Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Quick Update

  • Adam & Matthew are napping together consistently... and not in my arms! Woohoo! I Can actually get stuff done :)
  • The boys are now eating every 3 hours, occasionally going 3.5-4 hours.
  • I read the book Babywise a couple weeks ago, and I have been using a lot of their suggestions. It has helped us a TON! I was so stressed and worn out trying to make sure the babies never cried (which didn't work anyway). They cry way less now that they are on a schedule (eat, play, nap, repeat) & I let them cry for a few minutes as they fall asleep. They also fall asleep faster, and they don't have to be held or rocked in a bouncy chair for 20 minutes or more. They are almost always asleep within 10 minutes. We are all a lot happier. (The babies get more rest, so they cry less & are happy/smile more). It has been so nice.
  • The boys are sleeping longer at night, but still waking up every 3.5 - 4.5 hours. But they almost always go right back to sleep, so I have been getting MUCH better rest. (Almost starting to feel human again :P) They sometimes think morning is 4 or 5am though, and Mommy is not ok with that. ;)
  • I am no longer swaddling the boys! My experience as a NICU nurse is officially moot for my "elderly babies" as I call them. :p
  • I went back to work for the first time on Thanksgiving. It was hard to leave the boys, but they couldn't have been better taken care of. Their dad, both sets of grandparents and all of their aunts/uncles were here. (We had Thanksgiving at our house, but I didn't have to cook anything).
  • I will probably only work a couple shifts a month since I am the first to be canceled when we are slow.
  • The babies were fed pumped breastmilk while I was gone. 4 0z each every 3 hours. And I was able to pump enough at work so my net freezer supply only decreased by 8 oz. Not bad for a busy 12 hour shift. :)
  • I have almost 100 ozs of pumped milk in the freezer now, so I am feeling better about using my milk for other things. In fact, tonight Alan and I are planning a date night while my parents watch the babies! This will be our first extended break from the babies together :) I am excited. We are doing dinner & a movie :)
  • I am going to post Thanksgiving pics of the babies when I get a chance.
  • Hope everone had a great Thankgiving weekend!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Conversation with Adam

Adam and I had a conversation this morning while I was holding him. It went like this.

Me: I love you Adam.

Adam: *Happy sigh/coo*

Me: I love you!

Adam: *Happy sigh/coo*

Me: *Happy sigh*

It was so sweet :) The boys are getting more and more precious every day.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wow, 3 Months


Adam, Matthew on their 3 month birthday


When Adam & Matthew were newborns, 3 months seemed like an eternity away. In those days of feeding every 2 hours or less, around the clock, I didn't know if I would make it to two weeks. ;) But here we are.. 3 months already!

The boys are really starting to focus more on their environment. They have been smiling for a while now... but they are really starting to smile and laugh in response to specific things now. Like tickling their belly or making a funny face. When they were newborns they actually liked their bouncy chair more than being held. Those days are gone! There is nothing our boys like better than being held or played with. Sometimes I get up to do something while both boys are laying on a blanket... and I look back and two adorable little pairs of eyes are staring at me, like "why are you leaving us?" And they LOVE bathtime.

For almost a week the boys were eating every 3 hours during the day and every 4 hours at night. It was soo nice!! I tried not to get my hopes up that this would continue, because I didn't want to be disappointed/grumpy about it. Well, for the last week or so they are back to eating every 2-3 hours during the day and they take turns getting up multiple times at night. (every 3 hours or less to eat, and also getting up between feeds needing to be comforted). Sniff. I don't have a baby sleep book yet, but I will be buying one soon. I am looking into Sears/Healthy Sleep Habits/BabyWise. One thing being a NICU nurse does NOT teach you is how to put babies to sleep. Our babies are so premature that you have to fight to keep them awake long enough to eat.

Speaking of the NICU, I was scheduled to go back to work last week, one day a week. But, since I am going back PRN (or "as needed"), I am the first to be canceled if our census is low (unless someone wants to be canceled before me). So, I was canceled last week & again yesterday. I have officially been off of work for 16 weeks now. 2 weeks before giving birth, 12 weeks maternity leave, and now 2 weeks after maternity leave. My last paycheck was $27 (The last of my PTO). That's fine with me, the more time off the better while the boys are so young :) Going back to work is more of a trial though. If it doesn't work out I will just quit and try to get back in to nursing when the boys are older. I most likely won't be canceled next week since I am scheduled on Thanksgivng, and the cancelations work differently on holidays. So we'll see!

Both sets of grandparents have continued to be very helpful, and I am so grateful for that!

Happy 3 months Adam & Matthew! I love you both & I can't wait to see what the next 3 months will bring us!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

You would be happy too...

...if you were this well fed: Look at all of those fat rolls! ;) Hard to believe that these are the same scrawny 5 pounders that I gave birth to only 2.5 months ago. I love when they are smiling like this. Recently they have started trying to laugh. I think in a few more weeks they will be giggling up a storm.

Sometimes I feel like there is not enough of me to go around for these two little guys. I am so thankful we have both sets of grandparents close by, so when I am really overwhelmed I can get help. And who doesn't want to play with an adorable baby?? I really don't know how people raise twins without help.. I know it's possible, but definitely easier if there is an extra set of hands around.

Next week I am scheduled to go back to work. (Just one shift a week.. but shift is 12 hours). I will keep you posted on how that works out.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

2 Month Update

They boys getting blessed at church.

Now that we are settling into more of a routine, and some of the sleep deprivation has gotten better, I am realizing more and more how blessed I am to have two healthy baby boys. The delivery was as good as I could have hoped for, and the boys are doing great.

