June 26- ACOG Appointment

     Today was my ACOG appointment today with the nurse. (ACOG stands for American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the appointment is pretty much a mandatory list of questions and information that has to be covered in a meeting at your OB office) So this was with my doctor's nurse, who is her "right-hand man." I love her, she is really sharp, sarcastic and witty, which is right up my alley. We discussed thoroughly my medical history along with my family's And she talked to me about what to expect in the upcoming months. Apparently because I will be 35 when I deliver and the fact that I'm having twins I am considered SUPER high risk. What that basically means is I'll just be monitored a lot more bile whole lot more people. She said my next step is going to be meeting with the Maternal fetal medicine team at Winnie Palmer, where I will be delivering. They will do a 12 week ultrasound and conduct the Integrated sequential screening. Their job will be to look at my blood work and medical history and do a full work up on me in order to come up with a game plan for my doctor to follow for the remainder of my pregnancy. This will include what tests need to be done and how often I should be seen and monitored. That will be on top of monthly visits for an ultrasound at my doctors office where they will be monitoring fetal growth. So it sounds like I will be watched very carefully which is fine by me! That means better care for me and the babies!  One thing that was a little scary was hearing how if it's before 24 weeks and you go into preterm labor They can stop it, but after 24 weeks they can't do Anything about it.  Yikes! I guess that's why they stress after 24 weeks to take it easy so you don't come into that situation. I can't imagine baby surviving at 24 weeks. Then at 32 weeks maternal fetal medicine will start monitoring me either once or twice a week depending on my health at the time. This will consist of putting a monitoring band on my belly to check on the vitals of me and the twins. It is around this time that they'll have a good idea of which type of birth I'll end up having because that's when the babies usually position themselves and don't often change their position. Of course anything can happen!

     The nurse also talk to me about nutrition and told me what I should and shouldn't be eating. I expressed my concern that I've gained 20 pounds in the past 10 weeks and she told me not to worry about it especially with twins that my body is just getting ready to be able to handle carrying them.  She said it would be one thing if just eating chocolate cake and Taco Bell all day was causing me to gain the weight but if I'm eating a balanced diet and still gaining it then it's okay. She said most likely I will gain early on and less in the end But that if it bothers me she can have me look the other way when she weighs me. I love her!

     She went on to explain to me that with a normal pregnancy your blood volume doubles but with twins my blood volume has tripled! This means I could be more prone to bleeding whether it's my gums, nose, or vaginally spotting. She also said it could mean getting migraines and if one starts to immediately take two extra strength Tylenol along with a little bit of caffeine and it should help.  This surprised me because I had thought I couldn't have any caffeine. So I stored everything in my mental toolbox because I'm sure at some point I The info will come in handy.

     We talked about delivery and what to expect. Although everything will hinder on the direction the babies are facing, she said pretty much the same thing my doctor did which was that more times than not twins are born via C-section. Not exactly what I want to hear, but I need to be realistic and face the facts. I now understand that I have to be flexible and not set in my ways because really anything can happen and I just have to go with it. What choice do I have, really?!

     Lastly, we talked about sex. She told me not to have any until I get 12 week check up. I got a little nervous because the hubs and I have already done it a few times since I've been pregnant. She said not to worry, but just hold off until the all clear in a few weeks. It could apparently cause miscarriage and we definitely don't want that! When I asked specifically why, she told me in her usual hilarious way that my husband ramming his "B-52 bomber" inside me hitting up against my cervix could cause problems. Enough said. I felt bad having to break that news to the Hubs but he was more concerned with hurting the twins than missing out on a few weeks of getting it on. But really, with the way I have been feeling it's perfectly fine by me!

