Archives for posts with tag: twins

It’s been a looooong time since I last updated this little blog of mine. Many factors have contributed to this: my computer and iPad were stolen during a break-in, being in and out of the house for doctor’s appointments and shopping trips, trying to maintain a home, and, oh, yeah, having twins.

Life with the boys has been a whirlwind of activity. Holy learning curve, Batman! Last week saw their 6-month birthday, and I’m just starting to feel like we’re getting our s together. Again, there are a bunch of reasons life is getting more manageable.

The biggest change in the past couple of months is SLEEP. As in, we’re all getting more of it. We needed a lot of help, though. Up until about 4 months, the boys were pretty good sleepers. I’m still breastfeeding, and they woke up in the night for feeds, maintaining their day schedule of every 3 hours. I didn’t mind this at all, especially because as soon as they were finished eating, they went straight back to sleep. They seemed to understand that it was nighttime. Day time sleep (naps) was a completely different beast. They were inconsistent, sometimes nonexistent, and very rarely synchronized. If they happened, it was in their car seats, on the stroller. The advice of “sleep when they sleep” was laughable: sleep when which one sleeps? How do you sleep when they only sleep in the car? Still, though, I wasn’t complaining. I knew it could be a whole lot worse.

Which, of course, it did.

At Christmas, the boys got sick for the first time with a brutal cough. Just before this, we moved them to separate beds, as they were getting too big to share a playpen and were waking each other up with their flailing arms. This was the point where they were constantly breaking out of their swaddles, so we moved them to GroBags. Lots of changes for two tiny people. Not surprisingly, their sleep took a massive nose-dive. Was it the dreaded 4-month sleep regression, or that huge list of other factors? I was too exhausted to do any detective work, and so at 3:30 in the morning, after a week of the boys alternately waking up every hour to “feed”, I wrote a desperate email to a sleep consultant recommended by a friend. We were all totally miserable.

Then we went to England the next week.

Worst.

Decision.

Ever.

The only thing worse than jet lag is twins with jet lag. Just brutal. There were so many tears from all of us that week.

Arlo adapted after a couple of days, though woke frequently through the nights. Felix, on the other hand, was a total mess. After 3nights of inconsolable shrieking, I gave up on him sleeping in the playpen and brought him into my bed. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough, and continued to shriek every time he was put down. Solution? Boob, of course. I slept without a shirt on and shoved that boob in his mouth every time a peep came out of him. As with anything, it works until it doesn’t. Ugh. He was completely exhausted.

This habit continued when we came home, and couldn’t wait to get started with the sleep consultant.

Upon her suggestions, we separated the boys to start sleep coaching. Since Arlo seemed like the better sleeper, we’d start with Felix. Arlo stayed in our room in the playpen, and for the first time ever, Felix went to bed in the boys’ room in his crib.

I may have shed a little tear.

We’re using a cry it out model with checks every 5 minutes. It’s not easy, I won’t lie, and there have been many (many) moments where I question what we’re doing, what psychological damage I’m causing, and what a terrible mother I am.

But then the most amazing thing started happening: Felix started sleeping. Like, for real sleeping. Consistent, predictable naps, long stretches at nights, waking up just to feed and then sleeping again…

It’s glorious!

The boys now nap at the same time (hence me being able to update this blog), and it’s a total game changer. The personality change in Felix especially, has been crazy to watch. Feisty Felix is no longer, and is now a chatty, smiley little guy who is active and engaged. He still cries, obviously, but not because he’s exhausted.

So now, since I’m suddenly awash with time, expect more updates here!

-Slightly Less Exhausted Family Van.

20140224-120506.jpg

Advertisements

Today marks two weeks since we brought Arlo and Felix home. Everyone says how hard it is being a parent. Yeah…they weren’t kidding. We’ve had some really great days that make me cry tears of happiness, and some really awful days that just make me cry out of sheer desperation. Thankfully, we’ve had a lot more of the former than the latter.

The twins are breast feeding every 3 hours, and the feeds take about an hour from beginning to end. Translation: I have 2 hour chunks through the day where I’m not feeding. Felix has been a pro feeder from pretty early on, but it’s only been recently that Felix has started to figure his shit out. We had to supplement my breast milk with formula in the hospital because the boys had low blood sugar, and have continued to do so to get their weights up. Felix is nearly done with this regimen, replacing the formula with longer feeds. I’ve been pumping in an effort to completely replace the formula “top up” with my breast milk (of which there is TONS–breast pads are essential these days unless I want to pull a Jackie*). The good news: both babies are above their birth weights after two weeks. We’re a little ahead of schedule.

