Tag Archives: twins

She Says… Eating my Words

Sometimes it seems that Benjamin knows me even better than I know myself.

As I mentioned in this post about my apprehension to join a “Mommy Group”, he thought I would really enjoy getting out of the house and meeting some people with babies the same age as Owen. I was worried that I’d hate the small talk and chit-chat and baby comparing. And frankly, I don’t really mind being in the house all day… at least not right now while taking care of Owen is easily a full-time job.

But all of that changed yesterday.

Do you know what I did? I went to a free “Breastfeeding Drop-In” at Isis Maternity (a specialty pregnancy/parenting store with several locations around Boston that run lots of classes and events for parents and babies). They have a lactation consultant there for an hour or so and you can stop by and ask breastfeeding questions, and even book a one-on-one consultation if you have a specific issue. I decided it would be a good opportunity to get out of the house and try breastfeeding somewhere new, and I still have lots of questions about my lopsided milk production and pumping and nipple shields, etc., so I figured I would benefit from a little Q&A with an expert other than the lactation specialist I’ve seen at my OB’s office. So with my pregnant sister-in-law in tow for moral support, I ventured out with little Owen. We shopped around in the amazing retail side of their store for awhile (I picked up a pack of Aden + Anais swaddle blankets, per everyone’s suggestions to my swaddle post — very excited to try them out once I wash them!), and then went in to the room where the breastfeeding drop-in was being held.

To my surprise, there were nearly 15 women all seated on the floor with boppy pillows nursing their babies! For some reason I expected it to be an empty room with the lactation consultant in it where people would stop in and ask questions and then leave. But this was like a breastfeeding PARTY! I found a seat, whipped out my nipple shield and joined the fun. Even more to my surprise, the drop-in was more like a class. The lactation consultant went around the room introducing us and our babies, and then giving us each time to ask our questions. While we chatted, babies fussed and cried, moms changed diapers and used the scale that was available to weigh their babies. It was the perfect level of controlled chaos, and I was so thrilled to be a part of it. I think I sat there the whole time with my mouth open, nodding and smiling as women described various issues they were having. It was amazing to see all of the different babies and hear the questions from other moms. As I caught the eyes of some of the moms and smiled, I was overwhelmed by how happy I was to be a part of this little club, and I couldn’t wait to sign up for a Mommy Group.

Needless to say, I learned A LOT. I got some great advice (both from the lactation consultant and from other moms), and I walked right out the door to the register and signed up for a Mommy Group that starts in early September. I’m really excited. Not only that, but since Owen was fed and changed and I was already out of the house, I even headed over to Starbucks and enjoyed an entire vanilla latte while he slept soundly in his carseat. Pure bliss. I think I’ll go back to the breastfeeding drop-in next week too. I’m sure I’ll have more questions, and maybe this time I’ll actually talk to some of the other moms rather than just making eye contact 🙂

I’m not afraid to say it: I was wrong. I think I’m going to LOVE my Mommy Group.

And while we’re on the subject, I’m also eating my words about ever wanting twins. I can’t imagine doing everything that I’m doing with Owen, times two. I am SO THANKFUL I only have one baby right now.

Benjamin 2, Kate 0.

She Says… 5 Weeks

Dear Little One,

You are 5 weeks old today! Well, you’ve been growing for 5 weeks, but we didn’t even know about you until last week. As you will know when you are old enough, we worked very hard to create you. You’ll never wonder if you were unexpected or a mistake; I hope you will always know how much we loved you before you even existed!

Although you are no bigger than an appleseed and don’t look like much more than a tadpole right now, you are already starting to form major organs (heart, kidney, liver, stomach) and systems (nervous, circulatory, digestive). You are already the most amazing thing I’ve ever created.

I don’t really “feel” pregnant yet, which is a really strange feeling. I expected that everything would be different the moment we made you. But the truth is, I guess it takes time 🙂  I feel some little tugs and cramps in my stomach sometimes — that’s you, stretching out my uterus and making room for you to grow. As you get bigger, I will probably wish you would STOP growing, but for now, I want you to grow as fast as you possibly can.

I have decided to call you piccolini, which means “little one” in Italian. I love saying that word. My little piccolini. We don’t know yet if you are a boy or a girl, or even if you are a singleton or a twin! We will find out in 1 1/2 weeks at our first ultrasound. I can’t wait to see a picture of you and make sure that everything’s progressing the way that it should. In the meantime, it’s very hard not to worry about you. You’re no bigger than an appleseed and I already want to protect you more than anything.

So, have a great week in there! I love you and I can’t wait to watch you grow.

