Thursday, November 30, 2006

Still on the Road

I'm still on business travel so this will be brief, but I wanted to report the very good news that my cousin's breast biopsy came back negative for cancer. Thank God.

My trip has been exhausting as I'm still struggling with the remnants of my cold. Does anybody out there have anything to say about taking Robituss*n during pregnancy? I've been trying so very hard not to take it more than once a day and only then if I'm practically choking, but I still don't want to overdue it. It's on my "safe drug" list from the doctor, but I know so many people who refuse so much as a cough drop when they're pregnant. Unfortunately, my cough has been keeping me up at night and driving me crazy. This is a typical ailment for me this time of year.

I came out about the pregnancy to a lot of my colleagues this week at the conference. So many responses from the women were--"I thought you looked like you put on weight but didn't want to say anything." Kinda made me laugh...kinda. One said she thought my age was just catching up with me at last. These are nice people, actually, so it was funny to hear them say these things. I didn't take offense. I just think they've all been anxiously awaiting my thin body's demise for awhile now. ;)

My belly is really growing. Really growing. I've only put on about 4 pounds since this all started, but it's all concentrated in the tummy. Even my belly button is already starting to turn into an outie. It's pretty cool, and yet terrifying. After all my obsessed worrying that something will go wrong, I may be coming to term with the fact that these babies may actually be a reality. These week, I also stopped calling babies "the embryos" when discussing them with H and will now address them as babies. A big turning point. They'll always be my little embryos.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

And Happy Belated Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends...

All is well, pretty much. I woke up with a bad sore throat and cold today, but I'm off from work and have been able to rest all day. H and I saw the peri this morning, and he said the babies are looking good, although they are really too small to know much about them at this point. In 4 weeks, at our next appointment, he said we'll learn all sort of things about them, including their sex. It was funny how he said we'd know so much more about them, as if we'd find out their favorite color or something. They didn't look much bigger than 3 weeks ago, but they had some nice looking spines! They kinda sparkle. So, it was a good way to start the holiday weekend, other than being sick.

As far as the spotting, the peri said the reason is that baby b's placenta is completely on top of my cervix. The old placenta previa I've read so much about. He said it's perfectly normal with twins this early, and he'll let me know when it corrects itself. Until then, I have to be mindful of the old cervix. Sorry H, no real action this month...

On the pink ladies front, my doctor friend spoke with an oncologist she knows for me, and she said that IBC speeads really fast and is painful and itchy. I'm not in pain or itchy. Just the same, the pinkness remains and at least now I have a oncologist I can go see if I want. She said she'd be happy to see me whenever I want.
No word on my cousin yet.

I'll be out of town all of next week, so it may be awhile before I post again. Will be checking in on other blogs, though! Hope everyone is doing well.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Quick Update

Warning--TMI ahead

I continued to ooze a light brown cm all afternoon yesterday, though it was really only visible when I wiped. It was lighter than the darker brown I had first thing in the morning. The OB checked my cervix and said it was fine, then did a vaginal exam with a speculum and said--"oh, yeah, I see some brown mucous and it's nothing to be worried about." I asked her what it was from and she said it was just one of those things. Not the best answer, but she kept reassuring me it was fine. I asked her if it might develop into something and she said no. (I read plenty about brown spots being the first sign of a problem for some people on the blogs). She told me only to worry if it was bright red. She didn't even think the darker brown stuff I had initially was old blood--just the mucous. She said my cervix was in good shape, and then she did a quick scan to see the twins. They were both there, but she was real quick about it so I didn't see much. She said both heartbeats were strong. I was relieved, but wished the scan had been a little longer. It doesn't matter though, since I see the peri tomorrow first thing for an in-depth scan.

This morning I got to work and again ran to the bathroom. This time, there was real light caramel-colored goo all on my liner. At least it's getting lighter, I guess, and kinda going back to the consistency of the white sticky stuff I've had all along. Way more than you needed to know--sorry. I find writing everything down here is good for my own records of what's happening with my body.

So, on to the pink breast issue. Now my other breast is equally pink in the same location as the right one, and the doctor didn't seemed concerned at all. She said it's a good sign that the other breast is doing the same thing. (This was a different OB than the one who sent me to the breast center). The pinkness seems to line up perfectly with where my bras have been iritating me (even the new ones aren't a perfect fit), so she thinks my skin is just sensitive. I told her about my cousin and she didn't really comment. She said alot of people are getting scared by the rash-form of breast cancer, but it's extremely rare. We'll know the results of my cousin's biopsy tomorrow (poor thing--right before Thanksgiving. I'm praying it's good news so there will be truly something to be thankful for). If it's positive for cancer, I'll push harder for a more thorough exam next time. I felt like this one was overall a little rushed, even though she did listen to all my concerns and answer all my questions. Overall, it was a good appointment though. She told me to try to relax because everything looks good, and she said she understood that relaxing is difficult after what it took to get pregnant.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. I'm still praying double that everything continues to work out. H was worried sick too, but he reminded me that this worry will never go away, even once the twins are born. We'll always be worried about them, and I know that's true.

