Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hospital or Home?

Every few days it seems like another question comes up that needs to be answered, and this time, I'm asking you! What worked best for you, or what are you planning to do when the time comes?

We were asked this week if we would prefer people come to the hospital to meet the boys, or to our home once we have all been released from the hospital. I feel like both have their perks, but at the moment I am leaning toward having people visit while we are still in the hospital. What worked best for you?

To me,  if people come to visit in the hospital, they are likely not going to stay long. The recovery rooms are seriously TINY and there isn't really anywhere to sit other than the hospital bed or the one chair that folds out into a cot for Hubs. If they come to our home, there are plenty of places to get comfy and out-stay their welcome. But, my hesitation is, am I just going to be way too overwhelmed while we are still in the hospital to have visitors in and out of our room?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

31w1d appointment

I saw my doctor this afternoon, and as usual (surprising as it is to me every single time) all three of us are doing great. All the usual things were checked and fine-- urine, blood pressure, weight gain, doppler. My blood pressure was elevated slightly from my last appointment, but he said it wasn't any cause for concern just yet.

It looks like we will have an ultrasound & appointment at about 33.5 weeks and then we will be seen weekly from there on out. CRAZY! My doctor said everything is looking perfect and though he hopes these babies continue to grow for several more weeks, I am just DAYS away from the big goal of 32 weeks!

The boys have been moving a lot in the last few days and I am dying to know what positions those little stinkers have gotten themselves into. Every night when I go to bed I can feel little bums, knees and elbows sticking out of my belly in every direction. Though we have no idea what each bump actually is, it is fun to feel each of their little lumps!

In other news my belly button is changing and freaking me out. Last night I decided that I would lay down on the living room floor in an attempt to pop my back, as soon as I got down on the hard surface I ran my hand over my bare belly and the bottom of my belly button had popped out-! It happened a couple more times last night when I was getting up from the laying position. I have a feeling it is going to really pop out in the next few weeks. I've kind of expected it to happen, but it just feels so weird- I can't get used to it!
31 weeks- with an odd little point right where Baby B likes to hang out!

Monday, June 25, 2012

31 weeks

How Far Along: 31 weeks... 7 or less to go!
How Big are the Babies? They are each the size of a pineapple and probably getting close to 3.5lbs each.
Total Weight Gain/Loss: I'm up 21 lbs since retrieval... and away we go I guess! I wonder what the next 7 weeks will bring!
Maternity Clothes: Most of the time.
Movement: They are moving around in there- mostly when I'd rather they sleep... like when I'm trying to fall asleep myself! I guess they are just preparing me:) It is interesting to feel the differences in their movements as they grow. 
Belly button in or out? Still shallow and still funny looking!
What I miss: Rolling over at night without waking up because it is so uncomfortable.... and perhaps sleep in general!
Milestones: I made it all the way through the 30th week. It was the second 'week' goal I had for myself and the babies. Now, if I can make it one more week we will be at our third goal. I have complete faith that we can do it!
Food Cravings:  Popsicles, carrots and hummus, chocolate milk and generally anything that is quick and easy to eat. 
Aversions: Eggs..... still grossing me out, but not as badly as before!
Symptoms:  Exhaustion, inability to sleep at night, very tightly stretched sore belly skin, numb belly button, leg cramps, lots of soreness, ligament pain and bleeding gums.
Best Moment this week: The maternity orientation at the hospital where we are delivering. It would probably be kind of useless to some people, but given the fact that neither of us had ever set foot inside that hospital, it seemed like a good idea to at least get an idea of where things were and where we were heading in the event that I spontaneously go into labor. 

