34 weeks!

As I was getting my blood drawn this morning in my bed at 7 am and the nurse stuck the arm I don’t normally use, I thought about how good the vein on my other arm is. It never hurts and getting blood from there is a smooth process. Then I thought about the fact that I know this information because I have been stuck with a needle in that spot, gosh, hundreds of times. Do I still remember going through IVF last November? Having three IUI’s before that, and six rounds of Clomid before that? Being bitter and cranky over two years of infertility – one year of medical treatments and one year of autoimmune thyroid issues and crazy hives and not being able to do a thing until it was under control?

I do remember, but maybe I should think of it more often because I am ready to no longer be pregnant, mentally. I feel a little guilty about this. Then again, it’s not like those trying two years led to a walk in the park pregnancy. The best part of the whole thing, and that of which I’ll forever be grateful, was being able to get pregnant, for both embryos to take, and for us to be having a boy and a girl. So I mean, that was the overall goal and I shouldn’t take it for granted.

However. Crippling nausea that needed medication followed by (after about a month and a half of feeling good) 10 weeks of bed rest that involved me leaving my job in late April. Weeks 9 and 10 of bed rest spent in the hospital. Two trips to labor and delivery for preterm labor, the first at 28 weeks. I’m on week 11 of bed rest, 3 in the hospital.

But! Today is 34 weeks – a hugeeee milestone. There are no other milestones for me, though the later I go the better for the babies. But this was the one that I was shooting for from the beginning. Never thought I’d reach it.

I’ve spent the last two weeks 5 cm dilated and 100% effaced. I’m not on any medication to stop labor. And still my babies cook.

So at this point, I consider any day I’m still pregnant great for babies. Mentally, I’m thrilled I made it here and now….being pregnant isn’t really enjoyable. So I won’t be upset when it ends.

More than the crazy discomfort my small stomach is feeling (I’ve only gained 35 pounds) is my desire to be done with this because I want to move on. I’m ready for the next stage of life. The infertility/pregnancy stage was great and all but it’s coming to a close. Perhaps I would’ve enjoyed pregnancy more had I been allowed off my couch/bed in the last few months. It’s very hard to celebrate a pregnancy by yourself day by day, as you lie there counting contractions and praying your babies make it.

Now, even though at 34 weeks we might be looking at a week or two in the NICU, I finally feel like we made it. And like I said, every day after today is a bonus. 35 weeks would be crazy and 36 is practically full term for twins. We are ready for a new chapter, and eager to close this anxiety-ridden one. So all-in-all, today is a good day, just based on the number of weeks I’ve been pregnant.

On a separate note, in the past week my autoimmune hives have started creeping back. A few on my arm, a small one on my lip, and two nights of a lump in my throat. Yuck. I’ve forgotten all about that. I haven’t had a hive in probably a year. Well I asked for my thyroid to be tested and sure enough, my TSH went up from 0. something to 1.5. Yes, it’s still in the normal range. No, it’s not a good number for me. I knew it went up. I need to be between zero and one, and I’d be curious to see if everything calms down.

What I think I’m going to do is wait until after I give birth and then have it re-checked and adjust my dosage then. It takes 6 weeks for a new dose to kick in and I know my hormones will be wacky in a few weeks anyway. Until then I now have to try and avoid my hive triggers and the biggest one is sugar. It’s pretty hard to be super healthy in a hospital. Just another reason I’m ready to go home and start the next chapter.

33 weeks, a super vent

Holy smokes, I’m very whiny and having a moment. My personal rule is when I’m feeling a good vent coming on, I wait a day to blog, in case I feel better the next day and it was a passing thing. Woke up this morning and nope, it’s still there. Post away.

Google reader is no longer a thing so I might not have a lot of people read this but really, that’s fine with me. When someone whines and complains a lot, it starts to make them look pathetic, which is not my goal. But I can’t go another day without bitching!

Because I’m 5 cm dilated and 100% effaced, I am not allowed to leave this hospital (or even my room) until I give birth. I get that, but I’m barely even contracting. It’s very quiet.

Let me first say that I understand this is a good thing. I’m not in labor, the babies keep cooking, I get that. My brain understands that fact. Don’t remind me. In no way does it change my feelings and emotions about being on hospital bed rest. So I’m not even going there about the babies in this post. I’m grateful they are healthy and continue to cook. But.

I have been on bed rest for 10 weeks. Since the end of April. I have missed – everything. You know what I took for granted? Walking. Having access to more than a couch/bed and a bathroom. Looking and feeling clean, and not itchy. Shaving. Feeling the sun. Driving. Being in a car at all.

