Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Welcome to the Fetuses

I'm officially 9 weeks now. This means the embryos have finally reached the status of fetus, where they will (hopefully) remain until they are officially babies after birth.

Most web sites tell me they are about 1.5 inches in length now. They have legs and arms and are constantly moving, although it will be months before I can feel them (I swear I felt a 'twitter' once though).

If you want to see some great pics and watch some movies of a fetus at 9 weeks, check out http://www.ehd.org/prenatal-images.php?thum_id=153 Some really neat shots in there.

While I can put all my old pants on, some no longer do up. Of those that do up, sitting is not very comfortable. I've only gained 3 pounds so far (not very much for twins) So I've invested in a few pairs of maternity pants. Right now, they are a bit lose and I'm constantly hauling them up, but they are much more comfortable than my old pants. I'll likely have to buy more clothes before the babes come but I'll be hitting consignment and second hand stores for that. And if none of that works, I'll go for the long shirts and leggings.

Oh, as for tops. I'm a shorter person (under 5 2) and I've made it a point to buy petite sizes so I wouldn't have to role up so sleeves, or tuck things into my knees, trip over hems etc. This was great, but now those ones are not going to be long enough to cover my belly once it starts to pop. They keep telling me I'm going to start to feel like an oven, but right now, it's getting colder each day (high today of 8 Celsius) and I want sweaters. I'm avoiding buying much though, unless its on sale. I'm so in between.

The "world" is starting to know I'm pregnant. So far so good. The best reaction was my team at work. There was silence for a bit; I think they were waiting for the punch line. All are happy, many are still stunned (they didn't expect the older, single manager to get pregnant at all, let alone before the younger recently married men (their wives getting pregnant that is).

Oh and the previous post on support showed really well with my friends. We were at a large dinner gathering the other day. Totally out of the blue, one of my friends suddenly said "Hey, you may be single, but you are not alone, you have all of us. That's more than most people have". They are all offering to babysit already (in pairs) and the babes are included in the plans to watch my BFF complete her first Ironman in the summer (that will take coordination, but I'm sure we can work it out).

I have my Dr appointment this afternoon. Basic check up I think. Its likely too early to pick up a heartbeat on a Doppler yet so I will try not to get my hopes up if we try but cant find one or both.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I was asked about support I'd have while doing this as a single parent. Here goes.

My family doesn't live close but that's okay. I'm sure they will come to visit sometime after the kids are born. Since I'm having twins, the due date is also very fluid and I don't think they can plan in advance when to travel. So I'm recommending they wait until after the birth. Honestly, with twins, I also want to get them onto their own cycles/schedules before people start to come visit. I'm going to look to a local twin expert for help. It's not that I don't love my family, it's just not practical.

I do have a great group of friends locally, some of the best that a person could ask for. Most are childless (by choice), although there are some parents of grown children and even some with grandchildren. I also have two friends with young infants who have already offered anything and everything that can be offered, including calls at any time of the day or night. Follow that with some amazing coworkers and round it out with a fabulous community building. I live in a condo complex that is a bit unlike many others. We are friends. We hang out. We won an award for the building that best exemplifies community. I am the 4th woman to get pregnant in the building this year. Some of my neighbors who know have already committed to walking my dogs should I be too stressed or if I have to go on bed rest.

I know from others 'who've been there, done that' that the nature of some my friendships will change. I wont be able to just drop everything and go hang out or come to the rescue or go out of town. I cant go drinking and dancing without advance planning for childcare. My life will change focus on the babies. Most of my friends wont care or change towards me but some will stop calling.

I know I'll also make new friends. There are many parent groups around. The local libraries all have baby days (and there are two within walking distance to me). There are theatres that do the mom and me screenings during the day. The community centers all have drop in and regular groups. I wont be alone.

Because I have such great and loving people around me all the time, emotional support is not my concern. Financial is a bit of a worry.

