Miracle Twins: A Magazine Article

Hi guys! Last year my story got published in a local magazine and I just happened to find a copy of it online so I wanted to share. It mentions about all of you who have been writing to me over the past few years, which is now well over 150,000 views and I am still getting emails every day from all over the world. It makes me so happy that I can be an inspiration to all those suffering from the same awful condition. I'm grateful for today's technology in that I can share my story and shed some light of hope in spite of all these doctors shattering your dreams with their cold words. I am currently working on a book that will stem from this blog in hopes that it can reach even more women worldwide. In the meantime, keep staying strong and positive and please feel free to write me for questions or support ANY time! coleyhay@gmail.com

Much love,
Cole

http://trendmag2.trendoffset.com/publication/?i=245979&p=58 

Checking in...

Hi Everyone! So... I just realized it has been WAY too long since I've posted on this blog but I wanted to check in to let you know I haven't forgotten about you. Not one bit. I also wanted to keep you in the loop as to how things were going with my POF...

The last time I wrote, I recently had my hormone levels checked (first time since prior to getting pregnant with the twins) and as I suspected, my levels were back at "post-menopausal levels." My FSH was around 50 but my estrogen was still in the normal range. Flash to three months later and my FSH had more than doubled, coming in at 110 and my estrogen had dropped to ZERO. It registered as undetectable. Which made sense to me because I had started feeling the effects of these hormonal changes. (hot flashes, night sweats and severe irritability). In fact, the irritability was so bad I was feeling like I couldn't stand being in my own skin! So I immediately went to Dr. Fu and she put me back on the herbs she was giving me from when I was trying to get pregnant. And let me tell you in a matter of a few days I felt SO much better. I have to take them three times a day and it really made a huge difference. I went from feeling like the Incredible Hulk on a bad day to little miss sunshine and flowers. It's a good thing, too. My poor husband was wondering what happened to his happy wife!

So here it is, months later and I am still on the herbs. I tried skipping a few doses here and there to see how things would go and Bam! I was right back to mega-bitch with a side of hot flashes (and apparently turning into Emeril LOL). So I now know I need to stay on the herbs three times a day without fail indefinitely. Not sure how long the symptoms are supposed to last. From what I've heard it's different for everyone. For some the symptoms will eventually dissipate and others they could last indefinitely. I have a feeling I'm part of the latter group, but time will tell. For now I'll just keep taking the herbs to ensure I remain sane!

While I am unbelievably grateful for having the twins, I can't help but feel a little bummed that I'm only 36 and my reproductive system is already caput. But, on the bright side I don't have to worry about turning into a fire-breathing monster in my 50s. I do think if I was younger or if I only had one baby I would probably try again via the same "all-in" approach I did to get pregnant with the twins, for I have no doubt it was the plethora of herbal concoctions and alternative therapies that momentarily got my body functioning again. The proof is that I'm back to full-blown POF. So I still 100% advocate at least trying to go that route if you're in the same unfortunate boat as I was being plagued with this condition. But you have to be dedicated and try it ALL. Balls to the wall, no holds barred, absolutely everything you possibly can. And, most importantly, never give up. Because miracles DO happen! Sometimes even two. <3

Sending oodles of love and positivity your way! 

Hot! Hot! Hot! (flashes?)

Hi guys... sorry it has been so long between posts. I barely have time to write on my main blog (My Twinspirational Journey) and I haven't had anything new to say on the POF front. I went to an Endocrinologist last month, per suggestion of my OBGYN. Since my ovaries are back to not working and my 36th birthday around the corner, I think it's safe to say I won't be getting prego again. Especially since I'm not on the 47,000 herbs and supplements I was on to get pregnant last year. Anyway, my thyroid was back on the high side as well (hypothyroidism- slow thyroid) so I had to go back on meds for that. Neither her or I were too concerned about my hormone levels since my estrogen was still okay. But I have a gut feeling that is going to plummet faster than a bowling ball off a rooftop. Just as I knew when I got tested again after having the twins that my FSH would be back on the rise. (51.6)

What I like about this doctor is that she is more on the natural side and doesn't push birth control or HRT. She actually agreed that if my estrogen drops again I should go back to Dr. Fu (my TCM doctor) to get herbs from her since it worked so well in correcting my hormone levels before.
So I have to get my levels checked again this coming week and will find out at my appointment on the 20th if my levels have gotten worse. I wouldn't be surprised. Lately I have been having trouble falling asleep and I've been feeling hot at night. No night sweats as of yet, but definitely feeling like my core temperature is higher. It could just be a fluke, but both of those things together is a combo I am all too familiar with. I saw Dr. Fu recently and mentioned to her about being considered post-menopausal again and she was really surprised. Even she calls them my miracle babies. She also told me she tells my story to her clients. I think that is REALLY cool because just last year I was the one hearing success stories about other clients. It's truly amazing. And it makes me feel so good to know that my story can bring the same hope and encouragement I used to feel when hearing them. Apparently she's had several people come in who said they read my blog. That is seriously wonderful. I wish the same luck and success to each of them and to all of you!

I'll keep you posted on my levels...

Stay strong and never lose hope!

Sending positive vibes your way!!




POF Update

So I never got my period back after having the twins and it's been almost 9 months (man, time sure does fly!). So I had my hormone levels checked just out of curiosity, although I already kind of figured my body had returned back to it's premature ovarian state. The nurse called me yesterday to let me know the results. So here they are:

Estradiol- 89 (normal range) 
Progesterone- 0.2 (normal range)
FSH- 51.6 (post menopausal)
LH- 49.2 (post menopausal)

My thyroid is also elevated which means I'll have to go back on synthroid, which is fine, thyroid issues run in my family.

When the nurse said my numbers she carefully said post menopausal and then paused for a moment, probably expecting me to be in shock or something. I explained to her that before I was pregnant my FSH was 133 with a near 0 egg count because of premature ovarian failure so this doesn't come as a shock. I'm actually happy my estrogen levels aren't depleted like before, although I have a feeling as my FSH inevitably rises, that will most likely drop again. I'm certainly not going on birth control again or doing HRT. If anything I'd go back on some herbs from Dr. Fu (my Chinese Medicine Dr) because I'd much rather go natural vs. synthetic. Hey, at least I'm not having hot flashes or growing a mustache yet! That's always a perk! ;-P

So there you have it. I know a lot of you were waiting on hearing if my body returned to normal after having the twins. Hey, I was curious too. But I already suspected this would happen. It took a LOT of herbs, supplements and alternative therapies (multiple times a day) to drop those two eggs last year, so I knew it wasn't just going to happen on it's own again. If I wasn't turning 36 this year or if I hadn't had TWO miracle babies, I may have considered doing it all again. But realistically at this stage of the game I feel lucky enough to have just what I always wanted, a boy and a girl, and believe me they are more than a handful! 

I do hope my story serves as an example that western medicine isn't the only answer, so if they are quick to tell you it's never going to happen for you or that donor eggs are your only option, just pick your head up, dust yourself off and go back and re-read my blog. And there are lots of other success stories out there like mine... where do you think I got the idea from to go the alternative route in the first place ;-)

If we can take anything out of all this it's to never give up or lose hope. Keep on fighting the fight. Try not to let your diagnosis get in the way of enjoying life and your husband. I speak from experience. While I was lucky enough to turn my hormone levels around in under a half a year, I do wish I could have those months back to enjoy the time I had with my hubby (and life in general) when we could do whatever we want at our leisure. Time is precious so try to dig deep and cherish it no matter what the situation, because anything can happen, especially when you least expect it! 

Stay strong and if you do have success, please come back and share your story! It's what gives others hope and the strength to power on! 

And as always if anyone has any questions, needs advice, or just a shoulder to lean on, you can write me anytime and I promise to get back with you as quickly as possible. (Just give me a few days buffer time, as I have my hands full!) 

