Thursday, January 29, 2015

22 week update...

How far along? 22 weeks today!

Total weight gain: I'm not sure - if guess 5 pounds

Sleep: this week has sucked. My legs are restless at night and my back has been hurting so it's made sleeping difficult.

How big are the twins this week? Somewhere around 11 inches and about a pound.

Peak of the week: Getting baby gifts in the mail :) and some bows I ordered for Lawton!

Pit of the week: I'm uncomfortable- the babies are growing which is wonderful but they are also making it hard for me to breathe. I feel like my body is fighting to keep it all tight and honestly I wish it would just let go and get bigger. I feel so crammed and I still have a long way to go.

Miss Anything? Good sleep, Mountain Dew, being able to lay on my back

Cravings: sweets - all.the.time.

Symptoms/Labor signs: Nothing new

Looking forward to: Feeling more comfortable - I'm not sure when that will happen.

Friday, January 23, 2015

21 week update...

How far along? 21 weeks as of Thursday

Total weight gain: I'm not sure - I've decided not to weigh myself at home, only at doctor's appointments, but I would guess I've gained 2 more pounds.

Sleep: It's ok. I am sleeping pretty well. Getting used to sleeping on either side all night. I have to flip a lot and go to the bathroom a lot, but no issues falling back asleep.

How big are the twins this week? According to my pregnancy app they have/will grow a lot this week. Measuring at about 10.5 inches long each. That means I have about 20 inches of baby in my stomach. To put that into perspective - that's what a lot of babies are born at or around. They both should also be getting pretty close to tipping the scale at one whole pound!

Peak of the week: They are moving like crazy. I still have a hard time feeling Anderson because his placenta is anterior, or in front of him. It absorbs most of his movement. While I have been assured that he is fine, any mom can tell you, feeling your baby brings you a certain level of peace. This week, even though I can't feel much, I've been able to see him moving. My stomach has entered the phase of distorted shapes and weird temporary lumps. Sometimes I swear they are in their duking it out for who can move the most.

Pit of the week: I think I must be having a serious surge of hormones every evening. For some reason, for the last few nights, at about 6pm I enter into a state of grump. Nothing triggers it. Nothing makes it better. I just get grumpy and everyone around me drives me crazy. Poor Mike and Jake. :(

Miss Anything? The ability to breathe easily. I'm pretty sure Anderson's feet are in my lungs and when I'm sitting he likes to let me know he needs more room. The other day I was panting and the president of my company walked by. He stopped and came back in to check on me... I assured him I was ok, just a baby taking up my breathing space.

Cravings: Earlier this week I wanted Key Lime Pie. That was probably my only specific craving, although I've just been wanting anything lately... I go from 0 to 100 on the hunger scale in like 30 seconds.

Symptoms/Labor signs: Nothing new to report. No labor signs and just growing pains really.

Looking forward to: The weekend. Mike and Jake are heading to Daytona for the Rolex 24 hour race so I plan on doing some nursery accessory shopping. :)
- We did our hospital tour Thursday. The lady that walked us around was very nice and super informative. The hospital is nice and the rooms are large. She even went on to explain how our time will be a little different given twins. I was a little bummed to find out that regardless of if the twins are born vaginally or via c-section, the birth will take place in an OR. Because it is fairly common for Baby A to be born first and Baby B to enjoy the new found space of the womb, they have to have us ready in case an emergency with B arises. I appreciate their preparedness. I really do. I just know the environment of the OR is a lot different than the room I will be laboring in. Sterile, bright, blah. I have to keep reminding myself that they are trying to cover all bases and do what's best for our babies. Aside from that, I really did like the hospital and Mike did too. It is quiet and warm feeling. The nurses are very friendly (the few I met anyway) and I am looking forward to my time there. They are huge on skin to skin contact, breastfeeding, and more time with mom and dad. Even if a situation arises where they have to go to NICU they want us with the babies as much as possible and will work with me to make sure I am pumping and getting them strictly breast milk.
Over all I have been growing more nervous about their arrival, but yesterday I was longing for it. Don't get me wrong, I want them to stay in and grow to a healthy size but I am dying to check in and meet them at the same time. I heard a newborn let out a little cry as we were walking through and it brought tears to my eyes. I can't wait to meet our two.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

20 Week Update...

How far along? 20 weeks

Total weight gain: +1! That's right I am officially one pound over my starting weight. Since my last weigh in (a month ago) I've gained 3 pounds. To hit and pass my starting weight. The doctor said I look great at that the weight gain is healthy. He also prepped me for a surprise jump the next time I step on the scale.

