My gut is so large.

Let me first say: I had to stop for a second before beginning this post and remind myself how lucky I am. This was an infertility blog, and I loved the support I got from you other infertiles. I knew I could blog about whatever was on my mind and whatever questions I had. Now that this has become a pregnancy blog, I know that nothing has changed, and I appreciate it. When I have a question (which seems to be daily now) I don’t even give it a second thought – other bloggers will know! So I am very grateful that this is still a space for me to write my thoughts, worries and questions and you guys will probably have the answers! It’s a cool thing.

So that said, I wanted to take to this blog for the third time in a few days to voice my questions and one giant realization.

The other day it was round ligament pain. Now that I know what that feels like, I have no worries. It’s no big deal. And that’s what seems to happen with every pain and discomfort I feel. I apparently feel a lot better once I find out it’s normal. Yesterday it wasn’t the round ligament pain – it was something new. Dizziness that lasted the entire morning. I turned my head and it took a few seconds for my eyes to catch up. And it just went on. Then, a headache. A bad one. And first of all, I’m not a headache person – I’m not prone to them. I’m prone to stomachaches instead. But anyway, this headache lasted all day long and was located on the right side, specifically behind my right eye. By the evening I had to just shut my eyes, and then I finally gave in and took Tylenol, and it did help. But what was with that?

And now, today: I’m struggling to explain this one. So when I eat a meal, I’m really not eating that much. Certainly less than I used to eat, but I would still consider it an average portion. But it’s not a ton. But after I eat, I feel unbelievably – full. Like it was Thanksgiving dinner and I over-ate. You know that feeling? You want to undo your pants, lay down and moan. As someone who in the past was quite able to consume a lot, I’ve felt that feeling (and cursed myself) many times. But that is the feeling I’m getting now. I feel like I need to lay down after my meal and hold my gut. It’s hard as a rock, tight, and seemingly so full. I couldn’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. But now I’m starting to wonder – does this have nothing to do with food? Is this what a growing stomach feels like?

Which leads to my realization – after a little research and checking out a few bumps, my “bump” is the size of someone with one baby at say – 20 weeks. Or more. I mean, it’s large. I’m an 140 pound person, no little stick or anything. This stomach is big. And I’m about 13 and a half weeks, people. Soooo not 20. Or anything close.

So as I’m realizing how large I apparently am, I’m now questioning that “full” feeling. Is this from food (and it also involves shortness of breath and a desire to sleep) or is this my stomach growing at some astronomical speed? Sleeping on my back is no longer going well because I feel like I’m being stretched.

What it comes down to is this – why am I so uncomfortable? Where’s that period of a “glowing” pregnant woman? I just feel weighed down and tight. I assume it’s because there are two in there? Can anyone relate?

And by the way, I’m not complaining. I will happily accept every little symptom thrown my way. It’s more confusion – and because this is my first pregnancy, and one with twins, I just have no idea what to expect. Does a growing stomach cause discomfort?

Round ligament pain? And maternity clothes

Here, tell me if this sounds like round ligament pain:

Yesterday, as I think I’ve figured out, I just plain and simply did too much. It was an “active” day….including, but not limited to, going to two stores and coming home to take the dogs for a 20 minute walk at a moderate pace. The pain started off as crampy, which is always irritating but happens often. It then turned into an occasional sharp pain on my very lower right side. Then, towards the end of the walk, it was a constant painful pull in the same spot. It felt like I was out of shape and had an exercise cramp, but it was so low, kind of hugging the bikini line area on the right side only. After coming home and putting my feet up, it went back to the occasional sharp pain and that was that. Oh, and my sneezing and coughing fits didn’t help either. Does RLP sound right? Of course I started to worry at first, but other people’s descriptions online sounded like this, especially pinpointing where I felt the pain, so I relaxed a bit. Now I’m playing the “I can’t because I have RLP” card.

