Sunday, December 30, 2007

Another step in the right direction

Woo-hoo - Makayla's off the CPAP, for the time being. Don't be surprised if she's back on it tomorrow...but for today...yay! She is on nasal canula oxygen, and she maintains her oxygen level quite well, but she tends to work hard to breathe, so she may need to go back on the CPAP. Her CRP (measures for infection) decreased today, which means the antibiotics are working - another yay!! Her bilirubin has continued to increase (causing jaundice), so she started phototherapy today - she's working on a suntan under the lights. :) She's still not being fed - maybe tomorrow if she continues to improve. Her chest x-ray was fine. Her echocardiogram shows two holes in her heart - but both are very common in preemies. For now, they will just keep an eye on them; if they don't close on their own, surgery may be in her future. Apparently they still don't know what's causing the irregular rhythms, but they are giving her some IV calcium and sodium bicarbonate to try to get her electrolytes better balanced to see if that helps.

Mackenzie has graduated from an open bed to a "condo," aka isolette. Even though it sort of looks worse in the pics, it's actually a good sign - it means she's not as critical and they don't need such immediate access to her. She only lost 6 grams yesterday, which means we can hopefully expect her to start gaining now (all babies lose a certain amount after birth, but so far her loss has been very minimal). She is having some "residuals," which means there is still undigested milk in her tummy 3 hours after her feeding, that they have to suck out with a tube. This afternoon they had us give her Pedialyte for her bottle feeding instead of breastmilk, b/c she had too much residual left from her previous feeding. I think this is just caused by an immature digestive system. Her labs look great - no signs of jaundice or infection at all. Darrell got to hold her for a long time this afternoon after I did her bottle feeding. She was very sleepy and looked so content in his arms.

This morning I had to take my dad to the emergency room, as he was having chest pain and was in atrial fibrillation (for the 3rd time in the last couple months). Fortunately, all it took was some IV medication to correct the heart rhythm, and he was released a couple hours later. He is scheduled to fly home next Saturday, 1/5/08, so we pray his heart doesn't act up anymore and that he can have an uneventful trip home.

I am continuing to struggle with pain and extreme fatigue. Just walking from the parking lot into the hospital today was almost more than I could manage. I'm hoping that a few more nights of good sleep will help; if not, I'm going to call the doc later in the week to have them recheck my hemoglobin level. I was very low going into delivery, and even lower afterwards. My doc talked about doing a blood transfusion, but was hesitant for fear I'd have a reaction, so ended up just putting me on iron 3x/day. But it may just not be adequate - we'll see what happens.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Makayla right after birth...

Makayla on 12/28/07...
Mackenzie on 12/28/07...

Daddy holding Mackenzie on 12/28/07...

Daddy and mommy, with mommy holding Makayla (you can really just see her hat, which is ivory and pink, and her tubes...we were doing our first skin-to-skin time (also known as kangaroo care).

These are the days in the NICU

Okay, here's a baby update...things change so quickly in the NICU though, so don't be surprised if things are totally different by the time you read this!!

Mackenzie, the tiny one, is such a little fighter and is doing great - apparently having to fight for everything in the womb is serving her well now. She's still on room air, breathing on her own. She's getting breastmilk by tube feed every 3 hours, but gets one feed per 12 hour shift with a special bottle made for cleft babies and is doing quite well with it. She will try breastfeeding on Monday. She hates the feeding tube and pulls it out often. She is not jaundiced, her heart and kidney tests all came back normal, and she is very alert. She looks right at me, and will almost instantly calm down when she hears my voice or I put my hand on her. She loves to be held - which works out well, since her daddy and I love to hold her!!

Makayla, on the other hand, is headed in the wrong direction. She's on CPAP to help her breathe, though is only getting room air through it so far (thank God). The respiratory therapist said she may need to be intubated briefly for a second dose of Infrasurf (a surfactant which helps the lungs function better). She's having some sort of heart problems (episodes of low heartrate and lots of irregular heartbeats) and so far they haven't figured out why...her EKG was abnormal, and we have an echocardiogram pending. She's also got an infection somewhere - her blood culture was gram positive - and they are starting her on strong antibiotics. She's not taking any feedings at all yet. I did get to hold her for about a half hour yesterday, but today she's too sick to be held. She's also getting jaundiced and will probably have to start phototherapy tomorrow.

I'll try to update as often as possible, but it is a daily roller coaster in the NICU!!! Thanks for your prayers - we just want our girls healthy and home with us ASAP!!!

The long and crazy birth at your own risk!!

Wow, what a week!! Christmas day/night, I went to bed at 10:00 p.m. I woke up three hours later, at 1:00 a.m. on 12/26, with painful contractions. I started timing them, and just when they would be regular (every 5 minutes) for an hour, I'd go about 15 minutes without one - so I never woke up DH or went to the hospital. But they sure hurt!!

That morning, Wednesday, I had an OB appt at 10:10 a.m. I told him I'd been up all night contracting and in pain. He checked me, and I was 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced. He was so indecisive...ugh. First he said I should go back on mag sulfate to stop labor...I said absolutely not, that the babies needed to be delivered. I told him about the size discordancy and other concerns - he hadn't received the report from the peri yet. So then he said maybe they did need to be delivered and said we would do a c-section since B was breech. He sent me over to the hospital.

I got to the hospital and checked in; the nurse called him to get orders, and he tells her to set me up for a vaginal delivery (go figure - I've been asking for this the entire pg, but he kept saying not unless both babies were head-down). So they admit me, and I am contracting all day...sometimes with as little as 20-30 seconds of rest between long, painful contractions - I had terrible back labor radiating into my thighs. I was getting Demerol every 3 hours, but I didn't want to get the epidural yet at that point.

By 10:00 p.m. Wednesday night - 21 hours into labor - I was STILL 2 cm and 80% effaced. The OB decides maybe I'm not really in labor, and restarts my Procardia (used to stop labor). UGH!!! I continued to contract all night, though much more slowly, but then started to have some mild bleeding. By 5:00 a.m. Thursday, I was starting to pass some small clots, and I asked the nurse to please check me again...she did, and I was 3-4 cm and 90%. Ironic - they give me med to stop labor, and I finally progress...

Around 9:00 a.m., they decided to break my water, since I was still only about 4 cm. I asked for the epidural at that point, and good thing - the contractions became unbearable after that. Once the epi kicked in, they started some pitocin to try to get things moving. Unfortunately, not long after that, Makayla (A) started having heart rate decelerations with every they put me on oxygen and started an amnio-infusion through an intra-uterine catheter to try to replace some of the fluid I was losing to see if that would help didn't.

At 2:00 p.m., I was still only 6 cm. I think at that point, I counted something like 10 or 12 different tubes/sensors/etc. hooked up to me!!! It was getting a little scary and overwhelming. But all of a sudden, at 2:45 p.m., I had a lot of increased pressure in my rectum, and I asked the nurse to check me again - I was finally 10 cm!!! The action picked up immediately, as they had to move me to the operating room for delivery - just in case I needed a crash c-section.

The OR was scary and freezing cold. The anesthesiologist was a moron and was so busy talking on his cell phone that he thought we were doing a c-section and got me completely numb - just in time for my OB to freak out and ask how I was supposed to push out two babies when I couldn't feel anything!! And talk about an audience - in addition to me and my DH, there were 14 other people in the room - my OB, the anesthesiologist, the neonatologist, 3 L&D nurses, and a 4-person NICU team per baby.

Anyway, I told them if someone would kindly tell me when I was having a contraction (since I could feel NOTHING), I'd be happy to try that's what we did. My OB thought it would be forever, so was leaving the room and told them to call him when I was close. Two pushes later, they yelled for him to come back b/c Makayla's head was coming out!! Talk about mind over body - I couldn't tell at all whether or not I was actually pushing, but my mind was working really hard to focus on pushing!!

