Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Updated pics and a video of the excited big brother

Lovely webcam photo of a photo--Quality, right?! This is the GIRL: Brooklyn

Again, look at the quality here...just kidding. Here is our BOY: Aidan.
On to the Silly Putty 3-d pictures, This is Brooklyn's profile with her little hand in the way--she's consistently been camera shy. Must get that from her daddy!

And finally this is Aidan, look at that bone structure! ;) He does have a sharp little nose, but it's hard to see here. They just didn't want to hold still long enough to get a good capture!

We've established that I'm not so consistent...BUT...

It's funny because some of the biggest news has come and gone and yet where was the blog post?? Well, apparently I'm a slacker! Or better yet, I'm an expecting mama who is just too tired to form a coherent sentence most of the time when I have a 'free' moment. But, alas it has come time for the great reveal!!

On Oct. 15th we were able to go in for a comprehensive ultrasound, which was a really neat experience. You wouldn't think that much has changed in the four years since we were finding out that Kaleb was a boy and proud to be so! All of the things that they were able to check for on the twins was truly impressive. But the most important factor that we had been waiting on was GENDER. Checking out the first baby--which has been referred to as baby B from the get go, the sonographer very confidently declared "it's a girl" At that point I let out a yelp of sorts. I was so incredibly excited to get a girl, that I genuinely didn't care what the other ended up being because I knew that I could officially, without second thought be done with the whole impregnation bit! John took it pretty well but did let out a huge sigh of relief when baby A was deemed a boy.

One of each, just what I put my order in for ;) the factory get's it right sometimes I suppose! As thrilled as I was with the results it was also very comforting to see how in depth each of the babies were examined. We were able to see all four chambers of each of their hearts and how their blood flows, all of the major organs and the umbilical cords were checked out quite closely. It was very cool what they can tell you at just 20 weeks! The science behind these ultrasounds has definitely seen vast improvements in a short amount of time.

Kaleb had been sick the days leading up to this event, and on the morning of the ultrasound convinced his teachers that he was 'sick'...he has a little of his mama's theatre in his blood! So, even though they frown upon young children being present for the ultrasounds it was a really neat experience to be able to share with him. He was so fascinated by hearing their heartbeats. I think it made the whole concept of babies in mommy's tummy a little more real to him.

We already had a name picked if we had a girl, we weren't quite settled on a boy name though. It's been exciting because I've really felt this whole time that there was one of each, maybe it was because Kaleb told us so as soon as we found out that we were having twins. He seems to know things that we don't! In the tradition of Baby 'A' and Baby 'B' we are going with Aidan Bradley and Brooklyn June.

At my appointment it was great to hear the nurse/midwife say that things couldn't look better from the ultrasounds and my labs. I honestly feel really good. Of course I wish I had more energy, and wish that gravity would allow for the things I drop to come back up to me without any squatting or bending over--but that's pretty minor in comparison to the misery of morning sickness. On the whole I feel like I'm doing really well, I'm still working full time and the only real complaint I've had is due to the round ligament pain and the fact that Brooklyn has settled in really really low. I wasn't sleeping well at all because of the aches in my hips and pelvis (felt like I was trying to move while wearing steel underwear) they gave me a muscle relaxant which truly has helped me get rest at night, which makes all the difference in the world!

Kaleb is thrilled about having a brother and a sister. He has learned their names and usually remembers which baby is on which side of my belly--but he does still refer to them by the names he gave them: "Monster" and "Mickey Mouse". He loves to look into my belly button to check on them, and talk to them. Kaleb is still quite protective of me as well, when I groan or whince at a sharp movement he is the first to scold "Hey baby, stop kicking my mommy." Tonight that was followed up with, "I big, I beat you up, Monster." So the sibling rivalry and minor battles begin!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sick of being SICK!

