Grim Twins ~ Weeks 23-24

How far along? 23-24 Weeks Pregnant
Total weight gain: 17ish pounds…feeling very huge lately, but loving that I have a reason to!!!!!:)
Maternity clothes? Exclusively (other than Daddy’s shirts to sleep in ;0)
Stretch marks? A few small ones
Sleep: I wake up/roll around a LOT, so I end up napping once or twice a week. The usual: About 7-8 hours a night then 1-2 naps a week.
Best moment this week: 1) My first mother’s day was at the 24 week mark and it was perfect!  Ryan bought me a double heart necklace with Logan & Emma’s names in the hearts.  He did so great and it was so wonderful to finally be happy at Mother’s Day.  Although it’s still bittersweet because my heart still breaks for everyone still struggling with pregnancy loss and infertility. 😦  2) Our first baby shower was the day before Mother’s Day.  The theme was “Thing 1, Thing 2” 🙂  Ryan’s mom got to come up from Florida and we had a lot of work friends attend as well.  We definitely felt pretty spoiled and loved!  Emma & Logan are so loved!
Miss Anything?  Not really.  I LOVE being pregnant and am so thankful that I get this amazing opportunity.
Movement:  LOTS!!!  They are getting more and more powerful and Daddy has felt some pretty strong kicks!  Logan & Emma have even started making my belly move which is so cool to see.   Daddy and I get a kick out of watching them play and move.  It’s sooo amazing to feel.
Food cravings/aversions:  GETTING HUNGRY A LOT!!!!  Craving sammiches, french fries (potato anything) and fried pickles still.  LoL  Oh, and horchata. 🙂  NO real aversions.
Symptoms:  Feeling great but getting really sore off and on.  A little bit of back pain and quite a bit of stretching sensations and soreness
Anything making you queasy or sick:  The usual: Cigarette smoke and strong cologne/perfumes.
Labor Signs:  NO!  My body is still doing what it needs to and everything has looked great.  Praying we make it to at least 37 weeks with these two :)  I started to have braxton hicks contractions a few weeks ago, but they’re pretty sporadic.
Wedding rings on or off? On, except for at night because my hands swell more then.  A few times during the day i’ve had to take my rings off for a little while.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy still:)  I do get emotional, but i’ve been mostly happy
Looking forward to:  Getting to go home to Maine for our/my family baby shower.  It’ll be a sort of baby moon for us and our list trip home before these babies get here.  We even get to take the babies to their first Red Sox game at Fenway!

Grim Twins – Weeks 21-22

How far along? 21-22 Weeks Pregnant
Total weight gain: 13.5 pounds…goodness i’m getting huge! LoL  It’s a little scary, but as long as they’re healthy that’s all that matters:)
Maternity clothes? Exclusively (other than Daddy’s shirts ;0)
Stretch marks? A few small ones
Sleep: My neck has finally started to heal, so sleep is becoming MUCH easier.  I’m soooo thankful! The usual: About 8 hours a night and fewer interruptions.
Best moment this week: We got the call from our genetic counselor that both of our babies are perfectly healthy!!!  We did a DNA test called MaterniT21 and it came back as 99% chance of them being completely healthy!!!  My regular OB/GYN also calmed our nerves a lot more and let us know that the MFM docs always have to find something, but it’s nothing to be worried about.  We’re still going to monitor Logan’s kidney at 28 weeks just to make sure that he’s okay, but Doc thinks we have nothing to worry about.  We are so thankful that God is still watching out for our precious babies!!
Miss Anything?  Not really.
Movement:  LOTS!!!  They are getting more and more powerful and Daddy has felt some pretty strong kicks!  It’s sooo amazing to feel
Food cravings/aversions:  GETTING HUNGRY A LOT!!!!  Craving french fries (potato anything) and fried pickles still.  LoL  NO real aversions.
Symptoms:  Feeling great but getting really sore off and on.  A little bit of back pain and quite a bit of stretching sensations and soreness
Anything making you queasy or sick:  The usual: Cigarette smoke and strong cologne/perfumes.
Labor Signs:  NO!  Praying we make it to at least 37 weeks with these two :)
Wedding rings on or off? On, except for at night because my hands swell more then
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy still 🙂  I do get emotional, but i’ve been mostly happy
Looking forward to:  Our 3D Ultrasound is coming next Saturday afternoon and it should be so cool to see them now that they’re bigger and look more like babies. 🙂  Baby Showers!!!!  I can’t even wait!!!  And our Baby-Moon back home in Maine.  I’m so excited that it’s finally our turn 🙂

