Thursday, April 28, 2011

33w4d: The Taste of Freedom

I have tasted freedom, and it comes in a plastic cup with a green straw.

I had an ultrasound appointment and an NST today. I have to think about how many ultrasounds I've had. I think this was the seventh. I know there are lots of pregnant women who are disappointed that they only get one or two ultrasounds, but I have to say they're not fun anymore. The only reason I go frequently is to check that nothing is wrong, and the technician is not interested in taking cute pictures--and as both babies are looking at my back, there really is no opportunity to catch them sucking a thumb or yawning. So it's basically just one big anxiety incident until the technician pronounces that they're measuring on track and the fluid levels look good. I don't even bother getting the pictures anymore on my CD--a blob labeled "kidneys" is not memorable.

One thing I will say about my ultrasound office is that I rarely have to wait more than a few minutes. I think it's because I'm scheduled for a double appointment that the technician who gets me is less backed up. Or maybe the other people in the waiting room (it's usually crowded) are just much more prompt than I am and arrive really early for their appointments? I do notice that it's almost always couples waiting. David hasn't come with me since the first ultrasound, and I have to say I honestly don't mind. Especially now when there really isn't anything much to see, it would just be a waste of time for him. He always is eager for a full report so I know he's interested, but it doesn't make sense for him to use vacation time to watch floating blobs get labeled "B - Bladder."

I had a bit of time in between the ultrasound and the NST, and I decided to venture to....Starbucks. Not that I'm a huge Starbucks fan, but I was craving an iced coffee. I figured that getting it half-caf would make the babies nice and wiggly for their NST. It was the first time I've spent money in a store since being in the hospital! I've certainly spent enough online to make up for it though.

I always thought that iced coffee was just coffee over ice. Not so. Starbucks uses some other sort of blended mix, and since I was worried about the carbs and the GD-ness, they instead did an Americano over ice for me. It was super delicious and my numbers today have been fine. It was exciting seeing people and having interactions like a normal, non-bed ridden person!

The babies passed their NST with flying colors and didn't even have to get zapped today. My blood pressure has been great, which is a relief on the pre-eclampsia front. I've always taken pride in my blood pressure, which I know sounds silly. During my freshman year of college, the nurse at the health services clinic asked me if I ran marathons because my blood pressure was so good. David, who actually does run marathons, has generally higher readings than I do. Ha!

My next NST is on Tuesday--four whole days in between appointments!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

33w3d: Grateful

David and I are very fortunate that each of our jobs provide us with excellent health insurance. David has an HMO; I chose a (more expensive) PPO plan just because I'm stubborn and paranoid and I didn't like the idea of having to wait for authorization to see specialists and all the other hoops that an HMO can involve. David is very happy with his HMO, and I can agree that they're very good for people who are healthy and/or don't have complicated health issues. But having happen what happened to me makes me even more grateful that I have my PPO and my doctors can send me off for as many tests as they see fit without an HMO in the background watching over their shoulder.

I have an out-of-pocket maximum for my insurance that I'm about $25 away from meeting. After that, all I'll pay going forward is co-pays--the delivery and my hospital stay will be fully covered. And the babies will go on my plan as "family," and they'll have the same out-of-pocket maximum (which they'll easily meet in about 45 minutes) and then any care they need will be fully covered.

I realize that the Canadian system covers all pregnancy and delivery-related care completely, but Canadians also pay a lot more in taxes than Americans do so I don't think they're getting quite the deal that they might think that they are. In any event, I feel very, very lucky to have the insurance and access to the medical care that I have.

I think it's easy for women today to forget that not too long ago--and still in many places in the world--pregnancy posed a very real risk of death. Dying in childbirth was a common occurrence, and I'm sure it was even more frequent for women carrying multiples. Infant and child death was also common; I believe in some cultures babies aren't even given real names until their second birthdays because of the risk that the child won't live to see that milestone.

It's humbling to think about how much modern life and modern medicine have improved my life and the eventual outcome for my babies. I have a lot of gratitude to these scientific and medical professionals, and a lot of respect and awe for all the women who endured--and endure--without the benefits that I try not to take for granted.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

33w2d: Attentive

Sunday brought me to 33 weeks, which feels like such a success. I feel so much better than I did six weeks ago. The Little Bears' room is really coming along, and I am feeling them move so much--I think I finally feel confident that we're going to be bringing home two happy babies. I even let David wash some of the newborn-sized clothing. The socks are so TINY!

