Monday, August 22, 2005
1. Your belly is NOT the only thing that will grow huge during pregnancy
2. You will get a ton of cellulite
3. You will burp and fart like nothing else
4. Pregnancy is also painful
5. All the lotion in the world won't save you the stretch marks if you are genetically predisposed
6. It will get worse before it gets better
7. As much as you love your little one, sometimes you will wish it came with a muffler
8. There's a good reason men don't have babies
9. You won't necessarily glow and pregnancy might not be the best time in your life
10. The mommy in the baby food commercials, with the clean pajamas, wearing makeup and having perfect hair, a spotless house and a baby who opens his mouth delightfully expecting the next mouthful... DOES NOT EXIST (and most certainly won't be you or me)
(11. Pregnancy lasts 10 months! Not 9!! Add 40 weeks up and see how many months you end up with!)
February 2005 - First AF after supresion
March 2005 - Start of Follistim Cycle 150 units a day
CD 14 reveals 12 eggs around 18mm, lining is 14mm
CD 16 the eggies have grown some but so has the lining
CD 17 we trigger and cross fingers, lining is 17mm (yikes)
Ovulation happens at around 10pm on Monday 14th March
2 week wait - During the 2ww I get moderate to severe OHSS which haunts me till the end of the 1st trimester
8, 9 and 10dpo - Spotting brown and pink and cramping and I think the cycle has failed and I expect AF to show up any minute
12dpo - I see a dream full of young children and in the morning I test and I get my first ever BFP!!! I tell George who does not believe me after all these years and wants to see it verified by someone in a white coat!
14dpo - HCG is 156.4
16dpo - HCG is 222 - we worry about ectopic or something else
20dpo - HCG is 1202
5w 2d - We see a sac and a fetal pole
6w 2d - We have a heartbeat
7w 2d - Baby's H/B is 180bpm
8w 2d - Surprise, surprise, we have TWO babies in there!!!
9w - Emergency U/S due to bleeding - Small placental detachment but babies are ok
12wks 4d - NT test, we were told we probably have two boys in there and we got excellent results. About 1:7000 for T21 and 1:11000 for T13,18
14 wks - REALLY felt babies kick
16wks 4d - Babies are still doing great and weigh more than 5oz each
20 wks - I start feeling the babies from the outside as well
21 wks 2d - Level II scan. Babies are still boys (with a small reservation on baby B) and weigh 14oz approximately. Baby B has reduced amniotic fluid
21 wks 4d - Baby B's amniotic fluid is normal on repeat scan
24 wks 5d - Emergency U/S due to severa abdominal pain. Baby B (John) had wedged his elbow between bowel and uterus!! OUCH
1/9 - Next U/S
I hit 28 wks on 12th September
I have my shower on the 17th September
I will get the steroid shots for babies' lungs at 30 weeks
I will go on bedrest as a precaution on 10/10
Tentative C-section date scheduled for 11/15
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Fast forward to tonight. I was sitting, looking at my belly and had a De ja vu moment as Cody turned sides inside my belly and I saw it happen from the outside. For a second or two, this tennis ball sized head, showed up clear as day as my boy executed his flipping maneuver.
Tears filled my eyes as I watched and felt helpless from the outside, realizing that this is all the separates my tiny, tiny and frail babies from the harsh outside world. Just a few layers of muscle and skin!How can I protect them? Will touching my belly or Beau laying on me, hurt them? What if as he turns, I accidentally hurt him? What if he pokes an eye out on my finger or something? I mean his head was right there!!!
It really, really scared me to the point I started to wail. George came over, laughing as I tried to explain that I just saw our son's head move across my belly and I felt it too!!
After both Cody and I (I am sure his mothers hysterics freaked the boy out!) both calmed down I decided I know exactly what I need!!I need a nice, solid, impenetrable piece of belly armor plating!!!
So... do you think eBay does that??
Sunday, August 14, 2005
I don't really believe I will breed the next Einstein or a miniature Chopin but I will be sure to try... and this kind of expectation and effort seems to start from the womb, especially when coupled with my bottomless (and annoying) anxiety about this pregnancy.
So when we went for our Level II ultrasound at 21 weeks, and the doctor told us everything looks good, everything was were it is supposed to be and apparently functioning, I felt relieved.However when I read the report that our babies were at the 50% percentile (your average, garden variety babies) I was a bit let down.I would have felt SO much better if the doctor had said "your babies are advanced for their gestational age" or "they measure 3 days ahead"...Then there would have been some margin for error. Skipping a meal or not taking a vitamin perhaps... some small assurance that I am not only doing things right, but this pregnancy is going sooo good, my babies are growing like weeds.
I don't really mind they are average. I am average. Average is good... but at least while in the womb can't they do something extraordinary like be big and advanced so in case they are born early, they will have this much more of a chance??
That's all I want for them. A chance! A fighting chance!So here I am 3 weeks past my ultrasound, worrying because last night I forgot to take my iron supplement... because when you are average, you really do need every little piece of leverage you can get!! Right?Look at me... they are not even here yet and I am a pushy mom!! *sigh*
Next ultrasound is 9/1. Hope I have good news to report then too .... hopefully that our babies are now over a pound (which is the average) and that my missing a few days of supplements (preggo brain!) didn't really have any super adverse effects on their growth... :)
I started to wonder why is this so. Why is it that whenever I start a topic about my choices or ask for advise about parenting or immunization or circumcision or AP or anything on how to raise your children, WW3 invariably breaks out? And as it often does, it hit me one day at around 4am...
Because children and child rearing is one of the most sensitive and controversial topics around and one in which opinions seem to bear a remarkable resemblance to a belly button... everybody has one and all are different!!
And I really don't get it!!I mean these are MY children, MY way of life, MY resources, MY opinions...WHY on earth would someone pass judgment and present me with a "fact" without considering my options at ALL?Why would you make me feel like a bad mother if I choose not to breastfeed (or don't manage to) or if I choose to vaccinate or not home school?Do I not want the BEST for my children (and since there is NO "best" rules why is your approach correct and mine isn't?)How can you assume to care more about my children than I do? You haven't even seen my children, my house, or lived a day in my shoes... how can you present your opinion as the absolute-no-doubt-about-it BEST for me and the children?
So for the record, I AM a good mother and so are you!! And THAT'S an indisputable fact!!Why?
Because we all dreamt about our babies.Because we all cried when we saw the heart beating for the first time and jumped with joy when we felt the first kick.Because we all bit our nails right to the bone when we were told there might be some problem with our baby and we felt exhilarated with joy when the problem resolved.Because we all put our babies before us and in the end the reason we ask, the reason we share experiences and the reason we look for the "best", is because we all are good mothers and our babies are lucky to have us..
Just don't use that tone of voice when you advise or share your thoughts with others.You are not God and you can most certainly be wrong or it might be that your views and advise are not suitable for any given situation... and what might work for you, might not work for me.And for Love's sake, please, don't put down other mothers or mothers to be, and make them feel bad or unsure about their choices or parenting styles...Because at the end of the day its their children and their lives and you cannot live it for them... all you can do is provide guidance... gentle and open minded guidance and that's all...
Of course reality has proven to be totally different than my fantasy ;)
Well my husband is very loving, caring and adoring but he won't go anywhere near Mothercare. Nor will he tell me to stay put in the couch if there is something he needs and I can get for him ;)And of course we do not have the money to spend on the most expensive baby stuff. In fact we don't have any money for baby stuff and if it wasn't for friends and caring family my babies would sleep in laundry baskets!!
But what really throws me in for a loop is this emotional rollercoaster I can't control.One moment I am ecstatic and optimistic, the next I am down at the very bottom of the pit of despair...
Plus lately I have been having dreams that disturb me.My babies never get born and if they do, they turn into animals or I loose them and can't find them, or I forget to feed them or something and I wake up in a state of panic.
The physical side of this pregnancy is also starting to get me down. I am turning into this big, immobile person, contantly in pain to the point I had a couple of thoughts that this will be my last pregnancy. The possibility of this condition I have, to become permanent, restraining me for the rest of my life while having surgery after surgery to correct the problem is scary to say the least.Yet the love I have for those little creatures inside of me is so big and so vast, I don't think it can fit inside of me anymore which is certainly the reason why I am expanding.
But really, my emotions are a rollercoaster. One minute I am as excited as a school girl on her first date and the next I am terrified of the change these babies will bring in my life.I am terrified of something happening to them. I have said it a million times already. I am terrified of things with scary names like Gestational Diabetes, Pre-E, PROM... I don't want my babies to be born early!! I want my babies to be born big and healthy at 38 weeks... and I want to be physically able to take care of them!!I don't want to argue with my mother in law and fight for my right to be the sole (with hubby) caregiver for my babies and the one who makes the decisions on how the babies are raised and how I handle them...
I want to keep them safe and sound and happy and healthy and I want to raise them to be good people.And at times I am sure I will but then again there are times I am mortified!!This pregnancy is turning out to be an emotional and physical rollercoaster ride...
