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Friday, December 28, 2012

First move.

Last night, I had a feeling of movement/pulsing in my belly and I thought it might be the twins moving. So I put my right hand over Twin B (in the middle) and waited. I figured that since Twin B was usually the more active one during the scans, it was more likely than not that it would be Twin B hamming it up in there.

Nothing happened for 15 mins so I moved my hand over Twin A. And waited while I surfed the net. Then, I felt this little string of bubbles popping/rippling where Twin A was. I've never felt anything like that my whole life and the feeling is pretty much indescribable - to feel a baby inside you instead of peaking into his/her world via trans-belly ultrasounds.

To date, I still haven't felt anything from Twin B though but then he/she has been the one that gives me cause to worry. When the doctor first told us that I was expecting twins and pointed to the two sacs on the screen, I thought the second sac was a mistake and asked if it was a shadow of the first sac. He assured me not. But since we hadn't expected to have twins to start, and the second sac didn't seem as distinct as the first, when I got home, I consulted Dr Google about gestational sacs and read about some gestational sacs remaining empty. So I spent the next 2 weeks terrified that at the next doctor's visit, there would only be one fetus.

After that fear was put to rest, I read about my friend's Twin B not making it in her 8th week (formed but no heartbeat) and so I spent the next few weeks fearing that one of the twins would not make it. I always expected it to be Twin B as each ultrasound showed that he/she was slightly smaller (in mm) than Twin A.

However as the pregnancy progressed, while Twin B has remained the smaller one, Twin B has started to show us that he/she is his/her own little person. The first time was at the 12th week Oscar scan where he/she lay there sucking his/her hand. Then at the following scan, he/she was lying on his/her belly face-down.

I told my CEB about feeling Twin A instead of the more active Twin B whom he praised as the obedient one (for listening to him asking them to wake up and flip around), my CEB suggested that maybe, just maybe Twin A was actually the more active twin, thumping and flipping around all the time but whenever he/she felt the cold gel and the scanner, he/she would be good and lie still.

Given that I've been feeling movement from Twin A (more today, esp when I lay on my belly), my CEB might very well be right!

In terms of the puke scoreboard, I am ahead today with just one puke (after dinner) the entire day. Yesterday, I vomited all of lunch over three pukes, then before dinner, at my in-law's place, I heaved up another three pukes. Managed to keep down dinner though.

From the look of things, giving up all hope that the morning sickness would have ended by the end of the first trimester was a wise decision. It looks like having twins is a different ball game altogether!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

19 months of marriage

19 months doesn't seem so very long when I compare that to the fact that I will be carrying the twins for 9 months/37-40 weeks :D

Still, since our being able to pass each monthiversary is a blessing and not a given right, I write this entry to celebrate our crossing this 19th milestone in our marriage. Truth be told, despite the blessing of pregnancy as and when we had planned and wanted, we weren't exactly sailing along to this monthly marker since the last. In fact, if there was any time at all throughout our whole marriage that I wasn't certain we were going to make it, this month was definitely it.

The physical complications and restrictions that came with the almost ceaseless daily vomiting and exhaustion meant that the level of contribution and attention from my end was almost non-existent. Lots of folks tell me that pregnant women tend to be more bad-tempered and irrational because of the rampant hormones and while I did try my best not to be that way, I ended up on the other end of the scale. Distant, detached and withdrawn.

The travel-filled, coming home to a warm home-cooked dinner and wife who would cuddle with him nightly came to an abrupt end for my CEB. What he got was what not what he bargained - a beached whale lying on the bed the entire day in her pjs, sometimes without having her teeth brushed or face cleaned the entire day, and on worse days, smelling of vomit. Not pleasant, and a far cry from what he was used to. There was no one to give him any food, attention or comfort.

And on my end? I was utterly distraught and miserable with the life I once had and was so used to stripped away abruptly. Instead of surfing the net for travel deals and little acquisitions as I once did, all my spare energy was devoted to finding a cure for the terrible morning sickness. Truth be told, the last thing I thought about, cared about, and wanted in my current state was my CEB who for the first time, I could actually smell....not in a pleasant way.

