Friday, June 27, 2008

To Do Some More

Now that I've officially completed my 26th week (yesterday), I'm feeling a little pressure to figure some things out... namely, the boys' names! Next Thursday marks the beginning of the third trimester, which means it's time to get busy! The clothes all need to be washed and organized, I have to strike some semblance of organization to my stuff that is still in boxes and now scattered between two houses, and I really must address the big decisions:
  • Find a photographer
  • Make schedule of visitors for post-birth
  • Research pediatricians
  • Finalize birth plans and back-up hospital team
  • Get my teeth cleaned
  • Make sure I have everything needed for at least the first 3 months (things I can anticipate needing, that is)
  • Decide whether I want/ need a new camera
  • Finish baby knits
  • Make and freeze some meals
  • Make arrangements for birth announcements
  • Finish all work projects by end of August
  • Figure out what to do about Bamboo Village Press for the summer/fall season.
No doubt there are 40 more things to add, but this is what comes to mind now.

I thought I'd share my short list of names... this has been HARD to generate, let me tell ya! There are a million beautiful and meaningful girl names that I've had on my list for years, but with boy names, somehow it seems much more challenging.

First Names in the Running
  • Arjun (white, clear; hero from Mahabharatha)
  • Aziz (beloved)
  • Benjamin
  • Isaac (he laughs)
  • Maxwell (after W. Sutherland Maxwell)
  • Oliver
  • Njeru (wolf, after close friend)
  • Noah (rest, comfort)
  • Rowan (little red)
  • Shoghi (after Shoghi Effendi)
  • Sisu (tenacity of purpose)
Paired: Joseph/ Aaron (brother); Shoghi/ Maxwell

The Belly House

During the past week, I lost any arch in my back, and my ribs have definitely expanded... I think I'm going to have to get some new braziers. I'm not sure if you can see much difference between 24 week (brown shirt) and today (others), but I definitely feel one! Here's a smattering of pics for today.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hapi Mail!

Last week, I received some very yummy mail!

First, a mother's day gift from sister... some lovely-smelling massage oil for the growing belly. I can't wait to use it! Thanks, Ri!

Then, I'd done a little splurging a week before, when I Googled "japanese baby clothes" in the hopes of finding some non-traditional baby duds for the boys, and I hit the jackpot! On page 2, I found the blog droolicious, where one of the entries introduced Westcoast Baby. I'm really tickled with the clothing; they've matched my expectations in person. I just love me some Asian style.... go figure.

wee knit kimonos for brandy-new babies.

light cotton for the 6-9mo old brothers

minkee -lined jacket

When I contacted them by email with some questions, the response was helpful and prompt. If you're ever looking for a unique and adorable baby gift, definitely check these guys out!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

"Let's call it Shirley"

Not that I should ever need a reminder to be in the moment and revel in the miracle that is this pregnancy, but that's just what I did need. Mary took the time to gently remind me of how I've yearned for being here, and I decided to take it to heart, in whatever way I can at any particular moment. Being pregnant and in transition (in more ways than one) is hard, but the challenge is readily accepted, and I wouldn't trade these aches and pains for the alternative.

It's just that a few days without sleep and with some pretty unignorable aches and pains will render even the most grateful person rather grouchy. Thinking that I have 3 more months of belly growth ahead is quite intimidating!

I'm feeling better today. Although I slept fitfully again, I did sleep, throughout the night and until 8:15, and it made a big difference in the day today. I also heeded feeling sleepy earlier than I am usually able, and rested from 1-3 this afternoon. Good thinking!

Thanks for the pep talk, Mary!

ps: 10 points if you can figure out the reference in the title... Laurie, I'll give it to you in advance, since I know you know!

Friday, June 20, 2008

25 Weeks, Part B

You know what they say about having nothing good to say, so I'll keep my typing fingers quiet and just post a photo from this morning, sans shower or hair styling.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

25 week gripe

My blog post titles are getting so boring!

So, week 25 kicked my big, pregnant arse. I've started having pain in my mid back that, when unheeded, sends a constellation of referred pains out through my ribs and renders me speechless and triggers BH contractions. Not so much fun. It's happening more now, and daily, so it's forcing me to really reduce my time doing things like... sitting. I pretty much lost the entire week - work got put on hold, and almost all of my time not spent driving to appointments (or the beach, oops) has been spent sleeping or lying down.

I'm therefore about to turn over a new leaf, starting this weekend when I get to lounge around at K's house, or rather, in her big, glorious bathtub. I don't really plan on doing anything else besides eat, get a bunch of work done, and soak in the tub. On Tuesday, come hell or high water, I will make it to the prenatal class at the local pool. So, that's 4 out of 5 days coming that will each involve some level of weightlessness - let's hope it puts an end to this awful spasm.

