Thursday, December 23, 2010

Last 2nd Tri Check-in: 99 days left!!!!!

This is my last 2nd tri check-in!  On to the third trimester next week.  I can't believe I've made it this far!!!

How far along? 25w6d, an eggplant! He should be around 15.5 inches long at this point!

Weight gain/loss: 7 pounds?  Not sure why all the fluctuations... 

Sleep? I'm sleeping GREAT!
Best moment this week? Figuring out why I was having contractions.  I was otherwise getting pretty scared and we were emotionally preparing ourselves for his arrival.  Also, we ordered the high chair today so that was fun!

Movement:  He's slowed down quite a bit but he's still wriggling around in there.  I really think he has less room to move around, so the movements are not quite as strong.

Food cravings: Spicy, spicy spicy. Hot wings and Taco Bell with lots of fire sauce! <-- This, still!+

What I miss? I hate this question.
What I am looking forward to? Next OB appt on January 4!

Milestones: Almost in the 3rd trimester. :)
What I'm nervous about: The Diabetes Counseling classes I have to take starting January 4. :(

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Contractions and GD

So last week I was having contractions while on the toco monitor.  Quite a few of them, 5 an hour to be exact.  Nothing earth-shatteringly scary, but definitely enough to keep me in bed for a couple of days.

I think we figured out why, though - I was laying propped with pillows on my back.  The nurses said that sometimes if blood flow to the uterus is hampered at all, the uterus will respond by becoming irritable.  Whew!!!!  I've since been monitoring on my side and so far only 1-2 contractions picked up.  I'm very thankful, we are NOT wanting to meet Little Man this soon!

Yesterday I got diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes.  Not happy about that, but I guess the bright side is that I'm being forced into a healthy diet.  I like healthy foods, so that won't be a problem.  I just really like sweet and unhealthy foods, too.  He will be worth it.  All worth it!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Weekly Check-in

How far along? 24w6d, almost an eggplant! I'm sure he's close to 2 lbs already.

Weight gain/loss: +8'ish

Sleep? We've been so busy with family in town that sleep is great!  I pass out every night and only get up 2-3 times to go to the bathroom, then pass right back out.
Best moment this week? Keith FINALLY felt him kick from the outside.  He also was able to see it from the outside.  Our boy is a strong one! 

Movement: Yes, lots!  He seems to be on my schedule, active during the day (he starts moving right when I wake up) and is pretty quiet through the night.  Last night we were driving home from getting dinner and were stopped by a freight train.  We had the windows open since it was 78 degrees (in December!) and we were the first in line waiting for the train to pass.  It shrieked the horn and the poor little guy jumped - as much as he could within a cramped uterus, that is.  The train horn was SO loud that it scared him! 

Food cravings: Spicy, spicy spicy.  Hot wings and Taco Bell with lots of fire sauce!
What I miss? This is always such a hard question.  Although I miss quite a few things, I don't really feel like I'm giving up anything that is going to matter.  I just want this baby to be born healthy and as close to term as possible.  I can give up Diet Coke and a calm stomach for 9 months, really, I can. 
What I am looking forward to? Next OB appt on January 4!
Milestones: We already hit viability and next week his eyes will start to open!!!! 
What I'm nervous about: Results of my 3 hour glucose test...   I'm anxiously awaiting their call.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Oh Yeah, and failed the 1 hour GTT :(

Grrrrr.. 3 hour next Wednesday.

Beaking Cervix, but not worried!

I should have posted this yesterday; oops!

Everything looks great - Baby Boy is 1 lb 8 oz!!!!! He would NOT let her get a pic of his face in 3d, he kept putting his hands up and boxing. When she would jiggle my stomach he would punch back with both hands, it was pretty funny!
Cervix is still long and closed BUT she noticed a tiny bit of "beaking" above the TAC. Below the TAC there is about 3.5cm of closed cervix. Above the TAC, there was almost 1 cm but it was beaked. She pushed hard at the top of my uterus and the pressure caused it to momentarily funnel, but the TAC is holding everything in, thank God!

My OB didn't want to see me for another month (and no sono) which kinda freaked me out. She said I was no longer being treated for incompetent cervix, but only monitoring for PTL, since I'm past the point of viability. I see her point, but I talked her into letting me get a cervical length check at my next appointment in a month.  :)

Also, she said hospital policy is no elective c-section before 40 weeks without one of the major issues (pre-e, eclampsia, etc). She said a cerclage is not a reason to have an elective C at 38 weeks and she would have to go to the Chief and request approval IF my TAC surgeon gives her a good enough reason. She's got a conference call with him tomorrow and he requests a 38wk c-section to prevent uterine rupture since there's so much pressure on the band. I'm totally fine with going the whole 40 weeks if I can (plus I can get an April Fool's baby, if he will stay in that long). I'm not going to think about it just yet, but enjoy the time I have now. It's all so overwhelming!

Here is a 3d of his sweet little face:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Weekly Check-in

Okay, these are getting boring... but the good news is, boring is good!  I don't really have much going on, just coasting through the end of the 2nd trimester, praying to be unscathed. 

How far along? 23w3d, a papaya!
Weight gain/loss: +6
Sleep? Tossing and turning about once an hour :(
Best moment this week?  Being able to get around and DO things!

Movement: I can see it from the outside most of the time.  Daddy is still too impatient to wait a few minutes to feel it.  I think his feelings are hurt that he doesn't react as soon as he hears Daddy's voice. I have to remind him that baby is not a circus performer and he doesn't perform on demand.  There are moments of serious movement that are quite entertaining to watch!  Movement is also getting into a pattern - anytime I wake up in the middle of the night, he gets going, and when I'm up in the morning, I feel him going crazy.  Again around mid-morning, he has another strong one.  Things will get quiet for a few hours, then around dinner time, he goes again, then once more before going to sleep.  Pretty soon he's going to wake me up in the middle of the night!

Food cravings: Peanuts in shells, peanut butter, Reese's peanut butter cups, Peanut butter granola bars... can't get enough!
What I miss? Nothing really, it will all be worth it!
What I am looking forward to? Next ultrasound on December 7th
Milestones: His lungs are starting to grow and mature!
What I'm nervous about: Nothing right now!  I take that back, I'm nervous for the glucose tolerance test tomorrow..... :(

Monday, November 29, 2010

Weekly Check-in

How far along? 22w3d, a papaya!
Weight gain/loss: +4
Sleep? Tossing and turning about once an hour :(
Best moment this week?  Being able to get around and DO things!
Movement: He's been quiet for a few days, but reassures me that he's still there by small kicks.  He must be going through a growth spurt!
Food cravings: SPICY!  We had Taco Bell twice this weekend for lunch with Fire sauce, then buffalo wings.  I think instead of me HAVING a boy, I'm turning into one...
What I miss? Nothing really, it will all be worth it!
What I am looking forward to? Next ultrasound on the 7th
Milestones: He can now taste what I eat...
What I'm nervous about: Nothing right now!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Not only am I pregnant, but I'm SO close to viability!!!  Not that we're expecting him ANYtime soon (he WILL be born at 38 weeks if I can do anything about it).  I'm SO SO SO SO thankful for the mobility that I have with the TAC.  I feel so NORMAL.  I think every day how scared I was to conceive again, knowing that with a vaginal cerclage that gravity would be my enemy.  Being in bed for 22 hours a day sounded fun at first, but I can't imagine being on strict bed rest the entire pregnancy.  I feel for my friends who are currently in that situation.  I know that it's temporary, but it takes a TON of energy to not go insane in the membrane. 