Here is a quick update of Adam & Matthew at 2 months old. I am grouping them together for now.. they are both maturing at about the same rate so far:
  • They have been smiling for a few weeks now. I LOVE this, and can't wait to see it more and more.
  • Both are starting to make cooing noises. This is a lot of fun... it's really neat seeing them mature beyond the newborn phase.
  • They are great at holding up their own head. Occasionally they still need some support.
  • During tummy time they can both push up with their arms and hold up their head. (Though hey are not a big fan of tummy time)
  • As of two nights ago, they are FINALLY starting to sleep longer at night. Last night Adam slept from 8:00pm to 12:45am. That's almost 5 hours! Matthew slept from 8:30 to 12:45. Then they slept until 4:30am and started eating every 2 hours again. Definitely a step up from feeding at 8,10,12,2,4, etc
  • They both love getting baths now, so I love giving them! For the first several weeks they were not a fan of their baths.
  • I will post their weights when we go to the doctor later this week. They are definitely getting bigger though!

We have started going out more on our own. I took them to a park in Fort Worth to meet some work friends, and I took the two of them to the grocery store by myself for the first time last week. I put Matthew in the cart (in his carseat) and held Adam in the Moby Wrap. I definitely need more practice with the Moby Wrap, because every time I looked he had slid further down!

Also last week at church the boys were blessed. :) (See above picture)

Overall, I am enjoying my two little men :)

*** Update for weight/height.

At their one month check up on 10/22:

Adam -- 9 lbs 12 ozs. 22 in. 10th %

Matthew -- 9 lbs 11 ozs. 22 in. 10th %

They are getting close to doubling their weight!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I Hope I'm Strong Enough for This...

I have a whole new respect for mothers now that I am a new mother myself! The boys are 7 weeks old today, and doing very well. But, these have been the hardest 7 weeks of my life! The biggest challenge for me is definitely the lack of a good chunk of sleep. I am probably getting at least 5-6 hours a day (I think..) but I haven't gotten more than about 2 hours at a time (usually closer to 1) since the boys have been born. It is the most frustrating to me in the middle of the night after I've nursed the boys until they fall asleep (sometimes up to an hour), changed their diaper, and burped them.. and they are still fussy. (This happened several times last night.. I am exhausted. I'm not sure if they are getting sick, going through a growth spurt or just being fussy). It made me think.. I hope I am strong enough for raising these twins!!

Now it's 2:15pm and the boys are both sleeping (simultaneously) for the first time today. They have really kept me busy! I have heard the first 3 months is the hardest. Is this true? I know there are many, many more challenges to come in this journey of motherhood, but does getting sleep make everything seem easier? And does anyone have any tips for getting them to sleep longer at night.. or is that something I just need to wait for?

So.. we have had a challenging past few days, but they are both sleeping now. Sleeping babies are good. Here's to more of that :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The boys' first trip

Last week our family and both sets of grandparents took a trip to Kerrville, TX to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23). The decision to go with such young newborns was last minute, but I was stir crazy and felt they were old enough to be around people (5.5 weeks old). The trip would have been a 5 hour drive with no stops, but ended up being around 6.5 hours by the time we stopped to nurse TWICE. (In the car with a nursing cover, then my mom changed diapers in the front seat with a diaper changing pad. It was quite an operation) We took my parents' van, which made things a LOT easier than if we had taken a smaller car.

Once we got to Kerrville, things were actually easier for me than when I am home, because both sets of grandpaernts were around to help out, almost 24/7! My parents had an adjoining room to ours, and both grandmas were willing to help out at all hours of the night. Not to mention that with twins, an extra pair of hands to hold a crying baby or change a diaper helps a lot! It can mean the difference between pulling your hair out and a little bit of sanity :)

Here is me, the babies, and my nursing pillow in the backseat of my parents' van on the way over.
Me, Alan and our boys by the Guadalupe River. Matthew's expression here cracks me up, because he was actually about to fill his diaper right on my shoulder when this picture was taken. We didn't get my "after expression" lol.

Me and the boys by some pretty flowers while walking back from the Guadalupe. The boys were so good on the walk... as long as they were in their stroller.


Me, Alan & the boys by a waterfall at the resort. The boys are comfortably in their carrier/Moby wrap.

We had a great time, and I was sad we came back early (we had planned to come back early when we thought it would be too much with the twins to go for a full week.) It may have been harder on the extended family, but I was having a blast (especially having so much help!) :)
A few funny moments from our trip:
--When Alan & I were "wearing" the twins in the carrier & Moby wrap, a lady stopped and asked us how old our baby was. Of course we answered 5.5 weeks. She was only looking at Alan's baby, she didn't hear Alan say they were twins. Finally Alan said, "the other baby is over there," pointing at me. She said, "oh, I thought she was pregnant!" Pregnant? THAT pregnant with a 5.5 week old baby also?? Yikes!
--A girl about 10 years old asked me if my babies were wearing clothes when they came out of me. lol
Overall it was a great trip, and I'm glad we went!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My 6 Week Postpartum Checkup Adventure

Matthew

Adam
Yes, adventure. That is how all trips outside the house have been like now that the twins are here.

(We also recently took a trip 5 hours away with the twins.. (we must be crazy) but I will blog/post pictures about that when I have more time)

First, I love my doctor, but a lot of other people must too because she is known for her long wait times. Like 1-2 hour waits. Regularly. Since my babies eat about every 2 hours, I panicked a little.. since as I mentioned in a previous post.. I've never tandem breastfed in public, and they usually wake up at the same time. (I may be able to do this as my boys grow, but we're not ready yet).

So my solution was to bring my precious expressed breastmilk and bottle feed one while I breastfed the other (precious because it takes me about 3 days to pump one bottle!) Both of my parents came with me. And both babies were awake almost the whole time we were at the doctor. So my mom fed Matthew a little over 2 ounces by bottle, and guess what? He was completely happy until his next feed. That was his first bottle feed that completely replaced a breastfeed. I breastfed Adam right after my appointment, and then pumped the other side in the car (so I didn't really lose 3 days of pumping after all).

