Overjoyed to announce that we welcomed our rainbow twins on 8/8/17 at 36 weeks 4 days. Avani Salene Eliana 6lbs 5.9oz. 20 1/2 inches long. 11:24am. Aidan Samuel Elliot 6lbs 3.5oz. 18 1/2 inches long. 11:22am. I ended up delivering a few days ahead of my scheduled date on Friday due to an increase in blood pressure and more intense Braxton Hicks.
35 weeks and 3 days. My body is done. White flag up in surrender. I somehow went from having gained no weight in this pregnancy a few weeks ago to picking up 17 pounds of “water weight”. My legs look like tree trunks. My toes don’t bend anymore. There is an actual pouch that has the consistency of orange skin that is below my stomach that the doctor says is just swelling and water storage. Water. Storage. Am I a camel?!?! For what purpose am I storing water?!? She did say it should all work itself out a ‘few weeks’ after delivery but did also caution that with the extra fluids they give you during a c-section it may get worse before it gets better.
Let’s see what else: still throwing up. They now think that I may have a stomach ulcer because getting sick isn’t associated with nausea but a few hours later it’s like hot acid is in my stomach and the only way for relief is up and out. This close to delivery however they don’t want to say for certain as it may resolve once babies get here.
At this point, we are literally just sitting and waiting. Cervix is showing no signs of labor. I have doctors appointments every 4 days for non stress tests starting last Thursday. The Braxton Hicks contractions have gotten more frequent but haven’t intensified. During my monitoring they make sure that babies heartbeats don’t drop during the contractions; they actually increase to mimic the contractions. It is pretty cool to see.
I keep dreaming about my babies but it’s the weirdest thing. I can see them in their cribs and can make our details of their arms and legs but when it comes to their faces those aren’t clear. The suspense is driving me batty lol
Everything is done. We put the video monitors up tonight. I’m going to do one last check of the baby bag this week and install the car seat bases. I can’t believe that in less than two weeks I’ll be bringing home my son and daughter.
I have been wanting to write but I have been so overwhelmed I haven’t known what to say. How did we get here? Are we really here? The feelings are so big and great. We have passed all the milestones.
I know I haven’t documented this pregnancy as much as I did with Langston and Lucas. I started a few times about week 24 to do weekly updates and couldn’t bring myself to it. This was for a few reasons:
1. The fear. It still felt and feels like “maybe I will be back here in a few weeks with bad news”. You get to the point where you are tired of letting people down and tired of feeling like you’ve disappointed those who were excited.
2. I haven’t wanted to complain. This pregnancy has been tough and I have always prided myself on being honest and open but I have felt guilty about writing about my aches and pains and such when I know SO many people would give anything to be where I am. That’s just one more of those things that pregnancy after loss brings; you feel so guilty when you’re not glowing and joyful and blissfully pregnant because this was LITERALLY what you prayed for. I’m glad I have a close friend who understands all this and lets me just say “I’m tired and this is hard” without feeling the need to beat me over the head with ‘this is a blessing’.
So having said all of that here is the quick catch up:
We officially have a c-section date. We meet our bundles of joy in exactly 30 days on August 11th. I will be 37 weeks on my scheduled c-section date. My TAC has held like a rock and I have had no cervical issues. My babies are gonna be little roly poly bunnies. At their last measurements they weighed 4lbs 12oz and 5lbs 5oz. For reference, average singletons weigh 3lbs 10oz at 32 weeks. My blood sugars have been in control so the doctor isn’t concerned that they are chunking up because of the gestational diabetes. I on the other hand am still 10lbs less than I was when I got pregnant. That’s what happens when you’re still throwing up almost every other day due to acid reflux 😬😬
My boss has been great and I’ve still been working from home; my last day is July 21 and after that I’ll just be sitting which sounds amazing. I feel like a house and moving isn’t the easiest. So I’ll just sit till I hatch
It feels good to say everything is done. Bags are packed. Car seats are in. Rooms are prepped. Hospital tour is done. Pediatrician selected. I literally have my nail, hair and wax appointments to make sure I’m not a hairy fuzzy mess and embarrass my husband lol and we are ready!!
