Friday, May 31, 2013

Eating has become a part-time job... (16wk belly pics)

Well the belly is getting bigger but maybe not quite as fast as we want it to be.  A family friend of mine, Gina, recommended a good resource book for multiples and that book has even higher calorie, protein, and weight gain recommendations than other books/websites we've found.  With multiples, apparently, it is particularly important to gain weight early in the pregnancy because by the end the babies take up so much space that it is literally hard to eat enough calories in a day (because your stomach doesn't have room to expand).  So the goal is to build up plenty of fat stores early so the babies can draw on them later in development when Michelle can't keep up with eating.  This is why eating has become a part-time job for Michelle, and making sure she is eating enough, a side job for me!  Here are the recommendations for triplet pregnancies: Calories per day = 4,000; Grams of protein per day = 200+!!!  And the ideal weight gain over the course of pregnancy is somewhere in the range of 60 pounds.  For comparison, for a singleton pregnancy, the recommended weight gain is around 25-30 pounds and they say to add about 300-400 calories a day to your regular diet.  One of the suggestions for getting to these recommended numbers is to have a milkshake or two every day.
Sounds like a dream diet right?!?  The funny thing is that for years, Michelle has been saying "I can't wait until I get pregnant and can have a good reason to get fat!"  And all that time I was saying "oh no, I don't think so.  Pregnancy is not an excuse to eat anything you want."  In fact, this refrain was so well known that our friends Scooter & Margo in Seattle would say "don't worry Michelle, when you are pregnant, we will feed you!" =)  And now that we are expecting triplets, it's the exact opposite, I am constantly trying to get her to eat!  I can't remember who said it, but one of our friends the other day asked her if she felt like she was a cow getting fattened up for the slaughter house!? =)
In all seriousness though, it really isn't easy to eat that much, especially when the pregnancy hormones slow down your digestive system and you have babies taking up space in there making Michelle feel like her food is sitting in her stomach like a rock.  Whenever we leave the house we have a full bag packed with snacks and drinks so she can be constantly eating or drinking something with calories.  And unless you have every really counted calories or tried to really build muscle for sports, you probably have no idea how difficult it is to get 200 grams of protein a day!  We are pretty sure that we fail at this one every single day, but we are making a valiant effort.  We bought some protein powder from Trader Joes and I make Michelle two protein shakes pretty much every day with soy milk, protein powder, lots of peanut &/or almond butter, cocoa powder, and a few slices of frozen banana, which gets about 60 grams of protein covered.  We also add protein powder to the milkshake(s) we make for her at home. She also has a snack by the bed almost every night in case she is hungry in the middle of the night or to eat first thing in the morning.  That is usually graham cracker and peanut butter sandwiches or a couple of the high protein healthy "breakfast cookies" I've made.  We seriously go through a jar or more of peanut butter or almond butter every week these days! 
We are constantly learning as we try to "fatten her up" for the babies sake.  For example, it is not a good idea to drink a protein shake within an hour of a regular meal time because then she won't be able to eat much at the meal.  It is also not a good idea for her to eat a normal portion of food for dinner because then her stomach hurts for the rest of the evening so we usually split her dinner in two and she eats half and then eats the rest an hour or so later.  We have also learned that it is ideal if we can eat dinner early, like around 5; this doesn't always happen, but we are trying.  So many things to remember!!  We used to say that we planned our day around eating because we would eat breakfast and talk about what we were going to eat for lunch.  =)  Now we REALLY plan days around eating...or at least have to plan eating into the day!
Okay, enough rambling about eating.  Here are the belly pics!  I feel like it's harder to tell the difference, but when you look at proportions (ie chest to belly ratio) you can see the change. Michelle knows I record weight gain at each doctor appointment and that if it is low I'm probably going to be bugging her about eating more so she was stoked to see an 8lb gain this week knowing I would relax a bit. =)  

14 weeks
16 weeks
(sorry we forgot the sign this week Mom!!!)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

By the numbers...

