Monday, November 26, 2012

4 Months

It just doesn't seem possible. I cannot believe that my tiny little babies are 4 months old.  Also unbelievable?  It's been 2 weeks since I've blogged!  I've not even been able to keep up with reading them, much less sit down to write anything.  My twins are busy, you guys.  Oh well.  On to the update!

Molly has learned to blow raspberries.   That's a really sweet way of putting it, since what she's actually doing is spitting all over anything that comes within a foot of her face.  It's all my fault.  I though it would be so cute, and she is a great mimic, so I spent hours one day blowing kisses and sputtering at her.  As predicted, she picked it up really quickly and the rest is history:


We definitely have our hands full with this little comedian- she smiles/laughs freely and often, and is pretty laid back.  If the television is on, she will do everything in her power to turn and watch it (note to self- leave the channel on Sprout, not TLC!).  Tummy time is getting harder, because she will roll over to her back once she's had enough.  She has also discovered that she has fingers, and that they are delicious, so full body swaddling is out of the question for sleep.  If those little hands are tucked away, she fights and wiggles until they're free.  It's made our bedtime routine slightly more challenging, but she is much happier.  I really love this little girl!

Jack is also a champion at getting his slobber all over EVERYTHING, because he's teething and drools non-stop.  I'm praying that his hurting gums are the reason for his hair-trigger temper.  We jokingly call him Dr. Jackyll (like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but Jackyll?  Because his name is Jack?  Nevermind...).  One minute you have the smiling Jack that I adore and the next instant, he is shrieking like a little girl.  Only little girls don't even sound this pitiful!  These fits only happen when he is hungry or extremely tired.  At least he's predictable.

When he's not throwing a full-fledged temper tantrum, he is such a loving baby.  Our little stoic won't dole out easy smiles and laughs, but he can cuddle with the best of them.  Those hard won giggles are so completely worth it, because this face melts my heart:


The sweetest moments with Jack are at night right before bed.  Once he is swaddled (arms out, of course), we rock for a bit and he just laughs.  I think that he might be laughing at me, thinking "You really think I'm ready to go to sleep?  No way!".  Regardless of the reason, it's easily my favorite time with him.

Molly and Jack could not be any less alike if they tried.  Where one is funny and calm, the other is contemplative and temperamental.  Molly is high-energy and low-maintenance, while Jack is the complete opposite.  I think they complement each other just perfectly.  Happy 4 months, little ones.  They've been the best, most challenging 4 months of my life!

***Edited to add:  I re-read my 3 month update, and realized that Molly and Jack have completely reversed roles over the past month.  Molly has gone from being my difficult child to the reliably "good" one and Jack went from generally calm to bipolar.  How do they change so fast?





Sunday, November 11, 2012

Routines Rock!

Houston, we have a sleep routine.  It's not perfect and it's not always pretty, but it is predictable.  That's a score in my book.

I posted few weeks ago about out nap/bedtime failures, but I am pleased to report that we've made a fair bit of progress.  It's 11pm and I am watching the babies sleep on the video monitor.  To celebrate this small victory, I'll let you peek in on a typical day at our house:

7ish am-  Wake up, get dressed and start the day with the breakfast of (baby) champions.  Bottle time!  After eating, we spit up, play, have tummy time and spit up some more. 

8:30 am- Down for our first nap.  Molly in her bouncer and Jack in the MamaRoo.  Jack generally needs to be swaddled, and Molly is about 50:50 on needing to be wrapped for this nap.  We're using SwaddleDesigns blankets during their daytime naps.  I love, love, love these blankets!

9:15-10:30 am- Awake again.  Depending on how long this nap runs, we might read or play until it's time to eat again.

10:30ish am- Eat, then play and catnap!

2 pm- Yep, you guessed it.  Another bottle.

2:30-3 pm-  Make baby burritos and lay them down for a nap in their cribs.  They usually sleep 2-2.5 hours in the afternoon.  This is my chunk of time to wash dishes, fold laundry and make bottles.  If I'm lucky, I might get a nap, too!

5 pm- Stretch, coo and smile!  We play in the nursery for a few minutes while their bottles are heating up, then it's time for more milk.  After this feeding, we play and fuss in equal measures.  One minute we are all happy on the floor and before you can get comfortable, it's time to pace and shush because they are screaming.  Definitely the toughest part of the day!

8 pm- Start our bedtime routine:  Bathe the babies, get into our pajamas, and eat again.  Molly is zipped into her Woombie and Jack slips into a sleep sack or gets swaddled with his arms out.  Finally, it's time for bed.  Around 8:45 or 9pm, we read a book or sing lullabies, say our prayers and go to sleep!

3-4 am-  One of the babies (generally Molly) wakes up to eat, so they both get changed and fed before going back to sleep.

7 am- Start the whole shebang all over again!

Now that we've started paying attention to these patterns, the babies' moods make so much more sense!  A lot of their daytime fussy spells were caused by being terribly overtired.  I was completely missing their sleep cues.  Jack still fights sleep, but once he is wrapped he is down for the count.  Molly has adjusted well to a few longer naps instead of catnapping constantly.  We are all happier when we know what to expect from the day.  Routines rock.





Thursday, November 8, 2012

I Need Rehab

I've fallen of the "Thankful" wagon. Please forgive me! Today, I'm grateful for second (and third, and fourth...) chances. I will try harder to post everyday. Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 5 (and a half)

Day 5.5- I am so thankful that I live in a country that prides itself on freedom of mind. Regardless of which candidate you vote for today, please exercise your right!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day 4


Day 4-  Today,  I am thankful for my amazing husband.  He shares equally in the care of Molly and Jack, and is the best middle-of-the-night feeding partner in the world.  There were never two people more made for each other, and I am so glad that I decided to make him mine. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 3

Day 3- Today, I'm thankful for date night.  Since the twins were about a month old, Paul and I have had a standing date every other Saturday.  Our moms take turns watching the babies so that we can have a few hours away from the chaos at our house.  It is amazing how these dates help us recharge and reset, and we actually get to talk about something other than feeding/sleeping/pooping schedules!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 2!


Day 2- Today, I am thankful for two healthy babies. We were blessed with a relatively uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery, and took home two near-term twins. Tonight, I am working in the pediatric ICU and I am reminded that not every family is so lucky.

Sleepy Things


Thursday, November 1, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness

I'm not normally one to jump on the bandwagon of these things, but I really love the idea of 30 Days of Thankfulness.  There are so many blessings in my life, but like many people, I tend to take them for granted.  During the next month, I will make a concerted effort each day to post for which I am thankful.  Perhaps you'll be inspired to do the same!


 Day 1- Today I am thankful for two amazing families- one that I was born into and one I chose to marry into. Without them, the past 3 months would have been nearly impossible.  Whether lending an extra set of hands, or just listening to my endless worries, they have been such an incredible blessing!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

3 months (and 2 days)


Molly and Jack are 3 months and two days old, but who's counting, right?  This update is bittersweet, because I am going back to work today.  Don't get me wrong- I love my job...  I just love being a mom more.  There is nothing I'd rather do than watch these amazing babies develop and evolve.  It seems like they are growing so quickly, and each day they change a bit.  Whether it's learning a new trick or reacting to previously ignored stimuli, I cannot get enough of their sweet, squishy little faces!  And I'm terrified that I'm going to miss something.  I want to experience all of their firsts first-hand.

