Saturday, October 27, 2012

Game on!

This is Steve, the father, and I am writing this from the hospital room while Claire is in the "oh so comfy" bed next to me. She has been so uncomfortable and miserable lately, which if you have been reading her blogs you are well aware, so I finally put my foot down with the doctors and made them listen to us and they told us to come in for tests right away. As of right now they are saying that we will be here until the doctors decide exactly WHEN to have the c-section. So we are playing the waiting game but at least we are in the hospital where they can see what we have been saying along that is going on with her and actually try and help her.

We are ready to get them out and to get this whole pregnancy thing behind us!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Done. Over it. Sense of humor? Lost it.

This had better be my last post before I can say I know the babies' birth date...


Mom is done. I'm cashing out. These boys have used up every last resource I have, and there is nothing left. I surrender. Get them out.........

So we spent yesterday in the L&D triage (ER for pregnant people) because I called my doctor to let her know my little spontaneous regurgitation problem was getting much worse. They ordered blood work and monitoring so we headed over. Five hours later they told me my blood looks perfectly fine and the babies are great so we should just go home. Not sure if they discharged me prematurely due to the fact that the teenage chick next to me believed she was in labor with baby #3 (winning!), or what, but we left...

So what's my problem? I'll tell you...I CAN'T EAT AND I'M LOSING IT! I'm only going to go back six weeks for the sake of time, but since 30 weeks I haven't been able to keep pretty much anything down. I was relying on Boost nutrition drinks for a while, then I got Nexium, it helped for a while, but now it doesn't because this is not acid reflux. This is just random throwing up problem. There's no warning whatsoever. I don't feel sick. I can be driving and all of a sudden........ gross. Our neighbors bushes became a victim 2 days ago.

So I've got 2 (around) 6lb humans getting fat off of my body, meanwhile I can't eat or drink. I'm lucky to consume 500 calories in a day, and most of that doesn't last. I feel like I'm losing my mind due to malnutrition and dehydration, and what does my doctor and the nurses have to say is "Sorry you're so uncomfortable. We know how you must feel." Oh really?! You've been in this situation??! No I didn't think you had. Wipe the smile off your face, stop telling me how adorable these kids are going to be, and give me a damn solution. If one more labor and delivery nurse smiles while she tells me something completely unhelpful I swear I'll lose it. I would like to request cancer ward nurses be there during the delivery. At least they won't be so damn cutesy about everything.
This is seriously how dumb the nurses look to me when they're assuring me I'm fine....

I have fetal heart rate monitoring tomorrow and Monday, and then I will meet with my doctor Tuesday after the final growth scan. I'll be 37 weeks. I am either leaving with a c section date within the week or I'm asking to be admitted into the hospital so that I don't completely lose it. To be blatantly honest I have stopped caring about how wonderful the babies are doing. I get it, I know they're healthy, they're wiggling around in my uterus. I'm concerned with the care of the mother, MY health and mental well being, which apparently isn't very important to obstetricians, but I'm sure you can all tell is deteriorating........


Monday, October 22, 2012

36 weeks...come on out munchkins!

Finally! 36 weeks! Huge milestone for twin mommas...as of now there's next to nothing developmentally that we would need to worry about if these guys were born! They are somewhere around 19 inches and a little more than 5.5 lbs...about this size...each...

crenshaw melon
We know they are still both head down, and at this point there's pretty much no way they could possibly move! We haven't had a growth scan to determine their exact sizes since the 4th, but we do have one next Tuesday that we're looking forward to....if we make it.... ;) We've been walking about 2 miles a night, I'm bouncing on a yoga ball constantly, and I'm willing to take natural induction advice from anyone that has any! I really do not want to carry these boys into the 38th week. Our doctor says it's fine and we may go full term blah blah blah, but I've had nothing but time to learn about twins for the last 9 months, and I know that after 38 weeks the placentas become more or less inefficient. This can cause all sorts of complications...so boys...come on out!!!  For anyone wondering what's going on inside...here's a view! Ours are side by side rather than front and back though.
Another big deal...my belly got wayyyy low this past week! I wouldn't have even noticed it if I hadn't seen these two pictures taken side by side. The top photo was taken Friday 10.19 and the bottom photo was taken only 5 days prior on Sunday 10.14...big difference! I can't see my belly button anymore!
Oh, and next year for Halloween...I'm pretty sure these little bubs will be going in the following costumes ;)

Spartans! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty, for tonight we dine in Hell

Monday, October 15, 2012

Excuse me while I lose my $#!& for a second.

