Before our Ragnar Relay: Florida Keys race even started, I was already picturing the epic blog post that would shortly follow. As you may have noticed, a month has slipped by since the awesome run, and there is still no post. That’s because it’s taken a month for me to finally collect my thoughts…so here’s the expedited story.
I was having really weird symptoms, that week, extreme exhaustion, slight nausea, cramps and spotting, so to clear my mind, I decided it would be best to take a pregnancy test.
I thought that was impossible, since I had just finished my period (or so I thought), but at that point, it didn’t matter, tears filled up my eyes, as I cried with joy and called my husband to share the exciting news. We were going to have another baby. I was literally over-joyed.
I headed to South Florida to meet up with some girls from my Ragnar team, the night before the race. I knew something did not feel right. I knew something was wrong and emotionally, I broke down. At 6 p.m., three of my amazing, supportive team mates and close friends, took me to the University of Miami hospital. After four long hours, the doctors had confirmed, my HCG numbers were extremely low and I was going to have a miscarriage.
Devastated, and in tears, the excitement of a baby has now turned to grief, but as the captain of our Ragnar team, I wasn’t going to let my team down. We had a 200-mile race ahead of us and I was not going to walk away from my team.
The next morning we met up with the rest of our team, to begin one of the greatest races of my life, Ragnar Relay: Florida Keys.
A Ragnar is an overnight relay race, or a slumber party, without sleep, pillows, or deodorant. It is a 200-mile relay race from Miami to Key West. You have 12 runners, 6 people in 2 vans, and together, you run to the ultimate finish line in Key West! Each runner runs 3 legs, ranging from 2-12 miles, and we leap frog our way to the finish.
Together, we crossed the finish line in 31.5 hours (overall , 9:38 pace) ran on little to no sleep, took zero showers, used more porta-pottys then I ever want to remember, and laughed so hard at way too many TMI stories. Some people (okay, just me) slept in the cargo area of the van with a bag of bananas as a pillow. I did not realize it was a bag of bananas until I found them a copule hours later! Sorry, to whoever bought the bananas!
We even labeled our van, #BAM (bad ass mothers), because we were all moms, taking a little time for ourselves, and it was awesome. It was a blast, and for me, the best way to keep my mind occupied, which was very much needed.
We finished the race in Key West around 7 p.m. the next day, and spent 2 days enjoying Key West.
After the race, I headed back to California and decided to have a follow up visit with my own doctor. I told her about the miscarriage and that my HCG levels were extremely low. She told me she wanted to do a blood test again, just to be sure. Much to my surprise, my HCG levels had almost doubled over the last week, which is not the way a miscarriage is supposed to go.
After multiple blood draws, watching the HCG levels steadily rise, hospital visits, and ultrasounds, the doctors told me, I was not having a miscarriage. I had an ectopic pregnancy. The egg implanted in the left fallopian tube instead of the uterus. They told me, I was at risk for the fallopian tube rupturing, which was ultimately, life-threatening to me.
I was forced to choose between methotrexate, a chemotherapy injection, or surgery, where they would remove the egg, but also may end up removing the fallopian tube. The risk with the chemo drug is, it does not work. The waiting period to find out if it was working would be one week, and that’s one week that I am at risk for rupture. Most ruptures happen within the first trimester and I would’ve been about 6-7 weeks pregnant. There was an 80-90% chance the chemo drug would work after the first round of injections which seemed positive.
I had doctors with conflicting opinions on what steps to take next. I was actually being prepped for surgery when my Ob/Gyn rushed in and told me the risks were too high, and she did not think surgery was the right answer.
Ultimately, we ended up trying the methotrexate, which was one chemo injection in each thigh. It was a little alarming that the nurse had to wear what looked like a hazmat suit to administer the injections, and that was, by far, the biggest needle, I had ever seen!
My doctors were confident that after one week, my HCG levels would drop significantly. The week dragged on and I finally went in for another blood draw. My levels dropped very slightly, but the drug had not worked the way it was supposed to, leaving my doctors shocked that the treatment was unsuccessful.
After discussion with my doctors, we decided to dodge surgery once again and opted to try another injection of the chemo drug, then wait, yet another week. The week of waiting dragged on, and we knew, waiting, meant I was still at risk for a tubal rupture, which could mean life or death.
