Monday, March 17, 2008

A coming out story....

On May 30, we visited the doctor where we found out that I was dilated to 1cm - no biggie. See ya' next week type of thing. Later, we took my neice out for a special 18th b-day dinner. As we left the restaurant, I stopped at the restroom as all pregnant women would. While cleaning myself up, I felt a pop similar to a popping knuckle, and then I "peed" all over my hand. Knowing that my bladder was empty, I sat in disbelief and then moved quickly to denial. After trying to clean up three or four times all while "peeing" on my hand, I started to wake up. I finally left the restroom and hugged my neice goodbye. It was 6:45pm.

When Bubba and I got in the car, I said "I know that we're both really tired, but I think that we should go to the hospital instead of going home." She didn't get what I was saying at first. Then, when I finally said BROKEN WATER out loud, she sped along the freeway, honking and waving at everyone while I yelled "YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE CALM ONE. THAT'S YOUR JOB." Then, we had to stop for gas which was really irritating.

I continued to be in denial at the hospital even though I was dripping water down my legs and onto the floor. Finally, a pH test confirmed that the water was amniotic fluid. This is when I started to panic because Baby B just wasn't big enough to come out yet. I think that this was the most major source of stress for me and probably for Bubba, too. Finally, I gave in and didn't object when Bubba insisted on calling our folks. We told them all to sit tight, and we would let them know what was going on. That totally didn't work. They all hopped in their cars and came to the hospital. It was about 9pm.

Contractions were happening, but not too bad. It was decided to add pitocin at 12am to help my body catch up to itself. At about 2am, the contractions were really getting bad. At 3am, I would have divorced me. At 4am, I got an epidural. Finally, we got some sleep. I was checked at about 7:30am and my doctor was called; I was at 5cm. Bubba went to find the grandparents. By the time she returned at 8:30, I was 9cm. (4cm in just an hour!) Our doctor arrived at 8:45am, and we hit the operating room by 9:10am. (Operating room instead of delivery room just in case there were twin complications.)

I started pushing and only did five or six different “sessions.” The doc asked Bub if she wanted to see how things were progressing. The first baby was crowning and Bub exclaimed "It looks like a hairy meatball." At 9:29am, Meatball came into the world. He cried once and was immediately handed off to the NICU. Since the other baby was still high in my uterus, the doc asked me for a few more pushes to help him move down. After two more pushing “sessions,” the doc ordered me to STOP and then started yelling at the NICU people that she needed someone to “come in and catch this baby.” She was literally holding the tiny little guy in! When the catcher arrived, baby #2 joined us at 9:41am with just one little push. This time, it was the doc who uttered the nickname when she said "Oh, he's just a little peanut." He also just let out one little cry before going to NICU.

Samuel Edmond (after Bubba’s grandpa) weighed in at 5 lbs, 2oz (the size of a bag of sugar). Benjamin Jacob (after my grandpa) was just 3 lbs, 6 oz (the size of three bricks of butter). Even our doc was surprised at Ben’s size. After some tears and hugs and kisses between me and Bubba, the doc reminded us that there were likely some grandparents in the hallway who would like an update, so Bubba left our happy little world to make their day fantastic, too.

In the four days that they have been here, Meatball and Peanut have done very well. They will be in the NICU for a while longer, but things are moving along.

Only a 2-vessel cord....

At a regularly scheduled ultrasound, the technician spent a rather long time taking pictures of the umbilical cord for Baby B. After consulting with the doctor, we were alarmed YET AGAIN with the news that Baby B only has a two vessel cord. Most babies have three vessels: two arteries and one vein. Our guy only has one of each. What does this mean?!?! Should we be in a panic? Basically, it means that he's not getting as much nourishment as Baby A. They were both doing very well at the last ultrasound; they were very close to each other in size. But, today, B is weeks behind A in weight/height. He's just a teensy little thing! Could this have been prevented? No. Can we change anything? No. Could it cause an early delivery? Yes. If he starts to be in distress, I will be induced.

More diet changes

I fasted ALL day on Monday only to not do the test. UG! So, I fasted again on Tuesday but got to the lab in the morning, so I couldn't be bumped out.

I met with the doc today. My cervix is tight and firm and whatever. No issues there right now. The boys' heartbeats were strong and good rates.

I've only gained two pounds in the last four weeks. Doc says that I need to gain more weight. I know this, and it has been an issue for me. In fact, I brought it up before she could. The trouble is that I feel like I'm eating all of the time! What I ate two hours ago is still sitting at the top of my stomach. It hasn't gone anywhere. I'm never hungry. AND, I'll be honest - I've been relatively good with my diet, but not fantastic. I eat junk once in a while, and since I quit job #2, I sit on the couch more than I should - but still, not enough weight gain.....

Then, we talk about the GD test results. One reading is abnormal and the other is borderline. I don't officially have GD , but we're going to approach it as if I do. So, no sugar/juice/etc. Let's face it - it's not going to hurt me to cut sugar out of my diet. Probably wouldn't hurt most of the people that I know. And, I've done it before. Not that big of a deal. But juice?!?? DAMN! I love my juice.

Oh - I still have my Meniere's problem, so I'm always on a sodium restricted diet.

