Friday, October 31, 2008

What a Difference a Couple of Days Makes

After the results of Monday's test, we though we were in the clear for the next 2 weeks. Not so much. Last night when I got home from work, I was contracting. A lot. I took a bath. I drank tons of water. I rested on my side. And after counting contractions between 8 and 9pm that ranged from 2 minutes between to 10 minutes between, I called the doctor. The told us to head to the hospital for monitoring.

Once we got to the hospital, I was hooked up to monitors (one for contractions and one for each baby) and watched. The doctor stopped in and we talked. She did another fetal fibron.ectin and manual exam of the cervix (which looked great still). Then they started me on terbu.taline to try to relax the uterus and slow down the contractions. I got two sub-cu shots of terb and then the results of the fetal fibron.ectin came back positive. Very confusing since the one from Monday was negative and supposed to predict very little chance of pre-term labor in the next two weeks. But a positive isn't relied upon as much as a negative because it just means you are at increased risk of pre-term labor, but many people won't experience it. Regardless, because of the positive results, they decided to admit me over night. They started alternating oral terb with oral proc.ardia (another medication to slow down contractions) and gave me the first of two shots of betame.thasone (a steroid shot to help the babies lungs mature in case of premature delivery).

I stayed on the monitors all night last night and because of the jittery, heart racing side effects of the terb, didn't really sleep at all. This morning we were told that the plan was the same until the doctor was able to come see me (around 9am). They did decide that the babies only needed to be monitored 3 times a day since they looked great (good heart rates and lots of movement). I don't think Apple and Banana like having the monitors on as it felt like they kept trying to kick them off. The doc showed up at 4pm. It was a long, long day. They decided to keep me at least one more night to do the second shot of beta.methasone. It is most effective when the mom is given two shots 24 hours apart. This means the second one falls at 1:30am tonight.

The medications did slow down the contractions, but they have started to get a bit more frequent as the afternoon and evening wears on. This is the pattern I've been in for a couple of weeks now. The doc said as long as I'm contracting no more than 6 times an hour, they will send me home tomorrow and keep me on the medications. Once home, I will be on modified bed rest, at least for a couple of weeks. This means I get up really only to go to the bathroom, shower, grab some food, etc. Guidelines are 1 hour up, 2 hours of rest. I can be sitting up if it is more comfortable to rest that way. I can also try to work from home as much as I feel up to. So we'll see how that goes. If a couple of weeks go by smoothly, we might try cutting back on the medications and cutting back on bed rest a bit (maybe go in to work for a couple of hours a couple of days a week). We'll see though. This is a critical point in the pregnancy and the doctor pointed out that we should do everything we can to prevent premature delivery or we will always be stuck with the "what ifs." I whole-heartedly agree.

We are hopeful that things will go well from here. I don't know why or how, but for some reason so far I haven't shed one tear over this situation. Sooooo unlike me. I've gotten permission to take my tyl.enol pm tonight to try to get some sleep and hopefully some relief from the back pain that is now constant. Wish me luck.

Oh, and if anyone out there has stories about pre-term labor (contractions) that have happy endings (term deliveries), please let me know! I want more reassurance of a good outcome!

(sorry if this was rambling post. I'm going on no sleep and jittery side effects from medication right now)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Fetal fibronectin came back negative. Next step is cervical length check on Monday.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Week by Week

Just wanted to update after my doctor's appointment today. They did the fetal fibronectin and we should have results tomorrow. But, for instant gratification, the doctor also did an internal and noted that my cervix still looks closed and long and doesn't appear to be thinning out. This is very reassuring as it means my cervix is holding up well even with all of the uterine activity and Apple's head sitting right up against it. If the test comes back negative, it means they are 99.9% sure I will not go into pre-term labor in the next two weeks. If it comes back positive, it means I'm at an increased 30-40% risk of pre-term labor in the next two weeks and we need to revisit the plan. Given the status of my cervix, we are fully expecting a negative.

So, all good news so far. We are also moving to weekly appointments. Yippee! Since the fetal fibronectin is good for 2 weeks, we'll do this test every two weeks. On the alternating weeks, they'll do a vaginal ultrasound to check cervical length. Ah, my old friend, the dildo cam. It's been awhile! So now I go in every Monday. Full ultrasounds will still be every 4 weeks, although we'll see if I can convince the sonographer to take a peek at Apple and Banana during the cervical length checks! I went ahead and made all of my appointments through December 15th. Hopefully I'll still be pregnant by then and able to keep all of these appointments.

