Summer and second-hand FOMO

I have long been looking forward to summer, as it would be the time of Getting Out More. However, we have yet to achieve this Getting Out More.

One of the things I’ve been planning on doing for awhile is taking the babies to baby story time at the library. I even mentioned it to a friend who was also looking for something to take their baby to. We went for the first time last week and…it was an experience. I think the babies had a fine time, but for me the whole experience was stressful. Neither of the babies is sitting up on their own, so I couldn’t really have them seated without being supported against me, which is tricky to do when you’re trying to make them clap and do hand motions to keep up with the songs being sung. Nor could I really engage them in other active parts of the songs or stories, given that one of the babies wanted to be held almost the whole time. Nor could I lay them both down because the space was too new to them and they were not having it.

The experience highlighted a fear or anxiety I have around there being two of them and only one of me. I imagine parents of more than one kid, in general, feel similarly. But I have not yet gotten accustomed to doing outside activities that require me to engage them equally at the same time, such as story time. I hate feeling like I’m leaving one of them out, even if I am going back and forth between the two of them. I also feel like I can’t do things that require one-on-one attention. For example, taking them to the pool. Activities like that require two dedicated adults, each to safely handle a child (at least until they learn how to swim).

I just feel like they are missing out, and will continue to miss out on certain things because there is only one of me.

As it is, I don’t take them out as much as I would like. I’m used to being out a lot during the summer, and this summer feels shockingly similar to this past winter and early spring when we couldn’t leave the house much. For awhile I was feeling like I was just failing at things because I couldn’t get us out more, such as parent groups, to the park, or even just out for walks like we used to. I kept wondering why, given that the weather wasn’t shutting us in. I would see other parents and see or hear about how they were out doing all sorts of things with their kids, and I couldn’t manage to get us outside regularly for a walk. I came to realize that I’m just tired and there is little reprieve. It seems like such a weak excuse, but I think it’s just the truth of the matter. After taking care of and playing with them all day, there is no real energy left to try to go somewhere. (Living in a three-story walk up doesn’t help. I try to only make that trip up and down the stairs once a day, since I carry them in their car seats simultaneously, and then it’s a walk to the parking lot.) And ultimately, the difference between me and those that seem to be getting out more, is that there is no one to pass the babies off to in the evenings. No one to help clean out their high chairs for the 3rd time today. No one to help clean the kitchen after I make all of our food. No one to help clean the apartment, do laundry, bathe the babies, etc. The more I talk to or read about folks, that seemed to be the missing piece.

It’s ridiculous that I didn’t realize this immediately. That I got to the point of just feeling bad and frustrated with myself, wondering why I couldn’t achieve what seemed like such a doable thing. I am single. Obviously I’m going to be spending more of my time doing things that keep us afloat and will, ultimately, have less energy to get us out and about for fun. Granted, knowing this doesn’t necessarily make it feel any better – I still miss being out and about, and wish I could get us out. But the goal is to try to get out more; summer is my favorite season and I love being out in it, and I want the babies to get lots of summer outdoor time. I just need to give myself some slack, remembering that there’s a lot on my plate, so it’s ok if I can’t take us out everyday. If I manage a few times a week, or even just once a week when things get tough, then that’s still something.


Going with the (milk) flow

I wrote the last entry about two weeks before I actually posted it. I haven’t quite figured out how to take care of babies and write at the same time. My, what a difference two weeks makes.

I was really stressed out at the time and was still very much in survival mode. I’m still in survival mode to some degree, but things are a bit calmer now. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m usually able to get one more hour of sleep than I’d been getting or what, but things feel slightly smoother now (knocks on wood).

One of the things contributing to my stress was my milk supply. In December I started to notice that my milk supply was not increasing with the babies need, or that it felt that way. I also wasn’t getting as much when I pumped. Part of this was because I was nursing them every two hours instead of when I pumped every three hours when they were in the NICU. But even when I took that into account, it still seemed lower than it should be. Also, my period came back and my supply took a dip. I think this somewhat overlapped with a growth spurt, so the babies were nursing even more. But my supply never really increased even though the babies seemed to be getting hungrier. It was as if I’d plateaued.