June 25- Genetic Counseling

     Today I had my appointment with the genetic counselor. It was literally only a seven minute meeting. He started off by telling me about this really awesome and accurate new blood test That tests for downs syndrome but when he found out that I was having twins he quickly scratched that and said it wouldn't work with twins. Reason being is  the test detects extra chromosomes and with two in there, there would be  extra chromosomes anyway so it would negate the test. So he quickly change gears and told me I would have to instead do an integrated sequential screening, which is still accurate it but takes longer to do. The first part of it would be done at around 12 weeks. They do an ultrasound and check for the fluid sac at the back of the neck that has formed. They see if it is oversized, which is usually an indicator of downs syndrome. They also do a series of blood work to check the babies were more levels. At around week 18 they do a another check up where they do a full body scan on the baby during the ultrasound and do another blood test and put the two blood tests together to determine the result. So there's a lot more waiting involved, but I guess that's the only thing we can do.  It is a bit nerve-racking to have to wait so long. After he did an intake of my family history he looked at that and my age and told me there's a 99.4% chance of the babies being perfectly fine. So that's some pretty good statistics there. The doctors office also called me in the meantime to make my what they call an "ACOG" appointment . It's basically where I sit down with my doctor's nurse- who is her right hand man - and go over everything I need to know to have a healthy pregnancy and go over my medical history, etc... We scheduled that for two days from now first thing in the morning and I'll also get a panel of bloodwork done to make sure my body is functioning properly enough to be a good house for the babies. I do like all these doctors appointments, it reminds me that I am pregnant even though I don't have a big baby bump yet. But I know I will soon!

June 21- First OB Appointment

     So today we had our first prenatal appointment with the OBGYN. I was super excited for the Hubs to meet Dr. Merritt., as I had hand picked her last summer when initially trying to find a good OB. The last time I had seen her was for my annual girl visit in December, where she had recommended I see a fertility specialist because I hadn't gotten my period after getting off birth control. So when she came in the room I told her all about my adventures with Premature Ovarian Failure and filled her in up to the present, a la me being pregnant with twins. I then began to rapid fire a list of questions I had ready, to which she answered thoroughly.

Q: Do you have a lot of experience with multiples?
A: Yes, I have delivered many sets of twins and triplets

Q: I was really wanting to deliver at Winnie Palmer Hospital but I know it is very busy so I am concerned about getting lost in the shuffle or hurried along while I am there.
A: It is one of the busiest hospitals in the country, but there are enough nurses that you will be assigned one who will monitor you and ensure you are being taken care of.

(My neighbor is also a concierge manager there so that's always a plus!)

Q: Since I am going to be 35 when I deliver will I need extra testing?
A: You will get set up with a genetic counselor to go over your family history and he will let you know which tests you will need to take and work with your insurance company to get them covered.

Q: I exercise multiple times per week, can I continue to exercise and will there come a time where I am not allowed and possibly put on bed rest? I hear that happens often with multiples.
A: It varies from person to person. For now you may keep exercising as you normally would and just continue to assess how you are feeling. You will know when you have to tone it down a bit as you get further along, because you will feel it. We will be monitoring you to make sure everything is going well. If problems arise, then we may have to reevaluate your activity level. It's really a wait and see type of thing and it is different for everyone.

Q: I never wanted a C-section but I keep reading that it is pretty common with twins. Is this true?
A: 30% of the twins we deliver are vaginally. It all depends on the position of the babies. If twin A. comes out vaginally sometimes twin B. may panic and in that case we would have to do a C-section. 

Ummm.... yeah, no. Can you imagine birthing a baby vaginally AND THEN having a C-section. Kill me now!

There were lots of other questions I had, but completely forgot about them until after the appointment. 

After the meeting with our doctor, we went to another room for the ultrasound. It was SO much better than the one at Dr. T's office! There not only was a small monitor that the ultrasound tech was looking at, but we got to see the twins up on a huge 50 inch screen in front of us! It was SO amazing! And there they were, looking like little gummy bears and they were MOVING! Squirming around, wiggling their little arm and leg buds. Coolest thing I've ever seen. And I can't believe that's happening inside me, especially since I can't feel it. G was in his glory and said he wanted to see them every day. The tech was really nice and let us watch them for a while. They were laying at different angles so we couldn't get a good shot of them together, but we got fantastic ones of them individually!

Can't wait 'til the next appointment to see them again!

