Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Oh, so THIS is what the 3rd Trimestre is gonna be like!

I love being pregnant, don't get me wrong.  When I feel tandem kicking and get a chance to play hide and seek with their little fists, I wouldn't change that for the world.

But, heaven help me get through the heartburn.  This ain't just any heartburn, my friends...this is the 'can't even lean back without rising acid in my mouth' kinda burn.  It will literally wake me up, choking, and the meds I have been cleared to use are not working!

This week has been awful so far.  I haven't had a good night's sleep at all this week, and am desperately hoping for a better one tonight so that I can focus on my last three days of work before heading off on leave.  Apparently it's time!

Did I mention that it is hard to walk and especially to stand still these days?  Did I also mention my girlfriend, due one day before me with twins, rented a wheelchair for the month to get around?  No?  Well...she may be onto something!

Good thing the little goobers keep reminding me of how amazing this experience is...so whatever I have to face, it will be worth it!

Friday, August 27, 2010

More 3D shots

Oh, I almost forgot to post some recent 3D shots of both baby A and baby B!

So here they are, at 26 weeks.  I am now at 29 weeks and growing.  They are each almost 3lbs each already. 

So here's my question for you. I think they look very different from one another.  Your thoughts?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

CDH - Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

Okay, so I'm now up on the lingo around this issue!  Henseforth, I will probably refer to my little goober's issue as CDH. We have another ultrasound and Dr.s appointment on Thursday. I'm hoping I get a different doctor this time: two weeks ago, I had one of those doctors who couldn't seem to answer my questions with a concise answer, choosing instead to go completely off-topic on diatribes of random information, wasting both his and my time. 

Oh yes, and he also implied that whether my birth plan was to go without epidural or not, I would want one.  Believe me, I mean this when I say I am going to do whatever I can to go the natural route (barring a lack of choice, of course). I have lots of support - my Mom, hubby and two doulas - and we shall see, but I really don't appreciate men who scoff at the idea that I can deliver without meds!  Yes, it's still entirely possible that I will beg for it, but my PLAN is to try go without.  Why is that something to laugh at?

So back to the CDH.  I met an amazing little 16 mo. old girl last night.  Her name is Georgia, and she survived CDH surgery shortly after birth.  Her parents are wonderful, and her Mom, a blogger as well.  Prior to heading over for the meeting, I had a look way back to the beginning of her tale to read up on what she experienced.  Georgia's story is the very best case scenario, but nevertheless, it was still so very hard to read about in parts.  It all became very real what we are going to experience in less than three months.

While speaking to Georgia's Mom, we discovered that she had met other parents in Ottawa dealing with the issue, but not in any organized way (in fact, she, like me, was just lucky to know people who knew people etc.), which got me thinking. The information you find online about this condition is either very clinical, or reflective of more international, or US-based information and statistics - but what of the experiences of the parents and babies locally? What about putting together a website and forum, and lining up experienced parents who have made it through to help other parents facing this crazy situation?  Something I might consider...however I wish I had better html training to do it properly...any resources, ideas or volunteers?

So, have I mentioned before now how lucky we are to be here in Ottawa facing a baby with CDH?  We are.  After talking to both the CHEO surgeon, and comparing that to the information I got from Georgia's parents, we feel a lot more positive about the eventual outcome of this ordeal.  Unlike other areas of the world, it seems the track record for Ottawa's survival rate is far better than the 50% worldwide rate.  No, we don't really know the percentage, but last year we think there were at least 4 cases, and all survived. No, we also don't know to what extent the recovery was a complete one without residual medical conditions (which is entirely possible).  We also don't know what the average recovery time was, which, according to the CHEO surgeon can be months - much longer than the one month Georgia spent in the hospital. 

We are hoping we can get some anecdotal information from the neonatologist we are meeting next week.  They are the primary and key players in this whole thing, as they are the ones who help to stabilize the baby upon birth and help her breathe, and they are also the ones who carefully tend to the poor little ones after their surgery. They know a lot about the care of these little ones, as well as the ins and outs of the experience for the parents.  Not sure just how many combo twins/CDH cases they have, but they can probably answer some of our questions about how to be at the hospital and also have a baby to tend to NOT in the hospital.  Can she come in to be with her sister, or will she have to be separated for the long haul? Where can one of us go with one baby while the other parent visits the hospitalized baby?  What are our options for staying there/sleeping etc.?  Lots of questions, you know?  It's gonna be quite a challenge.

But we really do feel positive about her chances.  We think it will all work out in the end. And we feel very, very supported by friends, family, the team of specialists who will help us all along, and now, the generous family that has been through this situation, and who selflessly offered us their time and insights. I will be sure to offer the same to any other parents-to-be facing a baby with CDH...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What's in a name?

I bet I fooled you, and you thought this post would reveal the names we have chosen for our twin girls to come.  Nope.  Those, we are keeping under wraps until the big arrival.  Sorry.

