Pregnancy

All posts tagged Pregnancy

We are closer than we thought

Published June 23, 2016 by Jennie

Today I am 34 weeks. Holy cow! Yesterday we had at non stress test (NST) at our OB/GYN’s office. It took a while for the test to differentiate the babies. Apparently they like to be active and calm at the same time. Ultimately though they got a good reading and they both passed, yay! We will be doing these tests weekly until I deliver (although we may not have many more weeks to go).

Last week we had a biophysical profile (BPP) at MFM. We go there every four weeks. During our BPP the babies did not want to wake up so the doctor had to buzz them. That was the weirdest feeling ever! I thought they were going to jump out of my stomach. They passed this test as well as a growth scan and placenta assessment.

The doctor then checked my cervix and immediately said I will not make it to term, which is 38 weeks for twins. It measured at 1.7 cm and has been over 3 cm for all my other checks. He estimated I will deliver around 35 to 36 weeks but of course can not tell for sure.

Even though I can not control when I deliver, the fact that they will likely be premature is difficult to accept. I have done everything I can think of to have a healthy pregnancy and I am still not going to be able to carry them to term. Part of me feels like this is my first mommy failure. Logically I know this is not the case but it is still hard.

My doctor did help me feel a bit better about things. He told me that the average gestation for twins is 35 weeks. Also, they both look healthy. We are delivering at a hospital with a level IV NICU so if there are issues they will be best equipped to handle them. The thought of spending time in the NICU is scary but I am going to try not to think about it until it is necessary. Lastly, I know that there are different levels of prematurity and it could be much worse.

For now I am laying low at home reading every baby book I can find and trying my best to get everything ready for the babies. Even so, the more I do the more unprepared I feel. We will have help when the babies get here but I am worried I am not going to know what to do.

I am also trying to figure out how to make this as easy on my dogs as possible. I know this might sound like a silly concern but they have been our babies for 10 years and are used to being the center of attention. Here is a picture of them. Aren’t they adorable!

dogs

I know our priorities will change but I do not want them to feel completely neglected. Does anyone have any good advice on how to do this?

Right now I am super nervous but also really excited to meet our little ones! We have been waiting for over 6 years and we are now down to a few weeks (or maybe less). I am also thankful for all the support from my blogging family. It is nice to know that there are other people out there going though similar things. You guys are awesome! – Jennie

We did a photo shoot!

Published June 13, 2016 by Jennie

So anyone who has ever met me may be surprised by this. Normally this kind of thing is not my style. I do not think there is anything wrong with maternity photos at all (in fact I always enjoy looking at ones that people post). I am just not a picture person. In fact, I mentioned in my last post that up until this point, I had only taken one picture since we did my transfer, and that was at graduation.

Several people have told me that in the future I would regret not having any pictures of my pregnancy. They are right. Even so, I did have to get over some vanity issues. I feel like I look awful. I have experienced a TON of swelling (I can only wear flip flops and crocs that are a few sizes too big). I have also gained almost 40 pounds (yikes!!!). This is actually within a normal range for a twin pregnancy at this point (I am 32w4d) but I feel huge!

It also recently occurred to me that we started our first IVF cycle almost 2 years ago. That means with the exception of a few months after my D&E, I have spent the last 2 years either pregnant or on crazy IVF meds. It has been a while since I have felt like myself!

I did not expect to enjoy this photo shot but I ended up having a great time! Part of that was due to our fabulous photographer, Claudia. She really put us at ease and made us feel comfortable. She is also very talented. You can see some of her other work on her website and facebook page.

Another thing I really liked about our photo shoot is it showed me that my husband sees right past all my petty vanity issues (either that or he is a really good actor).

Well here are some of the pictures. They were taken at 32 weeks pregnant with our twins.

Claudia also wrote a really cool post on her own blog where she talks about our story and shares a few more pictures.

