Tuesday, November 29, 2011


After the events of today, I am having a difficult time staying asleep. I feel incredibly overwhelmed with emotions of love and gratitude, while a number of thoughts endlessly run through my mind. So...what happened today? Oh, you know, I had two more children. It was a crazy, amazing, wonderful, (and terrifying) day.

It all began on Saturday,  when I thought I may be in labor after a couple hours of contractions. Nathan and I went to the hospital, where I was monitored for two hours. I was only 2 cm dilated and 40% effaced. Although I was having contractions, the doctor assured me that delivery was not imminent. The contractions were minor and my cervix was "non-laboring" (which means she saw no signs of change that would suggest labor). The attending physician told me to not expect to deliver for at least another week.

I kept these words in mind when the cramping returned Sunday afternoon. Thinking it was the usual minor contractions, I attempted to sleep through them and ignore the pain. After a somewhat restless (yet typical) night, I woke up around 7:30 to use the restroom. I noticed a very small amount of blood and noted the contractions were still there. It was nothing major (I thought), but just to be safe, I called labor and delivery at the hospital and asked if I should come in. The nurse, who remembered me from Saturday, assured me everything was fine and suggested I go in to see my doctor as soon as his office opened. I called and made an emergency request for an appointment with Dr. Miu. His office did not open until 8:30 and when no one had called me back by 9, Nathan and I decided to just walk in. By that, I mean Nathan literally walked in to the back of his office and said something like, "We need Dr. Miu now, please!" By this point, I suspected I was in labor due to the frequency of the contractions.

Dr. Miu was smiling as he hurriedly ushered us into a room. He performed an exam first thing and his expression immediately changed. He very quickly said, "You are dilated 6 centimeters. You are going to the hospital now and will have to ride in an ambulance." Before he could leave the room, I burst into tears and told him, "I cannot have my babies here! It's too soon! I can't have them here!" He apologized and told me, "There is no time to be flown anywhere. You are having these babies here, NICU or no NICU." I didn't hear anything else, as I was instantly hysterical and sobbing.

Because there is no NICU in our town, our plans were to deliver with another doctor an hour away at a nicer hospital. If something went wrong during delivery and the babies had any signs of trouble breathing, the hospital would not be able to help them here. Most likely, the boys would be immediately transported via helicopter to a neighboring hospital while I remained in Othello.  I was 35 weeks 1 day, so I knew they wouldn't be too small, but I also knew the hospital's pediatrician strongly recommended we have the babies elsewhere. As I imagined a variety of horrible scenarios, I cried due to feelings of immense guilt. I felt horrible for not going to the doctor or hospital sooner and for putting our babies at risk. How could I not listen to my body?

Nathan tried to calm me, and Eliza kept saying, "Be happy, Mommy." I couldn't stop shaking, though. Paramedics arrived, strapped me down to a gurney, and wheeled me outside. The next thing I knew, IV's were being put into my arms, I was being undressed, and an oxygen mask was secured to my face to help calm my breathing. Somehow, I managed to text a couple of my friends and family members and ask for prayers; I knew I desperately needed them.

The ride to the small hospital took less than five minutes, and I felt an immense sense of relief when I saw my mother-in-law's car pull up behind the ambulance. Cheryl is such an amazingly calm person, and I knew she would be able to help me. Already, prayers were being answered! By this time, it was 9:45 am.

I was rushed upstairs, where a team of nurses and doctors was waiting for me. I was dilated 8 centimeters, and I knew I had to gain my composure and stop crying if I wanted things to go smoothly. Cheryl held my hand and told me to focus on positive thoughts. She reminded me that soon I would have two beautiful sons and that the pain wouldn't last much longer.

In the midst of all of the commotion, I asked about the epidural. From conversations with multiple doctors, I knew epidurals are usually a requirement with twin deliveries. Even if both babies are head down, Baby B could potentially flip once Baby A has been born. This, along with a variety of other factors, often causes the need for emergency c-sections. Dr. O, who had been scheduled to deliver our sons, was extremely familiar with delivering twins and was comfortable with manually flipping a breech Twin B. He still recommended an epidural, though, just to be safe. Dr. Miu, on the other hand, was not comfortable with flipping a breech baby and almost always performs c-sections for all twin births.

