Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kicks and Giggles

Is it the end of May already? Oh, who am I kidding. I have been counting down the seconds until our next appointment! No, we haven't gone in yet. We're less than 36 hours away, but who is really counting? I wanted to post about the last few weeks before our big appointment on Thursday.

I have heard that the second trimester is also known as "the honeymoon trimester" and boy, is it ever! My energy level is back and I'm feeling great. I cannot (and will not) complain because the pregnancy has been incredibly smooth so far. (knock on wood!) 

I think it's been great for a few reasons: I feel so good to have made it to (just about) sixteen weeks. Those first twelve were incredible, but I couldn't shut the worry button off in my brain. I can't say the button is off completely now (nor do I think it ever will be as a mommy), but I can say that I've slept better these past few weeks than I have in months and I think the downslope of worry factor has a lot to do with it.

The next and most important reason why the second trimester is so amazing is that I am starting to FEEL the babies move. Talk about incredible. Now, I'm not seeing fists and feet and boxing matches in my belly (...yet) but right around 14 weeks I noticed a little...flutter. Being a first time mom, I'm not sure exactly what to look for with movement. I do know with twins it can be felt sooner because, well, there are two babies in there. So it was during a wild thunderstorm when I was up (and okay, a little spooked that a tree was going to crash through our bedroom window and hurt the babies) that I felt the slightest flutter in my belly. I knew immediately that it was something different than a hunger pang, so I waited for it to happen again. It did, the next day, and the next and the next. It's not consistent because they are still small, but if I am very still and and very patient, I can feel little tappings and bubbles and butterflies. It is so amazing and I just wish I could feel it all day long! T.J. was able to feel it once, too, so that let me know it wasn't all in my head. I'm looking forward to those little butterflies getting stronger and stronger and turning into full blown kicks. Babies, you can kick mommy's lungs and ribs all you want! :D

Our babies' hearing is developing this week, so they can actually begin to hear and recognize our voices. I have already ordered some sweet books to read aloud to them and have gotten in the habit of talking to them on my way home from school and while walking around the house. Neighbors and drivers may think I'm talking to myself, but no, I'm talking to the twins!

The big news of the week is that we will *hopefully* find out on Thursday whether we should buy blue or pink, dresses or overalls, cars or castles...you get the point! We are absolutely giddy when we think about the possibility of having two baby boys or two baby girls, and it's a wonderful feeling knowing that whatever they are, we are already so incredibly in love with them and that love is growing and will continue to grow and grow in ways we have not yet even imagined. We pray for healthy babies. It's that simple! That said, we are so excited to find out whether they are boys or girls!

Being the planners that we are, the nesting has definitely set in. We felt like we needed to check some items off of our list, so since the last post we have taken the leap of buying a larger SUV for the babes (bye-bye CR-V, hello Volvo!) and already purchased the car seats. Once we know what we're having, we'll hit the ground running with the rest of the planning! I have become involved with CMOMS (Charlotte Mothers of Multiples) and l-o-v-e it. We've put several classes on the calendar and have been to two baby shows in that past two weeks. I think staying busy is more for us to keep our sanity, but it's been great to really start to focus, plan and get excited for our babies' arrival (in November, babies, in November!)

Thank you for your continued positive thoughts and prayers for our babies and our family. Please keep them coming for a continued healthy pregnancy and for healthy, growing babies!

 13 weeks
15 weeks
Our new twin-mobile :D

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Second Trimester...Here We Come!

Week 12 is here! The four week wait until today's appointment was a long one. Make that excruciating! It was all well worth it when we finally saw our little babies again today.

As usual, I have been worrying myself into a frenzy waiting to see that everything is still progressing along as well as it has been. Let's just say I am on cloud nine after today's appointment.