Some people may notice we have some baby names in the pictures! I had mentioned in an earlier post that I decided to let my husband name the babies and I did not want to know the names until they got here. Well he still named them but I decided to go ahead and find out what he picked. One challenge with this pregnancy is having it feel real. I think this is primarily due to our history. Knowing their names has helped with this. I also really like the ones he picked (if  I didn’t I would have told him and he would have picked something else).

If anyone is curious, the boy is named after my husband’s favorite football player. The girl is a little trickier. He won’t admit it, but I think he got the girl name from the most recent season of the Bachelor. I watch every episode (please don’t judge my guilty pleasure) and sometimes he watches with me (although he says he only watches it to comment on how dumb it is). I think he liked that season’s winner.

I guess that means that I have these people to thank for our baby names! I am good with that 🙂

Hope everyone is doing well! – Jennie

 

Things are starting to get real!

Published May 26, 2016 by Jennie

Today marks 30 weeks! I  can’t believe I just typed that. Everything still feels surreal. We have been on this journey so long and it’s crazy to think we are just a few months away from meeting our babies.

Not much is going on right now but I feel like this is the calm before the storm. While waiting for the coveted title of mom I did obtain another title a few weeks ago….Dr! I was originally not going to go to graduation but my husband talked me into it. I am glad he did. It is cool to think that my babies were with me when I got my PhD. Here is a picture of graduation 🙂

grad

This is actually the only picture of me that has been taken since we did our transfer in November. I am really weird about stuff like that.

People keep asking me how I am feeling. Sometimes it is hard for me to answer that. We have been through so much to get pregnant and it does not feel right to complain. Even so pregnancy (and in my case a twin pregnancy) is challenging and I think it is okay to talk about those challenges. With everything going on, I am still thankful for every day this pregnancy continues and my number one goal is to keep them cooking for the next eight weeks.

Symptoms

Carpel Tunnel – My worst symptom right now by far is carpel tunnel syndrome. I never knew this could be a pregnancy thing before I experienced it. My hands hurt all the time and my left hand is worse than my right (I am left handed). It makes everything from brushing my hair to lifting things to grocery shopping a challenge. I have started doing a lot of things (like typing this post) with my right hand but even that takes a while. This has been frustrating because I have a lot of stuff I need to do and its hard to get things done. I do wear a splint but it does not seem to help much.

Swelling – OMG the swelling is crazy! It doesn’t help that I live in the South and it is summer. It has gotten a lot worse the last few weeks despite me drinking water like it is going out of style. For example, at 28 weeks I had gained 28 pounds, which is exactly what I was shooting for (research shows that 28 lbs by 28 weeks greatly reduces the likelihood of preterm labor for twin pregnancies). After that, I cut back on calories but kept up protein. Even so, I gained almost 7 pounds between weeks 28 and 30. My dr said this is almost all due to swelling. My concern is that this can be a sign of preeclampsia especially if it is paired with other symptoms. My dr is watching things closely and I am taking my blood pressure twice a day. So far so good.

Movement – I have mentioned in previous posts that movement has been an issue. It is getting better but nowhere where I would like. If I followed kick count guidelines I would be calling the nurse on call everyday. Even so, they are always active during every ultrasound and are growing on target. At 29 weeks baby A was 2 lbs 9 oz and baby B was 2 lbs 14 oz. I freaked out a bit because they were different but MFM said that is normal and they will have growth spurts at different times. As long as the difference does not exceed 20% we are good!

I did find out that the babies respond to loud noises. At a recent appointment my doctor’s office was testing the fire alarm. The babies went nuts. It was awesome! Everyone else in the waiting room looked annoyed and I probably looked like a crazy person sitting there with a big smile on my face. I also recently went to a baseball game where they had fireworks and they responded to that as well.