23 WEEKS!!!!!!! Y’all.. I think this is happening. *cue excitement*
My excitement has been building. I feel a little more secure but even in saying that feeling anxious. That is the reality of pregnancy after loss; you always have the fear lurking in the background no matter what is going on. I’ve been alternating between my MFM and regular OB to where I see someone every two weeks. We had our first anatomy ultrasound at 19 weeks and have needed a subsequent appointment because Frick and Frack REFUSED to cooperate. The doctor is finally comfortable that she has seen everything that she needed. I am going back next Friday at 24 weeks for one last check of the chambers of their hearts. One of the perks of a twin pregnancy is supposed to be all of the ultrasound pics that you get. Meanwhile, I have one set of pics from their 12 week appointment. One. At my OB’s office, the equipment is so substandard that everything that she prints me looks like it was drawn on an etch a sketch. Next week I am HOPING they cooperate so I can get some decent pics for the baby books. Other good news from the ultrasound.. GENDERS!! We found out we are having a boy and a girl :))))))) I literally couldn’t ask for anything more.
That’s all the good news. For the not so great news, this pregnancy has been kicking my ASS. I am officially on modified bed-rest because of something called SPD Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction. The short summary is my pelvis has prepped itself for delivery too early. So in essence it always feels like my groin is ripping apart. This is a common complication with twins supposedly. Walking, getting in and out of the car, rolling over in bed are all TORTUROUS. But again, trying to take it all in stride. Last night I spent half of the night sleeping propped up in the recliner because laying on my sides (like you’re supposed to) makes my hips go numb. Laying on my stomach is a nono and laying on my back is miserable for my heartburn.
Hmm what else? My Sis in Law is having a shower for us in NY on the 20th of this month. My other shower is on the 4th of June. Invites went out this week and my anxiety peaked to an all time high. Next weekend Hubbins wants to do an official social media announcement. I’m excited but there is always that nagging voice that says “am I setting people up to let them down again?”? Trying my best to quiet that voice.
My MFM and I had a talk this last week about what timing of positive outcomes looks like for the twins. We have mini goals. First goal is 24 weeks. Then 28 weeks. Our ultimate goal is 38 weeks but she is comfortable with 36. I can’t think that far ahead. I’m still going day by day and week by week. It is flying and dragging all at the same time. I think that is all for now. Will update again soon.
I have sat down to write this post so many times. I have wanted to write so many times. I miss the interaction of my community here. But it has felt like I would be jinxing it ya know? There are good things happening for us and I have been feeling distanced from my blog friends. I follow your stories and feel connected so the least I can do is return the favor by making sure I let you guys know whats up with me.
I started a new job. I love it. I have a lot more autonomy and while the environment is stressful and I started at a time when big changes are critical to the organization’s success it feels good to know that I have this opportunity to prove myself. The previous person in my role set the bar pretty low and so while I have only been here for 3 months, it is already fulfilling to see how I am making a difference. It is a LONG road ahead for us here with quite a few big projects in the near future but even when the days are ridiculously long I leave work feeling fulfilled and it feels good.
We are moving…in with my mom. I have mixed feelings. The timing is good and we will need the help soon. Our current lease is up in a month and while we are ALMOST there with our savings to be ready to buy, we aren’t quite where we want to be. So we are going to put our things in storage for a few months (till the end of the year) and go hang with her. She is SOOOOOO excited. I am a little nervous. Our relationship has gotten so much better compared to what it was when I was a teen and it feels a little like backtracking into the unknown. We have had a lot of good conversations about boundaries and I think in these last two years we both have grown and have a mutual shared respect now that may make the transition not as terrible as I think it could be…. I hope.
