Birth announcement

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Just a quick post to announce the birth of our twins last week at 37+2. Twin 1 is a boy and weighed 6lb1 /2.7kg and twin 2 is a girl weighing 5lb / 2.2kg. They’re both doing well.

Unfortunately I had to have an emergency c section which wasn’t the plan – I’m sad I didn’t have the vaginal birth I wanted – but the important thing was that they arrived safely. I will post about the birth at some point.

Ive previously written about some of my fears because of using donor eggs but the love I feel for these babies is all encompassing. We have our family at long last.

6 years of trying to get pregnant

5 years of pumping drugs into my body

7 ivf transfers (not counting the rounds that didn’t get to transfer)

2 chemical pregnancies

2 miscarriages after seeing heartbeats

Countless tears

2 beautiful babies in my arms ❤️❤️

 

 

Advertisements

36 weeks pregnant – still waiting!

Tags

, , , , ,

Happy New Year all! I hope 2018 is good to you. I always find the New Year sad and welcome at the same time. Sad as another year is over but, especially the last few years, usually quite glad to say goodbye to the year, and hoping that the next one is the one I got (and stayed) pregnant. Though with the passing years the hope faded. My heart goes out to all also having confusing or sad feelings at this time of year.

This year I really didn’t think (and not did the Drs or midwife) that I would get to 2018 and not have given birth after the last few weeks but here I am at 36+5 – waiting for the babies.

After my hospital scare I brought forward my driving test – I had to go to a different test centre and do a different test route than I’d practiced and not surprisingly I screwed it up. Big fat fail! I’ve rescheduled for March as truth be told I just didn’t want to get behind the wheel again after that. I’d like to blame it on the stress of that week (I took it 3 days after my hospital admission) and being so pregnant but I’m not sure how much difference that made.

I also stopped exercising after the scare – no more yoga, Pilates or barre classes. This was partly because of the Christmas period but also due to how uncomfortable I suddenly felt and not wanting to start labour before Christmas.

I really didn’t want the babies to arrive on Christmas Day but I was happy for them to come just after – they seem to have other ideas! By 36 weeks exactly I was not feeling too great anymore which was a shock after a relatively easy third trimester with twins. My legs and feet are quite swollen though not sore, and my lady parts feel like they’ve been kicked by a horse (though to be fair I’ve not been kicked by a horse there – so a more accurate description is probably that they feel like I’ve been doing too many watt bike classes!). The pain is probably as twin 1’s head has been engaged for a while now (they must be nearly as uncomfortable as I am!). I’ve also been having really bad period pains on and off for 2 weeks. But apparently they are not contractions and most likely related to the sheer weight of carrying 2 babies around. My belly feels very heavy now – and I’m still under the recommended weight gain for twins so can only imagine how other ladies must feel. My husband thinks it’s amusing that I’m now a bit heavier than him!

I continued to lose bits of my mucus plug for about 3 days after my hospital stay and then had a bloody show so thought I was definitely on for labour by Christmas Eve. But after a very uncomfortable day on Christmas Eve Eve when I forced myself to a tile shop to chose kitchen tiles – amazing how that focusses the mind as we got some – everything stopped. So I got a pretty relaxing Christmas Day but since then I’ve had on off pains and just been getting more uncomfortable and bored of waiting.

I’m rapidly heading for an induction which I don’t really want so I’m embarking on slightly desperate measures. I’ve started to express some colostrum which will be good for the babies if I’m having trouble feeding and also nipple stimulation may get my contractions started. I’m walking up and down stairs a lot and just about to go for another walk. But I guess unless your body is ready it’s not happening!

The good news is that the longer I stay pregnant the bigger the twins are likely to be and by now we’re looking at a very short hospital stay if the birth goes well. Estimated sizes at my last scan were 6.3lb/ 2818gr for twin 1 and 5.11lb / 2595g for twin 2. No wonder I’m a bit uncomfortable!

I’m excited and scared about the birth. And worried about the babies – the babies are ok at the last scan but I do keep poking them as I worry a lot when I don’t feel them – they must be getting very fed up with me! Their movements are different now – they don’t have the room to move in the same way. I can often see a foot poking through though. I’m looking forward to finally meeting them though the thought of being responsible for 2 tiny people scares the living daylights out of my husband and I!

