The Frankenbaby Chronicles

Two girls, three cats, some frozen sperm, a doctor's office, and a big dream.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

I wish I looked more than just FAT!

13w pooch

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Oh, this is a good time.

Yesterday we found a little brown field mouse in our house - probably snuck into the basement because it is getting cold, probably brought upstairs by one of our cats. Jen ushered it out of the house with a broom and we were both pretty shaken up. I don't like the idea of injuring/killing animals, especially not in my home.

So Jen and I agreed that we would get some humane traps, but in the meantime would call a pest control place just to come and see if they could find any holes/cracks in the foundation where they thought mice could come in, so we could plug them up. We agreed no chemicals, no traps, no dead mice - just find holes.

She calls this morning to tell me that the pest people are coming in two hours to plug up the holes and put down traps - then come back in two weeks and see if anything is in the traps.

You don't bust out with that kind of information to a pacifist tree-hugger with a body coursing with hormones. I did what any self-respecting pregnant woman would do, and began sobbing about how I didn't want mouse-killers and dead mice in my home. I am totally beside myself.

I suppose I need to take a shower and make myself presentable to The Death Machine, but I feel so betrayed. We agreed no traps, no dead mice, just find holes. Just a free consultation. But of course in a matter of minutes they talked her into $225 worth of hole-filling and mouse-trapping.

Excuse me while I go cry some more.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sung to the tune of "Jingle Bells"

Thirteen weeks!
Thirteen weeks!
Thirteen weeks today!


We'll probably do the doppler again tomorrow (trying to keep it to every 3 days, but we broke that rule on Christmas morning - too good to pass up) but I'm feeling confident enough that I'll probably make Jen take a belly shot tonight. The pooch is getting out of control!


I am in love with the Tummy Sleeve from Motherhood Maternity. Okay, it's weird enough that we're going to MATERNITY stores. But hey. So the Tummy Sleeve. It's a sleeve of spandex that you can wear over your pants so that no one can see that you have your button and zipper undone. It's a miracle because now I can go back to wearing my cute, skinny pants instead of dragging out last year's fat pants that are too baggy and very unflattering. I am in mad love with the Tummy Sleeve (as seen online as the Bella Band).

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Bow Bow Bow Bow Bow

Jen found the heartbeat on the doppler!
Let the Tom Cruising begin!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

12 weeks!

Well, hot damn, we made it to 12 weeks. I never thought we would make it this far.

And I didn't think we would make it yesterday. I had severe bleeding yesterday, 11w6d. It was like a cruel joke, lots of gushing blood complete with some pretty horrendous cramps. The bleeding was more than my period, and since I don't usually get cramps badly with my period, it just seemed so... bad. I was trying to hang in there, but after midnight, when the cramps were getting worse, Jen made me go to the ER.

They didn't really DO anything in the ER other than do an internal exam, do some bloodwork, try the doppler unsuccessfully, and keep us waiting for hours, so it was pretty much a waste of time. However, the act of walking to the car and into the ER made the cramps subside. I guess I can be thankful for that.

Because I went to the ER and had severe bleeding, I had my ultrasound today instead of tomorrow. The sonographer was out today, so they actually had one of the OBs do my ultrasound. And believe it or not, our baby is still alive. I couldn't even believe it. I was so sure it was over, but there Frankie was, moving around and showing off its beating heart and groovy eyelids. The OB didn't do any formal measurements but said it looked exactly like it should for 12 weeks.

On the down side, he could find no reason for the bleeding and thinks my body is confused about what to do with our dead twin. It hasn't absorbed at all and is just as big as it was at 7.5 weeks... so he thinks my body might be trying to expel it but is unable to because my hCG levels are so high. Because of this, he can't really give us any kind of prognosis or when we might expect to be out of the woods.

He did say that most people who were going to miscarry would have miscarried by now. But he wants us to be cautiously hopeful.

I never thought I would be one of THOSE mamas, but I rented one of those home dopplers tonight. It should arrive on Friday by expedited shipping. Hopefully we can get some reassurance and go about our daily lives.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


So let's just cut to the chase: WE'RE STILL HAVING A BABY.

Holy crap, my blood pressure was probably through the roof on the way over there. We got into the ultrasound room and there was the baby, completely still, and I was nervously squinting for that little heart flicker. And there it was. I said to the tech, "It's not moving today," and she said, "Yeah, it's pretty quiet," and then as if on cue, the little dude lifted an arm and WAVED at us and then started moving all over the place, wiggling limbs and flipping around and even mooning us at one point. I started crying and laughing at the same time which totally messed up the ultrasound. Oops. Heartbeat was nice and strong at 175, and the baby measured 10w5d - actually catching up a little. (I am 10w6d today.)

