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Still cooking...

Posted by Anotherhopeful , 13 February 2010 · 1057 views

It has been 6 weeks since my last entry, and again, I must thank those of you who have reached out to me through personal messages.

I am very happy to report that the babies are still on the inside growing extremely well, and as we rounded the 31 week corner last Thursday and are now approaching 32 weeks, everyone around me seems to be starting to exhale.

The last three weeks have been extremely stressful, following on the evidence of further shortening and funneling of the cervix at the 28 weeks ultrasound. This led to a significant tightening of my bed rest restrictions and imposition of daily monitoring (home visits and by phone) by a special Antepartum Home Care Program sponsored byWomen's Hospital. I have found the additional restrictions and the monitoring to be difficult to handle. Ungrateful I know, but it has been a very down period emotionally, where I have felt like I have been stuck in a tunnel and literally hanging on for a little bit of light. Assuming the boys continue to cooperate and stay put, I will officially "graduate" from the Home Care Program at 34 weeks and should also get to increase my activity moderately. The real question will be how weak the then 15 weeks of bed rest will have left me – quite honestly I hope to have at least 2 weeks to do some walking and activity to build a little bit of stamina –otherwise I can only imagine that the exhaustion that will necessary follow the arrival of the boys will be magnified significantly by my lack of physical readiness. Although the well being of the munchkins is the first and only real priority, I can't express how much I am looking forward to a walk outside; to the chance the cook my DH a meal; to go to the grocery store. Oh life's simple pleasures.

A dear friend came to visit me on Monday, and we chatted about how out of control this period of bed rest has made me feel. This friend, who has been my best friend since grade 8, commented on how infertility, IVF, and then this pregnancy have changed me. She interprets what I have experienced and characterized as depression as the mellowing of my need to control, learning acceptance and to growth critical to the job of parenting twin boys that lies ahead. I heard her, but didn't hear her. But last night, after the 2:30 bathroom break called, I found myself unable to return to sleep and after a frustrated hour of trying to get physically comfortable and return to sleep started to turn these ideas over and over in my mind.

Like so many people here, I went through a grieving period when our infertility issues were first identified and went through the process of reconciling how I had "dreamt" becoming a parent would happen with the new reality of what would actually be involved.

More recently, and despite how absolutely and completely grateful as I am that we were blessed with the miracle of a twin pregnancy on our second IVF attempt, I find myself again grieving the "dream" of what I had hoped pregnancy would be. My idealistic notions of happily nesting, setting up a perfect nursery and enjoying an active and healthy pregnancy have not come to pass.

The other big news at our 28 week ultrasound was that Baby A, who had so happily been hanging out head down and ready to allow a trial at vaginal birth, had done a 180 degree turn. So unless he turns over, possible but increasingly unlikely given space constraints, delivery will be via c-section. Another dream dashed.

Last night as 4:30 am slowly rolled into 5:00 am my friend's words began to make some sense.

No we didn't conceive naturally after a romantic evening or on an exotic holiday. Needles, wild mood swings and large amounts of money were involved – not much romance there. No, I haven't had a pregnancy full of glowing and nesting and optimism. Lots of fear, mandated precautions, physical restrictions and large losses of income were involved – not much blissful blossoming there. While I continue to hold out hope for a vaginal delivery and experiencing having each of these little boys placed on my chest following an uncomplicated delivery, it is increasingly unlikely. At minimum, delivery will include a walking epidural, significant monitoring and likely significant medical intervention – not the natural entrance into theworld that I had hoped these boys would experience.

But when I look back on this period of my life years from now, will any of these things matter or over-shadow all of our other gifts?

Only if I choose to let them.

So long as these munchkins arrive and thrive, our dream will have come true times two. Maybe the path was not what I expected or hoped for; certainly the experience of loss and grief has been real and events haven't followed my picture perfect dream. But it was our path, and one full of important lessons.

And maybe I am learning. Learning something that is starting to look like patience. Learning that things don't have to be perfect to be great. Learning that I can roll with even the hard punches. Learning that DH and I can face big challenges together.

