Wednesday, March 30, 2011

29w3d: Sunshine

After weeks and weeks of rain and clouds, the weather here has been gorgeous this week. Today was especially lovely, and even better, a friend came over for a visit with her 2-month old baby. She brought me a yummy lunch and it was great having some daytime company. We sat in the living room, and after she left I brought my laptop out to the living room and worked in the sunshine coming through the big window at the front of the house until my battery ran out. The cat joined me in the sun, which was fun too.

I was wondering if my pasty white legs might pick up any color through the window, and it turns out that yes! you can tan and burn through a window. It's obviously not as strong as being outside, but there's something. The window glass also filters a lot of the worst rays too.

Tomorrow I have an ultrasound, a doctor's appointment, and my meeting with the dietitian. I'm really excited to see the babies again--they have been moving like CRAZY this week--and I'm interested to talk to my doctor about short term disability. I still have a lot of work to finish up before I'd feel comfortable abandoning my job, and I hope everything will cooperate to let me get it all done!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

29w2d: Bed Rest Book Review

In November 2008, I started a book club. It's mostly friends from grad school, and we meet about every six weeks at someone's house for wine and snacks. We usually talk about the book 50% of the time and catch up on each other's lives the other 50%. Attendance varies--there are probably about 20 women on the email list, and we usually have about 8-12 people at each meeting. The hostess generally chooses the book, and it is fun to see people's different styles. I've read a lot of books that I don't think I would have picked up otherwise, and it's nice being exposed to different types of literature.

In February, we were supposed to read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. I didn't get a chance to read it before the discussion, but I picked it up from the library afterward and I finished it over the weekend. I really wish I had read it before the meeting because now I'd like to have a discussion about it! Oh well.

It was an Oprah book selection back in 2008. We always try to pick books that have been out for a bit so that people have a better chance of finding them in libraries, used, or in paperback.

I had read a bit about the book before going to the meeting in February, so I knew it was a Hamlet allegory before I began reading it. I'm not sure I would have picked up on it otherwise--I'm not the sharpest at seeing connections like that. But with an uncle named Claude, a mother named Trudy, visions of a murdered father's ghost....okay, maybe even I would have seen the parallels. It was a pretty neat idea, and I don't mean to imply that Wroblewski's book isn't original. It is. But having the structure and certain character traits borrowed from one of the greatest works of English literature doesn't hurt!

I love dogs and I grew up with a dog, and I think that helped me really enjoy reading Edgar Sawtelle. My dog was purebred, so I also know something about breeding genealogy. I'm not sure that someone who does not like dogs would like the book as much, because there are a LOT of pages that are just all about dogs--breeding, training, bonding. There are a lot of pages that are fairly extraneous in general, frankly--my biggest criticism of the book is the pacing. I understand and appreciate a slow build, but I skipped about 75 pages of the "Henry" section and I don't think I missed anything. I think the book could have benefited from better editing.

I really liked the relationship between Edgar and Almondine. The chapters told from her point of view were really special. I also thought the Gar-Claude relationship was well done. I have questions about Trudy's character....did she realize Claude killed her husband? I don't think she did, which is a marked difference from Gertrude in Hamlet.

The speech pathology information was very interesting, and I thought the descriptions of Gar's and Trudy's feelings about their pregnancy losses were very compelling and moving.

I would recommend this book, although with the caveat that it's not going to hurt to skim parts of it if it's just getting too prose-happy for you. I wonder what Wroblewski will do next--if his next book is also based off a Shakespeare structure, I think it'll seem like he's using the past as a crutch, which is disappointing.

Monday, March 28, 2011

29w1d: What Not To Do.....

Today's post is in honor of David, who ran a great time in his half yesterday. Not great by his standards, but great by normal person standards.
So in 2009, David got pretty serious about running. He ran his first marathon and started running regularly. not a runner. I am not athletic. I like yoga and Jillian Michaels DVDs and playing kickball, but I'm just not an athlete. However, I wanted to try to participate in David's new passion. So I signed up for a half marathon. It was a beautiful, flat course, and I actually really enjoyed it. My time was not good, but I had fun.
Here I am after finishing in 2009. Good times. It also helped that we stopped at a Red Lobster on the way home and I got to have those amazing biscuits. I love all the independent, non-chain restaurants in our area, but every now and then a girl wants chain food.

