Wow, New Motherhood is awesome!..Zzzzzz

Today Luca is one month old. What a month. I am so happy. This is so much better than I ever imagined. I had so many fears about bonding, based on my own abandonment as an infant (I was in a foster home for some weeks/months as a newborn, then adopted), based on my history of depression, and also fears about what would happen if I had a c-section (I did), would I still be able to bond, breastfeed etc.
Sleeping on the boob
Well, I just love this little guy. Just can't stop looking at him, kissing him, making up silly love songs for him. I adore nursing him (tho it's painful at times), I just want to give him everything. I am a total mush over him, and I have never particularly been a "baby person". So thank god.
I am nursing him so much that I very rarely have both hands available. I don't know when I'll be able to write anything well thought out, between the lack of hands and my brain has been pretty foggy since the birth.. whether its recovery or lack of sleep or hormones, I'm just not that here, mentally.
I'm going to leave it at this for now, but I'll try to get back and write more about the birth.

Well there you have him, my beloved baby.


Our Beloved Baby Boy Luca Is Here!

One day old

He decided to grace us with his beautiful self 3 & 1/2 weeks early. He is a beautiful miracle. I cant believe I have this great baby. Wow.
Two days old
More to come soon on how this all happened


35 weeks, 1 day

I know its been a terribly long time since I last posted. I think about posting all the time, and read blogs every day. You are all in my consciousness, and in my highest prayers, even if you didn't know it! I'm not clear on why I haven't wanted to write, but I haven't. I realize that I left on a tragic note, and I do want to say that the last 2 months have been good, the best in the pregnancy. I have felt well, and have really enjoyed the enjoyable parts of pregnancy, mostly consisting of being kicked and poked by this little guys feet and hands. I am dying of suspense to know who is in there!

Suddenly I am in my last month, here. As the weeks go by, and the baby passes milestones of maturity, I feel more and more joy and excitement. I'm still surprised that I'm pregnant. I love to catch myself in the mirror, and see this big belly. Up until this month I don't think it has been that obvious, because I was big to start out with, and usually wear flowy types of clothes. Believe it or not, I am still wearing non-maternity clothing. Not of course jeans, or anything fitted, but most of my dresses and a good many of my other clothes fit great! This is a very good thing, because if you have ever tried to find plus size maternity wear you are in for a very, very sad experience. Anyway. I saw myself lying naked on the bed, on my back, in the mirror for the first time this afternoon (having just moved the mirror), and I am HUGE! Mountainous! Bodacious! Rotund! And I LOVE it! And its getting harder and harder to do simple things like get out of bed. Forget picking something up off of the ground. That involves getting all bowlegged, and grunty and out of breath.

So much has happened in my life since the last post. We moved back into my apartment in the West Village, to be near the hospital since I was/am so high risk, and because I felt so isolated last year in our little town in the country, I couldn't imagine going through another winter there, especially with a baby.
We have been getting the apartment furnished and livable.. on a severe budget. The apartment was once an "L" shaped studio, now with a wall built in the L to make a tiny one bedroom. A portable crib fits in one side of a closet you walk through to get to the bathroom. The place is small. It's a little weird coming back here, I've had the place for 29 years, it was my first apartment when I was 20 (yes, that makes me 49 if you're counting). I went through a lot in this place, a lot of years of loneliness, depression and spiritual and emotional growth. And now I return here with a wonderful husband, and a hoped-for baby boy in my belly.

Goodness I have so much to say. You want to hear the darndest thing? We are in the midst of acquiring baby stuff. That will be fun to post about soon, I notice people like to describe the stuff they get, and I tend to enjoy reading about it. (as I struggle to keep my space uncluttered, ha ha). Anyway, as a design junkie, for years as I longed for a baby, I drooled over the uber expensive Bugaboo strollers that cruise the West Village in flocks and hordes. Especially the red ones. Now, we are not rich, and my beloved husband is looking for a job, so we found a nice, cheaper other kind of stroller to register for. (My shower is tomorrow and nobody bought it). The darndest thing part is, two days ago, as I was exiting my dr.s office after my weekly appointment, in a pissy mood because I had been kept waiting for-ever, there in front of me, parked next to a bus stop, was a red Bugaboo Cameleon, with a "for free" sign scrawled on a piece of cardboard attached to it. I kid you not. It was used, but in wonderful condition. I took it home and my husband cleaned it up, we washed all of the fabric on it (which all comes off easily), and Voila! our new stroller.

Unfortunately there was no infant bassinet included in my find. I may have to look on ebay.

