Welp. I’m Still Pregnant. (The Very Long Overdue Update)

/Forgive me friends for not updating sooner! I have not fallen off the face of the earth…just face first into my (mound of) pillow(s) more frequently. :) I am officially 229 days pregnant today (32 weeks +5) and in that time a lot has changed, like the size of my pants…

So here’s where we stand (in case you missed my IG Updates):

  • We are expecting a boy and a girl!
  • Babies are growing right on target
  • C-Section scheduled for 9/1/15 at 38 weeks with little faith we will actually make it that far (without me begging for mercy)

The Good:
We are well over the morning sickness and constant feeling of “shit”. The twins are moving like crazy, and I absolutely love feeling their every kick and hiccup, even at 3AM. We’ve had a smooth pregnancy thus far, aside from our trip to the hospital following a nasty upper respiratory infection. But hey, we’re now registered with the hospital in advance, and I know their toothpaste sucks!

The Bad:
I can only speak on behalf of my personal experience with pregnancy, and carrying twins…and it’s TOUGH work. Everything is multiplied, and everything happens sooner! Back pain, pelvic pain, stretching pains, joint pain, swelling, peeing. The list goes on.

The Downright Uggggly:
I recently cried because my hot dog* at dinner was too cold (oooo pregnancy!)
*yes it was nitrate free, all beef, organic, chill.
Internal hemorrhoids are no fun for anyone.
Stretch marks have now become unavoidable, despite incessant oiling/buttering/massaging.
Rolling over is not only a milestone for newborns.
I now weigh more than my husband…yikes. Damn those skinny Europeans.

As I get back into the blogging-swing-of-things, I’ll be sharing some more about the twins, pregnancy, beating infertility, the nursery, cute baby things and more.

In the meantime, I owe a few of you some answers to some common questions I’ve received throughout this process, and here are my long overdue answers….

 

“I’m scared once we start IVF, it won’t work and afraid we won’t be able to do a second attempt financially.” 

How does everyone afford IVF? I feel so discouraged because of the money.”

This is a valid concern for two reasons: 1) IVF, and most assisted reproduction procedures are EXPENSIVE. 2) Insurance coverage is lacking big time for individuals, and for a majority of states across the US. I’ve never been one to sugar coat anything along this journey, and I don’t intend to start now. The reality is, if you don’t have coverage, or have shitty coverage…save, save, save! Apply for every grant you can google, take advantage of discounted drug programs offered by pharma for your medications, inquire about donated medications, consider financing options, payment plans and shared risk programs offered by clinics (be weary however and do your research), attempt to negotiate, consider traveling out of state for more affordable programs, look into and sign up for clinical studies, and if you’re comfortable (or desperate)…set up a crowd-funding campaign and ask for the support of friends and family. The good news is, if you go through a fresh IVF cycle and manage to freeze multiple embryos, frozen transfer cycles tend to be far more affordable for second and future attempts, utilizing those embryos. I realize not everyone has the financial ability to pursue ART, but for those who are willing to make adjustments to try to save, there are both simple and drastic measures you can take to try to get yourself closer to your dreams:

  1. Live below your means
  2. Focus on your needs, not wants
  3. Stay home
  4. Eat at home, not at restaurants
  5. Skip the alcohol
  6. Give up your fancy lattes
  7. Do not shop to entertain yourself
  8. Keep your old car
  9. Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without

Read more about these suggestions here.

 

I’m struggling with the idea of using a donor after failed IVF and miscarriages.”

I can completely relate to this feeling, and can honestly say, I shared the same sentiments after our third round of IVF failed (which included one miscarriage, one chemical pregnancy, and one that just outright didn’t work). If you’ve been following my blog, you know that we gave it ONE more shot after our third failed round, and by the magic of science, or a sheer stroke of good luck, round four worked. That said, after the third round, I did a lot of soul searching and began to question myself on what really makes a mother, and what I really wanted. Was the need to have a baby more powerful than the requirement that the baby be biological? Can one only be considered a true mother if she births a baby from her womb? I came to the realization that for me personally, the biological matter…didn’t matter. Whether my dreams of a family were achieved through a donor or adoption, what mattered was that we would have the opportunity to raise a child as our own. The following words really struck home for me at the time…

“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother. Mothers are the women around you who guide you – the ones who encourage your dreams, help you pick up the pieces when you falter on your way to those dreams, and believe in you even in the moments when you don’t anymore. They are the women who inspire you, who represent all you hope to someday become a fraction of. They are the women who make room for you in their hearts, who open their lives for you, and who simply hope to make a difference in your life in some small way.”

All of us are capable of motherhood under this definition, biologically achieved or not.

 

“What changed for you between IVF 3 and 4? State of mind, medications, supplements?”

A lot of changes took place between IVF3 and IV4…

First, my state of mind changed.
Second, I began infertility acupuncture.
Third, my stress levels dropped.

Fourth, my protocol was adjusted:

- Started Vitamin D3 Supplements at 2000iu per day (please consult your doctor)
- Started Low Dose 81mg Aspirin after confirmed ovulation (please consult your doctor)
- Infertility acupuncture session evening before transfer
- Infertility acupuncture immediately following transfer (within 2 hours to be exact)
- Continued acupuncture 1x/week
- Went into this cycle with a clear mind, relaxed, and stress-free, following a 2 month break.
- Diagnostic Hysteroscopy and Endo Scratch done 2 months prior to FET.

This cycle was a Natural Frozen Embryo Transfer cycle, and we transferred two unhatched frozen embryos (specific grades unknown) on day 5.

 

“How do you keep yourself positive? Tips from getting depressed.”

As far as I see it, you have a choice to make. You can choose to wallow in self pity, living in limbo between the past and future, or you can choose to live in the present moment, not polluting every potentially wonderful new day with thoughts of yesterday and worries of tomorrow. In my opinion, your mind often makes your reality. I’m not saying that you should never break down, never cry, or never want to give up. All of those things are normal…been there, done that. What I’m saying is, you have to choose every day to make an effort to bring your mind to a place of positivity for your own well-being. One of my absolute favorite books, and often my saving grace in the darkest hours of my infertility journey, is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. The profound, yet simple messages in this book helped me regain consciousness and realize that “the present moment is all you ever have”.

I speak more about finding positivity and how this book helped me here:

Infertility? Invite that Bitch to Tea!

Reflections From My Last Day in Paradise

Happy Reading!!