Saturday, October 29, 2011

One Week Later...

The babies have been here for a week now, I can't believe it. This has been the longest and shortest week of my life. 

Grace Irene and Caleb Michael, three days old

I thought I understood the meaning of the word overwhelmed before I was the mother of twins- but I've learned a new level of overwhelming worry, guilt, exhaustion, joy, and love since I first heard their tiny cries.

Overwhelmed doesn't often give off a positive tone- most people think it's a bad thing to be overwhelmed.  I've seen both sides this week.  The amount of love I feel for them, the amount of sheer happiness and pride I have in them already- it's truly overwhelming.  I feel this incredible sense of protection- of worry for them.  It's terrifying, really.  And unbelievably overwhelming.

First pediatrician appointment, 10/27- five days old (Caleb on the left, Grace on the right)

Mommy changing baby Caleb, our little man, for the doctor's visit.  He's still a little jaundice and he had to go get his heel pricked for the FOURTH time right after this. What a strong little dude.

Grace cuddling with Mommy after her first sponge bath at home, six days old.  Yes, I still had my hospital bracelets on until yesterday...
So their births- I'm glad I was able to throw a couple of blog posts up right before and then right after their births to document what was going on.  It was such a whirlwind, an unexpected whirlwind. 

Friday was supposed to be a relaxing day.  My best friend, JJ, came over and she was gonna help reorganize our kitchen cabinets so we had room for some of the baby supplies. We were, after all, less than a week away from their delivery!  Only one weekend left- had to take advantage!  Well, we ended up spending two hours reorganizing the whole kitchen...and then taking back some baby stuff and shopping around for Halloween onesies in "newborn" size- they were coming before Halloween now! I wanted to have something for them to wear for a picture! Oh...looking back. If only I had laid down when I first started contracting instead of pushing through it to get a couple more stupid little things done.

I started having contractions pretty early in the day- probably around 10am.  They were irregular and similar to the braxton hicks, just a little more frequent. I didn't count them or time them...I figured they'd stop when I'd lay down or drink some water, just like they always had.

Then about four hours later, I noticed that they were really hanging around a lot more than usual.  I didn't go a full 30 minutes without one like I always had before.  When B got home from work around 4ish, I finally laid down in bed with him to chat. It was the first time I'd put my feet up and really started paying attention.  How selfish of me, how foolish. 

That's when I started timing them for the first time- 4:00.   My contractions were already 5 minutes apart when I first started timing.  I called the doctor after about an hour of timing them. She told me that they wouldn't stop my labor if I was in fact going into labor, but they also wouldn't help it along.  So she said I should take a relaxing bath, a shower, anything that was calming for me.  Just try to relax, push the fluids some more (which I started doing at 4), and see if we could slow them down.

Three or four hours later, around 8 or 9 I believe, after a nice warm bath, a relaxing shower, and laying down as much as possible (they were getting pretty uncomfortable),  I was timing my contractions at about two minutes apart.  I knew this wasn't normal- I knew when I called her back and told her, she'd send me to the hospital.

So, of course, the only logical thing to do was blow dry and straighten my hair.  Yes, that's right.  My contractions were nearly on top of eachother and I straightened my hair.  I figured, if I was actually going to have babies soon, I wouldn't want to deal with ridiculously frizzy hair. When I straighten it, I can just leave it alone for a could days... I mean, honestly One Day?  (Well, in hindsight, this may have been the only good decision I made all day- it was WAY easier to deal with my hair in the hospital for four days after having it freshly straightened.  I know,  I'm ridiculous). But I will throw out there that while all of this was going down, B went out and got a workout in.  He, at first, thought that it wasn't really gonna happen.  But then he decided that if we were gonna have the babies that night, we'd remember everything about the entire day and he didn't want to look back and think he was lazy for not working out.  Oh,  that's my B alright!

So I called the doc, she obviously sent me to the hospital. B and I packed up our bags (I had already packed the clothes, just needed my toiletries and some extras- B hadn't packed a thing, he was sure we had until the 26th...).

The best part about the night was that on the way to the hospital, my contractions slowed down significantly.  I actually told B to turn around- I was sure that it was over and I'd be sent home.  I didn't want to deal with the hospital if I didn't have to.  They slowed to about 7 minutes apart...I was excited and embarrassed that I'd gotten all worked up over nothing.  B convinced me that going to the hospital was still a good idea- what if they started up again?  So, we got there around 9:30 I think, not really sure.  My doc had called ahead.  I already pre-registered and they got me hooked up to the monitors to check the babies heart rates and my contractions. After what seemed like only about 30 minutes, the nurses called my doc to let her know that, in fact, I was having strong, regular contractions every 4 minutes or so, but that I wasn't dilated.  She asked them to give me some fluids and call her back if they slowed.  They started the IV- B sat beside me and we tried to take my mind off of it. B had told me earlier in the night that he wanted to take me to this new Mongolian bbq place he went to for lunch.  We had decided that we'd go as soon as my contractions stopped.  On the drive to the hospital and as we sat there waiting, we talked about what time it closed and whether we could still make it...haha.

