Boy 1 on left and Boy 2 on right (7 weeks)
Saturday, October 2, 2010
So sorry it has taken me so very long to get this information to you! It has been a crazy 6 weeks with a huge life adjustment (every new addition has been an adjustment - this one more of a challenge)! I have barely had 10 minutes to myself lately - but today, I finally do, so I thought I would update everybody!
Here is a journal entry I did the night before I headed to the hospital...
Only 30 minutes until nothing to eat or drink, which is fine as my tummy is very unstable due to nerves. However, I have been so thirsty tonight...
So, today has been a day full of blessings and just enjoyable memories. We went to church today and enjoyed worship. Our pastor talked about being salt and light and is challenging us to live out our faith. After church we went to McDonalds to treat our girls. We wanted to do something special for them on our last day as a family of 4. We wanted them to know that we love them tremendously! McDonalds was horrible, though. The girls didn't know the difference - but poor service, no ketchup or straws, and the food was not very good today...oh well...like I said, it is about the experience!
After McDonalds, we went to Reiman Gardens. We had only about an hour, but it was amazing. They have a butterfly atrium that houses butterflies from all over the world. It is a beautiful place with butterflies flying all over! My girls absolutely loved it. We then went out onto the main garden area (over 14 acres of flower gardens) and walked around and took pictures. We took pictures of my tummy, the girls alone, the girls and I, and the girls and daddy. It was a great experience on a perfect day - low 80's and low humidity! Beautiful! The girls didn't want to leave but we had to get my husband to work. We dropped him off at work around 2 and told the girls we would have to go back to the gardens sometime so they could enjoy it more - they understood.
We got home and took a nap. My youngest slept in her bed after some extra cuddle time and my oldest napped in my bed with me. I enjoyed the extra cuddles and extra time spent reading to her! After our nap, we played, or rather the girls played, ants in the pants. They laughed and laughed and it was music to my ears. I got supper around for them (I didn't eat as my tummy was really upset - nerves). After supper, we loaded into the van and I took them to where they are staying while I am in the hospital. The drop-off went very smoothly and I haven't received a call yet, so am assuming they went to bed alright! It was difficult, but not as hard as I had anticipated - God has really given me a peace tonight!
I came home and have been enjoying peace and quiet and trying to avoid phone calls - just to enjoy time with the Lord and myself. I ate dinner, relaxed by playing the piano, finished laundry and dishes, and have finished packing. I am going to go get a bath and shave my legs (well, what I can reach of them - HA) and then head to bed. I probably won't sleep well, but at least will be in bed! I have to leave the house around 4:45 tomorrow morning. My husband is sleeping at the hospital (he works there) so he will meet me in the main lobby in the morning!
So, that was the night before. Now, onto the rest of the story...
I arrived at the hospital on time and was greeted by my husband. We unloaded and took everything up to our room on the maternity floor. Once there, the menagerie of questions began and the pre-op drill began. We were teasing the nurse, but she really had no sense of humor, so it became very boring quickly. They were ready for me a few minutes early, so we headed to the c-section room. Everything went well with the spinal block and the procedure began. At 7:48 AM, our 1st baby boy was born. He was 7 pound 11 ounces and 19.5 inches long. At 7:49 AM our 2nd baby boy was born. He was 6 pounds 9 ounces and 19.5 inches long. They were taken to the NICU for their initial exams. The procedure ended around 8:40 AM and I went to recovery. Around 9:45 AM I was taken back to my room and met the boys for the first time. It was very precious! We spent 4 days at the hospital and made it home around 6:30 pm on Thursday, August 19. Our girls returned to us on Friday afternoon, after we arrived back from taking the boys to a doctor appointment (a weight and jaundice check).
So...7 weeks have passed (almost), and I am maybe starting to adjust a little bit. I average about 4 hours of sleep a night (broken up into 1.5 to 2 hour chunks). I am really hoping that they start sleeping longer chunks of time! Nursing has been tough, but they are still getting mamma milk - via pumping and bottle. They are growing like crazy - Boy 1 is now over 11 pounds and Boy 2 is right around 10 pounds! So crazy how fast they grow. They both have their own personalities and are cute as buttons! The girls have adjusted fairly well and love their brothers so very much!
Well, I am going to upload some pictures on a new post for everyone and then try to enjoy the rest of my alone time - all 4 children are sleeping! What am I doing awake??? ;-)
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Nothing is impossible with God...My new mantra and what keeps running through my mind!
This was the main theme of the movie my husband and I watched last night...Facing the Giants. What an excellent reminder of God's power!
Several people, including friends, family, and doctors, have second guessed my ability to carry the twins. Many have made comments that have been negative in regards to my ability to carry the twins "full-term." Many have suggested bribing my doctor to go early. And, in all honesty, many are just negative!
I have fought these negative comments with positive ones for several months and found the movie theme to be a great reminder! God is in control and He knows what I am capable of. He has prepared me and my body for the task He has given me.
Now, with that said, the c-section has been scheduled for next week and we are going to be meeting these 2 beautiful babies soon! Even though I am scared and fear sets in quite a bit, this new mantra reminds me that He is in control and knows what we can handle!
As for my appointment today, everything looked great! The babies are doing well, my blood pressure is good, and the c-section was scheduled! I was given last minute details regarding the night before and sent on my way. I finished up the hospital registration and took care of a few odds and ends in town. So, now the waiting continues.
I plan to make a fresh peach pie this afternoon for my dear husband and make some cookies and freeze the dough in balls so he can still have something sweet, fresh, and homemade while I am down for the count. He loves sweets so much (as do my girls), that I want to do something special for them.
Nothing is impossible with God - that is what I am living by and encouraging me right now....Hey, maybe I should go make several notecards and place them around my house.....I will just put it on my list of to-do's! :-)
Friday, August 6, 2010
We moved into our current house in December of 2007 and shortly after began to remodel the 2nd floor northwest corner bedroom. At that time, we were expecting our 2nd child and had high hopes of finishing it before the new baby arrived. Well, that didn't happen....However, today, we moved our oldest daughter Blessing into her new room!