Funny Moment: Walking anywhere with my husband and laughing about my condition. Not even a block into our first walk this week I told hubs that he was going to have to carry my water bottle... it was just weighing me down too much! We got into a nice rhythm- walk 75ish steps and stop to either have a drink or stretch my hips- I'm sure the people in our neighborhood will get a good laugh watching us in the next few weeks!
Tip of the Week: Drink lots of fluids and rest. I seriously do not understand how twin mamas make it all the way through their pregnancy working full time- that seems IMPOSSIBLE!
What I'm looking forward to: Our appointment tomorrow, and then seeing the boys again in a little more than two weeks. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Athlete... Ha.

Tonight after getting home from a walk I proclaimed to my husband that I am an athlete. He totally laughed in my face. Why, you ask? Um, perhaps it was because it took us 30 minutes, a bottle of water and 5 hip stretching breaks to walk just over a mile. Either way it needed to be done. I need to get this body of mine ready for the possibility of a marathon twin vaginal birthing experience. We will be keeping it to a mile a couple nights a week for now, but once we get to 34 weeks we will be stepping it up to every other night and if I make it to 36 weeks we will be attempting to do it every night or pretty close. 

Everyone keeps telling me the massive weight gain is just around the corner, but I have a feeling that being able to get a little exercise coupled with the absolute lack of space to eat much might just keep this third trimester weight gain at bay. Honestly, I could not care less how much I gain in the final 7.5 weeks- whatever it takes to have a couple of healthy baby boys!

Monday, June 18, 2012

30 weeks

How Far Along: 30 weeks... 8 or less to go!
How Big are the Babies? They are each the size of a cucumber and probably somewhere around 3lbs each.
Total Weight Gain/Loss: I'm up 20-21 lbs since retrieval. It seems as if the great weight stall out may be over... we'll see! My doctor did say that I could start exercising more again at 32 weeks which makes me super happy. He said once we are out of the super high-risk zone, it would be a good idea to start working on stamina for the BIG EVENT.
Maternity Clothes: Most of the time.
Movement: They are moving less and less because the poor little stinkers are packed in there like sardines! 
Belly button in or out? Shallow and funny looking!
What I miss: Rolling over at night without waking up because it is so uncomfortable. 
Milestones: Finally transferring to our new doctor and feeling a little more settled when it comes to delivery.
Food Cravings:  Popsicles.
Aversions: Eggs..... still grossing me out, but not as badly as before!
Symptoms:  Exhaustion, very tightly stretched sore belly skin, numb belly button, leg cramps, lots of soreness, ligament pain, bleeding gums and because it was super enjoyable... lets add a cracked bleeding nipple to the list- ouch!
Best Moment this week: Cooking some freezer meals for after the boys arrive. I had a couple of girlfriends come over and we made several things and stocked up the freezer! It should make the first few months A LOT easier! Also, finding out our babies will most likely be born sometime in the next 8 weeks- Hopefully as close to 38 weeks as possible! 

Funny Moment: Again with the attention to detail... I put deodorant one the OUTSIDE of my shirt the other day. Impressive, right?
Tip of the Week: Plan Ahead.
What I'm looking forward to: Seeing  the boys again in 3.5 weeks. Maternity tour at the hospital this weekend and finishing up the 'to-do before babies' list!

This week's comparison is between 20 weeks pregnant and 30 weeks pregnant.... mostly because the difference between this week and last week is pretty much not even noticeable!
20 weeks

