Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Feeling Lost

I've been feeling super emotional. It all started with my ob appointment yesterday. 

The most important thing is that the babies are doing great. They're growing, wiggling, and thriving. The ultrasound technician was super friendly and we got some great pictures. As always, Baby A was the cooperative one. Baby B didn't want to face the right direction so we didn't get as many good pictures of that baby. She switched into 3d/4d and they looked super cute. Sure, they're skinny little things, but they're cute. She told me my uterus is already up above my belly button and measuring the same size as someone would at 20 weeks pregnant with a singleton. Holy crap!

From the ultrasound we went back into the waiting room and did what everyone does there, waited. For a long time. There were so many cute big bellies and I sat there feeling like a poser. There was a guy singing along to his headphones, really annoying me and W. Once the room was completely cleared of any of patients, they finally called us in. 

Once again, we got stuck with the easily flustered nurse. She asked me to give a urine sample and I told her I gave it to the ultrasound tech. She then asked me to step on the scale. This was when things started to get really crappy. I had lost a pound. What?! I had eaten SO MUCH yesterday and was super shocked to learn this. My first reaction was to ask the nurse if I should be concerned about not gaining weight. She nodded and then retracted somewhat, knowing it wasn't really her place to answer this question. In total, in my first trimester I gained maybe 2 pounds. This was judging by my physical with my general physician on an incredibly bad week where I hadn't eaten much due to nausea. My guess is I'm about the same, if not a little lighter than I was when I started this round of IVF. 

The nurse brought me into the exam room and asked me if I had any other questions. I mentioned a few concerns I had and she noted them. Then we waited some more for the doctor. I had specifically requested the ob I saw the first time I went. The one who was so great and who also delivered my friend's little boy O. 

She finally came in. The first thing she asked about was whether I had a report from Dr. B about recommendations moving forward. When I saw him at 8 weeks he said when we met at 12 weeks we would "make a plan for the rest of the pregnancy." I guess I thought that meant he would give written recommendations to my ob and I told her something along those lines that last time. Well, at 12 weeks when I saw Dr. B he gave me verbal recommendations and answered all of my questions, but said he couldn't put anything in writing because he was no longer treating me. He said he was open to being contacted by my ob, but that was about it. 

I feel like from this initial question from Dr. Hill everything went sour. Her mood completely shifted and she was distant. She didn't ask if we had any questions and everything felt very one-sided. When I told her Dr. B recommended I stay on Lovenox once daily she cautioned me that studies show it could have as many risks as benefits. This was something she had leaned towards recommending last time I spoke with her. I then mentioned the headaches I've been having. I've been getting them daily since the weekend we went to Albany/Long Island for Easter. Her recommendation? To refer me to a neurologist due to "the blood clotting issues." Really? She also said I could try taking Magnesium and see if that helps. She didn't reassure me (like I wanted) that it was normal or okay. Instead, she instilled a huge amount of worry with the mention of a neurologist. 

I then asked her about the weight gain. She said she wasn't hugely concerned and then recommended that I only gain 15-20 pounds throughout the pregnancy. I didn't say anything but was shocked by this amount. Last time she told me 30-35. 

W and I left both feeling a bit upset. She was distant and more focused on her computer. She didn't show any empathy or compassion for our situation. She recommended a referral to a neurologist and contradicted herself with her weight gain recommendations. She left a bad taste in both of our mouths. How could this be the same doctor as last time? Was she really that upset that she wasn't going to get recommendations in writing? 

I spent the rest of the afternoon worrying like crazy. W tried to reassure me that the babies were doing great and growing and that's what was important. We talked about how there were other doctors in the practice that I could see like the one I saw with my MiL that I really liked. 

I took a bath last night and tried to relax. Instead, I came out of the bathroom crying to W. I'm so scared in so many ways that I'm going to fail our babies. Not gaining weight is a huge way. How can I be 13 weeks with twins and have not gained any weight? Sure, I had some nausea and food aversions early on, but recently my appetite has been great and I've never thrown up. I told him my fears for our babies. I really just want to be the best mommy to them in every way possible. 

This morning it wasn't any better. When I again woke up with a headache again I thought about the neurologist recommendation. I emailed Dr. B to get his opinion and once again cried my eyes out to W. We talked about how stress could play a part in it all and I told him I had slept terribly last night. We talked for a while and realized it all coincided with my discharge with Dr. B's care. 

I think I'm more upset about being discharged than I realized. I've thought about it a few times from time to time and gotten almost depressed. I guess I feel like after everything we went through it was a huge breath of fresh air to find a doctor like Dr. Br.averman. Finally someone understood what was going on and figured out what I needed. He responded to all of my questions in an amazing way and was the rock I felt I needed. No longer having him scares me. 

Maybe I'm putting too much on a doctor. I'm not trusting and accepting the fact that it's been my body thats been succeeding for the past 13 weeks. It hasn't been a doctor or the medicines alone. My body has been succeeding. I just don't believe it. I'm just still so scared to accept this all as real. 

