Sunday, May 29, 2011

Final Pregnancy Update ...

... take two. Still trying the blogging app.

Tomorrow is the day!! I'll be 36 weeks and 5 days and I am so done with this pregnancy! Monday can't get here soon enough.

Early last week I was feeling ready but was okay enough that if we went longer I was good. Actually two of my docs wanted me to go to the hospital last Monday and I was relieved when they let me go home. But by Friday it was a whole other story. At my appointment with Dr. P Friday I practically begged her to send me in. However after talking with Dr. H and checking my cervix again they sent me home. I was still at 5 cm. The good news though is that they scheduled me to come in on Monday!!

Monday both Dr. P and Dr. O will be on duty which makes me feel good. The plan is to give me the epidural and then remove the cerclage stitches. Once that is out we'll determine what to do next. I'm hoping I'll go ahead and start dilating more on my one and just go naturally from there. But if they have to break my water or administer pitocin to get things moving I'm open to it. Not my ideal, but so much of this pregnancy has not been ideal anyway. The plan is to remove the cerclage and allow me to labor in the L&D room but then to move me to the OR for delivery. Multiples deliveries are routinely done in the OR.

Why am I so done with this?? It seems like this past week every little symptom I have has become more exasperated! The swelling in my feet isn't going down like it was originally. After doing a little more reading I learned that just sitting and propping them up doesn't help, lying down is actually best. So I'm trying to do that more which creates more heartburn problems. If it's not one thing it's another! One more day, one more day!!!

I've also had some issues with itchy skin. The belly itches, but that's to be expected. I started feeling itchy on a patch of skin at my knee but just thought it was a random mosquito bite. But as more itchiness came up in other places we finally looked it up and saw that this is a normal, albeit extremely uncomfortable, part of pregnancy. It starts with itchy bumps on stretch marks but can also present on the arms, legs, and buttocks. Yep! I have it all. Ah, the joy!! One more day, one more day!!

I know all these things won't go away immediately, but any small amount of relief will be welcome!!

In preparation for the end of our family of two, Hubby and I went out last night for the first time in a very long time. Went to a movie and then dinner at a great Italian place in town. I had lobster linguini! Yummy!! It was also his birthday (#40!) so I'm glad we were able to do something.

Next time you hear from me we'll be a family of four!! Enjoy your Memorial Day and wish us luck and lots of prayers!!

Testing something new

I'm trying something new, blogging from my iPod. Blogger itself doesn't seem to have an app, but there are several free apps that can connect to Blogger. So that's what I'm trying. If this post is successful it will provide me a way of blogging on the go, specifically from the hospital tomorrow!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pregnancy Update: Week 36

How far along: 36 weeks now!!  And by the way, I'm actually writing this update early (just in case) and scheduling it for posting on Wednesday.  There is a chance that this update is the last one.

How big are babies: My app says the babies are almost 6 pounds (similar to a crenshaw melon, shown right), but based on previous experience I'm guessing Baby A is over 6 pounds, though Baby B is probably right on target with the app's estimate.  Babies are also approximately 18 and a half inches long.

Survival chances: These are all the same as the last two weeks. Here's a reminder: between 34 weeks and 36 weeks, 6 days survival chances are greater than 99%. Chances of severe or moderate disabilities among survivors is now down to 4%; minor disability is still the same as last week at 15%. (Gunter, The Preemie Primer, 2010) As for percent chance of delivering for women who have had a rescue cerclage, based on singleton pregnancies, about 34% of them delivered between 34 weeks and 36 weeks, 6 days.**