Sending peace, love and positive vibes your way! <3 <3

Cole


April 14- No Flo

Welp... It's been just about three weeks since I thought I ovulated (which I swear I had to, I mean when else would you have sticky egg white cervical mucus??) but my period has not arrived. Even more strange, after the EWCM I continued to check down there and the progression of it seemed to be on course to surely get it ("and don't call me Shirley!"). Sorry, I'm a dork. Anyway, I even got really itchy for a few days and when I looked it up I read that it was a common symptom right before your period. So I thought for sure it was gonna happen. But then nada.? It's SO strange. The only thing I can think of is last year when my body was attempting to function again the month before I ovulated and got pregnant I had the same thing happen where I appeared to have the egg white mucus but then nothing happened. But then when it did it again the next month I really did ovulate. Is it that my body is slowly getting my hormone levels in check but there aren't many eggs so one won't always drop? Because technically the EWCM is caused by the surge in hormones so it could potentially start the process but not be able to complete it... I don't know. It's just strange. (And no I couldn't be prego again because we decided to go the oral route when the sticky fluid arrived). Funny the difference a year makes. Exactly one year ago when this happened I was desperately trying to defy the odds and conceive. Now I'm trying to make sure that fluke doesn't happen again. But so here I am back in limbo trying to figure out what the hell my body is doing. Guess there's not much I can do but wait and see what happens....

 I'll definitely keep you posted.

March 31- Awaiting Aunt Flo

Well... It's been a week since the potential ovulation and I'm anxiously awaiting the Red Crusader. For the past week I've been feeling stuff stirring down there, as if it's warning me: it's coming. If I do actually get my period, my fear is it's going to be a doozy. It's been so many years since I've had one I imagine that it'll be a build up of all the times I didn't and just hit me like a tsunami. I warned G to stay on his toes in the event I really do get it, as he may have to hunker down in a safe place for there's a good chance I'll be a fire breathing monster, smashing buildings and stepping on tourists. ...We do live in Orlando after all ;-)

My guess is if I'm going to be surfing the Crimson Tide, it will happen sometime in the next week or so. Right now all I can do is wait! In the meantime I'll stock up on chocolate and warn local law enforcement to stand guard....

March 25: O-Wakening?

So it's been five months since I had the twins. Seems crazy it's been that long already. The doctor had told me since I'm not breastfeeding that I should get my period back 6-8 weeks after delivery, aaaand... Aunt Flo has yet to pop in for a visit. So I spoke with Dr T (the last RE I had seen- he was the one who tested me when I first had a BFP and later told me it was twins...we have since kept in touch). He reminded me that with POF and DOR it doesn't mean you'll NEVER ovulate, it just means it will be rare and unpredictable. But considering I never got a period (even when I got pregnant that was the first time I ovulated since getting off birth control the year before. I had dropped two eggs and got pregnant and therefore my period never came). I figured I was back into my prior POF state with my cycle not coming back, but this time I had decided not to go on any supplements to try and get it back since I'm no longer trying to get prego. I've been checking my cervical mucus every day just out of curiosity to see if there were any changes, and for the most part it's stayed the same. Well... last night something weird happened. I totally had that sticky egg white cervical mucus! There was no doubt about it, it was definitely it. And it's still there today. Very weird! So... I just had to let you know since you've all wanted me to keep you posted on that. I still find it hard to believe I'll have a period it's been so many years. But all I can do it wait!

Funny the difference a year can make. This time last year I was desperately trying to get my cycle back so I could get pregnant and now here I am with TWO babies wondering if I'll get my period. It's crazy and nothing I could have imagined in my wildest dreams! I say this not to boast or make you jealous, I say it because it just goes to show you that anything is possible so keep that hope alive! I went after it with a feverish tenacity and tried everything and anything under the sun to make it happen. So keep on fighting the fight, ladies! 

And I'll keep you posted...

January 17- Back to POF Status?

I had stopped writing on this blog once I had the twins, as I switched over to my other blog. But it just occurred to me now that I'm no longer pregnant and my body is done healing, I still have more I can write about on here in regards to POF and my cycle after having the babies, if in fact I get it back at all...

So here it is 11 since I had the twins  (whew, does time fly!). Since I'm not breastfeeding, I was told I should get my period back between 6-8 weeks. But since I had POF before I was pregnant I've have no idea what to expect. The only time I ovulated since getting off birth control a year and a half ago was the month I conceived so I never even had a period. I know it was because of all the herbs and supplements I was taking along with castor oil packs, fertility massage and acupuncture that got my body working again (and then some!). But I'm now at 11 weeks postpartum and nada. Zilch. Nothing. No sign of Aunt Flo as of yet. I don't know if it's because of POF or if it's just delayed or what. And it's not like anyone can tell me. It's really just been a waiting game. 
The hubs and I joke that once I do get it, since it's been so long it's going to be holy hell and be like Poltergeist meets Lizzie Borden (my head spinning as I go ape shit with an ax... Sorry, had to give you the visual). But truth be told, I may not get a period again. I'm certainly not going to start the crazy regimen again that got my hormones back to normal. That was expensive and excessive and only for the sake of trying to get prego. Don't get me wrong, it was beyond worth it in my mission to have a baby but as far as just to regulate my hormones, it's way too intense. 

Which brings us to my birth control dilemma. I had decided a few weeks ago that I should just go back on birth control (because I do NOT want to use condoms like we're awkward teenagers, I feel like that is so impersonal and they suck when it comes to feeling). But when I went to pick up my pills I suddenly started thinking about how being on the pill messed up my hormones and was most likely the culprit behind my ovarian failure in the first place. I just think I'd be doing myself a disservice not giving it a chance to even see if my body will actually go back to working properly. So I didn't get them and we've been using spermicide, waiting to decide if the hubs should get a vasectomy now or wait just in case. In case of what I don't know.... I'm pretty sure we're done with babies and he's all for it, but something has made us a bit hesitant so we're just waiting a bit before the big snipsnip. But as for taking the pill, I just couldn't bring myself to do it again...at least right now.

I would definitely love to know my hormone levels though. And as time progresses, if I still never surf the crimson tide I may just have to go and get tested just to see what's going on. Not because I want to have more kids, but if I'm not producing hormones that could eventually wreak havoc on my body. And if that's the case I may very well end up back on the Pill anyway. Every so often I get a twinge here or there and sometimes this it feels like I may get cramps, but then nothing. I'm not Sahara desert dry like I was before with POF but occasionally I'll have night sweats and I don't know if that's hormones coming back or going away. All I can do is wait and see what happens and take it from there...

I'll definitely keep you posted!




December 25- Christmas Miracle

Well, somehow little Miss Riley pulled it off... The doctor wanted her to gain at least 20-30 grams on Christmas Eve in order for us to be able to take them home and wouldn't ya know, she gained 66 grams!!! So we got to take our babies home on CHRISTMAS DAY!!! Seriously unbelievable! BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVERRRR!!!!

We found this out on Christmas morning so G and I came prancing out of our room to tell my parents who had stayed over, and so began the sob fest for the pair of them. The literally cried tears of joy ALL day. LOL. We quickly got ready and headed to the NICU to go bust our bundles of joy out of baby jail. I had left special Christmas outfits and Santa hats for them so they were already dressed and ready to go once we arrived. We brought gifts of appreciation for our nurse and the doctor who took care of them since they were born. Once the nurse went over all the discharge information, we got them situated in their car seats...



Just as we were getting them ready to go, a group of Christmas carolers made their way into our pod singing "Silent Night" and passing out little toys for the babies. It was like straight out of a movie! Couldn't have written the script better myself!

We had set it up so our favorite nurse from Level 2 was taking care of them that day and word must have spread because as we were getting ready to leave our two favorite nurses from Level 3 came by to see us off!


The staff walked us down to the car and helped is get situated. I sat in the back between them and the twins were calm as can be the whole car ride!