This has been touched upon before, and I very calmly explained my feelings about it, I even wrote an informative post on multiples pregnancies, but I have neither the patience or the energy to keep myself calm at the moment so here it goes...

Do not offer us CONDOLENCES when you hear we are having more than one baby. Our babies are not a disease, a divorce, a death, an alcoholic family member, or even a stubbed toe. They are babies. Happy things........

I appreciate the people who have offered us HELPFUL advice, especially during the really hard parts of this difficult pregnancy, and this is not directed at that. 

This is aimed at the people who have things to say like:
"Oh man am I sorry for you guys."
"How are you going to manage financially?"
"To be honest that sounds terrible."
"You poor poor things!"
"Kiss happiness goodbye."
"Twins? Yeah you were a runner...."
"I would hate to have twins."
"Better you than me!"

I promise you, every mother and father of twins, triplets, etc. has heard similar statements, and are equally put off by them. It doesn't matter if you giggle or say "Just kidding!" after these things come out of your mouth. If we were broke and having our 6th kid and you had some opinion about that I doubt you would walk right up to us and say it out loud. And I know every stranger we ran into wouldn't. So why is it alright to say these things to us? It's not. If you don't have something nice, positive, or encouraging to say, about something that should be a nice, happy, and positive thing, then shut your mouth. We're excited to be having twins. We couldn't imagine leaving the hospital with just one baby. If you can't wrap your mind around it and all you can manage to say is some crap about "how sorry you are for us" save it, because we don't want to hear that, or anything else for that matter, from you.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

35 Weeks. Unbelieveable!


Some how we have made it this far...35 weeks tomorrow. I honestly have no idea where my 5'4'' usually 125lb self created the room for all of this, but these boys don't seem too concerned about their close living quarters. In fact, it's starting to feel like they just may take up permanent residence..... =/ As of today I still only have 1 small U-shaped stretch mark where my belly button ring used to be, although I am not counting out the fact that I could wake up any day with a ton! Over the last 2 weeks I gained 5lbs, which is the largest gain during this whole pregnancy, and I'm pretty sure it's all water. Totally gross and uncomfortable! I officially do not fit into maternity clothes without a certain amount of "tweaking". We haven't had a growth scan in a couple of weeks, but as long as things are still on track the boys should be measuring about 5lbs or a little above....too early for math?....10+lbs of babies!!!!!
Taken today...10/14/12

So what's new? Let's see.... this last week was sort of a blur. I had a NST Monday and it was too funny! Baby A was his usual subdued sleepy self, but he passed his test. Baby B was a wild man, as he usually is, but Monday he was EXTRA wild. He was still breech only now he had gotten his feet up by his face, and he was bouncing his butt in A's face. Yup, crazy. He passed as well, no contractions, all was fine. I had another NST Thursday and we got great news! BABY B FINALLY TURNED HEAD DOWN!!!! We aren't placing any bets on him, but we were really happy to see their little heads side by side. A was super low and I was having a ton of cramping and mild contractions, but unfortunately not enough to do anything darn it! But this is great news for us, because as long as things stay the way they are we are looking at a non medicated natural delivery. Fingers crossed! Oh and good lord...if you were born with any foot deformity or have had surgery on a lower extremity get ready to explain yourself to 1,000 people every single time you have a doctors appointment late in pregnancy! Nurses, techs, and doctors are convinced I have extreme swelling and possible preeclampsia at every test. I show them the scars, I explain the birth defect, but I still get told "But it's swollen...this doesn't look normal" from everyone that comes in the room...thanks, but I assure you, this is normal. Jerks.
This was taken the day Baby B was found head down :) 10/11/12

Steve's TRX class surprised us with a very generous gift to Target to help us get any last minute items from our registry. Thank you so much to everyone that contributed. These monsters will be cloth diapered for a full year thanks to you!!! And thank you so much to a couple of anonymous friends who dropped by during the week to check in, helped us with driving since I'm relatively stuck here!, and gave us baby gifts just because you were thinking about us. We are so grateful for all of the help and generosity, and believe me it isn't going unnoticed.
This is what a NST (non stress test) looks like...for over an hour...YAWN!

