Thursday, July 26, 2012

10 weeks 1 day

"Pregnancy after a loss brain" has got my mind whirling and twirling in circles some days.  The other day I had a dream, Baby B was born at 13 weeks (somehow we knew it was a boy) and obviously wouldn't live. But I was still pregnant with baby A and that pregnancy went on as normal.  Do I see this as a premonition? No, I see it as my brain going crazy about the minor concerns with Baby B. But does it worry me - absolutely.    Then last night, I had another dream that we went in for another ultrasound and Baby B was gone.  Again, I don't see this as a premonition, but instead as my brains way of working through my real life fears and worries.

We still have 12 days until our next scan of Baby B and the wait is killing me.  I know that doctor I talked to said that its very minor concerns, but after a loss - even minor concerns feel major.  So I try to think positive and that everything will be ok, but sometimes I don't feel that way at all.  It just depends on my mental stance that day.  I sure wish they wouldn't have made us wait so long for another scan, it seems like its still forever away.

Then, we'll get through this scan and shortly after they'll start checking for kidneys and function. Yet another pregnancy after a loss stresser.  I'm confident that these babies will be ok though.  They don't need to be perfect - I just want two healthy alive babies.

But, the good news is this: We're at 10 weeks! 1/4 of the way there! 25%! Yay! Cook babies cook! 

I'm feeling pretty good, I think the water intake is helping with the cramping (its much more minor now), the bloat I get is rediculous and the nausea is starting to subside.  I find if I eat many small meals (and SLOW) then I feel better throughout the day.  Of course these things have my mind going in circles too because these are the symptoms that make me confident its still twins in there, but nearing 2nd tri means symptoms will start to go.

I know Gabriel is watching out for these little ones, he's definitely pulling for these two.  I think back to how I was feeling at this time with Gabriel - I wasn't as excited, I wasn't very  happy and I think deep down I knew something was wrong.   I'm so glad I don't feel that way with these two, I feel much more confident (and I hope this certainty doesn't come back to bite me in the behind).  I'm so excited for the twins, but I still would rather have had Gabriel here, to not be pregnant again and instead enjoying my 7-8 month old baby.  But I'm moving forward with life, playing life's game with the cards I've been dealt all while knowing that Gabriel's still here with me and watching over us. 

My mom said something that has stuck in my mind: "Gabriel went back up to God and told him what wonderful parents you were to him, that you gave him life and love that he may not have gotten with someone else, he told him that you deserve another baby and God said 'x2'"

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Update to: Yolk sacs?

I just talked to a dr (not mine, but from my clinic and he was very very nice) who was able to answer some questions for me :) He said that abnormally shaped yolk sacs are not uncommon and not a reason for concern unless there are signs that baby is struggling. (not growing right, low heartbeat...) I also mentioned that one babies gestational sac was smaller than they'd like to see at this stage but that they didn't seem concerned and he said thats fairly normal too. He said that he looked and he sees no reason for concern, just a few things to check on in a few weeks. He said, since babies are still growing normal, appear normal and have good strong heartbeats he's totally fine with it. So YAY! He made me feel much better!!

Yolk Sac?

Had our appointment this morning! YAY! Its been a long wait wondering and worrying if both babies are going to make it.   What a relief it was to see both babies on the screen hearts beating away like little hummingbird wings. 

We are currently 9 weeks 1 day along.

Baby A is measuring 8 weeks 6 days with a heartbeat of 186.  Everything looks good so far :)

Baby B is still 4 days behind, measuring 8 weeks 2 days with a heartbeat of 184.  They did say that Baby Bs Yolk Sac is a little bit abnormally shaped.  They said that its a concern, something to check again, but it could be absolutely nothing.   She said everything else looks ok so she doesn't think its too big of a deal, but sometimes is a prewarning that the baby isn't viable. :(  back to the waiting game.

Of course, they couldn't tell us everything looked fine and dandy.  But for now they are both strong and doing well, so I'm going to try my best to not allow this to ruin my days waiting 3 more weeks for yet another ultrasound to confirm that everything is or isn't ok. Ugh.

