Sunday, August 31, 2008

32 Weeks 1 Day


Babies:

By now, your baby weighs 3.75 pounds (pick up a large jicama - what is that???) and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in your uterus. You're gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to your baby. In fact, she'll gain a third to half of her birth weight during the next 7 weeks as she fattens up for survival outside the womb. She now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). Her skin is becoming soft and smooth as she plumps up in preparation for birth.

I might stop posting these since my my girls' growth has started to slow down even more. Though it is neat to see what they should be doing.

Me:
To accommodate you and your baby's growing needs, your blood volume has increased 40 to 50 percent since you got pregnant. With your uterus pushing up near your diaphragm and crowding your stomach, the consequences may be shortness of breath and heartburn. To help relieve your discomfort, try sleeping propped up with pillows and eating smaller meals more often.

You may have lower-back pain as your pregnancy advances. If you do, let your caregiver know right away, particularly if you haven't had back pain before, since it can be a sign of preterm labor.

Assuming it's not preterm labor that's ailing you, you can probably blame your growing uterus and hormonal changes for your aching back. Your expanding uterus shifts your center of gravity and stretches out and weakens your abdominal muscles, changing your posture and putting a strain on your back. Hormonal changes in pregnancy loosen your joints and the ligaments that attach your pelvic bones to your spine. This can make you feel less stable and cause pain when you walk, stand, sit for long periods, roll over in bed, get out of a low chair or the tub, bend, or lift things.

HAHAHA - Did I write this?? Because that is a complete description of how I feel. My mom even told my grandma that I'm as "big as a house". Gee, thanks mom!!

And finally, please keep Bryan's family in your prayers. His father is very sick and they are going through a tough time right now.

Friday, August 29, 2008

31 weeks 6 days

Update on babies:

I had two doctor's appointments today. The first was with my regular OB/GYN. They did the standard protein tests, blood sugar, blood pressure and weight check. I've only gained one pound in the past two weeks, which stinks because I've been eating like a mad woman trying to put weight on the girls. I saw the doctor and he listened to the girls on the doppler and measured my fundal height (measuring 37 weeks pregnant). My second appointment was at Maternal Fetal Medicine. I was hooked up for a NST, which both girls did well on. I was also very pleased because I got to talk with Dr. Trofatter. Basically he said he'd love to see me get an extra two weeks in, but he's unsure that I will. My cerclage is still holding (I heard a "pop" two days ago and was so sure that Audrey broke through the stitch), but I am effaced. I pretty much have to go into every appointment with my bags packed, ready to have the girls. I guess we'll have updates on Tuesday!

Update on me:

I'm tired of being pregnant. My body aches, and I can barely walk. Or at least walk without people making fun of my waddle. This waiting game is NOT fun. I am in constant fear of going into labor, I guess because I know the end is near - though I've been in this constant state of fear for 12 weeks now. As much as I want to keep my girls in until 36 weeks, I know that they will do better outside of my body in the NICU. They simply aren't growing enough inside of me, and their placentas aren't working well. They will basically be "feeders and growers" and stay there until they gain enough weight to come home.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pins, needles, and yearbooks

I will be on pins and needles all day tomorrow. For months I've dreamt the girls would be born on 8-28-08. While it would be a really cool birthday, they need to hold off for a few more weeks. Bryan is betting on 9-10-08, because he bought a container of sour cream with that date (he's weird).

And if my dreams DO come true, and they are born tomorrow, then I fully expect to be having triplets (another dream of mine). The third baby will be a boy, and we'll name him Optimus Prime. I really should stop eating before going to bed.

I also want to thank y'all for the support you have given me. I don't know what I would do without my family, friends, and internet buddies. Even with that, I think I've gone somewhat crazy since I've been cooped up for almost three months on bed rest!

And on a happier note, go to www.yearbookyourself.com and upload a picture. Behold the silliness:





Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Not So Great News

I had my growth scan today. Bryan and I were expecting the girls to weigh around 3lbs 5oz each, seeing that they normally gain one pound every three weeks. While both girls passed their biophysical profiles, they are still measuring on the small side. Their growth has tapered off even more. Baby A (Audrey) weighs 2lbs 12oz and Baby B (Natalie) weighs 2lbs 13oz. While the doctor tried to sugar coat the diagnosis (I haven't dealt with her all that much, and she is really nice), I bluntly asked if their placentas are failing and she said yes.