I’d been working with a lactation consultant early on when it became clear that Mini Me’s weight gain was quite low. I reached back out to her, and after another meeting and discussion, she thought that maybe I’d reached the max my body could produce. She came to this conclusion because I’d been trying everything in my power to improve my supply: drinking more water, eating more, eating oatmeal, drinking oat water, taking fenugreek/herbs, drinking teas, eating lactation bars, trying to get more rest, etc. I’d maxed out the galactagogues. All of those things only gave me a tiny boost. If I only had one baby my milk supply would be more than sufficient. But with two babies, all those things hadn’t given me enough of a boost, especially because Mini Me clearly needed more. So, the lactation consultant recommended (along with the doctor and midwife) that I supplement with formula for the time being.

That was tough for me. I, personally, did not want to give my children formula. I don’t care and have no judgements about what other people do, if they use formula or not. I feel that it has a place and should be used when needed, whatever the situation. I just knew that, for me, formula wasn’t the desired option. Part of this was because I was lactating and had the ability. Part of this was science. Part of this was that I’m vegan and lactose intolerant/dairy sensitive and therefore the babies had not been exposed to much animal protein. (They were given human milk fortifier in the NICU that, unbeknownst to me, had dairy protein, which was upsetting because, veganness aside, I have a family history of milk allergies and/or dairy intolerance, so it’s something I felt should have been communicated to me. It explained why the babies were regularly constipated while in the hospital.)

So, being in a situation where, after trying everything I could, I just couldn’t completely fulfill this need of theirs was hard. My thinking was (as misguided as it was) I already wasn’t able to carry them to term, so the least I could do for them is exclusively breastfeed them. So it was tough coming to terms with the formula supplementation.

Interestingly, what made me feel bad also made me feel good. Hearing from the lactation consultant, someone who is all about breastfeeding, that my body may be plateauing at it’s maximum, made me feel better. One of my best friends said it was because, in some ways, it took me off the hook. It was not really my fault, so to speak. And, the amount I have to supplement is actually quite small. I would say that 90% of their nutrition still comes from breast milk, even more for Feisty since he is more efficient at nursing and has good weight gain. Having the formula on hand when I have a dip in supply during my period also makes me feel less stressed; knowing they will be able to eat just fine during that time makes me feel much better.

The only thing possibly throwing a wrench in this is Feisty possibly not being able to tolerate the formula I’m using, which is frustrating because it’s already fairly hypoallergenic…

So, just trying to go with the flow, adjusting as necessary. Trying to keep the stress down, though things are going more smoothly, and I suppose they will continue to get smoother…at least for a little while.




The babies have now been home for 3 months, and my what a 3 months it has been.

The first few days…having them at home felt so nice and so overwhelming at the same time. And frankly, it was a little scary. Especially because both babies had bad reflux, so I was constantly watching them waiting for the next bad occurrence. But in general, caring for the both of them at the same time was an adjustment. In the NICU, I was only able to take care of them one at a time. I never even got a chance to hold them at the same time, save for one day a few days before they left. So it was a bit surreal to care for both of them simultaneously.

Shortly after they came home I also thought I would be able to keep them, if only for a few days, on the same schedule they were on in the hospital. I thought this because it became clear to me very quickly that the way to maintain sanity raising twins was to have them on the same eating/sleeping/etc. schedule. Now, this was after, upon immediately having them home, I tried to respond to them separately, for example feeding each one whenever they wanted to eat, irrespective of the other, and quickly found that I was getting absolutely no sleep and no non-feeding time. So I quickly tried to get them back on the same schedule, and one that was close to what they had in the hospital. The mistake here was that, while Feisty seemed alright with this, Mini Me had issues, but ones I couldn’t see immediately. It turned out that he was not as an efficient feeder as brother, so his weight (which had begun to fluctuate about 2 weeks before he left the NICU) continued to fluctuate and his weight gain was not good. Both had issues with weight gain initially upon arriving home, as going from almost all bottle feeds with 1-2 nursing sessions a day in the NICU, to all nursing at home was too much, energetically. So we switched to nursing half-time, bottle feeding with expressed breast milk the other half, and that seemed to do the trick. That, and having them eat more often.Eating more often really threw me for a loop, as it felt like I was doing nothing but feeding them. Which I was, given the two of them.

One of the things I’ve been sitting with is that this is hard, very hard sometimes, but I feel like I can’t admit that. I feel that because I chose to have a child on my own (and ended up with two) that I gave up the right to say it was hard. Logically, I know this is silly, but emotionally I can’t shake it. I find myself sugarcoating how things are really going sometimes when friends ask. My closest friends know how it really is, but that’s it.