Sleep: I'm adjusting. I bought myself a body pillow last week and I've been using it to help me sleep on my sides. Mike says I traded him for the pillow, ha!

How big are the twins this week? The size of a banana - they are measuring, both, at exactly 20 weeks so they are about 6.5 to 7.5 inches long and weigh just under 12 ounces. They have to weigh 12 ounces before the ultrasound machine can give an exact weight. I should have weights at my next appointment!
Peak of the week: Seeing the babies on u/s and hearing how they're doing. 

Pit of the week: My anxiety always peaks a day or two before my appointment and this week was no different. I cried. A lot.

Miss Anything? This week - feeling rational. Being able to eat without misery following. I get so full that it makes it hard to breathe!

Cravings: Right now I could really go for a chocolate chip muffin...

Symptoms/Labor signs: back aches, lots of stretching pains, stuffy nose, and my heartbeat has been thumping in my fingers. Especially when I'm holding something. Doctor says its normal!

Looking forward to: Jake's soccer tournament this weekend and a prenatal massage on Saturday!

Jake took my pictures this week and he did a pretty good job if I do say so!

Our appointment went perfectly today. Mike and I got to see the babies in full detail for a little over an hour which was awesome. Every body part, every measurement - all perfect. Their growth and development is exactly where it should be, their hearts looked strong and healthy. All brain measurements were normal. I feel so much better knowing they are flourishing so far. We owe it all to our Maker. What a blessing!

As for me, the doctor was really pleased with how well my body is handling the twins. My cervix is nice and strong, measuring well into the safe range. And my parts are all doing what's necessary to help these two grow. Aside from being uncomfortable, everything is great. He also gave me some good ideas to help with my back pain. 

Anyway - here they are! Some of the better pictures from our scan...
Their two sweet heads snuggled up together.

Lawton's sweet face

Anderson's lips and chin in the middle

Anderson - showing off

Lawton giving us our final confirmation that she's team pink

And my most favorite- an upside down glance at how the twins are in relation to one another. Anderson is on the bottom of this picture with his sister's legs in his face. You can't make out her head, but you can see where it is. The lining between them is about as thick as a grocery bag so they are always up close to each other. (Really Anderson is on top and Lawton is at the bottom of my belly)

Monday, January 12, 2015

What's in a Name...

Well a lot actually. Naming a baby isn't easy. Naming two felt even more difficult. You give a child a name and that name helps to shape who they are as a human. That's a lot of pressure! You don't want to make their lives harder by giving a name that leads to teasing later in life either. We all know those names... poor kids.

Anyone that knows my husband well knows he can be pretty particular about the details. Ask him where he wants to go for dinner and you won't get an answer, but have him pick out a pair of sneakers and he will spend hours looking and critiquing every inch until he finds the one he likes. Knowing this about him I knew he would be a tough sell on a name. With Jake, we had a list of like 6-8 names that we liked OK before he was born. We brought it to the hospital and just decided we would pick once we met him. We both knew Jacob (Jake) was the right choice.

This time we both agreed we would like to have names before the babies are born. For me it's my neurotic planning. I want to incorporate the names in the nursery and being southern, I would monogram everything if I could.

We knew our girls first name pretty early on. It was a name Mike and I both loved for a long time but we had no idea for a middle name. Her first name was a name I shared with Mike that I had loved since I was little. It actually came from a man my family knows that lived in our neighborhood. From the time I heard it I loved the idea of naming a little girl that name.

For our 2nd son we struggled to come up with a name we both loved. We wanted a good, strong name. A name that sounded confident and male without being to plain.. Mike kept suggesting names of professional soccer players but I shot them down with flaming arrows.

