Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Birth Story

Remember when I promised the birth story within a week? Whoops!

My C-section was scheduled for 2pm when I was 34 weeks along.  To refresh: we were scheduled so early because baby C was supposedly 25%+ off of the weight of her twin baby B.  I only had to fast for 8 hours before surgery and so I did get up early (5am!) to eat a big breakfast.  I wasn't going to starve all day!  Of course at around 9am the hospital called to see if I wanted to take a 12pm slot instead. I wonder who really jumps at that chance? I would have literally had to leave my house within 10 minutes to make it there in time. We declined, I found out later they filled it, probably with someone who wasn't serious about waking up to eat.

We arrived at the hospital and checked in.  The room was nice and spacious, both my mom and DH were with me, I got to strip in front of everyone and wipe down with those stupid antibacterial clothes again.  Why do they even have you do it twice at home?!  Ugh, not a fan. The nurse checking me in was great, they hooked up the babies and asked lots of questions.  We discussed hippies and placenta encapsulation...and that weird thing where you just let the placenta fall off "naturally".  I did want them to delay cord clamping on baby C, if possible. 

My perinatologist stopped in and chatted, they offered a tube tie and that was literally the first time they brought it up.  I had not considered it at all and was not in any way prepared to make that choice.  In hindsight I wish I had it done. Oh well, I suppose I will have to figure out something when sex ever happens again.  I can't assume I'll be infertile since I've heard of lots of people ending up with additional children that way!

The sequence of events was a blur, I was wheeled down to the OR and had the epidural shots in back.  I was a little worried about these as I'd heard they are painful, but they weren't bad at all!  There was only some slight referring pain and I'd had worse than that during a massage, although I've been told my masseuse is ... well she's Russian and fits the stereotype.

They bent my legs up and put in the catheter, unfortunately my legs were bent when they went numb.  I really, really wanted to put my legs 'down' and even asked the doctors to do it at one point.  They laughed and said 'oh they're down'.  Definitely wasn't my favorite part and for hours all I wanted was to put my legs straight! It did get better once I could see them and my mind reconciled it.

Honestly, as they were putting the iodine on me I thought "never mind, don't want to do this, I'm fine being childless".  I was that terrified of the surgery, it didn't really get better, although I didn't have a panic attack.  I was fairly scared the whole time, mostly for their health and if they would be ok outside.  It's a lot of control to give up at the end, especially when you are doing it prematurely. 

So, the iodine being put on is the test to see if the drugs have taken effect, I was trying to decide if I could feel it or not, and ended up saying 'I think I felt that', but at that point they had already cut into me and I definitely couldn't feel that!  I don't think I'll ever get the iodine out of my bellybutton though...

As the babies were being born I remember thinking I should kiss them when they were presented to me, but my actual feelings were very numb.  I think it's important to share this part: I did not feel that 'rush of love' that everyone else talks about.  I was worried, fearful, numb and dizzy.  Part of those feelings are surely the drugs during the C-section, but part of it may just be me.

One thing I have failed to mention at this point: there are a lot of people in the OR, like a lot, not just 'a lot of people for my vagina', which to be honest at this point would probably be more than most people would be comfortable with after all my infertility experience.  There was about a team of 5 for each baby plus the two MFMs, the nurse practioner from my MFM clinic, the anesthesiologist and then at least 10 other nurses for support.  When baby A (H) was born the head neonatologist took him and I remember him waiving my son's foot at me from his crib.  It was honestly slightly disturbing as he was not crying (that I heard) and his foot was pretty limp.  Not really what I wanted to see, BUT in my head I said 'well he's not worried about anything' and that was slightly reassuring.

Baby B (L) was born one minute later and she was SCREAMING, so right away I knew she was fine.  She ended up having her stomach pumped because she had swallowed so much amniotic fluid. 

And of course baby C (V) took longer to be born, and I was anxious because she was the whole reason we were having this surgery.  I couldn't hear her cry over Baby L, but she was fine too.  Actually all 3 babies scored an 8-9 on their first APGAR and a 9-10 on the second one, which was impressive to me, I didn't really dare to hope for that. 

AND Baby V was only 5% off from her twin, so they were both fine.  However, she did have her umbilical cord wrapped tightly around her foot and loosely around her neck, so it was good we delivered when we did and that I didn't attempt a vaginal birth (though honestly, who wants that for triplets!).

After all of that my DH left with the babies, which was good, I didn't want them to get mixed up with any other babies!  I started heaving, which is apparently super common and I was not at all prepped for that.  I got a few doses of various anti-nausea meds as they were stitching me up.  I was more worried that I was going to ruin their stitching up, but that's probably not a thing.  The doctors raved about my placenta, I believe specifically the twin placenta was pretty impressive.  One of them said 'I wish you could see it!', I'm sure if I had asked they would have shown me, but I wasn't interested at all. The process of being sewed up takes forever, but no staples! I only had internal stitches and glue for the skin with a honeycomb silver bandage (silver is a natural antibiotic). My scar looks great and I didn't have to have staples removed later (thank God). 

Once I was all set they took me to recovery, where I don't remember much except that we almost got in trouble for having both my mom and husband in the room at the same time (they were switching spots).  When I was ready for my room they wheeled me through NICU to see the babies.  I could barely raise my head and was still very nauseous, but I touched all my babies!  I try not to worry they didn't get that 'skin to skin' after birth, but there's only so much I can control and I have to let the rest go. 

