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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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.