This upcoming week we have NSTs on Monday and Thursday, as well as our OB appointment on Tuesday to discuss delivery...hopefully it's soon! If anything new happens one of us will post it here =)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

34 weeks...I'm ready already!

Week 34 is upon us as of tomorrow. I can honestly say I have no idea how these boys are still hanging in there...they can't possibly have any room! There is over 8.5lbs of babies in there already...maybe more! I say this very hesitantly, but I still don't have any stretch marks...I'm positive I'm going to wake up one morning looking like a tiger!

We started NST (non stress testing) at the hospital this past week. We go every Monday and Thursday to monitor the babies' heart rates, and then they check their fluid levels and position with an ultrasound. Everything looked good this week. Baby A is still head down (not likely to move now they said) with a strong and steady heartbeat. Baby B was doing acrobatics as usual. He's still breech and slightly bigger than his brother, and during the testing he was doing his best to kick the monitors off my belly! He is definitely our maniac :) (his heartbeat is strong too) Both guys had plenty of fluid, and there were no signs at all of impending labor.
This is how the babies are laying. A being head down and B being head up but moving constantly!

My school threw Steve and I a bab(ies) shower on Friday :) We were so happy to see everyone and have some laughs! Thank you to everyone that was involved. We appreciate the thoughtful gifts and the kind words of encouragement. The cake was absolutely adorable! I can't wait to bring these little guys to see everyone once they get here :)

I've had a lot of trouble with dizziness and blurred vision. This has been going on since around the 18th week, so although it isn't new, it's getting worse. This past week it even happened twice while I was laying down! We had some issues with my doctor's office staff about it. Their solution was to go to Labor and Delivery Triage, but because it is connected to the ER (and their new policy is to pay an ER copay just to be seen), we have to pay $150 any time we walk in there. I'll let you do the math, but we've been sent there 3 times during office hours and gone on our own twice at night or on the weekend....... Needless to say no one could afford that, and it's our doctor's responsibility to see us during business hours anyway, especially when all they wanted done was a blood pressure test (which as far as I can tell can be done for FREE at any drug store). So anyhow, it took some very firm statements, but I eventually got a call from another doctor's nurse within our practice. That doctor had looked over my chart and believes I'm experiencing sudden drops in my blood pressure throughout the day as they babies are getting bigger and demanding more from my blood supply. Since my normal BP is around 92/60 any drops can cause me to become hypotensive, and begin feeling like I'm going to pass out. They suggested modified "recliner" rest, meaning don't do to much but hang out in an upright position (not that I was anyway...), but I also can't drive alone now and I'm not allowed to drive more than a couple of miles =/ Stinks because Steve goes to school in Bradenton 3 days a week, so until these munchkins come into the world I'll be relying on help to get him there. HUGE thank yous to everyone that has offered to help. I can't tell you how grateful I am to have you all in our lives, and once I'm me again I promise I will make it up to everyone!

We got the nursery done, and our cosleeper arrived this week! That thing is incredible! It is similar to a pack and play, but about half the size. It hooks up to our bed, and allows both babies to sleep safely right next to us (but not in our bed). It will allow us to minimize the amount of times we spend getting up at all hours of the night/day! This way if we're sleeping and one (or both) baby gets fussy he can be quickly fed, changed, etc and put right back to sleep...and so can we LOL

I think that's about it in the way of updates for the week. Just a couple more weeks to go and soon we can put some baby photos on our updates! :)


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

4 days difference?!?!


<----This picture was taken Friday








<----This picture was taken Tuesday



How the heck am I going to survive another 4 weeks of this?!

Week 33...they're killin' me!

Oh boy oh boy.Well this past week involved yet another trip to L&D due to possibly losing fluid. Luckily it turned out to be a false alarm...and we'll be adding Depends to our grocery store list..... SMH! We did find out that Baby B had gone back to a head down position though, so when we left the hospital we were in good spirits.

