Life after infertility

When I was pregnant with the twins I wondered how I’d feel as a new mom:

After waiting and hoping for these babies for so long, would getting up in the middle of the night feel like a chore?
How would my relationship with my husband change?
Would I feel like I wanted help? Or would I be able to do it all on my own?
What would it feel like being a mom after infertility?
Would the babies bring the joy that I hoped for?
Would I do anything different?

Now that it’s been 5.5 months since I’ve given birth, I can now answer these questions! (I’ve always strived to be real in my blog, so I am hoping my honesty doesn’t offend anyone)

I remember potty training my dog when he was a puppy and thought it might be the same. I was so wrong. In the beginning, getting up in the middle of the night was downright painful because I’d get 45 minute stretches of sleep. Getting up didn’t feel like a chore, but it was certainly painful.

There’s some statistic that parents of multiples are more likely to divorce. And now… I can see why! Sleep depravation, crying babies and differing parental views make for a stressful mix.

Next on the list of questions was help. I didn’t know if I wanted help. I realize now how stupid this was. These days, I am thankful if I’m given the go ahead to take a shower. I have been by myself with the babies for no more than 48 hours since they’ve arrived home (they’re 5.5 months now!)

Life after infertility has been a mix of feeling like I’m any other mom, and moments of profound awe. There are moments where I feel guilty because I am not present enough for the twins. There was a day when I was crying to a friend saying that I just needed a break. Visiting friends often say things like “don’t you think it’s all gone by so fast?” and to be honest, I have no insight yet about time, it’s fast and slow all at the same time.

And finally, have the babies brought the joy that I thought they would. And the answer is yes. When I spoke of having kids one day, it was Evan and Lauren who I was referring to. When I prayed for babies, it was these two. Sometimes I have to pinch myself.

Miracles do happen.

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The last three months

I probably have 5 minutes to write this post before a baby starts crying, so instead of not blogging ever again, I will make this really quick. The last three months have been a blur. I always told myself that instead of just surviving the first three months, I wanted to thrive. I know this sounds corny, but I’ve always been very aware of the fact that this newborn phase will only be a one shot deal for me. It’s been bitter sweet watching the little ones grow. I’ve seen them sprout right before my eyes! From eyebrows that have changed colours, cheeks fill in, hands get big and plumpy, and hair grow. Yup, I said hair grow, and it’s really more exciting than it sounds!

Oh dear, one baby is up! Gotta run. Hope to write again soon.

Welcome Evan and Lauren!

This blog post is dedicated to the two miracles in my life, Evan and Lauren, who arrived on the Labour Day long weekend!

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Dear Evan and Lauren,

Welcome to the world! I want you to know how much you were loved long, long before you were born. Daddy and I worked

Evan and Lauren celebrating their 1 month birthday! Evan must be hungry here :)

Evan and Lauren celebrating their 1 month birthday! Evan must be hungry here 🙂

hard to find you, and we would have gone to the ends of the earth to have you in our lives. We discovered that you were both healthy and growing on February’s Family Day long weekend, and we were continually delighted to watch you grow strong over the months you were in my big ever growing belly. Daddy noticed that little Evan was always squirming around and kicking during the weekly ultrasound appointments, while Lauren was always still, and quiet as a mouse. Daddy was concerned for Lauren because you never moved when we saw you on the screen, week after week, but now that we’ve

gotten to meet you in person, we notice that some things haven’t changed! In fact, Evan was the one who kicked mommy’s water open which sent you both into the hospital for delivery on the Saturday morning of August 30th. Evan, you make the funniest/cutest noises right now. We call you the barracuda because you’re always hungry and tackle your food with a fierceness that makes mommy and daddy laugh. Since you were born, you’ve been wide-eyed and curious, always looking around to see what everyone is up to in the NICU. Lauren, you are such a sweet, gentle soul! You’re just starting to awaken to the world around you. Daddy was worried about you in the womb, and even today he’s worried that you’re not growing as fast as your brother and is trying to fatten you up by making sure mommy feeds you every time you make a squeak. You both spent the first three weeks in the NICU because you were born early at 34 weeks + 1 day and needed to grow a bit more. You were supposed to arrive at 37 weeks + 3 days, so you

Spending some quality time with Lauren in the NICU.

