Sunday, December 18, 2016

17 Weeks Twin Pregnancy Update - Good News and Bad News

Another week down..just 1 more until I am officially halfway through this pregnancy!

This week I had my first growth scan at my OB office. I am supposed to have them there every four weeks and at the MFM (High Risk Dr) every two weeks. First off, the quality of the ultrasound machines at my regular place is light-years away from the MFM place. I had a hard time distinguishing what was what on the screen most of the time. The GREAT news I got at this appointment was that both babies are measuring 16 wks 6 days (my appt was at 16 weeks 5 days) and weighed in at 6 oz each. This is the time they start screening for SIUGR (sp?)  and TTTS and my last appt, baby B was measuring a week behind. I am so happy he caught up to his brother! Another great thing I saw was that the placenta grew (was even labeled "large" by the tech) and Everett's cord attachment is a few inches more towards the center now. It was previously right at the tip and was worrying me about him getting an equal share of the nutrients.

The only things that concerned the dr was that both babies are breech. I was honestly shocked that they even cared at this point. She tried to explain to me that they run out of room much faster than singletons and if I want to have them naturally, at least one baby needs to be head-down. I am really not that concerned. I mentioned it to my chiropractor (who I've started seeing biweekly) and he and his wife did some work on my sacrum to make sure the babies have as much room in there as possible. My dr was also concerned about my weight gain or lack thereof. As it stands, I've gained 5 lbs total so far. I thought that was decent but she thinks it's very important for me to pack it on early. The high-risk dr told me he only needed me to gain 28-40 lbs total and he said the opposite basically. That he wants to see most of it at the end. It's very confusing to have so many drs telling you contradictory things. I am going to go with the high risk dr on most of them since he specializes in these twin pregnancies.

My next appt at the MFM place is this coming week. They will be able to tell me how accurate the measurements taken at the Obgyn office were. I might even be able to stop getting ultrasounds at the ob office and keep them strictly at MFM, I will ask about it this week.

Other than that, nothing new to report. I am feeling the best yet this pregnancy! I am just enjoying my energy levels and lack of nausea while I can...I know things can be pretty miserable at the end of a twin pregnancy. Fingers Crossed!

Babies are the size of...Naval Oranges..(about 4.5" from Head to Rump)..My babies tummies alone measured 4 inches long and weighed 6 oz each. We are about to head into another growth spurt where the boys will double in size. Here is a picture of Baby A from this week's appointment.

How far along... 17 Weeks 1 day

Maternity Clothes? Yes! Maternity pants and shirts are all I am wearing now! And THANK YOU to all of my wonderful friends who gave me clothes!

Weight Gain:  +2 Lb This Week (I've gained 5 lbs total). 

Workouts: 3 Resistance Days (BBG- Pre-training Week 1 Legs & Cardio, Week 11 Arms and Week 1 Full Body) and 2 LISS Days! Working out still feels amazing. I don't do any of the ab stuff anymore and after this week I will stop doing the burpees... it feels too weird on my belly.

Symptoms: It's been an awesome week! I'm still only taking my Diclegis at night. I am still getting nauseous spells during the day so I don't want to quit it altogether yet. The magnesium drink is helping my moods a ton and also with other pregnancy ails. I am still more easily irritated than usual but so much better with the mood swings!

Stretch Marks? Not yet! *knock knock*

Sleep: It's been a good week for sleep! No complaints there at all. I don't even want to jinx it by talking about it! 

Movement?  A Little. I think my extra large placenta is blocking most of the movements. I feel some when I lay down at night on the sides and also when I am standing for a while.

Genders and Twin Type: Mono-Di Identical Twin BOYS!!!!

What I Miss... not being out of breath all the time. 

Food Cravings: Protein!

Looking Forward To... Starting on the Nursery!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

16 Weeks Twin Pregnancy Update

I have felt AMAZING this week! I feel "almost" like I'm not even pregnant! It has been wonderful! Ahhh that second trimester bliss stage. I am soaking it in as much as possible because with twins I know it will be getting uncomfortable again very soon.

I have so much of my energy back. I think not taking the Diclegis during the day has helped and also this Magnesium drink I bought from my chiropractor. I first heard about it from Kendra Atkins who vlogs her modi pregnancy on YouTube (WithKendra). It's called "Natural Calm" and she talked about it in a relaxation video. I saw my chiropractor sold it and decided to give it a shot. It has helped me so much! I usually get pretty cranky and impatient with the kids later in the afternoon but I've been back to my "Calm Mom" self this whole week. It's been so nice to go to bed at night without a big pile of guilt on me for yelling at the kids or getting frustrated with them. I am sure they are thankful for it as well. It also helps with keep things moving in your digestive track (pregnancy can make this an issue for me). So even if you're not pregnant I highly recommend trying this stuff out!
Natural Vitality Natural Calm Magnesium Anti Stress, Organic, Raspberry Lemon, 16 oz

So that's pretty much it for this week. I have my first growth ultrasound at my OB office (instead of the MFM place) this week. I only do it there every 4 weeks until I'm further along. I always get nervous before an ultrasound but it's also very exciting to see the babies! 

