October 31- Halloween Scare

So last night was another sleepless night of pressure/pain. I was given three different types of pills before going to bed. Vistaril as a muscle relaxer, Procardia to stop contractions and Amien to sleep. You'd think I would be knocked out cold. But about an hour after I went to sleep I awoke with a jolt that sent me reeling into a world of pain. I was totally out of it and groggy so I was trying to go back to sleep, but my head was spinning with the amount of pressure and pain I was feeling. I knew something wasn't right. I couldn't lay still, I felt like the babies were going to drop out of me at any moment. All I could do was get up and pace but I was desperate for sleep. The nurse came in and I told her I was in a lot of pain and she got me what she said was the strongest pain pills they had. I waited an hour in hopes of the pills kicking in, but it never happened. I was trying to keep from waking my husband, but I was uncontrollably whimpering and moaning the entire time I was pacing the floor. He finally got up as he was concerned with how much pain I was in and he made me call the nurse again. She said the doctor was in surgery and would be up as soon as she was out, but when an hour passed I just couldn't take it anymore. Just as I was about to call again, she came in to check on me and I was still standing up holding my belly, trying to find some way to relieve the pressure. She said the doctor would be coming up to check my cervix and as she was getting me ready to be checked a gush of fluide poured down my legs. She took off quickly to get a different doctor just to have someone there quickly. It was a Labor and Delivery doctor who came in to check me. At this point I was completely out of it. Between the pain and lack of sleep and all the commotion, everything was spinning in a state of delerium. My husband was by my side the whole time, scared I am sure, but stoic as ever and doing all he could to keep me calm. They took my pajama bottoms off and stuck some sort of block to lift my pelvis and I could see my legs shaking uncontrollably. I couldn't keep them still. The doctor put her fingers in and said she could feel hair. River's hair. How crazy is that?? I could tell that excited my husband. One step closer to meeting his babies. The doctor then stated it appeared my water had broken, but my cervix was still the same.... 3cm- 90% effaced- pelvic station 0. I was writhing in pain with each contraction, that were now 2 minutes apart. The doctor, who had left briefly, came back in and said the fluid tested positive as being amniotic. She looked at me and said, "we're taking you down to delivery, looks like you're having Halloween babies!" I couldn't believe it. So early. I told my hubs to call my parents since they were taking me down to L & D. I knew they'd jump in the car and zoom over here and felt bad that it was once again so early in the morning. 

Once again they were sticking me with IVs. They gave me fentanyl for pain, which crazy enough I just looked up how to spell it and found out it is 100 times more potent than morphine. Whaaaat? I'm shocked because while it took the edge off a bit, it didn't do all that much to stop the pain. Damn, labor is STRONG! They also hooked me back up to magnesium (or as the nurses call it, "mag"), which is used to protect the babies from cerebral palsy but also has a side effect of stopping contractions. The downside it instantly makes you feel like absolute shit. Like you have a massive sinus infection with a splitting headache.

I was wheeled down to the labor room and actually felt bad that I was wailing in pain. I didn't want to scare off any other pregnant women who hadn't gone through labor yet. I'm proud of myself though, I wasn't screaming like a banchee or anything, I tried keeping it in as much as I could and taking deep breaths to try and compose myself. The nurses said I was doing great. Of course, they probably tell everyone that. They parked me in the room and slapped monitors on my belly to keep watch of my contractions and the babies heart rates. They seemed to be doing just fine. Sure enough just as before my contractions started dying down little by little and by the time my parents arrived the pain was tolerable again. The contractions were getting less and less painful and further apart. Before long they stopped all together. My MFM came in and said again they were doing all they can to keep the babies in. We were all baffled because here we all thought that once your water broke, delivery was imminent. Apparently not. The amniotic fluid replenishes by me drinking water and the baby peeing it out. They would most likely remain low, but River was not in any danger. There was a stronger chance of me getting an infection now that my water had broke, so they had me on an IV of antibiotics and would keep checking my temperature. 

We spent the ENTIRE day in that room. And the sucky thing was, the level of care in there compared to the antepartum floor I had been staying on was like night and day. Upstairs they checked on me constantly... blood pressure, temperature, bringing me meds, NSTs, and just general wellness checks all day and night. In a way I guess I was spoiled. I think in Labor & Delivery they run more like a conveyor belt, expecting that people won't be in those rooms long before delivering. Plus, it was Halloween so the nurses were all dressed up, there were festivities going on throughout the reception areas, so at times I felt like they'd forgotten about me. The worst part was they wouldn't let me get up. At all. For ANY reason. Which means I was having to go to the bathroom in a bed pan. My husband or mom would slide it under for me and then take it to dump it in the toilet and clean it out. Oh it gets better... the meds and labor gave me the runs. Multiple times. Not my finest moment, no siree bob. My poor, sweet husband was seeing things no man should ever witness their wife doing. But he was a trooper, he just kept saying he was in "life or death mode" and wasn't even giving it a second thought. He truly is wonderful. One of the nurses told me I would be in there a day or two and I thought I would go out of my mind. Here I had been complaining about having to be holed up in my room upstairs for what could be weeks and how I couldn't handle it, but I tell you what... it was like being on a 5-star vacation compared to the L & D room. Luckily around 9pm one of the doctors came in. (mind you we had been in that room since 5am). She said that my contractions had stopped all day and I hadn't dilated anymore so they could send me back upstairs. Same floor, different room.(They clear out your stuff the second you get wheeled downstairs). I was elated. 

