Tag Archives: 2nd trimester

On the border….yet again

I used to write about how anytime I’d do a medicated cycle, I’d get a “borderline” cyst that RE #1 would always decide necessitated me riding the bench for a month. It. Would. Destroy. Me. I do not miss those appointments.

Well, today at my biweekly OB appointment I found out I am on the border again. (And also that the babies look great and their little hearts are beating away!!!) Last week I took the Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT). My clinic changed its protocol two weeks before I was scheduled for my 26-week gestational diabetes screen, and, instead of having every patient do the typical screening test (drink orange glucose liquid at home, come in and get blood drawn an hour later), they now make everyone do the full GTT shebang to ensure they aren’t getting false positives or negatives on the screen test (fast for 12-hours pre-test, get a fasting blood draw at the office, drink orange glucose liquid, get another blood draw an hour later and then another two hours later…I think some clinics do three hours worth of blood draws but mine stopped at two).

Anyway. My fasting level was normal. My 1-hour level was on the high end of the normal range. And my 2-hour level was 9 points above the normal range. So….bam….I am being treated as though I have gestational diabetes. Oh, and my iron was also low (even though I take a supplement every morning and have iron in my pre-natie Rx, weird). The OB told me to indulge in plenty of cheeseburgers. But apparently SANS BUN and with no chocolate shake as a chaser, if my preliminary research on GD is any indication. 🙂

Sigh!

Ah, well. I am feeling a little weirded out by this news, but it’s because I want the very best for the babies. I don’t want my hormone issues to put them at ANY risk. I want them to be healthy!  The next step is to meet with a dietician (I already left her a vmail…I’m ready to make my body a healthy non-carb/non-sweets sanctuary for the babies ASAP!!!!), then I will need to have all of my future appointments at Dr. Zen’s office in the early morning, because from here out I will come to them having fasted, I’ll get my blood drawn, then eat breakfast, then have another blood draw an hour later. I may have to go in for those blood draws once a week, I think the OB is going to discuss me with Dr. Zen to see how she wants to handle. Because I’m “borderline,” they think diet tweaks and office blood draws will be enough to make sure everything’s okay, I (hopefully!) won’t have to mess with insulin injections and at-home blood draws.

When Dr. Zen’s partner told me the news, I admit that got a lump in my throat. My first question was, “Was it something I did?” I have gained a healthy 22 pounds at 26w5d. I eat healthfully the vast majority of the time. I don’t eat fast food. I exercise regularly. I have a normal BMI. I have no family history of diabetes or GD. I write about nutrition, for gosh sakes! She said it has nothing to do with me, it’s about how my body processes glucose during pregnancy and that’s out of my control. And my body is borderline not-so-hot at it. (This apparently happens twice as often in twin patients.)

I’ve read blogs where the writer finds out she has GD and she talks about feeling responsible. I would read those posts and think to myself, Of course it’s not her fault, she shouldn’t feel that way! But then, when it happens to you, you do feel like it’s something you did. I’m trying to shake that feeling. The important thing is that there is something I can DO about this diagnosis.

So. It’s all good. I am okay with being on the border this time. I’m so happy my office caught me when I might otherwise have flown under the radar—this way we can make SURE that the babies and I are perfectly healthy. We’ll get it in check. These babies are going to get whatever foods the R.D. says is best for them and they are going to be healthy kiddos! 🙂

I’ll update on this topic when I’ve done the requisite hours of Googling and the meeting with the R.D., of course.

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Recovering

{@ Pixo}

That bed looks so good to me right now! 🙂

Hubs and I have had a whirlwind fall and winter. It began with a trip home to KC at the end of October. The next weekend hubs’s brother and his brother’s wife came to visit. Then there was another trip home for Thanksgiving. Followed by a trip to NYC for a college friend’s wedding (and a lengthier-than-planned stay thanks to a snow storm in Chicago that made it impossible to get home). Then we had Christmas in Philly with hubs’s fam (and another blizzard on the east coast meant another longer-than-planned stay and a road trip down to DC to be able to fly home). Then it was back to KC the first weekend in January for the baby shower with my Mom’s girlfriends. And finally this weekend, I had a baby shower with my best girlfriends in Chicago. We had five guests in town…my bestie from college, my little sister, hubs’s little sister, and hubs’s brother and wife.

WHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don’t misunderstand, it has been SO AWESOME getting to see so much of our friends and family. I feel closer than ever to everyone in my life….and after being a hermit for more than a year thanks to the darkness that is IF, it feels really really good to feel practically like my old self again—in my relationships and general mood. The shower on Saturday was so fun…..most of my very best girlfriends, all in one room, showering our sweet Baby A and Baby B with love and gifts and support. It was wonderful. Lucky me, lucky babies!!!!!!

