Monday, April 27, 2009

Week 16: Avocados

A graphic, for your viewing pleasure: (Sorry if this is too much info, but I find it very interesting. I would, I guess.) My twins are fraternal, just like this graphic shows (separate sacks). Several have asked about that. They are not identical.

The Bump says:
"Watch what you say... tiny bones forming in baby's ears mean the little one can now pick up your voice. Eyebrows, lashes and hair are starting to fill in, and taste buds are forming. And, if you're interested, an ultrasound might be able to determine gender."

Since we are kind of on the topic of avocados and the like, I have a funny story...
If you know me at all, you know that I have always loved "green dip", especially from Casa' Ole. I think it runs in my veins. Oddly, though, at the beginning of my pregnancy, I didn't even want to think of the stuff. I had dreams of how nasty it was and I would get a weird feeling in my throat at the thought of it. But now I'm back to normal. I really want some green dip! So, Friday I found myself starving after school and decided that I would run to the mall and get some. I thought I might have a few bites, but I was going to meet Todd at an Italian place in town, that I was also craving, so there was no need to fill up on this little snack. Well.... I sat in that parking lot and PIGGED OUT on it. I must have eaten nearly 6 oz. of the stuff there in the parking lot. I proceeded on to Mom & Dad's house for the use of their refrigerator to preserve the green gold while I later met Todd for dinner, where I had 3 breads, a side salad and half of the chicken Parmesan meal. (I always do that: eat a bunch of bread & salad so I can have left-overs to take home. Ha!) So, the point is... I've been very hungry. Our Bible class got a laugh out of the fact that I'm carrying microwave popcorn in my purse for whenever I need it.

According to "people", I have been informed many times, especially today, that I am suddenly showing. I feel like I have been showing.

Now on to the always beautiful Monday belly shot of me... Notice I posted this at the end as far away as I could from the "graphic" above. It's weird to associate the 2 pictures together.

In other news, because there are other things than growing babies...
Todd has been busy with his photography, but High School Senior season is coming to an end. He is winding up some last portraits and orders for the year.

I have a filed trip tomorrow (please, no rain!) and we spend the whole day at the city park on Wednesday. Two full days of fun for the kids. I love that they get to play! That's what many of these Kinder kids miss out on. I think play is imperative for social development, language skills, and problem-solving, to name a few benefits. But, their teacher is going to be completely drained by the end of tomorrow, not to mention Wednesday!

Rollei is doing great. His poor ears get irritated often, but we're working on that. On Sunday, when Todd & I walked out to go to church, I saw a copperhead along the edge of our garage door. I am always watching for snakes. I found one in the same place on my way to school last year. Anyway, Todd decapitated it, threw it over the fence to warn the others, and we were off. Later that day, I was out playing with Rollei and was in the process of talking to him like he were human, telling him to run the other way if he sees a snake. I looked down, and guess what he had in his mouth not 2 seconds later! Yep! A snake! Rollei's just hard-headed. Luckily it was a garden snake and it was smarter than Rollei. It escaped under the fence.

Anyone still reading? :-)
Have a great week!

Friday, April 24, 2009

We Are Having...

2 BOYS!!

I never saw that coming! I just thought that we were having a boy and a girl. During previous ultrasounds and in conversations, I would automatically refer to A as a girl and B as a boy. When the tech told me that A was a boy first, I immediately said "Oh, we're having 2 boys!" before she had a chance to tell me that B was, in fact, a boy, too.

I have read that gender can be determined as early as 15 weeks, and knowing that I have these appointments every 2 weeks, I also knew that there was a good chance that I would find out the gender of the babies when Todd is not with me. (He tries to come to as many as he can, but just can't make them all). Anyway, I was alone when I found out. Not what I would have preferred, but it was okay. I refused to tell Todd what they were over the phone. I just wanted to see his reaction. Since it was church night and I was in town, I ate supper with my parents and told them first (with permission from Todd). I wanted to see their reactions, too. And, I'm not good at keeping secrets about myself-- especially exciting/good news.

After church, when I finally got home and saw Todd, I had him open a bag of items that I picked up from Target. I just bought a little 2-pack of blue & green sleepers. He pulled them out and said, "This doesn't tell me anything!" Me: "Hello! They're both BLUE!" Todd just laughed, hugged me, said, "I'm so sorry (jokingly)!", then told me that I am my brother-in-law in reverse (who has 2 girls and a girl dog)!

I have to admit, I think I really had expected there to be a girl. I was a little shocked and a tad, dare I say, disappointed to find out that there would not be a girl. I am totally grateful for 2 boys. God knows what he is doing and I completely trust that. I have had time to let it sink in that it is 2 boys and I'm really very happy about it.

So, that's the story of finding out what the babies are. Sorry it's so long. Since I don't "journal", this is the closest I'm going to get to remembering the details of this part of our life.

Monday, April 20, 2009

15 Weeks: Oranges

The Bump says:
"Continuing the march towards normal proportions, baby's legs now out-measure the arms. And, finally, all four limbs have functional joints. Your fetus is squirming and wiggling like crazy down in the womb, though you probably still can't feel the movements."

