Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pregnancy with Twins with 2+ months still to go

A church friend, her 2 yr old daughter, the girls, and I went for a swim inside this morning. The mere idea of being in an outdoor pool in the extremely hot heat whilst being super hugely pregnant and running after two little girls makes me feel faint. Thank goodness Melissa had the brilliant idea of being at a pool INSIDE.

People, I own only one maternity swimming suit. That swimming suit was from my first pregnancy, which I had picked up towards the very end of my pregnancy. In a size large. Welp. This is pregnancy number 3. Though I am in my third trimester, I still have just over two months to go. We're about to start the month of August, and the babies are due October 13.

Looks of shock entered women's faces as I slowly waddled out of the locker room towards the swimming pool. No words could describe the looks on their faces, and I am sure, no words could capture whatever they were thinking as they saw my huge belly.

Here it is, folks. At 29 weeks and 2 days, with twins. This is the biggest I have ever gotten with any pregnancy. Biggest ever, I suppose.

2011-7-30

I was in utter shock and disbelief as I looked at myself in the mirror, exiting the locker room, just before entering the pool area. You see, my house doesn't have any mirrors that allow me to see below the shoulder level.

2011-7-30

After the initial shock wore off, I got enjoy Victoria's 1st ever pool experience and Isabella's ever excitement of being at a pool. Though I had taken Isabella to a pool several times whilst living in Texas, she was probably too young to remember much of that. These two little girls were beside themselves with excitement.

2011-7-30

Let us celebrate a wonderful water experience, even though I had trouble balancing and maneuvering with a huge belly.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A love-hate relationship

Victoria and Isabella love each other.

2011-7-16

They are playmates at home. Each showing the other what she's doing. Each often involves the other in play. And, well, the younger quite often emulates the older.

They are playmates when out in public. Though Isabella is not hesitant in greeting other children, especially ones older than herself, she sometimes shows strong allegiance to her sister. Victoria, in turn, is oftentimes eager to involve her sister.

***


Isabella and Victoria also are adversaries.

There is no sole or one culprit.

More recently, Victoria bit Isabella on the arm. I was across the house and suddenly heard repeated pleading from Victoria in the kitchen, "Sorry, Isabella." "Sorry, Isabella." Moments later, Isabella, in tears, came running into my bedroom.

Victoria bit me.

Where?

Oh my goodness, there were obvious bite impressions, two rows of them (top teeth and bottom teeth), on Isabella's arm.

VICTORIA!

***

But, I have to hand it to you. Isabella's not completely innocent, either. She does her share of yelling and such towards Victoria. More recently, whilst in the company of friends, Isabella whacked her sister on the back because Victoria had something that was hers or that she wanted. Can't remember which.

2011-7-16

But, these two girls, who get mistaken for twins all the time, ALL THE TIME, love each other. They really do.

2011-7-16

Now I get to watch from the sidelines, as a referee, what my parents saw my sister and me do for moments, hours, days, months, years.

I love you girls, very, very much.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Breastfeeding doll hitting the US market

A breastfeeding doll, made by a company based in Spain, popular for some time in Europe is hitting the US market. Apparently this doll is instigating controversy.

And, I am not sure why.

What is the problem with having a breastfeeding doll on the market?

I am not unaware of some of the complaints and concerns about the doll. Read some of them here if you like. Seriously?

Are people who are launching these complaints and objections voicing concern about other matters? Such as girls reaching puberty at increasingly younger ages? What about young kids having sex at younger ages? What about schools giving away condoms?

Though I don't have secret access into the minds of these breastfeeding doll makers or creators, I wager these people were thinking this would be to encourage prepubescent nursing or more milk production.

Creepy? How? I don't see these dolls initiating milk production in anyone, let alone young girls. If it did initiate milk production, I am sure there are a lot of grown women, who are adopting a baby or who have trouble getting their milk to come in, would be on this product like a hot potato.

2009-3-12

By the way, here's a photograph of my older daughter "nursing" her Henry, a beloved stuffed dog, at 2 1/2 yrs of age. I didn't teach her to nurse, if that means I did some kind of demonstration and expected her to follow suit.

She had been watching me feed her younger sister, and this was the only way Isabella saw Victoria eat.

Don't make it more than it is, people. Some mommies feed their babies by nursing; some by using a bottle. That is all.

