Saturday, April 25, 2015

Overdue update

Ha, well slacker is an understatement. This little blog has gone neglected for far too long. I have been thinking a lot about our IVF journey this week, since it is National Infertility Awareness week, and decided to come back and read some of my old posts. I am so glad that I have some of these details written down. I saw on my blogger dashboard that people are still viewing my blog. So then it occurred to me that I never posted anything past our anatomy scan and I worry that people will think we didn't have a happy ending and a good outcome. And then I remember that I never actually wrote down a birth story anywhere. And now it has been nearly a year and I may have forgotten some details, so I figure now is better than never. So here goes:

The rest of my pregnancy was pretty uneventful. I did end up with gestational diabetes around 30-32 weeks. It was controlled by diet for a couple of weeks and then I had to go on Metformin for the last couple of weeks. I was also on meds for gestational hypertension, so I started doing non-stress tests (NSTs at about 32 weeks, twice a week. I also had growth scans every 4 weeks starting at 20 weeks and then all my OB appointments (weekly starting at 32 weeks). I spent a lot of time at doctor appointments. I was very grateful I didn't have to work, since I don't know how that would have worked out with all my appointments. I had a couple of high BP readings, a few more 24 hour urine collections, and 1 trip to L&D in false labor (which turned out to be dehydration), threw up for the first time in my pregnancy at 36 weeks, but overall things were pretty boring. We scheduled my c-section (due to transverse babies) for 37w6d, but then I got bumped up to 37w4d, which was May 27.

Last belly pic

The surgery was scheduled for noon, so John and I arrived at the hospital about 10:30. My nurse was amazing. She prepped me, got my IV in, and we went over everything. I met the resident and med student that would be assisting Dr. Brown and the anesthesiologist, Dr. Myers (I liked him right away). My sister, Rebekah, was invited to be my second support person. It was important to me that neither baby be alone at any time and I didn't want to be alone either. So Bekah was there in case either baby needed to go to the NICU, John could go with baby and she could step in the OR and be with me. Then we found out that they actually would take Baby B to a room next door so there would be more room to work, so Bekah was able to be with Baby B the whole time. She really wanted to be in the OR, but that was against the rules. They did let her stand right at the door between the rooms and watch through a little window though. Anyway, besides John and my sister, I didn't want anyone else at the hospital until after I was in recovery and we gave everyone the go ahead.

Anyway, they took me in to the OR just after noon. They had explained to me what the process of getting the spinal placed would be. I told Dr. Myers I didn't want to be walked through what was happening and to just do it. I expected it to be easy and fast, even if painful. Well, it was painful but not easy and not fast. He couldn't get it in the right place at first. They wanted me to hug my legs as tight as I could into my chest. Well, if you've never been nearly 38 weeks pregnant with twins, you can still probably understand how awkward and unlikely to happen that was. I had a little freakout. I started to panic, thinking that it wasn't going to work and they were going to have to put me under. It took a couple minutes, but after a couple more pokes, I felt a pain shoot down my right butt cheek. This told Dr. Myers he was too far to the right, when he thought he was too far to the left, but helped him know where to place it just right. They immediately rolled me onto my back and my body started to go numb. What a strange feeling! Dr. Myers did a few quick tests to make sure I couldn't feel any pain and then the resident says "I am going to scratch you pretty hard, so tell me if you can feel anything." I think this is when they actually did the first cut though. Throughout the whole thing, I just had to stay focused on my breathing and not freaking out again. They asked me if I wanted to watch with a mirror, but I did not. I didn't want to see myself like that.

At exactly 12:55pm, baby A was born. They held her up over the curtain so I could get a quick peak. A few seconds later, they broke baby B's water and then got her out. When they called the time, it was still 12:55! So that is something fun, they have the same birth time. A quick peak over the curtain at her and away she went to be cleaned up as well. The next few minutes are a little fuzzy. I know I got really cold and Dr. Myers put this heater thing that blew warm air under the blanket that was over my arms. Then I started to get warm and sleepy. I heard Sophia (baby A) crying, which was really the greatest sound at the time. A few minutes later, John came back over with Charlotte (baby B). Sophia needed a little extra suctioning, but then they brought her over too and we had our first family pic. The process of getting stitched up took longer than the actual delivery, but it wasn't long before they put the babies in my arms and wheeled me back to my L&D room. I was still a little out of it, but it was important to me to have skin-to-skin and initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible. My nurse kicked everyone out and then I was able to really look at my babies for the first time. Skin to skin was amazing and they were both able to nurse. By about 3:00pm we were all up in recovery together.

Baby A: Sophia Kay, 5 lb 13 oz 19.5 in long
Baby B: Charlotte Ruth, 5 lbs 9 oz 18.5 in long

First pic as a family of 4 :-)
 The rest of the hospital stay went by so fast and was kind of a blur. I basically was nursing non-stop and tried to feed myself and visit with family and get a little sleep. Sophia had a low blood sugar reading, so we did use a supplemental nursing system (SNS) to give her some formula (and we gave some to Charlotte too, as a precaution). My milk came in on the 3rd day though, so we were able to leave that day (even though I could have stayed 1 more night). The girls roomed in with me for the most part, but they did go to the nursery for a couple hours at a time a few times (in theory, so I could sleep, but that never really worked out). No NICU time, no jaundice issues, both very healthy, just small.

