Tuesday, March 26, 2013

First Twin Dream

Last night I had my first dream where I saw babies, and there were 2 of them! I have dreams almost every night that I wake up and remember. Since getting pregnant I have often dreamt that I talked or thought about being pregnant. It often happens when I do something or before I do something and realize I shouldn't because I am pregnant. 

Last night was the first time I saw babies. I was holding them in my lap and they were probably close to 6 months old. Both were chubby smiley little boys. 

I had mentioned to W a week or 2 ago that I hadn't had any dreams about twins. I think I am starting to embrace this more. 

W and I talked more about the NT scan and we're not sure we're going to do it. Any advice making decisions? Any results won't change how we proceed with this pregnancy. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

11 Weeks

Today marks 11 weeks. I am so amazed and grateful to have made it to this point. The babies were both doing great last Friday when I had an ultrasound. They were wiggling and dancing like crazy. Baby B was having a little dance party while A did a few flips and turns. Both had strong heartbeats and measured right on track.

The ultrasound was at the hospital where I will deliver as the ob's office didn't have any availability on such short notice. The receptionist was super friendly and excited for me about having twins. A woman came to get me to bring me down to the ultrasound. She introduced herself and told us (me and my MiL) that she was a student and that she would be performing the ultrasound. She told me to lie down and pull up my shirt. I was amazed and super excited to have graduated from "Wandy". I don't think I'll miss her any.

The student took a while doing the ultrasound, but I can't complain because it just gave us more time to watch the babies. She took some measurements and I noticed the crown rump length wasn't the same for both babies. This made me worry a bit because they have always measured exactly the same week and day on every other ultrasound. She looked around quite a bit more and then called in her supervisor.

The supervisor then basically repeated the same thing, talking the student through it all. This meant an even longer ultrasound! She was very friendly and shared lots of laughs and giggles with us when the dance party got going. She took the measurements again and told me both were measuring exactly the same. The other thing I was surprised to find out was that they are not next to each other, but instead one is on top of the other. She also told me they always label Baby A as the one closest to the cervix. I guess there is a system to labeling them. Maybe it changes as they get bigger?

From the ultrasound we headed down to the ob's office. We waited a really long time to be seen and were even called in once only to find out it was the wrong Elizabeth. Once we were seen they took my weight and blood pressure again (I lost a pound), then asked me a bunch of questions. I met with a different doctor since the one I saw last time had been in a car accident and was taking a bit of time off. They thankfully told me she is okay, but just needs a bit of time to recover. This new doctor was also very nice and accommodating to all of Dr. B's recommendations. She was reassuring and we talked a little more about the NT scan. She said we could do another ultrasound prior to my appointment with Dr. B and I scheduled it before I left.

Later that day I got a call from the office asking why I needed another ultrasound. I guess because everything looked so great they didn't think it would be medically necessary. I explained the situation and she then understood better. She just left it as she wasn't sure whether my insurance would cover it or not. W and I have talked about it and I also talked with the insurance company. They said it would likely be covered, but really it doesn't make much sense to have 2 ultrasound 4 days apart since the one locally is scheduled for Thursday and the one with Dr. B is scheduled for next Monday. I think we will cancel it and look forward to our ultrasound with Dr. B.

W was really bummed that he couldn't be at the ultrasound last week. He is trying to save his paid time off from work so decided it would be best not to go. He was so disappointed when he heard how cute they were being. Last Friday was the day I really fell in love with those little jumping beans. I've been in love with the concept of a baby for so long, but seeing them move and flip was just so amazing.

Two Weekends ago we got together with our good friends who have a 2 month old. The wife is one of my fertility buddies, T so they know we are pregnant. Her husband was so amazing and accommodating to make so many food choices. It was quite the "Mexican fiesta"! From there W and I went to the store to buy a new t.v. We had been talking about it since we bought out new sectional around Christmas. The huge amazing couch didn't work with the 32 inch t.v. We had to squint to see the print when making a selection on Net.flix. So, we purchased a 55 inch with part of our tax return. W is pretty thrilled with our new purchase, especially since it's correlates with March Madness.

