Monday, July 30, 2012

Hello 2nd Trimester!

Oh, how I have been waiting for you to arrive! Week 12 has officially ended! I wish I could say it went out with a bang; I think I expected some monumental change to occur to mark the beginning of my 2nd trimester. I think my nausea got a little better this past week (although that could just be wishful thinking) but indigestion, acid reflux, non-stop peeing, and restless nights continue to haunt me.
          The exciting point of this week was going to get my 12 week ultrasound! The down point of this week was also that ultrasound visit. We did not see my usual OB; instead, we saw a new lady and she was not very warm or kind. (Yes, I may be a little over sensitive right now due to the humongous volume of hormones coursing through my body.) She seemed relatively nice until I started asking questions, to which she responded as if she were greatly annoyed. Then, we were supposed to get to use the Doppler and hear the twins heartbeats for the first time (yay!) but she decided that since there were twins we would not be able to determine if we were hearing two heart beats or one, so it was a waste. I gently persuaded her to let us hear the heart beat anyways. (Side note here: She said she had twins too; didn’t she want to hear their heartbeats?).
          I think my biggest issue with this woman was that she was very clinical and cold. This is my first pregnancy experience. I have questions and it is a very special circumstance; a miracle (aren’t all pregnancies?). I guess I just expected her to be excited about the babies; to want to see them and hear them just as much as we do!
          Once she actually started the Doppler she ran it for a while and didn’t say a word. I thought there was no heartbeat. I finally asked her, “is that a heartbeat?” She looked pointedly at me and said “yes.” Like I was supposed to know what I was listening for!? I have never heard a heartbeat in the womb. Couldn’t she have at least said, “Oh listen, there’s a heartbeat!” I could have just done the ultrasound myself!
          So the actual ultrasound was so good to see! They do have really old and grainy equipment (which they tell you) but we did get to see those babies moving! They were stretching out and kicking! One even did a complete roll! They are so active and so full of life! I was disappointed because I asked her to tell me how fast their hearts were beating and she didn’t, and also because she didn’t even bother to measure them.  
          I will stop my rant about that doctor now. I promise, my next rant is not about her. So this same doctor told me that I would need to see a perinatologist every month for a more detailed ultrasound because they have better equipment. She gave me a referral and told me to call and schedule a 16 week visit with them. I clarified with her that she wanted me to see my OB and the Perinatologist every month, and she confirmed it. So yesterday I tried to schedule my 16 week appointment with the specialist and they told me that they only perform a level 2 ultrasound at 20 weeks and that they would not see me at 16 weeks simply based on me having twins. They said that the doctor would have to give them a different diagnosis. Of course I immediately called said doctor to tell her this and to ask what to do; lo and behold, she had the day off and would not be back in until Monday.
          So yes, at this point I was very frustrated. The backstory is that I tried to schedule a 1st trimester ultra-screen with this same perinatologist to screen for Down Syndrome and it was such a hassle with them. The only appointment I could get was the very next day (super short notice) when my husband would be out of state and could not make it. So there I was, on the phone with them, crying, begging them to fit me in so that my husband could accompany me; and no, they couldn’t do it.
          Before you think I am a total whack job, please remember that we have waited 7 years for this pregnancy, we ended up adopting embryos do to complete infertility, we had no guarantee of success and we are having twins (don’t forget those lovely pregnancy hormones). My husband wants to be with me every step of the way and I think I was well within my rights to bawl because I would be faced with a potentially scary test all alone.
          Needless to say, I found a different perinatologist for this 2st trimester screening, and they see me in two days (they said it simply had to be before 13weeks 6 days). If I go to their office and they are wonderful and agree to see me every month (like my doctor ordered) I will forgo the office my doctor tried to send me to (the hassling one).

