Tuesday, February 23, 2010

32 Weeks

Well here we are. 32 weeks. I know I say this all of the time, but wow. WOW.

So far still no real change in my cervical condition. That I know of anyway. I go to my dr next Mondayto get checked out and check bebez growths.

I guess the biggest thing is I have 1 to 2 semi-painful contractions a night. Sometimes they are not so bad, sometimes they suck. And I also have "the feeling". I had this feeling when I found out IVF worked. I felt like it was gonna be twins. Which was confirmed. Then I had "the feeling" it was a boy and a girl. Again confirmed. Now I have "the feeling" these lovelies will make their grand entrance sometime between weeks 35 and 36. Who wants to take bets?

With my GD. Yeah, it's there. Yeah, my levels have been the same. And yeah, I check my blood (but not all the time).

Sleep has been a struggle lately. I seem to go back and forth with getting 5-6 hours at a time then dropping down to waking almost every single hour. C'mon, there will be plenty of time to get no sleep, can I have some now?? please?

I also wanted to let you all know I started another blog. For the past couple of weeks I have been financially freaking out, even though we have money in the bank, low overhead, etc... So I started searching for deals, samples, freebies, etc. I am amazed at some of the stuff I have received (or getting) just by contacting the company in question and asking. So I wanted to share what I have discovered so far with my readers. And just to let you know, it's just a silly little blog that I am not getting paid to have. And the things on the blog I have personally requested, and I HATE the ones that make you do stupid surveys and jump through hoops..

So check it out. It's called Mommy Wants Freebies. Cute, huh?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Welcome ICLW!

I want to welcome you to my blog. I have been blogging for over 2 years now, mainly about my struggles with infertility. You can see my TTC timeline to the right.

My husband and I have been married for 11 years. We have two labradors and live in Portland, Oregon. I have been a retail manager for at least ten years now.
I have been infertile for longer than I can remember. We tried everything. We've spent thousands upon thousands of dollars. But we were persistent.

A couple of years ago my ob discovered a fibroid but said it was nothing to worry about. Over a year that fibroid grew. I was ready to give IVF a try when my RE said I had to have it removed. While I was upset that my IVF would be postponed for 3 months, I was happy to have it taken care of. So March 11 2009 I went in for a myomectomy and the fibroid was gone.

In May I went back to start my IVF cycle. I had a saline sonogram and 3 polyps were discovered that were removed on June 1 via hysteroscopy. Then I was ready.

I finally started my IVF cycle in July. I did everything I possibly could to make sure it worked. On the evening of August 7 I got a BFP! My first beta on August 11 confirmed that yes, I was indeed pregnant!

2 1/2 weeks later I went in to have the heartbeat checked. My husband and I drove to the clinic in silence, afraid of what we would or wouldn't see. During the u/s we saw it. Two beautiful heartbeats. We both cried and couldn't believe that it worked. Almost 3 months later we found out were would have a son and a daughter!

Throughout my pregnancy I have had excitement, fears, daydreams, nightmares. I have had episodes of bleeding, contractions, and most recently a diagnosis of gestational diabetes and incompetent cervix. I'm currently on bedrest for this. But it's all worth it when I feel them both squirm and move around. These two babies were ten years in the making and worth everything we have given.

I am due April 20, but my feeling is they will be here sometime between weeks 35 and 36 or so. Due to my surgery I will have a cesearean.

So that's my story. What's yours?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Guest Post - IVF and Nutrition

Hello Readers!

I was recently contacted by writer Tania of Trying To Conceive requesting to be a guest writer on my blog. I have to say, I love her site - incredibly informative on how nutrition affects TTC, as well as more great research on TTC in general. Enjoy!


Physical Preparation for IVF: Nutrition and Exercise

When woman is undergoing IVF, there is a great deal she can do improve her chances of successful IVF treatment, minimize possible side effects of drugs, and prepare her body to recover afterwards. I am talking about mental, nutritional and physical preparation of a woman who is trying to conceive.

If that is possible woman should prepare at least 2 months before an IVF cycle: in that case she should detox, which should help clean most toxins from her body and in case she is overweight, also get rid of some excess weight. Detoxification diets are also often advisable between the cycles. Detoxification diet does not mean starving: it is aimed to clean the body of toxins. Women should avoid coffee, alcohol, medications, smoking and smoky atmospheres, and should also reduce salt from her diet. Studies show both smoking and alcohol consumption lower result pregnancy rates and expose woman to a greater risk of miscarriage. Caffeine has been shown to affect fertility, even in small amounts, and as little as one cup in the morning can reduce her chances of conceiving as much as 50%, so she should try to avoid caffeine completely. If woman is taking other prescription medications (except Tylenol and prenatal vitamins), she should check with a fertility specialist prior to beginning treatment cycle. It is also advisable to avoid chocolate, sugary foods, salty snacks, processed foods, tea, cola and all fizzy drinks.