And like any rollercoaster ride it might scare the heck out you or make you sick but you smile afterwards and maybe, a few years later, when you have forgotten how you threw up in front of a crowd or you were scared to death and all you remember is the exhilaration of the ride... then you might as well ride the rollercoaster again.
I woke up in a state of panic this morning wondering "whose babies are these?"
I went to bed at around 2am but woke up at 3.30am and again at 5am. Deciding that I was not comfortable and with the boys kicking up a storm inside of me, I left the bed (and poor George who I had almost pushed off the bed in an effort to find a comfortable spot which resulted in me lying diagonally in bed) and had an early snack as I sat in the couch, flipping through the channels and deciding there is absolutely nothing worth watching at 5am I finally dragged myself back to bed at around 7am.
This time I did get comfortable and I fell into a deep sleep...I briefly woke up at 8am to remind George that Beau was crying because he was hungry and fell back asleep.
The dream started with me being on vacation in our family's ranch in Crete.I haven't been there in 8 years but I spent the first 17 years of my life there, every summer with no exception.I was with my parents and my brothers and my best friend from school.Everybody was at their correct age but our house was by the sea instead of in the mountains.In in the dream I found myself looking through a maternity store picking out PINK clothes with my mother who was not herself, meaning she was actually interested and sweet.
After a while I found myself in a state of panic. Whose babies were these?I was SURE I had a boyfriend and he was the father of my children (girls) but who was he?? I tried to remember, I started asking my friend and my brothers but nobody could remember who was he...Plus there was a good looking stranger flirting me but because I was sure these were somebody else's babies I semi-blew him off while I went in search of my mysterious lover and father of my twin girls!
My best friend however wasted no time and I think she hooked up with him.There was me dancing by the seaside, a scorpion I saw in the bathroom and other things but as the time went by I became more and more frantic in my search and at some point I was outright crying.How could I let it happen? I would be a single mother of twins! I couldn't find the babies' father and worse yet I couldn't even remember who he was!!
I woke up crying with the question "whose babies are these?" still in my lips and I scurried off to the living room (as fast as a heavily pregnant woman can scurry off) where George, the father of my twins and husband, was at his computer, typing away.I was awash with relief and I cuddled up to him.
The time was 13.11pm when I woke.It has been the deepest and most rejuvenating sleep I had in weeks!Even if I managed to loose and forget about my husband somewhere in between!!
The couple in the book and film do not conceive while we are watching, unlike the author and his wife, as stated at the foreword, but they both end with a promise for another try and maybe... a baby.The book was brilliant and I laughed out loud many a times (though some words made me pause... who uses the word "blokey" and "Mawkish" these days!?) and I admit I reached for the dictionary twice... Apparently its been a long time since I left Scotland!The reason I didn't like the movie was that it totally missed the mark and the point of the book. The movie was about infertility yes but it didn't touch me at all. The book did...
However the film made me realize in full color what is happening here.
While I am racing through this pregnancy (week 23 already) at break neck speed, so has my counter part, George. At least in the psychological part of it.
As my bank account drained, so did his.When my phone got disconnected because I couldn't pay it, so did his.As I lay there for an ultrasound crossing fingers and toes to the point of cramping, wishing with all my might everything is alright, so does he..So he doesn't want to look at cribs, and he doesn't really care what color the nursery will be but that does not mean he doesn't care about this pregnancy and his sons...
Good thing I realized that too... Makes me a whole less mad at him and a whole lot more fair :)
Let me explain: Imagine this. Heavy pregnant lady. With twins.... With SPD in a severe form. Sleepless for nights except catnaps. Exhausted.
Said lady tries to get comfy in bed. She carefully places her pregnancy pillow in a U-shape for her head and shoulders, being careful so that she doesn't bump her head on the head board as she sleeps. She then places a stack of pillows so she can life her pelvis off the mattress and some to go under her knees...
She sits on the side of the bed between the carefully constructed pillow-nest.She now contemplates turning and actually lying down.She half turns her body but her legs weigh a ton and no matter how much she tries she can't swing them over the mountain of pillows... She returns her body in its original position and grabs a leg with both hands and manually drapes it over the pillow mountain... She does the same for the other leg...And wishes her legs came with built-in handles... that would make the whole grabbing-lifting-draping thing a whole lot easier...
As soon as the legs are where they are supposed to be, she lays herself down and gets comfy... The whole ritual takes about 30 minutes... it doesn't matter anyway. In about 2 hours from now, she will be wide awake again.Her pelvis will not be on fire but her tailbone will most certainly be...
And that will be the end of her night-time sleep...C'est la pregnancy!! :)
Friday, July 29, 2005
Stupid SPD! I swear, its the worst part of this pregnancy!!
Have you ever broken a bone or severely sprained a joint?
Do you remember how the pain drove you blind and made you totally nauseous?? Its one of the worst pains and I put up with it last year for about 6 months when I had the accident and busted my knee.
That's what SPD feels like only its not on a limb you can prop up or somehow not use much... Its right there, your pelvis and no matter what movement you engage in, you have to move your pelvis and until your ligament has gone Jell-O, you don't even know this is actually two pieces of bone.
So when my OB told me not to sleep on my back, I knew it was impossible.
It is the ONLY position I can even get a couple of hours of sleep. I tried turning over onto my side but it was impossible. I screamed bloody murder from the pain until stars were shooting before my very eyes.
However after an only 2 hour nap (which was supposed to be my 6-8 hour sleep at night), my tail bone started hurting like crazy. I could no longer stay in bed so I got up...
But now I could no longer sit down in the couch because... you guessed it!
My tail bone was sore from the pressure!!
So I start walking around the house. I am pretty miserable at this point. I am tired, hot, I had a long day and I have yet another long day ahead of me.
I need to clean the house because the A/C people are coming in to install a new unit and also I am getting my toe nails done because.... you guessed it!
My belly is getting in the way of me cutting my nails and the only shoe I can wear are flip flops which you can't wear unless you have pretty toes...
So here I am sleepless for silly reasons (I mean, it would be ok if a baby woke me up) hot, grumpy, ravenous and worried when George wakes up...
And here we start a fight at 6am because he gained weight (and its my fault) and his white uniform doesn't quite fit him, the shirt is not pure white (apparently he says our washing machine is not working or my choice in cleaning products is poor - however the shirt looked FINE to me plus its brand new and I only washed it once) and a ton of other things.
He is screaming at me at 6am!!
I can understand him being worried about presenting himself in an anything but perfect white uniform and he just got transferred and its his first day in the new service but geez!!
Thankfully I am getting better at handling his crises and me being pregnant and all, he can't hit me or throw something at me... not that he has done it many times, mind you, he is not an ogre!!
Eventually he left for work... and its now 6.50am and here I am, debating whether I should go out now or wait until later and of course I am not feeling my absolute best but hey, I am not complaining.
As soon as the day is done, I will get my sleep. I will even pop a couple of Panadols for the pain and hopefully sleep (upright this time) for 4 hours in the afternoon.
I am off to make me some coffee and start cleaning the house.
Good day everyone
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Dr. Luke's words that when you are carrying twins, not all news will be good news, kept circling in my head these past few weeks and I often wondered what my "bad" would be.
So when today we had our level II anatomy scan, I nearly passed out when the tech told us that there is borderline low amniotic fluid around one baby.
And I heard the virtual shoe drop with a "clonk" on the wooden floor.
Somehow I found my voice and I asked the first question that came to mind: "How are the kidneys, the blood flow to them and the abdomen?"
There was a chance the baby had some malformation or kidney problem and wasn't peeing, thus creating less fluid.
But all was well in that department.
If there is a problem, said the tech, it lies with the placenta.
It is funny how one's perception can change within seconds.
I did have my reservations about this test, like I was expecting to hear something was off.
I had posted several times over the past few days in forums, telling my friends how worried I was. Worried, instead of excited!!
Like I had a feeling something would be off...
We were told to come back for a repeat scan and the first thing I did when I got dressed, was to call my doctor and tell him. He said things were probably fine. I have an appointment with him in two days.
George was white as a sheet and really worried too plus we saw one of the babies actually cry (no sound - sound does not travel in fluid). They do cry in the womb, practising their vocal cords and all. We could see his mouth open and close and his tongue tremble. Amazing!!
George thought he heard crying but I think it was his imagination...
I love my boys so much!!! I don't want anything to happen to them!!
I will do anything, ANYTHING so they can be safe!!
As I sit here and write, they kick me and I hope that means "hey mommy, we are alright, don't worry" .. but telling a mommy not to worry is like telling the sun not to rise each day. It comes with the territory.
I started drinking more water. Its controversial if this actually offers any real benefits but at least I will give it a try. Hopefully on Wednesday we will get a diagnosis too.
Sorry I can't write more, I am exhausted!!
Please pray our little boy pulls out of this as low amniotic fluid can actually be really, really bad for him... even life threatening!!
Thank you in advance for your prayers!!
Sunday, July 24, 2005
I am trying to write this as the cat is running around the appartment in a state of frenzy!
