Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Week 22!!

It's crazy how time seems to be flying by and dragging all at the same time. On one hand, I just want to make it to term and know that these babies will be alright. In that sense, each day seems to drag on. I am also starting to get uncomfortable lately, so I'm sure that's part of it as well. On the other hand, we have so much to do still and I don't think it's possible for us to get it all done in time!

Week 22 was an alright week. There were good days and less good days...but overall it was alright. I will start off by admitting that I'm paranoid about this pregnancy. Honestly, I think that I spend a little too much time on the internet surrounded by communities of pregnant women. It is a wonderful thing to be able to share the experience with people who are going through what you are...but it is also terrifying. I know exactly what my babies would look like if they were born now. I also know how risky a twin pregnancy can be. It seems like I am at a higher risk for pretty much every single complication possible. All of this resulted in an extra trip to the OB's office this week to make sure that my water did not break since I had some worrisome symptoms. Luckily it did not and  everything is still looking ok. So worrying over that was the bad part of the week (which turned out not to be bad after all)...well that and the awful leg cramps that I've been getting that leave my legs sore for a few days.

There were some really good days as well though! Nathan worked all weekend so he took Monday off this week. We got to spend the whole day together! We went into Lansing and ate lunch, went shopping, went to a movie, and ate dinner together before we came home. We also went to a Mom2Mom Sale in a nearby small town on Saturday and bought some gently used clothes for the boys. We are definitely being very frugal about buying clothes and intend to purchase most of it used. Babies go through clothes so fast that I just can't see spending much money on everyday outfits. I am sure we will buy new stuff for special occasions, but that might be it.

19 items for $11, not too bad!

Week 22

Weight151 (+15 lbs overall)
Due Date: August 22, 2013
Genders?: Both Boys!
Baby is the size of: A Spaghetti Squash! - babies are measured from head to foot starting at 20 weeks instead of head to rump (note: all sizes are comparing the length of baby to a fruit)
Maternity Clothes?: Oh yes! I can still wear my pre-pregnancy pajama pants though, which is a good thing.
Symptoms: I have experienced my first couple of bouts of heartburn this week. I also had leg cramps 2 different nights. I am starting to feel pretty worn out most of the time, but I am also starting to get in a crafty hopefully nesting is beginning and I can be productive again.
EmotionsWorried mostly. We are just so close and yet so far away at the same time. 
Notable News or Events: Nothing too big going on.
Movement?: Yes! I am still not positive on whether I am feeling both babies or just one, but sometimes I feel movement simultaneously on both I am hoping it is both. I still only feel movement low most of the time, but I have felt a couple of nudges/kicks around my belly button, so I think they are getting strong enough  to feel through the anterior placenta finally. Nathan has been feeling some slight movement on the outside for a little while now, but just last night when I was listening to their heartbeats on the doppler I had him feel my tummy cause there was quite a bit of action going on and he got to feel a nice hard kick! Well, as hard as they have kicked up until this  point.
Stretch Marks?: Nothing new to report on this front surprisingly enough.
Belly Button Status?: Still a lopsided/shallow innie.
Upcoming Appointments: Sometime in May...
What People are Saying: The weather was really nice when we were out and about on Monday so I didn't need to wear a coat for once and it was the first time that a stranger has mentioned the fact that I was expecting. It was an older salesperson at a shoe store when we were looking for new shoes for Nathan. He asked how far along I was and I said that I was 22 weeks with twins. He responded with, "At least it's not triplets, I like to look at things from a glass half full point of view." Wait, what?!?! That's not an optimistic view, I am thrilled to be having twins. It is so frustrating that people say things like that, but at least someone noticed that I was pregnant I guess.

***Just now, as I was finishing writing this post I found out that a girl in one of my online groups lost one of her twins. The baby's heart just stopped beating. Hopefully her other baby will continue to grow as it is still too early for her to deliver. This is just heartbreaking to even contemplate and I am so devastated for her. If you could keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers tonight, I know that would mean a lot. Pregnancy is such a tenuous, scary thing and right now I need to remind myself and be thankful that "Today I am pregnant." I cannot control what will happen...just hope and pray that it is God's will for my two babies to come home with me this summer.*** 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Week 21!

Yay for another week!! Every week is one step closer to taking my boys home and I honestly can't even explain how excited I am about that.

