Sunday, February 28, 2010

32w3d: a baby shower

Sorry I have not written, as I had mentioned I had friends and my sister coming into town.  I want to acknowledge all the kind and supportive comments I got to my posts about freaking out and the good baby news.  I am excited that I have readers out there for whom this is helpful, and I enjoy sharing our milestones and accomplishments.

Today was the big day for the shower!  There are tons of pictures of family and friends, and I am including a select few, but they all have me in them (well, it is my blog, after all).  The shower was at my mom's house, and my sister and my friends Molly and Alex did the organizing.  My mom also did some cooking, and as usual with my family, there was more than enough delicious food.  I am a little concerned that we have good turn-outs at family events because of the food and not so much because of the event itself... But no, I am kidding.  Today I felt extremely loved, and there is so much happiness and excitement surrounding these babies, I just can't wait for them to be here.  I think we will have the two luckiest babies in the world, and this is a big reason why I wanted to have kids in the first place.  Eric and I have a strong and loving relationship and a happy home, and are surrounded by support and caring.  You couldn't ask for a better start in life.

We got so many gifts.  I think we are pretty much set for their arrival now!  The only thing we don't have (other than the baby furniture which has not yet been delivered) is a changing table cushion to put on top of their dresser.  Other than that we have car seats, strollers, bouncy seats, swings, a high chair, clothes galore, diapers, burp cloths, blankets.  Oh, and speaking of blankets, today's sweetest surprise was two hand-crocheted baby blankets from Molly's mom.  Beautiful colors and so soft!  It was unexpected since she wasn't at the shower.  My mom and dad gave us both car seats, since I had continually expressed concern that we wouldn't be able to bring the babies home from the hospital!  I figured once we got them home we could figure out what happened next but I would really be screwed without car seats.  Problem solved.

So, here are some photos from the day.  First, me talking as my guests arrive:
Opening gifts with help from my friends.  Shoshana was in charge of cleaning up wrapping, and Alex was the secretary, writing down gifts.
My aunt Sharon (previously known for her excellent job babysitting me in week 27-28) sent a gift, including these adorable socks that look like shoes!
Here is a picture of me with my doctor's office friend, Elizabeth.  We met in the waiting room while doing our IVF cycles and are due 4 days apart, although she is having one little girl and is likely to go full-term, so our babies will probably be born about 4 weeks apart.  It is amazing that we are here, glowingly pregnant at 32 weeks after all the hardship it took to get here. 
Then, once we came home again, Cass took a few pictures of Eric and me, and a few of me alone.  Here I am with Eric:
And again, with Eric.  We do love each other and do like to smooch, even if we found out the hard way that's not how babies get made if your name is Becca.


And then a shot of me alone, I swore I wouldn't do bare belly, but decided to do a few without too much skin hanging out.  My belly is still stretch-mark free and I still have an innie, so in a way, that is worth commemorating.
Thank you to everyone who came today, and who was so generous in the gifts to our boys.  Eric was thrilled to open everything and see it when we got it home, and he is now opening and assembling the pack n play (which matches our living room perfectly!).  He is clearly getting excited about the impending arrival of our babies, as am I.  Tonight I feel so lucky, and so loved.  Thank you everybody.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

32 weeks!

I did not take a picture today, I am sorry to say.  I will take a belly picture in the next couple of days.  It is fair to say that I am continually increasing in size!

Today was my eagerly anticipated doctor's appointment with a growth scan and non-stress test (NST).  It was good to see the boys again.  We didn't get any 3Ds of their faces, but all their bits and pieces are perfect.  They are practicing their breathing (this is good, since they will need to breathe after they're born!).  Their weights are estimated at about 3 lbs, 14-15 oz.  So if born today, they would be anywhere from 3.5 lbs to 4.5 lbs.  Which is obviously small, but great progress from 4 weeks ago, and the OB said they're "normal-sized babies," even though they are twins.  They remain head-down, in perfect position for delivery.  And are not moving from those positions at all. 

After the good growth news, we went for my NST.  This is a test where the babies' heartrates are monitored for a period of time while my belly is monitored for contractions.  They look to find out if the babies hearts are "reactive," meaning that at some point they speed up for a period of about 15 seconds.  Flat, regular heart rates in babies are apparently not a good thing.  I had one small contraction while being monitored, but apparently this is totally normal, and since the babies heartrates didn't drop in response, it means they are handling everything fine.  Hurray for good, strong babies!  You are allowed 1 hour for the babies to have the heartrate accelerations, but the boys got it over with in 20 minutes.  My OB said that he doesn't care about my cervix anymore (I guess until I am 36 weeks and hoping to go into labor) because my lack of contractions show that I'm not in labor or doing anything that would affect my cervix.

I stopped in to the OB's office to get my blood pressure and weight checked.  Blood pressure was fine, as usual, and my weight is on a steady incline.  In about 4 more pounds, I will weigh as much as Eric.  Ha!  Great.  Everyone says it looks like it's "all belly," and I don't feel like a big puffy blimp, but I certainly miss my old muscles and am looking forward to being able to walk, jog, and do some weight-lifting this spring.

And, the best news of the day.  I am now allowed 2 hours of activity a day!  I can go out everyday if I want.  Today I kind of cheated... I went to the doctor AND got a hair cut, but I will stick to my allowed time from here on.  But this is wonderful!  I can help Eric cook, do some light cleaning, and after the shower I will be able to do some organizing and getting things ready for the babies.  I can also do all of our food shopping now, which I have really missed.  I'll need to go with my mom so that she can drive me and help me with carrying the groceries, but that's ok.  So, I have 2 weeks of this very modified bedrest, and then 2 weeks from now I am a completely free woman.  And then I figure I'll have maybe 2 weeks until the babies are here and I become enslaved to their needs.  But that was the point of this pregnancy anyway. 

