Wednesday, December 26, 2012

32 weeks and counting!

Had an appointment this week - oh thats right, I have appointments for various things EVERY week.   Thus the story of my life these days.

The appointment went well though.  My blood pressure went up a little bit which was more concerning for me than for the dr.  It was 124/64 (my typical is in the 90s).  Doctor didn't seem concerned though.  We are still hoping for a natural delivery of the boys and the doctor seems confident about whatever we decide. Baby B has flipped back to breech, so either he'll need to be flipped after Baby A is born, or he'll be delivered breech (unless the little booger wants to flip before then!).

We had a Biophysical Profile where they watch babies breaths and movement (I'm not sure what else as I've never had one before, so I'll follow up in another post about what this really is). Both boys passed with flying colors immediately.  The entire scan was scheduled for 1 hour but only ended up lasting 10 minutes!  Baby A is approximately 3lbs 8oz and Baby B is measuring approximately 4lbs exactly. Thats a whole lotta baby going on!

I have developed a rash though, its miserable.  It itches. It burns. Nothing helps and the only treatment is birth.  I have found Benedryl cream and Calamine lotion seem to help - at least a little bit.

Speaking of birth! Our doctor is fine with us attempting natural delivery as long as Baby A stays head down.  She said due to my size already she doesn't want to see me go past 38 weeks. So if at 37 weeks I am still sitting around waiting for babies to come, then we'll start "stripping membranes" and doing other things to try to start labor without Pitocin (I had that before, that stinks!).  So hopefully they'll come on their own prior to 38 weeks, but hopefully not before 36 weeks - I'd like to avoid NICU if at all possible and we'd also prefer to delivery at the local hospital instead of having to travel 15 miles to the one with the NICU.

The Braxton hicks have started up again recently.  Occasionally I get one that stops me in my tracks for a moment. The doctor didn't seem concerned about them though so thats reassuring.  I won't know until they start doing "checks" at 36 weeks if there's any progress going on.

Its crazy, I feel huge. People always tell me I don't look like I'm having twins, but I sure feel it.  I'm measuring 40 weeks (for a singleton) so I know I'm big.  Its hard to move, its hard on my ribs and back. Its hard to bend, stoop, and pick things up off the floor these days.  I do feel lucky though, I was afraid that I'd be much much bigger at this point than I am, I expected to be much worse off than I am - guess the body really does adjust well. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Amazing 3D experience - you have got to see this.

Had an amazing experience at Enlightened 4d Imaging today.  I saw on Facebook that they had just updated to a new, more updated system.  The pictures looked amazing and I was slightly bummed that we didn't have this option a month ago when we did our ultrasound with them.  Lucky for me, we've built a relationship with the family that runs it and they offered to let me come in so they could experiment more with the new equipment. 

This was incredible.  Not only did they do it all for free, but they gave us all the still shots as well as a DVD of the entire session.  They were able to learn more about their machine and I was able to get some awesome pictures of the boys - win win.

Baby B on the old system at 24 weeks...
Baby B on the new system at 31 weeks!

Baby A on the old system at 24 weeks...

Baby A on the new system... This is the only good shot of baby A we have gotten because of his position!

This is babies head, the top left side is the back of babies head,  All that fuzz? HAIR! Both babies have this!

I was so impressed that at 31 weeks with twins they were still able to get some really good shots. I really thought it might be too late in the game to get anything good, but they did! 

We also learned that Baby B is working on flipping over. Right now he's "transverse" (sideways) but almost aiming down... sort of.  

I was also very happy to hear that they would continue offering their services to those parents expecting a loss.  Even though it didn't work for our situation, I imagine it would have been incredible if it had, and also for other parents in coping with what they are going through. But, I wouldn't expect anything less of that family - they really are amazing.

Monday, December 10, 2012

30 week appointment update!

Had my 30 week appointment today.

Everything is looking great.  Baby A had a HB of 130 and Baby B was 140.  Doctor says everything looks great.  I am measuring 40 weeks (for a single baby - obviously doesn't mean much for twins aside from the fact that I am HUGE).  

