Two Months!!

Pretty much forever ago I thought….I should write a blog post on how things are going. And then I realized I have twin infants and I would need to substitute sleep to make that happen…and that just wasn’t an option at the time. So fast forward a few weeks and here are a few snippets about how life is going…..in no particular order.

  1. Sickness- So this is cold and flu season….also known as the scariest time ever to have an infant (or two). I also have a 9 year old stepson bringing his germs he gathers at school into my house multiple times a week. I would say 90% of the words out of my mouth to him are “WASH YOUR HANDS!” He actually does a pretty good job when I remind him. And then there is the rest of the world and there germs. I don’t want to be a shut in. I will loose my mind if we don’t get out into the world every now and then, even just to Target. I would love to just take them on a walk….but its rained about 85% of the time since we brought them home from the hospital. So yesterday where did we go on our outing…..THE EMERGENCY ROOM. One of my poor sweet babies spiked a fever over 101 and the pediatrician sent us to the ER. After we waited for 2 hours just to have a nurse take her temp it had of course gone down and she was acting totally normal. We then waited another 2 hours to see a doctor just to be sure. I was feeling super silly (and the nurse made me feel like I had done something incorrectly taking her temp), but after they ran some super traumatic (for me) tests they found via chest X-ray that my brave little 11 week old baby possibly has pneumonia! We won’t know for sure until the cultures come back in 3 days but they started her on antibotics anyway….and today she’s acting normal with no fever but she has a cough. UGH.
  2. Sleeping- So people constantly say to me “Oh wow Twins! You must be so tired”. Except I’m not that tired….anymore. Around 5 weeks they got on a pretty solid schedule. They would wake up twice at night around 1 and 5 am. Then around 7 weeks we would put them down at 9pm and they would wake up around 3 am and then sleep til 8 am. They seemed to really understand bedtime and for the most part would go right to sleep after our nighttime routine, and then go back to sleep right after their middle of the night feeding. We started doing naps in the cribs and those could be a little hit or miss, but once I started using the Ollie Swaddle + the Dock a Tot they were getting much easier to put down for naps. Baby T is a bit of a nap fighter still but we are consistent with them and she’s doing much better. So these people continually told me that I just must be so tired, and I felt guilty saying I really wasn’t. Getting up once in the middle of the night for 30-45 minutes is totally doable. And then three days ago something magical happened. They slept through the night from 9 pm to 7 am. I was sure it was just a fluke. I assumed that they would just start pushing the middle of the night feeding later until eventually it reached actual morning, but that’s not what happened. We had a few middle of the night feedings around 4 or 4:30 am and then it just went to 7 am. And that’s been the case the past 3 nights. Again, I have no idea if this is going to last but I’ll take it right now, especially with my husband out of town this week!
  3. Eating-I have fought really hard to give them breast milk. Breast feeding twins is exceptionally hard if you are taking care of them by yourself for the most part. When they were super small its difficult to tandem feed by yourself because they have so little head control and you only have so many hands. Feeding them one at a time works except if you are by yourself what do you do when you are feeding one and the other is screaming bloody murder? So I pumped so that I could bottle feed them, but every time I started to pump one of them would wake up and scream. It felt like a constant battle. I did/do the best I can. I pump when I can. I made the lactation cookies. I took supplements. I power pumped for days. I just could not be consistent and obviously my already very weak supply got weaker. One breastmilk bottle per day went to every other day and now it’s every three days. But I still pump when I can because I firmly believe that FED is best, but I want to do my best for them so they have some breast milk as well. So they are both on formula primarily, and because they are different babies, they are on different formulas. We have switched baby K’s formula a few times because of her sensitive tummy and constipation issues. T has been doing great on the original formula we started with so no reason to switch her too. At our 2 month check up the pediatrician gave us the okay to give them 2 oz of juice or water every day to help with constipation. We tried water first. They hate it. I mean HATE it with passion. We tried for several days and while I like the idea of them having water more than juice, I don’t want them to start to reject eating and giving them water was just making them so pissed. So we give them juice every few days as needed. So far this has solved the constipation issue.
  4. Working- So there was a time in my life (early 20’s when I was young and so naïve) that I was dead set against ever being a SAHM. I was going to have a career and I just couldn’t stand to sit at home and not work. And 10 plus years into my career I am well aware that working for the man isn’t all I thought it would be back in the day before I had any real life experience. But since my family likes to eat and have nice things like a roof over our heads and the occasional vacation (and diapers and formula for two babies is $$$) I will be going back to work. I am going back to work in the middle of March. It is absolutely stressing me out already. The other day I got really emotional about it. I am sad because I don’t want to miss a moment of these two growing up. When they are napping I miss them. I actually REALLY miss them for that hour-ish they are sleeping. I just want to look at them and talk to them all the time. How will I be away from them for 9 hours a day? What if they need their mommy? What if they don’t eat? What if they won’t nap? So seriously how am I going to be away from them for 9 hours a day???
  5. Childcare- Since I am going to have to rejoin the working world after these joyful months of maternity leave there is the issue of childcare. As you can imagine childcare for two infants isn’t cheap either. After much research we decided to get an AuPair. It is affordable, we have space in our home (barely), and we will not have to worry about taking off work if they are sick and can’t go to daycare, and we won’t have to worry about them getting sick from daycare. We hired our AuPair in November and she arrived a few weeks ago. It has been great to have the extra help, especially since my husband has started to travel for work again, and it gives me the opportunity to spend time with her so I will hopefully feel more comfortable when that dreaded day comes that I have to go back to work. So far it’s been great! She is great with the girls and they really like her. Also because when they are napping she does there laundry and washes the bottles I have actually had time to accomplish things around the house.
  6. Travel- I decided that I should try and take advantage of this time off so we are going to Colorado to visit my mom and grandma. This is probably insane to travel on a plane with them at 3 months old, but it felt scary the first time we left the house with them so let’s just rip the travel band aid off right now. It might have been wiser to start with a shorter flight…but what is the worst that could happen? They could scream for 2 and a half hours and people might clap as we deplane…..but I have always been extremely patient and understanding that people have to travel with babies by plane sometimes and it’s not the babies fault that their ears hurt or that they are out of their element. So hopefully we aren’t sitting next to some A-Hole. I want my babies to meet their great grandma. She’s 87 and you just never know…and I don’t really know when we will have another opportunity to visit. Since we are now a family of five plus the Au Pair we had to rent a minivan (and we have to take both cars to the airport). Thank goodness for my husband’s work travel so we are all flying for free because minivan rentals are $$$. I am praying for a smooth flight and good weather…..and no major delays.
  7. Baby T- Taegan was our baby A. She is exactly the opposite of what I thought she would be when I was still pregnant. She is spunky and outgoing. She smiles all the time and cracks herself up. She is a wiggle worm. She is also tiny compared to her sister. At the 2 month check she was a full pound lighter (9 lbs 14.5oz) and 2” shorter (21”). She is more high maintenance than her sister but is becoming more independent. She is very verbal. She is my nap fighter but has been a good sleeper at night. She loves to look at everything around her and has been very alert since she came home from the hospital. I think she fights naps because she is afraid of missing out on something. She loves bath time and hates tummy time. She also has recently started to like her play mat and the vibrating chair. You have to steal snuggles with her right when she wakes up or right before bedtime otherwise she’s much too busy taking in the sights too snuggle.
  8. Baby K- Kruse was baby B. She is much more shy than her sister. She is a great sleeper at night and at nap time. She loves to cuddle. She is usually content to hang out in the swing or vibrating chair. She is more tolerant of tummy time that her sister but gets over it quickly. It’s hit or miss with the play mat. Almost everything gives her the hiccups which eventually makes her mad. She is noticeably bigger and heavier than her sister. She has the best squishy cheeks ever. She loves to look at our kitchen pot rack. Her favorite toy is a white stuffed bunny rabbit. She spits up much more often than her sister so we rock a bib after meals to avoid multiple outfit changes. She and her sister love to read books before naptime. She isn’t thrilled about bath time but tolerates it for the warm water. She hates the after bath routine because she hates to be cold. She even chatters her little lip. She despises lotion. She has the cutest pouty face you have ever seen. Her stretchy face when she wakes up is equally adorable. She “tells us” she us upset about something before she cries about it. She has a much bigger appetite than her sister and is ready to eat pretty much the minute she wakes up.
  9. Twins- Pretty much everywhere we go people stare at the massive double stroller rolling by them. It doesn’t really bother me and I’ve kind of stopped noticing. What I do notice is that there are twins everywhere! I love how many sets I see out and about! The questions I am asked the most –Are they girls?—Are they identical?—Do twins run in your family?
  10. Non questions people say the most – You must be tired. – You have your hands full.
  11. Being a mommy to these two is more than I could have ever imagined. They are the best.

