Friday, July 10, 2015

Baby Mama Drama

Honestly, there is little that stresses me out like getting different information from different people at different times about the same situation.  So, I am anxiously awaiting a return call from a doctor because I was told today that I didn't need any more ultrasounds from the specialists (neonatologists) because everything looks awesome and babies can come at any time now.  Then hours later get a call from the non-specialist regular OB office who had just read my report and wanted to make sure I had another ultrasound scheduled with the specialist for next week.  Of course I missed the call and only heard the voicemail and it is after hours on a Friday.  Grrrr.  Argh.  I have a feeling that whoever called just doesn't know enough of the whole story and whatever, but it is annoying.  If I don't get a call back tonight, I guess we'll figure it out on Monday when I'm in there for my 2x a week Non-Stress Test etc apptment.

ANYHOW.  Backtracking a bit, it has been a dramatic couple of weeks in twin pregnancy land.  Just before 34 weeks my blood pressure started going up and up and up to the point that they almost admitted me right away.   Instead I just got some steroid shots to help babies' lungs develop in case they had to come soon and was sent away to pee in a container for 24 hours (which I did while at a conference all day on Friday).  Here is my doula, Amanda, holding all my pee supplies.


And my pee cooler as I carried it around the Moscone Center.


So, I brought the pee back and it turned out I did have protein in it (which is what they were looking for), but a small enough amount to not freak them out too much.  Just enough that they said they would likely induce me at 37 weeks if nothing had happened sooner because of it = mild pre-eclampsia.  At this point we are going to Labor & Delivery between 2 and 4 times a week and knowing that each time they might just keep me there.  And the babies are going to be OK, but are little and would need to be in the NICU and I would have to deliver at not my hospital, but one with a better NICU etc.  STRESS.

OK.  So, twice a week non-stress tests with lots of blood pressure testing as well as blood & urine labs and all of a sudden, after all this, my blood pressure went back down to more acceptable levels of high and has remained there now for 2 weeks and all my labs are coming back as normal.  Yesterday we asked the doctor and he doesn't think they'd need to induce at 37 weeks unless I start showing other signs of pre-eclampsia (like my blood pressure going higher again).  Phew.  We really weren't sure I was going to make it past 34 weeks for a minute there.  But I did!

Of course with twins they won't let me go much past 38 weeks anyhow, so we're down to the wire either way.

Tomorrow I will be officially 36 weeks, which is sort of what we've been considering my "due date" since it is when twins come, on average.  Here are some things we know:

1.  The babies pass their Non-Stress Tests with flying colors consistently.
2.  The babies have a lot of chest movement and are doing lots of practice breathing in there.
3.  They still have plenty of fluid, each of them, in their sacs.
4.  They get the hiccups a lot.
5.  They also poke me from the inside a lot, making little hard bumps and sometimes making my whole stomach move around.  This is from a couple of weeks ago.  It's hard to catch on film and it is way crazier these days.


6.  Baby A is appx 4lbs 10oz now (our goal was 4 lbs) and Baby B is appx 5lbs 2oz.  They aren't going to be big!  But that's still almost 10 lb of baby + 2 placentas going on in my gut right now.
7.  Hence the size of my gut (this was 2 or 3 days ago....trust me when I say that it is noticeably bigger already).




8.  They are both head down, which is excellent news.  They are hanging out facing each other in there, which is neither useful or not, but is pretty cute.
9.  I am sort of terrified of just "going into labor".  I just have so no idea what to expect.  I'm still hoping that this will happen (vs an induction).
10. Just got a call back from the doctor an he wants an ultrasound next week just to be overly cautious because of the possible pre-eclampsia, and because twins + discrepancy in their sizes.  He was completely pleased with today's results, in particular the doppler (which shows blood flow from placenta to baby, which is the biggest concern with Baby A).  He is just more cautious than my normal doctor (who is on vacation this week and who I TOTALLY trust and is the head of the department) or than the specialist, but sure...  Better safe than sorry?  I'm OK with that and at least it's an answer and I'm not just totally confused.  So, I'l make an appt when the office opens again on Monday.  Baby A is only in the 7th percentile for weight, so ya know.  A wee one.

So, basically, twin pregnancy is no joke, and there's been a lot of drama lately, but I think we'll all be OK and they will be here soon.  

