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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…

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