What a thrilling moment it was to bring the twins home for the first time. Funny enough when we pulled in we couldn't get the car seats out of the bases to get them out of the car! So G just pulled them out, bases and all! LOL (we figured it out once we got them inside). 

What an incredible ending to a roller coaster year! It started in January with us being told we would never be able to have babies, couldn't even do IVF, that donor eggs would be our only option. The following two months we were told the same thing by three more fertility clinics. Lo and behold three months after the first diagnosis (after tons of natural supplements, Chinese herbs and weekly acupuncture) I was naturally pregnant with boy/girl twins and now got to take them home on Christmas Day! Miracle day? Try miracle year! Truly remarkable. I am so  immensely grateful, it's beyond words.

We now have our perfect little insta-family and the fun has only just begun! Can't wait to see what's in store. Having spent two months in the NICU, we are more prepared than ever and ready to take on the twins and be the best Mommy and Daddy we can be!



November 26- iMovie Trailer

Short little trailer I made with iMovie of my pregnancy and the days leading up to the birth of the twins...


November 3- Becoming A Mommy

Whew... well a lot sure has happened since my last post. You're not going to believe this. It's all so surreal I still can't believe it...

So just like I thought, exactly 72 hours later I went into labor again. I had been feeling pressure in my lower back earlier in the night, and I let the nurse know because now I was pretty much an expert as to recognizing the signs since this was now the third time it was happening. My husband and I went to sleep around 1am and within a half hour I jolted awake. The pressure had intensified and I knew we were in for another sleepless night, the third one of the week. The nurse told me to get her immediately if I felt any changes so I did. She quickly put the monitors on my belly to watch the babies' heart rates and keep track of my contractions. I could see every time I felt one come on the "toco" numbers on the screen would go up, a little more each time. I tried to remember to take deep breaths and my hubby helped in trying to keep me calm and relaxed. He really was an amazing coach, especially considering we had just looked up tips and techniques the night before. Anytime a contraction would come on he would talk softly, remind me to breathe deep and say things like, "your breathing is a pathway through the pain" and as crazy as it sounds, it really did help. Not that it stopped the pain, but his voice definitely soothed me. As the hours progressed, so did the strength and time between my contractions. Before long the pain became pretty intense and the contractions were two minutes apart. The doctor finally came in and checked me and I fully expected her to say I was still 3cm like last time. Much to my surprised I had moved up a notch and was at 4cm and River was sitting at +1, which means he had moved even lower. The pain was getting pretty unbearable with contractions lasting longer than the rest time between them, which was exhausting. They had given me fentenyl again, but it honestly didn't do much. Once again I was back on IVs of the pain meds and antibiotics. I was once again getting prepped to go down to L & D and feared it would be another 16 hours of having labor stopped and sitting in a room, unable to get up. With the contractions being so strong and me hurting so badly, they decided to give me Stadol- a narcotic to help with the pain. Within a few minutes I was feeling drugged up and loopy as hell. They told me it wasn't going to necessarily take away the pain, but would make the in between time more relaxing. Which is exactly what happened! I would go through the intense pain of a contraction and then in the down time my eyes would roll to the back of my head and I'd feel like I was going to zonk out. It scared the crap out of me! I don't like feeling out of control so when I would start to feel all out of it like I was going to instantly fall asleep, it would freak me out because I was afraid I was going to be unconscious or die. The nurses had left to get transport so it was just my husband and I left in the room for a few minutes and I was really out of it. The room was spinning. When the nurses came back I was telling them how I felt and they said that is exactly how you are supposed to feel on it. I definitely didn't like it. I was so out of it my nurse, who I just had a lengthy conversation with earlier in the evening about how she was going to try IVF in a few days because she couldn't get pregnant, I looked at her and said, "do you have any kids?" She laughed and said no and then I snapped back into reality for a second and realized who I said that to. I apologized and said, "I'm sorry, I remember now." Stadol is some powerful shit!

They quickly wheeled me down to one of the labor rooms and the pain was getting increasingly worse. At this point I didn't care who heard me and what I looked like, it was pretty unbearable. When I got to the room there was one nurse and one anesthesiologist. Neither looked thrilled to be there because it was the night where we set the clocks back so they were working an extra hour in their already exhausting overnight shift. By this time I was death-gripping the handles of my bed with each contraction, which seemed like each one of them was rolling into the next one with barely anytime to recover in between. They had me roll over on my side and told me to lay very still in order for them to put in the epidural. This was not an easy task. But I also have heard stories of them sticking it in the wrong place because the patient was moving too much and I certainly didn't want to make matters worse. So I'd grit my teeth and do my best to bear it, letting them know when a contraction was coming on so they'd hold up a second. At times I thought I was going to tear the bed rails right off. When it got that bad all the breathing techniques pretty much went out the window, although I did try. I might get one deep breath in and out but the pain was excruciating. They started to put in the epidural and it wasn't what I had always imagined. Here I thought it was just a shot they gave you, but apparently it is something they stick in your back and it stays there. So in between contractions they were trying to insert this needle in my spine and find the "empty space" where it is supposed to go, which was no picnic. She kept asking what I was feeling and where I was feeling it, which was really hard to tell with so much going on with my body. She then told me I was going to feel shocks down my legs and sure enough I did. At that point between the agonizing contractions and being poked relentlessly with the needle, when I felt the shocks I just lost my shit and started crying my eyes out. It was just too much. They showed me the little joystick type thing and how I could press the button anytime I needed extra relief, which I could press 3 times in an hour (every 20 minutes). Relief finally came and I was able to relax for the first time in many hours. 

When a doctor came down to check me a little while later, I was already 6cm. That really surprised me because I thought for sure I'd be stuck at 4cm. But, much to my chagrin the doctor said the plan was still to keep the babies in as long as possible. While I of course wanted whatever was best for the twins, I was also feeling a sense of "what are you crazy??" I mean, River was practically falling out if me! About an hour or so later my high risk doctor came in and said actually at this point because Riv was so low and my water was broken, it was more of a risk to keep him in because of potential infection. So... This was it. The babies were, without a doubt, going to be born by the end of the day. I was at once relieved, nervous, worried, excited... definitely an interesting mix of feelings. It was earlier than I ever anticipated but after all I had been through this week, I was ready. Delivery didn't even scare me because I figured at this rate if I sneezed he would fall out. 

The next step was to give me pitocin to speed up the contractions, which had slowed down with the epidural. Over the next few hours the medicine said exactly what it was supposed to, bring on the contractions and it did so with a vengeance. This time my parents were in there for them and as silly as it seems I felt bad they had to see me in so much pain. I was afraid to hit the epidural button because I thought it might slow things down again, and as delivery was definitely in the forecast I didn't want to delay things any longer. But after a while the pain became yet again torturous and the nurse told me the epidural wouldn't stop the contractions because of the pitocin. So I caved and pushed the button every 20 minutes. However, after a while the epidural wasn't really doing all that much. My contractions were now only 50 seconds apart and lasting 1-2 minutes, so the pain was longer than the down time. An anesthesiologist came in and asked if I'd like something to take the edge off. I agreed as long as it didn't make me stop feeling things or my contractions to completely stop. She told me no and it was on. Only I was totally misinformed! I reached down and felt some weird mushy thing I couldn't identify.... It was my freaking leg! I couldn't feel a thing in the whole lower half of my body! What the hell, lady, that was specifically what I didn't want! Well that numbness was creeping up my body and I started feeling lightheaded and nauseous. In a matter of minutes my blood pressure crashed extremely low and the nurses came flying in. They had to give me a shot of ephedrine to get my heart rate back up and zofran to take away the nausea. Could I BE on any more drugs?? Jeez! After about a half hour the meds wore off and I could feel my extremities again. 