Hello From the Other Side

So I didn’t mean to go MIA….actually I always hated when I had followed an infertility story for so long and then it went silent when the babies were finally born (I understood but it was just nice to see closure to a long story of such a struggle). So here is my story….or as much of it as I can type before someone wakes up and cries….

Also I do post photos on my Instagram account which at this point is a much better way to follow what is happening with us! Meant_to_be_mommy

Birthday!

On Wednesday, November 23rd, the day before Thanksgiving, Taegan (pronounced TAY-GAN) Quinn and Kruse Morganne made their arrival at exactly 12:22 pm via planned C-Section at 38 weeks 4 days. They were both born in the same minute and things went perfectly. They were both breech so a C-section was my only option, however I had decided around 30 weeks that is what I wanted anyway. It turned out to be a wonderful experience for the most part and was extremely calm and not stressful which is what I wanted. Taegan was 5 lbs 13 oz and 19.5 inches long and Kruse weighed 6 lbs 5 oz and was 20 inches long. Both babies were healthy and did not require any NICU time.

We stayed in the hospital until Saturday afternoon. The morning after the C-section I did suffer one complication when my blood count suddenly dropped and I had a sudden severe headache followed by vomiting and passing out. Thankfully the nurse was there when all of this happened and I received a blood transfusion later in the day. It was all uphill from there. The only other thing I really remember being difficult about the recovery was the extreme itching from the pain medication that is in the spinal they gave me for the C-section. Thankfully that subsided in 24 hours. I have never tolerated pain medication or anesthesia very well, and of course right after they gave me the spinal I threw up. I warned the doctor that this would happen beforehand, and they were able to give me something via IV to make it go away fairly quickly. I only took the pain pills they offered for the first 36 hours. After that I took only the 800mg of Motrin and I was able to handle the pain, which was only really bad when I got up out of bed, but still manageable for me.

Being in the hospital is good because you can have the nurses help you with whatever you need, especially when you are recovering and can’t get out of bed easily (or at all without help). The downside is that they come in constantly. We would finally get both babies sleeping or I would finally fall asleep and a nurse or doctor would come in and have to wake everyone up. This was true 24 hours a day. They wanted to do the most random things with the babies in the middle of the night. It was crazy. Finally the last night we were there the nurse came in at 11 and told us she wasn’t going to come back until 4 am unless we called for her. It was the best news ever.

