About Us

My photo
After an 8 year battle with infertility and countless struggles, our family is finally complete. This blog chronicles the journey it took for us to start and build the family we always wanted. Background on the blog (started in 2012, just days before I found out the embryo transfer for our son worked).... I decided to start a blog after realizing I have only been able to make it through my TWW's (two week waits) with the help of Google and with the openness of other women suffering from infertility sharing their own stories and giving others hope. I have time and time again found my exact symptoms on other women's blogs and felt an overwhelming sense of calmness they provided me. I thought it was time to pay it forward and hopefully provide this same thing to other women on their own journeys.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Finish Line

Where to even start!   Monday....I wrapped up my second to last work day as usual (it was a pretty stressful day with events that transpired, so, looking back, maybe those contributed to the rest of the story?).  My mother in law made us a lovely dinner (meatloaf, sweet potatoe, and beans), which we enjoyed as a family at our house.  The entire dinner I was having braxton hicks (BH) contractions, which I attributed to my stressful work day.   The inlaws left and Mike, Victor and I retired to the living room where the two of them played lego video games and I watched - my BH contractions have calmed by this point.  Then we went to bed.

I kept waking up almost every hour or so with BH contractions.  I also kept having to poop (sorry TMI... actually, speaking of this, I had 5 BMs that Monday as well... which looking back, could also have been a sign).   Anyways, during one of my attempts at a BM (again, sorry TMI) and while having kinda bad BH contractions........ my water broke.  Over the toilet.

I was in SHOCK.

It was the wee hours of the morning (roughly 2:40am) on Tuesday the 18th.   I literally had a section scheduled for early Wednesday morning, the 19th.   I couldn't believe my water broke (well, one of the two, since I was having twins).   The next 5-10 minutes were a blur.   Me: "Mike! .... MIKE! ...... MIIIIIKE!!!!!!!" (he was sleeping in Victor's room at the time).   He comes in and I tell him my water broke... "We have to go to the hospital NOW!!!"    I was mostly worried because, just days before, I found out I was group B strep positive.  I literally had an OB appointment that morning, to talk to an OB about it (since I found out through a computer calling me... I still hadn't spoken with a human about it yet).   Anyways, Google says, once your water breaks and you are GBS positive, you must get a minimum of 4 hours of antibiotics before giving birth.

We scrambled around the house packing up last minute things - all the while, I kept gushing amniotic fluid (luckily I had a giant pad on).   Victor was up at this point too.   I tried to stay calm in front of him, but of course I was scared - my contractions were getting more painful, "I can't have this baby vaginally", "omg my water broke at home and I never planned for this".

Luckily, my mother in law, lives next door.  She rushed over to watch Victor.  We kissed everyone goodbye and were out the door!

Once in the car, I called my OB office's phone number.  I hit 0 to go to the emergency on call person.  Just my luck, everytime I hit 0, the call would drop.  I couldn't believe my luck that the "cell signal kept dropping".   Then I realize, the signal wasn't dropping at all.   Just the 0 on the phone number didn't actually go to anyone and the emergency call person option was down!!!   So I called the office's phone number again and left a voicemail on the regular run of the mill nurses line.   I informed them I was on my way to the hospital and I wouldn't be in for my appointments that day.  lol

Next I called the Hamot Women's Hospital.  I let them know the situation and that I would be there soon.  :)

By the time all these calls were made, we were there!  Turns out, as we were pulling up to the hospital gate to get a ticket, our car was actually behind my mom's car AND my grandma's car.  My first thought "omg, we are going to have to wait to get a ticket - while I have bad contractions mind you - because of my own family!  lol.  Luckily, my grandma pulled over so we could pass her - bless her.  My mom was already through the gate and then we were too!

Mike swung the car around to the valet parking area to let me out.  I flew out of the car only to find the doors were locked.  Omg my contractions hurt so bad by now... let us in!   I banged on the glass, then I realized one of the revolving doors was on, so I used that.

I walked up to the triage doors and informed the security guard my water had broke - please let me in!

