My super heavy belly

Okay friends, I think my blog reader has been acting funny so I’m missing many of your posts, and I’m not sure who is missing mine. That said, I’ve got a first-time preggo question for you, whether you’ve had one, two, or more babies at once.

I’ve actually mentioned it before, many weeks ago, but it kind of went away.

My stomach is FULL, TIGHT, and HEAVY. Emphasis on the heavy. All. Day. Long.

I’m not worried something is wrong, but I do want to be able to know if these are Braxton Hicks or a twin thing, or something else altogether.

I don’t know if I’ve ever had BH, but I always thought that when I had one, I’d know it. Isn’t BH when your whole stomach goes rock hard for a few minutes, you feel a weird pressure, and then it goes away?

This isn’t that. This starts at about 10 in the morning and lasts all day, only getting worse as the day goes on. When I stand up, my stomach feels so heavy I just feel this need to hold it from the bottom and get myself in a chair immediately. When I sit, my stomach feels like it’s a pile of bricks piling on top of each other, so that’s not comfortable either. When I recline, my back kind of hurts and I have a little shortness of breath. Therefore, there is no comfortable position. Laying on my left side at night on my Snoogle is about the only thing that feels okay. Forget bending over – I can’t even tie my shoes!

When I eat, it’s all the worse. I’m quickly realizing I physically can’t eat more than a few bites without feeling full.

Here’s the thing: I’m only 20 weeks! I’m probably showing somewhere between 24-26 weeks I’d guess. I know many, many people who, at 24-26 weeks, had a cute bump and went about their lives with little discomfort. I feel like I’m 500 weeks pregnant! Gosh, many pregnant women still go to the gym, and I can barely walk from the bedroom to the kitchen without holding my stomach and becoming winded!

Like I said, I don’t think this is BH. My stomach is tight and hard, but not rock hard. I can still push on my stomach and it gives a little. And the heaviness lasts all day. I’m big, but not that big.

Am I cooking up little hulk babies? Or is this a normal thing?

20 Weeks and Gender Reveal!

I am 20 weeks today, and we had our second trimester scan a few days ago. Both babies were healthy, cervix looked good, no issues! And now, for the big reveal, we are having……

a BOY and a GIRL!! I am SO. excited.

When I was younger, and just assumed I’d conceive and have babies like it was nobody’s business, I didn’t want to know the sex of my first baby. It seemed like a nice surprise in the moment of giving birth, no need for rushing a good surprise, and for some people, I think that’s accurate. My own opinion changed, though, for 2 reasons. First of all, because I’m having twins. I mean – I don’t know, having two girls versus two boys is quite different and for my Type A personality, I don’t know if I could handle not knowing two babies’ sexes. More than that, though, my opinion changed going through infertility. After all the “surprises” of negative tests and failed Clomid cycles, IUI’s, etc., this was one surprise I didn’t want to wait for anymore. I think I’ve been in a state of denial the past 20 weeks, though it’s been letting up slowly but surely. It was never a denial of, “This can’t be happening to me”, because it’s been the #1 thing I’ve wanted since I can remember, and I was fully aware that it was, in fact, happening. It was more like this fear that if I got too excited, I’d take it for granted that I actually was pregnant, and if I took it for granted, it might just all go away. Totally irrational, but I think that’s what it was.

So instead, I vowed not to take it for granted, and therefore spent every waking minute thinking about it, which 1) caused unnecessary worry quite often, and 2) filled me with this overwhelming feeling that I couldn’t handle, making me more introverted and slightly cranky. People wanted to talk about it and ask me questions and I found myself not even wanting to think about the answers because my brain could not process the whole idea. Now, 20 weeks in, I’ve processed the fact of my twin pregnancy more than I have yet, not that it’s 100%, but that may not happen until they’re born. Anyway, I knew finding out the sexes would be the smartest thing I could do for myself, because it makes it more real and allows me to picture my future family. This has worked, and since the scan, my worries have mostly gone out the window (for a limited time, I’m sure). I can’t stop looking at the pictures and checking their little 3-D faces (I swear boy looks like my husband).

