Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

25w6d: We're Still Here

Well hello there, blogosphere. I missed you! I have no excuse for my lack of posting and commenting other than utter exhaustion. Who knew growing 2 babies at once was such hard work?

When last I updated I had just gone to the MFM for a check-up and everything looked good and they told me to come back in 4 weeks.  Well, 4 weeks was up today so I was back in there.  The babes are still doing very well - they're both head UP now (little stinkers) but they have been doing A LOT of repositioning lately (especially Zoe), so there's still plenty of hope they'll turn themselves back around in the next 4 weeks.

So, we decided how to decide on the anticipated C-section vs. vaginal delivery options.  If they are both head down at 30 weeks, we will hold tight and attempt a vaginal delivery if nothing changes.  If either of them are breech or transverse, we will schedule the C for 38 weeks (around February 17th-ish).

We tried getting a 3D ultrasound on Saturday, but neither baby was feeling particularly photogenic, so we are going back this coming Saturday to try again.  We could tell that both babies have hair (gasp!). I am used to bald babies - this will take some adjusting for my psyche (luckily/hopefully I have several weeks to get my mind around it).

I think, unbelievably, that the ultrasounds are becoming anti-climactic. We had the 22nd one today, so that might have something to do with it. I asked Forest if he remembered those early scans where we were so excited to see that they had arms! and legs! and brains!  I am just spoiled rotten now, huh?

I am pretty excited that we are now in the DOUBLE DIGIT countdown to 40 weeks! As of today, there are 99 days left!

And on that note, I am off to finish the work day so I can go home and nap!


Sunday, October 31, 2010

22w4d: Updating

Hello everyone.  I am a slacker blogger, but you ALL knew that already, so that's not an update!

But, last week I did have the big anatomy scan and we were very happy that everything checked out a-OK.

  • Both babies alive: Check! Heartbeats were both measured at 144 bpm.  Zoe is actually QUITE the wiggler, but she has an anterior placenta so I don't actually feel much.  On the ultrasound we saw her stretch completely out. 
Exhibit A: a completely outstretched Zoe leg:

  • Cervix holding strong: Check! It measured 3.8 cm. Apparently that was so reassuring that the MFM said that we are going to stop checking it. Wow.
  • No growth restriction on Zoe: Check! She actually measured one day ahead of him (which was a very, very slight difference. They each measured an approximate 15 ounces :)
  • Normal babies: Check! The MFM said he saw "no major problems". I said, "Do you see any minor or moderate problems?" and he said in a robot voice, "No problems have been detected at this time."  
Also, the hematoma was not visible at all. So, perhaps it has completely healed. That would rock.

So, it couldn't have been better. My next appointment with them was scheduled for 4 weeks later and it's marked as a "Basic" ultrasound. What does that entail, do you think? Just counting them and making sure they have heartbeats? "Yep - there's still 2 of them. Come back in 4 weeks."  Oh well, it was nice to leave with absolutely nothing to obsess over for a change.

The Mothers of Twins Club meeting was fun.  I didn't expect it to have an open bar!  For some reason that struck me as very funny.  I am now officially a member and have access to their neat-o website with a forum for questions like, "What's the best diaper bag?" and "What convertible car seat does everyone recommend?".  Pretty cool.  They also do fun outings like a hayride and breakfast with Santa & stuff.  I look forward to partaking in that next year!

I guess that's it for me - I will leave you with a few cute pics, as requested by Misty :)

Exhibit B: Zoe's Face

Exhibit C: Whole Zoe

Exhibit D: Egan's Face

Exhibit E: Egan's Feet

Exhibit F: Egan says, "See you next time!"


Thursday, October 21, 2010

21w1d: Dare I Say I'm Feeling Better?

After 4 weeks, the bleeding *finally* stopped.  I am now going on 4 days of virtually no blood.  I can't describe how much better it feels to see nothing disturbing.  I guess I didn't fully appreciate the toll the constant bleeding was taking on my emotions, but once it stopped, I started feeling better right away.

We go next Tuesday for the big anatomy scan. I am looking forward to that. I am hoping to get some assurance that:
  1. Both babies are alive (I feel kicking, but it always feels like Egan rather than Zoe...but she does have an anterior placenta...but, you know, it will just be nice to have confirmation)
  2. My cervix is holding strong
  3. Zoe's growth is the same as Egan's
  4. They don't have any abnormalities
I am going to my first MOTC (Mothers of Twins Club) meeting tonight. I am pretty excited - I wonder how big the group will be? Unfortunately they already had their Fall sale for this year and their next sale isn't till the Spring (i.e., after the babies are born).  I hope to get some advice on baby gear & stuff like that. It will be interesting to see what it's like. Maybe I'll meet someone else expecting twins around the same time as me. That would be cool.

Well, I guess that's about it for me. 2 weeks and 6 days till viability! YAY!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

19w2d: Have we talked about how to deliver these babies?

Perhaps in an attempt to draw my focus away from the length of my cervix at Tuesday's perinatal appointment (3.6 cm), the fact that I continue to have significant "old blood" discharge (going on 3 weeks now), or that I somehow lost 6 pounds since my last OB appointment (4 weeks ago), my OB decided to shift to a discussion of the end game: vaginal delivery vs. Caesarian. This decision is, apparently, totally up to me.