 

 

A night in hospital – 35 weeks with twins

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Slightly jinxed myself with the last post then!

I’ve been getting some braxton hicks and abdominal pain but apparently that’s all normal. Nothing too regular so nothing to worry about.

Tuesday morning I went to finish off my Christmas shopping. Whilst walking from the train station I had some pains that stopped me in my tracks and came quite fast and regularly. Then after a few minutes they went away. I carried on my shopping. A little later I went to the loo and saw id had a show, at least part of my mucus plug had come away. I know this can be a sign of early labour but I had no pains and there was no blood so I continued shopping and met a friend for coffee. I ended up back at the in laws shortly after and phoned the midwife who asked me to go to the  hospital to be checked over so I drove there with my father in law (not a small task for a learner driver in London who may or may not be in labour).

On arrival all my observations were normal and they did a cervical examination. My cervix was closed – yay! But I tested positive for early labour via the fetal fibronectin test. So I was sent to the labour ward where they monitored the babies heartbeats for a while – all fine. I expected to go home as no contractions but they admitted me. I partly wished I hadn’t gone in. Main reason was twins – they wanted to check I wasn’t about to go into full labour – I was pretty sure I wasn’t yet. They discussed giving me steroids to mature the babies lungs ready for early labour but as I was right on the cusp (35 weeks) decided against it, also I think it’s more common when having a C-section which I’m not planning.

I was admitted to the early labour ward which is where I’ll be when I’m induced (if I get to that point) until my labour progresses. So from that perspective it was useful to get a feel. There are 4 to a room and just one other lady who had been induced so it was quite useful to hear her experience. Though it put me off a bit. Then she left as her labour progressed and another lady came in. I’m not sure why she was being monitored but they put her right next to me and on a monitor which beeped until 2am and she kept the lights on round her bed until one of the midwives asked her to turn them off which I think was around 4am. I had earplugs and eyemask with me (thanks to my husband making a dash home to pick up part of my hospital bag) but had a very disturbed nights sleep. Still, the babies were fine which was the main thing and I didn’t go into labour.

Wed am I was put on a monitor for a while and as no contractions were showing up and the babies were good (although twin one hates being monitored and managed to kick the monitor off at one point – doesn’t bode too well for labour) I was discharged around lunchtime. If I’m honest I think the hospital were a bit too overzealous in admitting me and it was only because I was having twins.

The consultant said that the babies could now come any day – or maybe they’d stay in another week or two. I’m now 35 weeks and all the drs I saw in the last 2 days said that was great for the twins and weren’t too concerned if I went into labour now. Good news is both twins are head down and reasonably unlikely to move now (though I’m convinced twin 2 can move into any space they want) so all is looking good for a vaginal birth.

I’ve still got a few things to sort out for the babies and also for Christmas and don’t really relish the idea of being in hospital over Christmas or the babies having a Christmas birthday so I’m hoping they hang on a few more days. I’m now really trying to take it a bit more slowly – not an easy task for me!

 

 

Third trimester update

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

I realise I’ve not blogged much about my third trimester. Truth be told it’s been fairly uneventful physically which is a huge relief after my stressful first trimester and the  mental taxation of working through various infertility hang ups. I actually enjoyed some of it particularly the first few weeks of the third trimester. I’m so obviously pregnant that I’ve just had to acknowledge it and people have been so kind especially those who know what it took to get here – we’ve been quite open about the IVF if not the donor side of things.

I’m currently 34.5 weeks. For a twin pregnancy I’ve had a fairly easy time lately. I’m not that huge (well relatively for twins) and I’m carrying at the front. From the back I don’t look pregnant and from the front look quite small. From the side is quite another matter!

Ive been able to keep exercising. Largely yoga, Pilates and barre (which is a ballet type class). Now I’m 34 weeks I think maybe just 1 more week of exercising as it’s getting a bit challenging. I only started to get swollen ankles at about 31 weeks – I admit that was a shock! Things are just starting to get uncomfortable now – it’s awkward to find a position to sit in and sleeping isn’t great and hasn’t been for some time – whichever side I lie on one of the twins starts to kick me – neither of them seem to like me lying on them which isn’t really surprising.