Like I’m said, I’m still not 100% there. In my own head and with my husband, I’m in total baby mode and loving how that feels. Out loud, though, I’m still not totally ready to pour out my emotions to anyone. This poor coworker of mine – I kind of snapped at her the other day for no reason. Actually, that happens a lot lately and it feels my internal filter has stopped working and needs a deep cleansing (very sorry, friends!). But one person in particular made a comment to me as I was heading back to my classroom during an assembly to grab a snack. She said, “Go get some food – gotta feed those babies!” And that just didn’t feel comfortable – it felt weird, like my stomach is see-through and everyone focuses on just them, when they are still so small and not here yet. And also, eating is just not something I want to be…public. I don’t know. Don’t watch me eat. Don’t tell me to have another candy because I’m eating for 3. That wasn’t this coworker – lots of people have started in on those comments. Moving on…so I said, “Feed babies? I’m feeding ME!” (In my head I was muttering something along the lines of the babies being too young to enjoy my yogurt.) And in retrospect….that was unnecessary. I’m working on that. I’m very aware that people whom I don’t know THAT well (not friends and family) are just excited for me, and therefore want to know every answer to all their questions. They also stare at my stomach before they meet my eyes, which is creepy. The whole concept is still kind of weird. It’s like when guys stare at your chest before they look at your face, except my chest has never been more than a “nearly A” cup so that never happened to me. I’m not used to it. So, yeah, I’m not 100% there yet. But coming along.

With that said, I’m a horrible liar, and therefore feel this need to answer everyone’s questions honestly when really, I don’t need to do that. The question of names is being asked, and while I don’t mind my friends and family knowing where we stand, the idea of telling everyone I know bothers me and so, I’m not doing it. We think we have the names. But I have no idea what the next <20 weeks will bring, and I don’t want a name locked down out loud only for it to change, or for someone to make a comment, or whatever. But I don’t lie well, like I said. So I’ve mentioned what we think the names are, with the comment that it could and probably will change. The one thing I’m not comfortable doing is referring to the babies by the names we are thinking about. I feel like it’s way too early for that, and in addition, it just…again, makes me uncomfortable. When they’re out, that’s when they’ll have their names. Until then, they are a baby boy and a baby girl. My fear is that in telling people what we think the names will be, they will start calling them that. You know, “How are _____ and ______ doing?” If that happens, I might cringe and actually say, please don’t call them that. Which is rude, it’s just…I’m not there.

And it’s nice to have at least ONE secret. IVF was so public. My emotions were so public. I couldn’t hide being pregnant for long. I didn’t hide the sexes. So the names are the one thing I get to keep to myself, with my husband and I rattling around different names and ideas and knowing that we don’t have to share them with the world. I like that feeling. So, I don’t plan on referring to them by what we think their names will be, at least for quite a while, both in blog world and real life, and I’m just praying no one else does either. But “boy and girl” are boring, too. I’m reminded of Robin who affectionately called her babies in utero “Apple and Banana” for Baby A and Baby B, which I thought was super-cute. Belle calls her baby “Chicken” and Sunny calls hers “Bagel”.  So catchy! I’m trying to think of names that start with B and G.

Biscuit and Gravy? Blueberry and Grape? Beans and Granola? (Kidding…)

Ooh, or what about animals?

B – Bug, Bear, Bat, Badger, Boar, Beagle…. G – Goat, Goose, Goldfish, Gecko, Gopher… Hmmm… Badger and Gopher? Bug and Goat?

What do you think? I need two cute nicknames…

I still have moments of “panic” daily, usually along the lines of “What if….” and it’s something that I know I can’t control. Drink lots of water, put your feet up and rest, and that’s all you can do. I’m more than halfway there and am so excited about making it to the finish line.

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!

