Ode to mekate

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Ode to mekate

Tick, tick, tick, tick...
a new clock is winding down.
Any day.
Any minute.
Any second
and a new one to love will be here with warm flesh to kiss
and nuzzle,
smelling like fresh life and endless happiness.

So soon.
So soon.

SPROGBLOGGER HAS POPPED!!!!

3 comments
Hey everyone, it's super duper late over here but Susan aka Sprogblogger has posted an entry that her water has broken. Please head over to wish her well.

She is one of my premiere bloggidy heroes.

She is so so so so so so ready to be a fabulous mom.

I am sending all my good thoughts to her and her talented husband. I pray your little boy arrives in this world healthy and happy and I know that most of all he will be...

♥ ♥ ♥ so very loved and cherished ♥ ♥ ♥

Big hugs and blown kisses and good luck prayers to you Susan.

-- Traci

Wordless Wednesday

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CandV.jpg

Hello world v. 2.0

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Where do I start after been away for so long? How can I possibly catch up with all of the crazy from day to day? What should I write about first?

I don't know.

I know this. I miss writing. I miss reading. I miss connecting with all of my bloggidy friends.

So here I am.

Sorry for being away for so long.

It has been wonderful and hectic and joyous and heart-breakingly sad at times.

Sounds a little like that thing...you know...what's it called again? Oh yeah.

Life.

I was without a laptop since about August 1st. I let my teenage niece use it while she was visiting and well, she discovered Fa.cebook. So yeah, I never saw the laptop again. ;-)

Truth be told, she was soooooo helpful and wonderful to have while trying to work a schedule out with the babies that MrBeep and I decided to give her my old laptop as a thank you gift when she left about three weeks later. She was a pretty happy 13 year old, let me tell you that.

So I finally broke down last week and bought a new fresh mac-daddy-of-a-wompum laptop. I bought a refurbished unit to save some money. It is very fast and sleek and best of all I can do all of my photography and video editing wherever I am. Since it is an intel-based processor, I can also load up Windows 7 on it and that will be superawesomepuss as well.

So it arrived a couple of days ago and voila since that time I have been reading blogs again and commenting and now, here I am posting an entry of my very own. It's like freaking magic.

I can write and read and research on the laptop even if the babies are sleeping away in their cribs and I am hooked up to the pump. By the way which is where they both are right now. Ahhhh sleepy bubs. And I am just a few feet away, sitting on my bed and pumping and writing and reading and I can't really explain just how happy and relieved that makes me feel.

Wanna know a truly embarrassing secret? Since getting my computer back, my milk supply has increased and my PPD has significantly lifted. Is that lame or what? I am truly that much of a computer nerd that I tie a load of happiness to electronic communication?

Well, it's the truth. My pumping volume doubled just about overnight and I haven't been a weepy mess in the last few days. So now that I am officially back and a new normal is starting to emerge, I'll just end by saying...

Hello world.

Again.

Home :-)

29 comments

WelcomeHomeDay Life is happy but hectic. The C-Monster came home on June 15, 2010 at 6 lbs 14 oz. Her grandparents kept watch over her in the hospital while I went to get MrBeep. We went out for our last dinner together (sans kids or major organizing) and had a big bowl of yummy pho.  On the way back to get Cece (pronounced SEE-SEE) we saw the most amazing and vibrant rainbow I have ever seen in my life. This photo can’t do it justice, I didn’t have my camera with me, but MrBeep grabbed a shot with his mediocre camera phone. I know it sounds totally cliché, but from our perspective the end of that rainbow went right to our neighborhood, to Home.

The V-Creature came home a week later at 7 lbs 4 oz, she just needed to work on her bottle feeding.  Both girls are doing great.  We aren’t prescribed any special medications or equipment.  Just a multi-vitamin and a tsp of preemie formula to add to breastmilk as a fortifier until the girls can eat a large enough volume, then that will go too.  They were both home about a week before their due date. 

CMonster01 VCreature01

A new kind of normal is gradually coming together.  We are all so happy to be at home.  We appreciate the wonderful care we received in the NICU, but HOME is my favorite place and now I have a complete one with My Own Little Family.

Our pediatrician is excellent and hilarious. He joked he was concerned by their lack of a neck, but pronounced them both “keepers” and was happy that they didn’t have “that creepy preemie look”.  Both girls are now over 8.5 lbs.  Go chunkers!

It has been a real interesting challenge to get their feedings under control and somewhat coordinated.  It was originally taking an hour per girl to eat and burp, then I had to pump for 40 minutes.  That only left 20 minutes for anything else before the feedings began again.  Every 3 hours, round the clock.  We have all be very very well…see for yourself…Cece is on the left and Vivie is on the right. 

Sleepy01

Sleepy02Even Daddy has been tuckered out. :-) MrBeep has been so wonderful, he talks to them and feeds them with a bottle when they aren’t nursing with Mommy.  A few times they have all fallen asleep on the couch or he’ll snuggle with one of the girls while I have the other one laying on me, or wrapped up in a Moby out for a walk in the eve of a summer night.

Catching up with you all is something that is important to me.  I will try my best to peruse between feedings and writing and pumping and post-nesting.  Thanks for your comments on my last post and for your words of encouragement.  Sending out love in all directions. OXXO – IF.

Holding steady, more info soon

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We are doing fine. Celeste is home. Vivien should be home next week. I am stealing a little of my sleep time to post this short note and read a couple of blogs. The hospital NICU's internet is really horrible, so I haven't been able to keep up...but next week it should all be over.

The babies are great, both over 7 lbs and have no special needs for when they come home.

I am filled with joy.

MrBeep is incredible.

More next week.

Sending much love out there to you all.

-IF

35 Weeks & 5 lbs 10 oz!

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The girls have done it!  We’ve reached 35 weeks.  In fact, they are six weeks old today.  Last night they weighed in at 5 lbs 10 oz.  Their weight is only 8 grams different.  It’s pretty extraordinary and I am overjoyed that they have kept up good growth.  We are now too big for preemie clothes and diapers and have moved up.  I tell the girls that I am so proud of them that they have “big girl panties” since they wear newborn sized diapers instead of preemie.  Celeste is 18.75” in length and Vivien is 18.25”. 

They are both taking feedings from a bottle and from the breast.  They are still getting fed half of their meals via a gavage tube that goes from their nose into their tummy.  I pump breast milk 6-7 times per day and get around 7-10 oz (~250-300 ml) each time.  I make wwwaaaayyyyy more milk than what they currently need.  I have filled the freezer in their NICU suite 3 times!  They always get fresh milk and I am saving the freezer stuff for when they come home and my husband or in-laws can feed them a bottle while I get some extra sleep.  I mention this because I was really worried that having a premature baby would mean that I couldn’t make adequate milk.  Luckily for me, thank goodness, this is not a problem.  I drink a ton of water to help my supply (about 2-3 liters per day), I pump every 3-4 hours for 30+ minutes and I hand express any extra milk to ensure that my breasts are as empty as possible.  I really think that early and often hand expression (this was encouraged by the lactation consultants in the NICU) has really made a difference.

Unfortunately, my sweetie girls still have apnea of prematurity episodes a few times per day, but they are steadily growing out of it.  They no longer have nasal cannulas to give them airflow to remind them to breathe and are only on extra doses of caffeine (very Seattle). We expect that we will be able to take them home in 2-3 weeks.  They will have to stop having apnea episodes, take all of their feeds from either breast or bottle (they do about half now), continue to gain weight and maintain their body temperature in their open cribs (they’ve been out of their isolettes for about 2 weeks now).

I spend most of my day in the NICU.  I wake up in the morning around 6:30 am to pump breast milk for them, then I take a nap until about 9:30 to drive to the hospital where I try to feed at the breast by 10:30.  I stay with them all day in our private room at the hospital.  I change their diapers, feed them and also help the nurse with little tasks.  I give them a bath once or twice per week.  My favorite part of the day when I get to hold them kangaroo style (skin-to-skin) quietly sing songs and love them up.  My mother and father in law show up around 6:00 pm to give me a break.  I go home and spend 3-4 hours with MrBeep, then we both head back to the hospital and hang out with the girls until about 1:00 to 2:00 am.  When either girl has a bad day, then I spend the night and sleep on a foam bed in their room.  Luckily, they have been doing well for several weeks and I haven’t had to sleep over for a while. 

