Saturday, June 14, 2014

PTSD and closure?

I go back to work on Wedsnesday and I'm beyond anxious.  It's strange not to be scheduling my life around meds and appointments and procedures.  Not that I'm complaining.  It's just weird when that's been your life for 3 years.

I've been feeling more anxious that usual actually.  I tried talking about it in therapy but all she wanted to talk about was the babies and my plan for when I go back to work.  I'm starting to wonder if I have a form of PTSD from our infertility.  I have an overwhelming fear that something will happen to the babies.  Like I will never be safe.  I don't really understand it.  I never had a BFP before the twins, so it's not like it's caused by previous loss, unless you count all the embryos that never made it.  I just feel like I'm still waiting for the other foot to drop.  I know I'm not the same as I was before IF.  I liken it to going to war.  Except the war has been, and apparently continues to be, with myself.

I visited my RE's office yesterday.  I thought bringing Will and Lucy to meet the people that helped us get them would give me some closure.  Maybe it did, maybe it didn't.  I did ask when a good time would be, as I didn't want to parade them in front of ohter IFers.  I managed to catch the tail end of their day, after procedures.  One patient was coming out of her IVF consultation, and asked if my babies were from IVF.  I told her yes, that we were in his July group last year and that it was our 3rd cycle.  she smiled and hopefully found some hope in our success.  It was an emotional visit, as I was able to time it during a cycle week and our embryologist was there.  I joked about scheduling a frozen transfer, and that I wanted to name the babies Lupron and Lovenox.  I introduced her to the babies, telling them that Melissa and Dr. Levrant held them before I did and Melissa picked them for us.  It's very overwhelming to think about it all.  I also got to see my favorite nurse, and since then we've become facebook friends.  And of course I needed photos (babies ahead):

Lucy with our embryologist Melissa
 Char, Me, Denise with Will (my favorite nurse!) and Melissa with Lucy

 Dr. Levrant and Denise
I don't know what lies ahead for us, reproductively.  DH seems to think that we could get pregnant on our own.  I laughed and told him I'd humor him for 6 months.  My OB also warned that breastfeeding isn't a form of birth control.  I told him if it happens on it's own, then I'm buying a lottery ticket.  Part of me could see trying for more kids.  I just don't think that would include a fresh cycle though.  Maybe we'll try with our last 3 embryos and if none take, then we'd be done.  Or maybe we'll decide we're done now.  Who knows.  We can always change our mind. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

New start

Hello readers!  I'm sure you've all figured out by now that the babies are here.  It's been a crazy ride so far.  To be honest, I've noticed I blogged less once we became pregnant and part of me thinks I'm subconsciously trying to protect those having bad IF days.  Since I'm having those thoughts, I think it's best I write about the babies and such in a separate blog.  You can find that blog here :

The readers digest version of the past few months goes like this:  For the most part, the remainder of the pregnancy was fairly uneventful.  I started to show slight blood pressure changes towards the end, but not enough to worry my OBs too much.  I worked until 36w5d and went in for our scheduled c-section at 37w.  That was by far the most amazing and most terrifying day of my life.  We arrived at our scheduled time, changed, got hooked to a monitor and my IV started.  The drew preeclampsia labs, as my blood pressure was high.  I chalked it up to being scared, but we didn't want to take chances.  We met with anesthesiology who did not really calm any fears about the spinal, but there was no turning back.  I was taken to the OR, got my spinal (ouch!), foley and skin prep.  My OB came in and we started testing the block.  I couldn't feel anything, which was a strange feeling.  He began the surgery and DH was brought in.  The anesthesiologist was kind enough to offer to take our photo and the surgery continued.

