Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Weeks 19, 20 &21: Will it be an "Innie" or an "Outtie?"

          Every week this pregnancy seems to get more real. People I know actually think I am showing now; it used to be that I was the only one who noticed. I think I feel more pregnant too. I am having more body aches and pains and I am having more trouble getting up from laying or sitting positions. Basically any movement that requires use of my abdominal area/muscles is becoming strenuous.
          I guess many changes are occurring in my abdominal region; some good, some unpleasant. My already pale skin is being stretched thin so my blue veins are very visible as well as some gorgeous busted blood vessels. On a positive note, I used to have a permanent red line/crease on my upper tummy from slouching and now that my uterus has grown so high it has stretched out that crease and now it is gone! Woohoo! The one change I am trying to document is my belly button. I hear that most women end up with an “outtie” during pregnancy. So one day I decided to look at my belly button and sure enough, my once deep belly button and become pretty shallow. I am watching it each week to see if an when it begins to protrude and become an “outtie”J
          The past few weeks have been relatively the same symptom wise; a lot of bathroom trips, indigestion, shortness of breath, and trouble sleeping. A new symptom that has developed is shin splints; all the time. I am just going to go ahead and assume these are due to my sudden weight change paired with my scrawny chicken legs. I also am feeling this strange painful urge in my arms and legs to stretch and strain them…hard to describe but it is often only on one side of my body and when it strikes, sleep is impossible. However, it happens when I am not lying down also…just strange.
          So in week 20 I went to see my regular OB and he checked for heart rate and fundal height. I believe I was measuring at around 22-24 weeks! Yikes! I also told him about some abdominal pains I had been having and he said they could have been contractions, thus I should have called him. However, I have no idea what contractions, true or false, feel like so I figured it was a nice combo of round ligament pain and indigestion. Bottom line was that I have to monitor these pains for frequency, timing and hardening of the uterus…oh and call him if they occur again. Thankfully I have not really noticed any more of these pains, but he did decide that I now have to come see him every 2 weeks instead of 4 and that as I progress I may have to come in weekly. (Just another thing that makes this pregnancy suddenly seem so real!).
          The following week, week 21, I was able to see the perinatologist who again did an in-depth scan of the babies to measure things like their head, palate, legs, arms, etc. which basically helps rule out deformities and abnormalities. Apparently everything looks great and the doctors are fairly confident that neither baby shows any sign of these things. The great thing about these scans is you get to see every detail of your babies while in utero, right down to fingers and toes. And speaking of fingers and toes, Elli was picking her nose and at one point she tried to kick her brother in the head! We actually got a picture of her little foot heading right towards his head!
          One of the strange things about carrying twins is that often you cannot be sure which baby is making which movement that you feel. Sometimes you can be aware of their relative position based on a recent ultrasound and you can make an educated guess, but as I recently found out, those babies have a mind of their own and may change spots and you may not be aware of it. For example, for months Eli and Elli were in an “L” shape; as of 20 weeks this was still true and my OB said that Elli would probably remain where she was for the duration of the pregnancy because Eli had her trapped. Well, week 21 rolled around and the ultrasound revealed that they had BOTH changed spots. Eli did a complete flip the opposite way and Elli went to the other side of my tummy. Now they are lying almost side by side (as of Monday!)
          The funny part about them changing locations like this is that we have been trying to use a stethoscope to hear their heartbeats at home and the whole time we were listening to their feet because that is where we thought their chest was!! So I guess the lesson is that babies are not always predictable. As the twins get bigger I can feel more and more of their movements. I have felt kicks, punches, somersaults, and I think even hiccups. There really is life in there…how amazing!
          At my perinatologist visit they also checked my cervix again and it has only gone down one centimeter (to 37) and apparently that is really good. In 2 weeks I go back for them to perform an echo on the babies’ hearts to verify that all is well because twins carry a higher risk for heart problems. I know that the health and wellbeing of these babies is in the hands of God and I am not worried! In 3 weeks I will be seen again by the specialist for basic growth charting.
          In the area of growth our babies are soaring! Based on the and, the average size of a single baby in week 21 is 12-13oz…our twins are coming in at 15oz each! To me that is huge! In a good way! One of my concerns was that we would have these tiny babies that wouldn’t be allowed to leave the hospital, but if they keep this growth up we should have no problems in the weight department! Elli’s heartbeat was about 148 and Eli’s was around 151; good strong heartbeats.
Here are the ultrasound photos:

The first time they were able to capture her gender on film!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Weeks 17 & 18: Baby Olympics?

So here I am in the middle of week 18 and I think I may be glowing! I feel like my baby bump has really begun to show this week and that is so exciting! What isn’t exciting is going through every shirt in my closet trying to find one that covers this growing belly! The problem is the shirts just aren’t long enough! I guess I will be hitting the maternity stores soon.
The biggest update for weeks 17 and 18 is that the babies are moving all the time and they can be felt from the outside! My husband and my mom both have felt them kick (I guess that is what they are doing) several times now! Baby Olympics maybe? They normally are active when I lay down in bed, but lately they have been really moving in the afternoons. I read that drinking ice cold water can make them move, and yes, it does seem to work. Something about the coldness stimulating your digestive system which they can hear now!
I have taken to reading Proverbs aloud to them each day because science says they can now hear. I know they don’t understand English yet, but hey, they are learning my voice and I believe it can nourish their spirits. My husband has begun to play the guitar for them. Science also says that babies in the womb often respond more to low pitched noise (such as a man’s voice) and vibrations. Hopefully they will come out as musical prodigies!
Physically I am doing great! My doctor gave me a medication that is for chronic GERD and it seems to help with the constant acid reflux, however, if I eat too much I can still get it pretty bad. I am getting some lovely pregnancy pimples and dry skin, but I would choose those over nausea or constipation any day! I am also finding that I am out of breath a lot, or just have trouble catching it. I also wake up with a bloodied nose (thanks to all the extra blood I am pumping now). Oh and strangely enough, my leg hair seems to be growing back more slowly; go figure! That one I will not complain about.
So in a couple of weeks I will hit the 5 month mark and we will get another amazing ultrasound. I cannot wait to see how much the twins weigh now because my weight seems to be skyrocketing! I swear I gained 3 pounds in 3 days! I know that at the last ultrasound they were heavier than singleton babies so I will not be surprised if they are pretty large now. Big twins would make me very happy though in the chance that they come early.
I did go ahead and register us for child birthing classes even though they do not begin until November. But as far as I know we are not expecting Thanksgiving babies so I think it will all work out. Registering for those classes was another one of those reality milestones for me; like, whoa, this is real.