All the love in the world,

She Says… Beta Update

For those of you keeping track, I got my second beta this morning. And get this — super duper high number!

1st beta, at 14 days past ovulation: 387 mIU/ml
2nd beta, at 17 days past ovulation: 1467 mIU/ml

The level of hcG is supposed to double every 48-72 hours, and mine more than tripled! That most likely indicates a very healthy singleton in there, or TWINS. Muahahahahaha. The possibility of twins is still on the table, folks. I couldn’t be happier. (Just to set the record straight, I would not be the least bit disappointed if there is only one. One healthy, happy baby is all I really need. Let’s not get greedy 🙂 The twins thing is just so… ideal, though, because I have wanted twins since I was a little girl. And considering all the trouble it took to conceive this time, we would get two for the price of one! I’m a true bargain hunter.)

So… yay for at least one healthy baby in there! The nurse said to call Monday and make an appointment for an ultrasound in a week and a half (which will be 6 weeks into my pregnancy). Can’t. Wait.


She Says… Aaaaaand, We’re Back!

First of all, thank you all SO MUCH for your overwhelming support and congratulations over the last few days. Benjamin and I read every comment (and, no joke, got a little misty-eyed at every comment). Each one meant so much to us.

We have been basking in the glow of our bliss. Taking it all in. To say that we had so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving is a gross understatement. It’s hard to believe it’s really happening.

While we were struggling to get pregnant, the word infertility would send shivers down my spine every time I heard it. I never really let myself believe that I would never get pregnant, because if I had, it just might have broken me into a million pieces. It is the one thing I fear more than anything else in the world. And the moment I saw that “pregnant” readout on the home test, all the tears and fear and anxiety that I had been pushing to the back of my mind came out like a flood. And it made me realize just how amazing that moment was. And without going through all the waiting and the struggling and the yearning, I’m not sure that moment would have been as sweet. So, to all those ladies out there still fighting the fight, take heart. Not only will it happen for you, but when it does, it will mean so much more than if it had come easily. I am certain I will not take even one moment of pregnancy for granted.

So, what happened after the video ended? Well, there was a lot more crying and hyperventilating (for Benjamin AND I). And then, we actually had a friend staying with us for a few days, and he was asleep downstairs. I was certain my shrieking and crying would have woken him up, and I didn’t want him to think something was horribly wrong, so Benjamin and I crept down the stairs and stuck the pee-covered stick in his face. At 6:30am. Of course he was thrilled, but it took him a few moments to process :). Lucky for me, I already had an appointment for a blood pregnancy test at 8:00am at Boston IVF (since we knew it was 14 days past ovulation on a medicated cycle). On the drive over, I made a few phone calls to my mom and siblings and some other friends, mostly people who knew about the blog, because I wanted to tell them the news before they read it on the internet. Prior to finding out, I had brainstormed all these creative ways to tell people the exciting news, but when the time actually came, all I could do was blurt out “I’M PREGNANT” as soon as they picked up the phone. And then cry. I did a lot of crying. Which is funny, because I’m not a crier. I almost never cry. Benjamin commented that the moment I saw the positive pregnancy test was maybe the 3rd or 4th time he’s ever seen me cry. I have a feeling this pregnancy is going to change all of that — I’ve been on the verge of tears for the last 3 days! Happy tears, but I just can’t seem to stop the waterworks.

Anyway, bloodwork came back very strong! My beta (the level of hcG in my blood) at 14 days past ovulation was 387 mIU/ml. Wahoo! Normal levels range from 5 – 426 mIU/ml, so my number is on the high side of normal. It’s also high enough to indicate the possibility of TWINS, so Benjamin’s not out of woods yet 🙂  I don’t think we’ll know that for sure until our first ultrasound, though, which isn’t for a few more weeks. I go back for another beta this morning. The numbers should double over that period of time, so I’m hoping for a 750/800.

LOTS of things to update you on in terms of symptoms, etc. More posts to come.

For those who have been pregnant, do you remember your beta numbers? What were the earliest pregnancy symptoms you had?

She Says… Plan B

The nurse from Boston IVF just called with my blood test results from this morning. She says that I’m not pregnant (umm, duh!), and that my progesterone level was very low, which indicates that I didn’t actually ovulate this cycle.

Wait just one hot minute. I didn’t actually ovulate?! What about this positive OPK? And the mittelschmerz? Apparently it’s possible to get thisclose to ovulating, but then not actually release an egg. That would explain my one day of temp spike, and then a return to slightly elevated temps, but well within my normal range. And even the mini period — my body kinda sorta almost thought that it ovulated, so it went through the process of a mini period. Albeit too early and too light, but it was something. It even explains the false positive on the OPK… I guess if my LH surge was almost enough to release an egg, it was enough to show up on the pee stick, too. But, alas, not enough to actually shoot an egg out. Bummer.