In Canada, we get maternity and paternity benefits up to a maximum of 50 weeks, plus a 2 week waiting period for a total of 12 months. I will do everything possible to take this full 12 months off to spend with the babies. This sounds great until you get into the amount that they will pay you and how much a person actually needs to live. The amount went up a tiny bit, has a small formula that says you can earn up to 55% of you income up to a MAXIMUM of $435 a week. Yup, that adds up to 1740 a month or 21,750 for the 50 weeks you get paid (and 2 unpaid). Uh yeah. Oh, and this is taxable income and if they decide, they can tax me at my regular salary rate which at the highest tax bracket and would give me less than nothing to live on.

The city I live in is not cheap. My salary is normally good enough to make up for it. This benefit is not enough. My mortgage, property taxes, condo fees, insurance and hydro come to just under 1,900 a month. So with this, I'm already in the hole. I'm going to assume that I'll want food now and again, the animals might want to eat, along with maybe a phone and oh, lets say the occasional other expense thrown in too. This means, to be able to stay home for the full 12 months, I'm going to need to have a minimum of 12,000 in savings first, or 1000 a month more than they are giving me. Plus I'm going to need to have enough left over at the end to prepay my first month of daycare/childcare/nanny etc. Okay, so maybe 12,000 is not enough. Crap. I am committed to spending the full 12 months at home. If I have to, I'll dig into my retirement savings (hopefully mutual funds will be in better shape by then). I would have more savings now but I've paid for 2 DE attempts this year, sucking my savings dry.

Oh, after the mat leave period, for the later part of my leave, the 35 week parental part, I am allowed to earn up to $50/week (woohoo). Of course, I'd have to be able to earn that while still caring for the babies myself since babysitting costs for twins would easily suck up that $50 or more.

So as you can see, emotional support I have aplenty. Financial support will be significantly harder. Maybe I can win the lottery. Of course to do that, I have to buy a ticket first.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

8 Weeks

8 weeks down, 31 or so more to go.

I thought I'd post an 8 week belly picture. Most of what you see is fat, not baby, but there is definitely baby under the fat. 8 weeks ago, I could easily compress the bulge into any of my pants. Now, I can't, not even close anymore. The twinkies together are just over an inch, add the sacs and extra thick lining and there is probably 2-3 inches I can attribute to them.

Hopefully they will continue to grow well. If they do, my belly should 'pop' in the next 2-3 weeks making it look less like fat and more like baby.
I'm debating renting a Doppler to hear the heartbeats (should be able to by week 10 or so). It's unlikely I'll have another ultrasound until around week 20 and I think I'll go insane with worry if I don't get some reassurance that they are okay.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We are ALL well

So after that horrible scare this morning I was a bit apprehensive about the U/S. I was expecting just about anything.

I'll cover the basics off the bat to keep you from jumping ahead. It's officially twins.

Back to the day. I still drank less than they recommend but even with that, I was able to take the cup and fill it 3 times before going in. Then, I got on the table and she congratulated me on filling my bladder so well. Its so tiny. Sigh.
The U/S tech has a great poker face or a perma-frown, so I wasn't sure what was going on. But then she turned the screen to me to show me both the babies. I think it was stunned relief at that time. She took lots of pictures and measurements, but then to be sure said we'd go with the dildo-cam for a closer look. My bladder thanked her, profusely.
So after checking my kidneys (I think I might have a stone) we moved onto the magic wand. She took lots of pictures, still with that frown-like expression. But then she gave me the heartbeats and I was relieved.
My friend S was able to come in and watch while she showed us everything. Baby A is measuring 2 days ahead with a heartbeat of 150. Baby B is measuring 3 days ahead with a heartbeat of 158.

And some great news, there was no blood on the wand. So whatever happened this morning was short lived. I have heard from other twin moms that this can happen. I don't think it makes it less scary though.

My Dr will get the full report on Monday and I'll hear from her about any next steps.

I had ordered the Dr Luke Twins, Triplets etc book from the library last week (just in case) so now I can start to read it. Now I just have to get to mid-June with no melt-downs.