Spending some quality time with Lauren in the NICU.

were over 3 weeks early! Mommy had just finished work 2 days before you were born. We weren’t expecting you to arrive so early and weren’t really prepared. We had just painted your room 2 days before, and set up your crib the day before you were born.

The day you were born is, and likely will always be, the best day of my life. The overwhelming feeling was that I was so happy to finally meet you.

My wish for you as you grow up, is that you will find joy in the big and small things in life. That you will grow to know yourself, and have the courage to be yourself, always. Live each day to the fullest, babies.

There’s a saying that it takes a village to raise a child, I consider the friends that have encouraged mommy through this blog throughout pregnancy, a part of that village that brought you to life. One day I hope you can read through all the loving comments and know that you were born from the support and prayers from people around the world.

You are loved beyond words.

Happy 1 month birthday.

Momma
xoxo

P.S. I wrote my first blog post dedicated to you almost a year to the day you were born, you weren’t conceived yet, but against all odds, I dared to hope…here’s the poem: https://jennergetic.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/on-the-night-you-were-born/

Some more pics!

Evan just a few days old.

This photo was taken the day before giving birth! I ended up gaining 50 glorious pounds!

This photo was taken the day before giving birth! I ended up gaining 50 glorious pounds!

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Evan being cute.

32 weeks pregnant with twins update

Happy to report that I’m still pregnant and the babies are doing very well!

I am 32 weeks pregnant and have gained 43 pounds, which means that we (the twins and I) are

Second breakfast!

Second breakfast!

now the same weight as my husband! I am now in third trimester and still working 4 days a week at my office job which is getting increasingly difficult. I thought I’d be able to motor through and continue working until 34 weeks but these days my brain is not working very well and I fall asleep from 3:00-5:30 if given the opportunity. In first and second trimester, I could have a list of 10 things to do and be able to accomplish everything by the end of day. These days, I consider it a good day if I’ve managed to complete one thing!

MOVING OUT
We moved out of our old house and into the new house last week. We moved to give the babies more space so they could run around and have space to be creative (our old house was great for the two of us but would have been small and cramped with twins and all their gear).  I thought it would be nice to create a video for the babies of what our old house looked like…I managed to get “Hi babies!” in before started to cry and could no longer speak. Moving is always emotional for me, but this move is so much more meaningful.

FALSE LABOUR AT 30 WEEKS
The day after our move, at 30 weeks pregnant, I started having contractions every 2 minutes

false labour at 30 weeks!

false labour at 30 weeks!

which brought us into the hospital for 6 hours while they determined what was going on. We were on pins and needles wondering whether we’d be admitted for an emergency c-section. There was a swab test done and it eventually told us that I would NOT be giving birth in the next 10 days. They did say that my cervix was now open by a fingertip. At my OB appointment this week, my OB said that he thinks that based on the length of my cervix which is pretty good, he doesn’t expect me to go into labour before 34 weeks. 

C-SECTION SCHEDULED
The babies have been in breach position for a while now, so we scheduled our c-section for September 22! This means I have at most 5 weeks before the babies arrive!! There is still so much to do, we’re still living in boxes since we’re waiting to have our house painted before we really get the house ready and start buying all the baby stuff which takes up a lot of space. 

SYMPTOMS
Check out my swollen elephant-like feet! My ankles are wider than my calves…how is that even possible?? I can’t fit into any of my shoes any longer. Purchasing a photo-43pair of Birkenstocks was the best investment for a summer pregnancy! (Along with my zero-gravity chair and memory foam mattress topper –all have been a lifesaver!)