I forgot to get this picture in there.  Probably not something many of you care about, but I've been tracking each of their measurements at each visit so I wanted to post this anyway.  Heartrates didn't get included on this chart, but Baby A was 153, Baby B was 142, and Baby C was 150, all of which are perfectly great numbers.  As has been the case every time so far Baby A is the biggest measuring almost a week ahead of schedule.  (today, they are technically 15 weeks, 6 days today).  In case you are wondering, I'll give you a decoder for all the initials below! 
AUA = Average Ultrasound Age
EDD = Estimated Delivery Date
EFW = Estimated Fetal Weight 
BPD = Bi-Parietal Diameter (width of their heads)
HC = Head Circumference
AC = Abdominal Circumference
FL = Femur Length
HL = Humerus Length

Drumroll please....

We are having two girls and a boy!!  Baby A is a boy and hanging out on his side on the bottom of the uterus, and Baby B & Baby C are both girls and they are both breech and basically sitting on their brother already. =)  It's kind of mind-bending to try to picture that when you see the picture below so you'll just have to trust us.  We are both soooo happy to have a mix of genders!
The big reveal!  Only possible way to get all three in one screenshot & this was NOT easy to get!
Our little boy, is really not the little one.  He's measuring around 6oz now, with both girls weighing in at 5oz. Crazy to think about how little they still are and yet how "put together" they are already!  Today was the first of two anatomy scans.  Typically people have one anatomy scan at 18-20 weeks but with three babies there is a lot of anatomy to get through and by the time they are 20 weeks they might be so squishy that it will be hard to see some things!  Until now the "growth measurement" has been measuring "crown to rump" (top of head to butt!) length but now they're curling up so much that they've graduated to more detailed measurements.  Today they measured head circumference, abdominal circumference, and femur (thigh bone) and humerus (top arm bone) lengths to get their sizes.

Baby boy (A) profile shot

Baby girl B profile

And Baby girl C profile

 So we got to see lots of baby parts today!  They showed us their developing brains, beating (looks like wiggling!) hearts, tiny stomachs, umbilical cord attachments, bladders, and all four extremities.  By the time we were done measuring Baby A I was getting pretty good at reading the ultrasounds and could pick out most parts as she was moving around.  Last time the big change seemed to be that we could see their spines and this time we could see their ribs too.  Our baby boy was the most active again during this ultrasound though baby B woke up a little more once the tech started measuring her.  Baby C seems like she might be our calm one because she hasn't gotten too riled up either time.

Baby B's arm...waving hello

Baby A showing off his "man parts" =)

Baby C's legs...she was crossing & uncrossing them

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE ultrasound days now?!? (Michelle loves them too...sorry, that was selfish!)  I loved finding out how their little selves are positioned in there so that when I'm talking to them and sending them love I can picture them in there. Michelle has just started feeling little "flutters" of baby movement periodically over the past week or so, but it's definitely not noticeable by touching her belly.  Believe me, I've tried HARD and really concentrated and nothing. =)  All the placentas are anterior (toward the front) which means that it will be harder to feel kicks and such from the front because the placentas will cushion the blow so to speak.  This is totally disappointing because I can't wait to feel them moving, but I'm sure it will still happen, especially with three in there.  Okay, Kate texted to say "waiting impatiently for the afore-promised photos!" so I better close out this post and publish it!!!

Anticipation is building

I'm writing this blog post from the waiting room for MFM (maternal fetal medicine) in Danville, PA. Danville is about an hour and a half from State College and I have a feeling we are going to get to know this stretch of interstate 80 very well.  Today we only stopped once for Michelle to pee which I think is pretty good!  Her RLS was driving her crazy again and she said "tomorrow's going to be interesting" because she is driving 10 hours to Chicago by herself tomorrow! (Anyone want to take bets on how many stops or total time door to door?). :)

I think moving into the new house and knowing we had this MFM appointment have combined to increase our anticipation and excitement about the triplets! We spent some time trying to envision fitting three cribs in the baby room last night. It is going to be tricky with the window and closet placement!  Last night I took down some of the "old lady" stuff in the nursery-to-be and am excited to get it painted and start decorating.  And like I said in another post, the ultrasounds are my favorite part and in just a few minutes we will get to see our little alphabet again!  We should be able to get confirmation of genders today as long as they aren't being too shy!  And we will, I'm sure, have a whole bunch of new pictures to share!  More soon...

Monday, May 27, 2013

Mother nature has a few things backwards...

