31.5 weeks

My last post was a bit of a downer. There are good days and bad days when you’re waiting to go into labor anytime over the course of many weeks. I can take the mental ups and downs – it’s the physical changes and threats of preterm labor that get to me. Anyway, today is a better day mostly, with only a couple scattered contractions. The rib pain is all Goat – I feel body parts swimming under my ribs. I spend a decent amount of my day pressing back in hopes that she will move. But with Bug in there too, and my stomach being what I would call really small for twins, I don’t believe that little girl is going anywhere. I’ve now gained about 31 pounds, and I’m 31 weeks. Here’s my gut:

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But my newest ailment is this rash – what the heck?? It started on the tops of my hands, and 3 or 4 days later has spread to my arms, tops of feet, knee caps, and a few other places. The little red bumps have started on my stomach but don’t itch yet. Not to be gross, but this is the back of my arm:

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It doesn’t look really bad but it does itch. My hands itch the most. I called the ob today and I was told that it doesn’t sound pregnancy related so I need to see my primary care physician. First of all, I can’t imagine how it’s NOT pregnancy related. I’ve been on this couch since the end of April. Where would it come from? Also, it’s been so long since I saw my primary care, she’s not even there anymore. The past few years, I’ve needed specialists – for infertility, my thyroid, and my autoimmune hives (no, nothing at all like this itchy rash). I’ve not needed primary care. Anyway, I did call and I am still in their system so I’ll be going this afternoon. Going out into the world is a big deal – I walk like a 95 year old and have contractions in the car. So if I’m told its just eczema – well, that’s irritating because that’s what I think it is. Then again, I’d be glad it wasn’t anything more serious. I’m just wondering what else this pregnancy has in store for me!

Last night my husband and I discussed the fact that though I’d be physically more comfortable after giving birth (well, after recovery), it’s not something we wish for. Right now, these babies are tucked in like sardines and are safe. Once they are out… they’re out. I’ll be empty and no longer their protector. And for whatever reason, that is a scary thought. Especially at this gestation.

I’m still worried about my lack of preparation. Not only do I know nothing about giving birth or breastfeeding, but we have very little clothing for the babies, very few diapers for newborns, and a nursery that currently is painted and that’s it. This is partially due to not having a shower because of bed rest. We still have to order carpet and then all the furniture is either not bought yet (the dresser) or in the garage in boxes. We are not at all ready for this. I know that if they were born now, they’d be in the NICU but if it all goes well, they could come home anytime between 35-38 weeks. And that’s not far away. This whole pregnancy has gone backwards! But the ultimate goal is healthy babies and my hopes for that are high. I may need to buy some clothes, though.

So that’s where I’m at today. I really, really want to make it to Monday. The number 32 sounds so much better than 31.

Even after being skunked, my puppies are still cute, even though Riley’s head still smells.

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Riley’s little tongue sticks out when she naps.

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Sadie knows exactly how to pose to get whatever it is that she wants.

31 weeks, 2 months of bedrest

Well, tomorrow actually, but close enough. An accomplishment I suppose.

But can I just whine and complain for a few? Like, for the whole post?

Yesterday I told myself I wouldn’t write a whiny post because I’m not dying or looking for any pity, but today I’ve decided I feel better when I vent, and that’s reason enough.

I’m just saying – I am SO SO uncomfortable. Unbelievably uncomfortable. Some of these things are bed rest related, some because I’m pregnant and showing at about 36-37 weeks, and some because I’m pregnant with twins.

My doctor said yesterday at my quick check-up, people say they want twins and they have no idea what they are getting themselves into. That said, I wanted twins, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I just don’t know if I’d want to go through this again, unless carrying around one baby is drastically different. Anyway, I feel the need to whine in list form.

– Two months of bed rest have ruined my hips and legs. My legs are only held up by bones and walking more than a few feet makes them want to crumple into a pile of bone dust. My hips are really hurting, and when I’m trying to sleep I have to switch from side to side about every half hour because of the pain in my hips. I used to be able to go a few hours before needing to turn and now it’s less than one. No big deal except for how hard it is to turn over. I have to fully sit up, which uses my stomach muscles and that hurts. Not to mention it causes contractions.

