Friday, April 29, 2011

St. Gianna

I'm taking a break today from 7 Quick Takes in order to tell you about my Thursday evening.  But that doesn't mean you shouldn't go check out other Quick Takes, so head on over to Jen's blog Conversion Diary.

St. Gianna: Catholic, Mom, and Physician
 Yesterday was St. Gianna Beretta Molla's feast day.  She has become one of my favorite saints and I hope she will be a good role model for me as I take on the challenge of balancing a family and a career as well as remaining a faithful Catholic.  So it was a no-brainer when I heard that her relics were going to be in town on her feast day and would be on display following an evening Mass at my parish.  I immediately told my husband that we were going.

The priest who presided at Mass is the chaplain for both the local chapter of the Catholic Medical Association (named for both Sts. Luke and Gianna) and for the infertility support group.  He is also a convert to Catholicism and a former OB/GYN, which has been a blessing for the infertility support group.  There were several of us there from the group and we all sat together.  It was a nice simple Mass.  There were maybe about 30-40 people present including lots of families and children. 

A portrait of St. Gianna was displayed just off to the side of the altar along with two second-class relics: her fetal scope and a pair of her gloves.  There was also a tiny, round container that contained a first-class relic, a few strands of her hair.  This must have been up on the altar because to conclude Mass, the priest did the final blessing and then added an additional sign of the cross over everyone using the first-class relic.

We were then invited to come forward to venerate the relics.  We waited patiently and eventually were able to get up close to the relics and say some prayers.  I prayed specifically for my friends struggling with fertility issues and for all the moms in an online community I am a part of.

The priest that said Mass smiled at me really big when I went up for communion.  I have not seen or talked to him since last summer, when I was still dealing with the loss of Brigit and having my own fertility issues.  So of course that big smile was completely understandable.

While we were waiting to venerate the relics, he approached and asked how far along I was.  I told him, we exchanged a few quick words, and then he moved on.  I had no idea whether he knew from talking to anyone else anything more about my situation.

But once we had our chance to venerate St. Gianna's relics and ask for her intercession with Our Lord, we headed back to the pews to meet up with our friends but paused to speak to the priest who was sitting in the front row.  I told him about my surgery, that we were expecting twins (to which he said he was glad to hear it since he thought I looked a lot bigger than 32 weeks!), and that we have made it much further than originally expected.  He was very excited for us and said he we would continue to be in his prayers.

It was a blessing to be there last night and very much a privilege.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pregnancy Update: Week 32!

How far along: Well, we never thought we'd be here, but here we are at 32 weeks!!  This is four weeks longer than the long term goal that was set for us about 11 weeks ago while I was still in the hospital.  Amazing!!  I have very caring and attentive doctors and of course lots and lots of prayer warriors!!

How big are babies: Babies are estimated to be about 3.75 pounds (about the size of a large jicama) and about 16.7 inches long.  The babies are now starting to fatten up in anticipation of coming out into the world.

Survival chances: We've moved into a new category!!  Between 32 weeks and 33 weeks, 6 days survival chances are greater than 98%.  Wow!!  Severe or moderate disabilities among survivers is down to 8% while minor disability is down to 15%.  (Gunter, The Preemie Primer, 2010).  Something I have not mentioned previously but seems like it can go in this category is percent chance of delivery for women who have had a rescue cerclage for singleton pregnancies.  The doctor who performed my surery gave me these stats that day, unfortunately there are no stats for twin or multiple pregnancies so this was the best they had.  Of those women who had a rescue cerclage done about the middle of the second trimester, 22% of them delivered between 30 weeks and 33 weeks, 6 days.  For reference purposes, 5% delivered before 24 weeks and 10% delivered between 24 weeks and 29 weeks, 6 days.**

Weight gain: I think I have gained three pounds since my last weigh-in, which was two weeks ago Monday.  This Monday I was not weighed on the digital scale so I'm not totally confident in my ability to read the scale with the sliding pieces.  Overall, I estimate my weight gain at around 37 pounds.  Wow!!

Cravings: Don't think I've had any this week.  Although with all the Easter candy we have around the house now, I haven't had the opportunity to crave much of anything.

Aversions: Nothing here either.  No surprise there!

Belly button: It's funny to me that I can see where it is now through my clothing!!  It sticks out just enough to make an impression.

Movement: They are moving like crazy, especially Baby B!  Apparently they still have plenty of room to move around!  I wish I knew where they were finding it, just doesn't seem possible to me!