Can I tell you what a process it is to remodel! It takes time, effort, a lot of thought and planning, and yes, even some disagreements and arguments amongst spouses! I will also tell you, that once we put the final touches on this room, there will not be another remodeling project for at least a few months - or as long as I can keep my dear husband from tearing down more walls! :-)
Anyway, today we moved our oldest daughter Blessing into her new room. I have included pictures of the room. We had help from church friends, family, and borrowed items like a texture gun and finish nailer from church friends and family. Without the support that we have we would not be where we are today.
It definitely feels so good to have this project done and off the list, especially since the twins are going to be coming very soon! Blessing slept in her new room for nap and is currently sleeping in her room right now for her first night! She was so excited to get things moved in and to sleep!
Now, we just need to find time to finish the small things. That list includes the following: doorstops installed, electrical finished in the attic, some shelves built/hung???, the rest of her toys and other things moved in, another carpet runner purchased (I accidentally grabbed an actual rug instead of runner, so need to return the rug and get a runner), a carpet for the closet purchased, a closet rod installed to hang clothes on, and a table lamp moved in.
This may seem like an extremely long list, but a lot of it will be able to be knocked off in a matter of a couple of hours. It is just a matter of having my dear husband work with me to accomplish it. We will see what we can get done before babies come, and if it isn't completely finished, it is at least now livable!
So, kudos to my dear husband for all of his hard work and thank you to those who helped and/or loaned us tools to finish the job. We know that you know who you are - we could not have finished it without you and truly do appreciate each and every one of you! And, to my dear father, thank you for all of your encouragement and help, especially with the trim!
Enjoy the pictures!!!
The east wall has butterflies, flowers, and the bible verse of Galatians 5: 22 and 23 painted on it and the west wall has butterflies, flowers, and the bible verse of James 1:17 painted on it. Sorry, no pictures this time!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Today I had my final ultrasound of this pregnancy. I was looking forward to seeing the babies one more time! It was nice but not as exciting as ultrasounds earlier in the pregnancy because the babies are getting so big you really can't see much at a time. I now understand why they do ultrasounds at 20 weeks!
So, the biggest news is that the babies are growing and are showing no signs of stress or distress. This is wonderful! Below are the stats...
weight - 6 pounds 12 ounces (up from 4 pounds 11 ounces a month ago)
heartbeat - 143
percentile - 71st (this is in comparison to a single baby - so I have a big twin!)
weight - 6 pounds 2 ounces (up from 4 pounds 4 ounces a month ago)
heartbeat - 140
percentile - 51st (this is in comparison to a single baby)
My doctor and I chatted about moving the scheduled c-section date up a week due to how much they weigh alreaady and my doctor would not hear of it. She said that she will take them at 38 weeks and no earlier unless the mom or babies start to show signs of stress. So, since all is going well for both the babies and me, there is no chance. This is good and bad...the good is that they will get one more week to develop - the bad is that I have to endure carrying them for one more week! It is a challenge!
As for my blood pressure - it was extremely good - she took it twice and it was 94/57. The nurse couldn't believe it! She made me laugh and took it again and it was 124/72. She is just amazed every time she takes my blood pressure because she thinks it should be higher. I guess my body just handles pregnancy well as I have never had a blood pressure issue - just like I have never had braxton hicks contractions or real contractions (once again and blessing and a curse :-)!)
So, we are down to 3 weeks until delivery date. I will keep pressing on toward the goal of August 17 and pray that they decide to wait to come into the world! I have plenty of things to keep me busy until then, so I will keep working on the projects. Some of the things I have left to do include packing a bag for the babies and I at the hospital, packing the girls bags for being away while I am at the hospital, cleaning out the van, finding all the breastpump accessories and cleaning them up, finishing cleaning our upstairs bedroom, finishing the new room and getting our oldest daughter moved in, getting the nursery set up, getting meals made and into the freezer to make life easier for my husband, and sleeping! I will just keep knocking away at things on the list to make progress and will see what happens in the meantime!
Thanks for following me on this journey! I have an appointment on Friday, July 30 and another one on Thursday, August 5. My last appointment before delivery is scheduled for Tuesday, August 10 with delivery on Tuesday, August 17. We will keep everybody updated!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Greetings! I can't believe 2 weeks have passed since I last updated. I wanted to update last week, but there really wasn't much news and we were busy celebrating Joy's 2nd birthday. I can't believe she is already 2 years old! It truly seems like she was born yesterday - I can still vividly remember the day! What a joy she truly was!
Today was my 2nd non-stress test. I am not exactly fond of these; however, it is nice to hear the babies heartbeats for an extended amount of time. It is so interesting to hear or feel them move and then watch and hear their heartbeats increase and then decrease (exactly what should be happening)! They are definitely little miracles! Baby A was slow to get moving today so I had to lie on the table much longer which is not exactly good for my back and hips with the pain I am having. Baby B is never slow to be moving so we knew it was good from the first 5 minutes. Anyway, both babies are doing very well and are showing no signs of stress! No contractions which is also a great thing! My blood pressure is good as well - so no worries there. I did measure 47 cm today (which breaks my normal doctor's record of 42 cm from another patient). However, my normal doctor was out of the office today so I saw one of her partners. His record is 56 cm, so he told me to keep working at it and I might make it - but then again this woman delivered a 12 lb 13 oz single baby! I could get there, but with a combined weight of that for the 2. We will just wait and see!
Other than that, not much news. I am feeling very big (looking big too) and trying my best to take it easy and not overdo it. There are days where I definitely do too much and my body tells me so, but other days I wonder if I am doing enough! It is very interesting. However, I think chasing two children around every day could be considered enough for a momma pregnant with twins!
This weekend, our oldest turns 4 years old! We are celebrating both girls' birthdays on Saturday morning before my dear husband has to go to work and then we will do something special for Blessing on Sunday, her actual birthday. Once again, where have the past 4 years gone? I can't believe that she is turning 4.