Babies are the size of...Avocados..about 4.5" from Head to Rump..We are about to head into another growth spurt where the boys will double in size. Here is a picture of fraternal twins at this age:

How far along... 16 Weeks 1 day

Maternity Clothes? Yes! I am still a little too small for maternity shirts but the pants are a necessity. I can't wait to be out of the awkward belly phase!

Weight Gain:  -1 Lb This Week (I've gained 3 lbs total). I know I've gained more than that but since I haven't been working out as intensely as before I have lost muscle and replaced it with fat. 

Workouts: 3 Resistance Days (BBG- Pre-training Week 4 Full Body, Week 5 Full Body and an Arms Day) and 3 LISS Days! It felt SO GOOD to get back into working out!

Symptoms: It's been an awesome week! I reduced my Diclegis to only nighttime. I still get little queasy spells sometimes but I haven't thrown up! My forehead pimples have cleared up for the most part and my skin is looking better. My main symptom is just getting out of breath really easily. I haven't needed any naps this week and my blood pressure has been perfect!

Stretch Marks? Not yet! *knock knock*

Sleep: It's been a good week for sleep! I have been waking up a few times to pee but I am usually able to go right back to sleep. Isla is still sleeping through the night most night *knock knock again*

Movement?  Yes but it doesn't feel as strong as I would expect. I have an anterior placenta this time meaning it's on the front of my uterus. That masks a lot of the movements. I do feel them a couple times a day. Earlier this week I went to the chiropractor and lay on my stomach..I felt them both moving at the same time! It was the craziest thing!! It felt like two snakes in my belly moving in opposite directions. Totally crazy!

Genders and Twin Type: Mono-Di Identical Twin BOYS!!!!

What I Miss... being able to fit in my workout clothes. I don't have any maternity exercise pants and I am too big to wear my regular stuff. I wore my maternity leggings for one workout this week and sweats for the rest. 

Food Cravings: Green Apples! I am loving apples with almond butter!

Looking Forward To... Buying the babies stuff!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

15 Weeks Twin Pregnancy Update - Gender Reveal!!!

This was an exciting week for me....I turned 15 weeks and we found out the genders of our identical twins...

I had been convinced I was having a boy from the beginning. It started before I even knew I was pregnant. I picked out a pretty color for my pedicure before we went on our beach vacation and the lady came back and told me the name of the polish is "It's a boy!". It was at that time I started to wonder if I was pregnant. The only other "sign" I had was doing that ring test that swings your ring around in a circle or back and forth and mine said boy. haha

So anyway, after finding out they were twins, I've had many ultrasounds. I made sure to tell the techs we were doing a gender reveal party and not to tell me the sex and they always said, "Don't worry its way too early to tell..."...followed five minutes later by "well the gender of these babies is very obvious!" I was pretty sure I had seen boy parts in a few ultrasounds but those were so early (12 and 13 weeks) that I couldn't be sure. Yesterday I had another MFM appt with an ultrasound. This time B was with me and we both saw a quick image of "three lines" (all moms of girls know what that means).

We both left that appointment a little disappointed that we were probably wrong about it being boys. I was so worried about it. It's not that I didn't want girls, I love being a girl-mom, I had just convinced myself so thoroughly they were boys I felt like I was having to re-bond all over with the idea it could be girls.

Fast Forward to the Gender Reveal Party..

My friend Amber threw us the party and it was perfect in every way.

She even had matching outfits made for Avelyn and Isla that had custom shirts! It was so cute!! I couldn't get a picture of the kids together but here is the back of Isla's...

 The front said "Big Sister" :) with a number 01 and 02 for each girl. Avelyn's even said "Big Sister again"

Before we opened the box, we had all the party guests stand in front of the side they thought we were field for boys and pink tutus for girls..

She was kind and didn't make me wait too long before we opened the box.

I was absolutely SHOCKED today to see blue balloons come out of the box!!! I kept looking for pink ones to pop up afterwards lol!

I felt everything all at once and was sobbing with happiness!  It was a day I will never forget!

Avelyn started crying after the whole pregnancy she has said they were boys and she wanted brothers but suddenly she was so upset they weren't going to be sisters...LOL 4 year olds!!!

Since I had been convinced they were boys for so long we only had boy names picked out...

Cullen Wade and Everett Drake!

I am extra excited that I can start shopping and planning the nursery. A boy nursery will be so fun! I'm such a type-A planner that it's been killing me to wait this long to start preparing for the babies!

Babies are the size of...Pears! About 3.5" from Head to Rump

Here is a picture of them at 14weeks 6 days CUTE!

How far along... 15 Weeks 1 day

Maternity Clothes? Yes! I am now only wearing maternity pants. I can still fit in some regular tops but my belly is definitely growing

Weight Gain: +2 Lbs This Week (I've gained 4 lbs total)

Workouts: 1 Resistance Day (Week 1 legs). I didn't modify any of the exercises and it felt SO GOOD to get a real workout in. I paid the price later though because I was wiped out for two days afterwards.

