It's been an overwhelming past couple of weeks.
Not because anything has necessarily gone wrong, but perhaps because things haven't gone the way I expected.
I should start over.
When I found out was pregnant (after five rounds of IVF), I was ecstatic and grateful and even a bit incredulous. A few days later when we found out that there were TWO embryos in there, those feelings intensified. Though I knew that a multiples pregnancy was considered higher risk, I imagined that we would have a similar pregnancy and birth experience to the one we had with Mayumi. With her I had never physically felt better in my life (for the most part) and had a beautiful, natural birth (albeit challenging and definitely the hardest thing I've ever done up 'til that point) with midwives at the birth center. This time I still wanted the midwife and I even looked into home birth - wouldn't it be wonderful to have my five year-old daughter involved?
But that was not to be... almost everyone we spoke to refused us because twins are considered too high risk. The birth center where I delivered Mayumi, as well as other midwife practices, turned us away. Which made PapaQ and I think that perhaps there was something to this high-risk business and made us a bit hesitant to work with the two midwives we found who were willing to work with us. So we headed to one of the local hospitals where we'd heard there were some good OBs who supported natural, vaginal childbirth.
And then almost halfway through the pregnancy I started bleeding. While out of town. At the emergency room I was diagnosed with placenta previa. I was told to be on pelvic rest and modified bedrest for a little while. Then a few days later I had another scary episode of bleeding. Was it just from travel? I was relieved to get home and see my regular doctors and hear that they weren't really worried about it; in other cases like mine the placenta usually moves as the uterus expands and vaginal birth is still possible.
But as the weeks went on that stubborn placenta just kept it's place there by my cervix. And a few weeks ago they discovered that these big ol' blood vessels were implanting themselves right down there by the cervix as well. They said it was rare - I was only their third patient with a situation like this. It meant automatic C-section AND having an integrated radiologist in the OR to insert catheters into my arteries as a precaution against massive hemorrhaging and the need for a hysterectomy.
Oh my, that all sounded quite frightening and quite the opposite of what I had anticipated. Adding onto that my increased discomfort and pain from carrying two babies, along with regular contractions (yet I'm not in pre-term labor, thankfully) has resulted in the need of more bed rest (these boys are HEAVY!). Difficulty sleeping, nausea, loss of appetite, cramping, heart burn... it turns out that this pregnancy has been a bit more unpleasant and complicated than my first. I am so grateful to be pregnant with twins, but at the same time I have found myself frustrated by all the limitations and fear it has caused. I never imagined that I would have a C-section. I never imagined I would have to give up yoga and walking and acting and being normal.
What a pity party I find myself having sometimes.
For the most part I'm simply trying to focus on staying healthy and positive for four more weeks (FOUR MORE WEEKS! That seems both so near and an eternity away). Regular acupuncture appointments, prayer and meditation, and the help and support of PapaQ and my friends have kept me sane. Sometimes I still find myself in tears, feeling sorry for myself, but overall I'm really lucky, aren't I? The babies have been growing well and are healthy. We know what the risks are and though the conditions aren't ideal we'll be able to have them safely. Then I'll have my boys with me and out family will have grown from three to five! That is amazing! So yes, things are a bit more complicated and unexpected, but life is like that sometimes. You know... complicated.