Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Are We Ready For Babies?

Last Saturday my dear girlfriends, Amanda and Sarah, co-hosted a 'couples' baby shower for Dave and I (great excuse to serve alcohol).  We opted to have the shower in Myrtle Beach mainly because at the time of planning Dave and I had no idea what city we'd be living in.  

I'm amazed we actually had a shower at all.  For a time it seemed invisible forces were conspiring against us.  What with rare spinal cord infections, potential business trips the day of the shower and wild fires garnering national media attention in Myrtle Beach Dave and I were beginning to think we should just hold a Skype party a la Oprah style.

But in the end it all worked out wonderfully.  And, considering not a single person on the guest list actually lived in Myrtle Beach we felt really blessed so many people could attend.  

We ended up with some amazing gift items for the babies!  I must say, receiving two of everything was a mini reality check that we are, in fact, having twins.  The shower was an amazing start for us, we still have a few more items to get (like a house).

Many friends and family who couldn't make the shower asked what we still need.  So I'll share a copy of the list Dave and I created to guide us in these last few weeks of shopping (both registries reflect these needs).  As first time parents, are we on the right track or have we missed something pretty crucial?

changing table, pad and 2 pad covers
2 crib mattresses
2 infant car seats
6 crib sheets
baby girl onesies and 0 - 3 outfits
receiving blankets
bath tub
towels & wash cloths

Again, many thanks to Amanda and Sarah for throwing an amazingly elegant and absolutely fabulous shower.  

28 Weeks Update

I met with the Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist (i.e. high risk doctor) on Wednesday.  The visit was okay (imagine Chicken Little in a white lab coat).  Here's a run down of the visit:
  • spent 45 mins. having an anatomy ultrasound.  The babies didn't care for the ultrasound either, they kept kicking at the nurse.
  • had a preterm labor test used to check for a certain hormone present as early as two weeks before labor starts.  My results were negative.  In other words, I didn't have the hormone so we're 98% certain I won't go into labor over the next two weeks.  I'll have to repeat this test every two weeks from here on out.
  • Met with Dr. Chicken Little who thinks I'm going to be preterm and certain I've a 'touch' of gestational diabetes.
Concerning the gestational diabetes, I retook the test last Friday.  I failed the first test by 4 points, so maybe the grape jelly biscuit, bowl of cereal and glass of high fructose orange juice (all consumed before the test) might have sent me over the edge.  No news is good news in this case.  I'll only get a phone call from the doctor's office if I failed the test again.

As for the preterm labor prediction (didn't need a medical degree to know a twin pregnancy is a good candidate for preterm labor), Dr. Chicken Little said my cervix was closed but on the low side which (surprise!) worried her.  Additionally, I have a higher than normal amount of amniotic fluid surrounding each baby which could either be a symptom of gestational diabetes or preterm labor.  

Ultimately folks, I'm sure this is all good information and in fairness to Dr. Chicken Little she is only doing her job.  However, I feel there is a fine line between being cautious and being fearful.  I'm open to doing things that will not put the babies at risk.  For example, from now until the babies are born Dave has agreed I'm 'always right' on every subject from home buying decisions  to weather predictions (he's a keeper).  I will not, however, spend the rest of this pregnancy in fear of preterm labor or gestational diabetes.  Somehow that route seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy.  

Tomorrow, I meet with my ob/gyn for another routine check up.  We'll see where my iron levels are, I've been eating more red meat and green leafy things.  However, at this stage in the game, being anemic is pretty standard from what I've researched.

In other news, we had our baby shower last Saturday.  It was fantastic and I loved every minute of it.  There will be more on that in another post.  Also, we found a house!  The offer was accepted, we had the home inspection yesterday and hope to close by the end of May!  Who knows, I just might get my imaginary nursery before the babies come!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Biggest Poop Of Your Life

Last night was Week 2 of our birthing class.  This session focused on how to tell you are going into labor, the stages of labor and ways to make labor more manageable.  Ultimately, it seems  active labor feels like taking a huge poop.  We discussed this topic at length last night.