On Easter I made a jailbreak to go to church. It was exciting being out in public. My lungs are so compressed that I had trouble holding my breath long enough to sing properly though. David made delicious jambalaya for dinner.

Yesterday was another NST day. As I waddled down the hall to the office, a maintenance guy asked if I was having a boy or a girl. I said one of each! He asked if they had names, and I sadly admitted that the boy did not. "Joshua!" he proclaimed. "That's his cousin's name--it's taken!" I had to reply. That very brief interaction made me realize all the attention I'm missing out on by not getting to go anywhere. I suppose it's nice that no one is trying to pat my belly all the time and I suppose I'd get sick of hearing "any day now," but people generally are really nice to pregnant women, and it's always nice when people are nice to you.

The actual NST appointment was fine. Apparently the 1/2 of a Diet Coke (caffeine free) that I'd had on the drive over wasn't enough to get them moving as much as the nurse wanted, so she zapped me with a small black device that looked like an electric razor. It was totally painless, but it made the babies perk up and pay attention! My next NST is on Thursday after my growth ultrasound. Assuming I have time in between appointments, I'm planning to go to Starbucks and get an iced coffee. The weather this week is gorgeous--all sunshine--and it will be so nice to be a bit out-and-about!

Friday, April 22, 2011

32w5d: Great Appointments

Taking a break from the history lesson....

Today I had my first non-stress test. I'm going for NSTs twice a week now--next Monday and Thursday. I also met with the perinatologist and the dietitian.

The nurses at the antepartum testing office were so nice. I'd forgotten to get my insurance card back from David (he needed it to photocopy for a different form, oh the never-ending forms!) but it was not a problem at all. The appointment started with a surprise ultrasound so the nurse could figure out the best places to put the monitors. It was really fun seeing the babies, even though the screen was much smaller than at the ultrasound office. She determined that both babies are actually vertex, which is great news! She strapped the monitors on me and then we talked about books for awhile. I'm reading Farm City for my book club right now (review will be forthcoming) so we talked about book club recommendations. I'm going to bring the notebook where my mom wrote down her book club books and where I've written down mine for her to peruse on Monday.

As per usual, Baby A was very cooperative but Baby B kicked his monitor off a couple of times before the nurse could get him to stay on. I am really curious if this is going to be indicative of their personalities on the outside! Both passed with flying colors, thank God, and I had very few contractions and no major ones during the 40 minutes I was on the monitor.

I then headed over to the peri. I had Dr. G again--it had been about a month since I've seen her. She confirmed that I'm definitely growing, as are the babies. She was very pleased with my GD numbers which was very encouraging because I thought I had been having some trouble with my lunch numbers. She was confidence-inspiring that so long as Baby A stays vertex we'll go for the vaginal birth. As Baby A has been head down ever since we met her, I have faith in her! Dr. G asked how much I was resting, and I said that I was continuing with bed rest because when I get up I feel tightening. She said that was to be expected and she wasn't terribly worried. Yay!

And then it was across the hall for the dietitian. It was E again (I think I prefer M). I asked E about what I should do if we went out for dinner, and she said that a short walk would help. I think David and I might start taking short walks down the street after dinner--very exciting for me!

Tonight two friends are coming over for dinner and to hang out. I haven't seen them in a month, so I'm interested in knowing if they think I've grown!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

32w4d: Bubbles and Cats

Continuing with yesterday's theme....

The first time I felt a baby move, I was sitting in the arm chair in my dad's family room in Pennsylvania, working--probably on the non-billable year-end report that took up way too much time over my Christmas vacation--and I felt a tiny tickle in my abdomen. I froze and waited a moment, and I felt it again. Like a little bubble popping inside me, exactly as I'd heard. It was gentle yet insistent. I wondered if it was Baby A or Baby B, or both of them. I wanted to find my phone and call David and tell him, but I didn't want to move in case I missed more bubbles. I also felt like this was mine, that only I could experience, and I wanted to take some time to savor it.

The first time I felt an actual kick, I was sitting at my desk at work. I felt a jab, like a sharp poke from inside. I was in the middle of a meeting and I couldn't really say, "hang on....I need a moment to enjoy feeling one of my babies kick for the first time." So I made it through the rest of the meeting and then anxiously poked my belly trying to get a repeat of the earlier performance. No luck. Then I had a drink of something and the jabbing started again. I had a feeling it was Baby A--I knew by now that was the little girl--and I wanted her brother to get going too. That night I lay on my side hoping to feel more, but no luck.

