Friday, July 26, 2013

Style File: 28 Weeks and some thoughts.

Well, I made it to 28 weeks. At this point the babies can blink their eyes and flutter their eye lashes. All essential organs and structures have formed and essentially they're just developing their lungs and packing on pounds. They are about as big as eggplants and are close to 15 inches long. They're getting big! 28 weeks is also a "milestone" in that babies born at this point have a 90% chance of surviving, of course with lots of medical help. I think all moms, but especially twin moms with increased chances of pre-term labor, celebrate a little when they've made it to the third trimester. I obviously want the babies to stay in there much longer, but after this point if labor happened the babies would likely live even if they spend months in the NICU. 

 Today it is only 80 degrees out and I am SO HAPPY. I even busted out my jeans because I won't die of heat exhaustion if I wear them. The top is another Old Navy stuff and save deal. It's super comfy but I like it because it has a bit more oomph than a regular old t-shirt. You can see it better in the next picture, but I especially enjoy the crocheted neckline. Makes me feel fancy. What does not make me feel fancy is that now that the belly is getting bigger...I've discovered cute floaty dresses and shirts look more like a mu-mu. FUN TIMES.
 My appointment today was a bit long and annoying, but everything checked out. It was tDap shot day as well as just a normal check up (and man, my arm is SORE). They put me in a room and I sat there for 25 minutes before they came in to let me know my doctor had been called to the ER so they're trying to find someone else to see me. Great. The only person immediately available is a midwife and she's not technically allowed to do anything with me because I'm "high risk". Thankfully another doctor (that I've seen before) was available and came to see me shortly there after. Babies look great. Baby A is still breech but baby B has moved down closer to her sister and is now vertex. We just need Baby A to flip to vertex. Once I hit 30 weeks we'll start getting more nervous about the presentation of the babies. The bottom line is that if baby A is any version of breech, c-section is a must. With two babies an external version can be risky and since she's in the frank breech position it's probably not a good idea to even attempt a version. C-section is definitely not my preference. If you're the praying type, I would appreciate prayers for babies to get into good positions before they run out of room to do any major gymnastics.

The doctor I saw today said a couple of times that I'm doing so well, she's really not nervous for me at all. That was reassuring to hear because a lot of doctors get all gloom and doom about how twin pregnancies are "lucky to go beyond 34 weeks". I even managed to get out of the manual cervical check (yay!). There was a tiny bit of concern on the part of the doctor I saw last time because, as she explained it, there is an internal and external opening of the cervix. When you start effacing they kind of melt into one another and there's only one 10cm opening when it's time to start pushing. Anyway, I'm not effacing at all, but the external opening was opened about a fingertip. The internal part was completely closed. It's not a GIANT concern-- in fact a lot of women after they've had a baby walk around like this all of the time. It's probably happening to me just because of the pressure of two babies-- one of which is very low and is literally sitting on the cervix. But it was concerning enough that the other doctor put a note in my chart to do a check at every appointment (boo!). Thankfully, the doctor I saw today was unconcerned and I skated out of it! Early cervical checks can increase your chance of infection as well as put you into labor early so my philosophy is that you shouldn't go around poking it unless you absolutely need to. Since I've had no bleeding, cramping, or contractions of any kind I'm not too concerned about the cervix.
 This post is getting kind of long but I also wanted to share some thoughts about preparing for the babies. I think the second most asked question I get asked is "Do you feel ready/are you nervous/are you excited?" I think they're all kind of the same question. Yes I am super excited, yes I'm super nervous, and can you really ever be ready? I mean, yeah, I'm excited to meet the babies but I'm also very scared. Both of which are normal, in my opinion. I'm scared because when we started our journey to start our family, I wasn't really counting on getting two at once. I often wonder how I'll cope with two infants. What if I break them? What if I can't deal with two crying babies? What if they get on opposite schedules and tag team me all night long? How are finances going to work out? Dare I say it, what if I don't want to give up being able to go to a movie whenever I want to? There are a lot of things I'm scared of, but I also think it's just a normal part of transition to no-kids to having kids. I'm under no illusion that it's going to be "easy", but I'm confident it will be worth it in the long run for the first couple of months (years?) to be really hard. Things are definitely going to change a lot in the next 10 weeks, but that's ok. This type of transition doesn't (usually) kill people. :)

