Monday, November 26, 2007

Follow your nose

I seem to be developing a supersonic sense of smell. I've always had a strong aversion to most dairy products, but lately cheese is showing up in unusual places. First, the squash soup at Thanksgiving tasted cheesy. It wasn't, because the chef had described to me, in detail, the vegan recipe. Then, at dessert, I took a slice of pecan pie, and as I raised it to my mouth, I thought, this smells like cheese. Now, I've never made pecan pie before, but I read enough cooking magazines to know that cheese isn't typically found in pecan pie. (Apple pie, maybe.)

I asked the baker if there was cheese in the pie. She thought I was insane, of course, and said no. But I was later vindicated when my partner smelled the pie and agreed about the cheese scent. The baker later recalled that she had used some kind of raw butter that's particularly cow-y. Hence the cheese smell. Later on, I found myself holding my breath every time someone opened the leftover-laden refrigerator. Bleah.

This is either going to launch my career as a private investigator, or become unpleasant really fast.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pretty, pretty, pretty good

I am still pregnant, and I am still pregnant with twins.

One embryo measures 20mm or 8 weeks 3 days, with a heartbeat of 183. That was deemed completely fine.

The second embryo either measures 18mm (8 weeks 2 days), as determined by the first doctor, or 15mm, as determined by the second, with a heartbeat of 197. The combination of the smaller size and rapid heartbeat suggests that this embryo may not make it. But it's hard to know.

If the second twin doesn't make it, I think I'll feel a combination of sadness and relief. If I'm not going to have twins, I vastly prefer that the decision be made for me.

I go back either next week or the following week for another ultrasound, and I'm going to schedule my genetic testing. Apparently CVS isn't recommended for twins (hive mind: input is welcome), so we'll probably do an amnio. I am concerned that I'll start to show before the amnio, and that I'll have to tell people before I'm ready, but perhaps I can cross that bridge, etc.

Thank you, as always, for your well wishes. And happy Thanksgiving -- I hope all of you have as much to be thankful for as I do.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

8 weeks, 3 days

That's how pregnant I am. I've never been this far along before, so this is uncharted territory. I have had some cramps in the last few days, which I do not appreciate, but the nurse said not to worry (yeah, right) unless I see blood -- not spotting, but actual red blood. (No spotting whatsoever, and you can bet your grandmother's Venetian glass collection that I check every single time I'm on the toilet.)

Our next appointment is at the clinic on Monday. If all goes well, I graduate to an actual OB -- just like a regular pregnant lady! -- and have an appointment with one later that afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Twin Freakout Level has been reduced to Schoolbus Orange from Blood Transfusion Red. I find denial is a wonderful thing. But it's hard to deny completely -- last week my pants began to be tight, and this week I had to raid the supply of clothes I saved when I lost a lot of weight four years ago, in the event someday I'd need them again. (I'm attributing my larger size to a twins thing because probably most women who are eight weeks pregnant with singletons aren't out shopping at Pea in a Pod.)

Even some of the clothes I saved are too small in the waist. I thought I'd just buy a few things in larger sizes at the Gap, but when I couldn't find what I wanted in the store, I ordered a few things from Gap Maternity. Of course I am conflicted about this: I fear I'm jinxing myself, but at the same time, since I work in an office rather than a gym, I need to attend my job wearing something other than sweatpants.

Viability is still a huge concern. I've had a few dreams where I started spotting, and at least one with a too-small embryo on an ultrasound. (I think there was just one in that dream. See? Denial.) Sometimes my breasts aren't as tender, or I feel more energetic, and I think, shit, this is already going downhill. But then a wave of nausea hits, or I feel assaulted by fatigue, and I think, this still seems to be happening.

Hopefully the doctors on Monday will agree.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

In which I reveal myself to be a horrible person

I'll just say it: I don't want twins. My partner, a reluctant participant in the Bun Project to begin with, definitely doesn't want twins.

Now, I recognize there are all kinds of horrible things about saying this. I have friends who have twins. I actually was a little obsessed with twins in high school (blame the Sweet Valley High books). I would like to have two children, if the first one doesn't kill me. I smile at women with twins in strollers just like you. I think there is something wonderful and special and unique about having two children at the same time.

But I don't want to do that myself. First, I worry about the complications of a twin pregnancy -- I've heard too many horror stories, even though I've personally observed some big successes. (Luckily for me, I have no medical problems other than the whole infertility thing.) I like to think I'm quite competent -- okay, I am quite competent -- but I'm not sure I can handle two babies. I have no close family in the Bay Area, and though my close family isn't that far away, they're not here. I have wonderful friends, but most of them have their own families to take care of. I have some financial resources, but I'm not sure that would be enough. I have a demanding job that I have every intention of keeping. (Hell, we can't afford for me not to work.) I have a partner whom I love dearly, but who generally would prefer not to have children and has described her ideal involvement with a child as being like a "50's dad." How, precisely, is this supposed to work?

This may be an awful thing to write, karmically, given the two embryos that seem to have taken up residence in my uterus. I know. And I know some people will say, "God/the universe doesn't give you anything you can't handle." At the risk of sounding ridiculously callous and practical (bingo!), I don't think so. People don't choose to get cancer, but I think my brilliant friend who recently died of cancer in her early 50s didn't get sick because she could handle it. She got sick because sometimes life sucks. People aren't given sextuplets because they can handle them; they, and their doctor, make a choice to risk and then have sextuplets. It's a choice.

And this twin pregnancy was, I regret to say, something of a choice. We had two embryos, and we could have chosen to transfer one. Given the embryo quality, we could have put in one, but given my history of miscarriage, the doctor (who described her approach as conservative after we said, adamantly, "We don't want twins!) recommended two. One would be a fail-safe measure.

We have discussed selective reduction, but I don't know that we could do it. We'll have to see how the next ultrasound looks, and later, what the genetic testing shows. (If you're really offended by talk of selective reduction, I'm sorry, but please don't flame me in the comments. The management has a strict no-abuse policy. Especially because the management, at the moment, is an emotionally fragile, bloated, and nauseous pregnant lady.)

In the meantime, I'm trying to balance my joy at getting asked back for a second interview here, and my absolute, utter terror at what it might show.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Three words

Viable twin pregnancy.

Or, to use a few more: there are two embryos in there, two heartbeats, both good. Two sacs, one smaller than the other but still probably fine. The doctor gave it a 20 percent chance of becoming a "vanishing twin." In other words, he gave it an 80 percent chance of sticking around.

Excuse me while my partner and I completely freak out.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Tonight's fortune cookie

It read:
"You will pass a difficult test that will make you happier."

Sure hope so. My first ultrasound/viability check is tomorrow morning.