Friday, August 24, 2012

Big kidney appointment scheduled...

Panic mode is setting in.  Our ultrasound to check for kidneys on these babies is set for 10am on Monday September 10th.  This appointment sits a little too close to the date we found out Gabriel's diagnosis for us - but emotionally it has to be done.  Luckily we have 3 weeks to move past that thought... hopefully.

I wish they could have done it sooner, this 3 week wait is going to be terrifying. I'm holding faith in the genetic councelor telling us it was incredibly unlikely to happen to us again. Oh how I hope and pray that she is right...

We have a standard OB appointment on the 5th so hopefully there won't be too many surprises for us a few days later at our ultrasound.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Post #100...

Uffda... 100 posts, that seems semi crazy to me.  I can't believe how many thoughts, emotions, and experiences I've fit into 100 posts in the last year (or so).

I've hit a bit of a wall today.   1 year ago our journey hit a major scary fork in its road, we recieved Gabriel's diagnosis.  Looking back on that day is like a flood of emotions. I remember laying there, hearing the words being said but not processing what those words mean, being in such denial that you can't even begin to understand what is happening. Then all of the sudden it hits you, "There's nothing we can do, I'm so sorry." Its what I imagine being hit by grenade would feel like.  Your brain gets overwhelmed in thoughts: "How can I fix this?" "How do I save my baby?" "What do I do now?" "How is this possible?" "This isn't supposed to be happening to us."... My first thought once reality hit was that I needed to get out of there.  We walked out and sat in the parking lot crying and crying and processing what happens now.  I was in a fog for a few weeks. I don't remember much of that time, my focus was on my baby and how to fix it.  The following months took us down a path that we never prepared for, we never thought we'd have to.   Its amazing to look back and think about how naive I was, how much of a different person I was then and who I've become now.

And here we sit, 14 weeks pregnant, and a mere weeks away from finding out whether or not our current babies have kidneys.  The clinics are causing this process to be much more complicated than it needs to be.  It takes all my courage and strength just to pick up the phone and call about this appointment, and we have to go to the same string of clinics we went to when we recieved Gabriel's diagnosis - just over 1 year later.  Our clinic and that clinic are not communicating well and its taking many phone calls and a mess to get this appointment set up.  Their disorganization is causing so much unnecessary stress about this - I really don't need them to add to my already emotional state.

Yesterday, we went to visit Gabriel, I had some things from some loved ones that needed to be dropped off for him.  It was a pleasant visit on a really nice day...  Afterwards we went to my mom's and picked up the crib she had sitting in her playroom, we came home and set it all up.  I was fine about this, excited that we will finally get to use these items.  Now we just need to find a second crib similar to that one... Today I walked into that room and the feeling was a bit different.  I know Gabriel would be grateful that we have the opportunity to use his things, to finally be putting it to use.  There's still that part of me that imagines what he would look like sleeping in that crib, wrapped in those blankets. 

I worry about the twins constantly.  I worry about Baby B and hope that it will pull through and everything will be fine.  I worry that we could show up at our next appointment only to find out one of the babies isn't living, or we'll go to this next ultrasound and learn that something is wrong with one of them.  I try my best to keep everything composed, but seriously, I can't be 100% all the time - especially with the date being so close to the date we recieved Gabriel's diagnosis.   I feel tiny little pokes but I can't wait till I can feel them both moving constantly for some comfort measures. I realize that doesn't mean something won't happen, but at least in that moment I'll know they're ok.  At this point, its still somewhat hard to decide if the "pokes" are really just gas bubbles or them moving... Oh how I wish I could tell the difference.   I began feeling Gabriel around 14 weeks so I'm hoping this will happen soon. 

This post has been pretty emotional to write, so I'm going to leave it short about the current pregnancy.  I'm still exhausted, I'm less nauseous than I was before, and I'm growing out of my clothes.  We've completed 102 days of this pregnancy and only have 182 more days to go!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2nd trimester

There's much controversy (In the maternity world) about when 2nd trimester starts.  Some say 12 weeks, some say 13 weeks and some say 14 weeks.  I go by:  40 weeks divided by 3 is 13 weeks 3 days per trimester.  I round it off.  13 weeks is close enough for me. 

