My Cerclage

In September 2005, I was pregnant with twin girls. I lost my pregnancy at 19 weeks apparently due to my "incompetent cervix." I became pregnant again and wrote all about it on this blog. I now have a wonderful son. Since bed rest, anxiety and cerclage were so much fun, I've decided to do it all again.....

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bad Blogger!

I am such a bad blogger! Bad me! I swear, in the haze of whatever it is I do all day--and I must say that I don't think I actually "do" anything, I have lost the will and the way to blog. Sometimes, I will be sitting around, spacing out in a sleep deprived haze, and I will think that I should blog, I sometimes even have the workings of an actual blog entry rumbling around my brain. You know, something witty and clever. But when I sit at the computer to make these rumblings come alive, I have that same expression I wear most of the day--the sleep deprived, spaced-out haze look. And that look is an outer sign to a very comatose version of myself. This new me is unable to put coherent sentences together, let alone witty and clever ones. In fact, now that I am writing this, I wonder, what do I do all day? Today I did not get out of my pajamas until 2pm.

When I would hear people talk about how they had trouble showering or even brushing their teeth with a newborn, I felt a little judgment. My first instinct was to think, really? I mean, REALLY? And even in the first few weeks of Quinn's life I still felt that way. I figured because of the lifestyle curtailment of bedrest, I was ahead of the game. I mean, I can MOVE because I am not pregnant anymore. I like that I can scurry instead of lumber up the stairs. And, with movement, I can also go on walks and visit people. I really thought, well this isn't so bad, what's all the brewhaha about??

Now that Quinn is approaching 6 weeks old, I am realizing that it was easy because he just slept all the time. He sleeps a lot still, but he has decided he only wants to sleep in my arms. Even now, at this very moment, I am able to type because of the grace of the sling. But take him out? Put him in the bassinet? Noooo sirreee that will not do. And the kid, because he is only 6 weeks old, gets a free pass in terms of doing what he wants for now. And he wants to be held. So, in holding him, I forego showering, brushing my teeth, getting dressed or blogging. What I do all day, I now undertsand as I gaze (in true space-cadet fashion) around the squaler of my house, is take care of my baby.

Friday, September 22, 2006

One Month Yesterday

Yesterday the little guy turned a month old. He is already growing out of his first newborn clothes and getting so fat on his arms and legs. I love it! He is also awake so much more during the day, and I swear he has smiled at me twice.

We celebrated by putting him in his own room to sleep instead of ours. I woke to some crying at 3am. I wonder how long it had been going on before I heard it and attended to his feeding. One of my older brothers recently gave me some cynical parenting advice, "The key to parenting success is for you to be as negligent with your first child as we have been with our third." Hmmm.... Even my mother, who is a mother of 5 grown children, appeared to observe with a wry smile how concerned we were about weight gain, "I just figured if they ate, they were gaining weight." Oh. But wait. She then paused for a second as a memory appeared to enter her brain. Funny, my youngest brother, the last of the 5, actually hadn't been gaining weight and the only reason she noticed is that my grandfather mentioned something along the lines of, "that kid looks a little scrawny." As my mother told this story I was duly appalled, "What did you DO?!" My mother didn't seem to be able to recall, and finally said, "Oh. you know. The pediatrician put me on some plan, and I think it got resolved." So...a little 3am crying for the first month, no biggy, right? Self soothing is a good skill!

This week was not only exciting because of One Month; it was also premiere week (that’s right, this overzealousness is not about the kid, it’s about TV)! I am a shameless TV watcher and I will admit that I toasted to my son’s one month birthday with a glass of wine and a nod to the TV as "Grey’s Anatomy" filled the living room with its comforting, familiar, narcissistic angst ridden characters.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

How To Mark an Anniversary

A year ago today we lost our twin girls. Interestingly, I realize as I write this I will tell a bit of their story, but last night I had decided that while I would write something, I was not going to write their story because it would be too hard. But it wants to come out, so I will write it.

My husband and I had a routine ultrasound appointment which the techs tried NOT to do since I had been there two weeks earlier and everything looked great. They called my doctor (my famous perinatologist) and she told them with all twin pregnancies, she has them done more often. So the tech grumpily got to work, saying our babies looked “totally healthy” just two weeks ago. What would change?! She was very quiet during our ultrasound, and then suddenly the actual radiologist was in there looking at our stuff. We didn’t get it. We didn’t know enough then that to have the real doctor decide to take a looksee signified something bad and not something good. The radiologist disappeared and then came back to let us know that our doctor wanted us to go up to labor and delivery. She said our doctor would meet us on the way up. She told us to wait for someone to take us. I said something along the lines of “oh, I work here, I know where it is.” But then a nurse showed up with a wheelchair and my first feeling of fear started creeping in.

Our doc met us on the way, and explained the situation, but it was still confusing. I still thought that we might get monitored for an hour and sent home. I think I was feeling a little cavalier about it. When we got to the front desk at L&D, my friend and colleague was there. She said, “oh no!” and I started crying. I still didn’t really get that something was really wrong, but somewhere something was being understood because I couldn’t stop the tears.