The doctor told me even though my water broke I could still stay pregnant for several weeks. Unreal. She also said every ONE day the babies stay inside is equal to THREE days less in the NICU. That alone makes it worth it to keep them baking, as uncomfortable as it is. So I was wheeled back upstairs into a new room and I am now ready to deal with my sentence. I'll do whatever it takes to make sure the twins are healthy and safe. But I have a sinking feeling that this won't be the last time I go through this. Last time it took 72 hours after the pulled me off the meds for me to go back into labor and this time because my water broke they said they can't give me the pills they gave before to stop it, so who knows what the future will bring. I guess we'll see in another 72 hours!

October 30- No Sleep 'til Brooklyn

Last night was rough. Starting at around midnight I was feeling a lot of pressure in my lower back and front. I was having to go to the bathroom a lot, so I figured it was in part due to that. No matter which way I would lay down, the pressure was too much to get comfortable or get any sleep. I spent the entire night tossing and turning and getting up to pace the floor in hopes of some relief, but none came. I felt bad waking my husband up so much, as he has been sleeping on the pull-down bed next to me each night and having to wake up and go to work in the morning, which I know isn't easy for him. He really has been my pillar of strength these past few days and I appreciate him so much. In fact, the amount of love and support I have been receiving from my family and friends is overwhelming. People have been visiting me bringing me flowers, food, treats, books, decorations for my room... I truly feel loved. I'm usually the one who wants to be there for everyone, so it is hard receiving all this attention without being able to reciprocate. Having a deep innate need to help others, it is difficult for me to be doted on like this but it is immensely appreciated and will not be forgotten. 

The pressure/pain continued throughout the night and I basically wound up watching the clock, praying for morning because at least then I would be up and not forced to try and sleep when it was impossible. What took seemingly forever, 7am rolled around, my hubby left for work and I was up for yet another boring day. The pressure stayed throughout the day, but amazingly had subsided. I was exhausted, but between visitors and being uncomfortable I just stayed awake for the remainder of the day. The nurse told me they could give me some meds to relax my uterus before bed along with an ambien to knock me out. So hopefully I will get some sleep tonight!

October 29- Facing the Facts

The past few days I have been feeling okay and diligently awaiting the news of my release. I figured for sure I would be sent home on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy, and as much as that would suck, I am willing to do whatever it takes. So when my MFM doctor came in tonight to check on me tonight, I asked him what the plan was. And while I appreciate the fact that he was straight with me, it was NOT the answer I wanted to hear....

I asked him when I would be going home. I was thinking a day, maybe a few... I had been getting mixed signals from the different nurses this whole time. One would come in and say, "so I hear you'll be staying with us a while" and the next would say if everything remained quiet in my cervix and no more contractions, I should be going home within a day or so. Well, my doctor told me he knows I like concrete answers so he was just going to level with me. He said I would basically be staying until the babies are born. Which might be days, weeks or longer. His words came out like a dagger... a dull, rusty one that got stuck in my rib cage. I could feel the tears brimming over and it took all I had not to lose my shit. My parents, good friend and husband were in the room with me and I could feel their eyes penetrating through me wondering how I would take the news. I could see the look on my husbands face, he who knows me better than anyone, and I could feel the crushing blow in his eyes reflecting my dismay. The doctors can't even give me a ball park estimate of how long this will be because everyone is different. Their hope is to keep me until 34 weeks, at which point if I made it that far I could go home. Which is baffling to me because if I made it that far, why on earth would they send me home then?? Wouldn't I be in the same position where if I went into labor again I'd need to be rushed here immediately? But apparently it is because by then the babies would be fine and it wouldn't be seen as a dire emergency as it is now since they wouldn't try to stop it at that point. That is 5 1/2 weeks from now. The thought of being holed up in here that long, left to rot in a hospital bed, is too much for my brain to handle. Of course, I could go into labor earlier, but their plan is to continually try and stop it if I do, which is torture unto itself. 

I just can't believe this. It has been smooth sailing the whole pregnancy and I have been super active and feeling great. This was the very thing I feared the most when I found out I was pregnant with twins. Everything I read was all doom and gloom and people going on bed rest and it had me in a panic. But as time progressed and I was doing as well as I was, I started thinking it wasn't going to happen to me. Especially recently when I reached the third trimester and I was still dancing six days a week and full of energy. The day I came in I had seen a lot of different friends and we were all commenting on how awesome I've been feeling and what a good pregnancy this has been. ALL of my doctor visits and ultrasounds have shown everything was going perfectly, so I feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath me. It would be a lot easier knowing how long I will be in here, but the fact that it could be ANY amount of time is enough to put me into a panic attack. But I am trying to stay calm and positive... it's just really hard. I am such an active person so being confined to a bed indefinitely is a nightmare for me. But right now I have no choice, so all I can do it ride it out and hope for the best.