The first time David felt a kick, we were watching a video about epidurals at our second childbirth class. Someone was kicking up a storm, and I grabbed his hand and forced it onto my belly. The resultant kick was really strong and David jumped a little.

The kicking now is like a cat stretching its paws and arching its back against my ribcage. The little boy is constantly jamming his head under my right breast and causing me actual pain in my ribs. The little girl likes to tickle her body against my lower pelvis and stretch her toes up against her brother. I'm excited to see them in the ultrasound next week--they must be jammed pretty tightly against each other and it's usually hard for me to tell who is kicking unless it's in one of the corners of my abdomen.

Feeling the movement is so special, and so calming. It reminds me that the babies are part of me, are depending on me, are held by me. I am definitely going to miss feeling my babies inside when I have to share them with the outside world!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

32w3d: Backing Up

There's not much going on here today or news to report. The workmen placed the tile and grout for the new floor in the bathroom and are currently fixing the electric work and installing a new overhead fan and light. I'm really excited that they're also going to install an outside outlet--this Christmas I'll be able to have outdoor lights! (That was a total shock the first year we lived here when I couldn't string up lights the way I wanted to--why would anyone expect that a house WOULDN'T have an outdoor plug??). The noise from the construction forced me to retreat to a guest bedroom so I could have a conference call--I was leading the call so it wasn't one that I could just mute and take notes. The cat has retreated with me, which makes me happy because it implies that he actually likes me and wants to be near me. That is a question, because if David is around, forget it--Murray only has eyes for him.

Anyway, I thought that on uneventful days like this, since I didn't start this blog until I was already more than 6 months pregnant that I'd try to recall some of the goings-on from earlier in my pregnancy.

I'll start with my first midwife appointment. Numerous friends had touted the benefits of seeing a midwife over an OB, and I was persuaded. I called and we scheduled my first appointment for when I was seven weeks pregnant in late October. We spent most of the appointment chatting about pregnancy, birth, and what I should expect. It was really nice. I was surprised that there was no ultrasound equipment in the office, so I didn't have an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy at that time. She also said that my uterus was tipped, so she wouldn't have been able to find a heartbeat that early either. But everything else seemed normal and regular, and I certainly wasn't worried. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, I wasn't able to make my next appointment until the beginning of December, but that didn't seem to be a problem. I really liked how laid back everybody was, yet still exuding extreme competence.

(Of course we all know what happened in December.....ha!)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

32w2d: Some Nursery Progress

As mentioned, FIL was here this weekend and he and David spent a lot of time working in the babies' room. They painted, set up the cribs, and moved furniture, as well as other household chores like washing windows and removing a dead bush from the front yard. I want to save the room pictures until it's "done"--which will be awhile because I'm (a) superstitious and (b) can't do much at any one time anyway--but this one I had to share. Murray is Assistant Paint Primer #2 (David is #1--FIL was definitely in charge of the projects).

The room is going to have an African safari theme--nice and gender-neutral. I wanted to make crib skirts and I found a pretty fabric (a pastel green, blue, and yellow stripe), but I can't sit up for that long. FIL took the fabric back with him for MIL to make them. MIL is an extremely talented seamstress (as in, she made her own wedding dress as well as the suit one SIL wore for job interviews out of grad school) so I know she'll do a great job. Frankly, she'll do a better job than I would have done and I know it. Still, it was something I wanted to do for my babies and I'm sad that I'm not getting to do it. I had bought some yarn and I'm hoping I'll still be able to crochet something for them. They have so many beautiful handmade pieces--a cross-stitch quilt made by my aunt and a cousin, two crocheted blankets made by one of my mom's friends, a knitted sweater for each by another of my mom's friends, two quilts made by MIL, and another of my mom's friends is making cross stitch wall hangings that will have their names and birth information. My mom had absolutely no sewing talent, so I don't know how she wound up with all these super-crafty friends!

My grandmother taught me how to crochet when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. She was right-handed so I crochet backwards, but it works for me. All the "how to do this left-handed" instructions never really made sense to me, so I just go with what works. I'm not very good, but the nice thing is that babies can't really complain! I really hope one of the babies will be left-handed too. I love being left-handed even if it is a pain in the neck sometimes.

Monday, April 18, 2011

32w1d: Thirty-Two Weeks!