So, here I am at 15 weeks. I'm not trying to push my belly out. I just hate having my picture made and am uncomfortable in front of the camera. I don't know what to do with my long arms. Oh, it's hard to post these and not go on a rampage about all my imperfections, but I have to say, mama could use some sun! :-) (Although, I would like to blame the lights. I think the professional photographer "overexposed" me. Ha!)

I can't believe I'm posting this picture again... the one where I had just rolled out of bed, had no make-up and started working... yeah. This is the best point-of-reference shot I could find.

Monday, April 13, 2009

14 Weeks: Lemons

According to TheBump(dot)com:
"Your adorable little fetus is busy with thumb sucking, toe wiggling, and (not so cute but equally amazing) making urine and breathing amniotic fluid as the liver, kidneys and spleen continue to develop. Lanugo (thin, downy hair) is growing all over the body for warmth."

Here is the first of many embarrassing belly shots. It was just taken and I'm not at my best, for sure. Todd, though, insisted on studio lighting and adding photoshop swirls.

Maybe next week I will include a point-of-reference picture from pre-pregnancy, but Blogger won't let me upload any more images right now.

So, be sure to check back at least each Monday! :-)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

First Trimester in Review

I have decided it is much more important to give a summary of my first trimester than do laundry at this time. So here goes.
  • Official positive pregnancy test on Feb. 2, Groundhog Day, followed by 2 blood tests.
  • The first blood test came back with high numbers, about 3x's normal levels for that day.
  • The second blood test's numbers doubled the first test, but were still about 3x's the normal levels for that day, too.
  • I asked the nurse if that could be an indicator of a multiple pregnancy, and she tried to kindly minimize my speculation and just said it is a good indicator of a very healthy pregnancy.
  • First ultrasound Feb. 10, at 5 weeks pregnant. Todd was hilarious! We went into the room and the nurse told me to "undress from the waist down." After the nurse left the room for me to get ready, Todd started to panic saying, "Please, Natalie, I don't need to be in here for this. Just let me go to the waiting room." I prodded him back into a far corner where he would be behind me, but would still be able to see the screen. As the exam went on, he asked tons of questions and moved more forward as he became more comfortable.
  • During the first exam, my doctor very calmly, like it was nothing, said, "And here's the second one..." Todd: "Ummm... did you just say there are two?!" I reached up and patted his arm to calm HIM down.
  • Starting about week 6, I began to feel very sick. Yes, I had some stomach upset and queasiness, but I think it was more an effect of severe allergies. I also had some pretty severe upper back and neck pain and horrible headaches. This lasted a total of about 2 weeks, but I had about 4 or 5 days in there that I just barley moved. It was awful.
  • Also, in week 6, I had a second ultrasound. Everything looked good. There are still 2 babies. I felt so bad, though. My symptoms kind of stumped my doctor, so she sent me to my general practitioner who ended up sending me to a chiropractor. I got a little relief, but still think I had a bad bug and severe allergies, so it just had to run its course.
  • Are you still reading? :-)
  • In early March, about week 8, I started to feel better and could make it through the day at work without being in tons of discomfort with the pain I had. I was very tired at this time and would nap when I got home, then sleep all night. I would sleep most of the weekend days away, and still can sleep a lot, even now.
  • On March 23, at 11 weeks, I had my first regular pregnancy appointment and got to see actual baby forms on the screen. Baby B was laying right in position for a great picture and measurements. Baby A had to be worked on to be measured. The ultrasound tech tapped my belly and baby A jumped and kicked. So cute to see on the screen. That won me over.
  • Did a test (can't remember the name) to rule out several genetic disorders including Downs at that appointment. They measured fluid on the babies' necks and combined that information with a blood sample from me.
  • Since I'm prego with twins, I have appointments every 2 weeks and ultrasounds every time I go. So, I went back again on April 8th. The test for those genetic disorders came back clear. The ultrasound was good. The are growing just fine. Baby B was in great position again and baby A was a little harder to get a picture of. They were moving a lot, she said.
As I said before, Todd and I had to wait a while to finally have our chance to be parents. We were so thrilled to finally have a positive test! (But I have to tell that when we had the first home test show up with two lines, Todd's response was, "I never got to go to Europe!") But, since there were high numbers in the beginning, I automatically thought that I was carrying multiples. I was having dreams about having a litter and was so scared. There were a few times that I would wake up from dreaming about this and having such anxiety that I would get up, go to the hall bathroom, cry for an hour, then go back to sleep. When we found out that there were really two, I was okay for a few days, but then, in addition to feeling physically ill, did not want to know about it. I had to hide the ultrasound pictures from myself because I was kind of in a panic and wasn't ready for that reality. Now that I feel much better and I've let it sink it, I'm good with it. I'm even excited now!! Oh, and Rollei's good with it now, too. :-)

Up next (tomorrow, in fact): Barely There Belly Pictures! Look for a new picture each Monday. I'm sure that very soon the belly will no longer just be barely there.