Friday, February 27, 2009

Baby Bonding Is For The Birds

I keep hearing--and reading, I will begin to bond with my babies while they are in the womb.  Some people say the bonding occurs when you hear their first heartbeats (not really), see them move on an ultrasound (felt too surreal) or begin to feel them kicking (okay, a little).  

I've been racking my brain trying to figure out why I'm not all gushy over these little munchkins.  For a while I thought it might be because I'm having twins.  I'm not always sure which tyke is kicking me.  Plus, if all this psycho babble about a mind/body link between pregnant mommy and babies is true, I don't want to subconsciously give more attention to one than the other (there's plenty of time to deal with that jealousy once their born).

Then, suddenly yesterday, I had a real bona fide baby bonding moment!  It wasn't a kick, or an ultrasound or a heartbeat.  No, it was a visit to the promised land for some retail therapy.   I stopped by Babies R Us to update/add to our registry (Dave was surprised we had one).  I decided to scan some baby clothing and surprised myself when I started getting really excited about dressing our future living, breathing baby dolls in cute summer dresses, onesies and cuddly little pajamas (the ones with feet totally rock).

I'm sure this unexpected euphoria was partially fueled by using the special 'expectant moms only' parking spot for the first time.  I felt so special I couldn't stop myself from taking a picture of the sacred moment.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Little Miss Spoiled Rotten

Earlier this week the realtor rearranged our living room furniture.  Previously we had a chaise lounge (aka Lavender's dog bed, formerly known as my reading chair) sitting by the front window.  Lavender likes to spend her days/nights, perched atop said seat, guarding our front property by barking at feral cats, squirrels, strangers, leaves blowing on the lawn, really anything that disturbs her (we've yet to find a logical pattern).

The chaise lounge is no longer by the front window, but against a wall devoid of any view (as shown in the above picture . . . clearly this borders on animal cruelty in Lavender's mind).  In its former place is our lovely (no dogs allowed) leather sofa.  

Unfortunately, our realtor failed to consult Lavender about the new seating arrangement.  I've now spent the majority of the week playing a game called 'No. Off.'  with the big sweetie.  I am determined to win this battle of wills (regardless of how adorably comfortable she looks when caught red-handed).

PS:  I am fully aware that my husband will assume this post is about me based solely on the title.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

20 Weeks Update

We've made it to the halfway point!  My belly is getting bigger, but then so is everything else.  I do feel kicking, mainly at night right before bed.  Dave can't feel the kicks yet (not for trying).  

Here's a picture with a silly 'twins' tank top I couldn't resist buying a few months ago.  I showed the tank to Dave when I got it and for some reason it confused him.  He thought it was referencing a different set of twins (thanks sweetie, for thinking of them too).  

This is a big week for Clan Donovan.  We officially put our house on the dismal housing market this Thursday.  It will be our first time selling a house and we're going to need a bit of pixie dust, magic fairy wings (sorry PETA), and some Hummer-sized luck to get this house sold at a fair price.

Wish us luck!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Swedish Invasion

If you felt inexplicably happier and more hopeful late last week it's probably because IKEA opened a new store here in the US.  Last Wednesday Charlotte became the proud owner of a brand new shiny IKEA (opened just in time for me to move four hours away from it).  The local news reported people camping out in front of the store three days before its big grand opening (I have no idea why).  

Tonight we finally decided to brave the madness and fill up on some Swedish meatballs and cheap Euro-style furniture.  The meatballs were yummy.  The furniture was cute (too bad we don't need any of it at the moment).  Apparently we weren't the only pregnant couple scouting out the new IKEA.  I counted approximately six or seven bulging bellies as we wandered the store.  

Oh Charlotte, you make it difficult to say goodbye.  Unless global warming puts the Atlantic Ocean within 10 miles of your fair city in the next 30 days, I must confess a simple IKEA will not keep me from the coastal lifestyle that awaits in historical (and yet unvisited by yours truly) Wilmington, NC.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

To Have Amniocentesis Or Not To Have Amniocentesis

That is the question (for today at least).  Tomorrow it will probably be what's for dinner?  What to wear?  Do I look fat?  Why am I tired?  Where did I put my imaginary housekeeper?

Yesterday we got the results back from our pre-screening tests.  These tests took blood work from my arm during the 1st and 2nd trimester.  They looked at certain proteins and hormones in my blood to determine the risk factors for the babies having chromosomal disorders like Downs Syndrome.

Our 1st trimester results showed we had a 1:1900 chance of chromosomal defects.  The 2nd trimester results showed a 1:375 chance, roughly meaning our risk increased.  However, a 1:375 is the standard risk factor for someone my age and the ratio assigned to all pregnant women before pre-screening blood tests were available.

If we wanted to find out for certain whether Wiz or Nug had a defect we'd have to do a procedure called amniocentesis.  This procedure involves inserting a thin needle into my belly and drawing out amniotic fluid from each baby's amniotic sac.  An ultrasound device is used to help guide the needle and make sure the babies are not punctured in the process.  While the amniocentesis procedure is considered relatively safe, it does have risk factors associated with it, the primary risk being miscarriage.  