Symptoms: It's been a good week! I forgot to take my afternoon dose of Diclegis and didn't get sick. I will try not taking that dose from now on...if I don't get sick, I will stop taking the morning dose and then slowly taper off the night ones. I don't want to suddenly stop taking it again after what happened last time. My only other symptom is that my BP is starting to climb. I've had consistent reading with the bottom number in the upper 80's low 90's. I had BP problems in my first pregnancy and I'm a little scared it will be a problem again. I wish there was something I could do to prevent it. I am just reducing sodium and chugging water.

Stretch Marks? None yet.

Sleep: It's been a great week for sleep! I am having very vivid dreams and quite a few "stress dreams" as I call them. One of them was me trying to tandem-feed twin boys. One kept unlatching when I got the other latched and I was trying over and over. It was so frustrating! LOL

Movement?  Definitely more pronounced baby movements and less flutters. They are growing!

Genders and Twin Type: Mono-Di Identical Twin BOYS!!!!

What I Miss... Working out Intensely and consistently (I miss the stress relief aspect)! I will probably keep this here until I get to workout again. 

Food Cravings: Halo Oranges have been high up on the list this week. Also peanut butter toast and orange juice!

Looking Forward To... Planning the Nursery, Buying BOY STUFF!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

14 Weeks Twin Pregnancy Update!

I am officially in the Second Trimester also known as the  "Is she pregnant or is she fat?" stage. haha

I had a great Thanksgiving Day with my little family. I cooked everything from scratch and it turned out amazing. Unfortunately, the next day I woke up at 4:30 am in horrible pain. I went to the urgent care because it was closer and I didn't want to wake up Brandon or the girls. They weren't sure what was going on and were afraid I would need surgery. They sent me by ambulance to my hospital where my high risk Drs could help with the assessment. Thankfully, it turned out to be kidney stones and no surgery was needed. So crisis averted and I am feeling back to my normal but very pregnant self. 

Speaking of that, I feel like my belly exploded overnight!

 Babies are the size of...My info says lemons but if they were peaches last week does that mean they shrunk? LOL They are about 3.5" from head to rump :)

How far along... 14 Weeks 1 day

Maternity Clothes? Yes! Just in time! I had a few friends give me bags of them last week and I definitely need them now!

Weight Gain: +2 Lbs (Since I was -1 that means I gained 3 lbs in one week!!!)

Workouts: 1 Resistance Day (Week 14 arms) and 1 LISS workout.

Symptoms: It's been a good week! Very little morning sickness (I am still taking Diclegis 3x a day) or other symptoms. The day after I was released from the hospital I had a severe headache but it hasn't come back.

Stretch Marks? None yet.

Sleep: It's been a great week for sleep! Isla is still sleeping through the night!! Even though I sleep well, I still nap most days and am very tired most of the time.

Movement?  Just a few flutters here and there.

Genders and Twin Type: Mono-Di Identical Twins (Gender Reveal Next Weekend)!!

What I Miss... Getting in my intense workouts. I miss the adrenaline rush and stress relief part of a great sweat session! If I workout now, I am completely wiped out for the remainder of the day.

Food Cravings: Halo Oranges, Fruit

Looking Forward To... The Gender Reveal Party Next Weekend! That means I will have the genders for my next update!!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

10 Things I've Learned About Twins

I've had a crash course in twins over the past few weeks and here is a short list of things I've learned:

1. Less than 1% of pregnancies are identical twins (twins make up about 3% total with most being fraternal)

2. Identical Twins have a 4x greater fetal mortality rate compared to a singleton pregnancy (The only safe zone you reach in pregnancy with identical twins is when they are both able to survive outside the womb). Fraternal twins fetal mortality rate is 2x that of a singleton pregnancy.

3. Identical Twins do NOT have identical fingerprints.

4. Some identical twins are "mirror image" meaning one might have a dimple on their left cheek and the other on the right cheek. 

5. Mothers of twins live longer! A study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B focused on the population of women in 1800s Utah and found that women who gave birth to twins were very strong and healthy to begin with, so were likely to live long lives. As LiveScience writer Stephanie Pappas explains it, “Twins could be an evolutionary adaption in which healthy moms take the chance to pass on double their genes at once.”

6. There are various things that can affect the likelihood of you becoming a twin mom. Some of the factors include being tall, over 30, consuming a lot of dairy, breastfeeding or recently stopping birth control. Clearly the tall mom boat missed me but breastfeeding and over 30, check check.

7. Twins interact with each other in the womb and have been studied doing so as early as 14 weeks.

8. 40% of twins invent their own languages that only each other can understand!

9. A twin mother's body adjust uniquely to each twin. A mother's chest will heat up or cool down to regulate the temperature of a baby held on her chest. When a mother holds twins, each breast can independently adjust its own temperature to account for each child.

10. One of the easiest way to tell identical twins apart is by their bellybuttons!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

13 Weeks Twin Pregnancy Update - First MFM Appt

As promised this week has much more to update on because I had my first appt with the Maternal Fetal Monitoring Specialist (the high risk dr). I brought a list of questions and we went over my very fancy ultrasound.