Monday, November 20, 2006


I am 13 weeks and a day. I had a great weekend, and I was feeling good this morning. Until I got to work, made my usual beeline for the bathroom, and saw brown spotting. It wasn't much, about a dime, but I am still freaking out anyway. When I wiped there was some more of the brown residue, and an hour later I went back to the bathroom and there was more brown, liquidy stuff when I wiped.

Luckily I already have my doctor's appointment set up this afternoon. Aside from a few twinges, I haven't had any cramps. Still, when I called H to tell him about it I just about started crying. Not good. I know some light spotting/bleeding might be normal, but considering how scared I still am about my boob this is not what I needed this morning.

I was just starting to feel more confident about this pregnancy (my miscarriage worries had been replaced by breast cancer worries). We told all of our friends at a party on Friday night that we are having twins. I went maternity clothes shopping with my mom on Saturday. H and I joined Co_stco on Sunday and bought our first bulk box of diapers. I thought everything would be okay by 13 weeks.

Please let everything be okay.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Tagged--Five Things About Me

The downside to being tired all the time is that I sleep too much during the day and then become wide awake at 5 am on weekends. Luckily I have a tag from Motel Manager to occupy me until the sun comes up!

So, five things you don't know about me:

1. I was on an episode of a Saturday morning kid's game show called Head's Up when I was in 5th grade. I woke up with a terrible sore throat the day of filming, but I still managed to buzz in and croak out all the right answers to win my jeopardy-like segment. I still have it on tape and it's horribly embarrassing now!

2. I've never broken a single bone to date. Would like to keep it that way, but I am so clumsy that only divine intervention is preventing it from happening at this point.

3. When I was little, I had a pet hermit crab that I loved so much I kissed it. When I did, it attached it's claw to my lip and wouldn't let go. My mom had to pry it off of me.

4. Two out of the three guys I dated seriously in high school have now come out of the closet. I guess that's to be expected when you run with the theatre crowd! (H was a theatre guy too...he was the player type though. I'm the only girl he ever dated past a few months.)

5. I want to live in Florida one day, preferably before I'm too old to enjoy it.

Now I'd like to tag:
Sticky Feet
(Please support Jamie during her dreaded 2ww that starts today!)

Jonesing for a Baby
(Michelle needs 2ww support too--the transfer is Monday!)

(If she's not too sick from her twins on board!)

If any of you have already done this one, please feel free to disregard. I'm a little scatterbrained these days (it seems you really do get baby brain or something) and find myself much more forgetful than I was before.

More later--have lots to tell about this weekend. All good stuff, really, for a change. I will say real quick that I went on an extensive bra hunt this weekend to see if a bigger bra would help my pinkness go away. I've felt that even my new bigger maternity bras have been cutting off the circulation in my bigger side, right where the pinkness appears. It seems that old leftie might be catching up, because she was pink yesterday too, in the same way, and seemed a little larger. Anyway, had to buy a 36DD--Oh my lord. But you know what, the girls were much more comfortable. I'm still pink though, so we'll see what happens. I spoke at length with a doctor friend about it, and she thinks I have good reason to be concerned and to follow up with my OB, but that I shouldn't be as worried as I am. She told me to get off Dr. Google...

Friday, November 17, 2006

Shout Out to Fellow Bloggers

Recently a few of my good blog friends have pulled down their blogs and identities; I'm sure for good reason. I don't get to say hi to them directly as a result though, so this e-mail is a "Hi" to those of you still reading but not posting on your own these days. Special congrats to Lisa, who is 8.5 weeks pregnant!!! I am so very, very happy for you! Thanks for your comments--they mean so much. I'm bad about checking the e-mail account associated with this blog, but I'll try to check it if you want to drop me a line directly and then I can give you my more active address.

The support I've gained through this network of amazing people is truly a blessing. I am so lucky to be able to share celebrations, worries, and just random rantings with a group of people who really get it. This blog has helped me stay sane, and I know it's responsible for a lot of the strength I've managed to pull together over the past few months.

I'm really tired these days. I hope that's entirely because of the two little lifes growing inside of me and not something more. This year has had so many extreme highs and lows that I'm not sure how much more I can handle. I'm just praying for a quiet holiday season that will bring everybody some peace, if not just for a little while.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

One Step at a Time

Thank you for your concern and thoughts. I'm trying to be a little more rational about this. Since I have an appointment Monday morning with my OB, I don't think I need to try to see her or a specialist before then since it's already Thursday. When I had my appointment with the breast center, I asked them what I should do if I had any further concerns or saw more changes in the breast. Their response was to see my OB again and let her make the next logical referral. The thing is, my "symptoms" haven't changed or increased in the past week, so I don't want to jump the gun just because of what I read on the Internet. The part about my cousin is very scary, and I'm worried about her, but the fact is that her condition caused her doctors to go for a biopsy. If my doctors thought I needed I biopsy, wouldn't they have recommended it right then? The breast center I went to has a very good reputation, and two people saw me there.Of the three people who have examined me so far, not one of them said the words inflammatory breast cancer (IBC).