Here's the funny things about names. What we think may not be what you think. Luckily for us, we didn't need anyon else's approval of our names. Without sounding harsh, if you don't like the names we chose, please be polite and keep it to yourself. If you have better names, feel free to carry two babies in your womb for 8+ months and then name them whatever you see fit! What works for us may not for you  and that is a OK! :)

So, since we are all clear, without further ado - meet our twins, for the first time, by name....

Our 2nd son will be Anderson Michael Adams and our daughter, Lawton Calloway Adams. We both stumbled upon Anderson and liked it a lot. It's different, but it isn't wacky, in our opinion. It sounds strong to us. Michael, the middle name, is obviously after his Dad and Grandpa. (Mike is a Jr.) Originally we didn't even think of using Michael, but as time went on I suggested it and really liked the way it sounded together. Mike agreed, he may be partial. As I mentioned before, we were pretty set on Lawton for our girl. I just love the name and luckily Mike does too. Again, we went around and around on middle names... we looked at family names and a bunch of more traditional sounding girl names, but none of them were like "bam, that's it". Funny enough, I was on Instagram and a friend posted a prayer request for a little girl name Calloway... Instantly I loved it. I didn't know what Mike would think but I sent him and email and just her name. Lawton Calloway Adams. A few seconds later I got a response that just said he loved the name too. <3

So there it is. Our babies Anderson and Lawton. We have talked a little about nicknames, but really we will just wait for once we meet them. We are so excited to have names we all love (we had to get Jake's approval too of course)!

Let the monogramming begin! :)

Friday, January 9, 2015

19 weeks!

How far along? 19 weeks 1 day!

Total weight gain: As of my last doctor's appointment I'm still down 3 pounds. IVF made me gain weight, not eating in the first trimester made me loose it - overall I'm still 3 pounds lighter than I was pre-pregnancy. Fear not! I am eating now and my doctor doesn't seem to concerned. She says it's fairly common with multiples to not see any real weight gain until you get past 20 weeks.

Maternity clothes?  HA! Are you joking? That is all I can wear. The only things that technically aren't maternity are my undies (I just bought up a size) and my tank tops and anything I steal from my husband. The tanks are from Costco and they are long and super soft so they work for now. I know in a month or two I will have to switch over to maternity tanks.

Sleep: I sleep like a rock. The issue is how often I wake up to go to the bathroom. I think right now I'm averaging 4-6 trips per night. At my last appointment the doctor told me as I get closer to 20 weeks I really need to try to sleep on my left side, so that has been my focus. Trying to lock myself in with pillows. It works for most of the night.

How big are the twins this week? They should be right around 6 inches long weighing in at about 8.5 ounces.
Peak of the week: Jake running to tell me bye this morning. He kissed me, kissed the left side of my tummy (home of our girl) and then fist bumped the right side (where baby boy hangs out). This is the first time he has really taken the time to specifically acknowledge them and it nearly made me cry.  

Pit of the week: My breakdown. I broke down this week. I'm a little stressed about all we have going on and prepping for the babies as well as the pressure and uncomfortableness that has really set in this week. It's going to be fine, I just have to keep telling myself to take it one day at a time.

Miss Anything? Cold, draft cider beer and raw tuna. I don't miss wine which use to be my go-to happy hour beverage. Instead I really want a cold cider. When I'm out to dinner and I see a tray of beers go by my mouth waters. So weird.           

Cravings: all things peanut. chocolate. fries. lucky charms. cheese.       

Symptoms/Labor signs: The babies are moving. Like I've mentioned before I can feel little girl a lot more but I am starting to feel her brother too. A lot of the time it feels like they are rolling around, but I have also felt some quick sudden kick like movements. I am also having a lot of pressure down low in my belly. I asked the doctor about and she says it's a combination of the babies putting pressure on my organs and my body stretching. Another lovely symptom... boogers/mucus. I am full of snot. I must blow my nose 40 times a day. Just another typical symptom I have to work through! :)

Looking forward to: Our 20 week appointment next week on Thursday. They will do our official gender scan, but it is also a long appointment with time set aside to check out their development and growth. They will look at all the organs, the heart, brain, etc to make sure it's all developing properly. I am confident that all is well, but it will be nice to get to see so much of them. I am also hoping for some good pictures to share.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Little Background Info on Our Twins!