October 28- The Battle for My Birth Plan

So the past two days at the hospital have been rather unproductive. Ever since my last contraction on Sunday, I have not had another one. In fact, I feel rather good. The only issue I have had has to do with my OB group and not my actual health. The doctors do rounds on the floors here, so each morning a new one pops in. One from my OB group and later one from Maternal Fetal Medicine along with whichever resident Dr is working. So far I have had nothing but negativity and conflicting information from my OB group, none of which even came directly from my OB! On the first day, the doctor who came in was very short with me and had some sort of a chip on his shoulder. He proceeded to tell me that if he was the doctor on call he would not perform a vaginal birth with preterm twins. Even if they were head down! This was the very problem I thought I might have with this group, but had gotten it straightened out. This doctor was telling me that it wasn't safe for preterm babies to be born vaginally, which was a direct contradiction to what MFM says. MFM feels that vaginal is safer because there are less instances of death from Respiratory failure, as going through the vaginal canal squeezes the excess fluid out of the baby's lungs on the way out. He was very snippy and told me he would speak with MFM on the matter and get back with me. Later on when MFM came in, they reiterated what they originally told me, that going the vaginal route is perfectly safe especially if they are both head down. The only hesitation he said the group doctors may have is if one is breech, they don't want to pull out a preterm baby by the feet as the cervix could close on the baby's head. I am totally okay with that. And make no bones about it, if there is some kind of danger or complication to me or the babies I am all for a c-section. All I am asking for is the chance to try vaginal. The MFM doc told me he spoke with the group doctor who talked to me earlier and that they were on the same page as long as Baby B wasn't breech and so I thought everything was set.

The next morning I was visited by another doctor from my OB group. This time it was a woman and the first thing she did was immediately tell me I should just go for a C-section because it is easier. Well I am not going for "easy," I am going for safe and less invasive. She again mentioned that their group was not comfortable doing a breech extraction, which is really aggravating that they keep bringing up because neither baby is breech! This is all a "just in case" kind of scenario so I don't even know why they are harping on it! She reiterated that if one came out vaginal and the other was breech they would have to do a c-section on that one. I get it. Totally understand. I still want to try for vaginal as Baby A is practically dangling out of me he is so low and is head first. She said she would speak with MFM and that her impression was that they were all on the same page, but they most certainly were not. Apparently later in the day the group would be having a meeting and one of the items on the agenda was to discuss my situation, so they would be getting back to me. I knew right then and there how the meeting would go. It would be an "all in favor of a c-section" discussion and I can take a lucky guess as to what the answer would be...

Later in the day my doctor from MFM was doing rounds so he came to visit. I explained what was going on with the OB group and he said they just had an issue with doing a breech extraction but thought they would be on board with a vaginal delivery otherwise. Good because I was tired of having this conversation. I told my doc what the group doctors were saying and he once again solidified my decision by telling me there was NO danger in having a vaginal birth and that the babies would be safe and it was a lot more risky to cut me open. He said from what he understood, the only issue the group had was if the babies were breech and I agreed that if that was the case I would go with whatever was best for the twins. It appeared (once again) that we were all on the same page.

But then this morning the head of my OB group (I still hadn't seen or heard from my OB in the group as of yet) came in and was a total dick. He matter-of-factly told me that his group had a meeting to discuss my situation and the final decision was that none of them would allow for me to try a vaginal delivery unless the babies were at least 37 weeks. 37 weeks??? That is 9 weeks from now! The odds of them staying in that long are slim to none so he was basically telling me they weren't going to do it, period. And he wasn't very nice about it. I mentioned that MFM was telling me something different and he quickly snapped, "then MFM can take over your delivery." Hell, I'd prefer that! But I was worried they were leaving me stranded. He took off with a huff and I was left feeling stressed.

A little while later my MFM doc came in and right away told me he spoke with the head of the OB group. I expressed to him that I was not trying to be difficult, nor do I think I know more than the doctors, but I was just going by what MFM was telling me and all the research I've done and just wanted the chance to deliver vaginally, if and only if, the babies and I were safe. My doctor told me the group said they won't do it, that it is their "group policy," but that there was no medical reasoning behind it and they would gladly take over delivery. YES!!!!! Hell yeah! That is what I wanted all along anyway so I am totally okay with that. And to be honest, I used to feel like I wanted the same doctor to be in the delivery with me but as I have been experiencing all this pre-term labor stuff I am realizing that when it comes time to have the babies the odds of having the ONE doctor I want are slim to none. Everyone here is so nice and are on board with my plan so I feel comfortable with whoever is going to deliver the twins. And with as much pain as labor brings by that point I don't care if the janitor is the one to do it, anything to get them out of me!

So I feel much better about the situation. My OB finally called to check in on me and let me know she was aware of all that was going on and brought up what I already knew about their decision of not being willing to deliver the twins vaginally unless they were 37 weeks. She explained that it was just their group policy, that there was no right or wrong answer and I would be in good hands here. And I couldn't agree more. Now if only I knew when I would actually be having the babies!

October 27- Blindsided

As you know, this whole pregnancy has been going pretty smoothly for me. Sure, the first trimester was rough, but ever since I hit the second trimester I have been feeling great. With each of my posts I have mentioned how much energy I've had and how surprised I've been with myself in how things have progressed. Having read so many nightmare stories of people having to go on bed rest with twins, I was so paranoid throughout that something like that would happen to me. So when I made it to the third trimester, still dancing every day and feeling fantastic, I honestly thought I was in the clear and would continue rocking through the home stretch. Boy was I wrong...

