Thursday, 28 August 2014

Good News & Not So Good News

Today I am 36 weeks and 5 days pregnant! Definitely longer than I thought I would make it. It really is a blessing to still be carrying these babies on the inside as it means they are getting the best nourishment and in the best place to grow and prepare for life on the outside. (And with two big siblings to "carefully" love on them, they need to toughen up and get a little bigger). 

We've hit a few milestones lately! 36 weeks was the goal I had set for myself to carry the twins. After 36 weeks, their lungs are developed enough to live outside the womb with little to no assistance and they should be big enough to avoid any NICU time. 

Also, I'm finished with the routine ultrasounds! Yahoo! No more drinking water and holding it! (Though to be honest, I stopped drinking all the water a few ultrasounds ago - I have to pee almost hourly anyways).  That feels like an accomplishment and brings us one step closer to meeting these girlies.

Both of my doctors comment on how well I'm handling this twin pregnancy. I haven't done anything different from my past two pregnancies, so I'm going to give the credit to God that he made my body wonderful for carrying babies.  The babies themselves have been healthy and steadily gaining weight the entire pregnancy.  They are now up to about 6.7 lbs each, which is a respectable weight for even a singleton. In fact, it's how much I weighed at birth!

Baby A is still also in the head down position and that's unlikely to change as apparently she is so.far.down. You know the wiggle song? For me it's the waddle song.  I don't think I could walk gracefully if I tried. Maybe for 3 steps and then it just all goes down hill from there.  We went to Walmart this afternoon and I started out ok, but by the end of our 30 minutes walking around (and one rest where I sat on the floor and JP helped me upright again) I was keeled over the shopping cart and searching frantically for a seat.  Crossing the crosswalk I thought about yelling at the car who was slowly inching up trying to get past me as I slowly tottered across. 

Now the not so good, and to be fair, it's still good, just not the outcomes I was hoping for. 

I took JP with me to see Dr.  M (OBGYN) today.  I thought it would be a good thing for him to meet her and maybe get a run down of what all is involved and what it's going to be like.  Probably a good thing as he was expecting a blonde haired, blue eyed little surgeon and she is definitely little, but of Indian descent and so not blonde haired/blue eyed.  I guess because he last name is Canadian sounding. 

Anyways, she went over things for JP's benefit. Talking about what it will be like in the OR and what his job is (basically his only job is to focus on me - YES!)  Then she went over what will happen if something is wrong or goes wrong with me or the delivery of baby B.  We found out we can't do delayed cord clamping or immediate skin to skin as there is a bit of a rush to get baby B out safely.  That's ok. I'm ok with that. I like skin to skin and would love to delay cutting the cord, but this isn't a normal situation and ultimately, I want what's best for these girls.  I trust my team and they are the ones who do this every day, not me.

Then she did a quick internal exam. Nothing has changed since Dr. R checked me last week or again this past Tuesday. Still sitting at 1-2cm dilated. Soft, but posterior cervix.  Those things can change really quickly, but I still found it somewhat discouraging.  With Mason I was 3-4cm dilated for the last 3 weeks. 

Then we started talking dates.  We had previously discussed inducing me either Sept. 3 or 4th which is perfect for our busy September schedule. Mason starts Kindergarten on Sept 9th, Lucia has her preschool orientation that day as well. We have a very special wedding to attend on September 13th, so that would give us about a week with the babies before we have to start "doing" things. BUT.

Apparently the Okanagan has a twin epidemic.  There are 4 sets of twins expected to arrive during the first two weeks of September. As one of my facebook friends said, "It must've been a cold winter". That's right.  And a happy Christmas.  So, because I am doing so well and the babies are continuing to thrive and the fact that they are the lowest risk possible (diamniotic, dichorionic), which are all amazing and I am so blessed, BUT that means that I'm the least urgent on the "need to deliver" scale.  So that means my hopes of being induced on the 3rd of 4th are pretty much dashed.  Which means that instead of counting down 7 more sleeps tonight, I'm looking at 12 - 14. Which means that I'm going to be in this uncomfortable state for twice as long as I thought I had left. Which means I'm feeling pretty low. AND I forgot to buy chocolate at Walmart. Ugh.

There's more. The new induction date is probably September 10th.  Good news - I'll still be able to take Mason to his first day or Kindergarten (if I can walk). Bad news - I probably won't get to go to the wedding that I've been looking forward to for over a year!!! Right now that's what's getting me down the most.  I've gone through the whole planning process with this friend and watched this wedding come to life and I'm so, so sad to think that I'll be missing out on sharing her joy that day!

I'm also thinking that if I do have to be pregnant another 13 days and these babies have 13 more days to grow I'm going to be the biggest pregnant person in Kelowna AND we probably will set the KGH record for biggest twins at birth.  They'd probably be close to 8 lbs. (I have no idea what the record is, maybe someone can share that with me). That means that all the newborn clothes and newborn diapers I've stocked up on would fit for maybe a week. 

                                                              Me yesterday at 36w4d.

