Sunday, March 31, 2013

32 weeks tomorrow

Wow - we have arrived. Obviously, it would be great if they cook a little longer, but if they decide otherwise, the outcome is now looking very good. 5 weeks the latest??? I can't believe it and start to breath a little too fast when I let that sink in.

Sleeping has moved into the miserable realm. I dread nighttime. Dread it. It goes something like this...fall asleep at 10ish, wake up at midnight for about 30 minutes, fall asleep until 2ish, awake from 2-5ish (but not awake enough to do anything productive...just awake enough to watch endless episodes of The Office or Friends), fall back asleep around 5ish, sleep on and off until about 7:30am. This is standard. This is not enough sleep. The problem is my back and my belly. There is just no good way to support either. Even sleeping reclined offers minimal relief. I belong to a twin group and someone even made the bold statement that because sleeping is so miserable with the babes inside, that I actually may feel more rested once they arrive. I can see where this may be true. Sure, I will be awaking up every 2 hours to have 2 babes on my boobs, but at least I will be able to sleep in the short periods in between. We'll see.

We had a very nice Easter - spent with my mom and a dad and some friends down the street. Emmeline had fun. We are both pooped. I'll leave you with a 31 week and 2 day belly pic as well as a pic of E and her pregnant momma enjoying a beautiful Easter day on the swings...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Other gifts...

So, although I'm not on bed rest, and it appears that I may not be through the rest of this pregnancy, I am definitely slowing - both physically and mentally. As a result, I have asked my parents to come on the weekends when my husband works (he's a commercial pilot...should be interesting when the twins come, eh), This has been so helpful. They sometimes say that they feel bad that they don't do enough and that it still seems like I run around like a Tazmanian Devil even if they are here, but what they don't understand is them giving their undivided attention to Emmeline is the biggest help they could possibly be. It is such a relief to do the little things around the house without my 3-year literally pulling on my leg much of the time.

And because they come so much, there are definite traditions. Emmeline always sleeps with my mom. Within minutes of my mom coming in the door, Emmeline politely asks "Can I sleep with you?". Of course! And it works perfectly. She sleeps the whole night and loves cuddling with her grandma. Although she usually sleeps through the night anyway, the benefit to me is that I don't have to do bedtime. At 8:15ish, they head upstairs and I have the evening to myself. Total treat for everyone, I think. And Emmeline and my mom have special things they do - My mom introduced her to puzzles, which is perhaps one of her favorite past times. So she knows that grandma loves to do puzzles with her...and snow flakes. And then there is bath time. Grandma has a reputation for being able to blow monster-sized bubbles with her soap. Emmeline will tell her "Mommy can't blow bubbles as good as you, Grandma.". It's true. My dad has his own relationship with her. He brings her a milkshake when he comes...chocolate. And messes with her about her imaginary friend, V-nick, saying that V-nick actually hangs out with him at his house. Last night, Emmeline decided to run a music school, and he faithfully followed Emmeline around the house while she sang "we're marching, we're marching" and banging some play instrument. And then, as bedtime was winding down, Emmeline asked for him to come up to say goodnight to her...a true sign of her affection.

You don't think you do enough, mom and dad? Trust me - you do more than enough.

Just one of the many gifts these boys are already giving us as a family.

This weekend I had the great opportunity to visit with Alex's aunts and cousin. It was a nice treat as we don't get to see much of them. They came with fun gifts, including this - as you can see from the above pic, I think it was a hit and a testament that no matter how far away they live, they understand my who my daughter is.

Friday, March 22, 2013

30.5 week appointment

It went great. Could not have gone better. Both babes weighing around 3.5 pounds. Same fluid. Super long cervix. Despite dropping, no signs of them coming anytime soon. Baby B is head down. Baby A is butt down, as in his butt is resting on my cervix. The CCAM hasn't grown and remains a very minimal risk. I want to be off work by end of next week, but things went so well that my doc said that she can't write a "bed rest" order because there is no medical reason. She will write an "off work" order based on it being a twin pregnancy and the fact that I'm measuring "full-term". Last work day: April 1st.

