Saturday, January 14, 2006

Graduations and new beginnings

Sorry I’ve been so silent. This is not pregnant blogger syndrome, just me dealing with some major, non-medical life stuff. Details at the end. But anyway, here’s a really long post to make up for it!

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I had my final ultrasound at the RE’s office last Friday - the twinkles actually had head-ish and body-ish blobs, which was really cool. After the scan, the nurses all gathered around with a “graduation certificate” and congratulated us. It was sweet, I guess. The three nurses who were most a part of my cycle were all there, which is rare (they seem not to overlap so much - one of them did most of my pre-cycle stuff, one was my primary nurse for retrieval and transfer, and one did most of my follow-up stuff) and it was really nice to see them all. The clinic has recently added a bunch of new nurses to handle the increasing patient load, so there were all of these new people, some of whom came and gave us hugs. I was very polite, but inside I was thinking, “Hi. Who are you and why are you hugging me?” And then, as a weird coincidence, one of my old REs (from two clinics ago) was there - she’s actually in a fellowship program, and that old office and this one are professionally affiliated, so I guess she’s doing a rotation at my clinic. It’s funny, because the day of my last visit at the Evil HMO clinic, the RE I saw before that (who supervised this RE fellow) was just starting there. I guess it’s a small world of REs around here. Weird.

So, Friday’s graduation was followed by our first appointment at the regular OB’s office on Monday. My primary OB (who was recommended by my RE, but whom I’ve never actually met) is actually a perinatologist (apparently, he has a “special interest” in twin pregnancies after IVF) but the initial appointment was with a nurse-midwife. I had a bunch of thoughts while I was there, but of course I was too busy filling out forms to jot them down, so we’ll see what I can reconstruct.

1. It was really weird to be around normal pregnant women (not that I know any of their histories, or anything, but they all looked so normal). Even now, I don’t really feel like I fit in somehow. Like I was an interloper. I’ve been in this office before, because Dr. Two-clinics-ago and the others (the ones who keep popping up other places) are based out of this office, but then I really knew the distinction - they’re all pregnant, and I’m not. (Yes, I know there are some women there just for routine well woman care. But really, mostly it’s cute pregnant bellies all over the place.) But even 9 weeks into this, I still felt like an outsider. Plus, so many of these women were adorably pregnant, and I just doubt that I will ever have that cute perky pregnant glow. J reassured me that of course I would, and I told him it would probably only last for a day or two, so he’d better take a picture.

2. I hate paperwork. There was so much of it that our appointment got cut short, and we’ll have to finish going over the second part of the form next time. Thankfully, next time is in 2 weeks, when we’ll also have an appointment with the peri. (I figure it’s about time we actually meet him!) And of course, I’ll be there again tomorrow so they can look at the TB test spot and give me a clean bill of health, because otherwise I won’t be allowed to deliver. Really, that’s what the NM said. Funny, huh.

3. I like midwives. She took time to listen. She laughed at our jokes. She answered questions. Instead of rushing things, she acknowledged that we wouldn’t get through everything, and made a follow-up appointment. All good. I’m sad, again, that I’ve risked out of using midwives for my primary prenatal care, but glad that I might see them for some of it anyway.

4. Apparently, despite the reading I’ve done which suggested vaginal delivery rates as high as a possible 50% of twin pregnancies (because 50% suddenly seems really high), I should pretty much resign myself to a c-section. There’s only one doctor (not mine) who can comfortably turn a breech baby, so if he’s on duty I can try and otherwise I can’t. Or something. I guess this gives me time to come to terms with the concept, but I had been holding out some hope that it wasn’t a done deal just yet, even though I knew it was more probable than not. And I really didn’t expect to hear it from the midwife, of all people. In a previous life, midwives would have been my first choice for care providers, and I think I’m mourning that loss just a bit too.

5. I am no longer on progesterone supplementation. Yay! My cooter is enjoying being left alone and not filled with gunk. (Hmm, that sounded nastier than necessary. Oh well, it was pretty nasty stuff.) Apparently, this means my body is producing it’s own progesterone, which seems like a very good thing.