This weekend we had some good friends J and C over for dinner with their 2 1/2 year old E. She was so excited to see us and be at our house, she didn't stop bouncing around the whole time. She played with some of the toys I have for work and we took this great picture.
We also told them that we are pregnant. They were so excited and C starting squealing and they both gave us huge hugs. It was really fun to share our excitement with some good friends. C was too funny because she said she always pays attention to what I eat and drink. She had noticed I skipped out on the goat cheese that evening prior to dinner.

Now to do the boring pregnancy update thing. Feel free to skip but I just want to document for myself. 

The babies are about close to 2 inches long each. Their heads are half the length of their bodies and they are growing hair follicles and finger and toenails this week. The most critical part of their organ systems have developed and they have reproductive organs (that we won't know about until they are born.)

My belly continues to grow and it's getting harder to hide. This morning when I took my weekly photo I tried to smile despite how chubby I felt like I looked. Luckily I can dress really casually to work so have been wearing sweatshirts and looser clothing. I swear a co-worker stared right at my belly as I took my jacket off when I arrived at a meeting last week. I think I'm just being sensitive, but I'm sure I look like I ate too many donuts to most of the families I work with.

The nausea and food aversions have definitely improved. I'm better able to eat a wider variety but feel like I get full really quickly. I still have moments where I don't feel too great and it's generally when I try to do too much. My body is good and telling me when to slow down and W is great and picking up the slack. I started getting round ligament pain this past week. There was one time when I stood up too quickly from sitting cross legged on the floor and had to immediately sit back down I was in so much pain. Today it was more constant and even when I was just sitting in a chair. I asked at my ob appointment last week and thats what she said it was. Unfortunately, she also said it's only going to get worse.

My mood is better and more stable, especially since I am avoiding sugar. I noticed it was giving me headaches and mood swings so it helps to just stay constant with my mood and blood sugar levels throughout the day.

I'm still on all of the same meds. I emailed Dr. Br.averman earlier last week to see if things were going to change before out appointment at 12 weeks. He told me to remain on everything. I'm hoping 12 weeks brings at least a huge reduction in what I am taking.

All in all, I'm just so happy to be at this point. I love these little ones so much already and can't wait to see them again next week with W. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

300 Posts!!

I made it to 300 *published* posts! I never thought I would love blogging so much. It really is a great place to get things off my chest and I love that I have my own space to do that. 

For post like these I like to do things a little differently. To start, I thought I'd answer some questions about myself:

Do you eat mac and cheese with a fork or spoon? Always a spoon

Have you ever had braces? If so, for how long? Not only did I wear braces for 3 years, but I also had other torturous orthodontic devices. I had these weird metal things on my two front teeth for a while and also had head gear (that I never wore). I didn't get my braces off until 10th grade and wish I wore my retainer a little more after. 

Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed? I wish mine would stay closed, but the latch stinks given that our house is 100 years old! The door is too nice to replace so I guess I'll just suffer : ) Also, my dog like to sleep in the closet (it's quite large just like her). 

What do you dip chicken nuggets in? Honey

Who would you like to see in concert? Coldplay has been on my list for a while. 

Last time you had your picture taken by a professional photographer? My wedding, 3 1/2 years ago. 

Please feel free to answer the questions in the comments. I love random questions and learning more about people that way. 

I also like to include a bit of a photo-bomb when I do these posts. Here are some fun ones:

First picture of me and W from the fall of 2005
My favorite skiing picture of me. That was a good day!
Yellowstone National Park spring of 2006

Our dog Togie when she was a baby. She was so cute!
A picture of my little brother the first Christmas he was with us. I think his excitement is contagious in this picture. 
Longing for spring and flowering trees.....
A picture from our Honeymoon looking so happy. 

