Monday, October 31, 2011

babies' first graduation

Second u/s was this morning. Both babies are doing great! Baby B is ever-so-slightly smaller than Baby A but they both rounded to 8w2d for their official measurements. Heart rates were 174 (A) and 179 (B). The ultrasound tech tried and tried to get a picture of them both together, but she wasn't able to due to their positioning. (Baby A is low and vertical and Baby B is high and horizontal.) We got several good shots of each of them on their own, though. Our RE gushed and gushed over how perfect they both look and sent us off with hugs and pleas to bring the babies in after they are born.

In related news, I feel dehydrated, queasy, hungry, and drop-dead exhausted All.The.Time. I can't believe how much sicker I am this time around. I'm about halfway through Dr. Luke's book (thanks to An Offering of Love for the recommendation!) and I'm doing my best to follow her guidelines about what and how often to eat. That seems to be helping a bit. Other than that, I'm just giving myself hourly pep talks about how likely it is I'll feel better in a month or two and if not, the babies will be here in 7 months so this can't last forever! I'm sorry I've been such a lousy blog commenter lately. I've been reading (usually horizontally, on the couch) but I'm bad about typing comments on my phone keypad. I promise I'm thinking of you all and sending thoughts out to those who need them!

Next step: Making some decisions about prenatal care. I liked the OB that delivered E, but not the hospital where he was born and after marinating on it for the past couple of weeks, I've decided to deliver elsewhere this time around. Unfortunately, my OB only delivers at the hospital where E was born, so I'll have to switch care providers. My RE said that since I had an uncomplicated pregnancy with E, I should go to a regular OB for prenatal care this time as well. Dr. Luke's book is adamant that all twin pregnancies are fundamentally different and should be managed by a perinatologist. Those of you who have carried twins, what type of doctor did you see? What did you like/dislike about your experience?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Talk me down? Please?

First order of business: I apologize in advance for being an annoying, paranoid pregnant lady. You'd think I've never done this before or something. I'd show you my google history from the weekend but then I'd have to kill you. It's that embarassing. But, I'm still here, about to ask for your reassurance and success stories, so... yeah. Sorry.

I have continued to be sicksicksick since the ultrasound. The sick and the shock are the two main reasons I haven't posted since. I haven't known what to say, nor have I had the energy to peel myself off the couch long enough to say it.

Serious TMI alert on this whole paragraph: I became pretty constipated late last week and over the weekend. In the early hours of Saturday morning, I woke up with what felt like contractions - long, sustained cramping in the area of my uterus. Of course, I became completely freaked out. How can two tiny, fragile embryos possibly withstand that much pressure? I poked around online and decided that the pains were probably from gas and constipation. I remained constipated and continued to have a lot of discomfort and bloating through the weekend. Then last night, my intestinal system did a 180 and the constipation gave way to diarrhea. The bad kind. The kind with cramps and tears and the feeling that everything you've eaten in your whole entire life has just been purged from your body. The kind where you think that - surely - anything else in that area, two tiny embryos for example, must have been expelled as well.

This morning, I feel better, and I'm scared half to death over it. My stomach is still queasy, but honestly, it feels more like a nervous stomach than anything else. The bloated, crampy feeling in my pelvic region that I've had since before my BFP is completely gone, which makes sense given the great purge, but is also completely terrifying. I dont have the Must.Eat.Now feeling anymore - haven't been very hungry at all since last night. Most concerning of all, I just have a bad gut feeling. I can't explain it. I just feel like something's wrong. I'm contemplating calling the nurse but I know what she's going to say - hang in there, symptoms come and go, we'll see how things look at your next u/s on 10/31. How am I going to make it through the next week?!

If anyone has stories of fetuses hanging on through episodes of severe abdominal/intestinal distress, please share them. Ditto any stories of all being fine when your gut told you otherwise. I'm beside myself with worry, and I know THAT is as bad for the fetuses as anything else, but I'm having a hard time shaking it.

Sorry again for being so neurotic.

Update: The Sick is back. I haven't taken any Zofran today partly out of fear over what it might do to my fragile intestines and partly in hopes I would start feeling sick again to put my mind at ease. Well, the latter goal has been accomplished, which is both good (obviously) and bad (obviously). :-) Thank you so, so much for all of your comments. I honestly don't know how people get through any of this without a community like this one to turn to. You all rock.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This is ours...

...or should I say these.

Both have good uterine placement and are measuring on track. Heart rates were 115 and 119 bpm and we were able to hear them both.

I am in complete shock. I thought twins were a possibility after my early pee sticks but then my beta numbers seemed too low and I settled firmly into my belief it was only one. I have thought all along that if it WAS twins, M would completely freak out and I'd be nervous but excited. It's exactly the opposite. M is cool as a cucumber; very enthusiastic and sending me sweet, reassuring text messages. I am relieved and grateful, of course, but also scared out of my mind. We left with a dozen pictures, a toddler covered in Spiderman stickers, and a prescription for Zofran (Hooray!).