First, I will say it was quite a shock all over again to see not one but TWO babies in there. My last ultrasound was at 9 weeks and the babies were pretty far apart. It was almost difficult to get a picture with them both in it. This time they were snuggled up with eachother and they were moving around all over the place stretching, kicking arms and legs, doing somersaults. It was a very cool thing to watch. My ultrasound tech uses high resolution machines and they give a much better quality image than what you would typically see at your OB office.

The ultrasound showed the blood travelling through the umbilical cords and where the cords attached to the placenta. One thing I wasn't super happy about was the one baby's cord is attached pretty far off to one side. With mono-di twins you would like for both cords to be attached in the center of the placenta to ensure that they both get equal share of the nutrients. The Dr said that he wouldn't worry about it yet because the placenta will continue to grow and the cords may appear to be more centered as the placenta gets larger.

The ultrasound tech said he was fairly certain he could determine the genders but since we are waiting until the gender reveal party, I didn't let him tell me. It was SO HARD THOUGH!!!! Seriously, it took every ounce of self control I could muster!

After my ultrasound, the Dr. came in to go over everything. I didn't get a very good feel for him this first visit. I hope that changes because I will have to see him A LOT and I feel it's important for me to trust him during this pregnancy. I will give him another chance at our next appt. He just rushed me through my questions, interrupted me a lot, wouldn't talk through scenarios or discuss possibilities. His answer to almost every question was, "We will see how your pregnancy progresses and make decisions when we need to."

I get that he can't give me absolutes or anything but with all the stuff that can happen I just like to know the different variables and any way to prevent or minimize the risks.

One thing he made me feel better about was weight gain. He told me he only expects or wants me to gain between 28-40 lbs total with the majority of that coming on at the end. This was totally different from anything I've been reading in twin books so that made me feel a lot better.

I will see the MFM dr every 2 weeks until 32 weeks and then see him weekly (as long as everything is going smoothly). He won't let the babies stay in past 36 weeks because it can be too dangerous. I will see my regular OB every 4 weeks and then every 2 weeks and then every week but I don't have the exact timeline yet. I will also get an ultrasound at every appt with the MFM and the regular OB.

The last things we discussed was weaning Isla. The MFM dr would like me to have her weaned by 18-20 weeks gestation. We are doing well so far. I only nurse during nap and bedtime and we use a timer (at 8 mins right now). She stopped asking for it so much during the day and that's a relief!

Okay this has already turned into a short novel so let's get to the actual update!

The twin on the left is Baby B (looking down with hands in front of his/her face) the baby on the right is Baby A (closest to the cervix). They are laying side by side in there with B on my right and A on my left sides.

Babies are the size of... Peaches! They are about 3 inches long from head to rump.

How far along... 13 Weeks

Maternity Clothes? None yet.

Weight Gain: -1 lbs total (which means I gained back 2 lbs this week)! My appetite has started to return and I am so hungry all the time. Until I eat, then I am sick again. haha

Workouts: 1 Resistance Day (Week 14 Legs- modified all the jumping to stationary stuff), 2 LISS Sessions - I did regular squats instead of jump squats and regular lunges instead of jump lunges but I still got a good sweat on! Everything is harder when you're pregnant!
Symptoms: Morning sickness was only bad a couple days this week... usually in the afternoons. I have been getting a lot of headaches. My chiropractor told me to come in when I get them to be adjusted but it didn't help. I think it's just hormones.

Stretch Marks? None yet.

Sleep: It's been a great week for sleep. Isla has been sleeping through the night most nights and Avelyn doesn't wake up until 6:30 am. It has felt amazing. I have really needed the rest!

Movement?  I haven't felt much this week but I'm sure that will change as the babies grow

Genders and Twin Type: Mono-Di Identical Twins (Gender Reveal Dec 3rd)

What I Miss... My moodiness seems to be better this week. I have been trying to get my quiet time in every morning even if it's after the kids are up. I miss feeling super strong and full of energy though!

Food Cravings: Yogurt, Blueberries 

Looking Forward To... Thanksgiving! B is home this year and it's just our little family celebrating together. Turkey, family and football..what can be better?

Sunday, November 13, 2016

12 Week Twin Pregnancy Update - End of the First Trimester!

This has been another rough week. I got a low-grade fever last Sunday and ended up with a head cold. The congestion was so bad for a few nights I couldn't sleep at all because I couldn't breathe. Plus, the overall feeling horrible from being sick combined with pregnancy fatigue and sickness. 

Hubs went off to work Tuesday and I had the bright idea to stop taking my Diclegis. I had been feeling much less nauseous and the Diclegis makes me so sleepy I wanted to try to go without. Well, that was a huge mistake. I ended up throwing up all day Wednesday. I couldn't even hold a sip of water. My Dr had me to go to the ER for more IV fluids. The small silver lining was one of my friends took my both girls to her house for me and watched them for 5 or 6 hours while I was at the dr/hospital. They had the time of their life and it eased my mind to know I had so much support. Somehow it makes the whole thing less scary to know I have friends ready to jump in whenever I ask. So I am very, very thankful for that!

