Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Time for an Award!

Alexis over at Our Journey Through This Lovely Life gave me this award. Thank you!!!

Liebster is a German word and means, sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome. The award is given to followers with less than 200 followers.

The wonderful Alexis gave me 11 questions to answer about myself:

1. When and why did you begin blogging? I started to blog in September 2011. I had no idea I was approaching the year mark!! I began to blog as an outlet for my struggle with infertility. I also thought it would be a great way for friends/family to stay updated on what was going on with our IF struggle.

2. Whats the most daring thing you've ever done? I'm not really a daring person...probably moving. We moved to Chicago (from a relatively small college town) and have since moved to Tennessee. All of our immediate family lives in Iowa and Wisconsin so moving so far away was an adjustment. However, I'm glad we took the chance because it's worked out in our favor!!

3. What is your favorite type of music?
I listen to everything but heavy metal. My favorite is country music, but I flip through the stations and listen to a mix of any and everything!

4. Where is your favorite place to shop?
Depending on what I am shopping for, a few favorites are Target, New York and Company, Gap and Dilliard's.

5. Where is the most amazing place you've vacationed?
I adore anywhere with a beach. Jamaica has a special place in my heart because we got married there. We got married in Runaway Bay but have also visited Negril. LOVE both!

6. What's your favorite movie?
I love Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind because of the amazing concept. If you could erase your memories from the past would you? Sure, you can forget all the heartbreak and loss, but you'll also lose out on all the love and positive moments that were intertwined in the memories as well. It's an old movie, but I love it!

7. What color is your current nail polish?
I'm not wearing any on my fingers or my toes. I ALWAYS have my toes painted, but I've gotten too big and swollen to care what my toes look like these days.

8. What's your most embarrassing moment?
I'm never afraid to embarrass myself..I've done my fair share of tripping in public places.

9. What do you love most about your life?
I generally love where I am in life right now. Everything seems to be working out and I have a complete sense of peace with my life. I am very thankful to have found the love of my life to walk through life with. I can take on anything with him holding my hand by my side.

10. What is your biggest fear in life?
Dying alone. I see patients who are elderly and don't have anyone to be with them in their last moments on Earth and it breaks my heart.

11. What's your favorite thing to cook?
I love cooking lasagna and chili...both winter foods! I'm over the heat of summer :) No matter what I cook I'm sure to add some cheese somewhere-you can take the girl out of Wisconsin but not the Wisconsin out of the girl!!

I Would like to nominate the following amazing blogs for this award:
The questions for these bloggers to answer are as follows....
1. When and why did you begin blogging?
2. What do you miss the most?
3. What is your favorite book?
4. If you could go on vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
5. How old were you when you got your first kiss and who was it from?
6. If you could change something about yourself what would you change?
7. What are you afraid of?
If you could live anywhere, where would you live?
9. If money didn't matter, what would you do with your life for a career?
Do you have a hidden talent?
11. What was your favorite age to be and why?

Rules for the Liebster Award are as follows: (1) Post 11 things about yourself, (2) Answer the questions that your nominating blogger has set for you and then create 11 questions for your nominees, (3) choose up to 11 blogs to nominate and link them in your post, (4) go to their respective blogs and let them know, and (5) no tag backs!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

When Enough is Enough

I'm currently 29w5d along. I'm so close to hitting the 30's!!

I'll pick up where I left off with my last post...I had a few more shifts to work last week aside from the 12 hour I posted about. By the end of the week, I was left sore, uncomfortable and swollen. I was experiencing a constant pressure feeling low in my uterus, and this had me very worried. My feet were so swollen, while I was walking, the velcro on my Ale.gria shoes (pic on right) blew open a few times and I had to have a co-worker velcro the straps back shut because I can't bend over these days. My compression socks couldn't keep my unruly swollen feet under control! Now those are some swollen feet!

My husband (for those of you who do not know this incredible man) is calm as the day is long and harmonious. He never (honestly
NEVER) gets upset and only rarely has an opinion regarding what I should do; he's always supportive of my ideas and thoughts. (Yes, he is real and exists. Yes, I know I'm lucky.) Well, this guy told me he didn't want me working any more after he saw how the shifts last week affected me.... Really?!

His words made me stop and reflect on what was going on and how I was feeling. I'm the type that will push through the pain and discomfort and I didn't realize how much I was actually pushing myself until he said something. We do our schedules at work about a month ahead of time and I originally wrote myself in to pick up shifts through Aug. By the middle of August (at 32 weeks) I had cut myself back to one 12 hour shift a week. When I scheduled myself, back in late June, I was feeling invincible!! Well, that went away by the middle of July, so I spoke with my supervisor regarding taking my leave after Aug 6 (and he was fine with it). Now I was thinking about bumping that date up by two weeks, however, I was quite conflicted.