So, gain more weight, but don't eat lots of stuff. Pregnancy is a weird thing full of mixed signals, isn't it?

I've said in previous posts that I should be eating more veggies. OK - fine. The veggie goddesses are casting their healthy spell upon me. Fine. But the thought of even more protein is making the food stuck at the top of my stomach want to come back up instead of go down....

Oh, by the way - I PROMISE that I'm not complaining. Just some odd thoughts going through my head. (I had to vow to myself not to complain through this entire thing because, frankly, I've done it to myself. It's like bitching about a hang-over - it's self inflicted and the results should be expected.)

So, I don't have gestational diabetes, and I have to cut out evil sugar. These are good things.

Possible gestational diabetes

Well, I'm borderline for the 1-hour glucose test, so I'm off to take the 3-hour test on Monday. I'm really quite irritated by this because if I do have GD, it's my own fault. I've been beating myself up over this for at least three days. Grrrrr.....

I feel like I have done myself and my boys a disservice. I "know" (OK - I believe) that I wouldn't have to go for the 3-hour test if I had been at a reasonable weight to begin with. What I really know is that I could have had GD if I was at a perfect weight....

It's all silly, honestly. I haven't even been diagnosed yet, but I'm already kicking myself over the whole thing.

Let's just say that I'm a middle child, the family pleaser, so I have very high expectations of myself (and others, but that's another story). When I let myself down - or even appear to do so - I really beat myself up over it. I'm a pro at it, actually.

Ridiculous - I know. It's very self defeating behavior, and I've tried my entire life to eliminate it. It's just sooooo hard. I'm sure someone out there knows what I'm talking about.

OK - so back to possible gestational diabetes. Get over it, right? My 3-hour test is on Monday. I should have the results by my next doc appointment on Thursday. I'll try to lay off of the self punishment .

Another ultrasound

Had another ultrasound and doc appt yesterday.
Grandma and Nana went to the ultrasound with me since Bub had to work. Tears and squealing were the order of the day.
The u/s tech made a DVD for us, and Nana took lots of pictures.

The boys are 1 lb 13 oz and 1 lb 7 oz which puts them in the 70% range for 24 weeks. No abnormalities and very clear wee-wee shots.
We shared the DVD with Grandpa and Papa afterwards. They were both very proud and impressed.

The doc is telling me that I can work at job #2 until the end of this month (four more nights). This is fine by me. It was really starting to drain me. She has also indicated that "bed rest" does NOT include laying on my side and pulling weeds from the garden. Damn! I better get my veggies planted very soon.

I hope to get the results from the 1-hr glucose test back soon.
BP and heart rate were very good. I surprisingly hadn't gained any weight in the last two weeks.

Boys are big and doing great.

Teddy Bear

Today, I am a teddy bear.
I'm wearing brown/tan and my jacket is sort of a fuzzy, almost furry looking thing.
On the way to work, Bubba told me that I look like a teddy bear.
I said that I would take it as a compliment because I'm so cute and not because I have a big, fluffy tummy.
Her response: "Uh, yeah. That's it."

Size does matter (to a pregnant lesbian)

You know, I'm not really that big. At least that's what everyone keeps telling me. When they find out that I'm 5 1/2 months along, they are astounded. This means two things:
1) I've always looked huge, or
2) I just wear baggy and unflattering clothes all of the time since I'm still wearing most of my normal shirts.
Yeah, I'm overweight, but I'm not enormous! I think that I'm just carrying them closer to my spine. They aren't really poking out all that much.

The doc says that I'm right on target for twins, so I must not be measuring too big.

I am definitely hoping to breastfeed, but I'm unsure if I'll be able to. I used to be very, very well endowed. I had a reduction seven years ago. At that time, the doc said that I may never be able to breastfeed because all of the years with big boobs and my fairly active lifestyle (lots of horseback riding) may have already torn/scarred my ducts. My OB says that we'll just have to wait and see.
"You're so tiny!!!"
I have never, ever, ever in my hefty life heard those words. I'm going to relish them now because I'm sure that I'll wake up one morning and my tummy boys will be entering rooms before I do!

22 week update

22 week appointment - update:

Met with the doc this morning. I warned Bubba that since she couldn't come to this appointment (like the unexpected "twin news" ultrasound) that we should expect something huge or terribly weird to happen. Well, whew! Everything is on track. And, shame on me... I had Bub freaked out all morning long. (oops!)

The boys are moving and squirming just fine. It's normal for me not to feel them much right now. That will change in a few weeks when I will - apparently - be wishing that they will calm down! Baby A's heartrate was 140 bpm; Baby B's heartrate was 166 bpm.

My uterus is quickly approaching my rib cage. Last month, the top of my uterus was around my belly button. Now, it's two inches to the north. This makes eating normal sized meals difficult since I'm filled up after a small yogurt. I was admonished by the doc for not eating enough veggies. I really have to make a conscious effort to eat them, and they fill me up soooo fast now that there is no room for my stomach. Ok - ok. I'll eat more of them and less ??? (I SWEAR that I've been eating very healthy foods.)

I'm still allowed to work at job #2, but the doc made it very clear that she will revoke this privilege at her will. Right now, it just makes me tired the next day. It still hasn't been too difficult. After all, I just walk around all night and remind teenagers that they should be WORKING instead of talking on their cell phones, playing with their hair, sitting on counters... (Yes - it is as glamourous as it sounds.)

