The Not-So-Sexy Infertility Adventures of a Girl in the Big Apple

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Lot Going On (Or How I Survived Hurricane Sandy and Other Harrowing Tales)

First off, how the hell did 5 weeks go by without me posting??  It's been crazy around here I guess.  I have the utmost admiration for all you mamas who post regularly - I've been truly pathetic so far.  But I have been reading your blogs faithfully and trying to comment as often as I can.  Just not so good at keeping mine up to date!

Now, to bring y'all somewhat up to date:
Hurricane Sandy - A total s*$# show.  Hit us when the twins were just 3 weeks old, and I was still very much in recovery mode from the C-section.  Lost power and water for almost 5 days.  Tried to tough it out for a couple of days and then when we realized how long it was going to take to get power back we fled first to a hotel (which we barely managed to book) and then to a friend's place in Brooklyn.  Total nightmare trying to move 2 infants and all associated gear down a completely dark stairwell 7 flights down (as our elevator was also not working).  Not to mention the fact that I couldn't carry anything heavy, so my poor husband almost killed himself trying to get everything up and down the stairs.  A lot more to this story, but suffice it to say that it was kind of a nightmare but we survived.  And given how hard so many people have been hit on Long Island, New Jersey, and elsewhere, we have no right to complain.  I can't believe there are people still without power or worse, who have lost their homes.  Luckily for us, the babies made it through the experience beautifully, so this is now just a great story that we will tell them some day.

Post Partum Recovery - Finally starting to feel a bit more normal, after 7 weeks.  My incision took forever to heal, to the point where my OB considered, twice, reopening it and sewing it back up.  But both times she reconsidered and literally as of two days ago it finally stopped oozing.  I hope that means I'm done with going back to the doctor - so sick of it!!  I got the lump under my arm/above my left breast looked at by sonogram.  They thought that it was just a collection of cysts and nothing to worry about, but they wanted to aspirate it to be sure.  I set up an appointment and then cancelled it - just cannot deal with another medical thing right now.  Plus I don't love the idea of messing with something that is likely a milk duct when I am breast-feeding.  I think if it's still there in a month I'll go back and have it looked at again (sigh).  I also really need to get a moles check - I had a million new moles grow during pregnancy, and some that got larger.  Don't really feel like dealing with that either, but I really should.  Targeting January to get all of that stuff done.

I'm currently about 10 lbs above pre-pregnancy weight.  My weight seems to have stabilized about there, which I'm okay with.  Don't really care what I weigh, just how I look.  As far as I can tell, I am as skinny or skinnier than I ever was everywhere but my stomach, which is still loose and stretched out looking.  I'm sporting about a 3 month bulge there, which isn't going anywhere.  I am not surprised given that I was carrying 13 lbs of baby and 2 amniotic sacs!  I suspect my stomach will never be the same, but I'm hopeful that once I'm cleared for exercise I can at least get it down from where it is.  New mamas - how long did it take you to get your stomach back?  Any recommendations on good exercises to strengthen/tighten the belly?

The Babes - Are amazing, beautiful, strong, big-eating, fast-growing bundles of joy.  I cannot believe they are mine.  My parents have been here for the past month and I put them to work in a serious way - they were chomping at the bit to come here, but after a month of heavy-duty childcare I think they're ready for a loooong break!  But we had so much fun with the little munchkins, and made so many precious memories.

O is huge, just huge.  Suddenly around 4 weeks he got these enormous cheeks and about 5 chins.  He's a solid kid with a huge appetite.  J is growing really fast too, but he's probably 1 -2 lbs lighter than O.  He's got huge, beautiful blue eyes that look nothing like either me or my husband's.  We speculate that someone at the hospital switched him, because he looks nothing like O either - skin, hair color, physique and features are completely different.

Both kids are breast-feeding and bottle feeding well.  I am mixing up breast feeding with pumping/bottle feeding and some formula supplementation when needed.  Seems to be working reasonably well, and I think they are probably getting around 70 - 80% breast milk most of the time.  I'm pretty happy with that, all things considered.

The kids are growing so fast it's scary - they have already outgrown their 3 month clothes and are wearing 6 month clothes, and they aren't even 2 months yet!  I have a pediatrician appointment tomorrow and I'm wondering what they are going to say - maybe I'll be told that I'm overfeeding them or something?  We'll see...I think O is already over 13 lbs!

I have so much more to write, but I'm going to cut it off here or this will never get posted (I've already started & stopped this post 3 times!)  Here are a couple pictures to share, more to come:

This is during Hurricane Sandy when I was staying with my friends in Brooklyn.  Walked into the room and saw them asleep like this.

More recent picture of O
More recent picture of J

Friday, October 26, 2012

2.5 Weeks

Hello everyone, I am so sorry for the long delay in posting.  I've only just come up for air, I think.  It's been an intense 2 1/2 weeks, full of all kinds of emotions.

I'll save the birth story for a little later, but suffice it to say that recovery from pre-ecclampsia + C-section sucks!  In addition to the usual pain of surgery, I had the most awful swelling all over my body from the pre-ecclampsia and from 20 straight hours of IV fluid being pumped into my body.  I was literally unrecognizable after the surgery, and it took forever for the fluid to drain.

I'm still in recovery mode, though obviously much better now.  Unfortunately my incision isn't healing as well as my doctor wants, and they may have to open it back up and drain it.  I am so dreading that, the thought of it depresses me to no end.  In addition, I found a little lump under my armpit that I'm getting checked out.  I know it's probably nothing, but it's kind of freaking me out as well.

But then there are the little babies, who are magic, just magic.  Every time I hold them, or see their little hands clasp around my finder, my heart hurts.  They are both doing incredibly well - they spent a week in the NICU and came home with us last Tuesday.  At their last pediatrician appointment they weighed 7 lbs 3 oz and 6 lbs 14 oz, so they are now well over their birth weights.

Unfortunately I'm able to breast feed them only about 50% right now.  They alternate between breast and formula every feed, and even when they breast feed we are still topping them off with formula.  This is what my baby nurse recommends, and I'm sure it's a good way to get them to gain weight.  But I do want to try to transition more to breast feeding wholly, and I'm not sure she's going to be the one to help me to do this.  She's only here a few more days though - we just hired her to help us get through the first couple of weeks - so after that we can start to do whatever we want.

I'm meeting with a lactation consultant today who will hopefully help me more with my breast feeding goals.  Hoping, praying she can do that, as I am finding it one of the hardest things to cope with.  It wouldn't be so bad if I was fully healed, but not feeling 100% and trying to breast feed is really tough.

Anyhow, I'm sorry for what sounds like a complain-y post.  The truth is that one look at these two little babes, and it's so clear that it's worth all the pain.  Hubby and I are so in love with these two precious creatures!

Here's a pic of the little burritos, all swaddled up.  I hope everyone is doing well, more to come on birth story soon.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

They're here!

Remember how I said I just wanted to make it to 36 weeks?   Well, I did!
Babies were born via C- section on Tuesday, Oct 9th.   O (our Baby A) was 6lbs 7 oz and J (our Baby B) was 6 lbs 3 oz.  Two pretty strapping birth weights!

So much more to tell later but need to get through the next couple crazy days/ weeks first.   More to come soon!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

33 Weeks and Big Babies

Today I went in for what may be my last ultrasound before I deliver.  Babies were measuring 5lbs 3oz and 4lbs 14oz - which depending on the chart you look at is either HUGE or slightly below average.  Anybody have an online source for weight percentiles they trust?  There is a pretty big discrepancy between sources as far as I can tell.  Also, my cervix seems to be holding up reasonably well, although it has shortened.  2 months ago it was 3.7, a month ago it was 3.1, and now it's somewhere in mid 2's.  But I think that's still pretty good, or at least the ultrasound tech said so.

My belly is getting just monstrous...I promise I'll post some pics soon.  But trust me, it's BIG!

I'm really hoping I make it another 2.5 weeks, which will bring me to 36 weeks.  After that, the babies can come whenever as far as I'm concerned.  In fact, the thought of waiting until 38 weeks (which is when my OB said she'd schedule delivery if they don't come sooner) sounds crazy to me - could I really make it that long?  Seems impossible....

We had our nursery closet installed today.  It will be painted next week and then our curtains and new windows will be installed the week after.  If I can just get through all of that before delivering it would be heavenly!  Keep your fingers crossed for me girls!

