Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend

Tuesday and Wednesday home turned out just fine. I felt like I was bossing Brad around a bit but I think we have things settled now.  Our first means of entertainment was to watch "A Baby Story."  There was a dog on the show that looked so much like Mallie! We totally busted her watching the dog on TV and had to take a picture!

I think we were watching that show while enjoying the awesome catered dinner that my Paris girlfriends sent us.  So wonderful!

My brother, Nate and his girlfriend, Molly, drove down from Tulsa Wednesday night. We took it easy with them all weekend. It was great to hang out with them and to boss my brother around some to give Brad a break!  For Thanksgiving, we ordered the Boston Market special. I'm not even kidding you, the food is so good. Everything! You still feel like you are preparing a meal because it takes about 2 hours to get everything prepared and we used all our china and silver.  It was perfect! We are still working on the left overs.

One of the highlights of the weekend was the webcam with my families. They did a little shower at my dad's house and another one at my granny's house the next day.  Brad and I had planned on taking a road trip home for the weekend but since that was out of the question, the webcam was perfect! It was really cool to see everyone that was there! And we really appreciate all the thoughtful gifts!  We plugged the computer into our big screen and had quite a nice view of the family fun!

The Lawyer Family

The Brannon Family

Saturday and Sunday were relaxing in every sense of the word. We did nothing!  Brad deserved the break after all of his hard work.

Now it is Monday, my first day home alone all day has passed. It went well. I would have liked to have gotten up earlier but what's the point? It was hard to pass the time. I told Brad I was worried that I would just be lazy and watch TV all day and I did that until lunch time.  Finally in the afternoon, I updated my to-do list. Seriously...that makes all the difference in the world. Now I have some purpose. I even designated what I would like to accomplish each day. Tomorrow I will spend an hour finishing the hem on the nursery curtains (after Brad sets up the sewing machine, of course). It will be just like going to group in the hospital!  Other than that, I plan to do some research online and maybe knit a new scarf.  Oh, and I really am going to start reading the Twilight series this week.  I think tomorrow will be a better day if I feel like I've accomplished something!

I had a wonderful dream last night. My siblings and I were playing indoor cornhole (or the game some of you call "bags") and some nurses brought me my brand new baby boys! I got to see them for the first time!  I remember staring at them so closely and analyzing every little feature and thinking they were the most beautiful things I had ever seen in my life.  I cannot wait to meet them, but we have to wait...8-9 more weeks, please!  The dream reminded me that it will all be worth the bed rest once I get to hold our babies for the first time!

I'm super anxious about tomorrow.  We have our first appointment after being home for one week. I hope Dr. Martin thinks I'm doing a great job at home and that there is nothing but stability for her to see!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We Made it Home!

I would like to say that when I walked through the doors of my house, I was so overcome with joy that tears streamed down my face.  That wasn't the case. I had thrown up in the car (in my big, fancy Baylor Hospital cup) most of the drive home and had a tough time taking it all in like I wanted to.  I hadn't felt all the great for the past two mornings. I blame that one on my usual morning sickness that has yet to cease during this pregnancy! And I think the motion of the car got to me since I haven't been mobile in so long. Regardless, I felt better not too long after and am so amazed at how much work Brad has done!  We now have shelves in two different closets and in our laundry area, the crown molding in three rooms looks wonderful and the house was spotless! We didn't end up calling in a cleaning service because we decided to save it for our trip to the hospital next year! Brad did a great job. Usually I tease him about being 90% with housework but this time it was definitely 100%!  (I never like when people say "one million percent" and things like that. Otherwise I guess it would be appropriate to use here! he he).

So back at the hospital, I had my sonogram at 7am. Baby A is 1 lb, 14 oz, and Baby B is 1lb, 13 oz.  This is right on track!  They were both breech (feet down) at the sono, but by the time the nurse came to monitor, Baby A was head down!  They are moving like crazy!  I was not aware of this, but apparently, they stop measuring lengths at this point becaue it is so tough to get the whole body on the screen. Oh well, their femur lenghts were good and my cervix still looked great, too. Brad came and gave my butt shot. Ha Ha Ha!!! He was so nervous, hands shaking and all, but did a great job!  Actually, it hurt less than when the nurses did it! There are two big circles drawn in magic marker, indicating the locations that are okay for the needle. He took notes and everything since it is only given once a week.  There are actually several little steps involved! He packed up all my stuff and we headed out! 

