Sunday, October 31, 2010

It's the Great DANCING Pumpkin BELLY Charlie Brown!

I made it.  I said that if I made it to Hallowe'en, there'd be a Jack O' Lantern belly painting session, and I didn't lie.  Here, as my first video post EVER, thanks to our new video camera. Enjoy the dancing, giggling belly...


video

And here are a few shots of the work in progress, the artist at work, and the artist and her muse together.  A fun afternoon and something to pass the time and celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime experience.  (And yes...the belly is literally the size of a large pumpkin - would fetch at LEAST $6 on the market!  And yes, I also realize that I could make a joke about cutting into it too, but I won't go there...)










(Scary angle)






Happy Hallowe'en everyone - may your candy be sweet and your cavities scarce!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

9 a.m. Wednesday morning

So let's go over this, shall we?  No natural delivery for me, unless by some crazy miracle Baby A finds the space and inclination to move head down.  This means a scheduled C-section in just 6 days.

Ladies...who wants to share what that is like with me?  What should I expect?  How does it feel?  How do you best cope, take care of yourself, your baby, and ensure you heal well?  Any good resources for me?  I like information and preparing for things, as you can tell.  Plus, I've never gone into the hospital for anything before, let alone being cut into, so...it's a bit crazy to contemplate for me!

Thanks in advance...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

ONE WEEK

At the MOST.

One week, folks.  November 3, exactly one week from today, is the current booked date for the planned C-section if Baby A doesn't shift out of breech, and if I don't go into labour before then.

That's nuts.

That's incredible.

That's life changing.

Holy Crap...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Food Fights

I could say that husband and I toss marshmallows, paint chocolate sauce, and spray whipped cream on each other as foreplay.  I could say the title is about an Iron Chef-like competition with our neighbours. I could say a number of things, but what I am really talking about is an ongoing struggle each night to `deal`with what the heck to eat for dinner. 

You see, my husband is not a planner.  He is also not the visionary behind creative and yummy foods that come out of this kitchen.  He cooks it really well and is getting better at creative grilling techniques, etc., but if you are looking for the idea person in our household, it`s usually me (unless it's a Saturday and there's all day to play and plan a great dinner.  Then, my man rocks the hot rocks).

So, each night that my hubby comes home from work right now, he asks me one old, tried and true, and frustrating question..."What do you want for dinner?" Why is it frustrating?  Well, because throughout this ENTIRE pregnancy, I have been turned off cooking.  Putting aside how hard it is now to stand and do prep, and how bad my back is as a result of even 2 minutes of washing dishes or the like, the fact is more that just the idea of prepping food and cooking turns me off.  Just put something in front of me, ready to eat, and I'm good to go, but not before then.

It's frustrating because my man (who has been great about everything else related to this journey) has no ideas, and no clear ideas of his own about what he feels like eating and prepping.  Because, I guess, men don't do well with cooking as a chore, which is what it becomes when I look to HIM to plan, prepare and present food.

But. I'm still very, very hungry.

So every night that we have not planned anything (which happens more often than not), we have the same conversation, and he gets frustrated with me, and I with him. 

And we eat far more take out or delivery than we ever have in the past.  Which isn't great nutrition, folks!Tonight's meal was a shwarma platter for me and a meat pizza for him from the nearest half-decent restaurant.

What were the touchy issues during your pregnancy? When did your man get frustrated and/or struggle with the support you required? What was your 'thing' that threw you both for a loop? 

Oh, and by the way, I realize how sucky I sound, and lazy.  I just really can't get up energy/interest or the 'taste' for creating food.  It's a huge and mysterious struggle - and totally counter to my usual MO, ya know?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Stall tactics

So for those who missed the updates on Twitter and Facebook, our ultrasound on Thursday was a big relief.  Both babies have grown really well in two weeks, and Baby B grew a full pound in that period. They estimate her still at a small 4 lbs 9 oz, and Baby A is over a full pound heavier at 5 lbs 12 oz.  So there's a reason I feel so heavy and have trouble even standing at this point!

The ultrasound also revealed what I already know...the babies are positioned really low at this point, so the pressure on my cervix (not including the blows it is constantly taking from Baby A's feet!) is substantial, and I can only imagine we are getting closer - any day now, really.

