In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Letters to my Babies - Week 19

We are so thankful for this pregnancy! After sharing our journey through infertilty on the blog, I knew I wanted to log our newfound 40 week journey of pregnancy on the blog as well. Not knowing if I’ll ever be able to experience pregnancy again, I have chosen to log our pregnancy by writing occasional letters to our babies. The letters will keep my readers posted on how we are doing each week, but the letters will also be something that our little ones can go back and read, as a reminder of how much he or she was loved from the very beginning of their existence. You can read previous weeks by clicking on the following posts: Week 5, Week 7, Week 9, Week 12, Week 13, Week 15, Week 16, Week 18.
Well, at 19 weeks the two of you gave your daddy quite a scare.  I say your daddy, because for a short time he was pretty terrified.  Surprisingly, I was calm through it all, although there were a few moments where I began to second guess myself.  So here’s what happened……

I woke up at 3:30 Thursday morning to go to the bathroom.  That’s when I noticed that I was bleeding.  It wasn’t a lot of blood, but it was bright red.  I remained very calm, thinking that it was probably just from the extra weight of carrying the two of you.  I had been feeling extra heavy that week and knew that occasional bleeding was not completely uncommon in pregnancy, although it was the first and only time I had bled in this pregnancy.  I hollered for you dad, who jumped up out of bed, saw that I was starting to bleed and began to panic.  He really didn’t know any better.  In his mind, he related bleeding with a miscarriage.  The look of horror on his face was one that I will never forget.  He actually began to cry and wanted to rush me to the emergency room right away.  I calmed him down, showed him that it wasn’t that much blood and told him it was probably just from the weight of the pregnancy.   I knew that anytime there was bleeding, I needed to at least call the doctor for professional medical advice.  I asked Daddy to pull out our pregnancy file and look for the sheet of paper with the number to call the doctor after hours.  We then called the doctor and spoke to the doctor on call, who told us that bleeding was not completely uncommon but as a precaution, he wanted me to come to the hospital to get checked out.  He told us to go labor and delivery, and there would be someone waiting for us when we got there.  He also told us that we didn’t need to rush if it wasn’t a lot of blood. 

From that conversation, I really didn’t think too much about the bleeding.  By this point, I wasn’t even bleeding anymore.  I just thought that we would go see a doctor, do a quick pelvic exam and ultrasound, see that everything was fine and then go about a normal day.  It was about 4:00 a.m. when we got off the phone with the doctor.  I told Daddy to go ahead and get a shower and get ready for work, thinking that as soon as the doctor looked me over and saw that I was fine, Daddy could drop me off at home and still make it to work on time.  That is not what ended up happening.

We arrived at the hospital around 5:00 a.m., where someone was waiting for me with a wheel chair.  As they wheeled me into a room, they had me sign a bunch of paperwork.  They proceeded to have me get in a hospital gown and hook me up to a monitor to measure contractions.  I’ll be honest….at this point I thought they were just fussing over nothing.  For one, I could walk…..I didn’t need to be wheeled in.  Secondly, I knew I wasn’t having contractions and really didn’t feel as though I needed to be hooked up to any machines.   

By 6:00 the doctor came in to see me.  The first thing he did was a quick ultrasound to check up on the two of you.  As soon as we saw that the two you were your normal wiggly little selves, I figured we could go home.  That’s when my doctor said something that I did not find very comforting.  He said even though the babies appeared to be fine, he had about twelve other things he was worried about.  He told us we would be spending much of our day at the hospital and that with a twin pregnancy, we should get used to being checked up on and making frequent hospital visits in the future.  Needless to say, I didn’t really care for this doctor.  That’s probably the only time I got a little nervous, because I really didn’t think that I had anything to be worried about prior to his comment. 

He continued to examine me.  He did a pelvic exam on me, saw that the bleeding had stopped and that my cervix appeared to be long, showing no signs of early delivery.  He still, however, wanted to monitor me for a little while to make sure that the bleeding did not come back.  He also said that he may want to send me to the high risk specialist to do some testing, and he wanted to go ahead and order our 20 week anomaly scan a week early to make sure that there was nothing wrong with fetal development.  After all of those comforting words, he left and I didn’t see him again.  I only saw a nurse who occasionally came in and out to check on me.

