Sunday, July 25, 2010

Just an ultrasound...

Baby A 11 Weeks
Baby B 11 Weeks
We had out ultrasound on August 12 when I was 11 weeks along. I’m not a superstitious person. But 11 has been a lucky number for me. I was born in the 11th month. I wore 11 on my softball jersey. I met my future husband on the 11th. And of course, if you add 1 + 1, you get 2, which is also a pretty important number in my life! I remember being in the waiting room for the ultrasound. I had to pee to the point my bladder hurt, but that was not what was making me nervous. I was going to meet my baby. See her little heart fluttering, See her springing around in nice warm gooshy balloon of goo. At least I said a prayer that we would see those sorts of  pictures of a very healthy, normal baby. But there were a few surprises. The first surprise was the goo she squirted on my belly…it was warm! Then she put the sensor on my belly and started swooping all over, way up high, down low, side to side. She would pause for a moment with a puzzled look on her face, and then move to a different area. I couldn't make out anything on the screen except black splotches of static. After about 2-3 minutes of this, I was getting very nervous. The room was dark and she hadn't said one word, there was absolute silence. I swear I could hear the beating of my own heart. Visions of 2-headed babies danced in my head. Or perhaps no baby at all. I prayed and told myself that no matter what it was, God would not give me that which I could not bear. Just then, she took the sensor off my belly and said “Well, (note that the comma you just saw represents about a decade of purgatory in my memory) “how do you guys feel about twins?” WHEW! What a relief! I was totally flabbergasted! And thrilled! Now Mike: he looked a little stunned, but he assured me that he felt, happy, excited, and blessed, just not in the same flamboyant manner in which I was. What a realization that you need 2 cribs, 2 car seats, a double graduation party and two 529 college savings accounts. At least I already have 2 boobs, eh?
We couldn’t keep this a secret long. It was a morning appointment, and my mom knew by the time we were at lunch to look at ultrasound photos. I got out one photo and said “alright, well here’s one.” Then took out the picture of Baby B and said “And here’s the other”.  That is how we told pretty much everyone, and some of them it took a while to catch on and would accuse us of playing a prank. But we had ultrasound photos labeled “Baby A” and “Baby B” by the technician to prove it!

Spreading the news...

Eighth week of Pregnancy
152 pounds
One of the funnest parts of expecting a baby is telling everyone about it. We wanted to tell our family first of course, but we wanted to wait when they were all together. Of course, at this time we didn’t know we were having twins yet. But we did it at the dinner table when we were at the cabin. I gave each of my parents a small package that had a onsie inside.  The one I gave my mom had a yellow duck (yellow is her favorite color). The one I gave my dad said “Littlest Pilot” as his life revolves around flying. My mom jumped up and shouted ‘Hallelujah!’ (Pronouncing that ‘Hal’ as in ‘pal’). My dad looked up blankly and said “But I don’t look old enough to be a grandpa. Warren, do I look like a grandpa to you?”  We told my husband’s mom and brother a few days later when we went out to eat. The funny part is that even though I was only about 8 weeks pregnant, I had to stop at a department store on the way there and buy maternity pants! Although I managed sitting in my elastic-waistband pants at work that day, they were pretty tight, and by the time we were in the car on the way to the restaurant for dinner, they were unbearably tight!
We didn’t make a big deal about telling everyone ourselves…just whoever we happened to see before the new spread. But it wasn’t long until we had new news to tell them all over again…

Surviving Twin Pregnancy - I'm HUNGRY!

Sixth week of pregnancy
pre-prego weight: 148 pounds
Weight now: 149

 Hunger? Yes, hunger
At first I thought it was subconscious. That irresistible urge to give in to relentless eating. Binging on mac 'n cheese, ice cream, chips and salsa, cookies, Ramen noodles, Peanut Butter Captain Crunch, chewy tortillas and queso dip. Anything full of carbs and starch! I tried to balance it by eating a fruit or vegetable before I indulged, but try as I did to resist the urge,  my tummy was not lying. I was hungry. I was hungry before I even got morning sickness. In fact, when I thought back on it, I think I had a bigger appetite before I even knew I was pregnant! While that sounds unreasonable, I once heard a lady say that she figured out she was pregnant after her mom watched her eat 3 taco Bell chalupas and commented to her how unusual that was! So perhaps it is true. I ate, and ate, and ate. I tried to be healthful, but if only junk food was available, even better! I told myself that I shouldn’t be eating so much! That baby didn’t really need calories to speak of until the 3rd trimester! But it didn’t work. My belly told me otherwise, and I went with it. Finally when my pants began to get too tight at only about 8 weeks, I thought “oh no, I HAVE to quite eating so much! I’m getting fat!” I even consulted friends to find out how far along they were when their belly outgrew their clothes. 3 months at least was the earliest for any of them in their first pregnancy.
Of course I thought I was eating too much. The thought of having twins never even really crossed my mind. After all, some of my friends had already taken their turns playing the ‘I think I’m having twins’ card and then being disappointed. I even skipped the ‘multiples’ chapters in the pregnancy books I read. So I was NOT going to mention the ‘T’ word. Once we did find out though, I felt much better about my ever-expanding waistline. My doctor also verified what my stomach was telling me, and she said to listen to my body and eat whenever it said. She said that there is no reason to be concerned about weight gain, and that with multiples, more is better!
Be wary of any health care provider that instructs you to limit calories or limit weight gain with a multiple pregnancy. For many multiples, pregnancy doesn’t last as long and weight gain in the early weeks is more important than with a singleton. If you’re not sure how much to eat of the various food groups, ask to consult with a dietitian. Get pregnancy nutrition book from the library. If nothing else, focus on eating proteins which your growing babies will need the most of, and proteins are not efficiently stored in the body, so you need a constant supply of them. Eggs, deli meat (but nuke it first to avoid listeria), cheese, milk, peanut butter. Keep a protein bar in your purse so that whenever your belly starts growling for food, you don’t have to keep your little ones waiting!

Surviving Twin Pregnancy - Cramping? Yes, cramping.

Week 4. Too bad I will not likely see this belly again!

So, when you are pregnant, they tell you that you will experience some breast tenderness, some fatigue, nausea, and maybe even some spotting. But did they ever tell you to expect cramps? The first time I had cramps, it was the day I expected my period. I started feeling them driving home from work, and all the excitement of the positive pregnancy test from the day before just died inside me. I knew it could happen that early pregnancies could miscarry before most even knew they are pregnant. I also knew that mild spotting and cramping could occur around the time or your period, but you could stay pregnant. I prayed for the latter of course. When I got home, I was glad to see no spotting. The cramping went away that night and I thought I was off the hook! What I didn’t know, is that cramping is a normal part of pregnancy for some women. I got cramps many times over the first month. Once, I awoke in the middle of the night in such pain, that I didn’t know what to do. I got a hot pack for my midsection, and even took Tylenol. This was not mild cramping. This was as bad as my worst menstrual cramps that had me doubled over in pain in the shower, missing work. My second pregnancy, I also was pregnant with twins, yet had no cramping. So my guess is that those 2 little babies were growing so fast, and my little womb just was not used to being stretched so much!  But by the second time around, the balloon stretched a lot easier and I didn’t have the cramping (yay!)