Once home,  I recovered from the driving situation mentioned earlier and Brad ran to the grocery and then got my prescriptions filled. 

I sat in the nursery for a while and took these pictures to share: 

My favorite right now are the paintings that match the dolls in the cribs!  They are called Ugly Dolls and apparently there are several different characters even though they all look pretty similar (ugly) and cute! Thanks for those, Kristine!  Brad's other sister, Kari, painted watercolor scenes with the Ugly Dolls. They are so amazing!  They match the nursery perfectly and are so well done.  This is what inspired me to try to draw that one day in the hospital!  Thank you so much for these, Kari!

All that's left to do in the nursery is set up the bookcase (Thank you, Bobbi!)  that will go on the wall not shown in any of the pictures. And we also need to hang more pictures or art on the walls.

I'm actually looking forward to catching up on some of my DVR shows tonight and tomorrow and the next day and so on.  It seems Brad has hardly watched any of them either (more proof that he was working like crazy while I was gone). I've already had to ask him to do little things for me here and there and he is being so patient. He did say he misses the nurses, though. Me too! I'll see my doctor in one week and I'm really hoping that she sees consistency, showing that I'm following her strict bed rest orders well.  She told me that after 32 weeks of stability, she may lessen the restrictions.  That will be right after the new year. Thanks again for all the love, support and prayers!  They must be working because women usually don't go home from the antepartum floor very often! I feel fortunate!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

I finally had my sonogram. It was supposed to be this morning, but there was some emergency with the doctor so she had to leave. She came back this evening to finish the sonos, around the same time that Dr. Martin was here checking on me. Dr. Martin decided to stay to watch the sono to get the latest on my cervix measurement. Brad was here too so we had a nice crowd in the sono room...rooting my cervix on! Well, the numbers were good and my cervix length has remained in the "normal" range for another week! This means I'll definitely be going home on Tuesday! I'm thrilled.

You would think that if my cervix length is normal that I should be able to go about my business and live normally. But really, the good length is due to the stitch and my bed rest. If bed rest were to stop, perhaps my cervix couldn't stand it and we'd be right back in the hospital. I'm feeling good about the rest of my pregnancy and will continue making it my priority to be horizontal as much as possible!

I have another sonogram scheduled for Tuesday, my release day and the same day Brad has to give me the shot!  I actually have to wait until then to get the lengths and weights. I would assume the babies will weigh 1.75 - 2 lbs. and be about 14 inches long then. But we'll see how close my estimates are!

There was a nice surprise though. I confessed to the sono tech that when they first told us the sex of the babies, I couldn't see anything indicating that. For those who need clarification, I couldn't see a penis on either baby even with an arrow pointing to some location on the image. But every sono after, they would say that they could definitely tell it was two boys. This time, I asked her to show me again since I never could tell. Well, it was clear as Aquafina! They got a view from the bottom of each baby and you can totally see a little nub! Right now, baby A is bottom down and B is head down. They both have an excellent amount of fluid in their sacs, they are moving well and their little hearts are beating fast! All good things.

The boys have also been monitoring much better lately. I think I have the solution to them moving of the monitors so often. Once the nurse gets the monitors on and situated and leaves the room, I sing to them! I think they like the vibration!

The only other thing on my mind tonight is Anthropologie. You know, the most amazing store ever. It came up in a conversation and now I can't stop thinking about how badly I want to wander around in that store just looking at everything. That will have to be one of the first places I take my boys. hahahah!

Sorry no pictures again. Soon, soon!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Party Time

Yesterday in group, we had some serious vacation bible school activities.  I made a corn husk out of cardboard, and tissue paper to hang on my door. I made an Indian hat to wear to the upcoming party. I don't care much about the crafts but it is nice to sit in a room with some other women. Most are shy about sharing, but a couple of us try to lighten the mood.

