Valentines 2015

Valentines 2015

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Anyone need some Follistim?

Hey everyone -

I know that some of my followers have already been blessed with beautiful babies, but several of you have not experienced that joy just yet. For my fellow infertiles who are still actively trying - do any of you need some Follistim for your IVF or injectible IUI cycles?

I have 4 (four) - 900 IU unopened boxes of Follistim sitting in my refridgerator. They expire in June 2011. I saved them in the event that something happened during our pregnancy or in the event that we would need to do another IVF (typical infertile, right?).

Anyway, as our girlies are now 3.5 months old and we have 14 frosties safely tucked in our RE's freezer, I am 99.9% sure that I would have no use for these meds before they would expire. Would you? As there are 4 boxes, they could easily be split up between multiple people if there are multiple people that could use them. I'm not asking for any money for the meds, just your 100% honesty that you really do need it for your personal use and don't intend to sell it. If you aren't in town I am happy to ship it, so don't let that deter you (although I would accept the cost to ship since it will have to be overnighted to keep the meds cold enough and that can get pricey depending on where it's getting shipped to).

And just FYI - this is/was my "lucky batch" of Follistim. All 3 of my pregnancies occurred while I was taking this lot of Follistim =). It took the 3rd time to be the charm and have a successful "full term" pregnancy, but hey, I was thrilled to get pregnant PERIOD, and the Follistim got me there. I hope it can help one or some of you out there in bloggy land. And if nobody needs it, no worries. I can donate it to my RE clinic. I just donated a ton of meds last year after our BFP so I'd like to spread the wealth a little bit and help some other ladies out.
Just let me know!

**Update** all 4 of my 900 IU cartridges have now been sent to new homes =). To my knowledge Ms. O still has a 300 IU cartridge of Follisitm up for grabs, as well as some Menopur, and I have a friend (KC) that still has a 450 cartridge of Gonal F. Same deal with them - no charge for the meds, you just pay the shipping. Thanks ladies!


For those of you impatiently waiting for updated pictures of the girls, don't you fret. . .it's on my agenda for hopefully later today after we go SUV/Minivan shopping =).

Friday, January 21, 2011

The importance of being your own advocate

I am mad at myself today. I became really good at being my own advocate during our struggles with infertility and I pushed urged others to do the same. So why is it that after I have had a successful pregnancy I seem to have lost the tenacity to stand up for what I believe to be the right choice/decision/treatment for me?

I have no idea.

Here's what happened (with a bit of a backstory so you fully understand).

I was diagnosed with compound heterozygous MTHFR gene mutation in December of 2009 after my second miscarriage. My RE had flat out refused to run any testing on me prior to my next IVF even though we had already paid her well over $10K for failed fertility procedures in our quest to conceive, so I requested that my OB run the recurrent miscarriage/habitual aborter blood testing. He agreed. What came back was that I was compound heterozygous for the MTHFR gene mutation - having one copy of the C677T and one copy of the A1298C genes. To oversimplify a bit, MTHFR is as clotting disorder that also inhibits your body from being able to properly metabolize folic acid. This is a huge deal during pregnancy (obviously), but it is also something you need to be mindful of for the rest of your life as it increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, blood clots, and a whole host of other problems.

Anyway, I was taking a prenatal vitamin called Neevo while I was pregnant that contained a metabolized form of folic acid that was readily available to be used by my body. I felt great while taking it. I was also taking baby aspirin - one a day - during my pregnancy. I still had some Neevo at home and I had continued to take it along with my baby aspirin after my girls were born. I ran out of Neevo two weeks ago. I quickly became exhausted lethargic. I thought maybe it was because I had twin babies at home and I was now working. But I hadn't felt this way before, work wasn't high stress or physically demanding, and the girls were sleeping more now than ever. I thought maybe it was because I wasn't exercising enough. But when I would exercise do something as simple as climb stairs at work I would get so tired, and so almost lightheaded that I would have to stop after 5 or 6 flights.