Again on the physical level, I'm also now starting to enjoy some lax ligaments, which has resulted in near nightly slight dislocations of my right collarbone, since that's the side I sleep on. I can pop it back myself, but it's getting pretty sore.... like I needed another sleep discomfort!

What else happened this week? Well, I posted about out outings last Saturday, and Laurie covered our trip to the beach... in between those things, I've been sleeping. Today, I had a whole day of chores: I picked up my twin nursing pillow this morning, then had appointments with the midwives and my lovely chiropractor, where I also got to pick up my new temperpedic neck pillow.

The meeting with the midwives was cool. I didn't expect the three of them to all be there, but it was nice to meet them all again. Interestingly, this was the first time in all these weeks that a health care practitioner has actually put their hands on my belly to feel the babies - it was very satisfying and certainly makes it all feel much more... palpable that there are real babies growing in there. It grounded me in my belly, somehow. We got to listen to their perfect hearts beating and chat about how in the weeks to come their positions will become much more obvious as the space in there is diminished. My blood pressure is really, really good (low for me, yay!) at 110/72, and according to their scale, I actually lost a pound (boo!). They weren't concerned about that, since we're looking for a trend instead of specific numbers, but damn.... it seemed like another manifestation of this all-consuming exhaustion. All told, I've gained 28 pounds, so I'm projecting that my total weight gain for the pregnancy will be 40-50 pounds - hopefully on the high end. It's very strange to be aiming for that higher number!

Sorry there's no 25w photo today... we'll try to get one tomorrow. I am really just way too tired.

So to sum up: babies are great, mama is tired and sore, but healthy.

Two more weeks and I'll be in my third trimester! Now how do you like them apples?

Monday, June 16, 2008

borrowed from an email

It's Monday, and we've got ANOTHER day of full sun on tap (temps in the 70s) and it feels blissful! Over the weekend, (Friday) Laurie, Korin and I went out for Pho and then went to see Prince Caspian, then (Saturday) Laurie, Korin, Ruby and I went to the Rhododendron Garden, ate at a brilliant restaurant called Old Wives Tale, and then went to Mt. Tabor to hang out while Ruby played, then (Sunday) Laurie and I hung out here at Steve and Maria's, went to the Hillsdale Farmer's Market, made some Persian rice for lunch, and generally sat around and recovered from Saturday. Saturday was way too much for me, and I ended up having what I finally recognize to be Braxton Hicks contractions - a lot of them. The cure: lots of water and rest (duh).

Tracy commented in her blog that her twins are more active at the movies, and for sure, Zeus and Oden kicked and squirmed their way through Prince Caspian. Oden was also grooving to the beat last night while Maria played her banjo next to me out on the patio. It's so neat to feel them reacting to the environment!

Tomorrow I'm taking Laurie out to Cannon Beach and Oswald for her birthday - this will no doubt be my last road trip before the babies come.... indeed, my last trip until they're a few months old, when we fly back East to visit friends and family in MA and PA!

Last week, I busied myself with finding some of my "necessary" baby stuff on craigslist, etc. I scored a tandem nursing pillow for $20 (usually over $50), and then last night I won an eBay auction and got my stroller - the exact one I've been wanting. I paid under $300, while the new ones go for over $800! I also did some more splurgey buying, when I found these kimono shirts. In addition, I hit 2 consignment shops, where I scored a few super cute outfits. The sad thing is, I've paid less for brand new things when I find them on clearance... Portland has an enormous number of resale shops, but boy, the prices for used seem pretty high to me! What do I know, though... I'm still barely even a novice at this stuff!

I just spent this morning unpacking, cataloging and washing baby gear. I had no idea what I had already, so I took a cue from all the Virgos in my life and started a spreadsheet! I thought I had a ton of stuff, but now that it's all divvied up between the wee sizes between newborn and 12 months, I realize I will definitely need more stuff! Fortunately Amanda (who had her twin baby girls over the weekend!) sent me a spreadsheet of recommended gear for twin tots, so I'll have that to go on, at least.

I'm glad I started on this now, actually. This week, I'll get some big ziplock storage and divide up the things I have by size, and then pack it back in the box for the next move. I've got the time and energy to get this stuff done now, so I might as well take advantage. Besides, it makes the fact that I'm soon going to have my boys in my arms all that more real, which is so very exciting, I can barely stand it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Six Months

A lot has changed in the past 24 weeks... starting of course with what may prove to be my last ever trip to a fertility clinic on cycle day 3... 12/31/07. There was doubt about the viability of this pregnancy (when my HcG numbers didn't double "properly") and the mystery of how many babies were growing in there (first ultrasound showed only one!). I've changed my professional work, completed my first year as an owner of a small business and charitable organization, packed my apartment and moved clear across the country. I've gone from someone who had been in state of longing for children since she was 17 and working in a Brazilian orphanage, to someone preparing to be the mother of two boys - all at once.

