Sunday, February 28, 2010

Luckysaur- Week 36


I've reached week 36...36weeks and 4 days to be exact and I'm so ready to be done. Only 23 more days (hopefully) till I get to meet my little girl. Week 36 has brought a LOT of pelvic pain. I ache almost all the time. I have problems walking. Especially right after I get up from sitting. My hips also hurt every time I turn over in bed. This part of pregnancy has not been fun.

I've started have a few Braxton-Hicks contractions. It's weird feeling your stomach get that hard. I'm hoping that they are helping get my uterus ready for the big day. I have my next doctor's appointment on Wednesday. I'd kind of like to see if there's anything going on in there (effacement, dilation) even though I know that it doesn't really mean much at this stage.

I think that we have the majority of the things crossed off of our to do list now. All the newborn and 0-3 month clothes are washed, our car seat bases are installed, we have the bouncy seat, swing and stroller put together, we have diapers and wipes set out next to her changing table. Her bookcase and crib have been put together and all our thank you's have been written. The only thing that we have left to do is pack our hospital bag. Almost everything that's going in there is stuff that I will be using prior to going to the hospital so I can't really pack it yet. I think that I'm just going to write out a list and pack it before we go. I'm not really worried about forgetting anything (except for the camera). Mr. Luckysaur will be coming back fairly frequently to let our dogs out while I'm in the hospital. So if something is forgotten, he can get it on one of his trips back.

It's scary and exciting how close we are to being parents. I really hope that I can make it through the next couple of weeks.

Warning: venting ahead!

I need to get something off my chest. As you all know, we're planning on cloth diapering our twins. Not right away (we're going to wait until they're out of the newborn sizes first), but that's the plan.

This is a decision that has met with less than happy approval with many people that I talk to. The conversation always starts out with someone idly asking me if we're going to use cloth or disposable diapers. I cheerfully reply cloth, and expect the conversation to end. But instead, I'm treated to a lecture about how much easier and cleaner disposables are (I usually interrupt to tell people about how different modern cloth diapers are to the old fold-and-pin type, but that never seems to make a dent), and then this happens: "Well, you know you won't really save any money by using cloth since you have to wash them all."
*sigh* This is me, remember? The anal retentive tightwad control freak? You really think I made this decision without crunching the numbers? Disposables would cost us approximately $3,000AUD for the first year. Even if we buy all brand new of the most expensive cloth diapers out there, we're only looking at a $1500 outlay, tops. Water and electricity for one extra load of washing per day is about $1 (closer to $0.50 in the USA, but like everything else, it's more expensive here), so that's only $365 extra a year. We'll still be saving around $1150, and the odds are that we wouldn't even be doing a load every day. Not to mention that the most expensive cloth diapers are all-in-one sizes, so they would fit until potty training time, which means that there isn't the same kind of ongoing annual cost that you get with disposables.
It's also been interesting to me how many people have expressed disgust with scraping poo off a diaper. The ironic thing is that you have to do this with disposables as well. Yup, it's illegal to throw feces in the garbage (both here in Australia and in the USA) - this fact even has a mention in the Helpful Hints section of the Pampers website, where they say to scrape before you chuck the diaper out. Now, I'd bet that the majority of people who use disposables don't do this (and probably don't even know you're supposed to), but the simple fact is that aside from cost, the only real difference between modern cloth diapers is that one goes in the trash and one goes in the washing machine. Otherwise, as far as ease of use, convenience, and even poo scraping, they're the exact same.

I guess I'm just frustrated. I don't say nasty things when people choose disposables. If you don't want to do cloth, that's OK - it's a personal choice. So why isn't it OK the other way around? It flabbergasts me that people are so overtly judgmental about this. It's not their money, time or laundry. I'm not asking them to come to my house and change the babies or wash the diapers. Aaaarggh!!!

Of course, the ironic thing is that if we were choosing to use disposables, I bet we'd be getting comments about how bad it is for the environment, etc. Sometimes you just can't win!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The week of ultrasounds

*whew* This week has been a non-stop circus of doctor's appointments, including two different ultrasounds.

On Monday I had a 30-week ultrasound where the babies were carefully measured to make sure that they're still growing at the same rate (they are!) and that the gestational diabetes isn't affecting them badly (it doesn't seem to be). Today was the second scan, which was virtually the same but conducted by the very high risk specialist - again, I just want to reassure everyone that I don't actually need this particular doctor, I just see him occasionally to touch bases should I ever require his help. It's one of those preventative things.


A few measurement tidbits for your reading pleasure:
  • The babies currently weigh 3.75 and 3.8 pounds, respectively, a little larger than the average 30 week, 3lb baby. That means that I'm already toting around the equivalent of a 7.5lb baby. Can you imagine what it will be like in another 6-8 weeks? Eeek!
  • Both babies are measuring slightly ahead of schedule - one was 4 days ahead, the other was approximately one week ahead - so they're a bit larger than the average twins at this stage (most start slowing down after 28 weeks or so, just because space gets a little cramped). I was initially worried that this was from the GD, but my doctor reassured me that although they're on the large side, they're still within the normal growth range.
  • They're both head down, which is excellent news (we may be able to avoid a c-section!) but that means that not only do I now have two heads jammed painfully into my pelvis and exacerbating the donkey crotch, but they're two massive heads. My 30 week old boys both have head measurements the size of the average 34 week old baby. My poor ladyparts are shriveling in fear at the idea of how large their heads will be when it comes time to push these kids out...here's hoping I don't give birth to bobbleheads.
Anyone else have a baby with a gigantic head? Did it even out in growth with the rest of the body before they were born?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Considering Cloth Diapers? Try them out!

We have been cloth diapering Libby since she was 6 days old and love it! We've kept it simple with using unbleached Indian Cotton Prefolds, Snappis and Thirsties Covers. For a breakdown of our stash, see my previous post about it here.

Six days old wearing an XS Thristies cover in Butter over a Snappi's Infant Sized OsoCozy PF

We love the simplicity of cloth diapering, especially since she seems to go through 12-18 diapers a day right now. We're also using organic bamboo cloth wipes with plain water, warmed in a Lionsheart Wipes Warmer (we roll the 8x8 cloth wipes into "cigars", wet then with plain, filtered tap water, pile them into the warmer and open the top when we need a wipe...brilliant!)

Supply getting low? Just do a load of laundry. It's that simple. And cheap! And best of all, we've had no diaper rash issues (one was starting to develop from the disposable wipes/diapers we used at the hospital with her). And even more importantly, no leaks or blow-outs, even with an exclusively breastfed newborn!

Thanks to this handy thread at DiaperSwappers.com you can compare the various cloth diaper trial programs available. The ones listed offer cash credit or returns. There are many more retailers that offer trial diaper packages for store credit returns which are not listed here.

"Trial programs" allow you to use the cloth diapeers for a pre-determined trial period. If you like them you keep them. If you don't, you return them and have only invested a minimal amount of money to see if cloth diapering is for you and your family:

Mom's Milk Boutique Cloth Diaper Trial
Trial Period: 30 days
Deposit: $135
Trial Fee: $20 + return shipping
Bonus: free wetbag, free disposable inserts

Trial Products (all new):
1 Chinese Bleached Prefold
1 Indian Unbleached Prefold
1 Package Flip Disposable Inserts (for use in Econobum or Pocket Diapers).
1 Econobum Prefold & 1 Cover
2 Fitted Diapers (will be either bumGenius Bamboo, Thirsties Fab, or Kissaluvs Fitted Diaper)
1 Thirsties DUO Diaper Cover (except NB - will receive Thirsties XS)
1 Bummis Super Brite or Booroi Cover
1 BumGenius All-In-One
1 Thirsties All-In-One
1 Fuzzi Bunz Perfect Size Pocket Diaper (inserts included)
1 bumGenius 3.0 One-Size Pocket Diaper (inserts included)
1 Snappi
1 small wetbag

Mom's Milk Boutique Organic Cloth Diaper Trial
Trial Period: 30 days
Deposit: $180
Trial Fee: $30 + return shipping
Bonus: free wetbag

Trial Products (all new):
1 GRO Baby System Shell Set
1 Extra Organic Soaker Pad
1 Bummis Organic Cotton Prefolds
1 Imse Vimse Organic Cotton Contour Diaper
1 Clover or Dream-eze Organic Cotton Fitted Diaper
1 BabyKicks Organic One-Size Fitted Diaper
1 bumGenius Organic All-In-One One Size Diaper
1 Dream-eze Organic All-In-One
1 Econappi Organic Pocket/All-In-Two One Size Diaper
1 Imse Vimse Organic Cotton Diaper Cover
1 Snappi
1 small wetbag (yours to keep whether or not you keep the package!)