Then and Now:  those "coming home" outfits are busting at the seams!

The past month has brought so many fun changes.  Jackson has (mostly) outgrown his colic and is the sweetest, most loving little boy.  He loves to snuggle and is starting to laugh out loud.  There's nothing more adorable than seeing him giggle when we are playing airplane!  His smile is absolutely infectious- it's impossible not to grin when you see him doing it.

Miss Molly is a bit more fussy than her easy going brother.  It's almost like they've reversed roles.  I think that she has realized that crying gets attention though, because her moods turn on and off so quickly.  This is going to be one high-maintenance little girl.  She smiles a lot and has discovered that she can stick out her tongue- what a smart girl!  "Where's your tongue?" has quickly become our favorite game.

They have both found their hands, and love chewing them in a slobbery fury. Bath time is still one of the best parts of our day- sweet smelling, sleepy babies just can't be beat.  We've also adopted a fabulous new sleep routine.  This is such a monumental feat that it deserves a post of its own.  Overall, it's been a pretty eventful month, and I can't wait to see what the next one holds!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Who's Training Who? A Sleep Story.

There is a battle of wills going on in our house, and the babies are winning.  They dictate every moment of every day- not that this is a terrible thing, but I feel like we need some sort of order because the chaos is driving me crazy.  This is a blatant plea for advice from moms who have been through the first few months of a child's life and lived to tell about it!  We are completely lost when it comes to sleep patterns, and when we should start to implement some sort of nap/play/eat/sleep routines.  Lulu at The Wild Rumpus has recently sleep trained her adorable Alex, but I wonder in Molly and Jack are too young.  Help! 

Currently, our day has no real structure.  The babies eat every 3 hours.  This is the only thing I can count on.  They will sleep for 30 minutes, then wake up fussy- but they generally don't sleep at the same time. I try to keep them awake for more extended periods so they'll have longer, more predictable nap times but I'm failing miserably.  Once I pick them up to console them (because if they're awake, they are often crying), they fall asleep for 15 minutes.  And then they wake up crying.  Again.  This is how we spend the day.

Our night routine is slightly more regular.  They eat around 10 and will often sleep for 4-5 hours after this last night feeding.  Jackson rarely wakes up first, but when Molly wakes to eat, Jack gets woken up to keep them on the same schedule.  I really want to let him sleep, but am terrified that I will be up every hour if they get out of sync.  Everything is more difficult with twins, isn't it?!

Please tell me if I'm worrying prematurely about all of this.  I know that M & J won't go to kindergarten requiring sleep in 15 minute intervals.    Well...  I hope not. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

2 Months!


I never knew that time could pass by so quickly.  The twins are 2 months old today.  We are starting to develop a routine, which makes days much easier to navigate.  Life is easier when you know what to expect!



Miss Molly:
You weigh just under 8 lbs and are still firmly in newborn clothes.  Most of your adorable 0-3 month stuff just swallows you, little girl!  You've certainly come a long way from your scrawny 4lb 13oz self, but next to Jack you seem so tiny.  Nap is still a four letter word.  You fight sleep more than any baby I've ever known!  Just when we think you might be out, those big blue eyes pop open and you just stare at us.  Thankfully, bedtime is usually another story- once you are fed and zipped into your Woombie, we lay you in your NapNanny and you will sleep for 4-6 hours.  Mommy loves watching you sleep because you make the funniest faces!




Jackson Man:
You're such a chunk with the chubbiest squishable cheeks!  At almost 10 lbs, you are running away from your little sister.  You look like such a little man sometimes.  I am completely in love with your seriousness-  you are definitely your mother's child!  Every now and then you'll give your Daddy a big smile, but you save them for really special occasions (like playing airplane!).  The colic seems to be getting a little better every week, but evenings are still really hard.  Between 5-9pm most nights, you and Molly both cry for at least 1-2 hours and it breaks my heart.  When it's time for bed, I am just as worn out from your screaming as you are!  



Happy 2 Month Birthday, little ones.  It has been the craziest, most amazing two months of my life.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

In which I discuss my boobs.

If you are pregnant and have sweet visions of forging this amazing, pain-free bond while nourishing your tiny little infant, stop reading here. You've been warned!

As I mentioned here, nursing didn't really work out for us. It just wasn't in the cards. So, for the past 8 weeks, I have spent at least 4 hours per day hooked up to a milking machine to provide breast milk for Molly and Jack.  I am pumping 8 times per day for 30 minutes each time.  Trust me- all this suction is NOT natural, and it does a number on your nipples. They crack and blister, and generally look nothing like the ones you remember from your pre-pumping days. It's really gross and it hurts.  I spent a stupid amount of money on tubes of lanolin, prescription creams, and different sized flanges in an attempt to lessen the pain of pumping, which brings me to the point of this post. I have found a fabulous product that actually works, and that I wish I'd had from day one.




Pumpin Pals flanges are freaking amazing.  They look a little wonky- kind of like Shrek's ears, right?  But trust me.  These ripply pieces of plastic have single-handedly saved my pumping sanity.  The angle of the flanges lets me relax and sit back a bit, which isn't possible with the Medela flanges I was using.  Even better?  Three days after the switch, the cracks that plagued me for 8 weeks were completely healed and my nipples weren't killing me.  I could hold Molly and Jack without wanting to scream!  I debated the purchase for several weeks, because I couldn't justify spending even more money trying to make my milk-gathering mission less painful.  My only regret now is that I didn't buy them sooner.  Combined with my Simple Wishes Hands-Free Pumping Bra,  I'm in pumping nirvana  Woot woot!!



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Things I've learned...

The last 6 weeks have taught me so much.  I've helped raise 2 younger brothers, 4 nieces and 2 nephews.  However, when the child in question is yours, all bets are off.  Suddenly, you become the most ignorant person alive.  Here are a few things I desperately wish people would have told me before the babies arrived.

1.  You will cry a LOT at first, and wonder what the heck you've gotten yourself into.  It's normal, but you feel like complete crap when these things creep into your head.  The first few days/weeks are really, really, really hard, so go easy on yourself.  If I'd known these feelings were normal, I'd have talked to someone about them instead of feeling ashamed.  These passing thoughts do not make you a terrible mother.  They make you human, albeit a thoroughly stressed out and overwhelmed human.

2.  You can accomplish much more than you ever thought possible-  things like hauling two 6 week old babies to 4 different stores in less than 2 hours because there are things that you cannot do without (like dog food, perhaps?).  It is also totally possible to push a stroller and pull a shopping cart at the same time.  Note that I didn't say fun, easy or enjoyable, but it is definitely possible. 

3.  No one is as hard on you as you are on yourself.  Whether you have issues with breastfeeding, or colic, or you're just not sure how to do this whole "raising a kid" thing, you'll figure it out.  No one will judge or second-guess your decisions more harshly than you will, but if your baby is fed, changed and loved, then you're doing it right. 

4.  It is so important to maintain a connection with your significant other.  Taking care of children is stressful and time-consuming, and it is so easy to neglect the relationship that brought your babies into being.  A hug and an "I love you" goes a long way when you are both frazzled, exhausted and snippy!