Twin 2 is doing really well despite the missing artery in their cord. In fact both twins are estimated a good size for twins which is just awesome. I was a bit worried they wouldn’t as whilst I’ve put on a lot of weight it’s actually at the bottom of the recommended weight gain for someone having twins, but then I  am small.

Twin 2 is my little gymnast pickle. They squirm around and every scan are in a different position and like to hide from the sonographer. At 29 weeks they were head down facing their sibling but last scan were oblique (lying sort of down but diagonally with their feet up by my ribs). I think they’ve just moved again – there is a lump under my ribs on the right which is either a bottom or their back – don’t think it’s their head.

Twin 1 is my reliable little one. They’ve been head down on my left side since 17 weeks – never really changing position ( I really hope I’ve not just jinxed that).  They have a very strong kick and hiccup a lot!

I’m excited to meet them both. But they can wait another couple of weeks! I’m booked in for an induction at 37 weeks. I’m hoping to have a  vaginal birth but know I might have to have a caesarean. At the moment all looks good for a vaginal birth. I started getting some contractions 2 weeks ago but they’re very sporadic so at the moment things aren’t quite imminent (I hope – I want to get to 36 weeks ideally).

We’ve joined a local twins club and have a WhatsApp group of parents due around the same time. The group hasn’t really gelled yet as we’ve only met up once and then the second time lots of people (including us) couldn’t go. The first couple had their twins at nearly 27 weeks which has caused them a lot of stress obviously, though the twins are mainly doing well, but I think it means no one else has announced their births on the group (I know 3 other sets of twins have been born, 2 are imminent, then probably us, then 3 more sets later in Jan and Feb). The group is fairly local but will require a bit of travel in south London to meet up so we’ll see if it develops into anything once all our twins are born – hoping it does as they will totally understand what it’s like to have twins. I’m still having driving lessons so I might not be able to drive to these places – public transport with twins is a challenge though totally doable (according to a couple of mums).

We’ve also done NCT classes (national childbirth trust parenting for anyone not in the UK) and met a nice bunch of people – we’re the only ones having twins and some of us met up for dinner last week. A couple of them live really near us so hoping that meeting up will be easy – a number of them have offered me a spare pair of hands so fingers crossed they don’t mind helping out with one of mine when theirs are sleeping if we’re out! We also did a one off NCT twins seminar, there were 2 other couples there, they seemed very nice but it’s hard to build up a relationship when you’re only there for 3 hours.

All in all for a ‘geriatric’ mum I’ve done quite well – no high blood pressure, no gestational diabetes etc. I do think they lay on the scare mongering a bit much – but I also realise I’ve been incredibly lucky. I do however put the easier later stages of pregnancy down partly to exercise. I’m not going overboard but have continued to keep active all the way through.

I am a bit nervous about induction though. I’ve not heard great things about it. But we will see. The most important thing is that the twins are born healthy and safely. I’ve not written about this before but we have friends who lost one of their twins during childbirth about 6 years ago. There was nothing wrong with her but complications occurred during birth. As I get nearer to birth it plays on my mind. I am however going to an excellent hospital which specialises in intensive care for babies and in twin pregnancy. I should be in good hands.

I start maternity leave on Monday (well actually some annual leave followed by maternity leave) which is weird. I felt very odd when I left the office. My team bought me some beautiful flowers and lots of pamper items which was very thoughtful. I have a lot to do though so not sure how relaxing my first week off is going to be! I have to finish Christmas shopping (though will try to go online), still have some baby bits to get (which I’m panicking about a bit), we have our house renovation going (and lots of decisions to make in next week) and I’m desperately trying to pass my driving test! On top of all that we’re living at my in laws, whilst they are very accommodating most of the time it’s not my house and I can’t ever just lie on the sofa watching tv, which let’s face it is one of the perks of maternity leave when you have no other children and before your babies arrive! I feel a bit like a student, spending a lot of time in my bedroom on the internet plus I spend an awful lot of time on trains going to check up on our house and attend my various hospital and midwife appointments which are now a bit of a trek away. I also have to go over to my parents next week and sort out the room for when we move there after the babies are born. The nomadic lifestyle is getting on top of me a bit and I just wish we were in our own house. But I will be very grateful for the additional help when the twins arrive so I can’t complain too much.

