Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Baby waves!

Yes, everything when fine, despite all my feelings of doom and gloom and self-fulfilling prophecies.
The baby waved at us after the u/ s tech woke her up.
She has arms and a head and  a body. We think she has legs too but we couldn't really see them.
Her HB was 175 BPM.
S asked on the way home if we should consider a nickname for our little one.
Sweet! We haven't come up with anything yet, but knowing my propensity for making up names on the spot,  it could happen at any minute!
There is more to say but work is completely crazy and I was off with a cold yesterday so it's even worse than usual.
Stay tuned!
Thanks for all the cheers again!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The next ultrasound

Firstly, thanks for all your words of support and "been there" and hope and love. You all rock, seriously. Couldn't do it without you.
I didn't want to keep anyone in suspense but I couldn't decide what to do and was vacillating on my course of action. NOT because I wasn't ready to give that nurse a piece of my mind, but mostly about scheduling and needing my honey with me.
So I decided to wait. S is out of town and I don't want an ultrasound without her there at this crucial stage. She returns on Monday and  we are going together on Tuesday for our final visit to the RE and for the ultrasound.
The good news is the bleeding has again abated. I have plenty of pregnancy signs and symptoms - most notable complete exhaustion, a weird yo-yo-ing appetite; I'm ravenous, I'm full, I feel sick, I'm going to retch, give me food! give me more food! Give me 7 up. Ice cream. Pancakes. Eggs. Fruit. Yoghurt. Potatoes. I am a  big fan of ginger candies for the nausea.
You get the picture. I think I am still pregnant. I know I didn't have a miscarriage. I believe that Baby A's heart is still beating. I am trying to nurture hope.
You can guarantee you'll be the first internets to know how things go on Tuesday.
Have a great weekend all.

Next time I'll tell you about my visit to the Ob/Gyn's office  and the fun I had there signing papers about our "family".

Monday, March 22, 2010

False Advertising - with a warning from the censors ( PG 13)

This whole pregnancy lark is not what I was imagining. Or what I have been led to believe by Lifetime Television.  I know that I say that from the privileged position of being pregnant, which  strikes me as an absolute luxury in the world of IF blogs. It's where I want to be. I hope I don't get flamed for this.  But I have to say it's really hard.
I spent so much time fantasizing about getting pregnant and wondering if it would ever happen and now here I am and  I feel woefully unprepared. And a little disillusioned. I read on so many of my blog friends' posts and message boards about symptoms and bleeding and losses and puking but I don't think I really took  it in. Even if I had, it wouldn't have made for a different outcome.  I'd still have gone through with it. I have a phobia about vomit but I was  practically gungho about the potential of morning sickness!
It's like those people that look at you with foreboding  and warn you that you're going to get no sleep for 10 years and that you are going to be broke and your nipples are going to hurt like they want to  drop off, but you know that they don't regret having their kids and you know that's not going to stop you having them either.
Here is how I imagined pregnancy: a  big tummy, lots of floaty clothes,  a transcendent water birth experience,  wonderful women helping and being  supportive and loving. And the end result: a baby, a little person to nurture and love and to introduce to the world.   I imagined  snuggling with our baby, breastfeeding,  going to the beach and making sand-castles, having play dates, family parties, watching our child looking at the world with excitement and interest and curiosity. We would watch smiles emerge  and hear gurgles and coos, and  we would kiss  owies and reassure our child when she was scared or worried, and over-analyze our parenting skills.  But I did not even consider what this part would be like. And  I didn't know how hard it was going to be to drag myself to work when I feel like shite.