We get a lot of questions about the twins and my pregnancy (which we love talking about) but it made me realize that I have never done a Q&A with the common questions we get. SO, here goes! Hopefully this gives you a little insight and if there are any questions you have that I don't touch on, leave them in the comments and I will answer away!

When is your due date? June 4th, 2015 - but we know we won't make it to June. A twin pregnancy is considered full term right around 36 weeks. Most doctor's don't want moms to go past 38 weeks due to increased risks of complications. Most women don't make it past 37 weeks naturally.
If I haven't already gone into labor, we will be induced at 38 weeks - which puts us at May 21st (my birthday).

What are the sexes of the twins? Baby A is a girl and Baby B is a boy! We are overjoyed!

How do you know which is A is which is B? The doctors determined which is which. but Baby A is the baby closest to the cervix. She would be born first naturally and is known as the lead twin. Baby B is right behind her in the birthing order.

Are the twins identical or fraternal? Our twins are fraternal. We know this, because they are male/female. Identical twins share identical DNA and your sex is defined by your DNA so no identical twins can be opposite sex. To some, this may seem obvious - but we get this questions a lot and it made me realize that if you have never had twins, or don't really know any on a personal level you would probably not ever think about this. No dumb questions! :)

How do twins happen? Well, identical twins are the result of one fertilized egg splitting into two. Fraternal twins are the result of more than one egg being fertilized. In our case, our doctor (through IVF) transferred two fertilized eggs back into my uterus. This is no guarantee of twins as they both have to successfully implant and continue growing. Even with putting two embryos back we only had about a 25-30% chance of twins.

Do twins run in your family? Yes, they do. Mike's mom is a twin, and apparently there are twins on my side of the family as well. That being said, twins aren't actually genetic. At least not identical twins. Twins are a (most wonderful) glitch in the system as far as research shows. Some studies show that women can be inclined to be hyper-ovulators which could be a common trait passed down from one generation to the next. That would result in ovulating more than one viable egg at a time which would result in fraternal twins.

Do they share a placenta? Our twins are what is known as Dichorionic/Diamniotic twins. This means that each twin has their own placenta, amniotic sac, and chorion. This is the safest type of twins to carry during pregnancy. They are growing as two separate babies and the only thing they share is the womb. You can read about the other types of twins here or by googling it. That being said, the membrane - or lining - between our babies is about the thickness of a plastic grocery bag. They are also very close to one another so they feel each other's movements constantly. Every kick, punch, hiccup, etc.

Are you having a c-section? We honestly don't know. That really isn't up to us. I can tell you that I am praying that I will be able to deliver these babies naturally every single day. That being said, there isn't much I can do to control that either way. The twins will have to be in the correct positions (head down) which they currently are. The babies will need to be healthy and strong - so far so good. The risks with twin pregnancy is much higher than with a single baby, but a lot of the factors that determine a need for a c-section are the same. If the babies are healthy and in position, and we have no known additional risks we will do our best to have them naturally. I am trying to mentally prepare myself either way. It also requires me to put a lot of my trust in the team of people that will be taking care of me. If you are willing to pray for us, please pray for the medical team as well as for Mike and I to make the best decisions for the well being of the babies and me.

Does this pregnancy feel differently than your singleton pregnancy? Oh yeah! Jake's pregnancy was easy. I didn't begin to feel uncomfortable until the last 5-6 weeks. With these two I am beginning to feel that way now at 19 weeks. My belly is much heavier, my symptoms are stronger, and my body is adjusting, just not as gracefully. I feel, personally, like I am about 8-10 weeks ahead as far as where I felt with Jake. Now, I am 8 years older and I started out in better shape with Jake but nothing drastic. I also began showing a lot sooner with this pregnancy than I did with Jake which was to be expected. I know I have a long road ahead and this pregnancy won't be as easy. That being said I don't take it for granted. I feel so incredibly blessed to be where I am.