I have passed my last two NSTs without incident, thank goodness.  I did have a few contractions again today but the doctor who reviewed it said it wasn't necessary to send me to Labor & Delivery.  Phew!

My main source of complaint right now is carpel tunnel and heaviness in the pelvis.  Sleep is just so-so, but it's been that way for a while now.  I'm in this weird place where I am simultaneously so ready to be done with this pregnancy and also desperately hoping to stretch it out another 2 - 3 weeks.  We'll see what happens, talk about having no control over this outcome!

Oh, and I wanted to thank everyone for the very helpful comments re: c-section vs. "natural" delivery as well as contractions.  It made me feel a lot better to hear how many of you had frequent Braxton Hicks in the third trimester.  I'm getting used to it now and not freaking out about it anymore.  I think right now I'm leaning towards trying for "natural" with the understanding that it may not happen for me.  We'll see how I feel when the time comes, though!

Hope everyone is doing well, whatever stage you are at...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

31 Weeks and a Pre-Term Labor Scare

A warning that this is going to be a whiny, complaining post, reflective of some recent stress and lack of sleep!

As I get further into my third trimester, I've gone from feeling relatively relaxed and reasonably prepared to stressed out and totally behind in my preparation.  It started with my last ultrasound a couple of weeks ago, where both babies were measuring in the 80th percentile (!) in terms of height/weight.  On the one hand, it's great that they are growing so well, but I was worried that their size is related to the effects of GD.  It also made me worry about them getting too big too fast and pushing me into pre-term labor earlier than I want.

The following week I had an appointment with my OB, who was generally very happy with my progress.  She was relieved that I made it to 30 weeks, because according to her, at this point I could deliver tomorrow and while things wouldn't be ideal I would be okay.  But she spent most of the appointment talking as if I would be delivering in the next few weeks, and that totally stressed me out!  I'm not ready yet to go into labor - we are only halfway through our preparation for the nursery.  I haven't yet bought everything we need to buy.  We have a closet being installed in two weeks and new windows being installed in 4 weeks.   Not to mention the fact that I'm not just mentally prepared to go yet!

She also said that both babies are heads down, my blood pressure looks great, and assuming things don't change that I could be a good candidate for vaginal delivery.  This also threw me for a loop.  When we first met she cautioned me that I would most likely be delivering via C-section, and that I should prepare myself for that outcome.  Even if both babies were heads down there was a risk that in the process of delivering vaginally I could end up delivering one, having the other one flip around, and THEN having to do a C-section.  That prospect horrified me enough to scare me off of vaginal delivery.  Hence I've taken no birthing classes, read no books, hired no doulas - I feel totally underprepared mentally for a vaginal birth.

But now I am having to rethink the C-section plan, and I honestly don't know what to do.  On the one hand, the recovery time is so much better with vaginal delivery.  But that risk of having to do BOTH vaginal and C-section delivery still scares me - she estimated it at about a 10% risk.   So I'm still flip-flopping around about this, and at some point we will need to make a game-time decision.  At this point I think I'm going to throw my hands up in the air and make an impulse decision when the time comes - I'm too overwhelmed at the moment to do anything else.

Yesterday I had the biggest scare of all.  I went in for my first Non Stress Test (which I will be doing weekly from here on out).  The babies were very active and did great, but unfortunately they recorded 3 contractions in the space of about 1/2 an hour!  Based on this, they sent me over to Labor and Delivery to ensure that I wasn't going into pre-term labor.  Needless to say, this scared the pee out of me.  I then had to wait close to 3 hours to be admitted to triage - they kept having to put more urgent delivery cases before me - and by the time I was seen I was thoroughly exhausted and stressed out.

Thankfully, they determined that the contractions were NOT the start of Labor - my cervix was still closed and the babies were doing great.  So after taking up my entire day I was sent home.   I was feeling really relieved until last night when I got into bed.  Shortly after arranging myself into position I felt about 6 contractions over the course of an hour.  That freaked me out and I woke my husband up.  However, we were both so exhausted (neither of us have gotten much sleep recently for various reasons) that I couldn't mobilize to do anything about it.

So after yet another crappy night of sleep I must admit I'm feeling rather cranky and stressed.  I am going to spend the day taking care of stuff we need to do for the babies, and then will monitor myself for contractions.  Now that I've gone through the NST I can much more definitely point to when I'm having one - before I was never sure.  The drag is that I'm now going to be paranoid about this every day for the rest of this pregnancy.  So much for that relaxed, energetic pregnancy glow I was sporting for a few months there!

I am praying that I make it at least another month with these babies inside me, but I know I really don't have any control over this.  If you all have any thoughts to share with me on C-section vs vaginal delivery or any of these other issues I welcome them.  In the mean time, I'm going to try to get a nap in while I still can!



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Gestational Diabetes = FAIL!!

This past Friday I went into my OB's office for my 1 hour glucose test.  I have been kinda worried about this one ever since I read the book on twin pregnancies that said there is a much higher risk of GD for women with twins.  However, my OB wasn't too concerned and said that I could wait until my next appointment at 28 weeks before taking the test.

Well, as it turns out, the twin book was right and I should have listened to my gut and taken the test earlier.  I failed so spectacularly - my levels were 196 (non-fasting) and they want you under 135 - that my OB decided to just skip the 3-hour test and send me straight to the nutritionist.

So I'm now on a GD diet plan and testing myself 4 times a day.  I must say it's a bit of a bummer - one of my only food pleasures left was fresh fruit, and I now have to restrict that severely along with all the other foods I like (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes).  Boo hoo.

I also cannot STAND doing the finger prick testing.  For some reason I am finding it 10 times more difficult/frustrating than doing the IVF shots.  Despite soaking my hands in hot water, rubbing my fingertips to get more blood into them, etc. I can only seem to get enough blood out of them about 1/3 of the time.  This means I have to prick my finger an average of 3x per try, which is really annoying - I have already wasted a ton of test strips and lancets, and they ain't cheap!

The good news is that since I started testing 2 days ago, my blood levels are almost all under target (<100 fasting, <120 non-fasting).  The two levels that were over target were 121 and 124 (non-fasting) so they were only borderline over.  Hoping this means that diet will solve the problem, and I won't have to do insulin.  I also hope it means that my GD isn't really that bad, and hasn't had any negative effects on the babies.  That part scares me, since we didn't catch this until relatively late.

In other news, my mom was here last week and we had a really lovely time.  I don't think we've actually spent a week alone together as adults ever.  Seeing me healthy (GD excepted!) and happy quelled a lot of her anxieties, and I think she was very surprised to see how active I still am despite the size of this belly!

I am now 28, going on 29, weeks and in my third trimester! So happy to have made it to this milestone.  My OB said that she was very relieved that we were past the scariest time (24 - 28 weeks).  While of course we want the babies to cook much, much longer it's nice to know that every week that goes by puts us more in the safe zone.

Our apartment is slowly filling up with gifts from the baby shower that I have nowhere to store.  I am in the process of getting a closet for the nursery built, and it can't come too soon!  I also have new windows and drapes coming, as well as all of the nursery furniture/gear - it's going to be a bit of a hectic time getting all of these things coordinated.  My biggest fear is that the new windows are not going to make it in time - my installer gave me a date of Oct 9th, which is just before my due date and I'm very nervous about how that is going to turn out!  I may be asking for trouble.

I am getting a bit more uncomfortable now, and I can see that these last couple months are not going to be quite as smooth sailing as the past few have been.  The belly is definitely slowing me down more - I get out of breath and experience rapid heart beats much more when I walk around now.  My nose is always stuffy, and my husband has been teasing me about how much I snore at night now (he's one to talk, by the way!)  My hands and feet have also started to get numb and tingly because of all of the fluids/swelling.  But despite this I'm still doing pretty well - praying that I feel this good as long as possible!

I hope everyone is doing well - am SO SO happy for Sunflower and Jen and their recent BFPs!  And I have my fingers, toes, and everything crossed for MyFertilityBlog's upcoming cycle in Denver - everybody please send her best wishes!


Monday, July 30, 2012

26 Weeks - Getting Youge

Wow, it's been a while since I posted last.  I keep meaning to put together a post but lately I've been much more interested in reading and commenting than writing.

