2/9/16

Twin pregnancy: week 24 in review

How far along? 25 weeks today! Belly measured 32 weeks at my OB appointment 4 days ago!

Weight gain: Still at 167lbs. Same weight for the third week in a row; I guess this is why they say you should gain most of your weight in the first half of the pregnancy! Glad I did. Hopefully I can put a little more on this week!

Now I know ultrasound measurements for babies aren't super accurate, but that said I think my efforts at gaining weight have been paying off because both babies are at above average weights/sizes (for twins) for their gestation! Baby A was 1lb 8oz and Baby B was 1lb 14 oz! In comparison to singleton weights, Baby A is in the 45th percentile and Baby B in the 75th percentile. Awesome!

How are you feeling? Same normal pregnancy stuff as last week (tired, slow, not sleeping well), but very much enjoying this stage. The babies are always moving around and reminding me of their presence. At my appointment on Friday my OB asked me, "Can you feel where the babies are?" I thought she was asking if I could distinguish their position (breech or not) by the placement of their kicks. I was kind of like, "Sort of," but no- she meant could I press on my belly and feel their little body parts? It didn't even occur to me that it would be possible for me to do that yet! She pressed around on my belly for a minute and then John and I were able to put our hands on my belly and feel the small round ball of Baby B's head.

I was completely awed. His little head was slightly larger than a ping-pong ball under my fingertips. Pressing firmly into my swollen belly to discern the curve of that skull I felt almost as if I was pushing through a divine screen from one world to the next. I know there are two baby boys growing inside me, yet feeling the human form of a baby just centimeters beneath my stretching skin... that was incredible. It made this pregnancy real in a whole new way.

Through my years of infertility I had a few women try to comfort me in my grief by saying, "pregnancy isn't really that great." I'm sure every woman's experience is unique and I myself might apply that sentiment to the first trimester when I felt so sick, but.. now? I could not imagine anything further from the truth. Pregnancy is absolutely amazing, breathtaking! I'm grateful beyond description for the opportunity to experience it. It has been all that I hoped for and worth every moment of the long battle to get here!

Noteworthy moments: Another great OB appointment this week. Baby A flipped to head down position which I was thrilled to see! Unfortunately Baby B is now breech. Ha! They switched. I can still attempt a vaginal delivery as long as Baby A is head down, but if Baby B continues to be so much bigger than Baby A, I may not be able to deliver him in a breech position. So now I'm hoping Baby A catches up in size and Baby B flips again!

John and I also had fun painting and getting the nursery ready this weekend!

Well, "fun" might be a bit of an exaggeration. Painting went fine and I really enjoyed sorting through all the clothes etc that we've accumulated for the twins, but there was this six hour project in between those two activities that one could probably consider torture:

Putting together an IKEA dresser.

Now we have LOTS of furniture from IKEA in our house but I cannot remember any one item taking longer than an hour to assemble.

This dresser was another story.

We probably should have known when, at 10am, we opened the boxes and saw THREE GALLON SIZE BAGGIES filled with various nuts and bolts and allen wrenches. Still I thought we'd be done by lunch.

We were barely done by dinner.

Both our hands hurt from all the screw-driver-ing and I had rug burn like marks on my knees from kneeling for so long.

On the plus side, I think I've finally learned to call it a "philips head screwdriver" rather than "the one with a star on it."

Just kidding, I had to ask John what it was called again before I typed this.

Anyway, the dresser looks great and the room is about 80% done. I'll post pictures when it is all finished.

Get a little spiritual: As I feel our babies kick and watch them roll and stretch under the surface of my skin I keep thinking about Psalm 139: 

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.My frame was not hidden from you    when I was made in the secret place,    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;    all the days ordained for me were written in your book    before one of them came to be.



It is right for me to be awed by this process. God is knitting together two of his precious children in my body. I know God's hand is always with me, but this process makes me so aware of his presence because I imagine his hands at work in a very literal way as he puts these children together. It is a joy to be a vessel for his handiwork! 

Bump shot: 

xo

2/3/16

Twin pregnancy: week 23 in review

How far along? As of yesterday I am 24 weeks pregnant! This is a milestone to celebrate because 24 weeks is considered "viability" which means that if the babies were to come now they could possibly survive (with lots of NICU care). Of course we are praying they stay in through 38 weeks, but it is a milestone nevertheless!

