Monday, August 30, 2010

Multiple Pregnancy Nutrition

I just received a couple of books that I ordered specifically geared toward women who are expecting multiples.  I am currently reading this one:
I am SO glad that I got this book after it was recommended by several women on one of the boards I read.  It is extremely informative and makes me realize that I really need to step some things up.

For example, Dr. Barbara Luke, one of the authors of the book, has done extensive studies on nutrition and women pregnant with multiples.  She is a founder of a couple of clinics focusing solely on mothers to be of multiples.  By following her program most of the babies born to women in her program come out healthier and weighing more at birth than women who don't follow her nutritional and health guidelines.  She has been in the multiples business for over 40 years and is well thought of in that realm.

Ultimately it comes down to the fact that I am not eating enough.  I think I already knew that before but the arguments she makes in the book really make me realize that I need to gain more weight earlier on because as I get further along in the pregnancy it is going to be harder for me to get the nutrition that I need because my stomach won't have enough room to take in everything I need.  So I need the reserves.

Dr. Luke recommends that women pregnant with twins gain between 20 and 25 pounds by week 20, and a total of 40-56 by delivery.  I have gained almost 9 and I will be at 15 weeks on Wednesday.  Even though I was overweight when I got pregnant these numbers still apply to me.  Um, yeah, I need to eat a bit more. 

Of course she doesn't recommend going out and gorging on cake and cookies which I would enjoy but eating healthfully.  At this point I especially need protein and fat as well as iron.  It is recommended that I get 2 3 oz. servings of red meat every day.  We don't really eat red meat.  Not because we don't like it but because it is so fatty (and expensive - plus John is watching what he eats so he doesn't gain sympathy weight this time around).  I'll have to figure out how to get it in.  She does say that going out and getting a burger is fine but limit the fries.  Just be smart about your choices.

One other thing that I'm finding difficult is the 8 servings of dairy that I should get.  Most of you know that I DO NOT like milk (Kelley and Cindy know this well).  One serving of milk is 8 oz.  And whole milk is supposed to be best but I can't go there.  I'm going to try 2% and see how it goes.  So I have gotten Carnation Instant Breakfast and some chocolate milk mix to make sure I get some milk.  I've also gotten quite a bit of cheese to snack on.  The great thing is that ice cream counts toward the dairy.  And I'm not talking the low fat version - they say to go for the premium.  So yes, Mom, there will be some Blue Bell full fat ice cream in my freezer when you and Dad come to visit this week.

There is so much more to the book that I could talk about but I'll stop there.  So wish me luck as I attempt to put on about 10 pounds in the next 5 weeks or so.  I honestly don't know if I can do it because I feel like I am eating all.the.time but I'm going to try.  I need to, for the babies' sake.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It was Friday the 13th

No, that is not the start of some weird joke.  That is actually the day that we went in for our first trimester screening which included an ultrasound and blood draw.  Friday, August 13, a day that J and I (and the rest of our family) will NEVER forget.

Our appointment was at 1:30 that afternoon so I picked J up at work and we went up to the appointment together.  I still hadn't decided if I wanted to find out what the sex of the baby was going to be but at 12 weeks and 2 days I didn't figure we'd be able to tell anyway.

Our ultrasound tech's name was Alice and she was awesome (we will definitely try to get her again for our future ultrasounds).  I laid down on the chair in a nice dark room and J sat in the chair right next to me.  By the way, I am soooo glad that they warm that jelly stuff because it is not such a shock when it hits your stomach.

Anyway, I'm watching the screen and she puts the wand down and I see the top of two sacs.  The first thing that goes through my head is "Oh, shit there's two!" but I didn't say anything because obviously I don't do this every day so I wasn't entirely sure what it was I was looking at.  But I knew.  Oh yes, I knew right away.

