Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day of Doctor's Appointments

I saw the pulmonologist on Monday. He wasn't convinced that my breathing issues were all asthma related. He thinks it's probably the combination of asthma, anemia and the twins pushing up on my lungs that are causing breathing to be difficult. He did give me an inhaled steroid to try out though. There are apparently two safe to prescribe during pregnancy, so he gave me two samples of one of those to try. He said it takes about a week to see a difference, so we'll see how it goes.

Today I have an OB appointment. We are also getting one of the "good" ultrasounds where a tech does the measurements and stuff. That comes first at 11am. Then we meet with the OB at noon.

It occurred to us yesterday that hey, Nicky IS four, so he needs his annual exam. Luckily I was able to call and get him in today too! His appointment is at 9:45am. It's in the same building as my appointments, and doing it today means that we won't have to take another day off work. Which is very good!

I was already planning to take the entire day off since we would have had to leave work after only an hour or so and then we'd probably have only 2 hours or so after the appointments. Plus I anticipate being exhausted after all the running (wheeling in my case though) around.

So a day full of appointments. I did give Nicky the heads up that he was going to the doctor in the morning and that they would look in his eyes, ears, nose and mouth and measure him and that he might get a "poker shot" (what Nicky calls injections). He didn't seem too phased at first, but right before bed he said he didn't want a shot. I told him I didn't know if he'd get one, but that if he was lucky enough to get one I'd make sure he got a good treat. He wanted to know what it would be, so I told him I'd take him to the dollar store and let him pick any one thing he wanted. He was pretty excited about that. We're also going to try to remember to take some bread for the ducks at the pond they have there. If I can hide them that would be another good after-shot treat.

I'll update later on the OB appointment. Hopefully we'll get pictures this time. It's been a while since we had images to upload of the babies. Oh, and I don't know yet if we'll have the results of the glucose tolerance test or titers I had done last week. It's been less than a week, so I'm kind of doubting it, but we'll see.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Getting things ready

Tom said I need to show another comparison between me now at 28 weeks compared to me pregnant with Nicky at the end. So here it is:

belly pics with Nicky in 2006

belly pics with twins in 2010

Probably hard to see with the size difference of the photos, but I'm definitely much much bigger than I ever was with Nicky!

I also am actually getting really uncomfortable now. Breathing is hard, moving is hard, getting up and down, and OMG, rolling over is HARD! And yet when I see I have less than 10 weeks to go, assuming they wait that long, I am freaking out that it's too soon!

We do finally have the living room back in order though. Tom did a lot of work on it today and it looks great. Books are even put away, except for the two boxes of children's books that I just couldn't part with. I think I kept way more of the kids books than I did of my own books. But they're all good ones! I swear! Not sure where we'll put those boxes for now though.

Next is getting the babies' room sorted through. There are boxes of Nicky's old toys to go through, and theoretically there should be boxes of "important" papers in there for me to go through too. And photos. Who knows what else.

Oh, and the cribs we ordered are in, as well as the mattress! Tom wants to go pick them up tomorrow too. It will feel so much better to have their room DONE and organized. Maybe by Easter? That's just next weekend. This bunny better get to hopping!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Oh yeah, I have a blog and I'm 28 weeks pregnant with twins

Wow, 11 days since the last post and there's just so much to tell you!

First, I did have the iron infusion on 3/16. It took all day, which was kind of boring, but not too bad. It wasn't too painful, but my arm was kind of sore for a day or so. We arrived at 8:30am and Tom picked me up at 4pm. I was there longer than anyone that day. There was one woman there for chemo, and one other pg woman there for iron in the morning, but she was getting them weekly so was done after a few hours. Everyone else was there for blood. It was really neat to see that actually. As a blood donor I usually just imagine people needing it after surgeries or major trauma like car accidents or shootings. But it was wonderful to see that the blood donated makes such a difference to people in other ways. The people who came in typically were very weak and pale, but by the time they were done they were much more perky and had color in their cheeks. It was very heartwarming to see.