Thank you all so much for checking on me.  I try to steal time away during the day to read your blogs. I comment when I can.  To tell the truth, there has been much fear and many tears shed on my part, but we are steadily getting through this.  I find it hard to write about it, I can’t seem to get back the same quiet time to reflect on my feelings and I don’t think that dwelling on the negative is useful for me right now.  I would rather spend my energy holding them next to my skin (they love skin-to-skin contact).  I would rather spend my energy quietly singing songs and telling them how much they are loved and how proud we are of them. They are both very hearty and healthy and (in my humble opinion) are beyond adorable.  I am so in love.  My heart is full. 

CeceChillax

VivWink 

32 weeks, names & our first 2 weeks in the NICU

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IMG_0382We’ve reached 32 weeks!  The grrls are doing well and growing every day.  They are still preemies and have some issues and minor scares but we are getting through each day as best we can.  I get to take care of their diapers and help the nurses with little things and every day I take out one or both babies and we have some skin-to-skin kangaroo care.

♥♥  I call it “snuggly time” and I love it.  ♥♥

I want to do another positive post to mark our 32 week milestone.  It’s not where I had hoped I would be, it’s not what I expected.  I’ll write more about a day in the life for a mom with babies in the NICU next week, but today I celebrate.  I celebrate life and love and happiness.  There are many frets and worries, handwringing and quiet tears shed in the night but they are getting bigger and stronger every day.  With each day the heavy burden on my heart lifts just a little.  Each little one opens her eyes and gazes at Mommy, sometimes I get a delightful gummy grin.  I am overcome.

Their growth is good and steady.  Wiggles now weighs 3 lbs 12 oz and Pip weighs 3 lbs 14 oz (they are well past their birthweights of 3 lbs 3 oz and 3 lbs 5 oz).  I think they may hit 4 pounds tonight or tomorrow.  YAY!  They are fed mommy’s milk with a little fortifier added for extra calories, vitamins and protein (this is typical for preemies).  They aren’t on any type of formula.  I have surpassed them with my pumping 7-8 times per day and the freezer in our NICU fridge is getting pretty full.  Each one takes about 10 oz of milk per day, so I need to produce at least 20 oz/day.  I am typically doing between 4-6 ounces each time I pump and I pump 7-8 times per day.  As their weight increases, the milk needs will increase.  I am doing my best to stay on target.

Our biggest problem and concern is with Apnea of Prematurity.  Basically they have occasions when they forget to breathe or are breathing so shallow that it causes their oxygen levels to fall.  They have little probes on their chests and a special NICU pulse oximeter on a foot to keep track of their heart rate, breathing and blood oxygen levels.  If anything gets out of the desired range, little alarms will sound in the room, their NICU nurse is paged and an emergency light illuminates outside their room.  Our girls have their own room in the NICU and their own nurse.  Sometimes we share a nurse with 1 other baby, but the ratio is typically 2:1 or 3:1.  I stay here most of the day and on some nights when they are having a day with lots of episodes of apnea.  They will eventually grow out of the apnea as their brains and nervous systems finish developing.  In the meantime, it is really hard to leave them alone, even though they have excellent care.  Most of their episodes of apnea they recover within seconds on their own, other times a nurse comes to stimulate them a bit by changing their position, rubbing their back or tummy or feet.  We have had to put them on a nasal cannula with 3-4 liters of high-flow room air to help reduce the number of episodes per day.  It has dramatically reduced the number and severity of the apnea episodes.  Luckily room air is good enough and they do not require supplemental oxygen.  I will be a very happy person in about 3-4 more weeks when brain development at 34-36 weeks typically eliminates this problem.

Having fun with “The Name Game”

We had a lot of fun coming up with names for our kiddos.  We made a big list and since many of the names were unusual, we sent out the list to many friends and family to get feedback.  It helped to eliminate a few names we were on the fence about and we had a great time discussing with a few folks.  In the end we pared the list down and picked our favorites.  Then we called our parents and discussed which one of the twins should get each name.  Celeste looks like MrBeep, she has his nose and eyes, so we decided if he was a girl Celeste would fit him well.  Vivien looks like me in my baby pictures and has my nose and eyes.  I think that I could look like a Vivien.  For pet names, we will call them CeCe (pronounced see-see) and Vivie. 

CelesteAstrid02

The girl's name Celeste \ce-les-te, is pronounced seh-LEST. It is of Latin origin, and its meaning is "heavenly".

The girl's name Astrid \a-st-rid, is pronounced AS-trid. It is of Old Norse origin, and its meaning is "fair, beautiful goddess" from the elements 'as', which relates to the Aesir [a group of gods formed around Odin] and 'trud', 'fair' or 'beautiful'. It was the name of one of the Valkyries.

VivienFayAnderson

The girl's name Vivien \v(i)-vien\, is pronounced VIV-ee-en. It is of Latin origin, and its meaning is "lively". An ancient personal name. The name has been common only since the 19th century. In Malory's "Morte d'Arthur", Vivien was the Lady of the Lake and also the enchantress of Merlin.

The girl's name Fay \fay\, is pronounced fay. Fay is derived from Middle English faie meaning "fairy", such as in the popular Arthurian figure of Morgan Le Fay. Faye is also the English form of the old French Foy, meaning "faith" (from the Latin 'fides').

Thanks to those who have been checking up on me and thank you so much for the congrats and well wishes.  I have been trying my best to establish some type of schedule and get back to reading and writing blog posts.  I purchased this hands-free pumping bra.  I think this will give me back a few extra hours a day and I really like that.  I’ve been sneaking a peak at various blogs from time to time on my phone or laptop when I get a few minutes.  I hope to be back to commenting very soon too.  I miss you all and wish you well.

♥ Welcome babies! Mommy loves you. ♥

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Hello my friends.  I am sorry that I haven’t been able to write, but it was a crazy week.  I went into the hospital on Sunday with contractions and our babies were born Monday, April 12, 2010 at 10:31 am and 10: 34 am. :-)  I will not go into all of the details of what happened in this post.  I just want to celebrate that they are here, very healthy and are growing and improving every day.  I have been able to hold and snuggle each one of them, they are perfect and precious, but are just wee little babes who will need some support and time to grow.

MrBeep has been incredible.  Through everything, no matter how scary, he was my rock.  He went with the babies, on my request, and stayed with them while they were being tended to by the NICU staff.  He came back to the OR, kissed me and told me everything I needed to know.  He comforted me during the worst of the storm.  I will be forever grateful for his love, strength and kindness.

I'm doing very good. Physically I did excellent with the emergency c-section and while I am a little tired, my pain levels are low and I can walk around, get up, etc. without much discomfort. I have only taken a few ibuprofen a day, no need for anything stronger. I'm not trying to be superwoman, I just am not in much pain. 

The wee babes are doing very well (all things considered).  They are 100% breathing on their own without any support. Their IVs will be out tomorrow. They will also be on 100% breast milk by tomorrow. The NICU staff started them with just colostrum and IV fluids, eventually transitioning to all mothers milk.  They increase the milk every day and decreasing the other fluids. They are tolerating the milk in their tummies just fine.  They are adding weight and we hope will continue to grow and do better every day.

They were both born at 17" long. One was 3 lbs 3 oz at birth and the other was 3 lbs 5 oz at birth. They were officially at 29 weeks and 3 days. We've got a lot of growing and developing to do, but will take each day at a time until it is time to go home.  We don’t have names picked out just yet, but have narrowed the list quit a lot and should have their names picked out this week.  For now, we still just call them Wiggles and Pip.

The neonatologist doctors at the hospital tell us they are doing great, the nurses too.  Docs said to estimate that they will go home around their due date, this should be mid-June.  Keep us in your good thoughts and prayers. Thank you for checking on me.  I would get a few updates on my phone, but had no easy way to communicate in the hospital.  Here are a couple of photos and video.  My little girls have sweet faces, adorable expressions, and big blue eyes. 