However, our situation was very different. Things were progressing so quickly that our delivery was an exception to many rules. I still wasn't in much pain (uncomfortable yes, but it was the least of my worries due to all of the stress) and Dr, Miu let me know that introducing an epidural this late in the game could affect the progress of labor and my pushing ability. Both of these things could lead to a c-section or babies in stress. He said if I opted to do a drug-free labor, I would be able to push better and remain focused (most likely). Terrified of causing any stress to the babies without the safety of a NICU around, I decided I would do it naturally. Additionally, I was nearly 9 centimeters, so there really wasn't much time to do anything. If, for some reason, I needed a c-section, I would put under general anesthesia for the procedure (I actually preferred this idea over being awake during a c-section. All of you ladies who have had a c-section are much braver than me!).

During this time, Nathan manged to find a friend from church who worked at the hospital. They gave me a blessing of comfort, and almost instantly, I felt a sense of peace. I also received a flurry of texts from loving friends and knew I had a number of people praying for me. As they wheeled me down to the operating room, which is standard procedure for twin deliveries, the new nurse receiving me remarked, "Oh good. She's had her epidural."

I looked up at her and said, "Nope! I haven't had one. I just feel really good for some reason." She looked back at me in disbelief and said, "Well I'll be! I've never seen this before. You go, girl!"

I was put on an operating table and three huge, blinding lights were put on me.  A number of doctors and nurses filled the room, and the anesthesiologist stood over me with an oxygen mask, ominous and ready to pounce at any sign of distress. I asked him to get the oxygen mask out of my face. I knew I could do this.

After my brief words to the anesthesiologist, I paid no attention to anyone. I focused on my babies and hummed a song of comfort in my mind. Fifteen minutes and four pushes later, Elliott Dailey Robbins was born at 10:54 am. He weighed 5 pounds 5 ounces and was 17 1/2 inches long.
8 minutes and three pushes later, Ezra Lovell Robbins was born. He was 4 pounds 8 ounces and also 17 1/2 inches long.
He promptly peed on his brother as soon as they were side by side.
Both babies scored a 9 on the apgar and neither needed oxygen or to be life flighted to a NICU. It was a miracle. They don't have feeding tubes or breathing tubes; they are tiny, but strong and perfect.

I was in great condition after delivery, but started loosing an enormous amount of blood. Thankfully, my bleeding stopped before I had to have a blood transfusion. It's the reason why I look so pale, though, in these pictures. If Nathan looks pale to you, it is because he nearly passed out during the delivery. He ended up recovering once he found a stool to sit on :)

I know that the strength and the peace I felt came directly from God. I know He was protecting us, as he answered prayer after prayer with continual blessings.  Staying at the Othello hospital has been an immense blessing in disguise. We are down the street from our house (and our parents and Eliza) and our babies are receiving amazing treatment. There is only one other baby and mother in the hospital currently, so I have been treated like a princess! The nurses have been so kind, and I feel like some sort of celebrity because everyone wants to meet the girl who "had twins naturally with no drugs!" According to my doctor and nurse, I am the first patient to ever do that in this hospital. I am also one of the first patients to ever have a vaginal delivery of twins (drugs or no drugs) at the Othello Community Hospital; c-sections are the typical rule here.

I'm still in a daze that it all happened so quickly. To those women who haven't delivered a child yet (or even if they have), trust your instincts and go to the doctor/hospital if you feel like you may be in labor! Don't worry about "crying wolf" or false alarms. We were truly blessed that all went well.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

34 Weeks

The boys have been growing for 34 weeks. I can hardly believe it! They continue to move constantly, and I continue to feel increasingly tired. I think I will be saying that until these babies are born. The last two days, I have been awake maybe 6 hours of the day? Sleeping is my job, it seems.

I find it impossible to keep up with my appetite these days. I am always hungry, yet nothing sounds good. I just want chocolate milk and cheese, which is a problem. Sleeping all day also isn't helping me get the amount of calories I need.

Speaking of impossibles, I also find it impossible to get dressed. I stay in my pajamas every day except for Mondays when I go to appointments because really why bother? Yesterday, I managed to get ready for my doctor's appointment and an outing to Target. I felt like a huge success (no pun intended...well, maybe a little).
See! I am a waddle-saurus!!
Nathan pushed me around in a wheelchair and it felt wonderful to get out of the house on a "date." I was anxious about not having fitted sheets, diapers, and the other remaining baby items on our list, so the trip was an absolute necessity in my mind. We bought what we needed and are hopefully prepared for two little ones (prepared when it comes to material things, at least).

