more twin belly shots 32 weeks

32weeks2

YAY!  I finally downloaded my free gimp tool (It is litereally called gimp,  which I think is funny, but it is the awesomest and totally FREE photo editing or just graphic editing software ever) so I could rotate my pictures and make them pretty!!

Just one day away from “preterm”

One day away from 32 weeks.  32 weeks means the twins would be defined ‘preterm’ vs ‘early preterm’.  Plus, if they are on the heavier side (which they are),  they’d be pretty healthy.  Of course, I’m not anticipating going now.  I’d really like to make at least 34 weeks so that I can use my hospital.  My guess on the babypool game was April 16th… we’ll see how that goes.

I finally got around to talking more details about the nursing/milk supply concepts with the guys.  Plenty of surros pump and deliver milk to the babies they birthed.  I was very committed to nursing my own children so in theory I’d want to be able to help these boys with milk.  The problem is reality and my ability to produce milk for a pump.   My body just does not respond to a pump the way it does to actual nursing.  I know there is no way I’d be able to supply milk via strict pumping to TWINS for anything over, say, 3 -4 months.  Beyond ability, I don’t really want to have to spend time at work pumping so if I’m only planning a couple weeks off, that means a very limited pumping timeframe. 

The other side of that is that I’ve been through having to allow my milk supply go with no baby to nurse.  It was very traumatic due to obviously different circumstances.  Knowing that you’ve got this milk that a baby could use and you aren’t giving it to a baby is emotionally draining to me.  At the time, I’d have been willing to pick up babies in the grocery store and just start nursing them.  Having nurses and lactation consultants call me from the hospital asking how nursing is going both helped and hurt at the same time by providing a painful reminder and yet an oddly humorous relief.  How is nursing my dead baby going?  Well, it’s pretty rough seeing as she is buried in a coffin and digging her up every 3 hours is a lot of work and her latch is miserable.  No, I didn’t really say that.  If I had though, I’m pretty sure the poor nurse would never have made that mistake again.

Anyway, my point is that I KNOW I won’t like the initial timeframe of having milk and not sharing it.  My ideal would be to nurse and even pump a bit right in those first couple of weeks and then to allow it to tapper due to not consistantly pumping through the next two weeks.  Part of that ideal would be simple closure and the ability to see the pregnancy come to a full end with nursing and then seeing the babies go off to their home.  Even just the act of trying to see if I even could manage comfortably latching on two babies at once and the experience seems to be part of the dream of being pregnant with twins.  I also have a need to get my uterus to shrink back down and nursing does a hell of a job with that.  All things considered, my history, emotions, physically, everything, not having those few moments will not sit well with me.  Really all things considered though, I’m not the only member of this village making these babies. 

As it turns out, the dads are not comfortable with me nursing the boys… at all.  I’m OK with that as they are allowed to feel however they want to about their own boys.  I’m OK with that to the same extent that I expect to be OK with being a bit let down about that.  Que sera, right?  I’m reserving the right to hope that just maybe after the boys are here and P and J see that they are REALLY their boys and there is NOTHING that could take them away from them or change that ever… maybe then they will change their minds.  I know once Gavin (my first born) was here there were a lot of things that I changed my mind on.  I was dead set on having the baby spend every single moment in my room, hell, in my arms, while at the hospital.  The nursery was for those really crappy parents that were circumcising and STD vaccinating the newborn and not nursing and not cosleeping (which also didn’t work for us) and eye gouping and, ya know, voting republican.  (If I did not manage to offend you just now, please let me know and I’ll try to fit that in with the next post.) Once Gavin was here and I had been up all night giving birth to him and then up all the REST of the night and the rest of the next day trying to nurse this 9 pound 7 ounce baby that was intent on causing blisters and nipple trauma ASAP after birth or CRYING at me for putting him down… once that happened I found myself calling in a very nice looking nurse to take away to amazing nursing gigantor baby and give me a moment to SLEEP.  So see, just maybe they will change their minds.  Stranger things have happened.  If not, I’ll still manage.