The nurse did say that some people feel better the next day after an iron transfusion, but that it really takes 2 weeks for the body to make a mature blood cell. I wasn't one of the lucky ones that felt better on the first day though. I think I might finally be feeling better actually now, a week later. Still really tired, but not quite as ready to drop. My lips are starting to have a little color too, so I must be getting better. I go for my next OB appointment next Wednesday, so we'll see if they test my iron there.

So that was Wednesday 3/16. By the time we got home I think my Mom and my sisters Liz and Jessica were nearly at our house. Donna was already there, she arrived on Tuesday, and so we had a full house for Nicky's actual birthday. Nicky had gotten to have cupcakes at school to share with his class, which he enjoyed immensely. Later, Tom's Dad and JM came over for dinner and we all had spaghetti and meatballs, Nicky's favorite. Tom had also picked up a cake which was the perfect size. No leftovers! You'd think I'd have a photo or two...but no. Sorry. He had a few presents to open up, because you have to have presents on the actual birthday right?

Thursday I had an OB appointment and my sister Liz was able to come with us. We were able to see the babies on the ultrasound and they both looked good. One was side to side with her head on my right. the other we think was head down, perpendicular to the other, maybe behind her. So confusing! The OB was very happy with everything except my asthma. It's really been acting up a lot since that lung, sinus, ear infection thing in February. I've been using my inhaler and nebulizer pretty much daily, sometimes multiple times. The OB started making noises about maybe bedrest/stop working at 32 weeks, which I am NOT ready for! So I went home and then called to make a pulmonology appointment the very next day. I have an appointment with the head guy, who I will also ask about sleep apnea to see if I can get an APAP machine (that will adjust my pressure as I sleep to whatever pressure I need) on Monday, 3/29.

Friday I was actually able to work a full day for a change. I swear it'll be a miracle if I have ANY leave left by the time the babies come! And Tom spent most of the afternoon running around getting everything done on my list for the Saturday party. I had lots of lists going on since I couldn't really do anything but plan.

Saturday we had beautiful weather, thank goodness! My Dad and Gwen arrived at about 10ish, Tom and Jessie went with Nicky to pick up the balloons, cake, sandwich platters and coleslaw/potato salad. My friend Gayle, her son Colin and her parents Elaine and Jerry arrived around 11am. They brought us a really nice glider (which is the most comfy seat in the house for me right now), and we were so glad they could make the trip up to see us. We hadn't seen them since last Halloween. We all loaded up my Dad's truck and Liz's car with the party supplies: drinks, chips, cooler, presents, party favors, and picnic accoutrements. Then we all took off for the park!

I remembered at the last minute that there aren't any bathrooms at this park. Oops. But there was a gas station nearby if someone had time to run to their car and drive to the corner. Luckily no one had to go.

Right as we got to the park, our friend from work came with her mom and son who is just a year and a day younger than Nicky. So we had three boys there, ages 3, 4 and 6(almost 7!) and they played together really well. They ran around like maniacs, dosed up on chips, juice boxes, and cake, and had a general great time. We actually ended up taking the presents home to open them there (where there was at least one bathroom) as our friend from work had to get her son home for a nap anyway. It took Nicky a good long time to get thru his gifts. He's still at the point where he'd rather run around with the toy in his hand than see what's in the next gift.

Nicky and Colin had a ball playing together though. It was so fun to see them play together even though they're nearly 3 years apart. All in all, I think it's safe to say that Nicky had a great party.

My Dad, Gwen, Jessica, Donna and Gayle and her family all left after the party, leaving us with a relatively empty house.

Sunday I pretty much tried to recuperate. But Tom and Liz went to town rearranging furniture, organizing the house and generally doing a ton of work! Oh, and I forgot, I think it was Friday when I came home that I found out Liz and Jessica had bought and installed a counter top on top of that cabinet that has been sitting in my kitchen for... over a year I think. I was so excited to see that! It still has to be properly attached, but just having it there makes such a huge difference in the kitchen. We have the microwave on it, and the coffee maker, and it's so nice not to have to troop through the dining room to heat something up.