We’re getting there.

I pulled off the steri-strips today that were covering my c-section incision. I have a bad habit of leaving the tape on longer than advised, partly because I think they’ll keep it cleaner, and partly because I’m afraid to see what is hiding up under the tape. My incision looks great–no Frankenstein stitches, in fact, no stitches to be seen. It just looks like a skin fold.

My recovery has been pretty great. Very minimal pain, and even that only lasted a few days and was easily managed with extra strength Tylenol. My one piece of advice for anyone having a c-section: go find really large underwear, then buy the next size up. Look for undies that are described as “briefs”, and make you think they are anything but. Seek out gotchies that are laughably large, that sit comfortably above your belly button. They look totally awful and you will feel more like a seasoned grandmother than a new mother, but trust me, they are crucial.

After a sleepless night, it’s waking up to a sight like the one below that makes me remember how hard we worked to get here, and how in love I am with these two little gaffers. I still can’t believe that they’re mine.

20130831-131626.jpg

-Sleep deprived but for two very good reasons Family Van

*i thought I would be able to find the classic Roseanne clip of Jackie leaking breast milk through her wedding dress, but alas…’tis not to be…

This will be a quick post. We arrived home from the hospital after a 4-day stay. We chose to stay an extra night, more for my own sake than for the twins.

We have two boys: Arlo and Felix, and I am totally in love.

I made it to our scheduled c-section date of 38 weeks, 3 days gestation. The boys were both 5 pounds, 10 ounces each. Arlo was born first and is an inch longer at 19 inches. They’re amazing babies, totally perfect in every way. Any worries about echogenic bowel and missing kidneys are distant memories, and the boys are both eating and growing like champs.

Here’s a picture (Baby A is Arlo, Baby B is Felix):

20130818-160647.jpg

So it’s been a minute since I last reported on my pregnant self. Lots to share!

I’m a few days shy of being 21 weeks, and I’m not going to lie: I’m sad to think that this pregnancy is more than half over. Never in my life have I felt so good, so full of life (literally–HA!), nor have I ever had so many compliments. Pregnancy suits me. I look good, I feel good, and I freaking LOVE this big ol’ round belly. We were at a wedding this past weekend, and rented a hotel room. Upon entry into the room, I stripped down to my birthday suit and proceeded to run back and forth. Pregnant nudie bodies are hilarious, even more so when they’re in motion!

Anyway, let’s back track a little, because there’s been some major events that have gone on. At about 16 weeks, I felt like something wasn’t quite right, and thought it could perhaps be a bladder infection of some sort. I didn’t know who to call, or what to do. Do I go to a walk-in clinic? Do I call my OB? I called my OB, and the nurse told me I could see the doctor if I got there early, so off we went. I was kind of paranoid because my pee hadn’t been tested when I saw him for the first time (a week or two before). When I described the feeling to him, he told me it was probably just round ligament pain, and that I shouldn’t be worried. He listened to the babies’ heartbeats, and I was really happy to see that little machine get pulled out. He stayed on my left side, so we only heard one heartbeat.

But there’s two babies in there…

I think I said something about only hearing one, and he told me you usually only hear one at this stage with twins. “They’re on top of each other”, he said, even though every scan I’d had showed they were next to each other. What was also disconcerting was the fact that a week or two before at our initial appointment, he was shocked to hear two distinct heartbeats.

I held it together until I got into the car, and then…explosion of pregnant lady freak out crying. Sobbing, ugly crying about disappearing twin syndrome, dead babies inside of me, the whole deal. Poor J. He suggested we find an ultrasound clinic and pay out of pocket for an ultrasound to calm my nerves. My anatomy scan was two weeks away, which seemed like a lifetime.

I ate a taco, we bought a car seat, and I calmed down a little.

Sort of.

I waited the two weeks for the anatomy scan, but was still so so so worried that we wouldn’t find two live babies in there. Oh, I should mention, too, that the doctor said something like, “We’ll have to wait to the anatomy scan to see if there’s two” or something like that, though J swears that I misunderstood what the doctor meant.