My mom came a few days before they were born and stayed for 3 weeks. It was the biggest blessing ever. She helped me get so many last minute things done around the house that I wouldn’t have been able to do so pregnant, and she was the best help with the girls when I got home. When I was in the hospital she came during the day so my husband could go rest, and took care of my dog.

The first two weeks are a blur. Our life was lived in 2 hour increments between feedings. I started out exclusively breast feeding. I would nurse for an hour and then have an hour off. It was exhausting. Kruse also was extremely fussy those first days and we thought she might be reacting to something in my milk from what I was eating. I cut out dairy and I already don’t drink caffeine. At the first pediatrician appointment neither of the girls had gained any weight back (T was 5 lbs 3 oz and K was 5 lbs 13 oz when we left the hospital). The pediatrician was very concerned especially about T so we came back for another weight check 2 days later. They had both gained about an ounce on the 2 hour feeding schedule. I continued this for a few more days until one night they were both acting starving and I ended up nursing them for 4 hours (alternating between the two of them). My mom suggested the next morning that I try and pump, which we discovered that my supply was not enough to satisfy both girls, so we started supplementing with formula. The first time I gave a formula bottle I sobbed. I am completely believe FED IS BEST, but after infertility it was just so sad that my body was once again failing me. The good news is that after we started supplementing the girls were so much happier. Kruse didn’t cry all the time anymore and they got back up to birth weight at our 2 week check up! I was trying to pump as much as possible, which is so hard with twins even with my mom there to help, and exactly two weeks after they were born I came down with mastitis. I woke up at 3 am with a 103 fever and horrible chills. At the time I thought maybe I had the flu, but the next morning my left breast was red and barely producing anything. I was able to get antibiotics that day but it was devastating supply and I have been trying to build it back ever since.

My mom had to leave a few days later, and so started the adventure of trying to take care of both girls by myself while my husband was at work. Somedays were really hard and others were actually good. Thankfully with the holidays my husband has been able to be off work, and my dad, brother, and his girlfriend came for the past week which was so helpful! The girls are on a very strict schedule now which has made night time much easier. Kruse unfortunately still has tummy issues, especially as my supply has continued to diminish and she gets more formula. I am still wondering if she has a lactose sensitivity. The good news is both girls are gaining weight and doing great. They will be six weeks old on Wednesday which is so hard to believe.

On days when the weather isn’t totally crappy I make sure we get out of the house. We go on walks, or to lunch or dinner. I think its important to make these things feel normal. For the most part all of our outings have gone well. Having them on a schedule has really helped because we can set ourselves up for success. Also they both love to be in the Lillebaby carrier or the Solly baby wrap. Both of these things have been life savers for me. If one of them is fighting a nap I put them in the wrap and she will be out in 10 seconds. They also tend to fall asleep immediately in the carrier.

All in all we wash a lot of bottles and do a lot of laundry but having these girls is the best thing ever. I don’t even remember life before them. Waiting so long for them was hard, some days even excruciating, but they are worth it. I never thought, starting to try to get pregnant in my 20s, that I would be 34 before I finally had a baby, well two babies, but I just feel amazingly blessed to have them at all. Thinking back to this time last year, when I was just getting ready to start birth control for IVF, I cannot even fathom all that happened since. I still remember going through IVF, and how scary it was, and how I didn’t know if we would even have anything to transfer after such a poor result from the stims, but I know now to never lose hope even when it seems there is nothing to hold on too.

Thank you to everyone who has followed my story over the past few years. I have made some amazing friends along the way, and been able to see so many women who have battled infertility win the fight and bring home beautiful babies via pregnancy, surrogacy, adoption, embryo adoption, ect. If you are still in the throes don’t give up. Your day is coming.

XOXO Sara

34 Weeks

I can hardly believe how fast the last two weeks went by. I am so happy to be done with work and officially on maternity leave. It has taken a lot of stress and pressure off. While I will say my boss has been very supportive of me my entire pregnancy on my last day of work he asked me if I was looking forward to my “vacation”. Sigh.

My NSTs have been going well. It is very reassuring to see everything is going well with the babies. Starting next week I believe I will be seeing my OB every week as well.

I am slowly getting some things done around the house. I have the most energy at night when everyone is sleeping and I have to be quiet!

The biggest news is that my C-Section is scheduled for Nov 23rd! It’s so nice to have an actual date scheduled, if they don’t decide to come earlier. My hospital bag is about 75% packed. Really I just need to go through and organize everything.

 

How Far along: 34 Weeks tomorrow

Total Weight Gain: 28 lbs

Maternity Clothes: Yes. I found some maternity leggings I apparently bought earlier this summer from Old Navy in a drawer. My regular leggings still fit but were getting a little more snug. Honestly I hate the maternity leggings. I have basically no butt and they just fall down!   I have been sleeping in my husband’s athletic shorts and t-shirts which works great, but having to but real clothes on to leave the house during the day has been a real bummer. Otherwise I have bought a few things for the hospital this week, including two PJ sets with button down tops and some extra PJ pants at Old Navy (in men’s because I have long legs!).

Movement: Yes. All the time. These babies are very active and constantly switching positions. They move so much during the NSTs a nurse usually has to hold on the monitor to at least one of them. NST tests have taken anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours just because they won’t stay on the monitor.

Stretch marks: No

Sleep: Right now it’s about 1 am and I’m wide awake. I seem to sleep the best from about 5 am to 8 am. Even with no nap all day I can’t sleep at night.

Best moments:  Finally being on maternity leave. It was a huge relief to not have to worry about the stress of work. My office had a really nice send off for me which was awesome. This week it’s been great not to have to worry about having anywhere to be first thing in the morning.

