15 weekers

both-smiling

So much to update on, so little time. Crazy to think that a year ago we were praying for our frozen embryo transfer to be successful (official transfer date was 12/30/15), and now here we are with two beautiful babies, empty wallets (and stomachs! there is no time to eat!) and full hearts.

I went back to work. I chose to go back to work. And even with my super awesome, understanding, mom-friendly employer, it is hard. Really hard. Especially when hubby is out of town and I am the sole drop off / pick-up from daycare, feeder, diaper changer, bather, rock-to-sleep-er, wake up in the middle of the night-er, nurser of sick babies, cuddler.

I am under the impression from my few coworker friends (outside of my department)  who do have children that this is just how it is. The collective advice I have received is “just accept the fact that you will have absolutely zero free time for the next six months or so” and “once you accept that that is your life now you will feel (better)”. Hmm. Okay.

Also, I am suddenly the uncool “old” person in my department at work now (I’ll be 32 in January). I came back from maternity leave and feel like my younger, childless coworkers are just sort of like “oh well that’s nice (awkward pause)” whenever I talk about the babies, or sleep deprivation, or anything really going on in my life. You wake up one day and you are the uncool older coworker, WTH.

Overall, things are going good. I do not regret my decision to go back to work (it’s only been two weeks). The babies still love me even though I am not with them all day every day (a constant nagging fear I have always had about being a working mom). They caught their first, second, and third head colds (illnesses) back to back over the course of the past three weeks and we are getting through it (much easier getting through it on the nights dad is home to help though!). Hubby and I still manage to find time (and babysitters) for dates on occasion (once every couple of weeks).

Skylar giggled for the first time two days ago (at least I tell myself that she did it with me first, not daycare). Jacob’s neck bump checked out to be something even more benign than originally believed (and is virtually disappearing). They are already growing out of their six month clothes and are only 15 weeks old! About 70% of the time they sleep through the night (8:00 or 9:00PM to 4:00AM ish…unless they are sick).

I am working on getting into a weeknight routine with them to make all of our lives easier. Prepping bottles (we have twenty two bottles – and it never seems to be enough since I have to constantly have eight to ten of them ready to go for daycare), laying out daily outfits and pajamas for the week, load after load of laundry and dishes…

Do I still cry at least once most nights when I am on my own with them? Yes, two hands just is never enough to change / feed / hold / prep for two of them (note, I have been working on planning ahead and asking for help from friends & family at night / before bed time when hubby is gone and this proves to make a world of difference). Would I trade any  of it for the world? Never.

 

Sleep is for the weak

I haven’t posted in a while because, well… life is crazy taking care of two babies. Crazy, wonderful, stressful, perfect, non-stop, loving every minute but also so so difficult (*as I am sure every new mom feels, not just moms of multiples).

I apologize in advance for this post being completely ADD, my thought process isn’t as sharp as it used to be and my writing may seem like random ramblings with no real order but that is how it goes when you are living off of little sleep, lots of coffee, and unconditional love.

Pumping has gone out the window #notworthit #idratherspendthattimewithmybabies. So now they are 100% formula fed babies and they are thriving. And they are not starving every 90 minutes on the dot (I do not know how women survive breastfeeding – since virtually all of breast milk is absorbed easily, it seems to go through them like water). And don’t even get me started about growth spurts / cluster feedings…Props to all of the breastfeeding moms out there – you are my heroes!

There are a lot of benefits of breastfeeding (directly from the breast) vs pumping and I just couldn’t justify all of the effort pumping required when demand was increasing exponentially and supply was remaining flat. I tried everything to increase my supply (pumping every two hours, taking fenugreek pills / smelling like maple syrup constantly), but it seems you can’t signal your body to produce milk for two babies by just pumping alone. It was hard to let go of all of my hopes and expectations about breastfeeding the twins but honestly, I am so much more at ease now.

The babies are 8 weeks old today, and last night was their first night sleeping in the cribs in their nursery (still waking up for feeding every three-ish hours at night of course). Hubby has been pushing for the transition from the bassinets in our room to their room for a while and I have been fighting it. But as they grow older, they seem to be becoming more sensitive to sounds, and there has been a handful of times where we have woken them up on accident right when we were getting ready to hit the hay. So I reluctantly agreed to attempt to put them down in the nursery last night and hubby and I slept in the guest room next door. Success! Both babes slept for longer times between feedings than they normally do! Not sure how long I will be sleeping in the guest room (for my own piece of mind), but it is an exciting step in the right direction / milestone.

