JENJESS48   51,293
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Quick Update

Friday, April 05, 2013

As you may suspect, I've been pretty busy lately and haven't had time to Spark. Or brush my teeth or shower every day, for that matter. :) But I wanted to share a few things with y'all while both babies are napping.

Madelyn and Caitlin are doing great. They have normal baby problems - Caitlin has tiny nasal passages and needs saline several times a day and they both are on baby Zantac for reflux - but they are very healthy and have caught up to average growth patterns. Caitlin is on her fourth size of clothes in less than three months! She needed preemies in the beginning and Madelyn didn't; both girls are now in 3-6 month clothes.

I'm doing better than I thought I would be. The girls routinely go 3-4 hours between feedings and generally six hours after their last evening feeding. That means we're getting a decent amount of sleep. The girls are more or less synched up. Sometimes I do sequential feedings and sometimes I tandem feed. Either way I don't get much time to do anything other than care for babies and make sure the house doesn't fall into utter squalor. I found a local group of new moms whose babies are about the same age as mine and joined a moms of multiples group, both of which are very helpful. I gained back some of the baby weight I lost due to stress eating and haven't been exercising much; the best I can manage most days is a little Wii fit or a walk outside when it's warm enough. I hope to exercise more after I return to work and have access to a gym and non-baby time.

Speaking of work, I'm going back on April 22. I will work part time and probably from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. My boss accepted a new position just before I went on bed rest and the new boss starts next week, so I'm a bit nervous about that. Otherwise I'm excited - I'm ready to get back to work and think 30 hours a week with an early schedule to manage my commute is the best possible compromise between work and family lives. I hired a nanny who is working out pretty well so far. She is coming in for a couple days before DH's business trip to California next week (yup, he's leaving me for 2 nights, but I have friends and family to help out as well as the nanny) so she can learn the ropes around here. She used to run a day care in her home but wanted to focus on working for a single family, preferably with an infant. So she's a very good fit - she knows how to balance multiple children and really loves babies.

DH got laid off when the girls were 3 weeks old but found a new job only 3 weeks later. This position still allows him to work from home but is more intense than his old position, not that that's difficult. :) Still, it's an adjustment and not an easy one.

The renovation still isn't done - DH keeps saying he's very close to getting the structural inspection done but hasn't gotten there yet. The renovation contains small luxuries like the nursery and our master bedroom/bathroom. Currently all four of us sleep in the same room. The girls have little rocking cradles that they won't fit into for too much longer and they can't share a crib (that little experiment failed) so he needs to get a move on. But he's 3 years past his deadline (yes, years - that's not a typo), so I'm not optimistic. Sigh. He won't let me hire a contractor and the last time he hired handymen to help they did a bad job and he needed to redo everything so they hindered far more than helped.

Caitlin is calling for her mommy now so I have to run. I'll post pictures when I can!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELGRRL 4/7/2013 5:06PM

    Yay! Great to hear from you. The reno will get done, don't worry. The main thing is DH has a job again and the DDs are doing great! Thanks for the update!

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LOTUSFLOWER 4/6/2013 10:30AM

    I'm glad o hear the girls are doing great and tat h found another job so quick, that is great. Also glad to hear you have a support system. I second Jenn you are. Superstar!

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KITHKINCAID 4/5/2013 2:34PM

    You're a superstar honey! I would totally try to talk him into hiring out the help. It will make sure a huge, positive difference to you guys if that work is done! But I know how guys can be about that kinda thing.

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Baby Pics and Info!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

At long last, here's the baby blog! I have been just a bit busy, so getting to the blog took longer than I would have liked. But better late than never!

Me just before my c-section:

Both babies in the OR:

Baby A: Caitlin Clare, 3:46 pm, January 11 2013, 5 pounds 11 ounces, 18.5 inches

Baby B: Madelyn Rose, 3:48 pm, January 11 2013, 6 pounds 7 ounces, 20 inches

Four generations of DH's family:

We caused a gawker's traffic jam while exiting the hospital:

Our brand new family at home:

DH is holding Caitlin and I'm holding Madelyn. Caitlin is sweet, sensitive, and a slow eater and Madelyn is a little feist ball who tolerates no delays in getting what she wants. Caitlin continues to be noticeably smaller, has a fairer and pinker complexion, lighter hair, and attached ear lobes. Madelyn is a bit darker and more sallow but her hair is lighter and her ear lobes are detached. So no matter how much they look alike later, we'll always have a way to tell them apart!

We're settling into a routine and managing to get enough sleep to function. Things get a little easier most days and we're proud of how well we're making it work.