My saving hope is that I'll go into labour spontaneously (any time now would be PERFECT) and that I won't have to a) be pregnant any longer, b)miss out on anything, c) be induced (which I've heard can go both ways in terms of more intense/less intense). 

So, starting today, I'm going to be going for bumpy drives (we actually did that last night), consuming pineapple by the truck full, eating spicy food, and all those other "natural ways to induce labour" except for  Castor oil... Not sure I can handle that one. 

Prayers would be much appreciated. I've been in not so great a headspace today.  I just keep thinking that my body knows what to do and it'll do it. I just hope it "does it" before the 5th or 6th.

Thanks for journeying with me!


Thursday, 31 July 2014

32 Down. 32 Up.

Well, I'm 32 weeks (almost 33) and measuring 42. I'm also up 32 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. Does that say enough? Maybe a picture would better illustrate.

I'm feeling big, but not huge.  I thought by this point I would be much larger so I'm pretty happy with how things are progressing. 

We've had a lot happening this month leaving little to no time to blog (or do much of anything "fun").  The first part of the month was spent packing and then moving. Our first two weeks in the new house were spent painting.  I'm mostly settled upstairs, but still have a TON of boxes to go through and unpack.  I've switched gears now to get ready for the arrival of these babies.  Last night and today I went through Lucia's clothes and pulled out everything from 0 - 12 months so it can be washed.  I also went through all the shower gifts and removed tags etc. so they're ready for laundering as well. Boring, right? But, it needs to get done.  The one kink in my plans today was that the plumber showed up at 5pm to replace our kitchen faucet and a whole bunch of little upgrades. My dreams of doing laundry were stalled for 3 hours and now I'm writing a blog post instead of doing laundry :)

The girls' room is coming along.  While my friends were up from the coast we put together part of the closet organizer (hubby needs to tweak it a bit), the new chair from Ikea (that's actually much smaller than the catalogue makes it out to be), painted the chair rail, laid out the rug, and that's all for now. Still need to get the curtain rod and curtains up, set up the crib, finish the closet, hang up/fold and put away baby clothes, organize diapers.  One rabbit trail here: My mom has been buying diapers whenever she goes shopping. I think she brought close to 15 boxes of diapers (of varying sizes) when she came up! I have a whole closet FILLED with diapers. How awesome is that? I won't be the one stuck without any diapers at home!  The down side is that babies go through about 8-12 diapers per day so times two that's up to around 24 diapers. That means that one box off 88 diapers (newborn size) will last us 3.5 days. Yep, that's not a lot. So we NEED a closet full of diapers! And maybe our own landfill.  I attempted cloth diapering with Lucia, but funny enough, her skin reacted really badly. Maybe because I had bought used cloth diapers (they were clean), but she just has really sensitive skin and it did not work out for her.  With two babies coming, I think I'll have enough to do without having to wash and hang dry cloth diapers too. Kudos to all you cloth diapering momma's though, I have a lot of respect for you!!

Unfinished closet

I hosted a BBQ for Mason's 5th birthday at our house, just with close family.  Our family is pretty big so even just with the immediates there were 10 people.  That's not too many, but considering we'd moved in 5 days earlier....I may have been pushing my limits a bit.  This past Saturday we had Mason's friend birthday party.  I did most of the prep for it (making a cake, gathering decorations, planning games, goody bags, etc) and JP ran the show.  It was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle party and it was pretty fun.

Michelangelo cake

Sewer Ooze

A pretty fun  ninja punch game

Anyways, tomorrow is another ultrasound (I'm going every three weeks now).  I'll drink my water and waddle myself in to the office.  I think they should know me by now. I think this is my 8th ultrasound (at least).  Holding that water in doesn't get any easier though.  I'll think I have to pee soooo bad and then there's only like a thimble full. And then I have to pee 3 minutes later again. 

Today's appointment with my family doctor was really encouraging. My blood pressure remains great, my urine sample was good (they look for nitrates and sugar and things), the fetal heart rates were both around 140, and both babies are head DOWN! Yippee! I've been hoping and praying for a vaginal delivery and to have both babies head down is a good start to achieving that.  Hopefully they get too big to turn around again and things stay the way they are. 

I took a short video of the babies moving inside me last night.  It's a bit freaky seeing such bony parts stick out, but kind of neat at the same time.  If we're "Facebook friends" head over to my page to check it out. Warning: it is my bare tummy which some people might find distasteful.  Normally there isn't that much belly but when you have 42 weeks worth of pregnant's a lot of skin.

Fun Facts for Week 32:
Babies are the size of a jicama. (Jicama tastes really yummy with sea salt and lime squeezed on it. Yum!)  They're probably getting close to 4.5 or 5 pounds by now. They were just shy of 4 pounds three weeks ago.

Sleeping is definitely my biggest challenge right now.  I've self diagnosed myself with pregnancy induced insomnia.  The other night, it was getting light out before I fell asleep. And then my children work up at 6:30.  Wednesday was a long day!

