Saturday, September 29, 2012

28 weeks

28w- tonight after dinner out

This week, all is well.  I had an appointment with the OB, and he did an internal, and said my cervix is still high and closed, and unchanged.  No restrictions still, and he thinks everything is going just fine.  He asked that I come back in 2 weeks for a growth scan.  I told him I'm really not excited at the prospect of having a "big" baby.  Both boys were so small that they came out with no problem.  My OB said he thinks it won't be bad anyway, since the boys "paved the way."

I also mentioned my general feeling more achy this pregnancy, and he said all second pregnancies are rougher than the first- because the first pregnancy takes a toll on your body, and you just don't feel the same.

My anxiety is now focused on the fact that this baby is coming in about 3 months and all I have done to prepare is take prenatal vitamins and go to OB visits.  When I was 28 weeks with the boys we had picked out and purchased furniture and bedding, and I had registered (I am not registering this time around, anyway).  This time, the baby doesn't have a room, has no furniture, no mattress, no bedding, no changing table, and her car seat is in another state. I know we'll get the car seat soon, but I think I am feeling ready to make a place for this new baby in our house.

I also have anxiety about whether I will love her as much as I love my boys.  It is hard to imagine loving someone else this much- how could she possibly be as perfect and as wonderful as my boys are? Or, will the boys feel like I love her more?  Asher is still such a snuggly baby, I don't know how he will do when my arms are busy holding someone else.

That said, I remind myself to enjoy this- this is my last pregnancy.  I'm getting the opportunity to have a "normal" pregnancy.  I am going out with my big belly and getting asked, "when are you due?  Boy or girl? How are you feeling?" just like I wanted in my last pregnancy but didn't get.  I get to feel her move all the time, and it's still just the two of us.  Just the little things I need to remember to enjoy in the midst of everything else.

How far along?  28 weeks
Total weight gain/loss?  I don't know total gain, but the nurse on Friday told me that I lost 1 pound from my prior visit, which makes me happy- at least my weight isn't on a continual and rapid increase.
Maternity clothes? Yes. And some of those are uncomfortable.  There's something about the jeans I have that pushes down on my tummy and makes it hurt.  I'm thinking of getting rid of them.  That, and I ripped the jeans the other day trying to pull them on.
Pregnancy symptoms?  A lot of irritability.  Mostly directed at Eric.  The other morning I interrogated him over why he had eaten the heel from a loaf of sandwich bread, because I was saving it to make bread crumbs.  He looked at me and said, "are you actually yelling at me for eating a crust of bread?"  Well, when you put it like that, it sounds unreasonable, but to me it seemed like a perfectly valid reason to be upset.

I am also getting more clumsy.  I am already not a graceful person.  But now my depth perception (also not good to begin with) is getting worse.  I keep burning myself, bumping bumpers on the car, etc.  I'm a real hazard!
Stretch marks? Only my old ones.
Sleep? Still waking up a lot in the middle of the night or early morning.  I wake up to pee, and if Eric snores.  Eric's snoring also pisses me off.  Last night he accused me of hitting him but I told him I was just pushing firmly.  Boy was I mad at him.
Best moment last week? Am I allowed to say when I heard I lost 1 lb? Or is that too shallow?
Movement?  Plenty of movement.  Not so much the feeling of her flipping around anymore, but kicks and flutters.  It's not always comfortable.  But I think I am still too well-padded to get the lumps from actual body parts sticking out, or maybe it is my anterior placenta.
Food cravings? I bought Fig Newtons at the store.  Asher isn't fooled and asked for them right away.  I also bought Lucky Charms, which he could tell by looking at the box are way better than his Trader Joe's O's.  I gave him a tiny bit and he picked the marshmallows out to eat them first and then gave Benjamin the plain part.  How do kids know?
Gender? Still female, and you can bet I will ask for quadruple confirmation at my growth scan on the 15th.
Labor signs? Braxton-Hicks.  Still.  Always.
Belly button in/out? In.
What I miss: Stamina and energy.  Not getting out of breath just from getting dressed.
What I am looking forward to: Nothing big on the horizon, just trying to enjoy a little bit of everyday.
Milestones: I'm in the 3rd trimester now!  And, if I didn't mention it, I passed my 1 hour glucose test with flying colors this time around, and am not anemic (which I was from 18 weeks on with the boys).  Apparently it is much easier to be pregnant with 1 than 2.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

2 1/2 Years!