5.  What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  Literally.  I'm going to have killer legs from all of the squats and lunges I do on a daily basis and the babies aren't even mobile yet.  I have spent more time on the floor of my living room in the past 6 weeks than in the 6 years we've lived in this house!  Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure I'm also going to need knee replacements from the aforementioned exercise.

Any more tips or pieces of sage wisdom you'd like to share before I figure it out for myself (and wonder why you didn't tell me in advance)?





Friday, August 24, 2012

One Month

Molly and Jack,


It is so hard to believe that this time last year, we were just starting our IVF journey.  Where has the time gone?  You are one month old.  The past several weeks have been a whirlwind of smiles, yawns and screams.  It's hard to remember what our life was like before you arrived because every moment of every day is now dedicated to you!  For your birthday, we got you both a prescription for Zantac to battle your terrible reflux.  We hope you like it! 


Molly, you are our Little Bit. Unless you are hungry, you have been quite content to carefully observe every detail of your surroundings.  You'll spend hours just looking around with those big bright eyes- nothing gets past you!  When you decide you want something though, you want it now.  Hell hath no fury like a hungry Molly, but once we put on your bib, you immediately get quiet and start rooting for your bottle.  It's ridiculously adorable.  You love bath time, hate diaper changes and are ambivalent about tummy time.  I am in awe of how strong your little personality is already!


Jackson,  where do I start Big Guy?  There is nothing sweeter than kisses from a happy Jack, and nothing more heartbreaking than wails from a colicky one.  I think I've cried along with you at least once every day.  Warm baths and sunshine are our secret weapons to combat the fussiness.  You absolutely love being swaddled- I think it helps your little belly.  Sleep seems to be a favorite activity of yours, but you will only rest well when you are bundled up tight.  Your Nana and Nanny call your wraps baby straightjackets.  I'm sure that you and Molly have an agreement that she'll let you know if anything important happens while you are dreaming, because you'd certainly miss out on it otherwise!  No one would dare call you a laid-back baby, but you definitely are a loving little man when your tummy isn't acting up.

You two couldn't be any less alike, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Love,
Mom


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Overacheiver?

Jackson rolled over yesterday from his belly to his back.  I'm debating on whether this means that he is completely gifted, or that his temper is going to be a big problem in the near future.  I'm putting my money on the latter.  Apparently, tummy time isn't nearly as fun as it sounds.


video

Disclaimer:  No child was harmed in the making of this video.  Does videoing my screaming chlid make me a horrible mother?  Maybe.  Would I regret not taping this momentous occasion in 20 years?  Absolutely! 
 


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Amazed


I am constantly amazed that Molly and Jack are mine.  I am now responsible for these tiny little lives, and I'm loving every minute of it.  Please forgive my lack of updates- things are a bit hectic still!  Our routine is somewhat predictable, but chaotic at times.













M & J sleep well between night feedings and they are awake most of the day.  It's crazy how alert they are!  Especially Molly.  She has two speeds: wide awake and fast asleep. Either way, she's generally happy.  Jackson is a bit more challenging- he is colicky almost all day and we suspect that he has reflux, but those sweet moments when he smiles, gurgles and stares at you more than make up for all of his fussiness!



Being Jack and Molly's mom is the coolest job in the world.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Feeding Frenzy

I think that we've been through every feeding method know to man with Molly and Jackson over the past 18 days.  From nursing, to syringe feeding, to pumping and bottle feeding, to bottle feeding formula, back to a combination of nursing and pumping, and finally just pumping and bottle feeding breastmilk.  Just typing all of that was exhausting! 

Syringe feeding Miss Molly      Multitasking with bottles!
When we found out that we were expecting twins, I just assumed that I would breastfeed them.  It never even crossed my mind that we might have issues with poor latching, excessive weight loss or immature/inefficient sucking reflexes.  Then the twinfants decided to make their appearance a bit early, and here we are.  Because they were "normal" sized babies, it's easy to forget that they were several weeks premature...  but their eating issues certainly give them away.  Neither one of them latch well, and they burn more calories trying to nurse then they are take in.  Breastfeeding just isn't working for us. 

I have stressed and worried more about how and what they are eating, and tend to forget that the important thing is that they are eating.  Since making the decision to pump exclusively, they have both gained weight and are much happier babies.  So why do I feel like a failure when it comes to feeding them?




Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Best Day Of Our Lives

11:30am on Monday, July 23.  That was the date and time set for the arrival of our little ones.  Neither one of us slept much the night before.  Paul painted my toenails (blue and pink, naturally)-  it had been a long time since I could reach them myself. He did a pretty good job, considering he'd never done it before!


My super swollen piggies!
 A nurse from the newborn nursery came to visit and had us fill out some paperwork for the twins and suddenly, they were real.  Their names had been written on crib cards, and their admit paperwork had been filled out.  M & J were coming!  I couldn't eat or drink after midnight, so I was starving, excited and nervous.

M & J's paperwork!
 Paul and I woke up at 7am to take showers and regroup during the last few hours of life, as we knew it.  After showering and putting on my awesome delivery gown (Thanks, Kelley!), I put on a little makeup so I would look somewhat presentable in the pictures.  The simple act of drying my hair and primping a little bit helped to ease my growing anxiety about knowingly going into major surgery!


Dr. Jones, my MFM, came in to do a last minute ultrasound to check weight and positions of the babies.  Both Molly and Jackson had turned frank breach, so I am glad we were already planning on a c-section!  Molly was estimated to weight about 6 lbs, and Jackson checked in at 6 1/2 lbs.  By 9:30, my pre-op lab had been drawn and the team from Labor & Delivery had come to check on me and have me fill out even more paperwork, and at 10:15, I was in my L&D suite.  My IV had infiltrated, so after a new 18 gauge (ouch!) catheter had been placed, my antibiotics were started and IV fluids were hung.  The anesthesiologist came in to fill out the paperwork for my spinal block, and explain exactly what would happen once I hit the operating room.  Things were starting to move really quickly!

My doctor was delayed a bit at her clinic, so we weren't ready to start until around 12:00- the waiting was the hardest part, I think!  At noon, I was wheeled into the OR.  I started to cry almost immediately-  it's a very strange thing to be on the receiving end of a surgery you've seen performed a thousand times.  Knowing exactly what is going on below the blue curtain is scary!

Because we delivered at the hospital where Paul and I work, we were allowed a few special requests.  We'd asked a few NICU nurses to be in the OR and our favorite fellow NICU RT was there, too.  Kelley (the aforementioned delivery gown maker) happens to be an NICU nurse as well, and she agreed to take pictures in the OR.  All told, there were 14 people in the delivery room.  I think that might be a record!

A few of the awesome people who were with us!

While my spinal block was being placed, Paul scrubbed in.  Our OB had agreed to let him "catch" the babies- once Molly and Jackson were out and their cords had been cut, Paul would be the first person to hold them and carry them to the warmers.  Once the whole OR team was ready and I was pronounced sufficiently numb, the surgery was started.  Everyone was great about telling me exactly what was going to happen next, and how it would feel.  After a bit of pressure, tugging and pulling, Jackson was born at 12:36 pm.  My OB announced that he was a boy before she even delivered him- apparently, the first thing she felt was boy parts!  Talk about an entrance...   Paul took him to the warmer, and he started to cry.  The moment your baby cries for the first time is honestly the most amazing second of your life.  A few minutes later, at 12:38 pm, Molly made her grand entrance.  She was delivered to her warmer screaming and squalling.  After both babies were examined, Paul brought them for me to see them.  The mix of emotions I felt seeing them for the first time was overwhelming.  They were here.  In the span of two minutes, the life we knew was irreversibly and undeniably changed for the better.  We were parents.