This past week and a half has been a serious challenge for me, initially Kaleb got sick at preschool. He had a cough and would make himself cough until he threw up, beautiful visual I know! Anyway, he was in relatively good condition otherwise just a little grumpy. I had a prenatal visit on friday which was disappointing because the Dr. hadn't scheduled a full ultrasound which is what they do monthly on these twin visits. Anyway, so I had a regular visit with one of the midwives on staff and a med student. They were very excited to pull a portable ultrasound machine into the room and do a little prodding to check on the babies. Not being ultrasonographers they did their best but we couldn't get much more than two wiggley babies with normal size heads and regular heartbeats. Just knowing that is very helpful, but I admit I was bummed because we were hoping to find out genders on that visit. So the mystery continues!

By Monday he was acting fine and really wanted to go to school. But then at work I get the call to come pick him up. This time around he was running a fever, which always gets me worried. I had picked up some of the beautiful coughing fits from him at this point, when Kaleb didn't want to wake up after an almost three hour nap I knew I needed to get him seen right then (despite the fact that there were no appointments available on base.) So we finally got the referral to ok a visit to the urgent care. We checked in at 4:35pm and didn't get seen until 8:45pm--which was technically 45 minutes after the entire building closed for the day. We were home with prescriptions at 9. It was a looooooooooooong day, and I definitely got exposed to more than I ever wanted.

Tuesday I worked half a day at the office and half a day from home. Come Wednesday I was getting ready for work despite the lack of sleep and serious congestion when I started on the vomit comet. Definitely not how I planned to spend my day! I was a serious trooper and worked my butt off from home, despite the fact that I was miserable and had little to no voice left.

So this morning I wake up with an eye gooped shut. At this point there was no choice, I needed to go to the Dr. the congestion issues I'd been having obviously traveled to my eye--and let's face it, this was NOT pretty.

I'd been trying so hard to avoid medications wherever possible, but I knew that I was only making myself worse by not getting antibiotics, so even though the clinics here are all overflowing and getting an appointment is next to impossible I managed to get squeezed in--yes I absolutely played the high risk pregnancy card, I have no shame.

Diagnosed with a serious sinus infection, and a headcold which has gone into my eye I finally got the medication I need to help me get better so I can be a better 'oven' for these tots I'm cooking up! I was able to hear the heartbeats with the doppler today, every little connection like that is really powerful. That was definitely the highlight to one yucky sick day.

I bargained with the Dr. to get a note to go back to work on Monday (he wanted me to be off until Wed. I told him not a chance!) So that was my minor victory as well, even though I know that I am going to have to take things much easier or I'll over-do it since I'm so exhausted.

So here's to hoping that next week will go much more smoothly...and cross your fingers that the babies play nicely on thursday so that we can find out their sexes!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A late update!

Both babies--even though 3-d ultrasounds freak me out a little because the babies look like play-doh and/or silly is kind of sweet to see them both almost cooperating with each other.

Baby A cooperated nicely for the first 3-D ultrasound picture, this was at 14 wks. 1 day. Baby B was not nearly as cooperative wiggling and tucking as far back as possible--this is my kidney baby, loves my back!

I forgot my sign in to this account, hence the reason this update is so delayed. But all is going well with the babies. They are certainly growing and wiggling around a lot more frequently! Today I am 16 wks 2 days--which means 100 days have passed since conception! That's kind of a cool milestone :)

I definitely feel baby A moving around more than baby B because A is higher up, and as I mentioned before baby B really loves tucking itself as far back and as low as possible.

My next appointment is Oct 2nd and we're really hoping that we'll be able to find out the sexes at that point. We did confirm for certain that they are fraternal twins at the last appointment.