I know I am a work in progress. Maybe, my dear friend is right. Maybe at the not-so-tender age of 40, life's circumstances and the greater good of two little ones that I am already madly in love with are helping me meet one of the biggest challenges of my life – learning about letting go, letting love and trusting that my path, while not perfect, is perfect for me. Sometimes the real thing really is better and richer than what we can dream of.

wow, what a powerful entry. Its true, each of our own paths teach us something if we let them.
AH, so very happy to log on this evening and see your blog entry. As you know, I have missed your entries so very much. I am thrilled to know that you have reached yet another significant milestone. What a miracle considering what you've been through since Week 20. It is a real testament to your emotional and physical strength. As I read your entry, I could sense your very real pain as you are, as you acknowledged, grieving that same dream that all of us have - the perfect conception, the perfect pregnancy, etc.. But, you know what? Ads much as all of that sucks, all that matters in the end are those two beautiful little boys. THEY are the dream, and truly the rest is just details. I can guarantee you that once you feel their breath against your chest, it will not matter to you one ounce how they got here. Even if they do arrive by c-section (as my precious twin boys did), it will still be the most amazing experience of your life to hear their first cry, and to see your husband holding two little bundles of joy at your side. I can only imagine what the past few months have been like, but it's all upward from here! All the very best, my friend. E-mail me any time.
I am so very happy to read your entry. Sending you lots of love and hugs my friend.
I will be praying extra hard for the next couple of weeks for you and the boys.

Love and blessings
((AH)) the path is hard and rocky, but you've made incredible progress and while you may not have exercised your physical muscles, the challenging terrain has certainly provided a work out for your mental strength. While many dreams may have fallen along the way - you never know, they might not have been all they were cracked up to be in the first place. Even they are, you've achieved so much; fought so hard, endured and grown. All of which can only make your victory sweeter.Congrats on nearing the 32 week milestone. Fingers crossed you and the sweetpeas make to whatever end goal you have in mind, and that you soon will have the opportunity to take some part of the journey for granted. Be blessed!
Feb 14 2010 11:31 AM
AH - so happy to hear from you :) This is not an easy time I'm sure but you are doing it, you can do this and in the end you will have such a wonderful reward you would do it all again. The body (and mind) is an amazing thing and you will bounce back in no time. Congratulations on making it this far, it won't be long now. :)
It's great to hear from you and to know that the boys are still tucked up safe and sound. It's understandable that you've been struggling for the last few months, but I think your friend might really be on to something. Here's hoping that not only will these trials pale into insignificance once you are looking at your two little miracles, but that you will find gratitude for the strength they gave you. Perfectionism is a heavy burden to carry around and we are all better off with it.

Looking forward to hearing from you again before the birth announcement.
Hi another - i always enjoy your blogs so much, especially the self-reflection in them. as i contemplate a 3rd attempt (and probably final), i look to your success and remain hopeful - but not blinded to the trials and tribulations of pregnancy. thanks for your honesty always - JEN :)
I'm glad the babies are doing well and you've reached a critical milestone weeks of gestation. That is a tremendous feat. I know it must be hard, I was never placed on bed rest so I can't completely relate, but I did have a difficult pregnancy with tons of morning sickness and swelling.

So much of the time life is not what we expect it to be. I too had that dream of a natural pregnancy, birth, no medical intervention and breastfeeding easily, but none came true. I still have my DD and she is perfect. So in the end I had my dream, but it didn't come true the way I thought it would. You will have your beautiful boys with you and the family you've dreamed of. They will be worth it in the long run.

I hope it gets better and we're here for you on this site. You can always vent to us.
Feb 15 2010 11:31 AM
I could have written this post myself, back during the tailend of my PG. Who, after years of TTC, would enjoy an anxiety filled PG, where you are praying EACH day for your miracles to stay in and grow and develop. All I wanted to say, is YOU WILL MAKE IT, and YOUR BABIES will. It can be soooo difficult to stay positive when you are literally stuck in bed. I was on STRICT bedrest from 22 weeks. I was admitted to hospital at 24 weeks, and remained there for 1 month. It is terrifying, but it gave me lots of time for self-reflection (and tears). Just know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. As slow as some of these days feel, when it is all over it will seem like a blur (a blur that you will never forget mind you), and if you can get through this PG, the first few months when your twins are born will feel like a JOKE. You will be sooooooooo much stronger that you can believe! Despite weeks of bedrest I was able to do a vag delivery. There is a good chance your twin may flip and give you that option. If you do have that option, physically you will be shocked at what you can do! Keep hanging on!

Best of luck,

I have to say I really enjoyed reading your entry it's worded so perfect I can so relate to everything your saying & you also have given me things in my own life to think about & I thank you for that. I have been struggling lately and not sure how to put my feelings into words perhaps I will blog it now. Letting go of the ideals, that is so hard to do, sounds like you are doing very well and realizing that maybe down the road these things may not matter :)

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