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Friday, September 28, 2012

4 posts in one week - boo. yah.

Got to see the babies yesterday, and I am thankful to report that they are still looking good! Their heart rates were similar (Baby A at 178 bpm and Baby B at 170 bpm), and I got to see both of them wiggle around a little. Hard to believe that is happening inside of me without me feeling it!

Baby B is hanging out upside down at the moment, which I wouldn't think would be comfortable, but then again, I wouldn't think being stuck inside of a uterus with another person would be all that comfortable in general. Regardless, glad that they both seem to be happy and making themselves right at home!

A few things I have been doing less often lately:

1. Working out - remember how I used to work out 5-6 times a week? Now there isn't even a guarantee that I will work out 5-6 minutes per week. Initially this was because working out was not allowed after the IVF transfer, but since then it has mostly been because (a) I haven't been feeling great, (b) I don't feel like waking up early since I am not sleeping as well (refer to #2 below), or (c) I am just enjoying having an excuse not to.

I would like to get back into the routine of at least walking on a regular basis, and might even give prenatal yoga a try with a friend of mine, but for now, I will just try to enjoy being lazy.

2. Sleeping through the night - I think I have slept completely through the night maybe once since the IVF transfer. Sometimes I wake up because I have to pee, sometimes I wake up in a panic about what could potentially go wrong with the babies, and sometimes (lately) I just have to cough or blow my nose. The good news is that the sleep that I DO get is pretty solid, and typically filled with very strange dreams.

3. Eating chocolate - Actually, this goes for dessert in general. I am still just not all that interested in sweets, sadly. In fact, if given the choice between a bag of tortilla chips and a bowl of ice cream, I would definitely go for the tortilla chips. Of course, 5-6 bites in I would feel uncomfortably full and then hate myself for hours after that. Fun times.

A few things I have been doing more often lately:

1. Drinking Sprite/7UP - I drink a lot of water and it is typically my preferred beverage. But sometimes lately I am desperate for anything that will (a) help settle my stomach and (b) get rid of the gross taste in my mouth. The only downfall is that they are a little too sugary for my liking (see #3 above).

2. Eating cheese - No lie, there were 3 days last week where my primary source of protein for breakfast, lunch, and dinner came from various forms of cheese. If eating cheese is wrong, I don't want to be right. (PS - Related fact: If the twins are both boys, I legitimately want to name them Colby & Jack(son).)

3. Using exclamation points in my blog posts - Allison pointed this out, and I hate to admit it (because it happens so rarely), but she is right. I suppose it should come as no surprise, though, that my writing seems a little more enthusiastic when I'm writing about carrying 2 babies versus writing about my depressingly uncooperative ovaries. (!)

Stay tuned for more exciting updates!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

For a good laugh

Men and women alike will appreciate these... particularly the men:

"I don't wanna eat with you if you're gonna be a MEANIE!"

"Oh my gosh! Look at that pant! It is so cute!"

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I spoke too soon

So remember in yesterday's post when I said I was "still not feeling too bad"? Forget that I said that, because yesterday and today I have felt like total and complete crap!

What I assumed were allergies rolled onto the scene on Sunday and quickly escalated by yesterday morning to a cold. A cold that would be much more manageable if my nurse had given me any other remedy option besides Tylenol. Blah.

And I'm not sure if it was due to the congestion or drainage or what, but yesterday also marked the first day that I legitimately thought I was going to throw up. As in, a co-worker held my hair back while I walked with a trash can to the bathroom just in case I didn't make it. But much to my disappointment, I never actually threw up, which is about as frustrating as needing to sneeze but not actually being able to do it (which I also experienced a few times yesterday).

Anyway, believe it or not, the point of this post is not to whine, but rather to (a) provide further material with which to guilt trip the twins one day, and (b) satisfy any of you that were secretly hoping I would experience at least some of the first trimester misery. So there you go.

Also, if anyone has any natural cold remedy suggestions, please send them my way!

Monday, September 24, 2012

This post brought to you courtesy of Sunday afternoon football

Thank you, everyone, for being just as excited we are about Friday's big announcement! It has been fun to hear/read/see everyone's reactions, which seems to range from squeals of excitement to a look of shock followed by nervous laughter- don't worry, we have experienced every emotion in between ourselves!

