Friday, August 26, 2011

10 weeks, second U.S. appointment

I saw my high risk OB on Monday, and haven’t updated the blog, because I wasn’t sure what to share, how much to share, etc, until some decisions had been made. Since several days have passed and nothing has been decided, here is an update, and if you feel so inclined to offer a suggestion, I’d love to hear/ read it.

First, a few highlights from the visit. I got a big hug and very warm welcome back. I just feel so comfortable with this clinic. They are all wonderful, from the receptionists to the nurses to the doctors to the lab techs. Just great, great people.

So, my doctor said that the chance of a c-section goes way up with a twin pregnancy, so to prepare for that. I told her that I was prepared for a c-section last year and look how that turned out, so this time I might take a Lamaze class instead ;) She did an ultrasound in the office (sorry, no pictures were printed). Both babies looked great. Baby A was sleeping. Baby B was dancing all over the place as usual, leading to a discussion about their genders. So far, the general consensus has been one girl and one boy. My doctor agreed, for the sole reason that Baby B was so active. It will be interesting to find out if everyone is correct.

Okay, onto the bad news….

My doctor doesn’t want me to travel, specifically, outside of the U.S. Not only do I have all of the high risk issues I had during my pregnancy with Kate, but now I have all of the risks and potential issues that come with a twin pregnancy. To add even more fun to the mix, they also found that I have a Factor V Leiden mutation, which is honestly not a big deal, since I’m already on the recommended treatment (heparin and baby aspirin) for one of the autoimmune issues. My doctor is most concerned about premature rupture of membranes, cervical shortening, preterm labor, and also the ethical issues of whether a 20, 22 week pregnancy would even try to be saved in certain countries (most likely not). At least here, she would do her best to get the babies to viability, so they’d have a chance at survival.

She went on to say that if this were a fourth baby and I had no history of preterm labor, she’d have no problem with me traveling and returning to the U.S. within a reasonable timeframe. While I was getting dressed after the appointment, she consulted with a colleague, who completely agreed with her, particularly since it’s an IVF pregnancy. We’ve worked too hard to take risks, seems to be the standard opinion.

As of now, I’m scheduled for the nuchal scan and to meet with a genetic counselor on Monday. They’ve also scheduled an appointment with yet another perinatologist in a few weeks. Of course the earliest he could see me was the day after I’m supposed to fly from DC to Slovakia.

Needless to say, I haven’t been getting much sleep, stress is at an all time high and I honestly don’t know what to do.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

9 weeks 1 day, first U.S. appointment

I had my first appointment in the U.S. on Tuesday. They had scheduled four hours of time, but I was out within 3 ½. The first appointment of the day was for an ultrasound. Baby A and Baby B still have heartbeats and are measuring well.

Baby A: 2.5cm, measuring at 9 weeks 2 days, heart rate 174.

Baby B: 2.4cm, measuring at 9 weeks 2 days, heart rate 174.

The next appointment was for an intake briefing with the nurse manager. She was absolutely lovely. We went over the usual medical history, family history, meds, travel restrictions (err, this could be a problem) etc.

March 18, 2012 will remain the official due date. She said they don’t adjust the date for twins, but just to be aware that I won’t make it. I didn’t think I would, considering that Kate was early.

On Monday, I see my high risk OB.

We are Stateside!

We arrived late last week, and as usual, we’ve been busy, busy, busy. Unfortunately, we’ve also been sick, sick, sick. It started with Kate, then me, and now my husband is sick. It’s just the typical gunk you sometimes catch when flying (head cold, fever, runny nose). Despite illness, we’ve been thoroughly enjoying ourselves. Hello huge grocery stores and Target. And Mexican food. And Starbucks (baristas who make my drink correctly every.single.time).

I’ll type up a full blog post soon, but our trip was about as smooth as possible, minus a piece of missing luggage, that was quickly recovered by the airline.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

final appointment, 8 weeks 1 day

There are still two babies!! Dr. Fabulous did my scan. She spent so much time explaining everything, commenting on how cute they are, even saying they looked like they were about to reach out to hold hands :) Then she let me listen to both heartbeats. AMAZING!!