I feel almost normal again, and am looking forward to celebrating that this weekend.  Tomorrow my sister and my friend Cass are coming to town, and we are having a nice dinner to celebrate my sister's accomplishment-- she was accepted to graduate school!  She still has more schools to hear from, but this school was in her top two choices and it means that "worst case" she will be going somewhere she likes.  We're also having an ice cream cake for her birthday (which is May 13), because after this trip, she will most likely come back when the boys are born, and for their bris, and possibly once more in April before she leaves for Cambodia and Laos for 4 months.

While Cass is here, she will take some maternity pictures of me, which I will post on here.  She is a very good photographer and did both of my cousins' weddings two years ago.  I am not sure what I'll wear since I did not buy many maternity clothes, but I'll figure something out.  And then on Sunday, I am having my shower!  I am just so excited to see all the friends and family, I love socializing and these past ten weeks have been very isolating.  So there is a great deal to look forward to.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

31w6d: Is it spring yet?

So, they are predicting more snow for tomorrow!  Of course I am partly relieved to have been able to spend this crazy, snowy winter inside, but I have missed out on some pretty good sledding, and I know it.  Our doctor's appointment is tomorrow morning, first thing, so I think we will be able to go and come back without too much trouble.  I am getting so excited about seeing our boys again, and I know tonight will be another sleepless night.  Then I guess I will come home and spend the snow day napping!  Maybe I will also treat myself and the boys to a nice mug of hot chocolate.  That said, I am getting very eager for spring to arrive.  I am fantasizing about flowers popping up, trees budding, the grass turning green, the sun shining, and warm breezes.  Part of this fantasy also involves me pushing my twin sons in their Double Snap n Go stroller, and everyone we pass stopping us to tell me how adorable they are.  Yes, I am conceited enough to think that everyone else will think my kids are cute.  And if you don't think so, please keep it to yourself!

I am really hoping for only good news at my appointment tomorrow.  I feel very good, in general, so I hope that is a positive sign.  I have irregular Braxton-Hicks, and at times my uterus feels irritable.  When I move suddenly, or roll over in bed, or the babies have been very active for a long period of time, my belly tightens up.  It is different from when I have contractions, because it doesn't have the required "beginning, middle, and end" that my OB looks for in order to label it a contraction.  It doesn't worry me in terms of thinking I might be starting labor, but I am hoping it is just normal.  Some days it seems like my uterus is just tired of its rapid expansion and the constant beating it's taking from the babies.

Eric and I have been doing a fair number of things to get ready for the babies.  Today he went to Costco and picked up a Flip HD camcorder so we could take video of the babies once they are here.  I am sure that I am going to be one of those crazy parents who thinks every spit-up and coo is the most adorable thing in the world.  I promise not to post that stuff here, though.  He also got a case of baby wipes.  He then said, "How many wipes will we need anyway? Not that many, right?"  Hahahahaha!  I just looked at him.  He is in for a very rude awakening!

I called a pediatrician that my OB recommended.  The receptionist was very nice.  She said I could have a phone interview with the pediatrician, but I declined.  The practice is nearby, is associated with the hospital where the babies will be born, and my OB recommended it.  I am not planning on doing any alternative vaccination schedules, and at this point don't have any real concerns.  If I find the doctor or practice unresponsive once the babies are here, I will consider switching, but my OB said the doctor has a great reputation.  Plus it is a woman, and I like having female doctors.  They said to just give them a call once the boys arrive and they'll visit us at the hospital.  That was easy!

I also got in touch with the mohel about the boys' bris.  I have been so lucky in my choice of partner with Eric.  Despite his not being Jewish, and his general apathy toward organized religion, he has been completely supportive of all the Jewish things we do.  We had a lovely Jewish wedding ceremony, and signed a ketubah.  He hung a mezuzzah on our door while I said the prayer.  And now he has no problem with the fact that our sons will be publicly circumcised.  The mohel was very nice on the phone, and I am looking forward to the bris going smoothly.  I am excited to include all my grandparents in the ceremony, and thrilled that my sons are coming into this world with so much family and love and tradition.  I am sad my in-laws will most likely not be there, though.  It would be their first (and probably only) bris, and a big moment in the babies' lives.

Today's picture is of Eric and me at the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris, where we got to see beautiful paintings of Monet's waterlilies.  I chose this picture because it was about one year ago that we left for our trip.  I sure do wish we were leaving for the Caribbean this weekend!  But I am excited for my shower, I can't wait to see friends and family and celebrate.  Tomorrow will be news about the doctor...

Monday, February 22, 2010

31w4d: I'm Scared!

It was 10 weeks ago today that I was put on bedrest.  Back then, I was scared that I would lose my babies, or that they would be born so early that they would have long-term difficulties.  Now that I'm quickly approaching 32 weeks, I realize that we are definitely going to end up with two healthy babies at the end of this... and the end of this is rapidly approaching.  I still think I'll be lucky to make it to 36 weeks, but even if I went into labor soon, we would likely be coming home from the hospital in 4-6 weeks with our sons. 

So I have started to look at books about nursing, and babies, and raising twins. Thank goodness I waited until now, because those books are scary!  Those babies are going to make it very hard for us to sleep apparently.  Both Eric and I are 8 hours a night kind of people... How will we make it on so little sleep?  Will we kill the kids? Each other? Both?  My mom reassured me that there are many sets of twins living as adults, and their parents didn't kill them.  Oh, and then one of the books I read made mention of something about divorce rates being highest in parents of twins.  Great, one of my worst fears!  I know Eric and I are going into this with a much stronger relationship than most people have, and we have had many conversations about the ways we plan to maintain our relationship after the babies come.  But I'm starting to panic about how little time we have left just the two of us, I wish every minute we could be spent doing something special or romantic, but we can't.  And we're not allowed to have sex, and I figure between bedrest, post-partum recovery, and babies, I don't know when we will.  That makes me really sad, too. 