30 weeks

Sunday, June 17, 2012

New Doctor

We had our first appointment with the clinic that will deliver our little guys on Thursday. We saw the doctor who will be our primary doctor, but there is always a chance he will not be the doctor who will deliver our babies of course.
It was really nice to finally be at the clinic where we will be until the end. Up until now, we've just kind of been monitored, its been silly to ask much about delivery or the end of this pregnancy because we've known that we would transfer doctors sometime around 28ish weeks and we were all just assuming/hoping that I'd make it past that point.
So,  it was time to start asking some questions.... Just in case you are interested in the answers, here goes-
  • Thoughts on a birthing class? I've read mixed reviews about how useful it really is when it comes to delivering twins because things go significantly different.
    • Long story short, its totally up to us. There are a few benefits, but what I've read is correct- twin deliveries are different and there is about a 40% chance that we will be delivering these boys via c-section. He felt like we were pretty understanding of what is ahead of us and said we probably would be just fine without the class. Hooray- that means one less booked up weekend in July :)
  • Likelihood of a C-section? 
    • Its fairly likely, like I said above, about a 40% chance. Especially if Baby B doesn't flip in the next few weeks. There is the choice to deliver Baby A vaginally and then we can see what Baby B does once he has a little more room. However, that could involve reaching in and turning baby B (uh, no thank you) or having a vaginal delivery AND a c-section which my doctor refers to as the a 'full birthing experience or the full meal deal' to be fair, in his 25 years he has only had to go that route twice. 
  • If there are no other complications, is there a point I will be scheduled for delivery?
    • The date isn't set in stone. It is totally dependent on how the boys are doing, what the placentas are doing (or not doing) and how my body is tolerating carrying two babies late in the pregnancy. He did said most women are DONE by about 38 weeks which I think is fair and likely totally true. If you're paying attention, that means I will be having my babies in 8 weeks or less! Holy crap. 
Overall, we were really happy with our doctor! We have another appointment June 26th with him and then we'll see his partner on July 12th in addition to an ultrasound. We've never had to go more than 5 weeks without seeing our boys, and this time it will have been six. I'm ok with it though, feeling them move constantly and knowing this pregnancy has gone so well so far makes me feel pretty confident that things are going well in there.

In other news, it appears my official due date (that means absolutely nothing) is one day earlier than we were originally told. All this changes is that my weekly updates are now switching to Mondays. So, I'll be back tomorrow with an update!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Preparing for visitors/helpers...

I said in another post that we were given a lot of great tips for once the babies are home in the multiples class we took- here they are! Most of them have to do with 'managing' any help you may have and visitors.

  • Know what things might be consistently helpful to you, and make a list. Keep in mind that it will be up to your helpers if they actually do them, but sometimes just having a list of things to do without asking a parent who is trying feed/diaper/snuggle a newborn is all these helpers need to both stay busy and get things done that you will find helpful. -- Most of these things should be non-baby related. Keep in mind WHO you are writing this list for and what types of things they might be interested in doing. Here is an example of our list. We know the majority of our help will be from my mom or my aunt, but my dad will also likely be here some weekends too...
    • Load/Unload the dishwasher
    • Do a load of baby laundry or towels-- we prefer to do our laundry ourselves.
    • Make sure we have the essentials in the pantry/fridge. This should be another list -- maybe on the back of this one. 
    • Mow the yard
    • Pull weeds
    • Water the pots on the patio and grass as needed
    • Organize incoming mail into bills/urgent and what seems to be junk mail/ads/coupons
    • Take out garbage-- leave a list of where garbage can be found throughout the house.
    • Iron Hubs' work shirts
    • Make sure various diapering/feeding baskets (living room, master bedroom & nursery) are stocked with diapers, wipes, burp cloths, receiving blankets, etc.
  • The other tip we were given that it is totally ok to have rules for when visitors come. Our instructor suggested making a cute note and posting it on the door. Sometimes this will be better received if you write the note as if it is coming from the baby (ies). Some suggestions we were given about this note were....
    • Let visitors know how long you'd like to keep visits to- 1 hour or less was suggested.
    • Place a basket and chair on your porch... ask visitor to remove their shoes and leave them outside- in an effort to both keep germs out and cut down on cleaning for you.
    • Leave a bottle of hand sanitizer on the porch also, ask visitors to also wash their hands before coming in.  
This may all seem like A LOT, but I'm starting to realize more with each passing day that having all of this in place when the time comes will be SO helpful for everyone involved. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Getting Organized...

Now that I'm pretty confident that the majority of our 'to-do before babies' list will be complete before the boys arrive (hooray!) I'm now starting to worry about how everything is going to get done once the boys arrive.