So what does this mean? I'll be watched even more closely than I have been. Right now their only concern is the girls' weights. They are breathing on their own, show enough movement, and the blood flow through the cords looks ok. If ANY of that changes, they will deliver the girls. As it is, I hope to make it to 34 weeks. Chances are, I won't. If the placentas are indeed failing, the girls would be better off in the NICU where they could grow.

I'm sad, my body is failing my babies.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Don't judge

Things I have eaten in the past 48 hours:

An entire jar of cinnamon applesauce
Popcorn & beef jerky
Chips and dip
Three nutty buddy ice cream cones
Two chili dogs w/fries
Steak & baked potato
Two pizza pockets
Four swiss cake rolls
Half a bag of apple slices
Two italian ices
Heath candy bar
Lik-m-aid Fun Dip (not the blue, it is icky)
A slice of pumpkin pie

Don't judge :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

31 Weeks 1 Day


This week, your babies measure over 16 inches long. They weigh about 3.3 pounds each(try carrying eight navel oranges) and are heading into a growth spurt. They can turn their heads from side to side, and their arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath their skin. They are probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because kicks and somersaults keep you up.

Yep, that about sums it up. I've got almost 7 pounds of baby in my belly! I have a hard time breathing, walking, sitting, sleeping - you name it! I am packing my hospital bag today. My doctor has said to bring it to all my appointments from now on, just in case I'm admitted. We are still really hoping to make it to 34 weeks (less than three weeks from now), with the ultimate goal of 36. If I make it to 36 weeks, the girls would likely do almost no time at the hospital and I'd get to spend six glorious weeks with them at home before returning to work. If they come any sooner, I'm so afraid I'll have to go back to work before I get to spend a lot of time with them at home.

Friday, August 22, 2008

30 Weeks 6 Days

Today I had my third doctor's appointment for this week. I hate that it takes me almost 30 minutes to drive to Greenville Memorial each time, especially with gas prices so high.

I had a Biophysical Profile done, and Audrey passed with flying colors. She had good blood flow in her cord, her heart was beating strong, and she was practicing breathing. Her head is tilted so far back (like someone looking at the stars), that the tech couldn't get a good read on the blood flow to her brain. But everything looked great. Natalie's blood flow to her cord and brain were great, her heart was beating strong (no premature atrial contractions noticed this time), but she failed her BPP because the tech could not observe her breathing for a certain length of time. Thus I got strapped to the fetal heart and toco monitors for another 30 minutes. I go in Tuesday for a Growth Scan, where they go in depth and measure all body parts on the girls to get a good estimate of weight. Hopefully they will come up in the percentiles. They've been very low, in the 2nd and 3rd percentile (meaning 97-98% of all babies their age are bigger than them). However, I've stopped taking my Procardia (contraction medication) as an effort to pack some weight on them. Let's all hope it is working!

The girls are so smooshed inside of me, that the pictures I have today aren't that great. In all likelihood, we won't get any other "great" pictures of them until their birthday. I asked the tech if the old wives tale about heartburn and hair held true, so she checked both girls. Both had hair, and she said it looked like a lot of it. No wonder I've been miserable!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Oprah

Didn't you know, twins are in! Look at Jennifer Lopez, Angelina & Brad, Ricky Martin, and so many other celebs who are having twins. Imagine, it must be nice to have all the money in the world for a nanny, premium health care, and huge nurseries full of extravagant items.

But what about us normal twin moms? The Multiples message board that I'm a part of has started a blog for us to write our stories. Our goal is to get on Oprah and show how the "real moms" handle twins, triplets or more. I've already posted my story, and there are many more to come. You should head on over and check it out - Oprah MoMs

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ugh

I got two hours of sleep last night. My insomnia kept me awake until 3:30 reading, and then I finally feel asleep. Around 4:30 I woke to a mouth and nose full of acid reflux (gross, sorry). Stupid heartburn, nothing works anymore. Everytime I laid down the burning came right back. I finally got to sleep after Bryan left for work around 6:00. I slept until 8:00 when I had to get up for my doctor's appointment.