Fast forward to August 2010. I think, let's sign up to do the half again! David is on board because it's several weeks before the marathon where he planned to attempt a Boston qualifying time (he made it, yay!). Another friend of ours who is a runner decided to sign up with us. Now all I had to do was train.

Except....I couldn't train. I was exhausted and work was busy. And....turns out I was pregnant (but we didn't know they were twins yet). I wasn't embarrassed about walking, but I had hopes that I could beat my time from last year--I hadn't trained very well for that race either.

Except....I wasn't pregnant last year. This time around, my sciatic never wouldn't let me run. The impact of each step made me want to cry. I was so thirsty and needing fluid to stave off morning sickness, but as soon as I had anything to drink I would have to go to the bathroom. I think I visited three porta potties on the course. The course was still beautiful and flat, but it overcame me.

But did I stop? No, because I'm a stubborn idiot. I kept going. Mile after mile after mile. By the time I finished, David had already gone back to the hotel and showered and returned to the course to collect me. He ran/walked the last mile and stub with me to help me keep moving. It was miserable.

No pictures of my finish this year because I was so annoyed with myself that I wouldn't let him. (And for me to deny pictures is a big deal.) I'm still not sure if I was more annoyed about (i) my horrible time or (ii) that I hadn't given up when I'm fairly certain I should have.

Ugh. Anyway, I'm going to sign up for the 2011 half, and I'm going to use that as my goal for getting back in shape after the babies. I'm excited again and this time I swear I'll beat my 2009 time. It would be hard to do worse than I did in 2010!

Edit: I know that there are lots of women who successfully run throughout their pregnancies, even multiple pregnancies. I do not happen to be one of them. I think it's important to listen to your body (and your doctor), and for me, completing the half was a mistake. Fitness during pregnancy is very important, and every woman should find what works for her and her body.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

29 weeks!

(I'll have to add a picture later....I have to ask David to find the little thing for transferring and uploading!)

How far along? 29 Weeks!
Total weight gain/loss? About the same as last week, I think. I'll get weighed on Thursday. I really don't mind the weight gain because I know I'll lose it, but it's so crazy seeing those numbers on the scale and realizing that's what I weigh. My weight has always been really steady ever since college, and it's hard to associate that weight with me.
Maternity clothes? Oh yes. I'm having trouble with jeans at the moment. I have two pairs of maternity jeans--a medium that I bought and a large that a friend gave me from her pregnancy (also twins). They're from the same store. The mediums fit my body, but the panel is now too tight for my bump. The panel on the large fits the bump, but the jeans are too big for my hips so they keep falling down. I'm kind of a mess, jeans wise!
Stretch marks? Not so far! But I feel like my belly is having a growth spurt, so who knows.
Sleep? Becoming less and less comfortable. My hips hurt, and putting a pillow between my legs hasn't helped. Once I wake up, it's hard to fall back to sleep.
Best moment last week?
Finding a pediatrician that we can WALK to.
Movement? I love feeling them move. I'm going to miss that after they're born!
Food cravings? Fruit. :(
Gender? Girl and a boy!
Labor signs? Braxton-Hicks, Braxton-Hicks, Braxton-Hicks.
Belly button in/out? No change--mostly out. If I'm lying on my back it falls back in a bit.
What I miss: Dessert.
What I am looking forward to: Getting the bathroom remodel underway (lots more about that will follow).
Milestones: 29 Weeks! 30 is just around the corner!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

28w6d: Happier Things

Wow, okay, so that was depressing. I'm really a very optimistic, cheerful person. It's not in my nature to be so down. It's hard for David when I'm sad because not much gets me down, so he doesn't have a lot of experience cheering me up. :)

So anyway, let's rewind a month to my shower in Pennsylvania. My MIL, SIL, and cousin did a great job. My best friend (she was my maid of honor; I was her matron of honor--she's the bride from the Little Bear story) is a pastry chef and she did the cake. If you live in eastern Pennsylvania and want her contact information, let me know!

Here's FIL putting up the signs to help people find their way.