Now, I aim to be nice to people - I do not intend to go around offending others, so I try to behave.  But the truth is, I am often smug and judgmental in my head.

Before I learned some of the harder lessons my life has had to teach me so far (e.g., infertility, 2nd trimester miscarriage), I was soooooooooo smug.  I counted myself among the most fertile fertiles ever.  I thought I was awesome at baby-having because my labor with Katie was <4 hours and I recovered quickly.  I nursed Katie (she also got formula when she was in the care of others because breast pumps in 1994 were crappy) for a long, long time.  I was pretty smug about it too.  

Before I had Katie, I didn't realize that there were people who didn't even attempt to breastfeed for whatever reason (keep in mind I was 17 - there was a lot I didn't know about the world). Upon learning this, I thought these people who preferred formula were ridiculous and selfish.  I was smug because I felt like I could make a better decision about nourishing my baby at 17 than women who were twice my age.  Katie has been a freakishly healthy child.  She got strep throat in Kindergarten and a sinus infection followed by chicken pox in 7th grade and that is literally IT for her history of infectious diseases (other than occasional sniffles).  I, of course, have always attributed this to the superpower of my breast milk and my generally awesome mothering.

I have always been similarly smug about my disdain for scheduled C-sections.  Apparently, I chalked them all up to mothers and doctors choosing convenience over nature - a notion I have rolled my eyes at on more than one occasion.  Until this morning.

When my OB brought up this topic, my first inclination was "vaginal, of course". Then she started talking about the complications of twin deliveries.  She said that usually, once Baby A is delivered, Baby B turns head down and comes on out with no trouble.  Or, even if Baby B is breech, they don't worry because Baby A just fit through the cervix, so it's no big deal.  BUT - sometimes Baby B drops its cord because of the space left when Baby A is delivered and then we're in an emergency C-section situation.

This description nearly caused me to have a panic attack. I couldn't believe myself.  I may have a higher opinion of my stoicism than what is supported by reality (a likely case, since I am, in general, smug) but I tend to think I can keep a level head and I was shocked by my reaction. I guess the thought of losing Baby B to cord prolapse after all of this was too much for my neurons to process. I told my OB that talking about it was making me anxious so she said, "Then we'll stop talking about it" and said that we don't need a decision today or even at the next appointment but it's something I should start freaking out obsessing thinking about. 

So now I suddenly realize that there can be actual reasons to schedule a C-section (I mean, who knew?) and I think it is what I'm leaning toward.  I guess I am just getting my comeuppance all around, huh?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

17w3d: I'm home

I should feel relieved, right? After the nightmare of last Sunday, I should be on top of the world, yes?  And, of course I am...for the most part.  I told Forest I felt like we were walking through the depths of Hell and got snatched out and I still can't catch my breath.  

Thank you all for your comments and prayers and hugs. I hate that so many of us know what this terror is like.

I was basically incredulous when the peri told me on Monday that he wasn't convinced I was ruptured. I thought he was crazy.  I told him there was A LOT of fluid and he said, "I believe you" but I don't think he did.  My OB said maybe I peed and didn't realize it.  Uh, NO - I'm quite certain I didn't.  But the medical professionals seem content to leave the fluid an unsolved mystery.  And I didn't have any more leaking in the hospital and the fluid levels around both babes continued to be stable all week.

And then they sent me home. And now I am terrified.  The peri on Friday said that the hematoma puts me at increased risk for ruptured membranes down the road and my OB said that the part of Zoe's placenta in front of the bleed is now non-functioning and they'll have to monitor her for IUGR.  Those two risks have me pretty much freaking out.

How does one relax in this situation? Or should I just get used to this state of sadness and anxiety that we're still 6 weeks and 4 days from the raw edge of viability?

As I attempt to think positively, I am picking out "Coming Home" outfits for the babies.  It's so much easier to find adorable things for girls.  Where do I find the boy equivalent to this sweet jumper?

I am just trying to focus on how much I love these precious ones and cherish every moment I have with them.  Here's a shot of Egan from yesterday's scan. I think he looks like his daddy. Forest says it's the haircut ;)

Much love to you all!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pretty Scary

Sooooo....just a few days after my "so different" post, things started to seem very familiar - and not in a good way.

Sunday evening I was lying on the couch when I felt a little fluid leaking - I went to the bathroom and there was blood.  I was concerned, of course, but not freaking out, because they had seen a subchorionic hematoma on the ultrasound since our week 10 scan.  

I went to the other room to get my phone to call the doctor when I started leaking a lot of fluid.  I started crying and told Forest my water broke. We were in shock - incredulous - my cervix was <4 cm long and closed last Tuesday! How could this happen??!!?!?

We went to the closest hospital and called my doctor's exchange on the way and told them my water broke.  She called back immediately and said she was calling the hospital and telling them to admit me right to L&D.