After that fiasco I haven't skipped a single dose of my meds. I think I was less nauseous because my congestion took away my sense of smell. If it's not one thing its another. haha

This next week is a busy week with my blood tests and meeting with my OB tomorrow and then my MFM Ultrasound on Tuesday. I need to buy a journal to keep track of all my questions/notes and info the dr gives. I will have a much more exciting update next week.

I feel like my belly really grew this week but you can't tell too much in my belly pics. I flexed in the second photo so you could see the belly bump better. When I am standing normal, I just look a little thicker in the middle (but not pregnant ..yet). I can see the biggest different when I look straight down at my toes. It looks pretty big from that angle!

Babies are the size of... Plums! They are about 2.25" from head to rump and their digestive systems have started working this week. They have tripled in size in the last few weeks!
12 Week Photo of Fraternal Twins

How far along... 12 Weeks

Maternity Clothes? None yet.

Weight Gain: -3 lbs total (which means I lost a pound this week womp womp)

Workouts: 1 Resistance Day (Week 20 Full Body BBG), 1 LISS Sessions - I had to modify the burpees to just standing up instead of jumping at the end. I also did weighted lunges instead of jump lunges. I tried to not let my heart go past 80-90% of max.

Symptoms: Shortness of Breath, Morning Sickness isn't too bad as long as I don't miss or delay any of my Diclegis pills

Stretch Marks? None yet.

Sleep: It's been rough to get a good night's sleep this week. The first part of the week I was waking up because I was so congested I couldn't breathe and the latter part of the week either one or both of the other girls have woken me up. I try to nap when Isla naps.

Movement?  I felt the first baby-rolling movement last night! I had my right arm resting on one side of my tummy and then I felt a rolling movement on the other side. It was a cool moment!

Genders and Twin Type: Mono-Di Identical Twins (Gender Reveal Dec 3rd)

What I Miss... Feeling more in-control of my emotions/moods. I have been so short tempered with the girls and just feeling not myself. Then I feel guilty for those feelings..oh so many feelings!!!

Food Cravings: Raisin Bread, Raisin Nut Bran, Raisin English Muffins hahaha 

Looking Forward To... My MFM appt is Tuesday!!!

Monday, November 7, 2016

11 Weeks Twin Pregnancy Update

I got a book in the mail that was recommended to me, "When Your Expecting Twins, Triplets, Or Quads" by Dr. Barbara Luke. It has been a wealth of information and my very own twin bible. It discusses everything to do with twins from nutrition and your dr. appts to breastfeeding and "the 4th trimester". One of the most surprising things to me was the weight you're expected to gain with twins! These Drs (who ran a special medical clinic for multiples) recommend at least 40-57 lb weight gain with twins!!

That number freaks me out. Dr Luke states that because it's so hard to put weight on after 24 weeks, it is vitally important to gain as much as possible (using the right nutrition of course) before that time. Mothers who gained more weight before 24 weeks carried their babies longer and had less complications. After reading that, I am trying to increase my calories and nutrition. One thing I did was buy a million salad ingredients. I know I don't eat enough vegetables so that will help. I will also try to eat a protein and carbohydrate with every meal, even snacks. 

I am going to go over the weight gain expectations with my specialist and see what they say. I find it difficult to imagine I will put on 20 lbs by 20 weeks which seems to be the universal goal for twin pregnancies. I am willing to do whatever it takes to keep these babies in as long as possible. Identical twin pregnancies that share a placenta have many unique risks since they are sharing the nutrients. If I am not supplying my body correctly, one baby can leach all the nutrients and the other could fall behind or stop growing. I'm sure it's only an added burden that I am still (all-be-it unwillingly) breastfeeding.

Babies are the size of... Figs! They will be fully-formed by the end of this week. It's crazy that they have fingernails and toenails already. They are also about to have a huge growth spurt, tripling their length in the next three weeks!

How far along... 11 Weeks 2 days

Maternity Clothes? None yet.

Weight Gain: -2 lbs total (which means I gained back a pound this week... yay!)

Workouts: 1 Resistance Day (Week 20 Legs BBG), 2 LISS Sessions I've noticed that on the days I workout I am completely wiped for the rest of the day. Even just my LISS sessions. I may decrease my workouts until I am gaining more weight.

Symptoms: Heart Palpitations, Shortness of Breath, Dizzy Spells if I get up to quickly, also the "morning sickness" has been at an all time high this week!

Stretch Marks? None yet.

Sleep: The heart palpitations made it very hard to go to sleep last night. I was up until well past 11pm. I even took my blood pressure to be sure everything was fine (it was). My heart was racing like I had just had a big cup of coffee or something.

Movement?  Definitely feeling little pops here and there. Very light but definitely the babies.

Genders and Twin Type: Mono-Di Identical Twins (Gender Reveal Dec 3rd)

What I Miss... Not having big pimples all over my face, having energy to play with the kids and clean the house, feeling happy when I wake up in the morning. I'm not going to lie, it's been a real struggle some days.