The shower was at the church where I grew up and where my parents were married and where I was baptized, confirmed, and married. It's also where my mom was buried. The chairs in the room where we had it were bought with the donations given after my mom passed, and I felt like that was a nice little way to have her memory there.

I got a lot of nice gifts! People were really, really generous. And amazingly, everything that was given at the shower fit into my two suitcases! People shipped the bigger items to us in California (more on that later) and just included pictures with the cards.

Here's the cake--the bottom layer was chocolate with peanut butter icing, and the top layer was red velvet with cream cheese frosting. It was TO DIE for. Her sugar cookie recipe is also the best I think I've ever had. The cookies were shaped like little onesies, and she had sheep, lady bugs, turtles, and duckies decorating them. So adorable (and delicious!).

Here's the fondant topper. It matched the image from the invitations, and we're letting it dry out for a couple months--and then it can be shellack'ed and used as a decoration. I think the detail is incredible!

My dad has a great time at the shower too. He is so excited to become a grandpa! He really enjoyed seeing everyone and catching up with some of the ladies that he hadn't seen in awhile. As much fun as I had, it was a slightly bittersweet day for me because I know how much my mom would have loved being there and what a great job with planning she would have done. But I know she's watching over us, and my babies have the best guardian angel possible!

Friday, March 25, 2011

28w5d: Dx - GD

I called the peri again to ask about my glucose test results. They still weren't in, and the receptionist said she would call Quest Diagnostics to ask for them. Half an hour later I got a call from a nurse to tell me that I have gestational diabetes--my sugar was high at each of the three readings. So my body is not processing correctly and I need to change up my diet. I talked to the dietician afterward, and she gave me a lot of guidelines over the phone. I'm meeting with her on Thursday after my regular appointment with the peri.

I started crying on the phone with the nurse. I couldn't help it. I know this isn't my fault and I know it's treatable, but I am just so sad. I feel like I can't do anything right for these babies and everything I do is wrong. They didn't ask to be twins, and my body is failing them. I called David and probably sounded completely hysterical. He left work early to come home, and I did feel a lot better seeing him. Still, I just can't help feeling like what's going to happen next? Pre-e? IUGR? HELLP? pPROM? My body has never let me down before, and I just can't get over that it's failing now.

A friend is coming over for dinner tonight....really looking forward to it as I could use some cheering up.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

28w4d: Fun Survey

I have a great pediatrician update, but I want to do this "what have you done" list. Copy the list to your blog and bold what you've done! (Stolen from Mari2003!)

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (does junior high/high school band count?)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland and/or Disney World (both!)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped (this was actually a question when we applied for life insurance--I feel like our premiums would be higher if we had!)
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightening storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked (not personally, but I've picked up hitch hikers--in Yosemite and in Cairns)
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon (a half!)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (I know some German, but I didn't teach myself!)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving (same thing w/ life insurance--those questions are so odd!)
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican (FWIW, this seems duplicative of "Seen the Sistine Chapel", supra)
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve (in Rome, no less!)
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Got a tattoo
94. Had a baby (not yet!!)
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit (the lawyer in me says "define involved")
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Seen the Pyramids of Giza

I added #100 because the other "foreign travel" ones seemed very Euro-centric. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

28w3d: Pediatrician Interviews

I decided that my project for the day would be to call a pediatrician. There's one just down the street from us (like we could walk there in less than ten minutes), and I was really hoping he accepts our insurance. He does! He also has really good recommendations on the local parenting message board. The only draw back from the comments on the message board are that his waiting room sometimes gets backed up because he takes a lot of time with each patient. I figure that the amount of time spent in the waiting room makes up for the amount of time I'd spend driving to appointments at offices that are farther-flung.
I looked for lists of questions to ask--I mean, I researched cribs, car seats, strollers, etc. before buying, so it made sense to me that I should have questions before choosing a pediatrician. Here's what mattered to me:
  • what are the office hours?
  • are there same-day sick appointments?
  • what happens if I have a question on the weekend or after-hours?
  • does the office offer any lactation support or LC referrals?
  • will he discharge my babies from the hospital?
  • what is the experience with preemies? (hopefully won't need to worry about that, but I'd like to be prepared....)
  • is there a separate waiting room for well and sick children?
Other questions that I found on "how to interview a pediatrician" lists that I didn't ask were:
  • What are your views on breastfeeding versus formula? How would you help support me in my decisions regarding feeding?
  • What is the schedule of vaccinations? What are your personal views on vaccines? What do you see as the most common side effect?
  • Once my baby starts eating solids, what do you recommend as a course of action? Should I start with veggies or fruits first? Why? How do you feel about a vegetarian diet for children?
  • How do you feel about co-sleeping, rooming in or independent crib sleeping? What are the pros and cons for each in your opinion?
  • How closely do you work with my OB/GYN?
The front office staff sounded really nice (I liked that someone just answered and I didn't have to wait through a recording) and answered most of my questions. They took my name and number and said the doctor would call me back sometime today. I'm looking forward to talking to him!