We went to our ultrasound appointment today and wouldn't you
know it? In less than 48 hours Baby B managed to flip back breech!!! He is a maniac! Unfortunately for us he is also the bigger baby, so our chances of having a natural labor are now very slim.  Unless something has changed by our appointment on the 16th these guys will be born c-section =/ Leaves me in a pretty lousy mood today. We got some pictures of them today, but because they are so squished they are very hard to see and aren't all that "cute". I've also attached an updated picture of my ridiculously huge belly and a ceiling fan I made for the nursery. It has little monsters on it :)
8lbs or more of babies...there's no way I can keep the stretch marks away much longer


Baby B's smooshed face             

Baby A's scary looking self





 
Silly monster fan created by me :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

2 boys, OH BOY!...

This is Steve again...

As you know by now my wife and I are having 2 boys. With this comes great excitement but also great responsibility. Responsibility outside of the obvious things like loving , feeding, and changing them. We have the potential to put out into the world two productive and responsible MEN. All parents obviously have this opportunity. However there are a lot of assholes out there in the world. I am not saying that by any means is it always the parents fault for what the child ends up becoming as an adult. I am saying though that some parents don't exactly give their children the best tools to work with. Some parents don't show their kids enough attention or positive re-enforcement. Others allow abuse to go on in the household. Some expect the school systems and/or TV to be the babysitter. Whatever it may be it is proven that with this type of upbringing it can  bring out the douchebag in your child later in life.

As a product of an abusive household I can testify that life has been challenging as an adult. It took me awhile to realize that physical abuse was not the normal. That yelling was not the only way to communicate. It took me awhile to learn how to trust people again.

I have learned that in being a parent the best thing we can do for our children is learn from our parents mistakes. To take the things that worked and trash the things that didn't.

By doing this we can assure that eventually the world will be a better place full of amazing people.

Friday, September 28, 2012

"Don't be so dramatic. It's just like carrying one baby."

I have noticed something quite striking during this pregnancy: women who have never been pregnant with multiples can sometimes make such rude statements that I'm left speechless.  I decided to write this to shed a little light on the misconceptions and physical differences experienced when carrying more than one baby. And yes, all of these green statements have actually been said to me.

Misconception #1 "Being pregnant with multiples is the same as being pregnant with one baby. You just get to give birth sooner! Consider yourself lucky."
Reality: A multiple pregnancy differs from a singleton pregnancy in many ways, but to focus on a shorter gestation is a fallacy. Your due date with a multiple pregnancy doesn't magically get pushed forward, and your babies won't magically grow more quickly to be ready for the world if they are born early. The fact is that humans are not built to grow more than one baby at a time. Because of this, multiple pregnancies often end in preterm labor (before 37 weeks), mainly because the placenta becomes inefficient once the babies get to a certain size and begin to require more than the mother can provide. On average a singleton pregnancy last 39 weeks, a twin pregnancy 36 weeks, and a triplet pregnancy 32 weeks. Babies born prior to 37 weeks usually need at least some NICU care. I have a feeling no mother would feel "lucky" to have any child in the NICU.
Great example of a belly difference

Misconception #2 "Don't be so dramatic. There are risks of complications in any pregnancy. Having more than one baby doesn't change that."
Reality: Aside from preterm birth discussed above, women pregnant with multiples are also more likely to experience the following (www.americanpregnancy.org):
  • Low Birthweight: Low birth weight is almost always related to preterm delivery.
  • Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR): The growth rate of twin pregnancies begins to slow at 30 to 32 weeks. Triplet pregnancies begin slowing at 27 to 28 weeks, while quadruplet pregnancies begin slowing at 25 to 26 weeks. IUGR seems to occur because the placenta cannot handle any more growth and because the babies are competing for nutrients
  • Preeclampsia: Twin pregnancies are twice as likely to be complicated by preeclampsia as single pregnancies. Half of triplet pregnancies develop preeclampsia.
  • Gestational Diabetes: The increased risk for gestational diabetes in a multiple pregnancy appears to be a result of the two placentas increasing the resistance to insulin, increased placental size, and an elevation in placental hormones.
  • Placental Abruption: Placental abruption is three times more likely to occur in a multiple pregnancy.
  • Fetal Demise/Loss: Very rare, generally occurs during the first trimester.
  • Cesarean: The vaginal delivery of twins depends on the presentation of the babies. All higher multiples are born by C-section.
Misconception #3 "What do you mean you're not going back to work? You're only 26 weeks pregnant."
Reality: The beginning of a multiple pregnancy is very similar to a singleton pregnancy until around 9 weeks. At that point mothers of multiples often begin to show, and will usually need maternity or larger clothes shortly thereafter. During a singleton pregnancy mothers often experience a "honeymoon" phase during the second trimester. They are no longer feeling ill from morning sickness, and they are still very small and able to move around easily. During a multiple pregnancy however, women often experience morning sickness symptoms much longer, even into the 5th month. At this time the growth of the babies is increasing and the mother can find herself measuring 10 weeks (or more!) larger than how far along she actually is. At 20 weeks with my pregnancy I measured 29 weeks! It quickly becomes very difficult to move around. By 26 weeks, the week I would have gone back to teach school, I measured 36+ weeks. Most mothers of multiples will tell you that it is best to have as much prepared and organized by the 28th week (third trimester). The possibility of complications, preterm labor, sporadic bed rest, hospital visits, and general discomfort that you will experience increases dramatically at this time.