I like this clinic, but I'm not used to them, I like my Dr. much better. They are so text book at this clinic, thats not me.  I told them I don't want to do any extra scans except for kidneys (they said they wouldn't look till 20 week anatomy scan, I'll talk to Dr Landers about it instead), asked about delivery of twins (I really just wanted to know if I'll be able to deliver at Woodwinds or not - they said if they are born after 34 weeks we can).  They were a stickler about not taking pictures of the ultrasound on my phone, which I've never had an issue with before. Its just a change, a change I'll get used to I guess.  But I did get the OB I was hoping for so thats awesome news :)

I told Derrick, if baby B pulls through, this baby will be our trouble child. Joy.

For now I'm just going to enjoy knowing that both babies are in there growing, hearts beating.  Today I'm still pregnant with twins, and today I love my babies :) 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


The fear of losing another baby is intense right now.  I'm trying to stay calm, not stress and put my faith in God, but somedays its hard.

We have our next appointment next Thursday with an OB.  They are going to do an ultrasound and confirm that its still twins and that everything looks ok. Then afterwards I have an "intake appointment" because I haven't been there before.  I'm so nervous! It feels like its forever away but its really only just a week.  They couldn't get me in any sooner than that which I'm not used to. With our regualar Dr/OB we can usually get in same or next day, but with an official OB its so much different.

I have read a lot about vanishing twins, early pregnancy loss and other things.  It seems that, like with any singleton pregnancy, once heartbeats are found its much less likely to have a vanishing twin. It also appears that having the babies in 2 separate sacs with 2 separate placentas reduces our risk of losing one.  Doesn't make me feel much better, but  does provide some positive things to focus on.

I just can't imagine what will happen if we lose another baby - whether its vanishing twin, or another Potter's baby... I already know I'd be devastated.  I have vowed to stay off Google for now (at least when it comes to searching about twin pregnancy) so that seems to be helping. But I can't get away from the random "Vanishing Twin" things that come up.

I was panicking a little bit about losing one or both yesterday, and when I hopped on Facebook - someone had shared this.  I needed to see this at that moment (even though it wasn't geared towards me, I took it that way).  Its true, he's got this. He knows whats going to be best for us and for the babies and I need to relax and leave it in his hands. If we are meant to keep the twins we will.

So I'm trying to focus less on Vanishing twins and more on the risk of Potters Syndrome.  Somehow it makes me feel less stressed.  I know it seems backwards, but I think its because vanishing twins are stressful right NOW, Kidneys are stressful in about 2 months when we start looking for them. So the best way to explain it is that it takes away the immediate stress.

I also have a very large group of friends both in real life and online (Hi J12!) and family that are rooting for us and praying praying praying!  For this we are so appreciative. It brings us a lot of comfort to know that so many people are hoping and praying for us.  It also helps a ton to have people that we can share our worries and concerns, as well as excitements and celebrations with.

In the meantime, I can feel myself expanding already and I'm only 8 weeks today!  Its not much but its enough that me (and people around me) are noticing already! This week they are the size of raspberries - doesn't seem like much when its 1, but when its 2 raspberries it seems like so much more!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

7 months...

I still have constant moments of missing Gabriel.  Last night Derrick and I went to the 311 concert, it was a blast! We got on the front bar again and Derrick protected me from the pit like he always does (of course he was a little more protective this time cause he had 3 to protect at once!).  I had a moment towards then end, got emotional when I remembered again that Gabriel's time of death was 311am.  Being Derrick's favorite band, I've always felt like there was a reason for that. 

Its hard to believe Gabriel would be 7 months old already, we've missed so much these last 7 months... rolling, playing, babbling, smiles, coos, and laughs...  Its so hard to think back and know how much we've missed.

Now we've been sent these twins.  The fear of loss is much more real than I imagined.  A lot of that has to do with the fact that its 2 and not 1.   We have double the risk of losing one, double the risk of having another baby with Potter's Syndrome or any other condition, double the risk of later factors like preterm labor, high blood pressure, anemia, etc.  We were prepared for the fear and nerves we'd experience being pregnant again, but we weren't prepared for the nerves we'd feel carrying 2.