The doctor is also still comfortable with me working for now, but agreed cutting back would be a good idea. She did say that if any of the fetal fibronectin tests come back positive or if my cervix starts shortening at any point in time, all bets are off. So for now, I continue just plugging away, but we will revisit plan once a week.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


First, if you have an opinion on cord blood banking, please go comment on my last post.

It is still surreal to me to think I'm in my 29th week. It is starting to feel like this will really happen and I can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, that doesn't mean I will stop complaining anytime soon!

We had a busy weekend (at least for us these days). Yesterday my mom came over and helped me sort through all of the clothes we've gotten, take tags off and sort. B then washed all of the clothes, sheets and towels and we put everything away in the nursery. It's just amazing how much stuff we've gotten! My mom also lined the cabinet/drawers in the bathroom that separates the nursery from the third bedroom upstairs. It is something I've been meaning to do since we moved in 2 years ago. I lined all of the cabinets/drawers in the kitchen, guest bathroom and master bathroom right away. For some reason I stopped at the other bathroom upstairs. This feels like one more step towards accepting/admitting that we are actually going to USE the nursery soon! Today my mom went shopping with me to buy a couple of bras and pajama pants. Shopping is exhausting for me, so it's nice to have someone to grab different sizes for me (especially since I have no idea what size I am in anything these days). I also got through most of the rest of the thank-you notes for gifts we got at the shower and over the last week.

My one last task for tonight is to finish filling out my mail-in ballot. I've filled out some of it (all of the state and local initiatives), but need to finish.

On the pregnancy front, the BH contractions (if that's what they are) have been steadily increasing. Although the pattern is more sporadic during the day while I'm at work and then almost constant at night once I get home and relax. This pattern really doesn't sound like pre-term labor, but I'm paranoid. I called the OB office on Friday to ask about monitoring. The nurse spoke with the doctor and told me to take a bath at night, push fluids and to come in on Monday for a fetal fibronectin test. This is a test for pre-term labor. From what I've read, it isn't all that reliable. But whatever, I'll take it for now. When I go in on Monday, I'm thinking of requesting to move to weekly appointments because the contractions are just making me really nervous.

One new development this week is that I now have stretch marks. They are around my belly button (or what used to be my belly button) and they are oh so hot. The ultrasound tech last Monday commented on how great my skin was and that it was great that I have no stretch marks. Uh, yeah. She spoke too soon. Other than that, just dealing with the same pelvic and back pain and I'm STILL waiting for the pregnancy acne to go away. I guess the idea that it would go away in the 2nd trimester was wishful thinking.

There was a development on the work front last week, but I can't say anything yet as there are some people who read this who travel in the same work circles and nothing has been announced yet. One more week and I should be able to share. Also, in one more week, our dress code at work changes so that we can wear jeans any day of the week instead of just on Fridays. Not all that exciting for me considering my maternity jeans aren't that comfortable and I can seem to find any that will stay up (even with se.cret fit belly). It will be nice once I'm back to my normal clothes. Five more weeks of work until I can relax and hand over the reigns (actually 4.5 because of Thanksgiving). This week is going to be hard though because it is full of meetings. Plus, the person I rely on the most will be out of the country this week. It is for work and this person is going in my place because I can't travel.

That's it for now. Below are new belly pix from yesterday (I've included one straight on-if you click on it you can probably see the lovely stretch marks) and a couple of ultrasound pix from last Monday. This time Apple was easier to see and Banana was hiding from the camera.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cord Blood

I'm just now starting to research the benefits of banking cord blood in a private bank and I'm curious if any of you have thoughts on this. Do the potential benefits outweigh the price? The brochure we were given was for vi.acord. Their pricing is about $2,200 for the first year and then $125 per year for each year after. Their website says they have pricing for twins, but you have to call for details. I wouldn't expect there to be a a huge discount. Thoughts?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Wishful thinking. I'm having trouble falling asleep tonight. I just can't get comfortable and the t.yl.enol pm doesn't seem to be working. Apple's feet must be way up in my ribs because I can't breathe. The round ligament pain that has plagued me on the lower left side of my abdomen is acting up. The house is quiet except for B's snoring in the next room. He has taken to sleeping in the guest bedroom so his snoring doesn't keep me up. Even the dogs are asleep. Can I do this for 10 more weeks?

I'm sure this problem will go away once the babies are born. And then I'll be up every 2 hours for feedings. Oh, the irony.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Week 28 Appointment

Another appointment with all good news. I could get used to that!