Just a few hours before they were born!

Notice B's shirt!! The Lucky shirt! I made him wear it :)
After the entire bag of fluids was gone, they checked me again.  My contractions were still regular, getting more painful, but I hadn't dilated yet.  My doctor called it and said that at this point, if my contractions aren't stopping, going home was pointless (and would just be painful).  They told B and I we would be going in for my c-section within the hour. Queue extreme panic and nervousness. We were only a few days earlier than our scheduled section, but we had just lost a week of time only a couple days before that! This was all happening really fast- we had to accept it and move forward.  We were gonna be, now!

It turned out there was an emergency c-section that pushed us back, and then they got really busy and it was a few hours before we got in.  They gave me some drugs to slow my contractions because there was no point in laboring at this point.  They didn't work- it just got worse (but wasn't horrible by any means- I was still in the very early stages of labor...but I know I don't want to know how much worse it would have gotten...yikes).

Finally, after being prepped for surgery for about three hours, they were ready for us.  My parents had driven up to see us off (my Dad had taken two bena.dryl before we called them because he had an allergic reaction, so he was super drugged up and sleepy while we all waited for them to get us in. Hysterical!). I haven't mentioned it yet, but the babies were born on my Dad's birthday! 10/22- what an amazing day! I'm so glad that they were there to see us off, and that our kids share their birthday with such an amazing man!

After some hugs and kisses, I was guided off into the OR.

My Dad- "Papa".  A little loopy!

B saying goodbye to the belly- look at that thing!

The hardest part of the surgery was the spinal- and not because it was painful or anything, really it wasn't.  I was just shaking uncontrollably! I think I was nervous and excited...and way cold.  My doctor actually came over and held me so I could rest my head on her shoulder as they placed it.  She's amazing- I have the best MFM ever.  Seriously.

I felt the spinal just a bit- had the bee sting feeling, then some sharp pain down one leg, then a little burning.  Really nothing too bad at all.  It was over and done with in probably 10 minutes start to finish. They laid me back, but of course I was way too tall for the table so I had to try and scoot myself down as my head was hanging off...with hardly any feeling in my legs.  Then they gave me a place to put my arms and I apologized over and over for all of the shaking. I couldn't control it.

After only a few minutes, they put up the drape screen and B came in the door.  They were moving really fast- and I heard music on in the background. I wish I could remember which song right now... but I remember it being funny what was playing...I think I said that I liked it.

Then, the anesthesiologist started checking my numbness.  He wiped an alcohol pad on my arm and asked if I could feel how cold it was and I could.  Then wiped it on my rib cage and I could only feel the touch, no cold.  Then he moved it up, still no cold.  Then higher, no cold.  Then my armpit- still no cold.  He sort of paused and tried to tell me that, in fact, I could feel the cold.  I said no.  So we spent the next several minutes going back and forth between my arm and right below my armpit with this alcohol pad.  Finally, he got a little nervous and had to tilt the table because he was worried it had gone too high.  Nice.

And then, the pressure.  Oh the pressure.  I feel like I was bouncing up and down off of the table.  They were pushing so hard on my upper abdomen.  I commented on the burning flesh smell...that was awesome.  After only a couple of minutes, the doctor said "and this baby's breech" which I thought she said "and this is baby b" and I freaked out that somehow they pulled out B first...I kept asking if it was a boy or a girl...they must have thought I was crazy.  Finally they let me know that Baby A was coming out breech- feet first! All of a sudden I started hearing "congratulations!" but I didn't hear a baby crying.  I was just waiting for a baby to cry.  I didn't believe it.  They had already started on Baby B- a ton more pressure because he was so high up. I was still waiting for that cry...and then, I heard her.

It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard.  Our little girl was whaling like no other, but it was such a tiny little voice.  I just kept saying "wow", and B agreed. 

We didn't have much time to take it in, because they announced that baby B was also coming out feet first, and then he was here.  Again, no cry- I could only hear little Gracie.  All kinds of congratulations and commotion, but not another little cry.  I held my breath, until I heard him.

He was so distinct- a different tiny voice.  It was unbelievable.  I listened to them both singing and I broke down.  We had two children.  We were parents.  Our dreams had come true.

B was amazing the entire time.  He got the whole thing on video (yes, the whole c-section and it's awesome! I'm so glad that I got to see it.  He even has video of them holding onto his hand as they were being warmed up and of himself cutting the cords! Absolutely unbelievable. 

Our entire world.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Beginning of "Us"

I can't believe just a day ago, it was B and I- just us two. 