Jillian's Drawers Cloth Diaper Trial
Trial Period: 21 days
Deposit: $150
Trial Fee: $10 + shipping both ways
Bonus: free flushable liners, free shipping on next order, 10% off trial package if you choose to keep it

Trial Products (all new):
2 Bleached Chinese Prefolds
2 Unbleached Indian Prefolds
1 Snappi
1 bumGenius! Fitted Bamboo Diaper (we may sub a Thirsties Fab Fitted)
1 Thirsties
V2.0 Diaper Cover
1 Fuzzi Bunz with Microfiber Insert
1 bumGenius! One-Size V3.0 with 2 Microfiber Inserts
1 Dream-Eze Organic All-In-One
1 bumGenius! V3.0 All-In-One
1 GroBaby Shell with 1 Snap-In Soaker and 1 Booster
2 Additional GroBaby Snap-In Soakers
5 Sheets of Flushable Liners (just lay in diaper, remove, and flush in toilet with solids)

Cute Caboose Cloth Diaper Trial
Trial Period: 21 days
Deposit: $150
Trial Fee: $10 + shipping both ways
Bonus: substitutions allowed, if you choose to keep diapers, you get a 20% coupon for next purchase

Trial Products (all new):
2 Prefolds
1 Thirsties Diaper Cover
1 Fuzzibunz Perfect Fit Pocket Diaper + MF Inserts
1 bumGenius 3.0 One Size Cloth Diaper + MF inserts
1 Dream-ez All in One Diaper*
1 Thirsties Fab Fitted Cloth Diaper
1 Happy Heiny One Size Pocket Diaper + MF Inserts*
1 Snappi
1 The Natural Baby Co. Wet Bag

Diaper Junction Cloth Diaper Trial
Trial Period: 30 days
Deposit: value of items purchased
Trial Fee: $0 + shipping both ways*
Bonus: build-your-own trial package (or choose one pre-built); 10% off order if you join mailing list; 10% off "stock up" order if you review a product on their site; *shipped to you for free if your order is $75 or more

Trial Products (all new):
(2) Diaper Rite™ Prefolds - 1 bleached & 1 unbleached.
(1) Kissaluvs Fitted Diaper
(1) Bummis Super Whisper Wrap Diaper Cover
(1) Fuzzi Bunz Perfect Size Diaper
(1) bumGenius! Deluxe All in One Diaper

Build-your-own trial package out of any of these products (all new):
Flip One Size Diaper Day Pack
bumGenius! One Size Pocket Diaper
bumGenius! Deluxe All In One Diaper
bumGenius! Organic Cloth Diaper
Econobum One Size Diaper
Flip One Size Diaper System
Gro Baby One Size Diaper
Fuzzi Bunz Pocket Diaper
FuzziBunz One Size Diaper
Happy Heinys One Size Diaper

Cloth Diaper Superstore Cloth Diaper Trial
Trial Period: 30 days
Deposit: value of items purchased
Trial Fee: $0 + shipping both ways
(No official trial, but retailer offers 30-day money back guarantee on "almost every product" they sell.)

Diaper Daisy Cloth Diaper Trial
Trial Period: 14-21 days
Deposit: $140
Trial Fee: $20 + shipping one way
Bonus: build-your-own trial package (or choose one pre-built), detergent sample, trial handbook

Trial Products (gently used):
1 FuzziBunz Perfect Fit Diaper with insert
1 bumGenius 3.0 One Size Pocket Diaper and inserts
1 Knickernappies One Size Pocket Diaper and inserts
1 FuzziBunz One Size Pocket Diaper and inserts
1 Thirsties All-In-One
1 bumGenius Organic One Size All-In-One
1 Flip All-In-Two One Size Diaper with one stay dry and one organic cotton insert
1 Thirsties Fab Fitted
1 Thirsties Original Diaper Cover
2 Diaper service quality prefolds
1 Snappi fastener
1 FuzziBunz In and Out Mess Free Diaper Bag
1 sample package of Rockin' Green Detergent, Classic Rock, Unscented
1 Trial Handbook, yours to keep, full of information about cloth diapering
1 mailing envelope to return the diapers to Diaper Daisy, including return postage

Luvaboos Cloth Diaper Trial
Trial Period: weekly (recommend 1 - 2 weeks)
Deposit: place valid credit card # on file w/ company
Trial Fee: $15 per week + shipping both ways
Bonus: includes accessories

Trial Products (all new):
1 Hanging diaper pail/liner for soiled diapers
1 Travel wetbag for outings
Sample detergent
Sample cloth wipes
Sample Grandma El's Healing Rash Cream
Sample Baby Bum Drops Wipes solution
Bummis Biosoft Disposable liners
Bummis Super Brite cover
Thirsties Diaper Cover
ProWrap Cover
1 Unbleached Prefolds (with 1 Snappi fastener)
1 Thirsties Fab Fitted
1 BumGenius One-Size Pocket (includes 2 inserts)
1 Happy Heinys One-Size Pocket (includes 2 inserts)
1 Happy Heinys Sized Pocket
1 FuzziBunz Sized Pocket (includes 1 insert)
1 Knicker Nappies disposanot sized pocket diaper
1 Drybees or Thirsties AIO Hybrid Pocket
Extra Inserts (SuperDo, Thirsties Just Hemp Insert)
Washing instructions and care guide

Kelly's Closet 45 Day "Wee Guarantee" Program
Trial Period: 45 days
Deposit: value of items purchased
Trial Fee: $0 + shipping both ways

Trial Products (all new):
bumGenius One Size 3.0 Pocket Diapers
bumGenius One Size organic AIO diapers
Gro Baby One Size Diapers

Earth Angels Diaper Co. Try One (or Three) at a Time
Trial Period: 28 days
Deposit: $20 (for one) or $55 (for three)
Trial Fee: $0 + return shipping
Bonus: for each diaper you keep, $5 refund + $5 store credit

Trial Products (all new, choose one or three):
KnickerNappies OS Diaper w/2 Inserts
BumGenius 3.0 Pocket w/2 Inserts
DryBee's Fleece Nighttime Pocket w/Insert
KnickerNappies sized Pocket w/ Loopy Do
Wahmie's OS Diaper w/Insert
Happy Heiny's OS Pocket w/2 Inserts
Rocky Mountain OS Diaper w/ Insert
Thirsties Pocket AIO
Thirsties Duo Wrap w/ 2 Prefolds
Thirsties V2 Cover w/ 2 Prefolds
Thirsties V2 Cover or Duo Wrap w/ Thirsties Fab Fitted
Green Acre Designs sized Pocket w/Insert
Thirsties Duo Diaper w/Inserts

Giggle Britches cloth diaper trial
Trial Period: 30 days
Deposit: $180
Trial Fee: $15 + return shipping
Bonus: 10% off diapers kept

Trial Products (all new):
3 unbleached prefolds
1 Thirsties cover
1 So Simple cover
1 snappi
1 Fuzzi Bunz One Size
1 Happy Heinys One Size
1 bumGenius One Size
1 Tiny Tush Elite One Size
1 Thirsties Fab Fitted
1 Happy Hempys with fleece fitted
1 Tiny Tush Trim one size fitted
1 Bottombumpers all-in-one
1 OsoCozy all-in-one

Sew Crafty Baby
Trial Period: 30 days
Deposit: value of items purchased
Trial Fee: 10% restocking fee on used items + return shipping

Trial Products (all new, choose at least three):
Infants Prefolds
Regular Prefolds
Premium Prefolds
Unbleached Flats
Thirsties Duo Cover
Bummis Super Bright
Bummis Super Whisper Wrap
Flip
Econobum
Prorap Classic
BumGenius Organic
Sposoeasy`s
Dream-Eze
OsoCozy
BumGenius 3.0
Thirsties Duo Diaper
Happy Heinys
Fuzzi Bunz
Tweedle Bugs
Kissaluvs
Thirsties Fab Fitteds
Tiny Tush
Sherpa Heiny Huggers
Green Acre Bamboo Contour
Grobaby
Flip Stay Dry
Flip Organic
Snappi
2 Brass Locking Pins
Thirsties Diaper Duffel
Wahmies Regular Wetbag
Thirsties Pail Liner
Wahmies Pail Liner

If you do a trial and decide that cloth diaper IS for you then you can also purchase the returned, these "slightly used" trial diapers, covers and accessories from other trial returns for a deep discount. Diaper trials are a win-win all the way around! So considering cloth diapers? Try them out today!

