Tag Archives: first trimester

Two dragons

A lot of you have asked in comments 1) what are our nicknames are for the babies, 2) for belly pics, and 3) for ultrasound pics.

1) We call the babies “the babies,” “the twinsies,” “sweet things,” “sweet, sweet, SWEET things,” “little lovies,” “the two dragons,” “our cuties,” “the bambinos,” and “the hyper one and the chill one.” I promise I don’t have some private secret special individual names for them that I am not sharing. 🙂 I know it’s shocking that we don’t have a nickname for each of them (so far)! But the truth is, we tried forcing it—there was a “bacon and eggs” moment, but it was an inside joke that is just not applicable as much as we wanted it to be—and it didn’t work. Perhaps creative brilliance or inspiration will suddenly strike. But until then, they are all of the above and generally “the babies” or “the twinsies” or “sweet things” on my blog. Hubs did name his fantasy football team “Two Dragons” after them this year. This is funny if you’ve seen the movie Starsky and Hutch with Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller. It’s a silly movie, but this cracks me up immensely.

2) Maybe someday. I just feel weeeeeeeird posting pics of myself and especially belly pics. My boss (the female one!) told me today that my “little bump looks cute.” I swear my face got as hot as a skillet and as red as a strawberry. I was incredulously like, “You can really see something?!” As hubs and I see it, I just have an unattractively expanding waistline that looks exactly like chub/fat, and exactly not like a bump. We call it the “poop pooch” and the “beer belly” and also have agreed I currently have the amorphous waistline of Pat from Saturday Night Live. Apparently we are more creative with nicknaming my midsection than with the sweet things growing inside of it.

3) I will post some at some point in the near-ish future! I don’t have a scanner at home and feel much too weird bringing my pics to work. And the iPhone-quality images don’t do our twinsies justice. After each u/s I’ve had, I carefully cut the four images and place one of each baby into a frame that sits on hubs’s desk (at home) and a frame that sits on my desk (at home). I cannot visit hubs in his study without kissing his pics or sit down at my desk without kissing mine. I am obsessed and in love.

Oh, random tangent, does anyone know when the first trimester ends? I am 13w2d and I don’t know if it’s next week or right around now-ish. Google has so many different answers, beginning at 12 weeks, which seems way too early. Please please please let me keep moving forward happy and healthy and with happy and healthy babies….

Okay, that’s all for now. See, I really really really do read and cherish each one of your comments. 🙂

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Do twins run in your family?

Actually, yes, they do. There are three sets of fraternal twins on my Mom’s side of the family (though not since my grandma’s generation). But obviously I know that’s not why hubs and I are pregnant with twins.

*****

When I told my two bosses we were pregnant last week, one of their first questions was, “Do twins run in your family?” And then when the news began spreading around the office, and various co-workers stopped by my cube to say congrats (soooo surreal but wonderful!), that question was asked at least another half-dozen times.

I know some of you bravely share your IF struggles with others. And I think that is AWESOME! Perhaps you will be frustrated or saddened by this revelation, but the truth is that I am not one of those people. For me, IF has been a very private journey (in my real life, of course not on this blog). And I simply DO NOT want to share my reproductive history and sex life with coworkers or random strangers or even most of my friends.

So when people ask if twins run in my family, I say something like, “a couple of generations ago there were twins on my mom’s side!” or just “yes, actually, they do.”

I also say “YES!!!” when people ask if twins were a surprise. (Seriously? Yeah, of COURSE they were. Does anyone “expect” twins?) But I’ve decided that people who ask that are actually asking if I underwent fertility treatments in a less invasive way than “Did you undergo fertility treatments?” And by the way, people ask that, too—several coworkers and a friend so far. “Did you do IVF?” “Did you take Clomid?” etc. It’s amazing what people will ask.

I am learning that when you’re having twins, that’s just how it goes.

*****

So far I’ve kept pretty darn quiet about our 10 months of infertility treatment. Our parents know. One dear friend of mine knows the whole saga (she is not connected at all to my college friends and 100% keeps it to herself). Another friend in NYC knows I couldn’t get my period after going off the pill (I confided in her when we were visiting friends last Thanksgiving, back when I thought 100mg of Clomid the next month would be my answer—ha!) so I’m sure she’s put this all together. My older brother knows we had some help. And that’s it. (Besides you awesome bloggies!)

