Sunday, June 28, 2015

a birth story // theodore + clementine

**written June 9**

Theodore Charles
(meaning Gift of God)
2lbs6oz 14 inches long
6:45 am on June 9, 2015

Clementine Ada
(meaning merciful and gentle)
2lbs5oz 13.5 inches long
6:57 am on June 9, 2015

....oh, the story i have been dying to share since before these two were even conceived.

i've daydreamed about having boy/girl twins for the last two years...(yes. specifically b/g. i even named them,  Theo and Clementine. Alex had actually suggested Theodore back then and i looked up what it meant because i'm obsessed with names and i immediately felt in my soul that i would one day have a son named Theodore. Clementine was all my idea. i just love that it's old and very uncommon and a bit quirky and has such a sweet meaning. alex thought it was a bit too country sounding....but he eventually decided he liked it, especially after he chose her middle name of Ada. actually i should clarify that he liked Clementine - it was the nicknames of clem and clemmie that he wasn't a fan of.)
 ...dreamed of this day......
except in my dreams they were born a little closer to their due date and were a little pudgier and i got to hold them within seconds and nurse them within minutes and scarlett got to climb up on the hospital bed and snuggle with them and we got to take our first photo together as a family of 5 the same day and...we simply got to be a family together.

it happened a little differently tho. and as challenging and at times depressing the last month of pregnancy was (the bed rest to be exact - i still loved every moment of feeling and seeing them move inside me)....it was miraculous. something that i will never forget. weeks that i will forever be grateful for because they gave our babies the chance to grow in the safest place.
they thought i might have them at 24 weeks but we made it another 4.

of course that's easy to see and say now that i am free to walk around as much as i want and can go home in a couple days. but i am honestly thankful for this experience. it taught me to be thankful always.....there really is always something to be thankful for. and to not take the "boring" days at home for granted. and as cheesy as this sounds.....to really make the most of each day i'm given. 
seriously. sitting in a hospital bed for 4 weeks can really put things in perspective. 

i fought hard for this pregnancy. and then i fought hard for these babies. and i should be saying we because my husband fought just as hard. but this is my blog so.......

and now they're here. 

a couple times this week i was told by two different mfm doctors that they thought i would make it to 34 weeks.
the last time being yesterday.
of course it was exciting to hear. as hard as it was to think of being away from the other half of my family for that long i was day dreaming about how wonderful it would be to bring them into this world healthy with a limited nicu stay.
but i had a gut feeling that wasn't gonna happen. 
i just had a feeling they were gonna come this week or next. 
maybe it was because i'm afraid to get my hopes up. or maybe because this
same doctor told me months ago i would be fine and make it full term no problem.
and that clearly wasn't happening.
regardless. i had a feeling.
and i prayed a lot about it. really giving up control, not that i really had any anyway...
trusting that everything would work out for the best. 
because really i was feeling so torn between scarlett and t + c.
i ached so much to go home to scarlett and alex but then i desperately wanted the twins to 
stay safe and grow.
so i cried to Jesus.

and i think that's why when at 4 am this morning {at 27 weeks and 6 days pregnant after exactly 4 weeks on hospital bed rest}...
i didn't panic when i realized i was in active labor.
i didn't even cry. (yet.)

 it actually started earlier, probably around 230/3 am.
i was tossing and turning in bed because i was uncomfortable.
in my half asleep state i thought it was just from laying on my side too long.
hence why i tossed and turned, thinking it would help. but around 4 i actually woke up to pee and was feeling very crampy and it would get worse every few minutes.
 it felt like it did a few hours before scarlett was born. 
but i still wasn't sure. i didn't really wanna be sure i guess.
i at least thought they could possibly stop it.
ok honestly....i was hesitant to call the nurse because i didn't want to bother her if it ended up not being anything.
maybe there was a bit of denial happening.....

so i brushed my teeth and took a super quick shower.
in the shower i realized i should have shaved yesterday like i planned because i haven't touched a razor in over a month. 
not totally true, i shaved under my arms a couple times. boom.
but fuck it.

after my shower i got back in bed and called my nurse.
i told her with lots of nervous smiles that "it's probably nothing but..."
{i have a problem with feeling like i'm always bothering and inconveniencing people....even people that are payed and insist on helping me}
she smiled and said she'd put me on the monitor and see what's goin on.
she stood there for a few minutes making sure what she saw correlated with what i was feeling.
contractions were 2 minutes apart.
after the third one she called the resident on call.
i don't remember her name but she was very soft spoken and kind.
she checked me and said she couldn't feel my cervix but she could feel theo's head.
they started me on fluids, with the maybe hope that that would slow them down. 
it didn't.
at about 530/545 they brought me to L&D where they started me on magnesium to help the babies neural development/prevent brain bleeds.
that stuff makes my throat burn and my face flush. 
but that was the last thing on my mind.