For the last couple of years that I haven't been working full time we've (I've) fallen into a routine of just getting the housework done as it needed to be done. Since we don't have a ton of visitors at our home, some things slip through the cracks and it would turn into somewhat of a mad dash to clean every room in the house the week before we had company coming. I have a feeling that spending a week cleaning/organizing/catching up is a thing of the past and will no longer work for us. Gone are the days of leaving the kitchen a mess at night so we can spend some time together in the evenings and cleaning it up the following morning after my husband leaves for work, or allowing laundry to pile up until we start running out of things to wear (which takes a VERY long time!). So, I've decided to start getting into a new routine NOW, so it will be second nature once the boys arrive. 

I know that both now, and in the early days of parenting twins there isn't a whole lot of energy to get long lists of things done on a daily basis. For this reason, I've chosen three to five things to get done everyday and one of them is as simple as figuring out dinner for the following day and either making sure we have what we need on hand, or defrosting a meal/meat. Generally, I've given myself one room to clean/pickup, a load of laundry to do and some other random housekeeping things that would take far less time if they were kept up each week. 

I started working from the list this week, and so far it has made my life about one million time easier. Not only do I feel like I have a plan each day, but it also feels like I have an attainable goal for each day which seems doable even when I have two little guys to take care of. Sometimes less really is MORE! I typed up the list, printed it out, slipped it into a plastic sleeve and attached it to the side of our refrigerator along with a dry erase marker. I used to make these lists on my phone, but I then realized that it would be really helpful to have a visual for both my husband and anyone else who comes to help once the babies arrive. Now, things can be kept up with even if I am not able to do them. I am well aware that there will be days when even a simple short list will be too much, but as it stands, if a couple of days get missed every week, it isn't going to be the end of the word.... as long as we aren't missing the same days every week consistently :)

We were given a lot of great tips for once the babies arrive at our multiples class and I'll share some of them with you guys in the next few days. I know when the instructor was saying them, I was thinking... 'geeeze, sounds like OVER planning to me', but now that the birth is getting closer and closer I'm feeling like the more planned/organized we can be the more smoothly things will likely run!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

29 weeks

How Far Along: 29 weeks
How Big are the Babies? They are each the size of an acorn squash and probably somewhere between 2.5 and 3.5 lbs each.
Total Weight Gain/Loss: The great weight stall-out continues. This morning I'm sitting just between 18 and 19lbs gained since retrieval. I don't put a TON of stock in what the books say about how much weight you should gain by certain weeks, but I do find it interesting. One book I'm reading says that at this point I should have gained somewhere between 25 and 30 pounds. I'm not concerned, and apparently neither is my doctor- the boys seems to be growing just fine and have measured right at or above the 50th percentile on every ultrasound. 
Maternity Clothes: I noticed this week I really didn't wear maternity clothes much, but that may have to do with the fact that I spent a huge amount of time at home sewing for these little boys! I think the only maternity clothing I wore was a couple of tank tops and some jeans. Otherwise it is normal yoga pants and T-shirts which seem to be getting a little on the short side :)
Movement: Twists and turns, fewer kicking sessions and when they get the hiccups now it is HUGE movements. I'm pretty sure my little stinkers are running out of room in there.  
Belly button in or out? Shallow and funny looking!
What I miss: Rolling over at night without waking up because it is so uncomfortable. 
Milestones: Getting the final sewing projects done for the nursery! It feels SO good to have the curtains done and a blanket for each baby hanging on the side of each crib. Their room is so dang cute it kills me!
Food Cravings:  Corn on the cob and melon.
Aversions: Eggs..... still grossing me out, but not as badly as before!
Symptoms:  Exhaustion, very tightly stretched sore belly skin, numb belly button, leg cramps, lots of soreness, ligament pain and bleeding gums. 
Best Moment this week: Getting a few more things checked off the 'before babies' list! Listening to Hubs talk to the boys every night when he gets home from work- sweetest thing ever! 