All in all, Liz and my Mom stayed over through Wednesday. They really had us set up well. But then after they left, Tom had to empty the POD. The POD people actually came today to pick it up, so we had to unload it. Unfortunately that loaded the house with about four zillion books and stuff, but thanks to the work Tom and Liz did beforehand, it won't take long to go through it, get rid of what we can and then put away the rest. We've already committed to getting rid of a ton of books. That's a huge thing for us!

I guess the last thing is that Nicky seems to have gotten Fifth's Disease at some point. It's a pretty innocuous virus actually. By the time they get the slapped cheek look they're no longer contagious even. He had no signs of being sick, and actually today his cheeks are getting back to normal. I looked it up though, wondering if it was a problem for pregnant women. And yep, it can be. Hopefully I already had it as a kid though. If not it has a chance of infecting me, and a chance of infecting the babies. If they get it then there's a chance it can cause complications you DO NOT want to Google. Tom found that out the hard way. I called my OB on Wednesday after we figured out that's why Nicky's cheeks were red Tuesday. I confirmed Wednesday morning with his teacher that they have seen several kids with red cheeks. They had no idea what it was, but I'm sure it was Fifth's. So I called the OB, and they wanted me to have some titers drawn at the lab. I had to have my Glucose Tolerance Test done on Thursday morning anyway, so I did it all then. Hopefully we'll know the results of both by our OB appointment next Wednesday.

I think that about brings everyone up to date! Now if I can just get on here to do updates more than every 11 days you won't have to muddle through (or skip) such a long post! I will have to update you after our OB appointment Wednesday, and actually maybe after the pulmonologist appointment on Monday even.

Oh, and just as a reward for sticking thru till the end of this post, or for scrolling down to the bottom at least, here's the new belly pic. 28 weeks today!
And the usual disclaimer that this was after working a full day and being pretty darn tired.
28 weeks

and in comparison:
8-28 weeks

Monday, March 15, 2010

Anemia update

I went to the hematologist today. I really liked the staff and doctor there! My hemoglobin was 10.3; they were able to do the blood draw and CBC all right there immediately which was pretty amazing to me.

The result is: I'm going in Wednesday morning for an iron infusion. They said I should actually feel a lot better immediately. Apparently I'm about 3 pints low on blood, but once I have the iron I'll be able to make that up. I won't even have to take the hemocyte (iron supplement) anymore.

They're also checking my B12 count, but that result won't be ready till tomorrow or Wednesday. If I need that they'll order daily shots for a week and then weekly shots for a few weeks. Tom will be able to give those to me at home, so that'll be nice. Well, not "nice" but better than having to take time off work to go to the doctor.

So Wednesday, Nicky's birthday, I'm having the infusion done. Since I'm pregnant they do it at the hospital as an outpatient procedure. (And I have no copay! Yay!) They said it takes between 6-8 hours to do though, so that's a long time! We went to pre-register today at the hospital and I totally forgot to ask if they have wifi so that I can take my laptop and do homework. I can still take it and do some, but it helps when writing advanced web applications to actually HAVE web access. I suppose I can also take my books and read. I am behind in that too.

They don't really have room for anyone but me though, so Tom will drop me off and then pick me up later. We'll take Nicky to school first though, with his birthday cupcakes! He's so excited about his birthday this year. I think this is the first year he's really gotten the concept and is looking forward to it. It's so cute.

Nana will be arriving Tuesday and then my Mom, Jessie and Liz will arrive Wednesday. We'll have Tom's Dad and JM over as well for Wednesday dinner and some kind of desert with candles too. But the big party is Saturday! Tomorrow we're taking Nicky to the party store so he can help pick out his theme for the party. We were going to do Madagascar, but the cake for that was $50 and was a 1/2 sheet cake! Way too big and way too expensive. And then today we stopped by the party store after the hospital without Nicky and found that they had nothing for Madagascar anyway. So hopefully he'll see something else he likes there tomorrow.