My lovely little brother has offered me his flat next week – he works from home but has a  study so says I can come round and lie on the sofa in his lounge eating chocolate and drinking tea and watching netflix and sky, as long as I occasionally make him a cup of tea! And Christmas week he’s taking me to see Star Wars. He lives back near my house but it’s totally worth the journey for those offers. I am pretty damn lucky to have amazing family and friends.

 

How appropriate is blogging about your pregnancy when your blog is about infertility?

Tags

, , , , , , ,

I’ve had a lot on lately (house renovation, work, getting things ready for the twins) so I’ve blogged very sporadically but I do have a whole load of posts in my head so I’m going to try to get them down over the next few weeks.

I’ve been thinking about blogging about pregnancy and how appropriate this is when your blog was started about infertility and has been an outlet for grief and frustration and the support us infertile bloggers get from the online community. I’ve recently read some blogs by others that seemed to suggest that it perhaps wasn’t appropriate to continue blogging on the same site when you became pregnant. If I’m honest although they absolutely weren’t aimed at me they stung a little and I wondered if I’d committed a bit of a no no…but as I thought it through I disagreed for the following reasons.

I’ve always felt in control of the blogs I follow. Over the last few years whilst I’ve struggled with my infertility a large number of bloggers I follow fell pregnant. Some of them I chose to keep following as they inspired me or sometimes they were just really good or interesting writers. Others I chose not to follow. It often depended on my frame of mind. After miscarriage(s) I unfollowed large numbers of these bloggers. When I felt stronger I chose to refollow some of them. When I was feeling fragile I chose not to read some posts of those I followed – It did not matter to me if they posted the word pregnancy in the title of their blog or whether they said ‘trigger warning’ either allowed me not to click and read the content of their post. I also understood that some of these bloggers needed continued support and I wanted to offer it. And I took some comfort in the fact they had become pregnant.

When I became pregnant back in the summer I was absolutely terrified. I could not relax into the pregnancy at all. Years of infertility and miscarriages had affected my ability to enjoy it. I needed to blog for the therapy of setting out my fears, and for the amazing support I received. I had some really big scares along the way – my pregnancy for the first trimester at least was really very rocky. It helped me so much to blog about it. And it felt like it was related to my previous posts so I didn’t feel I needed to start another blog.

It is true that lately I have relaxed a bit and been enjoying being pregnant. But I have struggled to come to terms with everything that I have been through (see my last post).

I have tried my best to be sensitive – there are no pictures of scans that look like babies and no pregnancy bumps. I have thought about posting these on a separate page so people have to search for them and perhaps I will at some point.

But I am still infertile – I had to use donor eggs to achieve my lasting pregnancy. The pain of infertility will never go away. I will never have my own genetic children. I will always have some jealousy of those who conceive easily. I will always think about the babies I lost. I will always feel solidarity with those who continue on this path – whether that path leads to babies (and however it does) or whether they chose a different path. I will never, ever forgot what it took me to get here and I will always be grateful to those who’ve supported me along the way. So in some ways it felt natural to keep posting about my pregnancy here. Was that right?

And once my babies are here (and that is still not a done deal) should I continue this blog? Should I set up a different blog so people can chose to follow that instead?

A possible reason to continue concerns the nature of the path my husband and I chose. We chose to use donor eggs. We are incredibly lucky that we are expecting twins. But having donor conceived children does present it’s own challenge. And I’ve been a bit disappointed when other bloggers stop blogging after their babies arrive. I want to know about having donor babies – and maybe it’s boringly normal, and maybe sometimes it’s not. And maybe they’re just too busy to blog now. But it would be nice to follow their stories.

I’m interested in what others think about blogging when pregnant and after your baby arrives when your blog was started as a blog about infertility / IVF. Thoughts?