theeen a different resident came into talk to and check me. 
i don't remember what she said...but i do remember she sounded much more serious than the last one.
she checked me, less gently, and said i was fully dilated....
actually that i was probably a plus two....i thiiiiink plus 3 means baby is crowning? 
they had called dr parilla, the MFM on that morning who had told me the morning before i would make it to 34 hahahaaaaa.
i think it was right before this happened, at a few minutes before 6am that i called alex.
i waited until then to call because i didn;t know what was gonna happen.
i'd been sent to L&D before and ended up being nothing urgent so i wanted to wait until i knew for sure
so i didn't wake him up or worry him for no good reason.

he answered half asleep with a "are you ok?"
i will let him add in what he thought of the rest of that conversation later ;)
essentially i told him the babies were gonna be born today but i didn't know when.

after that is when a nurse came in to say that they were moving me to the operating room (which is the standard delivery place for twins in a hospital).

i got there....i've been in a few ORs so that part wasn't scary to me.
the anesthesiologist was super nice....i find that they always are.
my nurses were awesome.
particularly, amy who held my hand the whole time.
very shortly after we got in the room they had me lay on the teeny tiny operating table  and turn to my side so they could put a spinal block in. 
that made me a little nervous. 
and that's when i realized i didn't have service on my phone so i asked a nurse to call alex
because i was worried i hadn't sounded urgent enough when i talked to him and wanted to make sure he was on his way.
he was on his way but had to drop off scarlett still....this was only like 20 minutes after i had talked to him, so he left pretty quickly after we got off the phone. 

the spinal block didn't hurt going in - for that i was grateful.
as he was putting it in tho i had a longer and more painful contraction than i had had previously.
but in the middle of it he released a bit of the pain numbing goodness.
it was such a relief.
he didn't give me much, just enough to take the edge off and so that if a c section ended up being needed they already had a bit of a start so that i could be awake for it.
i much preferred to do it that way then have to be put under.
my legs got all warm and tingly and i kinna loved it.
i was never not able to move my legs...i could have gotten up and walked if i wanted to.
but it took the edge off and with my nerves going crazy and alex not being there it was honestly a good thing for me.

(also i just wanna say i get why women choose to have an epidural....and i even get the draw for an elective c section. *not* saying i would ever choose one but i see the draw. this whole experience has given me another perspective and i get it now. i'm sorry for ever judging. that could be a post of it's own tho.)

i layed on my side for a few minutes until dr parilla came in
with her loud personality, she's hilarious. and then she told me she jinxed me the day before.

they had me move to my back and put my legs in the stirrups....
at this point you'd think i would have known that i was about to give birth in the next 5 minutes but noooo....

i asked amy if we could wait for alex. i was laughing when i asked but i was dead serious on the inside. and she looked so uncomfortable "ummm welll..."
about 5 seconds later they were telling me to push with the next contraction.
it all just happened so fast.
and with 2 pushes baby theo was out.
he didn't cry and they put him in his little bed right away with his NICU team.
that's when i started crying. or maybe it was before that. 
i don't remember. but there were fresh tears.
my baby was here, so much earlier than he should be and i couldn't see him, i couldn't hold him. i couldn't comfort him.

***continued on june 14***

baby clementine was laying transverse, like she had been the entire pregnancy.
dr parilla and my favorite resident, chrissy, spent the next 12 minutes looking with their hands for her feet to pull her out.
i could feel a lot of pressure which made me glad i couldn't feel much pain.
she was really high up and i just kept wishing the dr had longer arms.
but chrissy finally got a hold of her feet and at
 6:57 am our darling clementine was born.
she didn't cry either but dr parilla (who is very loud) said happily multiple times
that her eyes were open.
i saw a glimpse of her as they carried her to her bed....she looked limp and very dark red.
as i was delivering the placenta they rolled theo next to my bed so i could see him before they brought him down to the nicu.
i just wanted to touch him.
a nurse took my phone and took a couple pictures of him before they brought him downstairs.

they brought me into recovery before they were done with clemmie so i didn't get to see her.

i bled pretty heavily for the next hour
but i felt fine and it quickly slowed down after that.
i pumped for the first time less than an hour after theo was born.
and then alex got there about 7:30.
i'm still so sad he wasn't there for their birth.
i wish i would have called him at 4am.
but he was here now and we could feel all the feelings together.

