in places. Yoga and exercise definitely help and remind me that staying strong in the rest of my body, to the extent that my body lets me, is very beneficial, since I usually feel my best after moving around.

Mentally, infertility messes with the bliss, too. But for the most part, I'm ok at refocusing, keeping in mind, that I may only get to do this once and I certainly don't want to regret feeling fearful and anxious the whole time. Oh, don't get me wrong, I have had a few freaks outs and it still taints my thoughts and sometimes interactions when relating to the fertile world, but in general, that "once in a life time experience" is at the forefront of my mind. Eyes on the prize, Tippy... Eyes on the prize.

So, as part of my prenatal "self-care" routine to help keep the physical AND mental bliss around, I am starting to get monthly massages.

In fact, I had one today! It was great and, oh, and they make these tables, with a big hole in it covered in a stretchy mesh that fits your belly! So I got to "lay" on my stomach and have a proper deep tissue massage, something I thought I was going to have to give up with pregnancy. I had heard that you have to lie on your side once you are pregnant but I just can't imagine that laying on your side allows you to truly relax into a massage.

He found a ton of deep knots in my back and worked on them pretty hard (which I needed!). But I think that let out some of the anxiety and fear that I have stored away in those deep pockets... For the rest of today, I just felt anxious... worried about how life is going to be with twins....worried that Tidy doesn't find me cute in my pregnant body...worried we won't take advantage of the remainder of our time with out these babies... worried about my body getting super huge... worried about having to go through birth, however that happens.... All normal worries, I'm sure, but all at once is a bit much.

Tidy of course had some of his wisdom to share on the matter: 

Me: "I think some of this fear and anxiety today is because in my massage, he really worked out some knots in my shoulders and back"
Tidy: "Yeah, It's a lot easier when your fears are in a nice tight little ball in your back"

I love my Tidy. He always helps to bring me back to normal again.

And now, the stats and belly pic:

Status: 21w1d

Weight Gain: I won't weigh in again until about 24 weeks. Start the guesses now!

Symptoms: Finally, daily movement! Little bubble, flutter feelings, but I can tell when it comes from Baby A versus Baby B. It makes me smile to feel their little nudges (or huge kicks...  but they feel like nudges to me). I especially like them when I'm sitting in a meeting at work and don't really want to pay attention. Other than that, nothing new, still some aches in my back and tender gallbladder from time to time.

Cravings: None to speak of

Aversions: Again, none to speak of

Exercise: Once again, a bad work out week. But I have a good excuse this week.... I got SMACKED in the head with a terrible cold. From last friday night through Wednesday or so, I was attached to a kleenex box. I even took 2 sick days from work. It was very nice to sleep a little throughout the day when my nose or cough didn't wake me up ever half hour or so. I did manage to get to my prenatal yoga class though, on Wed night.

Best Moment of the Week: Having a visit from my parents this past weekend and showing off my skills with the baby Doppler that I have so they could hear both of their heart beats. Pretty cool.

What I Look Forward to: Getting back into an exercise routine (we'll try this one again... )

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Chip, meet Shoulder

I definitely think I have a little chip on my shoulder. I'm assuming most of us IF girls do, and it doesn't leave us even when pregnant.

This past wednesday, I started my first week of an 8-week series prenatal yoga class at my health care clinic. I walked in repeating to myself, "Be open to this, you can do this, don't put up huge walls"

But I did.

For so long, I've strived to be part of this pregnant lady and mom club. I wrote an old blog post about feeling like I've been outside of a big glass castle, looking into it with all of the moms and moms-to-be in there, wanting so badly to there, to be part of the group, but not being able to find a way in.

As I walked into my yoga class, I felt like this was my first chance to step into that glass castle, but as I entered, I felt jaded, and judgmental, and like I didn't really want to get to know any of them in there, even if they did struggle...

Before we actually got into any yoga, we all sat around in a circle and introduced ourselves, where we were in our pregnancies, and what we hoped to get out of this yoga class. As everyone was talking, I could feel my self just sitting there, thinking smug thoughts. Thoughts like, "Oh, I bet this was easy for you", or "Look at how fat and unhealthy you are, and you can get pregnant?!"Yes, I know, this makes me seem like a bitch. And sometimes, there are parts of my thoughts that are, but it's the truth of the moment, and that's the point of blogging right? I am not really a bitch, but I sure do have bitchy thoughts sometimes.

I don't really wonder why I have this chip on my shoulder. It's obvious right? I mean, after 5 years of failure, one gets a little jaded. And even getting pregnant doesn't cause all of those feelings of jealousy and envy to go away. Pregnancy is amazing and I'm so grateful to feel these little babies inside me, but it doesn't erase the years of pain and sadness overnight. And who knows, maybe I will always carry a little chip on my shoulder. But the trick is to not let it affect your interactions with others.

So my goal for next week's prenatal yoga class: Try to have less bitchy thoughts, or, if I have them, acknowledge them, and let them pass.

And now, the stats..

Status: 20w2d

Weight Gain: I weighed in at the OB on Thursday afternoon... I'm up 19 lbs!!! I'm really not sure if that's too much or too little, but I don't think it's too little or just right. My OB doesn't believe that my weight gain is correlated with the health of the babies (within reason). Ie, if I'm gaining weight and the babies are growing well and together, then that's good. No need to worry about 5 lbs here or there.

Symptoms: Similar to last week, some more consistent movement, but they are still small little bubble feelings. Also, the gallbladder seems to be not as annoying lately! I think it's some of the diet changes I have been making. A "fun"new symptom is being extra burpy and having some reflux. If I eat and then move around  bit, I get some of those lovely spit up burps.. BLECH! SO GROSS!! It reminds me of my youngest sister, who used to complain about all the pregnant women in her office who were always burping and farting and she was just so grossed out by them. I think I've joined that club!