Leg cramps and other symptoms: Once again, no leg cramps, but I think I've had a few moments when I thought I was going to get one.  I'm awake so frequently at night that I have been able to catch the start of tightening muscles and stretch them out before they turn into cramps.  So those haven't been a big deal.  The restlessness, on the other hand, is still driving me crazy.  But I finally talked to the doctor about that Monday and I have some things to try.  Hubby couldn't find a low dose magnesium supplement, but he did find some protein drinks that contain magnesium. Those protein drinks are beneficial anyway and were recommended since at some point my stomach won't be able to take in much food.  So we'll try these and I need to start eating more foods that contain magnesium as well as some potassium (fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, etc.).  I guess the one banana I have a week just isn't cutting it.  Only other symptom I've had was some serious bladder issues this past weekend.  No infection or anything, just someone playing soccer or kick ball or something with it.  I was in some serious pain this weekend because of it.  It seems to have subsided for the time-being.  I'm sure we're not done with it and I'm not looking forward to that pain returning.

Sleeping: It's just hard.  'Nough said!

Ultrasound: Had another on Monday this week.  This one was for fluid and doppler checks.  Have I mentioned before that I'm in a University HealthCare system?  That means that there are often other people around besides your doctor and nurses and possibly some residents.  I'm used to it now, I've had doctors, residents, med school students, nurses, nurses in training, and probably plenty of other people in on my appointments, hospital stays, etc.  My ultrasound this week was actually performed by someone who is apparently learning how to be an ultrasound tech.  He had not done twins before and had never done dopplers, since they aren't commonly done with singletons.  Regardless, everything looks good and I never saw the doctor, but the appointment did take a little longer than usual since he had to find his way around and fidget with the machine more than a pro would  I was impressed with the patience of the regular tech as she helped him through everything.  He did get a really great picture of the separating membrane (which is impressive this far along in the pregnancy) and the fluid measurements looked pretty equal to my untrained eyes.  My next ultrasound will be a growth ultrasound on Monday May 9.  Can't believe we're making appointments for May now!!

Appointment: This was also on Monday.  Nothing too big to report.  Talked to Dr. M's nurse briefly and she told me that Dr. M was doing well and enjoying her new baby, plus I finally got the little guy's name.  My visit with Dr. P was good and brief.  She is letting me go another two weeks before she sees me again and then we'll start having weekly appointments.  She's determined that I'm still going to be pregnant when Dr. M returns.  That would be great and I hope she's right!  She also said that as long as the babies are doing well and are healthy when we get to 36 weeks, she'll let me go to 37, by which time I believe Dr. M will be back.  We are also starting the Non-Stress Tests (NST) next week.  Those are twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays.  So my next appointment to see Dr. P is Monday May 9.  In the meantime I have an NST on Monday May 2 and Thursday May 5 as well as the second fetal echo on May 5.  Yep, May is going to be a busy month!!

Notable this week: We (i.e. Hubby) got the cribs put together!!  And we now have the dresser scheduled to be picked up and a replacement coming as well.  I hope there are no issues with the replacement!  Here's a look at the cribs:

The picture between the windows is Our Lady of the Snows.
I'm also starting to look online for baptismal gowns (wow, there are some pretty expensive gowns out there!!) and get the date set for a baptism.  I can't believe I'm actually going to get to plan a baptism this time!!  For so long it seemed like it would never happen or that we would have to do it at the hospital.  I'm so excited!!

**Ventolini, G., et al, "Pregnancy outcome after placement of 'rescue' Shirodkar cerclage."  Journal of Perinatology. 9(4):276-279, April 2009.

Morning Adventures

Today my husband and I had a very interesting morning.  A totally unexpected experience, for sure!!
First, the morning mass at my parish this morning was being offered for the baby we lost last May, Brigit Ann.  When someone is buried at our local Catholic cemetery, the cemetery sends the names of those people to the parish they came from to have a mass said.  We never know when this Mass is going to be, so I usually just keep my eye on the bulletin each week until I finally see it.  When we lost Zachary it was almost a year (and happened to be Christmas weekend when we were out of town) that a mass was said for him.  So I expected it to take about as long for Brigit as well.  Sure enough, in Easter Sunday's bulletin I noticed that the mass for her was being said on Wednesday morning (today).  So we went this morning.

When we walked into the church today I noticed that there were many young people there from the school. I learned later that it was the 6th and 7th grade classes.  Most of the adults attending where sitting in the side sections of the church, but I went ahead and found a seat a couple rows back from where all the middle schoolers were sitting.  Mass proceeded just fine, although the homily was a little long as the priest was trying to engage all the kids.  Again, I think this is fine and I didn't have to be at work or anything (although my husband did).  Things finally got wrapped up and we started into the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

We didn't get very far before things kind of halted.  I was a bit confused as to what was going on until the priest announced that we were under a tornado warning and we had to all go down to the basement.

