Sunday, April 24, 2011

What a Long Strange Trip It's Been.....

Honestly it seemed like the day would never come, but now they are here and it's so completely surreal! 

On Tuesday April 12, 2011 we finally welcomed our boys into the world. During the final weeks of pregnancy Lefty had flipped and gone breach, meaning that I had to deliver via c-section.  I hadn't really prepared myself for this and pre-surgery I was suffering some pretty intense anxiety.  One would think after all the shots and crazy procedures we went through to get to this point that surgery wouldn't even phase me, but it wasn't really the birth I was hoping for, I think it was that fact and not the surgery itself that was causing me duress.  I managed to make it through the spinal ok, it was what was in it that made the situation less than ideal.  About 5 minutes in I started throwing up, which is a pretty strange sensation when you can't feel your abdominal muscles and not exactly how I wanted to welcome my sons into my life.  Hearing them cry for the first time though, and finally seeing them completely made it all worth it, they were so incredibly beautiful to me.  I couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that they were finally here.  Seeing the complete joy and love on Brady's face made it all the more incredible, I was speechless, which for those that know me, is no small miracle.  Once in recovery I was able to hold them for the first time and fell completely in love.

Jackson Dutch was born at 9:22 am weighing 6lbs 15oz and measuring 19 inches long and Reed Thomas was born at 9:24 weighing 5lbs 2oz and measuring 18.5 inches long.  The size difference is crazy considering at our 32 week measurement ultrasound they were just an ounce apart size wise.  After four fun filled days we left the hospital and are now settling into a routine at home.  The boys both dropped a significant amount of weight in the first few days making supplementing with a little formula a necessity for the first few days at home, but as of our weight check with the new McAwesome (the boys pediatrician, a father of twins himself) they are both gaining steadily and I am producing enough expressed breast milk to supplement the actual breastfeeding without formula most of the time.  It's interesting, with Jackson being the bigger baby we thought for sure our worry would be with Reed, who is so tiny and weighed something like 4lbs 9oz when we left the hospital, but he is our little fighter!  Jackson has been slower to gain and I think it won't be long before Reed catches right up to him.

Since coming home life has been insane, which we were somewhat prepared for, I think the biggest adjustment has been just trying to figure out how to make everything work.  My mother asked me the first day what it felt like to be a mother and I replied that I didn't know, I hadn't had time to reflect on it, I was too busy just trying to function!  We are breastfeeding the boys, which makes our schedule something like this, wake boys for feeding, Reed first, 20 min with mom at breast then to dad for supplement of additional breast milk while mom feeds Jackson, then mom takes Reed and changes diaper while dad supplements Jackson's meal then mom pumps for additional 20 min to finish up.  The whole thing takes about an hour and a half from start to finish and we do it every 3-4 hours, from start of one feeding to the next, so that leaves about an hour and a half to two hours of sleep (or laundry or eating or taking a shower) in between.  I think it's something like 10-12 hours a day of exclusively breastfeeding or pumping.  The nighttime feedings of course are the hardest on all of us, mostly because the boys are so tired that waking them to feed is near impossible.  We have to totally strip them down and stimulate (or torment) them into wakefulness in order to get them to take sustenance, while trying to stay awake ourselves, we are all pretty comical.

I think my biggest challenge going forward it going to be relaxing and trying to enjoy this amazing stage in all our lives.  I am very type A and tend towards the obsessive and I find myself constantly worrying about most of the small details, I think some of that is typical new mom but I really want to focus on embracing every moment.  I try to remind myself daily to stay and live in the present and not worry or focus about what will or could happen.  All I have to do is look at their sweet little faces and I am completely mesmerized.  It's amazing to me that we created these amazing little guy, sometimes it completely takes my breath away, I can't wait to see whats next for all of us.

I will try to update the blog more now that they are here, I mean what else do I have to do to keep me awake at 2 am while pumping right? 

Here are my little angles relaxing at home, Reed on the left and Jackson on the Right, check that crazy hair!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Home Stretch

Seriously, it's here!  We are hitting 38 weeks in two days and are looking at having our babies in our arms exactly a week from today and it almost doesn't seem real.  I know I haven't posted in forever but I'll do my best to sum it all up.