Hope my readers in the US all have a fabulous Memorial Day weekend and everyone is doing well! – Jennie

 

One Year Ago

Published May 11, 2016 by Jennie

Exactly one year ago today was one of the worst days of my life. So much has happened since then. Even so, sometimes it feels like it was yesterday. One of the worst memories from that day is seeing the look on my husband’s face when he realized our little boy no longer had a heart beat. It was awful. Even now I have days where it is hard to get those memories out of my head.

Every day I am thankful for this pregnancy. Even so, these babies do not replace the one we lost. I still miss him. Our loss as well as our infertility struggle continues to have an impact on me today. While I was worried during my first pregnancy, that was nothing like this one. Doctors appointments are tough. Waiting for the doctor to pick up the heartbeats on the ultrasound always feels like it takes forever although I know that is not really the case.

I also feel like an outsider when around other pregnant women. We did our hospital tour yesterday and one of my first thoughts was how crazy it is that most of the couples also at the tour got to where they are the old fashioned way. I gave up on that years ago. I can’t even imagine what that is like! They also asked lots of questions I have never even considered. For example, one wanted to know if they could change the lighting in the L&D room. My only real concern so far is keeping the babies alive and having them born healthy. It is hard for me to think of anything beyond that.

Tomorrow official marks the beginning of the third trimester. That means I (hopefully) have 10 more weeks to go. My doctor considers 38 weeks full term for twins. My number one goal for now is to get as close to 38 weeks as possible.

Thanks for reading and I hope everyone is doing well! – Jennie

 

 

 

Viability

Published April 21, 2016 by Jennie

Today I am 25 weeks. Last week we crossed the viability mark! I don’t want to speak for others, but I really think that reaching this point takes on special meaning for people who have dealt with infertility and or pregnancy loss. Of course I hope these babies keep cooking for a while. Even so, I feel so fortunate to have reached this point.

Today we had a fetal echo as well as a growth scan at MFM. Apparently our MFM does fetal echos for all IVF patients. I am curious to know if other people have had that for the same reason. Everything looked good. Baby A is 1 lb 8 oz and baby B is 1 lb 7 oz, which is right on track.  I still do not feel much movement, which is strange but they were jumping all over the place during the ultrasound. Hopefully as things continue to progress I will feel more. Here are a few more updates on how things are going.

Symptoms

Thankfully, the round ligament pain has gone away for now. I know it may come back. Now I am dealing with carpel tunnel. It is much worse in my left hand (I am left handed). I have found that wearing a splint helps (especially at night).

About a month ago, I noticed I could not get my wedding ring off. Despite trying everything under the sun, it would not budge. This week I finally got it cut off. It was not hurting yet but I didn’t want to worry about getting really swollen one day and having it cut off circulation.

ring

We have been married for almost 9 years so it feels really strange to not have my ring 😦

Weight Gain

I am up 25 pounds and I am really happy about that! The goal was to gain 24 pounds by week 24 (I had a normal pre-pregnancy weight). Apparently that decreases the risk of preterm labor with twins. It has been difficult because I am not more hungry than I was before I was pregnant. I have been eating at least 100 grams of protein a day, which is hard! Anything for babies of course 🙂

Names

People keep asking me what we are going to name the babies. I am actually letting my husband name them and tell me his final choice once they are here. I know that might sound crazy. Even so, hear me out!

  • If I do not like his choice(s), I will tell him and he can pick something else.
  • We have similar taste in names. We both like names that are easy to spell and pronounce (our babies will have enough trouble with our last name).
  • It was 100% my idea. When I suggested it, he got really excited.
  • I thought it would be a nice was for him to have some fun. People sometimes forget that this whole infertility/IVF/miscarriage/pregnancy journey is also hard on him.
  • Its a way for him to feel more involved and bond with the babies. He has been so supportive though all of this. Even with an insane work schedule, he has made every appointment. I could not do it without him!

 

I hope everyone else is well. Even at this point, everything still seems surreal to me. We have been on this journey for 6 years and it is crazy to think that in the near future we may finally get to meet our babies! – Jennie