A healthy well-balanced diet works best: drinking at least 8 glasses of (bottled) water and eating healthy, including in diet lean meat, wholegrains, veggies and fruit. On the other hand, during IVF cycle any kind of changes or even weight loss attempts should be strictly avoided.
Healthy preconception nutrition is balanced in vitamins, including vitamin C and E that help enrich the fluid which surrounds and nourishes woman’s eggs and to help her repair quickly after the egg retrieval, enabling readiness to receive the incoming embryos. Zinc is essential mineral for hormone production, and magnesium and vitamin A are vital for egg production. Selenium and magnesium are both important because they improve fertilization rates, and iron and Co-enzyme Q10 are important because they both enrich the womb lining. Healthy essential fatty acids are vitally important because they help balancing hormones and support ovarian health, and are found in fish, olive oil, flaxseed oil, nuts …

Prior to IVF cycle woman should start taking a prenatal vitamin. Folic acid (folate) or B9 vitamin is extremely important in preconception time because it reduces brain and spinal defects in newborns. Every woman should include in her diet nutrients that are rich in folic acid (green leafy vegetables, whole grains etc) or should consume 400 mcg of folic acid supplements on daily basis approximately 3 months before conceiving (800 mcg during pregnancy).
Some fertility clinics believe that a diet low in salt and potassium, and a diet high in proteins can help avoid hyperstimulation.

For example, Gatorade is one of a energy drinks that woman should avoid because it contains large amounts of salt, which prevents hyperstimulation. As already said, water is most advisable, but at certain stages of OHSS, too much fluid can have detrimental, therefore moderation is the key.

The best quality protein foods in terms of amino acid balance are eggs, especially egg whites, soya, lean meat such as chicken breasts, fish, beans, lentils, nuts and quinoa. Avoid too many dairy products and always eat organic meat.

If woman is used to exercise regularly, she should continue with the activities unless the enlargement of ovaries causes discomfort. Nevertheless, she should exercise moderately and avoid all kinds of strenuous exercise, heavy lifting, or aerobic exercise. Since the hormonal system shuts down and prepares for IVF, woman’s body needs to rest. For this reason, activities that include gentle exercise such as yoga and walking are perfectly fine. Physical preparation also includes avoiding hot tubs, jacuzzis, saunas and sun bathing.

Some studies claim that acupuncture is very beneficial for women preparing for IVF. Acupuncture treatment performed by certified acupuncturist will help her improve the flow of blood and energy to reproductive organs, will balance her body, and build up the womb lining, grow follicles and thus help her with implantation.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Giveaway for moms and soon-to-be mommies :)

As I had said before, I am researching companies who offer specials to multiples. So far I have found several, but I think one of my favorite companies is Dandelion Earth Friendly Goods. All totally eco-friendly and organic, which I love! I will be ordering some goodies from them soon (love the bags and developmental toys)... Oh, I should say they do not offer any multiples specials, however that doesn't really matter since the quality is so good :)

They are also starting to do giveaways on their Facebook page, so I am doubly excited about that :) The one this month is pretty cool - become a fan and enter to win lots and lots of goodies :) You can find the thread on their FB wall ;)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Newest Knitting project...

A cupcake for my little cupcake!


I originally had the idea of making an ice cream cone, but as I was finishing it, I saw cupcake instead... I tend to wing it with my projects, I always have. I want to get more adventurous with the knitting - there's only so many hats my children can wear!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What have I been doing?

Bedrest is interesting. Through it I have discovered an obsession. Freebies. Yup.

First I found this site. I began calling/emailing the companies and unfortunately some of them no longer have a Multiple Birth Program, but a lot of them still do. I have gotten coupons and such already. I decided to track it all on my computer and thought to myself "why stop there?" So I went onto babies r us and found a list of all brands and have started contacting each and every one of them. So far I have contacted around 50 companies (out of a zillion) either through their website, by emailing them, or sending snail mail. Some I called too. I am also
keeping track of their responses and what they send (if anything). This will keep me busy for quite some time..... I also found this site through a friend on Fa.cebook. So I requested a bunch of samples an such.... I will post my progress as I hear back from the companies :)

Oh, I have also been watching this all day. Don't mind the awesome Hawaiian-esque comforter I dragged out of my room to the couch ;) and you can see my little stretchmark where my belly button once was... FYI - most of the action is between the 16 and 25 second mark....

video

Monday, February 15, 2010

Good(ish) News

So I had my followup cervical check today to see if anything had changed. THANKFULLY, I am still at the same length with no additional funneling. Woo Hoo!! So no admittance to the hospital! I was so worried about that.

I will absolutely be on bedrest for the remainder of my pregnancy. Fine with me, as long as these babies cook for as long as possible. I am thankful for every single day that I don't have any other symptoms of pre-term labor. My uterus is nice and calm, the babies are moving at a regular rate, and no mucous changes... Whew.... But again, any little change will send me to the hospital...