Working in NICU at my hospital came with the perk that I chose who came back for my delivery.  I chose the nurse that has been a 2nd mom to me and my work BFF.  My favorite neonatologist also came and had talked to me earlier in the week to calm my fears.  It felt like a lifetime from the time I knew they started to when they got to the uterus, although it was maybe half an hour from the time I arrived in the OR.  Dr. Block (the anesthesiologist-no joke that's his real name) had DH stand up to watch.  That made me nervous as I know he doesnt do well with that kinda stuff-but he did fine.  At 9:53 am, our daughter Lucille Grace was born, followed at 9:54 by her brother William Jeremy.  Both babies cried immediately and I sobbed.  I had worried so much about their respiratory effort that the cries were amazing.  I tried to focus my brain on what I knew they were doing for my babies at the warmers and trying my best to listen to them.  Both of them had apgars of 9 & 9.  DH was allowed over to them & took photos.  The babies were brought to me before going to the nursery for some observation.  The neonatologist told me they were perfect, but because Lucy was breech, she'd probably need a hip ultrasound.  I told DH to go with them.  And he did.
     Going into the delivery, I had worried about what would happen after they were delivery.  Once everyone for the babies was gone, it was time to close me up.  That's when things got hairy.  I could hear the OB teaching the resident anatomy and was talking about how my uterus should be contracting down but wasn't.  Being a nurse, I knew that meant I was bleeding more than I should.  Dr. Block asked if I wanted something to relax & maybe sleep.  I declined as I was worried about the situation on the other side of the curtain.  Next he tells me he has to give me a shot, which I thought was strange.  And then I got a 2nd one.  At this point I started to feel woozy and could see dips in my vitals in the monitor over my head.  After that, its a bit blurry until they were stapling me up and moving me to recovery.  As it turns out, my uterus was not clamping down as it should.  The shots were a medicine to help that.
  I spent some time in recovery, where I got to have the best ice chips known to man.  Dh got to rejoin me, with photos, stats and an update on our beautiful babies.  Lucy weighed in at 5lbs 8oz 18 inches long and Will was 5lbs4oz 18.5 inches, both every bit of perfect.
  We spent 4 days in the hospital before going home.  In that time, I learned the medicine they gave me to help my uterus causes uncontrolled diarrhea, its okay to decline students, and you have to be your own advocate always especially when it comes to pain control.  But I'd do it all over again for them.  In a heartbeat.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Losing my safety net

2 posts in one week?  Can it be?!  Yes, my dear readers, it's true.  I looked back on my posts and saw how pathetic I've been with keeping this blog updated, so I'd like to try to make a better effort-at least before the babies arrive.  I've been noticing I've had some increased anxiety lately as well.  Hopefully posting will help that as well.  Especially since my therapist has been on maternity leave.

Today I am 33w4d.  All along the plan has been that if I go into labor after 34w, the OBs won't try to stop it and rather do our c-section.  They also won't administer steroids after 34w.  As a NICU nurse, that makes me apprehensive.  Fetal lung maturity isn't complete until approximately 36w.  If the babies came now, they would probably need some form of respiratory support.  Granted, we're delivering at the hospital I work at, so I know they'd be in good hands.  I just don't want to see it happen.  Its scary to think that any day now, in theory, we could have outside babies.  I think dealing with infertility jaded me to pregnancy.  Between the IF and my job, a part of me has stayed very guarded about actually having take home babies.  Like part of me is still protecting my brain/heart.  I know it's kind of odd.  I had a hard time setting up the nursery, washing their clothes etc.  Like it was an abstract concept.  DH and I talked names again this weekend, and we're set unless the babies really don't fit with what we've chosen.  He even referred to our little girl by name Sunday and it caught me off guard.  (btw, sorry, they're still going to be a surprise.  You'll have to wait till delivery)

Then I think about down the road.  Fearing I won't be a good mom.  I want them to have amazing, happy lives.  It makes me think about my own relationship with my mom and worrying that it'll repeat with them.  She's not a bad mom at all.  She's just not the type of support I've needed throughout the years.  I don't want them to ever feel like they can't come to me with something.

I've also worried about what happens if something happens to me during the c section.  I know that's pretty morbid, but between what I see at work and losing my dad so early, I think it's normal to worry about.  I told DH that I think I should have advanced directives and a living will and he kinda got nervous.  I just want everything spelled out so he doesn't have to make any difficult decisions.

I'm praying this is just normal nerves.  I'm sure it's normal to be scared, right?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Survivors' guilt?

