Friday, September 14, 2012
I've been pretty scarce for the last month or so, but all is well. In a nutshell, 3 weeks ago was a very rough week, 2 weeks ago was hectic, last week was blissful, and this week I've been catching up and getting back to normal.
The best news: my last check up, on Monday, went great and the anatomy scan went perfect. Both babies have all their parts, except for maybe Blueberry's right hand - she refused to move it from behind her head, so the sono tech couldn't count her fingers. The tech tapped on my belly to make her move and Blueberry kicked her legs but resolutely kept that hand tucked behind her head. Yeah, she's stubborn like Mommy, lol, and likes to sleep just like Daddy. DH and I are already kicking around names and we think we might name Blueberry after a very dear, departed family member who was known for her independence, sense of humor, and lust for life. We're aware that we may be asking for karmic trouble but I think we're going to risk it!
Yes, I said "her"! Both babies are girls! And no, we're not sharing the names until the babies are born. We reserve the right to change our minds! DH started talking about having a matching set of twin boys, preferably close in age to the girls, over lunch immediately after our appointment. I looked at him like he'd completely lost his mind, sighed, shook my head, and refused to respond. This is what I call a self-correcting problem: he will change his mind after he knows how much it takes to look after one set of twins! He also thinks we can move to a bigger house once the twins are about six months old...another self-correcting problem. I've always said my husband was wonderful, not sane, lol.
Three weeks ago I had the week from hell. Sunday night I barely slept and woke up with back pain and bad acid reflux. This lasted until Tuesday night and Wednesday I woke up with a mini-migraine, complete with light and sound sensitivity. Add in two doctor's appointments and I had to took a bunch of time off - time I don't have and wouldn't be willing to spend, anyway, because every day I'm away from work now is a day less I have to spend with my babies later. So I worked late all week to make up the time and planned to make up the balance on Saturday.
Notice I said "planned." A car incident Friday night short-circuited the plan. I am fine and both babies are fine! The airbags didn't deploy and the seatbelt didn't grab me, so I didn't even go to the hospital. At that point I didn't feel the babies move every day but come Monday I felt them strongly so I wasn't worried. The sonogram this past Monday confirmed my instincts.
So what happened? In short, a spare wheel flew off the back of a truck while we were traveling at 50 miles an hour on the interstate. Not a tire - an entire wheel. Thank goodness I've had extensive driving training and knew what to do: swerve to get the tire under my car, where it can do the least amount of damage. The truck - a big one used by construction and landscaping companies - didn't even stop or pull over. But I had to: I immediately saw smoke and smelled burned rubber.
To make things even better, my cell phone was almost out of battery and DH was on a business trip to the west coast. So I called him, told him what had happened, and asked him to call AAA (thank goodness we're members!). He told me where he'd squirreled away the charger for my iPhone - not in a place where I ever would have found it myself, lol. So I called AAA and then the insurance company. The AAA dispatcher was a sweet Southern woman. She asked me if I'd inspected the damage myself and I said no, I'm on the shoulder of the Interstate, cars are whipping past at 50 miles an hour, and I'm 5 months pregnant so I'm not comfortable getting out of the car. Bless her heart, she said, "Oh honey, don't worry about it! I'll put you at the top of the queue and tell the tow truck driver you're pregnant!" And she did - he was there in 20 minutes (!!!!!!) and stood between me and the traffic so I could get out and climb into his truck.
While waiting for the tow truck I called a local friend and asked if she or her hubby could rescue me. She said certainly - even though she has a baby of her own, her husband had just walked in the door, and she was putting dinner on the table. I held it together and calmly and efficiently dealt with AAA, the tow truck driver, the dealership we took my car to, and the insurance company. But I almost broke down when my friend showed up with leftovers from her dinner, utensils, cookies, and a gift of yarn she'd bought for me while visiting her brother in Oregon. She stayed with me until she was sure I was both calm and well, then went home to her own family around 9. I am so truly blessed to have friends like that!!!!
The next week was much better but hectic because DH was on his aforementioned business trip. Not only did I have to keep after the house and feed myself but prepare to fly to Seattle for our babymoon. It's amazing how much you can accomplish when you don't have another choice - a valuable lesson for parenthood!