Actually, it really couldn't have gone any better. Baby B's sac was still there and not messing with anything, the subchorionic hematoma was actually a little bit smaller, there was no other blood visible anywhere, some of the ovarian cysts had decreased in size - not the big one, but it didn't get any bigger.

Our midwife was running super late and we waited for a LONG time. She was MUCH more positive than the last one, wasn't too concerned that I was having the brown spotting especially as it is getting light and the red has stopped and the SCH got smaller. My blood pressure was super low (something like 108/54) and all I could think was, "It's a good thing you took it AFTER the ultrasound." My bloodwork from Thursday came back great - no anemia, good counts. She said the baby looked great, was measuring great, she wasn't too concerned with the cyst as long as it didn't get bigger, but she offered another ultrasound for next week if we wanted reassurance. I was ready to pass but Jen REALLY wants me to do it, so I will. She basically said that she expects that there is no reason we won't carry a healthy baby. It was SO different from the "You could go home and start cramping this evening" conversation.

She didn't want to do a pap because I'm still spotting, but she did want me to be screened for varicella and parvovirus because I'm a social worker and don't know if I've had either. She offered us the quad screen and nuchal testing, and Jen wants to do more research before we decide. I'm hesitant to do it because there are higher rates of false positives on the blood tests with twins, especially vanishing twins. The midwife said that if I was concerned about the false positives but did want to do the screen, we could arrange to have a genetics consult first before the screening to discuss falso positives. It's something to think about. I just REALLY don't want to get some kind of false positive and then end up getting pushed into CVS or amniocentesis which I really REALLY don't want to do.

So that's it. We have a squirming, living baby, measuring almost right on, looking great, MOONING US. Awesome.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


This is just a quick "thank you" message for everyone's kind words, thoughtfulness, prayers, and energy. We are trying to take things as they come and get back to some semblance of a normal life. Jen and I decided that I would be couch-bound until our follow-up appointment on Tuesday and see what happens. Today, though, I took a shower. It had been two days, and it was so amazing to just do something normal like take a shower. I feel like a real person.

There have been a couple of instances of a scant amount of red blood since the big bleed, but nothing significant, nothing that even made it on to a pad. Most of the time it is the same old brown spotting that I have had for the last three weeks. I don't know if that's good or bad. I'd actually like to have no bleeding or spotting, thanks.

Most of the time I am paranoid that I have lost our other baby, too. I have no reason to think that, really - no cramping or excessive bleeding or clotting or anything - but I do. I am so scared and concerned. Part of me is excited for Tuesday for reassurance, the rest is terrified for Tuesday for bad news.

I am so tired of television and the couch and the not knowing. We just want to be mamas, dammit.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

x-posted from my other blog

They say that when you can see your baby's heartbeat on ultrasound, you have a 95% chance of making it to the second trimester. I don't know who "they" are and it could be an old wives' tale for all I know, but that's what they say.

We are in the 5%. We had an ultrasound this afternoon and Baby B had stopped growing and was dead, somewhere around 7w5d. That's only a couple of days after our first bleed and our last ultrasound.

Baby A looked positively awesome, measuring 9w5d, heartbeat of 183, moving its little limbs. We saw its beautiful head, arms and hands (even the fingers!), little chest and legs, and the neat loopy cord that links us together.

Then they told us that there's a significant chance that my body is realizing that I am carrying a dead baby and will start working to miscarry it. I asked for odds (because I definitely know people who have lost multiples and continued to term) and the midwife didn't really know - she said probably less than 50% to miscarry but she couldn't say it was, say 25%. And I'm sure she was extra guarded because I'm already having bleeding. She basically told us that I could start cramping tonight, or I could deliver a healthy baby in the summer, or anything in between.

On top of this, the subchorionic hematoma has grown, from about 1cm in area to about 2cm. It seems, on ultrasound, to be behind Baby A somewhere and she didn't expect it to get in the way, but of course couldn't say for sure. And I have a cyst on my left ovary that is now 5cm.

Why is this happening to us? It's like a triple whammy: dead baby, bigger hematoma, big cyst. At this point they're not sure where the bleeding is coming from - either from the hematoma or the baby. I sure hope it's the former. I just don't know why we have such rotten luck.