Weight gain: Went up another 3 pounds this week to make a total of 49 for the pregnancy.  That just sounds scary!!
Cravings: Was kind of craving chocolate chip cookies this week.  So Hubby bought some chocolate chips and then made Ranger cookies.  They were good, filled with oats, currants, chocolate chips, and nuts.  They satisfied my sweet tooth, but I still want just some classic chocolate chip cookies.
Aversions: Nothing still!  Yipee!
Belly button: Definitely flat.  It's like it's not even there.
Movement: They are still partying in there.  Not sure how they are finding the space, but somehow they do.  Hubby has been getting a kick out of feeling them moving around in big waves.  You can definitely feel how strong they have become.
Pregnancy Symptoms: My only thought at this point is: we're almost done!
--Just when I thought things were getting better with the leg restlessness they started acting up again.  There are good days and bad.  At this point it is just one of those annoying things that I will just deal with.
--Feet are still swollen and no longer seem to go down when I put them up.  But my blood pressure is good, so we're sticking with gestational hypertension.  This may also be what is contributing to the pain and numbness in my hands.  It doesn't help that I already have tendenitis in my right wrist, but that may explain why the right hand always feels worse than the left.  It's worse at night and first thing in the morning.  Usually feels good by the end of the day.  Then I go to bed and it all starts over again.  Sounds fun, doesn't it?  Ha!!
--Heartburn is still there, seems to be getting worse.  Oh well, what can I do at this point.  I'm just taking the Tums and hoping this will go away.
--Have I mentioned back pain previously?  Well, in case I haven't, it sucks!  And it doesn't help when you then pull a muscle in your side near your back.  Yep, I did that.  Smart, huh?  I've pulled plenty of muscles in my time, but never have I had one that keeps coming back just when I think it is gone.  This pulled muscle has been bothering me on and off for over a week now.  When it acts up there is no hope for getting comfortable.
Sleeping: No improvement.  I know everyone says you should sleep now because you won't sleep when the babies are here.  Well, any sleep I get once the babies are here HAS to be better than what I'm getting now.  Even two hours of comfortable, good sleep will be better than what I am getting now.  I wake up feeling so stiff and uncomfortable.  I gave up a while ago on my pledge to not nap during the day.  Now if I start to doze off, I let myself go ahead and nap.  Some days, that's all I get.  I will say, however, that Sunday night/Monday morning, I moved from bed to the glider in the babies' room and actually slept for four hours without getting up.  I felt really stiff when I got up (man, I'm old!), but I couldn't believe it had been four whole hours!
Ultrasound: The next official one is Thursday (tomorrow).  However, at my appointment on Monday, before the attempt to remove my cerclage, Dr. P pulled the ultrasound machine in for a quick look at babies' positions, just in case.  I didn't get a good look at them, but I did see one face.  And, baby A is head down, yay!!  Baby B is breech and his/her feet are low, which is good if they do a breech extraction.  (Doesn't that sound like fun??  Um yeah, I'm having an epidural!)
Appointment: So at the appointment Monday, they did the Strep B test and then attempted to remove the cerclage.  I was told that we could do it in the office as long as it was pretty easy.  If not, I would have to make an appointment to have it removed in the OR with a spinal, just like how it was put in.  I was warned it was going to be like a long speculum exam.  It was basically one of the most uncomfortable exams of that type I've ever sat through, and in the end it was not successful.  But I was more than happy at that point to let them do a spinal and remove it in the OR.  However, she wanted to check the cervix one more time before I was let go that day.  So she did that and surprised us all by discovering that I was 5 cm. dilated!!  Yeah, that's right, I have two cerclage stitches in AND I somehow dilated to 5 cm. without feeling a thing!!  All I can say is, I am definitely my mother's daughter. 
After that discovery, Dr. P left to go consult with Dr. O about what we should do next.  They both came back in to talk to me and decided that they would let me go home but I was to come to triage at the first sign of spotting or bleeding, contractions, pressure, or definitely if my water broke.  We also made another appointment for Friday (since Monday is a holiday).  I'll be sure to have my bag with me at that appointment, if we even make it to Friday!
Non-Stress Tests: These have been going fine.  Had one last Thursday and another on Monday.  The babies slept through most of Monday's so it took a while before the docs had everything they wanted.  Dr. H was there and heard that I was 5 cm. dilated and she almost sent me to the hospital.  But after talking with me more and hearing what Dr. O had said she decided to let me go ahead and follow his instructions.  I'll be back there on Thursday for another NST and an ultrasound. So they can check me out more then if they want to.  I'll be bring my hospital bag with me then too, if we make it that far!!
Notable this week: I think the 5 cm. dilation is pretty notable.  Don't you?  Also, I'm excited that I am almost done with the prometrium!!  One last pill to take on Wednesday night and I am done!  Done!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Final Countdown

