Our Whole World Is Changed

Tags

, , , , , ,

Our girls arrived on January 19th at 31w4d. Earlier than we’d hoped, certainly. But no less perfect or beautiful!

Meet our girls: Siena (baby A) and Aria (baby B). Born at 7:49 and 7:54 respectively. Both weighed 3 pounds 8 ounces and measured 16 inches long.

20140208-133642.jpg

2 Weeks Old: Siena left, Aria right

As you know from my last post, I was admitted to the hospital at 31 weeks exactly when my water broke unexpectedly. At my routine OB appointment a few days before that, my cervix was long and closed and everything was progressing as if we were in it for the long haul.

Apparently, Baby A had other plans and decided to try to punch her way to freedom. Her bag of water broke at 5am. When they checked me in the hospital, I was 2cm dilated. My doctor did not think I was in active labor at the time. I was having small contractions that would show up on the monitor, but I could barely even feel them and they were 10 minutes or so apart. My doctor decided to administer steroids over the next 48 hours for lung development and pump me full of antibiotics since my bag of water was now open. I would then stay on hospital bed rest until I showed signs of infection or I went into labor. If neither of those happened by 33-34 weeks, I would be induced (at that point, risk of infection outweighs prematurity risks).

Obviously, we didn’t make it that far. Here’s the (long – you’ve been warned) birth story:

Thursday night, I started having mild contractions and sometimes they’d be regular (5-8 minutes apart).  Mr. A and I were up the whole night timing them and worrying. Friday morning, I had a breakdown. The nurse came in to find me sobbing and Mr. A terrified. I was sure the regular contractions meant the girls were coming and, although I was anxious to meet them, I didn’t want them to be born yet. It was too soon. My favorite nurse gave us some space to cry it out for a while and then assured us that things can indeed slow down and even stop. Happens all the time. The nurses and Dr. Z all said it’s normal with premature rupture of membranes to have “fits and starts” where contractions pick up and get regular, then just go away. And not even an hour after our favorite nurse came to calm us down, the contractions did go away.

It was shortlived. That night (Friday night), they came back and they seemed to get stronger throughout the night. But they weren’t getting any closer together. Still 5-8 minutes apart. I didn’t get any sleep. I’d have such relief in between contractions that I’d juuust start to drift off before the next contraction woke me. I actually wasn’t panicked since I knew the contractions would probably just go away again like they did the last time. But they didn’t. I was still having painful contractions Saturday morning and I was so uncomfortable and deliriously tired that I asked not to have any visitors (other than Mr. A, of course) that day. They decided to give me some Norco (a painkiller) to hopefully help me get a little sleep. It worked for a bit and I got a couple hours of sleep. Then I wasn’t sure if the contractions were getting stronger or the painkiller was wearing off, but the contractions were too painful to sleep through anymore.

It was at this point that I started to completely lose my mind. Everyone kept saying I wasn’t in labor. The nurses were under strict orders not to check my cervix due to risk of introducing bacteria to the uterus with a broken bag of water. Dr. Z said that when I was in labor, we’d know. And only then would they start checking my cervix. But these contractions were really uncomfortable and happening every five minutes. If the plan was hospital bed rest for the next three weeks, was I really expected to spend them like this?! No sleep, painkillers that barely take the edge off, and painful contractions that relentlessly come every 5 minutes?! Dr. Z took pity on me and said he’d try to help me get some sleep that night by stacking the Norco painkiller with an Ambien sleep aid.

It didn’t work. I did not sleep for even a second Saturday night. The contractions were really starting to get bad. For those of you who have taken Lamaze classes, I had to switch from the slow calming breaths to the faster Ah-Hee, Ah-Hee, Ah-Hee, Ah-Hoo breathing pattern. And I felt ridiculous having to even use my Lamaze breathing because I wasn’t in labor (or so they all said). Thankfully my husband forced me to use the breathing if only to keep me calm. It really did help manage the anxiety, the pain, and the time until the contraction would start to wane. By the wee hours of Sunday morning, I was starting to worry. I kept telling the nurses that the contractions were getting a lot more painful. They asked me my pain level and I think I said it was at a 7 or 8, which was true. It wasn’t the worst pain I’d ever felt, but it was prolonged and just. kept. coming. back. And since I wasn’t screaming like the girl in the room next door, surely I wasn’t about to have a baby (or two) or anything. The nurses didn’t seem concerned – they just kept a monitor on me to watch my contractions. Over the next few hours, the contractions, though still usually 5 minutes apart (occasionally closer together) started to get really long. It felt like I was barely getting a break between them.

