Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We know we are behind on our blogging but we wanted
to jump on to wish everyone a
Merry Merry Christmas!



Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bedtime...

We are blessed with the fact that not one but BOTH of our babies have been sleeping through the night since about 2.5 month of age. We're not talking 5 hours, were talking 8 to 10 hours a night! The problem is getting them to bed. The routine is we feed them both around 8:30 or 9pm, rock them to sleep and then put them in their cribs. Sometime over the past month A started a bad habit of screaming hysterically until she falls asleep. It is not only annoying, it keeps R from falling asleep. No matter what we do, pacifier, no pacifier, rock over the shoulder, rock in arms, rock on rocking chair, walk around, she screams. Has anyone had any problems with this? Also, when is it still too early to let them cry it out in their cribs (Ferber type method)? They will be 4 months old in a few days and wondering if now is the time to try it. A cries anyway (for naps or bedtime), so why not let her cry in her crib and just do the "Ferber check" on her until she falls asleep. Does anyone have any options or techniques we could try?

Aside from the crying, we think that daylight savings has effected them. We used to be able to get them down by 10:30 but now it is running into 11:30 or 12am. They both sleep until about 8 or 8:30am, which is AWESOME, but I'd prefer them go down a bit earlier and wake up a bit earlier.

Other than that, the girls are awesome! The pediatrician told us they were both teething - well their teeth probably won't break through for another few months but their gums are swollen and getting ready. This has led to a lot of drooling (especially R) and constant chewing on their hands. They both seem to like gnawing on the thumb, pointer and "tall man" at the same time. Yesterday, they both also started bringing things, like rattles, to their mouth to chew on! We also held a teething toy to their mouths and they both went to town. J keeps saying she's not going to nurse them once teeth come in because they both (but mainly R) like to bit down on her nipple with their gums if too much milk is coming out or if they are done nursing. M always knows when it happens because J will jump and scream OW! Good times lie ahead on the nursing front ;)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

No nablopomo for us

There is no way we would be able to do NaBloPoMo but we are trying to blog more often. Last Friday the girls had their 3.5 month well visit. They did great! They gained the same amount of weight and now A weighs 13.3lbs and is 26 inches long while R weighs 12.14lbs and is 25 inches long. They both got 3 shots and did wonderfully! Can’t say the same for M who cried at the sight of her daughters’ discomfort. Luckily the cries from the girls only lasted for a few moments, for as soon as they were picked up the crying stopped. PHEW!

They are eating 5oz of food at eat feeding (about every 3 hours when awake) and our pediatrician said no need to add rice cereal to their diet yet so we’ll continue the 50/50 mix of breastmilk and formula. Since the girls had all the gas issues the first few months they were put on the cadill.ac of formulas - Sim.ilac Alli.mentum - lucky for us and our wallets. We will basically have to take out a second mortgage to pay for a year supply but at least it’s working! ;)

A and R are so easy to entertain these days! They will spend ample time on their activity mat then can be moved to the rain.forest jumper, last week were introduced to the Bum.bo chair or of course, a little tummy time on the floor. The game they both love the most is when we lay them next to each other on the floor and “do the Hokey Pokey”. They laugh the entire time as we “put their right leg in or their left arm out.” It is a surefire way to get them to smile. Yesterday, J had the girls in the Bum.bo chairs with the tray on it and some rattles and rings on top. R, with much concentration, intentionally grabbed the rings on the tray! It was so cute! A did as well but R was really into it! They are learning and growing so much these days! Last week, (Oct 30th) R grabbed her foot for the first time – we guess soon their little piggies will be in their mouth non stop ;) R also has a crazy trick – since she was about a month old, if you hold her in the walking position she will move one foot in front of the other like she is walking! It is soooo funny to watch because she will literally walk across an entire room! And of course, she is proud as punch when she does it. R seriously never stops moving. A is more the type to sit and listen to a story, or sit and smile on your lap, or apparently help write a blog as she just finished playing on her activity mat and is now sitting on my lap as I am typing this, just watching the letters appear on the screen.
Needless to say, it is about naptime for her and so she is pretty delirious. Speaking of naptime, the girls are getting into somewhat of a routine. It starts with one waking up first, she is breastfed laying in bed with J then given formula and then off to the activity mat while the other wakes up, is breastfed, given formula and then playtime. Minutes after the 2nd baby finished eating, the one who woke up first is ready for a nap. So right now, R is napping and A is about to be. They sleep anywhere from 30 mins to an upward of 3 hours for their naps. A, who wouldn’t nap the first 3 months of life, has become a great napper.

We spoke to our pediatrician on Friday about swaddling. We still swaddle the girls, (their arms but not their legs as they are too long for the swaddle) and he said as long as they aren’t busting out of the swaddles – as in the swaddle won’t end up around their necks or over their faces – we are fine to swaddle. They don’t sleep but 20 mins or so when they aren’t swaddled. Their flailing arms wake them up. We’d love to break the swaddling habit but don’t really know how to. We’ve read that you can swaddle with one arm out and slowly break the habit that way. Does anyone know any other ways? If you swaddle or know a child who was swaddled, how old did they swaddle until? We wanted to stop at 3 months, but we are also loving our full nights of sleep ;)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Remember us?

Has it really been almost 3 months since our last blog???

Life in the 2GirlsAndTheirFamily household has been wonderful. Lots of changes since our last “less than wonderful” posting. Our girls are now 3.5 months old – boy does time fly!! We are enjoying them sooo much these days! It is seriously like night and day the way the girls are now as opposed to even just a month ago. We had been told during that hard times that the 3 month mark will bring about lots of changes. We didn’t believe it at the time as we couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel but at about 2.5 months of age, the girls did a 180! Was it because they were a little “older”, was it because we had FINALLY figured out their gas issues, we don’t know but at 2.5 months old the girls started sleeping through the night (yes BOTH of them), they started playing independently (and together) on their activity mat and they only cry when they needed something. Life is fun again. J gets out of the house daily now with the girls whether to run errands or just go for a walk, which a couple of months ago wouldn’t have happened as one or both of the girls could cry for no reason at any moment and there was no stopping them. The only tough thing about getting out of the house these days is the 3 hour window we have. If the girls are up, they want to eat every 3 hours on the dot. They are getting 5 oz each – half of which is formula and the other half is breastmilk. J’s goal before the girls were born was 1 year of breastfeeding, then after they were born it dropped to 3 months. Since she’s hit the 3 month period, it has moved to 6 months. Breastfeeding has definitely gotten easier but still has its ups and downs. We are both proud of J for hanging in there.

In order to catch up from months of blogless days, here are a few things about each of our pumpkins: A first since she is a minute older. ;)

A is our cuddly baby. She loves to snuggle with us and be up hanging out with us. She isn’t a great napper so it seems she always gets an extra feeding or 2 a day which might be the cause of her cute cubby cheeks ;)
A is very chatty. She will have long conversations with you.
A is also very smiley – she smiles and laugh all day long. Her beautiful smile will melt anyone’s heart.
A is our calm baby. Whenever anyone meets her they can’t believe how chill she is. When on her activity mat, she generally doesn’t move around all too much but has been seen 180 degrees from the place where we put her down. She bats at her toys hanging above her and occasionally will grab something but isn’t at the stage where she will grab a toy because she wants it yet (R is the same way).
A's eyes are still blue but we think they might be changing to brown.
A loves the fishtank! We can put her in her Bumbo (sitting with her of course) and she'll sit and watch the fish forever!

R is very active, it is almost impossible to change her diaper or dress her these days as her legs and arms never stop moving! She basically beats her sister up when they are on the activity mat because she never stops moving. ;)
R is VERY ticklish! Rub her belly, her chest, her neck, her ears, her thighs – you will get an adorable giggle out of her. She recently almost curls up into a ball when she is laughing and brings her hands up to her mouth.
Speaking of mouth, R always has her hands in her mouth it seems. If she is holding your hand, it is your hand that will be brought to her mouth.
R has become very talkative the past month. Her personality is really coming out and it is adorable!
R has grown to tolerate her carseat. She no longer screams as soon as she is put in it and she actually has conversations with the warning label that is on the side of it. It’s really cute.
R still has blue eyes and now we are really starting to wonder if they will stay blue.