– Even if I hadn’t been put on bed rest, I’d probably have no choice, because as I said, I really can’t walk. I’m hunched over, carrying my stomach and everything hurts. And when I have to sit down in a chair (as in at the doctor’s), I can’t just sit. I slump down trying to make it more comfortable, holding myself up with my arms. Of course they don’t have recliners at the doctor’s. So it bugs me when all these other pregnant women come in and walk normally, sit up straight, cross their legs and look totally comfortable. I always am out of breath looking like I’m preparing to give birth right there.

– I’m having awful rib pain. It’s on my right side way up high, and it extends from the front to my side and sometimes to my back. I’ve done my research and know about the gallbladder/liver issue but I don’t think that’s it. I think it’s Goat, breech and throwing some limb underneath my ribs and pushing. I also feel the pain when I have contractions. It can be bad enough to make me totally insane and the only way to get rid of it temporarily is to lay on my side. Which hurts my hips. My doctor said yesterday that there is no room in my uterus. I’m just completely filled. She thinks it’s Goat as well. But it has gotten worse in the last week. I’ve had to stop this post multiple times to push around my ribs and readjust.

– A yeast infection. Horrible symptoms driving me mad. We’ll leave it at that.

– I’ve never even HAD eczema!! Not really anyway. Within the last few days I’ve developed a rash on my hands (not the palms) and it looks like eczema. Itches like crazy and has been getting worse. This morning I’ve noticed it on the tops of my feet. What is going on?? Again, I’ve done my research and it’s not PUPPS – looks nothing like that and no rash on my stomach. And it’s not cholestasis (which could’ve gone with the rib pain as a liver problem), because I do have a rash, and soles of feet and palms of hands are fine. But I’m so itchy! I did show the doctor yesterday and she was no help. She thought it was poison ivy and not related to pregnancy at all. I’d have to highly disagree.

– I have a lot of contractions, more every day. And they hurt.

I think that’s it for my list, at least for now. I can never get comfortable, which isn’t good when you’re on bed rest because I keep moving around and it causes contractions. It’s just been pretty unpleasant recently and every day I wonder if I will have to make a trip to labor and delivery. I’ll complain here and show you that I’m miserable, but if you ask me personally I’ll say “fine”. I don’t want to complain. I am just physically wretched.

The positive is that I’ve done two months of bed rest, I’ve made it this far. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how much longer my body can hold on. I’m trying, but I kind of have a feeling this is almost over, which I don’t want, because these babies will be so small. So that’s a little nerve wracking.

30 weeks!!

It’s a good day, friends. Ever since bed rest at 23 weeks, and even more so since my preterm labor scare at 28.5 weeks, I have been waiting and waiting for this day. This was a huge goal I’ve been dying to reach for such a long time.

I’m 30 weeks today!!

Not that I’m satisfied with this. Every milestone is happily celebrated for like an hour before I’m looking ahead to the next goal. Today, though, maybe I’ll give it two hours. I used to aim for two week increments. Then it was down to week by week. Now it’s down to days. Each day is a milestone.

At this point I feel relatively confident enough to say that when I go into labor, it’s going to be okay. I’d rather not yet, but we are at a good point here.

I’d like to thank the following for helping me get through bed rest in the past few weeks: the online Baby Center Bedrest Club, Candy Crush Saga (I’m stuck on level 65), Swedish Fish, the 4-hour long Today show, and the doctor who told me to try upping the amount of Miralax I was taking. After how many years of extreme digestive/colon issues – I finally may have my solution. Two full caps a day. Why did I never think of that?

Because I have no idea when I will have these babies and when I do, I expect the following days/weeks to be pretty hectic, I wanted to let you know that I have created a new blog. The major purpose for this is to provide NICU updates to my family and friends, when I might just be too exhausted to explain their statuses.

This blog, which I’m not done with yet, has been a source of venting for me for the past few years, and I mostly was looking for advice from those who were going through infertility too. Now, I imagine my new blog will be seen by a lot of family members who never knew about this blog (and never will!) But I wanted to let you know about it in advance, as once the twins are born (and that could be anytime) my updates on them will mostly be on the new blog. I’ve seen some super cute family blogs and hope this new one continues for many years.

I still haven’t decided to what extent I want the new blog to extend outward towards the corners of the interwebs. Obviously, if you know me IRL, I have the website set up and you can already sign up to read it (though there’s not much there yet), so let me know if you want the address and I’ll send it to you.

For now, I continue to love everything this blog has done for me and continues to do. Next big milestone – 31 weeks!

28 weeks and third trimester

Yay! A milestone I’ve been waiting to reach for quite a while.