But then on Monday my SIL (hubs’s brother’s wife) sent me a really sweet congratulations email. She’s a physician’s assistant and I guess that automatically means she’s been schooled in fertility stuff. Because over the course of emails she asked if twins run in my family. I said yes and figured that was that. But then in the next email she outright asked if—even though they run in my family—they were conceived “au natural or if we used Clomid or something.”

It was really nosy and I was taken off guard. But it’s also, like, well, she’s in medicine and she’s family and she wasn’t asking in a mean or ignorant way, but in a curious and loving way. And it’s one thing to blur the details or evade the truth with strangers and coworkers. It’s another thing to lie to family. You know? It rocked my internal ethical code, as much as I wanted to lie. Plus, it crossed my mind that hubs’s Mom knows about our struggles (as of last April) and while I trust her, I wonder if she couldn’t help but hint at our issues to her kids?

So I said to my SIL, “We did have some help, but were so lucky it didn’t come to IVF. Please keep that between you and BIL.” And then she wrote back congratulating me again, apologizing if she had been prying and promising not to discuss with anyone else, and that she was interested because of her career in medicine.

I still don’t know if I did the right thing by opening the kimono, so to speak. It has really been bothering me. And I can’t figure out if that’s because she knows my secret or if I’m bothered that it bothers me so much.

*****

I’m so protective of how these sweet babies were conceived.  I want to shield hubs, myself and—most important—both of them from the stupidity that is out there. And maybe I’m perpetuating that stupidity and stigma by not courageously sharing our story. But I am shy, I am very private, and this incredibly dark and difficult time has been something between hubs and me. I’m not ready to let the whole world in on all of the miracles we have been blessed enough to benefit from—low-dose HCG, Gonal-F, trigger HCG, ultrasounds, blood tests, progesterone supps, IUIs, the brilliant Dr. Awesome, amazing nurses, and on and on and on….

The truth is that these babies are honest to goodness miracles and we are so so so so so blessed and grateful and bursting with happiness because of them. No stranger/friend/family member/coworker can take that away from us.

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I didn’t run my 10th marathon on 10-10-10

And I couldn’t be happier about it. 🙂

Yesterday, on the awesome date of 10-10-10, 45,000 runners woke up at the crack of dawn and raced 26.2 miles in the Chicago Marathon. I watched the elite athletes race on TV. Even if you are not into running, if you want to see the most inspiring, chills-inducing finish EVER, please watch this AWESOME video that shows the last mile or so of the men’s race (they run so fast it’s only a few minutes long). I was literally yelping so loudly from the living room that hubs had to come in to see what all of the racket was about. I got to meet Sammy Wanjiru last year for work—he’s the guy in red—and I heart him!! (Weird coincidence, the day I interviewed him was also the day I popped my first-ever Clomid pill.)

For the past 15 months I have been so careful about not over-extending my body and that has meant no racing and no long distance runs. (Except for a race over Memorial Day weekend, right after I found out IUI/injects 1.0 was a bust and I was on bench month because of a cyst.) This has honestly been pretty tough for me because I guess you could say I have always fallen back on races as life-preservers to get me through hard spots. I signed up for my very first marathon when I was a few months out of college….hubs was working insane 100+ hour weeks in his i-banking job in NYC and I was feeling lonely and lost in a new city. Answer: Find a goal, connect with the running community, dedicate myself to training and feel good about myself during a rough time. (It worked!)

Of course I have done plenty of races just for the fun of it, but I have repeated that recipe throughout my life. When we moved to Chicago three major things happened within the span of one month….we were plopped into a new city, I started a new job, and we got married. Whew! My answer to the stress: train for and run the Chicago Marathon, of course!

During infertility treatment, training would’ve been a great coping mechanism for the hormones and stress I was putting myself through. Based on my hormone levels—and the fact that I was not underweight or low on body fat or anything like that—neither Dr. C, nor Dr. K, nor Dr. Awesome said running caused my anovulation (that may forever be a mystery), but they all agreed I should relax on it during treatment. Running was exactly the opposite of what my body (physically) needed. And we wanted a baby so very very very badly that there was NO QUESTION I would chill the heck out and let my body rest up.