So long as I get a good vibe from him, that decision will be done. Otherwise, there is a mega-practice (like 12 doctors) about 20 minutes away and a practice of about three doctors about 25 minutes away. Both are recommended and I do like that they have weekend appointments. But being in the neighborhood would just be SO convenient....fingers crossed that this works out!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

28w2d: Alarmed

We live in a city. We live in a nice part of the city, but it's still an urban area and the city is rather well-known for crime. It's very stratified, and I love my city, but being aware of crime is still important.
I think every house on our street has a burglar alarm. Including ours. Ours, however, tends to have a bit of a hair trigger "warning" beep that goes off....basically whenever it wants to. It doesn't trigger a call to the company or the police, and frankly I'm not really sure what the point of it is. Sometimes it will go off twice in a day; sometimes it will go off once every other month.
It has gone off four times in the last ten minutes.
The first time, I got up and turned it off. It started going off a second time before I even was back to the bedroom. The third time I was already back in bed. And now the fourth time.....I'm just letting it beep until David gets home and can deal with it. I called him and begged him to come home ASAP and take care of it for me. For now, I turned on the television and put the volume up and am just trying to ignore it. The cat does not seem to like it either.
In other news, still waiting on my glucose test results. I know no news is good news, but I'm not very impressed with this office's responsiveness. I'm also slightly concerned because I feel like there are a lot of medications that I could be on to help prevent PTL, but my doctor hasn't prescribed any of them. I suppose it's good that they don't think I need them, but if anything happens, I will never forgive myself.

Monday, March 21, 2011

28w1d: Back to Work

I love technology. I'm hoping that my co-workers are thinking of me as just someone in a different office. We work across offices all the time--I've never met a lot of the people I work with on a regular basis--and it's no issue. I have my office phone forwarded to my home phone and my cell phone, and unlike David's VPN, my VPN is just as fast as if I were in my office. My assistant is great about scanning my mail for me, and if I need anything printed she'll print it, put it in a sealed envelope, and David can pick it up for me on his way home.

I am sad that I had to cancel out of an event for Thursday night, but people have been very understanding. I got some very good advice last week to transition out of the projects where I'm on a big team and it'll be easier for other people to pick up my work, and
to concentrate on the projects where it's a much smaller group and my institutional knowledge would be harder to replace. So that's the plan!

I have been really sad that I can't get up to the babies' room to take all my shower gifts out of their boxes and start organizing. David has not been very interested in doing any of that, either. His dad is coming to visit in a few weeks and he thinks he'll be able to get everything done then. His dad is really amazing and handy....but I want some stuff done now! So this weekend I begged David to take the car seats and stroller out of their boxes and make sure that the car seats snap properly into the snap-n-go. Even though the stroller website assured me that the car seats I wanted (Graco Snugride) were compatible, I wanted to make sure.

David had no trouble setting up the stroller, but figuring out how the car seats snapped in was definitely more of a challenge. The instructions were pretty useless--there was nothing about how you need to remove some of the bars depending on your stroller--but eventually--with the help of this video--we got it. Thanks lady!

Ta da!
That would be our cat, Murray, in his cat cube, riding in the seat. Because obviously as soon as David had finished he would have to get the cat to test it out. Murray did a good job with it, actually.