I hope you all are doing well!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMSOLO10 4/17/2013 10:44PM

    So happy they have arrived safe and sound! they are so beautiful and so are you! They were so big for twins. that is wonderful! Have been doing Weight Watchers so haven't been on spark for a while but needed to get back on to see if you had your babies!!
Blessings on your little girls and you two also. emoticon

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LOTUSFLOWER 3/14/2013 1:35AM

    Oh my, how beautiful!!! Congrats to you all. What a lovely family.

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MERRIKATE 3/5/2013 4:16PM

    How absolutely wonderful to catch up with Caitlin and Madelyn at last, Dear Family!! For some reason, Jen, I did not get any notice of a new blog wayyyy back at the end of January, so assumed you have been too busy to post new ... came by to have a snoop today, and VOILA!!

How absolutely marvellicious, and not least that the two sweethearts are already so distinctive as well as beyond beautiful. Many, many happy hugs and supremely best wishes to them, to you two, and to all the legion of family and fans who've fallen in love with these glorious little girls. Wow oh WOW oh WOWWWWWW!!!

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SEPPIESUSAN 2/3/2013 10:32PM

    Tears in my eyes...congratulations! They are beautiful.

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KITHKINCAID 1/30/2013 2:32PM

    Amazing Jen! Congrats to you guys! I think Madelyn looks (and sounds) like you! Glad to hear that everything was successful and you have a wonderful new family! Much love.

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BARBARASDIET 1/30/2013 1:37PM

    Congratulations--both nice sized babies--have fun with them!!

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DANCEMANIAC 1/30/2013 1:08PM

    Congratulations!!! The girls are beautiful!!! Enjoy... emoticon emoticon

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BESTMEPOSSIBLE 1/30/2013 12:54PM

    Congratulations on the new additions to your handsome family. Enjoy every minute - they change very quickly at this age.

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TRAVELGRRL 1/30/2013 12:45PM

    Big, huge, congratulations! My daughter's baby was born 3 weeks early (induced) and Little Rebecca Joyce weighed in at 4 pounds, 14 ounces. So I am proud of how you managed to keep those little buns in the oven as long as you did.

They are ADORABLE, and I know you are so proud! Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures!!!

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ARUNNINGKAT 1/30/2013 12:13PM

    They are SO beautiful! And your new little family is beautiful too! Enjoy every precious, busy moment with those two adorable little bundles! emoticon

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KT-NICHOLS-13 1/30/2013 11:40AM

    Absolutely beautiful ... you, the Mr and the girls! How exciting and wonderful.

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My Last Pre-Surgery Medical Appointments

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Today I did the final blood work, sonogram, and physical exam before my scheduled c-section on Friday. Everything went very well. The babies look great and are both head down, getting ready to go. The doctor asked me if I wanted to consider a natural birth considering both girls' position and I said no. Then she called me a chicken. I told her that I'm willing to accept that label, lol.

She changed her mind, though, upon doing the physical exam. My body is not preparing for labor. At all. Not only am I not dilated, but I haven't had so much as a Braxton Hicks contraction or a flutter of hip pain. Since I'm at 38 weeks I need either an induction or a c-section in the next few days. There seems to be universal agreement that a c-section is preferable, so I'm glad that I'm all scheduled and ready to go.

Right now I'm at Baby Minus 44 Hours and counting. I want to finish a baby blanket, do some grocery shopping for post-partum meals (DH's parents will be in town, so we planned a menu that they can help us with for the first week), and a spot of last-minute cleaning, mostly because I hate coming home to a dirty house. I promise not to overdo it! It looks like I might escape pregnancy without having a single contraction, and that's a strong motivation to take it easy and keep going on this path. :D

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOTUSFLOWER 1/9/2013 10:53PM

    Good luck mama!!

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AMY_1217 1/9/2013 5:58PM

    This is so exciting!!!! And don't worry about the lack of Braxton Hicks. I had 2 months' worth with my son. They're HIGHLY overrated! lol
Congrats and YAY!!!!!!

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TRAVELGRRL 1/9/2013 5:58PM

    How exciting! My daughter (34 weeks and only pregnant with one) has already given up housecleaning...actually I think she gave it up as soon as she found out she was pregnant. Sounds like you have everything under control! Take care and be a good patient!!!!

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3G1RLS4ME 1/9/2013 5:56PM

    congrats and good luck with the recovery

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ARUNNINGKAT 1/9/2013 4:41PM

    Good luck! I can't wait to see photos of your darling little girls! Take care of yourself!! emoticon emoticon

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KT-NICHOLS-13 1/9/2013 4:39PM

    This is getting very exciting!!!
It's good to hear everyone is on the same page to move forward with the C-Section.
Blessings to you - the wee lil humans - and all the family.

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KATRINAKRAUT 1/9/2013 4:32PM

    Whatever works for you and keeps you and the babies healthy. Glad that you will have some help available. Rest as much as possible and what an exciting journey you are about to embark on. exciting!