First, some photos:
fun in the tub
A picture Benjamin took of Asher snuggled with Mommy

Goofing around with Daddy


Playing in Baby Eli's wagon

Asher blowing the shofar he made at school.  He had even learned the word "shofar"

The boys turned 2.5 yesterday.  I guess it was just another day- it was also Yom Kippur, so we had bigger things to deal with.  Benjamin started the day by asking to pee on the potty.  Eric said his overnight diaper was pretty dry, so maybe he even held his pee overnight? What a big boy!  I gave him lots of hugs and kisses and told him how proud I was.

So what is new with my guys-  it seems to me that they are getting more fun by the day, except on certain days, when they act like typical two-year-olds and try my patience.

Asher has started to talk a lot more, which is great.  He has learned a lot of big words, like library, flashlight, and sidewalk.  He likes to learn the word for everything and will practice and repeat it.  Then he will use it again, correctly, at a later point.  He is stringing together 3-4 words to narrate or make a point.  It's not a fluent sentence, but it is so nice to hear!  He also had a new phrase- why it took this long I don't know- "I do!"  His services with Early Intervention were just discontinued, although I think we could have used them for a little bit longer, I didn't find his speech therapist particularly helpful.

On the other hand, Asher's progress seems to highlight Benjamin's lack thereof.  The more Asher says, the more I worry about Benjamin.  He is not talking nearly as much, is not adding words quickly, and does not show the same interest in learning words or repeating.  There is a lot of what he says that I can't understand at all, and I get very frustrated, as I am sure he does, too.  Some of what he says I know simply because he has said it many times before in reference to an object I have seen, but a lot of the time I just have no idea.  Earlier today I think he had a fit over wanting an apple, but he didn't say "apple," or anything even close, and so I had no idea what he was asking for.  When I say a word and ask him to repeat it, half the time he just says, "Yah-yah." Not like, yeah, yeah, but like those are the two syllables I just said.  Ugh.  Something tells me that a week from now I'll be on the phone with Early Intervention to have yet another evaluation for him, and possibly to an audiologist to check his hearing.

We have our 2.5 year old well visit on Friday, and I am looking forward to seeing how much they have grown in the past 6 months.  They haven't grown nearly as much as I had expected, because in February I went nuts buying 3T clothes for fall and winter, and they don't fit into them.  Asher is too tall for 2T pants, but both of them have waists small enough to wear 2T.  Such skinny monkeys.

They still love to watch Curious George and Babar on TV.  I definitely use the TV to get some peace and quiet for myself most days.  I feel very guilty about it, but I have to admit to a shortcoming as a mother.  I like to have fun with my guys, but I am not good at doing creative and exciting projects in the house.  I have no patience for Play Doh, and the guys get so nuts with markers so quickly that I get anxious and just put them away.  That's part of why I sent them to school- so they could have all kinds of messy fun that I wouldn't have to think of or clean up after.

My other shortcoming is their Halloween costumes for this year.  I have not had a single idea for what they should be, and they have not yet requested anything.  Plus I am studying for my licensing exam, so all my free time needs to be devoted to that, and not sewing.  I think we are just going to go to Costco, and see what they have, and let the boys pick something they like.

The boys are not the great eaters they were as babies.  Benjamin is still a good, and consistent, eater.  If left in his seat, he will usually work his way through whatever is in front of him, unless he is at someone else's house, a restaurant, or in a bad mood.  Asher is much more finicky, turns down a lot of fruits, and from day-to-day changes his tastes.  One meal he'll eat all broccoli, the next he'll eat all meat.  He LOVES eating pancakes for breakfast and asks for them about 5 days a week.  I have persuaded him to also eat french toast, which he likes, and chocolate (Nutella) toast.  Benjamin loves bananas, eggs with cheese, and pancakes for breakfast.  They seem to eat most of the lunch I pack for them for school, which makes me happy.  I had made some muffin-sized frittatas to go in their lunch- totally rejected.  Fortunately they are quite delicious, and Eric and I now have some prepared lunches for ourselves!  One thing that seems good- they have a good gauge of how much they want to eat, and don't overeat, even when it comes to treats.  They are just as likely to leave half a cookie as they are to finish it.