Food Cravings: A BIG salad with everything on it! Today I made one with spring mix, shredded cabbage, sliced grilled chicken, pickled beets, blue cheese, edamame, hearts of palm and strawberries then topped it with a berry apple cider vinegar dressing! I ate every bite!

Looking Forward To... My first specialist appt on Nov 15th and the gender reveal Dec 3rd!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

10 Weeks Twin Pregnancy Update - Identical

I'm writing this at 10.5 weeks but I'm glad I waited. I got a call from my OB today saying a Dr had reviewed my ultrasound and they believe I am carrying Mono-Di Twins! For people not familiar with the twin world, that means Identical twins who share a placenta but are in different amniotic sacs. It also means I am about mid-risk in as far as the pregnancy goes. Well mid-risk in the "High Risk" world. I was referred to a Maternal Fetal Specialist group for my next ultrasound in lieu of having it at my regular dr office and from now on I will see the MFM specialists for all ultrsaounds and see my OB for regular maternal health checkups. So basically, lots of appointments!

My friend Amber also contacted me and said she wanted to throw us a gender reveal party! Since this is for-sure my last pregnancy and with it being twins and all, I think that will be SO FUN! Especially because this way B and I will find out the genders together. :) I can't wait!!

Emotionally, I have been in a bad place. Let's be honest, I was throwing myself a little pity party for a few weeks. But thankfully I have decided to turn that around. I decided that while there are a million things to worry and stress-over during this pregnancy (TTTS, NICU, Bed Rest, Money etc etc) I am just going to choose to be happy that God chose me to be the mama of these two new babies. He clearly has a plan and He will help me. I am not going to focus on how hard it will be or the risks and dangers involved. After all, it won't help anyone for me to do that and it will only steal the joy of today.

Babies are the size of... Dates..or Kumquats (a little over an inch from head to butt)

How far along... 10 Weeks

Maternity Clothes? Not wearing any yet but so many of my awesome friends have contacted me to give me some! Yay! One less thing to worry about. Thanks guys!

Weight Gain: -3 lbs total so far. I think I have been losing some muscle from not exercising as often as I am used to doing.

Workouts: Last week I did 2 days of LISS (1 hour fast paced walking), 1 Full Body workout (week 20 BBG) and 1 HIIT workout (sprinting and resting for 12 mins)

Symptoms: Pretty much the same. I feel somewhat fine all morning until about 12 pm when the morning sickness kicks in pretty bad. 

Stretch Marks? Not yet!

Sleep: By 2 pm it's hard to stay awake. I fall asleep pretty early but I have crazy dreams and regularly wake up mid-run out of my room before I realize I don't know where I am running to...LOL On a huuuugeeee positive, Isla started sleeping through the night!! All the praise hands!

Movement?  You will think I am crazy but I started feeling the babies last night. Just some little twitches but still exciting! I felt Isla start moving at 11 weeks and with twins you feel them sooner so I guess I am right on track. 

Genders and Twin Type: Mono-Di (Identical Twins). and the genders will be revealed on December 3rd!!! 

What I Miss... Not being so moody. I am usually a pretty stable emotional person but I have had such a short fuse lately. I find myself yelling easily and just being crabby in general. I also miss being productive. I can count on doing ONE thing a day...usually its a workout that I choose or cleaning project. 

Food Cravings: Halloween Candy! hahaha Ive also started drinking my Green Smoothies again and I enjoy those for breakfast each day.

Looking Forward To... My first MFM scan and the Gender Reveal Party!!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

9 Week Pregnancy Update- Surprise! It's TWINS!

I love looking back on my pregnancies with my two girls so when I found out I was pregnant again I knew I would blog about it. This past week was my first ultrasound. I didn't expect anything exciting except maybe to hear the heartbeat. I had Isla with me and Avelyn was in school. First off, taking a 1 year old to your OBGYN appts is no fun. I don't remember it being so hard with Avelyn but for whatever reason, Isla hates that place. She cried pretty much nonstop the entire time.

So let's get to it shall we? I went into the ultrasound room and started nursing Isla up on the table so that she would calm down and be quiet. Every mom knows you get butterflies at first because you never know what could happen. As soon as we started we saw a baby and that put me at ease. The tech measured the baby and we decided I was off by 2 days and adjusted my due date to May 27 from May 25. She checked the heartbeat (163 bpm just like my other babies) and then started an exporatory mission of my ovaries. I never remembered that part from previous ultrasounds but I'm sure then did it then as well. I asked her if everything was okay and she said they looked great. Then she said the most confusing thing to me:

"How do you feel about having four kids?"

I laughed and replied, "Oh no, we are done! This pregnancy was a surprise and my husband has already agreed to get snipped." As casual as can be she said, "Well, your going to have four."

I was so confused. I said something like, "There aren't four babies in there?" And she said, "No, but there are TWO."

It really took way too long for me to process this. I started laughing hysterically and crying at the same time, all while repeating, "THIS IS NOT HAPPENING!" I thought it was a joke. C'mon. I have never heard of twin in either of our families. It was such a fluke that I got pregnant to begin with. I only had one period before finding out of this pregnancy.