7 week ultrasound showing twins!

11 weeks pregnant

24 weeks pregnant - shirt no longer covers the belly!

Today marks the beginning of viability for the twins outside the womb. Don't get me wrong - I have every intention of keeping them in place for another 14 weeks or so; it's just that this milestone is a big one for multiples. From now on, they'll be gaining weight rapidly, maturing their lungs, and continuing to develop their muscles with their aqua-calisthenics. By 4 weeks from now, my belly will be the same size as a full term singleton preggo's belly.

I'm still writing out my thank you notes from the shower, but at the same time, I'm thinking about scheduling my portrait session (must do something about this awful hair before then), looking at options for birth announcements, and trolling craigslist for things like cosleepers, strollers, and other accouterments that will be necessary for their first few months.
Looking at the ultrasound pics from last week, I can see for the first time how different Zeus and Oden's profiles are, and it's gotten me to imagining what they'll look like, how their temperaments will be... It's all starting to get very real and exciting.

Here's hoping the next 3 months are as good - or better - than the last 6!

Monday, June 9, 2008

all about the boys

I realize I'm getting behind in my posts... Tracy posted about her baby shower she had over the weekend (congrats, T - looks like you had a fabulous time!) and I still haven't posted about mine, which was what - a month ago?? So, in an attempt to stay current, I'm going to do this post just about the boys!

Over the past week, Zeus and Oden have been getting a lot more active - or at least I'm feeling it more. A couple of nights ago, as I was trying to go to sleep, it was like a game of Simon in my belly! Bleep, bloop, bloop, bleep - there were kicks in all four corners! It was pretty funny, actually, until it started to resemble something more akin to Riverdance. I was actually worried for a while that something was wrong, in there, the action was so rapid.

The boys start getting active late in the afternoon, though now I feel them throughout the day. Yesterday evening, I was sitting on the couch and actually saw my belly move with a kick! I think it was Zeus, but they change positions so much, it's fairly impossible to tell.

They're growing really quickly now. Between weeks 24 and 26, they're each going to be gaining a whole pound! It's pretty hard to believe, and even harder to imagine what it's going to be like for the next four months or so... our close friend Amanda is 36 weeks with her twin girls now, and looking at the photos of her belly over the course of 8 months is... wow... astonishing! She looks absolutely fabulous, but those growing babies really do take up a lot of room.

The doctor didn't measure me when I was in on Friday, but when I was in 2 weeks prior, I was measuring about 5 weeks ahead. I'm curious how many cm I am now, for sure.

Here are some of the scans from Friday - at 23w1d. The tech did try to get us some 3D shots, but they boys are so cramped in there, we didn't get any that were really clear. Kind of a shame, since that was probably our only shot of having those (slightly creepy) 3D scans of the boys. It's alright... not too much longer and we can look at them in full color!

two heads are better than one...
look at Zeus' fingers up near his head! Cute!
Pay no attention to their positions...
by the time we got to the doctor's office, they had completely switched.

Poor little Oden - we never get clear scans of his profile.
This one's pretty good, though!

I'm a real boy!
This is Zeus - it's so amazing to see him like this -
really looking like a baby in there, now!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

23 weeks!

With only one more week to go until the boundary of viability outside the womb (forgive the cheesy reference - all the others that came up quickly were about abortion!), things are going well! The boys are became more active in the past week... or at least I became more able to perceive their activity! Now I can feel them both moving and kicking and poking at the same time, making it so that sometimes I can have my hands on both sides of the bump and feel them. It's such a reassuring, wonderful sensation. I still feel confident that they'll stay put well into the upper 30-weeks.

Tomorrow I'm meeting again with MFM at OHSU. They're repeating the high level ultrasound first, which should take about 90 minutes. They claim they have a 4D ultrasound, which while I was on the Cape, I was told didn't even exist... so I'm curious to see what we're going to see on the screen. I have a feeling Zeus (A) is still head-down - I think I feel his hands right at the base of my uterus and his feet up top, while Oden (B) is perhaps head-down along my right side. I feel his feet more on the side... or maybe it's his hands. At any rate, I'm curious to see how they're positioned now.

As for me, the past week was more comfortable than the previous. I think I got used to the expanded size - it's now easier to turn over in bed. I am not, however, able to stay on my back for very long anymore. The boys seem to put more pressure on my diaphragm, making me feel pretty breathless. When I lay on my sides, the boy on the bottom frequently pushes out against the pressure beneath him... it's pretty cool. Heartburn continues to be an issue, and I'm getting a new round of nausea. Fortunately, being treated by a very able chiropractor is helping a lot - especially my hips... Thanks Korin!

And now, without further ado: my 23w belly -