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26 Weeks and a Glucose Screen

UPDATE: In order to PASS the test and avoid the 3-hour Glucose Tolerance Test, your score needed to be less than 130 mg/dL… and.. mine was 106 mg/dL. PASSED!

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As the second trimester winds down, the girls are becoming more and more active. Today, we had our 26 week check up and everything is looking good!

Both girls are head down (crossing our fingers they stay that way) and weigh in at just under 2 pounds each. If I were only carrying one baby, my belly would be measuring 32 weeks! I’m definitely working on building them a nice house.

We had a special treat at today’s appointment, and it came in a little bottle, also known as the glucose screening test. The glucose screening test is recommended between 24 and 28 weeks to screen for gestational diabetes. This initial screening test will not give a diagnosis but will identify women who may need additional testing.

When you arrive for the glucose screen, you are given a sugar solution that contains 50 grams of glucose. The beverages come in different flavors, and I was blessed with an orange drink. Some doctors may require you to take the test on the spot, but I was given the option to bring the drink home with me and return for my blood draw later.

You are instructed to drink the entire thing in 5 minutes. After consuming the drink, you will sit and wait for exactly one hour. I was told that if you wait an hour and 15 minutes, you will skew the results. When the clock strikes an hour on the dot, the technician will take a blood sample to check your blood sugar level.

If the reading from the glucose screening test is abnormal, (high blood sugar) your practitioner will call you back for a three-hour glucose tolerance test. It is important to know that 15% – 23% of women may have an abnormal reading on the screening test, but only 2% – 5% of expectant mothers develop gestational diabetes.

I plan on taking my glucose screening test first thing in the morning. This way, I can bring a book or magazine and monitor the clock for my blood draw.

It is hard to believe that there is only one more week left  in my second trimester! Time sure is flying by!

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Preterm Labor: What to Look For

Kaiser Permanente offers a multitude of prenatal education classes including breastfeeding, prepared childbirth, and preterm birth prevention. The majority of the classes are offered at no charge and it is a great way to not only learn about your pregnancy and what to expect, but also to meet new moms that are on the same page as you.

We have signed up for all of the classes and last night, we attended the preterm birth prevention class. The class is intended to help you recognize the signs of preterm labor and decrease the chances of preterm birth. It is recommended for women between 20-24 weeks of pregnancy. I learned a lot of valuable information and think it is important to share.

Babies born before 37 full weeks of pregnancy are considered to be born premature. Being pregnant with multiples does put us at an increased risk for preterm labor. Some other factors which can place women at an increased risk include:

  • A history of previous preterm birth
  • A history of preterm labor in another pregnancy
  • Carrying more than one baby
  • An abnormally shaped uterus
  • A history of 3 or more miscarriages or abortions
  • Frequent uterine contractions in pregnancy
  • Changes in the cervix this pregnancy
  • Frequent bladder of kidney infections
  • Cigarette Smoking / Alcohol / Drug Use during this pregnancy

Even though you may have one or more of these risk factors, it does not mean you will deliver a preterm baby. In fact, over half of the women who deliver preterm babies have no risk factors. It could happen to anyone, so it is important to know what to look out for.

If you experience any of the following preterm labor signs, you should immediately call your healthcare professional.

  • Low, dull backache – the pain is constant; starts in your back and comes around to the front
  • Cramps – could resemble the cramps you get with your menstrual cycle or abdominal cramps
  • Leaking fluid – could be your water breaking
  • Changes in discharge – notice an increase
  • Pressure – feeling that your baby is pushing down low in your pelvis
  • Contractions – abdomen tightens like a fist and occur 10 minutes apart of closer

For more information on preterm labor, you can visit the March of Dimes website.

The hour-long class was very educational. I learned the importance of recognizing the preterm labor signs and getting to the hospital as soon as possible so the labor can potentially be stopped.

I love the Kaiser classes and overall, we have had a wonderful experience. Although, we cannot predict everything (such as having twins), we can try to be as prepared as possible for what’s to come!

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Natural Delivery vs C-Section

I had my 22 week appointment this morning. With twins, I have appointments every two weeks and rotate between my OB/GYN and my perinatologist (high risk OB/GYN).

Today, the discussion of natural delivery versus cesarean section came up. We talked about some of the pros and cons and ultimately, if everything goes perfectly, it is still our decision to choose which method of delivery would be best for us.