Since the third trimester, I’ve started getting De Quervain’s tendonitis which prevents me from extending my thumbs. I am getting very concerned about this because it’s getting worse and I’m afraid that I won’t be able to care for the babies when they arrive. Even something as simple as gripping a mason jar is difficult, I can’t imagine trying to lift my babies! This is the last thing I would have expected, but I’m hoping that this will go away as soon as I deliver.

Some other things that I didn’t expect from pregnancy:

  • I used to always get UTIs and have heard that pregnancy can cause more frequent UTIs, but so far, it hasn’t plagued me once
  • I have suffered severe eczema since childhood, again, no breakouts since pregnant!
  • My anxiety is a thing of the past

Both babies are moving quite a bit now. Sometimes their movements are so big that they jerk me around! 

Starting next week at 32 weeks, I will go from visiting the OB every two weeks to every week! 

That’s all for now! Hoping to have more time to blog when I stop working. 

xx

22 weeks pregnant – we bought and sold a house!

Nesting?

We bought our current house 7 years ago when we were both young professionals without kids. It’s a 3 story home in the city with a small footprint on each floor. As soon as I found out I was pregnant I really wanted more space for the babies. I wanted space for them to be creative, to run around and to be free to be kids. Unfortunately the housing market is crazy right now and I wasn’t keen on taking on an enormous mortgage right before we were to embark on parenthood, diapers for twins, daycare etc. So we were all ready to hunker down and get the nursery prepared until a friend told me of a house that we could buy under private sale (read: no bidding war!). Three days later, we were new home owners! The new house is perfect for us for the next 7 years (at least). It only has 2 bedrooms, but the twins will be able to share a room for at least the next 7 years. It’s a home where I can envision us having really good memories, we won’t be limited by space and best of all there is a “heart” to the home. My husband thinks we overpaid and is still experiencing buyers remorse, but I think he’ll come around when we move in. 🙂

This means we had to prepare and sell our house quickly. I can’t believe I managed to do everything while pregnant. It has been a very hectic week. Decluttering was a big task, but something that needed to be done. We lived like we were living in a museum for the week the house was on the market. It was hard to be out of the house being 5 months pregnant because we had to be out for 12 hours while people viewed the house at all hours of the day, but it was all worth it. A week after we listed it sold! Yay!

We move at the end of July so I’ll be 30 weeks by that time. From what I hear, people carrying twins usually get exhausted and stop working between 30-32 weeks so it may be a good cut off time to start a new beginning in our new house and preparing it for the babies.

Pregnancy update

At 21 weeks, I felt BOTH the babies move for the first time! I imagined them wishing their mama a happy birthday first thing in the morning. Best birthday present ever!

I am now at 22 weeks, my feet are quite sore and swollen these days and my appetite has subsided from the first trimester. Another development is that exhaustion hits me at work in the afternoon, this could be due to the insomnia that plagued my days during my infertile days. I’ve woken up at 4:00am every morning but I’m not sure if it’s just the anxiety from the house stuff going on. With all this said, overall I feel really great and I’m in good spirits.

It was almost one year ago

It has almost been a year since I wrote my first blog post. I started the blog the day I sobbed in the middle of a party celebrating my girlfriend’s two year old’s birthday. I remember that day often as the little man’s 3rd birthday approaches. It has had the power to bring me to tears on several occasions just remembering how sad I was at that time as it’s contrasted to how much my life has changed today. I started this blog as a journal for everyday life, but since my life was all consumed by the struggle to conquer infertility, it naturally became the main focus of the blog. Infertility was a season of life, now that the season has changed I find it difficult to find my voice amongst all the struggles amongst my friends within this blog community, so I want to share with you this piece of encouragement if you’re still in the weeds: If anyone told me a year ago at that birthday party that I’d be almost 6 months pregnant with a boy/girl twins, with a new house, and full of peace and happiness I would have said sarcastically to them “yeah right, dream on”…

So dear friends, today I want to think of yourself a year from now and I dare you to “dream on”.

xoxo

 

19 weeks pregnant – Gender reveal!