 

 

 

Coming to terms with my past and my future

Tags

, , , , ,

Now I’m a bit emotional these days what with the hormones going a bit wild but this article appeared on my news feed a couple of times lately and I took a lot of comfort in the content. It’s a message from a grown up IVF baby conceived through embryo donation and it’s lovely.

I have at times struggled a bit with the fact that we used donor eggs to make the twins and that I’ll never have my own genetic children. Whilst I broadly came to terms with using donor eggs a couple of years ago there was still a residual upset over it even once I became pregnant. Over the last few weeks I’ve made a bit of a mental breakthrough in my feelings following some very late night soul searching and tears. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still feel jealous of those who conceive easily and that I won’t always have a little sadness about having to choose this route to becoming a parent. And I’ll never have a mini me in the traditional sense – though actually when you start to think that through it’s a narcissistic thing to think that your children will or should be mini you’s! They should be mini themselves!

I am also very grateful to have had the option of using donor eggs. More recently I’ve felt a relaxing in my feelings towards my pregnancy itself and an acceptance and more joy at being pregnant after a tension filled first trimester and a tentative start to my second. As I’m in the third trimester and the babies kicks become harder and I see the ripples across my stomach my attachment to them has got stronger. They are my children and I love them already, and I realised that I always have, ever since that first pregnancy test, before I knew there were two, when I thought I was going to lose them when I bled, and when I saw they were still there. Because of my history I put those feelings into a little box and closed the lid – I didn’t really let myself feel the love at first. The feelings were fighting with a need to come to terms with and process much of the last few years.  I had a very well developed method of self preservation. I have been more open about our infertility struggles in the last couple of years and as part of that I have been told how resilient I am, how well I’ve coped with my miscarriages, with the years of injections, with the hope, the failure and the eternal sadness. I did cope. But only in part because I repressed a lot of my emotions. But then I saw my husband start to fall apart and I knew we couldn’t continue like this – emotionally, physically and financially we needed to draw a line. The last cycle really was the last one.

I guess this is a very long winded way of saying that being pregnant has forced me to confront and work through all these feelings in a way that I’ve avoided in the past – even when I was having counselling – I’m very good at avoiding talking about things I don’t want to discuss!

As part of this I do want to tell my brothers very soon that the twins are from donor eggs (my sister and my parents know as do a few very close friends). I’m actually not worried about that conversation. I just haven’t got round to it yet. I know they will all be very accepting and I know this because of the way we all feel about my niece. My niece is not genetically related to my brother who is her dad, or to my other brothers and sister or to my parents, her grandparents, because my brother is technically her step dad. He brought her up from the age of 3, she calls him dad and even though she now has a relationship with her biological dad she’s also firmly a part of my family and is treated no differently than her siblings who are related to all of us genetically. I’ve always found it especially touching to see my parents relationship with her – they were super excited to become her grandparents and they have also been super supportive of our decision to use donor eggs. In many ways the way my family are with my niece sealed my decision to use donor eggs.

I know that there are potentially emotional and difficult conversations ahead. I think much of my fear has to do with how my children will react to the fact they were conceived by donor eggs and how they will feel about me, their mum. But I can’t control that. We just have to do our best as parents. For us that means being honest with them from an early age.  And this means we may need to tell others around us more about our route to becoming parents.

But for now I’m relaxing into my pregnancy finally and starting to feel quite excited about meeting our little ones. I’ll always have some fears about the future but actually parenting is scary anyway! At the moment the prospect of coping with twins is more pressing and all consuming!  More of that another time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What not to do on day one of your holiday!

Tags

, , ,

Fall over down a hill onto your bump and knees!

I am known for being a bit clumsy but I really excelled myself. I’ll write another post about exercising during a twin pregnancy (and I have a draft post written from ages ago about exercise and IVF) but I’m trying to keep running a bit. However my bump has got quite big this last 2 weeks and so my centre of gravity is changing, that coupled with jet lag, uneven ground, and chatting to my brother whilst jogging resulted in me taking a tumble. I wasn’t running fast and my knees took the brunt (see pic) but I definitely also landed on the bump.

Initially I wasn’t worried but after some soul searching I decided to go to hospital. I am in Canada so no NHS cover for me here!