Advice is a fickle thing. This is always true, especially when folks have kids. A lot of the advice I get from people doesn’t really work given that I have two babies and just one of me. For example, tons of people say “sleep when the babies sleep.” This would work fine if I had one baby – sleeping when they sleep would be easy. But with two, they don’t always sleep at the same time.

I appreciate the advice I get from folks, and I’ve been able to follow some of it, but twin advice for one adult is hard to come by. I wish I knew someone in a similar situation. (For what it’s worth I have been searching for blogs/articles by single people raising twins.)

All in all it’s a lot of adjustment, and, of course, a learning process.


What a difference a month makes

A month is a long time. A month can also pass in the blink of an eye.

Time is so odd right now. When the babies were born, the thought of having to wait until their due date for them to come home seemed unbearably far away. But then I blinked and a month had gone by. And in another blink, two months have passed. Maybe it’s because all of my days are the same: pump every 3 hours, once morning arrives head to the hospital and spend time with the babies, go home, rinse and repeat. Lately I’ve added moving/unpacking to the mix and now there’s never enough time in the day. But, if nothing else, it helps the time pass.

So many things have happened with the babies in the last month. Both babies are big enough to wear clothes, and have been for quite some time. Little Feisty went from being the smaller baby to being the bigger baby, his food intake has increased, he’s out of his isolate (incubator), and he’s almost completely off additional oxygen. The little Mini Mellow has been dealing with reflux, but has been off oxygen for quite awhile. His only issue is that he’s having trouble regulating his temperature, so he’s still in the isolate.

I’ve also spent a lot of time getting more involved in their care. Taking temperatures, cleaning faces, changing diapers, giving bottles, etc. Getting into involved conversations regarding their nutrition. Debating with the doctors, getting exhausted with doing so, and deciding to pick my battles. Talking with the nurses more about caring for babies in general, and things to do once I get them home.

Our days in the NICU feel so different than they did a month ago. Hopefully the next month passes in another blink of an eye.


26 weeks, 6 days

After three weeks in the hospital, three close calls of going into preterm labor, three rounds of magnesium sulfate for 12-24 hours each, and one more steroid shot for the babies’ lungs, I went into preterm labor officially at 26 weeks and 6 days. The contractions had come back and I could feel finally feel them, and feel them pretty consistently. My water had broken a couple days prior, so it was only a matter of time.

The whole thing was surreal. I’d had a feeling that the time was coming. That as much as I wanted to make it to 40 weeks, or even 34, something in me knew they were coming before that. But when the moment came I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t ready. This wasn’t supposed to be the time.

I’d wanted to have a vaginal delivery, but Baby B was breech and, because they were younger than 32 weeks, they would not deliver the baby breech, due to hospital policy. The risk is too great to attempt at that age. Part of me wondered if, after delivering Baby A (who was head down) Baby B would turn around, but the uncertainty was too much for me, especially knowing that if he didn’t turn I’d have to be whisked away for an emergency c-section. After lots of consideration I just opted for a c-section for both of them. That was a hard decision to make, but I felt it was the right decision, and every time I think about it, I’d still make the same decision, given all the variables at the time.

An entire cascade of events happened the morning of the delivery, from me reporting my increased contractions, to finding out I was 7cm dilated, to the actual c-section delivery. It was overwhelming. I was so nervous and anxious I was making myself ill. Luckily I had my midwife, my doula, and one of my friends who had just happened to stay with me that night at the hospital. The three of them helped me come to terms with what was happening, and I found the strength give the go ahead for the c-section.

Given their age, just shy of 27 weeks, we didn’t expect the babies to cry or move much when they were delivered. But when Baby A came out, he came out screaming. Everyone rejoiced and all I could do was cry out of happiness. He sounded so alive. When Baby B was delivered, he screamed as well. Their screaming brought me so much joy and relief. My midwife was crying as well, and reporting to me what was happening with the babies as they were being taken care of and prepped for the NICU. They were moving and kicking and just so full of energy. They were both around 2 lbs (Baby A a little less, Baby B a little more).

They were ok.

In the weeks since, I have thought a lot about 26 weeks and 6 days. Some days I lament the fact that I couldn’t make it farther than 26 weeks and 6 days. That my body wasn’t able to do the one thing I had dreamed about for so long. That I couldn’t carry the babies as long as they needed. Some days I feel like my body failed me and that I failed the babies. Some days I miss being pregnant, especially because I should still be pregnant. I’m supposed to be pregnant right now. My babies should be with me, in utero, not away from me in the NICU…Some days are very hard for these reasons.