Yesterday was a productive day. I went to dance as usual, the hubs and I went to a party for a friend's daughter's first birthday, and we had another pregnant couple over for dinner. It was getting late and the chairs we were sitting on were noticeably uncomfortable. I kept shifting my weight because it felt like my insides were being pushed up, but didn't think anything of it, as the chairs were hard. Our friends left around 11:30 and I was feeling bloated as all get out. I had been backed up the past few days so I figured it was a bout of the oh-so-wonderful constipation rearing its ugly head and immediately chugged some prune juice. It worked within an hour and I thought I would finally have some relief. But after I went, I still felt full and bloated and I noticed there was blood in the toilet. For a moment I thought for sure it was from the back end, but quickly discovered it wasn't. There wasn't an excessive amount, but enough to cause concern since it was bright red. I immediately started looking up vaginal bleeding from constipation during pregnancy and found a lot of women had posted the same question, so I figured that's what it had to be. I kept grabbing more tissues and wiping to keep checking, but the blood was still there. The hubs and I were going back and forth about it, trying to decide if it was serious enough to go the the hospital since it was already 1am by that time. I Googled some more about bleeding during pregnancy and everything I read said if it was in the third trimester that I should definitely seek medical advice. After hemming and hawing a bit, we decided to bite the bullet and just go to the hospital to be on the safe side. And it's a good thing we did...

On the way there we made comments about how we were sure it was nothing and that we'd probably be sent home shortly, but at least we'd have peace of mind. By the time we arrived at the hospital (triage at Winnie Palmer, our delivery hospital) it was just about 2am. They quickly took me in, took down all my info, and sent us to a room to be observed. The first thing the nurses did was hook my belly up to the monitors to check my heart rate along with the babies. All seemed to be doing well. Meanwhile I was still getting on and off pressure feeling like I still had to go to the bathroom. As it turned out, the monitors were picking up that those feelings I was having were small contractions. Being this is the first time I've been pregnant, I had no frame of reference of what a contraction felt like so to me it just felt like I was bloated and had bowel pressure. It was toward the back and not the front, which honestly I always imagined contractions feeling like menstrual cramps so it surprised me to learn that the pressure I was feeling were actually contractions. The nurse kept asking me what my pain level was, 1-10, and I couldn't answer because A. I wasn't in pain, it was pressure, and B. I had no bearing on what a 10 felt like. Shortly after, two nurse practitioners came in to check me. The first one slapped gloves on and stuck her fingers up my cha-cha and instantly looked at the other nurse and said, "ummm you need to feel this." My heart dropped as my eyes darted to meet my husband's, both of ours flung open. The other practitioner walked over and stuck her fingers in me and said, "that's a head," then told the other nurse I was 1cm dilated and 80% effaced. What?!?!?! This couldn't be happening. I was in shock. In what seemed like an instant, a swarm of people came at me with a plethora of needles and equipment. They stuck IVs in my arm and gave me magnesium to help accelerate the twins' neurological development, a steroid shot for their lung development and antibiotics to prevent infection. They also gave me pills to relax my uterus to try and force it to stop contracting and told me they would be sending me down the hall for an ultrasound and were going to have to admit me to the hospital.  It was all happening so fast and seemed surreal.

They immediately wheeled me down the hall for my ultrasound, which seemingly took forever. During that time, now that I knew what I was feeling were contractions, I started watching the clock as soon as I would feel one come on. I definitely noticed them getting stronger and closer together and was wondering if the ultrasound tech could tell when I was having them by looking at the screen. After about 20 minutes of her measuring the babies, my contractions went from every five minutes to about two or three. She then switched to a vaginal ultrasound to see what was going on with my cervix. Much to my dismay, she was shifting the wand around for a bit before saying she couldn't find my cervix. All she could see was the baby's head. ?!?! She took a picture of it to show the doctor. This wasn't looking good.

Right after the ultrasound, they put me in a wheelchair and brought me up to my room, as I was officially being admitted. After that, things were a blur. It was already 5am and I was pretty out of it between being sleep deprived, doped up on meds and in total shock with everything going on. As I laid in bed, the contractions kept coming in stronger and stronger waves. Now I was definitely able to identify my pain level on the pain chart, and it was at around a 6 or a 7 at times. The ironic thing of it all was that our birthing class was scheduled for this coming Saturday, so as the waves rolled on I was telling my husband to Google breathing techniques for labor since I didn't know of any. He had me trying to control my breath by breathing in and out slowly, which wasn't easy. It is REALLY hard to think straight when you are going through strong contractions, but every once in a while I could get a grip and try the breathing technique and for a split second it would help before spiraling back into the delirium that came with the pain. And pain isn't even the best way to describe it. While it definitely hurt, the hardest thing about it was that it would happen every two minutes, for about a whole minute, which means every other minute I was going through it. It was exhausting! I remember the nurse coming in and saying, "Your face is different. You look like you are in a lot more pain than you were a half hour ago. I am getting the doctor." Next thing I knew they came back in and shot me up with some morphine to dull the pain and the doctor checked me. All I heard was that I was now 90% effaced and at 3cm and that is when I finally told my husband to call my parents. They live an hour away and I was holding off until morning so they wouldn't freak out and drive in the middle of the night, but at this point the doctor thought I might actually have the babies that day. I couldn't believe this was happening. I was loopy on the morphine but the pain had died down. They gave me a different kind of pill to relax my contractions to go along with the IVs I was on. Whatever it was they gave me worked because each contraction became a little less intense and more spread out between and by 10am I had my last contraction for the day. 

