Friday, June 27, 2008

Belly Shot Below

Thanks to everyone for your comments on my last post. It is good to know that my support system is still intact even though I feel guilty for whining (and, Nancy, if you could hear me in person, yes, it sure sounds like whining!). But I guess I am starting to be okay with things and know that I'm entitled to whine a bit when I feel it's necessary.

You might have noticed that I now have two different baby widgets on my sidebar. I added the new one because it allows for twins, but I didn't want to get rid of the first one because I like the functionality of being able to click on the week and read about what should be going on in there for that week.

This week was very similar to last week. Monday and Tuesday were horrible, horrible, long days of feeling awful all day long and then lying in bed moaning all evening. Things got a bit better as the week went on and today I almost felt completely normal for about an hour in the morning. I'm so glad the weekend is here so I can lie around all day without having to move other than to pee and eat. I think I've finally found the right dose and frequency of col.ace that makes the constipation bearable, so that is good progress.

I'm still taking the zo.fran (hence the horrible constipation). To be honest, it doesn't seem to do much of anything for the nausea, but I haven't vomited since I started taking it (knocking fiercely on wood). That isn't to say I haven't come close at times. Very close. But at least I've been able to keep some food down. And last night, I actually wanted AND enjoyed eating dinner. That hasn't happened in a long time. I am thankful that my insurance covers the stuff as it is really expensive ($27 per pill and I take 3 per day). At least I'm getting something out of my health insurance, even if they wouldn't pay for a cent of any of my IUI's or IVF's.

I've also rediscovered my sweet tooth with a vengeance. Probably not the best thing, but all I've wanted lately is donuts, ding dongs, and chocolate in any form. I haven't had a ding dong in so many years and I have no idea what made me think of them, but I mentioned it last night and when I got home from work today, ding dongs had magically appeared on the kitchen counter. Of course, the magic was B going to the store this morning (for the 500th time in the past 2 months). I also now have a supply of donut holes, cupcakes, in addition to my standard fruit that I've been living on lately (grapes, watermelon, bananas, and peaches, plus the new addition of grapefruits which sounded good last night too).

Now that I think about it, I'm definitely feeling better now (at least at this moment) because it isn't making me feel sick to talk/write/think about food. What a relief! That isn't to say I don't still have my dark moments where I feel like I'm about to die, but at least there is SOME relief from the constant doom and gloom. I'm starting to have short periods of time where I actually feel like reading my pregnancy books or looking at baby stuff online. Progress. Or baby steps, so to speak. I don't know if it is from the zo.fran and it took awhile to build up enough constant supply in my system, or if I'm starting to feel a bit better because I'm nearing the second trimester. I really hope it is the latter.

My next OB appointment is next Wednesday and this time I'll actually get to see my OB and hear the babies' heartbeats (I hope). It will have been 4 weeks since our last ultrasound which seems like a lifetime to me. I'm really hoping we'll get another peek at the buns next week so I'll feel like everything's still on track. I guess the experiences we've had in the past 2+ years have just made it difficult for me to believe that things will go smoothly. Part of me is still waiting for the other shoe to drop, but I'm trying not to think about that too often.

I'm also curious if she'll start measuring me and if she'll tell me how far along I'm measuring. It's a little ridiculous to me that it is difficult to hide the bump already, given that this is my first pregnancy. But I guess with two, it's to be expected.

I've been wanting to start taking belly pix for a couple of weeks now since I started showing so early, but I didn't get around to it until last weekend. And then once I got the first picture taken, I got too lazy to actually post it. I'm debating whether to create a separate blog for these pictures so that I have them in one place-I would just do a website, but I'm not that tech savvy (unless one of my teki friends wants to give me some tips!). So for now I'll just start posting them here.

Here is the belly at 10w2d (last Saturday).

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Where to start? I came to the realization last night that part of the reason I haven't been posting is that all I feel like doing is complaining. I feel awful, almost all the time. Eating is a chore and no longer a pleasure. My face looks like a teenager's face (and not because it looks youthful). I'm exhausted. A constant intake of stool softeners has helped, but I still get painful cramps after eating. The snot never seems to stop and the constant drip down the back of my throat just makes me more nauseous. It takes an extraordinary amount of effort to get through work each day. This means that I'm usually miserable by the time I get home. I haven't made phone calls or even sent emails to friends for weeks. I've hardly posted at all lately and I've completely quit commenting on other people's blogs (I'm sorry!). I've basically fallen off the face of the earth going from home to work and back again and nowhere else. Weekends are spent lying on the couch and forcing myself to eat and drink.