Their two month check up with the pediatrician is in a week and I am so excited to see how they are doing growth-wise. Our one month appointment was the first appointment where the pediatrician said she was pleased with their growth (apparently they were previously in the 11th percentile and moved up to the 30th percentile… #twinprobs).

Also, Jacob has a hard lump / bump on his neck / underneath his ear that was noticed when he was three weeks old. After a visit with the pediatrician, we were sent for an ultrasound at the children’s hospital (want to be terrified? go to the children’s hospital with a three week old). The ultrasound came back inconclusive but they think (hope) it is something called a hemangioma, which is just a vascular deformity / cluster of blood vessels that is considered a “birthmark”. Usually, hemangiomas are red in color and Jacob’s is not, so they are not 100% sure. At the time, it was all very terrifying and I still constantly worry about it. But per doctor’s orders, we are to “wait and see” (assuming the lump doesn’t grow and his behavior remains “normal”). As Jacob gains weight (he’s a chub now!), its harder to feel the lump but it is still there, and still the same size, so the doctor thinks it is a “deep” hemangioma. We are supposed to have a follow up ultrasound soon and I am dreading visiting the children’s hospital but anxious to see if they can confirm the diagnosis.

In summary for now, motherhood / parenting is hard. And terrifying. And full of unknowns. I am learning to roll with the punches and trying to enjoy every second of it. When one baby decides not to sleep until midnight and we have to be up for another feeding at 1:00AM , I remind myself how blessed I am and how hard we fought to get our babies and become parents. All of the stress is 100% worth hearing their coos and seeing their smiles and watching them grow.

Also, “sleep when baby sleeps” is a complete lie! Sleep?!? How about drink water, eat, take out the trash (ie diapers!), meal prep, and do laundry when the baby sleeps?

 

 

 

 

Twinning

There is a fussy, screaming baby in another room that I cannot tend to because I am mid pumping session. I would delay said pumping session if I believed there were any hope of said screaming baby calming down any time soon. But alas, he has been doing the “freak the fuck out – calm down and fall asleep in mom’s arms – freak the fuck out three minutes after mom lays him down in his bassinet” thing for going on 3 hours now. He’s not wet, not hungry, and not gassy (for once!), just not into the whole sleeping thing today. Of course, on the day where my scheduled help (today my sister) cancelled last minute due to illness. Hubby left for a work trip this morning.

Someday I will find the time to write an actual blog post about all the happenings of motherhood and twinhood so far, and catch up on all the blogs I follow. But for now, I pray that I can get baby boy to sleep before baby girl wakes up hungry.

 

 

 

Two Weeks Post Partum

I am so beyond exhausted but had a few seconds to update while pumping away with my super cool hands free pumping bra.

The twins arrived Friday, September 2nd after a scheduled induction. We arrived at the hospital at 7am and they were born vaginally at 9:02PM (Skylar) and 9:17PM (Jacob). The epidural (which I had around noon after my OB broke my water and contractions really started) was a game changer (best. decision. ever.). From there, it was a breeze. I didn’t even sweat.

My OB refused to answer how many stitches I had to have, I am thinking she figured it was best left unsaid. No matter, I am so thankful that I am recovering with stitches vaginally rather than cesarean.

Baby A (Skylar) weighed 6 lbs 10 oz and Baby B (Jacob) weighed 7 lbs 1 oz. They both struggled with breastfeeding at the hospital and lost a little too much weight before we were discharged at the 48 hour mark. After much struggle (2+ hour feedings that included attempting to breastfeed each baby, supplement / formula feed each baby, and then pump), we switched to pumping and formula after the first week. Life has been much easier since (not quite easy, just easier than it was).

The nights are really rough. If we get a total of 3 hrs of sleep we are lucky. If I don’t break down in tears at some point through out the night we are lucky. But everything is so worth it.

Just a quick update, more to come later. Welcome to the world Skylar and Jacob! :*twins-1

 

One week to go!

I am 37+1 today and my induction is scheduled for 38+0, so this is officially the hubs and my last weekend sans babies. At my OB appointment the other day, I was 3-4cm dilated and 80% effaced, so apparently my body is starting the pre labor process as it should. OB seems to think I’ll make it to induction date but also said anything could happen. So I have pretty much spent every waking hour since that convo wondering when they will come.