This has been a topic on my mind for awhile and I didn't really know how to address it.  Honestly, I still dont.  At times, I feel like I'm stuck in some wierd limbo.  Part of my brain is still stuck in IFworld-where I wake up in the middle of the night expecting my water to have broken, or to no see both heartbeats on an ultrasound.  I start to worry when I don't think the babies are moving as much as they should.  In fact, that got me sent to triage at the hospital a few weeks ago.  I had called the OB because I didn't think the little boy was moving like he normally does, despite doing things that usually get them going.  They sent me to the hospital to be safe.  Well, after 4.5 hours on the monitor and a horrible OB resident that felt it was necessary to attempt to ultrasound my spine through my belly, the babies were both fine and we got to go home.  However, there's other times that my brain relaxes and believes I'm just a pregnant lady.  That doesn't happen too often, but the break is nice. 

I suppose the hardest part of being in this place is that many of my friends from the IF world are still fighting their battles.  Some are dealing with loss, others waiting for adoption, a few still haven't seen 2 pink lines on a test save for the triggers.  A huge part of me still associates with them.  Then my anxiety kicks in.  I avoid talking about my pregnancy around them.  Not because I think they don't care, but for fear of being insensitive.  These people were sometimes the only thing that helped me stay sane-ish throughout our journey.  I miss them.  I know they are happy for me, as I would be were the roles reversed.  Sometimes I feel as if I've downplayed my joy for the sake of others.  I try to avoid my bump ending up on facebook, because I remember how hard that was when I was having a bad IF day for example.  I love these babies and wouldn't change this for the world.  It's horrible that anyone has to go through infertility.  But at what point will I say it's okay to just let go of feeling guilty that things have gone well these past months?  I know it's not my fault that bad things have happened to my friends.  It's just a wierd place to be in.  Sometimes I just feel very alone.  I don't associate as well with some of my mommy friends because not all of them went through IF so I don't always feel they understand.

On a funny-ish note, DH and I were talking about what happens after this pregnancy.  Ideally, I'd like to breastfeed until the twins are a year, then wean and try again.  He sometimes thinks we're done.  I remind him we still have 3 frozen embryos, but his response is that "maybe it'll happen on it's own."  I about died.  Sure, 3 IVfs, countless shots, pills, immune suppression, IV infusions.....and it'll happen naturally.  He can dream right?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What do you even say?

I swear, I haven't been neglecting this blog on purpose.  There are days I sit and stare at the blank screen and just can't find the words.  Pregnancy-wise, we are doing well.  I'll be 28 weeks tomorrow.  The babies are very active most of the time.  On our last u/s, baby girl weighed in at 1 lb 12 oz & baby boy is 1 lb 13 oz.  I measured a fundal height of 33 weeks then (I was 25 weeks at the time).  We get another scan tomorrow.  For the most part, I feel okay but work is getting rough.  My pelvis hurts most of the time, which makes it difficult to be on my feet for 12 hours.  I can't really complain, since we've made it this far.  I'm just starting to understand why my OB asks me about when I'll stop working.  We also had our first baby shower this past weekend.  This one was hosted by my family.  It was very overhelming, given how there was a time I never thought we'd get to this point.  We have one a week from saturday with my in laws and one the following week with my work family.

I suppose part of the reason for my silence is because I don't know how to talk about my happiness when someone I care for greatly is hurting.  Last month, my IF BFF was found to have complications with her pregnancy(out of respect, I will not divulge details).  She ended up delivering her sweet baby boy at 20 weeks.  It's taken me a long time to figure out what to say about it all.  I'm angry for her.  I don't think it's fair that after enduring a long battle with IF, this happened.  How much is one couple supposed to take?  I am simply amazed by her.  To have even a fraction of her strength would be more than most people have.  I selfishly fear that what has happened to them will change the friendship she and I have.  I'm so used to talking to her about everything from IVF protocols to nausea that it's been quite an adjustment.  I don't want her to feel like I'm trying to shelter her, but I don't want to be insensitive either.  I know that I'll do whatever she needs me to, even if that means she needs some space.  My heart just aches for her.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.     

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

And the verdict is.....