See? I have a lot of complaints. And it just seems so wrong that we've worked SO damn hard for so long to get here and all I can do is complain. Still. I'm over 10 weeks now and wondering when (if) I will start enjoying this pregnancy and being happy about it. When will I want to plan? There is really a lot we need to do and I would normally be in my element writing lists, starting to shop, looking at daycare options, thinking about names, reading books. But all I can do is lie around and moan. Every once in awhile I break down into tears pitying myself and hating myself for not loving every minute of finally being pregnant. Last night it took me 10 minutes to catch my breath after a crying fit. And it was a fit-real ugly sobbing, snot streaming down my face. On the one hand, the tears are a release for me and I know the hormones have a lot to do with these episodes. But it doesn't help me calm down and the crying always makes me feel worse. It took another half hour for my sinuses to clear up last night.

To make matters worse, I spoke with someone in HR at work yesterday and got some horrific news about our maternity leave policy. There isn't one. How is it possible to work somewhere for 3.5 years (and 3 years prior as a consultant) and not know this? I have no idea. I though I understood the policy as it was explained to me by one of the females in the department prior to my taking the job there. I was told that prior to 2 years of service, there was no separate maternity policy and you simply got 3 months unpaid leave under FMLA, although you would get some short-term disability at reduced pay for 6 weeks (I think). After 2 years of service , you were covered under short-term disability and were entitled to 3 months at FULL pay and up to 2 more months at half pay. I should have known this was too good to be true. The literature I received at orientation wasn't sufficiently clear to change my understanding of the policy.

I made life decisions based on the misinformation. I took the position and we actually WAITED to try to start a family until we were sure a baby would not be born prior to my 2 years of service (hindsight...sigh). I have passed up other opportunities and not even considered talking to headhunters because I was at my 2 years of service. I stayed at my job even though the insurance covered not a cent of infertility treatment (knowing full well there were other places in town that would pay for IVF) because the maternity leave was the light at the end of the tunnel.

HA! So much for that dream. If all were to go perfectly and I somehow manage to carry these two babies to term, I will use 3 days of vacation/sick time and then go on short-term disability and get full pay until my doctor releases me to go back to work (usually 6-8 weeks), even if I have a c-section. I will then switch over to using any unused vacation/sick time. My FMLA time will run concurrently from the start and will kick in as unpaid leave when all of my vacation/sick time is gone. This means that at best, I will be home with the babies for 12 weeks, most of it paid, but likely some of it unpaid depending on my vacation time. I will then have to go back to work with 3 month old twins and have not ONE day of vacation/sick time. The only way I would get the full 5 months of short-term disability is if there were a medical reason for a doctor to keep me from being released to work. The medical reason would have to be for me, not for the babies. (I suppose I should be grateful that I would at least get some short-term disability with full pay as I know some places don't offer it).

And if I end up on bed rest or having to stop work before the babies are born, it gets even worse. The bed rest time would fall under short-term disability after using 3 days of vacation/sick time. It would eat into the total allotted 5 months of short-term disability if for some reason I was medically unable to return to work after the birth. It also would eat into the 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA leave as it runs concurrently with short-term disability. For example, if I end up having to stop work 4 weeks prior to the birth, and my doctor releases me to go back to work 6 weeks after the birth, I will only have 2 weeks left of FMLA time. Unless I have more than 2 weeks of vacation/sick time built up, I will have to go back to work 8 weeks after the twins are born. 8 weeks! How the fuck am I supposed to do that? Even if they are completely healthy, this seems impossible.

This is a far cry from the 5 months paid leave (3 at full pay and 2 at half pay) I thought I was entitled to. How could I be so stupid? I am kicking myself and trying to figure out how in the world I was so misinformed. But that doesn't even matter. What matters is that I have no idea how I will go back to work after 12 measly weeks (at best) and it puts the pressure on to try to work right up until I go into labor to avoid eating into that time. Not a fun prospect.