And I have always, always, always wanted to breast feed.  I have a lot of romantic notions about breastfeeding, but I am also too cheap to pay for the amount of formula these two babies would need if they were exclusively formula-fed.  But all I hear are nightmare stories about babies that can't latch, cracked and bleeding nipples, mastitis, nursing non-stop (and that's with one baby, not two), lack of supply... and I am sure there are other awful things that just aren't coming to mind right now.  I hear so much about people giving up early on, and I hope that I will have the dedication to keep going and get through the hardest parts with the boys.

I find myself wanting to make all kinds of social commitments for the spring and summer.  I want the boys to be portable in the beginning.  A friend is doing a 5K walk for breast cancer on Mother's Day.  I want to walk it with her, and just push the boys in the stroller, but who knows what they'll be like at that point?  And we plan to go to Maine in July, the boys should be about 3 months old.  I want all our family and friends up there to be able to meet the babies, especially Eric's grandparents!  Our boys will come into this world with 6 great-grandparents.  They are so lucky.  I don't know how well they will get to know all their great-grandparents (very sad to say) so I want them to have as much time together as they can.

The funniest to me, though, was my sister.  She asked if I thought the babies would be here by the first week in April, and I said I thought they would.  So she told me, "Great! I am off work the 2nd week in April, you should come down to DC and we'll go out for oysters!"  I pointed out that I would likely be exhausted, in yoga pants, and figuring out how to breastfeed.  She said, "No problem, you'll just carry the babies on your lap."  Ok... I'm not that delusional.

Those are some of the thoughts I've had over the past few days.  There are more, but I know when to stop.

Friday, February 19, 2010

31w1d: A Hot Date

Ok, so our date wasn't hot the same way it was back when we were dating.  We didn't have cocktails and then finish off a bottle of wine, I didn't wear sexy lingerie, and we didn't go home and jump into bed.  But, we had a lovely evening!  First we went by our neighbors' house to say hello.  They just had their kitchen renovated and I wanted to ooh and ahh over it.  We were supposed to go over to dinner there in December after it was finished, but instead I got put on bedrest, so this was my first chance to see it.  Then we went out to dinner at a small place nearby.  It is called Gemelli, and we liked our dinners.  I had pork belly to start, and Eric had a butternut squash soup.  Then for our main courses, Eric had pappardelle with lamb ragu and I had scallops with risotto.  We skipped dessert.  I would definitely go back again.

On our way home we went by my parents' house and my mom took some pictures of us.  I am angled funny in the picture of us because I was trying to show off my belly but it really looks like I don't like Eric, which isn't the case.  He is, as usual, his handsome self.

At dinner, Eric and I talked a little about my "Type A" personality.  Now, for a long time I would have said that I absolutely wasn't Type A.  I can name a number of people more uptight than I am.  But, the truth of it is, I really like things the way I like them, I like to be in control, and I am only satisfied if things turn out the way I planned.  I came to terms with my Type A-ness, and over time I was able to let go of some things (for example, it used to be that I wouldn't ask people to bring any food over for dinner parties because I didn't think it would be "good enough" for me. Now I just accept the help and figure we'll eat the food no matter what it is).

Being on bedrest has really made me relinquish a great deal of control.  I told Eric that now I think I'm Type A-.  There is no way I can do everything, and I have accepted many offers of help in the past couple of months.  I also think this is good, because I have heard from already-mommies to accept all offers of help once the babies get here, and if I had been able to take care of myself up until this point, I would have a hard time accepting that help.  Now I am already broken down, and ready to accept any and all help after the babies are born!  I just hope we haven't worn out everyone's goodwill!

Here is a picture of me from last night looking like my old self (but bigger).  It felt so good to get dressed and see myself looking like me in the mirror.  Of course, my dad said, "You are looking more heavily pregnant," last night, and we all yelled at him.  I told him never use the words "fat" and "heavy" around a pregnant woman.  Eric said, "I don't know how you ever got married!" to my dad.  He is not very smooth.  But, yes, the belly is growing.  The boys inside of it better be growing along with it!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

31w: Nursery Pictures

Yes, today marks yet another week pregnant.  Hurray! Tomorrow I will post with pictures and details of our hot date, but I wanted to put up some pictures to show all of the hard work that my mother-in-law put in on our nursery while she was here.  So, here is before:
And then here is the same scene after, with my free glider and a basket of baby toys and things:
Here is a picture of my hard-working mother-in-law, on a much-needed evening break, snuggling with my mom's cats (who have 1 more week left with us; if all is well at my 32 week growth scan and non-stress test, they are going home to their mommy).
And here are the same sweet cats, with my big Trouble Maker.  They were keeping me company in bed, and gradually squeezing me out this morning.  But I let them because I am a big softie when it comes to cats.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

30w5d: Jailbreak!

Today I used up one of my two two-hour outings.  I went to Babies R Us and Target with my mom and mother-in-law.  The picture is of me going back into the house with my mother-in-law.  As you can see, I was wearing real clothes, and my choice of shirt was ill-advised; when I came downstairs in it my father-in-law said, "I thought stripes were supposed to make you look smaller..." But I was just excited to fit into the shirt because it is a non-maternity top and so I wore it anyway.  I see now that I look gigantic and I swear to you I'm not that big in real life.  I think.  But as I was leaving Target some man said, "Here comes triplets!" Not a good sign. 

Anyway, it was wonderful to be out.  I saw that the world has not changed immensely since I went on bedrest.  I had a nice time getting pushed around Babies R Us in a wheelchair and registering for some more baby stuff.  I remember that I went to Babies R Us with my mom and mother-in-law back in October and I didn't know what anything was or what it would get used for.  And this time I knew brand names, and what I wanted and needed.  I registered for some preemie onesies since I am pretty sure these boys will spend at least a week or three under 7 pounds.  At Target I got some nice thank-you notes for all the gifts I received on Sunday, and hair conditioner that I thought it would be too complicated to have Eric go out and find for me.  And at Target I walked on my own two feet!  I have to say that I am now much more tired than I usually am at this hour of the night.