We often wondered when the girls would acknowledge each other. It finally happened about 2 weeks ago! We sit them looking at each other and A LAUGHS AND LAUGHS at R. We aren’t sure why she thinks R is so funny but we end up laughing as well. A has GREAT eye contact and will stare at R and talk to R. R, most of the time, isn’t interested but occasionally she will stare back at A and they have even had a conversation with each other! Where was the video camera when that happened!?!? ;) They grab each others hands and touch each others faces. When J is nursing them both, they look at each other the whole time. It’s very cute. And on the activity mat, they will both play longer when they are on the mat together as opposed to just one playing by herself. We think this is a GREAT sign for when they are a little older! We keep telling ourselves that twins are harder when they are infants (than a singleton) but once they get a little older, they will always have a playmate and so life will be easier than if we had one child that we had to entertain/play with all the time. We’ll see if this is true.

Some milestone the girls have hit so far:

A’s First Smile – Aug 24th
B’s First Smile – Aug 31st
First time sleeping through the night (and they BOTH did!)– Oct 1st
A’s First Laugh – around Oct 14
B’s First Laugh – around Oct 14
R rolled over from front to back – Oct 16th
A rolled over from front to back – Oct 20th
They both seem to have the idea and desire to roll from their back to their front but neither have actually done it yet. They both roll onto their sides a lot.

Here are some pictures and videos to help catch you all up! Enjoy!


One of their Halloween costumes: Our Sweet Peas!
A on left, R on right



Smiling A while R eats her arm.

We think R's face in this picture is very funny.


M and R playing with each other.


Giggling A

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ramblings of 2 very exhausted mommies...

OK, we admit it. Parenting is hard. Really hard. There is a reason we have not posted a real blog in 3 weeks.

Today the girls turned 4 weeks old. Although we can't really believe it, we also can't remember them not in our lives. But a lot has changed in 4 weeks - both for better and worse. After what we call the "honeymoon phase" ended (when the girls were about 10 days old) life with twin newborns showed its true colors. The "sleep all the time until you wake me for my every 3 hour feeding and only cry a little cry when I want food" has ended. The girls have found their cries and holy cow - they are LOUD! Turtle's face turns bright red and she screams, no... SCREAMS so loud, most of the time, just to be held. She is the very affectionate one and likes human contact and attention. Birdie can also scream with the best of them.

We're tired. We've had a rough 48 hours where Birdie has slept only about 5 hours in total and lucky for us, when one baby cries, it now will cause the other baby to cry as well. UGH. We take turns caring for the two in the middle of the night. If M has Birdie, J has Turtle until one of us needs a break from an inconsolable baby. Like last night for example, there was nothing we could do to calm Birdie - she was fed, had a clean diaper, held, put in her swing, put in her vibrating chair, swaddled, and walked for miles around our living room in figure 8's strapped to M in the Baby B.jorn but to no avail. It wasn't until 5:30am as the sun was coming up that she finally closed her eyes only to wake to the same screaming inconsolable baby 2 hours later. We feel so bad for her and want to cry ourselves when we don't know what she needs or how to help her. Today Turtle joined in the fun of constant crying. We tried going for a walk with them and a car ride but only the b.jorns quieted them down. We had determined by late afternoon that Birdie's problem might be gas related as the past couple of days she had been spitting up more and had almost every diaper leak poop all over.... EVERYTHING. We called our pediatrician and she told us to take Birdie's temp - which we did, thankfully no temp, and then said try Mylico.n drops. We have given Birdie 2 doses so far and.... as you have probably figured out since we have time to write this blog, she is FINALLY SLEEPING!! They BOTH are finally sleeping! We were just joking that Birdie might sleep until tomorrow morning as she has a lot of sleep to catch up on. We totally just jinxed ourselves. We are literally staring at our video baby monitors with our breath held hoping that the little sleeping swaddled babies remain sleeping.

Another crazy thing that has happened in the past 48 hours is that Birdie now breastfeeds?! Since she was born she absolutely refused to take breastmilk from the boob - even with countles lactation consultants helping us in the hospital. She would only get her breastmilk from the bottle. So today J has been breastfeeding them both at the same time - GO DOUBLE BREASTFEEDING PILLOW! J had pretty much stopped breastfeeding Turtle over the past 3 weeks as it was just easier to give her expressed milk since she was pumping for Birdie anyway. Enter S-O-R-E nipples... all over again! Will it take another 2+ weeks for them to "buck up"? Since we never really breastfed Turtle solely (we always supplimented with a bottle of expressed as well) we aren't sure how much milk the two are getting or when to stop feeding them. When they "fall off the nipple" are they done? They seem to fall asleep right there on the pillow and if you try to move one, they wake up and start rooting again. How much is enough... or how long is enough? We feel like we are back at stage 1 with this breastfeeding thing but are trying to figure it out, all while completely exhausted and with very cranky babies. We also still have some latching on issues that we are trying to work through.

It is funny how we "nested" and cleaned the heck out of our place before the girls arrived. It didn't take long before everything was covered in either breastmilk, poop, pee or spit up. Paints a lovely picture of our house doesn't it ;) We have received a crash course in the tough lesson of "going with the flow."

Aside from the babies, J's incision seems pretty much healed. She still has very sore abdominal muscle from them being cut through and now healing. She also is still bleeding - 4 weeks later. We didn't even realize that she would bleed after her c section. We thought that was just a vaginal birth thing. How nieve of us - of course J's very large uterus will have to shed. After not having her period for 10 months, J is definitely ready for this month long period to end.

Now on the the BETTER part of life with twin newborns (Puffer - just pay attention to this part!). They are adorable. Simply adorable. No matter how little sleep we get, no matter how cranky they are, no matter how messy our place gets, we couldn't be more in love with these two little babies. They have really shown their different personalities over the past 4 weeks and we can't wait to learn more and more about them as the days, weeks, and months go on. In the past few days, Birdie has had amazing eye contact. It is like the newborn hazy has been lifted and she will just stare into your eyes with her big beautiful almond shaped blue ones. Turtle loves to hold our finger or our shirt or just have her hand on us in some way. It is so cute! We read that they will actually be able to smile within the next month and we can't wait to see Turtle's dimple and Birdie's eyes smile along with her mouth.

They both love to fall asleep on our stomach/chest but before they doze off, they will lift up their heads and look you in the face. We cheer them on as it is just another version of "tummy time" but also find it adorable that they look at us before laying their heads down.

Speaking of laying heads down, we should really be catching up on some much needed zzz's as they girls will probably be up shortly for their next breastfeeding adventure! To those that have breastfed/are breastfeeding - do you and your baby get covered in breastmilk during the process??? We definitely have some much needed practice coming our way ;)

We'll end with a couple of pictures of our little angels.

Turtle fell asleep during some light reading


Clean Birdie!


Birdie throwing her gang sign


Apparently Turtle is going to be a boxer

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Exhausted, but Alive

Hello!

We know it's been a while, but as you can all probably guess, we have had our hands full with the twins! All is well here, J is healing nicely from her c-section, and the girls are doing awesome! There is no longer any problem with jaundice. In fact, the last time we went to the pediatrician he was pretty impressed with their weight gain. Birdie had gained enough weight to put her at 8lbs 4ozs. And Turtle had gained enough to put her at 7lbs 15ozs! Our pediatrician suggested that them gaining a pound a week is probably not the best thing, but he wasn't concerned at all. They are growing girls!!

We'd love to post more but are way too tired to write a long blog. We just wanted to check in :) The girls are asleep and we definitely need to take advantage of these precious few moments to catch some zzzz's of our own.

Here's some new pics of the little ones - can you believe they are 3 weeks and 1 day already?!?!

Sleeping sisters



Turtle Sunbathing


Birdie content after bath


Pretty girls



Turtle chillin'

Birdie snoozin'

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The first week with our girls.

We can’t believe it’s been over a week since our daughters were born! Time flies when you are having fun!! They even have nicknames now – Baby A or A in the previous blog is Birdie. She got nicknamed that because when she is rooting for food her head turns to the side and she looks like a baby bird begging her mom for a worm. SO CUTE! Baby B or R in the previous blog is Turtle. She is very aware of her surroundings – she has BIG newborn blue eyes and her eyebrows raise while her forehead wrinkles making her look like a cartoon turtle. Equally as ADORABLE! We can’t remember life without our babies! But although it’s only been just over a week we’ve learned so much already and thought we’d share our top 10 list of what we’ve learned.