On March 1st, after two rounds of chemo and two weeks of waiting, we finally got the results we wanted. My HCG levels had dropped dramatically. They told me, to get my blood checked again in the infamous “one more week,” and the HCG levels should be negative, meaning the ectopic pregnancy was finally over.
That final week of waiting, ended on Sunday, March 8th! The chemo drug worked! The pregnancy was over. The emotional roller coaster (pregnant-excited, miscarriage-grieving, ectopic-nerve-wracking) was over. It was time to breathe, time to re-focus on my life and heal emotionally.
When the doctors initially suspected the ectopic, I was immediately banned from running and from any physical activity. When I finally got the ok, to resume normal activity, I completed my first race on Sunday, March 8th, the Coaster Run 5K at Knotts Berry Farm.
I went to bed the night before the race with a fever and barely slept because I was so congested, but nothing was going to stop me from running that day. I had been through the ringer this past month, and I was coming out on the other side, with my feet hitting the pavement! I finished 7th out of 253 in my age division and 126 out of 2856 overall.
I’m incredibly thankful for my super awesome, #BAM friend who picked me up and then ran the Coaster Run 10K that day. She was with me at the hospital in Miami, ran with me from Miami to the Keys, took me for my final blood draw, and has been an amazing support every step of this emotionally draining process.
Sunday, was a great day.
I’m going to continue to keep my head high, stay positive and look toward the brighter days. Ragnar So Cal is on the horizon in April, and I can promise you an “epic” blog post to come, this time, exclusively about the race!
As our pregnancy is finally in the home stretch, we get to see our doctors and nurses 3-4 times per week! As of tomorrow, we will be 37 weeks pregnant which is a huge milestone, because this means the girls will be considered full-term!
This week, we have four appointments:
- Monday – Non-stress Test
- Tuesday – OB Appt
- Wednesday – Hospital Ultrasound
- Friday – Non-stress Test
I actually like having the appointments spread out because it gives me something to look forward to every day. I get to listen to the girls’ heart beats and see them on the ultrasound multiple times. It reassures me that everything is okay.
Today, we had our weekly check-up, and got some great news!
Katelyn has dropped, I am 1 cm dilated and 80% effaced!
If you are like me, you want to know what this means!
Dilation is the opening of the cervix. There are 4 different stages of dilation and we have entered the beginning phase!
- Latent phase: 0-3 centimeters
- Active Labor: 4-7 centimeters
- Transition: 8-10 centimeters
- Complete: 10 centimeters. Delivery takes place shortly after this stage is reached
Effacement refers to the thinning of the cervix. Prior to effacement, the cervix is long, usually 3-5cm in length. As the baby gets ready to come out, the cervix begins to shorten and thin out. According to our doctor, effacement is the important one to watch. Once a woman is 100% effaced, the babies are coming!
Every woman and body is different so we could be in this stage for a few days or a couple weeks. I still have not had any contractions, aside from braxton hicks, and am still feeling pretty good (for being 37 weeks pregnant…with twins!)
Our entire pregnancy has been great so far and now all we can do is sit and wait. We are on the girls’ watch and they will come when they are ready!
Yesterday, I had my 36 week check up and everything is going great. There is no cervical change and the girls have not dropped.
I asked my obstetrician what the likelihood of induction would be and he said with twins, the chances are slim since they tend to come early on their own. However, if the girls do not want to come out, he would talk induction after my 40-week due date, which is July 13!
I asked him how many weeks his furthest patient with twins got and he said 38.5, weeks but she was also scheduled for a caesarean section. He told me there was achance, since I have been doing so well, I could be his patient who goes the most weeks with twins. I was not sure if I should cheer or cry at that comment. My mom carried me for 42 weeks, so maybe the girls will be as content in the womb as I was!
Obviously, I am ecstatic that my girls are doing so well and yes, I want to keep them in there as long as possible. The longer they are in the womb, the better, and their health is my number one priority.
With that said, the pregnancy aches, pains, and heart burn are definitely getting worse. I am getting a lot slower and exhaustion is constantly kicking in. I will say, I am very anxious to meet my girls and I am definitely getting over being pregnant!
