Wednesday, March 28, 2012

NT Scan at 12 Weeks

Time is flying by so fast!! I roared into week 12 feeling less nauseous and with a noticeable increase in energy. Sure, I'm still tired, but it's volumes better than what I was experiencing a few weeks ago. Doing a load of laundry sounded as daunting as running a marathon! I am so very pleased to say I think I'm over the morning/all the time sickness. I've had random bouts of nausea, but they seem to pass quickly. I haven't puked in over a week!!!

We had our NT scan yesterday. I was apprehensive about the scan because I know there are false positive results, but we both decided we would go through with it. We are information gathering people (we can't even buy a toaster without researching what toaster has the highest rating in Consumer Reports), so it was only natural for us to go ahead with the scan. Although I'd never judge someone else, for us, the scan was not for possible termination purposes, but solely information gathering. I want to know if there is a severe issue so we can prepare for it.

Luckily, the scan went beautifully. The babies don't show any signs of Down Syndrome or any of the other chromosomal defects they tested for. I had blood drawn as well and based on the blood work and scan, we'll be getting statistics in a week regarding exact chances of any of the defects. They looked at blood flow through the heart, to organs and did a lot of measurements and everything looks fine.

It was a longer scan because the babies were not in an optimal position for measuring always so we had to wait until they moved. This was just fine for us :) I couldn't believe how much bigger they are and how much they were moving was constant movement! The sonographer commented that Baby B is the 'wild one' and I lost it! Every scan B has been the baby moving around and appearing to be more feisty. At one point B completely stretched as if to say, "I'm tired is this lady going to leave me alone yet?!" It was adorable!! The placentas are also in an optimal position for twins; I didn't know there was an optimal placement, but this sounds great!

I had this scan done at the high risk clinic so I had to fill out more paperwork. Of course it asks when you're last period was and when you're due date is. The medical staff is puzzled about my dates because they don't match up. This has happened a few times... I just say we did IVF and had a FET done on Jan 18. Ah! The light bulb turns on after I say that. It's just another reminder that I'm not a regular pregnant lady....

The flow of continual good news is going to get me spoiled! For whatever reason, I feel uncomfortable with all the positive news. I'm just not used to getting compliments when it comes to babies or trying to have babies... I guess I'm still waiting for that other shoe to drop, but I wish I could get over it! Everything points to this pregnancy continuing...why can't I get my head to accept that!? My heart certainly has...I am so in love with these babies!! I can't wait to see them again!

Today I am 12 weeks 5 days pregnant and I couldn't be happier. I am blessed!

Friday, March 23, 2012

12 Weeks....pain?

I know I've been asking for a lot of advice lately...and I appreciate everyone's feedback! Everyone has been so helpful!

Today marks 12 weeks. Almost into the second trimester. Very surreal.

Sleeping has become more and more difficult for me; I can't seem to get comfortable! I'm typically a stomach sleeper and I can't swing that move these days. I've been having a stretching/mild pain/cramping feeling throughout my abdomen. I've had it on and off for the past few weeks and I assumed it was just stretching. However, last night, while trying to sleep, it seemed to be more persistent and painful. I felt like I was tossing and turning all night trying to find a comfortable position. I woke up this morning and it seems to have subsided back to the mild discomfort stage. Is this normal? Has anyone else experienced this? Of course I'm constantly paranoid that I'm going to wake up from this fairytale to a horrible loss....I wonder when I'll get over this? I think it's time to invest in one of those pregnancy sleeping pillows. If anyone has any recommendations please send them my way!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right

For friends and family who follow along, this blog may not make sense. However, I feel like I have to say something about what happened this morning.
A fellow blogger, who's journey I have been following since the beginning, posted a blog about her poor egg quality. While I felt completely sympathetic about her unfortunate news, my sincerity quickly turned to pain when I read the following, "
I burst out that I couldnt believe our eggs were retarded and mutated." She went on to apologize for being offensive. Too little too late.
I wrote a short reply to state that she was was indeed utterly offensive and I lost respect for her due to her poor choice of words. Calling your poor quality eggs 'retarded and mutated' is, in my opinion, completely horrendous. There were a few messages back and forth and things spiraled downhill...
I strongly disagree with using the word retarded to describe anything pertaining to stupidity, poor quality or bad taste. I have an uncle who was born with mental retardation. I spent a lot of time volunteering where he lives. I got a college degree based on my desire to help the developmentally disabled population and spent years working in the field. I have learned a lot from the people I have worked with and spent time with. It's hurtful to use language such as this. I think it makes you sound unintelligent and completely ignorant.
There are a few social issues I feel very strongly about and this is one of them. I can't sit back and let someone use offensive language without saying something to defend all the people I know who suffer from this developmental disability. It would be an injustice to myself and everyone I have come in contact with who has a developmental disability to not bring recognition to someone using such an afflictive word.
The lady who wrote this blog is making a big deal out of everything, taking items out of context and making me sound like an evil person. I just wanted to clarify how I felt to the blogger world.
Please think before you post something that is hurtful to other people. Please think before you use the word 'retarded.'
Here is a link to a video that an agency I worked for in Chicago put together regarding using the R Word. It has a lot of my clients and former co-workers in the video and I'm so proud of them for putting it together! It was featured on the Huffington Post website: End the R-Word