Now, let me clarify.  We have had several tornado warnings in the last several days, maybe the last week.  Not one tornado (to my knowledge) has actually been spotted in the area of several counties around us.  We've had some pretty high winds that have caused damage in places, but no tornadoes like they have been having lately in Texas and some other areas.  I understand these warnings are important and we want people to be safe, but it's starting to get old!  This morning it wasn't even raining when we drove to church and I never heard any rain while we were still upstairs in the church.

So we went down to the basement.  I checked my phone and had a text message alerting me to the tornado warning in effect until 9am.  It was about 8:45.  By 9am I got another alert extending the warning until 9:15.  At this point we joined a friend and her daughter in the nusery where they had the radio on.  The warning then got extended to 9:45am.

By the way, the bread and wine from mass had not been consecrated yet when we got the first warning.  I'm not sure if the priest just left everything on the altar or what happened, but while sitting in the basement, he did come down with the Eucharist that had been on reserve in the Tabernacle.  It was nice to see that they take care to do this in an emergency.  He set it on a table and took off his vestments and layed them on top of the bowl that held the Eucharist.

Finally, the 9:45am warning expired and the storms had moved far enough east that we were able to go back upstairs and resume Mass.  The children were all taken back to their classes and many of the adults had apparently left the Church when we got the first warning.  So a handful of people remained, of which we were two.  When we got upstairs I also noticed that it appeared calm outside and was still not raining.  Maybe a storm had passed over us while we were in the basement and unable to hear anything, but there was certainly no evidence of it.

Mass finished up and we headed out.  We were starving at this point too, since we hadn't eaten all morning and it was now 10am or later.  By the time we got home and had breakfast it was close to 11 when Hubby left for work.  I'll be curious to know when he gets home whether his co-workers were even aware that there was a tornado warning this morning.  Often they seem to have no idea.

I'm glad we were able to attend the Mass this morning and that Brigit could be remembered and prayed for by our church community.  But, I'm really getting tired of all these tornado warnings, especially when they don't seem to be accompanied by any visible signs of danger.  Being safe is important, yes, but I'm really starting to wonder about some of these warnings.

And I heard that we can expect more tornado wanrings this afternoon.  At the moment the sky is a bit cloudy, but I seem plenty of blue sky too.  It looks rather nice out!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Note

Dear Baby A and Baby B,

Mommy is getting really tired of the fun you are having kicking her bladder.  Please stop before it falls out.  That won't be good for any of us.  Laying down helps, but then I'm dealing with heartburn.  Let's all be happy and stop playing with Mommy's bladder.  Much appreciated!!

Happy Easter and much love!!  We can't wait to meet you (but please not yet)!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pregnancy Update: Week 31

How far along: an amazing 31 weeks!!

How big are babies: They are measuring about 16 inches long and weigh about 3.3 pounds (about the weight of four navel oranges).  The babies are probably a bit bigger than this based on our ultrasound from last week.  In addition, we're apparently heading into a growth spurt!  Oh joy!!  :)

Survival chances: This is the same as the last three weeks: Babies born between 28 weeks to 31 weeks, 6 days have a 95% chance of survival. Severe or moderate disability among survivors has dropped to 12% while minor disability among survivors remains the same at 25%. (Gunter, The Preemie Primer, 2010)

Weight gain: We'll find out this coming Monday.

Cravings: We'll eat anything, no specific cravings.

Aversions: Nothing here either.  Hopefully I'm growing good eaters!

Belly button: Not much change.  Sticking out a bit but fairly flat overall.

Movement: Still feeling and seeing lots of movement.  It's getting fairly strong now too!

Leg cramps and other symptoms: No leg cramps recently, but the restlessness continues.  Heartburn has kind of settled down, I feel it late at night and occasionally take a couple Tums, but for the most part I haven't had to.  As long as I can get back to sleep I don't bother taking the Tums.  Back pain is starting to be an issue and I'm starting to wish that we had purchased a second-hand recliner after I got home from the hospital.  We had talked about it, but I didn't feel it was necessary at the time.  Now it doesn't seem worth it.  Though it is on my mind!

Sleeping: Wow, can this really get harder and harder?  I put the pregnancy pillow back into the bed.  Last week I said it was hard to reposition myself.  Yeah, well, somehow it got even harder.  Because my back hurts there is really only one position that's comfortable, but I just can't stay that way all night.  Yeah, that recliner idea is starting to sound better and better.