June 12- Last Visit with Dr. T

     Today was my last appointment with Dr. T. before turning me over to my OBGYN. The hubs was crazy excited and anxious to see and finally hear the babies. We met at the doctor's office and went in. As always, Dr. T. was super nice and happy to see us. He said the whole office has been a buzz about us. Yay. So we went in, I changed into a gown and was ready to rock 'n' roll. When the Dr. came back and started the ultrasound, I had a moment of panic wondering if there was going to suddenly be a third baby in the crowd. Hey, don't laugh... it happened to a friend of mine! Her first ultrasound showed twins. When she went back the next time one of the twins divided and there were then THREE. So they are triplets but two of them are identical. Crazy, huh? But alas, there was still just the dynamic duo in there and holy crap did they grow a lot in just two weeks! What was once two small holes that looked like the eyes of an owl were now giant blobs stretching across my nether region. No wonder I've felt so sick! We still couldn't make out that they were actually babies in there, but we got to hear their heartbeats! They were beating at 165 and 173! The Dr. said they were beating strong and that it is a positive sign. So needless to say we were happy and relieved when we left the office. We were both sad that it was the last time we would have an appointment with Dr. T., but promised we would keep him updated.

Here is the ultrasounds from 6 weeks and the new one at 8 weeks. 
My uterus has grown like crazy! No wonder I've been so sick!

     Immediately upon leaving the hubs and I made our phone calls to the fam to share the good news. We headed back to the house and I had totally forgotten that I had suggested doing an evening bike ride on the trails (me and my big mouth!). I had already gone to dance class in the morning so I was definitely tuckered out come evening time. But G seemed super pumped about the bike ride so I went along for it. However, before we went I got the most random craving for Chinese food (which I haven't wanted in two years!) and I won't lie, I thought if I mentioned it I might rope the Hubs in to 86-ing the bike ride idea for some egg rolls. No such luck. So we decided to pick it up on the way home from the trails. I managed to go about three or four miles before throwing in the towel, as I was quickly running out of steam. Of course, I had to pick the towel back up and make the trek back! The night ended with some veggie mu shu, which I did feel a smidge guilty about, but it sure was good going down!

June 11- Fetal Doppler

     It's my first week home and I have been keeping busy. First off, I try to keep the house super nice and clean so the hubs can appreciate me being home playing housewife. I didn't feel bad in the summers before, but now that I know I don't have a job to go back to I have been feeling a bit guilty. So I want to be sure and show G the positive side of me being home, and that is him coming home to a super clean house with the laundry cleaned and put away and dinner being made. He doesn't make me feel bad about it or anything, it's my own sense of guilt rearing its ugly head there.

     So the past two days I have gone to the morning version of my dance class, which is good to get it out of the way. I used to go to the evening classes after work, but I feel like if I go early I am free the rest of the day. Of course, I keep saying that will give me a chance to go to a yoga class in the evening, but by the time I get home and clean I'm in need of a nap and therefore haven't made it back out of the house in the evening. So I'll keep putting it on my "To Do" list and hopefully get to cross it off sometime.

     That's the thing though...naps. I never thought I'd be one to need them but holy crap have I needed one each day lately. When you are pregnant, your body is perpetually working extra hard to build the baby, so to speak, and with two buns in the oven my body is clocking in some serious overtime. So basic every day things like exercise, running errands, breathing... it is all quite exhausting and requires zonking out for a bit mid-day. However, getting to those naps is a different story. Admittedly though, I seem to feel a little better after a nap at least for a little while. In everything I have read it says to take naps throughout the day. Which is all fine and dandy if you are off work, but for those who have a job to go to I don't see how it can be done. “Hey boss, if you need me I'll be asleep in the corner of my office.” Riiight. That would go over well! I give you ladies mad props who have to work full time and go through this.

     Anyway, the handheld fetal doppler we ordered came in. It is a Sonoline B and is pretty cool, but I think it is too early for it to work right. We globbed the gel it came with on the wand part of the contraption and ran it over where we think the babies were. After a while we heard a repetitive wooshing sound in the earphones and saw the number 125 flash on the screen. We weren't sure if that was one of the babies or if we were catching the sound of my blood flowing so I put the earphones on and took my pulse at the same time. It was definitely me. But wow that seemed like pretty high considering I was just sitting there. I later researched that my heart rate should be a little higher because my body is working extra hard making babies and the progesterone increases blood flow by a lot! Amazing what your body is doing without you even realizing. So we tried again for a while. G was so cute being all into it wanting to be the one to try and find the heartbeats. For one split second the monitor flashed 172 and we thought that HAD to be one of the twins! We couldn't hear anything, but it had to pick up on something there. We finally called it quits and figured we just have to wait a few more weeks before we can hear them. It's an outside doppler so they are probably too little yet for the sound to reach through my body. Tomorrow we will have an ultrasound with Dr. T. and will hopefully hear the heartbeats then. I won't lie though... it is a little nerve-wracking not hearing anything. Even though my head knows it's because I'm not far along enough but there is still that ever so quiet nagging thought of what if something is wrong. But I'm sure it's fine. We'll see tomorrow!