I feel a lot better posting my side of this story to the blogging world! Have a great day everyone!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

OB Appointment: Keep Your Pants On

I crossed on over to the OB world yesterday at 11W4D. Good thing I slapped on extra clinical strength deodorant before the appt, because I was a nervous wreck!! I felt like a fraud sitting in the waiting room and was waiting for someone to tell me I do not belong.

We did a basic history intake with a nurse (I don't think the poor lady had ever had such an extensive and confusing history). The nurse then tried to locate the heartbeats with a doppler. I say tried, because she couldn't find EITHER heartbeat. Cue the panic stricken infertile fear of a miscarriage...I had to hold back tears.

We were whisked over to the ultrasound room. I walked in and instinctively reached for my belt in order to take off my pants. For me, an ultrasound room inevitably means pants removal. However, this was not the case today! I had an abdominal ultrasound people!! I kept my pants on for an ultrasound!!! Both of the kiddos were moving around and looked great. Cue tears of relief! I felt kind of foolish wiping away tears, because I'm sure most normal pregnant women don't cry over a routine ultrasound, but I'm definitely not one of those normal pregnant women.

Here's the stats on the kids: Baby A is still the more calm babe. S/he is measuring at 11W5D and has a heartbeat of 167. Baby B was on the move!! S/he is measuring at 12W and had a heartbeat of 165.

We met with the OB, and much to our relief, we both liked her. I immediately felt at ease in her presence. She's a young, petite, energetic lady who may run on batteries. She was incredibly easygoing and kept mentioning technical terms with 'I know it's dorky, but...' She met with us for a long time (about an hour) and answered all of our questions. I appreciate a doctor who is not on a time constraint. Needless to say, I am relieved that we both REALLY liked her. She will be the OB who delivers our twins!

We got info about chromosomal abnormality testing in the first trimester, because we have to have this done in the next 2 weeks, if we want to pursue it. There is zero risk to the babies (it's an ultrasound and blood work) and it covers some severe abnormalities (Trisomy 18, Trisomy 13, open neural tube defects and Down Syndrome). While I highly doubt we'd do anything about any of these defects, we're both information gathering type people and it's a chance to view the babies again, so we're going to do the testing next week. Pregnant ladies, did you/will you do this testing?

Other than this, I'm a 'normal' pregnant lady with appointments every 4 weeks. I can't believe it!
Since we don't have another OB appointment for 4 weeks and we're actually starting to believe in this (everyone keeps telling us things look great), we also decided to make the pregnancy public. I'm obviously starting to show and I'd rather make the announcement rather than have people approaching me to inquire if I was pregnant. It was a huge step, but felt incredibly liberating! We both posted a status on FB and sent out messages to people. {My FB status read: We're having our second baby in September...oh yeah and our first!! We're having TWINS!!!! I also mentioned thanks for everyone who supported us on this journey bc it wasn't easy...I couldn't pretend to be one of those regular pregnant ladies!} Majority of our family and close friends already knew, so it was mainly just letting everyone else know. One of my co-workers got excited and made a big announcement to our department. It was a surreal night having everyone share their excitement with me. So there it is, it's out there! I'M PREGNANT! I can't believe it...

I'm off the next few days so I think I'm going to hunt for maternity clothes. I blew off buttons on two pairs of capris. One happened at Lowe's while we were shopping with the in-laws. I couldn't stop laughing and checking to see if my pants were still zipped!! I think it's time to start getting maternity clothes. If anyone has any suggestions of stores, please share them! Again, I feel like a fraud when it comes to this.

Good luck to everyone who is going through cycles right now or waiting to hear news on a cycle!! Thanks for following along on my journey!

Monday, March 19, 2012

(Uneventful) Graduation

I promise this will be the most uneventful graduation story you've ever heard. Lately I'll gladly accept ordinary occurrences with open arms, so it may be unremarkable, but very welcome!