At our growth ultrasound (around 32 weeks) both boys looked great and were head down, they were measuring just shy of 5lbs ea and everything was looking perfect.  We were really stoked about our chances for a vaginal birth and thrilled that everything was going as planned.  Fast forward to 36 weeks and things changed a little, Lefty has flipped and gone breech.  For the first time in the entire pregnancy we had to start thinking about the possibility of a C-section.  I'll be honest, I wasn't thrilled.  This whole time I've really had my heart set on a vaginal birth and hadn't even really considered surgery, it was a scary thing to start thinking about and caused me a bit of anxiety.  We discussed our options with McAwesome, there is a chance that I could deliver Righty vaginally and then we could attempt a breech extraction with Lefty but there is a significant chance that a breech extraction would not work and I would end up with a c-section for him and subsequently have to recover from both types of birth.  We decided at our 37 week apt to go ahead and schedule a c-section, our ultimate goal is to have our babies safely delivered, if I have learned anything it's that life isn't always as I plan and I need to be flexible.  Today was our 38 week apt and unless they decide to come on their own we are going in after them exactly a week from today, April 12, 2011.

We feel relatively ready, if such a thing is ever really possible.  The nursery is done and all major items are purchased/assembled/installed/washed/hung and ready to go.  This past week has really marked a change for Brady, I've been carrying these little guys for the past 9 months and for him it's all of a sudden really happening.  He is madly trying to finish the landscaping in the back yard and get the contractors lined up to finish the basement, I refer to it as his "dad nesting".  He will be taking a month off of work to be home with us and we are both looking forward to that time adjusting as a family. 

Somewhere around 36 weeks we had our maternity photos taken by my amazingly talented sister in law and are thrilled with the results.  We really wanted to document the belly and though it isn't nearly as big as I thought it would be, it's still impressive and we are glad to have done the photos to look back on someday with our little guys.  I'm glad I did them at that time though because since then I've really ballooned out with water weight.  My feet resemble stuffed sausages all the time now and my hands have joined in the fun, so much so they are peeling now, it's super fun.  Overall I've gained 60lbs as of today and feel pretty good about that!  It's funny, I really thought I would have a hard time with the weight gain but I am not bothered by it at all, I hope it is enough to help me through those first weeks of exhaustion and learning to breastfeed. 

So that is where we are at, one week to go unless I go into labor on my own, which secretly I am hoping for :)  I will be posting pics after the birth I promise, and though life will be crazy I will try to keep up the blog as much as possible.  Here are a few of our faves from the maternity shoot, again my amazing sister in law deserves all the credit and I am stoked that she will also be doing our newborn shots of the boys!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Third Trimester!

I can't believe we are finally here.  It seems so surreal to even have made it this far and we are getting so excited to meet our little guys.  I think they are excited too, most days it feels like they are trying to punch their way out me.

At our 28 week apt we had another big ultrasound, I say big because we get an ultrasound at every appointment due to the fact that we are having twins.  I qualify them big if they do more than check the heartbeats and positions.   The big 28 week ultrasound showed that both boys are still head down (yay!) and growing right on track.  Righty was weighing in at 2lbs 7oz and Lefty was weighing in at 2lbs 6oz, I am hoping they bulk up in the coming weeks, I want big healthy babies!  It has amazed me throughout all of these past weeks how close they boys are, heartbeats always one or two beats apart, weight and all other measurements almost identical, they are so similar already.  The last appointment also marked my glucose test to screen for gestational diabetes and I was secretly worried.  Normally I eat pretty healthy and avoid sugars and complex (or all) carbs but this pregnancy has totally changed that, my sudden craving for chocolate had me a little concerned but I managed to pass with no worries.

