Thursday, April 26, 2018

Twin Preggo Life, 37 Weeks

As this pregnancy draws to a close, it only feels appropriate that yet again I'm blogging in the middle of the night. Mostly my pregnancy insomnia lately had given way to physical exhaustion, so though I wake every 1-3 hours (to pee and roll my bulky self to a different side) I have been able to go back to sleep. Tonight it just wasn't happening - so here I am again - at my computer filling in child passports (in preparation for the twins), creating email addresses for my kids (for their Nexus applications), and now blogging while Diagnosis Murder plays in the background. Considering I can go back to sleep whenever I feel tired, and don't have to get up with kids in the morning, it's really not that bad. Just shifts when I get stuff done. 

I'm 37+4 weeks pregnant (the +4 is for how many days into the week I am). My weight hasn't changed much in the last month or more, but my belly does keep growing (as do the babies!) - it's currently measuring in at 46 weeks pregnant! The skin on my belly is very sensitive now - I can tell it's stretching quite a bit. We got to see the babies on an ultrasound early last week and they are doing great - Baby A (the girl) is 5.5lbs and Baby B (the boy) is 6.3lbs. That's over 11 pounds of baby! Coupled with each of their placentas and sacs (usually each placenta is about 1.5lbs and each sac with fluid is about 1.8lbs), that's about 18 and a half pounds. Dang. I've gained about 30 pounds total, which is fairly shocking - I expected to gain more. My belly certainly feels like it's an extra 30 pounds or so though! Even breathing is getting more and more tiring. It's quite something when simply existing is a workout. 

Belly Shots! Just keeps growing (also, look, friends!)

I'm getting more and more Braxton Hicks Contractions - and as the time progresses they begin to feel more and more like early labour, without actually being early labour. I had some girlfriends over the other day and as I had to stop speaking to breathe through one such contraction, they asked if I was sure I wasn't in denial and was this possibly labour? But nope - they are just strongly preparing my body for labour. I make sure to have a bath each day, it helps with the general soreness as well as helps my body cope with the contractions. I usually ask Paul to get into the tub with me for the water displacement - there is no hope that my belly would actually be fully immersed, but if he gets into the tub also then at least it's 3/4's covered. The babies are soooo active when I'm in the tub! It's like the movie Alien, just before the alien bursts out. 

My doctor checked me last week and I was only half a centimetre dilated - so while my body is definitely gearing up, I'm not where near actual labour. Speaking of which, I don't think everyone hates being checked for dilation, but oh man, I find it painful! I try to "be cool" but it hurts. So that's fun. I keep waiting for the doctors to roll their eyes at me when I squirm and breathe through the pain since we all know labour is going to be a lot worse, but thankfully now that I've given birth twice I feel there is a lot more permission to feel what I feel. People know that I know what's coming, and if I think this hurts, then it must. I like that. 

As of last week's doctor's appointment, we now have a rough plan for the babies arrival dates. In BC once you reach 37 weeks you can schedule an induction at any point - my doctor asked when I would like to plan for that. I wasn't quite sure how to pick a date to start being induced. I knew I'd like them to steep as long as possible, so getting close to 38 weeks has been a real goal of mine - but I also know I don't want to go to far into 38 weeks where the risks can increase, and honestly, I don't know how much longer my body can keep this up. So I decided to wait until 38 weeks to be induced. That gives the babies the best possible chance; 38 weeks is considered full term for twin pregnancies. With Avelynn I went almost 2 weeks overdue, with Bailey 1 week overdue. So it seems wise to wait until "term" with these guys. Plus my doctor is out of town this week and I'd rather she be around, just in case. There are also two birthdays this weekend that I'd love to go to (a gymnastics party that I think will be ADORABLE to watch my girls at, and then one of my best friends is having a dinner party for her bday and I can't imagine a better last dinner without newborns, than with a group of my friends for someone I love dearly: win-win-win). You add this all up and it made sense to schedule the first cervadil induction for April 30th, 38+1 weeks pregnant. I do have a secret hope that after my friend's bday dinner on the 29th that I might naturally go into labour and not end up needing to be induced at all, so if you're a praying person, that's my best case scenario. Timing wise that works well for my labour support team, and for our family. Plus our Wedding Anniversary is on May 1st (I'd be 38+2 weeks then) and I'd love for the babies to NOT come that day. For this week I get monitored regularly so that we make sure everything is on track to wait until 38 weeks.

At my non-stress-test to monitor the babes, 37.2 weeks. The coolest part was meeting the nurse who was the reason I got to deliver Avie after 72 hours of labour (rather than bumped again to the following day, which would have made my labour another 12-24 hours longer!). Finally got to give her a big hug and thank her! Yay for Debi!

My mother in law is driving up from Portland this weekend - we'll get to spend some time with her before the babies come, which is always nice. With Bailey she got here Friday afternoon, we all went out for Paul's bday dinner, I was in early labour but still really enjoyed the time, and then she was there for Avie care all day Saturday while my labour started in earnest. I had Bailey early Sunday morning. So this will be a similar timeline, though hoping to have the twins early Monday morning. I'm so thankful for family that can come help! Nancy is amazing and I feel so safe leaving the kids with her - not only will they be well taken care of, but they will have a blast too. Nancy is great at weaving magic into daily life. 