Some things that I have some more control over – we’re going to see if we can get a regular L&D bed into the OR if they are going to force me to be in the OR for delivery.  Then we could pull in the squatting bar.  I’m not certain this is going to work for me or that I’d even be able to try using it.  I’d like the option though and it would make me feel more in control of the whole “OR” thing and help ease my anger at being pushing into something I don’t believe in.  I also found out that my doula actually thinks I’d be able to get them to do a Csection without the sheet hung that would prevent me from seeing what happens… in case a section ends up being needed.  That would be good because as dumb as it sounds, the majority of the reason I would be really upset about a section would be that dumb sheet keeping me out of the action.  Hell, if they’d let me I’d want to be the one to pull those babies out of my uterus in the section.  All the same, we’re all still hoping for a head down baby A!!

Now I just have to see if I can find a way to get comfortable in these horrible chairs in the training room at work so that I stop having contractions and a really tight belly after a hard day in the training room.  I’m honestly tempted to claim bad seating options as a valid reason to head home early and catch the rest of this class online.  That and I can’t get my feet up anywhere and they are swelling like mad due to this.  Ick.

41 weeks today!

Or, at least, that is what I’m measuring.  While I have never actually been 41 weeks before, I’m not certain if I have ever measured 41 weeks before.  It is certainly on the outer limits.  10 weeks ahead though, that is impressive.  My OB said his biggest twins ever were in the 7 pounds each range.  I’m wondering if I could break his record.  He has been practising for a LONG time so I’d feel pretty spectacular to do so.  The trouble is, I’m quite certain that ‘spectacular’ isn’t how I would define how I’d feel physically to be carrying around twins where each were all that much over 7 pounds each.

Good news is that I didn’t gain 10 whole pounds in the last month!  Ya, it was 8.  I should probably update my ticker on this site for that but I don’t really feel like it.  214 is getting way too close to 229… who’s placing bets on if I’ll go over that or not?  I feel a bit less guilty knowing that there is a fair amount of feet/ankle swelling.  What are the odds that I can give birth to two 20 pound babies?  Part of the issue is the passing of Valentines day.  I have to admit that eating some chocolate then set off my ‘hunt and gather’ instincts for MORE chocolate.  Um, that’s unfortunate.  The withdrawals for that are no fun.  It is also harder for me to stand around in  the kitchen to cook so we as a family aren’t eating as well as I wish.  Yes, my husband does cook well but his focus isn’t exactly ‘how many veggies can I fit into this meal?’

Anyway, the appointment was nice and boring with nothing really spectacular happening.  We are still sitting at weekly NSTs and in two weeks we will have another US to judge size and such.  Then ‘near the end’ (according to my OB this is ~35 weeks) we will get one last US to see who is head down.  He seems convinced that anyone that is head down at that point will remain head down until birth due to lack of room.  I think maybe he is not taking into account the fact that these boys don’t seem to mind shoving body parts into tight uncomfortable spaces.  Either way, I’m hoping for head down baby A.

Break will be over soon here in our session at work.  I should sign off.  I do have to admit, I don’t like having to pay attention at work much these days.

Feb 23rd – Anily’s day

Today would be Anily’s 6th birthday.  Normally on her birthday, I take the day off to put together a little gift for her and get some flowers and a card to leave at the grave site.  Ft Snelling doesn’t allow anything other than flowers and even there they are pretty strict so they collect anything else you leave there and donate it.  This is fine with me as I’d rather think of anything I get her being ultimately donated and used rather than just sitting at her grave site until I had to go clean it up.  Anyway, due to a big upgrade at work and some other things, I was not able to take today off.  This is the first day since she was born that I will miss.  I think I’m OK with it though.  I’m actually thinking I can wait until her burial date and head out to her grave site with the gifts then… it will be warmer and hopefully not as snowy then.  I plan to grab a cake on the way home today and we’ll sing happy birthday to her at home tonight.