Since I blogged last we also had our childbirth prep class at the hospital and it was interesting to say the least.  Up until now I hadn't really even thought about the idea of a C-Section, mostly because my doctor has never brought it up and my mom was able to deliver two sets of twins vaginally, I guess I just assumed I would too.  The class kind of changed my perspective on all that, some scary stats were quoted (like that 80% of multiple births end up in c-section) that got me a little freaked out.  I always have said that I would be flexible about the birthing process, things come up and happen that I won't have control over and in the end I just want healthy babies but I hadn't really thought in depth about going through that process myself.  We learned lots of helpful breathing techniques, I got to show Brady how I like my back rubbed and of course we discussed the drugs.  I have major props for any woman who attempts/manages/comes close to delivering without them but I don't think I will be one of those women.  We did have the pleasure of meeting another couple having twins who we traded email addresses with. I have heard over and over that having another mother of multiples to talk to can be incredibly helpful so I was thrilled to add another m
ommy to add to my cache of twins support. 

I am happy to report also that the nursery is almost done!  I've been working on things here and there to get it ready but we are one or two details away from being done.  We aren't really fans of the super matchy matchy coordinated nursery sets and even though we are having boys I refused to douse the room in blue so we opted for a more organic/neutral look and are very pleased with how it turned out.  I am still trying to decide on the colors of the monogram decals, once they are up I promise I will post pics for everyone to see!

Speaking of pics, here is the belly at 29 weeks

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Blog Fail

There are lots of things I am good at people, I am good at cooking and organizing, at singing in the shower and I make a mean margarita but apparently I am not very good at maintaining my blog.  Initially I was on the ball, updating with consistency and feeling pretty good about my endeavour, however lately I've been slipping.  I could site the holidays or lack of interesting things to report or my ever growing belly for my lackluster blogging but the fact of the matter is there is really no good excuse.  All I can say is I'm sorry and maybe one of my new years resolutions will be to be a better steward of my blog.  That being said, let's play catch up

I last posted around 20 weeks and a lot has happened since then, at least as far as the pregnancy is concerned.  First and foremost (other than how huge I am now) is that the boys are moving all the time now.  Initially it was exciting and reassuring to feel the little flutters and kicks, soft little taps here and there that have now escalated to a full blown assault on my internal organs.  There are short periods throughout the day where my activity level lulls them into complacency but for the most part it's a pretty consistent barrage of flips and turns that make me think we have future kick boxers in there.  Both babies are in good positions and at our last ultrasound they resembled rock'em sock'em robots, righty kicking lefty in the head and lefty punching righty wherever he can, hopefully this isn't a sign of things to come.

As we head into our 27th week and the beginning of the third trimester we have begun our baby care classes.  First was breastfeeding and childcare and though informative, it was a little disheartening as well.  I've been around a lot of babies in my life so I wasn't terribly worried about the baby care part.  I am however very concerned about the breastfeeding part.  I've invested in several books and done lots of online research on how to successfully breastfeed twins.  I know it will be a challenge, I know it will be one of the hardest things I will ever do and I am determined to do whatever it takes, my instructor however seemed pretty intent on making it seem as daunting a task as possible.  Not every set of twins is able to nurse in tandem, and we are prepared for the fact that if ours are not I will probably be breastfeeding for something like 10-12 hours out of every day, a point our instructor seemed amused in pointing out.  I'm prepared for the massive amounts of calories I will have to consume to help maintain my supply for two babies and we have talked with our doctor about renting a hospital pump so that somewhere around two weeks Brady will be able to help out with a feeding or two so that I might actually be able to get a shower or nap in :)   This weekend we have our childbirth preparation class, the one where we hopefully learn all kinds of wonderful positions and techniques for helping to ease the pain and discomfort of labor, our goal is to go as long as we can without the drugs but I have no illusions of grandeur regarding my ability to tolerate pain.  I have known women who have delivered babies all natural (my amazing mother, with her first set of twins no less) but I'm pretty sure that isn't something I will be able to do, then again I might just surprise myself (and everyone else) I guess I should never say never.

