Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cute things my kids do

or, Let's talk about something other than vomit

I haven't posted about the girls in a while, but they're continuing to grow and develop and be twice as adorable as any other babies on the planet.

Katherine's big advance for January was full-time walking, to the great relief of everyone. It's so nice that I can hold their hands and walk with them, rather than holding Claire and carrying Katherine. Of course, they still aren't reliable about staying with me if I have to drop someone's hand to open a car door or something, so I think we'll be acquiring safety harnesses. I remember being a kid and seeing other kids on leashes, and thinking it was just so mean, but now I understand, at least if you have multiples -- it's either that or stroller them everywhere.

February seems to be the month of language. My girls have been much slower to talk than, say, Eva's kids, who are one day older than C&K and to whom I occasionally compare them. We have had a couple of basic words, mama/dada/uh-oh/bye-bye and the like, for months, but they didn't show much interest in acquiring any more. In the last week or two, though, Katherine has learned "baby", "puppy", "oopsie", "water (wawa)", and begun to reliably mimic things you ask her to say.

Claire has "water" as well, and "night-night (ni-ni)", and in the last couple days she has learned both "no!", complete with head-shake, and "mine!" Yesterday one of the dogs was licking her in the face, and she shook her head and said "nononono!" I suppose it's not surprising, because "no" is a word she seems to hear an awful lot. "No, Claire! We don't climb the outside of the stairs!" "No! We don't hit Mama with the book!" "No! We don't stand on the back of the sofa!" "No! We don't steal sister's toy!"

Claire has also started, in the last several days, to sing. When the girls go down for naps together, or wake up from naps or sleep, they love to stand in their cribs and chatter. However, Claire now sometimes does what even Daddy the skeptic recognizes as singing -- she makes little tunes of nonsense syllables and repeats them over and over. She has always been more interested in music than her sister, and I'm now thinking that she is going to be musically inclined, and foresee a future of piano and voice lessons.

I am contemplating potty-training for them, once the HG eases up (right now, I can't face dirty diapers at all, and even wet diapers aren't so great). I would really like to get them day-trained before the new baby arrives, but I can't help thinking that they are awfully young. Still, I suppose eighteen months is an appropriate age to take the first steps, and anything that cuts down on the post-CS diaper changes will be welcome.

The nanny situation is working out beautifully, which needless to say is a real lifesaver with the HG situation. Her son is the girls' age, and they are playing nicely together for the most part. There were a few bumps and bruises in the beginning, as A. learned how to play well with other children, something I take for granted because C&K do it so well, but they've got their dynamic figured out now. Unfortunately, I am not getting much work done, because I still feel icky enough sometimes that it's hard for me to focus on code. Plus, I'm sleeping a lot because I'm still way undereating and continuing to lose weight (4-6 lbs in 10 days of hardcore HG, depending on hydration status, and I'm noticeably thinner). I'm hoping that will even out in time, though.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Pump up the volume

After seeing my new OB this morning, I'm now the proud owner of a Reglan pump and another round of IV fluids. I figured the fluids were coming, because I knew I needed them, but I was pleased to find that the doctor could set me up with home health care for them, rather than having to go to the ER.

Dr. Dreamboat left the practice shortly after delivering my girls, so I switched practices, and I think I'm really going to like my new OB. She's nice and friendly and such, but the overriding impression I get is of professional competence, if you know what I mean. I think I'll call her Dr. Pro. Anyway, she had hyperemesis too when pregnant, so she didn't dork around or "cracker" me, just sent me over to the home health people. They got me fixed up, and things are starting to look up.

After one bag of fluids and twelve hours on the Reglan pump, I'm already feeling like a new woman. I successfully ate a little bit of chicken and drank a whole glass of tea (not at the same time), and my wicked starvation-induced headache is gone. Best of all, I haven't thrown up, or even really felt too nauseous. I think this might be the ticket.

She said I can probably expect another six or eight weeks of this, because sickness usually lasts longest in those who have it worst. I knew that going in, but if the pump works and home health can handle rehydration, it's a lot less grim a prospect than I'd thought.

Friday, February 15, 2008


My mom and brother hooked me up to IV fluids at home last night. After two bags, I felt much perkier, enough to eat a sandwich, and I went to bed hoping today would be better.

It's not better, though. I ate some breakfast and drank some liquid, but I lost most of that, so progress is not being made. I'm working my way through a glass now, but it's slow going. I need to try harder, or I'll be back on the IVs before the end of the weekend, but I have to force myself to take sips. It's miserable.

I guess this is the other shoe I was worrying about, since this pregnancy came relatively quickly. There are worse shoes, and I am mostly grateful not to have them. Doesn't make this easy to take, though.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Good and bad

The good news is that the baby looked great at yesterday's ultrasound, with a beautiful heartbeat, and measured bang on the nose at 7w1d. I've got an appointment set up with my new OB practice for March 6th, and under ordinary circumstances, I'd be done with the RE.

Only problem is, someone's got to take care of me until I start seeing the OB, and that may be a more involved job than we'd thought, which brings me to the bad news.