Anyway, J wasn’t allowed to come in with me at the beginning of the anatomy scan. They’d call him in later. I could kind of crane my neck to see the screen, and saw the 4 beautiful chambers of Baby A’s heart. I got some comfort from this, though it was never A that I was worried about. A is on the left, so that’s who’s heartbeat I heard at the doctor’s.

I had to wait a long time, but ultimately saw the same image for Baby B. Two heartbeats, two beautiful healthy babies.

We got a shit ton of photographs of the babies, including two 3d images of their faces. Baby A looks adorable, but Baby B has a mangled face because s/he was waving his/her arms over his/her face. I have to walk everyone through where the actual face is. I love that I’m the only one who can see it. Sweet little mangled face…

J created a graph to illustrate my nerves vs. ultrasounds. Gotta love engineers…

Idea note_14_01

Here are some photos of the babies. I’ve labelled them in an attempt to make Mangled Face seem a little less so.

Baby A!

Baby A!

Baby B!

Baby B!

 

-The “Still-Pregnant-With-2” Family Van

It’s been a busy couple of weeks around here. Never a dull moment.

This week marks 14 weeks of pregnancy, of which I am so very thankful. This week also marks our first appointment with our OB/GYN. He’s the baby man, so we’ll call him Dr. B.

So because we said hello to one doctor, that means we had to say goodbye to our doctor at the fertility clinic. Our appointment was pretty quick, we got to see the babies again, this time I got a little screen at my head so I had a great view of what was going on. Baby A was crossing its legs–pretty funny to see, and Baby B was bouncing around, as usual. We saw the spines, the hands and fingers, the feet and legs, and best of all, two absolutely proportioned noses. No more beaks on these two! Their crown to rump measurements were smaller than their gestational age by a couple of days, no biggie, but their biparietal measurement was like a week ahead of schedule. These kids are going to have giant melon heads! This should not come as news–my husband and his cousin were famous for their enormous heads. My mum let me know that my brother’s was massive, too. Ouch, is all I have to say about that.

We met with the doctor after the ultrasound and he reviewed the NT results–both babies look great. He gave the shpeel on cord blood banking and thinking about what we want to do with frozen embies, and then walked us out. I was already near to tears (I’ve mentioned the Kristen Bell sloth video on here before, I think, and how this. is. my. life), but put out my hand despite my impulse to hug him.

“Oh, we don’t shake hands at the end of this, we hug”, he told me, and all I could think was, “that’s all I wanted to do!”. I cried a little as he talked to us a little bit more, and felt really kind of sad and alone while leaving the building. Who was going to take care of us all now? We’ve been seeing this doctor on the regs for a year now. He did both my surgeries. We have HISTORY.

Anyway, I pulled myself together and soldiered on.

Then today.

Dr. B works out of the hospital where we’ll be having the babies. The birthing suites are beautiful, and look more like hotel rooms than hospital rooms. The NICU is a level III, though we’re obviously hoping we won’t have to find out how great it is because we’ll have two healthy babies.

It didn’t feel right, though, going to this giant hospital and not being familiar with how things ran there. I felt really uneasy and all I wanted was to be back at the clinic with the doctor I knew and the system that I knew. Sign up for ultrasound, take the number, sign up to see the doctor, sign up for bloodwork, wait and watch the fish.

We were super early to the meeting, so J suggested we play a game on his phone. He didn’t know until I told him after, but I had a little cry while waiting to meet Dr. B.

Update: Dr. B is awesome. He had so much time for us, was relaxed, and we got to hear the heart beats for the first time. No ultrasound, but it was really cool to hear two distinct heart beats. He didn’t think we’d be able to differentiate them, but Baby B is still faster than Baby A.

Now I’m relieved. I know I’m in good hands. He gave us the stats from the NT scan (which we didn’t get from the clinic), and Baby A’s odds were 1 in 1600, and Baby B’s were 1 in 1400. He said these were great results, especially given my age (odds should have been more like 1 in 350). Way to overachieve, babies!

In other news, we started telling people our news. Friends, I mean, family had known forever. I had a major spazz on Sunday, knowing that J was out there spreading the news. Shit suddenly got…real. I was so afraid that something would get jinxed, even though we had waited a good amount of time. It was nerve-wracking. I cried. Obvi.

So that’s what’s happening right now. I’m starting to show a little, I told my class (the story is awesome, but I’ll save it for another time), and most other teachers know now. It’s so nice to not have to hide my expanding belly, and I love how it pokes out in tight dresses.