Alice moves the wand around for a second and goes "There is one heartbeat, and there's another."  Wait.  What?  And that is essentially what I said.  I then proceeded to ask if she were serious and I think there was a "No way" in there somewhere.  John is sitting on the chair next to me in shock.  I don't think he said more than 5 words during the 30 minute ultrasound.  I did grab his hand shortly after we saw the 2 and we stayed that way the whole time.  I would squeeze occasionally just make sure he was okay.  I just started laughing because I didn't know how else to react.  How do you handle that sort of news when you have ABSOLUTELY NO INKLING that there were two in there.  Some women get the feeling that something is up, but not me.  I had no idea.

The rest of the scan is kind of a blur.  I would randomly start laughing as we saw two at a time on the screen and would apologize for jiggling the wand all over the place but Alice was so sweet.  She thought it was great that we were having two and I really think she enjoyed watching our reactions to the news.  I wish there was a camera videotaping it all.  I would love to have seen our faces.  John told me later on in the car that he almost kind of started to freak out when she went on about how there was one heartbeat and there was another because all he could see was stuff moving around and he didn't know what he was looking at but that he thought there were more than two in there.  Our friend's and family's reactions were great but I'll share that stuff in another post.

I know that both babies were measuring right on schedule.  We're pretty sure that A is a boy, and I think B is a boy as well but Alice wasn't sure.  She originally thought probably a girl but when she went back to look she couldn't tell.  So, yes, right then and there I decided that I was going to NEED to know the sexes of these babies.  And we will find out.  Here are our little ones individually.
A was the active one.  The mover and shaker.  I think this one is going to give us trouble as he gets older.
B was pretty chill and took all the kicking from A and didn't seem to care.  Our laid back baby.
As you can see above A took up as much room as possible and didn't really want to stay still for the ultrasound though we got the best shots of him after all.
Lots of flipping going on.  Twin A will be our middle child, and B will be our baby.

All our results came back very good.  The risk of Down Syndrome for both babies is less than 1 in 10,000 so that's awesome.  The risk of Trisomy 18 for A is 1 in about 1,900 and for B is 1 in about 3,000.  All good numbers so that is a relief.

We had a check-up with my regular OB today and heartbeats were 153 for A and 159 for B.  My doctor seems to think that I will be able to get close to my due date if everything stays healthy.  He doesn't think I'll make it all the way there but we're not speculating on getting them out now.  It's just too early.  We will have our detailed anatomy scan in about 5 weeks and then after that we'll probably go in for scans and non-stress tests once a month just to make sure both babies are doing well and growing as they should.  I'm excited to be able to see them more often than we were able to see O.  With her it was our 20 week scan and done.

I have learned A LOT about twins in the last two weeks and I will probably be passing along some of that information on this blog.  For example, fraternal vs. identical, monozygotic vs. dizygotic, etc.  There is a ton for us learn and a ton for us to decide as far as changing how we were planning for another child.  I'll keep you all updated!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Maternity Leave - or lack thereof

According to Working Mother magazine the United States is one of four countries (the others are Liberia, Papua New Guinea and Swaziland) that doesn't have a national standard for paid maternity leave.  Sure there is FMLA and some organizations offer portions of maternity leave paid but that doesn't seem like enough. 

I'm lucky in a way in that with my job I accumulate leave and sick time in hours every pay period.  By the time I get close to my due date I will have close to 14 weeks worth of time built up that I will be able to use to pay for the 12 weeks that I will be off (if not longer).  But if I were working for J's company I would only have 2 weeks of paid vacation that I could use and then be stuck in leave without pay for the remaining 10.  I think that sucks.

Also according to the magazine the countries with the best paid maternity leave are Canada (50 weeks), Japan (58 weeks) and Norway (90 weeks!).

Must be nice.

Monday, August 23, 2010

SB 1070

I know most of you want to read about O and the twins and I promise I will get back to that!  But I have been meaning to do this post for a little over 2 weeks now so I needed to get it out there.

Most of you have heard of Arizona's SB 1070 and how it relates to illegal immigration in the state of Arizona.  I work about a 5 minute walk from the state capitol and the week leading up to the beginning of 1070 was nuts.  There were news vans and satellites, helicopters and protestors all over the place.  I tried to get some pictures so that you could get an idea of what it was like for those of us living through it.  I am not very political and I really try to keep politics off my blog but I am making a little bit of an exception with this post and I will only go so far to say that I was, and am, in support of SB 1070.

