Tag Archives: second trimester

Consult with the R.D.

Since I got the ‘ol GD diagnosis last Wednesday, I went crazy Googling and reaching out to women who had GD during pregnancy. And then I went a little crazy overhauling my diet….majorly cutting back on carbs and eating a lot more salads instead of sandwiches. The result: I have been hungry all week. Which I KNOW is not good for the babies, who need to grow big and strong!!!

Fortunately, what I was missing was some advice from an actual expert. I met with my clinic’s R.D. yesterday morning. I learned that I am seriously borderline…she was almost surprised my clinic sent me to her. But the rules about GD are becoming more stringent, and my clinic is dutifully applying their latest rules to people like me. (Women typically have to fail two of the blood draws to be diagnosed with GD, I failed one by less than 10 points…and I passed the fasting blood draw no problem…my OB and R.D. said that means I wouldn’t have been flagged had I done a traditional screening test that most clinics use.)

All of that said, I remain really grateful that my clinic is taking my results seriously. As bothersome as it might be to have to count carbs and stuff, I’d rather be safe than sorry. And who knows, once I begin my weekly blood draws (fasting level then breakfast at the doctor’s office, then another draw one hour later to see how my bod is dealing with glucose), maybe I’ll be failing left and right and we’ll all say SEEEEEE, the new rules are there for a reason!! But I’m hoping I can pass a few tests because then my clinic will just let me follow my new diet and go on my merry little non-blood draw way. 🙂

So here’s the gist….

  • Carbs are NOT out, in fact, I should eat them at every meal and snack. But I need to count them and not exceed 175–200g in a day.
  • I need to always eat protein with my carbs. So, instead of a plain apple, an apple with peanut butter smeared on it. Instead of a half a cupcake (yes! they are allowed!), a half a cupcake with a handful of nuts. Instead of my usual Cheerios for breakfast, a whole grain English muffin with an over-easy egg.
  • I need to eat every 2–3.5 hours even if I’m not hungry.
  • Exercise helps insulin do its job better (breaking down glucose so the body can use it efficiently). I’m adding back my morning calisthenics and weight lifting sessions in front of the Today Show, which I’d become soooo lazy on. It feels good! 🙂 And I’ll continue my weekend swims and EZ ellips sessions + upper body weight lifting.

That’s about it. We also talked about my uber-low iron levels, which haven’t improved since they came in so low at week 9—depsite the fact that I went on a daily iron supp and eat plenty of animal protein and leafy greens. My Mom and little sister have always had low-iron but I’m not sure about what my levels were like pre-pregnancy. Obviously, it’s nothing so bad that I was anemic or fatigued—I mean, I used to do marathons and half-ironman triathlons so I had the energy to train at a pretty intense level! The R.D. said iron levels are genetic and that even though my levels are “low,” they are clearly fine for my body. And the only I thing I care about—the health of the babies—is not in question: They get what they need from me. But, we’re splitting up when I take my supps to see if that makes a diff in how my bod absorbs it (iron and colace in the a.m., calcium + vitamin D, prenatie Rx and colace in the p.m.

I realize that I’m not having to do daily blood tests and insulin injections (and I really really really hope I don’t have to down the road!), but I want to put it out there that this is not the worst thing in the world. It was pretty cool to meet with a dietician who specializes in pregnancy. I got all sorts of cool info on calorie requirements for twinsie Moms and basic pregnancy nutrition advice. It’s stuff I wouldn’t have learned were it not for GD. Thanks, GD!

So, first blood draw on Monday. And that’s also the big monthly growth scan day. And I get to see Dr. Zen! (I’ve only met with her at 9 weeks and after the anatomy scan and I miss her.) For those who are counting, I am 27w5d. Inching toward the big 3T…please let everything continue to go smoothly and let our babies be perfect and healthy. Grow, sweet little babies, grow! I love you so much, I would do anything for you!

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Lucky babies, lucky me

Oh my gosh, you guys, I had the best weekend. Hubs and I went home for a shower with my Mom’s best girlfriends. My older brother’s wife flew in from Boston for the party. (My bro was supposed to be there, too, but he got stuck at work. Poor guy, we missed him so much.) My little sister and little bro were there. My Dad was there. Our family nanny who began caring for my sibs and me when I was 9 years old was there. I felt so loved and supported by my family and our family friends. I feel grateful every single day to be where I am. Thank you SO much Dr. Awesome, and thank you lord, for bringing us to this point….we are so very very very lucky and we love these babies so much that it makes my heart practically burst!