Now, I’m off to eat some tacos!

-Will Probably Cry Before The Night Is Done Family Van.

12 weeks, 1 day today! Hooray!

We had our NT scan today, which I was super nervous about for a couple of reasons. The first was that I hadn’t seen the babies post-SCH scare, and was more than a little paranoid that something had happened to them between the scan we had two weeks ago and today. The second was normal NT scan fears: what was that magic number going to be?

Turns out, no reason to be nervous on either front. Both babies are doing great and were wiggling around in there like crazy. They’re positioned next to each other, and I guess Baby B is kind of a space hog and kept pushing Baby A over and out of the way. J got a better view of them for most of the appointment, but I saw them a bit, too. Baby A was waving its hand at the beginning of the scan, and Baby B jumped. Funny. Baby A was super cooperative, and had its measurement taken easily. 1.1mm. We’ll take it.

Baby B was not so cooperative, and was giving the ultrasound tech a hard time, wiggling around in all the wrong positions. She got it eventually, and that measurement was 1.6mm. Both well under 2.5mm, so the doctor says we’re in great shape.

We got a clear profile of Baby A, and holy crap, that kid’s got a massive nose! I’m hoping it’s just the angle they got him/her at, because it looks like a freaking beak! Now, I knew big noses were a distinct possibility. I am married to a man who has a big nose (and I think makes him very handsome!), but this is kind of ridiculous!

We’re tossing around the name Cyrano. What do you think?

That is one super sniffer!

That is one super sniffer!

-A Very Happy Family Van

Today was frigging terrifying.

The day started out normally enough, though I didn’t get a seat on the subway and it was so hot in there. I kept taking off layers of clothes, but still felt like I was on fire. The roads were super icy, too, so the bus I take to complete my commute detoured, as the main street was closed due to buses sliding down it. I took my usual bus nap, and woke up thinking, “Where the hell am I?”. I got to school a lot later than normal, but so did a lot of people. The roads were a mess.

Things continued to chug along, and despite an indoor recess due to…snow?…everything was normal. At the beginning of the period before lunch, though, I felt a little gush, like the discharge I used to feel from the progesterone suppositories, but I hadn’t felt that in quite a while. I thought it odd, but that was it. Then I felt another one. Then another one. This continued for most of the 50 minute period, and I started to freak out a bit. What was going on down there? I had to wait until lunch to find out that I was bleeding quite heavily. When I went to the washroom, I also passed two small, but still there clots, and proceeded to lose my mind a little bit. All I could think about was that I was losing my babies, and I didn’t know what to do.

I called J, who was a total superstar during this whole ordeal, and he jumped in a cab to meet me at school. Of course, today would be the day that the roads would lead to major traffic delays, but he got there. I had a hell of a time trying to get a hold of my doctor, but when I did, he told me to come to the clinic.

The cab ride there felt like an eternity, and I worried that I was going to leave a huge bloody puddle on the seat of the cab. I’m pretty sure I didn’t, but I also didn’t check. Once we got to the clinic, we waited for a really long time to see the doctor, at which point he told us to have an ultrasound done, which we waited for, as well. At this time of the day at the clinic, they are running the full pelvic ultrasounds for pregnant women (I’m assuming), so all of the ultrasound rooms were taken, and those exams take a really long time.

I should say at this point, though, that had we gone to the hospital, I probably wouldn’t have even seen anyone by now, 4 hours after this whole ordeal began.

The ultrasound tech who saw me is awesome, and even before I went in, she asked if I wasn’t expecting this. I had no idea what she was talking about, but when we got into the ultrasound room, she showed me on my chart that they had found a small subchorionic hematoma (SCH) on my last ultrasound. My doctor hadn’t mentioned it, likely because it was so small he didn’t think anything would come of it. The tech assured me my babies were going to be just fine, and bet me I’d be giving her a hug after she was finished the ultrasound.

She got her hug.

The babies are both fine, have both grown since Monday’s ultrasound, and everything is okay. The doctor spoke with me and explained that the size of the SCH is maybe the size of two peas, while the pregnancy is the size of a small melon at this point. He’s not concerned, and is quite confident most of the SCH is gone, though I may experience more bleeding over the next week. I’ve been instructed to “rest” (i.e., continue watching Frasier on Netflix obsessively), and not to lift anything heavy. He didn’t like the weight of my knapsack, and I was told I have to start taking it easy, whatever that means.