Both of our girls are growing up so quickly and way too fast! Blessing was helping us freeze corn yesterday by cleaning the silks off of the shucked ears - and my did she do an amazing job! Joy enjoys helping in any way she can - especially if she can sit on daddy or mommy's lap! Let me tell you, there isn't much room left on mommy's lap!
Well, that is it for now - I will try to post updated pictures of the girls soon as well as keep everyone updated on the weekly appointments. My next appointment is next week on Tuesday - another non-stress test and meeting with the doctor. The next week is an ultrasound - I hope I make it that far so I can see these precious babies again! It is so much fun to see them growing and changing inside of me...what miracles and what amazing technology!
Thanks for checking in!
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
I had a much anticipated appointment this morning at 9 am. It started out with an ultrasound. The ultrasound went well - except for the hip/back pain associated with laying in one position on a hard table for so long. But, at least I got to see our two precious babies and enjoy watching them breathe and their hearts beat. Yes, babies in the tummy breathe - they move amniotic fluid in and out of their little lungs to practice for when they are born. It was amazing to watch!
The ultrasound showed that both babies are breach - with their heads in my ribs. Baby A is facing down and Baby B is facing up. My dear husband and I laugh because we know they are already conspiring against us! :-)
I then met with the doctor. She told me the stats on the babies - listed below.
weight - 4 pounds 11 ounces (up from 3 pounds 2 ounces 4 weeks ago)
heartbeat - 143 beats per minute
measuring - 67th percentile
weight - 4 pounds 4 ounces (up from 2 pounds 12 ounces 4 weeks ago)
heartbeat - 129 beats per minute
measuring - 53rd percentile
Overall, the babies are still growing but their growh rate has slowed down. They are both measuring in a lower percentile than they were 4 weeks ago - which is perfectly okay. No worries with that - and I will say that I am perfectly ok with that as well!
During the ultrasound, a biophysical test was performed on each baby to check it's stress level. 8 points were possible and both babies scored 100%. This just tells the doctor that neither baby is in stress or showing signs of distress and the pregnancy is progressing along good.
As for me, my blood pressure was 118/62. When the nurse got done taking this she just looked at me and shook her head. I asked her what and she said that she keeps expecting it to be much higher or at least have changed drastically since the last appointment. Needless to say, both her and the doctor were impressed! I have not gained nor lost any weight from 2 weeks ago - so that is fine. The doctor laughed at me today because even though I have almost 9 pounds of baby in me - I have not gained any weight. The nurse even commented that besides my tummy, I am looking thinner. The doctor is not worried about my weight as she can tell the babies are healthy and I am healthy. Finally, I am measuring 40 weeks at 31 weeks and 6 days. The doctor is hoping that this remains stable for a few weeks - as am I!
Other than the appointment, my hips and low back do not feel very good. I am in quite a bit of pain much of the time - but know that it will be worth it in the end. It is just a matter of time before these precious bundles are born.
After the appointment, I ran to the store and met the rest of my family at a park. We ate a picnic lunch and then took our 2 girls swimming. We are home now and resting getting ready for a fun packed night of working outside! I am so thankful that the humidity is down and the temperature is down as well!
I had better go get supper around and wake the girls up - that way they will go to sleep tonight. Just wanted to let everyone know how things were going!
Have a safe and happy 4th of July!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
It is amazing that it is the middle of June, which also means halfway through 2010. It seems like yesterday I knew I was pregnant and miserable with being so extremely sick - wondering if I would ever even make it to June. Now we are half-way through, and the end is near!
8 weeks and 5 days until delivery - which is so exciting, yet so crazy scary at the same time! Anyway, I had a doctors appointment yesterday and all is well!
I have gained no weight, which does not concern the doctor. My blood pressure is amazing - and that was her exact words. I was placed on the monitor yesterday to do a quick check of the babies heartbeats, and they were both between 130 and 140 - which she said was great. I also measured 38 weeks again - which she said was great! Other than my hips, I am feeling wonderful!
We had a great conversation with our doctor yesterday (my dear husband was able to go). She explained that she honestly does not think that pre-term labor will be any issue. She said the only way I will deliver before the goal date is if the babies show signs of distress or if my blood pressure goes crazy. So, she is very confident.
We also talked to her about my concerns with her vacation timing (one week in July doesn't bother me) - but she is scheduled to be off the 1 1/2 weeks before my delivery date. She said those were going to change and she would be in the office 5 to 6 out of those 10 days. So, she said more than likely she would see me the week before delivery - which helped to ease my mind. There is something about knowing who is going to deliver your baby vs having somebody completely different.
We also talked about a couple of other concerns and options to help ease my mind and overall the appointment went well. Nothing too exciting, but I have an ultrasound to look forward to on June 30! That will more than likely be the last time I see the babies before delivery - as I will just have non-stress-test monitoring every week starting the week of July 5th.
On a separate note, we have childcare figured out for when the babies are being born (Thank you to you who are watching them!) and my dear husband has figured out his FMLA time off and we are in the process of getting paperwork done! This is all good news as now we can finish planning for my "helpers" for when he has to go back to work!
Other than that, we have just been weeding garden, taking care of outside projects, trying to get Blessing's new room finished (we are making progress - just not fast!), and spending time as a family. My energy level is extremely low and I fatigue very easily, but we are managing! Thanks for checking in and will update in a couple weeks, if not before!
Saturday, June 12, 2010
I don't know about anyone else, but I so easily forget what summer can be like in Iowa. It can go from being 66 and rainy one day to 90 and extremely hot and humid the next. It can be comfortable and 70 before lunch but get so hot and humid after lunch that you can hardly stand to be outside.
On Wednesday night, my dear husband asked me to sit outside with him after we got the girls to bed. So, we were sitting outside and even though I didn't "hear the corn grow," I definitely smelt the corn growing. It is amazing how much the corn has grown in the past few days. It has definitely gained at least 6 inches - as have many of our plants in the garden. My dear husband told me today that I almost have zucchini ready!