I still have down days where I feel completely overwhelmed and "can I really do this?" goes through my head constantly.  I've been trying to pray more when I feel like this and am just trusting that God will get me through it.  We do have a ton of support which is amazing, but a lot of it still comes down to me having to handle things.  I've started doing some research into actually living with and raising twins so I'm hoping that will answer some of the unknowns.  That being said, we will GLADLY accept meals and any offers of housework ;)

The swimming pool is open! My in laws have a pool in the yard and they're just down the hill from us. I feel the most "normal" when I'm in the pool.  All of the extra weight and pressure feels non-existent and I can swim and float and be cool in the pool.  My maternity swimsuit even almost covers all of me. Almost. 

We've got about 5 weeks to go until induction day (if I make it that long).  I'm really hoping to go into labour naturally so if I haven't already delivered by about the 27th of August, I'm going to go for a bumpy drive (worked with the first two) and eat 10 pineapples.  If that fails, I'll be induced around the 3rd of 4th of September.

I really hope you are enjoying your summer and getting to spend time doing what you love! Thanks for sticking with me! I appreciate your support, concern, prayers, thoughts, and hugs so much!!


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

28 weeks!

We're in the 3rd trimester folks! If the babies were to be born now, I'd still have to go to Vancouver for NICU care, but they would have a good chance of survival! That's definitely a blessing! At my last ultrasound, the girls both looked great. They are weighing about 2 lbs 4 oz each, which is a good weight for this stage. 

My blood pressure has remained low (90/40) and I think it's causing some extra struggles for me. I'm just sooo tired all the time (sometimes even just holding my cell phone to scroll Facebook or Pinterest is too much) and I've been really light headed and dizzy.  Our family has been under a lot of stress lately with the looming move to a new home as well as some recent illness for my dad. He's been sick for almost a month and ended up in the hospital twice.  He is still currently admitted after undergoing surgery on Thursday last week.  Needless to say, between being preggers with twins, still working, packing/trying to get organized for a move, and now my dad being incapacitated, it's been stressful to say the least. I've had a lot of extra phone calls and research and meeting with home nurses, setting up various services, doing extra errands and that sort of thing.  A huge help has been that the surgeon looking after my dad just happens to be one of the doctors that I work with.  He's been so fantastic at keeping me updated as to how surgery went and how things are progressing. I'm so thankful for the connections to the medical world.  Even one of the nurses looking after my dad is a friend from way back.  I'm hoping that dad will be released sometime this week after he's regained a bit more strength and they get his medications switched from IV to oral. 

Another good thing about him being in hospital is that we were able to go on the houseboat trip we had planned over the weekend. Last summer, my brother in law won a $5000 houseboat weekend at the Calgary Stampede. We'd had it planned for quite some time and I was looking forward to getting away.  Having dad in the hospital meant I knew he was in great hands. I felt that I could just release that extra responsibility and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature and just being away. We had a really nice time and it was just what we all needed.   

In all honesty, I'm surprised my blood pressure has remained so low.   That's another blessing and I'm trying to look at it that way.  

This isn't really a happy post. I'm feeling pretty discouraged so thought I would write about it. I'm sure another pregnant mom out there can relate and maybe it will help her to know that it's ok and it's normal to feel down sometimes.  As long as the down days aren't EVERY day.  I'm trying to hold my head up, but it's tough.  Making it through each day is an accomplishment. Not running away (not that I can run anyways) is another step in the right direction.  It scares me to think that the coming weeks will only get more difficult but I'm trusting that God will give me the strength and patience I need to make it through each day. 

Prayers would be much appreciated :)

Blessings on you and your family!


Friday, 20 June 2014

The Final 10!

I had another visit with my family doctor today. Everything is still right on track and my body and the babies are doing what they should be. That's definitely a blessing. Considering all twin pregnancies are considered "high risk", I've had a very low complication high risk pregnancy thus far.  My glucose test came back good so I don't have to worry about gestational diabetes.  My blood pressure has remained low (90/40 today) which I think is too low, but she's very happy about.  Better to be low than high. Just means I'm more tired and get dizzy fairly easily.  The babies hearts both sound great! Mason had to come with me for a check up too and it was so special to see him hear the babies. He even stopped playing with the blood pressure cuff for half a minute!  I forgot to ask how big I'm measuring. I'm 27 weeks tomorrow but I think I'm measuring about 33 weeks.  

