Friday, May 30, 2014

20 Weeks

20 Weeks! Halfway again. Or, it would be halfway if I were having a singleton pregnancy.
This week we change the way we measure the babies: we're going from head to rump to head to toe measurements. They babies should be about 10 inches now, and about 10.5 ounces--about the size of a banana. They are practicing swallowing and starting to produce meconium.

Sorry, the kids ate all the bananas so you are stuck with my frozen smoothie/ice cream bananas. Also, I'm not sure if I still have toes but since I can mostly walk without falling down I am assuming so.

Said bananas were extremely cold, and Shane was not happy to have to hold them. Also, both kids were having an apple when I wanted to take these pictures so here you see my ten seconds they gave me to snap a picture.
Waaaaay back in my 13 week update I talked a little bit about how uneasy I felt through much of my first trimester, knowing how many things could go wrong. I was thinking this morning about how much that's changed, about how I feel so relaxed about this pregnancy now and confident that things will be ok. Peace that passes all understanding, for sure! It also helps that I can feel regular movement now. Goals for the pregnancy are to stay off bedrest, make it to full term, have to babies that don't have to spend time in the NICU, and deliver both vaginally. Lofty maybe, but what's life without goals!

The most exciting part of the week for me is that I started feeling movement from the outside last Thursday (19 weeks 1 day)! So cool. On Sunday I even videoed them moving but it's not very clear. I think I'm feeling them both although I always feel the movement really low while I can feel the hard lump of one somersaulting high on my right side, often even wedging into my right ribcage. Because of that I've wondered several times if righty has an anterior placenta and I'm really only feeling movement from one baby, so I guess we'll find out at my anatomy scan next week. Nathan still hasn't felt them because he's never in bed with me during their busy time. 

In way less thrilling news, I took my three hour glucose test last Friday. The three hour test is more complicated than the one hour: you fast after midnight, get a blood draw, drink 100mL of the most disgusting straight sugar in a drink you've ever tasted, and then get your blood drawn three more times. The first hour, I was sick to my stomach, dizzy, shaky, and "high". The second hour was mostly ok. The third hour I crashed, could barely keep my eyes open, and by the last fifteen minutes my ears were ringing, I started having tunnel vision, and I knew I was going to pass out soon. I kept telling myself, just get through or you'll have to do this again. Just get through. I laid there with my eyes shut until my timer rang for the last blood draw, walked to the lab as slowly and carefully as possible, and sat down. The lady asked if I as okay and asked her to take my blood as quickly as possible and get me a juice! She got me a juice and some crackers and I sat in the waiting room for a little while until I was able to see clearly. I was pretty wiped out for the day after's such an unrealistic test, if you ask me.

To sandwich the bad between the good, I also found a maternity swimsuit that fits and has plenty of room to grow in the tummy, managed to get WIC, and took a tour of the Labor and Delivery Unit at our hospital. I was encouraged to hear that the nurse giving the tour is also a Doula (and the Doula certifier for our area!) as well as being one of the two hospital lactation consultants. I think it would be a huge boon to have her as my nurse, so I'll be praying for that! In trying to see the positive, I think that the benefit of delivering in an L&D unit associated with a midwife run birth center is that the nurses are used to working with midwives and tend to do things and be open to doing things more naturally. For example, during the tour we were told the the nurses encourage movement and position changes during labor. There were several other things we were told that were great, and I also like that they really focus on giving mommy/daddy/baby a lot of bonding time before they start doing the weighing and the bathing and all that business. They've even recently changed policy so that even C-Section moms are getting immediate skin to skin with their babies. (Obviously, everything I'm saying is based on maternal/fetal health). I still am struggling with the loss of they birth experience I had desired and birthing in a hospital, but I am praying desperately that I can still have good birth experience along with my healthy babes.

