Small victory #1

I should’ve just blogged yesterday.

Yesterday’s appointment actually was one small victory, at least until next week at least. It was what I was hoping for. My cervix did shorten a little, as I had a feeling it would after only one week of bed rest. Its lowest measurement was a 1.3, rather than last week’s 1.6. At this point, I’m glad I still have a cervix.

Then it was time for the contraction machine – and that, I knew, would be the key to going home or checking in. She hooked me up for about 40 minutes, including hookups for the twins’ heartbeats. I swear both babies spent the 40 minutes just kicking the crap out of their hookups. As for the contractions, I had two. My stomach tightened as it has been, mostly in the front and right sides. I’ve been keeping track of these and I was thinking I was doomed for a hospital stay. When the nurse came to check on my results, she asked if I had felt anything, and I told her yes, I had two. “There’s nothing on your chart,” she said. Those weren’t contractions. They weren’t?? Then I throw up my hands. I thought I finally had figured out what they are. Clearly not. Right when she was taking off the monitor she said, “you might be having a small one now.” I felt nothing whatsoever. It makes it quite hard to monitor contractions at home when what you thought they were, they aren’t. And the fact that I may not even feel the real ones yet doesn’t help. So that’s irritating. I also got my first steroid shot for the babies’ lungs. The good news? I got to go home for another week of home bed rest, rather than a hospital stay. A small victory, but I’ll take it!

I say I should’ve blogged yesterday because I was in a better mood :-p Last night I started having some lower abdominal cramping, which yes, I know is yet another sign of preterm labor. However, I quickly found out that (TMI ahead) it was all poop related. I’m completely constipated, I had the impacted stool again, etc. And I’m pretty sure enemas are now out, so I spent the night tossing and turning, feeling sick, because I couldn’t go to the bathroom. So after a night of no sleep (what’s up with restless leg syndrome??) today I’m dragging. I am going for my second steroid shot soon so I will ask then about the constipation. Can I take a warm bath at least?

This all brings me to a new line of thought – I am so completely obsessed with preterm labor symptoms that I seem to be taken aback with regular pregnancy symptoms. I forget about this, because my mind is on one thing only. A couple things I have noticed recently, which I think fall under the category of regular pregnancy symptoms include: an increase of nausea and disinterest in food. What, is this the first trimester all over again? Thank goodness I still have Zofran. But food is not sounding good. Not at all. Just fruit and yogurt. And too much dairy gives me constipation, so endless ice cream is out. I’m concerned because I’m therefore not eating a whole lot and I’m only hovering around a 15 pound weight gain. At 24 weeks. With twins. What do I do? No one has said I haven’t gained enough, though a nurse commented yesterday how small I am. Listen – fellow bedresters- is this a thing?? My stomach shrank. A lot. That last picture I posted – my stomach is like half that size. Either something bad happened, or I was never that big in the first place and that was all pressure and gravity. But seriously, my stomach definitely shrank a lot. I’m not a petite person either – my body doesn’t seem the type that would be all tiny when pregnant, especially with more than one baby. Blah.

So constipation, nausea, weight gain issues – pregnancy symptoms are still here. I’m grateful for that and I’ll take it all if it means the twins stay in longer. But I like to be on top of the things I can control, since there is so much I can’t control. Any thoughts?

And finally, my brain isn’t bored on bed rest. This isn’t a comfortable, relaxing vacation. However, does anyone have any book, tv series, or movie suggestions? I’m a novel, fiction kind of girl. I’m hoping for a long stay on this couch and have access to Kindle books, HBO, Netflix, etc.

Okay, off to my next steroid shot.

17 weeks, pears and prunes

I have had so many random pregnancy-related thoughts rolling around recently that I decided it must be time for a new post. First, an update:

We had our normal OB checkup yesterday, which I was a bit anxious to have, because the last check-in I did was at 12.5 weeks, and here I am today at 17. Still had two heartbeats, though the doctor didn’t look at the bpm (just curious….as we’ve been following a pattern of one at 170 and the other at 140 this whole time!). This time, the heartbeats sounded much closer together in speed. I normally don’t buy old wives’ tales, but this one about the heart rates has stuck with me. We shall see – only 2.5 more weeks until the big appointment!