By the time my parents made it out, I was in much better shape. In fact, I was feeling quite good. No contractions or pressure, though I was running on empty from having missed an entire night of sleep. The nurses in my room are so attentive. They come in and check on vitals, monitor the babies with NSTs and pretty much get you anything you need without hesitation. Wondering how long they will keep me now that they stopped my labor. Hoping it won't be too long, as I could see getting a bit stir crazy in here. Luckily I had the hubs and my parents with me all day and even had a friend visit in the evening. It's my first time staying in a hospital, and while it's not bad, I already can't wait to be home...

October 24- 3D Redo

We had our repeat 3D ultrasound yesterday and once again the kids didn't cooperate. This time we got to see Riley's face a little better, but River flipped over as soon as he got on screen! That seems to be the common theme with him, he flips toward the back as soon as we start the ultrasound! He is head down and she is sideways still. He is also still kicking her in the head constantly, which we felt bad about until we saw that she is kicking him in the stomach! Looks like we've got some Kung Fu Fighters on our hands!

The ultrasound tech told us last time that it looked like River has my nose and this time said that Riley has Garrett's nose! What's amazing is how accurate these things are. We've had several friends who did the 3D ultrasounds and sure enough their babies came out looking just like the images you saw from the ultrasounds! The guy has been super nice and said we can go back 2 more times for free, so that's cool! Hey, why not?! It's always fun to see them. 

Here is a 3D pic of Riley's face. The bulge blocking the bottom corner of her face is River's leg. So they are pretty crammed in there! 

Oct 22- Week 27 Baby Bump

October 21- Baby Shower 2: Electric Boogaloo

Yesterday was the big shower at my house. My mom came out yesterday and with my bestie Amanda and awesome neighbor's help, we got the majority of things set up. It really is a lot of work putting together a big themed party, but I'm so grateful we did it rather than have it at a restaurant like my mom originally wanted. Yes, it would have been easier but this way we got to be so much more creative with it. My Aunt flew up from Mexico for the shower (as she was the host) so it was really great seeing her. We did a Fall theme like last week, but we had more space to work with so it was more spread out and I set up different things to do. My goal was for it to be a shower where people had fun and weren't looking at their watches waiting for it to be over. So we had plenty of wine flowing and fun activities for people to participate in.

For starters, Ma put out a hell of a spread. Delicious appetizers, an array of lunch food from sushi to shrimp cocktail, pasta salad and fresh fruit with tantalizing dipping sauces, and much more! To top it off, the display was beautiful. We always talk about having our own catering business but man is it a crap ton of work!

My Mama

                                                         Dessert Table

I went a little overboard with writing poems on cute signs to have at different stations throughout the house...

We played a few fun games, starting with the one we played last week where the ladies cut a piece of string as long as they think my belly is round. 

I had a table set up outside for people to use fabric markers and puff paints to decorate onesies for the twins...

I had the girls play a drinking game (hey, even though I couldn't drink I still wanted everyone else to have fun!). It was a baby bottle beer chug!

Followed by a one handed partner tag team to take off and put on a diaper...

The winners received prizes and everyone seemed to have a blast competing. Sure makes me miss being able to drink though!!

After lunch and all the activities, my Mom and Aunt gave a nice speech for the champagne toast. Everyone grabbed dessert and began to trickle off and head home. 

It all went by so quick! We spent a lot more time setting up for the event than the actual shower itself! But it was definitely worth it. Good times, great friends and a memory to last for a lifetime.

October 19- Nursery Update

The Twins' room is coming together! Still need to add a few things on the walls, but I am super happy with how it is turning out! I set out some of the gifts that were previously sent to me for people to see at my shower tomorrow. :-)

October 15- Grow, Baby, Grow

This week we had our doctor visit and ultrasound. It is always great to see the twins! We always have a much clearer view of River (something tells me he's a camera hog in the making!) and he apparently likes to stick his feet in his sister's face. He is growing at a faster rate than Riley... the last visit he was 1lb. 2oz. and she was 1lb. 1oz. This time he clocked in at 1lb. 15 oz. (almost 2 pounds!) and she is 1lb. 11oz. He is considered in the 45th percentile for his gestational age/size and she is in the 25th percentile. I questioned the doctor if that was a bad thing and she said they don't get concerned unless they go below the 10th percentile. They also look at the discrepency between twin percentiles. Last month Riv was 12% bigger and this month he is 20%. Doc said nothing to be worried about as of yet, they will keep monitoring them like they have been and that she could just have a smaller frame than him. After all, they aren't identical. They have two different genetic makeups so it could just be her build. Or maybe River is going to be a big guy! Plus, while I thought River had more room than his sister, it is apparently the opposite! While she may have the penthouse being up at the top, he's got more real estate to move around in. That is why he has been sideways (transverse) AND frequently head down (cephalic) at times and she has always stayed transverse. I also had my glucose tolerance test this week, where I had to drink a cup of sugary stuff they gave me and then they drew my blood an hour later. I'll find out the results early next week. We will now start having Dr visits every 2 weeks, and ultrasounds still every 4. At the end of next month I'll start having weekly NSTs done at the hospital. (Non stress test). This is where they monitor the babies' heart rates while they are resting and then while they are moving to make sure their heart beats faster and slower as it does for us when we are moving or resting. 