I also have to say that my mother-in-law is unbelievable.  By the time I ate breakfast this morning, she had already sorted through all of the baby clothes we got, removed their tags, organized them by size and packed away anything for 3+ months, and got all the preemie, newborn, and 0-3 month clothes washed in Dreft.  Then she had breakfast and promptly got to painting the nursery.  The color was specially mixed at Sherwin-Williams and Eric named it "Turtle Blue," and it is perfect!  After the 2nd coat is up, I will post before and after pictures.  But I love, love, love the color.

Then we had lunch and went out on our expedition.  Exactly two hours I left the house, my cell phone rang and it was Eric, wanting to know where I was and making sure I was on my way home again.  And then we got home and Pat (that is my mother-in-law's name) cleaned out my refrigerator and washed all the shelves and drawers.  I have a tendency to hang on to some things past their prime, and Pat works in food service so she is very regimented about how long things are allowed to stay in the fridge.  Who knows what went into the garbage, but I figure what I don't know won't hurt me.  My fridge is now sparkling clean and so bright.  And she made us a Christmas dinner since we missed it at Christmas time.  We had ham, mashed potatoes, corn, carrots, rolls... And I am going to have some blueberry pie for dessert.  So she is a whirling dervish and really puts my bed/couch-warming to shame!

Let's end with a picture of the two cute, sweet bedrest buddies:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

30w3d: An in-law surprise

Yes, I know that today is also Valentine's Day.  Eric made me a lovely breakfast.  He brings me breakfast in bed every morning, but this morning he brought me baked eggs with cream and maple bacon.  But the best part was that he ate with me.  Usually he brings me breakfast upstairs, and he goes down to his office and works while he eats.  So we had a nice breakfast, and talked, and exchanged cards.  Then he got up and got a move on because there was a lot to be done before his parents arrived, and they were making good time coming down from Maine.

Around 1:30 I got up to shower, and started feeling kind of crampy.  So after the shower, rather than going downstairs to make my lunch, I got back into bed.  I tried to keep track of my contractions but I wasn't writing them down (note to self and others: write down when they occur, don't just think to yourself, "that was not a lot of time.").  My in-laws arrived around 2:30, and I heard a lot of commotion downstairs.  I heard things like, "Hon, could you get the other cooler?"  (Other cooler?  More than one?)  My in-laws came from Maine with: baked beans my grandma-in-law made me because I usually eat them at Christmas but we weren't there, a blueberry pie, carrot cake, brownies, peanut butter blossoms, two kinds of fudge, a ham, spaghetti sauce, hot dogs, dinner rolls, and I actually don't know what else but figure I will discover more as we go along. 

I began to worry that something was wrong, so I decided to call my OB.  The contractions were frequent, but not painful or particularly strong.  Still, I didn't know if I should worry.  Or, make that worry more than I already was.  I want you to know I have only called my OB with concerns twice before today, so I am not alarmist.  Immediately after I called, my contractions stopped.  So when he returned my call, it felt less urgent.  He told me I need to have a lot more contractions, that are stronger, for more than 1 hour, before I worry. 

So I came downstairs, and what do I see?
My mother-in-law had arranged for all of our Maine friends and family to bring baby gifts to her house, and she brought them all to me.  We were going to have a baby shower!
I was so surprised, and so excited.  I have been complaining my babies have no clothes.  Well, no more complaints about that!  Here are some pictures of us opening our gifts:

This was Eric feeling the babies wiggle.  Apparently they like being showered with gifts, too!
And here are some preemie pajamas that look huge compared to the size of my belly:

Here is Eric "looking lovingly" at me (his excuse for not smiling at the camera) after we had opened our gifts:
And here is the rest of the stuff.  

What you can't see are all the blankets and towels, washclothes, and some of the adorable outfits we received.  The stuff is adorable and I can't wait to be dressing our cute little boys in all of it.  I am so appreciative of everyone's generosity.

Friday, February 12, 2010

30w1d: Good News Update

Today I am feeling very happy and optimistic.  I had my LAST cervical check this morning!  My OB said that he doesn't like to bother cervixes after this point, so given that I am still stable, and have been for 8 weeks now, I am allowed to start increasing activity.  That means that I don't have to stay in bed anymore, so I will start going back downstairs and eating dinner at the table like a normal person.  He also suggested that I take two 2-hour trips out each week!  So of course, being the planner that I am, I have already planned my trips for the next two weeks.  First, I am going to go to Babies R Us with my mother-in-law to finish registering.  We were supposed to go together at Christmas but I didn't make it up to Maine.  I want her to be a part of all of this since we have been so far apart for all but 3 days of my pregnancy so far, and these are her grandsons!

Then, after my in-laws leave, we have dinner reservations at a small restaurant near us.  Just Eric and me.  And a bottle of wine.  Ok, I know you are not supposed to have wine, so go report me to the Pregnancy Police, but I am going to have a little wine with my dinner next week.  Not half the bottle, or even a full glass, but some.  I am so excited for this evening out, and I am so glad we are going to get to do it before the babies come, since I know opportunities will be scarce after the babies are here.

My OB also addressed delivery with me.  Both boys are head down, and have been head-down since about 20 weeks.  He said that he wants to have a vaginal delivery (this is good, because I do, too!) and that he does not do episiotomies except in very exceptional circumstances (also good news).  He did say if Baby B does not descend quickly he will use a vacuum to help out.  He said when delivering 2, getting things moving in a timely manner is helpful because I will likely be tired.  He also said that he will start an epidural no matter what.  I would like to try without medications, but he said it is important to have it started in the event that I can't deliver B vaginally and we need to have a C-section.  He did let me know that this is very rare, but better safe than sorry.  I am really not attached to any one birth plan.  If there is one thing that I have discovered in this process, it is that things almost never go the way you plan.  I did not get pregnant the way I wanted, I did not get to enjoy pregnancy the way I wanted, and so I want to be flexible on delivering the way I want.  All I really, truly want are two healthy babies, and I don't give a damn how they get here.