I haven’t really had any contractions (that I can actually feel), just really mild menstrual cramps here and there. I’m terrified that by the time my water breaks or I do start getting actual labor contractions, I will barely make it to the hospital in time (what if I’m a fast dilator?).

Hubby says I have “more of a sense of humor” since being pregnant, which I think really means I’m nicer when I’m pregnant. But alas, yesterday, for the first time since being pregnant, I had an uncontrollable cry out of no where. I had convinced myself the maid service / deep clean we had scheduled for today was not happening / they wouldn’t show up (we usually hire a maid for a deep clean like once every two years but my hubby has been doing all of housework by himself pretty much for 9 months… so there have been things that he just can’t do that need to be done. And my super pregnant self is suddenly obsessing over these things). ANYway, I balled my eyes out for no reason as the maids showed up perfectly on time today. I seriously was super PMSy all day yesterday.

So, that is our last weekend as just the two of us – maid service and prepping last minute freezer meals. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

35 Weeks

Last Friday we hit 35 weeks. We are overjoyed, overwhelmed, excited and nervous. It really doesn’t seem possible. There was a time when we were worried about making it to 24 weeks / viability, and then we hoped and prayed for 30 weeks, and now all of the sudden here we are at 35 weeks!

Last Thursday my regular OB was on call so I met with a different OB and she did my Group B Strep test and also my first cervical check. She said I was not dialated at all and my cervix was still high but beginning to soften. Of course none of this really means anything, things can change on a dime. But still, it was exciting. And sort of painful. She warned me that afterwards I could experience some spotting, which I did not have, but I did have my first day or so of Braxton Hicks contractions.

We have a c section scheduled for 9/2 (38 weeks – my OB doesn’t let her twin pregnancies go past 38 weeks). Average twin gestation is 35 weeks (eek!). These babies could come tomorrow or these babies could hold out for another two weeks (or anything in between).

Both babies are finally vertex (head down) so as of right now, we have the option of trying for a vaginal birth or having a c section. I was 100% pro c section until we went to our birthing class at the hospital. Now I am thinking we will go for a vaginal birth. Of course the risk is that baby A comes out vaginally and then baby B needs an emergency c section (for a variety of possible reasons), so we would have a “double whammy” of a recovery. My OB wanted to get the c section scheduled just in case, but she said when the time comes (whether it is on the 2nd or before the 2nd), we can proceed however we choose (assuming both babies are still vertex).

I am back on bed rest, as a precaution, to hopefully help keep these babies cooking. I have twice weekly BPPs (biophysical profiles – a type of ultrasound in lieu of NSTs). I can feel the babies almost constantly moving, which is hugely comforting, but the twice weekly ultrasounds are the best thing ever.

I took my last progesterone suppository Saturday night. Then, last night, the first night without the suppositories since 22 weeks (?), I had not one, not two, but THREE orgasms in my sleep. No dreams, just good ole surprise orgasms. WTF? Hubby and I are still on pelvic rest but I think it had something to do with going off of the suppositories? OB assures me that going off of them will not bring on labor, but still, seems like my body is noticing the lack thereof… weird.

So now we wait. Our next ultrasound is Thursday, and it is a growth ultrasound on top of the BPP which is so exciting. The last growth ultrasound was at 33 weeks and baby B (boy) was measuring 5lbs 8oz and baby A (girl) was measuring 5lbs 14oz. I am hoping they have each packed on a half pound per week for the past three weeks.

So for now, I am trying not to over analyze every twinge, tightening, increase / decrease in discharge, and, well… sleep orgasm.

 

 

Hello 3rd Trimester

Well, technically 1 more day to go until the 3rd trimester (week 28 starts this Friday). Time is flying by. I still find myself worrying about a lot of things, but being back in the office at work is really helping keep my mind preoccupied.