A picture from our first trip together to California. We visited the Full House houses and pretended to have a picnic like they did in the credits for the show.

I'm so amazed to be at 300 posts! Thank you so much for reading. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Invested and Involved

It feels weird to not want to cross the days off the calendar. In the past 2 1/2 years we have done so many cycles it feels like I should be counting down to something. Counting down to my next lining check, my start day for meds, my transfer date, etc. Watching the days pass is strange. I do have an ultrasound that I am looking forward to this week, but it's just a different type of anticipation. 

My ob's office called today to say my doctor will be out of town for the next week. They scheduled me a different time for the ultrasound this Friday and after I will meet with a different doctor. W isn't going to be able to make it, but I think my MiL is going to come. Undressing in front of her should be interesting, but I had 1 other vaginal ultrasound with her in the room before so I guess it's no big deal. I remember last time she folded my underwear for me : )

Last week work was particularly emotionally draining. When you go into someone's house and see them multiple times a week you get involved and invested in their families. I don't think I would be a good therapist if I wasn't involved, but sometimes it means being involved in things that are not directly related to the child. 

One family I work with fosters children. They currently have 5 children in their care, 4 of which are under 2 1/2 in addition to their own 3 children. I am currently working one of the little ones. The older one in care is around 8 years old and was having some issues. He sees a psychologist and it was recommended he go to a treatment center to address these issues. Well, after quite a few weeks there he finally came home last week.

 It was so upsetting to see how heavily medicated he was. He sat across from me at the table, totally out of it, slurring his speech, trying to talk to me. He could barely function. I know this child and know that he is highly functional normally. I was so upset with the way he was acting and the foster family agreed. We spoke about it in depth and they were glad to have validation of their feelings.

Another story involves a different family. Many grandparents care for their grandchildren, so I do therapy at their houses. I have one little boy I have been seeing for almost a year and I do at least 1 therapy session a week at grandma's house. We have developed a really great relationship and I really like her. Unfortunately, her husband was diagnosed with colon cancer this past fall after a routine colonoscopy. Then about a month ago I got a text from mom that they needed to cancel the session at home due to a "family emergency". When I went to grandma's house the next day I asked if everything was okay. She told me that the mom of the little guy I see had a miscarriage the previous day. Most recently, grandma went for a routine mammogram and it was discovered that she has breast cancer. Last Friday she had a lumpectomy and she will do radiation and chemotherapy. 

In one day I was at the house with the foster care child that was too heavily medicated, and then went to see the grandmother for the first time since her diagnosis (2 days before her surgery). I left both homes with a heavy heart. When W called me on his lunch break I broke down in tears. I know I'm extra emotional lately, but it was a really rough day. 

Since then, the child in foster care has been seen to a different treatment center to ween him off of a lot of the meds he was on. I spoke with the family and was so glad to hear this. The grandmother had her surgery on Friday and I probably won't see her for a while. I will see her grandson and his mom tomorrow and will be sure to ask about her and send her my best. 

Even though my job can be tough, it's also incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. I really wouldn't change it, despite the way it makes me feel on certain days. Even though there are bad days from time to time, the majority of my days are great. 

On another note, the kids I work with love the fact that I'm always snacking lately. I often share some of my snacks and they think it's the greatest thing ever. I really do enjoy building relationships with these children and their families. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

First OB Appointment

Yesterday afternoon was our first OB appointment. They called me back and had my hubby wait in the exam room while a nurse took my blood pressure, pulse, weight, and a list of my medications. She was definitely frazzled with all of my medications, but what can I do? I'm sure it's not everyday that the list includes so many. My blood pressure was, amazingly, really good. My pulse was a bit elevated.

I then waited with W in the exam room. The same nurse came in, frazzled again, and started to talk about labs and cultures and my insurance. She asked me to look something up about my insurance so I started as we waited. Another nurse then came in and explained that we didn't need to worry about anything and that they had it figured out. She asked whether it was our first pregnancy and we told her "sort of." We told her we had 3 previous losses and she was super sympathetic and understanding. She reassured us that if we had any questions or concerns at any time that we should feel free to call.