Funny Moment: I was making a phone call earlier this week and after I dialed the number and as I heard it begin to ring I grabbed my water to take a big drink before I started talking... I then realized I'd lifted the cup to my ear and was putting my phone in my mouth. Wow. Attention to detail- not my forte these days!
Tip of the Week: It is fine to have a busy day or two, but know that the following day or two may be extremely unproductive. I managed to get a ton of stuff done early this week, but those days were follow by a couple of pretty low key days recovering from the exhaustion. 
What I'm looking forward to: Our appointment with our new doctor later this week. I'm hoping we really like him. He has been practicing for years and I've read several really great reviews of him. Hopefully, we think he is just as great as everyone else seems to. I'm also really looking forward to finding out when we'll get to see our little guys again! 

And just because a comparison is fun.....
25 weeks

Four weeks later.......
29 weeks

In my opinion, it looks a little bigger, and a little rounder, but overall not that big of a difference. What do you think? I guess I haven't gained any weight in the last 4 weeks- perhaps that is the reason the belly looks similar?

Friday, June 8, 2012

A little of this and a little of that...

I've reached a point in this pregnancy that just seems surreal. Like it all happened so quickly, and now we are finally in the home stretch. As things get marked off the list (like making curtains for the nursery and a blanket for each of the the boys!!) it becomes a little more real that these boys are coming... and SOON-ish. At the moment there is a bouncy seat in my living room, a pack'n'play in our bedroom and a fully set up nursery. We have our hospital orientation/tour scheduled in a couple weekends and we are still on the fence about a weekend birthing class at the beginning of July.

This is all becoming very real. Pretty soon, we will have two baby boys, and those boys will completely and totally rely on us... for everything. It is no doubt a daunting task, but it is also a pretty exhilarating feeling. Soon, these babies will be here and we will be parents of babies that reside on the outside of my body! It doesn't help that the two people I've talked to recently that have twins, had them at 33 and 35 weeks. To be clear, that is 4.5-6.5 weeks from now- as in having my babies NEXT month. Holy cow.

I am praying my little heart out that these little boys will stay put until sometime in August, but I'm slowly preparing myself for the idea of them not. I'm anxious to see our new doctor next week and hear his thoughts on the when and how of our boys' birthday. I'm a planner and I love to have an idea of how things might go. I don't need it to be set in stone, but it would help me start preparing a little better, because at the moment it still feels like a very surreal day that will happen waaay in the future.

The list is dwindling and I'm nearly sure it will be complete or almost complete by the I'm 30 weeks... yahoo! This weekend my mom and I are going to cook a few things to put in the freezer, and next week I have a couple of friends coming to spend the day and cook up a couple more freezer items. I am trying to be as prepared as possible for the days and weeks following the birth of our little guys.

On a completely unrelated note... the twin episode of Pregnant in Heels? Holy crap. It was really reassuring when that a mother who admittedly had no idea what she was doing just weeks/days before her babies came said it all came very naturally once they were there- hopefully the same will be true for us! The main thing that was overwhelming to me was the stack of bottles the woman said you would need for ONE DAY! We do plan to breastfeed at least part of the time if not exclusively, but that stack of bottles really stressed me out. We have some bottles, but I'd estimate only about 14 of differing brands and styles. Is this going to be enough to get started? Sure we can always wash bottles... it isn't like it is the end of the world. Those of you who have done this ahead of me, what would you do? Also, was it a good idea to get multiple types of bottles to see what works best for us, or should we just offer one type and then have them get used it it?

