24 weeks

Holy hell, I am uncomfortable. I know that in comparing this week to last week I am not that much larger, but this week has brought a whole bunch of new limits on what I can do comfortably. Driving is now uncomfortable. As is most sitting. And eating. Rolling over takes more effort than I ever thought possible. Literally, I am asking Rob to turn off the lights or hand me things while I am in bed because, depending on where the girls are, just flipping from one side to the other either hurts or makes me out of breath. I am now at the point where if I drop something on the floor I look at it sadly, trying to decide if I can pick it up or if it is even worth it. Usually I decide it is worth it if it is something that is going to trip me later. I am exhausted to the point of ridiculousness. I currently feel like I could take a shot of caffeine straight to the jugular. And I slept for 9 hours last night! Needless to say, I am delightful to be around right now.

I had another appointment with my regular OB last week. I was a bit worried that I was leaking amniotic fluid so he did a cervix check, then high fived me when everything looked normal. I am sure this is standard OB protocol. The appointment was good. Standard stuff. He did tell me that I could go back up on my Celexa if I thought that I needed to. I am not sure if that is what I need or if I just need a nap and more sandwiches. Hard to tell. But it is all a balance. Do we want to expose the babies to a higher dosage of Celexa or a stressed out mom? Which is worse? At this point my anxiety is under control so I have decided to stay the course.

We also had a serious discussion regarding what the next three months will look like for me. Seriousness of any nature usually doesn’t happen with him so it was very odd. I am currently taking a child development class at the local college and I wanted his thoughts on me taking another two for the fall semester. They are both condensed courses so they end mid-October. I was thinking Mr. OB, who wants me to be zen and peaceful, would say heck no. But, he said yes. Do it now. When I told him my anxiety has been creeping up on me and he wasn’t surprised. For an aggressive person like me (yes, that is the term he used) it is very hard to all of a sudden be a glorified incubator. I need the classes for my brain and my sanity. So, I am signed up. Woo! Lets just hope I get to finish the classes. I would be really annoyed to have to take incompletes. Because that is what is important here…

Though this week has been rough, with the bad comes the good. O and E are kicking and moving and driving me crazy, in a good way. Rob has felt E kick a couple times and can now feel both of them under my skin.. in a really weird sort of way. I mean, let’s be honest, all of this is really weird. O likes to flip over and E likes to kick which is one of the ways I can keep track of them.  However, E has been on the left and O on the right since basically forever, so I think they are staying that way.

The girls are apparently ears of corn this week, but my faith in this fruit and vegetable system is waning. Who decided that comparing fetuses to food items was normal?  The girls are supposed to be over a pound at this point, which I am a fan of. I have another high risk appointment on Thursday where I will get a more accurate idea of their weights. This whole focus on weight is for one reason: viability. The chances of a baby’s survival shoot up at 24 weeks. They are still not great, but many doctors consider 24 weeks the mark of viability. Weight plays a big factor in viability. So, I am pleased that both the girls are safely over a pound now. Yes, all of this is insanity and I have had no signs pointing to early labor, but this is where my brain is right now.

Bump Watch, week 24

IMG_7783No makeup, don’t care.

IMG_7784I’m so hot! Girls, are you hot?

IMG_7790This is my imaginary brother, trying to leave for work during my very important photo shoot.

IMG_7792I asked him if he wanted to be in a picture with me and received an emphatic, no. Meh heh heh. Note the sweatshirt and boots. I believe it is in the 90s today. I am about to go put on more deodorant. As soon as I can get up the energy.

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IMG_7796Yay, swollen feet and ankles.  Yay! Healthy baby girls.

Part III

Part I, Part II

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I spent a good two weeks “processing,” or whatever that means. What no one tells you about miscarrying is that it isn’t like, oh, the baby didn’t make it, the end. Nope. As I wrote about before, I had to have a D&C. My body hadn’t recognized that the baby was no longer viable, so it needed some helping along.  It actually was probably better that way for me, as it gave me something to physically do. Going through that process physically helped me go through the process emotionally.

I started trying to figure out what next and I still was thinking perhaps I’d do the next Bar, which would be July.  I needed a job in between though. I couldn’t do nothing but study for five months. I would probably die. So I started applying at colleges and universities for admin positions. I was also considering applying for professor positions. I was more than qualified for the community colleges in my area and was definitely qualified for some of the privates. Luckily, in the LA area, it isn’t hard to find a college nearby. I love, love education and it was a safe space for me.  There is a reason I have eight years of college under my belt. Being back in the world of education sounded like going home.

So I was hunting and healing and we hadn’t really had the conversation about “trying” yet. We weren’t using any form of birth control but we weren’t having “scheduled” sex or much sex at all. I had a rough idea of when my period would show up, but when it didn’t by the end of what was a “reasonable time” I assumed me body was taking longer than I anticipated to recover, which isn’t abnormal for me. I hate when my body doesn’t go at the pace I have set out for it. My friends have already joked that I will expect to be healed from my C-section about two days after the fact. I am not good at “recovery time.” So, when my period didn’t come, I was irritated. Stupid body, not working like clockwork. 