Things are going really well in general.  I still feel pretty good, although my feet definitely get sore a lot faster these days when I stand for long periods of time.  Belly is really growing - weight gain of about (gulp!) 28 - 30 lbs already!  I am definitely going to be mid 40 lbs, maybe more, before this is all through.  Sleep is so-so.  I still get up 2 - 3 times in the night to pee, and lately I've been finding that around 6:30 / 7:00am I wake up and can't get back to sleep very easily.  Kind of a bummer because in theory I should be trying to get as much sleep as possible right now, but what can I do?

I had my last ultrasound appointment about a week ago, and all was well.  The babies were measuring a bit ahead of average at almost 2 lbs each.  No wonder my belly is big, I have 4 lbs of baby in there already!  I was pleased to see that they are pretty close in weight - a couple of ounces difference, but nothing too major.  My cervix was measuring nice and long at 3.7cm.  My biggest source of nervousness right now is preterm labor, so it was good to know that I don't seem to be in any imminent danger, but of course that can all change overnight.

Next up is my gestational diabetes test - I'm kinda worried about this one.  It's a lot more common with twins apparently, so really hoping I pass.  We shall see.

We hosted a baby shower at our apartment yesterday, and it was a lot of fun.  We did a very non-traditional, co-ed affair with lots of good food and good company.  My husband and I did a lot of cooking and prep and I think it turned out beautifully, although we were both pretty exhausted afterwards.  People were so sweet though - we got a lot of beautiful gifts already, and many more seem to be arriving via the registry.  Getting all of these gifts is making it all seem really real somehow.

It's going to be a very social couple of weeks - I have a good friend in town tomorrow, then my husband's work outing in the Hamptons this weekend, and then my mom comes to stay with me next week.  I'm looking forward to having her, although her level of anxiety about my pregnancy gets wearing at times.  If I don't call her back right away she instantly assumes something is wrong and starts worrying and fretting and calling again.  I really hope I don't end up like this with my own kids, but never say never.

I have decided for this reason that the first few weeks after the babies are born will just be for me, my husband, and a baby nurse.  After that we will have my parents come to stay, but no sooner - I think I will need a little time to adjust first before dealing with all of that stress and anxiety.  Sometimes my mother's idea of "help" is not so helpful!

I leave you with a couple belly shots from about a week ago - I deliberately chose the ones that are more flattering and where I look smaller.  Believe me when I say there are plenty where I look absolutely huge!









Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy and Sad

Reading everyone's posts the past couple of weeks I've had a lot of mixed emotions.  There have been amazing, wonderful stories from women who have finally given birth after years of waiting (congratulations TurtleMama, Sooz, and Jay!!!)  Seeing pictures of their beautiful babies and hearing the joy their 'voices' (underneath the exhaustion and craziness) is so wonderful.

And then there are the women who are still happily pregnant - furnishing nurseries, picking out names, posting their ultrasound pictures.  It warms my heart to read about every milestone passed, every dream for the future.

But it's the strong, wonderful women who are still in the trenches that really move me.  There were a couple of posts this week that broke my heart, and brought me back to those tense, awful days in my recent past.  I have no words of wisdom - all of you are veterans, and know how to navigate the landmines associated with IF.  I just wish each of you as much peace and strength as possible in the coming days, and the shortest point possible from here to getting your dream babies!

In other news, I've been very busy and productive preparing for the babies arrival.  I've pretty much picked out a crib, stroller, glider, and am now starting to research infant seats.  We are planning to throw a shower in a month or so, before I get too huge.  I've also lined up a baby nurse for the early weeks and am very far down the line with figuring out a nanny to help me during the week.  I was originally going to wait on that but have been told so strenuously by so many people how much I'm going to need help with twins that I've changed my mind.  I'm also in the process of ordering new windows and blackout curtains for the nursery, as well as childproofing all of our apartment windows. And finally, I'm designing a built-in closet in the nursery for all of their clothes & toys as well as cleaning out all of our existing closets to make room for all of the new gear.

So whew!  A lot going on in the past few weeks, but it's all good stuff.  My belly is growing steadily - I popped out another inch or two over the weekend, and am really starting to look like a twin mama now, I think.  I've been feeling really good, except for the last few days, where I've started to get a little tired and hormonal - I think this is maybe associated with a little growth spurt by the babes.

More to come soon, I hope everyone has a great 4th of July!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

And We're Having....

...two boys!  Yep, that's right, we found out on Friday.  I confess Hubby and I had a moment of slight disappointment (we wanted one boy and one girl) but we are just so happy that the babies are healthy and seem to be doing well.

The anatomy scan took quite some time as you can imagine with twins, and we didn't get everything.  I'm going back in about a week to follow up on the last couple of measurements.  But everything we saw looked good, and it's all starting to feel much more real to me.

So now I'm going to start getting the nursery together in earnest and also start thinking about names.  I am excited to start this process - this is the fun part!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

19 Weeks

Hi everyone, I've been back from vacation for a little while now and have been having a quiet week at home.  California was great - we just ate our way through the state (mainly in SF and Napa), saw lots of friends and family along the way, and got to see some spectacular scenery at Yosemite.  All and all, a really nice little break.

Couple pictures from Yosemite for your viewing pleasure:
 Lower Yosemite Falls.
"Tunnel View" - view from just outside a long tunnel in the park.

Best of all, I had an OB appointment on my first day back in town, and everything seems to be going well.  I caught a brief glimpse of the babies on ultrasound - they don't have the greatest equipment there so the picture is kinda blurry, but from what I could see the babies seem to be growing a lot!  

I am feeling little kicks and flutters more often now, and my belly definitely grew a couple of inches in the last 2 weeks.  I think I look about 5 months pregnant, although I am only 4 and a bit.  Sigh, I guess this is just how it's going to be!

Our anatomy scan is scheduled for this Friday - cannot wait to get a really good look at the little ones and, most importantly, find out if we're having boys or girls (or one of each!)   I am praying they both look healthy and normal, and that we don't find any issues.  Thankfully, the results of my Sequential Scan and Maternity 21 test (new DNA test for Trisomy 21, 18 & 13) were good so at least we are over that hurdle.

I am going to try to get a bunch of domestic projects done in the next couple months, including starting work on the nursery.  We also need to: 1) lease a new car (twin friendly!), 2) order some missing furniture pieces for the house (all of which include more storage), 3) clean out our closets and make room for all of the new gear coming our way, and 4) figure out all of the baby gear we need to get for the little ones.  I really want to get this done before I start getting too large and uncomfortable to handle these things.  On top of that, I want to start going to the gym and exercising a bit more regularly.  Nothing strenuous, just brisk walks on the treadmill and elliptical machine work.  I started last night and am going to try to go 3 - 4 times a week.

I've pretty much caught up on everyone's blogs, and it seems like things are going pretty well.  I cannot wait for those of you who are still waiting to get what you deserve.  Hoping it's just around the corner for all of you.  

I will just leave you with a picture of a bouquet of peonies that I took from the front garden of our upstate house.  They were just magnificent, and since they were about to wilt I decided to cut them all off and bring them to the city to enjoy.  Peonies are my absolute favorite flowers, so gorgeous and decadent!  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

16 Weeks 3 Days - Bump Pic


Hello everyone, it's been a couple of weeks since my last post so I thought I'd give a little status update.  I think I'm officially entering the "honeymoon" period of this pregnancy.  Feeling much better overall - almost normal energy level, nausea has completely disappeared.  Still hungry all the time and eating a lot, but I don't get that sick feeling when my stomach is empty anymore.  

I've done a fair amount of shopping for maternity clothes in the last couple of weeks.  I find it so relaxing compared to normal shopping.  The customer service is great - free bottles of water, restrooms, attentive staff.  And I like only having a limited selection - you just pick what fits and buy it, with none of the usual anxieties about whether there might be something better at another store, or if you should wait for things to go on sale.  So simple!

I got a couple of requests on my last post for a bump picture, so I finally got around to taking some (see below).  And for the rest of this update I think I'll shamelessly steal from a bunch of other ladies in terms of format.  I'm off for my last vacation starting this Friday - will be spending a week in California (SF, Napa, and Yosemite), cannot wait.  Will post again when I'm back!