Obviously once I was in my hospital room I wasn't allowed out of my bed and I was jealous that DH and mom were running back and forth from my room to the NICU and I couldn't go.  Although I was grateful that they were able to hang out with the babies.  Late that night the nurse came in and took out catheter, I was annoyed as seemed early and I had to pee within 6 hours of it being removed, which was a real chore.  I barely peed in time (about a half hour before the maximum).  I did love my hospital and (single) room! I was there for 3 nights 4 days, it was so nice to order food instead of trying to figure out what I was going to eat.  The last night was walking colostrum down to the NICU and seeing babies at 3am and I was so sad that I wouldn't be there at night anymore. It was hard to leave, I did not have that urge to leave the hospital, but this is probably unique to NICU moms as we just want to be close to our babies.  I could have stayed in one of their rooms on a couch, but I never did and the nurses urged me to rest at home while I could. 

So, routine C-section, it was great, recovery was ok and I didn't really use the binders I bought.  I was worried about the doctors leaving something inside of me (an acquaintance has received permanent disability from this happening to her), but they assured me there are nurses only responsible for the sponges, etc, they use.  You do hear counting a lot during your surgery, which is reassuring to me.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Oh...Hi!!

How are all of you? Apparently my blog has exploded in popularity during my absence, which makes me feel a tiny bit guilty for not updating sooner.  I'm even writing this on my phone for you, which means you have to excuse any weird misspellings or word substitues.

We made it to 34 weeks with the babies! I never had regular contractions (woohoo!) and, well, the reason we were scheduled so early was because baby C was supposedly 25% smaller than her twin...only she was only 5% smaller upon delivery.  However she did have her cord wrapped tightly around her foot (it took an extra minute to deliver her) and loosely around her neck.  I had felt her flip over a few days before delivery and I did not like it! I know of someone who felt her baby flip and then her baby passed, one reason I was honestly glad to have a multiple pregnancy since that decreased movability.

I am writing my birth story, as everyone seems to do, but I'll warn you it's pretty uneventful.  Hoping to have it within the next week!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Final Countdown!

The last week has been a bit of a roller coaster.  After getting the news that they would move up the C-section we had a scheduled NST on Friday.  Then that morning a couple fire alarms kept going off, which even when you are sure there's not a fire is a little scary.  So my DH stayed home to make sure nothing burned down. 

The NST was different from the one I had at 27 weeks, that one they brought in an ultrasound machine and made sure each baby's heart was properly identified.  This time the nurse just tried to find each with the little paddles, and then was unsuccessful with finding C, who was the whole reason we were there!  I tried not to be too worried, and truthfully I wasn't, although I did do some deep breathing.  Babies A & B were great on the NST, but since she couldn't find C we were referred to an ultrasound. 

Of course, then my DH decides he should probably be with me since there might be a problem.  The alarms had stopped going off (it was probably a dust build up, we don't use canned air on them yearly like you are 'supposed' to) and he drove down to meet me.  I still made it through the ultrasound before he arrived and everything was fine, baby C passed a BPP within 10 minutes (she had 30) and the tech was surprised how easy it was to get her pictures.

It took another little bit, but we got released and the weekend went wonderfully, I spent most of it on the couch.  Our next appointment was a BPP check on Wednesday, where Baby B had a heart rate of 190 a few different times, we did not get a lower rate on her.  Though my ultrasounds are completed very quickly, each baby has 30 minutes to pass and the techs usually only take about 30 minutes total.  The MFM sent us over to the hospital for some NST monitoring.  Obviously I know that low heart rates are a sign of distress, and I learned that a high heart rate can be an initial sign of infection. 

Oh and this was my first (and only) time with this ultrasound tech, I'm not sure if there is a way to do the heartbeat wrong, but I wonder if she wasn't doing it right.  She also annoyed both my DH and me by insisting on getting facial pictures of the babies. 'Oh look, how cute!' 'Can't you see the face!' (my DH wasn't looking up).  Now we are a perfect couple because we can both be rather unsentimental, but honestly 1) I think babies in utero look a little creepy and 2)we're meeting them in a week!

This was my also first meeting with this particular MFM.  She said she was sure I was dilated and had lost my mucus plug even though I didn't notice it.  While I liked her, I am not sure I agree I've lost my plug because I am obsessive about checking the toilet.  Old infertility habits die hard!  I suppose there is a chance where it could've slipped out, but I'd be massively surprised.  And I've only had a few 'real' contractions, so I am not sure my body is really 'there'. 

Once we got to the hospital the NST monitoring started, this nurse was able to get baby C on the monitor!  It was reassuring to have all 3 monitored.  And Baby B, upon being hooked up, had a heart rate of 140-168, no sign of 190.  The only bad thing was they kept me on the monitors for a long time.  It was so long that all the babies had been off their monitors, by rolling and kicking like little ninjas, for a half hour before the nurse came back.  I'm laying at a slight angle and am having horrible back cramps from staying in one place.  When the nurse finally came back she said she wanted to get the babies back on the monitors for a last check and then she'd adjust me.  She got the babies back and left the room, the babies promptly ninja-ed themselves back off the monitors, and I gave her 10 minutes to come back and adjust me.  Then I used my call button and told them to come adjust me - it was super painful!  Also it was noon and I was cranky about no real meal yet in addition to the pain.

We were cleared and released!  The MFM at the hospital (one that is in the practice, but not the same as the one above) was wonderful and said she didn't think there was any infection.  She also pointed out that both B and C would have elevated heart rates since they share the placenta. 