I thought Matthew might miss being close to his mommy for one feed, but he didn't even care! The little stinker just wants his food after all ;)

Since both babies were happy, my parents & I were able to go out to eat while the babies slept. We had a nice time. Then by the time we got back, the babies were due to eat again. And the cycle started again :)

The checkup went great. It was nice seeing my doctor again, and she said everything looks great.
And since I haven't posted this yet, here are Adam & Matthew's one month weights:
Adam: 7 pounds 7 ounces
Matthew: 7 pounds 6.5 ounces.

I think now they are close to 8 pounds. They are getting so big! Almost 3 pounds heavier than when they were born, and it shows!! They are just getting more and more adorable though.

Friday, September 17, 2010

One month birthday - Part II

As you got older, you started to have more periods of being awake. (Not just for feeds, but after feeds as well). We started to play with you more, and both of you started to focus on our faces and on toys. Your neck, arm and leg muscles became stronger as we introduced tummy time. It was exciting to see you develop! You started getting a log bigger. Your legs, once so scrawny & thin were filling out, along with your tummy, arms, and well, pretty much everything else! We introduced the swing and the bouncy chair when you were around 2 weeks old, and you both loved them. You almost love them more than us holding you! I'm glad we found something that will put you both to sleep easily though.

You've gone on lots of walks since you came home. You love being outside, the warm air puts you right to sleep! Your grandparents on my side love coming with us so they can see you :)Here you are in your nifty snap n go stroller. Matthew in front. Adam in back.
You are still eating every 2-3 hours. Some nights you will go every 3 hours all night, but some nights you decide you are too hungry for that, and only wait 2 hours for your next feed. (That means only about 1 hour of sleep between feeds for Mommy.) I am hoping you decide to sleep longer stretches at night soon!
Here are the birthday boys sleeping on the nursing pillow. Matthew on left. Adam on right.
And after diaper changes, they were not happy to be laid down for a photo instead of being promptly swaddled. Adam on left (he had a clothing change), Matthew on right. (You can see how big they are getting.) I also assigned them colors. Matthew always wears blue and green, and Adam wears all of the other colors.
Ahh... that's better :)

This has been one of the most life changing, tough and rewarding months I have ever had. Happy one month birthday to my precious twin sons!

One Month Birthday - Part I

Happy one month birthday Adam & Matthew. Even though taking care of twins is harder than I thought it would be, I wouldn't trade the two of you for anything. I love both of you so much already. Here are a few of my memories of our time together.

On August 16th, I went to L & D after my doctor's appointment. I was in labor and didn't know it... This is as big as I got with the two of you inside!
Adam was born 8/17 at 1:38am weighing 5 pounds and 18.9 inches.
Matthew was born 8/17 at 1:40am weighing 5 pounds 3 ounces and 17.7 inches.
You were exactly 37 weeks according to the doctor. (I believe you were 36.3 weeks though).
You both were pretty nice to Mommy as far as labor & delivery went (see my birth story). I was so happy the two of you were finally on the outside, and so healthy! Both of you had dark brown hair and blue-grey eyes. You looked a lot alike! You were the most beautiful babies I had seen, and I don't think it's just because I'm biased. You were so small and perfect!

Here you are in your hospital bassinets. Matthew is on the left, Adam on the right. You were so sleepy the first few weeks. You always woke up to eat right on schedule, but you went right back to sleep afterwards. You were late preterms, so your eyes didn't quite focus on us quite yet, but you were very alert when you did wake up. At first we had to look at your hospital bands to tell you two apart, but then we started noticing differences between the two of you. Adam had a wider face and had more of an olive complexion. Matthew had a more narrow face with a redder complexion. We didn't get much sleep those first few days in the hospital.
We finally took you home on 8/19, and I was so excited that you were finally home with me, after waiting so long. I don't think I realized just how much time and attention you two would need from me, but we learned together how to take care of both of you. At 12 days old, Heather came to do a photoshoot of the two of you:

Here is Matthew & me.
Our family:

Alan & Adam.


The two of you cuddling. Matthew on his side. Adam on his back.
Me and Adam:
The two of you don't really notice each other yet, but you definitely don't mind being near each other. You don't flinch when I lay you next to each other and someone's arm ends up in the other's face. Here is Adam latching on to Matthew's elbow:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tummy Time

So I've advanced tummy time from just placing the boys on our chest to placing them on their stomachs in their cribs or on the floor. I am probably not doing this enough, but I'm trying at least once a day. Look how strong they're getting:


video
And here they are getting tired:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Breastfeeding Twins



The Beginning...
Almost the first thing our little babies did in this world was breastfeed. They latched on for about 30 minutes each. It was so adorable. Their little eyes were open and looking around. They were so tiny.. born 3 weeks early at just 5 pounds and 5 pounds 3 ounces. But you couldn't tell they were early or small by the way they latched on & ate to their hearts content. However, they did begin breathing fast & grunting shortly after they were born, so after they breastfed they were moved to the NICU for observation for about 8 hours. I missed them soo much, and I worried about how breastfeeding would go with this separation. Thankfully, I was able to breastfeed them once while they were in the NICU.. about 5 hours after they first fed. Our second attempt together was not as smooth as the first feed, mainly because they were not as awake. Eventually both babies ate for about 20 minutes. I was thankful for this, becuase I didn't want the NICU to have any excuse to keep them.


The First 48 Hours
At around 10am the morning after they were born, the babies had resolved their breating issues & graduated from the NICU to the newborn nursery, so they were able to room in with me. And wow, I was not prepared for the amount of work feeding two babies would be! In the hospital I fed the twins one at a time, while we all learned what we were doing. However, this took up nearly all of my time, and I went about 36 hours without sleep. The only way we actually did sleep a few hours was by telling the nurses not to let anyone in our room.. and sending the babies to the nursery for a couple hours until their next feed. I was so sleep deprived that I wasn't able to enjoy my new babies as much as I would have liked. That's when I decided I HAD to tandem breastfeed.

