Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Prepare to be impressed!

My gift from the craft exchange arrived yesterday. The lovely and - apparently - very talented family over at 1 in Vermillion made this trio of stuffed bears for us.

E is positively smitten, and the rest of us are pretty excited about them too. :-) I'm hoping to get my craft out in tonight's mail, if I can make it to the post office on time. If not, it will be headed to its new home tomorrow morning.

The holiday scramble has elevated life from relatively crazy to downright insane, but I'm hoping to get back on here soon with an update. In case I'm not able to make good on the "soon" part, here are a few quick notes: Babies are on the move, eating solid foods, getting teeth, sleeping in separate cribs, and adopted. E is giving M and I nightly lessons in patience as he explores the wide and wonderful art of bedtime avoidance. We launched a behavioral intervention a couple of nights ago that seems like it might be helping a bit, but we're not counting any chickens just yet. We're readying our home for holiday visitors which has its challenges (confession: we had to order more dishes) but it means we don't have to fly anywhere (win!) and we get to have Christmas morning in our own living room, which hasn't happened since... 2007? It's a good way to end our most exciting year yet. Hope the holidays find all of you similarly happy and healthy!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Weeks 22-25

Alternate Title: I am so very bad at weekly posting.

I've been writing this jumble of a post for almost a month now but never having it polished up enough to publish when a week's end rolled around. So rather than keep it going for ANOTHER week, I'm going to squish things around a bit call it good.

The defining feature of Week 22 was solo parenting as M had a business trip and several evening commitments that left me alone with all three kids for four bedtimes and one overnight. You want to know a good way to make sure you're appreciated? Leave your partner alone for four bedtimes and one overnight. We all survived, but were glad to have M back in the saddle at the end of the week.

Week 23 brought Halloween and I spent upwards of (cough, cough) hours making costumes for all three boys. I have previously blogged* about my irrational need to sew my kids' Halloween costumes. Thankfully, my skills have increased significantly since then, and the sewing itself went much smoother this year. There were many things I could have and should have spent that time on (i.e. SLEEP) but, holy hell, did I ever have three cute penguins come Halloween night. Photo will be over at the annex shortly.

During Week 24 we took family pictures which was pretty much like herding cats but, amazingly, yielded some really nice shots. In Week 25, I was struck down with a nasty flu and C&G gifted me a 9 hour stretch of sleep; a feat they have yet to repeat. (Boo.) I also met up with some old co-workers for lunch which fits well into the "On Becoming a SAHM" post I've been writing in my head for weeks now. If only I could have a few more hours in each day...

In development news, the boys have spent the last month figuring out how to sit! C can do it all on his own for a decent stretch of time before toppling over and Grant isn't far behind. I forgot how funny it is to see them develop a new trick or skill and then do it All! The! Time! for a day or two until the novelty wears off. Other than sitting, they've been loving sucking their lower lips (G went through several days of doing this for hours on end, literally humming with pleasure the whole time. So flipping cute.), experimenting with different vocalizations, playing with their feet (typically in the aptly named Happy Baby pose), and putting anything and everything into their mouths. Both are showing unmistakable signs of teething and we are pretty sure we can see at least one tooth just under the surface of G's gums. I remember things getting a lot easier and more fun with E when he was around 6 months old and staying that way for the next couple of years, and these guys are already so easy and fun, I can't wait to see what the coming months bring. So much to look forward to!

And then there's breastfeeding. Ah, breastfeeding. A few weeks ago, we went back to the chiro and she confirmed that the uptick in BF pain I'd been feeling was not in my head; G's tongue tie has reattached on one side and C's upper lip tie is causing additional restriction. She suggested going back back to the laser doc to have both of these things corrected... but that may be where I draw the line. When I told her I wasn't sure I was open to that, she encouraged me to do as much stretching of the ties as possible in hopes that between my stretching and her adjusting, we could get to a tolerable point, and after two more visits with her and a whole lot of stretching on my part, I think that we have. I'm no longer having the cracks and blisters that I was a month ago (knock on wood) and while I don't think breastfeeding will ever be completely pain-free for me, it has become a lot more bearable lately. The boys seem to be getting a little more efficient and my supply seems to be up a bit as well, so things are pretty good in that department. I'd love to ditch one of our hour-plus nursing sessions during the night, but they seem pretty intent on keeping them both for now, so... Yeah.

I think that's all for now! Time to try to steal a couple of hours of sleep before the nighttime feedings commence. Zzzzzz....

*But, maybe don't read that whole post because it is rather poorly written and cringe-worthy for me to look back on now.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Week 21

Thanks for the tips on my last post. The take-away I got from it re: naps is that we barely have a toe into the time when it's reasonable to expect any kind of routine and that one will likely emerge organically when the babies are ready for it, so I guess we'll just keep doing what we're doing for now. As far as crib-sharing... Message received. Keeping them together just feels right to me. I know it's not going to work long-term, but I haven't been able to make the switch just yet. So, stay tuned, I guess.

I had a little "a-ha" moment while reading my post back in which I realized that in the time it took me to declare my envy over Jackie's wonderful weekly updates, I could have written something about my own boys. Anything. Rather than spending time bemoaning how I don't have time to write a decent post or how much I loathe typing on my phone (which I really, really do), I should peck out a few lines here and there while nursing, as even something quick and dirty would be better than the nothing I'm documenting now. So, here goes. I doubt these posts will be interesting to anyone but me, but maybe someday, when the fog of sleeplessness clears, I'll be able to look back on them and conjure up some memory that I was actually there. :-)

(This week's is going to be longer than most, I suspect, thanks to TWO tandem naps in the last two days. Thanks, boys!)

We kicked this week off with a visit to the Cranial-Sacral Chiropractor as part of the never-ending quest to resolve our breastfeeding hurdles. (One of the many posts I haven't written: 2 nasty tongue-ties = prolonged breastfeeding difficulties.) The jury is still out, but I think there may be some improvement. We go again early next week. After the MD/IBCLC who lasered the boys' tongues told me not to cut their formula night caps out cold turkey, I've been very slowly stepping them down. We've dropped from 2-3oz. per night to 1oz each, and I'm hoping to wean them back off the formula altogether within the next week or two. Wish us luck!

On Friday, E helped me make a cake to celebrate M's birthday and... my, oh, my... it was a sight to behold! M's mom arrived that night to spend the weekend with us and we all went out Sunday to celebrate M's birthday. Highpoint of the outing: M beating several of our friends at one of those basketball free throw games in an arcade with G asleep in the K'tan on her chest. It was awesome. Also, we dressed all three boys in matching outfits for the first time (we were meeting a friend who had given them to us when C&G were born) and I have to admit, they were pretty stinking cute. If only I'd remembered to take a picture! On Monday, we met up with a blog-friend-turned-real-world-friend at a local coffee shop. It felt like one of my first real SAHM outings and it was really nice.

Sleep is going okay, save a couple of nights recently when C decided 1-3am was a good play time. We seem to have fallen into a fairly consistent rhythm: Start nursing around 8pm and transfer them to their beds when they finish between 9-10, up to nurse between 12-1, up again to nurse between 3-4, then up for the day around 7am. It varies from time to time (like the last two nights, where they dropped one feeding - only waking once between 1-2, and then sleeping through until 6-7) but nothing that has lasted more than a day or two yet. We are still waking the other baby when one wakes up to eat. We experimented with not doing that one night this week and all I did was nursnooze (yup, just made up that word) All. Night. Long.

Both boys weigh around 12.5 lbs. and are pushing up well now. G was struggling for awhile, but the chiro released something with his shoulders/collarbone that has made a HUGE difference in his ability to use his arms. C has pretty much mastered rolling front to back and both have rolled back to front once or twice, but neither do it consistently yet. Both are quite adept at grabbing objects (and bringing them to their mouths, of course) - G a little less so than C because of the shoulder issue, but he's catching up quickly now that his movement is less restricted. C's latest craze is the exersaucer and G has just started sitting alone in the bebe pod. Both are EXTREMELY vocal - C mostly in high-pitched shrieking (for pleasure, displeasure, and everything in between) and G in a wide variety of lower sounds. C also blows raspberries - adorable. They still sleep swaddled at night, but are busting out faster and with more regularity now. They are in cloth diapers all day (smalls and OSs on smallest setting) and disposables overnight. I just ordered our first package of size 2s on Am.azon yesterday. Clothing is mostly 3-6 months. They continue to be two of the sweetest, happiest babies I've ever met, and they lovelovelove their big brother!

So there's the scoop for this week. Hopefully this won't be the last post of its kind! ;-)

Friday, October 5, 2012

twin sleep help needed

OK twin mentors, I need some tips!

Question #1: How do I establish a nap routine? More specifically, how do I reliably get two babies down for a tandem nap when I'm home alone with them during the days? Right now, I am nursing them to sleep for bedtime and naps. Ideally, they'd go down tired but awake and fall asleep on their own, but it ain't flying right now and we have no plan to do any kind of sleep training any time soon, so it is what it is. During the day, it currently looks like this: I tandem nurse the babies every two hours, so approximately 5 times while we're on our own each day. Maybe 2 of those times, both babies fall asleep after nursing and I sit under them for 30-45 minutes until one or both wakes up and... "Oh hey, a boob. Don't mind if I do." They nurse again, and after that session, they stay awake and we play or run an errand or whatever. I have tried shifting the sleeping babies off of me and onto the couch or the adjacent boppy, but ALWAYS one wakes up and ALMOST ALWAYS both do. So unless we have somewhere to go, I generally just... sit. It would be nice to come up with a better system for obvious reasons, and I feel like one is staring me in the face but I'm too sleep-deprived to figure it out so... help me?