Other days I feel like it was a feat that I made it to 26 weeks and 6 days. The fact that after being told at 16 weeks that my cervix was extremely short and that I should be prepared for delivering at any moment…the fact that I made it almost 11 more weeks seems amazing. My body carried those babies almost 11 weeks more than the doctors thought I could. My body carried them to the threshold of viability and beyond. Four doctors, at separate times, told me that what happened was a miracle. That, being honest, they didn’t think I would even make it to viability, which was 24 weeks. That the fact that I was dilated to 4 cm, and stayed that way for almost 2 weeks was completely unexpected. Every time they came to check in on me during rounds they were always so excited and happy that I was still pregnant. They genuinely couldn’t believe it. My midwife, who is honestly one of the most positive people I have ever met, told me that while she hoped I’d make it past when I first entered the hospital at 23 weeks 5 days, she genuinely wasn’t sure how long I would go, that sometimes she was unsure I’d make it much past that. She tells me often that this was my doing – the babies being born at 26 weeks 6 days and not before was all my doing. The babies being born at 26 weeks 6 days and doing well in the NICU was all my doing. Some of the doctors have also told me this. On these days I don’t feel so bad, and actually feel good about things.

So now I am a NICU mom. Transitioning into the role of NICU mom has been challenging, and there is a long road ahead for the babies and me, but I am glad that we made it as far as we did in the pregnancy. For how things could have been, I am glad we made it to 26 weeks 6 days.

One day at a time

As of today I am 25 weeks. As of this past Thursday I was placed on hospital rest.

A little over a week ago I went in for a routine ultrasound. I was 23 weeks 5 days. Apparently my cervix seem to be dialated internally; the external portion was still closed, so effectively I was funneling more than I had previously.

While talking to the doctor, who was quite concerned, I was asked one of the first difficult questions I’ve been presented with along this journey. I was asked if I were to deliver within the next few days would I want to resuscitate the babies. My first thought was what kind of question was that? Of course I would want to resuscitate them! But, thinking about it logically I understood what she was getting at with the question. Given the number of issues a child born at barely 24 weeks could face some folks might be inclined to let the baby pass. Thinking about the mortality of these babies was so hard, given that I have been hoping to make it to 24 weeks, that this was the point where they would definitely have a chance, and realizing just that – that it is a chance, not a certainty.

Upon confirming that I would want them resuscitated, the doctor said I then needed to receive the steroid shot to help the babies lungs develop so they’d have a better chance of surviving if I delivered. So, I got sent to another wing to have the shot administered. I was told that I’d be hooked up to the monitor for 20 minutes to check heartbeats and for contractions after being given the shots, and that this was routine. However, when I got on the monitor everyone’s routine demeanor changed when they saw that I was contracting regularly, five within the span of ten minutes. The interesting thing was that I couldn’t feel anything, no contractions, none of the tightening, which surprised everyone.

The next day was a whirlwind. Everyone thought I was going to deliver. I was given magnesium sulfate for 24 hours to protect the babies’ brains and hopefully slow the contractions. After a miserable 24 hours, because that stuff makes you feel terrible and woozy, things seemed to have settled down. Fewer contractions, and I still couldn’t feel them.

The doctor in charge of the NICU came to talk to me, just to give me an idea of what it would mean to have babies at 24 weeks, and what happens in the NICU for babies younger than 28 weeks. While the conversation was informative, it was also terrifying. I do think it helped me, having that knowledge of what to expect, it was just overwhelming and heavy. So heavy.

When I made it officially to 24 weeks all the doctors were so happy. They were saying it was a legit miracle that I’d made it this far. I found out that the doctors hadn’t thought I’d make it that far after seeing what they saw at 16 weeks.

I thought I was in the clear, as well as some of the doctors, and was ready to go home. But one of the doctors, the one in charge wasn’t comfortable letting me go home, and was going to have me stay in the hospital a few more days, just to make absolutely sure.

And it’s good that she made that decision.

