Thursday, December 31, 2009

Time flies when you're having fun

I guess it has been a while. Sorry about that. Things got rather busy here, what with Christmas and all.

My mom and sister had a bit of a tough time getting here, because the weather right before Christmas was terrible. The visit went ok - my mother was a pain in the ass, but I expected that. It didn't really feel like Christmas, seeing as it was the first time that I've ever celebrated it with someone else's family, and things are more low-key here among my in-laws. My mother also chose the moment when my husband was trying to get them out of the house and to the train station on time to start lecturing me on home births and how nothing about this pregnancy is about me, it is all about the babies and therefore she should tell me exactly how to do everything because I apparently can't manage on my own. I wasn't very nice to her in return, and I don't feel in the least bit bad about it. Probably one of the hardest parts of becoming a parent is going to be reducing any bad effects my mother has on my children.

Right after Christmas, we left for Provence with my brother-in-law and his girlfriend, and my husband's uncle, aunt, and 7-year-old cousin. We had a great time investigating small villages, eating some huge meals, and checking out the sites in Arles, including the old Roman theatre and amphitheatre. Luckily, my nausea was mostly in remission during the trip - not sure why. The lower altitude? The weather? Better sleep? Certainly not the food - dinners were huge, saucy, and heavy. And oh! the soupe de poissons with toasted baguette slices, rouille, and gruyere - I don't think I've eaten this since my honeymoon, besides when I've tried to make it myself, and let me tell you, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It is hard to believe I am already 11 weeks pregnant. Almost done with the first trimester, and it's going pretty quickly. My symptoms have not been fun at all - plenty of nausea, some occasional vomiting, constipation and other random forms of indigestion, and this weird feeling in my gut that I can't really describe. I'm finding that some physical activity seems to help, so I'm trying to get motivated to get outside and do stuff, but trust me ... I don't feel like it. And the kinda crappy weather doesn't help.

So that's where we're at. We have yet ANOTHER big dinner tonight in the fort here in town (there are better websites, but they are all in Italian), and probably a big lunch tomorrow with the family, and then a lunch the next day with more family, and omg I really hope that is the end of the huge meals even though I'm sure it won't be.

I will be back in the good ol' U.S. of A. in approximately 10 days, and shortly thereafter I have my NT scan at 13 weeks. Here is an interesting question - after being in Italy for three weeks, my husband will undoubtedly have tons of work to catch up on, and leaving the office in the first couple weeks is something he'd rather avoid. The NT scan is at an office that is a good 30-minute drive from work for him, plus extra time to pick me up from work and drop me off again, PLUS I guess the scan itself normally takes a while (lets say an hour to an hour and a half for two babies? I don't really know). I also have an OB appointment that week, very close to his office, but I'm guessing it will be routine, no ultrasounds or anything. So the options are:

1. Go to the NT scan, which would be 2-3 hours out of the office for him (not cool), but he'd not only get to see the babies but be there in case something is wrong.

2. Go to the OB appointment, which I'm guessing would be a waste of time for him? Anyone know?

3. Not go to either - I just don't want him to miss out on anything important, either good or bad.

What do you think?

P.S. Thanks for the comment(s) so far, but let me clarify - DH owns and manages his own company and usually works 9-12 hours a day (or more) plus 1-2 days per weekend. He can come and go as he pleases, but things suffer when he is not there, so after three weeks of telecommuting, any extra time away from the office during normal business hours is tough. Therefore, I usually only ask him to leave work when I think it's really worthwhile. So that's the real question - is it worthwhile?

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I'm in Italy. It's 5:30 am local time, and I'm awake. I also have no idea if I took my progesterone last night, although signs point to no. This seems like a good time to drop my dosage down to every other day, since I pretty much skipped a day on the flight here, too.

I'm quite sick here. I remember reading that major changes in altitude and temperature can aggravate morning sickness, and I can attest that it is true. It's FREEZING here, well below freezing actually, all the locals keep commenting on it. And we are definitely above my usual almost-sea-level altitude in California, up in the mountains here.

It is always strange to come here, where my husband has a whole other life that I'm only slowly becoming a part of. Every visit becomes easier, but sometimes it is still so surreal. Even more surreal is the fact that my mother is coming here for Christmas - something I could have never imagined would ever happen. I'm really worried about how she'll handle the snow, the freezing temperatures, the language barrier, the unfamiliar food, and probably some homesickness. I'm trying to have faith that it will all work out.

The flight over here was really not fun, as usual, but I expected that. What I didn't expect was snow in London! The airport was a bit of a disaster, with almost every flight delayed including ours. After arriving two hours late in Nice, it snowed for most of our drive up into the Alps and across the border, leaving a nice white coat on the roads that we had to navigate very slowly.