  If you didn't know me, you'd just think I am carrying one baby in this big tummy, but due in a month or so. I've been getting lots of questions of when I'm due and "You must be ready to pop soon".  It's somewhat humorous to  tell them I still have almost 3 months to go.  Then I pause and THEN I tell them I'm carrying twins. Most people start laughing. It's the reaction I've come to expect.  I work for a pancreatic & hepatobiliary surgeon so we see a lot of people who are in a very difficult season of life. Just yesterday I had a couple come in who we treated in the past but he now has a recurrence of his cancer.  It's such a difficult road to walk once, let alone a second time. Many people don't even get the chance of a second time.  Anyways, they seemed resigned to what they are going to go through again and when leaving, asked how much longer I had until the baby would come. I told them late August early September and watched their eyes get big like saucers. Then I said that I'm expecting twin girls and they both had the biggest smiles light up their faces.  It made me so happy that I can make them smile on such a difficult day. The wife even commented that she got the shivers when I said twins.  They were both really excited and I felt like I may have lifted their moods a bit and brought a piece of joy to them that day.  Most people are so excited when they find out you're having a baby, and having two is no exception.  I'm really going to miss my job while I'm gone. I've asked for and have been granted a 2 year leave so that I can be there for my kids.  I'm so thankful to have employers who understand and put their families first as well.  It's making such a difference knowing I have somewhere so wonderful to return to.  I'll definitely miss my patients and miss walking people through a very difficult journey.  I've been a listener and confidante, an encourager, a source of support and I'm so very grateful to God for putting me in such a place.  If I'm not home with my family, it is the next best place to be.  I love that I can help people in these tough situations. 

Bit of a rabbit trail there.

Anyways things are going really well with the pregnancy. I have three weeks of work left, then the big move (which I have no idea how I'll be ready for, but have had sooo many offers of help! Feeling blessed.) Tomorrow is a baby shower for the girls so that's something I am looking forward to as well. 

Two appointments next week. 5th Ultrasound and my second visit with the OBGYN. Then on Friday we're heading out to a lake for a houseboat weekend and I get to celebrate my little girl's 3rd birthday! Where does the time go? 

Here's the pregnancy trivia I know y'all have been waiting for:

Fun facts (or not so fun) for pregnancy week 27

Maternity Clothes: Pretty much everything. Maxi dresses are great. So glad they're in style right now. I can wear non-maternity maxi dresses. 

Sleep: Pretty decent.  Unfortunately, the nighttime trips to the loo have resumed. Also had a few very scary nightmares, usually dealing with losing one of the twins.

Food cravings/Aversions: Not sure about this right now.  I've had a bit of nausea again in the afternoons. I can't seem to get enough nectarines though. Cannot wait for cherries to be ready!

Weight Gain: I'm actually not sure on this one. I think I've gained about 25lbs.

Gender: Twin GIRLS!

Belly button in/out: Out.  I have a small umbilical hernia too that's not helping with the outie.

Symptoms: Easily tired out.  Lots of hip and low back pain.  The RMT that I'm seeing said unfortunately nothing is really going to help from here on out. Thinking about not going for massage anymore and putting it towards house improvements instead :)

Best Moment of the Week: Getting a good result from the glucose test, getting my hair trimmed and then curled. Made me feel pretty :)

What I'm Looking Forward To: The baby shower tomorrow :)  Seeing my girls on the ultrasound Wednesday, Lucia's birthday and houseboat weekend with the Casorso family (and hopefully a stop at Dutchman Dairy for ice cream). Lots of fun to be had before the real work of packing/moving gets too serious!

Blessings on you and your families!


Saturday, 31 May 2014

24 weeks!

Today marks 24 weeks! Every day brings us further past the halfway mark and closer to the goal! If all goes well, I have 13ish weeks left to carry these babies.  From what my OBGYN tells me, 37 weeks is optimal and the longest they'll let me carry is 38 weeks.  Fortunately (or unfortunately?) for me, the next 13 weeks are SUMMER! I love summer, BUT being pregnant during an Okanagan summer is....challenging. It's hot to say the least.  Good thing for me, I have a kiddie pool and a fairly private yard so me and my whale-esque figure can lounge half submerged in my kids' pool.

I had an ultrasound on Friday and as far I know, everything is looking good.  I had a great tech who was quick and efficient. She showed me the girls' hearbeats actually beating (which is pretty cool to see!) and I could see them kicking each other - feet to feet.

Tuesday, May 27th I had another visit to my family doctor. Things are progressing well. I'm measuring 30 weeks, which is normal.  The babies heartrates were both 155 and sounding good.  My blood pressure was again low, which accounts for my lightheadedness.  She's happy with that though. Better low than high!

I've started taking weekly photos. I bought this chalkboard for my kids for Easter, but I've sort of commandeered it from them for my own use ;)

This was 23 weeks. 

And today at 24 weeks.  

Time for some fun facts:

Fun facts (or not so fun) for pregnancy week 24
Maternity Clothes: Pretty much everything. Maxi dresses are great. So glad they're in style right now. I can wear non-maternity maxi dresses. 

Sleep: Pretty decent.  Unfortunately, the nighttime trips to the loo have resumed.

Food cravings/Aversions: I've had a thing for ice cream lately...

Weight Gain:
 22 pounds! Right on track.

Gender: Twin GIRLS!

Belly button in/out: Out.  I have a small umbilical hernia too that's not helping with the outie.

Symptoms: Easily tired out.  Lots of hip and low back pain.  Less nausea - I cut back to two pills at bedtime now, so that's great! I've been able to use that "extra money" to get a massage once a month. Hopefully that will help with the back and hip pain.