We've decided not to do an amniocentesis (folks, we didn't spend roughly $15,000 to risk a miscarriage or contemplate an abortion if the results were positive).  A risk ratio of 1:375 roughly translates to a 99.75% chance our babies will be born healthy.  We can sleep soundly with those numbers.  Plus, our doctor did mention that a double amniocentesis (due to carrying twins) is a more difficult procedure with increased risks.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

19 Weeks Update

Just got back from the big anatomy scan appointment.  It is now official, we are having a boy and a girl!  Everything looks good so far, I do have to return in a few weeks to rescan Nugget's heart, she wasn't being very cooperative today.  They like to view the heart from 3 - 4 different angles and could only get one angle today because Nug wouldn't turn over for the camera.

We also found out they are sitting on top of each other instead of side by side.  Wiz is at the bottom of my belly towards the right and Nug is resting on top of him towards the left.  So apparently those gassy/fluttery feelings are in fact my babies, as oppose to a bizarre restructuring of my intestines.

Here's some pictures from the ultrasound (they still only look like gray and white blobs to me, and I'm their mother):

Nug's bottom and back of legs (the 3 white lines are her girl parts)

Wiz's bottom and back of legs (arrow pointing to wiener)

Head shot of both babies

Monday, February 16, 2009

Total Recall

Apparently peanut butter products are not the only things getting recalled in my little world.  Went to the pharmacy to pick up my prenatal vitamin prescription only to find there was a voluntary recall on the vitamins my doctor prescribed.  I'm not too worried (only took them for a month), previously I took some general prenatal off the grocery shelf.  

In an attempt to find out just why my vitamins were recalled (making sure Wiz and Nug end up with the right amount of body parts in the correct places, etc.) I did a Google search (the official 8th wonder of the world).  My search cranked a page worth of online message board comments (come one Google, don't fail me now).  Finally, I found a press release that confirmed the recall as voluntary but gave no further explanation.  Looks like the world may never know why PrimaCare One was recalled.  There's no love loss on my end, they were pretty expensive even with a co-pay.  

In other news, if you've been bored enough to watch our fertility calendar regularly, then you've noticed the anatomy scan date keeps changing.  Finally, we are confirmed to do the scan tomorrow morning!  Can't wait.  Will have wonderful pictures to share!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

18 Weeks Update

Per the website,, Wiz and Nug are each approximately the size of a bell pepper.  I, however, am the size of a watermelon (this does not bode well for future weeks).  When the babies are the size of watermelons will I be the size of a spare tire?

In other pregnancy related news.  I'm starting to experience the persistent heartburn syndrome.  Apparently my digestive system is slowing down to grab as many nutrients as possible from the foods I eat. This causes a back-up in my stomach which can lead to acid reflux.  It makes restful sleep difficult at night, since sleeping in a semi-seated position puts a ton of pressure on the hips.  I've also been dealing with pregnancy-induced sinus issues.  A condition the pregnancy books say only improve after the babies are born (Yea! pregnancy books, thanks for the encouraging words).  

On the bright side, I seem to be having a relatively healthy pregnancy and really can't complain about a few minor discomforts.  I go in next week for the big anatomy ultrasound (finally).  Since I can't feel them kicking yet I'd at least like to see them dancing around on some LCD monitor for a few minutes (I completely understand why Tom Cruise bought his own ultrasound machine, it is rather addicting).

Apologies for the lapse in posts.  Dave and I flew to Albany, NY last week for a small family emergency.  My father-in-law was hospitalized unexpectedly, however he's now recovering and should be better in a few weeks (I've had my fill of hospitals this month).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

17 Weeks Update

For some crazy reason last week I wondered if I was still pregnant.  I wasn't growing much, my belly felt smaller and I wasn't sure if the thumps I felt were the babies or my innards.  Needless to say after taking this photo last night, I'm pretty confident I'm still pregnant . . . with twins.

We have the big anatomy scan on February 18th, just two more weeks to wait.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Investment Opportunity

Dear CMC Hospital:

I had the unfortunate pleasure of spending my Friday in one of your surgical family waiting rooms.  Might I recommend investing in a VIP/Concierge center modeled after airport frequent flyer lounges.  You could charge a hefty daily fee to enter the lounge, offer free snacks and beverages, better seating, more personal space, etc. 

I would gladly pay this fee.  Having a VIP waiting room might deter certain people such as:
  • the large family that smelled of stale smoke causing the entire room to smell of said smoke.
  • having to hear conversations like "when are they gonna asassinate him already?" or "the doctor said it was smoking related, but that just doesn't make any sense to me at all."
  • avoiding the loud woman who happily told everyone she gave advice to "if I can hear a conversation I consider myself a part of it."  
If built correctly, this new space could become an additional revenue stream.  Thank you in advance for your time.

All the best,

Emily S. Donovan

Dave had minor out patient surgery on Friday.  It was successful and he's healing really well.  It was a long, long day.  The best part was talking to him after coming off the anesthesia (he doesn't remember anything).  He smiled real big and reached right for my belly telling the nurse 'there's two in there!'