I’m finally breathing normally again, but holy shit, this was one of the scariest experiences of my life. All I wanted was for those two sweet babies to be okay, and they are. I’m not religious, but I am so, so, so very thankful that today turned out the way it did. I thought for sure this was it, that today would mark the worst day of my life, and it’s overwhelming to think of how lucky J and I are that things are going well.

-So Very Thankful Family Van

 

Today marks ten weeks. Those tiny buddies are growing bigger and stronger everyday.

We had an ultrasound today, and saw baby b moving around. Baby a was spread eagled facing the camera…pretty funny. They’re looking more like tiny people and less like blobby goobers. I’m thankful for this.

So far, everything is looking great. Both babies are measuring at exactly ten weeks. Can’t really beat that. Heartbeats looked good today–171 and 180.

Warning! Poop talk ahead! Not for the squeamish!
In terms of symptoms, I’ve had very little of anything that might suggest I’m preggers. I was super bloated last week, which got me excited over my adorable baby belly–until I had a night of rip roaring farts and a couple of good poops and the belly was gone. No one really warned me about the havoc pregnancy wreaks on your digestive system. Oh my. Constipation is in full effect, and having a poop is pretty much the greatest thing ever these days. My doctor asked what I was doing about it. Uh…waiting? I’m not a big pill popper, so I tend to just ride things out. He suggested I try Colace, which I have done exactly once, as the result was a severely clogged toilet. It was like weeks worth of waste just flowed from me. A bit shocking, really. I’m not feeling ready to open those flood gates again quite yet.
End of poop talk.

I’ve been super tired, but on a weird, weird schedule. I take little naps over the lunch hour, using my mittens as pillows, which inevitably results in Mitten Face. I fall asleep promptly upon returning home, and it’s all I can do to shove some food down my throat that passes for dinner. But then I’m up until 12:00+, which is not normal. Usually, I don’t nap but I’m in bed by ten, eleven at the latest. It’s driving my early bed time husband crazy.

My appetite is off, too. All of the foods I once found delicious are gag-inducing at the moment. I would have taken a good spicy shrimp curry any day, and yet even as I type those words, I feel like I’m going to retch. All I wanted were fish tacos last week, but now the thought of those turns my stomach. Weird.

The nausea is there, though I haven’t puked yet. I’m not generally a puker, though, so I’m not overly surprised that I haven’t experienced this particular delight of pregnancy yet.

Generally, I feel great. People keep telling me I’m glowing, though I’m chalking that up to finally opening up the new thing of bronzer I’ve had sitting around instead of using those little left over crumbs. I’m drinking a buttload of water, too. That probably helps.

So overall, things are awesome. I’m so thankful for two happy growing babies in my belly, for still feeling human through all of this, and for a pretty super husband who has been more than a little neglected. I need to do something kind for him. He deserves it.

Progesterone and Estrace stop next week, which is a little anxiety inducing, but that’s a story for another time. Synthroid dosage is being doubled Monday and Friday, though TSH levels were tested today so that may change.

NT scan booked for February 12th. Won’t see the babies again until then. It’s amazing how much I love little blobby goobers already…

In other news, anyone have any recommendations for twin strollers? I’m thinking Phil and Ted’s Promenade. The Bugaboo Donkey looks like a behemoth, and apparently, we all hate big strollers here in Toronto.

-Full Of Love (and babies) Family Van

This morning, I had my first ultrasound post BFP. I thought I was going to puke from the moment I woke up until the moment I saw the ultrasound tech’s face break into a smile.

I should clarify that I have experienced no real morning sickness up to this point, only mild nausea. The pukiness could definitely not be blamed on that.

We’ve got two beautiful looking blobs growing in my uterus. Two beautiful strong beating hearts, and I am so, so, so thankful that today’s ultrasound turned out the way it did. I know we’re not out of the woods yet, but we’re further out than we were before today’s results.

Both babies are measuring at 7 weeks 1 day, which is exactly where I am pregnancy-wise. Heart rates were right where they should be, at 121 and 130. My doctor said the number was pretty insignificant as long as it was over 110.

I’m back next Tuesday for another ultrasound, and booked in for my NT scan on February 12th. Until then, I’m going to do all I can to make sure these sweet little blobs have the coziest home possible.

Hooray!!

-The Family Van