Kaleb is anxiously awaiting their arrival and talks to the babies in my tummy almost every day, he is going to be a very protective big brother. In fact he would not let go of the ultrasound pictures he took them to both his daycare and his school so that he could show all of his teachers and his friends! It was very sweet--even though he cried when the kids tried to touch them because they are HIS babies and he didn't want the kids to steal them. Each day this all feels a little more real--I think the fact that I'm having twins is actually finally starting to sink in. Especially because I'm getting big extremely quickly. I now am at the point where I have an appetite and though I get tired extremely easily I definitely am feeling much better than I have in quite some time! I guess not puking all the time adds to that sense of comfort and well-being. So despite the fact that I feel like a little old lady when I head to bed at about 8pm every night, things are going really well!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Life is so precious

This week was a great challenge to me, everything is fine with the babies and myself, but it became completely clear to me how quickly life can change. A dear friend and coworker of mine was also pregnant, she found out a week before me and we have commiserated every step of the way. Last week she had received news that one of her blood tests came back with a high result indicating potential downs syndrome and would require further testing. It was obviously a concern for her, but it was also abundantly clear to anyone who had ever met her that she would love this baby no matter what. An ultrasound was scheduled for Monday, and unfortunately no heartbeat could be found. The baby had not made it. Because she was so far along, twenty weeks, they made her deliver the baby. I cannot imagine the pain she went through knowing that her labor was all for naught. After eight hours she delivered a beautiful baby boy, they were able to hold his lifeless body. He was named Noah Lee, and they were given an inked footprint as a keepsake.

The pain that she is experiencing is beyond my capacity, I have been blessed to have never experienced the loss of a pregnancy. And to be so far along where this baby was a constant companion actively moving in her womb. My heart breaks for her. Upon hearing the news I was devastated. Though not logical in any way, I feel so much 'survivor's guilt' for there not being complications with my pregnancy. I know that I am still in a position where anything could happen, but that is the case with virtually every pregnancy on earth.

The memorial service was so hard to attend, I knew that I would receive unwanted attention simply because of my condition. But it was so hard to see this poor family and all of their loved ones suffering from this loss. I couldn't keep it under control and was so grateful for the tissues that I had snagged on my way out the door. It was so nice to see such support, and I know that the ceremony and burial would give them some level of closure.

With all my heart I wish that things could have changed for her, for Noah. But in the meantime I'm doing everything in my power to take the best care of me so that I can do whatever possible to protect these precious gifts that I have been entrusted with.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sonograms 10 wks 4 days

Baby A on top, you can only see the head. Baby B is laying profile hogging the shot!

Baby A only, to show that there's a whole baby there not just a noggin, like in the other shots!

I love this shot because even though you can only partially see baby A, if you look on baby be you can see the little arm that was just waving around like crazy! ...And I adore that the two sacs almost make a heart. I'm a girl, what can I say!!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Seriously?! Seriously?!!!

After almost a month of officially knowing that I was pregnant I was incredibly excited to find out exactly how far along I really was. Again the joys of having a stressful job wreaking havoc on any sort of cycle I had going made the actual conception date quite the mystery. I had my first ultrasound and official appointment scheduled over at Women's Medical Center. (This after two at-home pregnancy tests, and two blood tests administered by the military since the first result apparently disappeared into cyber oblivion.) There was no doubt in my mind that I was pregnant, but how pregnant was important to find out!

John was really supportive of me throughout the entire pregnancy with Kaleb and was at my side at all of my appointments. This time around his schedule isn't necessarily going to permit that, but I was pleased that he wanted to go along for the ultrasound. That morning I woke up and drank the required amount of water to prepare. John took Kaleb to daycare and met me over at the clinic, after a quick stop for a refill for my water bottle. Too much water, too early wasn't a great combination for me so I practically had to start over with drinking!

Finally after a short while in the waiting room we got called back for the ultrasound. I positioned myself on the mini-bed and John got comfortable on the chair. I was rocking maternity jeans because none of my regular jeans were going to cooperate with my new expanding belly. I pulled down the fabulous navy stretch fabric that all pregnant women come to know and love and prepared for the goo!

The set up was quite nice, with a tv monitor mounted on the wall for John and I to view instead of having to peek over and see what the tech was seeing. The first picture that popped up on the screen was fairly clear to me, it looked like an amniotic sac but I didn't see a baby. The tech scrolled down a little farther to what I thought was a different angle of the same thing, this time I saw a blur of potential baby.

"Ummm...well, there's two."

