July 19- Helloooo, Second Trimester!

I'm FINALLY starting to feel better and not like death warmed over all the time. While I know I am truly blessed to be carrying twins (and even pregnant at all!) I won't lie, it was a rough few weeks. Violently throwing up and peeing myself at the same time became routine for me, and I was perpetually nauseous. This weekend I hit my second trimester and I'm finally start feeling like myself again. I have enough strength and energy now to have good workouts again and not drag myself through them. I still can't believe I've gained 20 pounds the first trimester. And that's with working out all the time! But now that I'm no longer sick all the time I'm laying off the bread again and back to drinking my green smoothies in the morning. I'm definitely starting to get a baby bump. The hubs loves that. It's so cute how he wants me to look bigger so he can feel all proud that "he put those in there." LOL. I'm not feeling any movement yet, but it does feel like I've got tennis balls or something stuffed in my pelvic area. Which is making me have to pee every five minutes. If it gets any worse I may need a catheter bag! Perhaps Coach makes one? ;-)  

Today we had our appointment with maternal fetal medicine. I didn't get to meet our doctor this appointment, that is scheduled for next time. We got to have an ultrasound, which we really love seeing the little ones on the screen. They had to do the NT scan as part of the first trimester screening. When I went in a expected to do the ultrasound vaginally as that's how they've been in the past. To my surprise, it was the kind over the belly. We're progressing! There's always that moment of nervousness when they first appear on the screen. Just want to make sure everything still going okay. But there they were, both of them squirming around like crazy! The nurse said that they are stacked sort of like bunk beds and in slightly different positions - Baby B (the one on top) is facing head down and Baby A (at the bottom is sort of sideways). Which doesn't make sense to me because in looking at the picture they don't look like they're in opposite directions. But what do I know?

So she started the NT scan on Baby B first. (It will be so nice to find out their sex so we can name them). This consisted of checking for a nasal bone and measuring the space or fluid sac in the back of the neck. This is to for signs of Down Syndrome. Baby B  was in the right position and everything measured out okay. When it came time to check on Baby A, the little guy (or girl) decided to be complicated. As soon as the nurse started checking it out, it started squirming around all over the place. I was watching it on the screen with bewilderment wondering what was going on. Then it hit me that the baby was actually turning itself around to face my back! I could tell the nurse was getting frustrated but I wasn't sure what we could really do about it. She finally made me get up and empty my bladder again and move around a little bit. Then when I laid back down she started poking at my stomach until the baby actually flipped back over! That is so crazy that poking around down there actually makes them move. And what's even crazier to me is that I can't feel that at all! At least not yet. Luckily, Baby A was finally able to be checked out and everything looked okay. I was actually kind of surprised that the ultrasound picture wasn't as clear as the one at my doctor's office and this was at Winnie Palmer Hospital which is one of the best in the country. What I like about the one at my OB's office is they have a giant 50 inch screen in front of you so you can see the images up close. Seems like the picture is definitely more crisp there, too. But luckily I will be going to both doctors frequently so I'll get to see them at both places. Oh and the nurse said she thought one MIGHT be a girl and at first said she thought the other MIGHT be a boy, but once Baby A changed positions she couldn't get a clear shot. But she did say she was only guessing because it was hard to get a clear view. Ahh!!! I want to know NOW damn it! The boy/girl combo is definitely what we're hoping for, but for some reason I have this nagging feeling that it could be two girls. Only time will tell! I have an appt with my OB next Fri so fingers crossed she'll be able to tell by then...

The next step was the doctor coming in and checking the images to see if everything looked okay. It's not the doctor I'll have there, I'll get to meet him in August. But it's still one of the maternal fetal medicine doctors. He said everything looked good and asked which screening I was getting done. I told him the genetic counselor suggested I do a integrated sequential screening, which is where they draw blood now and then in another month and compare the two numbers to give you a probability of down syndrome and trisomy. Which is a whole lot of waiting! Especially since those with singleton pregnancies get a fancy new test that gives them the results at a 98% accuracy rate within a few days! But it doesn't work with twins. :-/  This doctor suggested we do something called a modified sequential screening which just means will get the results back from the first blood draw and then still do the second one next month. The results of the first test gives an 80% accuracy rate and then when you combine the one from the second blood draw it jumps up to the high 90s. This doctor recently transferred from New York and said that's what they do there and honestly New York is so much more progressive than Florida I was totally on board with it.  Especially since we'll get some results back sooner.