His tail is all fluffed up, his eyes open wide and he keeps bolting from one room the next like the Devil is out to get him. Pretty funny really if you consider the fact that he has already tripped over himself two or three times and has managed to knock my Nikes all the way to the hallway!!
I had a peculiar day so far. Slept late, woke up early as George got (noisily) ready to report to the base as he is on duty tonight. I couldn't get back to sleep after he'd left so I just hung around the couch, watching cartoons.
He called me a couple of hours later just as I had decided that I could use another couple of hours of sleep, to give me a "brillian" decorating idea he had... or rather "rearrange the house" idea.
You see, we have a small appartment, with two small bedrooms. The living room, kitchen and balcony are really big but the bathroom and bedrooms are just big enough to be functional, not recreational. I guess the architect who designed the building thought we would be spending most of our time in the living room which we do so as long as a bed and a bookcase fit in the other rooms, well that's all you needed. (btw, thats ALL our bedroom can accommodate, a double bed and a small bookcase)
So you see, we need to empty the second bedroom which now serves as my workroom and George's computer station, and transform it into the nursery.
But the room is packed to the ceiling we stuff and even if I say I will eliminate everything I don't really need, that leaves me with a small problem.
There are about a million things I do need in order to work and I can't stop working because I bring 60% of the family's income into the house and duh, there is no way in Hell to make ends meet without my income.
But George wasn't the least bit worried about that. All he cared about was where he is going to put his computers and router, and wireless whatsa-ya-call-it!!
So he started telling me of his wonderful plan how we will re-arrange the living room so instead of a presentable living room, it would be turned into a crowed, horrible room just so that he can fit his computers in. No mention of where my work stuff will go...
We spent an hour on the phone trying to solve this and of course George reacted in his usual manner when you gave him an objection "Fine, we'll do it your way or rather, I will throw everything out..." and mentally stumped his foot like a 5 year old.
In the end it was decided after my suggestion that the computers will go into our bedroom. The TV will have to go of course but who needs it?
Its ok, I can sleep with radiation all night, right?
So it seems I've managed to keep my living room as is which is a good thing because I had planned for that space near the window, to put the babies' swings there so I can keep an eye on them while still doing chores. If I can afford the swings that is... Because then the subject of money had to be brought up... Apparently I need to raise a few thousand dollars by October because I need to pay for the babies. No mention of what George will do to get more money. He just said "its not the right time to look for a second job right now" and left it at that. I started crying because for a second it all seemed so overwhelming! I told him that maybe he would be better off without me. I should take off and go, he can keep the house and my car and everything, I don't care. It will be better for him without me. He didn't much want the kids anyways so he won't be actually missing something, right? I will be taking a load off his shoulders.
How am I supposed to come up with a whole year's worth of salary in 2 months, still spend my allocated hours on bedrest, still do the housework and on top of paying pretty much everything including the car insurance and repairs on my car which he is driving (and he even ripped the seat fabric the other day to add to the loooong list of damages to my car!) I will need to close out a $4000 loan I had taken out when I was living alone (before getting married) AND save up about $5000-6000 so that I can pay the hospital I will be giving birth to if all goes well, in November.
All that has to be done with my job which is basically selling on eBay! The economy in Greece sucks anyway, no way I am getting a job and if I do it will be a $500 a month job. Wellfare is not available because George makes just enough to surpass the limit and we are not considered "poor" (he makes around $10,000 a year but half each month go towards our mortgage) and NOBODY will hire a heavily pregnant woman and I do mean NOBODY. And with my bedrest orders what kind of job could I possibly be doing that wouldn't endanger my babies??
Except my current job of course which can be done from home and under my rules...
After that I finally went into a fitfull sleep for another two hours when I was awaken by George's mom who thought calling at 4pm is a good idea... well its not! Its "quiet time" here and I am supposed to stay in bed 4 hours a day in addition to the 8-10 I must be sleeping at night, because I have contractions and doc wants me in bed!! And while in bed, I sleep...
Then I got to looking around the appartment realizing that a year from now and imagining how my life will change.
Its so funny when you have been trying for so long, wanting and longing for so long but when the time came, all Hell broke loose and what you knew, no longer stands.
I sometimes feel like an acrobat, trying to keep her balance on a tight rope people keep juggling.
I sometimes wish I could "freeze" time so that I could do more things and then have the babies when I was ready. But you are never ready, are you?
With the economy the way it is in Greece NOBODY has any money any more. I think the Americans would deem us poorer than their poor people and it would be true.
Its not that I, in particular didn't prepare for the babies financially. There was nothing to put aside after the month was done and the pregnancy though we tried, took us by surprise.
I mean, we did try for a baby, but success was not for sure. It hadn't happened in two years why would it work now, you know what I mean?
And besides, I reason, who tells me that next year things will be any better or the year after that? Maybe this was our last chance. Things have certainly be getting steadily worse over the years anyway...
I was suddenly overcome by a feeling of desperation. I silently prayed that God somehow made me not needing any sleep at all and not suffering any side effects when the babies came because my future did not seem anything like a rose colored commercial of baby food.
All I could think about was "how will I find the time and the energy to look after two kids and work at the same time"??
I don't want my mother in law raising my children! This is absolutely out of the question!! She didn't even raise her own kids and she is a weird, mean person sometimes.
How do I work around it? I gotta find a way. How I wish I could grow another set of arms!!
George I don't count on. He seems to be dumping everything on me and only worry about his own stuff. Its not that he doesn't love me but every time he talks to me there is an accusing tone to what he says, like he depended on me and I somehow screwed it up...
At times like these horrible, horrible thoughts cross my mind and I am sure to burn in Hell for them or worse... I keep thinking that I will run away, not for my sake but for his. I am such a burden, I keep thinking. And then the babies kick or move and I am so in love with them!!
I want to move Heaven and Earth for them, and I just can't seem to find a way out. And its all about stupid money. I swear, if I had a time machine I would go back in time and find whoever discovered the damn thing and smack him until his head spin so much, he wouldn't even remember his own name, let alone money.
Sigh... I am off to get some work done I supposed. Not easy when its 100 F in the house. We have no A/C and its a hot, hot summer... But it has to be done.
I just need to keep an eye out for contractions and if I have any, I need to get back in bed...
Wish me luck!
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Gestational Age 21 weeks
Place: Embryo Diagnostic Unit
Purpose of visit: Level II Anatomy Scan of Twin Pregnancy
I mean YIKES!!! Could they get me MORE nervous about this??
Only 6 days left... 6-frigging-days-left until....
Until I get to see my babies?
Until I get told that my babies are fine, I am feeding them enough, they have all the right parts in all the right places?
Until I get told that no I am actually not feeding them enough and they are starving little skeletons in there?
Get a grip Tina!!!
Ok mental check!
Had my last scan on week 16. The boys were doing great!
They had nice little brains, ten fingers, ten toes, rib cages, closed spines. Good weight, even measured ahead...
Did I screw up since then?
I mean I don't eat much nowadays. I have no apetite. I even forgot my prenatals a few times and with all the iron supplements I have to get, forget about getting any calcium in since every 4 hours I have to pop an iron pill least I wish to undergo a transfusion!!
I mean surely I must have done something wrong in those 4 weeks since my last scan, that would have catastrophic consequences on my two little ones!!
I am such a horrid mother already!!!
I am also highly hormonal so please excuse me while I go around mopping about my misfortune!
I'll get over it! I hope.
I mean... if there was something wrong, they should have seen it, right?
I saw logn bones and they looked long to me and straight... I saw brains with nice lobes and all. I saw hands and feet and everything. Babies looked... perfect!!
I mean, bad things don't just happen from one day to the next right?
Yet I am freaking out!!
This is the part where my hormone filled brain flips a switch and I go from "Logical" to "irrational" in a matter of miliseconds. You gotta love pregnancy!!
As a matter of fact right now, I do. This is my "calm before the storm" moment... where storm is my 3rd trimester, 7 weeks away, and calm is that I feel quite like a healthy human being again!!
Oh and before I go I decided that if no medical reasons arise, I will demand that I try to deliver my babies vaginally!!
I won't go for an elective c-section though my doc has been pushing for one.
I decided I am too young this is my first pregnancy and I do not wish to be cut unless I absolutely have to... I will give this old body of mine, a chance!!
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
There is a TV series out there called "Incoceivable", where the IF struggles of couples are presented through a series of "funny" events... Like: "Oops, we mixed up the embryos and the A/A couple are having a white baby!" and many more.
I get so mad at this I don't think I can even put it into words but I will try.
First of all, who the H*ll is their scientific advisor?
In which countries do these "mix ups" happen??? Certainly NOT where I live so if indeed they happen in the USA (where the series is made) then I am sorry to say, YOU ARE SO BEHIND IN THAT AREA!!!
Half the things they say and present as "facts" in these series, are NOT true thus they are feeding b*llshit to the public and terrible misinformation.
