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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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!