We initially went to the ER who sent me to the birthing centre as I was over 20 weeks. T1 had started kicking me by then so I was reassured but to me the kicks felt a bit weaker than they often do. I also couldn’t feel T2 at all – though that’s not unusual.

The centre was great (though my poor brother had to be our guarantor as coming from the UK we don’t have health insurance). They found 2 good heartbeats straight away which was reassuring but wanted me to have a scan. There was a 3 hour wait! We were also in a shared room and the lady in the bed next to me was scheduled for a c section that day but was having contractions. My poor husband was terrified she was going to go into labour !

Long story short, by the time we had the scan my left leg was black with bruising whereas there was none on my stomach so I was fairly confident the twins were ok. Scan was still a bit nerve wracking but showed up nothing abnormal. I saw T1 kick T2 – naughty! T2 has changed positions again and was doing some amazing gymnastics.

Interestingly although the Drs knew about T2’s cord as I’d taken my hospital notes with me they deliberately didn’t tell the sonographer who noted both babies had a normal cord. However, this scan was a lot shorter than the anomaly scan. Still it’s something to mention on my return.

We left $400 lighter in pocket and with peace of mind! I had taken out really good travel insurance so hoping we get some of that back. Makes me appreciate the NHS even more! Was especially weird to pay a consultant $150 in IMG_1771cash for a 5 min conversation….I guess I should be partly used to this having done a lot of private IVF in the UK. But my recent pregnancy experiences have all been NHS.

Anyway, now to enjoy our holiday. We’re in Canada for one of my brother’s weddings which is really exciting.

Anomaly scan hopes and scares

Tags

, , , ,

In the UK we have an anomaly scan at around 20 weeks. The scan looks in detail at the baby’s bones, heart, brain, spinal cord, face, kidneys and abdomen. It allows the sonographer to look specifically for a range of 11 conditions, some of which are very rare.

Mine was last week. I was in the twin room where I’ll have all my future scans. I knew it was going to take a while but was a bit gobsmacked when the sonographers told me it would be around 1.5 hours – 45 mins for each baby! But they have a lot of stuff to check.

It was lovely to see the babies moving around again.  Then the serious business began. T1 hadn’t moved position, they are still head down almost in the middle of my belly slightly to the left facing front  (which means we’re back to back – not great for labour so hoping they turn around). They were extremely well behaved, presenting everything to the sonographers who were able to get clear pictures all the way through.

I wasn’t so great, I started to feel very sick which I thought was because the sonographer was at times pressing my belly quite hard, but when I got really hot and the room started to blur I quickly spoke up. They turned me on my side just before I nearly passed out. The pressure of the babies and lying on my back was cutting off my blood supply. I knew this was a thing but hadn’t experienced it. It wasn’t nice. The rest of the scan was quite uncomfortable as although I was on my side for a lot of it I did have to keep going onto my back and could only generally manage it for about 10 mins before I started to feel sick again.

Happily they reported that T1 was fine and no issues seen. Also their placenta has moved up as my uterus has grown and is no longer low so that’s very good news.

T2 was naughty. They are on my right side. They kept turning around during the scan and wouldn’t open their hands so they sonographer couldn’t count their fingers. Then they couldn’t get a picture of their palate. They were scanning me through my back at one point. Then they tried to manually rotate the baby. That wasn’t actually as painful as I was expecting. They also seemed to have difficulty taking all the necessary pictures of the heart. Eventually after 1.45 hours they had everything they needed.

I then had a cervical scan – all is well as cervix is still nice and long. My husband got a shock when a round thing appeared on the screen which was T1’s head.

They then sat us down to report on T2. T2 is fine apart from the fact their umbilical cord only has one artery and one vein. Usually the cord has two arteries and a vein. Sometimes this is accompanied by heart, kidney or chromosome issues – all of which have been ruled out for T2, and partly explained why the scan of the heart was so long. But they are at risk of restricted fetal growth. If there was only one baby we’d now be referred for monthly monitoring but we’re going to be getting that anyway as we’re having twins. They were at pains to reassure us that the growth at the moment is spot on and nothing to worry about.