At times, I'm not proud to say it, but at times, the past few weeks, I wanted him gone. Just gone from my life, so consumed was I by the vomiting, nausea, fatigue. He was as much use to me and my sufferings as a third leg. Sometimes when he asked me helplessly what he could do for me, it was on the tip of my tongue to snap "Can a chicken with three legs run any faster?"

Yes, things between us were this very bleak. I wanted, no, I needed my misery and suffering to end. I didn't care how - the endless trips to the toilet to either vomit, retch, pee or suffer immense pain from the other end - they had to end. The inability to work effectively, to get out of bed, to be useful, productive, sociable and jet-setting wrecked utter havoc for both of us and our marriage.

So yes, I am beyond thankful that I have recovered some bits of my energy, that I am having some good days (how else would I have the energy to switch on my laptop after weeks) and that we managed to survive one more month of marriage. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

By the book...or not

The twins have done everything by the book so far - in terms of growth, on start of morning sickness at week 6, sitting on my bladder, nose bleeds and headaches in the second trimester - EXCEPT ending the severe morning sickness!

The new anti nausea medicine is ineffective in terms of controlling nausea but it makes me very sleepy. Which is great at night time but no good at all during the day. I can't go out two hours without being exhausted or do much housework before needing to take a break. This is so not the capable efficient multi-tasking me that I am used to.

Add the spitting (excess saliva) and the vomiting, I'm just counting down the months. I pray that I won't be those who vomit up to the day they deliver. I hope things will turn around at the start of the third trimester at least.

No such luck for the second trimester. The latest? I vomited all over myself in the car yesterday. After so long, you would think I have it figured out when I am going to just dry retch and when I am going to hurl. But no, I was had by my wonderful body. I was surprised to find my mouth full of my undigested breakfast mixed with soya bean milk and to my horror, my mouth could not hold all and I ended up with vomit all over my chest, my Hugo boss top and my hair. I ended up washing myself off in my mum's house sink so I could keep to the day's schedule.

Later that day I had a nose bleed while drinking turtle soup. I don't get why everything I am going through with this pregnancy is by the book except the horrible morning sickness. I read that the likelihood of this recurring in my next pregnancy (no! What next!) is high if I have suffered this in my first. So, twins, listen up since both of you should be able to hear me now - that's it for siblings.

Your mother is never putting herself through all this ever ever ever again!!!

Uncle - The Slug's dad

1 of my best friends, The Slug, lost his father last Friday night unexpectedly. I didn't see his message about Uncle's passing till the next morning.

I remember Uncle well. In my mind's eye, I see him sitting on the living room's couch and watching sports (badminton or football) on TV. We would always exchange pleasantries and make conversation then - be it about his health, his active lifestyle at his age, my weight, and of course the family's ginger cat, Meow Meow (who was recently lost and found).

I have had lunch with Uncle in KL, visited him in hospital before, and I always thought those times would last, that Uncle and Aunty would be there like my friendship with The Slug. My marriage might mean lesser of these times but there was no sense at all that these would end for good one day. I keep forgetting how life turns on a dime.

Being sick these past months with severe morning sickness, I had not been physically able to be a real part of the world outside my bed,toilet and hospital visits for the twins. So I hadn't seen Uncle in months, and not when he was in hospital this time. The Slug's last message to me was that his dad was improving and I remember being glad and thinking there was time. But then suddenly, there wasn't. Uncle's condition deteriorated in one day and he was gone.

My heart goes out for The Slug and his family. The Slug was very close to his dad, both of them spending the most time together. The days that lie ahead for him will be the toughest yet and this is the time he will need his loved ones and friends. But most of all he will need to find in himself, strength and courage to walk through each day, those dark moments when the sense of loss and devastation threatens to overwhelm him. And those moments can be set off by the most unexpected trigger. And at the times when he thought he had come to terms with his loss and then realize he hasn't.

I pray for The Slug and his family at this time and those times to come. May they find solace that Uncle did not suffer long and found peace so quickly. And may they remember that Uncle would want them to live happily.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Living off the fat of the land

The last scan (this week) was a detailed one as the doctor wanted to have my cervix measured to reduce the risk of pre-term labor. The twins were also measured - by the length of their femur and head, instead of from crown to rump. Going forward, they will be measured by weight and not length anymore.