Once in triage (roughly 3:10am), the lady took her sweet time checking me in.  "Are you still at the same address? ....." type of questions.  OMG lady, yes, now get me back to see some actual medical people!!

I was taken to triage room 6 - even though I was the only one there.  The triage room was the biggest.  I put on the gown and got onto the bed.   A nurse came in and hooked me up to the NST monitors (to monitor fetal heartbeats and contractions).   Then she laid me back and did an instant test to check for amniotic fluid.  It came back NEGATIVE!!!   WTH??!!   I was 100% percent sure my water had broken at home, and the gushes of warm fluid since then were amniotic fluid.  WTF?   Anyways, then they did a more invasive swab (think speculum and cervix - ouch) and sent that off to the lab to be analyzed under a microscope.

Me all hooked up.   I look ok, but I'm actually
in A LOT of pain here.
The monitor.   Top number, 154, is baby A's HB (our girl),
the number below that 141 is baby B's HB (our boy).
The 73 is the strength of the current contraction.... notice
the spikes prior....MAXED OUT.  OUCH.

An HOUR passes and the nurse comes back with the results of the lab amniotic fluid check.   INCONCLUSIVE!!!  She said they "failed to run them in the time allotted" and they HAD TO BE RERUN!!!   Are you kidding me?   Do I have to wait another hour?   I'll die!  Meanwhile, still no antibiotics - because they don't trust me that my water had in fact ruptured!!   I asked if they could test the fluid in the pad I was wearing when I came in.   That thing was soaked when I took it off.  They said they didn't do that.  As they were laying me back again to do another speculumtastic swab, I gushed more fluid and the nurse in charge finally saw it occur!   She said that was good enough and she would get the ball rolling.

Another lady came in to start an IV in my wrist.   Things were finally happening!   Never did get antibiotics for my GBS positivity.  They said that I'd get antibiotics during the section.   I was kinda scared because Google said I needed the 4 hours, even prior to a c section.   I was in so much pain at this point that I just decided to do whatever the hospital thought was best.

I also found out that the OB on call was Dr. Weibel.  Mike and I couldn't be happier.  That is who we wanted to do our c section but he wasn't available on 10/19.   This was all working out perfectly.

Around 4:55am, after being at the hospital already 1:45 minutes, they finally were ready to take me up to pre-op.  I said goodbye to my mom and gram, hopped in a wheel chair, and was on my way!

Once in the 3rd floor pre-op room, I was getting excited.  This was it!   A new nurse checked me out, we talked about the fact that I hadn't had a chance to properly stop my heparin and what that would all mean.   The anesthesiologist came in, reviewed my bloodwork with me, and decided that last night's heparin (around 8pm) was already out of my system and I was okayed for a spinal (able to be awake for the secion).

I said goodbye to Mike for the time being and they wheeled me on the bed into the operating room. As we wheeled in, I jokingly told them that their whiteboard had the wrong date on it (they had 10/17 and it was 10/18).  They helped me onto the operating table.  I sat on the edge while the anesthesiologist put in my spinal block.   My legs started getting warm and tingly.   They helped me swing them onto the bed and laid me back.    My arms were stretched out to either side of me.   An oxygen tube was placed under my nose.

They kept asking if I could feel my legs.  I could still.  They kept asking, and I kept feeling.   Then I started to panic.   What if they cut me and I wasn't fully numb?   The OB and anesthesiologist kept trying different tricks to see if I was numb (pinching, a needly type device).  Eventually, the full numbness was in effect.  However, my BP started to drop.   I started panicking.   It felt as if i couldn't breath.  I even tried sitting up and they all told me to lay back down.  I tried to even pull the O2 tube away from my face (it being shoved in my nostrils was freaking me out).   The whole room of people at this point were trying to calm my ass down.   Eventually, the anesthesiologist gave me something that calmed me down.  It felt nice.

Then they brought Mike in and it was time to have babies!!!!    They started "cutting" and I could smell burning flesh - awesome.  Lol.  I couldn't feel a thing though.  I just couldn't wait to have my babies.   I started getting emotional.  This was it.  This was the end of an EIGHT YEAR JOURNEY to build our family.   It all started in 2008 when we decided we wanted kids.  I was a mere 27.  I was 35 now.   Then.... Evelyn Jane was born at 5:58am weighing 6lb0oz....