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

32 Weeks Looks Like....

Twice a week non-stress tests, due to marginal cord insertion (just have to make sure she continues to get enough blood through there), high blood pressure (not yet preeclampsia) and other such un-fun stuff.  A lot of making sure everyone is doing OK in there and that I am doing OK out here.  An abundance of scheduling appointments, reminiscent of the land of IVF that got us here in the first place.  
(Babies were great and responsive, as of today, but keeping a close eye, so we can get them out of there if we need to, but I want them in there as long as possible.)

A big belly.

A full backseat.


A final week of work.

And planning to spend a weekend getting EVERYTHING ready, just in case.



Thursday, May 28, 2015

Still Here - Third Trimestering Along

Hi everyone!  I'm still here.  Not too much to report, but if you want to see pictures of my belly, I guess this is a decent place to show them off.

Haven't been to the doc in 3 weeks, but I go back on Tuesday.  Doing all of the things - prenatal yoga, hypnobirthing classes, getting massages, meeting with our doula.  The nursery is pretty well ready, since we were told to be ready by 30 weeks with twins, just in case.  I'll be 30 weeks as of Saturday, but am hoping these girls hold tight in there for at least another 6 weeks.

Tired all the time again and definitely feeling large and in charge.  Status of stretch marks: NONE.  Status of belly button: STILL AN INNIE.  Status of nipples: YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW.

My last day of work will be June 19th.  Then I will nap all day and all night until the babies arrive.

This is what a 29 week belly full of twins looks like on me:
Official 29 week photo

Squeezing into yoga clothes

This is what it looks like when the cat finds the pile of stuffed animals:

Some other pictures of the room in progress, including a blurry photo of the best nursery art EVER:






Monday, April 20, 2015

24.5 weeks - A Long Update

Sorry that I haven't posted in awhile.  I'm still here!  We're all still here!

So, hmm...where to start.  I think it has finally really settled in that this is happening and is going to be OK.  We've had some scares along the way and I think I really wasn't able to process this (I'm still not able to fully process it, if I'm honest) until pretty recently.  I find myself bursting into tears for little reason in the past few days, and I think it's just really actually hitting me that there are two humans living inside of me and that they are our daughters and they really exist and will be part of our lives from now on.  They are going to be babies and then they won't be babies anymore and they are going to be sisters and they are going to be cousins to my nieces and nephews and they will have personalities and will look like people and I am so unbelievably grateful and I don't think I can even begin to explain how unreal it still sometimes feels.

I have been able to feel them squirming around inside of me for a couple of weeks and can occasionally feel them from the outside when they are especially pokey.  That has helped make it real.  They are also reaching the point of viability, which makes me feel safer even though there is no indication that they want to come out any time soon. (I get my cervix and fluid checked every two weeks - although I'm about to graduate to every month - and nothing has changed since day 1. Everything is holding tight.)

The Scary Less Fun Things

I had been feeling pretty safe, since I get an ultrasound every two weeks, but we did have some not so fun moments.  Most people have to wait months between ultrasounds early in the pregnancy, so I think I was feeling safe because we saw them every two weeks and they always seemed AOK.  But, we found out, at our big mid-pregnancy ultrasound when they really looked closely at everything, that baby A has a marginal cord insertion (and was thus almost a week behind in size) and a VSD (a particular kind of hole in her heart).  We were rushed to get fetal echocardiagrams and to talk with the cardiologist, a geneticist and the same neonatalogist who had done our reduction.  At this point I was about 18.5 weeks and felt some real fear that one of the babies was not actually going to be OK.  It was pretty much the worst.  An appointment we exptected to take a couple of hours ended up taking all day and we just had to roll with it and figure out what was up.  Part of the fear was figuring out if the VSD was a sign of bigger issues - a more major heart defect or syndromes that would cause all sorts of other potential problems.

Long story made very short - it seems that everything is fine.  She is continuing to grow, so the marginal cord insertion is not causing her to be so small that it will be an issue.  She will be smaller than her sister, but that's OK.  I'm smaller than mine, and we are fine.  :)  The VSD is still there, but it is tiny and not life-threateneing and may not ever even need treatment and there is nothing that indicates that anything else is wrong.  We have a follow-up Echocardiogram on Thursday where the cardiologist will double check that everything is still fine.

We also had a less experienced tech at one appointment think that I perhaps had placenta previa, but that does not seem to be the case, thankfully.  Another scare for me, though.