We met a new doctor a few days ago and he was my favorite thus far. Aside from picking on my husband for his taste in Boston sports (the doctor was clearly an Italian New Yorker) and his bluntness (he dropped a few swears which I found endearing), he was extremely supportive and helpful, and at this point, I can’t get enough of that.

He basically told me that instead of thinking of due dates, I just need to focus on the milestones. He then proceeded to tell me all the milestones I’ve already reached. Got through the first trimester, got to 18 weeks and could see all body parts were accounted for (okay, that happened at 20 weeks but close enough), got to 24 weeks which is “viability” – giving a baby a 50/50 chance of survival, and now, today, I’m at 28 weeks, giving a baby a 90% chance of survival – which, in my head, I’m rounding up to 100%, otherwise I’d go crazy. He told me I’ve done a great job so far and was impressed at what I’ve interpreted bed rest to mean. He then told me what every other doctor feels the need to say – “there are no scientific studies showing bed rest actually works”, but he said there aren’t other options at this point, so I might as well. After he left, the nurse and I agreed that bed rest for a short cervix just makes sense, as the pressure down there with twins walking around is just a bad idea. She had twins as well, was on bed rest and made it full term. Granted, she had medication for contractions and I don’t, but that still could happen. And as usual, babies looked great. I’ve been very lucky that all my pregnancy issues have been about me and not them. They grew a lot in a month – Bug is 2 lbs 10 oz and Goat is 2 lbs 9 oz. Practically the same size, not that it would be a big deal if they weren’t. But over 2.5 lbs each! I’m carrying around over 5 lbs of kids! At this point, Bug is head down (he is Baby A) and has been the whole time, while Goat has flipped a few times and is again breech, with her head firmly planted in my ribs, way to the side. There are too many other issues for me to care. If the doctor isn’t concerned, then I’m not either. So the doctor’s next goal was 31/32 weeks, but mine is 30. 30 is huge to me – two more weeks!

The doctor was also very clear about contractions, which I know I’ve been talking a lot about. First of all, he called me “thin” (and the nurse called me “tiny”), poked me in the stomach and said, “There’s your uterus. There isn’t any fat or anything extra, so therefore, you’re going to feel every little thing.” This makes sense to me, though I have to say – never in my life have I been “tiny” or even “thin”. I was born over 9 lbs and have mostly maintained an average build with lots of playing sports until my thyroid problems hit and I gained 15 pounds. I would really like to hear those words when I’m not pregnant, not when I’m having twins! But anyway.

I have contractions all the time. Many a day. Sometimes the constant movement going on inside my stomach causes them, sometimes rolling over in bed causes them, sometimes having a conversation causes them. Sometimes they come for no reason. They have increased in discomfort and amount over the last few weeks. However, the doctor said this is all fine and can happen “until the cows come home” and I won’t go into labor – unless they are at regular intervals, last a longer amount of time each, and become more and more painful. I am to watch for frequency, duration, and pain. As long as those things aren’t present, I can have these all day. That did make me feel a lot better but I still aim not to have them if I can help it. They really are uncomfortable. Luckily, they are not regular. I could have two in an hour and then not another one for three hours. That isn’t labor.

So I’m cruising along. I really don’t mind bed rest – somehow the hours just pass. What I mind is the worrying, of course, and I really wish I could help my husband, go to a store, bend over with ease, (I guess that’s not related to bed rest), and have the two baby showers I was supposed to have. Now I’m having none, except for some sort of party after the babies are here, and I’m just hoping people don’t forget, as I was hoping to get lots of clothes and diapers and not have to buy them for a while. Now that I won’t being seeing all these people, I’m a little worried that won’t happen and I won’t have any clothes for the babies! Plus they were the only showers I will ever have! Oh well.

Nothing in this journey has gone according to plan. Oh, stop planning things out, someone might say, but then they went ahead and had sex and created a baby. So in my mind, they don’t really get an opinion and I don’t want to be patronized anyway. I’m just saying – from the two years spent trying to get pregnant, and all the ups and downs that came from many a failed cycle and many fertility treatments, shots to the stomach and butt, driving to the office at 6 am, etc., to the lack of ease that has come with this pregnancy – I thought/hoped I’d love every minute of being pregnant and I don’t. I think I loved about 4 weeks of it, in between constant severe nausea and bed rest. It doesn’t mean I’d wouldn’t do it all again in order to have my first children, or that this isn’t the most important, awesome thing that’s ever happened to me – I’m simply stating that I wish I had what so many others have – sex, to make a baby, a breezy, uncomplicated pregnancy, with a normal shower and an easy birth. Still don’t know how that last part will turn out but as long as they get here healthy, I’m prepared to go through whatever’s necessary. I’m just saying, it would’ve been nice. That’s all.