The twinsies got a ton of awesome loot—lots of blankets and binkies and onesies…and even a few things off our registries, too! 🙂 And even though I am soooooooooo sooooooo (to the millionth degree) awkward in situations where I have to open presents on-the-spot or be the center of attention, I just repeated to myself that I was doing it on BEHALF of the babies. It was all about them!! It helped that my sister and SIL sat on either side of me on the couch, making me feel a tiny bit less in the spotlight.

My Mom is seriously Martha Stewart….all of the details she thought of were so special and beautiful and perfect. The invitations had little nests with two eggs inside with “boy” and “girl” written on the eggs. I loved them. LOVED them. And here are some pics from the actual shower/brunch!!

My Mom had my Dad tie the blue and pink bows onto the front gates of the house. She insisted that he tie the blue one on the left and the pink one on the right, because that’s where Baby A and Baby B are attached.

Everything was blue and pink! For example, vases holding pink roses with blue ribbons tied around them. There was a tiered serving platter holding cupcakes with pink frosting and blueberry muffins. There was awesome food, too—the same menu from our day-after-our-wedding brunch (croissants with sugar-coated strips of bacon inside, fresh yogurt with homemade granola and berries, frittata with a chipotle sauce on the side), plus lots of extra sweets.

Even the crystal pitchers holding sparkling water had a little Baby A and Baby B shout out inside—blueberries and raspberries.

My SIL packed a giant suitcase filled with favor-making materials, which she, my little sister and I all put together at about 11pm the night before: little nests with blue and pink confetti, blue egg-shaped soaps and pink lotion.

Did you make it this far? Then here’s a an unexpected sight for you (haha): my first-ever belly pic. That’s me after the shower, ready to take a seat (and a nap). 🙂 Grow, sweet little babies, grow!!!

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25-ish weeks

According to my IUI date, which was a Friday, I am 24 weeks and 6 days pregnant. But after my first OB appt placed the babies a few days ahead (size-wise), I have sorta gotten into the habit of counting Tuesday as the day the week changes. It’s like a half-birthday…and then every Friday is the REAL birthday. Confusing I know. But the upshot is that I am almost 25 weeks.

Yesterday was my first growth scan. Since I feel the babies moving every day—some days a lot more than others, and never the crazy activity I read about in some blogs, but definite movement that I can see thru my tummy at times!—I did not totally freak out before this appointment. (Thank you, babies!! Keep moving as much as you want! I love it and find it IMMENSELY comforting!!!) But I admit that AplusB’s recent L&D scare had me scribbling down pre-term labor-ish Qs for Dr. Zen’s partner.

The babies are looking good! Baby A (the boy) is at 1 pound 10 ounces and Baby B (the girl) is at 1 pound and 11 ounces. She has had a little growth spurt to move ahead of her brother—I think she’s loving the recipes we’ve been cooking up from the Julia Child’s cookbook hubs got me for Christmas. 🙂 Speaking of delicious food, I gained one pound in 2.5 weeks (which was kinda nice after gaining 5 pounds in 2 weeks at my last appointment—it had to be 90% egg nog!!). I’m at 20 pounds so far. Keeping growing big and strong and healthy sweet little babies!!!!!

I asked the OB what the heck contractions feel like and do I need to be worried about pre-term labor. So, basically, as I understand it, innocuous Braxton Hicks contractions just feel like your tum is tensing and then releasing. She said I’ve probably experienced them a fair amount by now. Ummm, not sure, should I know for sure? I do get a tensed-tummy feeling after sex (sorry for TMI), which sounds like BH, but I don’t ***think*** I’ve gotten them any other time. I don’t know, I’ll keep an eye out. She said the contrax they worry about at this point occur more than four times in an hour and usually feel like menstrual cramps. I have not felt any of those and am hoping and praying that I will continue to steer clear of them.