The Gestational Diabetes thing isn't the most fun, but I'm managing it.  My first trimester was so awful and I lost so much weight that I am just now passed my pre-pregnancy weight by a couple of pounds.  I definitely look pregnant now, but I haven't really gained weight anywhere but my gut, and even my gut isn't as huge as I expected with two babies in there.  So, that's been nice.  It is growing at a rapid pace now, so we'll see.  These babies have to grow to 4x the weight they each are now before they come out, so I guess that means I will have 4x as large a belly.

In the meantime I'm feeling pretty good...don't sleep super well, and have pain in my feet (my heels), but have very very little to complain about.

Due Date Schmue Date

My "due date" is August 8th (which = 40 weeks), but twins tend to come on average at around 36 weeks and at 38 weeks we start talking about inducing, so the due date is even more meaningless than normal in this case.  Expect to see babies in early-mid July, I'm guessing.

We have names that we are pretty confident about, but we aren't telling until after they get here, so feel free to get your guessing on.  For now, we call them Mary-Kate and Ashley.  Or just A and B (since that is how they are referred to in all medical settings).  Baby A = Ashley.  She is on my left side (my right side if you are looking at me) and is currently head down.  Baby B = Mary Kate.  She is on my right side and has her butt RIGHT in her sister's face.  They are each in their own sacs and have their own placentas, but the membrane between them is thin and apparently they can interact.

Some Photos, Perhaps?

About a month ago when I was super psyched to realize that the Ryan Gosling shirt still fit.  YAY!  (It still fits, actually, but it is getting snug.)

24 week photo.  Ignore my face - I look like a total dweeb.  Anyhow, this was Saturday morning.

Do people go to Palm Springs for reasons other than hunting down amazing vintage caftans?  Hmmm.  Confusing.  This is what I wore to a wedding on Saturday and felt pretty good about it.

The room that I've finally stopped calling the "As Yet Unconceived Baby Room" is actually two rooms and this is the little back part, which the cat is testing out.  We're getting there.  

The bigger front room will be full of cribs and dressers and such and it is just getting started.  It is further along than this now, but I had to show off the triangles we painted cause we are so DIY.  

It's getting harder to get pictures of them because they are big and squished in there.  But here's a bit of a profile of Baby B aka Mary Kate from about a week and a half ago.  

It is futile to try to resist the temptation of tiny pants. 







Wednesday, February 25, 2015

xxxx

Well, Ian is officially hella outnumbered in our house, cause we've got two girl fetuses!  Ian will soon have one wife, three hens, a ladycat and two daughters.

Today we just got a quick peek at them and only two photos.  A double brain photo and a thumb sucker.  In two weeks we have the big appointment where they measure everything and really make sure everything is AOK.  So far they look good, though.

Every day my gut grows larger.


Ignore the mullet - it's getting chopped on Saturday.  Ignore the giant nasty chin zits.  I assume they'll go away eventually after I give birth someday.  Ignore the stupid face and cat shirt.  That shit's never going away.  Have you met me?



Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Now what?

Is it dumb/boring/disrepectful to those still suffeirng if I keep posting pregnancy crap here?  Should I start a new page?

I had more scans today, and everything still looks good.  This tech thinks they look like 2 girls.  The last thought it was one of each.  I was gonna go with #brendaandbrandon, but now it might not be so accurate!

Anyhow, here are a couple of photos of babies and my gut.  Baby A would only show its brain, not its face.  Baby B was showing off everything!





I really do want to hear if people would want me to keep posting stuff here or not.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Almost 14 Weeks

Just wanted to give a quick update.  I'm at 13 weeks and 5 days and everything is looking good.  We have ultrasounds every two weeks at this point, so I'm never going to have to go very long without getting reassured that these guys are doing AOK.

Our reduction was successful and complication free and I am happy to talk about it in more detail to anyone who is curious or facing a decision about such things.  I now have two healthy looking fetuses growing in there.  Today they were waving their tiny little arms all over the place at us!  Saw my beloved Dr. Norrell and talked about all the ways the birth of these twins might go, so we're getting ahead of ourselves in a good way!

I lost a lot of weight in the first trimester (which I am technically in for another week or so) - was pretty awful sick all the time, but am finally feeling better and am able to eat.  Overnight between Saturday and Sunday my belly suddenly became unfamiliar to me.  Basically I look like I have a little beer belly, but it isn't!  

Twin pregnancy is definitely different than single pregnancy.  I have a LOT of appointments, and am with a doctor more often than a midwife.  TWO BABIES WOAHS!

I spent most of the past week in Chicago having one of the most amazing experiences of my life as a member of the 2015 Caldecott Committee and now am back home and getting back to normal.