I am anticipating my baby shower tomorrow with excitement mixed with embarrassment. Why embarrassed, you may ask? I guess it's that feeling of being an impostor, a fraud, a fake.. this a result of not getting married and easily pregnant when I was 25, or 30, of now being months shy of my 50th birthday, and having tried to get pregnant now for ten years. Oh yeah, and using IUI's, IVF and the cherry on top? Donor eggs.

Something that makes me smile right now is that I attended a baby shower three years ago, given in this very same gracious home, for a friend who had also used ALL of these same methods to reach her goal. So I walk in her footsteps. Thank you V.!

The excited part of me is relishing the attention and celebration and gifts for this very much wanted baby! I will leave you with a photo taken tonight, of me standing next to a pile of gifts that have come in over the last two weeks. I will open them at the party tomorrow. I got bold (against my usual more discreet nature) and told everyone near and far that I had a registry, and look what happened.
What fun!


My little flower

I've been scared to post because the subject of selective reduction is so difficult and painful, and the last thing I need, personally, is critical opinions. BUT, I have only gotten wonderful support from everyone so far, everyone who commented on this blog, and in my real life. I'm very grateful. It's good to be pleasantly surprised by compassion.

We terminated the little girl two weeks ago. I still have my little boy kicking away inside of me. I feel much better physically now, and with that and the reduced medical risks, I have actually been enjoying being pregnant for the first time.

We weren't given much time to decide, really less than a week. It was so short because New York State laws prohibit terminating after 24 weeks, and I was almost there.

We did get a second opinion, and contacted and spoke to several other medical professionals in the field, all of whom agreed with our doctor. I got a clearer picture of what was going on. I am left with the fact that my current doc is not a very good communicator. Clear and thorough communication is very important to me!

So we started to feel clearer, and then I did something really interesting. I had a session over the phone with a medical intuitive. We told him that we had to make a decision about terminating one twin in a pregnancy. (that's all). He went through every organ and system of each baby. and of mine. He told me that one of my twins was very small with little amniotic fluid. He said that there had been a partial separation of the placenta from the uterine wall. He said the heart was fine, but the baby's kidneys weren't working properly. He told me that the baby would die, but that it would destroy my kidneys if I waited for that. He told me to go ahead with the procedure. He also told me that her spirit wasn't strong, that she was in a very weak state. He gave the procedure an 80% chance of complete success (it could cause miscarriage, etc.)
He said that the other baby had a very strong spirit, and all the organs were fine. He did mention that the hip joints weren't developed fully, but that it could be the gestational stage, or possibly he might be prone to hip dislocation. He also said that the boy has a musical ear!
When he went through my body, he was uncannily accurate, picking up on my knee and hip issues, my vision (I need glasses) and my high blood pressure.

I actually felt very reassured by this reading, because he had confirmed all of the things that the doctors had put forth as likely scenarios. I also told him that I was concerned about feeling responsible for killing my baby girl. He said that feeling was based in an old sense of bad self esteem and feeling like I was bad, from very early in my life. He also told me that the spirit (of the baby) wasn't sad. It all made perfect sense to me.

My beloved husband and I decided to do the termination, and we were given a very immediate appointment. We sat the night before and talked about all our feelings. We stated our intentions for the highest good. We prayed for support from the universe. We asked all of the close people in our life to hold us and the babies in a place of love, and to pray or send loving energy during the time of the appointment. We were both determined to be in complete love and to hold little baby B with that love. And that's the way it happened.

The week after was hard, because I was crying a lot, feeling a lot of sadness at all odd moments. There is a particular quote that really touched me and opened up my grief. It is this:

Yet, though it is like this, simply, 
flowers fall amid our longing,
and weeds spring up amid our antipathy.
— Dogen Zenji, Genjokoan

She was my little flower that fell amidst such tender longing.. I longed for her so much.

I still have her little body inside of me, I will deliver it when I deliver my boy. I have no idea what that will be like. I have concerns. So far, the thought of it hasn't taken over, I feel that she is gone, I'm much more aware of the kicks and wiggles I feel from the boy who is already probably twice her size.

And so it is, for now.


A Rock and a Hard Place @ 22 Weeks

I am in the most excruciating position I have ever been in. Both of my Dr.s are recommending that I terminate baby "B", who I now know is my little girl.