Obviously we are concerned. But we just have to get on with things and hope T2 continues to grow well and be reassured that at least we are getting monitored. I know that if growth does become restricted then the twins are looking at early delivery. Fingers crossed that we don’t have to cross that hurdle. I want them to stay in as long as possible.

Due to the stress of the scan we didn’t actually take any pictures which I regret a bit. But we’ll have another scan in 4 weeks and can get some then.

At times I have still struggled a bit with the donor egg decision, largely because I worry about the future and how decisions we made will impact our children. And sometimes I do feel sad that I won’t have children who are genetically related to me. But when I heard that T2 might have an issue I felt what any parent would feel. I realised that it’s normal to worry about your children now and for their future. I love my babies and it doesn’t matter that they aren’t from my eggs. They are growing inside me and I just want them to be ok.

 

16-20 weeks – bumps are us!

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Sorry, I keep forgetting to post – I’ve had a lot on with work, building work to our house, and our imminent trip to Canada to see my brother.

Almost overnight I got a bump. Ok, slight exaggeration admittedly I had a fair hint of one at 16 weeks but it wasn’t poking right out of  most of my clothes even though they were tight. I could still get my summer skinny jeans done up (just). I was still just about clinging on to the ‘is she isn’t she’ stage. Though when I saw my brother he said ‘bloody hell you’re big’ and that was at just under 16 weeks. I think he meant relative to my usual size which is pretty little, or so I shall chose to believe. Big points to my 5 year old nephew who told me the same week that my ‘tummy wasn’t big enough to fit a baby in’.

Then at about 16.5 weeks I got terrible pains all afternoon at work – I was miserable and on knicker watch as they felt like period pains but without the cramps – it’s the nearest thing I can think to describe it. Everything down below felt so heavy and I felt really sick – not my usual pregnancy nausea but really sick. It went on for hours and I totally freaked my husband out. Gradually that evening it subsided and I decided that it was actually constipation (embarrassing!). The next morning I felt absolutely fine! However, over the next few days this thing appeared, a rather large (or so I thought) bump. Who knows if the pain really was constipation or growing pains or ligaments stretching or what. But here it now is – an undeniable bump that is not taking any hiding!

Luckily I told my boss at 16 weeks – he had more or less guessed as he knows about the IVF but completely understood  I hadn’t wanted to say anything until things were further along. Over the next week I gradually started to tell other people at work. Quite a few had already guessed.

I got one of these baby on board badges. For those who don’t live in London they are pretty much a necessity if you travel on busy trains or tubes to try to persuade people to give you a seat. I’ve not actually worn it that much as I get on my London train near the beginning of the line so usually get a seat. I also don’t feel like I desperately need a seat yet. I felt a bit weird getting the badge. Like I was tempting fate. But I’ve needed it a bit more last couple of weeks when I do get the tube. Most people are good about giving you a seat, though not all!

badge

We had another scan at 17+2 as my anxiety was starting to build a bit. Everything was looking good. T1 is vertical in the middle of their belly with their head low down and their feet behind my belly button – which explained the little flutters I’d been getting there. T2 is reclining horizontally mainly in the lower right bottom of my belly. Their bums are overlapping. They weren’t as lively as last time but both were moving around and we saw T2 opening and closing their mouth. The sonographer did say that T1 has a low lying placenta which I hope moves up by my 20 (actually nearer 21) week NHS scan or that might point to a caesarean, though there’s still quite a bit of time for it to move. At the time I couldn’t feel T2  – the placenta is anterior which means it joins on the front of the uterus and can block movement. T1 has a posterior placenta. We found out the genders but we’re keeping it to ourselves for now.

Last couple of weeks the bump has got bigger and bigger and I’m now very obviously pregnant. Overall I feel ok but at 19 weeks I had a scare. I spent a couple of nights in agonising pain all over my bump and back and spent the days feeling sick. Turns out I had a UTI that I have probably had for a month as my hospital never sent my results to the midwife or to me so I’ve been on antibiotics. But some of the pains are likely growing pains – understandable with 2 little ones growing inside and I was only small to begin with – I’ve put on a stone in weight. I did struggle for a few days and then when the pain died down I was still having huge difficulty with night time back ache. So I bought a pregnancy pillow – OMG – it’s amazing! I am actually able to sleep! By the way I don’t mean to sound ungrateful – I’m still so overjoyed to be pregnant and blessed with twins but naively I didnt expect the second trimester to be this hard at times – I thought I wouldn’t get back ache as I’m fit and run, do pilates and yoga and have a strong core (or so I thought!). On the plus side the nausea finally went away at 20 weeks.