My doctor appointment on Monday went well.  I'll elaborate the details in my Wednesday update.  But to give you a quick sneak preview, things are moving along!  We may be meeting our babies this week!!

Knowing that this is now a very real possibility and that we are in the final countdown, I thought it would be a good idea to take one last pregnancy shot.  So here I am ...

35 weeks, 5 days with twins

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Start the day with humor

Don't you love when you can start your day with something humorous!!  I do.  Especially these days!

"What are you looking for?" I asked my husband this morning.  I was getting ready for Mass and he walked into the bathroom and started going through the laundry hamper.

"My phone," he answered as he pulled out a pair of pants and went looking through the pockets.  No phone there, so he started wandering around the house looking for it. 

I was pretty much done getting ready so headed downstairs to grab my phone.  Coming back upstairs to where he was I dialed his phone, but didn't hear anything.  Hubby headed downstairs as I wondered if his phone battery had also died or if the phone was off.  I walked over to the top of the stairs and that's when I heard it.  It was downstairs somewhere.

"Did you find it?" I called down to my husband as I hung up the phone when it went to voice mail.

"No, but call it again."

I dialed again and I could hear his phone ringing as I sat at the top of the stairs.  Finally he yells up that he found it.  "Where was it?" I asked as I headed downstairs. 

He's laughing as I get down there.  "It was in the recliner!"

Apparently it must have fallen out of his pocket when he was sitting in the recliner the night before.  When I dialed the first time he could hear it ringing but had no idea where in the recliner it was.  He finally located it when I redialed.

We got a good laugh out of that!!  I could just picture him hearing it in the furniture and not being able to find it!!

Just a little laugh to get our day started! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pregnancy Update: 35 Weeks

How far along: 35 weeks!  Oh my!!  And this past 34th week was quite eventful.

How big are babies: According to the pregnancy app, the babies are approximately 5 and a quarter pounds (the size of a honeydew melon).  Based on the last ultrasound I would guess that Baby B is about this much.  Baby A may be closer to 6 pounds at this point.  Wow, that's probably over 11 pounds of baby I'm carrying around!  They are also probably about 18 inches or so in length.

Survival chances: These are all the same as last week.  Here's a reminder: between 34 weeks and 36 weeks, 6 days survival chances are greater than 99%.  Chances of severe or moderate disabilities among survivors is now down to 4%; minor disability is still the same as last week at 15%.  (Gunter, The Preemie Primer, 2010)  As for percent chance of delivering for women who have had a rescue cerclage, based on singleton pregnancies, about 34% of them delivered between 34 weeks and 36 weeks, 6 days.**

Weight gain: I think I've only gained two pounds since last week, which is great!!  So I've now gained a total of 46 pounds in this pregnancy.

Cravings: Still nothing strong.  Doing better on my diet which is making an obvious difference in the restlessness in my legs.  We had a possibly pre-eclampsia scare this week (more on that below) so Hubby was looking at the newest edition of Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition by Marilyn Shannon last night and she has a diet listed for preventing pre-eclampsia.  Interestingly, many of the good foods she lists are also some of the same things we had found that were high in magnesium when we were investigating that for my leg restlessness.  It's always so interesting to me how interconnected all these things are.  Despite all this, I do wish we had some cookies or something around the house that was easy to snack on when I need something sweet.  Oh well, I'm making a pretty decent snack out of graham crackers and nutella.

Aversions: Still nothing!!

Belly Button: I'm going to say that it is definitely flat.  During an NST last week I was in a room with another twin mom and she had an outie.  Any thought I had about mine being an outie is now gone. 