The First Month
The twins will be 4 weeks old tomorrow, and I'm happy to say breastfeeding is going much more smoothly than those first few days in the hospital! I wasn't able to tandem breastfeed more than once or twice in the hospital, but once we all got home I almost exclusively tandem fed. I learned to do it on my own by always using a couch or futon to breastfeed on. I place the twins beside me on the couch while I strap on my (huge, twin-size) nursing pillow. Then I place the babies on the pillow one at a time. Then I latch one, and then the other, both in the football hold. (The picture above shows the general position I use.) When they are both done, I burp them one at a time and then put them down on the couch. Then I change them & put them to sleep.

Sometimes I feel like I am missing out on all the more comfortable positions for breastfeeing... like side lying or the cradle hold. I do use these on occasion when only one is fussing, but the convenience of having both babies fed in the same amount of time as one far outweighs my desire to use any alternative positions.

I have been able to use a nursing cover, so I can nurse when company is around. (Yay.. for a while I just hid out in the nursery when anyone came over because it took me a few weeks to even feel comfortable enough to try the cover. I was about to go crazy from being so isolated from everyone.) I haven't actually nursed in public though. I am thinking it is going to be impossible to tandem feed in public, because of the need for the nursing pillow. That's not something that is exactly discreet in a restaurant or a mall. From everything I read from other twin moms, they either nurse them one at a time, or bring bottles for both, or have dad bottle feed one while one nurses.

The hardest part of nursing has been that I am responsible for all the feeds 24/7. I haven't missed one since they have been born, and it gets pretty tiring! I am working on pumping. I would LOVE to get a huge supply in the freezer, so that I could easily have someone else feed them as needed. However... I have had issues pumping much milk after they twins eat. I am working on it though.. I have 9 ounces in the freezer. I don't want to use any of it until I have enough for the first day I go back to work though. Which by the time I go back to work.. I am estimating I will need 24 ounces for the entire 12 hours for both babies. Yikes!!

Ultimately I do believe breastfeeding twins is the easiest (and healthiest) way to feed them. It beats giving them bottles separately.. and dealing with one crying while the other is eating!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Birth Story!

Well I have been absent from blogger for a couple of weeks, but I have a good excuse! Our twin sons were born August 17th at 1:38am and 1:40am.

I had been having contractions during my pregnancy from about 23 weeks on, so I didn't think Too much of it when a few of my contractions were slightly more painful & crampy. They began to feel like this about 2 weeks before I delivered, but I didn't mention it to my doctor. My main concern when going to my 36 week appointment (on August 16th) was discussing not getting my membranes stripped (see my previous post).

At my appointment, my OB checked my cervix and asked, "how far along do you think you are?" I told her I didn't know. She let me know I was already 4cm dilated. This meant I was already in labor and "didn'tknow it." (So no need to strip my membranes). She wanted to send me down to L & D right then. I was hesitant, because I didn't feel like my contractions were regular yet. However, my doctor talked me into it.. by saying I shouldn't be laboring long at home with twins. If I came in 8cm dilated in the middle of the night, they would have to hurry to set everything up, etc.. and it wouldn't be as safe for the second twin (who would come out by breech extraction).

So.. I shakily told her I would go to L & D. Completely in shock.. I thought I had another week or two left (even though I had made it to 36.6 weeks with twins). My mom had come with me to my appointment, so I let her know what was going on, and we both called our husbands. Then we walked across the street to the hospital. (It was a very anti climactic trip to the hospital I must say.. for actually being in labor).

I got checked in to L & D, IV started, blood drawn & hooked up to fetal & contraction monitors. The contractions were coming every 5 minutes exactly, and I was only feeling about 1/3 of them! This was around 3pm. About 5pm, my OB broke my water & hooked baby A up to an internal monitor. I was still around 4cm then, and still not in pain. Several hours later I was 4-5cm and started on a small dose of Pitocin. I kept expecting my contractions to get painful, since my water was broken & pitocin started.. but they still felt like my contractions from the last few weeks. (Only slightly more painful than the contractions I had been having for months!) Several more hours passed.. by this time both sets of parents had arrived, along with my younger brother and a couple of our friends. I still wasn't feeling much pain at all, but I knew I needed to get the epidural because of the breech extraction (and the possibility of an emergency c-section for twin B). I really didn't want to get the epidural without feeling a few really good contractions though. I felt like that would be cheating the whole process! (Plus the epidural scared me)

I did end up feeling about 5 really good contractions before I got the epidural. Getting the epidural was probably the worst part of the labor. I lost count of how many times they tried to get the needle in, but it was at least 4 or 5. At one point, I told her to stop trying.. I needed a break. My husband was so wonderful during this part, he let me squeeze his hand really hard, and he didn't tell me how horrible the needle looked, haha. My labor nurse was also really good. Once the epidural was in though, it acted really fast. I can only describe it as if my legs suddently felt "warm and fuzzy". I didn't feel any more contractions after this. About 3 hours after the epidural, I had gone from 5cm to 8-9cm. (I napped during this time.. so I kind of did cheat my way through the labor). My nurse told me to let her know if I felt an urge to push & she would check me again. Well... I was really worried I wouldn't feel the urge since I had an epidural. I kept saying.. I think I may feel Something. She eventually checked me again at around 12:50am, and I was fully dilated. She called the doctor, the anesthetist, the NICU team (they had told me they would be outside the OR as a courtesy), and a few other people while they prepared the OR for the delivery of the twins! I don't know why, but it still didn't feel real to me!

The doctor arrived around 1:20am or so, and I was wheeled to the OR & moved to the OR bed. (Alan was with me in his surgical hat, shoes, and outfit). There were tons of people in the room, but I was mainly just focused on my doctor, the labor nurse, and Alan.