We talked some about labor/delivery options.  She was a little concerned about how I'd be emotionally given everything from the last time I gave birth and the last time I was in the hospital. I told her I have a wonderful doula that has been with me for both my births and shewill be able to help me through.  She did say that I'd be an excellent candidate for a c-section if that's what I chose to do - but they'd do whatever I want as long as Baby A stays head down. She felt around and *thinks* baby B may have also been head down today, but we won't know for sure until our next ultrasound after Christmas.

Starting after Christmas, I'll be going in once a week for biophysical profiles and growth scans. A biophysical scan is where they do an ultrasound to monitor the babies movements, breathing patterns and such to make sure everything is ok. The growth scans are to make sure both babies are still growing as they should be. I didn't have these with my other babies, so this process is new to me.  I'm guessing its because being twins I am in high risk status - which I've never been before.

Seeing as how I'm already measuring 40 weeks, she said they probably won't let me go past January 30th (instead of February 6th).   She said depending on the doctor, some will say 37 weeks some will say 38. Personally I'd like to see these guys go as long as possible.  Most likely given my size I will be delivered by 37 weeks.  That's provided my body doesn't go into labor on its own, if it does so after 35/36 weeks they'll just let me go at that time. 

She also gave me a prescription to help with all this rib pain I'm having.  I spent much of last night awake tossing and turning in bed because my ribs hurt so bad. It feels like they are spreading apart much of the time.  Derrick does his best to massage them and make me more comfortable but that only works for so long.

Everything seems to be looking good for now!  Neither baby is appearing ready to come anytime soon, so we're hoping to make it to 35 weeks and beyond!  Fingers crossed!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Gabriel's First Birthday

I wasn't sure what to expect from myself today. I had no idea what emotions would roll through me as I look back on those moments holding my son.  Its been 1 whole year since I held him in my arms, one full year since he was placed in the arms of God.

Surprisingly, I'm at peace today.  I've had my moments of sadness and pain, but for the most part I've been looking back at the time we spent with him with joy and love in my heart. 

I woke up this morning to many loving and wonderful messages on our Facebook.  Its amazing how much love and support we've recieved as we've traveled this journey.  Every bit of love and prayer has meant so much to us. 

A fellow loss mom gave me this idea.  Each year we are going to donate a toy in Gabriel's age range to a toy drive for his birthday.  Evelyn was more than willing to give a toy this year...

After our donation, we went to the cemetary where we decorated his Christmas tree.  As we pulled in Evelyn was in the back seat saying "Baby?  Baby.  Baby bye bye?"  And as my heart broke all I could say was "yup, we're visiting the baby who went bye bye... We're gonna see your brother Gabriel."    We chose to put solar lights on his tree  so that it would automatically turn on each evening. 

We tied his birthday balloons to his hook instead of releasing them.  We did this because releasing balloons when its cold doesn't usually work very well - and it was chilly out there.  The balloons probably won't stay inflated for long, but that's not the point.

We brought him a birthday cupcake and lit a candle.  I was just going to allow the candle to burn out on its own, but it never did.  We stood there for a long time waiting for it to go out but the flame just flickered and danced in the breeze.  I said out loud "That's ok, Evelyn didn't really blow out her first candle either... Your big sister will show you how its done."  Its amazing how talking to him, talking to a rock with his name, has become so "normal" for us. 


Before we left, we had Evelyn say "Love you Gabriel" as we walked away. She struggled with "Gabriel" but got out "Love you" loud and clear.  It's so sad that she has to learn live with this too, at such a young age she understands that this was our baby, and baby went "bye bye". 
It was pretty cold, so we came home and had cupcakes. We sang happy birthday and talked about how very different this day would have been if he was here with us to celebrate.

Evelyn thoroughly enjoyed one of her brother's birthday treats :)

Later, we were joined by a few family members at the cemetary to see Gabriel's tree lit up. 

Overall, the day was good.  We felt love, we felt warmth even in the chilly Minnesota weather.  We spent the day reflecting on those moments we spent with Gabriel and all the moments since. 
We miss you little man, we love you and we'll never ever forget you.

Friday, December 7, 2012

29 weeks 2 days pregnant, L&D, & approaching Gabriel's brithday.

