This is a window into my life.... Infertility, Pregnancy Loss, Marriage, Weight Loss Surgery, and finally... a multiple pregnancy.

Learn more about my Infertility Journey here:
3 years and counting

Welcome to the World Orion and Ronin!

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Rollar Coaster of Life

Life has been a crazy, whirlwind rollar coaster as of late! November 18th I started my new job as a FAA (Functional Applied Academics) teacher. I am a special education teacher for children who are severely disabled. Thayer is now a stay-at-home dad while I go out and earn all the dough. We are now living back in Kansas and will hopefully be moving into our own house in January sometime. Right now we are staying with my parents. It seems like I work all the time. Even when I'm home I'm doing paper work, lesson plans, organizing, etc for my class and students. Such is the life of a teacher though, especially a special education teacher. I've had a lot of meetings and other things as well. It never seems to end.

The boys also got sick for the very first time. The weekend before Thanksgiving Orion went to the ER and ended up having Croup. He sounded awful and it was so scary. I was so frightened that he might have RSV. Then the night before Thanksgiving Ronin got sick as well. He went to the ER too and was diagnosed with Pnemonia. Then the week after that Orion got croup again. BLAH!! Sick babies are NOT fun. It was a rough 3 weeks. Both of them are now on the mend though!

During this time I also had people come out and evaluate them to make sure they are on track developmentally. So far so good. Both passed their evals. I'll call in another 6 months and have them come out again. It's free so why not right?

Yesterday the boys turned 6 months old. Yes... it has been that long already!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hope's Birthday

November 11th, 2011... 11/11/11... that was the day my life was supposed to change forever. That was the day Thayer and I's first baby was due. That was the day that we were supposed to become parents. That never happened. Instead God needed another little angel. Baby Hope was too beautiful for this earth and grew wings much too early. My life was forever changed. From the moment I saw that positive pregnancy test I was a mother. It took me 2 years to see those 2 pink lines. I thought for sure in 9 months we would hold our miracle. God had a different plan. I never knew how much I could love until I knew there was a baby growing inside of me. I had a whole new perspective. I will never forget our first child. I know she is up in heaven looking down on her little brothers. One day, when the time is right, the boys will know about their older sister. When the time is right they will know about all the fertility issues and how much we wanted and loved them before they were ever born.

It's been over 2 years since we lost Baby Hope, but on days like today I still listen to songs that remind me of that time and I still shed a few tears. Yes, as time passes it gets easier. I do know that it took me a long time, majority of my pregnancy with the twins, to bond with them. I struggled with getting close to them and feeling attached because I thought for sure, at any moment they would be taken away from me as well. Even after they were born and in the NICU, I struggled with bonding with them. I was just so scared to let myself feel all that love again, only to lose possibly lose them.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

4 Months Flying By!

Well on the 18th the boys turned 4 months old. It's so hard to believe it's been that long already. They're such good babies! They sleep through the night and have for about a month now. They're doing really well otherwise. Today (Halloween) they had their 4 month checkup and shots.

Ronin is 9lb 10.5oz and 22.5 inches long.

Orion is 11lb 8oz and 24 inches long.

They're still small, especially Ronin, but they've come so far since birth.

As far as development goes, they are slightly behind where a 4 month old should be, but far more advanced than their adjusted age of 2.5 months. That's great! I'm so proud of them.

Recently Orion discovered is hands. He is fascinated by them. He'll look at them and move his fingers then bring them to his mouth and then back out to arms length. Then he'll wiggle is fingers. He's started gripping objects and moving them around. He also rolled over one time this last weekend, but he has yet to do it again. Most of the time he rolls to his side then uses his feet to turn himself in a circle. He looks like clock hands, going around and around.

Ronin is now self-soothing with his thumb. I'm not a big fan of thumb sucking, but I'm not really sure what I can do to stop a 4 month old from sucking his thumb. It makes him happy, so who am I to stop him. It will just be more difficult to break when he's older than a paci.

The boys also move around a lot in their crib. Right now we have them sharing a crib because it makes them happier to be near each other. The only problem with it is that some times they move so much that they're hitting and kicking one another. Silly babies. I'm not sure how much longer we'll be able to use just the one crib. The other is set up; we just don't use it at all.

Happy Halloween from Thing 1 and Thing 2!

In other news... I just got hired as a Special Education teacher. This is my very first teaching job! I'm so excited. It means we will get to move back to Kansas where all of our family is. We'll have a lot more help with the boys. Let's face it. Raising one kid on your own without family around is difficult... but two babies... is mind boggling at times. We've done well, but it would be nice to have a break every now and again.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Letter of Encouragement

Please don't give up. Please keep going and trying. Believe me, even when it seems futile and you think you're going to go crazy, KEEP TRYING. I KNOW how hard it is. I KNOW how frustrating it is. I've been in your shoes. I've walked the same path you're walking now. I'm a stronger person for what I've been through. I'm a better person for all the pain I've endured. I love stronger. I gather strength from within and endure even when I'd rather just curl up in bed and cry. I'm a beautiful, strong, and kind person who is full of grace and compassion. I didn't get there by accident. I got there through struggles and triumphs. I got there by the battles I've fought and won, but also by the battles I've fought and lost.

Today, as I gaze at my little boys I know I wouldn't change a thing. I wouldn't change the journey I went on to get them. That journey made me the amazing, caring mother I am today. I FOUGHT for those babies. I cried every month for years to get where I am today. There were times when I wanted to give up and throw in the towel. I'm glad I didn't. This was the journey I was meant to be on. If I would have gotten pregnant right away I may not have these handsome little men to call my own. If I hadn't of struggled I wouldn't have met and bonded with some amazing women who I can commiserate with.