10. Projectile poop really does exist – just ask M.
9. You shouldn’t choose the bottle type/brand for your baby ahead of time. We bought a bunch of Avent bottles for the girls and only Birdie will drink from them. Turtle does not like the nipples and will not take milk from that bottle no matter what. Thanks to a friend mentioning the Nuby bottle to us months ago, we finally found one that Turtle likes and will feed from.
8. Don’t bother making a plan. We had it all set in our minds that J would breastfeed both babies at once (or at least work up to that). We bought the double breast feeding pillow which is still in its bag. Birdie will NOT breastfeed no matter what we do. We had multiple consultants and nurses at the hospital trying to help but to no avail. Turtle breastfeeds like a CHAMP! Since both girls have Jaundice (which stemmed from them bring premature – although full term for twins and the fact that their blood type is different than J’s) we’ve had to supplement their breast milk with formula as the formula is thicker and will help them pee/poop more. The more they pee and poop the faster the bilirubin will leave their body. So our feedings go like this: Turtle breastfeeds for a bit, M feeds Birdie breast milk from a bottle, Turtle has breast milk from a bottle, Birdie is changed, Turtle is changed, Birdie is given formula from a bottle, Turtle is given formula from a bottle then J pumps for the next feeding. We’ve slowly gotten this down to 1 ½ hour cycles which gives us 1 ½ hours in between feedings to do what we have to do whether it be sleep, laundry, clean the house, wash bottles, do laundry, play with the girls, make food for ourselves, go to the park… etc.
7. Birdie is a faster eater than Turtle.
6. Both babies love so sit in their Boppys and sleep, look out the window, or just hang out.
5. Putting both babies in the same crib has worked out great and they are so cute to watch from our monitors as they sleep.
4. A baby can sleep with her arm straight in the air.
3. We are surprised at how “easy” it is to take care of our girls. Yes, we are sleep deprived but all in all, they never cry unless they are hungry or have a poopy diaper. Our house has remained remarkably clean and we’ve been able to shower almost every day. We are also surprised at how easy it is to go out to dinner with newborns – feed them, change them and then they will sleep while you eat.
2. We were surprised at how quickly their nails grow!
1. How quick it was for both of us to fall completely in love with our daughters. We have always been told that there is nothing like being a parent but we never really understood the reality of this until our girls arrived. Words can not explain the feeling we have towards them. “Loving them” is not a strong enough descriptive. It is an unbelievable feeling which has also brought us even closer together if that was even possible.

The girls are amazing! We just stare at them, kiss them, cuddle them and love them all day long! J is healing nicely from the c section but is frustrated that she is not allowed to pick up anything heavier than 1 baby for 5 more weeks. M has been doing all the heavy lifting including carrying 2 baby filled carseats at once. M is going to mostly work from home for the next 5 weeks with an occasional trip to the office (which is 5 miles away) but that means J is housebond while she is gone. We are surprised at how quickly her enormous belly is going down. J weighed herself 1 week after the c section and she was 30lbs lighter! Only 15lbs to go to get back to her pre pregnancy weight! Look at the difference here! CRAZY!




Other things about the girls…
· The girls seem to change a little every day. Birdie’s face is filling out and they are looking more and more like each other.
· We’ve caught Birdie with her thumb in her mouth a few times and she is the only one who will take a pacifier. Neither the pacifier nor the thumb we are very fond of.
· Birdie has also “held” the bottle a couple of times! We know she isn’t intending too, but it is cute how interactive she is during feedings.
· Turtle loves to gaze up at J while she is breastfeeding. It is an amazing bonding experience that they share.
· Turtle LOVES music, especially Classical (and also a little Pink and Black Eyed Peas when we feel like getting a little saucy). Her eyes get really big and she perks up. Her arms move around slowly as if she is conducting the orchestra. It is absolutely adorable.
· Turtle doesn’t love her sponge baths but Birdie will just lay there and enjoy it.
· They both fall asleep in the car and the stroller.
· Turtle smiles a lot – we know it isn’t a REAL smile yet but we can tell she is going to have one beautiful smile once she can! She has 1 dimple on her right cheek. They both have little dimples by the top of their upper lip when they feed. It is so cute!
· They are both very photogenic which we only know because M takes about 1000 pictures of them a day. Over the span of a 1 minute “photoshoot,” the babies expressions will change a hundred times.
· Twins get a LOT of attention when we go out. A LOT.
· Our entire family could not love these girls anymore than they already do!

We are going to get ready to head to the park and sprawl out along the lake now. Too beautiful a day to stay cooped up inside.

Here are a few pictures of our little angels. Enjoy!


Bedtime for the Babies!


Chillin' in their Boppys


Milk drunk


Stop crying Birdie! You're hurting my ears!


ALL CLEAN!


Sisters

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Our girls are finally here!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our twins were welcomed to the world Friday morning!!

A (ironically also Baby A) was born at 9:56am at 7lbs 5oz and 19 3/4 inches
R was born at 9:57am at 7lbs 2oz and 19 1/2 inches

They are not tiny girls!! Now I see why J couldn't move for the past month! LOL.

Now, we may be biased just a little bit, but we can't help but think they are absolutely perfect. We know it's only been 36 hours, but we can already see cute little personality traits coming out. We couldn't be more in love with them. We just sit and stare at them all day long! The babies are doing really well, they have a touch of jaundice which we are hoping doesn't require them to spend the day under the special light, but all in all they are perfectly healthy! The nurse actually just reported that the billi.rubin numbers are stabalizing - guess putting them near the windows today helped! J is doing great with her recovery from the c-section and the two of us could not be happier! There truly aren't words to describe what we are feeling. We know what a blessing (or two) has been given to us!

Here is a picture of our sweat peas ... plenty more to come!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tomorrow is D-Day or should we say C-Day?!

Well, we are finally all set for tomorrow. Everything has been done and our bags are packed and at the door. Our c-section is scheduled for 10a and we have to be at the hospital at 8a. We hope we sleep tonight, but are not too hopeful. Both of us are just so excited at the thought of meeting our daughters tomorrow!

We'll post updates and pictures as soon as we can! Thank you everyone for all of your support along the way - it's been a long road, but we've finally reached our goal!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

We Graduated... AGAIN!

Yesterday we had our last visit with our specialist. Our dr finished the appt with "You've Graduated! Good Luck on Friday!" YAY! This appt was the same as last Mondays - heart monitors on the babies and J's uterus for 20 minutes (which they behaved VERY WELL for this time!) and then an ultrasound to check positioning, amniotic fluid, etc. Our dr did tell us to make sure that the hospital did an ultrasound before J goes into the operating room to recheck the positioning of the girls. Apparently, the way Baby A is laying now, transverse (sideways) along the bottom of J's belly and face down, is perfect for a normal cutting of the uterus - from left to right. If she flips and is back down/face up on Friday, they will have to cut J's uterus vertically because they cannot grab the back of a baby to pull it out apparently. Our dr said we don't want them finding out the baby is back down after already being cut open as then they will have to make yet another incision either making the uterus cut like a J or like an upside down T to get baby A out. If this happens, the uterus will be a lot weaker in the long run and more susceptible to bleeding as it is healing. So yet one more thing to remember on what we’re sure will be a crazy Friday morning.

We have 2 more appointments this week. Our final ob visit is tomorrow followed by our pre-surgery testing at the hospital. We can’t believe this is finally it! 3 more days! J is sure she is going to go into labor before Friday – “JUST BECAUSE” we are so close to our scheduled c-section. ;)

The past week has been pretty uneventful. J has still not had a single Braxton Hicks or contraction which we can’t believe. Besides the weight of her belly and the general discomfort of being 37w 5d pregnant with twins, things are status quo. The only new symptom J has had the past few weeks is knuckle pain in her hands. She says it feels like major arthritis and she can’t make a fist at all and is in pain when she has to use/bend her fingers. Great timing eh? ;) We hope the water fluid retention goes away pretty quickly after the girls are delivered and her hands go back to normal (and normal size). Everything seems to swell quicker these days. J is still working which is fabulous and plans to work up until Thursday. Why not?! She works from home and with the comforts of her blackberry and our bed (and her ma.c next to the bed) it makes working “easy”!

J had completely grown out of all her maternity clothes about a week or so ago. We are making due with things she can fit in as she doesn’t go anywhere except to dr appts where she can easily just wear sweatpants to. We found all her running shorts with elastic bands still fit her as she really has only gained weight in her belly. Here is a funny comparison of J in her running shorts before TTC and a picture of her last week (same shorts).



Here is another shot of J’s belly this morning – does that look like 15 inches to you?