Unlike me, who lost the 1+ kg I gained the past 2 weeks (total weight loss still 5kg), the twins are each measuring ahead of schedule. They really have to be living off my ample surpluses given that I have been vomiting everything I have eaten the past days despite the medication.

Twin A remains the bigger one and seems to be more passive, lying face up with his/her legs propped up on the uterus wall. Twin B on the other hand, had a new trick - he/she was lying face down. It was funny. Really curious about the gender of that active little one.

The scoreboard between me and them hasn't changed much except they are clocking more wins. I used to be able to keep down breakfast and sometimes lunch. Dinner is always a lost cause. Now everything is a lost cause.

So I have pretty much given up. I just eat and drink whatever I want since I am going to be upchucking anyway. Forget the biscuits, warm tea, bread etc. nothing works except sleep. Only then do I not blow chunks.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Misery loves comparison

I am not ungrateful for the gift of pregnancy, as and when we planned. I am thankful for the twins, for my job, for my boss. It's just that the pregnancy has been so hard - yesterday I could not get out of bed except to vomit. Over 15 times. If I don't eat something, I get excess saliva in the mouth which means acid is building up in the stomach which means nausea and vomiting acid and water. So I eat and after I do, I end up vomiting what I eat. Vomiting is exhausting - the force is enough to make u stagger, fall to your knees, slump on the bowl and get all dizzy and weak after from the electrolyte imbalance. So you need to rest and your stomach is empty so it churns once more with gas and acid then you go vomit those. So next dehydration. This means drinking and with more fluids added to the stomach, vomit storm. Vicious cycle.

Tried everything. Zofran, Reglan, dry biscuits, ginger, lemon, motion bands, regular small meals, nothing works. I hate being this useless,helpless, miserable and non productive. I can't, not I won't. And I am so tired of it all. Tired of being a crappy employee, wife, friend, human being. I can't do anything for anyone, think abt anyone or care for anything. Christmas this year is going to be a dismal affair. I'm not Mrs Grinch but I can't be jolly ole Mrs Santa either.

The doctor and I, we are going to have a serious talk. The time for this crap has passed. I need whatever it takes to start living. This condition, fighting not to vomit when not vomiting, vomiting then being wiped out from vomiting, it has to end. If not for me, for the twins. Thank goodness they can still live off the fat of the land.

I understand how most pp don't get how bad things are with severe morning sickness. They think It isn't like I have a dreaded disease and am suffering with no end in sight except death. It isn't like I was in an accident and am the victim of physical mishaps. No, I was just trying to complete my family and brought this upon myself. Unfortunately I could care less what the world thinks.

And thinking about pp who have it worse off does not make me feel better. It is like telling the blind to be grateful they have working limbs and the paraplegics to be glad they are sighted. Or the jobless and starving to be grateful they are alive and those who are alive to be grateful they aren't brain dead. There is always always always someone worse off. Comparisons are no help at all.

Not to say that I do not appreciate better my blessings in this time of misery - that the other members of my family come home whole and healthy each day etc. I have spent time representing the plaintiffs on personal injury work and I know how life turns on a dime. The recent accident where a young man lost the life he knew of before reminded me not to ever take for granted my blessings, the gift of a husband coming home every night in one piece.

Monday, December 17, 2012

This better not be the start

Never have I bothered or rather, been able to get up at an ungodly hour of 6+am to go queue for anything. Yes, I have woken up at 2am to drive 3hrs to go fishing on an island (how I miss those days so much!), woken up at 4am on a cold morning to be the first 200 to be allowed to climb Huayna Picchu in Peru, but never ever have I dragged myself out of bed (esp when pregnant) so early before to queue for a few hours so as to be among the first few (10 in this case) to buy something at a discount.

I'll just do without in the past. Not try to save at least $100 by sitting on a floor on a piece of paper marked 4 outside a closed door for 2hrs. The item being queued for was advertised to be retailing for $329. Special price if there was stock left was $99 and early birds would be allowed to buy the same at $39.90.

You would never guess what it was I was queuing for. Not one of those IT products or cameras or household items. Not even branded women stuff at a clearance price (I wouldn't ever buy branded stuff that would slash its price like that - devaluing its brand).