We then met Ty and Jenny for dessert and appetizers at Applebees. It was the perfect date for a pregnant lady. As we drove home, I realized Nathan and I will not have time for dates for the next few...years? I would say months, but I really don't see us leaving three children for a very long time, especially after we move and he starts graduate school. Good thing we both consider a bowl of ice cream and Netflix the perfect date :)

We'll see how much longer I last. These babies are welcome to come whenever they like, but selfishly I really hope they don't come until after Thanksgiving. I am excited to eat ridiculous amounts of delicious foods. I'm thinking I'll have no trouble reaching my calorie goal for a few days :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Feeling Loved is Nice

After an eventful night/morning at the hospital, I was feeling a bit down that the majority of my birthday would be spent recovering from sheer exhaustion. Nathan was a walking zombie as he attempted to power through the day and take care of Eliza so I could rest without any distractions. Sometime in the afternoon, I stumbled out of the bedroom to eat. As I walked through the house, I was pleasantly surprised to find a series of Post-it notes left in various places by Nathan and my mother-in-law, Cheryl.
It's wonderful how well they know me. Birthday notes were on my container of Carnation Instant Breakfast, inside the cereal bowls, on top of the spoons, on my box of cereal, on the bathroom mirror, and beside my computer. Throughout the day, I would randomly find another note, and I couldn't help but smile. I've never had anyone do anything similar to this, and I was surprised that it meant so much to me! Perhaps gifts are my primary love language, especially when someone has done something so thoughtful, even if it cost absolutely nothing (the love language book would call this "gifts of self").

I had so many thoughtful messages, texts, calls, and Facebook posts. It's funny, but despite the circumstances, I would consider this one of the best birthdays. Nathan wrote a sweet post for me and even baked a cake!
After we sang "Happy Birthday," he surprised me again with the perfect gift. He knew I loved Becca's handheld video recorder and bought me one. I love it!

Cheryl and I did some shopping on Down East and I treated myself to the following items:
(This coat is EXACTLY like the one I wanted from Anthropologie last year. It's only $50 instead instead of $225, though)

A couple of my favorite (and most adorable) gifts arrived this morning. Julie sent me a birthday package full of treats. It included a beautiful scarf and these:
How cute are these little hats!? So cute I DIE. I can't imagine having babies this small. I have been staring at them in wonder for the last couple of hours, and I still can't fathom the fact that they will have owners in just two short weeks.

Life is good. I am thankful for such wonderful friends and family.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Think I Love My Wife

Let it be known, I have never seen the above titled film, I just think it's a clever title. Also let it be know. . . It's Cecil's birthday today! And I wanted to celebrate her a bit.

Cecil is the best person I know. Period. (Redundant periods, right?) Best mom, best wife, best twin-incubator, best friend, best singer. And as it happens, best Scrabble player. Who knew? Everyone.

We've been through a whoooole lot over the past few years, but I honestly wouldn't change a thing. Here are some highlights.

And now a movie of Cecil being an awesome mom. And proof that three ain't no thang.

I can't wait to see what's in store for us. Oh wait. I already know. Twins. Chaos. Thrills. Love.

Happy Birthday Cecil!

PS. You were not expected to watch the entire slide show nor the entire video. If you did, you are a true Robbins fan.

That's MY Birthday!

It was after midnight, and I couldn't fall asleep. Nothing new really. Trying to get comfortable these days is an accomplishment in itself and staying comfortable is even more difficult. After an hour of laying in the darkness, I sat up and felt a pain go down my left side. I decided I should probably lay back down. The pain continued, despite how I positioned myself.

Ever since my fainting episode on Tuesday, I have felt nauseated and light-headed. It was hard for me to eat or drink anything yesterday, so I attributed the side pains to dehydration. The pains then turned into contractions. I began timing them and finally decided it was time to wake Nathan up once the contractions were consistently 2 minutes apart for 45 minutes.

I rolled over and managed to say, "We need to go the hospital. Right now. I've been having contractions for over an hour, and they are 2 minutes apart."

Nathan jumped out of bed and said, "Well, I'm awake!"

We woke up Cheryl and Rex (my in-laws), and Cheryl sat with me to time contractions. She agreed we should go to the hospital in order to make sure everything was okay. We decided to go to the local Othello hospital, even though they are not equipped to handle premature infants. We were desperately hoping the contractions were something the community hospital could stop.

