So, I've been taking a little bit of a vacation from the blog for a few months. I have a really great excuse! I'm pregnant! And it's been a pretty rough road. And I've been sick and complaining, so I've been afraid if I blogged I would just do nothing but complain, so I've taken a pre-natal leave. But I do want to document this pregnancy for myself at least, so here I am, with at least one blog post. If I'm lucky I'll also write about our summer adventures and maybe Eliza's second birthday. If I'm not lucky the next time I write on the blog will be after I give birth.
So, for the REALLY big news (as if being pregnant isn't big enough) we're having TWINS! TWO BABIES! CRAZY! I still can't believe it. I've started writing about this a few times and every time it's been pretty long and verbose, so I'm going to do a pretend Q&A and see if I can make it less complaining and wordy and more interesting.
So, twins? Do they run in your family? Did you know you were having twins? I kind of feel like both of these questions can actually mean "were you on fertility drugs, is that why you are having twins?" And the answer is no, these twins were conceived "naturally." We didn't expect to have twins. We threw it around before Eliza, "wouldn't it be cool to have twins?" but that's pretty much it. My great grandmother did have twins, but none of her kids or grandkids had twins. So, my doctor said that it does not run in my family. But women in the 35-40 age bracket are more likely to have twins, so there's that.
As for if we KNEW we were having twins, well, I had a suspicion. This pregnancy has been SO MUCH HARDER than when I was pregnant with Eliza. I was SO EXCITED to find out I was pregnant, and then about a week after I found out I was pregnant the morning sickness hit hard and fast. And just went downhill from there. It got so bad that I could barely get out of bed, let alone take care of Eliza. My Mom and my neighbors stepped in and took Eliza pretty much every week day to give me time to rest. And I've been on nausea medication almost the entire time. Around 8 weeks I ended up at the doctor's office to get an IV to treat the nausea and dehydration and then again around 12 weeks. So, part of me felt like "this had better be twins because this is so much worse than Eliza!" And at some point every time I thought of the baby I would say "babies" in my head and I didn't know why. So, some part of me knew, or hoped, that it was twins. But then I would decide I was just being crazy and I didn't want to be the crazy pregnant woman who thought she was having twins, so I would convince myself it was just one baby.
So, how did you find out it was twins? My first actual prenatal appointment with the nurse was at 9 weeks and 5 days. (But as an aside, it's crazy to me how specific you get during pregnancy, 9 weeks and 5 days? Pretty soon they'll add hours and minutes to that!) Shawn and I had a conversation the night before the appointment about how I felt like it was twins but didn't want to be the crazy lady and didn't want to be disappointed if it was only one baby. That night I had a dream that it was one baby and I was totally and completely at peace with one baby. Luckily, Shawn was able to come to the appointment. My doctor's office has a portable ultrasound machine that's about the size of a cell phone. The ultrasound is the end of the appointment, so we talked about everything, she checked me out and said everything felt normal and I used that as justification "see, it's NOT twins or it would be different!" Then she pulled out the ultrasound and said "there's a cyst on your left ovary and there's you're baby and there's your other baby, you're having TWINS!" And part of me was like "Wait, what about the cyst?" and then it was like "WAIT, did you say TWINS?!" And I felt like screaming "I knew it!" and "WHAT?!" at the same time. It was amazing. Right up there with finding out that Eliza was a girl. We were in shock, but it was so clear on the ultrasound that it was twins. We could see two little tiny babies and two hearts beating. Amazing. That was on Friday, and they scheduled us for a "real" ultrasound with the big ultrasound machine and the real ultrasound doctor for Monday to "diagnose" twins. I was so scared that something was going to happen over the weekend that we only told our family members, and kept silent at church (THAT WAS HARD!) but we made it to the ultrasound. Shawn got to come again. When the doctor said "so we're confirming twins today?" We said, "just make sure it's not three!" And sure enough, once again there were two babies inside of me, with two sacs and two placenta (which makes them fraternal, or di/di twins if you speak twin).