It's been a "double" kind of day around our house: Double ear infection for E, poor guy. He started an antibiotic already so hopefully he'll feel better soon. We should go buy a lottery ticket. Maybe we'll win twice. Heaven knows we could use the money...

Holy crap, you guys. I am going to need so much help from those of you who have done this already!

how very predictable

Well, it's ultrasound day so you know what that means: The stone cold fear has set in. I still feel like complete crap which offers some reassurance, but it doesn't mean there will be a heartbeat.

Bonus: E came back from his trip with a fever which is currently on day 3, so I'm home with him instead of working the half day I'd planned on. Keeping a toddler entertained is way more involved than my regular day job so there's a lot of sitting down to catch my breath and stop my stomach from flip-flopping between the train play and puzzles and the books. I think we're going to venture out to a clinic to make sure his ears are clear. The last time he had a double ear infection, we let it go for over a week because he never gave a single indication of ear pain and it just seemed like he had a cold. Imagine our guilt when we finally got in with his pediatrician and she told us one ear was completely blocked and the other wasn't far behind. She was very surprised he hadn't been crying or pulling on his ears or anything, but said some kids just don't express symptoms like that. It took us three different antibiotics and more than a month to clear them up. So, yeah, trying to learn from past mistakes and get him checked sooner this time.

This also means he has to go to the ultrasound with us, which adds to my nervousness. If it doesn't go well and I get upset, I don't really want him to be around for that. But it is what it is and all we can do is hope for the best.

Three and a half hours and counting...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

sick as a dog

A switch flipped on Friday (6 weeks exactly) and since then, I have been insatiably hungry ALL THE TIME. The problem is that I'm also still queasy and turned off by the idea of food; a bad combination. I drug myself to the store on Saturday and stocked up on a bunch of high-protein, easy-to-prepare foods and I've been trying to eat as much as possible since then. The problem is I'm also ridiculously exhausted, to the point I feel weak from head to toe, and that doesn't help my motivation any. I'm on about a 2-3 hour cycle: Eat something, lay down to rest and end up falling asleep, wake up feeling like I'll die if I don't eat right that very second, but also feeling too weak to get up off the couch and walk the 15 feet to the kitchen where the food is. So, I lay there for a while psyching myself up, and finally roll off the couch to grab a bunch of different snacks, none of which sound or taste good to me. I eat them in rapid succession, then lay back down waiting for the queasiness to subside, and the cycle continues.

Did I mention M and E are out of town? They left Friday afternoon and will be back on Tuesday. I was looking forward to a weekend of lounging around without feeling guilty for slacking off on my parental responsibilities, but as it's turned out, I've been too sick to enjoy a minute of it. It's crappy being home alone when you feel this terrible, and I really miss my people. I feel like a hug from E would go a long way in making all of this more tolerable.

I had things I wanted to accomplish this weekend, too. (Ha! Hahahahahahahahaha!) I was going to make E's Halloween costume. (I managed to cut out the pattern. Oh, and I washed the fabric. It's been sitting in the dryer for the last 36 hours.) I was also going to prepare the 3-hour lecture I'm supposed to give for the first time on Tuesday night. (Still haven't even glanced at it.) I'm off work tomorrow so there's still time, but I'm not feeling optimistic that tomorrow will be any better.

After my second beta, I felt pretty sure we were out of twin territory. Now, I don't know what to think. I know for sure that I never, never felt this awful when I was pregnant with E. My first ultrasound was supposed to be tomorrow but we pushed it to Wednesday when M will be back in town. I do have acupuncture tomorrow morning, which I'm really looking forward to. Hopefully she can get things flowing in a better direction for me.

Monday, October 10, 2011

still pregnant

2nd beta came back at 4451. Doubling time of 52.68 hours. I feel like I need a pinch. Is this really happening?!

I may or may not be back later with a blog carnival post on disappointment. I started one, but... I dunno. It feels a little insensitive to pull my chair up to the disappointment table today.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Dispatch from Beta Canyon

I’ve been doing a pretty good job of staying hopeful this week as I wait for my next beta, aided in large part by the mountain of symptoms that do a lot more “coming” and a lot less “going” than the first time I was pregnant. Maybe it’s a girl. They’re supposed to make you sicker, right? ;-) I’ve already made a mad dash for my work bathroom (false alarm) and have been leaning heavily on saltines and ginger ale, at least during the day, because in another change from last time around, my “morning sickness” really does seem to be worse in the morning and early afternoon. Dinners haven’t been bad so far, knock on wood. Also in the “new and different” column, I had a weird thing happen a couple of nights ago where the muscles in my legs went tingly and numb like I’d just run a marathon. It came on like the flip of a light switch. Needless to say, I haven’t run any marathons lately (or, you know, ever) but it was the end of two long (read: normal) days with no naps, unlike the three that preceded them. I went to bed as soon as I got E down and woke up the next morning with my legs feeling exactly the same, as if I hadn’t rested at all. They still feel weak and shaky. Weird. But good, right?