Baby chairs for the twins.Sigh. Big sigh. This is so sad it isn't funny anymore. Obviously I am not one of those who feel that nothing is too expensive for their kids. I mean, 1 of my cheaper work dresses cost at least double the combined cost of the two chairs.

Not sure if my rationale makes sense but I would get far more mileage out of what I buy for myself than out of what I buy for the twins who would from birth outgrow everything in a matter of weeks and months, esp clothes.

Hence the attempt to save $100 on such temporary items. But this better not be the start of what my life is going to look like. I definitely didn't sign on for this! Oy just oy, what did I get myself into this time around.

While it is immensely satisfying to finally be able to answer positively, curious relatives questions about having children , the trouble and misery for me that came with this pregnancy will not be forgotten.

Latest scoreboard looks like this:
Fish burger: vomit
Red bean soup: keep down
Sushi: vomit (always)
Prawns+beef: keep down
2slices of wholemeal bread: keep down
Fishball kway teoh soup: vomit
Green bean soup: keep down
Banana: vomit
Yakult: vomit
Curry beehoon: vomit
Cherries: vomit

Guess it is clear who is still ahead....2 against 1, no fair kiddos!

PS: I'm having an absolutely shite day today, the kind where I have a horrid taste on my mouth, weird feeling in the belly, tired but unable to sleep, achy, no appetite at all, can't crawl out of bed and know without a doubt that I am going to be vomiting today. Ugh.

Eta: today is just awful. Vomited so hard I fell to (not like sank to) my knees as soon as the first belch began. Popped a Reglan right after. Gawd have mercy.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A competition of sorts...

I'll talk to the twins directly once they can hear me, which is very soon, according to pregnancy websites, and I have plenty to say while they are still in there. While they don't have a choice but to listen to me, just like I don't have a choice over what they decide to do with the food I put in my body.

It's become a competition of sorts now. I struggle not to vomit and they (I can't blame my body any more at this stage) decide what they want to keep down.

The latest scoreboard looks like this:
Tuna on bread? Vomit
Pork floss bun? Vomit
Fish Porridge? Vomit.
Century egg&pork porridge? Keep down.
Bread or biscuits? Keep down
Nonya bak Chang. Keep down
Milk with cereal? Keep down
Cheese Prata? Vomit
Manhatten flaming platter? Keep down
Chicken rice? Vomit
Popeyes chicken? Vomit
Tomato soup? Vomit
Tomato soup again cos its good stuff for them ( I don't even like it)? Vomit.
Wagyu beef n mushrooms? Vomit. Kiddos, that was v good food k!

It's pretty clear who is winning for now but that better change when they are out else there's going to be real trouble!

Right now, we are also tussling over when to vomit. Before, they were the unbeaten champions. I vomited everywhere and whenever they deemed fit - public dustbins, while driving or watching movies, in plastic bags and every toilet I have been to etc. Now, I actually get to fight back a little. Like while in the bath just now, I had the urge to vomit and I fought against it. The twins must have resisted even harder because in the end I gagged and the food rose up uncontrollably in my mouth. Well, not to be thwarted and sit ankle deep in vomit, I swallowed back whatever filled my mouth.

Mistake. Tomato soup tasted terribly sour after 2 hours of being mixed with stomach juices. Now I feel sicker than ever. Meh. No wonder I haven't gained any weight till now - I'm still lighter than I was before I was pregnant. The twins are getting (and will continue to drain me of) what they need anyway so I guess it's a good thing that I was eating so healthily and plentifully before.

Still, my skirts are getting tighter (in one week) and despite my delaying, I might have to get some maternity clothes soon. I intend to get the minimal since this is the very last time I am torturing myself like this. I am glad for this blog which is a reminder of how miserable and awful the past few weeks were. On good days when I am caressing my baby bump, I can almost barely remember the exhaustion and nausea. Then I read those entries again and I'm like Oh yeah, never again.

I can't wait to see the twins at the next checkup. Given how sick I have been, I am far from worried about them. Gloves off soon if I am going to be this sick for the rest of the pregnancy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

To be able to eat like before

It's most frustrating to be hungry but have nothing that appeals to the appetite. And if I have a craving for a food item, as soon as I take a couple of bites I am repulsed.