At times I let infertility define me. This is my journey. I now know that it doesn't have to define me, but it does help shape who I am. I am powerful. I am amazing. AND SO ARE YOU!!! Don't let your journey define you. It is just the path you're walking to hopefully get to your desired destination. Sometimes that destination isn't always the one we envisioned. Surely we didn't envision being probed by doctors to make a baby. Surely we didn't envision test after test, pee stick after pee stick to hopefully one day have a little one to call our own. This is not an enjoyable path. It is long, hard, and wrought with potholes. But in the end, it is all worth it. No matter your end result. Either you come out a victor with a child in your arms, or you come out a victor armed with knowledge and strength beyond what you could have imagined. Not everyone will have a baby at the end of the infertility journey. I wish everyone could have a happy ending, but we all know that won't happen. Please don't give up on your dream, because dreams come true every day and you never know what day might be YOUR day.

I would like to say it all goes away once you have your dream(s) in your arms, but it doesn't. I'm still infertile and I'm sure I will always feel many of the same emotions. I still feel jealous of those who achieve pregnancy easy. I also now feel jealous of people who have normal pregnancies and those who got to bring their babies straight home. For all of this I'm stronger. For thinking I might lose my boys, I love them with more ferocity. For having to endure over a month stay in the NICU, I now know that angels come in the form of NICU nurses. My babies are fighters just like their momma.

IT IS WORTH IT! Never forget how amazing and strong you are!!


Holy 3 Months!

Where have the last three months of my life gone? It seems like such a blur! I can't believe that yesterday Orion and Ronin turned 3 months old. Of course their adjusted age is only 6 weeks. They are doing fabulous. It seems like only yesterday I was the momma of 2 NICU babies. I felt like I lived at the hospital.

Now it's the same routine every day:
Get up.
Go to work (pump on my lunch break like a little cow).
Come home.
Pump some more.
Love on my boys.
Take care of them and everything around the house until bed time. (Dinner, dishes, Washing bottles, laundry, other cleaning. Basically every thing a SAHM does, but I have to cram it into 5 hours)
Find time to pump between everything else...
Start again.

Monday, September 9, 2013


Recently there has been a lot of talk in the infertility community about a couple who was angered when the conceived twins via IVF. Click to read the article: Couple blogs they are 'angry'

I had read this before. Before having the procedure they knew the risks of having twins. I, too, knew the risks of us having twins while on Clomid was greater. (Our twins were not caused by fertility drugs, however, because they are identical.) I knew the risks of becoming pregnant with them, but I had NO idea all the risks and complications that come with having a multiple pregnancy.
That being said, I would never wish a multiple pregnancy on anyone, especially one with identicals (mo/di or mo/mo). There are so many more risks and complications. We almost lost our boys. We almost had to deliver them at 23 weeks. You’re at a much higher risks of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and stillbirth. Mo/di and mo/mo also have the risk of twin to twin transfusion which can cause the death of not one, but both babies and this occurs in 10% of these types of pregnancies. Mo/mo pregnancies are usually hospitalized after 21 weeks and constantly monitored because the risk of cord incidence is so high. The babies share an amniotic sac and one baby can literally grab the cord of the other one and “strangle” it. Two of my friends on a twin support group had their twins early (26 weeks and 31 weeks) and each of them lost one of their babies due to pre-term labor. Even my twins were born at 33 weeks due to complications (IUGR due to marginal cord attachment). One or both could have lifelong struggles because of it.

In some ways I empathize with the couple. There was even a twice that I remember during my pregnancy that I lay in bed, doubled over in pain crying that I said, “But I only wanted one.” Does that make me a horrible person? No. I was scared and in pain. Does it mean I don't love my kids? No. Does it mean I wasn't grateful to be having my babies after years of trying? Not at all. It simply makes me human.

In some ways, it’s a situation I don’t think you can fully comprehend until you’ve been there. Last week I went to a Mom’s of Multiples meeting. We all had the same consensus. We hate hearing people say “I wish I had twins.” It’s not because we don’t love our children, it’s because they really have no idea the difficulties that come with it both in pregnancy and after. Yeah… it seems like the ultimate BOGO… but it really isn’t. It's hard, harder than most people even imagine.

Monday, August 5, 2013


It's been a long time since I posted a blog... and I'm sure you understand there's a couple of good reasons why. Orion came home from the hospital on July 15th and Ronin followed a week later on July 22nd. They are great babies. They are EASY babies as well. *knock on wood* I have them on the same eating schedule, which has helped tremendously. They eat 8 times a day, every 3 hours. They are growing well, but they still have a long way to go until they are caught up with each other. Last Thursday Orion weighed 6lb. 12oz and Ronin weighed 5lb. 2oz. They've come such a long way since they were born.

The progress they made in 5 weeks.

Orion - August 4th

Ronin - August 4th

Another reason I've been MIA is that my sister, Heather passed away. As my friends already know, my sister Kim was killed in 2007. On June 19th (the day after the twins were born), Heather had surgery to remove a tumor by her brain stem. There ended up being numerous complications and she ended up coding on the them twice. Because of the surgery and the additional damage caused by lack of oxygen when she coded it was determined that her quality of life would be very poor. She didn't want to live like a vegetable for the rest of her life, so the decision was made to let things take their course and let her pass. My sister passed away July 20, 2013. The most difficult part for me is my concern for my nephew. My sister Heather's son just turned 5 on July 12th. He struggles at times, and at times he's a typical 5 year old.

Heather, Me, my Nephew

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Meeting Two Handsome Little Boys! - A Birth Story!

So this week turned out nothing like how I had planned. I went to the doctor on Monday to have my NST and BPP ran as well as have a growth scan for the twins. Finally, both boys passed the NST. I then went into one of the ultrasound rooms to check on the boys. They did all of their measurements and it was immediately obvious that Ronin was much smaller than Orion, I could tell and the US tech said as much. So, when I went in to the room to talk to our MFM I was expecting some sort of bad news, but I was still kind of shocked by what she had to say.

"How would you feel about meeting your babies this week?"

One sentence dramatically changed my life.

We began talking about possibilities. She said I could wait if I wanted to, but she didn't feel that would be the safest option. She explained all of her reasoning behind wanting the boys to be born at just over 33 weeks gestation. She told me about the risks if I were to continue carrying them as well as the ones for delivering them. So... the decision was made. I would meet my babies that week.