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Weeks 10 & 11

Weeks 10 and 11 seem to have flown by! I am amazed each day at how much the babies are growing and developing. I think I must check at least 4 different “week-by-week” websites a day to see what is happening inside my womb. It is a mystery to me because I can’t see into there and I can’t yet feel any movement; yet they make their presence known to my bladder and my esophagus!  
          Symptomatically, there have been some changes. My nausea seems to be getting better, usually only rearing its ugly head after dinner time and throughout the night. However, a new friend called acid reflux and his cousin indigestion have taken up permanent residence in my torso. I think that I expected those two things to feel exactly like the commercials say, so I didn’t recognize them for what they were. That is, until I started getting acid soaked bits of stuff coming up my throat! Yuck! TMI, I know.
          I am now chewing antacids and taking zantac 75mg twice daily, but neither seems to help. The sad thing is that acid reflux and indigestion are often diet induced by such things as acidic foods, carbonated drinks, fatty and fried food, sugars….blah blah blah. Of course, all of those things are in my top 10 favorite food types!  I have been reading this warning about these types of foods my whole pregnancy and I just thought yeah yeah, I’m hungry! And I didn’t give it much credit, however, last night we had Five Guys burgers (my fave!) and my meal contained fatty foods, fried foods, acid foods, carbonated drink, and sugar! Needless to say, I was miserable all night and today isn’t looking so great either! I learned my lesson; I guess those doctors know what they are talking about after all. Hmmmmm….So today, I am attempting to avoid all of those things (except sugar, I mean come one, I have to live a little!)  
          I am still getting almost daily headaches and I have noticed some slight facial breakouts (thankfully no backne yet “back acne”). My belly seems to be growing more and more; I have officially moved into maternity shorts! And I think I have almost gained 4 pounds. The mood swings and irritability are still in full affect, just ask my husband. I am also still waking up between 3 and 5 AM starving! I now keep crackers, dried apples and almonds by my bedside. It helps.
          Last week I began taking melatonin at night because I couldn’t seem to sleep through the night. Like most things this pregnancy, it was helpful for a few nights, but now its effectiveness has worn off. I can sleep for about 2 hours, but after that I am physically SUPER uncomfortable and I wake up at least once every hour. Then I have to pee, then I am hungry…vicious cycle. I have tried a new pillow, sleeping propped up, melatonin, and even crawling down to sleep at the foot of the bed; all to no avail. Oh yeah, did I mention how HOT I am at night?
          So in my last post I believe that I mentioned I was instructed to taper down my progesterone injections to ¾ of a CC. That made the injection time quicker, but my hip/upper buttocks area are a mess now. They are nothing but bruises, lumps, and swelling. And they are so painful! I was told that in one week I could get my blood drawn and if the numbers were good I could stop the shots all together. That was great news. I somehow made it through to this past Monday and I went and got my blood drawn. The nurse told me she didn’t know how long hormone results would take to get back. Thus, I waited patiently until Wednesday to call my doctor when I had not heard from them.
          The doctor’s office said they received a lab report for me but it said that no tests were done because there was no blood given or it was insufficient. What?! I know I saw her take a full vial from me. So then I called the lab and the lady said normally the testing lab calls her if there is a problem, yet no one called her and no one called me. (What a mess). So she called the main lab, and as it turns out, she put the wrong test codes on my vial! They had the blood the whole time, but the wrong test codes, and never called her to get the right ones! Then they wouldn’t take her word for it, they insisted my doctor call them, so I just had to wait and continue these painful shots while they figured this all out. The lab lady said she would call me….nope, she never did. Thankfully, only 2 shots later, my doctor’s office called me on Thursday and said I could stop the progesterone shots and the estrogen pills!  Zippidy do da, zippidy day!! I was so excited I wanted to do a cartwheel! (I know I shouldn’t, so I didn’t, but man did I want to!).
          However, I have to go back in one week and get these hormones tested again to make sure my body is producing enough on its own. Last check my progesterone was 58.1 and my estradiol was 1823! The nurse did warn me that my natural levels would be lower, and to not freak out about it. She said that as long as my progesterone level is at 20 or more we are good. I am so thankful to be done with those shots, but honestly, I think I would have continued them the entire 9 months for the safety of our twins.
          Next milestone: Thursday the 26th I go in for my 12 week 5day ultrasound; can’t wait to hear the heartbeat! The doctor said that we could go somewhere else in the building for a more in depth ultrasound. I am thinking about doing this next week, but maybe I should wait until week 16, when I would have a better chance of sneaking a peek at genders. What do you all think?

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Twins at 9 Weeks!

          Do you ever feel like time is dragging by? Then the very next week time seems to be literally flying by? Maybe that is just me. I have already determined that I am an impatient person, just itching to get to the next “thing;” but this past week has been a blur and I have barely been able to catch my breath! So now that I have a moment, allow me to catch ya’ll up!
          As I previously wrote, I now have a regular OB that I am seeing; however, I am still working with Dr. Keenan at the NEDC in TN at his request. I had my first OB appointment and ultrasound with my new OB at 8 weeks, but the NEDC requested that I have a 6 and 9 week ultrasound done and have the results faxed to them. This meant that I got to have 2 ultrasounds in one month! Yippee!
          So the 4th of July fell between my 8 and 9 week appointments, which meant that I would not be able to see the doctor until July 5th, which was a Thursday. I really didn’t like this because it meant that I would see him at 9 weeks 5 days, which I think is late. So now they schedule all of my appointments a month out, based on that Thursday. This means that at my “12 week” appointment I will almost be 13 weeks. I guess that is not a huge deal, but it feels like one. I want to get in as early as I can to see those sweet babies! It will really only be a problem to me when it comes to learning the gender because it means I will have to wait 5 whole days longer than necessary to find out.  

          If you remember, I am receiving twice daily intramuscular injections of progesterone and taking 4mg of Estrace a day, per the NEDC’s instructions. At 9 weeks I was instructed to get my blood drawn to check my body’s levels of these drugs, and based on that I could possibly begin tapering the dosages. My new OB, wise man that he is, suggested that I get this blood draw done at the same time that I get my “1st visit” OB blood work done so I do not have to get stuck more than necessary.
          I arrived at my 9 week 5 days appointment just as excited as ever! They weighed me and I had gained a whopping 1 pound so far! I was actually excited about that. Next they did a trans-vaginal ultrasound and I looked at the screen and said “what’s that?” the doctor said, “that’s an arm!” I was so used to seeing the babies as shapeless forms that I was unprepared to see arms, legs, and heads clearly formed! The best part was that they were moving!! Baby A was literally boxing in there! So cute. Both babies had strong heart beats and are measuring right on track for 9 weeks. 

Baby A measuring in at 2.6 CM

Baby B (upside down in there (: ) measuring in at 2.5 CM

          After the ultrasound they drew my blood and sent me home, with my 12 week (or should I say 12 weeks 5 days) appointment scheduled for July 26th. I really hope to HEAR the heart beats at that appointment! According to the internet, these babies are about the size of prunes. I am amazed at the affect that something(s) so small can have on a body. The nausea is back in full swing; the Zofran cannot even take the edge off most days and I continue to be exhausted and ravenous. But besides those physical things, mentally and spiritually I am soaring! Every day I am amazed that there are tiny lives growing inside me. I am honored every day that God has given me this miraculous opportunity.