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March 22, 2014

March 22, 2014

My double rainbows are here. I will definitely update with a birth post later.

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It’s Been Awhile

It has definitely been awhile. Caleb’s first birthday in heaven has passed. I created a Facebook event asking everyone I know to perform a random act of kindness in Caleb’s memory. I was so amazed by the number of people who did wonderful things in honor of my son. Today I bought him a ridiculously huge pinwheel for his grave. I am so excited to bring it to him this weekend. There’s already a pinwheel there and the family looks for it when we pass the cemetary. This new one is out of control.

As far as my pregnancy goes, I am now at 32 weeks, which is one week beyond the point where I lost Caleb. It’s starting to get a little scary. On Wednesday, I had felt my son moving, but barely felt anything from my daughter. I drank juice and laid down, but ended up falling asleep. The exhaustion has been overwhelming, especially when I get stressed out. When my husband got home, we discussed going to the hospital. I decided to get some dinner and a big Diet Dr. Pepper and see if that would wake her up. I hated that the situation felt all too familiar. (During this time, one of my close family members, who doesn’t know when to stop drinking, was removed from  her home by police. This is another situation that adds to my stress all the time, but one I cannot escape.)  When my husband returned, he was able to find her heartbeat with the doppler way off to the side.

Then Thursday, I went to a doctor’s appointment. As soon as he saw me, he knew something was wrong. Luckily he assured me that he could feel both babies moving and that all of my levels were looking good.

Today I had another in-depth growth scan. My son is 4lbs 2 oz and my daughter is 4lbs 7oz. Apparently, she flipped so that she is still transverse, but is now facing my back, which makes it harder to feel her. I received a lot of reassurance at today’s visit and have felt my daughter’s head in my ribs all day.

A few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which is very common with twins. I have been doing great controlling it with diet. I’ve been swelling, particularly in my feet and hands. I also have pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel, which I had with Caleb, too.

Some days it feels like the time is going fast, others it feels like it can’t move fast enough. It’s crazy that I’m walking around with 8lbs 9oz of babies in my stomach-not to mention the two placentas and the fluid! I think my son will look like Caleb. I got a few 4D images of him today and he has my husband’s nose. There are times when I sit here and think “They’re really coming home!” and I feel so excited and amazed. My nesting has been crazy, but I’m enjoying it. I will try to be better about keeping up with my blog, at least until they get here! So far it looks like I will be scheduling a C-section for 37 weeks. I’ll know more next Thursday. I hope all my fellow baby loss mommies are doing well!

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Little By Little

Far Along: 24 weeks 5 days

Yummy Foods of the Week: Nothing, really. My appetite hasn’t been as crazy. I’m guessing it’s because there’s not a lot of room in there. Also, I can never decide what I want to eat.

How I’m Feeling: The further along I get, the more anxious and scared I become. Luckily, I feel the babies moving and know they are alive. I would love it if they constantly moved so I could be reassured all the time, but they need to rest, too.

Freak Out This Week: This week, we registered at Target. That’s the same place we registered for Caleb and I thought it might be hard for us. It wasn’t! I surprised myself with how well I handled it. But later in the week I registered for a breast feeding class at the hospital and it caused me major anxiety. Right before I lost Caleb, I went to a Baby Care class and on the hospital tour. Signing up on the same website and getting closer and closer to 31 weeks was hard. I remember getting the phone call to confirm our attendance in the remaining classes after he had died and having to explain to them what happened. So I cried a lot that night after I registered. Sometimes I have moments of absolute terror.

Best Moment this Week: There were a lot of great moments this week. First of all, we made it to 24 weeks, which means that my pregnancy is now “viable.” If the twins decide to come early, the doctors and nurses will do everything they can to help them survive.

My aunt bought us 2 car seats and a double stroller. They arrived today and my husband put them together. My nursing pillow also came today. It’s starting  to feel real, like we might actually bring home babies sometime soon!

The very best moment was as I was shutting off all the lights and setting the alarm one night before bed. I could feel the babies moving and the thought that they were alive (despite anything else that could be wrong) made me so happy. There aren’t a lot of moments where I feel pure joy, but that was one of them. I am truly grateful.