Here's the deal: Our RE wanted us to come in for a 8 and 10 week ultrasound. Due to my (sometimes) hectic work schedule, an 8 week ultrasound wasn't possible so we postponed it (with the RE's blessing) until week 9. Hence, our next ultrasound was scheduled for week 11 (this week).
Since I'm a veteran at the infertility game (been playing for over 3.5 years), I know enough to not go with the flow, but rather question when I think something is not correct. We asked our RE if an 11 week scan was necessary or if we should head over to a regular OB (by 11 weeks majority of infertiles are scooted over to an OB). Our (amazing) RE, Dr. Scotchie, didn't feel an 11 week follow up in Chattanooga was necessary based on our 9 week ultrasound, so she released us into the OB world. She left us with a fantastically encouraging voice mail and even left her personal cell phone number in case we need anything. What doctor gives out their personal cell phone number? This lady (and the clinic) have been PERFECT. I can't speak highly enough about them!

One phone call and we were set free to go out into the OB world. There were days/weeks/months I never thought we'd get here. Does the surreal feeling of pregnancy ever go away if your an infertile?! We gathered a list of suggested OB's, did some research and I scheduled an appointment! When I called to make the appt, the receptionist asked if it was for OB or GYN. I had to pause to think about this....holy crap, I'm actually making an OB appointment! has come to this?! Our first appointment is tomorrow. I have no idea what to expect, but I'm hoping for an ultrasound!! Wish me luck!! I hope I know how to behave in a regular OB's office...

The weekend with the in-laws was fabulous!! The weather has been gorgeous! We got a lot of work done on the house, had some quality time soaking up the sun and having fun together. They were excited about the new grand kids and it was thrilling to be able to talk about being pregnant!

I started to get a bit cocky about the morning sickness....I had a day last week I was so sick I didn't move off the couch, but after that marathon of sickness I started to feel normal again. I was able to eat meals for the first time in weeks! I felt decent while the in-laws were visiting and started to think that the morning sickness could be over? Could it be subsiding? We did an early morning airport drop off this morning and I warned the hubs he may need to pull over because I wasn't feeling great. I managed to make it home without needing to pull over, but as soon as I got out of the car I started gagging. I exclaimed, "What should I do?" C replied, "Go in the grass!" So there I was at 6 am, puking up my banana bread, cantaloupe, pineapple and apple juice I had for breakfast in our front lawn. Classy. Maybe the morning sickness is not done with me after all. That's what I get for my arrogant thoughts. For the most part, I'm feeling much better. I'm able to eat meals again, so I can deal with an occasional puke.
**FYI-I had those acupuncture pins in my wrists that were supposed to help with the nausea. The marathon morning sickness day I ripped them out because they didn't seem to make a difference for me.**

Does anyone have any suggestions for books about twins? I figure I should start reading up on these kiddos since we have no clue what is going on with babies, let alone TWO babies.
If you have any suggestions for other (non baby related) books to read, send them my way too. I'm in need of a good book to read.

Off to the OB tomorrow. I can't believe this is happening...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Goodbye Progesterone in Oil!!!

Adios! Ciao! Au revoir! Auf wiedersehen! Adeus!
Goodbye to the dreaded
PIO! My last shot was Friday and I can already feel the difference in my tender hips. Maybe one of these days I can sit, lie down and/or put on pants without pain!!! My RE said at 10 weeks it was quits for both the PIO and estrogen pills. Just like that. Quit. Cold turkey. Done. What a great feeling!! It really is the little things....

One story about progesterone before I close yet another chapter in the IF battle:
Collin was in San Francisco for 5 days a few weeks ago. In preparation of his absence, I consulted our RE to see what our options were for the progesterone. I didn't have anyone else I felt comfortable asking to stick a 1 1/2 inch needle in my butt every night... SO, we were told I could self inject in my leg or switch to Crinone while he was gone, but the Crinone wasn't the best option. Obviously, I have a lot of time, energy, faith and heart invested in this pregnancy, so I decided I had to do what was best and figure out a way to shove a huge needle in myself.
Two nights before he left for the west coast, we did a trial run on the PIO in the leg. Collin did the injection just so I could feel what it felt like and then I'd do it myself the next night while he watched over me for moral support. The shot was unremarkable...until the next day. My leg was so painful I couldn't walk without a limp. Getting up and down the stairs in our house was torture. There was no way in hell I was going to be able to inject myself in the leg while he was gone...
We moved on to plan B the next night. I was going to inject myself in the butt/hip area. He stood by for support. I'd be lying if I told you I didn't cry as I turned and faced that huge needle. This was not at all ideal. It took a while, but he was able to talk me through the injection. He marked hearts on each of the injection sites and every day I bent into an awkward position and used the mirror to inject myself with PIO. Sure, it was more painful then when he did the injections, especially bc I didn't have anyone to rub my butt, but I got through it. I did it!
If you'd have told me I could inject myself with a 1 1/2 inch needle 3 years ago I'd have laughed in your face. I hate needles. I have found that IF makes you incredibly resilient, however. There is nothing I wouldn't do for these babies. Nothing. Women who face this battle certainly make it out on the other side a different person (whether they make it out with or without a baby). We leave with a tougher skin, a profound appreciation for life, a relationship with our spouse that is deeper and more meaningful then those who haven't faced such adversity and a renewed respect for the immense power of faith and hope.