Question #2: Did anyone keep their babies in the same crib past 4 to 6 months? How long? How did it work, specifically? How were they swaddled/sleepsack-ed/positioned/etc.? C&G are currently sleeping in the same crib - an arrangement I love and would prefer to continue as long as possible. They spent the first 12 weeks together in a pack n play in our room, and then moved to a single full-size crib in their room, and now I can't imagine them sleeping apart. In the past week or so, they have started (a) rolling over and (b) busting out of their swaddles, which means it's time to move to sleepsacks and, I'm afraid, separate cribs. Am I wrong? Can we keep them together longer? Are they just going to start beating on each other during the night and waking each other up all the time? Or will it be like most developmental changes - a few rough nights while they sort out their new situation and then we'll go back to peaceful, adorable, twin-cuddling sleep? If we separate them, will it be tough on them? What was your experience?

I'm sorry this blog has become so neglected. I miss the running documentation of my life and the interaction with this wonderful community. I am in a state of perpetual envy over the detailed pictures Jackie paints of each week of her little guys' lives. I just cannot find the time. Being a SAHM is wonderful... and so, so, SO much busier than my day job used to be. Our water nearly got shut off this week because paying our bills was an online activity I used to do at work and, oh, hey, guess I need to carve out time to do that at home now! Anyway, I have a list of about four posts I'm dying to get to. I've been writing them in my head for weeks now so maybe I'll start some drafts on here that I can add to whenever I find a free minute or two. Writing them a sentence at a time would be better than not at all, I suppose.

Thanks in advance for sharing your sleep wisdom!

Monday, August 13, 2012

weekend experiment

I read two essays with a similar theme last week. One was this blog post by the illustrious Bionic; the other was this opinion piece from the NY Times. Both discuss the merits of allowing your children to explore the world on their own terms (within reason), even if some of their decisions end in tears. (And you really should read both pieces yourself because my gross over-simplification does not begin to do either one justice.)

I am, admittedly, a bit of a helicopter mom. It is the only thing that makes sense to me on a basic, instinctual level. I am the parent of an exuberant 3-year-old without a fully-formed prefrontal cortex. I made him from scratch and I want the best for him. If I could wrap him in bubble wrap until his 18th 21st 99th birthday, you'd better believe I would do it. I love him to the ends of the earth and the world is a scary, scary place. To have both essays come across my computer screen within days of each other felt like a message from the universe, so I did a little experimentation this weekend to see what would happen if I stopped myself from offering the help I give so reflexively and let E sort some things out on his own.

On Saturday, we went to a playground we've never been to before. I did a quick survey of the equipment - safe, well-enclosed, soft rubber underneath - and then let E go. He was hesitant at first, asking me to follow him up the stairs and across the ramps as M or I typically do, but I encouraged him to explore on his own and before long, he was flying around the equipment so quickly it was all I could do to keep him in sight. It was one of those multi-level things where there are a dozen different ladder-esque climbing pieces up onto a series of connected platforms. On a couple of occassions, he tried climbing pieces where the gap from the top of the "ladder" to the platform was far too wide for him to safely step across. In the past, I would be right beside him to keep one hand on the waist of his shorts during his climb and physically lift him across the gap to the platform, but this time, I stood a good distance away. I watched as he carefully selected hand and footholds to scale the apparatus and then, upon reaching the top and realizing he could safely go no further, I watched him take equal care in finding his way back down before scampering off to find another way up. He wasn't hurt. He wasn't disappointed or frustrated. He solved his own problem with no help needed from me and, maybe it was in my head, but he seemed to have a little more fun doing it that way, too.

On Sunday, we went to a nearby farm to pick apples (Side note: Apple season already? Scary.) and E befriended a girl he met in the kids' play area. They ran all over the place until they were both pink-cheeked, then picked a spot near where I sat nursing a baby to chat and build "castles" out of rocks. They were close enough for me to hear their conversation but not so close I could easily intervene if needed. Normally, I would have scooted closer in case I was needed to translate something from his still-developing vocabulary or mediate a disagreement, but this time, I stayed put. The girl asked E his name and his age and chatted about her recent 5th birthday party. I was surprised by and proud of how well he was able to hold his own, conversationally, with this older child. He answered all of her questions and asked some of his own. When she asked if he had a daddy, my body tensed. I know that E understands his family structure is different than most of his friends', but we've never prepped him on how to explain or defend it. Honestly, we've barely talked about it at all. I guess I thought we had more time. He paused for a millisecond before responding, "No, I just have two mommies," with a quick gesture my way as if to illustrate his point. And that was it. They were on to something else and he was completely unaffected by the exchange.

The lesson for me was this: E deserves more of my trust. He is more equipped to care for his inside and his outside than I ever imagined. It is still my job to protect him from the Big Hurts, but I've discovered some new jobs as well: It's my job to NOT do things for him that he is capable or almost-capable of doing himself. It's my job to let him take risks and make decisions that encourage his growth. It's my job to let him experience the consequences when things don't go as he hoped. It's my job to manage my own discomfort while he does all these things. These are all important jobs because I made him from scratch and I want the best for him.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

It's been a big week.

On Monday, we met with a realtor to start the ball rolling on selling our house. Goal is to purgepurgepurge and list it on March 1, 2013.

On Tuesday, I quit my job to become a SAHM. My last day will be August 24th.

Big decisions being made. Big changes afoot. Here's hoping the rest of the week is quiet and boring so I can catch my breath.

Friday, July 27, 2012

C&G's birth story

Where did I leave off? Oh right, it was Tuesday, May 22nd and I was all kinds of miserable waiting for my scheduled c-section at 5:30am on Friday, May 25th. I had been to see my OB the day before and, in sharp contrast to my unwavering “every second inside matters” mantra up to that point, I was ready to get the boys out ASAP by whatever means necessary. My OB’s hands were tied by hospital policy so I was left counting down each second of the four days until she could put me out of my misery.

Thursday, May 24th was my mom’s birthday and my brother came into town early that morning. He’d booked his flights far in advance with the idea the boys would be a couple of weeks old when he came. It never crossed my mind they wouldn’t even be born by the time he arrived. In order for me to get as much rest as possible prior to surgery, my mom planned to take E to their condo for a sleepover on Wednesday night, and then she, my dad, and my brother would spend all day with him Thursday before bringing him back to our house in the evening for a take-out birthday dinner.

I “woke up” that morning (not that I was sleeping much at that point) and discovered that I was starting to lose my mucus plug. I didn’t think much of it since it took days from that point to delivery with E, except to feel grateful that my body was starting the ball rolling, so my planned eviction the following morning wasn’t completely out of sync with the natural course of events. I was having contractions, but they were no stronger or more regular than those I’d been having for the past couple of months. My BFF In Loco Parentis came for a visit mid-day. She brought me lunch and marveled at my amazing feat of water retention. Other than that, I pretty much just lounged around and tried to rest as much as I could.

At 5:41pm, my mom sent a text asking if I still felt up to dinner or if they should just keep E and go out without us. I texted back the following: “Have been feeling pretty good all day. Lousy last hour or so, but it may pass. I think dinner would be good. I’d like to see everyone. If still feeling bad when you get here, we can always revise plan.” It turns out that “lousy” feeling was actually early labor. (Side note: How glad am I we texted this convo instead of talking over the phone? I would never have remembered the timing and specifics of all of this, but now I have this great little time capsule to remind me.)

M got home from work at 6pm and I got up to open the door so our dog could run out and greet her. As I crossed the four feet from the couch to the door, I felt a small pop followed by a trickle of warm liquid. Denial is a funny thing. I knew immediately what it was, but almost instantly convinced myself I’d imagined it because I’d resigned myself to The Plan at that point and we were soooo close! M came in and flopped down in a chair, exhausted from a long week of tying up loose ends at work. I told her I thought my water might have broken and she gave me a look that said “you have GOT to be kidding me.” I don’t think either one of us could wrap our heads around the fact we weren’t going to get another night of sleep before we met our babies. We talked for a few minutes about how, even if my water had broken, I still might be able to make it to the c-section. It was only 12 hours away at that point. At 6:18pm I got my first contraction that was unlike any of its predecessors and I started to realize the “wait it out” plan might not work after all.

The timing of this next part is a little fuzzy for me, but at some point (6:30ish?), I called my mom who was on her way over to our house. I told her my water had broken and M and I were still coming up with our plan, but dinner was probably out. I asked her to head on to dinner without us and we’d keep her posted. A few minutes later, as it became painfully clear (literally) that we needed to head for the hospital, M and I realized we hadn’t seen E in 24 hours and weren’t going to get to for awhile longer, so we called my mom back and asked her to bring him to our house for a quick kiss before we left. It took her another 15 minutes or so to get there and we almost didn’t wait because the contractions were ramping up so quickly. According to my contraction timer (for the brief time I was collected enough to time contractions), the intervals were 11-11-9-9-6-5-5. Each contraction was lasting 1.5 to 2.5 minutes and I was already struggling to walk or talk through them. E arrived as we were making our way to the car so we got a chance to give him a squeeze and tell him we were off to get his brothers at the hospital – an event we’d been talking to him about for weeks. We got in the car a little after 7pm, I think, and it took us about 20 minutes to get to the hospital. By the time we arrived, it was taking everything I had to make it through each contraction. I wouldn’t let M drop me off so we parked in the ER lot and she gave me a white-knuckle wheelchair ride alllll the way across our large urban hospital to the pregnancy assessment unit.