Weight gain: The scale still read 167lbs this morning which is the same as last week. Total gain: 28 pounds. This was very surprising to me since John and I went away for the weekend to a wedding and I ate great quantities of delicious food. Guess I must have expended all the calories I took in!

How are you feeling: Still pretty great although I can feel my body slowing down now. This weekend my sister and brother-in-law came to visit; during dinner one night I knocked my water glass over and spilled everywhere. Normally I would have jumped up to soak up the spill but this time I let John run and grab a kitchen towel because I knew by the time I got out of my chair, walked to the kitchen, got the towel, and made it back to the table the spill would have evaporated already. That's probably the best picture I can paint: I feel great but am just slow these days.

Arie loves how slow I am; we normally race up the stairs each night to bed and he now wins every single time. I somehow got ahead of him for a hot second last week and he yelled, "MOM! SLOW DOWN! BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR BELLY!" Ha! He grinned mischievously while pushing by. Little stinker!

Noteworthy moments: I had my maternity pictures taken this weekend! My sister is a photographer in Ontario and I really hoped she would be able to take them for me. As it happened she was in town to babysit Arie while John and I travelled to the Chicago-area for a wedding. When we got back we took advantage of her presence to get those pictures done. I cannot wait to see them! When I get them back I will post them on the blog.

Get a little spiritual: As I reached "viability" this week I have been feeling particularly victorious. In my celebration I remembered a bible study I did a few years ago by Beth Moore on the book of Revelation. The book of Revelation frequently talks about how Jesus overcame sin and death and how we too, through his power, can overcome the trials of our own lives. Our "overcoming" is of course paltry in comparison to what Jesus overcame through his resurrection, yet when we overcome our personal trials and failings we have a certain joy in participating in that power Christ bestows upon us through the Holy Spirit.

I remember Beth Moore saying something along the lines of, "We all want to be overcomers, but no one actually wants anything to overcome."

Isn't that the truth.

This week felt very celebratory as I owned the joy of having overcome a significant trial in my life. It is a small taste of the victory I know I will enjoy for all eternity! And most humbling, I know this pregnancy like my salvation is a true gift: a gift I sought after with all my heart, but a gift that ultimately was given to me through no power of my own.

Bump shot: 


xo

1/26/16

Twin pregnancy: week 22 in review

How far along? 23 weeks today (I had to double check that math after I wrote it. These last few weeks have flown by!)

Weight gain: I'm up to 167 which means I gained three pounds last week! Wowza. Total gain: 28 pounds. This week John took a look at me one evening when he got home from work and said, "I feel like you look more pregnant every day!" I totally agree. It is almost shocking how quickly I'm growing. Most mornings I stand in front of a mirror in awe. This is an amazing process!

How are you feeling: Still feeling pretty good! I continue to be easily winded and wake up 5-6 times each night, but even so I feel happy, healthy, and (relatively) energized during the day*.

*"Day" now = 8am to 4pm.  After that I'm toast. ;-) 

My friends lent me an exercise ball which I hope will help ease some muscle strain I've been feeling in my back and a body pillow which is helping me get more comfortable at night. I love the body pillow but good grief it is an ORDEAL when I need to roll over with it at night. John wakes up with me almost every time because I basically cause an earthquake in our bed. He's so sweet about it though; he told me he doesn't mind that I wake him up all the time because we're in this together. I'm glad he'll never be pregnant because I don't know if I'd be so generous if he woke me up every couple hours!

Noteworthy moments: I had another ultrasound last Friday! The boys continue to grow well. I have my cervical length measured as an indicator of pre-term labour and so far, so good. (Thank you body for finally doing something right. Please keep that up!)

I went into the ultrasound feeling like Baby B had flipped to head down and Baby A was breech... not only breech, either,  but kicking the daylights out of my cervix.

Indeed that was exactly the case! Baby B was head down and Baby A was sitting cross-legged on my cervix. The sonographer laughed, "No wonder you are feeling him so much!" Yea.

Baby A still has time to get into position for a vaginal birth (which I would- probably obviously- prefer over a c-section) but I would of course love to see him go head down sooner rather than later.  I've been putting myself into all sorts of weird positions to try get him out of breech. If you walk into my house and see me hanging off the side of my couch... that's why. The day after my ultrasound I began to feel his kicks higher up on my belly and I no longer felt any down low. I was excited! Unfortunately that lasted two days and now I think he's back in breech position. Come on baby! Turn! 