Ok, I've put off working on my homework long enough. Wondering what I'm doing in my Advanced Web Applications class? Check it out here. Assignments 1-3 are there on the left. I'm working on the fourth assignment now. It's all flash programming and it's really hard! But I'm doing pretty well I think. It just takes a lot of time and brain power. Not things I have a lot of lately.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Another long update

The cribs have been ordered! We're getting two cherry cribs for the nursery. They probably won't be in them immediately, but we want to be ready, and having the cribs will help me arrange the room the way it will work best.

We are still deciding on what we want to do for the bed in the nursery though. We have several options to consider. The one I'm liking best right now is a twin mattress set with just a metal frame. Then making a toile covered headboard for it. I think that would be easy enough that I could even do it. And then we'd have a toile headboard and the toile tuffet Donna's making. I think that would look really nice. Surely I can find a twin mattress set cheap. I mean, this is a college town!

The room itself is DONE though! That is such a weight off our shoulders. The walls look gorgeous in the cream rose color Tom picked. He even picked up a crystal heart fan pull in a light pink color that just looks beautiful. He finished caulking around the baseboards last night, and even moved the light-switch so that I can put a nice decoupaged cover over it. It was originally too close to the door frame which was awkward, but he fixed it! Such the handy man, my husband. (Oh and just to brag a little more, he did plumbing yesterday on the tub and fixed the leak that has been there forever.)

Yesterday we were able to pick up a wheelchair for me. It's not for use all the time, but just to and from work and in stores where I can't sit down or use a store scooter thingy (which I have yet to break down and do, but will have to soon I'm sure). I have the hematologist appointment coming up Monday and am so looking forward to feeling better! I hope they can do some sort of magic and give me back some energy soon. In the meantime my mom is coming next week to help out. That will be nice! We need to empty the POD before the 24th in order to avoid paying for another month, so she will be able to help me sort through that stuff. So much I'm sure can be tossed or donated. (Don't worry Dad, we're not getting rid of the table in there!)

The babies are doing fine in there. I was able to actually see a kick today which was neat. They must be getting big and strong! Tom can feel them every night now, and it won't be long before Nicky really feels them instead of just saying that he can.

Speaking of Nicky, the other day he asked me to open my mouth. I remembered always wanting to see my moms teeth and stuff as a kid, so I opened up for him. He said "Mom, your tongue is in the way." So I tried to move it, but it was still in the way. I asked him if he wanted to see my teeth or my throat. He said "I want to see the babies." What a cutie! I just had to laugh. He's done it a few more times since then, but we agree that my tongue is just in the way too much to see them.

I can't believe he's already turning four. Next week is his birthday. We're hoping to have a little dinner and cake on the day, and then we're having his real party on Saturday at a park. So far we'll have two other kids there, and a lot of grown-ups, but we're still waiting to hear from a few more people. Even with just one other kid Nicky will have fun, so I know he'll have a great time! I'm still planning to keep it really low key though. Just don't have the energy to do it up big this year. Plus this is our first party with anyone other than just family. And we've never had kids at the parties before either. Had to get our feet wet someday though. Oh, and he'll take cupcakes in on his birthday to his school too. It's on St. Patrick's day, so they just might be green ones. We'll see.

Next OB appointment is this Friday. I'll be 27 weeks so it will be time for a new belly picture too. I'll probably have to talk with the OB about my asthma. It's been really acting up since that bout of sickness in February. I will probably end up going to the pulmonologist about it, but I'm hoping that a lot of it is breathlessness from the anemia and whatever the hematologist does might help out. We'll see.

Oh, one more thing. Last Tuesday I spent a few hours in Labor & Delivery. On the way to the car after work I had a lot of pain on one side and possible contractions. I was absolutely spent by the time I got to the car. And it's really not that far! Maybe a 3-4 minute walk? Usually pain goes away once I sit for a minute, but it was still bothering me by the time we picked up Nicky. Though not as bad.

After getting Nicky we went to the drugstore. I was only in there for about 4 minutes when it hit again and I had to have Nicky stay with Tom to finish checking out while I went to the car to rest. They were probably in there for a good 5 minutes or more and I was still hurting when they came out. I was also all hot and clammy feeling. Just not feeling quite right. So I called the OB on call. They said they like to err on the side of having twin moms come in to get checked, but I could wait to see if it happened again. If I had any other tightening or pain at all though I should come in.