Once there, they got me into a room quickly. They hooked up the monitors and did an internal exam – 4 cm. I’ve had my fair share of internals and this one was The Worst Ever. I’m not entirely sure what the problem was, but I was super-sensitive and they couldn’t find my cervix for anything. They did an ultrasound at one point and the babies’ heads were both so low and so close together, she couldn’t be certain it even was both babies and not just one of them. She finally gave up trying when I informed her I was a mandatory section so the babies position didn’t matter all that much. I can only imagine that having two heads jammed down there rearranged my internal organs somehow, but… yeowch. The internal was far worse than any contraction I’d had up to that point. It was clear things were progressing quickly, so it got pretty chaotic for a while as people scrambled to check off all the boxes on their respective checklists. I learned that my beloved OB - the one I made the difficult decision to keep even though it meant not delivering at the hospital I wanted - was not on call and the other OB in her practice would be doing the surgery. I was really disappointed and I thought about asking them to call my OB anyway, but that thought lasted a whole second and a half before another contraction hit and I realized that even if she would come in for me, there was a good chance I couldn’t hold on long enough for her to arrive. The nurse must have relayed the urgency of the situation to the OB because she came back with the message that the OB would be in the OR in 30 minutes and she wanted me there waiting for her. Cue more frenzy as we got ready to roll.

They peeled M off at the OR door to change into scrubs and then pushed me through the double doors. I felt like I’d rolled onto a set of a TV hospital drama. People were running everywhere, turning on machines and shouting at each other. Different people popped their faces into mine and asked me for information before darting off to finish their assigned tasks. Every few minutes, they’d stop and do a “check” where the head nurse would read off all my information and everyone in the room had to agree they were in the right place. A nurse took my nose ring and other jewelry and put it in a plastic bag (never to be seen again). The fleet of pediatric residents nominated a leader to come over and introduce himself, explain their strategy once the babies came out, and see if I had any questions. The anesthesiologist took a quick medical history. Various other people asked me to turn this way or that, describe something I was feeling, or recite my name and D.O.B. for the umpteenth time. Most of these questions were asked on top of one another (as well as my contractions) so it was quite the feat to hear and respond to each as it was asked. There must have been a dozen people in the room, maybe more? The OB was there and was trying to hurry things along, but the anesthesiologist decided it was take your intern to work day, and it took forever for her nervous trainee to get my epidural placed. They kept asking me if it felt centered and telling me it was really important that I answer accurately, and I kept thinking “How the hell am I supposed to know?! You think I can feel whether the needle in my back is off-center by a millimeter in the midst of all of this? You’re the ones looking at it!” I just remember sitting on the edge of the table, hugging a pillow, having contraction on top of contraction on top of contraction, thinking they’d never get it in. With each contraction, the OB would yell “K, whatever you do, DO NOT PUSH. Don’t push, K. Don’t push!” At one point I heard a nurse ask wasn’t I just 4cm? The OB replied “No, she went from zero to four in no time at all. She’s way past that now. Just look at her.” I actually don’t think I was fully dilated as I wasn’t feeling an urge to push just yet, but looking back on what she said and how I was feeling at that point, I’m pretty sure I was in transition.

They FINALLY got the epidural in and properly dosed, then M arrived to sit by my head and the surgery started. It can’t have been more than a minute or two before we heard the OB say “I need a catch team for Baby A,” and then we heard the high-pitched squeal we’d come to know as C’s signature cry. A team of doctors and nurses took him to the first warmer and one minute later, we heard G’s deeper, throatier cry as he was brought out into the world. I could hear them in the warmers, their two very distinct cries echoing through the OR, and it hit me: We have TWO babies. They were born at 9:01 and 9:02pm, just three hours after my first hint of labor.

M went to the babies right away and snapped a couple of pictures which she brought back to show me as the OB finished delivering the placentas and began stitching me up. They announced the babies APGARs (8 then 9 for both babies) and most of the doctors and nurses left the room. M said that once they realized how big and healthy the babies were, the mood in the peds’ corner completely shifted. They started laughing, taking bets on how much the babies would weigh, and commenting happily about the babies’ features and actions. The drugs were making me queasy and a little loopy, but I could hear the light tones in their voices and it was such a relief to know all was well. The babies weighed in at 6lbs, 10oz (C) and 6lbs, 11oz (G) – a far cry from the full pound difference they predicted on ultrasound that caused my OB to veto my plans for a VBAC.

Once in recovery, M brought each baby over to me to see and hold. We were both in total shock that they were here. They weren’t supposed to come until the next morning! The nurse came in to check on us and laughed about how crazy everything had been. She said she was working on another part of the floor when someone told her to get to the OR immediately, and she’d run there not knowing who we were or what she was walking into. It still amazes me how quickly they were able to mobilize the delivery team. We weren’t even at the hospital and hour and a half before the boys were on the outside. We called our stunned parents and texted friends. If I were to sum the whole experience up in a single word, it would be SURREAL.

This birth experience has been tremendously healing for me. As most of you know, E’s birth was fairly traumatic and I struggled for a long time to come to terms with it. I longed for the chance to have a VBAC with my second pregnancy in hopes that it would restore some of what my first experience took from me. I didn’t get my VBAC, but in my heart of hearts, I truly believe I could have done it if my OB had let me try. I know that’s easy to say since I didn’t have to prove it, and maybe I’m wrong, but based upon what I DID get to see during my short labor, I know that my body was doing exactly what it was supposed to do. My labor was progressing. My cervix was dilating. The boys were exactly where they needed to be. And all of these things were happening quickly and efficiently. That is 180 degrees from how things went with E. And that alone has soothed my scars enormously. I feel really proud of how my body handled pregnancy, and I’m proud of how it was handling birth, until the doctors took the reins. I thought I might be angry that I wasn’t allowed to try for a VBAC, especially after the ultrasound intel turned out to be total crap, but I’m not. I feel grateful to have gone into labor on my own and had the chance to feel it take over my body in such a natural, primal way, even if only for a short time.

Other than my OB not being the one to deliver the boys, it’s hard to imagine a better scenario from a timing standpoint. I wanted them to stay in as long as possible and to come out on their own schedule. When my OB set the 38 week deadline, my hope became that the boys would come on their own before that, but as close to it as possible in order to maximize their time on the inside. Well, they did pretty darn good on that front!! Less than 12 hours pre-surgery? Well played, boys. I initially hoped they’d avoid the swarm of family birthdays in May so that they could have their own special day, seeing as they’d already have to share their birthdays with one other person. In the early evening of the 24th without a labor sign in sight, I thought we’d managed to do just that. But, they ended up zooming into the world on the tail end of my mom’s birthday, and in the weeks since then, I’ve decided that’s actually kind of special.
Before learning I was pregnant with twins, there were three hopes I had for my second pregnancy: A VBAC, a baby that could stay in our room and be discharged from the hospital with us, and a more functional breastfeeding relationship. When I learned we were expecting twins, I knew all three of those things would be more difficult if not impossible to achieve. I’m going to go ahead and say we got 2.5 of those things, and 2.5 out of 3 ain’t bad.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Six weeks old!*

This just in: Life with a three-year-old and newborn twins is busy. Shocker, huh?

There is no way I can possibly recap all that has happened since C and G arrived. I'm going to try to hit the highlights though - please excuse the choppy post to follow!

Hospital time = Mostly good. After the shock of our crazy (but wonderful) birth experience wore off, we spent the next few days falling in love with our adorable new roommates. E was never in our room at the hospital and it is so different and so much cooler to have your baby right there with you!! (Another shocking news flash, I know.) My parents stayed with E and brought him to visit us each day. We had some really lovely nurses and the overall vibe was just really laid-back and blissful as M and I celebrated and bonded with our two healthy babes. My recovery was a little rougher in some ways because I had retained so much fluid and my body was in no hurry to release it. It took a whole day and several bags of IV fluid to jumpstart my kidneys to start producing urine again after my c-section and all that time, I just kept getting bigger and more uncomfortable. Also, the doctor who did my surgery (not my OB, thanks to the boys' early arrival - boo) botched one side of the repair job a bit. I guess it is technically closed now (it wasn't at my first postpartum visit), but it looks weird, like it isn't fully sealed. I'm not sure how else to describe it. Also, for the first two weeks, I had this unbearable nerve pain deep under the incision. Fun stuff. It's still sore, but nothing like it was, thank goodness. The pressure to supplement with formula started within hours of the boys' birth and we resisted it until the day before we left. We had a great pro-breastfeeding pediatrician while in the hospital who completely supported our refusal (truly, she cried with me when we finally had to supplement), but the day before we were scheduled to leave, the boys dropped down to 14% below birthweight and she explained she wasn't allowed to send them home until they at least started moving back in the right direction. My milk still wasn't in, so our only options were to leave the boys there (which assured they'd get formula since we couldn't be at the hospital for every feed once we were discharged) or start giving them formula ourselves. We opted for the latter and began following each breastfeeding session with 15-20mL of formula. The following morning, they'd lost even more weight despite the supplementation, but they let us stay in our room a few extra hours and by 4pm, the tide had turned and we were all able to go home together. Hallelujah!

First week home = Heaven! We came home on Memorial Day and M took the next day off. (Yup, that's all she could take post-hospital.) E was at school and we sat around the house all day, holding sleeping babies and basking in the glow of how seamlessly the transition was going. I know, how inappropriately smug of us. Fear not, we got our comeuppance :-) On Wednesday, we took the boys to their first weight check and to our relief, they were both still gaining. C was back up to 6lbs, 3oz. and G was 6lbs, 2oz. On Thursday, we went back to the pediatrician's office for their first doctor visit. Both boys were pronounced the picture of health. Up until then, we'd continued to supplement with formula in response to the boys' hunger cues. We talked to our pediatrician about wanting to stop this and she was supportive of us cutting the formula out cold turkey. M went back to work on Wednesday, but my mom was a huge help during the hours she was gone. The next few days were idyllic (although as I look back over my notes, I can see they weren't eating nearly often enough - still sleeping when they should have been nursing) and we even managed to have a lovely breakfast out on Sunday - our first as a family of five! We wrapped up the first week home with another weight check on Monday morning, and that is when things began to crumble...