That said, the house is abuzz today with family and friends helping assemble furniture, patch walls, sort, clean and PURGE.  While doing so, I was given a box I had put together of treasures from my past.  Yes, folks, we're talking journals from my late teens/early 20's, love letters from past beaus, momentos from travels, film memorabilia from my days as an 'indie filmmaker' (and yes, I threw out approximately 40 VHS copies of my short film destined way back when for film festivals all over the world, recycling the cases. I will be taking my BETA master to a dubber to put it on DVD for posterity, so all is not lost!). 

And, I came across a printout of the meaning of my name, Pam, that I had kept 'cause I thought it was hilarious.  I'm curious what you all think...bang on?  Yes, but?

Here it is:

Pam: Your first name of Pam has made you a friendly, approachable, and generous person. Generally you are good-natured, though at times you can be blunt and sarcastic. As you are naturally talkative, you find it easy to meet and make friends with many people. This name inclines you to be sympathetic and generous to those in difficult or unfortunate circumstances. You can be firm, positive, and independent in your own ideas and in reaching your own decisions, yet when it comes to taking action or following any appreciation shown you. There are artistic, creative abilities in this name that you could express through music or singing, or, in a practical way, through sewing or interior decorating. You enjoy freedom from monotony and are stimulated by unexpected opportunities for meeting people, entertaining, or pursuing activities of a carefree nature. In your work, you find it difficult to be neat and orderly. You rarely plan things ahead of time, or follow a routine. Emotion and feeling, the desire to be carefree, friendly, and happy, are the driving forces in your being, rather than shrewdness, ambition, and material success.

Now I'm wondering...what does your name say about you? Have you looked it up?  Got a funny one that's way off?  Would love to hear.

And now...I can throw out that printout.  Another successful purge. Yay for me.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Movin' right along!


Finally, the carpet installers got here and reinstalled new carpet in lieu of the botched job on the entire upper floor of our house.  What does that mean for me?  It means we have furniture again, and a spare bedroom again, AND we can FINALLY work on the nursery! I will be snapping photos along the way in order to create a before and after photo album to come soon. 

So, moving forward, we have a custom closet 'solution' we are working on, we have chosen some fabric and a friend of my parents' will be sewing curtains and crib skirts, and we have repainted a lovely wood dresser to prepare it to be both storage and the change table.  We have both cribs (one is together and the other to be assembled, likely tomorrow) and then from there, it's the little details.  Lights, wall hanging (I have a great plan for this, but will surprise you), etc. 

Of course, we also have to get the contractor in to tear up the entire basement and rebuild from ground up before October, and create storage solutions in our garage to accomodate the reduction in storage space in our home.  So.  Lots to still do.

Glad to be able to start!

Got cool reno albums?  Took photos of your nursery creations?  Would love to see them...!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Reality sets in

So....we met with the CHEO surgeon yesterday.  You know when you KNOW something is going to happen, but you haven't truly accepted the situation?  Or maybe, less about acceptance, you just haven't fully conceptualized what that reality is going to look like? 

That was me yesterday.

As I was asking the questions, "When will she go into surgery if she is able to breathe?", and "How large will the scar be?", and "How long is her recovery time and how long might she be in the hospital?" and more, one by one my questions were answered and the reality was sinking in.

My baby could die.  My little girl might not be able to breathe and be stablized in order to even undergo surgery. She may be able to undergo surgery but take months to recover in the hospital... months when she is not home with her sister, and where Mom and Dad are living between two crazy realities. She may ultimately be alive, but have persistent medical issues as severe as requiring a tracheostomy and breathing apparatus for life.  She has a serious condition that will be very tough on both her and Mommy and Daddy.  Full stop.

Do I have optimistic faith that she will make it through and be healthy on the other side (still a strong possibility)?  Yes.  But I have to be ready to face the myriad of other possibilities, don't I?

Easier on a day like today after a good sleep and positive progress happening around me (finally got the carpet reinstalled properly and my 'team' is working on reconfiguring our entire upper floor to create order from chaos and tackle some fun nursery projects), but tough yesterday after a poor night of heartburn induced wakefulness...

While I generally have a positive attitude and am determined to enjoy both this pregnancy and my dreams of a perfect eventual outcome, it's not all roses, and I would be remiss to pretend that it was.

I will say this, though...I wouldn't change a thing, and I will face this head on.  We have quite a journey ahead of us.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Anyone for a top 10 list?

So, I thought it was time to share, REALLY share, some of the insights I have gleaned (or am living through) on this wacky road to motherhood.  Perhaps you can relate.  If not, perhaps you can learn, laugh or feel uncomfortable, 'cause really?  This process is CRAZY.

So, without further ado, here is my list of top 10 'interesting tidbits' related to my twin pregnancy.
*WARNING* - the following list may be shockingly personal, but good for a laugh or two also.