The Best Appointment in History, and 32 Weeks! Hurray!!

I. AM. SO. RELIEVED.

I could hardly wait to write this post! I have sounded so unlike myself in my last posts that I was hardly recognizable, even to me! Now I am filled with hope and joy, and much more ME!

I had my midwife appointment yesterday afternoon, and had written down all the burning questions that I felt I could not live another day without asking. I didn't even have to. I mentioned at the beginning of the appointment that I had some concerns about the actual process of my labour, my midwife took it from there and led me through the exact experience of birth I had dreamed for. I actually had tears in my eyes I was that relieved.

Now, I don't for one second live in the delusion that everything goes exactly as planned. I am not that foolish, but if things come up that I would prefer to avoid I would like to be informed and an active participant in the decision making process. I truly believe that my midwives are exactly what I need.

Some of the burning questions I had included:

Q. Will I be able to stay at home for as long as possible until we go to the hospital?

A. Yes, in fact we can even plan tentatively for a home birth just in case you change your mind at the last minute and don't want to leave because you are laboring so well at home. When your contractions become regular one of the midwives will come to your house to be with you and help you make the decision when the right time to leave would be.

Q. What will the experience be like upon arriving to the hospital? Will I be checked internally a thousand times and have people in and out of my room constantly?

A. No. You go straight past admitting into a room after signing one document and won't have to see anyone but the midwife (barring complications) until the time to push. When that time comes a nurse will come in to be a second pair of hands.

Q. Will the baby be taken from me and have tests and the weight done immediately or will I be able to hold the baby and potentially nurse if the baby wants?

A. Absolutely not. The only time the baby would be taken away is if there are respiratory concerns and the baby is struggling to breathe, and even then it would be taken to the warmer which is very close to you. The baby comes out and is placed on you and all tests and weight etc will be done fairly leisurely. There is no hurry.

So to confirm there will be no "scrubbing" down of the vernix, and I can just let us both relax and "bond"?

A. While the midwife takes care of any tears and delivers the placenta the baby will be with you and your husband.



Wow. Everything that I was so scared to have happen aren't the way these ladies think at all. I am so incredibly thankful that I chose them and that they have such a great working relationship with the hospital I chose. The weight has been completely lifted from my shoulders and I no longer am thinking about having to "protect" myself while I am most vulnerable. I feel confident and reassured that my body will have the patience and guidance I need to be able to deliver naturally and as enjoyably as possible. I feel so happy.

If my appointment could get any better after that.... I would have been so surprised! And of course it did!!!!

My blood pressure was within normal range on the first try. This has NEVER happened it always takes three tries for it not to be super high.

The baby is no longer breech! He is head down and low which indicates that he fits well in my pelvis! So, at the risk of sounding incredibly rude...... All of the people in my life that have been using the "scare tactics" to inform me that I "would" be having a C-Section- YOU can suck it! Ahhhhhhh that felt good.

Also, I am measuring normally again! I am 32 weeks and measuring 33 cm so I'm not far off exactly where I should be :)

Then things got even better! Without even asking my midwife volunteered that my weight gain is completely within normal range and that I have gained only baby so far! I feel like a giant heifer, but it certainly felt good not to be incredibly worried about it for a while. I have gained 23 pounds in total so far, but I was a little heavy before I got pregnant.

My appointments start every two weeks now, and it felt like I would never get to this stage, and unfortunately was actually even dreading getting to this stage. I feel much different now. I feel calm and ready to take on both the challenge of labour, but also motherhood. I feel like this baby and I are on the same side now rather that fighting against each other. I feel like it's time to start embracing the joys of this pregnancy rather than focusing on the negative. Because realistically it's a miracle that it even happened and a much unexpected one as well.


Thank you for everyone's comments on my last post. I am still grieving, but I know it will get better. I am still struck by the force of missing him when I least expect it. I love you and miss you Mister Monster and I just hope you are having a great time in cat heaven :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Making a plan

Today marks the beginning of week 30, which means that I'm starting to seriously think about what's going to happen when these babies are born, especially since it could be in as little as 5 or 6 weeks! I started drafting a birth plan ages ago, but hadn't really firmed it up or finalized it before now.

My goals for my plan were:
1) that it could fit on one side of one piece of paper, as I don't want anyone to have to search for ages to try to find my preferences for something;  
2) that each item could fit on one single line, using bullet points because I believe that simpler is better; and
3) that it should cover both a vaginal birth and a c-section, since I don't know at this stage which I'll be having - even if both babies behave themselves and we can start with a vaginal birth, there is still a chance that I may end up needing a c-section to get the second twin out.



I know that many readers will have their own opinions and preferences on some matters (such as pain relief or having the baby in the room with you all the time vs in the nursery part time), so please remember: this is my birth plan. I am not insisting that this is the only way to do things, since I believe that what may be right for one woman won't be for another. Now that's been said, here's the plan as it stands today:

Birth Plan for Bibliosaur (TWIN PREGNANCY)
Due Date    3 May 2008
Patient of    Dr H (XXXX Hospital) and Dr S (XXXX Medical Centre)

These preferences presume a normal pregnancy/birth; we may change our thinking as labor ensues.

Labor
Mr Bibliosaur (husband) present at all times.
No visitors or observers such as students or unnecessary staff at any stage.
Freedom to walk and change positions as needed/desired.
To stay hydrated by drinking water.

Pain Relief
If I request medication, I would like an epidural.

Episiotomy
I would rather tear than have an episiotomy.
Please use local anaesthetic for any repairs.

Delivery
I would like the freedom to push and deliver in any position I like.
Mr Bibliosaur would like to help catch the babies if possible.

Immediately Following Delivery

Mr Bibliosaur would like to cut the cords if possible.

Newborn Care
Please evaluate and bathe the babies at my bedside.
Mr Bibliosaur would like to accompany the babies should they need to go to the NICU, if possible.

Postpartum Care & Breastfeeding
If available, I would prefer a private room.
I would like the babies to room-in with me during the day and be in the nursery overnight (brought for breastfeeding during the night as necessary).
I will breastfeed/pump milk and would like to meet with a lactation consultant.

Cesarean Section Delivery
Mr Bibliosaur to be present during the surgery.
I would prefer an epidural rather than general anesthetic.
We would like the babies to be held by Mr Bibliosaur immediately and to be with me in recovery, if possible.
You may notice that there are a lot of "if possible" statements in there. That's because some of these things simply may not be possible with twins - for example, we may not have the option of holding them right away if they need to go to the NICU (and Mr Bibliosaur may not be able to accompany them there), and it may not be an option for Mr Bibliosaur to catch the babies - so we need to understand the potential limitations of our situation.

You also may notice that, compared to a lot of sample birth plans (like this one), it's short. This was both intentional - as I said, I wanted it to be able to fit on one side of a single sheet of paper - and because I don't have anything that I feel "it must be this way!" about. I simply don't care about many of the little things that are on some birth plans - for example, playing music or wearing my own clothes. Perhaps I should, but I don't.

Other things that are on some checklists - like stating that you don't want an enema upon admission - are outdated, since most hospitals don't normally do that these days anyway, so there's no point in bulking out your birth plan with things that won't happen or things that your hospital already does/allows as a matter of routine procedure. And there are yet more things - like wanting the lights dimmed - that I am confident I will verbalize (possibly rather loudly, haha!) at the time, and thus don't need written down.