   We're having a boy AND a girl!!  I had an ultrasound on Monday with Dr. KK.  While we knew that baby B is a boy, baby A was the mystery.  Until Monday.  Nadia, my favorite ultrasound person, was able to get a good view of baby A from below.  She told me that at this point, she usually sees something there if it's a boy (and showed me where to look).  She didn't see anything, so it's a girl!  I can't believe that we're having a son and daughter! 
   Other than that, the appointment went well.  We drew labs, and hopefully will get to stop the progesterone this time.  I'll also be off the prednisone and metformin this Friday.  It's strange to transition to being more "normal" although I doubt I'll ever see myself as such.  I do, unfortunately, have a new pain.  It seems like it's my pubic bone itself.  I'm guessing the pregnancy hormones are kicking in to get my pelvis ready for delivery (in 18ish more weeks), but this really hurts. 
  I also had it confirmed during my ultrasound that those wierd, jabby feelings I've been having is, in fact, the babies moving!  I kind of felt like an idiot for not thinking it sooner, but with the anterior placentas, I thought I'd feel it later than this.  All in all, not a bad week so far.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


  That's right folks, I'm 18w1d.  I don't think I need to tell you how bad I suck at updating this thing.  Lately though, I've just been so tired and blogging seems to always lose on my list of to dos.  As a quick update, I can say that since we announced, we found out that baby B is a boy!!  Baby A wasn't cooperating for the ultrasound.  My mother in law thinks the baby is a girl and she is being modest.  Hopefully we'll see on my next ultrasound on Monday.  I still see Dr. Kwak-Kim every 2 weeks, and the OB is at every 4.  I don't see the OB again until 12/5 for our anatomy scan. 
   I know I said earlier that I have been very tired.  That is an understatement.  I could sleep all the time.  But the problem is that I can't turn off my brain, or get comfortable.  My hips hurt a lot, as does my tailbone.  From everything I've seen, this is normal, but it's been quite the adjustment.  My nausea has also returned over the past few days.  Honestly, I wish I could've called into work today but calling in on a weekend means I need to make it up the next weekend.  So that won't be happening unless I'm dying.
    On the meds front, I am finally getting to wean off the prednisone.  I should be done with it by the middle of next week as well as the metformin.  I'm thrilled about that.  Hopefully next we can get rid of the progesterone.  I'm still on 200mg daily of that.  I also still take synthroid, calcium, vitamin D, Vitamin E, metanx, fish oil, and a prenatal vitamin.  My lovenox has been every other day and my bloodflow has been in the 0.38-0.39 range (they want it to be less than 0.5).  Dr. KK added an antibiotic for an unsymptomatic UTI, which quite possibly could be why I feel so sick. 
   I suppose the biggest issue I'm facing (aside from worrying about every single thing) is dealing with my mom.  It's no secret she and I have had a strained relationship since my dad died.  After the way she treated me during IVF#2, I said I was going to keep her out of my buisness.  Well, from the moment she knew we were pregnant, she has talked about a shower.  I told her that I would really prefer having one combined shower, as I am afraid I'll end up on bedrest, or worse that the babies will come early.  The talks pretty much stopped after that.  My mother in law happened to offer to throw one last weekend while were at a family party.  I graciously accepted but asked if it would be possible to combine them and that I'm sure my mom would love to help.  My mother in law was thrilled!  I told my mom the next day what had transpired, and that my mother in law wanted to host it at her house, which is an hour north of where my mom lives.  Almost immediately, my mom had issues and tried to talk me into having 2, but said she'd do what I want.  I tried to stand my ground and said I wanted one and she said ok.
   Fast forward to yesterday, my mother in law called me to talk about the shower.  Apparently my mom had called her and made it seem that she really wanted to do something for me, but made up a bunch of excuses about her house being too small etc.  Somehow the conversation progressed and my mother in law was telling me that she's afraid of stepping on peoples' toes and that her feelings were getting a little hurt.  So I caved and told her that maybe it'd be better to seperate the 2 showers.  She agreed to do whatever I wanted, and at this point, I don't want my mom making my MIL feel bad. 
  After I got off the phone with her, I informed my mom what had happened and she tried to play innocent stating my MIL must have misunderstood her.  I don't think I really believe her considering one of my aunts facebooked me in the morning to offer to throw me a shower.  I think my mom has been plotting to get her way.  But after all that nonsense, she still wants to be invited to the party at my MILs house and thinks she can ride with us.  Um no.  I'm so tired of her pulling crap to get her way and not thinking about others concerns.  It is what it is at this point.  Hopefully my body and these babies will cooperate and get us through the parties in January. 

I'm just so disappointed that my mom can't be the mom I want/need her to be.