When it comes to pregnancy, I think mother nature should consider revising a few things!  First, when women are in the first trimester and critical neuro development is happening, mother's should be programmed to crave healthy food full of nutrients like vegetables and fish!  Second, she should really do whatever it takes to support good, deep, and replenishing sleep! 

Michelle has been a rockstar throughout this pregnancy, but sleep is not coming easily and this has been the bane of her (read OUR) existence lately.  And I am deeply concerned that this is only going to get worse over the next four months (yes, that's right...only four months left!!)!  As some of you probably know, Michelle is historically not the best sleeper.  Since she was a teenager she has had restless leg syndrome (RLS), which often rears its ugly head at night just when she's trying to fall asleep.  For those who have never experienced RLS (I have it very mildly, mostly when stuck sitting on a plane), it can feel like a million ants crawling just under your skin or like this impossible-to-ignore urge to move your legs.  And let me tell you, pregnancy has turned this beast into a a full on RLS dragon that harasses her pretty much every night, and often during the day when she is trying just sit and rest.  Quite frankly, it is awful and has led to frustration, growling, and tears at various times.  Her usual "go to" treatments of sleeping on her stomach, taking a hot bath, or taking an ibuprofen PM, are now pretty much "off limits" which makes this even trickier.  I feel completely helpless and useless and I hate that feeling.

And then, when her legs are cooperating, the itchiness usually steps in to fill the sleep-disrupting void.  Sometimes she says it feels like she just got a haircut in the shirt she is wearing to bed and has taken to calling any shirt her "horsehair shirt!"  We have tried literally a ZILLION different lotions, oils, and balm and tried every single suggestion people have given us like changing detergent, soap, etc., all to no avail.  Sometimes it seems like something helps for a while, but the itchies always come back!  Every doctor we've asked about it has basically looked at us with a blank face and been useless.  She has tried benadryl and some nights the "drowsiness" of the benadryl seems to help, but it certainly doesn't help the itchiness. 

All of this means we are both "getting practice" with sleep deprivation.  But quite frankly, I think that is a load of bull.  I don't think there is any real value in getting used to sleep deprivation and I don't think it is going to make us feel any better once the babies arrive.  Here's hoping that at least one of these sleep-depriving beasts decides to go on vacation and let Michelle (and consequently me) get more sleep in the months to come!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Packing, packing, & more packing!

Here's how we've been spending our last couple of weekends!  The house we're renting now is being sold and we have to be out by the 31st.  We were temporarily in a tricky spot because we weren't supposed to be in our new house until June 1st, but I sweet talked our way into the new house a little early in exchange for helping with the usual tenant turnover tasks.  So now we're moving next Sunday afternoon and it feels so great to know that is just a week away!  We can't wait to get into the new house and start settling in.  And of course we're excited to set up a nursery too but I think we need to get our stuff settled first!  The new house has three bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs along with a mostly finished basement with another bathroom.  The house also has a nice open great room with a fireplace and a screened in porch!  We are so lucky that we got this bigger house because we signed the lease before we even knew we were pregnant, nevermind knowing about the triplets!
 The great thing about having all this space is that we have room not just for the babies, but for some long term help!  So for all of you reading this, there will always be a bedroom waiting for you when you want to come hold babies!  We have also recruited some part-time live in help which we think will help us maintain some level of sanity.  I recruited one of the Penn State rugby girls to help us out for 15-20 hours a week for free room & board (and pay).  She currently works at one of the daycare centers on campus and loves babies so we think she'll be a great fit and a huge help. She is looking forward to living with "real people" who regularly wash their dishes. =)  It feels good to know that at least sometimes we will have the same number of adults in the house as babies so we can play "man to man defense."