Right now we are reading Corduroy, The Hungry Caterpillar, Slinky Malinki (still), Runaway Bunny. and Where the Wild Things Are at bedtime.  Benjamin likes to jump up and flap his arms when we get to the part about the beautiful butterfly in Hungry Caterpillar, and they both like to gnash their teeth and show their claws in Wild Things.

Benjamin's preferred sleeping companions are the trucks and cars of his choosing, and his beloved blanket.  Every night he will go around the living room and pick out 2-3 vehicles to take to bed with him.  Pretty cute, if not cuddly.  Asher is very attached to sleeping with a stuffed rabbit he picked out at Ikea, and a small stuffed elephant that is part of a mommy-baby elephant set we also got at Ikea many years ago (why were we buying stuffed animals before we had kids? I honestly have no idea, but we were).  He always checks for them in is bed- the elephant is "Pff Pff" and the rabbit is "Ra-ra."

Both boys seems to be enjoying school, for the most part.  Asher has stopped crying when I drop him off, and Benjamin usually seems excited to go play.  Everyday when I ask what they did at school today, I get the same answer: "Play cars.  Play choo-choo."  I am always pleased to find out that they have done a lot more than that!

They are sweet, wonderful boys.  Both boys are so loving, so affectionate, and so funny.  And did I mention super cute?  I am still madly in love with them.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

what was supposed to be a super-fun post

I thought I would write today all about a really fun day trip to DC.  Hahahaha. That trip to DC was a HUGE mistake.  Let's see:

1) I am 27 weeks pregnant, and have to pee approximately every 45 minutes.  We had to stop twice on our way down, and my mom complained about my shifting uncomfortably in the back of the van.

2) My sister has a lovely 1-bedroom apartment, but the elevator is being redone and she lives on the 7th floor. I had to walk up the stairs, which was actually ok, but after I was down, I wasn't going back again.  Not even to pee.  So I had to pee in the bathroom at the hotel next door.

3) We went to the Zoo in the hopes of seeing the pandas.  Unfortunately, the baby panda had passed away that morning and the whole panda complex was shut down.  I feel worse that the baby is gone than that we didn't see the pandas, but still a disappointment.

4) The zoo is huge, and all hills.  There are no animals.  Every habitat appears to be under construction with no animals in it.  We saw a few cheetahs, a few wolves, and 1 elephant.  I got really tired of all the hiking around and started to get Braxton-Hicks contractions, which made me anxious.

5) Asher started throwing up around 5 pm.  He has gotten sick 3 times, all of them in the car, on himself and the car seat.  I didn't bring any extra clothes for him, so he wore a diaper and his sweatshirt, and then a diaper and Benjamin's sweatshirt, and then a diaper, Benjamin's sweatshirt and vomit until we got home.  I am just hoping he had an upset tummy and not a virus that will then pass to Benjamin, mommy, and daddy.

6) We got home at 8:15 and had two children and a bag full of vomity clothes to deal with.  And I am supposed to work tomorrow because of Yom Kippur later this week.

7) I am supposed to study a good chunk of one weekend afternoon and I didn't get to study.  And if Asher throws up again tomorrow, I won't be able to send him to school on Tuesday, which was my other big piece of time to study.

Guess I better go to bed.  I am hoping that we all sleep through the night and wake up 4 healthy people!  Eric didn't want to go to DC at all, and I was dithering.  We definitely should not have gone, even if it was nice to see my sister.  I am also 100% positive that I will not be traveling again until after this baby gets here.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

26 weeks (and 1 day)

I should specify that the top of the bump is dinner, and the bottom is the baby. We ate a lot for dinner at my aunt and uncle's tonight because it is the start of Rosh Hashanah.

To compare, below is my belly picture from 26 weeks with the boys:
I think I'm bigger with one than I was with two!  I am really struggling with the way I look.  I know there is nothing I can do- I don't eat much more than when I am not pregnant- just an extra snack some days when I get hungry or lightheaded.  I don't eat anything crazy- no fast food, no junk food, no high-fat or high-calorie indulgences other than my dessert at night, which I ate before I was pregnant.  And yet I am expanding at a rate much faster than I did in my last pregnancy, when I was desperate to put on weight and had people bringing in things like Frostys for me!