How far along: 16 Weeks 3 days
Weight Gain: 11 - 12 pounds – yikes!  I've kinda stopped weighing myself because it's too alarming to see the weight piling on, and I don't think I'm going to change anything in terms of my behavior.  This isn't the time to start dieting, so it will be what it will be.  And what it will be is huge!!
Baby: According to BabyCenter, the little ones are now 4.5 inches, or around the size of an avocado.  So I have 9 inches of baby inside me right now!
Symptoms: Can feel my stomach and the extra weight when I walk now.  My legs are definitely more tired than normal when I've been on my feet for a while.  I can only imagine how it's going to feel later on!  Nipples have gotten swollen and very tender in the last couple of weeks.  Hair is thicker, and I've noticed that it doesn't get greasy anymore, even after a couple days of not washing it.  I have also developed Linea Niagara (a dark line down the center of my belly) - my husband finds it fascinating.
Sleep: Sleeping pretty well except I have to get up to pee all of the time.  No matter what I do I always seem to be dehydrated in the middle of the night.  So then I drink water all night, which leads me to pee all night.  But I'm able to go back to sleep each time no problem.  I know this because I've been having the craziest, most vivid dreams every night.
Movement: I think I might have felt my first kicks this morning!  I woke up to 3 or 4 sharp little popping sensations on my right side, accompanied by slight pain with each one.  I can't be sure that's what it was, but I really think it might have been the baby kicking!
Best Moment of the Week: My husband's face when I told him I felt the baby kick this morning - pure bliss.
What I’m Looking Forward To: My vacation in California starting this Friday.  And when we get back I'm really looking forward to our 19/20 week anatomy scan.
Gender: No clue, can't wait to find out!
Bumpdate: Okay, first pics are below.  I am wearing a non-maternity dress because it's more fitted and makes me look a lot smaller (except for my boobs, which look huge no matter what!)  When I wear looser maternity clothes I look way more pregnant.  I am going to start taking more pictures now that the belly is definitely here.  This is going to be a (hopefully) once in a lifetime experience, so I should document it!


Monday, May 7, 2012

14 Weeks

Today I am 14 weeks - can't believe how fast things are going.  My belly is definitely protruding now, and many people have asked me if I am pregnant in the last couple of weeks.  We did decide to go public with the news last week, and it's been both scary and fun telling people.  I do have some lingering worries about "jinxing" the pregnancy by telling people, but I'm trying not to stress too much.

We got our results from the NT Scan, and we came back fairly low risk.  We could have been lower, but the results were in a range that we felt comfortable saying we wouldn't do an amnio.  There are two other blood tests for Down's that I will do next week, one of which is fairly new.  Apparently between all three tests (NT, plus these two blood tests) your certainty rating goes up to 99%, so that's the option we are going to go with.  I just don't want to risk miscarriage with the amnio.

I saw my OB a few days ago for a monthly checkup.  She did a very quick ultrasound and we saw both hearts beating nice and strong.  Her eyebrows went up a little when she saw my weight gain (6 pounds since the last appointment!)  She said I was still fine but I should aim for more like 1/2 lb to 1lb weight gain per week (not >1lb!)

Luckily I think my appetite is starting to diminish a little bit, so I'm hoping I won't need to shovel food in my mouth nonstop in order to avoid feeling sick anymore.  I'm not feeling a whole lot more energetic - still pretty darn tired most of the time - so exercise is still a challenge.  I asked my doctor to check if I had anemia, as I've been feeling unusually tired the last couple of weeks.

Other than that, it's been a pleasant week.  We've had a couple of guests in town and lots of social activities, which has been a nice change of pace from my relative isolation in the first trimester.  I've also just finished planning our last vacation until the babies come - we're going to San Francisco to see my brother, then Yountville for a day to visit some friends and eat at a Thomas Keller restaurant, then Yosemite for a few days.  I'm excited, it's been a while since I've left New York.  I want to see trees and mountains and sky...

I hope everyone is doing well.  A couple of you are due any minute now and I'm eagerly awaiting your first baby pictures!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It's Been A While - Updates From Trip and NT Scan

Sorry I've been a bit absent over the last couple of weeks.  Unfortunately, right before I went to Seattle I came down with the nastiest cold I've had in...I dunno, a decade.  Constant low-grade fever, horribly sore throat/loss of voice, terrible congestion, blowing and coughing up green gunk - the works.  I tried to hold out and just deal with it, but after about a week my sister told me I should consider getting antibiotics - she had just come down with the same thing and had it for a MONTH until she finally got antibiotics.  Luckily my OB's office said they could prescribe me some antibiotics that were safe to take, so I am finally just about over this thing, 2 weeks later!

However, being sick didn't dampen any of the joy I had in breaking the news to my family.  They were all overjoyed, and couldn't believe we were having twins!  It felt so nice to be able to finally share the news with them, it made everything seem much more real.  My mother is now obsessed with getting updates and making sure I'm eating enough.  This is the type of thing that would usually drive me crazy but somehow I'm just amused and touched.

Yesterday I went in for my NT Scan, and H and I got a really good look at the babies.  They both seem to be doing really well - measuring on track, strong heartbeats, and (for the first time) lots of movement!  They were jumping around, waving their arms, kicking - it was amazing to watch!  And you can really see their faces too, they aren't just little blobs anymore.  The u/s tech said she didn't see anything alarming in terms of the neck measurements.  I am hoping this means we are low risk, but we don't get the full results for another week and a half.  Here are a couple of pics from the ultrasound:


Aside from the cold, I'm doing pretty well.  I've gained a hefty 7 lbs already, so I think I'm well on my way to my 20 week weight gain goal!  I'm definitely showing too - it's partly a nice thick layer of fat on the tum, but there's no doubt the belly is pushing out as well.  Boobs continue to be huge and getting huger by the minute.  Nausea is pretty well under control - since I tend to only feel sick when I don't eat enough, I can manage it just fine (by eating and eating!)  Once in a while I'll have a food aversion, but I haven't thrown up yet - I feel really lucky in this.  However, I do have gas all the time - it's pretty embarrassing.  I'm not usually a burper, but the past week I managed to burp loudly into a conference call (luckily I don't think anyone heard me) and right in the middle of a play.  The guy next to me just gave me a look, and H started pissing himself laughing.  Man, you really have no dignity as a pregnant woman!

I have been quite tired this past week - usually during the day.  I find I need a nap at least once a day.  And I've been more crampy than usual - think the uterus is really stretching now.  I've started having anxiety dreams that mostly have to do with being underprepared - you know, realizing that you forgot to study for the test, send in that application, etc. etc.  Gee, I wonder why I'm having these dreams ;-)

I think we will be going public fairly soon.  I wanted to wait until after the NT Scan results, but we have a number of big social engagements this weekend, and I'm not sure I can really hide the bump.  I'm still waffling, but we may just come out with it, we'll see.  It will be fun to finally let friends in on the secret, although part of me is scared about jinxing the pregnancy by coming out too soon.

That's it for now.  I think I'm pretty caught up with most of your blogs, and generally things seem to be going fairly well, with a couple of disappointing exceptions.  I hope for all of you still waiting that you get your BFPs soon, soon, not a moment too soon.  Will be thinking of you ladies...



Monday, April 9, 2012

10 Weeks - Update

It's been a while since I've posted so I thought I'd write an update.  Things have been going pretty well in the last week and a half.  I bought a book on pregnancy with multiples and learned some interesting things about desired weight gain during the first and second trimesters.  The concept is that since almost all multiples are born preterm, the goal should be to get the birth weight of the babies up as much as possible before birth.  Because of the rise in multiples with IVF, doctors now have enough data to study pregnancy weight gain and it's effect on babies' ultimate birth weights.

The authors of the book maintain that the weight you gain in the first trimester is the most important to your babies ultimate weight and health, followed by second trimester weight gain (third trimester weight gain does little for the babies, according to them).  They also say that you need to gain a lot more weight than was previously recommended - like 40 - 56 lbs, instead of the 25 - 35 lbs that is recommended with a singleton.  Their view is that because multiple pregnancies used to be much rarer, the medical community didn't really have enough data to give appropriate recommendations in the past.

The general concepts in the book definitely make sense to me, although I am finding them daunting.  By 20 weeks I am supposed to have gained 20 lbs!  That seems pretty crazy to me, and I'm not sure given how small I am that I will get there.  But I am going to shoot for at least 15 lbs, as opposed to the 10 - 12 lbs that I was going for before.  I am trying to eat more substantial meals, with a higher amount of protein and fat than I was eating before.  And I think that in addition to making me fatter (which it definitely is!) I am also feeling less nauseous when I eat more.  Maybe some of the really bad nausea I had at 7 - 8 weeks was due to not eating enough substantial food?

