Monthly Archives: January 2010

Randomness

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Got to see Rock and Roll today. I lost a bit of tissue (which turned out to be more brown CM) so we ran downstairs and ran a quick u/s. Both are doing great with HBs of 150ish and measuring 8 weeks, 1 day. They also have different placentas which is wonderful. The DR mentioned that spotting may also be due to a leep I had in 2001 where cancerous cells were shaved off my cervix with a mini-cheese slicer thingy. My cervix has had that trauma and now as he put it, “carrying a double loaded rucksack” (don’t you love our crazy jargon) is putting more weight on the cervix and causing the spotting. He also measured the cervix to check for effacement. All is fine and put in my chart that I will need a cervix check every appointment (both by feel and the length on u/s). I feel fortunate to work in a place where I can get seen the same day. I just hope I’m not too neurotic!

In other news in the blogosphere, there is talk on the blogs I follow about selective reduction. Sprogblogger has a very sincere, courageous, heartfelt posting about her decision to reduce. It is writing that is truly worth your time and attention, regardless of your view on the topic.

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Between Appointments

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It looks like we are released to our OB. I start my meds weaning soon (Feb 4th), the same day  I have my first OB appointment. I think the appointment is just an intake but I’ve already been transferred to the high risk clinic.

I really would like an appointment between now and then but hey, you can’t have everything. I usually see my RE almost every morning by the elevator on our way to our respective offices so he normally checks in with me to see how I’m doing (benefits of military health care). He is still is going on about how I was overdosed on lovenox on my last cycle…

I’m doing pretty well.  The spotting has stopped and I’m always fighting the sleep monster but really I can’t complain. I’m starting to find it hard to button the top button of my jeans. I’ve had to resort to the belly band to keep one set of my uniform pants up. Although they are supposedly the same size as my other uniform pants, they’ve always been snugger in the waist (can you say lowest bidder?). I read in my twins book that a preggo with twins uterus is 6 weeks ahead in size than a woman pregnant with a singleton’s. Who have imagined that!

Work has kept me busy as we prepare for our bi-annual ACS accreditation. I’m also down a clerk so my NCO and I trying to keep things moving. It is frightening how government employees can leave their jobs for years and we can’t fill them. Although this has not happened yet, the more time she is out the more fearful I get!

Let’s give a shout out to all the upcoming FETs…KS in Inconceivable, a POF Journey and Claire at Happy Go Lucky. Thinking of you both!

Another View of “Rock and Roll”

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Those are their nicknames because MO2 is original.

Not.

I wonder if Rock will resent us for the nickname. I think they look like little lima beans.

Baby A measuring about 7 weeks with a HB of 134 bpm

Baby B measuring the same with a HB of 133 bpm.

I’m wondering how they manage to only show 1 twin per photo, but no matter what, it is a beautiful sight.

We were up all night worried about them. Isn’t it sad when early pregnancy loss has conditioned you to be afraid of ultrasounds. I have my first OB appointment 4 Feb. Soon, it will be time to start weaning meds. They’ve added back lovenox to the nightly routine (yuck).

My fatigue comes in waves but no vomiting, just spotting. I guess if it doesn’t come out one end, it comes out another!

Un Voyage à Haïti

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My friend Gina is leaving in two days for Haiti.

She is one of the Public Health Service Officers who works for us in our department. All our PHS officers are licensed  clinical social workers but Gina is the only native Creole speaker. Gina has on been in the PHS for 3 months and has not even been to basic training yet. Yet they expect her to report to Haiti in two days. They’ve only told her pack to her things.

They plan to use Gina solely as a translator. She grew up in a Creole speaking home in NY. They told her she would be gone a minimum of two weeks and a maximum, well they aren’t sure.