June 10- Or Not...

     Well so much for turning the corner on the whole morning sickness thing. I guess yesterday was a fluke! Back to feeling like shit today. Immediately upon waking up this morning I was hailing to the porcelain god like a rockstar minus the glamorous life and tour bus. I was queasy the ENTIRE day. The hubs and I went to the community pool for a bit and spent the day relaxing. I am pretty sure he's been bored out of his skull lately having a partner who is perpetually seasick without the high seas adventure. I won't lie... I do miss the freedom of getting to do whatever we want, whenever we want, and partying the night away if we feel so inclined. But in a way I suppose it is preparing us for what's to come! I told my parents that G has been bored lately and they both basically said the same thing. That we need to be embracing the boredom because there is going to come a time in the not so distant future where we will WISH we had down time to be bored! Touché.

     In other news, I was still sore over the whole missing out on my trip to visit my family fiasco. Being an extremely headstrong person my whole life, it hasn't been sitting well with me that such a big decision was decided for me. It was MY decision to make whether or not I went up to see my family. The doctor said it was perfectly fine if I went so I don't see why everyone else was so freaked out about it. And I mean freaked the hell out. Like it was going to be this huge risk to my safety to sit on a plane for two hours. Ridiculous. You'd think they thought I was going to be parachuting out of the plane once I got there! But my cousin refused to pick me up and I was being barraged with texts and emails from all those I was planning on visiting, stating that it just wasn't safe and I needed to be thinking about the babies now. Which really pissed me off because this had NOTHING to do with me not thinking about the babies. I was going by what my doctor, and every article you read out there, said was safe for me to do. It's just the third trimester you aren't supposed to fly. Their thought behind this was that I might get sick on the plane. Ummm okay... I might get sick in the car too but that doesn't stop me from going anywhere! I could get sick ANYWHERE! So should I put myself in a bubble and not go anywhere? If I was going to be sick anyway, I would have liked the distraction of getting to see the people closest to me in my life that I haven't seen in a long time. But... whatever. I missed out on my trip and lost a plane ticket I can't get back that I spent YEARS accruing miles to earn a free flight. Nope. Not happy about it AT ALL.

     Anyway, we had a pretty uneventful Sunday. I tried to enjoy it, even though I was harboring anger about my trip. The hubs and I relaxed for most of the day and ended it with the Game of Thrones season finale. Overall, it was a decent weekend.

June 9- Reprieve

     It's a miracle! I haven't felt sick the ENTIRE day!!! Could it be that my morning sickness is over? Shhhh.... I shouldn't say it too loudly or it will hear me and come back! But what a great day it was! Went to my favorite 90 minute dance class and made it through with no problems. Then spent the rest of the day with the hubs. Poor guy has been wanting sex so badly for the past two weeks but I have been too sick to do anything. And we always used to get it on multiple times a week, so I know he's been jonesing. Well I finally felt good enough today so we got to have a nice romantic afternoon together! We spent the rest of the night watching a movie and cuddling on the couch. I sure hope this means my morning sickness is gone and gone for good!

June 7- Life is Full of Surprises

     It's amazing how your world can get flipped on its head in a matter of minutes. Whether it comes as a pleasant surprise or takes a turn for the worse, life can certainly change on a dime. 