But, I must admit that I am somewhat exhausted. I was tired to my BONES for most of the weekend. (And sick, I have a legit cold! Wah wah wah.) These trips  and visits from out-of-towners have been AMAAAAAAAAAAAZING, but I am so so so so so so so so ready for a more chillaxed lifestyle that doesn’t involve airports, entertaining guests, going out to dinner every night and staying up talking with friends and family past midnight. When there are people to entertain or catch up with, I am really bad at going to bed when my body wants to, saying no to outings, and sitting down….!

It’s time for me to take it down a notch. Time for me to stop working so freaking late, to go to bed earlier, to cook in more, and to generally take it easier. We are not taking any more trips. We have no more visits from guests in the works. Time for me to CHILL!

I have a 27(ish) week check-up at the OB tomorrow. I hope and pray that everything looks great with the babies and that their little hearts are beating away and that they’ve grown bigger and stronger. Because I’ve been totally out of my routine and on my feet so much the past few days, I haven’t noticed much movement. And now that I’m back at work after the long weekend (and thus on my feet most of the day), I know I won’t get many chances during the day to feel the kicks that I love so very much. Plus, you guys know me….I get hyped-up for ever appointment. Hopefully the babies will bump around and give me some much-needed reassurance when I relax after din tonight….we may have to cook up some homemade pizza, which they seem to love just as much as I do. 🙂

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Holiday happenings

A very belated HAPPY HOLIDAYS, bloggies! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, whatever you celebrate!!

I’ve been totally AWOL! First work was craaaaaaaaaaaaaazy before the holidays. Then we were in Philly for Christmas with hubs’s family and I forgot to pack my lappie’s power cord….so I had to ration my battery power to actually do work and not blog. (Sigh.) I read your posts from my phone but it’s impossible to comment that way so please forgive me for being behind in checking in with all of you! We got stuck in Philly with the crazy weekend snowstorm. (Ugh.) We ended up renting a car and driving down to DC yesterday because we couldn’t get a flight back to Chicago from Philly, all of the 12-hour trains from Philly to Chicago were full (!!) and we didn’t feel comfortable driving the 12 hours on winter highways….anyway, we finally made it home at midnight last night and I am so so so so so so happy to be here! Back to my comfie bed (no more fold-out couch!), my lovely Snoogle body pillow, my humidifier, my awesome shower with its amazing water pressure, my healthy breakfast options (no more bacon every morning!)….ahhhhhh, home, sweet home.

The babies got lot of loot this Christmas. 🙂 We got carseats and a travel crib from my parents. Hubs’s parents gave us a rocking chair for the nursery and some onesies. Hubs’s sister gave us a nursing pillow and stuffed animal and more onesies. Hubs’s brother gave us a flip video cam. And my sibs all went in together on a totally adorable night light for the nursery (above) that I would never have splurged on for myself but have been eyeing for 6 solid months.

Lucky us, lucky babies! And now for some random updates….

I am feeling good but big. I stopped jogging after the Turkey Trot with my fam over Thanksgiving and have been rotaing yoga DVDs, swimming and the elliptical a few times a week. Just getting to the gym is becoming more of an effort but it’s so worth it to get some exercise and feel like I’ve got a healthy routine in place. Hubs and I hit the gym a few times over the holidays and it not only felt good to move around, but it was also lovely to get some Zen, me time away from the house.

*****

Over the holiday weekend I had some discharge that freaked me out. It was more copious, yellow and a thicker consistency than the usual thin, white stuff I get. The next time I went to the bathroom there was some semi-solid discharge, about the size of a pea. Of course I used my phone to Google my findings and found scary stories about women losing their mucus plugs and going into premature labor. It was the day after Christmas and we were officially stuck with the snow so I opted not to call my doctor’s office, figuring they’d hear the fear in my voice and invite me into the office to get it checked out (which I couldn’t do). The discharge went right back to normal and I took it easy snuggling with hubs’s family’s dogs in front of the TV the rest of the weekend so I feel okay about it. But I’ll ask my OB about it when I go in for my growth scan next week. (Grow babies, groooooooow!)

*****

I also have my gestational diabetes test next week. Just this month my clinic eliminated the orange drink-blood test because they felt they were getting too many false positives. So they told me to scrap the orange glucose fluid they’d sent me home with in November and to come in for that 2nd test most folks only take if they fail the first one, after having fasted for 8 hours. I know twin Moms tend to develop gestational diabetes more often so we’ll see what happens…..at least I’ve had my fill of egg nog (gallons worth, seriously!) before I get the news!