So that's about all for now. I'll attach some pics of the recent ultrasound and my latest belly bump pic from week 12. I don't have week 13 because I was a little behind on my picture taking and then found out I was a few days behind where I thought I was with how far along I am, so rather than take a week 13 picture in the middle of the week I'm just doing week 14 this weekend, which is precisely where I am at. :-)

Love you all and thank you SO very much for your support. 
Keep on fighting the fight and never give up! <3

                                  Baby A (sucking it's thumb!)

                                           Baby B (looking kind of creepy LOL)

                                          Stacked in my belly. This is where Baby A turned around.

                                       Definitely starting to show.... oh boy, I'm gonna be huge! eeek!


July 2- 11 Weeks and Counting...

Hey there! I just realized it's been a while since I've checked in, so I wanted to let you know how things are going. :-)

So I am now 11 weeks (which means I am IN my 12th week... that whole thing is still weird to me) and I am sloooowly coming out of the perpetually nauseous phase. Which, if you would have asked me yesterday I couldn't have said the same because I was ill ALL damn day. But... looking at it as a whole, it's not every single day any more so I am thinking that means I am on my way out of the trenches. 

I've had a few doctor appointments in the past couple weeks. The first one being with my OB once my fertility doctor released me. I absolutely LOVE my OB (I had hand picked her last year when I was initially looking for one back when I thought I'd get preggers with no problem). The last time I had seen her was for my annual girl visit in December,where she had recommended I see a fertility specialist because I hadn't gotten my period after getting off birth control. So when she came in the room I told her all about my adventures with Premature Ovarian Failure and filled her in up to the present, a la me being pregnant with twins. I then began to rapid fire a list of questions I had ready, to which she answered thoroughly. One of the questions I asked was about delivery and she informed me that I needed to be flexible because while I may want a vaginal birth, with multiples it is more common for a c-section so I should just be mentally prepared in case it comes to that. But I will have a better idea of how it will go down once I hit 32 weeks because that is when the babies usually position themselves for birth and typically don't change positions, although it can happen. This terrifies me a bit because I have always been afraid of having to go through a c-section, but I guess if it comes down to it I won't have much choice. So all I can do in the meantime is read up on ALL possibilities so I am aware of everything that comes with both types of deliveries. Although I'm pretty sure even then there will be things that could come up that I didn't know about!

The appointment ended with getting an ultrasound and wow do they have some pretty high-tech equipment!! The coolest part is they have a huge 50 inch flat-screen monitor on the wall in front of you so you can see the babies up close. The twins are apparently positioned in different directions so there was no way to get a good shot of them both together, but when she looked at each of them individually it was AMAZING. She held the ultrasound still to get their heart rates (which were coming in strong at 168 and 173) but did them one at a time. Here's the best part... BOTH of them were wiggling their little arm and leg buds around! It was unreal! Figures I'd have little squirmy dancers in there. It seriously blows my mind that there can be two little beings inside me moving around and I can't feel it. Craziness! The Ultrasound Tech even thought it was cool because they don't always move, so to see both of them shaking and shimmying was pretty special. I was kicking myself afterwards for not videoing it with my phone, but at least I got good pics out of it. Next time though, I am whipping out my iPhone! 

                         Here are the ultrasound pics from that day: 9.5 Weeks

So, I had my appointment with the genetic counselor a few days later. It was literally only a seven minute meeting. He started off by telling me about this really awesome and accurate new blood test That tests for Down Syndrome but when he found out that I was having twins he quickly scratched that and said it wouldn't work with twins. Reason being is the test detects extra chromosomes and with two in there, there would be extra chromosomes anyway so it would negate the test. So he quickly change gears and told me I would have to instead do an Integrated Sequential Screening, which is still accurate it but takes longer to do. The first part of it would be done at around 12 weeks.They do an ultrasound and check for the fluid sac at the back of the neck that has formed. They see if it is over-sized, which is usually an indicator of Down Syndrome. They also do a series of blood work to check the babies hormone levels. At around week 18 they do  another check up where they do a full body scan on the baby during the ultrasound and do another blood test and put the two blood tests together to determine the result. So there's a lot more waiting involved, but I guess that's the only thing we can do.  It is a bit nerve-racking to have to wait so long. After he did an intake of my family history he looked at that and my age and told me there's a 99.4% chance of the babies being perfectly fine. So that's some pretty good statistics there. 