Best Moment of the Week: Visually seeing the girls' heartbeats.

What I'm Looking Forward To: Not too sure about this one. I'm just trying to get through each day right now.  We have a lot coming up in the next couple of months. Both Lucia and Mason's birthdays, a garage sale, houseboat trip, painting the "new" house, and moving! That's all before the babies come.  So just taking it day by day for now. 

That's all for now!


Sunday, 4 May 2014

The Big Reveal!

It has been a busy spring so far! I thought I would wait until after last week's appointments before sharing again as not much was new.

My last two doctor's appointments went well.  Everything (and everyone) is progressing as they should At my 16 week appointment I was measuring 20 weeks (which is normal) and the babies' heart rates were 145(maternal Left) and 160 (maternal Right).  At my next appointment, on Tuesday last week, the heart rates were the same again. I really started thinking that Baby A's a boy and baby B's a girl. Dr. R. also checked my blood pressure which she said was really good. It was 90/50 so that's pretty low to me, but she would rather have it low than high (which is a risk in multiple pregnancies). That would explain why I get dizzy or feel lightheaded often though.  I think it may even contribute to not being able to stand for too long, but that might just be because I'm a wimp...just joking. I know there's a lot happening inside right now.

Wednesday, April 30th I had an ultrasound. This is the BIG ultrasound where they take all the measurements of both babies.  It's a pretty long exam as measurements are taken of the head, length of arms, legs, crown to rump, along with all the other things they do (I don't even know).  It was about 2 hours. Lucky for me, the sonographer let me go pee halfway through as she could tell I was getting a wee bit uncomfortable.  I'm not sure which was worse - trying to sit up after lying flat on my back for an hour or those 10 steps to the bathroom!

The sonographer wasn't able to tell us the genders of the babies, but she was able to tell us she could see the genders of both babies.  JP, Mason, and Lucia came in for a short "viewing" of the babes in utero and then we were done. We have a whole bunch more pictures (which I have no idea what to do with! We're nearing 30 ultrasound pictures!) and just a few more days to wait until the big reveal.

Thursday, May 1st, I met with the OBGYN. I'd never met her before, but she came highly recommended to me by quite a few people.  Her office is GORGEOUS. It's so bright and all my fav colours (aqua, green, and a few others). Very fresh and feminine.  I had to fill out a bunch of paperwork asking very personal questions including a fair share about bodily functions and then leave a urine sample.  You'll never know how important your pee is until you are pregnant (or get really sick).  Oftentimes, your urine is an indicator that something else is going on in your body. This is based on colour and content. If there is sugar or blood in your urine, something's up, so when you're pregnant, they keep a close eye on things.  With twins, the risk of Gestational diabetes is higher than in a singleton so that's something we want to be sure to catch right away.  That also means I can't eat as much ice cream as I want :(.

I met with the OBGYN and she was very nice and informative.  She spent a good amount of time with me (almost an hour!) and answered all of my questions.  She used the Doppler to check the heart rates which were 150 and 160.  My blood pressure was 130/80, which is understandable as I was pretty nervous going in.  I told Dr. M about our plans for the gender reveal so when we were finished, she wrote the results on a piece of paper, put it in an envelope and taped it closed. She handed it to me and I folded it in half and stuck it right in my purse. I had the results! Eek! Now, no peeking. I just had to make it to Friday when I could pass them off to Louisa who would do the rest. 

Friday morning the kids and I went dumpster diving.  I needed a big box.  I stopped at an appliance store and asked for a dishwasher box. Turns out that was WAY too big.  I went around the back and found a whole bunch of collapsed boxes in a big recycle bin so I just pulled two out.  One would work for sure.  I took them home and decorated one with "BOYS, GIRLS, or BOTH?" on the front. Then Louisa came and took the results (gulp) and the box home.  She was going to open the envelope and be the first person (outside the medical field) to know the genders of our babies!).  

So that night, Lou got a bunch of helium balloons (pink for girls, blue for boys, or both for girl/boy) and met us up at the orchard.  I was sooo nervous! My heart was racing and I wanted to tear the box open.

Here's what happened next:

And just like that, we'll be welcoming twin GIRLS to our family! Definitely a surprise!  Now to figure out some girl names!!

Fun facts (or not so fun) for pregnancy week 20
Maternity Clothes: Pretty much everything. I can still get away with some long t-shirts and elastic waist bands (like the maxi skirt above). And socks. I wear normal socks ;)

Sleep: Pretty good lately! Some crazy dreams though. Last night, I dreamt there was a black widow spider in my bed! Eek!

Food cravings/Aversions: Not "cravings". I've been eating a lot of snap peas and strawberries. And pickles. But JP is too. Eating pickles.

Gender: Twin GIRLS!

Belly button in/out: Both at times. Depends if I'm standing or laying.

Symptoms: Mostly just fatigue.  I think the nausea has lessened. I've dropped one pill a day (yippee) and will try to drop another in a week or so. Some back pain.