There is nothing that I would change about the way they came into our lives.  Every aspect of their birth was amazing and absolutely perfect.  I cannot say enough about my OB, her NP and the group of people who made Molly and Jackson's birth day possible.  We are so incredibly blessed.


1 Samuel 1:27 (KJV)
For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The briefest of updates!

Jackson and Molly

Molly and Jackson are here!  They arrived at 12:36 and 12:38 pm on Monday, July 23.  Miss Priss weighed 5lbs, 7oz and was 18 1/2 inches long.  Big Boy was 6lbs, 14oz and was 21 1/2 inches long.  Both went straight to the newborn nursery- no NICU time! 

I will post an update soon with more details, but wanted to let my blog buddies know that we are all alive and well.  We've stumbled upon quite a few roadblocks:  My blood pressure is still rising and the swelling is out of control! The twins are having a little trouble maintaining their temperatures, so they are currently in an incubator in our room.  It seems like none of us are going home on time, which is just fine with me as long as we get to stay together.  We'll get things figured out soon enough and be on our way home- just not as soon as we'd hoped. 


Molly and Jack                              Molly & Jack again!



Sunday, July 22, 2012

Birthday Eve

Dear Molly and Jackson,

We are in the final homestretch of the amazingly long and complicated journey that brought you into existence.  I cannot begin to explain how much I love you, and you aren't even born yet.  Tonight, I am praying for everything to go smoothly and for you two to come into this world kicking and screaming.  Nothing else matters at this moment except that you are healthy. 

Your Daddy is beyond excited to meet you both- I have never seen him so happy and so full of anticipation before.  When I get anxious about how our lives are about to change, I look at him and realize that this is exactly the plan God had in mind for us.  You aren't puzzle pieces that complete a half-finished picture, but are the embellishments that enhance something that was already pretty perfect to begin with.  

Please know that you are loved beyond measure and you will never, ever have reason to doubt how much you were wanted.  I am in awe of you already, and cannot believe that you are mine. 

Love,
Mom

Sharing


A birthday, that is!  Unless something goes awry before then, on July 23 we will probably meet Molly and Jackson.  July 23 also happens to be my birthday as well, and I can't imagine a better gift.

How We Got Here:

Just your standard NST!
First, it's worth mentioning that my doctor has been on a cruise ship in the middle of nowhere for the past week, and will not be back until Monday.  Her nurse practitioner is fabulous, and we know we are in great hands while she's gone.  I was left with explicit instructions NOT to go into labor or make any sort of baby noises while she was out of town. Apparently, I am not very good at following directions. 

On Thursday, we went to a routine weekly appointment.  The Bio-Physical Profile ultrasound looked great- fluid levels were good, M & J measured right on track, and they were moving like crazy!  Once we were back in the exam room, the NP asked if I watched the nurse weigh me and if it was accurate.  I've been basing my weight gain on my home scale because it's consistent,  so I generally don't pay a lot of attention to the numbers at the doctor's office.  For some reason, I did watch on Thursday-  I laughed, and said that she actually spared me a pound to be nice.  Excluding that measly pound, I'd gained 14 pounds in 8 days.  This weight gain, coupled with super-shiny, tight calves and a blood pressure of 154/96 earned me a trip to L&D for "observation" and a 24-hour urine protein collection to rule out pre-eclampsia versus gestational hypertension.

The results weren't promising- my protein levels are high and my blood pressure is still elevated.   My hemoglobin was also pretty low, so I got 2 units of blood yesterday, too.  Our status was changed from "observation" to "in-patient", and we will stay put until the babies make their debut.

How Paul is passing the hours. 
  
How I'm spending my time...














My OB has been texting all day with her partners and my MFM, threatening their lives if they deliver me before Monday without a very good reason.  I do have pre-eclampsia and the twins need to come soon, but there is nothing emergent going on right this very second.  Truthfully, I would much rather wait on my doctor as long as it's not detrimental to our little ones (or myself). 

So, long-story-not-so-short, it looks like I might get to share a birthday with my babies.  How special is that? 


Monday, July 16, 2012

Conflicted

I am 35 weeks and 1 day.  That's a pretty awesome accomplishment, I think.  However, as I inch closer to being "term" with twins, I spend a good chunk of each day arguing with myself.  During the day, I thank God that I am still pregnant and that M & J are growing and getting ready for their arrival.  However, Every.Single.Night, I pray that I go into labor so that I can start recovering from the insomnia and general pain that goes along with carrying 12 lbs of babies and 50 lbs of extra weight around.  Nighttime just stinks, and I dread the sun going down, because I know that these feelings will creep in.

Even typing this makes me feel like a horrible mother, because I know it would be ideal to carry these guys for 3 more weeks.  BUT, because I work in the NICU, I also know that if Molly and Jackson decided to make their debut today, there is a strong chance that they would come home with me.  If they did end up in NICU, the time spent there would most likely be very minimal. 

That's the thing about arguing with yourself, though.  There are no winners- it is beyond frustrating.  It's sunny right now though, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we make it for a few more weeks.  I can't imagine how this post would read had I written it after 9pm!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

34 weeks- stick a fork in me!

Please forgive my pitiful lack of posting.  Everything is just fine, but there are lots of reasons I've been slacking.  Chief among them is the fact that I can't really feel my fingers, which makes typing really difficult.  This is also the reason I haven't finished my Thank You notes from our showers, and my baby blankets probably won't be finished before the babies get here. Things could definitely be worse, but I had no idea how hard things are be when your fingers don't respond appropriately to your commands.  Enough whining:  here's an update!

Weight Gained: 51 lbs-  I cannot believe I've gained 1/3 of my pre-pregnancy weight.  I'm now 33% heavier than I was 8 months ago!

Cravings:  I am averaging 5 ICEEs a week. I know, I know- they have no positive nutritional content whatsoever, but it's been 100+ degrees here and this gal is HOT!

Food Aversions:  More than 5 bites of anything solid.  I can drink water/juice like I'll never see another glass, but after a few bites of "real" food I'm done.  Heartburn is almost instantaneous, and I feel like I've eaten a 7 course meal.  There's just no room for food in my belly anymore!  Miraculously, this is not preventing me (or the babies) from gaining weight...
  
Symptoms:  Insomnia, carpal tunnel, nausea and edema galore!  Without pharmaceutical intervention, I cannot sleep and therefore cannot function.  My doctor gave my a prescription for Ambien, and it's been a lifesaver.  I got more sleep in one night after taking it than in the previous week without it.  It took a few days of courage-gathering before I decided to take it but in hindsight, I wish I would have talked to my doctor sooner.  It makes all of the other uncomfortable-ness so much more bearable when I'm rested. 

How I'm Feeling:  Medium Rare.  In other words, almost done.  I have days when I think "I can't do this anymore!" and days where I feel pretty good.  They balance each other out.  Either way, we will meet Molly and Jack in less than 4 weeks.   Where did the time go?