Things Purchased for the Babies: Stroller, car seats, nursing pillow, and my cousin gave us a big bag of boy clothes. Our little boy has so many clothes, but our little girl only has a single onesie.

We have a name picked out for our son, but I am torn between two names for our daughter. However, we have decided that because we were able to do our FET with the funds from Harley for Hope, that our little boy will have the middle name Harley and our girl will have the middle name Hope.

I am already pretty huge. I look like I’m almost full term, if I were having one baby. It should be pretty crazy to see how big I get at the end.

My sister is planning and throwing my baby shower. I am so excited. Caleb never got to have a shower. It makes me sad, because it’s everyone’s chance to show excitement about the new baby and it’s just another thing he never got to do or have. We decided to have the shower on February 15, which is the day I found out Caleb no longer had a heartbeat. I’m hoping that it will make the worst day of my life a little bit better. The next day is Caleb’s first birthday in heaven. I’m trying to figure out what I would like to do to honor and remember him. I like the idea of chinese lanterns at the beach, but I need to look into it a little bit more. Maybe it will snow again this year.

Less than 3 months to go! I can’t wait to meet my rainbow babies.

double rainbow

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20 weeks 5 days

Last week I went to the MFM and got a really good look at the babies. Both are growing well and have all their parts (a boy & a girl!) I have been feeling movement for a few weeks now. I just keep thinking that if I make it to January 10, that’s 24 weeks and then they are “viable.” I find that it’s hard to breathe a lot of the time and I have to keep thinking of small milestones. Even with doctor appointments every two weeks, I never feel reassured.

I was decorating the tree the other day and listening to songs that remind me of Caleb. The meaning of the word “bittersweet” has never been so clear to me as it is during this pregnancy. I feel blessed and I feel sad all at the same time.

There was a luminary lighting at Caleb’s cemetery earlier this month. It was freezing and raining, but my family still made the effort to come out. None of the candles stayed lit, but the turnout was humbling. So many people missing their loved ones, all buried in the same place as my baby boy.

A few weeks ago, I was hospitalized for bleeding. It was scary and all too familiar feeling. The babies were fine, placentas were fine. I still don’t know what caused the bleeding. But it’s gone and I am back on all blood thinners.

This year we are decorating three trees at our house. I always do two, but this year we are doing a third one for Caleb. Because it snowed the night he was born/the night he died, I am doing the entire tree in snowflakes and anything else that reminds me of him. I hope that in the future, my twins will help pick out new ornaments for their big brother and decorate his tree.

I know this post is sort of a random catch up, but I kind of need it to clear my head. After the hospitalization, my activities have been restricted. I’m not on bed rest, but I have to be mindful of activity and I’m restricted from some of them. It’s strange and kind of lonely now that the semester is over. I did write an 8 page and 15 page paper on stillbirth and got 100% on both. I thought papers at the Masters level would be harder. They aren’t, but I do feel like maybe I have more of a chance at making a difference with my knowledge when I’m done.

My struggle right now is allowing myself to truly feel how much I love these babies. Of course I love them-most of the time it’s overwhelming, but sometimes it seems like I have to numb my feelings due to the fear of losing them. Tonight I started talking to them and they kicked in response. If anything were to go wrong, I would feel terrible if I didn’t try and show them how much I love them out of fear. They deserve more than that, even if I only get them for a little while.

Most days I can think positive and believe that things will be okay. But it’s still terrifying. I don’t think I could survive another stillbirth. I hope Caleb is watching over all of us. Sometimes I still have to ask myself if Caleb would want me to stay in bed all day. That’s how I got through the days after we lost him. He keeps me going. No matter what happens, no matter how many children come after him, I will never stop missing Caleb and wishing I had gotten to bring him home.

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15 Weeks

Far Along: 15 weeks 3 days

Yummy Foods of the Week: Lemons (always), Sonic Lemon slushes, Milk Duds

How I’m Feeling: TIRED. More tired than I have ever been before. And stuffy, of course.

