I'm officially 31 weeks and 3 days today! We're so close to the safe zone in the world of preterm deliveries. I've been told that if you HAVE to have a preterm baby, 32 weeks is as early as you want. I believe that these little buggers are snuggled in until at least 36 weeks. That's MY goal...no NICU whammy, no NICU whammy, no NICU whammy.
The good news is that they're both head down, and have been for about a month and counting. That increases my chances of a vaginal delivery without intervention. My doc is willing to do a version or deliver breach, but we'd all be happier if it could just go easily and normally. 4 weeks and 4 days of no change are all I'm asking for here. I feel optimistic!
I've been a little lax about posting recently. I've been really tired, and because of this, having a hard time thinking of fun things to share. We've just been chugging along at getting the babies' room ready, and I've had a lot of appointments for babies recently. We've reached that point in the pregnancy where I go every week to measure my cervix and monitor babies. I start with my weekly non-stress tests on Thursday (at the 32-week mark!!!) to make sure the babies are co-existing well these last weeks of pregnancy. I can't imagine it will be difficult to get a good reactive strip since it's Fight Club in there 20.25 of the possible 24 hours available.
In other good news, my cervix has remained 4-5 mm for the past month. I may have been a little rushed in pointing fingers towards my giant tayta for being responsible for my disappearing cervix. I can say this with great certainty because my tayta continues to grow in size and weight, along with my babies (all three are a little heavier than 4 lbs each, based on some rough measurements...the babies by a perinatologist and my tayta by my best estimate), while that blessed little slice of tissue remains at 0.2 inches. I asked my midwife about how realistic it would be to postpone induction until closer to 39 weeks (my doc is insistent that twins don't go beyond 38 weeks), and I believe she was doing everything in her power not to laugh at me and point out the obvious...I have 0.2 inches of tissue (and slightly heavier than 4 lbs of tayta) separating 8 lbs of baby from my arms, and more than 4 weeks to go before said 8 lbs of baby should be IN my arms. Again, though, I'm feeling optimistic.
As you can see, I've garnished this post with belly pictures. I took one from each side so you could see each baby. The top picture is baby boy, the bottom picture is baby girl, and the middle picture...well, is both. Baby girl has given me my first pregnancy-related stretch mark. So, naturally, baby boy is already my favorite. I love how I always choose laundry day and my finest sweat pants as appropriate back-drops and attire for picture-taking.
This weekend has been one of those feels-like-you're-doing-exactly-what-you're-supposed-to kind of weekends. Every moment has been awash in smile-inducing endorphins, and I've felt like every second's sole purpose was to tell me "I told you so"... and I've been at peace. When a person makes the decision to completely change directions (especially away from one that pays money for hours worked and instead moves towards one that reimburses in hugs, kisses, and hieney wipes) there's a certain amount of anxiety that is innate. When those moments of calm and relaxation come (particularly at times that would normally be stress-inducing like shopping or when in the car for longer than an hour a day...both of which described yesterday), you can't help but feel at ease with your decision, and grateful for those that encouraged you to make the change. Today was definitely a rare stay-at-home-mommy-while-pregnant-with-twins zen day!
What did we do today? Well, we started off the day with a trip to Ithaca to buy veggies from my favorite off-season vegetable marketplace, Eddydale's. We then went to one of my favorite consignment shops, Mama Goose, to check out a twin portable crib, which we didn't end up buying. We did, however, find a great tray for Lucia for our living room picnics, as well as one of two Bumbo's we'll be purchasing. Off to lunch, where we did something very un-Hilary. For those of you that know me on a more personal level, you all know that I'm not a huge fan of restaurants. We don't do "fast food" or "food chains", although I'm comfortable with Panera because they buy local when possible and purchase produce the rest of the year from something other than the Sysco truck. (As a general rule, I put nothing in or on my body that is purchased from the back of a truck...a good rule that I believe all should abide by). However, the hubbs had a gift card to Five Guys, and since we had just spent money on groceries and twin items, the use of a gift card seemed like a good financial decision, even if I felt like we were about to sell our souls to the marketing devils. As we pulled into the parking spot and got the girls out of the car, every ounce of me knew I was making a decision that I would carry with me for a long time, literally and figuratively! We ordered bacon cheeseburgers for mom and dad and grilled cheese for the girls (my girls aren't big burger eaters...this was not me being an overbearing mom not letting my children experience all the disgusting and overindulgent aspects of commercial life. I promise!), and of course both cajun and regular fries (if you're going to do it...do it big right?!?). Holy. Crap. I've never enjoyed abusing my internal organs or ignoring my morals and principles more than I did while eating those two giant, fried, non-local, non-grass-fed, non-sustainably-raised burgers smothered in pesticide-infused sauteed mushrooms, onions, and out-of-season lettuce and tomato, dripping with high-fructose-corn-syrup-heavy ketchup and mustard. And the thick-cut pickles...oh the pickles! I didn't even care that the potatoes were lined up along the lines of people waiting to order their early deaths on a fantastically buttered roll (for all to touch and breathe on) or that the healthiest thing I ate during that lunch was mustard. It was amazing. The fries were incredible. We had so many left over that I cooked them to go with our pork tenderloin for dinner. This morning, I'll confess my intestines are questioning my decisions, but I maintain that the decision to eat sin friend in it's own fat was a good one.