Then, finally, at about 7am, I broke down to my husband. Through tears, I told him I was really scared- that the pain just wouldn’t go away – even between contractions. It had settled into my lower back and I was starting to feel like I was actively trying not to push when the contractions would come. He jumped out of his chair and marched out to the nurses’ station. Once they heard “trying not to push,” they decided to go ahead and check my cervix. It was just after a shift change. This new nurse had just gotten report from the night nurse (who was most definitely NOT my favorite nurse) a few minutes earlier that the twin mom was “stable.” Her wide eyes as she reached and checked my cervix said it all.  She calmly turned to my husband and I and said “You’re complete. 10cm dilated and that’s Baby A’s head.” Then she ran out of the room barking orders like “Prep the OR! Twin mom is a go! Call Dr. Z and get him here NOW!Call the NICU – tell them to get ready!”

I spent the next 30 minutes trying not to push and waiting for the operating room to be ready and for my doctor (who was sound asleep in his house across the street from the hospital) to arrive. But somehow, Mr. A and I were relieved. There was nothing we could do about it anymore. We were about to meet our girls and the nightmare of the past few nights was coming to and end. There was a distinct sense of peace in the midst of the chaos.

The actual delivery was a breeze. Thankfully, both babies were head down and they stayed that way. Over the course of 5 minutes and 3 contractions, both girls were born vaginally. Both girls came out crying. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever heard. They placed each of them on my chest for a few moments before whisking them off to the NICU.  Mr. A kept saying “They’re so beautiful – they look so healthy. You did amazing.” It was all such a relief – mentally and physically. After near constant pain for the last three days, the relief was immense and immediate. I didn’t tear, didn’t have an episiotomy, nothing. In that sense, I was lucky. My plan was most certainly NOT to have a natural labor and delivery with twins (my doctor actually wanted me to have an epidural but there was obviously no time), but that’s how it happened and I’m glad it worked out that way.

They made me sit in recovery for 2 hours even though I felt like I could run laps around the L&D floor already. It was torture. I wanted to go see my girls, I wanted to be with my husband (he was in the NICU with the babies), I wanted to start pumping (the girls were born too early to be able to breastfeed). When two hours finally passed, they wheeled me back to the NICU and I got to hold my beautiful firstborn daughter, Siena. Aria was struggling just a bit with her breathing at that point, so I couldn’t hold her, but I held her tiny hand and told her how much we love her.

It’s been a whirlwind since then. Two days later, we got to hold Aria. They’ve done great in the NICU and continually surprise everyone with how resilient they are for having been born so early. They’re both off IVs, breathing room air unassisted for a couple weeks now, gaining weight, learning to eat by mouth, and just generally thriving.

Family and friends won’t be able to meet the babies until they come home. Due to the horrible flu season we’re having, only the parents of the babies are allowed into the NICU. It’s driving our parents and siblings a little crazy, but they’re getting lots of pictures!

I’ve been attached to a breast pump more or less nonstop since the girls were born, including through the night. It’s now been over 3 weeks since I’ve had a decent night’s sleep and our girls aren’t even home yet. Yikes. I’m having milk supply issues, which feels like yet another way my body has decided to let me down. I couldn’t get pregnant naturally (though we still don’t know if that was my body’s fault or not), I couldn’t carry my babies to term, and now it’s looking like I can’t feed them the way nature intended. Don’t get me wrong – I completely understand how lucky I am to have my girls. But it’s hard not to mourn those other things – a normal labor that I actually knew I was having, delivering a healthy baby or two and getting to snuggle them right away and introduce them to family and friends, going home from the hospital after delivery and getting to take my babies with me, holding my babies to my breast and feeding them – doing the one thing to provide for them that only a mother can do.

The title to this post is “Our Whole World Is Changed.” Sadly, that’s been true in more ways than we ever expected. This Monday, while we were sitting in the NICU holding our girls, Mr. A received a call from his uncle informing him that his father had passed away. It was very sudden and unexpected. His father was only 59 years old. He had just commented on some pictures of the girls that morning about how they get more beautiful every day. Now he’ll never get to meet his granddaughters. It’s just not fair. So much in our lives has seemed unfair in the last few years. I guess we’d hoped that might finally turn around once the girls were born. My husband is just split down the middle. In two weeks’ time, he had his first two children and lost his father. It’s hard to handle so many conflicting emotions and it’s just a lot to process right now. He’s also the executor of his father’s estate, which includes his father’s dental practice that he will have to sell. It’s completely overwhelming. Where we were initially looking forward to the girls coming home with just joy and excitement, now there’s also a lot of fear. There’s just not enough time in the day right now to handle all of his dad’s affairs and having babies in the NICU. And there’s a big difference between finding time to visit babies for a few hours in the NICU and actually having them at home with you. Adding two newborn babies that need us 24/7 is likely to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. I’m not sure how we’re going to get through this. I know we will, I’m just not sure how.

