Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Our Pregnancy: 23 Weeks!

Another week has arrived!! I can't keep up! :) The days are flying by so fast now. We had a WONDERFUL weekend with Kenneth home, he got in very late on the 23rd (we got home at midnight) and we spent the 24th and 25th enjoying good food, lots of down time and catching up on a few errands and some shopping. On Saturday we met with Kenneth's grandmother for dinner at Ted's Montana Grill and I had a HUGE bison burger topped with lots of yummy things including a fried egg which I realize sounds VERY weird and gross to many, but it brings back very fond memories of the burgers we used to get at Ali Baba's in Dakar, Senegal when we were teenagers in High School. They were the BEST burgers! The rolls were a sweet bread and the tops of the buns were hallowed out and stuffed with tiny french fries, then the burger with lettuce and tomato and a fried egg and of course ketchup... drool...

Overall I'm still feeling pretty good - having a lot of trouble sleeping lately which stinks. I slept GREAT while Kenneth was home for what felt like the first time in forever, but am right back to waking up for an hour plus most nights for no reason now. This morning I woke up at I think 2:30 and laid in bed for almost 3 hours before I gave up, got up and had an early breakfast and played on the computer for a little while before getting ready for work. I am wiped out already! The feet and ankle swelling is about the same on the days I work - the days I was home on Thanksgiving break I didn't have much swelling at all though which was nice.

The babies are being pretty active lately - I've been feeling lots of thumps and bumps down low - like they're tap dancing on my cervix! I am going to have to do some headstands or something so they leave it alone and go play somewhere else!! No bothering the cervix yet baby girls!! That comes much, much later (like in 15 more weeks!!) :D

We have the PBO hearing this Friday! I can't believe it's already time for that and think the attorney's office is pretty awesome for getting it moved through so quickly - I guess with twins you don't want to wait any longer than absolutely necessary!

So, according to BabyCenter this week:

How Jenn and Chad's babies are growing:

Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that she's more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see her squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby's increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze her when she hears them outside the womb.

Our foster puppy is going to be heading out on transport this weekend, then Saturday will be busy with Kent's SAT test and my company party in the evening and hopefully Sunday will be taking it easy. Kenneth is considering making the drive on Friday PM/Saturday AM just for the party and would then leave on Sunday. I so want him to be there but know that's a LOT of driving for just an evening event! We'll see how his week goes. We're still waiting to hear a definitive timeline for his deployment and whether or not we'll have him home for Christmas - fingers are staying crossed! :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

22 Week Belly!

Thank goodness we have internet again at home! Yippee!

Here are the belly pics from yesterday at exactly 22 weeks.


22w1d OB Appt

Today was our 22 week OB appointment! Jenn and I arrived at the same time and she noticed the belly growth since the last couple weeks too - so it's not entirely just my imagination! :)

We met with one of the midwives. The appointment itself was kind of "ehh" (as in I didn't particularly "like" the person we saw today) but we are now scheduled for the Glucose Tolerance Test in 4 weeks (oh the JOY!!) and I did get my belly measured for the first time and was told I'm measuring 31 weeks today (I had gotten 33 centimeters when I tried to check at home last night - so I was close!) We go to bi-weekly appointments after this next one as we will be into the THIRD TRIMESTER at that point!! Holy moly!!

I did mention I've been having some shortness of breath, some light headed moments with my vision feeling a little fuzzy (not regularly but occasionally), along with the ankle and feet swelling now and some rapid weight gain this past month. None of that seemed to concern her at all since my blood pressure was good and overall everything else is normal - sounds like some of those things that I normally wouldn't feel until the last month or so of pregnancy are just going to be starting a lot sooner this time, which I figured they would I just wanted reassurance those things weren't a signal of anything wrong or things I should be paying super close attention to. She encouraged a high protein diet with very limited sugars/carbs (ie diabetic diet) to make sure babies and I are getting the nutrients we need as we all grow!