Second week home = The higher the ladder, the longer the chute. Monday morning's weight check did not bring good news - C hadn't gained any weight, and G had lost an ounce. Uh oh. This seriously rocked my confidence, as did some signs of lethargy and weakness I'd started to notice in G. The doctor came in to talk to us and said she was not concerned. The number of wet/dirty diapers we were seeing meant the boys were getting enough to eat, and she guessed they were going to move off the weight plateau any moment. She coached me to stick with EBF and to do whatever I could to r-e-l-a-x. She reassured me over and over again that everything was fine and she'd tell me if she had any concern whatsoever. We made a plan to nursenursenurse as much as possible and bring them back Thursday for another weight check. I went home resolved to take deep breaths and make it work... but the universe had other plans. A couple of hours after returning from the weight check, and just before I was about to sit down to feed the babies, I was (TMI alert) battling some constipation (thank you, Percoset), when I had what was later diagnosed as a vasovagal response, followed immediately by a hot, pulsing headache unlike anything I've ever experienced. I honestly worried something had burst in my brain. My mom called 911 and I was taken to the ER by ambulance. I spent the next 8ish hours being drugged, CT scanned and lumbar punctured, and finally sent home with the diagnosis of postpartum migraine, which is apparently A Thing. I returned home engorged but afraid to nurse because of all the meds I'd had in the ER. The nurses assured me everything I was given was compatible with breastfeeding, but come on... Morphine? M and I looked up half lives and percentages in milk for each drug and felt we should err on the side of caution. The babies had already had several formula bottles at that point, so we decided I'd pump and dump for the next 12 hours to be safe, then start fresh at noon the following day. Oh, I nearly cried watching ounce after ounce of breastmilk go down the drain in our bathroom sink. Uggggghhhhhh. So, that was day one. Nice, huh? The next morning, we had a photographer come out to take newborn pics of the boys. They came out so wonderfully and I'm SO glad we didn't cancel her after what went down the previous day. I will post a couple on the password protected blog. She'd been gone maybe an hour when E's symptoms started to show and by the afternoon, it was clear he was not well at all. His fever stayed mostly in the 102-103 range for three full days and he clearly felt awful. I was terrified he'd pass something along to the little boys so I basically sequestered the three of us in my bedroom and only checked on E intermittently, scrubbing in and out like a surgeon for each visit. M had to work all week, so most of his sick care fell to my mom, which was a heartbreaking introduction (hazing?) to what it feels like to have more children than hands. It was agonizing not to be able to care for him when he needed me, but the babies needed me more right then. (We managed to end the week without the babies getting sick, thank goodness.) On Wednesday, I tried to meet with a lactation counselor to develop a plan to safely wean our itty bitty babies off the formula. I really didn't want their weights to dip again. The LC was out, but I had the opportunity to weigh the babies pre- and post-feed, and when it appeared that they managed to LOSE weight during the feeding, I had an epic meltdown, complete with ugly public crying. This earned me another "You Must Relax" pep talk, and a recommendation to start using this supplement, which I started that afternoon. On Thursday, E went to the pediatrician to rule out strep or hand, foot, and mouth and I had my first postpartum visit - at the same time, of course. My mom took E to his appointment and my dad drove me and the babies to mine since I was still taking Percoset and couldn't drive myself. Fun times! My headaches still had not relented so I talked my OB into giving me a couple of doses of Imi.trex by promising to follow up with my primary care doctor after that. I did just that on Friday and was encouraged to try treating the headaches with caffeine which, blessedly, has been working pretty well since then. I usually don't drink any coffee, tea or soda, so even small amounts of caffeine have been making a big difference for me. Or it's a placebo effect. I couldn't care less as long as it keeps my headaches at bay, which it has thus far. Having a debilitating headache while trying to care for newborn twins and a sick three year old is torture. On Friday of that week, we went in for another weight check and they finally gained! G was only up to 6lbs, 3oz but it was something, and C was up to 6lbs., 8oz! After their 24 hours of formula early in the week, we'd continued to supplement here and there - never more than an ounce a day per baby, but enough to make me nervous to go back to EBF without one more check that they were growing on breastmilk alone. The doctor agreed we could come in for one more weight check on Tuesday, so once again, we attempted to stop supplementing, but this time we were able to follow through. Phew! Near the end of their second week home, M's mom came into town and my parents left. I was heartsick to see them go. My mom had been such an enormous help toward the end of my pregnancy and during C and G's first two weeks of life (especially that second week home, aka hell week). Having M's mom around for a few days was great, but her stay was short, and the day where I'd need to start caring for both babies all on my own was looming nearer and nearer with each passing hour and I had NO idea how I was going to manage.

Third week home and beyond: Finding our new normal. The following Tuesday's weight check brought great news. The babies were up to 6lbs, 8oz (G) and 6lbs, 13oz (C). Both had gained 5 ounces in 4 days with no formula, so I finally had the peace of mind I needed and we've been EBFing ever since. On Wednesday morning, M's mom left at the crack of dawn and I was officially on my own. The babies were one day shy of three weeks old. *Gulp* Somehow, we all survived and since then, the pendulum seems to have come to rest on: Really freaking hard and busier than I ever could have anticipated, but manageable, and peppered with moments of such bliss and beauty that I could burst from the sheer joy that is our life. I have learned so much and I do things with the babies every day that I never would have thought possible, logistically. The learning curve is something else when you're thrown right into the deep end. We get out on our own at least once a day - sometimes for several hours of errands, sometimes just to pick E up at school - but it's something. On a couple occasions, we've stayed out through a feeding time and I've needed to nurse them, in public, on my own. At home, I tandem feed them, but when we're out, I have to do them one at a time and, somehow, keep the other baby pacified too. The first time I did it, I'll admit I felt a little like Wonder Woman. :-) We've also been doing a lot as a family on the evenings and weekends. M has been awesome about this. I'm sure she'd rather put her feet up at the end of her long workdays (HA, like we're going to be doing that anytime in the next 3-5 years!) but she knows I need to get out for my own mental health and she does what she can to make that happen. (Your efforts have not gone unnoticed, Love.) We've been having a lot of picnic dinners in parks, despite the oppressive heat, because the babies love to be outdoors and I can sit on a blanket and feed them while watching M and E play. It's been really... nice. Despite the rough start, breastfeeding is going really well. We haven't had to supplement at all in the past month and my supply seems to be keeping up with their demand. I just hope we'll have a strong enough foundation for it to stay that way once I go back to work in two short weeks. (And now, I will cease speaking of that wretched day to keep myself from vomiting.)

The babies have easy temperaments (one more so than the other, of course) and they don't have the health issues (colic, reflux) that E suffered from, so we joke that the two of them together are still easier than E was as a singleton newborn, which is NOT actually a joke because it's 100% true. They look almost nothing like each other, and yet they both look startlingly like E, which is really freaking cool for reasons long-time readers of this blog will appreciate. They were both up to 7lbs, 8oz and 21.5 inches (exactly the same size!) at their pediatrician appointment just over a week ago. They have started to outgrow preemie clothes by length and are fitting comfortably into NB and some 3mo sized clothes, as well as most of the newborn diapers in our CD stash. During the past few days, they have both become very generous with their smiles and we can consistently elicit them, which is basically the best thing to happen ever.

There are so many things I want to say; so many things I want to document here because time is racing by at breakneck speed and I know I'm going to forget so much. But, I fear I won't even get this much posted unless I pull the trigger on it now. I'd like to say I'll write more soon, but I probably won't. We're very much on our own out here. Our families live many states away and I've been a little sad to find that, with some exceptions, our local friends haven't stepped in to fill the gap the way I hoped they might. That sounds whinier than I want it to because we're really doing okay, but we're also both operating at 110% and we have zero down time in which to catch our breath. None. There are things that are far more essential to the functioning of our household than blogging that are being left to the wayside right now, so... I'll be back when I can, which will hopefully be soon enough that C and G's entire infancies don't disappear into the vortex of my feeble memory. :-)

*This post has had two previous titles, on account'a the fact that I've been writing it a couple sentences at a time for-ev-er. The first was "Three weeks old!" Then, "One month old!" Even this one is technically out of date, but it's close enough so we're rolling with it.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Party of Five

Sorry for going AWOL on you. I know it sounds cliche, but the past week has been the fastest of my life to date. As you have probably figured on your own, we are the proud (and busy) parents of two more little boys!

We were less than 12 hours away from our scheduled c-section when the babes decided to take matters into their own hands, and they were in our arms barely three hours later. Planned delivery? Nope, thanks for offering though! We even had a white-knuckle trip to the hospital and a doctor yelling at me not to push. It was an exciting evening. I will write and share their birth story soon (when I'm not so strung out on narcotics) but I wanted to poke my nose in to belatedly announce that we are all here and all okay. Some of us, in fact, are better than okay, and those persons would be our two big, beautiful, healthy boys!