Yip. ies. As in two. As in more than one. As of today I am 16 weeks and 6 days pregnant with twins. It has been a whirlwind. I go from periods of forgetting I am pregnant to mind numbing bone chilling nights of anxiety and no sleep where I am sure that I am losing them. I have a new medical team and that has made the transition initially very difficult. I had to advocate for increased care and increased monitoring. As it stands, I have visits every 2 weeks alternating between my MFM and my OB. Both are becoming very understanding but I am starting to feel like the boy who cried wolf. My TAC appears to be doing it’s job. What I think I am annoyed with is because I have it and that is the ‘gold standard’ for losses due to incompetent cervix, they seem very laid back regarding my cervical status. I keep getting told that until I get to 24 weeks there really isn’t anything that can be done (YES, I KNOW, HAVE BEEN HERE TWICE BEFORE). I guess I just want maybe a little more catering too. you know? I have been fortunate to meet two very understanding and sympathetic nurses in both doctor’s offices and they are great at assuaging my fears when I call freaking out. The honest truth is I hold my breath every two weeks till I can see my babies again. This next week is scary for me. We lost Lucas at 17/2. My mini goal has been to get to 18 weeks and then I can maybe exhale 1/8 of the way. I don’t think I will be at peace until they get here.
This pregnancy has been rough in that symptoms that I have I don’t know if they are due to having twins or if they are really things I should be worrying about. Round ligament pain showed up around week 12 and it has been a doozy. Getting to sleep takes an act of Congress and 4 pillows placed strategically. I keep thinking “what am I gonna do when I get to 24 weeks, or 30?” and then I immediately think “might not make it that far”. Also, I now have a gestational diabetes diagnosis. Gah. My doctor keeps saying that it is due to my higher hormone levels because of two but it feels like just ONE MORE THING to deal with. It is a complete and total up and down and all I can do for my sanity is remind myself that I don’t control any of this.
This got a lot longer than I expected but I was making up for months of not writing.
I have been toying with weekly updates.. but maybe when I get to 18 I will start.. or 20..or 24. Who knows.
This Wednesday, we have our next screening US. I still haven’t had a cycle since the one at the end of August so my RE thinks I haven’t ovulated. Spotting has been on and off…. that is about as fun as it sounds. .______. I am going in on Wednesday to do an US and possibly start my Letrozole for this month. I am nervous – not in a scared kind of way. Nervous in…anticipation? It feels like I am gearing up for a race…not that I have ever run a race but you know what I mean lol. I’m excited to see what comes next for us. I have been eating better and trying to get my general life in order. So here we go!!
It seems fitting that on the one year anniversary of this blog, I go back to my RE today. Yup y’all. We are starting again. I have been away for sometime. Gathering strength for the journey I guess? How do I feel? Today.. fortified. I’m ready. This weekend, I had a meltdown. It was the first in awhile and I COULD NOT STOP CRYING. A few hours later, I was all right. I think that is what this grief journey looks like for me. And I think it is a good place to be. I won’t ever ‘get over’ my Langston and Lucas. Some days will be hard. That is expected. But most of the days are good and I feel….optimistic? Hopeful is a strong word so I don’t think I’m at hopeful yet. But optimistic is good. I had my TAC. I waited. I have started working (yet AGAIN) on eating healthy and getting regular exercise. I have done my part to prepare to give any future babies the best chance that they can have at staying in and baking for as long as they need to. And above all, I trust God. Sometimes I catch myself planning timing and what happens with work and what happens with buying a house and and and and and I stop myself. I have worried through fertility treatments and pregnancies and it got me nowhere other than worked up. So this time, I’m going to try trust. Wholehearted. Unashamed. Nonsensical (at times) trust. I trust God. I gotta say it till it becomes second nature but till then when I am tempted to doubt, remind myself of the verse below. He has a plan. I just have to be brave enough to stick around to see what it is. So here we go!!!!!