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What a difference a couple of weeks makes

Here's the 14 week belly pic  with the 12 week for comparison. Michelle's belly has really popped in the past couple weeks. Our regular tshirts no longer fit and jeans are short lived even with the "hair tie on the button" trick so we've done some more shopping this week at goodwill & kid to kid, a local consignment shop so Michelle has more than two outfits! :)

Surrendering to the universe

We are working on truly letting go and going with the flow with this whole pregnancy experience.  It is NOT easy for these two mamas who like to plan and who like to be in control, and who maybe, sometimes, get a little flustered when things don't go as planned.  You would think that after two plus years of things not going as planned we'd be used to this.  But I don't know that we'll ever get used to it.  I think it will just be a continual journey for both of us.  When we found out that we were pregnant we talked to the OB about how we didn't want a lot of ultrasounds, and might only do the one at 20 weeks.  We declined the initial ultrasound at 8 weeks only to have the bleeding scare on the flight from Seattle which is when we found out it was triplets.  At our last OB visit we declined an ultrasound they wanted us to do at our next appointment, scheduled for Friday, the 17th.  And lo and behold, Michelle called me on Monday afternoon to tell me she was bleeding a little and that the OB wanted to do an ultrasound Tuesday morning.  (maybe this will teach us to stop declining ultrasounds!)  Ultrasounds for three babies take a long time.  This was just a "quick check" to make sure everything looked okay (which it did) and it took like 45 minutes.  Here are the latest pictures.  These pictures weren't that easy to get because Baby A & Baby B were moving all over the place!  It was especially hard to get the shot of all three of them.

The three of them already getting a little squishy
Baby A

Baby B

Baby C
I told Michelle on the way home that altough theoretically we wanted to not do many ultrasounds, that I secretly LOVE them and it really helps me feel connected to these three babies who are not in my belly.  I love seeing the changes each time and seeing them move around.  So, Michelle and I will continue our personal journeys in letting go and surrendering to the universe, while simultaneously planning like crazy so  that we are as ready as we can possibly be whenever these three kiddos decide to be born.  =)

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Planning like crazy

As we find ourselves moving through the shock and awe phase and into acceptance we find ourselves doing what we can to plan and prepare for this major life event!  I think that I am probably more in hyper-plan mode than Michelle, but that is probably because it feels like one way I can contribute since I'm not the one growing three babies in my belly.  We have been borrowing books from the library about raising multiples and other books about parenting.  Kate sent us the latest baby bargains book and we've been looking at a lot of "baby stuff" online.  I think I've probably read about 1,000 carseat reviews!  It is tricky to find three carseats that will fit across the back of the Rav4 and even trickier if you want those carseats to be safe for babies less than 5 pounds which is likely to be the case for our babies.

The funny thing is that before we knew about the three babies I really wanted to be a "baby stuff minimalist" and not have one of every possible piece of baby equipment.  Now I feel like we don't have a choice because we are going to need to have safe and entertaining places for babies to be while we take care of other babies!  We have been reading triplet blogs to learn what things we actually need three of and where we can skip things.  We started a registry on to help keep track of everything we think we will need.  My sister Kate had a great tip for us which was to put everything we need on there including things we already know we are getting used from people and just mark them as purchased.  That way people won't think we are dumb and just don't know that we need it!

Kate has some baby stuff to pass on and a couple of great friends here in central PA have been instrumental in hooking us up with more "donations."  We already have like three boxes of baby clothes, towels, and blankets.  Hopefully there is at least one little boy in their because we have quite a few boy clothes in those boxes.  One of the bags of clothes was waiting for me a one of my client's houses the week after I told them about the nice!

We also started a spreadsheet of baby equipment that people have told us they have for us to borrow, like bouncer seats, a swing, and a bathtub, so we can keep track of who we are borrowing what from!  The more stuff we can borrow, get donated, or find cheap the better because these kiddos are going to be expensive.  My big craigslist score so far is this really nice twin stroller that we got for free!  The woman who posted it on craigslist said she wanted to give it to a family who needed it.  I told her "well, we are not 'needy' but we just found out we're having triplets so we feel pretty needy right now!" =)  She also gave us an old twin jogging stroller that is pretty beat up but will be nice for walking on trails.  Our friend Kathleen randomly catches me at work and says "oh, I also have XYZ in our attic for you" which is awesome.  We aren't saying no to anything at this point! Once we move then we can start setting up the nursery and organizing what we have so far!  In the meantime the research and planning continues...