(That's the actual meal I ate yesterday! And yes...I managed to push the twins out of the way long enough to fit the WHOLE thing in my stomach!!)
Today we pick out the paint for the twins' room. We're getting my favorite color of all time; Tigger's Tummy. It's a fantastic yellow that just makes you feel like the sun lent you a little of it's brightness to share with your walls. The girls are excited to help us paint. I then need to get down and dirty with my sewing machine to do curtains. I have fabric for two rooms, in addition to the twins', that I've been putting off for some unknown reason. Yup...it's definitely a stay-at-home-mom kind of weekend! The rain and chill in the air can really work their powers to encourage a mom to get going on around-the-house projects!
I've mentioned it before, I'm now currently pregnant with twins; a boy and a girl. I'm 29 weeks tomorrow. For those of you that have ever been pregnant (if you're anything like me), the first pregnancy went by so sloooooooowwwwwly while the second FLEW by without you even noticing, oftentimes actually forgetting you were pregnant. Now, I'm not sure how many of you out there have ever had a twin pregnancy, but that experience actually stops time and shows it how to move backwards. Especially when that twin pregnancy involves a cervix that is almost as tired as the woman carting it around while working full time nights, taking care of a 20-something-month-old and a 3-year-old when getting home. In four weeks, I've lost an astronomical amount of my cervix. On Monday, at my prenatal, my itty-bitty, teeny-weeny, yellow-polka-dotted cervix is down to 5 mm...that's a meager 1/2 inch, when it should be greater than 25 mm or 2.5 inches. (Disclaimer: I can neither confirm nor deny the actual shade or pattern my cervix adorns due to the inability of the medical technological field to create a color sonogram. However, I'm reasonably certain that if cervices had colors, mine would indeed be yellow and polka-dotted. At times like this we must just go with our guts). I've received my steroid shots and consulted with the neonatal intensive care unit just in case I deliver early, as seems to be the concern. After crying my way through the first few minutes of my conversation with one of the NICU nurses, I decided that having these babies before 34 weeks was just not happening. These guys have made me make a lot of changes thus far in life (quitting my job, building a fourth bedroom in our home, and *swallows bile* getting a minivan), and at this point mama's got to take back a little control. Mother knows best...and mother knows you do not need to be born before 34 weeks!
In my efforts to decrease my risk of preterm labor, I spend 15 minutes each morning visualizing my cervix staying strong and developing kevlar properties. I then spend 10 additional minutes telling my giant tayta (our family's term of endearment for vaginas) to behave itself and stop eating said cervix. (Disclaimer: I can neither confirm nor deny the fact that my giant, swollen female nether regions are indeed munching on my cervix. However, there seems to be an exponential decrease of cervix that appears to directly correspond with an exponential increase in my tayta. And again, we can, at times like this, only trust our gut). I also have constant conversations with my baby boy throughout the day, telling him to move closer to my heart and pull his big ol' fetal head out of my tiny, tired cervix. I totally believe in the ability for a pregnant mother to communicate with her body and her babies, and I completely believe that these little fireside chats are making a difference. I know this for certain because I've lost the ability to eat solids recently and my hernia that sets up camp to the right of my sternum each pregnancy is burning and spreading across the width of my lower chest. No pain, no gain (in pregnancy weeks that is!).