We brought the girls home on May 30th and we have been having the time of our lives ever since. :-)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Anatomy Scan

Yesterday was our anatomy scan and everything went really well. Both babies are right on track and look healthy. They were both moving quite a bit and we got a lot of great pictures. It was fun to get to see them both for so long.

We also found out that both babies are girls! I have been referring to them as girls for a few weeks now, but I think John was still (not so secretly) hoping there was a boy just being shy. I think he is already in love with his two little girls, especially when I showed him the cute little outfits I bought to celebrate. We are, of course, both thrilled to be having two babies-the sex isn't important to us at all. There are lots of girls in our family already, so I feel like we will be really well prepared (well, as prepared as one can be) for these little girls.

Now, the great name debate. Naming your children is a huge responsibility. Hopefully we can agree and get both babies named soon. I keep hoping to feel more bonded and connected to the babies, but unfortunately infertility has made me so cautious about pregnancy. I am constantly working on this and hope that now that I can refer to them as our girls and call them by name soon and feel them move more and more, that I will feel less disconnected to pregnancy. I am trying to get past the feeling that something is going to go wrong. In the meantime, I am doing my best to take care of myself and keep these girls in as long as possible. We have so much positive support, so we are very grateful for that.

I did a little shopping to celebrate team PINK x 2! :-)

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Sorry for the delay in updating, I really didn't fall of the face of the earth. I have never been very good at blogging anyway, but I do want to keep the little blog updated for the few that are still following and for my own record-keeping purposes.

Anyway, things have been going great. Life has been crazy. After a long trip to UT, I spent 10 days back in MA getting ready to move back to UT. I stayed with my parents for the first week, then John made the drive across the country and we were able to get back into our house. Things for my whole family have been crazy the last couple of months, with lots of us moving. My brother got a job in Seattle and his family moved on Thanksgiving. My sister and brother-in-law, who had been living in our house, have now moved into the basement of my brother's house and my parents are living on the main floor. So we waited for them to get into their new digs so we could settle back into ours. We weren't here long though, before heading up to WA to spend Christmas with my brother and his family and help out with the arrival of baby girl #4 for them. John spent Christmas with us, then had to get back, but I was up there for 3 weeks and had a great time. I was sad to leave, but not sad to be done living out of a suitcase (which it feels like I did for about 2 months+). Now we are home and trying to settle into our new normal.

Normal for me is doctor appointments lately. My doctor is now seeing me every 2 weeks. I am doing regular lab work to monitor my thyroid and iron levels. I have had to do 3 urine tests. I recently failed my 1-hour glucose test, so I got to do the fun 3-hour test, but I passed. So no GD for me...and least for now. I did the test earlier than usual, since I am at higher risk anyway, so she may have me repeat in 4 weeks.

Even though I get an ultrasound at each appointment, the babies have been shy and we still don't know their sexes. My doctor's best guess so far is 2 girls, since we haven't seen boy parts. We haven't really seen girls parts either though, so we don't know for sure. My big anatomy scan is coming up next Thursday, so hopefully the babies cooperate and we can finally find out.

Overall, I am feeling pretty good. I still have a lot of food aversions, mostly to onions and meat, but it has gotten better. I still get tired easily, but I am always taking it easy. I am already slightly anemic, so I am starting an additional iron supplement. Weight gain is right on track, I am up about 17-18 lbs and am almost 19 weeks. Goal is 24 lbs by 24 weeks.

Tomorrow I am officially half-way to my latest delivery date (May 30th at 38 weeks). Hoping to get as close to that date as possible.

I have not been very consistent about taking belly shots, but I have taken a few:

According to my mother: "You are blossoming!" which I think is the nice way of saying I'm getting huge. :-)

And the most recent good photos of the babies I have, from 13 weeks at our NT scan:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

2nd ultrasound

We had our 2nd ultrasound today and I was so relieved to get a peak at our babies again and see that everything (and everyone) is on track. The last 2.5 weeks we have been in Utah, so I couldn't have my follow-up any sooner. It was a busy and fun trip, but I was so anxious for the appointment. Every milestone we hit is major to me and helps me breathe a little easier. Our risk of miscarriage at this point is less than 5% and it will just keep going down.

I officially graduated from the RE today and will have my first OB appointment on Dec. 5 (seems forever away!). I have plenty to keep me busy though, because we are moving back to UT. I am headed back (by plane) in 9 days and then John will drive our car+all our stuff the next week.

Baby A measured 9w2d with a heart rate of 174 and Baby B is measuring 9w0d with a heart rate of 166. My doctor assured me that it is normal/ok to measure a couple of days apart and/or behind, so I am not worried. She said everything is progressing normally. I am anxious for my first appointment in UT and hopefully another peak at the babies. I will be having the NT screening on 12/6, so either way I will see them in a few weeks.

Here's the latest photo. She couldn't get a zoomed in shot of both at once, so she did a side-by-side photo for me.