10 weeks

Tomorrow, I will be ten weeks pregnant with twins. This double digit milestone is something I’ve been hopeful to reach for what seems like forever, with the next goal being, of course, 12 weeks. But even with these goals being met, I still have so long to go. And given my infertile journey and my worrying nature anyway, it just seems so hard to believe that this will continue to be my new normal.

But right now, it is, and I’m actually starting to internalize it. I’m not in a panic everyday, and I wake up each morning assuming that I’ll still be pregnant every night. So that’s good – I think I’m on the right track.

I’ve been a lot more comfortable in my newly pregnant skin in the last week and a half. Which, with that, has brought about something many of you have described after becoming pregnant – an infertile’s guilt. I don’t have, like, deep guilt by any means. I do believe that I deserve this and it was bound to happen eventually, and I feel for everyone that has had it so much worse than I ever did. However, sometimes I feel sort of sheepish. I mean it was only weeks ago that I was a hot mess, emotional, bitter and cranky. If I saw a young mom on the street with her baby, lord help me. And that was only weeks ago. If I could’ve just slapped my own face, told myself to chill, be a pleasant person and stop looking so pissed off..I don’t know. Now that I’ve slowly started to find my old self again, my old personality, I’m almost embarrassed. I get why I felt the way I did, and if something happened and I had to do it over again, I’d go right back to that place. But right now I’m happier, and it feels weird. Sometimes it feels like I shouldn’t be too happy, or at least shouldn’t show too much happiness, because people might think I’m totally nuts. Anyway, I know caring what other people think is a bad idea, but I’m just saying. I’m glad I’m happy right now and I can’t believe how miserable I have been. Talk about a personality switch.

Anyway. I’ve slowly started to figure out this new system of mine – what it likes, hates, needs, how much and how often. It only took me 10 weeks. Eating needs to be literally nonstop, meals need to have protein, and Zofran needs to be taken at 6, noon, and 6 again to keep nausea at least somewhat under control. Sometimes, at night, when there isn’t a single food I could eat that could help the nausea and I’ve given the yogurt spoon many tries, sleep is the only cure. When I’m super nauseous, I shiver like I’ve got a fever of 102. Green apples are always a sure bet, along with anything moist. No crackers, toast, or dry meats for me. Yuck. Instead of all-day nausea, I’d call it more like all-day minus about three hours. This is an improvement. Water is my best friend, along with root beer because it masks the horrible taste of Zofran. If I go to bed too early (like 8-8:30), I wake up super easily all through the night, and lie there awake needing to pee and feeling crappy but too lazy to get up. But if I go to bed too late (10:00 last night), after lying down for 10 minutes or so I get the hunger-nausea, and it is bad enough that I yank out my retainer (sexy, I know) and stuff gluten-free puffins cereal with almond milk down my throat. So many rules, and when it comes to food, I’ve made some advances.

One thing I haven’t figured out is my body. I mean, I’m extremely bloated and maybe that means showing a little, I don’t know. But it’s not like I’m huge or anything. So why am I so instantly out of shape and out of breath from virtually everything? I had to rush around the house the other day and was painfully winded and nauseous. I brought the trash out, and was winded. Today my students cleaned their desks, and as I went from desk to desk, bending over slightly and turning my head to the side to see into them, I felt light headed and dizzy. And out of breath. Taking the dogs for a walk – our nightly ritual? Almost out of the question. No more gym for me. I figured this would all happen months from now, but I never thought so soon. It’s just weird to think about how not in control I am of my own body. Granted, I wasn’t in control when I couldn’t get pregnant either. But it feels weird.

We met with two different practitioners, made our decision, and even heard the heartbeats, which was exciting. (Did I write about this in my last post? My apologies because I can’t remember.) One was in the 170’s, and the other the 140’s. We now have our 12 week ultrasound/scan thing scheduled, and I guess we will go from there. We plan to sit down this weekend and figure out how to be as financially smart as possible from now until July. But otherwise, we have no idea what we’re doing.

For now, every day that goes by with sickness, a growing and sore chest and no problems, I thank the lucky stars and go to bed hoping for the same outcome the next day.