Friday, May 18, 2012

19 Week Update

Today officially kicks off week 20, but who's counting?! Week 19 was very busy for us! (I'm behind on posting on everyone's blogs!) I was thrilled about finding out the genders of the babies and have been walking 10 feet off the ground since then. I can't tell you how many people I've spoken to re: the genders. Every time, people are incredibly enthusiastic. Their excitement still seems a bit foreign to me...for example, I was visiting a co-worker in another area of the hospital and a nurse, who I don't know, overheard us and she raved about how great it was to be having twins and one of each. She then proceeded to ask if twins ran in the family. I get this question a lot and simply state, 'no' and smile. She then said, 'Oh, so it can happen for me! That's my dream, to have boy/girl twins so I can just be pregnant once!' I was very uncomfortable. My co-worker, who knows about the IVF, read my face and changed the subject. Sure, I'm lucky to be pregnant and thrilled about
healthy boy/girl twins, but it wasn't all rainbows and butterflies to get here!! I felt like telling her maybe she should drop $15k on IVF and maybe she could make her dream of boy/girl twins come true. How am I supposed to respond to things like this? I just grin and bear it on the outside, but I can't help but feel a twinge of sadness for myself and my husband on the inside. I wonder if this will ever pass?

Of course Mother's Day happened this past week. Every year of IF that passed without a baby or having lost a baby made Mother's Day a bittersweet holiday. I feel for each and every one of you still in the trenches of IF. For those of you who lost a baby or babies or who desperately want, but cannot have a baby, I'm sorry. I wish there were more clear cut answers and ways to fix IF. There should be a day for everyone who
wants to be a mom.
For the first time since we started this battle back in '08 I finally had a reason to be happy on Mother's Day. I wasn't sure what the 'rules' are for someone who is pregnant but does not have a baby in their arms yet. However, I received a several thoughtful cards, messages and calls from people. They were all very welcome. Collin, myself and our dog, Miles, took part in a walk to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis Saturday (we helped be a part of the $100,000 raised that day!). After the walk, C surprised me with a hour long facial followed by a hour long pregnancy massage at my favorite salon and spa. It was quite relaxing and a sweet Mother's Day gesture. During the massage I felt a lot of flutters from the babies...I think they enjoyed it too!! We went out for dinner downtown Saturday night and ate under the stars. I felt incredibly blissful the entire weekend. Thank you to my husband for his thoughtfulness and love. He's incredible! I hope all women with babies in their arms, in their hearts, in their uterus developing or women who want babies, but don't have them yet, had a nice Mother's Day!

I've also been working full time nights the past few weeks which has led me to feel exhausted most of the time. This week wraps up the last of my full time hours!! I'm officially cutting back my hours for the rest of the pregnancy. I've read 'When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads,' which is viewed as THE book to read if expecting multiples. The work restrictions the book suggests are incredibly strict! Who can lay down to rest while at work? Who can work only 4-6 hours a day? Who can sit majority of the day? These are not options if you work in healthcare... I haven't been able to follow their suggestions, but I'll be more within their range for the rest of the pregnancy and I hope it helps us deliver healthy babies at week 36.

My parents and grandma are coming to visit next weekend and they want to hit the stores for baby gear. I'm thrilled!! In preparation of their visit, we actually went to Baby's R Us and registered. Talk about a foreign land...I took suggestions from a Twin Sense and we hit the store. I teared up a few times while scanning items...I'm sure most mom's don't tear up at Baby's R Us. I had dreamed of being able to go into a store and pick out items for a baby for years, and having reason to pick out items was a bit overwhelming. This is happening..FINALLY!!!