So I stopped training for stuff cold turkey. And as for plain old exercise, I stopped running hard, and long, and I ran less often.

Over the past year I have fielded a lot of questions from coworkers and friends about what race I’m gearing up for next. When a big part of your identity is as an active, sporty, race-running person, I guess that’s what happens. It would hurt my heart every time I’d give my “Actually, I’m taking some time off and running for fun for the joy of running!” response.

It was the truth, but still.

I told my bosses we are pregnant on Thursday morning (!!!) and gave them the green light to tell people at work (I am much too shy for that!). So the news slowly trickled around most of the office by the end of the week.

I think it’s pretty awesome that I was given the gift of feeling comfortable enough to tell people right before the marathon.

Now when someone asks me, “Did you race this weekend?” I can say, “Nope. I am pregnant!” I am so lucky and so very very grateful to be where I am today.

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Sweet things

This is going to be short and sweet because I’m off to a meeting.

THE BABIES ARE DOING GREAT!!!!

They stayed perfectly still and in the exact right position during the scan measurements. (The tech said they were really good babies, hahaha.) Then, once the measurements were over, they got active! We saw them moving around, their sweet little hearts thumping away (we got to hear that sound today, ohhhhhh it was awesome). The entire experience just melted my heart into a puddle. I love them so much. I seriously could’ve stared at them for hours and hours and hours. Two tiny miracles. 🙂

So then we met with the genetic counselor and they passed the NT Scan and blood tests with flying colors. Both babies have a less than 1 in 10,000 risk of any of the genetic disorders that were tested for. PHEW! Then we did a 12-weeks check-up with one of Dr. Zen’s partners, which basically entailed me asking a dozen questions. It was a long morning.

I’m not sure if it’s possible to convey how worked up I get myself for these appointments. It is just sooooo hard to believe that after so much heart ache and fear and despair, my body can do this—support two lives!—and that things can be going so well. You know? And I know we are NOT out of the woods just because everything was okay today. There are many more hurdles to come. But at 12w1d, our babies are healthy and perfect and we are absolutely over the moon. 🙂

Great job babies, you are such good, sweet little things. We love you so much! Keep growing big and strong!!! We can’t wait to see you again!!

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Zen zen zen zen

I have been so anxious about this 12 week check-up that it’s kind of out of control. At least a few times a day  I say to hubs, “Are the babies okay? Are they growing exactly like they should? Are they healthy?” And he calmly says, “Yes.” And then I say, “But how do you knoooooow?” And then I get online and google random crap like “weight gain during first trimester twins” (because I’ve LOST weight and this book I’m reading says you should gain, like, 10 pounds by 12 weeks and 20 pounds by 20 weeks!) and attempt to freak myself about OTHER stuff…because it feels better than worrying about whether the babies grew this month, and how they will fare in the NT Scan and what my blood work looked like from the appointment at the genetic counselor’s office last week.

Yes, I am insane. I think the anxiety worsens as the appointment approaches, ever noticed that?

Here is what else I do to ACTUALLY chill me out.

Warm baths. Oh, my gosh. Ever since the nurse suggested I take a bath the night after my pap, to try to clear out the scary dark discharge, I’ve been totally obsessed. I fill the tub with warm water and bubble bath, light some candles, bring in a waterbottle of cold water and a magazine, and just CHILL. It is awesome you guys! Um, I even took TWO BATHS yesterday, that’s how helpful this ritual is. Plus, it helps get rid of the disgusting bits of brown Crinone that are still coming out, even though I stopped taking the prog supps on Saturday.

Meditation. During my final infertilty cycle  I went to an AWESOME place called Pulling Down the Moon for weekly (sometimes twice weekly) meditation classes geared specifically toward infertility. It was sooooo soothing and cathartic. Unfort, my job has evovled in such a (sucky) way that it’s next to impossible to make it those classes in the evenings, but I am still listening to my meditations on my bus ride to and from work. I’m thinking of downloading the Circle+Bloom pregnancy meditations, but I dare not pull the trigger until after Wednesday’s appointment.