Sounds like next appointment will be relatively "boring" - just a quick check in after lab work for the GTT - I have to drink the glucose drink about 30 minutes prior to the appointment. It just so happens Kenneth will be home that day and I'm very thankful - he'll be able to drive me to and from as I know I'm going to be feeling really lousy after drinking the glucose solution. It does a number on my system since I've had gastric bypass. Hopefully I will pass with flying colors and it will all be well worth the discomfort of the day! I will just need to have LOTS of water to drink afterwards to flush my system and will probably need to sleep it off. It's going to be a busy couple days with appointments for me and Kenneth - I'm taking the 19th - 21st off to be home while he's home, but we'll have my OB appointment on Monday then his VA evaluation for his back claim with them at some point that same day and an afternoon appointment for his 6-month post op follow up with his spinal surgeon the next day! I know there will be a get together with his family who's local too either Saturday or Sunday for early birthday and Christmas celebration.

It's now about 2:30 in the afternoon and I will get to head home soon - a couple errands and then go home and get a few things tidied up to get ready for Kenneth getting home late tonight! Yay!! :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our Pregnancy: 22 Weeks!

This past week has been a total BLUR!! I can't believe we're already at our next week of the pregnancy, but I am THRILLED to be here! One more week 'til the first viability milestone which will be great to be past! Many more great milestones to come! :)
 This week according to BabyCenter:
How Jenn and Chad's babies are growing:

At 11 inches (the length of a spaghetti squash) and almost 1 pound, your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. If you could see inside your womb, you'd be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers his body and the deep wrinkles on his skin, which he'll sport until he adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside his belly, his pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily.

I am tired again. I think several things are changing for me physically as the pregnancy progresses, and I am going to be feeling a little more discomfort as the days go by. I have started noticing foot and ankle swelling several evenings over the past week and am making an effort to up my fluid intake and I usually spend time on the couch in the evenings anyway, but am trying to prop my feet up now when I do to help the fluid drain. I really feel huge! I think I look almost full term already and know we have a long way to go - but with the weight gain and size of my belly I think I am going to start feeling a lot of those "full term" things now - like the fatigue and water retention and probably hip/back pain. I just hope my body holds up well to all the changes and adjustments and keeps these two sweet baby girls happily baking for many more months!!

Kenneth gets home TOMORROW evening!! I cannot wait for the phone call that they're on their way and then to see him again and have him home. I know he will be glad to be home for a couple days too and see Kent and the puppies too. We're trying to keep the "to-do" list at a minimum so hopefully not too many errands to run or tasks to complete while he's home so he can just relax and enjoy the time off. I know he's been working such long days lately and will be glad for a break.

I already got the oil changed this past week and am going to try to get the emissions testing done on my way home (our tag renewals are all due with Kenneth's birthday in late December!) so the only car thing he wants to get done will be a radiator and transmission fluid flush on the Focus and maybe if he feels like it he can spend some time getting grimy in the basement working on his Bronco and I know he wants to get the Ducati's battery replaced. Those are all somewhat "fun" for him, being vehicle related though, so hopefully it won't feel like too much of a chore list! :)

I ordered most of the Christmas/birthday gifts needed for December and am waiting for them to start arriving - hopefully Kenneth's gifts get here by tomorrow so I can hide them before he sees the packaging or he'll know what he's getting from me!! I am excited to get the tree up and start wrapping everything as it comes in. I feel like I'm on a deadline all the time with everything lately. I've noticed I don't want to put ANYTHING off if possible and try to get it done sooner rather than later for the "just in case"! You just never know how long things will continue smoothly with a twin pregnancy and there's no reason to think things won't continue to go like they have, which has been perfect, but I think I have it in the back of my mind to not get complacent and do whatever I can now and be as prepared as possible!