We talked about the fFN test, which some clinics seem to give to twin patients starting about now (according to my blog reading): basically this test measures a protein that can signal or not signal that labor may or may not be happening in the next 2 weeks. My chillaxed clinic doesn’t use the fFN. Like, ever, even if you have weird pre-term laborish symptoms. Ditto for bedrest, except in super-extreme cases—they just don’t believe it stops pre-term labor. And I can continue my swims and ellip sessions as long as I feel up to it. My clinic = so mellow! It’s good for me. (You know, zen zen zen zen.)

A word on the exercise. I don’t know if it’s because I got SO SPOILED over the holidays with sleeping-in and daily naps or what, but now that I’m back at work and back to reality (blah! work!), I’m feeling more zonked than ever and am not really “working out” except on weekend days. (I did manage to do some light weight-lifting/calisthenics in front of the Today Show before work this morning. Ha!)

Other stuff: I get breathless walking up a flight of stairs. I make little grunts when I pull on my undies thanks to my big belly (and I love that belly!). I’ve strained my groin muscle from chronically swinging my legs and belly over my Snoogle at least three times a night when I wake up to pee and contemplate the state of the world/my job/work deadlines/the babies/etc. My constie-ness is back (though not nearly as severe as it was at the beginning). I come home from work and just chill on my bed until it’s time to make dinner (or to watch hubs make it).

I say all of this so that it’s clear that I’m definitely not running around like the Energizer Bunny or anything. But, all of that said, I feel pretty freaking great (and, of course, so lucky to be where I am right now) and I sorta keep waiting for the other shoe to drop…..if that makes any sense.

At the end of the appointment, the doctor said, “Things can change quickly, so keep us posted if you have any concerns. But, it’s okay to feel good!

So I’m just going to ride this honeymoon period as long as it lasts. 🙂

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Whirlwind

NYC was a wonderful distraction. We had a WHIRLWIND weekend—there is no other way to describe it—of seeing family and friends and eating amazing food and going to holiday parties and laughing til our stomachs hurt. 🙂 Some of my college girlfriends even got together and threw me a mini baby shower. They are awesome girls, I felt so loved and supported. And Baby A and Baby B received their first gender-specific onesies!!! Plus lots and lots of books (I have smart girlfriends, haha).

I think it was the very first wedding where I was stone cold sober (obviously) and I must say that was really fun! Wedding cake tastes extra, extra delicious when you can reallllllly taste it. The wedding was a college friend’s who is older than hubs and me, so most of the guests were friends who were a couple of years ahead of us at school…..there were lots of pregnant ladies and EVERY SINGLE COUPLE at our table had little kids at home. I felt so so so so so so lucky that we are where we are—22 weeks today and feeling so blessed and happy and in love with our twinsies—otherwise it could’ve been a really tough evening of hearing about pregnancy and babies. We were seated next to college friends who had twin boys two years ago. She had a realllllllly tough pregnancy and it definitely made me count my lucky stars that we have gotten so far with me feeling good (knock on wood). It was also helpful to talk to her about gear, etc.

I powered through until the after-party at 12:30am, when I finally had to get the heck out of dodge. Hubs walked me most of the way home through the drizzly cold night, and then I INSISTED that he let me finish the walk alone so he could go back and catch the end of the party with our friends. I had changed into my flats, but darnit if I still didn’t SPRAIN MY ANKLE and fall to the ground about a block after leaving hubs. Fortunately I landed on my side and the only casualties were my glasses (which were crushed on impact because they weren’t in a case because I slipped them into my tiny clutch), my knee, my elbow and, sadly, my ankle—which is swollen and blue. I was so terrified I’d hurt the babies that I didn’t even feel the aches and pains as I hobbled the last block home. Luckily, I felt a few gentle baby bumps as I settled into bed and my tum wasn’t involved in the fall. But still…..scary.

The only downside of the weekend was that we got stuck overnight  on Sunday thanks to the snow storm that swept through Chicago while we were away. But the major upside was that we got to spend even more time with family and friends and since we were staying on the fold-out couch at hubs’s brother’s apartment, we didn’t have to shell out for a hotel room or anything.