Best Moment of the Week: Opening that box. And realizing how much my husband loves me. (I didn't blog about that, but through the kind words of a friend, I really saw how much I'm loved. It's such a good feeling.)

What I'm Looking Forward To: Planning! Dreaming of the babies' future room, deciding on names. I'm excited for the weather to warm up so we can spend more time outside!

Sorry it was so long today! There was a lot to share! Thanks for sticking with me if you made it to the end of the post!



Saturday, 29 March 2014

Bubbling Over

It's happened! I had my first REAL gush of excitement and heart flutters.  I was just resting and thinking about baby names. At our church, whenever a baby is born, they have a photo of the baby with its name to introduce it to the church family. I was thinking about the names we have picked out (so far) and about introducing our babies to the church family when my heart started fluttering and I got all giddy.

I know it's a little thing, but it's something. And I'm grateful.

I become more and more attached to these babies every day. Emotionally that is because I am physically attached to them already!

Lots of people have been asking how I'm feeling. I start to think I'm feeling better and then kind of relapse. I'm noticing a lot more aches and pains earlier on this round and finding walking to be really uncomfortable.  My next appointment is Monday so I'll have some more questions answered hopefully.  Thursday this coming week I'll get another look at how our babies are growing as I have my cone ultrasound on Thursday. I'll post some photos if we get some good views.

We decided to find out the babies' genders, but that won't be until the end of the month I think. We have something really fun planned for the gender reveal so stay tuned for that!

I've been reading some other expectant twin blogs and have seen this feature on a couple and thought it was cute.

Fun facts (or not so fun) for pregnancy week 15!

Maternity Clothes: All maternity pants, some shirts. Need long shirts if they aren't maternity. JP's thirst are great for around the house ;)

Sleep: decent so far. Lots of rolling from side to side.

Food cravings/Aversions: Fruit and grease. Aversions to things I've had to see twice. Oatmeal, penne noodles.

Gender: Planning to find out beginning of May.

Belly button in/out: Both at times. Depends if I'm standing or laying.

Symptoms: still nauseous/vomiting. Sore under belly, really tired and easily fatigued.

Best Moment of the Week: feeling EXCITED!

What I'm Looking Forward To: Some more energy, less nausea, upcoming GP appt and ultrasound! I need to hear those heartbeats again!

That's all for now! I'll have some pics next post!


Saturday, 15 March 2014

Calming of the Storm

It has now been 11 days since a bomb dropped on my world.  Ok, ok. That's being over dramatic, but it was a real shocker!

First things first - I need to say a HUGE Thank you to everyone who has left comments, sent messages or texts, phoned, met with me in person and generally just been there for us.  I was overwhelmed in the best way possible by the care and concern and all the offers of help for the months to come. It means so much to me (and JP, but mostly me) to know that we are not alone!

So, I had a lot an obscene amount of questions.  For some reason, I felt I had to have ALL the answers RIGHT NOW.  It was keeping me awake at night. Different questions at different times and looking back, even though it's only been a week, they seem kind of silly.  Why do I need to have a car seat RIGHT THIS MINUTE?!?  I have 5.5 more months to prepare!
*side note* I bought car seats already as Babies 'R Us was having a huge sale so we managed to save $180 by buying them right away!

Another thing I've been stuck on was names! I know I have a long time to think about this and yet, it was one of those pressing things that wouldn't let me sleep. Literally, lying awake coming up with name combinations.  I'm still not settled and haven't figured it out, but that's OK.  Time will tell.  I read a quote once that was something like this, 

You never realize how many people you 
didn't like growing up until you have to name your baby. 

You know what I mean, right? That boy in class that would tease you and call you names. (He probably had a crush on you) Yep, can't name my child ________.  The girl that dropped her overalls in the toilet at recess...oh wait, that was me in 4th grade!

All joking aside, I did have some legitimate questions as well. 
Are there increased risks to carrying twins?
Will I have to have an OBGYN?
Are they fraternal or identical twins? Do they share a placenta?
Do I need to be doing anything different?

These and many more questions. I searched the internet and found some answers, but not nearly what I was looking for. 

On Thursday last week, I went for my first doctor's visit since finding out about the twins.  Tuesday was the ultrasound, Thursday was the doctor.  Joy of joys, there was a 1st year Medical Student there.  I work in a surgeon's office and we do not like it when there are medical students there! It takes the doctor twice as long to do ANYTHING. (No offence to any medical students out there. I know you have to start somewhere, just why me on that day?!?)

So, the medical student comes in. Nice girl. Probably 21, 22 years old. It took her 30 minutes to go over the prenatal record (the one that normally takes my GP about 5 minutes, if that). She didn't know what some of the terms were (which I did and it made me feel slightly good, as haughty as that sounds. You can't work in a specialist's office for 6 years and not learn anything, right?)  I decided against asking her anything and to just wait for my GP to come in.

I should stop here and say that I LOVE my GP. She is the greatest.  I have never felt rushed with her.  I feel we have a great relationship and we're on the same page about a lot of issues.  She tells it like it is and isn't afraid to speak her mind. I really prefer that approach and generally don't need a lot of hand holding in my health. 