Exciting Stuff:  The babies are almost done cooking!  Whether the nursery is perfect, or the house is completely baby-proof, M & J will be here soon.  While this is completely terrifying, I am so excited to meet them.  They make themselves known on a very frequent basis- rolling around, stretching and vying for more space.  Jackson is measuring 6 lbs 2 oz, while Molly is holding her own at a respectable 4lbs 9oz.  I'm carrying almost 11 pounds of baby, y'all!!

Weekly Worries:  You know what they say about the best laid plans?  My original goal was to work until July 1st.  Paul and I then modified said plan and I decided to work until the end of July to maximize my time off once the twins arrived.  Ultimately, this decision was not up to me at all- my MFM doctor decided put me on modified bed rest on Thursday.  He is concerned that with the babies' rapidly increasing weight (read: because Jack is such a porker), my cervix won't hold up much longer if I stay on my feet.  While they would most likely be just fine, with minimal NICU time, if they were born today, my goal is to bring these guys home with me from the hospital.  So, I am piddling around the house, resting and waiting.  I have amazing bosses, so hopefully the time off will work itself out.  It always does, right?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Strange Bedfellows


I've mentioned in a few of my update posts that I have been battling restless leg syndrome for the past couple of months.  Apparently, it's completely normal in pregnancy but that didn't stop me from cursing this blasted condition on a daily basis while I fought sleep.  One particularly bad morning, I was pacing from my bedroom to the kitchen trying not to lose my mind, and decided to consult Dr. Google.  I stumbled upon an article with over 300 comments that all touted the benefits of placing a bar of ordinary bath soap under the fitted sheet on your bed.  In my sleep-deprived hysteria, I immediately ran to the bathroom, found a new bar of soap and shoved it under the sheet at the foot of my bed.  Had I spared a few moments to consider how ridiculous this sounds, I'm sure I'd have poo-poo'd the idea entirely-  but I was desperate and exhausted.

I crawled back into bed, got comfortable, and waited for the tell-tale crazies to start.  And I waited.  15 minutes passed, and my legs didn't feel crazy.  30 minutes with no tingling.  I even shook my legs trying to induce jitters to make sure that they weren't just laying in wait to ambush me once I fell asleep.  For the first time in months, I didn't feel the need to jump out of bed and walk around to relieve my restless legs!  Hallelujah.

But WHY does this work?  I honestly have no idea.  Google yields nothing on the subject, except that it works for a lot of people.  Maybe it's all in my head- something as simple as the power of suggestion, but I don't care.  Now I can lie in bed and focus on my numb hands and fingers instead.  Unfortunately, the soap doesn't cure pregnancy-related carpal tunnel syndrome.


Monday, June 18, 2012

31 weeks (and one day....)

30 weeks, 2 days at Baby Shower #1!

 Weight Gained: 43 lbs- that's all I'm going to say about that!

Cravings: Fruit!  I try to keep a big bowl of berries cut up in the fridge for easy access.  Unfortunately, there's no protein in fruit.  Why can't I crave meat?  Are you listening babies?  We need more protein!!

Food Aversions:  No changes here-  I'll eat pretty much anything in small amounts, but I rarely feel hungry anymore.
  
Symptoms:  I'm still swollen.  Paul has been calling my legs tree trunks for the past few weeks, in the sweetest way possible, I'm sure.  My hands/fingers are numb or tingly most of the time, and I cannot sleep to save my life.  My belly is starting to feel incredibly heavy, and I am always short of breath.  All of these fabulous things bring us to....

How I'm Feeling:  Miserable.  I'm just going to say it, because this is my blog and I can.  I wouldn't trade it for the world and I'm honestly going to miss being pregnant, but I am worn out.  My body seems to like being pregnant though, because the twins are thriving and my cervix is holding up.  Funny, considering how much it rebelled against actually getting pregnant!

Exciting Stuff: Jackson's kidneys are looking good!  If nothing changes, we will do a renal ultrasound about 2 weeks after birth to double check, but the dilation is almost completely resolved.  As of my last MFM visit, I'm carrying almost 7 lbs of babies- Jackson's estimated weight was 3lbs, 11oz and Molly weighed 3lbs, 2oz.  They are just perfect!  Also, I've read 3 books in the past 2 weeks since I can't sleep.  I might as well do something worthwhile while I'm laying in bed trying to get comfy, right?

Weekly Worries:  If everything goes according to plan, I will probably stop work the first week of July.  I'm not sure why this worries me, but every time I think about it, I panic.  I've never been off of work for any appreciable length of time.  Also, leaving work means that the babies are almost here, and that scares me to death.  I'm irrationally terrified- what if I can't console them, or or I completely stink at being a mom?  Logically, I know that things will be fine, but I didn't name my blog "The Worry Bird" for nothing!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Baby Shower Story


On Tuesday, our friends and co-workers from NICU held a baby shower for us.  I honestly can't remember the last time I attended a party in my honor!  We were completely overwhelmed by the love and support from this amazing group of people and this is a huge statement,  because kindness and generosity is just something that goes along with the territory with these guys.  They are some of the greatest people I've ever known, and it is humbling to realize how much they love Molly and Jackson.

After we opened all of the beautifully wrapped gifts, Paul and I looked at each other in complete disbelief-  these things were thoughtfully chosen for our babies.  Just for us.  Some were handmade, some were purchased from our registry, and others were offered because they were indispensable when the giver had their children.  Each item was meant especially for us to help start our family.  Unbelievable.

Once the bags and tissue paper had been cleared away, one of the hostesses brought in our last gift.  The entire NICU had chipped in and purchased the items we couldn't leave the hospital without.  As she wheeled in our stroller frame and infant carseats, I lost it.  I heard Paul say "I told myself I wasn't going to cry" and I elbowed him, because I thought he was making fun of me.  He wasn't teasing me at all- he was crying, too.  It was such an emotional moment, and I don't think I have ever felt that happy/overwhelmed/shocked in my life.  Because of the amazing generosity of our friends, we can safely bring the twins home in  (fingers crossed) 7 weeks.  The words "Thank You" just seemed completely inadequate at that moment, and they still do.  The English language needs a more emphatic phrase! 

It was a perfect shower, and we are so blessed to have such fabulous friends.  Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.  We love you guys beyond measure!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

29 Weeks!

I can't believe it's been 3 weeks since my last official update.  The days seem to be flying by, and I can't seem to coordinate the time and energy to get stuff done- including blogging, unfortunately!


28 Weeks!


Weight Gained: 38 lbs.  It just keeps piling up, doesn't it?!  My doctor doesn't seem concerned, so I'm not worrying, either.

Cravings:  Sushi is making an appearance here once again- as a matter of fact, we had avocado rolls and hibachi steak for lunch!

Food Aversions:  As long as I don't eat too much, any food is fair game.  Once I hit the FULL point, everything sounds terrible.  The line between hungry and full is pretty blurry, so I overshoot it a LOT!
  
Symptoms:  Due to excess fluid pressing on the nerves in my arms, I've developed carpal tunnel syndrome.  For the first few hours after waking up, my hands are swollen and numb and I can barely bend my fingers. My abdominal muscles have started to separate, and I had no idea how much I used my core muscles until now!  This pregnant woman is falling apart, but it's all completely worth it.