So barring anything happening (water breaking, regular contractions): we are set for a scheduled C-section next week!  I am not thinking about it, but I have read up on Pinterest for some tips, and asked my sister-in-law for advice since she's had two of them.  At my MFM appointment the doctor spilled the beans that my favorite doctor is scheduled to do the surgery!  She must've switched with someone because the week before she had told me she wasn't going to be available.  I'm so happy because I really appreciate her and love her sense of humor.  Plus she's a great doctor and a straight shooter on issues.  I did ask to have delayed cord clamping on baby C only (it's difficult and dangerous to do all of them), I want to give her an advantage since she is the smaller one.

This might be my last update for a while, or it might not.  I'm not sure what I'll have time to do.  I will admit that I am nervous about meeting my babies.  I find myself looking at pictures of moms with babies and feeling a little jealous when they look alike.  I haven't dwelled a lot on donor egg during this pregnancy, I've been focused on enjoying what I have, but I am nervous about the babies and bonding, etc.  I know they are mine, but I'm scared they won't love me, that I won't love them, and even about telling them (someday) that they aren't genetically mine.  I try to wait to cross bridges, so I haven't written much about this, but it does sometimes haunt me a bit.  Also I worry they will feel almost too 'special', being both triplets and donor egg babies, but I am excited they will have each other to rely on.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Little Complication

In every triplet pregnancy there's a moment of complication (probably), whether or not that leads to a delivery or just a quick monitoring stay in the hospital.  Today I had my 32 week appointment and it was the first time we'd measured them in 4 weeks, which is ok I suppose, I often wish they'd measure them more frequently even though they've explained it's not as accurate.

I'm not sure how accurate it is either way, to be honest.  My ultrasound tech (I've seen her for most of my appointments so therefore she is 'mine') admitted today that they had estimated a singleton incorrectly and were 23 ounces off.  TWENTY-THREE!  Obviously I hope that mine are being estimated mostly correctly.

So the news today was that Baby C (identical twin of Baby B) is about a pound off from Baby B, or 25%.  The Doctors get concerned whenever the twins are more than 20% off from each other.  There is no sign of a twin to twin transfusion, but it's still not great. 

The result has been:

1. I have to monitor and make sure each baby moves at least once every hour.  I think this is slightly ridiculous and probably will try to not stress about it.  Their suggestion has been to turn off everything and concentrate on feeling them if I think I haven't.  If I haven't felt them in one hour of concentrated effort then I am supposed to go to the hospital.  I've been home from my appointment for 2 hours and I've felt them all lots, so maybe this won't be such a big deal.

2. I got my first steroid shot and go back tomorrow to get the second one.  Even though I'm not in current danger of delivery they wanted to make sure the shots were administered.  Also, I had heard these shots hurt a lot, but if you have had PIO then they are a walk in the park.  Seriously it's a slightly burning sensation and that's it.

3. My C-section has been moved to 34 weeks, which means I have about two weeks to prepare myself.  OMG I can't believe it will be so soon.  I'm a little bummed about the NICU time, but I know they'll be in the best spot for them.  And hopefully the nurses will teach me a little something about caring for babies. 

4. Originally my C-section was going to be done by my favorite doctor, who was also the one we saw today, but sadly she won't be doing my new date.  I'm super bummed, I really like her even though I know all the MFMs are amazing.  She seems to enjoy all our questions and concerns and jokes about taking a vacation to Hawaii while the triplets are in NICU. 

Now, the other thing is that Baby C is squished behind Baby B and so... in my heart I don't think they are that far off in size, I think maybe the tech can't get good measurements due to the placement.  But 34 weeks is an ok time to take them, to be honest I'm pretty exhausted at this point and taking them a little early will at least give me a break (although that's definitely not a consideration of the doctors).

Ok now for trigger warning - bump pictures have been requested and I just took this.  I do post these, and will post baby pictures, on my private Instagram.  You can DM me on twitter for the account name if you want. 

Almost 32 weeks.
Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.  I'd love for these babies to be super healthy 34 week babies!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

You're Too Kind - 27 weeks

Honestly, you are all too kind, visiting this site daily when I haven't updated in a month!  It's a crazy time and I've thought about writing a few articles, but it's very exhausting to be pregnant with triplets and I like to lay around doing nothing a lot.  Well, I lay around doing nothing and ruing the fact that I can't do anything really meaningful like get the nursery ready or do laundry.

It's been very smooth sailing, until yesterday, and I can't complain at all about how it's been going.  I am nearly to my third trimester and the babies are viable, though of course I want them to cook much longer.  Yesterday I had a tiny (half a dime) sized spot of pink-ness, it freaked me out but I kept it together until my DH called, and then I started crying.  He had me call the nurse line, which predictably told me to go in and get checked out.

So we ran ourselves down to Labor & Delivery at my hospital.  Got checked into a triage room around 7:15pm (the pink spot literally just missed the office hours at my MFM).  The nurse got baby A and B on the heart monitor, but then decided to ultrasound to ensure we had the right babies at the right spots.  All babies had heartbeats (wasn't really too worried about that) and all successfully hooked up to the monitors.  They did a nice vaginal exam and I didn't realize that your vagina hurts so bad when you are pregnant.  It was the most painful speculum experience ever, which up until now was a couple of my IUIs. 

The doctor did a quick check: cervix was soft and appeared closed.  They tested me for the infection that can indicate preterm labor (FFN?), a bladder infection, chlamydia and gonorrhea (seriously, I've been tested for these two STDs more time in the past year!).  Everything came back negative, which is awesome.  They monitored the babies on heart monitors for a long while, like 40 minutes.  Babies were a-celling (accelerating) like champs, which is where the heart rate increases and indicates a maturing nervous system.  Apparently d-celling (decelerating) below an established baseline is not great, obviously it can indicate fetal distress, my babies did not pull any d-celling nonsense.