Part of me knows I shouldn't be writing about this on the blog because it is work related, but it is just the facts and the fact is I'm really pissed off. And pissed off doesn't go well with nauseous.

See why I haven't been posting? I'm just a bowl full of sunshine.

(Please don't take this post as me being ungrateful. I know how lucky we are and I wouldn't give this pregnancy up for the world-even though I'm miserable).

Monday, June 16, 2008

Guest Post from a Future Dad

Hello. I am "B", Denise's husband. I volunteered to post a guest blog to update everyone on how Denise is doing since it has been a few days since she has posted and I know it is driving her crazy. First, let me give you all a quick update. Denise has obviously not been feeling great as of late. She has had her moments when she feels good but unfortunately they haven't lasted long enough for her to update you all through her blog. As of now, we are just taking everything day by day. I feel so bad for her and even worse, there is absolutely nothing I can do to make it better. I know she has expressed her gratitude to everyone in the past but let ME take this time to say thank you as well.

Okay, so now it's time to get out of my comfort zone and tell you all a bit about myself and my thoughts on what we have been through and will eventually go through. In terms of how Denise currently feels, it is real hard for me to have absolutely no control over this and even worse to not be able to help. Of course, I have been to the store 100 times and have tried to come up with items I think will help her. You see, I love to cook. Always have. Growing up I used to watch cooking shows with my dad and I come from a family where the men always cooked (as did the women). As soon as you walk into my grandparents house there is always a huge cheeses and salami platter waiting for you and my grandma would undoubtably have something on the stove and would insist that you have some. I guess it is just the way my family has always tried to comfort people. So for me to not be able to do this is just a little weird. I know Denise has written that I have been taking care of the household for the most part these last few weeks but I really don't mind. Actually, it is a way for me to contribute and help so it makes me feel good.

I guess I should have put this at the top but let me also say that I am so very excited about our "Buns". It been kind of weird really. I'm not scared at all (although I am sure that emotion will show itself eventually). I'm just real excited and want them to be here already. I think I will be a good dad and look forward to doing all those "dad things". Of course I have gone into responsible adult mode. I have contacted our life insurance agent and am currently upping the premium on myself (I guess I should watch my back when Denise has some of her mood swings). I have talked with some friends about creating a will, have been reading up on first time dad stuff, have tried to stop spending money on frivolous items, and have even decided not to get a new car until the Buns arrive and we see what type of new car they will want.

For now I am just trying to absorb the experience. One good thing is that Denise's parents live close by and all I know is that things would be impossible without them. We had an ultrasound the other day and Denise's mom was with us. I have to say, one of the coolest thing I have seen in a very long time was the look on my mother-in-law's face as the ultrasound tech was showing us both Buns. Denise and I have discussed this many times and we feel it is important to have them involved as much as they want to be (both before the birth and after). While my family is just as excited for us they don't live close by and we therefore lean on her parents. I grew up with all of my family living within a few blocks of each other and we always seemed to congregate at my grandparents house. I guess I was just hoping to give my kids that same experience (although my in-laws are probably locking their doors as they are reading this).

I actually can't wait to pick out all of the baby stuff. We have been to various baby stores a few times and there are so many cool things you can get. However, it kind of a double edged sword. Yah, there is a lot of cool thing out there but in this day and age there is also information overload on how to raise a kid. It's almost comical. If I were to believe everything I would think you could only take children outside once every 6 weeks when the moon is not full and the day of the week doesn't end in a "Y". I mean, look at me. I have sucked on my fair share of lead paint growing up and I turned out fine (that point is left open to debate).

Anyway, I apologize for my thoughts being so disorganized. I am obviously not the skilled writer that my wife is. I may appear from time to time depending on how Denise feels. Hopefully she will feel up to posting soon and you will not have to put up with any more of my rants.

Again, thanks to all of you. Your support has meant a great deal to both of us.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ketones & Prizes

How long have I been pregnant? I'm only 9 weeks, but the last 4 weeks (and really more so 3 of the last 4) have lasted FOREVER. Time really goes slow when you feel shitty all the time and can't eat and drink like you are used to. And for someone who usually loves food (point finger at me), it's a little depressing to lose your appetite. Water isn't even appealing to me anymore. Although it isn't drastic, I have lost a little weight which is disturbing.