Ultrasound: I went to the hospital on Thursday last week for a fetal echo.  This is basically a very detailed ultrasound of the babies' hearts.  Some new research shows that heart issues may be a possibility for mono/di twins, plus there is a history of heart issues in my immediate family.  So this was a "just in case" kind of thing.  It was a long appointment, especially with having to be on my back the whole time!  Everything looked pretty good overall.  A few possible small issues on Baby A, but nothing that looked serious at this point.  So I go back again when I'm around 33 weeks for another look.  The next regular ultrasound is Monday April 25 just to look at dopplers (heart beats and umbilical cord blood flow).

Appointment: Next appointment is also Monday April 25.  Anyone local want to pick me up after these appointments, sometime in late morning?  My husband is dropping me off in the morning, just need a ride home around 10am or so.

Notable this week: It's been a slow week, not too much excitement around here.  We did get the rest of the nursery furniture and today we had the carpet on the whole second floor of the house cleaned.  So we (and by "we" I mean Hubby) will be putting all the furniture in the nursery and assembling it this weekend.  Maybe I'll have pictures for next week!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Joy Moments (5)

Ever since the surgery I had, almost 10 weeks ago now, my husband and I have not stayed after Mass on Sundays for any of the social events (doughnuts & coffee or the K of C pancake breakfast).  Our routine has consisted of Hubby dropping me off at the front door and going to park the car while I make my way down to the front pew.  After Mass he goes back to get the car and I slowly make my way back to the front door where Hubby picks me up.

But this week we stayed after Mass.  It was a nice change!!  Following Mass we headed over to the main hall where I made a quick stop in the restroom while Hubby went to get some doughnuts for us.  Some friends of ours were busy selling tickets for an upcoming event, so their three kids were sitting at an activity table coloring.  When I came into the hall their youngest, who is also my Goddaughter, came right over to me and gave me a big hug!!  Ah, so sweet!  She's not quite 4 years old and I think it might be the first time she has done that without any kind of prompting from one of her parents.  It warmed my heart!  She's such a cutie!!

Did you have a Joy Moment (big or small) from this past week that you want to share?  Blog about it on your own blog and post the link to your post here in the comments section (and include a link in your own post back to this one).  Or, for those without blogs, share your Joy Moment in the comments here. Looking forward to hearing every one's Joy Moments!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Stroller Help!

I need help from experienced moms.  Whether you have twins or not, I think (I hope) that this question is still something you can weigh in on with what you have done (if you have twins) or what you might do (if you were having twins).

My plan is to get a double stroller frame that my infant car seats will fit in.  I figure as long we the babies fit in the infant seats (at least 12-18 months, is my guess) I can use this double stroller frame.  Once we have outgrown this stroller we need something else.  This is where my husband and I are having differing opinions.

My husband seems to think that we should get two umbrella strollers.  I think we should get one double umbrella stroller.  He doesn't seem to think the double stroller is necessary.  For some reason he thinks that any time we will use it we'll be together.  I don't agree and can't imagine trying to handle two separate umbrella strollers at once.  Yes, we usually go on walks together, but there are other times either he or I will probably need a stroller and will be on our own.  Right?

What do you think?  Whether you have twins or not, I think this is something any mom can think through.  Once your children were old enough to be in an umbrella stroller and thus also able to walk, how much did you use a stroller?  Do you think having two umbrella strollers are doable or would you think a double umbrella stroller will make my life (our lives) easier?

I'm open to any thoughts on this.  And if you agree with me, I'd love to know reasons why.  It will help in discussing it with the Hubby!  Thanks in advance!

Friday, April 15, 2011

7 Quick Takes, vol. 22

I'm not the best at remembering to take pictures and even when I do they often sit on our camera for a while.  Last night I finally uploaded our pictures from the last several months!!  Hope you enjoy this Quick Takes in mostly pictures!


In January we were asked to be Godparents to our newest nephew.  Here we are with our Godson at his Baptism.


We undertook another remodel project in February and March this year.  This was a much, much smaller project than the kitchen was over a year ago.  We replaced carpet in our family room and painted an accent wall.  Here's our new accent wall in the family room.


And the room with the new carpet, which I absolutely love!!


Just for good measure, here's the whole room put back together.  We did change the furniture a bit (the love seat is now in the living room and we moved my chaise lounge into this room).  It looks much bigger now; in my opinion, anyway.


In addtion to downloading pictures from our camera, I finally got around to scanning ultrasound pictures from the last few months.  I couldn't resist sharing this one from when I was 20 weeks pregnant (about 10 weeks ago).  This is a profile shot of Twin B but Twin A couldn't resist getting in on the action.  So A's knee is there on B's head.


Let's bring things more up to date.  My last ultrasound was on Monday at almost 30 weeks. Here are two pics from that ultrasound (they are a bit blurry, but it's getting harder to get really good pics as they get bigger).  First is a profile of Twin A.