I need to finish this baby blanket. I had told myself that I would finish it by Lucas’s due date on July 15th…and that date has come and gone and still I haven’t made any more progress on it since the Thursday before my water broke.
Oh, I’ve picked it up a few times and started working on a square, only to put it away within a few minutes. I can’t explain it. I feel like I’m at the place in my grief process where I can only deal in facts. My therapist loved to tell me “feelings are not facts” so now it feels safe to only operate based on facts. And the fact is, I don’t have a baby to make this blanket for. Yes, there is hope there, that one day I will have a little one who will use this blanket and I can tell them one day about their siblings. Right now though, the reality of where I am kind of keeps me grounded. I’ll be pregnant again, I’m sure…and when that happens, I will pick up this blanket again and it will keep me hopeful. Hopeful that this time will be time it gets finished . Hopeful that this time it will get used.
So surgery is done. The last “thing” that I can do to increase my chances for carrying a baby to term has been done. How do I feel? Apathetic. That’s a good word. And then I feel guilty for feeling that way because it is a blessing that I found a doctor, got approval from insurance and had a complication free procedure. But I honestly don’t feel anything yet.
One of my coworkers, was saying how excited she is for me to start trying again. Am I hopeful? Sure. Excited? Nah. I’ve been excited before and shit all came from it. It feels now like I’m gathering strength for the next phase. My RE appointment is scheduled for September 7th. The cycle of shots and pills and timed sects takes strength and I’m just gearing back up to jump into that again.
But if I can be totally honest, and I know this goes against the ‘speak positivism into the atmosphere’usual stance, I feel like I’m setting myself up. Like it will all be for nothing. I know that is doubt talking and I recognize that. But I feel like having a transparent journey as a Christian requires us to show that it isn’t always positive and strong. Sometimes I am scared. Sometimes, I don’t know if I can do anymore. Sometimes, my faith wavers. So for now, I’ll take tomorrow, head to the beach, think about my boys and then get ready for this next step in the journey.
This post is long overdue. I have been in a slump where I haven’t cared about doing anything; Lucas’s due date was (was? is?) tomorrow (7/15) and I am numb to life and this world and everyone and everything…more about feelings in another post.
BUT when I needed information prior to my TAC, I was able to find it on other women’s blogs and from other women sharing their experiences, sometimes when I’m sure they didn’t want to. The least I can do is hope to be a resource for someone who find they need this procedure and are searching for information.
For clarity, I’ll break this post into sections: Prep, Day of Surgery and Recovery.
Surgery prep wasn’t terrible. It wasn’t pleasant, but wasn’t terrible lol My surgery was scheduled for Monday. Sunday morning, after eating breakfast around 8 am, I began a liquid diet that I would follow up till midnight that night. For me, this consisted of eating all the popsicles I could stomach and drinking lemonade. There were some restrictions such as the color of foods (no red, blue or purple – I think it has to do with the dye) and the popsicles couldn’t have any fruit in them or dairy. It wasn’t terrible, I did cheat and have some Cheezits around 1pm #shrug. The second component of the prep started at 5 pm. I had to drink 32 oz of Gatorade mixed with 8 oz of Miralax. EIGHT OUNCES. A CUP OF MIRALAX. I don’t have to tell you how the rest of my night went. It was unpleasant. End of story. The last part of my prep was taking a shower that night with a special soap that they give you; it is supposed to help prevent infection the next day during your operation.