While we were sitting outside, we listened and took everything in. We heard animals talking back and forth, we saw the stars, we watched our cat and dog play (not together though), and we enjoyed seeing the lightening bugs (or fireflys as some call them). The ground has finally reached a temperature where the lightening bugs have emerged from the ground. It is such an exciting time full of life and growth!
Not only is the corn and beans growing and our garden growing, our girls are growing as well. They are both getting more mature and bigger in size. Blessing, on Thursday night, did something she had never done before that blew me away and made me realize how "old" she is getting. We got home from worship team practice at about 9:30 pm after an extremely long day of being gone - but connecting and enjoying friends and fellowship. We got home and I asked her to please go get her pajamas on. She went and did that after asking if she could come back downstairs. Her little sister was eating a snack, and she didn't want one. I said of course she could come back down. She was reclining on a chair and after a few minutes asked if she could just go to her bed. I said definitely. I got Joy around and headed upstairs, planning on finding Blessing either playing in her room or reading in her room. What I found surprised me!
Blessing was in her bed, with her light off, almost asleep! I finished getting Joy around for bed, and she was not happy (overly tired). Once I got her to bed, I went back to Blessing, kissed her and asked if she wanted her music on. She hardly moved, but answered yes please. So, I turned on her music and watched the news. Not a word out of her until Friday morning.
Part of me longs for more days where she will do that, but at the same time I realize that she is growing up and maturing, just like the corn. Joy is doing the same thing, but in different ways.
I am definitely taking the time to enjoy my two little girls as I anxiously prepare for the birth of our twins. I find it bittersweet that things will change while exciting at the same time.
Take time to enjoy what you have - as things change each and every day!
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Instead of counting up, I have started counting down! I am getting close, and I can't wait to meet our two new little additions to our family. It will be here before we know it or expect it!
I had a doctor appointment today with my OB. The ultrasound was first. It was very exciting and fun to see the little miracles again. God is so good! It is amazing how he creates them! We even got to see Baby B sucking on the hand and yawning! Baby A had its foot over its head - yes, basically folded in half. They each have their personalities - Baby B showed us its face, Baby A was shy and hid its face.
On to the statistical details...
Weight - 3 pounds 2 ounces (increase of 1 pound 6 ounces)
Heartbeat - 143 beats
Measuring - in the 79th percentile
Weight - 2 pounds 12 ounces (increase of 14 ounces)
Heartbeat - 143 beats
Measuring - in the 63rd percentile
The babies are doing fabulous and honestly my body is doing fairly well. Yes, I have to be careful to not overdo it on a daily basis and to know my limits and rest when I need to, but that is to be expected. I also know that I can't expect to stand immediately and run or get up and expect to jump out of bed - but I am adjusting to those inconveniences. I am also slowly adjusting to a lack of sleep - God is preparing me for when these two miracles come...
Medically, I am measuring 38 weeks (full term) and still have 10 weeks to go. The doctor just smiled and laughed. She still says that I won't go over 42 weeks measurement (the biggest she has ever seen). I wonder... However, now I know why none of my maternity clothes are fitting.
My blood pressure was 124/70 (very good!). I have even lost one pound in the last month. That baffles my mind - since I have gained 2 pounds 4 ounces in baby weight. The good news is that the doctor isn't worried and actually chuckled. She said as long as the babies are looking good and growing she isn't worried. And, they are definitely growing!
As for the gestational diabetes, I am adjusting. I take my blood sugars 6 times a day now (before and after each meal) and do insulin 4 times a day (before every meal and at bedtime). It has made a big difference in my blood sugar levels. I talked to the endocrinologist yesterday, and he said that gestational diabetes is more common the older you get and the more pregnancies you have and especially with multiples. Well, I am hitting that threshold of 30 (the age they consider being pregnant "older") and have multiples. He also said that this is more than likely a temporary condition and will "disappear" the instant the babies are born. He also said that even though I have an increased risk of Type II diabetes later in life, it isn't as high due to not having a family history of diabetes. It has been an adjustment, but it has been good. The weight loss still baffles me through all of this though because I am actually eating more since having gestational diabetes because of the # of carbs that are required. It is so crazy!
Finally, I go back in 2 weeks and then in another 2 weeks with an ultrasound then. After that, it is weekly checks with a non-stress test every week. This test is an hour test where they hook monitors up and make sure that each babies heartrate is good and that movements are good. So, it will be interesting to see how things turn out. Like I said, only another 10 weeks and 6 days to go - not that anyone is counting!
I will try to post an update between now and then - but between the garden, keeping up with mowing lawn, chasing after the girls, resting, and trying hard to finish remodeling our oldest daughter's room - I am busy!
Sunday, May 16, 2010
4 years ago this morning, I told my husband good-bye and have a great day and that I would see him when he was done with work. I then went to work. I never imagined seeing him around 4 pm at the hospital emergency room being prepared to be transported via life flight helicopter to a bigger hospital in a bigger city. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine saying good-bye to his right hand that morning or to the man I had married as well.
4 years ago today our life changed forever. My husband lost his right hand in a farm accident. At that same time, even though I didn't realize it then, I lost the husband I knew and the person I was. My life changed drastically as God used the tragic accident to mold my heart, soul, and mind into the person I am today. God also used the accident to mold my dear husband into the person that he is today. Without this experience, we wouldn't be who we are right now (even though we know God isn't finished with us yet) and we might not even still be together.
Do I wonder what life would be like had he not had the accident? Yes. However, I would never go back to that day and ask God to do it over again. I look back and see the person I was and wonder how anyone could have lived with me, let alone been married to me. I look back and see the person that my husband was and wonder why I married him and how I continued to love him during our first 23 months of togetherness. We both have grown, and even though we both still have daily struggles, we both know that it is through God's grace and mercy that we make it through today and look forward to the prize at the end.
Today has been hard for me. I really don't know why - it has been 4 years after all. And "they" say it gets easier with time. However, today is the day that life changed for us 4 years ago - the day I had to really turn my trust to the Lord to get me through each hour - each minute. My dear husband is at work today, and my only prayer is that he has a good day filled with few frustrations due to not having a hand.