This past Tuesday, after describing some odd pain and pressure near my bowels I had a cervix check and it turns out I was 100% effaced and 4cm dilated. Also, after being put back on the monitors it was discovered that I was contracting regularly again, but again, I could not feel them. Once again, everyone thought I was going to deliver. The NICU was called, I was moved back to labor and delivery (as I’d been moved to the less urgent ante-partum wing). I went back on the magnesium, their thinking that this might get me at least another 12 hours before I delivered. I called my support people, thinking I was going to deliver soon. I don’t know if I’ve ever been more nervous and scared. The docs asked questions about how I wanted to deliver and what their recommendations were (c-section, but vertical given the early stage of the of the pregnancy, meaning the likelihood of ever delivering vaginally in the future would pretty much be impossible, or heavily discouraged).

Amazingly, the magnesium, which they decided to keep me on for almost 24 hours instead of 12, worked. Contractions slowed to a stop, and no more weird sensations in the lower abdomen.

After this event, the doctors all agreed that I could not go home, that at this point, I would need to stay in the hospital until I delivered the babies. The next goal was to make it to 25 weeks.

Today, at 25 weeks exactly, I am a mix of emotions. I made it another week. I am happy but anxious. Every day I stay pregnant is a victory. But everyday I wake up wondering if this is it, if this is the day. I’m focusing on the future, focusing on full term, but it is hard. Every new or random sensation makes me anxious and paranoid. Being in the hospital indefinitely, which I know is the best for all of us, is hard. I’m obviously willing to do whatever it takes for these babies to make it into the world safely, whatever it takes to give these babies a fighting chance. But I also have to acknowledge that this is hard.

I will say that I’m happy I’ve made it to 25 weeks, and I hope for many more weeks. I’m happy the babies consistently seem to be doing well. That they are both a good weight, above average even. I try to focus on these things when I can’t get sleep because of all the monitoring and vitals checks, all the poking, all the food issues (accommodating a vegan is apparently quite challenging). I try to focus on the the babies when things are hard.

Coincidentally, this past week I got random messages from a number of people I haven’t talked to in awhile. Folks just checking in to see how I was doing, or to say they were thinking of me. It’s as if the universe alerted them to the difficult week. I also learned that many folks in my family have been praying for me. They say this is why I have made it this far and will continue to make it. We may differ in our modes of faith, but I was/am so touched by all the support from them, their collective effort. I still can’t quite put it into words, but I was/am grateful.

I have come to accept that the future is unknown, that anything can happen with the start of every new day. I think I’ve made peace with that. Again, this doesn’t make it easy, but accepting this uncertainty does help. At this point I just have to take things one day at a time.

So here’s to another day.

Shifting moods

Well, first off – I’m 22 weeks as of yesterday. Things right now are going pretty well. At my appointment last week my cervix was between 1.7-2cm (the pessary makes it hard to get an exact measurement) which is an improvement from last time. So the pessary is holding. I’m also measuring about 5 weeks ahead, which seems to be spot on for carrying twins.

The past two weeks have been quite different than the weeks preceding it. After a lot of deliberation, I decided to share what was going on with more people, via Facebook, and I’m glad I did. The amount of love and support I received from people caught me off guard. People reached out, offered listening ears, offered to reach out to friends who had gone through similar situations, offered to help with things I can’t really do (grocery shop, clean, etc.)…It was a bit overwhelming, but in a good way. I was/am so moved by all of it. It kind of reset my emotional barometer and I started to feel more positive.

I also met with a new midwife, one that I’d wanted to work with earlier but seemed unlikely given the situation. I’d actually talked to her previously on a phone consult before all of this began, but this was the first time I met with her and had a proper in-person consult. I’ve never felt so good leaving an appointment. She was the first person who spoke to me with positivity. I know the doctors are being practical and realistic with me, which again, normally I appreciate, but when none of them will entertain my thoughts or questions about anything past 24 weeks, it’s discouraging. They all look at me with a mix of pity and powerlessness. I recognize they are managing risk, that’s their job, but it really takes a toll on the psyche. The midwife was a combination of practical and hopeful, and she was able to work with all of me, not just my short cervix and my vitals. She also reminded me of my strength and gave me things to focus on. This was the type of care that I was looking for. Someone to check in with the pregnancy, the babies, and me, physically and emotionally. In this current situation I need that even more, and she did just that.

So, I decided to work with her. I’ll still have my MFM and they will be working together, which is nice. I’ll also be switching hospitals to the one I originally wanted to be at once I realized I had to have a hospital birth.