Here are the scenarios:

If both babies are head down when it comes time to deliver, the doctors would prefer to try a natural delivery.

If the baby on the bottom (Baby A “Katelyn”) is head down but the other baby (Baby B “Chelsea”) is not head down, they could attempt a natural delivery and try to turn the other baby.  There is a chance of delivering one baby naturally and one baby by c-section.

If the baby on the bottom (Baby A “Katelyn”) is not head down, then a c-section would be the only option.

Most women hope to have a natural birth and I have always been one of those women. I do have a lot of concerns with twins, since the risks are now higher.

Some of the pros of having a c-section include being able to schedule your delivery date.The speed of a caesarean is less than an hour on the operating table. The horizontal incision does heal to be a barely-visible bikini line scar within a couple of weeks. Having a planned c-section carries a lot less anxiety then having an emergency one.

There are also a lot of cons to the cesarean, after all, it is major surgery. I will not get to hold my babies when they are born, I will be in a lot of discomfort and pain for the first few days, and my hospital stay will be longer. I also read that on average, you lose twice as much blood during a c-section as in a natural delivery and the risk of hemorrhaging increases. There is a risk of surgical damage to the abdomen, uterus, and other organs.

In the case of an “emergency” c-section, if general anesthesia is used, I may not be awake when the babies are born.

In a perfect world, assuming both babies are head down, it would be great to be able to deliver both of them naturally.

We still have a lot of time to think about whether we would prefer a planned c-section or cross our fingers and hope that a natural birth is in the blueprint for both babies.

I’m starting to get a little overwhelmed with the pros and cons. Like any mother, I just want the best, safest and easiest exit for our little girls.

On the lighter side, here are this morning’s ultrasound pictures of our beautiful baby girls!

Katelyn fist-pumping (looking forward to Jersey Shore tonight)

Chelsea hanging out and not kicking her sister (So proud!)

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Baby A and Baby B Get Real Names!

We have been to three appointments since the big “gender reveal” and two girls have been confirmed each time! It was time for the next big mile stone, naming our daughters.

It is such a great feeling when you finally have names picked out for your babies. They are no longer, Baby A or Baby B…or Apple & Banana. I know which one is kicking me and I can call her out by name.

As always, I wanted to come up with a unique opportunity to announce the girls names.

That’s when I found the perfect opportunity! StorkTees.com has adorable personalized infant and toddler onesies and t-shirts.

You can personalize them with your child’s name or family name. They even have a “Delivered” onesie that lists their name, length, weight, date of birth and time delivered. This would be such a sweet keepsake for the parents.

StorkTees.com was kind enough to send me two personalized onesies with the girls’ names on them and I had to share them!

When my husband and I were talking about girl names there were always two names we really liked, Katelyn and Chelsea, but we did not think we would have the opportunity to use both of them, at least at the same time! It worked out perfectly because we could only seem to agree on one boy name. Having two little girls was definitely meant to be!

Baby A will now be known as Katelyn Sue and Baby B will be known as Chelsea Lynn. The middle names, Sue & Lynn come from both of our families and we are very blessed to be able to use them both!

I love calling our babies by name and I think it just deepens our bond. We are so excited for Katelyn and Chelsea to make us a family of four!

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Diagnosis: Anemia – Exhaustion Defined!

Over the past month, exhaustion has really taken its toll on me. I thought you were supposed to get at least some of your energy back in the second trimester. It seemed like I had it back temporarily and then it was gone again. After all, I am carrying two babies, so I guess exhaustion was to be expected.

Tired may be an understatement. The energy used to get a glass of water from the kitchen was exhausting. I had stopped going to the gym over the past month. After being awake for just a couple hours, I became completely worn out.

After complaining several times to my mom (best nurse ever) just how tired I was, she continually told me to get my blood checked because she thought I may be anemic and needed more iron. Mom’s always do know best!

Last week, I called my doctor and explained to her that I was overly exhausted all of the time. She told me it was probably because I was carrying twins (Surprise)!

I told her that my mom was really concerned and wanted me to get my blood work checked again. She hesitated because my blood work was normal 3 months ago, and they usually re-check blood work at 28 weeks (8 weeks from now)! She did agree to re-check my blood and sent me to the lab.