Then I thought about what had changed. I had run out of prenatals and had switched to a different brand that didn't have them metabolized form of folic acid that the Neevo did. So I requested more Neevo from the pharmacy. The pharmacy contacted my OB's office, who DENIED the request. Really? Denied? It's a prenatal vitamin, not a controlled substance for Pete's sake! No worries I thought. I had seen my OB multiple times since the girls had been born because my body just wouldn't stop bleeding after my C-section. I ended up having not 1, but 2 D&C's post partum, the last one being on New Year's Eve day and being ultrasound guided to make sure that my OB "got it" - a necrotized piece of something (not placenta, and not cancerous) that had literally grown into the wall of my uterus and was refusing to come out with "simple scraping". I had my post D&C follow up visit (from D&C #2) with my OB yesterday. I figured I would talk to him about the Neevo, it would be no big deal, he would refill it, and I would go on my happy way.

This is what happened instead:

Me: "What should I be doing in terms of supplementation of folic acid or taking prenatals now that I'm not pregnant?"

OB: "Nothing. There is no need for you to supplement anything."

Um, okay. That wasn't in my plan. So I reminded my OB that I was compound heterozygous for MTHFR and I asked him what I should be doing in terms of supplementation of folic acid and the other B vitamins as my body still can't metabolize folic acid, so I know I still need to do something.

Me: "But I have the MTHFR gene mutation - I thought I needed extra folic acid at the very least - regardless of if I am pregnant or not".

OB: "No, there is no reason for you to take any folic acid at this point".

Me: "Really? I thought I had to always be on folic acid, and I really liked the Neevo that I was on while I was pregnant. Could I get more of that?"

OB: "No, there is no need for you to be on that"

Okay, so lets add another layer to this story. Si and I have made the decision not to prevent future pregnancies at this time (mostly because I am breastfeeding and I don't want the hormones to mess with my milk supply), so there is a very very slight possibility that I COULD get pregnant on my own. You know, the way a one tubed, stage IV endometriosis, infertility and recurrent loss patient could. . .I think my quoted chances of getting pregnant on my own - less than 2%. Yeah, I'm really not concerned. And if it did happen, we would definitely consider it a miracle and a sign from God that we were obviously supposed to have another child. But that's not the point.

I figured at this point he would say oh yeah, since there is a possibility you could get pregnant you should stay on a prenatal. Instead, this is how the conversation went. . .

Me: "You know, we aren't going on any sort of birth control, so I suppose there is a very slight possibility that I could get pregnant. . ."

OB: "Oh it could definitely happen. I've seen it happen many times before"

Me: Blank stare. . .

OB: "After you get pregnant next time we will start you on a prenatal again. There's just no need for you to be on one, or anything else, right now."

Me: Blank stare. . .

OB: "You do need to make sure you are taking your baby aspirin every day though. And any time you fly you need to take an entire aspirin to try to prevent clots."

Me: "Okay, I get that. I've been so tired though lately, and I suspect it's because I no longer am taking my prenatal"

OB: "You are probably tired because you have twin babies at home and have had 3 surgeries in 12 weeks. You should be tired."

Me: Again - blank stare. . .

I mean, what do you say to that? I have never had 3 surgeries in 12 weeks before, so I guess I don't know how tired I should be after that. But don't you suppose that if this was just a "normal" tired for me that I wouldn't bring it up? I mean of course I'm tired! I have twin babies that keep me running 24-7! But I'm used to that. And it's WAY better than it used to be. But I'm more tired now than ever. And I did try supplementing iron again (on top of the OTC prenatal) in case I was anemic. . .no change. =(.

Okay, so let me review and tie this all up in a pretty little bow for everyone, except my OB. My body CAN NOT fully metabolize folic acid. Folic acid is 100% absolutely necessary AT THE TIME OF CONCEPTION. As I am not on birth control right now, conception could potentially (although definitely not likely) happen ANY TIME. If my body can't fully metabolize the folic acid that I am taking in from food, and I am not supplementing, there is no way that there is going to be enough folic acid readily available in my system to prevent neural tube defects in a baby if I did get pregnant (in which case I would probably ultimately end up miscarrying). The very simple solution? A prenatal! Preferably one that has the metabolized form of folic acid I need. Is anyone having difficulty following me, or is it just my OB???