Week 21 was an overall nice week. One of DH's friends got married on Saturday, so we even got out of the house and socialized over the weekend. I really meant to take a picture of my outfit since it turned out pretty cute, but I was so tired by the time we got home that I pretty much just fell into bed. I am definitely starting to feel the strain of pregnancy. My stomach and back start to hurt if I've been standing too long, if I sit in one place/position for too long my back and hips hurt, and I have to turn over every hour or two all night long to keep from getting too uncomfortable as well. We went on a giant grocery shopping trip Tuesday evening and I had to lie down for an hour just to recover from it. I wasn't in great shape to start off with and I have been very careful not to overdo it ever since we found out we were having twins. Who would have thought that walking around the store for an  hour and a half would be overdoing it though?! Overall though, these are pretty minor complaints. I'm not terribly uncomfortable yet and I am super grateful for that. I know that it's only going to get harder from here on out, but I am trying to embrace the aches and pains as a right  of passage into motherhood!

This is going to be a short blog post since I wanted to write it before I got too far into week 22 and today is my wonderful husband's birthday. When I met him 3+ years ago, I could have never imagined that we would be where we are today. Our relationship has always been a whirlwind, so it's not really a surprise that as soon as we decided to start a family we would go all out and end up with twins. I just feel so incredibly blessed to be sharing this journey with Nathan and I probably don't say that enough. I don't know how I would get through the hard days and the worry without him. He is definitely my rock, the solid, stable base that I depend on for my sanity. I am a worrier by nature whereas he is calm and logical at all times. When my hormones get the better of me, his is the shoulder that I want to cry on. I used to turn to my family and while I will still call them on a rough day, my husband is the one who sees me at my worst moments. He is also the only one who I know will not judge me during those moments. 29 years ago his mom gave birth to him and the world (or at least my world) is so much better because of that moment. Happy Birthday Nathan! This next year will certainly be momentous and I am so excited to see you take on the role of fatherhood with the same love and dedication that you have for your role as my husband.

Week 21!!
Weight149 (+13 lbs overall)
Due Date: August 22, 2013
Genders?: Both Boys!
Baby is the size of: A Carrot! - babies are measured from head to foot starting at 20 weeks instead of head to rump (note: all sizes are comparing the length of baby to a fruit)
Maternity Clothes?: Yep! I think that I might be in need of some maternity pajama shirts as well, since the normal tank tops that I wear look ridiculous with 2 inches of belly hanging out!
Symptoms: Lots of aches and pains, but overall not too bad considering I have two babies growing in there!
Emotions: Feeling alright, not really up or down this week.
Notable News or Events: Justin and Amy's wedding was this week....I guess that's about it really.
Movement?: Yes! It varies from day to day, but it is so comforting to feel these little kicks and nudges. I pretty much only feel movement down low and I think that's because Baby A's placenta is covering the middle part of my belly. I can't tell if I am feeling both babies or only one, but I do feel movement on both sides. 
Stretch Marks?: Nothing new to report on this front.
Belly Button Status?: I thought I'd add a new category this week as I watch and wait for my belly button to pop out. My belly button is definitely more shallow than it's every been in my life, but it's still decidedly an innie. It is looking quite lopsided these days though. I am curious to see how long it holds out for. 
Upcoming Appointments: Sometime in May...
What People are Saying: I got a few comments at the wedding about how small I was, but we mostly received congratulations. Now that it's getting warm enough to go out and about without a coat on some days I keep expecting a stranger to mention or ask about my pregnancy, but thus far it hasn't happened. I am pretty sure that I clearly look pregnant now, but I guess people want to be 100% sure before they say anything.

I think that there's a noticeable difference between this week's picture and last week which is pretty exciting!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

20 Weeks! Halfway There and Anatomy Scan!

I will confess, I turned 21 weeks today...whoops! However, I took my 20 week pictures on time and it was a pretty eventful I will not be skipping it!

Here I am at exactly 20 weeks!! 
(I normally take my weekly pictures around the middle of any given week, and it's nice to have a few pictures of me wearing some real clothes!)

Week 20 was actually pretty good for me! First of all, we are halfway to full term!! I don't really know when these babies will be born and statistics definitely indicate that they will most likely come early which means that 20 weeks was more than halfway, but it still feels like a big milestone to me! The next milestone is 24 weeks, which is traditionally considered viability. I have heard that some NICUs will resuscitate as early as 22 weeks, but there is very little hope that early on. Then at 28 weeks the chances of the babies' surviving is dramatically improved. So those are our goals right now, first 24 weeks and then 28. As we pass each of those goals we will set new, later ones.