My results came back the same day and sure enough my blood levels were well below normal and I was diagnosed anemic. The babies were definitely taking all of my iron and leaving me in extreme exhuastion.

The doctor told me to take Feosol, an extra dose of iron, twice daily, in addition to the iron that is already in my prenatal vitamins.

Today, is day one with the iron supplements and we’ll see if I can get my groove back!

I am so glad I did not have to be energy-less for another eight weeks! A BIG thank you to my mom for pushing me to get re-checked! She’s the best!

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20 Things I Did Not Know About Pregnancy

Tomorrow, I will be twenty weeks pregnant which means I am over half way in my twin pregnancy journey! There is a lot about pregnancy that I did not know before actually becoming pregnant, and now I am finding out as I go along.

Here is my Top 20 List of things I never knew about pregnancy before becoming pregnant…

1. Regardless of multiples running in your family, every woman has a 2.9% chance of conceiving twins. After you have had multiples once, your chance of having multiples again, doubles the next time you get pregnant.

2. There is a study that indicates that taking extra folic acid before you conceive may cause your body to release more than one egg. My husband and I are planners, so we were taking prenatals and extra folic acid for 6 months before we conceived.

3. The horrible acne. Sometimes I feel like puberty has hit all over again and my face, back and shoulders have been taken over by acne bumps.

4. I’ve had extreme exhaustion. Sometimes, after just being awake for 3 hours, I feel like I just ran a marathon and it’s time for a nap.

5. The frequent need to urinate. I think I should leave a book in the bathrooms since I am in there so often.

6. My belly, especially around my belly button, is growing, what I call, blonde, peach-fuzz hair.

7. Climbing four flights of stairs to get to my apartment literally leaves me breathless. Thankfully, there is an elevator which I am going to start taking advantage of.

8. I assumed I would have lower back pain, but lately, I’ve had daily, stabbing, upper back pain.

9. I feel sorry for my husband, but there is no avoiding pregnancy gas. Enough said.

10. As your belly grows, it starts to itch. I have found that keeping it moisturized does help.

11. It is common for your gums to bleed a lot more while pregnant and it is important to let your dentist know that you are pregnant, before you get in his chair.

12. Pregnant women are advised against eating deli meat unless it is steamed. This is one rule I have broken on occasion.

13. My nose is either stuffy or runny all of the time. There is no in-between.

14. I have a lot of cravings that stem from what I see or hear. A commercial or my husband telling me what he had for lunch. All of a sudden, that becomes my instant craving.

15. Severe leg cramps can wake you up from a dead sleep and send you jumping eight feet out of your bed. So far, there is not much I can do to ease the pain.

16. The snoogle (fish-hook shaped body pillow) is one of the best inventions ever made and will  give you a much better night sleep or day nap!

17. There will be times where you will cry because of a commercial, t.v. show, song, and sometimes for no reason at all.

18. Some pregnant women have the “linea negra,” a vertical line that runs down the abdomen and through the belly button.

19. The doctors used to have a difficult time drawing blood because they could never find my veins. Now, you can see blue veins everywhere, take your pick.

20. It is one thing for friends and family to rub the belly but it is very odd for strangers to come up to you and without asking, put their hands on your growing baby, but this will happen. With that said, it still feels a little awkward for anyone, other then your husband, to rub your belly.

The joys of pregnancy! It is amazing all of the wonderful things first-time expecting moms learn through the pregnancy process. Even though, I’m getting slower, my back constantly aches, and even turning over in bed is sometimes a hassle, I wouldn’t trade a minute of it. I cannot wait for my beautiful baby girls to arrive at the end of June!

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Wordless Wednesday: God Bless the USA

*Photo taken by Brenda Walker (aka: Mom)

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Ultrasound Pictures: 19 Week Anatomy Scan

At 19 weeks, we are halfway though our twin pregnancy! It seems like time is flying by and the girls little feet are still giving me butterflies.

Today, we had our hospital anatomy ultrasound. This ultrasound is routinely performed by a hospital sonographer between 18 and 22 weeks.

For most women, this may be the day that they find out the sex of the babies! Lucky for us, we have doctor appointments and ultrasounds every two weeks, so we were able to find out early! And yes, we reconfirmed today, we still have two beautiful girls in there!

The “big” ultrasound day arrived. I got to lay on a table for 45 minutes (with a full bladder) while the sonographer took measurements of both babies to make sure everything was growing appropriately. I was a little worried about the requirement of the full bladder, but I survived!