So all this was for the party today. It was thanksgiving themed. All the nursing students put it together. They wheeled most of the women on the floor to one conference room. We all sat in chairs in a semi circle and played games. One was bingo. We threw a bean bag onto a big bingo board in the middle and had to answer the pregnancy related question that it landed on. If we got it correct, we got to claim that square towards a row or diagonal of squares for the win. I lost. Then we threw bean bags through a board with holes cut out. It was painted really cute. I lost again. The last game was the cutest. It was a ring toss. We tossed teething rings, trying to land on a baby bottle. I totally lost this one. It was great to be around so many people. There are now only three of us on the floor with twins. Last week, there were six! We all got some small prizes. I asked for two because I have to treat Nolan and Carter equally! They served us punch and some healthy snacks...all approved by a nutritionist. Speaking of hospital food, I finally got weighed and I'm still showing a gain of about 30lbs. I guess it slowed down because of the muscle loss and healthy hospital food (not sure where all my chocolate snacks went though)!

I had my glucose screening test and I'm low risk for gestational diabetes. That is definitely more good news! This week, Brad has to learn how to give me my weekly the hiney! He'll practice on an orange for now. Then on Tuesday, before I leave, he'll really give it to me! Scary!

The last couple of days, as my tummy continues to grow, I'm noticing that my skin is really sensitive to touch. Even my shirt touching my tummy is a bit uncomfortable. The nurse said that my skin is totally stretching causing the discomfort. That means the babies are growing so it is worth it!

Tomorrow morning is my sonogram! They'll tell me the weights and lengths of the babies! I'm so excited to see them! I hope my cervix is the same or longer, reassuring me that I'll go home on Tuesday.

I'm knitting like crazy still and reading a lot now that I'm totally into my book, Jodi Picoult's Change of Heart. And, I'm continuing to procrastinate writing the college rec letters. Tomorrow, I've got to get on it!

Friends and family are still visiting, bringing food or snacks, or sending gifts. I appreciate everything so much. And keep the prayers coming!

Thanksgiving on my mind

Brad's pretty awesome. The hospital is 45 minutes from our house. His office is very close by, but he comes to see me every day, lunch, dinner or both. He stays the night here on the weekends. He does my laundry and brings it fresh the next day. He got on me for buying stuff online and paying for shipping when he could have just picked it up in the store. He shopped at 3 different baby stores until he found the best price for our Dr. Brown bottles. He spent several nights in a row caulking, sanding and painting the crown molding we installed several weeks ago. He took the fabric for our slip cover to the laundry mat to pre wash and dry, and then delivered the rocker and fabric to the upholstery shop. He is determined to have the nursery complete for when I come home. Every day before he leaves, he holds my belly, waiting to feel a kick or two. I know he is cutting into his PTI time on TV and having to really fast forward through some games he'd probably rather take time to enjoy. He does watch Grey's Anatomy with me in the hospital and stands the monitoring interruptions and inability to pause the show or fast forward the commercials. We'd forgotten what life was like before DVR. He's constantly researching the ratings on baby items we need.  He's taking the entire Thanksgiving week off to help with the adjustment of being home on bed rest. He's so excited about having these two baby boys. He's such an amazing husband and will be an incredible dad. I am so thankful for Brad.

I heard from some of the nurses and Dr. Martin that there was another young lady here who was pregnant with twins. She had to deliver them at only 23 weeks. Babies are just considered viable at 23 weeks. I cannot imagine what her and her husband are going through. Dr. Martin thinks I'll make it pretty far. I'm so thankful that my babies are still safe in my womb.

Some of the women here don't even live close to Dallas. They've traveled far for this special medical care. They have children at home. They only get to see their families and friends on short weekend visits. I am so thankful to have such great care so close to home.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Today I got to attend group!  This is just an hour session where the women on the floor are invited to be wheeled into a room together to do crafts or have lessons.  Today we made bracelets. The one I made is navy and teal and the two orange beads are for the boys! It was so nice to sit with about 6 other women. Their pregnancy issues really cover a wide range! All of them were further along than me, but they were all expecting to be in the hospital up until delivery! I feel lucky that I'm going to get to go home.  This Thursday, the group session will be all about breast feeding. Looking forward!

This morning, Shirley from band came by. She brought me a prayer blanket. Each member of the Richardson Community Band tied a knot on the blanket, symbolizing a prayer. That definitely made me a little emotional. WOW. I feel so grateful, so blessed, so hopeful. It was such a thoughtful thing to do.

The weekend was nice. I had several teachers visit Saturday. That was great! Helped me remember part of my identity! Thank you so much for coming by!