my mom got there shortly after that.
and then alex went down to meet and check on our babies.

alex showing me pictures he took of them - i still hadn't seen clemmie yet.

less than two hours in recovery they brought me back to my room..
after i pumped again alex and i went down to the nicu.
and there i met my second daughter face to face for the first time and my sweet son for the second.
the entrance to the nicu

i may not have gotten the birth experience of my dreams but considering the circumstances leading up
to it....i'm pretty damn happy.
i guess it's all about perspective and priorities.
i would take all the drugs and surgeries over having my babies in the nicu for 3 months.

i was incredibly relieved to not have a c section.
i was told later by my care manager that she was so glad it was dr parilla who delivered
because she said that if it had been this doctor or that with clementine being transverse they would have immediately done a section.
i am very, very thankful.

**the nicknames clem and clemmie have grown on alex now that she's here. tho she is very rarely called clem. i knew he would end up loving her name once she was here ;)**

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

27 weeks

How far along? 27 weeks! every wednesday morning when i wake up it feels a little like christmas. we made it one more week!

How big are babies? yesterday at their growth scan baby boy weighed (approximately) 2 lbs 1 oz and baby girl weighed (approximately) 2 lbs 3 oz. so they are average size, growing appropriately!
baby boy's fluid level was only at 1.76 which is really low.....but it's something! and my doctors don't seem too worried about it still. (baby girl's levels were over 4.)

Weight gain: they weigh me on thursdays so i'll edit that in tomorrow.

Sleep: decent enough. i wish they wouldn't wake me (by turning the ceiling lights on) at 2 am every night to check my vitals. i'm actually going to ask the dr about that.
they check them at 10pm and then again around 2am. so i usually go to sleep around 1030/11 depending on when they actually get in here to take them...then i wake up around 2 and then sleep until about 515 when they check vitals again, and then the OB resident comes in and then housekeeping and then my nurse and then an MFM doctor. i try to doze a little in between their visits but it doesn't really work. thankfully my afternoons are pretty quiet so i attempt to nap sometimes but often can't sleep. go figure. i finally have the chance to nap almost whenever i want and i can't. yet i feel tired the majority of the time.

Symptoms: just a lot of stretching going on that hurts. heartburn was a little better this week.

Hardest moment this week: this week was so much easier than last week so i don't have a novel for you this time.

a couple nights ago i stayed on skype with scarlett while alex rocked her to sleep. i watched her fall asleep....afterwards i cried. i haven't snuggled and sung my baby to sleep in over 3 weeks.

Favorite moment this week: my hardest moment is probably also my favorite moment. scarlett had been having a rough night and was completely exhausted and wanted me to stay with her (skype)....she fell asleep looking at me through our phones. it was honestly a bit heart wrenching but i'm glad for smart phones :)

Cravings: vegetables, salads, fresh berries, pie.

Miss anything? umm what don't i miss? i miss regular days at home with scarlett and alex the most. and being outside and breathing fresh air.

Everything else: i got to get wheeled down to the NICU this week. it was a little overwhelming....yet comforting at the same time. the nurses and doctor were incredibly kind and easy to talk to.
i cannot say enough about how lucky i feel to be at this hospital. they have one of the best NICUs in the area. i love that the NICU doctors are all about breastmilk....if i'm not producing enough right away then they have a donor milk program. formula is very much a last resort for them and i love that. they are also all about kangaroo care (skin to skin) as soon as and often as possible. these things make me happy and feel all the more confident in the care my babies will get.

thanks to a friend who posted on her wall asking for advice from her twin mom friends on my behalf i got in touch with a couple moms from the local twin club. a mom in the group who is also a part of the Family Advisory Committee, which is a volunteer group of NICU graduate parents here at LGH, contacted me and then stopped in to see me this week with a giant gift basket and so much emotional support. it was very encouraging. and how wonderful to feel such support from someone i just met.

really, i am feeling such support from so so many. the generosity of our family and friends and people that we barely know or haven't talked to in years is astounding.
you have been so so loving. i (and alex) appreciate every kind, encouraging, empathetic word and prayer. thank you all to the end of the world and  back.

good ol' bathroom selfie. 

i'm working on a few different little things. but i'm totally in love with this bowl.
i've been making these for a while but i finally made one with jute instead of yarn and i looove it.
thi it hurt my finger a lot lol. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

26 weeks

How far along?/UPDATE: 26 weeks! so so happy to have made it to this week.