To answer a few lingering questions:

- Yes, we do plan to find out if they are boys, girls, or one of each. We have had people predict eery possible combination, so no predominant guess so far.

- No, we don't have names picked out yet, but we are working on it. Coming up with 3 different combinations is a little bit of a challenge, but obviously we have plenty of time.

- We still have not been given a concrete due date, and they were measuring a little bit ahead of schedule at our last appointment, so my safest guess is that they are due some time in April (which means they will share a birth month with my mom, Brian's dad, Brian's mom, and Davis!)

So that's that. I am still not feeling too bad for the most part, but my confusing relationship with food continues. I basically feel like I am dealing with constant indigestion, with a few moments of I-have-to-eat-right-now-or-I-will-die in between. Although generally as soon as I do eat following those moments, I feel uncomfortably full after just a few bites.

I have just 2-3 more appointments with the fertility clinic before I'll (finally!) be released to my OB (first appointment tentatively scheduled for October 12th). Apparently I will also get to stop taking the progesterone and estrogen supplements that week, which excites me almost as much as the fact that Needle Lady said that I can resume taking baths the following week. I am thinking about having a party because this occasion certainly merits a celebration, wouldn't you agree?

Oh, and yes, to clarify, I am still going to acupuncture once a week through the end of the first trimester. It's nice to have 20 minutes of forced relaxation each week, and it also seems to be keeping some of the notorious first trimester symptoms out of the way, so I'll take it!

Other than that, we are just carrying about life as normal, which at this time of year means that Brian is glued to the TV watching football while I mindlessly peruse the internet approximately 75% of the time. Fall is really productive at our house, as you can imagine.

Have a great week, peeps!

Friday, September 21, 2012

The big debut

Double the trouble,
Twice the fun!
We're thrilled to announce
That there's more than one (baby, that is)!

Yep, that's right- we're having TWINS! Allow me to introduce you to "Baby A" (on the left), and "Baby B" (on the right).

Surprised? That makes a lot of us. Although admittedly Brian and I have known about this these little surprises for a couple of weeks now. Here's the scoop:

When did we find out?
At our first ultrasound, we very clearly saw one baby. One black circle with a little grey blob in the middle. There was a shaded area on one corner of the screen that the nurse briefly mentioned could be another baby, but because we couldn't see anything after further investigation, we left that appointment assuming there was just one.

And then came our second ultrasound. I was nervous and told the nurse when she walked into the room that she was only allowed to give me good news (no pressure, though!). Well indeed she did deliver because as soon as she pulled up the screen, we immediately noticed not one, but TWO black circles with little grey blobs in the middle!

I was honestly in disbelief, as was Brian, whose eyes were about 10 times their normal size. But as she continued to take measurements and then spotted not one, but TWO little heartbeats, the reality of what we were looking at started to sink in.

We were of course thrilled, but knew that it was still very early and not uncommon to lose one twin in the first trimester, so we decided to wait on sharing the news. Later that afternoon, I received the news that my my HCG levels dropped, which further solidified our choice to wait. Initially we were going to wait until the end of the first trimester, but as the following appointments continued to go well, we decided to go ahead and spill the beans. And here we are!

Are we nervous?
Honestly, I don't think we're any more nervous than any other first-time parents! I would say at this point that we are more excited than nervous, but I'm sure that will change some as the reality of having our family instantly double in size sets in!

How am I feeling?
Praise the Lord, still pretty good for the most part! Finding things that sound appealing to eat is still a bit of a struggle, and I generally feel pretty uncomfortable from around 3 pm until whenever I go to sleep, but nothing unbearable. I have started to get some lower back pain in the last couple of days and some other random muscle spasms that lead me to believe my body is getting a head start on making room for its two newest inhabitants.

Oh, and as a punishment for me previously making fun of people for thinking they legitimately have a baby bump at 8 weeks (it's tough being bitter), I noticed today that some of my pants are not necessarily interested in buttoning. So that's special.

So how cool is it to be a twin expecting twins?
Pretty darn cool. I think being a twin is the best (perhaps I'm biased, particularly because my twin is so awesome), and I'm excited for our little ones to get to experience that as well!

So that's the latest! Hopefully now that the cat's out of the bag, I will be a little less distracted and will feel more comfortable giving updates. I just found it really hard to talk honestly about the pregnancy knowing that there were two babies and not just one (ie: I didn't want to say "it" instead of "them"), so it was easier not to blog at all. Hope you'll let that slide!