I had no idea what I was doing when it came to pushing, my my doctor & nurse were really good about instructing me on what to do. I couldn't feel my contractions, so I told them to let me know when to push. I had no trouble actually pushing though once I got the technique down. I pushed through about 5 contractions, and pushed out our little Adam! It was a strange sensation giving birth to a baby.. and I still yelled as he came out even though I had the epidural. My first thought when he came out was that he was too tiny to be 6 lbs. (He ended up being just 5lbs 0ozs.) Alan cut the umbilical cord, and that sent blood spraying around the OR.. sone even landed on my eyelid, so I have blood on my face in some of the OR pictures... haha.

Matthew's birth was a little less straight forward. He was breech and my doctor reached in & grabbed his feet & pulled him out. I started to push, but my doctor told me not to do anything.. to just relax (that's why I needed the epidural). According to Alan, she pulled, turned, pulled, and turned the baby until everything was out but his head. Then she called in the NICU team, while the head was still inside. That scared me because I wasn't sure if something was seriously wrong with getting the baby out. She used piper forceps to get the head out, and kind of flipped the baby out onto my stomach. He was born 2 minutes after Adam, but it was the longest 2 minutes of my life! The baby was blue, so the NICU team gave him some blow by oxygen & he was fine.

Next I delivered the huge placenta, which felt like delivering another baby! I watched as the babies were cleaned up & given to Alan. After the doctor was finished with me, they handed me the babies, and we took a few pictures before being wheeled back to the labor room. The grandparents were there to take pictures as we went back to our room. :)

(The babies are hungry now.. so I will continue with the rest of the hospital story in a different post)

Monday, August 9, 2010

35 Week Appt

So this week apparantly I am only 1cm dilated again! My doctor said the way everything is positioned I feel like 3cm at first, but really I'm only 1. My cervix is still really soft & the babies are low. I'm measuring 39 weeks.

So... my doctor wants to strip my membranes next week (I will be 36.6 weeks). This won't necessarily make me go into labor, but it will ripen my cervix even more.. and make it more likely I will start active labor. I really don't see what the big rush is though. I actually asked her if we could wait one more week before doing this, but she wants to do it next week. I wouldn't have such a problem with it if I thought my due date was accurate.. but I really think my babies are 4 days less far along... which would put me at 36.2 weeks at my next appointment. That seems way too early (even with twins) to start intervening if nothing is wrong! My goal was to make it to at least 37 weeks (according to my dates). So I'm not sure if I will push the issue at my next appointment or just let her do it & hope labor doesn't start for several more days afterwards!

I think that's all the big doctor news for this week. I did create a belly mold this week which is pretty neat. (Thanks to Sherry!) I'm not sure where it will go, but I think it will be neat having that momento from my twin pregnancy!)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bowling Video

Bowling at 35 Weeks! It's strange to see my belly from the angle everyone else does... I don't think of myself as this big :P

video

Monday, August 2, 2010

34 Weeks!


I really wanted some good husband/wife shots showing off my big belly. I think we got some good ones. Thank you to my brother Daniel for the photos!
Today I had my 34 week Dr. visit & ultrasound. At the ultraound we found out Baby A now weighs 5 pounds 8 ounces and Baby B weighs 4 pounds 7 ounces. They are big boys! They now have a 19% size discordance, but my OB wasn't too concerned. She said it was to be expected that the discordance would grow, but she is happy that they are both growing. They are both in the same position as the last ultrasound (Baby A head down, Baby B transverse with his head in my right ribs), so maybe they have run out of room to flip around. As long as Baby A stays head down I will be happy!
My doctor hopes for me to make it to 37 or 38 weeks, but she said "35 or 36 would be ok too". I really want to make it to at least 37 weeks. I think I can do it. That's only about 2.5 more weeks :) And I am off work, so I won't have to deal with the 12 hour shifts making me go into labor.
(I had a very stressful day at work last week.. where I didn't get home until 9:30pm, and I got to work at 6:45am). I love my job, but I don't think God designed me to be able carry twins and still work those hours! So I am stopping for my own wellbeing (and my babies' wellbeing).
I actually took care of twins last week that my doctor had delivered (not the stressful day). They were delivered at 34 weeks, and were doing well. But they had temperature and feeding issues. I just want my babies to skip all of that and just come straight home with me!
I am almost 3 cm dilated and 70% effaced. If I keep dilating 1.5 cm's per week, this labor could be pretty easy ;) Unfortunately I don't think it works like that, haha. I hope this slows down though, because I still have to make it that 2.5 weeks!
After my appointment, my mom took me to motherhood maternity & I got some nursing bras and a nursing gown. Yay! So now I actually have stuff to pack in the hospital bag :)
This weekend we got the pack n plays set up in our room, so the babies have a place to sleep now (besides the nursery of course). Having the little beds so close to me all the time is really making me impatient to meet my babies though! They seem so empty now.
Pics of the completed nursery may be posted this week...

Monday, July 26, 2010

33 Week Doctor Appt

  • 33.6 Weeks
  • Still measuring 36 weeks. (I think my uterus is higher on the left side than on the left.. so when they measure down the middle it's not completely accurate. Just my thoughts :p)
  • I am 1.5cm dilated!! I know you can stay at 1-2 cm for weeks (which I'm hoping is the case), but this dilatiion really makes it seem like the birth is coming up fast. Also the babies are very low.
  • When a doctor tells you they are going to "gently" check your cervix, "gently" is a very subjecive term.
  • I half jokingly asked my doctor if this could mean I would be 6cm by tonight. She said no, but that it would be nice if I were 6cm at my next appointment! (Which is a week from today.) I was thinking, "Wait! I thought our goal was at least 36 weeks??" What I said was, "I'd like to go a little further than that." She said, "we'll see." Thanks for the vote of confidence ;) She said her last patient that was as small as me with twins had them at 34 weeks, and (after I asked) she said it seemed like her smaller patients did deliver earlier. So really these babies could come anytime, even as early as next week! (I still think they will hang in there though)
  • My blood pressure is still good.
  • My next ultrasound is Monday. Can't wait to see if they are still growing well in there! (And if Mr. "A" is still head down)
  • Weight gain: 42 pounds.