When we first lost Anily, Kris’s grandmother shared a story about a little one that she lost during birth.  It really touched me on her emotional attachment to the little one that she lost and how long it had been since she lost him.  Actually, it kinda scared the crap out of me if I’m really honest.  I didn’t LIKE feeling as completely horrid as I was feeling right after Anily died and the idea that I would feel her loss as vividly 80 years down the road as I did just then was akin to hearing that I was going to be that freak that lost a baby and couldn’t ever get over it for the rest of my life.  I mean, I loved that she shared about her son and it felt good to hear that I wasn’t the only person in the world to experience such a loss so I was glad to have talked with her about it… it was just so damn sad.

Now, 6 years after the fact, I can see a little bit better where she was coming from.  I am passionate about how I miss Anily still.  I can easily cry about her (Although that may be because I can easily cry at Folgers commercials too) and she is and will always be a part of our family.  That said though, it isn’t so critically SAD as it was at first.  Crying isn’t all bad, really.  Loving her isn’t a bad thing.  It certainly doesn’t take away from just plain living my life or anything.  I guess you just get used to it.. something that is always there.

I do have to say that I was worried about being hugely pregnant over her birthday.  Last year right at her birthday I had plans to drive to a friend’s house for the evening.  It wasn’t a big deal but for some reason I had a LOT of anxiety over it.  I was really nervous about the drive and I was totally convinced that something was going to happen and I’d be in an accident and leave my kids.  It was really irrational and frankly, scared me a great deal.  That kind of thing is quite out of the ordinary for me and the fact that it was happening suggested that maybe it really WAS a premonition of some kind.  Well, I was talking with a co-worker of mine before leaving for my friend’s house and I kind of jokingly shared how nervous I was to drive.  He pieced together the connection of the date and losing Anily and my anxiety and wow – that was a huge revelation to me.  To think that my brain had worked like that and it had never even occurred to me to connect the two.  After pointing out the reason for my anxiety, I was much much better.  I did, in fact, make that drive and obviously nothing bad happened that night.

This year, I was awake last night at 3:30 AM which is about the time that I woke up with Anily leaking very bloody amniotic fluid.  I was awake because Asher was calling for me (not too uncommon, hopefully he will get better sleeping habits soon.)  I wasn’t worried or anxious about this pregnancy like I thought I might be with the timing correlation.  Mostly because they were moving around really well, although I hadn’t been thinking my concern would be exactly rational.  Then, I had the NST that is regularly scheduled Mondays which also provided reassurance through the day.  Overall though, I just don’t feel that… emotional… about today.  Odd, really.  6 years though, that is getting out there and these things ebb and flow I’m sure.

Well, happy birthday… or… happy stillbirth day, I guess, to my very missed little girl Anily.

31 weeks and YES, I’m sure there aren’t 3 in there.

If  it is possible, I think these boys are riding a bit lower than they were.  It is hard to tell because in order to ride ‘lower’ per say, they’d have to have somewhere ‘lower’ to go and I’m not certain they do.  Plus, they’d have to not be in my ribs and trying to practise manual heart compressions from the inside at the same time.  Maybe they are just getting bigger.  It’s just that I feel like I’m doing kegal exercises every time I stand up just to keep them on the inside.  If I wasn’t at just 31 weeks (and yet, YAY, 31 weeks!) I’d be more OK with this. 

At 31 weeks, the babies start putting on ~1/2 pound per week.  That means ~1 pound per week of JUST baby.  Considering they are by now at about 4 pounds each…. yikes.   All things considered though, I’m feeling pretty darn good.  I mean, as long as I don’t try to walk for long and I have no reason ever to touch the floor or try to see my feet.  Speaking of which, I’m nervous about them swelling lately.  It isn’t bad, but I’m hoping it stays that way and I’m figuring it probably won’t.  If I get warm (which happens too annoyingly often even though MN seems to want to get freezing cold again) then I have to work at spinning the rings and the watch but I’m still thinking that having them fit OK at 31 weeks with twins isn’t too terribly bad.