It is going to be so weird with J NOT having this belly. We almost forget what it is like because she started showing so early on – 15 or so weeks! Needless to say, J is ready to retire this heavy new addition and let M carry half the load from now on – on the outside of course!

We’d say we are generally ready for the girls – really have been for several weeks now – JUST IN CASE. The only outstanding “issue” to resolve is whether or not we want J’s mom to stay with us for a week after the babies arrive. She is more than willing to stay but said it is up to us. We keep going back and forth. We currently have a 2 bedroom place, while a large 2 bedroom place, this still means J’s mom will have to sleep on the couch. This isn’t a problem for her at all but will it just add confusion to the crazy week we will have or will it be helpful for her to be here? She can’t help with feeding as J is going to breastfeed so we guess diaper changes, burping, laundry, cooking? Would it be easier for us to just find our routine on our own at first? We KNOW we will be beyond exhausted and walking around in a daze (and of course, J will be healing from her c section) but would it be easier without another person thrown into the mix? J is leaning more towards thinking her mom does not need to stay (probably delusional thoughts?) and M is leaning more towards wanting J’s mom to stay. Any suggestions out there?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fully cooked! Are we talking 4th of July burgers or babies?

On Thursday, we got our weekly pregnancy email from Ba.bycenter.com. This is what it said:


Does that really say "Congratulations - your baby is full term?!?!" Then why the heck is our dr waiting until 38 weeks (38 weeks and 1 day to be exact) to pluck the little ones out?

Arghhh! 6 more days... 6 more days.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful 4th of July! YAY for barbeques!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Got plans for next Friday?

And next week we'll be mommies.

Or so our doctors seem to think. We went to our specialist yesterday and at the end of the appointment he told us that his gut feeling was that the babies would not be coming earlier than the scheduled c-section next Friday. We'll see if he's right.

The appointment was to check fetal movement/stress test and the babies' amniotic fluid levels. They hooked up a heart monitor to J for each of the babies and one for uterine movement. It took a while to find the heartbeats as the girls are still at this point flip flopping around in there.

But, they finally found them.



We were told that they'd need to record the babies heart rates for about 20 minutes so we sat in the room watching a rerun of Desp.erate House.wives. The girls have always been so "good" at our dr appts - always were in great positions to measure all the parts of their bodies that the specialist usually measures, so of course this time the girls would misbehave. They kept wiggling around causing the monitors to lose the heart readings which in turn would cause the machine to beep loudly. We think we actually heard giggling from inside J's belly ;) Luckily after about 20 minutes there was enough movement recorded to call it a day. There was virtually NO uterine movement recorded during this time. Sigh. Next we had an ultrasound to check the amniotic fluid levels. We weren't sure why we didn't have the ultrasound first because when the nurse was attaching the heart monitors, she was going off of last week's ultrasound images and they had both completely moved since then. Would have made for less guessing as to where to find the strong heartbeats. Oh well. The fluid levels were both great and 2 hours later, we were leaving the specialist.

Today we had an appt with our ob. We hadn't actually seen her in what seems like a month or so as she was on vacation the last week and a half and before then she had called in sick the day of our appointment. The first thing she said to us was, I can't believe the babies are still in there!! J's uterus is measuring 43 weeks - which is a little over 6 weeks from where we actually are! That's one large belly ;) We got our usual ultrasound to check for strong heartbeats and a cervix check. We aren't sure why we have to see the specialist AND our ob each week now, but hey, it's all over next week right? We never thought we'd say this but we are getting SICK of going to dr appts! We just want our little pumpkins with us already! ;)

After a quick blood test to check J's thyroid levels, we headed home. Tomorrow will be 9 days until we meet the little ones. Single digits! OH YEAH!

But before we celebrate the arrival of our girls, we get to celebrate M's birthday on Thursday! 2 more days! YAY!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

We made it! 36 weeks...

...and the girls don't have any intention of coming out anytime soon it seems. We had an appt with our ob today (although we saw a different dr in the practice as our regular ob is still on vacation). The babies, and their individual body parts, are so hard to distinguish on the ob's ultrasound machines these days but all our dr really looks for is a strong heartbeat anyway - of which we saw two. :) J has had a lot more cramping the past few nights and terrible lower back pain. We actually thought that last night we would be making our way to the hospital as J was so uncomfortable. Luckily the girls listened and did not show up on her bday. The dr checked J's cervix and said with a chuckle, these girls are not trying to go anywhere. Sigh, still long, thick and VERY CLOSED. GIRLS... in case you misread our numerous chats, you ARE allowed to come out now! Our dr said that "most" twins come before 37 weeks. So that's 1/2 come before 36 weeks and "most" come before 37. We guess the girls don't understand statistics yet, whether it be a percentage or a descriptive as in "most." They have their own agenda and apparently don't feel like sharing it with us.

The one saving grace is that we KNOW for certain we'll have our daughters' in our arms in at "MOST" two weeks from tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happy Birthday J!!

Today is J's birthday!!!

Since she can't really get around very well these days, I am doing everything I can to make sure that she has a great birthday! After all, she is the love of my life and I'd do pretty much anything to see her smile.

We had a wonderful morning together and I am so looking forward to birthday cupcakes at lunch and a delicious birthday dinner with the birthday girl tonight!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY my love. I hope you know how much I love you!! :)
-M

Monday, June 22, 2009

Eighteen, twelve, ten and two... the numbers of today. Can you find these numbers in our blog? ;)

18 days! That's what the calendar M made J says. The first thing J does in the morning is pull down the previous day's number: 20, 19, 18 and tomorrow morning... 17! As J is up every hour on the hour all night long, she considers it officially "morning" when M's alarm goes off at 6:15am.

Today we had an appointment with our specialist. The girls look great! And by great - we mean L*A*R*G*E! For twins that is... Our dr was impressed at how well they are growing and how far along we've gotten. Baby A is approximately 6lbs 1oz and Baby B is 5lbs 15 oz. Doing the math that makes for a 12lb baby! Seems like a pretty rational reason for all J's discomfort and stetching. This of course does not account for the extra 1lb of placenta, all the extra amniotic fluid and over double the amount of blood J now has circulating her body. You can see it in the veins popping out of her hands like a body builder - especially on HOT days. In the past week or so, water retention has really been an issue for J, but ironicallay not in her ankles/feet. It's pretty mild there. It is in places that she doesn't see swell - her knuckles and her knees. Who knew it could be so painful. Ok, enough complaining, that was 2 blogs ago.

Anyway, we go back to our specialist next Monday where they will monitor the babies heartbeats for 30 minutes, as well as check fluid levels. Our dr said that twins at 36 weeks can start to have complications so they do extra monitoring. So we wonder, why wait until 38 weeks to schedule the c section? But what do we know, we're not the drs.

From here on out (or for 18 days ;) we will go to the dr twice a week. One specialist appt and one appt with our regular ob. Good thing our jobs and our bosses are so flexible! Looks like J will be able to work right up until the day we go in for the c section. And with blackberrys she can even work during and after the delivery. Just Kidding ;)

We were told that we'd have to go in on July 8th or 9th for some routine testing at the hospital before the surgery on Friday the 10th. We don't really know anything about this yet but will be getting all the information at our ob appt on Thursday.

2 days until J's bday! :)
10 days until M's bday! :)
X days until our Daughters' birthday! ;)

Here are a couple pictures of our daughters' beautiful profiles! Don't worry, our family couldn't tell this was a baby either. J's brother actually said it looked like a muppet. Hi Kermie!



Saturday, June 20, 2009

20 days and counting!

We had another good doctor appointment this week. Our doctor told us that J's cervix is still thick and long and closed. We don't know much about cervixes but have come to accept these as positive words when describing them during pregnancy. Our Dr even joked that the girls might stay in there for 40 weeks - at which point J almost killed him for joking about something like that! 5 more weeks for J would just be too much to think about. So instead we are counting down the next 20 days until our daughters' birthdays. The doctor's office scheduled our C-Sec.tion with the hospital for Friday July 10th at 10am. So unless they make a surprise appearance before then, that will be their birthday! So 20 days, we can do that :) M made a countdown calendar for J so she can keep in mind that there aren't many days left for her to feel so uncomfortable. J's been having a lot more uterus stretching and cramping so we can tell the girls are really putting on a lot of weight and growing a lot. J doesn't think she's had any brax.ton hicks/contractions, but says its very hard to tell since her stomach always feels extremely tight which is how everyone describes early contractions.

