Friday, January 30, 2009

27 weeks!

Hello 27 weeks! We're almost into the 3rd trimester now....the final stretch!

I'd like to say things have been uneventful around here, but that wouldn't be accurate this week. Tuesday I guess I ate some spaghetti that had been sitting on the counter too long. I know I put it in the fridge Sunday afternoon, but when I went to eat it Tuesday it was already on the counter...I just figured that either I did it and forgot that I did, or that Quinn did since he likes to play in the fridge. The spaghetti still felt cool so I went ahead and heated it up and ate it. Wednesday night I started having horrible stomach cramps and nausea. My first thought was that I was going into premature labor, but the pain seemed to be towards the top of my belly only. I had no idea what was happening so I called the afterhours line at my doctor's office and they told me to go to the hospital's Maternal Assessment Center to make sure. I had to go to a hospital that was 45 minutes away in downtown Minneapolis because the hospital I am using isnt equipped to handle babies born before 32 weeks. I'm glad I know that now! But they wanted me to head downtown just in case. So I got there and they were able to determine fairly quickly that what I was feeling were not contractions. I was hooked up to the monitor and they found both girls' heartrates and they remained perfectly fine throughout the whole ordeal. The contraction monitor wasnt picking up much at first, but once I got up to use the restroom (diarrhea) and came back to my room and threw up in the trash can, I started to get dehydrated and I had some regular contractions. They weren't strong or anything (measuring as high as 26...nowhere near the 70-80 range as when I was in labor with the boys) but they were coming in regular intervals so they put me on an IV to hydrate me. They decided to go ahead and run the FFN test, which tests for a certain protein on your cervix that predicts pretty accurately if you will go into labor within the next 2 weeks. It came back negative, and my cervix was high, firm, and completely closed. All very good signs! So after I was on the IV for a couple hours, the little contractions slowed considerably and then I was discharged. I continued to throw up in a bucket in the car on the way home though. And all day Thursday I felt weak and tired and still couldnt really eat much. I basically drank water and Gatorade all day to make sure I had enough fluids. I slept really well last night...I think I only woke up once to use the restroom and refill my water cup. And today I feel pretty much 100% better. I've been able to eat and drink like normal.

The girls are doing fabulous. They didnt give me an ultrasound at the hospital so I dont know how they are laying but I will find that out at my appointment next week. I can tell that they both favor the right side of my belly, because sometimes it looks all distorted towards the right. I'm getting to the phase of "Guess that body part" so that will be fun!

My groin pain has subsided again. I think with each little growth spurt the girls & my belly have, it loosens up my pelvic ligaments and thats what causes the pain. Sometimes its excruciating to walk or even just to lift a foot to put on pants. But it comes and goes and it seems like it coincides with growth. So its just something I have to deal with I guess. Its not permanent, so no big deal!

Here's the girls' development for 27 weeks:
  • Your little one's brain continues its rapid growth. Don't forget to share music, conversation, and even books with baby!
  • Response to sound grows more consistent toward the end of the seventh month, when the network of nerves to the ear is complete. Baby's hearing continues to develop, he or she may start to recognize your voice as well as your partner's.
  • Lungs continue to grow and prepare for functioning outside of the womb. Each day in the womb greatly increases survival rates!
  • She also continues to take small breaths and although she's only breathing in water and not air, it's still good practice for when she's born.
  • Eyelids are now open more. Baby can distinguish between light and dark.
  • Retinas have formed.
  • Baby will grow over an inch this week alone! You may suspect this phenomenal growth rate repeats in the preteen years!
  • Average size is now 14.4 inches (36.6cm) and 1.9 pound (875gm).

And here is my belly picture from today. Next week I will hopefully have ultrasound pictures to post too. :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

26 weeks!

Another week has gone by already! Not much to report...just looking forward to my next appointment on Feb 3rd! Well I am not looking forward to the glucose tolerance test, but I suppose I'll just have to deal with it!