Are they boys? Girls? A boy and a girl? I've suspected all along, from day one of the pregnancy that I was having a girl, so when people would ask what they were I'd say that at least one of them was a girl. But Shawn and I both really felt that the other twin was a boy. And I was SO excited to have a boy and a girl. We were so positive that when the ultrasound said Twin A was a girl I was like "Yeah, I knew that one was a girl, now just confirm that Twin B is a boy and we're good to go." So, when she said that Twin B was a GIRL, I said "Are you sure? I think it's a boy." And she said very definitely "It's a girl." So, we're having TWO GIRLS! I'm so excited to have two girls, and to dress them alike sometimes and for more bows and pink girly things. But, if I'm perfectly honest, I'm disappointed we're not having a boy. I want Shawn to have a son. I want him to get to raise a boy, I want Eliza and Twin A to have a brother. But at this point, I don't think I can get pregnant again. It's too hard. And when I ask Shawn he says "We'd probably just have two more girls if we try again!"
Two girls? Do you have names picked out?! We've got our favorite names, but nothing is feeling quite as right as Eliza felt when we picked her name. And every time we think we've got it narrowed down one of us says "But what about. . ." So, nothing is decided yet.
So, how is twin pregnancy? How is it different than just one? Ok, I've already said that the morning sickness has been so much worse with this pregnancy. With Eliza it was gone by 18 weeks. But here we are at 23 weeks and I'm still experiencing morning sickness, and still on medication. I was starting to feel great, and forgot to take my pills one night and felt GREAT the next day. More energy, not nauseous at all, great! So, I decided to go off of the medication. And the second day was HORRIBLE. The morning sickness was awful. So, I went back on the medication. And while I feel OK with the medication, I don't feel great. I still get nauseous, especially after I eat, so I try to make sure I never have an empty stomach. Other than that, I'm tired all the time. They talk about second trimester energy, and I'm wondering where that is. I run out of energy really fast. Shawn tries to convince me to get one of those electronic shopping carts when we go to the grocery store. I'm huge. Not for 40 weeks, but when you remember I'm 23 weeks I'm huge. And I'm getting huge so much faster than with Eliza. It's like I can feel my belly growing and expanding. And it feels heavier. I also get woken up in the middle of the night with babies kicking. That never happened with Eliza. I take more vitamins than with Eliza, the regular prenatals, plus additional calcium, folic acid, and iron. And of course the morning sickness pills. So far we've had one "extra" ultrasound at 10 weeks to diagnose twins. But up until now the doctor visit schedule has been the same. After 24 weeks I'll start going to the doctor every 2 weeks. After 32 weeks I'll go every week. I have another ultrasound at 28 weeks and then I'll have them every 2-4 weeks. I'll also start getting Non-Stress Tests every 4-6 weeks at some point.
What were those morning sickness pills you're on? About day 3 of morning sickness (about 6 weeks pregnant) we called my sister-in-law who is a midwife to find out about the Vitamin B6 & Unisom combination, and what the dosage is, and she offered to write a prescription for Zofran. I took that with Eliza and it made the nausea worse, but she had a slightly different kind, so I tried it. It worked for about a day. So I called my OB the next Monday (it had been a Saturday when we talked to my sister in law) and they recommended a new medication called Diclegis. It was new on the market, the only one specifically for morning sickness, and the only one that was Class A. You start out with 2 pills at night. If they don't work you take two at night and one in the morning, if that doesn't work you add one in the afternoon. Until about 15 weeks I took four pills a day, then until about 18 weeks I was down at 3, and now I'm down to the two at night. I'll try to go off again in a few weeks, but I might end up taking this my entire pregnancy.
So, that's it! It's still a long post, but not nearly as "complainy" as I was worried it would be. It's been a LONG 23 weeks. My doctor won't let me go past 38 weeks, so I feel like it's going to be another LONG 15 weeks!