Thayer and I then went upstairs to make our delivery arrangements with our regular OB. Again, we talked about the positives and negatives of delivering vaginally (since both babies were vertex or head down) and having a C-section. Because it was my first pregnancy, induction this early (33 weeks) may not have worked at all. There was also the risk of Ronin (the littler baby) becoming very distressed during contractions. He said even if induction were successful, the likelihood of me still needing a C-section because the babies were in danger was very high. So Thayer and I made the decision for the health of our children, it would be better to simply have a scheduled C-section. Our C-section was set up for the next day at 2pm.

As we left the doctor's office we told Thayer's mom (who was in town visiting). I immediately called my mom to let her know, and then began spreading the word. I was excited, anxious, but most of all, I was scared. 33 weeks gestation was still very early. Yes, I had the steroid shots. Yes, my babies and I would have the very best of care. But what if something happened? What if something went dreadfully wrong? I was so worried for my little boys.

I went home that night and prepared for the next day... the day I would meet my little boys.

June 18th, 2013

We arrived at the hospital at 12pm to prepare for my C-section. They took me, Thayer, my mom, and Thayer's mom back to the prep room. I changed into my gown, got my IV, had the babies monitored, had my blood drawn. Then the wait began. Finally they had Thayer change into his scrubs and got ready to take me back to the OR. I became more frightened.

I was wheeled back to the OR, and I got up on the operating table to await my epidural. My nurse (who was AMAZING!) comforted me as the needles were inserted in my back. I laid back and got situated and almost immediately my blood pressure bottomed out. They had to pump me full of several different medications to get it back up to normal. They checked to make sure I was completely numb and the doctor got ready. They brought Thayer in and had him sit by my head. I could tell by his eyes that he was scared too, for me and for the boys. I heard the my OB said, "Okay, I'm ready to cut." Not two minutes later I heard the most beautiful cry. I immediately started bawling. I saw them rush him over to the station to get cleaned up and checked over. Then I heard a second cry. I start crying even harder.

Both of my boys entered the world at 2:55pm!

The NICU teams ask if Thayer has is camera. He looks at me and I can tell he's torn. I tell him "Go. I'm fine. Go." So he leaves my side and starts snapping pictures of the boys. I hear them crying and I can't help but continue to cry. They get them all stable. (Their Apgar scores were 7 at 1min and 9 at 5min.) They load them in an isolet and take them to the NICU for assessment and take care of them. Thayer comes back to me and I tell him to go with the boys. And they start sewing me up. Not long later I'm taken back to my prep room for recovery for 2 hours so the epidural can wear off.

When my 2 hours were up, they wheeled me down to the boys' room in NICU. My boys were small... but perfect and beautiful. They are the most amazing thing I have EVER seen in my life.





Tuesday, June 11, 2013

32w2d -- Less than a month to go!

Sunday marked 32 weeks! Where have the last 8 months gone? I can't believe I have less than a month left until I meet my little boys! I'm anxious, excited, scared, stressed, and happy all rolled into one beachball sized belly.

Yesterday (Monday) I had their weekly NST monitoring. Again, one baby wouldn't cooperate. Ronin decided he didn't want to wake up and get his butt moving. Orion passed within the first few minutes because he was feeling rather rowdy. When one of them fails we have to do the BPP. Again, Orion passed this in just over 3 minutes (they have 30 minutes to complete this test). Ronin did not pass. In a BPP they check for movement, muscle tone, breathing motions, and amniotic fluid amounts around each baby. Ronin did not pass the breathing motion portion. This meant that I had to go back to the doctor today and have the BPP ran again. Orion passed in less than 3 minutes today. He was moving and shaking and Ronin passed as well within about 10 minutes. I do admit, I sugared them up before the test and I ate about an hour before hand to hopefully make sure they were awake in there.

Also, on Monday Ronin was breech. I was in a lot of pain last night, especially my ribs and it felt like my skin was beyond stretched. I *knew* that Ronin had flipped around again. It was confirmed today during the BPP ultrasound. He is now flipped vertex again. Now the little turkey just needs to stay that way 1. so he doesn't cause me so much pain and 2. so I can deliver vaginally! It would be super nice to be able to have them the good old fashioned way (except with an epidural) than to have a c-section and deal with the recovery from that on top of trying to learn how to breastfeed and juggle two newborns.

On a side note, Thayer's mom gets in town tonight from Guam. We haven't seen her since our wedding in June 2009 and that was the only time I've even met her. It shall be interesting! I'm trying not to stress. The house is spotless and there are groceries in the cupboard. Not sure what more I could do.

32 weeks!

Clingy dogs... They definitely know something big is about to happen!

Monday, June 3, 2013

31 weeks - T-minus 35 days!

Well another week of pregnancy is complete. I am now at the 31 weeks mark and still going strong. I'm still not on mandatory bed rest, though I have decided it is in my best interest to take things easy. The babies are getting bigger. I'm not certain by how much, but next week is my growth scan.

Last Thursday I had an appointment with my regular OB (after my NST and fluid check). I see him every 2 weeks at this point and the MFM every week. They did the doppler and answered my questions. They measured my fundal height. I was 30w4d, but my uterus was measuring at 38 weeks. He said now that I'm measuring at full term I needed to have my hospital packed and in the car at all times. My body will essentially go into autopilot when it senses my uterus getting too big. Also, if anything happens to be found during the NSTs or growth scans that is cause for concern they will admit me either A) for more observation or B) to deliver the babies if it is bad enough. He just wants us to be prepared for these little boys to come at any time now. My induction/c-section is scheduled for July 8th. That is 35 days away. That's a little daunting to say the least
Today I had another appointment at the MFM office for an NST and fluid check. Both babies were being persnickety. For the first 10 minutes or so they did absolutely nothing. Guess they thought it was snooze time after waking me up at 5am. So the RN came in and buzzed them both. This got Orion moving, but all it did for Ronin was adjust his baseline heart rate. He just didn't want to wiggle. It was funny though, during the NST both babies ended up getting the hiccups so you could hear this little "hic, hic" tapping on the monitors along with the heartbeats. So after being monitored for 45 minutes and Ronin still not cooperating it was deemed that he failed the NST. When this happens they have to do a Bio-physical profile (BPP) on both of the babies. During this they look for the babies to both have practice breathing motions and to have a certain number of observable movements through ultrasound. Ronin was able to complete the entire test in just a few minutes. He decided it might be time to wake up. Then they went to check out Orion. He showed his practice breathing right away, but he thought it was still time to sleep and didn't want to move. He almost hit the time limit on the BPP before the tech was able to get enough observable movements out of him. I had to roll around on the US table from side to side, sit up, lay down all the way (which is incredibly uncomfortable) to try and get him to do something. If it's not one baby, it's the other! I do have good news, however. As of today, both babies are cephalic (head down). If they stay this way until July 8th then I will be able to have a vaginal delivery instead of a c-section!