When the doctor came in to check me I thought for sure I'd still be stuck at 6cm. But I was wrong, I had moved up to 7cm and River had moved down to +2 which was one step away from being out of me. However, the doctor still said he'd be back to check in a couple more hours. Ugh... The contractions continued seemingly forever and the hardest part was them not letting me eat ANYTHING all day. The last time I had eaten was 20 hours prior and I was starving. Their reasoning was in case I needed a c-section, but my high-risk dr told me there was only a 10% chance of that. Made more sense to me to give me at least a little bit of nourishment (other than an IV of sugar water) to keep my strength up for delivery. 

Finally, the doctor came back to check again and I had my fingers crossed I had dilated more but didn't get my hopes up. Amazingly enough, I was at 9cm! Only one tiny part of my cervix was covering his head. The doc said once that opened it wouldn't be long before the baby came out since I had been in labor so much throughout the week so he decided to move me to the operating room. This was it. Show time. I looked at my husband and our eyes met. He gave me a half grin along with a quick nod and had a look in his eyes that conveyed confidence that I could do this. I returned the half grin and nod to relay back to him that I agreed, I could definitely do this. My husband has a way of giving me strength just by all his support and love. So I was ready. I wasn't afraid. Only concerned that the babies would be okay. 

My parents kissed me and wished me the best and I was wheeled into the OR, with my hubby beside me dressed head to toe in a yellow paper hospital gown, booties and a face mask. This was it. Memories were about to be made that would be permanently etched in our minds and hearts forever. The biggest event of our lives. 

When we arrived in the room there were about 20 people scattered about. They looked at me briefly and then went back to carrying on their conversations. I would have thought they'd talk to me, but I also heard the L & D nurses weren't all that great with bedside manner. The anesthesiologist came in and started getting me ready for delivery. She promised she wouldn't give me as much as earlier, but would make it so I was as comfortable as possible. Soon I was back to feeling pretty numb, but I could still move my legs and lift my body. The nurses scooped me up and moved me to a flat bed in the center of the room. Just then a doctor walked in and I got a little worried because it wasn't the one that had been checking me all day. While I only met that doctor earlier, it was still better than having some random stranger pop in during the 11th hour. Luckily the other doctor came in just in the knick of time. I noticed for the first time he had a pin attached to his name badge that said, "keep calm and trust the doctor." So I did. 

For a second I got nervous because I wasn't feeling the contractions anymore. The doctor asked if I was and I thought maybe if I said I wasn't it would delay things more. I was so thirsty because they wouldn't let me even have water, I had cotton mouth so bad. I just wanted to get this over with so I could have some water! Just then, the doctor told me they were watching the monitors to see when I was contracting and they would tell me to push. Here we go. They had me put both hands under my legs and pull back, so I had to let go of my hubby's hand who was sitting back near my head. At that point I was on autopilot and was just doing whatever they told me. There I was, completely spread eagle and holding my legs, with at least 6 people around my bottom half. I'm pretty sure by that point I was pretty sure the entire hospital had seen my junk. A nurse called out that a contraction was coming and the doctor told me to push as hard as I could. I took a deep breath and did just that. I had let some air out in doing so and they told me to hold all my breath in next time. So I did. The way my husband describes it, I had a look of sheer determination as my face and arms turned deep red with each push. As I pushed the nurses all counted to ten. I'd push three times and then they'd have me break. I had no problems pushing and didn't even rest between. I had a job to do and wasn't going to rest until it was done. The second set of three pushes they were all telling me I was doing good. I had no idea what that technically meant but I'll take it. By the last push of that round they told me River's head was out. That was a bit nerve-wracking because I was afraid he'd choke or something! So I knew this next round I had to give it my all. Before I could think about it the next round was here. I pushed with all my might and they were coaching me to keep going. And by the last push in that round, I let out a grunt and he was out. My husband and I both asked if he was ok because we didn't hear anything, but then suddenly we heard the tiniest squeaks and we both immediately started crying. It was the most amazing, special experience I think we have ever, and will ever go through and are eternally a million times closer because we shared it. They brought River over to be weighed and asked daddy if he wanted to take pictures. He jumped up and followed and I heard him say, "I love you so much, River,  and my heart melted. But it was back to business.

The doctors said Riley's head had shifted downward and was in position to be born. I was more ready than ever and relieved she cooperated. Within an instant the look on my doctors face changed and I could see a grimace in his eyes behind his mask. They were pushing on my belly like crazy and kept checking with an ultrasound. My doctor said to the other one, "what do you feel" and he said "Feet. Two feet, that's all I got. It's not gonna work." My heart sank as he said the words I feared most. "We're going to have to do an emergency C-section." Riley had flipped around and was breech. I instantly started crying and asked if they could keep trying. They said they tried but with her turned all the way around there was no way to flip her in time, as my cervix was closing. It was already at 6cm. I was sobbing uncontrollably as they told me if we tried to get her out vaginally she wouldn't make it. I looked up at my husband with terror in my eyes and he said, "you can do this baby. It will be okay." What choice did I have? He then said softly, "you are saving her life." And I continued to sob as they quickly prepped me for surgery.

It's one thing when you are undergoing any other surgery where they knock you out and get things ready. But this was different. I had already seen the Dexter-like table of sharp instruments and I knew what they were about to do to me. The thought of being conscious while they cut me open and pulled out my insides terrified me more than I've ever been. I begged them to knock me out but they couldn't. The anesthesiologists were super sweet and trying to calm me down along with my husband. Through the fear I felt embarrassed that I had just gone from being brave and strong to a hysterical mess in a matter of minutes. I thought they would let me know they were starting but in the midst of the chaos I started to feel tugging and pulling, which made me panic even more. They had numbed me up completely, but I could still feel them working on me, just no pain. But I did feel warmth and they told me it was water. (Which G later told me it was blood but the doctor probably didn't want to freak me out more). The whole time I was incoherently babbling for them to please stop over and over again saying "I don't want to die." Before long I remember them telling me to listen for a minute and I could hear the faint squeaks coming from Riley. She was out. After that I checked out. I wasn't unconscious but I think once she was out they maxed out my drugs. 

The next thing I remember is laying there with my eyes open and coming into focus. For some crazy reason I had been in a half-dream state and was visualizing the end of Grease where they were racing. Lord knows where the hell that came from. I had already missed 3 full nights of sleep all week, with no naps to even attempt to catch up, and in that time had 40 hours of painful, exhausting labor along with a smorgasbord of drugs and a traumatic ending to it all. I was physically, mentally and emotionally done. As my eyes came into focus I could see the blue curtain in front of me and my brain was trying to figure out what it was. At first I thought it was some kind of water and I was floating. I even wondered if I had died. In a few moments I recognized that it was the curtain and I was still in surgery. I looked to my left and my husband was gone (he went up to the NICU with the babies), and most of the people who had been there during delivery were gone as well. I still felt tugging and realized they were sewing me up. Whoever was doing, they were chit-chatting about shopping  just as casual as could be. It took a minute and a lot of focus, but I got some words out. "Are the babies okay? Am I okay?" I got a one word answer, "yes," and that was it. I felt so alone. I asked if they made sure to save one of the placentas (to get the encapsulation done as planned) and they said there was only one. I was confused. "No... There was two." They said the placentas had somehow fused together. What?? I had never heard of that with fraternal twins. Maybe this was why Riley had started not growing as quickly as River. I was baffled as to how with all the ultrasounds no one saw this. And what did it mean??
The tears began rolling down my face and the dark thoughts rolled in. I felt like I was scarred for life from the experience and I would never be the same. Like I lost a part of me in that room. It was not a good feeling. 

They wrapped up and brought me out to meet my husband in a recovery room. I couldn't look at him and the tears were still flowing. As soon as the nurse left I immediately started spilling all my dark thoughts. I felt like something was wrong with the babies. That I lost my soul in the delivery room. That I had PTSD and needed help. It was bad. My husband stepped out and I heard him talking to the nurse about having someone talk to me about postpartum depression. He wanted to get me any help I needed. It was in that moment I started snapping out of it. It's not like me to be so doom and gloom. I'm tough. A fighter. When adversity comes, I kick it right in the ass. When I'm told I can't do something, I make sure I do it tenfold. I think it was going into a traumatic experience all drugged up. When I came out of it, still dosed up I was in a bad place. But as the drugs wore off I came to my senses and talked myself out of the black hole I had fallen into. Before long, I had shaken off all the negativity and was able to think clearly again. 