I am sorry but I don't get it! How can something like this be allowed and they don't get sued when Starbucks had to put a warning on each and every paper cup that your HOT coffee is INDEED hot and may burn your mouth if you gobble it down!?
I mean, PUH-LEEZ!!!
No offence to my American friends, you know how much I love you but things like these make me question some people's I.Q.!!!!
The series seems to imply that the doctors and nurses working for this center of ART, are more interested in getting into each other's panties, that they totally screw up work-wise... and I feel SO sorry for those TV patients who go there, placing their dreams in a doctor's hands every cycle...
Would you watch a TV series that made fun of cancer???
Where people would go to a hospital to be treated for terminal cancer but where the doctors totally messed up and then went "oops". Would you find THAT funny in any way??
I bet you wouldn't because I bet you know of someone who died of cancer or maybe its something that still MIGHT happen to you (God forbid).
Hey! I mean, you just think, that its JUST that you can't have kids.
Big deal. Adopt one!! Right?
WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!!!!!!!!!
Infertility is a DISEASE of the body and the mind much like cancer!
Its debilitating, its viscious and it affects EVERYONE around you... and in so many levels you won't believe and guess what? Its spreading!! It might happen to your children or your grandchilren, male and female and its certainly not funny.
Just one look at the faces of women and men who go through ART procedures in order to achieve what others have achieved with no trouble (and good for them, no hard feelings for crying out loud!)
A baby all of your own!!
You take one look at them, at real people, people next door, people you work with, who sleep and wake and breathe with the hope of a child or a pregnancy and you will know its not funny at all.
You cannot learn to live with it... there is no "life" as we know it with infertility in play. Just like your whole perception of life changes if you find out you are dying of cancer.. its like that.
So when you make a "comedy" out of something so serious as infertility, I am sorry, but I think you ARE A MORON!!! (who apparently has never gone through IF)
All I can do is shake my head at you and feel sorry for you... because apparently you were born with only half a brain and no heart.
I am infertile but at least I am whole...
Shame on you!!!
Friday, July 08, 2005
I couldn't figure oute why, because I have been hot, and gloomy and irritable all day, mostly because of our financial situation.
We are going to visit some friends who had their baby recently and I promised dessert. Only problem is, I have no money to buy them something.
However in my fridge there is a pan of traditional Greek dessert, with only two pieces missing. The thought crossed my mind that I should just put some pieces in a Tupper and tell them its homemade (hence the lack of a fancy wrapping). I mean... how pathetic is that?
On the other hand it will go to waste, as there is no way either of us will finish it before it goes bad...
But back to my husband.
So he came bouncing in the house and I "wagged" tail like a happy dog at the sight of him. I love my hubby...
He kissed, hugged and playfully nimbled my shoulder and then he plopped on the couch and fell right asleep.
I didn't blame him. He was up since 5am and drove a long way in our very old, without A/C, car, in afternoon traffic to get here... so I let him sleep while I went about getting my veal and mashed potatoes ready...
It wasn't long before I too was plopped on the couch right along with him, reading my new book (Incoincivable), when my eyes wandered and fell on his sleeping form, all 6 feet of him in his white t-shirt and white underwear... his skin, darker than mine, (we are often referred to as the chocolate and vanilla couple - not because he is A/A, but because I am as white as milk!) was in contrast to the white couch and white underwear... I loved his his legs, which are quite long, are covered in fine hairs in just the right amount. He does not look like an ape, but he is hairy... in just the right way a manly man should be in my opinionn.
One of the things I absolutely love about him, are his long, long delicate fingers. Not feminine delicate, but strong delicate... the hands of someone with just the right balance of romanticism and silent strength.
I also love how long his eyelashes are and I often wish our children will inherit them.
These are the eyelashes those Maybeline models on TV are trying very hard (with the firm's help) to achieve (but to no avail - sorry girls!)
His hair is dark brown. Not black! Just dark brown and straight and he has a full head of it. This is the kind of hair that says "I won't go bald until I'm 70!" and I like that too!!
His nose is straight but not long... just the right length. Its not bulbous and its not flat. Its ... just right!
He has dark eyebrows that are neither too thick or too feminine and are long, going over the entire eye. They usually rest in an almost straight line on his brow and I love that; it gives him a child-like apperance!
His mouth is small but with full lips and I love how he smiles. He has straight teeth! When he smiles, he get dimples on his cheeks!! So cute!
And then we come to his eyes, which are closed in sweet slumber at the moment.
They are a dark, chocolate brown and their shape is almond... not cat like! Just almond shape.. He is my chocolate man! And I so love almost milk chocolate!!
His eyes are "tender" as my mother once said. I love brown eyes because they always seem so warm, like hot coccoa... and my husband's eyes are just that... you could drown in them and they are big, big, big too!!
People often tell us we look like brother and sister. We have many common features. Our noses are similar, our eyes are the same shape, we both have the same long lashes (though his are richer) and our mouth and face shapes are similar too.
The say good couples look alike...
We have our differences. Some times it feels like we want the same things but have totally opposite ways of achieving them.
He is more reserved, less dangerous and more trusting than I am.
I will go straight for what I want and won't stop until I get it but I will change tactics to suit my needs and situations.
He will go after what he wants, slowly, kindly, in the same fashion, over and over again and then he will wait for it patiently until it lands right on his lap.
He is willing to wait, I am not. I want it and I want it yesterday!! And I will get it at every cost...
He is more willing to let things go than I am...
Also (and thats my only regret) he almost never judges me whilst I am more than ready to judge or some times to belittle him in my anger... But he takes it in stride and I then feel terrible about it.
He too has his outbursts, I am not a total bitch you know. His anger will flame and he will fly off the handle in an instant. He seems to think that every conversation is a debate he must win and its really hard to talk to him about things, especially when it comes to money (he is very insecure about that but a good spender). I must find the right time and place to make conversation if I want any chance of it going remotely well.
But at the end of the day, when all is said and done, we love each other, we are in love with each other and we will sleep, tightly holding each other.
I feel... empty without him and I cannot imagine my life without him. Its like he is not a person anymore but an extension of my own self very much needed and essential to life, like my heart or my lungs.
I sometimes wonder what the future will bring and I wish we will be together and pull through the tides, twists and turns of time and if we will grow old and die together, like my grandparents did.
The fact that my parents are divorced and my fear I have more of my mother than I wish to admit, inside of me, scares me to death.
I hate how sometimes I feel let down, when we are facing a problem and he seems to be doing nothing.. is he really doing nothing? Or is this brain of his working overtime to solve it, while I go flailing about frantically working on a solution?
I don't know.. but I know my mom was like that and she always felt let down by my father.
True both my husband and father share a more relaxed view of life than I do.. but what makes me think my view is the proper one?
At least I am willing to talk and sort things out... my mom wasn't.
But I do remember a time when they were kissing by the fridge and she looked happy.
Now she says she never loved him or wanted to marry him... and I wonder.
If that love could grow could over the years, will mine too?
Will I ten years from now, throw him out like she did?
I pray to God to give me the wisdom and the strength and everything else I might need to keep this love alive, this marriage alive, this family together, because no matter how different we are, I have a wonderful hubby that many women can only dream of or read about in Harlequins...
And he is good looking too!! (slight pot belly and all!)
I got really lucky first time around... how many women can say that?
I know my mom can't...
For the Love of George I would do anything!
Thursday, June 30, 2005
They way we were brought up as little girls?
Always told one day we would have kids because that's what we're supposed to do?
Or is it something that came in our X chromosome, along with our hair and eye color and pre-dispositon to certain things?
Personally I think its a combination of all of those, that made me wanna have kids ever since I was about 30 inches tall. What stopped me from having them sooner than 27, was logic (and a two year battle with infertility)...
The knowledge I couldnt' possibly bring a child into the world at the age of 17 or 19 or 21, or at least before I put a roof over our heads and before I learned how to stand on my own two feet and fend for myself.
I think I managed that and found a father for them, when I got married at 23... so when we started trying, my sole drive had been ... motherhood!!
I was finally close to my dream.
As fate would have it, it took a while and more than the two of us but hey, we managed and all that is behind us now.
Don't get me wrong, I love being pregnant most of the time. Ok I do have my nagging times when my pelvis hurts, or when I can't sleep... when morning (all day long) sickness comes, when I have to pee every hour or so while watching a movie at the cinema but hey, my choice, right? I mean, I wanted this.
Have you really ever thought past pregnancy? I mean really thought about what happens when that child is no longer inside of you but becomes an individual?
Sure you might say... I am thinking newborns, diapers, first Christmas, first birthday... pink bows and cute tiny baseball outfits. Playgrounds, kindergarten... Sure I have thought about it.
I have too. Only most of the times my dreams venture elsewhere. I think about sleepless nights when I can't soothe my children and I feel like a terrible, terrible person because a) I can't take their crying away and make them happy again and b) because inspite all my love and devotion for my children there are times I wished them gone, even for a few hours so I could ... just... get... some... sleep!!!