The fact remains though that we still don't know the underlying cause for my breast changes, and that is a concern. Yes, the changes could be pregnancy related. It's just that these symptoms don't seem to be the normal pregnancy ones. Looking at IBC pictures and testimonials, my breast certainly doesn't look like the clear-cut cases, yet it does fit some of the description. The redness is really more of a pinkness, and I wouldn't call it a rash, but the skin does dimple when you pinch it, which is supposedly a sign of IBC. Although my right side has always been larger, I would say it's quite a bit larger now while my left side has really just seemed normal lately. IBC is a very rare form of cancer, and supposedly not hereditary, so really the chances of me having it are small, even if my cousin does, which we don't know yet. Of course, the chances of having IF requiring IVF with ICSI were small...

I did read some things that said all the Internet hype about IBC has created an unnecessary scare for women. Yet reading some of the first-hand testimonials from people who were diagnosed with it, I find similarities in their stories to my own that scare me.

Sometimes the Internet may cause me more harm than good. I've spun myself up into thinking I'm going to be diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer that will need immediate chemo and will cause me to lose the twins and possibly my own life. I need to breathe and take this one step at a time, and stop trying to play doctor with myself using the Internet. This is not the first time I've worried myslef sick over something I read on the Internet. I've been convinced before that I knew my diagnosis before a doctor saw me, and I was wrong.

But why, oh why, does my stupid breast have to be acting up in a weird way? Why can't some of this be easy? I finally feel pregnant--I'm showing more and more--and instead of enjoying it I'm just worrying all the time. And I do have other minor things to be worried about. My urine test showed that I have Group B Strep, which is very dangerous for babies during delivery, so I'll need to go on antibiotics when I go into labor. Swell. I also have a cough that mysteriously comes and goes, and of course there's a crazy part of my brain that's convinced the cough is a sign that the breast cancer has already spread to my lungs.

This year has been so stressful, and filled with so many highs and lows, that I just want to check out mentally for awhile and regroup. Some good news is that I had my thesis defense and passed. That was a huge burden taken off my shoulders, and I'm happy that it's over.

Not much more to say. Next week will be action packed, between the OB on Monday and the peri on Wednesday. Supposedly we will get a VHS tape of the babies. I hope I can start to relax enough to enjoy it. Didn't I say I would stop stressing by Thanksgiving? It's always something.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers--I'm going to take up some more praying with all my free time now that my thesis is finished. I figure praying has to be more helpful that spending hours obsessing over what might be wrong.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Seriously Scared

I've spent the last week thinking that nothing was really wrong with my breast--it's just a little red and larger than my left side. The ultrasound showed nothing and the breast specialist didn't think I needed a mammogram, saying it's too risky with the pregnancy. She said although it looks a little infected, there's no real evidence of infection. Then I suddenly read this last night, after hearing about it on the evening news.

I had never heard of inflammatory breast cancer. The most deadly kind that can't be detected by ultrasound or mammogram and often is thought to be an infection. There is no lump associated with this cancer. I was already starting to panick a little.

Then I called my dad, who was on the phone with my aunt. Evidently my cousin, the one with twins, had just had a biopsy done for inflammatory breast cancer that day. They're pretty sure she has it. Symptoms--a rash on her breast that looks infected but isn't.

Oh my God.

I have my next doctor appointment on Monday, so I guess we'll see where to go from there. The only way to diagnose is through a biopsy. The thing is--I don't know what I will do if they confirm cancer. My primary concern is for the twins. I'd rather wait until I've had them before seeking treatment. But with this type of cancer, waiting that long might be too late, for all of us.

Please God don't let this be happening.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Follow Ups

I’m 11 weeks and 3 days. It feels like it’s been an eternity of waiting to feel “safe” in this pregnancy. This week H and I started telling close friends the news, and H has told all his colleagues. He was so excited about telling people, it was sweet. Today I have a meeting with my manager (who just returned from her maternity leave) and I plan on telling her the news for planning purposes. It’s earlier than I’d like, but I’m showing already. I guess the fact that I’m small combined with the twin factor will do that. This week I finally started feeling comfortable that this pregnancy might actually stick. And then I read Motel Manager’s post about her friend’s baby, whose heartbeat stopped at 10 weeks. It makes me want to crawl into a hole and not come out.

My next ultrasound is in a little less than two weeks (right before Thanksgiving), so now I’m questioning whether I should see the babies again before telling more people. Anything can happen in two weeks. But if I lost these babies now, it’s not like I could pretend it never they never existed. So I think I will proceed, with very cautious optimism, and allow myself to feel good about this whole thing. With a huge heap of worry on the side.

I saw the breast specialist Monday, and she only did an ultrasound, saying she would never do a mammogram on a pregnant woman unless she really had a good reason. She wasn’t concerned so much about the right side being larger than the left since they’ve always been that way, but she was concerned about the mysterious redness I have on the right side. She and the tech spent a really long time scanning my breast—a disturbing long time in which they said nothing, thereby freaking me out even more. Ultimately though, they said they saw absolutely nothing that would make them want to do a mammogram right now. They said the redness would normally be a symptom of infection, but they found no evidence of infection. It’s not sore, so they just said to keep an eye on it and let them know if it does suddenly start to hurt. I felt relieved, sort of.