Baby A is a boy. Baby B is a girl.

Is this really happening??? AHHH!

The anatomy scan was 1.5 hours of measurements (bone lengths, head circumference, images of the lips and kidneys etc). It was the first time that the image on the ultrasound looked like a real baby face from the profile view! As always, Baby A (boy) was super active during the entire scan, while Baby B (girl) was quiet as a mouse. I wonder if these ultrasounds have any insight into their personalities when they come out. I guess I’ll find out!

In other news, the last I checked I had gained 20 pounds at 19 weeks. Although I feel large, I don’t look that much bigger than my friends with singletons. I do however feel beautiful! Ever since 15 weeks pregnant I noticed a dark line going down the middle of my belly, it cracks me up because mine is crooked! I am starting to get physically tired easily these days. I can’t walk for long without having sore feet. This is not going to bode well for my continued efforts in the cleaning/decluttering department. 🙂

Last night right after a large and heavy dinner (Persian veal stew, a new recipe I was trying out) I had really painful cramps which I thought might be contractions, they started just before I got into the car to get groceries. They would come on every 2 minutes and would last for 5 seconds, they’d be so painful I was unable to speak and my belly was rock hard. Mr. Jennergetic went into a major panic thinking that I may be going into preterm labour and we went home right away (even though I had picked up one of those mobility scooters to scoot around the store, there’s a first for everything in this pregnancy!). Anyway before leaving the grocery store, I had the urge to go to the bathroom (I’ll spare the details, but it was gas with a mix of upset stomach if you know what I mean). Mr Jennergetic was so worried, he came into the ladies washroom to ask if I was okay, this is NOT something he would ever do, so I know he was really worried. On our way home we were debating whether I should go straight to the hospital but decided to get hydrated, and take a wait and see approach. I ended up falling asleep. It’s 4:00AM as I write this post and thankfully I feel myself again. My symptoms could have also signalled pre-term labour, but thankfully it was just good ol’ pregnancy gas. I wanted to share this in case anyone else experiences something similar.

That’s all for now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19 weeks pregnant – we find out the genders tomorrow!

Tomorrow is my anatomy scan where we find out the genders! I can’t believe the time has finally come. The babies are now measuring like 6″ Subway subs each, so together, it’s like having a foot long sub in my belly. Speaking of the belly, I am feeling like a tire that’s been over-inflated and is about to burst. I think it’s bloating. I am still going to bed at 9:30, and instead of progesterone in oil injections in the butt, Mr. Jennergetic is now helping apply Bio Oil to prevent stretch marks. I am still waiting to feel the babies move, but nothing yet! 

Still in the midst of spring cleaning. I have been making incredible progress and managed to make $500 off of my “stuff” last weekend! As soon as I’m done spring cleaning, I am going to move on to buying baby stuff. WOOHOO!!

That’s all for now!

 

 

 

Spring Cleaning Motivation

I don’t know about you, but I am in the spring cleaning spirit.

Today’s spring cleaning motivation comes to you from TedTalks and the video is titled “SELL YOUR CRAP. PAY YOUR DEBT. DO WHAT YOU LOVE.

Just in time for the weekend.

Happy decluttering!

17 weeks pregnant – and the twins are still around!

My first OB appointment went really well (Read: THE BABIES ARE STILL HERE!) Now the anxiety and feelings of inadequacy that stemmed from infertility/chemical pregnancies that has plagued the last 4 years are starting to being squeezed out by the ever growing twins. As my belly blossoms, so does my belief that these babies are finally here to stay. 

As I was in the waiting room, I couldn’t help but request hubby to take a photo of me beside the wall that said “WOMEN AND BABIES”. I am becoming a normal pregnant lady!!  