Marathon (walking, not running) plans went down the tubes a few months ago. My 5K (walk) plans have now been kaiboshed, too. The doc is just too afraid that my cervix will be too thin and that too much physical activity will trigger premature labor. The first 5K was planned for April 21. The second was planned for May 12. I am still allowed to cheer for co-workers and friends. I think that I will volunteer to help at the 5K on April 21. I think that I would be OK, but I appreciate the doc's cautiousness; I'm sure that she knows what she is doing.

I now start bi-weekly appointments and monthly ultrasounds. I have the opportunity to enjoy (?) the sugary drink for gestational diabetes test at my next appointment.

The nursery is still 1/2 painted, and the house still looks like a tornado hit it.

We did, however, get a new puppy. He is soooooo stinking cute. I knew that Bub couldn't wait until after the boys arrive, so I wasn't surprised or mad. "Moose" is cute and smart and is potty training very quickly. He is a lab/blood hound mix. I adore him already. This probably isn't a bad thing since I can get used to getting up several times a night BEFORE the boys arrive. I'll be an old pro by the delivery day!

Movement, showers, guilt

You know, not much is really happening. I can feel the boys moving - mostly in the mornings, but Bubba can't feel anything yet. Last night, however, I had a movement from "B" that I'm sure she could have felt if we had been prepared.

After the morning calestenics, they really calm down and don't do much for the rest of the day. This always makes me worry even though I know that it shouldn't. In my LOGICAL brain, I know that they are just too little (still less than a pound) for me to feel everything, but my IRRATIONAL brain really does a number.

We're hoping to paint the nursery this weekend. We'll pick up the cribs after the paint has dried. The house is a wreck while we wait to paint because we don't know where everything else will go. Right now, it's all being shoved into two spare rooms that we can barely walk through now.

Two showers are planned so far: Bub's mom is hosting one end of March and my neice/cousin (mom's side of family) are throwing one in mid-April. Two more are in the making - one for dad's side of family and one with all of our G/L friends. We'll likely have one at each of my jobs and one at Bub's work. I hope everyone brings diapers.

I still watch and read the Trying To Conceive posts. I often feel guilty and lucky at the same time. We only tried four times in five months, and we're getting two out of the deal. I cannot imagine the process taking years and being faced with set-back after set-back. In fact, knowing my own mental capacity, we actually set a timeframe when we started. If we weren't pregnant after a year, we would be done. I know that I couldn't have lasted more than that. It breaks my heart to see the TTC group go from optimism and hope to heartbreak and dispair every month. Nobody on that board could be much different than Bub and me. They all deserve our happiness (and anxiety and stress and fear and ....)

Thanking nature, my body, goddess, god, whatever.

Itch (or bitch?) update

Being discharged. Official diagnosis: still ?????????????
If I become jaundiced at ALL, if I have ANY nausea, if I have any ANYTHING, I have to come right back in.
I'll be coming in for NSTs 2x/week.
I think that I get to go back to work next week.

It's frustrating not to have an answer after all of this time. It's frustrating that the human body is so mysterious.
Still no news as to what is wrong with my liver.

I just had another non-stress test. The boys are performing wonderfully. I have a doc appointment in a couple of hours along with another blood test to check my liver functions. After that, we'll know if If'm allowed to be free for a couple more days or if I'll be back in the hospital.

I don't know if I mentioned it before or not, but I've been having a really hard time gaining weight. I eat as much as I can (now minus fat, salt and sugar) as often as I can. I eat so much that it seems like I could puke at a moments notice. REGARDLESS of my extra-eating efforts, I lost four pounds while in the hospital last week. (I ate everything that they put in front of me and then some!) I lost another pound over the weekend.

I can't help but wonder if the liver problems and the lack of weight gain are related. They must be, right? I'll talk to my doc about it in a couple of hours.

I have been lucky enough for the docs to have given me a prescription that REALLY reduces the itching that I've been experiencing. I am NOT a fan of taking any medicines, but this was necessary. It's doing more than making the itch go away, I'm sure, but my feet are very thankful. I've scratched far fewer sores on them in the last couple of days. Now, I look like I have had pox or measles with my little, red, scabby sores all over my feet/arms/legs/chest. God, I'm a hottie.....
Good news! To quote the nurse, my blood results "look sooooooooo much better!"

So, no hospital stay for me this week! (Whew!) I guess the enzymes are headed in the right direction. If I were a religious person, I would swear that the medication for the itching was sent straight from heaven. Instead, I'll thank the brilliant person who invented it. I am NOT crazy with constant scratching.

AND - I even gained a pound since yesterday! By the end of last night, I thought that I would either vomit or my stomach would explode, but it's a pound in the right direction.

All is good in the land of chemical weapons and nuclear waste. (Tooele, UT - it's an interesting place)

The bitch of the itch

Itching. Itching. Itching. It all starts on April 7. It’s more than just stretching skin over my tummy. It’s more than dandruff. It’s everywhere. EVERYWHERE!!! Eh – it will go away, right?