I have stopped worrying about what food I can keep down, and started worrying about what liquids I can keep down. Yesterday, I managed a can of diet sprite (which I lost most of), a mug of chicken broth, and a glass of mountain dew. Today, it's been a few sips of sprite. This is a fast road to dehydration, and to IV fluids, if it keeps up.

Drs. Boss and Yacht conferred yesterday and sent me home with scrips for Zofran and Phenergan, which I am dutifully taking. I'm also trying a combo of Unisom and B6, which supposedly help reduce the nausea -- Zofran and Phenergan help the vomiting, but the sea-sickness of the nausea is just as crippling. So far, the Phenergan seems to help more than the Zofran, but neither of them is what I'd call great.

I think I'm in for a rough few weeks.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Careful what you wish for

I don't remember having much morning sickness in my first pregnancy. Despite having twins, I only threw up a handful of times, and while I recall a few distinct episodes of queasiness, it just wasn't an everyday concern. A few things, such as raw chicken, would set me off, but as long as I avoided those and ate lots of pizza, I was mostly fine.

It's different this time around. I spent two weeks fretting because I didn't feel any nausea or other symptoms, but the very next day after my ultrasound, it hit me like a ton of bricks. As a general rule, I have an iron stomach, and I'm still not actually throwing up much as long as I am careful to avoid anything that makes me nauseous. Sadly, that appears to be smelling, handling, or thinking of any carbon-based food substance.

I can manage Diet Sprite and peach tea, but not much else. I kept down a bowl of chicken soup and some buttered noodles yesterday, but the chocolate cake I so desperately wanted was rejected. Today, even the buttered noodles aren't passing muster, and I'm not sure I even feel like trying anything else. I realize I have to eat something, sometime, but really, I'd just rather not. I'm rapidly approaching the point where I won't even be hungry any more -- I was starving yesterday, today I'm just a little peckish, and by tonight or tomorrow, my appetite will most likely be completely gone.

Currently, I've lost a little weight, just two pounds or so, but I'm going to drop more if this keeps up. I've got a little bit of extra padding to spare, so it won't hurt *me* to lose ten pounds or so. The baby's needs are minimal, given that it's the size of a rice grain, and it will get what it needs. I'm staying hydrated, and I'm not throwing up enough to feel like medication is worth it yet. However, I'm really nervous about where it's going. I'm 7 weeks today, and have been getting progressively worse since the weekend. If I keep going downhill, it may be time to talk about better strategies than just crackers.

Ugh, and just typing the word made me think about their disgusting taste and texture, and that was not a good idea. Tomorrow's ultrasound had better look good, to make up for this!

Thursday, February 07, 2008


One baby: check
One heartbeat, 108 bpm: check
One very relieved mother: check

We couldn't date the pregnancy conclusively based on CRL -- it measured somewhere in the 0.4 range, just under 6 weeks, but as I was 6w1d, that's close enough. We'll have another scan next week just to be sure, but for now, it looks good!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The night before

If you ask me, the night before a first-trimester ultrasound is one of the undocumented minor levels of hell.

In my last pregnancy, the entire first trimester was one long stretch of anxiety. I knew I carried double the risk of miscarriage, because I had double the babies, and at that stage, it's too early to feel them move. I had very little morning sickness, and most of my other discernible symptoms could have been produced by the progesterone supplementation.

I relaxed as I began to visibly grow toward the end of the first trimester, and to feel them move early in the second trimester, but for those first six weeks or so after the beta, I worried myself to the point of nausea before each ultrasound, sure that one or both would have died. I got a lot of ultrasounds because of the OHSS, so that was a lot of nausea, but it didn't leave me with long stretches of in-betweenness, and that's a fair trade for a little puking.

Today, I am six weeks pregnant, and my first ultrasound is tomorrow. This time around, I have no clue if the baby's disappeared into a black hole. I have little more than the posts on this blog, and the photo of my pregnancy test (the test itself faded away), to reassure me I'm not just making this all up. I'm not nauseous at all, my breasts aren't sore or bigger, and while I am occasionally tired and hungry, that could just as well be the result of not getting enough sleep or eating a decent lunch. The one symptom I have is moderate cramping, low and always on the left side, and that's not exactly reassuring.

I know the odds are in my favor. I'm young, I have no history of miscarriages or ectopics, and I had three good betas, with appropriate levels and doubling times. I also know that none of that is a guarantee of anything, and I am more than half expecting bad news of some sort. It's irrational, but I can't make the idea go away, that things will not be what we expect. This baby doesn't seem real yet -- it was too easy, no dues paid.

Plus, I'm having real trouble wrapping my mind around the idea of just one baby. The odds of having twins are quite low, just 1 in 300, and in theory, I don't *want* another set. After all, it's all I can do to keep the one set from climbing the bannister/biting sister/wearing their pants on their head/using the dogs as stepstools. Still, I apprehend that I'll feel a small flicker of sadness when we see a single solitary baby -- in my world, babies come in pairs. This is, of course, the greatest hubris, to imagine disappointment over seeing a live and healthy baby, and I fear that I'll be up for karmic retribution.

Two years ago today marks the first time we saw Claire and Katherine's hearts blink into pixellated life. I hope tomorrow's news is as good.