That Thursday I flew out to Seattle and DH flew from San Francisco and joined me in our hotel room. Friday morning we sailed to Alaska on a 7 night cruise! The trip was absolutely amazing. I'll post a separate blog, complete with pictures, this weekend. I'll also post new pictures of me - I've gotten a lot bigger - and sonos of the babies. This week I've been busy with all the usual post-trip stuff but feeling really well. The second trimester is finally turning out to be what it's cracked up to be!
I hope you're all doing well! Stop by and let me know!
Monday, July 16, 2012
Yesterday I officially entered the second trimester. I'm already starting to feel better: my stomach is more stable and I'm a lot less tired. I think Tuesday was morning sickness's last great hurrah. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself, lol.
Tomorrow I have my 12 week sonogram (a week late) and DH and I have taken some baby belly pictures (I'm popping out to the point that I'm wearing almost exclusively maternity clothes). I'll try to get those posted sometime this week; some of you have been asking for them.
The second trimester is supposed to be pregnancy's sweet spot and I intend to take full advantage of it. I started this morning by modifying my SP nutrition goals to be in line with the guidelines for expectant mothers of multiples. The numbers are a little intimidating: from 1700-1900 calories to 2100-2400, 100-150% of RDA for calcium to 150-200%, plus more modest increases in iron, protein, and folate intake. Tracking is going to be key since the changes are pretty dramatic and the exact opposite of the direction I'm used to them moving. I'm not quite sure how to meet them, so tracking and adjusting as necessary is my tactic.
The next thing I need to step up is fitness. I did almost nothing in my first trimester; the combination of morning sickness, exhaustion, and foot surgery did me in. Last week one of my toes got infected so I still can't go all out, but I can at least pedal the stationary bike for half an hour. (Antibiotics have the situation under control.) My goal is to do that 3 times a week. That's not exactly where I was working at before pregnancy and surgery, but it's the best place from which to start building back without overdoing it, which I am famous for.
My other priority is physical preparations for the babies. I started working on baby registries and my mom has begun talking about shower planning. I've been knitting and sewing lackadaisically and it's time to turn up the focus and volume.
My hope is that this plan is as effective as it is simple.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Surgery went well yesterday. DH and I got to the office half an hour early - we were worried about traffic and getting lost - and they worked us in soon after we arrived. Very, very nice. The doctor numbed up my toes a lot more than in previous procedures - three times more in the left foot and four times in the right, to be precise. (The right needed an extra shot because he did it second.)
The only thing that I didn't like was that my feet dangled off the end of the table, which felt weird and made me nervous. The doc charged my husband with distracting me, who decided to tell me to think of this as practice for labor. Yeah, that worked as well as you think it did. Just more proof that men think totally different from us...
As usual, the nurse came to the rescue. She is a mother of twins herself, but hers are 18 now and going off to college in the fall. So we had a great talk about twins while the doctor did his thing and my husband watched. The nurse bandaged my feet up in pink gauze (win!), gave me some Tylenol, and sent us on our way. The whole thing took less than an hour.
The worst part was getting home. Work is equidistant from the clinic and home - which means the doctor is over 40 miles away. Leaving there on a Friday at 2 p.m., it should have taken about an hour. But DC traffic being what it is - the worst in the country, as measured by the time wasted just sitting by the average commuter - it took us two hours. And DH's gas-thirsty Volvo had less than a quarter of a tank. DH rarely stresses out, but I thought he was going to lose it - he was truly afraid we were going to run out of gas. That's bad on an average day, but when it's 102 (107 with the heat index) and you're trying to get your pregnant wife home from double foot surgery, it's a disaster. I couldn't walk to the nearest gas station if I wanted to and the heat could damage or even kill the twins. So I played a game on my cell phone while he tried to exit. We wound up at a nice gas station with a Starbucks next door. Nice, clean bathroom, full tank of gas, and cold drinks all around. (I had a decaf skinny mocha frappuccino with soy - 130 calories and lots of calcium and protein. That was the best choice I was capable of under the circumstances, lol.) The truly ironic thing was that traffic eased up as soon as we got back on the highway and I didn't even finish my mocha before we got home.