early friday morning i was woken up for vitals. i sat up to get my blood pressure taken and i felt a big gush....i knew one of their bags had broken. and i think i just said "shit." and then started crying. and then said shit a few more times. and the "Jesus help them" and then fuck. the tech got my nurse and a bunch of them rushed in to get me on the monitor to see if i was contracting but before they did the dr came in and said to move me to L&D. i was in panic mode.....i really thought that once your water broke that was it,  baby(ies) were coming within 24 hours. so i was scared. i called alex and he didn't answer...still sleeping. once i got to L&D my favorite resident came in very comforting, minus the checking my cervix part which hurt like a mofo, i was so tense already. but she couldn't even feel it, which was a good sign. they continuously monitored me. and monitored the babies every four hours. i had some really great L&D nurses...one in particular, Bonnie really advocated for me and my comfort. alex got there mid morning and stayed the day. it was nerve wracking, glad we were together. that night sucked and i barely slept. but i was still stable so alex and scarlett came back on saturday. that afternoon my awesome nurse got them to move me back to the perinatal floor....i got a bigger room than i had before with a futon this time. i was so happy to be back here....it felt like going home in a sense. so far so good. everything is the same as it was before friday. just watching for infection now. still not in labor! 

Weight gain: i haven't gained anything since i've been here (2 weeks)...in fact i may have lost a pound. the hospital dietitian actually came to my room to ask me if i felt like i was eating enough. it was awkward. at that point i was eating a TON. tho not so much the last couple days. kinna lost my appetite. so i'm still at about 160.

Sleep: i sleep well when they let me sleep :) when i got back here on saturday they wanted to monitor babies every 8 hours. which meant i had a late night session and for a few nights was up until 1-2am.
but they just changed that yesterday! so now my last session is around 6pm - boom.

Symptoms: heartburn occasionally.

Favorite moment this week: getting to be close to alex and scarlett on monday. i love them.

Hardest moment this week: see water breaking story above :) and include the next 4 days.

on monday alex and scarlett came to visit. they got here in the morning during my first NST. but we had already gotten a solid 20 minutes of babies, which is all they need. so when they got here i called the nurse to come in so she could get me off the monitors. it took her a while, had to call the resident. so i moved a bit to say hi to my loves and that moved the monitors / babies so they wanted to get ANOTHER 20 minutes of the babies. which is not 20 minutes...it's at least an hour but usually more because they spend so much time looking for them and then they move constantly. so long story short it turned into me getting super anxious, losing my cool, telling them i was going to take the monitors off myself, refusing anymore right now.  (i asked to talk to the dr who at the time i felt like was telling me if i refuse to be monitored my babies could die - which afterwards i realize is not really what she was saying but i was a hot mess). i have such limited time with alex and scarlett i didn't want it wasted strapped to the bed, with multiple people in the room hovered over me so i could barely even have a conversation with them. and in my gut i knew the babies were fine. there has never been any reason to worry about them. after i started crying and let go of some of the feelings that had been building up over the last few days i agreed to let them finish the session....and it went pretty quick. i think the doc ended it a little early. thankfully i have a lot of incredibly empathetic nurses (and doctors) that made me feel less crazy and i was so glad for my husbands support....that he was there while i had my first meltdown with the staff. :)
oh and on that note.....you probably shouldn't be a nurse if you don't have a crazy amount of empathy for people.very thankful for all my kind-hearted nurses and techs. they make this stay a whole lot easier. i've gotten some special treatment since then, too haha.  i kept apologizing to my nurse and dr for getting all testy and she said i should see how some of the other patients get...."at least you were nice". man, if she thought i was being nice then i wonder what other moms get like hahah....makes me feel less alone....wish i cold hang out with the other moms on bed rest here.
anyway. i've had an emotional week,,,,i thought i would be going home today. but now i'm here until the babies are here. and i'm honestly having a hard time with that right now. i want them in as long as possible.....but i want to go home so bad. i cry every single time i talk to alex now.....or sometimes i can hold off until i hang up. my heart breaks thinking about scarlett. i'm extra sensitive about everything. what are the stages of grief? i've been in the depressed stage. but now it's moving into a mix of depression and anger. i feel a little angry that this is happening. no doubt i sound like an ungrateful soul. i hate that. i want to feel only thankfulness for my situation. thankful that i get these babies even at the expense of missing out on what i imagined my last pregnancy to be, and missing out on this summer with scarlett. and then there's the whole NICU thing. they will be in the NICU because they will be here before 34 weeks. which means.....well. it means so many things that i never thought i would have to deal with personally. i won't get to hold or nurse them right away, scarlett won't get to meet them until they are released. those things probably seem so small to a lot of people.....but they're a big deal to me. and then of course the possibility (depending how soon/late they're born) of brain bleeds, cerebral palsy or deafness or blindness. of course those risks go down significantly every week. at this point survivability isn't even 100%. but it is very likely. and i don't think about whether they will live or die. i can't. but i really do believe they will be ok. i should just be happy, right? i'm so thankful for these babies...probably more so than i ever have been if that's possible. i love them more than anything. (well you know, along with my other kid and husband). i just want them to be healthy. and every week, every day gives them a better chance. i will do everything in my power to give them that.
.............but oh how i want to be home.