Seeing how long the stroller is with the two seats attached makes me glad I made the decision not to get a travel "system." They might be great for one baby, but with two it just seems like it would be way too bulky for us, at least to start--or at least in this format. Maybe a side-by-side for our next one?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

28 Weeks!

Weekly Update:

How far along? 28 Weeks!
Total weight gain/loss? 36 pounds. I weigh about 15 pounds more than David does. I think it's almost all in my belly and boobs--my legs and arms look pretty much the same.
Maternity clothes? Umm, yes. I can sleep in some pre-pregnancy pajama pants as long as I keep them below the bump.
Stretch marks? Nope! Thanks to my sister-in-law for giving me cocoa butter lotion for Christmas. I know all the studies say it doesn't work, but it at least smells good.
Sleep? Pretty well. I'm getting up to go to the bathroom a couple times a night, but falling asleep isn't too hard.
Best moment last week?
Hearing the babies' nice strong heartbeats at my appointment.
Movement? Oh yes. Baby A is much wigglier than Baby B. Sometimes they both get going at once and I can see each of them poking in my belly.
Food cravings? Fruit, mostly. And now that I'm scared about my glucose test, sweets because I'm afraid I'm going to be told I can't have dessert anymore.
Gender? Girl and a boy!
Labor signs? Braxton-Hicks, Braxton-Hicks, Braxton-Hicks.
Belly button in/out? Mostly out. If I'm lying on my back it falls back in a bit.
What I miss: Going to work and seeing people.
What I am looking forward to: Finishing my thank you notes from my showers.
Milestones: 28 Weeks! Magic number. I know that every day matters, but my next big goal is 30 weeks.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

27w6d: An Anniversary

Today is the twelfth anniversary of my first date with my husband. We started dating senior year of high school, and March Madness always makes me think of those really early days in our relationship. Our first date was to a local second-run movie theatre that was playing Shakespeare in Love and then to Perkins--I had a chocolate muffin and I think he had a sundae. I remember what I wore--jeans and a dark green sweater, and exactly how it felt when he took my hand as we walked across the Perkins parking lot to his car.

Back then, I never would have imagined that exactly twelve years later we'd be living across the country and I'd be *almost* 28 weeks pregnant with our twins and confined to bed.

We have some friends coming over for dinner tonight and to watch basketball and play games. I'm really excited. I put my contacts in, put on some makeup, and straightened my hair--all part of my usual routine, but the first time I've done them this week. I'm going to go downstairs to where the big TV is! These will be the first non-medical personnel I've seen this week. I usually am not very homesick and I talk to our families on the east coast a lot, but right now I really, really wish we lived closer.

Friday, March 18, 2011

27w5d: Keeping Busy

Even though I slept a lot yesterday, I had no trouble sleeping last night. I really wish it were possible to bank sleep for after the babies are here!

I'm still working from home, and today has been really busy and I've been really productive. Those are the best days--when you don't even notice time flying by. I'm only going to be able to work another couple of weeks before my doctor puts me on disability, and I have a lot of projects that I want to finish. I've been working on some of these for literally years, and it makes me sad to yield control of them or see others take over for me. But I know it would have happened at some point anyway, and there actually are some good break points coming up.

I'm worried about how I'm going to stay busy after I'm no longer working. I love to read and I'm hoping to set myself up with a lot of books that are on my shelf that I haven't gotten to yet. I know myself, and I know that I could while away time watching TV and surfing the internet, but I never feel good after doing that for more than a couple of hours. I know I would get depressed and bored and mad at myself really quickly if I don't use time "productively."

Some books I want to read:
Pride and Prejudice (I know! I know. I read Emma in high school and my book club did Sense and Sensibility a few months ago. It's about time I read this!)
okay, so that list didn't work out very well. My bookshelves are in other rooms, so I'll have to take a look on a trip to the kitchen at some point!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

27w4d: Sugary Drink of Sugary zzzzzzzzzz

While I was in the hospital last week, they gave me the one-hour glucose test. I got the lemon lime flavor and it was not bad at all. I knew I was going to fail because they also brought me a lunch tray and I started eating right before they gave me the test. Way to go with the timing there. I know you don't have to fast before the one hour, but it can't have helped.

So this morning I trotted off to Quest for the three-hour version of the test. I arrived right at 8am and there were seven people ahead of me--all us overnight fasters must have gotten there right when it opened. The first five people were really quick, and then they skipped to me because they saw I was going to be there for a long time. Lady #6 shot daggers at me--Lady #6 can suck it.