Last week I had a amniocentesis to help determine why baby B had growth restriction, hyperechoic bowel, and little amniotic fluid. They had trouble getting to her sac, and had to put the needle in six times. I can't believe I survived it. It hurt when it went in initially, and felt like a terrible piercing punch when going through my uterus, and then he would fish around, and I could feel the length of the needle through me. Once would have been bearable. The babies kicked the whole time and I kept worrying about them getting hurt by the needle. I listened to the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra on headphones and held my husbands hand. Despite feeling traumatized I also felt like a warrior.

Yesterday we were told that the results were normal, but they recommend termination. (why put us through that amnio?) The Dr's are afraid that her condition will put me at risk for early preenclampsia, and very early delivery of both babies. They want me to have a better chance with baby "A" who looks normal. He is a very cute boy by the way, I got a sonogram pic that actually shows his little face somewhat and what a sweet little face!!!

I have no idea what to do. It feels like Sophie's choice.

Will I be murdering my own sweet girl who could possibly be normal? And then carrying her body with my living baby till birth? Will I be saving the life of my boy and maybe myself? Will I ever get over the burden of this choice? why can't the doctors tell me something that will make me feel more clear?

I am having a second opinion this week. I have to make this decision within the next two weeks. Help?


A Difficult Time

It's been really hard for me to post, I have thought about it a hundred times in the last weeks, but everything has just been so miserable, and I had this terrible feeling that it would all just be depressing bad news and complaints for people to read, so as much as I've really craved support and feedback, I've been afraid to post.

Three weeks ago when I returned from Florida, a really nice break with lots of sunny beaches and calm sweet time with my honey, (plus it was the beginning of relief from a long period of first trimester 24 hour nausea, on and off depression and exhaustion), anyway when I got back to NYC, I had a day of seeing clients before we went off to Long Island to celebrate my stepdad's 80th birthday with a weekend gathering of a gang of family I haven't seen in a long time. I was excited that I was going to announce the pregnancy there.

I had had a headache that had gone on for 2-3 days and I just wasn't feeling well. My pregnancy books said headaches in the second trimester were to be expected. I felt a strong need to show up at the birthday gathering, it meant a lot to me, but I woke up the day after arriving there with the same weird, bad headache on the left side of my head, and just felt off. I called the midwife on call at my OB's office and she said to have my blood pressure taken. We drove to a local walk-in clinic that didn't take my insurance and charged $100.. walked out and went to the local drugstore for a reading. The reading was so high, I thought the cuff was just too tight. We ended up buying a bp machine, and then still going back to the clinic because we didn't believe my BP was so high. At the clinic it was somewhere in the 180's. They sent us to the local emergency room. I was put on IV magnesium, and two other drugs that made me so ill I couldn't see straight. At one point my BP was 200 over 110. I began vomiting. Over the next 24 hours I vomited so hard that I broke blood vessels in my eye. I was sent by ambulance to Stony Brook Hospital. They kept me there for 5 days and did every test you can imagine on me. I won't bore you with the details, but the upshot was just a diagnosis of hypertension. I was warned that I have a high chance of getting pre enclampsia, tho they don't diagnose that until after 20 weeks, and I was only 17 weeks at that time.

The other thing going on was a very bizarre and painful condition that I have had since I got pregnant. It's called Reynauds syndrome of the nipple. People usually get Reynauds in their fingers and toes, and it is a vasospasm, often but not always caused by cold, that turns them white, and then blue. I get it in my nipples. It is the most painful experience I have ever had, it feels like I'm being tortured with pliers. It compares to the pain I felt when I was having surgery and the anesthesia wore off in the middle. It burns. I have a high pain tolerance, but this has made me cry. I was getting it about once a day or so, for about 15 minutes, before the hospitalization. I told every single health professional I encountered about it and got lame responses from my OB's like, "try moisturizer" and "my wife had really bad breast pain too" and from the midwives and my doula, "I've never heard of it, I'll look into it". I ultimately learned what it was, from googling "severe nipple pain". There were quite a lot of women on the Internet wondering what the heck it was.
The kicker was that the drugs that they gave me in the hospital aggravated the syndrome, so that I was getting episodes every hour or two. No one knew that..about the drugs. They ended up having a meeting there to educate themselves on it, to their credit. Finally I was put on Nifedapine (pro.cardia) which was what I kept telling people was the answer. It has lessened the torture, but has not gotten rid of it. I still get it many times a day but it is a bit more tolerable.

