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!