Movement: Still lots of movement!  And it's getting pretty strong.  I think they were having a party in there on Sunday.

Pregnancy Symptoms: Why does this list seem to continue to get longer?  Ha!  Isn't pregnancy amazing.

--So the leg restlessness is getting better.  The banana a day and protein shake a day have been a good combination, plus I have the magnesium supplement.  On days when I do nothing, my legs are fine; on days when I move around a bit more (appointments, running errands with Hubby, small things around the house) the restlessness comes back.  Doesn't make sense to me, but whatever.

--The numbness in my hand is still there.  Seemed to get better over the weekend and early this week, but it really bothered me this morning.  Not so much numb as hurt from stiffness.  It eventually went away once I was up and moving around, but it's a strange sensation.

--I mentioned swelling last week in my hands.  It wasn't bad, but Friday I started having swelling in my feet.  It went away when I had my feet up, so I didn't think much of it.  I am carrying two babies, and at 35 weeks I'm probably the size of a 43 week pregnancy.  Some swelling is to be expected, I would think.

--The little bit of heartburn I had had earlier seems to be making a comeback.  It's mostly just at night, but just so annoying!  I now keep the Tums in the bedroom.

Sleeping: Still about the same ... not much.  We did get a glider chair for the nursery and right after Hubby assembled it, I fell asleep in it.  I may give it a try one night when I'm having difficulties sleeping.  It's a lot easier to get in and out of than the bed.  I can hear my joints creaking when I get up from bed.  I'm getting old!

Ultrasound: None since last Monday.  The next one is scheduled for Thursday, May 26.

Appointment: Okay, here's where things get complicated.  Had an appointment on Monday, was pretty routine until they told me they wanted me to go to Triage over at the hospital, due to the swelling in my feet and a slightly elevated blood pressure.  They felt that everything was probably fine, but I should get checked out just in case.  Since I also had an NST scheduled, they told me not to worry about it and they would let Triage know that I needed the NST as well.  Thus started my unexpected hospital stay this week.  Next appointment is Monday May 23, I'm not sure, but maybe the cerclage will come out then.  Yay!!

Hospital: In Triage they drew blood, took a urine sample, monitored my blood pressure, hooked me up to monitors for the NST, and then we waited.  After a couple hours I saw Dr. O who felt that I would be allowed to go home soon.  He wasn't at all concerned about me.  A little after he left I was told I was being admitted.  That was a let down.  They had talked about sending me home with instructions for doing a 24 hour urine sample that I would just bring back to the office.  Instead they decided they would do it at the hospital.  After two attempts to put a hep-lock in (just in case I needed an IV at anytime) they gave up (IVs and I do not get along) and moved me to a room.  During my stay they occasionally checked my blood pressure, which was always either really good or at least fair, they collected all my urine over 24 hours, and they did a few more NSTs on the babies.  Tuesday afternoon everything checked out and I was discharged.  I do not have pre-eclampisa at this time, although I was just below the levels.  So Dr. O says I have gestational hypertension.  I'm supposed to take it easy (um ... I'm already on bed rest) and keep my feet up.  The swelling goes down with my feet up, a good sign.  I'll have some more labs run next week at my appointment, but hopefully they won't be sending me back to Triage, especially since we are getting so close to the end!!

Non-Stress Tests: Had one Thursday, it was good; as mentioned above, was supposed to have one Monday, instead I had about 3-4 while in the hospital between Monday and Tuesday; and I'll have another again this coming Thursday, plus two scheduled for next week.  Babies keep looking good!

Notable this week: Honestly, this past week was pretty eventful already, not much I can add to it.  Hopefully there will be big news next week!  We're getting close!

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

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pregnancy Update: 34 Weeks

How far along: 34 weeks!!  And, it seems we may only have two, possibly three, of these updates left!!  More on that further down.