Following up from the weekend, we haven’t heard from H’s parents at all. I really appreciate the supportive comments from everyone--everything that happened was so draining. On Sunday, going home, I felt pretty good about how we had handled things. I felt like we put it all out there, so now if they continue to hurt us they will have no excuse whatsoever and we can pull away from them without feeling guilty. H was still handling it pretty hard though, and he was depressed about it a lot this week. He was going on about how he hates his parents, and I was actually the one to say--don’t say that. I figure they get this last chance and then that’s it. I’ll never be crazy about his family or totally forget all of this, but for the sake of H and our kids I do want things to work out. We’re never going to be that close with them--they’ve violated our trust too many times now--but I at least want to be able to visit with them without dreading every moment.

I’m trying really, really hard to stop letting other people get to me so much, between the in-laws and my sister/parent situation. I just want to enjoy this time for what it is, H and I preparing to welcome two new members to our family. I got more joint-shower vibes from my mom but chose to let it go. Turns out my one close friend who knows about our treatment wants to throw my shower--she randomly brought it up to me yesterday and she doesn’t even know about my sister’s pregnancy and my whole joint shower meltdown. Problem solved. H gets to deal with telling my mom. She’ll put up a fuss for sure, but it’s not her decision. Seriously, I need to stop worrying about these little things and what everybody else thinks and wants to do.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Part Two

Now for Part 2 of my awful weekend...

I had to take a break from relaying everything at once because it really is upsetting. Your reactions/comments make me feel a lot better—H and I keep asking ourselves how things with his parents could really be this bad. We just don’t get it. My ultimate conclusion is that MIL and FIL simply do not listen to us or hear our pain at all. They only hear what they want to hear. I’d blame it on the distance, but the reality is that I only see my parents in person a little bit more than his parents see us. In fact, we’ve only seen both sets of parents once since our news. It comes down to H’s parents just not listening to what we keep telling them.

Okay, so...for the rest of Saturday H’s dad was very quiet—not his usual boisterous (loud/rude) self at all. He did make a demeaning comment to H’s brother at dinner, though, and H totally jumped on him for it. (Basically, BIL was saying how he currently has a 4.0 GPA in the new program he has started, and FIL spoke up that he only got that because one of his professors graded his B on a curve. H spoke up that an A is an A, no matter what it was before the curve.) After that, H left dinner a little early to go upstairs and take a nap. I wanted to go with him, but worried that they would start talking about us if I did, so I stayed. H had been working late all week, so I knew he was tired. Nothing bad happened at dinner and conversation was about normal stuff, so I started to feel a tiny bit bad that H’s dad was so withdrawn because we yelled at him. (But really—it was his own mess and we shouldn’t feel bad for correcting him. After all, he’d been hurting us repeatedly without any sign of remorse.) Any feelings of guilt I had went away when I finally went upstairs to check on H. He wasn’t asleep at all- he was just taking the time to be a wreck, full-on Emmie style. I felt so very bad for him. He talked about how he couldn’t believe he was related to his family, how he hated being there, and how he just wanted to go home. He said he hated that his family was also putting me through all of this and stressing me out during a time I should not be so stressed.

I had kinda expected H’s parents to have taken a moment to regroup together before/after the dinner and apologize or at least talk to H, but they never did. I did see them talking together looking somber before we went to bed, but nothing came of it. So H felt he still needed to spell things out for his mom, and I agreed, since there was no guarantee that H’s dad would share what we had said to him. H’s dad hates to be corrected, so I’m sure telling MIL that we had chewed him out wasn’t on the top of his to-do list. H said he would talk to his mom early the next morning (both of them always get up before everyone else in the house and have coffee). I asked him if he wanted me there, but neither of us really wanted a group discussion.

Well, I tossed and turned about it all night. Ultimately, I decided in the middle of the night that H had done enough talking to his parents and that I should make the next move to take some of the pressure off of him. I also felt that maybe his mom would take it more seriously if I spoke up, since I’m not the type to have heart-to-heart talks with her. I decided I would be calm about it and just be really honest about how our feelings were being affected by her and FIL’s actions.

I crept out of bed super early when I heard MIL get up. She seemed a little surprised, so I just sat down and launched into the fact that I wanted to talk to her privately because there are some things going on that are really hurting H (and me) that she and FIL need to know about. I had her full attention. I said, I’m sure you must know that FIL really upset us yesterday when we were telling J about the pregnancy. She looked surprised and said, “No? Why? What did he say?” I was shocked she had no clue, but I reminded her of how FIL cut me off when I mentioned twins in my family, saying that wasn’t the reason I was having twins. I told her that H and I were completely shocked and hurt that he would say that when H had made it clear several times to them that our treatment was not to be discussed with anyone. I got a big "Oh" in response. Then she tried to defend herself and FIL, saying it must have been a misunderstanding because they thought we just didn’t want them talking about the pregnancy before we were ready to (which was a stupid thing to say, since they also did that anyway.) This was a flat out lie, because H had all three of the conversations with his parents about their lack of discretion before we even had the procedure done. I reminded her about how she had told the one brother about our IF and how he had called H on his birthday and asked him about his fertility problems right with a high school friend sitting next to him. Another “Oh.”

