Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Big Day! (Update with bump pic)

Today I am officially 24 weeks and hit viability! I can tell you that so much weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I know that if my girls were born today, they would have 80-90% chance of living. Up until this point I felt that it was so cruel to be growing these babies for so many months and the doctors wouldn't try to save them if they came. Thank goodness that scary period is over and I can now enjoy the rest of this pregnancy.

Today was also my MFM appointment to do growth scans and we got great news. Hopper "A" is weighing 1lb 7 oz and Hopper "B" is 1 lb 11 oz. Both above the average. My doctor said they looked "fantastic". I hope they keep putting on the weight. Here are some pictures. Hopper "B" has her legs over her head. Oh! and the girls are kicking up a storm that I can finally feel and see. So cool to see both of them kicking at the same time. Talk about a busy tummy :)

We also talked about my blood pressure and other risk factors today. My MFM doctor said they won't put me on bed rest because of my APS, being on high doses of Lovenox and having my weekly IVIG treatments. Studies have shown to not be helpful for woman with these issues and can cause blood clots. Instead if I develop pre-clampsia etc., I will be admitted into the hospital for remainder of my pregnancy. In a way it does give me some comfort that we will be in the best place with the best doctors in the State of Oklahoma. Also our NICU now has cameras installed. That way if your babies come early and you can't be with them all the time, you can log into your computer etc. and see them. This also puts me at ease. I am very happy to have found such amazing doctors and an equally amazing hospital. Lets just hope these two girls behave and stay put for at least 8-10 more weeks.

Oh and my doctor also told me they have another patient that is under the care of Dr. Kim. How cool is that? I sure wish I could connect with her. He said both of us had similar backgrounds.

Next milestone is 28 weeks! I leave you with my 24 week bump :)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A story of strength

One of my friends posted this story in our infertility group and I had to post it here for those of you still in the trenches. It seriously made me tear up.

It is a story about Jamie King and what she went through to get her son James.  Here is a quote from her story to give you some insight. "8 yrs of pain & undiagnosed PSOC [Polycystic ovary syndrom] & Endometriosis," she said. "5 miscarriages, 5 rounds of IVF [In vitro fertilization], 26 IUIs [Intrauterine insemination], most with no outcome, 4-1/2 years of trying to conceive, 26 hours of brutal labor, early delivery b/c of sudden preeclampsia, tearing and tearing after the stitches were in once I was home."

Pretty amazing journey and pretty amazing woman. I know for me personally, when going through our infertility I wanted to keep pushing forward. Even with the losses etc., I always felt that if I quit treatments and did nothing, then I was giving up on myself. I am so glad we pushed forward through all of it. I sit here daily and remember the pain of infertility. It is a pain that never goes away, it is a pain that you never forget. Although now I see how all the trials were worth it. I hope that others will be able to see it also.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

23w1d Bump in the road (Updated)

I was officially 23 weeks pregnant yesterday. For the past 4-5 days, I've been having continuous bowel cramps, followed by yellow discharge. My heart palpitations came back and shortness of breath is also getting worse. I decided to breakdown and just call the OB to let them know what was going on. Not thinking much about it, they wanted me to come in yesterday and so I did. I didn't get the greatest news, but it also could have been much worse. My blood pressure was 160/100 and pulse was around 150. They had me lay down for about 20 minutes and drink some water. After that my blood pressure went down to 140/90 and pulse went to 130. The doctor did a swab of my cervix to check for infections and that cam back totally normal and clean (YAY)! I was sent down to the lab for a urine sample to check protein, liver function, kidney function, glucose etc. I should have the results today. As of yesterday they increased my labetalol from 100mg twice a day to 200mg twice a day. We also sat down and had the talk about pre-clampsia and bed rest, plus the chances of the girls being born premature. We also discussed living rates for premature babies and how early they could survive and still live normal life without complications. She told me that they have delivered babies at 23 weeks that grew up with no issue. I knew this was a good possibility from the beginning. I am not going to sit  here and whine about what could happen or how I wish things were different. I am here and I am dealing with what is put in front of me. I did sit my husband down last night and talk about finances. Since there is a good chance I will see bed rest sooner than later, we need to prepare. Luckily I think we have come up with some options that will help if I am unable to work for a while.  All of this is still early and haven't gotten any results yet. Hopefully everything will come back normal and I can keep trucking along :)

I will updated when results come in. As for now I will leave you will my 23w1d bump pic and only 6 days until viability~! 