We told our "story" to a gal from where my husband works and it will be published this fall sometime in the Health Connect magazine that is sent all over the state. I will see if I can reprint it here, just to have a copy of it. I have read it and am brought to tears each time - it is so strange to read your story in words - especially on the anniversary of such a life changing experience.
I thank God for being in our lives and helping us to make it each day on this journey. God truly knows what we need in our lives and will provide that in His way. Thank you God for saving our marriage and for using this experience to mold us into who we are today - warriors for you!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
What a week! Even though I had a great appointment last Friday, I have felt the stress of uncertain times for the past week. Not knowing what comes after a failed gestational diabetes (GD) test put me in a little bit of a tailspin. Plus, thinking about the social stigma that comes with the word diabetes had me all frustrated and upset. But, God works for the good of those who love Him, and He has worked good for me!
I can honestly say that this is the first day in a few weeks that I have been up willingly without taking a nap. Currently, I don't feel like I am going to throw up (my stomach is actually growling at me) and I have energy - at least a little. Now, it is only the first day, but I am thinking positively!
So, Friday the call came saying I had a positive test for GD and I had to wait until Monday to call back. So, Monday morning, I called and learned that the normal ranges for the GD test are below 140. My number was 181! A bit high, ok, a lot high! Anyway, I was hoping to take the 3 hour test on Tuesday and have it over and done with. The lab personnel informed me that I had to follow a special diet for 3 days before the test and that they would put the diet in the mail (as I was unwilling to drive the 32 miles one way just to pick it up). Anyway, I got the diet in the mail on Tuesday and had spoken with a good friend on Monday who had GD during her last pregnancy. She spiked interest in me and I began researching. After looking at the diet, and the instructions for the 3 hour test, I realized I was not eating enough food during the day. Research told me two things:
1) With a 1-hour number above 180, all I would technically need would be a fasting blood glucose level to confirm a positive GD diagnosis.
2) If unable to follow the "diet," results would be skewed and would either end up in a false positive or a false negative.
I called my doctor's nurse on Tuesday, armed with knowledge. Knowledge is power, right!?! So, after presenting my case, she spoke with the doctor and together the 3 of us agreed that the 3 hour test would be unnecessary. The agreement is that I will say I have GD and follow those guidelines. I was honestly at peace with the situation. So...that leads me to today.
I received a call this morning asking if I could make a 10:30 appointment to meet with a registered dietitian to go over everything related and required with GD. I made the appointment, received education, and came home. The dietitian said that new protocol is that if you fail 1 test, you have GD and a 2nd test is not needed! I had made a good decision! The OB clinic that I go to does not yet follow this protocol.
A couple of interesting facts:
1) Insulin requirements during pregnancy are usually 3 times more than what is needed normally. GD results when insulin production does not keep up with what is required.
2) GD occurs during pregnancy only. It usually disappears following delivery. However, there is an increased risk of developing diabetes later in life, so special screenings are done on a yearly basis.
3) GD affects people of all shapes and sizes. Overweight, thin, tall, short - you name it!
4) Treatment of GD is more for the health and safety of the babies than for the mother. It is amazing how God created tiny little beings to know when they need to produce their own insulin to fight high glucose levels - even only at 25 weeks gestation!
So, the journey continues. I press on with the prize at the end being a safe delivery of our twins. I press on knowing some of the social stigma that will come at me from people I know and people I don't know. However, I also press on knowing that the end result is two healthy babies to care for, nurture, and love all the rest of life!
I will try to update on my progress sometime in the next couple weeks. Hopefully, I will be feeling better!
Friday, May 7, 2010
I found out this afternoon via a message on my voicemail that I failed my 1 hour blood glucose test. This means there is a possibility that I have gestational diabetes. In order to find out, I have to drink double the solution and have a 3-hour blood glucose test. From what I understand (research wise as I haven't talked with my dr's office yet), I will have 4 blood draws - one before the solution, then one every hour for the next 3 hours.
Please pray that this test comes back normal! I am not gaining much weight the way it is and am struggling with eating as I am not feeling well. I am lucky if I can get one meal to stay down and even then it isn't very much because of all the pressure on my tummy!
I will update again after I have the 3-hour test - hopefully the first part of next week! Also, no results yet on my hemoglobin (iron level)...hopefully, that will be normal - otherwise adding vitamins or even straight iron tablets will have to happen - and with how I am feeling, it could be interesting!
Thanks and will chat soon!
It has been a month since I last posted and truly not much has changed. I did have a doctor's appointment today and everything is going excellent - status quo!
It was great to be able to see the babies and hear the heartbeats again - oh so reassuring!
Baby A (on the bottom) -
Heartbeat - 143
Approximate weight - 1 pound 12 ounces (69th percentile) a gain of 14 ounces from last month
Measuring - 25 weeks 4 days
Baby B (on the top) -
Heartbeat - 130
Approximate weight - 1 pound 14 ounces (77th percentile) a gain of 1 pound from last month
Measuring - 25 weeks 2 days
As for me - blood pressure was 110/78 (very good) and urine cultures were fine. Cervical measurements showed that there is less than a 5% chance that I will go into preterm labor before 32 weeks. After 32 weeks, according to my doctor, the only risk is if my water breaks, I start spotting, or the babies start showing signs of distress. So, it is just one appoitment and one day at a time.
Basically, everybody is doing well. I only gained two pounds during the last month, which my doctor was still pleased with. But, as you can tell, it was all baby weight, minus 2 ounces. She would like to see a little more weight gain, but isn't too worried at this point in time, especially with how well the babies are growing!
I did do my glucose tolerance test (gestational diabetes) today as well as some other blood work.
I will update more later, just wanted to get the current information about the babies out there!
Friday, April 9, 2010
Now, for the information you are all waiting for....
Oh, wait, a picture or two first! :-)
Now, onto the doctor's visit today...