So today I reach 2nd trimester.  Yay, 1/3 of the way baked!   2nd trimester was a tough one for us.  Thats the trimester we were in when we learned Gabriel wouldn't live, we spent much of the 2nd half of 2nd tri deciding whether or not to carry our terminal baby to term, then spent the rest of the trimester learning how to live with that decision.

I am afraid that 2nd trimester this time may be emotional as well, but in a different way.  As we start to feel the babies move, have our kidney check, and our anatomy scan, we'll experience emotional flash backs to Gabriel.  I hope that, like many other things, this will bring a smile to my face and bring me back to those few precious months we had with him safely tucked inside.

13 weeks - peaches!

The babies are now the length of peaches!  (Or your pinky finger, whichever is the better comparison for you).  Either way you measure, babies are about 3 inches long and weigh about an ounce.  Their finger prints have formed. They could starting to sprout some hair on their heads already!

As the weeks go on, I feel myself getting bigger and bigger. Derrick still continues to remind me "You're not even that big yet" as I take belly pictures each week. He obviously doesn't get it haha.  Regardless of what I look like, I'm starting to feel huge - although I realize I'm in for much much worse!

The nausea has gone away for the most part (Thank you God!), but now I feel more and more exhausted.  I was hoping for more energy as I reached second trimester, but apparently I was really wrong about that...     It could be because I'm struggling to sleep, Its not comfortable on my back, or on my tummy, and sleeping on my sides is messing with my back.  I remember going through this stage (although a few weeks later in pregnancy) with the other 2 babies... Eventually my body figures out how to be comfortable.  It does make me worry about how I'm going to sleep when I'm HUGE...

I've been lucky enough to have a twin momma or two who have been through this journey before. I've been using them as resources for preparing and getting through a twin pregnancy.  I'm pretty lucky to have these resources at my finger tips. 

3 weeks from now we'll have our ultrasound to check for kidneys.  I am feeling a tiny bit more nervous now about that check than I was last week.  I'm fairly confident these babies will be ok though.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

8 months + 12 weeks

Sweet Angel,

8 months ago, we met you. We held you, we loved you, we cherished you.  I can't believe it was already 8 months ago that I last saw your beautiful angel face.   I think about you every moment of every day.  I wonder what you would look like now, what you would be like.  You'd be well into eating solid foods, what would you like, what would you not like?  Would you be crawling? Pulling yourself up on things?  Would you be a good sleeper like your sister was, or would you keep us up at night?   Its these things that I wish I knew about you.  We love you so much and miss you more than you can imagine. 

I watch for signals and signs from you.  I don't feel like I've had much of an "ah ha" moment since the day you were born.  Someday, I hope you will send us a sign that says "Mom, I'm here!" 

12 weeks!

I can't believe both babies are already the size of plums!  So big, its no wonder my belly seems to grow everyday!  Over the next week they'll gain an inch each! Wow! 

This week:  The fingernails are well formed and soon they'll be able to open and close their fists.   They are moving all around, although I barely feel flutters at this point. Babies vocal cords are developing, but we won't hear those wonderful sounds for at least another 5 or 6 months.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sweet Relief.

Woke up this morning feeling terrified.  I was so scared we'd be hearing bad news today. I couldn't eat, was shaking, and really thought the nerves may cause me to throw up.  I sat and waited and tried to pass the time by keeping busy.

When we got there, I really just wanted to walk out.  I'd been feeling ok about everything until this morning.  I didn't really want to be there.

Evelyn sat down with her snack and Derrick took my hand.  I layed down and the hormones and emotions nearly got the best of me. Then, when she put the wand on my belly I THOUGHT I saw a baby and 1 empty sac, but apparently I was wrong.  She did confirm both growing babies with two beating hearts.

This is a head shot because its the only angle she can get them both in!

Baby A was measuring 11 weeks 6 days (1 day ahead) with a
heartbeat of 174.  Baby A was also being CRAZY!  Doing flips
and kicks the entire time.  It looked like it was kicking off the
gestational sac wall and flipping over.  It was so fun to watch.