The farther along I get the bigger the belly gets, a few weeks ago we started measuring my girth with a measuring tape and currently I am at about 41.5 inches around.  My belly button, once an innie has become flat and bulging.  I've gained 35 lbs to date and it appears to be all belly, my back is wickedly uncomfortable and though I've invested in a back support brace I find that I can't last more than a couple of hours on my feet or sitting up before it's screaming at me to lay down.  My amazing and wonderful husband treated me to a soft and comfy new sectional for Christmas and I spend a lot of my time with my feet up resting.  It's hard to not be able to be as active as I'd like but I take one day at a time, making specific lists and tackling necessary tasks as my body allows it.  I've come a long way and I just have a few more weeks to go, I know in a couple of months I will be longing for an afternoon on the couch of watching old movies and sipping tea so I try to remind myself of that every time I get frustrated that I can't clean the entire house in a couple of hours like I used to.

After months of guarded optimism it's starting to become real to both Brady and myself that in fact, in a few short weeks our little guys will be here.  I cannot wait to meet them and get more excited with every day.  It seems like a lifetime ago that we were just starting down this path, every time I find myself lamenting about my growing discomfort or my inability to put my own socks on (seriously I can't bend over) I try to remember how very lucky we are.  How blessed we are to have made it this far in our journey to have our family and I know it is all worth it.

Per request, here is a pic of me today @ exactly 27 weeks.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Halfway There!

A milestone! As of today I am 20 weeks along, technically this is over halfway for us since we are shooting for delivery around 38 weeks (McAwesome says anything over 35 weeks is gravy) and it's crazy for us to think of how far we have come.  I can't believe we are here, and also I can't believe I only have 18 weeks left! All of a sudden I feel like I need to get everything done! Our paranoia kind of kept me from really jumping into the nesting thing early but it's in full effect these days.  We have the basics of the nursery set up (cribs and changing table-thanks mom) and the bigger items we need to purchase researched and decided, so I feel relatively prepared, but the threat of bed rest has me wanting to get things rolling.  Speaking of paranoia, I caved and purchased a heart rate monitor online.  Initially I thought these were ridiculous, that surely I wouldn't need one and even considered the idea silly, but somewhere around week 17 in a hormone induced loss of reason I bought it.  Within days I started feeling the boys move with some consistency making the monitor somewhat less relevant, but I find it reassuring nonetheless.  It's nice to at any time be able to hear both their little heartbeats and know they are still in there and growing. 

We had our Amniocentesis done at 16 weeks 4 days and got our full results back (also reassuring) and the boys passed with flying colors.  They did an initial anatomy scan at that time but their little bodies were still a little small to take complete comparable measurements so we have another 3 hour ultrasound next week.  I never get tired of these, seeing the little guys moving around and how they've grown never ceases to amaze me.  Feeling them move has been another source of amazement, it blows my mind every time and I'm not gonna lie, I am still getting used to those sensations.  So far righty has been my little acrobat, he moves with much more consistency than lefty but they both become mini gymnasts after my nightly Popsicle craving. 

Overall I am feeling pretty good, around week 18 I started experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions.  These are like faux contractions that usually start somewhere after 20 weeks (but closer to 28 weeks) to help the body prepare for labor.  However to see as many as I was seeing as early as I was kind of raised a red flag with McAwesome and crew.  Modified bed rest seems to have helped keep them at bay, along with an increase in my daily water intake to almost 3 liters.  Still, when we have our anatomy scan next week they are ordering a measurement of my cervix to make sure it isn't shortening and that pre-term labor isn't going to be a problem.  Hopefully it looks good and the modified bed rest and complete pelvic rest will be the worst of it, I have my fingers crossed after reading the blogs of several women pregnant with twins that have had to endure weeks of solid (or worse yet-hospital) bed rest.  Physically I feel like I finally look pregnant and not just chubby, so far I have gained 15 pounds, with probably another 15-20 to go before it's all said and done.  The belly is getting bigger, at times I feel as though there is no way I can get any larger, it feels like my stomach will burst.  I know that I will in fact get larger and I am a little freaked out by this, not the size but what it means for my comfort level.  I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, but man what I wouldn't give to have a night of sleep like I did back in the first trimester. My back isn't loving the addition to the front and I'm probably going to have to start sporting a belly support band here soon.