As far as the pregnancy goes, I'm feeling great! I'm getting a tad crampy in my hips and shoulders at night. I'm still making treks to the bathroom 3-5 times a night and having some insomnia (that could be night shift related). I've been taking extra DHA for the babies (My OB highly recommended extra doses. Although there is no clear cut proof it helps increase intelligence, there are some studies that suggests it does. It doesn't hurt, so I figured I'd give it a try). I'm feeling a lot of flutters this week. I don't think I'm far off from feeling full fledged kicks from the four legs growing in there! My weekly cravings include chocolate soy milk, pickles, and fruit popsicles. I've managed to gain 3 pounds (11 pounds overall) since my last OB visit 1.5 weeks ago, and this isn't enough! I've been eating fatty foods (ice cream, cheese, peanuts etc.) and I have noticed an increase in my appetite, but I can't seem to pack on the pounds the way she wants me to. I even have taken up drinking Ensure, so I feel like an elderly patient at the hospital, but with no luck. I guess I'll keep plugging along and keep shoving my face full as much as I can. When I go in for my next OB appointment in 2 weeks I hope to be up at least 10 more pounds.

On to week 20!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Gender Reveal!!

It is with much exuberance and an endless supply of bliss that I am able to announce we're having a baby BOY and GIRL!!! Most importantly, both babies had perfect anatomy scans yesterday. Their brains, kidneys, bladders, diaphragms, hearts, spines, bones etc. are growing perfectly. I couldn't be happier at this moment!!

Here's the details of yesterday's scan:

We went in for the scan and all the organs and measurements were completed on the first baby. Then out of nowhere, the tech announced 'It's a girl!' I wasn't ready for that one!! My pulse immediately picked up. I wanted a little girl and I got my girl! Both of us were elated. A baby girl!! I looked over at Collin and he had a nervous look on his face as she moved on to scan the other baby. I immediately knew what he was thinking...two girls?! Of all the scenarios (boy/boy, girl/girl and boy/girl), the girl/girl option was our least preferred. I desperately wanted a boy for my sports fanatic husband.

On she went to scan the next baby's organs and take measurements. I was prepared for the order of things this time and knew when she was looking for the genitals. I thought I caught a glimpse of something sticking out. Could it be? Yes! She announced, 'It's a boy!' Yes!! A perfect boy!! A boy for my husband. He never asked for it, but I wanted a boy for him. My eyes teared up at the realization of how blessed we truly are.

I'm pregnant with a boy and a girl! I could not begin to express the joy we experienced yesterday. I prayed we'd get pregnant on our FET. We did. I prayed it would be twins. They are. I hoped and prayed for a baby boy and girl. They are!! Maybe this is the perk of having to wait so long to get pregnant...we're getting everything we could ever want. I'll keep hoping and praying for health and a 37 week delivery for our precious boy and girl.

We went over the details of the scan with the OB (I really like her!!) and got to bask in the overflow of great news that was bestowed upon us. Great news, when it comes to fertility, is still a foreign experience for me... I inquired about my cervix (I've read too many horrible stories about an incompetent cervix). The ultrasound tech did not measure it, so I had to head back in for another ultrasound. Hello vaginal ultrasound!! We meet again!! My cervix was measuring at 4.4 cm (4-5 cm is ideal). Whew! The only negative is my weight. The OB said she rarely tells patients this, but I need to pack on some pounds. I'm only up 8 pounds. I've been reading a lot of literature regarding being pregnant with twins and I feared this. I'm eating a much as I can. I'm going to try to eat snacks even if I'm not hungry. I also picked up some ensure to help take in some extra calories. The OB told me to start drinking shakes; I had one yesterday! How strange it was to be told to put on weight...but I know it's what is best for the babies so I'm going to do it. Any tips on how to fit in all these calories would be appreciated! I get full very fast and I've been striving to eat a healthy diet and would prefer to not switch to junk food.

