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Archive for January, 2011

34 weeks! Hooray!

I don’t know if there’s anything scientific about this, but I have heard of babies born as early as 34 weeks needing no NICU time. So in my head it was a BIG goal. I still am not ready for them to be born and would like them to bake for AT LEAST another two weeks, but I’m starting to finally feel more comfortable about making it to term. (I knocked wood after typing that.) After our short stint in the NICU with O (which was enough to convince me that the NICU is traumatic as hell), I’ve been pretty paranoid about the increased chances of a NICU stay that twins bring. I’m so happy that every day brings us closer to not having to worry about that, at least for prematurity.

That said, we are not QUITE ready to bring home babies, so I didn’t make my own deadline. We have a lot of clothes and cloth diapers washed, but they’re in hampers in the nursery. We have a double pack and play in our room, but it’s not set up, and I’m not even sure if we have sheets for it (there may be some in there already as a friend passed it on.) We have cribs set up, but the beds aren’t made. That kind of thing.

This weekend was a big step towards finishing the nursery, though! I wanted to use bright primary colors in the nursery because O’s was totally white (we were going to be selling our townhouse when he was 6 months old, so there was no point in painting.) I have 3 of these story people prints that I LOVE and used in O’s nursery. He agreed to let the babies have them (if we exchange them for some Umi Zoomi, Toy Story prints and a picture of him. Way to raise a narcissist!) Here’s one:

storypeople

So drawing on the colors from there, I found a bright aqua colors for a wall, and there’s this cool swirly tree wall sticky that I love. The sticky was $90, though, and I wanted it in a corner, so a good friend of mine volunteered to paint it. Didn’t she do an awesome job? I’m so thankful that I at least befriend people with talent as I have none of my own!

tree

So hopefully in the next few days I can do 30 minutes of work here and there in the nursery and finish it up. (30 minutes is my limit these days before I have to collapse from belly pain. Blech.) I’ll update with final pictures of the whole thing!

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We have a vertex baby!!

Unfortunately, it’s baby B! (The baby who will come out second. The one who can stay breech.) Way to mess with my heads, babies!

[Baby A is always the baby closest to my cervix–ie the baby who will come out first. In my case, it’s the baby on the left side of my body. Baby A needs to be vertex because his head will pave the way for an easy delivery of Baby B. Baby B they can just pull out by his feet–a breech extraction–if they need to.]

The good news is, it means there IS still room to turn in there, and with baby B’s head out of the way, baby A might have room to turn.

The bad news is, baby A is in kind of an L position with head up under my left ribs, butt in my cervix and feet at my right hips. He’s going to have to get into a better pike position to make a full turn. Get on that, baby. On with the inversions!

They both look good, with Baby A measuring in the 51st percentile (about 5lbs1oz) and Baby B in the 31st percentile (4lbs4oz.) I asked about the size difference, but because they have separate placentas (ie individual blood supply) nobody is worried about the discrepancy. They’re just genetically different sizes.

Oh, and I’ve never been so thankful for a somewhat low blood pressure as today. The swelling in my legs has been making me nervous, but my BP has stayed a nice low 90/60. That’s low even for me. (I’m usually closer to 105/70, but I’ll take it!)

My 33w belly is measuring 43 weeks. Egads. I can feel my fundus (top of my uterus) right below my sternum.

I go back in a week for a non-stress test with the midwives, who I see weekly from here on out. Then I meet with the OB on Valentine’s Day, and I have one more appointment with the MFM a month from now.

We brought O with us to the appointments today because he keeps asking about them and seemed concerned that I was going to the doctor’s so much. I guess it put his mind at ease because all he wanted to do was play Angry Birds the whole time. The only time he was interested was when they did the heartbeats on the doppler and the ultrasound.

I asked the midwife about my inability to pee in the middle of the night. I wake up DYING to go, get to the toilet, am DYING to go…and 10 minutes later I still can’t go. It’s excruciating. She says it’s from the babies squishing my bladder.

Ok, but I still CAN’T PEE.

If you hear of a woman on the news who dies because her kidneys actually explode, you’ll know why. I never thought a catheter would sound like a dream come true.

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Dear contractions,

Go away. If you’re not going to do anything (and I hope you don’t), just leave me alone! You’re annoying, uncomfortable, and increasingly painful. Enough!

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Uhhhhh, ok….

Me:
“Ok, here’s what I want to do.

First, snuggie my belly (we use a snuggie as a rebozo to sift my belly, so we have verbed “snuggie” and B does it to me when he jiggles my belly while I’m on all 4s.)

Then, I will do an inversion off the couch.

This is where it gets tricky. I need you to light the moxa, put it on my toes and then hang around in case I, you know, set the house on fire.”

Ben:
“uhhhhh, ok…”

God bless my husband for not divorcing my crazy ass years ago.

inversion

and in case you’re wondering, yes, they’re still kicking me in the cervix and bouncing their breech heads off my ribs.