Wiggles4Days 
Baby A – aka “Wiggles” she looks just like her Daddy’s baby photos.  She has his nose.

PipSnuggle 
Baby B – aka “Pip” looks like her Mommy’s baby photos.  She has my nose (poor kid)

Some times I just pour tears of relief and joy when I watch them.  Like sunshine through the clouds on a stormy day, they swell my heart until I feel I may burst with overwhelming love.  The universe has so much in store, we never know how our lives unfold, but today I thank the universe for my sweetie love girls and my wonderful MrBeep.

28w3d - Good golly growing babies Batman!

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Thank you all for checking on me.  I am out of my routine (with my babysitters hovering) and am trying to set aside time for writing and reading and commenting.  Also, I’ve been lying low for the last week or so.  Skulking around and just relaxing, trying to make it to 28 weeks and I did it.  I’m so happy about that.  Getting through the goals you set in your mind gives such a great sense of forward momentum, that you are doing something right (even if that thing is just laying on a bed, being a lame lazyass). 

My first goal was 12 weeks (I’m sure many have been there or are getting there).  It went by slowly then quickly.  Strange bursts of time that surprise you when viewing a calendar, then sometimes days that seem to go on forever.  The next goal was 16 weeks, just because it was another month down and I could get amnio and results to help set my mind at ease.  I was so fortunate to finally get good results and know that I’ve got two little grrl monsters baking away.  I made my next mental goal to be 20 weeks.  I had a tough and frightening time of that with the emergency cerclage, but in the end realized just how fortunate I was to have it caught just in the nick of time.  The next mental goal of 24 weeks was really tough and scary.  There were hospital visits and bleeding and so much time spent alone with my nightmarish thoughts.  That was the worse of it all, but I got through it.  It’s interesting because we all have that “24 weeks = viability” idea stuck in our heads. 

DrGav once told me at 23w while I was leaving the hospital, “Traci, we have a way to go, you need to rest, be a princess on the couch.  It’s against my DNA to deliver babies before 28 weeks.”  My ObDoc pretty much echoed the same thing.  28 weeks was their mental goal for a minimum time for babies, not 24.  I understood why they would know this so much better than me.  They’ve seen the difference.  I made 28 weeks my next firm goal.  We got my rotating shift of babysitters and I have kept very strict to my bedrest.  Last week I saw DrGav at 27w6d for an office visit, he came to my exam room dressed in scrubs, he seemed very concerned and a little grim.  He let me know that I was doing fine, the cerclage was holding and the babies were looking good, although their amniotic fluid was still a little high.  He told me what medicine to take to help and then he said, “OK Traci.  Congratulations on making it to 28 weeks.  You’re doing a great job, please keep up the good work.  I’ve got to go now, wish me luck.  I have to run off to deliver a baby that is only at 25 weeks.”  My heart dropped into an abyss for that woman.  I looked at DrGav and could tell he was genuinely sad and worried.  I gave him a hug and wished him luck.  He accepted the hug and squeezed my hands and he was off.

Hitting the 28 week mark has taken a great burden of despair and worry from my mind.  Also much of my physical pain and crampiness has been gone for a couple of weeks.  Finally another bit of encouraging news came today at my growth ultrasound.  The babies measured 3 lbs 5oz and 3 lbs 6 oz.  They are in the 90th percentile for growth and while some of this may be due to my gestational diabetes, a lot is also from sticking to the high protein twins diet the clinic has me on.  I am still a little underweight (at 28 weeks, I have only gained about 20 lbs) but DrGav said not to worry abou6t this because the high protein and the babies size is more important than just weight gain.  We also were able to see and measure the grrls practicing breathing.  Each one gets the hiccups from time to time.  These are all good indicators of their progress and pushes me to believe that soon this will be over and I’ll have a crazy time keeping up with crying and feeding and nappies and cuddles.

I have made my next goal 31 weeks (3 weeks away instead of 4), then 34w (DrGav’s next goal) and finally 37w (aka “full term”).  I’ll take any, but I hope for all.  Sending out much love to all of you watching clocks and calendars.  I love to cheer when we reach milestones.   WOOOOOOOOOT!

I ♥ My Superior Geek Skillz

20 comments

I’m back!!!  I actually sat on my couch with my tea service tray on my lap, my computer repair toolbox next to me and took apart my laptop.  I suspected that the water spill totally killed my trackpad and caused the problem where I couldn’t boot up any more.  The BIOS had no option to disable the trackpad via that method, so I wanted to try to manually disconnect the flex circuit from the motherboard and try that.  I figured, “Hey, I’ve got nothing to lose at this point.” 

I would have just bought another laptop at any other time (my current one is about 6 years old), but I wanted to “get my geek on” and I have a really specific laptop in mind to replace this old one.  It will have the next leap in CPU technology with a quad-core processor (instead of the current dual-core).  This will allow me to do both digital photography and advanced video and editing with my laptop.  I can only do this on my big horking desktop right now.  I spilled the water on this laptop in early March and the next gen laptop is rumored to come out in April or May 2010. 

Getting to the trackpad connection was a total bitch. I had to remove all screws (except for those that hold the screen together), disconnect the screen from the motherboard and chassis, remove all peripherals (optical drive, RAM, hard drive, and wifi card), remove all plastic covers, doors, disconnect and reroute all internal wires and cables.  Luckily I had another laptop with a schematic of the internals nearby.  I took a good forty minutes to get the danged thing apart when finally I disconnected the flex cable leading from the trackpad to the motherboard.  *WHEW*

Next it took another forty minutes to get the blasted thing put together again.  I left a few panels off, didn’t finish tightening all the screws (a computer nerd’s Hail Mary trick), plugged it in and hit the exposed ON button at the top of the circuit board

THE LAPTOP BOOTED RIGHT UP!  I logged in to my account, got on the network, checked a few pages on the internet, then shut down.  YAY!!!!  I finished assembling all the final pieces, had MrBeep get a trackball mouse from the other room and voila, I am back in the virtual world.  Now I can check DrGoogle all I want, watch my netflix stuff, get a little facebook amusement, play games, and most importantly, post and keep up with the ALI community.  Me = Happycamper.

I talked to the grrrl monsters all the way through the process.  There were kicking around and jostling the tea tray with the parts in response.  I will absolutely teach them how to troubleshoot and repair computers when they grow up. Girl Geeks Unite!

26 - A hard won week

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I had a rough week. Thanks to everyone who kindly checked on me. Thursday morning started off with another big bleeding episode and contractons that sent me back to Labor and Delivery. I was checked on my by ObDoc and DrGav. The babies heartbeats were good, they were wiggling and jiggling about with all of the excitement and whatnot going on outside. It was decided after consulting ultrasound that the placenta previa was definiately still around and between its moving and bleeding another big clot had formed. When enough backed up, my uterus contracted hard to expel this unwanted material. I had felt achy and had a minor amount of spotting the two days before, so now I know what to look for if it happens again. This is possible as there are new clots that form and I still spot and the previa isn't gone.

Did I mention how much this sucks?

I was admitted to the hospital for observation and to receive steriod shots for the babies' lungs. We were at a critical stage, 25w6d so no one wanted to take any chances. The shots were administered and my bleeding mostly disappeared within the day. I only live 2.4 miles from my hospital, so we all decided I would be fine resting and recovering at home.

My laptop has not yet been recovered, I may not be able to fix it. This setback takes away a huge amount of my coping skills. I can't reach out to the ALI community easily (I have been able to keep up a little on my cell phone's web browser), I can't play computer games to pass the time, I can't research baby items or medical things, I can't use netflix watch instantly. I've been reading a little and doing puzzles to occupy my mind and pass the time. I watch minutes and hours and days tick by. My next big goal is 28 weeks, only 10 days to go on my countdown.

Since we know how important the next couple of months are, we decided that I needed someone with me. My MIL and FIL have stepped up for babysitting me on Mon/Wed/Fri, my friend Mike is being paid for babysitting me on Tues/Thursday. MrBeep takes care of me in the mornings, evenings and weekends. I am so lucky to have all this support. I really appreciate everyone' s care and help. Having the company of others during the day is also so very wonderful after so many months of being relatively isolated. The last few days have flown by.