I think I would be okay if I wasn't bleeding again.
It happened at work today, I felt a gush and ran to the bathroom and there it was, more of the same and more and more.  I called the nurse because there was a lot more and and some small clots and she basically told me that because we saw the heartbeat my risk of miscarriage is "only" 10 percent  and the bleeding is probably baby B being "re-absorbed". She said only to worry if there was enough to fill about five pads in an hour. I have been nowhere close to that. Which is good because I had only two pads in my bag and my whole office is full of tampax-loving women.  I mustered up a couple more mini pads to add to my meager stash, which got me through the day.  I have had more clots since then - not the  "huge" ones she talked about on a voicemail  she left while I was running to a meeting. But not small either. No, she said,  I shouldn't go home, resting is not going to do any good. No, an ultrasound is not going to really help and could hurt the fetus because too many ultrasounds mean a lot  of rooting around near your uterus and could endanger the pregnancy. But if I want to have one to ease my mind I can come in.  I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place. My next scheduled ultrasound is for a week's time. I am thinking I will wait, because there is nothing I can do either way and I don't want to increase risks to the baby even more. I gotta say, though, Ms Nursie could really do with a crash course in phone-side manner.

So that's where I am today, internets. Still grateful, pissed at my body, hungry and nauseous, exhausted and wishing for a European maternity leave where they penalize you if you don't go out a few months before your due date. Or is that just a rumor that someone concocted to make us all vote for universal healthcare? Either way, I vote for it, and for humane maternity leave policies and infertility treatment coverage. Gotta get down off the soapbox - the couch is beckoning:)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

All good here:)

I have  good news.
Baby A is doing really well - measuring at about 8 weeks and HB of 176 per minute.
Baby B is visible but with no heartbeat. The doctor says he or she will be  quietly reabsorbed. I have accepted that we're not going to meet Baby B in this world and tried to focus on Baby A.

S is such a great ultrasound supporter. She listens so carefully, asks good questions and really takes up for Baby B when she might be forgotten ( I am picking the feminine pronoun for convenience and out of blatant favoritism. Don't worry I'll be happy to have a boy or a girl!). "Where is she? Are we sure there is no heartbeat? Is that a flicker there?  How big is Baby B?" I guess you could say she is all about the underdog. It tells me again and again what a tender heart S has. And she was really really scared of having twins!

The hematoma is near to Baby B ( who is right by the uterine wall) and the doc isn't worried about it any more. No bleeding for about ten days.  My next ultrasound is in two weeks when we will start tapering the meds. I'll be ten weeks then! On Saturday I'm going to meet a nurse midwife at a new practice. That will be another first for me. To meet a midwife and talk about pregnancy.

I know I sound kind of monotonous and not exciting but I am so beat and have spent the last few nights preparing my taxes. Boy, I thought I had saved a lot of receipts! Not so much. I really hope I get something back from all this - or at least don't owe anything.

The nausea is all day long and accompanied by dry mouth, dizzyness, nasty tastes, indigestion and currently IBS ( which may be unrelated!) Luckily it's not horrible, but it's not fun either. Last night I came home early and slept from 5pm  - 7pm and was so wiped!

I have been reading all of your blogs on my I-phone  but not commenting  much for the past few days  because of my extreme lethargy. Also it's less easy to type on the i-phone as you might know.

I am on a different blog schedule to most of you. I usually only have time to comment on weekends - but the  blogland activity seems to be mostly on weekdays which tells me that some of us are blogging at work?!!! No judgments! If only I could!
So I get behind in the week, then catch up on the weekend then get behind again.
I know, this post is like watching paint dry.
I'm off to prepare a big fat P4 injection.
loves yous!
And thank you all of you for your lovely words of support and solidarity.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The fading twin