Welcome to the world Caleb Michael and Grace Irene!

Grace was born at 2:56am on 10/22/11, Caleb was born at 2:57am.  Both of our babies were pulled out feet first!!! Grace, our "little" lady- turned out to (of course) be the chunk of the two!!! She weighed in at 6lbs 1oz.  Out "Big Bubba", Mr. Caleb, weighed in at 5lbs 7oz! She was 18 3/4" long, he was 18 1/2".  It's like the last three weeks she's been stealing all of the food!  C'mon Caleb, don't be a push over. ;)

We're doing well in the hospital- got a corner room so there's lots more space, thank God!  These babies need a LOT of time, attention, and stuff! :)

I'm doing well- the c-section went very smoothly, my doctor is super quick. B got video of the whole thing which turned out to be amazing and I'm so glad he did it! I didn't get to see the babies for about 15 minutes while they did their tests, but B was taking all kinds of video and pictures of them during that time- and he came over to show me a couple of times.  I'll write up a full birth story soon!

We've taken a ton of pictures and I can't wait until I can upload them to show you!  These two look nothing alike- her head is so much bigger than his- and she's got the cutest double chin.  Little Caleb is so much skinnier than our Gracie Mae! Not what I thought it would be- it's perfection.  They're perfection!

More when we get home on Wednesday.  And pictures!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

well...they aren't gonna wait!!! :)

We're at the hospital and I have been contracting for eight hours regularly. I called my doctor, tried to stop them by taking a bath, a shower, laying down...nothing worked. Doc said to come in because I was contracting every 2 minutes.

So after IV fluids and still no slowing they have decided 10/22/11 is the Luckies birthday! It should be just about an hour away an I am already prepped for the c-section!!

Say a little prayer for the Luckies.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Changing it up!

Scratch that whole "two weeks left" thing.  We're no longer having November babies- these are now October babies!!!  Our twins will be delivered this coming Wednesday, October 26th! 

That's less than six days from now. 


I think B and I are mostly just stressed out at losing a week of time to get prepared.  I mean, we don't really have that much left to I'm not sure what it is.  But I'm SO excited to meet these little ones. 

They gave Daddy a great show this afternoon.  I mean, we had legs and arms and elbows and heads-all moving everywhere.  It was a lot of fun that B got to experience that, too. I'm so glad.  Cuz they're gonna be here in the flesh so, so soon. I want to cherish every kick and movement. 

Doc upped my dosage of medication to double what I was taking before.  She feels like if we took them out now, they'd be healthy- so there's no reason to risk leaving them in until 37 weeks.  The compromise was 36 weeks.  They should be big enough and strong enough by then to hopefully come home with us!  Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers for lots of good growth these next few days. 

I'll be picking up steroids tomorrow to start taking for their lung development.  I'll take two rounds before they're evacuated.  :)

Our appointment is at 9:30am on Wednesday- need to get there by 7:30am.  So these babies should be here by around 10am or so!!!

I mean, wow.  Just wow.  Can't wait to see them, to hold them, to know that they're safe.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

two weeks left!...maybe...and a LOT to say

Love that title, eh? So I'll start off with the "maybe" part.  I was diagnosed with severe cholestasis on Monday after my bloodwork came back.  Of course I was diagnosed with cholestasis. It happens in about 1/1,000 pregnancies, so I was desitned to have it.  I'm just so lucky!  Well, myself and Amanda.  Here we are, an ocean apart, really mirroring pregnancy experiences.  Her little boy is just the most adorable thing- 4 weeks old now.  So that's just another amazing reminder of how worth it this all is.  Truly.

I started medication Monday afternoon.  Honestly, when the doctor called me to say my bile acids were extremely elevated and I had cholestasis...I was kind of relieved to know that I don't have some sort of psychosomatic itching disorder.  Good lord the itching is AWFUL.  I wake up in the middle of the night in the act of scratching.  Itching in my sleep.  It actually wakes me up.  Unreal.

Doc said it can take a couple days for the medication to start working to help with the far it's actually gotten a little worse.  We'll see. She said I should take bena.dryl and if that doesn't work then she'll prescribe me something stronger. Then I read on the American Pregnancy Association website to not take anti-histamines with now I'm paranoid and I won't take it.  When I go in to see the doctor tomorrow and mention that I still itch like crazy, she's gonna think I'm an idiot for not taking her advice.  Oh the guilt factor.  These little babies in my belly have a strong hold on that aspect...I don't want to take anything that's unnecessary or that might not be great for them. 