Have I mentioned I have horrible veins? I have horrible veins. The bruise on my right wrist from the hospital draw last week extends from the middle of the back of my hand to well past my wrist bones. That was done by a NURSE who presumably does this a lot.

Well, the ladies at Quest are blood draw goddesses. Blood Draw #1 to get my fasting number was super quick and I went back to the waiting room for.....

Big Orange Drink of SUGAR. It tasted way sweeter than the drink for the one-hour. I didn't get to have it over ice this time either, but at least it was cold.

The hour wait began. It wasn't too bad for the first 45 minutes....and then I started feeling a little lightheaded. And then dizzy. And then like I was going to pass out. The waiting room had filled and emptied again by that point, and I called out to the nurse sitting at the reception desk that I did not feel very well. She asked if I was nauseous, and I said no. She said she would go clear the bed off for me. While she was gone, I tried to put my head between my legs, but--surprise--I couldn't bend that way due to my bump. I slumped to the side of the chair and tried to keep focused. By the time the nurse came back, I was actually feeling a little better. She led me into a back room with a "bed"-like couch and I sat down, but it was time for them to draw my blood again. I felt okay for that and then I went to the bed and slept until my next draw. I just could not keep my eyes open! After the third draw I had to get on a conference call for work, and I managed to stay awake until the fourth draw. The three hours go by really quickly when you sleep through two of them!

I really, really hope I fail this test....we have Girl Scout cookies in the house! And Easter and Easter candy! It seems like the one-hour produces a lot of false-positives, but I know that twins have a higher incidence of GD. Fingers crossed....

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

27w3d - The Little Bear(s)

I know my babies are tough and that we're going to make it to term. How do I know? Because when I was five weeks pregnant we survived an encounter with a bear.
I was back on the east coast to be the matron of honor in my best friend's wedding. She had been my maid of honor three years prior, and I was really excited for her wedding. The location was a beautiful resort in the Poconos, and the leaves had started changing and it was nice feeling "fall."
The other bridesmaids and I stayed overnight with her after the rehearsal, and the morning of the wedding looked perfect for a quick run before we started getting ready. The resort property either included a lot of woods or backed into a lot of woods; either way I headed out down a nice, flat trail. I brought my phone with me because I didn't have a watch and I didn't want to be gone too long.
On my way back, I crested a small hill and saw, straight down the trail in front of me about 50 yards, an adult black bear. I stopped and blinked a few times because I had never seen a bear in Pennsylvania in my life. Maybe it was really a deer? No, it was definitely a bear. I couldn't go backwards or to the side--the trail was straight and there was a steep ravine to my right and a steep hill to my left. The bear started coming toward me (or rather it started walking down the trail--I don't think it was yet aware of me). I noticed a shed about 10 yards away from me--closer to the bear--with a large pickup truck next to it. I thought maybe I could hide behind the truck. I crept over to the truck and called the bride.
Jenna: There's a BEAR.
Bride: What?? Where?
That did not help her. I gathered my wits enough to explain where on the property I had gone and how she could get to me. Fortunately the "trail" was something of a service road so she could drive to me. Then she hung up. I called her back.
Jenna: You CANNOT HANG UP ON ME. There is a BEAR.

The bear by this point had noticed me and was curious. I had scooted around to the side of the truck, which was parked on a gravel pile. Each time I tried to push myself up and away from the trail, I slid in the gravel. The bear did not seem to like the sound of the sliding gravel. The bear had stopped directly opposite me on the trail--about 10 feet away--and just looked at me. I have never been so scared in my life. Just then I heard a car pulling onto the service road, and the bear shook its head and went down the other side of the embankment.

I sprinted away from the truck to the car where the bride and another bridesmaid were waiting for me. I was so happy to see them. The maternal instinct kicks in early--the whole time the bear was there all I could think about was that I had to save my baby and that the bear was not going to get us.

I later talked to the manager of the resort about the bear on the property. "Oh yes!" she chortled. "He's very friendly. Comes around to eat the garbage." How delightful.