Freak Out This Week: I’ve been laying awake at night reliving the worst day of my life. I wonder if the babies know that they are currently living where Caleb lived…and where Caleb died. Thank God for my doppler. I can listen to their little heartbeats on the days when the anxiety gets really bad.

Best Moment this Week: I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow, which means I will get to see the twins for a minute. I will be also be able to have my cervix checked and get some reassurance that they are okay in there and won’t be coming earlier than we expect.

Things Purchased for the Babies: Just the doppler so far and that is really for me so that I won’t go crazy.

I haven’t written much lately. I’m terrified most of the time and it seems like writing might actually make it worse. Historically, that hasn’t been true for me. So I am back, trying to ease some of the anxiety. This pregnancy is so different from Caleb’s in so many ways. Twins are rough, especially starting out at a higher weight than I did with Caleb. It’s good though, because I always have symptoms to let me know that I am still pregnant and that they should be okay. I saw a MFM in Charleston at 12 weeks who I LOVED. He actually cared about my babies and he was honest about the risks. I see him again next month so that they can check the blood flow to my uterus and the placentas. That will tell them if I will more likely have to deliver earlier or not. It’s wonderful feeling like I am being taken care of, which is more than I can say for my OB. She’s trying, but I feel like the office is so busy that personal attention to detail is hard to come by.

I follow a lot of groups regarding stillbirth on facebook. Every time I see the picture of a new baby born sleeping,  get this stabbing pain in my stomach. It kills me that someone else knows that pain, that we haven’t come further in limiting the number of babies born sleeping. I look at those pictures and I see the baby that was so wanted and anticipated. For a minute, it feels like hearing that Caleb had no heartbeat. But I don’t want to hide all these groups. Stillbirth changed me and it’s a reality I have to live with everyday.

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10 weeks 1 day

I am still pregnant. Both babies have heartbeats and are doing well. I have had bleeding and spotting episodes pretty regularly. I even made a trip to the emergency room for some bright red bleeding. My RE said that because I’m on blood thinners and pregnant with twins, I can expect to bleed until around week 12.

Lately the anxiety has been getting worse. I have cried myself to sleep thinking about Caleb, just like I did when we first lost him. The thought that he may not know and feel how much I love him scares me. I’ve been too scared to write anything here, and too scared to purchase anything that might mean this is really happening. I did buy a Snoogle pregnancy pillow, because my back has been hurting so much. I figure I will use it anyway, since I have fibromyalgia. My elbow and knees have been acting up lately.

Cautiously optimistic….I’ve seen it so many times on forums and message boards, but the real meaning of the words-the experience, has only recently been revealed to me. I will keep hoping and praying that these are my rainbow babies.

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Sweet Dreams

Right now, there are two little embryos with tiny heartbeats hanging out in my uterus. It is so surreal and crazy! I’m excited and terrified. I feel lucky. I was chosen to be Caleb’s mom-an experience I would never trade. I am so proud to have carried him. And now I have these two little ones with me. Tonight I will go to sleep happy.

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6 Weeks

In about a half hour I will be six weeks pregnant. Unfortunately, I have been spotting for two days. Everything I’ve read and everyone I have talked to say it is perfectly normal and that as long as I’m not cramping I should be fine. My nerves are already shot. However, my last beta was 9,610. That’s a good number and has made me feel a little better about things. It’s also been brought to my attention that you are more likely to spot with twins. I’m trying to stay positive.

This weekend I am taking a trip with my sister and her kids to the zoo. We are going away over night. Then on Monday I finally get to see this baby! My RE offered to let me come in for a scan today or tomorrow to calm my nerves, but that would require driving 2 hours, so I declined. I would hate to get bad news 2 hours from home. It’s hard to believe that everything will work out. But I’m trying. And that’s all I can do for now.

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4 Weeks 4 Days

Our transfer went better than expected. Both embryos thawed and they were beautiful! After they were put back in, we went to the recovery room where my husband and I could see dragonflies and butterflies flying past the windows. I came home and passed out. Bed rest was actually pretty painful with fibromyalgia and no medications. Fortunately, my body has felt much better since going off my medications (after the initial painful period) and quitting caffeine.