From what I've read and what little the doctor has told me about cholestasis- it means we need to be delivered early.  However, because it's twins, we're already set to deliver early.  We're going to talk tomorrow about whether it should be even earlier.  I have no idea. Apparently, cholestasis can cause some distress to the babies- and can cause them to have liver problems as well...because my liver's not doing what it should be for theirs. I have a lot of questions to ask- but mainly I just want these two to be healthy.  If that means we take them out tomorrow, then I'm fine with it.  If that means we leave them in until after November 2nd, then I'm fine with it.  I honestly don't care how uncomfortable I am- I just want healthy babies if that's at all possible.  Please, please let that be possible.

So it's been an adventure- this pregnancy.  The hyperemesis was something I never want to revisit, I even have trouble thinking about it.  Add the cholestasis to it and it just gets a little comical. I feel incredibly blessed that we're having twins- that we will have two children...that I won't be doing this again.  I needed to do it, I wanted more than anything to be pregnant. I'm lucky to have been able to experience this unbelievable transformation.  But once is it for us. 

I think B is ready for these little ones to come join us, too.  He wants big, chubby, healthy babies as much as I do.  But I'm in a constant state of "complain" with him.  I know that I can.  I know that he'll hear me out and listen, he won't judge or throw it back in my face. But that's a lot for any man to take, even a superman like my husband. 

Monday we celebrated our second wedding anniversary.  I made B a photo book of our entire relationship- all of the memories I could find that we'd captured through picture.  I wrote little anecdotes about all of them, and we sat together flipping through that book before we went out to dinner.  From the early months- the "puppy love" phase...filled with long drawn out "good nights" out by our cars, dreading driving away from one the pictures of our trip to Disneyland when B asked me to be his the first time we opened the front door of our first home...and then to pictures of our future- our luckies.  It was a beautiful moment for me, looking back at all of those memories and remembering how lucky we've been to have eachother.  We started this infertility journey before we even got married two years ago.  And we had our share of ups and downs even before this journey started.  He's been by my side the entire time.  He's held my hand through diagnoses and scares.  He's told me to put down the computer, to stop researching and driving myself crazy.  He knows me better than I know myself.  I'm so lucky to have that in my husband, someone who looks out for me, even when it's difficult. 

I think back to the last two years being his wife, and the years before that, and I'm so grateful.  We met at a bar during happy hour- he came out to the patio to talk to another girl his friend said was interested.  We caught eyes, and then spent hours talking.  He gave me a kiss before I drove home- and I gave him my phone number.  I remember calling my Mom and telling her about him.  I remember hoping about him.

I've watched B grow into an even more amazing man than he was back when I first put my hope in him.  I didn't think that was possible.  His patience, his calm- he's the perfect balance to everything I wish I was.  Our team is a strong team- the two of us together.  Add in all of the little moments- the laughs, the playing.  I couldn't ever dream of a better match.  I couldn't have done this myself if I tried...this was designed, long before I even knew I wanted it.

As we're getting oh so close to starting the next chapter of "us", I can't help but wonder what amazing design is planned for us.  I learned a long time ago that I can't make it nearly as good as our Creator can. I'm excited to see what He has in store for us, for our family.  I'm excited to watch it all unfold, with B by my side. 

To my incredible husband- Happy Anniversary.  Thank you for making me whole.

Oh, and B got me a gift certificate to the spa, AND a beautiful watch, AND...drumroll...NEWBORN photos for our anniversary!!!  He knows my love language is gifts, doesn't he?  ;)

Now to go book our newborn photos- I seriously just can't wait!  Do you hear that Luckies?  Mommy and Daddy can't wait to squeeze your chubby cheeks and kiss your big bellies...and get ready for some serious photo sessions.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

34 Weeks Holy Crap!

If I were to go into labor right now, this very instant, the doctors wouldn't stop it.  We'd call the doc about our regular contractions, have to hurriedly pack up our hospital bags (I really need to do this, what am I waiting for?), drive the 15 minutes to the hospital, be monitored for who knows how long, and then they'd start working on prepping me for surgery. No stopping it.  No trying to slow things down.  They'd go ahead and bring these two children out into our world. They'd feel good about how long we'd made it.  That's TODAY!

I have two weeks and six days until our scheduled c-section. 

Who knows what will happen in the next two weeks and six days, but I'm thinking a whole lotta nothing.  I'm feeling like these kids are pretty ok in there- fine with the cramped quarters, and looking forward to an 11/02/2011 birthday.  And so it will be.

Unless I have cholestasis and need to get them out early.  Or my blood pressure spikes to unhealthy levels.  Or Little Lady won't do what she's supposed to do on the monitors and they decide to pull the trigger early. 

But like I said, while I have no idea what will actually happen over the next few weeks, I'm thinking it's gonna be me sitting around feeling uber-pregnant, totally amused by our offspring and their crazy movements, and trying not to complain about my last weeks of growing humans.  Growing humans!!! In my belly.  How utterly and undeniably fascinating.  Since the very beginning I've been baffled at the thought of there being two humans in there.  And now that they are at the stage where they could very well be on the outside, looking just like "babies" and not at all like "fetuses", it's an even more baffling thing.  I'm blown away that my body could do this (even if it was touch and go there for a while...and yes, even though it couldn't get this way "naturally"- I put those things aside). 