Twin B is already dubbed our trouble maker.  He (generic "he") didn't want to give us a nice profile, but we did get to see a quick view of his face (again, very blurry).


Finally, we took another picture of me.  It's not the best picture of me, but that's not why we took it, so just check out the belly, please!  This is me at 30 weeks.  We're guessing I'm measuring around 38 weeks at this point (and I'm definitely feeling it!).

There are lots more Quick Takes over at Jen Fulwiler's blog Conversion Diary.  Go check them out!!  Have a nice weekend!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pregnancy Update: Week 30

How far along: We have made it to a new milestone: 30 weeks!!  At this point I'm hoping we have about 4-6 weeks to go, which seems to jive with what my doctors are predicting as well.

How big are babies: The pregnancy app claims the babies are "almost" 3 pounds (about the same weight as a cabbage) and about 16 inches long.  But at an ultrasound on Monday the babies were estimated to be 3 lbs, 3 oz. and 3 lbs, 1 oz.  The app is definitely conservative!  Oh well, that's why we do the ultrasounds.  But it's nice to know I have good average size babies!!  Yay!

Survival chances: This is the same as the last two weeks: Babies born between 28 weeks to 31 weeks, 6 days have a 95% chance of survival. Severe or moderate disability among survivors has dropped to 12% while minor disability among survivors remains the same at 25%. (Gunter, The Preemie Primer, 2010)

Weight gain: According to my estimates and based on the scale at the doctor's office on Monday I've gained about 34 pounds.  But they probably have my official weight gain at 24 pounds.  Not bad for 30 weeks with twins.

Cravings: Nothing in particular.  Kind of remarkable considering I've been watching a  lot more Food Network lately, too.

Aversions: Nothing in particular.

Belly button: I can now see it protruding beneath my clothes on a much more regular basis.  Again, it just looks weird.

Movement: Still lots of movement.  Kicks and waves of shifting movements.  Still surprises me when it happens.  I have to remind myself to enjoy it now, as the babies get bigger and have less room I know I'll feel them move less.  Everything I've read about twins indicates this.  Hopefully I'll keep feeling them for a good while longer.

Leg cramps: Still none, but the Restless Leg Syndrome is still there.  Walking a bit more around the house helps and I'm doing a better job of stretching my legs more.  Luckily my doctors want me to start slowly doing more moving around.  So that's good, I don't feel as guilty walking up the stairs a couple times a day just to stretch my legs.  If I make it to 32 weeks, I may get to actually walk a bit further.  Could a walk down the block and back be in my future??  Hmm ...

Sleeping: About the same, which isn't saying much.  Since I can't seem to reposition myself without great effort, I finally decided to get rid of the pregnancy pillow.  Gives us a lot more room in the bed!  Still up a few times a night and moving from one side to another is a hassle.  Honestly, I think I'm getting used to it.  It's practice, I'm sure, for all those late night feedings in my future! 

Ultrasound: Had a growth ultrasound on Monday.  Twin A was estimated to be 3 lbs., 3 oz., had a heartbeat of 136, and is in the 52nd percentile.  Twin B was estimated to be 3 lbs., 1 oz., had a heartbeat of 125, and is in the 47th percentile.  Good average babies.  The discrepancy between them (which takes other things into account besides weight) is 5%.  Still good.  I saw Dr. O this time and he said he saw no reason to continue checking my cervix.  Yay!  Was fun, as always, to watch the babies moving on the screen.  Even saw one of them swallow!!  Both were also head down!  I'm hoping they stay that way, but our little trouble maker (Twin B) will probably move again while he still has some room.  The next ultrasound will be Monday April 25 and will be just to check dopplars (mainly fluid flow in the umbilical chords).

Appointment: This was also on Monday just before the ultrasound appointment.  While waiting I saw Dr. M's nurse (my regular OB) who told me that Dr. M had her baby at 2am on Sunday morning.  A good size baby boy who was 8 lbs., something!  I'm kind of surprised because she's not a big person and she didn't look all that big when I saw her just two weeks ago.  Anyway, I met the High Risk Fellow, Dr. P, and had a good appointment with her.  She didn't measure me, but I'm estimating that I'm probably measuring around 38 weeks now (since I've been consistently about 8 weeks ahead).  She seemed very optimistic that I can make it to 36 weeks easily.  Let's hope she's right!!  She also wants me to go in for a fetal echo cardiogram.  Apparently some new research shows that mono/di twins are more at risk for heart issues, plus I have a family history of heart issues.  So I'll be doing that on Thursday at the hospital.  We're not really worried, just want to make sure there are no surprises that could effect treatment later, especially if the babies do come early.  Next appointment will also be Monday April 25.

