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I started a separate blog for my family/parenting/preschooler/NICU/preemie entries.  Please join me at Family of More if you are interested in my stories and entries in these categories.  I look forward to seeing you there.

I will keep this blog open for a while, but I’m not sure how much I will be posting anymore as my life with my kiddo and twins pretty much dominates my life right now.  We’ll see.  Eventually life may settle down…maybe.

My Babies are Here! 32 Week Preemies

My water broke prematurely last Thursday night.  I was worried and my husband wasn’t sure what to do, so we ended up at a different hospital than the one I was suppose to deliver at with a completely different set of doctors.  But they did a great job.  I was put on magnesium sulfate and terbutaline to stop contractions and a ton of antibiotics to counter possible infection.  After being given steroids to try to help the babies’ lungs, it was wait and see from there.  The goal was to wait 48 hours so that the steroids could really start to work, but unfortunately, the babies had other plans.  12 hours after going in I started getting very painful contractions, and by the afternoon, I had delivered 2 babies via c-section.

A c-section is possibly the weirdest experience I’ve ever had.  Because my belly was so full of twins, it was nearly impossible for the anesthesiologist to get the spinal block in.  Luckily, it took effect and I was able to be awake.  It was so odd though.  You feel the tugging, the poking, the pulling, but none of the pain.  Then, suddenly, they’re out.  And it was a whirlwind of doctors and nurses working on them.  Once they were moved to the NICU, it was strangely silent except for the occasional quip from the anesthesiologist as he passed me something for the nausea and discussion between the doctors about their weekend plans.  Then before I knew it I was tilted onto a gurney and moved out.

The babies, for being born so early, are doing amazingly well. Of course, I half expect some setbacks, but so far it’s been all positives going forward.  I can’t wait for a month from now when my babies will get to be home with me!  Until then, I will enjoy my time at home with my older son and try my best to be in the NICU as often as possible for my babies.

Must-See Documentary–Blackfish

If you haven’t seen Blackfish (2013), the documentary about Tilikum, the killer whale best known for killing a sea world employee in 2010, you need to see this.  The film highlights Tilikum’s life from the beginning of his confinement and mistreatment up until present day.  It also explains many of the inadequacies of Sea World’s policies toward him and other beautiful orcas.

I grew up with Sea World.  I took my son to Sea World San Diego for the first time when he was 1 year old in 2011, only a year after the most famous tragedy over in Orlando.  It was always a magical experience–a chance to see marine mammals close up.  These majestic creatures captivated me from a young age.  I, of course, always had my doubts about the way they are locked up (says the girl who boycotted zoos at the age of 10 because of their improper use of enclosures).  I saw the marks on their skin from fights (or what I had assumed was rubbing against the side of the aquarium walls).  I saw the sad dorsal fins, tipped to the side from lack of exercise, or maybe just depression.  But, I didn’t realize how life really is for these orcas in captivity, or maybe I just didn’t want to think about it.  I guess the deaths, the injuries–I was just thinking, “Well, you’ve got killer whales held in captivity.  What do you expect?”  But it’s so much more than that.

The great thing about this documentary is that as more people are seeing it, more people are reaching out to actually DO something.   On New Year’s Day, a group actively protested Sea World during the Rose Parade, televised nation-wide.  In fact, this film has caused nothing but trouble for Sea World.

Sea World, of course, has their own response.  But, if you’ve seen the documentary, you have to question–How much of what they’re saying is fact, and how much is them just trying to spin media to their favor?  In other words, how much is just another lie? To be fair, Blackfish is clearly anti-Sea World.  I’m sure it puts its own spin on things as well, but which one is closer to the truth?  I certainly know what I believe.

Just watch the documentary.  Then decide.

