Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Double Your Baby, Double Your Chin

My chin is multiplying. I’ve always had a somewhat full face, and this past week it has started filling out even more. Double chins are my all-time least favorite body characteristic to have. Bring on the cankles, puffy sausage fingers, and swollen feet—just spare my chin! Alas, no such luck. I’ve also had a horrible time sleeping this week, as my sides and ribs really ache at night. My most comfortable position is propped up on my back at a 45 degree angle with 5 pillows. I hope this is okay and my uterus is not crushing any vital organs. Wouldn’t I be able to tell? My belly skin is so stretched it has gone numb in most places and is very shiny. The places that aren’t numb are hot and itchy.

Overall, though, I’m doing well at 23 weeks. When I think about the pregnancy symptoms I haven’t had—nausea, constipation, hemorrhoids—I count myself very lucky. I do get bad indigestion, and I can no longer eat large meals, especially for dinner, as there just isn’t any room. I pee all the time and can feel well-aimed kicks to my bladder. (Perhaps I have some little soccer players in there?) H took some belly pictures for the first time this weekend, so I’m working up the courage to post them. Seriously, you need to see how big I am. I’ve got a watermelon hidden under my shirt and a kiwi under my chin. For the first time, my boobs seem small in comparison to my stomach.

Moving around has become much, much more difficult this week. I feel so heavy and slow. I now see why my doctor encouraged me to get out while I still could. I’m often out of breathe just going from the bus stop to my office. I’ve started driving a lot more to work because of it. H and I have completed a lot of shopping—we have the cribs, car seats, stroller, dresser/changing table, and bedding—plus we registered this weekend. It was fun buying stuff, as I’m trying not to stress so much about something going wrong.

That’s not to say I don’t worry. And people still feel the need to share plenty of twin pregnancy gone wrong stories with me, which I'm really starting to resent. I mean, really, people. If you can't say something nice...
When people announce their wedding engagement, do you automatically tell them about the couples you know who are divorcing?

Prematurity is my biggest concern lately, as I can’t imagine how big I will be in April, let alone May when the babies are due. How much further can I stretch? My tight, flat stomach was always a source of pride to me. Now I’m wishing I had started this pregnancy with at least a little gut or flabbiness so that my body would have more material to work with. The movie Alien was on the other day, and I now think a multiple pregnancy must have been the inspiration for the Alien’s big debut into the world. With every strong kick I get to my belly button (a rather soft spot on an otherwise hard containment unit), I imagine a baby foot suddenly breaking through. Okay, no more sci-fi channel for me at night.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Getting Older

Work has been really busy lately, so by the time I get home each day I haven’t had much time to post. Thank you all for still reading!

I turned 31 over the weekend, and it was bittersweet. I’m so grateful to be pregnant for this birthday, but I couldn’t stop myself from noting that I had failed to accomplish a goal in my life for the first time. I’ve always been determined to have at least one child by thirty. Turning 31 with no children showed how powerless I really am in planning my life, and I am such a planner. Up until now, I’ve been able to check off every goal I’ve mapped out for myself looking ahead in 5-year increments. So, I really didn’t feel like doing anything to celebrate a day that reveals my inability to achieve something that has come so easy for my friends, family, and most people around me. I know it’s important for me to learn that not everything is going to go according to plan. I guess I’d just gotten used to my Type A personality being able to get me the results I’m always after. I recently heard someone say, “Twins are nature’s way of teaching organized people to be flexible.” I guess IF is a part one of that lesson.

So, despite a few minor down periods, I did enjoy the few birthday festivities that took place. We had an awesome dinner at the restaurant that my “fairy godmother” recommended. The funny thing about dinner was that the restaurant owners had a sick baby with them near the reception area, and he was very loud. This seemed very unusual for the type of quiet, intimate place that it was, especially since we were treating this dinner as our last fancy outing without kids. Hearing the baby cry was a reminder that we may not have our babies in our arms yet, but they are indeed here and our lives have changed, even if it is happening a little later than we had originally planned.
(I’m just glad we are pregnant, because otherwise, hearing a baby out of place like that on my 31st birthday would have driven me a little closer to the mental hospital.) I’ve been feeling pretty sad about IF this week, and I wonder if I’ll ever really let those feelings go.