But it was somehow being managed until I was put on hospital bed rest and now I feel like I’ve totally lost my mind. I’ve been here a week and a half. In that time, I’ve had bursitis in my hip (thankfully so much better) and spasms in a nerve/ligament in my rib where Goat’s body is. Not sure which was more painful. My rash went away – it was heat rash.

The doctor came in this morning and told me that there’s no reason to plan on a c-section date at this point when I don’t have any infections and the babies are doing well. The plan is to let them cook as long as they can. Again, I understand this and it makes sense. Deep down, I agree. But that means I could be going another month in this room. A month. That would be full term, which would be amazing. But still.

Bed rest really sucks. I can’t believe how long I’ve been on it. But hospital bed rest is a whole other matter. I can’t stand relying on nurses, all 5,000 of them I’ve met. Some are okay and some suck. Asking me questions like I don’t know what a contraction is. Discussing my “bowel movements” like we are discussing the weather. Waiting and watching for me to drink Miralax because they can’t leave drugs with me. Really, Miralax? You’ll be standing there a while because I’m not chugging it.

The food – it’s horrible. I’m still eating gluten free and that little menu has 5 choices on it. I just keep rotating and it’s all disgusting. This one food lady is trying to make me mad. I keep asking for ranch dressing with my little salad and she keeps bringing Italian because she says the ranch isn’t gluten free. But it is gluten free, I read the package myself. She’s mad because the computer doesn’t have me registered as gluten free so she doesn’t understand why I can’t eat off the regular menu, which by the way has foods on it a pregnant person can’t eat, like cold deli meat. Dinner comes at 4:30, and I’m not hungry and I want to wait for my husband. Then someone comes back an hour later and wonders why I have to say I haven’t eaten yet. Every. Day.

I had myself a little breakdown yesterday at lunch because my nasty hamburger came without any condiments. The day before it came with ketchup and mayo. The helplessness I felt, not having access to ketchup was enough to send me right over the edge. Maybe the woman was trying to piss me off. So I had to call the main desk, have them hunt down the woman. It’s just the most degrading thing. Or when today, after a successful NST in my room, the nurse was just about to unhook me from the monitors when she got called away by a doctor. 45 minutes later and I can’t get up, can’t get my water because I’m still hooked up and helpless. I think she forgot about me. Cue another mini meltdown.

I’ve started grabbing the monitors from the nurses’ hands and putting them on my stomach myself. If I hear that baby voice, “do you happen to know where you think the heartbeats are?” one more time, I swear. You check every few hours and I’m stuffed with babies who won’t be moving much. And we have been doing this for a week and a half. I don’t care that you’re a nurse I haven’t met before. Give me the damn monitors so you don’t spend a half hour trying to find heartbeats covering my whole stomach in gel when I know exactly where they are.

I have a needle permanently taped into my arm, in case I need fluids quickly. My muscles, after 10 weeks, are totally gone. My legs are just bones with the remains of muscles hanging off. They get sore so easily. After birth, I’ll be lucky if I can walk to the mailbox. The recovery is going to suck more than it does for others. No, don’t tell me that I need to savor this quiet time. Who enjoys living in a hospital?? No one. I miss my dogs. Their schedules have been completely disrupted and they might have forgotten about me.

I guess I’m more than whiny. I’m pissed. Mad that the joys of pregnancy have been taken away from me on my first time, making me never want to do this again. Mad that I missed my own shower, that I bought cute maternity clothes I couldn’t wear, and mostly mad that I can’t mentally prepare for babies. See, if I had prepared I probably wouldn’t complain so much right now. I want to be home, folding all the washed baby clothes (that I still need to buy), lounging in someone’s pool, getting my nails done and decorating a nursery (that doesn’t even have carpet yet). Obviously we are going to be exhausted when they are here. Obviously. It won’t be easy. But the transition from hospital bed rest to twins at home is such a major one. It is what it is and there’s nothing I can do about it. I am not mentally ready for this at all. And it’s hard to be in a hospital. I don’t want to read about it or do research. We will somehow figure it out.

I’ve had more mini meltdowns here in a week and a half than I did at home in 8 weeks. I’m totally feeling sorry for myself. But I have to make it quick because a nurse will walk in and that’s embarrassing, crying by myself. One nurse keeps wanting to get me “art therapy”. I’m not kidding. I’m fine, I just can’t believe this is still going on.