So, my GP came in with the student and performed the necessary woman things that have to be done at your first "real" prenatal appointment.  I'm a fairly private person in that regard and so it was a bit out of my comfort zone to expose my nether-regions to a medical student. At least it was a female.  A male would have got the boot out the door.

I didn't have too much time to ask my questions and felt like I had to rush through them and so I missed a few.  What I learned though, is that I will have many, MANY, MANY appointments in the coming months, but it is all for the safety and wellness of our babies so I'm OK with that. 

On Friday, I took the kids to Winners and we bought some onesies for the twins.  (One of my co-workers pretty much melted into a puddle the first time I said "the Twins". Her reaction was pretty cute and warmed my heart.)  I thought that if I bought something for them, I might start to feel more excited.  It didn't work.

Friday night, I talked on the phone with a family friend and! She is another mom of 4 (2 boys followed by twin boys) and she really helped to alleviate a lot of the fears I had in terms of handling four babies. I'm very thankful for you, Julie!

We went to church Sunday and I could tell right away who knew and who didn't. People who knew would give a raised-eyebrow-wide-eyed-gasp-half-smile-look and the first word out of their mouth was, "So.."  People are pretty excited though and that makes me more excited. I'm glad someone is. (That's not really fair of me to say because I can feel the excitement growing. It's just taking its sweet time).   I shared some good hugs and have had some really meaningful conversations. We also were invited to some other twin parents place after church for lunch and that was really helpful as well. I'm sure I will have many more questions for her as she's a mom of twins and a labour and delivery nurse! (Score for me!)

This week has been good.  I've settled a lot into "owning the pregnancy". God has shown me grace and opened my eyes to see how not alone we are. (Bad sentence but it makes sense, right?) Another verse that God used to quiet me this week was:

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good. 
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
Psalm 100: 4-5

His faithfulness continues to each generation.  JP's family has been in Kelowna a long time. They first settled here from Italy in the early 1880's.  Our son, Mason, is the 6th generation of the Kelowna born Casorso Family.  It's a pretty neat heritage to marry into.  I feel so blessed to be able house some more future Casorso's.  God has been so good and I'm ashamed at how I was so ungrateful when I first learned of the two babies occupying my womb.   I now can't imagine my life without them and I think only my loving heavenly Father could bring about that change of heart in such a short time. 

I had better stop. I'm getting the keyboard all wet with my tears. 

Another long post, but it's important for me to write it.  I hope that my kids will read it one day and see how "normal" I am, and how GREAT God is.

And, if there are other women out there who are searching for answers about twins, a great resource I came across online was at Baby Center. It took a lot of digging to find it, but most of my questions were answered in the multiples section. Here's a link for those searching: Twin Pregnancy


Friday, 7 March 2014

The Beginning

Hi, my name is Tamara and I'm married to my wonderful husband, JP.  We have been married for 6.5 years and have two kids: Mason, 4, and Lucia, 2.

Our life was full, but I felt the boy/girl, dad/mom was just too perfect for me. I thought a third child would really throw a wildcard in there and just bring added fun to our family.

We  had talked about having another baby by May of 2014, but the months to start "trying" came and went as we both were feeling pretty hesitant and not quite ready. Then it was December. I had decided that if we didn't try and get pregnant in December, we were done. Two kids was fine. I just didn't want a big gap between them because then I would feel like we had to have two more.

Well, December came and and we did our thing (not being careful ;) and lo and behold come January,  I was in the familiar position of peeing on a stick.  I was scared to look at it. I counted to 100 and then looked at the strip. Two lines. I was pregnant.

A bit later that morning, we were all trying to get ready for work/daycare and as we are all trying to brush our teeth in our one bathroom, Masons says, "Mom, we need four bathrooms because there are four of us".  At that point, I looked  at my husband and said, "We don't need 4 bathrooms, we'd actually need 5". He responded with a frothy mouth (from the toothpaste of course) with a look that resembled a deer in headlights.

Fast forward a few weeks and I am sick. I mean SICK. I am always sick while pregnant  and it is my least favourite job ever. Some people love being pregnant and look fantastic. I don't want to hear about it.  I feel like the garbage truck threw me out and then drove over me. Gross. This go has been no exception. I was super tired, super sick, and generally a grump. I even started Diclectin right away which really helped when I was expecting Lucia. I only threw up once during her whole pregnancy.
With this one I am still throwing up about 5/week even on the pills (which run about $200/month so I expect them to work).

It was finally time for the first ultrasound where you get the first glimpse at your little babe. I went alone with it being my third pregnancy and all. You don't really get to see a whole lot at this point so we'd planned for my husband and the kids to come to the next appointment at 20 weeks. This was just the 10 week dating ultrasound.  The ultrasound tech brought me back and I said, "Just tell me there's only one in there, ok?".  She did her thing and used her little wand to make my bladder burn and feel  as if it were about to burst. Side to side, up and down. I thought it was taking a long time, but figured she was checking baby and placenta which would account for the side to side.  She finished her exam and this is how the conversation went,

Her: "Is your husband here with you?"
Me:" No, I came by myself ."
Her: "Is anyone with you?"
Me: "Nobody is with me."