They arrived on Thursday, May 24th, just three hours shy of 38 weeks gestation. Baby A weighed 6lbs, 10oz and Baby B weighed 6lbs, 11oz - just one ounce apart! They were given a clean bill of health in the OR and roomed-in with us for the rest of our hospital stay. We had to give in to a little bit of formula supplementation while waiting for my milk to come in, but we have since switched back to 100% breast milk and, for now, my body seems up to this task. Hooray! There are no words to express how head-over-heels in love with them I am, and with our whole experience this time around as opposed to last time. It's more than just having a redemptive hospital/birth experience (which I did), but the experience of "becoming" a parent for a second time is very different too and, in my case, it's been one characterized by pure, unadulterated bliss. More to come on that soon, I hope. In the meantime, I must get back to snuggling two of the world's most amazing new arrivals...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It's not over until the fat lady cries.

And that day would be yesterday, so feel free to come out any time now, boys!

I just realized I never updated after my last OB visit (oops!), but my c-section is scheduled for Friday morning, which will be 38 weeks on the nose.

It is really difficult to carry twins to 38 weeks, both physically and emotionally. (Thank you, Captain Obvious.) It seems silly to say I'm surprised by how much so on both counts, but I am. Of course it makes sense that the experience would be taxing, in a theoretical sense, but (1) I NEVER expected to carry them this long so I never gave a lot of thought to what being 37w4d pregnant with twins would *feel* like, and (2) like so many things in life, I don't think you can appreciate the entirety of it in advance anyway.

Getting through these final days is proving to be the hardest thing I have ever experienced. I've never thought of myself as an Amazing Race kind of person (If you know me outside the computer, don't laugh. I'm not delusional - I still don't.) but I would put full-term twin pregnancy up against any of the endurance challenges those contestants go through. So much of it is mental - giving myself pep talks about how short 4 days really are in the grand scheme of things, when the distance from Monday to Friday sounds like an insurmountable ravine of time - but much of it is physical, too. (TMI alert about some of the disclosures to follow.) I ache from head to toe. I am lucky to get 3-4 hours of sleep cobbled together per 24 hour period. I am retaining massive amounts of fluid, as evidenced by my 7 pound weight gain last week (and 5 the week before), despite my food intake dropping way down thanks to my matchbox-sized stomach. The swelling in my hands, feet, ankles and calves was expected, but the giant mass of pitting edema that spreads further across the bottom half of my belly each day has been a surprise. It's tender to the touch and horrifying to look at. All of my organs are compressed and/or displaced which causes nausea and other assorted GI discomforts at least every day or two. I have to hold my belly up to pee or else it crimps some internal part of my urethra and nothing comes out. I have so much sympathy for men with prostate issues now! I have acid reflux that burns all the way up into the back of my mouth. My weight gain alone makes it difficult to move, let alone get in and out of cars, push myself up from lying down to sitting, and complete other assorted daily activities.

All of that said, I know how lucky I am that my body has cooperated to keep these boys in this long, and then to keep me as active as I am on top of that. We had a full weekend - farmer's market, a birthday party for E's best school bud, a (seated) concert Saturday night, house chores and errands - and with the exception of a zoo visit on Sunday morning which I sat out, I was able to keep up and spend just about every minute with my people; our last weekend as a family of three. However, I probably overdid it because by late Sunday night, I felt terrible. I went to my NST and OB appointment on Monday with the goal of talking my OB into putting me out of my misery sooner rather than later. I felt sure that one of my health indicators would reflect that sheer agony I was in and she'd have the medical grounds to move my c-section up. With each test, I awaited the results that would be my golden ticket out... BP? 106/64. (Damn.) NST? Passed with no concerns. (Ugh.) Urine? Concentrated due to fluid retention, but no trace of protein, ketones, or anything else concerning. (Crap.) Weight gain and edema? Severe enough to garner genuine sympathy from my OB, but not quite enough to warrant a pre-38-week section without a second criterion of Pre-E or other health threat. (Nooo!) Temperature? 96.8, my norm. (You get the picture.) My OB was thorough and asked lots of questions, trying to uncover anything else I was forgetting to mention, but all I could come up with was that I just felt lousy all over. She took lots of notes and flipped back and forth through my chart a few times and then turned to face me before saying, "I keep looking through this in hopes I can find some reason to section you tonight, but there's just... nothing. You look great. Well, you don't look great, you look miserable, but clinically, you are doing awesome." After a bit more chatting and a little tearing up on my part, she encouraged me to call as often as I want to this week and come in as needed, but that barring any exciting changes, she'd see me bright and early Friday morning. I left feeling hopeless and sure I'd never survive four more days of this pregnancy.

Yesterday afternoon and evening were terrible. I continued to feel weak and achy and the mere thought of food overwhelmed me with nausea, as did lying on my left side at all, even for only a few minutes. The one upside to the fluid retention is that despite the huge amount of water I'm drinking, the frequency of my trips to the bathroom has dropped way off, which let me get a bit of a nap in while sitting in the nursery recliner. Late last night, I was able to stomach some rice cereal and a banana, and after a long talk with M, I felt better than I had all day. It's amazing what a pep talk from your amazing, super-star partner can do for your spirits. I got about five hours of sleep last night (in only three chunks!) and am feeling even better today. (This post would have been uglyuglyugly had I written it last night as I intended to.) I still feel like Friday is a long way off, but 2 days, 18 hours, 6 minutes, and 14 seconds (per the countdown on my iGoogle page) feels more do-able than the numbers I was staring at yesterday. I'm sure tomorrow's will be even more reassuring. Like it or not, my body is intent on seeing this through, and I'm just along for the ride at this point. All I can do is try to keep my mind and emotions in check. I doubt I could manage this on my own, but I have M in my corner, and we can do this together.

So, 2 days, 18 hours, (now) 3 minutes, and 25... 24... 23... 22 seconds to go and then this part will be over and our babies will be here. I've never been more anxious to meet two little people.

p.s. Speaking of having people in my corner... I want to thank all of you who commented on my last post. Your words meant more to me than you can know. It's been a big couple of weeks for mom-petition in the mass media, and I'm ashamed to admit how quickly I fall into the trap when it comes to natural birth stuff. This could turn into a long post unto itself, so for now I will just say that your comments were grounding and affirming and provided me with a much-needed touchstone, so thanks to all who took the time to reach out. You gals rock. :-)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

closing in on 37 weeks

I am 36w5d as of today, and feeling every hour of it. I'm doing what I can to focus on the goal of keeping the boys inside as long as possible and ignore everything else, but whew, my body is hurting! A lot has happened since I last updated, so let me take a few steps back...

I had an OB appointment on May 5th - my first since the ultrasound on April 30th where we learned both babies were head-down. I did the NST first and the monitor picked up three good contractions. One was especially strong and caused my OB's eyebrows to shoot up when she saw it on the strip. She asked if I was having many contractions like that one and I said that I had been - some that were strong enough I couldn't think or talk through them - but they were very irregular. Still, she decided to check my cervix for progress. Alas, there was none to be found - no dilation, no effacement. I'm not sure how much that influenced the conversation that came next, but it's something I've thought about a lot since in trying to make peace with things.

My OB paged through the ultrasound report and told me the babies' sizes are great, but farther apart (and with the "wrong" baby being larger) than she'd like to see for a VBAC. Baby B's head measuring so far ahead for the second ultrasound in a row is another major concern. Based upon these things, she took the VBAC option off the table. I was crushed and asked if we could at least try it, but maybe throw in the towel earlier than we might have otherwise if it didn't seem things were going well. She said no based upon the worry that I might have no trouble delivering (smaller) Baby A, but before I was dilated enough to deliver (larger) Baby B, and that once A was out, there might not be sufficient pressure on my cervix to for me to further dilate and push B out. In this case, she'd be forced to do some kind of assisted extraction, and the risks of those procedures are too great with a uterine scar present. I asked about the known margin of error on ultrasound size estimates and she said the problem is that Baby B has measured larger for months so we have to assume that is accurate to at least some extent. With the last size differential being a full pound, she's just not comfortable "ignoring" that. The only compromise I was able to strike was holding off on scheduling a c-section. My OB said that since we know that will be the outcome, she'd prefer I not labor at all as there is no need to put any unnecessary stress on me or the babies. I asked to be allowed to go into labor on my own and she agreed as long as (1) I promise to come to the hospital ASAP once it begins - no messing around in hopes of having an "accidental" VBAC and (2) it happens by 38 weeks.

I left feeling really frustrated and upset. Even if I had the energy or desire to doctor shop at 35 1/2 weeks pregnant with twins, what are the chances I could find another OB to take me on? I felt really stupid for believing that she'd honor my request for a VBAC even though it went against the personal preference she repeatedly expressed to me. Even if she had the best of intentions of respecting my wishes (within reason), what were the chances we'd make it all the way to delivery without something coming up to spook her out of it? If it wasn't the boys' size difference, it probably would have been something else. She was never 100% on board, and I regret not seeing that for the red flag that it turned out to be. But, hindsight is 20/20. I always knew there was a chance - maybe even a likelihood - that we'd end up with a c-section. I just thought that if we got to that point, it would be our choice, after seeing for ourselves that a vaginal delivery was not progressing the way we hoped or was otherwise unmanageable. I didn't expect it to be decided for us weeks in advance, especially after our last ultrasound. Stupid, perhaps, but her decision came as quite the surprise.