Week 29–Daydreaming…

Every week gets harder and harder.  I am happy to have made it this far and hope to make it to the full 38 weeks my doctors allow, but between aches, pains, and fatigue, it’s starting to really suck being pregnant.  I can’t really go anywhere anymore.  I just sit…a lot.  I feel them moving in me, their limbs starting to poke out every once in a while.  It reminds me that it’s all worth it, but still…

I’ve already decided what my first order of business will be once I heal from my c-section and the babies are well and old enough to go out.  I am going out to the beach.  I know that sounds nuts, but as I sat here the other day, another 80 degree Christmas (ugh!), I started to think about how much I miss the beach.  I want to sit there on the harbor and feel the wind in my face.  I want to eat clam chowder and fried shrimp and scallops.  I want to just feel the sand in my toes for a brief moment.  I haven’t been to the beach (about a 45 minute drive) since week 22 or so.  And I love the beach.

Reality though, is that I probably won’t set foot near the beach or harbor until late April or longer.  I guess that’s okay, but I’m starting to get stir crazy.  There’s only so much to get out of seeing work, home, doctors offices, and Target.  I should be excited because tomorrow I get to see some old friends for “brunch” (a clever word people without preschoolers at home use to describe an early lunch, possibly with breakfast food).  But all I can think about is whether or not my gigantic belly will fit at the table.  I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.

Twin Pregnancy Week 26–The First Wall

I won’t say twin pregnancy has been easy up until this point because it hasn’t.  But, aside from growing pains, aching pelvic bones, and worse morning sickness early on, I was doing pretty okay.  As a twin mom who goes on forums about twin pregnancies, you undoubtedly come across numerous posts as early as 20 weeks and up through the end of people hitting a “wall.”  Well, I guess I didn’t really understand what that meant until today.  I thought since I did so well at 24 weeks (a common wall), maybe I could get my hopes up and not be miserable until 30+ weeks….WRONG!  By the time I was half-way through my day at work, I was sore everywhere, having more braxton hicks than anyone deserves or needs, and could barely walk.  I tried to take a bath to ease the discomfort only to find myself almost falling in my attempt to get out of the tub.  I’m starving all the time, but I can’t seem to eat enough food without indigestion.  Drinking enough water to stay hydrated should be a full-time job.  And I’m exhausted!

Those of you who have only been pregnant with singletons or who have never had the joy of being pregnant at all can only imagine what this is like.  You start doubting yourself.  Will I actually make it past 34 weeks?  How much more will it take before I just break down?  Will I make it through 8 more weeks of work?  Do I even want to try?  Why, why is my body failing me?  Am I strong enough to get through this?

I try to rationalize.  This is just preparing me for a life with twins.  I need to be used to being pushed to my limits.  I need to just push through because quite honestly, it’s going to get a whole lot harder on my body before it gets better.  Maybe this is my body’s way of saying the pain of a c-section will be nothing because I will have survived this.  I don’t really know.  But what I do know is that on bad days, days like today, I am miserable and wish I could just curl into a ball and sleep the day away.  I can’t, of course, because I don’t get maternity leave or paid disability for a while longer.  I can’t because even if I was home, I have a 3 year old running around.  But, a girl can dream, right?

A lot of people in the general public either see a twin pregnancy as a blessing or say something about how it’s a nightmare and they’d rather die.  In all honesty, I think it’s a mixture of both.  Of course I’m excited to meet my little boy and girl in a couple short months, but at the same time, the pain, the extra doctors appointments, and the increased risks…not to mention the inevitable sleepless nights once they come, are daunting to say the least.  So I take it one day at a time.  What else is there to do?

Multiples Maternity–The Clothing Nightmare

One thing a lot of people don’t consider when pregnant with multiples is how your body is going to change.  I am the perfect example.  I knew my stomach would measure a little ahead, but nothing prepared me for waking up one morning at 22 weeks pregnant to discover many of the maternity clothes I bought at week 8 no longer fit.  Shirts get too short and pants too tight.  In fact, very little remains comfortable except leggings and dresses.  I am NOT a dress person, but at this point I’m seriously desperate just to cover what I can of my ever-growing stomach (currently measuring about 8 weeks ahead, but I swear I was smaller than this when I gave birth to my son).  How did it come to this?