At the last appointment J also got her Strep B test done. We didn't really understand why she needed it since she is having a c-section, but whatever, a quick swab and she was done. One of the most annoying things when we go to the doctor is the bathroom J has to use for her urine samples. The toilet is extremely low and the toilet seat itself is so small. When you flush the toilet you practically have to stick your head in the water to get to it. M has trouble using that bathroom and she is NOT pregnant, so J is definitely over that toilet.

We have our appointment with our specialist on Monday. It's funny, when we made that appointment we actually said yeah right, we'll never make it to the 22nd. Here we are, 3 days away from that appointment! We are so excited for it so we can see how big the girls have gotten. We are guessing that they are about 5 and 1/2 pounds each.

We are counting down a few other things as well:
1. J's birthday is on Wednesday June 24! She keeps telling the girls they can come anytime now, just NOT on her birthday.
2. M's birthday is on July 2nd!
3. The twins birthday on July 10th! If they are born on this day, their birthday is exactly 1 week and 1 day after M's birthday. And M's birthday is exactly 1 week and 1 day after J's birthday! Cute, eh? And it looks like we are all going to be Cancers!
4. Eating a grilled hotdog. We know it hasn't been the best summer so far with all the rain, but we have really been craving some hotdogs on the grill. Once the girls are here, it's on.
5. Ice cold coronas with 2 limes. We just can't wait, end of story. Pump and dump will be our friend :)

At our monthly NYC TTC brunch we have had a possible twin explosion! Congratulations to J&C at Waiting For Mavis and D&K at Puffer and the Baby Fish on their BFPs!! We never in a million years thought we would be lucky enough to be having twins and now we might even have good friends having twins too!!

Here is a shot of J's belly at 35 weeks and 2 days. Not tiny.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Ups and Downs of being 34 Weeks pregnant with twins

Editors footnote (at the beginning instead):
We are not trying to sound like a couple of whinos in the following blog, we just wanted to document how J is feeling (good, bad, and ugly) so that we remember it since this will be the one and only time she is pregnant. That said, enjoy :)

Friday night J took M out for a date night. It was a delicious dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and the food was fantastic. Of course we are on old folks time and were having dinner at 5:30pm, but we still had a great time. During dinner we were saying that this could very well be our last date night without kids. Then again, we've been saying that for a while now with the fear that the twins would come early as most do. Lucky for us, our girls have decided to be good girls and stay in there until the "safe zone"! On Thursday we reached the 34 week milestone! From what we've come to understand this is officially the safe zone for twins. If J starts to go into labor at any point now the doctors wouldn't do anything to stop it. The babies are fully formed and their lungs are fully developed at this point. Now they are just putting on the pounds. And J feels each and every ounce they put on - times two! It's gotten to the point where J is always tired and uncomfortable. She is out of breath most of the time, her thighs go numb when she stands too long or lays too long (this is clearly a no win situation), she can't sleep because she can't ever get comfortable, she has heartburn 24-7, and her pubic bone seems to always hurt which sometimes makes something as simple as walking impossible. As if those weren't enough complaints (we promise this is the last one), J got the mother of all bloody noses Friday morning. It had been almost 5 weeks since her previous nose bleed, but this one absolutely made up for it! That being said - we couldn't be more excited!!! We can't believe that in no more than 3 and 1/2 weeks we will have our babies!! We are taking it one day at a time, of course hoping that they stay in as long as possible (even though J is ready for them to be out). We just know the longer they stay in, the less likely they'll spend any time in the NICU, and that would be good for everyone involved!

The babies are really always moving around in there which we are finding it hard to understand how. For one, we don't understand how they have the room to do the cirque du soleil moves it feels like they are doing. And for another, do they not ever sleep?? Could this be a foreshadowing of their sleep patterns when they are here?? The last time we were at the specialist the babies weighed about 4 1/2 pounds each and were about 17 inches long. That was 2 1/2 weeks ago so we are thinking they must be over 5 pounds each by now. We go back to the specialist on the 22nd of June IF we have not delivered the babies by then :) We see our regular OB weekly, and this week we'll see her on Thursday. As of this past week J's cervix is still completely closed and thick which is a good sign per our dr. J had been having random crampiness and sharp pains, but our doctor was not concerned at all since there is no pattern at all to either of these. It is apparently just J's uterus stretching even bigger -- she measured at 40 weeks at this weeks appointment.

On a final note, hiccups. The girls have them at least once a day. We used to be able to feel the hiccups but now you can actually see J's belly moving with each hiccup. It's pretty cute.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Our nursery is ready!

Well, it's official, our twins nursery is complete. We've both agreed that it is everything we ever dreamed of in a nursery! It looks so cute and we are so happy with the colors and theme we decided on for the room. As you can see from the pictures below, we went with primary colors and ABC's and 123's.

Completing the girls nursery was one of the final items remaining on our "Baby To Do" list. So we are now able to check that off. We are one step closer to being ready for the twins. Since this Thursday we will be 34 weeks it's a good thing we are almost ready!

Enjoy the pics!!



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

31 Weeks, 5 Days and still chugging along!

VA Shower
A couple of weekends ago Js sister and mother threw us our 2nd baby shower down in Virginia. It was at her new house which turns out is perfect for hosting baby showers! :) We got a lot of really adorable clothing and gifts. But more importantly we got to see some of our friends from when we used to live down in VA -- many of them have not seen J at all during this pregnancy, so they were all shocked at her size! The shower was absolutely perfect - except the swollen feet J ended up with. The weather was really nice but it was a little warm. So after being on her feet at the shower for a few hours and then spending the rest of the afternoon and evening with some of our friends, Js ankle and foot bones had completely disappeared! That night we went out with 4 of our close friends to PF Ch.angs for dinner. The waiter really took a liking to us and especially to J and her belly. At the end of the meal he brought us our fortune cookies but insisted that he go around the table and each person pick a cookie and give it to someone at the table, and then that person takes one and gives it to someone else, and so on so we were gifting fortunes to each other. In the end, M picked the last fortune and gave it to J, when she opened it up the back of the fortune had the chinese word for "Mother"! How weird is that! M's fortune had the chinese word for "On Time" - so we're hoping that means the girls are going to come out at the right time and not too early!!

NJ Shower
This past weekend was our final shower and it was at our place in NJ. Originally it was going to be at Ms brothers and his wife's place in NYC, but the guest list was a little too big for their tiny apartment so we had it at our place instead. It was really a great day and we are so grateful for everyone that came and showered us with lovely gifts! We played a little game where everyone had to guess at the size of J's belly around. We had played the same game the previous weekend at the shower in VA and were quite surprised to find that Js belly had grown 2 inches in just 1 week!!

Nursery
Our nursery has really come a long way from the old spare bedroom/office it used to be! We've got two fully assembled and bedded cribs, but we still need the protective crib pads in them. The changing table is ready to go, but we still need a changing pad. The toy box is assembled and full of blankets for now. The dresser and closet are both full of adorable pink clothes and we only need a few more things to complete their wardrobes. All in all we are doing pretty well! We even made the largest of our purchases this past weekend - we bought a minivan! We got the fully loaded Honda Odyssey - a real family car :) It is seriously awesome, and we think the girls are going to love riding in it! This coming weekend we plan to finish buying the odds and ends that we still need ... then we should be pretty much ready for their arrival. Speaking of - that is only 6 weeks away (MAX!)! So its a good thing we are getting to the end of our TO DO list! Pictures of the nursery to follow soon!

Updates
Last week we had an appointment with our ob. Dr H told us that everything looked and felt great and that there were no signs of pre-term labor. When we were looking at the u/s she pointed out how our girls rib cages were moving up and down. Although they are not breathing, their diaphrams are moving up and down simulating breathing, and seeing this on the u/s is a very good sign that doctors look for but don't always get to see. Dr H also told us that they won't do anything to stop labor if it starts after 34 weeks. She said the drugs they use to hold it off are more dangerous than having the babies at that point. She said their lungs are fully developed by then and the only reason they'd need to be in the NI.CU then would be to put on weight. She said there is a 100% survival rate at 34 weeks. This news sent a wave of relief over both of us since we are currently approaching the end of our 31st week!