The months ahead and key dates

We wrote out a timeline of the rest of the pregnancy so we would have a better idea of when key milestones would fall. Here's what we outlined:

May 28th: 16 weeks-next appt at Danville with Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) & growth ultrasound
June 3: move into new house!
June 25th: 20 weeks- another MFM & ultrasound this week
July 6th: baby shower weekend in Chicago
July 23rd: 24 weeks-another MFM & ultrasound with cardiologist this week (this is a big milestone because survival rate goes up to 60% for babies born at 24wks)
August 20th:28 weeks- another big milestone because lungs are mature and survival jumps to 95%!! If it hasn't happened already we will probably be going to Danville weekly for MFM visits by now.
September 17th: 32 weeks- this is average gestation for triplets so we definitely need to be ready!
September 21st: Michelle's 33rd birthday! (hopefully we'll be celebrating this birthday w/o babies!)
Septenber 24th: 33 weeks
October 1st: 34 weeks
October 8th: 35 weeks
October 15th: 36 weeks- this is the latest they will let us go so the babies will definitely be here by this time!

So needless to say we are really hoping not to meet thise babies until October but we need to be ready way before then!  

Happy Mother's Day!

We didn't talk about it at all ahead of time, but Michelle and I each got the other person a gift for Mother's Day. Michelle got me a gift certificate for a massage to thank me for taking such good care of her during this pregnancy.  And I got her a cute little silver necklace with three small circles/disks on it to symbolize our little trio.  I looked and looked on etsy for necklaces to symbolize the triplets including "3 peas in a pod" necklaces but most of them were pretty big and not our style so I went with this really small, subtle one instead. 

I was also planning on surprising Michelle with this blog for Mother's Day, but I got sloppy and left it open on the iPad one day last week and she happened upon it.  So much for that surprise.  Oh well.  Right now we are sitting at Webster's bookstore enjoying our own little mother's day brunch with live music from local musicians and, of course, doing some homework.

I'm sure that by this time next year it will be even more true, but I already find that just in these early days of preparation that I am thinking about my mom a lot.  And am continually in awe of what an amazing and wonderful mother she has been to me.  I have no doubt that Michelle and I will continue to grow in our gratitude to our mothers as we are immersed in our own journey into motherhood.  So, Happy Mother's Day to our moms, and to all moms out there!  I hope you all have a wonderful day and feel appreciated for everything you do and are for your children.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Queasy, antsy, & itchy....

As those of you who have been pregnant, or been married to someone who is pregnant, can attest to, it's not easy and certainly not always fun.  Although the morning sickness hasn't been as bad as it could be, having your stomach feel "off" pretty much every day for a few hours still isn't fun.  And sometimes when your tummy feels yucky all you want to do is lay down and rest, but that's not always an option for Michelle because her restless leg syndrome has been even more obnoxious since she's been pregnant.  So she'll lay down at night, or during the day, and her legs will get that antsy, gotta move feeling in them making it hard to stay still and almost impossible for her to sleep. Typically, the go to remedies are to sleep on her stomach, take ibuprofen or tylenol PM, and/or take a hot bath.  Now it's a little trickier because she's not going to take any ibuprofen PM, it's already not very comfortable to sleep on her stomach, and the bath has to be less hot and it seems like taking lots of baths might contribute to pregnancy complaint number three...itchy skin!  Oy!  The itchiness has been a tough one.  People say your skin on your belly and breasts gets itchy from stretching out, but Michelle's itchy in lots of spots including her back and legs.  We've tried all sorts of things including pine tar soap, lathering her head to toe in coconut oil or cocoa butter, oatmeal baths, mint tea compresses, changing laundry detergent, soap, etc.  And yet the itchiness continues.  The intense lotion does seem help a bit and has become a nightly ritual, but some nights it's still pretty tough.  We'll just keep trying things and hope something helps!  I remember when I had chicken pox as a kid and we painted our bodies with calamine lotion using foam paintbrushes...maybe that's next! =)

Foodie returns to her roots...

