Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Week 16 update

15 weeks 3 days

I just got back from a quick trip to California. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't great but it was still a nice little break and I can't begrudge them their rain!

The highlight was going to Disneyland with my MIL Kristin and my sister Brenna and her kids. 

We got caught in the rain for much of the afternoon but with a few ponchos we worked through it and managed to still have a good time. Next time I hope to also go back to the farm with my sister's family but it was great to see them for even a few hours.

The rain finally stopped!

We spent some time on Balboa island, enjoying frozen chocolate dipped bananas, shopping for maternity clothes, and meeting up with an old friend Rachel and her cute family. 

Love you Rachel

New maternity clothes

We spent some time with our cousins the Drapers who were very generous hosts. Betty even supplied me with my top cravings: pickles, gummy bears, and popsickles. I guess blogging does have some perks! 

I am starting to feel good! I feel like I am now able to enjoy my pregnancy-- feeling pretty good and it feels more real as I grow. My nausea seemed to peak a week or two ago but is now much less frequent and mostly at night but some bumpy flights on our way back home really didn't sit well with me! I continue to have frequent headaches and falling asleep has been difficult since getting home. 

My belly seemed to grow overnight again, and I have transitioned to maternity clothes. This has actually been a nice change, a lot more comfortable and I feel like I look smaller in baggier outfits. I cleared out my closet today and made room for my roomier clothes. 

I feel like I am going to be huge. I have a hard time imagining how these babies will fit in there. Right now they only weigh an ounce or two and I am a lot bigger than all of the pregnant ladies I know who are within about a month of me (and with only one baby) so it is hard to comprehend what it will be like when they are 3, 4, or hopefully even 5 lbs each!

I had a quick appointment today with my OB. I got to listen to the babies' heart beats for the first time, did the glucose screening test, and had a few blood tests drawn. I felt a little dizzy for the first time in years with the blood draw -- pregnancy related, I assume. I'm crossing my fingers my lab tests come back normal.

I am anxiously waiting for our 20 week ultrasound so we can learn what we are having!

16 week stats: 

Week 16 day 0
Weight: 157.2 lbs (home)
Total Weight Gain: 15.2 lbs 
Blood pressure: 132/67

Baby A: FHR = 160 bpm
Baby B: FHR = 170 bpm

nausea--infrequent, mostly at night
tiredness -- mostly evenings
pregnancy comments from strangers

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The struggle continues


I thought my struggle with infertility would end when I became pregnant.

Even so, I laughed when my fellow IVF mommy-to-be told me that the nurses in the "regular" OB clinic told her she wasn't considered infertile now that she was pregnant, even after all the treatments to become so. Deep down I could sense the ridiculousness of the thought -- that all of that infertility jumbled ball of emotion could be erased with one sudden success.

I guess I knew I wouldn't be able to immediately take off the label, disrobing the years of emotional turmoil to move suddenly into a fertile life. But, I thought I would easily put it on the back shelf of my life to eventually gather dust and cobwebs until those troubles drifted into the far past, brought up only in conversations of the future: "Oh yeah! I WAS infertile," or "Hmmm...Yes, I USED TO BE infertile. Once. But that was years ago."

I certainly didn't expect it to continue to haunt me like it has, and in some ways, my infertility has been harder than ever. My sudden burst of (assisted) fertility hasn't completely buried the years of hurt and my infertility emotions seem to be raging along with my pregnancy hormones.

Mostly, I feel bad admitting it (because it sounds and feels horrible to say), but I have been surprised by my response to the good news of others. Now it seems I have suddenly become one of many, like there are pregnant women all around. At least in the beginning, the news bothered me more than it has in the past. I thought I would be happy, all of us mothers-to-be together. But I feel a bit lost in the crowd of morning sickness and exhaustion; like I thought it was my turn but actually there is still a long line ahead of me (since I announced early there are still a lot of babies to be announced before mine arrives). And I feel guilty for feeling this way. The joy of others shouldn't take away from my own happiness. It certainly doesn't. But as illogical as it seems, it reminds me that I am or was infertile, like a bad cold I just can't shake and the lingering cough painfully reminding me that I am different than those with the carefree joy of a spontaneous pregnancy. I feel like the weird one, the one who couldn't do it the easy way, the free way, the buy-a-cute-present-to-announce-it-to-your-husband way, the way-it-is-supposed-to-happen way. As I progress in my pregnancy I sense these feelings start to fade, but it has been a surprising struggle.

Perhaps some of it is my survivors guilt. I mentioned before my fears for leaving behind my other infertile friends. Worrying and wondering how they are. Hoping my success is reason for hope rather than another painful reminder. I found myself crying last night thinking of those still struggling. I was so upset by failed fertility treatments, the surgical removal of reproductive organs, advancing age, financial constraints, the questions of unexplained infertility, and the progressive loss of hope. It just doesn't seem fair when I know these women and couples would be wonderful parents. I know the pain of thinking you will never be a parent and I feel guilty that I don't have to continue with that pain when I know so many others aren't finding relief. And I hate knowing that my growing belly or excitement makes some of those around me feel sad.

Also, I think I found some identity in my infertility. When you wear a label for too long, it begins to become a part of you. I was someone different in my infertility. I had a community of sorts. And now I don't really know who I am as a pregnant person or a person who can even become pregnant, or certainly in being a parent.