I found that portion of the class rather amusing after spending the weekend with my girl, Shannon.  Here's a portion of our conversation (paraphrased for convenience):

ME:  I wonder if birthing on one of those bottomless seat things would constantly remind me of my labor every time I went to the bathroom?

SHANNON:  I know someone who actually gave birth on a toilet.  She had appendicitis while pregnant and needed emergency surgery.  You know after surgery the nurse makes you go pee and checks your fluid level.  Well, this woman went to use the bathroom and thought she had really bad indigestion.  After she finished using the bathroom, she called the nurse to come and check her 'fluids'.  The nurse found the baby in the toilet.  The woman had no idea she had given birth, she just thought the pain was from her surgery.

ME:  OMG!  How was the baby?

SHANNON:  Oh, the baby was fine.  However, because it was very premature it has some developmental issues.

Poor Miss Appendicitis is not the only one whose given birth unwittingly on a toilet.  I got a funny phone call from Shannon yesterday.  She stumbled upon the TLC show 'I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant'.  Of course after our weekend of toilet-labor talk she felt obligated to watch this show on my behalf (very loyal friend, indeed).  Turns out over half the women on this show gave birth in a toilet thinking they had really bad indigestion.

In other news, Dave and I have a busy weekend ahead of us.  We're heading down to Myrtle Beach for THE baby shower!!  But first, I have to go retake my glucose test (failed it).  Later today I meet with the Medical Fetal Specialist for first check up.  This doctor will perform an ultrasound and check my body to see how the twin pregnancy is progressing.  Based on her findings I'll get marching orders on acceptable activity levels (yes/no to dog walks, long/short distance travel with/without an escort, etc.).

Monday, April 20, 2009

27 Weeks Update

Last week was all about the babies!  I had three doctor's appointments and attended our first birthing class.  First doctor's visit was with the new patient nurse who loaded me up on free books, pamphlets and coupons.  Second visit was with the actual doctor and my final visit was a glucose screening to test for gestational diabetes.

The word 'thorough' would adequately describe the first visit . . . oh, and 'overbearing'.  The nurse lectured me on not having anyone in town to lend support through the last trimester (yes, I hadn't realized I just moved to a new city where the only person I know is my Realtor).  Fear not folks, I think my Mom is going to come stay at the beginning of June.  

Second lecture topic focused on my nutritional habits which should include a thousand times more protein than I've been eating.  By this point I didn't bother mentioning my current state of transition (i.e. moving) it seemed redundant.  For those of you mildly concerned, I did go out and buy some eggs, nuts, yogurts and other various forms of snackable proteins.  Plus, I'm eating a lot of chicken, seafood once a week and had a yummy steak omelet on Saturday.

Next visit was with one of the seven doctor's working at the practice.  I'll start seeing a new doctor every two weeks.  The first doctor was a woman who had twins herself last year.  It was great talking to her.  She agreed with my doctor in Charlotte about taking a daily double dose of Zantac for my acid reflux.  I started that last week.  I'm now able to sleep in a more natural recline which is putting less pressure on my hips at night.  

As for the hip pain at night, she told me I didn't really need to sleep on my hips if it was too uncomfortable.  Instead, I could wedge a pillow under one side of my back and sleep at a slight angle.  Apparently this still gives the babies their preferred incline and increase of blood flow.  

I tried this for a few nights and it was wonderful.  However, I started developing swelling in my calves and ankles.  Folks, leg swelling is not a pretty thing, it also makes walking painful.  My doctor friend, Kammer, suggested I go back to hip sleeping and try to sit on my side during the day.  He reasons the swelling could be related to lack of oxygen and blood flow because of increased pressure on the major veins feeding into/away from the lower half of my body.  So, back to hip sleeping and side-angle sitting.  No more swelling, but the hip pain is back.  I highly recommend hip pain to leg swelling, it is more manageable.    