I have my glucose screening test today. I just had to chug some orange drink (tasted like a slightly carbonated Gatorade) and they'll take my blood in a few. This is just a screening for the chance of getting gestational diabetes. If my chances turn out to be high, I'll have to do a 3 hour test. I told the nurse I just ate a bunch of peanut m&ms and she said that wouldn't make a difference. Let's hope not!

The physical therapist did finally come by last week with some exercises and a band. Some things actually remind me of some muscles I haven't used in 2 weeks! I felt like I got tired or weak pretty quickly. Here I am working out hard core. Okay, not really. I'm just hoping this helps me keep some of my muscles from completely deteriorating!

Wow, I just got another flower delivery!  This one from Plano Senior High.  Love it!!!

And now, back to knitting.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

One Day at a Time

I'm anxious to share with you how I pass each day without losing my mind completely!

6:30am. Someone comes in. Is it the tech? I am so tired I don't really know. They take my blood pressure and temp and leave.

7:00am. Dr. Gaitomi (I totally just sound spelled his name) comes in every single morning at this time. Sometimes he's earlier. He leaves the lights off and stands there in the dark and talks to me about my progress. He is the resident on my case. He is small and young and reminds me so much of my Honors Pre Calc students working so hard, so smart, planning to go to medical school. He is absolutely awesome. He makes me feel very well-cared for and looked-after. He places orders for whatever meds or for physical therapy or for wheel chair rides. Today I actually learned that he has to do a rotation next week in another unit and I won't see him again. He said "maybe I'll see you when you come back to deliver." So sweet! I'll have another resident on my case until I leave.

7:30am. I probably tried to go back to sleep but breakfast has arrived and I'm getting hungry.

8:00am. I finally decide to raise the back of my bed to sit up and eat. I still just don't feel right in the mornings. Or maybe I just don't like breakfast foods. I take my time eating and sipping coffee or hot chocolate (I rotate each day between the two!). Some days I'll turn on the news, but most days I enjoy the silence. After eating, I might lie back down for a bit to let my mind wonder.

9:00am. Time for meds. I take nyphetapine (soft tissue relaxer. uterus is the largest soft tissue) and protonics for indigestion.

9:30am. Maybe I'll shower. This is the best...getting on my feet for a few minutes! Afterwards, I get dressed in normal clothes (to keep my sanity), open the blinds, make my bed and take my sweet time putting on makeup. I have this little roll table that holds all my beauty supplies in a tray that slides out. Handy!

10:30am. Somedays, this is about the time the nurse comes in to monitor the babies' heartbeats. They place two heartbeat monitors and a contraction monitor on my belly. They have to get good data for at least 20 minutes before they can stop. Lately it has been going well, but these baby boys move so much that one night, it took 1 hour, 45 minutes to get a 20 minute strip!!! It was torture!

11:30am. Lunch is delivered. This is way too early. I usually wait until at least 12:00.

12:15pm. Brad joins me most days since his office is less than 2 miles away. He has been driving to work (usually takes the bus) but he takes the train from work to the hospital for lunch. We chat and eat. He usually only comes if no one else is visiting during lunch like this little guy. Sullivan is my nephew and he is thrilled to make the bed move and turn the TV on!

1:30pm. Now I start trying to pass time. I have a lovely to do list. One for the house/Brad and one for me. Previously it consisted of grading a few more school papers and completing paperwork for human resources. Now it is things like: complete photo album, update registry, check that paperwork has been submitted, blah, blah, blah. I do a little email and web surfing and now blogging before really getting into my time passers. Here they are:

Knitting baby hats almost seems like a requirement here! haha! The occupational therapist is super nice but I seriously felt like I was expected to make a hat....hence the yellow magic you see below. Then she came back with some more motivating yarns and I got carried away and actually embraced the knitting.taking it to the scarf level! You know it!

Mom sent a package full of projects and pencil drawing was one of them. It is not easy and I'm talentless when it comes to drawing. This book really breaks it down and I never knew drawing was so technical! That masterpiece took over an hour!

Then there are days that just can't help but be entertaining. I was just chillin' (since that's what I do) and I noticed some cable cords outside my 7th floor window. How neat! I was going to get to see some window washers. So I anxiously awaited his appearance and got quite a chuckle at myself when I took a few pics of him. He never looked in once! It was weird, I know. But I've always thought that was such a fascinating job.