Will the twins have to spend time in the NICU? I hope not. We won't know this until we get closer to their arrival. If they come early or have any health issues than they will more than likely have to spend some time in the NICU. If they are born "full term" for twins and seem to be healthy than no. While no mom wants to see her babies need additional medical care, I am confident in the NICU staff. Those are men and women who have devoted their professional lives to caring for babies and seeing them thrive. I know that is their ultimate goal and I have faith that they will do everything they can to care for our babies if needed. I think the hardest part for me would be the constant worry combined with the fact that at some point I could be discharged and have to leave without my babies in my arms. That makes me feel panicky - but Mike has been really good about reminding me that we will cross that bridge when we are forced to.

Are you nervous about caring for two? Sometimes. I won't lie. It's been a long time since we've had a newborn and never since we've had two. That being said, I am pretty confident that we will manage. Mike is a hands on dad. He isn't afraid of a dirty diaper and as we get closer his excitement is growing. We also have a lot of support. Between Mike's family, mine, and our friends, we both know that if we need anything help is a phone call away. The hardest part for me will be to take advantage of my breaks. When the twins are sleeping I need to be too. So, if you come to visit us and it looks like the house is a war zone just know our babies are loved and momma is taking naps! :)

Are you excited about caring for two?  Absolutely. We have been dreaming of this time for the last 6 years. Infertility sucked and the only thing that kept us going was the faith that it would all work out. We can't wait to meet our babies and bring them into our family. I am also incredibly excited to experience twins. I know it won't always be easy, but from the books and YouTube videos and other twin parents - I am so excited to experience the bond that they will share with each other. Whenever I start to panic about their arrival I remind myself of what a blessing they will be.

Is Jake (our 8 year old) excited? Yes, very much so. He also has become my little nurse. Constantly checking on me, seeing if I need anything. Asking about the babies. Part of me wonders if I'm doing enough to brace him for impact. He has been our only child for 8 years and I think we are all more used to that then we realize. I know there will be some growing pains for him, but I know he is dying for siblings too. We will all adjust as needed and Mike and I have talked a lot about making sure he gets time with us without the babies.

So there it is. Everything I could think of that people frequently ask in one place. Like I said, if there are more questions you want to ask publicly leave a comment. If you have anything you'd like to ask privately reach out to me on the blog's facebook page. Thank you so much for reading and for all of the sweet notes we get from y'all. Our hearts are so full!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

An Update On Our Babes...

OK so - originally I wasn't going to post until after our 20 week appointment next week, but I haven't blogged in a while and I feel like my soul needs it.

Also, after reading some other blogs I've decided my new goal beginning this week will be to post a picture weekly along with an update on how I'm feeling, how the babies are developing, etc. I am currently searching for a standard format to use each week and my goal will be to have the posts up each Friday. Thursday is my week marker so by Friday I should have a current picture and be ready to complete my update.

I should have started this sooner, but between the sickness of the first trimester and my new found love of being l.a.z.y. I just didn't really think of it.

That being said, I am entering into the neurotic phase of pregnancy where I want to read every bit of detail I can on what I should be expecting, what I need to be looking for, what should be done to prepare etc. Poor Mike. He has been so sweet juggling my crazy. I owe him.

Speaking of Mike being sweet... I've realized that it takes a little bit of time for men (or my man) to really let pregnancy sink in. He, like me, has been very excited about the babies, but I think as my belly grows it is becoming more real for him.

These last few weeks he has been so attentive. Asking how I am, checking to see if I need anything, sending me for naps, and my most favorite of all... his hands on my belly. <3

Melt my heart.

There is nothing more beautiful in this world than watching a good man love on his children. Mike has always been such a great dad to Jake so I never doubted his excitement about these two... but I have realized that as the dad he doesn't have that direct interaction with the babies yet. I'm sure, in a lot of ways, it's easy to sort of go through your daily routine as normal when your wife is in the early stages of pregnancy. Granted he has to listen to me remind him how NOT NORMAL my life is at the moment, but you get the idea.

