They are here!!!

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. 

Will do a full post later but just wanted to share with my WordPress family. For now though I’m starting the road to recovery and basking in my two blessings.

11 days left 

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. 

32 weeks 4 days 

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!! 

Ok this got really long but I wanted to catch you guys up. Also: here is a pic…because why not. Guess this is me kind of breaking my annonymity? Meh 😊

Gratefulness

It is 3:12 am. I am up at my normal time because my children are having their early AM dance party and I would not change it for the world. I can’t believe this is me. I can’t believe that we made it here. I can’t believe that we are 2 days away from 28 weeks. That we have passed viability; that we are at that magical number where things should be ok. 
That doesn’t mean that the worry goes away. I won’t stop worrying till they are here; till I can hold them and we start the next phase of our journey where I worry because they are no longer with me. Worry because I can’t always keep them safe. Worry because the terrible world that I am bringing them into isn’t kind to little brown girls and little brown boys. 
Tonight though,  I’m not thinking about that. Tonight I’m just grateful. Grateful that He kept me. That He sustained me. That He didn’t allow me to lose my mind. That even when I wanted to give up He didn’t let me because He was building this story and preparing this blessing just for me. I don’t deserve it. I don’t feel equipped for it but I am so thankful for the opportunity to be their mommy. 
So I will sit in the dark every morning for 3-430 and just recount all the ways that God has been so good to me through the tears and the heartache….and I will continue to be grateful. 
Just a few more weeks bunnies. 

All the Updates

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.

Don’t jinx it.

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.

Work

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.

Home Life

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.

Babies

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.

 

It’s official; I’m an incubator

As of today, I am officially on modified bed rest until 32-36 weeks when my cerclage is removed. I feel alright. I think my mantra of ‘prepare for the worst and then accept whatever better comes along’ has been helping. I have been mentally prepared for total bed rest; currently my bed rest plan is :

  • Standing restricted to 30 mins every 2 hours.
  • When not standing, I can be sitting with legs elevated or laying on my side.
  • No lifting anything that weighs more than a gallon of milk. ( I picked up a friend’s son on Saturday and almost dropped him when I realized what I was doing)
  • No bending when it can be avoided.
  • I can leave the house when I’m certain to be seated wherever I go; this is a big one for me because it means I can still go to church weekly.

So it’s not terrible! This still allows me to cook every other day or so and do light chores around the house as long as I strategically plan my day. I have become a master at mapping my journey around the house and collecting items as I go on my way to my destination. I have a few activities that are keeping me busy right now. I have started tackling the registry and working on my address list so that when we are ready to send out announcements etc that information is all ready. We will make it through this!! My Nugget is a fighter and I am going to do all I can to fight along with them.

15 Weeks.

15 Weeks.

Due Date: July 15, 2016

Baby Nugget is the size of a: Pear and measures about 4.0 inches

Total weight gain: -1.8 lbs. I’m up 0.6 of a pound this week. Considering that I have been eating everything not nailed down I’m impressed.

Maternity Clothes: I’m in scrubs and sweats. Haven’t had to wear any “real clothes” this week. However, I did snag some after Christmas sales on some dresses that I have in my maternity drawer. The down side of being a size 18 is that I think I’m gonna have a problem finding traditional maternity clothing and am just going to have to buy a size or two up for when I start getting bigger.

Stretch Marks: No new ones… I don’t think. #huskygirlproblems

Sleep:  Thanks to my awesome pillow that I talked about last week, it has been a good sleep week. Averaging between 5-7 hours a night and I have figured out that if I don’t drink after 8pm, I can actually sleep through the night without needing a bathroom break…basically I’m a 4 year old 🙂

Best Moment of the Week: My dad’s birthday was this past Friday on the 15th and we drove up (down? over?) to North Carolina. In the gift bag with his present was a onesie that said “Grandpa’s Future Fishing Buddy” and he lost his mind 🙂 It makes me so happy to see my parents excited about their future grandchild and I really hope we can make it through this together 🙂

Miss Anything? Not really. I was looking at planning a local weekend trip for Hubbins and I for Valentine’s Day weekend and one of the places had a hot tub and sauna in the room and I realized I couldn’t do either of those #shrug

Movement: Too soon to tell.