In other news, I had an ultrasound this morning.  I was going to wait until the NT Scan, but I decided that I wanted one more before I went home and announced the news to my family.  Would be terrible to tell them and then find out something had gone wrong.  Because my OB's office only does monthly u/s, I did this one at a radiology lab.  It took forever, but we finally got the great news that both babies are doing well - very relieved, I had some lingering fears about Baby B.  Also exciting was the fact that they did the u/s on the belly for the first time!  No more vag cam for me!

I am also weaning pretty quickly off the meds - am down to one estrogen patch every other day and have stopped progesterone.  If my blood test results from today are good, hopefully I'll be able to stop everything.  I think getting off the progesterone has also helped with my fatigue and nausea somewhat - it didn't help me very much in that department.

I'm leaving on Wednesday for my trip home - am so excited to tell my family, it's going to make everything seem so much more real.  I hope everyone has a wonderful week and that there is nothing but good news while I'm gone.  Off to eat dinner!

Friday, March 30, 2012

8 Weeks 4 Days - First OB Appointment

Just got back from my first appointment with my new OB.  I liked her a lot - it was a fairly brisk first meeting, but she covered all the bases in terms of things I had immediate questions on.  She reiterated what I already knew about twin pregnancies, which is that they are almost always premature and that deliveries are almost always by C-section.  However, she said that other than some additional monitoring towards the end, I will generally be treated the same as any other patient.

She also said it was fine for me to exercise - pretty much anything (except extreme sports) as long as I wasn't gasping for breath.  I'm happy about that, but I'm not sure I will jump fully into it.  I think I may start to work myself slowly up to elliptical machine, bike and yoga.  Not sure if I have the guts to try running.  We'll see.

Best part of the appointment was getting to see the little bubs.  They are both doing great.  Baby A measured ahead at 9 weeks, and has a heartbeat of 179.  Baby B measured right on the dot at 8 weeks 5 days, and has a heartbeat of 173.  Here is the latest pic - because of their position, it was hard to get one picture that they are both clear in, but this is the best one she got:

A'int they cute?  They look like 2 little peanuts.

My next u/s won't be for nearly a month - we'll be doing the NT scan at 11 weeks.  I could have asked for one more u/s in between (and still might, if I change my mind) but we are going to be traveling to see my family in Seattle in a couple of weeks anyway so I'm thinking I might just hold out until the NT scan.

I'm planning on surprising my family with the news in person.  It's a little sooner than I would like to break the news (will only be 10 weeks by then), but my parents are taking a couple of long trips right around the end of my first trimester and I want to be able to tell them in person.  I am, however, going to tell them to keep it between the family for now, until we're okay to go public.  My sister, BIL and my little nephew are also out there, so I'm hoping it will be an all-around joyful celebration!

Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences, tips, etc. re: dealing with pregnancy symptoms.  My goal in the next week is to slowly resume exercise, in the hopes that this will give me some more energy.  I also want to eat as healthy as possible, or as much as my nausea will allow.  Right now I'm eating like a 3rd grader - apple sauce, crackers, and fruit make up an alarming amount of my daily diet.  I need to work in some more proteins and veggies if I can.

Off to eat some more applesauce before dinner!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

8 Weeks 3 Days - Blech

In case anyone has noticed that I've been a bit silent lately, the reason is that my pregnancy symptoms definitely took a turn for the worse this week.  Monday and Tuesday I was barely able to get out of bed...so unbelievably tired all day.  And the nausea has definitely gotten worse too.  Now, instead of just feeling nauseous when I don't eat, I also often feel nauseous after I eat.  But I feel I have to keep eating, or else it gets much worse.  I haven't (thankfully) actually started throwing up yet, and I hope it stays that way!

Tuesday early evening I forced myself to go out for a brief walk, and that helped a bit.  And yesterday I had to go out for bloodwork and to get some things fixed on my computer, so I got out of the apartment for most of the day.  It definitely helps my mood to move around a bit and get outside, but it's also really, really hard to motivate myself to do so.  I almost pushed off the bloodwork until today because I was feeling so tired but I forced myself to get out and do it.

Good news is that my levels are looking great.  Estrogen is at over 3,000 and progesterone is at 26.6.  So I get to start weaning - will go down to 3 patches every other day and 2 daily suppositories, and then will go back in for a check on Saturday.  I am so excited - getting really, really sick of the hormone supplementation.  The progesterone in particular saps any little energy I might normally have, and the suppositories are so gross.  Hoping when I stop them I'll feel a wee bit better...

I have my first appointment with an OB tomorrow.  I'm really hoping I like her, and that the ultrasound shows 2 healthy babies in there.  One good thing about feeling sick is that you don't have the wherewithal to worry much about it, so I haven't been stressing too much.  I'm sure I'll get nervous once I'm there...

I went bra shopping last week because my normal bras were getting ridiculously small - I had muffin top over my bra on both sides!  And guess what, I am now a 32 DD!  Aaah!  And actually I realized that I should go back and exchange for an E cup, because the DD is already getting a little snug.  It's not a good look, peoples.  Not good.

Does the "pregnancy glow" thing really exist, or is that just a bulls*** myth made up by men to make them feel better about what this does to us?  I've been reading many blogs about pregnancy and none of them seem particularly glowy - most people feel kinda gross and/or uncomfortable throughout, as far as I can tell.

Sorry for this rambling, boring, complain-y post.  I just felt compelled to write something because it's been a little while.  Will post after tomorrow's appointment with hopefully good news....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

7 week 2 day Ultrasound - Hello Baby B!

Yes, you heard that right - I went into today's ultrasound just hoping that Baby A was doing well, and fully expecting to see Baby B's empty sac.  But within seconds of the picture coming up, we saw two heartbeats...wow!

Baby A is looking great - measured exactly 7 weeks 2 days and had a heartbeat of 135bpm.  You could clearly see the yolk sac and the amniotic sac, along with the embryo.  Baby B was harder to see as he/she is sitting further back in the uterus and very close to the uterine wall.  This is probably why we didn't see anything last time.  She did get a clear heartbeat, which came in at 129bpm.  Her best guess at measurement was 6 weeks 6 days, which is 3 days behind the other, but she acknowledged that there is some fudge factor because it was hard to get a clear picture.  My RE said that while Baby B is behind Baby A, it still seems to be within normal range and she felt 80% good that the baby will be just fine.

My head is spinning.  First I had to get over the shock of likely having twins, then I had to get comfortable with losing one, and then wham!  We're back in twinland again!  My husband looked a bit wide-eyed for the first time in this whole process.  Before this he's been pretty calm - didn't even freak out when we first thought we were having twins.  I told him that he's just been in denial, and he laughingly agreed there was some truth to that.  But I think things are starting to sink in for him now, and he's realizing that this seems to really be happening.  It is totally surreal...

I am just praying now that both babies develop appropriately, and that I am able to give birth to two healthy babies.  I hope I don't have too horrendous a pregnancy either, but I guess I'll have to prepare myself for some bumps in the road.

These days I'm feeling okay - and by okay I mean queasy most of the day, gassy, bloated, tired, and spaced out.  My breasts are ENORMOUS - I have already gone up a cup size, and desperately need to find the energy to go bra shopping.  I find that I feel much better when I am up and about, so I've been trying to get out of the apartment and walk around during the day.  But as soon as I come home to rest the nausea and generally crummy feeling kicks in.  Oh, and I am gaining weight like a Trojan.  I haven't figured out the "small meals" thing yet - I am just eating all of the time to stave off nausea, and it's showing!

I'm sorry if this sounds like I am complaining and less than overjoyed.  Behind all of the anxieties and nausea is a sense of deep, deep happiness.  I am so frigging lucky to have made it this far, and I know it!

Oh, and thanks to everyone for their advice on my last post about sharing medical records with my RE.  I decided I will do it if she wants them - having said that, this visit she didn't even ask me about them.  I think she's forgotten about it.  But thanks again to you ladies, it's awesome having so many smart, experienced people to ask about this stuff!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

6 weeks 2 days - Ultrasound Report

Hubby and I went in today for our first ultrasound.  I hadn't really been stressing too much about it up until this morning - I think that's mainly because I've been walking around in a progesterone fueled haze most of the last week.  Have felt fairly spaced out and groggy most of the time.