Speaking of infertility.  Like how I throw that one out there like that?  I don't know what it is, but lately I've been feeling incredibly proud of our infertility battle.  The scars that B and I share, both physically and emotionally, are badges I'm wearing with honor right now.  I have no shame about them.  I don't know if I've ever felt "shame" about my infertility, my lack of ability to do as "nature intended" and get blissfully knocked up all on our own.  Maybe it's because we were, in a weird way, very lucky to not have to go through a year (or more) of trying and being let down every month.  It's so strange to think of my ongoing health issues, those horrible things that led me back to the hospital far too often, those diagnoses that changed my life and turned our worlds upside down, in a "we're lucky" sort of way.  But in this case, I had the diagnoses early that told us we would need to do IVF.  There wasn't a question about it for us- even though we tried for a little while to deny it and even sought out a second opinion when we felt the first RE was far too "definitive" about this plan.  Every RE would be definitive about this plan.  I ain't got no tubes.  At least not functioning ones.  Can't get much done in the old fashioned way with that staring back at you.  Plus, the stage 4 endo, the hashimotos, the questions about the Cushings diagnosis at the was all just too much.  We saw our first RE before we were even married. Who does that?  haha This girl. Good lord, I'm a lucky woman my B didn't run out of that room screaming.  He's been by my side since the moment we said "I really like a, no, really."  (The before "l.o.v.e." talk- one of my favorite memories). 

So maybe it's because I've had a bit of a different infertility journey.  My infertility journey started when I was 18 years old and a doctor told me that I shouldn't wait too long to try to have Dad woulda been pissed if he knew that back then.  Don't worry Dad- I wasn't taking his advice literally.

Oh, pause.  One of the babies has hiccups.  Love.

I don't know if there is shame out there after successful IVF for other infertiles.  Sometimes there's a bit of something that will creep in when I tell someone we did IVF and they say "oh" in a weird way.  But most of the time, it's just a happy "we had to work real hard for these miracles and we were so blessed" type of feeling.

I think of Petri sometimes and hope that my health issues had nothing to do with how short his tiny life was.  Then I feel even more blessed by the miracle of these twins- that they made it this far.  We are so incredibly lucky, and I'm wearing my infertile badge with all kinds of pride right now.  I want so badly for all of you in this journey to reach this place.  It's by no means a finish line, but we all deserve this.  I hope this next year brings all kinds of infertility babies into the world- happy and healthy.

I pray that all continues to go well while I have these two so close to me- protected from the outside world.  And I pray that once they're here and I can see them and squeeze them- that they have the strength to weather whatever it is that comes.  And I pray that B and I have that same strength.  We've been through so much, these scars are here for a reason and I'm not going to forget their incredible meaning.  We've battled through it all together, just the two of us.  We'll continue to battle, the four of us together, no matter what comes our way.  Because that's how we do. And I'm so, so proud to be able to say that.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Countdown Continues!

We're almost at the "three weeks left" mark (tomorrow)!  That's a pretty low number of weeks if I do say so myself.  I went to the doctor yesterday because F, I feel horrible.  My throat still hurts, the itching continues, I've got some more symptoms's just like my body went: "Ha- screw you".  I had a pretty good run there in the middle of this pregnancy.  And honestly, I'll take this over the first 16 weeks ANY DAY!

Doc does, in fact, want me to do the blood test for cholestasis because of the itching.  She brought it up after I mentioned my unreal amount of itching with no rash.  She said the results take about 5-10 days to come back (seriously?), so we'll see.  I don't know if I really have it, but she wants to make sure that I get the medication I need if I do in fact have it.  She's not too concerned with having to deliver me early in the case that I have it, because so far babies' growth have been fine and we're technically delivering early anyway.  I wonder if the medication will make the itching stop.  I need something to make this itching stop- NOTHING works.

I got some more medication for some other awesome problems.  Antibiotics as well, because she thinks I might have had a viral infection that is turning into a bacterial infection with how long it's lingering (but the initial strep test came back negative thank God).  I'm not taking them yet...I want to give it another day to see if it gets better.  I did, however, wake up at 3am this morning totally congested, feeling awful, not able to swallow...and thinking a little harder about popping the antibiotics.  We'll see how the rest of the morning goes.

We got to see the Luckies yesterday!  They look adorable per usual ;).  No measurements this week, just the BPP and we saw them both practicing their breathing so all is well.  I had my first monitoring appointment on Thursday last week and Lady's heart rate wasn't fluctuating like they wanted to see for the first 20 minutes or so of monitoring. They made me stay extra and wait to make sure she would perk up.  Lots of belly jiggling and paranoia later, her heart rate moved out of the 130's for a bit and I was released.  I had three contractions during the monitoring, too.  It was cool to see that- it's been kind of difficult to distinguish between both babies pushing out really hard and a contraction sometimes.  But my Braxton Hicks are getting stronger every day, so it's a little more distinguishable.

