Friday, June 24, 2011

Jump, jump, jump

Yesterday, I hit the 24 week mark. In the US, 23 weeks is considered the age of viability, a time in which the in utero babe(s) can survive outside the womb. Good to know, especially since I'm carrying twins.

Anyways, this is the second time the midwives and I have been able to hear the babies' hearts beating via doppler. Both babies were moving like crazy. The boy's heart was racing around 170 so long as he was moving like someone was chasing him. When he finally slowed down a bit, his heart rate was closer to his sister's heart rate.

The length of my uterus, from the bottom (where the opening would be) to the fundus is 30 cm. Just so there is a point of comparison, a person with a singleton pregnancy (one baby in the uterus) would be measuring around 24 cm at 24 weeks; for a singleton pregnancy the weeks match the length in cm (someone at 15 weeks would have a 15 cm long uterus; 20 weeks, 20 cm; etc.).

Blood pressure is good. The student nurse reprimanded me gently for not gaining much weight since the last time I was there, less than two pounds of weight-gain. I was flattered that I hadn't gained enough in her eyes; frankly, I'm feeling huge.

At my next appointment, in two weeks, I'll have my blood drawn for the dreaded glucose test. My appointments have moved from every four weeks to every two weeks, instead of the standard every four weeks to every three weeks for pregnancy with a singleton, so they can check to see how the twins are growing.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Vote for Victoria in a Parents Magazine photo contest, please?!

I don't usually repeat blog posts across different blogs, but I thought I would repeat this one, in case I have readers that read only one or another of my blogs. . . Thank you, in advance, for understanding and accepting this repetition.

Parents Magazine*, online, has a cover (photo) contest. I entered four (now five) photographs I took of Victoria. All but one of the ten (in other words, nine) finalists are chosen by a panel of judges. One finalist is chosen by Parents Magazine readers/online visitors. This one finalist is chosen from "weekly Reader's Choice finalists." I was surprised to get an e-mail from Parents.com notifying me that one of the photographs I had taken of Victoria was in the running for this week's "weekly Reader's Choice finalists." But, the photograph winning this week is contingent on how many votes get cast in our favor, over and against other contenders.

Long story short, will you take some time to vote for this photograph? You can vote at least once a day, each day this week. Also? I'm told you can vote 2x or more per day.

This is the photograph in the running:

Directions:
  • Click on my vote now icon.
  • Then it will take you to the above picture, posted on Parents Magazine's website.
  • Below the image of the photograph should be a "vote for me" icon. Mine was pink. Click on that.
  • Finally, it will ask for some sort of word verification (type in whatever word(s) it asks you to type, right below the printed word(s)), to ensure you're a real human being, not just some sort of automaton.
  • Your vote is then submitted. You can share this link via facebook, twitter, or e-mail, if you like.

Thank you for your vote(s), favor, and time. Again you can vote more than 1x per day, every day this week. If you favor this photograph, vote, vote, vote!

Love,
Lily

***

* Parents Magazine, besides my entries in the photography contest, has no idea who I am. I am not be paid or being given any compensation to endorse or advertise for them. It's just me, promoting a photograph I took of my baby.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Let's be Frank, Friday

1. People are helping themselves to touching and making contact with my belly. Even guys. If the guys are strangers, I'll slap them clear across the room; don't be taking advantage of and feeling up this pregnant woman.

2. I seem to be producing colostrum. A bit came out yesterday.

3. According to a source I came across online, the age of viability for in utero babies, at least in the U.S. is 23 weeks. For us, as of yesterday, that means my babies will survive should they somehow come early.

4. I'm not getting go-straight-to-the-front-of-the-bathroom-line sympathy even though I am looking huge.

5. Most everyday, somebody or other asks me when I am due. When the due date of October 13th is heard, eyes get really, really big. I'm thinking about not letting these people know I'm pregnant with twins and allowing them to remain in a state of utter shock. Perhaps I won't even acknowledge that I'm pregnant and explain that I've been coping with life by eating, eating, eating.

6. At some points in each day, I'm all ready getting tremendously sore on the inside of the right, upper portion of my belly. Skip sore. PAINFUL. I think the boy is practicing karate kicks to see whether he can reach my ribs. I'm not laughing son. . . The internal bruising is not what I would exactly call fun and games.

7. I can tell which twin is moving if they are not having a pow-wow together in my mid-section.

8. I'm still wondering if my fundus ends right below my boobs and the length of my uterus is over 27 cm (which was the length of my uterus over a week ago), where are my organs now residing, if any where?

9. I am thankful for coffee. Saves the day a few times a week. Yes, being pregnant with more than one makes that much of a difference. Don't believe me? Try it some time. Oh, and being dragged around by two little ones outside the womb is a wee bit tiring as well.

10. Thank goodness it is Friday.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

mothers of multiples

About a month ago, after much hesitation and reservation, I decided to join a mothers of multiples organization. From a very early age, I have never fit into just one cliche. I was better suited having friends from all walks of life, spanning different ages, interests, everything. Staying within just one group made me fidgety and uncomfortable. Paying an annual membership fee for "friends" or "support" seemed to make the possibility all the more absurd.

But hearing about bed rest support, breastfeeding support, meals support, etc. influenced my decision. Who better to offer support for being pregnant with multiples and learning to raise more than one child that is just minutes apart from another than someone who has actually been there? I begrudgingly paid the annual membership fee and took what I believed to be a huge risk.