Next weekend is Kent's SAT testing and our company Holiday party - I cannot believe it really is almost December!! I love the Christmas season and can't wait to start playing Christmas music again! :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy 13th Birthday to My Baby!!

Kent turns 13 on November 23rd but his party was today and I just can't quite wrap my head around the fact that my little bitty is a TEENAGER now... I want to cry!! Where have the years gone??! Having spent much of the past couple weeks looking through old photos definitely contributes to my general feeling of "wahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!" Seeing all those pictures of him over the years, the little grin on his face, sharing so many great moments together, making so many memories. My heart is SO full. I love my son with all my heart and though life is crazy and unexpected and I certainly never planned to become a mother at only 17 while still in high school I do thank God, from the bottom of my heart, every day for the family I am blessed with because of those series of events. I know I would not have my husband and of course this child if things hadn't worked out the way they had. Being a teen mom was HARD and I know how lucky we have been to be so supported by our families, they allowed us to find our way together throughout those first couple rough years and I am so thankful for that - but most of all I am so thankful that we made it through and I have the man I love from the top of my head to the tips of my toes and the child that can make me cry and laugh and has taught me to love on a whole new level. Being a mom is everything to me. I love being a mother - I've always wanted to be a mom, ever since I was little and used to play "deliver" my stuffed animals while my brother was the doctor. Being a mom can be the most challenging and frustrating thing in the world, he can disappoint and hurt me like no one else, but most of the time I feel so honored that I was chosen to be him mom. That I get to watch him grow, watch him develop into the person he has become, see his uniqueness, his kindness, his intelligence, his curiosity, his creativity - see him just as he is. What an amazing thing to witness - the development and growth of a person who is a piece of you, a piece of you and the person you love. I still get hugs and "I love you's" and cuddles every now and then and those I treasure the most of all - and I will continue to soak them up as long as they last!

So happy birthday to my boy, welcome to the teenage years - I pray we both make it through in one piece!! :D

Friday, November 18, 2011

21 Week Belly Pictures

After my internet being out at home for nearly two days it finally came on again last night so here they are! Me and the girls at 21 weeks on Tuesday November 15th!

I'm up in the middle of the night this morning with my brain running a million miles an hour and hungry for a bowl of cereal. I have been sleeping fairly well most nights so this is annoying to say the least, but at least it is Friday. I've had a long "to-do" list all week that I've been chipping away at a little bit each day. Normally I like to save errands for the weekends, but there was way too much to do this week and a lot of it was to get ready for this weekend and Kent's party on Saturday! He has his first sleepover so he gets to clean his bedroom and bathroom really good this evening which I'm sure he'll be thrilled about!

I felt like I had the worst day on Wednesday. I'd dropped my car off on Monday morning for repair work to the bumper after being rear ended a month ago, and got the call it was ready for pick up Wednesday. On the way home it felt like it was dying all the way - like it almost stalled out constantly and the engine light was flickering off and on. I was stressing out the whole way home and trying to figure out what to do. I couldn't even begin to guess how maybe something the body shop did could have caused that and figured I'd have to take it to my repair shop the next morning. I was tired and cranky by the time I got home and just irritable most of the evening (especially after I realized I'd left my garage door opener in the rental car and would have to drive the 30 minutes in the wrong direction away from my house AGAIN the next day to pick it back up) and feeling sorry for myself for having to deal with everything for Kent's party, the house and now car issues by myself. I vented to Kenneth a little when he called - I know he feels bad when things happen and he's not here to help but sometimes you just need someone to lean on. Then yesterday the car worked FINE. Acted completely normal, no weird noises, smells, ran fine and the internet was finally back on when I got home yesterday afternoon and I was able to run a few errands on the way home which  made my mental check list more manageable. I am glad to have made it through to the weekend (well almost!) and feel mostly caught up on all the to-do's and ready for Kent's party.