So, that is the pregnancy news for now.  I am excited because the winter Olympics start tonight, and I love watching the Olympics.  My favorite events are figure skating (men, women, and pairs), ice dancing, snowboarding, aerial skiing, and speed skating.  I know that with my pregnancy hormones I will probably cry at every medal ceremony, too. 

When I was younger, we always watched all the skating.  My sister wanted to do ice dancing, although without the ice and the skates.  She would put on music in our family room and make my dad dance with her.  Because she was about 9 and little, he could actually do some lifts with her.  It was so cute and definitely a wonderful memory.  My dad is the kind of guy who will do anything for us (in case you hadn't caught on with all the spoiling he does even now), including lifting his daughters and twirling them around the family room.  Winter Olympics never come without us reminiscing over this!

Ok, and to end, my weekly pregnancy update:
How far along?  30 weeks, 1 day
Total weight gain/loss?  I am packing on the pounds now!  I have put on 32 pounds in the pregnancy so far. 
Maternity clothes?  You bet.  I think I might treat myself to something cute for my shower in two weeks.
Stretch marks? None yet!  I do use cocoa butter, but I am resigned to getting stretch marks.  If it happens, it happens.
Sleep?  Up and down.  I took Tylenol PM a few nights while I had a cold because I couldn't breathe and wasn't sleeping.  Now I have been falling asleep ok, but waking up early.  This morning we were under attack from the cats from about 6:15 until we gave in and got up at 7:30.  Sometimes there is such a thing as too much love...
Best moment last week? Today's appointment was pretty good!  I am thrilled to have remained stable and be getting back some activities.
Movement?  They are definitely getting bigger.  I think A's feet are hurting my side!  They seem to be most active around 11 pm when I am trying to go to sleep.  I am hoping they don't keep that schedule on the outside.
Food cravings? I am still craving a lot of fruit.  I am in LOVE with cocktail grapefruits.  They taste to me like a hybrid of oranges and grapefruits, but my mom thinks they are Pomelos and tangerines?  Regardless, they are so good that I like to eat at least one a day.
Gender? Two boys!
Labor signs? Same old Braxton-Hicks.  Obviously not a sign of labor since I have been having them for about 12 weeks now.
Belly button in/out? It is still in.  I am not sure it will ever pop, actually.
What I miss: Sledding.  This would be an amazing winter to go sledding.
What I am looking forward to: I'm looking forward to my two outings this week!  And of course the visit from my in-laws.
Milestones: 30 weeks.  These babies are now pretty much 100% viable if they were born today.  I am so, so relieved.  I feel myself becoming more attached and in love with them every day, and my feelings are shifting from anxiety to excitement.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

30 Weeks! and I am a bedrest rebel

So, today I am 30 weeks!  When my OB set that as our initial goal 3 weeks ago, I felt like getting here would alleviate my fears.  But, of course, now all I can think is, I want go to 36 weeks!  And, I definitely want to still be pregnant at my shower in 2 weeks.  My friend Cass is coming down from Boston for the shower, and she is also a photographer, so while she is here she's going to take some maternity pictures of me.  This has never been a huge priority for me, and now that I'm on bedrest and feel especially unattractive, it's hard to imagine pictures of me all aglow with pregnancy, but I am hoping with the help of makeup and a haircut we can get some nice pictures.

Yesterday we had more snow.  The news told me that this is the snowiest winter on record for Philadelphia!  When the boys come, I will write that in their baby books.  I decided to be a little rebellious, and went on an unauthorized trip downstairs and out on to our back deck.  The snow was so beautiful.  I could have stayed outside forever, but after throwing a snowball (at the back of the house, not Eric) and eating a little snow (only the white stuff, nothing yellow!) I went back in and back into bed. 

Here is a picture out our dining room window:
We have owned our house for almost 4 years now, and in the entire time we have lived here, we've never had snow like this.  I still can't get over that it's all happening while I'm stuck on bedrest!  My timing is the pits.
Yesterday I had a visit from my mom, aunt Jane, and uncle Ed.  Jane and Ed were very brave and drove over here in the morning before they got housebound.  Mom walked over.  In the late afternoon, my neighbor Amy came over and we chatted for a long time.  She also brought me some homemade chicken soup, which I had for lunch today (it was delicious).

Tomorrow is my cervix check, so I will post again with the update.  I am going to leave you with a picture of me from the last time Eric and I got snowed in together.  It was January of 2005 and we were up in Cambridge.  It was so much fun, we took snow walks, and went to the playground around the corner from his house.  We went on the swings and then just let go of the chains and went flying into the air, landing in the snow.  We baked chocolate chip cookies, and watched movies in bed.  I think it remains my most favorite snowed-in time ever.  Love you, honey!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

29w5d: Celebrity Profile: Trouble Maker Whitten

For those of you who don't like cats, I'm sorry, feel free to skip this entry.  Trouble is our big kitty, he is a beautiful orange tom cat.  He weighs somewhere between 15 and 16 pounds, and if you ask me, most of it is muscle (other people have used other words that I'm not going to say here because I don't think Trouble needs to have a complex about his weight).  I think Trouble is essentially the supermodel of cats.  He really has it all, the body and the face!  He is so handsome.  I also say he is like Tom Brady, totally built and pretty damn cute.  His nicknames are Doggie, because he always meets us at the door with his tail wagging, and Oedipus, because he is very devoted to his mommy (see picture below, no I am not sick or dying but merely very pale and without makeup).  He is very loving and sweet and is wonderful to hug because he is so solid and soft.  His favorite foods are watermelon, popcorn, yogurt, and peanut butter.  Trouble is the kind of cat that makes dog-lovers think they could be cat people.