We are simply beside ourselves with worry and aren't really up for talking about it, even to each other. The plan is for me to spend at least through Tuesday (my next appointment) lying around and hope that there is no more bleeding and no cramping. Jen is working from home tomorrow to spend time with me, and she didn't go to work today. Lisa, I'm sorry this means we will miss your party tomorrow.

Please, even if you don't really believe it works, send some energy into the Universe that we are able to continue to grow our beautiful baby.

Oh no, not again.

We had another Big Bleeding Episode last night. Must like the first almost three weeks ago, it came out of nowhere in the middle of the night. Two big gushes at about 3am and then another one or two gushes about 1.5 hours later. Now it seems to have tapered off but we are terrified.

I called my midwives' office to see if I can come in sooner than Tuesday (like, maybe, an hour ago?) and the receptionist told me she had nothing available sooner. I got a call from a triage nurse who took a lot of information and said she would call me back after she talked to a midwife. Jen is home from work (she actually is asleep next to me; seriously that girl can sleep through ANYTHING) in case we're going to the ER but I just want /someone/ to tell me /something/. Soon.

Any prayers or good thoughts or healing energy would be REALLY useful right now. I am so scared that something has happened to Thing 1 and Thing 2!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Almost double digits

Tomorrow I will be 10 weeks by ovulation day. (I'm a few days behind that when you go by LMP, because I O'd on CD12, way earlier than ever before.) 10 weeks. Wow.

Most of the time I am perpetually paranoid that I am not actually pregnant anymore, that something awful has happened between 7 weeks and now that I won't find out about until I have another scan. Keep in mind that I NEVER expected to be that person. I was ready to be all non-interventionist and calm, and enjoy my pregnancy every day that I am pregnant, and well, that is all great and dandy IN MY HEAD but the whole TTC process honestly chips away at your heart and soul. I am now a blubbering, clingy mess.

Okay, not entirely. I do like a little hyperbole once in a while.

I wish I could be laid back like Kathryn. Every day seems like a celebration of her pregnancy, even though she hasn't had a scan yet and hasn't seen or heard a heartbeat. She is a week or so ahead of me and I am so envious of her attitude! I have had three scans and seen viable heartbeats twice, but I'm too well-read and too pessimistic to think that I can't possibly be in that 5%. I mean, I've known enough people in that 5% to know how well it exists.

So today, my last day in the single-digits, I am going to celebrate being pregnant rather than worry about being pregnant. Yes, I have no m/s, my boobs don't hurt, and I haven't even felt very fatigued lately. Yes, I spot every day and have for over 2 weeks. But I am not bleeding and I am not cramping and I am PREGNANT, dammit.

One week until I see the midwife.


In non-related news, the webring of queer mamas making babies is just scarily small.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Brown, brown, and more brown.

Happy Saturday! (Of course, every day is Saturday when you are unemployed.)

It has now been 2 weeks and 2 days since I first started spotting, and tomorrow will be two weeks since I had my bleed. The spotting has picked up again and I'm wondering how long I will be spotting every day, every day, every day. It is incredibly unnerving and prevents me from enjoying this pregnancy most of the time. It's awful. Part of me wants to call my new midwife (haven't met her yet, not scheduled to see her until 12-12) to get reassurance that it's okay, but the rest of me is too scared that she will say, "No! It is NOT okay!" I will continue in denial until the 12th, I think, and probably get in trouble for not disclosing.

How long can a person realistically spot (brown) and be okay? Jen thinks my belly is pooching out which gives me hope, but I know there is an element of bloat involved (though I don't feel bloated) as well. I just want to relax and enjoy being pregnant but that is next to impossible when brown goo is always present.

A week and a half until my midwife appointment and hopefully she will do more than take my history. I finally got all of my records mailed to me from my RE and it was interesting to see how he managed my cycles, especially my Clomid cycles where I never had a follicle over 18mm. I became re-infuriated over the cycle on FSH where he triggered me with an E2 of 131. But it was nice to see the CRLs and measurements of my beans at my three ultrasounds. They didn't give me any info at the last one (with the bleeding) but now I see that Baby A measured 6w6d (up from 6w3d 3 days before) and Baby B measured 7w1d (up from 6w4d 3 days before). That was at 7w4d by O date and 7w1d by LMP.


Does anyone read this? I know Kathryn & Donna do... anyone else?