I had my checkups at the ObDoc and MFM today. Everything is looking about the same, holding steady. The babies are looking bigger, but I won't get new measurements for a few more weeks. I got a couple of really great 3D images of their faces today that made my heart melt. Another thing that really helped me make it through this hell week was when I was lying on my side one day with my hand on the edge of my belly near my hip. I felt Wiggles (Baby A) raise her hand and drag it along my hand. The touch was so distinct and delicate. It just melted my heart. So many of the things they do now, what sounds they react to, make me just want so very much to get to know them.

And now for things that made me happy this week. Getting to week 26! Also I am overjoyed at mekate's great ultrasound and heartbeat at 8 weeks, MrsG has gotten a BFP and is working on a halfling of her very own, Sprogblogger has reached the 2nd trimester, Mo has had an excellent number of blasts to test, K at Invitro Veritas has made it to 28+ weeks and is describing her current situation as "boring", Sunny has made it through more than 10 weeks of bedrest and is up and about at more than 36 weeks with her twin boys, and finally Kate at Impatiently Waiting had her gorgeous little girl.

Whoopsie x 3

13 comments
#1 - I fell sleep on the couch yesterday and woke up startled when the phone rang. I knocked over an entire 16 oz glass of water onto my laptop. The keyboard and trackpad aren't working so far. I'll give it another couple of days to dry out. I won't be able to comment on blogs, but I may be able to read them via my palm pre. (I am writing this on my phone.)

#2 - I shouldn't have posted so soon about no spotting or cramps because it came back on Monday. I feel much better today but am once again on the couch resting for most of the day.

#3 - Flunked my diabetes test, so now I have GD. I'm pretty pissed off about it, but given the fact that I have a family history of Type 2 on both sides of the family AND I have twins (2 placentas = twice the hormones) I am not surprised.

Sorry I won't be able to keep up on commenting for a while. Hope I have hit my whoopsie limit for the week. ;-)

This week’s things that made me happy

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Today is 25w2d.  Getting to 25 weeks makes me happy, another week down, only 13 more to go.

I get to feel both grrl monsters squirming around every day, sometimes they react to sounds.  I find that really neat.  They have kicked MrBeep in the back a few times when we lay down for bedtime.  We both giggle at this.

I have been able to run a few errands this week without pain, cramping or bleeding. 

I played games with my friends on Friday. 

I’m happy to know that Lisa at Meinsideout is cuddling her little ones, Sunny has made it to 35 weeks, K at Waiting for Sunflower made 32 weeks and is buying goodies for baby, Kate at Impatiently Waiting has good reason to be impatient at 41w2d, Mo had a great retrieval with many embryos going strong, Rotten and JJ get to have fun at a birthday party.  Whew!  A good week.

I received my fabulous new socks from the 2010 Sock It To Me!  I will do a full post later this week with pictures too.

I got to take my MIL and FIL to my 24 week growth ultrasound.  They were ecstatic.  MrBeep is an only child, these will be their only shot at grandkids.  The excitement and love is really fun to be around.

The 24 growth scan went great, and here are a few pics to round of the end of a week of things that made me happy.

24weekside   The belly view at 25 weeks.

babyA24weeks babyB24weeks Baby A (Wiggles)                     and                            Baby B (Pip)

I also got the very first opportunity for the 3D scan to work while their hands weren’t obscuring their faces.  Seeing these images really surprised me.  It just made me so happy. 

wigglesface pipface
Baby A (Wiggles)                     and                            Baby B (Pip)

You’re doing good my little grrl monsters.  Happy and squirmy and bouncy and warm.  Stay in safe and sound for as long as you can.  Grow and grow.  Mommy hopes to see you both in 3 months.

I’m sending good thoughts and wishes to mekate for her scan tomorrow and Sprogblogger for her checkup too.  Also giving a gentle hug to One Who Understands who has OHSS but is on the mend.  Now it’s time to go off to bed and meditate on good things, keeping my heart in a place of joy and peace.

Checkups and Ultrasounds and Migrations

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I went to my ObDoc appointment, the Grrl Monster’s heartbeats sounded good, the ginormous belly is measuring well, blood pressure staying steady.  The swab showed I have a minor infection starting, so I have been put on antibiotics, this was expected since I had been bleeding in the last week and both of my docs called blood “an excellent culture medium” for bacteria.  I have finally gained some weight.  WOOT!  I hadn’t gained anything in the past 5 weeks, despite eating good food pretty much all day long.  I am finally up 15 lbs (I don’t count the pre-pregnancy 2xIVF meds additional 10 lbs). Now, I’m not some frail petite little thing, so I have plenty of “maternal stores” if needed.  I did the gestational diabetes (GD) test where you drink the kool-aid stuff and then they draw your blood an hour later to see if you seem to have GD.  I haven’t received any results yet, but hope to find out more by the end of the week.  I’ve heard and read the whiney horror stories of people who do this test and you know what?  The kool-aid type extremely sugary beverage they make you drink is no big deal (I opted for “fruit punch” flavor).  Is it really sweet?  Yes.  Is it too sweet?  Yes.  Would you buy this as a favorite beverage in a convenience store?  No. Is it something worth making a big deal about?  Eh…no.  So if you have this test coming up, drink up, shudder a bit and say “Wow. That drink sucks.” and then move on with your day/life.  All I hope is that I don’t have GD and can skip having yet another “high risk” moniker on my chart thankyouverymuch.

After my ObDoc appointment, I went over the the MFM for my 24 week growth ultrasound.  I want to write more about this and post some pics, so the quick and short news is that everyone is OK.  I’m fine, the grrls are fine and growing really good 1lb 12 oz and 1lb 14 oz (in the 74th and 80th percentile).  Cerclage is holding really well, and now for the biggest news…

THE PLACENTA PREVIA HAS MOVED OFF THE CERVIX ENTIRELY!!!!

A lot of the achiness I have been feeling down low for several months has disappeared.  I had those last two big bleeding episodes and haven’t had anything but a bit of brown spotting since.  The ultrasound showed another blood clot above the internal cervical os, but hopefully once that is gone the bleeding episodes will be too.

I’m getting so excited for those who are so close to meeting their little ones.  Kate at Impatiently Waiting and Lisa at Meinsideout.  It’s so amazing to know that the end is in sight and they’ll meet their heart’s desire soon.  Wishing you both all the best for a safe and happy delivery.

Countoff Days 3, 2, 1 – Previa Problems

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To be totally honest, I had an episode of bleeding over the weekend that DrGav told me to expect.  After the ultrasound in the hospital, they found a pocket of blood and clots just behind my internal os.  His opinion is this is due to my placenta previa moving.  After his diagnosis and letting me know it would happen, about 8 hours later I bled red with clots and then brown spotting and then after a day it stopped.  “OK” I thought, “Good riddance, now I’m done with it.”  They are now classifying this now as a partial previa.  I guess if I am lucky it may move entirely away from my cervix and all bleeding will stop. 

Day 3 was uneventful really.  I just relaxed, watched some TV and did a little writing.  So boring, that I decided to combine it with another day, but that ended up being complicated.

On Day 2 the morning and afternoon were a little dull.  I put myself on a fairly strict bed rest because I had my 2nd class for the Labor and Birth Preparation Multiples in the evening.  I went to the class, it included a little more of the same lame DVD, but it did cover a few things I found somewhat useful in talking about hospital intervention and pain medication policy.  Instead of the 2.5 hours it took, I could have just read it in a FAQ and asked about 2 questions, but that’s just me.  I was uncomfortable and eventually tired and cranky.  I just wanted to go home.  A few hours after I got home, I started to feel crampy and even had a couple of strong contractions.  I went to bed, laying on my left side and drank a couple of glasses of water.  Every hour after midnight I would have a couple of contractions, not enough to go to the hospital, but enough to concern us. I could feel both babies squirming away, with the one on the bottom really having an acrobatic circus in there. Finally at 4:30 am I had some bleeding, it was same as the weekend and after that and since all contractions have gone away. 