Anyhow, I did start to get very nervous once we got to the waiting room of my old clinic.  Sitting there brought back all of the painful memories of my last two failed cycles and so many difficult conversations with my RE.  She told me after both cycles one and two that she thought we would never get pregnant with my eggs, and that I should move to donor eggs.  I think those were the most devastating conversations I had during this whole process, and it makes my stomach turn just thinking about them.

Upon seeing me again, she was very warm and very happy that we had gotten pregnant.  She congratulated us on our perseverance and said she felt chagrined that she had told us to stop trying.  We proceeded with the exam, and saw this:


Yup, that's what it looks like.  2 embryonic sacs, but only one embryo.  It looks like one of them didn't make it, although clearly 2 implanted and started to develop.  However, Twin A (the one that was there) looked good - we saw the fetal sac, fetal pole, and the heartbeat.  In fact, we *heard* the heartbeat, which was awesome.  Unfortunately, my RE didn't provide any measurements or other information to C.CRM (I am annoyed by this because I did give her the orders), but I can see from the printout she gave me that the heart rate was 112, which I think is pretty good.  I am going to call back tomorrow and see if she took measurements but just forgot to send them - argh.

I am supposed to go back in next week for a follow up, to see if Twin B does in fact emerge - there is still a slight possibility that it is just behind the other one, but it's unlikely.  I have mixed feelings about all of this.  On the one hand, I am sad that we seem to have lost Twin B - I had really started to get excited about having twins.  On the other hand, I'm relieved that I won't have to worry about all of the very real complications of twin pregnancies.  But the most predominant emotion I am feeling is intense worry about Twin A.  The fact that we lost one has made the possibility of losing the other feel very real, and that thought scares me to death.  I can totally deal with losing one - but not both.  Please, please, not both!

I also have an ethical question for you ladies, which I am wrestling with a little.  My RE is very interested in seeing my medical records from C.CRM.  Partly because she wants some information on the embryos I transferred in assessing the current state of my pregnancy and what might have happened to Twin B (a legit reason,) but also because she is interested to know about my protocol at C.CRM and what they did to get me pregnant.  This is in the interests of her own self-education and improving her practice, as she freely admits.  I feel kind of weird about this because I don't know if that would be something that C.CRM wouldn't want me to share - each clinic's protocol is somewhat proprietary and I don't want to unwittingly cross any boundaries by sharing that with her.  On the other hand, it's not particularly hard to figure out what different clinics are doing if you really care to find out - I myself read tons of blogs/posts about C.CRM and their different protocols before I ever got there.  That was the reason I asked Dr. S to add Saizen to my protocol, which he wouldn't have done otherwise.

What do you guys think?  Should I just go ahead and request a copy of my medical records?  Should I ask the nurse first?  Not sure how to approach this one and appreciate any thoughts from you wise people.

6 week symptoms are about the same.  Nausea when I have an empty stomach (hence, I never have an empty stomach and hence, I am getting fat very fast).  No bleeding since the last episode (thank goodness!)  Fatigue and foggy headed feeling (I think progesterone related).  Latest blood draw showed steady increase from last week:
Estrogen - 1,153
Progesterone - 9.9

That's it for now.  I'm going to sit back and try to process all of this news.  I am already anxious for next week's u/s, going to be a looong week.

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Moment of Levity

Hubby brought home "The Onion" the other day and I came across this article, which made me piss myself laughing.  Sometimes I wonder whether an outsider (a guy, most likely!) coming across all of our blogs and associated comments would think this about us?

I love blogging and all of you, and wouldn't trade any of it.  But I do like to have a hearty chuckle once in a while at my own expense - keeps you from taking yourself too seriously!

On another note, I am doing much better in the bleeding/cramping department - no signs today at all.  I am, however, starting to feel a little nauseous and also something that is best described as "a little delicate."  I'm sensitive to noises, smells, any kind of stimulation.  And so as much as I should be going out and getting errands done, I'm just holing up in my apartment again.  Sigh.

Hoping I'll have a little more energy/capacity to deal with things soon.  And I hope you find that article as funny as I did and treat yourself to a good laugh.  It's Friday, people!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Better Today

I am, thankfully, feeling better today.  The bleeding appears to have mostly subsided (a bit of brown staining) as have the cramps.  I cannot thank you ladies enough for the support, information and reassurance you gave me yesterday.  It helped me enormously, and I swear I could not do this without you!  You guys are really the best.

A couple of you mentioned you had (or read about) similar cases of bleeding, and I actually went back and read your blogs to get some reassurance.  Krista from My Infertility Road had an episode just like mine right around the same time (5 weeks, 2 days) and everything turned out great.   Krista, thanks so much for pointing that out, your case was so similar to mine I felt a LOT better after reading your story.  And again, thanks to *everyone* for sharing information and insight, so wonderful to have you all as a resource.

Yesterday after my last post the bleeding got a bit worse (started to see dark brown clumps in addition to the bright red).  I called C.CRM back again and spoke to a different nurse, who was more reassuring than the first.  She said that 80% of their patients have bleeding in early pregnancy, and that most of the time it is just fine.  She also said if I was miscarrying that I would have tons of blood and be doubled over in pain within a few hours.  Her prediction was that by this morning the bleeding would turn brown and basically stop.  This got me through the night, and thankfully she appears to have been right.  Phew.

I'm bracing myself for further episodes, but now that I know how common it is hopefully I'll be a little less freaked out.  Maybe.

I am going to take a little bit of a walk today, just to get some fresh air (didn't leave the apartment at all yesterday as I started bleeding right before I was going to go outside).  But other than that I think I am going to lay low and rest another day.

I cannot wait until my first u/s - I want to know what is going on in there!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Update

I finally spoke to a nurse at C.CRM, I called twice and no one was picking up so I had to leave a message.  The nurse told me to just lie down the rest of the day, drink lots of fluids and monitor the situation.  She said it was too early to do an ultrasound, and since I just did bloodwork a couple of days ago that it didn't make sense to redo it just yet.  If things get worse (if I start seeing clots or cramps get more severe), I'm to call them again, but that's about it.

She said she thought my body may just be having a reaction to the progesterone, which is causing the bleeding and even the cramping.  If I was only bleeding or only cramping, I think I would feel okay.  But having both at the same time is incredibly scary.  Also, I honestly think the nurse was partially just saying that about the progesterone so I don't freak out too badly, because she also said that I didn't need to get the Rhogam shot because of my blood type.  You only do the Rhogam shot when you're about to miscarry, so she clearly was thinking about that as a potential outcome.  She also made a veiled comment to the effect that it didn't seem like an imminent miscarriage, but that we might get the bad news at the u/s next week.

I feel no more at ease than before.  I'm so, so scared of this getting worse - or perhaps worse yet, having this get better for a time only to find that at our ultrasound something went terribly wrong.

Why did this have to happen??  Everything seemed to be going so well and now I'm horribly afraid it's all going to be snatched away.  There's nothing I can do though, except wait.  Thank you all for the words of concern, I wish I had something to reassure you and myself, but there's nothing.

I am in hell right now.

Bleeding and Freaking Out

OMG, I just went to the bathroom and there was a lot of blood - not just spotting, bright red blood.  I have started cramping badly too, feels just like horrible period cramps.  I am totally freaking out.

I am waiting for a call back from the nurses office at C.CRM.  I'm so scared, I don't want to lose this pregnancy.  Why is this happening?

Monday, March 5, 2012

5 Weeks

Today I am 5 weeks.  My nurse called with the results of my weekly blood draw, and everything seems to be fine:

Estrodiol: 526 (they want it above 300)
Progesterone: 8.6 (they want it above 6)

These numbers seem awfully low compared to some of the ones I've seen posted lately, but if C.CRM says it's good I guess I can trust them.

I don't feel terribly pregnant yet.  No major symptoms, except for ridiculously big boobs - I swear they are getting bigger every day.  And I'm already a C cup, so I shudder to think what they will be like later on!  Last week I had a couple episodes of dizziness/lightheadedness, but they came and went.  Nothing really in the way of cramps either, although I am kind of "feeling my uterus" a bit more this week.

I guess the other possible symptom is fatigue.  I have been more tired lately, but that could also be progesterone (that stuff really puts me to sleep) and the fact that I have been fighting off a cold that Hubby brought home.  Thankfully it never really blossomed, but that of course made me worry that perhaps my immune system acting up in my defense could be bad for the embryos.  But this was a passing thought - I'm not too concerned, mainly because there's nothing I can do about it!

