August 22, 2013 § 33 Comments
Being away at the cottage on the lake with 35 family members was definitely THE way to pass time post-bleeding and pre-ultrasound. Truthfully, I stopped worrying entirely. I just forgot about it. And it probably helped that I was obviously nauseated for the first time in this pregnancy starting on Saturday. I’m back to feeling fine now, but Saturday and Sunday were a incredibly uncomfortable. In fact, the only time when I didn’t feel like I was a 7 out of 10 on the nausea scale when a 7.5 would include violent vomiting was when I was physically shoving food in my mouth. The act of eating was the single thing I could do to relieve it, but as soon as I was done chewing, it was back. Very strange. Anyway, I was relaxed enough to spend 4 hours shivering and crashing repeated into the water while trying to learn how to windsurf. So, yeah. I’d say I was feeling pretty decent.
It was really difficult not to tell my extended family. We get to see everyone together like this once a year. My mom is the oldest of 6, and I have somewhere around 18 cousins on that side (I’m feeling too lazy to count on my fingers). I’m the oldest. The youngest are a pair of 9 year old identical twin boys. It would have been so nice to be able to share the news in person. But we just weren’t ready.
Yesterday’s ultrasound was easy and fast and very much a relief. Pre-scan, while I was failing to provide a urine sample (I can’t force a pee when I’m anxious to save my life) and taking a nervous poo instead, the nurse told Artsy Engineer that this ultrasound was huuuge. He was sweating bullets by the time I got back to the room. But, guys, everything is fine. Inmates 122 and 124, as Artsy Engineer has coined them, are growing as they should. They were 20mm and 19.5mm, respectively. Nearly an inch. We got to hear the heartbeats again and they were so incredibly fast it scared me. According to the RE, everything is within normal limits, so I will trust her, but they were both around 180, which seems on the high end. They looked like a mix between gummy bears and gingerbread mean, so god knows who their parents are. When I look closely at the ultrasound photos, I feel like I can make out faces, which is very likely my imagination. Kind of like identifying objects in the clouds. But, seriously, they all of the sudden look like they could become real humans and it’s so weird/cool. And. Get this. They took turns wiggling. They were still while the RE was taking their measurements, but then when she was going back to snap some quick photos for us, Baby A started wiggling. And then Baby B joined in. It was, well, surreal. I don’t think I have any other words for it.
I also scheduled with a real OB, but that appointment is still a month out, when I’ll be nearly 13 weeks. I’ll have one more at the fertility clinic in two weeks before my relationship with them comes to an end. I’m strangely a little bit sad about it.
I will write another post soon about all of the thoughts we’ve been fielding about having two babies. I’ve already caught Artsy Engineer googling double strollers. And the other day, while he was at work (strange because, unlike me, when he’s at work, he is strictly business and does nothing but work), he sent me an email with a link to a site about the logistics of cloth diapering twins. But in actuality, in addition to the pure joy I’m experiencing at the idea that we get to meet at once two people who come entirely from my self and the person I love most in this world, I’m also having quite a lot of worries about carrying/birthing/parenting twins. So that will have to wait for another day.
And, finally, I started a new page for ultrasound photos. I want to document and share these babies, but I am also terrified to do so. It’s like the ultimate baby clothes buying in early pregnancy no-no.
Ah well. Screw it. I’m doing it.
August 15, 2013 § 12 Comments
Because this fear hangover (thank you, Sarah, for giving this feeling a name) has me a bit loopy and because I’ve been in the car for 5 hours, I’m going to indulge in a touch of photographic self-centeredness. Or. A touch more self-centeredness, given that this is, in fact, an entire blog devoted to my Self. Gahh. When I say that outloud it makes me feel a little silly.
Ok. I swear I’ll stop clogging your feed now.
August 15, 2013 § 22 Comments
But not the ultimate. No ultrasound this morning.
The bleeding stopped as abruptly as it started. The red turned lighter, then to a light brown. And within the hours it was completely gone. No cramping. Clean toilet paper. Nothing.
The nurse sounded relieved and optimistic when I called her this morning. She told me that brief bleeding without cramping or clots is not a cause for concern. She said that the progesterone suppositories I’ve been using for 6 weeks now can make the cervix especially sensitive. And according to my research, twins can mean more progesterone, which can mean now bleeding. The nurse said that this type of brief bleeding could happen here and there throughout the pregnancy and that it could mean nothing. I believe her. (And I believe all of you, my dear dear sisterfri.) But with reservations.
Since last week’s incredibly surprising ultrasound, I have experienced a vast smorgasbord of thoughts and emotions about carrying and caring for two children. Most of them were lovely lovely thoughts. And, I think reasonably, a couple were on the holy shit spectrum. But nearly all of them were drenched in this sticky, warm optimism that came from god knows where. I really didn’t seriously question the continued development of these babies. It was such an awesome feeling.
So. Have I jumped to being terrified that this pregnancy is over? No, though I was last night. Waking up to no more blood has left me hopeful.