I got round 2 of the steroid shot. This one didn't hurt nearly as much. I'm just totally pooped, though. Bryan rags on me that I don't do anything, but keeping these babies in is a really hard task right now - both physically and emotionally.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

30 Weeks 3 Days

I had another doctor's appointment at Maternal Fetal Medicine today. I was hooked to the heartbeat and contraction monitors for an hour, and everything looked good. I also got my first dose of betamethasone, the steroid shot (ouch!) that helps develop lungs in premature babies. Right now was the prime time for me to get the shot. If I deliver within the next two weeks, it will have helped the girls' lungs to develop. If I deliver after 32 weeks, then chances are their lungs would be developed on their own. If I go into labor before 34 weeks and my waters have not broken, they will try to stop the labor. If my waters do break, then I will have to deliver. And if I get to 36 weeks, then we'll talk about induction. I feel better now that we have a "plan" for the birth of the girls.

Just pray that my contractions stay the same. They are not too awfully bad (still not very comfy). If they get worse, then I'll have to have a terbutaline pump installed, which will give me a constant flow of medication (similar to an insulin pump). I go in tomorrow for part two of the bethamethasone shot, and Friday for a biophysical profile. Next Wednesday we'll do a Growth Scan and I should get new pictures of the bebes :)

And finally, today was the first day back for students. I'm very sad that I missed that first day of bonding with my kiddos. From what I hear, I've got some talkers in my 3rd and 4th periods - uh oh! I know Ms. Day will lay down the law and they'll be angels when I come back.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Any minute now...

Well, maybe not any minute now - but definitely any week now! A typical twin pregnancy ends around 34-36 weeks. Since mine has been so complicated, I'm hoping to hit at least the 34 week mark (though watch some evil twist of fate keep me pregnant until 40 weeks). At 34 weeks, the girls might do two or three weeks in the NICU, which would mean I'd still have time at home with them before my 6 weeks of maternity leave is up. Here is a bare belly pic at 30 weeks. I spent years complaining that I could never find shirts long enough for my torso - and now I'm thankful to have such a long torso. The girls have more than enough room to stretch out, without giving me stretch marks. Also, here are some pictures of the organizing I've been doing since the shower, and the baby mobile (a stroller frame with their car seats snapped in).








Saturday, August 16, 2008

More Baby Shower Pics

I've added the rest of the baby shower pics to Facebook. You can click the link to view, even if you don't have a Facebook account. However, if you work at a school, Facebook might be a blocked website, so try again at home.

CLICK HERE FOR PICTURES!!!

Baby Shower

WOW! Today was SO much fun! I am so happy that I got to spend it with my family and friends. The baby shower took place at the English Country Tea Room, where we had high tea. The food included finger sandwiches, scones, cakes and pasties - along with a small pot of tea per person. I swear I ate at least 10 of the cucumber sandwiches, hehe. I'll post pictures from the baby shower once I get them from my dad. Here are pictures of all of the gifts the girls were given. I can not say thank you enough times for the generosity of people! Now, where to put it all, lol!


Friday, August 15, 2008

Jennifer Needs...

I saw this and thought it was just too much fun not to play along. So, what you do is in Google you type your name and the word needs (ex. Jennifer Needs) and see what the first 10 links say that come up. Then you can post whether you need it or not. Here is my list...

1. Jennifer needs a smack daddy - hahaha, I had to google what that was
2. Jennifer needs to give birth within the next week - this is about JLo, not JFo
3. Jennifer needs a shave - um, let's not go there. Or rather, the belly prohibits going there
4. Jennifer needs your support - I have so much support already, thanks guys!
5. Jennifer needs to lose some weight - hmm, not so much right now, but give me a few weeks.
6. Jennifer needs your votes - that's right folks, I'm running for President!
7. Jennifer needs a mattress - one of those Swedish foam ones would be nice
8. Jennifer needs to liven her ass up - yeah, you try to liven your ass up when you're 30 weeks along with twins
9. Jennifer needs to be alone for a while - I'm alone 80% of the day, which will soon change
10. Jennifer needs to date men her own age - sorry Bryan!

I think most of the "Jennifers" that I googled were Lopez and Anniston, hehe. Go Google your name and post this on YOUR blog!
10.

Doctor's Appointment

I had my third doctor's appointment of the week today. My mom and I went to Maternal Fetal Medicine for a BPP (biophysical profile). Basically they just checked to make sure both girls were breathing, their hearts were beating, and they have fluid around them. Audrey passed with flying colors (even though she was our slower twin) and Natalie passed, with the exception that Dr. Trofatter saw a few premature atrial contractions. Basically, her upper heart chambers were beating twice as fast, causing the lower chambers to skip. He said this was ok because it only happened every now and then, and is nothing we should worry about. Both babies are still on the small side, and we won't know their weights until the Growth Scan on August 27.