I put up Christmas lights yesterday, DEEP cleaned my kitchen, carried stuff, rearranged furniture, vaccuumed, took a walk, went shopping and to Taco Bell.  To most people, those don't sound like glamorous things, but when I think of the alternative, I am SO thankful that I was able to physically handle those tasks.

On a daily basis, I'm so glad I went this route with the TAC.  It was scarier at first (major abdominal surgery in the first trimester!?  insane!) but now I have this confidence that my body CAN do the right thing!

If I could outlaw the vaginal cerclage, I would.  I wish insurance companies would cover, and I wish surgeons would learn and recommend it.  I think the efforts are in place to have the medical field re-think the surgery, but it can't happen too soon to save these precious lives.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

No change in cervix!!!!!!

STILL measuring 4.2 cm!!!!!!!!!!  The TAC is gorgeous and I can see it supporting my boy.  Everything is going textbook perfect so far.  I feel so blessed.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Nursery Progress

I hate traditional nurseries for the most part.  I don't like the cookie cutter cutesy bed-in-a-bag packages they sell at BRU.  I don't like clutter or knick-knacks. I hate pastels.  I dislike ornate furniture.  We're not using crib bumpers or a bed skirt or a changing table.  I'm just buying stuff that we like as we go along.  I'm spending very very little - the splurgiest thing in his room right now is the Skip Hop Hare brush set for $25.00.  Everything else was either on clearance or half off.  All the furniture is from IKEA.  We are not painting the room, either.

Now that you know where I'm coming from, here are the pics so far.  Still have a LONG way to go, but it's fun to document where it started.

You can click on any photo to make it bigger!

To the left, 2 Billy bookcases (IKEA) and a Poang chair (IKEA) and in the forefront, a total photobomber (dog butt). Curtains are from Wal-Mart (hometrend?)  The pattern is called "Cascade."
Front view of bookcases and 2 dog butts

Wall decal that will possibly go above the crib.  I loved the colors;  Keith corrected me that it's a bass and not a guitar.  Oops.

The crib ensemble - the left is a sheet and the soft blankie on the right.  That's all.  I am getting some Miracle Crib sheets and a couple of extra white ones.  These were on clearance at BRU, paid less than $15 for both.

My splurge item for the twins - a Skip Hop Hare brush and comb set.  So stinkin' cute!

I'm big on books.  We have a decent starting point but I'm hoping to fill both bookcases!  Green dot storage box from Target, I plan on getting a couple more of these.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Morning Guy...

So I'm pretty sure little man is a morning person. Around 6:30 each morning he's really really moving and goes until about noon.  By the time Keith gets home, he's exhausted himself and doesn't move much.  I truly think Keith's never going to get to feel him move if little guy wears himself out every day by 6 pm.  Maybe he'll stay on the same schedule throughout pregnancy and into the newborn stage?  LOL, yeah right.

His strength in there amazes me.  I never got to feel the twins so each thump is magical.  I've googled images of babies at 21 week development and am just so amazed!  I mean, we know what 17w4d looks like, and 18w2d but 21 weeks is even more developed and almost incomprehensible that there's a little person in there!!

This is finally getting really REAL.  We're going to bring home a little BOY in 17 weeks.  I should probably get working!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Weekly Check-In

How far along?  20w5d, a banana...  I don't think he's that skinny!
Weight gain/loss:  At home, I've gained 1 lb.  According to OB last week, I'm up 4.
Sleep? Waking up hourly to pee.  Seriously... I drink water all day and rarely go.  I take 1 sip before bed and I'm up all night!
Best moment this week? Feeling him move from the outside.  I can't wait for K to feel it, I'm going to make him try tonight.
Movement: Yes, he was a little quiet at the beginning of the week, but he's now back in full force, drumming away n there with his big biceps.  He's been going almost nonstop today.  The movements are SO much bigger now!  I hope he doesn't break my ribs later on...
Food cravings: Plain, dry hamburger on a bun with lots of salt!  I had 2 yesterday :)
What I miss? Nothing really, it will all be worth it!
What I am looking forward to? Cervical scan and peek at the boy next Tuesday!
Milestones:  He can now taste what I eat...
What I'm nervous about: Nothing right now!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Weekly Check-in and some Ultrasound pictures!

How far along? 19w5d, a cantaloupe!?
Weight gain/loss: Up 4 lbs since 1st appointment - he weighed 12 ounces yesterday!
Sleep? Tossing and turning a little, but sleeping well.
Best moment this week? Seeing him on ultrasound again; he is perfect and all is well!  Cervix is still rock solid!!
Movement: Yes, it's amazing!  He's getting stronger every day.
Food cravings: Nothing really
What I miss? Nothing really, it will all be worth it!
What I am looking forward to? Being pregnant during the holidays.
Milestones: Big movement
What I'm nervous about: Nothing right now!

And now for the ultrasound photos.  She said my skin doesn't conduct sound very well so my ultrasounds are going to be blurry until I'm later on - she said 24-28 weeks will be my optimal time...  For now, enjoy the grains!

Legs; he was chilled out!

He's a happy little guy, he was smiling in all the photos - which is why I'm pushing my #1 name choice (Isaac) because it means "laughing one."  So sweet!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's a Boy!!!!!

Our third boy!  Here's my weekly check-in that I'm slacking on...

How far along? 18w5d, a mango!
Weight gain/loss: I think I'm back to my prepregnancy weight.
Sleep? The windows are open at night with a very cool breeze, I'm sleeping great!
Best moment this week? The nursery furniture is all in place - 2 small bookcases, a huge dresser, a crib and rocker!  I love IKEA.
Movement: Yes, it's amazing!
Food cravings: Nothing really
What I miss? Still Jonah and Noah.
What I am looking forward to? Next Tuesday is our big anatomy scan to make sure all his parts are healthy.
Milestones: I'm past the point where I lost both of the twins.
What I'm nervous about: Trying to stay calm.

In keeping with the arm theme from below, here's his humongous bicep.  Future pitcher!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekly Check-In

How far along? 17w3d, an onion - not an attractive "fruit"
Weight gain/loss: still -2, but that's okay!
Sleep? The windows are open at night with a very cool breeze, I'm sleeping great!
Best moment this week? Crazy punches and kicks are awesome!
Movement: Yes, it's amazing!
Food cravings: I really wanted a Sonic cherry limeade yesterday, so I went and got a big one!
What I miss?  I'm missing Jonah and Noah this week.
What I am looking forward to? Tomorrow - gender MAY be determined for sure!
What I'm nervous about: Today (17w3d) is the exact gestation when I started to lose the twins.  Jonah was delivered at 17w4d.  I know that nothing like that can happen again, thanks to my TAC, but today and this week is very anxious for me.  I'm remembering what it was like to hold his tiny body, how all his features were so developed.  Knowing that his little brother or sister is the same size as him today is bittersweet.
Remembering Jonah today and always.  I miss my little boys.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Plan of Attack is in action!