Despite how upset as I was following the visit, I've mostly made peace with it now. Here's the thing: I don't have easy labors. I wanted to confirm through experience that this one would be no exception rather than just assuming that would be the case, but even without getting the opportunity to do so, I know there's at least a reasonable chance things would not have progressed smoothly or quickly. It would have been nice to see that for myself, but on the flip side, this relieves me (us) from having to make the decision in a state of exhaustion, stress, pressure and pain, and the second-guessing that surely would have followed once the fog cleared. I don't have to worry that we'll be divided - that I'll want to continue laboring and M or the doctor will want to call it, and that it'll end up being something I harbor anger or frustration over. It's cleaner in many ways, and there are pros to that. Also, I have time now to grieve the loss of the VBAC, instead of that being something I have to incorporate into those early postpartum hours and days when there will be other more important things competing for my attention. The fact that my cervix showed NO changes after lots of tough contractions was not inspiring. I know that might change very quickly once the regular contractions of actual labor start, but maybe not, too. It didn't with E. I have a stubborn cervix: Good for keeping twins inside to term; bad for getting the babies out once the time comes! On top of all of that, I'm getting more tired and sore by the day. I'm not in good shape for any type of labor right now, let alone one with the extra challenges my twin-VBAC-with-larger-Baby-B-and-marginally-supportive-OB would present. (Yes, I'm aware I'm rationalizing and all of these "arguments" are on the flimsy side, but I have no power to change the situation at this point, so what else can I do but try to make sense of it somehow?) So anyway, a c-section it will be. Having experienced one before, I am in no way looking forward to repeating the experience, but it will be quick, and surely less scary since it won't be an emergency and I won't be delirious with exhaustion, pain and infection.

I'm trying to focus on all the ways this c-section will likely be different from the last one. I'm far enough along that there is a really good chance the babies will be able to come back to our room with us. E was whisked straight to Special Care and stayed there for a full week. I won't be sick, so I should be able to see them right away and even hold and try to nurse them before too long. (Right? I actually have no idea how a "normal" c-section works. Everything about E's delivery was wrong and scary and only got worse in the days that followed.) M will be in better shape too, and we'll be able to take happy "new additions" pictures in the OR. All good things. This is going to be okay. *deep breath*

Moving on... I'm still up and around and getting out of the house every day, so the rest of last week was spent going to chiro appointments, running errands, continuing with house preparations, and waiting for babies. The most exciting thing to happen last week was that M's parents offered to help us finance the purchase of a larger, more reliable car. We already bought E a narrower convertible seat in order to make my (paid off) 11-year-old compact SUV work for 3 kids, but then a couple of weeks ago, my car started making some funny noises, not four months after we spent $1000 on a substantial repair. It was enough to scare both of us into brainstorming what to do if/when the next costly repair bill comes in on my car. We've obviously reached the point where any such investments would be part of a losing battle. We have great credit, but we're not in a position to take on a new car payment right now, certainly not the sizable payment it would take to get us into something larger and more reliable than what we already have. M decided to ask her parents to think about whether they might be willing to give us a car loan with a flexible repayment plan, once the feared repair bill comes in, most likely sometime in the next 6-12 months. Her parents surprised us by telling us to go shopping post haste and on Saturday, we bought a Honda Odyssey! It's used, but certified and it is in great condition with low miles. I've had some angst over making the move to a minivan, but I know it's the right tool for the job, and I have to admit it has some pretty swanky features. I'm definitely looking forward to the extra elbow room it will give us all.

OB appointment this Monday was uneventful. NST was long, again, but both babies looked great. Fundal height is up to 47cm. Those strong contractions I was having have all but stopped - maybe my uterus got the message it's off the hook and decided to stop practicing? My BP is still low (100/58) and there is no protein in my urine. I'm up to twice-weekly NST/OB visits now, so I go back tomorrow, and I suspect we'll schedule the c-section for 38 weeks, which will be May 25th, or whatever day closest to then she can fit me in. I'm still hoping to go into labor on my own before then, although the steep decline in contractions isn't encouraging. My chiropractor has been offering to stimulate some induction acupressure points at whatever point I decide I'm ready, so I will probably give her the green light at my appointment on Friday (37 weeks), and I'm considering paying a visit to my acupuncturist as well. I'd prefer to let things unfold even more naturally than that, but with that 38 week deadline looming closer and closer, I'm ready to get creative! I know every hour in utero counts and I really want the boys' to decide when their stay there should end. That said, I am so, soooo uncomfortable, so if they felt like coming, oh, I don't know... now, I wouldn't be terribly disappointed or anything. :-)

Just for fun (or terror), here's a picture of my belly from yesterday. This is what a 47cm uterus full of 12ish pounds of baby (maybe more?) looks like on a 5'2" frame.

Sorry for the epic post. There's just a lot going on right now and I want to capture it all before things get crazy around here, which could happen at any moment!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

branching out

I have an annex! Check it out over here.

Here's the backstory: I intended to move my whole blog over to Wordpress before the twins' arrival so that I could do a password-protected post with their names and pictures once they come. I finally sat down to tackle the project this afternoon and after importing 466 posts and while spending an hour or two trying to make the new digs look halfway decent, I found that I hate Wordpress. So, I deleted all 466 posts and decided to use it to house only those items I want to put behind a password - probably just photos (hence the name Media Nest) but maybe other things too. We'll see. I may make the big move sometime down the road if I figure out a way to make peace with Wordpress but in the meantime, I'll keep everything else here (and publicly viewable) and just give you all a heads up when there's something new to see over there.

So about that password... If you want it, shoot me an email at romancingthestork [at] gmail. I will be happy to share the password with anyone who is (a) a current or past commenter on this blog, (b) a fellow blogger who doesn't mind sharing the link to their online abode, or (c) someone I have some other connection to. If you don't fall into any of those categories, PLEASE don't take offense. I'm just feeling a little anxious about my internet exposure these days.

I can't wait to introduce you all to our newest family members!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Several months ago, I started answering the "when are you due?" question with, "technically, the first week in June, but it's twins so I'm just hoping to make it to May." Sometimes that seemed like a realistic goal; sometimes it seemed downright impossible that I'd be able to keep them in that long. But, here we are! May 1st (34w4d) and two boys still baking away in the oven.

I had another OB/MFM double-header yesterday. OB was first and my should-take-40-minutes NST took an hour and a half, mostly because Baby A decided to take a nap through his 20 minutes of fame and then some. Such a diva. My fundal height was a whopping 45cm. The swelling in my feet and legs is out of this world, but my blood pressure is good (hanging out around 110 over 70) and no protein in my urine, so no red flags and we're still on a weekly visit schedule. The extended NST made me late for my growth scan, but fortunately they were able to work us into the afternoon without much waiting around.  The ultrasound went really well. I confessed my fear that we were going to get a delivery room surprise of one of the babies being a girl (in which case I have already gone on record with M of needing a full week to decide on a name, since we haven't had one single conversation about girl names in months). I know it sounds crazy given all the ultrasounds we've had, but they haven't really looked at That Area since our anatomy scan at 18 weeks, so... The sonographer checked to put my mind at ease - two boys, no question. Baby A is estimated at 4lbs, 11oz and Baby B is estimated at 5lbs, 10oz. Also, Baby B has turned head-down! My OB felt around just last week and guessed that he'd gone from transverse to breech, but even if that was true then (which seems unlikely, given his size), it's not the case anymore. Both of their heads were very close together and very low, which explains a lot about how (not) well I've been getting around lately. Two head-down babies bodes well for trying for a VBAC. Baby B's head measuring 2.5 weeks ahead of schedule... not so much. Yup, for the second growth scan in a row, Baby B's melon is off-the-charts huge. I asked my OB whether we should be worried about it and she did a so-so job of suppressing her chuckle while reminding me that identifying signs of things like hydrocephalus is pretty much all the sonographer and MFM do with their years and years of schooling and experience, and some people are just born with big heads. Point taken.

I went in to work on Sunday so I could take advantage of the vacant office and silent phone to wrap things up there, so I'm officially on maternity leave as of yesterday. I had some guilt about checking out "early." I know that working to 34 weeks with twins is nothing to scoff at, but part of me just felt like without any activity restrictions in place, I shouldn't voluntarily sign myself out until I have to. The last couple of days have confirmed for me that I did the right thing. I am in no shape to be working right now. I'm hoping most (all?) of why I'm feeling SO lousy is the terrible cold I managed to pick up last week. My throat feels like it's on fire, every square inch of my head is aching from pressure, and I can't sleep for more than 15 minutes without waking up in a coughing fit. (Not sure how many of you have experienced a coughing fit with your abdomen stretched around a 45cm uterus, but it is a rare treat, let me tell you.) I could really use a little burst of energy right now to finish some pre-baby errands and house chores, and I'm hoping banishing this cold will bring it, but we'll see. I may just be down for the count, whatever that count may be - a day? a week? three weeks?! The unknown sure is tough!

But, we made it to May (phew!), and the babies are within striking distance of 5 pounds. It's a good place to be, so more than anything, I'm just feeling more lucky and grateful than ever.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

it's gettin' real up in here

We just tested out three carseats across the back row of my compact SUV. It's a tight squeeze but they fit, so that's good.

On the not-so-good side, I may be having the tiniest bit of an anxiety attack over the sight of it. Holy crap. We're about to have three small children, two of which will be newborns. *gulp*

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

just the facts, ma'am

Stats from OB appointment on Monday:

  • BP: 100/68
  • Swelling: Yep. But nothing too serious or concerning. (Still wearing shoes and my wedding ring!)
  • Fundal Height: 41cm
  • First NST: Passed

Weekly visits and NSTs from here on out. Next growth scan is on 4/30. I made that appointment in, like, February or something and I remember saying "I guess I'll just cancel that one if I've had the babies by then" to the receptionist. I can't believe it's less than two weeks away now. Fingers crossed I make it that far and beyond! My weight seems to have plateaued (I've only gained one pound in the last three weeks - no surprise since my stomach is roughly in my left armpit at this point - have I mentioned I'm 5'2" and short-waisted?) but my fundal height went up 3cm in that same time period, so I guess the boys are growing away in there!