Last Friday I also had a nice dinner with a bunch of pregnant moms from my local twin mom group. I almost didn’t go because we weren’t meeting until 7pm and it was a super rainy day. I am so happy I got myself out. I had a great time catching up with everyone. There were 4 of us and we are all due within 1 week of each other.

Miss Anything: Just a good night of sleep. And maybe not having to pee every time I stand up.

Food Cravings: Still ICE!

Anything make you feel queasy or sick: Only if I try to do too much or don’t eat enough.

Showing: Yes!

Gender: GIRLS!

Labor signs: No

Symptoms: I haven’t had any contractions since going on Maternity leave which is great. Unfortunately I have some kind of issue with my right hip/leg. I think it’s a pinched nerve or something. It has gotten slightly better the past few days but sometimes I stand up and I can’t walk or move my leg. I had my acupuncturist treat it and I’ve been trying to rest which seems to be helping. I am not great at just sitting around when there are things to be done though!

I have also started itching really badly on my arms and legs. I know this can be a symptom of a bigger issue so I plan to talk to my doctor about it on Monday.

Belly Button: WAY OUT

Wedding Rings: Off

Mood: I found myself quickly losing my patience my last week of work. I have been a little more emotional but overall I am happy!

Looking Forward to: I am just looking forward to the next few weeks of nesting and getting ready for my babies to get here.

 

Thirty Two Weeks!

I am so blown away at how well I am feeling at 32 weeks.  Working a modified schedule the past two weeks was a total game changer for me.  Being able to rest more during the week has helped me tremendously.  This is my last week of work which I am grateful for and totally ready to be done, but I am so appreciative that I was able to work it out with my employer to work from home more the past two weeks.  It made a huge difference!

I am currently going in for non-stress tests at the hospital twice a week.  So far they are going great, and its really nice to just lay there and listen to the heart beats for 30 mins or so.  It is such great reassurance.  I am seeing my OB every two weeks, and she told me today I will start seeing her every week after my next appointment which will be at 34 weeks.

The plan right now is to have a C-section at 38 weeks.  Scheduling this is supposed to be in the works so hopefully we will have our date soon.  It just blows me away that they will be here in six weeks or less.

At home we are mostly ready.  The nursery just needs a few finishing touches.  Most of our baby gear is put together.  I am going to get my car cleaned (inside and out) next week and then we will install the bases for the car seats.  My hospital bags are also mostly packed.  I took a breastfeeding class at the hospital last week which was a good starting point for information.  This is probably the thing I’m the most nervous about.  I was told by a nurse during my NST that the minimum time I will be in the hospital with twins/C-section is 4 nights, so hopefully the lactation consultants will be able to get us started on the right foot!

 

How Far along: 32 Weeks + 3 Days

Total Weight Gain: 25 lbs

Maternity Clothes: Yes but I can still wear my regular athletic shorts, leggings, and maxi skirts. Some maternity shirts are too short now though!  I was adamant that I wasn’t going to buy any more maternity clothes but I did break down and get two long sleeved tops at target and some bigger underwear last week.

Movement: Yes. All the time. These babies are very active and constantly switching positions. I can tell baby B is going to be my feisty one though!

Stretch marks: No

Sleep: Pretty terrible at night. I sleep best between 2 and 6 am or from 3pm-5pm (when I am able to get a nap in).

Best moments:  My baby shower at 3o weeks was really nice. My friends did such a nice job and it was so blown away about how many people were able to make it. Almost every got us really useful gifts (instead of clothes/blankets!) so we are almost completely ready for the girls to arrive.

I was also able to meet up with two friends who weren’t able to make it to the shower. One is also pregnant with twins via IVF and it has been the most special thing that we can share our twin pregnancy after years of dealing with infertility together. My other friend went through IVF for both of her daughters and recently found out she is pregnant by complete surprise!

Also this morning we had a scan at perinatal so we were able to see the babies. They are both doing amazing as baby A is 4 lbs 9oz and baby B is 5 lb 2 oz. Both are looking perfect! It’s hard to believe I already have almost 10 lbs of baby in there!

There has just been so much great stuff going on the past two weeks!

Miss Anything: Just a good night of sleep. And maybe not having to pee every time I stand up.

Food Cravings: ICE ICE ICE ICE. I am obsessed with ice. Also cinnamon sticks from a local pizza place and onion rings.

Anything make you feel queasy or sick: Only if I try to do too much or don’t eat enough.

Showing: Yes!

Gender: GIRLS!

Labor signs: No

Symptoms: My Braxton Hicks have slowed WAY down since I started working a modified schedule. I still get heartburn from almost everything and my sleeping is crappy. My hips are really stiff in the morning or when I get up to pee at night which is kind of scary because sometimes I feel like I am going to fall over right when I stand up. I still have a hard time with sitting straight up for long periods of time or standing up for long periods of time. A maternity support belt is extremely helpful for everyday things like cooking/cleaning up or trips to Target ect when I am on my feet.

Belly Button: WAY OUT

Wedding Rings: Off

Mood: Really happy. Someone asked me to today if I am just ready to get them out and I was like “no way!” I don’t mind being uncomfortable or tired (yet) and I completely see how people miss being pregnant. I mean the first tri was really rough but all of the less than pleasant symptoms are completely manageable and I just love feeling them move around.

Looking forward to: Maternity leave starting! This is my last week of work and I am ready to be done and focusing totally on last minute things to get us totally ready. I am also looking forward to be able to rest/nap more during the day to make up for the lack of sleep at night.

 

30 Weeks

It is blowing my mind that these little nuggets will be here in 8 weeks or less. The weeks are just flying by faster than I can even count them.

