Saturday, 27 July 2013

Countdown to the wedding

So we are coming up to the final 2 weeks before our wedding and there is still much to be done.

I haven't bought the favours yet, the basement is still in a shambles while Mike organizes, purges and repacks our storage areas. We still need to buy wine and make sure there are enough wine glasses in the house. We haven't heard back from some of the invitees, so I have no idea about the final head count, only that it will be under 40.

My waistline is expanding and I am starving all the time. I had hoped that the babies would eat my excess fat, so this wouldn't be a problem, but no such luck. And I can't not eat because when I get hungry I get nauseous, and grumpy and panicky. That's never good. So I eat a whole lot of fruit, many small cheese sandwiches, yogurt, eggs. Pretty much anything other than meat which makes me want to hurl most of the time. Vegetables aren't that appetizing either, much to Mike's displeasure. His not so helpful suggestion towards most of my complaints is to tell me I am eating too much sugar, not enough nutritious vegetables and no protein. Massive sigh and eye roll. I can't control what looks appetizing and what makes me want to vomit. Sorry love, the twins are in control right now, me not so much.

And my allergies are out. of. control. Today that when I went to lie down for a nap I ended up having a massive coughing and wheezing fit so bad that I wondered if I would have to go to urgent care. As I was running out the door to drive to the pharmacy to see if there was something I could take, Mike helpfully suggests that if I went to the gym and worked out I might feel better. I could be dieing of an asthma attack, and he wants me to go to the gym. I didn't have the breath or energy to set him straight so I ran out to the pharmacy without arguing. The allergy meds have helped, as did a few puffs on the old inhaler I had, and I finally got my breathing under control.

2 weeks left. Oh my goodness. I hope we get everything done.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Phoenix update

I realise that I haven't actually written about Phoenix for a while, so I thought I would give you a quick update. Phoenix is becoming more and more 3 years old. By that I mean she is asserting her independence, becoming possessive of her belongings, becoming more wilful. All things you would expect of a 3 year old. She is the queen of diversion. I ask her to come to the table to eat and she jumps into her car and starts pretending to drive away. Or she goes to the couch and hides under the blanket or she goes to her reading tent and picks up a book.

We've had to finally pull out the ultimate threat when we sit her at the table and refuses to eat. Eat or the ipad goes away. And amazingly, it works! It is a beautiful threat, because she loves the ipad and we have fallen into the bad habit of letting her watch videos on it at the meal table because she will watch it and mindlessly eat. For most people this is a bad thing. Not for a kid with food issues. For a kid with food refusal tendencies, mindless eating is brilliant. It means that every day I get her to eat fruits and veggies. It feels like a giant victory. Until the time when we have to start weaning her off the ipad. That is not going to be pretty, let me tell you. For know it is fine. We finally have a kid that eats and we are going to bask in the glory of it as long as we can.

I sure hope it won't be a problem at preschool in September.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The NT scan

I had been extremely nervous leading up to my NT scan. This is the scan that looks at the fluid at the back of the babies necks and, matched with some blood work that is done a few days ahead, is combined to give you a risk ratio of your chances of having a baby with trisomy 21, 13 or 18. This is the scan where Phoenix came up high risk last time. It's a pretty important scan. And I was anxious. Like up half the night anxious worrying about what was going to happen.

Because as much as I love, love, love my daughter, and fully embrace her challenges, there is nothing I want less in this world than identical twin babies with DS. Sorry, I just don't. I want a different experience this time. I want to envision a different future. I want to just worry about the normal twin things. Like how long I can carry them. Or getting them to a good birth weight. Or trying to breast feed two babies who most likely will end up in the nicu. Or how to fit three car seats across the back of our Ford Focus wagon. That's enough to worry about, don't you think?

So I've been worrying. A lot. Obsessively. And then the day of the scan came. I let the tech know that I was apprehensive and she did a wonderful job of talking me through what she saw. We saw two beautifully formed babies. We saw arms and legs, and bladders. In fact, it wasn't that different from what I saw when I went for this scan with Phoenix. The only difference were the NT measurements. With Phoenix it was 2.1 (still well within normal). With these babies the NT was 1.5. They were excellent readings. And this time when I met with the nurse afterwards the results were very different from last time. Last time I walked in with a background risk of 1:400 and walked out with a risk of 1:17. This time I walked in with a risk of 1:72 and walked out with a risk of 1:1444. Much, much lower.

So while this initially gives me some relief, the reality is that I could still be the "1". One mom I know had a risk of 1:20,00. Another had a risk of 1:12,00. They were both "the 1". So what does it matter how low your risk is, when you keep on becoming the "1"? My risk of triplets from the particular fertility treatment we did - 1%. My risk of identical twins - about 1% too. And then there is my lost baby. My triplet. My third heart beat. I am sure we lost it due to a problem with chromosomes. Even the geneticist agreed that it was probably lost to "chromosomal rearrangement". I just keep on winning and winning. How very  Charley Sheen of me. So why should I trust that THIS time I am not going to be "the 1"?

For people who have walked this road, it can be terrifying. The uncertainty. The not knowing exactly what is going on chromosomally with their babies. And now there are blood tests you can take that look at the free cell DNA of the baby that floats around in the mothers blood. Except, if you have a baby that has passed, like a vanishing triplet, you can't take the test because it will be inaccurate. So I am still SOL, not knowing if these babies are chromosomally normal.

 It's just never simple.

The Blessing of Many

There is a reason why most women don't announce their pregnancies until after 12 weeks. It's because things can change quickly, and if you are going to experience pregnancy loss, this is the most common time for it to happen.

It was very exciting when we finally found out we were pregnant. It has taken over two years trying to conceive our second. It's been a long road with many disappointments.

So I was very anxious when I went for an early ultrasound a number of weeks ago. I was hoping to see one live baby. Just one. One would have been beautiful. What we found was very different.  We found a set of identical twins, and then a single baby. 3 heartbeats. 3 babies. Oh my goodness.

For some reason, I took the news very calmly. I had been secretly hoping for two because I thought this might be my last shot of having children. Husband was happy with just Phoenix, but I wanted her to have a sibling or two to grow up with. I had about a 20 minute wait after the tech was done while I waited for the doctor on site to review the pictures, so I called Husband. Husband was also very calm when I told him bout it. He was at home taking care of Phoenix, so I just went to the appointment on my own.

Of course, I went into research mode. The stats aren't wonderful for triplet pregnancies. There is a 25% loss rate for the entire pregnancy. 1 in 4. That sounds so high to me.

The doc and the tech weren't sure if baby number 3 was going to viable. There was a heartbeat, but it wasn't the same as the other two and the baby wasn't as developed as the twins. So we waited for two weeks and went back for another peak to see how they are all doing. And through my research I found that having a 'disappearing triplet' is quite common. Like 50% of triplet pregnancies common. So it wasn't a total shock that we ended up with 2 after all. Two is still fabulous, even though we would have gladly welcomed all three to the family.

Of course, the twins are high risk as well. They share a placenta (mo), but thankfully are in their own separate sacks (di). This type of twin set is referred to as mo/di. They are identical. Because I am carrying mo/di twins I get to see the high risk maternal fetal medicine clinic in my city. I'm psyched for my first appointment in three weeks. And I get ultrasounds every 2-3 weeks to check on the babies progress! I'm psyched for that too. I love seeing their growth and development and seeing them on the screen makes it all the more real.

That's it for now. I have more story to tell, but I'll save it for another day. Here is my beautiful baby A and baby B. In all their 12 week glory.