Oh- baby movements are changing!  It doesn't feel the same anymore, it's not that big kick or little flutter.  It's more like scraping feelings now! So weird- I love it. I can tell when an arm or a leg is sliding across my belly.  And Lady can really give me some intense jabs in the bladder and cervix nowadays.  She's a strong little one- I like to see that (even if it totally catches me off guard and induces a yelp!)

I finally had B take some more belly shots last night- I want to make sure we remember this beast of a belly (still no stretch marks...but I'm seriously not holding my breath).  So these are 33w4d:

My poor disfigured belly button... ;) haha

Hey there Luckies! I stand like this a lot- with both hands under my belly kind of holding it up.  This thing is heavy!

This is my fav.  My hubby is 6'5", 230lbs. He's not a little guy. I make him look so skinny (although he is pretty thin in the waist area- he's one of those metabolism blessed people...)!!!  I now weigh a good amount more than him. :)

Oh, I've cut back my "in the office" hours now as well. I'm only going in twice this week instead of three times.  I think I'll probably do that again next week and then call it quits.  I need to figure out the best way to go about initiating my maternity leave- I know how to do it when it's an emergency type situation...not planned like this.  Gotta make that call. 

I ordered some more storage for the nursery.  My mom also went shopping for me and brought over some ideas for the window treatments- we picked one and she's gonna help me install it next week.  OH- and I made a couple of calls and priced out a cleaning service. SO excited. I mean, I can't clean anymore.  No more bending for me.  And I don't want to be all "no, not good enough" to B when he cleans (he's super thorough...but I'm looking for minor details here- this nesting thing is out of control).  So I think we'll have someone come by not next week but the following for a deep clean (we've never hired anyone to clean before- I'm excited to have the professionals go at it!!!).

Finally, I made some lists yesterday!  I made a list of all the people I want to be called if we go into labor spontaneously, and added their phone numbers in case B doesn't have them or he can't do it or something.  I also made the list of people I want to send an announcement out to when the babies are actually born (probably a text saying that they're here and all is well) with their phone numbers, as well as a list of who I want to get an email with pics after they're born.  I have a list of all the stuff I want to pack in my hospital bag.  The things I need to buy still.  And finally, I created our twin schedule tracking spreadsheets!!! :)  I don't know how long we'll keep up with these- maybe a couple weeks.  But I know with the sleep deprivation I'll totally forget who fed last and for how long/how much.  So I was pretty excited about that.  Nesting, nesting. I'm such a nerd right now.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

33 Weeks...and lots of contemplating

I'm contemplating all kinds of madness right now, not the least of which being how much harder this has gotten in the past week or so.  I don't know what happened, but somehow I jumped from "we're going to break the weight record and have wonderfully chubby babies" to "get them out now, I'm done, please God help me". 

Don't get me wrong, I am still enamored by the fact that my body is doing something right.  I'm still totally in awe that we're even Pregnant, let alone carrying twins to what could be full-term.  I'm so stoked that I'm surviving this and that in just a few short weeks we'll have BABIES.  Real ones, take-home ones, God willing. 

However, surviving this is probably the best way I can put it right about now.  I'm tired of people telling me that I don't at all look like I'm carrying twins.  That was super awesome there for a while but now that I feel like I'm carrying triplets, I want the damn credit for carrying twins...just so that I don't feel so awful about feeling soooo awful. 

Plus, I got sick.  So my throat really, really hurts and I can't get off the couch without groaning ridiculously loud groans...and I got hemorrhoids.


And is anyone else so out of control itchy all over their body at the end of pregnancy like me? 

Ok, enough of those contemplations.  Moving on to my next contemplation- I want my mommy.  Whenever I get sick, I have this overwhelming urge to be taken care of by my mom.  My husband is seriously the best thing in the entire world, I know this.  That doesn't make him anywhere near as comforting to a soar throat as my mom.  Weird, I know.  I'm apparently 7.

But this additional thought-time on my mom has me thinking about a few things.  First, my mama just celebrated her birthday- happy birthday mama- and I was super sad that our internet was down for two days so I couldn't write a post about my mom's bday.  Because not only is she the most amazing mother a girl could ever ask for, she's pretty much the best Nana I've ever heard of.  My niece and nephew, K and E, have spent many a day hanging with Nana and Papa...and they absolutely adore hanging with Nana and Papa.  Watching my mom with these two little people just reminds me everytime how incredibly lucky I am. 