My baby shower is tomorrow! So excited for that! And Bryan should be finished with his boat project sometime soon. My dad gave us this boat that literally sat on the bottom of a lake for a while, dubbed the SS Minnow. Bryan was able to get carpet, foam and plywood from work, and bought marine vinyl to recover the seats. The boat looks awesome, and I can't wait until next summer when we'll get to use it!

And finally, fellow blogger Busted had her FET today. She lost her twins (boy and girl) in March at 23 weeks. Let's hope everything goes smoothly for her this time around.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Good/Bad

Good News:
I went into school today. It was so nice seeing people after being cooped up all summer long! I went over my plans with Ms. Day and showed her the very basics of my Promethean Board. I'm faced with a mountain of paperwork for my STD and Maternity Leave, but luckily our secretary is awesome and has handled most of it. I also got to do some "fun" school stuff, too. My sister and her boyfriend went with me to Target and helped me shop for back to school gear for the classroom. They couldn't believe how much stuff a teacher uses in one year! I got pencils, glue, markers, kleenex, paper, notebooks, staplers, supplies for unprepared kids, etc. I'm such a dork, but I LOVE organizing all of these little items and getting ready for the school year. I'll swing by tomorrow or Friday and give them to Ms. Day.

Also, my mom rescheduled the baby shower for this weekend. I'm so thrilled! I remember sitting in the hospital crying on June 28 (original shower date) because I had been looking forward to seeing my friends and family. I'm just so glad my doctor said it was OK for me to have it.

Bad News:
Our neighbor informed us that today around 11:00am, a red pick up truck stopped in front of our house, and two men got out and stole our lawn mower. The neighbor was nice enough to offer the use of his lawn mower until ours gets replaced. Bryan phoned in a police report, but knowing the type of people who took it (they live in the not-so-nice area down the street from us) - we don't want any retaliation over a lawn mower. Also, Bryan's dad is having to go back to Charleston tomorrow for some more tests at MUSC. Keep him in your prayers. When it rains, it pours!

Sad

It is 12:25 and I can't go to sleep. I keep thinking about tomorrow being the first day back at school. It is my favorite time of the year - getting my classroom ready, seeing everyone after a nice, refreshing summer break, catching up with gossip, having faculty breakfasts and lunches, etc. The best part is taking my class rosters to the 7th grade teachers and getting the run down on their former students, haha. But I'm missing out on all of this. Instead, I'll be going in for a short while to get Ms. Day ready for subbing. All of my plans are ready, I just want to run through them with her. My classroom will be empty and the walls bare. I won't get to coach Mock Trial this year, and I won't get to decorate for Halloween (see the awesome pics below). Bryan thinks I'm totally crazy and wants to trade places with me. I, however, think he would go nuts laying in bed all day long. And I've been doing this for almost 12 weeks now, and several more to go. But it will ALL be worth it to have two healthy baby girls!!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Doctor's Appointment

This week starts my two (sometimes three) doctor's appointments per week. I went in for an NST (hook each baby up to a heart monitor, and me to a toco to measure contractions). Baby A didn't do as well as they would like, so I have a BPP (quickie ultrasound) and NST again on Friday. Then I'll go every Tues/Fri for an NST until birth, and every three weeks for a growth scan ultrasound. Whew!!!

Some things I talked with my regular OB yesterday:
*The babies are still measuring small. If they continue to drop in percentile, we might deliver them. This could be due to issues with their cords, or with the medication that I've been on since 20 weeks. Either way, if they are growth restricted, the best cure is to deliver them and let them grow in the NICU.
*I will probably get the steroid shots to help with lung development next week.
*I will most likely get my natrual birth (yay!) instead of a c-section.
*I have only gained 12 pounds this whole pregnancy and have no stretch marks (this is my gift from God for the rough pregnancy cards I've been dealt). And you better believe I just knocked on some wood.

Oh, and our a/c is fixed. It only cost $370 and was done by 11:00 this morning. Thank goodness! We (Bryan, the kitties and I) slept at my parents' house last night because it was a whopping 93 degrees in our house at 11:00 pm!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ugh

You know, I try not to complain about all my pregnancy symptoms because I feel so fortunate to still be pregnant. I have back aches, my hands and feet are swollen and throb, I have heart burn from hades, and I waddle when I walk. But that is fine, I can deal with that. What I can NOT deal with is NOT HAVING AIR CONDITIONING in the middle of the hottest month in one of the hottest states! And on top of that, our neighbor just informed us that the contractor who built our houses is being sued out the wazoo for faulty foundation. Upon further inspection (and Bryan pulling up some carpet), we've found massive 1/2" cracks that run the whole length of the house. Now we know how the hordes of fire ants have gotten in our house. GREAT.....