Stop and smell the roses

This past Sunday, I went to a lovely brunch for missionary women to share their stories. The team that set up the brunch paid so much attention to detail, making the ambiance, meal, the whole experience simply exquisite. Amongst other things, in front of each plate was a rose. Not a real rose, but a rose nevertheless.

When the gathering was finished, I had some girlies to pick up upstairs. Looking at these roses, I knew my girls would take delight in them. Waiting to see who would leave their roses behind, I took mine and two others, so each one of us could have one.

And delighted they were. "For me?!!!" "Is that for me?"

Yes, my love.

"Do I get to keep it?"

Yes, my dear. You don't have to give it back to me. It's your personal rose to keep.

They were each given a second one to share with A-ma and A-gong, when we see them again over the weekend.

Both girls were so excited.

***

I got to thinking about these roses. The saying goes, "stop and smell the roses." Yes, I realize these are not real, and I further realize that some are breeding roses so that they carry no scent whatsoever. But the meaning is not lost on me.

I can easily get lost, especially these days, in adult responsibilities. But I need to stop and enjoy the little things in life. Participate in some of my children's imaginative adventures. Pick flowers. Twirl and dance. Open the door for an unsuspecting person. Laugh merrily.

Life cannot possibly be too busy, dismal, or grim for momentary delights.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Would you like a punch?

During my pregnancy with each of the other young members of the family, the random people feeling my belly thing never bothered me all that much. Not really. I found it peculiar that strangers, acquaintances, friends alike felt comfortable feeling my belly, followed by saying whatever was on their minds.

Probably one of the few times, beyond baby age, that feeling a belly seems justifiable.

Think about it. Would you go up to a five year old and feel her or his belly? What about a teenager? An adolescent? A young adult? An adult? Someone older? Anyone else who isn't pregnant?

Wondered but wasn't offended.

This time around, I think the twins have their own objections. Not kidding. I've had the impulse to smack, slap, or hit people who have tapped, patted, rubbed, accidentally made contact with my belly using some object. Didn't matter whether the individual was one of my little children, a sonographer, an older person.

Somehow, this time around, anything more than an ever so ginger touch to my belly is uncomfortable, offensive, and makes these babies very edgy. On impulse, the punch is ready to swing.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

False advertising and an insult

I was given a couple of complimentary cases of this Similac package. I found the "breastfeeding" title on the formula company's packaging rather curious. Didn't mind having a carrier to store diapers and extraneous stuff. But, I wondered how in the world a formula company could get away with placing "breastfeeding" several times on their packaging without getting into trouble with false advertising.

I opened up the Similac organizer. Here's what I found: 4 bottles of Similac formula, a freezer pack with two ice packs and three "breast milk" bottles, sample wipes, a couple of breast pads (one for each breast), an Aquaphor sample, and a bundle of papers (loads of Similac info., a few coupons, advertisements, and a breastfeeding pamphlet.

I'm not surprised by what I found. But, I am appalled by the "breastfeeding" label that shows up at least three times on the organizer sleeve. Breastfeeding means taking the baby to the boob, folks. Where, oh where, are the products for that?

Dare Similac place their formula product on a par with the antibodies and nutrients in breast milk? I'd like to see the research demonstrating that.


I'm disgusted.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ready to kick the twins out of the womb and into the world?

The sympathetic, big-eye looks I am getting these days as the summer heat settles in and my continues to grow rounder and larger makes me giggle. Am I ready for the baby (many who throw sympathetic glances or smiles my direction have no idea I have two babies in the making) to join the world ASAP?

How do I answer such a question?

Well, yesterday marked 27 weeks. Here in the US, the age of viability is 23 weeks; so the babies should survive, with some added care, should they exit the womb now. Each one is growing at the rate of a singleton, and each has surpassed the weight of the world's smallest baby born that survived. They should be fine.

I am experiencing a number of pregnancy related physical discomforts. Sciatic nerve pain, between my butt and upper left leg, has been visiting for several days now, causing me to sometimes limp. Add the limp to my pregnancy waddle, and we have an interesting little dance. Need we discuss frequent visits from acid reflux, difficulties in finding a lying position that doesn't cause problems, or struggles to catch my breath?

Sounds like I'm about ready, huh?

Er, uh . . .

No way, Jose.