I called my OB's office today to complain (and cry, of course) that the zo.fran wasn't doing anything. I don't know why, but I can't seem to talk to a nurse anymore without crying. I just feel sorry for myself when I feel like vomiting constantly and I'm forced to tell someone about it. And I apparently turn into a pathetic, weepy mess. The nurse was convinced I was dehydrated and that would explain why the zo.fran wasn't helping. So they sent me to the hospital to get some IV fluids and IV zo.fran. I'm not sure how dehydrated I actually was as I have been keeping some fluids and food down, but I figured it wouldn't hurt. Last night was just dry heaving. Good times.

They checked my urine for ketones which according to the nurse at the hospital show up in your urine when you are dehydrated and your body burns fat to make up for the lack of fluids. Dr. Google says it is when your body burns fat for energy because you are lacking carbs, but whatever. I had no ketones, so that was good. They sent me home after a dose of zo.fran and two bags of fluid. Now that I am fully hydrated, the pills should work if I take them religiously every 8 hours. If that doesn't work, we will be looking into a zo.fran pump that delivers constant medicine subcutaneously (gee, wonder if insurance will cover that one). I guess it doesn't make sense to try something else because zo.fran is the gold standard of anti-nausea medication. This shit better work.

So after my lovely day, I came home to a wonderful surprise in the mail. It was my prize from Alison!

She not only sent me a cd with some of her favorite songs, but it came with an explanation of why she likes each song and the cd was all wrapped up with a pretty bow. I'm a sucker for a pretty bow. I love music and this was just the perfect boost to a crummy day! I especially liked the description for song 14. which was Justin Timberlake's "What Goes Around." The description is exactly how I feel about this song and good ole JT, "Closet fan and this song makes me move." Nuff said. Guess I'm out of the closet now!

So now I'm listening to some tunes thoughtfully compiled by one of my fellow bloggers while I sip some juice and hope my small dinner of toaster waffles stays put. Thanks for making my day, Alison!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Not too impressed with the Zo.fran so far.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Yeah I'm a High Maintenance Patient

I started spotting light pink this morning at work. I calmly walked back to my office, shut the door and called my doctor's office. The nurses never actually answer the phone, so I had to leave a message. I got impatient and called again 30 minutes later and someone actually answered the phone. Of course as soon I started explaining the situation I started crying. There was just no stopping it. The nurse took down all my info. Color? Light pink. Heavy or light? Light. Cramping? A little. She agreed to go talk to the doctor and call me right back. They sent me for an ultrasound this afternoon and everything looks just fine. Phew...

Baby A's heart rate is up to 176 and Baby B was at 182/176 (they measure twice), both are right on target. I've posted some pictures below, but the quality isn't that good. They did do the ultrasound vaginally for most of it, but ended up doing external as well because they couldn't find my right ovary (which has apparently already been pushed out of the way). These pictures are from the external ultrasound, so they aren't great. For each one, you can see a head, little arm buds and leg buds. Baby A has his/her legs tucked up a bit and Baby B is a bit more stretched out. I didn't catch the measurements, but they said everything looks good. There was no indication of a cause for the bleeding, so the assumption is that it is from the placenta(s) attaching to the uterine wall (another type of implantation bleeding). Back to pelvic rest for me.

It was a bit of a scary day and I'm just relieved everything looks okay. Oh, and the nurse called in a prescription for zof.ran for me today. Can't wait to see how that helps. They also told me that my white blood cell count was slightly elevated last Wednesday and wanted to know if I had an infection. I got the message and that's when the spotting began so I completely forgot to ask about it when I talked to the nurse. I'm wondering now if the head cold feeling I've been having is actually the start of a sinus infection and not allergies like I thought. I'll have to call back tomorrow and ask. I've had enough drama for today.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Yesterday was a pretty good day. I slept in until 9:30am, laid around the house and even felt well enough to go to the store for a bit. I was feeling so good that I ate a full bowl of spaghetti for dinner. Two hours later, I went upstairs, took my prenatal and baby aspirin, and laid down in bed. Fifteen minutes later I was running to the bathroom. What gives? I felt good (relatively) all day, had a decent dinner and then couldn't keep it down.

