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!!