When I got home I went straight to bed to lie down and drink water. I stayed for quite a while, but as soon as I got up it started again. So we called JM and she rushed over to watch Nicky while we went to the hospital. They monitored me (lying down, so not sure how helpful that was) for a good hour or so, but no contractions. They did an ultrasound to check the babies and both had good heartbeats. So maybe they were really having a growth spurt that day and stretching things out.

They did recommend I get a maternity belt though to help support the weight of my belly. It's just so huge! And only going to get bigger. So we're looking into that. That's also when I decided not to wait till my next appointment to ask for a wheelchair too. It's just too important for me to have a ready place to sit when I need to.

So that was the first trip to the L&D. Hopefully we won't have to do that too much. We want these babies to stay put and grow till June!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

25 weeks


We've made it to 25 weeks! The babies are doing great, although I'm just about completely devoid of energy. I'm hoping if we can get the anemia under control I'll start feeling better.

The OB sent me for blood-work Friday to see if I needed a transfusion. I'm out of breath, even sitting still, and my lips are back to being just about the same color as my skin. My hemoglobin came back at 10.2 which is definitely anemic (normal for women is 12-15). But it wasn't so low they wanted to do a transfusion before the weekend. Instead they're referring me to a hematologist to see what they suggest and to get me established with one just in case we need their help during delivery. I should be getting a call from them early this week.

JM came over yesterday and took Nicky and I out to the park and to the fabric store to pick up the fabric for the valance. The cribskirt and shade fabrics aren't in yet, but will be soon I hope. I was able to show JM the toile and other fabrics though and she agrees they're going to look great. She also loves the paint in the babies' room. I agree, I think the pink actually looks great in that room. Especially in the light of day! I can't wait for my mom and Donna to see it.

Which they will soon! Nicky's birthday is coming up quick! It's in the middle of the week this year, so we're doing things a little differently.

This year Jessie will come up on Sunday and stay with us. Then around Tuesday or so my mom and Liz will come up to stay. They'll be able to see Jessie and be there for Nicky's actual birthday. We'll send Nicky to school Wednesday with cupcakes and then we'll have a birthday dinner and cake that evening with Jessie, Liz and Grammie, and maybe JM and Charles if they can come over. Liz and my mom will leave by Friday morning and then Donna will come up to stay. She'll be here for Nicky's big birthday party on Saturday.

Saturday my Dad and Gwen will come down too. And we'll have Nicky's big party at the park. I'm inviting some people with kids around Nicky's age from my work and Gayle and Colin from Tampa. Hopefully some of them can come and we'll have a low key birthday party at the park with a picnic and cake. This will be Nicky's first party with kids, and I just don't have the energy to do it up too big. But they're kids, and I'm sure they'll have a ball.

Friday, March 05, 2010

The Nursery: Renovation Day....somethingsomething

Time for a nursery renovation report. Ok, so I've totally lost track of the days, but lots has been done! In fact, the walls were painted today and all that's left is painting the trim, installing the flooring and adding the baseboards. After that it's up to the decorating team!

Here are the latest pictures:

Ta Da!
we love it

Ok, so it's pink.
it's a cream rose color

I know I said we wouldn't be doing pink, but this is a really nice pink! And it will go great with the navy blue toile and valance.
the walls are painted!

In fact, the fabric store called last night and said the fabric is here. I'm not sure if it's all the fabric or just some of it, but soon it'll be in my hot little hands and ready for Nana to work her sewing magic!

Which hey, that reminds me, I haven't actually blogged about the fabric and stuff yet have I? Well Nana and I went fabric store shopping last weekend. See Tom and Greg were ready to prime and paint, but I had to pick the paint color. Rather than just pick a color and then try to match everything to that, I wanted to pick the fabrics for the cribskirts and drapes first. So we had to get to the fabric store.