Some surprises are the kind of epic proportions. The Hubs and I are still floored that we are having twins. I wonder if that feeling will ever change?! People mention "the twins" and it still seems absolutely bonkers that they are talking about US! That I am the one having them. (Hell, I still can't wrap my head around how they are going to fit in my body! eeeek!) It also changes everything we thought about preparing for a baby. Because before there was a running checklist of: crib, car seat, high chair, etc... and now it's like, oh crap... we need TWO of everything like we're filling a freaking Ark of baby stuff! Yikes! Better get crackalackin on a registry! LOL

     Then there are those susprises that knock you for a loop and take the wind out of your sails (and apparently write a lot of idioms!). So there I was on the last day of school for teachers and staff. I expected I wouldn't be there long, as the students' last day was the day before so it was only teachers cleaning out their rooms and doing some last minute housekeeping. Before noon, my boss came into my office and sat down to talk to me. Now, I knew there was a chance my position (Dean of Students) might get cut next year but my boss assured me that if that were to happen she would put me in another position and told me not to worry. So I didn't. Apparently I should have. She came in that day to tell me that my position was not only being cut, but there was no other position for me for next year. That's it. Cut and dry, I am out of a job. I can't believe it. I have spent the past four years busting my ass for this company and they can just let me go like that, without batting an eye. They had already been screwing me over with my salary this year. I had been promised upon getting my position as Dean at the start of the year, that after a probationary period I would go from my teacher salary to the Dean one. Never happened. And all I got was the run-around. So a few weeks ago I wrote a letter to corporate (and even told my boss I was doing so!) and pleaded my case to try and at least get the proper salary for the upcoming year. But instead they let me go! It seems they don't take kindly to employees asking for the money they deserve. So I quickly packed up my things and left out the back door, avoiding the cafeteria where everyone was gathered. I didn't want to cry in front of all the teachers. 

     So just like that I am out of work. I already was expecting to have the summer off, but it's a totally different feeling when there is nothing to go back to on the other side of it. And while the hubs and I already planned on me quitting work for a few years once the twins are here, or at least just not doing something full time, we were counting on my paychecks up until then. Not to mention, this means no more insurance for me. So I'll have to go on his and that is going to be WAY more expensive. Ugh... The only glimmer of hope is that the girl who runs our company's virtual school is anticipating needed an administrator for when they open up online K-6 in the fall. It would be a full-time position but from predominately working from home and she said I have first dibs. Fingers and toes officially crossed. That would be PERFECT for me so I sure hope to get it. I won't know until next month. In the meantime I will just have to get on unemployment for now so I can at least have SOME income rolling in. Not exactly how I anticipated things going, but then again, when does life ever pan out exactly as planned?!

     But hey, when life gives you lemons... grab some vodka and do a shot! Ugh... vodka... in another life that would have sounded fabulous, but now it just curdles my stomach. While I am absolutely over the moon about being pregnant, I am also absolutely over the toilet quite often. Retching my guts out while simultaneously peeing myself is all the rage these days and has become part of my daily routine. The best way I can put being pregnant so far is this: It's like being hungover when you have the flu and it's that time of the month. ALL THE DAMN TIME! lol. But hey... it is what it is and I'll get through it, however, I won't lie... it has been ROUGH! 

     On top of that, this weekend I was supposed to fly to Jersey to see my closest family members outside of my parents. I originally was flying in for an appointment with a big-time fertility specialist who specializes in ovarian failure, but as I no longer need to see him (and I certainly thank my lucky stars for that!) I still had a plane ticket so I was going anyway. The plan was that I was staying with family (my cousins- a mother and daughter set who I grew up with them being more like my older and younger sisters). I have been looking forward to spending three days with some of my favorite people that I never get to see. My best friend of 24 years (who also lives in Jersey) was even making a special trip to meet up with me while I was there. But ever since I found out I was pregnant with twins, my older cousin has been tripping out NONSTOP. We're talking a frenzied panic about me making a flight up there to visit. That it would be "too risky" to make the trip, even though my doctor said it was absolutely fine to fly. She was worried about me being sick on the plane. Well with that logic, I shouldn't be going anywhere at any time because who knows when I could get sick! I mean... morning sickness comes with the territory and the way I see it, I would at least have a distraction getting to spend time with my family. It would do more good than harm. But she isn't having it and pretty much refused me to come up there. My stubborn streak tempted me to get on the plane and sit in the airport just for spite, but realistically how much would that make sense? So I just had to accept that the decision was being made for me, which believe me did NOT sit well with me, but at that point it was out of my hands. And trust me, I fought for it... to the point of exasperation and me hysterically crying on the way into work. Because THAT is much more healthy than me sitting on a plane for two hours! So I was already extremely upset when I went into work today and then had the other bomb dropped on me. 