I dream about twins crawling... in different directions, both equally dangerous, and me all alone smack dab in the middle trying to figure out who is crawling the fastest so I can grab him first.
I'm thinking no more movies with friends, no more staying up, dancing all night... I will be a mom and do mommy stuff... and sometimes, just sometimes, the thought terrifies me.
What if I screw up? What if my kids grow up to be villains? What if they hate me!? How will I keep them safe from the worries and the harms of this world?
But then, my pregnant, hormonal brain quiets down and I think that most of my mommy friends seem happy in their new roles. They hook up with more mommies and they become a happy mommy group. They enjoy their children and still love them after a sleepless night. And if they can do it, heck, maybe just maybe, I will manage too!!
Then a new thought pops in my head and its even more convincing. God, choose me to carry these babies and be their mommy and surely He knows better and sees further than lowly me. So surely, He wouldn't put this upon my shoulders if He didn't know they were strong enough.
But was it really God who chose me, or did He too got tired of my constant praying for a child that He decided much as I will do in the future, to just get me what I want so I would quit this insesant nagging?
And in case you are wondering, you are a mommy since the time you conceive. You show all the mommy characteristics anyway.
Suddenly yourself means nothing as long as your child is alright.
You provide for him by taking care of his environment (your body).
You worry about him, you sing to him, you buy him stuff, you want only the best for him and you love, love, love, love him with all the power of your little heart. You would give your own life just to make sure his has spared and you try to build an environment where he will live comfortably and happy for a long, long time...
And hey... this love is blind 'cause you haven't even met the kid yet... but your love and your bond is so strong that nothing, ever will break it...
My doctor recently told me that motherhood is a blank check and he is so right...
I even told my husband that if something would go wrong during delivery they should choose the babies over me... period!!
Yeah motherhood frightens me at times.. but somehow, I am sure... almost... that I will manage. All I need now, is a good nanny!! (and a lasting prescription for Valium... and some earplugs and...)
Sweet dreams boys!
Saturday, June 25, 2005
I have been trying really, really hard to understand him. WHY is he acting like this all of a sudden?
WHY will he sleep and sleep and sleep, when there's work to be done and NO money (unless the job is done!)??
Why all of a sudden he is this changed person that seems to care about NOTHING, worries about everything but really does nothing about it?
And then I figured it out!
My husband is PREGNANT!!
I heard it once or twice, about husbands "acting" pregnant while their wives really were pregnant but I thought of it as something of an urban myth.
He was so hard working, so full of energy before I got pregnant and now all of a sudden, I can't work as much as I did, so we suffer financially and instead of him picking up the slack, he quits now of all times, his second job, comes home and sleeps the day away and refuses to do any paying job but prefers to sit at the computer the rest of the day, just surfing the net or constantly being involved with a free computer forum someone dumped on him.
I had tried long and hard to understand his point of view. But as the months roll by and our financial situation is becoming worse, my tummy bigger and our unpaid bills more and more, my anger is also inflating...
I keep asking him how will we manage, how are we going to find $$$ to buy at least the very basics for the babies (at this point let me say that all my fancy dreams about getting them the "best" have flown out the window.. I will be happy with the "cheapest") and he just shrugs it away! So I came to the conclusion that he thinks being pregnant is something that happens to the father too... only he got it all wrong. Pregnancy happens first in the father's wallet... but it seems to him its happening in his head!!
Its like he suddenly became pregnant and even has my symptoms. He sleeps all day, only has time for the "fun" stuff, avoids the telephones because he has unfinished projects and people actually chase after him to get what they are paying for... sometimes its just too much.
Even his own mother does not recognize him!!
I said, ok its phase he will grow out it.. but the months roll by and no change.
And all this time this worry builds up inside of me as the unpaid bills pile up and I wonder how I will find the money... I work little by little but I am just NOT making enough and I can't work more hours!! I need his financial input too!
The funny thing is, the guy that dumped the computer forum that takes up all his free time, on his lap, did so because he had to find a 9-5 job because his wife is pregnant and can't work anymore!!!!!
I mean, COME ON!!!
The unpaid bills and the sudden deflation of my "best of everything for my babies" dreams, have lead me to believe its all my fault. I am not working enough and now its the time I should be working more and more to cover the needs of the kiddos. I feel guilty when I have no energy or when my pelvis hurts so much I can't sit in a chair for another minute, and I don't work. I feel like I should be working and working and working... When what I really should be doing is enjoying this pregnancy.
I don't mind not buying the "best" for my kids. Right now the cheapest will do and I know some of my family will chip in and get most of the stuff we need. If I have to, I will buy second hand or get hand me downs... Not really what I had in mind for my boys, not really how I had this pregnancy all planned in my head but hey... I am a flexible person.. Plans change and in the end it doesn't matter where the kids will sleep or if they get matching outfits or if their diapers are Pampers or no-name from the bulk store, as long as they get some type of bed, something to wear and something to keep them mostly dry at night.
I will manage...
However I can't help it but to be choked up in tears sometimes when I see my dreams of a matching everything baby room or the wonderful twin stroller I wanted to buy or those wonderfully painted cribs, wash away. Its probably pregnancy hormones and besides I will need that money to pay the hospital anyway (praying that my babies don't need to stay in the NICU!!) and in the end what's more important? My babies' health or the matching quilt and bumper set from Carter's John Lennon collection?
Yeah... we'll be alright, just the boys and me. We'll be a team, they'll understand and I really don't need more than the 2 maternity pants I have, the 3 maternity bras, the two pairs of comfy underwear and the 4 t-shirts, right? Its wash one, wear the other anyway. Two is enough.
And ok, I don't really need new shoes just because my feet are swollen and bigger, I can just wear my flip flops all summer. Who will notice?
Heck! I don't even need to repair the car brakes my husband broke. They are squeaky but they work... more often than not. And I CERTAINLY don't need to go to a movie once a week either or fill up the super market cart with crap like, flavored corn flakes and extra fruit. The regular no name brand will do just fine. Besides, I am fat, I could use to loose some weight..
And I will get to pay my bills and my insurance this month somehow... and heck, if they cut the electricity, maybe my husband will have to leave the house and actually get someplace with electricity and get some work done and bring home some $$$.
And lastly, we don't really need to convert the one room we have in our tiny appartment into a baby room! Hubby's computers can stay... we can put the babies's cribs by the patio door in our living room (which is connected to the kitchen, its one big room actually). They will get plenty of sun and they will learn to live with the TV or radio on and sleep through anything. And when they grow up we can send them to live with my mother in law. She has a spare room in her house... or will have once my sister in law moves out!!
The important thing is that I have my health and my sanity.... right? RIGHT??
Friday, June 24, 2005
I saw you the other day as we both waited in the waiting room and I recognized you immediately though I had never seen you before.
You were looking at my round belly which I was stroking absent-mindedly and your eyes shone with a mix of emotions of longing and disappointment.
I wanted to say something but I couldn't. Did you even want to hear from me? Would you think "how can she possibly know, all blissful and pregnant, what I am going through?"
So I stayed quiet and tried to send some of my positive result vibes your way.
I wanted to tell you that I recognized you because not so long ago, I was you.
I too struggled with IF, I too looked with mixed emotions at pregnant bellies and newborn photos, not quiet able to believe one day this would be me.
And as we both sat in the waiting room, me waiting to see my babies again in ultrasound, you waiting for yet another treatment to begin, I wanted to reach out and talk to you, and say "It will happen!! Just have faith" but I felt out of place.
So, I am writing you this letter to let you know that you can beat infertility and you can have children!! Its a long war most times and some times you will loose battles, even more than the ones you will win, but even if it feels the road is never ending, its not true.
It does happen to women like you and like me. We too can become mothers; it only takes a little more effort, a little different means but it does happen everyday, all around the world.
Just because it didn't work the first time, it doesn't mean it never will.
I wish I could reach out and hold you but I felt like I might be invading and my round belly might get in the way. Not physically but mentally.
Besides, I am happily pregnant, what can I possibly know about how you feel?
So read my letter and I hope you draw some strength, because you looked so worn out, so ready to give up. Please don't... somewhere out there there is a baby picked out just for you, waiting for you, encouraging you "don't give up just now mommy... just a little more and soon we'll be together forever!"
To one still trying... don't give up! It will happen, you just have to believe in it and then at least part of the battle will be won...
From a former IFer"
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
As children bring their broken toys
with tears for us to mend.
I brought my broken dreams to God
because He was my Friend.
But then instead of leaving Him
in peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help
with ways that were my own.
At last I snatched them back and cried,
"How can you be so slow--"
"My child," He said,
"What could I do?"
You never did let go."
~ Author Unknown
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
And that’s when God (or the Universe) giggles benevolently and send down all the worrying, all the "this can go wrong" situations, all the morning sickness, moodiness, crankiness and upheavals they can muster... and then guess what? You do whine... and then you feel totally guilty about it. Pregnancy after infertility can throw you in for a loop! First you are worried you are never getting pregnant, then you worry you will miscarry, then the 1st trimester is over and then things calm down for a while and then you stop and think... Wait a minute! What happened? I don't feel pregnant anymore!! I feel better!! Something must be wrong!