When Dr. Hi.ll came in she had her laptop and asked about our complete history. We gave her the run-down and joked about how she was writing a novel. It was hard to re-hash it all and I was practically in tears by the time I got to the end of it. It's a long story that contains a lot more downs than ups. It's not too often that I go through the entire history with someone, so it was hard. 

She was so happy and excited for us that things finally worked out. We told her about how we are still working with Dr. Br.averman, and she was more than happy to coordinate care with him. She seemed happy to take a back seat in the decision making until it was her turn. We told her we will meet with him again at 12 weeks and he will make a plan for the rest of the pregnancy. She said with those recommendations we can move forward. She said she could probably learn a thing or two from reading his notes in the files that were sent over. I was so pleased with how open she was to working with him and following his recommendations. It was such a breath of fresh air from working with my local fertility clinic.

She then explained that she would do a pap smear, pelvic exam, and some cultures so left the room while I undressed and got ready. It was weird to have W in the room while a pap smear was done, but we joked about things so he was fine with it. He's been in the room for at lot at this point so he's not easily phased. The doctor warned me that I was going to have quite a bit of bleeding from the pap. Her gloves in the garbage were covered in blood, as was the table when I got up. The nurse gave me a pad and the doctor repeatedly reassured me that the bleeding was from my cervix, not my uterus.

I gave a urine sample and then we headed down to the ultrasound room. I was so happy we were getting an ultrasound, but disappointed when they referred to the machine as a "dinosaur". The machine did not provide crisp images of our little ones, but we saw them and it was great. They measured on target but the machine did not allow us to hear their heartbeats. Dr. H promised that for our next appointment we would get an ultrasound with the better machine.

She asked us about genetic testing and we said we wanted to do the NT scan (mainly for an extra ultrasound). I told her that Dr. B wanted me to be seen weekly and she gladly agreed, saying we had been through so much and was happy to do that. I asked some other questions and she was honest and straightforward with her answers.

By the time we left the office we had been there almost an hour and a half. We were long past the time that the office normally closes, but I was so happy the doctor spent so much time with us and never made us feel rushed. The other office staff did not look as happy as W and I were. We made an appointment for next week for an ultrasound and to meet with the doctor again.

Overall, it was a fantastic appointment. We felt like the doctor was compassionate and bright, as well as open to working with Dr. B, which is very important to us.

In other news, I got my doppler this week and have used it quite a bit. The first 4 or so times I tried it the first day I didn't have any success. Finally, on my 5th attempt I found a heartbeat. It was amazing! The next morning I tried it again and am pretty sure I found 2 different heartbeats. They were in different spots, but it is impossible to know for sure. Since then, I can easily find the first one within seconds of trying. The other one is more difficult, but I can find it with some persistence. The doppler has been amazing and I love listening to the sound of my little babies. It was such a great purchase!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

8 Weeks

I'm almost through week 8. I oscillate between feeling really positive and confident about things to worrying a whole bunch. Early in the week we watched the first episode of the Walking Dead. That night I had a horrible dream that the babies died. I also dreamt I was chasing my cat around the supermarket because he got free from a bag I was carrying him in. I have a lot of crazy dreams, but this was one of the worst. I woke up feeling horrible and scared. When I told my sister about my dream she said she had bad dreams when she was pregnant and watched that show. We won't be watching it again any time soon. 

I finally made a decision about an OB and made an appointment this week. When I saw Dr. Br.averman on Monday he said he wanted me to be seen this week or next. I was so overwhelmed by the decision of who to choose I put it off until later in the week. 