We spent the weekend working on the house. I really enjoy using the power washer!! We've gotten a lot of projects done on the house and we're even closer to getting this sucker listed. We have new furniture arriving tomorrow *FINALLY*. It was supposed to be delivered in 6-8 weeks, but it's 10.5 weeks later and we're finally getting it delivered. Good things come to those who wait, right?

My in-laws are coming to visit this week! I'm so excited to again be the 'pregnant lady' and not the 'lady who is pregnant but is pretending like she's not.' The weather is going to be gorgeous and I know we 'll have a great time. They are wonderful people and I'm thankful to have married into such an admirable family.

Collin surprised me with flowers this weekend along with a lovely card that read '10 weeks down!! 30 to go!!' It was adorable. I don't know how I got so lucky to have such an amazing man in my life, but I pray daily out of gratitude for him. I feel so incredibly blessed by everything that is going on right now. I tear up at the thought of all our blessings...

Let's hope they continue!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

9 Weeks

Technically I'm 9 weeks and 3 days, but who's counting?! We were supposed to go in for an 8 week ultrasounds last week, but my work schedule was hectic so we postponed it until this week. We're having it done Wed. So Wednesday is a big day for us!!
I'm feeling fairly confident that something is going on in my uterus:
  • I am a puking champ. I dry heave/projectile vomit 1-2 times per day. Most of the day I feel like I could puke/dry heave.
  • My stomach was looking bloated around my waistline, but the 'bloat' has moved upward and my stomach is looking bigger all around. I don't know how much longer I can hide from looking pregnant.
  • I can sleep with the best of them; no matter how much I sleep, it's not enough. I can sleep 10-13 hours and still take a nap.
  • Despite my bigger stomach, I have yet to gain a single pound. In fact, I have lost weight. I have an incredibly difficult time finding anything that sounds appetizing.
All of these fascinating bullet points have to add up to something don't they?! I guess we'll find out in 2 days!!

In other news, I had two of my best friends visit from Wisconsin last week. It was fantastic to spend time with people who just 'get you.' One of my friends is an OB Nurse and she has amazing pointers!!! I'll be picking her brain a lot in the next month/year! It was great to just be me and be the pregnant lady! Of course my friends know about the pregnancy, but I'm still in the closet with most everyone else. It was lovely to speak openly and honestly about the pregnancy. I also got to give the husband a break from the PIO injections. I had my RN friend, Sarah, aka the pro at injections, give my PIO shots while she was here. Even thought I slept the entire day after they left from the exhaustion I was experiencing, it was worth it!!

We've been discussing putting the house on the market a lot. We've decided to move ahead with it. We're working on little projects to get it as perfect as possible before we list it. We checked out the competition in the area and started looking at new houses online. We have one in particular we really like and seem to stack up the others we look at against it. Just in case our house sells fast, we'll probably start looking at houses once ours goes on the market.

I have observed in the IF world, when someone makes it to the other side (aka gets pregnant) they react in one of two ways. One: they go crazy shopping for maternity clothes stat and start picking up baby items (clothes, diapers, a doppler, shoes, blankets etc) or two: they are very hesitant to believe this is actually happening and delay all things baby. I definitely am in the latter group. Although I'm thrilled every day I wake up feeling tired and every time I puke (yes I am thrilled about vomiting. It is true.), I just can't jump in yet!! I am hoping once our next ultrasound is done and it gives us good news (PLEASE GOD!) maybe I can believe. I miscarried at 8 weeks previously, so 8 weeks is looming in my head as the week to get passed. I want to be giddy and believe nothing can go wrong. I just can't make myself do it (yet).

C recently had a friend get a positive beta and I'm so happy for her!!! Wonderful news!!!

Prayers for a positive ultrasound!!