How far along?
32 Weeks!
Total weight gain/loss? Not much change...I think I'm supposed to be gaining about a pound or two a week, but the doctors and dietitian don't seem to be too concerned if I lose a pound or two here and there too. The overall goal is still around 50 pounds total, so I'm not there yet.
Maternity clothes? Yup. My coworker (who only had one baby) had loaned me some, and she asked for hers back to give to a friend, which is no problem because they stopped fitting me a couple of weeks ago. My wardrobe is going to become more limited as I continue to grow!
Stretch marks? All quiet on the stomach front. I finished my first jar of cocoa butter and am on to a different kind. I know "they" say there's nothing you can do to prevent them, but I can't imagine staying moisturized hurts.
Sleep? Last night was my first experience of insomnia. I woke up to go to the bathroom around 3, and I just could not fall back to sleep. It was miserable. Part of it is that I'm so congested and I can't breathe properly, and if I try to blow my nose I just get a nosebleed. Oh, the glamour of it all.
Best moment last week?
All the progress David and his dad made in the babies' room!
Movement? Frequent and strong. Love it! I am going to miss feeling them wiggle.
Food cravings? Cupcakes. I have a gift card to a fantastic cupcake place nearby, and as (hopefully) the babies will be born just before my 30th birthday and we won't have much energy for much of anything, I'm going to ask David to use it.....only a couple more weeks!
Gender? Girl and a boy!
Labor signs? Same old Braxton-Hicks.
Belly button in/out? I think it's as out as it's going to get. It feels soooo funny.
What I miss: Non-online shopping. I know it gets old for most women, but I'd like to have a couple of the random stranger-pregnant interactions everyone talks about. But since no one ever sees me, no one ever comments on how big I am or asks when I'm due. I like attention and I like talking about my babies!
What I am looking forward to: Assuming everything goes well with my appointments this week, I am planning to go to church on Sunday. I haven't missed church on Easter in my life (I asked my dad, and he thinks they did take me when I was a baby), and I'd like to go. So long as I get there early enough to get a decent seat I think it will be okay.
Milestones: "
By now, your baby weighs 3.75 pounds (pick up a large jicama) and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in your uterus. You're gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to your baby. In fact, she'll gain a third to half of her birth weight during the next 7 weeks as she fattens up for survival outside the womb. She now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). Her skin is becoming soft and smooth as she plumps up in preparation for birth."

Friday, April 15, 2011

31w5d: Bathroom Renovation!

A couple of months ago, friends who had recently had a baby warned us to make a list of any "around the house" projects that we wanted to do in the next five years, and then do them before the babies arrive. First on my list--remodel the hall bathroom.

I hate this bathroom. I've hated it ever since we first looked at the house. It makes no sense whatsoever. It has the original hexagonal tile from the 1920s with a giant crack through it, a vanity probably from the 1950s with a seashell cutout for a soap dish and a height appropriate for elves, light green paint, and a (new-ish) shower with mauve tiles. Mauve and light green?? Would it have killed the prior owners to have slapped a coat of beige on the walls before selling??

Another thing that was weird was the electrics. There were three--THREE--separate switch/outlet plates within a couple of inches of each other.

There's one plate for the main light switch, one plate for the two outlets, and one huge plate with four switches (FOUR) to control the fan: one for the fan itself, one for the light in the fan, one for a mysterious "night light" that was supposed to be in the fan that we never found, and one for "heat" from the fan. We had the electrician disconnect the heat part when we had the knob and tube pulled out of the ceiling--that just sounded like a disaster waiting to happen.

Our goals with the remodel are to perform a mostly cosmetic upgrade--we're replacing the floor, the vanity, toilet, cleaning up the mess of electric, and repainting, but we're leaving the shower and layout alone. We don't intend to stay in this house for more than 4 more years, so throwing a lot of money at the project was not going to be a good investment. I think that the changes we're making are going to be a vast improvement regardless.

The guys showed up yesterday to begin the demolition. Noisy but exciting--for us and for someone else.

Despite the curtains the guys hung up when they took a break, someone who is curious still managed to explore the tileless floor. Of course then he had to get his paws wiped off, which he did not enjoy.

Poor Murray.

It's actually working out pretty well that I'm on bedrest because I'll be home when the guys come next week to finish up. David's dad is here right now so all three of us are having to use the tiny bathroom off our bedroom, but that's okay. I cannot imagine how people with only one bathroom have renovations done--and certainly that should not be done while pregnant!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Wow, I was doing really well at daily posting there....and then not so much.
Last Thursday I met with the dietitian and my peri to go over my GD numbers and diet diary. They were both really happy with me. It was nice to get some good news and feel like something was going well! Hopefully I'll be able to control everything with diet, but if I do need to go on the medication I do understand it's not the end of the world and it's not my fault--it's just the circumstances of two placentas kicking my hormones into overdrive. I told the dietitian how hungry I was, and she suggested a new snack for me--greek yogurt with some berries and almonds.