8 hours of agony

My U/S is in just over 8 hours. 8 long hours. To make it that much worse, I had an 'issue' this morning.
I got up around 4 for my second nightly pee break. Nothing unusual about that. I peed, the normal amount. So far so good. I wiped - blood. I grabbed some more tp and wiped again, more blood. Lots and lots and lots of pink blood. Needless to say, going back to sleep wasn't an option.
I've spent the last couple of hours surfing, finding success stories and stories of doom and gloom. I don't know what is going on.
I've since been hitting the bathroom every half hour or so, just to check. The first followup was mostly darker leftover looking stuff. But since 5 there has been nothing.
Of course I'm concerned. As planned, in anticipation of a good u/s, I told my C level and HR VP yesterday. Was I being too optimistic. I don't really believe in jinxing, but was I wrong to be happy for a while?
Anyway, time will tell. My scan is in just over 8 hours. It could be bad news, it could be good news or it could be one of those horrible "we're not sure" trips. Sigh.
I'll post an update after my scan or if I start to bleed again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Grumble, Grumble, Grumble

3 more days to wait.
Well, I really don't have much to grumble about. At least not compared to some of those out in blog land, still struggling to get to where I am, or getting past where I am to have it ripped away from them. There are many happy stories too. More than I normally see. I cling to these. I've started to add the blogs I follow on my site. Its by no means a complete list, I have so many RSS feeds it takes a long time to get through them, but it's a start.
The un-cravings have actually gotten a bit worse. Now I really just don't want to eat. I will, if my stomach demands it loudly, but I've found that just shoveling anything in doesn't work anymore either. It has to be something I really like or I cant even force myself to take a second bite/mouthful. I had my favorite lunch at my favorite lunch place today and even that I stopped eating after less than 1/3. It tasted fine. I just didn't want to keep eating. I'm sure I'm going to hear about it from the cook the next time I go back, worried that there was something wrong with it (there wasn't, it's me).
I seem to do okay with pre-made soups (open, heat, eat without much chewing). So I'll find out who has some sales on (preferable those with low sodium) and stock up. Of course the mostly liquid diet is making the trips to the bathroom far more frequent. I'll count it as exercise.
So, assuming the best from the U/S on Saturday (best being at least one heartbeat with normal growth and nothing else scary) I'm likely to start telling people on Sunday. I know this early for some people, but in reality, if the worse happens and the embryo(s) stop developing, I think I need people to know and understand what I would be going through. I would not be in a good place. And of course if things continue to progress well, I want to stand on the highest building and scream it out to the world. I'm going to be telling my C-level boss this week. My immediate boss knows, has known all along during the tries, but the higher levels don't. I want to tell my C directly and if I start to tell people on Sunday it will spread to friends via facebook in the matter of seconds and I have many co-workers on there so I'd expect the office to know (whether they believe it or not) before I get in on Monday.
Along with the upcoming U/S, my thoughts are very much on the two friends I made in CZ during DE#1. We all had the same transfer day, the same hopes. But of course, like mine, it was not the best of outcomes. For one of them though, she got pregnant, for the first time ever after countless tries over many years. Although it ended badly, it provided the hope and knowledge that she could get pg. I really hope the both of them have the same results from this try as I did. ER for them is today and due to a CZ holiday are having a 6 day transfer. I've only read great things about 6dt so I'm sure it will be a huge success. I wish we could have all gone back at the same time.
Oh yeah, I'm officially 7w1d. For those who watch it, the little bouncing embryo in the widget will have changed when I hit week 7 yesterday. Its a major growth spurt, up to about the size of blueberry with some more distinct features.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Holding Pattern

No new symptoms. Nothing changed. Just going insane waiting until the 15th.

October seemed like a good month. Most of the women I've heard from who went to Zlin have BFPs. And the DE October group I joined is batting 100 so far. It was at least the second try for each of us in the group, so it's extra nice for the successes.