I called my ObDoc first thing in the morning on Day 1, they got in touch with DrGav’s office and I was in for an ultrasound in the early afternoon.  The ultrasound confirmed both babies seemed to be doing fine, had nice strong heartbeats.  Placentas seemed fine too and the lower one was moving some more.  A new clot and amount of blood was sitting behind the cerclage stitch (it was still holding strong) but it does make an environment where blood can pool and then clot.  If there is enough to irritate the uterus, that is what cause the contractions.  I am back on medication to prevent contractions and hopefully this bleeding will stop soon.  DrGav will see me again on Tuesday and said that if he sees any more bleeding that makes him concerned, he will check me into the hospital just in case.  He congratulated me for getting to week 24, but reminded me that these next few weeks are critical for the babies.

I didn’t want to just write about doom and gloom and worry.   I didn’t want to keep my mind in that place, so I just skipped blogging and reading.  I found that this doesn’t really work.  I miss giving and getting support.  I’m glad I finished my first important countdown.  I am happy I have made it at least to week 24, but the worry will continue to be with me for many weeks to come.  I will take things extra extra super easy.  I put myself on modified bedrest, I stay on the couch all day until MrBeep gets home.  I am alone most all of my waking hours and I am so lonely sometimes. It’s hard not to dwell on fear and problems and worry.  I try to keep positive and optimistic. I talk to the grrl monsters when they are wiggling around, I let them know how hard I am trying to keep them safe. Now only 14 more weeks to go. ;-) As the universe continues to spin and time ticks forward, I will see each day as a blessing, each week as a triumph. 

Countoff Day 4 – Labor & Birth Multiples Class

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Most of my Day 4 was spent going through some film logging business with the movie I had been working on back in Oct. and Nov.  I was a bit frustrated with communication problems and technical difficulties but I guess it’s a good thing because many hours zoomed past.  I also took care of some bill and insurance stuff, not exciting, but strangely enough I liked marking a few things off my to do list for the day.  All of this was easily done from a reclining position, I promised myself that I would take things extremely easy and am doing OK so far. I’m feeling great, babies seem to be happily jostling around. 

I saved a lot of energy because this evening was our first class offered by the hospital.  It’s official name “Labor and Birth Preparation – Multiples”.  It’s a two hour class held on 3 days – Monday (3/1), Wednesday (3/3) and Monday (3/8).  Did I find the class useful…eh…not so far.  Seems like if they require you to be at least 5-6 months along, its a waste of time to explain to us what twins are, fraternal vs. identical, etc.  Honestly this is the “basics” class, so I will be a bit more patient.  The next class should cover more specific stuff about this hospital’s rules on pain medication, intervention, etc.  They showed a bit of a lame DVD and the documentarian side of my brain kept going over about a thousand different ways I could have made the video more useful. I opted out of “floor exercises” which consisted of laying on your side and breathing slowly for 5 minutes.  I will note that they had the least comfortable chairs in the world to sit in and my preggo ass was turning quite numb despite having to move and slide and jostle for any position that would seem OK for more than 10 minutes.

I look forward tomorrow to catching up on blogs, until then I feel a stranger in a strange land.

Countoff Day 6 & 5 – Screaming Days

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Day 6 anecdote:  Officially, day 6 started with my nurse giving me IV antibiotics at around 1:00 am.  She was a really nice lady and we chatted for a while until it was time for the medicine and bags to be removed.  It took me another hour or so to finally drift off to sleep, around 2:00 am.  I awoke suddenly out of a deep sleep by the sound of a woman yelling the most horrible gut wrenching scream I have ever heard in my entire life.  No kidding.  NO.  I mean really.  The stuff in the best horror movie was a mere squeak compared to this sound.  It lasted for about 30 very long seconds.  Since I had been awaken from a deep REM sleep, I was immediately disoriented and confused.  I didn’t realize where I was (Oh yeah, I’m still in the hospital), what was going on, why was a woman screaming and then I remembered that I AM in the Labor and Delivery section of the hospital.  The grrl monsters were also woken by the scream and started squirming around, kinda like “Holy shit Mom, what was THAT?!?” About 5 minutes after I heard the scream, I heard the sound of a cheap $5 china town gong.  I lay there in the dark hospital room and was genuinely happy for her.  It took another hour or so to get back to sleep.  My nerves were a bit frazzled, the babies took a while to settle down and honestly it is hard to ignore the impulse to go to the aid of someone who just yelled like that.  The idea of a c-section suddenly didn’t seem so bad after all.  I mean I know that they hurt for a longer amount of time, but I doubt I’d be making any scream like THAT.

Day 5 was mostly a day to catch up on sleep, snuggle up with MrBeep and take it easy at home.  We did spend many great hours watching the 2010 Olympics Canada vs. USA hockey gold medal finals game.  MrBeep was a hockey player in college and post-grad (go mighty beavers).  We enjoy watching games.  We invited his Dad to come over and we all had a blast.  When the US finally made their first goal we all screamed “YEAH!” and twin B "aka “Pip” started to squirm along.  When the second goal with 24 seconds left in the game happened, there were more screams of excitement.  The Canadian team did a fabulous job and honestly played a superior game, well deserving of a gold medal.  It’s cool that they also did it at their home country Olympic games.  Congrats to all my Canadian buddies!  Oh and remember my Photo challenge pic?

WhatIsIt

As a tribute to the truly awesome 2010 Olympics held in one of my favorite cities, Vancouver BC Canada.  It is actually a macro lens photo of my night light, a gorgeous bronzed maple leaf.

LightOff

LightOn

A last big scream for day 5 gone and for my bloggidy pals from up north.  WWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  CANADA ROCKS!

Countoff Day 6 - Released from Hospital AOK

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Day 6 isn't done yet, but I wanted to post an update.  We took a look at the grrl monsters via ultrasound and both babies and sacs are perfectly normal. Both have plenty of fluid, I haven't had any other bad spells since Thursday night.  DrGav did the ultrasound and saw a blood clot behind the internal os of the cervix.  He thinks this may have caused the bleeding and watery leakage because some clots as they are compressed can express excess water and plasma.  I know, eww gross TMI.  Also the previa is still moving and created a pocket for that clot and liquid to pool.  Hopefully it will be gone soon (damned pesky thing). DrGav did emphasize that the next 5 weeks are really critical for the babies, so I will take it VERY EASY.  MrBeep is a happy grinning little sweetie.  I am overjoyed.  

More on day 6 later. :-)

Countoff Day 8 & 7 – In the hospital

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Day 8:  Well, I was really excited about Day 8 and was going to write all about it.  The weather was gorgeous in Seattle, I had a friend call and invite me out for lunch.  She drove and we had a great time, nice conversation and excellent fried calamari with a site of hummus and pita bread.  We came home and I relaxed laying on the couch for a couple of hours.  I was invited out to dinner at a local pub with 6 friends and since I was feeling fine and given the green light by the docs I went along.

Bad move.

I ate, laughed, and generally felt fine.  I will say that the wooden chair I was sitting on was uncomfortable after a while.  I got up after about an hour to use the bathroom and there it was…pink on the TP.  Dangit.  No problem, I thought, I’ll just call it an evening.  Dinner was over we were all just hanging around and chatting anyway.

So I got my hugs, excused myself and drove the 2 miles home.  No big deal.  When I got in the door, I felt a wetness and headed straight to the bathroom.  More pink, now redder and things were…wet.  Too wet,  Not a lot, not a gush, but something very unusual.  I went straight to bed, lay down on my left side and called my ObDoc’s office.  My doc was on call, I explained what was going on.  I let her know that I didn’t feel any more wetness since the initial event but needed advice.  She told me to get myself to labor and delivery.  MrBeep came home about 20 minutes later and off to the hospital we went.  I could feel my little sweetie monsters squirming around, we got their heartbeats so I knew that for now they were doing fine. My ObDoc was the one to take care of my examination, take a sample and check the slide.  She couldn’t find any conclusive evidence in the sample that there was any amniotic fluid leakage, but she didn’t like the description of the event or how much blood and moisture she saw.  I was monitored for contractions all night and only had one or two after the pelvic.  I was admitted for getting IV anitbiotics and monitoring.  MrBeep stayed with me the whole time, took care of my every need.  He held my hand, kissed my forehead and helped me make it through the night.  I was so scared that a membrane had ruptured, but there was no evidence of any other leakage.  Both my ObDoc and the L&D nurses said that this was a very good sign.