They put me on a stretcher and took me up to L&D.  There was a large pool of clear fluid on the stretcher.  When my doctor arrived she examined me and there was a lot of horrible, awful looking blood.  She said she couldn't see my cervix and she said that was good, because it meant nothing had progressed very far down the birth canal, but she didn't want to be poking around in there anymore.

They brought in a bedside ultrasound machine.  Both babies were kicking and squirming and appeared to have normal fluid levels.  She said it was a good sign that Baby A was fully visible on ultrasound, in a transverse lie - she had not entered the birth canal at all.  She said that they'd have the perinatologist evaluate me Monday morning and that it is theoretically possible to be on bed rest for many, many weeks - even ruptured - to reach viability.  We had zero hope before she got there, but with those positive findings, we had some hope to hold on to.

Monday's ultrasound revealed normal fluid levels around both babies.  They looked at my cervix with the abdominal ultrasound and said that, while they couldn't get exact measurements without a transvaginal ultrasound (which they didn't want to do because it might exacerbate the bleeding), my cervix appeared long and closed. He said that it "definitely isn't wide open".  The only part of that exam that was disturbing was that Baby A had moved "head down" and that made me upset - I felt like she was getting ready for birth.  But everyone else just said that it was a good sign, because they move around all the time, and that if she had lost too much fluid, she wouldn't be able to move at all.  The peri said that he wasn't convinced I was ruptured and he said that "we might all be looking back on this as just a very scary day".

They told me to sit tight in the hospital until Wednesday and then, if the bleeding stopped, I'd have another scan, including a transvaginal evaluation of my cervix.

Yesterday's scan was even better. Zoe had moved back to a transverse lie (no longer head down) and the fluid still looked normal. I had no leaking and the bleeding was very light and was just old stuff.  The transvag showed that my cervix is still completely closed and long.

I think the peri was ready to send me home yesterday, but my doctor wants me to stay here until at least tomorrow, when I'll get another ultrasound and make sure everything is stable.  

They might do a procedure kind of like an amniocentesis where they inject blue dye into Baby A's sac and then put a tampon in and see if it turns blue.  Niiiiice. I'm thinking that they will decide not to do that since the leaking has stopped completely.

So, apparently, the fluid was all with the hematoma, which finally reached a critical mass on Sunday and broke free.  It is showing as being much smaller on ultrasound yesterday vs. Monday.

I am on bedrest for now.  My doctor said we'd come up with a "long-term plan" after tomorrow's scan.

Unbelievable. And the scariest thing I've ever been through.

We are so, unbelievably, happy and feel so blessed that our babies are still with us and appear to be totally fine.

What a week!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

So Different

It really does seem completely different this time around. 

With Jack, I remember looking at myself in the mirror the morning of 16w0d.  We were in a hotel room in Springfield, MO, getting ready to go to the university for Katie's dance competition. I wore my maternity "Pom Mom" sweater that Katie had embroidered for me for Christmas.  I asked Forest if he thought I looked pregnant yet or still just chubby.  He (of course) said that I looked totally pregnant and he read me the "What to Expect" iPhone update for 16 weeks, as he had each Saturday since downloading the app.  I looked in the mirror and I felt worried.  I guess part of me knew all along that my sweet baby wasn't meant to come home with us.  I never felt confident in the pregnancy - it all seemed sort of surreal and kind of disconnected.

I still sometimes can't believe the rest of the events that unfolded that day actually happened to me.  It was so horrible and painful. And, at the same time, it was like I was floating above myself - or maybe I was off to the side somewhere. Part of me wasn't connected to my body or my mind. Part of me knew it was going to happen, I guess.  When my water broke in the ER I looked at Forest and said, "It's over".  He was in shock.  He just kept shaking his head and saying, "I can't believe this is real."  I'll never forget the look on his face. I'm sure the look on mine was more resigned. I knew there was no hope for my baby once my water broke.

I cursed myself for feeling like I would've been "disappointed" finding out for sure that Jack was a boy.  I always "felt" like he was a he from the time I saw the + sign on the HPT (and maybe even before that).  Even though I didn't feel right "wanting" a girl, I couldn't help it and I was trying to prepare myself to not be disappointed.  But, of course, when it came down to it, I really just wanted my baby to live and I saw - all at once - that I did want a boy. I wanted that boy. I wanted my boy.

Anyway, far too many of you know exactly what those emotions are like - I cannot put words around it as well as others can. For those who don't know what it's like, I hope you never do.

But, like I said, this time feels competely different.  This time, at 16 weeks, I don't care if I "look" pregnant or just chubby. I know it's real. I've seen my babies on ultrasound now 8 times.  The ultrasounds haven't been disconcerting since the 4th time, once they were finally measuring the same size as each other.  I have been reassured that my cervix is not actually incompetent - it hasn't budged and is still >4 cm, curved, and closed.  There is even a fair amount of uterus (about 3 cm) above my cervix before we even get to Miss Zoe (that's Baby C1's real name).  Yesterday the peri (who is awesome) was looking at my chart with me and he saw that I wrote this was my 3rd pregnancy.  He asked how far along I was when I delivered Katie. I said, "40 weeks, 3 days."  He said that he is giving a talk just next week about the difference in risk for a woman who has delivered full term and has also had a PTB (pre-term birth) vs. a woman who has had a PTB without a full term delivery.  Basically, he feels like my risk is dramatically lower given the full term delivery and my currently confirmed long cervix. I said, "So what happened last time, then?"  He said that, obviously, we'll never know, but he would highly suspect an infection.  Poor cervix - I've been falsely accusing her.