Baby A's heartbeat - 143 and Baby A's weight - 14 oz
Baby B's heartbeat - 154 and Baby B's weight - 14 oz
As for developmentally, they are right on track. According to my doctor, they are measuring beautifully and are in the 60th to 70th percentile for their "age." She did say that this will probably start to taper off when I hit my 3rd trimester as twins don't grow as fast due to the amount of room available. As for all of their parts - they are all there and are looking wonderful. We saw all 4 chambers of the heart on both babies and their spine (which looks closed and shows no signs of defects). We got to see the babies in 3D for a few minutes and I was able to count fingers and toes on almost all of the appendages. It is hard to keep track of what I caught and what I didn't!
As for me and how I am doing - I am measuring 32 weeks at my 20 week appointment. This explains why I have been so short of breath lately. Just walking up to our 2nd floor and I am winded. My doctor said just to take it easy and make sure to take plenty of breaks and not push so hard that I am completely unable to catch my breath. She also said that I am easily winded because 2 babies are taking oxygen from my blood to help sustain them and that my body is naturally having to work harder. I guess it just means that I need to give myself grace and have plenty of patience as things will continue to take longer and longer! As for my cervix, it is perfect. It hasn't changed at all since my last ultrasound 3 weeks ago and my doctor is 80% positive that I will not have pre-term labor and the babies won't come early because I can't carry them. She will be 100% positive after my next cervical ultrasound in 4 weeks. The magic number is 2.4 cm in length. Right now, I am at 4.6 cm in length, so it is looking good! Now, she did warn me that this doesn't mean that the babies won't come early. If they start to show signs of stress or if I develop high blood pressure, then we will have to make decisions. But, she is fairly certain carrying them won't be an issue! As for my blood pressure, 110/76 which impressed the doctor as well. And, yes, I did gain more weight. 3 more pounds! So, the doctor was also pleased with that!
Basically, all is well. Next appointment is May 7, so will know more then! So great to know that the babies are developing well and things are right on track!
Friday, March 26, 2010
For those of you who are curious and would like more information about the AFP test. The following information was taken from the WebMD website (http://www.webmd.com/baby/alpha-fetoprotein-afp-in-blood)
An alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) blood test checks the level of AFP in a pregnant woman's blood. AFP is a substance made in the liver of an unborn baby ( fetus). The amount of AFP in the blood of a pregnant woman can help see whether the baby may have such problems as spina bifida and anencephaly. An AFP test can also be done as part of a screening test to find other chromosomal problems, such as Down syndrome (trisomy 21) or Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18). An AFP test can help find an omphalocele, a congenital problem in which some of the baby's intestines stick out through the belly wall.
Normally, low levels of AFP can be found in the blood of a pregnant woman. No AFP (or only a very low level) is generally found in the blood of healthy men or healthy, nonpregnant women.
The level of AFP in the blood is used in a maternal serum triple or quadruple screening test. Generally done between 15 and 20 weeks, these tests check the levels of three or four substances in a pregnant woman's blood. The triple screen checks alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and a type of estrogen (unconjugated estriol, or uE3). The quad screen checks these substances and the level of the hormone inhibin A. The levels of these substances-along with a woman's age and other factors-help the doctor estimate the chance that the baby may have certain problems or birth defects.
Screening tests are used to see what the chance is that your baby has a certain birth defect. If a screening test is positive, it means that your baby is more likely to have that birth defect and your doctor may want you to have a diagnostic test to make sure.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
First off, Happy 52nd Birthday to my dear father! Happy anniversary to my dad and step-mom too! I pray that you have a blessed day!
Now, onto baby news. I had another appointment today! I had forgotten how uneventful "regular" baby checks can be. So, really I don't have any exciting news. I was hoping to be able to scan a picture in of the ultrasound but didn't even get a hard copy of a picture today!
So, the babies heartrates are 150 and 154. So, very close to each other....both the same sex, I don't know! I had a chance to find out the sex today, but decided against it, for this time. I guess I just wasn't in the right mood. Maybe next time. Sorry to all of you who are more anxious than me about finding out....:-)
I also had a cervical check today, and there was no sign of pre-term labor. This is a good thing, meaning my body is doing a great job of carrying the two little ones right now. This is a normal ultrasound test my doctor does on women expecting twins. I will have two more of these - one in 3 more weeks at my next appointment and the last one 4 weeks after that.
Other than that, the only other exciting news is that I have actually gained weight. 3 pounds! This is incredible since with my other 2 pregnancies I gained nothing. The doctor doesn't know if it is just blood volume, baby weight, uterus growth, and placenta/amniotic fluid or if it is actual weight gain. Nevertheless, she was excited to see a little gain! I am very surprised as I am still sick. However, I can say I am feeling better than I was back in December/January/February. I am only getting sick 2 times a day on average. This is a good thing! Maybe it will go away all together and I will have a "normal" rest of the pregnancy!
My next appointment is Friday, April 9. 3 weeks and 2 days away. At this appointment, they will do another cervical check and will have do a full ultrasound. At this ultrasound, they will do an anatomy check - checking to make sure the babies are developing correctly. This doesn't mean I will find out the sexes, just means they will check the heart, lungs, liver, appendages, spine, head, etc. I am excited! I will probably take a DVD to this appointment and have them record it so my husband can see it, since he will more than likely be at work.
Finally, to those who are curious as to how Joy is doing, she is much better. The doctor started her on some prednisone on Monday to help with the wheezing. It definitely was pneumonia. The doctor couldn't believe how much air she was moving on Monday. She never suspected pneumonia because Joy wasn't exchanging enough oxygen on Friday. We are so glad we took her to the ER and had further testing done so she could heal quicker!
Finally, a quick little Joy story....I love to put her to bed, either at nap or night-night time. We rock and she lays across my arms. I know she is ready to go to sleep when I ask her for a kiss and she leans up and kisses me. I then carry her to her crib and lay her down. I get her all covered up and then put my hand on her forehead and tell her I love her. I move my hand down her cheek and go to leave the room. Joy always tells me, "I wove you too mommy!" It is so sweet! I am cherishing these cuddles with Joy so much! I know all too soon that those cuddles will not be the same. Blessing is so sweet too! She has been kissing the babies in mommies tummy. Today, however, I took her to the ultrasound to hopefully have her connect and understand more why mommy doesn't have the energy and can't do what she used to do. Anyway, she told the ultrasound technician that "I changed my mind. I only want 1 baby instead of two." However, when the technician asked her if she wanted a brother or a sister, she still answered with "A brother for Joy and a sister for me!" I love my two girls!