How I'm Feeling:  I'm running out of honest ways to answer this question without feeling like I am complaining.  In the interest of full disclosure, most days I feel like poop- exhausted, cranky, and achy.  There are stories out there about twin mamas who ran marathons until the day they popped out two 7lb babies sans epidural.  I am not that lady.  Having said that, am I praying every day to stay pregnant for at least 7 more weeks?  Absolutely, and I know how incredibly blessed I am to have made it this far.

Exciting Stuff:  The nursery is coming together!  We've got a long way to go, but I love walking by and peeking in at our progress.  I'll have to add some pictures soon!  Our first shower is on June 12, so my goal is to have things (mostly) complete by then.  We'll see how that goes. 

Weekly Worries:  I am hoping that my MFM doesn't try to push bedrest when I see him next week- at our first appointment, he told me I would probably be on modified bedrest by 24 weeks and that date has come and gone.  Fingers crossed that we don't find a reason to revisit this discussion!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

28 Weeks, 3 days- I'm still here.

You know that proverbial brick wall?  I've slammed headfirst into it going 100 miles an hour.  My life over the past 10 days has looked like this:  Nest, Nest, Nest, CRASH.

The good news is that our nursery can now safely contain Molly and Jackson- it's far from done, but the basics are in order.  The cribs and dresser are assembled!  The bad news is that I no longer have the energy to do anything else.  I'm hoping and praying for another (even brief) reprieve so I can get more stuff done, because the urge to clean and declutter my house isn't playing nicely with the overwhelming desire to lie down.  We shall see what the next few days and weeks bring, I suppose.

I have a doctor's appointment this morning so I'll try to post a real update tonight, but I felt incredibly guilty to see my last post date and had to remedy that ASAP!  Even if it was just a whiny post about how little energy I have!  :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Gestational Diabetes? Not in this house!

Last Tuesday, I was given the unforgettable opportunity to drink 50 grams of syrupy glucose in 5 minutes, on an empty stomach, with the stipulation that I must keep it down for at least an hour.  Sounds like fun, right?  This stuff was pretty toxic- imagine fruit punch concentrate that you've somehow managed to concentrate even further.  Just thinking about it makes my tummy a little swishy.


I made it about halfway, taking little sips before the nausea and gagging set in.  Paul reminded me that I only had 2 more minutes to finish this bottle of disgusting-ness, so I chugged the rest and declared that it was staying put.  Once was bad enough, and the lab tech warned me that if I threw it up, I'd have to start over.  No beuno. 

While we were waiting to have my blood drawn, I saw my Ob-Gyn for a quick check-up.  Everything looked great with the babies, but she bumped my visits to every other week just to keep a closer eye on my blood pressure and swelling.  As we were leaving to head back to the lab, she said we'd only get a call if my blood glucose level was too high.  The whole no-news-is-good-news thing just doesn't work for me, so I called on Wednesday to see if the results were back.  My blood sugar was 123 mg/dL (<140is normal), so I passed- I am officially Gestational Diabetes free.  Knowing I don't have to suffer through the 3-4 hour retest almost makes the fruit punch from hell worth it.  Almost... but not quite. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Week 26- Still Going Strong!

So the weekly updates have stretched into bi-weekly updates, mostly to coincide with my doctor's appointments.  On the in-between weeks, there's just not a whole lot to update!

Weight Gained: 31lbs.  I'm getting a bit nervous about this!  I know that a LOT of the weight is fluid, because I have pitting edema up to my knees on most days.  

Cravings/Food Aversions:  I'm combining these two for this update, because it seems that I'll crave something (let's say.... Ramen Noodles, for instance) and as soon as I eat it, I get nauseous.  This is NOT a good cycle and for the past week, nothing has sounded good to eat.  The thought of food in general makes me a little queasy.

 Symptoms:  Nausea and swelling (broken record, anyone?!).  Also, this may be too much information, but since it's my blog I'm saying it anyway.  I've started leaking colostrum.  And it's freaking me out, majorly.

How I'm Feeling:  Tired!  I just can't sleep, which is distressing because sleeping is one of my all-time favorite pastimes. 

Exciting Stuff:  1. Today, I have zero stretchmarks.  I'm sure they are coming, but I'm celebrating small victories.  2. Our crib bedding is here, in my house, and I love it!  3. The cribs should be here by this weekend, so our nursery will start looking like babies might live here.

Weekly Worries:  My glucose tolerance test is at 9:15 tomorrow morning- please God let me pass!  I really think that a diabetic diet might kill me.   :)

We also started to register tonight, which terrified me.  I had a mini-bawling-breakdown in Babys-R-Us, because I have absolutely no idea what we need to take care of these babies.  A few texts/calls to friends with children made me feel a little better, but Paul's response was the most helpful.  He said,  "Do you know how hard it is to kill babies?  Babies are strong, and ours will survive.  We are going to be just fine.  If the twins get here, and we realize that we don't have what we need, we'll buy it!"  This is why I love that man.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Babies in 3D

A few months ago, I scooped up a Living Social deal for half-off a 3D/4D ultrasound package.  For weeks, I've anticipated seeing Molly and Jackson's little facial features-  would they have Paul's chin?  My mouth?  I absolutely could not wait.  Our appointment was on Wednesday evening, and I was so excited that I couldn't sleep at all on Tuesday night.  Our parents were able to be there, and it was their first time to see the grandbabies "live".

Jackson was ready to perform, and we got lots of good shots of his sweet little face.  I have no earthly idea who he looks like, but I just want to eat those chubby cheeks! 

The chubster, Jackson!


Molly, on the other hand, wanted absolutely nothing to do with the camera.   She was folded in half like a Chinese acrobat and made it incredibly difficult to see her face.  She does still have at least one hand and two legs, which she was perfectly fine showing off.  Silly girl- the best picture we could get of her face left a lot to be desired, so we'll have to wait a few months to see more.

One hand, two legs and a fuzzy face!

Overall, it was a pretty awesome experience.   As far as I'm concerned, any opportunity we get to see the babies is a good one, whether they want to cooperate or not.  It's amazing how much I'm in love with these two little people already.  While I pray that they keep cooking for at least 10 more weeks, I cannot wait to meet them!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

24 Weeks: We are viable!

Week 24- Our first huge milestone reached!  The twins are viable!

Weight Gained: 28lbs.  The nurse at my OB's office scared me to death, because after weighing me this week, she said that I'll need to talk to my doctor about my excessive weight gain.  I'm pretty sure that she forgot I'm having twins, because my doctor is thrilled with where I am- especially considering the fact that I'm carrying 10 pounds of fluid in my calves/ankles!

Cravings:  Chocolate chip cookies, Greek yogurt and jalapeno string cheese.  Strange combo, I know.

Food Aversions: Nada- just about anything sounds good!

Symptoms: Hello, insomnia!  I can't sleep anymore.  I might fall asleep for an hour, but then I'm up for at least that long before I can fall asleep again.  When this cycle precedes a night of work, it's not pretty.  Trust me.

How I'm Feeling:Very pregnant!  In the past few weeks, I have really popped.  I can't see my feet anymore!  I've also managed to pull a muscle in my ribcage with all of the coughing, so every movement hurts, and there's this strange popping feeling every time I inhale.   Oh, the wonderful things that pregnancy does to our bodies...