34 weeks 1 baby vs. 24 weeks 2 babies

Misconception #4 "Sleeping is always uncomfortable when you're pregnant. Stop complaining."
Yes, sleeping during pregnancy is uncomfortable whether you've got one baby or 5, but I would like you to consider something for a moment: When you get really big with one baby you have a significant advantage of being able to at least lay on one side! First of all, multiple mommies get "that big" much sooner, and the biggest problem is...you can't lay on either side. No stomach sleeping (obviously), no back sleeping (the increased weight of your uterus presses on the major vein that returns blood from your legs to your heart...you'll pass out), and no side sleeping because on either side you'll be pressing on a baby. They will kick, push, poke, and do lots of other stuff to make you so uncomfortable you have to adjust your position...but to what??? I spend a lot of time awake.

Misconception #5 "Why are you always at the doctor? Hypochondriac much?"
Reality: Even if there's nothing wrong with a baby's chromosomes, twins or triplets are more likely than singleton babies to be born with defects of the brain, heart, bladder, or liver. Multiples are also more likely to be born with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy was recently found to be four times more common in twins than in singletons. Because of these risks and the ones mentioned above, a multiple mommy should expect to be considered "high risk", even if all other aspects of the pregnancy are normal and healthy. With that label comes many extra visits to the OB for general checkups, blood tests, urine samples, ultrasounds, and the rare physical exam if necessary. Around 32 weeks, or earlier for higher multiples, it is common for mothers of multiples to begin fetal heart rate monitoring and weekly prenatal checkups. This usually means that from this point until the birth you will spend 3 days or more each week visiting with your OB and the hospital. At any fetal heart rate monitoring session it is possible that the mother will be admitted into the hospital for delivery, so multiple mommies need to be sure their hospital bag is in the car before the 32nd week begins.

If you  know a multiple mommy-to-be, think before you speak. Chances are she's tired, stressed about the health of her babies, uncomfortable, sleep deprived, and hungry :)


Sunday, September 23, 2012

32 weeks and counting....

We have managed to make it to 32 weeks (picture below)! The past week has been a bit crazier than most. We had our regular OB check up on Tuesday and everything was great. I had even gained a pound! Then Wednesday night regular and frequent contractions began out of the blue and they hadn't let up by Thursday morning. I called the doctor and she told us to head over to the hospital. The wait was ridiculous, but I finally got hooked up to all sorts of monitors and they could measure the contractions. They were coming about 5 times an hour with a lot of irritability in between. The doctor ordered an ultrasound to check on the babies and their fluid. They were just fine, but Baby B had flipped breech =/ Baby B has already earned the title of Trouble Maker! A is so subdued, B is a maniac! (picture example? below...our B will be the one on the right!)

Anyway, they didn't see any significant change to my cervix from the contractions, but they didn't want to chance it so they decided to give me a shot or Terbutaline to stop them. Terbutaline is worthless. It caused my blood pressure to drop to unreadable levels, I passed out, the contractions never stopped, and I had heart palpitations all night. The nurse put ice on my head and used smelling salts until I woke up from passing out. It took around 5 minutes for my blood pressure to raise enough for her to get a reading on it, at which point it was 72/44. They discharged me with the instructions to see my doctor first thing Friday morning. (yes, as soon as my blood pressure was above 80/60 they got me up and said goodbye...although I was dying of thirst and missed my own bed so I didn't complain) As soon as I got home the contractions started up again, and now my heart was racing from the shot. It was a very long night. In the morning we saw our doctor first thing. She gave us both good and bad news.