I've been working on catching up my photo albums and printing pictures from the past 5 plus years and that has been a nice project to come home to in the evenings. I finished sorting all the ones I'd had printed on Wednesday evening (from 2006-2007) and got them all put away and labeled last night into the albums I'd bought years ago! I have already ordered photobooks for 2008-2009. Now I'm getting the 2010 pictures uploaded to Snapfish and in no time I'll be caught up! I LOVE my pictures and photo memories so it feels really great to finally have this project almost done after all these years of continually putting it off! Especially after almost loosing 2 years of pictures when our hard drive crashed on one of the laptops (but thankfully I'd already uploaded the pictures I wanted to print to Snapfish so at least most of them were safe) I hopefully have realized it's not a great idea to put it off year after year and will maybe try to keep up with it at least on a yearly basis now! I really do love the photobooks - they are such a great invention! It's so fun to arrange the pictures however you want them and be able to put a bunch on one page together especially for the birthday parties and field days and events like those where I generally take a bazillion photos anyway! :) I'm looking forward to finally seeing the finished product whenever they get here!

Ok, off to eat my bowl of cereal and see whether or not I can catch another hour or two of sleep before the alarm goes off!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Our Pregnancy: 21 Weeks!

The week has gotten away from me completely! Time is totally flying by and I can't keep up - but I was expecting things to pick up this month so I'm as prepared to be unprepared as I can be! :D

I got to SEE a kick from the outside for the first time last night and that was awesome! It was, of course, from very active Baby "B" on the left hand side who does most of the acrobatics that we get to enjoy during ultrasounds.

I took belly pictures last night, but our internet was out (it was raining and apparently our internet doesn't like storms any more than our Basset hound does!) so I will have to hope it's back online when I get home this evening so I can upload it then! I am feeling HUGE!! Kent told me last night I look almost as big now as I did right before I delivered last time... sigh. I warned him I have a LONG way to go - and then last night I slathered on a ton of lotion and sent up a prayer for my skin to stretch as kindly as possible in the coming months! :)

According to BabyCenter this week:
How Jenn and Chad's babies growing:

Your baby now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long — the length of a carrot. You may soon feel like she's practicing martial arts as her initial fluttering movements turn into full-fledged kicks and nudges. You may also discover a pattern to her activity as you get to know her better. In other developments, your baby's eyebrows and lids are present now, and if you're having a girl, her vagina has begun to form as well.
As of our ultrasound at the perinatologists last Thursday, the babies are weighing in at about 14 ounces and 16 ounces - doubling exactly from the estimates a month ago! They look perfect and the peri was very happy with how things are going so far! My cervix is holding up nicely and my weight gain is on track.

I am not very comfortable in most of the thin elastic banded maternity pants anymore, they cut into my ever expanding stomach funny and the only ones that are really comfortable are the secret belly panels, so I may pick up a couple pairs of slacks for work if I get a chance to go shopping this weekend (I have "comfy pants" for home and a pair of maternity jeans that work well, just no "work pants" with that type of belly panel). Kent's birthday party is Saturday and he has a friend spending the night who'll stay with us through Sunday mid-day so this is going to be another busy weekend for sure! I finally booked his party but still have to call and order the cupcakes today. So many little details floating around my brain that I have been really struggling to stay on top of! Thank goodness for lists...!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Our Pregnancy: 20 Weeks!

20 weeks is a great milestone week! So excited to be at this point and I can't wait to see how the babies are growing at our peri appointment on Thursday! The days are just FLYING by and I can't keep up! I am feeling pretty great lately - tired off and on, but really over all really good which I am super thankful for and will do my best to enjoy for as long as it lasts!

According to Baby Center this week:
How Jenn and Chad's babies are growing:

Your baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. He's also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel — the length of a banana. (For the first 20 weeks, when a baby's legs are curled up against his torso and hard to measure, measurements are taken from the top of his head to his bottom — the "crown to rump" measurement. After 20 weeks, he's measured from head to toe.)