In related news, as of yesterday's scan, we are 90% sure it's a boy and a girl. Perfect.

ETA: I only told you one name, above, so: our baby girl is Zoe Ruth and our baby boy is Egan Mitchell :) 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

14w6d: It's All Good

I had another MFM appointment today at lunchtime. My cervix measured >6 cm, which is lovely. I asked the peri if it was the longest cervix he'd ever seen and he said it was.  He also thought maybe the tech had measured a bit more than cervix and it might be overstated a bit, but he thought it looked really, really good. He is having me come back next Tuesday (15w6d) just to put my mind at ease since we lost Jack at 16w0d and he imagines I will be anxious next week. How cool is that?

We got extra peeks at the babes too! There was an OB resident there so they were all, "Do you mind if he takes a look for a few minutes?" I was like "Not at all. Does anyone ever say 'no' to that?" 

The ultrasound tech registered her educated guess on the babies' genders.  With the standard disclaimers that it's really early and that these are just guesses, she said it looks like Baby A (a.k.a. Baby C1) is a girl and that Baby B (a.k.a. Baby C2) is a boy. This is the opposite of what I have been thinking, so I have decided that they just switched places over the last 2 weeks ;)

So, the news really couldn't be better. And for that we are very relieved and very thankful.  Overall, a happy day!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

13 weeks: Did You Miss Me?

So did I seriously wait 3 weeks since my last post?!?!? Yep, I believe I did!

Well, yesterday we had another MFM appointment...and everything looked wonderful.  Baby C2 (or "Baby B" as they call her) had a nuchal translucency of 1.4 and Baby C1 ("Baby A") measured 1.8.  Apparently a measurement between 1 and 2 is what we want to see, so those numbers are perfect!

They both had brains, 4-chambered hearts, 2 arms and 2 legs each, and were very wiggly. Awesome.

And, I got to see this mysterious cervix of mine. It measured 4.0 cm! And was completely closed. So that is wonderful, wonderful news.  I go back to the MFM in 2 weeks for another cervix check but the doctor said that the measurements don't get any better than what mine was, so I should relax for the next 2 weeks if I can.  How awesome is that?

I am finished with Calculus and I got an A! YAY!!!! Now I am on to Physics II and my writing course called "Practical Criticism".  A couple more As would certainly be nice for the ol' GPA!

Sorry for the short post, but some update is better than none, right?

Hugs to you all!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

10 Weeks: Good News

I had my appointment with the MFM yesterday afternoon. It took 2 1/2 hours! The place was PACKED. Apparently there are a lot of high risk pregnancies to follow in St. Louis.

I had a long ultrasound.  The babies looked awesome. They were very wiggly.  Baby C1 even kicked his leg out one time. It was the cutest.thing.ever. The babies are now within 1 day of each other: Baby C1 measured 9w1d and had a heart rate of 176 and Baby C2 measured 9w0d and had a heart rate of 180.  I am very, very relieved at this point!

Note: the pictures below are not the greatest because I scanned them at work (not the best quality scanner for pics!!!!)

Baby C1

Baby C2

Don't they look more like identical twins now?!?!?!?! ;)

The MFM didn't seem to grasp why I was there. She seemed to think I was only being evaluated because the babies were measuring differently.  She was starting to sound like they had no reason to see me again now that they're the same size. She asked, "Did your OB suggest that she wanted you to be sen here serially?" I said, "Actually, I'm here because I had a loss in February at 16 weeks due to a possible incompetent cervix..." then she started nodding her head condescendingly like "Oh yeah, I know all about that, you fool" which she TOTALLY DIDN'T. So then she patronizingly explained that it is too soon to evaluate my cervix, because: "at this point your cervix just blends in with your utereus"  She actually said that last bit while looking directly at Forest. Erm, he doesn't have a cervix. (I'm just being overly-critical, I know, I know). So, I'm to go back in 3 weeks for an hour long ultrasound where they will measure my cervix in excruciating detail (yay!).

I am learning that you definitely have to manage your own care.  It was like the MFM Hut in there. It would not have surprised me to see a "Now Serving" sign like the deli at the grocery store.

Next up: Regular OB appointment next Wednesday (8/11) at 11 weeks!

Also, Calculus is OVER tonight! The final is at 5:30. I will soon be free from Calculus FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (that would be assuming I don't have to actually apply my mad Calculus skills in Physics II next semester...maybe not a reasonable assumption?).

Friday, July 23, 2010

8w2d: Ultrasound #3 - Now With Pictures

First of all, thank you so much for all of your comments and support. You guys are the awesomest!

We just got home from my 3rd ultrasound - the first one with my regular OB.  