(image credit: Chobani)

YUM. I never really had Greek yogurt before, but David bought me some this weekend, and I am loving it. I add a packet of Splenda, 5 or 6 blackberries, and some almonds. Delicious and filling!

I asked the peri about why I was still only having ultrasounds every four weeks, and he said it was because of the error rate--it's possible that my 28 week ultrasound was measuring ahead, and then one at 30 weeks could measure behind, making it look like the babies hadn't grown even if they had. My statistical background had to have a sit-down with my mothering instincts of "I want to see my babies!!!!", but ration trumped passion, and I know he's right. So still no ultrasound until April 28.

Instead.....I get to go for NSTs twice a week starting next week. It's getting harder for me to tell which baby is kicking, so it will be good to know that both of them are moving around enough and that their heart rates are on track.

So, it's all just holding stable here....hoping that continues for the next six weeks!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

30w3d: Bed Rest Book Review

On Saturday night two of our friends came over for dinner and to hang out. It was wonderful to see them! We had burgers and fries (only a few fries for me) and my sugar was very cooperative which made me happy. They brought me some books that they thought I'd enjoy while on bedrest. One of them was And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. It's been published under a variety of names depending on the time period and country--the original title is extremely non-PC. The version they brought me, while having a different title, still had the original language in it, and it was definitely shocking to see that word over and over and over again. I know that times change--the original rhyme was not "eeny meany miney moe catch a tiger by the toe" after all--but it still took me out each time the name of the island came up--and that was frequent. I appreciate my friend's wish to have the original text, but I think if I were buying the book I would buy a newer version.

(image credit: This is not the version I have--I'm not entirely sure the version I was loaned is even still in print.)

However, I would highly recommend this book in a revised version. There's a reason Agatha Christie is known as the master of the mystery. The book has great pacing, excellent mood, and the characters are all distinct and memorable (tough when you have ten main characters and your reader has to meet all of them quickly and then keep track of them as they're killed).

It was also fun picking up on the social mores of 1930s England--the characters come from a variety of social classes, and the little distinctions in the way they treat each other is interesting. For example, the male servant is only ever called by his last name--no honorific of "Mr." for him. And the elderly spinster calls the younger female secretary by her first name, but the secretary always addresses her elder as "Miss" LastName.

I am a terrible peek-ahead-reader. As in, I almost always have to flip to the last few pages to find out what happens at the end because I lack the patience to wait until I'm finished. I forced myself to wait this time, and it was worth it. I totally did not guess how the mystery would play out, and I loved it. I don't know how one would guess ahead of time--I don't think there are clues. There's a similarity with Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier but that doesn't detract.

To summarize, this book reads very quickly and kept me entertained and guessing until the end. A great bedrest read!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

30w2d: Around Our Own Kind

Last night....prison break!

Back in late February I had signed up for a class on breastfeeding multiples. Although our "baby 101" class covered breastfeeding, I figured it would not be super helpful for me. Both my peri and the instructor of our childbirth class recommended the multiples class too.

After my good report last week, and given that the class was held at the hospital, I figured we'd still go. Dave could drop me off at the door and I'd be sitting with my feet up the whole time.

There were six other women in the class, five having twins and one having triplets. NONE of them had partners with them. David was the only guy. He figured all the rest had begged off to watch the NCAA Championship. At first I felt kind of guilty for asking him to come with me, but now I feel worse for the other women whose partners weren't there to support them. A lot of the instructor's emphasis was on how much help we're going to need to get both babies fed, and I think it was important for David to hear so he understands. The instructor praised him for being there and thanked him for being committed to breastfeeding, and I think he did like that.

It's going to be tough. I am basically going to be feeding babies around the clock at the beginning. I'm going to have to drink so much water and have so much protein and be super careful not to get sore nipples because I won't be able to switch. But I'm committed and so long as my body cooperates, I want to do this. I know all the "breast is best" stuff, but I also want to do this because my body is meant to do this and I hope it will cooperate. Plus it will save so much money and be much better environmentally.