Baby A: 16.8mm, measuring 8 weeks 1 day, heart rate 169bpm

Baby B: 16.6mm, measuring 8 weeks 1 day, heart rat 161bpm

After the ultrasound, we sat and talked for a while. She is so, so sweet. I’m really going to miss everyone at the clinic. I brought in a large gift basket of chocolates and a thank you note, so hopefully everyone is going home with a smile tonight. Then it was time for my last intralipid infusion. Wow. I seriously can’t believe I’m done. Dr. Fabulous started the IV and it was by far the easiest infusion I’ve had. Lots of hugs and well wishes from the staff. It was hard to say goodbye.

After I left the clinic, I went to the pharmacy and purchased of all their in stock progesterone, heparin and other support meds. So much in fact that they didn't have enough heparin syringes to sell me. I’m honestly nervous to have purchased that many meds (as I still can’t believe this will last), but it was something I needed to do. We leave on Thursday. still!

Monday, August 8, 2011

medical appointments in the U.S. are scheduled

Last week, I really, really wasn’t ready to make any medical appointments in the U.S., for fear of jinxing the pregnancy. However, knowing how well-regarded and popular my high-risk OB is, and having the doctors here reiterate the importance of setting up an appointment in the U.S. right away, I called.

The receptionist told me that my doctor is booked through the fall, and that she would try to get me an appointment with someone else in the practice, at least for the first one. I really, really didn’t want to meet with another doctor. I mean, I don’t mind having appointments with other doctors in the practice later on, and fortunately I did when I was pregnant with Kate, since my doctor didn’t deliver her, but yeah, for the first appointment, I wanted MY doctor. ::whine whine:: I even pulled the “can you please ask her nurse if she’d see me, and mention me by name” card. IT WORKED!

When I called back a few days later, the receptionist stated that my doctor said that of course she wanted to see me, and to make room in her schedule. HOORAY! The week prior to seeing my doctor, they’ve scheduled me for blood work, an ultrasound and then a 1 ½ hour intake meeting. WHOA! I have no idea what we’re going to discuss for over an hour. The receptionist said they’ve blocked a total of three hours for me. Again, WHOA! The appointment the following week is when I’ll actually be meeting with my doctor. The fact that the appointments are made and everything fell into place much too easily, is causing me great anxiety.

Tomorrow I go for my final appointment at the clinic here (another ultrasound and intralipid infusion). Hoping and praying there are still two heartbeats, but terrified that there are not.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

the picture that sums up the past week

Apologies for the lack of updates, but we were busy, packing. And lest you think we have it easy and just sit back and let the movers do the work, there’s A LOT of prep work that goes into our moves.

First there’s the issue of different types of shipments (storage, UAB, HHE). Items sent to storage are those you don’t want or need in the foreseeable next several years. UAB is the air shipment, items you hope to see ASAP, upon arriving at your next post, or at least sometime within the first month. Unfortunately, the air shipment has a strict weight limit, so you have to choose very carefully what you put in it. And finally, HHE, which is everything else. Of course there’s a weight limit to that too, but it’s much higher than the air shipment, so most items end up being sent by sea freight/ HHE. You hope to see those items within four months of arriving at post.

So yes, that’s what I’ve been busy with, packing, organizing and washing, all with my little helper, Kate, underfoot. Fortunately I started the process months ago, or it would have been so.much.worse. Even better, the embassy had a charity drive recently, so I was able to donate several SUV loads of stuff.

Final count:

UAB: we’re allowed 600 pounds, 50 of that is the weight of packing materials and the crate. 549 pounds! AWESOME!!

HHE: 4,750 pounds. YES!

The coming week is all about packing luggage, last minute appointments, saying goodbye to friends, dropping the cats off (they’re summering here for the next five weeks, lucky cats), and dropping the car off.