Friday, June 30, 2017

Preparing for the Twins

Adam and I have discovered there are roughly one million things to do before the twins arrive.  As quickly as we can cross things off our to do list, more and more seem to be added.  But I think we are getting pretty darn close to checking off the last few items.  

I still have a ways to go in my pregnancy.  I am currently 31 weeks along and would love to make it to 38 weeks.  But there are a few different factors that might result in an early delivery.  Our hope is that the more prepared we are, the more likely I'll deliver later rather than early.  

We got the nursery completed pretty early on.  And our sweet family and friends were so generous in filling it up for us with all of their gifts.  So we feel like we have all of the baby "stuff" that we could possibly need.  

We also wanted to stock up on all of the paper goods, cleaning supplies and other products we use on a daily basis.  So we came up with a list of the things we use, everything from shampoo and toilet paper to hand soap and laundry detergent.  Then we went to Sam's Club and bought the items we could in bulk. The remaining we either got at Target or ordered from Amazon.  We filled our cabinets and put all the excess in our basement.  Although it looks a bit crazy and as if we are preparing for the apocalypse, I'm sure we'll be happy we don't have to run out to the store when we're happily bleary-eyed from lack of sleep.  

Next up on our to do list was to prep some meals we can easily prepare once the babies arrive.  I stocked up on frozen pizzas and meals from the grocery store.  I also scoured Pinterest for some crock pot meals that I could prepare in advance and then freeze.  So our freezer is pretty full at the moment, but I'm sure we'll be thankful to have decent meals to eat while we are operating on mere hours of sleep.  

One of the things that has been in the forefront of my mind is to make sure that Jazzy is well taken care of during my hospital stay.  I want to make sure she doesn't miss any meals and gets to go on her walks. Adam and I are fortunate to have family in town and my parents will be around when the twins arrive, so there will be plenty of people around to take care of our other baby.  I decided to put together this chart to help everyone make sure Jazzy's needs are met.  We're not quite sure who will be taking care of Jazzy, but wanted an easy way to keep track of Jazzy's needs in case several people break up the responsibility. Our plan is to leave this chart on the kitchen counter so people will know what's been done for Jazzy and what still needs to be done.  

From there I worked on packing my hospital bag.  I saved this task for last because I hate packing!  Plus, I didn't really have a clear idea of exactly what I would need to pack.  I found some lists on Pinterest, but I felt like some of the women who put those lists together were packing for month-long stays on a deserted island.  Luckily, when Adam and I went to tour the maternity ward at the hospital I'll be delivering at, one of the things they provided me with was a "What to Bring" list.  The list noted all the things the hospital would provide, pointed out the necessary items to bring and included optional items I might like to have. It certainly helped me pare down to packing only the necessities.  Plus, I figure if there's really something I need, there will be plenty of family around to make a house run for us.    

Even though we're getting close to being ready for the babies to arrive, they need to stay put for a few more weeks!  (You hear that, babies?!)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

My Growing Family

Adam and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary today!  While it's only been six years since we said "I do," it's hard to remember a time when Adam wasn't a part of my life.  I love Adam a gazillion times more now than I did on our wedding day.  We have been through so much together and have come out the other side a stronger couple.  

While we take weekly photographs of my growing belly, we realized we didn't have any pictures of the two of us together.  So we decided to take some time today to take some family pictures.  While lots of them are pretty cheesy, I'm sure we'll want to look back at this time in our lives.  Plus, it will be fun to show our children these photographs someday.

Before we started, I made it clear that I wouldn't be standing in a field with a long dress or baring my midriff.  While we could have hired a photographer, we ended up going the economical route and just set up a tripod and used a remote.   

We took lots and lots of photographs!  Most of them just made us laugh, but a few ended up being keepers.  

Of course we had to include our other baby Jazzy in our family portraits.  Look at what a good little model she is.  She knows how to work it for the camera.  

I had the bright idea of trying to get a picture of us laying in the hammock.  We learned that having the camera by our feet only resulted in very unflattering views of our double chins.  But putting the camera by our heads worked out much better.  And look how sweet Jazzy is, giving her brother and sister a big hug.  

We also snapped a few of us on the front porch.  I really hope all of our neighbors watched us.  They were in for a treat if they did.  Looking at all of our photos certainly made Adam and I laugh!  

Now we can rest easy knowing we've documented our growing family.  It's pretty exciting to think about next year's anniversary!  We'll have two sweet babies to add to the photos.  Hopefully they will take a cue from their photogenic sister Jazzy.  

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Guess Who Has Gestational Diabetes

Yep, I do.  