If you have any other questions, I'm happy to answer, so feel free to ask away!

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." - Ephesians 3:20-21

Monday, September 17, 2012

7 weeks and 6 days down, a seeming eternity to go!

Greetings, readers!

I hope you realized in the last post when I said "disjointed updates," that I meant "very infrequent updates." I'm sorry! I really thought I was going to be a better pregnancy blogger than this, but I also really thought that I wouldn't spend every waking (and sleeping) second obsessing about whether or not everything is still going well.

I know what you're thinking: "GET A GRIP!" And I am telling myself the same thing about 800 times a day, but apparently it hasn't registered yet.

I had an appointment last Tuesday at 7 weeks exactly, and everything is still looking good! However, if you'll recall, 7 weeks means that I graduate to just one appointment per week. This is GOOD news, but the 9 days between my last appointment and my next appointment (this Thursday) might as well be 9 million years.

And yes, I realize that normal fertile people often haven't had a single appointment by this point, but when you are used to being monitored multiple times per week, you come to rely on those appointments for reassurance. So I suppose this is lesson #1 in parenthood about walking in faith and trusting that God has everything under control. You would think 3 years of infertility (or 29.5 years of life) would have taught me that, but you'd be wrong :)

Brian, on the other hand, is on the opposite end of the spectrum, which is not unusual in our marriage! I'm fairly certain that the thought that something could still go wrong flew out the window the moment he saw and heard that perfect little heartbeat. And although sometimes his eternal optimism really frustrates me, I am admittedly reassured by his confidence, so I'm thankful for that.

In the meantime, my biggest struggle is equating how well the pregnancy is progressing with how I am feeling. If I feel crappy and uncomfortable, then I assume that everything is perfect. If I feel generally fine, then I assume things have taken a turn for the worst.

So on that note, two things:
1. Will you PLEASE pray for me to have some peace of mind? PLEASE??
2. Will those of you that have already conquered pregnancy please reassure me that it is normal for my symptoms to come and go?

I think that's it for now. I promise to give an update after the next ultrasound, and if you are REALLY lucky, I might even post a picture of our little blob, so stay tuned!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Finding a new normal

Happy Monday, all! I am relieved/thrilled/thankful to share that our last ultrasound showed growth and a stronger heartbeat, AND my HCG levels went back up- praise the Lord!

To say that I had been nervous leading up to Friday's appointment would be a major understatement. I normally don't consider myself to be particularly dramatic, but I suppose the last 3 years have just trained me to always be ready for the other shoe to drop, which is why I was wide awake at 3 am that morning figuring out what I would need to tell my hair salon if I had to call and cancel my hair cut for that afternoon due to receiving bad news.

A lot of "recovering" infertility bloggers talk about this topic, but the transition from battling infertility into pregnancy is a difficult (and awkward) one. We have faced so much disappointment and seen things not work out so many times in the past that it is hard to convince ourselves to expect (or accept!) otherwise.

I won't go on and on about it, but suffice it to say that I'm trying to reach a balance between being excited and being realistic about the fact that it's still early in the game. As has been the case for the last few years, the best term I can think of to describe how I'm feeling is "cautiously optimistic." So if I seem uncomfortable or emphasize that "it's still so early!" when you congratulate me, just bear with me :) The good news is that I have 33 more weeks to practice responding more naturally- ha!

Anyway, moving along, all is well so far. In the last few days, I have developed a general aversion to eating. I literally cannot think of anything that actually sounds appealing, and yet I only feel better once I actually do eat something. I am also sad to report that I have zero interest in Dairy Queen blizzards at the moment. But again, there are still 33 weeks left to correct that, so have no fear!

That's really all for now... I feel like we are just living from one appointment to the next for the time being. Hopefully my brain will get out of the fog it seems to be in once we are released to my normal OBGYN in 4 weeks, but in the meantime, hopefully these disjointed updates will suffice!

Thanks for continuing to pray for our (growing!) family, and please remember to continue praying for my sissy's family as they continue to recover from their loss.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Quick prayer request

Good news: The ultrasound went well yesterday and we were able to see AND hear a heartbeat! I was measuring 6 weeks along exactly, and everything appears to be right on track.