I think that it's absolutely fine to have strong desires for your ideal birth plan, but that flexibility is important as well. My entire goal is to have a good outcome with healthy babies and a healthy mama, and I'm open to doing whatever I need to in order to accomplish that. If I go into labor and decide that I can do it drug-free, then that's great. If I go into labor and decide that I want drugs OMG NOW GIVE THEM TO ME NOWWWW, then that's great too. If we can do this vaginally, fantastic. If I need a c-section to get these babies out, then that's fantastic too.

If you don't know where to start with drafting a birth plan, there are a lot of websites out there that make it easy, like this birth plan creator from SheKnows - you just tick the boxes to indicate what you'd like, and the end result is your customized plan. This one from the Bump is fairly comprehensive, and I also like this simpler version from Bubhub, which is a bit less wordy than the SheKnows version.

A little reflection & a lot of cramps

I've got the AF blues. Yep, she struck again, and this time has been a doozy! I have cramps like you wouldn't believe & I'm so thankful for extra strength Tylenol. Usually they only last a day, so hopefully I'll be feeling more like myself come tomorrow. The cramps seem much worse this month than normal. I'm not sure if it's because I can usually take a "sick day" and lounge around till they pass, but today I was at church all morning....or if it's one of the effects of being on clomid for the last 3 months that has messed with me.

I'm ready to be done with this medication, that's for sure. My cycles have evened out a bit since the first couple of crazy ones when I started clomid. The meds seem to be hindering me more than helping. My CM is not normal at all, so FF has a hard time registering that I've ovulated. I've never had that problem before I started the meds. I decided awhile ago that clomid was as far as I would go with any medical help in ttc. From now on, I just want to be my normal self, pregnancy or no pregnancy.

I've been going through some different emotions lately when it comes to ttc. I've been reflecting on my life this past week for a couple of reasons. First of all, it's been almost 2 years since my husband returned from Afghanistan. Back then I thought for sure by now we'd have another child...boy was I wrong. We've had 23 months of this roller coaster, and as I'm sure you realize, it doesn't get easier the longer you try. The other aspect of life that I've been reflecting on is that I'm getting ready to turn 30 next month. Thinking back to when my daughter was an infant & toddler, I thought for sure I'd have at least one more child by the time I reached 30. My thoughts about what size our family would be have shifted dramatically since I was 25 years old. It makes me wonder where I'll be at 35, and whether it's worth it to keep up with ttc or if we should focus on life as a family of 3 for the long term. I just don't know...

To top it all off, I'm surrounded by pregnant ladies, babies, and baby stuff regularly...so it's difficult to get this off my mind. It's hard to just not think about it, when that's the stage of life that I'm in. I don't work outside the home, so I don't have anything to distract me from home and family life. Not that I want anything to distract me from my primary job, but thinking of having more children seems to come along with the territory.

I'm hoping & praying for consistent peace in this arena of my life soon. One thing I do know is that it's possible. Lord have mercy on me.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What a Terrible Week....

This has been the worst week of my life.

I will preface the details with the knowledge that I am very lucky in comparison to many in terms of other terrible experiences they have been through. I do believe, however, that grief and loss is relative and what is devastating for one may be less significant to another. Also, this won't seem very related to pregnancy at first, but I think everything in my life is kind of related to pregnancy in some way or another.

On Sunday morning, my husband and I came home to find my beloved cat extremely sick. He was having a lot of trouble breathing and was peeing blood. I tried to contact our vet, but of course because it was a Sunday (Valentine's day no less) I had to resort to the on call emergency vet. I was frantic, but trying to stay calm for the Mister (Mister Monster is his pet name). We drove straight to the animal hospital, and after a routine check the more specific tests were performed. Mister has always had a heart murmur, but we only found out a few years ago, and he's only five. I have never thought it would be a problem. Mister's breathing was the most important problem and the vet thought x-rays would be best. We agreed, and I told my husband, "He'll be fine, he's always fine." The vet came back minutes later, and Mister was still obviously in distress, but the news was not as I had thought.

The vet said that my precious little guy was in the middle of heart failure. Everything after that happened too fast. I burst into uncontrollable tears. It was awful... we explored his options and at the advice of the vet we decided to have him put to sleep. I was by his side the entire time petting him and trying to keep him calm as he continuously struggled to breathe, and his little head was in my hands. The sedative didn't work because his circulation was so bad and the vet had to put the second needle in while he was still awake. It was the most excruciating experience. I wanted to remember him peaceful and sleeping, but when he died all the sickness that was caught in his lungs came out through his nose and mouth, and I can't stop thinking about it.

The worst part is that my husband is so distraught over it all that he keeps looking it up on the internet to see what we could have done or if the emerg vet could have been wrong. I know it's part of his healing process, but it tears me apart, and now I have begun to question it myself. I even resorted to calling our vet (the one we love) and asking for her to take a second look at the x-ray to give us her opinion. I know that it won't solve anything, and it's totally irrational, but I couldn't help myself. I miss the little guy all the time and I keep thinking I hear him or will reach over to pet him without thinking.

I feel so awful that we weren't home the night before it happened and couldn't even spend his last night with him when I would give anything to have that night now. It makes me question everything to do with becoming a mother and making decisions for a child that will be as helpless and without a voice as my cat at first.

My house feels dead, completely void of life, and it's been a week and I just can't stop crying.

On top of all of that the house deal went through so we begin renovations (tearing things down anyway) tomorrow. I should be excited or at least interested and I have no energy for it.

Also, my mother in law is usually amazing, but I can't STAND talking to her about anything baby related. We were there for dinner the other night and I thought I was going to explode with anger. She covered "You are huge!", "That baby is going to be gigantic!", and a story about how I need an OB because I'm "obviously" going to need a c-section since the baby is still breech... I tried to be reasonable and count to ten, but honestly this needs to stop. I finally said something along the lines of I don't think I can talk to you about this anymore because it feels like you are trying to scare me and I still have EIGHT weeks to turn the baby... There are many natural methods that I am using and I feel very confident that I will not have to resort to a c-section. And she wonders why I'm not going to her hospital (she is a mother and babes nurse in a hospital with a super high c-section rate) and that I don't want her in the room! I mean please! She is stressing me out big time right now, and I'm worried about my blood pressure with the way I have been feeling lately. I am really trying to go as natural as possible and I don't think it's fair to have to validate my position on these things especially to someone who is supposed to care about me and the baby. I mean using what I consider "scare tactics" is kind of a low blow if she's actually trying to help. It's incredibly frustrating, and I really hope my midwife can ease my mind about these things. I kind of feel like my birth experience is rapidly being taken out of my hands and I need to start feeling more safe and comfortable with it. I want what will be best for the baby, but I can't help thinking that our bodies were designed to do things, and all these interventions are going to be forced on me in a critical moment of weakness.

I have my appointment on Tuesday, and I'm thankful that my husband will get to come this time, as he hasn't even met my midwife. I am hoping to go over my concerns about interventions and try to work something out with her so that I can remain at home for as long as possible before heading to the hospital when the time comes. I still can't believe it's this close now. One girl I know mildly well had her baby at 33 weeks and I just can't fathom the thought at this point! I am only now getting used to feeling the baby move fairly often.

I am still having intense trouble with my pelvis and it's impossible for me to turn over in bed or even get out of bed in the night without help.... this makes life a bit difficult for my husband....

Sorry for the garbled post, but thank you to anyone who reads and can understand where I am coming from. I feel a bit alone about all of it. It feels good to get it down in black and white to truly understand the overwhelming emotion that I haven't really been able to put into words until now. So, thank you. I hope everyone has a good week, and next week maybe I will be able to stop crying long enough to write about my appointment and maybe some positive things. I hate being such a negative writer.

2 week wait and on vacation

I am officially in the two week wait now. FF says I can test on March 4th at 18 DPO. I'm not sure I can wait that long. I was thinking of maybe testing on March 1st at 15 DPO. I started to have swollen, tender breasts yesterday and today. I'm trying not to get too excited as this has happened before and been part of my PMS leading to the visit of AF. I am not spotting yet, and for that I am very grateful - I have had 7 days of spotting before AF for the last 2 cycles. I will not miss the spotting at all!