This week we have an appointment with our specialist and can not wait to see the girls and how big they have gotten! J really feels every move they make and by the size of their movements we can tell that they are getting really big. Also we can tell how big they are getting by how uncomfortable J has been lately. With all the work that needed to be done around the house (and nursery) sometimes J overdoes it, and then she can't really walk because of the pain she gets in her pubic bone. Luckily if she rests for a day or so the pain subsides and she can move around again. We are really trying to get everything done so we can just sit and relax the last few weeks of our pregnancy. We'd like the girls to stay in there as long as possible and are pretty sure that relaxing is the way to go!

We also have an appointment this week to meet our potential pediatrician. We were given the reference from a friend, and once we found out that the doctor is only 2 miles from our place, takes our insurance, and is affiliated with the hospital where we will be giving birth to our girls, it was a done deal! Hopefully all goes well with the meet and greet on Thursday! It would be great to be able to cross that off of our to do list :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

29 weeks and 29 updates...

This past weekend we had our first baby shower. We are actually having 3 showers in total, but there's a good reason for it (before you go thinking anything bad). Our family and friends are spread from VA up to PA and out to NY. It's really not easy to get them all in one place, and we are so lucky to have awesome sisters/moms/sisters-in-law! The PA shower was thrown by M's sister, Mom, and our sister-in-law. It was mostly M's huge family and also some of our friends and it was fantastic! It was so great to see everyone and all anyone could say to J was how great she looked. Several times she was asked, "are you sure there's twins in there?!" It's true, J has been very lucky gaining weight only in her belly and no where else. From behind you would never know she was pregnant. The night before the shower we were out for dinner and since M could only see from J's bbs up at the table, she also commented that J didn't even look pregnant...until she pushed back from the table to reveal that giant belly!

We got a lot of great gifts at our shower - things we really really need for the girls and also a lot of really ridiculously cute baby clothes! When we got home we unloaded all of the stuff in our living room and it basically looked like a giant pink explosion! Look at these cute little feet!




Tomorrow J's sister/Mom are throwing us a shower in VA. We are really looking forward to seeing J's family and our old friends from that area and even down into NC where J lived for 9 years! Some of them haven't seen J pregnant yet so they will be surprised when they see her!

As for baby updates, last week at our specialist appt, the dr said the girls looked great! They are about 15 inches long and they each weigh about 3lbs. They BOTH actually are weighing a WEEK larger then a SINGLETON would at that same week! CRAZY! No wonder J feels like her belly is so heavy and so large! The ultrasound techinician jokingly remarked that these girls are definitely not starving for nutrition and J should keep doing what she's doing. Both girls are still transverse, which means they are lying horizontal instead of vertical. J often says that she feels like the sides of her stomach are going to split open. The technician actually remarked that it looks painful as they are stretching J's uterus the wrong direction. Aside from the belly stretching, J has had pubic bone pain as well. Who knew the pubic bone was actually 2 bones held together by ligaments (or is it a muscle??)?!? With all the extra relaxin J's body is producing because she's carrying 2, along with her small frame and the weight of the babies, she sometimes has trouble getting up or walking from the pain of her pubic bone being pulled apart. This past Monday J had to take the gestational dia.betes test. She had 5 minutes to drink 5oz of some thick sugary substance that she said just tasted like thick, flat Spri.te. She made M try a finger dip full. ;) We got a call on Wednesday saying that J had passed! PHEW! No 3 hour test for this girl! We were a little more nervous since J had an increased risk since she's carrying twins. Alas, J's still anemic but her numbers are going up and getting closer to normal! Finally!

We had our last class this week as well. It was our breastfeeding class and we found it to be very informative. The lactation consultant/nurse who taught our class actually had twins (boys) so even though we were the only ones carrying multiples in the class, she always stopped to reference how we could do things with two. It was great! Now... if only it is as easy as it looked on the video that was shown.

As for our nursery, we have our 2 cribs, 2 mattresses and our changer/dresser set up. We are having a problem with getting rid of that "new furniture" smell (stain smell? The furniture is E.spresso in color). Does anyone have any recommendations as to how to get rid of the smell? We have had the drawers out of the dresser and the mattresses out of the crib airing out for several weeks now and even wiped down the wood a few times but to no avail. We don't want to put any of the girls clothes in the dresser in fear that they will smell like stain. Any suggestions are greatly welcomed!

We hope all our blogging friends that have recently given birth have a great Mother's Day and we are sending lots of baby dust to those that are in the throws of becoming Mommy's!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

To Store or not to Store ...

That is currently our big question. All along we thought that the decision to privately bank the blood from our newborns’ umbilical cord was a no brainer. But now we aren't sure if this is something we should be investing in. We have done some research and have come up with the following list of pros and cons:

Pros:

1. "Just in Case" - Storing stem cells would provide a type of biological insurance, in case our baby or another family member needed a stem-cell transplant or related therapy in the future. Scientists think stem cells may hold the key to treatments and even cures for Par.kinson's, dia,betes and a range of other diseases. And stem-cell transplants are already used to treat some can.cers, and immune, and blood disorders. Wouldn't we want our babies to have their own ready supply of perfectly matched stem cells, just in case? Of course. What parent wouldn't?

Cons:

1. Expensive - blood collection fees typically range between $1,500 and $2,500, and storage fees run between $100 and $200 per year. And since this is per child, our initial fees and first year costs for the twins would be close to $5,000. Of course, we'd spend any amount of money to protect our children, but is private banking of cord blood really warranted considering the next few Cons ...?

2. No conclusive proof - much of the stem cell promise is still more theoretical than practical. Research has found only a few cases where cord-blood banked "just in case" had actually been used. This is in contrast to the main marketing message of private banks, which promote the idea of children using cells from their own cord blood. Doctors, in fact, won't even use a child's own stem cells for some illnesses, as this could reintroduce the illness into the child's body.

3. Other sources - stem cells can come from other sources, including bone marrow, public cord blood banks and someday possibly even adult cells.

4. Recommendations from the Am.erican Academy of Ped.iatrics and the Am.erican Med.ical Association - both organizations advise against private cord blood banking for most families, as the likelihood of children needing their own banked blood is low. The range of available estimates is from 1:1,000 to 1:200,000. Empirical evidence that children will need their own cord blood for future use is lacking. The exception is when there is a family member who has a current or potential need to undergo a stem-cell transplant. We have a family member with MS, but there is no available research on the benefits of umbilical stem cell transplantation for individuals with MS.


We'd really like to get some of your thoughts/opinions on this topic. Even though our Cons list is much longer than our Pros list, there is still that question of "what if?" that we can't get past. We are hoping someone will say something that will help us with our final decision.

If we do not store our newborn's stem cells for our own use we will most certainly donate it to a public cord-blood bank. Donating to these banks is typically free and the benefits to someone in need can be immeasurable. You can contact the National Marr.ow Do.nor Program at www dot marrow dot org for a list of sites. We wanted to donate to a cord-blood bank specifically dedicated to MS research but as of now we haven't found any sites that are looking for cord blood specifically for MS research.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A bit of a Babymoon

J had to travel to Baltimore, MD for 2 weeks of work at the beginning of April. As Easter fell in between these weeks and J’s family lives in the DC area, M decided to drive down to Baltimore on Thursday night and spend the weekend with J and then Easter with J’s family. Even though we both lived in the DC area for several years, M had never made it up to Baltimore so we thought we’d make the weekend a “mini babymoon” as we didn’t see any other time before the babies arrive where we could fit one in. M spent the day on the set with J on Friday and then we went out to a nice dinner. We had planned to go to the Inner Harbor but it was raining and cold so we postponed it to Saturday night. Saturday morning we had a lazy morning just lying around (the very nice hotel room courtesy of J's company) – something we haven’t been able to do much of recently. There always seems to be something we need to be doing or someplace we needed to be going but this particular Saturday, we just relaxed. We eventually got ready and drove to DC where we met up with one of M’s best friends since childhood and J’s coworker (yes, we were introduced through her over 5 years ago) and hung out with her, her husband and their 6 month old baby for the afternoon. From there we headed back to Baltimore where we decided to walk around the pier and have dinner in Fells Point. The night started off perfectly when a parking spot opened up right in front of the restaurant we were about to go to. Then to make it even better, the man pulling out of the spot rolled down his window and gave us his prepaid parking ticket which still had almost 4 hours on it! Although M had never been to Baltimore, she made all the plans and had picked out a wonderful little place on a cobble stone street overlooking the bay water. There were 2 levels to this quaint restaurant and although we (particularly J) had to climb a set up stairs to get to the upper level, we were seated at a lovely candlelit table right by a window. To make it even better, after a few minutes, the only other couple up there with us had finished and left so we had the entire room to ourselves! The atmosphere was amazing and the food was absolutely delicious. We enjoyed each other’s company immensely and although a lot of things in our life are about to change, it is comforting to know that we are doing this together and completely recognize how lucky we both are to have each other and this wonderful life we live together.