So…that’s why this post is so overdue. Things have been CRAZY around our neck of the woods. We’re trying to use the positive to help us get through the negative. The best part of every day is when we get to snuggle with our girls and quiet our minds. There’s no better feeling in the world.

20140208-133710.jpg

Advertisements

31 Weeks – In L&D

Well, I’m 31 weeks today and it doesn’t look like we’ll be making it to our ultimate goal of at least 36 weeks. My water broke this morning at 5am. I woke up thinking “I think I have to pee…no, wait, I think I AM peeing…no, wait, that’s not pee!” Of course it would happen today, because Mr. A was halfway across the country in NY for business. Luckily, my parents live close, so they came to the house and scooped me up. Also luckily, Mr. A was able to get a flight home almost immediately (only seat available was first class – thank goodness his company picked up the tab on that one) and he is now with me in the hospital.

At this point, they’ve confirmed that baby A’s water broke, but it does not appear that I’m going into labor. I’m having some minor contractions that I can barely feel and they’re about 7 minutes apart. It’s a waiting game to see if they’ll get stronger/closer together. If they do, the babies will be making their grand entrance to the world. Otherwise, they’re giving me steroids for the girls’ lung development and antibiotics to fend off infection now that my water is broken.

I’ll be in the hospital until the babies are born, whether that’s today or 3 weeks from now, so I’ll have lots of time to keep up with everyone’s blogs!

30 Weeks

Tags

, , , , , ,

I’m 30 weeks pregnant as of Wednesday. The big milestone this week is that we’ll now definitely deliver in our planned hospital (if the babies were to arrive before 30 weeks, they’d have to take them to a hospital with a higher level NICU).

Genders: Two girls!

Size/Position of the babies: I was measuring at 36 weeks as of my last appointment on Saturday. No ultrasound until the end of the month, so no update on size or position of the individual babies until then.

Movement: Getting less frequent as it gets more crowded in there, but very alien-like when they do happen.

How I’m feeling: I figured out that the pain in my wrist area is not actually carpal tunnel, but in fact De Quervain’s tenosynovitis and I bought the appropriate thumb-stabilizing wrist braces, so that pain has lessened. Unfortunately, the braces really limit my dexterity and the pain is only relieved while I’m wearing them, so that’s a bit annoying.

Weight Gain: As of this morning, it looks like a total of 23 pounds.

Stretch Marks: Yes, lots of them, but no new ones for weeks now.

Belly button: Still an inny, but not by much. It’s pretty much flat at this point.

Cravings: Just oranges this week.

Missing anything?: Nope! Pretty content and anxious to meet our girls (but need them to stay on the inside for a few more weeks, please)!

Labor Signs: No contractions or anything that I know of. A manual cervix check shows that it’s holding strong.

Big appointments: I’m still trying to get my first appointments set up with the dietitian and diabetic educator. Hopefully I’ll be able to get in later this week or early next week. I already have my glucose testing supplies, so I just need instructions on what to do with them and how to use food to control my blood sugar. I’m really hoping I’ll be able to control it with diet alone. I’ll use insulin if necessary, but after all the IVF stuff I was really hoping to be done with injections by this point in the pregnancy!

Nursery updates: It’s really coming together. I like to just hang out in there sometimes. I fell asleep in the glider for a little bit yesterday with the puppies at my feet and our kitty in my lap. I love that chair. I sewed some changing pad covers out of minky fabric (so soft!) using this tutorial. They were super-easy to make and they fit great! I bought two yards per the tutorial guidelines and I actually still have plenty of fabric left to make some knock-off taggies (now to find some cute ribbon for the tags!).

20140113-122844.jpg

Mommy-made minky changing pad cover!

Baby Purchases: I had a baby shower at work this week. It was nice to stop into the office for half a day to see everyone. I was surprised to see that both men and women from my group showed up! They gave us some really great gifts – clothes, books, blankets, dolls, a travel boppy (smart!), etc. I haven’t personally purchased anything this week, but I got some fabric in the mail to make simple minky blankets. It’s beautiful fabric and I can’t wait to sew them up. I’ll definitely post once they’re finished. These girls are going to be so spoiled!

 

29 Weeks

Tags

, , , ,

Well – it’s been an eventful week. I’m back to work now (from home, though, which is really nice). Here’s the update!

Genders: Two girls!

Size/Position of the babies: No updates here since last week.