Other appointment stats: I've gained a total of 28 pounds. My blood pressure yesterday was 133/87. I was concerned, but the doc was pleased. So I'll just go with that.

Also, we have a concrete plan for the birth. If I go into labor on my own, I'm progressing and the first baby is head down, we'll give a vaginal birth a shot. If I make it to 37 weeks with no signs of labor, we'll go direct to a c-section and skip the induction phase. Ahh, feels good to have a plan and I'm comfortable with these choices.

Funny story about my high-risk ob. So basically, she's become my high-risk ob because I have connections in the system. My best friend is a pediatrician in the system and is friends with a wonderful ob, who initially became my ob for this pregnancy. Then, when we found out about the twins, she worked some magic and transferred me to her of the best, most experienced ob's in the high risk practice. Apparently, my high risk rarely takes her own patients anymore as she is busy doing other high-risk things (not sure exactly what). Bottom line - I'm pretty much her only patient right now. I have figured this out because of the utter confusion at my ultrasound appointments when I'm asked and "do you have an ob appointment soon?" and I respond with "yes, today, with Dr. T". Then always the look of confusion and shock.

So when I did in fact see Dr. T yesterday, I told her how I've come to realize that I am very special that I am getting to see her as a patient. She just smiled and winked and said nothing. Then, as we were checking out, we ran into her and she put her hand on my shoulder and said, "By the way, your not special because I'm your doctor. You're just special.". I choose to take it as a compliment. :-).

So ultrasound pictures are getting harder, but she managed to get a profile of Baby A. That bubble near his mouth? His umbilical cord. I'm grateful he doesn't have teeth yet! lol.

The other big thing yesterday was that we made our stroller purchase. The City Select Double. Love it. In this pic, it is set up for an older configurations (once they can sit up), but those red seats come off and there are adapters for their infant car seats. Note the fun platform for Emmeline...although last night she enjoyed playing baby and sitting in the red seats. Yes, I drove that stroller all around the house for a couple of hours.

Next appointment in 2 weeks, followed by weekly appointments till the end (for NST monitoring). We are truly in the home stretch.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What you do for your kids...

You potentially ruin your favorite non-maternity bathing suit...

Emmeline has been asking for swim lessons. So, in the midst of potty-training issues of the #2 variety, we held out swim lessons as the carrot. Well, yesterday, after pooping on the potty twice with no accidents, we decided to go ahead and sign her up. Lessons will start next week, but today was open swim. Knowing that this may be a possibility, I splurged on a maternity swim suit top but decided that I would try to get by with the black bottoms that I already had. Well, today, about 5 minutes before walking out the door with my very excited and appropriately rewarded three-year-old, I discovered then remembered that I gave those black bottoms to the salvation army at the end of last season because they were a "little big"...bahahaha. So what to do? Squeeze into the non-maternity one piece that I own...and I mean SQUEEZE; like the boys were not pleased. But it worked and we had fun. The water provided some relief from the weight, but, ironically, it increased the heartburn - like it allowed my stomach to float higher or something.

Here's a pic:

I have an appointment tomorrow. I'm really curious to find out what's going on in there. Is my intuition right? Have things started moving? Or is it just my inner pessimist showing her ugly face? Updates tomorrow.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Tazmanian Devil returns...

When I wrote my blog about Emmeline, I remember a post which I referred to myself as the Tazmanian Devil. I was just about 11 and 1/2 weeks and one morning I woke up with no more sickness and loads of energy. I felt like the Tazmanian Devil that day, making up for lost time. Well, today was another Tazmanian Devil day. The babies have dropped, the heartburn has eased, I can breath a little better and I have buckets of energy. All seems positive, however, it is making me a little nervous. I'm becoming less confident that I will make it 7 more weeks.