Monday, April 16, 2012


I'm feeling restless and moody today, for no good reason. I'm off work and M took E to school this morning (180 degrees out of her way - so big thanks to her) so I didn't get out of bed until 9am. Since then, I've been sitting on the couch watching United States of Tara, stressing over our finances, and making a list of all the crap we still have to do before the babies arrive. (Huh, I take back what I said about not knowing why I'm feeling moody...) I have an OB appointment in a couple of hours and, for the first time, I'm planning on whining a bit. I am just so big and uncomfortable. The frequent contractions I've been having for the past couple weeks seem to have slowed, but they've been replaced by intense low pelvic pressure - no less concerning. In other (related?) news, my previously-lauded chiropractor is (a) just plain too far away, (b) not working enough days/hours to accommodate her patient load, leaving not a single free appointment on one of the days I wanted to get in this week, and (c) dragging her feet on ordering the type of table she needs to treat pregnant women comfortably, despite telling me that she fully appreciates how much she needs one and they ship within 48 hours of being ordered so, hey, it could totally be here by my next appointment, but she just can't bite the bullet because "it's like buying a car!" /vent

For contrast, I should document that we had an AWESOME day as a family yesterday. E helped me make a yummy breakfast of buttermilk pancakes (using my B&B-operating mom's signature recipe), bacon and fruit salad. Then we headed out to run some errands - something I haven't felt up to doing for 2-3 weeks now. Our spoils included a stylin' haircut for E, a new iphone for yours truly, treats from Godiva for all, and Build-a-Bears for Crash and Bash, lovingly chosen and "built" by the big-brother-to-be. (Geez, that last one was some serious cute overload. Let me tell you.) Our days as a family of three are numbered, and it was fun getting out with M and E, enjoying the family we are now instead of being all-consumed with thoughts about the family we're becoming. There were several times that E and I were walking together hand in hand and he was chattering on about this, that, or the other thing and I felt overwhelmed to think our time together will never be this simple or effortless again. Gah, this is supposed to be the happy paragraph. But, even the sad-ish part was still happy. I'm thankful for the relatively quiet moments with M and E, thankful for the 3+ years I've had to get to enjoy him as an only child, thankful for the burst of energy that let me participate in yesterday, and thankful for the pictures taken and memories made.

Update on a couple of things from my last post... I decided to go down to part-time this week. I'm still planning to work 25-30 hours (unless my doctor expresses other plans at my appointment today), but it seems like the right time to start scaling back. My "last day" is tentatively planned for April 27th (34 weeks), but I may move it up or push it back depending on how I'm feeling. The meeting with the lawyer was a bit of a mixed bag, but positive overall. The good news: We don't have to pay double for anything except the amended birth certificates, and she is charging us the same fee for her services that we paid with E ($300 less than her current charge). The bad news: The judge who granted E's adoption - the ONE judge in our county who was willing to handle same-sex adoption cases - has retired. There is another judge who has expressed an openness to hear cases like ours (and has accepted one of our attorney's cases so far, after the judge who replaced the retired judge flat out refused to keep it on his schedule), but this new judge has been really tough to pin down or get responses from. The attorney suspects he may not waive some of the requirements that the last judge did (i.e. home study, publication of intent to adopt) and it's likely this will end up costing us quite a bit more money, time and stress than our last adoption did. Ah, the lengths we go to, huh? All of that said, she's optimistic we will be able to finalize before the end of 2012, so we wrote her a big fat check and she started preparing our paperwork. Once the babies arrive, she'll update the petition to include their names and birth dates, and as soon as their SSNs and birth certificates are received, we'll be able to file. Then, we just wait out the 6 months and tackle whatever ridiculous hurdles the court puts in front of us. I can't believe we're going through this demeaning process again, but glad we're getting off to an earlier start this time.

I've been feeling really introverted lately, hence the lack of blog commenting. I am still reading religiously though, and sending out good thoughts to all of my blogosphere friends!

Monday, April 9, 2012

31 weeks and change

There's a lot going on around here, most of it very good.

I am still working full-time, but considering starting some sort of part-time/phase-out plan over the next couple of weeks... and then second-guessing that decision. I haven't talked with my boss yet about the possibility of extending my (unpaid) 12 weeks of job protection, but employees have asked to do so in the past and been denied, so I can't see how they could make an exception for me without getting into a very sticky situation. I work for a small non-profit where gossip and drama are the social currency. That means that any time I take before the babies are born is less time I'll have with them after they arrive. (Work = Post For Another Day. Nutshell version is that I'm not sure what the long-term plan is, but I HAVE to go back for a few weeks after they're born or I will owe my employer a ton of money which would pose a serious hardship financially.) ANYWAY, I feel okay most days, as long as we understand "okay" in the context of measuring 40+ weeks pregnant and having the associated swollen feet and ankles, shortness of breath, sleepless nights, heartburn, exhaustion, etc. Holy moly, twin pregnancy is tough - tougher than I can capture here, in many ways. I've been waiting for "the wall" so many talk about hitting during their twin pregnancy, and I'm pretty sure I reached it myself right around 30 weeks. I'm able to push through the weekdays, but I crash hard on the weekends. The fact that I'm physically making it to Friday makes me think I should keep working, but then I consider how exhausted I am on Saturday and Sunday and wonder if I'm inflicting more toll on my body during the week than I should be. I dunno, going to just keep taking it one day at a time for now.

That said, I'll tell you the same thing I tell everyone who asks how I'm doing - it's hard to feel anything other than supremely lucky that I'm still up and around and doing as much as I am at just shy of 32 weeks, and that the babies seem to be doing so well, too. Of course I'm achy and tired and, let's just be honest, totally useless around the house (poor M) but I'm not on bedrest and all signs point to this pregnancy continuing for a while longer, knock on wood. I had both an MFM growth scan and an OB appointment a week ago today and got glowing reports all around. The babies weights were estimated at 3lbs, 6oz (Crash) and 3lbs, 12oz (Bash) which were roughly 40th and 50th percentile for singletons. That's an improvement over their last scan where they were more like 25th and 50th. Crash is still head-down and Bash is transverse now rather than breech, but his position (compared to the previous ultrasound) indicates he may be in the process of turning head-down as well. The tech said they and I both looked great and congratulated us on our progress so far. Then I went to see my regular OB who was thrilled with the babies' sizes and my overall condition. My blood pressure was 110/60 and my urine was negative for protein. I told her I'd been having a lot of  BH contractions so she did a cervical check and found that my cervix is softening, but not dilated or effaced at all, so hooray! I know - lucky, lucky, lucky - but I promise I'm not taking one bit of it for granted.

I've been seeing a chiropractor weekly since I hit 22 weeks and will be stepping it up to twice a week starting tomorrow. She moved her office last weekend so she's now a 30+ minute drive for me rather than the 10 she used to be, and she doesn't have the right type of table in her new office to accommodate my full-term belly, which is a huge PITA (and other body parts), but I'm not giving up on her yet because I truly believe her care may be the single greatest contributor to how well I'm holding up. My first appointment in the new location was Friday night and she and I were both startled and disappointed to discover just how ineffective the new set-up is for me, so I'm hoping she'll have some new ideas when I go in tomorrow. We are so close. Just gotta limp across the finish line somehow!!

The other highlight of the past couple of weeks was the wonderful family shower In Loco Parentis threw for us last weekend. She and her partner went all out, and it was so fun to get together with friends and share our excitement over the babes' impending arrival. When she approached me with the shower idea a couple of months ago, I was a little pinchy and anxious about it because it seems the etiquette guidelines are murky on "second showers" and I didn't want people to think we were being greedy. She assured me she felt twin pregnancies were granted a pardon on any second shower taboos (a sentiment many other friends and family members have echoed since) but that she'd still keep it less "shower" and more "laid-back, kid-friendly party to celebrate our expanding family and E's new role as a big brother." (OK, maybe not those exact words, but you get the gist.) She made good on her sales pitch, and it was absolutely perfect: Great food, great friends, great conversation, and tons of toys and games to make every kid there feel like they'd died and gone to heaven. We had two showers with E but they were both surprises, so it was a special treat to have this one to look forward to. Once again, how lucky am I?!

Tonight, M and I are meeting with our endlessly-quirky lawyer to start the ball rolling on the twins' adoption. We won't be able to finalize until they are 6 months old, but we're hoping that by getting all of our ducks in a row now, we'll have no trouble getting a court date between them coming of age (ha ha) and the end of 2012. We wouldn't be in such a hurry except that we've heard the adoption tax credit is likely to go waaay down in 2013 (don't get me started) and we already pay the gay tax, giving Uncle Sam a grossly unjust share of our income, so would prefer not to give him any more than we have to. We can't wait to find out how much it will cost us for twins, compared to what we paid for E. On one hand: Double the kids, double the fees? (gulp) On the other hand: It's still only one series of meetings with us, one set of court documents, one hearing, etc. In my initial email to the lawyer, I asked her what to expect in terms of expenses but the answer was conspicuously absent from her reply. Hmmm... Will report back.

I think that's all the news that's fit to print. I will, of course, post ASAP if anything exciting happens around here (please, please don't let anything exciting happen around here for at least 4-5 more weeks) and I still have my twin questions in the queue as well. :-)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Greetings, wise internets.

I come to you with questions!

I've had all these debates bouncing around in my head for days or weeks or months and I keep thinking "I should ask the smart people who read my blog about that." I even started a list... but it was on a post-it which I seem to have lost. So, here are the two I can think of right now, most likely to be followed up by more in the near future.* Thanks in advance for any thoughts you care to share!