Besides, isn't it standard procedure now to put women of child bearing age on a a prenantal REGARDLESS of whether or not they are trying to have children, just "in case" they do get pregnant??? It thought that was the new standard reccomendation. I know I was on a prenatal the entire time we were TTC/not preventing. . .so for 6 years before I was actually pregnant. And he had no problem writing the script then.

I am so confused. And now I have to figure out what my next step is. I was taking the metabolized form of folic acid, which is what I need to make the folic acid readily available to my cells. And of course, it isn't available without a prescription. Sigh. Now what? My PCP maybe? I am so mad at myself for not pushing this more with my OB yesterday. I really do love my OB, and I normally trust him fully. Which is why this is such a shock to me. Now I don't have another appointment with him for 3 months when I go in for my "annual exam". . . .

I know that many of you aren't in the same shoes, and may have no idea what MTHFR is, but do you have any thoughts on what you would do in this situation? I guess I just don't understand what the big deal is to give me the prenatal, so I'm lost at what to do next, or who should be next on my contact list. I'm most definitely not going to do nothing. . .

Ugh! TGIF!

Monday, January 17, 2011

They did it!!!!

Both girls slept through the night last night!! This means that they went from about 9:30 PM to 7 AM without waking up - not to eat, not to be changed, not to play - AHHHH - it was heaven!!! I still had to get up at 4 AM to pump of course, but I did a super quick 10 minute pumping session and then went back to sleep. Sleep. I had almost forgotten what real REM sleep was! It was FABULOUS!

And today, well, today has been wonderful. It's Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and being a federal employee means I have today off. YAY! And when I have the day off I have so much fun with the girlies. The girlies have been so happy today that I have spent a decent part of the day trying to catch their smiles on the camera. It's a work in progress. BUT, I snapped this gem this morning. . .this is Miss Olivia. . .LOVE IT!

I attempted the same picture with Brianna, but she wasn't nearly as cooperative. Maybe a different day!

Grandpa (aka Papa Ken) stopped by for a bit to see the girlies and his twin babysitting skills amaze me! Here he is entertaining both girls =)

And a picture of the girlies together=)

So what are you enjoying about today? I find that I love the girlies more and more each day, and enjoy every single second I get to spend with them (even the fussy ones!). Have a great rest of your evening!


Late addition - per popular demand - here is a picture of Brianna hanging out in her blanket. Not quite as cute as Olivia's, but it was requested that I post it anyway =).

Have a great night =)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

3 months old, and my first full week back at work

The girls turned 3 months old this week. They are getting SO big and are changing every single day. They haven't mastered any new skills this week, but they are sure working on it! New this week - Brianna has started trying to roll over, has been very very vocal with her coos, and seems to be working hard on finding her voice range. It's quite comical. Olivia has started mimicking what other people are doing, follows you everywhere with her eyes, and is perfecting the art of sleep (dad is SO proud). Both girls have also discovered their hands this week and are quite content trying to stuff as many fingers as possible into their mouth at a time. Crazy kids! They are finally out of size 1 diapers and are on their way out of 0-3 month outfits (I thought that would happen weeks ago, but I think they had just come off a growth spurt when I made that prediction).

This was my first full week back at work, and on Wednesday I thought everything was going perfectly and that this was going to be easier than I thought (HA). Um no. See, I was busy at work on Monday and Tuesday. Like I barely had time to remember to pump busy. I had Wednesday off (I work 4 - 10 hour days). So when I went in on Thursday I figured it would be crazy busy too, but it wasn't. I mean I had stuff to do, but I wasn't busy. Same thing on Friday. Add onto the fact that Brianna decided that her current sleep schedule was crap and should be thrown out the window on Wednesday and Thursday night, and I was TIRED. 10 hour days are hard enough. They are even harder when you get less than 4 hours of sleep a night. Sigh. I was seriously dragging by Friday evening. I'm hoping next week is better. On the bright side, the nanny seems to have done very well with the girls - YAY! Brianna was fussy all day Thursday and I think it wore on her a bit, but she still came to work on Friday, so apparently it wasn't too bad =). And she is helping with dishes and laundry when she isn't super busy with the girls and it is awesome to have that extra little bit of help around the house. For us, a nanny really was the right choice. It's only part time, and it is expensive, but it's worth it!