I decided to let her slide on a “misunderstanding” (since calling her a liar probably wouldn't work with my calm tactic), saying, well, now you know without a doubt that it is the fertility treatments we do not want being discussed, ever, so please talk to anyone you told and explain to them that this is a private matter that should not have been shared. She then questioned why, since fertility treatments are so common these days, and that it was no big deal that I had a blocked tube. I calmly replied with tears starting to fall that she had no idea how painful the whole diagnosis and process had been for me and H, and that we cannot bear to have constant reminders about it. I said we are grateful for the technology, but we need to move on and heal. We can’t do that if we’re constantly being reminded about it, especially through unnecessary remarks like the one FIL made at dinner.

Then I addressed the tube thing, since she never acknowledges the fact that MFI was the main factor in our need for IVF/ICSI and she seems to keep putting blame on me. I said "I can have kids unassisted with one tube, but H cannot have kids without IVF, period. It is our problem together, but you need to understand how this is especially painful for H and obviously not something he wants to spell out to people." Again, it was an “Oh.” I told her, "given H’s medical problem in this, you also need to understand that he was 100% against IVF (and I didn’t even get into ICSI which he needed and was even more against), and he hated the fact that he was 90% of the problem while I had to endure 100% of the very invasive procedures/treatment." I said that H has strong moral objections to what we had to do to get pregnant, and I had to be the one to ask him to compromise those values for the sake of us as a family. I told her that doing that was extremely hard, because I respect his beliefs and felt awful asking him to bend them. I told her it took me a long time to help him come to terms with the treatment we needed and to agree to it. (I really wanted her to know that without my willingness to do this, she wouldn’t be expecting these two grandkids right now.) I told her that while it is against my religion to do IVF, I had to think hard about my own beliefs in order to come to the conclusion that God has given these treatments for a reason, and that’s what got me through it. I said even though H is not a practicing Catholic like me, his beliefs are actually very strongly aligned with the church’s beliefs on all this. Considering this, I told her that it was especially important that she and FIL stop discussing our treatments because they are a very open wound for us and one that will never heal. Considering H had many reservations about treatment in the first place, he does not need a constant reminder of them. I told her that if this round had not worked, H did not want to try a second time.

Well, this all just flabbergasted her. She said, “I don’t know where he got these beliefs from! His father and I don’t believe there is anything wrong with IVF! Why does he feel this way? Maybe he was just concerned with you violating your religion.” I had to laugh at that last part and said oh, no--my own religious beliefs were not the issue at all in this matter. I said, these are H’s beliefs, pure and simple, and they should be respected.

She still questioned why he had a problem with IVF, so I explained that he believes in leaving the creation of life to nature and if he is not capable of having kids naturally, there is a reason for it that he should not try to get around. I explained to her that fertility treatments don’t actually treat the root problem; they simply allow you to work around it. She still seemed baffled by H’s beliefs and there was really nothing more I could say. She tried to appeal to the fact that I’m more open in talking about it/accepting, and I said--not really. I’m just telling you all this so you understand and we never have to discuss this again. I said we both have decided as a couple that no one is to discuss this, and we would not have told them if we had to do this again and if we had known they would tell people. I told her how H was extremely upset the day before to the point of wanting to leave, and I told her that this needed to be taken very seriously for the sake of her and FIL’s relationship with H. I said if this continues, it will pull you and H apart.

Then I gave her some simple rules to prevent any further “misunderstandings.”

1. If someone asks if we did fertility treatments when they find out we are having twins, your response is simply--twins run in her family.

2. You must explain to H’s brothers and anyone else you told not to ever discuss our treatments, in front of us or with other people, because you shouldn't have told them in the first place. And just because we’re not around doesn’t make it okay to talk about it.

3. No one is to ever tell or insinuate to our kids that we used IVF. How, when, and if we tell them is entirely up to us, and we will not tolerate anyone forcing us into telling them because of an unnecessary remark.

I received an okay to all three of these items, so there was nothing more to say. MIL said that she did want to be able to talk to H about all of this and at least apologize. I said that apologizing and telling him you understand would be very helpful. She still seemed to indicate that she wanted to talk to him about why he had the feelings he did, and I told her that I wouldn’t push him in discussing those things--that’s why I had chosen to have this conversation with her—so that he didn’t have to. I said you need to understand that he had a hard time talking about this even with me, and the reason he hasn’t told you before in such detail is because he can’t without becoming extremely upset. I told her she should respect how he feels and just forget we ever had treatment going forward.