Day of Surgery
My procedure was scheduled for 1 pm. I was told to report that morning at 11 am. I woke up, took another shower with the special soap and we headed out. Upon arrival, we registered and after maybe 30 mins I went back and got changed. Surprisingly, I wasn’t nervous. I think overall going forward and even with this TAC surgery, I’ve been numb. I’ve had all the feelings before: anxiety, anger, excitement and nothing comes from it. So I’ve just been moving through this whole thing with a “what will happen will happen “ attitude. Before I went back, my mom called and prayed with Hubbins and I and that was it. I felt calm and I knew that however this procedure was supposed to go it would happen. I got wheeled in to the OR and the anesthesiologist told me that she would give me a little something to start my sedation process before I even got on the table. That little something was clearly stronger than I expected because the next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery. No dramatic “Count backwards from 20 while strapped on the table” lol
When I woke up, (I was in surgery for about 3 hours.. my doctor told my husband it is “because I was heavier”..story of my life, things are hard when you’re fat *shrug*) I WAS IN PAIN. My only ‘complaint’ about the whole day was how rushed everyone seemed to get me out of there. One of my recovery nurses even remarked (when I asked for something for pain) that I was “having an outpatient procedure, so they needed to get me home and I could take my prescription drugs there”. I admit that I have been spoiled with my other operations because the nurses all spoiled me. Also, it would have been nice for someone to acknowledge my losses; for the way they acted I could have been having my gallbladder out.
When I got discharged, around 6 pm, I was so happy to have the travel pillow that my Abbyloopers sisters recommended to hold over my stomach on the way home. THAT DRIVE WAS PAINFUL. I just wanted to go home and lay down. Once I got home, it was all I could do to hobble to the couch. They tell you start walking that first day so Hubbins made sure I got up every 2 hours or so and walked for 5 mins. It was so tough. They warn you about the gas pain from the CO2 they use for laparoscopic procedures but let me tell you I WAS NOT READY FOR IT. That day, I just took meds and slept. I thought I would be ravenous since I had been fasting since midnight the night before but all I wanted to do was sleep. I had some saltine crackers just so I could have something in my stomach with the meds (Percocet) that I was taking.
Once we realized that first day that I couldn’t climb into bed (we have a platform bed with the drawers underneath.. clearly when we got married we didn’t think about the future. I can’t see heaving myself up into this thing if I’m ever 8 months pregnant) Hubbins decided I would go to my mom’s house to recover that first week since I still needed help getting around and he had to go back to work. I went to her house Tuesday morning and stayed there till Friday.
My main complaint was the gas. After posting in the Abbyloopers group and asking for advice on the pain, I realized I needed to overlap my meds (more information that I probably should have gotten post OP). So I started taking Percocet every 4 hours and Ibuprofen every 8 hours for the first two days. Then I weaned myself down to Percocet only at night to help sleep; I don’t like the loopy feeling I get with that drug. It doesn’t take away pain, just consciousness lol By Friday, I was only on Ibuprofen every 6-8 hours. Ginger and Peppermint tea along with Gas X worked wonders. ANOTHER THING I wasn’t prepared for, is the shoulder pain. Apparently, as the gas moves, it gets trapped up by your diaphragm somehow and your shoulders ACHE. All too much. Lol. The 2nd week of recovery, I was pretty much just dealing with the gas pain.
I have 5 small incisions, they put some sort of glue on them and over the first 4-5 days it just peeled off. My largest incision, about 5 inches above my belly button, has this weird lump under it which the doctor says is scar tissue and should dissipate over time. The pain is mostly gone but if I have a particularly bad coughing fit or I’m laughing too hard, I feel sore but more like if I had done too many crunches (HA because when have I ever done TOO many crunches). I still have some trouble getting up from laying on my back; I have to do a scoot off the bed and put my legs down.
As of today, I’m almost 4 weeks out of surgery and maybe back to 90%. I came back to work after being out for two weeks and was on light duty (no bending, lifting) when I returned. I was also on pelvic rest until my post-op follow-up. As of my follow-up appointment yesterday, I’m cleared completely. The doctors exact words: “resume all activity, ALL ACTIVITY, have lots of babies, name one Dwight, good luck”
I think that covers everything. If anyone comes upon this post and has more questions, I can answer.
This was long; thanks for reading.