And moments later, Alexander James was born at 5:59am weighing 5lb1oz....

Hearing their cries was music to my ears.   I just couldn't believe it.   They were finally here.   Our journey is finally complete.  

I even had the OB tie my tubes during the surgery!!   Crazy to think - 8 years of infertility and now I'm purposefully shutting that all down.   Crazy.

They took the babies out and Mike out while they finished up my surgery.   I spoke with the OB about how it went.   I also asked him about the babies' cord insertions.  Remember all that drama??!   I can't believe what the OB said next.  Alex's cord was, in fact, VELAMENTOUS!!     It inserted at the very edge of the placenta.   Not in the center as Pittsburgh's top doctor assured us.   But you know what?  I'm honestly glad that I thought our son's cord was fine.   I would have been a nervous wreck (even more so) the entire rest of the pregnancy had I known that it was in fact a very dangerous situation.   Evie's cord, was indeed marginal as Pittsburgh found.   The fact that his cord was velamentous is most certainly why is was a almost a whole pound smaller than his sister.  Poor little dude.

Post op
Evie and Alex
Alex had trouble at first keeping his body temperature up and his glucose levels up because he was such a little guy.   They even were talking about him going to the NICU.  But come evening, all of his blood sugar levels came back great.   He was able to regulate his body temp after a night monitored in the nursery as well.  He was is such a strong little guy. 

As for nursing, Evie figured it out like a champ.  She's great.  Alex is also great at latching, but then, because he's so small, it tuckers him out to suck for a long time.   The pediatrician is having us supplement him with formula, just until he gets stronger.   I even started pumping after nursing so he doesn't have to drink all formula for supplementation.  Some of the stuff he gets in the bottle is from me.   My milk ended up coming in like a champ!   I had them on a Tuesday and by Thursday evening/Friday morning my milk was in!

Dad's 1st poop diaper
Grandma Jane
Grandma Jane and Grandma Marian
Nana, Alex and Victor
Papa and Evie
Evie and Alex

I loooooooved seeing Victor meet his brother and sister in the hospital.  He is so so so sweet and is going to make the best big brother.

Had the twins on a Tuesday, and all 3 of us were discharged Friday (standard c-section stay of 3 nights).   I couldn't be happier.

We are now all home and figuring out life one hour at a time.  :)

My goal for this blog was to document my infertility journey.   That journey has come to an end.   This will most likely be the last post.   I am tearing up just thinking about it.   I can't believe it.  This is all so surreal!

The 15 embryos transferred over our 8 embryo transfers.

Next journey in life:  be an awesome mom.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

36w0d - Weekly update!!

36 weeks!!!   8 days or less until we meet our babies!!   Saw our babies today for the first time in 3 weeks!!   Baby girl's estimated weight was 6lb4oz and baby boy's estimated weight was 5lb12oz.   He's always been smaller.  Some of his percentile measurements were like 10th percentile, while a lot of her's were like 55th percentile.   Victor at this point, for comparison, was like 99th percentile.   He was a moose!   These two will definitely be smaller.   Hopefully they'll catch up to their big brother once they are out of me and not competing for resources!!!

Babies this week:
  • Baby's getting closer and closer to being able to breathe on his or her own.
  • Baby's skin is getting smooth and soft and the gums are rigid.
  • Baby's liver and kidneys are in working order.
  • Circulation and immune systems are basically good to go too.
  • Baby's still in the 17.2- to 18.7-inch and 4.2- to 5.8-pound range and continues to beef up. 

Baby girl and baby boy respectively:

What our babies look like this week!  Holy cow!!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

35w2d - Weekly update!!

Still pregnant!   These babies just love baking in there!   C-section still on for 10/19 - 13 days!!!!!