I have some busy work days ahead that I am worried about. So I called my doc practice and told them about the babies dropping, the surge of energy and the absence of constipation. They blew me off. Are you have timed contractions? No? Call us back, honey. But as I was telling a friend, if I feel any additional concerns, I'll just lie about the contraction part and get evaluated. I don't think I'm going into actual labor this week or anything, but if keeping my feet up would buy me a few weeks, I'd gladly do it. On the other hand, if nothing is going on, I definitely would like to keep plugging away. Next appointment is Thursday.

Part of the high energy day was getting my hospital bag ready. Of course, Emmeline wanted to also get her hospital bag ready. Then, she crawled out of bed tonight to set it next to mine so she wouldn't forget it. My little mini-me these days.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

29.5 belly pic

I am in awe of my own belly. I stare at it in disbelief. There is also disbelief that, best case scenario, there is still 7 weeks of growth.

But in the last few days, I question if I will truly make it these 7 weeks. Things feel different. I can't explain, but I just feel like counting on 7 more weeks is a long shot.

I finished up one of three projects that I am trying to accomplish before I stop work, so that feels good. Little loose ends to tie up around the house, none of them required, and most of them definitely on my "want to do" list, not my "need to do" list. I find myself having that now-or-never mentality. I'm trying to break free from that. Yes, it will be harder to get non-essentials done once the babies arrive, but we will still be living. The train of life will continue and priorities with naturally fall into place. Right? Right??? And as these experienced twin mom's keep telling me...this is about to be the adventure of my lifetime.

So part of the household arranging is figuring out the sleeping arrangements for the least what we will try to do initially. We have decided to put them in one crib in the current guest bedroom (which will eventually become their room) until they start rolling around. There is also a bed in there, so I will be the one also camped out in the room as long as breast-feeding is going well. Then, when the boys start rolling away (and hopefully start sleeping for longer periods), we'll bring in another crib and take down the bed. So, as a result of all this, we moved the two bassinets we have to the sunroom. I really want a place for them to sleep, be changed, hang in, etc. downstairs.

Until they get filled with babies, the bassinets have been getting good use - everything from bassinets for the dolls and stuffed animals to impromptu basketball hoops. Pictured below - a cozy little space for Emmeline to study.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Finishing up work. That is the primary goal in these next two weeks. I've had a non-teaching assignment, which has been wonderful, but was put on a couple of random projects. And when I leave, others will have to take over these projects. Seems simple enough, no? Except if you are me - the very highly organized individual when it comes to my home and child, but the ultimate absent-minded professor when it comes to work...and my car, for that matter. Let's just say that if I were to go into to labor tonight, it would be a good couple of months before I would be able to talk someone through the mess that is my office. So the main goal in the next two weeks is project be able to hand over nice, labeled folders of work to someone else and not have to worry about it.

In other news, Emmeline is showing signs that the birth of these boys is weighing on her mind. I have been sleeping sitting straight up, so sometimes lately, she has been sneaking into bed with my husband in the middle of the night. This morning, he woke up to her saying "Daddy! We need to get two potties for the boys.". And of course, more classic behavior such as the more I physically slow, the more she clings. I do find her worried about me when I have slow days, although I try my best to explain that I'm not sick...that "growing babies is just hard work" (this is line out of the "Mommy's having a baby" book that we have been reading). She deals with it all by mimicking any discomfort I may have. Here's a hint - lately she has been saying "My babies are really making my butt hurt!" a lot. lol. Oh, she also likes to tell other people that the babies make her mommy's butt hurt. Yes, we have reached that age where I can expect anything that comes out of my mouth to be repeated to anyone - strangers included.

I made it to a mom-to-mom's sale hosted by the multiples group that I belong to. Snagged some good stuff including a fantastic toy microwave for Emmeline. The best thing about the sale was that I got to meet and have some good conversations with some twin mommies. I was talking to one who also had mo-di twins and we were discussing the biology of identicals and laughing over the fact that in the end, they are really a result of a weak egg. Oh the irony...the exact thing that probably caused us to struggle to have Emmeline for four years also caused us to have identical twins.