I think the most frustrating part of the clothing dilemma is deciding what to do.  There are one or two “multiples maternity stores” out there (www.formultiples.com and Dr. Barbara Luke’s very limited catalog), but unless you’re wealthy or planning on having more than one multiple pregnancy, how do you justify spending $60 on one shirt?  I personally can’t.  There’s countless stories on the internet of women who buy large men’s shirts, cover themselves in huge dresses, buying 2-4 sizes bigger than they normally would.  But it just doesn’t work.  With 1 in 100 pregnancies resulting in multiples, how have more companies not caught on to this unique market?  Maybe if a few more brands made a multiples line, we wouldn’t be paying through the nose to cover ourselves appropriately for work.

And I swear, if one more person tells me I look like I’m about to “burst” or say, “Oh, you must not have much longer now…” I will force their puny heads through a wall.  Seriously!

Pregnancy Update–20 Weeks!

So…I haven’t updated much.  It’s hard to know what to say when every day is basically the same.  I’m tired, my pelvic bones hurt, and the bump still grows.  There has been some exciting news.  I can feel both babies move occasionally now even though both have anterior placentas, which make the feelings of movement dulled a bit.  And, something a little more exciting…

It's a Boy...And a Girl!

It’s a Boy…And a Girl!

Everyone is super excited that we’re bringing a girl into the world…I’m personally excited for one of each because my son gets a brother to play with and I get a little girl to dress up and bond with as only a mother and daughter can.

More updates:  Both babies looked good at our recent scan, though our girl is measuring a week behind our boy.  This apparently is normal for fraternal twins as they will grow at different rates since it’s pretty much like carrying two singleton pregnancies at once.  I’ve hit 20 weeks, which is awesome because I’m more than halfway there now!  At the most, we have 18 more weeks before our little ones are here.  Scary, but exciting.  Only issue I am currently having is with my blood pressure.  It was 142 at my last appointment with my MFM.  Tomorrow I have an appointment with my OB.  Hopefully it is lower.  I took my bp at CVS a couple days ago and it was 132, which is above average, but not “high” yet so hopefully I can keep it low enough to avoid bedrest until at least 30 weeks.  Fingers crossed.

So, other than that, the reality of having twins still looms.  The second half of pregnancy could go extremely well, or it could change in an instant.  From what I’ve read, I have about a 50-50 chance of needing bedrest at some point before giving birth.  I have about a 66% chance of needing a c-section.  Average gestational age is 35.6 weeks or so, slightly later for di/di twins (fraternal).  There’s a good chance of me carrying well since I’ve already had one successful pregnancy, but again, you never know.  For now things are going well.  Just have to take it one day at a time.

Dystopian Attachment

If you’ve read this blog long enough, you probably know that I have a fascination…addiction…to young adult dystopian literature.  But I have never truly considered why that is until this year.  I’m starting to realize that life in these books is just a caricature of life in general.  No, we don’t exactly fight sick games to the death or get forced into lobotomies to remove our emotions.  But, in many ways, the average person is a drone.  As adults, we get up and go to work because we need money in order to buy the many resources we require to survive and compete socially for the mythical “upward mobility.”  There’s this notion that if we follow the rules and obey, we will somehow come out on top.  But, unless you are on top, you always have someone to answer to.  In the working world, good jobs and amazing bosses who value your skills are few and far between.  In reality, most appear to fear the skills and intelligence of their employees.  Employees, on the other hand, are beaten down, taught to obey or suffer, and looked down upon for thinking.  “You aren’t paid to think.”  It might not be said, but it’s implied.  And this isn’t just in menial jobs.  Even people with graduate degrees getting paid very well face similar fates.  Even if you aren’t stuck in an unfortunate employment situation, you answer to someone.  We all do.  Conformity is big these days and nonconformists risk ridicule and punishment (except for the lucky few).

It’s no wonder dystopian stories of rising up against oppression are so appealing in this world climate.  They are a fantastic form of escapism and catharsis.  To see heroes rising up, fighting for what is right, and ultimately succeeding breeds hope.  It breeds the idea that just maybe someday things will be better.  No, the world isn’t quite as bad as in those books, but is it so hard to imagine that being our future?