I got my first 17p shot last Saturday.  The home health nurse who came out looked just like Anna Paquin and she made it very easy and painless!  The needle is 22.5 gauge, so it's intramuscular.  It can be shot in the hip (butt, really) or thigh.  If Keith is out of town, I will be able to do it in the thigh. 

They use the Z-track method where you pull the skin taut, inject the medicine slowly, and release the skin so it keeps the oil in sort of a pocket while it breaks down.  The injection itself was not painful.  My bum is a little sore a few days later; I haven't looked recently to see if it's bruised yet.  I did get a VERY killer headache about 24 hours later, but Tylenol and a warm bath took care of it.  She comes back this Saturday so she can watch Keith do it, then we're on our own!!!!

Tomorrow, they are coming out to set up the HUAM (home uterine activity monitor) that I will start doing 2x per day, 1 hour each.  It monitors any activity and sends it to a nursing station in Houston, TX.  I don't want that strip to EVER say, "Houston, we have a problem."  Yikes.

So that's pretty much it.  We chug away until March 2011 and go week by week, ultrasound by ultrasound.

Monday, October 18, 2010

How far along? 16w3d, an avocado
Weight gain/loss: still -2, but that's okay!
Sleep? Tired and sleeping, but switching positions ALOT
Best moment this week? Feeling movement!
Movement: Yes, but not consistent
Food cravings: green beans have been a staple go-to food that I've been able to eat no matter what.  they ALWAYS sound good!
What I miss? waking up without vomiting first thing. < same as last week
What I am looking forward to? next ultrasound October 26 - hopefully can see the gender!
Milestones: Feeling movement
What I'm nervous about: nothing

Friday, October 15, 2010

October 15 - Wave of Light

At 7 pm in their local time zones, people across the world will be lighting the night with candles to remember babies who were gone too soon.  In my small circle of the world, I know of many babies who were lost before they were named, were born without breath, were born too soon with no chance of survival, or were only on earth for a short time. I will take the time to try to list all the babies I can think of whose stories and memories touched my life, and I will be thinking of them especially today.

My Noah and Jonah
Avery, Alexander and Triplet C
Baby S
Baby Tx3
Baby W
Baby Squirt
Baby B
Baby M

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Want to see my cervix? Of course you do!!!

Okay, the first picture is of the TAC.  The arrows are pointing to it, and it shows as a glowing band.  The weird pear looking thing to the right of the arrows is my cervix.  It's long and closed!  The weird lumpy thing to the left surrounded by fluid is the baby's head.  Sooo... since the baby is so close to my cervix, I can ONLY imagine what things would look like without the TAC holding everything in place.

This second photo is of my cervical length.  At this exact point with the twins, my cervix was 2.5 cm.  It measured at 4.22 cm today, which is a normal length!!!!!!!!!  The white dotted line is the length of the cervix.

Plan of Attack!!!!!

I had my bi-weekly checkup today and baby looks great.  I noted that I felt some hard lumpiness near the outer edge of the top of my uterus, almost near my hip.  My OB confirmed that it was close enough to my incision that she feels confident in my assessment that it is scar tissue from the surgery already building up.  Totally not a big deal, but I won't say it didn't freak me out when I felt it last week!!!

Our plan of attack is unfolding to ensure I make it tto 38 weeks:

1) Weekly 17P shots.  My insurance won't cover a weekly home health nurse to come in JUST to do a shot, so they will come in 2 times.  The first time, the nurse will give me the shot while teaching K how to do it.  He will then be watched during the second visit to make sure he does it right.  The insurance will send us the shot supplies via mail order pharmacy so we'll have them on hand.  I'm terrified that he's going to be in charge of giving me an intramuscular shot each week.  I better not piss him off!!!!

2) Bi-weekly cervical length ultrasounds.  My sonographer has been SPOILING ME rotten and giving me full-on ultrasounds every other week.  I don't think she's supposed to, but I love her for doing it!!!!

3) Daily contraction monitoring through the phone line at my home!!  When the home health nurse company called and explained this, I thought it was so cool!  She said they will come out with a Vonage box (we already have one) and hook this machine up to the phone line.  I will attach the monitor to my stomach for 1 hour two times per day and it transmits the data to their "corporate" office that is monitored 24/7 by a nursing staff.

What a world we live in today!  Without my bionic cervix, fertility scientists, sonograms, and high speed internet, I would never be able to a) get pregnant or b) probably ever give birth to a live baby.  I'm so thankful that God has put people on this Earth to provide us with such abundance!!!

Here's what our Baby thinks of all this (taken today):

Friday, October 8, 2010

1 month since TAC surgery!

How am I feeling?  I am still moving slowly but not nearly as incapacitated.  It's more like, I can't just jump right up out of bed, but I don't do that when I'm pregnant anyway.  I haven't gotten into daily walking yet, but that's out of sheer laziness.  My incision doesn't hurt at ALL but just feels a little sensitive.  I find myself protecting the area when the dogs are around in case they accidentally step or put pressure on me.  Sadie likes to lay beside me on the bed but she roots her head around on my stomach.  Not that it would hurt, but it's creepy.

Other than moving slowly, I'm feeling pretty good!

Weekly Check-In

How far along? 15w, an orange!
Weight gain/loss: -2; it's creeping back up!
Sleep? Sleeping well!
Best moment this week? Feeling movement!
Movement: Yes, feeling some rolling and moving, but no kicks or punches yet
Food cravings: food sucks!!!!  :(
What I miss? waking up without vomiting first thing.
What I am looking forward to? Ultrasound on October 12 - we should know the gender!
Milestones: baby is moving!
What I'm nervous about: Nothing this week. Keeping calm.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Overwhelmed (in a good way)!

Maybe it's because October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, and October 15 is the day where we can all come out and support one another in our loss and our hope, or maybe I'm just feeling extra fuzzy right now.

I've come to realize, thanks to the amazingness of the internet, that there are so many amazing, strong, fabulous women out there who have gotten the TAC in order to give themselves the absolute BEST chance in keeping their babies in for the long haul.  Lara, Marie, Alyson, Sara to name four - all fighters who made the sacrifice of pain, blood, sweat and tears to ensure future hope.

I'm overwhelmed by what the TAC can do.  I'm awestruck by what it HAS done.  I want to shout it from the rooftops, and I want every woman who even has an inkling of cervical issues to have it done.  I have to walk a fine line between being obnoxious about it and being too mum.  I want to share with women, but unfortunately, the only way they know about their cervical issues is when it's too late.  Everyone reacts differently to the hurt that follows.  I wanted education, I wanted to read stories like my own, I wanted an answer, and I wanted HOPE that it wouldn't happen again.