Other ThoughtS:

  • It is definitely getting harder to move around. It's usually painful when I go from sitting to standing due to the pelvic pressure. It's also painful when I flip from my right to left side at night, or when I get up to use the restroom at night.
  • These boys are wearing me out! I am tired all the time! Whenever I feel energy, I take advantage of it to clean the house & make sure we are ready for babies. Yesterday I organized our closet so I wouldn't have to worry about it later. I also set up a changing table in our bedroom, and made room for their pack 'n plays in our room. Then I packed the diaper bag.. not sure why I thought that was necessary. Then I was completely worn out. Today my two big activities were cleaning the kitchen and going to the doctor. And I am worn out again.
  • We still need to find a pediatrician. I should probably get working on that.
  • This should be my last week of work!! (If all goes well). I requested PTO for the first two weeks of August. I'm pretty sure it has been approved, but I'm not 100% certain. I'm really not sure I can physically keep working after this week if it doesn't get approved :(
  • My belly gets into all sorts of strange shapes when the babies move.. it is so funny for Alan & me to watch.
  • I am really excited to meet my boys & bring them home with me!

Monday, July 19, 2010

32 Week Sono/Appt

First a few pictures to show my size:
I got two maraschino cherries, one for each baby. This was at a 50's murder mystery dinner party last Saturday night.
Alan and I in character :) I'm a former homecoming queen and he is a jock/quarterback.
I this this picture is hilarious because it looks like I'm trying to turn to face Alan, but my stomach got stuck :)
So now that you know how big I am this week, here are the stats from my ultrasound last Friday & my OB appt today.
32 Weeks
Measuring 36 Weeks (not sure why it's less than last week, but my doctor wasn't concerned)
Weight:
Baby A weighs: 4 pounds 8 ounces
Baby B weighs: 3 pounds 13 ounces
That is a 14% size discordance. They get concerned when the size difference is more than 25%, so I am having another ultrasound in 2 weeks to follow up on their growth. (She was originally going to have me wait 3 weeks for my next sono.) Hopefully they will both grow well between now and then!

My weight: Well that's just depressing. I've gained about 40 pounds already :(

Position:
Baby A is head down and below Baby B. He is pushing Baby B's feet away from his face, just like he was doing in my last sono. They are fighting already!! If he stays in this head down position, I can have a vaginal delivery. (My OB's rate of vag vs c-section for twins is 80% vaginal. That's really good!)

Baby B is transverse, laying above Baby A. (And kicking him, lol)
Work Status:
So I ask every week if I can get a note to get me out of work. Still didn't get a note today, lol. Stil no medical reason. I am trying to get canceled about once a week though. When I told me OB that, she said that was good practice :) I just get soo tired.
Delivery Info:
Today I asked what my chances were of getting my doctor at delivery. She said she tries really hard to deliver her own twins, and that she has delivered all of her own twins except one set in the last 10 years. Those twins apparantly "fell out" since they were the mom's 4th and 5th children.
Hmm, I think that is all of the new information. I will be 33 weeks tomorrow. I can't believe it! These babies will be here before we know it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

31 Week Doctor Appointment

• 31.6 weeks
• Measuring 37 weeks
• My cervix is shortening, but not dilating. My OB said that is normal.
• I will be delivering in the OR with an epidural. This is for the safety of the second twin, in case a c section is needed or if she needs to do a beech extraction. In case of a breech extraction, it is safer if I am not fighting the doctor.
• There's still no medical reason to quit work, so I guess I will work through one more week. I already requested to be canceled tomorrow and our census is pretty low, so my chances are good. That means I'd only have one shift this week :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Weekly Twin Belly Pics

video

My twin pregnancy belly from the positive sign 'til now. 31 week picture taken yesterday. (Music will be added when I have more energy)

Some thoughts on my pregnancy today:

  • I am so thankful for all of my friends and family. The nursery is pretty well stocked with diapers, wipes, clothes, blankets, toys, books, decorations and other baby items. The majority of this has been gifts. We are very appreciative :) I can't wait to begin using everything :)
  • I have gotten a lot of comments about my belly "dropping". I think everyone is right, because I used to have almost constant rib pain, and I haven't felt any pain for about a week or so. I just hope my body doesn't think it's time to deliver!
  • I have also gotten a lot of comments that it looks like I am about to tip over. It's true that I am not very evenly proportioned at the moment.
  • I'm still working part time. I had a pretty good week this last week, although I still get pretty tired. Thankfully the charge nurses are trying to give me the easier assignments, which I am very thankful for!
  • Today Alan & I went grocery shopping, and I am more worn out now than after my last couple of 12 hour shifts. I don't know what the deal is with that. I feel like I can barely walk because of the tiredness & the pressure I feel when I walk :(
  • Tomorrow I have a Doctor's appointment, and I want to discuss two things with her: When I should take off work, and more of what to expect at delivery
  • I've already gained 35 pounds. And my waistline is huge. That figure will remain confidential at the moment ;)
  • I still love watching and feeling my babies move :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Am I Really That Big?

A few funny pictures. 30 weeks pregnant at my parents' house. My sister-in-law was having fun taking a mini photoshoot.







Friday, July 2, 2010

Working while Preggo

Before I got pregnant, my plan was to work full time until I delivered. (That would be 3 twelve hour shifts a week). That's on your feet!! I am so glad I didn't do this. Earlier this year I requested to be put on the list for part time... (for after I delivered) and I was offered the position right away. So I have been part time (2 twelve hour shifts/week) since around February of this year. Which has been awesome for being pregnant! I have been able to pick up some extra shifts & do some required education stuff without overdoing it.