They also ordered a growth ultrasound (don't ask me why) so we had one done and they also checked my cervix official with a transvaginal ultrasound (hi, old friend!) - and as I'm writing this the OB called me back and said my cervix length is 4.7 which is apparently huge.  They only start worrying at 2.5, so I do feel a lot better about that. 

Babies growth is also really good, the measurements were taken at 26w6d and one baby (baby B) was on schedule, Baby A (the usual biggest) was 27w3d and Baby C was about 27w1d. It's nice that they are measuring ahead even though this is my first pregnancy and there can be a bigger chance of growth restrictions. 

So I was finally discharged at 11:55pm, and exhausted came home and collapsed into bed. I slept for six hours, called in 'sick' to work (I told them I had been in the hospital) and got up to start eating.  I missed dinner last night as I was too nervous to eat before going to the hospital.  I am going to try and make up for it today.

Things I have learned:
  • DH is cranky when kept from food and it is taking the hospital forever to discharge you even though you know everything came back negative. (Ok, so I already knew about my DH's crankiness)
  • Your cervix is soft and filled with blood, if it gets irritated (by having sex or a bowel movement) it will spot slightly.  I will only re-report to the hospital if the pink spotting is continuous or is bright/dark red.
  • Hospitals suck at getting you discharged.
  • Hospitals are kindof sucky places even when you are the patient.
  • I am insanely paranoid about picking up a hospital infection, though I assume that L&D is actually a pretty safe place bacteria wise.

**Trigger warning - bump and monitoring pictures**
 
 
 
 
 

What it looks like when you have 3 baby heart beat monitors hooked up to you.

Taken and posted that morning!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Slings & Arrows of Outrageous Pregnancy

This is mostly meant to be tongue in cheek, my pregnancy is going great and I cannot complain at all about anything. 

On that note:

OMG the skin tags and my Seborrheic keratosis is going crazy.  I've had it for a few years, even before I started estrogen, I wonder if it was linked with my premature ovarian failure since that would've put my hormones in middle age even though I was in my late 20s when it first appeared. I cannot wait to get all these frozen off, especially the ones that are in a group on my neck and collarbone.  Also just in the past week I have a new ones on my tummy and boob... thanks body!

I'm tired.  And I snore loud enough to wake myself up.  It's a hugely hilarious loop.

My back hurts, especially when I have to do something and sometimes even when I don't.  My lower back already had problems and I was probably a degree or 5 away from being swaybacked before pregnancy, also I have a bone spur in my upper back where most of the pain is currently.  But I have a massage from a prenatal specialist this week!  I am excited and hoping for even more relief (heat and ice have been good to me this past week). 

Ugh, eating, never been a fan.  I've always joked I would totally do soylent green, it would take a lot of pressure off me.  I tried to take my eating down a level because I wasn't feeling as hungry and once I did my night sweats really increased in intensity.  My acupuncturist said my body was probably starting to burn my reserves due to the lower (not low) calorie intake.  I have brought my food intake back over 3000 and the night sweats decreased again.  I think she's right, but I'm still dreading the plunge over 200 pounds, which should be very soon.

I huff and puff and gasp like a very heavy person after doing very little.  I understand why, but I still want to exercise and I jealously look in karate class (I've never done karate) and yoga windows.  It's hard to take it easy! 

My home is a certifiable mess.  My mom was over yesterday and she cleaned my cat litter boxes for me.  I shudder to admit the last time my cat boxes were fully cleaned was before my transfer.  If I had known maybe I would've tried to do more in my two week wait.  I have a plan set though, friends are coming over when DH is out of town during my 28th week.  We are going to clean and set up the nursery... and maybe ... paint! I picked out these swatches today:
Leaning towards green, because I love green.

Speaking of, my DH refuses to call it the nursery, he calls it the babies's room (yes, that's grammatically incorrect).

Ok, here's the down low on babies:
All good, all healthy.  Baby B was running a little behind at the 20 week scan, 14% off from Baby A (not her twin).  Obviously it wasn't bad enough that the Dr wanted us to come back more often.  We saw them at 22 weeks and they said everything looked good, next measurement is at 24 weeks. 

They all passed the EKG.  No need for a further follow up, no need for a neonatal cardiologist in the delivery room.  The cardiologist did mention that in premies, depending on how long they've gone, they may need a dose of Tylenol (or something else) to pinch off a little vein that connects the two large arteries that run from the heart to the circulatory and pulmonary systems.  In full term babies this vein automatically dies off, but in premies the system doesn't "realize" the babies are breathing air yet. 

I hope you enjoyed the update! I am very grateful to be here.  I can do this, some days are easier than others, but I'm sure it's that way with all pregnancies.  I've started buy stuff, which makes me more than a little paranoid, but I'm remembering to relax and take it one day at a time.  And not to look for symptoms that aren't there.......

my mom bought these, she's very excited.  The girl ones are interchangeable since
we assume Baby A (the boy) will be born first.




Tuesday, March 3, 2015

20w6d

I'm not really sure how to put my thoughts on 'paper' tonight. 

My last appointment with the MFM went great, there are no issues with the babies.  The CPC is gone for baby A and, obviously, he as no other signs of trisomy 18.  They have all their fingers and toes and their mouths and noses look ok.  I keep passing out at these, but I'm hopeful with so many of the scary ones behind us that this will stop. 