Makayla was born at 4:14 p.m. Thursday 12/27. She came out bright red, screaming, with Apgars 8 and 9. But she turned quickly and they had to briefly intubate her and give her a dose of surfactant to help her lungs. I didn't get to see her before they whisked her off to the NICU.
Then things got ugly. My OB used the ultrasound and manipulation to get Mackenzie turned around (she was breech). He succeeded in this quickly, but then her heart rate crashed - it was down in the 30's at one point, and was in the 60-70's for extended periods of time. My OB started cussing, saying, "Oh $hit, oh $hit, oh $hit," and started asking for various tools and yelling at nurses to get ready for a c-section. He told them we didn't have time to get another OB up there, to get a doc from the regular OR up there right away. Meanwhile, I was apparently gushing blood, and he had his arm UP TO HIS ELBOW inside me, with his other arm across my belly, trying to get her out. At this point, I was thankful the anesthesiologist had made me numb - I can only imagine how much pain I would have been in if I could feel that!! Just when my OB said we were going to start a c-section, he said, "Oh, wait, there's a head!" I was pushing with all my might (well mostly my head, since I couldn't feel) - one after another after another - even between contractions. My heartrate was 130 and my blood pressure was 170/?? b/c I was working so hard - I was terrified she wasn't going to make it. I finally got her out at 4:29 p.m. - only 15 minutes after her sister, but it seemed like an ETERNITY!!

She came out pale, limp and not responsive, but quickly perked up. Her Apgars were 5 and 8, but she needed no respiratory assistance, and they were able to bring her over to me before they took her to the NICU. That was when I saw her cleft lip - the peri had somehow missed this on all of my ultrasounds!!

The rest of the time in the OR, they delivered my placentas, etc, and got me cleaned up. I had a reaction to the epidural and started shaking uncontrollably - warm blankets have never felt so good!! They took me to my post-partum room, and by about 6:30 p.m., I was able to walk over to the NICU and see the babies. Of course, I should have not been so stubborn, b/c within about 15 minutes of being up, I got a terrible spinal headache from the epidural, and got stuck in bed for the remainder of the evening...IV fluids and lots of caffeine did the trick and by about midnight, I was feeling much better.

My recovery has been very slow. My body was really traumatized by the delivery - hello, OB climbing inside me! I am still having to take a lot of pain meds, and at times can't even hardly walk the pain is so intense. I am still having episodes of uncontrollable shivering, even though I'm not running a fever - doc says it's b/c my body is still kind of in shock. They talked about giving me a couple bags of blood today, but b/c I tend to be so overly sensitive to stuff, they were afraid I'd have a strong reaction, so they held off on that.

I'm home now, and hopefully will get some rest and start recovering a bit more quickly. It was very hard to leave the hospital though, without the babies, but I know they're being well cared for. Next post - baby update...

Monday, December 24, 2007

No babies yet!

I have to admit, it has been a stressful few days. I'm so worried about Mackenzie and it's hard to not think about it. I had my NST this morning, and both babies passed just fine. I tearfully told the nurses and pernatologist how worried I've been and that I really just want to deliver so the babies can be monitored and nourished in the NICU, but the doc insists that the babies look good on the NST and that it's still a little early to deliver them if we don't have to. So we continue to wait...and pray a LOT.

Happy Christmas Eve!!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Today's tests

I had another ultrasound today to check the babies' fluid levels and dopplers on their umbilical cords. They won't measure growth again for another 2.5 weeks. Baby A still looks good. Baby B continues to have almost no fluid around her, and she is showing increased resistance in her cord, which continues to be cause for concern. However, both babies did well on the non-stress test, so the doctor is comfortable still holding off on delivery - in spite of the fact that I had packed my hospital bag just in case. :) As usual, I was contracting every 4 minutes or so, but not painfully, and they weren't concerned - they wouldn't try to stop labor at this point, anyway. I will return on Monday for another non-stress test, then I have a regular OB appt on Wednesday, and then a repeat ultrasound and NST on Friday.

Of course that's all assuming I don't actually go into labor before then!!! I did have several hours the other night when my contractions had become quite painful and I was starting to wonder if I was in true labor. However, after 3-4 hours, they calmed down on their own.

Meanwhile, I get bigger by the day (by the hour, it feels like somedays), and have a host of aches and pains that accompany the end stages of pregnancy. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm almost done!! It has been a stressful week, to say the least. And now that I got a better view on ultrasound of exactly how the babies are lying, it has become apparent to me that most of the time, I'm feeling Baby A move. Baby B is so squished without any fluid that it makes it harder for her to really move - just another thing for me to worry about!!! Thank goodness I have a handheld doppler with which I can check their heartbeats myself anytime I get concerned!

All we can do at this point is pray and pray and pray some more - as much for the babies' health as for mine and Darrell's peace of mind!! I've had a really hard time sleeping this week - which I always do, but it's been magnified this week b/c of my worrying about the babies. Say a prayer than I'm able to get some rest this weekend!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Grow, Mackenzie, grow!!!

I had my growth ultrasound with the perinatologist today; of course, it would happen that the one time I go to an appointment alone, things start to go wrong!! Baby A (no, no name yet - but the field has been narrowed to 4 possibilities!) looks great. She's weighing in at 4 lbs, 8 oz.

Baby B, Mackenzie, however, is not looking so great. She's only weighing in at 3 lbs, 6 oz, which is only the 15th %ile. Her amniotic fluid is on the low side, and they did a doppler study on her umbilical cord which gave an unfavorable reading as well. The combination of problems has the doctor concerned that her placenta is not adequately nourishing her, which is causing her failure to thrive.

So they did a non-stress test (NST) after the other tests - basically you just lay there while they strap monitors around your belly to monitor the babies' heartrates and activity levels, as well as contractions. Both babies did pass this test, so that was one good thing.

I will go back on Friday to check Mackenzie's fluid volume and umbilical cord again, and they will repeat the NST. Basically, if at any point things look worse, they will do a c-section to get the babies out. From here until I deliver, I will have NST's twice weekly and the other tests once a week. They'll do another growth scan in 3 weeks (if I'm still pregnant by then!).

I have to admit that while the contractions don't freak me out, this news does have me scared. Friday feels like FOREVER to wait to find out more! Please send up extra prayers that Mackenzie will be nourished and start to grow better, and that both babies will be protected and healthy.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Recent pics

Today is mom's last day with us for hoo! She flies out this afternoon, after having been here for about 6 weeks...don't know how we'll go back to life without her!!! Something tells me my dad (who's been in town staying with my brother, but will come over here this evening) won't be cooking up a storm like my mom has done while she's been here!

So here are some pics of the newly organized and decorated scrapbooking/twins room (they'll sleep in our room, but their clothes and changing table are in my scrap room), the newly furnished living room, a pic or two of Anthony, and a pic or two from my baby shower.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Spare some prayers for a woman you don't know?

I know devastating things happen to people every day, all around us...but this one struck a little too close to home. One of the moms on my Pregnant with Multiples message board posted horrible news. Over the weekend, she and her husband were on their way out to dinner to celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary. She was about 24 weeks pregnant with twin boys. Someone t-boned their car, and she had to be cut out of the car. She survived, with multiple fractures and internal injuries. Her husband also survived - she didn't say the extent of his injuries. But they lost BOTH of the twins - one due to the trauma of the accident and one due to the mom's blood loss.

I just can't even imagine the heartbreak they are going through right now. If you can spare some extra thoughts and prayers for this woman - Allison - and her family - they definitely need it right now!