Not unless there is some magical solution to taking care of FOUR children, five years old and under. Not unless there is some simple, uncomplicated, non-exhausting way to devote time to the two older children whilst constantly tending to the nursing needs of TWO NEWBORN babies. Not unless I can figure out how to stay nourished, fed, hydrated, and rested, while providing meals for the older two and nursing the younger two.

Speaking of which, I really need help on how to nurse two babies. I'd prefer to master nursing both simultaneously, laying down; so they can eat and we can then all go to sleep at the same time. Mmm, k?

To make a long story short, I look forward to seeing what the babies look like outside the womb, but I am in no hurry to expedite their exits out of the womb.

A captive audience of two while the other two are running around with boundless energy is loads easier than having four tots competing for energy and time.

Now that we have that settled, I bid you good night.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The dreaded glucose test

July 8, 2011

I passed the glucose test, yesterday. No gestational diabetes. I had to fall somewhere below 139 mg/dL. Mine was 106. No three hour glucose test for me. Whew.

And, still no anemia. Guess I'm just super tired and out of it. Because I'm pregnant. With two little, growing babies.

*******


This morning was the dreaded glucose test.

Why so dreadful, might you wonder? There's the gross, nauseating glucose tolerance drink to stomach. Then, with my prior two pregnancies, each of my OBs asked me to do an overnight fast. Ask a pregnant woman to not eat for that amount of time, drink disgusting crap, and wait until blood is drawn before eating?!

My midwifery group was stunned to hear that I had to do overnight fasts the first time or test around with the glucose test. Yes, a fast's required. But, just an hour before drinking the glucose tolerance drink.

That would be fairly manageable. Except I'm pregnant with twins, and consequences - such as acid reflux - visit when I go two to three hours without eating. This midwifery group was so fantastic in thinking ahead and being considerate, they sent the glucose tolerance drink home with me at the previous visit, so I wouldn't have to wait an hour in their office before getting my blood drawn.

I was trying to figure out what foods I could eat, to increase the likelihood of passing this first glucose test (the three hour test is a killer; I'm saying this out of experience). Go for something high in protein, I was recommended.

Three eggs stir fried with tomatoes. Then plain yogurt. The yogurt I usually have contains 28 g of sugar in a 32 oz container. The plain yogurt, by contrast, has 14 g of sugar in a 32 oz container; so, I thought I'd be safe eating the plain yogurt. Hopefully those two things could hold me over for perhaps a couple of hours.

***

I drank half the bottle of lemon/lime glucose tolerance beverage, as I was told to do, an hour after eating. Got a little urge to throw up but didn't. I was in the midwifery office not much later, where I weighed in and the physician assistant got my blood pressure. Then, an hour after drinking the glucose crap, my blood was drawn. I couldn't look at the needle or look when she started drawing the blood. That's right, even after enduring much greater physical pain (uh, natural child birth), I still hate needles and dislike getting pricked with a needle.

She drew two vials of blood, one to check for my reaction to the glucose and one to check for stuff like anemia. Lab results tomorrow, I am told.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

That's none of your business

Perhaps I'm putting this out there today, because . . .

It's over 100 degrees outside.

I'm pregnant with twins.

I'm between 25 and 26 weeks pregnant.

I get such sympathetic looks when people see just how large I am not and when they find out I'm not due until October.

I am sun burnt from yesterday, out of sheer stupidity, forgetting to put on sunscreen (I remembered hats for all of us - does that count for something).

My brain doesn't seem to be functioning properly these days. Research has shown, time and time again, that pregnant brains look different and function slower than the non-pregnant brains. The pregnant brains don't return to non-pregnant brains until some time after birth.

I'm feeling hot and sticky. Did I already say that?

***

During this pregnancy, at various points, I have thought to myself, when people have asked me:
  • during my first trimester, my FIRST TRIMESTER, are you having a boy or girl.
  • also during the first trimester, are you have fraternal twins or identical twins.
  • were you trying?
  • what are the babies' names?
and I've thought to myself, that's none of your business. Some of the questions, such as whether I was expecting a boy or girls or what kind of twins I was expecting, I frankly didn't know. Not in the first trimester.

Even so, would relaying an answers simply be feeding into our culture's insatiable curiosity and ungrounded sense of entitlement to know everything possible about others' lives?

***

Now I need to go bathe in some ice. In hopes of cooling off. No, really.