Sunday we headed down to Arlington, VA where J’s sister and her husband just bought a great house and where J’s family would be celebrating Easter. It was a great day, a great weekend and although we didn’t think it was possible, we fell in love with each other all over again.

Friday, April 24, 2009

My how time flies!

We have been very bad bloggers in the past few weeks. M has been very busy with her new promotion and J was sick for 2 weeks then on a shoot in MD for 2 weeks. So we are going to attempt to catch up on all that's been happening by posting several blogs over the next few days.

We are currently 27 weeks and 1 day and even though J's belly is getting very large and there is constant movement from within, we still have a hard time grasping the fact that in under 11 weeks we'll be bringing home our two little baby girls. We think once our babies are handed over to us, it might seem a little more real... or will it be once we are home and we are up feeding them at 3am that it will all really sink in?!?! Either way, we can't wait to meet them.

First update: Classes

At the end of March we took two classes to help prepare us for the babies. The classes were not supposed to be on the same weekend, but one got postponed from early March so we ended up spending our entire weekend in classes at our hospital. Not the ideal way to relax on a weekend, but the classes were well worth it.

The first class was a Adult/Toddler/Infant CPR class. We both have always wanted to take this type of class and figured now was a good time. J already had the basic training from her days as a lifeguard but since M worked at an ice cream stand growing up ... she didn't really have a clue. The bulk of the class was for CPR. They also touched on the Heimlich Maneuver a bit and the functionality (not the actual usage of) an AED. It was all very interesting. J was sore the next day from being in weird positions all day and getting up and down off the ground for our hands on procedures.

Much to our surprise, we were not the only gay couple in the class! There were actually 2 other lesbian PREGNANT couples, one of which brought 5 of their family members for training. For the first time in a while, we found that we outnumbered the straight couples in a non LGBT event! Ahhhh ... gay life in NJ is becoming more and more prevalent. :)

Our second class was called Marvelous Multiples ... and was all about the joys (!) of having multiples. Most of the couples in the class were having twins, but one woman was pregnant with triplets! Before the class we thought J was big, but after seeing some of the women that were further along we know she has a ways to go! The class was awesome! We learned SO much and the teacher offered so much great advice to us. Who knew that baby powder was not recommended for use these days?? We certainly didn't. We also got a tour of the hospital which was awesome! Private rooms, Level 3 NICU (which we HOPE we won't need) and excellent ratings all around. We are confident we are going to have an excellent birth experience there.

We have our final class, Breastfeeding, on May 5th. It should be another very informative class as we don't know too much about it at this point. We've researched and registered for a pump and have done some reading here and there but this class should be more hands on (as much as it can be).

More updates to come but in the meantime, here's a belly shot of J at 26 weeks - still veiny but also still the only place she's gained weight! (The engagement ring and wedding band have been taken off until after the babies arrive) :(


Sunday, March 15, 2009

We now return to our regularly scheduled appointments...

We had 3 unscheduled appts this week - one with the gastro-intestinal specialist, one for blood work and yet a third for an ultrasound- just not of the babies. The pain below J's ribcage has not gone away and the Pep.cid AC Max Strength that our dr put her on isn't helping. (Side note - J has a high tolerance for pain - she once had major dental work done without novicane because she was in her tww.) For a little at home relief, we tried to put heat on the pain but that didn't work; J finds more relief with ice. Either way it is difficult treat because the area of pain is so close to Baby B along with J's ribcage. Our dr referred us to a specialist to make sure it wasn't J's kidneys or gallbladder or some other internal issue. Wednesday we went to the specialist where we should mention that we were the only people who didn't walk in with a cane. The dr said he didn't want to do much invasive testing because of the pregnancy so he started J with blood work and an ultrasound. Of course, they didn't have a ultrasound machine in the office and because of our insurance we had to go to a different place for the blood work. After the appointment, we made our way to the other clinic for J to give blood and then we made the ultrasound appt for the next morning (which was at the hospital). We are going to be able to drive to the hospital blindfolded when J goes into labor we are there so often. ;) In the waiting room for the ultrasound, we were again the youngest people by a good 50 years. They took an ultrasound of J's stomach, kidneys, gallbladder, liver and aorta. Still not sure why the aorta, but we're not the drs. We got a call Friday morning from the specialist saying that the ultrasound and blood work all came back normal. That's a relief, but we still don't know what the pain is. We are now assuming it is ligament/muscle stretching or maybe even something slightly torn as J's belly has grown insanely over the past 4 weeks. She looks at least 7 months pregnant (with a singleton) and we are only in our 5th month! We have our regularly scheduled appointment with our ob tomorrow afternoon so we'll see what she says about J's pain. She's also going to do the first cervix check which will be an indicator of whether J is at risk for preterm labor or not. YIKES! BE LONG, THICK AND CLOSED CERVIX!!

A few other pregnancy symptoms have begun in the past week or so. J's begun to leak very small amounts from her breasts. Nothing noticable, but J knows. Also, J can't believe how heavy her belly is. We wonder why we never hear pregnant people speak of this! Her balance is definitely off these days - M has had to save the day a few times so J didn't topple over ;) J's appetite has been good, but nothing exceptionally crazy like we thought it would be. And as for sleep, J is up every morning from approx 5am - 7am like clockwork. Luckily she works from home most of the time so that she can fall back to sleep for another hour or so at 7. Unfortunately, sometimes she accidentally wakes M up during this time, which leaves a very tired girl heading to work at 8. Our dr said that J would probably not be able to travel after 20 weeks due to discomfort more than anything else. At the time we were about 14 weeks and couldn't really comprehend what she meant but now that we are over 21 weeks and J did travel down to DC this week, we know where she was coming from. Between the early train ride down followed by 2 fully packed long days in the office and the late ride back, J was SPENT! Not to mentioned the pain under her ribs hurt her 10 fold because of all the extra movement and bags she has to carry on these trips. We think her traveling days are definitely numbered at this point.

In exciting news - M felt the babies kick for the first time yesterday!!! Actually, she felt them kick a LOT in the past 2 days - they must have been getting their workouts in. :) It is really awesome that we both get to share this pregnancy experience together! J definitely thinks the kicks are getting harder and feel more like kicks then butterflies in her stomach.

On Friday, we received a package from a really good friend. When we opened it, inside were two ADORABLE little baby girl onesies! It wasn't until then that we realized that we had not bought any gender specific baby clothes yet. These onesies were tiny and pink with ruffles on the sleeves and were definitely 100% Baby Girl! We preceeded to go on a bit of a shopping spree this weekend. Our nursery closet is now filled with adorable baby girl clothes. (We love Tar.get!) Let's hope tomorrow's appointment doesn't throw us for another gender surprise! (We'll hold onto the receipts for a while just in case) :)

Our respective sisters are each planning a baby shower, one in Scranton and one in DC. Last weekend we registered and were surprised at how exhausting it is! So much research, so many choices...! Between the 3 stores we registered at (we had to find stores that were in each location of our showers/family) we think we finally got everything we will need. Now we wait just a few short months for our daughters to arrive! (oh, and we need to set up the nursery too!)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Oh boy... Or should we say GIRL?

We had our 20 week anatomy scan yesterday. It was so nice to spend almost an hour and a half looking at our babies! They meticulously measured and analyzed every bone and organ in their little bodies and we were told that everything looked absolutely perfect! Baby A’s estimated weight is 11 ounces, is approximately 10 inches long and is measuring 20 weeks and 1 day! PERFECT! Baby B’s estimated weight is 13 ounces, is also approximately 10 inches long and is measuring 20 weeks and 3 days! YAY! The specialist asked if we wanted to know the sexes and we said, we were already told it is one boy and one girl but yes, please verify :) Well good thing she did because our little BOY is not a little BOY afterall! She is 100% WOMAN! Errr well Baby girl! There was DEFINITELY NO male package in between those legs! Perhaps it was part umbilical cord or that the female parts were still swollen (as they are when they are very small) but it was crystal clear to all of us yesterday – we are DEFINITELY having TWIN GIRLS! BRING ON THE PINK! The ultrasound pictures we got (albeit about 100 of them) don’t even almost do justice to the amazing images we saw on the screen. We’ll try to post one or two of the better ones in the next few days.