Good news: the babies are fine, labor before 33 weeks is very unlikely, and my body is definitely preparing to get these babies born.  
Bad news: I lost 2 pounds between Tuesday and Friday, the Terbutaline isn't something I should be given again, and the contractions are going to continue from now until the birth, so I should get used to being (even more) uncomfortable.

So that's pretty much it. Crazy week with a boring result: sit around, have contractions, and wait. We will begin contraction monitoring and ultrasounds at the hospital on Mondays and Thursdays starting October 1 (next Monday). We also have our regular OB visits on Tuesday afternoons, so our weeks are basically just going to be baby appointments from here on out! These boys are closing in on 4lbs a piece, so my belly is ridiculous. I think the worst part is that neither of them appreciate being laid on, so no matter what side I attempt to lay on I get poked, kicked, and pushed until I change positions, at which point that one's brother gets pissed and does the same. As crazy as it sounds, I spend A LOT of time in this position:
The whole nesting thing people talk about? Yeah I don't think it happens with twins. I'm far too big and far too uncomfortable to care about if anything around the house is clean or organized! Steve has been keeping up with most of the household stuff, but in all honesty that's the last of our worries. We do have the nursery ready though! The babies are going to be sleeping together in a co-sleeper near our bed for a while though, so the nursery is kind of a moot point =)

For anyone who checked this out to see my moose-like self...here you are...32 week belly...good lord you all have no idea how much I wish I could go on a run!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Not exactly BREAKING NEWS!...

This is Steve, I am the father. Glad we got that over with...now on to more important stuff:

The one thing that has bothered me more than anything else during this entire pregnancy is when people find out we are pregnant with twins they say "You two are going to have your hands full", "Its going to be so much extra work with two", "With two you're going to have to buy double of everything!"...whoa...what???! You're telling me that with two babies I can't just buy ONE of everything and hope they don't notice?! Are you kidding me? NOW YOU TELL ME! This whole time I was just going to change, feed, burp, and bath one of them and then switch off the next day and use all the same stuff again. Boy am I glad you came along with this tidbit of information. I mean come on, really people? Look, I love all the advice we have been given and I know that most of the people saying these things don't mean anything by it but when you have to go 36 weeks hearing it over and over and over and over...at some point you just want to go all HULK on someone for pointing out the obvious. I just have to assume that these people feel obligated to say it because sadly we all can admit that there is at least one couple out there expecting twins that DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THIS and thanks to them ALL of us expecting twins are getting the "common sense disclaimer." (not the official name but its what I am calling it)

Thanks for listening. You've been a great audience.

Monday, September 17, 2012

31 weeks pregnant...UGH!





Today puts me at 31 weeks pregnant with these 2 trouble makers. I woke up to my first pregnancy dream this morning...quite unpleasant! I was dreaming that my belly was transparent and I could see the babies, but the babies looked like shriveled infant versions of this...




Let's all hope that's the first and last time that happens! 

At this point my days don't consist of much excitement. I am unable to fit my belly into many of the maternity clothes I have, and usually I am pretty uncomfortable no matter what I try to wear. I usually spend days in bed propped up on a pile of pillows laying slightly on my left side. Eating is an infrequent event due mostly to the fact that there isn't much room in my stomach. A child sized portion of anything usually makes me feel like I've just finished a huge Thanksgiving dinner!

The babies are getting quite large! They should each be about 3.5 lbs at this point, so obviously I am feeling huge with the two of them in there! Their movements can be very strong at times, but for the most part is seems as though their kicks and punches have decreased as their space has.

I'm working on packing a hospital bag today. It's advised that with twins it should have been done and in the car by 30 weeks, but time got away from us I suppose. We have a prenatal visit tomorrow and an ultrasound coming up soon after. From then on we'll be monitored in the hospital a couple of times per week until these little guys are born. Twins are generally born by 36 weeks, so we don't have too much longer to go!