Movement: Movements are big now and very different from the rumbly, wiggly feelings I got in the second trimester. Now it feels like a knee poking out or a shoulder rolling to the side. Very big, dragging-like movements. You can see them if you watch my belly from the outside. So weird, and totally awesome.

How I’m feeling: Overall, not bad. Just minor gripes. The carpal tunnel in my left wrist has gotten pretty bad and I’m starting to develop the same pain in my right wrist, too. I really hope this is one of those pregnancy ailments that goes away right after delivery, because I’m worried it will make it hard for me to lift/hold/maneuver two babies. My wrists are currently so weak that I’m having a hard time lifting my 15 pound dog with both hands. Aside from that, I feel like I’ve got a second wind with this pregnancy. Being off work for a couple weeks and spending more time reclining and side-leaning has done wonders for my pelvic pain and my ability to get things done around the house.

Weight Gain: As of yesterday I was up 21 pounds at my doctor’s office, but I think that’s probably a couple pounds over reality. It was -16 degrees in northern Chicagoland yesterday and I was still bundled in my big winter boots and sweater. You know you’re getting hugely pregnant when it comes time to get on the scale and you’d rather take the extra couple pounds than go through the ordeal of trying to take your own shoes off.

Stretch Marks: Yes, lots of them, but no new ones for weeks now.

Belly button: Still an inny.

Cravings: I’ve been eating a lot of soup lately, but I think it’s just because it’s one of the only foods that doesn’t gross me out.

Missing anything?: Nope! But I have a feeling I’m about to miss lots of yummy sweet foods – keep reading.

Labor Signs: No contractions or anything that I know of. A manual cervix check shows that it’s holding strong.

Big appointments: Well – we officially have our first (and hopefully only) pregnancy complication. I failed my 1-hour glucose test last Tuesday with a 162 (had to be under 140), so not exactly borderline either. Then I went back in yesterday for the 3-hour and my fasting glucose was 103 (failing because greater than 99), so they didn’t even want me to drink the glucola and complete the test. I have gestational diabetes. Womp womp. It’s not a huge shock as it’s twice as common in twin pregnancies as in singleton pregnancies, but it’s going to mean a big dietary change for a girl who has had a serious aversion to most sources of protein throughout this pregnancy. Thankfully, the biggest issue associated with GD is a high birth weight and twins are typically not large babies, so the odds of us ending up with 10+ lb twins are still slim to none. But I think there are other less-common risks associated with GD – I’m still learning exactly what this means. Our next step is to meet with a dietitian to learn about how to control the GD with diet and how to monitor my levels.

Nursery updates: Our huge chair-and-a-half glider and ottoman arrived on Friday and I’m super-excited about it. It’s going to be the perfect size for breastfeeding twins (or cuddling with them to read a book when they’re a bit older). At this point, all of the essential pieces are in place in the nursery. We just have to put some finishing touches on the decor!

Baby Purchases: A few more cloth diapers. And we got lots of 0-3 month sized clothes gifted from my parents! We’re also going to a 1st birthday party this weekend for a very fashionable little lady whose mama (Mr. A’s cousin) is going to give us some awesome hand-me-downs that she has outgrown. After seeing the prices of  baby clothes, this is my biggest tip to ANY new mom, but definitely moms of multiples. Take any and all offers of used clothing. It’s so expensive and since they’re only in each size for a short time, the used clothes are usually in excellent shape! New-to-me is just as good as brand-new, as far as I’m concerned.

28 Weeks

Tags

, , , ,

Super-late update this time. I hit 28 weeks on Christmas day. 28 weeks is a big milestone. We’re officially in the third trimester now and we’re most certainly within 10 weeks of having babies in our arms. I can’t believe how fast time is flying! 28 weeks is also a big milestone because viability outside the womb skyrockets to 90%+. We know how important it is to get these babies closer to at least 34 weeks to avoid long-term health issues, but the survival statistics are still comforting.

Genders: Two girls!

Size/Position of the babies: My uterus was measuring 35 weeks as of my appointment on Monday at 27w5d. Baby A was still on my right side, vertex (head down) weighing 2lbs 10oz and measuring 28w4d. Baby B is on my left side, has flipped to breech, weighing 2lbs 9oz and measuring 28w1d. Both are falling around the 60th percentile in most measurements. So far, the criteria for attempting a vaginal delivery (baby A head down and larger than baby B) are still being met, but just barely. Here are some pictures from their last ultrasound:

20131229-164101.jpg

Baby A at 27w5d – look at that chubby cheek!

20131229-164131.jpg

Baby B at 27w5d – getting so big!