Monday, October 21, 2013

First ultrasound

Today we had our first ultrasound. I was a little nervous going in, just hoping that baby would measure right on track and that we would see a little heartbeat.

John got to come in for the u/s and he could see the screen, but I could not. The tech asked me if how many embryos we transferred and I told her 2. She started the u/s and after a couple of minutes she said something like "yep, there they are" or something I couldn't quite hear and then told me she would be doing some more measurements of my ovaries, etc. So then I asked her if she did see the baby and she said yes and I said, "just one baby, right?" and she says, "no, 2 babies." And then I freaked out a little. She was so casual about it, like of course there are 2 babies. I was so shocked. Even though we did transfer 2, one of our embryos was lower quality and had some fragmentation, so it didn't have as high of probability for implantation. My initial blood hCG levels weren't crazy high or anything, so I was pretty sure it would be just one baby. Well, I was wrong.
2 sacs and 2 little heartbeats!
Both babies are measuring right on schedule at 6w3d and we saw two little heart beats. I don't remember the exact rates, but somewhere around 120-125bpm. There are 2 sacs, so they are fraternal twins, which means both our embryos implanted. I will have another u/s in 3 weeks to check their progress and then will "graduate" to an OBGYN after that.

We originally thought we would stay in MA for awhile still, but now we are planning to move back to UT pretty soon so I can start my prenatal care at 12 weeks and stay with the same OBGYN throughout the pregnancy, rather than having to switch part way through. Also because my sister and brother-in-law that have been living in our house now have the opportunity to help another family member and live in their house, so we don't want to hog the help and feel like we need to be close to family, especially now that we are having twins.

I am trying no to get too hung up on all the things that can still go wrong. They did tell me that 15% of early twin pregnancies go on to be a singleton due to a vanishing twin. We are hopeful that both babies will continue to grow strong though. It does mean that I will probably not make it to June for delivery and instead will have the babies sometime in May.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

IVF #3 Cycle results

I am nervous to post this because I worry I will jinx things, but wanted to let the few of you that aren't my immediate family (since we have already told all of them) that follow my blog know that IVF#3 was a success and I am pregnant. The last few days have been pretty surreal and I still have a lot of fear and anxiety about all the things that could go wrong, but I am trying to take things one day at a time and just enjoy being pregnant each day. Of course I hope I have a long, boring, and uneventful 9 months.

I got my first positive test at home 8dp3dt and kept taking more tests, like a crazy person, each day until my blood test on the 5th (12dp3dt). My hCG level that day was 155, which they said was a good, strong number (they want it to be between 50-100). I had my second blood draw today, and it came back at 495. They want to see it doubling about every 48 hours, which it did. So no more blood draws for me and the next step will me my first ultrasound on 10/21. Hopefully we will be able to see the heartbeat at that point. I will stay under the care of my RE for a few more weeks and then will "graduate" to a regular OB. Our plan is to stay in MA for now, but likely we will head back to UT at some point so I can go back to work and because our long-term intent has always been to raise our kid(s) close to family. Lots of details to be worked out still, but I'm not stressing about any of that for now.

Most of my symptoms have been pretty mild, but I definitely have a few of them. The worst has been the bloating and fatigue. My appetite has changed a lot too, and I have to make myself eat throughout the day.

It feels a little weird to be telling people so early, but I have been so open about our infertility and so many people know we are/were doing IVF, so we want to also share our good news. We won't do a FB announcement until much later though, so if you want to send well wishes, please don't do it publicly on FB for now. :-)

Our EDD is 6/13/14 (Friday the 13th, but I'm not superstitious).


Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Yesterday was our 3-day transfer. The clinic was running right on time, so I was happy not to have an extra-long wait like I did last time. I did a 30-minute acupuncture session and right after they checked me in and took me back. Transfer is a lot easier than retrieval and much less involved. No IV, no fasting, and John got to be in the room too (though he did get to wear a sweet surgical outfit, hair net and all).

The doctor on duty talked to me about our embryos and told me we still had both and they were both 8 cells, which was great (most embryos are between 4-10 cells on day 3 with 6+ being more ideal). The embryos are also rated based on fragmentation. Just because an embryo has some fragmentation doesn't mean it won't grow into a normal and healthy baby. We had one fragmented embryo and one embryo with no significant fragmentation (which they said had a "high likelihood of implantation). We decided to transfer both because the risk of multiples is still pretty low, although not impossible. It felt like the right decision for us and we knew the likelihood of the second making it to freeze on day 5 was very low, so we wanted to give it a chance in hopes that it would grow better in its "natural environment." I don't know if that's really true, but it makes me feel better anyway.

My clinic doesn't require any strict bed rest, but I have been mostly on bed rest the last 2 days. I did another 30-minute acupuncture session right after the transfer and then we came home and I have been on the couch or in bed pretty much since. Tomorrow I will probably be up and about more, but I still can't lift anything heavy or do any strenuous activity. I am trying to focus all my positive energy on one or both of our embryos snuggling in cozy for the next 9 months. The next couple of weeks will be nerve wracking yet again, but I am going to try and stay busy, distracted, and positive.