Well, it doesn’t. I call the doctor on Monday because she told me to. She isn’t in until Thursday, but the other doctor seems to be unconcerned. I call again on Thursday because the itching hasn’t let up. I’ve scratched bleeding sores on my toes. I sleep about two hours per night. The rest of the time I spend itching and bitching (silently). The doc has me go in for another blood draw. I’m allowed to take Benedryl to relieve the itching. The results aren’t done back until Tuesday, so it was a long itchy weekend.

The doc calls me on Tuesday (which is unusual – the nurse does most of the dirty work). The doc tells me that it’s likely the colestasis of pregnancy. It’s treatable – just some medicine to control the itching. Blah, blah, blah. However, my liver enzyme levels are VERY high. Apparently, that’s not good. She has a call into a specialist at the hospital. She’ll call me back.

The word at call back is: go – go now. We need some more tests. So, I bum a ride to the hospital and get admitted for tests. In addition to colestasis, we’re eliminating the possibility of fatty liver something-something. The basic run down on this is that if I do have fatty liver whatever, we will deliver – now.

We’re only at 28 weeks 1 day. I’m honestly terrified. I don’t really care about me. There’s not much that happens to me – it’s just a c-section – women have them all of the time. There are just so many awful problems that the boys could have. I’m scared. I’m scared for them. What will we do? They will spend so much time in the hospital. They will be tiny. They will be sick and get sick more easily as they are toddlers. That is – if they make it out of the hospital.
After a sleepless night, which included some tears, we went to have an ultrasound. The boys are still ahead of schedule. “A” is one week ahead of schedule. “B” is four days ahead of schedule. They are both over two pounds. Today, they are both head-down -which is good if we need to deliver soon. (It’s also not related to any of this liver-stuff, but the boys are growing great even if I can’t seem to gain any weight.)

Our normal doc stopped by to see us. She will be turning my care over to the specialists here at the hospital. She’s dealt with colestasis, but never fatty liver. That’s fine with me. The specialists are nice – especially the woman. She’s a blast. We had a short discussion about how ridiculous the laws are in Utah for same-sex families. We love our normal doc; I know that she will stay involved in this entire journey.

I’m still scared for the boys. I will be in the hospital through the end of the week – if not more. Each day in my stomach is two fewer days in the NICU. We’re all just going to sit around and watch my liver enzyme levels. I’ve had a steroid shot to help develop the boys’ lungs. I’ll get another one today. These shots alter the results of the liver enzymes – hence the extra time. My initial hospital tests were only a bit higher than my tests on Thursday. They aren’t skyrocketing which is good, and apparently, I don’t look as bad as most of the people who get fatty liver cuh-cuh crap, so that’s good.
I guess I’m feeling a little better today. I’ve had two docs tell me that things are OK and that I should be encouraged. I feel perfectly fine. The boys are ahead of schedule. We're bored stiff.

The only problem now is that I can’t get wireless access so that I can get some work done. I can’t possibly watch TV all day long……..
BP still nice and low. Boys still kicking and squirming. Definitely don't have hepatitis. Waiting for results of today's liver tests. Sitting around being BORED, but at least now I can get some work done. The docs will probably release me on Friday. I may even be able to go back to work. I'll be a weekly regular here at the hospital for liver function tests and non-stress tests. And, they can admit me ANY time they feel like it.

That's all fine with me. My official diagnosis so far: ????

At the bottom of the crappy things to have is the colestasis. It increases the risk of stillborn birth the further we go, but it's not completely horrible. We would just deliver earlier than we expected.

The next higher rung on the crap ladder would be hepatitis. Ruled out.

One step up is pre-eclampsia, but since my blood pressure is ridiculously low, that's pretty much been ruled out.

One step from the top is HELP syndrome. I haven't looked much at this one yet, but it's not great.

At the top of the shitty ladder is acute fatty liver of pregnancy (yes - I finally know the name). If it turns out to be this, we will be having babies very soon, but again, I'm not presenting any acute symptoms of anything at all. Honestly, I may just be a person with high liver enzymes for some reason. It could be completely unrelated to the pregnancy.

Still in love

April 11, 2007
Bubba and I were married ten years ago today. (Almost to the hour! 11am).
We were married on the one year anniversary of our first date.
We had been friends for about four years before that first date.

Our friends are still amazed that we've made it to this point. Because of her fun loving ways and her reputation as a HUGE flirt, she was pegged to forever be single. Because of my shy nature, sad social skills and incredible reputation as a door mat, I was pegged to forever be screwed over by anyone who dated me.

BUT because we really FIT and complement each other, we have both become people that nobody expected. Our relationship has really empowered us to grow and grow.

We've gone through MANY hard times, but we still manage to cling to our love and get through the worst. (We continue to cling to hope that the good citizens of Utah pull their heads out of their asses and eventually overturn the state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage or anything that remotely resembles it.)

Bubba and I actually got off to a rocky start in the very beginning.

Circa Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard: I started working a 2nd job at the only lesbian bar in town. I was the door person and the DJ. Bubba was a regular who refused to show me her ID on my very first night since EVERYONE in the world should have known her. I thought that she was cute, but arrogant. With the help of a couple of beers, she got over the shock and irritation of producing an ID and proceeded to ask me out. She was a bit torked that I wouldn't go out with her, but I was with someone else at the time, and I'm fiercely loyal. (Although for the record, I was incredibly attracted to her.) For weeks after that, she and her friends would sit at "their" table and scream "WHITNEY!!!!!!! WHITNEY!!!!!!!!! PLAY WHITNEY!!!!!!!!!" While Queen of the Night really is a good song, I wanted to strangle every one of them, every night.