At that point, I realized that it was not going to be a normal day.  It became obvious that Daddy was not going to make it into the office by 8:00 a.m.  I sent him out to get us breakfast and to go back to the house to get his laptop, so he could get some work done while we were spending our day waiting at the hospital.  The nice thing about Daddy’s job is that he can work from home if necessary…..or from wherever he needs to work as long as he has access to a computer.  We didn’t have to wait at the hospital too long though.  By 8:45, a nurse came in and told us everything looked fine with me.  The bleeding was probably just common pregnancy bleeding. I was told to keep an eye on it, and if it happened again to call the doctor. 

We were then sent to a fetal development facility clear across town for our anomaly scan.  Apparently, it was one of the only places that could work us in on such a late notice.  It was after 11:00 before my name was called and we could begin the ultrasound.  The anomaly ultrasound is the typical twenty week ultrasound. It is the one where they check every detail of fetal development.  It took them an hour to check both babies.  After such a long morning, we were truly blessed to have an excellent ultrasound tech that had obviously been doing her job for a very long time.  She talked us through every aspect of the ultrasound. She told us exactly what we were looking at, what she was looking for and what was considered to be normal fetal development.  She was very soft spoken, yet so encouraging as she continually told us that our babies appeared to be beautiful and healthy. 

The ultrasound checked out fine and the two of you looked absolutely perfect.  We were able to see very detailed images of the two of you on the screen.  It was the perfect way to end a long morning. To me, your facial profiles appeared to favor Daddy in this ultrasound, but only time will tell.  I cannot wait to see what you look like when you are born.  You are also measuring the same as singleton babies.  This is good for you, but it is going to make for one uncomfortable mama as this pregnancy progresses.  Often twins measure smaller, but the two of you appear to be getting plenty of nutrients and it is literally like having two regular 19 week babies growing inside of me.  That might explain why I have been feeling so heavy lately.   

Baby B

Baby A
Baby A, you had the hiccups during the ultrasound, and I found it to be so precious to see how your facial expressions would change as the hiccups prolonged and were obviously frustrating you.  While both babies were active, Baby B did not sit still at all, and the tech had a very hard time getting pictures for us.  Both of you appeared to be thumb suckers.  This is obviously something you got from your father, as he was a thumb sucker.  Mommy and Daddy have already determined this habit is not cute no matter how cute the two of you are.  If you do come out of the womb sucking your thumbs, it will for sure be something that we try to break you of right away.

Baby B Sucking his thumb
Baby A sucking his thumb
We were also able to see the two of you on the screen together several times in this particular ultrasound.  This was the best part for me.  It appeared as though the two of you would often mirror one another in the womb.  Whatever movement Baby B would make, Baby A would copy.  Most often, we found that you would simultaneously put your hand up by your cheek or your thumb in mouth.  It was certainly precious to watch on the screen.

Baby A on the left with his left hand on his cheek.  Baby B on the right with his right hand on his cheek
After the ultrasound, we were sent home.  We got home around 1:00 pm.  I spent the remainder of my day resting, and Daddy finished his day working from home.  It was quite a day for us.  I have no idea why our day started out the way it did, but we were certainly thankful for the way it ended.  It was just a reminder to us that so many things could go wrong in this pregnancy, yet so far everything has gone just fine.   We are so very thankful that we have not had any serious complications in this pregnancy.  I haven’t had any bleeding since that morning, and hopefully I won’t have anymore anytime soon. 

As I reflect on that day, I recall having an overall peace that everything was going to work out.  I’m so thankful for that peace.  I don’t ever remember panicking or freaking out, and I’m so glad that I remained calm.  As for your father’s moment of panic first thing in the morning…..well, in hind site, I find that to be precious. To me, it just shows how much he cares about me and how much he already loves the two of you.  Some people say that moms become moms when the pregnancy test turns positive, but dads don’t become dads until they hold their babies in their arms for the first time.  I have to say that in our case, that is just simply not true.  I can vividly recall when we saw our first positive pregnancy test, and your dad was right by my side crying tears of joy with me.  He has gone to every doctor’s appointment.  He talks to you and prays for you on a daily basis.  He constantly worries about the three of us, and I guarantee you that if something awful would have happened to the two of you this week, your daddy would be hurting just as much as me, the mama who carries you, because we both became your parents the moment we saw two pink lines on a pregnancy test.  I’m sure there will be no feeling quite like the feeling we have when we get to hold you in our arms for the very first time, but I assure you that from the moment we became aware of your existence, we became your parents and you our children.  There was an instantaneous love for the life that we had created.  There are no words to explain how much we already love you and want to protect you with all of our being.   