God's blessings to you and I pray you have a Happy St. Patrick's Day today!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I remember a sign in my mom's kitchen growing up that stated "God grant me patience - BUT I want it right now!" As I have been going along in this parenting journey, I am really starting to understand this. Part of me wonders if God is really trying to teach me patience right now, or if I am truly that bad with patience that I need lessons on patience. So, below is some lessons on patience I have had the past few weeks...
First off, I have been exhibiting patience (among other things) while waiting for my next OB appointment. Usually, at this stage in the game, baby appointments are about 4 weeks apart, give or take a few days. Well, the span between my last appointment and my next one is 6 weeks! The first 4 weeks went by very well - I wasn't anticipating anything. This week and I am sure next week, are just dragging on. There are periods of time during the day that I wonder if the babies are ok, if they are growing properly, etc. This has also been a test of faith - I give the babies to God every morning and know that He is in control of them and my life. Some days are easier than others, but it is a work in progress - a testing of patience!
Secondly, I have been working on exhibiting patience with my oldest daughter. I don't know if it is her age or her personality or a combination of both, but she has truly been challenging me these past few weeks. I have had to take a step back, retake "control," and exhibit patience while disciplining her. Sometimes I wonder if I expect too much of her, while other times I know I don't expect enough of her. I really think it is one of those things that is a give and take. However, I will say, that I have made amazing strides the past 2 weeks. So much that now my dear husband is almost to the point that I was 2 weeks ago (a parenting breakdown). We had a chat last night, after he battled our oldest going to bed, about how our daughter knows what to do and how to do it to get daddy beyond the point of frustration and without patience. We talked about the importance of not showing our frustrations and exhibiting calmness and extreme patience while disciplining. I have found that it makes the biggest difference! So, yes, a test of my patience - one that I am passing almost 90% of the time. The last 10%, usually in the evenings, I am still working on - a work in progress!
Thirdly, patience in the awaiting of Spring. If there was a sign about Spring similar to the patience sign, I could have it right now. I enjoy every season - which is part of the reason we live in the middle of Iowa instead of Arizona - but at the end of winter, it is a challenge of patience. I am ready for the Spring flowers to start poking through the ground - for blossoms to start blooming - for grass to turn green and need mowed - for warmth and not drowned ground so my children can play outside - for sunshine - for the ability to go on picnics and not freeze - etc. I think you get the idea....I am in the process of making a fresh fruit pizza to remind me of Spring. This past week I have made several "summer" meals for supper including grilled stuffed pork chops, sauted zucchini, steaks, baked potatos, etc. It truly has helped to lift the mood and has helped me to have more patience while awaiting Old Man Winter to go away!
Finally, I think just patience to get things accomplished overall. It is amazing how extremely tired I have been this pregnancy - more so than with my other two. I have periods during the day where I can accomplish things and periods where I have no energy and need to lie down. Needless to say, only about half of what I want to accomplish during the day actually gets done. This is a test of patience for me - remembering what is important and knowing that the rest can wait until tomorrow or the next day or the next day...
So, God truly is teaching me patience, in many ways. But, I still want it right now! :-)
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Besides beginning to read the book, Loving God with All Your Mind by Elizabeth George, for women's sunday school class, I have been faithful in praying and giving all my worries and struggles over to God. While being faithful and obedient in handing over todays worries and preparing for the future worries, I have realized how truly blessed we are and have been. I have been really encouraged by things that have been taking place. I wanted to share some of these blessings, not because I want to brag, but because I want to have them written down where I can look back and see them in relationship to this current journey and as a reminder on those tough days.
So, I hope you are encouraged as much as I have been with this list of blessings...(in no particular order)
*A good friend purchased a box and a bag of pampers swaddler newborn diapers to "get us started" in collecting diapers
*A good friend has started collecting duplicate items for me including allowing us to use her infant car seat, her swing, her bouncer, and a second boppy pillow plus she is still looking for other items
*A good friend is allowing me to borrow a large tote of maternity clothes which are already being put to good use!
*A family from church has "adopted one of our babies bums" as they put it, meaning they are going to try to keep up with diapers for one of our babies for the first year
*A member from our church approached me and stated that he/she had been prompted before Christmas to reach out to us, but didn't obey for awhile, and finally decided that she had better. She gave us an envelope with a significant amount of money in it. We will not have to worry about gas for the van for approximately a month (depending on the amount of travel we have to do)
*Another member of the church e-mailed and wants to help by providing a date night for my husband and I and possibly some cleaning time (she offered meals but I am actually managing in that area)
*The former renters of where we lived felt prompted by God and provided my way to go to a woman's retreat on February 5 and 6 in Ames and my husband watched the children so I could be recharged
*A local mother of twins and a church member who has twins has offered words of encouragement and support
*I called a church member to check in and make sure she was doing well and she encouraged me more than I feel I encouraged her
*All the snow we have gotten has been pushed away and our driveway is driveable
*My dear husband is switching positions where he works and is receiving a significant pay raise and more time here at home with working 4 10 hour days instead of 5 8 hour days
I am sure there are many others, but these are the ones that have happened in the last couple of weeks that really stick out in my mind.
It truly is amazing how God works and how when I am feeling challenged in my faith and questioning things, He finds a way to show me "who is boss." It doesn't always take big blessings like these to make me see "who is boss." Sometimes it is just a prompt to read a bible passage or the ability to bless someone else and see their reaction. Sometimes it is just getting on my knees. However, this time God knew what I needed for encouragement and provided. I have given Him my worries and know that twins is a part of his big plan and purpose. Is it still overwhelming, oh yes, but manageable and not so burdening. God is good!!!
Be encouraged, I am!
