Thursday, June 9, 2011

Multiple Multiples!!

Yes that's right. I had my OB pregnancy confirmation today. When I told my wonderful fantastic doctor that I really strongly believe it is twins again and my beta HCG numbers (14dp5dt was 8,247 and 16dp5dt was over 20,000) she said that was really impressive and wanted to take a quick peak. Sure enough there are 2 gestational sacs in there and we can see 1 yolk sac in each. We go back on Weds the 15th for a viability screening and to check heartbeats.

Wow two sets of twins. Wow. I'm not really surprised because I was expecting it, but I am. But come on, who really prepares themselves for 2 sets of twins! Since I had gestational diabetes with both of my previous pregnancies, she wants me to start seeing the endocrinologist immediately and start checking blood sugars. Damn. I thought I'd at least a free pass until 16 weeks. Oh well, it's a small price to pay.

I'm having TWINS!!! AGAIN!!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Hats We Wear

How do you identify yourself? Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend... those we all know. Those are all common, but what about the other hats we wear that we may not choose to publicly identify with. The hats we wear, but choose to keep secret or at best not really discuss openly. How about Orphan, Cancer Survivor, Infertile, Crazy?

The past year of my life, I was fighting for my life. Fighting to live, fighting just to be here. I couldn't think about Tomorrow, all I could think about was surviving each day. Slowly I came out of it. I am not even Cancer Free a year yet, I still have several months to go for that. But I have discarded that hat so quickly. I don't want to look at it, feel it, smell it or even remember that I wore.

I quickly grabbed the Infertile Hat and went into action. Isn't that what every person does after being Cancer Free for 6 months? Decide to have a baby or two? Let me back up for a minute and explain how I got to this train of thought.

As the twins turned three in January, we noticed Sean is lagging behind physically. He wasn't able to jump, hop or balance on one foot at all. I mentioned it to his pediatrician and combined with the concerns over a minor speech delay, the physical delay, being a toe walker and other signs; his pediatrician sent us to a Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrician for diagnosis. He was diagnosed with a host of labels: Global Developmental Delays, Sensory Integration Disorder, Disruptive Behavior Disorder, and Auditory Processing Disorder. He will be tested in a few weeks to see if he falls on the Autism Spectrum, which I highly doubt. I don't think I'm in denial either. I think a Mom just knows these things. Anyway, we have been going to Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy several times a week. I'm actually not convinced that he has all that he is labeled with, but it is getting him help. I'll never refuse someone who is genuinely trying to help my child.

Well while sitting in the lobby during his latest therapy session, I got to talking with another Mom there. She was so sweet. She is 37 as well and we were comparing notes about our sons. As conversations often evolve, before I knew it, I had mentioned being a Cancer Survivor. As soon as it was out of my mouth I wanted to retract it, but I couldn't, it was already out there. She was asking so many questions, before I knew it I had told her how my Mom had died, my sister had a stroke when the twins were a few months old and I was taking her. She was very kind and said she would keep me in her prayers. I was left wondering what kind of impression had I made on this stranger. Does she think I am a pathological liar? I think if I had met a stranger and had learned all those things, I might think the person is a crazy liar who is seeking attention. Granted after all I have been through in the past 7 years, I could believe about anything.

Thinking back over the years, it has really been a rough ride. (Yes, I am bullet pointing my life)
  • While fighting infertility and taking MANY hormones, I was also one of my Mom's primary caretakers. She passed away on a Sunday morning after fighting a grueling battle with Cancer. The very same week, I find out I am finally pregnant after almost 3 years.
  • Before Cole is even a year old, we lose Alex's Step-mom to Cancer. It was in her brain and happened so suddenly. We barely had time to accept she had Cancer and then she was gone.
  • Within a month, his Dad was diagnosed with Cancer. It was in his bladder and prostate. Thankfully, he has survived but it has been a really tough journey for him.
  • We decided to try for a second child and get back on the infertility train. After several unsuccessful ART procedures, we jump up to the big guns, IVF. The first attempt was unsuccessful, except that we were able to freeze two healthy embryos.
  • As we start our second round, I am responding to the meds unbelievably well. I had over 50 follicles for the doctors to retrieve eggs from. Financially, this is it. Do or die time. Two days before the egg retrieval, my Step-mom called from Oregon, my Dad died. He had Leukemia and had fought it for 15 years. I had a choice, to cancel the IVF cycle and waste the 50 eggs or fly out to Oregon for a man who left when I was three and was never there for me. Needless to say, the IVF was successful and resulted in our beautiful twins, Katie and Sean.
  • The twins are barely two months old, and my sister Amy has 2 strokes. The first of which is on her daughter, Olivia's 16th birthday.  So I brought her to my home for the next month to care for her while she is rehabilitating and relearning to walk and care for herself. All the while taking care of newborn twins, Cole who is potty training, and Olivia who ends up living with us for the next 3 years.
  • A year or two passes and Alex and I decide to move out of the townhouse and buy a house. Six weeks after moving into the house on Olivia's 18th birthday, I started coughing up blood. With in days, I am diagnosed with Stage III Base of Tongue Squamous Cell Carcinoma. I immediately start 7 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy.
  • After 6 months of being Cancer Free, we decided we need to give our 2 frozen embryos a chance at life. I had a CT scan to make sure I am still cancer free and proceeded with the FET. I am currently 5 weeks pregnant and waiting to find out if it is twins, which Alex and I strongly suspect. My beta HCG numbers are through the roof and we have an ultrasound scheduled for June 15th to find out.

Now, looking over just the bullet points that doesn't even take into account the small stuff in life like job changes or being diagnosed as Bipolar. Those can be big and stressful events in themselves, but looking over the list, they don't seem to rank as all that important after all.

After all of this, what hat am I wearing? I don't know. I think I may be too hormonal to figure it out... wink, wink, nudge, nudge.