I've worked since I was 15 years old. That's almost 15 years in the workforce (yikes I can't say I'm in my 20's for much longer). Sure, I've had breaks in college and when we've moved states where I didn't work, but for the most part I have
always worked. I've often had more than 1 job at a time as well. Obviously when the babies come, I'll be on leave, but thinking about taking leave early had me at odds with myself. I kept worrying about what other people would think about me taking leave a month before I have babies. Why?! I don't know, it's just how I am... My husband was entirely supportive and sparked the conversation and honestly, it only matters what he and I think, but that's not how I always think.

Anyway, after taking a few days to discuss the situation and get some rest, we decided if my OB agreed, I'd start leave early. Why am I making myself physically feel horrible? Is it worth a few extra dollars? Sure, I like money as much as the next person, but we've been planning and saving for a while so financially we can make this happen. Also, we have worked very hard to get to this point, and rest is optimal in a multiples pregnancy, so why not give in and do what's best? We're most likely not going to have any more children after this, so why not enjoy this time and try to let these kids cook as long as possible?

Now on to the OB appointment. I'm still feeling a lot of pressure low in my uterus so I was anxious for the appointment. My husband was out of town (his last work travel until after I have the kids. Boy, was I nervous about going into labor while he was gone!!) and this didn't help with my anxiety. We spoke about my work schedule (I've cut back to about 25 hours a week and she was pleased I cut back) and although she didn't physically see anything wrong with the pregnancy currently, she agreed rest was a positive thing at this stage and agreed to write a note to my supervisors. So that's it!! I'm on leave 2.5 weeks early! I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. No more night shift. No more 12 hour shifts. No more struggling to stay awake with an aching back and feet. I'm going to have time to concentrate on growing babies, resting and getting ready for their arrival. It hasn't entirely sunk in yet, because this all happened today, however, I am grateful for this opportunity.

Aside from the working world news, the 'honeymoon' phase of pregnancy has passed in the past 2 weeks. I've become very swollen, tired, sore and uncomfortable all of a sudden. Sleeping has become a joke. I have insomnia every night and flipping from side to side is not an easy task. I don't know what happened, well, maybe it's growing 2 babies that happened, but it changed so fast! I was feeling like I could conquer the world one day and the next doing a load of laundry seemed as difficult as running a marathon. I guess it comes with the territory...but I'm so lucky and blessed to be experiencing everything.

My cervix is still long and closed (measuring at about 4 cm). The babies are still in the 50th percentile. The boy is weighing in at 3 lb 2 oz and the girl at 3 lb 1 oz. They have flipped positions and the girl's head is now up and the boys down. His head is right on my cervix. No wonder I'm having so much pressure and discomfort low in my uterus!! He was all stretched out and looked comfy. The tech commented on how much the girl was moving around. My husband remarked how we've heard that at every ultrasound and how 'dad' was worried about his active girl. I teared up when he said that; to hear him call himself dad was purely beautiful. I've managed to pack on 7 pounds in the past two weeks! Sure, some of it can be attributed to the fluid (my feet are always puffy all of a sudden), but I got a cheer from my OB over the weight gain. I'm up a total of 28 pounds!! Yeah!!

So that's that. No more work for the time being. Babies are growing and moving around nonstop. That sums up everything at this point. We're going to get a 3D ultrasound next week. I am extremely excited to see what these babies actually look like!! Keep cooking babies!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

27 Week Update

Another week has flown by and the babies are still growing and doing well. I had an OB appointment last week; apparently my scale at home was off. I gained 3 pounds in 2 weeks so I'm up 21 pounds overall. My OB was pleased with my weight gain. I had been putting on 1 pound/week and this got me sent to a nutrition consult appointment. I added an extra 0.5 lb/week and this made my OB content. Who knew a half a pound could really make that much of a difference?
I had an ultrasound, but measurements were not taken. Heartbeats and amniotic fluid levels were the only thing looked at via ultrasound. Both were looking great! I have a hard time differentiating what we're looking at on the ultrasound screen these days; baby parts fills every single available space on the screen!! It's babies everywhere you look!!