Appointment Update

Had my 28 week appointment last week (I was actually 27 weeks 5 days). They did a growth scan beforehand and everything looks good.  In fact, baby A has picked up a couple days. 

Baby A had a heartbeat of 140 bpm, he's measuring exactly 27 weeks exactly and is about 2lbs 1oz (32%). So he's now 5 days behind our due date instead of 7.

Baby B had a heartbeat of 152bpm, he's measuring 28 weeks 1 day and about 2lbs 9oz (56%) and is ahead of our due date by 3 days.

I was not happy with the doctor I saw this time. There's 5 in the practice and whichever one is on call when I deliver is the one that will come in.  I've only seen 3 of the doctors now, 2 I like - this one not so much. She did nothing but sit there and tell me I'm gaining too much and everything else I'm doing wrong. Without going into detail, the second half of my appointment was not good.  I've gained 30 lbs total so far in this pregnancy. At week 28 I don't think thats bad. My doctor said to plan on 45-50lb gain by the end. Given that I only have 10ish weeks left, I think 30lbs isn't bad at all and not far off from that target weight.  This doctor said I should only be gaining 40lbs total.  (um, ok, I gained 35 with each of my singletons, how on earth am I only alotted 5 extra pounds when there's an entire second baby in there??). Given some of the things she said and didn't do  (she did nothing, no measurements or anything) I'm just blowing that appointment off and patiently waiting for my next one.  I like this next doctor I'm seeing. Then after this I'll be seeing my main doctor for the rest of my appointments - Yay!

I'll start seeing the dr every 2 weeks now. My next appointment is already this coming Monday. Time is flying by quick, I can't believe I'm already into bi-weekly appointments. My next ultrasound is the day after Christmas, then after that they want to do growth scans every week to check on the babies... That seems like a lot to me so we'll see what happens.

My goal date right now is to make it to 35 weeks (which is right around January 15th).  That's next month!  Just over 5 more weeks and I've reached my goal!  After that I'm shooting for February 6th (38 weeks).  Here's to hoping babies stay put for awhile yet! I'm not ready for two newborns in just 5 weeks!

A trip to Labor and Delivery.

On Friday (November 30th) I had noticed that my normally very active baby B was being unusually quiet. I didn't worry too much because I know babies have lazy days too and figured he was just having some quiet time.  While at work Friday night I started to worry some. It had been at least 12 hours since I really felt him move around and that was very abnormal for him. Remember, this is the baby that drives me crazy because he moves around so much!  By the time I went home, went to bed and woke up multiple times, I got myself worked into a panic.  It was 24 hours and still nothing. This is far to close to Gabriel's birthday for comfort.  Even Derrick was begining to panic. I had been downing juice, sugar, pop, candy, and resting, I was doing everything I could to make him move - nothing was working. After a quick call to my doula, and a quick call to my mom to come get Evelyn,. we made a trip into labor and delivery.  They hooked me up to the monitors, found both heartbeats and had may lay there flat on my back for 1 full hour. We were listening to all the movement going on in there - only some of it I could feel (now thats wierd haha).  Everything is fine, both babies sounded great.  The assumption is that Baby B just switched positions on me so now for some reason I don't feel him so much.  The last few days though, he has been kicking up a storm in there - he seems to be back to his old self.

Gabriel's birthday.

Its crazy to think we're already almost here. Almost to Gabriel's 1st birthday.  Its been a rocky road the last week or so, hormones are flying high and emotions are too.   We haven't planned a memorial or party or anything this year. It doesn't feel fitting.  His funeral was small and personal and his 1st birthday will be too.  Thats not to say we aren't doing anything, because we are. Just us.  (that'll be its own post). 

I had some stress with work, for awhile they weren't going to let me have this weekend off easily.  I was really stressing out about it, after standing my ground though they figured it out.  Now I can spend this weekend with Derrick and Evelyn and focus on what I need to be thinking and feeling.  I think its going to be crucial that I am able to just feel as I need to and not feel like  need to mask it for a guest or fellow employee.

Well, I guess that's a long enough update.  I'll post again after Gabriel's birthday and show you how that went for us.