After an hour I was brought up to the NICU with my husband to see the babies. It was pretty shocking. We both started crying when we saw them. They were alarmingly small (River was 2 lbs 11 oz and Riley was 2 lbs 2 oz). So frail and fragile with wires and bandages and IVs all over them. It was frightening. I know we were both terrified they wouldn't make it.

After a few minutes they brought me to my room (a new one on a different floor) and helped into bed. The pain hadn't hit me yet, but I also still had my epidural button I could press every 20 minutes. And as time passed and the numbness wore off, I certainly needed it. My parents were still there and it was the first time I had seen them since before delivery. They stayed a while and then headed back to stay at my house. They really were great this whole week coming out at the butt-crack of dawn multiple times when I was in labor and keeping me company while the Hubs was working. I am lucky enough to have a great support system.

Having been up almost 24 hours, we were exhausted. Before going to sleep my husband came over and knelt at my bedside. He stroked my hair and told me how much he loved me. With tears in his eyes he got all choked up and thanked me for going through all I had to bring our babies into this world. It was a precious moment I will treasure for all time. I told him that even if the doctors would have said from the start that Riley was going to be born via C-section I still would have opted to go through all I had to have River vaginally. In a way I felt it was a right of passage. Birthing him was so beautiful and was truly the most special experience between my husband and I, one I wouldn't trade for the world. And while the trauma of the emergency C-section to get Riley was terrible, I feel lucky I at least had the chance to have one of them in a peaceful way. 

So... I'm a Mommy now. Way sooner than I ever imagined. I was 28.6 weeks. Skipped all but two weeks of my third trimester. When I had said I hoped to be out before my birthday (Nov. 11) I didn't mean at the expense of my babies. While I was going stir crazy and afraid I'd be stuck in the hospital for weeks on end, I would have done anything to keep the growing in me. So that they'd be big and healthy and we could take them home right after. I had been so healthy throughout my pregnancy with so much energy, I never saw this coming. But they are here now and if they are anything like mommy and daddy they will be fighters. From what we are told they are in good health, they just need to grow. But that means they'll be in the NICU for at least two months. Which means that will be my life for the next two months, and I'm okay with that. Already my mommy instincts have kicked in and I'm ready to do anything it takes to get them home safely. Our wish is that they are home for Christmas or at least New Years. But it's a waiting game. And wait is what we will do. Anything for those babies. Our family...

    River


    Riley

October 31- Halloween Scare

So last night was another sleepless night of pressure/pain. I was given three different types of pills before going to bed. Vistaril as a muscle relaxer, Procardia to stop contractions and Amien to sleep. You'd think I would be knocked out cold. But about an hour after I went to sleep I awoke with a jolt that sent me reeling into a world of pain. I was totally out of it and groggy so I was trying to go back to sleep, but my head was spinning with the amount of pressure and pain I was feeling. I knew something wasn't right. I couldn't lay still, I felt like the babies were going to drop out of me at any moment. All I could do was get up and pace but I was desperate for sleep. The nurse came in and I told her I was in a lot of pain and she got me what she said was the strongest pain pills they had. I waited an hour in hopes of the pills kicking in, but it never happened. I was trying to keep from waking my husband, but I was uncontrollably whimpering and moaning the entire time I was pacing the floor. He finally got up as he was concerned with how much pain I was in and he made me call the nurse again. She said the doctor was in surgery and would be up as soon as she was out, but when an hour passed I just couldn't take it anymore. Just as I was about to call again, she came in to check on me and I was still standing up holding my belly, trying to find some way to relieve the pressure. She said the doctor would be coming up to check my cervix and as she was getting me ready to be checked a gush of fluide poured down my legs. She took off quickly to get a different doctor just to have someone there quickly. It was a Labor and Delivery doctor who came in to check me. At this point I was completely out of it. Between the pain and lack of sleep and all the commotion, everything was spinning in a state of delerium. My husband was by my side the whole time, scared I am sure, but stoic as ever and doing all he could to keep me calm. They took my pajama bottoms off and stuck some sort of block to lift my pelvis and I could see my legs shaking uncontrollably. I couldn't keep them still. The doctor put her fingers in and said she could feel hair. River's hair. How crazy is that?? I could tell that excited my husband. One step closer to meeting his babies. The doctor then stated it appeared my water had broken, but my cervix was still the same.... 3cm- 90% effaced- pelvic station 0. I was writhing in pain with each contraction, that were now 2 minutes apart. The doctor, who had left briefly, came back in and said the fluid tested positive as being amniotic. She looked at me and said, "we're taking you down to delivery, looks like you're having Halloween babies!" I couldn't believe it. So early. I told my hubs to call my parents since they were taking me down to L & D. I knew they'd jump in the car and zoom over here and felt bad that it was once again so early in the morning. 

Once again they were sticking me with IVs. They gave me fentanyl for pain, which crazy enough I just looked up how to spell it and found out it is 100 times more potent than morphine. Whaaaat? I'm shocked because while it took the edge off a bit, it didn't do all that much to stop the pain. Damn, labor is STRONG! They also hooked me back up to magnesium (or as the nurses call it, "mag"), which is used to protect the babies from cerebral palsy but also has a side effect of stopping contractions. The downside it instantly makes you feel like absolute shit. Like you have a massive sinus infection with a splitting headache.

I was wheeled down to the labor room and actually felt bad that I was wailing in pain. I didn't want to scare off any other pregnant women who hadn't gone through labor yet. I'm proud of myself though, I wasn't screaming like a banchee or anything, I tried keeping it in as much as I could and taking deep breaths to try and compose myself. The nurses said I was doing great. Of course, they probably tell everyone that. They parked me in the room and slapped monitors on my belly to keep watch of my contractions and the babies heart rates. They seemed to be doing just fine. Sure enough just as before my contractions started dying down little by little and by the time my parents arrived the pain was tolerable again. The contractions were getting less and less painful and further apart. Before long they stopped all together. My MFM came in and said again they were doing all they can to keep the babies in. We were all baffled because here we all thought that once your water broke, delivery was imminent. Apparently not. The amniotic fluid replenishes by me drinking water and the baby peeing it out. They would most likely remain low, but River was not in any danger. There was a stronger chance of me getting an infection now that my water had broke, so they had me on an IV of antibiotics and would keep checking my temperature. 

We spent the ENTIRE day in that room. And the sucky thing was, the level of care in there compared to the antepartum floor I had been staying on was like night and day. Upstairs they checked on me constantly... blood pressure, temperature, bringing me meds, NSTs, and just general wellness checks all day and night. In a way I guess I was spoiled. I think in Labor & Delivery they run more like a conveyor belt, expecting that people won't be in those rooms long before delivering. Plus, it was Halloween so the nurses were all dressed up, there were festivities going on throughout the reception areas, so at times I felt like they'd forgotten about me. The worst part was they wouldn't let me get up. At all. For ANY reason. Which means I was having to go to the bathroom in a bed pan. My husband or mom would slide it under for me and then take it to dump it in the toilet and clean it out. Oh it gets better... the meds and labor gave me the runs. Multiple times. Not my finest moment, no siree bob. My poor, sweet husband was seeing things no man should ever witness their wife doing. But he was a trooper, he just kept saying he was in "life or death mode" and wasn't even giving it a second thought. He truly is wonderful. One of the nurses told me I would be in there a day or two and I thought I would go out of my mind. Here I had been complaining about having to be holed up in my room upstairs for what could be weeks and how I couldn't handle it, but I tell you what... it was like being on a 5-star vacation compared to the L & D room. Luckily around 9pm one of the doctors came in. (mind you we had been in that room since 5am). She said that my contractions had stopped all day and I hadn't dilated anymore so they could send me back upstairs. Same floor, different room.(They clear out your stuff the second you get wheeled downstairs). I was elated. 