Starting today, Mr. Pharmasaur and I are on a one week vacation. We leave for Mexico early tomorrow morning! I think fun on the beach and sightseeing will help the 2WW pass much quicker. I really hope that AF stays away at least for the week we're away. I didn't invite her along on our trip! Of course, I'd love it if AF stays away much, much longer than that!

I've got to run and get packed for the trip. I will post an update soon after I get back. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

And she´s here, yet again.

After having a complete and total meltdown on Wednesday, Aunt Flo came for her scheduled monthly visit late Thursday evening. Now that she´s actually here, I feel a lot less emotional and am probably a more pleasant person to be around. I´m bummed that she found her way to my house yet again, but such is life. I had been denying the fact that there might be a problem here, but after 12 cycles being busts, I think it´s time to look at reality. I got pregnant very quickly and easily each time before, needing no more than 3 cycles to do so, so something is off.

I went to my dermatologist yesterday to get some new acne cream since my face has been going berserk the last few months around O, and she started asking questions. First, she asked if I was still trying, then she asked how long I had been trying this time, then she asked how old I was, and then she dropped the bomb. She told me that while I´m not old, I´m not young either, and that while it´s ok to try for a year on my own, I shouldn't try any longer. She pointed out that with my history it´s time to head in to the gyno and have a sit-down. It´s time to start looking into what might be causing this delay in getting pregnant. Maybe it´s time to do some hormone therapy, and maybe it´s time to look at doing a lap. I don´t know what she will tell me, but at the urging of my dermatologist, I´m going to make another appt. to talk to my gynecologist about what´s going on. It´s time to start moving forward. So as I move on to cycle 26 or was it 27, it´s time to do something.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

And we are team...

PINK!!

We had our big u/s today and we are thrilled! Everything was measuring perfectly (even a little ahead) and baby girl cooperated beautifully :-)

My mom was able to go with us and she was so happy. For someone who wasn't exactly excited at the beginning of this pregnancy, she's come such a long way. She has even purchased our crib for us! After our ultrasound today she also went and bought 4 or 5 baby outfits.

Right now I can't get the pictures to load, but I will upload them as soon as things start acting normally around here!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Calling it quits

I've mentioned before that I'm a member of an online forum - although it's not specifically about pregnancy or babies, a number of us are pregnant or have recently given birth, and they've been a wonderful source of support and encouragement for me. Over the weekend, I had a meltdown - exhausted, in pain and crying, I posted this:
Things have gotten so hard in the last week - just so incredibly hard. Physically I'm at the 40-week point, and it's starting to wear on me. I'm in constant pain from one body part or another...the inflammation in my ribs, the strain that my stomach muscles are under, back aches from hell, the insane pelvic soreness that actually brings me to tears (it's so bad that I had to ask Mr Bibliosaur to lift my legs onto the couch and onto the bed last night because I couldn't do it by myself). I started crying hysterically at the foot of the stairs when I looked up and realized that I had to walk up them before I could take a warm shower or get in bed.

I think about the fact that I have about another 7 weeks to go, and the idea of trying to cope for another two months makes me want to burst into tears. I feel so incredibly miserable right now, I have no idea how I can keep going for that long.

I feel so weak complaining. I feel like I'm letting down the team, like I'm not being as strong as I should be. Women in third world countries in grass huts have twins, and I feel like such a loser in my inability to cope.

And I feel guilty for wishing I wasn't pregnant anymore. I wish that I could magically skip ahead another two months and have this be all over and done with. I know this will get even harder and I'm dreading it. I only have another 2 weeks left of work, and I'm sure it will help when I stop, but it still won't be that much easier.
The wonderful women of the forum gave me support, they gave me encouragement, they gave me advice. A number of them stressed that I'm human - I'm not a superhero, I'm not Wonder Woman, and I shouldn't feel ashamed or like I'm a bad mother for feeling the way I did. I feel like there is this terrible pressure for pregnant women to keep up an "everything is wonderful!" exterior, when the truth is that it's often not. Some women have an easy run, but for a lot of others, pregnancy is hard.

The Bibliosaur belly two weeks ago, at 27 weeks. See what I mean by the same size as a singleton at 40 weeks?

Something several of them asked was if there was any way I could stop working earlier than scheduled, to try to take some of the pressure off. I said no - I had a plan and I was sticking to it, to try to make the most of my vacation/sick days and maternity leave. It was just two more weeks - I could do it, right?

But as it turns out, no, I couldn't.

I saw my OBGYN on Monday. He asked me when I was finishing work and I told him the end of this month. And he said, "Bibliosaur. You are the same size as a full-term pregnancy. You just told me that you can barely get in and out of the car by yourself. Frankly, I'd like it if you finished today. I'll give you this week, but you need to stop working after this Friday. NOT two weeks from now."

So it turns out that this is my last week at work. I don't have enough sick/vacation days saved up to cover the extra week, so I moved my maternity leave up a bit to take care of the gap. Obviously it would be nice to only use the leave when I have a good chance of the twins actually being born, but on the other hand, I'm getting 28 weeks off, so I can afford to use a week or two of it in pre-baby time!

After this was all arranged, I felt (and still feel) so incredibly relieved. I didn't realize just how utterly miserable the idea of going to work every day was - even though I love my job and even though my boss has been incredibly supportive and fantastic with giving me the easiest possible tasks every day, just the sheer effort of getting up and making it through the day was killing me. And now I only have 2 more days of work to go! WOOHOO!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The C Word

I had my consultation with Dr. F my reproductive endocrinologist this morning. I went in to get the results of all our testing. She started off with the hubs. He got an A+. She mention that his motility is a little bit lower than she would like to see but no where near a bad level so he didn't get any marks taken off. Then she got to me. I on the other hand didn't do so well.

She starts off my asking if I know what polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is. I tell her I am familiar with it and she thinks I may have it because when I had my ultrasound they saw I had more than the normal amount of follicles. Also, I guess my insulin is high not diabetes high but higher than it should be. That combined with my irregular cycles I have PCOS. I wasn't really too surprised given my track record with menstruation. She thinks it will be fairly easy for me to become pregnant using *gasp* clomid. Yes that is the C word I am talking about.

Dr. F went on to give me the side effects of clomid and even gave me its nickname which is apparently clomonster which I thought was funny. I probably wont think it is so funny when I am on it. I mentioned that my last cycle shorted to 28 days and she said that it was great and wants me to come in next Monday which will be cycle day 20 to test me to see if I have ovulated. If I did then we wait for Aunt Flo to show up and if not then they give me some pill to take for 10 days to bring it on. On cycle day 3 I will go back for an ultrasound to make sure my follicles are developing on track. Then take clomid for 5 days and then I go back in for blood work near cycle day 12 and then I get the green light to inject myself and then baby dance for two days followed by a progesterone level check. Finally, wait to see if it worked and if not repeat.

Next came the multiple babies talk. Apparently, with the amount of follicles I have my risk for multiples is higher and with clomid there is always a risk of multiple so that is a little scary but better to have two than none right? If clomid doesn't get us pregnant in 3 months then the next step would be a IUI where they inject my husbands sperm into my uterus.

After my appointment I came home and talked to the hubby about all this. I thought for sure he would say lets try on our own for a while and see what happens. But he is on board, self pay and all. Becoming pregnant is looking more and more like a reality for us. It is exciting and a little scary but I am finally 100% emotionally ready for this. In the past few months I have done a bit a teetering back and forth about becoming pregnant and what kind of changes it would mean for not only me but for us as a couple. I have come to the point where I say bring it on.

Monday, February 15, 2010

DUH!

CD 26 and 7 Euros later.....

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Weird Symptoms

Monday marks day 13 of my cycle. I am not sure if I am having a 28 day cycle or longer so everyday I have been taking ovulation tests and so far no positive but it is still early and if it is a 28 day cycle then ovulation should be coming somewhere around Tuesday. I was at work all day today so I haven't tested yet so I may have missed my surge. We started baby dancing on Friday we decided on every other day but have been doing everyday since then. It shouldn't be a problem because Mr. Relaxasaur doesn't have any issues with sperm count.