That said though, this pain was the worst I’ve felt so far. Nothing severe by any means, but it definitely stops you in your tracks. And it doesn’t seem like there’s much I can do, besides lay down. I’ve really been making a dent in my couch cushions lately.

Moving on – I’ve decided to spend a little bit of money (which always kills me to do so, btw) on maternity clothes for right now. I know I’ll be very large in a few months, which is why I’m saying a little bit of money. I’m borrowing some pants from a friend, and they are a lifesaver. But for tops, I’m looking for winter, longer, cozy shirts. Anyways, I was curious: are there any staple items you would recommend buying if you’re not planning to buy much? And this could be any time of year. Tank tops have been one suggestion. What else do I need at this point with a noticeable stomach that isn’t large? I haven’t gone shopping in a long time so I’m looking forward to seeing what’s out there. If my RLP can be on stand-by, that is.

13 weeks and the NT scan

13 weeks today! I usually spend every Saturday morning quickly reading up on what to expect this week, and then I spend an hour or so diving into “Baby Bargains” to continue making one small decision at a time. As of today we have agreed on cribs, rock n plays for sleeping in our room or the den next door, crib mattresses, crib pad for on top of the mattress and a changing pad for on top of the bureau. We have an old glider, so I’m not buying a new one. I would, however, like to re-upholster it and I am the least crafty, creative person on the planet. So if anyone has any ideas for this, I’ll gladly take them. As for the bureau, we do need one, but in my mind, it doesn’t have to be from a baby furniture store. A regular bureau would be fine. And I’d like to not spend a million on it, so we will start our store search soon. But seriously, picking these items out is no joke! I read up on it, take down a couple brands, search reviews online, check consumer reports, etc. It takes at least an hour to decide on anything! But we are cruising along.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing this too fast, because it’s still so early. Other times I say it’s a good thing to be prepared and not wait until the last minute, and picking things out/planning helps me get excited. Plus, I’ll probably say it’s too early up until birth.

It’s a good day to be sitting around planning these things, because outside the door, it looks like this:

20130209-075905.jpg

And the roads are all shut down. It’s blizzard 2013! My poor dogs – being 20 pounds and small can be quite the challenge. Peeing is an adventure. And I get to play the “I can’t help because I’m pregnant” card, which is always fun. I’ll supervise. Like I did when my husband made gluten free lasagna from scratch last night. He’s a great guy, and should win many awards for how amazing he’s been this entire time. He rocks.

So, Wednesday was our 12 week NT scan. So many of you have been through this but for those who were wondering, it took about 45 minutes. The tech girl was awesome, starting first with finding heartbeats, which was when I breathed a sigh of relief. Yes, one heartbeat is still hovering around 170 and the other around 140, and it’s been that way since 9 weeks. One of each, perhaps? That’s my guess at this point, based on basically nothing. She took a million pictures, printed us a huge stack of them. Baby A was chill, in a great position and just hanging out. Baby B was doing flips and rolling around. They were both really cool. You can see into their brains, which is pretty amazing. They also check the fold behind their necks, and measure it. Anything over 2.5 or 3 is a concern I think, and both of ours hovered around 1. I still did have to do bloodwork which will confirm any abnormalities at this point but I’m not worried. The twins were side by side, but then the tech had me go to the bathroom, claiming my bladder was really full. It wasn’t! This is a teacher thing. Holding it for a few hours isn’t full. But anyway, after coming back, the twins “bunk-bedded” it, as the tech said. Where she was feeling around for them is where my stomach is sticking out, so I guess that makes sense, and I guess you could say I’m officially showing, as opposed to the bloat. Maternity pants are in full swing. I tried to wear normal pants to a restaurant the other night and ended up with the belt off, snap undone and zipper down. Not comfy. She didn’t say anything about finding out genders, so that will have to wait until our next ultrasound which is 7 weeks away!! Torture!! Here are a few pictures:

20130209-081150.jpg

The one on top, in these double pics, either looked like an alien or in this case, a turtle.