The doctor told me even though my water broke I could still stay pregnant for several weeks. Unreal. She also said every ONE day the babies stay inside is equal to THREE days less in the NICU. That alone makes it worth it to keep them baking, as uncomfortable as it is. So I was wheeled back upstairs into a new room and I am now ready to deal with my sentence. I'll do whatever it takes to make sure the twins are healthy and safe. But I have a sinking feeling that this won't be the last time I go through this. Last time it took 72 hours after the pulled me off the meds for me to go back into labor and this time because my water broke they said they can't give me the pills they gave before to stop it, so who knows what the future will bring. I guess we'll see in another 72 hours!

October 30- No Sleep 'til Brooklyn

Last night was rough. Starting at around midnight I was feeling a lot of pressure in my lower back and front. I was having to go to the bathroom a lot, so I figured it was in part due to that. No matter which way I would lay down, the pressure was too much to get comfortable or get any sleep. I spent the entire night tossing and turning and getting up to pace the floor in hopes of some relief, but none came. I felt bad waking my husband up so much, as he has been sleeping on the pull-down bed next to me each night and having to wake up and go to work in the morning, which I know isn't easy for him. He really has been my pillar of strength these past few days and I appreciate him so much. In fact, the amount of love and support I have been receiving from my family and friends is overwhelming. People have been visiting me bringing me flowers, food, treats, books, decorations for my room... I truly feel loved. I'm usually the one who wants to be there for everyone, so it is hard receiving all this attention without being able to reciprocate. Having a deep innate need to help others, it is difficult for me to be doted on like this but it is immensely appreciated and will not be forgotten. 

The pressure/pain continued throughout the night and I basically wound up watching the clock, praying for morning because at least then I would be up and not forced to try and sleep when it was impossible. What took seemingly forever, 7am rolled around, my hubby left for work and I was up for yet another boring day. The pressure stayed throughout the day, but amazingly had subsided. I was exhausted, but between visitors and being uncomfortable I just stayed awake for the remainder of the day. The nurse told me they could give me some meds to relax my uterus before bed along with an ambien to knock me out. So hopefully I will get some sleep tonight!

October 29- Facing the Facts

The past few days I have been feeling okay and diligently awaiting the news of my release. I figured for sure I would be sent home on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy, and as much as that would suck, I am willing to do whatever it takes. So when my MFM doctor came in tonight to check on me tonight, I asked him what the plan was. And while I appreciate the fact that he was straight with me, it was NOT the answer I wanted to hear....

I asked him when I would be going home. I was thinking a day, maybe a few... I had been getting mixed signals from the different nurses this whole time. One would come in and say, "so I hear you'll be staying with us a while" and the next would say if everything remained quiet in my cervix and no more contractions, I should be going home within a day or so. Well, my doctor told me he knows I like concrete answers so he was just going to level with me. He said I would basically be staying until the babies are born. Which might be days, weeks or longer. His words came out like a dagger... a dull, rusty one that got stuck in my rib cage. I could feel the tears brimming over and it took all I had not to lose my shit. My parents, good friend and husband were in the room with me and I could feel their eyes penetrating through me wondering how I would take the news. I could see the look on my husbands face, he who knows me better than anyone, and I could feel the crushing blow in his eyes reflecting my dismay. The doctors can't even give me a ball park estimate of how long this will be because everyone is different. Their hope is to keep me until 34 weeks, at which point if I made it that far I could go home. Which is baffling to me because if I made it that far, why on earth would they send me home then?? Wouldn't I be in the same position where if I went into labor again I'd need to be rushed here immediately? But apparently it is because by then the babies would be fine and it wouldn't be seen as a dire emergency as it is now since they wouldn't try to stop it at that point. That is 5 1/2 weeks from now. The thought of being holed up in here that long, left to rot in a hospital bed, is too much for my brain to handle. Of course, I could go into labor earlier, but their plan is to continually try and stop it if I do, which is torture unto itself. 

I just can't believe this. It has been smooth sailing the whole pregnancy and I have been super active and feeling great. This was the very thing I feared the most when I found out I was pregnant with twins. Everything I read was all doom and gloom and people going on bed rest and it had me in a panic. But as time progressed and I was doing as well as I was, I started thinking it wasn't going to happen to me. Especially recently when I reached the third trimester and I was still dancing six days a week and full of energy. The day I came in I had seen a lot of different friends and we were all commenting on how awesome I've been feeling and what a good pregnancy this has been. ALL of my doctor visits and ultrasounds have shown everything was going perfectly, so I feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath me. It would be a lot easier knowing how long I will be in here, but the fact that it could be ANY amount of time is enough to put me into a panic attack. But I am trying to stay calm and positive... it's just really hard. I am such an active person so being confined to a bed indefinitely is a nightmare for me. But right now I have no choice, so all I can do it ride it out and hope for the best.

October 28- The Battle of my Birth Plan

So the past two days at the hospital have been rather unproductive. Ever since my last contraction on Sunday, I have not had another one. In fact, I feel rather good. The only issue I have had has to do with my OB group and not my actual health. The doctors do rounds on the floors here, so each morning a new one pops in. One from my OB group and later one from Maternal Fetal Medicine along with whichever resident Dr is working. So far I have had nothing but negativity and conflicting information from my OB group, none of which even came directly from my OB! On the first day, the doctor who came in was very short with me and had some sort of a chip on his shoulder. He proceeded to tell me that if he was the doctor on call he would not perform a vaginal birth with preterm twins. Even if they were head down! This was the very problem I thought I might have with this group, but had gotten it straightened out. This doctor was telling me that it wasn't safe for preterm babies to be born vaginally, which was a direct contradiction to what MFM says. MFM feels that vaginal is safer because there are less instances of death from Respiratory failure, as going through the vaginal canal squeezes the excess fluid out of the baby's lungs on the way out. He was very snippy and told me he would speak with MFM on the matter and get back with me. Later on when MFM came in, they reiterated what they originally told me, that going the vaginal route is perfectly safe especially if they are both head down. The only hesitation he said the group doctors may have is if one is breech, they don't want to pull out a preterm baby by the feet as the cervix could close on the baby's head. I am totally okay with that. And make no bones about it, if there is some kind of danger or complication to me or the babies I am all for a c-section. All I am asking for is the chance to try vaginal. The MFM doc told me he spoke with the group doctor who talked to me earlier and that they were on the same page as long as Baby B wasn't breech and so I thought everything was set.

The next morning I was visited by another doctor from my OB group. This time it was a woman and the first thing she did was immediately tell me I should just go for a C-section because it is easier. Well I am not going for "easy," I am going for safe and less invasive. She again mentioned that their group was not comfortable doing a breech extraction, which is really aggravating that they keep bringing up because neither baby is breech! This is all a "just in case" kind of scenario so I don't even know why they are harping on it! She reiterated that if one came out vaginal and the other was breech they would have to do a c-section on that one. I get it. Totally understand. I still want to try for vaginal as Baby A is practically dangling out of me he is so low and is head first. She said she would speak with MFM and that her impression was that they were all on the same page, but they most certainly were not. Apparently later in the day the group would be having a meeting and one of the items on the agenda was to discuss my situation, so they would be getting back to me. I knew right then and there how the meeting would go. It would be an "all in favor of a c-section" discussion and I can take a lucky guess as to what the answer would be...

Later in the day my doctor from MFM was doing rounds so he came to visit. I explained what was going on with the OB group and he said they just had an issue with doing a breech extraction but thought they would be on board with a vaginal delivery otherwise. Good because I was tired of having this conversation. I told my doc what the group doctors were saying and he once again solidified my decision by telling me there was NO danger in having a vaginal birth and that the babies would be safe and it was a lot more risky to cut me open. He said from what he understood, the only issue the group had was if the babies were breech and I agreed that if that was the case I would go with whatever was best for the twins. It appeared (once again) that we were all on the same page.