So, if you're out there reading this after a loss from cervical insufficiency, I hope you've learned about a surgery that DOES give hope.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Weekly Check-In

How far along? 14w, a lemon!
Weight gain/loss: -5'ish. Starting to regain what I've lost thanks to Phenergan!
Sleep? Sleeping well!
Best moment this week? Surprise ultrasound! Baby looks great!
Movement:  Possibly a flutter... I wish I knew for sure!
Food cravings:  Natural Cheetos
What I miss? Not much, this has been a good week!
What I am looking forward to? Ultrasound on October 12 - we should know the gender!
Milestones: Officially in second trimester!!!!
What I'm nervous about:  Nothing this week.  Keeping calm.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sono Pictures from Today! 13w4d

Very Early Gender Guess?!!


Side profile

Side profile, hand to mouth, spine

Sunday, September 26, 2010

And...let the itching begin!

The tape strips were "supposed" to "fall off" at 2 weeks.  Phhhh...  I've been peeling them back little by little because my OB said if they weren't off by my appt this Tuesday, she will "help" them off.  No way, lady! 

As I tear each one off, there is a zinging for about an hour, and now intense itch has begun.  I believe there's a total of 10 strips and I have 4 completely off, the rest are folded in half, ready to be ripped.  It doesn't hurt, per se, but it's very tender and itchy. 

Think duct tape.  They are serious business!

Weekly Check-in: SECOND TRI!!!!!!

How far along? 13w2d, a peach!
Weight gain/loss: -8.  I have been throwing up nonstop..  Grrrrr
Sleep? Still uncomfortable from the surgery but I sleep at about 2 hours a stretch.
Best moment this week? NT Scan showed a perfect baby! 
Movement: Maybe a little, but I don't want to get too excited
Food cravings: Popsicles and Jello :(  Bad week.....
What I miss? A clean house
What I am looking forward to?  The vomiting to STOP.  It's somehow getting worse, not better.
Milestones: Officially in second trimester!!!!
What I'm nervous about: Going back to work tomorrow and not throwing up on anyone/anything.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Prayer for Boring

Dear God,

Please hold me and our little one in this pregnancy.  Please let it be boring, uneventful, and amazingly dull.  Please let me avoid the inside of L&D for at least 25 more weeks.  Please keep my blood pressure low, my uterus calm, and my blood sugar stable.  I will watch 500 hours of boring TV and organize my spices every day if it means a healthy baby in mid-March.

In Jesus' name,

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Weekly Check-In

Oh man, I've been bad about this the last couple of weeks!  Sorry, bean!!

How far along? 12w1d, a plum!
Weight gain/loss: Down 4 pounds.  Thank you, morning sickness!
Sleep? Been sleeping lots!
Best moment this week?  Seeing the heartbeat again and being reassured that our baby made it through the surgery!
Movement: Strangely enough, I am feeling a little vibrating, fluttering feeling way down low.  I hope that's you!
Food cravings: This week I guess it was pizza.
What I miss? My energy
What I am looking forward to? NT scan next week!
Milestones: TAC surgery complete (this baby's going nowhere), almost out of 1st Trimester!  Next goal is 18 weeks.
What I'm nervous about: Nothing in the next few weeks.  Praying for smooth sailing.

Recovery + TAC Tips

Sorry it's been so long.  Neither sheer agony nor any kind of complication or drama has prevented me from updating, which is good news!  I've been quite well, just resting and being relaxed.  My mom came home with me after the surgery (thank you, Mom!) which was a huge Godsend.  She was able to get me out of the house every day (NO driving for 2 weeks for me, even though I broke that rule today).  Nothing major, but I at least got out to civilization at least once a day, and to my OB for a follow-up.  She also kept dishes washed and she vaccuumed and let the dogs in and out. She also cleaned up my barf when I threw up all over the kitchen floor while it was still wet from her mopping it.  I love my mom.

So, recovery from surgery has been pretty much what I expected.  Thursday was surgery, Friday I rode in a car for 4 hours (with 1 break to walk and eat), Saturday rested, then Sunday flew back home.  I was adamant about getting through the airport without a wheelchair and I did great.  No wheelchair or assistance!!  The pain is just plain weird.  It feels like my abs are in a constant state of doing a sit-up, very sore.  When I touch my stomach near the incision, it's completely numb.  It feels like there's an invisible pillow tucked in there. I talked to the nurse at my OB and she said she had a c-section and a tummy tuck and 7 years later, she still has no feeling in that area!  I don't know why, but I'm wondering if feeling will ever come back for me there.  It's totally fine for now, but it definitely does feel weird.  Other than the numbness and soreness, I have some random sharp twinges that take my breath away, but no constant stabbing pain or anything.  I basically walk around hunched over like I'm 99 years old. It's very attractive.  It also makes me realize how weak my back is!  I have also had some bladder issues, I'm waiting for my urine dip to come back to see if I developed a bladder infection from the catheter.  Dr. H gave me an IV of antibiotic to prevent this, but I alllllways seem to get bladder issues.  It's probably just me.  Lots of cranberry juice has helped tremendously already. 

EDITED to add:  I have since recieved the results and there is NO infection.  Turns out I was having bladder spasms, and was told to lay off the acidic drinks such as cranberry and tea.  It's helped a ton since I stopped drinking those!
It's now been 9 days since surgery.  I'm starting to feel like my organs are back in the right places.  About 4 days ago, I took my last Percocet (I still have about 40 pills in the bottle) and have gone down to just Tylenol.  2 Percocet at a time is for when you want to sleep, 1 was maintaining the pain during the day those first few days.  If I took 1 right now, it would probably have the effect of 2 since my pain is so much less.  Today, I cheated and DROVE to Target (about 15 mins one way) and did just fine.  I should have eaten something first, because I started to feel a little hot and lightheaded, but the drive went just fine.  I treated myself on the way out to some Chik-Fil-A sweet tea and those little nuggets on bun things.  I forget what they're called, but YUM!