And for my final good news, I don't have gestational diabetes! I still haven't gotten a call from the office, but I remembered tonight that I could check if my results were in through the patient portal. All of my numbers were nice and low (but in a normal range), except the final number. You know, from the blood drawn as I was blacking out? Yeah, that number is 39. Normal would be from 65-139. That explains a lot! They have the final result highlighted, notated as PANIC LOW, and starred underneath as **verified by repeat analysis**. I find these results vindicating, and a confirmation that they high number from my one hour truly was user error. Glory Hallelujah! On to repeating the same test in seven weeks!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Weeks 18 and 19 {Halfway!}

18 Weeks

Here's the requisite (Ha! Neglected!) list of questions:
How far along: 18 weeks
Size of babies: 5.5 inches, head to rump, and about 7 ounces--the size of a green pepper!

Total Weight Gain: 10 pounds.  I hovered at 2-5 for the first tri, then gained a few quickly when the twins seemed to have a big growth spurt. I've not gained again since then. I don't think ten pounds is terrible for halfway through a twin pregnancy.

Stretch marks: No new ones. I can see mine starting to stretch back out though.
Maternity clothes: Always!
Gender: We haven't had it confirmed for certain yet, so you still have to wait to find out! ;P
Movement: Oh definitely! I love feeling their little pops and wiggles. 
Sleep: I don't have to get up to use the bathroom every night anymore (blessed 2nd trimester relief!) but I don't sleep very well either. My pillow is too flat, and my bed is too uncomfortable. Haha, how's that for complaining! I'm very grateful to get the amount of sleep I do, because I know it's going to be a lot less very soon!
What I miss: Not much yet, although my hips are terribly out of place so I guess I miss walking without pain or getting "stuck" on the floor because my pelvis moves out of place. I haven't been to the chiropractor yet but I need to get in sooner rather than later!
Food cravings and aversions: Nothing in particular. I'm really into cold watermelon. My best summer purchase this year was popsicle molds. I dice up watermelon really small, and then fill them the rest of the way with honest kids juice, which is super low in sugar. I also fill them with leftover breakfast smoothies. The kids are huge fans! I can think of about a million combinations, so I'm excited to have the whole hot summer to eat popsicles. No aversions, particularly.
Symptoms: Not much, other than a big belly! With Shane I had horrible heartburn. With both kids I was nauseous and felt gross all first tri. So far, this has been my easiest pregnancy symptom wise, with the exception of my poor messed up pelvis. I know that I'm carrying double so the end will be hardest, but no complaints so far!
Best moment this week: Home again after a long time away!
Worst moment this week: Azaria SCREAMED in the car most of the way from OH to D.C. Not like crying screaming, but this thing she does where she just screams for the fun of it. Frustration, Anger, Exhaustion, Hunger, Fun, Excited; you name it, she likes to scream for it. My poor dad will probably never go on a trip with us ever again!
What I'm looking forward to: Seeing the babies again next week.
Excercise this week: Is that a real thing? Haha. If it doesn't involve pushing a stroller behind a three year old on a bike, or pushing two kids on two swings, it probably doesn't involve me! Haha. I like to consider chasing my kids and doing housework excercise. Shh, don't break my heart with your truths.

On the weekend in between 18 and 19 weeks we took the kids down to the boardwalk to see the pirate festival! A couple pictures of these two were so cute I couldn't help but share, even thought it's a maternity post.

Shane was wearing the Jake and the Neverland Pirates shirt Miss Tara spoiled him with before she left. One of the activites at the pirate fest was a headscarf, beads included. And then Mommy and Daddy spoiled him a little with a wooden sword. I want to point out that we did NOT ask him to get into the stocks, he and Azaria just found this little child sized one and wanted their picture taken!

We might have taken them to the pirate festival, but their one true love is sand so after much begging and pirate watching we went down to the beach.

I mean, tell me these two are not the cutest things ever?! Ok, I know you think your own kids are so actually don't tell me. I'd rather live in my jaded ignorance.