The third trimester is kicking my butt so far. Obviously it is totally worth whatever I have to endure but this girl is exhausted and so uncomfortable. Working has gotten a lot more difficult, especially in the afternoon when the Braxton Hicks kick in. My doctor said she usually has her twin patients stop working at 30 weeks.   I am trying to stretch it to 32 but we will see. I definitely don’t want to go into early labor from overdoing it. The people covering my job while I am out are starting to take over on some of my projects which is really helpful just to keep the stress level down.

I see the OB every other week right now and my next appointment is the 28th. We have started to discuss birth plans. Because the babies are so active it is very hard to tell if I would even be able to try to delivery vaginally. They both need to be head down and the bigger baby needs to be in the primary position to be delivered first. Right now they are all over the place. Even if that does end up being an option for me I am leaning toward a C-section. I have a lot of feelings both ways, but ultimately I am scared of having a double recovery if the second baby flips after the first is born and has to be taken via emergency C-Section. I would like to avoid having a double recovery. My second concern is that my system is very sensitive to pain meds and doesn’t tend to react well. I am weighing my options (if I even have them at all) but it’s a difficult decision.

On a lighter note my nursery is making some progress. I really wanted it to be done by this weekend, which is never happening. I really don’t like having to rely on other people to help with things (due to me not being able to lift things or bend over easily). While I love my husband to death he is not handy at all so we have had to recruit friends to help with stuff. I am down to just needing to have some things hung on the walls but we haven’t had schedules line up to actually get someone to help us. On my good days I have also had major nesting urges and have completely organized our bathroom and pantry. These are the times I wish my mom lived close because she would be able to help me with stuff. I am super grateful she’s coming for a few weeks when the babies are born but I could really use her now too! I really want things to be organized before the babies get here and its stressing me out!

 

 

How Far along: 30 Weeks (on Saturday)

Total Weight Gain: About 20 lbs.

Maternity Clothes: YES! Thankfully my regular leggings, athletic shorts, and maxi skirts still fit, but some of my maternity shirts are too short already! I pretty much wear the same 5 things to work….mostly comfortable dresses. I did find that I need to buy some new underwear because I only have about 6 pair that still fit!

Movement: Yes. All the time. These babies are very active and constantly switching positions.

Stretch marks: No

Sleep: Absolutely horrible. I sleep in my recliner most of the time now because I am able to sleep for longer stretches of time without waking up and I have less heartburn issues if I do. Still I am surviving on 4-6 hours of interrupted sleep per night. Sleeping for a 2 hour stretch is a major win.

Best moments:  I was able to see the babies twice in the past two weeks. We had a growth scan last Monday which was the best birthday present possible. Both babies are thriving, and Baby B is in the 91st percentile for size at 3 lbs 5 oz. Baby A was 2 lbs 15 oz and in the 61st percentile for size. At the time of the scan baby B was head down and baby A was breech. My OB did a quick ultrasound two days later and they had totally flipped. Baby A was now head down and B was breech. I can pretty much guarantee they are in totally different positions now with all the moving they do!

Miss Anything: Just a good night of sleep. And maybe not having to pee every time I stand up.

Food Cravings: My days or eating anything spicy are OVER for now as my heart burn is so horrible, which really sucks. I am still enjoying iced tea every few days, and I have discovered I can make shaved ice in my Nutribullet. I literally just eat the ice (no flavoring) and I love it! Its so refreshing!   I don’t know there is anything else I am craving regularly.  I am only able to eat small amounts at a time.

Anything make you feel queasy or sick: Still some motion sickness here and there and I randomly will get really nauseous if I overdo it. And by that I mean I have gotten sick from just getting ready in the morning for work, and bringing groceries in from the car.

Showing: Yes!

Gender: GIRLS!

Labor signs: No

Symptoms: Braxton Hicks EVERYDAY. Usually around 2 or 3pm they come on. Exhausted all the time. Heartburn. Just VERY uncomfortable all the time. Lower back pain. Out of breath super easily.

Belly Button: WAY OUT

Wedding Rings: Off

Mood: Happy. Tired. Major desire to NEST.

Looking forward to: My baby shower this weekend! Getting the nursery done (which seems like a never ending project).

24 Weeks!

I had really wanted to do an update at 22 weeks, but I was honestly way too busy that week, and that was the weekend of my first baby shower! Time has been going by super-fast and I can hardly believe I am closing in on the third trimester in just a few weeks!

Since my last update we found out we are having twin girls! We had a super fun gender reveal party at our house. My stepson was so excited when we popped the balloons and pink confetti came out. He really wanted sisters.

We took a quick overnight trip to Tahoe to spend some time with some friends who were vacationing there. It was such a fun time but the altitude was really hard for me.

We took our hospital tour which was really interesting! It made me feel a lot more comfortable just knowing where things are, and the information they handed out about being in the hospital for the birth was really great. I also confirmed that no matter what kind of birth I have I will be delivering in an OR instead of a birthing suite. I am a little concerned as to how two babies, myself and my husband will all fit into the tiny postnatal suites for recovery. I seriously wouldn’t even be comfortable sitting on the tiny bench they expect the dads to sleep on!

The following weekend I headed to Colorado for my family baby shower. I had some motion sickness on the plane when some minor turbulence came up which never would have bothered me in the past and it was a little bit hard to sit for two hours but overall the flights went pretty quickly. I made sure I was well hydrated for both the flights and my stay in Colorado so I did not have the issues I did in Tahoe. It was also cooler weather and I wasn’t outside in the sun as much which I think helped. It was great to see my mom and her side of the family and the shower was a lot of fun. My mom made the cutest twin fruit basket ever.

Finally last weekend I did quite a bit of work on the nursery. Things are slowly coming together and I am trying not to overdo it during the free time I have. I was super happy that some friends came and helped put together the closet furniture so I was able to get things a little more organized.