Love Mommy

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Letters to my Babies - Week 18

We are so thankful for this pregnancy! After sharing our journey through infertilty on the blog, I knew I wanted to log our newfound 40 week journey of pregnancy on the blog as well. Not knowing if I’ll ever be able to experience pregnancy again, I have chosen to log our pregnancy by writing occasional letters to our babies. The letters will keep my readers posted on how we are doing each week, but the letters will also be something that our little ones can go back and read, as a reminder of how much he or she was loved from the very beginning of their existence. You can read previous weeks by clicking on the following posts: Week 5, Week 7, Week 9, Week 12, Week 13, Week 15, Week 16.

I’m a little over 18 weeks today.  My doctor tells me that 37 weeks is considered full term for twins, so I am considering this week to be my halfway point of pregnancy.  The pregnancy is going just as it should be.  Nothing abnormal, so I have no complaints.  Since I haven’t been to the doctor in a couple of weeks, I do not have an update on how the two of you are doing.  I feel as though my boys are doing just fine though.  My body is certainly showing evidence of the two of you growing inside of me.
My baby bump is getting quite large and uncomfortable, just as it should be with twins.  The extra weight makes for swollen legs and ankles.  I’ve been dealing with the pregnancy side effect of edema for several weeks now, and it is only getting more noticeable as time passes.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to go up a shoe size in the next few weeks, as most of my shoes are already too tight.  I may also have to start wearing my wedding ring on my pinky finger too, as I am having a hard time getting my ring off of my finger at night.  My blood pressure is always perfect when it gets checked, and I am showing no signs of preeclampsia (often occurring in a small percentage of pregnant women after their twentieth week), meaning that all of my swelling is just edema and is a perfectly normal symptom of pregnancy. 

Other than the swelling, my back is sore most nights as well.  Again, it’s completely normal, and I have no complaints.  I don’t plan on being in bed all day, so as long as I am on my feet and staying active, a sore back will be a part of my pregnancy.  I treat the sore back by simply taking a warm bath at night, before kicking my feet up on the couch with the heating pad on low, and then getting a nice back rub from Daddy each night.  It seems to be doing the trick.
I’m also getting over a sinus infection that tried to conquer my life last week.  Let’s face it, pregnancy makes me feel as though I have a cold nonstop.  Last weekend, I found myself at med check at 4:00 a.m. desperate for an antibiotic.  Like most pregnant women, I really didn’t want to take anything, but when Tylenol Sinus and the traditional sinus rinses were not giving me any relief, I found myself at the doctor.  Unfortunately, it took the entire week for the antibiotic to kick in and relief was not instantaneous.  I’m hoping to stay sinus infection free the rest of my pregnancy.

Cravings are also a common pregnancy symptom and until last week, I had not had any pregnancy cravings.  However, last weekend I made Daddy go out and get me Tim’s Donuts early on a Saturday morning.  I just had to have a donut.  That’s the only craving I’ve had so far.  Surprisingly, I haven’t been super hungry in this pregnancy and often have to remind myself it is time to eat.  I keep wondering when I will be the pregnant lady who eats everything in sight.  It hasn’t happened yet.  I’m definitely not getting the 3,800 calories my doctor recommends for twins.  I am, however, getting a balanced diet and do not appear to be having any issues with gaining weight in this pregnancy.  At the rate my belly is growing, I’ll be looking like a giant hippo in no time.
Less than two weeks until our next appointment and ultrasound.  I’m anxiously waiting to see your growth at our 20 week appointment.  There’s much to do for your arrival until then.  We have been diligently working on the nursery since we found out we were having boys.  By 20 weeks, we may just have the entire nursery complete.   We’ve also been seriously discussing names for you, knowing that you can’t be called Baby A and Baby B forever.  We have a few things in mind, and by 20 weeks, I hope to have official names for you.  Until then, know that you are more loved than you could ever imagine.  With each passing week, Mommy and Daddy get more excited about your arrival and can not possibly put into words how very blessed we are to be given the gift of carrying two precious baby boys into this world.  We love you both so much!