So here’s what I’m thankful for. One – I have my own room. I can’t even fathom the nightmare that is sharing a room. Two – my mother has been keeping my dogs, which, after my house, is their second favorite place. And my mom isn’t a dog person (thanks!). It’s one less thing to worry about. Three – I have healthy babies. A boy and a girl. After two years of infertility. That I’m even in this position. And four – my husband. I can’t brag about him enough. You’d think this would all be another test, a hurdle for us but it’s been the opposite. He’s been sleeping on a chair for a week and a half without complaints. He helps me with every single thing. He makes me laugh, and our “bonding moment” of each night is a head scratch/rub for him. He’s going to work during the day if I feel okay, which makes it lonely but I understand. But if I’m having a rough day he can stay and work from his laptop. He’s excited for these babies and he’s still running home on the weekends to finish our house construction. One month tops to finish it. He has been so amazing, it just solidifies and strengthens how I feel about him. I’m very lucky.

Okay. That’s about it for now. I know it’s temporary, I know how lucky I am for healthy babies, and I know I’m kind of almost there. What I am most looking forward to is seeing those babies with my husband and being able to say to him, “This was all worth it.”

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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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!

25 weeks, bed rest week #2

It’s a new week. I’ve been cranking on this bed rest thing and plan to keep going in the same way. It’s also Teacher Appreciation Week.

Not that I need any appreciation, but at my school, our PTO really does this up – last year I was showered with my favorite foods, flowers and school supplies all week. It was over the top and really quite awesome. I believe that today, Monday, is “wear your teacher’s favorite color” day. My students are just finding out this morning, through a letter I wrote to them, that I’m not coming back at all. I surely hope they weren’t all seriously counting on me showing up today and therefore, all wearing purple. I do feel bad about leaving them so suddenly and I hope wearing purple is the most they do. I really don’t want any gifts whatsoever. Today is also the day they got their permanent sub, someone they’ve never met. Hopefully by the end of the week they’ll all have adjusted to the transition.

I’ve heard that the first two weeks of bed rest are the worst, as you mentally transition to life laying down (or reclined), you stop doing anything for yourself, and your muscles turn to jello. I’ve got a few more days of this second week and I have definitely come around, mentally. I have a little “schedule” – once I’m up and settled on the couch for the day, when my husband goes to work, I watch the “Today” show, catch up on email, blogs, etc. Later I will do some reading, and at 1:00 when the soaps come on, I watch one of my own shows. Then I watch “The Talk”, and by the time it’s over, my mother stops over to take out the dogs. I spend ten minutes outside on my deck reclined, and after my mother leaves, the dogs crash again on the couch, I watch “Ellen”, and then my husband is home. There – how’s that for a thrilling routine?

That’s not to say I’m all cheery over here – I’m generally not, actually. For someone who has never been on it, the term “bed rest” is this mysterious condition where you get to put your feet up all day. And while yes, my feet are up, there’s so much more people don’t consider. It’s not a “rest” at all. I have to keep STILL. Is not like I can lift some weights or turn and do anything without getting “tightenings” – still not sure if they are real contractions or not. It’s not like I can plop the laptop on my stomach (I wouldn’t do that anyway) and do anything I would normally do. Like I said, my body needs to be calm, I need to lay back as far as is comfortable for as long as I can, and I need to try to keep contractions at bay. You never realize how often you use your stomach muscles, just to talk to someone, for instance. Every time I’m on the phone I have at least one.

Legs don’t get shaved, hair doesn’t get brushed, and showers are not often. Doing those things causes me to #1 – sit up straight, putting pressure on my cervix which is bad and #2 – use my stomach muscles, causing contractions. I timed my shower the other day from leaving the couch to finding it again. With washing my hair, it was between 15-20 minutes. Too long! And I can really feel it in my stomach and uterus – very heavy and tight. Not good.

So I guess I’m still in this place where I feel vulnerable. Especially physically. As it is, I’m having trouble with family visiting, not to mention anyone else. They come in quiet, I can’t see them enter, and I’m sprawled back. Feels like I’ve been in a horrible tragedy and they are tip-toeing around me as not to disturb. I feel like the guest in my own house and there is a huge elephant in the room. No, I don’t want to make small talk about any good books I’m reading. No, I also don’t want to talk about the rest of life coming up like everything’s normal. Not to mention being seen in the laying down position looking like crap. I haven’t gotten past that part yet, and so I really just would rather do this on my own. No one needs to see the bottom of my socks, or my bra straps hanging out. Who wants to eat dinner on the couch, because I’m not coming to the table. As you can see, I’m still working on this.