I find myself talking to the boys a lot more now that I can feel them more and I know that their little ears are developing and am trying to get Brady to talk to the belly as often as possible.  We are still doing our am & pm frog routine, we've been doing it for so long that we've become superstitious, it would feel totally wrong to skip it now.  I think this is one of the many steps to losing our minds that is part of becoming a parent.  On a fun note our neighbors have found out they too are pregnant with twins (after four rounds of IVF) and due three months after us, we are excited to have a built in play group right next door!

Here is an updated belly pic, taken today, at exactly 20 weeks!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


It has been brought to my attention that I have been completely slacking in regards to this blog, and it's true, and I am sorry.  I don't even have a good excuse, like working around the clock or exhaustion or lots of exciting things happening to blame.  In fact it's the exact opposite, not a lot has been happening and I feel a little ridiculous blogging about the somewhat mundane day to day details of my life as a stay at home pregnant lady.

That being said let's play catch up. Since my last blog post I have made it to the second trimester!  I don't know that it's the magical utopia I was promised, but I am feeling quite a bit better.  Food is no longer evil and there is a peace of mind that comes with knowing we have made it this far.  I still have some anxiety and worry about the babies, I often wonder when I will have complete peace with this pregnancy.  I remarked to Brady that I would feel better once we hit 20 weeks, he said he would feel better once we hit 42 weeks :).  Still every day it becomes more real and the ever growing belly is certainly helping us feel more reassured that things are progressing as they should.  I am at that stage where I feel like I just look like I have enjoyed one too many pints of Ben and Jerry's but I hope the official prego belly will show up here soon.

Earlier this week we had an in-depth ultrasound and found out we are having twin boys!  We couldn't be more excited. I was hoping for a boy and a girl for a little variety but truly we just want two healthy babies.  The ultrasound was kind of amazing, seeing in detail their little bodies, fingers and toes, the hearts and spine kind of blew my mind and I have a whole new appreciation for ultrasound technicians! I have no idea how they can tell what is what (although some things are pretty obvious) and I keep staring at the pictures trying to wrap my mind around the fact that those are my little guys. We have our list of names pretty whittled down but for now I am simply referring to them as "righty and lefty" and talk to them every day, because I wasn't crazy enough before I now talk to myself.   As of tomorrow I will be 17 weeks, which means about 5 more months to go until the insanity really starts, until then I am enjoying lots of quiet down time while I still have it.

And as requested by many, here is a pic of the quasi-prego belly at around 15 weeks

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


And I am happy to say I have nothing exciting to report.  As of tomorrow I will be 12 weeks along in this pregnancy, this is a big milestone for us and though we are still a little scared we are starting to get a little excited.  Overall I have been feeling  better than weeks past, I am finally able to eat three actual meals a day and have managed to even gain a little weight instead of losing it. This is a bittersweet transition for me, while I am thrilled to not feel sick all the time, the omnipresent nausea was also in a way comforting to me, a reminder that our little beans were there and healthy.  My body has mostly taken over progesterone production and we are now done with the nightly intramuscular shots (yay!).  My body has also taken up a few other neat little habits, like growing hair.  This is not super awesome, suddenly I'm covered in peach fuzz and for the first time in my life had to wax above my upper lip, because I wasn't having a hard enough time feeling attractive what with the constant belching and hormone induced acne happening.  Additionally I've become part blood hound.  Every smell is crazy intense, I can't seem to open the fridge without gagging and can somehow smell the garbage under the sink at all times.  Yesterday I had Brady remove everything under the kitchen sink and scrub it down with Lysol, and today I can still smell it (he smells nothing and thinks I am losing my mind).  Though it's early I've also started to show a little bit, at first I thought it wasn't possible but now there is really no denying it.  I have to unbutton my pants when I'm driving which has led to one or two embarrassing moments getting out of the car (note to self, re-button pants before exiting vehicle) and find myself living in sweatpants whenever home.  Overall I feel pretty good and am looking forward to my next ultrasound in a couple of weeks.  The upside to twins regarding the doctor appointments is that I will get an ultrasound at every one, I find this tremendously reassuring and look forward to seeing how much our little ones have developed.  Until then I am hanging out on the couch and counting the days until we are in the magical second trimester (7-14 days depending on which book I reference), keeping my fingers crossed and eating everything in site!