I first started with the hospital I knew I wanted to deliver at. I chose that one because they have the highest level NICU. I really hope we don't need it, but it's good to have "in my back pocket" as my general physician said. I got recommendations from 2 friends and my general physician about who to use. Then I called and made an appointment. They didn't have anything this week so I made an appointment for next Thursday afternoon. They offered me one Tuesday morning, but the afternoon is much better so that W can be there. I'm really nervous about the idea of not getting and ultrasound. I have no idea whether I will not not, but I'm not sure I can go too much longer without one. It's so easy to get spoiled with weekly ultrasounds. 

After my bad dream this week I decided I wanted to buy a doppler. I ordered one online and am hoping it comes this week. I really hope it doesn't cause me more stress since I bought it for reassurance. I realize it doesn't always pick up a heartbeat, so I promise I'll try not to stress if that happens.

This week the babies are the size of raspberries or about 3/4 of an inch. The fingers and toes are still webbed but starting to differentiate. Upper lips, the tip of little noses, ears, and eyelids are developing. The babies even have distinguished wrists and elbows that they can flex.  

My belly is definitely getting bigger. I still don't think it's noticeable to anyone else, but it feels more firm and has a different shape. I'm still fitting into my jeans but joked the dryer really shrunk my one pair this week. I put them on one morning and had to really stretch them out before they felt comfortable. I may not be putting them in the dryer again. I'm sure it's the dryer's fault, not the fact that I'm getting any bigger, right?

My symptoms are about the same. The nausea fluctuates from day to day and hour to hour. I'm still exhausted and love my sleep and naps.
The meat aversion has improved slightly and I had meat at 2 different meals this week. One was a soup that had chicken in it and I had a few bites with the chicken and then last night I ate corned beef. I know it's not great a great choice, but it's a once a year occasion. I've noticed anything with nitrates in it seems to give me headaches so that wasn't so much fun last night. 
I'm still getting up a few times a night to pee although I tend to resist and then not sleep as well. The bathroom really isn't that far and I try to keep my eyes closed as I pee so that I can fall back asleep easily. 
I've had some heartburn this week and eating Tums seem to help a bunch. 
My ovaries still feel huge and are really painful if I move fast or suddenly. Last night I rotated in bed and was in so much pain on both sides. 
My back has also started hurting a little bit this week and I'm not sure why. Good thing my hubby is a physical therapist. He said he was going to look into some exercises for me. I also want to start doing prenatal yoga but there isn't any place that close and the only one I found offers it on Thursday evening. Not sure how well that will work. W and I talked about ordering a DVD. We took the dogs for a walk today since it was so beautiful. I have honestly been too scared to do anything but am realizing it's really important to at least walk as much as possible.

I haven't really had any cravings. Every time I open the fridge and see pickles though they look absolutely delicious. It's the only thing that looks good all the time (even in the early morning). I don't think that's really anything new though. Just typing this makes me want to eat one. It just seems so cliche. 

I don't have a ton of patience these days. I feel badly as I work with young children and really should be more patient, but I'm struggling lately. I also don't have a ton of patience with W but he's pretty understanding. He appreciates that I recognize it and apologize after.

I'm still on Metformin 2000 mg/day, Neupogen 35 units each evening, Lovenox 40 mg in the morning and evening, 3 estrogen patches every other day, 2 cc's progesterone in oil every night, baby aspirin and Foltanx in the morning, and a prenatal vitamin. Last time I asked Dr. Br.averman he said just to continue everything. Not sure when I will stop them but I'm nervous just thinking about it.  

Last night we stopped at the mall and looked at a few baby things. We haven't bought anything other than the onesie and outfit in NYC but it was kinda fun to look at things and start thinking. W and I both woke up this morning and talked about dreams we both had where we were lost. I think it pretty much sums up how we are both feeling. The twin thing is sinking in more and more and I'm starting to get excited and feel attached to them. I've been really guarded this whole time but I feel myself letting my guard down more and more. I just hope things continue to go well. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Nephew Love and 8 Week Ultrasound

I spent all of last weekend snuggling with my little nephew as much as possible. He is one of the most adorable little things I've ever seen, and it was so great to spend the whole weekend with him. He has SO much hair, is super mellow, and loves to eat. He really looks just like my sister with my BiL's ears. He is such a sweet little guy and I already miss him so much.