6. We have to decide if we’re doing the Ultrascreen (blood test + NT ultrasound). I haven’t found a whole lot of information one way or another, and even though the CNM said it was fine for twins, I worry that there will be some sort of false positive reading because of the higher levels of HCG, or something. I don’t know why, though.

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I bought a pair of jeans from the maternity section today. It was weird, and I’m not entirely ready to show publicly, but I’ve been wearing variations of the same outfit for a couple of weeks now and thought it was about time. So now I own one pair of really comfy jeans that actually fit. They still need to be hemmed, but for now I’ve just turned them to the right length and taped them up. Damn it feels good to wear jeans again.

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In other news - and to explain why I’ve been a bad bad blogger - yesterday was a big deal exam based on those papers I’ve been writing forever... and I passed. It’s a graduation of another sort. Not that this actually means I’m done with my program, or anything, but it’s a big step forward. And a big relief, since after this there’s a bit more timing flexibility. Not that I want to be one of those people that’s ABD forever, but it’s a lot easier to take a leave of absence at this point. Which is good, because I’m pretty sure I’m going to need one.

15 comments:

  1. Congratulations on graduating from your RE, and congratulations on passing your exam! I'm so glad things are going well.

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  2. Congrats on both graduations!

    For number four, they aren't sure they are going to let me go into labor yet, but if they did, I'd worry about having a vaginal birth for one and then having a c-section for the second. Ouch.

    I'm so jealous of number five. I have to stay on them till twelve weeks. Four more weeks go to.

    On six, I have hear that the AFP test will be elevated in twins, but if you do the ultrasound with it you get more accurate results I think. I'm hoping to discuss all that stuff at my next appt.

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  3. I do worry when I don't see a post in a while from the newly pregnant. Paranoia I guess, so I'm glad all is better than well.

    Yeah, you love those jeans now, but you just wait...maternity clothes will become your progesterone supps (aka bane of your existence) before your due date.

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  4. Congratulations on passing the exam, Cass! And, oh, the comforts of maternity jeans--bliss on a bloated mid-section.

    --Bugs

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  5. Congrats on the exam and on the babes!

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  6. Congratulations!
    I'm glad there are a number of experts around here on twin PG after IF.

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  7. Great update, Cass. Many congratulations on the exam and on making it through to the more flexible part of the whole thing. And of course congrats on the babes doing well.

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  8. So happy to hear your cooter is gunk-free these days! (never thought I'd be saying that to anyone...)
    I know what you mean about in a previous life preferring the care of midwives. Had I been a fertile, that is the route I would've gone. But now that my body has failed on so many occassions, I'm not sure I can trust it now to do what it's designed to do. If we are ever fortunate enough to get there that is.
    Congrats on the exam - so glad to hear it's over.

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  9. Congratulations on both graduations!!

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  10. Glad to hear everything is going well. I am really looking forward to having a gunk free cooter myself! Next week for me, I think. I don't even care about the PIO shots, I just wanna stop the damn suppositories.

    Congrats on graduating from your RE and finishing up an important part of your schoolwork. Keep us posted how everything's going.

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  11. Congrats Cass, glad to read that it's all going so well!

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  12. I found your blog through "Infertile Turtle" - I am so excited for what I read today and happy for you. Going through so much similar stuff you totally feel for other women in the same boat. I noticed you are from So Cal and that is whay I am leaving a comment. I am too and the RE I got referred to has done nothing and doesnt return calls and I have been trying to get in to see a new one and I was curious what your advice might be since you had a good experience. Thank you!

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  13. Hey, Cass - I just noticed the asterisk on your title this morning. And that you've added one to mine too. It brought tears to my eyes.

    How nice for both of us.

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  14. Wonderful to hear that all is going well. The imposter feelings DO go away. And congrats on school as well. So nice to hear that things are going your way :)

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  15. Oh what a delicious update. And I hadn't noticed the asterisk until Lindy pointed it out--how lovely.
    So glad things are going well and congratulations on your official RE graduation--and the exam (was it your defense?)
    "Head-ish and Body-ish blobs"--definitely a good sign.

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