|I know it's not my normal black shirt, but one was dirty and I outgrew the other!|
Also, I know it looks orange but it's a really pretty coral color. It's one of the ones my mom made me.
34 Weeks is a great milestone week. I can now deliver in the hospital where my practice is associated, rather than being transferred to one with a higher level NICU. Also, if the twins were born now (NO NO BABIES!!!) they would likely just need a week or two in the NICU to gain weight and learn to suck/swallow/breath. They are fully developed and working on gaining weight, to the tune of about a half pound a week, and they are each about the size of a cantaloupe. Mommy has also gained weight--31 lbs eek! It's more than I wanted, as I was aiming for 25, but I don't think it's too much considering there are two in there. I should probably also tell you, considering the following story, that if I'm not lying down I have constant Braxton Hicks contractions, which are "false contractions" that are very common, and become more frequent during third trimester or subsequent pregnancies. I get them worse in the afternoons and evenings, and I get them so regularly and so strongly that I don't do much past housework. I don't go for walks or exercise at all, which was why the pool was perfect for me and I'm still angry that it closed for the year on Labor Day! It's 90-100+ degrees here people! I even broke down and rode a motorized scooter in Walmart the other night, for the first time in three pregnancies, because I just could not walk without stopping every few moments to breath through a BH. Yes, it was incredibly embarrassing!
|Dean. Hand up by his face. 4 lb 4 oz|
I had my 34 week appointment this week, which started off with what will probably be my last growth ultrasound. The twins are looking great! They are positioned in there exactly like I talked about in my last post., and the tech showed me hair on both tiny heads. Dean is estimated to weigh 4 lb 4 oz, and Dani is estimated to weight 4 lb 14 oz. The margin of error is 20 %, just to remind you--straight from the U/S tech's mouth! I feel like they may be on the smaller size, based on my current size. I know I look big, but I'm actually not that big for carrying twins. At an estimated growth of half a pound a week, that would put them at 5 lb 4 oz and 5 lb 14 oz by 35 weeks, and 6 lb 4 oz and 6 lb 14 oz at 38 weeks. Those are pretty good weights for twins! Their fluid measurements were also really good, as were their, and I quote, "gorgeous placentas". So as far as the twins go, they are good for the long haul as of right now!
|Dani. Profile, cuddled against Dean's chest. 4 lb 14 oz|
Unfortunately, things went downhill quickly when she did my cervical measurement. This particular tech is always commenting on measurements: this looks great, that looks great, and so on. She didn't say anything after she took the measurements, (cervical measurement is taken transvaginally, once lying prone and a second time while bearing down, to see how much it shortens.) so after I was done I asked her what the measurements were and she very reluctantly told me. My cervix has always been a nice long 4-5, and I think they don't get really concerned until it's under a 2.5. Mine is down to a 1.?, and shortens even more when I bear down. That was a pretty quick change, and I knew it as soon as she told me the measurements. Then the doctor examined me and found I was dilated to a three, when I've always been closed up tight--as recently as two weeks ago. Apparently all of my BH aren't just BH! The Dr.decided to send me over to Labor and Delivery to get a Non-Stress Test and steroid shots to develop the babies lungs. It made me a little nervous, to have such a quick change and to be just 34 weeks (I was actually only 33+6 at my appointment).
I made some quick calls for childcare, called Nathan and my mom, and went home to pick up Azaria from my friend's and Shane from school. Once I got the kids settled in with another friend (I am SO grateful to have friends who are willing to help out!) I headed back out to L&D.
|Bottom monitor is Dean, top middle is contractions, and top right is Dani.|
They hooked me up to the monitors to have a NST, which basically watches the babies heart rates go up and down and on a separate line monitors contractions. Dean was mostly laid back about the monitor, but Dani was not having it and kicked the monitor most of the time.
I think they monitored for 20 minutes, and then the CNM on call came in and reviewed the strip. It took her about two seconds to decide I have super active babies and not too many contractions (of course, I was lying down resting!) and I could be released. Phew! Then I got a glorious steroid shot in my thigh, which burned a smidge but wasn't anything like the horror stories I've heard about how much it hurts. The point of the steroid shots is to help the babies lungs develop early, as well as a few other organs. I need to keep them in about 48 hours after the second shot for them to be most effective. As I was talking to the CNM I asked if she thought I could hold out on birth until the end of the month when Nathan would be home from his underway. She laughed at me and then realized I was serious. She thinks I'll be lucky to make it two or three more weeks. HOWEVER, we all know God is sovereign and he knows his timing. I also know that it's possible to keep babies in for weeks even walking around dilated. Body, don't let me down now!
The most stressful part of the whole "you'll probably have the babies early" thing is that Nathan was supposed to be gone on an underway for most of the month of September. It turned out to be such God timing that I had my appointment the day before he left, because once his Senior Chief found out what was going on he took it up the chain and got permission for Nathan to stay home this month.
I was supposed to get my second steroid shot 24 hours later, in my doctor's office next door to the hospital. That turned into a two hour saga of being sent back to Labor and Delivery because the nurses in L&D wouldn't release the dosage to the nurse at my Dr's office. Then the L&D nurses had to wait for doc orders NOT to hook me up and monitor me and TO give me a second shot. What a kerfuffle! Finally I did get the second shot, bent unceremoniously over the L&D bed. At least it didn't burn at all getting it in the rear! And I got two child free hours to relax and finish a crossword puzzle.
It was strangely exciting sitting up there in L&D, looking at the birthing bed and the baby warmer. While of course I don't want to have early babies, it did make me excited for the big day! This whole trip motivated me to actually finish my birth plan and hospital bags, and make plans for the kids too. I've been delaying a little I guess! That's this weeks drama.