I am getting hungrier more often these days, complete with growling stomach but nothing I put in tastes any good. I used to like agar agar because other than being cooling and sweet, it is good for nails and teeth. So yesterday evening I bought one from the usual store and barely choked it down. It tasted vile, overly sweet. I also bought a cheese prata with my remaining $2 and found I did not enjoy the taste of the curry/gravy that came with it. The list of the foods I used to really like but now avoid include eggs, otah, curries, rice, mee (going to try later)...anything that is oily (fried) and spicy.

What I like and can keep down 50% of the time after all the past months where NOTHING appealed consist of cheese, porridge (Esp century egg and/or fish porridge), biscuits, fishball kway teoh soup and hor fun. And that's about it. Try to add anything else like the prata yesterday and there's hell to pay.

After the meal, I went to the toilet to obey my bowels and while on the bowl I had the urge to puke. I thought it would be a dry retch but my mouth soon overflowed so I had to get up midway of what I was doing and turn around to empty my other hole. Trying to do All that resulted in me forgetting to hold up my long hair and yes I had puke in my just washed freshly dried hair. I'm telling you, each day I reach a new low in the pregnancy.

It's like the twins HAVE to let me know that they are healthy and in there every day, no matter what I am going through emotionally and physically. If they could hear me now, I'll like to tell them "eh guys it really is ok. Mummy can wait till the forthnightly scans to know or wait for her body to tell her otherwise." Not sure if they will listen to me though, esp if they are anything like their Daddy. Hmmm.

It's funny how much I love the twins before I even met them. Honestly, I didn't before recently given how sick the pregnancy was making me but with my energy back and ability to at least think about food, shovel some types of food in and keep it down (like lunch yesterday which was the only meal that stayed in - not breakfast - tuna on bread, and not dinner, prata), I am starting to think about the twins more and feel for them. I think the Oscar scan was the turning point, esp watching Twin B, whom I am getting the feel, is a girl. Twin A which is the more dominant one in pictures and movements, reminds me of my CEB and may be a boy. I don't really know but will soon enough. Already though, the thought that there are 3 hearts beating in my one body and thinking about the two of them the size of peaches with arms and legs all curled up in my belly (which is growing) makes me feel awed. And the fact that there are two at a time, I can't help but wonder often if they are asleep or awake or is one asleep and the other awake.

Fuzzy warm thoughts when I am not vomiting, rinsing my mouth from the puke or cleaning my vomit streaked hair in a public toilet sink.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2 and 2 is 4

All the denial, feelings in the world aren't worth much against the inescapable fact that no matter how one cuts or dices it, 2 plus 2 is 4.

Much of life is a numbers game and simplicity is best. And easily comprehended. I was always awed by my beloved ex-boss's ability to break down complex issues into the simplest terms and put them forth to the senior management and Board. That was one of the many things I was determined to learn from her.

And sometimes after doing all that, after we cut through all the arguments for and against, the issue at heart is "what do you want?". Once you have answered that, the next question is "what must you do to achieve it?"

I followed this approach for sometime till I realized that it wasn't working for me on a personal level because what I wanted yesterday isn't what I want now.

So I learnt how to address issues by having a second test qn to answer "will you in the future regret what (you want to do today?

This process of not wasting time on denial, forcing myself to accept facts as they are since facts don't lie like the equation of 2+2=4, and then breaking down the issues into the simplest terms before asking my modified question is working. With the emotions cut out of it, decisions are made easier, and better decisions are made.

I am no stranger to making bad decisions. But I am also no stranger to making hard and v tough decisions.

At the end of the day, I have to do what is best for those I love.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Living on a prayer

Yesterday was a good day - by good day I mean I only vomited twice. Once after lunch and once in the afternoon. Unlike the other good day that I had some weeks back where I spent the day resting, this good day was spent with my CEB doing volunteer work.

I was all prepared for the day - popped Reglan in the morning, dry ate (minimal fluids with food), 3 plastic bags stuffed in my bag to puke in, a thick sweater so I would not get feverish and do the heave o in front of the rest of the volunteers.

Surprisingly, I was kept so busy that this overrode the urge to puke (queasy feeling was still there) and in the evening when manning the registration counter, I talked so much that the excess saliva problem I have been suffering from the past week (spitting a lot) was not a problem anymore.