My beloved family and friends keep telling me, “They are much easier to take care of while in the womb” which is true, but I am not looking for an easy path, I just want to hold my girls.
My husband keeps promising “You won’t be pregnant forever,” which I understand, but there are some days where I feel like I really could be!
I feel very fortunate because I have had a wonderful pregnancy with no complications so far. This pregnancy has really been a true blessing for which my husband and I have been very thankful!
A few short weeks is all we have left and as much as I would love to hold my girls, I know they will come out on their own time. I’ve made it this far and a few more weeks of pregnancy will only make me stronger. Knowing my girls are strong and healthy will get me through the pain.
Next week, I have four appointments: 37 Week Checkup, 2 Non-stress Tests, and a Hospital Ultrasound. At least the appointments are helping the weeks pass by!
Yesterday, Trent and I celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary! It’s hard to believe that 2 years have gone by so quickly. I still feel like the luckiest girl in the world. It is such a blessing to be able to marry your best friend, and honestly, I could not be happier!
Since we are in our 36th week of pregnancy, our celebration was low key this year and we both had a wonderful, relaxing weekend with each other!
On Thursday, I was feeling very sore and tired, laying in bed with my snoogle. Trent came home with a dozen roses, a card, and a gift certificate for a pregnancy massage at Skinsations Spa in Tustin, which I took advantage of on Saturday! It was so wonderful!
Last night, we had dinner at Roma D’Italia, a little Italian restaurant nearby, and then we came home and celebrated with a slice of cake!
The cake was from Rockwell’s Creative Cakes in Orange, the same bakery that made our cake for our wedding day.
As part of our wedding cake package, they offer a complimentary Anniversary cake one year after you get married. Since last year was so busy, we were able to celebrate with our Anniversary cake this year!
This weekend we also decided to take a few pictures of the baby bump. We want to put a couple pictures on the wall in the baby room. Trent was an amazing photographer with his diaper box tripod!
Now, we anxiously await the arrival of our girls. Our original birth plan is to not induce and we are hoping to go into labor naturally and deliver vaginally.
It’s only a matter of time before our angels arrive and we could not be more excited!
It’s hard to believe that we are now 35 weeks pregnant. I have hit the point in twin pregnancy where I not only have a doctor visit every week, but also go to the hospital twice a week for non-stress testing. I know the next few weeks could drag on, but having 3 weekly appointments to see my girls will definitely help out in the waiting process!
Non-stress tests (NST) are a painless procedure used to evaluate the girls condition. We start off with a quick ultrasound to check the positioning of the girls… and, great news, they are both still head down!!
Next, I sit in a big comfortable, reclining chair and the nurse straps three devices to my stomach. Two of them monitor each of the girl’s heart beats and movements while the third one records contractions in my uterus.
During the test, the nurse monitors the girls’ heartbeats, first while each baby is resting and again while they are moving. As you would expect, the heart rate should go up while they are kicking and moving.
I was told to eat a good breakfast to give the girls a little boost and get their feet kicking.
If the baby’s heart beats faster while she is moving, for at least 15 seconds, on two separate occasions, during a 20-minute span, the result is normal and she passes the test! A paper printout monitors every movement and is later sent to my doctor for further evaluation.
Depending on the cooperation of the babies, the test could take anywhere from 20-60 minutes. At our first visit on Monday, we were done in 20 minutes, and the nurse said the girls received their first “A”. I am so proud!
We have our next NST tomorrow morning and I’m hopeful it will go as smoothly as the first one!
We are now in our 35th week of pregnancy!
Full term for twins is 37 weeks. We have had no complications this far and we are hopeful that the girls will be content in their home for 38 weeks. (Then they are free to come out anytime!!!)
I am still doing really well but definitely experiencing the daily aches and pains. It is painful to get up or change positions. The multitude of stairs (in our tri level town home) are really starting to not be my friend and as much as I would love to get one of those motorized stairlift chairs, I think I can make it a few more weeks!
I have found that my happy place is either a warm bath or hot shower – pregnancy bliss – and I try to utilize each one once a day!
I can already tell the next few weeks are going to be the longest, but we are ready (as much as we can be) whenever the girls are ready! Trent and I are such planners and I’m sure we’re in for the ride of our lives soon.. but for now, we’ll focus on the ride for the girls…
This week’s milestone – the car seats are installed!