Movement: Lots of movement. Big movement. Sometimes it looks and feels like aliens are swimming around in my belly.

How I’m feeling: Got randomly puke-y the day after Christmas. I don’t know if I ate some bad shrimp or what, but my body seriously rejected them. Otherwise, I’m feeling really good. Even my pelvic pain has been better this week, probably because I’ve been off work and resting more.

Weight Gain: Up a total of 16.5 pounds as of Monday’s appointment.

Stretch Marks: Yes, lots of them, but no new ones for weeks now.

Belly button: Still an inny.

Cravings: Mint chocolate chip ice cream (again, not really sure an ice-cream craving can be classified as pregnancy-related for me).

Missing anything?: Nope! I’ve been quite content.

Labor Signs: No contractions or anything that I know of. They didn’t measure my cervical length at my last ultrasound (said the doctor didn’t order it), which makes me a little nervous, but I’ll bring it up on Tuesday at our next appointment.

Big appointments: Had an ultrasound on Monday and everything looks normal and the babies look very healthy. I have my 1-hour glucose test on Tuesday, so that’s definitely a big one! Really really hoping I pass.

Nursery updates: The cribs are built and have bedding on them. The closet and dresser are filling with baby clothes and supplies. I FINALLY finished the four curtain panels I was sewing and those will go up today or tomorrow. It’s really starting to come together!

Baby Purchases: We finally took the plunge and went shopping for baby clothes and we’re now just about stocked for the newborn stage. We kept it practical – lots of sleepers (mostly zip-up), onesies, and some legging-type pants since it will likely be cold in Chicago when these girls arrive. We still need one or two more packages of onesies and some socks and mittens, but that’s about it. We even bought their coming-home outfits. We’re choosing to be optimistic by buying newborn size. I’m hoping for big, healthy twins!

20131229-164146.jpg

Twin girls’ coming-home outfits!

27 Weeks

Tags

, , ,

Late again! Only by a day this time. Close enough. 😉

Genders: Two girls!

Size/Position of the babies: I’m now measuring 33 weeks. Anybody want to place bets on when I’ll be measuring full term? I’m going to guess it happens by my 30 week appointment.

Movement: Lots of movement. When they really get going now I can see my belly moving from the outside! So weird/awesome.

How I’m feeling: Can’t really complain. My ailments are all just discomforts, and that’s to be expected. Still getting the pelvic/back pain and now I have developed carpal tunnel in my left wrist due to the increased fluid in my body (I didn’t even realize you could get that from being pregnant).

Weight Gain: Up a total of 16 pounds so far.

Stretch Marks: Yes, lots of them, but no new ones for a while.

Belly button: Still an inny.

Cravings: Not really a craving, but I have been eating a lot of pears lately. They settle my tummy when I get gaggy.

Missing anything?: Still missing the ability to actually get things done. I’m super-motivated to nest, but my body can’t keep up with my to-do list. Seems like every day I add 5 things to the list and cross one off.

Labor Signs: Still holding strong. Haven’t noticed any more contractions. They weren’t able to measure my cervical length at my appointment Monday because the ultrasound machine was broken. I should have an update next week after I go in for my rescheduled ultrasound.

Big appointments: We had our 26 week appointment on Monday (which is really closer to 27 weeks, but that’s ok). We just met with a nurse practitioner this time and she did all the basic check up stuff and then went over labor protocols (when to call, where to go, etc.). We have an ultrasound this coming Monday and I really hope the second monitor is working because it was broken at our last ultrasound and I didn’t get to see anything. 😦

Nursery updates: I’ve started the baby laundry, but that’s about the only development since last week. Most of the finishing touches (paint, outlet covers, etc.) are done now, so we’ll definitely have the cribs assembled and in place this weekend. I’m so excited to see them in there! Still no word on our delayed glider/ottoman order.

Baby Purchases: At this point, I really think we have most of the essentials. Except clothes. We really need to be getting some clothes. Of all things, why do I keep putting that off? It seems like that should be the fun part?

26 Weeks

Tags

, , , , ,

Oops – I’m a couple days late on this one. It’s been a busy week! We had our baby shower on Sunday and it was awesome. The weather didn’t cooperate at all (we got our first really messy snowstorm of the year), but I’m lucky that most of my friends and family come from hardy Chicago stock and about 40 of them made it out (some of them with infants in tow!) despite the nasty driving conditions.