And then the pregnancy test and the OB. At first it changed nothing. First, I wasn’t getting attached to anything at this point. I was not going to be that stupid again. Second, one baby didn’t really change anything about our plans (did this second baby really exist? I was doubtful). I continued under the assumption that I would find a higher ed job and probably take the Bar in July for those two weeks, until our second ultrasound. I don’t know if it was me trying to protect myself, or if I really didn’t believe that it was there at all. As you can read here, our second ultrasound did not go at all how I anticipated. All of a sudden there were two. Two. That changed everything.

I spent the next couple of weeks being shell shocked. I wasn’t even done mourning the loss of our first pregnancy and all of a sudden I had two little lives inside of me. Two little high risk lives. I was terrified for the entire first trimester that something would happen to one of them. It felt so extravagant, somehow, to expect two healthy babies in the place of one. I would tearfully tell Rob, I want both of them. 

A pregnancy right on the heels of a miscarriage, though amazing, was tough going. It took all of my mental capacity to not think about losing the girls day in and day out. I focused on what I could do. I found a perinatologist. I learned everything I could about twins in utero. I started with the optional ultrasounds just so I wouldn’t come to pieces. All thoughts of job, career, the Bar were completely gone…

23 weeks

Last night a friend texted me, checking in. She wanted to see how Rob and I were doing considering his trip to the ER. I responded with the standard pregnant woman response, I am doing okay, just exhausted. We continued our conversation when I just said, Actually, I lied. I am a mess. Can we get coffee? 

am a mess. This last week has been super rough on me and it wasn’t until yesterday and today that I started to understand what exactly has me so worked up.

Last week I had another anatomy scan. Everything was perfect. The girls are looking great, I am doing great, no complaints. But during the ultrasound I pointed to a couple points on my stomach and said I feel kicking or punching there, what is right there? And the ultrasound tech was able to show me, that kicking is Baby A’s foot. Except for me, that is E’s foot. We won’t be sharing names here until the girls arrive, but I am going to start calling them E and O. Baby A is E and Baby B is O. E’s little foot is continually kicking right to the left of my belly button. And now I have a picture showing me that.

On top of this, in the last week, it has gone from me feeling E and O rarely to feeling their little kicks and punches all the time. I feel like I am walking around with a bag of kittens inside of me. Something about these changes has shifted E and O from abstract to concrete in my mind. All of a sudden my brain has shifted from thinking about these babies as someday, maybe babies to right here, right now babies. And along with that has come a love with such ferocity it makes me feel as if I am going to burst at the seems. I didn’t expect these crazy mama bear feelings to show up until the girls.. actually showed up. But somehow, a switch has flipped, and the girls are now little people to me. And it’s freaking me out.

I was trying to explain this to Rob without him thinking I was actually insane and the best I could come up with is this. With Rob, I love him more than anything. Because of that I want to use all of my energy to make sure that he is happy and taken care of and that he feels loved by me. Now all of a sudden I have all of those feelings for E and O who I not only love, but am responsible for. As much as I want to care for Rob, he is pretty self sufficient. E and O are not. Eeeeesh. And there you have it, I have completely lost it.

Because of all of this, I decided I needed an ultrasound to make sure E and O were okay. Logic, my friends.

23WKS_16E’s little feet, kicking away.

23WKS_26O’s feet, right next to my bladder. Thanks, O.

And with those little feet, I have had my first experience with the overwhelming nature of the love of a parent.

Onto week 23…

IMG_9156The girls are each over a pound now. I have gained just under 20 pounds. Yes! Let’s all continue to gain weight together, ladies.

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IMG_9158They are getting heavy. Every time I stand up I feel a head or a set of feet push into my bladder.

IMG_9159They are also making me want to nap. Any time, any place.

IMG_9161My photographer had much more energy than I did.

IMG_9162RAWR

a brief interruption…

Instead of my 23 week post today, you get a post on our ER visit. Yay! Babies are fine. I am fine. Rob, on the other hand, is a little.. limpy.

At my suggestion, Rob joined our church softball team.  We only play in the summer and it isn’t crazy competitive, just a fun Friday night. This Friday night was a double header and everything was going fine. I like watching Rob play, which is weird.  Usually I read during sporting events. Yes, you read that right. I read. Stop judging me. Right when the second game started I decided that I couldn’t wait any longer and had to go to the bathroom, even though the bathrooms at the park are creepy and not very well lit.

On my way back I noticed that Rob was just going up to bat so I hurried my pregnant ass as fast as I could so I would get to see him. Right as I was getting to the field he hit the ball and took off for first base.  And before I knew it he was on the floor. And I knew. It was his hamstring. He had hurt his other hamstring a few years ago. Dude has tight hamstrings. (I should mention that he made it to first base, he would want me to mention that he was safe). What I didn’t know was how bad it was.  He couldn’t even walk from first base back to the dugout.