27 weeks

Thank you for the comments I’ve gotten in the past few weeks – they are always comforting to read! I’m continuing to cruise along on bed rest. Being on the couch all day long doesn’t bother me; being bored doesn’t bother me. It’s worrying about weird aches and pains and counting contractions that bothers me.

After 3 “events” yesterday – a shower, a quick check-up appointment, and a dinner guest I haven’t seen in a while (my father) – I had a ton of Braxton hicks/contractions. A ton. I hemmed and hawed about taking a trip to the hospital at 10:00 at night but knew that most of them were caused by too much activity, even when I was still on the couch. When people come over or I talk on the phone for a while – my body isn’t still. It’s not calm. And then I get contractions. It is very frustrating – I really seem to need to hibernate in order to keep still. Anyway, last night I finally just decided to go to bed and see how it goes from there. They eventually stopped and it’s been much quieter today. Because I’m still, and not talking. It’s just one of those things – I keep pushing my own boundaries, making “exceptions”, like I hadn’t seen my father in a month. But apparently I pay for it later and it’s nerve-wracking.

On Friday I have a cervix check and an NST (non-stress test). Except it’s actually very stressful! The Braxton hicks “count” towards the 4-an hour rule and I get them so easily, like when the nurse puts the belts on my stomach. Yes, touching my stomach causes them. So I never feel like it’s an accurate representation of my real contractions. Bleh. But I will be really happy next Monday, when I make it to 28 weeks. Big milestone.

Meanwhile, I’ll continue to take pictures of my sweet puppies from my spot on the couch. Riley actually spent a few minutes in the room with me for a mini-nap before heading off to the bedroom. Sadie curled in for a snuggle session, as she usually does.

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Contractions and dehydration

I’m smirking right now because I just did a google search on how much water pregnant women need to drink a day. I posed the question because the majority of my contractions ( or BH, whatever they are) occur within the first 3 hours after waking up. I have chalked it up to being dehydrated, hungry, and having a full bladder. I also assume dehydration because once the day really gets going and I’m drinking water in full force, I have to get up and pee every hour, if not every 45-50 minutes. But in those first few hours after waking, an hour and a half can go by and I don’t need to get up.

SO, in the interest of finding out what else I can do to keep these contractions at bay, I did a google search about dehydration causing contractions. Yes, it’s a real thing and I knew that already. But what surprised me were the comments from women. “I don’t understand, I drink 64 oz a day!” Or the fact that a doctor told a woman she needed to drink 2 liters a day, and the woman was astounded.

Math is not my strong suit, so I googled how many ounces were in a liter. Answer? About 33 oz. So, a 2 liter bottle of soda has 66 oz give or take. Okay, so that’s how much one doctor recommended. I did see, in another extreme example, a doctor said drink 5 liters of water for a few days, then go down to 3.

Maybe I shouldn’t be smirking – maybe I should be concerned. I have this jug I got at CVS, and it holds 2.2 liters, or 74 oz. I am drinking 3 of them a day. 3. I have to. 74 times 3 – 222 oz a day. 3 soda bottles – 6 liters. And this doesn’t count the 2 mugs of prune juice I drink a day or the occasional juice box. (Yes, I drink Juicy Juice and color with markers – come at me.)

With all this liquid, I still have contractions. Once the day really gets going and I’m hydrated, they are once every few hours. Until I talk on the phone. Or someone comes over. Or I have to pee. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells (mentally of course) trying to keep these at bay. And when I first was smirking about these complaining women, now I’m wishing I was in their shoes and only had to drink one of these jugs. It’s hard to know if I’m doing this right.

The other bad time of day for contractions (other than with guests, etc.) is at night, an hour before bed or so. My legs get SO antsy – they have a mind of their own and start practically convulsing. It’s like they (the muscles) are dying a slow death and severely twitch to remind me that, if I let them, they’d be more than willing to run the 100 meter hurdles. It’s like I drank a big caffeinated coffee. It is quite annoying. I try to control them and of course I don’t get up, but inevitably I have a few contractions while I’m trying to stop myself from rolling around on this couch. I’ve still not had 4 or more contractions in an hour, but I continue to write down every one I have. Whoever said bed rest was “restful”? No one who has ever been on it, obviously.