We continue to feel emotional when thinking back to this gift that we believe Gabriel had something to do with (although we aren't sure how).  We both have had emotional moments thinking back to our pregnancy with Gabriel and how innocent it was at this stage of the game, that was just over 1 year ago...    We knew being pregnant again would bring out a lot of raw emotion, but its doubled now. 

We are just hoping and praying that we get to keep both babies.  The vanishing twin scenario has me worried for their little lives.  I have temporarily banned myself from googling twin pregnancy because a couple days ago it scared the life out of me.    For now I'm trying to remember, "today its twins, today we have two little miracles, two tiny little rainbows, what happens tomorrow is out of our control so enjoy one day at a time."  And when I start to worry - I hop online and start searching adorable twin onsies and accessaries!  It make sme ooh and ahh and get excited again.  I've found some really really cute ones!

Thing 1 and Thing 2 Newborn Onesie Gift set. 3m

We've talked about Gabriel a lot more again since finding out about the twins, how much we miss him and wish he was here to experience life with twins.  We talk about our memories with Gabriel and our pregnancy journey with him. 

It seems a lot of other people are thinking a lot about Gabriel too.  Saying things like:
"Gabriel really wanted Evelyn to have siblings!"
"Gabriel's coming back and he's bringing a friend"
"Gabriel's coming back and bringing the sibling he forgot last time"
"Gabriel has blessed you!"
"Gabriel is smiling and giggling up there right now."
"I feel like this is sort of a reward, a gift for everything you chose to do for Gabriel, a reward for giving him as much life and as much love as you possibly could have..."
and so much more...

We're definitely keeping in mind that even though we've been blessed with this gift, it doesn't mean we'll get to keep both blessings, it doesn't replace or make up for Gabriel and everything we went through with him, and it certainly isn't a guarantee. But, it is a blessing.  A blessing that we feel Gabriel had something to do with.  Its been 7 months since we said good-bye and in 7 months we'll be welcoming (hopefully) 2 tiny new bundle of joys into our lives. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Call from our favorite Dr ever.

Just got a call from Dr Landers! She was in just as much shock as us! She didn't know quite what to say about the twins!  She was laughing and joking - it was really quite funny!

She did say a couple important things though: 1) because I'm now high risk she has to refer me to an OB... which I had a hunch but was totally bummed about, she put in a call to a friend thats an OB to see if they'd be willing to co-manage the pregnancy with her - I would see each doctor every other appointment.

2) She said something that I apparently miss heard - Baby A's Heartbeat was 115 not 103 (measured 6 weeks 4 days) and Baby B was a few days behind with a heartbeat of 103. She seemed very slightly concerned about that (the 103 heartbeat not the measurment) and now I don't know if I should be concerned too... I guess I just assumed it was lower because baby B is measuring a little behind.

She said I would probably get more appointments and more ultrasounds throughout and may or may not end up needing a c-section at the end depending on babies' positions.  She doesn't forsee me having any trouble carrying two given how basic my previous pregnanies have been (besides gabriel's obvious diagnosis but that wasn't my body's fault). 

She's leaving my due date February 20th since they are measuring so close to that anyways.

Cautiously optimistic and hoping that both babies stick and we have 4 healthy functioning kidneys! 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Beautiful Rainbow

This one will be long - its the last few weeks of entrys that I've not published.  I typed these as the days went by, to publish them all in one giant reveal.

3 weeks 6 days
So, after a couple weeks of wondering, waiting, taking a million and one tests and worrying if something is wrong with me - its official. We're hopefully having our rainbow baby.

"What is a Rainbow Baby?

A baby born after the loss of an older child. The beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope."

This explains how we feel perfectly. The excitement and wonder of being pregnant again doesn't eliminate the greif and sadness we continue to feel for Gabriel. This doesn't make Gabriel's story disappear or vanish into thin air, we are still learning to live without him. Having this new baby will hopefully bring some light into our lives as we continue to greive over the loss of our precious son. His short life still lingers fresh in our memory, but hopefully having this new baby will bring a new sense of excitement and hope into our lives.