Updates since last week:
  • Got steroid shot #1 this past Tuesday
  • Had really bad cramping that night
  • Went to get steroid shot #2 yesterday (Wednesday) and ended up spending 5 hours or so in Labor & Delivery hooked up to an NST and getting IV fluids.  Apparently they didn't like that I was cramping the night before so they did it as a precaution.  I had lots of contractions but they were all irregular and the nurses/doctor chalked it up to irritable uterus at this point.  Pre-pre-pre-labor.  lol.  Glad they didn't come yesterday though as it was Victor's birthday.  That would have been rough sharing your birthday every year with your twin brother and sister!!

Babies this week:
  • Now, hearing is fully developed, and baby responds best to high-pitched noises.
  • If you're having a boy, his testes have probably fully descended.
  • Baby's about 17.2 to 18.7 inches. From here on out, he or she won't get much longer, but will continue plumping up. 
  • Baby's now about 4.2 to 5.8 pounds, and will put on a pound or more of baby fat before birth. Growing, growing, growing. Yup, baby and you. 
  • You’ve reached 35 weeks, and your uterus has grown about 1,000 times its original size, a number that might sound exaggerated to everyone else—but to you it probably feels more like a million.

Times TWO!!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

34w2d - OB update!

C-section officially moved up!!    OB okayed a 37 week section.  Too bad the books were already full that day, so 37 weeks and 1 day it is!!   That will be Wednesday 10/19!!!!

20 days from today!!!!!!!

All that's left until I meet my babies:

10/04:  OB/NST @ 8:00am - steriod shot #1 @ 9:30am
10/05:  Steriod shot #2 @ 9:30am
10/11:  SONO/OB/NST @ 9:30am
10/18:  SONO/OB/NST @ 8:00am
10/19:  C-section!!  Report @ 5:00am

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

34w0d - Weekly update!!

I'm getting pretty big.  Hard to even roll out of bed in the middle of the night to go pee!!

I have all of my fodder printed and ready to go for Thursday's meeting with the OB and asking to have my C moved from 38 weeks to 37 weeks.

Babies this week:
  • Baby's recognizing and reacting to simple songs, if you're singing them. (If you're not, start! Baby may find them soothing after birth.)
  • Baby's also urinating about a pint a day.
  • At less than two months to go, baby weighs in at about 4.2 pounds to 5.8 pounds and measures about 17.2 to 18.7 inches.

Times TWO!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

33w1d - Latest thing to worry about!

As you can tell, I'm a giant worrier.  I get it from my mom (love you mom!).  Anyways, I stumbled on a Web MD article "Delivering Twins at 37 Weeks May Reduce Stillbirth."   Without even clicking on the link, you can see that recent studies have shown that twins should be delivered by 37 weeks (the kind of twins I have di/di... the other kinds mo/di or mo/mo should be even earlier!).   Of course doctors wont really trust one measly Web MD article so I found the actual study: "Research - Prospective risk of stillbirth and neonatal complications in twin pregnancies: systematic review and meta-analysis."   You better believe I am printing all of this out and bringing it to my next OB visit.   I see a different OB (sometimes even a PA) every time I go, so hopefully I get one with a sympathetic ear.   I even wrote to my old MFM doctor to see if he'd write a letter to my OB's office okayed a 37 week c-section.  Hopefully I will get some traction on this.  To bad my next OB visit is 8 days away!!


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

33w0d - Weekly update!!

Another week down!   5 weeks max until we meet our sweet babies!!

Had a sonogram today!

Baby A - our girl's estimated weight is 4lb 14oz!  

Baby B - our boy's estimated weight is 4lb 11oz!

She's on the left, facing forward.  He's on the right,
profile view looking to the left - his face
buried in arms and legs.  You can make out his
eye socket, nose, upper lip, lower lip and
cheek if you put your mind to it.  lol

Babies this week:
  • Baby's keeping eyes open while awake.
  • Baby's also starting to coordinate breathing with sucking and swallowing.
  • The bones are hardening.
  • And baby's going through (more) major brain development-that's one smart baby!
  • Baby weighs about 4.2 to 5.8 pounds and measures about 17.2 to 18.7 inches. And may grow up to a full inch this week

Times TWO!!