I'm really glad the instructor was different than the instructor who taught the breastfeeding part of our babycare class. That woman....was kind of horrible. She was of the militant breastfeeding variety, the "if you give your child formula you may as well give them poison" school. I was able to tune her out as soon as I noticed that was how it was going to go, but David wasn't. He just kept getting angrier and angrier and was so irate on the way home. He does not get angry often or easily, but he was really upset. He kept asking what that woman was thinking and how dare she make women feel bad if for some reason they couldn't breastfeed. I thought it was actually really sweet of him to take it so personally. But listening to that woman convinced me that if she's the LC on duty when I'm in the hospital, I'm going to have to ask for someone else. She seemed like she would relish making a woman feel guilty for breastfeeding not working out. The thing that is saddest about it is that her message--which is important, I know; you shouldn't just give up if it's tough but rather try to figure out solutions--isn't reaching the people who need to hear it. Couples who have signed up for a babycare class clearly have the time and means to think about these things ahead of time and have more than likely done the research to know the benefits of breastfeeding. What about all the poor women who think they need to buy formula? I swear formula companies are probably WIC's biggest lobby.

In any event, it was nice not feeling like the freak for once. I felt the same thing at the MoM twin book club I went to at the beginning of March. These people get it. They know what I'm in for and what I've been going through. They don't look at me like I'm a curiosity or with pity or ask all the "twin" questions: identical? IVF? boy/girl? are they both yours? I suppose those questions will be special the first time or ten, but after that.....snarky responses to follow!

Monday, April 4, 2011

30w1d: Blah

I'm feeling pretty blah today. I'm super tired and haven't been very productive with work. The cat basically abandoned me all day until just now, so it's been lonely (except for the kicking, of course). I really could use a Cadbury Creme Egg to cheer me up. I think it's time for a late afternoon nap!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Thirty Weeks!!

How far along? 30 Weeks!
Total weight gain/loss? I'm up 40 pounds. I honestly am not sure where it is. My face looks the same, my arms and legs look generally the same. My hips and butt have spread a bit, but not much. I can't believe my belly and boobs have grown THAT much, but it seems they must have!
Maternity clothes? Absolutely. I'm way past the small and medium maternity tops that friends had loaned me and that I had bought before knowing I was having twins. Jeans are still a problem--I've settled on wearing the mediums and just scrunching the panel down. Pajamas are tough, but I don't mind sleeping in very little!
Stretch marks? Still clear.
Sleep? Sleep.....mmm. I'm finding that naps are so wonderful. For some reason I feel the need to nap not too soon after waking up--like from 9-9:30. And then again in the afternoon. I'm not sleeping super well at night, so maybe that's it.
Best moment last week?
Finding out that the babies are still growing on track and hearing their nice strong heartbeats.
Movement? Much stronger and more frequent. Baby B has gotten himself wedged up in my rib cage a lot lately.
Food cravings? Cadbury Creme Eggs. David is going to save some for me for after I deliver.
Gender? Girl and a boy!
Labor signs? Same old Braxton-Hicks.
Belly button in/out? Mostly out and soft. It feels so strange!
What I miss: Going outside....the weather has been so nice lately. I want to plant flowers in the front yard, and I can't. I want to organize the babies' room and I can't. I want to go grocery shopping!!
What I am looking forward to: David said he bought me something "special" for dinner one night this week. I'm looking forward to finding out what it is!
Milestones: 30 Weeks! I love being into the 30s!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

29w6d: Eating for Three on a GD Diet

I think I'm getting the hang of testing my glucose level. I've learned which fingers are best for giving good droplets of blood and which aren't, and I've mastered the art of popping the used needle into the sharps disposal container. David went grocery shopping today and returned with lots of GD-friendly foods for me. I am really, really lucky that he is an excellent cook and a good shopper. (He could use improvement in picking out produce, but that's pretty minor.)

Anyway, I see lots of questions online from women looking for inspiration for what to eat, so I thought I'd list what I've been eating. So far these meals/snacks have kept my sugars at acceptable levels. I'm worried that as the placentas get bigger I may not be as successful controlling everything with diet (or that I might have to cut out the fruit, which would make me very sad), but for now, here are my ideas. I'd love to hear more! (Note that I only eat poultry and seafood, so there's no beef or pork in these meals.)

Breakfast Ideas
scrambled eggs and chicken sausage links
scrambled eggs and Eggo waffle with sugar free jelly
whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter
scrambled egg on whole wheat English muffin with melted cheese
oatmeal (not the sugary kind that comes in little envelopes but the kind that you have to scoop out) with cinnamon and Splenda sprinkled on top and chicken sausage links

I love breakfast. When I was still going into work, I would have a banana while getting ready, and then once I got to work I'd have a bowl of cereal with a yogurt and fruit on top. Or oatmeal with fruit. It was such a nice way to ease into the day while checking email that came in overnight. Weekend brunch is my favorite meal to eat out--there's a restaurant near our house that does this amazing pumpkin waffle with cinnamon butter and maple's to die for. I look forward to that every fall. I hate deciding between sweet and savory though--why is it that so few restaurants give you an option of scramble eggs with a piece of French toast or a pancake on the side?