It took forever, about four hours, to find what I wanted. Fabrics and colors are NOT my strong suit. So it was pretty hard. But I picked a valance pattern and then fabrics. The first fabric I actually really liked was a navy toile fabric. I thought of course that wouldn't work in a nursery, but then decided it totally could if we just borrowed the color and used the toile on the daybed and the tuffet that Donna's making. So I used the toile color as the inspiration and then we picked navy blue with tiny white dots for the valance, a blue and white stripe for a roller shade, and then we'll buy eyelet sheers for the windows too.

The toile fabric sample:
toile sample- for tuffet and daybed

The drawing of the valance, sheers (with holdbacks) and rolling shade (Donna's drawing):
window pattern- valance, sheers and rolling shade

For the cribskirts I picked a beautiful white on white embroidered fabric. It's almost like an eyelet, but without the holes. We'll use the breathable bumpers like we did with Nicky's crib. I'll get them in white, and then Donna is going to embellish them on the outside with a navy and white dot ribbon along the top. Donna's making a tuffet and a bedspread for the daybed out of the toile. Maybe a few pillow shams too. And I'm buying a white eyelet twin bedskirt for the daybed. So fabric-wise we're doing navy and white. Not very exciting. Fairly neutral actually.

Then I chose the prints I want for the room. There are six of them, two sets of three that I thought look good together. They are from this great fairy series from about the 1930's by Cicely Mary Barker. She has a website here and the prints I chose are:
Almond Blossom Fairy
Pear Blossom Fairy
Sweet Pea Fairies
Rose Fairy
Phlox Fairy
Heliotrope Fairy

The first three have light backgrounds and the second three have darker backgrounds. Not sure where I'll put them yet, maybe in frames on the walls, maybe on a shelf, maybe both. We'll see. I'm planning to get them about a 5x8 size or slightly smaller and then frame them in a 5x8 frame with matting.

So then we have the fabric selected, the prints selected and it was time to find paint. I just did not have the energy to go to Lowe's myself, so Donna picked up paint chips for me, then I searched online using the Olympic paint website that allows you to try out different paint combos on an image. That was really helpful, alhtough the colors on the computer screen are never quite like they are in real life. So I picked some other colors for Tom to grab chips for. He brought them and a few extras home and I used Nicky's navy jacket to help me pick out a color for the walls and a white for the trim and ceiling.

It was really close. I liked both the Cream Rose and the Butter yellow colors. But when Tom and I took the chips into the room to see them in that lighting, the Cream Rose was definitely much much better. So Tom bought it the next day and voila! It's painted! It looks really great too.

This project is coming together!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


I had my OB appointment yesterday, on Tom's birthday actually, so you know it was going to be a good appointment!

Everything is looking really good in there. I was worried about cervix length as a lot of the women due with twins in May/June have been put on bed rest due to their cervix shortening to 3 centimeters or so, or less in some cases. I'm terrified of bed rest as I'm still the sole breadwinner till Tom finishes school in May, so I was glad he was going to measure me.

Well he said, and I quote: I'm "closed up tighter than Fort Knox!" I have a good 5.5-6 centimeters of cervix with no signs of effacement at all. Average he said is 4.5-5 cm so I'm doing great! He and Tom joked that if women were like guys they'd all be checking out my cervix in the locker room and they'd be so jealous. You have to love an OB who can make jokes like that!

After the measurement we got to have another peek at the girls. Saw both heartbeats and some kicky legs. And then:

Here are the girls, chatting away in there. They were face to face, heads right up under my ribs, basically standing up in there.


And here they are, still heads together, and now you can see their hands reaching for each other. An in-utero game of patty-cake perhaps?


Cute right?

The only bit of not so great news was that my iron levels are actually lower than before I started the iron pills. Darn it! If they drop any more we'll be discussing an iron transfusion. Not much fun. I have some new ideas on getting more iron. Someone suggested having iron along with vitamin C to help it absorb better. So I'll get some OJ (without calcium, since calcium inhibits absorption) and take the iron with that. And them maybe have some spinach salads with mandarin oranges. Oh, and more steak! Lots more steak!

I could get used to eating like that I think.