Despite what my perinatologist believes about how resting does not decrease a multiple mother's risk of delivering preterm, I've been relaxing and conducting what I like to call sofa-mothering. Benefits include increased independence and decreased juice intake. They know that if they finish their sippy of juice, it will be refilled with water because that's what they can reach. I buckle with my toddler because she throws some SERIOUS temper tantrums, and let's be honest, there's an underlying sense of laziness one must gain when conducting this type of parenting, and with that comes a lack of desire to listen to a crazy, insane, screaming toddler. I've tried to tell her to go to time out for yelling and screaming, but she doesn't listen (weird, right?), and I have to get up anyway. Why not just get the juice, I reason, because otherwise I'll have to get off my giant tayta and get her out of time out. It's a whole new world for me, I tell you!
Well the moral of the story is, despite my cervical disappearance, I refuse to have these babies before 34-36 weeks. It's just not an option. So, here I am, watching as time (hardly) passes, and begging my lady parts to hang in there and find the determination to show the medical trends what true Italian determination is. So, in your travels, as you're out and about, if you happen to see a portion of my cervix (no matter how small), could you please send it to the address listed in the title of my blog? That would be greatly appreciated. Together...we can make a difference!
I've been contemplating, these last few days, how to reintroduce myself on my blog. SO much has happened in the past few years. Babies were born...both mine and others and I was able to be a part of them all. Another degree was accomplished. Fantastic new jobs were eagerly anticipated and excitedly started. New people were met. Memories were shared and become a part of while others were sadly experienced and mourned. Friends were met and others were waved on. Arguments were made, debates were, well, debated, and lessons were learned. Tears were cried; both happy and sad. A lot of tears were cried. Babies were conceived and grown, along with bellies and thighs and breasts. Decisions were made and life was changed. I guess the best thing to do is just pick up with today and share, when possible, the experiences of yesterday. Welcome back. I hope this is as fun for you all as it is for me.
I just recently resigned from my job as a Labor, Delivery, Recovery, and Postpartum nurse. I missed writing, so I'm cracking open the vaults and am hoping to write on this big guy more often. My big girl, Diva G, is now 3. I'm pretty sure she was a baby when I started this adventure. I don't think Lu-bug even existed at the time I started...so there's a lot that occurred between my last post and today. There's a lot of updating and some really awesome changes. Hopefully I'll take more time to share our journey! So, well, to be continued! See you all later...or tomorrow...depending on how easily the girls head to bed tonight!
So, I've fallen in love again; hard and fast and with every cell of my being. In our nursing program, our nursing teacher gave us each experiences on the Labor and Delivery floor. The second I stepped foot on the floor, I felt like I was home again (in that not-really-home-because-my-house-doesn't-smell-like-amniotic-fluid-institutional-grade-cleaner-and-hospital-food kind of way). I was reminded of what brought me into this program in the first place; ladies' parts, blood, and baby! Not only was I reminded of how much I love babies and mommies, but I also found an answer to a question that had been slowly munching away at the deepest recesses of my mind. Do I really want to be a midwife or do I really want to be an Obstetrician? Did I decide to become a midwife because I was really drawn to the idea of empowering and accompanying women in one of the most exciting journeys in their lives, wanting to be there every second of every contraction, reminding them to breath, and helping them to achieve exactly the labor story they wanted....AND YES! Midwives give drugs!!..., or was I just a coward, afraid to take the MCATs, sure I would end up in some online medical school...or worse...at some Mexican medical school that advertised in bar fliers. Well, we watched a Cesarian Section, and I got my answer. I have NO DESIRE WHATSOEVER to become an OB. I most certainly do NOT want to be a surgeon. It was amazing, and I didn't get sick or anything, but it was so precise, so nerve-wracking. It's the kind of thing that you need to do every time with an underlying sense of fear because the second you get too comfortable you end up leaving a sponge in the wound or accidentally knick the bladder...or something even worse. I don't strive to live my life with a low undertone of fear permeating my professional career.
I realize that, professionally, I may still have to make rounds on a medical/surgical floor, with my only responsibility being emptying bedside commodes and delivering meds, but now I've been reintroduced to the light at the end of the tunnel...the light that hunted me down a year and three months ago, taunting me with it's allure and promise of baby cries and an invitation to attend the purest and strongest example of female achievement. Old people fanny...watch out! Here I come, and I'll be wiping you faster and happier than any other fanny wiper you've had in your life!
There's a huge mix in here! It ranges from mommydom to green thumb. Thanks ladies for giving me great things to read!
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I'm a Registered Nurse that recently took some time off from work to grow my young family. We have two girls that are 20 months apart and twins on the way summer 2012. We make all we can, live off the land...both ours and that of the local farmers...and believe in responsible and sustainable living. This is a story all about how I accidentally found myself in the one job that makes me happier than any other I've had to date!