Genders: I can finally tell you! We are expecting two little girls! Having spent my most of my life outnumbered by men (3 brothers, no sisters), I’m thrilled to finally have the estrogen balance tipped in my favor. Mr. A is still holding out hope that one of them might surprise us and turn out to be a boy on delivery day, but the sexes have been confirmed twice now, so there’s not a very good chance of that happening. Now that we know there are two girls, we also know that the odds of me passing on my BRCA-1 genetic mutation to a daughter are much higher than the 25% chance (50% chance it would be a girl and then only a 50% chance that girl would get the gene) we brushed off when we decided to forego PGD as part of our IVF treatment. I don’t think I regret passing on the PGD because we may have eliminated one or more of the embryos that was destined to bring us a child, but I have resigned myself to the fact that one of these girls most likely has the BRCA-1 mutation and I’m really hoping a lot of progress is made in the treatment/prevention of breast and ovarian cancer in the next 30 years. Maybe my daughters can be spared the life-changing (though life-saving) surgeries I will soon undergo.

Size/Position of the babies: Haven’t had any appointments to get new measurements since last week, but I feel like my belly is getting bigger every day! The itching is getting worse. Luckily, though the belly oils aren’t doing anything to prevent stretchmarks, they do a great job of soothing itchy skin as it stretches.

Movement: Lots of movement. There’s been a fun game of kick-the-bladder going on in there over the past week.

How I’m feeling: Pretty much the same. Great for a while every day, then the pelvic and lower back pain kicks in and the only remedy is to rest on my side. Work has approved me to telecommute during my third trimester, so my last day in the office will be december 20th, and then I’ll switch to working remotely after my holiday vacation time. Dr Z assures me this is in the best interest of me and those sweet little ladies hanging out in my belly, so I’m glad work was so accommodating.

Weight Gain: I forgot to weigh myself on Wednesday and since I always do it first thing in the morning (after morning pee, before eating/drinking anything), it’s too late to do it today. But if I had to guess, I’ve gained 25 pounds all in my boobs and belly this week. Okay – that might be an exaggeration, but that’s what it feels like.

Stretch Marks: Yes, lots of them, but it’s weird because it seems like I was getting tons of them when I first started really showing and now I feel like I haven’t gotten any new ones in a while even though my belly is growing faster than ever. Maybe my skin has given up on fighting this? Or more likely, I’ll just be eating my words next week.

Belly button: Still an inny, but the skin just above my navel is starting to get tight and kinda sensitive. I wonder if that’s how it starts.

Cravings: I’ve been wanting ice cream a lot (but I got ice cream cravings even when I wasn’t pregnant). Still a challenge to find any real food that I want to eat.

Missing anything?: Still missing the ability to actually get things done. I’m super-motivated to nest, but my body can’t keep up with my to-do list. Seems like every day I add 5 things to the list and cross one off.

Labor Signs: Still holding strong. Haven’t noticed any more contractions. They’ll be measuring my cervical length at my appointment on Monday. And I think they’re going to do some non-stress testing soon.

Big appointments: We have our 26 week ultrasound on Monday (which is really closer to 27 weeks, but that’s ok) where they’ll check growth, cervical length, fluid measurements, etc. My cervix was 3.96 cm last time and I’m hoping for little to no change. I’m also hoping they’ll try to get some 3D shots of the babies’ faces if they’re cooperating. I’ve heard 26 weeks is pretty much the last chance you have to get a good look at their faces with twins.

Nursery updates: The closet is built. The dresser/changing table is built. Both are already being filled with baby stuff from the shower. There are still some paint touch-ups to be done, but the room is shaping up. By the end of this weekend, we’re hoping to have both cribs built. I followed up with BuyBuyBaby about the chair-and-a-half glider and ottoman we ordered back in October. They said Little Castle is really backed up and has actually stopped taking special orders since we placed ours. I’m kinda nervous that it’s not going to get here before the babies. We can make do without it for a while, but the nursery is going to feel unfinished with a big empty corner where it should be.

Baby Purchases: We are in baby gear heaven right now! People were incredibly generous at our shower and we are now surrounded with things like swings, bouncy seats, video monitors, bibs, diaper bags, a big playpen, baby carriers, strollers, and the list goes on and on. We are so lucky to have such a great support system for these little ones. If it takes a village to raise a child, that village showed up in force on Sunday and they truly blew us away with their generosity. I also used a handful of gift cards to purchase some staples that we really need before the babies get here (diaper pail liners, laundry basket, etc.). I think the UPS delivery guy just stops at our house automatically at this point. And now, the baby laundry has begun…

25 Weeks

Tags

, , , , , ,

No big milestones or anything this week, but time seems to be flying by. My doctor reminded me at my appointment on Monday that these babies are likely to be born in the next 10 weeks. Holy crap! My baby shower is this weekend. Seems early to have it before 26 weeks, but we had to work around the holidays and I’m honestly not sure I’d be able to survive the day if we scheduled it much later. My limit for being up and about is 3-4 hours these days before I need to lay down on my side. That “wall” they talk about in twin pregnancies is no joke.