After a prayer, we were on our way. Unfortunately, it had snowed and the roads were extremely icy. Luckily for us, the hospital is only four houses down the street. As I took note of the road conditions, I realized any trip to the Tri-Cities would be hazardous (in case this was real labor and we needed to deliver). Nathan was great at calming me down and reminded me it was my birthday. He said the babies had to have their own birthday, so they couldn't be born today. I tried to smile, but I was pretty worried.

With Eliza, I went into preterm labor at 32 weeks, 34 weeks, and ultimately delivered her one day shy of 36 weeks. I only felt intense contractions like I did this morning on the day she was born; my preterm labor pains were an entirely different story. I tried not to focus on these facts, though.

I was admitted, and sure enough-- I was having contractions. The nurse, a really nice guy named Doug, said they looked minor (even though they didn't feel that way), but were definitely back to back. He said my body was "warming up" for delivery. He also let me know the contractions shouldn't be as uncomfortable as they obviously were. Some tests were done, and I have another bladder infection. Joy! The infection was causing additional uterine irritability, which made the contractions pretty painful.

Because the contractions were consistent for over an hour and showed no signs of slowing, I was given terbutaline to stop labor. [Warning. This is about to get slightly graphic: I was also 2 cm dilated, and the doctor could feel the suture lines on Baby A's head when he performed the exam. He said Baby A is definitely getting ready to come and that he could stay that low down until delivery. No wonder I have a hard time walking!] Within an hour of receiving the antibiotics via IV and a terbutaline shot, I felt immensely better. The contractions were gone, and the pain had subsided.

By 8 AM, I was back home. After being awake for 24 hours straight, I managed to sleep a few hours and have spent the remainder of my day in a weird fog brought on by a lack of sleep and a mixture of drugs. My birthday plans include sleeping as much as possible tonight. I can tell 25 is going to be an exciting age :)

I also have to say how incredibly grateful I am for modern medicine. I am so happy our babies can continue to grow strong. Even though I would have loved having birthday buddies, I would prefer they have their own birthday in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wherein I Lose My Driving Privileges

Yesterday, I went in for a non-stress test at my local doctor's office. During these tests, I am hooked up to multiple monitors and unable to move as I uncomfortably lay on my back and focus on breathing. The length of the test depends on the babies and their movement/sleep schedule, but I am usually strapped down for about an hour each visit. Needless to say, the appointment is long and boring. With these factors in mind, I decided to drive myself the one mile to my appointment and leave Nathan at home so Eliza could have her afternoon nap as scheduled.

After some deliberation, I decided I should probably let my doctor know my gestational diabetes test had never been performed. I'm sure some of you are thinking, "Umm...shouldn't you have mentioned that weeks ago?" I guess the correct answer is yes. Yes,  I should have said something 5 weeks ago when the test is typically done. However, I could not bring myself to face the reality of drinking the most vile liquid substance known to man (well, woman).

When I was pregnant with Eliza, my sister came to support me during my gestational diabetes test. She was a few weeks behind me with her own pregnancy, and I definitely was not the greatest example of things to come. I sat in the doctor's office and audibly gagged and then cried as I tried to drink 8 ounces of a lemon-lime mixture that tasted "just like Sprite!" My sister, disgusted by the sound of gagging, nearly threw up several times and ultimately had to leave the room.  So, being the good 22 year old woman that I was, I literally kicked my feet in frustration and cried as the kind nurse told me: "If you don't finish drinking that glucola in the next 5 minutes, sweetheart, the test is completely useless." Somehow, between sobs, I managed to drink the rest of the lemon-lime nastiness. I then managed to keep the substance down for an hour like the test requires.  As soon as my blood was drawn, I promptly threw up and felt sick for the entirety of the day. With this traumatic experience firmly lodged in my mind, I didn't exactly jump at the chance to have the test done again. (Additionally, a full blood panel was done a few weeks ago and the doctor saw no signs of high blood sugar or diabetes. I also used this to justify not saying anything.)

The night before my non-stress appointment, my other doctor mentioned a new way of performing glucose tests. At his office, women can choose between drinking the disgusting sugary drink and JELLY BEANS.  Good doctor, where have you been all of my life!? I don't exactly love jelly beans, but eating 25 Jelly Bellies sounds like a walk in the park compared to the horrors of lemon-lime glucola. I decided I would go the Jelly Belly route (duh).