20130209-081254.jpg

This is Baby B. Super cool that I can count fingers right now.

20130209-081334.jpg

And Baby A, with a face close-up. It was all really cool, and now that they look like people and not blobs, I start to actually feel pregnant, and not just sick. Speaking of sick, I’m down to one Zofran a day. I tried to go without it completely yesterday, and then around 10 am I couldn’t figure out why I was so nauseous I could barely drink water. And then I remembered. So one it is, but otherwise, my only nausea is hunger-related, which isn’t fun, but is completely different than the kind of nausea I’ve had so strongly since 5.5 weeks.

The day after the NT scan we had our monthly appointment with one of the doctors in my group, and it was night and day compared to the day before at the hospital. We waited an hour, the appointment was 5 minutes. She didn’t check heartbeats or do anything at all. In fact, she said it was too early to hear heartbeats, when in fact we heard them at 9 weeks from a nurse in the same practice. She told me, regarding my digestive issues to “drink more water”. She offered me no help at all. My husband left work early for this and I felt bad. From now on, I’m not sure it makes sense for him to come to these check-ups, if they are this pointless. I was mad. But the highlight of the week was surely the scan and getting those pictures I keep looking at…

12w3d and I’m still counting

I was very happy to hit 12 weeks this past weekend. And then I remembered, nothing has changed! I’ll be happy for 13, and every week after that. This is requiring so.much.patience. But what I really can’t wait for is Wednesday. And Thursday. Wednesday is the NT scan, Thursday is our monthly checkup where I’m assuming we will get to hear heartbeats. I think I’ve said this before, but it seems like ages ago we had our last ultrasound, and in fact, it was 5 weeks ago, with the fertility specialist. I’m just dying to make sure everything is okay in there.

I don’t know how you girls manage it when you have a scare. I give you a lot of credit. Today, this can’t even count as a scare, but it still put a damper on my day: there was…some coloration. Let’s put it that way. Everything has always been clear or close to it, and today, it wasn’t. There was some minor….color. Cue me going to the bathroom 5000 times and attempting to read about it online while in the bathroom. And finding nothing. And it has not been around since so I’m not overly panicking, it’s just – unnerving. You know, it’s the worst time to be a teacher, when you’re pregnant. The kids didn’t have P.E. until 2:30 this afternoon. So with the exception of lunch at 12:30, I had those 24 kids straight from 8:30-2:30 with no break. Ugh. It has been so long since I met with any doctor that time goes by where you question if this is even happening. And you start to doubt your symptoms.

That said, I can’t deny the fact that I still feel like crap most of the day. Now, though, the nausea is directly food-related. I’m nauseous when I’m hungry, nauseous when I eat too much, nauseous..all the time. I need round-the-clock food – but I keep making the mistake of eating too much in one sitting. The severity is better, however, and I’ve made it down to 2 Zofran pills in a 24 hour period, instead of the original 4. So there is progress there.

My gut is large and in charge. I still think some of it is bloating, but it’s all day, morning and night, and it’s extremely obvious. I haven’t announced it at work still and people are now looking at my stomach when talking to me instead of my eyes. It is a large belly, I think.

And there’s other things too, but really, I just need it to be Wednesday, and I need to know those little zygotes have grown and look good.

Twin pregnant friends – my next ultrasound after this 12 week NT scan isn’t until about 20 weeks – are any of you being monitored more often when you don’t have any complications? This just seems like a long space of time in between.

And finally, I took someone’s advice and started putting my emotional energy into baby products rather than symptoms and fears. Belle, I’m taking your advice and reading Baby Bargains cover to cover. I plan to look for the best deals. I’ll be damned if these twins break my bank. So far, we’ve made two decisions and I’ll tell you, it feels good to make a decision.

Now I’m not saying I won’t change my mind or that I won’t later be like, what was I thinking? But right now, having these decisions made makes me smile. One less thing right now, you know?