Food cravings: Everything! This is the first week where everything has looked amazing to me! I have been trying to have fruit or vegetables at every meal because asshat doctor’s voice has been in the back of my mind all week.

Anything make you sick or queasy: Cologne this week has been getting to me.

Gender/Sex Prediction: I feel it is a girl. Planning to not find out till our reveal shower sometime in April/May.

Labor signs: Thankfully no!! I need these to not be a thing for a good long time.

Symptoms:  It was a really good week. My only real issue was that my back is still pretty sore from the epidural I had for the cerclage. It has been about two weeks now so I expected it to be completely better now. Going to ask doctor about it at my next appointment on Tuesday.

Belly button in or out: In.

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Bump: I think we are getting somewhere! Pics coming soon.

Happy or Moody: Happy! I have been in a great mood this week. I had a spurt of energy that I have been missing for the past few months. I worked on decluttering our master bedroom this week and making plans for what furniture will be moved where as Nugget will be sharing our room for the foreseeable future. My Pinterest board is full of inspiration for how we are going to make this work for our little family.

Looking forward to: Dual appointments on Tuesday with MFM and my regular OB. Progesterone shots are supposed to start next Friday; not really looking forward to them as I have heard they are a literal pain in the ass but excited as it is one more preventative measure that helps ensure that Nugget stays put for a nice long time. Snowmageddon 2016!! I haven’t had a real ‘snow day’ since college and I’m excited about camping in with Hubbins this weekend. Be safe out there friends 🙂

My Cerclage Experience

I can’t believe it is over and done with! I anxietied about this procedure since I heard that my doctor was going to do it. Wednesday I stayed home from work and did some chores at home because I didn’t know what state I would be in after my procedure on Thursday. Then I attempted to sleep on Wednesday night but ended up staying up most of the right reading my bible and singing trying to reassure myself that it would be alright.

Thursday morning we woke up and reported to Outpatient surgery. I have to say that I was so impressed with everyone who touched any part of this process: from registration to the nurses to anesthesia to the OR and recovery team, they did an amazing job at not only reassuring me during the process but in catering to the fact that I am control freak who needs to know what is happening every step along the way. Back in pre-op I did face a few uncomfortable moments when one nurse asked “Is this your first?” and seeing me hemming and hawing over how to answer she apologized profusely and then bought 2 other nurses over who had losses followed by successful pregnancies with cerclages. These  two women became my ‘mother hens’for my entire day of the procedure. They checked on me in recovery and one even gave me her phone numbers so I could call her cell in case I had any questions about anything during the remainder of my pregnancy. She kept saying “I will be praying for a completely uneventful, boring pregnancy for you”.

The anesthesiologist came back and spoke to me about the plan for the epidural for the procedure as they were hesitant to have me under general anesthesia this early in pregnancy. Then I kissed Hubbins goodbye and went back to the OR. OMG. WHY ARE OR’s SO COLD??!! I’m sure it has to do with infection control but sweet baby Jesus. I ended up with 6 blankets on and a body warmer contraption by the time we were done. The worst part of my entire experience was having the epidural placed. My nurse anesthetist kept reminding me that these are usually done when you are in the midst of labor and contractions are kicking your tail so the pain just merges together but my goodness!! It took them two tries; one with the nurse anesthetist and once by the anesthesiologist because apparently at 5″5 I have a little frame (words I have never heard in life) and the spaces in between my vertebrae are relatively small. It felt like someone had taken a spear and was shoving it in my back and down one side of my body. The second attempt was bad but the medicine began to take effect quickly. It was the weirdest feeling ever; I could feel my legs being tingly (imagine when your foot falls asleep) but I could do nothing to move them. For the rest of the time, they would say “we are going to move your leg now” and I would respond “I believe you”. The only other uncomfortable part of the process was the nausea. That was due to me having an empty stomach as I had nothing since 10 the night before and the fact that the table was tilted on an incline to allow for my doctor to be positioned better. However, my trusty team came through and I learned that rubbing alcohol wipes under your nose for a minute or so will take that nauseous urpy feeling away.