In the Army, no one goes on a deployment with a couple of key things; a packing list, a set of orders and immunizations. Gina’s had none of that. They’ve only given her a plane ticket to Toussaint International and a contact person. PHS doesn’t issue gear, they expect her to buy it. MO2 and I wrote her out a packing list and then pulled some of our own equipment she can use. Our house, seriously, is like an Army/Navy store. We gave her what we could (to include sleeping bags and a ruck) and sent her off to Walmart to buy the rest. MO2 is going to see if he can get her immunizations Tuesday morning (Post is closed for the holiday). Most important of all will be her yellow fever immunization (I hate that one, I’ve had x 4). Gina doesn’t even have a set of dog tags. Fortunately, you can have those made quickly around any military base. Tomorrow she will bring her rucksack and all her items over and MO2 or I will pack her ruck.

I’m stunned and saddened that the Public Health Service hasn’t prepared this officer for traveling. Conditions for US Forces are likely to be primitive at best yet they’ve done nothing to prepare her for this. Even our most junior soldier has an NCO who supervises their packing and medics who ensure immunizations are complete. To MO2 and I this lack of planning, leadership and supervision is incomprehensible. I’m glad we could be there to help because if we weren’t, I don’t know who would.

I’ve been to Haiti twice and to the Dominican Republic x3 (all in a military capacity). Haiti (unlike most places in the DR) is primitive all of the time unless you are very well off. Buildings there aren’t made of rebar (unless funded by the US government). They use tree branches and small logs as support. Before the Earthquake it was a squalid, corrupt place…I can only imagine now. Yet Haitians are a beautiful dignified people. Children may have one outfit but it is scrubbed, starched and ironed every day. While there on my first visit, I observed schools made out of woven pond fronds (like woven mats on a frame). That way, when the wet season comes, you just move the school to higher ground. There was one blackboard and the children would sit on the ground and practice their letters in the dirt.

Of course, not all of Haiti looks like this. Outside of Port Au Prince in Petionville, there are beautiful homes on hills leading up the mountain. I’ve read in the NYT about the destruction of the Hotel Montana. I went swimming there once on a patrol. In 1995, all the military in the area were invited to a Fourth of July Bash at the Ambassador’s residence. I wonder if it is still standing? One of routes would take us along a deforested desert where if you walked off the road you could see bones and the occasional skull (memories of the Papa Doc and subsequent Duvalier regimes).

Driving in Haiti is as colorful and memorable as it gets. The rule of the road is the biggest vehicle has the right of way. Most Haitians don’t own cars but use a system of privately owned buses called Taptaps. They are usually brightly colored with religious images and loud stereo speakers. They are also quite the sight to see with luggage tied to the outside and people hanging out the windows and sometimes on the roof. It is not uncommon to see people putting live chickens on the taptap floors in baskets. I always wanted to ride on one, but we were not allowed.

I’m sure Gina (once she gets there) will have a memorable time. There is nothing as fulfilling as disaster relief. People are happy to see you and rarely do you get shot at. MO2 has volunteered to go if they need a public health nurse. I’d go too, if I weren’t pregnant. There is so much to be done and I’m would be proud to do my part.

Bonne chance, Gina! Rester en sécurité!

Introducing…Babies A & B

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 We had a bit of a scare yesterday when I started bleeding last night (brown and red blood). I called SG who was completely nonplussed and was told to lie down and put my feet up. I decided, if possible, I would get my u/s today instead of tomorrow so I would stop worrying.

As you can tell by the title, today’s u/s showed 2 babies.

Ameasuring 6 weeks, 1 day (probably the 8 cell embryo) and B; measuring 5 weeks, 6 days (the 4 cell). Both babies had heart beats (thankfully). I think A’s was 90 bpm and B’s was 75 bpm (they had a hard time getting them because I was literally shaking in the stirrups). We have another u/s next week and (hopefully) no more bleeding! I don’t know if both babies will survive but I’m excited to give them a fighting chance!

MO2 did turn to me and say, “aren’t you glad we didn’t transfer 3?”