Work has been really busy which has made the weeks just fly by! When I look at my calendar for the rest of the month it’s a little overwhelming. The nice thing is that we have half days on Fridays from the first Friday of August until after Labor Day weekend.   This week my stepson and husband (he’s the coach) started soccer practice and next week my stepson goes back to school (third grade!). We have a trip booked to Orange County over Labor Day weekend that I am hoping I will be able to take! I have an OB appointment the day before we are supposed to leave so I am hoping as long as things are still going well I can be cleared to go. It’s only a 1 hour flight and I will be 28 weeks.

 

 

How Far along: 24 Weeks on Saturday. The babies currently weigh 1 lb 10 oz and 1 lb 9 oz and are right on track!

Total Weight Gain: Up 10 lbs from pre-pregnancy weight.

Maternity Clothes: Yes tops and dresses. Regular Maxi Skirts, athletic shorts, and leggings still fit. Also a few of my regular workout clothes that are on the longer side fit. I basically wear the same 6 things to work because I am so over spending money on new clothes that I can’t wear for very long!

Movement: YES! Mostly on my right side and some around my belly button, which makes sense given how the babies are positioned (per our growth scan this morning).

Stretch marks: No

Sleep: Some nights are better than others. Up a lot to pee, but I also have to drink a ton of water through the night or I get leg cramps. I got the pregnancy wedge which has really helped support my belly. I usually wake up 3-6 times per night to readjust and pee!

Best moments:  Seeing the babies today! My family baby shower! Feeling them move, especially right before bedtime!

Miss Anything: Nothing major.  Sleeping comfortably!

Food Cravings: Iced Tea. Nothing else regularly.

Anything make you feel queasy or sick: Just some motion sickness issues. Otherwise I have been feeling pretty good (knock on wood!)

Showing: Yes!

Gender: Girls!

Labor signs: No. I did have some braxton hicks a few weeks ago when we were in Tahoe. The altitude was super hard for me and I was out in the sun for quite a while on a hot day. After laying down with my feet up and drinking tons of water I felt much better but they were not fun!

Symptoms: Lower back pain. It’s really hard for me to sit up straight for a long period of time, especially after eating lunch. My desk chair is pretty much in full recline! If I am on my feet too long my ankles swell and ache. I have also been more tired lately. Nothing horrible!

Belly Button: Flat in the morning, out in the afternoon after I’ve had lunch!

Wedding Rings: After a day of major swelling in my hands I switched to a silicone ring that I used to wear to the gym!

Mood: Happy.

Until next time XOXO!

20 Weeks Updates

The past few weeks I finally hit the sweet spot of pregnancy.  I actually feel good most of the time.  I have energy!  My constipation issues are gone (for now at least).  I am actually able to enjoy food again.  Its been magical.

We had an anatomy scan on Monday and both babies are doing well.  They were measuring about 5 days ahead.  We will have another growth scan at the beginning of August with perinatal.  I am also loving that so far my OB does a quick US at every appointment.  Its so great to see the babies so often.  This time my stepson was able to come with us to the appointment so he got to see the babies too.  I think that was a really important experience for him.

Right now I see my OB every 4 weeks and I get growth scans every 4 weeks.  I thought this would feel like forever in between appointments since I had such frequent appointments earlier in my pregnancy, but the time between goes really fast.

We spent the 4th of July week on a staycation.  My dad and brother came to visit and my stepson was with us the whole 10 days as his mom was in Hawaii.  My brother and husband took him to do some fun things like bowling and a water park.  We also took him to the movies and my husband took him to Six Flags.  We wanted to do some fun things for him since we aren’t doing a big family vacation this year.  My brother was also able to help my husband get a few things done around the house including building the nursery dresser.  We had some painters come in and paint the room and we got new carpet in our front room!  It was a really productive week!

Later this month we have our hospital tour scheduled and I will be going to Colorado for my family shower.  I know its early but I did not want to take a 3 hour flight any later in my pregnancy.

 

How Far along: 20 Weeks (on Saturday)

Total Weight Gain: Only Down 1 pound from pre-pregnancy weight!

Maternity Clothes: Yes tops and a few dresses.  Still able to wear my normal shorts, leggings, and maxi skirts.

Movement: I found out at my anatomy scan that at least one of the placentas (Baby B on top) is anterior, which explains why I haven’t felt a lot.  I do feel some flutters here and there, especially lower on my stomach.  Baby B’s head is also on my upper right side (per the ultrasound) and I often get a lot of pressure there.

Stretch marks: No

Sleep: Getting harder to be comfortable and waking up a lot more.

Best moments:  Seeing the babies at my OB appointment last week and then again at my Perinatal appointment this week.  Getting our nursery painted and some of the furniture assembled.  Spending the week with my dad and brother.

Miss Anything: Nothing major.  Sleeping comfortably!

Food Cravings: Asian food, iced tea, tacos and cheese nachos

Anything make you feel queasy or sick: Still not loving meat, but its getting better.  Chicken is the hardest.  I have to eat frequently or I start to feel queasy.  I was cleaning our entertainment center last weekend and randomly had to throw up.

Showing: Yes!

Gender: Finding out on Saturday

Labor signs: No

Symptoms: Still occasional nausea, feeling very full after eating which makes sitting upright at my desk difficult, Gas (but no constipation so yay!)

Belly Button: Definitely flattening out.

Wedding Rings: On

Mood: Happy. Occasionally moody.

Looking forward to: Our gender reveal this weekend.  My first shower at the end of the month with my family.