I have been bleeding since a rather strenuous morning at church yesterday ( is that even possible? ) and a shopping trip. More than before. Enough to make me look in detail at the first ultrasound report and research the word subchorionic hematoma a lot. Turns out I have a 3 cm one of those. ( That is if you combine the three  lateral measurements).   It was originally behind twin B and apparently that is causing the bleeding.
Called the on-call doc yesterday who told me to rest and come in this morning for an ultrasound.
The question is - does this affect the babies and if so how? Different reads on this from different people. The verdict is the same from everyone: Nothing to be done just rest and don't go for any strenuous exercise.  ( Does that mean I am excused from church?)
This morning the  ultrasound tech found baby A no problem - we could see the flicker of the heartbeat really clearly and it was doing 116 beats per minute.  Apparently I'm still 6 weeks - last week I was five weeks. She lingered over there doing a lot of measuring while we freaked out and waited impatiently to see baby B. When she finally made it over there ( it's further away from the cervix so more difficult to see) she couldn't find a heartbeat. The only one she picked up was mine - which is way slower than a baby's. I am wondering if that is what the previous ultra-sound tech found before - because it was slow - 80 bpm- mine is usually around 70 though.
We had steeled ourselves for this, but we were disappointed and sad. It's apparently not 100% conclusive because it was hard to see Baby B because of the positioning. But the doctor said it was probably not looking good for Baby B.
In the space of 6 days we had imagined this whole crazy fun life with twins. We had checked out the mothers of multiples website,  wondered how you go shopping with twins in a  store cart that only has one baby seat, talked about strollers, thought about buying  baby books dedicated to raising twins, considered how it would be great that they would have each other and would not feel alone in their strange but loving origins,  thought about how we would help each of them differentiate so they wouldn't be treated as a unit but as individuals, pondered the stories I would tell them about being a twin myself. And so on.
In some ways it's a tiny relief. Susan doesn't have to worry so much about the impact of twins on my 42 yr old body, we don't have to wonder how we are going to feed two babies, diaper them and get them asleep at the same time, I can have a nurse midwife at the birth and don't have to worry about getting an OB. I'm sure we would have figured it out somehow though.
Our family will be smaller  than our grand plans, and we will have to figure out at a later date how feasible another frozen embryo transfer will be.
So yes, my mind has been incredibly busy. I caught up pretty quickly with Susan's practical bent hence the musings above.
We still don't know how baby A is going to do, although s/he does look good, strong, feisty.
Praying really really hard  that baby A makes it.   We are so lucky to have this baby, we know that. We just want a happy ending. Who doesn't?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The P word, the T word and the G word

First, thank you all so much for your congratulations and good wishes and hollers! I apologize my absence from blog-land. It feels like I have been pregnant for about three months and having twins for about one.
P. regnancy and T.wins
Even though the shock of being pregnant has cleared from my head a little I still feel a little like that person who when flying in a plane expends a lot of energy WILLING it to stay up in the air. That person is me, by the way. At first I was willing the baby to stay put, grow strong and be okay. I felt pretty good about it. Then suddenly I was willing  two itzy bitty babies to do the same thing. Hoping like crazy that they both hang in there. For someone who was scared of having twins I have done a 360 degree turn. I am now excited and hopeful. And having quit caffeine ( and loving the money it is saving me) I am getting used to being sleepy a lot. Let's face it, that's going to be the order of the day for the next many years, so I may as well get accustomed to it.
The ultrasound experience was surreal. I have never had an "OB ultrasound" and let me tell you, that's quite a thorough wanding. I think that thing must have been inside me for about twenty minutes. After a while it got uncomfortable. Once the u/s tech got busy she quickly found the first baby - not sure of the technical term - is it a sac? She then showed us the yolk sac ( which was indistinguishable from anything else for me) and then got busy looking around again. Pretty soon she found the second baby. It's smaller - as Susan said in her post with all the details. She could not definitely say what the source of the bleeding was, though she thought there was something on the ultrasound that showed some kind of something or other that could be bleeding slowly. She wasn't too worried about it and said we will see more next time.
Much of the experience is a blur to me, but both Susan and I kept exchanging glances and comments and I almost got a fit of the giggles but stopped myself in case I pushed out the wand and she had to start again. Susan asked lots of questions - which I am grateful for, because I rarely ask questions, because I feel like I know most of what is going on and I often feel silly or embarassed asking stuff. Girl is that going to have to change! Anyway, it's hard to ask  a lot of questions when you are being vigorously wanded and your bladder is filling up. We got to see the heart rhythms on the ultrasound - but it's too early to hear I think.  The whole day I couldn't contain myself with the news  - I wanted to tell people so bad, but thought it was a little too early. I did tell some people including my brother and sister which was a blast.  So far I have found that one of the best parts of being pregnant is telling people. All of these people are those who I know well and who are not dealing with IF so I have no qualms about spilling the beans and worrying about anything but a positive reaction. Apart from that I have pretty much been a space cadet since then and in between work and sleep I have been attempting to find an OBGYN that comes highly recommended.