Those middle 3 months of pregnancy for most women are like the calm before a storm. Your morning sickness has subsided, you feel more energetic and also, certainly less pregnant. If not for your belly growing or your baby starting to kick this trimester, you might have thought you dreamt of it all! But its ok... the 3rd trimester will begin at which point all Hell will break loose and you will have to deal with it... with a few added pounds around your middle and probably, the inability to run very fast... or better yet, not run at all!! While in the 1st trimester, I was too miserable to complain. One minute I thought I would most certainly die and the next I felt good that I was miserable. It meant I was pregnant. When I entered my 2nd trimester, I started feeling so much better, I actually found the time to whine!! And with whining came a scarier thought... I was breaking my pact with God!! (or the Universe) The more things started going South (not pregnancy-wise), the more I complained. I have no money and no real energy to work to earn money. I have no materials with which to work and no money to buy more. Hubby is not bringing home any money because he decided now of all times to commit to charity work... and most of all, I whine about this pregnancy! Is everything going well? How do I know everything is going well? I mean, really, do I go by faith alone? But I want to know if something is up? Why oh why are ultrasound machines so darn expensive!? My feet are so swollen! I hate getting up to pee every hour! Why can’t I have a beer? And why, can’t I sleep a whole, blissful night any more?!And the more I whine, the more miserable I am feeling.
I am so ungrateful, I thought; here I am pregnant with twins, and instead of praising God (or the Universe), I am worrying my mind off. If I keep this up, surely, something will go wrong!! (As if enough things in my life are not down the drain already but hey... as long as those two in there are healthy, I really don’t care about anything else!!) I can't believe I am whining!! I mean, I wanted this, I worked hard for this, I was Graced with this and I am throwing it away? Yes, infertility will throw you in for a loop. Every time something happens, now you are pregnant or later as a parent, as a human being, you will whine just a tad, or be mad at the children and then you will spend a whole lot of your time feeling miserable just because you acted normal. You feel like for you its a privilege derived by the Pure Grace of God (or the Universe), that those children (or that child) has grown inside of you and is now a little human... and who are you to throw that privilege away by whining? You might also feel that if you do not thank God (or... the Universe!) 200 times a day, you will become less than worthy in His eyes and your privileges will be revoked and something terrible will happen. Well let me tell you that even though it took a lot of time, effort and $$$, yes you still can whine about your morning sickness. Yes you can whine about your colicky baby, your overactive toddler, your spoiled rotten child... and no, God (or the Universe) will not punish you in some uncanny way because you forgot to say "Thank you!" after every single minute of your life with your child. You are grateful and you are showing it with the best way possible. By being a loving, caring parent for that little soul that was trusted to you. Besides, wouldn't you like a little normal in your life after all the "ab-normal" things you had to do to get this far? Wouldn't you like for a while, just a little while, to forget you dealt with Infertility and just be a normal parent? Infertility will only have won over you, if you let it dictate and overshadow the rest of your pregnancy and later your life. You can beat infertility in more levels than one. Getting pregnant is only level one, because infertility lives inside of your heart and mind, not just your ovaries or uterus. So whine away! Worry away! Its healthy, it’s normal, it’s what everybody else in the world (Or Galaxy) in your situation is doing right now. And you know what? My mother got it all wrong! From the moment you get those two pink lines to show on a pregnancy test, until the day you die, you will worry about your child's well-being and whoever told you that worrying ends with the delivery (and confirmation) of a healthy baby, is wearing pink glasses. If you think you are worrying now, wait until the first time your baby gets sick, or goes to school, or has his first date, or drives a car... or goes to College ... or gets married... or has children of his own... or.... I mean.. at least you can control your baby right now, still in the womb. Wait until he or she is an individual that will occasionally be away from you or be in situations you cannot (albeit your desire to do so) control!But I promise you. There will be good times and the good times will far outweigh the bad! If you don't believe me, then why do we keep having children? There must be something good about it, don't you think? (or it could be a Universal plot of some kind, so that the human race does not go extinct... hmmmm)
Until next time.. Live long and prosper!! Whatever!!
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
I was one of them... never mind the amount of time and gargantuan effort it took to actually get me pregnant (and no I don't mean on hubby's part!!), I am finally pregnant and I am enjoying it.
But was it what I assumed it would be like?
It all started with the extraordinary measures that had to be taken in order for this body to finally work and conceive.
It continued with a 2 week wait from Hell, where every improbably scenario just happened to happen to me... and it escalated to one single, life changing, I-will-never-forget-moment... my Big Fat Positive (BFP).
I cannot describe in words the feeling I had when my test showed two, yes two, pink lines!
Apparently I couldn't back then either because I started crying hysterically, then I wailed and wailed and then I went around the house like a mad woman, thanking the Virgin Mary for Her Grace...
I suppose happiness comes in little leaps because the next bout happened when for the first time I saw my little peanut's heartbeat on an ultrasound. I felt something so strong for that lima bean with the flickering heart, that words cannot describe... but it got even stronger when we heard we had two in there and then the weeks passed and it was time for us to see the little ones just at the end of my 1st trimester.
Those weren't lima beans anymore on the screen... Those were real, human looking little people in there, with arms and legs and eyes and they were moving and kicking and stretching and one was sucking a thumb!!
Right there and then, the twins stopped being something abstract, something that would happen someday, something that would grow into a human and became my children... my two baby sons!!!
So as I hit the 15 week mark and well into my 2nd trimester, I feel less worried, more confident and more eager to meet my babies.
I lay awake at night thinking about my children. What will they look like? What will they grow up to be? What will they smell like? Will they be quiet or fussy?
I keep playing the scene of my delivery day over and over in my head, trying out scenarios. I try to picture myself holding my (bloody) babies for the first time, still warm from the womb and I cannot believe this is really happening to me... To me!!
Its at times like those that I say out loud "Sweet Lord, this is really happening to me!!!"
And yet because the babies just barely started kicking strong enough to feel and because my physical symptoms are now settling down, I often wake up thinking this could have all been a dream... but a pat on my round belly helps remind me that no.... this is really happening to me!!
I am pregnant... with twins... boys... 15 weeks and pretty soon I will go shopping and decorate their room...
I just can't wait to meet them... wish I could sleep and wake up in November. I was never good with the waiting though and sometimes its hard to find the patience... which is why I now daydream about meeting them, holding them, singing to them... and may God in His infinite Grace, grant me my dream of two healthy, happy babies...
Good night and to all who are pregnant... baby dreams!!
Friday, June 03, 2005
Tonight I had both...
I love my husband.
I am lucky to have married a nice guy...
Sometimes I really, really, really dislike him to say the least.
He came in tonight with an attitude. We have no money right now...
He asked for money for gas and all I had was a measly $4.
Yesterday my Visa called to let me know I need to pay NOW or they will "pursue other matters". I told them that I haven't been paid in months, I am PG and that please give me some time. They agreed to let me pay $150 the same day and the rest soon. The banks went on strike and won't be open until Wednesday which means any money I was expecting so I can pay bills, will be delayed...
George was in a foul mood. He hasn't been working much and the permanent excuse is "because I want to stay home with you". Funny thing is that either I am ungrateful or I haven't exactly figured out what "staying home with you" means.
In George's terms it means, sleeping (most of the time), watching TV, surfing the Net, going out for coffee with friends and generally vegging out.
What it does not mean according to George: Doing any kind of chore. Taking me out for a coffee. Making any kind of baby plans with me or paying me any kind of significant attention except the occassional pat on the head or asking me what's for dinner.
Stupid me, I miss him, so when tonight he asked me for money for gas to go for a coffee with a buddy of his, I broke down in tears. Tomorrow he is on duty and I won't see him all day.
He got very pissed off and when he came back he was even worse.
I can tell when a storm is brewing the minute he walks through the front door.
The result I knew... he told me what he wanted to tell and then kept asking me "what's wrong" and "why won't you talk to me".
I knew he was basically asking me to say something, anything, so that he could let the steam out... and stupid me, I opened my mouth... and as usual all Hell broke loose.
From the first half-sentence I uttered (he didn't really need a full sentence, just me saying something), until he stopped talking 3 hours later, I sat there, wanting to bawl, scream at the injustice and scared shitless that I was harming my babies, tears and snot rolling down my face.
Of course the "conversation" was about how stupid I am, how messy, how I can't keep my house clean and neat, how I forget to pay bills or other important things now that I am pregnant, how I will ever manage with two kids because I am so "used to sleeping and being lazy all the time" I have not realized that I will need to get up every two hours to feed them and change them...
And I just sat there while he screamed and yelled and threatened (even the throw the cat down the balcony because he was crying) and cried until my eyes were red and I couldn't stop the gasps as I tried to breathe and not cry at the same time. I dared not touch my belly and I so wanted to. I wanted to show the kids it would be alright, but I feared his anger would escalate so I didn't dare.