When I asked, my OB told me that statistically most babies get into their birth position between 28-32 weeks. Since I've got two sharing the space of one, I'd guess they probably run out of space sooner. If you've got any baby-turning tricks let me know! (I already know about Spinning Babies!)

At 22 weeks my belly measured 29 weeks gestation, which is in normal range for twins. Most twin moms measure 8 weeks ahead by the end. For those of you who are into math that means that yes if I make it to 38 weeks gestation I will measure 46 weeks pregnant! Wowza. Still, I hope I make it that far!

Get a little spiritual: I always thought if I could wave a magic wand and pick my pregnancy dates, I would want to be pregnant in the summer. I loved the ideas of wearing flowy summer clothes over my bump, being outside, active, and healthy as my body nourished new life, and living into the sometimes supernatural feeling of pregnancy in the context of long days, shady trees, cold swims, and beautiful sunsets.

Actually that all still sounds great to me.

But truly if I had gotten that summer pregnancy I dreamed about, I would have had a fall or winter baby. That would not have been so wonderful for me as winter is already not my favorite season. Now that I'm expecting spring babies I'm feeling so thankful that I didn't get the summer pregnancy I wanted! Instead I'm looking forward to having my babies when the tulips are blooming, being able to push them in the stroller to the park so Arie can play, and appreciating the early rising/late setting sun to keep me company in my sleep deprived state. John and I will go through the hardest first few months with two newborns in the most beautiful context of a Michigan summer. I wouldn't have picked this for myself but I'm so happy it's what I'm getting!

For that I say a simple, "Thank you God. Amen."

Bump shot: 

xo

1/19/16

Twin pregnancy: week 21 in review

How far along? 22 weeks today!

Weight gain: I'm up to 163lbs, up another 2 pounds since last week. Total gain: 25 pounds. By this week the recommended gain for my starting BMI was between 23-34 pounds so I'm pretty much spot on! Super happy about that.

This week I started to feel big too. Not just in my belly, but all over: arms, legs, face. My wedding rings are even starting to get tight on my hands! I should probably take them off soon so they don't get stuck on me, but I feel naked without them. Maybe I'll buy a cheap replacement band. What did you do when (if) your rings got too tight?

How are you feeling: About the same as last week. I feel pretty great during the day, besides occasional heartburn and being easily winded. At night I have trouble getting comfortable and I've started to have a few bouts of restless leg syndrome. So far taking a warm bath and stretching my legs out seems to help enough. I had restless legs every time we flew to see or came home from seeing Arie, so in a weird way this symptom brings back memories from when I was "expecting" him. Didn't think these two experiences would have any symptoms in common! Ha.

Noteworthy moments: We bought our stroller! I'm like a child in a toy store. So excited! After our second ultrasound, John and I got lunch at a deli and a woman with two kids came into the deli with this stroller. It was the Britax Bready stroller. I knew right away I wanted that stroller! Two weeks ago I found someone selling it on craigslist about an hour away! She only used it 10 times (before her kids insisted on walking everywhere) and sold it for less than half of new. I'm so thrilled with it! Can't wait to walk my babies around with it in May! I posted a picture on instagram if you want to see it.

John and I also got our old playroom/new playroom-guestroom combo basically finished. After reading about how toxic polyurethane is for pregnant women we decided to hold off on finishing the floor (AFTER it was sanded. Fail on our part for not researching sooner!). Instead we bought a big rug. It looks pretty nice despite not being finished! We need curtains and sheets for the bed yet, but once we finish it I'll take some pictures to share. Now that we have a guest space finished we can start on the nursery.

Get a little spiritual: This morning as I was driving Arie to school the sun was rising. The sky looked pink like cotton candy and the tops of some very tall pines were hit by warm yellow rays so bright it almost looked like they were glowing. Arie was amazed by the beauty. It has been cloudy here basically since November; neither of us could remember the last time we saw such a beautiful sunrise. "Mom! Why is the sun doing that?! Why is the sky pink? Why are the trees all bright on top?! Look Mom! Look!"

I'm not glad that it's been overcast here for many weeks nor am I glad I suffered infertility before this pregnancy, but I am thankful for the perspective of awe and gratitude both have given me. Just like Arie was amazed by the sunrise in a way he would not have been if it had been normal and expected, I find myself amazed by this pregnancy. The babies have been moving like crazy this week. Each time I feel them kick my heart grows warm. I can't tell you how many times in a day I think, "I almost didn't experience this. It almost didn't happen." I am incredibly grateful. I am incredibly happy.

Bump shot: 


xo




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