19 Weeks

Mango babies? Only if a mango is 6 inches from head to bottom! I feel that my mangoes were smaller than my green peppers, but if they'd been African mangoes they would have been a proper size! I'm also relatively sure that my mangoes weighed more than my approximately 8.5 oz twinskies. In biggest news, 19 weeks is considered halfway in a twin pregnancy! Yay, halfway! 

This past Thursday I went and did my one hour glucose test. For the non-pregnant among you, it's where you go drink 50 mL of glucose, wait an hour, and they test your blood sugar. I don't love the test--it made my super dizzy and shaky and "high" feeling. But I did it, and it's done, and the most wonderful part is that I had to do it early because of my twin placentas and so I have to do it again in eight or so more weeks. I also had a checkup, and the twins look fine. Or they both have heartbeats, which is apparently the same thing in pre-anatomy scan lingo.

Friday the kids and I went to visit the preschool Shane will be attending in the fall. The public school system here only does full time preschool on a needs basis, and I feel that full time is too much for a four year old. I really wanted him to go to a Christian school anyway, and so I was thrilled to find a church-based preschool under five minutes from our house. It's not going to be the easiest thing to drag four kids out of the house twice a day, but it will be so perfect for my social little man and I know he will thrive with the attention mommy might not have the ability to give him once the new babies come.

Next was yet another frustrating WIC appointment, in which I took out both kids at naptime, my proof of income was STILL not sufficient, and at which Azaria decided screaming loudly at any child that came near her or her brother would be a great way to act. Ugh. Back again next week, lets hope we can get it right next time.

Finally, I got a call from the nurse that told me I was "too sweet". As in, I failed my glucose test by three points and now I get to go back for the three hour glucose test. Sigh. As I thought about it, I realized I pretty much did it to myself. See, the nurse told me I could eat beforehand but only protein. Well, I don't really eat meat often but I thought maybe I should this time, so I grabbed some lunch meat from the commissary. I didn't think about it being honey smoked ham. High sugar protein! Then, as usual when I have to leave the house with the kids, I was in a rush and didn't get a chance to eat until after I dropped them off at my friend's house. So basically I ate a sugary food directly before I drank a sugary drink. Let's just chalk it up to a pregnancy brain mistake and stupidity! Anyway, three hour test here I come. Super-sarcastic-sounding yaaaaay.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Weeks 16 and 17

I'll do a bigger update next week, but for now here's a quick Mac 'N' Cheese update.

At 16 weeks, the babies were about the size of avocados: 4.5 inches and 3.5 ounces. I was feeling movement, but not regularly and it was still very light. Babycenter told me that my uterus should be halfway between my belly button and my pubic bone. 

Ha! I think Babycenter is unaware that I am on a third pregnancy, and it's twins. My uterus is more like halfway between my belly button and my ribcage! If I have a full bladder and I'm lying down, I can palpate the top of my uterus about at the bottom of my ribcage.

 As usual, Azaria looks to Shane to make sure she is doing her job correctly.

At seventeen weeks, my helpers deserted me to run through the sprinkler out back with Grandma. However, the twins are supposedly the size of onions (which are smaller than my avocados, but whatevs).  The babies are about five inches long, and weigh about 5 ounces. That's a nice growth spurt, and I can tell as my stomach got better and I've started feeling regular strong movement! One of the babies, A I'm guessing, can usually be felt to the lower left of my belly button. The other, B I think, is mostly often in the very top right of my uterus, in my ribs. Azaria spent most of her time lodged on my right side in my ribs, and I well remember how uncomfortable it could get!

Babies skeletons are turning from cartilage to bone now, and they are practicing sucking and swallowing. I've started to get some energy back finally, which probably has to do with the amount of naps I've been able to get while I've been staying at my parents--between one and two hours every day the first weekend, plus every day of the week that my dad was home during the kids' rest hour. It was amazing!