I pre-registered at a second hospital just in case I do go into PTL. The one that I would like to deliver at doesn't have a NICU, so if I go another 4-5 weeks I can still deliver there. But if I go into early labor I will go to this other hospital. Which is fine.

GD is the same. No changes, no word on meds. No problem...

With all of these things in my favor, I swear I am going bonkers here. Bedrest is no fun. AND the movie I have been waiting for 2 years to come out I won't be able to see it in the theater. I know, boo hoo, poor me ;) But it's Tim Burton's new masterpiece Alice in Wonderland. C'mon, Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter?! In 3D? So I will have to wait til it come out on DVD (most likely Christmas) to see it. waaahhhh....

So if that's my only real complaint I think I've got it pretty good....

Friday, February 12, 2010

I heart my husband

Wanna know how awesome my husband is?

That is how awesome he is :) He gave me a big box this past Sunday saying he got something for me. A baby shower gift, but he wanted me to open it with him and not at the shower. And this is what was in the box:



A beautiful Coach messenger/diaper bag! It's beautiful! And nice and big - I can fit so much in there - pockets everywhere! I just love it and I can't wait to use it!

Oh, and here's my constant companion for the last week. She doesn't leave my side :) Who's a good girl????



Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bedrest....

I am on day 4 of my bedrest and seriously, I am going bonkers.

I have just a couple more major things to get before the babies arrive, and instead of going out with Josh to get them and having a good time of it, he's gotta go out on his own and snap photos of what he finds so I can say yay or nay from the (un)comfort of my couch. One (well, two) of the things we still need are carseats. I found the ones that I want - Graco Pippin - but guess what? Nobody's got it in stock. I have searched and searched. I really want to use my gift cards to buy them but I will have to use them for something else. And I wanted to get them at a local babies-r-us because the website doesn't honor any kind of multiples discount, but the stores all do. And I have an additional 15% off on top of that. So Josh is gonna go out and get alternative carseats. Problem? I need to find some that will snap onto a double travel system stroller. And they need to match. And not be cutesy. The Pippin line with brown and green vintage elephants are as cutesy as I am gonna get...

I also want to go get things that I don't necessarily need, but just want to get. I guess shopping online is almost as good, right?

I did a no-no and went through all of the babies' clothes last night. My Dr told me specifically "no nesting" and minimal getting up from my spot, but I DID have to go through the clothes (I did it sitting on my bed). I have onesies for days, footie sleepers, and enough blankets to swaddle a football team. BUT a lot of my basics are either neutral or boy stuff. I would say it's 70%/30% in favor of the boy/neutral. My baby girl doesn't have as much as my boy!! So I feel like I need to even out the closet. I don't really need to, it just doesn't feel right. And it's funny that I have been all "no pink, flowers, butterflies" but the pink things I have for her are really adorable.

So on to the bedrest. Ugh. I want to get up and clean my house, do my laundry, etc. My brain is in full nesting mode and it's torture that I can't act on it. BUT it's for the babies. I need to heed Dr orders.

I have a feeling that if my cervix is still not cooperating I will be blogging from the hospital next week. At least all nesting temptation will be taken away from me. And I won't have to deal with trying to figure out my breakfast/lunch/dinner. That's been tough. I can't be on my feet so I have to rely on Josh to make me food. He works so I have to fend for myself for breakfast and lunch. I am gonna have to have him make me food the day before so I can just grab it and bring it right back to my couch.

Or I can train the dogs to be gourmet chefs....hmmmm....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Shower pics anyone?

So I don't yet have all of the pics. My SIL has some in her camera that I forgot to get from her before she left. I am gonna either have to get them over the inter-web or wait until she comes back down from Seattle, presumably after bebez... So here are a few for you to check out!

