Sunday, January 17, 2010

Babies Have Returned!

Thanks so much for all your reassurance! I felt better as soon as I wrote my last post. Sometimes just writing about your fears helps take some of the sting out of them.

My babies must have read my blog sometime yesterday evening, or maybe they felt that they had given me the silent treatment for long enough. Baby A was checking in with some strong bumps and kicks. And Baby B--well, I don't know what the hell she was doing. I'm thinking she's either going to be a swimmer or a boxer, because either she was practicing her flutter kick or she was working the speed bag. It was just bizarre. But very very comforting.

Now I have to go back to folding and sorting hand-me-down baby clothes. (And that's a whole new post.)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rediscovering Paranoia: Where the Fuck Are My Babies?

I am greatly in need of reassurance, because I’ve entered into a new world of terror. For six months all I’ve thought about is my babies dying. (Okay, that’s not ALL I thought about, but it’s been my overarching fear.) Then, for the last few weeks, what with the constant kicking and every week bringing me closer to viability, that fear has eased.

Now I have a new fear: my babies coming out damaged in some way. And the little monsters apparently are in on it, because they’ve (almost) completely stopped kicking. Maybe that’s an exaggeration—I can’t really tell, because I wasn’t timing or counting the movements before. They’re definitely still alive in there—each one checks in occasionally. But both babies’ movements seem have become less frequent and much fainter.

Here’s what happened (in my paranoid cause-and-effect way of thinking): I think (but am not sure) that everything was normal (i.e. lots of strong movement, mostly twisting type stuff) as of last Wednesday. Then, on Thursday night, I had a really really bad night. I had an incredibly stressful day at work, and my day-long pounding on my keyboard triggered some sort of muscle spasm behind my left shoulder. That night, I discovered for the first time that I couldn’t lie on my back for even a minute or two (before this I tried not to lie on my back, but I kept waking up in that position so I knew it was happening anyway) without the dizzy/heart-racing/nausea feeling that lets you know that the babies are, in fact, crushing the vena cava. And though I never believed that this also could happen sleeping on the right side, it seemed that I was getting that sensation sleeping on that side as well (or maybe I was having a panic attack). And my left side had this throbbing shoulder and sleeping on that was killing me as well.

Sometime in the middle of the night I got up to pee, eat, and see if I could do something about my shoulder. When this shoulder problem used to happen, I could spend 15 minutes lying on my back with one of my “miracle balls” (used for physical therapy) between my shoulder blades. Despite my concerns about lying on my back, I tried this. And despite the fact that I was feeling panicky and dizzy, I stayed there for a few minutes. (Not sure how long—definitely under 5 minutes.) Baby A was kicking when I started this, then his kicks faded away.

A few minutes later I got up and tried to ice my shoulder while lying on my recliner. But the dizzy/panicky feeling remained. At this point I don’t know if it was the pain, a panic attack, or an actual circulation problem. Baby B gave some feeble kicks, and I think I got some movement from Baby A, so I knew they were both still alive after my admittedly foolish move.

And then I started to worry (and yes, this really does sound crazy to me). What if I cut off their blood supply enough to damage them, but not kill them? What if I have brain-damaged babies in there now? What if I’ve ruined their lives, and our lives in the bargain?

The thing is, these thoughts probably would have eased by now but my babies have chosen this moment to go into partial hibernation! Every day they kick—I know they’re alive. But it’s NOTHING like what I was feeling in the past few weeks, or even earlier this week. (Actually, I think Baby B is about where she was before with movement. But Baby A—my baby that NEVER stops moving—seems to kick only rarely now and weakly.)

My rational explanation: earlier this week, for both babies, the kicking was surpassed by a lot of strange twisty motions. (Very hard to describe, but I imagine some of you know what I mean.) My rational guess is that the babies have changed position—or at least Baby A has changed position—and now his kicks aren’t in a place that I feel as much. I also wonder if they’ve gotten bigger and don’t have the leverage to kick like they used to. Or maybe there was just a growth spurt and he’s tired out.

But my rational explanation isn’t doing much for my mounting paranoia/terror. I’ve already decided that if this doesn’t change by Monday I’ll probably call my doctor and see what they think. But for now, please tell me, is this normal?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The 22-Week Sono

As promised, here are the best of the 22-week sono pictures. (Had our 26-week sono last week, but neither baby deigned to look like anything resembling a baby for the photos.)

And yes, Baby A is shaking his fist at you. I'm telling you, that kid's gonna be trouble.

Pregnancy Kills Blogging!

God, I thought I was a bad blogger before, but being pregnant is sucking every ounce of spare time and spare energy out of my body, rendering me Worst Blogger Ever. It doesn’t help that I go to bed at 9 every night (often quite panicky about getting to bed before I completely lose my ability to put myself to bed properly), that I’m struggling to perform the bare minimum of my job, and that every spare moment is spent trying to complete my baby registry or plan what classes we’re going to take or appease all of the family that’s come out of the woodwork lately and wants to be a big part of my life.

Oh, and I have SO much to say that that thought of writing a blog entry has been kind of intimidating. So this morning I decided, fuck it, I’ll just say what I can now and say more later, if I get a chance.

So, first, the BIG news. On Christmas Eve, J and I opened the card that would tell us the sex(es) of our babies. Actually, we had two cards—the first was written by our doctor who was looking at the CVS results. The results she had didn’t identify which baby was which, so if they were opposite sexes, she wouldn’t be able to tell us which was Baby A and which was Baby B. So at the next sono appointment we also got a sealed envelope from our sono tech, identifying the sex of each baby.

Before we opened the cards, J gave me two Christmas presents—our babies’ first stuffed animals. For Baby A, he selected a super-soft, floppy donkey. Just fucking adorable. Baby B got a soft, kind of funky-patchworky stuffed dog. Very different, but also cute as can be. J told me that, after he found the donkey, he had a really hard time finding another animal that was different but “equivalent.” Do you go by size? Quality? Price? And then, right there in the store, he realized that this was his life—that this question would hound him every Christmas, birthday, and other special occasion. We laughed for a long time over that.

And then we opened the card. We started with the card from our doc, because if the babies were the same sex there would be no need to find out which was which. J opened it, and I sat there with my hands over my eyes. Finally, he said, “Well, on to envelope number two,” and I started bouncing up and down on the couch, clapping my hands and trying not to be a total sap by crying. Envelope number two revealed that Baby A (the one who never stops moving, and appears to be banging on the walls of their cage in the sono I’ll post as soon as I get home) is a boy, and Baby B (the one who is much more mellow, and always just sits there calmly during the sonos) is a girl.

We couldn’t be happier. I mean, I’m sure we would have been just as happy to have boys and just as happy to have girls, but we really wanted to experience both. So with four years of trying, more than $40,000 in medial bills, and a little help from our friendly neighborhood cryobank, J and I finally seem to have hit the IVF jackpot.

Have tons more to tell (mostly whining, so let’s save that for another post), but I’ve got to get my ass in gear and write this brief.

Love you all, and miss you. I need to get back on track with catching up with everyone, and I’m going to try to do that in little bits and pieces in the next couple of weeks.