I feel like I need to add the disclaimer that I'm so amazingly grateful and happy to be where we are. The huge dark cloud of infertility that followed us around for 2 1/2 years has parted from over our heads. It's a huge relief to not be in that place anymore. But it's doesn't change how I feel about things right now. 

I looked briefly about PTSD and I read some about dissociation/detachment. "Detachment includes experiences of disconnection from the self or environment, such as depersonalization, derealization, and out-of-body experience." Also, "In mild cases, dissociation can be regarded as a coping mechanism or defense mechanism in seeking to master, minimize or tolerate stress."

I really don't think it's anything severe, but I do think my denial of pregnancy falls somewhere along these lines. I'm trying to protect myself by denying that it happening to me. 

As I trudged through the trenches of infertility I thought I handled it all pretty well. We went through some incredibly tough times but I remained (mostly) positive throughout. I persevered and stayed strong. It was incredibly hard but I thought I handled it well. I'm starting to realize that the scars left behind are much deeper than I ever thought. 

W and I talked about taking small steps to embrace this pregnancy. I'm not to the point of making a huge announcement to everyone, but I know I will get there. Part of this comes in accepting and acknowledging that I am doing a great job. My babies are thriving and it's my body thats supporting that. 

Please understand that I'm not complaining. I'm so happy and blessed to be pregnant. I'm just having a difficult time accepting and wrapping my brain around this new reality. 


  1. The transition from infertility to being pregnant is so scary. I remember having so many of the same feelings when I was discharged from my RE. I just felt like no one could understand our situation and all we had gone through to get to that point. All your feeling is totally normal and valid. I'm sending you so many thoughts as you work your way through all of these feelings.

    I'm really sorry that your OB wasn't that supportive during your last appointment. That can make this whole transition more difficult.

    I'm 24 weeks now with twins and have found a lot of great information from the book Dr. Barbara Luke wrote on multiple pregnancies. It's called "When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads." If you're looking for some more information I really suggest reading the book. It has been very helpful to me through this pregnancy.

    Sending you lots of thoughts!!

  2. I cant comment on a lot of the twin stuff, b/c obviously I don't know, but my doc was NOT concerned a bit about my weight gain (or lack thereof) in the first trimester. Even though you have twins in there, they weigh very little right now, and it is NOT a huge deal that you haven't gained weight yet. Try not to worry about that.

    Honestly, if you see that doc again, TELL HER what you just wrote here. Express to her what you are expecting from her. Docs are like any of us - they have off days, and they aren't mind readers - as much as we want them to be. I'm saying that as someone who works in a medical clinic.

    If you still don't feel supported - find a new OB. Hands down. It's SO important to have a provider that supports you.

    GOod luck honey. So glad the babies are doing great!!!

  3. I felt the same way about this pregnancy. It's hard to embrace and that is totally normal. I didn't really start embracing it until about 21 weeks. I told some friends around around 14, and coworkers and othes after 20 weeks. Everyone is different. You will know when the time is right.

    I had horrible headaches from 12 weeks til about 18 weeks. I used Tylenol when they got too bad, and it helped so much. Hope this helps!!!

  4. What you are feeling is NORMAL!!! If you don't like the new ob find a new one. I know it's scary but your 13 so you have time to find one you love. You are strong enough and your body is rocking this! Hang in there!

  5. Wow I can totally understand why you were so stressed out!! I've never heard of a Dr. recommending 15-20 lbs weight gain for a singleton, let alone twins! Maybe this is the Canadian in me, but maybe she meant kg??

    I'm glad to hear the babies are doing great. I had a friend who didn't gain enough weight with her twin pregnancy and her boys came out perfectly healthy! It's only natural you worry about the babies, and that is never ever going to stop! Keep up the good work Mama

  6. I am sorry you are feeling this way. :-(

    I second the recommendation for Barbara Luke's book. Good source of information. Just don't stress out if you can't quite eat the way she recommends or gain weight at the same rate.

    I don't know what your pre-pregnancy weight was, but unless you were underweight, I would not worry too much about the fact that you haven't gained much in the first trimester. I lost about 10 lbs during my first trimester with my twin pregnancy, and my OB was not at all concerned, and our babies grew and developed just fine.

  7. Oh, hon, I'm sorry you're feeling this way. It is normal. Pregnancy after IF and loss if very hard. I agree with the others- don't worry about the weight gain. I didn't gain much weight until my 3rd trimester. Those babies will take what they need from you and be fine. Also, talk to your OB. If she isn't responsive, find another one. You need someone you are comfortable with and who will take great care of you. Big hugs!

  8. First, I am sooo glad to hear the babies are thriving! And second, I know it is so hard not to worry and to want the best doc for this part of the journey! And I dont blame you. You have been through a lot. Like Josey said, if you feel you are not getting what you need from her, find another OB. We switched, for sort of different reasons, and thank God we did as Sam was born so early and needed a great NICU. I feel like I had some sort of intuition about it. And if you feel that way too about your doc, then follow it! It does seem funny that she said only 15-20 lbs for carrying twins!! Hang in there girl. You are doing great and you are so blessed. This is real and this is happening for you! xo Although, sometimes we all just need a good cry anyways to get things out! As exciting as a pregnancy can be, it def can get stressful at times!