Also, my iron levels were borderline.  They prefer a reading of 10 and I was 9.9.  My doctor told me I could go on iron supplements if I wanted but she's not concerned about my levels at the moment.  She did mention the supplements cause constipation.  I begged her to give me two weeks to get more iron in my diet (I know for a fact I haven't been eating enough red meat and green leafy things).  

Third visit was to the lab for the glucose screening.  This is done between 26 - 28 weeks to check for gestational diabetes (pretty sure I failed this test).  Apparently you are not suppose to drink a glass of orange juice or eat a biscuit with grape jelly before the test.  All of which I did before drinking the lab provided 8 oz of sugar syrup and waiting an hour before getting blood drawn.  

In my defense, first pregnancies should be a clear indication of 'cluelessness'.  Therefore writing an obscure note at the bottom of my appointment receipt stating 'eggs and possibly one piece of toast for breakfast' and verbally telling me to have a 'light breakfast' should be deemed too vague for this obviously 'clueless' pregnant chick.

The last baby related adventure experienced was the birthing class.  Dave and I loved this!  Our class has four other couples and the doula/instructor is pretty cool.  There's one other twin pregnancy in our group (two boys for her).  

We were given a brief history of modern birthing and then talked extensively about what to expect when giving birth at a hospital.  All very fascinating information.  Truly the best part was having Dave there.  He can't make my doctor's appointments, so these classes are a great way for both of us to share the pregnancy.

In other news, we are actively searching for a new house right now.  Two of our top three houses have already gone under contract (clearly Wilmington has not received the  'our nation is in economic turmoil' memo).  The goal is to close on something by the end of May and move in at the beginning of June.  Trying desperately not to think about how close we are cutting it with the twins due date.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

To WanderingGirl, With Love.

A few posts ago I mentioned having pelvic floor pain.  Almost to the point that it hurt to sit, to stand, to walk, etc.  I got a great bit of advice from 1 of possibly 3 people who actually read this blog.  She (with a blog name like 'WanderingGirl' one can only assume this person is, in fact, a 'she') is a physical therapist and recommended I buy a SI support to raise the babies up.

I took her solid advice, went to BabieRUs (or as my brother likes to call it B.R.U.) and bought a maternity support.  I picked the Boppy brand because it was a simple band and not some huge contraption that covered the whole belly (also the prettiest).  I'm sure those 'contraption' supports probably work better; but with summer coming I opted for the less is more approach.

Thank you WanderingGirl, I've been very happy wearing my belly support.  It makes a world of difference in my comfort level.

PS:  We've been in the middle of a move since late last week as well as trying to close the offer on our house.  Sorry for the lapse in posts.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

26 Weeks Update

My hat's off to all those pregnant woman who found their 2nd trimester wonderful and exhilarating.  While I've been happy, I've also be uncomfortable and tired for a good bit of it.  I can only hope this is due to having twins (or narcolepsy, self diagnosis of course).

I got a call yesterday from my new ob/gyn at the beach.  The nurse wanted to gather some background information on medical histories, etc. before seeing me next week (already impressed with their proactive behavior).  

The nurse also asked about my pregnancy symptoms.  I told her about the shooting pains in my pelvic floor.  She told me to get that checked out before I move.  I then informed her I already told my doctor about it last month and he wasn't concerned.  She still insisted I schedule an appointment sometime this week before I move (let's add one more thing to the list).  So, tomorrow I have an appointment with the same doctor who's already told me the pain is normal and to buy a pregnancy girdle.  

I have a feeling I'm going to get a hyper level of care with this new group.  The nurse at the beach already asked me if I'd seen a fetal medicine specialist (no, I haven't), sounds like I'll be seeing one of those.  