M&B sent me a zip file full of music that they will be playing for the girls as they grow, along with some files of them reading some classic childrens' stories. I made a playlist with a story. then 3-4 songs, a story, 3-4 songs, etc. So yesterday I started putting headphones on my belly so the girls can hear this music and the voices and they will be more familiar with them once they are born. Yesterday right after I put the headphones on my belly and hit play on my laptop, the girls started kicking like crazy. It was B's voice reading a story to them. I think it probably startled them but I thought it was cute. As I type this right now, I've got the playlist going. This was actually M&B's idea and I thought it was an awesome one! I've included a picture of me sitting in the recliner with headphones on my belly down with my belly pics. :)
Well here's the 26 week developmental update:
  • Your baby may weigh about two pounds now (average is 1.7 pound, 760gm) and is 14 inches (35.6cm) in length
  • To support the fetus's growing body, the spine is getting stronger and more supple.
  • Though no longer than the span of the average adult hand, it is now made up of 150 joints, 33 rings, and some 1,000 ligaments.
  • Air sacs in the lungs form now.
  • Lungs begin to secrete a greasy substance called surfactant. Without surfactant the fetal lungs would stick together and couldn't expand after the baby is born.
  • Although they've been sealed shut for the last few months, your baby's eyes are opening and beginning to blink this week. Depending on ethnicity, some babies will be born with blue or gray-blue eyes (which may change color in the first 6 months of life) and some will be born with brown or dark eyes.
  • Retinas begin to form.
  • Brain wave activity for hearing and sight begins to be detectable.
  • Fetal brain scans show response to touch.
  • If you shine a light on your abdomen, your baby will turn her head, which according to researchers, means his optic nerve is working.

And here are my new belly pics:

Friday, January 16, 2009

25 weeks!

It's time for my weekly update!

Everything is still going smoothly. I had a couple of weeks where I felt great, but now I'm sore again. It seems to be lightening up again though. I guess it's just one of those things that I'll have to get used to. It feels like as the girls get bigger they are putting more pressure on my pelvis, which takes my pelvis a week or two to get used to. No biggie...I suppose it could always be worse! :)

Here's the 25 week development update:
  • The structures of the spine begin to form -- joints, ligaments and rings. These will protect the all important spinal cord which serves as the information transmitter for your child's body.
  • Blood vessels of the lungs develop.
  • Baby's nostrils begin to open. There is a study out of Belfast that suggests babies at this stage have the capability of scent preferences!
  • The nerves around the mouth and lip area are showing more sensitivity now. When baby is rooting for food later on, these will be valuable!
  • Her swallowing reflexes are developing.
  • Dexterity is improving. Your baby can make a fist and would clasp objects placed in palm.
  • Your child has now obtained an approximate length of 13.6 inches (34.6cm) and weighs 1.46 pound (660gm).

Another site I read for updates says babies at this stage are 2 pounds already. So I'm sure the girls are somewhere between the two.

I dont know if anyone noticed, but I added more Important Dates to my blog, over on the right side. I start the 3rd trimester on February 6th! That's not very far away! We're just sailing through this thing! It has been wonderful! :)

Now here are my new belly pics. I'm posting one with my shirt covering my belly, my bare belly, and then a front shot of my bare belly. I think the frontal shots are awkward looking, but I figure I could post one here and there.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Oh, and...

I had a checkup on Monday and everything was great! I have gained a total of 28 pounds, which is right on target. My blood pressure was great, the girls' hearts sounded great, and I'm measuring big. My doctor said you typically measure 3 weeks bigger with twins and I am measuring 8 weeks bigger! I'm not sure what that means other than that the girls are both presenting right out front. If they spread out and scoot my internal organs around a bit, maybe I'll start to measure 'normal'. LOL

My next appointment is Tuesday, February 3rd, which is bittersweet because that would have been when I was due had the first transfer worked. If it had worked and it was twins, I would have probably had them by now! Or I'd be pretty close! But everything happens for a reason and these 2 little girls were meant to be M&B's daughters. My mother-in-law always says you have the children you are meant to have...and I can say that is definitely true with my boys. I always wanted a daughter but now that I have two boys I honestly wouldn't want it any other way.

Anyways, at my next appointment I will have my glucose screening, which tests for gestational diabetes. I have to drink this sickeningly sweet glucose drink, and then have my blood tested an hour later to see how my body is processing the sugar. As long as I pass it, I'm good to go. If I fail it, I will have to come back in for a 3 hour glucose test!!! And then if I fail that one I will have to go on a diabetes diet! I never had GD with my kids, so I am hoping that remains true for this pregnancy. I will also start getting growth ultrasounds at every appointment, starting with this one. And then at 32 weeks I will start getting biophysical profiles of the girls as well as ultrasounds and NSTs (non-stress tests). And I think thats when I start going every week! Or maybe that starts at 30 weeks....not sure. I will find out next time. I just cant believe I am this close to the end already!

