Thursday, January 31, 2019

Home Again!

Our first day in Antepartum, I told DH that my goal was to leave the hospital without memorial bears this time. We have three bears, two given to us when we delivered Alexis and Zoe, and one from Quinn. They're part of the loss program at each hospital we delivered at. Don't get me wrong, I love our bears to death, talk to them, and am grateful to have them. They remind me of our girls, in a good way. That said, I didn't want to add two more because it would mean we'd lost these babies, too.

Today we went home without any bears! Best of all, we went home with me still pregnant! No one can predict how long that will last, but everyone is hopeful we'll get a few more months of inside babies.

Thank you so much for the amazing good wishes and thoughts and prayers - I believe they helped! I'm on work from home restrictions until delivery because I do contract when I'm up and moving, but that's totally do-able! If my uterus can just stay calm for 10 more weeks, all will be well! So, so grateful!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

28 Weeks and Still Pregnant!

I think the whiteboard in our room says it all. 28 weeks today!

Last night was fantastically boring. I have to do monitoring 3 times a day. Morning monitoring showed only one contraction and best of all, it was just a Braxton Hicks! The on-call MFM, who is my absolute favorite and the one who delivered Quinn, says that if I can stay with only BH for two days after the tocolytics stop, I can go home!  She's positive about our chances. Ultrasound tomorrow to check baby weight and cervix length and cerclage tension.

It's hard being here in the same place we were with Quinn, but I'm so glad to have good care and hope for the babies.

Here's my hospital bathroom photo. Haute couture in my pjs!

Send good, calm uterus thoughts to us?

Monday, January 28, 2019

Hospital Again

The title says it all. Woke up around 1:45 to painful, constant contractions. Called the OB at 2:30 when they hadn't stopped. Went to local triage where they confirmed I was actively contracting. Sent by ambulance to the University Hospital. Have done round 1 of betamethasone and am on magnesium and indomethacin. So badly want to keep these babies in, and while contractions have died down, they're not gone. So sad and scared. These babies need to stay inside for so much longer. I knew the risks of prematurity with TAC twins, but I've been counting on 33 to 35, not 28.

Come on, uterus, work with us. Keep them safe.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

27 Weeks!

Amazingly, despite all my fears, we've made it to 27 weeks. I go in for a growth scan on Wednesday, and I'm hopeful baby boy is keeping up with his sister. Ideally they'll both be over 2 pounds by now. I have honestly no idea how my body can hold up for another 10+ weeks. My OB is saying c-section at 38, which is late for TAC twin moms. Heck, it's late for TAC singleton moms! Having said that, I don't really think I'm likely to make it to 38, and if I do and it means no NICU time, that's worth the pain. 

My awesome coworkers gave us a shower last week. It was so deeply meaningful, given our past. With my gluten issues, it's been 10+ years since I've enjoyed a slice of cake with frosting, so I decided to bring my own to the party. I'm actually pretty happy with how it turned out! 

DH and I had round two of 'the talk' this weekend. You know, 'the talk' where you decide on baby names? What, you were thinking of a different talk? ;)  The end result is that I think we've got names we're both happy with. It seems unreal to be giving names to babies who will have to live with them for their entire lives. Also, coming up with a total of four girls' names that DH and I both like is . . . well. . . I have NO idea how those with large families do it! I'm glad our first three girls got names we loved, but it's made it much harder for this little one! I definitely understand why they re-used names in Victorian times.

  How far? 27 weeks!! They pretty much all merit exclamation points by now! :)
  Measuring? I won't know for sure until Wednesday. Hoping to be over 2 lbs by now. 
Size? Cauliflower!
  Heartbeat? We'll see on Wednesday
  Total weight gain/loss: Up 23 to 141. 
  Stretch: No change.
  Sleep: Somewhere between bad and awful. I've reached a point where for the first four or so hours I'm trying to sleep, I wake up every 45 minutes with a combo of acid reflux and vomiting. That's fun when in bed. I'm a lousy sleeper to begin with, and trying to sleep while sitting up isn't working outstandingly well.
  Movements? Kicks, taps, rolls. Love it! The movement is the one bright spot in an otherwise rough pregnancy.
  Cravings? I don't think this is going to happen. Aversions I still have plenty of, but cravings just don't come around. Since I have my GD test this week, I'm trying to go back to my TTC way of eating: no sugar, no processed food. I know that will increase the nausea, but if I do have GD, I'll need to figure out how to eat this way anyhow. Please, please let me pass the one hour.
  Miss? Same as always: I miss feeling good. I miss getting to enjoy this pregnancy, but it's made me so appreciative of Quinn's pregnancy. It's also interesting to see how the intersection between actual physical symptoms and loss impacts my perception of enjoyment. With Alexis and Zoe, I felt this bad, but I was so happy at all points after the CVS because I thought I was bringing home healthy babies. With Quinn's pregnancy, I was more emotionally cautious, but I felt good for about a month and really enjoyed the heck out of that time. This time, with these guys, I feel consistently awful and I'm terrified of another loss. There have been moments, literal moments when the nausea backed off and the pain wasn't there that I was happy and grateful to be pregnant, but this time I can't muster the overall happy I had in 2016, nor the enjoyment from 2017.
  Looking forward to? Being done with our basement reno and seeing the babies again!
  Feeling? Very, very pregnant.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

26 weeks!!