That said...I am trying to decide if my insistance on a late scheduled delivery date (November 3, at almost 39 weeks) is truly based on my ongoing desire for natural process to be allowed to take precedence, or stall tactics.  I realized on Wednesday night, as I faced a very real prospect of delivering the next day, that I am truly terrified.  Emotionally fragile doesn't begin to describe how I feel about delivery.  Right now, both girls are safe, happy, and healthy inside my womb.  A normal Mommy-to-be at this stage is desperate to meet them and get them out of her belly because of the discomfort, but we are facing a different reality.  Baby B will struggle to survive outside of her protective environment. We're scared.  I'd love to just hold on forever, because I know it's going to be a hard journey in a few days when they decide they are ready. 

Do I feel like the outcome will be a good one?  I still believe that.  But I also have to be realistic.  I have to face the fact that the twins will be separated and there won't be all these cute shots of the two of them together, snuggling in their crib.  I have to accept that there are a myriad of unknowns we are facing and that we control NONE of it.  And we have to brace ourselves for how hard it will be to not hold our little girl, or take her home with us when we leave the hospital.  Can I just go back in time?

So yeah.  I want the latest delivery date possible.  I want and still hold out hope that Baby A will turn so that we can have a natural delivery.  I look forward to meeting both of our little miracles.  But I admit to wanting to hold off as long as possible...

But don't get me wrong.  We hold a whole lot of happiness for our situation - we have been blessed to get pregnant, stay pregnant, and be honoured with two, and not just one, beautiful babies. And I AM anxious to meet them, get to know their little personalities, and marvel at their resilience.  We feel almost certain everything will work out positively.

Oh, and for those who wonder what 37 weeks with twins looks like, we snapped a shot yesterday.  Because of my big frame, I'm still smaller than most people would imagine, however it's a pretty darn big belly!!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Here we grow again - tomorrow could be a big or even bigger day

Yup - tomorrow marks yet another ultrasound and doctor's appointment to check on the status of our little baby girls, but it's an important ultrasound because it is the first one we've had in two weeks (there have been two others since) that will take measurements and estimate the growth of the twins, and each of their weights.

Two weeks ago, the alarm bells were raised because although Baby A was underweight for her gestational age (under 5 lbs), Baby B was not only a lot smaller (3lbs 9 oz), but hadn't grown since the ultrasound two weeks prior.  If tomorrow reveals she has again not gained much weight, it won't matter that all else looks good; I would expect that ultrasound result would lead to a speedy delivery.

So yeah...it will either be a big day showing some good growth and babies that are hanging out, playful and growing stonger by the day (and they have been incredibly active, I have to say), or it will be a bigger day.  Like, the biggest of my life, without question.

Well, actually, a lot of massive life questions will be answered, now that you mention it.

Exciting.

Terrifying.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Party ON, little goobers!

Appropriate to post this note on volleyball night - my women's volleyball team name is Party On, and I will be heading there to watch, potentially one last time, as a pregnant woman.  Soon enough, I will be carting along at least one little squirming one to watch my great friends play one of my favourite sports.  Get them acclimatized as early as possible, ya know?  I'm actually hoping to be able to spare and play at least a couple times after xmas and this season, but the team - likely quite appropriately - guessed that I would be 'out' for the season with plenty to occupy my free time!

So yes...these little ones are still rockin' it out in my belly.  They are moving, kicking, hiccuping and shifting often throughout both day and night, and still seem to have room to move and grow.  As of last Friday, we are past the 36 week mark, and a scheduled C-section is planned, but not until November 3, at almost 39 weeks.  I negotiated that one with the doctor, who wanted to go sooner.  I just think we can go the distance, and think nature should be allowed to take it's course, you know?  Unfortunately, that course seems to indicate a breech presentation for Baby A, which means an automatic C-section, whether in labour or not.  Dang. 

But you never know - the longer we go, the longer I give her to decide to move around and get ready, right? Maybe the ice packs, the music down low, the flashlight technique etc. will start working and she'll migrate down, but I'm not holding my breath.

I am, however, enjoying the 'party in my pants' as it were!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The big reveal - a bright, bold, flower-infested nursery

Okay...I have looked all day for the 'before' shot of our made-over crappy dresser, and can't find it, so y'all will just have to use your imaginations, because I simply can't keep waiting to finally unveil the twins' nursery.  I have been conceptualizing, designing, prepping, shopping and finalizing this room for what seems like months (oh yeah...it HAS been months), and given that I could deliver my little goobers at any time, I guess I should get this up so that people can see!!!