Just reminds me how much I have to be thankful for!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Stick a fork in me....I'm done...

Aaahhhh, my nightly ritual of which I'm becoming SO fond....take my meds around 8:00 (including an Ambien, which you would THINK would help this process along, but not so much these days), go to bed with Darrell and Anthony, spend an hour or so getting Anthony to go to sleep while Darrell falls asleep before his head hits the pillow, and then...

About 10:00, get back up, pee a few times, lay back down, listen to Darrell's CPAP machine make annoying noises, roll over (a 10-minute process in and of itself) several times....wait a while, get up again b/c my stomach is now growling...

Eat something (lately it's been Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe-Joe's) - the only time of day my body seems to handle the carbs well enough...drink some milk...

Lay back down, get up to pee, toss and turn some more, figure out if I should be timing these annoying Braxton-Hicks contractions...

Finally get back up, resigned to the fact that I'm never going to sleep again in my life and go to the living room to play solitaire on my laptop.

Then I usually finally fall asleep around 1:00 a.m. - usually I've moved back to my bed by this point and have relocated Anthony from my spot to his toddler bed; still get up several more times to pee and/or take meds for contractions, finally get up for the day around 7:30 or 8:00.

Fortunately, my mom is here to take care of Anthony, so the one luxury I have is that around 10:00 a.m., when I'm completely exhausted from not sleeping at night, I'm able to lay down and get a couple hours of sleep. I suppose my OB would say this is my body's way of prepping me for when the babies get here - but really, doesn't it make more sense that you should go into this newborn-stage fully rested???

I feel huge, though everyone tells me I'm not, and I've still only gained 11-12 lbs since the beginning. Nonetheless, I have 2 kids squishing everything in my innards, making everything difficult.

I'm feeling pretty much DONE and can't wait for the pregnancy part to be over. That said, I am praising God that I've made it this far - 31 weeks, 3 days - and I honestly do hope they stay in the cooker at least another couple weeks. The less time they have to spend in the NICU, the better! BUT, come Christmas Day, when I hit 34 weeks, I'm gonna be praying they come out! I can't even begin to imagine the misery of having to stay pregnant until my actual due date of Feb 5!!!!

I did have 2 doctor's appointments this week. The one with the peri was my final cervical measurement. My cervix had shortened by over a centimeter, down to 1.75 cm from 3 cm, but they were not concerned, as this is pretty much expected at this stage of the pregnancy. I also had an appt with my OB, who was just thrilled at how great I'm doing and that I've made it this far. She was SO thrilled, in fact, that she gave me permission to go to the salon for a haircut - so tomorrow morning, mom and I have joint appointments to get our hair done at the Aveda salon. Aaahhhh...I truly can't wait!!! My first non-medical outing in months!!

AND, not only do I have that to look forward to, but our baby shower is this Sunday afternoon - yay!!! I get to be a normal pregnant woman for a few hours. Last time, with Anthony, I had already delivered by the time I had my it will be fun to still be pregnant this time around! I don't even care if anyone brings gifts - I'm just so thrilled to be getting out of the house and spending an afternoon with friends and family!!!!

I will continue to have weekly dr. appts, including another growth ultrasound on the 17th (if I haven't delivered by then!). My OB said I will also be starting Non-Stress Tests soon (where they monitor the babies' heartrates, activity, and contractions for a period of time). At my last u/s, Mackenzie was still breech, so it's continuing to look like I'll probably have a c-section.

OHHHH - big news - Baby A is much closer to having a name!! Darrell has narrowed the list down to 3 names - I'm not sharing them yet, but we will let you know when a final decision has been reached!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Belated Turkey Day!!

Now that the enormous amounts of food have settled, I can take a minute to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!!

I don't know what T-day was like at your house, but I awoke to lots of yummy smells coming from the kitchen, where my mom was busy cooking up a storm. Darrell soon joined her, to get the meats going on the grill, and by the time we ate mid-afternoon, here was the menu:

Spinach-artichoke dip
Crab-corn soup
Smoked turkey
Grilled tri-tip steak
Sausage and apple stuffing
Giblet gravy
Potato casserole (compliments of Gloria Q-B)
Candied sweet potatoes
Roasted asparagus with prosciutto
Homemade cranberry sauce
Pumpkin pie with a pecan prailine layer
Regular pumpkin pie
Caramel-apple pie
Sugar free apple pecan cheesecake

It truly was a feast!!! Darrell's grill skills are incredible, and both the turkey and tri-tip were unbelievable. My mom did a great job making sugar-substitute alternatives for me on the cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and dessert. Between that and good portion control, my blood sugars fared quite well - an hour after the start of the meal, it was only 125 - I was very proud of myself!!

Our friends Dan, Gloria and their son Ryan joined us for the feast and football - I think Anthony may have learned some choice new words during the USC game!!! Hopefully "Boo-yah" is the only one he'll remember and repeat...hehehe...

We opted out (not like I had a choice) of the early-morning day-after-Thanksgiving shopping (though if you want to read a fun story about this - go to my sister's blog), and have just been having a relaxing, slow morning. It's finally cooled off here, and it's SOOOOO nice to be able to have the windows open and enjoy some fresh air. It's just not right to have to run the air condition on Thanskgiving evening!!!! Of course, we had leftovers for breakfast...yummy!

The plan for the rest of the weekend is for my mom to put up our Christmas decorations, while I give direction from the couch, of course! We actually have some clear ball ornaments to decorate - may work on that later today. I can't wait til all the decorations are up - I LOVE Christmas decorating!!!

Enjoy your long weekend, everyone!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

29 weeks tomorrow!

I had an appointment with my OB today - all is well. He again reinforced, as his partner has repeatedly, that I will most likely have a c-section. He said if both babies were head-down, we could attempt a vaginal delivery, but alas, Mackenzie has never been head down, and they're getting pretty crowded in there, so I doubt she'll be turning. Thus, I also went ahead and signed the form for a tubal ligation - might as well get that taken care of while they're in there! Definitely won't be doing THIS again!!!

I also had an ultrasound at the peri's office and got to take a peek at the girls. They're both growing well - Baby A is weighing in at 2 lbs, 11 oz, and Mackenzie, true to form, is smaller, at 2 lbs, 7 oz. She's always been a little bit behind her sister (except in the naming department!). So I've got a little over 5 lbs of baby in me - no wonder I look and feel like I'm ready to pop! Baby A is head-down, and let me tell ya, her head is really DOWN there! They had a hard time even getting a good measurement on her head, it's so low. My bladder takes a constant beating. Mackenzie remains breech, sitting up with her head butting my stomah and rib cage - feels REALLY good, let me tell ya! The u/s tech tried to show us the faces on the 3D ultrasound, but there's just too many arms and legs moving around in there to get any good pics.

We had dinner from The Cheesecake Factory for my birthday dinner last week. It was so yummy! We had avocado egg rolls and fried calimari for appetizers. I had the luau salad, which I love, and a slice of sugar-free cheesecake for dessert. It was heaven! And my blood sugar didn't do too badly with all of that - of course, I had already told my diabetic nurse that I was throwing the diet out the window for my b'day dinner (other than the sugar free cheesecake). She was okay with that.

We're having a nice visit with my mom, who's been here for about 3 weeks now. Let me tell ya, the food is good! (Although I was already kind of spoiled b/c Darrell cooks quite a lot too, and he's also a good cook!) But mom has made some sugar-free desserts, which have indulged my intense cravings for sweets...mmmmm.... She made an apple cake, pumpkin bars, and chocolate mousse. We're getting a sugar-free cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory for Thanksgiving, and she's going to make a no-sugar-added apple and pecan topping for it - mmmm...., can't wait!!! She's also been making great headway on helping us sort and organize some clutter and get things arranged for when the girls arrive, which has been a HUGE help. I'm nesting in a big way, and it's driving me crazy that I can't get up and do what I want/need to do!