I'm rambling.  Since my thoughts are so scattered, I'll bullet point some tips that have helped me:

  • Absolutely, 100% REQUIRED is a travel pillow of some sort.  I fortunately found one just in time at Target the night before.  Mine was $2.50 at the dollar bin and has the styrofoam beads inside.  That type in particular is great, because I can press it against my stomach and massage the beads, which in turn massages my stomach and feels SOOO good.  You will need it when you stand up, when you cough, sneeze, laugh.  It takes a lot of pressure off.  I am still using it 9 days later.  I also use it when I sleep at night to give a little support under my side-belly.  If you have a nice flat tummy you probably won't have to do that, but I have some extra that pulls my incision when I lay on my side. It's also amazing in the car.
  • You will have a funky discharge after the surgery.  Mine looked like Cheetos rubbed inside my pad.  It was gross!  I finally realized it was probably iodine because Dr. H said he basically used loads of it.  I had some clotty mucousy stuff, too, which was a rather disturbing find.  By the time I left the hospital, I just used some liners (bring some) and was able to forego those a couple of days later.
  • Pregnant or not, you will most likely have an ultrasound the next day before you are discharged, so be emotionally prepared for that room if you haven't seen one for awhile.  The tech will give you a picture of the beautiful band holding your cervix iron tight!!!
  • If you're traveling to Dr. Haney, make sure to bring AT LEAST $40 in cash for parking - it was expensive, and cash only, but there were Chase ATM's inside the hospital.  Try to get there at least an hour early, it was hard to find where to go, and parking was hard to find - it is a VERY busy campus!
  • If you're seeing Dr. Haney, be prepared to do a lot of waiting.  Don't take the times they give you very literally.  Just use that time to relax and mentally prepare and talk with your husband alot.  He will be short on conversation the next few hours!  We waited quite a bit, the surgery was a little late (about an hour) and discharge was really late (4 hours after we were told).  Waiting for a bed out of recovery also took FOREVER. L&D was packed. Just be prepared, its a big place, lots of patients.
  • MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!!!!!  It helps the anesthesia out of your body and speeds healing.  If I am lazy for awhile it's harder to get up, but if I stand up and walk around the house at least once an hour, it helps a ton.
  • Be prepared for constipation.  Dr. H prescribes Colace, but just pick it up and start taking it.  I went 5 days and it was getting really painful.  I was eating a lot, too, which of course compounded the effect.  Have some Milk of Magnesia on hand in case the Colace isn't working.  I was stressed for awhile that it wasn't going to happen!
  • Go ahead and have some cranberry juice on hand - it will help your bladder avoid infection or recover.  It did wonders for me.
  • Start saying NO to obligations and really take time for yourself.  I thought I was going to be SO bored recovering at home, but my mind is kind of blank right now and the exhaustion comes and goes.  I haven't even been reading at all, or needing to keep "busy."  Just sitting around petting my dogs and watching Season 6 of Grey's Anatomy has been all I've needed. 
  • Oh yeah, Dr. H's TAC patients are able to "donate" a fat sample during the surgery that goes to research ovarian cancer - just to give you a heads up to think about it.  You have to sign the form to accept or decline the donation.  The research topic may change in the next few weeks, but when I was there, it was fat for ovarian cancer research.  I told them they could take it all, and the Dr. said that was what everyone said!  LOL.
  • DO NOT overpack.  Your husband will be stuck with whatever luggage you bring so pack light.  I used my own toiletries (I ended up not taking a shower, but you may.  I was too skeeved by the incision still).  I didn't use any of my own clothing or socks until I was discharged.  Your pillow and a brush, toothbrush and some panty liners are about all you need.  When you are discharged, make sure to get lots of comfy stretchy pants to wear home.  If you have maternity pants, pregnant or not, they are very comfortable and give extra support. 
  • If you want, give your husband a list of "chores" to do while you're out.  Mine was super bored for about 4 hours, but he had his laptop (there was great free Wi-Fi) and he updated my blog and message boards.  Also make sure he's okay on snacks, but there is no eating in the waiting room.  Keith went to the food court and got a wrap or something that held him over.  He was able to sleep in a cot next to my bed, so all in all, he was pretty taken care of.
  • Granny Panties.  Enough said.

Monday, September 13, 2010

TAC Surgery Details!!!!

Sorry it's taken me so long to do this; I've been travelling and trying to recover and get as much rest, while moving as much as possible. I'll go day by day, and hope to break it into portions that make sense.  I'll do my best to warn you if things get graphic or gory.  It will.

Thursday Morning - TAC Day!

We drove in from a friends' house, who lived about an hour away in Northern Indiana.  Traffic was not NEARLY as bad as we thought it was going to be, so it only took about 45 minutes.  The University was on the southern end of the city, so no crazy Chicago traffic was necessary.  The University of Chicago is a beautiful, beautiful place.  The old, Gothic buildilngs are polar opposite of the modern, glass interiors and I wish we had had more time to look around and take some pictures.  It took us awhile to find parking, but we ended up finding the parking garage (at nearly $40 for 2 days).  We walked through the walkway to the DCAM building, found suite 2C where I was to check in, and waited in the Food Court until our 9:30 meeting.

At 9:30 am, we met with our Pastor's father, who happens to live in Milwaukee and also happens to be a Pastor himself.  He gave us some great words of encouragement before the surgery that helped keep me calm and reassured that I was being taken care of.  It was very beneficial.

At 10:00 am, we went over to Suite 2C to check in.  The sweet girl who checked us in was quite the chatterbox, and it turns out we had the same last name, with different spellings, she joked that maybe we were related?   She was African American, but hey, you never know!  She made us feel really comfortable.  She gave Keith 2 pages of paperwork to read and sign, gave him a 4 digit code to check my progress on the monitor, and told us to sit tight and she would walk us back when they were ready for us.  The monitor was pretty cool.  Keith had to wait in a waiting room with lots of other families, and there was a monitor that tracked where each patient was by their code.  It would say, "7643 In Waiting, In Pre-Op, In OR, In Recovery," etc.  Pretty cool.

Nothing could have prepared me for the cattle drive that was the University Hospital surgery center!  They do it in waves with multiple people checking in at once.  I was called back with 3 other women and we parted with our families, left all our belongings with them, and walked to the Pre-Op area.  There I was put in a chair with a curtain and was asked a series of questions, she took medical history.  Then I was asked to give a urine sample and she did a pregnancy test.  Then she told me to shut the curtain, change into the gown, socks and a hair net and let her know when I was done.  She gave me a garment bag to put my stuff in, labeled everything, then started the IV.  It hurt like a B but it was over pretty quickly.  It was the most painful thing until recovery.  LOL.  I got lots of arm bands, then once I was settled, she let Keith come back and wait with me until the OR was ready.  which was supposed to be at noon.  The Pre-Op area was packed, there was a butt in almost every chair, at least 20.  The anesthesiologist came in, asked some questions.  For some reason, I had it in my head that it was going to be a spinal, but she assured me it was general anesthesia, which was a relief to me.  We met with a barrage of "Residents" aka Nervous-but-Trying-to-be-Confident Mini Doctors who were quite redundant to me and basically asked the same series of questions each time.

Dr. Haney was supposed to meet with us in Pre-Op before the surgery.  We waited and waited, and eventually I heard one of the residents say that he was held up in the clinic, and that we should go ahead to the OR.  Keep in mind, these "Residents" were about my age if not younger.  At times, it felt like I was an extra on Scrubs.  I said goodbye to Keith and made the walk to the operating table, hopped up, they strapped me in around my legs and arms and gave me some oxygen. Dr. Haney came in and apologized profusely.  He said over and over, "THIS was NOT supposed to happen.  I wanted to meet you beforehand, they got a little excited to begin."  He re-explained the surgery, patted my leg a few times, and asked if I was ready. 