Not-so-good news: My bloodwork came back in the afternoon and showed a drop in my HCG levels. Typically HCG levels should rise up until around 10 weeks, so it’s pretty early for there to be any type of drop. I called the nurse and she said this wasn’t cause for concern since the ultrasound looked good (and typically once you reach 6 weeks, the ultrasound findings “trump” the HCG results), but as you can imagine, this has made me pretty nervous.

Please join us in praying that the next ultrasound would go well AND that my levels would rise significantly. And in the meantime, please pray for peace and patience while we wait.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The details

Oh, hey! I didn't mean to drop that kind of major bomb on you and then bail, but in my defense, I did have a few valid excuses:

1. Even though we had gotten two positive blood tests by the time we made the announcement, we were still waiting on our first ultrasound, which in my mind meant we were still holding our breath (which, let's be honest, I feel like we'll continue to do at least until the second trimester!) and therefore left me a little distracted.

2. We were busy preparing for/partaking in our Labor Day travels to La Grange and Austin.

3. My sissy and Wade received some heartbreaking news last Thursday, which has been heartbreaking for us, too. And even though I know we still have "permission" to be happy about our own news, we honestly just haven't felt all that happy. Please continue to pray for them as they attempt to get back into the swing of things!

With all that said, I'm back and full of updates, so allow me to get you all up to speed:

So how/when did we find out?
Our clinic is pretty insistent that you wait the full 2 weeks after your transfer (unlike some that test you as early as 9 days past the transfer). However, you mathematicians and/or stalkers out there might have figured out that 2 weeks after our transfer was right in the middle of our previously scheduled trip to the beach.

With this being the case, I politely requested that they do my blood test on the Wednesday before we left so that my brain would not explode from waiting any longer we didn't have to wait until the following Monday. Thankfully, they obliged, but said that we would still have to come back the following Monday to confirm the results.

So on Wednesday, August 22nd, we went in for blood work without telling anyone (minus Allison, she doesn't count). Personally, I thought I was a mess. On edge, irritable, nervous, etc. Brian, however, must have thought otherwise because he thought I was so unusually calm and collected that after he dropped me off at work, he called me to confirm that I didn't already "know something he didn't."

For the record, I didn't. I never took a home pregnancy test (upon the advice of some IVF veterans) and was as convinced that I was pregnant as I was that I was not pregnant. But good to know I can disguise "insane" as calm and collected, right?

Anyway, without prolonging this explanation any further, the nurse called me at 12:02 pm while I was a few bites into my PB&J to tell me the good news (beta hCG was 261, for those that are interested). I immediately called Brian to tell him the good news- a call I had been looking forward to making for 3 year long years (although in my earlier idealistic days, I would have preferred to find out at home and tell him in person like normal couples do)!

He then came to my office so we could "celebrate" in person, but since we weren't ready to tell the general public and I had to keep working, "celebrate" meant spending a few minutes hugging and talking in my car before Brian left to eat lunch at Freebirds by himself. We'll be sure to put that in the scrapbook!

We decided not to announce anything until we got the results of the blood test on the following Monday just to be on the safe side, which meant that I was just as nervous to get the results from the second blood test as I was from the first!

Must not have been as urgent to my nurses this time, however, because it was FOUR PM before I heard back. To say we were relieved/excited would be a major understatement (second beta hCG was 2141, FYI). We spent the evening at home hurriedly getting in touch with friends and family before the big blog announcement went up at 5:30 am the next morning.

We had our first ultrasound last Thursday (as well as more blood work- it never ends!), and although it was too early to see a heartbeat, we did get to see the gestational sac and yolk sac. I was apparently measuring 5 weeks and 1 day, so if that continues to be true, our actual due date will be May 2, 2013 (one day before Brian's 30th birthday)!

We will continue to go in twice a week until we reach 7 weeks, then once a week until 11 weeks, at which point I will be (gasp) released to my normal OBGYN. Hard to believe that day will come, especially because right now it feels like it's at least 800 years away.

So with all that said, so far, so good! We were blown away by the response to our announcement last week, and are unbelievably thankful to have had so many people cheer us on along the way! However, it is obviously still VERY early in the game, so it would mean the world for us if you would please join us in praying for everything to stay on track, and for us to see a healthy heartbeat soon!

Thanks, all, and if you haven't done so already, please do head on over to Allison's blog to leave her some love/words of encouragement!