Mom's gonna help put up Christmas decorations this weekend, after Thanksgiving - a tradition. It will be hard to sit back and watch! I LOVE putting up Christmas decorations. I did find a couple ideas for homemade ornaments that we're gonna try, which I can do sitting down - that will be fun.

Only a few more weeks - can you believe it?!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Thomas the Tank Engine - Anthony's big day!!

Yesterday, Darrell took Anthony to the train museum in Perris, CA, for an afternoon of fun with Thomas the Tank Engine. He came home quite excited, with Thomas painted on his face, chatting endlessly about riding on Thomas and how the diesel engine scared him! Here are some pics.

Doesn't he just look so pensive, staring out the train window?!!

Odds and ends on a special day

Today, one year ago, we lost our baby, Shiloh, early in pregnancy. We had barely even had a chance to start making plans and thinking about our future with another child, when those plans and dreams and hopes were taken away from us. It's been a long year since then, with lots of sadness but also many, many blessings. We will never forget Shiloh, and I truly believe that we have another son or daughter waiting for us in heaven - what a day that will be when we get to meet him/her!!

And yet, if it were not for losing Shiloh, so many things today would not be as they are. I would not have many of the friends who are now such an important part of my life, whom I've met through my grief support group. I would not be the person I have grown into, more sensitve and more attuned to people's pain, even more appreciative of the miracle and gift my son is. And certainly, we would not be pregnant with our wonderful little girls right now!!!

This is just another example of how God works in our lives. He sees the big picture and knows what is best for us. We get only a tiny glimpse of the big picture, which is why the things that happen in our lives sometimes don't make sense to us. But what a relief it is to know that He does understand why everything happens, and that he has a purpose for everything that happens in our lives. It comforts me to know that we are not just floundering around aimlessly in this world and that our suffering is not for nothing. He takes these things and makes something beautiful out of them.

Give your kids an extra hug and kiss today and recognize the incredible little miracles that they are!!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Angel Tribute

This is a video tribute that one of the ladies on my Pregnant After a Loss message board put together to remember our angels that we have lost. One week from today will be one year since we lost our baby, Shiloh, and even though we are blessed to now be expecting twins, nothing can take away the hurt of losing a baby.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Home Sweet Home

I am reclining here on my couch, sipping a cup of warm sugar-free chai tea from Trader Joe's (compliments of my friend Megan) - yay - at home!!! I got out of the hospital yesterday, after a miserable 4 days there. As I suspected they would, they admitted me right away on Tuesday and started me on mag sulfate again to stop the contractions. They also administered betamethasone, which are a round of steroid shots, to help the babies' lungs mature faster, just in case they did decide to arrive really early. For some reason, this 4 day stint seemed even harder than the previous 12-day stint I did there. I was just so ready to come home, and was so thankful when the doc said I could go. All in all, the test results were not too bad. The fetal fibronectin (which is a predictor of whether or not you will deliver in the next 2 weeks) was negative, my cervix remains closed (though shorter than it previously was), and the babies seem to be doing well in spite of all the contractions. They also did an abdominal ultrasound on me to check for any gallbladder/pancreas/liver problems, due to some pain and nausea I've been having, but all it showed was some "sludge" in my gallbladder. Apparently this can later turn into stones, but for now is nothing to be concerned about. I'm going to talk to my doc to see if there's anything I can do or drink/eat to help clear that out before it DOES become a problem (that's the last thing I need!).

Here's to hoping that the next time I have to see the inside of that hospital will be many weeks from now when I go to deliver!!! Thanks everyone for your continued prayers and support...I know God is taking care of these wee little ones and will protect them until it's their time to arrive.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Heading back to the hospital...

Well, despite my overwhelming desire to stay home, when Anthony wakes up from his nap, we are going to head to the hospital. I'm having lots of contractions, some of which are very uncomfortable, and I just can't keep ignoring them. So keep us all in your prayers!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Today's appointment - cervical changes

I had an appt with the perinatologist today. Unfortunately, my cervix has shortened considerably. Normal is 3-5 cm, and my last measurement was 3.5 cm relaxed and 3.15 cm during a contraction. Today it measured 2.74 cm, which means that these contractions I've been having are starting to effect change in my cervix - not a good thing. It's not critical yet - they get really concerned when it's under 2.5 cm. I have woken up during the night several times lately in the midst of a painful contraction, but they haven't persisted in a pattern, so I haven't gone to the hospital. But now I need to pay a little closer attention to them.

My blood sugars have also been on the rise again, so I'm back on insulin - long-acting at bedtime, and short-acting before breakfast. I'm starting to make up for lost time on the weight gain issue - up 3.5 lbs in 2 weeks - yikes!!! But the doc and dietician weren't concerned - didn't even comment on it - probably since that still only puts me at 8 lbs for the whole pregnancy so far.

I'm continuing to have issues with cramping throughout my body, and the peri did feel my potassium was a little low, so agreed with me taking a potassium supplement.

The painful nerves have still been bothering me, but I'm just trying to take it a day at a time and waiting to get my new prescription from my OB next Monday. I'm supposed to get a call about the pain management and neurology referrals in 7-10 days.

I guess that's about all for now. Thanks everyone for your continued prayers and support. Tomorrow is 26 weeks - yay!

Friday, October 26, 2007

I need hugs! Hit a wall today...

Not literally (hit a wall), but emotionally. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to have these babies, but the bottom line is that my body just does not handle pg well, and I am so done. I am tired of bedrest and contractions and heartburn and hip pain and pubic bone pain. I am tired of not being able to eat sweets when I crave them constantly. I am tired of injections and accu-checks and migraines and not sleeping and chronic pain and constipation. I am so sad every time my 2.5 yr old DS holds my face in his hands and says, "Mama? Happy? Anthony happy!" because he's not used to seeing me so bummed out all the time. I am tired of just feeling like crap all the time. And I still have so far to go.

A little background about my medical history - I was born with a genetic condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth Syndrome, which is a sensory and motor neuropathy. Basically, your nerves have a lining around them called myelin, which acts like the plastic on electrical wire - it helps conduct electricity and protects the wire. Anyway, with CMT, the gene that codes for the protein that produces myelin is mutated, and the myelin around the nerves is in a constant state of breaking down and rebuilding. The result is that my nerves are often very demyelinated and don't properly conduct electrical impulses from my brain to my muscles and back. This causes muscle weakness, fatigue, and a tremendous amount of pain. Any kind of stress can aggravate it. I also have Restless Leg Syndrome, which can cause both irritation and pain in the legs.

Now, normally, I take Neurontin for the pain caused by this, but it's not considered safe during pregnancy. So throughout the pregnancy, I've had some pain, mostly in my legs. I have complained about it to my OB and peri, and they gave me some Vicodin. Unfortunately, the vicodin doesn't really take the pain away; it just relaxes me enough that I can rest some. But it wears off after about 3 hours, and since they didn't give me much, I would find myself watching the clock and rationing it so that I wouldn't run out "too soon," lest they think I'm a drug addict!! I was only taking it like once a day, but am in pain all the time.

Anyway, over the last week or so, the pain has gotten SO much worse, to the point that even Ambien doesn't allow me to sleep at night, and I am literally in tears every night. Pregnancy can aggravate the CMT, and I think that's what's happening. I ran out of Vicodin a few days ago, but hadn't called to request a refill (there weren't refills, and I was afraid to call b/c it had only been about 30 days since I got the last one filled). Last night was the worst; I was up all night, in tears, and nothing I did helped the pain - relaxing music, warm bath, hypnosis CD, prayer, etc. By this morning, I was a complete wreck, totally frustrated.