I found out that my clinic is charging me twice for just about everything I do.  Two babies, ya know.  This is a bit aggravating as they are not literally doing two full sets of everything they do.  Even the ultrasounds, which I’ll admit take longer and they SHOULD charge more for twins, are not flat out doubled.  I do, afterall, still only have one cervix. It’ll be interesting to see how they charge for the birth.  It does make things add up fast.  A $250 ultrasound turns into a $500 ultrasound.  Makes me glad there aren’t 8!  How many $2000 ultrasounds do you think she had to get in a week anyway?  BTW – those eight were born at 31 weeks, just where we are now.

Like sands through the hourglass…

How do they grow so fast???  No, I’m not talking about the twins, although I COULD be.  I’m talking about my own kids.

While running out the door last week, I got THE call.  The phone call from PACT charter school to tell me that Jessica won a lottery spot into their kindergarten where there was ~ a 10% chance of winning.  YAY!  Now, you aren’t even allowed to tour the school unless you’ve been offered a spot so I didn’t know much about it beyond the fact that it is IMPOSSIBLE to get in.  I scheduled a tour and ramped up my investigation as I only had a short while to take or leave the offer.

Kindergarten class size?  18 kids.  Nice, but they only bus the kindergartners one way.  You have to provide transportation either to OR from school.  This is because they only have half days for the kindergartners and they don’t pay for busses in the middle of the day.  Yikes.  As a working mom, this is tough to hear.  I wish they’d have a van or something that we could opt to pay for to cover this part of the day.

Anyway, we’ve made the choice to go for it so now we just have to figure out car pooling options and what not.  Maybe I can find someone that wants to make some cash mid-day by driving Jessie for me.  Hopefully someone with a CLEAN driving record.  Jessie is a little nervous but I think the half day option will be nice for her. 

Asher is no longer sleeping in his crib.  As of last night, we took it apart.  It was getting late so all we managed to do in setting up his new bed was to put the mattress on the floor but we’ll get that frame in there today.  Asher was very excited about the whole process until he ran into his room after carrying small crib parts down to the crawl space and realized that there was no more crib in his room.  He looked around and got this face like he was going to cry himself into a puddle and asked where his crib went.  Once we got the mattress on the floor with all his blankets and his pillows he was happier. 

Bedtime itself was not ideal with the new bed but it also wasn’t really any worse than it has been lately.  We’ve had the side down on Ash’s crib for a long time and he’s been able to get in and out himself.  There was a small trauma moment when he apparently couldn’t find his little satin pillow because it had fallen off the mattress but that was resolved.  I went in to check on him later at night and he was sleeping on the floor next to his bed so I just moved him back up.  Maybe it was better that he didn’t have the bed to fall out of???

It is so crazy to look at newborn pictures of Asher.  (The others too, but I think with your youngest you always have issues.)  I still think of him so much as my baby but THAT is a baby.  It makes me think of these twins.  People ask often enough about ‘How’s it going emotionally?’  Very hard question to answer.  Mostly it is hard because there is a right answer and a wrong answer no matter HOW you really are feeling.  If a surrogate says that she thinks it will be hard to see the babies go in any way, shape, or form, she’s considered naive and ignorant to have signed up to BE a surrogate.  At least, I get that impression a lot.

The truth is, there are many sides to this (like most) situations.  I am excited to see P and J get excited.  I am glad to be helping them with a family.  I am also GLAD it is THEM and not ME that has to take care of these boys.  Not that I wouldn’t want twins – I’d have LOVED any of my kids to be twins.  (Well, not Asher.  When I was pregnant with him I really could’ve only handled ONE more child.)  No, but with 3 kids and an already busy house, I just can’t see fitting two more boys into the mix.  At least, not without getting hives.   I’ve never NEVER looked at it as giving ‘my’ babies to anyone so there isn’t that.  The honest truth though IS that babies are adorable.  They are squishy and cuddly and baby-like and I’ll never have another one.  Watching mine grow so fast drills that into me.  I’m all done with ever having another baby and that part does get me a little sad.  THUS, when these two are born their not-mine-adorableness  WILL tug at my heart a bit – not for keeping THEM – but for just babies in general.  It will be brief.  Then I will roll over and sleep on my stomach and stay asleep ALL NIGHT LONG! LOL!