How big are babies: The pregnancy app lists the babies at approximately 4 3/4 lbs. (about the size of a cantaloupe) and almost 18 inches long.  However, we had a growth ultrasound on Monday and Baby B is about on target with this estimate at 4 lbs. 13 oz.  Baby A is a bit bigger at 5 lbs. 9 oz.  Both are growing well!!

Survival chances: Another step up as we hit 34 weeks: between 34 weeks and 36 weeks, 6 days survival chances are greater than 99%.  Chances of severe or moderate disabilities among survivors is now down to 4%; minor disability is still the same as last week at 15%.  (Gunter, The Preemie Primer, 2010)  As for percent chance of delivering for women who have had a rescue cerclage, based on singleton pregnancies, about 34% of them delivered between 34 weeks and 36 weeks, 6 days.**  This is the peak of those stats.

Weight gain: Looks like I've gained about 44 lbs.  I almost fell off the scale Monday when I saw the number.  Haha!!  At least this is temporary!

Cravings: No particular cravings, but I am trying to focus my diet more on things that will help keep the restlessness in my legs away.  Namely things containing magnesium and/or potassium.  Not really a craving, but I'll do anything to settle down the restlessness.

Aversions: Still nothing!  Yay!!

Belly button: Still the same.  Wonder if it will return to it's normal state after being so flat and out for so long!

Movement: They are really moving a lot!  They must be running out of room because I see so much of their movements now.  It's so wild to see my belly move in big huge waves suddenly.  There are times when I think they are about to jump right out!!  Hubby keeps missing it, poor guy.

Pregnancy symptoms: I might possibly be getting the leg restlessness under control.  I'm now eating a banana once a day and we got some magnesium supplements this week that I've started taking.  The supplement provides 25% of a typical person's daily allowance of magnesium.  I'm also drinking a protein shake once a day that provides 30% of my daily magnesium.  Between those two things, the banana, and just whatever I get from the rest of my diet, things seem to be a bit better.  I probably need a few more days for everything to completely take effect. 

A second symptom just started up in the last two days, some numbness in my hand.  Of course it would be my right hand, the one on the one side of my body that I'm comfortable sleeping on.  I'm right-handed, so it starts falling asleep when I'm eating, typing, writing, and even just doing nothing.  Sounds fun, huh?  Although it did just occur to me that this is the same side where I developed tendinitis in grad school and have been dealing with ever since.  It hasn't flared up in over a year (it's been two years since I played my clarinet at all and I am very careful to be ergonomically correct at the office), but maybe I should pull my arm brace out again and sleep with it on to see if that helps.  Otherwise, I guess I should just hope that this will go away after delivery (tendinitis is a pregnancy symptom, and I'm more prone to it since I'm already pre-disposed).

I may also be possibly having a bit of swelling for the first time.  Just noticed it this morning in my hands, but I'm not sure if it is really swelling or just a bit of joint stiffness or maybe related to the tendinitis.  At least there are only a few weeks left.

Sleeping: I've given up sleeping on my left side.  I know that would be preferable, but my back can't take it.  I do sleep on my left side for a short period of the night, but mostly I stay on my right side.  Also, we did get a recliner!!  It is now finally vacuumed and cleaned and I tried sleeping in it some last night.  I slept a little, but I don't think I could do it all night.  But it does give me another option besides the one position I can comfortably sleep in while in bed.

Ultrasound: Like I said above, I had an ultrasound on Monday.  This time it was the growth ultrasound.  The babies were very cooperative, thus the tech went through everything pretty quickly.  It was probably the fastest growth ultrasound I've had.  I think the dopplar ultrasound two weeks ago was longer.  So Baby A had a heartbeat of 133, was head down, and weighed 5 lbs, 9 oz putting him/her in the 61st percentile.  Baby B had a heartbeat of 130, was mostly breech (a bit transverse), and weighed 4 lbs, 13 oz putting him/her in the 42nd percentile.  The discrepancy is 13%, which is still in the safe zone.  It's a big change since previous discrepancy calculations, but since both are growing fine, fluid levels were good, and we're so far along now, there seemed to be no concern about TTTS.  The doctors seemed pleased with how everything looked and I got two cute pictures of the babies' faces.  B's pic was a little blurry, but A's was really good, you can see cheeks and a little chin!  Very cute!