After that part, I don't remember much else of the visit. They did a full check-up since it had been over a year and started rattling off all this information. Extra folic acid prescriptions, Ultrasounds every 4 weeks or sooner. Maternal Fetal Specialists. I am now considered High-Risk. My previous preterm labor at 30 weeks with both girls will make this extra scary. yada yada yada

I am so overwhelmed. There is so much to learn about twins. To start, there are four kinds. It all depends on whether they share a sac or a placenta or both. Identical twins that share a placenta are the riskiest and fraternal ones that have their own placentas are the least riskiest. I feel like first time mom all over again! 

I've been googling and finding blogs and talking to other twin moms. So far the best blogs I have found are:

Both of those twin moms have older children and since that's part of the reason I am freaked out, I figured reading their stories would help ease some of my anxiety. So far, it hasn't worked at all. I have a long road ahead but I don't want to let this post get too long. Here is my 9 week bumpdate!

Babies are the size of... grapes! 

How far along... 9 weeks 1 day

Maternity Clothes? Not yet but it's not far off. My workout pants are uncomfortably tight at the top and I can't wear them for very long. I can still wear my regular jeans but the waist used to be huge and now I have to unbutton them after a few hours. I gave all of my maternity clothes (as well as baby stuff) away this summer so I am on the hunt for maternity clothes all over again.

Weight Gain: None yet, I have actually lost 2 lbs despite eating my usual amounts.

Workouts: I have been sticking with my BBG since finding out I was pregnant. This past week I was only able to do 1 workout (Week 11 Legs). LISS makes me feel sicker so that's not going to work for a while. I got conflicting information on whether I could keep up with my high intensity workouts but I was just given the green light from my dr. :)

Symptoms: Horrible morning/all day sickness. It kicked in at 5.5 weeks. It got so bad I could barely walk. I didn't remember it being so horrible with either of my other pregnancies but I just assumed it was because it was baby #3 and all. I've also had some extreme dizziness even when I'm sitting down. I took my BP and saw it was 90/70. I usually run a little high during pregnancy instead of low but all of these are common in twin pregnancies. You would think it might have given me a hint but no, never ever ever did it cross my mind I could be carrying two babies. My emotions are all over the place as well but that's pretty normal for me during pregnancy. The only other symptom is extreme exhaustion. It doesn't help that my husband has been gone for two weeks and I haven't had one single break. 

Stretch Marks? No. I never had any with either of my other pregnancies but I am pretty worried that it is inevitable this time. After seeing pictures of women pregnant with twins...I am a little freaked out about how huge I will become.

Sleep: Isla still wakes up to nurse a couple times a night but usually I go right back to sleep. Ever since finding out it's twins, I have a harder time getting back to sleep. My mind is always racing.

Movement?  Not yet. I felt Avelyn at 18 weeks and Isla at 11 weeks so we will see!

Genders and Twin Type:  I should find out genders around 14 weeks and twin type at my 12 week ultrasound.

What I Miss... Feeling strong and well. Having Energy.

Food Cravings:  Fruit!

Looking Forward To... my 12 week ultrasound.

There is so much more I could write but Isla is crying and ready for nap!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Facebook Fast

As some of my friends know, I am participating in "The Seven Experiment" this summer. Jen Hatmaker experimented first on herself and wrote about it in her book Seven (highly recommend reading this). The basics are fasting in seven categories:

  • Clothes
  • Spending
  • Waste
  • Food
  • Possessions
  • Media
  • Stress
This week is the Media fast. I have chosen to fast from Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TV (including Netflix) and then I threw in MyFitnessPal and my scale for good measure. I was earnestly looking forward to it due to the heavily negative news cycles [Trump, Hillary, Bernie, Cops, Shootings, Terrorists, Guns, Innocent People Dying, Kids Dying]. These things burdened me. I felt their weight throughout the day. I couldn't read a first-hand account of a mother holding her 4 year old's corpse and then carry on about my day like nothing happened. So when I came upon this week's fast, I was relieved.

The first day wasn't that big of a deal. I did keep grabbing for my phone and after realizing there was nothing for me to do on it, I stopped. I downloaded Pandora and started playing Young Oceans Radio throughout the day. What I noticed blew my mind.

I was rested.
I was focused.
I was productive. (This was a surprise since I have always thought of myself and very productive anyway)
I played Barbies with Avelyn.
I stroked Isla's hair while I nursed her to sleep.
I started a cross-stitched Christmas stocking.
I was patient. (because we weren't running late to anything)

Prior to this, I thought the fractured-thinking, stressed-out, emotionally-exhausted, always-rushed person was just who I was. That's how all moms are right? I am completely humbled (and more than a little embarrassed) to admit it was all completely self-inflicted!

Jen worded it perfectly when she said, "I felt like I took a deep breath for the first time in ages."

That's how this past week was for me. A huge breath of fresh air!