She measured and checked the face, brain, skull, neck, spine, heart, limbs, kidneys, and just about everything else in between!

Since she is not our doctor, she is not allowed to tell us anything about the scan aside from the genders, and everything else will be reviewed with our perinatologist (high risk OB/GYN) at our next appointment on Friday.

Until then, I thought I would share a few of the ultrasound pictures from today’s scan! Don’t worry if you can’t see them yet, some look like my cute little aliens. 🙂

One more note: Once they are born, we do need to have a talk with our girls about kicking, since they do enjoy kicking each other… a lot!

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POLL: Should Pregnant Women Wear a Bikini on the Beach?

Pregnant women are often told their belly is beautiful and they should embrace their bump. The question remains, is it okay to flaunt it and rock those curves wherever you are?

It was not until recently that I learned about the great bikini debate when I was reading through a baby forum on BabyCenter. I discovered that women have very different opinions on what is appropriate for a pregnant woman to wear to the beach.

Some women feel that a pregnant woman should never expose her belly and should keep it covered throughout the entire pregnancy; while others feel that their bump is beautiful and they should show it off to the world.

Living in Southern California, we are fortunate to be surrounded by sun and surf year round. When you are pregnant, what can be more relaxing then floating in a nice cool body of water on a hot summer day?

No matter what the world is going to say, it is important to wear what you are going to feel comfortable and beautiful in.

Whether you are wearing a one piece, bikini, or covered up completely,  you are still likely to get extra looks because you are sporting the beautiful baby inside of you.

I say, if you are comfortable in your skin, wear your bikini proudly and show off that beautiful pregnant belly!

Since I came across this big debate on the baby forums, I want to ask you what you think…and of course this is assuming mom is wearing plenty of sunscreen and re-lubing every couple of hours!

What type of swimsuit do you think is most acceptable for a pregnant woman to wear to the beach?

  • Either is fine, as long as SHE is comfortable in her skin (78%, 90 Votes)
  • Tankini / One Piece (15%, 17 Votes)
  • Bikini (8%, 9 Votes)
  • None. She should be covered up. (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 116
*Poll was conducted on OC Family

When you were pregnant, what did you wear to the beach?

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Today, the Inevitable Happened…

Even a trip to the grocery store can turn out to be an adventure. Since working at home, and becoming pregnant, I’ve definitely eaten us out of the house on more than one occasion. (My husband can attest!) Really, I am eating 3, sometimes 4, or 5 meals a day. In the past couple months, me and our credit card have become one with Vons.

Today, was a crisis situation. We were out of syrup. Waffles are usually one of my daily must-have breakfast items. I knew it would be another trip to Vons this afternoon.

As I was checking out, the cashier looked at me (as he was scanning the 5 cans of Spaghettios with Meatballs) and said “Are you trying to eat healthy?” I looked at him with a confused look and said, “Yup, I’m trying?”

I was not sure if I could sense sarcasm in his voice. I mean after all, Spaghettios do have 22 grams of protein, 40% of your vegetables, and 30% of your daily calcium in each can. They are also very delicious.

Then, the inevitable happened. Without missing a beat the cashier asked, “So, when are you due?”

I was a little thrown off at first because he was the first “stranger” to ever ask me when I was due. I mean, I know I’m showing now but I was surprised that he would ask. I was even wearing a fall jacket. (okay, so it won’t button anymore)

Most experts would advise, you don’t ask a woman if she is pregnant unless you see the baby coming out. You’re really throwing the dice here because you never know if she is really pregnant or not.

After the drama in my head passed, I answered the question and threw in the twin kicker. The cashier and bagger were suddenly very concerned about me. The cashier turns to the bagger and tells her not to make the bags too heavy. They both asked repeatedly if they could help me to my car.

After turning them down several times, I started walking out of the store. The bagger turns to catch up to me and emphasizes her need to help one more time. She said if I get into any trouble or need help outside, to come back and find her.

Although, at first I was a little concerned that they thought pregnancy equals helplessness, my view quickly turned to wow, what an amazing and helpful cashier & bagger that was!

So it happened, the first stranger asked me how far along I was. The question in the back of mind, “Am I Showing” has officially been answered. Thank you kind, cashier man.

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