By the way, I was treated very well at Stony Brook. I hate and fear hospitals in general, but I have a new respect for their potential. I felt respected, listened to and very thoroughly cared for, and had a lovely private room in the antenatal section. My husband was allowed to sleep there with me the whole time. We joked about finding one of the linen closets and having hospital sex a la Gray's Anatomy, but I didn't really feel up to it :)

A few days after being discharged (on medication now for BP) We visited my Maternal Fetal Medicine Doctor upstate. When I walked in she said "I guess they didn't diagnose you with Pre Enclampsia because you're still pregnant". I felt like she punched me in the solar plexus. I still feel my understanding of Pre Enclampsia is tentative but what I seem to be getting is that the "cure" for it is to deliver your baby or babies whether they are viable or not. This is  terrifying for me.

My Obstetricians office had basically fired us over the phone while I was in the hospital. The Doctor my husband spoke to said "we're too rinky dink for your needs"... OK, well better know that now than later. Long story short we have found a wonderful, heartfelt, kind and good doc, who shares a practice with a very reputable high risk specialist. I am extremely happy with them. They only downside is that they are in Manhattan, two and a half hours away! My husband and I are seriously considering moving back to the city. Very seriously, and soon.

We went for my first appointment there 3 days ago, and they did the anatomy scan. Baby A is a boy. I am afraid to celebrate anything.
Baby B is now three weeks behind (they can't see the sex), and the doc saw something in the abdomen that concerned him. Some fluid.. he wasn't sure what it was so I am referred to a super rock star doc at NY.U for another sonogram next week. The doc said that there could be an issue like downs or trisomy 18 (even though our screening came out well before). Or that there might be a defective placenta due to the high blood pressure. In any case no one has much good to say about the fate of baby B.

I can't even begin to say how upsetting this has all been. Maybe in a later post I can describe some of the feelings coming up. One result has been that I am afraid to have any hopes for any baby at all. I am so afraid of the the images of their death and suffering that play in my head all the time. And all this is while I can still feel them swimming around inside, still a new feeling.


Magical, and strange, 16 weeks

I'm sorry I haven't updated in so long.. I've been away in Florida on vacation for almost two weeks. I only have a moment now to before I get ready for my work day. Being in sunshine and on the beach, seeing dolphins and manatees and all sorts of beautiful birds, herons and pelicans, after this horrible winter has lifted my spirits so that I actually feel normal again. (Tho nothing about pregnancy feels remotely normal).
The most exciting things that have happened in the past 2 weeks are that I can feel the babies moving.. tiny little rolls and pokes almost too faint to feel. It's a very strange experience, let me tell you. I look forward to it, but its also taking some getting used to. I have actually been feeling movement since the 13th week believe it or not, I just wasn't positive.
The other exciting thing is that my belly is getting biiiiig. Like bIIIIIG. One of my clients guessed that I was pregnant. I thought that would not happen yet, because I had a belly that looked a bit pregnant even before I got pregnant. But she caught me rubbing my stomach, the one and only time I have ever done that pregnancy related rub.. she is very observant. She was very happy for me, but I think there will be fallout, especially since I went away on vacation immediately after. And she has abandonment issues. Well, I am off to see her now. Must go.


13 weeks, 4 days.

I hope someone wants the crinone... Don't be shy.
Today was good because after it rained for almost 24 hours we no longer have several feet of frozen ex-snow, but are left with inches. It was sunny and I took a walk with my honey and felt some hope that the horrible horrible winter with its lonely days and nights of cabin fever and gray and such a difficult start to this blessed pregnancy, with a return of depression and fear and lack of joy that I have not experienced in ten years, would maybe be over... some sunshine and physical movement gave me hope. It has been such a blow to me to not be able to feel the joy of being pregnant. How bizarre. I'm having more happy moments, between the tears.

On the cheering walk we stopped at a little food place and shared a tuna melt and I had a cup of matzo ball soup with a giant fluffy matzoh ball. My appetite is coming back a bit, in fits and starts between the nausea, and that sandwich and soup tasted like the best food I have ever eaten. I have actually lost weight since I became pregnant, about 8 pounds. More bizarre experiences for me.. I am a total foodie and I love to cook, and I am also a bit of an overeater, but food has just been gross in general for several months now, and forget cooking. I felt sorry for my honey and got it together to make two quiches, so he would have something, poor guy, and I hadn't realized that onions would make me gag, so I never ate any at all. Sigh. I realize that now the babies are entering an intense growing phase, so I pray that I can eat.