Day 7:  MrBeep slept in the little bed next to me in a labor and delivery suite.  Today I’ve had no additional leakage or watery bizarreness.  I’ve had no contractions all day.  I had barely any spotting.  I’ve received doses of IV antibiotics (just in case) and was supposed to get an ultrasound to check the fluid levels of the babies to see if that would show any evidence of leakage.  Unfortunately, there was some mix up and I will get that scan tomorrow.  I talked with the TopDoc from my MFM clinic.  He apologized for the ultrasound mix up but suggested another day for observation and antibiotics was pretty standard given the fact that I am only at 23 weeks.  He did say that he felt very good that there was no other episodes after the first report, that the sample slide didn’t show anything to indicate amniotic fluid and he felt it would be extraordinarily unusual to rupture a membrane behind a cerclage that was looking good the day before.  After speaking with him, I felt about a thousand percent better.  This entire episode may just be another bizarre result of the previa.  Everyone (ObDoc, TopDoc, L&D nurses, MrBeep) has told me that this unusual thing was not my fault and that I didn’t do anything wrong to cause it, but man…it is very hard to let go of that guilt and worry.

I will be seen on Saturday (day 6) by DrGav who will take a look with ultrasound see if everything is looking good.  If so, then I will be discharged from hospital.  MrBeep needed my computer for work, so I was unable to read or update.  He put several hours of the Olympics we recorded on Tivo to DVD, so we watched them together.  I will try to catch up and update tomorrow.  The most important thing is the babies are fine, I am fine. A couple of more days down and more lessons learned the hard way.

Countoff Day 9 –Dr Appts & Photo Challenge

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Good news!  I went to both DrGav and my ObDoc today.  First the Peri/MFM appointment:  The cervix check shows all is looking great, staying a steady 3.5 cm and the cerclage is still looking good.  Both grrl monsters had good heart rates and bloodflow.  I have been taken off my medication and don’t need to come back for 2 weeks (where I will get my 24 week growth ultrasound).  His take on my Friday achiness and spotting is that it is nothing to be worried about.  Then I went to my ObDoc  for a routine check.  Blood pressure, pee in a cup, weight check , and doppler.  Wiggles kicked the doppler when the nurse was trying to get a reading.  We both laughed.  My awesome ObDoc arrived all smiles. I got an internal pelvic exam **YOWCH!** where she proclaimed things seemed long and were holding well.  When I told her about my Friday scare she was a little more concerned.  She told me if I begin to feel uncomfortable to lay down on my left side, drink some water and take things easy.  If things don’t seem to get better after an hour to call them.  She said that the next 7 weeks were really critical and she’d rather know that I am resting easily at home with some liberties rather than being a “long term guest” at the hospital.  I completely agree.  All in all very good results, maybe I spooked myself a bit, but I’d rather be cautious than sorry.  It is just another thing that will really help me make it through the rest of my countdown.

And now for something completely different…I had an idea for this week’s Photo Challenge, so I pulled out my fab macro lens. 

Photo Challenge this week's theme: WHAT IS IT?

WhatIsIt

Take a guess about what this photograph is.  To see a larger version, click on the pic.  My only hint is that it is more than what you think at first glance. I'll post the answer Friday with the other folks who took the challenge. I’m horrible at guessing but found it a fun little inspiration for photography.  Rotten – why aren’t you getting into the challenge!  C’mon!

(The Photo Challenge aims to allow creative ways to explore a weekly theme through photography).  The Weekly Photo Challenge is brought to you by The Steadfast Warrior (aka Lindsay) who also gave me this advice for dealing with my fears:

The reality is, you've got a lot going on and it's okay to be scared, hell if you weren't terrified a little, I'd think you were in denial. The only advice I have is to take solace in the movements and the special moments that come up.

She also said a little extra to warm my heart and offered a present to dry my eyes:

You are a lovely and strong woman. You and the Monsters WILL be okay. I can keep repeating it if you like? ;) (HUGS) to you, since sometimes that is what we need the most. I've left a little present for you at my blog…

Her gift was an absolutely stunning photograph taken from her balcony in beautiful Vancouver, BC.  You have to go over and see it.  I saved it as my desktop wallpaper for this 10 day countdown.  Every time my computer boots up I see it and smile.  Lindsay has a little girl, born just a little while ago, she is taking things one day at a time and writes with such honesty that I feel truly privileged to read and support her.  Thanks so much Lindsay.

I ended my Day 9 with “Weekly Series Night” – a special evening MrBeep and I spend with friends watching though a TV series together.  We finished watching The Venture Brothers – Season 3.  It was also really fun to have some company, laugh and joke around.  I love counting off a great day.

Countoff Day 10 - Superawesomethanksalot

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I wanted to thank you all so very much for all of the wonderful support and advice I received from my prior post, “Overwhelming Fear.”  I don’t like it that many of you also have had to cope with this awful consuming fear, but I was glad to know that I am not alone and for many of you who had problems during your 2nd trimester that you are just a few days or weeks away from meeting your sons and daughters very close or at full term.  It gives me so much hope to know that you’ve made it so far despite the bedrest and irritable uterus mayhem and uncooperative cervixes. 

When I hit last Friday and had a bad day, it really struck me as so hard and unfair and well…you read about it.  Because of my two surgeries to remove the big fibroid, carrying to term has been something in the back of my mind that has always made me extra nervous.  I’ve had a half-dozen awesome OB/GYNs assure me that it’s no big deal, the surgery was a great success and everything looks really good, but still…I get scared and doubt fills me until it all bubbles over into a freakout.  Then I am a little better afterward.  I am feeling better because of the rest I took and because of the encouragement and support I received from you all and my best friend MrBeep.

After my emergency cerclage at 18 weeks I had made a countdown ticker on my igoogle home page.  Setting the goal date to my due date was just too far away, so I set the countdown for 24 weeks.  My new big goal, make it to viability and then set a new goal.  It is much easier to take in manageable chunks.  Today my ticker said “10 days until viability,” I’ve decided to do 10 posts in 10 days to help me get through it.  I’m taking all of your excellent advice along the way.  I promise to give you props when your special countdown advice day hits. ;-)

Today I wanted spotlight K at Waiting for Sunflower who wrote this advice:

“How do I cope? I literally tell myself one day at a time. I have a lilypie counter and each day that passes is a victory. It's a countdown to the end of the week.  I cannot look at the end, I look at it in weekly increments.”

Also Sunny in Seattle, who is holding in there with much stricter bedrest demands than whiney ole me said:

Milestones are nice, but I also try to appreciate every day for what it is. I know you aren't quite at viability yet, but when you get there, every day you stay pregnant is worth TWO days less in the NICU. My boys…are strong, they are fighters, and we ARE all going to get through this.

Hitting Day 10 inspired me to take the advice about and really focus on each good day at a time. I spent resting for most of the day.  I re-read all of your excellent comments on my post aloud to the grrl monsters, we are all touched and I cried a few tears of appreciation, they wiggled their approval.  I’ve been watching the series Ballykissangel on Netflix Watch Instantly and have finished Season 1.  Today I started Season 2.  I ordered some things online to help with organization that I can do while on the couch (Yay nesting fantasies!).  I finished off some web design work that made me some extra dough.  I made my meals, washed the dishes (well, put them in the dishwasher), played gems swap II on face.book, planned a girls movie night at my house for some time in the next couple of weeks.  I’ve got to say that Day 10 went well.  Keeping busy but not physically overdoing anything really helped my day.

I get to go to two separate doctors appointments tomorrow, one with my Perinatologist, DrGav for a cervix check and amniotic fluid update, then straight off to my ObDoc for a routine checkup. I’ll talk to them about my bad day on Friday. I hope to get some good news to set my mind at ease.  Already I am looking forward to Day 9.  Stay tuned…

Overwhelming Fear

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I haven’t written much lately, although I have tried to keep up with reading and commenting on blogs.  I just can’t seem to wrap my head around the emotions I have swimming in my soul.  The truth is that I am all at once overjoyed and terrified.  My hopes soar and then they are dragged down by the weight of my fears.  I daydream of holding my sweet little girls next to my skin, kissing their heads and fingers and bellies and toes…then the worry and doubt, like nightmares, start to consume me. 