Notable this week: Sometime this past week Hubby actually felt one of the babies shift around, rather than just the kicks or punches he had previously felt.  It's so funny to see his reaction!!  We also ordered furniture and the cribs came in!  They are still in boxes in the living room, but they will eventually make their way upstairs.  Finally, upon reaching 30 weeks I am suddenly hit by the realization that these babies could really be here in another 4-6 weeks!  Wow!!  So I've started talking to my parish about the baptism and we have asked our prospective Godparents and all four have said yes!!  No date set yet (that may be a while) just trying to get everything else in order and make sure we all meet my parish's requirements.  So exciting though!! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Joy Moments (4)

Finding a Joy Moment from this past week was a bit difficult since I've also been fighting this cold (which is better, by the way, just not completely gone).  I have mentioned previously how I sometimes find this sort of thing difficult, right?  Yep ... one of those weeks.

But then I had an ultrasound yesterday and saw something that made me smile!!  Ultrasounds are amazing, but when you have them as often as I do they start becoming second nature.  Not that they aren't wonderful to watch and see the babies, but I have one of these almost every week or so (about every two weeks at the moment).  Yesterday, however, while watching the ultrasound we caught one of the babies moving it's mouth and it was obviously swallowing!!  Wow!!  How amazing is that!!  Both my husband and I noticed it.  It was so cool to see.

Did you have a Joy Moment (big or small) from this past week that you want to share?  Blog about it on your own blog and post the link to your post here in the comments section (and include a link in your own post back to this one).  Or, for those without blogs, share your Joy Moment in the comments here. Looking forward to hearing every one's Joy Moments!!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Seven Quick Takes, vol. 21


The babies' room is now painted!!  Nothing else has happened, furniture isn't even ordered yet, but we have made a little progress finally!


I have been dealing with a cold this week, possibly a sinus infection, but let's call it a cold for now.  I've been trying to drink lots and lots and LOTS of water to help loosen things up and get over this quickly.  I think it's working.  I feel slightly better each day.  It's just hard dealing with it while also starting to feel so huge.  Hopefully I'll be in fuller health this weekend and will go back to just feeling huge again.

Any suggestions?


Over the last few days I've avoided eating much cheese or drinking milk.  I'm pretty much sticking to water and the occasional juice.  But last night I couldn't take it any more, so I had a string cheese and then a bowl of cereal.  I like dairy, it's so hard to completely avoid it.


This week was my parish's Lenten Mission.  Being on bedrest I had to miss it.  I have been looking forward to this Mission all year!!  Literally.  But I knew I just could not sit there for two hours and this cold made it obvious that it wouldn't be a good idea for me to go.  My husband went and it sounded like a great four evenings.  The speaker was Fr. Larry Richards.  He's one of my favorite speakers!!  I've listened to him on Catholic radio for years and am so sad I missed the opportunity to hear him in person.  However, I still will be able to hear the four mission nights and you can too!  Our local Catholic radio station recorded all four nights and have them up on their webpage here.  Better than nothing!!


I may regret asking this, because every time I start looking into it I start feeling overwhelmed.  But I'm going to ask anyway.  For those who cloth diaper, what kind of cloth diapers do you prefer and why?  I am leaning toward the pocket diapers, specifically the Swaddlebees.  Anyone use these or some other kind of pocket diapers?  Any suggestions or tips?  Things I should know about up front?  What other "accessories" are important for cloth diapering folks to have?  Like I said, I have done some research and asking around, but I keep getting overwhelmed.  I think the whole twin thing is causing me to feel overwhelmed with any big decision like this.


I often write about miscarriage and pregnancy loss on this blog.  Related to that, I had to share this amazing blog post I read last night from Cheeky Pink Girl.  The post is called "Holding Your Child in the Palm of Your Hand."  It is a beautiful testament to the reality of life at all stages.  There are some pictures that may shock you, but they are reality and thus are also beautiful. 


Finally, and on a lighter note, enjoy this modernized version of the Israelites Exodus from Egypt:

Thanks to Jen Fulwiler of Conversion Diary for hosting Quick Takes each Friday.  Go check out her Quick Takes and the many others linked from her post.  Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Roots and Wings

I heard this the other day while watching TV and it really struck me as a great philosophy!!
Our jobs as parents are to give our children roots and wings.
I love this!!

Roots refers to a strong sense of family and a place of belonging.  Our children should always know where they are from and who they can turn to in times of need.  They should feel secure in their family and know that they can rely on their parents and siblings.

I also think the idea of Roots for our children should also encompass the faith we give them.  God is just as important to their sense of security in the world, if not more so, as family is.  We have to give our children a good foundation in the faith as a part of forming them in our families.