Genders: Still a secret, but I’ll tell you what they are in next week’s update (unless I do a post about the shower), I promise!

Size/Position of the babies: Haven’t had another ultrasound to measure them individually yet, but there’s definitely some growing happening. At 20w5d, I was measuring 23 weeks (for a singleton). This Monday at 24w5d, I was measuring 30 weeks.

Movement: Lots of movement. The kicks are getting a bit stronger now.

How I’m feeling: I’m having a lot of pelvic pain, which Dr. Z says is due to the loosening of the joints and ligaments in my hips and pelvis. Sometimes by the end of the day I need help changing and getting into bed because I can hardly move. Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do about it and it’s only going to get worse. Dr. Z has suggested that I start working from home full-time at this point (I currently work from home twice a week) or switch to half days as sitting at a desk is just as bad as being on your feet. Either way, gravity causes my uterus to put pressure on my pelvis. I need to be spending more time laying on my side. I have a meeting with my boss scheduled for tomorrow, so I’ll discuss my options with her then.

Weight Gain: I actually weighed a half pound less this morning than a week ago, but we’ll just stick with last week’s total weight gain of 11 pounds.

Stretch Marks: Yes, many of them.

Belly button: Still an inny.

Cravings: I’ve been wanting ice cream a lot (but I got ice cream cravings even when I wasn’t pregnant). Still a challenge to find any real food that I want to eat.

Missing anything?: Maybe the ability to actually get things done. Lately I’m feeling really motivated to nest, but my body can’t keep up with the to-do list in my mind. I get one or two things done, then I have to lay down and I fall asleep on the couch.

Labor Signs: I think I had some contractions for the first time Thanksgiving night. Certain circumstances led to me doing a lot more than I’d planned as far as cooking/cleaning that day and I know I overdid it. I literally could not walk by the time I got home (pelvic/back pain) and was almost in tears trying to get in bed. Thankfully the contractions didn’t progress and I felt much better the next morning.

Big appointments: We have our 26 week ultrasound in two weeks where they’ll check growth, cervical length, fluid measurements, etc. My cervix was 3.96 cm last time and I’m hoping for little to no change.

Nursery updates: Nothing has really been done since last week’s update. The thanksgiving weekend kept us pretty busy. Mr. A is on a tight deadline now to get that room ready by Sunday. We have no more space to keep piling things up in the living room. We need to start moving the babies’ stuff in there! Also – I’ve done zero nursery decorating because there isn’t a finished room to decorate. And I’m starting to panic because my productive days are dwindling VERY fast. So…feeling a bit stressed/frustrated about that right now.

Baby Purchases: Bought a handful of Summer Infant SwaddleMe wraps – they should be delivered today, yay! Not baby-related, but I also bought a few Christmas gifts. All shopping will be done early and online this year. I can’t imagine a hell worse than the mall at Christmastime in my current state.

24 Weeks

Today is a big milestone. We’ve made it to 24 weeks, which is generally considered the point of viability outside the womb (not guaranteed of course, but a drastically higher survival rate than just one week ago). Whenever the babies arrive now, the doctors will do everything in their power to keep them alive.

Genders: Still a secret!

Size/Position of the babies: No update yet.

Movement: Mr. A felt movement from the outside! He can still only feel the bigger kicks/wiggles.

How I’m feeling: Pretty good. I think I’ve figured out that I get gaggy when I overdo things physically. I guess it’s a good reminder to slow down.

Weight Gain: Total weight gain so far is 11 pounds.

Stretch Marks: Yes, many of them.

Belly button: Still an inny.

Cravings: None. Still a challenge to find anything I actually want to eat.

Missing anything?: Wine. Thanksgiving with my family means many bottles of wine will be emptied. I haven’t been missing alcohol much this pregnancy, but I’m kinda mourning the lack of holiday wine consumption.

Labor Signs: None, still laying down for at least one hour in the afternoon. Sometimes my cervix feels…weird. Almost sore and heavy, like when I’m about to get my period. I’m sure it’s nothing, but it will be interesting to see if there’s been any change in cervical length at my next ultrasound.

Big appointments: We have our 24 week appointment with Dr. Z coming up on Monday and then we go in for our next ultrasound and growth check 2 weeks later.

Nursery updates: Mr. A is still working hard. The room that is to be the nursery is almost complete. Just some minor trim work to finish up and a couple paint touch-ups. Then we can start assembling the furniture and move it in there! I can’t wait to get those two cribs set up in there. Once our rocker comes in, I know I’m going to find myself sitting in there all the time, staring at those cribs and rubbing my belly.