Appointment: Before the ultrasound, I had my appointment.  The doctor is recommending that we remove the cerclage at 36 weeks, in the office, and then see what happens.  She felt that I would probably dilate at least 2, maybe 3, cm shortly after it is removed.  So it's possible things may go fast after that, or it could still be another week.  But they won't let me go past 37 weeks, so either way we have at most 3 weeks left.  Also, she explained more about why the ideal position for Baby B is breech.  As long as B is the same size as or smaller than A and A delivers vaginally, they can grab B's legs and pull him right down safely.  For this reason, it has been highly encouraged that I get an epidural, but she did say I can put it off until I'm roughly 5 cm or so if I want.  I'll be taking that option.  As long as A is head down, I'll be opting for a vaginal delivery.  I know this also means that I could end up with a c-section for B if he/she moves once A is out.  But I'm willing to take that risk.  Even with a planned vaginal delivery, c-sections happen.  So it will be what it will be.  Luckily, delivery will be in the operating room no matter what.

Non-Stress Tests: Have had two more of these since my last update.  Both went well and have lasted no longer than about 40 minutes or so.  I will continue having these every Monday and Thursday.

Fetal Echo: Last Thursday was the last one of these.  It went well and whatever minor problems they saw the first time were no longer there this time.  So I don't need to go back for another.  The babies' hearts will be listened to after they are born and if they hear anything unusual they will follow up then.

Notable this week: We finally got a dresser!!  It was delivered today from a local furniture store!!  Finally I have a place to put many of the things we have acquired for the the babies.  Let the laundry begin!  Hubby also installed a ceiling fan in their room and new shades.  We purchased car seats (very important) and will be installing those in the car soon.  Things are coming together!  Oh, and I got such an unexpected call on Tuesday.  My regular doctor's nurse called me just to check on how I was doing.  She had received the ultrasound results and wanted to call and see how I was.  She also told me when the doctor would be back from her maternity leave, which will be right when I'm 36 weeks.  But really, I was just so touched that she wanted to check on me.  Not only have all the medical staff been great and definitely world-class, it's obvious that they a care too.  You can't ask for better than that!

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

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Tribute to Brigit

Very quietly you entered our lives,
A joyful discovery that truly took us by surprise.
We had waited so long and had almost given up,
and then, to our surprise, you showed up.

I remember seeing you for the first time.
Such a tiny little dot on a black and white screen.
The fluttering little pin point gave us hope,
Hope that you would make it,
Hope that our arms would no longer be empty,
Hope that things would be different this time.

But just as quietly as you entered our lives,
You quietly left.
So quietly we had no idea how empty our lives suddenly were.

The next time I saw you was bittersweet.
Very briefly I saw you floating across the screen.
And that's when I learned that you were no longer with us,
The fluttering was gone.
All alone I sat and waited ... and wondered ...

Why?  Just ... why?

Everything about your short life was so quiet.
I imagine you as a quiet, contemplative type.
Maybe that is why God needed you,
Another prayerful soul for His Kingdom.

But for you, my daughter, I did the only thing I knew to do,

I fought for you, for your personhood.
And I won.
A small victory among much heartbreak.
But it meant a proper burial,
a day I will never forget.

You are our special child,
Our quiet little girl,
A blessing in our lives.
You, our little Brigit Ann, will never be forgotten.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Pregnancy Update: Week 33

How far along: 33 weeks!  12 weeks ago today was when I was admitted to the hospital because I was 2 cm. dilated.  Being at 33 weeks now feels like a miracle!!

How big are babies: Babies are a bit over 4 pounds now, about the same as a pineapple (mmm, pineapple!) and probably a bit over 17 inches now as well. 