What else is going on? Well, Sheila and Andy and baby Adam came over to visit yesterday. We left the guys at home with the babies and Sheila and I went to Cheesecake factory for some non-mommy time! It was much needed. Of course we ended up sitting there talking about the babies the whole time, but still, it was nice to actually be able to eat food while it was still hot and talk to an actual other living breathing adult =). We must do it again very soon. We snapped a picture of all three of the babies together before they left to go back home yesterday - they are so cute together - now if only we could get them to smile! It's a work in progress=).

Sheila and I have also decided that we are going to make our own baby food. We are organic food eaters anyway (at the very least with produce), and organic baby food is SO expensive, so we are going to give making it ourselves a shot - at least with fruits and veggies =). Hopefully it will be cheaper and more fun for us to make it anyway. We gave canning a shot a couple of years ago and had a great time so I hope this effort is equally as fruitful (ha - no pun intended!). I think we have decided that we are going to use the special ice cube trays with lids to freeze the baby food. Do any of you have any experience with this or any other aspect of baby food making? Any tips or cautions for us? I'm kind of wondering how much we should be making at a time. . .hmmm. . .

And of course I won't leave you without pictures of the girlies from the last week!
I personally think there's nothing cuter than a sleeping baby. . .here's a picture of Brianna asleep in my arms =)

Do you ever wonder what the babies are thinking when you take a picture? Try interpreting this look! LOL! Olivia cracks me up!

And last but not least, here's a picture of Si, asleep, after watching the Bears/Seahawk game holding the girlies who are obviously very much awake =)

Okay, that's all for now. Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Harder than I thought. . .

The first 4 weeks or so with twin babies was hard. I hate to admit it, especially after all we had to go through to get these little munchkins here, but there were several times during that period that I wished I could go back to work. My thought process was that everything would be back to "normal" if I went back to work instead of being the resident milk cow and mommy 24 hours a day 7 days a week - which is SO very hard. I enjoyed being mommy to the girls, but it was exhausting, and I really felt like I lost every ounce of who I was during that time period (I never left the house, didn't get any sleep, etc.). Since then it has gotten much better. The feedings have been further apart. I have learned to pump and feed the the girls what I pump instead of breastfeeding every time they needed to eat. They have been sleeping more at night, and have been taking longer naps during the day. They have started cooing to communicate. They have started to smile =). I am comfortable taking them out in public by myself. I REALLY enjoy being with them ALL the time.

Well, I started back to work last week. Part time. 2 ten hour days. WOW is all I have to say. I go to full time next week. I will be working 4 ten hour days. People told me that it would be hard to go back to work, but I seriously underestimated how HARD it would be to leave the girlies every day. I mean WOW. I miss them SOOOO much when I'm gone. And they don't even realize that I'm gone right now - they are still too little to comprehend what is going on. It's only going to get worse. What am I going to do when they can look at me and say "Mommy, I don't want you to go"??? UGH. Not looking forward to that day.

I am very very lucky to have an understanding boss that is letting me work 4 - 10 hour days as opposed to 5- 8 hour days. That gives me a whole extra day home with my girlies, and an extra day that I don't need to pay the nanny to stay with the girls. Don't get me wrong - we have a great setup. My dad (Papa Ken as he is passionately being referred to) is staying with the girlies 1-2 days a week depending on his schedule, and we have a friend who is in college who is nannying for us for the remaining 2-3 days per week. The girls don't have to leave the house at all, and we are very blessed to have wonderful people to watch them when mommy and daddy aren't around. But it still isn't the same. It's not me at home with the girls. And even though I thought it wouldn't bother me all that much to go back to work, it is.