However.

Now I am 30 weeks pregnant with twins. I am humongous. I have probably 7-8 pounds of baby in there already. (Not to mention the two separate swimming pools I am providing them.) My feet hurt when I stand too long. I have pelvic pressure when I stand too fast or too long. And my contractions increase when I stand too long. Not to mention I get tired soo easily now it is pathetic!!

Last Wednesday at work, I actually requested an easier assignment than they had assigned. I
got the easier assignment, during which I was able to sit quite a bit. However, that day was also the deadline for some audits that I do for the unit, and the last day to do this required central line education seminar. So even though all my body wanted to do was go home and sleep from about 4pm on, I was on my feet taking care of my babies, completing the audits, and then I had to stand on my feet at the education thing (after my shift was over). I got home around 8:15pm.

It seemed like that last bit of standing on my feet was really not good for me. I started to almost feel crampy (which I knew was not good), and I was having a lot of contractions. It was actually uncomfortable contractions (usually they are painless). I knew I just needed to go home & lay down.. so that's what I did. It really took me about 3 hours of laying down before I felt better. (Of course if I hadn't started to feel better, I would've called the hospital). Alan took care of me and brought me food during this time. :) I could get used to being pampered :) That experience was very scary for me though. I thought my water was going to break, because of all the pressure I was feeling, and it really made me think I should start me leave from work. Alan really thinks I should start my leave too.

Taking leave from work when you are only 30 weeks pregnant though is not easy. Especially if you want to come back to your job. You can only take 12 weeks off with your job guaranteed. And I'm not sure if I can even start taking off without a doctor's note. Soo.. I may just wait until I see my doctor again & see if she will give me a note. That's only two more shifts at work. I can do that right? I was scheduled to work today, but I requested to be cancelled. Thankfully they cancelled me, because I ended up sleeping in until almost 12:00. (Would've had to get up at 5:00am for work). That's seven extra hours of rest that I was obviously needing! In fact, I probably would have slept longer, but Alan called me at about 11:40 and asked about lunch. I told him I would make something simple since I needed to get up anyway, and I needed to eat. :P

So I am kind of back and forth right now. I enjoy my job & I like my coworkers, I just don't think I can physically work much longer. I really hope my doctor agrees with me and gives me some kind of note. Oh, I also wish there were different laws for multiples pregnancies. Like extra time off. Because if I take extra time off to take it easy before they are born, that's less time I have with my two babies after they are born. (Even though I'm only planning on going back 1 day a week). Sigh... America needs to get on these laws. Because even though I want to go back 1 day a week after I have the babies (the grandparents would take care of them, and I would get some time away)... I would really like at least 3 months at home with them before I do that. Which I probably won't get if I start my leave early. So complicated :-/

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Baby Shower - 29 Weeks

A family friend hosted my baby shower last Sunday. It was a wonderful time. It was great seeing so many people excited about the babies :) There were 26 guests, and they all signed both baby books, so the babies will both get a copy when they get older :)


Me with the gorgeous spread, including the amazing diaper cake, fruit kabobs, cake, vegies, and mini cheesecake pieces. Very yummy.


The very creative fruit bowl that my mom made. Aren't the little orange babies adorable?


Opening up some presents. Lori on the far right (with the red dress) made the beautiful diaper cake!

My mom and me with presents everywhere!
I included this one because it's a good side shot @ 29 weeks. Just ignore my expression please!
Now I am having fun getting everything organized in the nursey (& bathroom for the bath stuff). I wish I could get everything together faster, but I get tired so fast, and I have to save some energy for working. But everything is coming together :)
On a side note, there is no longer any "innie" to my belly button. But I still don't think it's quite an outie, except for the top flap that is sticking out, lol.

Monday, June 21, 2010

28 Week Ultrasound & OB Appointment

Alan and I. 28 Weeks. An unposed shot, but the best sideview I have at 28 weeks.
Here are the stats from today's appointment:

Baby A weighs: 3 pounds!!

Baby B weights: 2 pounds 12 ounches!

They are huge. The average weight of a 28 weeker is 2 pounds 4 ounces. Mine are about the size of 30 weekers.

The amniotic fluid level for the twins is the best level my ultrasound tech had seen in a while, she told me. She says for twins she's been seeing 9 and 10 (which is the lower end of normal). My twins had levels of 14 and 18. Yikes! No wonder I look like I'm 40 weeks pregnant.

The twins are no longer positioned in the nice perfect head down position they were at 24 weeks. Both babies are diagnal/transverse. Baby A's head is tilted down (on the left side of my body) with his body toward the right side of my rib cage. Baby B is kind of on top of him, but he is tilted head up. He is flexed so that his head and his feet are both close to my rib cage. (On my right side). No wonder I have been so confused about who is kicking when. Also, I've been feeling a lot more movement on my right side than on my left. No wonder, since all of the feet are on my right side!

My weight gain: 31 pounds

Fundal Height: 34 cm

Still no change to my cervix :)

My doctor said everything looks great, and I should go to at least 36 weeks. She wants to see me back in a week though, because "it's twins". I don't mind, since my appointments are when I'm reassured everything is ok :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Impromptu trip to the doctor & Baby Shower Pool Party!

So I have been having braxton hicks contractions for weeks now. At first I didn't know what they were, but after researching and asking around, I knew that tightness had to be a small contraction. (It's hard for me to translate a familiar term like a braxton hicks contraction to what I am actually experiencing -- this is my first time to actually feel any of this for myself!)

Last week I started getting concerned because these contractions seemed to be coming more frequently than I thought was normal. I decided to time them for an hour. I got 6 in an hour! (They weren't every 10 minutes.. it was more irregularly spaced.. 5 minutes, then 15, etc). I waited a few hours and then counted again, and I got 5 in an hour. I decided not to do anything right then, since I had no other symptoms and they weren't regular or getting more frequent.