Friday, February 5, 2010
I had my first "official" OB appointment today. I was actually able to have a wonderful conversation with my doctor. She just has a way of easing my mind and reassuring me that things will be ok. Even when I was sobbing in her office before our 2nd was born because our baby was breech and I was unable to do a VBAC, she calmed my mind and eased my fears. I am so thankful to God for doctors like that.
So, the lay of the pregnancy, so to speak. The doctor did what she had to and we had a conversation of truly how high risk of a pregnancy is this. Since I have had 2 previous C-sections and have an abundance of scar tissue (anybody want some?), she said it is not completely high risk, but not a normal pregnancy either, due to having twins. She said she would be more concerned if this was my 4th, 5th, or 6th c-section. However, she did say that there is a risk. So, the plan is as follows:
Normal routine blood tests, glucose screenings, etc. will occur just like with a singleton pregnancy. The difference is going to come in how closely they monitor the babies and my body. I will have an ultrasound the next 3 visits, including a check of my cervix to determine how high of a risk I am for preterm labor. I laughed at the doctor and told her I have never gone into labor with my other two kids....she laughed at me and said God has a way of making things happen. Anyway, she said if everything looks good, then we can all relax a little.
The next visit is actually not until March 17. At this time, I will be 16w6d along. The ultrasound tech requested a little longer time between this visit and the next so she could get better pictures of development. After that, I will probably go back to normal 4 week visits. It definitely seems like an eternity - another faith test from God!
So, the doctor said then, that once I get to 30 weeks, we will do an ultrasound every 2 weeks. At around 34 weeks, she will start doing non-stress tests either weekly or bi-weekly depending on how I am feeling and doing. She said that this is just precaution on her end to make sure that the babies are both doing well in the womb. She also said that ultrasounds will be done as needed if the tests show any abnormal results.
Finally, we discussed a delivery date, pending everything goes as planned. She told most twins are delivered between 36 and 38 weeks. However, if the mom is doing well, she likes to go closer to 39 weeks. I immediately told her that I wanted to wait until August as my other two precious daughters have July birthdays. She laughed and said no problem. So, the projected delivery date will be August 17, 2010. Just typing that excites me! God truly is already working on my heart to prepare me for the arrival of my two little miracles.
God is also working on my heart to just help me to trust Him more and not worry or fret about the future. I have to lean on Him on a daily basis and take one day at a time. God is good! Like I said, there is a plan and a purpose for my life and my families life. How exciting to walk through it. How scary at the same time! :-)
Finally, I had an ultrasound today as well to check for heartbeats. The doctor couldn't find them with the doppler, which she warned me about before trying. So, baby A's heartbeat is 150 and baby B's heartbeat is 158. So, they are closer together now!
Well, look for more updates in the future. I can't wait to see how God continues to prepare my heart and the hearts of my family! God is so good!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Yes, you read that right, twins! There were two fetuses, two placentas, and two amniotic fluid sacs. My doctor told me that that is the best case scenerio for someone with my OB history. That was music to my ears.
Baby A and Baby B, as the doctor's office refers to them, both have heartbeats as well! Baby A's heartbeat is 154 and Baby B's heartbeat is 186. So, if the old wives' tale is correct, we could be looking at a boy and a girl.
We know that God is in control of everything and are just leaning on him for strength. We are both feeling a little overwhelmed and a little apprehensive at the same time. I am doing my best to hold what is true and what is right up to God's standard and as a result some of the following bible verses are running through my mind on a constant basis.
6 So be truly glad.[a] There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 1 Peter 1:6 (This is helping with the sickness I have been and still am enduring.)
11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (This is helping me to remember that God knows what he is doing.)
I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. Psalm 9:2 (Helping me to continue praising Him who creates.)
God will provide. In some ways I think that this may be a way God is testing me to see how much faith that I have. I am standing firm in His word and know that He provides all! TWINS! What a double blessing!!!
Friday, January 8, 2010
Good news is brimming around here. We are going to have another baby! About 3 weeks ago I had to take a 2 hour trip heading north of where we live to "interview" for a contract position. The girls rode with me and on the way home (as it was noon) we grabbed McDonalds. We ate and when I finished I immediately felt nauseated. Suddenly, it hit me. I am pregnant. Sure enough, the test that day was a faint positive and the one 3 days later was an immediate positive. So, the daily grind begins...
What is the daily grind? Well, before conceiving, it was seeing my husband off to work, daily bible studies, laundry caught up and maintained, the house picked up and clean (most of the time), meals planned and prepared for the family, grocery shopping done with by myself with the children, paperwork taken care of, things kept in order, etc. Things were moving along nicely and we had definitely hit a routine that was working for us. My dear husband was spoiled beyond belief, but he should be. He sacrifices every day for his girls by leaving the house and going to work. He leaves the security of a home and goes into the field to minister constantly.
Now what is the daily grind? Well, it consists of me spending several hours flat on my back trying not to run to the bathroom or grab the bucket. It consists of laundry mostly being washed and dried but not folded or put away. It consists of dishes piling up until I can't stand it any longer and unload then reload the dishwasher. It consists of a constant messy house. It consists of me maybe cooking something - but mostly trying to get my husband to cook. It consists of several times of vomiting and barely feeling as if my children are taken care of.
I am extremely ill when I am pregnant and having been in this daily grind for 3 weeks, am really burning out and starting to tire. The feelings of worthlessness, uselessness, uncaring, etc. are sneaking into my thinking. The questioning of myself is beginning with questions such as "Why did I want to do this again?" or "Why can't I be "normal"?" or just plain "Why God? Why does this have to be so miserable?" Even though there is an end in sight (33 weeks) it still seems like an eternity until the end.
So, the daily grind is grinding down, pushing out, and stretching me in so many ways. It is truly making me look to Jesus for strength, encouragement, and the motivation to keep on keeping on. Some days it requires just taking a deep breath and tackling something even though I know I will vomit before, during, after or all 3 times.
In the end, I will cherish the little miracle that finally arrives. In my mind, each of my children are miracles because of what I have to endure to have children.
Give your children extra love today and thank God for healthy pregnancies and the ability to continue with "the daily grind."