Saw the babies at the Nuchal Translucency screening last week, and they were looking a lot more like babies than the little squirmy "teddy grahams" (that's what one of my RE's nurses called them.. I said "I will never eat teddy grahams again")they were a few weeks back. I felt more connected to them this time, they are getting realer and realer. I am very grateful to say that the NT tests had good results, and the babies are measuring as they should be. Thank god. Finally really got a good look at twin b who has a slower heart rate (in the 150's) than twin a,(160's) and measures a tiny bit smaller. This is a great relief as we had never actually gotten a heart rate on her/him, or a proper measurement.

So, I can finally no longer sleep on my stomach... I was hoping it would last forever, who was I kidding? I can sort of do it if I bend one knee and kind of brace myself. Hm. The belly is getting bigger, tho it's hard to see distinctly with me because I have a padding of belly fat already, but boy can I feel it, its hard, and swollen feeling. Sometimes when I am lying still, I swear I can feel movements in there... can't be sure yet. I am starting to feel excited.

My honey and I are taking off for ten days to Sarasota.. I can't wait for sun and hopefully I can swim, I am really a water baby. Which reminds me, I keep hearing from the nurse and now my doula, that because I have twins, I wont be allowed to do a water birth. I am livid! So sick of the medicalization of birth issues. I have been watching beautiful water deliveries of twins on video. They say this before knowing if I will have any complications. I need to explore this more with the doula we just hired, who I really like. I will report back. Anyway, I am hoping for a recognizable furthering of spring when I return from sunny Florida, and a further lifting of my depression.


Crinone to Give Away

We were short a few Crinone doses to complete our protocol, and found that the cost for those would be the same $50 insurance copayment as two whole boxes..That stuff is expensive at over $20 a dose! So I ordered two boxes figuring some internet sister could use some free Crinone. I have a full unopened box of 15 and an open box of 11 (of course the actual Crinone sticks are unopened), left. Its all brand new.. just got it. And lordy I am glad to be seeing the last of it however important it was to the present survival of this pregnancy, hallelujah, I'm done with it!!
Just leave some contact info in the comments, of send me an email at birdolove@gmail.com.


Adopting Pets After IVF Losses

I have noticed that people (including myself) tend to adopt pets after an IVF loss. I have seen it several times in blogs, and one of my clients adopted two cats after a twin miscarriage. I adopted two kittens after my failed IVF last March. I already had a cat. The kittens, who are almost a year old now, have given me endless hours of love, joy and entertainment. They are also a lot of work and big presences in a small house. I have often wondered, sitting in my itty bitty home, why I adopted two, instead of one.
The overt story is that my husband and I went to the local SPCA after impatiently waiting 6 weeks after our failed IVF for "kitten season" to begin, and after sitting for an hour in a little room full of tiny kittens crawling all over us, we had attached to two different little ones. When we realized this, we traded kittens, and attempting to be open to each others point of view, proceeded to fall in love with each others kitten. Sigh. It was my idea to leave with both. Now that I love them, I don't want to think of not having had one of them, but honestly, it was one kitten too many. We have too many cats. I had such a strong maternal need at hat moment, and maybe my honey had a paternal one.
The not so overt reason, possibly, that we have two kittens, may be that I had this fantasy of having twins... whether it was a wish or a foretelling, who knows.
What has come up now, with my twin pregnancy, is that I feel crowded, claustrophobic, and like there are/will be too many critters in the house. I am faced with the difficult possibility of perhaps giving away one of the babies cats. This is close to unimaginable for me. Of course it would have to be to someone I know. But still, I feel like I am doing something awful. I may not be able to do it.

On the pregnancy front, I have finally met one of the OB's in the practice I am using, and I liked him a lot. He seemed laid back and accessible. I have one more to meet. They both deliver at a local birthing center that has birthing tubs and a nice porch with rocking chairs (among other amenities). I have been told that if I have complications that force me to give birth in the nearby hospital with the level 3 NICU, I won't have either of them (I'll have some unknown dr). I'm not so crazy about that idea. I also will be seeing a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist at the fancy hospital. She will do the Nuchal Translucency test there soon, in the next two weeks. I am at 11 weeks 2 days now.
We did a very quick scan on Friday, mostly because I told the Dr I was panicking and not convinced I was pregnant anymore.. why you ask? because I found that I could sleep on my stomach again, comfortably. Plus I wasn't nauseous for a day or two. Anyway, there are still two babies in there, one of whom was flipping around like a gymnast. I really hope that's normal, and not an indicator of a hyper child! So, all appears to be well in there. That's good.


10.5 weeks

I know it's been over two weeks since I posted, but I have really been feeling lousy. In fact I just had a cry that started when I was telling my husband how bad I felt, and I saw his dear kind eyes looking sympathetically at me. I feel so alone in this incredibly uncomfortable body, and I find myself trying to convey how I feel to him all the time, which ends up sounding like endless complaining, making me feel even worse about myself. It was wonderful to see him really listening just now.