Yes, I am 34 weeks pregnant … with twins, so I am measuring about 5-6 weeks ahead of a singleton pregnancy. When you do the math, I am measuring 39-40 weeks, or full term.
In the past week, I have received a ton of weird glances (as in what is she doing out and about) and the most awkward comments from strangers.
The best comment, I received tonight from a retired police officer, (in his mid-80′s) while waiting in line to pick up dinner,
“I’ve been in the police force for 35 years and have not had to deliver a baby. I’m hoping tonight is not the night.”
I have learned that elevators are great places for strangers to throw comments your way. Last weekend in Huntington Beach, a woman looks at me and asks,
“When are you due, like tomorrow?”
In the elevator at the hospital, a man looks at me and says,
“Wow, it must be any day now!”
Every where I go, I get comments on the size of my baby bump and that I look like I must be ready to pop.
Strangers are also great to jump in and offer advice. Here is my favorite example:
I took my car to get serviced. I dropped it off at the dealership and took the service shuttle back home.
The entire way home, (thankfully only a two mile drive) the female driver noted I was pregnant and went on and on about how I should exclusively breast feed, what worked for her, and what she used to soothe her sore nipples when she fed her son. Um, thank you for the advice but very odd coming from a stranger.
I never realized how much advice a woman would receive, especially from strangers, when she is pregnant. It is like, just because you are pregnant, some people feel the need to remark on your size and look.
I have kind of grown used to the comments, but now that I am getting to the end and still have a month left, the comments that my “baby” should be here tomorrow, are starting to get annoying.
We had my 34 week check up today and everything looked great! Both girls are head down and my cervix is still completely closed up. The doctors said, I have potential to get to 38/39 weeks, which is absolutely awesome for twins!
I have approximately 3-5 more weeks left in this pregnancy and we are so excited for our girls to arrive… but right now, I just want to shout to the world,“NO, I am not due tomorrow!”
Everything is really starting to come together! We finished the nursery this week, bought a bunch of diapers, and finished our pre-baby shopping.
With twins, you are considered full term at 37 weeks. Now that I am 33 weeks pregnant, it’s time to pack the hospital bag!
Our plan is still to deliver vaginally, but since twins are considered a “high-risk” birth, we will be delivering our girls in the operating room. There is still a chance that I may potentially be delivering by c-section, which means my stay in the hospital could be up to 4 days.
With this being my first pregnancy, my list of what to bring to the hospital consists of what friends have told me and lists I have found online, but I think I have the basics covered. I have been told to be careful not to over-pack!
- Hair Ties / Clips
- iPhone/Chargers/Mini Speakers
- Birthing Ball
- Hair Brush
- Shampoo/Conditioner/Body Wash/Face Wash
- Facial Wipes
- Chap Stick
- Maternity Gown
- Nursing Bra
- Slippers / Warm Socks
- Flip Flops
- Comfy Going Home Clothes
- Going Home Outfit for Babies
- Change of Clothes for Daddy
- 2 Car Seats
- Birth Plan
- Hospital Registration Forms
- Insurance Card
- Driver’s License
- Snacks for Daddy
My questions to Mommys: Was there anything you packed and did not need? Anything you wished you brought with you?
Once the bag is packed, we are one step closer to holding our girls! I cannot believe how fast time is flying by!
I know you have been waiting for this, and so have we… the unveiling of the Nursery!
Trent and I moved into our new home on April 30th (when I was 29 weeks pregnant). It took a couple of weeks to get everything in the house organized and unpacked, especially since I was unable to do a whole lot without getting exhausted. My husband was (and still is!!) amazing, and he handled the majority of the moving/unpacking… he is the absolute best!!
We were both very excited to “get to the good stuff” and begin the nursery and we finally finished tonight! I am excited to show you the cutest room in the house!
We started out with a blank slate…
After a trip to Home Depot, Trent prepped…
…and painted the room!
Tonight… we finished the final touches and it is by far the cutest room in the house!
Of course the nursery will not be 100% complete until our girls are here! It’s only a matter of weeks now and trust me, we can not be more excited!