Then we talked about other stuff, giving my slow, leaky tears time to dry before H came down to join us for breakfast. I do think his mom was truly concerned by what I said, and she seemed very sympathetic to how difficult it was for me to say it. I’d like to think she will thank me for having the guts to do it. But who knows.

I told H the whole thing when we had a moment alone, and he was very grateful for what I had done but was also disturbed by some of her reactions to what I said. He’s worried that most of what I said was wasted breathe, because she can’t get past the fact that anyone would have different feelings about this than her and FIL. He’s afraid she will ultimately think we are just too sensitive (something she has said in the past about other rude stuff they’ve done.) He’s also afraid she will wake up the next day and think, “who does that Emmie think she is for talking to me like that about my son? If he felt that way, I would know.” He might be right. But for now I know I did the right, mature thing--the only thing that could be done to try to salvage this relationship. Time will tell if it had an impact.

Monday, November 06, 2006

What a Weekend, Part One

Some people do not deserve the benefit of the doubt. My in-laws are two of them. As you know, H and I have been struggling with how to deal with his family in preparation for this past weekend—our first visit in which we were to officially share our good news with his entire family, including aunts, cousins, etc. Now, H has told his parents no less than THREE times that our fertility treatments are private information that he does not want them to share. Despite this, the news continues to leak from his parents so that every time we get a call from one of his brothers, they bring it up to him unprompted. Each time this happens, it sends us reeling.

H didn’t want to upset his mom by confronting her one last time before our big visit. We had talked about it all week. First he wanted to call and remind her of our feelings on the subject, so that there would be absolutely no unexpected and unwanted remarks when we talked about the twins at dinner. But since talking hadn’t worked in the past, he decided maybe he would write her a letter explaining how we felt about it. Well, ultimately he decided to give his parents the benefit of the doubt. Because they are his parents, I wanted to believe they wouldn’t ruin this occasion for him (and me), so I went along with this plan. After all, he told them on three separate occasions to stop talking about it. Wouldn’t they have the decency and common sense not to talk about our fertility issues or treatment in front of extended family over the weekend?

The answer is no. We were not in the door five minutes when his dad managed to allude to our treatment, in a rude and unnecessary way, in front of Steve’s younger cousin and his girlfriend.

Basically, we came in and were the first to arrive. We were talking in the kitchen to H’s mom when his cousin J and girlfriend arrived and sat down at the table. We started talking about the drive up and stuff, when H’s dad entered the room. He greeted us and immediately said something about the pregnancy (even though we were waiting until dinner to “announce” it.) J and the cousin looked very taken aback and laughed, saying they would “act surprised” when we told the rest of the family after his dad realized they didn’t know yet. So, that launched me into telling J and his girlfriend that we are 11 weeks along with twins, and rapidly saying how excited are since my mom is a twin and they’re due on her birthday…

I hadn’t finished my sentence about the twins being born on my twin mom’s birthday, when H’s dad says—“well, that’s not the reason you two are having twins!” I paused, looked up at him with saucer eyes, and said in my most disdainful voice—“Uuhh, yeah, um ANYWAY and continued blathering about how my mom’s twin brother was hoping to come home from Chicago for their 60th birthday and to meet the new babies. H’s dad did not pick up on the hot anger radiating from me and H at all. H and I kept exchanging looks and I knew I had to say something to his dad before the weekend continued in this matter.

So I waited a few minutes for the subject to change to something else. H’s mom was talking to J about whether his sister was coming to dinner late. I caught FIL’s attention and motioned for him to come with me to another room because I had a gift for him (I actually did). I tried to be subtle, but surely everyone had to notice us leave. As I got up the stairs to FIL’s office and started to tell him about the gift (figured I would move into my confrontation afterwards), H entered the room, shutting the door behind him, and said “Dad, what the F…?!?” My first reaction was “H!” because he never curses like that to his parents, but then we both lit into FIL for what he had said.

We told him how upset it made us that he would make a rude comment like that when I was clearly avoiding the infertility subject when announcing the pregnancy to people. We told him we didn’t understand his need to cut me off and say something like that, especially after we repeatedly asked him and MIL to keep our treatments private. FIL responded that he must have misunderstood us--he didn’t realize we didn’t want to talk about it. What the ?!?! This led to me and H both raising our voices at him about how H had made this clear and at this point our assumption is that he and MIL just don’t respect our feelings at all. He muttered some "I'm so sorrys" in a pathetic, quiet way, head down like a child being lectured, but I couldn’t feel too bad about what we were saying to him. Obviously talking about it calmly had not gotten the point across. Then he tried to justify his talking about it saying—“But it’s just such a miracle what science can do and the fact that it worked is so great.” I said yes—it is great that it worked and we thank God every day for the technology, but that doesn’t mean we need the whole world to know. H chimed in with how painful the whole experience had been, and that if his dad felt our pain he would understand why we need to move on and stop being reminded of it. Well, to this FIL says that his colleague Mr. S. who did IVF, is very open about it and so he didn’t expect us not to be. H blew up at this, reminding his dad that Mr. S. was 50 when he did IVF as a result of wanting to have more children with a second wife after he had done a vasectomy with a first wife. He reminded FIL—“IVF was Mr. S’s choice and he already had kids so it wasn’t the same situation.” Then H lost it completely emotionally and said—“don’t you get how this was not our choice and we had a really hard time coming to terms with it?” With H unable to speak further, I said—“Look at what this is doing to your son! Why can’t you just forget we ever had treatment and just move on? Why did you have to ruin today for us, supposedly a happy time, by throwing our treatment in our face in front of people who didn’t need to know?” I told him that I didn’t understand why he and MIL and the brothers couldn’t keep this private when my parents had respected our wishes without question.