24 weeks!

24 weeks today and nothing new to report, at least where I am concerned! LOL! I still feel great. In fact the more I do, the better I feel. Too bad its January in Minnesota and I cant really get out and do much! I had a playdate with a friend & her son this morning and it was so nice to get out of the house and actually have some adult interaction! The boys were very well behaved too, so they made it easy for me. So I will actually be wearing clothes in my belly pics today instead of my jammies. I even took one with my belly bared since you can see it better that way. It's amazing how slimming my black shirt belly looks much smaller when I wear it!

First up, the girls' 24 week update:

  • Bring on the bulk! Baby gains about 6 ounces this week. The weight is in muscle, bone mass and organs.
  • Her body begins to fill out with her appearance increasingly becoming more like a newborn.
  • Taste buds begin to form. If mom drinks something strange or bitter, baby may be observed showing her distaste.
  • Little creases have appeared on her palms. The muscular coordination of her hands has improved as she sucks her thumb.
  • Over the next seven days the sweat glands will be forming in the skin.
  • Her lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" and cells that produce surfactant, a substance that helps the air sacs inflate easily.
  • This week your baby is officially considered viable.
  • Baby weighs 1.3 pound (600gm) and is 11.8 inches (30cm) long -- almost the length of a ruler!
And here they are, kinda! ;)

Friday, January 2, 2009

23 weeks!

Here we are at 23 weeks! This is the 'age of viability' where babies born at this gestation have a 15% survival rate. It's small, but a chance nonetheless. These girls are going to stay nice and snug in here for much much longer though!

I'm feeling pretty good. The back pain hasnt really been bothering me much. I'm not sure if I've just gotten used to it, or if I've corrected my posture enough for it to take some pressure off my lower back. Either way, I'm happy!

In 3 months, M&B will arrive in Minnesota to await the birth of their daughters! I will be between 35 and 36 weeks at that time, which is full term for twins, so they can make their appearances anytime after that point. If they decide to come a little earlier, I think the plan is for M to come immediately and for B to follow when he can. I'm aiming to keep them in until April 1st no matter what, so hopefully they will both be present for the birth.

Speaking of the birth, I need to start doing a birth plan. Nothing crazy...just that Chris, M, & B are to be in the room with me at all times, M&B can cut the cords if they want to, they get to hold the babies as soon as they're cleaned off, in the case of a c-section I want M to be in the operating room with me, etc. The plan is a little more important with this birth than with my own kids, because I need to make sure everyone understands that all the typical things that happen after birth need to include M&B before anyone else. I also need to work out how to get 3 ID bands for us, because they HAVE to give me one since I'm delivering the girls, but they typically only give one other (to the birth partner/spouse/whoever). The ID bracelets are important because you only get access to the babies in the nursery if you have matching bracelets. So I'd like to get one for both M&B so they can go get the girls in the nursery whenever they want instead of only one of them being able to. Just a technicality. I also need to pre-register for the hospital, although when I did that before Quinn was born it did no good. I showed up expecting just to check in and everything, but had to fill all the paperwork out AGAIN. So we'll see!

Here's what's going on with the girls' development this week!

  • Proportions of the body are now quite similar to a newborn although thinner since she hasn't begun to form body fat.
  • Bones located in the middle ear harden.
  • Your baby is able to hear. (Dads, did you know: low-frequency sounds mimicking a male voice penetrate the abdomen and uterine wall better than the higher frequencies of the female voice?)
  • The eyes are formed, though the iris still lacks pigmentation.
  • The pancreas, essential in the production of hormones, is developing steadily. She has begun producing insulin, important for the breakdown of sugars.
  • If born now, your baby has a 15% chance of survival, her odds going up with each passing day.
  • The average baby at this stage weighs 1.1 pound (501gm) and is 11.38 inches (28.9cm) long.

And here is my new belly pic! I decided to bless you all with my bare belly this time so you can see that its more round these days. The stretchmarks arent showing too bad, either.