The anesthesiologist told me to think of a vacation place and I was out in about a millisecond.  Apparently Dr. Haney met with Keith for about15 minutes when I came out of surgery, and he said that everything had gone well.  When I woke up in Recovery, I just felt plain weird.  The room was buzzing with movement, there were tons of beds lined up in a row, and there was a nurse at the end of my bed with a rolling laptop waiting for me to wake up, I guess.  There was a radio blaring.  The guy next to me was talking incessantly and there was a radio blaring - I just wanted all the noise to stop so I could sleep, but I felt like no words could come out.  I was too weak to talk, but my mind was moving.  I kept drifting in and out of sleep, and Keith came shortly after.  He said the surgery took awhile, about 1.5 hours, and that he had been waiting 2 hours since I was put in Recovery to see me.  He nor I are not sure why it took so long, maybe I took awhile to wake up? 

At that point we waited for a bed in Maternity, which was apparently overflowingly full.  I didn't get a bed until after 8 pm.  Of course, too late for food.  I was starving!!!  So, a very nice orderly rolled me into Maternity - I was the LAST person out of the recovery room!  I met with my nurse, who was great.  I had a pump of pain meds that I could push every 8 minutes.  It was pretty good stuff.

Overnight - Thursday into Friday

This could almost qualify as a day unto itself.  I was woken at 10, 11, 12 for vitals. I had to wear these very stylish white leg hose along with leg pumps that help with circulation. At 4 am, I was supposed to lose my catheter, stand up and sit down into a rocking chair, and lose the IV and the pain pump.  They did cap the IV, I got the catheter out, and I started on oral pain meds (Percocet).  However, I was so incredibly nauseous that I was not able to get up to sit in the chair.  Gross alert!  I threw up a ton of ginger ale, so I was restricted on the oral meds for awhile...  Dr. Haney came around early in the morning and checked on me and apologized again about not meeting with us before the surgery.  A couple of hours later I was able to stand up and walk to the restroom, but not without assistance.  It was excruciating, I'm not going to lie.  It took full minutes just to get up and out of the bed, and each step was very painful.  I was finally able to order breakfast at 7:15, it came at 8:00, and I had a few bites of eggs and some toast and Jello or something of the like.  Since I kept that down, I was able to take some Percocet.  Immediately I felt relief and exhaustion and fell asleep for quite awhile.  TIP:   A guest tray for Keith would have been $15 but the person who took my order told me how much of each thing I could order, and I was able to get enough food for both of us.  He also had a cot to sleep in, I forgot to mention that.

Friday - Release Day!

I felt like I was in there FOREVER, but really it was such a short time.  The nurse told me that the more I moved around, the better I would feel, so I tried to get up about 2-3 times per hour, walk to the restroom or just around the room.  We had lunch, and were waiting until 1:00 when we had a sono appt, then we'd be released.  Well, we waited, and waited....and waited.  Finally at 2:30 the nurse came back and apparently they were backed up, but a "Transporter" would be here for me soon.  Finally someone showed up around 3 to wheel me to a completely different building for an internal sono to ensure the TAC was in the right place and the baby was doing well.  We got a 4D photo of the baby, which was really cool.  We could see the white glowing TAC band on my cervix.  It was very cool!  The sonogram itself was less than 5 minutes, so very quick.  We were then wheeled back to the room to finish the release procedure.

I had to wait for a Resident to write me a prescription for Percocet, do my checkover and receive a Rhogam shot.  That all happened pretty quickly, then we just had to wait for a transporter again, who wheeled me all the way to the parking garage to our car!!  THAT was service.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

TAC Procedure - check

Trisha's unbelievable handsome, intelligent, charming, and funny husband here.  I just spoke with the Dr. and all went well and as planned.  No more funneling sorrows!  More to come...


Friday, September 3, 2010

9w6d u/s + Update

Unfortunately I don't have my pics with me right now, but I will post as soon as I can. Baby was punching and kicking their little arms and legs and we got to see the little nub that will turn into a boy or girl part. We both think it's a girl, so we'll see. H/she was measuring ahead at 10w2d!!!!!!

My sono appts have been so clinical, between the cyst on my ovary (turns out it was a corpus luteum and is shrinking) and looking at my cervix, this is the first sono that we got to see the baby for more than 15 seconds. My cervix was almost 5 cm, but from experience, we know it's made of mush, and the consistency is much more important than the length. It also turns out I have a slight previa. Grrr... But the placenta is posterior, so I will hopefully be able to feel baby MUCH sooner! At almost 18 weeks with the twins, I only felt bubbles and flutters, since I had placentas on the front AND the back wall of my uterus.

One thing that stung me deeply was seeing "Gravida: 2" on my chart. My first thought was, "that's my baby killing track record." Ugggh... I haven't been able to stop thinking about my boys since then. They will always be a part of this little one, which is good and bad. I don't want to hold this one to a standard that they have to take the place of 3 children... I know that's crazy, but darnit, I am just so crazy emotional right now.

Lastly, my surgery is less than a week away!!!!!  I can't believe it's gone this fast.

Thoughts and prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Low Progesterone

For a medicated cycle (I'm taking progesterone supplementation), my level should be 15.  It's 14.8, so I have to keep taking the darn things... Grrrr..... 

Come on placenta, grow and take over!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekly Check-in

How far along? 9w3d, almost a PRUNE!
Weight gain/loss: 0
Sleep? Getting a little more uncomfortable, I can feel a little knot if I lay on my stomach. 
Best moment this week? The relief I feel when I let myself throw up. 
Movement: Just my uterus stretching. 
Food cravings: Not much; our fridge is completely empty.  I would like some grilled cheese, though.
What I miss? A calm stomach (I'm repeating this, b/c I had an especially nauseated week)
What I am looking forward to? Can't wait to see the little bugger this Thursday, hopefully arms and legs will be moving!

Milestones: baby moves around, curves fingers around objects and already has fingerprints!
What I'm nervous about:  Upcoming surgery

Anxiety Setting In...

Don't get me wrong - I'm super happy about the hope this TAC surgery will give me.  I'm just having a case of the jitters, cold feet, whatever you want to call it.  I will be flying exactly 870 miles each way from home to IND, and driving 370 miles each way from Indy to Chicago.  I'll be checking into a hospital, having tons of needles in my body, having my stomach cut open, and my cervix banded tightly.  I'll be sewn back up and left to recover. 

The reality of the surgery is setting in!!!!!!!  It's always felt like so far away, now here we are almost a week away.  I have very short moments where I'm almost scared enough to call it quits and just drive to my OB and get the transvaginal cerclage, but no WAY am I going to give up like that.

I want this, and I know it will be worth it in the end.  When I look back in a few years, it will just be a blip on the radar.  One thing at a time...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Group B Strep = Positive :(

I got a phone call from my OB nurse yesterday morning right before I was going into a meeting (great timing, right?) and she told me that I tested positive for Group B Strep in my urine.  After sending a panic filled email to the Mr. that had some not-so-feminine curse words in it, I ran into the meeting and bit my nails for the next hour. Actually, not literally, I have some pretty great nails that I don't bite.  But figuratively, you get my drift.