But. Holy shit. The blissful curtain of optimism is gone. I’ve been knocked down a solid several rungs on the ladder. I’ve got nothing but faith in my body (the one that up to now has SUCKED at all things related to babymaking) to rely on until my scheduled ultrasound on Tuesday morning. I’m on my way to Canada now for our family reunion, and I’m really glad to be going. There will be about 40 people there, and the alternative (my dissertation) is a sorry distraction by comparison.
Thank you, dearly, for all of your sweet words over the last 24 hours. And for sharing in our shock and surprise at the two babies news. What a freaking rollercoaster, you guys.
August 14, 2013 § 35 Comments
But now, all of the sudden, I’m bleeding.
The nurse at the RE’s office told me to hang tight. Do nothing. Stay off my feet. Put on a maxi and monitor it and then call them when they open at 7 AM tomorrow to update them. We’re supposed to be leaving at 5 AM tomorrow morning for a family reunion about 8 hours away and not getting back until Sunday.
This is so shitty. And I can’t stop crying.
August 6, 2013 § 54 Comments
The subconscious is a powerful beast.
I wrote that post last night feeling all zen, and then I tossed and turned all night long and somewhere in there I fell asleep for long enough to have at least three nightmares about horrible ultrasounds. I guess I could police my fears well enough when the sun was up, but my ego was off the clock when I crawled into bed.
I finally gave up and got out of bed at 5:15 and showered. Then, to distract myself, I read through some internship program brochures, since I have to narrow down the list to 15(ish) by the end of the month.
Artsy Engineer and I drove together to the appointment. I felt pretty numb while in the car, but as soon as we walked into the RE’s office, I started crying. Luckily it was only us in there. We talked about what we’d do if it was bad news. We had zero ideas.
They took me back, drew some blood, asked for a urine sample, and took my blood pressure, which was through the roof. We got one of our favorite nurses (they have several stellar ones who I feel I’ve bonded with), and both she and the doc were present for the actual ultrasound.
I looked at the screen briefly right away and saw black space but nothing inside, so I promptly looked away from the screen and at my husband’s face. The RE said, “huh.” And then she asked me to give her just a minute to “see what’s going on.”
What sort of response is that?!!
But then I understood.
You guys. There were two babies in there. Two babies.
Both were 7mm. I don’t know if this was the measurement for the fetal pole or crown to rump length. I thought you couldn’t do the latter until 7 weeks, right?
Then she turned on the audio. This was the most surreal moment I have ever experienced. Baby A (I have a baby A?!!) had a heart rate of 122 bpm. Baby B’s was 124. Both were incredible and each one made me cry.
I let out many exclamations of surprise. We were and are completely (completely!) shocked. This possibility did not cross my mind even once. We had sooo many chances over the course of months and months and months and this cycle has two eggs and they are both fertilized, implant, and have grown (on track) to the stage where I can hear their hearts beating. It seems like such a very odd thing.
Artsy Engineer couldn’t bear to go straight to work afterward, so we went for coffee and a second small breakfast. We just sat across from one another, staring at each other and smiling every couple of minutes and shaking our heads.
The doctor warned us (and of course, we know) that it is still very early and that there remains a high chance of miscarriage. We will do another ultrasound two weeks from today. She said that the 8 week ultrasound is the “big one” and that if things look well at 8 weeks, they typically continue to look well.
There is no doubt that I’ll worry about this as the 8 week mark gets closer. But, for now, I have ultrasound pictures of our two babies on my refrigerator and I have three heartbeats happening inside of me.
Artsy Engineer said that we’re already making music.
August 5, 2013 § 17 Comments
I’m going to make this short and sweet.
I have had a really optimistic and joyful week. All of your words of encouragement the weekend before last were not for naught. I took them and I wrapped myself in them and I swallowed them and here I am. So, thank you.
This week was all about how I have no control over what is going to happen with this pregnancy. And how if I continue to be paralyzed with worry, I will be doing nothing but forcing myself to experience heartbreak overandoverandover again every day amen, whether or not it is warranted. And how I deserve to enjoy this and to be excited and to feel happy and lucky and warm. And, you know, puppies and all baby animals and pasta and blankets and wood stoves and tea.
This is not to say that I have not had moments or hours or half days of worry.
They’ve just all been covered in a blanket of this sense that everything is going to be okay. Which may or may not be the case, but somehow I’m making myself believe it. At least about 50% of the time (which I’d say is pretty good). 15% of the time I’m sure there is nothing in my uterus but an empty sac and the last 35% of the time I have successfully distracted myself from all thoughts baby. (The only things that seem to successfully serve as distractions are actually physically being in the room with patients and also watching mindless and horrible television on netflix.)
Anyway, I said short, right?
My first ultrasound is tomorrow morning at 8:15.
I know I will be anxious and it will be visible. I can picture my hands shaking and my heart pounding. And that weird buzzing in my ears and that feeling of being a bit disconnected from myself. My self. At my clinic, they are kind enough to have two screens for the verrrry fancy looking ultrasound machines, one right in front of the nurse or doctor and one (a nice, big one) right over my head and slightly to the left, angled down for a perfect viewing. But I imagine that I’ll have the heels of my palms pressed firmly over my eyes. And I’ll stay that way until they say, “there is it, Lentil. it looks great.”
(I’ve been practicing some visualization, can you tell?)
Much love to you all. I’ll check back in soon. xo and signing out.