At this point I'm not sure if I should be excited or cautious about the exuberant attention coming from my new doctor's office.  Was I not getting adequate care in Charlotte all these months?  Or is this a sign my beach doctors will try to push unnecessary procedures on me during the course of pregnancy?  Clearly, I'm over thinking the situation (or am I?)

In other news, Dave and I move on Friday.  We accepted an offer on our house last week.  We won't be fully 'under contract' until the home inspection (scheduled for tomorrow).  Movers come on Thursday and Friday.  We'll be in a corporate apartment until the end of June, which should give us enough time to find and buy a new house (assuming I don't go into early labor).

In the meantime, I've got some wonderful distractions scheduled to offset the stress of moving and living in a perpetual state of transit.  One week from tomorrow my best girl from TX is flying to the beach for a visit.  She plans to help me settle into the new apartment and do some fun baby stuff (i.e. shopping).  Dave and I are also looking forward to the couple's baby shower being thrown by the lovely Amanda and Sarah at the end of April.  

That's all for now!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Prom Quinn

My baby sister had her first prom this past Saturday.  A lot of time and energy was invested in her big night, including two back-to-back weekends of dress shopping (involving four 2-hour Interstate treks).  

I drove down this past Friday to do her hair and make-up.  She asked me not to post any pictures of her dress until after prom.  She also encouraged me to talk about her more on the blog (very thoughtful girl).  So here's the big reveal!

Her favorite part of the entire outfit was the red shoes (Teppie's idea, many thanks).  She also insists it was her idea FIRST to wear her hair half up/half down.  Apparently everyone else decided to wear their hair half up/half down too (as if!).  Of course I'm bias, but I think she was the prettiest girl at the dance.

In case you were wondering about the history of prom (I know I was) here's some information courtesy of the aptly named website:  www.randomhistory.com.  The term 'prom' comes from the word  'promenade' - noun, a march of guests into a ballroom constituting the opening of a formal ball.

It seems proms were fashioned after the upper class debutante balls.  The balls being used as official 'coming out' events for young girls in preparation to meet future husbands.

High school proms were first seen in yearbooks around the 1930s - 1940s, possibly as a middle class alternative to the debutante balls.  However, these proms were simple affairs where girls tended to wear Sunday dresses.  

It wasn't until after WWII when middle class Americans started to enjoy more affluence, roughly during the 1950s, that high school proms became the big fancy events they are today.  

One final note, Quinn got dressed for prom with some friends.  She felt bad Mom and Dad wouldn't get to see her all dressed up so she asked me to drive her and her friend Kaesi back to the house for some extra pictures (clearly she knows how to work the parental unit).  

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Let The Quilting Begin!

Last Thursday I met an old college friend at this insanely huge fabric store called Mary Jo's.  I've lived in Charlotte for almost 9 years now and never bothered to visit the place.  How fitting I finally make the trek one week before I move (almost as fitting as finding out my favorite newlyweds are moving to Charlotte in June).

Anyway, I had an amazing time.  First, I got to see Trish (it had been almost 10 years) and second she got to direct me (literally . . . I was a deer in headlights) through the store while we looked at fabrics for the custom baby bedding.

I can't begin to describe how excited I am to see the final product.  I'm pretty certain these 'one of a kind' quilts are going to be amazing.  Not only because they are custom, but because I know they are in extremely capable hands!

Here's a photo of the fabrics we picked out.  The bolts of cloth on the right are the main materials, cream for the backgrounds, Wiz gets the green and Nug gets the red for the quilts' borders.  

For those of you just tuning in, a picture of a peacock is being quilted in the center for Nug and an owl for Wiz.  Both animals based on two pieces of artwork I found over the holidays at Antrhopologie (see artwork from March's post entitled The Imaginary Nursery).

Happy quilting Trish!  I can't wait to see the finished products.  

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

One Of A Kind

A year ago today we were in Anderson, SC attending my Granddaddy's funeral.  After suffering a mild stroke, he caught pneumonia while in rehab and never recovered from it.  

Still miss you Granddaddy!