We talked about birth and what my 'plan' was. Can you really have a plan if you're having twins? I have about a 50% chance of being able to have a vaginal birth. Of course this is what I hope for, but I'm also trying to be realistic. If one baby is head down and one is breached, I have the option of trying for vaginal delivery (if the head down baby is coming out first) with the hopes that the other baby will flip once there is more room or the OB can try to turn the baby. This scares me...I don't want to have a vaginal delivery and THEN a c-section because the other baby won't flip. I think we're leaning toward a vaginal delivery if both babies are head down. If not, we'll opt for a c-section. I want one or the other, not both. I also learned that we'll be giving birth (even if a routine vaginal delivery) in the OR specifically available for c-sections. They do this with multiples just in case there are any complications; this way I can have a c-section and have the kids out in 2 minutes (according to my OB) if necessary. Although I'd much rather be in the comfy birthing suite rather than the sterile OR, I feel comfortable knowing I won't have to be whisked off in a rush if I need a c-section. I'll be prepped and ready for anything in the OR. Talking about the delivery was strange. It reiterated that this is actually happening. Sometimes I still think of myself as infertile Amber and find it hard to believe that I am over that hump and expecting babies in 2 months...

My MIL and niece came from Iowa to visit from Wed-Sun. We (or I should say they because I'm fairly useless these days when it comes to physical labor) made a lot of progress on the nurseries. We put together cribs and one dresser. We also picked up the second dresser from Tar.get. The changing tables are consistently out of stock, but we got them ordered online. We also went to Babi.es R Us to pick up a plethora of baby items while they were here. I'm a planner and slightly paranoid the babies could arrive at any day and I want to be as ready as possible just in case! Sure the nurseries have a ways to go, but they are coming along. We have all the essentials we need (even if they aren't organized yet) in the meantime. We had a great time with the fam visit! We got to do a few fun things that were non-baby related as well. I only wish we could have done more (I would have loved to taken my niece to Dolly.wood, but physically I can't make that happen).

Pregnancy wise, I'm starting to feel uncomfortable all the time. I swell up very easily. In fact, my feet remain swollen most of the time no matter what I do. Sleep is becoming more challenging by the night. I continue to need bathroom breaks every 1.5-2 hrs. I also wake up in between those breaks needing to reposition myself because my back/hips/shoulder is sore. Rolling from side to side with my preggers pillow in tow is quite the chore these days. My husband was awake during the night last night and got to witness one of these repositioning episodes; he told me this morning he was surprised how much effort it took for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for all these inconveniences and wouldn't have it any other way, but I'm just trying to be honest with how I'm feeling these days (I don't want to sound like I am complaining). I did have a bout of nausea that was serious enough it sent me to the bathroom today. I managed to hold off actually vomiting, but it took a lot of will on my part. I hope this was a fluke and not a sign of things to come! The babies movements are incredibly strong. Every time they move, you can see it from the outside. Sometimes they both are moving at the same time and it provides quite the scene on the outside!! They definitely have a routine of when they are asleep and when they are moving around. The movement, although sometimes a tad creepy to witness my entire belly moving, is a beautiful thing.

I worked a 12 hour night shift for the first time in nearly 2 weeks this past week.WOW. My working days are numbered... I was incredibly sore, swollen and completely exhausted the next day. I had an easy assignment with low maintenance patients too, I can't imagine what I would have done if I had ill patients circling the drain of death... I came home and slept on and off from 8a-4p and went back to bed from 11p-9:30a. I was one tired girl to be able to sleep that much. I emailed my bosses at both hospitals re: upcoming leave. My plan is to work through the first week of Aug and then take leave. This will put me at working until 31 weeks. For carrying twins and working in a demanding line of work, I think this is pretty damn good.

Quick update on our pup, Miles. He has an abnormal thyroid; it's a long story, but basically his thyroid doesn't function properly but it's not functioning improperly enough to be put on thyroid meds. This means we just keep dropping money on blood work every 3-6 months to hear the same thing: it's not considered hypothyroid yet! Anyway, because of his thyroid, he has dry skin. It turns out the spots/lumps were a skin infection. We were paranoid he had some kind of tumor lurking below his skin, so an infection was positive news. He's on antibiotics and an antihistamine for a few weeks. The infection has made significant improvement already; I just hope the hair grows back!! He looks terrible with several hairless patches where the infection was. Thanks for the kind thoughts on the pup!!

The house continues to be a work in progress. We're getting there slowly but surely...I don't have enough energy to do all the things I want to do.

I have another OB appointment next week. I'm on the 2 week schedule for now. The babies will get measured at the next appointment. I can't wait to see how much they have grown!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Nutrition, 26 Week Update & Moving!

Could we have any more going on right now? I doubt it... First, thank you all for the support and kind words re: my OB's concern over my weight. It was stressful news for me and I appreciate every one of you giving me feedback!! I'm sorry I haven't had time to respond...