It's hard not to be a little concerned about Riley being on the small side. But I posted about it on the Twin Forum I belong to and tons of people responded that their fraternals had up to a pound difference at birth and were fine, so that did make us feel a bit better. I'm doing all I can to grow them well, but some things are out of my control. 

We took some video footage of the ultrasound. As I said, you can see him a lot more clearly but it's still cool to see them and how they are situated in there. It still blows my mind that I have TWO babies inside me. Crazytown.

To make it easier to see:

First one is River.

Around :20 you can see his heart beating (amazing, right??) and then watch for his lips to start moving (by the way, that little ball by his face is his hand).

At 1:00 the tech shifts over and you can see his feet are next to her head.

At 1:50 the tech uses cursor to point out Riley's eyes and nose (she is facing toward you) but there is a shadow going down her face on the left side.


October 13- Baby Shower #1

Today I had my first baby shower! My mom put together two for me: the one today was over where she lives so it was mostly her friends and a couple of mine from over there, and the other one will be next Sunday at my house that is a gift from my Aunt who is flying in from Mexico for it, which will consist mostly of my friends. She had it at her best friend's condo and they really did a beautiful job of putting it together. Since it was geared more toward her friends, it was chock full of older ladies and a bit more subdued than the one we're having at my house next week, but everyone had a great time and raved about the spread Ma put out. She should seriously have her own catering business. 

And they decorated beautifully!!

My friend surprised me with pumpkins that had River and Riley's names on them to use as decorations for my fall-themed showers! They look SO amazing that I've recruited him to do a template of the names so I can have them carved into wood that I can paint and hang above their cribs! I was going to do their names anyway, but this way it is custom and way more special, especially since it would be designed by a close friend!

We played one game that was run by my right-hand-girl Amanda, which was where they had to guess how far around my belly is using ribbon. They cut a piece according to what size they think I am. Everyone kept saying how small I look for how far along I am with twins, which is funny because I feel so huge! I've already gained 12 inches around my belly... That's a whole foot! And I'm sure I'm up 35 pounds by now. But most of these people had never seen me before so they had no frame of reference either. I sure FEEL big as I waddle my ass around!

We also brought plain pink and blue onesies and had all different kinds of puff paint and fabric markers for people to design their own onesies for the twins. Everyone seemed to have a good time doing that so we'll definitely do it again at next week's party.

We had a few more games planned, but the ladies seemed to want to get going and were wanting me to get on with the present opening so we skipped them. I got a lot of cute things for the twins and am definitely set on clothes between the shower, what my mom has bought and a TON of clothes a good friend donated that don't fit her baby boy anymore. The whole time I was opening presents my prego brain was going haywire thinking of how I was going to organize everything! LOL Nesting much?? It's a bit overwhelming how much stuff I want to get in order before they arrive. Where's Martha Stewart when you need her?!

At the end, my hubby and dad (who were off watching the Jets game together) came back to help clean up and I got a good picture with him. We keep saying we need to take more pics and videos while I am pregnant because we only get one chance!

The day went by super fast and good times were had by all. We had a bunch of no shows, but that is to be expected with any party. It's just sad when people don't even call or text to let you know! So needless to say we had a TON of food left over since my mom usually cooks enough for an army. I told her next week cut back a little just in case the same thing happens!

Here is the video of Ma's Toast to me and the twins. So sweet!
Ma's Toast- Baby Shower #1

October 10- Stupid Head Cold

Well, despite my efforts to stay super healthy this pregnancy I've managed to catch a cold. Bleh. I don't have the patience or time to be sick. Especially since my first baby shower is Sunday! So it's time to add some garlic to my green smoothies, eat lots of citrus, drink loads of water and hit the Neti pot. I put a call into Dr. Fu (my TCM Dr.) and she's whipping me up an herbal concoction to take to get rid of this cold quickly. I trust that woman with me life, she's a miracle worker. So bring it on! Let's nip this thing in the bud! Being sick is bad enough when you're not pregnant. I hate missing workouts. I turn to jiggle in a matter of two days! But throw in being prego on top of that and it makes for one cranky mama! And I have WAY too much to do this week trying to get the nursery done before my 2nd shower that's at my house on the 20th. I need to find outfits for both showers and a dress for my friend's wedding on the 19th, we have a community garage sale Saturday, need to get my hair trimmed and toes done before this weekend... And a slew of other things I'm trying to get done. Craziness. So, that being said, sickness be gone! "Ain't nobody got time for that!"

October 9- Week 25 Baby Bump

I knew I felt a lot bigger this week! The lower part of my belly is up a half inch from last week (totalling a growth of 10.5 inches) and my waist is up a whole inch and a half from last week! That makes my waist a total of 12 inches wider than when I became prego! Holy crap! I read that the babies will grow the most from week 24-28, so I guess they weren't kidding! That's a pretty big growth spurt in one week! Makes me a bit nervous about the upcoming weeks and months... oy vay!