Of course, my anxiety has picked up since week 20.  I'm analyzing every wipe and twinge, looking for any sign of something slightly different. I'm beginning to feel like this is really going to happen and to be honest that's more than slightly terrifying.  I'm not sure how you take care of 3 babies, but it sounds like a lot of work.  I'm sure I'll love them all and won't be able to imagine my life without them.  Again, I assume.

I have managed to gain almost 40 pounds!  I am very excited since this was  my goal for 24 weeks, I've actually eased off the calories a bit, obviously I've been overdoing it since I'm so close.  Also I've been eating a lot of sugar, which can't be good for me or the babies.  (Although the soda pop Jelly Bellys are calling to me from the store.)  I have paid for the weight gain with some nice stretch marks on the inside of my thighs!

I'm hoping to get started on just a few things this week and make lots of lists.  I love lists, they make  me feel in control!  Plus then I can mark things off of them, slowly...  Tomorrow I am going to do laundry, but don't expect me to put it away.

***TRIGGER WARNING: BUMP PICTURE***


20w6d, they are a-kickin!



Friday, February 20, 2015

18w1d

Trigger warning: ultrasound photos

These pictures were taken at my last appointment, where they put me in my back and I passed out (so much fun).  I just wanted to share them, and sorry C is so blurry - she was probably kicking or being kicked.  At this point I almost expect them to have black eyes and calloused knuckles when the emerge!

18weeks ish

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Yesterday

This might become a little bit of a rant, I’m not going to lie. 

Yesterday there was an, ahem, altercation on twitter.  It resulted in me losing my temper, after some provocation, and telling them to fuck off.  I feel a little bit bad because I don’t usually like telling people off (other than in my head) and I believe we should all get along and be kind, especially in our community, and many of us need slack occasionally.  However, I am sick and tired of being told I haven’t ‘suffered’ or am not ‘suffering’ enough.  That attitude is poisonous and, while it’s ok to have a bad day or judge others in our heads, it’s not ok to rank others’ pain aloud (ie, on twitter).

And honestly I would agree, in a small way, that getting a BFP changes your ability to relate.  It is exciting and you can’t continue to wallow in your grief about infertility.  The infertility still hurts, it still burns, and it’s still in the back of my mind that if this BFP fails that I don’t know if I will get another.  Right now I have to focus on today, and that means mostly attempting to be relentlessly positive about my position.  I have to believe I’m going to make it and, honestly that’s terrifying too, I’m not sure how many of my twitter followers honestly want to take home 3 babies.  You know they poop and cry a lot right? 

Also, anyone who has a BFP is not going to tweet about taking injections, doing IVF, etc.  What we need now is support from those who have been there – those who have had a successful BFP after clomid/IVF/surrogacy.  And that is mostly what my tweets are about, the little worries that occur, but I follow lots of other IF tweeters and I hope I can give them small advice about the process, about what to expect, about what’s normal, and just general support.  And it’s ok if they don’t follow me back, or have me muted, I’ve been there and I understand that.

Listen, we all judge others’ positions in life, silently, in our own heads.  Often this is in the ‘I wish I could just do clomid’ or ‘I wish I could just do IVF’.  But here are some rules I think are very helpful and fall under the 'if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all' rule:

If you don’t have anything nice or constructive or sympathetic to say, don’t tweet it.  Remember we are a community in pain, no one is requiring you to follow that person (or have them unmuted). 

If a fellow tweeter offends you with a tweet – then mute or unfollow.  Unless it’s hideously offensive there’s no need to confront them.  And by hideously offensive I mean along the ‘maybe you aren’t meant to have kids’ variety, not the generally insensitive or wishful that all of us have tweeted from time to time.

Don’t tell others’ their pain or suffering isn’t important.  It’s hard to do clomid, it may be harder to do IVF, it may be even harder to do surrogacy, and it’s definitely harder to be told there’s no hope.   But telling someone ‘just wait until you have to do X’ isn’t helpful, it’s cruel.  I hope that timed intercourse or clomid works for everyone - that would be an amazing.

Remember who the enemy is folks: THE FERTILES! Now go out there and humiliate them. 

I’m kidding about that…. mostly.
And I'm honestly sorry if I offended anyone yesterday.  You all mean so much more to me than my 'real' friends.  I have grown close with some of you and we have struggled together and supported each other through it all. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Telling

*************TRIGGER WARNING: Bump pictures at bottom***********************
(there's no writing afterwards, so you can stop reading when you see the top of the picture)

The twist of infertility is that even when we get pregnant we are all terrified of telling anyone.  I wish I could've kept my pregnancy a secret (except from family, close friends and twitter, duh!) until I was 24 weeks.  I probably would've told my boss, but not all my other coworkers and extended friends and family. 

But even being 5'8" I have to spill the beans on my multiple pregnancy much earlier than I would've wanted.  Plus if I really end up needing to be off at 24 weeks it's not fair to not prep my workplace.  (My boss has offered work from home and I am totally interested in that eventually!)

When I've told people I've gotten some interesting responses:

Two people (one male, one female) told me about their own fertility struggles.  To me it was very sad, the woman told me how a friend once said 'well I never had a girl, so I understand how you feel not being able to have a child' and then shoved a lifelike baby doll (used for CPR) in her arms (they were at a display at the Fair, so it wasn't as weird as it sounds).  Ugh, I can't believe how many rude people there have been in this world.  For all those who are childless/childfree, she said it took her a long time, but she's at peace now.  The man told me how him and his wife tried in the 90s and she has/had endo, but the OB (!!) assured them that didn't have an affect on fertility.  I didn't really enlighten him, because I don't know that there's an upside to sharing how far treatments have come.  And I always feel bad when I run into older people who tried everything available to them.  I have so much more opportunity than they did, and even then not all of us will be able to successfully have a live baby (any way we want to do it: IVF, DE, adoption).