He's swallowing more these days, which is good practice for his digestive system. He's also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. This gooey substance will accumulate in his bowels, and you'll see it in his first soiled diaper (some babies pass meconium in the womb or during delivery).

I am really starting to "see" the weight gain. I'm right on track for the goals I've been given and have to keep reminding myself there is a REASON for those goals - and just keep hoping that means babies are getting what they need to grow big and healthy and strong!

I need to pack up tomorrow evening and get together all the cold weather items Kenneth requested I bring to the hotel for him - I cannot WAIT to see him! I have really been missing him lately as it sinks in that he'll be gone overseas before too much more time has passed! Kent is so funny and is convinced he's going to miss me terribly - but I have a feeling the few days I'm gone will fly by for him too since he gets to spend time with his Great Grandmother who always spoils him rotten whenever he visits with her! I know he'll have a great time. :)

I have to mention too - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MISS "S"! My 2nd surrobaby turned ONE years old yesterday!! I cannot BELIEVE that was only a year ago! I remember it so clearly and yet this past year has been so full for our family - it just blows my mind that was really only a year ago! I got to see an absolutely adorable picture of her and that totally made my day - getting to see how adorable she is and how obviously loved and happy she is gives me warm fuzzies! :)p

I also got to talk to my Aunt on the way home from work this afternoon - she's been at the hospital with her daughter who's in labor with her first child! She'd called last night at 9pm to tell me they were heading to the hospital, so sounds like a long (normal) first labor and delivery. I can't wait to hear that baby is hear and everyone is doing well! So exciting and of course always makes me feel nostalgic when I flash back to my first labor and delivery and welcoming our little boy into our lives and feeling so completely clueless and helpless... my baby is now turning THIRTEEN this month!! Where has the time gone!??!

Time to get myself and these sweet little girls to bed! :)

Saturday, November 05, 2011

19w4d - Missing!

My feet have gone into hiding!!!!! :D We were at the Basset Bash today and I was standing up and looked down and realized all I saw was belly! Holy moly! I wonder how much longer until bending over, getting up from the bed and all those other things we normally take for granted are going to get ridiculously difficult as the belly grows!!

Friday, November 04, 2011

19w3d - T.G.I.F.!!

I am SO happy it's Friday! I cannot believe how quickly this week flew by! Every day at work has been busy which is a rare occassion for me lately and it just made the whole week pass in the blink of an eye. The only down side is I haven't been able to catch a nap at all this full week, and normally have been laying down for about 45-60 minutes at least 3-4 times a week. It's caught up with me and I'm completely wiped out and so glad I get to sleep in tomorrow! I know I was really grumpy last night at home, poor Kent - he wasn't sure what to do with me... hopefully after a night of a little extra sleep I'll feel more myself by tomorrow!

This evening we are meeting up with Irina from Rotts N Pups to drop of Coy who will be heading out on transport towards his new home tomorrow! Ken's home fell through, so he'll be with us another 2 weeks before he heads out.

Tomorrow around noon we'll be heading out for the 2011 Annual Basset Bash and I can't wait! I love the event and am so glad we get to attend this year again. Though, it is making me very nostalgic everytime I think about it. A year ago I was about to go into labor with Miss "S" and deliver her on November 7th (which was the day after the Basset Bash last year)! Sometimes it just astounds me it's been a year since then but mostly I cannot believe that was ONLY a year ago. Feels like a lifetime since then - so much has happened and changed in the past 12 months.

I have been missing my hubby a lot the past couple weeks and am SO glad I get to spend a couple days with him next week. I am going to try to just enjoy our visit and not worry about Kent, the house and the puppies while I'm away. I know they'll all survive without me! It is sinking in slowly that in less than 2 months he'll be deployed again and I think I'm in the "bummed out" about it phase. I am still really thankful for this job and this amazing opportunity, but am going to miss him a lot and worry about him while he's overseas.