The next day at work, I continued to have them (as I've been having them for weeks), and discuseed it with a fellow nurse who had recently given birth to twins. She thought it was concerning... and that was enough to get me on the phone with my doctor. I explained my symptoms to the nurse, and told her I was at work which is right across the street from my doctor's office. She told me to go ahead and come in to be checked. (This is one reason I wanted to deliver at my hospital... I am right there if anything happens!)

I walked over to get checked (to make sure I wasn't dilating or effacing). And the verdict is... 5cm dilated! Ok just kidding ;) I wasn't dilated or effaced at all.. which really made me feel a lot better. I did come back and tell my podmate I was 5cm dilated, and she did believe me for a second.

My doctor laughed at me though, because I tried to wrap the modesty drape thing they give you around my hips & I ended up tearing it because it was too small. She said it's only the people who were skinny that try to wrap it. She told me I'm not skinny anymore! Way to rub it in doc ;) I honestly thought the drape looked plenty big enough to wrap, so I guess I am in denial about how large I really am.

I still have the braxton hicks contractions every day (and night), but I'm not worrying about them as much as I was, since I know after all those weeks of having them, they aren't causing me to dilate or efface at all.

On a separate note.. on Sunday my work friends through me a baby shower pool party which was a lot of fun! It was hosted at on the nurse's beautiful houses. It really made me think all baby showers should be pool parties (in the summer) becuase the water feels so good.. makes you weightless... which is a wonderful way to feel when pregnant :) I think there was a good turnout, and I got some nice stuff for the babies, which I can't wait to use :) I also got a group gift card, which we used to help buy the cribs. So exciting! I actually just finished setting up the cribs this morning!! Everything is coming along :) Here are a few pics of the nursery:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

26 Week OB Appt - Fri 6/4...and other thoughts

So last Friday I didn't get to peek at my babies, but I did take the lovely glucose tolerance test & the fFn test (given routinely to moms of twins by my OB to check for premature labor). I might add that the fFn test requires an internal swab, and my OB came into the office visibly uncomfortable and declaring she had to pee but she "wanted to see me first." I told her I promised her I would wait! But she went ahead and did my entire exam & test & answered my questions (which I insisted on asking her.. hey I gave her a chance to pee before she started ;) )

Neither test was too bad. I had heard horrible things about the drink they give you for the glucose test, but really it just tasted like orange soda minus the fiizz. The fFn test wasn't bad either, slightly uncomfortable but way better than a pap smear. Oh, my OB also routinely gives betamethasone to her twins at 26 weeks, but I asked to have that postponed unless there was anything she saw on exam that had concerned her.. since it is most effective the first week or two after it's given. So we are postponing until 30 weeks. :)

Next appointment I am getting another ultrasound, woohoo!
--

On an unrelated note... here are a few of my thoughts on pregnancy:

  • I love, love, love feeling and watching my babies move. It is the best thing about being pregnant. Today they have been especially active. One of them has to be practicing somersaults in there.
  • I never thought this would bother me, but I now dread when strangers ask me when I'm due. I can see in their expression that they expect me to say "Oh, in about 2 weeks." When I tell them early September, their eyes (without fail) widen and they say something like, "wow, you're going to get huge" or "really? It looks like you've already dropped." Now, I really don't mind when I get comments like this from people I know. However, when strangers ask, I feel obligated to then say I'm having twins so maybe their eyes will relax just a teeny bit. Then I always end up hearing a story of a twin in their family. Really I am just trying to get some groceries people!
  • I have noticed myself getting a little more moody lately.
  • Sleeping is requiring more and more creativity. Two nights last week I actually slept in the recliner in the living room, because I couldn't get comfortable any other way. I have lots of pillows, and it seems I have to adjust their positions every night.. maybe because I am growing daily?
  • Besides sleep, my main 2 discomforts of pregnancy have been: 1) foot pain/swelling, especailly after a 12 hour shift and 2) lower rib cage tenderness (like I am already running out of room for the little guys!)
  • Alan and I started our childbirth classes yesterday, and I think I am unnaturally excited about them :)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Our Last Hurrah

Yup, I flew at 25 weeks pregnant for our second anniversary trip!! We went to South Dakota to see Mt Rushmore (which is really neat to see in person). We also saw lots of beautiful scenery in the Black Hills (where Mt Rushmore is located), went to several local restaurants (including the Corn Exchange Bistro and the Firehouse Brewery), and we we went to the town of Deadwood. Also, we stayed in a hotel that had a nice pool & indoor waterpark, which was very nice for relaxing :)

I admit I was nervous to go on a plane trip this far into my pregnancy, but I kept hydrated and moving around on the plane and bus rides. And a lot of people were praying for the safety of our babies. Everything seems to have worked out ok :) And I loved, loved, loved spending 4 days away from home with Alan <3 He is the best!

Also a highlight of our trip: Alan got to see the babies move from the outside for the first time!!

Here are a few pictures:


In front of Mt. Rushmore! So amazing to see it in person.


Standing in front of the Crazy Horse memorial model. This is the goal for the mountain carving in the background; it is a memorial honoring the American Indians. So far they have the indian's face done (which you can see in the background) & they are starting to work on the horse's face. It will be impressive once it's finished.

In Deadwood, SD after a play that depicted the death of Wild Bill (on the left). Alan got roped in to playing the bartender for the play. Jack McCall (Wild Bill's assassin) is on the right.
On the set of Dances with Wolves. I haven't seen this movie, but Kevin Costner was standing right in front of this desk in one of the scenes.


The indoor waterpark at the hotel. Alan enjoyed the slides in the background (the body of the slides run outside the actual building). I had the pregnancy excuse, so I got out of that :)