Here are the highlights:
  • Apple is still vertex (head down) and her head is pretty low in my pelvis.  She is pretty much stretched out on my left side with her feet up in my ribs.  Yeah, pretty comfy.  That explains the shortness of breath.  She's weighing in now around 2 pounds 2 ounces and is measuring 27 weeks even.  Since I am 27w4d today, this is still in the normal range of a singleton, which is really good for a twin.  Her heart rate was 143 and she is still swallowing fluid.
  • Banana is also vertex, but up higher and on my right side.  He was pretty curled up today and wasn't cooperating for pictures.   He weighs about 2 pounds 5 ounces and is measuring 27 weeks 2 days.  His heart rate was 148 and he is also still swallowing fluid.
  • Apple and Banana are still close enough in size and weight that their growth is considered concordant, which is good.  They are sharing nicely.  Both placentas still look healthy and firmly attached.
  • My cervix is still nice and long (5 something).
  • Blood pressure really low at 110/60.
  • Weight gain around 25 pounds.  I'm gaining around a pound a week now which puts me at the lower end of what my doctor recommends 10 weeks from now (her recommendation was 35-45 total weight gain).
  • Speaking of 10 weeks from now, my doc says she doesn't think I'll go past that.  If I do, we can discuss pros and cons of inducing.  But from what I've been reading, I'm going to do all I can to avoid induction.
  • My belly is now measuring 37 cm (what would be expected for a woman pregnant with a singleton at 37 weeks).  The doctor said this explains why I'm experiencing more frequent BH contractions.  Apparently as the uterus approaches the size it would at term with a singleton, it starts to prepare for labor because it doesn't know there are two babies in there that need to grow some more.  Silly uterus.  So it becomes increasingly more important now to keep a watch out for pre-term labor.
In other news, we have decided on a doula.  We met with her last night.  She has attended three twin births and I really like her philosophy and answers to all of my questions.  I'm actually pretty surprised at how relieved I feel having made that decision.  I was feeling like a slacker that we haven't taken any childbirth classes yet and having a doula there takes some of that pressure off.  We are taking a multiples class that should cover childbirth, but it isn't for 3 weeks and since it is multiples specific and only for one day, I'm not sure how much they will cover.  We are also signed up for a baby care class that same weekend (which will be an exhausting weekend).  Then we are going to sign up for a baby safety class (infant cpr, etc.) for the weekend after (if there is still room in the class).

I continued the countdown this morning by reminding myself only 6 more weeks until I can shift some responsibility at work and start working from home.  Then I remembered that the last week in November is Thanksgiving, so it is really only 5 1/2 weeks.  Yay!  Tomorrow also begins my schedule of leaving early to work from home in the evenings.  I didn't feel right starting that today since I was out all morning.

I also got temporary tags to park in handicap parking spots today.  My doctor thought it was a great idea.  Not only can I avoid long walks in parking lots, but now I will be able to park in wider spaces which makes it easier to get in and out of the car.  Last Friday I walked to my car after work to go home and could not get into my car on the driver's side.  I'm not even sure I could have gotten in if I weren't pregnant, the car next to me was parked so close and so far over the line.  After calming down and convincing myself that slashing the car's tires or keying the car would not be productive, I resigned myself to getting into the passenger seat and hauling my huge pregnant ass over the center console.  It took me forever and was painful.  Thankfully, I should be able to avoid that situation going forward.  My temporary tags expire January 18th, two days after my due date.

That's all for now.  Sorry for the lack of pictures today.  I just don't have the energy to go scan them.  I'll get to it next weekend.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Paint Pictures

Here are pictures of the rooms we had painted this week: the nursery, our master bedroom, the dining room, and the niche above the tv/fireplace in our family room. I think they all turned out great. We tried to use multiple colors especially in the master and the dining room to show off the architectural details. The painter did a great job. I'm especially impressed with the straight lines he was able to do on the rounded drywall corners. I have no idea how he did it-tape doesn't make lines that straight!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Big sigh of relief. I passed the 3-hour glucose test! All levels were within normal ranges. I'm SO relieved.

When the nurse called after my 1-hour test, I hung up the phone and burst into tears. And then I told myself to stop being over dramatic. This time I was really nervous all day waiting for the call. I thought about it and realized that my experiences with nurses calling me with bad news through IF treatments has tainted my expectations on receiving medical news over the phone. I've gotten so used to hearing bad news from nurses on skyrocketing E2 levels, cancelled cycles or negative betas. Now I'm always expecting bad news and all of those feelings of anxiety return. Maybe someday the good news phone calls will start to overshadow the bad news phone calls and I'll be back to expecting the best instead of the worst.