30-weeks on Monday. I can't believe I'm still going fairly strong with no formal bed rest. Maybe one of these days I'll have faith in my body...

Saturday, March 9, 2013

28-week appointment details

Good appointment. Babies are still measuring the same. Fluid is the same and good. Cervix is super long. Baby A still has the CCAM, but it hasn't grown. We met with a pediatric surgeon who put our minds at ease. The CCAM is small and there is a very low possibility that it will have any effect before birth or immediately following birth. In fact, the surgeon said that if it wasn't for all these ultrasounds, it (the CCAM) may only be discovered when the kid gets a respiratory infection that won't go away. So his recommendation is that we get a CT scan at around 2 months, then, if the CCAM is still present (sometimes on rare occasion they go away), he recommends surgery at around 6 months.

In other news, we took a hospital tour last night. I left it feeling nauseated and freaked out. My memories of my hospital stay with Emmeline are mixed. On the one hand, it was the best of times. Nothing to do except bond with my baby cakes, learn how to breastfeed and eat yummy takeout from local restaurants (skipped most of the hospital food experience). On the other hand, the first 48 hours there (I was there a total of 5 days due to preeclampsia), including the 24-hours after giving birth, are one big hot, flu-like blur. I don't remember how I cared for Emmeline during that time, and I do remember threatening to go against medical advice by ripping those mag sulfate IVs out. And I know the thing that was most pleasurable about the experience - the simplicity of only needing to focus on bonding with the baby- will be different this time around. I'll want to get home to Emmeline. And of course there will be bonding, but there will also be basic survival with the two. I never felt like I was on "survival" mode with Emmeline.

If I, my body and my boys decide to give a vaginal birth a shot, we will be delivering in the OR...standard procedure for vaginal births with twins. Apparently, you are all set up for a c-section (complete with full c-section staff). I've decided that my approach to having these boys is the same as my approach for when they come day at a time, have flexibility and make decisions with the situation at hand rather than having any big, non-flexible plans.

Yesterday, at the park, I ran into a mother I've been itching to run into since last fall. She has a boy who is exactly Emmeline's age and drum roll please...identical twins. She lives a few blocks away. Good stories from her. She made it to 37 weeks, was induced, easy birth, both boys were around 7lbs. Everyone went home in 24 hours. Their house is almost exactly like ours. She says it works just fine. She tandem breastfeeds. I mean, really, does it get any better? She did add that there are bad days, of course. I'm glad she said that because it gave some credibility to all the positive stuff that she said. Anyway, after seeing each other at the park for over a year, we finally exchanged digits. She is going to be a great source of info.

Yes, we got out in the beautiful sunshine and made it to the park across the street and ran into two good friends of Emmeline's. And then we had another impromptu dinner with another one of her friends and her parents...grilled out. See, it hits the mid-40's and abundant sunshine in Michigan and we all act as if it is summer. But it was one of those days where I was not only reminded that it takes a village but was also once again in love with the village that we live in. Yes, we sometimes crave more space in our home, but this neighborhood? It's quite a gem.

I leave you with a pic from our "summer" day as well as a 28.5 week belly:

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

28-week appointment tomorrow

Bullet point update:

-28-week appointment tomorrow. We'll know more about the CCAM (lung issue).
-My latest pregnancy symptom is a big pain in my ass - literally. Figure it out. Part of tonight's comfort regime includes sitting on a warm washcloth soaked in Epson salts. Oh the glamour.
-Think we've decided on a stroller - the City Select Double. It will take us from now till 3 1/2 years or so. And it has a platform for Emmeline to ride on. We "test" drove it. Very, very nice.
-Hospital tour on Thursday night. I still love the fact that I can look out my bedroom window and see the top of the hospital I will be delivering at.
-Finally, I need to slow down and put these feet up more. I'm pretty sure the second bullet point is a result not putting my feet up once today. But it's crunch time! 9 the longest.