Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Appointments and Birthdays

The appointment with my OB went well. It was just a quickie; we had an ultrasound to check for heart beats (apparently they don't use dopplers with multiples) and even though the machine was ancient and couldn't take measurements we did see movement so I assume all is well. I felt some maybe kicks the other day, so that was pretty awesome too. So far things look good, and I'll take it.

Thursday we'll be 17 weeks, and I'll also turn twenty-nine years old. Whew, last leg of the twenties. I honestly don't mind, I'm embracing it. Last year I noticed my first wrinkles- laugh lines. I actually love them, I think they're a sign of a life well lived. Most people kind of joke about aging, my mom and sister never want to own up to their ages, but I never had an issue with it. I've stayed alive this long, it's an honor. My twenties have been filled with a lot of things, mostly painful but also wonderful, and as we near the end of this chapter in my life, I can only hope it closes on a happy note.

We went out and had my birthday dinner after the appointment since we were out that way, and I did a little shopping. We bought some stuff for the babies, and that of course makes me very nervous. I wanted to allow myself to enjoy though, and I know that spacing things out (and hitting sales) will save us some in the long run. I just hope we don't regret it. In the back of my head I still worry, I advise caution, but I'm allowing myself to prepare and move forward too. I'm worried it will backfire, that this will make things harder. It's really a lose-lose scenario, because no matter the outcome I'll still grieve and have regrets. At least this gives me something useful to do, and a moment of happiness.

I tucked all my purchases away just the same, because I can't relax that much. It's progress though. We have have about 7 weeks until viability... one day at a time we're getting there.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Unexpected stress-

I've had one hell of a week. Babies are fine, let me say that up front. I can find both on the doppler, they seem to have moved near each other (no doubt to poke/kick each other) but are well.

It's an unexpected, sudden, change in insurance. I had already resigned myself to what we would pay for the delivery under our insurance plan (which is much worse than the one we had with V) when they decided to change plans again this year... effective February 1st. First of all, my old deductible was $1k, now it's $5k (family deductible went from $2k to $10k). I have to pay 100% on all my maternal fetal ultrasounds until our deductible is met, because they aren't counted as appointments with an ultrasound it's just billed as a stand alone ultrasound. Oh, and the ultrasounds are double billed because there are two babies, so instead of just being $175 or whatever, they're $288. I have to have those scans once a month. With my $1k deductible that wouldn't have been as bad, but with a $5k... I just don't know how we're going to make it work. I also pay $55 for every OB appointment. After deductible we pay 20% until we reach our $12,700 OOP max (used to be $3k I think!)... then everything is covered 100%. Yeah.

Umm. Sum up... we're going to end up paying thousands more than expected. We'll be paying 100% on my MFM appointments, and I can't make payments on those- I have to pay them, or I can't get another appointment. Basically I will be paying $443 each month for appointments and my medication. I was not prepared for this. Once we go to bi-weekly and weekly appointments that cost will increase by a hell of a lot more. And there's no way I'm meeting that deductible before delivery, despite all that.

A's work is offering a health reimbursement account that they pay into which will help with our deductible, but it's an unknown percent and I know we'll still be paying a lot with double ultrasounds and a double c-section.

It's horrible timing, and I am just at a loss. I'm trying not to think about it, I'm budgeting and we're going to get through this. I'm just devastated though. It's SO MUCH worse that I am flabbergasted.

Now that I got that out there, I'm going to lay is aside. I can live more frugally, somehow. I can make this work. This isn't the end of the world. We will survive.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Meeting with our MFM

We met with our Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor today, and I left feeling rather frustrated. First, they will do an ultrasound every four weeks to check on the babies growth which is great. However, they will only be checking my cervix at our anatomy scan, and unless it is short or I show symptoms of an issue they will not check it again. She cited that there is nothing they can do, and that they don't even really recommend bed rest anymore because it hasn't been shown to help.

Okay, ummm. Yeah. I want to be proactive, and I don't see how bed rest would hurt anything. I understand that bed rest means a risk of clots, but if your cervix is shortening I would imagine that bed rest would help alleviate some of the weight/pressure off of it. I don't see how watching things and being aware of an issue could hurt either, what harm would more cervical checks do?

I left feeling very dissatisfied with things, and I do plan to talk about this more with my OB on the 28th. I'm pretty sure she said we will begin monitoring my cervix at some point, not that we would just monitor it once like this MFM said.

Otherwise, the babies both looked great. They did a very in depth scan: we saw all four chambers of their hearts, full stomachs, livers, brain parts, and all that good stuff. Both babies are measuring about a week ahead and weighing in at an estimated 4oz each. So that's great. Baby A was where I always find it with my doppler, and didn't really move from that spot during the scan. It rolled some and wiggled, but remained stationary. It's placenta is posterior, a bit to the right. Baby B was moving around all over, just like when I'm trying to find it with the doppler. It was everywhere, and very uncooperative (reminds me of how V was). The placenta was a little anterior and to the left.

My favorite bit of the scan was when she was measuring baby B's feet (or trying to) and it started kicking at baby A's feet, who in turn kicked back! And they proceeded to kick each other for a bit. It made me laugh, and it definitely made things a lot more real too.