Great news! No protein in my urine!! My iron is still really low at 9.6 so they want me to continue taking iron twice a day. I have MFM appointment next Wednesday to check on girls growth and now they will keep closer eye on blood pressure. Happy lady :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

ICLW Welcome

I haven't participated in ICLW for a few months, so I thought I would get back in the saddle. Here is a brief summary of me:

My husband and I were married on April 24, 2010.We both wanted to start a family with each other. I already had a daughter from a previous marriage many years ago, she is now 17 ( in fact her birthday is today). I figured we would be pregnant in no time at all and boy was I wrong. We started off with an OB and did the familiar treatment with Clomid and timed intercourse for six months with no luck. Since we were already pushing 35, we were referred over to an RE. We ended up being with him for four years! We tried Clomid, Femara, Follistim, Menopur and all the other fertility drugs with timed intercourse. We tried six IUI's, we tried two IVF's and we had six losses in the process. Most of the losses were chemical pregnancies and one loss after heartbeat. I was told over and over that my eggs must be bad and we should go to CCRM for an ivf cycle with PGD. After spending 30+ thousand already, that wasn't an option for us. At the end of my rope and tired of doing the same treatment over and over, I did some research on recurrent pregnancy loss and found Dr. Kwak Kim in Chicago. She was our saving grace. We saved up money to fly to Chicago and had our initial visit with her in September 2013. Although I had karotyping and RPL ran on me with everything always coming back normal, her more thorough blood test found issues. I was found to have APS ( Antiphospholipid Syndrome) along with MTHFR mutation, and several other immune factors. This helped explain all the losses I had suffered. She put me on a new protocol of Lovenox injections daily along with Prednisone daily, a prescription medication for my MTHFR and several vitamins. I also have weekly IVIG infusions.  It wasn't easy flying back to Oklahoma and having my other doctors go along with her protocol. For the most part, reproductive immunology is VERY controversial at best. I will never dispute or argue on this point, all I know is after six months of this treatment I was pregnant with twins and had the best beta's ever and I am now almost 23 weeks pregnant. Something worked and I believe in my heart it was the new protocol by Dr. Kim. It wasn't that I had bad "eggs", it was that my body was fighting the embryos and treating them like a foreign body.  

I won't lie, deciding to see Dr. Kim wasn't an easy choice by any means and neither has the treatment for the past 23 weeks, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I am going to be a mom of twin girls within the next few weeks. Btw, we got pregnant on our 7th IUI with two mature eggs and ended up with triplets at first, but lost the third baby very early into the pregnancy.

Special Day

Today is a very special day. My daughter is turning seventeen. I look at her and am so proud of the young lady she has become. I know where I was at this age and it wasn't a good place at all. So to sit here today and see she didn't take after me, fills me with so much pride and joy. She is such a good kid! 
  • She has been at her first job for almost one year now. So she is learning responsibility.
  • She has her own bank account and has never over drawn her money (Phew) because I am co-signer on her account.
  • She finally passed her learners permit and is currently waiting for her license. Al is teaching her how to drive because I am way to controlling.
  • She is passing all her subjects at school and making almost 100% in her vo-tech graphic design course.
  • She is a loving daughter.
  • She is so excited to meet her new sisters and want to stay home a little longer to bond and help with them.
I am not sure how I lucked out with her, but I thank my lucky stars daily. By this age I was trying drugs, smoking, having sex and many other things. Of course I didn't have the stable home environment she does. I have tried my best over the years to raise her as a single mother and now I am lucky enough to have a great strong marriage and stable life for her. 