So I finally called my OB, in tears, and told her what was going on. I am SO glad I called. When I said, "I've been rationing the vicodin b/c I feel like a drug addict and it's not even really working," she said, "Oh, honey, you don't need to ration it; if you're in pain, I need to give you more medicine!" It was such a surprise and so refreshing to hear, compared to the response from most non-pain-management docs. The end result was that she will give me a prescription for something stronger at my next appt, like percocet or dilaudid, but they have to be on a triplicate prescription pad, so in the meantime, she was calling in a script for more vicodin for me to tide me over. So now I just have to wait for Darrell to get out of an appointment so he can go pick it up for me.

I felt so much better after talking to her, but I still just feel like I am so ready for this pg to be over (thought I definitely don't want the babies to come yet!). Thanks for letting me vent!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Late post - October 15th

Many of you may not know, but October 15th was international Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Women across the world lit candles at 7:00 p.m. in their local time zone, so that for 24 hours, candles were burning in remembrance all of the children who have died during pregnancy or infancy. I lit 3 candles for good measure!! Someone on one of my message boards posted this poem in honor that day - it's beautiful, and I wanted to pass it on.

"A Pair of Shoes"

I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in this world.
Some woman are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don't hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

Author unknown

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Appointment update

We saw the perinatologist today. All the news was good - yay! The doc did ask me if I was "being good," i.e. staying on bedrest. I said, "Of course," but then he had to check with Darrell to make sure I was telling the truth!! Darrell assured him I was staying down. My blood sugars have been remarkably good since I got home from the hospital, so for now, I'm not on any meds or insulin for them - just the diabetic diet. My cervix is still nice and long, which is good. And the babies are growing right on schedule. Baby A (yes, she remains nameless) weighs in at 1 lb, 9 oz, and Baby B (Mackenzie) is a bit smaller at 1 lb, 5 oz. And I finally gained a bit of weight - still only 4 lbs since my very first peri appt in July, but better than I was doing previously - probably b/c I'm on bedrest and not really expending any extra calories! My friends who come to visit keep telling me that I'm disappearing! Hey, as long as the babies are growing, I figure it's a good thing - just imagine how quickly I'll lose the weight after they're born!!

Darrell remains off work on FMLA until November 5th, and hopefully my mom will be coming by then to stay for a while to help out. Anthony goes to daycare 3 days/week, which he loves, but I can't take care of him when he's home. Friends have started taking turns bringing dinners to us to help take some of the stress off Darrell, which is so nice. Someone from Darrell's work made us a yummy lasagna yesterday - mmmmm.... One of my friends is going to make us a no-sugar-added apple crisp, which I've been craving since it's apple-picking time! I can hardly wait!

If you want a good laugh, you have to check out my sister's blog to see some of their house-remodeling tales! There's a link over on the right - Savage Family. The entry about trying to replace the toilet is especially fun!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Update - home from hospital

Yikes, it's been a long, scary, miserable couple of weeks!!! On Sunday, Sept. 30, I started having a lot of contractions and ended up having to go to the hospital. When they put me on the monitor, I was contracting every 2-5 minutes. They checked my cervix and said I was a fingertip dilated. I was only 21 weeks, 5 days pregnant. The doctor who was on call for my OB was not very nice - didn't want to put on the right medication to stop labor b/c I wasn't even far enough for viability yet (which makes no sense - isn't that the whole point??), and wouldn't give me any pain medication despite the fact that my contractions were becoming quite painful.

Fortunately, when my OB came on Monday morning, he immediately ordered some pain meds and got me on the right medication - magnesium sulfate - to stop the contractions. Unfortunately, this drug is quite miserable to be on - makes you feel like total crap. For one thing, it gives you severe cotton mouth and makes you feel all hot inside, yet they have to restrict your fluid intake while you're on it - so you feel like you're dying of thirst, yet have to beg for mere ice chips. So I was on the mag sulfate until Tuesday night, then they took me off. I managed to stay fairly contraction-free for over 24 hours, so Thursday morning they moved me out of labor & delivery to a regular room (with a much comfier bed!).

Alas, I was only in my new comfy bed for about 8 hours when I started contracting again, and they had to move me back to L&D and put me back on the mag sulfate. Oh, did I cry! I was so discouraged!

Meanwhile, they really messed with my blood sugars, and one day I would be high, and then there was a day this week when I could hardly lift my head off the bed b/c my blood sugar was so low all day. Since I've been home, my blood sugars have been perfect, without any insulin or medication. So hopefully they will continue to stay where they're supposed to be. Also, one of the meds I'm on to stop contractions makes my migraines worse, so I've had to have pain med shots several times in the past 2 weeks!

I was back on the mag from Thursday night to Monday morning, when they took me off it again. Tuesday afternoon they moved me to a regular room, and finally, Thursday night, I got to come home.

The good news is that the babies seem to be doing well, and they both look good on ultrasound. The day I turned 22 weeks, they each measured just over a pound, which is a good size. So I guess it doesn't matter that I'm still not gaining weight! The day I got discharged from the hospital, I was still a pound under what I weighed at my first appointment with the perinatologist.

Anthony and Darrell were both thrilled to have me home. They both slept so well that first night, after 2 weeks of not sleeping well. Darrell is doing a great job of keeping me fed. The doc said I could get up to prepare light meals for myself, but I tried this the first day home, and after being up for only about 10 minutes, I had contractions for about an hour. Pretty much anytime I stand up at all, I have contractions. Also, my arms are covered in hives/rash from my tape allergy, as well as countless bruises from the many IV sticks and blood draws. I look kind of scary!! Anthony makes a daily routine of kissing all of my "owies."

Thanks for everyone's continued prayers - we need 'em!!! I'm 23 weeks 5 days today, and these babies really need to stay put at least until 28 weeks so they have a fighting chance at being healthy and not having any long term disabilities. Even at 28 weeks, they'd have to spend weeks to months in the NICU, but their prognosis would be much better then. I will likely have to get steroid shots sometime in the next several weeks to help their lung development, in case I do deliver early.

I go back to the perinatologist on Wednesday to check my cervix and address my blood sugars, then I see my regular OB the following Monday. I will continue to have weekly appointments throughout the pregnancy.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Yummy creation!

Just had to share - I made a YUMMY pumpkin smoothie this afternoon...totally perfect for fall! And better for you than pumpkin pie! Loaded with fiber, vitamin A, and calcium, and under 15 gms of sugar. (Having to find low-sugar, sweet-tooth satisfying snacks these days!)

1 C. lowfat, no-sugar-added vanilla yogurt (I used Dannon Light N Fit)
1/2 C. canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 C. milk or 1/2 & 1/2

Blend until smooth and enjoy!!

21 Week Appointment

We had our 21 week appt today with the regular OB. Both babies' heartbeats sounded good. Baby A is still sitting low on my bladder (aahhh....that's special), and Baby B is sitting up high, smooshing my stomach (ouch). The best of both worlds!! (All you prior preggos will feel my pain!) I've been having a lot of pelvic bone pain, which the OB said is perfectly normal (though not perfectly comfortable).

Oh! Last night, for the first time, I was able to feel one of the babies kick my hand! That was so cool! I've been feeling flutters for almost 11 weeks now, but because one of the placentas is anterior (on the front of my uterus), I haven't felt any really strong kicks and hadn't been able to feel anything from the outside. The placenta acts like a pillow, absorbing the blows. But they were very active last night, and I got to feel one little thump against my hand! Couldn't tell which baby it was because of where it was - could have been either of them. There's a lot of hands and feet swimming around in there!