The good news: both babies have great heartbeats.  Baby C1's is 158 and Baby C2's is 155.  Both sacs look great. They're very round - apparently a "banana shape" is a bad thing, and we don't have that. Baby C1 measured 8w0d and looked huge.

The not-as-good news: Baby C2 is even more behind now, measuring 7w2d.  Dr. S is not concerned. She said that they don't get concerned unless they measure more than a week apart. Baby C2 is just in a super awkward position, they say.  It's like she's at a 90 degree angle to Baby C1 and it seems like they're always looking at her from the end.

So, I'm still worried. Of course.

Next up: see an MFM. They are supposed to call me by Tuesday and set up an appointment.  If they don't schedule something for the week of August 2nd, I can go back to Dr. S for another ultrasound that week.

On my referral to the MFM, Dr. S wrote 4 risk factors:

  1. IVF - twins
  2. History of pre-ecclampsia at delivery
  3. History of delivery at 16 weeks after premature rupture of membranes, possible incompetent cervix?
  4. MTHFR - homozygous
So, we'll see how the MFM wants to handle all of that.  To cerclage or not to cerclage?  

Once again, time will tell. Ugh. Waiting. Not my strong suit!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I am worried about Baby C2.  I know it's dumb. I don't have any more reason to worry today than I did on Friday, but the doubt has creeped into my happy thoughts nonetheless.  I am trying to keep those "positive thoughts only" going strong, but, for some reason no apparent reason, today I don't feel so optimistic about little C2.

It may be because Katie has started telling people IRL that we're having twins. This makes me wish we'd waited to even tell her for a few more weeks until we could see how little C2 is doing.  Katie has actually been a huge proponent of waiting to tell people.  With Jack she chastised me for telling people so soon. But this time, most of the people IRL who know (16 at last count) she told.  I got an e-mail from the mom of one of her friends congratulating me and offering prayers. Of course the prayers are welcomed and very thoughtful, but I'm just not ready for the word to be spreading like this. 

All of the moms on her dance team are bound to know within short order and I don't feel comfortable with that. I think this is because they were all at the dance competition where we lost Jack. The next week, the Coach asked Katie what they could do/make for us and Katie told them that I love desserts (which is, uhhhh, true enough and all...). The Thursday after the miscarriage the girls were performing at a basketball game.  Forest had class that night, so I was there by myself and no one sat by me.  At one point I almost started crying in the bleachers (or, I probably actually did start crying in the bleachers, now that I think about it) and I felt like an outcast.  After the girls perform at halftime, the dance team moms generally make their way to the auditorium where the girls have all of their stuff.  There is generally picture taking and merriment. As I was walking out of the gym, one of the moms (who I had never actually talked to before) said (extremely bluntly), "I can't believe you're here tonight."  Uhhhh. Okay. Sorry. I guess I should have just sent my daughter to the game alone!?!?!? I don't even remember what I said in response. Probably something like, "Yeah. It's hard" or some crap. So I walk into the hallway and the girls all run toward me, placing bags of brownies, cupcakes, and various other snack items in front of me.  It was very thoughtful and sweet, but also pretty overwhelming and awkward. I felt like all of the moms and the coaches were watching me intently, waiting to see me cry.  That whole time period was very hard, obviously. I guess I just have some lingering weird feelings about the dance team moms. I can just imagine the ripple of gossip that went through when the girls learned (and then told their moms) I was expecting Jack (there really aren't very many expectant mothers of Sophomores in high least not at Katie's school!), and then when I lost him. And now I'm imagining the ripple of gossip again. It just makes me uncomfortable. I don't know why - they are generally nice people (except that one tacky, blunt one). I guess I just picture this round of news ("Katie's mom is having twins!") and then imagining the horribleness of a theoretical next round ("One of Katie's mom's babies died") and it just makes me feel sick. If that does happen, I definitely hope they don't bake me anymore Festive Condolence Cupcakes and shower me in other Grief Snacks, because that was weird.

Oh well. Well wishes should only make me feel better, not worse.  I hate feeling this way. I just want to enjoy Baby C1 and Baby C2 every second they are with us.  That's what I need to focus on.

Is it Friday yet?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Wanding 2.0 - The Graduationing

We just got home from the ultrasound.  I'm 7w2d. 

Baby C1 was front and center with a great, strong heartbeat (132 bpm), looking all perfect, measuring 7w1d and generally showing off his awesomeness (yes, that's right, we've decided Baby C1 is a boy).

Baby C2 continued to make her mommy worry (we predict Baby C2 is a girl).  While her heartbeat is pretty much just as perfect as Baby C1's (at 129 bpm), she remained out of focus! And she measured 6w5d.  Dr. A said that if we didn't have Baby C1 sitting right there to compare her to, we would think Baby C2 looked great.  But it was pretty clear that Dr. A is concerned about C2, saying things like, "time will tell, of course" so I have to have a little bit of apprehension.  Right now it's at a low level, though.

I am now released from the RE and am off all restrictions.  Next up is my first appointment with the regular OB, Dr. S, next Friday (7/23).  Then I'll be getting a referral to an MFM specialist. I am looking forward to seeing the babies again next week. Hopefully Baby C2 will do something reassuring by then (like grow 3 extra days-worth or so). 