how many more stages of grief are there before acceptance? :)

Cravings: i had my frappuccino craving filled over the weekend!
it was delicious, made only better by my sweet friend who brought it!

otherwise, i crave anything not served at a hospital.
and today my sister visited (yay!) and she brought me the best tasting alfredo pasta i have ever had and a salad!

Miss anything? my darling family. and my little home. oh how i daydream about being home.

one reason i hate communicating how hard this is for me is because
i know how lucky i am. i am so so lucky. 
i could go on and on about people all over the world who are actually, truly suffering.
and friends who are fighting for their children's lives - unsure if they will ever be ok.
moms who are dying of cancer.
moms who went into preterm labor at 18 weeks and had no hope of saving their baby. 
women that can't get pregnant at all who would literally do anything to be in my situation.
my situation is disappointing and really hard sometimes but it's most likely going to 
have a happy ending. (please God!)
please know that i know this. 
i'm lucky.
and i don't mean to complain. 
but i'm a big feeling person.
i feel deeply and show those feelings.
i'm not so good at keeping them to myself most of the time. 
and this is hard.
but overall i am just so excited to meet my babies in the right time! 
i can't wait to get to know them!

26 weeks. miss scarlett and our white wall and chalkboard.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

25 weeks

How far along? 25 weeks! every week feels like an extra big miracle now. i've been in the hospital for over a week now. the first few days were rough. a lot of tears. talking to NICU drs and all the high risk drs and being told i will be on complete bed rest for the rest of my pregnancy was shocking and very disappointing. i'm feeling better, trying to keep perspective because i know things could be so so much worse......but still at times feeling disappointed about this summer and everything i can't do. i had expectations and desires for how this pregnancy, my last pregnancy would be. and this was not it. but we all know that life rarely goes as we plan, right? :) and honestly, i'm just so glad there's something i can do to help them grow! so bed rest it is. i'm starting to look forward to the challenge of keeping my mind and hands busy these next weeks...there are a lot of things (sitting down things) that i've wanted to do for a while, books that i've wanted to read but i'm always so tired by the time scar is asleep that i usually waste time watching tv or just go to bed myself. and also, the last few weeks i was feeling kinna burnt out from life.....just so tired all the time. both physically and mentally. i was really wanting a break....like a night or two alone in a hotel room. so i think this may be a good thing for me! it's much longer than a night or two haha but i think it will be a good mental refresher. as long as i can be at home and at least get to read with and snuggle my baby and husband before bed every night. i admit i will not be feeling so positive if i end up needing to stay at the hospital for a longer period. but i would work through it and eventually be ok. :)

the plan right now is to re-evaluate at 26 weeks (1 more week from today!!!). as long as nothing has changed and i have not dilated anymore they will send me home with strict restrictions (getting up only to use the bathroom and a quick shower occasionally lol and to go to dr appts. which will be quite often i imagine).

the babies are doing well....they're growing as expected, moving around a lot a lot :)
every morning the nurse does a NST -- puts the monitors on my belly and searches for the babies heartbeats. they try to get 20 minutes of them but they move around so much i'm usually laying here for over an hour while the nurse finds them. and then 3 times a day they monitor my contractions for an hour at a time. i'm really only contracting once every few hours it seems...if that. so everything/one is stable.

Maternity clothes: yes except that since i'm living in a hospital bed i'm just wearing alex's t shirts and underwear. my underwear. not his.

Sleep: "i like the way you sleep." - nurse tech 

i've actually slept pretty well here at the hospital. i have my blanket and pillow from home and a sound machine. *everyone* that comes into my room for the first time comments on how comfy i look.  they do monitor me for contractions for the last time at 11 until around midnight so i don't usually go to sleep until after that and then a tech comes in about 6am to check vitals. but in between midnight and 6 they leave me alone. i'm pretty happy with my sleep here haha.

Symptoms: my rib area is sore. kinna uncomfortable. i pee every hour or so.