The combination of all the support from friends and the new care provider really boosted my morale. The slightly longer cervix also helps. I’m also focusing on trying to make it to 40 weeks – 40 weeks is the goal. Now, maybe I don’t make it that far. But being in that mindset has actually worked better for me than the mindset of just trying to make it to 24. I don’t know how to explain it. I obviously want to at least make it to 24 weeks, and doing so will be such a huge milestone, but I should still mentally aim for full-term/40 weeks. I should still focus on that to help manifest that. That is what is working for me right now.

It’s complicated

I’ve been doing a terrible job keeping this blog updated at regular intervals. I think I’ll just have to accept that and do the best I can. But, part of the explanation is below.

I’m 20 weeks today. Technically just about halfway there. The babies are doing quite well. Both are healthy sizes and weights and, while they are starting to differ in size, their sizes are still close enough to one another that it’s not an issue.

However, around 16.5 weeks I learned that my cervix had become short. Very short. As in .6cm short, when it should be 3cm or above. At that point the MFM doctor who oversees my ultrasounds (since I was seeing midwives) said she was very concerned, but that, at the end of the day, there was nothing they could do, so I’d have to see what happens. She said if it was a singleton pregnancy they could have placed a cerclage (a stitch in the cervix to keep it closed) but that it was not recommended for twin pregnancies. (I later did some research and ultimately agreed with that assessment, as the risks outweighed the benefits.)

I was pretty devastated, especially because no one really seemed optimistic. The common refrain was wait and see. They did put me on pelvic rest and reduced activities, but there was not much else. They don’t prescribe bed rest much anymore, or rather, doctors are moving away from that unless the situation is extreme because bed rest itself can cause a slew of problems. Granted, once I got to the point where I could do some research, I was seeing that people with my cervix length were being put on hospital bed rest, yet my doctors were not recommending it. The discrepancy in recommendations was disconcerting.

One of my best friends did some research after I called her in tears and found women who’d had cerclage pessaries placed instead of the cerclage. The pessary is essentially a silicone ring placed around the cervix to help hold up the uterus and/or alleviate pressure on the cervix caused by the pregnancy. It is also non-invasive; the cerclage stitch is a minor surgery (and runs the risk of infection), whereas the pessary is just inserted like a diaphragm. So at the next emergency appointment I had less than a week later, I asked one OB about it and he didn’t think it would help, but referred me back to the MFM and she not only thought it was a good idea worth trying, but went ahead and placed it. It was painful to me, as the actual pessary is large, but you don’t really feel it once it’s in.

Emotionally, all of this has been very hard. Learning that there is something wrong, something that you can do very little about, is very hard. Learning that my risk of losing the babies is around 80% given my particular cervix length, is very hard. I try to be as positive as I can, but the reality of the situation is too heavy sometimes. When I told my mother, one of the things she said was that I can’t live in fear, that I can’t live in the fear of it. That has been helpful, but again, I still have my moments. The few people I have told all say some version of needing to be positive and then talk about normal pregnancy things. I appreciate that, but sometimes those conversations are difficult. I know they are trying to make me feel better, but I can’t ignore the reality of the situation.

At my latest appointment three days ago, I learned that my cervix is at about 1.2cm. So the pessary has helped a little. The cervix is still quite short, but it is something, and at this point I will take anything I can get. I am still on pelvic rest and significantly reduced activities. No prolonged standing, no lifting. I can walk around the house, but need to sit as much as I can, laying down is better (though not for too long). They also put me on vaginal progesterone when this started (to support the uterus and prevent contractions), and I still take that.

At those last appointments (I meet with a regular OB and an MFM, no midwives anymore, which is another story) both doctors said that the goal right now is to make it to 24 weeks because that is the point of viability. There were lots of “if we can make it to 24…”, “we want to get to 24…” etc. That hit me really hard. That, and how one of the doctors felt almost 100% certain these babies would be born quite early, again, if I made it to 24 weeks. It’s one of those things where, I recognize the reality of the situation, but hearing it put so plainly struck me, and I’m still dealing with the impact. There is so much uncertainty on whether I will even make it to 24 weeks. With each week that goes by, another hope, dream, and desire for this pregnancy goes out of the window. No homebirth, no midwives, dwindling chances of natural delivery, no normal. At this point I just want the babies to stay in, but instead of hoping for 39-40 weeks, I’m at “let’s just get to 24, anything past that will be a bonus.” The NICU is now very likely to be in my future, and, realistically, it’s likely to be a long stay for the babies, which comes with it’s own risks and consequences, health-wise and developmentally. I just want two healthy babies and it’s not clear whether that will be the case.