So now I just have to get over this stupid jetlag. Time to go back to bed and try to sleep.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

9 weeks, packing, and weird pain

I'm starting to think I'm a hypochondriac, but after two years of infertility, I am so nervous about every little thing. I'm 9 weeks today. Which, yay! But ...

I am having this weird pain in my lower abdomen on the left side. It's very low, and not very far left, i.e. nowhere near my hip. It is like a pulse of pain, that goes away in less than a second, and recurs at completely random intervals. The only thing I can think of is that it could be related to the big cyst on my left ovary. I've had for over 24 hours now. Any ideas what it could be?

I called the doctor's office and the nurse called me back, and said the doctor would call, but that was hours ago. The pain is not very strong, I don't need a painkiller or anything, and I wouldn't be terribly worried except that I'm leaving for Italy tomorrow night and I will be traveling for 20 hours and it would be nice to know that everything's ok.

In the meantime, I am having sleep problems, I'm not drinking enough water, I'm not feeling well, and it's my poor husband's birthday. I haven't done anything special for him - but hey, I'm gestating his children. I think that's a pretty good gift.

I'm almost done packing, and hopefully we'll have dinner soon and maybe I can get to bed early. I'm hoping that whatever this pain is, it stops soon.

Monday, December 14, 2009

8w5d and H1N1

I had my first OB appointment this morning. It went really well!

We met with a nurse practitioner who was a little over-the-top, but very darling. She did my annual exam, since it’s been a year and a half since I had one, and then gave us tons of information. It’s a little overwhelming. Luckily, my hospital has one of the best birthing centers in Northern California, with water births, midwives and doulas, and very relaxed rules about everything. I’m looking forward to taking childbirth classes and touring the birthing center! Not sure my husband is looking forward to all of it, though – it’s going to take up a lot of time.

We did get to see the babies on ultrasound! They looked so cute, quite a bit bigger than a week ago, and we could see their heads, their heartbeats, and even their tiny little arms and legs. I’m so excited for the ultrasounds when we get back from Italy!

We’re going to have a lot of prenatal testing, but I still don’t understand whether I’m supposed to call and make those appointments myself, or if someone will make them for me. Why don’t they tell you this stuff?

Our appointment was at 9:45, and since we’re traveling to Italy in a few days, I called last week and tried to schedule my H1N1 vaccination this morning, too. The Women’s Health center didn’t have any preservative-free vaccine, so they told me to make an appointment with my regular doctor. I don’t really have a regular doctor, but I called the last doctor I’ve seen, who has now moved to the next town, and told them I wanted an H1N1 shot. They asked my age, and because I had a feeling they were trying to tell if I was in one of the priority categories, I said “I’m 31 and I’m pregnant.” They said, “OK, you can come in at 8am on Monday morning”.

So this morning I had to get up early, miss work, and drive 10 miles to the next town for my vaccine, only to be told when I got there that they didn’t have any preservative-free vaccines and they couldn’t give me a shot. I was SO pissed.

At my OB appointment, I told them what had happened, and they said that since I was traveling, I was at risk for H1N1, and that while the preservative was controversial, there was no scientific evidence that it caused any harm, and the risks of actually getting the flu were much worse. So I got the shot with the preservative. Oh well – I guess you win some and you lose some.

We’ve also been telling people about the pregnancy. It’s still early, and I’m a little nervous, but it’s hard to pass up big events like holiday parties where we can tell a lot of people at once and everyone is in a celebratory mood. And we’ve now seen the heartbeats 4 times, so I feel more comfortable about it.

So far, so good. And I think today is technically 2 months. Almost 9 weeks! And then – Italy!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pregnancy (8w1d)

I'm going to sound like a jerk in this post, and so I apologize in advance. Seriously - I'm sorry. Because I'm about to complain. If you will be annoyed by complaining, just click away now.

I've read a lot of things about women who loved being pregnant and wish they could always be pregnant. I hoped that would be me. In fact, I STILL hope that will be me. Maybe second trimester?

Because the truth is, up until now, I hate being pregnant. I feel so sick, almost all the time. The week of repreive I had was wonderful, but the morning sickness is back. And on top of it, I'm completely exhausted. I sleep 9-10 hours a night and could easily stay in bed for a few more hours if I didn't have to get up to go to work.

I don't have a life anymore - I spend all day at work feeling queasy and trying to get something done while wishing the clock would move faster. I get home and try to get a few things done around the house before dinner, and then I try to relax a bit before crawling into bed and passing out. Doing even basic, easy chores has become a monumental task that I can barely do, and my apartment looks terrible. Luckily we're leaving for Italy for Christmas soon, so I don't really need to do any grocery shopping.