My head exploded in that moment! I hear John say, "Can you check again?"
A little more pressure and a few clear strokes there was no more question in my mind that there truly were two babies. But I still absolutely couldn't wrap my head around how on earth they got there!! I have no history of twins in my family, except one occasion when fertility drugs also played a role, and John's family was full of singletons as well.

We watched with very little communication, we both were in shock. I kept checking in with John as the scan went on to view more specifics, making sure he wasn't going to pass out on me! Hearing the tech refer to Baby A and Baby B was such a foreign concept from my initial game plan!

Everything was beginning to make more sense, about the portion of pregnancy that had already passed. The overwhelming nausea, the aches and cramping that I hadn't experienced until much further along with Kaleb.

We established that I was 10 weeks and 4 days along. I was truly hoping that I was farther, but knowing now that my body is doing double the work it was alright.

After the initial shock wore off it was very cool to see the different angles and the wiggly little fetuses. Both babies were so active, and watching their heartbeats was really incredible.

John went home after that portion of the appointment because he had seen what he needed and wanted to avoid seeing anything he didn't want to see! All of the labs and paps and lovely femine things that follow on the initial appointment.

I sat in the waiting room, mentally going over the news that absolutely changes all of our lives. I was mentally calculating the cost of duplicate everything, this pregnancy sure was a lot cheaper an hour before! My cell phone was at home charging so I didn't have the opportunity to call my mom, update my facebook or any of the other technological wonders that I was aching to use--since I was just bursting wanting to share this crazy new information!

It was actually a very neat coincidence that one of my girlfriends from the spouses group showed up for an appointment of her own and I was able to squeal and get it out there in the universe.

The rest of the day was a blur of spreading the word and trying to accomplish some work in the process. When I got home after work, I caught up with my boys out playing in the backyard. I asked John if he had explained to Kaleb what was going on. He said that he had told him, but he wasn't sure it stuck in his three year old head. I called Kaleb over, got down to his level and said, "Hey honey, remember how mommy has a baby in her tummy?"

Before I could even finish my thought Kaleb interrupted, "No mommy, two babies." I looked at John with raised eyebrows, I had been told. My fear that Kaleb would be upset by the news vanished and despite the fact that I know he will have issues when the babies are born and he suddenly has to share the spotlight, he is very happy in the now. So despite all my concerns and nerves I know that I can do this, even if it does terrify me! I am just going to take it one day at a time!

Oh mama, welcome back to pregnancyville

Even when you 'know' it's still a shock to see those two pink lines on the pee stick. I thought I might be pregnant again because of the way my body was misbehaving, and it had been a while since my favorite visitor had stopped in regularly. Looking for confirmation I did a quick run to Walmart before work to pick up two tests--never trust one!

As a twenty six year old, happily married, working mother of one I was feeling pretty good about where I stood in life. My husband John and I had discussed having another child before, and though it took some convincing John finally agreed that it might be nice for our son Kaleb to have some company that wasn't four-legged and furry. He agreed to the concept but we had no firm plans in mind, nor a time frame to consider. My day job and freelance photography work were plenty to keep me distracted in addition to the countless hours spent entertaining Kaleb. Needless to say, pregnancy was a potential possibility but it was definitely not a planned adventure in my near future.

Fast forward to spring 2009, John had been going through training and instructor school for his military career. He was TDY off and on, mostly on, from Feb. through June. Home and/or Hotel weekend meet ups were about the extent of our family time. Apparently that is also ample time to 'expand' the family as well! Welcome Backs/I missed you's are often tucked into whatever free moments one can muster away from the three year old, precautions aren't always top of mind!

I wasn't sure which occasion had created the fetus growing in my belly, but the daily vomiting, lack of energy and general need to pee every twelve seconds removed all doubt that I was indeed expecting.

I called John to inform him of the status change, and after a few shocked moments I think it sunk in. Luckily he came home 'for good'--as far as military life allows--not long after. We have been adjusting and making plans for the upcoming months and even years. I dare say, John had even transferred from the 'shock and awe' mindset to actual excitement.

Despite the yucky feeling that HCG blesses me with, I am excited for the future!