A lot of boxes have been checked since the last time I posted:

  1. Fetal Heart Echoes – everything looked great and the perinatal specialist said it was nice to deliver good news for once. But then that same night I had a large gush of red blood and we made another trip to Labor & Delivery. All was fine and they think that the in-depth (“dynamic”?) vaginal ultrasound (part of the heart echo) irritated my cervix and caused the bleed. The heart echo ultrasounds are no joke (ultrasound took two hours and then we met with the doctor so we were there for three hours total). And the scary red bleed has pushed me to stop asking my regular OB when we can go off of pelvic rest, the potential to bleed THAT MUCH is too scary for me.
  2. Gestational Diabetes test – passed it! Multiple pregnancies have a higher risk of GD so I was really nervous about it but I got the call earlier this week that I am fine. Also, the 1 hour glucose drink they give you is NOT that bad. Tasted just like super sweet fruit punch.
  3. Family / Friends Baby shower – over and done with (pics below – I’m thing 2 with my sis and cousin)! Only the work baby shower to go. My sister hosted the shower with a “Thing 1 & Thing 2” theme and it all turned out so perfect and cute. The twins, hubby and I are feeling very blessed. Along with the shower was an influx of out of town family visiting, so we had a really busy weekend with the baby shower (hosted by my sis but held at our house for space) and the Father’s Day BBQ we committed to hosting for all of our visiting family the day after the shower. I am still exhausted four days later.

My belly is growing exponentially by the day it seems. The heartburn is almost non-stop. I wake up to pee twice per night now. I am still having vivid and disturbing dreams most nights. My wedding ring no longer fits, nor do most of my close-toed shoes. But I am loving every minute of it. Every kick in my belly is the best feeling ever. And I finally was able to time it so the hubby could feel his first kick. Life is good.


 

 

Friday finally came, 24 weeks

The blob incident happened last Friday / early Saturday, and my weekly OB appointment and ultrasound weren’t until this Friday (yesterday). Longest week EVER!

I tried to prepare myself to see the SCH / clot on the ultrasound screen so I didn’t have a complete freak out at the doctor’s office or with the ultrasound tech. Luckily, my hubby was in town for this appointment (he’s missed the last FOUR weeks!), he always makes things better (even when they’re not so good).

I immediately told the ultrasound tech (same woman every week) about the blob incident and she very cautiously said “I’m not making any promises” (but not in a hopeless or mean way, just in an honest, “this could go either way” kind of way).

And…drum roll please… The SCH / clot is gone! So the blob that I passed (felt like delivered?) was the entire clot. It was such a huge relief, I feel like a tremendous weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. The next step was to measure my cervix (which was in the danger zone last week at 2.4cm). Miraculously, my cervix is back up to 3.0cm and in the safe zone. TWO miracles in one day. OB isn’t sure if the progesterone suppositories are helping the cervix, or if the clot being gone and not pushing on it is why it is strengthening / lengthening, or if it is a combination of both.

What does it all mean? It means I am off of bed rest after EIGHT WEEKS of it! OB said hopefully I can stay off of bed rest until 32 weeks, when she recommends everyone having twins go on it. At last week’s rather upsetting appointment, we were still planning on being on bed rest until delivery and then this week we are off of it, I could not have dreamed how well this week’s appointment go. We are still on pelvic rest, but I think even if we weren’t we would both be too scared to fool around anyway. Baby steps.

I am still planning on taking it easy – no real exercise other than walking the dog for brief amounts of time, short trips out and about (no motorized scooters at stores required though!), taking it easy at work (sitting at my desk all day rather than walking around visiting).

I haven’t told work that I am returning to the office yet. Monday is a holiday, so I figure I will tell them Tuesday from home and start going in on Wednesday. Now that bed rest is off of the table, I suppose there are a few things I will miss about it (hanging with the dog all day, clear pores from not wearing makeup for two months, constant access to a fridge full of food, neighbors bringing over feasts to help out with the cooking, getting to see the babies on weekly ultrasounds, not having to buy maternity clothes other than comfy shorts). But I need to get out of the house and feel normal, and going into work will definitely help assimilate me.

Also, in other exciting news, we hit 24 weeks Friday (same day as appointment), which is considered the point of “viability”. No guarantees that the babies would survive outside the womb this early, but at least the doctors will do everything in their power to give them a fighting chance.

My OB automatically prescribes steroid shots to speed up lung development in twins at 24 weeks, just in case of preterm delivery. Guess where the injection site is? Yep, right where the PIO injections go. It is a 2 dose shot, 24 hours apart.  I thought I would have some sort of PTSD when my hubby injected the first dose this morning, but oddly, the familiar sting (and gushing blood) were slightly comforting (maybe comforting isn’t the right word, how about familiar).