First, I got to be RAISED by this woman.  She and my dad were/are unbelievable parents.  I think about the kind of parent I want to be, and I absolutely think of them.  Absolutely.  Sometimes I fear living up to them...but I also know that, just like with everything that's come up in my life of any substance, I can go to them for guidance and support. They've already shown B and I unimaginable amounts of support in our marriage, our lives.  We're lucky that Nana's gonna come and stay with us for the first week we're home with our two littles...and then she's gonna come back and help me once B goes back to work.  I know she's gonna be on speed dial for those weeks in between- and I know the advice I get from her will be the good stuff- the stuff you don't turn your nose up to or roll your eyes at cuz you've heard that a thousand times and it just.doesn'  Plus, the major bonus of my mama and I- she doesn't make me wanna run away and hide.  I can very easily tell her to take a back seat on this one- I'm gonna test out my own mommy skills and quite possibly fail- and you're gonna just sit back and feel good about it. no judgement.  And I can tell her that she's gotta go out for a little while and give B and I some alone time with our offspring. And I can ask her to help with the laundry instead of holding little lady- cuz she gets it.  I mean, honestly, she gets it.  How friggin lucky am I? 

I know things are gonna get real crazy here, real soon.  There will be c-section drama, and nursing drama, and just plain ol' "we've got twins, holy crap" drama.  So I need to say this now, just in case my brain don't work so good later- Mama...thank you.  Thank you for your unconditional support.  Thank you for teaching me that I can be a good mother through your own actions.  Thank you for loving me when I'm so truly unlovable.  And thank you for supporting us in this incredibly important time in our lives.  ...oh, and if I don't thank you later- thanks for doing the laundry, changing poopy diapers, cooking, and helping to keep the house from being condemned. Cuz I know you get it.  And I couldn't love you more.  Happy, happy birthday. love, your baby girl

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Almost Ten Pounds! (pics)

Yes, there's nearly 10 pounds of baby in my belly.  Nearly 10 POUNDS!!! :)  Everytime I think of that, I get a flood of unbelievable gratefulness, appreciation- my body is doing something right.  My body is growing, housing, 10 beautiful pounds of miracle.

We went for our measurement scan yesterday and the kids look fantastic.  We're actually sitting at about 9lbs 11oz- Little Lady is measuring 4lbs 12 oz, Big Bubba is measuring 4lbs 15oz. 

We did our first BPP- bio physical profile- yesterday as well.  I'd never heard of this.  The u/s tech explained that they watch each baby for as long as it takes to ensure that they are practicing breathing.  They only need to catch a glimpse of about 30 seconds of this tiny movement, but it meant I got to stare at each of my babies' beating hearts for even longer and I decided that the BPP is the best thing ever.

Lady was first up to bat and she knocked it out of the park.  As soon as she popped up on the screen, we could see little breathing motions.  Her tiny ribs moving up and down.  They recorded it for about 20 seconds and moved on- measuring her head, leg bone, tummy.  Apparently, both of our children have awesomely round tummies!  I so hope we have chubby babies :)

Bubba was a little different.  We watched him for a bit and didn't see the motion.  So the tech went about doing all of his measurements- big tummy again!  Then we watched some more- still no motion. So the tech brought out the 3-D wand to try and get some good 3D images for us to take home (this was the other u/s tech that I love!).  Then we went back to watch.  Did this probably three more times, and nothing.  I started to get a little worried, but didn't want to show it.  I sort of casually asked what it would mean if we didn't see what we needed to see.  She noted that I'd be back on Thursday so it'd be fine- but if my fluid was low or he wasn't moving, then they would worry.  Neither of which was true for us, so I breathed a little easier. Plus, after making me turn on my side and shaking my belly pretty intensely 6 or 7 times, Bubba gave us our glimpse at his "breathing"!

The tech had discussed at the beginning of the scan why they do a BPP now- that they had discovered that there are warning signs babies show for stillbirth that they discovered not too long ago.  If baby isn't doing these breathing motions, has too steady of a heart rate (doesn't see the occasional raise or drop of heart rate) and isn't moving much, that can be a sign that baby isn't in a good place.  They can move forward with delivery and give the baby a better shot at life outside of the womb. It used to be up to mom to check for kick counts...which often times, would be a warning sign that was just too late.  It was a sobering conversation- I'd just started to get over my uber-anxiety, and to realize that stillbirth increases at 32 weeks with was a bit to swallow.  But I feel so lucky that I have a doctor who recognizes these risks and does a ton of monitoring.  I'll be back on Thursday for the non-stress test to make sure babies heart rates are doing what they need to do.