I fear that Thayer are going to have our hands very full when these little boys arrive in a month because they are already very stubborn. (They get that from Thayer... lol).

School is now out, so I have the opportunity to take it easy. I've been trying to "nest" but it's difficult because most of the baby stuff is all packed away because we are going to be moving into our new house around July 1st. The ladies at work also through me a mini-baby shower. It was great! Everyone was so nice. I can't wait to go back in the fall and show off the babies.

Thayer and I are also preparing for the arrival of his mom. Her flight from Guam gets in June 11th. It's a little nerve-wracking because I've only met her once. I haven't seen her since I lost all the weight, and now I'm huge and pregnant. She's going to stay with us for a couple of days then drive out to the east coast to see the rest of the family and come back in time to see the babies before heading back overseas.

31 weeks!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Doctor Wasn't Kidding

My OB really wasn't kidding when said a twin pregnancy would be difficult for me to carry because of my stature. I'm a shorty (5'1") so that means short legs and short torso... that also means less room for the babies. I've had babies clear up to almost the bottom of my sternum for a couple of weeks now. I've had heads and arms in my ribs since they are both breech... but yesterday afternoon and night was the first time I really felt lost for breath. Every time I would have a braxton hicks contraction (which I have A LOT of) it feels like someone is sitting on my chest. It is almost akin to an asthma attack. I'm certain it is caused by the position of the boys (most of the mass being up high in my uterus). They are infringing on my organs and pushing my diaphragm up making it more difficult to breathe, especially when everything tightens up so hard in there. Sometimes I wonder how in the world my body is going to survive another 5 1/2 weeks of baby growth. I already have the equivalent of a full term baby in there. Why couldn't I have been taller?

I do have to say that I'm proud of my husband. In the last few weeks he's started picking up more and more of the slack. Last night when I was miserable he took really good care of me as well. He's starting to see the toll it is all taking on my body. I also tell him little anecdotes about other twin moms on my birth board who have already give birth to preemie babies. Or I tell them how most of them are on at least modified bed rest at this point (but I'm such a rock star little incubator that I'm not yet). Things like that really get him thinking. I've even showed him a picture of a set of the preemie babies (tubes and all) so he knows just how important it is for me to keep these little boys in there as long as possible. Some may say I was using scare tactics, but I prefer to think of it as a reality check.

Last night when the boys started hammering away at my ribcage I decided to try getting on all 4s to see if gravity would help get them out of my ribs. (Head and chest laying on the couch, knees on the floor). It worked for the most part! Thayer even came and rubbed my back. I'm know I've been pretty grumpy off and on lately because of how I'm feeling... but he's being pretty patient with me and all of my moodiness.

So... 40 days left until I meet my little boys. :)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Incubating 2 Babies

Granted, I've never had a successful single pregnancy, but I can't imagine it being more tiresome than trying to grow 2 healthy babies. My body feels like it's maxed out. Today I've done virtually nothing. I've vegged out on the couch almost all day but still couldn't keep my eyes open and ended up taking an hour and a half long nap.

Right now I have about 6 1/2lbs of baby inside my stomach... not to mention the extra weight of 2 amniotic sacs, an extra large placenta... etc. I'm only 30 weeks pregnant, but I'm the size of someone 36+ weeks pregnant. This means by the end of my pregnancy I will probably be the size of someone 43+ weeks pregnant... how fun does that sound? I still work (at least for a few more days) when most twin mommas have been put on at least modified bed rest at this point. According to my doctors I've been doing really well and I've had a boring pregnancy as far as severe complications go. This is almost amazing considering my medical history of gastric bypass. Granted it is safer for me to be pregnant after post weight loss surgery than to be pregnant and obese, but the food restrictions from the surgery could have caused me some difficulties, especially carrying twins because they require a lot more nutrients, etc. from my body.

Summary of a Twin Pregnancy... from my point of view.

First Trimester - I was lucky. I only had morning sickness for about 4 weeks. In the world of multiples this was an amazing blessing. With the help of Zofran, even the morning sickness wasn't that unbearable. I had some tiredness and fatigue. There were a few nights when I went to bed at 8pm because I simply couldn't keep my eyes open, but all in all it wasn't that bad. The mutiple trips to the bathroom began early on (7ish weeks). Since almost the beginning I've had to get up every 2-3 hours to use the restroom. All and all, though, my first trimester was a breeze.

Second Trimester - Again, this was pretty boring other than the little scares that Ronin and his growth gave us. We had a lot more monitoring because of having twins and a lot more ultrasounds to make sure they were both growing and healthy. I've had slightly more testing done on me as well to make sure that I'm staying healthy because my health directly affects their house. I don't really have any complaints about my 2nd trimester either. Towards the end I started feeling pretty large and uncomfortable. Both of the boys turned breech so I had two little babies kicking on my bladder. All in all... The time up to 27 weeks pregnant was pretty easy as well.