Survival chances: We're at the same place as last week: Between 32 weeks and 33 weeks, 6 days survival chances are greater than 98%.   Severe or moderate disabilities among survivors is down to 8% while minor disability is down to 15%.  (Gunter, The Preemie Primer, 2010).  As for percent chance of delivery for women who have had a rescue cerclage I'm still in the same category as last week: 22% delivered between 30 weeks and 33 weeks, 6 days.**

Weight gain: Haven't been weighed since last week, so I don't know.  I hope it's still under 40 pounds.

Cravings: Nothing in particular, although fresh pineapple is sounding good now.

Aversions: Nothing beyond the things I would avoid pregnant or not.

Belly button: Same as last week.

Movement: Still moving like crazy.  How they are finding the room for it, I have no idea!

Leg cramps and other symptoms: The most annoying symptom remains the restlessness in my legs and occasionally in my arms.  We haven't found a magnesium supplement yet that is under 130 mgs.  But we have a few places we haven't tried yet.  In the meantime, I have found that the Special K Protein Shakes are pretty good and contain some magnesium and I try to snack on almonds a little more, another good source of magnesium.  Also trying to get in more potassium to help.  Thankfully the kick ball match with my bladder has not returned.

Sleeping: Basically not doing much of this.  I can no longer lay on my left side without major back pain.  That means I'm only comfortable on my right side.  I wouldn't mind, except it gets uncomfortable after a while when I really can't move anywhere else.  I can't easily get out of bed or even sit up.  So I don't sleep much because of all that and frequent bathroom trips.  I really want a recliner!!  We're trying, have struck out four times using craigslist; I'm starting to get desperate!

Ultrasound: Next official one is Monday April 9.

Appointment: Next one is also on Monday April 9.

Non-Stress Tests: Started these this week.  First one was Monday and took about 30-40 minutes.  Baby B got the appropriate number of raised heart rates in the 20 minute time period.  Makes sense that the active, always moving child would excel at this particular test; although it was difficult locating Baby B's heartbeat to begin with.  Baby A's heart rate was easy to find, of course, but this child is also our laid back one.  Took a bit longer before we got the same number of raised heart rates.  I'm getting really curious to see how their personalities will be and how well they match what I've observed of them these last few months.  Next NST is tomorrow and then I have two more scheduled for Monday April 9 and Thursday April 12.

Fetal Echo: The second (and hopefully last) of these is tomorrow morning.  Which means I'll also get to see the babies on ultrasound again.  The focus will be on the heart, but it'll be nice to see them again.

Notable this week: I could mention several things here, the baby shower from this weekend being one of the biggest things.  We also finally got the replacement dresser for the babies' room, only to find out that it too was busted.  We've decided not to try and replace again, but to just return it and get our money back.  I will say, customer service at Toys 'R' Us is very nice.  The guy I spoke to was very understanding and had the reimbursement started right away rather than waiting a couple weeks for the product to get back.  And he gave us 20% off and free shipping on a future order.  That will come in handy, I know there are other things we'll need.  As for the dresser, we'll be looking for something from a local furniture store, maybe while we're also looking for a recliner!

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

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Joy Moments (6)

There are several things I could comment on for this post.  How to decide?  Since I mentioned both the Baptism and the shower in my Monday post, I thought I'd just post a picture this time that made me smile.

This was taken during the shower on Saturday.  These are two of my nieces, my sister's daughter on the right and my sister-in-law's daughter on the left.  The older one (5 years old) "adopted" the younger one.  When I saw this picture I couldn't help but smile.  They look so cute sitting under the tree in our front yard on one of the few really nice days we have had recently.

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!!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Joyful Overload

I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around how exciting and joyful and happy [and insert your own synonym here] things are getting around me.  I've been so cautious for so long, with obvious reason.  I lost a baby and planned a memorial mass for her.  I lost another baby in the second trimester and had to plan a funeral mass for him.  I dealt with wacky cycles and the possibility of not being able to conceive again.  I then lost a third baby and planned a burial mass for her. 