We went back and chatted with the doc again today (I'll only see her again in two weeks, I won't see her at every appt like I have been thus far), and talked about my carpel tunnel (she wants me to wear wrist guards to bed...I haven't decided if I want to go buy them- I asked if not doing anything could cause any permanent damage and really it's just a matter of it being painful, so I'm not sure if I want to deal with sleeping in wrist guards...).  I also wanted to ask a bit about the C-Section (this time, our little man was head down, but Lady is butt down still).  She explained that we'll need to arrive at the hospital at 5:30am, I'll get an IV, get changed into a gown, then be wheeled back for the spinal block usually right at 7:30 unless there's an emergency that needs the OR before us.  B will stay back until the spinal and catheter are in, but he'll come in once they've prepped my belly, put up the curtain, and tested the anesthesia.  He'll sit up by my head, and the babies will be out within the first few minutes.  She said that the babies may actually come out in the same minute- usually no more than one minute apart!  There will be about 12 people in the OR with us, usually 3 or 4 people per baby, plus my doctor, an assistant, the anesthesiologist, and some other nurses.  One of the pediatricians will bring the babies over to show me right after they are born, then will take each of them to the warmers to dry them off.  B will probably be taking lots of pictures at this point, and then as long as there are no problems, he'll be able to hold them right then and there.  I asked if I could have my hands free so they're not strapped down and she said as long as I'm not a wanderer, they could do that.  I want to be able to touch these babies!

After I'm all stitched up, which I thought would take a while, but apparently will be done within about 30 minutes of the first incision, they'll let us carry the babies out and into the recovery room for the next hour or two.  I'll carry one (well, I'll be rolled with one in my arms) and B will carry one probably.  Once I'm in recovery, I can try to breastfeed and do kangaroo care. :) After about an hour or two, they'll take us to our room for the next four days.

I'll still have the catheter in for the first day, but they'll make sure I'm getting up to move around as soon as I can.  I'll also be on liquids for the first day.  By day two, the catheter comes out, I'll be on oral pain meds, and on solids.

It helps me to know more details about how this is all gonna go down (God willing).  I've been trying to envision it and prepare for it, but I had no idea how long until I could hold them, or how long I'd be in recovery, etc.  Of course, if the babies have to be in the NICU, everything changes- but we've toured the NICU and I feel somewhat prepared for if that happens (somewhat...).

Doc thinks that these babies might be 6.5 lbs- I'm thinking they might be 7lbs each.  I'm gonna work my ass off to get them there (lots and lots of food)! She said that'd be a record for her...and B and I do love breaking records!  Doc wants us to pack our hospital bags now and be ready by 34 weeks (a week and a half from now) because they won't be stopping labor at that point! AAAAAHHHH!!!! :) She and I both still think we'll make it to 11/2/11...which would be fabulous for these little ones as long as all goes well.

So I'll leave you with these beautiful pictures of our offspring.  I can't believe we're less than a month away.

Our little man and his adorable big nose! The membrane of his sac is covering up half of his face here.  But look at that chubby cheek!!!

We couldn't get a great picture of our little girl, she was once again facing away.  But you can sort of see her profile here.

Little Lady's EAR!!! SO CUTE!!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011


And we have a pediatrician! Score!

It feels good to finally mark one of the "crucials" off the list before the babies get here...especially because on my list it was supposed to be done about 2 months ago. Woops. 

We went and met with her, Dr. R, last night at the same place as the first pediatrician that we didn't like.  The office is good- the staff seems super friendly which I think is a high priority.  They have a sick child waiting room separate from the well waiting room- also priority for me.  And of course it's really cheery and there are all kinds of distractions for impatient babies/toddlers...and their mamas...  We watched Tangled as we sat and waited for about 10 minutes.

Dr. R was a keeper from the moment she walked in the door.  Very, very upbeat and excited to meet us.  Even more excited when she heard about the twins.  And then her "speech" about herself and the practice was spot-on in my eyes.  She leads with her strong beliefs in early childhood education of the importance of nutrition and activity- she was a dietitian first.  She did a rotation in Cardiology and got so frustrated with all of the 50-somethings or 60-somethings who were too stuck in their ways to see the importance of changing their habits after a heart attack or a triple bypass.  No judgement- I'm obviously not the queen of "healthful eating".  I just know how important it is to have a good understanding of what proper fuel is for our bodies. I've spent plenty of time with dietitians and nutritionists through my swimming career- I know what's fuel and what's not...and the impact that has.  I want my kids to understand the same.

Anyway, rant over.  She went on to talk about her beliefs in preventative medicine, in not over-prescribing antibiotics (which at first I got a little panicked about because I HATE when I know that I need the drugs and a doc says no- drink some tea...but she explained her theories very well and qualified with the importance of having the drugs when they're needed, yada yada).  It was good.

We talked about circumcision, specialists, vaccines, the days right after birth, and what her role is in the first two years.  The office is really close to our house and has Saturday hours. More bonuses. 

All in all, Dr. R seems great and I feel really good about this decision- so does B! Now, if only we could have that feeling about daycare...