*****

I rolled my ankle and fell again today. 😦 Hubs and I were walking some groceries into the apartment and I bit it as I crossed a small patch of snow to the sidewalk. WTF?!?!? I twisted my body and landed on the snow on my side, but it scared me again and I’ve got new bruises and my right ankle is swollen and blue again. (I felt them bumping a little bit after lunch so that made me feel better.) I guess that old saying that pregnant women lose their sense of balance/have looser joints is not a myth. I have been so careful, but I guess I need to take it up a few more notches!

*****

Between the weird discharge, the stress and fatigue of traveling and being stuck away from home due to the snowstorm, I’m starting to see why many clinics encourage preggos not to travel past 24 weeks. I have one more trip to KC for a shower with my Mom’s girlfriends the first week in January and that’s the end of airports for me. I am obviously so very very excited for this shower and to be home with my family again (three times from Oct 31 to Jan 7, that’s totally a record for us!), but the honest truth is that nothing sounds worse to me at this moment than traveling again in 9 days. I pray we don’t get stuck again and that it goes a lot more smoothly than our recent trips to NYC and Philly!!

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Anatomy scan, take 2

We had our level II ultrasound this morning. Whew, it was a loooooooooooooong morning! My OB’s office basically does a level II ultrasound when they do anatomy scans, the difference here was that an MFM was overseeing all of the pictures and measurements. Oh, and they did extra measurements to rule out any more soft markers. On both babies. And at the end of it all, the MFM came in to chat about the results and ask for Qs. He was calm and smart and nice. All very soothing to my frayed nerves. I was throwing out some crazy lingo in my questions to the point that the MFM asked if I was a doctor. Hahahaha. Hubs told him I just spend way too much time on Google. Which is so true. (I am totally ready for my med school exam on isolated soft markers!)

But back to the scan. We had a young, smart u/s tech and she happily obliged my request to talk us through everything she was measuring and doing. (I get so nervous when they go silent!) This week Baby A was crazy active. I think my theory that he has a much calmer disposition than his sister is officially out the window. 🙂 They are good little babies and we love them so very much.

The end result…..Baby A checked out perfectly again. Baby B checked out perfectly, too. She still has that echogenic focus (EIF), but it is tiny and very likely harmless. How very likely harmless, you might wonder? Well, Baby B had a 1 in 46,380 risk of a chromosomal abnormality based on the quad screen test results. When FORCED to crunch a new risk number (yes, I made him do it last week, with tears), the director at our genetic counseling clinic re-calculated her risk to 1 in 35,370.

I know it’s COMPLETELY silly to focus on numbers like these, which are just numbers at some point (really, hubs, I know!), but for some reason it helps me. I can’t explain it, but, um, here’s some more food for thought/numbers crunching: Risk of miscarriage from amnio is anywhere from 1 in 350 to 500, based on our genetic counseling office’s rates. Twin pregnancies—even if you only test one baby—have not been tracked as well, but the m/c risk is more in the neighborhood of 1 in 100 to 150.

I want to be very clear about this: I totally support and respect any woman who would make the decision to amnio in our situation (or any situation, for that matter). Believe me, when you hear something like this at an anatomy scan, you cannot help but freak out and want to make SURE everything is okay. It’s just how it is. But given our odds, and all of the reassurance we have gotten from every doctor we’ve talked to, and all of the studies we’ve looked at on our own (like the most recent one, which found only one case of downs in a group of 17,000 pregnant women with an isolated EIF, and she was 38-years-old), we’re not going down that road. It is not a risk to the babies that I can sleep with at night. A 1 in 35,370 risk is one I can live with. It’s essentially the same risk sweet Baby B would have with NO ISOLATED SOFT MARKER evident.

As both Dr. Zen and the MFM told us, this particular isolated marker is really something they “shouldn’t even mention these days,” now that we have other, better tests to calculate risk. It’s an archaic marker that is trumped by NT Scan and Quad Screening results. It’s a variance on normal. They see it every day. Etc. (Have I convinced you everything is okay yet? Haha.)

I’m sorry if this post was too inside-baseball. I have Googled a lot of blogs/sites that have written about EIFs in the past week, and I figured other women may stumble across my blog someday and want to read about how we dealt with this. But this is between you and me, bloggies. I have only told my Mom and we will not tell ANYONE else.

So, the big, huge, giant takeaway: NO NEW SOFT MARKERS!!!! Everything looks good! And they gained a whopping (estimated, of course) 4 ounces each since last Tuesday, which is practically a third of their weights….they are now measuring just over a pound each. Sweet, sweet things! I guess they liked all of the cheeseburgers and steak I ate over the weekend in NYC! 🙂 And hey, while we were there I got my cervix checked again (still measuring 4.3, hold strong, cervie!). The tech said she’d never met a woman who actually REQUESTED a vaginal ultrasound. What can I say?

I am feeling so much better.

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