Sadly, Jelly Belly technology hasn't made it to Othello yet. The lab technician told me he had never heard of eating jelly beans as an alternative to drinking glucola. I immediately reached into my purse and produced the handout I had received the night before; it clearly explained that jelly beans were acceptable.  He glanced at the sheet for a moment and then said, "Sorry. You have to drink this fruit punch glucola in less than 5 minutes. That's the only option. We'll then have you come back in an hour to have your blood drawn. That's the policy."

I was alone, and I wasn't mentally prepared to drink glucola; I was prepared to eat some Jelly Bellies! Being a much more mature 24 year old mother, I took the fruit punch without flinching and promptly chugged its contents as a room full of lab technicians said things like, "My wife threw up when she had to do this" and "Please don't throw up. A woman did that yesterday, and it wasn't fun for any of us." I didn't disappoint them. 

With the glucola safely in my body, I went to have my non-stress done. I was feeling slightly nauseated, which was a combination of fasting for the diabetes test and drinking the glucola. The nurse remarked that I looked pale, and I told her I just needed to lay down. I also muttered something like, "I'm always pale" in attempt to show her I was feeling fine. For the next 45 minutes, the boys were monitored and everything looked perfect. Two nurses and a doctor came into the room to check my vitals and remove the monitors. Finally, it was time to sit up. With the help of the nurses, I was pulled into an upright position.

Taking my cue, I passed out.

The next thing I knew, I had a wet cloth on my forehead and fingers snapping in front of my face. I managed to say, "I'm okay. Just hungry." The fingers continued to snap, though, and I apparently passed out again.

I woke up and there were three nurses and a doctor in the room. My face was burning for some reason, and I felt my cheeks turning even redder as I fought off the embarrassment of fainting twice. Through my tears, I mumbled some sort of apology and then proceeded to faint again.

As with many things, the third time is the charm.  The nurses brought me snacks and drinks, but I still had to wait 10 more minutes before my blood could be drawn for the glucose test. I did not want to repeat the test again! The doctor heard (somehow) that I had driven myself to the appointment and made me call my mother-in-law to come and pick me up. He stayed in the room, watched me dial, and listened to the conversation to make sure I actually called her.

Cheryl came, my blood was drawn, and I was able to finally leave. Before I left, I was told, "You can't drive anymore." I haven't driven on my own in weeks (actually months), so this isn't a huge deal. I just hope I sufficiently recover from my immense embarrassment before my appointment next Monday.  I keep telling myself, "You're pregnant. It's okay to swoon." I'll let that be my mantra these last three weeks.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

33 Weeks and Updates!

[warning: this post could be overly long.]
Although reaching 33 weeks of pregnancy has brought new meaning to the word exhaustion, I am trying to find joy in simply making it another week. Only three more weeks to go! I've got this!
The last couple of days, I have really struggled with the complete lack of control I have right now. Me? Care about control? WHAT!? Yes. I do like having a plan and knowing what to expect. It's just part of my nature. So, feeling like I cannot I have a "normal" day and plan on spending my evenings doing something other than staying in bed has become quite difficult.

I have become so large that it is painful to walk even short distances. I waddle everywhere and can't help but think of Nathan's words the last time I was pregnant. We were walking into Walmart, and he was patiently waiting for me to catch up to him. I let him know that it was hard for me to keep up with his fast pace, and his response was, "I can't wait for this pregnancy to be over so I can walk fast again." Oh, Nathan. Such honesty.

The waddling isn't anything different, but I have started the new habit of sleeping most of the day. I simply cannot stay awake.  I don't even have enough energy to watch episodes of Law and Order on Netflix these days. That is serious.  Apparently, hibernation suits me well because I still show no signs of contractions and the babies are thriving.

We had two appointments yesterday: one with the perinatologist and another with our new OB/GYN. The first appointment, which included an hour long biophysical ultrasound, went well. Baby A and Baby B somehow switched (or either I have been confused this entire time), and Baby A (formerly Baby B) is now closer to my cervix and the "lead" baby. He weighs in at an estimated 4 pound 10 ounces, while his brother is 4 pounds 11 ounces. That means I have over 9 pounds of baby in me. I guess I have good reason to waddle.

We met briefly with the doctor before leaving and he again stressed the importance of having the babies before 36 weeks. He mentioned a conference he attended, where the discussion involved the sudden death of monochorianic-diamniotic twins (pregnancies like mine with one placenta, two sacks). I nodded that I understood the gravity of delivering right at 36 weeks, but what I wanted to say was: "WHY are you telling me this!? PLEASE STOP TALKING."