Next up, I had my "ACOG" appointment today with the nurse. I love her, she is really sharp,sarcastic and witty, which is right up my alley. We discussed thoroughly my medical history along with my family's And she talked to me about what to expect in the upcoming months. Apparently because I will be 35 when I deliver and the fact that I'm having twins I am considered SUPER high risk. What that basically means is I'll just be monitored a lot more bile whole lot more people. She said my next step is going to be meeting with the Maternal fetal medicine team at Winnie Palmer, where I will be delivering. They will do a 12 week ultrasound and conduct the Integrated sequential screening. Their job will be to look at my blood work and medical history and do a full work up on me in order to come up with a game plan for my doctor to follow for the remainder of my pregnancy. This will include what tests need to be done and how often I should be seen and monitored.That will be on top of monthly visits for an ultrasound at my doctors office where they will be monitoring fetal growth. So it sounds like I will be watched very carefully which is fine by me! That means better care for me and the babies!  One thing that was a little scary was hearing how if it's before 24 weeks and you go into preterm labor They can stop it, but after 24 weeks they can't do Anything about it.  Yikes! I guess that's why they stress after 24 weeks to take it easy so you don't come into that situation. I can't imagine baby surviving at 24 weeks. Then at 32 weeks maternal fetal medicine will start monitoring me either once or twice a week depending on my health at the time. This will consist of putting a monitoring band of some sort on my belly to check on the vitals of me and the twins. 

The nurse also talked to me about nutrition and told me what I should and shouldn't be eating. I expressed my concern that I've gained 20 pounds in the past 11 weeks and she told me not to worry about it especially with twins that my body is just getting ready to be able to handle carrying them.  She said it would be one thing if just eating chocolate cake and Taco Bell all day was causing me to gain the weight but if I'm eating a balanced diet and still gaining it then it's okay for now. She said most likely I will gain early on and less in the end But that if it bothers me she can have me look the other way when she weighs me. I love her!

She went on to explain to me that with a normal pregnancy your blood volume doubles but with twins my blood volume has tripled! This means I could be more prone to bleeding whether it's my gums, nose, or vaginally spotting. She also said it could mean getting migraines and if one starts to immediately take two extra strength Tylenol along with a little bit of caffeine and it should help.  This surprised me because I had thought I couldn't have any caffeine. So I stored everything in my mental toolbox because I'm sure at some point the info will come in handy.

We talked about delivery and what to expect. Although everything will hinder on the direction the babies are facing, she said pretty much the same thing my doctor did which was that more times than not twins are born via C-section. Not exactly what I want to hear, but I need to be realistic and face the facts. I now understand that I have to be flexible and not set in my ways because really anything can happen and I just have to go with it. What choice do I have,really?!

Lastly,we talked about sex. She told me not to have any until I get 12 week check up. I got a little nervous because the hubs and I have already done it a few times since I've been pregnant. She said not to worry,but just hold off until the all clear in a few weeks. It could apparently cause miscarriage and we definitely don't want that! When I asked specifically why, she told me in her usual hilarious way that my husband ramming his "B-52 bomber" inside me hitting up against my cervix could cause problems. Enough said.I felt bad having to break that news to the Hubs but he was more concerned with hurting the twins than missing out on a few weeks of getting it on.

After the meeting I had about six vials of blood drawn for everything ranging from lipid panels to HIV, all part of routine precautionary testing. I should get the results back next week along with a call from MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine) to set my 12 week appointment.Can't wait for that so I can get more questions answered and get to see the babies again!

Meanwhile, although I am still working out every day, it's definitely not as easy.  Granted, my body is busy doing other important work like creating TWO babies, but I seriously must look like a lazy bitch in my gym classes now. I was always so fit and could pump it with the best of them in class but now I can't do nearly as much without getting winded. My strength and energy is about half of what it was and I am lugging extra weight so I feel like a sack of potatoes. And since I don't really look all that pregnant yet, it just looks like I've been over doing it on the Krispy Kremes. The fitness instructors have oddly enough been avoiding me in class. They walk around correcting and motivating other members, but aren't doing that with me and I look like I am totally half-assing it. So I am thinking it's SO bad they just figure I'm hopeless! (ie: doing push ups with my legs totally on the floor!). Hey... I'm doing the best I can and at least I am trying!

Other than that, not much else going on. Trying to figure out a way to make some extra cashola over the next six months. It would be cool to do something on the side like make scrapbooks for people, tutoring, or even put together fertility kits of all the stuff I was taking to take the leg work out of it for those suffering from infertility. Still wracking my brain for ideas...

Until next time... thank you to all those who have been writing to me with your questions and sharing your stories. Keep on fighting the fight and in the meantime I'm sending lots of positive vibes your way!!!

Talk to you soon!