Please know that we are not simply "moving on" or "over" Gabriel's journey. Gabriel's journey is still very fresh in our hearts and minds. Being pregnant again may bring out some raw emotion. We will feel more fear, be more scared., and have vivid flashbacks and memories of our time with Gabriel. But, among all those feelings, we are excited to welcome a new bundle of joy into our lives and view this pregnancy as a whole new baby.

For a long time, we were too afraid to even think about being pregnant again. But Jan Glidewell said it perfectly: "You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present."  This is exactly how I feel except that I couldn't have written it so well.

We are going into this pregnacy with hopeful hearts. Our journey with Gabriel is far from over, but our journey with this new little one is just beginning. I've already created a song in my head that goes something like this:

"grow tiny kidneys, grow!" to no specific tune. I'm hoping and praying that this baby is a healthy one...

The best I can guess is that we should be due sometime around February 20th... But my system has been whacky so that is subject to change. 

And for those who are wondering - yes the weddng is still on for August 17th 2013! Our baby should be around 6 months old at that time and we'll make it work.

4 weeks 1 day
Two days ago, we found out we are expecting again! We are beyond excited to be due somewhere around February 20th. I'm so nervous I could pee my pants (nerves, hormones?). Today I fear what will happen if in the next 2 weeks this baby doesn't develop kidneys... GROW KIDNEYS GROW GROW GROW!

This new baby will never know Gabriel like we have, this baby will only know him by stories and photos. I hope to have Gabriel's scrapbook done by the time this baby is born.

I haven't made an appointment yet. I need to go in to have betas drawn for my insurance, then I'll talk to Dr Landers about how she'd like to proceed from here.

For those of you who are wondering - the wedding plans remain the same. The only difference is that we'll have a second child involved in the wedding instead of just Evelyn!

4 weeks 6 days

We are BURSTING at the seams!  We have chosen to tell a few people but we are trying to keep it mostly quiet for a little while.  We're just nervous of something wrong happening. 

We both agree that we don't really see the point in waiting to tell until 2nd trimester.  Our thinking now goes like this:  "We learned that it doesn't matter how long you wait to tell, just being out of 1st trimester does not guarantee anything.  A loss can happen at anytime. So if we wait until we have talked to our doctor, got bloodwork done, and seen or heard the heartbeat then at that point we'll just come out with it." 

Being pregnant again has helped a lot with my jealousy of other pregnant women.  After Gabriel was born and passed, it seemed like everywhere we turned there was yet another pregnant woman or a newborn baby.  It was heartbreaking and hard to not be jealous.  For the most part we'd just control the jealousy and I'd just cry and be emotional to Derrick.   For some reason, knowing I'm pregnant again has eased that feeling.  I don't know why, seeing as how we don't know if this baby will have its body parts or not....  But its still  helped - just a little bit.

The part thats hard still though, is watching how innocent their pregnancys seem to be.  I realize that they have stories too and some may have had infertility issues or losses themselves. But they just appear to be so excited,  to have no worry of loss or something happening.  I feel like people will see it in my eyes and be able to read the fear on my face.   I hope that the anxiety will subside and eventually we won't have such fear.  I hope that we'll be able to just enjoy this pregnancy with the same type of innocense that others do.

So far with this pregnancy I've had a bit of cramping.  I wonder if its happening more this time because just 6 months ago I was pregnant full term.  I had some other aches and pains but otherwise have been feeling good.  I can feel the fatigue kicking into overdrive - although that could be from a busy busy weekend too.  At 4 weeks the baby is the size of an orange seed!  Its crazy to me that in two weeks the baby has gone from microscopic (tip of a pin) to the size of an orange seed. This is my 3rd time and it still surprises me how everything happens!

5 weeks and 1 day

On Tuesday (6/19/12) I went to Evelyn's 2 year appointment.  Towards the end, Dr Landers says: "Well I guess it'll be another year..."  And I said "Yeah... but if it makes you feel any better you'll be seeing me a lot more..." (With a sly smirk on my face). She just paused and said "Wait... ARE YOU?!?!?!" And instantly got tears in her eyes "I'm just SO happy for you guys!!!"  I first told nurse Amber, but she guessed it: "So guess what Amber." "Your pregnant."  I was like "whaaaaat?"  She said she had thought about me earlier in the day and just 'knew'. 