Otherwise, the check-up yesterday was again, pretty pointless. Tell me this – is that the point of these appointments? Just for you to read off your list of probably common questions, the doctor says something basic, like “drink more water” or, “keep doing what you’re doing” and you’re out the door? Because I mentioned the constipation, again. I rattled off what I’m currently doing: Miralax daily (not a full dose, it gives me pains), 4 Colace a day, 8ish prunes a day, lots of water, veggies and fruits, 2 probiotics a day…I think that covers it. And I had to do a third enema last week.

I’m just going to say – I don’t really mind enemas. I don’t use a whole bottle, first of all. But the act of having one is not an issue. Cleaning out the pipes is well worth examining the dog hair on our bathroom rug for a few minutes (we really should vacuum more). The rest of the night, though, I feel pretty crappy (pun intended). Funny story – after this last enema, I didn’t think I was – done, so I used a bit more. And nothing happened. Because I was, in fact, done. So, at the dinner table I found out what happens when you put in more water than you need. Let’s just say I had an emergency run to the bathroom, not in time, and my husband had a good laugh. And the trash was taken out. I’ve learned my lesson.

I’m not saying that the enema is the answer, because I know it’s not, and the doctors aren’t satisfied with that being my “solution”. However, I have tried everything they have suggested, and as someone who has IBS, I’m not exactly surprised I have an issue. The doctor yesterday suggested I maybe check out a gastro doctor. I’m not sure it’s necessary, but if it continues, I guess I may have to go that route. What will they do for me? There’s no magic solution, or I would’ve had it already. So the poop woes continue.

I almost wrote a post the other night and then decided to see what happens. I think, for two nights in a row, I experienced heartburn. Or acid reflux. What’s the difference? See, I’ve never had either one. But they both were after dinner, a little while after as I sat on the reclined couch. A big lump in my throat, a heaviness in my chest…it didn’t burn exactly. It felt like when you go running outside in the winter. You come back inside and your lungs hurt. That’s what it felt like. It was pretty miserable. I think that is what it was, and to avoid it, I’ve taken to not sitting on the couch after dinner. I’m trying to walk off the meal. And Tums and Zantac. But it was weird.

And I could probably go on and on, thinking up every little ache and pain I’ve experienced lately, more because I keep wanting to know, “Is this normal?” But I’m not going to do that. I imagine being pregnant a second time is a lot less worrisome and stressful, because you’ve felt the weird pains before and you know what’s what. Now, I just never know.

One thing I do know is that my chest has taken up a mind of its own. I was always an A cup size, and now…not so much. But I don’t exactly know what size I am, or how much bigger I will get, so I borrowed a friend’s bra, and this is how she had it for me the next day:

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(No, the kids hadn’t arrived yet.) It’s a C-cup and it was a little big. So I guess I’m not there yet. But goodness.

Speaking of school, it seems everyone I work with now knows, as I sort of let the rumor float around, rather than make a big announcement. I’m still happy with the way that went down. The weird things now are the people who come up to me to “confirm” the rumor who aren’t – happy for me. Well, they might be, but they are the people who want to know for gossip’s sake, and luckily I managed to hold them off so they were the last to know. You can totally tell the difference between someone who’s happy for you and someone who’s judging you. I don’t mind, it’s kind of funny. But one in particular seemed upset she was the last to know, even though I didn’t personally tell many people at all. She wasn’t even happy for me! She just wanted in on the gossip. Yuck. And the weird questions have started, and this one (from a relative!) – “Are you drinking?” Um, no. “Well I wasn’t sure, because you came in (to the party) carrying a bottle of wine. So I thought you might be drinking it.” I believe I said, “I’m not stupid, you know.” Nope – just carrying the bottle because my husband’s hands were full! I should’ve said, “Yes, I drink a bottle a night. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?”

I’ve been cranking on the registry and very happy with the choices I’ve made. My decisions start with research from the “Baby Bargains” book, and then for big ticket items, I further research them on Consumer Reports, and then check Amazon, as my registry is on there. So far, most big decisions have been made, including car seats, the stroller, high chairs, cribs, and that sort of thing. I do start to panic when I see these prices for 2. I’m not getting everything doubled, and after the shower I’ll try to buy used off ebay and Craigslist for the things I didn’t get – but not everything should be used. Many of those big expensive items should be new. I hate to be selfish but I hope I have a big shower.

One of my coworkers told me to eat “anything that starts with a ‘p'” to ward off digestion issues. So it’s time for my afternoon “pear and prune” snack.