Exciting Stuff: First and foremost, this week marks the beginning of viability.  If M & J were born today, they would have a fighting chance of surviving.  That's a pretty big deal.  In celebration, we've made serious progress on clearing out the office/nursery.  Right this minute, the only obstacles between office and nursery are an empty desk and sewing machine cabinet.  Once those make the move to storage, we can buy baby furniture!  Jack's baby blanket was coming along nicely, but I ran out of blue yarn so I had to start on Molly's.  A fortuitous turn, as it happens, because I really love working on them together.

Weekly Worries:  My OB gave me the following prescription: lower my salt intake, drink more water and REST.  She also said I need to wear a support belt to help with my back pain.  This isn't so much a worry as a farewell to my cheeseburger habit.  So long, McDonald's- I'll miss you.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'm in love... with a cookie!

Sometimes, you just need a good chocolate chip cookie.  I've been craving them for weeks, but have been too tired to actually make them.  Tonight, Paul wanted to cook dinner (which was fabulous, by the way- Thanks, Love!), so I decided it was time to make some cookies for dessert. 

In the past month, I've pinned about 10 different chocolate chip cookies on Pinterest so I had plenty of options for tonight's baking challenge.  When I was sifting through the recipes today, I disregarded any that seemed too complicated or called for a million ingredients.  I just wanted a cookie that didn't flatten into a puddle of buttery mush in the oven.  These cookies did not disappoint.  They were chewy and fluffy and pretty darn near perfect.  I think that the cornstarch is the key to this awesome recipe.  A huge thank you to Kelsey at Apple A Day for blogging about these little bites of deliciousness! 

 
Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies
barely adapted from Anna Olson, Food Network Canada
Ingredients: 
3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened 
3/4 c. brown sugar 
1/4 c. granulated sugar 
1 egg 
2 tsp. vanilla extract 
2 c. all purpose flour 
2 tsp. cornstarch 
1 tsp. baking soda 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy and light in color. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.
3.  Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chunks.
4.  Using a standard-sized cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto a prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges.  (The tops will not brown, but do NOT cook longer than ten minutes.)
5.  Let cool, on the sheet, on a wire rack for five minutes.  Remove from baking sheet and let cool completely.  Makes approximately 3 dozen.  Try not to eat them all.

First, We Need a Shed



Last summer, I posted about our dire need for a storage shed.  It took us 9 months, we finally got off our lazy butts and decided to build one.  15 minutes after we started unpacking the boxes, it started raining.  Most people would have called it quits, realizing that it's not easy, comfortable or smart to build something while soaking wet.  We are NOT most people.  We pushed through and finished the shed in just under 7 drizzly hours.  What can I say... we like a challenge!  I am beyond excited that it's done, because it means that we are finally inching closer to getting the nursery ready.  Trust me- there is a connection between a backyard storage building and our future children's room.

Currently, we call the nursery an "office".  In reality, it's my craft/junk room and happens to house our printer and internet hub.  The junk/craft supplies need to live in our hall closet, so things in the closet needed a new home.  Among the closet dwellers was our ShopVac, because the garage was full of lawn equipment and there is absolutely no room for a portly vacuum.  So, it was imperative to build a shed for the ShopVac (and the lawnmower, etc) so that we could start cleaning out the office!  Make sense?  Probably not, but it seemed necessary to get the shed built before anything else could happen. 

If you were able to follow any of that, congratulations.  I live here, and it's hard for me to make sense of it.  The whole point is that we are actually making progress on the one thing that is causing 99% of the stress/panic in my life right now.  And that makes me one very happy pregnant lady.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Stop Trying To Fix Things

The Cake Catalyst

Because I am my mother's child,  I have a natural desire to make sure everything is copacetic.  I am a Fixer by nature.  When something is wrong,  I want to make it better.  Apparently, this drives Paul completely insane.  At least once day, I hear the words "Stop trying to fix things!".  Usually, this is followed by some form of the phrase "You're just like your mother!".   He means it in the nicest way possible, I assure you, because he does love my mom.

I don't know how to change this behavior.  I cannot see a need or want and not address it, no matter how mundane it may be.  For example- Today, I forgot to add a piece of chocolate cake to our To-Go order from Newk's.  When Paul got home, he noticed that it was missing.  He was completely fine without it but I went into overdrive mode, insisting that I go back out and get the cake while Paul is threatening my life if I drag my sickly butt anywhere but the couch.  Of course, this all happens while I'm on the phone with my mom, and she decides that she will pick up the cake and bring it to our house.  Because she is the original Fixer.

Of course, Paul was eternally grateful for the dessert intervention, but I'm sure it won't stop him from uttering that dreaded phrase at some point tomorrow...  Stop trying to FIX things!

Monday, April 16, 2012

22 Weeks!

Week 22

Weight Gained: 24 lbs.  I'm just waiting for one of my doctors to say something (anything) about my weight gain, because I have no idea whether I'm on target or not!

Cravings:  I think I might turn into a McDonald's cheeseburger with extra pickles.  So good. 

Food Aversions: Nothing sounds particularly bad anymore!  Some things definitely sound better than others, but nothing sounds terrible anymore.  It's about time!

Symptoms: We're adding back pain into the mix.  Combined with round ligament pain and swollen ankles, I'm like a bonafide pregnant woman!  I've adopted a kind of baby waddle when I walk, and I love it!

How I'm Feeling: Right this minute, I feel crummy.  For the past week, I've been at war with this horrible chest cold.  It's been going something like this:

**Coughing fit --> Contractions --> Robitussin/Benadryl --> Sleep for 1 hour --> Coughing fit**

Pretty miserable stuff, but at least it's predictable, right?  Once a day, I can take Unisom, which usually lets me get a good 3-4 hours stretch of sleep without coughing.  Taking so much medicine kind of makes me panic, but my OB has ok'd this combo and without it, I cannot breathe.  In this case, the benefits completely outweigh the risk.  It's got to get better soon, because I am good for nothing right now and there is so much to do. 

Exciting Stuff: Molly and Jack's movements are strong enough now that you can see my belly move .  It's such a strange thing to watch!  It makes for good entertainment while I'm sitting in bed trying to recuperate.  I keep trying to catch it on video, but apparently these babies are camera shy.

Weekly Worries:  I'm completely overwhelmed with all of the things that must get done before the twins arrive.  I have this huge list of things to do, but I really don't even know where to start.  On my days off, all I want to do is rest because I am so exhausted.  My MFM ordered 4 hours/day of bed rest because of the swelling in my legs, so that also cuts into my potential productive time.  Time just needs to slow down!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Yucks

Hello out there!  I just wanted to check in and reassure you guys that I am very much alive and the babies are just fine.  A horrible bronchitis-y chest cold has taken hold of me (again) and refuses to let go, so I haven't had any energy to blog.  Let's be honest, I'm feeling puny and whiny, and you probably wouldn't want to read what's running through my mind anyway!  Hopefully I will get a chance this weekend to catch up on your blogs and post a 22 week update.  Have a wonderful Friday, fellow bloggers/readers!

Monday, April 2, 2012

It's halftime, babies!

Before I launch into the goings-on of Week 20, I wanted to ask for a little bloggy love for a fellow IVF-er, who is also 20 weeks pregnant with twins.  Rebecca over at Our Roller Coaster Through IVF... was just put on strict bedrest due to a shortened cervix.  If you have a second, head over and let her know that you're rooting for those babies!


Now, it's update time!

Week 20- We've made it halfway!