As was hinted at in my last post, we did some work on the nursery this week. Nathan and I painted a small mural on the wall which I will post about very soon! We are definitely not artists, but it is such a fun, personal touch to the nursery. I have also gone a little crazy with the cloth diaper buying this last week. It's so much more fun now that we know that we're having boys!! I will probably try to write a post a little later on once I have my diaper stash mostly complete. We've been trying to spread our diaper purchases out over several months, but this week I definitely didn't follow that plan very well.

Full disclosure (and a little too much information) here, we made a trip to OB Triage at the hospital (per the recommendation of my OB) on Sunday due to a gush that turned out to be nothing worrisome, best guess is I peed myself (or just really crazy pregnancy discharge)... Oh the indignities of pregnancy, but I will probably never be happier in my life to have had "an accident." I debated with myself about whether I would say anything about that little trip since everything was ok and well, it really is a little TMI. In the end, I decided that when I look back on this pregnancy I want to remember what it was really like. The roller coaster ups and downs, the excitement and fear. I also want to portray a very real view about what a twin pregnancy is  like. Knowing that you have twins and are higher risk changes everything. I'll admit that I'm a worrier by nature, but knowing that I'm at a higher risk  for just about every pregnancy complication known to mankind and that preterm labor is a very real possibility, makes me more cautious and anxious about  symptoms than I might be otherwise.

Now that we've discussed the "down," let's move on to the "up!" We had our anatomy scan on Wednesday and both babies look great!! In fact, it seems that I am growing little giants in there!! In spite of my weight gain being on the low end of average for a  twin pregnancy and the fact that I still continuously get comments about how "small" I am, both babies are well above average size for even singletons! The scan was done yesterday at 20 weeks and 6 days. They gather a whole bunch of measurements (several head measurements, belly measurements, and legs) and use those to calculate how much the babies weigh. Just to give you an idea, 12 oz is pretty standard for this time period but there is a lot of variation as you will see. Baby A weighed in at 16 oz, which is a whole pound!!! Baby B weighed in at 15 oz!! Baby A was in the 90th percentile (calculated based off of singleton pregnancies) and Baby B was in the 85th. All of their organs looked good on the scan (baby B wouldn't turn over for one view of his heart, so they will try to get it at my next ultrasound). We also confirmed that they are both still boys!! To add to my over share from earlier, the measured the length of my cervix on the ultrasound and it was measuring at 5 cm which is a really good measurement. Nothing is a guarantee, but hopefully knowing that my body is currently doing what it needs to in order to keep these babies inside will help me worry a little less.

The boys were laying mostly transverse and curled around each other like a ying-yang. Baby A's head  was on the left and Baby B's head was on the right with them each kicking their brother in the head!! They seem to have very different personalities already. Baby A is more active and likes to be a show-off while Baby B is a little more mellow and shy. The ultrasound took about an hour and a half and we got to talk to the doctor about the results right away afterwards.

Baby A gave us a perfect profile shot, but Baby B insisted on facing us the whole time. I wish that our ultrasound tech would have tried a little harder to get a good picture of Baby B, but the great thing about twins is that it won't be too long until I see them again!

Well, this post is turning into a book!! I will get on with posting my weekly survey and pictures now, so that I don't take up anyone's entire day...

Week 20!!

Weight147 (+11 lbs overall)
Due Date: August 22, 2013
Genders?: Both Boys!
Baby is the size of: A Banana - babies are measured from head to foot starting at 20 weeks instead of head to rump (note: all sizes are comparing the length of baby to a fruit)
Maternity Clothes?: Oh yes! I can technically still fit into a couple of my pre-pregnancy shirts, but they are starting to get short and show the elastic band of my maternity pants. 
Symptoms: Lots of back aches. Still sleeping well at night though!
EmotionsRelieved that we have two healthy babies!
Notable News or Events: Telling everyone that we are having BOYS!!
Movement?: I am 100% positive that I am feeling the babies move now. Well, I might just be feeling one of them, I certainly can't tell them apart yet. I get little nudges and gentle thumps throughout the day now, especially when I am resting quietly. I even felt a couple of movements on the outside on Tuesday! Nathan got to feel one as well. He seemed really excited about it, but a little bit skeptical about whether it was really a baby or not...but trust me, the timing was  perfect with the kick that I felt inside! 
Stretch Marks?: I will be honest here, my boobs are suddenly covered in stretch marks and it's pretty depressing. I was fully anticipating getting stretchmarks on my belly and was prepared mentally for that. I have always been small chested and have gone up about a cup size. So while they have grown, it's not dramatic...but here I am with stretch marks! Oh well, it is what it is...but it just wasn't something that I was expecting. My belly still seems to be doing alright on this front for now, but my skin is starting to itch more and more lately. 
Upcoming Appointments: Sometime in May, I'm too lazy to go downstairs and find the appointment card right now.
What People are Saying: Everyone is really happy about my "big boys!" Nathan's mom is really starting to get excited and has bought some clothes them already as well. My mom bought some nice onesies at a thrift store over the weekend too. Nathan is definitely becoming much more attached and will sit with me with his hand on my belly while we watch tv sometimes. There have been lots of jokes about the boys taking after their daddy since my husband is a tall guy (6'3"). I went to a Moms of Multiples meeting yesterday and unfortunately was told a couple of times that I look so small still. I felt like sticking my tongue out at them and bragging about how big my boys actually were, but I kept my mouth shut like my mom taught me to. 