For the past week, J had been feeling a strange, yet strong, burning feeling right below the center of her ribcage. It didn’t feel like heartburn to her, as she also has that lovely symptom. So after about 5 days of this pain, we decided to call our dr. Of course, it had snowed 6 inches the night before and the office was closed so they paged our dr. J told her about the burning and she thought it might be acid reflux, which is intensified with multiples. J again said, well it doesn’t feel like it because it doesn’t go up my esophagus or anything, it feels like acid is right under my skin. She told us to go to the hospital and she’d have them run some tests. We didn’t have to go to the ER, just to an outpatient type of maternity area, much like where our specialist is located. We were the only ones there so check in was easy and quick. They first checked the babies heartbeats and they were perfectly beating in the 150 bpm range. They put a contractions monitor on J’s belly while they ran through a list of questions and took lots of blood. The resident on duty, in speaking with our dr as well, thought it was just acid reflux and gave J some nasty tasting medicine to see if it helped at all while we waited for the blood work results. J did actually feel some relief from the pain. Two hours later and a shift change later, another resident came in and told us the blood work all came back normal and just to take Tum.s every 2 hours or so. She did mention that J's hemoglobin came back low, 9, and asked if J was on iron supplements. We said, yes and the resident said our dr will probably up the dose to prescription Ferra.let. We looked at her saying, that’s what J’s been on for over a month! Sheesh. J eats red meat every other night as it is, is taking the strongest prescription iron supplements out there and is STILL anemic?! Anyway, J decided to eat a very very bland diet for a few days to see if the acid subsides some along with taking Tum.s several times a day. J isn’t sure how well it’s working but we are both assuming that her stomach must be pretty raw at this point from the days before J started to take anything for it. We hope in a few more days, she’ll have full relief of this pain and just have the old run of the mill pregnancy heartburn.

Now that we know exactly where Baby A and Baby B are situated, we now blame Baby B for all the rib pain J’s been having. She is situated right under J’s ribcage, head on the left side, legs on the right. Not so oddly enough, the rib pain is on the right side. Do we have a soccer player on our hands?

In other news, J looks like she swallowed a basketball. Her belly just protrudes straight out in front of her. M still thinks it is the most adorable baby belly ever but J just looks in the mirror and laughs at it. J has been thin her whole life so it is weird to see this thing sticking out of the front of her! M continues to talk to our girls several times a day (and apologizes for calling Baby B a boy for the past week) and rubs lotion on the growing belly every night! No stretch marks yet! ;)

In our last blog, we mentioned that we had 2 very heavy boxes delivered to our place – one changing table and one toybox. J guesses that M had eaten her Wheat.ies this past weekend because she dragged each box down the stairs, down the walkway to our car and then proceeded to get them into the trunk. J’s really not sure how she did it but was very happy to see M sliding the last box in as she approached the car. Once we got to the store, a man with a cart from the store help retrieved them. All in all, easy return. Now we just need to find a changer that matches our cribs! (Side note for Strawberry – the crib we got is the Bonavita Lifestyle Peyton crib - x 2 of course).

All in all, this pregnancy seems to be flying by as we are 20 weeks today! That means only 18 to go if the girls stay put! M’s sister is in the throws of planning our baby shower – so I guess the next thing we have to do is REGISTER! YAY!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

And the verdict is in!

We are having one boy and one girl!!!! We are so excited! We spent the entire afternoon calling family and friends to tell them the great news.

Today we had our scheduled dr appt and everything looked great! Our boy is sitting on top of our girl and we think she isn't enjoying it because she was kicking him during the ultrasound. The little guy just slept through it. J's belly is growing nicely and the dr was surprised at how big and high her uterus has already gotten! 25 centimeters! The heartbeats were strong and the fluid in the aminiotic sacs looked great. We, of course, had a list of questions for our dr.
1. We asked about rechecking J's thyroid levels - we were told this will be done at the next appt in 3 weeks.
2. We asked whether it was ok/normal for J to always be freezing - our dr said it's totally fine, usually they would check thyroid levels, but since J is already being treated for this, she isn't concerned.
3. We asked again about the bloody noses since J had one last night. Luckily she hadn't had one since our last posting a couple of weeks ago - we were told as long as they are stopping on their own, and we don't need to go to a hospital or anything, it's totally normal. Just keep using the humidifier, stay hydrated and use saline solution.
4. J has had an annoying pain under her ribcage on the right side. It comes and goes. J says it feels like an elbow is poking her hard in the ribs and won't stop - our dr said as long as it isn't associated with a fever or nausea or vomiting J can expect to feel a lot of things growing and stretching and apparently poking.
5. When J moves around too fast, is laying flat or bends over, she hears her heartbeat (a whoosh whoosh sound) loudly in her left ear. It sounds like the heartbeat of a baby through a doppler - our dr said J has twice as much blood circulating through her body so this too is normal.

So, one by one, our questions were answered and we left feeling like everything is going perfectly with our little son and daughter.

Next Wednesday we go to our specialist for the babies' anatomy scans. Our dr told us we'll get some really good ultrasound pictures so we'll be sure to post a few.

In other baby news, after weeks of online research and instore visits, we finally decided on a crib we liked and ordered TWO! They were a little more than we had initially wanted to spend but we fell in love with it when we saw it and it was also rated one of the top cribs for safety by Consu.mer Reports. For some reason the lady at Buy B.uy Baby gave us a 20% off coupon and said she can also give us 10% off since we were buying two, so that, along with J's parents paying for one crib made the cost much more managable. We expect the cribs to be delivered in 12 weeks or less. We also ordered a changer and toy box from a different store but when they arrived yesterday, we realized the stain didn't match that of the cribs. Now we get to bring these 2 87lb boxes back to the store. More on how THAT goes in our next blog.

We've done a lot of car shopping/research as well. Looks like M will finally get the minivan she's always wanted! She used to put her B.MW into the shop and REQUEST a minivan loaner car. Guess she was always meant to be a mom :) J is just happy they are so hooked up these days and has requested that we also get a driver so she can sit in the back with the babies and watch the TV. We haven't bought a minivan yet but have narrowed it down to two and will probably purchase it next month.

We have also signed up for a couple of classes at our hospital. One is called "Marvelous Multiples" and is a class all about preparing for, delivering and surviving baby multiples - or 'twinfants' as we like to call them. This class is on March 14th. The other class is a breastfeeding class which we'll take in the beginning of May.

We were so happy to read about the ladies over at An Offering of Love getting a GREAT first beta! We are definitely hopeful that their great beta number means TWINS! :) Congrats ladies!

Looking forward to more BFPs in the coming weeks!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Nothing like a nose bleed to get the morning started off right!

We were awoken today at 5am with the mother of all nose bleeds. We tired pinching the nose, icing on the nostril, icing the back of the neck, stuffing the nostril, but this one was a doozy. It finally stopped around 5:45am and now J is resting, keeping her head elevated and trying to stay still as to not have it start up again.

We went in for our scheduled bloodwork yesterday morning. When we were asked to check over the paperwork before signing it, the only thing wrong (however a big thing) was the number of gestations listed. No, nurse, there are definitely TWO in there! She said, GOOD CATCH and that they definitely run the test for spin.a bifid.a differently for two. We wonder what kind of results we would have gotten had we not caught that! EEK! The nurse told us we could call on Friday for the results.

While we were there, we asked about the nose bleeds and they assured us they were common and just to keep J's nostrils moisturized, drink a lot of water and to keep running the humidifier. This morning J was initially woken up because she was so dry, and within 5 minutes, the nose bleed began.

J was also weighed at the dr yesterday. Her weight was exactly the same as it was 2 weeks ago which is actually back to her pre-pregnancy weight (however not pre TTC weight unfortunately). J lost 5 lbs in the 1st trimester and then has since gained it back. We were surprised that J had not gained any weight because she definitely has a belly now which means the babies are certainly in there growing. In our calculations, since the babies have gained weight, and the belly is getting larger, that means J has actually lost weight. Sigh. We asked our dr about this and she was not concerned. She said at this point, as long as the babies are growing and J feels ok, she isn't too concerned but will definitely watch J's weight. We didn't get an ultrasound yesterday, as it was merely a bloodwork visit, so we were not able to see our babies. 2 more weeks!