We will be 15 weeks on Thursday. Hopefully things will continue going well, and I can do my best to ensure we get the care we need.

Edited to add for clarity- the cervical checks I'm talking about our by ultrasound to check length, not the checks performed later in pregnancy to check dilation.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

14 weeks

I'm not doing weekly bump posts like last time, but I thought I'd offer a comparison. Apparently a second pregnancy (to make it this far, 5th total though) and it being twins makes a huge difference. Here's 4 weeks vs 14 weeks.

I did have mild OHSS in the first one so I was a bit bloated. My dress, which I had cut out and sewn months in advance barely zipped for Halloween. I don't think it's super noticeable but the change in fit, from before stimming to after I got my first positive, was huge. I was seriously worried I wouldn't be able to wear it to take V trick-or-treating.

Now, well, things are pretty obvious. To someone who doesn't know me it might be easy to assume I'm just bigger. To me at least, it's obvious pregnancy bump. I feel huge. I was not showing this much at this stage with V.

Sometimes I do feel flutters, especially while using my doppler. The little stinkers threw me for a loop last night, after having been in the same spots for several days they switched things up and it took me forever to find them last night. I barely did, and I'm not entirely sure I didn't just fine the same one since it swims around a lot. Oh well!

I haven't been bruising as bad from my Lovenox. That's not to say I'm not at all, I got a pretty bad one last night. It's all about the area and how slowly I inject though, some areas are just more prone to bruising. The far end of my love-handles, way to the side, seem to be the best. Of course there's only so many times I can inject there, and on the rare occasion those ones do bruise I have to hunt for different areas. Sometimes my injects go just fine, sometimes they're extremely painful. It's all hit or miss.

So, 14 weeks. That's something. We're out of the first trimester (yay), and I'm hoping the next 10 weeks will go as smoothly as these last.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Temporary relief- using my doppler

I debated a lot about whether or not I should buy a doppler. With V I couldn't find him until 15 weeks, and sometimes it was hit or miss. In the end it did offer me a lot of reassurance, and it was a nice experience being able to listen to him. With twins, I didn't know how helpful it would be though since there are two and it may complicate things.

I am glad that I went for it though. At first I could only find one, it did not help that I wasn't sure where I should be looking. At 13 weeks most women's uterus' would have just barely risen out of the pelvic bone, but as this was my second to make it this far and twins (coupled with how much I'm already showing) I started out much higher... near my belly button. It's a good thing I did, because Baby B was up there. The first time I checked I couldn't find Baby A, the second time I did find Baby A but couldn't find Baby B.

I think I have them figured out though. Baby A is below my c-section scar, and (s)he doesn't move much. I mean on the ultrasound (s)he was kicking and punching but (s)he is pretty stationary. I can consistently find it right below my scar. Baby B though is a squirmy worm- always near my belly button but sometimes directly below, sometimes to the far right, and once to the far right. Tonight I found him/her very clearly, only to have them swim away- I could hear it on the doppler, and even felt it. So. cool. But it also makes listening to it on the doppler difficult, ha.

Using the doppler can be trying, and when I can't find them it's frustrating, but I know that even my OB had trouble finding babies sometimes. It's normal. So if I can't find them, I say, "Okay," and put it away for the night. I always caution people when using them, because it's easy to freak out when you can't find them... but it's normal. Even when I could feel V's movements I couldn't always find his heart beat. One day I ended up having to do kick counts, but all was well.

Finding them is exciting though, it's helping me to bond more. This whole pregnancy I've been really detached. It's just one of my defense mechanisms, I have trouble letting myself get attached because subconsciously part of me still feels like this is going to end. I don't like feeling that way, but there it is. Listening to them makes it more real, and it also got me to do something I hadn't really done before- I actually talked to them. At this point with V I was talking to him a lot, mostly begging him to hang in there and keep fighting, but so far this time... I've just remained a little ambivalent. Part of me wants to get excited and start planning things now, and part of me doesn't even want to acknowledge that I'm  pregnant. The whole thing felt so surreal I couldn't attach. I'm starting too though, they're definitely becoming more real. I'm already attaching personality traits to them, and letting myself imagine how that will reflect on them later. I talk to Baby B the most, but it's usually, "Hold still! Now where did you go?!" It's progress though, so I'll take it.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Not a real post-

I finally got in touch with the MFM's office and we have an appointment scheduled for the 14th for a consultation and ultrasound. Then our next appointment will be on the 28th with my OB. Hopefully we can get more questions answered, figure out how our care will play out, and go from there.

I bought a doppler and it arrived today (I had passed my old one on to a friend). I managed to find one of the babies about halfway up to my belly button to the left, and on the opposite side I'm pretty sure I heard a placenta but did not find the second baby. I'm not worried, because I know they're still small and shifty. They have a nasty habit of hiding behind each other. Maybe I can find them both another time.

I shouldn't be surprised at how high my uterus is already, but at the same time wow it's no wonder I'm showing so much already. Between it being a second pregnancy and twins I guess that really pushed things out sooner.

13 weeks and 1 day today... still taking it one day at a time.