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Thanks Cheri, for the laugh!

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I was thinking that everything I was asking for in my last post was going to be a bit of a battle and that I’d be lucky to walk away with half of it. For that reason, I figured I should look at it like buying a car, aim high and negotiate down.

So I went into my appointment today to talk to them about a c-section birth plan and to see if my list of requests were possible.

She didn’t bat an eye at any of them. (Probably me SOBBING my way through them softened her up some. I started crying somewhat hysterically when I said “I want to talk about c-sections.”)

I talked to her about dropping the drape, delivering them to my chest (even showed her the picture in the post below on my phone and her big concern was tracking down elbow length sterile drugs), holding off on baths, etc. She was totally fine with all of it. She was pretty sure the OB they work with would be totally fine with all of it and that she could convince the nursery. She said the anesthesiologist is probably going to be the biggest issue but that she’d work on that too.

So once again, my midwives are fighting my battles for me. WHEW!

I feel a lot better about it.

In other news, we made many necessary but expensive purchases this week.

Sadly, we’re having to sell our adorable sporty red Mazda 3 hatchback because we can’t fit 3 carseats in it.

Before:
mazda

So no more zoom zoom, but if you’re interested, we just posted it on craigslist. I’d be happy to send you the link.

It has been replaced by this behemoth, and the size of it takes some adjustment. So if you see me on the roads, steer clear.

After:
minivan

But, the good news is, the behemoth fits the new LazyBoy with ease.

lazyboy

My ribs hurt all the time, and it will be nice to sleep in this if need be at the end. I have a feeling I’ll spend some time sleeping in it after the babies arrive too. We got the cheapest glider known to K-mart when O was born that was NOT comfortable, and I really wished at the time that we had gotten something a little more sleep friendly.

Yes, I’m liking red these days. 🙂

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I always assume that doctors (or midwives) see me coming and think, “ugh! MORE questions?!?!” For instance, the OB who did the external version when I was pregnant with O and I got into a bit of an argument when she wanted to induce me (because of my PUPPS) with cytotec. I refused because of the elevated risk of amniotic fluid embolism. I guess because I was speaking in medical jargon, she assumed I was a nurse or something and asked what I do. Joke’s on her! I teach history and READ and RESEARCH stuff that’s important to my health!

Wait until they get a load of this: Me in full on crunch mode.

As I mentioned in my last post, I have a pretty primal need to see my babies come out of me. I guess I’m a person who has to see it to believe it. I also really need them to feel loved and secure in their first moments of life.

To deal with this, I’ve started working on a “c-section birth plan.” I got the idea from here, which two friends sent to me independently. How they knew it would be the one thing to keep me sane about the whole idea, I don’t know. As the blogger above admits, it’s hard to imagine having a c-section because it goes against your self-affirmations, but when you’re faced with the very real possibility, it’s probably good to start thinking about it.

Below is a pretty good description of my mindset for O’s birth (probably not smart since for much of my pregnancy, including some scary hours the day he was born, it looked like a c-section was likely)

But I confess to you all now, right here in virtual public, that I skipped right over everything that had to to with cesareans. I covered my ears and sang “Mary had a little lamb . . . (at home in her birth pooooool)”.

So I’ve decided this picture of a woman helping to deliver her baby to her chest via c-section is basically my ideal, and I’ll see how willing people are to work on it with me.
c-section

At the least, I would like them to drop the drape when they’re delivered and have the babies skin to skin on my chest in the OR, even if that means my Mom and Husband (or nurse, or whoever) has to hold them there for me.

I also want to avoid any kind of sedation because I want to be alert and awake when they’re born and in recovery.

If they HAVE to be taken to the nursery for something before I get them in recovery, I want them to be messed with as little as possible. (Obviously this all changes if they’re early and whisked away for medical reason. I’m ok with that and will just send my husband and Mom with them.) No bath. No eye goop. No major medical stuff until I can get them skin to skin in recovery and try to nurse.

We missed the alert window of opportunity with O because I couldn’t nurse laying down while they did some complicated stitching. He got lethargic and stayed that way for a week, making his jaundice and polycythemia (too many red blood cells) worse, and resulting in a NICU stay. A lot of my requests come from a desire to have these babies nursing early and often to avoid those medical problems (which they are at an even higher risk for than O was.)

There are some other things I want to ask for, but I think those are the big ones.

In the meantime, a few belly shots from 32w0d.

32w0d

32wsid

And one uncovered from the front because I think it’s getting impressively big. So far I think those are all old stretchmarks.
32wfrontbare

People are starting to say things like “oh, you must be due any day now!” I like watching their reactions when I say “nope, not until March!” I don’t have any problem with how I look at the moment. I’ll save that panic for a few months post partum. Now being able to move a little easier will be a welcome thing (I’m sure B is getting tired of hearing me grunt, groan, and pant every time I roll over in bed), but for now I’m just glad these babies are inside growing.

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