Luckily, instead of freaking out during a crisis, I go into this super zen mode. Get his bag, get his ice pack, someone pull up the car. My dad and one of Rob’s teammates got him in the car and we were off to the hospital. Rob and the giant pregnant woman, on the way to the ER.

We got to the ER and I walked in by myself to get a wheelchair. Immediately the hospital staff freaked out because this hospital didn’t have Labor & Delivery. Thanks for making me feel like I’m enormous. I just need a wheelchair and a face mask, thanks. I wheeled Rob in and he started the paperwork while I peed (of course). Rob had never been to the ER in the US, so we were having a lot of fun firsts.

IMG_7739-1Rob waiting to be taken back.. he was a happy camper.

IMG_7742-1I really, really don’t want to get germs while pregnant. Stay way from me creepers.

IMG_7745-1Rob had just been told he had to take his bottoms off to have an x-ray. He was super pumped.

IMG_7746-1Note the soccer socks and cleats.

IMG_7748-1The shot of dilaudid to the butt was kicking in. He kept telling me.. It’s so weird. I am in pain, but I don’t seem to care. Okay buddy.

IMG_7749-1Leg brace, no bending.

After the x-ray and meeting with the ER doctor we found out that it was a partial tear to the hamstring. He needs to stay off his leg and manage his pain with drugs, icing, heat, etc. This was good news because a full tear could mean surgery, etc. No tear, no break, etc.

I should pause to say that doing all of this by myself while pregnant was just a barrel of laughs. Rob being unable to walk and then, after the drugs, being unable to comprehend anything, made it very difficult. I have relied on Rob during pregnancy much more than I usually do. All of a sudden I had no support system and was trying to get from point A to point B, in the middle of the night, with a very loopy husband. Thankfully, halfway through the evening Jillian and Natalie (Natalie is Jill’s best friend and basically an extension of our immediate family) brought me a burrito or I probably would have passed out.

We were discharged and off to the pharmacy we went. I wanted to make sure Rob had pain meds for the next morning. I was very nervous about leaving him all drugged out in the car at 1:00 a.m., but there wasn’t much I could do. I locked the doors and told him not to talk to strangers. Thankfully all went smoothly and we left the pharmacy with valium, hydrocodone, and prescription strength ibuprofen. I could have made a lot of money that night…

We got home and thankfully people were still awake. Jill and Natalie agreed to get Rob to our room. At this point he was so drugged out of it that he was actually grey. They got him to the front door and all of a sudden he pushed Natalie away and said, I need a bowl. Let’s just say I regretted sharing my burrito with him.

IMG_7750-1Finally, in bed.

Checking in with Rob the next morning, he didn’t remember anything after being discharged from the hospital. I guess those pain meds actually worked. He is dealing with a lot of pain and limited mobility. I tried to get him into the bath by myself on Saturday and that did not go well. Luckily, since he has had this injury before, he is managing well and doing a little bit more each day. Tomorrow we are going to his regular doctor to find out about physical therapy and healing long term. Last time he was in physical therapy for about a month but it helped a lot.

So, in conclusion, apologies for the delay on the update to bump watch 2014. However, you will get three posts this week to make up for that. We will return to regularly scheduled programing tomorrow…

 

Part II

(If you missed Part I, catch up here)

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We spent Christmas being excited and shocked that I was pregnant. We had been trying but for maybe two months. It wasn’t a complete surprise, but it was a surprise nonetheless. At this point, I was on the fence about taking the Bar again. I was certain that I didn’t want to be a lawyer, why take the Bar again? Then we found out that I was pregnant. I really wanted to use this as an out to not take the Bar.

Even before I found out I was pregnant I wasn’t gung-ho about doing the Bar for a second time. I was more than happy to find an alternate career and I was so jaded by my time in law school and at the firm that I couldn’t bring myself to muster the energy I knew it would take to do it again. And a pregnancy to that and I was very close to walking away.

I tried my best to convince myself that it was ridiculous to give up having missed passing by so little. I could definitely sit the Bar while pregnant. My Bar prep program was super supportive and convinced me that I could do it and it would be a breeze the second time around. At the same time, there was this thought in the back of my head. This thought of, I don’t want this, that I couldn’t shake. But, I went ahead and started my study regime for the second time, hoping for the best.

In the end of January we lost the baby. I had never paused to consider how I would handle a miscarriage, but my response was far worse than I could have anticipated. I would never have expected to feel such a wrenching loss for something that I barely had. What hit me so hard was, what if this is it? What if we can’t get pregnant again? I spent a lot of time on my knees, asking for answers. I was scared that the answer was that we just weren’t going to have children.

Yet, as dark as this time was for me, it unlocked something in me. For the entire previous year I hadn’t been able to write. I don’t know if it was that I didn’t feel comfortable publishing details about work, or if I was just writing so much in a non-creative way, but it just wasn’t flowing. The loss opened the floodgates. It let me get back to processing in the best way I know. I was able to write and write. Finally.

And in this, I decided to give myself time. As much time as I needed. The February Bar wasn’t happening. It was less than a month away. Was any Bar happening? I didn’t know…