I told Dr Landers that I wasn't sure if I was 9 weeks or 5. It was one or the other.  So she had betas drawn and Amber called the next day with 610 as the number - which is consistant with late 4 or early 5 weeks.  I was a little nervous because this seems a little lower than I expected - but from what I'm reading its in the normal range.  Truly, the number doesn't matter as much as the doubling, since I won't have another draw we'll just assume its normal.

She wants to schedule us for a dating ultrasound in about 2 weeks. When I do my ultrasound they will also try to do a kidney ultrasound on Evelyn just to make sure she doesn't have any abnormalities in there.  They'll also want to do a viability ultrasound a few weeks later to make sure everything is ok. Then we'll start checking for kidneys around 12 weeks. 

This week is a little nerve wracking because this is the week when kidneys start to develope.  Grow kidneys grow grow grow. 

I'm dying to spread the word - I really really want the prayers for this little one, but I want to wait to tell most people until we've seen a hearbeat.  We've shared with some immediate family and a few close friends, but we are waiting to really come out with the news.

Everything seems to be going as normal for now.  I still don't have much for symptoms except the cramping off and on, but even that seems to be subsiding.

6 weeks 5 days

Tomorrow I have our dating ultrasound.   I've never been so nervous for an ultrasound before now, they used to be so innocent, so exciting - a chance to see our growing developing baby - now they are just terrifying, I'm so afraid they are going to find something wrong.  I guess its just one thing at a time - for now we are just looking for a heartbeat, we'll deal with the kidneys in a few weeks.

Last week I had some pretty intense cramping that had me seriously worried, but after drinking a ton of water I seemed to be fine again.  It comes and goes a bit and is worse than it was with any of my other pregnancies, but I suppose that is normal for a third baby.

Seeing others coming out with their pregnancies already is killing me! I want to tell so bad!  I think we'll go ahead and spill the beans after our initial ultrasound tomorrow as long as everything looks ok.  I need to finish telling the parents and immediate family first though.  I'm just so excited!

6 weeks 6 days


Saw a beautiful double rainbow like this one a few days before I "knew" I was pregnant... Didn't realize that maybe it was a sign...
Never ever ever expected this shock.  I'm a mumbled mess at the moment!  I can't even believe this!! Went for our ultrasound today.  Everything was good, took awhile for the tech to say anything to me and I was getting concerned that something may be wrong.  But nope - TWINS!

She was crying, we were crying, this is insane! Never in a million years did I imagine it would happen to me, ever!  They will be fraternal not identical, hoping both babies survive and grow stong and healthy. 
I will write again, I'm just in such shock right now I need to put my thoughts together!

Ok, so now that I'm not freaking out and in shock so much anymore, I can talk about this without being a mess! 

We went in this morning and first they checked Evelyn, they wanted to do an ultrasound just to make sure she has 2 healthy functioning kidneys - which she does. 

Then it was my turn.  It seemed to take forever for the tech to say anything to me (we are familiar with her and really like her).  I started asking "what do you see???"  She just kept telling me she hadn't looked and she was just doing measurements and stuff on my ovaries.  After like 20 minutes Finally she said "Ok so here's what I see" And turned the screen so I could see this:

I took a photo on my phone while she said "Baby is measuring 6 weeks 4 days with a heartbeat of 103 - everything looks good."  This is a few days behind what I thought but no big deal.  After photo taking she said "I wanted to show you this:"

"I see a second baby, measuring 6 weeks 2 days with a heartbeat of 101!" I said "Wait, What?!? Are you sure?!?!?" And instantly started bawling - I couldn't even get words out of my mouth.  I was in total and complete shock.  Derrick was just standing there Jaw to the floor.

She said she had to double and triple check to make sure before telling us (the whole time we were talking about Gabriel and loss and everything related).  She knows our story.  She was teary eyed, and excited for us. 

They have two separate sacs, no idea if they are fraternal or identical at this point.  My hunch is fraternal, but since there are no twins in our families its hard to say! 

On the way out the door Derrick says to me: "So, one baby bjorn on the front and one on the back? Or how is this going to work?"  And we had a good, nervous laugh.