My sister and BiL are doing amazing. They are both so relaxed and happy. I took a ton of pictures of Ben and spent a lot of time caring for him. I certainly didn't get up in the middle of the night with him, but I spent both mornings with him while my sister slept for quite a few hours. She's pumping and supplementing with formula so I was able to care for him while she slept. W changed a few diapers and I had to laugh that Ben decided to pee while he was changing him and then also decided he wasn't done pooping. Quite the first diaper of Ben's to change for W. Little Ben has a ton of head strength and would pick his whole head up and look around. It really surprised me at first since he was under 2 weeks old. My sister and I gave him a bath and he loved it. He just looked around, completely content. I really wish they lived closer and I could see him more. I love that little guy so much.

My sister also gave me about 6 pairs of maternity pants. We are really close in size and I'm glad I won't be buying any for a while. I'm still fitting into my jeans so I probably won't need them for a little bit. It's really nice to have them though. 

On Sunday night we headed down to NYC to stay for the night before our Monday morning ultrasound with Dr. Br.averman. Everything went really well and both babies looked great. They both measured 7w6d and I was technically 8w. They more than doubled in a little under a week. I asked him how they label the babies A and B and he said there's no rhyme or reason to it. It's not always consistent. One baby's heartbeat was 156 and the other was 166. They still kinda looked like blobs, but are starting to look a little more human-like. Dr. B made some jokes, of course, and asked us if it was sinking in yet. He said it will seem more real when we leave Babies 'R Us with double the bill. 

The blood flow to my uterus was the same, but blood flow to both babies looked great. He said he wanted to see us again around week 10 or 12, so we scheduled for week 12. He wanted me to get in to see an OB so I finally called and got an appointment for next Thursday. 

These babies are really starting to kick my butt. I'm so nauseous and my appetite has disappeared. A week or two ago I would feel a little queasy, but once I ate would feel fine. The nausea has stepped it up quite a bit the past few days. Being around little Ben was a great distraction and I felt mostly OK there. Since then it's been pretty rough. I don't want to eat and feel pretty sick most of the time. It's really making work a challenge. I'm thinking of emailing one of the nurses at Dr. B's and asking for an anti-nausea drug. Other than the nausea, I'm still really exhausted and sleep a few hours every afternoon. Everything else is pretty much the same. I do get a strange pain/tingling sensation in my boobs when I get up after lying down for a while. I feel like my belly is bulging a little more in the middle, but I doubt it's noticeable to anyone else. W can see it but he's the only one who sees me with my clothes off : ) 

The babies are about .63 inches. They are starting to lose their little tails and are growing little webbed fingers and toes. Neural pathways are beginning to form in their brains and they are starting to spontaneously move. 

We got to tell a bunch of people about the twins this past weekend. Although my sister had asked, I didn't really want to tell her over the phone so waited. I showed her the picture and she immediately knew what it was. We then went out to lunch while W stayed home with little Ben. We talked about it a bunch over lunch and she was really excited for us. Later that day we showed my BiL the pic and he also knew immediately what it meant. He was excited and scared for us. We then all discussed how to pick up a newborn with one arm. He put Ben down on the floor and picked him up with one arm. We told him to hold the cat in one arm (representing another baby) and try to do it again. We all had a good laugh over his demonstration. 

We also told my step-mom. It was nice to sit around the dinner table and talk openly with 4 other people who knew. My dad is really excited for us. We still haven't told my mom because she can't keep her mouth shut. She, my step-dad, and brother are in Costa Rica until June so we have to figure out when/how we will tell them. She was in town last week for the baby but it just seemed too early to tell her. 

It was such a great weekend between all of the time with Ben and our ultrasound.

 Can anyone tell me what to expect at my first OB appointment? Will they do an ultrasound? I know I can look this up some of this information online, but would also like to hear from others what their experience was. Thanks!