But, it is SO GOOD to be home. Where I can get up 5x a night without worrying about waking up hubs’s brother and wife. Where a cat is not pouncing on the bed (apparently I am NOT USED to cats during the night!) and freaking me out. Where our shower has amazing water pressure. Where we have a (new) humidifier in the bedroom to help with my chronic congestion. Ahhhhhhhhh, home sweet home. 🙂

Tomorrow is our big Level II ultrasound with the MFM. I am feeling somewhat anxious about this appointment (shocker, no?)…..mostly because I feel like every time you go under the microscope, so to speak, they can’t help but find something wrong. There really has to be something to the “ignorance is bliss” saying, you know? But I’m trying to see the upside and be “zen zen zen zen” about it all….that we get another opportunity to see our babies. That we get to meet an MFM and have her look EVERYTHING over (with me and the babies). Etc etc.

The truth is that I would really rather not do this. The anatomy scan ultrasound is long, uncomfortable and incredibly stressful. (They will be looking at both babies again, and even more intensely than last week.) But it must be done! C’mon babies, I know you are healthy and perfect. We love you so very very very much!!!! Zen zen zen zen.

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Let’s do that again next week, shall we?

After tossing and turning all night and finally getting up for good by 5am because I couldn’t sleep, I am happy to report that I survived the anatomy scan! Yip! Everything is okay. I repeat, everything is okay. But we have to repeat the scan, this time at level 2, with an Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist (MFM) next Wednesday, because of a little spot on Baby B’s heart. I will explain more about that in a sec, but first, I am pleading with you to please please please NOT write comments like “Oh no!” and “I hope everything is okay.” Yes, I know I am putting this out there and any of you can say what she wants, but….please? I need positivity and reassurance right now sweet bloggies. The truth is that I am too weak and fragile to read worry in your words. Thank you in advance.

*****

So now for the drumroll news, the gender(s)……..

Baby A is a BOY!!!!!

And…………

Baby B is a GIRL!!!!!

We are so so so so lucky and blessed to be growing these sweet, beautiful, happy babies. 🙂 We love them so, so, so VERY much. I have said it before but the honest to goodness truth is we would be thrilled no matter what their genders. But it is SO FUN that we have one of each and now we can finally think about names and clothes and nursery decor. Yip yip yip!!!!!!!!!

The ultrasound took about 90 minutes-ish. The tech was very nice, but also very unemotional/poker faced, but she told us everything was checking out great. It was easy to see them moving around and being adorable and measuring ahead of sked at 21w6d when I am technically, based on IUI date, 20w4d. And they are both 13 ounces.

Our little boy’s placenta is posterior (on the back), while our little girl’s is anterior (in the front), which helps explain why I’m only getting gentle bumpity bumps at this point. (A placenta in the front can buffer the kicks and make them more difficult to feel.) The tech said now that I’m feeling things at night, it should really begin to pick up.

*****

So everything finished up fine and then we met with Dr. Zen for my 20-week check-up. I ask all of my Qs, she’s being great and Dr. Zen-ish, everything is going great, I’m practically floating off the exam table and my cheeks are flushed with with INTENSE relief and joy and am thinking, Okay, time to put on my coat and for us to call our parents with the news that we passed the anatomy scan! But then Dr. Zen says she has some results from the scan that she wishes she didn’t have to even mention, but she is required to tell us about by “standard of care” laws.

Baby B had a tiny calcification on the left ventricle of her heart, in technical terms it’s called an “echogenic intracardiac foci.” It is not effecting her heart’s functioning in any way. But back in the 90s, before they had developed the NT Scan and Quad tests to screen for chromosomal abnormalities, this was deemed one of a series of “soft markers” for down’s syndrome. Now, because we passed both the NT Scan and Quad Screen with a totally low risk of down’s, and because we are young and healthy, and especially because there are NO OTHER soft markers evident, the liklihood that Baby B isn’t 100% healthy is very very very slim.

But it’s the law that Dr. Zen has to tell us (so we can’t sue the clinic later or something) and the protocol is to send me to the MFM, who will repeat Baby B’s scan next Wednesday with even more intense measurements and special concentration on her heart and other soft marker areas…and then (hopefully) tell me the same thing….that Baby B is fine, but she has a harmless calcification. (I don’t suppose anyone has been through this and can comment or email me with their experience, by any chance?) We can also opt for an amnio if we want one. But we are really leaning away from it, due to the (admittedly very small) risk to the baby (which is increased in twins).