Weight Gained: I managed to hit the 20 lb mark right at 20 weeks.  It's like it was meant to be!

Cravings:  Japanese Steakhouse fare- filet mignon, fried rice and veggies straight from the hibachi grill.  It helps that I can order Avocado & Cucumber rolls from the sushi bar, too.  Amazing, yes, but completely terrible for both my swollen ankles and our budget!  Pickles and Salt & Vinegar chips are also way up there on my list awesome deliciousness.  I'm starting to see a trend here, and it's all about the salt.  I need to get that under control ASAP.

Food Aversions: Nothing specific, but I am getting more picky about what sounds good.  My dining preferences are literally minute to minute.

Symptoms:  Insomnia.  It's not a lack of comfort, thanks to my amazing new body pillow (AKA- The Baby Nest), but I just can't stay asleep.  Still rocking the cankles, and I have a feeling that they are here to stay- dang salt cravings!

How I'm Feeling: At ease.  Right now, things are calm and I'm appreciating the lull. I'm definitely having physically uncomfortable moments, though.  I feel like a beach ball trying to roll out of bed, and I'm starting to underestimate the size of my belly and bump into stuff!  Every day, I am amazed at what my body is doing.  It is definitely a miracle.

Exciting Stuff: I've started on Jack's blanket, and I love the pattern.  Just simple shells, but it's sort of sentimental.  I'll have to devote a post to it soon.  Paul got to feel the babies kick this week, too!  It's still hit or miss whether their movement is strong enough for him to feel, but the look on his face is priceless when one of their little jabs hits home.

Weekly Worries:  My no-worry strategy worked so well last week that I've decided to carry it forward.  I didn't have an ultrasound at my OB appointment on Thursday and a little bit of panic set in, but I realized how silly I was being and let it go.  Overall, I am really lucky to see them once a month at my MFM appointment!

Monday, March 26, 2012

19 Weeks!

This one will be a quickie- it's been a fairly uneventful week, thank God!

Weight Gained: Still at 18 pounds, thanks to the never-ending sinus infection and a new GI bug.  Yuck. 

Cravings:  I woke up last night NEEDING Oreos.  After half a box, it didn't seem like such a great idea...

Food Aversions: Nope, nothing here.  Told you it was a "boring" week!

Symptoms:  Swelling and general fatigue.   The nausea is back, but it's tolerable and intermittent.

How I'm Feeling: Blah.  I've been sick, and I just feel physically worn down right now.  Emotionally, I am great!  

Exciting Stuff: Jack and Molly are moving like crazy!  It's such a surreal feeling to know that there are tiny people wiggling around in my belly.  We've started planning the nursery, but that's another post for another day.

Weekly Worries:  This week, I decided not to worry about anything baby-related that I cannot control! 

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's a Boy... and a Girl!

Since we knew that we transferred one boy embryo and one girl embryo during our IVF cycle, it has been an assumed fact that we would be having boy-girl twins. However, I'm not sure that I ever specifically confirmed this assumption. 

We are definitely having a boy and a girl!  Also, I'm tired of typing Twin A and Twin B, so I'll share with you a little bit of inside info- these babies have names.   Twin A is our little man, who will be henceforth referred to as Jackson or Jack.  Twin B is all girl, and her name is Molly!  Paul refers to them collectively as MJ, so you might see that pop up here, too.

Now that you know who's who, here are a few pictures to further acquaint you:

Molly:
She's always sucking her thumb!


Jack:
I know... the 3D images are a little creepy!




Me, AKA The Twincubator:
17 weeks, 1 day

Isn't it more exciting when those grey, grainy images have names?!

Monday, March 19, 2012

18 Weeks!

Week 18:

Weight Gained: 18 lbs.  I'm pretty sure a good bit of the weight is fluid, because I've got pitting edema around my ankles already!  It's going to be a long summer. 

Cravings:  Skittles. After begging a friend for a dollar, I almost cried when my bag of candy got stuck in the vending machine at work.  Thankfully, a slight beating took care of the issue and the Skittles were delivered safely to the twins.  Lesson learned-  always carry emergency change, and don't be afraid to man-handle machinery.

Food Aversions:  None- even meat is my friend right now!  Paul is pretty happy about this turn of events because it broadens our dinner choices significantly.  I think I could eat at Japanese hibachi restaurants every night.  Steak, sushi and fried rice?  Sign me up. 

Symptoms:  Super swollen ankles.  My blood pressure is great, but not even 8 hours of sleep will relieve the swelling in my lower legs. 

How I'm Feeling:  Pregnant!  I've had more energy lately, and I'm pretty sure that the "nesting" phase has come early to visit.  I'm still not resting well, but my body has started to adapt to the short bursts of sleep.  A body pillow is on my to-buy list in hopes that more back and belly support will help me get comfortable and stay asleep longer.  

Exciting Stuff:  My cervical length was 5.6 cm at my last appointment, which is amazing.  We had our anatomy scan, and both babies hearts and brains look perfect.  Twin A is measuring exactly one week ahead of Twin B, who is measuring right on track. 

Weekly Worries: At our anatomy scan, we found out that Twin A was diagnosed with bilateral renal pyelectasis and hydroureters.  My MFM doctor is fairly certain that he actually has hydronephrosis, but we will know more at my next appointment after his kidneys grow a bit more.  Basically, his ureters are blocked, kinked or swollen, so urine is backing up into his kidneys.  Based on the amount of fluid, his condition is classified as moderate.  Sometimes, this can correct itself after birth.  However, if this persists, it can cause permanent kidney damage.  There is absolutely nothing I can do to fix this and while it terrifies me, I'm trying to stay calm and remember that I am not in control of this situation!

Twin B has Choroid Plexus cysts in her brain, but my perinatologist says that this is completely normal and should resolve on it's own.  I trust him completely, but hearing that your baby has brain cysts is scary!  Maybe it's the amoebas....   :)

Otherwise,  our babies are pretty perfect and I am so grateful that our issues are relatively small. There are people facing much worse anomalies so I feel very blessed today, despite our little man's kidney problems.  


If you made it all the way through, congratulations- this was a long update!  Thanks for reading- I think it helps to share my worries with you all.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Amoebas in my brain

Remember when I told you about the monstrous cold that has decided to take up residence?  I thought that I had the perfect cure for it- The Neti Pot.

Photo found here.

For the blissfully uninitiated, this device resembles a small teapot that you fill with warm water and a packet of  saline/sodium bicarb crystals.  Then, you place the spout of the Neti Pot into one of your nostrils with your head tipped forward, letting the solution run up your nose and (hopefully) out of the other nostril.  Once you have succeeded without choking/aspirating/dying, you blow the heck out of your nose and expel the snot demons.  I know- it sounds awful, but it is so completely effective at clearing your sinuses!

For some reason, after I cleared my head, I decided that using tap water might not be a great idea.  Why this occurred to me after I lavaged my brain with 8 ounces of it is beyond me.  A bit of Googling led me to this news article.  I'll spare you the reading- tap water has been linked to two deaths in 2011 (both in LOUISIANA!!), due to encephalitis caused by amoebas that were found in tap water.  Great.  Because I needed one more thing to worry about, right?  Dear God, please don't let my tombstone read:

RIP-  Killed By Brain-eating Amoebas Because Sudafed Wasn't Safe For The Babies!