Then there is the idea of wings.  I think this can be one of the scariest things for parents, but it is so incredibly necessary.  This is the idea that we give our children the abilities to go out into the world and be successful and independent people.  We want them to spread their wings and explore the world, no matter how scary that may sound.  Going away to college, living on their own, making the right decisions, starting their own families; no matter where any of these things lead our children, whether that be across town, across the country, or across the world.

If the roots are in place, though, the wings will always have a place to come back to.  I think that is one of the greatest things a parent can do.  Provide those strong roots so that their children's wings can spread with ease and allow them to be taken wherever life may lead them.  And when they need the comforts of home, home will be there to support and encourage them.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Pregnancy Update: Week 29

How far along: 29 weeks.  Wow!  I don't think anyone thought we'd make it this far!  Also, I'd estimate that we are measuring at 37 weeks (since we've been about 8 weeks ahead the whole time).  Hubby commented to me yesterday that when he saw me dressing earlier in the day he thought I looked like a full-term pregnant woman.  I'm feeling like it, too!

How big are babies: The babies weigh approximately 2 and a half pounds, about the same as a butternut squash, and they are each a little over 15 inches from head to heel.  My guess, based on our previous ultrasounds is that the babies are probably about a quarter pound more than this.  But we'll find out next week.  Their size is also starting to show more and more, not just in the size of my belly, but in my ability to move easily or reach my feet.

Survival chances: This is the same as last week: Babies born at 28 weeks to 31 weeks, 6 days have a 95% chance of survival.  Severe or moderate disability among survivors has dropped to 12% while minor disability among survivors remains the same at 25%.  (Gunter, The Preemie Primer, 2010)

Weight gain: Haven't been weighed since last week, but I'm sure it's gone up some.  We'll find out on Monday.

Cravings: I don't think I've had any.  Went to a dinner with some friends the other night and they both assumed I would choose the place based on my cravings.  Sorry!  Not many cravings going on.  On the other hand, as Hubby left for work this morning I told him I wanted some sort of cranberry juice (cran-grape, cran-cherry, I don't really care).  My throat has been sore the last couple days so I think it has more to do with drinking something that makes my throat feel better.  But the cranberry juice commercials on TV with the guys standing in the cranberry bogs may have also effected my choice!

Aversions: Still nothing here either.  Guess I'm easy to please (which I know Hubby appreciates).

Belly button: It's stretched out and popping out.  It just looks weird.

Movement: Lots of movement!! I'm starting to actually see little waves on my belly in addition to the little bumps and kicks I feel during the day.  They also like to get active when I lay down at night.

Leg cramps: Woohoo, none still!  Restless Leg (and arm) Syndrome, however, is what is mostly bothering me.  Sometimes it's at night when I go to bed, but, more often than not, I have it while sitting on the couch.  Ugh!  I'm trying to make sure I get plenty of protein during the day and I try to move my legs around as much as possible.  I just need to remember to do some sort of leg stretches every day.  It's so easy to forget!

Sleeping: I keep thinking it can't get any worse.  And then it does.  It has become a chore to move from my left side to my right side.  I've also discovered that I can lay on my right side and deal with my right arm falling asleep (who knew that the tendinitis I had from 20 years of clarinet playing would still plague me even after 2 1/2 years of not playing!) or I can lay on my left side and deal with back pain.  Numb limbs vs. back pain?  Not an easy decision, but I also can't lay in one position all night long either.  So I switch during the night, but, like I said, ... IT. IS. NOT. EASY.  I've basically learned that I almost have to get out of bed in order to reposition myself.  That is, if I can get myself up into a sitting position to begin with.  I think I'm in for several long weeks ahead!

Ultrasound: Next growth ultrasound is going to be this coming Monday, April 11.  I don't know when we're doing another cervical length check ultrasound.  And that's fine with me!

Appointment: Next appointment is also this coming Monday, April 11.  I'll be seeing a new doctor since my doctor is now on maternity leave.

Notable this week: We moved furniture out of the guest room, packed up a bunch of extra stuff, painted the (now old) guest room, and fixed up the office so it looks more like an office and less like a storage room.  My sister and her husband came up to help us and we got so much work done!!  The old guest room is going to be the nursery.  It is currently empty, but we'll be ordering furniture soon and before you know it, it is going to look like a baby room.  It's going to be so weird to see a nursery in our house, especially one with two cribs in it!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Joy Moments (3)

Spring is coming!!

My favorite tree in our yard starting blooming this week.  It is right outside our bedroom window.  A cherry tree that blooms in pink and a dark red color, kind of like a maroon.  These are the same colors that we had in our wedding!  It makes me smile every year when I see it start to bloom.  The colors change in a couple weeks, but for now, I'll enjoy looking out at my tree!!