So, a couple caveats.
1) The whole dresser thing.  It was old and ugly, albeit solid wood, so we knew we could do something cool with it.  I wanted to have it done professionally in a laquered white, but then discovered that it would be very likely in our climate to split and have 'viens' in it.  So not worth the money.  Sigh.

2) The glider rocker is currently in our living room.  This big bellied Momma to be needed something she could sit in and get out of easily at this point, and because our second-hand sofa-bed would NOT fit down into the newly renovated basement, we had to move our other couch down there, so we are suffering in the living room at the moment.  So, yeah...there is an empty spot in the corner of the nursery where the chair should go...BUT, I still have a shot of the glider to include so you can see what it looks like.

3) The damn shutters still have not arrived for the window treatment.  It will look lovely when here, but until then, we just have a venetian blind up there.

But I think that's it.  The rest is done and ready for crying, pooping, sleeping, smiling babies. The theme? Garden Flowers.

So, without further ado...

BEFORE

Another angle...


And the closet etc. area over by the door...


AFTER

And so, here is the after!!!!! The room is SO BRIGHT with sunlight streaming in, the photos often show darker, as the camera adjusts the exposure, but without the shutters, it's like a sunroom!


The glider corner - it looks great in here, when it, you know, is in here!


The glider, for those who haven't seen it yet.  White leather beauty purchased from Fab Baby Gear - great shop in Westboro...


When you enter the room...the photos are either shots I have personally taken from my own garden, or some that I downloaded from Flickr - such an amazing resource.  Costco only charges $1.99 per 12x12 reproduction, and the frames are from IKEA at $19.99 each. 

*Note that they are NOW hung very securely with strong wire and hook fasteners, but we originally tried to use the 3M Command picture hanging strips. We put MORE than the recommended amount on the frames, and followed the instructions, and in the middle of the night, the frames were FALLING OFF THE WALL.  If I had had my newborns in the cribs...well, I shudder to think. Needless to say, I don't recommend this product.



Our awesome closet curtains...Found the fabric finally at Rockland textiles and had a friend of my Mom's sew these and the custom lime crib skirts (also shown here) for me.  She did an amazing job.



And the interior closet solution we came up with. (Cube units from IKEA recently reduced to $40 each, and rods from Home Depot around $6 each)...



Some closer detail on the closet. We have empty drawers and areas - plenty of storage to grow with the girls.



The change corner, with the refurbished dresser...Mirror from Bouclair Home.  Great store - love their accents and prices.



Close up dresser detail - knobs and pulls purchased from Lee Valley tools. I love the crystal knobs on the small drawers...



The change area was fun.  Finally found a white square basket of the right height and then painted it myself to have it tie in with the colour scheme.  About $14 from HomeSense I think...



And the laundry hamper I picked up at Home Outfitters - it was white as well, and then I painted the lid and the middle section. The diaper disposal was compliments of a friend as a temporary measure for the first little while until we transition to cloth diapers.  With Baby B in CHEO for the first while, we will use disposables to start with...



The floating shelves were from Home Depot at less than $20 each...My muse and my support through the tough times, Dylan the dinosaur, is in a place of honour in the far corner until the girls want to play with him.


A few smiling flowers - compliments of a friend's sweet daughter - are waiting to greet the girls - this crib will eventually be Baby B's, so will be there, waiting and smiling as long as necessary...


And finally, I hope we can sleep both girls together in one crib to start.  We will be moving this crib to the master bedroom so that Mommy can breastfeed in bed and handle the craziness a bit better in the beginning!



So there you are.  Finally!  Hope you like it as much as we do.  It makes me happy just to enter the room.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bloggin from my new iPhone

It's my 'push present'- not jewelry or a spa thing or something else traditionally romantic, but it's what I want and love - to be connected and free to participate in the online conversation at any time.

I got my iPhone today!

So I'm trying this out... Hubby took a shot of me tonight at 36 weeks, and so I'm going to try Post the shot. Now, be forewarned... This isn't an edited shot, and it's not pretty. But reality often isn't, right?

Here I am!

Ah... Maybe not. Can't see menu option to upload photo, and also can't figure out how to copy and paste a hyperlink option... Ah growing pains!

Roly poly belly woman makes it to 36 weeks - Term for twins

Yup - the three of us have done it.  We've made it to term for twins, and so far, all signs point to having a bit more time to 'cook' the little ones.  We still don't know if Baby B has gained weight (they only do those measurements every two weeks and so Thursday next week will hopefully tell us she's bigger and better than ever), but all her vital signs, and that of Baby A are looking really good.