People keep saying "wow, you look amazing!" or "you look like you're doing great!" to Michelle when they see her.  And she does and she is.  There have been plenty of annoying pregnancy things but overall I think Michelle is doing a great job and we've been pretty lucky so far.  Sure, there was some morning sickness (that happened at all different times of the day) but she's only thrown up three times which isn't bad considering she's carrying three babies. Lots of women with multiples are dreadfully sick and some even have to go on a pump of anti-nausea meds. Soooo glad that isn't the case for us!  The hardest thing for me has been trying to get Michelle to eat vegetables and other healthy foods.  It is really amazing how pregnancy can change your diet!  Seriously, we are pretty healthy and adventurous eaters; we eat tons of vegetables and all kinds of ethnic foods.  Well, that pretty much went out the window for the first trimester!  Michelle's "go to" foods were toaster waffles with peanut butter, macaroni & cheese, chicken & rice, and other carb heavy comfort foods!  For those who have known Michelle for a long time, this lack of interest in vegetables probably sounds familiar but it sure feels weird to me because probably 80% of our diet pre-pregnancy was vegetarian!

It was my mission to get as many healthy nutrients in there as I could so I made her green smoothies with spinach, added chia seeds to her PB waffles, and made homemade mac & cheese with pumpkin in the sauce.  Our usual Sunday routine of making food for the week was also gone because she couldn't predict what she might be able to eat at any given time!  We've eaten a lot of sweet potato fries over the past couple months because that was one vegetable I could usually talk her into!

The other crazy eating thing is how much Michelle has to eat!  Lots of people recommend that moms carrying multiples gain a lot of weight early because the babies will be born early.  Calorie recommendations range from 3,000-3,500 daily!  And when you sometimes feel nauseous, and if you eat too much at once you get heartburn, it can be really tricky to get that many calories in your system in a day!  And she's also supposed to try to eat upwards of 180 grams of protein a day.  That has also been a big challenge and one I doubt we're beating every day.  It's particularly tricky when eggs don't always sound good and when chicken is the only meat that ever sounds do-able.  I've started making her protein shakes every day with soymilk, some protein powder, lots of peanut or almond butter, a few slices of frozen banana, and some cocoa powder and that gets us closer.  Every time we leave the house we have to have a bunch of snacks packed.  Michelle has a snack by the bed each night so she has something to eat if she is hungry in the middle of the night or to eat as soon as she wakes up in the morning.

Thankfully, now that we're heading into the second trimester Michelle is starting to eat vegetables again!  Cobb type salads have been a weekly event so that's been lovely!  Last night she even tried a bite of my kale portobella mushroom bowl with spicy peanut sauce and said it tasted pretty good!  Hopefully by the time our CSA starts in June we'll be back to our normal diet (well, plus 1500 calories for Michelle!) 

4, 8, and 12 week belly pics

We enjoyed seeing my sister Kate's "belly pics" as she progressed through her pregnancy so we thought we'd do the same.  So far we are taking them every four weeks but I think we need to switch to every two weeks because I already feel like I can tell a difference from week 12 to week 13.  And I'm sure we'll do every week this summer because the change will be more obvious as these three babies start competing for space!  When Michelle saw this line-up she said "man, I didn't realize how little I actually was in Hawaii!" (week 4)

4 weeks
8 weeks

12 weeks
 The biggest change from 4-8 weeks is definitely in the chest!  One of Michelle's professors (who knew we were doing IVF) said "I knew you were pregnant because your boobs are HUGE! Seriously, they're like 3 times the size!"  =)  By 12 weeks though, and especially now the belly is starting to catch up!  And having read other triplet blogs and seen their belly pics, I think by 20 weeks her chest will look tiny compared to the belly!

Lots of questions...

Like I said in the last post, even as we were leaving the ultrasound we started our list of questions and that list just kept getting longer. Does this change what Michelle should be doing as far as eating and exercise? How about prenatal vitamins? We were planning on a 38 or 39 week c-section since Michelle had fibroid surgery in 2011 so now what will they do? It is tricky because average gestation for triplets is only 32-33 weeks! And you really don't want to go earlier than that but of course we want to be sure Michelle isn't at undue risk either!