So I am a moron because:
I can't even keep a measly house clean and tidy
Even though I have put half the things in this house, I pay all bills and groceries, the stuff he wants (i.e. the cool gadgets for his phone), I work, I cook, he drives my car because he never bought one, apparently I am lazy and incompetent because the house is a mess.
True! It is a mess because there is SO much stuff in it. He keeps everything, he takes his clothes off in the living room, he needs new clothes every day so the laundry basket is always filled to capacity and we have zero storage capacity so the house is overcrowded and as a result it looks messy!
So here I am, really wanting to cry but having already developed a killer migraine, I dare not.
I fear for my babies and I pray one domestic fight won't kill them...
Then after all that and after I got up at eleven in the night to clean up and do laundry, as I was ironing his shirts he asked me "how are we going to pay for the babies' items?"
I just about wanted to kill him!!!
I will tell you how!! I will work my ass off to make dolls, to sell dolls, to pay up our bills, so I can save up enough to buy the cheapest cribs and carriage and car seats I can find... thats how!!
God!! I know you told me to count my blessings but sometimes I wish... I really wish, I hadn't married him...
Friday, May 27, 2005
When our OB told us when we would have our first big scan at something over 12 weeks, it was 4 whole weeks away!
Dutifully I made a new ticker for my siggy and waited... then I waited some more... and then I went out and bought a fetal Doppler to listen in on the babies' hearts. No way I was going to go by faith for 4 whole weeks after all. Hey! It was either that or showing up at the OB's every second day just to make sure babies are fine!!
But wouldn't you know it? Time does go by and the day of our NT scan dawned all gloomy and rainy and I so thanked myself for ordering a cab the previous day because my SPD flared up and I couldn't walk.
You couldn't even talk to George the whole morning before the scan; the guy was gloomier than the weather! When I did manage to get a few words out of him all he said was he was worried this time we would find 3 babies in there!!
The traffic was not as bad as we thought and we were in the office for our appointment on time!
I filled in the necessary paperwork, where I accidentally wrote down as George's profession "housewife"!! Did you think they would notice?? I hastily smudged it up and wrote "Naval Officer" instead... No, I wasn't nervous at all.
Our name is called and we get up and into a nice office with lots of Ultrasound machines. I lay on the bed, shoes and all (!!) and exposed my belly. Oh yay! Our first belly scan! No dildo camera anymore! The babies are now big enough to be seen through my belly!
Up until that moment all I cared about was seeing my babies again. The thought of anything being wrong, had not entered my mind and if it had, I had hastily brushed it away. Nobody in our family ever had Down's Syndrome or Trisomy 13 or 18 and I was so below the "older mother" limit, I really did not think the test would be passed by both kidlets with anything but flying colors.
But as I lay there a new term entered my mind; "scrambled genes" or "oops, the blueprint for building this baby is upside down!! We were reading it wrong and now its all messed up! The hands go at the end of the arms, not the legs you silly cells!!"
Some times trisomies can happen for no apparent reasons. George's genes and mine were combined for the very first time; would they fit together? And would the combination wield a healthy baby? In other words, are we even genetically compatible? At least enough to create a complete, healthy, everything-in-the-right-place new life?
We were about to find out as the gel was squirted onto my bare belly. They keep saying its cold and inhumane, but I didn't even feel the thing. My eyes were glued to the screen and as the probe touched my belly, there was my first baby dancing around!!! They say a fetus' movements are spastic and without purpose but my baby danced the most beautiful, fluid dance in the history of the world. It no longer looked like a blob or a lima bean. There was no mistaking that the black and white little creature there, was indeed a miniature human, with a nose, ears, fingers, toes and a little wildly beating heart.
Allowing myself to have a few silly, innocent, I-haven't-really-gone-through-Hell-to-get-pregnant, thoughts, I recently thought if my babies would be ugly and if I would love them the same if they were as I was looking at a particularly unattractive in my eyes, little toddler in the super market.
But right at that moment I was totally, helplessly, forever and ever, blindly in love with something that did not even have thick skin yet (nor hair or lashes) and that looked more like a miniature skeleton than a baby. At that moment I didn't even care whether it would ever grow hair or if it would have big eyes or small eyes or short lashes or look less cherubical than an angel.
It was MY baby and I loved it with all the strength of my little heart and it barely looked human let alone beautiful.
And at that point, it turned and waved at me with all tiny (skeletal) five fingers. S/he knows me and its only 12 weeks old!!!
I turned to look at George who had leaned as forward as he could, mouth almost agape, looking at the screen with the same intensity I was, trying to memorize every little tiny detail, but thank God for videotapes because if I hadn't watched the video 25 times since yesterday, I wouldn't be writing this right now in vivid detail!
Then the doctor did something that pissed me off and I barely contained myself from jumping up and ripping his arm off. He prodded my baby!!! He dared to prod MY baby so it would turn for him. The little one kicked back fiercely and so hard it hurt me as my skin was caught between a probe and a tiny foot.
The thought of killing the doctor only lasted a few seconds because I realized he is not really hurting my baby and all he wants to do is to make him turn. I probably jar the babies more myself every day just going about my normal business.
I tried to calm down thinking of the "egg in a balloon filled with water" parallel my OB used to let me see how well protected my babies are while inside of me... yet no one ever told me how well equipped they are this early on, to handle the raging hormones of a protective mother, so I really tried to relax and allow the man to work. I am sure the kids will someday return to the office and give him a good kick in the head as pay-back ;)
Once our little skeleton man had turned the doctor measured this little gap between his skull and outer skin. Now, the number has to be under 3mm. Children with trisomies usually have an unusually thick gap (nuchal translucency) but since this isn't a diagnostic test but a screening test (meaning it will only give you with a % of probability for a potential problem), if you do get a thicker NT measurement, you usually have more testing done.
For our baby B, as charmingly s/he was named by the medical profession, the measurement was 2mm. When this data along with how tall s/he is from tail bone to top of bony head (in our case 5.6cm - a little over 2") is entered into a mathematical equation with my age and the fact that yes our baby does have a nasal bone visible, you get a probability that this child might have a trisomy. For our first baby that chance was 1:4853 for Down's and 1:7602 for other trisomies.
By age (27) alone the risk was 1:810 for T21 and 1:1459 for T13,18. So that was a marked improvement.
We momentarily leave baby B alone and move on to Baby A who is sleeping at the moment, even though its sibling has been busy kicking all the way to Virginia.
This little one yawned and dutifully turned sides so the doctor got a good look at it. This baby's NT was 1.8mm and s/he was 6.09 cm long. This was the baby we kept seeing for the first 8 weeks and it is by 3 days older than the sibling, so its natural its bigger.
For this little one (who really just wanted to get back to sleep!) the probabilities were 1:7689 for Down's and 1:10210 for T13,18.
And then we got our big news "Looks like you have two boys in there".
My jaw almost dropped at the news. For a teeny, tiny, please forgive me God, second, I thought of all the pink, frilly and wonderful clothes I had at home just waiting for our little girl.
In my wildest dreams I hadn't thought of having two boys! I thought, two girls, a girl and a boy as possible scenarios but never two boys and for that split second I mourned my girlie dream.
But it was only for a split second, because in truth I didn't care about the gender and I told the doctor that all I care about is that they are big and healthy and they come home with me after the birth.
We left the office holding (ok! cuddling) a pack of U/S photographs, a note saying our babies are healthy and a videotape of the event.
We smiled like a pair of Chester Cats, talking about our little boys, whose names are already picked out by family tradition... John and Cody!!
George seemed a little concerned and promptly painted me a picture of endless games of mock war, football, cowboy outfits and a house full of testosterone as we sat down for a cappuccino. He seemed somehow apprehensive we are (probably, don't paint anything blue just yet!!) having two little boys, but all I could think of were my two little guys and as I lay in bed later that day I realized that I couldn't care less if I didn't have a girl in there and I felt silly for momentarily mourning my pink dreams. In all my thoughts all I could see were my little boys... Though I did remind myself that we would know for sure sometime in August and that at this early stage there is indeed margin for error.
But for now, I am enjoying my two little boys and I can't wait for me to hit 27 weeks so I can go blue-things shopping :)
World beware! The twins are coming full force!!
Friday, May 20, 2005
I put the word freedom in quotation marks because I simply, personally, not judging anyone, do not believe in this kind of freedom.
Having battled (and seems, temporarily won over) infertility, my outlook on many things, changed. First of all I do not take this getting pregnant - 9 months later you have a pink healthy baby stuff, for granted any more... and I will certainly never say again how I would pick my getting pregnant month just to avoid having a Gemini baby!!
After 2 years of Infertility Hell, if someone told me I needed to stand on my head for 20 hours a day in order to have a healthy baby, I would. From the moment these two little ones embedded themselves inside of me, nothing, nothing is more important to me than their well-being.
I would tear through stone walls with my bare hands to get to them and ease their discomfort if they cried and I would most certainly slap (at the very least) anyone who dared hurt them (teacher, other kids etc). In other words, I feel like a mother!