Fortunately, when I got it together and was able to see clearly and Google something, as well as ask fellow Bumpies, it turns out that it's fairly common (up to 30% of women are carriers) and it doesn't really affect anything until birth.  Since we know about it this early on, I will be considered high risk for GBS during delivery and will be pumped full of antibiotics before my scheduled C-section.  I've lived with the idea that since jr. high, I've been allergic to penicillin, so I guess I need to get tested somehow to see if that's true.  I don't want to risk using a less inferior antibiotic at birth because I might be allergic. 

Crisis averted!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weekly Check-In

How far along? 8w4d, I believe we're almost an olive!!!
Weight gain/loss: 0
Sleep? Not as much, the drop dead exhaustion is getting a little more manageable
Best moment this week? 3rd ultraound showed a perfect baby with a heartbeat of 180 BPM!
Movement: Umm, definitely not!
Food cravings: Finally craving healthier food (fruits and veggies) like I did the whole time with the twins
Belly button in or out? In, hopefully for awhile
What I miss? Nothing really
What I am looking forward to? Surgery Day
Milestones: arms and legs are sprouting!
What I'm nervous about: Trying to have another anxiety-free week, so... nothing!

UPDATE on the "mass" - my RE said that it just looks like a corpus luteum cyst and it's getting smaller, so nothing to worry about.  My right ovary was much bigger than my left, so it's still there, but she says it's nothing to worry about.  Good news!

Baby looked great at u/s today, s/he actually looked like a curled up cocktail shrimp - I can't wait for the bean to get bigger so we can see arms and legs waving around!  The surgery date is coming VERY quickly and I'm trying to make a list of things we have to get done before we leave the state for a week, but by the time I get home, I have no energy to do anything besides throw something together for dinner, clean up the kitchen (perfectly, since we've been having ant invasions) and read Sookie Stackhouse novels.  I just finished #10, so I'm pretty sad about that.  I started My Antonia by Willa Cather, but it's definitely not pulling me in as much as the Stackhouse novels...  Hmmm, classic novel vs. mass market vampire thriller.  It's like Kashi vs. Froot Loops for your health.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Posted Jonah and Noah's Story

They deserve their own tab, so you will see it above.  I copied my story from my personal blog of the horrific week when I lost them, rather than re-type the entire thing.  I will miss them forever, and re-reading the story and seeing their gorgeous and perfect little bodies makes me hurt for them all over again, but they are the reason I am moving forward.  Their memory gives me strength and courage to fight for their earthly siblings' futures. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Surgery Details!

We'll stay in a hotel Wednesday night, September 8.  I'll be checking into the hospital at 10 am on Thursday, September 9.  The surgery will take place that day, I'll stay overnight, and hopefully be discharged the next day, on Friday!  Dr. H recommends staying in the city for one more day just in case I need to get back to the hospital quickly, so we'll most likely fly back home on Saturday.  This will be a VERY quick trip for such a life-changing event.

Told My OB....

She was great!  I was really nervous to tell her, since we had already had her plan in place - to get the preventative transvaginal cerclage at 14 weeks.  She did admit that some of her patients with the TVC ended up on bedrest and early contractions, which made me feel even more sure about the TAC.  She said it was my experience, and I was making a choice for my health, and she supported that.  Around 16 weeks, we'll start weekly P17 shots that keep the uterus calm and continue those through nearly the end.  I knew in my heart she would be understanding after all that she saw us go through, but there was of course this small fear that I would have to find a new OB.  I feel like I can't handle ANY curveballs this time around, I'm already on pins and needles as it is!

Speaking of curve balls, apparently during my ultrasound there was an unidentified mass measuring about 1 inch around on my right ovary.  The sonographer was looking for blood flow on it, presumably making sure it wasn't a baby growing outside of where it's supposed to.  Although incredibly rare, it's called a heteroectopic pregnancy, and she didn't exactly rule that out.  Whatever the mass is, it currently did not have a heartbeat.  It is most likely a corpus luteal cyst that will eventually break down on it's own.  I'm going to have Dr. Haney check it out visually when he's in there in a few weeks, if it's not gone by then.  It surely gave us quite a scare; seriously, please, no more curveballs!  I have enough to worry about.

Weekly Check-in

How far along? 7w5d, baby is the size of a raspberry!
Weight gain/loss: 0
Sleep? Not as much, the drop dead exhaustion is getting a little more manageable
Best moment this week? Seeing the bean again - first OB appt was Tuesday, and I got some Zofran, so the nausea is getting under control.
Movement: Umm, definitely not!
Food cravings: Chinese food and fruit Gushers
Belly button in or out? In, hopefully for awhile
What I miss? Nothing really
What I am looking forward to? Surgery Day
Milestones: Baby's growing fast!
What I'm nervous about:  Some crazy mass on my right ovary...

7w4d ultrasound

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Date is SET for the TAC!!!!!!

Thursday, September 9!  29 more days!  The gentleman who deals with insurance seems to think we'll be just fine in that respect, so I guess we're going to roll into the unknown as far as cost goes, but we are considering it a leap of faith.  Scary, but we have to do what we have to do.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Weekly Check-in

Oops, forgot to do this last week!

How far along? 6w4d, baby is the size of a blueberry!? 
Weight gain/loss: 0. I think.  I've been too scared to get on the scale.
Sleep? Allllll the time.
Best moment this week? Well, it was last week, but we got to see the little bean and the little heart beating away.
Movement: Umm, definitely not!
Food cravings: Goldfish crackers (cheddar)
Belly button in or out? In, hopefully for awhile
What I miss? A calm stomach
What I am looking forward to? Crazily enough, I'm looking forward to getting cut open and having my bionic cervix!!!!
Milestones: Heartbeat!
What I'm nervous about: trying not to be... at least for this week, anyway.

Monday, August 9, 2010

6w0d Ultrasound last Friday

Everything looked great, just one baby with a perfect heartbeat of 117 BPM! 

Next ultrasound is next Tuesday with my OB.  I get to tell her that I'm getting the TAC procedure, which I'm kind of nervous about.  She was my OB with the twins and delivered them, so we have an emotional connection.  I think I'll mainly rely on the MFM for my higher level ultrasounds and what-not.

Step 3: Scheduling TAC in progress!

At this point, we're shooting for August 31 or September 2 for my TAC surgery!  No issues with the insurance pre-authorization (I still don't know how much we'll have to pay OOP, but I will keep you updated).  So far, so good!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Step 2...done

Step 1 was the phone consult with Dr. Haney. Check!
Step 2 was sending off my insurance info. Check!

Here's what Aetna says.   I've lost 2 babies and the only thing that's going to work for me is this TAC.  I'm hoping and praying that it will be covered.  We've met our OOP limit for this year due to the $40k delivery/week in the hospital when I lost the twins, so best case scenario is that we pay nothing OOP.  Worst case is we pay a little, but I will fight that they pay the majority.  This can be a deal-killer for so many couples and that breaks my heart.  It shouldn't be about money.  I'll keep you updated.