Exciting news for today is that I am feeling a LOT more baby movements today in particular. Not sure why, but it started early this morning and I've felt them consistently from both girls all day! Yay! They're still pretty little thumps and bumps, but getting easier to recognize and I am encouraged to get to feel them moving around more today! Each time it makes me smile! :)

I am going to enjoy our weekend and then countdown to our peri appointment on Thursday and heading out to see Kenneth! YAY! :)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Our Pregnancy: 19 Weeks!

Don't ask me how in God's green earth another week has come and gone... it is now NOVEMBER!! Holy MOLY!! We went to our friend's annual Halloween party on Saturday and had a GREAT time (Kent wore a scary "Scream 4" costume and I was an angel :D ) then on Sunday we met up with Kenneth's parent's and grandmother for a birthday lunch at a Mexican restaurant and then I spent most of the afternoon in "clean up" mode around the house - mainly tidying things up and purging Kent's old clothes and little "to-do's" that needed to be done! I felt much better by the end of the day when I'd made some progress!

Yesterday was trick or treating! Maybe our last year... we shall see! Kent had a good time and got a good sized haul of candy - we sort of have a set loop we walk each year and whatever he gets, he gets - I don't want a HUGE bag of candy that is going to end up in the trash after a few months so usually he ends up with about a big ziploc sized bag full which is MORE than enough to last awhile and makes him happy! He loves sorting it all out and prioritizing (Reeses are at the top of the "wanted" list this year)! :)

And now we are at Tuesday once again... the last few days have gone by so quickly but in a good way... I know that trend is going to continue throughout this month and before we know it we'll be at our first viability milestone of 23 weeks on November 29th and then into December! And today, at 19 weeks, we are officially at our half way point for this pregnancy since they won't let us go past 38 weeks. So at the most we have 19 weeks LEFT!! HOLY MOLY!! I definitely just want to get past the "20's" and into the 30's (which will be in mid January) and then hope the babies and I enjoy each other's companies all the way through full term without any problems - things have been going so well lately I am feeling cautiously optimistic and hopeful that we'll be one of the lucky ones with a relatively uneventful twin pregnancy! Fingers and toes are staying crossed! :)

So here's what BabyCenter says for this week!
How Jenn and Chad's babies are growing:

Your baby's sensory development is exploding! Her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that she may be able to hear your voice now, so don't be shy about reading aloud, talking to her, or singing a happy tune if the mood strikes you.

Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and measures 6 inches, head to bottom — about the size of a large heirloom tomato. Her arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of her body now. Her kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on her scalp is sprouting. A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on her skin to prevent it from pickling in the amniotic fluid.
I am starting to feel slightly stronger movements from the girls, but still not all that frequently. A few times a day at the most still. I enjoy the movements I do feel and am still looking forward to when they pick up a little more! :)

I have been craving an Edible Arrangements like crazy lately. It is the weirdest thing! I am going to have to tell Kenneth next time he feels like sending me something to please send me an Edible Arrangement. Luckily for me they happened to have a groupon special a couple days ago so for $10 I will get a box of 12 chocolate dipped fruits (probably strawberries) - I just have to call ahead and pick it up; maybe this coming weekend if I'm not too worn out after the Basset Bash on Saturday! :) I was so excited to see that after probably a week of visiting their website and debating whether or not to order something for myself!!
The only other weird craving of note I've had off and on lately is a fish sandwich from McDonalds. Probably something I've had maybe 5 times in my life, but lately it sounds SO good! I've been drinking a lot more milk than I ever have before too which is a good thing - normally I can only handle milk cooked into things or on cereal, but I have a big glass pretty much every day and it just "sounds good" a lot of the time. Especially with a few graham crackers... mmmm....  :)
I guess that's the update for now! I know this week is going to be over before I know it, Daylight Savings Time will have ended and I'll be getting ready to head to Mississippi to meet Kenneth on the evening of the 10th!