Grim Twins – Weeks 19 & 20

How far along? 19-20 Weeks Pregnant
Total weight gain: 11 pounds…holy cow i’m going to be huge!:)
Maternity clothes? Exclusively (other than Daddy’s shirts ;0)
Stretch marks? A few small ones
Sleep: Sleep has been difficult with my pulled muscle in my neck. 😦 The usual: About 8 hours a night but VERY interrupted.
Best moment this week: Getting to see them on our Anatomy/Anomaly Scan.  We had a big scare with an enlarged kidney for Logan (could be a sign of Downs, or plumbing problems or be absolutely nothing) and an enlarged Nuchal Fold for Emma (5.29 mm when it should be under 5, also a sign of Downs).  We are praying that God keeps them both healthy though and believing that He still has his hands on them!!  Still, it was amazing to see them and hear their precious heartbeats again…it never gets old!
Miss Anything?  Not really.
Movement:  LOTS!!!  Starting to feel them more and more.  Daddy is feeling a little bit but they like to stop when he puts his hands on my belly. 😦 ALready playing games with Daddy.
Food cravings/aversions:  GETTING HUNGRY A LOT!!!!  Craving french fries (potato anything) and fried pickles still.  LoL  NO real aversions.
Symptoms:  Feeling great but getting really sore off and on.  A little bit of back pain and quite a bit of stretching sensations and soreness
Anything making you queasy or sick:  The usual: Cigarette smoke and strong cologne/perfumes.
Labor Signs:  NO!  Praying we make it to at least 37 weeks with these two :)
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy still 🙂  I do get emotional, but i’ve been mostly happy
Looking forward to:  Baby Showers!!!!  And our Baby-Moon back home in Maine.  I’m so excited that it’s finally our turn 🙂

Grim Twins – Weeks 17 & 18

How far along? 17-18 Weeks Pregnant
Gender Predictions:  Mommy: Boy/Girl; Daddy: Boy/Girl (WE WERE BOTH RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Total weight gain: 4 lbs….still on track 🙂
Maternity clothes? Yep!! :)  And loving them
Stretch marks? A few small ones
Sleep: Sleeping much better.  I have my days where i’m just exhausted, and need a nap, but overall much better. The usual: About 8-9 hours a night.
Best moment this week: 17 Weeks 3 Days: We found out that we’re having a handsome boy and a beautiful girl!!!!  Our hearts are so overjoyed and overflowing with love for these two already.  It’s amazing how much love our hearts can contain.  I know I keep saying that at every new step, but there was nothing like getting to see them on screen and find out what we were having.  Plus, I love knowing that we have a Logan Connor and an Emma Riley on board!!! 🙂  Another amazing moment from the ultrasound was getting to see their little heads together!!!  They’re taking up more and more space so they’re starting to interact more and more and it was so beautiful to see their heads next to each other.  My prayer is that they stay close and the best of friends throughout their lives!!!
Miss Anything?  Not really.
Movement:  Felt the babies move for the very first time when Big Papi/David Ortiz was up at bat during Spring Training!  May 10th (the day after our 3 year anniversary)!! Red Sox babies already:)  Love our little New Englandahs:)  Later that night at dinner I felt my first kick!  It was amazing and I started crying right in the middle of Cheesecake Factory and scared Daddy!  I love it and can’t wait until Daddy can share in the experience :)
Food cravings/aversions:  GETTING HUNGRY A LOT!!!!  Craving french fries (potato anything) and fried pickles still.  And still craving those sammiches that I can’t have. LoL  NO real aversions.
Symptoms:  Feeling great but getting really sore off and on.  A little bit of back pain and quite a bit of stretching sensations and soreness
Anything making you queasy or sick:  The usual: Cigarette smoke and strong cologne/perfumes.
Labor Signs:  NO!  Praying we make it to at least 37 weeks with these two :)
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy…except for traffic in Savannah lol After so many months on and off the fertility drugs, my body is like “What?  Pregnancy?  Piece of cake these hormones!”
Looking forward to:  MORE SHOPPING/Setting up the nursery/Baby showers.  I’m so torn between being anxious for these babies to arrive and not wanting my pregnancy to end.  I absolutely LOVE being pregnant…love, love, LOVE IT!

Boys, Girls, or Both?!?!