What’s next? Apparently the recommendation for any IVF baby  (by whom I don’t know?) is a fetal heart echo by a perinatal specialist, so we have that scheduled for next Friday. I am hoping / was told that this will include a full ultrasound to measure the babies’ development. The following week I will have one last cervical length ultrasound. Then I will switch to monthly ultrasounds, and keep the semi-weekly OB appointments. Somewhere in there will be the gestational diabetes test.

Seriously, I am on cloud nine. We celebrated with brunch at a nearby olive mill this morning (the hubs, the mother in law, and I) and tomorrow night we are celebrating our 6 year wedding anniversary (which is officially Monday…just the hubs and I). The worst week ever was followed up with the best week ever.

 

The Blob

On Friday night before bed I was really crampy and just couldn’t get comfortable. I convinced myself that the babies were just moving positions and went to sleep. An hour and a half later (at midnight) I woke up to extreme pain / cramping. I could barely walk and was convinced it was a labor contraction. I went and sat on the toilet and almost immediately I FELT this huge blob come out of me (most disturbing sensation ever). The pain / cramping immediately stopped once the blob was out of me. I forced myself to look in the toilet and there was this huge clot, the size of my palm. I half convinced myself it was a placenta, just because it was so big and scary, but then calmed myself down and told myself it was about the size that my clot measured a few days before (8cm).

I called the after hours line for my OB and the physician’s assistant told me to go into Labor and Delivery at the hospital just in case. Around 2:00AM we heard both babies’ strong heartbeats on the dopplar and by 3:00AM we were discharged. The on call doctor from my OB’s practice (who was at the hospital at the time) decided it wasn’t necessary to see me given my SCH history and the fact that I was no longer bleeding or experiencing pain. After a quick stop for a cheeseburger (babies were hungry!), we were home in bed by 4:00AM and the babies were moving so much it felt like a karate party in my belly (but was so comforting to feel them moving around).

Since the blob incident, I have stopped bleeding brown (I had previously been bleeding brown for 6+ weeks so this is a huge deal!). I am trying not to get my hopes up but I know I am going to be really upset if the SCH still shows up on my weekly ultrasound on Friday. Needless to say, Friday cannot come soon enough (except for the fact that my mother in law is supposed to show up to stay with us for the next two weeks that same day – she pretty much just invited herself over and insisted she come to “help out” even though we assured her we had things covered and her driving across country to “help out” was completely unnecessary… but that is a whole other conversation to file under “things that stress me out during pregnancy”). But Friday is also 24 weeks for me which means viability (the point where they will start trying to save your baby if you deliver early). Friday, Friday, Friday!

Return of the Suppositories

My husband and I have another name for the infamous progesterone suppositories but I don’t want weirdos finding my blog so I will refrain from listing what we so fondly call them. I had 9 IUI cycles with them and I definitely have not missed them.

Anyway, I went for my weekly ultrasound yesterday and the SCH shrank from 13cm last week to 8cm this week (amazing news!). 8cm is still considered large but at least there is progress. And the bleeding has really been a lot lighter lately, except for the occassional large, disturbing clot seemingly out of no where.

The weekly ultrasounds also measure my cervix. Anything over 2.5cm is considered fine. Last week, my cervix measured 3.2cm. This week it was 2.4cm (a HUGE decrease within a week’s time). The ultrasound tech seemed kind of panicked and got me into an appointment with my OB even though this was my week off from the OB. The OB said there is really nothing we can do right now other than wait it out and try progesterone suppositories (which, she said are proven effective for strengthening a shortened cervix with singleton pregnancies but there is no proof they help in multiple pregnancies). She said all we can really do is wait and see and if it gets shorter than 1.5cm, I will probably have to be put on hospital bed rest (umm… that sounds horrific). She doesn’t know if the shortening caused by the SCH resolving (and maybe causing contractions as it resolves?) or if it is completely unrelated to the SCH (common in twin pregnancies).

Is it weird to be 6 months pregnant and still feel infertile? I know, not the same thing (I am pregnant after all!), but I just feel like my body is incapable / failing me (the exact same way I felt with every BFN).

Today I am 23 weeks. 24 weeks is considered viability (the earliest they will try to save the babies if they are born prematurely). I also will get a steroid shot next week to speed up the development of the babies’ lungs, just in case they are born prematurely (OB does it for all multiples at 24 weeks). I really am praying that I make it to at least 36 weeks but for now, I just want to make it to next week.