In other news, my sister has learned that her baby is a girl! She doesn’t even look pregnant at all yet, while I have the “hiding a basketball under my shirt” look going. At least if this is to be my only pregnancy, I’m definitely getting some major mileage out of looking and feeling pregnant. I’m so big already, I can’t imagine what the next 3 to 4 months are going to be like as I continue to grow! The babies are moving around like crazy, and that is what I am enjoying most about this pregnancy. I am very, very thankful to be able to experience this. I used to see pregnancy as an inconvenient thing you had to live through to get to your end result. I had no idea that feeling them move would be as great as it is. I am really enjoying each and every day.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Visit from My Fairy Godmother

I heard a fairytale while sitting at my hairdresser’s salon over the weekend. Another woman came in early while my hair was being finished, and my hairdresser immediately told me that this woman was a grandmother to twins (we had been discussing my twins). The woman, G, managed to tell me within 5 minutes that her grandkids were IVF twins, though she did not ask me about the origin of mine. (Kudos to her daughter--she must have taught G well that infertiles hate that question.)

Well, G elaborated just a tiny bit to say that both her daughter and son-in-law had a combination of problems leading them to turn to IVF after many, many years of trying. They had healthy twin girls. After their birth, G’s daughter was asked by her OB about whether she wanted to go on birth control pills. The daughter laughed, asking-- what is the point???? A year later, G’s daughter started feeling very tired. Very, very tired. Sure, she had twins and a full-time job, but this was a different kind of tired. So she took a home pregnancy test one night. And it was positive. She went on to deliver a healthy boy, and they lived happily ever after.

Secondary fertility. It is the bedtime story that H and I tell each other. I think about it with a longing in the same way little girls think about being rescued from an evil stepmother or kissing a frog and turning it into a prince.

H and I will not resume birth control after the birth of our twins. I just hope we won’t be too disappointed if our prince charming never shows.

Wrapping up my hair appointment, G, who kinda resembles a plump fairy godmother, proceeded to randomly refer me to a little-known restaurant that I might want to try close to my house. (It just so happens I’m trying to find a nice but local place to celebrate my impending birthday, but she didn’t know that). When I went home, I googled the restaurant and checked its menu--it happens to serve exactly the type of food I’m craving and it's not the typical menu you'd find near me. And looking at the restaurant’s pictures…the d├ęcor is just my style. Aah, I’ll have to schedule my hair appointments to run into this lady again! I felt refreshed all day.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Inflation

Every day my belly seems to inflate a tiny bit more. People on the street have started staring at it. My co-workers laugh about it. Surprisingly, not too many people have touched it. I seem to be only gaining weight in the belly area, so I do look a little funny with this huge extension to my otherwise normally proportioned body (not counting the enhanced chest). I love it. It also scares me. I’m 20 weeks. Still a long way to go. My initial maternity pants are now too tight. The mediums that hung on me before now fit perfectly. I wonder how long before I must go shopping again. I’m making an effort not to buy many outfits, saving my hard earned cash for bras.

I never thought it would be this way, but my boobs are the bane of this pregnancy. I am continuing to have trouble finding bras that fit, and when I do, I grow out of them a few weeks later. Thankfully my band size finally seems to be expanding, so I will have an easier time finding larger cup sizes, and I might be able to save a few bras through extenders. I continue to have major indentation marks on my boobs after wearing a bra all day, and I worry that I’m doing permanent harm by always cutting off the circulation. Some days the undersides feel a little numb, and that can’t be good. Seriously though, what else can I do other than not wear a bra at all? (which I think would be too painful, as well as gross given their size) I’ve been “fitted” by three certified bra fitters. They’ve all done their best. I’m just a weird size. I’m still not fully convinced that there’s not something evil lurking in my breast tissue, but I am so focused on bringing this pregnancy to term that I honestly do not want to know. I’ve gotten two dark splotches just outside of my areolas on both breasts that make wonder about the whole IBC thing again, plus the skin still seems different from how it was pre-pregnancy. I’m hoping this is all just hormone related. I see my OB on Monday, so I’ll have her take a look again. Is anyone else out there have this many issues with their ladies???

In other news, the boys are moving around like crazy now! H can feel them easily, and sometimes the movement is so strong it startles me. Goodness, I have little people in there! I’m very excited to watch the twin special that will be on Sunday night to get an idea about what they’re up to in there. I read in the show’s promo material that twins sometimes play games in the womb! I have this funny image of them playing “Go Fish.”

Overall, things are good. I have a hard time sleeping the whole night through because of lots of aches and pains, and my ankles swell every day now, but other than the boob issue I can’t really complain. It makes me wonder what the next few weeks will have in store. I have had a few stomach aches that wouldn’t describe as cramps but that seem troublesome just the same. Another topic to discuss at Monday’s doctor’s appointment. I also see the peri on Wednesday, so I’ll have a full report.

I see it’s delurker week, so please say hello!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Shh...Don't Tell

I haven’t had it in me to post much lately, although I have plenty to say. I think I’ve figured out why. I might just be happy. Truly happy for the first time in over a year. A whole year of unhappiness behind me. I don’t want the universe to hear me and smite me again, so I’ve been keeping it under wraps.