He had an interview over the summer to be a therapy pet.  That means that I would take him to nursing homes and residential facilities to visit people and bring some fun into their day.  He has a wonderful temperament and is very friendly.  In his life, he has never scratched or bitten anyone.   He passed the interview, but he was unable to tolerate the car ride there and home.  The interviewer suggested I get him acclimated to the car, but I found out about a week later that I was pregnant, so I have not dealt with the stress of carting him around.  I would love to do it one day in the future.

Where does his name come from?  Well, Trouble and Peanut came from the Pennsylvania SPCA.  One very hot day in June, they had an event in downtown Philadelphia called the Dog Days of Summer, and they were in a crate together.  We instantly loved them both, but thought we only wanted one cat.  We couldn't decide between the two of them!  The SPCA people kept saying, "it's a two-for-one special today!"  We started to think about it.  Two cats?  The SPCA people said, "two cats are better than one, they'll play with each other and keep each other company while you're out of the house."  Being the suggestible people that we are, we began to see their point of view.  And that was it, we decided we would take both of the adorable orange kittens.  We paid $75 and were given a cardboard box to take both boys home (let me point out here that $75 for two neutered cats with up-to-date shots is a bargain! Thank you, PSPCA).  And as I might have mentioned, it was HOT that day.  We got into my black car with a black interior and started to drive home.  The car was not cooling off at all, despite our running the air conditioning as high as it would go.  Our poor new kitties were overheated and completely stressed out.  We kept smelling something foul, like cat poop, and kept peeking in the box, but everything appeared fine.  Until it didn't.  Trouble had had some terrible diarrhea all over the tiny box, and Peanut was stuck in the bottom trying to keep out of it!  So we lifted Peanut out of the box to keep him from getting in the poop, and then held Trouble with his head out of the box but bottom half hanging down.  I said, "This one's a real trouble maker!" and that was it.  Peanut then threw up all over the adoption paperwork, so he isn't exactly trouble-free, but Trouble had already gotten the name.

At times he lives up to his name (like tonight when he appeared on our bed chewing on the ear bud from Eric's iphone headphones), and at other times he is so sweet and adorable that we forget the bad times.  Overall, he is our big love bug and he makes us feel loved and admired.  I really hope that we can still give him the attention he deserves when the babies get here, even though everyone tells us that he will get pushed aside.  I think he'll let us know what he needs... a 15 pound cat generally makes his presence known!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

29w3d: My husband went to Orlando and all I got was this lousy...

Cold!  Eric came home totally exhausted from Orlando, and by Tuesday was sniffling.  He developed his version of a cold, which means that he blew his nose occasionally, sneezed 3 times, and said he was stuffy.  (Side note: for those of you concerned about breast vs. formula, Eric was formula fed and has the world's best immune system.  In the 6 years I have known him, he has never had more than a cold and has never had any reason to see a doctor.  So if breast feeding doesn't work out, don't worry, your baby will still grow big and strong.)

Now, with my 3rd trimester pregnant lady immune system, I am a sniffly mess!  I didn't get my usual sore throat telling me that I'm getting a cold, but I just got all stuffed up, runny nose, and sneezing.  Today has been the stuffiest.  I haven't been able to taste my food, and that is very disappointing to me.  I'm hoping today is the worst and that by tomorrow I'll feel better.

I also haven't been sleeping well these past few nights.  It is partly because I can't breathe, and also because when I begin to fall asleep, I start breathe more loudly and wake myself up!  I am very sensitive to the sound of breathing (this is one of my quirks) and it wakes me up when other people do it.  I can usually sleep through my own breathing with earplugs, but not now.  I know, I'm a weirdo.

My mom is  back home now.  She ended up getting her flight from Paris diverted to Atlanta, but was then able to get on a flight to Newark that landed at midnight.  My dad left here around 10 to go pick her up and they got home around 2 am.  She has kindly extended the loan of her kittens to me until I am out of bed.  This also works out for me because now I know she'll come visit me everyday, at least to see her cats!

Tonight my parents came over for dinner, my aunt Jane made a big chicken curry soup with noodles that was delicious.  Here is a picture of our dinner buffet laid out on top of our dresser:
We are very flexible and adaptable here!  Below is a picture of my eating position, and our guests gathered around the end of our bed.  Eric covered a big piece of wood with plastic, and then we are using a big towel as a table cloth.  The red lap tray I have is from my mom's parents' basement.  A very useful gift.
But you can probably see why I am eager to resume normal life.  I am tired of eating in bed, and tired of seeing these same 4 walls day in and day out.  I have never made so little use of my time in my life.  The days are slipping by and all I care about is staying pregnant, not accomplishing anything.  It is such a change in attitude from the past five years of my life.  No, make that 29.5 years of my life.  I know as soon as the babies are born I will be overwhelmingly busy, but I don't completely feel like myself.

I guess I have some other complaints... I don't really look like myself either, or at least not how I think of myself looking.  I mostly avoid looking at my body in the mirror, especially my breasts.  I fantasize about my old clothes, my old waist, and about exercise.  I can't wait to exercise.

Tonight was the Superbowl, and we were not especially invested in the game, so we watched Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl.  It turns out that Trouble does like TV... he seemed riveted to the dogs!  This is kind of funny because he never watches TV, and he has only ever met one dog in his life.  But it was adorable.  Here is a picture of Trouble watching his new favorite TV show.
That's it for news around here.  I am eager to make it to Thursday and the 30-week milestone.  I don't have many visitors scheduled to come this week, but that's ok, because I know my mom will be here every day.  And come Sunday, my in-laws will visit, and that will certainly distract me for a while.  I hope these next few weeks fly by, and next thing you know, I'll be going out to dinner with my husband!

