Silver Linings of Bed Rest

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Categories Attitude, Family, Fertility, Health, Other people, Perspective, Pregnancy, Working7 Comments

12 days ago I went in to the doc for my 32-week check up and a half hour or so later, ended up in the hospital for monitoring, due to high blood pressure, having dilated and lots of swelling.  Once hooked up for monitoring, I was told my contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart.  I had been having contractions for a few months now, and never really bothered to time them, as I’d been told it was normal to have contractions early with twins. Before you knew it, I was being admitted, and stayed two days in order to get some meds in my system to slow down contractions and two doses of steroids to help with the babies’ lung development should they come a lot earlier than anticipated. Upon discharge, it was recommended that I stay on bed rest till 34 weeks, at minimum.

12 things I’ve learned in those 12 days that I did not know before

  1. The clock does not matter in the hospital.  I had a nurse come in to check my weight at 3am.  My weight.  I understand that this could be related to ruling out preeclampsia.  But still.  3am seemed a little unnecessary.  Almost like they just wanted to give a job to the night nurse to even out the daytime workload.
  2. After only two days of hospital bed rest, my muscles seemed to weaken.  I have nothing but sympathy and total admiration for you MoMs who endure MONTHS of hospital bed rest, not to mention, people who struggle with chronic illnesses that keep them bedridden for the forseeable future.
  3.  Even nurses in the high-risk OB floor, whose caseloads are probably half women pregnant with multiples, will make the annoying comments like, “Wow, a boy/girl set of twins!  Now you’re done!”  If the nurses in this arena still make these comments, can we really have hope for the rest of society to be more PC?
  4. IVF really does prepare you for the discomforts of being poked and prodded a million times and the lack of modesty that comes with being in the hospital.  Silver linings.
  5.  It is possible to gain 10 lbs of fluid in 48 hours from IV fluid.
  6.  It is possible for it to take 10 days to lose said 10 lbs of fluid.
  7.  The advice from others takes different shape throughout pregnancy, and has followed this timeline for us: Trying to conceive advice- “Just don’t stress about it, it’ll happen.”  Pregnant advice-“You think you’re tired now, just WAIT until you have a baby to take care of at 3am.”  Twin advice (from moms of singletons)- “Better you than me.”  See also number 10 on this list.  Bedrest advice-“You need to just accept it.  It’s all for the greater good.”  I just can’t wait to see what lovely nuggets of wisdom we get once the babies are actually here.
  8. That list of things I’ve always wanted to do that’s piled up for ages can actually get done pretty quickly when I don’t have other things like work, exercise, cleaning that I’m able/allowed to do.
  9. Working from home would not be something good for me.  I didn’t learn this through this experience, but it reaffirmed that I do get so much out of being around others each day, conversing, learning, contributing.  And I’m grateful to have a job I can return to that will allow me this luxury when the twins arrive.
  10. I am so lucky I had no complications in this twin pregnancy until 32 weeks, and even with being on bed rest, this is still a very healthy pregnancy.
  11. Every step of our fertility and pregnancy journey has taught me more and more to surrender and accept the things I cannot control.  Bed rest is just another one of these things to humble me and remind me to live life on life’s terms, not on mine.
  12. I am so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by friends who have texted every day, parents who have driven 45 minutes just to walk my dog for me, a husband who has waited on me hand and foot, family to visit and make us meals, a great hospital system a few blocks from our house, and my general health.

What did you learn from your bedrest or pregnancy complications?

Katie is almost 34 weeks pregnant with b/g twins, currently on bed rest and watching way too much HGTV.  She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and soon-to-be-big-sister canine friend.  

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It Can Happen: Spontaneous Quintuplets

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Yes, they are “natural”! Although most people don’t realize that asking if a set of multiples is ‘natural,’ most of the time they are just expressing their amazement at our double, triple, or even higher blessings. And while the occurrence of spontaneous twins (particularly fraternal) is not that uncommon, spontaneous quintuplets happen in one in several million pregnancies.

This article about a 23 year old Czech mother awaiting her quintuplets is a must read! She has one son already, and was initially told she was expecting twins–then it was amended to quads–and then last month, a fifth baby was revealed.

Alexandra Kinova, the MoM to be, says she’s had no real complications during the pregnancy, and she looks beautiful and healthy. Her C-section is planned for this weekend, although the article doesn’t mention how far along she is. She hopes to breastfeed her new babies as she did her firstborn child.

These will be the first set of quintuplets in the Czech Republic.

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Here Is Your Membership Card for The Circus.

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Categories Fertility, Parenting, Pregnancy2 Comments

I haven’t been able to put some of my thoughts into a more coherent blog post than what will follow.  (I blame fewer and fewer hours of sleep as pregnancy progresses.) But, I just wanted to say I’ve been reflecting on how amazing it is to feel the support of other mothers of multiples while pregnant with twins. It’s truly amazing to share with someone that you’re expecting twins and watch their face light up, share with you about their twins or triplets, give details of their pregnancy and birth or sometimes scare you about the first few months. But without fail, they offer you support. Or, that’s been the case in my situation. Pretty much every mother, and in some cases, fathers, of multiples, that I’ve met, has offered to be available for questions, given us hand-me-downs, or even offered to bring us food once the babies are born. It’s really neat to already be part of a bigger community! Lastly, I couldn’t resist sharing this video a friend sent me. I’m sure most have seen it. But, it provided great comic relief for me! Enjoy!

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Are They Natural?

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Categories Attitude, Fertility, How Do The Moms Do It, Mommy Issues, Other people, PerspectiveTags , , 13 Comments

If there’s one thing that bugs me, it’s people seeing my identical twin daughters and asking whether they’re “natural.” I know where the question comes from. People are well aware that there’s an increased chance of conceiving multiples with certain types of fertility treatments. They see a pair of children who are pretty clearly twins, and they want to know whether they were conceived with or without medical assistance.

First, let me answer the question. J and M are spontaneous twins. (Thanks to Goddess in Progress, the founder of HDYDI, for giving me that term to use when I complained about how awkward I found the phrase “natural twins.”) I quit taking birth control pills, waited a month, got busy with my husband, and 7 months later had two amazing daughters.

I’ve never struggled with infertility, so I can’t truly understand what that experience is like. I can imagine, though, that I wouldn’t want to discuss infertility with strangers, especially in front of my children. I would imagine that early attempts to get pregnant, repeated visits to the doctor, diagnoses, perhaps even miscarriages, are none of anyone else’s business. If someone is asking because they’re suffering from infertility themselves and are seeking someone who understands, that’s one thing, but most of the time the question comes from pure nosiness.

When I hear the horrible, “Are they natural?” I sometimes answer, “Yes,” and go on about my day. Sometimes, I say, “They were conceived spontaneously.” Sometimes, it’s, “IVF increases the chances of fraternal twins. Mine are identical.” Once, it was, “Are you asking whether my girls were conceived through unprotected sex? Yep, they were!” I was in a bad mood that day.

When I have the time and patience, though, I try to raise awareness. I say, “I was lucky not to suffer from fertility challenges, but I imagine that if I had, I might not want to talk about it. I think of all the tears I’ve shed over friends’ miscarriages. I’m not sure I consider that a topic for casual conversation.” More often than not, the response I get back is, “I never thought about that. Thanks.”

We have fraternal triplets in the family. I don’t know whether they were IVF babies. It’s not my business.

How do you respond to, “Are they natural?”

Sadia lives with her daughters M and J in the Austin, TX area. She is divorced and works in higher education information technology.

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