Giving a call out to a couple of friends I met in Zlin the first time around who are heading back for another try. M & P I really hope this time works for you both! Keep me posted, I will be thinking of you.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Still no morning sickness. Some people feel its tied to hcg levels, which normally hit 10,000 around or after week 6. Mine's well over that, so maybe not. One of the possible 'remedies' is an increase in B6. Well, because of fertility issues, I've been taking a b-complex along along with a fair amount of B6. Maybe its that. Then again, maybe in a day or so, I'll get hit bad.
But that's not what this post is about. And it's not about what foods I'm craving, but rather that I'm not craving anything, at all. Maybe craving is too strong of a word, but nothing is appealing to me. And no, no nausea or food aversion, just no desire for anything in particular. Don't get me wrong, I am hungry, probably a little more than normal, but instead of knowing what I want, I don't really care what I eat.
Take today for example. I have a favorite place for lunch. With cutting my spending, I can only go once a week at most now, while I used to go 2-3 times week at least. So today, stomach making growling and roaring sounds, I headed over. But I realized on the way that I didn't want my usual, or at least I wasn't having my normal pre-meal sigh (drool) of anticipation. So I let the waitress pick. The food was very good, but I don't think it mattered what it was.
Tonite, on my way home, I stopped in at the Safeway to get my prometrium refilled. While waiting, I went up and down every aisle, looking for inspiration. Not for dinner tonite, since I had leftovers, but for groceries. Nothing. I left with nothing. Not even junk food.
Oh and on the subject of junk food. That desire is totally gone. I have left over Halloween candy, including some amazing Lindt chocolates a neighbor gave me. But I just don't feel like having them. A week ago, having that at home, all would be gone in under an hour and I would have considered going to the store for more.
So un-cravings, non-cravings or whatever. Things I eat, I enjoy, but nothing makes me want to eat except my stomach making complaints and poking at me. This is probably a good thing in the end, because I can eat totally properly. In theory. But with no motivation to eat, I have no motivation to cook. So for now, it's leftovers from the freezer or sandwiches, usually with a nice helping of frozen veggies.
I don't know how long this will last, I guess I'm just happy to have something change, some symptom that I'm pregnant. It's still many days to my U/S.
I also cut my prednisone dosage in half today. They like us to go off it after the 2ww. Its not something you just stop though. Withdrawal, even on a low dose can be harsh. So for a week, I'll take a half does, then a week with half that, then likely stop. I know its the right thing to do at the right time, and I while I really believe it was the fixing of my TSH that helped this cycle work vs DE#1, there is a slight possibility it was starting prednisone 3 weeks earlier that did it. Sigh.
5w6d - time is moving slowly, but at least its moving. Tomorrow I'm officially in week 6.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A different 2ww

It's exactly 2 weeks before my first U/S at 7w4d. I really have no idea how it will go. I'm still waffling as to how things are, deep down there in my uterus. Sometimes I'm sure I'm pg, other times, I'm less sure.
And as to the question of how many, well, I really have no idea. One, more than one. I would honestly be very happy with one healthy growing fetus.
Today I went to the baby fair. I wasn't planning to, in fact, had no idea it was on. I was going to the women's fair with a few friends and the baby fair was in the same convention center. I stayed with them until they were checking out the shoe sale, I said goodbye, saying I was going home. Then I snuck out and paid and went to the baby fair. (my BFF knew what I was doing, but she was the only one there who knows I'm hopefully expecting). The fair was great. And what was also great was being in a huge room with pregnant women, babies and kids and not wanting to bawl my eyes out. I entered lots of draws but bought very little. I was so afraid to tempt fate. I did get some belly cream. I also collected information on 3D U/S places and cord blood banking along with discount cards for them. The bravest thing I bought was a hooded shirt that I'll use when (if) I tell the world I'm pregnant. I really have no idea when that will be. I'll unveil the shirt on the web at the same time, so you'll have to wait to know what it says.
For those wondering, my last beta was right on track (number in my profile) and my progesterone had gone up quite a bit. They want me to test again next week to see the hormone levels and may now switch and lower my progesterone.
Still no symptoms - 5w4d.