If you’re into this genre for the same reasons as me or something entirely different, here’s a list of young adult books you may enjoy (some popular, others less so but equally fascinating).  I haven’t read every book out there and some are better than others, but here’s the ones I liked:

Birthmarked series by Caragh O’Brien

The Maze Runner series by James Dashner

Possession series by Elana Johnson

Partials series by Dan Wells

Delirium series by Lauren Oliver

Article 5 series by Kristen Simmons

Cold Awakening series by Robin Wasserman

Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi

Razorland series by Ann Aguirre

The Chemical Garden series by Lauren DeStefano

Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld

Dust Lands series by Moira Young

Matched series by Ally Condie

Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

Pretty Close to Second Trimester Now…

So, some people have been complaining that this has turned into a blog about pregnancy.  Well, too bad.  It’s what I feel like writing and if you don’t like it, don’t read it.

13 Weeks…It doesn’t seem like much, but I’m about 3 months pregnant.  Depending on which website you look at, I’m either at the end of first trimester or the beginning of second.  Either way, with twins, making it this far with both of them still in there is a huge milestone.  I haven’t updated much because I’ve been too busy with work and haven’t had much to say, but I just wanted to check in.  I had a really cool ultrasound last week with my maternal fetal medicine specialist (MFM) and got to see my babies.  Their little faces are starting to develop and they look like babies now instead of blobs.  It’s truly amazing how babies develop from a sperm and an egg into human beings.

I’m starting to feel a little better.  The doctors discovered I have hypothyroidism, which is fairly common, especially in my family.  I am on a medication called Synthroid which helps.  It takes a few weeks to really start working, but I’m hopeful it will help me feel more human soon.

The next big step for me baby-wise is finding out gender.  I am really excited.  I desperately want one girl.  Don’t really care if we have 2 girls or 1 girl and 1 boy, but I really, really want a girl.  I keep having dreams we are having 2 more boys though.  I will love our babies regardless, but I will be seriously outnumbered without at least 1 girl to keep me company.

In other news, we’re closing on our house in a week.  I am so excited!  Unfortunately, the other side of that is our landlords.  They seem to think they will be able to find someone to move in the day we’re scheduled to move out.  They’re telling people the house is available literally the day we said we’d be out by.  I want to know when they’re going to do all the repairs that they never did when we lived here.  Ridiculous.  And they want to show the house at night during the time we put our son to bed.  I can’t stand it.

10 Week Pregnancy Update and Other News

Tomorrow I will be 10 weeks pregnant with twins.  I’ve had almost 2 weeks to get used to the idea and I think I finally feel okay about it.  It is going to be extremely difficult with the lack of sleep once they’re here, but I can’t wait!  Twins are something I never expected, but I’m happy for them at the same time.  Of course, now that I’m letting myself start to love them, I’m worried.  What if one of them disappears (a real thing called vanishing twin syndrome)?  Or what if I go to my next appointment and they didn’t make it?  Sometimes I swear I feel them swimming around inside.  I know it’s impossible this early on, but it makes me feel like maybe they’re telling me that they’re okay.  I hope so at least.  I’ve tried finding them on my home doppler, but they’re still pretty small, so I’ve only been successful at finding one of them once.  Next appointment isn’t until the end of the month, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

So, a lot of change needs to happen for us in the next few months to prep for these babies.  First off, my car.  It’s a yaris.  Too small for 3 kids in car seats.  So, near the end of the year I’ll be trading it in for some sort of mini van.  Yep.  I’m gonna be the mini van mommy.  It’s not so bad, but it’s weird thinking about trading in my awesome, fuel efficient sub-compact car for a behemoth that gets maybe 20mpg.  But, it is what it is.

In more exciting news, we are starting escrow on a house.  After 6 months of looking and multiple offer attempts, we have found an amazing house, which has plenty of space for our family to grow.  So happy because a few months ago, we were worried we would have to move out of town to find a good house.  But this one just seemed to work out.  And it’s perfect.  So, we’re about to sign our lives away for the next 30 years.  But it will be worth it.  Escrow is a pain in the ass though.  Who knew all the paperwork you’d need?

I also go back to work this week.  Not looking forward to it honestly because I’ve been so exhausted.  Not sure how I am going to make it through the day.  Not to mention, how am I going to tell everyone who doesn’t already know, like my new boss who I haven’t even met yet.  Yay.

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