I always had a fantasy that being pregnant would be a voluptuous, sexy, amazing, earth mama experience. I really looked forward to it. I haven't felt anything like that. Early on, I was overwhelmed with panic and depression. Then a back spasm that took over my world, leaving me helpless with agony, and unable to stand up without help. For the last weeks I have been overcome with nausea and profound fatigue. This is in addition to a general feeling of achiness in my whole body, pretty constant uterine cramping and uncomfortable swollen feeling, headaches, and a constant stuffed nose. The nausea and fatigue are the worst. I get up in the morning and never reach that "I'm awake" place. Soon after getting up, I want to go back to sleep. I feel heavy and unmotivated. Not like depression, just tired! And the nausea is on and off all day. I am overwhelmed by it. Lately it's been the worst at dinner time, and I'm sick before, during and after eating. I don't understand how other pregnant women manage to keep working at this point. I only work one or two days a week, and drag myself there, but the rest of the time can't get myself focused on anything. I am so frustrated. I feel like a useless lump. I have a lot of work to do, and haven't done anything since I started this cycle in November! I can't concentrate at all. The physicality of it all has just blown me away. I haven't had room for the rest. I have had a day here and there when I felt better, and boy what a contrast! blue sky's and birdsong it felt like. I really hope there is some relief in sight, because between this and this unbelievably white winter all around imprisoning me, I feel like gnawing at my arms and legs to get me out of this trap!

I have also been very scared about mothering twins. I have always been a one on one type of person, and have imagined bonding with one baby. I am having trouble imagining sharing my focus between two. How can I give each of then enough contact and attention? Also, how will I get around! No taxi rides to meet friends with these babies! Stuck in the house is more like it.
This whole past year or so, when I was doing the IVF, I would fantasize about twins, I really wanted twins. I feel like I put that longing out in to the universe big time. There is a part of me that feels happy and content with this outcome, but I have been keyed in to the fear and trepidation lately, probably because I feel so sick all the time. On top of it all my honey lost his job in the fall and is still unemployed, and this is causing me a lot of anxiety.

Some good news, I am finally done with the Progesterone in oil injections. What a relief. In the last weeks I had gotten so I couldn't stand them at all. My honey and I had figured out how to do them so they weren't too bad, but I was just burnt out, and my hip area was so sore.
I also did graduate from my RE's office, and got one last sonogram at 9 weeks. Saw one of the tiny babes actually wiggling, which was very exciting.
I met with a nurse in my new OB's office last week, and had no exam, just a million questions. I feel OK about their handling me as an high risk pregnancy. They are willing to try to keep me on track to give birth vaginally, in a birthing center, as long as there are no major complications, and the babies stay put past 36 weeks. Otherwise there is a back up hospital nearby with a level 3 NICU. The OB I have chosen works with midwives on his staff. I haven't met him yet. I will have an appointment with his partner this week, meeting him next time. I will also be seeing a Maternal-Fetal medicine specialist.
In case I haven't made it clear, I am high risk because I am 49, pregnant with twins, and I am about 285 pounds. So far I haven't encountered any judgmental attitudes about my age or weight, but I am afraid of them! My mother is the only one who harps on such things, and that's her way, she loves me more than anything else on the planet.
Which reminds me. Valentines day is tomorrow, and that is the day, as my mother reminds me every year, that I was first placed in her arms, at the Children's Aid Society adoption agency. She says it was the happiest day of her life. She always makes me feel so loved and wanted when she tells me this story! Big love for my mom!!!

Happy Valentines day to all of you, (especially all you moms and pre-moms with that longing in your hearts). May you all be filled with love and joy.


2 Heartbeats!

Drove an hour in the snow to finally see two beautiful babies in there..with wonderful heartbeats, both beating at 153 bpm. One measured 7w3d and one 7w5d. And then drove an hour back. It has been snowstorms for every single sonogram.. 3 in a row. Now we are home with our sonogram picture, and a video that we took on my iphone. I highly recommend videoing your sonograms.. very exciting. I was going to post it but there was no way I could do it without including identifying information. So here is our pic of both twins inside their gestational sacs with yolk sacs, too. The yolk sacs are the little round things. The embryo on the right is very easy to see, above the yolk sac, and you can even see arm and leg buds! Wow. This all happens very very fast.