So, it's all good news (right?)! YAY!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Results of the Wanding (Sort Of)

We saw two sacs:

As you can see, there is clearly a sweet little baby in the left-hand sac.  It had a cute little heartbeat too.  The other sac would not come into focus.  He tried, but he said it was as far away as it could possibly be and he just couldn't see it clearly.  In one view we could tell there was definitely a yolk sac in there and he was pretty sure he saw a baby, but it was so out of focus there was no way to see a heartbeat or lack thereof.  He said the sac looks good - it is the same size as the the other sac and there is not really a reason to think there's not a baby, but it just wasn't aligned properly.

So, we are pretty sure there are two Baby C's in there, but we won't know for sure for 8 long days.  Next ultrasound is next Friday (7/16) at 2:10 pm.  Weekly ultrasounds are very, very nice...but I suck at waiting!!!!!

We are off to celebrate at a new (to us) pizzeria called Pi (clever, eh?). I am so, so happy. And I will be even happier once we know for sure next Friday (only 8 more sleeps!). Until then it's positive thoughts only for Baby C1 and Baby C2!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

6w0d: Wanding Eve

I have stolen this update from Preheated Oven...But No Bun in Sight, who is now 11 weeks! Those kind of double-digit weeks can't get here fast enough!  She, in turn, stole it from another blogger, so it can be a whole webring, if you want (did I just demonstrate how oooooooold I am, with a webring reference? Yeah? Well, whatevs).

How Far Along? 6 weeks, 0 days

How I'm Feeling Overall: Elated - until I remember what it feels like to fall from this point.  Then I try to temper my elation, but then I remember: POSITIVE THOUGHTS ONLY for our baby.  I have only been a teeny, tiny bit nauseous.  Maybe only infinitesimally slightly more so than with Jack.  I am pretty exhausted at the end of the day, but that's probably really not a new thing.

Maternity Clothes? Not just yet.  Although I do still have everything I bought when I was hoping to be ginormously pregnant with Jack, so I'll be pretty well set when I do get to that point. I am still down almost 20 pounds from Weight Watchers, so all of my clothes (even some of the new ones I bought) are still fitting nicely.  Thank GOODNESS I lost that weight. I felt so gross at 220+

Stretch Marks? No more than I started with.

Sleep? Favorite.Thing.Ever.  I have been counting the sleeps till Wanding Day (only one more to go!!!).  I still sleep every night with the tiny lamb blanket we had embroidered with Jack's name. 

Last night I had a breakdown before I went to sleep because I miss him so much.  When I went to the hospital when I felt the bulging membranes (where my water broke in the triage room), they couldn't find Jack's heartbeat with the doppler in the ER.  They were RETARDED.  I don't know if I will be able to post about that whole part in the ER for awhile, because it was pretty ghastly.  So they were going to bring in another nurse to try to find his heartbeat and I started sobbing and saying, "What difference does it make!?!?!?" I mean REALLY - did it matter!?!?!??!?!??! He was going to die soon enough if he wasn't dead already.  Those people were just over their heads in that situation.  Before I went to L&D they wanted me to get a ultrasound, just to get their bearings for the delivery, I guess.  I couldn't watch the ultrasound - it was too hard.  But Forest watched.  When I asked him if the baby was still alive he said, "I think so" and later said something about thinking he saw the heartbeat, but he wasn't sure.  So last night I asked him if he could see Jack moving around on the ultrasound and he said "yes" and I asked him if he looked like he was in distress and he WOULDN'T EFFING ANSWER ME and I was like, "JUST TELL ME" and he said that he couldn't tell if he was in distress or not.  Forest doesn't want to upset me and he doesn't want to tell me something that will make me sadder, but having him NOT SAY ANYTHING makes me CRAZY like I cannot explain.  So, anyway, just thinking about those horrible hours when I knew my baby was going to die, but I knew he wasn't dead yet, brought on the tears.

Best Moment of the Week? Hmmmmm. I guess just all the relaxing I did over the long weekend.  I didn't make one iota of progress on the remodeling we need to do, but I certainly read a lot of blogs!

Movement? No.

Food Cravings/Aversions? Not really, although gyros sound good Every.Single.Day.

Gender? Not yet, but we will be finding out at the earliest opportunity.

What I'm looking forward to? The wanding TOMORROW. At 2 pm CST. Dear goodness, I can't wait. I don't know how I'm going to get through the morning!

Weekly Wisdom: Stay positive. Not enjoying where you're at today won't make you feel any better if it all falls apart.

Milestones: Seeing the heartbeat (Oh how I hope, hope, hope that's tomorrow!)

Emotions? Maybe a little snippy. Maybe a little weepy. But mostly relieved and happy.

Well, I hope I have good news to report tomorrow! I think I'll go to bed so it gets here faster!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

For the Record

On Tuesday I called to make an appointment with my OB (Dr. S) - even though I haven't been released by the RE (Dr. A) yet, obviously - because she will be the one sending me to the Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) specialist to monitor my cervix (among other things) and place a cerclage if necessary.  