Susan and I are very different in some ways and one notable way is that she tends to analyze things a lot - especially practicalities and  I on the other hand tend to avoid deep thinking. The reason is that often my head is so full of stuff from work or I'm busy trying not to think about work that I  avoid thinking much of anything. ( I know, what a confession. Things. have. got.to.change)  So we are on our way out of the clinic, clutching our little photo card that says congratulations from the staff of the clinic, and we haven't really said anything very meaningful about the whole twin thing, except I think I said - "Let's not freak out about it "- and she says, completely out of the blue: "we'll never get a double stroller through our front door. We're going to have to move!"I cracked up laughing and I am still laughing about it.  It's very cute and pure Susan!!!! There is no way we are moving just now, thought we would love to, so we quickly decided to measure the door and if necessary  get a long rather than wide stroller ( although I like the wider ones better). That is the sum total of our planning for the babies.

I have been referred to an OBGYN practice that is incredibly highly recommended but it's downtown Chicago which is an even longer drive than my fertility clinic. I am not sure my boss would go for that - but really, why should I let that get in the way of getting  excellent care? They practice out of the best women's hospital in Chicago where they have 24 hour room service and gorgeous rooms. Not that I am materialistic or anything. And the docs are supposed to be fantastic. The other practice that was recommended to me has two  great midwives  in the practice and although the doctor is also highly recommended I have no clue about him really.  Of course with twins I have to have an OBGYN, and can't get away with the preferred choice of a midwife. I know it's important to like all the doctors in the practice because who knows who will deliver the baby, and apparently the shi shi downtown one has 100 % awesome doctors according to a friend of mine who has incredibly high standards. Maybe I shall check them both out.  How does one do that?

In other news, I am incredibly irritable at / about / during/ before / work.At our staff meetings we do this thing where you write "anonymous" congratulatory notes to co-workers to boost morale and to celebrate victories.  And then we put them in a basket, pass them around and pick them out to read. One of my pet peeves is that because my job is not very glamorous or "noteworthy" I rarely get snaps for anything. I am very motivated by positive feedback. I am a praise ho. I admit it. And a starving one at that.  My staff rarely gives me any nice feedback - which is something I really try to do for them.    Generally  I don't think that they dislike me or think I do a bad job.  I just think it doesn't occur to them and they think I am telepathic. I rarely get praise from above either. For example,  I have to tell you that my boss did not utter one word of thanks or congratulations after I did a presentation for the board this week, which took  a lot of my weekend to prepare and involved staying late to present.  This is the third time I have done this in three months! She was all  agreeable - looking and nodding while I was presenting but could she say "good job"? No.  Anyway, I digress. At the staff meeting one of the little notes that was read out loud was for me.  ( yes they all know that I have one baby in there- some know there's two) It read, "congratulations to C....."  ( but had my whole name in it). I looked around and said - "I don't know what you are talking about!" with feigned surprise. But really. If you are going to congratulate me on being pregnant you could at least say that is what you are doing.  Weird.
All the bureaucracy is really getting me down and all the little games we have to play and hoops we have to jump through I have absolutely   patience for. So while I am grateful for having a job, and grateful I am pregnant I am not feeling a whole lot of that coming back at me. And mine is the kind of job where you rarely see positive results so it's important for morale to get some crumbs of thanks! 
Yes I am a bit crabby and petulant but so so grateful to be in this position where I can finally press play instead of pause and see what kind of exquisite  music plays over the next eight or so months.  And now I feel g.uilty for complaining.

I am still cogitating on the being pregnant while  infertile post. If you are unable to read about this whole baby thing I will understand. But if you stick around I will be glad and g.rateful.

I love you all. And  I love my Susie!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


2 - Twin Viable IUP! Two Thumbs Up!

This is Susan posting, after seeing our first ultrasound of our two tiny, delicate twins!!!

Baby A is @ 6.1 gestational age with a FHR of 100 and Baby 2 is @ 5.9. with a FHR of 80. Still very delicate and somewhat tentative, but all things considered looking very good!!

Keep all four of us in your thoughts and prayers as we go to our next two ultrasounds over the next two weeks! And thank you all for being such a great support to Claire!

I am going to try to post a pic in a minute!