P.S. The first most asked question is "Do twins run in your family?" I usually just say, "Not really" and that's the end of it, but occasionally I get a totally shocked person who goes on and on about how strange it is that I got twins with no genetic influence...blah blah blah. I just smile and nod and wonder where those people have been for the last 20 years. They must have been living under a rock to miss the fact that fertility drugs are pretty common these days.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Style File: 27 Weeks

I'm having too much fun with this app. I read they were working on getting an Android version out there by the end of the summer or beginning part of the fall. It's a pretty fun little app. I like instagram, but this app lets me do some fun stuff. Since it's newish there aren't a ton of free options, but you know what? it's still cool! You can buy extra fonts, borders, doodles, etc. They get saved right to your camera roll so you can use them in other apps like Instagram if you would like to. Oh, and the blog I linked to doesn't even know who I am so you know my review is genuine ;).

 Here I am at 27 weeks. I'm counting it as the start of my third trimester. Who knew when trimesters start and end was the subject of debate? It makes sense to me because if you divide 40 by 3 you get pretty close to 27 weeks as the start of the third trimester. Also, I will likely not go to 40 weeks, so I'm calling it the third tri. 

I finally got some new clothes that seem to fit (for now). A lot of the things I bought in my first trimester stopped working over the past couple of weeks. I know I've said before, even publicly here on the blog, that I would try to stay away from maternity clothes...well I quickly learned that maybe if I had only one baby in there I might have been able to pull that off. But since there's two, I expanded pretty quickly and regular clothes just are not able to accommodate the growing bump. I took advantage of the stuff and save event at old navy and got several things for 30% off, including this dress! I appreciate the length of the dress. As a fairly tall person sometimes it's hard to find dresses that are long enough to also be work appropriate. I also tend to like Old Navy dresses because they're comfortable. Since I'm not trying to invest in these pieces long term, and I get most of my Old Navy stuff substantially discounted/on sale I'm not worried about the quality of them. I'll probably only wear them four times before I outgrow them anyway ;)

 Looking at these pictures, can you tell where baby girls are? My last appointment with the big sonogram revealed that baby girl A is frank breech and super super low. Baby girl B is lying across the top of my tummy transverse. I don't think they've moved much since I shared that last week but I do feel like they have grown. My belly seems to have grown anyway! Just for fun here's a collage to show my belly growth over the last month.

I passed my glucose test, but my iron is a little low (still) so I'm working on that. Overall, I've been feeling pretty good but I am hitting that stage where I'm more tired than usual. I think that's just part of it. Today is a bit of a weird day because I need to go into the office for a few hours this afternoon...which means I need to get going to my chiropractor appointment and be on my way!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Baby Headbands

As I've mentioned before, been busy making little baby headbands. I've discovered it's not a complicated thing at all! I've made several so I thought I would share them with you. I still have several more to make and I'll probably keep making them. They will be good to have around for the girls, but also to have on hand for baby shower gifts.

 They were surprisingly easy to make. I found several tutorials online, adapted them, and headbands! The satin (the purple and silver flowers in the above picture)flowers on the end were the product of reading several tutorials and kind of synthesizing what I thought would work best, but this is a pretty good one that I probably followed the closest. Basically, you cut six concentric circles out of satin, burn the edges with a flame source (I just used a lighter, but you could light a candle and do it that way), and then stitch them together with a couple of hand sewn stitches. Then I found stuff to put in the middles (these have pearl beads) and that's that! The bows were traced from here (big ones are like the ones pictured in the original post) and here (small red one came from the "big" bow on this page) and then put together. The puffy felt flowers either came from the same tutorial as the satin ones, or the ones with actual petals came from here. I just used kid's craft felt for all of my felt things, I saw no need to get expensive fancy felt. A couple flowers I did not make. I'll note which ones in the next pictures.
These lace ones are two of my favorites (well I like them all!). The pink flower was not made by me, I ordered it from Bitsy Bands, where I also ordered my elastics. 

Attaching the flowers and bows to the headband was pretty easy too. I just cut the length of the elastic (I used the measurements on this blog). I hot glued the bow or flower based on my own intuition. I cut a felt circle that would fit on the back of the item I was attaching (sometimes it was a square for the flowers and the bows got long skinny rectangles). Then I attached the elastic on the edges of the circle/square/rectangle in order to give a smidge more room for the headband (so instead of putting the elastic overlapping itself I just attached it at the edges of the circle). To keep it all secure, I made an elastic sandwich with the felt circle and the flower or bow I was attaching. I think it will be pretty secure because I was pretty generous with the hot glue for these.
These are more of my favorites. I love the little red bow! The pink flower on the bottom was ordered from Bitsy bands too.