But then this morning the head of my OB group (I still hadn't seen or heard from my OB in the group as of yet) came in and was a total dick. He matter-of-factly told me that his group had a meeting to discuss my situation and the final decision was that none of them would allow for me to try a vaginal delivery unless the babies were at least 37 weeks. 37 weeks??? That is 9 weeks from now! The odds of them staying in that long are slim to none so he was basically telling me they weren't going to do it, period. And he wasn't very nice about it. I mentioned that MFM was telling me something different and he quickly snapped, "then MFM can take over your delivery." Hell, I'd prefer that! But I was worried they were leaving me stranded. He took off with a huff and I was left feeling stressed.

A little while later my MFM doc came in and right away told me he spoke with the head of the OB group. I expressed to him that I was not trying to be difficult, nor do I think I know more than the doctors, but I was just going by what MFM was telling me and all the research I've done and just wanted the chance to deliver vaginally, if and only if, the babies and I were safe. My doctor told me the group said they won't do it, that it is their "group policy," but that there was no medical reasoning behind it and they would gladly take over delivery. YES!!!!! Hell yeah! That is what I wanted all along anyway so I am totally okay with that. And to be honest, I used to feel like I wanted the same doctor to be in the delivery with me but as I have been experiencing all this pre-term labor stuff I am realizing that when it comes time to have the babies the odds of having the ONE doctor I want are slim to none. Everyone here is so nice and are on board with my plan so I feel comfortable with whoever is going to deliver the twins. And with as much pain as labor brings by that point I don't care if the janitor is the one to do it, anything to get them out of me!

So I feel much better about the situation. My OB finally called to check in on me and let me know she was aware of all that was going on and brought up what I already knew about their decision of not being willing to deliver the twins vaginally unless they were 37 weeks. She explained that it was just their group policy, that there was no right or wrong answer and I would be in good hands here. And I couldn't agree more. Now if only I knew when I would actually be having the babies!

October 27- Blindsided

As you know, this whole pregnancy has been going pretty smoothly for me. Sure, the first trimester was rough, but ever since I hit the second trimester I have been feeling great. With each of my posts I have mentioned how much energy I've had and how surprised I've been with myself in how things have progressed. Having read so many nightmare stories of people having to go on bed rest with twins, I was so paranoid throughout that something like that would happen to me. So when I made it to the third trimester, still dancing every day and feeling fantastic, I honestly thought I was in the clear and would continue rocking through the home stretch. Boy was I wrong...

Yesterday was a productive day. I went to dance as usual, the hubs and I went to a party for a friend's daughter's first birthday, and we had another pregnant couple over for dinner. It was getting late and the chairs we were sitting on were noticeably uncomfortable. I kept shifting my weight because it felt like my insides were being pushed up, but didn't think anything of it, as the chairs were hard. Our friends left around 11:30 and I was feeling bloated as all get out. I had been backed up the past few days so I figured it was a bout of the oh-so-wonderful constipation rearing its ugly head and immediately chugged some prune juice. It worked within an hour and I thought I would finally have some relief. But after I went, I still felt full and bloated and I noticed there was blood in the toilet. For a moment I thought for sure it was from the back end, but quickly discovered it wasn't. There wasn't an excessive amount, but enough to cause concern since it was bright red. I immediately started looking up vaginal bleeding from constipation during pregnancy and found a lot of women had posted the same question, so I figured that's what it had to be. I kept grabbing more tissues and wiping to keep checking, but the blood was still there. The hubs and I were going back and forth about it, trying to decide if it was serious enough to go the the hospital since it was already 1am by that time. I Googled some more about bleeding during pregnancy and everything I read said if it was in the third trimester that I should definitely seek medical advice. After hemming and hawing a bit, we decided to bite the bullet and just go to the hospital to be on the safe side. And it's a good thing we did...

On the way there we made comments about how we were sure it was nothing and that we'd probably be sent home shortly, but at least we'd have peace of mind. By the time we arrived at the hospital (triage at Winnie Palmer, our delivery hospital) it was just about 2am. They quickly took me in, took down all my info, and sent us to a room to be observed. The first thing the nurses did was hook my belly up to the monitors to check my heart rate along with the babies. All seemed to be doing well. Meanwhile I was still getting on and off pressure feeling like I still had to go to the bathroom. As it turned out, the monitors were picking up that those feelings I was having were small contractions. Being this is the first time I've been pregnant, I had no frame of reference of what a contraction felt like so to me it just felt like I was bloated and had bowel pressure. It was toward the back and not the front, which honestly I always imagined contractions feeling like menstrual cramps so it surprised me to learn that the pressure I was feeling were actually contractions. The nurse kept asking me what my pain level was, 1-10, and I couldn't answer because A. I wasn't in pain, it was pressure, and B. I had no bearing on what a 10 felt like. Shortly after, two nurse practitioners came in to check me. The first one slapped gloves on and stuck her fingers up my cha-cha and instantly looked at the other nurse and said, "ummm you need to feel this." My heart dropped as my eyes darted to meet my husband's, both of ours flung open. The other practitioner walked over and stuck her fingers in me and said, "that's a head," then told the other nurse I was 1cm dilated and 80% effaced. What?!?!?! This couldn't be happening. I was in shock. In what seemed like an instant, a swarm of people came at me with a plethora of needles and equipment. They stuck IVs in my arm and gave me magnesium to help accelerate the twins' neurological development, a steroid shot for their lung development and antibiotics to prevent infection. They also gave me pills to relax my uterus to try and force it to stop contracting and told me they would be sending me down the hall for an ultrasound and were going to have to admit me to the hospital.  It was all happening so fast and seemed surreal.

They immediately wheeled me down the hall for my ultrasound, which seemingly took forever. During that time, now that I knew what I was feeling were contractions, I started watching the clock as soon as I would feel one come on. I definitely noticed them getting stronger and closer together and was wondering if the ultrasound tech could tell when I was having them by looking at the screen. After about 20 minutes of her measuring the babies, my contractions went from every five minutes to about two or three. She then switched to a vaginal ultrasound to see what was going on with my cervix. Much to my dismay, she was shifting the wand around for a bit before saying she couldn't find my cervix. All she could see was the baby's head. ?!?! She took a picture of it to show the doctor. This wasn't looking good.

Right after the ultrasound, they put me in a wheelchair and brought me up to my room, as I was officially being admitted. After that, things were a blur. It was already 5am and I was pretty out of it between being sleep deprived, doped up on meds and in total shock with everything going on. As I laid in bed, the contractions kept coming in stronger and stronger waves. Now I was definitely able to identify my pain level on the pain chart, and it was at around a 6 or a 7 at times. The ironic thing of it all was that our birthing class was scheduled for this coming Saturday, so as the waves rolled on I was telling my husband to Google breathing techniques for labor since I didn't know of any. He had me trying to control my breath by breathing in and out slowly, which wasn't easy. It is REALLY hard to think straight when you are going through strong contractions, but every once in a while I could get a grip and try the breathing technique and for a split second it would help before spiraling back into the delirium that came with the pain. And pain isn't even the best way to describe it. While it definitely hurt, the hardest thing about it was that it would happen every two minutes, for about a whole minute, which means every other minute I was going through it. It was exhausting! I remember the nurse coming in and saying, "Your face is different. You look like you are in a lot more pain than you were a half hour ago. I am getting the doctor." Next thing I knew they came back in and shot me up with some morphine to dull the pain and the doctor checked me. All I heard was that I was now 90% effaced and at 3cm and that is when I finally told my husband to call my parents. They live an hour away and I was holding off until morning so they wouldn't freak out and drive in the middle of the night, but at this point the doctor thought I might actually have the babies that day. I couldn't believe this was happening. I was loopy on the morphine but the pain had died down. They gave me a different kind of pill to relax my contractions to go along with the IVs I was on. Whatever it was they gave me worked because each contraction became a little less intense and more spread out between and by 10am I had my last contraction for the day. 