One thing you are more likely to develop when carrying multiples is gestational diabetes.  If you'll recall, I had the screening back in April, followed by the 3 hour glucose tolerance test.  Typically women aren't screened until they are 24 to 28 weeks along.  But since I am having twins, I was screened earlier. Although I passed the glucose tolerance test, I still had to have another screening during the 24-28 week window.  

I failed the initial screening, which meant I had to do the 3 hour glucose tolerance test.  Again.  This test involves fasting and four separate blood draws in a 3 hour time frame.  It's not super fun.  I figured I would pass it, just as I had the first time around.  

However, I got a call from the nurse the following day telling me that I had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  In order to have a gestational diabetes diagnosis, at least two of the four blood draws have to come back with elevated blood sugar levels.  And that's exactly what happened with my test results.  

It was a big bummer.  I know there are far worse things that could come up during my pregnancy, but I really didn't want to have to deal with this diagnosis.  I was overwhelmed with the thought of having to closely monitor my eating and pricking my fingers to check my blood sugar levels.  I might have had a small breakdown and cried a bit.  

After getting the diagnosis, the next step was to meet with a dietitian to help me figure out how to control my gestational diabetes with my diet and a nurse to show me how to check my blood sugar levels.  I spent two hours with the dietitian and the nurse.  They were both lovely ladies, but I felt incredibly overwhelmed afterwards.  A lot of information was thrown my way.  

But I tried to focus on the positive.  It was caught early and is something that is easily managed.  The first few days of following the meal plan turned out to be tricky.  It was actually way more food than I had previously been eating.  The dietitian wants to make sure I will gain the 40 pounds my doctor wants me to gain by the end of my pregnancy, so she really piled on the food requirements.  I always imagined it would be fun to try to gain weight, but this is actually pretty miserable.  I tried really hard to follow the meal plan, but I just couldn't physically consume what the dietitian wanted me to consume.

It was also difficult because my activity has been restricted.  I literally spent my days eating, drinking water, peeing and then eating more.  If I had been able to move around a bit more, it might have been more tolerable.  

I shared my concerns with my doctor at my last appointment.  Luckily, my appointment also included a growth check of the babies.  At 29 weeks, our son weighed 3 pounds 11 ounces and our daughter weighed 3 pounds 5 ounces!  Our son is huge and our daughter is just slightly above the norm.  Since the babies were doing so well, my doctor said I could modify my meal plan.  Cutting out some of the food requirements have definitely helped.  I don't feel nearly as stuffed as I did with the original meal plan.  

I have to check my blood sugar levels 4 times a day.  I'm not super excited about having to prick my fingers 4 times a day.  It's not terribly painful, but it is a needle in my finger.  My blood sugar levels have been great, which means my gestational diabetes is under control. 

Like most things I've encountered during this pregnancy, it's not as bad as I envisioned things to be.  Sure, I'd rather not have to deal with this, but it's been okay.  And my babies are healthy and still growing in my belly!  I can't ask for much more than that!   

Friday, June 2, 2017

Second Trimester

My second trimester has been a bit of a whirlwind!  Just as I was starting to enjoy my pregnancy, we got the news that my cervix was starting to shorten.  This meant preterm labor was a possibility.  Of course that brought about some stress since my babies were no where near ready to be born, but thanks to some interventions, my cervix actually lengthened.  My doctor also told me I couldn't finish out the school year and needed to stop going to work and doing too much activity.  Things started to look more positive as the weeks progressed.  Then came time for the babies' echocardiograms.  This was a scary, nerve-wracking appointment, but turned out okay.  It wasn't all scary, though!  We finished the nursery, which I adore.  Our babies are growing big and strong and I can feel them moving all around my belly!  

Here's my second trimester in picture form: 


And here are three random, fun facts about my second trimester: 

1. With my background in teaching reading, I believe it is never too early to share the love of reading with your children.  So Adam and I read the babies a story most nights before I go to bed.  Jazzy usually joins us and is quite content to listen.  It's pretty darn sweet and is going to make me cry if I continue thinking about it.

2.  Longer, thicker hair is definitely a perk of pregnancy that I enjoyed throughout my second trimester. My hair has always been very fine and takes forever to grow.  But now my hair is growing like a weed and is much thicker!  I know it won't last, but I'll take it while I can.  On the flip side, I'm also growing longer, thicker hair...on my face!  I feel like I am growing a legit beard.  Luckily the hair on my face is light so it's not too noticeable.  But I definitely have to smooth it down after I put on moisturizer.  So don't look too closely at my chin line, pretty please.   

3.  Perhaps my favorite part of my second trimester has been feeling (and seeing!) the babies move!  I am in awe of those little kicks and punches.  And it's pretty cool that Adam can feel and see them now too!  

Third trimester, here we come!