Running. I am literally shuffling, not running, along right now and I max out at about 25 minutes. From weeks six to 11 I was running about five mornings a week. (Yes, my OB-GYN 100% cleared me.) For the past week, I have been sleeping in more and generally choosing rest over running. But last night I went for an evening jog with hubs and it felt SO GOOD to breathe in the cold, fresh fall air, see the changing leaves, ohh and ahh at the grey and crashing waves in the lake. Hubs totally had to jog ahead of me because I take it soooo slowly right now. But it was still really fun and centered me.

T-minus 46 hours til our check-up. Please Lord, let everything be okay. We love these sweet babies—who are literally the most important thing in the absolute world to us—and are praying and hoping with every cell in our bodies that they are big and strong and healthy.

Zen zen zen zen.

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That was weird

Last night I was at a work-related event outside of the office. I wore the same outfit I’ve been wearing to work for a few weeks: comfie black high-waisted jeans from Urban Outfitters, a flow-y blouse, and a cardigan. So I arrive and head over to greet a woman I work with pretty regularly who is hosting the event—we email often and make an effort to grab lunch together a couple of times a year. Okay, so as we are greeting each other she PUTS HER PALM ON MY STOMACH and says something like, “Ohhh! It’s so good to see you!”

I was SO taken off guard that I couldn’t even speak for a second. And we both turned bright red because she couldn’t believe she just did that and meanwhile I’m trying to pretend it didn’t happen. This woman works in PR so she’s a pro at awkward situations and after a minute of small talk she whispers to me, “That was so inappropriate. I cannot believe I just touched you, I am so sorry,” and then she says, “But I’m just so happy for you that you’re pregnant!”

WHAT!??!?!?

I didn’t think I was showing. I mean, yeah, I’ve been wearing big tops and my comfiest jeans, but I thought I was totally concealing the general bloat situation. Not a bump.

Btw, she’s 15 weeks along with her second child so maybe she has an amazing-amazing pregnancy radar. Or maybe I am showing more than I think. Either way, I immediately swore her to secrecy because we haven’t told ANYONE—not even our best friends—and we aren’t going to until next week. I am SO nervous and anxious for the NT Scan/12 week check-up and I’m sickeningly anxious and basically counting down the seconds til we get to see if our babies kept growing over the past month and whether everything is okay. (Zen zen zen zen.)

So our convo ended gracefully-ish as another guy, who I know through work and haven’t seen since that 10-mile run over Memorial Day weekend, came by to say hello. And when we were alone he proceeded to say, “So, you’re expecting?”

Hey, at least he didn’t touch my stomach. Geeeeeeez. He must’ve overheard that first woman, right?

I was super super super awkward with him and just gave him a you’re-crazy-look and completely changed the subject. He kept trying to find out why I’m not running the Chicago Marathon, why I didn’t do any tris this summer, what race is next on my radar, etc. It was…..yeah…..awkward. Could I have told him the truth? Yeah….but I felt totally yuck telling this random dude when our close friends and my bosses don’t know. You know? Plus the truth is that I WAS traveling a lot this summer and have been running for the joy or running for a while now, thankyouverymuch.

And then I met up with hubs for a late dinner and told him about the weirdness and asked him the question that had been searing into my mind since the initial hand-on-stomach interaction: If these people I rarely see can tell something’s up, then SURELY my bosses and coworkers are speculating? Ugh! I don’t want anyone to know or even THINK about this until I’m ready to tell them. I don’t want people whispering, “Is she fat or is she pregnant?”

Hubs said that I have a way of “pooching out sometimes” and that work people “probably can tell.” [Geez, thanks a lot.] He then went on to reiterate what he always reiterates lately—that it’s not the babies at all, they are way too little for me to be showing, it’s POOP. [Again, thanks so much hubs. Geeeeez.] You know, because I have a pretty horrendous case of constie-ness that my daily ritual of water/exercise/prune juice/coffee/Metamucil/half-a-table of colace still has not resolved.

Anyway, it is what it is. Not a big deal. What will be will be. Etc. It’s very weird to admit, but the tiny piece of me that isn’t horrified at the though of work peeps knowing/wondering is celebrating that maybe—even though my boobs don’t hurt and I’m not puking and all of that stuff—my body really is changing and growing so much that it’s obvious to other people. I am appalled and overjoyed, at the same time.

But I do feel like I need to do a better job concealing my, ummm, “poop pooch” at work today, Monday and Tuesday.