Third Trimester (so far) (yes this contains some complaining) - Glucose test, NSTs, Ultrasounds... I feel huge and incredibly uncomfortable and I still have 6 weeks to go. Both boys are still breech and still being ninjas on my bladder and now they've discovered how fun it is to punch my ribs and stick their heads up in my ribs. I literally woke up at 2am in the other night and it looked like I had a 3rd boob. There was a huge baby head lump right under my sternum. It hurt so bad. They are starting to run out of room in there and so when they do big movements it hurts... really bad. Ronin switched positions from being straight up and down breech to being diagonal and it had me in tears. Personally, I'm hoping that neither one of them decides to flip all the way around to vertex because I would just be excruciating. Additionally, I'm so tired. By the time I get home from work I want nothing more than to relax on the couch and prop my feet up. I've also gotten swelling in my ankles and feet. It goes down every night, but it makes my legs/feet ache and hurt, especially after I work all day. Don't get me wrong, I love my job. The kids are amazing and so are my co-workers/bosses... it's just that my body is starting to get worn out. I feel like I live at the doctors. I'm thankful that the three of us are being taken so well taken care of, but each appointment is stressful because I go in thinking the worse. I also feel like I live in the bathroom. The other night I was up every hour to pee. It's getting difficult to get up out of bed and up off the couch. Sometimes Thayer has to help me. I'm still lucky enough to be in the "I haven't peed myself" club. My self-esteem is shot. I feel like I look like a whale, even though it is very obvious that I'm VERY pregnant. I have noticed, though, that people are extra nice to pregnant people. When I go shopping, people are more likely to hold the door or help me reach things.

All in all... If I could fast-forward the next 6 weeks I would. I'm ready to meet my little boys. I still have difficulty believing that there are two little lives growing in my belly. I'm not sure that it will even completely sink in that I'm going to be a mother to two children until I see and hold them both in my arms. I love them so much and know that all that I'm going through to make sure they are healthy will be worth it in the end when I get to kiss their little faces and count their fingers and toes. Don't get me wrong... I don't regret a single moment of this. But like my doctor told me, a human body wasn't designed to carry more than one baby at a time. The physical demands it takes to have twins or other higher order multiples puts a lot of extra strain on the momma.

Monday, May 20, 2013

29 weeks... Discordant :(

Today's Appointment

So today was our next growth scan. The last one was 4 weeks ago and the one prior to that was 7 weeks ago. 7 weeks ago the boys were 23% different in growth size. This was when they bumped up my monitoring to make sure they weren't having TTTS. Fast forward 3 weeks. The boys were now only 16% apart in growth, which was great. Today, however, we weren't as fortunate. The boys are now 28% different in growth. Anything above 20% is considered discordant. Their stats were: Orion (3lbs 8oz) and Ronin (2lbs. 9oz). The goodish news is that even though there is a big discrepancy in their growth, Ronin is still within normal range and Orion is a "big baby."

Because of the growth discrepancy I had to stay extra time so the boys could have extra tests ran on them. First they checked blood flow to both of their umbilical cords. This all looked good. Both boys had good supply. Then they did a Non-Stress Test (NST). This is where they hook up 2 fetal heart rate monitors and a contraction monitor. They then observe the babies for at least 20 minutes. During this time they are looking for accelerations in their heart rates (due to movement and activity on their part... when we move and exercise our heart rates go up, the same applies to the babies). They want these accelerations to occur twice within a 20 minute period. This is to also make sure they are getting adequate supply from the placenta. Baby B (or Ronin) passed with flying colors. He was active and had several accelerations. Baby A (Orion) wanted to be lazy. They had to use a little vibrator/buzzer thing (sorry don't remember the name) on my belly to try to get him awake and moving. It took 3 times because he just wanted to be lazy and hang out. (Little fatty... lol). After about 40 minutes of being hooked up it was determined that they were both doing fine.

I then went to talk to the MFM. My normal MFM wasn't in today so I saw the other one for the first time. He recommended that I go ahead and have the steroid shots done because I could come in at any time and have a baby in distress and have to deliver immediately and there wouldn't be time for the steroids. So.. I got one burny butt shot on the right side today and I get the other burny butt shot on the left side tomorrow. The steroid shots help their lungs (mainly) and other organs mature more quickly in case they do have to be taken even earlier than expected.

Basically what all of this means is my level of care is being bumped up significantly. I will go in every week for a NST and ultrasound to check amniotic fluid. I will have another growth scan in 3 weeks. Hopefully we can keep these boys in their cooking for the next 7 weeks when my C-section is scheduled. It definitely looks like it will be a c-section and not induction because both boys are still in breech position as well.

In Other News...

Saturday we had our maternity photoshoot. I have a few "sneak peaks" to share. The full album won't be available for us to view for about 2 weeks since she has to go through and edit all of the pictures. Here are the sneak peaks... it will also serve as my 29 week pictures!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day and 28 weeks!

Mother's Day
This year was the very first Mother's Day I haven't spent in "mourning" in the last 4 years. Between battling infertility and losing our first baby, Mother's Day was just a day for me to crawl in a hole and pretend the world didn't exist. Going out wasn't worth the effort or tears. So many people have what I wanted and longed for, but couldn't seem to achieve. This year was better in that sense. I got to feel my little boys moving around in my belly, though they picked on me all day. At one point I think I had a baby butt in my ribs (Ronin's). I think he was flipping over and going back vertex. It hurt so bad for about 30 minutes. It hurt to move or breathe. The amount of room they have to move around and roll just isn't want it used to be. It is incredibly uncomfortable when they do it. I felt miserable off and on all day. It's worth it... or in the end I know it will be. At one point I had Thayer help me get into bed and lay down. I was in tears at that point. I refused to take anything. I'm just stubborn that way. I said to him, "But I just wanted one." Then I cried even harder because I realized what I had said and how horrible it sounded. It's not that I don't want them both, or love them both. I do. I would do anything for them. I would die for them. I would choose them over me any day of the week. I was just in pain.

28 Weeks!
These boys just keep on growing. Each little guy will now weigh about 2lbs 4oz. (I will know their exact weights next week on the 20th when I have their next growth scan.) My belly just gets bigger and bigger each week. My belly button is nearly non-existant. They love moving around and kicking me in the bladder. They love it when I eat.