I went and bought a scale today so I could start tracking my weight.  I am already a couple pounds heavier than my normal weight, due no doubt to massive overeating these last couple of weeks.  Hoping my appetite will calm down a little so I can go back to normal, at least for a little while.

That's it for now, pretty boring over here.  All my thoughts are fixated on next week's ultrasound.  And on the lovely women I follow in their 2WWs or waiting for their next ultrasound - I wish everyone the very best of luck, and hope we all get great news!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Beta #2...

...was 1,435.  More than doubled, I'm super happy!

I want to thank everyone for your reassuring comments yesterday.  I am feeling oodles better about the twins thing.  Yes, there are more risks and the work is daunting.  But the thought of having siblings who can play and grow up together is lovely.  And the thought of never having to do IVF again is absolutely amazing!  I'm sure there will be some rocky days ahead but for now I'm going to concentrate on the positives.

I just can't believe I'm really pregnant...it's so surreal, and I honestly forget about it sometimes because right now I feel so normal.  No cramps, no nothing really, except for bigger boobs and occasional heartburn.  But I guess I really am pregnant...wow.

Now I'm in the next 2WW, and this one is going to be just as hard as the last one I think.  It seems like ages from now, I just don't know how I'm going to get through it.  One good thing is that I managed to get my local RE to do my 6 week ultrasound, so I don't have to go to the one I don't like.  I'm now in the process of trying to figure out which OB I want, which in NY is no easy thing.  As a couple people have warned me (thanks guys!), there's heavy competition here for the good ones.  And unfortunately the high-risk OBs who I think I want to go to don't take any appointments until after you've been released from the IVF clinic.  And I also won't really know for sure that I'm high risk until at least that first u/s appointment.  Sigh, I guess I'll just have to figure it out as I go...

The important thing is that as of today I am pregnant, and who would've ever thunk that could happen?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

4w1d - Kinda Freaking Out Over Here...

First off, I want to thank all of you again for the amazing support - what would I do without you ladies?  I was really touched to hear both from the amazing women I've been following and also first-time commenters.  Thank you all.

Since yesterday I have to admit I've been freaking out a bit about this twin thing.  I'm kind of ashamed about it, because I should be just overjoyed to be pregnant at all (and I am, I am!).  But I am also scared, anxious, and filled with regret about not doing eSET.  I'm not proud of it, but it's true.

Hubby was amazing last night and talked me off the ledge more than once.  Thank goodness he is a natural optimist, and always looks on the bright side of life.  He's going to need all of that optimism to get his crazy wife through this!

And yes, I know that there is still a possibility that this is a singleton after all.  But I checked out the Betabase and out of the 2,900 singleton betas recorded there guess how many were as high or higher than mine?  Less than 31.  Meaning less than 1%.  So it is very, very, VERY likely that I have twins cooking, and I need to just get my head around that fact.  If I can.

I also wanted to share something that I find kind of cool with you guys.  I don't know about you, but going through IVF and all of it's uncertainties has made me unusually superstitious.  I start looking for signs, grasping at coincidences, in the hopes that they mean something about my cycle.  I know rationally that this is all ridiculous, but infertility will make even the most hardened skeptic start reaching for voodoo dolls and spells!

For whatever weird reason, the thing I latched onto was our orchids.  My husband and I love orchids, and always have one or two around the house.  During my first IVF, I started this kind of game where I would think that if my orchid blossoms survived/thrived during the procedure, that it would be successful.  I know, weird right?  Unfortunately, the blossoms started to die off as soon as stims started, and I was left with only one sad looking one by the end.  You all know that my first cycle was a disaster and ended up not even going to transfer.

The next cycle, even though I tried not to, I ended up doing the same thing but this time with a bouquet of flowers (even crazier!).  And nearly the same thing happened - the blossoms started to fade and my cycle ended in a BFN.

This cycle, despite my best efforts, I started following the growth of the orchid we had bought to replace the first one.  I didn't follow it so much during the stims process (as I as out in CO) but once I got back and was waiting for our CCS results I started noticing it more.  This orchid has been an unusually healthy one, and lasted much longer than any I've ever had.  I kept waiting for it to fade, but it just kept on thriving.  Then, one day, not long after I got my CCS results of 2 normals, I noticed that the orchid had started to bud.  And about a week later I realized that there were not just one, but 2 buds that had formed!  This seemed like such a potent symbol for my 2 embryos that I couldn't help but imbue them with that significance.  I took a couple pictures as they started to grow, to document this in case my cycle actually turned out to be positive.
Here is the orchid plant - you can see the buds on the right stem.
Here's another picture later on - you can see both buds getting bigger.

During the 2WW, I started to fret over these buds with the same intensity that I was fretting over the embryos.  I would check on them 5 times a day, and if it seemed like they weren't growing I would get nervous.  I watered the plant carefully and religiously, and wouldn't let Hubby do anything to harm it.
The buds just kept growing and growing, and then, on the morning of beta, here is what I woke up to!
It bloomed!
A view from head on - you can see that bud #2 isn't far behind!

This story is absolutely true - it literally didn't bloom until the morning of beta.  Crazy coincidence, eh?
It makes me wonder about that second bud being behind the first...could that mean something too?  Although it is growing nicely and will be blooming in about a week I think...

Lest you think me totally loony I do realize that this is purely coincidence and not some mystical sign.  But sometimes it is these things that get us through a difficult time.  And I now have a great attachment to this little plant for helping me do that.

Beta #2 is tomorrow.  I suppose I should be glad that the shock of the twins thing kept me from worrying about it, or any other miscarriage fears.  I guess those will be coming before the ultrasound, gulp!  I'll post again tomorrow when I get my beta.  Never a dull moment!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Beta Results

Holy crap, first beta is 516!!!

My nurse first told me that she had great news for me, and that I was pregnant.  Then she said "Are you ready to be a mother to twins?"  O.M.G.   To tell you the truth, I don't know if I am!  I am of course thrilled to be pregnant, and would far prefer this outcome to not being pregnant, but...whoa.

If you recall I had the conversation with Dr. S about transferring only one but he was so adamant about transferring two that I caved.  Why didn't I listen to my gut?

Sorry guys, I don't mean to sound less than overjoyed, it's just that my head is spinning!  To go from not being able to get pregnant forever to twins in one fell swoop kinda blows your mind.  I guess it's also still possible that we may end up with one - we won't know for sure until the first u/s on March 14th.

Thanks to all of you ladies for the support, and for everyone who came back to me with advice on OB's. I think I'm going to try to get an appointment at an experienced MFM practice, where I may ultimately want to deliver.  And and OB who has experience with multiples!!

OMG, I just got a dizzy spell writing that...I'm going to go lie down and try to process this news!

OB Question For You Ladies

I'm back from getting blood drawn and waiting for my nurse to call with my beta.  In the mean time, my mind is (of course) already moving ahead to that first u/s.  So I have a question for you ladies about where it is best to do my early pregnancy monitoring.

My current OBGYN is located in a small, downtown office right by my apartment.  It's a new relationship - I only went there to get my annual / PAP when I was doing my ODWU at C.CRM.  I have to say I don't love my OBGYN - she's okay, but she's a little bit bitchy and has been kind of nosy about my IVF (asking me how much it cost, questioning why I went out of state, etc.)  But she would be very easy to set up appointments with and convenient to get to, and the office generally seems like a good practice.  However, I would never ultimately deliver there, because I want to go somewhere that has a sophisticated MFM practice, just in case (heaven forbid) anything should go wrong.

I could also try to find an OB at a hospital where I might ultimately want to deliver, so I can develop that relationship early.  But the big hospitals are all far uptown and will likely be harder to get an initial appointment at.  Also, since C.CRM will be continuing to provide primary care for the next however many weeks, I wonder if I should wait to go there once (if?) I "graduate" from their care.

Does anyone have thoughts or recommendations?  I have never gotten this far (obviously!) so just don't know what the best option would be.  Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

I will be posting that beta number later today as soon as I get it - fingers crossed...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

10dp3dt - Day Before Beta and Gratitude

Ladies, beta day is finally here - I'll be going to the lab in the morning, and will hopefully hear back from C.CRM not too late.  I'm excited and nervous.  But most importantly, I'm grateful.  Grateful to have gotten this far in the process.  Grateful for my fabulous, funny husband.  And SO grateful to all of you wonderful, wonderful ladies who have given me so much support through this.  Your excitement and happiness has made every moment sweeter for me.  So thank you *all* from the bottom of my heart.  For real.