I miss my energy and wish it would come back. I haven't done any of my physical therapy for my knee in weeks. I barely remember what my bike looks like. I've been given permission to start jogging again, but ha! I don't think that's going to happen any time soon.

Of course, none of this matters. All that matters is that my babies stay healthy and inside for another 30 weeks at least. I know this is true. But sometimes I wish I could have it a little easier along the way.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Where do I start? (7w5d)

It has been a crazy roller coaster of a week, and I'm exhausted and worn out after everything.

On Friday, the day after my first ultrasound, I started having brown discharge. Kinda worrisome, but everything I looked at said brown discharge was ok, plus I had just had the ultrasound the day before and thought it could have irritated something.

We told my husband's family in Italy about the babies on Thursday night, my sister on Friday evening, and my mom and brother during the day on Saturday. I was so nervous that I might have jinxed everything.

Saturday night we decided to go out to a nice dinner, and right before we left I went to the bathroom - and saw some red spotting. Not very much, but enough to scare me. We called our local OBGYN office at the hospital and left a message for the doctor on call, after being assured she'd call back in 20 minutes. 20 minutes later, we called again, and they tried to page her again. 20 minutes after that, we said "screw it" and went to the emergency room. They admitted me, put in an IV, got a urine sample, did a pelvic exam, and finally did an ultrasound after the ultrasound tech had been called in (I felt a little bad about that - I'm sure she had better things to do on a Saturday night).

But look what we got to see!

What an awesome picture. She showed us each baby, did thorough scans of their sizes, and let us listen to the heartbeats. The ER's ultrasound machine was amazing, and seeing the babies on it was awesome. They found nothing to indicate that anything was wrong, diagnosed me with "threatened miscarriage", and let us go around 12:30am, when we finally had dinner at In N Out, the only place open. I was STARVING, since it had been about 12 hours since lunch.

Yesterday I took it easy all day, but after dinner, at 10pm, I went to the bathroom to discover a small bit of blood on my underwear, a few drops in the toilet, and a bit on the TP. CRAP! The ER nurse had called to make me promise I'd see the OBGYN today, so I waited until this morning and made an appointment for this afternoon.

After an hour wait I got to see the babies and hear the heartbeats AGAIN! They looked great, and she said there was nothing to worry about. They suspect a possible minor UTI, or something similar, but otherwise said to just take it easy and not worry about it.

I feel spoiled by all the ultrasounds, but they also told me that I won't be getting one at my intake appointment next week, and then I leave for Italy, so the next chance for an ultrasound won't be until mid-January at the earliest, when I am 12-13 weeks. So I am really happy that I got these two snuck in there.

And I'm especially happy and grateful that the babies seem to be fine. Hang in there please!!!!!

In the meantime, I'm trying to think of nicknames for the little guys - the husband suggested Ann and Bob, but I wanted something a bit more gender-neutral. I'm thinking Bean for Baby B (not very inventive, I know), but I have no idea for Baby A. Ideas?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Guess what!!!!!

Yup, twins!!!!!!!! (it's hard to see the little note in the top left-hand corner)

We were worried she might keep going for a second, but luckily she didn't find a third. Here are the stats:

Baby A - measuring 6w6d (so two days behind), hb 120
Baby B - measuring 7w1d (perfect!), hb 122

Other good news - nausea is still around but majorly better, plus the RE prescribed Unisom and Vitamin B12 to help with that. She also prescribed extra folic acid because of the twins, so I am on a bunch of drugs right now (considering I'm also taking a prenatal and progesterone).

But really, everything's ok! I'm so amazingly happy I can't believe it, and I can't wait to start telling family about the news in the next few days!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

7 weeks (tomorrow)

Time is going so slowly!

It probably doesn't help that I'm so, so sick. I HATE morning sickness. But really, let's call it all-day-sickness. Or all-day-and-night sickness. I haven't vomited, but the nausea, it is killing me. I've been eating sal.tine crackers, but I just switched over to Chee.rios, which is probably good because with the amount I've been eating, I was getting a LOT of extra salt.

I don't think my diet is very balanced at all, because carbs seem to make me feel the best. I'm squeezing in some veggies here and there, too. I'm also kind of realizing that it's going to be hard to avoid the foods I'm supposed to avoid, harder than I thought. They're EVERYWHERE!

So that's life right now - constantly feeling sick and just trying to get through each day. Hopefully we'll have more news on Thursday, at our ultrasound. Less than 48 hours to go!