The pictures were clearly taken right after I got out of the shower. Honestly, my hair didn't look this bad in the mirror. It's exciting to see my belly start to round out. My belly is all the way up to my ribs now (and Baby B is pretty darn high up there too!) and the flat spot around my belly button is finally looking a little rounder. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Evolution of a Twin Nursery - Part 1: The Before!

This will theoretically (I make no promises) be a multi-part series on how we turn our empty extra bedroom into the boys' nursery.

Here's a little background information on our house and the room that we're turning  into the nursery. We bought the house last July after looking at what seemed like a million houses. Our last house was within Lansing's city limits and we wanted something that was outside of the city. We were also hoping to lower our mortgage payments by taking advantage of the current market, which was risky since we had to sell our old house as well. We technically took a loss on the house we sold, but we were able to pay off the mortgage just fine. One of the biggest challenges that we found was that we were used to living in a large house. Our last home was a 2,000 square foot ranch home and we just didn't want to give up much square footage. Ultimately we found the house that we're in now, a large and open cape cod style house about 20 miles outside of the city. The house was built in 2002, so it's a nice, newer home...but we bought it as a foreclosure and it was definitely not taken care of. We spent about 2 months of hard work making the house livable before we moved in. The tile in the kitchen and bathrooms was still good, but we ended up replacing all the rest of the flooring in the house. Nathan installed hardwood throughout the first and second story. Many of  the walls were riddled with holes as well, so Nathan and his cousin Tony did a ridiculous amount of drywall work and repair as well. I pretty much painted for a month straight!

This is what the nursery looked like after we took out the revolting carpets that were in it when we bought it.

My cousin Kerry rented the room that is currently our nursery from us for a few months while she was  working a temp job in the area and picked a bright blue for the walls.

The room after the drywall was repaired, it was painted blue, and the floors were done (trim is missing in these pictures but they are the only ones I have of the room in this incarnation).

As you can tell, the room is a very interesting shape due to it being a Cape Cod style home with the dormer windows. The room is roughly shaped like this:

After Kerry left, the room was pretty much just sitting empty since it had been our plan to turn it into a nursery. We ended up painting it last month and spent this weekend working on a special project that I can't wait to share with you! Hopefully I will get around to writing part 2 in the next several days since I am really excited about the progress we have made so far!!

[As I share the evolution of our nursery, please keep in mind that we are not artistic or fancy decorators. We are not "chic" people and while I can appreciate the beauty of a fancy nursery, that's just not us! We will be doing everything that we can ourselves and our budget is super low. I have little to no experience at decorating a home and it was never really my mom's thing either, so I have been making it up as we go ever since we got married. We are just focusing on turning this blank canvas of a room into a fun and playful space for the boys, so expect lots of improvisation, cutesy little touches, and a modest result in the end. ]

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

19 Weeks!! I actually posting a blog post two days in a row?!?! Craziness!! Haha! I really have great intentions and lots of ideas about all the baby and family related thins that I want to post about. Unfortunately, I just seem to lack energy and motivation these days. We could blame it on the boys...but I think that would be pretty unfair. So, let's just say that I will do my best with this  blog and whatever comes out of it is great. I would love to be able to document my little guys growing up, but there's the time and energy issue along with the privacy issue. I suppose I will have to come up with a watermark of some sort if I intend to post a bunch of pictures of the twins (which I hope to) so that the photos don't get stolen. Anyways, these are all questions for a different day since today is about week 19!

Week 19 has been pretty great to be honest! We did the gender reveal with my mom and sister on Friday evening over Skype and it turned out great! They each opened up one of the eggs at the same time and announced what "their baby" was. It was so exciting to see their reactions in real time rather than trying to gauge their responses on the phone. They were both excited to finally know what genders the babies were and have already started talking about going shopping! It was a little bit of a relief to know that they were still excited since they both had hopes of girls. There have always been mostly girls in my family, so I think that's just what everyone expects. However, once they found out we had boys, they were just as excited which made me really happy!