Other Happenings!
Friday the 10th Thayer and I made our first trip to Labor and Delivery. At about 5pm I started having Braxton Hicks contractions every 15-20 minutes. I also began having pain down around my pelvic bone. I tried drinking water, laying on my side, and taking a short warm bath. None of that seemed to help so I called up to the hospital and talked to the on call RN in L&D. She said if it were a singleton pregnancy they would wait a little while longer, but since I'm carrying twins it would be best for me to go ahead and come in to get checked out. When we got there we went right back to the L&D triage area on the L&D floor. They had me pee in a cup then hooked me up to the baby doppler monitors and the contraction monitor. They also checked my vitals, which were great (including my blood pressure). We were monitored for about an hour before the on-call OB got there. The on-call OB happened to be my MFM. She checked my cervix and assured me that we were not in pre-term labor. My cervix was high, long, and closed, and I was 0% effaced. The RN and MFM both assured me that I did the right thing by going in because I am at such a greater risk of going into pre-term labor. I'm glad everything was okay in the end. Ironically, Saturday we went for our tour of L&D and the maturnity floor of the hospital.

This coming Saturday we have our maternity pictures scheduled. We are having them done at the park where we got married. I'm excited and hope they turn out cute. I'm glad I scheduled them early (29 weeks) because I already feel like I'm huge.

28 weeks!

Monday, May 6, 2013

27 weeks!

Third Trimester!
63 days to go!
9 weeks left!

Yesterday marked the beginning of my third trimester! What an exciting day for us! I can't believe how fast the last 27 weeks have gone, though I think the last 9 weeks are going to go by much slower. I do have to admit I'm becoming increasingly more uncomfortable, but I'm thankful for it all. I know the bigger I get the better because it means my little boys are growing big and strong! I still have only gained 14lbs, so that's pretty much all baby and things associated with the babies (amniotic fluid, etc).

I go Thursday for another TTTS check. It's been 2 weeks since the last one, so hopefully we still get good news. Then on May 15th I go for my next regular OB appointment and my glucose test. Since I can't drink the regular glucose mixture they are having me come in for 3 consecutive mornings to have my fasting levels checked.

This weekend we also went home for my baby shower. It was amazing. My girl friends did such an amazing job making it a special day for me and the boys! It was absolutely beautiful!

27 weeks!

Monday, April 29, 2013

26 weeks... Last week of 2nd Trimester!

Yesterday marked the beginning of week 26. It is also the last week of my 2nd trimester.

This Saturday is also my baby shower! I'm so excited! I know that my amazing friends have put so much work and time into making it a special day for my boys and me! I can't wait to see my family and friends and enjoy some time with them before things get very, very hectic.

Work, Moving, Mother-in-Laws... OH MY!
May, June, and July are going to be insanely busy. School gets out May 29th. I have found us a new place and I'm putting the deposit down tomorrow, but we're not sure whether it will be available for move-in on June 10th or the beginning of July. I have to wait to hear back. The current tenant is being evicted. If they fight the eviction it will take more time, if they don't it will be earlier. Let's hope they don't fight it! Thayer's mom will be here June 11th for a few days then she's going to drive out east to see the rest of his family (grandma, sister, aunts, uncles, etc.) and come back around the time the boys are supposed to arrive (lol... supposed being the key word there). Looks like she might get to help us move. I hope she's understanding. I know it's not exactly the best time to move, but we have a small 2 bedroom duplex and we're moving in to a 3 bedroom house for $5 less than we're currently paying. Then, of course, the babies will be born sometime in there! I know I need to just relax and breathe. Everything will work out. I know we have friends and family to support us and help us through it all.

At my last doctor's appointment I was 25w2d... and was measuring 30 weeks. I've gained about 15lbs now. Not bad for lugging around twins... :) I feel huge, but I know that's only going to get worse. I'm kind of jealous of these women with cute little "normal" baby bumps. I feel (and look) like I have baby everywhere. Don't get me wrong... I'm still happy I lost all the weight so that I definitely look pregnant, but I thought I would be cute pregnant... not hippo pregnant. With that being said... here's 26 week picture.

Monday, April 22, 2013

25 weeks - 76 days left

Yesterday marked 25 weeks. Today I had another growth scan to see how the babies are progressing. They also did the check for TTTS at the same time. We got GREAT news! Ronin, who had fallen behind, caught up with his brother a little bit! He is now weighing 1lbs 9oz. Orion is now weighing 1lb 14oz. The gap between them has closed enough that they are now moving my appointments back to every other week instead of every week! We are also pretty much out of the woods for ttts. It looks like the growth difference is being caused by Ronin being attached to the very edge of my placenta. This probably means he's getting slightly less of the placenta pizza pie. Ronin's heart rate was 140 and Orion's was 145. My blood pressure has been great so far. It was 110/67 today. Ronin was being a good little boy today. He posed for his pictures and was well behaved. He is in breech position. Orion, however, did not want to cooperate. His head is sitting right by my pubic bone. It was hard to get his measurements and he wanted to keep his back to us as well.

The MFM was super happy that Ronin had done some catching up. She said, "I don't know what you've been doing, but keep doing it!" Well... between the good thoughts and prayers and lots of protein on my part my little fellas are doing great!

I have an appointment with my regular OB on Wednesday. I have quite a few questions for him about how we are going to proceed from here on out since we only have 11 weeks left (77 days). (Oh..My..Goodness!)

Now the only things we have to worry about is my upcoming gestational diabetes test. I won't be able to drink the sugary goo like most people. I'll have to do some fasting bloodwork and things because the glucose drink will make me super sick. The other worry will eventually be blood pressure. So far it's been amazing, but with a multiple pregnancy, the risk of pre-eclampsia is higher. The final worry is pre-term labor. If I start going into labor between 34 weeks they will try to stop it. But again, with a multiple pregnancy the risk of pre-term labor is higher.

Now for picture time!
Orion sucking his thumb. 25w1d

Ronin posing like a good boy. 25w1d

25w1d... no cute little bump for me... I have baby everywhere and I feel like a hippo!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

24 weeks - Good News!

