So, you wanna know the real story of why I have been MIA on this blog? It's far less tragic than you might think. In fact, it's for a couple of pretty good, all right, REALLY good reasons.
I am pregnant.
I'm just approaching the 12 week mark -- I actually had my 12 week appointment on Friday. We heard two heartbeats; one was 161 and easily detected on the right side of my uterus, the other was 159 and muffled on the let side. Oh, and my uterus is HUGE for 12 weeks. The doctor didn't even have to tell me that one -- I am very reluctantly wearing maternity pants already. Which is exactly what you want to do at the tail end of your first trimester -- break out the full-panel pants of frump.
Truth be told, Scott and I and our families have known about the twins for almost six weeks, but like many couples who have lost pregnancies, we were hesitant to celebrate publicly until we had some confirmation that the two black circles on my 6 week, 1 day ultrasound still had tiny their tiny heartbeats going. Baby A was in a sac much smaller than Baby B, though both measured exactly 6 weeks, 1 day and both had heart rates in the acceptable range. In fact, everything at that point was so acceptable that we didn't even get bonus ultrasounds to check on them, that I didn't warrant any extra attention unless there was something wrong -- that, despite our extreme concern, we got to soldier through most of the first trimester as if we didn't know there were twins. But we did.
I feel that I have been pretty open regarding our struggles with fertility over the last two years, but I haven't shared when I was starting a new cycle, haven't given dated details of our Clomid/IUI regimen. Honestly, it was for my own sanity -- I could barely handle the people I know and love in real life counting weeks and days as they wait for confirmation of progress, let alone leaving it out there in cyberspace for anyone to know. I am as honest as one can be, but some things are really just better kept between a man and his wife and a very skilled nurse.
I conceived on our second attempt at IUI. This time just felt better from the get-go. My ovulation predictor kit was a clear positive, the nurse got all of he sample in the target region, spilling nary a drop, and the swimmers I saw under microscope looked much better than the first attempt. If you were to ask Scott, he would tell you I became symptomatic around 8-9 days after the procedure. And by that, I mean the exhaustion hit like a sledgehammer. One minute I was up and about, functioning normally and the next I was down for the count, laying on the couch and begging the earth to stop rotating as it was making me motion sick. Neither of us were surprised when, at 14 days past the IUI I got a positive pregnancy test.
I made the conscious decision to hold off on bloodwork until closer to 6 weeks so that my first ultrasound had a better chance of seeing a heartbeat. That was my strategy for the miscarried pregnancy in May, too, but I started bleeding the day after taking the HPT. This time, however, like the IUI and like the Clomid, my strategy worked.
I went in for the blood test a little over six weeks ago and my hCG was 10,502. Which was, at least in comparison to my first two kids, a whopping number. It was then that I really started to suspect that there were more than in there. I had an ultrasound on the following Wednesday to make sure the baby wasn't in a tube as I have a history of ectopic pregnancy.
While Scott was holding my hand, the tech did some poking around, taking measurements of my uterus and cervix and such. Then she asked Scott to turn on the monitor on the wall so we could see. As the picture came into focus, she said, "Well, it looks like your IUI worked -- there are twins in there!"
Scott fell backwards into a chair, still gripping my hand. I looked at those dark circles, holding my breath as she measured the heart rates, looked at them looking back at me like a pair of dark eyes, looked at them so full of hope, so full of love, so full of joy. It didn't hit me until we were on the way home that we are going to be the parents of four kids five and under this spring -- then six and under after Milo's June birthday.
My mind has been racing for the last six weeks -- mainly because I was superstitiously refusing to plan until we knew that there really are two in there. But I've been looking at infant car seats, twin breastfeeding pillows, and trying to figure out what we can borrow and what we'll need to buy. I have investigated cloth diapers since diapering two is darn expensive. And we're going to need a new family car -- the Jetta simply won't hold two more car seats unless we strap someone to the trunk and someone to the roof of the car.
We've been doing our research -- looking at the types of twins, pretty sure that since we saw two very distinct sacs in the beginning and because I was taking Clomid and figure that I dropped at least two eggs that cycle, these are probably fraternal twins. The easiest kinds of twins to carry are called diamniotic, dichorionic. That means that each baby has it's own sac (ours do) and each baby has it's own placenta -- something we'll figure out after a Level 2 ultrasound. I think that one baby has a placenta in the back and one has one in the front -- we'll see if my suspicions are confirmed. So far, I have been dead on...
Anyway, like my other two pregnancies, I have escaped morning sickness. Like my pregnancy with Violet, my appetite has been decimated and I have lost a couple of pounds. Unlike the other two pregnancies, my level of exhaustion is epic. My couch has never been more appealing. I can somehow wake up tire from sleeping most of the night (minus the three pee breaks I've been averaging -- already). I have some cruel aversions to chocolate and coffee right now -- what bizarre twist of fate is making me blanch at the sight of chocolate just when I'm given license to eat as much of it as I want?
I have been eating a crazy number of Claussen pickles. And, for some reason, orange Tic Tacs quell my 2:30p.m. - 4:30p.m. nausea. And sleep -- which is where I am headed now as my bed is empty and my house is quiet. Hopefully, as I drift off, I can concentrate on the tiny little flutters I've just been starting to feel -- little swimming fish keeping each other company in there, playing together now in the first room they'll share until the rest of us get to play with them, too, likely in mid-to-late April (my due date is May 10).
Good night, babies! Mama loves you...