We eventually got over it and became friends. (For me, the attraction remained.)

Four years later, my relationship was on the rocks because my SO was sleeping with our other roommate. (Remember, my door mat self-description?) One night, I decided that I was fed up. I left work on my dinner break and went to the same bar (still the only lesbian bar in town) and asked Bub to dance. While dancing, I asked her about 50 questions like Do you like opera? Do you like to fish? What do you think about blah, blah, blah. I liked all of her answers. I was still very attracted to her. I just wanted to make sure that if I broke up with my SO, that I would have a chance at a couple of dates in the least. After the dance, I went back to work.

Two weeks later, I broke up with my SO. Two months later, Bubba and I were in an exclusive relationship. A year later, we were married with our two best friends as witnesses. Ten years later, we're pregnant with twins. I still think that she's a hottie.

Of course they are....

As if the shock of twins wasn't enough, we just found out today that they are both boys!

We're excited, of course, but I just KNEW that they would be because we really don't "get" guys. This is nature's way of telling us that we need to broaden our minds...

The thing that really made me cry is that they are both healthy. No Down's Syndrome. No Trisomy 18. None of that worrisome stuff.
We had a regular appointment yesterday with our OB. This was the first time that we had seen her since the twin news. She just kept looking at our chart and mumbling "how did I miss that?" It was funny. At one point, she threatened to "fire" herself from our pregnancy because she's obviously not a good OB (which is a complete crock - she's the most popular OB for lesbians in Utah). I begged her not to jump to irrational decisions.

Things are progressing fine. I've only gained four pounds since our last appointment four weeks ago. I'm right on track there. BP was wonderful. No worries with the urine sample.

We talked again about bed rest. In her words, it's "very likely." This really bums me out because it will truly make me IN-FREAKING-SANE!!!!! I despise being forced to lay around. (It's OK when it's my choice, of course.) Daytime TV puts me over the edge, and while I love to read, I can only do so much. So, I came back to work and told my boss to PLEASE find something for me to do from home. I'm perfectly happy to document processes, run reports, and analyze statistics from my laptop on the bed. I think that with three months warning, I'll have plenty to keep me busy during May/June until the boys arrive.

Our next appointment will be in four weeks. After that, they increase to 2x/month and then weekly....

Now, just to get the nursery done! I can't believe how much stuff we've accumulated in the time that we've owned our house. We are going to get rid of sooooo much (which is very hard for a pack rat like me).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The news is sinking in

We're on day 5 of "twin news" and we're both getting more comfortable with the idea. It really was just so stinking shocking!

The tots each have their own room at Hilton Utero, so they are most likely not identical.

Sandra the Sonogram lady had the only logical explanation that I've heard so far: "Women are born with all they eggs they are ever going to have. As we get older, some bodies just want to get rid of the eggs and start pushing two or three out each ovulation."

Our doc is still very surprised, and I think, kind of pissed that she didn't hear both heartbeats. However, at the time of the amnio, one was on bottom and one up high. She was listening low at our last appointment, so maybe that's why she missed it?

Regardless of the shock factor, I've decided that it is what it is. We can either walk around with stupid looks on our faces or we can get our butts in gear and get stuff done. It doesn't do me any good to dwell on the "holy shit-ness" of it all. I had my time with the news, and now I need to move forward. (Secretly, in the back of my mind, I'm still weirded out but doing my best to surpress these thoughts....)

Whole new perspective (aka: holy shit!)

At 16 weeks, my baby should be 4.5 inches long and 3.5 ounces – about the size of an avocado (which rhymes with Otto – the fun baby name of the week). At 16 weeks, I should be gaining a sensible amount of weight and should be basking in the glow of the second trimester and starting to nest (or something equally productive). Right?

Well, here’s how the last few days have gone for Bubba and me….
Friday, the 19th:
*Off to job #2.
*Put on jeans that just fit me (although snugly) last week. They no longer fit. In fact, instead of leaving the button un-done, I couldn’t even get the button within two inches of the buttonhole!
*Yikes. Since I had no alternative pants, I just tucked the flaps in and wear my shirt over the top.
Saturday, the 20th:
*Realized that I needed new pants.
*Lay down “the law” about spending ridiculous amounts of money on clothing that I’m only going to wear for a few months.
*Set off with Bubba to the local thrift store.
*Stare in complete shock and dismay at the assortment of available maternity wear. This stuff would be acceptable if I were a picnic table at a luau or maybe a clown in the Thanksgiving Day parade. Hideous. Ridiculous. Floral. Hot pink. Barf! Here’s where it gets funny.
*Head to the used furniture section to sit in an equally frightening pink floral chair. Sit down and start to cry. (“I’m going to be fat and dressed poorly! Waaaaaaaa…..”)
*Consoled by loving wife and dad’s crazy British wife.
*Go to another thrift store where we find some fairly decent stuff. Crying finally subsides.
Sunday, the 21st:
*Remain rather calm for most of the day. (So unlike me lately.)
Monday, the 22nd:
*Take the entire day off from work for morning strep test (yup – it’s strep) and afternoon amniocentesis (since I’m of “advanced maternal age”).
*Meet with genetic counselor about risk of Down’s, trisomy 18, etc.
*Lay down on table and get gooped by Sandra the Sonogram lady (henceforth to be referred to as SS). Strike up a conversation while she checks out my tummy. Here’s where it gets interesting.