One almost raised and two in my belly :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

22 Weeks and OB Appointment

Yesterday was my 22 week OB appointment and things went well. I have been sick for the past few days, throwing up and bad cramps. My OB thinks I have a virus. Phew that made me feel so much better. He said if it doesn't clear up in next few days to call him back and also keep an eye on my discharge. If there are any changes from the clear watery discharge to mucus then to let him know. The babies both had great heartbeats, 157 & 165. He did my fundal measurement and when I asked he said I was measuring a little large, but it's because of twins. I didn't ask for specific measurements. I have been trying really hard to let go of some control :) Good news, I only gained four pounds within the last month and that made me smile. Weight isn't a big issue for me and if I gain that is fine, but I want to try to stay pretty healthy through the process and give babies what they need. I also would like to stay within normal ranges for weight gain with the girls. My OB did talk with my MFM and they really want me back on the 80 mg of Lovenox daily. As of now, Dr. Kim has me on 40mg every other day. She said if we start seeing growth issues with the babies then she will increase. Well after talking with my OB yesterday, they feel at that point it will be a little late in the game. So local doctors win this round and I started on my 80 mg today. We will be very cautious about the bleeding and if I start, we will cut back immediately. BTW, have I told you how awesome it feels going a month now without daily bleeding?? It feels freaking amazing! What isn't so amazing is redoing my glucose test next appointment. He wants me to redo the one hour test first (which I know I will fail) and then on to the three hour test. Oh well at least I can get it over with quickly.

In other news, my MFM appointment is on July 30th, which happens to be 24 weeks! They will do measurements to see how big the girls are. I am hoping they will be over a pound by then, or even bigger would be fantastic. 

Now on to my rant:
I am a member of a pregnancy after infertility group in facebook (WHICH I LOVE)! most of the woman came from my infertility group and we all have been there to support each other through thick and thin. Problem is, there aren't a lot of twin moms so I joined a few twin mom groups for information and support. I try to be an active member, but it is so hard. So many of these woman just complain and complain. I know that my pregnancy hasn't been all smooth sailing and honestly, some of it plain sucks, but what does constant complaining really accomplish? If I complain daily over and over, will my shortness of breath disappear? That would be pretty freaking awesome :) Either way, sometimes we have to put our own needs and discomforts on the backburner for the larger picture of our children. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with admitting you're having a bad day or in pain, sick etc. but when it is everyday and it is always about you, you, you, it gets very old and most of us get tired of hearing it. 
I just wish I could find a twin group like my other facebook group... I don't think it exists though :(

Monday, July 14, 2014


I've had fear since this pregnancy began. Some times it seems less and other times it is in full force. I think this is something that each woman pregnant after infertility deals with in her own way. I don't think there is a right or wrong way to deal. My fear is back and I think its because I'm so close to 24 weeks and the big "V". I have read so many blogs of woman getting so close to their 24 weeks and losing their baby or babies. This scares the hell out of me. I have made it so far. I still listen to to their heartbeats every single day. I compare my pregnancy to others in my twin groups (which I shouldn't). I feel some movements. On Wednesday I will be 22 weeks and still no kicks :( It is so hard to see all the other twin moms in my group talking about feeling kicks at 18 weeks and husbands are feeling them also. I guess it just adds to all my fear about this pregnancy. I wish there was a crystal ball that could tell me that my girls will be born into this world. I know there are SO many people out there that can't understand where I am coming from because they have never experienced all the losses and years of treatment and that is okay with me. I keep getting told by everyone that the girls will be fine and to quit worrying. Well honestly, no one knows that for sure. I look at their cute little faces on the u/s pics daily that are taped to my computer. I smile when I hear the their little heartbeats on the doppler and feel little bubbles in my tummy. I hope everyday that I will meet these two girls and be their mom. I look at their cribs and imagine them laying in there giggling and just staring at me, as I stare at them. This has been my biggest struggle in life. Getting pregnant, staying pregnant and hoping it is not taking away from me. As for today they have nice strong heartbeats at 165 and 168 and I am doing everything I can to keep them healthy and alive. 

Please universe, let us have this gift........................................