All the same, I may be sad in the days that follow re-facing the fact that there will be no more babies for us.  Strange that – that you can be so totally SURE that you do NOT want any more children but those babies have SUCH a pull.  P and J will just be at home pacing back and forth while patting wide awake baby backs and singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star for the 200th time and trying to avoid slipping just a TINY bit of wine into those baby bottles just thanking their lucky stars that they didn’t get EIGHT!  🙂

30 weeks with twins

We have now hit 30 weeks officially.  It will be interesting to see where this twin thing goes from here.  The belly is absolutely huge at this point, in fact, as I sit here in my bed in the morning with my laptop it is hard to reach the keyboard to type!

This is drill weekend for the hubby so it means a weekend on my own at the house.  Those are pretty tough these days as 3 kids can do an amazing amount of damage in one weekend to a house and I simply cannot keep up with them.  Not to mention how far behind we’ve managed to get in laundry.  Ahhhh domestic bliss, right?  To top it all off, Asher has discovered the magic of getting out of his crib on his own.  He’s been able to do this for a long time but he is just now doing so whenever he feels like it.  Time for a regular bed I guess, although that won’t fix the nap issue.  I really REALLY hope he takes naps this weekend.

You will be happy to know that I managed to discuss the iron topics with my OB (at least, the ones that I couldn’t find answers to on the internet) and I’m feeling better about it.  For one, I can easily take 200% of my daily allowance of iron now since I’m pregnant with twins.  That helps with the “I can’t do anything more” part.  I also learned that it can take 4 weeks before any iron you take will show up in a hemoglobin test SO, the Floradix that I started taking about 2 weeks ago CAN still be helping, it just wouldn’t show up yet.  When you take the ‘for nothing’ out of the ‘why am I doing all this work and discomfort for nothing?’ whine, it makes it all not nearly so bad. 

I’ve also had to change all my NSTs to Monday when my OB is actually in the office.  As it turns out, all of the other OBs in his office are tards, but I knew that already.  They tried to tell me that a TOTALLY non-reactive NST strip where the babies didn’t even move AT ALL during the entire 20 minutes and had NO accelerations was “beautiful” and that I was done and should go.  Um, no… that’s not exactly how it works.  I mean, when I think about all the stories I’ve heard from people I know that have had potentially very bad situations caught because someone was really paying attention – it just makes me want to vomit all over the BAD OB staff that aren’t concerned enough to put in the extra effort to just do things right. 

Before I get too far into my rant, know that the babies are and were fine, they were just sleeping.  I wasn’t even worried about them just then – I just wanted the staff to say I’d stick around a bit longer for them to wake up so we could get a conclusive NST.  I refused to leave until we had an actually reactive NST strip which we got not too long after when the boys woke up (and holy crap did B wake up!  His heart rate was going over 200 at times!!)   The end result is simply that I don’t trust the other OBs to read the NSTs, however I’ve known these other OBs since Jessie was a fetus and I’ve never once been impressed by a single thing they’ve said or done so it isn’t a big loss.

At work I’m getting a lot of “You’re still here??” already.  Cripes people, I’m 30 weeks today.  They know I’ve got twins.  I can only assume they mean that I’m clearly superwoman for continuing to get up and walk around at this point and NOT that they are shocked I haven’t given birth.  So far though, there’s been no reason to quit work.  Work is WAY easier than home life.  If I could sit on my butt at home and move the kids and the laundry and everything around with the mouse I’d totally be set! LOL!

Well, I’ve hit the snooze button enough times, it is time for me to actually get up and ready.  The biggest challenge of any day is ahead: find clothes that fit.  Wish me luck!  Also, please go fill out the twins’ birth guesses PUH LEEEESE???  It’s only fun if people play along.