Source

This cycle has brought some different symptoms or at least brought them early and harder. Warning these nexts paragraphs will contain too much TMI. For example, my left ovary has felt fuller since I ovulated last cycle. Me being able to feel it never really went away. For the last couple of days I have also felt twinges near my right ovary as well so I think ovulation is near. I have been feeling lower back pains, and tenderness in my breasts. Sometimes it hurts to lay on them or even touch them and then other times they are fine but for the last couple of days they have been tender the whole time. Then today at work I was feeling "wet" down there but I am on my feet moving for 11 hours so its not abnormal to feel that way at work. On my first trip to the bathroom I wiped before I even went to the bathroom to check my CM and there way traces of blood. I looked in my underwear and saw spots of blood. It wasn't heavy and every trip to the bathroom after that it was ever so lightly present. I have never had mid-cycle bleeding so I was wondering what was up. I took a pregnancy test a few days ago and it came up negative so I don't think its that.

I consulted Dr. Google tonight and found that ovulation can cause light spotting so I am leaning towards that. I don't know if it had anything to do with this but last night I did drink quite a bit and did have sex so it could be from that but our sex wasn't rough. It is probably just me over analyzing but I don't have any friends TTC so its hard to talk to my friends about this because they don't get the way I feel. I do have one pregnant friend but she got pregnant by accident and doesn't enjoy it so we don't talk about our trying. So thanks for reading and never making me feel crazy for all my over analyzing. If you have any comments I would love to read them.

Ben's Nursery: The Pictures

I spent a good part of the day working on the nursery, and it's basically finished now! We still have a few odds and ends to get, and we'll probably hang some more pictures on the wall at some point, but for the most part, it's done! Here are the pictures...


The wall across from the door...here you can see the crib, the color block painting we did, the letters I painted and hung over the crib, the glider/ottoman, and the hanging stuffed animal display to the right.


Close up of the crib. Only thing missing here is the crib skirt, which my mom is making out of some old curtains she originally made for my dorm room in college. Turns out M&Ms fabric is now considered "vintage" (I'm guessing there was a big clamp-down on unlicensed M&M stuff) and is verrry expensive now. Lucky we already had some!


A close-up of the stuffed animal storage. I got this years ago from IKEA, but this is the first time it's been used. I put a few Easter goodies in there for now (Snoopy and a couple of Easter M's)...then we have a stuffed Sneetch, and finally, in the bottom two slots, Ben's first stuffed toys of his own that we've been given as gifts.


Close-up of the glider corner. The blanket behind Clifford is a Peanuts blanket I used as a kid. The colors matched, so I decided to put it out. On the shelf, we have some plush M&Ms, a really cute handmade lunchbox I got from a friend at our shower, some posable M&Ms, a little train toy, and the stuffed Moose from If You Give a Moose a Muffin. Clifford, Sneetches, the Moose...can you tell we're a literary bunch? My mom's a librarian, and when I was growing up she was a children's librarian - so she instilled in me a love for good children's literature.


The blank corner where our changing table/dresser will go. It's currently being handmade by Ben's GranPoppy (Mr. Citysaur's dad). They'll bring it up next month.


The wall opposite the crib - just to the right of the main door. We have an M&Ms cuckoo clock, some dispensers, a shelf of children's books, and on the bottom, some socks and bibs that are waiting for the dresser, the bumbo, and the hamper. And if you look very closely, in the middle on the top shelf, you'll see a clay sculpture. It's a star-bellied sneetch dancing with a plain-bellied sneetch, and my late father sculpted it for me. I figured it would be nice for Ben to have something of his grandfather in the room.


The wall we didn't paint - because it's taken up by this huge door, which leads to bathroom/closet/utility room.


Close-up of the crib.


And finally, the floor covering - a patchwork of four different rugs I found online.
So there you have it - a tour of our nursery!

Valentine's Day Surprise!

I have started using my CBEFM again this cycle as the machine requested on CD6. I got 13 days straight of low fertility last cycle - I think I ovulated too early for the machine to detect (if I ovulated at all.) so it was kind of discouraging. This cycle, I got low fertility from CD6-CD11 and I was starting to feel discouraged again. Until this morning - look what I saw:

Translation : Peak Fertility! Happy Valentine's Day to us!

I thought it was unusual to go from low fertility straight to peak fertility without any high fertility days in between. Maybe I have a short LH surge? I feel hopeful though. Mr. Pharmasaur and I want to have sex today, tomorrow and the next day to maximize our chances this cycle. I'm excited, this is the first time I know I could actually be fertile since we started to TTC.

I am continuing to chart my BBT and CM. I hope in a few days, a thermal shift will confirm that I did ovulate. Then I would go into my first official 2 week wait.

We are hopeful that this Valentine's Day weekend will be a very memorable one for us. Here in Ontario, tomorrow is a holiday - Family Day. How perfect is that?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The good, the bad and the ugly

I'm a regular member of an online forum - a little while ago, we had a discussion about the good and bad parts of pregnancy. That got me thinking: what parts of this pregnancy have been good? What about bad? And how about downright ugly? Let's start with the ugly and work our way up...

The Ugly
Stretch marks from hell. I started getting stretchmarks ages ago...probably around 18 weeks or so? I wasn't really surprised - genetics determine whether or not you get them (which makes all of those magical lotions an expensive waste of time), and since I already had some from puberty I knew that I would probably get them now. Add to that a body expanding at twice the normal rate with twins, and it's Stretch Mark City, population: Me. I have them on my boobs, on my sides, on my hips, and of course on my belly. I can't say how many I have - counting them would be too depressing. (Side note: I never knew that stretch marks go in a circle around your belly button. Of course it makes sense since that's how the muscle goes, but I'd never actually seen it - in person or in photos - until I got them.)

The Bad

Morning sickness. Hardly unique, but it still sucks. For about four months I was nauseated 24/7 and feeling like I was perpetually on the verge of puking - I never actually threw up, but sometimes I think that just feeling like you're constantly about to is worse.

Fatigue. It's hard enough to cope with the sudden inrush of hormones and the morning sickness - add in wanting to collapse from exhaustion all the time and it's just the icing on the cake. I never got the second trimester pick-me-up that people talk about, so this feeling has been around since I was about 5 weeks pregnant. And yes, it's getting old.

Swelling. I've mentioned my water retention cankles before. Enough said.

Heartburn. I've gone through what seems like about 500 pounds of antacid tablets over the course of this pregnancy. The good news is that last week I finally found something that actually works: Zantac. One pill a day and heartburn is no more! It may be my new best friend.


Physical challenges. This isn't so much one thing as a whole host of them lumped together, and I'll be the first to admit that this is probably harder for me than for the average pregnant woman - carrying an extra baby around will do that to you, and right now, at 28 weeks, I'm about the size of a woman with a singleton pregnancy at 35 weeks. It's not just not being able to pick stuff up off the floor or put on socks or even having heave myself with all my might just to turn over in bed. The sheer weight of the babies is difficult these days - the underside of my stomach is perpetually sore, and I'm thinking of buying a maternity support belt to try to relieve some of the pressure off my back. It's physically exhausting in a way I never expected.

Donkey crotch. OK, this one is a little weird. It doesn't seem to happen to all pregnant women - just a few unlucky ones like myself! Basically, it's normal pelvic soreness taken to the next level: it feels like I've been kicked in the crotch by a donkey. All. The. Time. Walking is painful, stairs are suicide (why did we buy a two story house? WHY???), and having to lift my legs - like getting in and out of bed or the car - is the worst; the pain has actually brought tears to my eyes. There's nothing that can be done except to power through it, although I've found that gently rocking on an exercise ball can bring temporary relief.

The Good
For a long time, I wondered why on earth would anyone voluntarily do this. I'm not a baby or child lover...in fact, I actively dislike them. But I already love these babies more than I can even express, and that makes it worth it. Every single day I tell them, "This is getting hard for me. But it's OK, you do what you need to do and keep growing - I'll handle it. We can do this." Because there are these things - the good things.