SS: How have you been feeling?
Me: Great. No morning sickness…. Blah, blah, blah
SS: Have you had an ultrasound before?
Me: Yeah. We had one in December. It was just a quickie at the doctor’s office while the room was free. It was cool. That’s when we got to see the heartbeat. We just got to hear it last week.
SS: Both of ‘em?
Me: Both of what?
SS (very slowly): Both heartbeats.
Me: WHAT?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!? (It’s a good thing I have lost most of my voice from the strep. Otherwise the entire clinic would have heard me.)
SS (with mortified look on face): Your doctor didn’t tell you that you’re carrying twins?
Me: WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

*Crying begins and cell phone rings. It’s Bub – calling to check in since she couldn’t make it to the appointment.
Bub: How’s it going?
Me (crying): Not very well!
Bub (panicked): What’s wrong?
Me (crying): There are two in there!
Bub (confused): Two in where?
Me (crying): Two babies!
Bub (startled): WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
Me (crying): Two babies!
Bub (disbelieving): This is not a funny joke.

*Everyone has been joking with her for months that we’ll have twins. It has worked well to freak her out. True to form, she freaked out.
Me (crying): I’m not joking.
Bub (beginning freak-out session): Really, honey. This isn’t funny.
Me (getting irritated): I’m not kidding around. It’s twins.
Bub (verge of full-on freak-out): Stop teasing me.
Me (very irritated): I’M SERIOUS!
Bub (fully freaked out): LET ME TALK TO THE DOCTOR!

*I hand the phone to SS.
SS: Mmm hmmm. Mmm hmmm. This is not something that we joke about around here. There are two babies in the uterus.
*SS hands phone back to me.
Me (crying again): So?
Bub: How did this happen? What’s going on? How? How? What….?? I gotta’ go. (Hangs up)

*I stop crying and stare dumbly at the monitor while SS takes measurements and spreads goop all over my skin.
*Phone rings. It’s Bubba again.
Bub: Are you OK?
Me: Yeah. You sound weird.
Bub: I had to go throw up and call my mom. She’s not home.

*Ultrasound continued and SS took all measurements. The reason nothing fits is that even though I’m at 16 weeks, Tot A is measuring at 17 weeks while Tot B is measuring at 16.5 weeks.
*Doc arrives to stick me (twice) for fluid draw. Really not that bad; just a bit uncomfortable.
*I continue to resist temptation to find out sex of babies. I love surprises (even though you can’t tell through my tears). Bub declares that we are DONE with surprises. This one is the big one that I get through this entire experience. I’m starting to agree with her.
*I leave hospital and call our doctor whose very surprised response is “Wow. You’re fertile!”
*I stop at dad’s work on the way home to share the news. His clever response is “It’s a good thing you’re gay. Otherwise, you would need your own zip code.” (Dude, you slay me. Can’t you see the red eyes and puffy face? Hold the jokes; I’m freaking out.)
*Called fantastic and wonderful friend – a lesbian mom of twins – begged her to move back from Alaska.
*Spent night on the phone with dad (who has already picked out another name for Tot B), mother-in-law (who can’t wait to shop even more), brother (who thinks this is hysterical) and lesbian mom couple who have been with us on this journey since last year.
*Slowly telling others (work, friends, family) in the past couple of days. Everyone is super excited about this and completely overjoyed. Everyone, that is, except us. We are both still in shock. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve always wanted more than one kid, and I can’t wait to be a mom, but I certainly didn’t expect it to happen this way. After all, there are NO twins in either side of my family (I even checked my genealogy book which goes back five generations. None!) There are NO twins in our donor’s family. I was taking NO fertility medicines. This is truly a shocking experience for us.

Now, everything that needed to be done will need to be done two months earlier! It’s our understanding that twins are usually delivered a bit early, so our due date will move from July to mid-June. Although I’m relatively healthy, I have a family history of diabetes, and I wasn’t at my ideal body weight at conception - which increases my risk of elevated blood pressure. Therefore, it’s a possibility that I could be put on bed rest. (Of course, I’m doing everything I can to avoid these things, but I’m a realist. I’m planning for them – just in case.)

All I can say that in the course of three short days, my perspective COMPLETELY changed. I no longer care what my maternity clothes look like. I’m now growing two people: Ava and Otto – the avacados!

Holy shit.

entering 2nd trimester

We are exactly 14 weeks today. Yeah!

As an early 2nd-tri present, a news report last night indicated that a majority of the people polled here in ultra-conservative-Utah have FINALLY decided that they do not agree with Bush's Iraq war policy. (44% disapprove, 41% still approve, and 15% were ??? unaware that we are at war? don't know who Bush is? I don't know...)

Unfortunately, 67% still back our ridiculous constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage or anything that approximates it. Sigh...