  1. At only 25 weeks my pelvic bone area started feeling (and still feels) as if it was the day after a night of crazy, rough sex (i.e. very bruised). I told my parents this, and then realized they could be asking themselves how I know what that feels like...
  2. When you have two babies, both positioned with their feet down, you realize quickly that your bladder is more like a fun, cushy kick pillow than a formerly well-functioning organ of your body.
  3. My nipples are massive purple targets.  The babies will have to be blind not to see them.
  4. I'm shocked, but I have no stretch marks yet.  I have been using natural belly butter and oil products, and they seem to be working.  That said, with three months to go, and being of the ripe age of 38, surely they will start creeping in soon? (oh, and as an aside...you call your product "Whale Oil"?!?  Really.)
  5. I can't get off the couch.  Or, at least not in one motion.  I shuffle forward in about three stages and then use my arms to get me up and off.
  6. My Mom, well before we found out that Baby B has a diaphragmatic hernia, gave me a Mayan "Worry Free" pregnancy doll pictured here.  I rub this doll's little belly often and make a wish for a successful outcome to all of this.
  7. Swimming in late pregnancy saves you.  Buy a pass, and go feel weightless for a while.  Seriously. (and if you can do this in the summer at an outdoor pool?  Alls the better)
  8. I have amazing family and friends.  Their love, support, generosity and willingness to help seems endless, and I know I will need to lean on them, possibly for months or longer. It's amazing to know that if you fall, there are a myriad of people to catch you.  It had to be said.  Thank you.
  9. You know your relationship is solid when you are pregnant, and you become closer to your husband than you have ever been.  You know your relationship is ubersolid when you are faced with losses, complications and fear of the future and this, too, brings you even closer. 
  10. Being pregnant is amazing...beyond description...and I am truly blessed.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


The funniest thing lately has been to catch a view of myself in the reflection of windows or mirrors. It's shocking to me just how big this belly already is at only 26 weeks.  I meet and/or know women who are days away from their due dates who look smaller...it's crazy.

In other amusing news, our couch, which was a Real Canadian Superstore bargain when we bought it over 6 years ago, is sucking me in.  It's not only a circus routine to get out of it, but it's a great source of amusement to my husband, who likes to make grunting/groaning noises even as he assists in hefting me up to my feet.

In case you missed it...here's the belly.
I can't wait for the professional shots I have lined up at the end of September.  Seems crazy that the shoot is still almost two months away and that THAT date is still over a month away from the due date!?!  Nuts.

Another ultrasound, this time a level 2 in depth one, is coming up in two days, followed by another dialogue with the doctor.  With all the activity I have been feeling (I THINK mostly from Baby A, but ya can't always be totally sure with two of them in there), there's excitement to see them again, even if it is mixed in with trepidation... This past couple of weeks feels like a major leap forward in their size, as I felt distinct baby parts moving and kicking out, pushing against my abdomen, and it just feels like space is being eaten up at an alarming rate. 

Also cool?  The kick - mommy touch - kick in response action is amazing, as detailed in my last post. Instinct or no, ya can't help thinking "what a brilliant little baby you are!"....

So yeah.  Recap = Massive belly sure to get even more massive. Cool stuff related to the former. More info to come in a couple days...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bonding with Baby A

I will tolerate any level of discomfort if it comes with play time with my babies. 

Now this is not to say that Baby B isn't part of the action, but she is certainly not crazy active like Baby A is!  Imagine, if you will, you wake at 4am and feel kicks/punches and movement in your belly. So cool.  You can visibly see your stomach moving around.  Awesome.  And then you realize, when you respond by pushing down and around on the tummy where the 'body parts' are elbowing, punching and kicking, that after a moment, the baby responds to your touch at the spot you are touching! 

Little baby parts, responding to your touch, playful. Speechless with joy.  Laughter. Fun.  - it's amazing, folks.  Truly cool. 

I love these little babies more than I can express.  It's too much for words.

Have a great weekend everyone.  Be sure to experience joyful exuberance if you can!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Where's my sense of accomplishment?

Right. I forgot. It's being held up by others not doing their jobs.

Yes, folks, my list is getting longer and nothing is moving forward, all thanks to people either doing shoddy jobs, or others just not getting their gears shifted into drive to enable me to move on things.  Isn't that just the way?

Meanwhile, I am DEFINITELY gaining inches and weight, and having issues even getting up off the couch, so that later these things get pushed, the worse for me. Not a good recipe.  You'd think they would take pity on me, and put me to the top of their list of "People to eventually help out".  Harrumph.

So the venting is done.  Thanks for your patience.

On another note, I had a great long weekend and got to a friend's cottage for some sun, space and relaxation floating on the lake.  That shit is good for the soul, my friends!

What about you?  What does it take to take you away from it all?  A sandy beach?  A hammock and a novel? A patio and cold beer? 

Stay thirsty, my friends...