Here's what's been going on during my lack of blogging:

  • I attended the nutrition appointment on the morning the movers showed up to start packing/loading our old house. I strive to not to be negative, but honestly, it was a waste of time. The dietician asked for a a list of food and times I'd typically eat. She said I'm eating a good variety of food I just need to squeeze more high calorie snacks in...I had to pay a $25 co-pay for that?! I know $25 is a drop in the bucket compared to the huge sum we've laid down to get pregnant...but still... She provided me with a bag full of carn.ation instant breakfasts in a can; the 8 oz can has a whopping 560 calories packed in them! I had one with breakfast the next day (bc my husband insisted I do) and it made me nauseous. It's very thick and I glanced at the back of the can to see the ingredients. The first three: water, corn syrup, canola oil. Gross. Needless to say I drank most of it, but couldn't swallow another sip once I read the ingredients. All I could focus on was drinking a can of oil; that's what the consistency reminded me of. I have been snacking on more ice cream, peanuts and throwing in an En.sure/Carn.ation Instant Breakfast (powdered variety I add to soy milk). My husband reminds me to eat which can be annoying, but I know he's trying to help. I weighed myself today and at 27w3d I'm up 24 pounds!!
  • Other than the food obsession occurring at our house, we have moved!! My advice would be to not move while 20+ weeks pregnant. We hired painters and movers so there was little physical labor with the actual move. However, there is still a lot of cleaning and unpacking that is unavoidable with moving. This is why I haven't written an update...I'm the type of person who has a hard time sitting on the sidelines. I like to be a part of the action!! I've been helping as much as I can with the cleaning and unpacking. I've gotten frustrated a few times and teared up (hello hormones!!) because there is so much I physically cannot do and it's difficult to accept. My husband has done a phenomenal job unpacking, hanging items, organizing, cleaning, etc. All the action has left me utterly exhausted. We're getting there...the dining room, basement, main bath and nurseries are a mess, but the rest of the house is set up. I've been icing my feet every night because they ache so much. We closed on the old house so we're officially down to owning one house again. What a relief!! Although the move has been draining, I'm glad we made the move now rather than with two toddlers in tow. To see a blue room meant for our little man and a green/pink room intended for our little lady is amazing. I walk in them and just smile because it's still surreal that this is happening.
  • My mother-in-law and niece are coming to visit this week!! We're going to dive into the nurseries and I cannot wait to get them set up!!! I love family visits!
  • I can't believe week 26 has already flown by!! If it weren't for the moving, I think I'd be feeling decent. However, I'm tired and achy most of the time these days. I'm used to being on my feet a lot (I work in healthcare), but my feet have never been this painful before! I have tendonitis in my right foot that screams for ibup.rofen, but all I can do is ice. I've been limping around the house the past few days because of the pain and trying to sit as much as possible. Thank goodness I have had a lot of time off work or I couldn't balance everything we have going on right now. The babies' movement have gotten a lot stronger. I can feel/see them kicking and moving around all the time. I love it!! My belly looks lopsided from time to time depending on who's moving around in there. Baby girls continues to be the more active baby. I'm still waking up about every 1.5-2 hours for a restroom break. I also have to stretch my back/hips when I get up or they tend to get very sore. I've had minimal amounts of swelling. If I'm out in the heat for any amount of time, my feet puff up quickly, but once I sit and elevate it goes away quickly. Being pregnant in this heat is no joke!! Everyone keeps telling me I 'look great for twins.' I'm not sure what that means... I hope the babies stay in for at least 9 more weeks!!
  • I passed my one hour glucose challenge test! Yeah!!! I was so excited to hear I passed, I forgot to ask what my number was. I have an OB appointment tomorrow so I'll ask then. I hope my OB is happy with my weight gain. I'm up 5 pounds in 2 weeks!! I'm also trying to eat a lot today so I can make it 6 lb by tomorrow.
  • I'm posting my last two pictures as well. Please excuse the poor lighting and hand drawn quality of the 26 week sign. This was after a day of unpacking and our computer/printer was not hooked up yet.
  • Our beloved pup, Miles, has us both worried. He had a tfew bumps he was itching 2 weeks ago. We had a bunch of trees at the back of our old house and he liked to wander around behind them. We figured he probably got bit by a bug. We waited for them to go away and they seemed to subside. However, over the weekend he has several more bumps that have developed and hair is starting to fall off where the bumps are. We were worried so I made an appointment at the vet today. I gave him a bath today and a few of them started bleeding and he's been trying to itch them more since the bath. I have no idea what they are, but the bath definitely irriated them. If I would have known I would have held off on the bath. He's our baby and I hope it's just an allergic reaction of some kind and nothing serious. I'm taking him to the vet today. Prayers appreciated!!!
  • I know I'm leaving out a lot, but that's the gist of what has been going on. I want time to slow down so I can get caught up on everything that needs to be done...