A couple friends have assured me about friends who had triplets successfully about 30-40 years ago.  Actually one set of triplets went to college with a 37 year old friend and were naturally conceived identical girls and a boy just like mine (well except for the 'natural' part)! It's very nice to hear that even without modern conveniences people have had triplets. 

A couple coworkers point blank asked if I did fertility treatments/IVF and I wasn't quite prepared for that.  Also, my DH's ex point blank asked and when I tried to dodge she asked again!  So my dodges are to acknowledge that I had 4 failed IVFs (but not necessarily acknowledging that this was a type of IVF at work, since I had just started there), or to say that there are only two eggs and one split (therefore making it seem more possible to have happened without treatment as fraternal twins are 'normal').  I am not ashamed of having to do IVF, and with the ex (after my DH confirmed he had told the kids about IVF) I opened up and said the issue was me and yes we had done IVF, but there wasn't really a chance of triplets. 

Of course the most common question: do identical twins or triplets run in your family?  There are actually twins in my family, but I honestly don't think there are twins in the donor's family.  The twins in my family were successfully birthed by my great-grandmother on mom's side and another around the late 1800s also in my mom's family.  This makes me hope that with modern treatment their great-granddaughter can birth giant triplets.

In these situations I try to remember that these questions are going to happen for their whole life, or maybe until they are teens and the boy looks older than his sisters, so having prepped answers helps.  I also try to remember I am an ambassador of beginning to end the stigma of infertility.  I am not open about donor eggs, part of this is that I have heard it's my babies' information now (not mine) and part is that my DH isn't as crazy about telling everybody as I am. 

A few coworkers have said I'm too calm about it, but they aren't with me when I am trying to sleep at night or worrying about contractions or trying to imagine what 3 babies are like in one house.  I mean, what are 3 babies like?  I assume a lot of crying and pooping and not sleeping.... ugh it's the sleep schedule that terrifies me.

Ok - so here's the proof that I had to move to maternity clothes at 12 weeks, and I've already switched out of my wedding rings, which makes me a little sad:

15w6d...definitely pregnant.
16weeks 5days

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I've been nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award by Unpregnant Chicken, which is awesome.  I am very honored.  I am supposed to do the following when I accept:
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site. (check!)
  • Put the award logo on your blog. (yeah, don't know how to)
  • Answer the ten questions the nominator has set you. (see below!)
  • Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer. Nominate ten people. 
Well I've seen this going around and I'm too lazy to figure out who hasn't been nominated yet, so in an effort not to re-nominate other bloggers I'm not doing the last one either.  Sorry!?  Of course many blogs I love are linked in my profile as 'blogs I follow'.

1. What is your favorite book or movie and why?
My favorite movie is Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others), I love it.  I don't know why this movie resonates so strongly with me.  It's about a playwright in 1984 East Germany and his Stasi monitor.  Don't read the plot, watch the movie, it's that good.  Still grateful they never remade it into English (seriously America, what is your problem with wanting to remake foreign movies!)  Honorable mention to The Black Book, oddly with the same actor from the movie above. 

I am a huge reader, but it's hard for me to have a favorite book ever.  There are books that I think are amazing, but have only read once like Eva Moves The Furniture, and books that I love and read yearly like Summers at Castle Auburn or Howl's Moving Castle

2. What did you want to be when you grew up?
It varies, I wanted to be a mom or a teacher or a pianist (I was never that good at piano, I quit after 8 years when I was 12).

3. Where would you travel if money was no object?
Back to the UK and Europe, I loved my study abroad time there and I would love to visit and see the countries again.  Also it would be fun to go with family, secretly I would love to try a Viking River Cruise...it looks so fun!

4. What do you miss most about childhood?
Being carefree, having energy, chilling with my brother (he lives two states away now).  I have odd memories though, I vividly remember looking in a mirror and worrying about how I'd look as an adult and if I'd recognize myself.  I shouldn't have worried, I look remarkably similar.

5. If you could have any fictional character for a pet who would it be?
I think I might already have one: Toothless from How to Train your Dragon, except in the form of my cat, so much less destructive and, sadly, less flyable.

6. Do you have any gross habits that you try to hide?
Not too much, I stopped chewing my nails in college and I pick my nose in the privacy of my bathroom like a normal person. 

7. Coffee, hot chocolate or tea?
Not coffee, I gave it up when I had uncontrolled panic disorder and now I usually drink tea.  I occasionally have a hot chocolate though I've cut back recently.

8. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
Seeing my blog hits....it's like crack!  I also love feedback, whether through Twitter or through blog comments.

9. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Does getting pregnant with triplets count?  Because I'm pretty sure that is it.  Oh and I put my car up on two wheels when I was a teenager, due to my ... temper.  Nothing bad happened and I wouldn't recommend it.

10. Do you have any hobbies?
I will occasionally cross stitch, I tried quilting but never followed through, and my mom tried to get me to knit and crochet.  I have scrapbooked, but just once created a photo book for my parents-in-law 50th wedding anniversary. 

I hope you feel that you know me a little better now, and don't be all judgy about the nose picking thing, we all do it.