I feel so vain and silly for complaining about it, but it is really hard for me to feel so out of control.  I am kind of used to a more direct correlation between intake and weight/size.  14 more weeks and then I will head in the other direction, I guess.

I had an appointment at the OB on Friday, and I don't feel great about things.  Again I didn't look at the scale.  The baby's heartbeat is good and strong, and I feel her move all the time.  There are two OBs in the practice- I like them both, but have a special affection for the OB who delivered my boys, Dr. G.  Yesterday I saw Dr. C, the other OB, who was the one who discovered my shortened cervix with my boys.  He decided to do an ultrasound check of my cervix, which I haven't had since 20 weeks.  At 20 weeks, my cervix was measuring around 4 cm, which was longer than it ever had in my pregnancy with my guys.  Yesterday, Dr C measured my cervix at about 3.1 cm.

I feel worried- he said that is completely within the realm of normal, and that I have no restrictions and shouldn't worry, but I guess I had in my head I wanted it to be 3.5 or higher.  Dr C did say that it is on the lower end of normal, but that statistically, even with this measurement, I am highly unlikely to go into labor or deliver prior to 34 weeks (early, but not the end of the world).  That, and the fact that I carried the boys to 36 weeks, makes him feel confident everything is fine.

Both Eric and my mom feel there isn't anything to worry about, that he is a specialist and can be trusted.    I go back in 2 weeks for another check.  I am trying to keep in mind that if I were "normal," and not a patient at a high-risk practice, I wouldn't know my cervical length in centimeters and wouldn't even be thinking about this.  I go back in two weeks for another appointment, and I'm assuming I'll have another ultrasound.  I am not sure if the amount of information is helpful to me, I think knowing absolute numbers gets me more worried.

I should add that when Dr C discovered my shortened cervix in my last pregnancy, he was very serious with me about what to do and going on bed rest.  He insisted I get the steroid shots for the boys' lungs at the earliest possible date- which is technically 24 weeks, but I got the first shot at 23w6d.  So I know Dr C is not a casual, wait-and-see kind of guy.  This does make me feel a little better.

In more fun and less whiney news, my mom and I took the boys on a walk and went past a neighbor's house, having a yard sale yesterday.  Apparently they have twin girls who are a little older than my guys, and there was a ton of adorable baby girl clothing!  I bought a bunch of stuff and the mom charged me $5 for all of it:
When Eric saw it all, he said I am clearly a mother-of-sons in recovery. I can't get anything that isn't pink!  I love the ruffles, the pink, the flowers, the hearts... I have waited a long time to buy these clothes!

How far along?  26 weeks
Total weight gain/loss?  Pretty sure more than I had gained with the boys at this point.
Maternity clothes?  Everything maternity, except for a couple of loose summer dresses and long tank tops.
Pregnancy symptoms?  Fatigue, occasional crabbiness.  Today my mom wanted to hang up on me because I was grouchy on the phone. I told her I was only being grouchy because she was pissing me off.  That was the end of that conversation!  And maybe a little more emotional.  The other week I was crying while listening to Democratic National Convention speeches, and I don't mean tearing up, I mean sobbing and nose-blowing.
Stretch marks? Nothing new.
Sleep?  It's still the same pattern- I can fall asleep ok, but then wake up at some point, for some reason, and have trouble falling back to sleep.  Every once in a while I will sleep straight through til 6 am or so, getting 7 solid hours, but that still leaves me a little tired.
Best moment last week? Apple picking with the boys, and Asher coming home and saying, "Lily, pick apples.  Mama pick apples."
Movement?  I get regular movement.  On Friday we were at our friend's house and there were 2 goldfish in a bowl, the way they swam reminded me of the way some of her movements feel.  She still has a lot of room in there and moves around much more than what I ever got to feel with the boys, who were pinned into place pretty early on.
Food cravings? No big cravings, mainly fruit.  And I have made a point of asking my mom everyday if she is making an orange-scented challah for Rosh Hashanah.
Gender? Still female, although no further exploration has been done.
Labor signs? No signs of labor, although I am not pleased by the shortened cervix. I do have Braxton-Hicks every day, but the doctor said that is normal.
Belly button in/out? In.
What I miss: Sleeping on my back. I can still find a way to kind of sleep on my belly, but I get short of breath on my back.
What I am looking forward to: all the delicious holiday meals in the coming week or so!
Milestones: Apparently I have fewer than 100 days left of the pregnancy, so that is exciting.  And this week I will go into the 3rd trimester, which is also a nice milestone!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