How far? 26 weeks!! 90% shot at survival on the outside! 77 days left, at max.
Measuring? I won't know for sure until the 23rd. Hoping to be just over 2 lbs by now. 
Heartbeat? 140's and 150's.
Total weight gain/loss: Up 21 to 139.   Stretch: No change. 
Sleep: Still no changes. Laying down or standing up mitigates the pain in my ribs, but makes me crampier and leads to hip pain. I've noticed that I've gone from sleep as my refuge to sleep as one more thing to make it through.  Movements? Yep. Baby girl is my active one, I feel her the most. Baby boy is either less active or I just feel him less. He is the only one to kick my cervix, though, because he's a bit lower. I think he flips breech to head down much more often than she does.
Cravings? No. I just feel terrible every time I eat. I've been weaning off the reglan and that's meant a resurgence of nausea. I'm back to first tri mode: feel great for 5 minutes after eating then feel terrible like eating was the worst idea in the world for 2-3 hours, then get hungry again. 
Miss? Not having rib pain. Eating healthy and not retching afterward.  
Looking forward to? Being done with our basement reno and seeing the babies again on the 23rd. 
Feeling? The rib pain is no joke. I'm ok some days, awful others. I also threw up again this weekend. If I thought it was hard not to pee when puking during the first trimester, oh boy did I have no appreciation for what would happen during the second tri! 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Emotions, shadows, and remembrance

When my mom was here, I made the mistake of sharing with her that we were considering naming these babies in honor of their big sisters: Alexander Quinn and Zoe Hope. It's an idea I tossed around. While I'm not super serious about it, it's a possibility. It seems like a way to honor our missing children in a positive way for those who are here. I also said that I am a mom to three, soon to be five, and that's not going to change no matter what. I don't foresee myself mentioning the girls much, but I do intend to celebrate their birthdays each year. I don't want these guys to grow up in anyone's shadow, but I still want to honor my girls. 

A few weeks later my mom informed me that I shouldn't name the new babies after their big sisters. She said it would be too hard for them and they'd always feel subordinate to their missing siblings. She was pretty adamant about it. Mentioned a family friend who lost her first child to SIDS, and whose second child apparently always felt not good enough compared to his missing sister. I recall the second kid - He struggled with learning disabilities and his mom was both strict and a teacher, so perhaps his feelings had more to do with how that was handled than his sister, but who knows?

While I think we'll chose different names entirely of our own volition, the idea that I shouldn't mention my girls to their siblings to prevent them from being shadowed has really eaten at me. 

Last week I attended my pregnancy after loss support group. It's facilitated by a nurse who had a stillbirth many years ago, then two living children. I mentioned the interaction with my mom, and she shared her experience which was super comforting to me. Specifically, she said that she used to celebrate her lost daughter's birthday each year. As her living son got older, he eventually told her that celebrating his sister's birthday made him realize how important HE was - that even if he wasn't there, he'd still be celebrated and loved. For him, it reinforced the notion that family is important, even if not all family members are here with us. 

I love that. That's what I want to give all of my children. The facilitator also mentioned that she'd always set the context with her kids that it's ok to feel any emotion. It's ok to be sad that someone isn't there, and it's ok to not be sad, too. That really struck me, because the belief about emotions that I internalized from my mom was that sadness and grief are not ok, ever. You can be angry, you can be happy, but other than that, you should be strong, and strong women don't grieve. I don't know if that's the message she meant to give me, but it's what I got. It's not how I live my life, and it's not what I want for my kids, so the support group experience was so valuable to me. 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

24 Weeks

It's January. It's January 2019, and that means we've made it to viability. I don't want to meet these kids for ~3 more months, but if anything goes wrong now, they have a good chance of survival. Wow.

I expected to be completely, utterly, 100% thrilled. Instead I was completely, utterly, 100% grateful for these babies, but knock-me-off-my-feet sad that their big sisters couldn't make it this far. Three fiber bands are the difference between survival and not. Three fiber bands are the reason these guys are still safe and Alexis, Zoe, and Quinn aren't. That hurts my heart. That something so simple could have saved my girls, if we'd known back then. I'm not calling the surgery or my recovery simple, but still . . . .

I appear to be reaching the 'uncomfortable' stage of pregnancy, although that's a bit of a joke given how the first tri went for me. Now it's stabbing pain near my gallbladder and ever increasing hip pain at night. I know I'm just at the beginning, so I'm trying not to kvetch too much now, but some kvetching is happening!

How far? 24 weeks!
Measuring? At 23.1, they were 1 lb 4 oz and 1 lb 5 oz. I'm hoping that means we've got 1.5 lb babies by now.
Size? Cantaloupe.
Heartbeat? 140's and 150's.
Total weight gain/loss: Up 20 to 138.
Stretch: No change.
Sleep: Eh. No real changes. Really, really tired all the time. The cerclage makes it painful when my bladder gets full, so up frequently to pee. My hips hurt when I sleep on my sides. It's right where the bursa are, so I'm assuming bursitis, or maybe just pain/pressure due to weight gain? No idea.
Movements? Tons! I love it, although it still freaks me out when baby boy kicks my cervix repeatedly. I tend to holler at him: "don't mess with the exit!"
Cravings? No. Still feel like crap after I eat.
Miss? Fewer burps. Fitting into my normal winter coat!
Looking forward to? Setting up the nursery once the basement reno is done. DH went out and bought the cribs on New Year's Day, so we're on our way.
Feeling? It varies a lot. I had some BAD nausea over the holidays. It seems to have died back again, but I doubt it's gone for good. Bad heartburn and increasing discomfort. Fun times!
Comparisons to last time? No longer relevant, as by last time my babies were gone. So, so grateful to be here.