So then I saw an ugly side to FIL that I’ve never seen before, as he usually comes across as a harmless, bumbling Homer-Simpson type of overweight buffoon. He glared at me and said in a mean voice that he wasn’t trying to throw anything in my face and that I’m just closer to my parents.

I said—“that’s not true; the difference is my parents respect my feelings about this. And regardless, we’re telling you now once and for all to stop bringing up our treatment, tell everyone you’ve told about it that you shouldn’t have, and never say anything about it again.” I added the threat, “If someone ever says something in front of our children about our treatment, that person will never see the children again.”

He seemed to nod but kept muttering how it was just so good that things had worked out that he didn’t understand.

At this point, H, still struggling to regain his composure, asked me to go get our coats so we could take a walk and calm down before dinner started. I went out, right where MIL, J, and girlfriend could see me, got our coats, and we left out a back door where H didn’t have to be seen. I have no idea what FIL said when he re-entered the room with the others. As we went outside, H’s aunt and his other cousin M were getting out of the car. Talk about awkward. We just said hello and that we were taking a quick walk because it had been a long drive. We didn’t mention the pregnancy of course--still thinking we would wait for dinner (and to calm down!), but of course upon re-entering the house MIL had already told them, too. Can't these people keep their mouths shut?!? (Especially given the fact that we had just said we would wait until dinner to tell the others after J found out.) Since we weren’t there when she told them it was twins, who knows what was said about that. I would’ve thought MIL had a clue that we were yelling at FIL for what he had done, but evidently she was clueless. This will be explained in part two, to be uploaded later tonight…

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Reminder of What IF Has Done to Me

I am a wreck right this self-pitying post only if you are in the mood to stomach it.

I've been trying my very best to keep my chin up about my sister's natural pregnancy and her treatment of it. I like my sister a lot these days. I haven't always. In fact, I pretty much despised her until we were both married. She has always known how to hit a nerve in me that sends me to my absolute darkest. It hasn't helped that my parents treat her so much better than they treat me.

Well, she's not doing it on purpose right now, but she is the reason for my meltdown. She is exactly 2 and a half weeks behind me, and she has now told EVERYONE we know that she is pregnant. At first she told me she was just going to tell immediate family when she told me at 5 weeks, but turns out, she told all her friends at 5 weeks 1 day. Now, she's a little more than 7 weeks, and everyone knows. And just about no one knows about my pregnancy. So considering I'm ahead of her and doing the first trimester wait, I feel like this is bullshit. Especially when she knows how scared I am yet eager to tell people. When I DO tell family and friends, I feel like the fact that she told weeks ago will just further emphasize that all was not business as usual with my pregnancy.

But this isn't even why I'm so upset right now. I'm upset because she said the words "joint baby shower" to me tonight, implying that that was what my mom was planning to host for us. No effin way. This may be petty and selfish and something my friends cycling right now don't need to hear me whine about, but WHAT THE HELL? Why can't I have a moment of my own, especially after all the suffering H and I went through to get here? Why can't my mom and sister be sensitive to that? They're just thinking about what will be convenient for them. I think it's ridiculous. I have tons of friends. I can only hope one of them will hear of this from someone and step up to stop it. What a pathetic jerk I'm being, but I can't help it. My family never puts my feelings first. Ever. Never have. It's always been about my sister. When my sister first found out I was pregnant, one of the first things she said was how she couldn't wait to throw me a shower. Well, now with her pregnancy, obviously she'd rather just leave it up to my mom. And my mom will throw the same kind of gathering for me that she always throws--one that is all about what she wants. Which means at her house, even though she's an hour and a half away from me, my friends, and the entire rest of our family. And we'll have the deli lunch meat platter that she always gets, even though pregnant people can't eat that (my sister tells me how she's been eating lunch meat and it's just fine. Fool won't listen to me). It goes on and on. Just a reminder that I have some serious family issues. For as much as I complain about H's family, mine has been pretty crappy to me in the past too. I just haven't put it all out there because I feel so guilty. But why? They never seem to feel guilty for hurting me. Oh, I need therapy fast...

Is it ridiculous to be this upset about a shower at just shy of 11 weeks? Absolutely. I'm a nut case. Something could go wrong tomorrow and I'll be wishing to have the chance back to have the joint shower at all. But I just needed to come here and indulge my hurt feelings for a bit.