I immediately went shopping after the appointment and picked up several outfits. This was our first purchase for the babies!!! I also made the 'it's a girl/boy' signs we used on the outfits. I think I smiled the whole time I put them together. We used FaceTime and Skype to tell our families the genders (all the fam lives out of state). We chatted a few minutes and then C held up the girl's outfit and a minute later I held up the boy's outfit. It was amazing to see our families reactions. Absolutely perfect. The night was filled with smiles, laughter and complete and utter merriment. I finally posted the pic above and an update on Facebook and people went wild! Yesterday was impeccable. For a day our lives were complete perfection. We have waited years for yesterday. To experience yesterday's blessings, I'd go through all the hell again. To be able to see the elation on my husband's beautiful face I wouldn't think twice about facing the IF battle again. It was worth every single tear we've cried, every pain our hearts have felt and every let down we've experienced. We've had an arduous journey, but none of the pain compares to the sweet happiness we held in our hearts yesterday.

I hope and pray for the positive news to continue. Now I must go get a snack...

Friday, May 4, 2012

17 Week Udpate

Every day and week that passes by is an absolute blessing. I never want to lose sight on what we've been through to get to this day. I am forever grateful for this experience. I know I am lucky to be here. I hope and pray everyone going through treatment now or in the future has success one day.

Week 17 has come and gone!! It's hard to believe...I wrote earlier about how, apparently, I'm looking undeniably pregnant to the general public. That has been the biggest news of this week.

My husband went on a work trip to Disney this week (lucky). I spent most of the week catching up on all the little things on my 'to do' list that are easy to ignore. I got a lot accomplished! I also spent a lot of time sleeping...I slept about 12-13 hours a night and it was glorious!!

The babies were each the size of an onion this week and they were practicing sucking and swallowing. I'm on a schedule of waking up every 2-3 hours (I may be staying on this schedule for quite some time!). Last night I laid, wide awake, at 3 am on my left side and felt about 10 minutes of a fluttering sensation. I can only think this may have been Baby A kicking me?? Could it be? I laid and smiled when this happened, completely happy to be awake at 3 am. I even thought about waking up Collin, but he was exhausted from his trip so I waited until he woke up this morning to share the news.

My appetite has certainly picked up this week. I've never been a snacker, but this week, in between meals I have found my suddenly ravenous. I have become a snacker. I've also had a decrease in cravings. I had a definite thing for green olives, my mother-in-law's pickles and chocolate milk in the past. However, this week I do not have a specific craving. Any and every type of food sounds delicious. I just want to eat. I had a slight binge on Wisconsin cheese (YUM!) this week...although I did read calcium is important at this stage so I'm going to accept it as a necessary binge. I'm up 8 pounds this week and I have a feeling they are just going to keep adding up!!

I'm amazed at how generous people are when you're pregnant. I'm never one to expect anything; I figured we'll be buying a lot of what we need because I don't assume people will be buying a ton of things for us. It's just how I am. However, a friend/co-worker gave us bags of brand new toys last week and she has offered to give us two (not one but TWO) crib mattresses, a diaper genie, a monitor and a pack and play. If one or both of the kids are girls she has a ton more to hand out! Another co-worker called me and said she'd like to start picking up clothes for us if she finds a deal. I am so thankful to have these kind people in my life. I am thankful for everyone's generosity!!

As far as the biggest upcoming news, we're having the anatomy scan next week. We'll find out the sexes of the babies!!! I've been having continuous dreams about the gender reveal this week and every time we find out it's a boy and a girl. Baby A is the boy and Baby B is the girl. I can honestly say, although I'd LOVE to have one of each, I don't care what they are. I want to see healthy babies first and foremost. Everything else after that is a bonus. Collin thinks I have two boys cooking in there. Anyone care to guess what they think the babies are?? I think finding out the sex will make this entirely more real. I cannot wait to start picking out names and shopping for them! I have my eye on a beautiful pink and green crib set for a girl from Pottery Barn Kids and a few different animal theme nurseries for a boy. I haven't seen the babies since week 12!! I can't wait to find out!! I feel like a little kid waiting for Christmas!

Wow, I need to calm down and start getting ready for work...the next time we chat it will be to reveal the genders:)