Mid-Morning Snack
apple and string cheese and whole wheat crackers
banana and string cheese and whole wheat crackers
yogurt ("light" or "no sugar added") with some whey protein powder and 1/4 cup granola
carrots and hummus and whole wheat crackers
apple and peanut butter
banana and peanut butter

I love snacks! Snacks are delicious and I totally look forward to my snack times.

sandwich: whole wheat bread (try to find a 2x fiber kind), mustard, turkey, cheese, and spinach OR lentil soup; carrots and hummus or yogurt with protein powder or apple with peanut butter (depending on what I had for a snack); 2 sugar free cookies; Crystal Light

I'm not a very adventurous lunch eater. I like sandwiches and I don't get bored with them. David doesn't like tuna so he won't make me tuna salad, otherwise I'd mix that in to replace the turkey once or twice a week.

Mid-Afternoon Snack
Same options as the mid-morning snack. Since I'm having twins, my dietitian said I could have two snacks in between lunch and dinner, and with the second one I like to have a sugar free chocolate pudding cup.

grilled chicken--with either a jerk sauce or a lemon pepper rub; cooked broccoli or carrots; brown rice or a sweet potato with sour cream; 8 oz milk with protein powder sprinkled in.

I am not a fan of supplements. But the protein powder is pretty necessary for me to get enough protein to grow two babies. David bought me the vanilla flavor, and it's not too bad. I can generally taste it, but it's not that offensive and I know it's good for me.

Evening Snack
1/2 cup sugar free ice cream with sugar free chocolate sauce

This is my favorite food of the day. Not surprising, I hope. There are some decent sugar free ice creams out there. But I'm adding real Ben & Jerry's to my pinot noir and sushi food request after I deliver!

Friday, April 1, 2011

29w5d: Bonus Blast from the Past

I'm cleaning out my work email (Friday nights on bedrest are super exciting) and I found this email exchange between David and me from the day I went for the sex ultrasound (read from the bottom up). He had said he didn't want to know until he came home from work, plus I was kind of annoyed that he didn't come with me to the appointment, so I was being coy. And on top of everything else, back in November he had failed to tell one of his sisters that I was pregnant! We wanted to tell her at the same time we were calling all the other family, but she and her husband were traveling. David is also just not good at sharing big news. He still hadn't told her when we found out we were having twins in December. She finally found out from their other sister, and she was rightfully upset with David. He placated her by saying that he'd tell me to call her with the sex news before he even knew. I hope the babies enjoy reading this exchange someday!

From: David
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 3:54 PM
To: Jay
Subject: RE: Ultrasound

Do I have to call her to find out?

[NB: At this point, I called him and told him we were going to be parents to a girl and boy. He was so excited--and I don't think he'll ever keep news from his sister again.]

From: Jay
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 3:54 PM
To: David
Subject: RE: Ultrasound


From: David
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 3:46 PM
To: Jay
Subject: RE: Ultrasound

Did you tell [David's sister] yet?

From: Jay
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 3:36 PM
To: David
Subject: RE: Ultrasound

Yup. This is payback for making me go by myself. What if something had been wrong with one of them?? I would have been alone to process that!

From: David
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 3:33 PM
To: Jay
Subject: RE: Ultrasound

You’re enjoying this aren’t you :-P

From: Jay
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 3:33 PM
To: David
Subject: RE: Ultrasound

There is no third baby. :) They both looked very cat friendly. Both were very wriggly.

From: David
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 3:28 PM
To: Jay
Subject: RE: Ultrasound

Murray just wants cat friendly companions. Will Jenna be happy?

From: Jay
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 3:24 PM
To: David
Subject: RE: Ultrasound

What makes Murray happy? He's currently in the office with me sitting on some paper. He looks content.

From: David
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 3:22 PM
To: Jay
Subject: RE: Ultrasound

The suspense is killing me! Will Murray be happy?

From: Jay
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 3:21 PM
To: David
Subject: RE: Ultrasound

Do you want to know now or wait until you get home?

From: David
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 3:18 PM
To: Jay
Subject: RE: Ultrasound

That’s fantastic! And !?!?!?