So, product-wise, we’ve decided on a crib (well, cribs) and I’m pleased with the ratings and price, and we decided on what to use at night those first few weeks in our bedroom, since there isn’t room for a crib and we aren’t trekking up the stairs a million times. After doing some research, it seems the twin pack n play with bassinets isn’t a good purchase, and I don’t think I want the co-sleeper. So, two rock n plays it is! I know about the risk for flat heads and hope to have them nap during the day in their cribs. The rock n plays would be for night, or I’ll just – I don’t know, rotate how they are positioned in there. But the reviews are great, and this seems like the best option. Do you think we could buy those gently used?

By the way, when I say “plan”…I’m not saying everything has to go this way or else. Believe me, I’m not that naive. But having a tentative “plan” right now gets me geared up and makes me feel just slightly more prepared.

Progress is happening on the outside, for sure. I just hope it’s also happening on the inside! Two more sleeps!

11 weeks and counting

11 weeks (plus a few days)….we’re getting there, slowly but surely! Our next appointments are next week, which includes the NT scan at 12.5 weeks and the monthly checkup the next day. I’m really looking forward to the ultrasound.

And I wouldn’t be lying if I said I’m a little nervous about it as well. Our last ultrasound was at 7.5 weeks – which feels like ages ago. 5 weeks later and I do worry just a little. I remind myself that I haven’t had any reason otherwise to think something could be wrong, but still. It’s been a long time. I’m composing my questions for my check-up: everything I read says multiple pregnancies need more frequent monitoring, including ultrasounds. So why hasn’t anyone said anything about that to me yet? I’m with a good practice – I’m hoping the doctor gives me some insight. I’ll be asking her about digestion issues as well – I know it’s common, but 6 fiber pills and 2-3 colace a day aren’t touching it. I think drastic measures might be needed. And what pains are normal, and what are not? And why don’t I already have this info? Dr. Google is never a smart plan and I regret it every time.

In other news, I am struggling to find good info online for twin products. I need a reference for what I need to know for twins. For example, I’ve been reading about breastfeeding, cloth diapers, and strollers. But for one baby. How do these things change with two infants?

I know it’s early, but we really need to plan financially, to see how much time off from work we can afford for me to take. What I’ve read about cloth diapers is that if you wash them yourself, it’s the cheapest option. Disposable diapers or cloth with a diaper service are more expensive. Okay, fine. We want to go cloth, with disposables still used at night, for travel, and at daycare. But with twins, just how many should we buy? How much laundry will I be doing?

With the strollers – I want a travel system. I want the car seats to be able to slide right into a stroller. And I heard that side-by-side strollers don’t fit through doors often, so I’m looking for a front to back. We used to want a jogging stroller…not for when they are little, but does that mean we will need a second stroller? Car seats – we need 2 carriers, 4 bases. Is there such a thing that is compatible with a double stroller?

And this is just the beginning. No worries, just questions. I guess the biggest question of all is, where can I find all this information? I thought there’s no better place to turn than here.

I’m excited, finally. Along with some minor worries, I feel like this is really happening. Now to get to next week!

Re-learning me

Just checking back in, more as a way to collect my thoughts, I suppose. Two days shy of 11 weeks and I can’t emphasize enough how slow.time.is.passing. It is torture. And I have little timelines set in my head – if I can just get to 12 weeks, or my next ultrasound at 12.5, or 16, or 20 and find out what I’m carrying, but then after that, there will be another lull… Waiting, waiting.

And I guess I’ve heard people say that time passes more quickly after the first trimester, maybe because the pregnancy is fully internalized and then you are able to get “back to your old life”. While pregnant. But see, I don’t think I can do that. Because nothing from “my old life” is as big, as life-changing as this is. I can’t possibly imagine myself walking around all matter-of-fact – “oh, yeah, I’m pregnant. I almost forgot. Now let’s get back to teaching math.” Not to this lady. At least right now, being pregnant is in the back (slash front) of my mind 24/7. I’d say 90% is excitement, 5% is pointless worrying, and 5% is – “good lord, what have we done?” Maybe that falls under the “worrying” category as well.