The nurse making the appointment was just following their normal procedure - to see me at 8 weeks for a 1/2-hour appointment including an ultrasound to see the baby's heartbeat and then another 1/2-hour appointment 2 weeks later (I don't recall if I'd have bloodwork between those two appointments that we'd discuss at the 2nd one - I think that's the plan).  So I asked the nurse if she could just let Dr. S know that I am pregnant, because I just had a miscarriage at 16 weeks in February, this pregnancy is through IVF, and Dr. S had previously indicated that she'd want me to see an MFM, and I am just wondering if she'd like to do anything differently with me.  The nurse said she'd give Dr. S a note and call me back if anything would change.

On Thursday she called back and said that Dr. S would wait to refer me to the MFM until after she's seen me (still at 8 weeks, which is fine - I won't really be released from Dr. A until then anyway) and that she wanted me "to get my records from my first pregnancy, when I had that diagnosis."  Erm...that was a confusing statement.  I should have said, "what diagnosis?" because the conversation got more confusing from there.  I asked, "Do you mean from the hospital?" She said, "Just whatever doctor you were seeing for that pregnancy."  I was assuming (and still assume) that the "diagnosis" to which she was referring was incompetent cervix, so I said, "Well, my doctor was Dr. S - it was just in February" and she said "Oh. Let me look through here. Hmmm. She must mean your first pregnancy. Back in '94. Yeah. Yes. That's the one."

Okaaaaay.  I really don't see what anyone would expect to learn from my records from when I had Katie.  The only complication I had was preeclampsia at delivery (which Dr. S already knows about, and for which monitoring is pretty well-established).  Wouldn't the more relevant records be from the hospital where I delivered Jack?  I decided I'd request both, since I'm pretty sure that nurse was, to put it nicely, confused.

I still have to go by and sign a release for my records at my first OB's office, but I called the hospital in Springfield where Jack was delivered and faxed over a request on Thursday.  Yesterday I got the records in the mail (that was fast!).

So, it turns out, I definitely had an infection.  

I sort of knew this because I'd had an appointment with Dr. S on the Wednesday before that fateful Saturday.  The results of my bloodwork and urine culture I'd had done the week before had come back and she said that the urine culture was positive for "mixed vaginal and urethral flora".  She said that was weird because, usually if you have a urinary tract infection, the report will say something like "E. coli > 100,000/mL."  So, she seemed a little confused, but not very concerned. She gave me a prescription for 6 Macrobid (to take twice a day for 3 days), which I did not even have filled until THURSDAY.  I didn't even start taking them until FRIDAY morning.

When I was in the hospital, shortly before I was discharged, a new house OB had come in - different from the one who ordered my epidural, gave me pitocin, and evaluated me after I delivered Jack, which I did around 5 am, during an Ambien-induced slumber.  

After they had given me the epidural and pitocin and put on the contraction monitors, they said they would check on me and to call them if I felt anything different. They had offered Ambien previously, which I didn't think was necessary until I realized that I was just going to be lying there, waiting to deliver, by myself all night.  I requested the Ambien (my first experience with it) and it kicked in pretty quickly.  Apparently I asked Forest to "tell me a story".  I used to do this a long time ago, and the "story" I always wanted him to tell was his version of the night we met.  So he started telling the story and he said that I kept asking him to repeat "the sweet parts".  I don't have any recollection of this, but I think only part of my brain could hear the story and the other part was already asleep.  Forest said that only went on for 5 minutes or so and then I was completely out.  I woke up off and on throughout the night - I'd remember where I was and what was happening and then decide to go back to sleep rather than wallow in the situation, alone, in the dark.  But then around 5 am I woke up from a wave of anguish so overwhelming I can't describe it.  I burst into sobs which woke up Forest and we talked and cried for awhile.  He was adjusting my blankets for me and he noticed a lot of blood and "stuff".  He said, "I think it's happened" and called the nurse's station.  They came down and I had delivered Jack.  They told us we'd had a little boy, took him off to clean him up, and cleaned me up.  Forest held me the whole time.  I can't even imagine how I could have endured that without him.  Any of this, really.  He gives me strength and comfort I never knew was possible.

Anyway, I think the shift changed at 6 am so a new OB came in before we left.  He asked me if I had any questions.  Most of the questions I had were for God, and not for him, but I asked him "What would cause my cervix to just dilate all of a sudden on a Saturday afternoon?" Honestly, I can't even remember what he said - I know he ended up talking about what they do if you come in with bulging membranes that haven't ruptured yet.  Apparently they invert you, pretty much upside down, for months and months.  I asked him if it could have been an infection and he said that, if it were, I would've been in labor, which I wasn't.

So, this is what made me think that my body had just betrayed me - my cervix just randomly dilating and expelling my beautifully formed baby 24 weeks early. My RE disagrees.  Without seeing any records or hearing much at all of the story, Dr. A said that it was way more likely to be an issue with the placenta or an infection and that I was in labor, but just didn't feel it.

Well, my records confirm that I had an elevated white blood cell count (specifically neutrophils and monocytes).  So, I definitely had an infection somewhere.  The placenta had no pathology - the cord insertion was eccentric (which Dr. Google says means "in the center", which is where it's supposed to be) and there were no signs of infarct.