Quickening. I love feeling the boys shift and move. It's incredible to know that's new life that's moving in me, that I'm charged with carrying and protecting them. Even when it feels like they're playing soccer in the middle of the night and keeping me awake, it's still a joy to feel it.

They're unique. I'm amazed and fascinated that they have such different personalities, although they're not even born yet! Twin A is laid back and easygoing - Twin B is very demanding and if I lay on my right side (where he is), he'll kick me until I roll back over onto my other side because he doesn't like being squashed. It's absolutely incredible to realize that these are two little individuals, and I wonder if what I see as their personality traits right now will be true when they're born as well - if A will be calm and quiet, and if B will be more rambunctious and rowdy.

They're us...and yet more. There is simply nothing more amazing than creating a life, one that is half you and half the man you love. I look at Mr Bibliosaur and I'm humbled and amazed to think that the man whom I love so much will be part of these children. I look at him and wonder if they'll have his eyes, his mouth, his way of laughing. It's incredible to think that these little individuals are somehow more than just the sum of the two of us.

What about you? What are the good and bad points in your pregnancy?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I am a "cup is half full" kind of girl

So...I think I actually ovulated on a normal day this month. FF hasn't registered it yet, but my temperature spiked on day 18, which means I most likely O'd on day 17. That is pretty normal for me, so I'm thankful that my body is adjusting to being on clomid. After Oing on day 22 last month, I didn't know what to expect! I actually had a promising OPK on day 17 as well, so DH and I were sure to BD that night. This is the first time I've actually had an OPK that looked positive...so I was encouraged.

I'm feeling slightly different this month about ttc. I'm feeling a bit more at peace now and I think I'm okay with having a "whatever happens, happens" attitude. I'm so blessed by my little girl and very occupied with her, so it keeps my mind off having another one most of the time. Now I'm focusing on being content with my life as it is. If another little one finally comes along I will be overjoyed, but not having that happen yet doesn't take away from the joy I experience daily. Optimism is a great tool to have in your bag while ttc. I tell ya...

I'm also getting ready to embark on another semi-adventure that may be a little difficult considering what I've been experiencing with ttc. My sister-in-law is getting ready to have her 3rd child, (which I'll admit has been pretty difficult for me in and of itself) and I have offered to assist her in the birthing process. We have similar philosophies on labor and delivery and she feels she needs an advocate to help her. Her first two experiences were pretty standard; laying on her back, hooked up to machines and getting the epidural. She wants this experience to be different, so I agreed to assist her in a more natural birth. The catch is that the hospital wants to hook her up to a fetal monitor as soon as she arrives, which would require her to be laying on her back. Her solution is to wait until she's really in full blown labor and getting ready to have the baby before she checks into the hospital. It's all very unpredictable, so hopefully I can just be a voice of support and a hand to hold through the whole process.

At least I'll have something interesting to blog about come mid-March.

And maybe, just maybe sometime soon I'll have equally interesting news from my own life to report. I can always hope.

Cycle Number ?

I am not sure if this counts as cycle one or what because we officially haven't been able to try for a baby. Every month something comes up. This month it was because my cycle went from 63 days to 28 days. I wasn't even supposed to have ovulated yet. But what are you going to do. I just take it to mean that it wasn't our time yet. This month I am prepared. I am taking an ovulation test everyday starting today. We are also going to have sex either every other day or I like Bibliosaurs way of two days on one day off. So we will see what works for us. This cycle was also different because I had a more normal period. It lasted more than two days, in fact it was 5 days!

Yesterday was the hubby's 31st birthday. I stayed home and baked him his favorite pie and planned to surprise him. I was the one to get surprised. He called me about 10pm and said he is on his way to the ER. He plays in a Monday night basketball league and got hit in the face. Actually someone scratched right near his eyeball and took a big chunk of skin. We got to the ER about 10:10 and didn't leave until 5:15 this morning. Thankfully he didn't need stitches they glued his wound but the part that is right near the corner of his eye couldn't be glued or stitched because it would leave a funny scar and the glue couldn't be that close to his eye. So he needs to keep an antibiotic on it and go back tomorrow for a check up. It is not what I had planned but at least we got to spend some time together.

Make your own baby wrap carrier for le$$

I have mentioned our DIY faux-Moby wrap, which were no-sew and cost us $21 to make two. We made ours when I was 32 Weeks Pregnant. It was SO easy! We just bought 6 yards of stretch knit fabric (mainly cotton with stretch) that was 60 inches wide, folded it in half, length-wise and cut it in half. I didn't even finish the edges since they were not frayed or unraveling, even after going through the wash! Super easy and like $21 for TWO baby carriers! Here's Mr. Divasaur trying his out (back when I was 32 weeks) with our first baby, Regina:




Regina is 16 pounds and LOVES to be carried like a baby. She loved the wrap and was all snuggly and wanted to nap in there! It was too cute. Mr. Divasaur was excited that he'll be able to wear Libby while he's working around the house and doing homework. He was also happy that I chose this blue-gray color for the fabric rather than some cutesy print or bright red or something. Ladies, if you're on a budget but want a nice wrap, I highly recommend you try making one. No sewing needed! I made ours 30" wide, but if you prefer a less wide one, check out these instructions.

Here's Mr. Divasaur goofing off. Please note...this is how NOT to wear the wrap (or the baby)!

He said, "In the summer, when it's hot you can wear it like a one-piece sunsuit...like this..."

And here's our baby girl, all snuggled in tight. In the two weeks she's been with us I've worn her about 18 hours/day. It's awesome...she loves it and I can get some things done hands-free while she nurses or naps. It's also helped me become very aware of her cues so that she doesn't have to cry to let me know she needs her diaper changed or that she's hungry or needs to burp. I love wearing my LO and love that I can do it for le$$.



She LOVES snuggling down in her baby wrap carrier!

And here are three more must-haves that I have discovered in this first two weeks as a mom:

1) Nursing Tanks - I love these ones from Target by Gillian and O'Malley. They are only $16 and come in side sling as well as full sling versions. I also got two nursing tanks from Walmart, but prefer these Target ones more...they're more supportive, longer and come in many more colors.



2) Lap Pads - These flannel and vinyl lap pads are old school, but they work! I have been using them for EVERYTHING. As a barrier between baby and the changing pad, and as sheet protectors on the Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper and Crib. They're cheap and easy and good for lots of things!

3) Always Infinity Overnight Pads - With post partum bleeding (lochia) I was not looking forward to having to wear a maxi pad for weeks. I am not a maxi pad gal...I much prefer tampons, but they're a no-no for post partum bleeding. Anyway, I discovered these awesome, super thin maxi pads by Always. They're AWESOME! And really do the job.



Monday, February 8, 2010

Rave: Spa Baby/Tummy Tub

At the beginning of my third trimester I posted about the Spa Baby/Tummy Tub. It was a splurge for us at $50. Surely there are less expensive options and for a budgetzilla like me I was going on faith that somehow, this infant tub was different.

Well, lo and behold...it is! Here's Daddy Divasaur giving Libby her first bath today at two weeks old. She's fussing a bit in the first clip because we had just removed a dirty diaper (she doesn't like dirty diapers), but you'll notice how quickly she settles down. And afterwards, she was calm and relaxed and took a nice, long nap. Yay for this "funny bucket" that looks like we're making "baby soup." I definitely recommend this product...especially now that I have used it myself. Seems so much nicer than a wet baby flailing about in one of those reclined, shallow baby bath tubs that you have to use a wet washcloth on baby's tummy to try to keep him or her warm!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

GD + a doctor roundup

I definitely have gestational diabetes. The good news is that on the level of severity, mine apparently isn't too bad, or at least that's what my OBGYN said on the phone. He doesn't think I need to start on insulin right away, and that I may have a shot at controlling my blood sugar with diet alone. I'm not averse to taking insulin if necessary (I'm not averse to anything that will keep these babies healthy and from arriving prematurely!), nor do I have a problem with needles, but it's nice all the same to know I may not have to jab myself every day.

This means I'll need to start meeting with a physician in addition to my OBGYN - the one my doctor would like me to see is currently out of town, so I won't meet him for another week or so. Until then, my OB has simply instructed me to follow a general low-GI diet to keep my refined carbohydrates consumption down.