Best moment this week: i've had a lot of beautiful moments this week. all of the staff here is so so sweet. my friends and family...and people that i barely know (!) have been so encouraging and supportive and helpful and loving and it makes such a difference to feel that love. i love love. i'm really so thankful for everyone that is helping alex and scarlett. thank you from the bottom of my whole heart and soul. i'm grateful for the people that let me feel what i feel, without judgement. that empathize with me. that let me say...sometimes insist that i say....this sucks. it really sucks. yes, it could be a whole lot worse. a whole lot. but it still sucks and it's ok to be sad. it's healthy to express and work through those feelings.

one of my favorite times this week was when the Rector from the church we just started going to about a month ago came and visited me. i barely know her but she has been incredibly welcoming since our first week there. not only did i feel very encouraged that she came all the way out here to see me when she barely knows me, i genuinely enjoyed my time talking with her. i got to hear a bit of her story and we talked theology and i found out she's a fan of Rachel held Evans (!!!) -- she was really excited to see i was reading her book. i was really excited that she was excited :) who knew i would find a church in mchenry county where the pastor and i hold such similar beliefs?! not me that's for sure. i have felt a connection to this church since we first visited....it's the only church we have visited more than twice since we've been married....and now we've gone 5 times in a row! big deal for us, guys. well, i've only gone 4 times but alex and scar went last week while i was here. anyway. i have been feeling so uplifted, so light hearted, so happy the last few weeks about finding this church and when i found out i will need to be on bed rest one of the first things i thought of was not being able to go to church....i was worried about losing the connection, about people forgetting about us (tho alex and scarlett are still planning on going without me)....i donno...i genuinely enjoy the service and the worship. so i was really encouraged when Fran came to visit. it was good for my soul.

Hardest moment this week: i've also had a few lonely, down in the dumps moments this week. mostly after alex and scarlett leave. i hate not being able to go with them.

Cravings? frappuccino! it's so funny that my one consistent craving is coffee....right now fancy, creamy whipped cream filled coffee haha.

(ps it's funny because i'm not a coffee drinker)

Miss anything? hahah. my husband and daughter. my home. and walking around. lol

lots of monitoring

sweet flowers from a sweet friend

thanks to skype i get to read with these two before bed most nights.

getting pushed around the hospital and going outside with my faves was definitely a highlight of the week!

my view.

i made our dinosaur baby a hat! i will probably be adding a cape and maybe a diaper cover as well.

these little butterflies take about 3 minutes each to make. perfect way to use up scrap yarn!

aaaand my 25 week bump in my awesome hospital, disposable underwear.
to celebrate making it another week i showered and put on some eye liner and got clean sheets put on my bed lol.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

24 weeks


yesterday i went to my routine, bi-weekly check up with my MFM for a quick growth scan of the babies and to have my cervix measured. 
the babies look great. baby boy weighs in at 1 lb 7 oz and baby Star weighs is at 1 lb 8oz.
but my cervix had gone down to 2.5 cm which is no longer in the good range...it's when they start to worry....it was even shorter, 2cm, when they pushed on my uterus. my dr then did a pelvic exam and found i was dilated about 1 cm. so i was sent to labor and delivery to be monitored to see if i was contracting. they found that i was having tiny contractions (or "irritability" of the uterus as they call it. not full blown contractions.)
so they started me on an IV and some meds to stop anything from progressing. i was also immediately given a steroid shot for babies lungs just in case i were to deliver soon.
i got there about 2:30 and a short few hours later my OB came in and checked me again and said i was more like 2 cm dilated and 90% effaced. so they sent me via ambulance around 8pm to a hospital with en excellent NICU... just to be safe. just in case.
so here it is 1:30 in the morning and i can't sleep. 
after all the people coming in to talk to us and all the monitoring and blood draws our room was finally empty and quiet at 12:30. 
alex is sleeping now and i'm writing.
my drs and nurses here are so so so great. 
i'm feeling very well taken care of and they are good at being realistic and not sugar coating the possibilities but also being positive and uplifting which helps me not freak out. 
at 24 weeks the chance of babies surviving earthside is 70%....but out of that 70% only 30% go on to live "normal" healthy lives. good news is every week (hell, every day) those chances go up and up.
my OB said they would keep me here until at least friday or saturday but since i've been at LG i'm getting the impression they may keep me much longer.....tho it really depends on how the next couple days go. either way i will definitely be on bed rest. 
it's going to be ok. our babies will be ok.
i keep telling myself that and i think i am really really starting to believe it.
but it's been a shock. 
everything was going so well. 
i almost canceled this appt yesterday because S was a little sick and i figured it could be put off.
so glad i didn't.