I have discovered, though, the wonders of baby center’s bed rest club online. A bunch of other women in a similar position as me, some better off, some worse off, all asking questions and talking. It’s nice.

As long as my short cervix and occasional contractions are my only issue, this is something I can do. It’s manageable.

This commercial happened this morning. I found it quite funny.

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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.

The bed rest blues

Thank you for all your helpful comments – it is so nice knowing I’m not alone in this bed rest thing! So I really appreciate it.

Tomorrow I will have been on bed rest, or really, couch rest, for one week. Seriously, the longest week ever. It is not relaxing. It is not a time to enjoy my free time. It sucks!

Left inside my own head, I experience different mental stages as a day goes by. Most of my day, my mental state is – just there. Not happy or unhappy. But I’m now racking up a quick little breakdown daily. I have a little moment, it lasts 5 minutes, and then I’m past it.

At this point, people have been very kind in offering to come visit or help out. And if this continues on my couch, I will take those people up on it. But really, right now, other than family, I don’t really want to be seen. I look pitiful. Not like, my hair is a mess (which it is), but I just…I’m sitting in pajamas with dirty socks, no makeup, I only shower every other day (sitting down), I can’t get up to stop my dogs from jumping all over you, I can’t offer you a drink and I get contractions when I talk too much or too loud….I’m just not there yet. Those who have visited (family and in-laws) continue to ask me the question, “So are you bored yet?” with a chuckle. Hardy-har, bed rest is just so FUNNY. I don’t FULLY blame them, because they don’t know otherwise and I don’t feel like sharing, but….good lord. Bored? I’m not just….laying here. Bored isn’t a word that even fits with bed rest at this point. I’m on bed rest to prevent my twins from coming out ridiculously early. That’s enough to send anyone over the edge. Bored. How about obsessing over every tightening?

Maybe I just don’t want to talk about it when someone stops over. Don’t ask me what I’ve done today, the answer is nothing. I mean sure, I’m reading a book, I’ve started watching “girls”…I’m not just completely doing nothing. But whatever I’m doing, it’s trivial. Who cares? What I’m doing is begging my babies to stay in. I’m questioning if I should call the doctor on a regular basis. I’m making a list of what I would need in a hospital bag, should I have to stay there. I’m constantly feeling my stomach. Ugh. Clearly I’m going through the stages of grief, and people have good intentions. I’m not mad at them, I’m mad at this situation. But like I said, it’s better at this point that I’m left to my own devices. However, I know people just don’t know what to say (it’s like going through infertility all over again!) and I don’t want to push them away, either.

See, when you have twins, the treatment options you have are limited. I can’t get a cerclage (a stitch that holds your cervix closed), pretty sure progesterone is out….I’ve been told twice now, there’s nothing that can be done until I start having regular contractions and land in the hospital. So imagine my panic as I start to figure out these contractions, which I am having.

I think I was dehydrated yesterday, even though I literally drank a gallon of water. Today I’m really pushing the water and seeing what happens. I feel like Bran from “Game of Thrones” or Colin from “The Secret Garden” – or whatever his name was. I also have a yeast infection. I had a major change in discharge two days ago (sorry for the tmi), but that is one of the signs of preterm labor. I knew it was an infection, but then I started worrying about my mucus plug. Anyway, it was an infection and I knew it. I’m interested to see if any other preterm labor signs I’m having go away when the infection clears up. That would be nice.

And as I sit, reclined, all day long (and fight off the worst heartburn because of this position), we are having the nicest weather…ever. Bright sun, 72 degrees. I go out twice a day and sit for 5 minutes. The world goes on without me. Pretty soon my car will need to be driven.

I didn’t originally mean for this post to sound so angry. Apparently that’s where I’m at. I never, ever saw this coming at 23 weeks. I’m over missing work and for goodness’ sake, I’m not bored, I just don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s a longgg time before my shower at 29 weeks, before 32, 34, or even 28 weeks. Day by day, each week a celebration.

Tomorrow I celebrate making it one more week, to 24 weeks 3 days, enough to get the steroid shot so the twins’ lungs develop faster should they come out early. Last week I couldn’t even get that. And tomorrow I find out how this one week treated my cervix. I am praying that it’s the same or better… Enough to keep me out of the hospital. I’ll also get hooked up to the contraction machine. I’m nervous about it.