20 week (or actually 21 week) anomaly scan next week – I’m so excited to see the twins again and also to hopefully know they’re ok. I’ve been feeling quite a lot of movement which is very reassuring but not convinced I’m feeling T2 though sometimes I do think I can.

My sister has named the twins Holly and Ivy as they will be winter babies. I don’t think those names are going to stick!

I’m going to start another page with some bump and scan pics in case anyone is interested.

 

 

Bye bye first trimester

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

This post is a bit late as it’s been sitting in my drafts for a while. I’m now over the (horrible, slightly bloody, nerve-wracking) first trimester. There is still a really long way to go and I still take it week to week but I am so very grateful to be here.

At about 12 weeks I had my midwife booking in appointment. She was really lovely as she went through all the various checklists and questions and so thoughtful when asking me to run through my previous pregnancies/miscarriages. Unsurprisingly she recommended a hospital birth due to the twin pregnancy, and the pregnancy has been classed as high risk due to the twins, my thyroid (which admittedly is a non issue according to the NHS guidelines), and my quote ‘geriatric age’ (although I used donor eggs being older than 37 still carries risks). Largely due to the twins I’ll have consultant and midwife combined care.

At 13 weeks and 1 day I had my first NHS scan, the nuchal scan where they test for Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau’s syndromes using a scan and blood test. These usually happen between 10-14 weeks. My hospital is a research hospital and they have a brand new state of the art foetal research unit. This means that at the moment I don’t need to go anywhere near the awful EPU that holds so many bad memories. As it’s a research facility the sonographers are all researchers, I was expecting this but not to have 3 in the room. The ‘trainee’ started to do the scan and straight away they were like “woah twins why didn’t you say?” all I can say is it’s a good job I knew already and they obviously hadn’t read my notes – the reason I didn’t say anything was mainly because I get so nervous about scans. Anyway, the more experienced researcher then had to do the scan whilst the other experienced one fired multiple questions at me and the trainee hovered around. I hardly got to see any of twin 1 because they were constantly asking q’s but I could see they were slowly moving around. I actually got to watch twin 2 a bit more. Just like last time he/she was going a bit crazy – drumming their heels on the edge of the sack and then possibly sucking their thumb. The sonographer found it difficult to take measurements because they were so active. Luckily they settled down after a while.

We then had to wait for the results of the nuchal test which was slightly nerve wracking, though as we’d had PGS on our embryos so we were fairly confident that the twins wouldn’t be high risk, and they weren’t which was a relief.

A week later at 14 weeks I had my first consultant appointment, again at the research centre. It was a bit of a non event. I was told more than once that I was high risk due to my geriatric age. I get it, I don’t think they need to mention it more than once. In the end after a bit of a lecture about blood pressure I felt compelled to point out that my blood pressure is great, until recently I ran 35 miles a week, and i’m still doing some exercise.

More interesting was a very quick discussion about my birth options. My hospital induces ladies pregnant with twins at 37 weeks which I’m not too pleased about but chances are I may not get to then anyway. The consultant was pleased to hear I wanted to try a vaginal birth (I don’t really want to say ‘natural’, aren’t all births to an extent natural? It’s a bit like the ‘are your twins natural?’ question. I’d be so tempted to say something like ‘well I guess so as they’re not plastic’). But at the end of the day isn’t the main thing to have 2 healthy babies, it doesn’t really matter how they arrive.

I now have to wait until 19 weeks for my first proper midwife appointment and 21 weeks for my next scan. It seems a lifetime away!

I’m looking a bit inbetween – is she a bit fat or a bit pregnant? So far I’m managing to hide it fairly well at work I think!

I have some pics of the scan but I don’t know whether to post as they look much more like babies. I guess most people reading this wouldn’t mind?

 

 

.