 

Reflections on 20 weeks of Pregnancy

This post is entirely about being pregnant. If you aren’t ready to read it, then please don’t as it is not meant to hurt anyone. I know what it’s like to be in the throes of infertility. Somedays you just can’t. But I always loved hearing the positive things from those whole finally got here after hard fought battles. It gave me hope.

Also this is about my experience with pregnancy. And the gist really is that everyone’s experience is different and embrace it so it works for you.

 

How could it be? Just a few days shy of 20 weeks pregnant. There were so many times that I prayed for this. So many times I wondered if this was in God’s plan for me. And here I am.

To be honest I didn’t know how I would really feel about pregnancy itself. I mean I have a weak stomach, horrible motion sickness, and basically broken digestive system as it is, so I was pretty nervous about how pregnancy might take its toll on me. There are a few things that I have been surprised, or not so surprised about in my first twenty weeks that I wanted to document.

You can be totally completely happily miserably pregnant. There are just moments that aren’t fun, but you can endure them while they make you feel physically horrible and still be incredibly happy at the same time.

There are really two kinds of “morning sickness”. There is the kind that has you down for the count for hours/days feeling absolutely miserable constantly. There is also the kind that comes up on you like a ninja at the most unexpected and inconvenient time and then goes away as soon as you empty your stomach…..and it will happen and it will happen RIGHT NOW. Carry bags just in case.

Eat your fiber. Lots and lots of fiber. If you need a little motivation imagine yourself having to go to the ER or Urgent care for an enema (this was VERY close to reality for me a few weeks ago). You may have been very regular before, but the hormones can really cause some disruption. Eat your fiber.

Sometimes you need to call the nurse advice line. I am seriously not the type to complain or seek medical help for things. But your body is going through some crazy shit and Dr. Google will either scare the crap out of you or make you think you are fine when you really should see someone. Call the nurse because you will be very upset with yourself if you don’t and it’s actually a serious issue.

Your doctor may be perfect for you, and not right for someone else. I like my doctor. Our personalities are compatible. She knows her stuff and I trust her. She also isn’t the type to coddle you or chit chat about your day. That is totally okay with me. She gets a lot of flak on some of the local moms groups Facebook pages because of her bedside manner. I get that. She isn’t rainbows and ponies. She is smart, qualified, and I feel she will give me the best care. She is a great doctor for me, but she might not be for someone else. So when I read or hear about other’s experiences I do not hold it against her or let it sway my opinion of her. That being said, if you aren’t comfortable with your doctor, find a new one.

Everyone wants to tell you what is going to happen to you based on their own experience. I spent the first 4 weeks after finding out I was pregnant feeling pretty normal other than being tired. Literally everyone told me I was so lucky because that meant I wasn’t going to have morning sickness since I had made it to around 10 weeks. And then I spent the rest of my first trimester and the beginning of my second feeling crappy almost 100% of the time. Everyone told me it would pass at 12 weeks, then 14 weeks, then 16 weeks……finally at 18 weeks I started to consistently feel good.

When the worst of Morning Sickness has passed, you might still have your moments. I still get that spontaneous need to throw up every now and then even though I feel pretty good most of the time. It may never go away.

One of my friends told me that she felt that when she got pregnant it wouldn’t be hard for her to eat completely healthy because she loves healthy food. I laugh. Hard. I used to eat mostly paleo. I spent the last 4 months unable to eat meat most of the time, which is the staple of paleo. What you crave, or what you can or can’t tolerate may have nothing to do with how you ate before you were pregnant. Honestly my biggest cravings have been iced tea and Asian food. The thought of French fries is appalling to me but I would take mashed potatoes and gravy in a second. Surprisingly I haven’t really wanted a lot of sugary foods, but I have loved fruit. None of it makes sense. Try your best to give your body and your baby(ies) protein and nutrition in any way you can. Give yourself a break if you want a donut.

Everyone’s body reacts differently. I had dinner with a few expectant twin moms a few weeks ago. We are all due within a week of each other. We were all showing completely differently. One woman was very self-conscious about how big she was already while I was feeling self-conscious because everyone kept telling me how skinny I looked. The truth is you have no control over how your body might react to growing babies. All you can do is take care of yourself and please don’t compare your body to anyone else.

People will touch you. Seriously they will just come up to you and put their hands on your belly. I have a feeling I’m only at the beginning of this, and I promise I will never be okay with it. It is so uncomfortable and I do not understand it. My mother-in-law is the worst of them all.

If you want to, you should celebrate the heck out of your pregnancy. Infertility does a number on us. And I seriously understand when people who have gone through infertility or miscarriages are very hesitant to even tell anyone they are pregnant, much less celebrate all the little things. There is always a fear something might go wrong for anyone, and then that feeling like we don’t want to be “too happy” because of all of our friends that are still waiting for their miracle. I am big on the golden rule and I will be honest all of the 4 plus years I was struggling I never had an issue with someone celebrating their pregnancy, especially my friends who struggled to get there in the first place. So if you want to, have the gender reveal, post on Facebook, take a poll to guess the genders….or don’t. Do what makes you happy. I have found myself being way more “public” about things that I could have ever imagined, especially because I am pretty private, but honestly this is the moment I have been waiting for literally for years and I am going to CELEBRATE every minute of it without apology.

Pregnancy is a bag of the unexpected every day. Sometimes it’s amazing and wonderful. Sometimes it’s scary. Sometimes it’s kind of gross. You don’t have to love every minute of it. Be real about it. Laugh about it. Appreciate it. And try to find moments of pure joy in it. I particularly love to look at my belly in the shower. It just makes me feel so happy to see it there. Sometimes it’s still so surreal.

Much love to you all!!! Here is to another happy and healthy 20ish weeks.