And this also means I'll be up to three doctors instead of two. *le sigh*
I don't think I've discussed my doctor situation, have I? This is what it looks like right now:
  1. Dr S - this is my OBGYN. I was seeing him monthly, and now the visits have gone up to every two weeks since I'm in the third trimester. Note: this is a different doctor to the one I was seeing when we were still trying to conceive. She wasn't comfortable treating someone who was having multiples, and honestly after our many differences of opinion I wasn't sorry to switch to someone else at around the 12 week mark - Dr S is one of the most experienced doctors in town and I love him, so I'm so happy that I made the change!
  2. Dr H - this is the high risk specialist at the local hospital. It's standard in my little town to see Dr H if there is anything at all different about your pregnancy such as preeclampsia, threatened premature delivery, etc. As a multiple pregnancy is always classed as high risk, I check in with him on a monthly basis, with dates alternating with my OB (i.e., I'd visit Dr S, then Dr H two weeks later, then Dr S two weeks after that, etc.) - I suspect this will be stepped up to every two weeks at our next appointment so I'll then see either him or Dr S every week.
  3. Dr D - this is the physician I'll need to meet with to monitor my gestational diabetes. I don't know if it's common to see someone other than your OB about this in the States, but it seems to be standard here in Australia. He'll help me with my diet and prescribe insulin should it be needed in the future.
  4. Dr P - I don't really count him as one of my doctors, as I haven't actually met him yet - the first, and probably only, appointment with him will be at the end of this month. Dr P specializes in very high risk cases, and practices in Sydney; he only visits my town once every 1-2 months. I'm meeting with him at the request of Dr H, not because I actually need Dr P's assistance but just in case I should at some stage - it's standard practice for Dr H's patients. 
So there you have it - the Bibliosaur and Bebbehs Dream Team!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Discouraged and Determined

What a crazy cycle #5 turned out to be! I started using my CBEFM on CD6 and used it until CD18 and saw the same thing everyday:


Translation: 13 days straight of low fertility.

I was charting my temperature which seemed to be doing some really weird things. Since it was my first month charting, I didn't know what to expect. Plus, I had a cold and I wasn't getting a very good night's sleep for about a week. I did open a Fertility Friend account. Even FF didn't know what to make of me! I got a little message that said my ovulation couldn't be pinpointed to a 24 hour time period but I may have ovulated somewhere between CD5-11. Gee, thanks!

Surprisingly, my cycle #5 was only 18 days long!

My theory is that I probably ovulated on CD5. I started using the CBFM on CD6. Therefore, the monitor had no chance to detect any hormone changes because it was all over by then. I started feeling PMS symptoms on CD12 and started to spot then as well. I thought that it was impossible AF could be on her way. Mr. Pharmasaur thought she was and he was right. I am finding I do like charting my BBT. I could tell by my temperature drop that AF really was on her way the next day.

I am pretty discouraged and frustrated about my crazy cycles - 27, 32, 21, 53 and 18 days long since the miscarriage.


I did buy some Preseed. Mr. Pharmasaur and I tried it out once and liked it. But between my cold and my short cycle, there wasn't much BDing this month.

I am going to see a gynecologist this coming Tuesday. I am bringing all my charting info with me and will try to get some answers.

So, it is on to Cycle #6 for me. The plan is to keep using the "Big Guns" - PreSeed, charting on FF with BBT and CM info and the CBEFM. I think we need to start to BD every other day as soon as AF has gone, which will be very soon. I am feeling determined to start fresh this cycle.

2WW, already?!

This morning when I turned on my monitor on CD16 it didn´t ask me for a test stick, but told me my fertility level was high. I was just about to reach for another stick when I realized that I wont be needing any more of them this cycle!! I made it through my first CBEFM cycle using only one set of ten sticks!! This is very exciting news because those test sticks aren´t exactly cheap. I paid 13 pounds for a box of 20 and it´s nice to know that I have enough for another cycle. I was afraid I´d have to run out to the pharmacy here and pay 30€ for a box of 20 to use next cycle. Hopefully there wont be a next cycle, but I´m a realist and know that the chance of getting KU in any given cycle is only about 25%. I digress. Anyway, I had read online that many women use 20 test sticks their first cycle using the CBEFM, so I am very happy to be getting off a bit cheaper this time.

As for the high reading, I suppose since I just had two peak readings, it stands to reason that there is a chance I´m still fertile. I guess that means yet another night of BDing....I think Mr. Lillysaur and I are getting pretty tired after six straight days, but hey, if it brings me my BFP, then I´m ready to roll.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Baby Ben's Nursery: The Concept


Central Theme: M&Ms

Reason: Bright, bold colors, good for baby boy or girl (I've had the concept since before the pregnancy even began). Also, I collected M&Ms memorabilia in college and used it to decorate my dorm room...so I already had a ton of stuff we could use for decor. Though I knew it would be a bit difficult to find officially licensed M&Ms stuff for certain items (crib sheets, hamper, etc.), the good news is, most anything in a solid primary color will work.

What we have so far: A white crib (DaVinci Emily 4-in-1 from Target)A white glider/ottoman combo with blue fabric - got it second-hand off of Craigslist.

Two white bookshelves for storage.

We decided to go with white furniture because the room is on the small side, and closed-in as well (no windows) - so we didn't want to put a bunch of black furniture in there along with all the bright colors, feeling like that might overwhelm the small (10' x 12') space.

Floor covering: The flooring in the room is hardwood (original hardwood flooring from 1929, when the building was opened as a department store). My mom wanted something a little softer for the baby's room. We searched high and low for affordable carpet tile that would fit the room, but never could find anything we were both happy with. A couple of weeks ago, I started looking at rugs, and I found a set of oh-so-adorable M&Ms/sport-themed rugs. They had one each for baseball, football, soccer, and basketball.

Since the rugs are already a mosaic, I thought it might be cute to get one of each and make a giant mosaic rug out of them. They're slightly larger than 3' x 4' each, so altogether the big rug should be about 6 1/2' x 9 2/3 ' - not too bad, and should cover most of the open space in the center of the room.

Paint: As I previously mentioned, the nursery is an interior room, with no windows of its own. This isn't too bad, because the door is a huge loft-style door, and it opens out to our living room, which is very narrow, and lined with windows. So there's plenty of natural light only a few feet away from the nursery. But I still wanted to take this into account when choosing how to paint the room. Add to that the fact that we're renting, and I really didn't want to paint a whole bunch just to have to leave it behind some day.


I decided on a color-block pattern...sort of similar to what you see above...but not nearly as extensive. We're only doing one row of 9-inch blocks around the top of the walls - and only three walls at that, because the fourth wall, the one that leads from the nursery to the bathroom/closet area, is taken up by another of those huge loft doors that I mentioned earlier.


Our color blocks will alternate: red - blue - yellow - green. I left out orange, even though there is, technically, an orange M&M character. Why? Because I just don't like the color orange. That's why!

Misc.: As I mentioned, I have plenty of M&Ms stuff for decor. I also bought the traditional wooden letters to spell out "Benjamin" over the crib. Those will be painted in the same color pattern as the blocks.

I have two wonderful girlfriends coming over on Sunday to help me paint. I'm so lucky to have such good friends! Mr. Citysaur could do the painting, but he's plenty busy with classwork for his graduate school classes, so I'm trying to keep his load as light as possible. He will be helping me prepare the area by moving furniture and taping off our design on Saturday, though!

Unfortunately, the room won't be finished for a while, because our dresser/changing table combo is currently being handcrafted by my father-in-law, who lives 300 miles away. Likely, we won't get it until they come up for the family shower next month.

But I promise to get some results pictures up as soon as it starts looking like something!

And the winner of the 303Baby goodies giveaway is...

Random.org gave us the winning numbers for our 303Baby goodies giveaway...


Lucky number 11 was...

Congratulations Ann! Send an email with your full name and address to pregosaur@gmail.com and we'll get your goodies in the mail to you ASAP.

Thanks to everyone for entering the giveaway! 


Note to our winner: please contact us within 7 days. If we don't hear from you, we will re-draw the prize. Thank you!