Saturday, August 9, 2008

29 Weeks!

Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain. To meet his increasing nutritional demands, you'll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron. And because his bones are soaking up lots of calcium, be sure to drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby's hardening skeleton each day.

AND you may be asking yourself "why is Jennifer updating her blog at 2:11 in the morning?". The answer would be Bryan and the neighbor are using power tools, yes loud power tools, in the driveway right in front of my window. I'm all for productivity - DURING THE DAY. The girls aren't happy and are wide awake and kicking, and I've got heartburn that makes me question whether I ate a sandwich or jar of acid for dinner.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Too bad Bryan doesn't read my blog!

CLASSES FOR MEN AT OUR ADULT LEARNING CENTER


NOTE: Due to the complexity and difficulty level of their contents, each course will accept a maximum of eight participants. Topics to be discussed:

How to fill ice-cube trays, step-by-step, with slide presentation

The toilet paper roll---do they grow on the holders? Round-table discussion

Is it possible to urinate using the technique of lifting the seat and avoiding the floor/walls and nearby bathtub? Group practice.

Fundamental differences between the laundry hamper and the floor. Pictures and explanatory graphics.

The after-dinner dishes and silverware---do they levitate and fly into the kitchen sink? Examples on video.

Learning how to find things, starting with looking in the right place instead of turning the house upside-down while screaming. Open forum.

Health watch---bringing her flowers is not harmful to your health. Graphics and audio tape.

Learning to live---basic differences between mother and wife. Online class.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

28 Weeks 4 Days

We had another growth scan today and everything is going smoothly! My cervix is closed (still thin, but the cerclage is doing its job). I will now be going to Maternal Fetal Medicine every week for a Non-Stress Test (NST) - where they put both babies on a heart monitor for about 30 minutes to an hour. I will also continue with the growth ultrasounds every two or three weeks. Also, my regular OB said there is a really great chance for a normal delivery with the girls. Though my biggest fear is to deliver one, and then have a c-section for the other. Yikes! Anyway, here are the weights for the girls:

Audrey: 2 lbs 6 oz
Natalie: 2 lbs 4 oz

Which means the girls have gained almost a full pound in three weeks!! Natalie didn't want to take pictures today, so here is her with her face (on the left) burried in her placenta:

And here is Audrey hamming it up for the camera. Look at those lips! Her nose is smushed against the membrane separating them, and she has her hands near her face. We even caught her cracking a huge smile:



And here is a pic of me at 28 weeks, 4 days!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Etsy Store Now Open!!

My Etsy store is now open! I have listed the four dresses I've completed, and the fabrics that I have to custom make dresses. Please check it out (and give me something to cure my bedrest boredom with!). Click on pic...

How I Spent My Weekend

First, Bryan cleaned out the girls' closet so I could hang up their clothes, and take the Pack n Play and Car Seats out of their boxes. I hung sleepers/rompers/onesies/shirts/skirts from Preemie in the front, to 12 Months in the back. Then in the middle, I hung all their pretty dresses. Can you spot Otis in one of these pictures?




Then, I found some great baskets at Michaels, ranging from $2.99-$6.00. I used these to organize the drawers of the changing table.


My mom bought a frame set depicting nursery rhymes, but it didn't really go with the room. So I used some scrapbook paper and had craft time. When the girls come, I'll add a pic of each into the smaller frames, and our family pic in the larger.

And because I can't pass up good finds, look at the adorable clothes I got at Target for $12.04!! Yes, most of these items cost less than $1 each!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

28 Weeks!


By this week, your baby weighs two and a quarter pounds (like a Chinese cabbage) and measures 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels. She can blink her eyes, which now sport lashes. With her eyesight developing, she may be able to see the light that filters in through your womb. She's also developing billions of neurons in her brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

Friday, August 1, 2008

My Etsy Store!!

Who says you can't be productive during bedrest?? I've set up an Etsy store for dresses that I've been sewing. It isn't much right now, but hopefully I'll have everything set up and ready to go this weekend. Click on the pic to check it out!

Here are some of the dresses I made today (yes, in one day). I have TONS of fabric and will work on dresses all weekend. Once I get really good pics of them, I'll list everything on Etsy for purchasing.



 
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