I had a spell of dizziness at lunch today. This is going to sound strange, but I'm convinced it was because I was talking too much and not getting enough oxygen! I relaxed for a bit and went outside for some air and felt better.

The painter started yesterday and is supposed to finish up tomorrow. So far it looks awesome. I'll have to post pictures when it's done and before we clutter the rooms up with furniture again. It is nice to finally have some color on the walls.

The latest at work this week is that my boss has now decided to make a decision on the position by Nov. 1st. This means I'm essentially interviewing for the job that I've been doing now for the past month. I also told my boss that starting next week I was going to be leaving in the afternoons to work from home. I've been dealing with various 6pm phone calls because of time zone differences (across the globe) and it has just become too much for me to get home that late. So I'll be leaving the office in the afternoon early enough to beat traffic and working from home. We'll see how it works

More people are popping up pregnant around me and I just realized that for the first time, I received news of two new pregnancies (one of a close friend and one of a coworkers wife) and I didn't have any feelings of jealousy or hurt whatsoever. Is it possible that I'm starting to move past this?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me...

Today is my 32nd birthday. I feel old and achy. My ECP is acting up and my back hurts. I'm on my first of 3 days of an increased carb diet to prepare for the 3-hour glucose tolerance test on Wednesday. It has been cloudy, rainy and gloomy all weekend. And this has been the best birthday weekend ever! We had my baby shower yesterday which was just perfect. We got so much great stuff for the babies and I got to hang out with friends and family. Today we are just watching football and eating (a lot).

I've been pretty bad about blogging and reading blogs the last couple of weeks (sorry). This is our second weekend in a row with company, so I've been living in the real world instead. The painter is supposed to start on Tuesday (hopefully he'll show up) and paint the nursery, master bedroom, dining room, and the niche in the family room. Once the painting is done, we can start putting away all of the great baby loot we got at the shower.

My boss informed me last week that he isn't going to make a decision on the position until after I come back. Still not sure how I feel about this. It means I have all the responsibilities of the position until I go on leave, but that is it. Once I'm on leave, a coworker will take over and then we'll see what happens when I get back. I think my boss is worried that I won't want all of the responsibility that the position entails once I have two babies. Ahh, the things men don't ever have to worry about.

My boss also decided that I should hand over the reigns on December 1st, so even if I'm still at work, I'll just be support and my back-up will be in charge at that point. This means that it will probably make sense to start working from home at that point. Seven more weeks. Seven. More. Weeks.

Well, I would expect that my belly shots this week would look much bigger than two weeks ago, but it doesn't look that way to me. Maybe it's just the pictures. Last Monday when they measured me, the belly had grown about 4 cm in 2 weeks. You would think that would be visible in the pictures, but oh well.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I failed the glucose screen.  Not even borderline, but a solid FAIL.  Three hour glucose test, here I come...

Monday, October 6, 2008

26 Week Appointment

No ultrasound pictures this time and no belly shots this weekend. Although we spent all weekend just hanging out with family, it seemed really busy and I never got around to taking any pictures. I guess you'll all have to wait until next weekend to gasp in shock at my ever-expanding waistline.
  • At today's appointment, I measured in at 31/31.5 weeks.  About 6 weeks ahead.  Yikes.  If I continue at this rate and make it to 40 weeks (not all that likely), I will be as big as someone who is 6 weeks past due!
  • Blood pressure nice and low at 110/60.
  • Iron was low, so I'm now taking iron supplements in addition to my myriad of other pills.
  • Took the one hour glucose screen (drink syrupy orange liquid and get blood drawn an hour later) to test for gestational diabetes.  Results should be back tomorrow.  Cross your fingers I pass so I don't have to do the 3 hour test!
  • Apple's heart rate was at 140 and Banana's was at 150.  This is about 10 bpm higher than the last couple of appointments for each of them, but can be attributed to the sugar from the glucose screen drink.
  • Doc listened to my heart and lungs and everything sounded good.  She said we'll just keep an eye on the shortness of breath and to let them know if anything changes.
  • Weight is up about 25 pounds so far, which I'm happy with.
Other than that, just recovering from a busy weekend.  Sorry so quiet on everyone's blogs.  Didn't have much time to read this weekend and now I'm just wiped out.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pregnancy Dreams

I looked down at my belly and saw the outline of a tiny foot. It slowly pushed harder, stretched the skin and then popped through. I smacked my hands against it and tried to push it back in while a tiny head started to stretch out of the other side of my belly. I panicked as the head popped through the skin. It's too soon. And then I woke up.