Saturday, January 31, 2015

Operating Without A Net

I feel very bad for not updating in a while.  I should really work harder on the blog, but I am currently sitting in my very dirty house with no energy to clean it either and it's in my face every day.

Most days I am surviving my 8 hour work days, but by the end of the day I am exhausted.  Last Thursday I had to come home and do laundry (there was no underwear), sorting was the hardest job I'd ever done.  I literally was out of breath from bending over and tossing clothes in piles.  How am I supposed to get the house ready for triplets if this is how I feel at 15 weeks?  I'm a little concerned.  I'm hoping I get a boost of energy at some point.

Last weekend I took down the Christmas Tree and I was feeling pretty great on Sunday, so I decided to read my triplet book that everyone had recommended.  Now, almost everyone said not to take the nutrition part too seriously (with triplets I believe she says 4,000 calories which would be literally impossible for me to achieve), so I was prepared for that, but the part about contractions really freaked me out.  I ended up with only 5 hours of sleep on Sunday, but still pulled out a full workday on Monday.  Luckily Tuesday was my 16 week check up.

The babies are all growing well, still 1-3 days ahead and all about 5 ounces.  I am happy, my husband and I pushed the ultrasound tech to see if she could 'spot a penis'.  Gamely she looked close for us and found that baby A is a boy and babies B & C are identical girls!  She confirmed by the end of the appointment (she wasn't confident at first).  We did a comedy routine for her about names, essentially threatening to name them after towns and cities in Washington, she was cracking up. 

Then she went to get the doctor, who was great, I really liked her.  She did not think I needed to 'monitor' myself everyday for contractions like the book claimed, and she also confirmed that a contraction should make my belly feel as hard as my forehead... So if you see me wandering around with a finger on my forehead and another on my belly, you know why.

She also said I had a small placental tear, which is very common in multiples and should resolve without any symptoms (ie, spotting).  I tried to define what the spotting may or may not be like and she said calmly 'just call us! we're your OB and here to help you'.  It felt really great. 

My husband complained I was lethargic, she assured us it was normal (duh!) and he asked if there was lifting limits, which she said no!  My husband then said 'see I could vacuum just fine!'... ah, men...

The biggest news to come out was, unlike some ladies I've met on twitter, I am in a 'no net' zone.  My MFMs will not stop preterm labor unless I am close to the babies being viable.  They will not do progesterone or a circulage as they haven't been shown to help in multiples.  And she pointed out that most labor stopping drugs only last for an average of 48 hours and every time they give a dose of a drug it has an effect on both the babies and the mother.  They don't want to give dose after dose of drugs to stop labor (they may, at some point, but they aren't in the business of it).  I am at peace with this, technically it's still a miscarriage until 20 weeks, and I feel like it's no different from the first trimester. 

Although sometimes I wish I didn't have to know I was pregnant the WHOLE pregnancy.  My original plan for getting pregnant was to ignore not having a period for a month or more and then be surprised!  It's hard to be so aware the whole term. 

Today I am 16w3d and am feeling confident about it, but I still worry about how much I'm eating (usually hitting close to 3,000 calories a day, but not always the best calories) and (on the crazy side) worrying whether my babies will become drug addicts because I won't be able to pay enough attention to them.  Yeah, that was last night, because I'm a crazy person.  I literally have no control over that right now... also there are a lot more addicts in my family than the one mentioned in my donor's family history. 

I promise to try and update more faithfully.  Or to think about it. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

OB Check In

I'm sorry I don't update more frequently, I actually have several ideas of what to write about, but it's just been so busy.  Every night last week I was busy, and then we went to a playoff game on Saturday.  It took me all day Sunday to even slightly recover and today I still had a slight eye twitch, I assume from being exhausted and today's stress.

A few people at my OB check in could've used more gentle words with me.  I am so nervous when I go in that my blood pressure is raised, they took it twice (beginning and end).  I'm understandably nervous that it means something, I actually normally have average to low blood pressure.  I don't want the extra worries, and I know I should let it go, it's just hard since I was given a preeclampsia talk already. 

The nurse practitioner (NP) wanted me to have a quick ultrasound for a 'viability check', I'm ok with the ultrasound....I'd prefer she didn't call it that.  Then as I walked into the room I found that a doctor was going to do it.  I'm not sure why, the ultrasound tech was there 'assisting', but it was clear the doctor was not skilled or was using me as practice.  First she found baby A (I assume) and then she said the heartbeat was too fast.  I don't know what that would mean, but it doesn't sound good.  After a few minutes she confirmed that she took the heartbeat 3 times for baby A and all 3 were 'within range'.  Ok, great, really that's all I needed to know, right? 

Then she found another baby (B?) and there was shrill beeping.  She said 'that's not good' and I said 'What?!?' and then she said it was her beeper.  At this point I was just trying to breathe.  She left after measuring the heartbeat on the other two (who are also fine) and I told the ultrasound tech that I did not like having the doctor do it.  I prefer the techs, they know what they are doing and measuring and they are reassuring throughout (normally) because it's not their job to give you bad news.

Also, can I just admit now that I can't really look at the screen during my ultrasounds?  I am so terrified of the fact that I am having 3; that it's going well.  I wondered today why I'd been given this burden.  I would be scared of pregnancy regardless, but it's hard for me to focus on positivity when I'm being told so many things can go wrong.  I worry I'm too scared to pull this off, I want to do so many things better, stay calmer, eat more, feel less sick. 

I did tell the NP that I was relieved that reduction was not stressed at my last appointment there.  Then she came back in the room after my ultrasound and laughingly said that one of the doctors wanted to make sure I'd been offered it.  Here's the thing: because it wasn't stressed last time I felt that I could do this, that they thought I could do this.  If they start bringing it up I'm thinking the opposite.  Ugh. 