Most things around the house are ready. We've been able to spend this week focusing on the extra's that didn't have to get done - Paul got out our outdoor furniture and cleaned it all up after the winter. It's so bright and sunny here this week, it's been a real gift to sit outside in my comfy outdoor chair and watch the kids play in the sandbox, or have friends over to visit out there. 

Fun in our backyard - and testing out the bottom of the new quad stroller

My big task (which took forever since I could only work in half hour to hour spurts before my body would get too tired) was to upgrade the bassinet we were given when Bailey was born. It was 100% functional but really not my style and through lots of use (the people before us and then us too), it was a bit dirty. I wanted to see if I could revamp it a bit. First I cut off all the ruffles and that was an immediate help. I should have done that a year and a half ago with Bailey - huge difference. Next, I dug around my sewing supply and found leftover material from making pillows for Avie & Bailey's room when I was 9 months pregnant with Bailey. There was exactly the right amount of material for this job! So this was free and helped used up material. Here are before and afters. I could hardly be happier with how it turned out! The colours match our bedroom (which is where the bassinet will be) and it's a much sleeker look than before. 

We also got the car seats set up! We're still not sure the best system. We have a Toyota Sienna Van, and we need to have 4 car seats, plus space to carry stuff (strollers, etc). For now, we have put the two older girls in the very back row (with the same car seats) and then the twins are in the middle captains seats in their infant car seats with bases. We have installed the car seats with the third seat down in the back, so that we have extra storage for Costco Trips, strollers, etc. But before we know if this will work long term, we'll need to go get the car seats tested to make sure they are secure enough. It's always harder than it feels like it should be! If we need to though, we can raise the back seat up, and for sure the seats would be secure that way, and it would give us one seat to use for an adult back there. 

We're still not 100% sure on our boy's name. We have the girl's name sorted (first and two middles) which was super easy. We both liked the same name right away and it lined up with our naming convention. We already have A (Avelynn) and B (Bailey). I know I always get confused by bigger families and which kid is named what. So we decided to go all alphabetical for ours. Our girl's name starts with a C, so we have been looking for either a C or D name for our boy. We've narrowed it down to one of each, with the middle names already sorted either way. The C name is unique but known, and across the board, people like it when we say it. The D name is a family name from my Grandpa's side and no one has ever heard of it - I grew up with it so I'm familiar with it. People are split 50/50 on it. Half of them love it, and the other half really don't. In fact, when we tell people are C name, you can tell that they like the name AND are super stoked that maybe that means we won't use the D name. That's hard for the people pleaser in me. Everyone has loved our girl's names so much, that it's hard for me to go for a split for our guy. I keep hoping it will somehow be made clear what name to pick - a sign from heaven maybe, a random coincidence, a gut feeling. But so far I'm pretty torn and can't narrow it down. Paul likes the C name slightly more but is happy with either. Avie can say both of them decently and hasn't figured out how to offer suggestions - if you ask her which we should pick she always just chooses the last one we mentioned. Unhelpful. 

I have another non-stress test this week, to make sure all is well by the end of the week. In the meantime we continue to wait and live this current normal - I rest, engage with the kids from a seated position and catch up on little bits of work, and Paul runs the house and does most of the parenting. He takes the kids out to play gyms most weekday mornings to run off steam. Later today we have a sitter and we're having a date to celebrate our 8 year anniversary (May 1st) before the babies arrive. We're hitting up Spa Utopia downtown, which means massages, followed by a visit to the rooftop hot tub and pool. It's supposed to be 24 degrees this afternoon! This is one of our favourite date options because it's mostly covered by extended health (Paul loves cheap or free things) but it feels so luxurious (which I love). It's where our two loves combine. We'll go out for dinner downtown afterwards (I'm hoping I can convince him to hit up Coast for Happy Hour, they have THE BEST calamari) and then head home to relieve the sitter and maybe watch a movie together. Anniversaries change a fair bit the more kids you have, so I'm thankful for these moments together to just be 'Paul and Tara'. 

Hanging out on my spot on the couch - and meeting a friends new baby!

I feel like this is probably my last pregnancy update. So I should probably add that the babies move SO MUCH. I want to remember these feelings forever. It's crazy to see how much more movement there is in a twins pregnancy, than a singleton. These two are so active! I've said it before, but I'm sure it's more than double the movement. They must egg each other on. I love it though. I will miss this secret relationship between them and me. I am also amused by them. They are both head down, so when I have a Braxton Hicks Contraction my belly hardens and changes shape to create an oval shape and there are two big bumps that are visible. Their bums. I love that they kind of moon me with each contraction. I pat their bums a lot - and I noticed that when Bailey was a newborn this soothed her more than anything - I wonder if there is a correlation between in utero bum pats and newborn bum pats?

And on that note, I'm beginning to yawn. That's a great sign. I think I'll add photos to this tomorrow, and catch some sleep now! Stay tuned - it won't be that long until we get to announce their arrival!
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