The moral of the story is, don’t judge an embryo by its appearance. Ours were an 8 and an almost 5 celler. It is hard not to have embryo-inferiority issues when you hear about 5 day blasts and mega betas.

I have another u/s next week. I’m hoping the bleeding will subside (it is just reddish spotting now). My RE here told me that 50% of women spot/bleed through their pregnancies and apparently it is more common with multiples. I am so thrilled and nervous (with MUCH emphasis on the nervous). Oh and for the record, the military did give me 4 days of quarters but what would I do at home? i think I’ll work half days until the end of the week.

Symptoms Onset

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I broke down and had another beta today.

7012. According to the calculator I used, I’m doubling every 54 hours which is fine according to my nurse. Apparently once you are over 6,000 ml you should double every 72-96 hours. Who knew?

But all of a sudden I’m nauseous (but not bad) and oh so tired. Yesterday I came home and fell asleep with my full uniform on to include jacket and hat after work. MO2 woke me up to go see the UT/AL game (which I was pissed about because all I wanted to do is sleep). I fell asleep before halftime on a friend’s sofa and then I had to wake up to go home. We had a 2 hour late start today due to weather and boy, did I like the extra sleep. I plan a deep and fulfilling relationship with my sofa this evening. I have to admit I’m relieved. The symptoms are reassuring to me. My staff keeps telling me I look tired!

Waiting for U/S

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I’m a tricky one.

I scheduled my u/s for next Weds. SG wants me to do the u/s ASAP . I was worried that with my history I wanted enough time for the baby to develop and possible have a HB so I lied and told SG nurse that there weren’t any appointments available until next week (mid week). I’m just so afraid of the u/s I’ve been stalling.

I haven’t had many symptoms. I am more tired than usual at night. I’m finding myself in bed by 9pm. But until recently, I haven’t been tired during the day. Nothing really hurts although I’ve had some intermittent cramping and my boobs are sore (but not awful). I’ve had some slight pinkish discharge but nothing that resembles blood or even spotting. I’m tempted to go get another HCG but it would only tell me if the numbers are going up and there is nothing I can do to change things either way so I might make myself crazy for no reason. I hate m/c for making me a nervous wreck!!

Yesterday our heater gave up the ghost (it more than 20 years old). So $5,000.00 later and a lot of repair calls we will have reliable heat tonight (thank goodness). MO2 and I are planning one last trip before the baby comes and had planned to go to St. Thomas in the Spring. Hopefully we’ll still be able to go and the money won’t be diverted to, “the replace the heater fund!” Our state, like most places, is undergoing the extreme cold snap so I think working heat is more of a priority than an island vacation. We were hoping to pay off the baby by june but this has probably set us back a month or so. C’est la vie.

Last Beta

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It took me all morning to find someone to put in my beta. I can read labs but I don’t order them.

Normally, our RE’s nurse is there (she works downstairs) but she is off today. Then I tried my favorite ob/gyn doc and she is off. So finally I had to beg my old Nurse Case manager to find a DR to put it in.  In the military, you can’t just walk up with a faxed in lab order and get seen, it has to be entered into our system. The problem is finding someone (anyone) to do the entering.

Because it was a Monday and because it is busy, I had to wait 40 minutes at the lab. so the b/w didn’t even go in until 1330 (or 1:30 pm for you civilians). I’ve been obsessively checking my labs this afternoon and finally the number came in…2181!!!

I’m so thrilled. Now I don’t have any more betas until our u/s. According to the nurse, I am five weeks next week even though our fertilization date was until 12/14. It is so weird how they calculate these things. She also says I should have a HB next week which absolutely strikes terror in my heart (as you know we never got to a HB last time). I tried to stall the appointment by asking her if she wanted me to have it at the end of next week, but no, they want to see if it is placed properly, etc…So I’ll see when I can get my u/s (but I’m not rushing). I just want to enjoy this for a little bit. I  promise, no more boring beta posts either. Because do you really want to read them?