Overall it was positive, I got a flu shot and the NP was a very nice person.  I found out that the MFMs won't necessarily deliver, they may just let an OB on staff at the hospital deliver.  Not too big a fan of that, but there's not much I can do.

When I got in my car the song playing was 'Livin on a Prayer' and it was right on these lyrics:
Whoa, we're halfway there,
Whoa, livin on a prayer,
Take my hand and we'll make it, I swear
Whoa, living on a prayer

Of course, I promptly started crying.  We aren't quite halfway to viability, but almost (14 weeks on Wednesday) and I do feel like we're living on a prayer.  I'm going to have a good cry tonight and hope that I feel much better after a long sleep.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Updates

Of course the first post of the year should say something special or exciting or something I've learned over the past year.  So sorry if you're disappointed -  mostly this is an update after my MFM appointment on Monday.

I thought the appointment would be the OB check in, since I was referred by a fertility clinic.  It takes this office 3 days to 'properly process' a referral and I assumed incorrectly that accepting me as an OB patient was part of it.  The poor receptionist was a total moron (even though she seems like a perfectly nice person).  The office I visited (not the only office location) shares space with an OB clinic.  When she found out I didn't have an OB she thought it was a great idea to go ask the OB clinic if they'd take me as a client, surprisingly they did not want to handle a triplet case.  (I wanted to slap my forehead.)  At the end of the appointment she didn't know how to make an appointment for my official intake or my 16 week follow up, she had to call me back the next day.

After the adventure of getting checked in, we sat and waited for the ultrasound.  It was scheduled to be 90 minutes.  The ultrasound tech was amazing, she was great and chatty without being too detailed.  She confirmed the twins were MonoDi and she said that still has a risk for twin to twin transfusion, but that the doctor would talk with me more about that.  She chatted about other triplet clients that she saw and how they did (nothing scary!).  I asked her if any of the doctors in the practice delivered and she confirmed that all of them did.  She wouldn't really give us a referral, but when my husband said he wanted a straight shooter she told us what doctor he would probably like.  I convinced him I didn't want a straight shooter, I want a calm and caring doctor that will only tell me something if I need to know.  I cannot be stressed out about every little possible thing.

Speaking of stressing out, since all the babies looked amazing on the screen and all were measuring 1-3 days ahead (baby A is only measuring 1 day ahead and he has his own little placenta - get it together baby A!) you'd think I wouldn't be too nervous to speak with the doctor, but I was SO NERVOUS.  (The ultrasound was only about 20 minutes too, which was nice.)

Now, again my problem is that I wanted to see a doctor that was maybe going to deliver, but I saw a fill in doctor who is amazing and very nice and who would be wonderful to see if you were just going in for a quick opinion on your single or double babies. 

The first thing she mentioned was that I have a subchorionic hematoma, which I only know from Don't Count Your Eggs and so my immediate question was 'is it going to take a baby out?'.  She said no and looked at me like I was crazy (I'm not crazy! Though Maya had this issue 5 weeks earlier in her P).  It's apparently well on it's way to resolving and is super common in IVF patients, it also might explain my early pink spotting.

So all the news that affects what we can do:
  • Circulage and progesterone therapy to slow pre-term labor in multiples has not been shown to help, they would not recommend either of these.
  • Preeclampsia is more common in IVF patients so we need to watch it.  (I wonder if she brought this up because I was super nervous and my heart rate was 80 and my blood pressure was higher pre-discussion.)
  • Twin to twin transfusion syndrome is a possibility and we discussed treatment and options, but then I was told it only happens in 5-10% of cases.  I'm not discussing plans about that! That was about my chances (from one doctor) on my getting pregnant naturally. 
  • It's mostly impossible to do the blood tests for genetic disorders.  The defects can get diluted because you have 3 babies in there.  Basically they have to rely on ultrasounds or amniocentesis if there are symptoms.  I'm all ok with the ultrasounds, but will probably not want to do invasive tests unless there is a sign of a huge problem.
  • Growth restriction can happen, but we'd be looking for that later in the pregnancy.  I've barely popped now and my uterus is still much larger than a normal single pregnancy, so I feel like I've got lots of room for them.
  • All my placentas are on the back - which means I will be pummeled with 6 tiny fists and feet soon. Can't wait!
Mostly hilarious
  • I told her it was an egg donor, she asked how old (the donor is 21) and then she immediately asked me if there was a danger of hyperstim.........                  Uh, no, because I haven't stimmed for 6 months.  It mostly made me laugh, clearly she was stuck on the standard IVF portion of questions.
  • I do not need to actually eat 4,000 calories a day, but I should try to eat as much as possible.  This MFM said that babies grow to their genetic predisposition until 24 weeks and then food matters.  Not sure I believe her, but I'll go with it.
  • She thought, barring anything occurring, I should be able to work until 24 weeks.  At that point I may just physically be too big to drive.  When I told my coworker the next day she offered to pick me up, and then she pointed out our boss had a big truck.  I asked her if she was going to load me in the back like I'm a cow and make me moo while doing it?  She laughed (I know what she's planning!)
It was very nerve wracking, but I'm glad it's done and I'm glad they all look healthy.  It's scary to think I won't have another scan until 16 weeks.  After that I get a scan every other week and I'm not sure that's better because I'm still scared, but at least I'll be monitored.  Trying to stay positive every day and make it to at least 28 weeks.