Friday, February 5, 2010

29w1d: cervix check-up

My appointment this morning was another uneventful one.  Those are definitely my favorite ones!  My OB measured the boys' heartbeats, and they were nice and strong.  He didn't even calculate how many beats per minute they were, because they sound just right.  The boys had been up and moving earlier but were still and asleep during the ultrasound.  Then he used my old friend, the transvaginal ultrasound wand, to check my cervical length.  It was still at the longer length, so it continues to be stable.  He said that was great, and to just keep up what I'm doing. 

I told him I have an appointment next week, and should I make one for two weeks from now?  He said no!  He said next week is our last check, and that in two weeks, I should use my outing of the week to go out to dinner with Eric.  That is so exciting!  He doesn't want us spending 3 hours on a multi-course meal at a fancy place, but we can go to any of the casual places around here and spend about an hour or so out to dinner, just the two of us.  I seriously can't wait.  Like normal people!  What will I wear?

He is fine with me having my shower at 32 weeks.  It seems as though, given how long I have been stable, he is expecting me to hold out for at least another 3 weeks, likely more.  I sure hope he is right.  We came home and I got back into bed, but it really does seem like there is light at the end of the bedrest tunnel.  Just a few more weeks, and I know I can do it!

The OB didn't weigh me, so I jumped on the scale when he left for me to change, and I have gained 3 pounds in the past 2 weeks.  1.5 pounds a week is perfect for the third trimester in a twin pregnancy; if I continue to gain at this rate, I will gain just over 35 pounds over the course of the pregnancy, which is ideal. 

We got our first gift from the baby registry today!  It is the baby swing.  It came from my Uncle Ed's sister and mother.  I was totally surprised, Ed is married to my mom's sister, so I am not related to his sister and mom, and I haven't seen them in about 10 years.  Ed said he had no idea they had done it.  We can't figure out how they knew my married name, or where to look for my registry, but they obviously did some sleuthing and figured it out.  And I am very excited to have a baby swing!

Also, my dad has been spoiling me.  Today he brought me flowers (two weeks ago he gave me 2 dozen red roses, today it is a mixed bouquet) so that I can always have fresh flowers to look at while I'm in bed.  I also told him I wanted chocolate cake for dessert, so he called a fancy bakery a few towns over and came home with a triple-chocolate cake.  Oh my gosh, sooooo good!  Cake, mousse, ganache.  It was pretty to look at but totally worth cutting into.  And then I mentioned that I wanted orange juice.  And in 3 or 4 inches of snow, he drove back to his house, got orange juice, and brought it to me.  At 10:30 at night.  I am so lucky.

Tomorrow I think work begins on the nursery.  I will have Eric take some "before" pictures so you can watch the progression.  There's not much else to do around here, since we are expecting 12 or more inches of snow.  So, off to sleep, and then I will try to keep updating with nursery pictures over the next few weeks.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

29w: This week's stats

So I know it has been less than a week since I last did these, but since I didn't go to the doctor today, and I wanted something to write about! Ignore my little pink socklets in the picture.  I sure do look like what Stacy and Clinton on "What Not To Wear" call an ice cream cone-- big on the top and tapered at the ankles.  Eric said that the cat (Ian) is to give the viewer an idea of scale.  Big human, little cat.

How far along?  29 weeks
Total weight gain/loss?  No news on this front, but I feel gigantic.  I will let you know if there is anything interesting after my OB appointment tomorrow.  Oh, and I did take off my wedding band today because it felt a little tight.  I would rather take it off while I can than struggle in a week.  I still have on my engagement ring.
Maternity clothes?  Yes.  Some of my tops are significantly shorter than they used to be and I am considering buying a couple of tops the next size up (I was vain and got all my maternity tops in "small").
Stretch marks? Still none.  I put my cream on every day, not that this is supposed to help, but it makes me feel better.
Sleep?  Decent.  I am going to take Tylenol PM tonight because I always get anxious the night before an appointment and don't sleep all night.
Best moment last week? Eric came home a day early!
Movement?  I feel them move, it is hard to tell when they will be most active.  Eric has felt Baby A have the hiccups, so that was fun.  Also, I am having movements that are clearly a body part poking up, and not just the feeling of something moving inside.
Food cravings? Fruits and vegetables. 
Gender? Two boys!
Labor signs? Still Braxton Hicks.  I have a little panic with each one but they are totally inconsistent.
Belly button in/out? It is still in.  Shallow, but still a ways to go.
What I miss: Cooking.  There are all these recipes I would love to try.  I also miss seeing the rest of my house, and when it snows tomorrow, I will be sad not to be able to watch it pile up on our back deck.
What I am looking forward to: My appointment tomorrow, which will hopefully be good news only.  And my mom is supposed to come home on Saturday afternoon, but we'll see how that works out since they are saying something like 12-18 inches of snow tomorrow through Saturday.
Milestones: Another week pregnant!  And I did say I wanted to be pregnant when my mom got back from her trip, so that is only 2 days away.  I am hoping/assuming I'll make that milestone!

Tonight Eric made macaroni and cheese for dinner.  This has been my only really "bad food" craving recently, and apparently he had the same craving!  It was very good, and we thankfully have leftovers.  My friend Shoshana came over and we watched Grey's Anatomy and had ice cream for dessert.  Eric brought up the ice cream containers and said we could scoop our own.  He put the container on the bed and I started to scoop and tossed the (chocolate) ice cream on to our duvet cover.  Whoops!  Time to wash the sheets, I guess.  I also got it on my shirt sleeve.  Oh, and I also found strawberry jam on my shirt.  I'm such a mess!