So, that was the practice round, right? That means that this time, I’m going to actually release an egg, and it will actually meet up with all the little spermies we’ve been pouring in there, and we’re going to make a baby. Do you hear me, eggs? WE ARE GOING TO MAKE A BABY!

Plan for this cycle:

  • Double up the Clomid to 100mg
  • Do a follow-up progesterone test 7 days past ovulation to make sure that I actually released an egg

Hey, for all the time and effort we’ve put in, why don’t you just release two and I’ll get those twins I’ve always dreamed of? Just a suggestion.

He Says…Twins?!…WTF?!

http://sheerbrandage.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/doublemint.jpgYou all are killing me here.  Twins.  TWINS!

Many things DO come better in pairs.  Shoes, gloves, beers…but BABIES?  That just sounds like a crazy idea.  I have been quite aware for some time now that my lovely wife Kate thinks twins would be divine.  I have been pleased to realize, though, that our chances were very slim; neither of us has twins in our family, and most multiples (I think) come from infertility treatments.  Now here we are getting a little “assistance” in that department, increasing our chance of twins.  I realize the chances are still quite slim (thank god) but this is one “side-effect” I am not quite ready for.

Now, I want you all to realize that if we DID have twins, I would certainly love them.  And sure it would make for cute family photos, etc., but I didn’t realize until recently that many women out there actually hoped for twins.  I would like to use this forum to remind my wonderful Kate of all the stories of our friends who have had children in the last few years and all the work it was for them, all the feedings, all the sleepless nights, etc.  Now multiply that by two.  That just sounds like disaster.  I doubt there is enough caffeine in the world to keep us up for all of that.  I have witnessed several parents of twins laugh at Kate when she said she wanted twins.  (See, they understand me.)  And another thing…what if we had twin GIRLS?!?  Talk about a father’s nightmare…teenage twin daughters.  I think I need to think about getting my shotgun license and putting extra deadbolts on the bedroom doors.

Here is the other little problem: I want two kids.  This has not been 100% agreed on between Kate and myself, but my feeling is that if we have twins the first time, well there…we have our two kids.  Now Kate has made it quite clear that having twins, does not in her mind count as “two” kids.  I think it is more her desire to have babies on more than one occasion.

Again, this is obviously out of our control, and I am all for taking the steps we ARE taking to get pregnant, but I am hoping I have some supporters out there rooting for my side, that we get blessed with ONE beautiful, healthy child.

She Says… Clomid: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

I received so many great comments and emails from my previous post about Clomid. I LOVE to hear stories like, “My friend took Clomid and was pregnant with twins the first month!”. And, although they aren’t quite as exciting (but equally important!), the ones like, “I took Clomid for months and had horrible side effects and still am not pregnant.” If you haven’t already realized, I am a helpless over-researcher. Heck, this blog was mostly a place for me to gather my research for myself and others. Even though I know that there’s no way to predict how I will react to Clomid, it makes me feel better to know that I’ve gathered all of the information. I am a planner, what can I say?

In pure Type A fashion, here’s a list of the top things I’ve learned about Clomid:

  • Approximately 80% of women taking Clomid will ovulate within the first three menstrual cycles. (Wahoo! This is great news for me, as it seems that everything works just fine inside my body, except that I’m not ovulating.)
  • Research shows that about 40% of women using Clomid are able to conceive within the first three cycles. About 50% of women are able to conceive within six months of use. (Although I wish these numbers were higher, you have to remember that the women taking Clomid in the first place are already struggling with infertility. So if nearly half of “infertile” women get preggo on Clomid, that’s not bad odds!)
  • Potential side effects of Clomid include mood swings, dizziness, nausea, and breast tenderness. Some women felt horny and others lost their sex drive, most experienced vaginal dryness (as Clomid dries up your cervical mucus… not a good side effect for trying to make babies!), and bloating. Still others had hot flashes and tendency to cry at the drop of a hat. (We’re in for a wild ride, here, folks! And hopefully it’s all worth it…)
  • And last, but certainly not least, the most controversial point about Clomid (at least for Benjamin and I): Taking Clomid increases a woman’s chance of having twins by about 10 percent!

Be still my heart! Seriously, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I WANT TWINS. I have ALWAYS wanted twins. I am dying for twins. The silver lining of struggling with infertility at all for me has been the prospect of an increased chance of having twins! More to come on this later, though. I know my wonderful husband has some words to say about it…

Any more Clomid stories for me? What do you think about having twins?