We have thoroughly enjoyed the cooler weather for the past week, though it is now starting to warm back up. But it was so awesome to be able to have our windows open all day over the weekend. Anthony has been spending more time playing with his sand table on the back patio, and has enjoyed watching the hummingbirds at the feeder.

Next Tuesday is our next ultrasound, including fetal echocardiograms on the babies to check their hearts. I promise I won't leave the office without the pictures this time, so I should be able to post some new pics then. We'll see what the doc has to say about my blood sugars - have still been having some high ones, even on the insulin. Of course, the two days last week when they were high after breakfast and then crashed about 100 points in under an hour were really special too...the one day, the only warning I had was that I started shaking uncontrollably. Even my voice was trembling. I could hardly even hold a cup to drink some juice!! It was pretty scary. The last few days, I've figured out my snack timing a little better to avoid the crash.

Ok, I guess that's all for now. Hope everyone is enjoying the autumn weather!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Anthony the rooster

Anthony made this rooster mask in daycare last week, and he just loves it! He asks me to put it on him all the time, then he dances around with chicken wings saying, "Cock-a-doodle-doo!" It is the cutest thing!! I took a video of it; if I can figure out how to get it from my camcorder to my computer, I'll try to post it at a later time.

Half way there!!!

Well, folks, tomorrow I will be 20 weeks - the halfway point for a normal pregnancy! Of course, the normal gestation for twins is about 37 weeks, so I'm more than half way there if you look at it from this standpoint!! Woo hoo!!

I saw my perinatologist today...and my thoughts were confirmed...I am now on insulin. For now, I just have to do one injection right before I eat breakfast. I figured that was coming, since my blood sugars after breakfast have still been high even on the diabetic diet. Oh well...whatever's best for the babes. Between my weekly progesterone injections and now my daily insulin injections, I'm turning into a regular pin-cushion!!

Oh, and who ever guessed that getting pregnant with twins would be a way to lose weight??? I am down 3 pounds from my appointment 2 weeks ago!! That puts me at a pound less than my first appointment back in early July. LOL! The doctor isn't concerned, so I guess I shouldn't be either (his way of politely saying I had too much pudge to begin with!!). If the babies want to nibble away at the flab on my upper arms, that would be okay with me...hehehe...

My cervix still looks good, again a little shorter than last time, but measuring within the normal range. This is excellent news...means all those Braxton-Hicks contractions I'm having aren't doing any harm yet. We want to keep it that way! Baby A (no, she doesn't have a name yet) was waving her hand at us when the u/s tech was taking the cervix measurements - so cute. First she was waving with her hand open, then she made a fist and moved her thumb up and down, like she was giving us a "thumbs up" sign - "All's good in here, mom and dad!"

My next regular OB appt is next Monday, then my next peri appt is the following Tuesday. At that appointment, they'll do another growth ultrasound to make sure the babies are growing well and they will also attempt to do fetal echocardiograms on the babies to check their little hearts. I guess this is because of the diabetes. The doc said sometimes twins don't cooperate, but that they would still attempt to do it. Amazing what they can do now, eh?

Ok, babies want mommy to take a rest, so gonna go lay down for a bit. Oh, Darrell took a belly pic this morning - can definitely see the belly popping out now!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Warning - do not disturb the emotional pregnant woman!!

Images like this one should NOT be sent to emotional pregnant women! Because they make us cry and cry and cry!!! This was sent to me in an email about praying for our troops, but it made me pray for all these innocent children who are getting caught in the middle! And for the troops who have to witness such horror. I'm gonna have to go look at some happy baby pictures, b/c now this one is stuck in my head and is haunting me!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Belly pics

The first pic is at 11 weeks along, July 16, 2007.

The second pic is at 17 weeks, August 28, 2007. Amazingly, I really don't see much of a difference on camera, though I certainly feel a lot bigger! I'll try to take another one this week or next.

Miracles do happen...

Wait - what's this????? Is this my Anthony sleeping in a bed OTHER than mom and dad's bed?? Oh my gosh - it is!!! For 4 nights in a row, he has slept on an air mattress, still in our room, but in a separate bed nonetheless!!! Maybe after a couple weeks of this, we can work on transitioning him to his own room -that would truly be a miracle!! I just don't want to wait too much longer - the closer it is to the babies' arrival, the more he's going to feel like they pushed him out of our room. Of course, I did have to bribe him the first night - told him I would buy him some stickers on Saturday if he stayed in his own bed Friday night - but hey, it worked! And I haven't had to bribe him since then...woo hoo!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Funny joke

The husband had just finished reading a new book entitled "You Can Be the Man of Your House." He stormed to his wife in the kitchen. "From now on, you need to know that I am the man of this house and my word is law! You will prepare me a gourmet meal tonight, and when I'm finished eating my meal, you will serve me a sumptuous dessert. After dinner you are going to go upstairs with me and we will have the kind of sex that I want. After that, you are going to draw me a bath so I can relax. You will wash my back and towel me dry and bring me my robe. Then you will massage my feet and hands. Then tomorrow, guess who's going to dress me and comb my hair?"

The wife replied, "The freaking funeral director would be my guess."

Poem and 19 week update

First, I wanted to share this poem. Someone posted it on the Pregnant After a Loss message board I visit.

A Different Child
poem by Pandora MacMillian

People notice
There's a special glow around you.
You grow
Surrounded by love,
Never doubting you are wanted;
Only look at the pride and joy
In your mother and father's eyes.
And if sometimes
Between the smiles
There's a trace of tears,
One day
You'll understand.
You'll understand
There was once another child
A different child
Who was in their hopes and dreams.
That child will never outgrow the baby clothes
That child will never keep them up at night
In fact, that child will never be any trouble at all.
Except sometimes, in a silent moment,
When mother and father miss so much
That different child.
May hope and love wrap you warmly
And may you learn the lesson forever
How infinitely precious
How infinitely fragile
Is this life on earth.
One day, as a young man or woman
You may see another mother's tears
Another father's silent grief
Then you, and you alone
Will understand
And offer the greatest comfort.
When all hope seems lost,
You will tell them
With great compassion,
"I know how you feel.
I'm only here
Because my mother tried again."

That made me cry!!! It really is a strange phenomenon, how I can still be so sad about the miscarriage and yet so incredibly happy about being pregnant again, all at the same time. But it goes to show you that a new baby or babies cannot replace one that you've lost, and you still have to grieve the child you've lost.

I had another OB appt today. Babies' heartrates are good, and my growth is good, though I haven't gained any more weight. What can I say - it's redistributing!! I did have some protein in my urine today, which is not good, but hopefully is just because I hadn't drank enough water this morning. They'll recheck that in 2 weeks. I've been having quite a few contractions, but she wasn't too concerned yet. As long as they stay under 6 an hour, I'm okay. At 6 in one hour, it's time to go to the hospital. My blood sugars have still been a bit erratic, even on the diabetic diet. I see the perinatologist again next Monday, so we'll see what he says. I may end up having to do insulin shots. Growing babies is hard work!!! And it looks like I'm going to continue to have weekly appts, alternating between my regular OB and the perinatologist. Fun fun!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

18 Week Appointment Update

Well, there's good news and bad news.

Good news first - both baby girls are looking great! They are measuring right on schedule, have no signs of any problems, and are just as cute as can be all squished up in there! Unfortunately, we somehow managed to leave the office without any pics, so I don't have any new ones to post yet. They are both weighing in at about 8 oz each - 1/2 a pound each. They will do another growth ultrasound in 4 weeks.