there have been no more changes since we've been here. 
the babies, especially baby girl are moving like crazy. making it literally impossible for them to get the 20 minutes of heart monitoring done. 
i'm just glad the dr isn't making me keep those on. so itchy! 
but they're not worried about the babies themselves. we're worried about keeping them in there.

i dropped scarlett off at my parents right after i left the MFM and she's been there ever since. 
having a sleepover at grandmas. she seems to be having a good time and i am so thankful my mom is close by and so willing and quick to help! thank you mom!!! and siblings!!!
we love you and are eternally grateful.
and of course alex didn't hesitate to leave work for the afternoon to go with me to the hospital.
which i knew he wouldn't but i'm grateful to have a partner like that. i'm also so glad he has bosses who are so understanding.
we were both in tears. it was honestly just so surprising it took time....is still taking time to process.

oh, and after hearing how upset alex was on the phone his dad and step mom jumped in the car to drive out to be with him/us. all our family is pretty great.

but i told the doc their names so now he's always calling them by their names and not baby a and b and i love it :)

they're gonna be ok.

i'm worried about alex and scarlett. 

so i ask for your prayers for my family. for our littlest, that they continue to be able to grow safely inside me for at least another 10 weeks. may as well make that 13 weeks :)

for our big sister girl, that while i am on bedrest she feels loved and secure and is able to understand what's happening and that it won't last forever. 

for my sweet husband, that his nerves would be calmed, that his anxiety would be none. that he would be overcome with peace and hope.
this is so so hard for him.

and me. that i will let go of my expectations for this summer. 
as of this morning i was told that when / if i go home i will be on bed rest.
i can get up to use the bathroom and get myself a quick something to eat but then i need to
be laying down.
i'm feeling really sad about missing out on this last summer as a family of three.
i wanted to do the beach and the zoo and hikes and gardening and the pool and cleaning and nesting for the babies. 
i will find other ways to make this summer fun for us. i know a lot of good will come from all of this and i have so much to be grateful for and i am.
and yes, i know it's only one short summer of our lives and that it will all be more than worth it. 
but right now, today, i'm sad. 

How far along? 24 weeks. about the length of an ear of corn.

Total weight gain: i'm at 160 so i think that makes 22 lbs.

Maternity clothes: yeah, mostly dresses and maxi skirts.

Sleep: um...it's been ok.

Symptoms: indigestion still. uncomfortable belly/rib area.

Favorite moment this week: on monday scarlett had a high fever all day (mom of the year that my favorite moment starts with that) and was very sleepy. we spent the day on my chair, her laying on my lap, talking about random things and reading and her sleeping. she didn't seem in pain at all so it was just so relaxing and so refreshing to just sit and talk and nap and read all day.

Hardest moment this week: when my dr told me i was dilated a little bit and was going to send me to L&D. i started tearing up right away. thankfully he's a very empathetic.

Looking forward to: getting past the next few weeks and into safer territory for our babies.

ambulance ride from barrington to park ridge

alex sleeping last night.

24 weeks today. that's the contraction monitor under my pretty gown.
also, i can't figure out why this photo is so squishy. oh well.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

22 weeks

How far along? 22 weeks, yo.

Babies are: according to babycenter they are about the size of a spaghetti squash :) around 11 inches long. their heartbeats were both around 150 yesterday. baby girl is frank breech now and baby boy is still vertex. all their extremities are about in the same place tho so it is hard to know who is kicking me most of the time. they both gravitate to my right side. my cervix is now at 3.7. still within normal range. (that info is more for me than you. but there's probably a few of you that care about that) and my belly is measuring almost 30 weeks. not bad, not bad.

Maternity clothes? you guys a friend gave me two adorable everyday maternity dresses and my mom bought me some maternity clothes at a garage sale last week! i'm so excited. i'm definitely more in need of maternity clothes this time than i was with Scar.

Weight gain: 20 lbs. whoa. i'm at 158. i gained about 30 lbs with Scarlett throughout the whole pregnancy....and i haven't even reached the third trimester yet.

Favorite moment this week: Alex got to feel one of the babies kick on monday night for the first time! (again, their legs are pretty much in the same spot so right now i'm not totally sure who's who)
that was really exciting. i'm starting to feel them more and more and can sometimes see them kick/punch. i love every second of it.
also, i love when Scarlett corrects/reminds me that we do have names for the babies after she hears me tell someone we haven't named them yet. she will whisper insistently in my ear, "actually mom we do have names. DINOSAUR and STAR!"