Nathan and I also enjoyed the lovely weather on Friday. It was 50 degrees outside and sunny! Nathan came home from work early and we spent several hours outside throwing Thor's ball and had a little fire in the backyard. It is so nice not living in the city anymore so that we can sit around a fire whenever we want. I feel obligated to post a couple pictures of my "first baby," Thor. He was thrilled to have us outside playing fetch with him and he ran for hours!

We spent Easter Sunday with Nathan's extended family. We had lunch up at his grandparents' place with his parents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. It is the first time that we have been around most of them since we've been pregnant and it was actually kind of nice to be the center of attention. I don't have a fantastic relationship with my in-laws. It's not terrible, but we have had our ups and it was a relief to see everyone so excited about the twins. We got to surprise them by telling them that we knew the genders of the twins and that they would get to find out that day! 

I had originally made two yummy "strawberry shortcake cakes" as my gender reveal plan. We used food coloring to dye the cakes blue and planned to have his mom and grandma cut into them at the same time to announce the genders. Unfortunately, about 5 minutes after leaving our house, we went around a sharp corner and a large box fell on the cakes and they were smashed. Oh my goodness did I cry! It was an ugly cry too, with sobbing and wailing. The cakes were still edible since they had been covered in foil, but there was no hiding the fact that they were blue. In a last ditch effort we ran to Meijer (a local super store) and bought a basket, two yellow eggs, and some candy. The Easter section was very bare at this point in time, but we made do. I made up the eggs in the car on the way there and we went with an egg reveal like we did with my family. 

Our cakes before they were ruined. They had blue cake with strawberry filling, whipped cream frosting, and fruit on top. I don't have a picture of the cakes after the disaster, but I promise that they still tasted good.

Haha...Nathan handing the basket to his mom and grandma.

The reactions to seeing blue candy in the eggs!

Our egg reveal went well and everyone was really happy. Nathan's dad kept telling us that he KNEW it was twin boys. He had predicted it from the very beginning! 

We spent most of the day with his family eating, talking, and playing cards. Nathan's mom is giving us a great rocking recliner that they don't need anymore to put in the babies' room since a traditional glider won't work very well for breastfeeding two babies at once. There was also some talk of a family get together/baby shower to celebrate the babies in early July!! After the drive home (a little over an hour), Nathan and I sat down to enjoy the season finale of The Walking Dead followed by the season premiere of A Game of Thrones. 

Weight145 (+9 lbs overall)
Due Date: August 22, 2013
Baby is the size of: A Large Heirloom Tomato (note: all sizes are comparing the length of baby to a fruit)
Maternity Clothes?: Definitely wearing maternity pants all the time and I have been wearing some maternity shirts as well this past week! I can still fit into some of my pre-pregnancy shirts, but it won't be long before they are too short. 
Symptoms: Doing good for the most part, but definitely suffering from some soreness and general abdominal pain. I think it's from all the muscles stretching. My back is also quite sore by the end of the day. 
Notable News or Events: Telling everyone that we are having BOYS!!
Movement?: I think so!!! I'm still not 100% sure, but I have been feeling little popcorn popping feelings and some nudges that make me think I'm really feeling them. I guess it could still technically be gas, but I'm starting to feel pretty confident that what I'm feeling is babies!
Stretch Marks?: Just the one on my breasts so far. Not sure how long my tummy will hold out, but it's looking ok as of right now.
Upcoming Appointments: Anatomy Scan and follow up appointment on April 10th. 
What People are Saying: We got lots of congratulations and excitement from everyone when we told them that we were having boys!! We were also told "You're going to have your hands full!" about 50 times. I am sure  that this is true, but I think we'd have our hands just as full no matter what genders the babies were. My sister was thrilled to call the babies her nephews and there was lots of talk about dinosaurs and camo by some of our friends. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Twin Gender Reveal!!!

The twins are.....


We are very, very happy to officially announce that we are expecting twin  BOYS! I never pictured myself as a "boy mom" and both my husband and I were hoping for at least one girl, but honestly as soon as we found out that they were both boys, everything changed. I know it sounds corny, but all of a sudden I couldn't picture it any other way. Of course they are boys and they are exactly who we were meant to have as our children. Everything feels so much more real now. I can imagine what life with them will be like now! I have also really enjoyed calling the babies by their first names.  Follow my blog with Bloglovin