Sunday marked 24 weeks. It also marked VIABILITY!! From this point on, if I go in to labor they will make significant attempts to save the babies. Before this point, there is little they can do to save them if they were to be born. It's an important day our family!

Today I had another ultrasound to check for TTTS. Everything looked great. Their fluid levels were just fine. They were wiggling around a little in there. One of them actually kicked the ultrasound probe. lol silly baby. The tech zoomed in on little Ronin's face and he immediately turned away. I guess he was being a bashful little baby. Orion was letting it all hang out spread eagle. I guess he's not as bashful as his brother! Their heart rates were 132 and 142. Bladder and kidneys were full... and so was little Orion's stomach (the little chunker) :)

My one ankle is still swelling; it's just the left one for some reason. The doctor said I need to be cautious and keep an eye on it to make sure if it starts getting red or painful to call/come in because it could be the sign of a blood clot.

The boys have also discovered the sheer joy of being little ninjas on my bladder. I guess it's squishy and fun to explore. Sleeping is also starting to get uncomfortable as my belly gets bigger.

Thayer also got to feel them for the first time on the 10th. He said he thought it was "weird" and felt like there was an alien trying to get out of my belly. It wasn't really the magical moment I had been dreaming of for all these months, but it made sense coming from him.

I can't believe I have less than 12 weeks until I get to meet my little boys!

I'm also looking forward to my baby shower on May 4th! I have some amazing friends that are throwing it for me! I can't wait to see everyone and share my (and Thayer's) happiness with them! I'm also looking forward to getting our maternity pictures done on the 18th. I want to treasure this time in our lives forever because there may never be a next time.

My next appointment is Monday. That is our very important growth scan to make sure little Ronin is making progress in growing. Then I have a regular OB appointment on Wednesday where they will probably schedule my glucose test. Then I have another TTTS check on May 1st.

24 weeks!

Monday, April 8, 2013

23 weeks - 90 days to go!

Well I've made it to 23 weeks. It seems like just the other day I was finally seeing that positive pregnancy test and then getting the shock that we were having twins.

As a general estimate (from each baby is 10.5 to 11.8 inches long from head to toe. They both should be bigger than they were last Monday, which was 14oz and 18oz. (1lb. 2oz). Next time I think I will ask what "percentile" their growth is in, if they can give me that information. Our next growth scan is the week of April 22nd-26th and I have an regular OB appointment on April 24th. We will have another TTTS check next week (and every week from now on until I deliver these little babies). Also... Saturday I got my first rib karate chop from one of them. It hurt! I turned and said to Thayer, "Well since you can't beat me up, you're sending your minions to do your dirty work from the inside, aren't you?" He grinned and said, "Yep." lol

Today hasn't been such a great day. Just a lot of things have stacked up to make it less than stellar. Friday and today I had an "episode." It was pretty scary for me because I had no idea what was going on and it kind of freaked my co-workers out. I got insanely dizzy, had ringing in my ears, and blurred vision. Then a minute later I started to get really sweaty and pale. Within 5-10 minutes I was perfectly okay and have been the rest of the day. I thought I was going to pass out even though all I was doing was sitting there helping the kids with their math assignments. Anyways, after work I called my OB and talked to the nurse. I said I thought it might be that my blood pressure was dropping low and she agreed. She said it sounded like the babies had shifted and cut off some of my circulation through my vena cava (major blood vessel on the right side that returns blood from your lower extremities). This is causing a sudden drop in my blood pressure. There's not much I can do about it other than wait for it to pass while sitting, or it would be even better if I could lay down on my left side to take the pressure of the babies off of it. Well... that's not entirely possible to do when working in a classroom of special education kids. I just have to do my best. All this time I've been worried about developing pre-eclampsia, but it would seem, at least for now, I'm having the opposite problem. It was pretty scary. I'm just glad the kids didn't catch on.

Tomorrow I have my weekly ultrasound to check for twin to twin transfusion (TTTS). They will guesstimate the amount of amniotic fluid around each baby as well as make sure they both have fluid in their bladders and kidneys. As long as their fluid levels are similar and there is fluid evident in the organs that means to TTTS as of right now! So, I'm hoping for the best in that regard. I'm also supposed to talk to the MFM about the "episodes" tomorrow to get her input. We will also arrange to have a tour of the NICU in the near future just in case the babies have to spend some time there. I'm hopeful that I can keep these babies in there until 36 weeks! I really, really want that.

I do have to admit, I'm really glad I lost weight because now I have a nice, cute baby bump and look pregnant instead of looking like I just put on some more weight. Oh and sorry for the self-portrait. The pictures that Thayer took were awful.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

22 weeks and growing

22 weeks
8 weeks
15 weeks

Belly Progression -- 7 weeks at a time!

Baby A (the big one) is now officially Orion Rey, and Baby B (our little bug) is now Ronin Lee. We were going to wait until they were born... but we decided Orion was a more fitting name for a chunker baby :)

I've decided to be POSITIVE! After doing a great deal of research I've found that if I can get these little babies to 27 weeks they would each have a 90% survival rate! Each week after that would be a bonus clear up to 32 weeks which would be the ultimate goal. We can do it babies! I still feel pretty helpless and guilty (though I know there's nothing I can/could do to make things better or different). That's my own burden to work out within myself.

Today I had a big interview at work for a teaching job. I really hope I get it. I really deserve some good news right about now. I did my best especially considering the type of day I had on Monday. I also had to talk to them about going in for weekly ultrasounds. The principal was super supportive. His wife even had the same OB and MFM as me with their first child. He told me not to worry about anything because that was the least of my concerns at the moment and to not stress. He said I know that it's hard not to stress but we'll take care of it. It's nice to have such a wonderful and supportive administration in the building I work in. I do hate feeling like a burden on them though. I know I shouldn't feel guilty because I'm only doing what is best for my boys, but I know the kids at work need me too. They need the consistency of me being there and helping them.