Sleep: pretty good in general. this last week i did have a few very restless nights where i woke up exhausted and another night of laying awake for a couple hours. but thankfully those nights haven't been the norm recently.

Symptoms: a little bit of indigestion....just feeling so full after a meal, even if i barely eat anything. i get winded very easily. like going up the stairs. is this normal? i feel incredibly out of shape. which i guess makes sense since i lived on the couch for 3 months and i wasn't really into working out before i got pregnant haha. but seriously. my body gets tired pretty easily. peeing a lot. super itchy all over. especially my belly and legs and boobs. i'm rarely comfortable sitting. i'm rarely comfortable anywhere but my bed. but it will be better in about 3.5 months!

Cravings? no, not really.

Miss anything? being able to comfortably play with Scarlett on the floor or anywhere, any way. but i will be able to again soon! and wine. i love wine.

Looking forward to: naming these babies! with Scarlett we picked a few names and waited until she was born to name her. this time i want to name them now....or sooner rather than later at least. we are still deciding tho.

21 weeks 4 days 

scar wrote '22' almost all by herself

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

20 weeks

How far along? 20 weeks! i'm so happy. i guess they're like a banana now. or belgium endive.

Babies are: beautiful :) i had my level 2 scan yesterday (19w6d). both babies look excellent. baby boy (A) is now head down. i was super excited about that even tho i know they move all the time and he will probably be breech next appt! baby girl (B) is still transverse. she's pretty high up, too. they both weigh 13 oz and were measuring 20w2d.

Movement: yes! for the last few weeks i have felt the butterfly feelings but finally this week i have felt kicks and/or punches! still pretty light but i feel them pretty often. well, i have mostly felt baby boy...but since yesterday i have noticed baby girls kicks. this is my favorite and i sometimes cry from gratefulness that i am experiencing this one more time.

Total weight gain: 12 lbs. i'm at 150 now. i gained 5 lbs in 2 weeks.

Maternity clothes: i need to go shopping! first up, a belly band so i don't have to buy maternity jeans that i will never wear again. and more maxi skirts because i love them and will wear them forever. and i may buy a couple maternity tops....i'm gonna do some hardcore garage sale-ing.

a favorite moment this week: seeing our babies and hearing scarlett whisper in my ear "my baby sisterisso cute." and of course feeling their little kicks for the first time :)

a hard moment this week: *sigh* i feel that my cup has been pretty empty and i have nothing to give. i have been struggling with being needed. i have been feeling so needy recently that i have found myself feeling a bit resentful of being needed. but that's my issue that i need to deal with so i can better take care of my baby girl. i consistently struggle with taking care of myself and filling myself up so i can fill my family up. this week things have also been off with alex and i. no doubt it's all entangled. so the last couple weeks have been hard as far as all this goes. but in general things are good...and will get better as i prioritize myself more. i just need to figure out how to do that.

Sleep: oh sleep. a couple weeks ago my mom bought me a SNOOGLE (a pregnancy body pillow for those not familiar). it's seriously awesome. i'm so grateful she called me up to ask if i wanted to go shopping for bedding because she knew i was not sleeping well (she also bought us new sheets and a comforter! THANK YOU MOM!!!!). it really has made such a difference. i still get up to pee 2-3 times a night. or more like 5 or 6 if you count the multiple times i get up before actually falling asleep for the night. but i'm able to fall asleep again fairly quickly most of the time.

Symptoms: indigestion is a new one. still fatigued. i have a lot of pain by my upper ribs. baby girl is way up there and everything is majorly stretching and it hurts. i have to sit with a giant pillow behind my lower back most of the time cause if i'm hunched at all it hurts even more. it's just so funny how much sooner all this is happening this time around. i feel like i did later on in my third trimester with Scarlett. it's so different. at this point i felt so great....i don't think i even felt pregnant! now i have aches and pains and just wanna sleep all the time! but i honestly still love it. tho i'm happy to not do it again, i think :)

Cravings: still loving coffee....tho i only drink it occasionally. but otherwise no.

Miss anything? the warmer weather makes me want to drink white wine. i miss wine!

Looking forward to: finding some dressers so i can start collecting and getting baby clothes out and put away! i''m just so excited for all the baby prep.

scarlett was really into this picture, can you tell?

i love this because it was totally spontaneous. i was taking a pic of myself and she jumped in
with kisses right before the timer went off.

baby boy on the left with his arm over his head and baby girl's sweet profile on the right.
they're the coolest.

you guys. i already can't see my feet. 

and just for fun. an awkward pic of me at 20 weeks with Scar!