Last night was the first encounter I had with a large group of these people. A membership dinner. At a posh Italian restaurant. Definitely dressed to the nines, they were.

Good thing I did not decide to dress casually.

We had our own private dining area/room.

We had to get our own appetizers from a little bar set up for us. In line was a woman who, to me looked like she's towards the end of her pregnancy. Let me put it this way, I look small compared to her. I was eager to speak with her, but she was somewhere in the middle of the line and she was already conversing with others.

Instead, I got in line and made eye contact with a woman behind me who instantly gave me a steady cold stare and then proceeded to talk to a friend next to her. Great, I felt like I had a long night ahead of me with a bunch of plastics (seen "Mean Girls"?), except these women are no longer high school (or grade school) age. The fun had only just begun. I stuck out not only because I was the only non-Caucasian in the room and not only because I didn't have loads of money spilling out of all corners of my existence, but also, I was, for example, the only person at my table who conceived multiples naturally (or, as they say in the medical profession: "spontaneously"). Everyone else had twins, triplets, or other multiples due to some sort of artificial means, whether IVF.

Let me be clear, I don't have anything against people who desperately desire their own biological children, but, for whatever reason, have trouble conceiving. I just happenstance joined a group that believe themselves to be le creme de la creme. I thought about letting my claws out . . . I'm probably more well educated than most, if not all, in the room. I'm probably much more well rounded than others in the room. Blah, blah, blah. Not very mature of me, either. But, I felt as if I was being backed into a corner and I felt extremely uncomfortable.

But, I am not giving up, just yet. I'm attempting to leave room for mistaken first impressions. I'm hoping for substance behind the vacant expressions succumbing to materialistic prominence. At heart, I'm just looking for other fellow supporters. Only time will tell; we shall see.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Only getting bigger

I'm over 21 weeks now. But, I look as I did well into my third trimester with my previous (second) pregnancy. Translation: I'm looking like I was when I was pregnant with a singleton at 34 weeks, except I am 21 weeks pregnant with fraternal twins. No exaggeration. Got a confirmation from a friend who remembers seeing me when I last came to Colorado pregnant, with Victoria, for Troy's formal interview. Yup, I'm huge (that's my own interpretation or view).

I'm not telling, at this point, how much I weigh; because, I'm still in somewhat of a state of shock from finding out yesterday at the OB appointment. The nurse was ever kind in claiming that I'm tiny and have nothing to worry about. It's just that I'm about 15 pounds shy of what I weighed when ready to delivery my second born, and I am just over half way through this pregnancy. Can I say I'm just a bit nervous?

In other news, A-ma got me a lovely maternity dress today. Perhaps I'll model a photograph of that dress in the near future. 'Til later, signed, a heavy dose of acid reflux.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Meeting with an OB today

I'm 21 weeks today. Met with an OB who works with my midwifery group. The midwives wanted me to go to a consultation with this OB about attempting a VBAC with the twins due October 13th.

The maternal fetal medicine specialist told me last week - that latest research shows that the risks for VBAC with twins aren't really any greater than a VBAC with a singleton - I was hoping the OB would let me give VBAC a try. And, given that I have already had a successful VBAC (with the delivery of child #2 from pregnancy #2), the chances of anything going wrong (e.g. uterine rupture) aren't much different - if at all - than a vaginal birth without prior C-section. Translation: given all the risks (maternal infections, babies' health, maternal health), after a successful VBAC, succeeding VBACs aren't all that different in terms of risks to the baby and mom.

I have heard people who are not well versed on complications and risks with C-sections talk about VBACs like that sort of option is something akin to playing Russian Roulette; don't know quite what you're going to get and one is gambling quite a bit with life. That couldn't be further from the truth.

***

Before reading on, I have to warn potential readers that some information in this section is graphic. Don't read what's in this section if you're at all squeamish.

I am very squeamish and will likely never know ALL the details of my emergency C-section with my first born.


As I am paraphrasing from what my sister-in-law heard from her OB, choosing to get a C-section without any good medical reason is like choosing to have kidney surgery when nothing is going on. Surgery is a HUGE deal. How about being cut wide open for a C-section? How about the fact that organs - such as the intestines - have to be pulled out of the body to reach the uterus? How about the fact that TWENTY MINUTES is fast timing for an OB to go in and get the baby out, sew the woman's body back together, but is plenty of time to leave the innards of the body exposed to who knows what? I haven't even begun to list all the other things that bothered me about my C-section and about C-sections in general.


***

I was hoping, hoping, hoping, praying, praying, praying that somehow the OB would be willing to at least try a VBAC.

Thank the Lord, the answer was, "sure." "No problem."

The baby closest to the exit needs to be head down for me to be able to try.

But, that's an answer I can sleep with at night peacefully. It's a chance. The door is open. Thank you, Jesus.

The OB asked questions: Why was your first birth a C-section? What was the birth weight of your first born? When was your VBAC? What was the birth weight of that child, the second born? Where was each child born?

No heart beat check. Just a consultation. Five to ten minutes with the doc, and a forty dollar co-pay quickly left. But, I was glad for the news.

***

In other news, one of my girlfriends is expecting baby #3; and she's planning on a VBAC, after two prior C-sections. Kuddos to her, I say. May that birthing experience be a blessing when it comes.