Unfortunately we don't have the option at this point for me to stay home with the girls. Si recently took a different job with a decent pay increase, but it still isn't enough to make ends meet if I stayed home. I am the breadwinner, and I guess this is one of the negatives of being in that role. Sigh. Grandma Pat will be eligible for retirement in a couple of years, so maybe she will want to stay home and watch the girlies. Or maybe Si really will be able to start his own business and I can stay home and work for him. Only time will tell. All I know for now is that everything happens for a reason. While I was very worried about daycare while I was pregnant with the girlies, I had faith that God would show us the path we were supposed to take with them. Boom - Grandpa and nanny Whit and 4 -10 hour days. Awesome.

Next on our list - we need a minivan. I really want a 4WD Toyota Sienna. . .but we can't afford the $40K price tag for a new one, and that's really what we would need to buy to get the payments where we need them and a good interest rate. My grandparents have a Town and Country Touring and they LOVE it, so we are looking at that. It's not 4WD though, and we do live in Nebraska and the winters here can be nasty and can make 4WD a necessity. Right now we have a 4WD Ford Escape and I love it. . .it just doesn't have enough room for the girls AND all their stuff, and there's no room for the pugs. We must have room for the pugs. They travel with us all the time when we go out of town. Since the girls have been born we simply haven't gone out of town because there isn't enough room in the Escape. Sigh. A minivan. I never wanted a minivan. Si still doesn't want a minivan. Does anyone have any insight on what minivan would be best for a decent price, or what SUV you have if you have multiples, and if it has enough room for everything? We don't have 3rd row seating and I wonder if that would be enough and then we could stay in the realm of SUV's. I think if you have 3rs row seating though you don't have the extra storage space in the back for all of the stuff that goes along with babies. . .well, unless you have a Tahoe or something. But I digress. . .let me know if you have any insight.

What else is going on? Oh, well, miss Olivia is sleeping through the night without waking up for a feed EVERY NIGHT. Every night! Or at least every night for the last 10 days. It's great. Brianna did really well for about 4 days, going to bed at 10 or so and waking up at 4 or 5 AM to eat then going right back to sleep, but the last several days have been totally different. Not going to bed until Midnight, up at 4 or 5 and NOT going back to sleep. Boo. I'm back to work now - didn't she get the memo?! Momma needs her sleep too! And then if she doesn't sleep she is a bear for grandpa in the morning. Come on kiddo! Take a lesson from your sister =). LOL. Actually we know how lucky we are to have twins sleeping essentially through the night at 12 weeks. Bri has just had a couple of slip ups is all. More often than not she makes it through the night. And it is WONDERFUL. I forgot how great it was to sleep. It's glorious. Thank you CIO (cry it out) and sleep training.

During the day we are doing Eat, Play, Sleep cycles and that seems to be going pretty well too. The girls are actually really good and relatively easy babies. It makes life a lot easier =). And it will make life easier for the nanny too. And a happy nanny and happy babies lead to a happy mommy and daddy too. YAY. I will keep you guys updated with how everything goes next week when I am back to work full time. Yikes.

I will leave you with some pictures of the girlies. They can hold their heads up totally on their own now. It's amazing when they learn to do something new! The next thing I expect them to do? Roll over. It's coming. . .any day now!

Here's a pic of momma and the girlies from the other day =)

And here's a pic of me and the girls too, but this is more me proving to people who doubted me that this really can be done! I am simultaneously feeding both babies. . .it's much easier now that they have more neck control. I've also noticed that since I am gone all day and pump during the day that I am dead set on breast feeding while I am at home with them. It's my special time with them, and I love it. =)

Here's a pic of the girls from today - hanging out in their boppies next to each other. Both are smiling, although you can't tell as much from Bri (on the right). She's still perfecting the perfect smile, and she hasn't mastered holding it for more than a second- which is never the second I am flashing the camera of course =)

And here's a pic of the girls out cold in their car seats. If you need them to sleep, stick them in the car seats and drive around for 10 minutes=). They usually wake up pretty soon after we get back home and out of the car, but sometimes a cat nap is all they need to feel refreshed and not quite so cranky=).

Okay, that's all for now! Hope you all are doing well - and as always - comments are welcome =).