Now, that does not mean that because I went through some rough times in order to get pregnant, I am more deserving or more entitled or that I will simply love my little ones more than the woman who got pregnant in her first try... BUT, I might appreciate a few things a little more, just because I worked a little harder in achieving them. If you think about it, that pertains to everything in life... the left over meat loaf you threw out yesterday without a second thought, would mean the world to someone else, somewhere else in the world. You know what I mean?
So when I hear things like: "I won't vaccinate my children" or "I won't have this prenatal test because its such a bother to me" and doctors just nod and tighten their lips because its your choice and this is a free country, honestly I get infuriated.
You see, I believe that from the moment you decide to have children, its not about you anymore. You are becoming responsible, re spo nsi ble, for someone else. You become their voice, their advocate, the voice of wisdom... they expect you to protect them!
I get really, really pissed when someone subjects me to secondary smoking. I get all rowdy thinking why should your unhealthy habit, impact me??? How dare you!? and I want to slap them all the way to Virginia!!
Well, don't you think your baby might think the same thing??? She is totally dependent on you. How dare you endanger her future? Who the heck do you think you are. She might think and with good reason...
We keep fighting science and progress so much... but we keep forgetting that just a generation ago, women lost their babies all the time when really, they shouldn't have to.
We forget that infant mortality rate has dropped not because we somehow evolved but because of the advances of medicine. We take good health and good outcomes so for granted and we are caught unprepared and wonder why with wide eyed child amazement when something bad happens and it makes me so mad sometimes.
Like my friend who told me "I haven't had any testing, haven't read anything about pregnancy or delivery. I have a doctor who I pay to know everything for me"... her baby died shortly after delivery from a totally preventable problem if only she had gotten tested.
When she got pregnant with her second baby, she virtually sat through every test available to man!
Or like my other friend who lied about her gestation age to avoid testing because she had been infected early in pregnancy with a very serious virus that can give her anything from a miscarriage to a developmentally retarded and malformed baby.
She was so afraid they were going to take her baby that she managed to avoid every single test that would affirm or discard any problems with the baby. I pray to God she has the healthiest baby in the history of man!!
Of course all these are my personal opinions. I am not better or worse than my friends. They both did what they thought was best for their situation and their babies... and of course having all the tests in the world does not mean you will have a better outcome. In the end what is to be will be... with a few exceptions: Things like Gestational Diabetes testing is a pain in the butt, but its totally treatable and might save your baby's life! Its the #2 reason for infant mortality! Did you know that?
Knowing if your baby has a diaphragmatic hernia can also save her life and its only an ultrasound away...
In the end what this is all about, is having a healthy baby. If you have your dream birth or your dream pregnancy is irrelevant and you will feel the same if God Forbid, I never wish it on you ever find yourself in my friend's unfortunate position.
Don't take anything for granted... do the best you can. Medical science is not the boogie man. They don't want to torture you, they don't want to turn you into a lab animal... they want to help you get your ultimate dream. A healthy baby to bring home and love!! Does it really matter what you will go through to get that? One smile from your little one and you will surely answer "no, I would go through Hell, over and over again just to see that smile".
If we are to exercise our freedom of choice, lets not do it on the expense of someone else... before we chose not to subject ourselves in some temporaty tortute like a GD test, please, let us think for a moment whose future is really at risk here... Pregnancy is less about us and more about bringing that baby, healthy and well, home... isn't it?
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
You will also be happy to know that I am not suffering from constipation! And if you do envy me and wish it on me, I swear I WILL hunt you down and give it to you. It IS contagious you know... Highly contagious!! So beware!!
Nausea is also contagious... come to think I am pretty sure the whole pregnancy thing is contagious so keep away you nasty ill-wishers or I will unlease my deadly hormones upon thee... ;0)
I am rather tempted to write "Pregnant woman's comfort food - Do not eat" on the wrappers of various edibles I have stashed away (hoping for a day when I can think about them without gagging or better yet actually EAT them!) just to warn a hungry hubby or guest and to save them the inevitable run to the grocery store at 4am...
Hey I am being thoughtful here ;o)
So... well you read about my miscarriage anxieties earlier on in my pregnancy so you will be happy to know that these are slowly going away... only to be replaced by others.
Almost through my 1st trimester with no major episodes (except the constant nausea and the SPD and a couple of episodes of spotting), I bought myself a Fetal Doppler and listened in on the babies' last night. I would have held perfectly still and happily held my breath for the rest of my pregnancy, just listening to their "poketa poketa poketa poketa" hearts beating away, if the little buggers weren't so eager to get away from the probe and the sound waves it emits.
So after about 10 seconds of listening to a heart, I would get the wind-like sound of the placenta instead, as the fig sized baby under my skin, squirmed away, trying to hide (in sheer terror, I am sure, and shaking his little fist angrily at the intruder) behind some large vein of mine, in hopes of disguising his own tiny heart sound... Amazingly enough, the little plot worked!!
As I turned off the Doppler, cleaned myself up with a tissue, and just before I snuggled under the covers a thought hit me. It hit me so hard that my heart missed a beat of two... The thought was "Is my Doppler FDA approved?"
I mean think about it... Ultrasound waves are used to smash up small rocks inside your kidney or your bile duct. What if while trying to listen in on my little ones I was accidentally sending lethal sound waves, smashing around their environment or worse... smashing up them!?
I went rigid at 2am not being able to shake the thought from my head as this irrational panic seized me. I jumped out of bed (well, as much as a pregnant 180lbs woman suffering from SPD can "jump") and spend about 2 hours searching the Internet for "FDA ultrasound waves safety standards".
You will be happy to know that at 2.5MhZ and <5mw/cm2, my Doppler is certainly way below safety limits so my babies are fine... even if shaking with terror right now at the thought of mommy trying to find them again with the probe. Well kids, START KICKING!! I promise not to use the Doppler anymore if you start kicking!! Really!!
So now you get a taste of what other anxieties (past 1st tri. miscarriage) a pregnant woman can have. Per example: we have mosquitoes! If you too live in a humid yet hot state/country you have them too. Only problem is I cannot tolerate them! I hate, hate, hate them! After a night which I spent chasing a really annoying one around the room, I bought myself what I buy every year. A liquid, plug-it-in mosquito repellant. But the difference between this year and last year is.... you guessed it! I am now responsible for two more (currenly fig sized) people.
See scene described above, of a frantic Tina searching at 3am on the Net to find info on safety of mosquito repellants. I ended up calling my midwife. They are safe she said and I breathed a sigh of relief (that certainly you gals in Virginia must have heard).
So now that evidently my babies are doing good, my 1st trimester is almost over and I feel less and less scared of miscarrying, I needed something else to worry about, because don't forget, I AM a worry wart!
New (scarry) terms came to play: Gestational diabetes (50% or more of women carrying multiples get it!), Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (see previous), Pre-Eclampsia, Premature Labor... need I go on? Who knew that carrying "just two" as my mother says, can be SO dangerous!! I dare not imagine what happens to you if you are carrying three or more!!
How do I escape all those pit-falls?! Can I escape them anyway??
"Eat well, follow these instructions" says Dr. Luke, brilliant in the area of nutrition for moms to be of multiples. But I CAN'T follow your instructions Dr. Luke!!
I can't stomach my 10 ozs. of meat a day! I have NO apetite!! I gag constantly! Nothing even TASTES good or smells good anymore. I can't even finish a meal (unless its junk food or just fruit!). Then you have an added factor: Maternal guilt. OMG I am killing my babies!! I am surely depriving them of a good future! God what will I do!?
I can't even take my prenatals without gagging 10 times at the mere smell, how will I swallow the 9 pills of Calcium, Zinc and Magnesium Dr. Luke suggests... and how will I avoid her doomsday attitude "You don't eat, you don't get to go home with your babies in one piece".
Good grief!! Who would have thought that someone EVER was going to tell me "EAT!" instead of "put that fork down!!". This would have been Paradise a few weeks ago. Not worrying about weight for 9 months! Eating whatever I craved and having an excellent excuse!
So sad that I crave nothing... and when I do its a) either impossible to get (like a really sweet, ripe watermelon in May!) or b) I can only enjoy a few mouthfulls because I either get indigestion, heartburn or nauseated!
But hey! You know what? I am not complaining!! But I DO pray that no matter what food follie I end up doing (eating or not), my babies will somehow still be big and healthy at birth. I also pray that what they say about nausea is true and that it WILL go away by my 2nd trimester (one short/long week away) so I can FINALLY gobble down my 10 ounces of meat a day and my bushel of green leafed veggies without feeling like my meal will end up... well, all over the place!
And you know what the best part is? The worries won't end once you become a parent. The will haunt you for the rest of your life (different ones according to child's age, just for variety)... I know my mom still worries I will somehow get killed in a motorbike accident!
Oh well... I guess what they say IS true "Becoming a parent is deciding to walk around with your heart outside your body for the rest of your life"... :)
And frankly? I CAN'T WAIT!!!