The one thing last night's episode had in common with Thursday night's was that it happened shortly after I laid down to go to sleep. So now I'm afraid to lay down. When I lay down, I can almost feel the contents of my stomach floating up and trying to escape. I tried to prop myself up with pillows afterwards, but I couldn't sleep that way. So I tossed and turned all night.

On this week's agenda:

1. Try using pep.sid
2. Try using cl.aritin
3. Call my ob and ask for an anti-nausea prescription

Yep, I'm done being hesitant about taking drugs. Bring em on.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Calling All Colorado Lurkers

Two posts in one day? Well, I forgot to mention the next meet-up for the ColoBloggers! We will be heading to the Bel.mar theaters to see Se.x and the C.ity tomorrow for the 1:10pm viewing. We will meet up around 12:30pm in front of the theaters.

I am going to do my best to be there. I really don't want to miss it, so I'm going to try to suck it up and get down there to hang with my girls (although I reserve the right to cancel last minute if need be). Hopefully the movie will distract me from how I feel for a couple of hours.

Any of you lurkers out there are welcome to join us if you're in the area. You'll recognize me by my green face, water bottle, and purse full of food.

One Week and a Pity Party

It's been one week since my last post. A record for me. It's been a really, really long week. I can't even do justice to how I'm feeling with words lately. Like I have the permanent flu coupled with a head cold and a stomach bug? I struggle through each day at work just hoping to make it to 5, drive home hoping to make it home safely, force myself to eat something, drag myself up to bed.

I had an appointment with a nurse practitioner at my OB's office on Wednesday afternoon. It was a very long appointment filled mostly with talking, a urine sample, 3 vials of blood, and a very uncomfortable pelvic exam (is it possible that her entire arm was up there all the way to her elbow? that's what it felt like anyway). The nurse assured me that I can relax a bit and stop being so strict with certain things-I can eat chocolate if I want, paint my nails, take medication for my allergies. She also encouraged me to ask for a prescription for the nausea if I need to, but to try taking vitamin B6 three times a day. That night I went home, started taking B6, and took a whole ben.adryl before bed.

On Thursday, I had a really hard time getting up. Ben.adryl knocks me out pretty good and I probably should have just taken a half. I continued to take the B6 all day Thursday and felt progressively worse as the day went on. By the time I got home Thursday night, I was a mess. I experienced my first vomiting episode that night and barely slept with an uneasy stomach all night. So yesterday (Friday), I stopped taking the B6. I have no idea if it is the culprit, but yesterday went much better than Thursday, so now I'm afraid to try the B6 again.

I'm not sure exactly why, but I'm hesitant to ask for anti-nausea medication and I don't really want to take allergy medication or anything else. I know that the first trimester is the most critical time when the buns are developing all of their organs and systems and I'm just afraid to screw anything up. I figure I've been through so much, what's another month of misery? I'm not sure B would agree. He's been doing everything the last couple of weeks. I mean everything-because I am worthless. He has even been packing me a food bag every night to take to work the next day to make sure I have snacks to keep me full all day at work. Grocery shopping, dishes, laundry, oil changes, taking care of the dogs, etc. The list goes on and on. If he weren't here right now, I would starve with no clean clothes and a broken down car.

It is a little difficult for me to come to terms with the fact that everyone around me is so excited and I am just blah. I can't get excited right now. I feel awful. All the time. I can't make plans or even think about these babies coming home. I can't read my multiples book or any of my pregnancy books. I've been trying really hard to keep up with my blog reading, but I can't comment. I just feel like I'm in a really weird place right now. This is what we've been working towards for so long now. We've put every other aspect of our lives on hold for this and we've finally WON. And I'm miserable. I can't celebrate and that just isn't right. It isn't fair.

I keep thinking that after the first trimester, things will be different. I'll feel good. I'll be able to eat again. I'll be able to exercise a little and travel and do normal things like going out to dinner with friends. I'll feel like myself again. I'll feel like my normal planning-obsessed self and it will become more real that we'll have 2 babies coming home soon. I so, so hope this is true...