I feel them move often. It used to fill me with excitement, but now it is mixed with a bit of anxiety. The lowest baby, Baby A, is very low, and their head is constantly rubbing against what is now the open funnel of the top of my cervix. I was told that the bigger they get and the more they move up against it that the more stress there will be on the cervix. I want moving, active babies, but every time Baby A is very active it makes me nervous. I hate feeling that way.

The rest/reduced activities is hard too, especially because it is just me. I have to rely on others so much more now, and I realize I don’t have as many people as I thought I did. Or maybe I do and I just can’t see it. I don’t know. But simple things like washing dishes, making food for myself, picking up something I dropped, I can’t really do. Cleaning is not often. Laundry is not often. I know in normal pregnancies these actions can become hard, but they are especially hard in this case because of the added stress they place on the cervix. I have to be strategic about which days I shower (since daily is too much) and when I wash my hair because of the prolonged standing. I order food far more often than I used to, which helps in terms of staying off my feet, but doesn’t help my budget that is getting tighter and tighter as I’m still in the process of closing on a condo (which has hit another delay).

I had a fleeting moment where I wondered if I’d made a mistake in not waiting to do this with a partner. The moment was in passing, but it was very real. When you think about having a baby on your own, you know that there’s a chance things might not go smoothly, but I don’t think you think about it seriously, or you do and think you can handle it. I knew there was a possibility things could not go smoothly, but I assumed the chances were small. But here I am.

I’m actually still staying with friends at the moment because of the last-minute condo debacle from two months ago when the last one fell through at the very last minute, leaving me homeless. They have been helping me a lot, but that is not forever. They’re actually out of town currently and all the things I can’t do or need help with seem magnified, and representative of what it will be like once I move into my new place.

I’m fighting the urge to just withdraw from everything and everyone because this situation feels so isolating. I don’t feel like I can talk to a lot of people about it, for the aforementioned reasons. Telling people about the situation also takes an emotional toll on me, constantly recounting the issue. That and, on the flip side, it feels like I’m being a burden when I express concerns about the realistic aspects of this. Some days I’ve considered joining an online forum, but some days I have a hard time reading other people’s experiences. It’s a mix of hope and heavy that I’m not ready for yet, though I feel I would find support there. I’ve read that working on your registry or continuing with baby planning can really help during this time, as it gives you something positive to focus on. I’d started working on my baby registry and buying some clothes around 16 weeks, but both of those have been on hold because they are emotionally taxing right now.

On the flip side of all of this, I am happy that I have made it this far. I’m 20 weeks. A little less than 3 weeks past when I first learned about the short cervix. I’ve made some progress. The babies are healthy. I’m committed to doing whatever I need to maximize my chances. Their chances. Every morning I tell myself that I can do this. Every morning I say out loud that we are all going to make it through this. Sometimes my resolve is shaken and my faith in those statements is thin, but I say them anyway.

So that’s where I am now. Just counting every day that goes by as a success and one step closer to my first goal of 24 weeks.


So another gap in posts. This one was a bit intentional, largely because I was concerned about miscarriage, and more than just my general (elevated) concern.

A few days after I got to 8 weeks and graduated from my fertility clinic, I experienced a weird gush of vaginal fluid. While I was at work of all times. There was a little blood in it, but barely…and then that was it. Nothing. I freaked out initially, but then, after quickly looking things up online, saw that it may not be a major issue, but only a doctor could tell. So, somehow, I went about the rest of my day. But the following morning I decided to call the midwives group I was going to be seeing and spoke to a nurse. Based on what I told her, she thought I was having, or had, a miscarriage and told me to go straight to the ER.

Many hours later it turned out everything was fine, that maybe it was a blood clot. Both babies and sacs looked good. Heartbeats good. I was sent home and was to follow up with my doctor in a week or two.

After that, I had some bleeding, and passed what I assumed were clots/old blood. So, it just became a waiting game. Everyday was filled with a little worry due to uncertainty at what was happening. As such, I couldn’t bring myself to post.

I had a 10 week sonogram at my first midwives appointment and everything was ok! Not only that, but they were really moving around, which was amazing to see. I was a bit awestruck. That appointment (and the persistent nausea) really made me feel better and felt like a little weight (of worry) off my shoulders.