EDIT: One month after surgery we received our Insurance Statement - we only owe $130 to Dr. Haney as a copay!!!!!!!!  SO exciting!  We would have made it work to pay ANY amount of money, but to have to pay so little is just amazing.  The surgery was $22,000.  Insurance negotiated it to $15k.  If you think about it, $15k is PENNIES to pay in relation to the cost of 8 weeks of NICU for a pre-term newborn, or another $40k preterm delivery.  Great job, Aetna!

A link from Liverpool... Success Story!

Video in link:

BBC - Liverpool doctors fit woman with bionic cervix

"Experts at Liverpool Women's Hospital have performed a minor miracle on a couple who had four miscarriages and lost one premature baby.

Janet Walker and Graham Lobb, who live in Windermere, were about to give up trying for a baby after six years of heartache.

Doctors at Liverpool Women's Hospital fitted Janet with a bionic cervix and she recently gave birth to Ainka.

The cervix allowed Janet to carry Ainka to 37 weeks, when she gave birth by caesarean section."

Friday, July 30, 2010

It's like our first $ bill!

I just had to scan the notes K took while we were on the phone with Dr. Haney.  Yes, he has horrific handnwriting, but these were the highlights to him.  Someday we're going to look back on this and reminisce about the day that gave us hope!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Adjusting to the idea of a new future...

When I was pg with the twins, I tried to resume all my normal activities to the best of my ability - cook dinner for 40 people at church?  Done.  Move small furniture and deep clean the house?  Done.  Stand on a ladder and clean the ledges in our house?  Oh yeah, I can do it!!!!!  Being pregnant was NOT going to stop me.  I was not a fragile flower, I always hated "those" pregnant women.  I hated the ones who stood there like morons who rubbed their gut (not even showing) and stupidly stared into the distance.  I think years of infertility jades you to feel scornful at those seemingly normal "pregnant woman" things.

When I found out the test strip was positive and the bloodwork confirmed this time, I've been terrified to move.  Terrified.  I thought of the future, when I hit that dreaded danger zone starting at 17 weeks, that even with surgery, I would be on bed rest and terrified to move.  I'm afraid to pick something up for fear it will disrupt implantation.  I was looking toward spending my entire pregnancy in fear and in bed, until...

I talked to Dr. Haney today and he said things will be as if I were in a "normal" pregnancy.  When I get my bionic cervix, I can do all the things a normal pregnant woman can do - I can walk around the neighborhood, do yoga if I'm so inclined, stand in the kitchen for a couple of hours, do anything that I feel well enough to do.  This excites me.  I am not normally a super active person anyway, but it always makes me feel better emotionally and physically to get my blood pumping.  I'm looking forward to being mobile rather than atrophying away physically and mentally.

Phone Consult with Dr. Arthur Haney

We have hope!!!  Dr. Haney explained in very clear terms that what went wrong with Jonah and Noah was NOT normal, and was indeed caused by an incompetent cervix.  At this point, we are scheduling around Labor Day!  He carefully explained that there are basically a couple of ways of treating it.

1) The most prescribed way in modern America - the transvaginal cerclage (TVC).  It's placed preventatively around 13 weeks and is done through the vagina - basically your cervix is sewn shut near the bottom.  There is typically a full bedrest situation afterward, and is about 75-85% effective.  Effective, to the medical world, means live birth.  Even live births that are severely preterm with lifelong medical complications are considered success stories.  Full term, healthy birth is probably less than the 75%.  This cerclage is placed low on the cervix and the pressure of the baby can still push down, causing you to dilate and funnel.  There's a lot of pressure being placed on the cervix itself.  Water can break at any time and can even tear the cervix where the stitch is placed.  Here's an illustration, courtesy of

2. The less common, but more effective way is through the abdomen - the transabdominal cerclage (TAC).  A c-section like incision is made and a band (made of merselene) is placed tightly high on the cervix.  Dr. Haney said that you can lift a person off the ground with this band, it's THAT strong.  It can be placed pre-pregnancy (his preference) or during pregnancy (up to 11 weeks or so).  It's there forever, and will already be in place for future pregnancies.  I will ONLY be able to give birth via c-section. Recovery time is quick and as Dr. Haney said, "You will have a bionic cervix."  It won't go anywhere.  He said that he cannot prevent me from getting GD or pre-eclampsia, or any other kind of pregnancy complication, but he can guarantee that my cervix will be rock solid.  It can be placed via robot (Da Vinci) or laparoscopically, but the old school method is best - manual insertion by a skilled surgeon.  Dr. Haney said that in my situation, he would give me a 100% success rate for my cervix to carry to full term (38 weeks)!!!  Another illustration of the three different cerclages, again courtesy of

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Weekly Check-In

How far along? 4w5d, baby is the size of an appleseed!
Weight gain/loss: 0
Sleep? So far so good, trying to get into the habit of sleeping on my left side.
Best moment this week? Scheduling the phone consultation with Dr. Haney!
Movement:  Umm, definitely not!
Food cravings: None, still too early.
Belly button in or out?  In, hopefully for awhile
What I miss? Diet Coke
What I am looking forward to? First ultrasound in 10 days!  How many babies are in there!?
Milestones:  Doubling betas
What I'm nervous about: Everything, but mainly first things first - Phone consult with Dr. Haney, then the ultrasound.


Things are SO much different.  Last time, at 4 weeks pregnant, I was buzzing inside with excitement.  I felt like I had  a secret that no one could know.  I was hopeful; the two weeks before the first sono went quickly.  This time around, I'm just nervous and scared and want to lay in bed and not move.  I feel like the days are dragging by - 10 days still until the first sonogram.  I am scared to find out how many babies are in there!  K cannot get over the thought that there could be 3 in there and has been discussing what we'd do for vehicles and how many more cribs we'll have to buy. 

This morning, I scheduled a phone consultation with Dr. Haney in Chicago and we'll be talking to him this Thursday morning.  I'm nervous and I hope I'm a good candidate for the transabdominal cerclage (TAC) procedure that will take place around 10 weeks.

Friday, July 23, 2010

We are cautiously expecting again!

After losing our twin boys Jonah and Noah at 18 weeks, we decided to start trying again as soon as we were cleared.  My OB wanted us to wait only 1 cycle, and we conceived 5 months after losing the twins, on our 2nd Follistim/IUI cycle.

K wanted to take pictures of all the lined up tests for whatever odd reason.  I don't think he believed me when I said it was positive!  Normally he doesn't like me to test at home; he'd rather I wait for bloodwork at the RE office. 

IUI - July 8, 2010 - 2 large follicles (23mm and 19mm)
Tested @ home - faint positive at 9 dpo (July 17), strong positive at 10 dpo (July 18)

beta #1 @ 12 dpo (July 20) - 139
beta #2 @ 14 dpo (July 22) - 231
beta #3 @ 16 dpo (July 24) - 464

Our first ultrasound should be in a couple of weeks (at 6 weeks) and we'll know how many little buggers are in there!  I had two pretty large follicles, so my guess is twins again - K is terrified that there are triplets in there.  Now we wait...