From: Jay
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 3:18 PM
To: David
Subject: Ultrasound

Just fyi, the babies have "gorgeous development." Everything looks normal.

29w5d: Appointments Galore

Yesterday was busy! I started out with an ultrasound at 10. It had been four weeks since I'd had an ultrasound except for the super quick look at the hospital, and I was really anxious to hear about the babies' growth rates. At my last appointment, they had only a 6% difference, which is really good. I've liked all the ultrasound technicians that I've seen, and I was hoping it would be my favorite--the one that I had for the sex ultrasound and one other. She told me my babies had "gorgeous brains" and "lovely livers." She was kind of a nut, but it was entertaining.

Instead, I had another tech that I hadn't had before. She was very nice too, and I really appreciated that she took my concerns about my cervical length seriously. She measured me first thing and then after looking at the babies did a transvaginal measurement. Both measurements were 3.4cm!!! I was so excited that it had grown from the 2.5cm a couple of weeks ago. It seems like the bedrest is working.

The babies were looking great. Baby A weighs 3 lbs, 5 oz and Baby B weighs 3 lbs, 3 oz. The weights are +/- 7oz, so it's definitely not the most exact measurement in the world, but I'm really excited that they're likely near or over 3 pounds. Good growing, babies! Both of them were looking at my back, so we couldn't see their faces, sadly, but all their parts were measuring on track. Each of their heartrates was also in the normal range. I don't have to go back for another four weeks, which seems crazy to me--I'd rather be going every two weeks, but for now I'm going to trust them. I may ask the peri at my appointment next week about whether I should be getting growth updates more regularly. I suppose for a multiples pregnancy I'm low risk, but any risk is too much to me!

Next up: the perinatologist. It was my first middle-of-the-day appointment, and I was very annoyed that I had to wait an hour to see the doctor. Patience for that sort of thing is not one of my virtues. I'm a professional too, and if I have an appointment with a client, I am going to be on time come hell or high water. I don't think it's professional or courteous to allow an office to get that backed up. I understand that emergencies happen, but I think the office should call patients who are going to be affected and tell them to come 45 minutes later or whatever. It's rude to just have people show up and then have to wait for that length of time.

Anyway, when I finally saw the doctor, I was surprised that it wasn't the doctor that I've been seeing for all my prior appointments. I didn't even know his name! But I ended up really, really liking him. He was very jovial and cheerful, whereas my regular peri is very business-like and curt. Not rude, but definitely not warm and fuzzy. This doctor was much more like me, I think, personality-wise. We had a good conversation about KV and the progesterone fiasco, and he agreed with me that KV is acting like a patent troll.

He did not seem very concerned about me, as it seems like bedrest is doing the trick for keeping my contractions at bay. I asked about cervical changes, and he said it is a dynamic organ and can grow and shrink at any time. Scary! But mine seems to be heading toward "long" again, so I'm just going to keep on that train, hopefully.

Finally: dietitian. As I had been doing so much research online ever since getting the diagnosis, she didn't really have a lot to teach me. It was good to get the special guidelines for twins (hint: I get to eat a lot), but it was also disconcerting to know that it's also going to be harder for me to control the diabetes with diet the later I get in the pregnancy. Having two placentas and all those extra hormones....very hard on the body!

The helpful part of the appointment was learning how to use my test kit. The company that is hoping to make a lot of money off of me by selling me test strips and lancets gave me a starter kit with lots of samples, a reader, and the sharps disposal container. Good times.

Here's what the kit looks like--everything I need folds up into a little carrying case. (Shown next to a contact lenses case for perspective.)

Here's the kit open. The zippered side on the left is where I keep the lancets (needles). The test strips are kept in that little cylinder at the bottom right that looks like a film canister (remember those??). The reader is the little computer thing, and the thing in the middle is the poking gun. I'm sure that's not the official name for it, but that's how I think of it.

Here's a picture of a test strip and a lancet. Both are pretty tiny! The cap of the lancet snaps off once it's been loaded into the poking gun.

The lancet gets pushed into the poking gun....

and then the top part of the lancet pops off to reveal the needle. Then the top of the poking gun gets snapped back on.

Finally, the test strip gets loaded into the reader, you poke yourself by pressing the blue button on the gun, and squeeze out a drop of blood onto the strip.

So far it hasn't been too bad. The biggest trick has been making sure I squeeze out enough blood. Holding my hand downward helps a lot. This part doesn't hurt--the initial prick isn't pleasant, but I can handle it. I can handle whatever I need to do to keep these babies safe and growing!