I ensconced myself on the couch for the rest of the day and things went great until just before bed, when DH saw on the news that we were about to get hit by a huge storm. This area is notorious for losing power. See above about why that would be a very bad thing under the circumstances. DH being an eagle scout, he made a list of all the hotels between here and Annapolis, which is 30 miles away, out of the storm's way, and on a different power grid. He was fully prepared to pack our bag and drive even to Baltimore to find an air conditioned hotel room if that's what it took. Bless him! Lucky for us we kept power - unlike 500,000 other customers of the same power company and our neighbors just a few blocks away. Another storm is supposed to blow through tonight, but at least we know the drill and are prepared. I might pack a bag after dinner: I figure if we're totally ready to go, we won't need to. But if we're not, we will. Darn Murphy anyway.
I finally showered and changed the dressing on my toes late today. Everything looks good - and barely hurts. Tylenol turned out to be sufficient. So I'm thrilled with how everything worked out.
Have a safe weekend everyone!
Thursday, June 28, 2012
My pregnancy symptoms had eased up a bit last week, to the point that I thought the worst was over. Well, the universe saw fit to tell me otherwise this week, lol. Acid stomach, fatigue, inability to concentrate are all back in force. Tuesday was the third worst day I've had and I almost went home sick. (I'm glad I stuck it out, though, because a coworker brought in frozen yogurt that made both my belly and my soul feel better and the social time let me fill up the day without having to take time off.) I haven't been getting quite enough sleep - I can "only" seem to find time for 8 hours a night and a 90 minute nap in the afternoon, so I'm getting really worn down. Today is a so-so day and it's going to be a rough weekend because I'm having ingrown toenails removed from both big toes tomorrow. This surgery will be harder than the others because the doctor is going to cut them down to the root so that I never have to have surgery again. And because I'm pregnant I can't have the good painkillers or any anti-inflammatories. DH said we're going to treat this weekend as a dry run for bedrest (we're planning for the worst but hoping for the best, and bedrest is a very real possibility). He's going to set me up in a nest on either the couch or the bed, whichever I prefer, and not let me get up unnecessarily. He's in charge of cooking and I am forbidden to worry about household chores. Single ladies: he does have a younger brother!
So what does this have to do with attitude? I'm not letting any of this get me down. I take it moment by moment and do the best I can. Sometimes that means I'm running at full capacity, other times that means spending the afternoon looking at lolcats and waiting for 3 p.m. so I can go home. The way I look at it, the discomfort is inevitable. But the way I manage it and deal with it are completely up to me. I've gotten over my resistance to taking pills or using medication, at least the ones that I'm currently allowed to take, and am taking as sunny an outlook as I'm capable of at any given moment. I'm also treating myself as I can: this afternoon I have a prenatal massage after work and tomorrow I'm getting a fabulous Good Dog sundae at a local lunch spot before surgery. (Fudge brownie, mint chocolate chip ice cream, and hot fudge - split with DH to minimize the quantity.) I figure that self-pity and wallowing in my misery will only make me feel worse, not better. And why inflict that on myself?
My plan seems to be working based on the fact that I make it through the day without meltdowns or undue difficulties - and the kudos I'm receiving from those around me. About every other day DH tells me how beautifully I'm handling this as he tucks me into bed. Today alone two coworkers told me that they're impressed by my attitude. The woman told me that listening to what's going on with me makes her fear pregnancy and I told her not to because it's so worth it - and the cool factor of seeing the beans in sonograms and ultrasounds and the cool factor of the expanding belly far outweigh the discomfort. I'm not sure I convinced her, but I did get a gratifying look - "I'm not sure if you're crazy, but I admire you." The guy I talked to is a retired Master Sergeant in the Army. He told me that he wishes his soldiers had always had an attitude as good as mine - I complain a lot less with a lot more real problems. High praise indeed!
Plus I'm at the tail end of the first trimester, and the light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter every day. I'm looking forward to being able to eat normally and have my old energy level - and brain power! - back. In the meantime, I'm counting on my positive attitude, Tylenol, and Zantac to get me through the days.