We went for our first appointment in Danville on Friday April 12th.  It takes about an hour and a half to drive to Danville and I have a feeling we are going to get pretty sick of that drive!  The first person we met with was a fellow (as in a guy doing a fellowship) and he was nice, but awkward.  I know they have to do this, but he basically just went through a big list of the risks associated with multiple pregnancies which is pretty intimidating. And because we are who we are, we had already done a lot of research and already knew all of this.  He asked if we had questions, so we asked about diet and exercise and about the plan for the c-section.  He couldn't really answer either question for us. So when he asked if we had any more questions we were thinking "Well, since you haven't answered any questions so!"  The "real" doc came in and repeated almost verbatim the list of risks! Michelle started crying and the guy totally back pedaled and apologized.  They left to get a print out of supplement recommendations and Michelle was like "I wasn't even crying because i was scared, I was crying because I am so frustrated because I feel like this is a waste of time and we aren't learning anything!"  I was just floored by the way he freaked out when Michelle started crying!  Really, Mr. Maternal Fetal see women in high risk pregnancy situations every single day...I would think that these women with raging hormones in stressful situations cry on you at least daily!  Eventually he did answer our questions about diet and also told us that if everything was going well he would let Michelle go until 35-36 weeks.  That was great news!  But by far the best part of the visit was the ultrasound.  So at this point we were at 9 weeks 3 days.  The ultrasound tech was super friendly and positive and sooo excited for us!  What saws amazing was that even as tiny as they all were (about the size of grapes) they were already moving their arms and legs! We got to see all their heartbeats and they all measured pretty close again, though so far Baby A is the bruiser. =)

Baby A- 9wks 6 days, heartrate 171

Baby B- 9wks 4 days, HR 168

Baby C- 9wks 4 days, HR 178

Our little alphabet! 


Friday, May 3, 2013

A little scare...that turned into, well, shock...

So we went to Seattle at the end of March to celebrate our good friends Scooter and Margo's wedding.  It was a wonderful weekend and so great to see so many good friends.  It felt a little like rewinding the clock a couple years before so many of us moved away.  It was fun to share the news that we were pregnant in person too.  On Sunday we had an Easter egg hunt and brunch before we headed to the airport for a red-eye flight home.  That red-eye might have seemed like a good idea when we bought the tickets but we were already dreading it before we were told that our flight from DC to State College was cancelled because of an impending snow storm!  We got rebooked on US Air through Philly which meant losing out aisle seats and getting middles for the overnight flight!

We were a wreck by the time we got to Philly because we hadn't slept much at all, Michelle was nauseous and puked up her bagel, and we were both a little freaked out because she had some bleeding on the flight.  Oh and it was snowing like mad and our flight to SCE kept getting delayed. The OB office told us to call when we got to State College and they would try to squeeze us in for an ultrasound just to make sure everything still looked okay.  About two hours later we finally boarded our flight home...and then proceeded to sit on the plane on the ground for over two hours!!  They served us cookies and drinks to help keep us quiet but it was pretty miserable, especially for poor Michelle who still felt pretty sick. :(

When we finally made it back to State College around 1:30 we called Geisinger (the OB office) and they were able to squeeze us into the schedule at 4pm so we went home to take a nap before the appointment. We got to the appointment and they called us back. The ultrasound machine only had one smallish screen so Michelle couldn't see while the tech as doing the scan but she told her she'd look around and then see if she could find a cause for the bleeding and would then show Michelle everything.  I could see the screen and just held Michelle's hand nervously waiting and hoping to see a black blob appear on the screen.  We weren't quite seven weeks in so at that point you pretty much just see the yolk sac and a blob of cells called the "fetal pole."  After two years of fertility treatments Michelle and I have gotten pretty good at reading ultrasounds.  I was pretty sure that I saw not just one, but two black blobs but didn't want to say anything until the tech said something and showed Michelle.  Well, I was right-ish...a minute or so later (which felt like an eternity) the tech said, "Well, I don't see any cause for the bleeding, everything looks good. But, I'm going to be busy because I have three babies to measure here!"  

We were, well, shocked.  I'm not even sure we said anything other than maybe something like "three? really?!  We held it together, but when the tech left to get the doc and Michelle got dressed she said "I wanted to be crying happy tears, but instead I just feel like crying."  The PA we had seen at our first visit came in, basically just told us she would be referring us to Danville to the Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists who handle the high risk pregnancies, and that they would call us to schedule.  We walked out in a daze and I immediately started thinking about practical things like "um, can we even fit three carseats across the backseat of the Rav4?"  Our list of things to be nervous about was getting pretty long so we decided we needed to start a mental list of things to be excited about too because we have obviously waited a long time to have a baby.  And now we are having THREE!!!

Here's the ultrasound pic of all three! A, B & C
got this in the mail from my mom!