     Needless to say it wasn't a great day. Lost my trip and my job. Lucky for me I have an amazing support system between my hubby and my parents. The hubs assured me everything will be alright and managed to lift my spirits. We wound up going for a nice relaxing bike ride around the neighborhood and had a nice, quiet evening. I'm still really bummed though...

June 4- Trying to Function

     This morning I decided to go to the regular doctor to figure out if my clogged nose is a sinus infection or what. While its something that has plagued me on and off my whole life, it has been especially bad these past few months and that mixed with all day morning sickness, I just can't take it.

    As it turns out its not an infection just my allergies in overdrive. And the only thing they've ever prescribed me to help me breathe again is steroids and I can't take them while pregnant. :-( So it appears I am just shit out of luck. The Dr prescribed me  a nasal allergy spray but said it won't provide any kind of relief as far as the unclogging goes. It's supposed to just be preventative. Greaaaat.

     So I took the rest of the day off because there was just no way I'd be able to function at work. It wasn't a big deal with it being the last week of school and all. I ran over to the pharmacy at my local grocery store and waited for my script to be ready. As I was waited, a wave of nausea rushed over me and I hightailed it to the bathroom to toss my proverbial cookies. I needed to make like Tom and cruise. I hustled over to the pharmacy counter and luckily my script was ready. While I was checking out my nose decided to let loose and start releasing snot like someone turned on a faucet on my face. But I was completely stuffed up in both nostrils so how is that physically possible?!?! I couldn't possibly feel more disgusting.

     I finally got my meds and skeedaddled. Got home just in time to wretch up my entire green smoothie, and ah yes, peed myself again. Ok I knew there would be some bodily changes with being Prego, but no one warned me I'd become the poster girl for Depends! What the hell?!

     I relaxed for the afternoon and even took a 30 minute nap. It probably would've been longer had I been able to BREATHE. But who's complaining?...

     Later that evening I dragged my ass to dance class, which took all I had. But considering I'm already gaining more weight than I should because of stupid carbs, I need to at least burn some of it off. I got through class although probably at about 75-80% exertion as I normally would. When I left I was walking past the group of girls for the next class and someone I didn't know stopped me and said, "are you the pregnant one with the miracle babies?" Ok, that's weird! I have no idea how she knew that or recognized me but hey, in a way it makes me feel like a celebrity so I'll take it!

June 3- The Start of Morning... Scratch That, ALL DAY Sickness

Here I was thinking I lucked out and have only been nauseous with no vomiting but apparently I spoke too soon. I woke up at 4am with my usual bout of nausea only this time I started coughing hard followed by gagging. I made it to the bathroom in time but then started heaving like I just came off a tequila bender. Yelling for "Ralph" G came to the door to see if I was okay. I asked him to get me some coconut water and he much obliged. After a moment of sleepily sobbing sitting up against the wall next to the toilet, I got up to head back to bed. Oddly, my pajama bottoms were soaked and I realized I hurled so hard I peed myself. Not my finest moment. 

But I toughed it out and got up for work two hours later. Between the morning sickness and this sinus infection I got, I feel pretty disgusting. I ate some PB and toast and went to work. Only one week until summer break so I just need to hang in there a few more days and then I can veg. 
As per usual, after a few hours I started feeling queasy again. Which gradually just gets worse. So I thought I'd be proactive and run to the store for something bread-y to absorb the yuck. Well with me being so ridiculously stuffed up I couldn't breathe through my nose and had post nasal drip like a mo fo. I started coughing, which led to gagging, and suddenly I was reaching for my gym shirt (it was the only thing I could find in such a split second) and before I knew it I was spewing into my shirt. There had been no time to pull over or else I would have. As if that wasn't enough more came up but this time it went all down the inside and outside of my shirt, on my pants and in my center console. Yeah... Fantastic. After a minute of sitting there in shock I hurriedly ran into the grocery store and cleaned off in the bathroom.
Looking like I was splashed by Shamu upon returning to work, my boss was nice enough to let me go home early.