BUT, friends in Alaska have offered their spare bedroom to us for a year so that we can establish residency in order for Bub to legally adopt our coming wee one. What a sweet (and very tempting) offer!

If I were going to do Alaska, I would do it all the way. I personally don't think that a year would be enough!

All went well at our doctor appointment last Friday. We finally got to hear the heartbeat. That's amazing! Doc was pleased with everything except the amount of sleep that I'm getting. Job #2 cuts me back to about five hours a couple of times per week.

In response to that, Bub made a bed on the floor of the TV room and we did NOTHING but watch movies yesterday. I'm so rested I could scream, but it was good for me and good for us to have hours and hours of cuddle time. We laughed all day long.

(BTW, Job #2 isn't going to stay around much longer according to the doc, the spouse, the mother-in-law, the dad, and the step-mother!)


My family/friends/spouse think that I'm crazy. However, my boss absolutely swears by this method. I've also seen a couple of things on TV where the mothers insists that this method is 10x better than birthing methods that they tried with other children.

I've always indicated that if I were lucky enough to be pregnant, I would do everything I could to experience the WHOLE thing. I've never wanted to take drugs. (Although, I'm a realist. Plan B involves drugs. While a realist, I'm a STUBBORN/Taurus realist. Getting me to move to Plan B will require a LOT of intervention or unexpected complications.)

Fainting barely averted

Once per month, I deliver meals on wheels. I love and look forward to this day. One of my FAVORITE clients is just a skinny-minny and has her heat blasting all of the time. Usually, I just sweat a bit.

Today, after our 30 minute conversation, I had to quickly leave for fear of fainting. I had to sit down in the hallway for a few minutes to regain my wits!

I guess standing for 30 minutes in 80* heat on a semi-empty stomach is not something that Flicka enjoys!


The Lure of the Stick

I've been struggling to stay away from the home pregnancy test kit for DAYS now. I've been successful, but it's been very hard. I've found several ways to keep my mind off of "the stick," many of which involve zucchini and how to prepare it. (So far, cookies, bread, grated frozen for future cookies/bread, blanched frozen for future side dishes, puree for veggie casseroles, and - last night - relish. Oh, and I'm not done yet. I still have more zucchini from my garden. But, I digress.)

I had to wake at 4am to let our weak-bladdered chow out to tinkle. I went back to bed until 5am. In that short hour, I dreamed the following:
being in my bathroom and peeing on a stick -
trying to find a bathroom at the humane society so that I could pee on a stick -
running into a friend of mine at the human society who was finally pregnant (after years of trying and adopting three beautiful sisters - in real life, she's not pregnant)

I don't know why the humane society. I don't work there. I don't go there because we have plenty of fur-family already. Maybe it has to do with the fact that we bought this batch of insemination syringes at the local tack and feed store in the veterinary section?

By 5am, it was time to get up, and I couldn't wait any longer. After dreaming of peeing, I really had to go, and the lure of the stick was strong... too strong. It was pulling me, coaxing me, begging me. Blasted stick!!!

I temped first because I knew that if my temp tanked, all would be lost. Good sign: temp up to 98.2* from 98* yesterday. AAARRRUUUGGGHHH!!! I couldn't help myself. I just couldn't! I pulled the box out of the cupboard and tore open the stick pouch. I sat down. I peed. Being the good kid (?) that I am, I laid the stick on a horizontal surface to wait for three minutes. I can't bear to look at it for this time, so I covered it with a tissue and watched the clock.

After the allotted three minutes, I uncovered the stick. I picked it up. I cried. It was positive! (Insert "holy shit" moment here.)

Now, you must know, Bubba is a GRUMP in the morning. Shouting = not good. Shaking her = not good. Excitement and emotion = not good. She is also sensitive to smells. Bad breath = not good, even when it's relaying great news. So, I brushed my teeth and snuck back into the bedroom. I crawled back into bed and lay facing Bub. I caressed her arm and her cheek until she started to wake up. Then, it went something like this:
ME: Honey, wake up.
BUB: Frumaphfgmme.
ME: Honey, wake up.
BUB: Ganmmbemmsp.
ME: Honey.
BUB: Wha?
ME: I need to know what you're doing in 8 1/2 months.
BUB: Why?
ME (laughing): What do you mean, "why?" I'm pregnant. That's why!
BUB: Smmuphgga.
Then, after about 30 seconds, her eyes opened really wide, and she just kept blinking in disbelief.
ME: I've got to jump in the shower and go to work. Call me later.
BUB (blinking): Uh, yeah.

I left her a note written in soap on the bathroom mirror that said "In case you were too asleep to process the info, look down and say hello to Flicka." I left the stick on the counter.

I'm trying to be reserved and in control. I want to get into the doctor ASAP this time to try and avoid another miscarriage by checking my hormone levels and etc. If we make it past day 35, I will be ready to dance a jig. Until then, guarded happiness and optimism is the order of the day.


So, successful insems can be done at home as well as at the doctor's office. Those choosing frozen goop-sicle can thaw said goop and check the motility via microscope. Those choosing fresh can make a variety of arrangements. Either way, the swim team needs to get launched somehow.

Sadly for many men, I'm sure, the myth of the turkey baster is just that: a myth. A huge, over-exaggerated, you've-got-to-be-kidding-me kind of a myth. Try a small syringe.