Then I got pregnant a fourth time and no matter how excited we and everyone around us was, I was still very cautious.  Who could blame me?  And then we had the scare around 21 weeks and we thought we might lose them.  Luckily that all worked out and things are progressing very smoothly.  I still find it hard to believe!  And that's what is so scary about our lives right now.

I actually have a Baptism planned now.  Wow what a difference!  To actually have the opportunity to plan a joyful event rather than a sad one feels a bit foreign still.  In some ways I almost feel a little removed from it.  Intellectually I know it is for the children *we* are having, the ones I feel move around in my body, but emotionally I feel almost like I'm planning something for someone else.

Then this weekend my family had a baby shower for me.  It was so amazing to have so many people here showering our babies with things they will need, celebrating these little lives with us.  I was so touched and overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone.  Such a wonderful experience!!  I just can't believe it was for us!  Even now, as I sit in my family room where some of the decorations are still up, the gifts are piled in the corners, a stack of children's books sits on my coffee table, and the thank you cards sit next to them ready to be written, I have a hard time believing that there will be two little ones here soon, in *our* house!  We even have cribs in our house.  Cribs!!!  In our house!!  Who would have thought.

The shower was wonderful!!  My sister, mom, and niece came up for it.  They along with my other sister who was unable to be here, took care of the cute invitations, the decorations, and ordering a cake.  My in-laws took care of the food since they are a bit closer (only an hour compared to six hours).  Besides the family members who were here, I got to visit with co-workers and friends some of whom I hadn't seen since February.  It was so much fun!

The theme was "Two Peas in a Pod" and it was carried over from the invitation to the decorations and into the food. 

The cake was precious!!  The topper was a little pea pod with two little heads popping out that looked like little elves.  My sister ordered it from a local bakery without knowing anything about them since she doesn't live here.  I had not heard of them either.  It ended up being an excellent choice.  Not only was it a cute cake but it was really good too!!  Very moist.  The top layer was vanilla and the bottom was chocolate.  We still have some of the bottom layer left, actually half of it.  If you are local and want to try it, stop on by!!  Seriously!

As creative genes go, my sister got them all.  I'm not nearly as creative as she is.  She put together the vases you see on the mantle in this picture to the left.  They were filled with frozen peas and had a white pillar candle in them.  The food table also had similar vases of frozen peas with flowers in green, yellow, and while stuck in them.  The banner says "Sweet Peas" and she found it on Etsy and asked the maker of it to include two little baby faces in the pea pods on the ends and in the middle.  And of course, the colors all matched as well.

In the picture on the right is a diaper cake.  It was so well put together, again by my sister, that many people didn't realize those were all diapers at first.  You can also see the invitation next to it.  Also, with the little peas in a pod on it.  Like I said that theme was everywhere!!  So cute!!

In addition to the diaper cake (which has about 50+ size 1 diapers in it) there was also a basket full of diapers and markers on the coffee table.  Guests were asked to write a short message on the front of the diaper so that my husband and I have a cute message to read when we are up at 2am changing diapers.  We suddenly have lots of diapers and I have yet to actually purchase any myself (with the exception of the few cloth diapers I have purchased for later use).  Although, for as many as we have, we know we'll go through them quick.

A few more pictures:

The spread of food my in-laws put together before we all dug in.  The "runner" on
the table is actually wrapping paper!  Isn't that a great idea!

These tiny salt & pepper shakers were too cute to pass up.
And they fit the theme so perfectly!!

These were the favors: green M&Ms candies in little bottles with stickers on them in the
"Two Peas in a Pod" theme.
It was a really great time and I hope that everyone that came had a good time as well.  The food was good, the company was great, and the love was everywhere!!  I am on joy overload with the generosity of everyone celebrating with us.  I need these little reminders that good things really are in our future. 

Thank you to all who came to celebrate with us!  Thank you to all of my family for putting this all together!!  It may be hard to wrap my mind around this totally, but I am certain the reality of it all will set in fast once these babies are here.