A few days after the transfer, I went away with my parents for a few days. The night I got home was 6dp6dt and I took a digital pregnancy test. It came up “Pregnant” and I couldn’t believe it! For the next few days I tested and got positive results. My first beta was 233! Caleb’s was about 41, so I was very excited. My second beta was yesterday and it was 533.2. Things seem to be progressing well! I am terrified that I will miscarry, of course. I went ahead and told the world, because after losing Caleb at 31 weeks, I knew that I would need support if anything happened this time. So here I am, 4 weeks and 4 days pregnant. I feel better and healthier than I have in a long time. But I’m still scared. I had lower back pain all day (which could be from the continuous progesterone in oil shots) and it had me very worried. I have also started on Lovenox to prevent blood clots from forming. My sleep schedule is totally different. I wake up at 7am every morning for my shot and am in bed by 11 at night. That’s why I haven’t updated my blog. I used to reflect and write at night and now I am sleeping.

Next Monday, I have a third beta. Then on September 9th, I finally get to see my baby! Thank you all so much for the prayers and well wishes. I really do appreciate it. I hope this is my rainbow baby, the one I get to see looking up at me. I just have to keep praying.embies & tests

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Terrible or Terribly Honest

I have been trying to keep busy and think positive. We have an 80% chance that our two embryos will survive the thawing process. We won’t know until Wednesday if they make it or not. Then we have a 40% chance of me getting pregnant. I’ve been reading lots of FET success storied online lately, but now even those make me feel like I can’t breathe. I know that whatever will be, will be. I really have no control over what happens this cycle. Besides my 3 days of bed rest and eating pineapple cores there really isn’t much I can do to help. I also read where someone said laughter is good after the transfer, so I have been planning out which funny movies I will watch on Netflix. Any suggestions would be welcome, although I have what my husband calls a “dry” sense of humor, so what I find funny might not match up with what you find funny.

The progesterone in oil shots are starting to leave me very sore. Tomorrow I have some running around and last minute preparations to do for the three days I will be on bed rest. Then in the evening, I have a massage and facial scheduled to try and get me relaxed for Wednesday’s transfer. Anyone who wants to send a meal, or some magazines, or the DVDs of Chappelle Show, feel free! 🙂

If I’m being perfectly honest, I’m really scared. What if it doesn’t work? What if my mom gave me her Harley to raffle and I don’t give her a grandchild? What if I have to re-evaluate my life again? What if I never get to be a mother to a baby here on Earth? How do I even begin to deal with the idea of living childless?

It also makes me mad. Sometimes I hate people who can have sex and get pregnant. Why do I have to go through all of this? Supposedly, my body works perfectly fine (aside from my clotting disorders-but reproductively I am fine.) Am I wrong to feel it is unfair that I am forced to take all the shots and harbor all the fear and guilt of this procedure? I shouldn’t be going through this right now. I should be enjoying the first year of Caleb’s life. I wonder if things were reversed, if my husband had to take all this on and I were the one who was reproductively challenged-would he be upset with the unfairness of the situation? I wish I were a better person. I wish I were patient, and happy and didn’t get angry at people who have it easy. But I’m not. And I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a terrible person or just the only one saying it out loud. 

At this point, I don’t have a Plan B. I’ve come up with a few and discussed them with my husband. However, the one I am leaning towards requires a lot of faith and trust in another person and I don’t know if that will work. Maybe that’s why I get all the hard parts of the fertility processes. I trust myself to do what needs to be done, more than anyone else. 

Interestingly, a friend who lost his daughter to stillbirth told me that after you survive the death of your baby, you assume that something good has to happen,because you deserve it for surviving, or simply to balance things out. But that’s not the way it works. That was some of the best advice I have been given thus far. But I still keep hoping for something good. I wish, I pray, I cry at night and talk to Caleb.

My lining last week needed to be greater than 6 to proceed. Mine was at 10.2. My body is ready. I’m supposed to be a mother. I just hope that this is when it happens.

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