Mid-October: Late man-goop, again. Lesbians freaking out, again. Home insemination finds me being overly cautious and spending three hours in front of the TV with my pelvis in a variety of raised positions, just in case.

Funniest (OK - the only funny) part of the day: we were out of syringes and no pharmacies were open before our original insem time of 8:30. So, I purchased syringes from the veterinary section of the local tack and feed store. Bub has decided that if this cycle works, we will call the in-belly-baby "Flicka."

TCC Anatomy 101

Cervix position. What an odd thing to worry about. Never really thought much of my cervix in the past. You know, it just sat there and did it's job (which is ???). Now, where the hell is it? It seems to have moved to a neighboring state during this fertile time!

For three weeks of the month, my cervix is - well - right there. But, holy cats! During insem week, my cervix seems to be hidden so far back that it could easily be behind my stinking spine! As a person immersed in the TCC rollercoaster, it's important for me to understand all aspects of the journey - this includes anatomy.

Is the insem going to be successful? Does cervix position matter? Yes - it does! Turns out that high is good. Good job, body. Please forget the very recent angry post. You're a good body. PS - I also love your predictability...

Not that it's without challenges...

So, we continue down the road to a round tummy, swollen feet, and morning barfs. Does ANYONE go through this easily? Round #1 with new donor: aka will-the-goods-arrive-on-time-revisited. BFN (big fat negative) and menstrual induced foul mood leads me to send this rant to other lesbos trying to conceive:

After my stupid BFN yesterday, and the other stupid BFNs that have been going on, I'm just irritated to no end that our bodies seem to be betraying us. Honestly! We've been good to them (well, at least since we all started TTC, right?). We've fed them well (at times, too well). For years, we've provided them with wonderful things like water, occasional champagne, cheesecake, tiramisu, watermelon, hot chocolate with marshmallows, peaches, snow peas, asian food, pizza, bacalava, gyros, burgers, margaritas, mexican food, strawberry shortcake, and spaghetti squash. Don't they OWE us something in return? Is it really too much to ask for our uterus' (plural uteri?) to just latch on to a teeny, tiny cell glob as it's passing through? Can't our cervixes (plural cervices? - but I digress) just let a few swimmers into the swimming hole? Is there some sort of admission fee that the cervix police are imposing? Have the swimmers been hijacked by terrorist forces with WMDs (weapons of mothering denial)? Or is there something in the water that we should petition the government about and get it on the bi-yearly ballot like the never ending flouride debate?

I'm jealous of those who are pregnant - even though jealousy is a way to express possession. I don't want to possess another person, but I want to "possess" the experience. Although it's completely untrue, the pregnant gals here at work seem to be flaunting their cute tummies in my face, and I feel inferior because of my inability to conceive. My encouraging comments for coworker-moms-to-be are only 80% sincere today, and my semi-smile is pasted on. (By the way, faking things just pisses me off more. I can't stand being a fraud. It reminds me of my false-promise-making uterus.)

Mel's predicament is bugging the ever-lovin' crap out of me because we shouldn't have to make up stories or justify our desire to consciously, purposefully and lovingly bring a child into our lives. Straight, gay, or queer; black, red, white, or polka dotted; fashionista or fashion challenged; GED or PhD; hometown, recluse, or city slicker. Just let us get pregnant already! Then, leave us alone to revel in the beauty of morning sickness, tight clothing, stretch marks, and episiotomies. My body; my goddamn choice - not my boss', not the principal's, not my sister-in-law's - I shouldn't have to justify motherhood to anyone.

Finally, I'm a depression and stress eater. You can imagine that I'm consuming enough crap right now to feed quintuplets even though there's nobody in there. I've likely gained 17-18 pounds since my period started yesterday. I'll probably break the scale just by looking at it. You know, scare it into disrepair; this approach seems to have already worked for the interior of my truck and my hair.

Stupid BFN.

Take your time....

"Wait three months before trying to conceive again," says the doctor.
Well, after just one very predictable cycle, we decided to go for it again. However, #2488 just didn't feel right anymore. Sure, he's probably a really nice guy, and someone bless him for helping others to start a family, but after the miscarriage something felt "off." So, we had to find another donor.

The process of finding a donor at a cryobank is like placing an online order for a take-out dinner. Hmmm.... I'm in a mood for bratwurst with a side of ravioli tonight. Basically, you browse the menu for something that sounds good. Of course, the meal is family style, so everyone at the table needs to agree that it's the right dish. Then, a more detailed menu is served up listing all the ingredients like spices, vitamins, fats, sugars, and for those with allergies: milk/tree nut/gluten possibilities. It's all quite quick and sanitary.

BUT, then again, remember that - at dinner and during conception - there is something to be said for the freshness at the farmer's market v. frozen/packaged/shipped.

As mentioned previously, those who choose a known donor do so understanding the enormous risks that they could face - especially in a backwards place like Utah. Legal documents can only do so much in this land where the rights of the biological parents trump day-to-day care in the blink of an eye.

So, understanding all of this, we chose to *)ik%*ehje(*(*#$wem*w#$(&#( 98=2839984 3982#* *!&&$*IKFJI**#)#<
(Don't you wish you knew?!??)