Cravings: This week, really none to speak of. Pretty normal appetite and thoughts on food.

Aversions: Again, none to speak of

Exercise: This week was a pretty bad week for working out. Only yoga at my prenatal yoga class. Why you ask? All of a sudden this week, I became a bit paranoid about exercising and this pregnancy. I had a few nights where I was just so terrified of losing my babies (not because of any symptoms, but just general anxiety) that I started thinking about all of my actions way too much. But after talking with my OB on Thursday he helped get my head back on straight. All of my exercise is fine, and honestly, it's not really a lot, at all. He just wants to make sure that I'm listening to my body and going at a moderate to light pace. So, I will continue along with yoga, spinning, elliptical (instead of running) and get back into the pool to swim, modifying where I need.

I think one of the issues here is that some people have been vocal to me about taking it easy and resting and really not going in my life at full speed, which I honestly have not. I've slowed my life down a lot, for me... but the people who have had bad things happen to them in their pregnancies are the most vocal. They are the ones that don't want to see me or anyone else go through what they did. And it is greatly appreciated and I understand it comes from a good place, but it does more harm than good on my psyche. Bottom line, moderate/light exercise is not going to causes something catastrophic to happen. Catastrophes are not in my control. But staying healthy and strong is. And I need to do that for my own mental health and for the health of these babies. So, this week, I hope to get back to the gym to get that blood flowing again.

Best Moment of the Week: Being able to cry in my OB's office and have him calm my fears. I know that he "has my back" in this. I can come to him whenever I am feeling worried or anxious. He wants me to trust him and stop looking on the internet. (I confessed that I tend to pursue PubMed a lot when I'm worried about a particular issue). And so I will. From now on, no more fear mongering. Just me, my OB and my body!

What I Look Forward to: Getting back into an exercise routine.

Monday, February 6, 2012

I Still Cry in My Car

Instead of my car being the place where I cry tears of sadness, loss, brokenness and fear, I cry new tears in my car. They are tears of...

... joy

... and graditude

... and pleas that I don't wake up from this dream

These babies are becoming more real to me every day and I can't wait to hold them in my arms. As my belly starts to swell and the movements become more frequent, my heart melts and hopes with all my heart that the rest of this pregnancy continues to go smoothly and I get to meet these beautiful babies and hold them and watch them grow for the rest of our lives. This is my wish.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Cancer SUCKS!

I spent this past Thursday night at a benefit for a friend from elementary and high school who is battling 2 cancerous brain tumors. It was an amazing night, reaffirming what a wonderful community of people I was raised with. You can read about my friend's journey here if you like. She's an inspiring person. As she walks through this journey, fighting for her life, she holds her head high and tries to find peace in here day with her family and with what she has at the moment. She is about one quarter of the way through 2 years of chemo that will hope to shrink her brain tumors so that she can go on living her life with a bit less worry for a while and enjoying her beautiful family and friends.

A few posts ago, she was talking about finding a way to let go and also learn to say no, and be a bit selfish. I feel like this was a lesson that I learned with infertility too. It made me slow down and say, what truly matters to me right now. It made me learn to let go of the fret and fear and worry and planning and doing that I felt like I needed to do to get to my goal so that I could find some level of enjoyment in my current life, even while trying to achieve parenthood. But then I felt bad, likening my struggle to hers. I'm trying to create life, and she is trying to save life. It felt unfair. It felt like I was minimizing her struggle...

But you know how beautiful of a person she is? How thoughtful? She took a vacation with her husband up to a relaxing place and they spent some time in a chapel. She lit candles for all of her friends struggling with her own things. And one of those candles was for me... In all of her pain, and worry, and fight, she was thinking of me. (She didn't know we were pregnant yet)

Can you believe that? That, my friends, is compassion... Compassion for others, even in your own time of pain and suffering and need.

I will try my hardest to remember this story when I find myself losing compassion.

So I spent the night catching up with old friends, reminiscing about who did what, when, bidding on silent auction items, drinking St. Pauli Girl N/A, celebrating my friend and helping to raise money to kick cancer's ass!!!

And now, the stats & a new bump picture:

Status: 19w2d

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

Symptoms: Feeling a few more bubbles and pops in there when I am sitting still, but nothing consistent yet. Gallbladder pain is still there, but I'm learning to eat a bit differently and am managing the pain just fine, for now. My mid back gets sore, especially when sitting in one place for too long, and I still haven't had a massage, but I do have one scheduled in a few weeks. YAY!

Cravings: Nothing very obvious, except for some green pepper cravings still and oranges. I also bought a small bag of Swedish fish today... YUM!

Aversions: Again, none to speak of

Exercise: Saturday & Sunday - walked a TON around the stores as we got some of our registering done. I was out shopping for 4 hours each day. Does that count as exercise? Monday - 1 hr spinning, Tuesday - 45 min power flow yoga at home, Wednesday - 45 min lunch time yoga at work. If we count the weekend walking at the mall (and no, not mall-walking), I guess we can say that was 4 times this week. Also, on the running note, I think I've decided to stop that, for now. The placenta previa, although very minimal has me just a tad bit nervous that I'd rather be safe than sorry. So, for now, no running. I'm going to have to see if I can make that elliptical machine my friend.

Best Moment of the Week: The benefit I went to on Thursday. It was so great to catch up with old friends and to feel the love of an amazingly giving and supportive community.

What I Look Forward to: Feeling some more distinct movement and having Tidy able to see/feel it too.