October 7- OB Crisis Averted

So we had our consultation with the other OB today. Not thrilled. At all. :-(
First off, the office was old and dingy. But we weren't there for the office atmosphere, so we could totally let that slide. We filled out all the paperwork and met with the Dr. in his office. He came off like he has been around the block and knew his stuff, but his office looked ransacked with papers and patient files piled and scattered everywhere. He asked us a few questions to get caught up on my file and I explained to him my concerns with our current OB. He basically had a similar policy of both of them being head down, but did say if they were positioned right that we could do a vaginal birth b
efore 37 weeks, which is the answer I was looking for. However there were things that just didn't sit well with us about his office and demeanor. He seemed nice enough but unorganized. Didn't take all that much time to get to know us before he started writing up a script for me to get my next ultrasound and glucose test... which would have to be done at two OTHER places because they don't do either there. We'd have to go to the hospital for all our ultrasounds (which would be a bummer because A. They charge more and B. Have shittier equipment than my current OB office who has all high-tech stuff. Then I'd need to go to a lab for my blood work and glucose test, which I guess is how some offices operate but I like the idea of always being in the same place with a staff that knows me.

But anyway, he then told us to go into another room to get the heart rates checked and walked off in the other direction. We weren't sure if that was a goodbye or what! We went in the room to wait and both immediately said we weren't really impressed. We wanted to jump ship, but didn't want to leave and have the doctor see us sneaking out. We heard him in the hallway calling out to his nurses, "where am I supposed to be?" Another example of him seeming to be not quite organized. A few minutes later he popped in to do the heart rates. (So I guess that wasn't goodbye! Lol). We just went with it because we weren't about to tell him to his face that we weren't going to stick with him. He listened to the twins' heartbeats for literally 2 seconds each and then told us to meet him back in his office. When he walked in I asked what the heart rates were and he said, "oh I don't know, I didn't check. You should have told me you'd want to know. They sounded fine to me." Ummm... yeah... okay. That pretty much sealed the deal. We both left feeling like we could easily fall through the cracks at this place and that's the last thing we want! When we left, the doctor told the receptionist to have us sign a consent form for them to get my lab records from my OB office and as soon as he walked away I told the girl we needed to discuss if we would be joining their practice as new patients and would get back to her. Then high-tailed it out the door. 

I was a bit bummed at how the appointment went, as we had high hopes for this guy. I really didn't want to start doctor hopping, as it really is a big process to find someone who is willing to take someone so far along, get on the books and then fill out all the paperwork. So I decided I was going to call my OB office and talk with my nurse (who is my OB's "right hand man") and express my concerns. I did so, and let her know that I spoke with Maternal Fetal Medicine and they said vaginal is actually the preferred method and safer for the babies, so I was confused as to why Dr. M. said she would do a C-section if they were preterm even if they were both head down. She said she would talk to the doctor and get back with me. I had a feeling my OB might actually end up calling me herself, which was fine with me, and she did. I went over the same thing and told her how MFM said that vaginal delivery gets the fluid out of the babies' lungs on the way out so it was their preferred method of delivery even for preterm labor, unless of course there was some sort of emergency with me or the twins. She changed her tune a bit and said if it was before thirtyFIVE weeks she would recommend a C-section depending on the size of the babies and how developed they were. Totally different than what she said during our appointment. But I'll take it! I have been taking such good care of myself throughout this pregnancy with eating right and exercising and have gained a sufficient amount of weight that I really don't foresee them coming any earlier than that. Of course, anything can happen so I am leaving myself open to the possibility, but I really feel as if they will cook as long as possible before making their grand entrance into this world. 

So... I feel much better. We get to stick with the doctor I like in the office I love and feel secure. It's a lot less stressful getting to stay with the place and people I am already familiar with. Hubs is A-Okay with it too. And we actually don't feel like we wasted our time with going to the other doctor because it gave us the chance to see that the grass wasn't necessarily greener and it made us appreciate how nice and put together our OB office is. I can breathe a sigh of relief now, at least with this part of the journey! Whew.

October 4- Week 24 Baby Bump

When I first found out I was pregnant with twins, I found a lot of negative info stating people had to go on bed rest by this time and it freaked me out. Here I am 24.5 weeks and still dancing/working out 6 days a week and am active all day! Go me! I'm rocking this pregnancy! I won't lie, I'm a bit worried about the third trimester though...

Oct 3- OBstetrician OBstacle

My appointment last week with my OB hasn't been sitting well with me. She told me that unless both babies are head down and I don't go into labor before 37 weeks I won't be able to have a vaginal birth. This totally blew my mind because I have read COUNTLESS comments, posts and stories from other twin moms, as well as spoken to people in person who delivered their twins vaginally before 37 weeks. My OB claims it is because a vaginal birth is more taxing on the babies. So of course this past week I have been on a mission to find information on this statistic, but to no avail. I couldn't just let it go. The idea of me going into labor at 36 weeks with both babies head down and they would cut me open anyway... that just doesn't seem right!