1. Baby Books - Anyone have one they love? Must be appropriate for a two-mom family, obviously. I keep going back and forth about whether to get the same ones for Crash and Bash as we got for E. On one hand, I like the consistency of getting the same book for each child - nobody's will be cooler than anyone else's. On the other, is that boring? Would it be more special for each child to have their own unique book? One pro for sticking with the same one is that it took me FOREVER to wrap my head around the billion milestones I was supposed to be watching for with E, and it would be nice not to have to "learn" a new book this time around. That said, E's book wasn't anything amazing. I picked it up a few days before he was born when I realized I didn't have one yet and I chose it primarily because I only had to cross out one reference to "Dad" instead of 629 like all the other books I looked at. I wonder if I could do better with a little more advance research. Which brings me back to... Anyone have one they love?**

2. Bear pictures - We took E's picture with a bear every month for the first two years of his life, and intend to do so on every birthday from here on out. I'd like to carry this tradition on with Crash and Bash. The question is... Same bear? Different bear? Different bear for each child? On one hand, I like the idea of using the same unit of measurement for each child. On the other hand, is said unit of measurement going to become a family heirloom in which case it would be nice for each child to have their own so it can live in their homes someday, be chewed on by their offspring, etc?

Any thoughts?

*Actually, these will definitely be followed up by more in the future as I have a whole separate list of questions for the twin moms out there - so many, in fact, they warrant their own post, so that will be coming soon!
**The astronomical probability of these books being totally neglected is not lost on me. It was hard enough keeping one book up-to-date. I realize I may look back at this post a year from now and laugh at the very thought that I might maintain two baby books while raising twins and a preschooler. But, I want to try. And the first step is having the books there just in case I might, you know, want to write a sentence in one every 6 months or so.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

28.5 weeks...

...and time is flying.

Babies are estimated at about 2.5 pounds each. They're also freaking adorable, not that I'm biased or anything.

I have a backlog of actual posts in my head. Hoping to be back with more words soon!

Monday, March 12, 2012

my so-called life

There are four questions/comments I get a LOT these days:
1. When are you due? -OR- Is it a girl/boy? (These seem to be the interchangeable icebreakers and, apparently, do not warrant any other form of greeting or introduction!)
2. Do twins run in your family?
3. Is this your first pregnancy?
4. Wow, two more boys? Your husband must be [insert some synonym of "thrilled" and/or "over the moon" here]!

They come almost exclusively from complete strangers, and yet, I feel compelled to answer them honestly. Part of it is noble - seizing the teachable moment and all that - but much of it is that I'm a terrible liar. I have this irrational fear that the complete stranger is going to catch me in a lie and then... yeah, I dunno. Like I should care, right? But anyway, my typical answers are either (1a) "first week in June" followed by a pause for them to pop their eyes back into their sockets, and then "but I'm having twins so I'm bigger than I would be with one." Or, (1b) "Actually, it's two boys." Then we move on to (2), "well, no, but we did fertility treatments so that's kind of beside the point," and (3) "nope, I have a three year old son," before closing with (4) "my partner and I are both very excited."

Amazingly, that's not enough for some people and they proceed to ask if I'll have a c-section, whether I will breastfeed, if I'm going to keep working, and so on. STRANGERS ask me these things. OFTEN.

Late last week, I went to the post office to mail a package. It was Thursday or Friday afternoon and I was wiped. When the woman at the desk asked when I was due (after already having made a bet with the desk agent at the next station over, which I overheard - classy), I launched into the spiel, but I just didn't have it in me to do the full song and dance. So, when we hit the question about my family history of twins, I just said "nope" and left it at that, although I did throw in a slight smile/shrug as if to say "I just have no earthly idea how these two life forms found their way into my uterus!" I took the easy way out again when she asked about my husband: "Oh yeah, he is." And then came the twist. She asked if we'd been trying long. And without any forethought, it just came out: "No, not really." I guess I was on a roll. She proceeded to tell me about how she knew people who had to try for months and months (gasp!) and weren't we just "the lucky ones!" I just smiled and nodded... and willed her to finish the flipping transaction already so I could get OUT of this Twilight Zone of a conversation.

As I got back into my car, I thought about who that woman was that I'd just impersonated - a woman who had quickly and effortlessly conceived three children just by having sex with her husband. It's hard to think of a profile more different from my own.

The next day, I started out telling the truth to the woman doing my facial, but when she used her own post-IVF-surprise-pregnancy story to encourage me to "seriously consider" an IUD after the twins are born, I just laughed and went along with it. Maybe I missed out on a chance for Each One to Teach One, but... I don't know. Would it really have made a difference if I'd outed myself, or would it just have prolonged the conversation, further preventing me from enjoying the QUIET relaxation I was paying for?

I have to admit, my forays into dishonesty were a little intoxicating. The exchanges were easier; shorter. They also felt empty, like cotton candy, but I'm kind of okay with that too. It's not my job to educate a dozen complete strangers every single day. I do believe there is value in telling my truth to increase visibility, both for same-sex parents and infertility veterans, and I plan to keep that as my default course of action, but sometimes, my feet hurt and I just want to wrap this damn conversation up so I can get home already, you know?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Sorry for all the fly-by posting I've been doing lately. We're in the home stretch of finishing up all of the big home-improvement-slash-baby-readiness projects we wanted to do and are on day 12 of 17 straight days/nights of houseguests. First M's mom was here, followed by my parents, and on Thursday, it'll switch over to M's brother and sister-in-law. Then, our guest room is closed until further notice! I can't complain - we put out the call for help and were lucky enough to get a great response - but whew, are we ever exhausted. M and I did a LOT of work on our own before the parade of helpers began and the end result is that we haven't had a day "off" in over 6 weeks. But, our house is much improved, furniture has been relocated, truckloads of items have been taken to Goodwill, NB-3 month baby clothes are washed and in the nursery closet, and all we have left to do is to pick updated decorations for our newly bared walls. OK, we're not quite to that point, but we're close. Soooo close, and I cannot wait until all that's left on our to-do list is putting our feet up and waiting on the babes' arrival.

With all the chaos going on, I haven't taken the time to thank you for the kind and thoughtful comments y'all left on my last three posts. One of the things I treasure most about blogging is being able to stream out a barely-formed jumble of thoughts, and then have my fellow (read: wiser) bloggers come along and post comments that leave me thinking "Right! That, exactly!" or "Wow, I never pieced that together myself, but she's 100% right." And on that note... a couple of follow-ups:

HUGE thanks to all of you who empathized with my ramblings about our NT scan, and especially to those of you who shared "been there, done that" stories. Like Katie, who commented about her own pre-screening scare, my overwhelming feeling is one of regret, and I do not say that lightly. I wishwishwishwish we had never done the NT Scan. If I were to be pregnant again (ha!), I would decline it. I'm sure the test would be a useful tool for some people/scenarios, but for me, the magnitude of worry it caused when we had no desire for diagnostic testing any earlier than an amnio was simply a recipe for disaster. I realize I say this from the priviledged position of having several clean cardio scans since the NT, but my regret was instantaneous and has not wavered. And we're still not out of the woods. No one ever is, really, which - for me - is all the more reason that early testing is crap. You either get a possibly-false sense of security or a possibly-false sense of the world crashing down around you. Delightful!

Regarding viability, Bionic and tbean's comments pulled the chain on the lightbulb for me about WHY I was so underwhelmed by the 24 week milestone. It's because all of the sudden, people start talking about your baby's arrival like an Actual Thing; an Actual Thing that could happen, and holy hell, it is soooo too soon for that! It's true that a 24 weeker should do better than a 23.5 weeker, but nobody talks about your baby coming at 23.5 weeks because that's Scary. Then all of the sudden, they sneak a toe across this largely-theoretical line and everyone starts verbalizing how they can be born and be okay! And I'm left thinking "Um, they're only one day older than they were when they were Not Viable. Someone's going to have to explain the balloons and fireworks to me." Anywho. We're now a whopping 2.5 weeks over the theoretical line and while I'm still petrified at the thought of the babies making an untimely appearance, it certainly does get less scary by the day.

And SPD... thank you, thank you, thank you to those of you who offered tips and sympathy! I have been very conscious to keep my knees together as much as possible (there's a great joke in here somewhere...) and to find the right balance of gentle, frequent activity without overdoing it. I have been seeing a Webster-certified chiro since the beginning of February so it was easy to ask her to shift her focus a bit at my last appointment, and I think that helped too. All in all, I have to say that so far, I'm feeling VERY lucky to have what seems to be a minor case. As long as I keep my activity reasonable, it's manageable. For now. And at this point, I'm counting each day that it's tolerable as a win!

In other news, we had an ultrasound yesterday and got lots of good news - Crash (Baby A) and Bash (Baby B) are both within range for normal singleton weights. Crash was estimated at 1lb. 15oz and Bash was estimated at 2lbs. 3oz. Both hearts look good (144 and 152 bpm) and not only has Crash's placenta migrated off of my cervix, but he has turned head-down! I'm still working full-time and haven't had to limit my mobility yet, but it's getting tougher to do everything (oh sleep, how I miss you already) and my boss and I are meeting later this week to discuss a plan for scaling back my work schedule in the near-ish future. It's tough because my boss has her own medical leave scheduled for the second half of March, and I am HER coverage plan, so the goal is to make it to April (30 weeks) without any drastic cuts to my schedule if at all possible. That said, Crash and Bash are the number one priority so we'll do whatever we have to do whenever we have to do it!

Oh, and E's birthday party is this weekend. How exactly did it happen that he is turning THREE?