It has to come out: A Poop Post

Warning: This post is about poop. I was really not going to go there, mostly because there are people who read this who know me in real life and that could be just plain awkward. But I’m desperate. So, I’m telling you now, if you don’t want to hear the details of my poop life or wouldn’t be able to look at me the same way again, I will not be offended if you just press “delete” right now. Seriously.

Still with me? I’m writing out of pain, misery and desperation. And you guys might have the answers. Help!

So let’s back up. In my last post I complained of a very tight and hard stomach. I thought it was just a growing gut. In fact, I looked more pregnant that day than I have yet. That was the day my staff figured out I was pregnant. No, they were not Braxton Hicks, though thank you for that comment, Robin! It wasn’t coming and going, just a permanent feeling of fullness and a hard stomach.

Well. That night, right before dinner, all of a sudden I thought I might have to go to the bathroom. Up until this point, going to the bathroom was never pretty, just a little bit here and there and very hard (sorry for the TMI, this is just the beginning). I was considering anything a success. To cut to the chase, I ended up sitting there with the most excruciating pain I’ve felt in – maybe years. It was all right there and it wouldn’t come out. I started feeling super nauseous, got the shakes, my hands got tingly – I was going to pass out from the pain. I did the most disgusting thing in the world, I had to go in and physically remove the pieces that were right there that hurt so bad. That’s freaking nasty. So then when I knew I wouldn’t pass out anymore, I went to the couch. I had a fleet enema on hand (a staple in everyone’s bathroom, right?) and after calling the doctor on call, used it. She recommended a Dulcolax suppository first as it is more gentle, but I had the enema in my house and decided to go for it. 20 minutes later, and weeks’ worth of backup was – helped. Gross. The pain was so bad that night I never ate dinner. The doctor on call was the same doctor who told me at my last appointment to drink lots of water to fix the problem. She was not helpful, but the enema was the right move that night. It was the worst.

The next day I called the office looking for some actual advice. The nurse I spoke to was more helpful – she told me to try stopping my fiber pills (6 psyllium husks a day) and to take more stool softeners (from one 3 times a day to two twice a day). She said after 3-4 days if I still hadn’t gone (like really gone) to take a Dulcolax pill and that should help.

Now it’s today, Saturday. I’ve stopped all fiber pills since Tuesday, taken two colace stool softeners twice a day, and since I hadn’t gone, took a Dulcolax last night. Today, I woke up with pains, lots of them as I imagine things were moving around in there, but nothing would come out. I had to do the enema, again. Now I’m flushed out, again, and frustrated. This is no way to live!

I will call the doctor again on Tuesday, but first I thought I’d ask you guys if you had any suggestions. First though, let me tell you what I’ve already tried:

-I have IBS (which is no doubt contributing to this), of which the old solution was psyllium husks (which comes in either pill form or is the same thing as Metamucil. Doesn’t work anymore.
-Miralax doesn’t work for me with the IBS, so that’s out. I used to try it often before being pregnant.
-I drink an insane amount of water. If that doctor tells me to drink more water one more time I’m going to pop her in the face. Bottle after bottle, all day long. It’s all I drink.
-Truth be told, I have not been consuming a ton of fruits and veggies lately, as the nausea wasn’t liking that. That said, I’ve been bringing it back, and with IBS, there’s a lot of pain and things moving around but that’s it.
-The stool softeners. Lots of them.
-Now the Dulcolax. Movement in there, nothing but pain comes out.
-tried a little caffeine in a little coffee. Nope.
-Hot tea
-lots of walking
-I’m about to try prunes but I’m thinking it won’t be a miracle worker.
– I already take probiotics.
-I don’t take the prenatal (doctor approved as long as I take folic acid), so it’s not iron.

I guess what it comes down to is this – in my opinion, this isn’t an ordinary case of constipation. It’s in my genes (my mother had Diverticulitis due to years of constipation and even now with very little colon left, she still has constipation), I have IBS, and I’m pregnant. The normal water and fruits and vegetables trick doesn’t make me satisfied. I need something more, something that helps this pain it causes. My mother tells me that when she was pregnant she did a hot water enema once a week the whole time. The doctor said the hot water wouldn’t work (I asked). As long as the enemas are safe, I guess I don’t mind. But it’s already been twice in less than a week, and in between those times, my stomach is hard, full, and in pain. Plus, enemas clean you out, but they don’t solve the problem. Yes, I suppose I’m officially complaining. But it is, for sure, the most painful side effect of being pregnant yet. Oh, happy second trimester to me! The best present would be….poop.

Any suggestions?