This week (17 Weeks 3 Days) we had a special “fun” ultrasound gender scan with our doctor.  Daddy was supposed to deploy this Spring with his unit so our doctor told us he’d do a special scan just so that we could find out the sexes before he left. (Did I mention we ADORE our doc??)  I haven’t been this anxious since waiting for our first ultrasound to see if we were having twins and praying like crazy that they were both still “sticking” around!  Still NOTHING like waiting for the Beta test!!!!  It was pretty exciting though knowing that it couldn’t end in bad news. 🙂  Once you’ve struggled with infertility you can’t help but get nervous before appointments and ultrasounds, but now that I have my trusty heart rate monitor and I’m starting to feel the babies throughout the day my worry has GREATLY decreased.

We arrived at the doctor’s office shortly before my 3:30 appt and the office was slammed!  The sonographer is only there 1 day a week and they were closed the week of St. Patrick’s Day (love that it’s a holiday).   We had to wait until almost 4 for the ultrasound and our nerves were killing us by the time we got called back! Haha  Apparently the don’t know that I am the LEAST patient person on the planet and infertility only made it worse not better.  After going through the routine and getting everything set up, our sonographer asked if we wanted the sexes listed in an envelope or if we wanted to know.  We both were like “HECK NO!  The patience is gone!”  Haha  It’s a good thing too, because our sweet “Baby A”, let us know about two seconds after she put the wand on my belly.  No shyness whatsoever (takes after Daddy already)!  Haha  “Baby B” had to make things  a bit more interesting (must take after Mommy) and was being a little shy and stubborn.  Baby was hiding behind my belly button and I had to roll over to my side twice before we could get the right look.  Definitely made for a fun story for later though!!  Also, both babies are still looking great and their heartbeats were both at 156…nice and strong! 🙂  Doc ran the “quad screen” bloodwork to make sure that we’re not at risk for Down’s, etc.  We already know that we don’t have to worry about any genetic diseases because we were tested prior to beginning our fertility procedures.

Since our families are so spread out (Maine/NY/NC/Florida) we couldn’t do a gender reveal party and have everyone there, so we decided to skype the grandparents, call everyone else (aunts/uncles/great grandparents) and then post a video to social media.  Minus the fact that it took us WAY longer to accomplish this than expected, it worked out great!  Our pictures are below.

We were so very excited to find out that Baby A: is a BOY!!!!  And Baby B: is a GIRL!!!!  We are being blessed with one of each!! 🙂  We couldn’t be more thrilled and it makes it that much more real and exciting to know the genders and put names to our sweet babies. 🙂  We picked out names 4 years ago when we were still engaged and Ryan was downrange on his first 12 month deployment.  We went through a book called “1001 Questions to ask before you get married” (which I HIGHLY recommend to dating/engaged couples), and in the section discussing kids we got on the topic and fell in LOVE with these names.  It’s still a little strange to be sharing our secret with the world.  The names have come to mean SO very much more to us after our journey with infertility though and have truly learned to lean on God’s understanding and not on our own.

  • Our “Baby A”: is Logan Connor Grim. It’s a Scottish/Irish name meaning wise. We chose Proverbs 3:5-6 for his verse, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make straight your paths.”
  • Our “Baby B”: is Emma Riley Grim. Her name is English & Irish and it means whole and courageous. We chose Psalm 27:14 for her verse, “Wait on the Lord: Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”

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Grim Twins – Weeks 11 & 12

How far along? 11-12 Weeks Pregnant
Total weight gain: 0 still…although I feel like it!
Maternity clothes? Starting to need them a bit more 🙂
Stretch marks? A few small ones
Sleep: Still tired but not anywhere near as exhausted as I was. The usual: I try to get 7-8 hours at night, but then I still typically have to take at least a cat nap during the day a few days a week.
Best moment this week: I thought I felt some movements toward the end of Week 11, but I definitely felt like that’s what it was by the end of Week 12!!!  It’s such an amazing feeling already and I can’t wait to feel them more and more!
Miss Anything?  SANDWICHES still. LOL   
Movement:  I think i’m feeling little somersaults in there!! 🙂
Food cravings/aversions:  I’m usually hungry at dinner, but nothing ever sounds good at night.  I craved horchata, fried pickles and salads both weeks but I finally crossed them off at the end of week 11 😉
Symptoms:  A teeny bit nauseous in the morning but it’s mostly gone.  I’m starting to get more energy, but definitely getting really sore off and on.  The babies are growing for sure~
Anything making you queasy or sick:  The usual: Cigarette smoke and strong cologne/perfumes.
Labor Signs:  NO!  Praying we make it to at least 37 weeks with these two 🙂
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy…except for traffic in Savannah lol After so many months on and off the fertility drugs, my body is like “What?  Pregnancy?  Piece of cake these hormones!”
Looking forward to:  All of it!!!  Not trying to wish anything away, but definitely ready to be out of the first trimester so I can relax a little more.  I can’t wait to feel the babies moving more often and more deliberate and to share in everything with Ryan!  I can’t wait for other people besides us two to notice that i’m pregnant too 🙂 Anxious for the next ultrasound (February 26th).  And soooo ready to start shopping for the babies and setting up the nursery.