17 Week Update

It really feels like time is going so quickly.  Can it really be the last weekend of June already?  Next weekend my dad and brother will be visiting for a week, which I am really excited about.  I took the week off of work and I am hopeful to get quite a bit done around the house and with the nursery.  My morning sickness is still there, but less frequent.  Unfortunately I am experiencing horrific constipation and almost had to go to urgent care!

I finally actually look pregnant which is exciting.  I feel like it basically happened over night.  I was really starting to feel sensitive about everyone telling me how skinny I looked so I am loving it now.

We have also been dealing with some anxiety/jealousy issues with my stepson about the babies.  He is ultimately really excited to be a big brother, but he is also experiencing the normal realization that things are going to change.  We had a few hard weeks before he would tell us what was bothering him, but we are addressing the issues with him now and he is seeing a counselor.  Having a new baby/babies come into any family is stressful on an only child, and its only more complicated by him not being with us all the time.

 

How Far along: 17 Weeks

Total Weight Gain: Finally gaining back some weight. Down only 6 lbs from pre-pregnancy weight

Maternity Clothes: Last week I put on a tank top and it fit perfectly…..this week I put it on and it was way to short! I actually bought a few maternity items over the past few days, but I am still able to wear a lot of my normal clothes, as long as the shirts are long enough.

Movement: Not yet

Stretch marks: No

Sleep: Once I find a comfortable position I sleep well, but I wake up a lot to pee!

Best moments: Finally actually looking like I am pregnant. When I look at my little bump I literally feel overjoyed.

Miss Anything: Not really.

Food Cravings: Asian food and iced tea.

Anything make you feel queasy or sick: Meat has still been hard. Especially beef and chicken. I also often feel sick in the morning.

Showing: Yes!

Gender: We find out on July 16th.

Labor signs: No

Symptoms: Food aversion, constipation (OMG!!), some morning sickness

Belly Button: In

Wedding Rings: On

Mood: Happy. Occasionally moody.

Looking forward to: My dad and brother visiting over the 4th of July week.

Looking Back and Baby Registry

Today I was reminded of 2014. My uncle posted a photo of us on vacation in San Diego. I look terrible. Actually I look pregnant, even though I wasn’t. I look more pregnant in the photo that I do now, at almost 15 weeks. At the time the photo was taken I had already had 3 failed back to back IUIs that year and my grandpa had just passed away a few days prior. I was so bloated and heavy. While we had a great time that week in SoCal, it was exactly a week later that my dad went in to ICU and nearly died. I spent the rest of that summer flying back and forth trying to balance my job and being there for my dad. Finally when things turned around for him and he was back home I went on to have another failed IUI. At the end of 2014 I was in the worst health of my life physically and mentally.

Seeing that picture made me feel so grateful for where I am right now. It also makes me really grateful that I decided to take a year off from the physical and emotional tolls of infertility. I feel proud of all of the changes I made for my health. There was a time during IVF that I thought none of that mattered, that it had all been for nothing. Even if IVF hadn’t worked for us I can tell you just looking at that photo and knowing how I felt then, it was one of the most important things I have never done for myself. I know that weight isn’t everything, but today, 14 ½ weeks pregnant with twins, I weight about 15 lbs less than I did in that photo from 2014. Every product I put on my body is different now. Every product we use around our house is different.  The food we buy is different.

Making changes for your health is important and it makes a difference. Maybe not a difference that you see overnight but that photo was a serious reminder of where I was, and it wasn’t pretty.

 

On to the fun stuff………..

Thank goodness for good friends. Especially friends cut from the same mold that know the value of a good spreadsheet.

Because my friend A moved to the Bay Area last year we had preplanned a date for her to come up and help me navigate BuyBuyBaby to do a registry. My first shower is less than two months away and honestly I wanted to get a handle on what we needed so I could start gradually buying things over the next few months. When there are so many things that we need two of……expensive things……we know that we will be buying a lot ourselves. Spreading that cost over a few months, especially months I am not on maternity leave, is key.

So Sunday morning we met at BuyBuyBaby armed with a spreadsheet of items, brands, and prices, and we started scanning products.

We started in the bottle/feeding section. Let me just say, without A there I would have started crying hysterically at that point just from being so overwhelmed at the choices and we probably would have had to leave. A is a hero. Even with her well researched guidance, and great advice it was still really overwhelming.

The whole process took about three hours. We had to trade in our scanner 3 times because it kept freezing, and the stroller/car seat section was understaffed so we had to wait quite a while for help (the rocker/crib section however was crawling with employees that wouldn’t leave us alone!).  Doing a registry is not a fast process.

When we finished I felt like I had a good list. There were a few things I wanted to research further and a few things I may change when we find out the genders, but all-in-all it was a successful day.

I also registered at Target, which I am still working on, but a word of advice if you plan to register there…..the website is terrible for adding items. There are a ton of things (such as baby carriers and pacifiers) that the website doesn’t let you add to the registry. There is only an “add to cart” button. Finding things online is also a nightmare. If you plan to register there get the Target Registry App on your phone. It is WAY easier and you can actually scan products in the store from your phone onto your registry. You can also search products on the APP and add them that way without the annoying “cart” glitch.

Some baby sections at Target are better than others. The one near my work is terrible and they barely carry any baby stuff. The one near my house is much better. If you plan to register in store I would recommend finding a Target with a good baby section. Target also has a lot of “seasonal” items that are discontinued quickly. I am not just talking about things like swim diapers or snow suits either. I tried registering for a very basic swaddle and the app told me it was being discontinued. Just watch out for that.

I would highly recommend bringing a friend with you to register or at least taking the time to do a lot of research beforehand, otherwise you will be overwhelmed and run out of the store in pregnant hormonal tears.