No day would be complete without the obligatory pregnancy test.  Today, in addition to using my last internet cheapie (which came in nice and dark), I pulled out a leftover FRER.  Without further ado, here it is:
Ain't it purty?  I promise that's the last of these I'll post.  Even I know when enough is enough!  But that's such a textbook looking line I just had to post it...

Feeling good today.  Heartburn is under control.  I figured out that the best way to deal with it is not to let my stomach get empty.  I had to get up twice in the middle of the night last night and eat something and that did the trick.  Of course, that means that I will be an absolute whale in about 2 weeks if this doesn't stop!  Oh well...

Only major symptom right now is BOOB.  They are getting bigger and more tender by the minute.  I keep grabbing them and holding them up, because I'm worried they will be down at my belly button by the time this is all over!

I hope everyone is having a great Oscars night.  I'm glad to have something to distract me before tomorrow.  Cross your fingers for me for a great beta!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

9dp3dt - Getting Darker...

Just call me Miss Pee On A Stick.  I tested again this morning at 9am with FMU (per Single Mom To Be's suggestion).  Line came in nicely, just a tiny bit darker than yesterday's.  But of course yesterday's was done at 3:30pm so it hadn't been a full 24 hours.  So I tested again at 3:30pm today and got an even darker line - don't even have to squint to see it now!

Here's a pic (most recent test at the top):

Hubs is so excited.  He didn't come home until 9pm last night, which made me awfully impatient.  But it was worth it to see the look on his face!  He is trying not to get overly excited, and we agreed that as much as possible we will take this a day at a time.  That means today is a great day, today we are happy. Very happy.

My Fertility Journey, I will definitely get one of those digital tests so I can see the words "Pregnant"!  I am waiting until just before beta though because I don't think those tests are as sensitive as the ones I have been using.  The tests above are 10 miu, most others are 25 - 50 miu.

Otherwise, I'm feeling pretty good.  Boobs are a bit sore, and occasionally I feel a tight sensation in my uterus, but other than the horrible heartburn I feel pretty normal.  I did have one crazy hot flash in the middle of the night last night - full on sweat, had to throw the covers off and pant for a few minutes to cool off!

I'm off now to buy some Mylanta for my poor little esophagus.  2 days and counting until beta!...

Friday, February 24, 2012

O. M. G.

Ladies, it's 8dp3dt, and I think I might actually be a little bit pregnant!  Let me tell you the story:

Yesterday I was having one of those days where I just couldn't sit still.  I tried everything to distract myself (a walk, TV, books, etc.) but just couldn't.  I had planned to try to wait until at least today to test (which admittedly was still very early) but I realized when looking through my stash that I had 5 internet cheapie tests left so I figured I'd start using them once-a-day, 5 days before beta and just finish them off.

I told myself that 7dp3dt was way too early to worry if I got a negative, so at around 4pm yesterday I bit the bullet and peed.  At first I saw nothing, and just figured that it was (sigh) another negative.  But after a few minutes I thought I saw the merest ghost of a line.  After another few minutes I could definitely see the faintest of faint lines.  It could only be seen close up, in strong light, but believe me, after examining a zillion tests for faint lines and never seeing even a *hint* of one in over 2 years, this seemed really promising.

I was of course elated, and had to go on a long walk just to process the event.  I told myself that I wouldn't tell anyone until I did another test today, just in case this was a fluke.  Not even my husband.  Not even you guys.  

I spent most of the day today in various states of holding my pee.  I decided I would test around 2pm, but I screwed up and accidentally started peeing at 12:30pm without thinking about it, so then I had to wait until 3:30pm to make sure my pee was concentrated enough.  But it was worth it though, because after peeing I saw this (the one on top is from today):


I don't know if you guys can see it in the picture, but there's definitely a faint line there, and it's a wee bit darker than the one below it from yesterday.  Considering it's only 8dp3dt this seems really encouraging!!

I wanted you ladies to be the first to know.  And I cannot wait to tell hubby when he gets home tonight!  I know there's a long way to go, and this could all go away at any time.  But after more than 2 years of seeing stark white, it is just amazing to even get this far...there are no words.

The only bummer is that since yesterday's test I've developed one new, horrible "symptom," which is massive heartburn.  I didn't realize that this was a common side effect of elevated progesterone, which is why so many women get it in pregnancy.  The progesterone acts as a muscle relaxant, which (among other things) relaxes the flap that separates the esophagus from stomach - hence, your esophagus gets exposed to stomach acid, and OW!  This is also one of the reasons why we get constipation with progesterone - the muscles that help push the stuff through also get relaxed.  I've never had heartburn before, so I was totally unprepared for it.  It kept me up all night last night, and I've been feeling it all day today.  C.CRM has only approved me to use Tums and Mylanta, which I'm only having minor success with.  Ugh.

But that's so insignificant compared to the happiness I'm feeling right now.  You can bet I'll be peeing every day until beta to hopefully see this line get darker.  And I'll keep y'all posted!  I had a feeling February was going to be a good month for all of us cycling, and I can't wait until everyone gets their turn!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

6dp3dt

Ladies, I just want to thank you for talking me off the ledge yesterday.  Yesterday was a BAD day in terms of hormones.  I spent most of the day in tears for no reason.  Ugh.  Luckily, all of your wise and measured words helped enormously, as did Hubby coming home a little early to take care of me.  Love that guy.

Thankfully I woke up this morning feeling normal - and for once had enough energy to get some stuff done.  The most significant thing was a consultation with a donor egg agency that I'm interested in working with.  It was a helpful conversation, and answered some of the questions I had about the process.  Unfortunately they don't have any donors that look promising to me right now.

I hope very much that I don't end up needing this Plan B.  But taking a cue from Mo at Life & Love in the Petri Dish, I am going to pursue multiple options simultaneously, just in case.

"Symptoms" (or lack thereof) today:
1) Insomnia - Totally gone.  Slept like a baby last night.
2) Appetite - Returned to normal (eating like a pig).
3) Cramps - Non-existent!
4) Breast Tenderness - The only thing that made itself felt today.  Some swelling and tenderness today (thanks progesterone!)

No POAS yet, staying strong for now.  5 days to beta and counting...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

5dp3dt

Ladies, thank you for all of the encouraging words yesterday.  I would be lying if I said that I wasn't still concerned about the lack of cramping, but rationally I know it's silly to think it means anything one way or another.

It's 5dp3dt, and I'm feeling fairly crummy.  Not physically so much as emotionally.  It's purely hormone related.  I was already feeling quite emotional going into the FET with the estrogen patches & Lupron.  Now after being on 4 patches every other day for a while I've reached a whole new level of hormonal craziness.  I literally feel like I could cry every second.  I tear up at nothing 5 times a day.  And I am not a crier, so this is totally bizarre behavior for me!

I am thinking of trying to have a big cry every morning before I start my day like the Holly Hunter character in "Broadcast News" (have you ever seen that movie? - it's utterly fantastic.)  I think if I could do that it would tide me over until at least the evening...food for thought.

A couple of you have asked me about my beta date and if I plan to POAS.  Beta is Monday, Feb 27th - a week from now.  I will most definitely POAS at some point because I want to be prepared.  But I'd like to wait as long as possible so I don't drive myself too crazy.  Having said that, I make no promises given my mental/emotional state - I could break down at any time!

But oddly, despite feeling incredibly emotional I don't feel anxious.  I don't have that pace-around-the-room-freaking-out kind of energy that I've had in the past.  I just feel tired and teary and sort of out-of-it.

Just for kicks, here's my daily log of "symptoms":
1) Insomnia - Better now that I am off Medrol.  Am sleeping for long chunks but still getting up to pee all the time.
2) Appetite changes - This is a new one.  Last couple of days I've found myself not really wanting to eat much during the day, but then waking up in the middle of the night with serious hunger pangs.  Last night I had to get up twice to eat something before I could go back to sleep.
3) Cramping - Much less now (as I've said) but still feeling some light, intermittent cramping, particularly at night.
4) Breast tenderness - Very slight, but still there.

Thanks to everyone for their continued support, this is going to be a bloody long week.