At this point, I knew something was up. I didn't think we had lost the baby because I thought the exam probably wouldn't have been that long otherwise.

I could never had prepared myself for what happened next.  She turned the ultrasound monitor and it showed my uterus with TWO babies in the same womb!



Me:"Are you kidding me? Are there two babies?"
Her :"Yes, there are two babies".
Me: "For real, two babies."
Her: "Yes. This is baby A and this is baby B."

That's when I lost it. Tears started coming harder and harder. I must have asked her about 10 times if she was kidding, once if I was dreaming, and may have made a comment like, "Well, it's a good thing we already have a minivan!"  I also asked if crying was a normal reaction in this situation which she assured me it was. She asked if I was driving my self home and I said, "yes, I'm driving. I have to go back to work after this!"

She left and I cleaned my self up and heard to the bathroom. I had momentarily forgotten how
desperately I needed to pee. I dragged myself down the hall and began the marathon pee.  Every woman who has had a pelvic ultrasound knows the marathon pee. The smallest stream possible seems to take 10 minutes to completely leave the bladder. So, while I'm patiently peeing and gathering my wits again, I can hear the tech telling the other techs that I just found out I'm carrying twins and that I was crying. They were all laughing, which I get. If I were in their shoes, I would probably laugh at me too.  Not to be mean or because it's funny, but just because it's a normal reaction and I'm sure it's exciting for them to see two babies instead of one.

I drove back to work. I was ok. I walked towards the building and felt the niggling of tears in my eyes. I started up the back stairs and felt some tears fall and my throat start to close up. As I opened the office door, there was one patient sitting in the waiting area (I work for a surgeon) so I took my now openly crying self to the back as quickly as possible. I put my coat away and bolted before the sobs could overtake me. One of the other ladies came in shortly after thinking the worst. I had told myself In the stairwell that if I came in crying, they would think I had lost the baby.

I gave her the ultrasound pictures....there was silence...then, "TWINS?!? You're having twins?" To which I nodded and blubbered and sobbed. This was ugly crying at its finest, folks. I kind of calmed a wee bit before heading out to they front where my other co-worker (and good friend) was trying, unsuccessfully, to end her current phone  call.  When she finished I handed her the pictures. Silence again. Then a big "OH MY GOSH!" Followed by a hug, which was very welcome at this point.  I got myself quite settled down, managed to call my husband and text him a photo as well as another co-worker/friend and other friends.  Husband was very surprised and asked if I was joking. No, not joking.

I just was able to get back to work, although quite distracted and shaken up, when my boss came out. The pictures were on the desk and he looked and said, "Nice." Then he looked closer (remember he's a surgeon so he's pretty good at reading ultrasound images) and said, "Wow, WOW! That's great!" To
which I started bawling all over again  and cried, "Is it? Is it great? You said four is a lot." He replied with, "Four is great. We thought about 5, we're not having more, but we thought about it. I wouldn't  give any of them away."

Since then, we've announced it on Facebook and I am really glad we did. I've read and re-read those congratulations the last few days. I need to be reminded of the blessing we are being given.  I talked to one friend who asked if he should say Congratulations or My Condolences. That's really how I felt and am still trying to sort through.

I know I have been blessed through all of my pregnancies. We have never had any issues getting or staying pregnant and I know that is a huge struggle for people out there. I'm trying to remember that when I'm feeling upset.

At the same time, I feel I have to accept my feelings of grief because they are real.  The family I had
envisioned will never be, it'll be bigger. I feel like a horrible person for saying that, but I can't deny my feelings. I'm going through a lot of emotions of being overwhelmed, feeling unqualified, upset, resentful, unworthy. I've had a few moments of excitement but then all the uncertainty and the enormity of it all overshadows the excitement.

I came across this verse last night while I was crying myself to sleep.

Isaiah 61:7
Instead of shame and dishonour, you will enjoy a double share of honour. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.

Double share, double portion, everlasting joy.

I think that sounds pretty good.

If you are a friend, let me tell you how much I appreciate you. I've appreciated your 'likes', comments, private messages, texts, and phone calls. I am so thankful for the support of our family, church family, and friends. I'm grateful for those of you who have been in this place before and have offered advice or an ear to hear. I'm grateful for those who have walked with others down this road in a support role.  I'm grateful that my Heavenly Father knows what He is doing and will walk with me every step of this journey..

So, that's the beginning. I'm going to keep this as a diary of sorts so I can document this journey of growing twins. I think it will help me process along the way.  If you've read to the end, you must be a pretty special person or care about my family a awful lot. Thank you!

Feel free to leave comments or email me if you wish. I can always use encouragement or validation that what I'm feeling is normal!

In Christ Who Cares,