  9. You've been through so much, I think what you are facing is incredibly normal. Don't feel the need to compare yourself to anyone, but give yourself permission to handle this pregnancy however you need to. I just found out I'm pregnant with twins too, so I'll be following along with you!

  10. I'm sorry the appointment went so poorly. UGH! Wanted you to know that you have one more person thinking of and praying for you.

  11. I found the transition from infertility treatment to pregnancy really tough, too, and also thought about PTSD. I think that explanation makes a lot of sense for us. I doubted and feared everything, pretty much until I started feeling movement from the baby (and even now I get scared some days).

    I'm sorry your Dr. did not give you the reassurance you needed at the appointment. Could you call or email with some follow-up questions about the headaches and what is normal/abnormal with headaches(I did this after a a visit that I felt was rushed and unsatisfying)?

    I hope your next appointment goes much better!

  12. Moving on to OB care was a shock to me too. What I came to realize is that OBs see normal preggos every day and they expect everything to go well. They don't have the scars of IF and they don't offer the same reassurances that REs do. They make references to things that could be wrong in a very flippant way and they really don't expect it to cause concern. My biggest piece of advice is to do the tests you can and try with all your might not to worry about anything until they tell you there is something to worry about. Pretty much her referral to a neurologist just means she doesn't know what to tell you. And it's very common to have little or no weight gain in 1T. Just keep eating well and I promise 2T will be different =)

  13. I can tell you from experience both the headaches and the weight loss/slow gain are normal. The level your hormones are at right now due to twin pregnancy and supplementation is pretty intense. I had a very uneventful twin pregnancy and had both. One of the tags on my blog is 'week by week' and it has all of my updates from about 10ish weeks through the end of my pregnancy at 38+ weeks. I found it very comforting to look other twin pregnancy blogs and see them going through the same things at similar weeks.

    We had two different OBs during our pregnancy the first was very light on conversation. It seemed like she just wanted to get my stats for the appointment ask if I had any questions and then be on her way (after i'd waited FOR.EV.ER). Once we switched OBs so we could deliver at a hospital with a nicu just in case- we saw a complete 180 in care. Our new doctor (someone who has been practicing for 25+ years)was much more forward with information and had something new to talk about at every appointment from classes to take to what to do if I were to start bleeding or having contractions. I wished I had been under his care from the start, there was an instant trust and that is SO important for IF patients, especially twin mamas.
    Don't worry too much about the weight- it will come... I promise. Just keep eating healthy for those babes and make sure to get plenty of rest. I also found my headaches were significantly better when I drank A LOT of water everyday.

  14. I had some of those same problems with my twin pregnancies. With my first, I didn't gain any weight until week 16-18. After that, I gained weight like crazy and ended up with a total of 52 pounds. With my second, I had headaches all the time. I also thought it was a problem and was assured that it was okay and that I should take some extra strength Tylenol.

    It is hard going from infertility to pregnancy, but you have earned it so try and enjoy! Harder said than done, but you are doing great so far!! :)

  15. Advice from a fellow-IVFer: do not stop looking until you find the right OB for you. This is an incredibly tough journey already up to this point and you deserve the attention and care you need.
    I ditched my 1st OB after having to beg him for every little thing and having to argue over RE's recommendations. Not worth the extra stress. What I did I was asking around among friends who had difficult pregnancies and found the most compassionate doctor ever. She was the best in giving me peace of mind whenever I needed.

  16. Oh man....Liz....I've been where you are in a lot of ways. First of all, the feelings of sadness are fairly common in pregnancy, especially during the first trimester/early second trimester when your hormones are still all over the place. I went through it with this pregnancy and really struggled from about 8 weeks until about 18 weeks. It was odd, because while I was happy to be pregnant, I was sad a lot too. I was always worried, always stressed, and it caused so much unhappiness. Unfortunately for me, this is a pattern during early pregnancy for me. As for the weight gain--I know I'm only preggo with one--but I lost 10+ pounds in the beginning from being so sick and didn't gain any of it back until about 24 weeks or so. It's really ok....the babies will get everything THEY need before you will get it. that's how the body works. Also, I know of a WONDERFUL doctor in my practice. She just began with the practice and I have seen her a few times and she is so wonderfully kind and patient. If you would like more info, text me. There's so much I could say, because I've felt most of what you are feeling now. It will get better. You will feel better. You will feel like yourself again. It takes time--and it takes time to believe in your body again....

  17. Oh Liz, I feel for you Hun. After struggling with IF, it is just hard to believe it's possible for us to make it to the end. But you are 13 weeks and the babies are doing well! I don't feel I have any more advice that would be any better than the others. I'm thinking of you!