Well, I am really trying not to nap but the last few days I've been so tired in the afternoons. I figure I'll continue to sleep so well if I stay away from the naps. Yes, I'm sleeping wonderfully in this hospital bed. And though I haven't needed one yet, they do actually offer everyone up here and ambien!

Sometime in the afternoon I get another nyphetapine and I routinely get my blood pressure and temperature taken.

I do have one other important task that I really need to get going on. Who knew you could still procrastinate even when you have all the time in the world! I have promised some students I'd write their college rec letters. Most are due Dec. 15. I'll knock them out this week before going home! Yay...a goal!!

I've got a little speaker set to jam out to some iphone music and now I have a recorder (thanks, momma) to make my own music! I will have to save that one for home though so I don't upset the nurses.

I've got the best snuggie ever made for times when I'm cold. Brad ends up using it lots though. I keep the room super cool but continue to sweat while he is chilled. I am a human oven after all!

5:30pm. If I make it to this time, I'm good, I'm happy. Brad comes by after work. Thank goodness we have the best neighbors ever who let Mallie out for us! He'll stay for dinner, which also comes at this time. The food here is really not bad! I get to pick from a menu that changes each day. I can pick as much or as little as I want. I just have to remember that everything is actually portion sized. I have forgotten what portions actually look like!

This meal is an exception to the portion size standard though. It was so much food, so delicious and so colorful!

After dinner, Brad and I just hang out. If it is a good TV night, we'll watch our shows. If not, we just piddle or I take pictures of Brad or make him take pictures of me. Here are some of the results:

Brad fits in the pull out bed! Don't worry I've only put him through that torture 3 times.

This is my first trip outside after 10 days in! Thanks cervix for finally letting me sit up long enough to go outside!

Those you who haven't seen me prego and probably won't see me prego, here ya go. This is me at 24 weeks. Yes there is bare belly. I love seeing pregnant bellies so I don't mind showing mine. This pic was taken the day I realized that my belly button was no longer "in" at all. It isn't "out" yet but it is flat. Weird!


And this is what's happening inside at 24 weeks with twins. Don't worry, I'll make a slideshow of all my sono pics soon!

Finally, I have to show you this. The first picture is of my swollen pregnancy ankles while in Annapolis over Halloween weekend. The second pic is of my very bed rested ankles. Amazing what staying off your feet can do!

10:00pm. By this time, Brad has left (usually) and I'm pretty tired. I either watch The Newborn Channel or read. Reading knocks me right out at this time of day. I sleep and we do it all again the next day.

Needless to say, visitors make all the difference in how quickly my day goes by. I appreciate all of you!

Once I'm home, you can look forward to nursery pictures and sono pictures on the blog. Thanks for reading. It is wonderful release!

Medical Update

Since first hearing the news of my time in the hospital, you might not have heard how things have progressed. I had a sonogram on Thursday, November 12. My cervix was measuring a bit longer than it had following the cerclage procedure. This was great news! I was so happy that as I was scooting out of the sono room, Dr. Yost grabbed me and said, "slow down, don't get carried away, keep doing what you were doing!" I said "yes ma'am" and was wheeled back to my room.

As for the babies, they are continuing to look and sound great. They are kicking all the time and they are growing. Next Thursday, I'll have another sonogram and learn their lengths and weights.
Dr. Martin (my obgyn) came to visit that afternoon with a smile on her face. She said she approved an order for me to be wheeled out of my room to go outdoors for a bit, and for me to be wheeled to group meetings with the other women on this floor. I was ecstatic! I counted up my days indoors and can you believe it had been 10 days! At least I have a big window! Dr. Martin also advised me that if things continue to be stable, she thinks she could send me home Tuesday, November 24, just in time for Thanksgiving. This was more wonderful news even though I'm a bit nervous about how I'll handle bed rest with all the distractions at home.

Thank You

Never again will I underestimate the amount of generosity in this world.  I am amazed at how kind everyone has been throughout this experience.  The calls, visits, food, gifts and projects have all made my time in the hospital so much more bearable! While I wish hardship on no one, I do promise to return the favors!
Thank  you, Thank you, Thank you. 
I feel the love!