Contractions are annoying, worrying about babies all day is mentally draining, and bed rest sucks and while I have other topics in my head, this’ll do for now.

At least Sadie enjoys puppy bed rest. Someone in this house needs to! (Riley has left the room and more than likely made a nest with my bed comforter, but I’m confident she also doesn’t mind.)

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26 weeks

26 weeks today and I’m happy to have reached that milestone. Every Monday hereafter with the twins still cooking is a good Monday.

That said, today was not a great day. The past couple days in fact have seen an increase in contractions. Not more than 4 an hour, so not enough for a hospital visit. But even two an hour doesn’t make me happy. I figured out last night that if I chug water before bed, I have way fewer contractions in the transition from couch to bed and then from bed to couch in the morning. Not to mention trying to get comfortable in the bed. The night before saw many contractions and I decided to try the water trick. Not that I wasn’t drinking a TON already. But now it’s my daily mission to get in as close to 2 gallons a day as I can, with a quarter of a gallon in the last hour before bed. But man, chugging water when you’re not thirsty and are reclined sucks. It’s not comfortable at all, and I can’t exactly walk it off. It creates lots of indigestion. However, it really seemed to help last night.

Which was why I thought today would be a good day. I didn’t have many morning contractions at all and felt pretty good, so I even showered. And shaved. But then, around 11:00am, a mama housefly somewhere in my house gave birth (how freaking disgusting is that) and I was swarmed. I had to get up, I had no choice. I got up many, many times more than I should’ve, and not only did I stand up, I swatted at flies, stretching and reaching. I killed 10. 10. For the record, we have a clean house. I don’t know why this happened, except to say that it happened one day about a year ago. All of a sudden there were like 20 house flies and my husband had to go on a killing spree. After that it never happened again, until today. Luckily it was 10 and not 20. But as I was laying there, feeling trapped on bed rest with swarming flies, I knew I couldn’t just ignore it. They were dive-bombing my lunch. It was SO gross. Poor Riley was terrified of my swatting and the buzzing and she hid in the other room, shaking for hours.

After the fly escapades, I definitely had more contractions and overall discomfort. Now, many hours later, standing up to go to the bathroom is extremely uncomfortable with heaviness. It just sucks. So it’s not a comfortable night.

I can get past that, but it is nights like these that do make me nervous, that make me inevitably think about having these twins soon. Really, really early. Micro preemies. And then I start worrying about everything that comes with that so I take another gulp of water and try to move on. When I’m feeling great, it’s completely the opposite and I envision myself making it to term with these little guys. So it all depends. In one day’s time I can go from positive to negative. It can really be hour by hour.

We are postponing my shower (emails/letters going out shortly). I’m disappointed yet happy at the same time. It will be after the babies are born and should be far enough away for me to have recovered. It’s all a shot in the dark anyway, so I really don’t know what to expect. I do know that there was no way to have my shower in 3 weeks, as it was originally scheduled. I probably wouldn’t even be able to go, as I get contractions from simply talking and having a conversation. And so I had a selfish moment – this is my shower, most likely the only one I’ll ever have, and dammit, I sure would like to attend it. With the new plan I’ll hopefully be able to attend it but it’s still not the same. No games guessing babies’ names, no cute maternity dress where I can have that pregnant “glow” – not that I’ve had it so far – no excitement over babies who aren’t here yet. It’s a minor thing in the long run; the twins’ health is by far more important. But still, on a superficial level, after going through infertility, I’m sad that even this part of the journey – the last trimester (and then some) – couldn’t go as normal, like most other’s journeys do. Maybe I should’ve known better! But I was really looking forward to a normal shower. That said, this plan is as close to normal as it gets. Certainly more normal than me skipping my own shower and like skyping in or something. No thank you.

So that’s where I stand today. I picked up coloring this weekend – yes, really. Adult coloring. I made my mom a picture for Mother’s Day and then signed it with my non-writing hand so it looked like a preschooler made it. Sometimes, with this helplessness, that’s what I feel like! But I did get some shiny new markers (purple’s my favorite).

Also, prune juice? Actually NOT gross! Mix with apple juice, heat it up – I’ll take it over actual prunes any day. A couple mugs of it a day plus endless produce and maybe I can solve one of my issues!