So the first thing I did was post what my doctor told me to this Parents of Twins forum. Let me tell you that over 70 people responded and just about every single one of them had a vaginal birth with their twins and almost all of them who posted said it was before 37 weeks. I find it hard to believe that ALL these women's doctors did something risky and unsafe. A lot of these women told me flat out to find another doctor who will at least attempt to be on board with my birth plan. Which got me thinking... it IS my birth plan and while I am totally okay with the fact that things could go wrong and if it is a matter of safety of mine or the twins' lives, by all means I'll take a c-section. But to say this far in advance that I basically have a two week window where they both have to be head down and the planets need to be aligned in order for me to even attempt a vaginal birth... that's just not kosher with me. So yesterday I called MFM at my hospital to see if I could speak with my doctor there, since they rank above my OB and are strictly high risk. I thought it would be difficult to reach the actual doctor, as they are busy with so many patients throughout the day. The receptionist told me my doctor was doing rounds in the hospital all week, but his nurse would call me back. Much to my surprise only an hour or so later, Dr. L. called me back personally. When I was at my last appointment with him he told me that usually if a patient is really wanting a vaginal birth the doctors will do the best they can to make that happen, so this is why I wanted to get his take on what my OB was telling me. I explained to him what my OB said and my concerns and he said he has heard of younger doctors in large group practices starting to do this. That it is usually the head of the group that dictates what the rest of the doctors in the practice can and can't do to remain consistent. BUT... that there is NO literature out there suggesting that this line of thinking has anything to do with safety precautions. He went on to say that with C-sections there is a higher risk to the mother and a higher instance of Fetal Respiratory Morbidity- Infants born by caesarean delivery are at increased risk for developing respiratory disorders or death compared with those born by vaginal delivery. He also said that a lot of times doctors focus solely on the babies and don't take into consideration the well-being of the mother, as there is much more of a recovery time with a C-section. I told him that the Hubs and I wish he could deliver the babies, but sadly he doesn't deliver anymore. He did say he would ask around and find out the best OB in the area who has experience delivering twins vaginally and that he would get back to me. I could tell he felt a little uncomfortable steering me toward another OB and I assured him I wouldn't throw him under the bus like that and bring up his name to my current OB. I just want the best advice on how to proceed with assuring I have the most capable doctor delivering the twins.

Now, I thought maybe I would hear back from him a day or so, but sure enough he called me yesterday afternoon. He had asked around the hospital to get some ideas on who would be the best option for me. Apparently one doctor's name kept coming up so he took the time to personally call him and explain my situation. (what doctor does that!?) How absolutely wonderful of him! And get this... the other doctor said he's never even heard of an OB recommending the type of delivery based on gestational age! Dr. L. gave him the status of my pregnancy, that I am 24 weeks and in good health and all things checked out well. The doctor (Dr. S.) said he wasn't taking new patients but would make an exception for me. YAY! I called to make an appointment but they said they need my records from MFM first so I took care of that and will hopefully get a call back today to schedule an appointment. I stated that I really need it to be within the next two weeks (because in 2 weeks is when I am supposed to have an ultrasound and glucose test at my current OB's office- AND it's when we have to pay the second half of the money due for their upcoming services and we don't want to pay if we aren't going to continue using them. She said it wouldn't be a problem, they would get me in right away. So... the plan is to make an appointment with this new doctor (who has all 5 star reviews, btw) and get a feel for him to see if we like him before we cut ties with the other. Honestly, I am feeling bad about if we have to leave the other practice, as I really did like the facility, doctor and nurse there... but this is a REALLY big deal to me. The idea of giving birth is a bit terrifying in the first place, so to think that most of my options are being taken away from me doesn't make it any easier to cope with. Of course, I could very well carry to full term for twins (38 weeks) and both babies be head down so changing doctors would have been a moot point, but the fact is you never know. I do have a nagging suspicion that because I have taken such good care of myself throughout the pregnancy so far and gained ample amount of weight, that I won't go into preterm labor... but there is really no telling. Anything can happen and I don't want to run the risk of that happening and they cut me open anyway because they have arbitrary rules to follow that has no bearing on whether or not the type of delivery is BEST. 

While I am sad to think I will leave my current practitioner, I am excited at the idea of finding someone new who will be more on the same page as me when it comes to my birth plan. I do joke though that when the time comes watch I'm in labor for 30 hours thinking, "why didn't I just opt for the C-section??, begging the doctor to cut them out of me! LOL. So as long as there are no medical emergencies or both babies are breech, at least I'll feel more at ease knowing whatever the outcome, I was given the OPTION to have the kind of birth I wanted. 

I'll keep you posted...

Oct 1- Nursery Coming Together

My dad came out to finish the flooring and was nice enough to put together the cribs. I'm glad we went with the mini cribs, as they both fit against the one main wall. If we had gone with regular cribs I'm not sure how they would have fit being it's such a small, odd-shaped room with not much wall space. These fit perfectly! And I finally got to put the tree decal up. It took three hours, but totally worth it. I absolutely LOVE it!!! I'm thinking of getting some wooden letters and possibly decorating them myself since all the ones I like on Etsy are a fortune. No way I'm paying $12-20 per letter when I need TEN of them for both names! But in looking how people decorate them I think I might be able to do it myself if I can find blank wooden letters on the cheap. I could always get decal ones, but I like the 3D look of the wooden ones and am always up for a creative challenge anyway. I'll let you know! I also need to get blinds, curtains and a rug for the room. Going to Home Depot today in hopes to at least find the blinds there since we have a gift card there. Fingers crossed.

Here is the wall decal and cribs set up... SO loving it!!