Friday, August 21, 2009

Coming Out - No More Chopped-Off Heads

Here we are at 20 weeks (yesterday). I've decided to use this lovely picture my great friend and photographer Melissa took of us last night as my first picture with heads attached. I've been a bit shy about showing our faces but - in reality - there's really no reason not to. I was wearing non-sensible 6 or 7" wedges for the picture, the equivalent of standing on a box - normally I come up to J the Elder's nipples at most.....

Well, it's been a big week for us with two doctor's appointments. On Tuesday it was our regular OB and on Wednesday the peri. At the OB's we got to hear the heartbeats on the doppler, measure my tummy and ask my usual list of questions. I'm now measuring 28 to 29 weeks, so 8 or 9 weeks ahead. Quite how this growth is going to play out over the next, hopefully, four months is anyone's guess. Apparently the reason I'm in quite considerable pain almost constantly is because my ribcage is buckling out. Nice! My uterus has gone from my belly button to under my ribcage in the last four weeks. My OB started to drop some hints about not making it quite as far as I'd hoped, to 37 weeks. Hmmmm. Please let me get to at least 34 weeks. I'm a bit scared now. But the highlight of the visit was my weighing in. The nurse weighed me, went to write down the number, then turned around and told me she'd made a mistake, could I please get back on the scales. Erm, it's no mistake, I really have porked up that much. I stepped back on and her number was right - I've now gained 26lbs since before pregnancy. My OB didn't mention it and this is totally in line with the twin recommendations for weight gain. It made me chuckle, though.

The peri visit the next day went really well. It was the 20 week anatomy scan and they spent alot of time measuring or looking at the hearts, brains, bones, blood flow, placentas, amniotic fluid levels, among other things. Everything is looking good for now, much to our relief. We were told that this is no absolute guarantee of healthy babies, but that it's looking very good at this stage. My cervical length is unchanged at 4cm, which is a huge relief, given the on and off cramping I've been having. I'm having three types of cramps, the first I'm pretty sure are round ligament growth pains in my sides, a sharp pain when I move around or get up out of bed, the second type is a sort of tightening of my entire tummy, lasting longer than I think Braxton Hicks Contractions would - I think it's growth, too - and the third are very mild period-like pains. The latter worry me the most, because they can be a sign of cervical softening. However, there was no sign of that on the ultrasound. I was told to call immediately if any of these cramps increase in intensity or frequency.

Both babies were moving around alot - so amazing to see that. Our baby girl measured 20w4d (I was 19w6d) and weighed 15oz and our baby boy measured 20w2d and weighed 13oz. We were so happy and relieved after this appointment. Each peri visit is so nerve-wracking and it's a huge high to come out of it unscathed so far. Now I need to focus on getting to 24 weeks and viability, then 28 weeks and so on. Our next peri visit is in four weeks again and our OB visits are now down from every four to every three weeks. So far so good.

I want to finish by thanking strongwoman for giving me a Lovely Blog Award. Thanks for following my blog!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

19 Weeks

So we've made it past the half way point for twins. It's gone very slowly from my perspective..... I've hit my milestone weight gain of 25lbs a week early (yes, greedy pig) and I'm really happy about it. I'm following Dr Barbara Luke's recommendations for weight gain in twin pregnancies and its correlation with length of gestation. In a not entirely unrelated development, I've adopted the inevitable waddle walk, much as I try to walk normally. My tummy has taken over the lion's share of the surface area of my body, closely followed by my bum, which hasn't been this large since I was at university and eating chips (french fries) at 3am most mornings. I'm still working on the ideal sleep accessories - currently shoving a pillow under my tummy seems to be working, otherwise I feel like it's falling to the side. I bought one of those wedge pillows, but it's rock hard and not working for me.

Very excitingly, I can now feel the babies tapping and rolling. Even J the Elder was able to feel a big kick the other evening. I can't quite work out which one's which, but on a couple of occasions I've felt kicks almost simultaneously on different sides of my belly, so it must be both of them, probably engaged in a territorial dispute. We recently watched the National Geographic DVD on multiples in the womb and they get into some good fisticuffs in there. I only hope they come out even and neither of them is bullying the other.

We also have a new ride since I last posted. We ended up going for the sensible option of the VW Passat estate (station wagon). Despite the loss of coolness factor, we actually really love it so far. It has a huge amount of space. For some reason, however, I'm not getting nearly as much attention in it as I did in the Audi TT. Hmmm.

We attended a weekend of multiples classes - really interesting, if a little overwhelming. The main take-away was basically that we're going to be BUSY for the next few years.

My sickness is still hanging in there. This week's been a bit of a rough one again, for some unknown reason. The backache is also still around and, if anything, worse than before. I'm going to ask about it again at the next appointment. It's always the same spot under my left ribcage and I'm having to lie down for a few minutes to take the pressure off every hour or so. Bone idle, I hear you thinking.

Our big 20 week anatomy scan is next Wednesday and it can't get here soon enough. We're still on a schedule of ultrasounds every four weeks, which on the one hand is a good sign that no-one's worried about anything, but on the other, it's a long time to go without seeing our little ones. I'm trying and mostly succeeding to keep my cool - any anxiety I do have is increasingly about whether my body can pull this off. I have no idea how another four months of growth is going to work at this point. But I'm sure it'll work somehow. I can't imagine having triplets or even quads and my hat goes off to anyone who's achieved that.