It has all become so much worse since sometime in week 20. I think it is because of a many reasons.  The main one is that I can feel my grrl monsters pushing and kicking and wiggling many times throughout the day.  Gone are the little flutters that I question are real.  MrBeep has even been able to feel them kick when his hand is on my belly.  Feeling these little beings gives me such great elation and hope.  They are so much more real to me now than they had ever been before.  Not just images on a screen or results of a test or fantasies of children to be.  Now I feel their presence, they are tangible in a new way that my heart cannot describe.  The thought of losing it all fills me with dread.

I know I should “just relax” and that most women will end up having healthy babies.  I know that my weekly checkups have been encouraging.  The babies are growing well, the stitch seems to be doing it’s job.  I begin to breathe.  I begin to let hope ease my worried mind.  Then I read from the LFCA, or other wonderful bloggers who ask for words of support and sympathy for others who lose their little ones.  All at once I crash back to the land of nightmares and I don’t know how to escape. I know many of you have/had these fears, how do/did you cope? 

Yesterday I think I overdid it a bit.  Sat in a chair for too long, did a few extra chores and by the evening I was feeling a new kind of achiness in my lower abdomen. Just before bedtime I had the smallest tinge of pink on the TP.  I was so afraid as I went to sleep that something was wrong and all would be lost.  I have now had a very full night’s sleep.  I have put myself back on strict bedrest, just laying on the couch or in bed with only bathroom breaks.  I have had no other achy feelings or pink since last night.  I have felt each little grrl monster wiggle and thrash and kick. My achiness could have just been ligament pains, it could have been from the previa moving (it has been moving and may clear completely).  I just don’t know. I actually feel fine…and sometimes that’s a problem too.  Every time I had complications, there was no warning.  Feeling fine and then all at once, the big bleed or the cervix almost fails.  My problems seem to come out of the blue and that deals a lot of anxiety that fuels these overwhelming fears…and I don’t know how to conquer them.  Only time can help, but it drags and lags and taunts me.

Today I am 22w1d.  At 22 weeks if something terrible goes wrong, my baby girls will not be saved.  It is too early for any hope.  Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night and lay in the dark.  I watch the clock, my mind racing.  I feel I am so close but so far away.  2 weeks to viability, 8 weeks to likely survival, 16 weeks to “full term” and these are indeed markers to celebrate.  The numbers as weeks look so small, but as hours in the dark of night they stretch to what feels like infinity – 312, 1,344, 2,688 hours.  I have been so fearful and sad today.  I have cried so much.  I feel defective.  I feel weak because of my worry.  MrBeep has been an incredible comfort, he soothes my soul.  I am lucky to know and love him.  I know that I will come out of this eventually, I will build myself back again…but in the meantime…my friends, can you help?  Any advice? 

UPDATE:  OK my friends, I have just read mekate’s post and am again overwhelmed.  I won’t give anything away, but please please go read and send her love.

2 Monster Scoops – The Big Reveal

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HintIt has taken sooooooooo long to get all of the results from amnio, but I’ll explain about that later.  The most important thing is that they are both healthy with no known issues.  I can’t express how relieved I am, how much of a heavy weight has held my heart down.  Now my heart is light and full of joy.

So now the Big Reveal…I posted a poll to see if you could guess the gender of the monsters. 

The poll question was: 
What flavor are the monsters?

A:   Strawberry (2 girls)
B:   Boysenberry (2 boys)
C:   A scoop of each (1 boy, 1 girl)

Did you guess correctly?
Can you tell from the photo?
Give up yet?

Yes, that my friends is two scoops of STRAWBERRY ice cream.  We are pregnant with two little girls, or as I call them “Grrrl Monsters”.

We had a great appointment at the MFM for my 20 week ultrasound.  They are measuring in the 70th percentile, way up from a month ago’s 40th percentile.  Their weight is estimated at 14 ounces. Here are the latest ultrasound pics

Wiggles Pip

For more good news, I have been taken off of bed rest!  The cervix is looking good and closed at about 3.1 cm. The previa continues to migrate away from the cervix but we aren’t done yet. I’ve had no cramping or bleeding or complications.  I am still advised to take it easy, but at least I can sit up, use a chair, cook dinner, run a couple of errands if I need to.  DrGav told me to use good judgment and try to stay off my feet as much as possible.  I go back again for another quick check in a week and then I may get to every other week afterwards. 

Bellymekate asked if there were going to be any belly shots.  I have decided to post, but I have to say that I am normally apple shaped and big breasted too.  As an added bonus these two have surely blossomed that into a OMG I’M HUGE! situation. 

Twin B “Pip” is currently laying sideways across the top and is and making the belly extra huge.  I am happy about this, but was a little shocked when I saw the photo myself. :-)

I’m just so happy right now because there is really a lot of great news this week with many of my bloggidy friends. 

Oh, and the strawberry ice cream?

The best I have ever ate.

OXXO to you all – Traci aka “IF Optimist”.

Photo Challenge #2: Variety

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He he.  Was able to sneak downstairs for about 10 minutes to grab a photo from the big computer for this week’s challenge.  This is my favorite fish store at Pike Place Market in Seattle, Pure Food Fish Market.  The seafood is all so fresh, it smells like the briny sea and all eyes that watch you are bright and clear.  When I want the best in variety and quality to make Ciopinno, I head here.  If you are ever visiting in Seattle, they can prep some fish covered in ice in a leak-proof cooler to take home on the plane.  Oh, I can’t wait until Sockeye Salmon is back fresh in season.  Mmmmmmmmmmm.

Variety-FishMarket The Pure Food Fish Market in Seattle, WA, USA

To see the picture in greater detail, just click on the photo.  I love that our pal Lindsay, the Steadfast Warrior set up the weekly photo challenge.  Being stuck on the couch for now, it will be tough to get new shots (depending on the theme), but I can go and dig through my archives and this makes me very happy indeed.  Now head on over and check out the other fab photos that are being shared.

A wholly different kind of nesting

26 comments

First off, my first doctor’s visit after the cerclage update:  Everything looks good.  Cervix is stitched closed and this has created a measurement of about 2.8 cm.  DrGav thinks that it should stay that way given where he placed the stitch (good and high).  No new discomforts, no new bleeding, no new cramping.  In fact, I feel absolutely fine.  I let DrGav know that I was very good and stayed almost entirely prone on my back or on my side for the entire week.  He said that was excellent, he was pleased at how well my post-surgical recovery is going.  He recommended that I do the same thing for another week to continue to help in the healing process.  He hinted that after a few weeks of doing the same, I may be able to get off bed rest.

Each morning starts as I:

  • Get out of bed
  • Have a pee
  • Brush my teeth
  • Get dressed

Then I:

  • Grab my ipod
  • Laptop
  • Current book(s) I am reading
  • Puzzle book, pen and pencils

Afterwards I:

  • Gently head downstairs (yes I’m allowed)
  • Climb on the couch
  • Arrange pillows and blankets on said couch for maximum comfort options
  • MrBeep brings me breakfast, water, Tivo remote, cordless phone, cell phone
  • He gives me a smootch once I am settled, then he is off to work for the day

My “couch nesting” day has begun.  I call the couch and it’s surroundings “My Nest” because that is what I have made it over the last week.  I am not a very good bed rest patient.  I hate being idle for hours and days at a time.  So I build up a nest of shiny bits, plenty of things to keep me busy and my mind active, but it’s not what I WANT to be doing right now.  I WANT to be cleaning out my pantry.  I WANT to be getting rid of the excess books in my library.  I WANT to be editing video on my big computer downstairs.  I WANT to be cleaning out my closets of excess junk.  However, if I am a very good girl, I may be lucky enough to only have to do this for a few more weeks and then I can get to a few of the other things in due time.  <sigh>  I shouldn’t whine or bitch or moan.  I am very lucky to be here, but I don’t even want to THINK about the idea of 16 more weeks of bed rest.  I’ll do it if I have to, but I would much rather be extra good now and hopefully be allowed to gently putter around the house later.