After Sunday, I didn’t test again… until this morning. My symptoms have been reassurance enough and, frankly, I was scared of getting a result that appeared to be any lighter with too many days left to worry before my next beta. Yesterday, I had a few breaks in my symptoms which allowed the fears to creep in* and then last night, I felt exhausted, but still the best I’d felt in a week. This, of course, completely freaked me out. I woke up this morning and gave myself another in-bed pep talk: Even if it is lighter, all is not lost. Hormone and dye levels both fluctuate. The sticks can only tell you so much. And then I headed for the bathroom.

Um, yeah. That's by far the most positive pregnancy test that has ever been under my roof!

*I will admit to writing a post yesterday about how difficult and draining the uncertainty of early pregnancy is. I saved the draft because it’s an honest snapshot of one dip on the rollercoaster, but I’m not going to post it because it feels wrong to put anything other than gratitude out into the universe right now.

Monday, October 3, 2011

September: Purple

This was a tough month for me. Not sure why since purple is one of my favorite colors. Hopefully I will do a better job of October/Orange!

it's official

Beta came back at 488. I know single results don't mean anything on their own, but that seems like a good number for 17dpo so I'm a happy girl. Betabase says it's above median for a singleton and below median for twins, so no help there. :-)

Repeat beta isn't until 10/10. My clinic is so cruel.

Thanks for all of your kind comments over the past week. It's been an exciting one!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

lesson learned

You know I didn't stop testing at 6dp5dt, right? Nope, I tested at 7dpt and 8dpt as well. Between three days of obviously darkening lines and what I then realized were actual symptoms (mostly just a lot of strong cramping and sensitivity to smells, with a little fatigue and flashes of mild nausea thrown in for fun), I did not test on Friday morning (9dpt). I didn't feel like I needed the reassurance and I only had a dol.lar tree test left so it would be hard to compare to my series of FRERs anyway.

On Saturday, I woke up early for an event I felt kind of... good. Better than I had in days. Breasts weren't as sore; no cramps. I decided to use my last test. Beta is Monday, last test was Thursday, let's split the difference, shall we? Surely it would be darker and would scare off all those pesky fears that were trying to creep in.

I'm sure you can guess where this is going.

The test was not darker. It actually looked barely positive at all. Like, I had to hold it at the right angle and squint just right to make out the line. Definitely lighter than the last dol.lar tree test I took on Thursday. And of course, I didn't have another test in the house to get a second opinion.

I tried to tell myself it was clearly a faulty test. I tried to reassure myself that after three strong positives, one almost-negative test couldn't be taken on its own, but I still kept thinking nononononononono, I've been here before and I know what comes next. I can't do this again. I can't. The angel/devil argument kept playing as the cramps and heavy uterus feeling settled back in. It kept playing as my stomach danced, regretting the veggie burrito bowl I put into it for lunch. It kept playing despite my highly-unusual afternoon nap (?!) and echoed still as I crashed on the couch at 9pm. It prompted me to buy another package of FRERs at the store yesterday afternoon.

When I woke up needing to pee at 5am this morning, I laid in bed for a while, trying to convince myself it would be okay if it was negative. I'd be okay. I'd survive. It would be beyond terrible but I'd take a week off work to mourn and regroup. No need to hoard my vacation time for a maternity leave anymore. We'd talk to our RE and come up with a plan. There's no way we could afford another IVF cycle for at least a year, but maybe I could qualify for a study? Surely someone would want to study why my uterus seems to be burning through embryos at such a ridiculous rate. In any case, we'd need to answer that question before we'd consider doing anything with our lone snowbaby. Sounds like a long, scary road. When I finally made it to the bathroom, I dipped the test in the cup and half-watched the liquid spread across the test window with an asteroid in my stomach. Even out of the corner of my eye, I saw the test line begin to darken instantly, well before the control line started to appear. I breathed a sigh of true, deep gratitude as the lines darkened. Three minutes later, the test line was clearly wider and darker than the control.

I'd like to think today's symptoms (more cramping, more mild stomach upset, and holy-hell, the hit-by-a-truck-fatigue has arrived) would have put my mind at ease even without the test, but I doubt it. I had a teacher in high school who's catch phrase was "Engage Brain." He said it to us all the time, as in, think. Don't just believe what you are told. Come to your own conclusions. Three BFPs + symptoms + one fluke test shouldn't have had me jumping to the worst of conclusions, but it did. Fear was more powerful than logic for me yesterday. I'm sure it's not the last time that will happen.

Beta is tomorrow. I'm feeling confident and pregnant. And very tired.

Switching gears for a moment... Three toddlerisms from today that I don't want to forget:

M to E, after putting her ball cap on his head and twisting it to the side: Say "'Sup, Homies"
E: 'Sup, Ponies

E, moving his trains around the track: Here you go, Sweetheart... Come this way, Sweetheart... (Got that one on video, thank goodness.)

Damn it. Already forgot the third one. *sigh* I really miss my brain.

Headed to bed. Will post with a beta number as soon as I have one!