Baby B was much more relaxed.  but had its back toward
 us so we couldn't get a good profile shot, it was also
curled up in a little ball.   But B was measuring
 10 weeks 6 days with a heart beat of 161.
The tech said the sac was still looking small but said
nothing else.

Then, we waited for the Dr.  She came in, weight check, urine sample, and blood pressure. Then she listened for the heart beats. (we could see them on the ultrasound but didn't hear them until she tried). She was able to find both but could only find A's breifly because it moves too much.  She said she doesn't see any reason for concern, she isn't worried about B's sac size because the baby is still growing perfectly fine. She specifically told us not to worry about it.

She offered for us to see a genetic councelor about any concerns we have regarding Potter's Syndrome. I told her we had talked to one who answered all our questions and I still hang onto her contact information incase any more concerns were to come up.

She said that being pregnant after a loss is stressful enough, but being high risk after a loss is so much more.  She said if I ever feel overwhelmed with concern and worry to call and they will bring me in to listen for heartbeats.  I was grateful for that offer.

She wrote me a referral to have the kidneys checked.  She also said she wants to see me one more time before that check is done.  So in 4 weeks I'll have 2 appointments, first a standard prenatal, then a kidney check. 

We both walked out with huge smiles on our faces. We both felt so much relief after hearing that there was no apparent cause for concerns right now.  I don't think either of us have felt that good in awhile.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

11 weeks + new support group

Last night I was able to attend a new support group. Unfortunately Derrick couldn't get off work to join me, but I'm sure hoping he will next month.   We had some trouble with our other support group, just personal preference things.  One thing being that there wasn't enough time in the session to do anything more than an introduction, and since it was always different people showing up (I think we were one of the only "regulars") it was always long intros and then out of time.  We never felt like we truly bonded with anybody because they rarely came back.

In this new group, not only are there more members which allows for much more indepth conversation, but there isn't a time limit and it seems like a bunch of them keep coming back.  We did short intros (the abbreviated version of each person's story) and then jumped into conversation topics like: triggers, signs, and anything else anybody needed to talk about. It felt like people wanted to get to know you after building a relationship with you, slowly getting to know more about your story as time goes on instead of trying to tell every bit of your story in one long introduction.

There were people there with 20 years behind them, 16, 8, 9 months, 8 months, and even 3 months. It was nice to have the variety of length in peoples greiving.  To understand that it never goes away, you will always be dealing with the loss in different ways.  It was also nice to get help and advice from people who have been exactly where you are in years gone by.

I was a little nervous about showing up - being pregnant and all. I didn't know how the other loss mom's would react, especially since the group isn't geared towards pregnancy after a loss.  But the others seemed very open to talking about being high risk after a loss and everything that goes with subsequent pregnancies. It was so nice to feel the love and support of everyone there. 

I had the pleasure of finally meeting another loss mom I've been interracting with online since December.  We discovered that we lived in the same area and have been in touch ever since.  It was great to finally meet her, especially since we are travelling the same path.

Today, I am 11 weeks pregnant!  I woke up yesterday morning to quite the surprise -

All the sudden there was significant baby belly!  That came nearly out of nowhere! I'm hoping and praying that this is a good sign that BOTH babies are in there growing perfectly.  We don't have our next ultrasound until next Monday, that's when they'll tell us how Baby B is doing.  Its been a really long 3 week wait to find out if we still have 2 healthy babies in there.

I've been thinking a lot about these days when we had Gabriel with us.  How differently I was feeling both physically and emotionally.  I remember feeling those first kicks he gave me and am wondering how I'll feel when these two start.  I remember that I was finally settling into the idea of having another little one and getting excited.  Only to have that hope and dream ripped away from us. 

Derrick and I often talk about what these little buggers will look like when they come out.  My guess is that since Evelyn and Gabriel looked alike, these two will probably resemble them as well.  I'm hoping that won't cause an emotional issue for either of us when they are born. 

Getting excited as we are getting closer and closer to finding out Baby B's status and inching closer and closer to 2nd trimester!  Yay!