Baby B was SO active and sweet during the ultrasound. She stretched her legs all the way up to her head and grabbed her toes at one point, like she was getting limber for a run. 🙂 I believe in my heart of hearts that she is perfect and healthy, just like her more chill brother!

This did slightly take the wind out of my sails….I admit that I teared up at Dr. Zen’s merest mention that there was something to discuss and found my heart racing and I’ve had it in the back of my head all day long, as hubs and I trekked out to Ikea to start thinking about the nursery. Dr. Zen was incredibly calm, reassuring and understanding. And thank the lord that hubs was in the room to hear everything in his usual objective, calm manner, as well. As for me, you guys know I am anxious and freak-out–prone and I am trying my very best to be Zen.

We go to NYC for a wedding this weekend so that will help pass the time until this next ultrasound…..please let everything be okay with our sweet Baby B.

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A quick laugh…

Hi bloggies. Even if you’re not having twins or are still in the IF trenches, this video is realllllly funny and I think most of you will relate. One of my coworkers who is a Mom of multiples (I have two coworkers with twinsies, three-year-olds and seven-year-olds!!) emailed it to me today and I found myself nodding and laughing over and over. It is insane, I repeat, INSANE, what people will ask you!

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Maybe?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!

We visited my family over the holiday weekend. My older brother and his wife couldn’t be there because of work, but it was great to see my parents and little brother and sister. Hubs and I split the holidays between our fams, alternating who we visit at Christmas and Thanksgiving every year. I know my Mom is reallllllllllllllllllllllllllllllly sad we won’t be flying home for Christmas….and that manifests itself as intense guilt in me. But beyond little comments here and there bemoaning missing us already at Christmas, we had a wonderful weekend.

Early on Thanksgiving morning, I braved a 16-degree, windy morning for a 5K Turkey Trot with my Dad, sister, brother and hubs. I shuffled the entire thing! Usually I’m out in front of my family, but this year I was the caboose. 🙂 Totally fine by me, I was happy in my snail slow pace. It has been getting uncomfortable to jog/shuffle….I think I am just getting too large. So that was probably my last “run.” From now on, it’s going to be swims, yoga and maybe the ellip and light weights. All of it super EZ, of course. A tiny dose of exercise a few times a week keeps me sane!

After the Trot we began cooking the Thanksgiving meal. Fun fun fun!!! (Even though I totally ruined my dish—what should’ve been a delish sweet potato hash—by over-salting it. I would’ve been cut in a second if it was an ep of Top Chef. So JV!) Later that afternoon I relaxed for a loooong time on the couch to watch football with my sibs and hubs. A couple of times, I thought I felt a very very gentle “bump” in my lower left stomach region. Not bubbles or flutters or tickling or kicking, but a so-subtle-I-could’ve-imagined-it bump. It made me so happy! I willed it to happen again and again. Since then, I THINK I’ve felt it a couple of times….usually on my lower left but also right by my belly button.

I have no idea where the babies are located in my tum, but I sooooooo hope this is them, beginning to make themselves known. It’s not kicking or crazy movement or anything close….it’s MAYBE MAYBE MAYBE something.

I also realized that I’m never sitting for an extended amount of time or laying around unless it’s bedtime. At work, I’m “officially” at a desk-job, but the reality is that I’m on my feet walking somewhere and doing something away from my desk every few minutes. And then I come home and cook or clean or whatev….I finally relax after dinner in front of the TV…and my then I’m so tired that I usually scoot into bed and promptly fall asleep within a few minutes.

SO. The point is….it’s hard to find long spells of quiet where I can replicate my lazy Thanksgiving afternoon during which the babies MAYBE moved. Or maybe I didn’t really feel them move. It could very well be that I want this so badly that I’m imagining things. But I would really really really love to feel more of it. 🙂 It would so help soothe my anxiety!

ANYWAY! Tomorrow will be 20 weeks. And it’s T-minus seven days until our big anatomy scan. I am thankful for so so so so much this year, but mostly these babies, who hubs and I cannot wait to share our lives with. We love them so very very very much. And I pray and hope with everything in me that these babies are growing and healthy and strong and that everything is okay.

I will leave you with our first purchase for them. We saw these Dr. Seuss jammies discounted on the baby-deals site Zulily.com earlier this month and couldn’t resist. 🙂

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