school- so far

Yesterday the boys had their first day of school.  I felt like they really didn't know what was going to happen- it's just beyond what they have experienced up to this point.

Both boys seemed happy to go into the building.  Benjamin remembered that it was where he had played with trains on Friday- he called it "choo choo house," so he was pretty excited to be going back.  The teacher had sent an email on Sunday night asking us not to linger at drop-off, so I prepared myself to kiss them goodbye and run.

Benjamin went right to the trains and cars and trucks and started to play.  He didn't seem to mind one bit when I kissed him and said goodbye.

Asher went to start coloring, but then picked up on the fact that something was fishy, and that I might be on my way out.  He kept leaping up to take my hand whenever I tried to move away.  In the end, I picked him up and handed him to the teacher, and then made a run for it without looking back.  I don't know if he cried, but by the time I hit the door to the building, I was sobbing.

I cried for about half an hour- would they think I abandoned them?  Would the other kids be nice to them?  I feel like when they are at home, they are protected. I get to choose who they interact with and how they are treated, but at school, I can't keep watch.  I have been reminding myself that it's all part of life- even if they didn't go to school now, they would go some day.  At least now they are flexible and adaptable and school is nothing but fun.

Last night I was not able to make it home from work before they were asleep, but Eric and my mom said the boys were in good moods, and very hungry.  But their diapers were clean and dry (not always the case with sitters we've had) and they had lots of energy.

They had a good night's sleep, and then when they got up, I started talking about them going to school again.  No one cried.  No one seemed particularly clingy with me, which made me feel as though their experience had not been completely traumatic.  This morning went smoothly, and Asher marched right into school and up the steps to his classroom, all by himself.  I offered him my hand and he didn't want it.  Benjamin went right to the train table to play with the trains again, and didn't bat an eye when I kissed him goodbye.  But when I told Asher goodbye, he started to cry.  Fortunately for me, I didn't break down and cry, too, because I knew he had been so happy to go into the building.  If the first day of school had been a disaster for him, he would not have wanted to go back!  So again I handed him off to the teacher, gave him one last kiss, and left.

Both Eric and I feel strange in our very quiet house.  This morning I showered after the boys were in school, and I was able to just take my time.  I washed my hair AND shaved my legs without wondering whether all our furniture would be in 1 piece when I got out.  I can live with that!

Tonight I came home early from work- I had many cancellations, but it meant I got to see my sweet things before they went to bed.  While they both grinned when I came up the walk, neither one was clingy or overly attached to me.  So, from what I can surmise, school is successful so far.  I just hope all the other kids are nice to them- and that they are nice to their classmates!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

mommy anxiety

The boys have their first day of school on Tuesday, and I am so anxious and guilty about it.  We went to the open house at school on Friday and the boys got to see their classroom and meet their teacher.  They completely ignored their teacher and the assistants, but seemed taken with the toys.  All the kids tore the place apart, and I did feel some relief at the fact that it wasn't my job to clean up after them!

I just keep worrying- will the teachers notice if their diapers are dirty and change them? Will the teachers help them eat their lunch if they are having trouble with a fork or spoon?  How are they supposed to nap on a mat on the floor in a room full of kids when they are used to their comfortable beds at home?  What if they are sad, or get hurt- who will hug them and love them and help them feel better?  What kind of mom am I to send my kids off to school?  Did I make a huge mistake?

I also feel guilty because I work at night, so I won't even be there after their first day of school to give them hugs, dinner, and tuck them into bed.  What kind of mommy does that?!?

I just try to convince myself that they will have all kinds of experiences and interactions with peers at school that I couldn't provide them at home.  They will do projects, get swim lessons, meet new people.  So far in life they have been very adaptable and agreeable, so I hope they will adapt to this.  I'm the one who has a lot of trouble with change!