First of all, our babies now look like little BABIES. We saw their fingers, toes, noses and mouths. In the weeks leading up to the appointment, we had researched ultrasounds of babies at 12 weeks, and we could not believe it but they were moving and jumping all around. Whenever I would worry, T.J. would say, just picture the twins having jumping contests in there. Baby A was our active baby today and was jumping all over the place! Baby B was posing nicely for the pictures so we were able to get some great profile shots. We again heard the magical sounds of their heartbeats which are right on target and at the same pace. They had the same amount of fluid in their sacs, which is exactly what you want to see. Their bodies measure the same size as one another, and they are even measuring 5 days ahead today. Their umbilical cords are right in the center of the placenta, which the doctor said is ideal and when that's the case they basically behave like fraternal twins. That can change, but it's a great thing to see at this stage.

The doctor said that everything looked awesome and that he had NO CONCERNS. I don't think I've ever heard those words from a doctor's mouth! We feel SO blessed and are beyond excited to wrap up our first trimester and move into the second. Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers. Please keep them coming for a healthy pregnancy that continues to be as anti-climactic and positive as it has been so far. We are thankful every second of every day for our babies, families and friends and all of your incredible support.

Baby B~ profile pic!
You can see baby B's hand near its mouth. :)
There's Baby A's close up...also getting to know that hand!

Baby A, when not dancing, was faced down while Baby B was on its back. Here's a snapshot of baby A's tiny arm and hand..waving to mom and dad!

Since both were so active, it was tough to get a great shot with both of them in it. Don't worry, baby A is not Pinnochio! We think there is a hand in front of its face. :)

Our next appointments are on May 26th, and if all goes well, we'll leave knowing if we're having baby girls or baby boys! So exciting! We'll update with some more recent belly pictures soon. Mommy is growing by the minute!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Honey, I doubled the kids | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper

Honey, I doubled the kids CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper

We stumbled upon this article in today's Sunday paper, and I just had to share it. It is about a local couple who went through IVF at the REACH clinic and ended up with TWO sets of identical twins. It is an incredible story and is so encouraging. The maternal fetal specialist mentioned in the article is the same doctor we are seeing, as well. The doctor at REACH said that they only see about two cases of embryos splitting per year (identicals, like ours) and they couldn't even guess how rare it is to have two embryos split, like the family featured in the article. We are thankful to be carrying our ONE set of identicals, but it's amazing to see how technology, medicine and faith can help create such happy endings.

 We are in our ninth week, approaching week 10 in a couple of days. The wait for the ultrasound on April 26th is a difficult one, as I know we will both feel more relaxed once we see our growing babies on the ultrasound again at 12 weeks. In the meantime, we're staying busy (trying to!) and looking forward to an exciting April. Spring Break for school will be welcomed the week after next, and my birthday falls right in the middle of that week.Lots of family visits scattered in between! I can hardly think about my birthday, though, because I want so badly for April 26th to be here! :) If you watch a pot of water, it will take forever to boil!

Thank you for your continued thoughts, prayers and support for the babies and us. Please keep them coming!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Week 8 Update!

Busy Day! It started off with an early appointment with the Perinatalogist (maternal fetal specialist). We were anxious but also excited to see our little sweet peas again.

While having the ultrasound, we received the news we had been hoping for: There was the dividing membrane! Our babies are in TWO SEPARATE SACS! Whew. Talk about relief. This makes them mo-di twins, which is MUCH less risky than the rare mo-mo type. I cried immediately, and apparently hadn't realized how much anxiety I was holding in about this situation! We heard the beautiful sounds of their heartbeats, and they were even stronger than last week. They've both grown a lot since last week, and are right on target with growth and development. I'm posting the first snapshots of our little ones from the very first ultrasound until the one we had today.

Later, we went back to my OB for the first time since being at REACH. It felt amazing to be "on the other side" and in the office for such a happy reason. This visit was complete with lots of questions answered, and we were sent away with an entire binder full of information about classes, visits, and any and all things relating to our pregnancy. That should keep this information hound busy for quite a while!

We will return to see our Perinatalogist and our OB in four weeks, on April 26th. We'll be wrapping up the first trimester that week, so the ultrasound will reveal babies with little arms and legs and they will have grown so much. It will be difficult to wait that long without the weekly monitoring I've been receiving, but I trust that everything will continue to move smoothly as it has so far.