A person’s a person no matter how small

I’ve struggled for awhile on how to put this all into words.  IVF, In-Vitro Fertilization….I keep saying those words and it is still so surreal that this is real life for us.  Mayo Clinic defines it as“…a complex series of procedures used to treat fertility or genetic problems and assist with the conception of a child. During IVF, mature eggs are collected (retrieved) from your ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab.”

It all sounds so very clinical, simple, and unemotional.  Well, that first part can be true, but the rest is far from it.  This has been the most difficult, emotional, expensive, trying, beautiful, scary, exciting, exhilarating experience of my entire life.  The first time we met with our Reproductive Endocrinologist he walked us through the process of diagnostic tests that we would need and gave us our options moving forward.  Hearing IVF made my stomach tie up in our knots, but I never truly believed we’d have to go this far.  IVF is just something someone else does…lots of people get pregnant from IUI/Superovulation, right?  By the time that our 2nd round of SuperO failed and we put down the deposit to reserve our start date of 24 NOV it started to hit me, but it wasn’t until we went to our orientation that everything hit me.  Seeing the many, many drugs arrive on top of what we had done, reading through the file of documentation/paperwork/releases and having slips to get tested for all kinds of different diseases so that our embryos wouldn’t possibly be infected or affect others is just so much to take in.

Pretty much everyone I know in real life that has been through infertility did super-ovulation (like we did first) or IUI’s (similar to super-ovulation, only instead of intercourse, the sperm is placed inside the cervix to naturally fertilize any eggs) so I didn’t even have a community of people who understood.  Thankfully, I found an online community/support group of AMAZING women who understand and are going through/have gone through the same path that we’re traveling and understand all of the emotions.  Infertility, and especially IVF is very isolating.  While we had so many distant friends and family that were so supportive, we dealt with so many insensitive comments.    A few people even made us feel even worse by invalidating our feelings because it’s not “as bad as cancer or real problems”.

The first part of the process, the “Stimulation Cycle” was pretty close to what we had been through with our 3 superovulation cycles with a few new drugs.  However, it was definitely more intense.  There was so much riding on each of the appointments and we were much more nervous to make sure that my body was progressing the right way.  Plus, I was more sore since we had to have many more eggs than before (in superovulation, you only want one or two eggs to release).

The toughest part came after the retrieval “surgery” when I came off of all of the drugs.  My body had NO IDEA what to do going through withdrawals from all of the hormones and the wait to find out if we had embryos/would they make it/would they be healthy/would he have some left to freeze…the whole week was unbearable.  I also had some pretty insensitive comments directed toward me, but I guess many people just don’t think and empathize what someone is going through.  It was extra hurtful though being that I wasn’t in my right mindset either.

IVF is just so much to wrap your mind around.  The idea that your embryos are being created in a lab is a lot to come to terms with and be okay.  What I wasn’t expecting was the need I felt to protect them and be close to them.  After my surgery I missed my babies that I didn’t even know I had…I just wanted them back!  It’s like my maternal instincts kicked in automatically.  Poor Ryan had to deal with a few emotional breakdowns that I had that week, but he’s always the best at calming me down and getting me through it.  I can’t imagine the gut wrenching pain of losing babies that have been implanted back in you.  No matter how early it’s still the same or close to the same pain of having a miscarriage.  While many might disagree…our babies were our babies before they were ever put back in me.  I can’t explain how thankful we are and how blessed we truly are that they are both still with us!

It’s still hard to think about PCS’ing and having to leave the other babies behind until we can use them again, but i’m still thankful that we have some left for the future.  I still feel like it’s all been a dream and I can’t believe it’s finally our turn and it finally worked!!!

~Melissa Grim, IVF Twin Mommy