The bad news - the perinatologist has already diagnosed me with gestational diabetes! I knew my blood sugars were creeping up, but I didn't think they were THAT bad yet. And if I wasn't already on metformin, they wouldn't be considered as bad, and he initially said he didn't think I had full blown diabetes yet. But then when we reviewed my meds and he remembered that I'm on the metformin, he said, "Oh, then you ARE diabetic!" Ack! So the Sweet Success nurse gave me the new eating plan, which of course cuts out all sweets. Even milk is considered a starch, and I have to limit it - and can't have any before lunch. No cereal for breakfast, either, even without the milk. And my fruits, which have been helping me so much, are now significantly limited as well. Gonna have to go get some sugar-free ice cream!!!

My concern is about my weight. According to "the book," written by the doc who's "the" expert on twins and multiples, I should have gained 14-18 lbs by now for my BMI. Since my first appt on 7/6, I've gained a whopping 2 lbs. And now that I'm going to be on this carb-restricted diet, I would imagine I will probably LOSE weight instead of gaining. I asked the nurse about it, and she kind of brushed it off. I'm just concerned b/c even though they do deal with lots of multiples there, it's not like they specialize in multiples. I asked the doc about it too, and he said he's not too worried about my lack of gain yet.

My cervix did shorten a bit since my last appt, which did not surprise me since I've been feeling a lot of pressure from Baby A down there, as well as some contractions. Baby A is doing a head stand right on my cervix! Even though it shortened some, it is still measuring in the normal range. They will recheck it in 2 weeks, and the doc said if I have 6 or more contractions in one hour, I need to call my OB and/or go to the hospital.

So I have a regular OB appointment next Monday, and a peri appt for my blood sugars and cervical check the following Monday. Thanks for everyone's continued prayers!

Guess what? It's actually THUNDERING outside!!!! How cool is that?! That almost NEVER happens around here! Unfortunately, it probably won't actually rain, nor will it cool things off - supposed to be 111 today plus a whole lot of humidity.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Step away from the ice cream and no one will get hurt!

This is a whole new brand of hunger. I tell you, I am starving all the time!!! And although food is more appealing now than it was about 6 weeks ago, I still have a hard time keeping enough different things on hand to get me through the day. I get kind of nauseated if I have to eat the same thing more than once a day.

Here's a favorite excerpt from one of my pregnancy books -

"It's not a 'maybe I'll have an apple and a cookie now,' kind of hunger. It's more like 'I'll eat this half a watermelon, the entire roast chicken for dinner, and this pie looks good. What are you going to eat, hon?'"

We have been staying inside, trying to avoid the ridiculous heat. I can't believe it's September and it's still over 110 degrees. I think we may go up to Oak Glen tomorrow afternoon for a picnic with Dan and Gloria to escape the heat.

We have our big growth and anatomy ultrasound on Tuesday - yay! More pics of the babies! I also have my appointment with the Sweet Success nurse; kind of dreading that, b/c my blood sugars have slowly been creeping up. (Couldn't have anything to do with the ice cream...) I'm afraid they're going to put me on the diabetic diet soon. Ugh! So much for being able to eat whatever I want!

Happy long weekend, everyone!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Team Pink x 2!!!!!

We had a quick little ultrasound on Monday to measure my cervix (check for signs of preterm labor), and the tech was able to get a peek at Baby A's parts. Actually, you couldn't HELP but get a peek - SHE was straddling my cervix with her legs wide open! Yep, a second girl! I am not at all surprised, as that's what I've been convinced we were having from the beginning. We have no way of knowing whether they're identical or fraternal at this point; since they have separate sacs and placentas, there is only a 25% chance they are identical, though. At this point, we won't know until they're born, and even then, sometimes the only way to tell is by genetic testing.

So now we have to come up with a second girl name....any ideas, anyone???? I don't want to be calling them "Mackenzie and Baby A" for too long!

We also met with the perinatologist, who said my mesasurements are good, with no sign of preterm labor....which means no bedrest yet! Yay! And I gained one pound in the last 3 weeks, which is still not quite what they originally wanted, but at least I'm gaining now...the nausea meds are working.

I remember after my miscarriage last year, thinking, "What if that was my baby girl?? And if I never get another chance?" I guess the Lord heard my cries, because now He's doubly blessing me.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Recent pics

Here are some recent pics of Anthony - sorry it's taken so long. These are from a free concert we went to in Yucaipa a couple weeks ago, with Dan and Gloria. Anthony had fun chasing bubbles, and was exhausted by the evening's end.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ultrasound and Test Results

This is Baby A, laying across the bottom (you can kind of see the shadow of Baby B above Baby A). S/he was not cooperating with the ultrasound tech and would not let us get very good photos or measurements, let alone give us a chance to see gender. But s/he looks alright. They are laying one on top of the other.

This is Baby B, otherwise known as Mackenzie Rose Clark. SHE was very cooperative and showed us her girl parts! Now, of course, since we were only 12 weeks 6 days, the u/s tech said we can't hold her to this, but I saw the parts too and I knew from the beginning of the pregnancy that I was having at least one girl - I could just tell! Mother's instinct! Darrell still doesn't really want to believe it - was hoping for 2 more boys!!!

Here's another shot of Mackenzie. So cute in that little alien kind of way! Hard to believe there are two babies growing inside me!!!

Sorry it took so long for me to post these. These are from our July 30 ultrasound. I've just not been feeling so great, and haven't had the energy or motivation to do much. Sorry if the lack of posting caused anyone concern!!! My blood work came back great - no sign of Down's Syndrome. Yay! The normal risk for someone my age is about 1/700, and with my measurements and labs, my actual risk came back as 1/2500, so they consider that a negative result.

My nausea had gotten really bad, and I hadn't gained any weight in 3 weeks (they want me to gain 1 lb/week), so the perinatologist put me on two meds - Reglan and Vistaril. They seem to have done the trick, and as long as I take them on schedule, I feel pretty good and can eat almost anything. It's nice to have somewhat of an appetite again.

I started my weekly progesterone injections last week. OUCH!!! It is supposed to help prevent preterm labor, but oooohhhh my buttock was sore!! I'm due for another today - yay!!

My next appointment is August 20 with the perinatologist for a cervical ultrasound - this measures the cervix to check for signs of preterm labor. I'm hoping I can get the u/s tech to take a peek at Baby A while she's in there and see what color team Baby A is on - pink or blue! Then on August 27, I have a regular OB appointment, and then on September 4, I have my next big growth ultrasound at the peri's office. They're definitely keeping good tabs on me!!

Say a prayer for my little sister Kristina; she left for a mission trip in Belize today. I hope she has a great time and stays safe!

Monday, July 30, 2007

12 weeks and counting...

The 2nd trimester is so close I can taste it! 14 weeks is only 9 days away! In the meantime, I feel like the laziest, most useless wife in history. Poor Darrell is having to do everything, because even though I'm not on strict bedrest, any amount of housework sends me right back to bed with horrible cramps (probably contractions). Even helping Anthony clean up the toys in his room this evening, with the minimal bending over and retrieving things that involves, caused pain in my belly. Plus I am nauseous all the time and I have very little energy. Darrell spent SO many hours cleanin this weekend...I feel so useless and unhelpful. And he has been working so much overtime at the office too. I just feel so completely helpless and I feel so bad for him.

Speaking of nausea...this truly sucks. I am hungry - I mean STARVING - ALL the time. I could eat a decent sized meal and an hour and a half to two hours later, I'm starving again. Which, under normal circumstances, might actually be fun - I mean, I do love food after all. But right now, when virtually nothing sounds appealing and most things I think of make me want to gag, it's not a good combination to have. My days are filled with dread for the next stomach rumble, because then I have to rummage through the frig, freezr and pantry in search of something that sounds at least minimally appealing that I think I can get past the lump in my throat. And most of the time if something DOES sound good, it's because I saw someone make it on the Food Network, and we don't have the ingredients here to whip it up. Ugh...Someone want to come live with us and be our chef???