When I spoke my loud protest to a joint shower and even a mom-hosted shower, my sister just clammed up and got off the phone with me pretty fast afterwards. This is obviously not something she's going to back me on. Considering my twins will likely come early (like May 1) and she's not due until June 15, I don't see how a joint shower even makes sense logistically. I'll either be so far along that I won't be able to make the trip or my sister will have a long way yet to go when we have it. I had intended on hosting my sister's shower at my house as long as I didn't need bed rest. I guess that's not up to me if mom is taking over.

If it weren't for IF, I'd have already been through a pregnancy and wouldn't have this ultimate test of sibling rivalry to even deal with. I wouldn't be so apprehensive. I wouldn't be so needy. I just feel like my feelings have been stepped on too much.

Off to dry my tears before H gets home. Not sure how he'll react to this one. He'll probably call me crazy. But he knows what my family does to me, so maybe he'll understand. I hope you do too. If not, my chin will be back up tomorrow and I'll just keep focus on the most important thing--the babies. Who cares if I even have a shower, right? The babies are what matter. Maybe I'll just say I don't want a shower at all.

Odds and Ends

So at Monday’s appointment, the peri doctor noted that my placenta was very low right now, but it would probably resolve itself. However, he said he wouldn’t be surprised if I saw some light bleeding. Yikes. Bleeding would terrify me even if it was normal. After my pap smear on Tuesday, my OB told me to expect some spotting, and I had like one, faint brown spot that didn’t even look like blood, so I was fine. Now I’m wondering what might set off bleeding, and of course s.e.x. comes to mind. Poor H, I’m already not in the mood much if ever, and if action is going to cause bleeding I want even less to do with it. H understands, but I do feel bad. I have had zero desire ever since transfer. Anybody else going through this? It hasn’t been a complete dry spell, but it really takes some doing to get me to participate.

My peri said I should enjoy my physical state as much as possible right now because as I get bigger I probably will be pretty limited. Both he and the OB predict bed rest in my future because I’m small. I’m trying to do normal things, but between feeling extremely tired, bad indigestion, and strong food aversions, it’s hard to enjoy a nice dinner with H or any after activity. I feel good overall and am not complaining, but I definitely feel like “enjoying the old me” ended with my last glass of wine over a heavy meal the night before my first Lupr*n shot. I imagine old me might not return for a year or two.

My belly is definitely starting to stick out some, and depending on the clothes I wear you can tell. I’ve been hiding it from the outside world, but at home I like to flaunt it for H. He’s been appropriately impressed. Bye-bye flat tummy! I can’t even suck it in a little, and my ribs are disappearing. Hooray! My flat stomach was my pride and joy for a long time, and two years ago when H and I took a trip to Bermuda I had him take a bunch of bikini pictures of me to bid it fond farewell. I do not expect to see it again, and that’s just fine with me. Even though I plan to work out hard after the babies are born in order to return to my normal clothes (or a size up…), I can’t imagine my tummy will over look that way again after twins. I will wear my pooch with pride.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Good, the Bad, and the Lopsided

First the good news--both babies are fine. Excellent, really. We saw the peri on Monday and had a super ultrasound. There they were, actually looking like little babies instead of blobs at 10 weeks. It’s amazing how much more form they had in just two weeks. We got a whole roll of pictures, including two of those 3-D color ones that I find creepy. H is going to put them on his desk at work. I’m a little embarrassed that we now have enough pictures of these little guys for an entire album! When you get a 3-D picture of both twins at once, it always seems to me that one looks like a baby and the other looks like squished play-doh. Luckily the doc took individual shots as well as group photos so I have evidence that I do have two babies and not a ball of play-doh.

The best part of the visit was that we saw both babies dancing...a lot. They were really shakin’ it. It was so funny we were both in tears. It kinda reminded me of the dancing baby from Ally McBe_al, only, not as scary. After my appointment, we drove to my campus and dropped off my thesis. All in all, a very good day.

On Tuesday, I had my appointment with the new OB practice. It was a long, invasive visit, complete with pap smear, blood draws, and urine taking, but I expected that and I really like everyone I met at the practice. Much improved over the last one. The doctor was very nice and answered all my questions.

So the bad news is that when she examined me she was very concerned that my right breast is much larger and different looking than my left one. It also has some redness that has developed over the past 2 weeks. Now, I've always been a little lopsided and was told it was normal, and after transfer both sides grew a good deal. The right started really taking off though and left the left in the dust. Since my mom had breast cancer (she’s recovered), the doctor said she wants me to have a mammogram done at a special breast center. She said that the size and redness may just be from the hormones (I will finally quit prometrium this Friday) but she doesn’t want to take any chances, especially since the left side didn’t react the same way. She said it was probably nothing, but she said the word “concerned” many more times than “probably nothing.”

I had noticed the difference between the two, but I just thought my left side was being slow in catching up, as always. Now I’m a little freaked out. My appointment is next week, so at least I don’t have to wait long. I just want to be okay for my two little dancers.

As far as the MIL and relative issue, I'll post more later. I appreciate all the feedback and suggestions. I'll let you know our plan...