Please let everything be okay with these amazing babies on Wednesday so I can tell people. Please, please, please, please, please. We love them SO MUCH and want them to be healthy and growing strong so very very very much.

Zen zen zen zen.

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Distractions: That Q&A chain letter thingie

Thank you, Sienna at It’s Baby Time—who’s glorious freaking BFP and hiiiiiigh 1st Beta have me bouncing off the walls with joy!!!—for tagging me in your Q&A post. Since I am sorta floating along waiting for our NT Scan and 12 weeks check-up, I thought this would be a nice way to pass the time without repulsing you all with stories of Crinone and constie-ness. 🙂 Time for some lighter fare!

(1) What is your dream occupation?

Honestly I am doing my dream job, which is pretty darn awesome!!! However, when I Walter Mitty other careers, I think about owning a spa/boutique, like Ruby Room in Chicago. Hubs daydreams about opening an old school pub with an awesome beer list and chill, homey vibe and I would be cool with helping him out with that, too. 🙂 My other fantasy is that I go to med school and get an M.D. so I can be an RE and help couples make their dreams come true, like Dr. Awesome did for us. Okay, that’s a bit much and pretty time consuming by the time you factor in the whole residency thing, so maybe in this fantasy I’ll be an RE’s nurse—more patient interaction!

(2) What is the best dish that you can cook?

Hubs and I absolutely love, love, love to cook, but the truth is that I am his sous chef for most dishes. When left to my own devices, I can make a mean baked ziti and chicken and dumplings soup. I also love baking desserts, especially chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin pie, rice pudding and caramel cake for my husband’s Christmas Eve bday.

(3) Have you ever been mentioned in the newspaper? What for?

Yes, in high school I was a super-jock and showed up in print for endeavors in tennis, basketball and soccer. Also, we made the paper when we got married, haha!

(4) what’s the worst and/or most memorable job you’ve ever had?

When I was 24 and living in NYC, I left the world of investment banking for a TOTALLY different career path. It was a huge risk and I am so so so lucky it 110% paid off. I adore what I do. I truly love my job right now, even though I don’t love the hours or the salary. And I would really like to be able to work for myself from home if we are lucky enough to have these babies. That is a work in progress.

(5) When you were a teenager, at what age did you envision yourself getting married? How old were you in reality when you got married?

I thought I’d be married by 25ish and pregnant/a Mom by 27. As it turns out, hubs and I began dating at age 21, didn’t get married until we were 27, and then it took us another four years to be ready for kids and to start trying for them and to actually conceive. My due date is two weeks after my 32nd birthday, but since twins tend come early, we’ll see.

(6) What’s your most hated household chore? What’s your favorite?

I despise taking out the trash. ‘Nuf said.

I looooove doing the laundry. I think this is because until two years ago I lived in apartment building situations where I’d have to go down to a dungeon and put in quarter after quarter to do a load of laundry. In our last building, I used to bemoan laundry days from the months of December to March, when our steps were icy and the air was bitterly cold and I would venture into the frigid outdoors into multiple underground laundry rooms in our sprawling building, ferreting away load after load so I was getting as much done at once as possible. It was easily a ½ day weekend job and I really made it stressful with my need to get it done as QUICKLY as possible, so sucky! Now, ahhhhh, we have a washer and drier in our apartment and I feel grateful for that each time I put in a load. Seriously, I could write sonnets to our wonderful washer and dryer.

(7) What’s your earliest memory?

I grew up in farm country in Kansas. My earliest memory—from when I was maybe 2 or 3 years old—is of my older brother and I clomping around a wood pile behind the house searching for a snake we’d seen from a distance. I am not kidding, that’s what we were up to when left running wild. We moved out of the country by the time I was 5 years old. I am such a city girl now, it’s hard to imagine me fearless with nature like that. But I still love flannel shirts and cowboy boots!

I am passing this along to four lovely bloggies who I have just begun following—and adoring—this past summer and who I haven’t seen answer these Qs yet!!! If you’re not into this sort of thing, no worries. 🙂

1) Rosie at Infertile in Italy

2) B at My So-Called (TTC) Life

3) CW at My Path to Insanity and Beyond

4) Ruth at No Baby Ruth: Playing Baseball Without a Bat

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