This first couple shots were taken as I was leaving my building.  You can kind of see how full the parking lot across the street is and some of the news vans.
Here are some of the protestors, although I think at this point the most controversial parts of 1070 had been halted by the judge on the case so I don't really know what they were protesting.
At one point there were 4 helicopters very close to my building and for those of you who are friends of mine on Facebook may have noticed one of my status updates complaining about how irritating it was.  If you look really closely you can almost see one of the other helicopters along with the one that was over our building (its down toward the lower left of the picture - small black dot). 
These shots are from the top of my parking garage.  It kind of gives you an idea of how close the capitol is.  It is the builing with the copper dome.  I also tried to get some more of the news vans to give an idea of how many were really there.
These rainy ones were just to show more of the news vans and the number of buses that showed up with people to protest.  I think there were 8 of these buses parked along the street.
Luckily our Capitol Police and Department of Public Safety did a really good job of keeping everything contained and under control.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oh, Baby, Baby

The fact of the matter is that John and I started trying for another baby in April. On day thirty-two I got my period. THIRTY-TWO!  Talk about being certain you were pregnant and then being totally disappointed. Looking back now, though, I realize that I knew I wasn't pregnant.  I had been spotting for a few days before I got my full-blown period.  Of course at one point I was also pretty sure I had an ectopic pregnancy but that is a totally different story (I have a tendency to get a little crazy when it comes to getting, and being, pregnant).

Anyway, I didn't really think that it would but when my period was later and later I was hoping that just maybe . . . .

But, no.

It was the first month that I had been off the pill this time around so I wasn't sure how long my natural cycle really was. When we were trying the first time I think it was around 30ish days. Prior to going on the pill I had a very erratic cycle so I've never been what you would call "normal" when it came to that. (Cue the smart ass comments about not being normal anyway, etc. . . .)

With O it took us 3 months to get pregnant. Not long at all though at the time I was very frustrated. I've learned A LOT more about fertility and infertility and having seen the experiences that many of my friends have had I will NEVER complain about it taking three months to get pregnant again.

So we moved on to month of trying number two.  I am one of those women who can feel ovulation (at least I'm pretty sure that's what it is).  It comes at the right time to be ovulation pain so I'm going with that.  Anyway, I feel the pain, we do what we have to do but to be safe I like to throw in a couple extra for good measure to make sure we don't miss anything.  Of course, John's back decides to give him hell at the most inopportune time.  Month two pretty much out the window.

Or so I thought.

Along with being one of the lucky ones who feels ovulation I am also one of those that feels implantation.  I did with Olivia and now I know I felt it this time too.  It feels like menstrual cramps and only lasts about an hour if that.  I got that cramping on Sunday, June 13 (about 10 days past ovulation) and was pretty sure I was pregnant at that point but it was only day 25 and I told myself I was going to wait until the following Monday to take a test because then that would be day 33.

I made it to Thursday.

After I got home from work with O I took the test.  Three minutes later I had a positive result.  Holy crap!

Then began the debate as to how and when to tell John.  I wanted to get a t-shirt for O to wear that said "I'm the Big Sister" and put her in it on Father's Day.  Okay, so I'm all set.

Fast forward to about 5:45 a.m. on Friday (the next day!) and both J and I are awake for some reason.  I choose this time to tell him that I was pregnant.  I wanted to tell him before he took the first part of his C.P.S.M. so that he'd be in a good mood but at the same time I wanted to wait so he wouldn't have other things on his mind.  He reassured me that he was glad I told him and that he wanted to know earlier rather than later.

Later that day I returned 4 bottles of wine that I had gotten at the BevMo 5 cent sale.  So sad, but this would be the only reason to return wine as far as I'm concerned.

So, there you go.  And, oh yeah, it's twins!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Shoot Me Now!

My daughter has discovered movies and she LOVES them.  But if I have to watch this:

(called "b")

or this:

(called "gungle")

one more time I think I may go crazy.