I’ve done a decent job of keeping the mighty secret at work for what, again, seems like forever. Everyone knew about IVF, and then when I found out at 4 weeks, I shut right up. Of course I told my two closest friends at school, along with the school nurse at 8 weeks, and recently one more colleague, because I needed her help watching my class while I waited for the Zofran to dissolve. So that’s 4 people, and I’m good with that. Why do I need to say anything else? My bloating is like nothing else I’ve seen before, so after lunch, I sure as hell look pregnant. But whatever! I’m okay with speculation. I’m just not going to stand up and make an announcement. It is not my style. I keep assuming I will want to tell more people after 12 weeks, but who even knows. I think it’ll happen when I show, and have to tell my class, too. Until then, I’m keeping quiet.

Interestingly enough, what looks like a massive weight gain with the bloat is actually a weight gain of about two pounds. When the nausea first hit I lost 6-7 pounds, and 5 weeks later, I’ve gained two back. Looks like a lot more.

I’m having discomfort in bed. Help! I’m not even like, showing. But sleeping on my back gives me stomach pains, and on my side, my gut feels like it’s reaching and pulling so hard to reach the mattress, and it has a long way to go. So the pulling just sucks! Last night I had some killer discomfort at 2am, thanks to having a salad for dinner. Nothing was comfortable, but I’ll tell you what, that bite of the KIND bar got me back to sleep.

I tried to wean myself to a smaller amount of Zofran pills during a single day, and now the past few days the nausea has been pretty bad. I thought it was getting better, but perhaps not.

Food-wise, it’s still a crapshoot. The two items I can’t really go wrong with are, of all things, tomato-related products (especially tomato sauce and tomato soup) and melted cheese. And let it be known that before being pregnant, I didn’t particularly care for tomatoes or cheese. My massive sugar addiction that I spent a few years trying to control to get rid of my hives is nowhere to be found. I mostly want nothing to do with anything with lots of sugar, like a dessert. No candy for me. And above all, I just want “real food”. Not because I’m hungry. But anything served from a restaurant sounds pretty good. Snacks – not so much.

There’s so much to figure out, and it’s a weird thing re-learning the body you’ve come to understand for the past 28 years. I just want to get to that point where I breathe that sigh of relief, but I’m not sure that moment will ever be here.

I’m bored and that can be dangerous.

It’s just one of this days where I feel – funky. And slightly insane. I think this happens more on weekends where I allow myself more couch time, and spend that couch time fretting over minor things.

Like the occasional mild pains/cramps on my lower right side, where I know the babies are chillin, courtesy of when the nurse found their heartbeats. So I decide I need to put my feet up, and begin googling all the things that could be wrong. Too early for round ligament pain, right? It’s not digestion-related (that’s a whole other topic). And what’s that? My lower back hurts all of a sudden? But I know I’m just worrying for hopefully no reason, because I’m bored. No sever pains whatsoever, no blood, chill out. So there’s that.

And the fact that I picked up more Zofran today, from a new prescription from my new doctor, and insurance decided not to cover it again – and hey, why isn’t it dissolving?? Maybe because it appears to be the pill kind – I didn’t know there was such a thing. Does anyone know if it works just as well?

And as I spend hour upon hour on this couch (hey, I did grocery shop this morning, and there are two football games on!) I get so ansy! This endless Crinone thing, ugh. I won’t get into details but it’s itchy and gross. I’m hot and cold, my legs are twitching, I ate in a reclined position and now have indigestion, and then, omg, all of a sudden my chest hurts like no other and cannot be contained and I’m ripping my bra off under multiple layers and a blanket, much to the appreciation of my husband. All while eating some wings. It’s just a weird day.

But then I found this gem, and seriously, if you watch nothing else today, this will hopefully crack you up as much as it did for me. Freakin hilarious. I hope it loads correctly. Enjoy!