And, the big talk around here is that is supposed to snow.  Why this is a big deal, I don't know.  I swear, when I was growing up, it snowed all the time.  I have many memories of sledding, snow days, making trouble with my cousin Jess, building snowmen, etc. every winter.  Yes, the past few years have been pathetic in terms of snow fall, but does that really mean that Philadelphians don't know how to deal with snow?  AND it's on a Saturday, so we don't even have to worry about work and school (not that I was going to worry about that stuff since I don't go out anyway).  It's just crazy that the news tonight is about people buying milk and shovels.  People should already have their shovels, it snowed 2 feet in December and we have had some inches since.  Well, at least it is amusing to me.  I am still sad that I can't go for a snow walk, and I can't go sledding, because I love to do those things.  Maybe I can sled next year and leave Eric home with the boys.  What kind of mom am I?

Here's to hoping for a good night's sleep and a good appointment tomorrow.  I will update again tomorrow, hopefully from home and not a hospital bed.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

28w5d: A Sad Day

Today is sad because my aunt Sharon left to go home to California.  I will miss her so much!  She took such good care of me, constantly keeping me fed and watered without a word of complaint.  On top of that, she cooked more than a month's worth of meals to have in the freezer and would sit with me for hours on end just talking.  I really enjoyed her company.  She had a lot of helpful advice about living with babies and then kids.  One thing she said, which I agree with, is that Eric and I need to make sure we continue to take time to have a relationship of our own, and not just put our marriage and ourselves way behind the babies.  Not that the babies won't be the center of our lives, but that we can't lose sight of other things.  Sharon had a lot of other advice, which I won't list here, but will come up eventually, I'm sure.  The picture is of Sharon sitting in my visitor's chair in my bedroom, where she sat and had breakfast with me and watched things like "What Not To Wear" with me.  We will all miss her!

Jane and Ed brought me dinner tonight.  It was a chicken stir-fry over brown rice.  I am eating such healthy food these days!  Interestingly, eating all of this stuff has led me to stop craving a lot of the less-healthy foods and I'm no longer having cravings for the junk I see on TV.  The only "bad" food I still want is macaroni and cheese, although Eric can certainly make this for me at home at some point.

There does seem to be one down side to all this healthy eating...  I seem to be a bit gassier than usual.  This is a problem since I am stuck in one room, and often people come into the room to do things like eat their dinner.  Last night Eric told me no passing gas during dinner... which I managed, but after dinner, poor Eric!  He threatened to make me go sleep in the guest room, but that would have meant his re-making the bed in there and he didn't follow through.  I feel awful, because it makes me physically uncomfortable, and of course it makes Eric uncomfortable, too!  I don't know if there is something I can take, or eat or drink, but if anyone has any solutions to this please let me know.  I told Eric now I know why people get married before they get pregnant.  If Eric weren't contractually obligated to me, you can bet the gas would be the straw that breaks the camel's back.  Pregnancy is not very glamorous. 

Monday, February 1, 2010


Today's gratuitous pet picture is of Peanut.  Peanut has a lot in the way of looks, but not as much in the way of brains.  When we went to buy a cat, Peanut and Trouble were in the same box together.  I wanted Peanut because he was cute, and Eric wanted Trouble because he was sweet.  It turns out they are both cute and sweet, but Peanut just lacks a little bit of brains.  For example, he is very scared of other people, and will hide under the bed if the doorbell rings.  Every time.  Many people never get to see him in person, so enjoy the picture.

There is no real news to report.  Every day that goes by with no news or change feels great!  I am still pretty comfortable, although I noticed when I looked in the mirror today that my belly seems to be growing.  Fast (for confirmation of this, my aunt just told me "Oh your belly has really popped since I've been here!).  I am kind of starting to feel like a lumpy pregnant lady, but as I have said, as long as those babies are safe and growing, my figure doesn't matter.  I can always do Weight Watchers once this is all over, if necessary.   At this point, I just can't wait to go for a jog, it used to feel like a chore sometimes and now I would give anything to get to use my legs and feel strong and healthy again.

Yesterday was a pretty quiet day.  Eric got home on Saturday night and it was just wonderful to have him home with me!  On Sunday afternoon he got in bed to take a nap, and Max (the gray kitten) crawled under the covers to snuggle up to him, and the two of them went to sleep.  It was so sweet!  My dad went to the new Whole Foods they opened near us, and took my aunt with him, so we were alone in the house.  We spent the afternoon in bed, Eric worked on his laptop and I read my chick lit novel.  Not what we used to do when we spent the weekend in bed!  It was just nice to be with him, it was the most time we'd spent together, awake, in months and months since he has been so busy.  I hope we do it again this coming weekend, now that his work has hopefully slowed down.

Sharon made us a delicious dinner of salmon with yogurt-cucumber sauce, roasted potatoes and asparagus, and pineapple.  My dad says he has been losing weight this past week due to the healthy foods Sharon makes.  My mom is also a pretty healthy cook, so I'm not sure why this is a change for him, but good!

I have been having off-and-on moments of feeling kind of sorry for myself.  I am really sad to hear about other people having their showers and getting organized for their babies.  I hopefully have weeks left in this pregnancy (8, I am hoping for!) and time to get things together, but I want to be celebrating these babies and their upcoming arrival.  I am much less fearful than I was a week or so ago, since everything seems to be going smoothly and we are getting out of the real danger zone and up to the point where if the babies were born, they would be tiny and need NICU time but would have a high likelihood of surviving without long-term difficulties.  I just feel like I have missed out on a lot of the excitement and joy of pregnancy because of the risks and complications, and my anxiety and worry.

I also miss mundane activities of everyday life, like grocery shopping and even cleaning.  Cleaning!  Who would have ever thought that would be on my list of enjoyable activities?  I would also really love to go to Costco and buy food.  Why Costco?  I don't know, but I think it is for the free samples.

One highlight today was that Eric introduced Sharon to "texts from last night" and showed her the ad for the "Shake Weight."  I'm not sure if she was breathing, she was laughing so hard!