Tomorrow is our first really "big" ultrasound, during which they do the Nuchal Translucency test. This is a high-resolution ultrasound where they take measurements on all the body parts, check for heart functioning, and look for particular markers for Down's Syndrome. Plus they do some blood work. I'm a little nervous about it - just want everything to be okay. I think that's why I can't sleep tonight! Occasionally people are able to find out the sex of the babies at this time, but not typically - that usually has to wait until 4 weeks or so.

Meanwhile, I did rent a doppler online and have been using it daily to listen to the babies' heartbeats. It gives me so much reassurance in between doc's visits and ultrasounds to be able to check any time I want.

Anthony was sick this week - I think with roseola. He spiked a high fever Tuesday night, which continued all day Wednesday. Thursday a.m. he was down some at 101, but by mid-afternoon it was back up to 103. But the wierd thing was other than being cranky and lethargic when the fever was high, and having a mildy stuffy nose (not even running), he didn't have any other symptoms. Friday the fever was gone, then today he woke up with a rash covering his belly and chest. It doesn't bother him. I researched it and it sounds like classic roseola.

I guess that's all for now. I am really going to try to figure out how to get the cameras to load onto this laptop so I can put some recent photos up - I know it's been a while.

Oh yeah, and if anyone is feeing an overwhelming urge to go shopping, and want an excuse for someone other than yourself - I desperately need some maternity clothes!!! The few I had from last time are winter clothes, and may I tell you the temp has averaged 110 here for over a month now. And it typically doesn't cool down until after Halloween. I have no shorts and only 3 t-shirts that fit, and 2 pairs of cropped khakis. That's it, period. Heck, even the boxer shorts and tanks I wear to bed are getting too tight! Yikes! I need to go on a shopping spree at Old Navy and JC Penny!

Ok, that really is all for now. I'll update you on the u/s and test results when we get them!
Thanks for everyone's prayers!

Monday, July 16, 2007

11 Weeks Tomorrow

Well, I didn't even make it out of the 1st trimester before I got taken off work! I've been off the past 2 weeks, and today my OB took me off for the remainder of the pregnancy! I have had constant cramping and some minor spotting, and because I am so high risk, my OB just felt that it would be safer to not have me working. While I'm okay with the concept of this, it will make the pocketbooks more than a little tight! I am praying and praying and praying, and know we just have to trust that God is going to see us through this.

I did have a quick ultrasound last Friday, just to check the heartbeats, and both babies' heart rates were 167 beats/minute, which is good and strong.

The nausea has definitely picked up over the past few weeks. I am supposed to be consuming 3500 calories/day, and gaining 1 lb/week, but because not a whole lot appeals to me these days, I've had a hard time achieving that. In particular, I'm having a hard time taking in enough protein, as meat hasn't been very appetizing to me. I AM craving a good steak, though! I'm also having migraines several times a week, which is no fun and adds to the nausea.

My next appt and ultrasound is scheduled for July 30 - two weeks from today. Yay!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Twin Ultrasound Pics

The first pic is of both twins; Baby B is on the left and Baby A is on the right. This pic doesn't show Baby B very clear, so there is a single pic of Baby B below.
I read somewhere that the babies are the size of a grape this week. All of the major joints are working and moving, and the heart has divided into 4 chambers as the valves are forming. External sex organs have started to develop, but are not yet distinguishable as boy or girl!

Amazing how two little grapes can wreak such havock in my big body!!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

It's Official - Twins!!

Well, we had our first appt with the perinatologist today, along with an ultrasound. Both babies are there with strong heartbeats!! I am 8 weeks, 2 days, with a due date of Feb 5, 2008. The peri spent quite a while with us after the u/s going over my history and medical record, and developing a plan. I will have to start doing progesterone shots at 14 weeks due to my history of preterm labor and premature rupture of membranes. For now, I'm on oral progesterone. I will be having ultrasounds every 4 weeks with the peri for now. My next OB appt is July 11, and my next appt and u/s with the peri is July 30.

I have had more nausea this week, though no actual throwing up. Am hoping it will be short-lived, since it didn't start til 8 weeks.

Wow, can you believe it? Twins!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

And on tonight's menu...

Ok, so I feel blessed that so far, I haven't had any significant nausea to speak of. A bit queasy here and there, especially if I don't eat often, but for the most part, the ginger has been keeping it at bay.

However, I have developed aversions to things, and they're not consistent. One day, I can't stand the idea of eggs or shrimp or fish of any kind, and the next, I'm craving it. Or, I start eating something that sounds great, only to decide two bites in that if I take another bite, I might start gagging!

But the BEST part is the cravings. I am totally ashamed to admit that I ate not one, not two, but THREE Kellogg's rice krispie treats yesterday. Usually I can't even finish a whole one because they are so sweet, but I am totally craving them now - went to Sam's Club and bought the mega-box! I haven't looked to see how many calories are in them, because I'm scared to!

Also frequently on my menu these cream, oreos & milk, Hawaiian bread w/ margarine, Cookie Crisp cereal, and Skittles. Can we say, "major sweet tooth?" Oh my gosh, the carbs! But it's not just a matter of craving - they're the only things that even sound remotely appetizing. I tried eating a salad last night, and choked most of it down, but it was so not appealing!

Let's hope this is just a first trimester thing!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pray for two heartbeats!!

Well, here we go again...we are expecting again!! Only this time, there are two little beans in there instead of just one! That's right, we're having twins! We found out I was pregnant on May 30. I had my first OB appt and ultrasound this past Thursday, 6/14, and that's when the doc found twins...but we could only see one heartbeat so far. However, I am still very early, not even 7 weeks yet, so the doc thinks it may have just been too early to see the second one. He is referring me to the perinatologist (high risk OB) for another u/s in the next few weeks, so we will know more then. In the meantime, we are praying the second little bean starts growing and that we have two strong heartbeats at the next u/s. I guess there is a pretty high rate of pregnancies that start out with two and end up with only one, but at the same time, I have also heard from many women who saw only one heartbeat, or even no heartbeat, at their 6 week ultrasound, only to have two strong heartbeats 2-3 weeks later, so I am not giving up hope! Let the thrill ride begin!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Long time, no blog

Yes, yes, yes, I know...I haven't been keeping up on blogging. My laptop has been on the fritz for like 6 months, BUT, I finally got a new laptop this past week, so hopefully will be able to catch everyone up on what's been going on in our lives. But not tired and going to bed! I will have to find my software CD for my camera, and load it onto this computer so I can upload photos. Also have to figure out how to get my photos and stuff off my old computer and onto this one...hopefully won't be too hard. For now, I'm going to bed and trying to stay cool - it's been HOT HOT HOT here. Summer is definitely here, and I dread knowing that it won't be cool again til Halloween! Oh well, that's what the beach is for, I suppose, as well as our friends' house in Calimesa, where it is still hot during the day but it actually cools off in the evenings.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Quick, whilst my computer is cooperating...

The main reason I haven't been blogging is that my laptop is on the fritz. I think the hard drive or motherboard is going...orginally thought maybe I had a virus, but that's not it, so am pretty much screwed. Works part of the time, when it wants, then usually waits until I'm right in the middle of something important and crashes.

Anyway, here is a scrapbook page I did today, in my newly organized scrap room (thanks to 10 hours of hard work yesterday after months of procrastinating!). The room is certainly not done (mainly b/c I can't buy all of the storage things I need yet), but it's coming along nicely.

Anyway, I am SO FAR behind on scrapping Anthony's life, but here's a page in the right direction... sorry for the glare; I have to take a picture, b/c my scanner bed isn't large enough to scan in a 12x12 page.


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