We stopped at my honey's mother's house on the way home to finally tell her that I was pregnant. We waited this long because we haven't told anyone in his family that we are doing fertility treatments. We have both been afraid of being judged about it, from past comments his sister had made, and from reading the stance the Catholic church has on IVF. (his family is Catholic, while he is more of a spiritual person) The church's stance is quite chilling, in fact. Words like "gravely evil" are used. I don't want to expose myself to any of that kind of negativity. Anyway, the good part is that his mom was incredibly excited and happy, with lots of loving hugs and kisses. No questions were asked about how someone as old as I could conceive, etc. She's pleased about the twins, too. Whew! That went well! She even sent me home with a box of crackers for the morning sickness.

So I'm off to the city to work, and do my supervision groups and see friends. I'll be there for the whole weekend, an escape from my little cabin-fever inducing cottage. One of my peers is expecting a baby with his girlfriend in February, and they are having a baby shower brunch in the village. I'm totally chuffed that someone I know, who is my age is becoming a parent the same year that I (hopefully) will. He is 51.. I'm sure his ladylove is younger.

I'm feeling better than I have been, the depression seems like it's lifting, and I have a little tiny bit more energy. And I have been feeling excited. Finally. It's very good. Your comments have been really helping me through.. you are all SO GREAT!!!


Pregnant, Newlywed Almost-50-year-old... Bwahahaha

Ahhh all of your wonderful posts, ICLW and otherwise, are truly a balm for my heart. Thank you for supporting my feelings, and thank you for being cheerleaders for the wonderful embryos I am incubating! The joy, when I allow myself to feel it, is almost blinding. It has only lasted split seconds so far, but I guess that's good because otherwise I might just be completely vaporized by it.

Despite intermittent blasts of joy, I realize I am in the throes of a depression. Not a deep deep one, but an uncomfortable, hormonal, emotional, puddle of yuck that is totally exacerbated by the fact that I have absolutely no energy, am nauseated many hours per day, and that I live in a tiny cabin buried under endless snow right about now, in a town where I have acquaintances but no friends. I could really use a friend or two at this very strange, new, confusing and amazing time in my life. I am a person who usually has wonderful, intense one-on-one friendships which sustain me, and I am just plain bereft at this time in my life.

Being totally new to being married, I think I'm having trouble integrating my old life of wonderful friendships with this new state. Plus I moved away from NYC... into this married life, and somehow just haven't made new friends. Boo. I just haven't got the hang of what one does with brand new people.. My mother, who is the queen of dinner parties, says, throw a dinner party.. of course she's right, but my style is different, I don't really like groups of people that I don't know very well.. while I love groups of dear friends.. I throw a marathon 3 day weekend party around twice a year for a group of beloveds from my past, most from my gestalt training program, and a few from way back in teenage days when I was a regular in Washington Square park. These are very fun and wild and amazing weekends, then everyone goes back to the city. Except me. I'm discovering that I am pretty shy around very new people, that's a fact.

Besides all of this, This life now is so very different from spending hmm about the last 15-20 years totally focused on myself, and on building a career as a private practice psychotherapist. I was totally one-pointed and gave it everything I had. I was also quite lonely (which is a terrible thing to suffer), and wished for a mate, but there was a huge satisfaction in creating my life's work.

There was a point a while back when in one of my prayer/meditation states I owned up to the fact that I had completely indulged myself for years, in totally minute examination and focus on my own emotional and spiritual life, and on following any and all self centered pleasures and pursuits, and that I was ready and willing, finally, to give my time and energy to another human being or beings. Well look at what happened!

I just feel all unbalanced at this point, especially with this pregnancy, it is an embarrassment of riches, as it looks like I am receiving all of my dearest wishes coming true. It's just throwing me all off! Who am I again??? And trying to find a peer group who can relate to a pregnant, newlywed almost-50-year-old... bwahahaha. Ok I know there are a few of you out there who can probably relate. Thank god for the internet.

I'm 7 weeks 5 days today. Day after tomorrow we will go for a sonogram to see if we can see a heartbeat from the second babe. This is all such a miracle.


Oh My, Oh My

We had our 6 week scan yesterday and as soon as the image appeared on the screen I could clearly see two sacs. I said "Is that two?" I was totally shocked. I had been thinking twins, with the high betas, but somehow that scan last week with the dot had me convinced that there was only one. Oh my.

In any case we only saw one heartbeat (which was very exciting and moving to see!), but two gestational, and two yolk sacs, and the nurse said we couldn't get that good a picture, (I wondered if it was my fat in the way?)and we will look again next week for the other heartbeat. She seemed pretty positive, but I'm on pins and needles to know.