In short, our pregnancy is still a high risk one because our babies are sharing a placenta. What that means is frequent monitoring throughout the pregnancy should complications arise. We were surprised to see the individual sacs this early, but it was confirmed and we can see them clear as day. EVERYONE is relieved about this. Thank you for keeping us in your positive thoughts and prayers. They have been heard!:)

5 weeks 4 days

6 weeks 6 days
7 weeks 6 days
(look closely and you can see the sacs and membrane between them!)

Please keep thinking about our little babies and praying that they listen to mommy, daddy and doctors and continue to grow and develop as they have so far.

Another great day, another reminder of how blessed we are.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


The week went by and we went from sheer happiness to sheer panic and back to happiness over and over. We're learning to stay off the internet-at least for twin research! It can be a scary place. We have scoured the articles about twins and learned lots about the different types of twins. We have identical twins, which are monochorionic (meaning they share a placenta). Then, they will either be diamniotic or monoamniotic. If they are mo-di, they share a placenta but have their own amniotic sacs. If they are mo-mo, they share both the placenta and the amniotic sac. Mo-mo twins are much higher risk, and much, much more unusual. Mo-di is still high risk, but a better scenario for the babies, as they would each have their own "swimming pool". So, after researching, we have learned that through an ultrasound, a thin membrane can be seen between the babies, indicating that there are two amniotic sacs.

This can usually be seen between weeks 8-12, but has been also found later in pregnancy, too. (23+ weeks!) We were hopeful that we would spot ours at the ultrasound, but our doctor said it's still too early for it to be seen. Not to worry though, it could show up in the next week or two.

This ultrasound was incredible. We were anxious about "vanishing twin syndrome" and any other complications that might have occurred within the week. Then, a huge sigh of relief came. There they were, measuring almost exactly the same size (baby A-8.5 mm and baby B-8.6mm) and the ratios of bodies to yolk sacs looked great, too. He said they were right on target for this stage of development. Then, we were able to HEAR their heartbeats. I truly cannot describe the amount of joy and relief felt when we heard those strong beats. Baby A measured 127 bpm and Baby B measured 130 bpm. Our doctor said they were right within the range he liked to see at this point. He could clearly see that there were two separate babies (a good sign) and said that everything else looked like it was progressing along great.

He is sending us to a perinatalogist (maternal fetal specialist) and we will also start seeing my OB.

Both appointments are Thursday, March 31st, when I'll be a little over 8 weeks along. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers and keep your fingers crossed for us to find that dividing membrane!

I am feeling great, and enjoying every moment of pregnancy. I am certainly feeling symptoms, but I actually welcome them, as they remind me that I'm pregnant! Fatigue has been the largest symptom lately. I am completely exhausted by 7:30-8:00 at night! Growing two babies is hard work! And I couldn't imagine doing it any other way.

We're Pregnant!!

On March 1, 2011, our worlds were turned upside down. We had anticipated the window of time when we'd be able to test, and the day had finally come. We had been gaurdedly optimistic about some early pregnancy symptoms, but certainly didn't want to get our hopes up too high or too soon. I couldn't sleep, but T.J. made me promise I wouldn't wake up in the middle of the night just to test! (ahem-this has happened once before). So, we set the alarm for 6:00 a.m. and popped out of bed right away.

The two minutes wait was nothing like the "two-week-wait" we'd experienced up until that moment, but time seemed to stand still as we waited. We had played several scenarios in our mind before, in order to prepare ourselves. I couldn't stand the anticipation of T.J. seeing the test and then having to pass along the news to me, so we tried to look at it at the same time. Once I saw the test, I immediately started crying and screaming. T.J. says that for a split second he couldn't tell what the result was because apparently I was blocking his view from the test. Once he saw it we both cried and thanked God over and over and over again for this blessing. I couldn't wait to confirm it at the doctor's office, so I went right in that morning. Later that day, the nurse called and her words "oh yes, you're definitely pregnant" rang sweetly in my ears. :)

Our journey to parenthood has begun!