The satin flowers are very fun to make. I used all clearance satin from Hancock Fabrics and Joann's fabrics. On fabric I spent probably... 5 bucks? The purple satin I got a half yard and I have so much fabric. The silver satin, I got only a quarter yard and still have lot. I could easily make a dozen more of these. I also got some pink fabric that was not satin, but is 100% polyester so it does burn. When I have those flowers on headbands I'll post more pictures. :)

Things I learned with this project:
- The felt puffy flowers do not have to be an exact circle. Since I'm not capable of cutting an exact circle...that's a good thing
-Same with the satin flowers. You're just going to burn them anyway.
-Use tailor's chalk on the felt when you're tracing. I just used a sharpie and it was a pain (especially on the bows) to cut the correct shape AND make sure no sharpie lines were showing at the end.
-Hot glue does soak through felt, but the fabric glue I bought didn't cut it either. I just glued everything on a paper plate and moved the flower when I was done so it didn't get stuck to said paper plate.
- I have a slight problem with these. I have a lot of flowers and bows. And plenty of materials to make more.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Style File: 26 Weeks

This style file is all about keeping it real. When the weather is gross and super humid, the hair is back in a pony tail (or else it gets puffy and wild), I may or may not wear make up, and the rain boots are a necessity. It definitely rains a lot more here in the Beach than it ever did where I grew up or in Texas. So the rain is just part of it. Especially during tropical storm and hurricane season.
 Today's appointment went really well. I did my glucose test, which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It went down fine. About 30 minutes later I started feeling a bit strange, but it passed relatively quickly and all was well. I had a big ultrasound today to do lots of measuring of the babies. Everything looks good, both are still girls, and look to be healthy. Baby A is totally breech (her knee was by her nose) and is estimated to weigh 2lbs 4ozs. Baby B is transverse and practically up in my chest. She's estimated to be 2 lbs even. We confirmed again that there are indeed two placentas, which is the best case scenario for twins. It means that neither twin is going to be stealing blood flow or nutrients from the other. My blood pressure was now I'm just hoping the glucose test comes back normal!
 I apparently have a thing for Green and Purple these days. Oh well, just call me Barney. ;)

I had a pretty good discussion with the doctor about my birth. I'm not calling my hopes of what the birth will look like a "Birth Plan" because... you just can't really plan for twins. I have a few hopes for what I would like, but I'm being flexible and reminding myself that twins have more variables and needs than a singleton pregnancy. I would love to have a normal, non-surgical birth with minimal medications but that may not be possible.

Obviously, if babies stay breech and transverse a c-section will be required and we'll probably schedule that if I make it to full term. I learned today that if everything is going well and there is no placental issues, they will not induce me until 39 weeks. If I am able though, we want to avoid that. Thankfully I will be able to labor in a normal labor and delivery room where I will be free to move around and do whatever I want (prior to the epidural). My dream was to go totally unmedicated in the birth center with the midwives, but obviously twins complicates that plan. I will be getting the epidural for two reasons 1.) If they need to manually move Baby B into position that can be very painful. Especially if they have to do all of that internally. 2.) If a c-section becomes emergent and required, having the epidural reduces the chance of me needing to be put under. Of those two choices I want to be awake enough to hold my babies shortly after the surgery rather than hours later in my recovery room. I will also need to do the actual pushing in the OR just in case. Twin births can get complicated quickly, so all of that is precautionary to make sure we're ready for anything.

(Note: did you notice how I avoided saying "vaginal birth" up there??)