So, here I am now, a day shy of 12 weeks, and I just had my NT scan. The results of that were worrisome for one baby, so they’re doing a more descriptive blood test (NIPT). I have somewhat mixed feelings about this, but I’m honestly just glad they’re looking alright and moving around. I also don’t want to do any invasive testing because, at this point, what is, is, so I’ll just see what happens when they’re born…When written like that it seems really blasé, but I’ve actually thought a lot about this and, short of a lethal condition, I will deal with whatever comes as it comes when they’re born.

I can’t believe I’m nearing the end of my first trimester. While I know it’s still early and we’ll have to see how things go, I also know that, statistically, my risk of miscarriage is fairly low. I’ve been able to focus less on that and more on other things, which is nice. Every time I see them, I feel a little better. Since they’re twins, I’ll be seeing them often, even with being in midwife care.

All of this has seemed to go by really fast. It’s amazing to me, that I’m here at ~12 weeks.


1 month later…

Clearly it’s been longer than two weeks. More like a month. A lot has happened in this past month, both in this journey and in other parts of my life (including being in the process of buying a condo, which is stressful to say the least). So I’ll just get right to it.

Right before the end of the two week wait I bought two home pregnancy tests. One of my best friends was in town and I told her I was going to take them two days before my blood test. I could tell she wanted to ask if it was a good idea or not, but I convinced her that it was, that either way it may give me some info, but that I wouldn’t hold it as absolute. I’d also had trouble sleeping all that week leading up to the test, waking up at the same time every night, and, after doing some researching, found that it could be a sign of pregnancy, with it’s impacts on your hormones impacting sleep. But only for some women, of course. So I had my suspicions that I might be pregnant, but still, tried to be realistic about it. Long story short, the first home test was immediately positive. So immediately, in fact, that I thought I might have done it wrong, so I took the next one, and that one went positive as well.

Two days later I had my blood test and it was positive. The clinic had me come back two days later to do another test, just to make sure, and it was positive again. Each time they said I was pregnant, and that my numbers (hcg) were really high, though no one indicated what that could mean. So, of course, I did some searching online as to what that meant, and I’ll get to that in a minute.

I was a little in disbelief initially. I wasn’t expecting to get a positive on the first try. I was hoping I would, but I was trying to be realistic about it.

After the positive results I was excited, but the excitement was tempered. The adenomyosis diagnosis still hung over my head, making me feel cautious, and preventing me from getting too excited. It was heavy, as I was still dealing with realism versus optimism.

Fast forward to freakouts about weird spotting (which turned out to be implantation spotting) and weird sensations in my abdomen. At some point I just had to let some of the worry go and just accept what may or may not happen.

Last week I had my 6-week ultrasound (still trying to get used to the standard convention timing that adds two weeks) and everything looked good. I also learned that there was not one, but two fetuses.



That’s why the hcg levels were so high.

That is what I’ve been sitting with the past week. Twins. I was in shock for a bit. I knew it was a possibility, given my hcg levels were so high, but to actually see it was still shocking. I was happy that they were doing well, but shocked because twins were not the plan. As a single woman, twins were not the plan…But, as all things related to kids, plans immediately go out the window. Pre-laid plans mean very little. The universe has other plans (in all it’s randomness, which I know doesn’t make any sense).

The shock has worn off and now I’m just trying to think logically about what it will mean to have twins, provided this pregnancy goes full term (knock on wood) and that they both go full term (knock on wood). Even the doctor said it’s still early, so we’ll have to see, but that they look healthy thus far. I admit, thought, that with the shock being gone, I’m also getting a bit excited about the idea of twins. Stressed, but excited.

Oh, but the morning sickness. How could I forget about that. I had that starting in week 4. I’m guessing it started on the early side because of the twins. I am nauseous from the moment I wake up, til the moment I go to sleep. My sweet tooth is gone (which I suppose isn’t a bad thing). Half the things I normally ate I can’t stomach, and all the other things are only mildly appealing. And I’m extremely tired. I have never been this tired in my life. I take partial naps now, which is huge for me since I’ve never been a napper. I say partial because I don’t fall completely asleep, instead I just hover above sleep most time, but it seems to do the job.

So now we wait and see. Which is what I keep saying. Wait and see. I’m trying my best to just go with the flow and stay relaxed and open to what may come, while taking care of myself…and trying to keep food down and getting more sleep.