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Approaching The Finish Line

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Today I officially hit 38 weeks, the longest most doctors will let moms of multiples carry. (Delivery-related risks, like placental abruption, go up significantly after 38 weeks because moms are simply carrying too much baby.) I am truly surprised that I made it this long; very few moms of multiples do. And, irrational as it may be, I am proud of myself. It has not been at all easy for either me or DH. Essentially I've been an invalid for the past month, unable to use my hands fully and on modified bed rest. Sometimes simply standing up or walking is excruciating. So poor DH has to do almost everything around the house. We're both choosing to look at it as practice for the first few weeks postpartum: my job will be to feed babies and recover from surgery. His job is to do everything else.

That's not really a fair division of labor, so his parents are driving down help out. They'll arrive the day before we all get released from the hospital and help us get everybody home, prepare dinner, etc. Both my MIL and FIL are retired and said they will stay for as long as we'd like. The renovation still isn't done, so we don't have a spare bedroom. But my in-laws are more than happy to pay for an extended stay hotel. So we get the benefit of their help without having them sleep over. We are so very lucky!

DH and I are both ready for the babies to arrive - mentally, emotionally, financially, and physically. Waiting gets harder every day and almost all the prep is done so we don't have that much to occupy us. DH works from home and this is always a slow time of year, so we've been watching a lot of movies. :) We've also made a point of going out for meals together and enjoying the last precious pre-baby days as a couple. Spending quality time with DH really helps take my mind off how uncomfortable I am, not to mention how much it helps us emotionally prepare for our whole lives to get turned upside down. We're both ready to end this chapter and start the new one, difficult as we know it will be.

Wednesday is my last routine check up and I need to do pre-surgery blood work at the hospital either Wednesday or Thursday. My surgery is at 2 p.m. Friday and if all goes well the babies and I will be released from the hospital the following Tuesday. So we are in "no news is good news" territory. I expect to be pretty groggy and out of it, not to mention exhausted and in pain, for a while after delivery. I will post pictures and salient birth details as soon as I can, but I can't say when that might be.

In the meantime, y'all stay happy and healthy!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KT-NICHOLS-13 1/6/2013 7:58PM

    How exciting. I think of you and yours often ... sending love and hugs your way. Can't wait to meet the new little humans.

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LOTUSFLOWER 1/6/2013 5:57PM

    It's so nice that you get to spend this time with DH before the babies arrive. My sister made it full term with my twin nieces, and I know so many people were telling her she wouldn't. I can't wait to see those beauties and will be sending good thoughts and prayers your way.

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KITHKINCAID 1/6/2013 3:45PM

    Good luck my friend. Thinking about you guys!

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TRAVELGRRL 1/6/2013 3:42PM

    YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO EXCITED FOR YOU, AND CAN'T WAIT FOR PICTURES AND DETAILS!!!!!!!!!!!! emoticon

CONGRATS on being such a great mom, keeping those kids in for 38 weeks!!!

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HOLLYM48 1/6/2013 3:39PM

    Congratulations and wishes for many blessing to you and your husband and your beautiful babies! emoticon

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SEPPIESUSAN 1/6/2013 3:32PM

    Oh, congratulations for making it so far! Sounds like everything is in place and you are so well prepared. Looking forward to hopefully seeing a picture of the babies posted on your blog! :)

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Hanging In There: A Scare and Modified Bed Rest, But Very Healthy Babies

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The past couple of weeks have been interesting, mostly in the sense of the Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times." A week ago on Monday I had the worst scare of my pregnancy to date and probably one of the bigger ones in my life. Sunday afternoon my hands started to swell and feel uncomfortable but I didn't worry about it because that's normal pregnancy stuff. By midday Monday my usually thin, agile fingers were clumsy little sausages and I couldn't feel my arms or hands from the elbow down. Very, very scary. I called my OB practice and the calmest doctor of the bunch told me to get my butt in there. NOW. Even scarier.

And of course I was at work. One of my coworkers confiscated my car keys and insisted on driving me the half hour to the doctor's office. (I live in the Maryland suburbs of DC, near my doctor, but I work in the Virginia suburbs so my commute is 40 minutes on a good day.) My wonderful colleague correctly surmised that I was not safe to drive but too stubborn to admit it, so she decided to simply take away my keys. Lovely lady! I walked into my boss's office to tell her that the two of us were heading out with a possible medical emergency and before I could even speak she said, "Oh my God, your hands!" I told her what was going on and she told me to just go.

I knew that the swelling could be caused by either pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel or dangerously high blood pressure. And there was only one way to find out - go see the doctor. I called my husband from the car and he met us at the office. We tried to pay for my coworker's cab fare back to the office but she wouldn't take it; I plan to repay her in Christmas cookies.