16 weeks 3 days with twins

16 weeks 3 days pregnant with twins

At the OB appointment we had an ultrasound where we got to see the babies, then met with the OB who is the twin expert in the city (I am going to a hospital that specializes in multiples). Everything was really straight forward, he said the babies are measuring well, they’re the size of large onions right now and my cervix is looking good at 4.6 cms. I had a few burning questions for the OB and here was his response to each:

Q. I had accidentally eaten undercooked seafood while in Mexico which had me worried sick that the babies might have gotten something terrible like listeria or taxoplasmosis. I had zero symptoms and felt great throughout the vacation. 

A: Since I had no symptoms there was nothing to worry and no testing would be required.

Q. My thryroid was 0.5 the last time I checked it, if I dipped any lower, could i be in hyperthyroid territory then risk miscarrying the babies?

A: What is considered a normal/ideal thyroid level is different during pregnancy, and it even changes depending on the trimester you’re in. I had my thyroid re-tested and they said they’d call if I needed to readjust my meds. So far I haven’t gotten a call. 

I even asked my RE about this at my 12 week appointment and he said that new research shows that the thyroid can go as low as 0.1 and still be beneficial for the baby, it’s only a major concern if the thyroid is hypo. 

I have been so careful with my thyroid since I don’t know for sure whether it was what was causing my miscarriages that I’ve been waking up every night at 2:00am to take my thryoid meds just so that I’d get maximum absorption. This wasn’t a problem when I was in the first trimester and woke up 3 times to go to the washroom, but now that I’m sleeping like a log, it’s getting increasingly difficult!

Q: Since carrying twins, should I be exercising or not? 

A: Maintain the level and type of activity you had before you were pregnant. 

Well this is going to be a problem because I have done ZERO since starting IVF last fall. I haven’t so much as lifted a cast iron pot! The other day I went shopping for car seats and lifted a few up at the store, the next day I woke up with sore arms…oh dear. 

SECOND TRIMESTER – OH HOW I LOVE YOU

My first trimester wasn’t horrifically bad… it was more a gradual descent into misery. Let’s just say it was bad enough that I did not cook anything in my kitchen for 3.5 months. I would come home from work and moan and groan uncontrollably (I even annoyed myself!) from what I now guess was actually nausea. My food cravings and aversions were out of control. I would have a massive craving for something, eat it, then never want to see it again the next day because I would inevitably feel bad again and begin to associate the nausea with the feeling. 

I went through phases of cravings, they started with pickled goods and soups, then pizza (that one has stayed with me even to this day), pasta, dill pickle chips (YUM), hamburgers, cheese, cheese and more cheese. I never had a thing for orange juice until I got pregnant. Now I have a glass every day with breakfast, it helps take the headache away that probably comes from dehydration since I can’t seem to drink enough water for these babies. 

Now that I am well into my second trimester, I am beginning to feel myself again. I finally back in the kitchen as of this week after a long hiatus and I’m cooking up a storm! Got myself a pressure cooker and now wonder how I ever lived without it. Even got to making some green juices which made me feel fantastic. 

I was waiting for our first OB appointment to confirm that the twins are still around, and now I am finally officially telling people we’re having twins. Before I would just say I was pregnant because well, it was obvious and there was no hiding that fact. 

LOOKING AHEAD

Now that I believe it for myself, it means that I have a million things to do to prepare for these babies before I’ll likely need to start taking it easy again at 24 weeks (end of June). 

Some things that we’re now considering:

1. Should we move?

2. What car should be get?

3. Selling all my “clutter”

 

Gotta get ready for work now, hope everyone has a reproductive day!

 

 

 

15 weeks pregnant – On babymoon

Ola! We’re in sunny Cancun Mexico this week. I am 15 weeks 4 days today and I surprise myself each morning when I look in the mirror at Imagemy growing bump! I am doing two separate rounds of breakfast and two rounds of lunch. Nothing out of the ordinary really. As of today at 15 weeks, I have gained 15 pounds.

Now that I’ve graduated from the fertility clinic, our next big milestone is to see our OB for the first time next week. 

For now, I’ll be soaking up the sun and enjoying some “exercise”…which will be walking back and forth from the beach to the buffet.