The parts I missed are the reasons I won't get rid of Social Media alltogether. I missed the community. I missed the mom-articles. I missed the baby pictures and updates of my friends. I missed knowing when all my friends were going to a splash pad or celebrating an important event.

Even though it was wonderful, spending the week disconnected did make me feel...disconnected. So I will stick around but the biggest changes for me will be how frequently I check my phone and also how many people I follow.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

It's Not a Competition

This morning I am guest blogging over at The Candid Pastor's Wife. Stephanie is my bestie/heart-sister/wisdom-dispenser/truth-sharer/friend who also happens to be a pastor's wife at my church. This week she is on vacation (yay!) and she asked me to write a guest post for her.

I decided to be a little vulnerable and talk about some of the struggles of being a wife to a Merchant Marine. It's not what you think! Click the link to read the full post!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

My Favorite Plant-Based Protein Powder

My first criteria for selecting protein powder is nutrition. I need quality protein that isn't sourced from whey or soy. I've found that my body doesn't digest those well and I tend to feel bloated or sluggish afterwards.  I also look to see how it's sweetened. I don't intake any artificial sweeteners and haven't since before I was pregnant with Avelyn. I try to stick to as wholesome and natural ingredients as possible. That being said, here are the top three Plant-Based Protein Powders I use in my shakes and smoothies.

Vega Protein & Greens 
Stats: 110 cals/scoop 20 g protein
Pros: Includes two servings of greens in each scoop. Has great quality protein and is reasonably priced at $30 (Costco)
Cons: Out of the three protein powders I am reviewing today, this one has the worst texture. I can't seem to make the grit go away so I try to beat it by adding Orange Juice and Ice.
Ingredients: Vega Protein Blend (pea protein, SaviSeed [sacha inchi] protein, hemp seed protein, sprouted whole grain brown rice protein), natural French vanilla flavors, Vega Green Blend (organic alfalfa grass powder, spinach powder, broccoli powder, organic kale powder), papaya concentrate powder (contains naturally occurring enzymes), stevia leaf extract, xanthan gum.

Orgain Organic Protein Powder - 2.74 lbs

Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder
Stats: 150 Cals/Serving 21g Protein
Pros: Great flavor, all organic ingredients, great price at $30 (sometimes is on sale for $24)
Cons: Again, the texture is not great. Instead of gritty this one is slimy? You have to add a ton of almond milk and ice to get rid of it.
Ingredients: Orgain Organic Protein Blend (Organic Brown Rice Protein, Organic Sprouted Chia Seed, Organic Hemp Protein, Organic Pea Protein), Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Organic Erythritol, Organic Rice Dextrins, Organic Cocoa, Organic Acacia Gum, Organic Inulin, Organic Natural Flavors, Organic Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Organic Rice Bran Extract, Sea Salt, Organic Stevia, Monkfruit, Rosemary Extract

Vega® Sport Performance Protein - Chocolate - VEGA - GNC

Vega Sport Performance Protein
Stats: 160 Cals/Serving 30g Protein
Pros: This one has a ton of protein (30 grams). It also tastes really good, like a chocolate milk shake! The texture is wonderful and it contains Turmeric, Tart Cherry and Probiotics! This is my favorite protein!
Cons: Price- My local HEB sells it for $59 normally but I bought it during their quarterly Healthy Living Section Sale (20%) and it was already on sale. I think I paid around $42 total. I saw it on Amazon in the $40 range and I may buy it from there in the future.
Ingredients: Pea protein, Cocoa powder, Pumpkin seed protein, Organic sunflower seed protein, Alfalfa protein, Tart cherry, Probiotics (Bacillus coagulans [provides 1 billion cfu/serving]), Bromelain, Turmeric extract, Black Pepper extract. Contains less than 2% of: Beetroot powder (for color), Sea salt, Natural chocolate flavor, Natural vanilla flavor, Natural caramel flavor, Stevia extract, Xanthan gum.

There is a lot more to finding the right protein powder for you and I encourage you to read up on all of these before you try one. Is there an excellent plant-based protein not listed here? Tell me about it!!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Smoothie Recipe

Being a busy mom on the go, I don't always have time to pack a ton of nutrition into a quick meal. For that reason, I usually drink at least one smoothie a day. We all know smoothies are healthy, but they aren't all created equal. You have to be careful of sneaky sugar (artificial is worse than the real deal in my opinion) and also listen to your body on what it likes. This smoothie is filling, has great nutrition, low calories, low sugar and tastes amazing. So without further ado.

1 scoop Vega Sport Performance Protein (Chocolate)
1/3 packet Fresh Start Organic Smoothie Blend (Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, Kale and Spinach)
1 cup of Coconut Water or Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
+ water and ice for desired consistency

Nutritional Information:
31 g Protein
24 g Carbohydrates
5 g Fiber
13 g Sugar
3 g Fat
443 mg Sodium
470 mg Potassium
50% Vitamin A
47% Vitamin C
22% Calcium (much more if using almond milk)
28% Iron

I usually drink this about an hour before my workout so that I have energy but don't feel too full. I also have it in the afternoons sometimes when I have a chocolate craving.

What are some of your favorite smoothie recipes?