Did you have a Joy Moment (big or small) this past week that you want to share?  Blog about it on your own blog and post the link to your post here in the comments section (and include a link in your own post back to this one).  Or, for those without blogs, share your Joy Moment in the comments here. Looking forward to hearing every one's Joy Moments!!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Seven Quick Takes, vol. 20

Who says you can't be busy while on bedrest??


This past Sunday some friends of mine hosted a baby shower for me.  It was nice to get out of the house briefly and enjoy an afternoon with a few friends.  It was a small shower and so much fun, especially with this particular group of wonderful ladies!  I didn't drive, someone picked me up, and I got to sit in someone else's house for a few hours rather than my own.  It was all wonderful  These are smart ladies too, the cake was chocolate and from one of the best bakeries in town!!  Yum!


Monday we had someone come out to the house to fix the two exterior doors that lead into the room where we recently put in new carpet.  The doors were dragging on the floor pretty badly and could ruin the carpet over time.  Unlike interior doors which can be easily shaved down, you can't do that with exterior doors.  So a handyman came out and removed both doors, the trim, and the frame and then set them all back in a half inch or so higher.  This is also the room in which I spend most of my time.  So I ended up in the living room instead.  It was a nice change of scenery for one day.


Unless you were living under a rock this week, you've probably seen the video of the twin boys deep in "conversation" with each other.  I saw it for the first time on Tuesday.  So cute!!  Here is a version someone just pointed me to yesterday.  Love the translation!


Wednesday was my busiest day so far this week.  I had two appointments, so I had a friend pick me up and drop me off at the office and then my husband came to get me after work.  It all worked out perfectly!  My friend came and got me and dropped me off and then was able to head right over to pick up her two boys after school, which isn't too far from where my doctor's office is.  My appointments lasted the rest of the afternoon (there was a lot of waiting involved) and Hubby basically got a full day in at the office and picked me up around 5:45 or so.  (Sound late?  It was!!  OB appointment wasn't too long, finished up a bit after 3; stopped in at the restroom, walked down the hall to Ultrasound, and signed in at 3:15.  Appointment was at 4, but it was obvious that they were behind.  I finally got called in just after 5pm!!  Yep, it was a loooooong afternoon!)


Thursday morning my husband called me from work to let me know that a plumber was coming over in about 30 minutes, but that he was going to come home to meet him.  Well, I hadn't showered yet, so I headed straight upstairs to do that.  While getting dressed the plumber showed up and Hubby wasn't home yet.  So I let him in and directed him to the water heater and then called Hubby who was apparently just leaving the office.  In the end, getting an estimate for replacing the hot water heater turned into replacing it that day.  Not until he got started working on it did I remember that I hadn't brushed my teeth yet that morning.  Oh gross!!  The water was already being drained so I was stuck.  Bummer!  Worst part is, I had a hair appointment that afternoon, which meant leaving the house and being around other people.  Luckily I had a few peppermint sticks around, a bottle full of drinking water, and my friend that picked me up that afternoon had mints in her car.  The water heater took all day to get done because of some changes in building codes.  At least it is done now and we'll be able to sell the house sometime in the next year with a brand new water heater in it!!  Oh, and thank goodness this pregnant lady had a reason to go out today, not having access to the toilets in the house would have been torture!!


Today we had a storage unit delivered to the house.  This can only mean one thing!!  We are finally getting started working on the nursery!!  Yay!!  Our house has no (none, nada, nein) storage in it.  What little we do have is fully in use.  We knew we would want a storage unit one day so we can make the house look more spacious when we do get ready to sell, but when we found out we were having twins, we realized that our plans for the tiny room to be a nursery were not going to work out.  So we got the storage unit earlier than planned and we'll be moving the guest room furniture into it along with whatever else we can live without for at least a year or so.  The tiny room was changed back into an office again, finally making our master bedroom look more spacious and more like a bedroom rather than a bedroom-slash-office.


My sister is coming to visit!!  My sister and her husband are driving up this afternoon and will be here over the weekend to help us move furniture, pack up some boxes of stuff, and paint the babies' room (I'll mostly be supervising).  Even though this will be a working visit, it'll still be so great to see them and have them here for a little while.  I'm so grateful that they were able to work out their work schedules and babysitting for the kids (thanks, Nana!) so they can come spend this weekend with us.

Phew!!  Even on bedrest, I still end up with lots to do!!  This was a busy week!!  Next week should be very low key: no appointments, no work being done on the house, nothing.  Maybe I'll finally finish the journal column I have been semi working on.

For more Quick Takes, check out Jen Fulwiler's blog post on Conversion Diary.  She hosts a great blog and is a wonderful Quick Takes host as well.  Lots of great links to check out!