Other than Ronin being small, both were healthy and had good heart beats. Their amniotic fluid was good as were their hearts and other organs (bladder, kidneys). I guess I can take that as a small victory.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Decisions A Mom Shouldn't Have to Make

Today was my growth scan for the twins. It didn't go well. 4 weeks ago the twins were slightly different sizes. Baby A was 1oz. bigger than Baby B. Fast forward to today. Baby A is now 23% larger than Baby B. Baby A is 1lb.2oz while Baby B is only 14oz. My MFM said the point where they really start to get concerned is 25%, so we are right on the cusp. There are a lot of potential decisions that Thayer and I might have to make over the next month or two... none of which will be easy.

Starting now I go in every week for an ultrasound. The growth discrepancy may be the first sign that they are developing twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). They want to be able to catch it early so I can have the laser surgery to sever the blood vessels that the twins share, thus getting rid of the TTTS. There are some problems with this, however.

They may never develop TTTS and may continue to grow accordingly... though be very different sizes. Or Baby B could quit growing. If that were the case we would have to decide to induce and have them very early (as early as 25 weeks) and try to save them both with all the risks of having super preemie babies OR we would could choose to continue the pregnancy longer knowing that Baby A would be completely safe and Baby B would have a significant chance of being stillborn.

There are some doctors researching doing the laser for twins that are just dis-coordinate in growth and there has been some success, but on the other side of the coin there are risks. In some cases, the severing of the blood vessels leads to death of the smaller baby because the only way it was getting nutrition was through those blood vessels via the bigger twin. Also, we don't know if I would even be a candidate for this surgery... but it's a decision we may have to make.

If the babies are even further off in size at my next growth scan (in 3 weeks... the one every week is to check for TTTS) they will give me the two steroid shots in preparation for pre-mature delivery to give them the best possible chance of survival.

So it may come down to us having to choose to completely save one baby and know the other will die, or try to save both babies knowing that they could both die from being born so early.

I don't want to bury either one of my babies. I don't want to be the mother of two (or three) angels. I want to be the mother of two miracles. Even though my doctor assured me there was/is nothing I could have or could be doing different to help them... I somehow feel like I've failed. I feel broken again. I feel like I can never do anything right. Why do bad things always happen to me? I'm tired of having to be strong. I'm tired of struggling. I just wanted something to go right for once, but it seems I can never catch a break.

Right now I'm scared to even keep buying things in preparation for two because what if one of them dies? What if I have two cribs and one sits unused and empty? What about the carseats we already have?

I think I've included just about everything the doctor told me. Right now I'm still trying to process it all. What we could really use right now is good thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

2 year Angel-versary

Yesterday was baby Hope's 2 year angel-versary. Luckily I was able to keep my mind on a lot of other things.

First we had a doctor's appointment for the boys. We got to hear their heartbeats with the doppler and found out that I'm measuring at 26 weeks for belly size.

Then Thayer and I had a date day, and it will probably be one of our last. We went to lunch and to a movie. Lunch was good. The movie, however, was a huge disappointment. I really love the book "The Host" but the movie was exceedingly boring.

I will never forget our first baby, but having the boys this year did make it easier. I could concentrate on them and not on being sad. I've come a long ways since the day and even year we said goodbye to her. Now I know that my sons will always have a sibling up in heaven watching out for them.

So... here's to you Baby Hope... gone, never forgotten, and forever in our hearts!

Monday, March 25, 2013

21 weeks! - Buddha Belly

I officially can't see my feet. I knew this day would come. I just didn't think it would come this soon. I look like a little Buddha.

As far as how I'm feeling... good most days. I've had steadily increasing back pain and in the last week or so I feel a lot of pressure at times, especially when I'm on my feet a lot. Guess I need to sit down more at work. I've been trying really hard to sit as much as I can, but I don't want to feel lazy and like I'm not contributing. Babies are doing good as far as I know. I feel them moving more and more each day. I feel kicks here and there, especially in the evening.

I have a doctor's appointment on Friday with my regular OB and then one on Monday with my MFM (high risk OB). I'm not sure if they'll do an in-office sono at my appointment Friday or if they'll just use the fetal doppler to check their heartbeats. Monday I know I'll get a growth ultrasound just to make sure they're staying right on track. I'm so ready to reach 24 weeks. That is when the babies will reach viability. By this I mean they would have at least a decent chance of living if I were to have them. They would be very sick and spend a lot of time in the hospital, but pre-term labor would no longer mean certain death for them.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

20 weeks - a little late

20 weeks... flat tummy is LOOONG gone...
So this blog is a little late as I will be 21 weeks tomorrow... better late than never I suppose!

I had another appointment/ultrasound with the MFM (high risk doctor) on Wednesday. The babies looked great. This time they were checking their amniotic fluid and their kidneys and bladder to make sure there is no twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) happening. Their heart rates were 134 and 145, which is normal. Both of their hearts looked good as well. That's still one of the coolest things to see... all 4 little chambers just pumping away like crazy. I'm feeling good. I do get some lower back discomfort, but other than that I feel great on most days. I've been feeling a lot more movement. I've even felt them on the outside twice now. Still no luck with Thayer being able to feel them. Hopefully that will happen soon. Yesterday he spent like 30 minutes just laying on the couch with me rubbing my belly.

I did some shopping for the nursery. I got $140 worth of stuff for $70 at Hobby Lobby. I found two perfect wall decals for their room, teal letters of R and O to go above their cribs with the other wall decor I plan on making (thank you Pinterest). I also found a twin picture frame so I bought one for myself and one for my mom. They say "Two peas in a pod" and are blue/cream striped with a little pea pod. So cute! It's so difficult to find things like that for twins! I also found two little woven baskets to help organize things on their changing table.

It's so nice to finally feel comfortable buying things for my boys. Most of my worries are gone. I have just a couple of more weeks until they reach viability outside of the womb. (24 weeks).

Now for pictures from my appointment! Little baby A was having an attitude again. He did not want his 3D picture taken and gave the tech a hard time. Both of them spent the whole appointment with their legs crossed. I guess they were being modest.

Baby A's profile... the blob to the left is Baby B (they were head to head this time).

Baby A's foot in 3D
Baby A in 3D
Baby B's profile

Baby B's face in 3D

Another shot of Baby B's face in 3D