So what have I been doing in my blissed-out state? Scouring the clearance pages of Pottery B_arn Kids.com and grabbing amazing discounts on items for the nursery H has started painting. Folding and unfolding the Gymbor.ee clothes we bought for the twins so I can touch something that will belong to my babies. Directing H in assembling closet systems we splurged on from the Co_ntainer Store with my Christmas bonus. Eating small healthy, snacks almost every hour to prevent the twins from causing me to collapse from hunger. Sleeping whenever I’m not online shopping or eating. I’m still working, of course, but that is just a temporary distraction until I can get back home to my critical routine of eating, shopping, napping.

Naps have been preferable to a full night’s sleep, because I am very uncomfortable after sleeping for more than 2 hours at a time. My belly and back start to ache, and I have a hard time rolling over to switch sides. I’m right on target for my growth, and I love looking at my big, round belly, but I see how the next few growth spurts are really going to start taking a toll on me.

In answer to Seattlegal, who notes that her weight gain is hovering at the same place right now at 12 weeks, I did find that I stayed the same weight for a few weeks right around the start of my second trimester. It freaked me out a little, but then I had a growth spurt of a few pounds and it’s been a steady pound a week ever since.

Hi to Bella, who wrote that she is 3 days behind me with twins! Thanks for reading and I hope to hear more from you!

I’ve still been keeping up on my blog reading, though I haven’t always been able to comment as much because beta blogger is evil. My replies keep getting eaten by it.

So, now you know the truth. I’m scared to write about being happy. But I’m trying it out a little anyway. Because we all know I’ll have something to freak out about again sooner than later, so I might as well try to balance my blog out with the good and the bad.

I still wake up feeling amazed that I’m actually pregnant. I’m grateful my belly is so big because it gives me substantial proof that this pregnancy is real. Some of the worst side affects of IF are fading. I no longer grind my teeth at night, and I am now able to put friends’ baby pictures on the fridge again instead of in the kitchen junk drawer when they arrive in the mail. But the paranoia remains, as I buy baby items tentatively, refusing to buy duplicates of anything should something happen to one twin. I justified buying one “twin” item (a cute frame that says “two of a kind”) by telling myself I can always give it to my neighbor who is expecting twins if something should go wrong.

I need to get over my fear, as my peri has instructed me to go out and buy the big-ticket items like car seats and cribs now in case I need bedrest in the months to come. The 30-day return policies on these items scare me. Thirty-day return policies are for a fertile world, not an infertile one.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A New Year at Last!

Happy New Year, Everyone!

I am so happy to say goodbye to 2006 and welcome 2007. I think we probably all are. Not that I rang in the new year in any kind of special way. H and I stayed in, played a board game, and watched a few movies. It was simple but great.

After recovering from my cold before Christmas, I then had to take care of H, who caught the same thing I had. We were quite a sniffling mess most of our break. We still managed to see family and a few friends, even though we stayed in much more than we would have normally. It was exciting telling everyone about the babies being boys. And this time we got to do what we wanted—make announcements to our parents in person, in a special way. They were very surprised and excited to hear the news, especially since they thought we wouldn’t know until after the holidays. H’s parents’ visit was much less painful than their other recent visits have been, so all in all we had a good week.

Once I got over my cold, I began noticing all my new pregnancy aches and pains—ligaments stretching and ankles swelling and such. I am getting very large, and it’s all focused in my belly! My belly button is completely out now and I’m really carrying everything in a big ball in front of me. I look more like 6 months pregnant than 19 weeks. I’ve gained almost 20 pounds. For twins, I appear to be right on track. My sister, who is now 16 weeks, has only gained 1 pound. She is continuing to vomit occasionally which accounts for the low weight gain (she lost 3 pounds in the first trimester which she did gain back.) She doesn’t look pregnant at all. The funny thing is, I’m still squeezing into some non-maternity clothes (long sweaters and loose sweats and such), while she has converted entirely to maternity clothes already. We’re very different.

I am eating constantly, and I find that I am very uncoordinated and messy in my current state. I’ve managed to spill something on myself almost every night at dinner. It’s almost like I’m preparing myself for the mess the babies will bring. Last night, I had a bit of a scare as I lost my footing on the stairs at home and slid down a few steps on my well-padded butt. I screamed, more out of shock than pain, and was touched to see that not only H came running to check on me, but so did my two cats, who I had been sound asleep on my bed down the hall just moments before. My cats are so awesome. They actually ran right to me, eyes huge, tails puffed, looking all concerned. Maybe I can teach them to paw 911 when H isn’t home?