Friday, June 08, 2012
Pregnancy is hard. Those of you who have been here know this truth firsthand, the rest of you probably secondhand from friends and loved ones. But I need to process a little bit, so I'm blogging - pretty standard operating procedure for me. :)
Pregnancy is hard for everyone. The hormones and their effects - fatigue, forgetfulness, nausea, sensitive stomach, etc - are no joke. Your sense of "normal" simply no longer exists and this is the hardest part for me. I spent over two years learning about and implementing fitness and nutrition changes and now some of that stuff is impossible and others aren't good ideas. For example, getting 5 servings of freggies a day is really tough when the slightest hint of acid makes my stomach ache and gives me dry heaves. This makes me particularly sad because my beloved strawberries are in season and will be gone by the time I can eat them again. I had to cut back my workouts because of my plantar fasciitis and now that I'm healing up I can't increase the intensity because I'm pregnant. I plan to address the workout issue with my doctor on Monday; he might have some good ideas. But honestly, most days I am so sick and tired that I can't cook dinner let alone work out.
And then there's my...expansion. I've put on 2-3 pounds, which is about where I should be now or maybe just a bit more. (Again, I'll talk to the doc on Monday.) But based on how much bigger I've gotten and the fact that I'm growing a womb, I don't think it's that much. Yes, I've gone up a pants size (thank goodness I saved all my old clothes!) but my big problem is my boobs. Plainly I'm a busty lady but right now they're RIDICULOUS - I feel like they precede me into a room by a good 10 seconds, lol. I have to sleep in a bra for my own comfort. And I got professionally fitted because I just couldn't cope with them anymore, rofl. They're also heavier - I think at least half of the weight I've gained has gone straight to my boobs. The rest is in the womb that has just barely started to pouch out a bit. But it seems like my body has gotten bigger than the amount of weight I've gained would require. Just another funny thing pregnancy does to you. :)
My point here is that this is a lot of change to take in all at once and adjust to - especially because I'm generally not feeling great. Now, I shouldn't really complain because I am having an easier time of it than a lot of women. My morning sickness is just enough to reassure me that this is a normal, healthy pregnancy and my wonderful husband picks up the slack around the house and lets me rest as much as I need to. And I'm truly grateful for both of these things. That said, some days it's hard to get it through my admittedly thick skull that it's okay to only work out once or twice a week and if my nutrition is far from perfect. And after working so hard to shrink it's sometimes hard to remember that I NEED to expand and gain weight now. The key thing is to take good care of myself and thusly the baby. Overdoing it - which takes a heck of a lot less these days than ever before - punishes me the next day with horrible acid stomach and two days of fatigue. The more sleep I get and the blander my food the better I feel. These are very, very strong inducements to skip workouts, sleep a lot, and eat whatever the heck seems like it'll go down and stay down. Chocolate milk first thing in the morning? Soda crackers at 2 a.m.? Yes, please!
And, although it's taken some mental wrangling, I'm okay with it. My first obligation right now is to my belly - both my literal stomach and the bean that utterly relies on me. Life should get easier in another six weeks and I can start getting back to pre-pregnancy normal, doctor's advice permitting. In the meantime, I'm learning important lessons in flexibility and taking it one moment at a time. Stress isn't good for me or baby and I truly believe I'm doing the right thing by letting myself off the hook and doing whatever feels best at a given moment. Besides, that's usually all I have the energy for, lol.
As you all know, I'm a worrier and a planner. That has gone into suspension for now. So very many things can go wrong with pregnancy that I'm choosing not to think about any of them - because the other alternative, given my analytical and semi-paranoid nature, is to think about all of them and launch into a panic. That doesn't do anybody any good. So I've decided that everything will be fine and I'm behaving accordingly. I have learned a lot about pregnancy and fetal development and make my decisions based on that. For example, most books advise you to avoid hot tubs and baths at all costs. The fact is that you shouldn't get your body temperature above 102 degrees. Given that we keep our hot tub at 100 degrees and I can't stand being in it for longer than 15 minutes, I'm not worried about an occasional dip.
My current mottoes are:
"Just use common sense and don't pickle your baby." - my OB (seriously!)
"Everything is 'risky' right now. But I figure that the most dangerous thing I can do is drive to work on the Beltway every day. So I'm just not that worried about it." - me to the receptionist at my massage therapy clinic upon being told that getting a massage in the first trimester is "risky." (Standard massage by a certified prenatal masseuse is about as statistically likely to cause a miscarriage as, say, crossing the street and only slightly more likely than getting hit by lightning.)
"Everything will be all right in the end. If it's not all right, it's not the end." - a new British film out whose name escapes me right now
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