Now that I am feeling the babies move (a lot) and getting bigger he is dying to feel them too. My two favorite parts of the day right now.... greeting my sweet boys when we all get home from the day and then laying in bed at night while Mike tries to feel movement.

In those two moments, the uncomfortableness, the back pain, the stretching ligaments, the constant urge to pee, they all melt away.

Alright, enough with that... on to the babes.

Today I am 18 weeks 5 days. Half way through my twin pregnancy (or close enough). The babies are growing like weeds and between my bladder, hips and back I am constantly reminded of that. In the past 2 weeks I have really been able to feel a lot of movement, especially at certain parts of the day.

So far, there hasn't been much to report because with twin pregnancies no news is good news.

Last week, the night before New Years Eve I had been feeling pretty bad with what I thought was a sinus infection. I kept telling myself I would ride it out - as I don't want to take any medicines unless I am desperate.

Sinus issues, in general, are super common in pregnant women. During different stages in pregnancy it is totally normal to be excessively... well... boogery. It has something to do with your hormones and your body working double time and the increased blood flow... Any who, lets just say I have become obsessed with making sure there are no bats in the cave.

So back to the night before NYE - I didn't really feel all that bad... just exhausted. Mike let me slip off to bed while he managed Jake and I fell asleep fast. A few hours later I woke up with pain and my first thought was contractions.

I have had contractions before (obviously with Jake) and they are a distinctive pain as any mom can tell you. I was a little nervous but I decided to try and sleep through them and just call the doctor first thing in the AM. If it would have happened in the middle of day I may not have been so calm... chalk it up to my love for the bed.

That morning I called the doctor as soon as they opened and told the nurse what was happening. She put me on hold to speak to the doctor and then came back and asked me to come in right away. I kept telling myself that freaking out did no good and that I would remain calm. I called Mike, he left work and came and got me and to the doctor we went.

As soon as we went there a nurse practitioner (who I adore) came out to see us and told me she wanted me to get an ultrasound right away. Mainly she wanted to see my cervix and then on to the babies to make sure they look good.

The ultrasound tech (who I also adore) came and got us and took us back. She hadn't scanned us in 5 weeks but remembered us both right away. She checked everything the NP ordered and said that our NP would go over the results, but that everything looked good from what she could see. My cervix was measuring at a 4.6 and they just want to see it above a 2. She then moved on to our babies! We hadn't seen them in over a month and every time I recognize that outline of a head my heart starts to swell.

They have both grown so much! Heartbeats were great, she confirmed genders for us, and told us everything looked really good. The babies were measuring well, had plenty of fluid surrounding them and were in great shape.

She finished up and told us we could go back to the waiting room for the time being. Once the NP called us back we went over all of the results. She concluded that my contractions were because I was most likely dehydrated (woops) but that this was ok because it would be easy to fix and my cervix looked great. No signs of early labor! Praise God!

She then went and read through the babies stats and explained to us where they are in my belly. Baby A - our girl - is on my left. She is lower than B and in the head down position. Her placenta is behind her (ideal) and she is measuring perfectly. Baby B - our boy- is on my right side. He is slightly higher up, also head down. This is exciting for me because it is a crucial part of if we will be allowed to try and deliver these two naturally. I am praying daily for them to stay this way and for a safe and healthy delivery.

As for Baby B's placenta - it is in front of him, or anterior. While this can make life a little harder on the doctors it isn't any cause for concern for me or the baby. Unfortunately is does explain why I haven't felt much movement from him. His placenta is taking the blows. The NP explained I may be able to see him move before I can feel him. She also explained that the lack of feeling causes some moms concerns but for me to not worry because they can rarely get him still for measurements.

While I would love to feel even more movement, I am thankful that there are no real worries with either baby for now. Plus I know it's a matter of time before space gets so tight that anterior or not, I will know he's moving!

All in all, the babies are doing great and I am doing pretty well myself. I know my harder days are ahead so I am trying to soak in the easy days right now. :)

Oh! I think we have our names locked down... but I want to talk it over with Mike and get his approval before I release them to the world. Naming humans is a big undertaking. That being said, I'm dying to have the ability to monogram something so pretty soon we will share the babies names!