By the time my parents made it out, I was in much better shape. In fact, I was feeling quite good. No contractions or pressure, though I was running on empty from having missed an entire night of sleep. The nurses in my room are so attentive. They come in and check on vitals, monitor the babies with NSTs and pretty much get you anything you need without hesitation. Wondering how long they will keep me now that they stopped my labor. Hoping it won't be too long, as I could see getting a bit stir crazy in here. Luckily I had the hubs and my parents with me all day and even had a friend visit in the evening. It's my first time staying in a hospital, and while it's not bad, I already can't wait to be home...

September 6- Another Success Story!!!

Hi guys!

I recently had someone write to me on my Twinspirational blog to share with me their story that was similar to mine. She went through TWO rounds of IVF unsuccessfully and had given up on the Western Medicine route after that. She began doing things naturally by taking all the same types of supplements as me and lo and behold she became spontaneously pregnant with twins!!! Such exciting news I just HAD to share it with you!!

Here is a link to her blog if you'd like to read her story!

http://feedingmyinnerchild.blogspot.com/

Thank you, Petunia, for sharing your story and inspiring hope in others going through the same situation and best of luck on your journey! I will definitely be following your blog as well! :-)

August 26- Hooray! Success Stories!!

Hey there... I just wanted to take a minute to let you all know that I am starting to hear from women from all over telling me about their success stories! So far I have had three different women (two in the states and one from the UK) share with me that they, too, had been given the POF diagnosis and told their only hope would be donor eggs and after a few months of doing the same regimen as me (the supplements, Chinese Medicine, etc) they have turned their diagnosis around! Two of the girls officially got their BFP and one of them their FSH went from 70 to 7 and just got their period back!!! This is absolutely AMAZING news and I couldn't be happier. I wanted to share this with you so you can have even more hope that the doctor's word isn't always final and they don't know everything! 

It means the world to me to hear from you all and the kind things you write. It is wonderful to know that my words have given hope and inspiration to so many others suffering with the same terrible condition. It was reading other people's success stories that gave me the hope I needed to stay strong and keep fighting to get my body functioning properly again. So to know I am contributing in the same way is truly a gift and an honor. 

Please continue to share your stories. It is all of us getting the word out there to each other that is causing all these positive changes and instilling hope to others all over the world!

August 18- Switching Over

   First, I want to tell you what this blog has meant to me.  It gave me the chance to vent my frustrations, share my heartache and express my deepest thoughts in order to get through the most devastating time in my life. I never in a million (or rather, ten million) years did I think I would only be writing it for a short period of time before getting pregnant. It was then my blog became something so much more than I could ever dream of. First, I was able to excitedly announce that I did the very thing my blog was entitled. I became that "one in ten million." But even more amazing than that, my story became a beacon of hope for others with my diagnosis. Since then, I have had women in over 61 countries reading my blog and over 20,000 page views. Women continually write to me telling me I have inspired them to keep on fighting and instilled hope in them, when all hope was lost. They write to me to ask questions and sometimes just to vent their frustrations, but every single one of them always thank me for giving them hope. Words cannot express the profound effect this has had on me. 

     Since becoming pregnant I've kept up with my blog, always feeling a bit apprehensive in fear I would upset those of you who are struggling with infertility. To my surprise, I've received an overwhelming amount of feedback asking me to keep posting updates because it restores a new sense of hope to see that things are progressing positively. It has been a few months now and I feel it's time for me to continue my journey in a new blog. I will still keep my previous blog out there because it is helping so many others, and I will always respond to those who write me. 

     For many years now, I have dreamed of being a memoir writer. The plan was to have the first one be about my pregnancy, whenever the time came. Being told by four different doctors that IVF wasn't even an option for me, my aspirations of writing such a memoir went down the drain. I am so very happy to be able to finally write the memoir I have always dreamed of, stemming from this blog. I am working on the actual book throughout my pregnancy. It will incorporate all the posts from both blogs and will have additional, never-before seen material included in the book.  My ultimate goal is to create a series of memoirs capturing my adventures of raising the twins. Of course, this should prove to be interesting considering I have absolutely NO experience with babies and I am about to have TWO! 

If you would like to continue following my journey, I'd love the company!

http://mytwinspirationaljourney.blogspot.com/

To all of you who have supporting me thus far on my journey, I am wishing you the best of luck on yours. I will ALWAYS be here if you need to talk. Keep on fighting the fight and remember these key things: 

- Doctors don't know everything!
- All it takes is ONE GOOD EGG!

Never ever lose hope!! 

Sending positive vibes your way,

Cole


August 5- The Big Reveal

About two weeks ago we had our monthly visit with my OB. When the receptionist originally scheduled me, she said it was for an ultrasound. I thought it was odd that it was so close to the one we had to have with Maternal Fetal Medicine the week before, but since they said I'd be getting a lot of ultrasounds with me being "super high risk" I didn't think much of it. While were at our visit with MFM the week before, the ultrasound tech told us she thought Baby B was a girl and couldn't quite tell with Baby A. So we were totally banking on my doctor being able to tell us the genders at the visit with her. Needless to say we were pretty disappointed to find out that the appointment was not for an ultrasound, but for a routine Pap! My poor hubby took time off work to come to the visit only to see me get a Pap Smear! Ewww! I'm sure that was thrilling for him. At that point the next ultrasound was going to be the Anatomy Scan at MFM on August 20th and there was NO CHANCE IN HELL we were waiting that long. I immediately jumped online and searched for the most affordable (and accurate) third party ultrasound company in town and booked an appointment. The sucky thing was that we were leaving to fly to Upstate NY to visit the inlaws the very next day so I had to book it for when we got back. Made the appointment for August 5th and impatiently waiting with bated breath...

Which brings us to today, August 5th! I could barely sleep last night I was so nervous/excited about today. We wanted so badly for it to be a boy/girl combo, but I had a feeling it could be two girls. Everyone has been asking me if I thought I knew what combination I was having and I really didn't. What I did definitely feel was that there was at least one girl in there. That I just knew at the center of my core. But had no idea what the other was. 

So the Hubs and I met at Prenatal Impressions at noon and both of us had ants in our pants. So nerve-wracking! We asked the ultrasound guy to do Baby B first, since we had already been told at our last ultrasound that there was a good chance it was a girl. And sure enough it is! They refer to the parts as being "Dangle Down" which means there are these three lines that represent the labia. I could definitely see the lines he was referring to, but the whole image looked like a big blobby mess to me, so I'll take his word for it! 
Next came Baby B. This was it, the whole enchilada. Wouldn't ya know the little bugger had it's legs crossed! After some maneuvering the tech was able to get a money shot. And as he typed the letters I'm pretty sure my heart stopped. D A N G L E   UP. 100% Boy. 
AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! I can't believe it!!!! It's a BOY and a GIRL!!!!!! I wanted to jump up and do a cartwheel! (which I would have totally broken an ankle or something) but I seriously couldn't believe it. Total Shock. I was seriously thinking we already have been so lucky that there was no way we'd get the boy/girl combo we wanted. But sure enough!...
I was able to see why Baby A is always moving around like crazy when we see him. He's got his sister laying on top of him at all times cramping his style! He's probably super uncomfortable in there!

So there ya have it. I just had to share. It's pretty surreal. Now it's time to solidify the names. We already have a pretty good idea of what they'll be, but we want to be 100% sure before setting it in stone. And it's also time to start planning for the nursery! I'm thinking of going with a light green baby animal jungle type theme. That's pretty gender neutral but still cute. 

eeeeeeek! I can't believe it!!!!!!!! 

Wishing you all the same kind of luck in your journey!! I've already heard from a few of you who got your BFP and I couldn't be more elated for you. I believe we ALL have a chance so never, ever give up!