So I'm trying to get used to being another smile in a crowd of glowing faces. And realize that infertility has a lot of complex emotions that don't always make sense or make you feel like a good and compassionate person!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Weeks 12/13

So far things seem to be moving along pretty well with this pregnancy. Week 12 was a huge milestone -- I was finally able to complete my daily progesterone in oil injections and my three times per day oral estradiol pills. What a huge relief. I decided to celebrate my last injection by giving myself a hematoma -- the gift that keeps on giving even now at 13.5 weeks and I am sure beyond. Just a few twinges of painful joy to remind me that I made it through the worst of it.

Last one!
12 weeks of injection needles behind me!
Do you remember from before how many pills I was taking each day? Here is what my regimen looks like now:

Morning: 1/2 thyroid pill (and usually OTC colace)

Night: All OTCs! Prenatal vitamin, Unisom and B6 (for nausea), colace 

And no mid-day pills! Life is good!

Our 12 week ultrasound looked good. Both babies are growing well and on schedule. Baby B is still our wiggler, Baby A our sleeper. And so far we know they have faces, arms, legs, stomachs, bladders, hearts, and brains. Hooray for the little things in life.

Baby B
Baby A

12 week stats: 
Week 12 day 0
Weight: 151.8 lbs (office); 148.4 lbs (home)
Total Weight Gain: 8.4 lbs 
Blood pressure: 129/65

Baby A: 59.5 mm (12 3/7 weeks); FHR = 158 bpm; Location: Right
Baby B: 60.1mm (12 4/7 weeks); FHR = 165 bpm; Location: Left
Baby C: still shows up on the report (thanks for the reminder!) but not seen on US

fatigue-- moderate (decreased from severe)
nausea--worse lately but decreased frequency
real baby bump 

Now I am 13 weeks 5 days. I have been feeling better in waves. This seems to correlate a bit with going off my many medications, but may just be the progression of my pregnancy into my second trimester. I feel pretty good at times but when I feel bad I seem to feel worse than before. My energy is coming back. Instead of feeling like I ran two marathons each day, I feel like I was up all night on-call. I'm still tired, but it is much more manageable! I even went on a long walk the other night followed by a 10-15 minute run. Baby steps after not exercising at all for the past 15 or so weeks.

My bump feels big and it feels like all of my weight came on at once. I am hoping that's okay and trying to cut down a bit on how frequently I eat since my morning sickness isn't constantly present any more. My clothes are getting tighter but I haven't quite moved to a belly band or maternity clothes just yet. My symptoms are the same as last week but perhaps slightly better when I am better and worse when I am worse, even more.

I feel SO THIRSTY but water just sound more pop and juice than ever before and hence the freezer pops. (FYI: Different diet habits like this are often the reason for maternal decay -- it's a myth that the baby leeches all the calcium from your teeth.)

And waiting waiting waiting for our 20 week US when we get to find out the gender of these babes. 

13 week stats: 
Week 13 day 0
Weight: 151.4 lbs (home)
Total Weight Gain: 9.4 lbs --man it seems to be coming on fast now!

fatigue-- mild - moderate 
nausea--worse lately but decreased frequency
growing baby bump 

Cravings: gummy bears, freezer pops, pickles. Anti-craving: cupcakes, the only thing I can't seem to eat! Too sweet.

Oh and one thing I forgot, holy emotions! I cry at everything! Music, the news, the Duggars wedding (HOLY COW -- I don't even watch the show, or know hardly anything about them and I was bawling), paper towel commercials, and basically talking of any kind!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 10

My bump made a sudden and early appearance -- 10.5 weeks

I wrote this post after my week 10 OB appointment. 

I graduated from the Reproductive Endocrinology Clinic (infertility) to the regular OB clinic today! What a weird feeling to now be another one of many pregnant women. Although relatively insignificant, It feels like a meaningful milestone. 

I am really excited to work with my doctor who is someone I have known for about five years. I was really hoping to find someone hands on and approachable as I have been up to this point pretty nervous about pregnancy. it is a relief to be working with someone who I feel comfortable in asking my questions and voicing concerns. 

We discussed a few inherent risks with twins, including pre-term birth, gestational diabetes, and pre-eclampsia. Luckily, we wont have to worry about the risks associated with identical twins such as twin to twin transfusion or tangled umbilical cords. We will need to keep an extra close eye on the diabetes and blood pressure as PCOS increases my risk of diabetes and I have a family history of pre-eclampsia. I am also hoping to be the first in my immediate family to have a vaginal delivery. I know that the chance of this with twins is lower and I am certainly not setting any e
xpectations, but it would be great if we could make that happen!

We will be aiming for 35 pounds of weight gain and she told me I am allowed to eat an extra 600 calories per day, even now. I was relieved to hear this as I feel like I have been eating everything in sight lately! So far I have only gained about 2-3 pounds and although I have a bit of a stash of pregnancy clothes, I haven't had to break into the stash yet.

She also assured me I will most likely start feeling better in a few weeks as we come in to the second trimester. Yay!

Pregnancy up to this point has been harder than I anticipated. I don't know how people announce so late! I guess I just don't have much of a game face because while I think I am feeling relatively good (especially compared to some of my friends), I still feel yucky every day. I guess I'm relieved I'm not trying to hide it because I would be horrible at that!

10 week stats: 
Week 10 day 0
Weight: 147.8 lbs (office); 144.7 lbs (home)
Total Weight Gain: 2.7 lbs (down about 0.7 from last week)
Blood pressure: 132/71

fatigue (severe)
poor sleep
nausea --worse lately but still manageable
fluctuating baby bump 

Cravings: mashed potatoes (or any potato, really), macaroni and cheese