Finally, we met with the attending doctor on call. We were told we had a “50/50 chance” of saving the twins. My cervix was practically all the way open, water bags bulging. They would perform an emergency cerclage. It was my first time hearing the term. They said they would do it first thing in the morning, and asked that I sleep with my hips up all night to try to get the water bags back where they belonged in my uterus. It was a terrible night. We cried all night, and, although I wasn’t sure, I felt leaking every time I used the bed pan. In the morning they decided to check me before surgery, a surgery everyone managed to remind me was only a “50/50 chance of success at best.” They told me that I would be on bedrest the remainder of the pregnancy. It was all so scarey and overwhelming. During the exam before surgery, my water bag broke all over the place. I was still so naïve, I remember saying, “what was that warm liquid?”

This is where things get bad, and where I notice I am not feeling much like writing anymore. We had a lot of decisions to make about whether to induce, to do a D&E or to let nature take its course and wait for me to naturally go into labor. We had one twin still floating around in her unbroken water bag, and inducing seemed very awful knowing she was still in there healthy and clueless. But the risk of infection was high, and any chance of saving her was grim. I remember my doctor giving me a speech about her first priority being my health, and that infection could be very harmful to me and my ability to have future pregnancies. We decided to induce. It was awful decision. Later, we found out that the placenta had already become infected. It would have just been a matter of time. Still, that moment of deciding to end the pregnancy was one of the worst moments of an ordeal of horrible moments.

The good news is that we had a very caring doctor and nurse for our night of hell, and it turns out that it mattered. They were wonderful, and I think of them still. The social worker was my work supervisor. Odd, but comforting. We had an epidural. I remember the anesthesiology resident saying something about it being early for an epidural, and the nurse cutting him off and saying, “she’s in pain and she doesn’t need to feel pain.” It all happened quickly. I hardly felt the delivery, they were so small. We held them, we said our good-byes. We cried. The next morning, we went home and those first dark days began.

I was wondering how I would feel today given what happened a year ago. I also wondered how you mark an anniversary like this, especially with our son, who is not quite a month old, and who I love with everything I have. On the first anniversary of my father’s death a few months ago (yeah, it was a shitty few months last year) and I remember thinking that these anniversary’s are important, not because of the symbolism or the rituals, but because they force you to think of that person or that day. You can’t avoid it. I hadn’t thought of my dad too much day to day several months before his anniversary, and I don’t think of the twins everyday anymore. Yet, because it is the anniversary, I have written this story and I already feel some relief by doing that.

It also gives me a chance to think about the last year. If there is a silver lining to losing my twin girls it’s that I appreciate my life so much more. I don’t take nearly as much for granted and having gone through something so powerfully painful has and made me a better, maybe even more interesting person. When we lost the girls, pretty much the only people who understood were people who had gone through tremendous loss themselves. Knowing you can heal, or find some peace after something like this…it’s hard to explain except to say my perspective on almost everything is shifted. It’s shifted in a good way. Again, if you have to find something good about it…believe me, I am also wondering today who we missed knowing, who our girls would grow up to be, and I am feeling the sadness of that for sure.

As I write this, I glace up at my baby, who is napping at my side, and feel so much love for him. It is a thoughtful day, but it doesn’t have to be a bad one.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Breast is Best

I know that this picture of baby sleeping is just totally fascinating to everyone. I really can't believe myself. I am suddenly sending out pictures similar to this to friends and family on a daily basis assuming that they are as interested in watching Quinn sleep, eat and have occasional "eyes wide open" moments as I am. I am so boring these days. I have nothing else to blog because I have become so uninteresting. Except maybe how annoying breast feeding is. I can do a post on that. Okay I will.

Actually, the feeding is going pretty well for the most part. He is now got the "latch" down, and I am less stressed about how much he gets with each feeding now that the all important birth weight is regained.

On day three of his life, we ended up meeting with a breast feeding consultant because so much of my milk came in that I was totally engorged, and the poor kid was bouncing off my boobs. I was so tender, it hurt just to touch the skin, and my nipples were sore and bleeding due to the multiple vigorous attempts by the boy to work it out. I ended up renaming the lactation consultant "Jesus" because I decided after meeting with her that she is my personal savior. In many black humor moments after that meeting, I could be seen tearily attempting to feed him at 4am crying, "What would Jesus do?" Even my husband started many sentences with "Jesus said...." (BTW, I really hope I am not offending anyone. This kind of humor is how I get by sometimes, and I totally respect peoples beliefs and don't mean to make light of, or make fun of a true belief system.)

All seems to have improved greatly. But here's is my gripe: I feel like I am supposed to LOVE breastfeeding. You know the whole "bonding" thing, like it is this beautiful moment between me and the kid where we connect. People swear I will get there, but right now? Now I still gear up for each feeding (How's it going to go? Will he latch? Will he get enough?Did he get too much? Will he burp?) . I am so relieved afterwards that it is over and that I get nearly 3 hours before doing it again. I admit it, I DREAD feeding. There. I said it. And I feel ashamed about it. I can be pretty hard on myself (like I also have this voice in the back of my head saying, “are you kidding me?! You are posting about breast feeding and baby pictures? You have become a cliché!”), so any societal judgment will definitely get filtered in my neurotic brain. Welcome to the new me—you might recognize me from previous hyper-anxious bed rest posts:)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Day Three

I am still having some technical difficulties (we have a whole new camera and computer system since I last posted pictures). However, I am hoping this is a successful post of a picture from day three of Quinn's short life. I probably already sound like an obsessed parent, but I will tell you, he has already changed so much since this picture was snapped! I am still working on getting a few more recent pictures uploaded.