In non-baby news, our community group has been busy with VBS this week. I think it has been going great! The kids seem to be having fun and enjoying themselves. I've been having fun, even though I'm not able to get in there as much as some of the other helpers (it's hot out and I can't stand and dance around in the 90 degree weather, haha), it's awesome to see the kids learning about Jesus. Many of the kids are from our own community group, but there are several who are not and that is exciting to me! VBS is all about telling kids about Jesus and I'm really hoping that catches on in their hearts. Tonight we are not doing any lessons, but the kids are performing the songs they have learned this week for their parents and we're having a closing cookout. It should be fun!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Style File: 25 Weeks

My wardrobe keeps shrinking or I keep growing... ;) My options are a bit limited these days, but I press on wards and upwards! I'm finding if I keep basics in my wardrobe like this tank and jeans, but they're in bright colors, it doesn't look like an outfit made of basics. The problem I have with a lot of maternity clothes is that they're just... frumpy looking. I just bought a pair of kahki capris from Kohl's for work and they are definitely not what I would normally pick. But I was getting desperate for pants to wear to work. When push comes to shove, I have to wear clothes to work. Even if they're not normally what I would pick.

There are a lot of cute maternity clothes out there, but they're also about a million dollars for a pair of pants. Outside of Target and Old Navy the cute pieces aren't really that affordable. At Motherhood, for example, a pair of dress pants is almost 70 dollars. Now, I would pay that much for a pair of dress pants that are good quality and something that will last in my wardrobe. But to pay 70 dollars for a pair of pants I will only wear when I am pregnant (which, folks, is not that much longer!). Even if I kept them for subsequent pregnancies we're talking 70 dollar pants I can only wear for short seasons of my life. No thanks. Maternity clothes are not "investment" clothes, in my opinion.

Now that I'm done with that rant... Babies are doing well to my knowledge. I am feeling them less, but I'm sure it's due to positioning and the fact that they may just be running out of room to karate chop me like they were the past couple of weeks. I do still feel movement, so even though I sometimes get worried about them I just reassure myself that ANY movement is a sign things are going well. Plus, my appointment last Friday everything looked fine. Heart rates were good, they were moving around and there were no red flags. My next appointment is a long one. I go in at 8:30am for my glucose tolerance test, then I have a big ultrasound (to check growth. It's routine for twin pregnancies. They want to make sure the babies are BOTH growing well. If one is substantially bigger than the other it could indicate some growth restrictions for the smaller one. Chances of that are pretty slim because I'm carrying fraternals so there shouldn't be any issue of one twin stealing all of the nutrients). After the ultrasound is the normal doctor-y checks. So I anticipate being there for several hours. I had better bring a book. I wonder if they would object to me bringing crafting supplies?

Brad was a rockstar yesterday and got the dresser painted and the babies' room mostly painted. We're letting it sit and dry for a bit before we paint the accent wall (which I am very excited about. Definitely expect a post about it when it's done. Probably in a couple of weeks) and he still has to poly the dresser. The problem is that it's super humid out, so while he could paint the dresser inside poly is stinkier and needs to be done outside. We're hoping maybe it will be less humid out sometime this weekend.

I've also been making headband flowers and bows. I am pretty addicted to making them. I may have a ton of them. Brad said I should sell them. Maybe I will? I just don't know that people would be interested in them! I'll have to think about it some more. But I will be posting more about the headbands as soon as my elastic comes in and I have some finished products. Be looking for that post sometime next week!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy 4th Everyone!

I hope you are able to take this day and relax a bit.  This is the first time in a couple of years that we haven't been traveling for the fourth. Last year we were in England and the year before that we were in Boston. The above picture is from when we had just moved to VA Beach (at the Williamsburg display from 2010) and is the only time we've been home on the 4th to celebrate!

Brad is hard at work painting the dresser and prepping the walls in the babies' room. Unfortunately it's too humid out to paint the dresser outside so he has quite the system set up in the room to paint the dresser. I poke my head in occasionally and "supervise".

My plans for the day are to bake this cinnamon bread I found on pinterest, make some more flowers and bows for baby headbands, sort through the clothes I've procured for the babies and see what sizes I have and what I need, find some garage sales to go to on Saturday morning, and read my book. Later tonight we are grilling some burgers and we might poke our heads outside to see if we can see the fireworks being shot off nearby. Not a bad way to spend my day off! Brad has to go to work for a while tomorrow (He will probably head home at noon) but since Friday is my normal day off I get a long weekend. I love long weekends! What are your plans for celebrating the 4th?

Don't forget about the photo a day challenge I'm doing on instagram! :)

Monday, July 1, 2013

July Photo a Day Challenge!

Join me on this photo a day challenge from Fat Mum Slim! I've done a couple of her photo a day challenges before. I'll be posting the pictures on my Instagram and on Facebook, so be sure to check them out there. If you don't already follow me on Instagram, please do. :) Happy picture taking!