That's a common theme for me- I hate change!  Although there are things I enjoy year-round, I feel anxiety and unhappiness as the time for change approaches.  The end of the summer always makes me feel a little sad, even though there are many things I love about fall.

Yesterday we took the boys for a swim at the pool, and it was just the 4 of us there, playing in the water, eating our lunch.  The boys are so sweet and so fun, and in the middle of enjoying all of it, I caught myself thinking, "what if this is our last time at the pool just the 4 of us?"  The weather has just turned cooler, and the pool was already kind of chilly.  This is the boys' 3rd summer and the first where we've really had them enjoy swimming, things have finally fallen into place... and now it is ending.

I have really enjoyed every stage with my guys, but right now they really seem to be the most fun.  Their little senses of humor and personalities come out more each day.  I love (almost) every minute with them, and I hate that at moments I get distracted by worrying about how it will all be changing so soon.

I think that's it for my worries for now... School starts on Tuesday and I just have to hope I can sleep that night and hold it together in front of them as they start.  If Asher cries and clings to me... heaven help me.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

24 weeks

I can't believe I'm already 24 weeks!  I know I still have a long way to go, but of course this was a big milestone the last time around, and I'm happy to be here again.  And especially to be here without complications!

Here are pictures of my belly with my neighbor, Natasha, who is 37w3d.
Cute picture.  Now here is the secret:

I am so short, I had to stand on a stool for our bellies to meet!

I don't think I look great, I think I look just chunky.  I think I am as big as I was with the boys, with padding all over in a way I didn't have with them.  Oh, well. I went to the OB yesterday and the nurse said I don't need to worry about my weight. I'm not worried about the actual number (because I don't know the number) but I just don't like the way I look, I really don't feel like the cute pregnant lady I wanted to look like, and maybe even did look like last time, but had to hide in the house instead.

My OB said I am measuring right on.  The heartbeat is good and strong- usually right around 155. My blood pressure continues to be low.  I feel good, but I do get tired more easily.  When I carry one of my guys up the stairs for a nap and sing our goodnight song, I am out of breath at the top of the stairs.

I also find that around 10:30 or 11 am, if I haven't had a snack and am outside/hot and active, I start to feel a little shaky.  I hope this isn't a sign that I have gestational diabetes!  I have to take the GD test sometime in the next month, and I am nervous about it because I failed the 1 hour test last time.  I am hoping it was a result of having multiples and won't happen this time.

How far along?  24 weeks
Total weight gain/loss?  See above.
Maternity clothes?  Everything maternity.
Pregnancy symptoms?  I am getting tired by the end of the day. I am sure this is also normal between my insomnia and (almost) 2.5 year old twins.
Stretch marks? Not yet!
Sleep?  Right now I am able to fall asleep, but when I wake up to pee (which of course happens at some point every night) I have a hard time falling back to sleep.  I am definitely tired.  I have a prescription for Ambien, which meant that I got to have a consult at the pharmacy when I went to pick up the prescription.  The pharmacist said the biggest concern would be the baby going into withdrawal after birth, but since I take approximately 2.5 mg/night he said he's not too worried.  Well, that's good, because neither am I.
Best moment last week? Nothing major, but I am happy to be 24 weeks.
Movement?  I feel movement everyday.  The movements are getting much stronger, and last night she started to kick at my computer on my lap and it was bouncing around.
Food cravings? I really like the combination of sweet and salty.  I put salt on lots of sweet foods, like french toast, or on Monday I made myself a grilled cheese and added apricot jam and salt.
Gender? As far as we know, still a girl.  However, people seem to LOVE telling me about someone they knew who was told it was a girl and then had a boy- hahahaha.  Why do people think I want to hear that story?  I have two boys. I don't need a surprise penis at delivery.
Labor signs? None, just 2 or so Braxton-Hicks a day, usually when it is time to pee and my bladder is crowding my uterus.
Belly button in/out? In.
What I miss: I definitely could have used a glass of wine after the guys went to bed last night.
What I am looking forward to: Cooler weather and clothes I can hide in.
Milestones: Today being 24 weeks!  Next up- passing (hopefully) the glucose tolerance test.