Once the epidural was in I was on the table for maybe 25-30 mins and then to recovery. Before leaving recovery, you have to be able to use the restroom and be able to stand on your own. This took about two hours during which I napped and Hubbins watched Netflix. About an hour in they came and did an ultrasound of the baby and after that I felt a lot better although the quality of the ultrasound wasn’t as clear as the one at Maternal Fetal Medicine. My discharge instructions include no heavy lifting and taking it easy for the next two days. My OB has placed me on pelvic rest (all the sad faces from Hubbins) but he is on board with it. The bleeding was light yesterday and has all but ceased today which is great for my peace of mind. I follow-up with my OB in two weeks but luckily for me I had a cervical length scheduled at MFM for this coming Monday so I get to see Nugget in a few days. The cerclage is slated to stay in till 36 weeks but may come out earlier at 32 weeks depending on how things are looking.

Recovery wise, last night my chief complaint was my back. It is really sore and I declined the Oxycodone that my doctor offered for pain. I am certain she would not have given it if it was safe for baby but I do feel like I don’t want to chance that strong of a drug. So I have been using Tylenol and ice and that has helped a lot. Today I am still pretty sore and I feel a few more cramps than I did yesterday. I have been on the couch and/or in bed most of the day. Hubbins and I did go to Walmart today and after about 20 minutes I could tell that I needed to return to the couch. I don’t go back to work till Monday so I will be laying low this weekend.

I want to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers yesterday. I felt so much calmer because I knew that there were so many people sending positive vibes my way.

I also need to shout out my husband. He is such a calm reassuring force and he understands me so well. When we were waiting in pre-op and he could see my nerves building while we were delayed, he pulled out a deck of cards and helped take my mind off of my endless wondering. Last night, when insomnia had me up at 2 am for about 5 hours, he was by my side on the couch. I can’t get out of bed or cough or turn without him being awake and asking if I am alright. He is going to make such a wonderful Dad and I can’t wait to see him in that role.

9 weeks, 5 days

I went for my checkup yesterday. The anxiety started around Sunday and built steadily till the time I walked into the ultrasound room.  This appointment was for sonogram and then regular checkup with my doctor. I love my ultrasound tech. She has always remembered me from the last time and I feel like she takes extra special care with me when I come in. Baby is doing well!!!! As soon as I saw the heartbeat, that is when I remembered to breathe. Every time this happens, it sinks in that try as I might to ‘not get attached’, the minute I saw that 2nd pink line, I was in love.

Back on track…

Baby is measuring exactly 9 weeks and 5 days and has a heart rate of 172. My cervix is nice and long at 4.56 cm and remains shut! I got a few nice pictures and as soon as I can figure out what is going on with my phone, I will add them to this post.

After sonogram, I had a checkup with Dr. H. We did a urine culture and what I think is gonorrhea culture.. I saw the swab but forgot to ask what specific culture it was. I am down 2 pounds from when I last saw her so she is happy about that. She doesn’t want me to gain any more than 20 pounds for this pregnancy so I’m trying my best to ‘save’ as much of that as I can for later 🙂 We reviewed my labs from last time and she said that everything looks good so far BUT I am anemic. This has always been an issue for me, but she said we need to try to get my hemoglobin up to around 12 for this pregnancy; I am currently at a 10 so she started me on an iron supplement that I need to add to my prenatal. We talked about my heartburn and she recommended Pepcid in addition to the TUMS that I have been popping like Tic-Tacs.

Next steps: My first appointment with maternal fetal medicine (MFM) is on the 28th of December. At that time we will do the blood work part of the NT scan (genetic testing). The following Monday, on the 4th, I go back to MFM for the NT ultrasound which measures the thickness of the fold on baby’s neck (another form of testing for genetic abnormalities). At that time, I will get a recommendation from them for the timing of cerclage placement as well as information about continuing progesterone in form of the shots (still taking the Endometrin vaginally). On the 5th, I go  back to Dr. H and review their recommendation and she will schedule my cerclage. I will say, I am getting nervous. Most preventative cerclages are placed around 15 weeks but since my last loss was at 14 weeks she wants to aim for 13 weeks if possible.

I’ve decided to tell my mom on Christmas Day. I am still really apprehensive about telling anyone but I don’t feel comfortable going into having the procedure without her knowing. I’m excited about that. 🙂