And holy crap are they ever active!  Some crazy movements happening with this belly of mine, at all hours of the day and pretty constantly.  This is something I am going to miss dearly - it is really fun to watch, touch and play with their little arms and legs that are flying all over in there.

So even though the bags are packed, and Baby A is still breech (so, yeah, we are still looking at a forced C-section unless that changes), I'm feeling pretty okay, all things considered, and am heading out shortly for a chick night at a friend's house.  Quite excited to see everyone.  Now...

What the heck to wear?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Growing something other than babies - it's harvest time

So my husband escaped from the inside chaos in our house for a little bit of time out in the yard this Thanksgiving weekend. Yardwork in the shape of mowing the lawn is his usual shtick, however gardening?  Not so much.  That said, I think he enjoyed pulling up what we had and 'closing out' what was essentially his garden this summer. 

I thought it would be a great year for the garden, but I think the lotus tree in the middle of the garden is finally sapping the nutrient levels too much, as most of our produce suffered.  That, or the fact that momma gardener was completely MIA this summer stunted the growth of the poor little veggies... However, we still got some great stuff.  Check it out....we still had a large pile of runner beans that taste great.


And although we have clay soil, I keep trying to grow carrots - of both the purple variety and the usual.  Love the look of purple carrots on a plate...



We, of course, have a myriad of various peppers - of the sweet, hot and VERY hot variety. 



And finally, a wider shot of the baby onions, other peppers etc.



So vibrant and lovely, fresh and fragrant.  Thinking we'll do some roast BBQ veggies with a nice big roast and yorkshire pudding this coming weekend.  MMMMMMMMM......delish!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Terrified - it's not Halloween yet, though, so what's up?

So...it has taken a couple of days for me to calm down a bit in order to get this blog post out. 

On Thursday we went for our last of the bi-weekly ultrasound and clinic appointments (here on out the plan was to move to weekly appointments until the twins arrive).  The ultrasound was booked for 1pm and we finally left the hospital at about 6:40pm.  Yeah...if you are thinking that doesn't sound good, you'd be right, but it might not be as bad as you THINK it is, but this particular Mommy to be is admittedly scared out of her wits right now.

So what happened?  Well, the ultrasound measurements revealed that our little Baby B, who is undersized to begin with, has not grown in the two weeks since her last ultrasound.  Baby A is still under 5 lbs too, which is pretty low, but it's really scary that Baby B, even when you toss aside her abdomen measurements (which are generally not a good indication of her size), only gained 1 oz and is still under 4 lbs in their estimation. 

What did that mean?  Well, it meant that we waited well over 1/2 an hour for the doctors to study the ultrasound results and it meant that when we did speak to the doctors, the weekly visits changed immediately to an order for two ultrasounds next week - the first asap on Tuesday and another on Friday, as well as a clinic appointment on Thursday.  It also meant a trip down the hall to triage before we left for a NST - or non-stress test - to monitor the babies' hearts and particularly movements.  The nurses were happy with the results and the babies were moving really well, but it was scary and took another hour, then another 1/2 hour to wait for the doctor to officially release us to go home.

We were ordered to:

a) pack our bags and bring what we need to be admitted to all future appointments just in case they have to deliver the babies

b) take it easy, as Baby A is still solidly breech, but worse, the umbilical chord is presenting, so they want us in the hospital IMMEDIATELY upon any sign of labour, as apparently the membrane can rupture and the chord can come out, which is not good - Momma has to take it a lot more easy than she has been...

c) monitor the babies' movements, especially Baby B's to ensure all is well (had a real scare yesterday as I didn't clearly distinguish her movements for a number of hours) - but I find this really hard, since there are two there, and Baby B's feet are often in the same area as Baby A's much stronger fists/arms. Eventually, after I had a nap, she started moving around again, but I'm still totally stressed

and finally d) (this was not the doctor's orders at all, but our own priority) - we have to get the bloody house in order even more urgently now.  Ideally, we have at least another full week of work ahead to be totally prepared, but at the very least we have a few must do's!

So yes...this weekend we have been putting together the stroller, putting in car seat #1 for Baby A, getting the playard set up on the main floor, and packing our bags etc. as well as trying to do the cleaning, organizing and purging we need to get done.  Meanwhile...we're terrified about having to deliver these babies so soon.  Under normal circumstances both babies would be far enough along to do well and come home in a reasonable time, but with the hernia issue in Baby B...it's so important to take her as far as possible. 