Another question for twin mamas... I think the last thing on our 'to-buy' list is a twin nursing pillow. Is this something you used or would have liked to have had? In our multiples class it seemed useful for even bottle feeding two at once, but obviously I don't have any real like experience. Thoughts?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

28 weeks

How Far Along: 28 weeks
How Big are the Babies? They are each the size of an eggplant and probably about 2.5 lbs each.
Total Weight Gain/Loss: I'm still up 19 lbs. since my egg retrieval. It seems like I'm stalling out here a little bit- I've been hovering between 18 and 19 lbs. since 24 weeks. My doctor predicted in the beginning that I'd gain somewhere around 25 lbs. throughout my pregnancy. When I started gaining I thought she was CRAZY, but now it is looking like she may end up being pretty close to correct. 
Maternity Clothes: Pretty much all the time. I have several things that are getting too small, but I pretty much refuse to buy more maternity clothes at this point
Movement: Now that baby B is head up I'm feeling his little feet in a VERY weird way. I'm not kidding when I tell you that when he kicks it feels like his cute little feet are going to come out of an unauthorized exit. Seriously, it is the weirdest feeling EVER! 
Belly button in or out? It is still in, and continues to get more shallow. 
What I miss: Rolling over at night without waking up because it is so uncomfortable. 
Milestones: I'm 28 weeks and in the FINAL trimester of this pregnancy. 
Food Cravings:  Corn on the cob.
Aversions: Eggs..... still grossing me out, but not as badly as before!
Symptoms:  Exhaustion, very tightly stretched sore belly skin, numb belly button, leg cramps, lots of soreness, ligament pain and bleeding gums. This week I also found out my iron levels were low and I began taking a supplement. Now instead of feeling completely exhausted, I'm just feeling extra tired. 
Best Moment this week: Finding out that I don't have gestational diabetes! Also, working more on some sewing projects for the nursery.

Funny Moment: I can't think of anything funny that happened this week. 
Tip of the Week: Be cautious of how much activity is too much for your pregnant body. I had another spotting indecent on Friday, and while I didn't freak out, I did take it as a warning that I need to spend a little more time each day sitting in the the recliner or laying on the couch. It makes me feel a little worthless, but it is such a blessing to be able to rest when ever my body reminds me. 
What I'm looking forward to: Finishing a few more items on the to-do list and meeting our new doctor in a little more than a week.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Moving right along...

Tomorrow I'll be 28 weeks pregnant... Um, did you hear (read) that? I cannot believe we are already here. The boys continue to wiggle, but gone are their super active days. They are just getting to be too big and with two of them in there, they are quickly running out of room to act like wild animals. Though I appreciate being able to fall asleep a little easier at night, I miss it already. I miss never having to go more than a few minutes to feel one of them kick, and subsequently knowing they are doing alright in there. Thankfully they are moving plenty so there is really no cause for worry, sometimes I just have to wait it out which is just ANOTHER lesson in patience. 

We've been working away on our not so little list of things that we wanted to get done before 28 weeks. I'm starting to think I'll be pleased if we get it done by 30 weeks! Just to keep me honest, here is the revised list. Not too much more to do, but I'm sure the list will get some additions before it is actually complete!

  • Sew a blanket for each baby.
  • Sew one more crib skirt.
  • Sew and hang two curtain panels with black-out liner.
  • Sew a couple more changing pad covers.
  • Remove unnecessary items from the nursery (walkers, play saucer, pack & play) and find a home for each.
  • Clean two bouncy seats and a swing that were passed down to us- find a place for them.
  • Finish all baby laundry up-to 3 months. 
  • Get nursery closet organized.
  • Finalize list of things that need to be purchased before their arrival. 
  • Finish wall hangings for over crib and changing table. 
  • Get guest bedroom/office organized for visitors pre-babies and helpers post-babies.
  • Re-arrange master bedroom to accommodate pack & play, rocker and other baby items.

  • With any luck, the nursery will be REALLY done soon and I'll be able to share a picture or two of their first bedroom outside of their mama. It is quickly becoming one of my favorite rooms in the house and I often find myself standing or sitting in there just thinking about who these little boys might be some day.