So that is why my baby was called the Little Bear for two months until we learned that there were two Little Bears.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

27w2d: Peri Appointment Update

I left the house for the first time since Saturday to go to my perinatologist appointment. In prior appointments she has been very blase with me because everything was going so smoothly. This time I noticed a definite uptick in her concern. She assured me that failing the FFN was great news, but she does want me on bedrest from here on out. And in contrast to my last appointment where she said she thought I could work until 36 weeks, this time she asked why I hadn't brought the disability papers with me for her to sign.
She had some but not all of my test results from the hospital. They faxed some more over to her while I was there, and we learned that I'm anemic. Not a big surprise considering I have about 70% more blood pumping through my body than I did prior to getting pregnant, but I'm still disappointed because I've been so good with my iron supplements. Now I get to take those 3x a day--I'm sure my digestive system is going to love that. She'll see me again in two weeks. I scheduled the appointment for right after my ultrasound appointment to make the most of my time outside.
Working from home has made me not really notice I'm on bedrest. I was productive today which was both good but also nice and distracting.
I continue to feel contractions whenever I get up, but when I'm lying down they are infrequent and also very mild--lasting no more than 20-30 seconds. Stay calm uterus, and stay long, cervix!

Monday, March 14, 2011

27w1d: How I Got Here

I found out I was pregnant at 4 weeks 1 day. I was in shock because David and I had only just started trying to conceive. I felt so lucky and blessed! I really wanted to have a natural birth and sought out a midwife rather than an OB in order to have what to me seemed like the best support for that outcome. I found a midwife who was also part of a high risk practice group--best of both worlds, I thought.
At my seven week appointment, the midwife said my uterus was tipped so she wouldn't be able to hear a heartbeat. Everything else seemed normal, so I had no concerns. Then at 12 weeks she found the heartbeat right away--it was so amazing! I had gained about 3 pounds at that point and was beginning to need a bella band--things were really moving along!
I had scheduled my NT scan ultrasound for right after the midwife appointment. David and I headed down the block for the ultrasound, and as we went into the exam room the tech seemed surprised that I hadn't had a prior ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy. I was again not concerned--I was seeing a midwife because I wanted fewer interventions, period.
As soon as she put the wand on my abdomen....I knew something was off. The picture looked blurry and blobby, sure, but....and then she said, "looks like you're having twins!" If I hadn't been lying on my back I would have fallen over. David didn't say anything--he just stared at the screen in shock. I think I said "you've got to be kidding me" about ten times in a row. But, sure enough, there they were--TWO babies, two placentas, two sacs. Both were measuring on track and healthy.
When we left the appointment and got to the car, I started crying. I was so overwhelmed and flustered, and I thought David was mad at me because he was still so silent. He assured me that he was not mad at me, he hugged me, and told me that this was clearly all my fault. (He has a delightful sense of humor.) We called my mother-in-law first, and she promptly asked if I had been on drugs. Umm, no. My father was also shocked but extremely excited. We called David's oldest sister who reassured us that everything was going to be fine.
At my next ultrasound, we learned the sexes--Baby A is a girl and Baby B is a boy! David's main concern was that there were still only two of them.
My next two ultrasounds were also uneventful--both still measuring on track, good heart rates, and a nice long and strong cervix for me (3.8cm, 3.8cm, 4.0cm). My perinatologist (I switched to the high risk end of the practice once we got the confirmation of twins) was unconcerned with me; I guess compared to a lot of patients I really was not high risk.
And then.
I started having really frequent tightening of my uterus on March 8. Many an hour. I would drink water, urinate, and lie down--and they'd go away. But as soon as I'd get up, I'd feel the tightening. So on March 9 we went into the hospital, and learned that my cervix had shortened to 2.5cm. Although it's still shut tight, that scared me, so here I am in bed, and here I'll stay until my babies are born or someone convinces me that I can move!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

27w - Welcome to the Third Trimester

Today I'm officially 27 weeks pregnant with twins--a boy and a girl. It's also near the beginning of my time on bedrest for an irritable uterus and shortening cervix. Hopefully I will have many more weeks of posts before my babies decide to arrive! Bedrest is not going to be fun or easy, but if a few weeks of discomfort for me can make a tremendous difference in my babies' lives, it will be more than worth it. I've been terrible at documenting my pregnancy so far, and I'm hoping that bedrest will motivate me to keep track of things so I can use it for later guilt trips for my children.