The best part of the whole day was having my CEB with me also doing volunteer work. Now, I had to do this work but he hadn't signed up for it and most certainly wasn't obliged to. But he still went ahead and gave 6 hours on a Sat afternoon to do charity work. I am so proud of my CEB for being such a selfless good good husband!
And in the morning, he went out early to queue to get my mother's birthday present!

I'm living on a prayer that things will continue to be as good as they were yesterday - health wise esp. I really appreciate not having the twins remind me that they are around every day by sending me to the toilet to do the puke-a-roo. I have plenty of reminders in the night when I am clambering out of bed at least thrice to go to the toilet. I think they are still sitting on my bladder which has become pint sized. Meh.

I am out of Zofran and I don't care to spend anymore on it since taking the last pill on Fri was a waste. I puked twice in the office within 4 hours and in the next hour, I had the churning stomach which meant big time trouble. Puking up bile and gasping up air as I crouched by the toilet bowl. First time this happened with Zofran. Before it would be just normal pukes with Zofran, not this consecutive heaving episode. Why why why isn't there anything that gets rid of symptoms like nausea and vomiting?

Funny thing about extended periods of suffering - while I can't adapt to the daily retching, vomiting, spitting, with the resignation that this didn't go away per the textbooks when it should, I have surrendered all hope of that miraculous day where I would wake up and feel like my old self. And without hope of an end to this misery, I am somehow more calm about the way things are.

Maybe the fact that I have 75% of my energy back, I am keeping most food down, and my nose is less sensitive (though I still abhor eggs and the smell of instant noodles seasoning) helps a great deal too.

Still 3kg down from my weight when I first found out but my jeans which were loose can't zip anymore. Time to get the Bellaband!

Ps: reached a new low tonight...vomited in the bath tub while washing my hair. Toilet bowl was too far and there was nowhere else to vomit. And of course the drainage got clogged with puke while I was sitting there so there I sat with puke swirling around me (could not get out immediately as my hair was lathered in shampoo). I am seriously starting to hate my body, adjust already damn it!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Shifting goal posts

I have got 65% of my energy back but I am still as sick as a dog, vomiting between 5 to 10 times (not counting dry retches) a day when on anti nausea medicine. If I do without the medication, it's like 15 times minimum and with acidic water flowing out at least once...oh, and the kind of consecutive heaving that brings me to my knees as I puke bile and acidic juices out.

So back to the medication I go despite the side effects and the cost. Did I mention that one freaking Zofran tablet costs more than SGD10? Take the dosage of 3 a day and we are looking at major damage a month. I am down to my last pill which I am saving for Friday when I have a long day at work full of meetings.

Raglan and another less effective anti nausea medicine prescribed (it was cheap) will have to suffice till this misery ends. I would of course love to be meds free but I have to be functional, or at least alive to do the twins any good. And yeah having my job would be most helpful too .

I am praying fervently still that this morning sickness will end since I am PAST when it should have ended. Truth be told I feel like collapsing in tears when I think about how the goalpost keeps getting pushed back - I hang on with the promised end in sight, and then when I hit that mark, I find that it isn't the end. It sucks. PREGNANCY SUCKS. You have to experience all this shit to get it. I wouldn't do this again. My body is just a huge let down but hey what's new about that.

The twins on the other hand are a different story. In the Oscar scan (the results were excellent), twin A (the gummy bear looking one) was sleeping, arms at the side. Twin B (the fuzzy looking one) was awake though and sucking at his/her hand, the legs bent in a cycling position. Beyond cute.

The next doctors checkup, when he did the scan, twin B looked like a gummy bear sleeping (could only see the heartbeat in his/her body) while twin A was active, moving about clearly and waving his/her arms.

I don't have a feel about their gender yet but we will know soon enough. I need to know to shop effectively. Right now I just get boys clothes if I don't see gender neutral ones. Girls can wear baby boys clothes and colors (Tom boys) but not the other way around.

If only the morning sickness will end so I can at least find the energy to read up on pregnancy, do what has to be done to prepare for their arrival, and enjoy the pregnancy, given that no matter what the outcome this time, it will be my last. Ever.