So we sat and waited, trying to pretend that everything was okay and we weren't worried. Finally they were able to fit me in. My blood pressure was on the high side of normal and I wasn't showing any other signs of toxemia. The doc diagnosed me with pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel, told me to drink less water to ease the swelling, and wear wrist braces 24/7. I was skeptical of the advice to drink less water, because all us Sparkies know that water helps to ease swelling, but I did it anyway. And it actually helped a lot! My body let go of the water to the point that I regained feeling in all but my hands and lost a pound of water weight over night.

Tuesday morning I had a regularly scheduled sonogram and doctor's appointment, which I now do weekly. I saw the same doctor as Monday and he was very pleased with my progress. The sonogram showed 2 very healthy, nearly 5-pound babies practicing fetal breathing. Woo hoo! That means that no matter what happens from here on in the babies are very likely to be healthy, and although there are never guarantees, the doctors are no longer worried about the babies' health. Now they're focusing on me and getting me to carry for as long as possible, preferably another month.

I mentioned to the doctor that I have administrative pre-approval at work for time off for bed rest and that I wondered if I shouldn't take it because of the state of my hands. He said I should give the braces more time to do their work and he wants me to stay active, so he'd rather I kept working. Sigh. Little does he know that I'm way more sedentary at work than at home. But I didn't fight him and kept working for another week. And man, was it tough. Finding a position to hold the wheel that didn't make my hands fall asleep during my commute proved impossible. And I was breathtakingly unproductive at work since typing is so hard.

This Tuesday I saw a different doctor. The sonogram was very quick because both babies were moving and practicing their breathing just as we got started. The doctor actually used the word "awesome" to describe them. Once again, my blood pressure is on the high side of normal - just barely below the worry zone - and I mentioned how nonfunctional my hands are and the difficulties and safety issues that's causing. He agreed that it's time for modified bed rest - he was impressed that a mom of multiples managed to work as late as 34 weeks. The less stress we put on me and my body the likelier I am to carry to full term, which is just around the corner. So he filled out the bed rest paperwork and I've been home since Tuesday.

"Modified" bed rest means, at least in my case, that I can move around and do stuff at home and leave the house if someone else drives, but no working. So far this has been very nice. I'm more relaxed and rested and my hands have improved a bit. The biggest downside is that most of the things I ordinarily do to entertain myself at home - email, computer games, knitting, cooking - either I can't do at all or only in limited quantities. Thus my recent disappearance.

At each of my last three visits the doctor has said we'll schedule the c-section next time. So we still don't have a date. DH and I plan to demand a date next week if they haven't called us with one by then. I'll let you all know what the big day is supposed to be. There's about a 50/50 chance that the girls will decide to come early and I'll definitely post a status update, blog, or photo as things unfold. Otherwise my Spark time will be pretty limited. I'm still checking email fairly regularly, and I'd love updates from you on my Spark Page or Spark Mail - it's much easier for me to keep up with you that way than via friend feed.

I hope you all have wonderful, healthy holidays!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELGRRL 12/18/2012 7:17PM

    Glad everything turned out OK and you are home at last! Take care of the little ones!!!!

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LOTUSFLOWER 12/13/2012 8:13PM

    Wow that sounds very scary! I'm glad to hear that you are doing well and at home now, although I'm sure that's driving you a little batty. Can't wait to hear what the big date is!!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 12/13/2012 5:07PM

    YA! Glad things are progressing so nicely and that you and the girls are healthy. Looking forward to hearing more time and energy permits on your end.


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MERRIKATE 12/13/2012 4:23PM

    Thrilled that all's well, Jen, and that your workmates are such good support-friends in a pinch. Yes, we are ALL eager for your health team to see a delivery date. For now, I am grinning like a giddy fool over the good news about the weights and the AWESOMENESS of the babies. You parent-people are kinda awesome yourselves, eh.
Your swelling 'incident' gave me another blast from the past, as I was hospitalized just before term with my first child, due to pre-eclampsia: I'd puffed up all over to an alarming degree. That night, my water broke; my son was delivered by (unexpected) c-section half a day later, a healthy and gorgeous baby. Despite a few brief moments of worry, the whole adventure was fascinating, exciting and memorable because our moods were great and the care was so reassuring throughout!
(Maybe I should've answered your blog on your Main Page -- apologies if you'd have preferred that.) Lovely that you are getting better rest in this last phase of waiting, though the restricted use of your hands may leave you feeling restless. Believe me, at this point, every expectant mom just wants the offspring to be 'outta here' and in her arms!! It is totally natural, normal and desireable -- let the games begin!! Big hugs to all four of you.
emoticon emoticon

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KITHKINCAID 12/13/2012 3:12PM

    So exciting. Can't wait to find out the date!

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ALICIA214 12/13/2012 1:46PM


Looking forward to seeing pics of your new healthy babies!!


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