My loverly cake made by my wonderful friend Robin! Unfortunately there was a little mishap when it was getting loaded, so Robin whipped up an equally delish substitute:
Here's the sub with the sheet cakes. They were yummy. Yes, I totally cheated on my GD diet, but I couldn't help it! The yellow cake had a yummy custardy filling that was just divine...
One of the little cakes. Since the theme was Alice in Wonderland she piped "eat me on each one :) And yes, you grew when you ate one, but not the way Alice did. haha!
One of the centerpieces which is now on my mantle. I loved all of the heart playing cards and the glittery hearts to represent the Red Queen!
Me and my good friend Eileen!
Eileen and I again chattin'
Presents! That's my niece in the background...
These are from said niece.. The blue says "Rock Star" and the pink says "Rebel" :)
This was just one of the many things my sister gave me. She knitted some beautiful AND super cool goodies for the babies! And she decorated onesies with tattoo patches and studded skulls and sparrows... I will probably use some of the pieces for the babies' going home outfits :)
A vintage swing coat for my baby girl! Gotta love that! From my bro and SIL, they also gave me more vintage stuff and a few handmade cool things too :)
One of the games. This one was a baby food game :) Rachelle, Becca, and Robin (L to R)
This was a swaddling game. They had to swaddle "The Duchess's' pig/baby" :) L to R - Shelby, Becca, Maddy, Rachelle, Jen
Relaxing after the shower with Gracie (my baby sister)
*Belleh*... and tired...
Ahhh, my chair!
There were about 20 or so people there :) all on my SIL's camera I am sure. All in all I was blessed with some great gifts and great time with my friends :) Got lots of gift cards, mostly from Babies-r-Us and a really great one for a spa in Portland that specializes in pre/post-natal treatments which I will take advantage of right after the babies are born. They even come to your hospital :) Got lots of books - Where the Wild Things Are (plus the big monsters to go with the book), Curious George, Alice in Wonderland, plus a ton more. One of them made me cry when I read it at home - "Love You Forever". OMG. If you haven't read it, make sure you have tissues when you do...
Other things included lots and lots of clothes, diapers, bath stuff for me, bath stuff for the babies, bouncers, a mommy clip, and plenty more. I was spoiled like you wouldn't believe! Josh got all into the daddy mode and put crib #1 together when we got home. I was procrastinating on that. So we just have a couple more things to get and we will be ready.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Guess who's gone public?

So, yeah. I decided to say "screw it" and my blog is again open for business. So for all you new readers or previous readers, welcome (back). I've missed you.

A recap on me. I'm currently 30 weeks pregnant with twins - a boy and a girl :) I I couldn't be happier with this fact and the miracle of IVF which made it possible. We don't have official names for them yet, but we have a few we are kicking around. Speaking of kicking, my daughter is currently pushing out on my side with her feet. Odd feeling :). These babies will be our first, most likely our last. We are so excited to see our babies :)

My complications are gestational diabetes and as of today a shortened and funneling cervix. So it's bedrest for me for now. The GD isn't bad, I don't need insulin, I just need to manage my blood sugar levels. Dr isn't concerned because it's really borderline at this point. So basically it's lots of rest, protein with carbs, and no sweets. No problem.

I have details on all of this in my blog. So enjoy and leave me comments :)

Ugh bedrest...

So I was hoping my next post would be pics from the shower. I will have time to do that because I am officially on bedrest now. I don't know for how long yet, I am going back in next week to be checked again.

Basically, my cervix shortened a lot and I'm funneling. Last check a month ago I was at 4.2 cm in length and around 4 cm with fundal pressure. Also no funneling at all. Today my cervix was 2.1 cm and 1.8 with fundal pressure and some funneling, but I can't remember how much. Any is not good!

At least my gd is under control, he's really happy about that. And I haven't gained weight but I haven't lost any either.

So there you have it... If I can make it a few more weeks I will be stoked.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Quick shower recap!

Today was a great day :) I was able to spend time with good friends I have known for years, great family, and good times! I will be uploading pics in the next day or so, so keep your eyes peeled for that....

The shower theme was really cool - Alice in Wonderland! With emphasis on the Mad Hatter Tea Party. So unique and way too fun!

The games were fun and some taken directly from the Lewis Carroll book. Such as swaddling a toy pig (the dutchess' baby was a pig!), Pick a card and whoever had the Queen of Hearts was the winner, and painting roses, which of course refers to The Red Queen's garden :) The decor was red roses everywhere in teapots (which were prizes too), and red hearts. My dear friend Robin made an absolutely beautiful cake (well, she made two, but I will explain in my next post!) and little petit fours on the tables that were piped the words "eat me" ...

It was a great time, I haven't felt so much love and excitement in one room!

More details later!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Yay, yay, and yay!

Yay #1 - I'm at the 29 week marker! 8 or 9 weeks to go! Woohoo! My next milestone will be 32 weeks which will mean very little time if any that the babies will be in nicu if they were born then. With the exception of an icky contraction in the grocery store last night, things are going well. Oh, and that stupid GD. I have been managing it ok with careful diet and finger pokes to check my levels, which I discovered aren't very accurate. I did one twice with the same blood draw and came back with a 9 point difference. I took the lower of the two and will have to talk to the dietician about that. Hmmm.

Babies are moving a lot too :) I'm starting to see actual limbs poking from my belly. Weird but cool.

Yay #2 - baby shower this weekend! Mom and two sisters will be out to celebrate - I promise to post pics ;) and they get to go to my u/s on Monday!

Yay #3 - I just discovered that a new huge library is going in walking distance from my house! It will be done by mid-summer. I am too excited to find out the baby and kid things they will be offering there!

Now I must make lunch and then clean the bathroom. Gave the doggies a bath this morning. 'nuff said....