It was, as you might imagine, pretty emotional to go through the records and relive that horrible night.  But I am very glad I got them.  I don't know why I didn't request them sooner, actually. It helps to have an indication that there was a reason for what happened (if not, like, a cosmic reason, at least a medical one) and that it is something that can be monitored for to *hopefully* prevent another occurrence. 

So that was my Saturday.  Today we're going to go to Fair St. Louis to celebrate our Independence from those meddlesome Brits (ha ha).  We're going to see the air show, the B-52s and fireworks. If any cute pictures emerge from these festivities, I'll be sure to post them.

I hope you all have a great day :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

5w0d: A Little Update

Today I am 5 weeks pregnant!!!

  • Last night I had my last Lovenox injection! Yay!!!!
  • Dr. A won't be in the office on July 7th (the day my 1st ultrasound should've been) so I'll be having it on July 8th (next Thursday).  I'll be 6w1d, so I would very much hope to see a heartbeat (or beats).
  • I took a half day of vacation today to have 2 cavities filled.  The dentist's policy is to avoid the use of lidocaine until the 2nd trimester, so I only had one of them filled (that didn't require any numbing) and I made an appointment for the other one for August.  
  • I celebrated the rest of my free afternoon by going to Baskin-Robbins and getting the most delicious double-scoop in a waffle cone.  Caramel? Chocolate? Peanut Butter? My creation had it all!
  • Calculus class #6 tonight: It is going really well and is already almost 1/3 over! Gotta love summer classes!

This weekend, we are going to start the work necessary to make a nursery.  It's going to be significant. I'm afraid to take a "before" pictures because they will be SCARY! Here are the steps:
  1. Clean out the "den" and get its roof fixed: The "den" is an addition to the back our house from the 70s (the rest of our house was built in 1924).  It has a fireplace and we used to have a TV, couch, some chairs, and computer back there.  But we decided we didn't like that set-up, so we moved our computer to the dining room, which is open to the living room, where the main TV is.  Since that time, the roof on the addition started leaking.  It has a drop ceiling and many, many of the tiles are seriously damaged (plus they're super ugly).  It has since become a repository for CRAP.  It's like a giant (20 x 13) unorganized closet with a falling down ceiling (not pretty).  It's bad.  But, our plan is to move our bedroom to this room which will involve fixing the roof, putting in a new ceiling, replacing the fugly paneling with drywall, building a closet, doing something to make the fugly fireplace look pretty, new carpet, and, of course, all new bedroom furniture, bedding, and decor.
  2. Make our existing bedroom into a nursery: This will just involve normal activities like new carpet, painting, closet organization, furniture, bedding, and decor.
  3. Painting and decorating Katie's room: Katie's room is upstairs in our 1 1/2 story house.  It has the potential to look like an adorable Pottery Barn room, but we have never had the money set aside to paint & decorate at the same time when Katie knew how she wanted it done (her tastes have changed frequently over the 6 years we've lived here). But I know she won't feel it's fair if we get a new room and the baby gets a new room while hers is still a blank slate, so we need to do commit to an idea and do it.
I'm thinking all of that will take every bit of the next 35 weeks! I need the blogosphere to hold me accountable!!!

I guess that's it for me...there's not much to do at this point except wait for the ultrasound (and get busy on those projects, of course)!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

8dp5dt: Second Beta Results

The office just called with my beta from this morning: 63!  That is A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!!!  The doubling time was 27.13 hours. My second beta with Jack was 40. Needless to say, I am over the moon!!!!!

My first ultrasound is July 7th (6w0d).

My due date is March 2, 2011.

Also, today is our 4th wedding anniversary.  I have Calculus tonight and Forest is working on a paper, so we're not really doing anything to celebrate today. Maybe over the weekend we'll have a nice dinner out (one of our favorite activities).  We have A LOT to celebrate, after all!!!!

Forest had these sent to work.  He is a keeper, for sure :)

Thank you all for the congratulatory comments. Your support is invaluable to me!!! 

We're not planning to spread the news in real life for awhile.  Right now I feel like waiting until 20 weeks!  We'll see how it goes. The only people who know right now are Katie and my friend Kim.  Forest is going to tell his kids this week, but other than that, we're going to wait.  So, if you know me in real life, help me keep it on the down low, pretty please?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

7dp5dt: A Little Less Ghost...A Little More Line...And a Beta to Boot!

Well, thankfully, the lines are ever so slowly getting ever so modestly darker.

From this morning:

You can see this one without using your imagination, right?

Also, I got my beta from yesterday (6dp5dt): 21With Jack, my beta at 6dp5dt was 18.

In the way of symptoms, I've had some cramps today (that's a good thing, right?) and I am so.freaking.tired!  Also, I maybe felt ever so slightly nauseous this afternoon.  YAY!!! I'll cherish every moment of it!

I am still feeling really good about everything. Although, I don't think my prediction about twins is going to bear out, given these faint positives and that singleton-esque beta. Time will tell, I guess!

Second beta is tomorrow. Yay!!!