I am experiencing a great difference in the feeling of wishing for twins (which I did) and actually being faced with the reality of two inside of me! I have been panicking. Alternating between thoughts of two sweet armfuls of joy, and two screaming needy babes taking over my whole life. worrying about my lack of a support system. I'm sure there's plenty of reality in all of that, but I realize you can never know what something will really be like, till you're there.

I have had a very hard week. My body has just hurt everywhere. I'm feeling unhappy and out of touch with my joy. I haven't really felt happy about this pregnancy yet, which is pretty tragic, I so want to, I've waited so long for this. I finally came off of the steroids (Dexamethasone) which I have been suspecting of causing some of this havoc. I have always been super sensitive to drugs, particularly hormones, and prone to depression, though I had not experienced it in about ten wonderful years.

I have had terrible back pain, which was close to immobilizing for a while. For some reason my arms hurt. My breasts, of course, hurt. My neck. I have cramping on and off (always). I have sharp pains on either side of my uterus sometimes when I move or cough, that the nurse says is ligaments. I have started feeling queasy for a chunk of hours from about noon-8. I have also been spotting. If I could only feel like myself emotionally I think I would be more able to handle the rest. Is this what it's like being pregnant with twins? Oh my. What a ride.

My wonderful husband is over the moon thinking that we will have twins. "Two for the price of one, honey!" "Honey, just think, you won't have to go through this again". "Honey, this was one of the best days of my life!" He is so sweet. He also doesn't seem to get how scary it is for me to be doing this with a 49 year old out of shape body. I am praying that I get my soul back from the steroids, or the hormones, and can share in his great happiness, really soon.


A Dot

Listening to NPR on the computer while I type, enjoying a yummy decaf coffee and a biscotti as my honey walks in and out carrying wood for our woodstove. As a lifelong New Yorker (city that is), I am always amazed that we actually heat our house entirely with wood, instead of having a super who did who-knows-what to overheat my apartment so much I kept the window open all winter. Yes I did. Now I wear sweaters and slippers and a cat or two. The laptop is also pretty warm.

I have my feet up, and have actually been pretty much glued to the armchair, because of a severe back spasm that I have had now for a few days. Pre IVF I started out as a large woman, but the hormones and steroids this time around have caused a weight gain, that combined with my now giant, sore breasts, has triggered this back issue. Ow.

We are expecting a big snowstorm tonight and tomorrow, which I am really looking forward to, tho my honey and I have an ongoing battle.. he always goes out early and shovels, and I wake up and am like hello.. you ruined the snow! I moved to the country so I could see pretty snow! He has agreed to leave it tomorrow until after I see it, and maybe go out in my boots for a gander. Tho I may have to remind him of this.

All is well and I am still pregnant as far as I can tell. Here is a very early sonogram from a few days ago.

22 dpo or 5 weeks, 1 day
It shows a gestational sac. See the little black dot under my finger? That's it. The nurse warned us that we may not see anything at all.. and also that is was too early to say whether there was more than one in there, tho it looks like just one to me. I have another scan in a week. They do one a week until I graduate (god willing) at 8 weeks.

Can you see the alien that is also apparently residing in my uterus? Oval face and long eyes? Just to the right of the dot.

I have also had 3 betas. 13 DPO 159.5, 18 DPO 1,429 and 22 DPO 6,938.1. The last beta was on the day of the scan, which is why I am OK that we couldn't see anything in the sac yet. I think these are pretty high betas, but I would love to do one of those nifty charts I've seen on other bloggers sites, comparing, but I can't find it anywhere. Anyone know where it is?

Since I last posted, I have found myself struggling to adjust to the so called "reality" that I am pregnant. See? "so called "reality"". I can't get myself to put it more definitely.

I have a full feeling in my uterus (which I have had since a few days after transfer), painful breasts, constant heartburn, and I do find sleeping anywhere, at any time, to all of a sudden be a thing I do. I have a scan of a dot. But does this add up to pregnancy? Oy. I guess I have the proof so far, but I need time to get it. I can really appreciate that most people have 9 months to get used to the whole thing before baby is here. My friend P who adopted last year, was informed that she had a baby a day before she got to go pick her up. She had struggled and waited and dreamed for 48 years to become a mother, and it happened in 24 hours. Life is amazing like that. And like this! I keep trying to comprehend that I have a growing person inside of me. Can't really do it yet, but I'm getting little flickers of it, and I'm really looking forward to the process!