Let me make it to 24 weeks, then 27 weeks, then 30 weeks, then 34 weeks (at least). If you are feeling generous I would love to make it to 37 weeks :)

Carrying them has been the hardest and most rewarding thing to happen to me in a very long time. Regardless of the hardship of carrying twins physically, nothing compares to growing two little humans in your body. It absolutely amazes me.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Nursry Pic Updates ( In Progress)

I am still working on the nursery, but thought I would share some of the pictures so far:


Like I said, still a work in progress. I have to finish their name plates to hang above the cribs. The lady who made their mobiles, sent me some really cool dragonflies in the colors of the nursery. I am going to hang them on the wall also. We are still contemplating buying an amoire, but there is SO little room in there. It would have to be put in front of the window where the laundry table is now      ( which isn't staying in the nursery. I needed a place to fold laundry, so its their for another month or so). I think it is coming together beautifully. I was worried at first that the room would be to masculine for girls, but it doesn't seem like it at all!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

21 Weeks

21 weeks, wow!

I haven't done any of the weekly updates with symptoms etc. so I thought I would let you all know how I am doing and what is going on during pregnancy.

The shortness of breathe is still with me and it has taken me a while to get used to doing anything when it is hard to breath. I have learned that I have to take things slow and take many breaks in between. 

I am eating ceasar salads at least four or five times a week.

My blood pressure has been pretty manageable since starting my medications. I have to take it daily and keep a log, but it usually runs around 130-140/ 60-75 and my pulse has stayed consistent around 112-120. I have started swelling in my feet, but I contribute that to the 100 degree weather and not drinking my 120 ounces of water daily.. I am going to say it, I HATE WATER! I wish I could drink 120 ounces of ice tea a day. This would make me very happy, but I don't think my OB or MFM would go for that. 

Crazy stretch marks and especially on my boobs (which I don't understand) my boobs aren't even growing. One would think they would have to grow in order to get big purple stretch marks LOL.

My weight is doing fantastic! I have appointment next week so I haven't weighed. As of two weeks ago I was up around 14lbs since my first visit to OB and probably extra 10 before. He is very happy with my weight gain and said not to worry or change a thing. So I treat myself to a salami on rye with spicy mustard about once a week. 

We have the nursery full of stuff. I haven't been able to work on it much lately because of the swelling. I hope my husband will be able to put second crib together and move the computer desk out this weekend.

I am also working on making name plates for each of the girls to hang over their cribs. Here is a little sample: I think they are going to look really good when I finish. I have a friend making the letters for me.
Last week I got results from my post IVIG blood work and for the first time all my levels were within normal ranges and my ANA was negative! It hasn't been negative in over 6 years. Dr. Kim still wants me to continue the infusions, blood thinners and steroids. I tell you this woman is a freaking miracle worker!! I wish all woman that had several losses would go see her. And even better news, I got my infusions down from 4 hours to 2 hours weekly ( YAY)!

Really as far as typical pains and aches from a twin pregnancy, I am feeling pretty amazing. I look at my stomach daily and stay completely amazed that it can grow so much! Although I am told weekly how big I am, I take it in stride and know that I am doing my best to keep my girls safe and gain weight for them. So I am now taking those comments with a grain of salt. 

21 days until viability! This is going to be such a huge milestone for me. Next milestone is 34 weeks.

Monday, July 7, 2014

4th of July Pics

Our 4th of July weekend was great! I was not able to hike down to the waterfall, but did enjoy time with my husbands family. Here are pictures of our weekend:

 This picture is pretty cool. Three generations of Rapp men.

 My MIL also finished up my curtains and one of the crib skirts. We also picked up my 18 year old rocking chair that was refinished. SIL brought 3 huge bags of baby girl clothes and a huge tub of maternity clothes for me. I have lots of work ahead of me on the nursery. I will post before/after pictures when we are finished.
I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

20 Weeks

Here I am at 20 weeks! 

Feeling pretty good for the most part. Still having problems breathing, and since I know its not going away anytime soon, then I will just deal with it. Sleeping great, getting around pretty good. I am getting tired of people saying how huge I am. Not sure if they realize I am carrying two babies in here. My OB assured me that my weight gain is perfect and I shouldn't worry about anything. It would be nice for people to keep comments like that to themselves. Although I am getting pretty good with the dirty looks so maybe they will start getting it pretty soon.What is that saying, "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all".

Well we are heading out for a camping trip tomorrow. Going to Natural Falls. I love this area. Not sure I will be able to hike down this trip to see the waterfall, but maybe :) I am also going to see my in-laws this weekend and get my refinished rocking chair and some other things for the girls. I have a feeling the nursery will be done within few weeks.

I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July!