Baby Purchases: Not much this week. Just a package of Snappi cloth diaper fasteners. We’re really going to have to start buying some baby clothes soon before I’m too exhausted to get out of the house. We only have a few things so far. I need to make a list of the things we really NEED so I don’t go overboard on cute stuff.

23 Weeks

Tags

, , , ,

Hey everyone – it’s been a while. Not that you’ve been fretting over (or even noticing) my absence, but I’m definitely overdue for an update. At least half of the reason I have this blog is to document everything for my own sake. I’ve been failing even at that.

Babies

17w3d: Baby B laying with its head on Baby A’s tummy.

So, 23 weeks along. Here are the highlights:

Genders: It’s a secret for now (more on that in a moment)!

Size/Position of the babies: As of my last ultrasound at 20w5d, Baby A was 15 oz. and Baby B was 12 oz. They were side by side in my belly, both head-down (Baby A on my right, Baby B on my left as I look down at my own belly)

Movement: I started feeling the babies wiggle around in there at about 21 weeks. I think I was feeling it before then, but couldn’t be sure if it was gas or babies. Still feels like they’re wiggling/rolling. No strong punches/kicks yet. Mr. A can’t feel any movement from the outside yet.

How I’m feeling: No more gagging/vomiting. Feeling pretty good during the day, but struggling to sleep well at night. Lots of pelvic aches/pains, especially upon standing/walking after sitting for a while (OB says this is totally normal).

Weight Gain: Total weight gain so far is 8.5 pounds.

Stretch Marks: are happening – I’m screwed. I got my first batch by about 13 weeks and it seems like another one shows up every week. They run in my family and there’s nothing I can do about them. I expect to look like a road map by the end of this. And that’s okay. If that’s the price I pay for these babies, I’ll take it with a smile. I use coconut oil and Earth Mama Angel Baby oil and those keep the itchies away, but no oil or cream can prevent stretch marks, sadly.

Belly button: Still an inny.

Cravings: None. Still a challenge to find anything I actually want to eat.

Missing anything?: Just my appetite.

Labor Signs: None, but my OB has ordered a minimum of one hour of rest (laying on my side) in the middle of every work day. It’s precautionary, and totally appreciated. Makes a big difference.

Big appointments: We went for an elective gender ultrasound at 17w3d and found out the genders with a decent degree of certainty. They also did some 3D shots. The babies were too small to get very clear images and they were still so skinny they looked like rats, but it was awesome anyway! The genders were confirmed at our 20-week anatomy scan, where they also confirmed that both babies are healthy and everything looks normal. We won’t be sharing the genders for a couple more weeks, though. We’re doing a gender reveal at our baby shower on December 8th and I know some family/friends read this blog!

Nursery updates: Mr. A has been hard at work! He ripped out some ugly old wood paneling from the nursery and put up drywall. He put in a nice dimmable light fixture (so we can keep the lights low for late-night feedings) and painted the walls with Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter. We’re going to do a gray nursery with pops of color. We also have brand-new carpet being installed today. As for furniture, we have (or have ordered) all the major items for the nursery: Babyletto Modo cribs, Little Castle chair-and-a-half glider with enough room to breastfeed both twins at once (and the matching ottoman), and an Ikea Hemnes 8-drawer dresser that will also be our changing table (bonus – it’s really tall so we won’t break our backs changing all those diapers).

Baby Purchases: We bought our side-by-side stroller (Bumbleride Indie Twin) a long time ago because we found a ridiculous deal for it on craigslist. We also bought two Arm’s Reach Co-Sleepers on craigslist to use in our room for the first couple months. I’m building my cloth diaper stash for the babies. I have all the prefolds we’ll need for the newborn stage and the covers for the newborn stage should arrive at my doorstep any day now. I have about 18 one-size AIO BumGenius Freetime diapers for when they are bigger (and I registered for a bunch and will continue to buy more when they’re on sale). I bought the baby memory books and I’ve started filling those out. I’ve bought a handful of adorable baby clothing items that I just couldn’t resist, but I’ve been pretty good about not going overboard there. Let’s see, what else is in that rapidly-growing pile of baby stuff that’s taking over our living room? The infant car seats that were a gift from my Grandpa, some baby shower gifts that are arriving at our house already, a handful of cloth diapers that I’ve sewn (I should probably post about those) and I think that’s about it.

I’m going to try to keep doing these highlight updates weekly from now on and hopefully that will make for a bunch of shorter posts rather than intermittent really long posts.