I'm terrified by her latest status, her current size (under 4lbs is too small - but I don't know that clinically it is - the doctors haven't said to me that it is, nor would they probably predict this), and what might happen this week.  I'm ready to meet my babies, but the positivity and confidence I had in Baby B's outcome was based on taking the two of them a lot further into their gestation. 

Emotionally, I'm just okay.  I was doing so well, but now? Beyond the fear of what might happen, I can honestly say that I'm starting to be resentful.  I'm just so tired of how bumpy this ride has been, ya know?  I'm annoyed that underlining all of our preparations, there is fear of loss.  I'm angry that we are rushing through the last-minute preparation and not truly enjoying the process. It's just once again more 'excitement tempered by a dose of caution and reality'. 

Why can't we just be allowed to enjoy?  It's angering. And...I'm starting to accept that I also won't be able to deliver these babies, but instead they will be yanked from me via C-section.  Okay for some, but certainly not what I was looking forward to. But then...what part of this pregnancy has turned out to be what I hoped it would be? 

Sorry to be so negative.  I'm not a negative person, in general.  But.  It's an honest account of what my head space is like sometimes. 

Other times?  I'm so happy to have at least gotten to this point. I'm enjoying seeing the stroller ready to go, and the little outfit picked out for when Baby A comes home.  I still am totally thankful for all that we DO have and all that we have accomplished.  We are truly blessed.

And so...yes, it's Thanksgiving and not Halloween. I'm taking it easy and hoping for the best.  And I will try to reserve 'fright night' for another week...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Going Down - Basement renovation is finally complete!

Had to elaborate on the title, but was tempted not to...

So yes, at almost 35 weeks along pregnant with twins, we FINALLY have a properly finished basement and thanks to said project, we've actually doubled our living space, which is amazing and will let us survive unscathed in this house for a few more years without going crazy like caged animals (sorry - just watching SYTYCDC and Blake's caged animal routine just performed, so...).

Because I know I am always looking for good before and after shots for ideas, I thought I would post the shots here for anyone who hasn't seen them.  Here they are:


 That was the wide shot of the before and after.  Here are a couple different angles, starting with the stairwell.


The old 'workshop' vs. the new 'playroom'...



(last one taken before carpet was laid).  And finally, the accent wall which will house the computer and media centre when we get the right storage/setup configured.

We'll spice up the twin's playroom a little more with colour and fun on the walls soon, but for now, we can at least move in the jumpers, the gyms, the playard etc to get it ready for the little ladies (and we have)!

And in the meantime, we are moving on to setting up the garage with all the extra storage and the new workshop area (I'm the powertool gal, so it has been weird watching everyone else get this stuff done around me!) and finishing touches on the main floor and the nursery.  Nursery pics to come soon for sure.

Oh, yes, and will be replacing our massive picture window in the living room because it becomes an unexpected flowing water feature into the room whenever there is a heavy rain we just discovered...!!!

FUN.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Diary of a Whimpy Pregnant Lady

Not even 2 hours of helping paint final touches on our basement, and I'm down for the count, my friends, and I even did the stair baseboards sitting down! 

It is absolutely crazy how little physical work I can do (and, ya know, by work I mean, uh...walking n' simple stuff) and have my body tell me almost immediately "okay, honeybuns, that's enough for you today!"

Yesterday we went for a massive shopping trip to get a lot of the items we still needed for the babies.  It was a trip to 2 stores, yo, and my body was so tired when I got home that I had multiple, repeated Braxon Hicks contractions that were stronger than usual, causing me to time them and pay very close attention...just in case.  Thankfully after some rest, some water and some food, they quieted down. 

So yeah...I'm a whimp right now.  Want to steal my purse? You got it - I can't fight. Think you, you little 2 year old who just learned to walk, can beat me in a foot race?  The ribbon is yours. Dust mites, dirt and little stuff on the floor having fun hanging out?  Loitering is totally permitted in my world.  Well, at least until my Mother sets her sight on the cleaning, 'cause I'm just not up for it!

Sleepless nights with hideous heartburn doesn't help.

But hey...the babies are kicking and movin' and groovin' along to their own beat, and as long as this is the status quo, I don't mind being a whimp.

Oh, and basement reno before and after pix to come soon...