I don’t like regular TV that much.  It’s hard for me to kill much time watching the tube.  I especially hate talk shows, most reality shows, 85% of cooking/home improvement/fashion-sense shows, and sitcoms.  I can get into a few really good series.  My friend Tiff offered to bring by Sex and the City and the L-word.  She also mentioned Californication as a good show.  I told her that #1-she is a perv and #2-that I have already watched Sex in the City plus #3-I have been on strict orders for no sex (aka “pelvic rest”) since December and now with the cerclage going forward for the rest of the pregnancy.  Um yeah, don’t really want to watch any show that is a daily source of soft pr0n.  Frustrated enough for now.  Thankyouverymuch.

I did manage to stumble across this show called “Clean House” where a crew of people come in to clean up these places stuffed with a gajillion pounds of stuff/crap/junk.  A current member of my family’s house is like this, my grandfather who passed a few years ago was like this too.  When it gets really bad, it is truly an illness or a compulsion for hoarding and not merely a matter of organization.  Even though the cast make jokes from time to time, they generally treat the homeowners with compassion and respect.  I liked that, so I Tivo’d a few episodes…plus watching THOSE houses get cleaned up and organized somehow eases my need for nesting. :-)

Any good series YOU recommend I order from Netflix?

Emergency cerclage & bedrest

41 comments

I went for my weekly cervix check with my peri, DrGav, on Tuesday.  I was a pretty happy and healthy little chick as I bebopped into the office. Things were great, I could feel the babies move here and there, a little tap, a slight jiggle when I didn’t expect it.  I had a walk in the sun the day before.  Life felt normal and good.  Got results back from karyotyping amnio test, but am still awaiting the final CGH microarray results.  So far no problems, but I want to save that post until all results are in.

As you may or may not recall, during my 16 week ultrasound, they noticed a blood clot right behind the top my cervix.  DrGav was concerned about this as it could cause irritation to the cervix and wanted me to see him for a cervical check every week until things looked fine.  A week later, I had a tiny bit of spotting and while the cervical check measured 3.5cm and closed, I was asked to come again in one week for another check.  On week later, two days ago, Tuesday came and I went in for my cervical check, which involves our good friend, dildocam, aka “Wanda”.  The babies were checked briefly, their heartbeats were fine and they seemed active.  Then the ultrasound tech started checking my cervix.  She looked both with the abdominal and vaginal transducer.  She had me move a bit and push to see how it was reacting.  She was very nice and didn’t give away too much, but at the end of the exam, told me to stay put and wait for DrGav as he may want to double check things himself.

He checked me out with Wanda and then started talking to me and the ultrasound tech.  He pointed out that the internal cervical os was completely open, that there was significant funneling (even I could see it with my untrained eye) and while my external os was currently closed, I had the beginnings of effacement.  The diagnosis:  Incompetent Cervix.  My cervix had gone in one week from 3.5cm and closed to .6cm with funneling.  I felt absolutely no cramping, no pain, no contractions and there was no spotting.  It’s very scary to know that it all could have been lost so easily.  The only thing keeping my babies from harm was my placenta previa.  The edge of the placenta of baby A was still stretched over the top of the cervix and acting as a bridge, keeping it from splitting wide open.  The previa was moving and getting near the edge of when it was going to break free.  A manual check of my cervix was also found to be very soft, which could allow for dilation starting at any time. 

DrGav and I discussed the situation.  We decided that this was all looking very dire.  His recommendation was to place a cervical cerclage.  He did an excellent job of answering all of my questions and describing the procedure, why he was choosing to do it, what type of stitch, etc.  He explained that he preferred the Shirodkar stitch technique. He also wanted to make sure the stitch was placed very high, closer to the internal os as he felt this has worked better for patients in the past.  I was actually very worried about having an incompetent cervix due to my prior uterine surgeries, so I had done many hours of reading on this subject.  I had no problem agreeing to the procedure.  Anything to keep them in here and safe was best.  Even with strict bedrest at 18 weeks, it was very unlikely that they would make it to viability, much less term.  DrGav checked his schedule and the OR at the hospital and we decided to do a cervical cerclage that same day in a few hours.  I went to the hospital, was put on intraveneous antibiotics and had the procedure with a general anesthetic four hours later.  MrBeep came to be with me after work and arrived a few minutes before I went to the OR.  He met with DrGav and discussed the procedure and asked questions.

According to DrGav (he talked to MrBeep after the surgery was complete) it went very smoothly.  I had no bleeding from the placenta, everything seemed to go very well and with no complications.  They checked the babies whose heartbeats were both doing fine. I awoke in recovery with little pain, was dispatched to a maternity ward room and rested for a couple of hours.  The contractions monitor they put on me showed no contractions after the procedure.  I had a tad bit of crampiness, like the day before AF arrives with a vengeance, but it was managed with medicine. I went home that night around 9pm.  I didn’t want to stay in the hospital and DrGav said I could go home if I felt fine.  I had a little bleeding just after the surgery and it’s fading to a smaller amount and today it is just a little bit of pink on the TP.

I am on modified bedrest until my next appointment with DrGav on Tuesday 2/2.  I have a friend who is unemployed right now over as my “official babysitter” for the next few days.  We are giving him a little $ to help him out.  He cooks my food, keeps me company and we needed to do some movie production work this week, so it really turned out well for us both.

Even though this all seems scary and nerve wracking, I am glad and so relieved that we caught it in time.  Many women who have an Incompetent Cervix don’t find out until they have had a pregnancy loss.  It is more common with twins and is most likely to happen between 18-22 weeks.  DrGav is hoping if the cerclage is holding well that I won’t have to be on bedrest for too long, but we’ll see.  I have my little countdown calendar on my browser.  I have 36 days to go until viability (24 weeks), my first goal.  Hoping that in the end it all works out and my monsters are with me for as long as possible. 

18w2d – Little things that bring sunshine

18 comments

Well, what can I say. Ummmmmm. I’m still here. I’m at 18w2d. Monsters are still here.  Cervix measured well on Monday, still closed and long. I had a little brown spotting for the week, but we suspect this may be the old blood clot from the big bleed finally moving through the cervical os and on its way outta here. (Good riddance.) It was very strange to be far enough along that while I spotted, I didn’t have a lot of anxiety or fear attached to it.

Still waiting on the final results for the amnio.  Not terribly stressed, but it will be nice to have closure on that too.  I want to tell my grandparents and SIL and nephews and niece, but am waiting the extra week to know if it is all OK.  I mean, I can wait a freaking week, right?

shehulk It’s funny how at this stage in pregnancy I am glad, but I don’t allow myself to get overly confident or excited.  I am beginning to dream of nursery and baby item shopping, but it is too early.  I want to shout HOORAY but am waiting for 24 weeks, or 28 weeks before I feel I can really take that a breath deep enough in order to shout.  My “miscarriage signs” Google searches are now changing to “pre-term labor signs” or “incompetent cervix,” but every now and then it all swings 180°and I am suddenly looking and watching videos on double strollers and thinking things like “How in the hell can I carry two infant car seats at the same time?  I will need arms like She Hulk.” And then I stop and really think, “actually I wouldn’t mind looking like She Hulk.”

I feel little twinges and flutters every now and then, but it is very subtle.  90% of the time I don’t feel anything at all. I generally have to lay down on my side and get very calm and still.  When I focus my mind, I can feel if they move.  Other times I just lay there like a lump and eventually fall asleep because I can’t feel a thing and horizontal = naptime. Every now and then I get distinct movement and it’s like sunshine streamed on my heart.  I was sitting in the park this week, near the waterfront.  I had bought a gyro sandwich and was munching down on a bench with a fabulous view of the water and the boats and Seattle across the lake.  All of a sudden I felt Wiggles and Pips (our not-so official names for the monsters) squirming around.  I sent MrBeep a text message saying “The monsters really like love gyro sandwich with onions.”  He was happy all day and gave me lots of kisses and belly pats when he came home.  He lurves gyro sandwiches.

Sending you a little of my sunshine for your hearts too, whether they be filled with sorrow, or filled with joy or filled with hope.  We all need that sunshine some days.

 

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