So yes, our children will definitely be here before December 4th.

Nathan and I then went to our next appointment to meet Dr. O, who will deliver our sons. I had read  Dr. O was notorious for ridiculously long waiting times, so I scheduled our appointment for the last opening of the day. My thinking: If the office closes at 5, then an appointment which begins at 5 will not last long. Who wants to stay later than scheduled hours? This, for some reason, made sense in my mind.

Imagine my surprise when Nathan and I walked into the office, only to see approximately 20-25 people waiting. Angry, tired people. The frustration was almost palpable. We checked in and the nurse said the doctor was running about 40 minutes behind. 40 minutes? I can handle that. We live an hour away from the office, so we figured it would be better to wait than to reschedule. Three and a half hours later, we met the doctor. 

Three and a half hours. When you spend the majority of your day laying down, this amount of time feels like an eternity. The woman beside me had gestational diabetes, was also pregnant with twins, and had driven 45 minutes for her appointment. She waited over 4 hours to be seen, so I really had no room to complain. By the time the doctor came into the room, I was tired, angry, frustrated, and hungry. I had been crying and trying not to freak out on the nurses. One nurse told Nathan and I that the doctor is typically two to three hours behind schedule. She said people are angry every day and patients constantly yell at her. Obviously, they have a problem with scheduling. 

Nathan was going to "have some words" with the doctor, but after a minute of chatting, we were charmed. He is an incredibly nice man, and I immediately felt like I could trust him. Because he does not practice with a group of other doctors, he has to run back and forth between appointments and delivering babies at the hospital. Naturally, this makes him one busy man. We spoke to him about our birth plan and he is determined to do a natural birth. Both babies are head down and hopefully they will stay that way. Unlike the other doctors we met this summer, he did not ask, "When do you want to schedule your c-section?" or "Would you like your tubes tied afterward?" I could understand why people are willing to put up with the horrible waiting time once we spoke with him. He also let us know that most patients check in and then go to dinner or run errands during their "waiting time." Nathan and I will not make the same mistake twice!

I will continue to see Dr. Miu for my weekly appointments and non-stress tests in order to avoid driving an hour each way. Dr. O was perfectly fine with this arrangement, and we won't see him again until December 2nd. Everything ended up working out well, and I am glad we like and trust our delivering doctor.

Things are going to be incredibly different in 20 days (or so)!

Friday, November 11, 2011

How is That Possible?!

On Tuesday, I went in for a non stress test and a regular OB appointment. I mentioned previously that I measured nearly 35 weeks along. As many of you know, this number is based on fundal height, which is the measurement from the top of the uterus to the pubic bone. After 12 weeks of pregnancy, fundal height measurement often matches the number of weeks you have been pregnant. So, if a woman is 24 weeks pregnant, the fundal height usually measures 24 centimeters. Today, only three days later, I am now measuring 42 weeks pregnant. That is more than a 7 week (and 7 cm) change in 3 days!
I haven't gained any weight, so I assume the addition of 7 cm to my fundal height is due to the babies readjusting. I have felt some crazy movement, so I imagine Baby A is doing the Superman in utero. It's the only reasonable explanation I can come up with! Sadly, these measurements prove that I do, in fact, look like a human torpedo.

Photographic evidence. This is the difference of five days.

After I repeatedly asked Nathan to retake my photo, he finally said: "It's not the camera. It's not the angles. It's the subject."


If you want to see a more interesting view of this, Nathan used his Photoshop skills to overlap the images. It's not perfect, but it definitely illustrates the point.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Boys - Listen to Your Mother and Stay Still

While I have always seen myself as someone who wanted children and to be a nurturer,  I seem to be  missing the "I love being pregnant and feeling my babies move" maternal gene.

Pregnancy is rough on the human body--particularly my human body. I see some women with beautiful, healthy hair and glowing skin and think, "Must be nice." I, on the other hand, vomit constantly for months and then lay around in my pajamas for a few more months. Glamorous.

When it comes to feeling the babies move, I have expressed my thoughts on the matter several times. I always make sure to mention that movement is comforting (because it is), but really, I have a hard time dealing with the amount of turns, kicks, and punches lately. 

Last night, I hysterically laughed/cried as I tried to fall asleep because the boys would not stay still (just ask Nathan. He had no clue how to react. Was I dying? Should he laugh too? No. Don't laugh. Only I laugh. You...you feel bad for me. Got it?). I believe Baby A may have flipped or turned completely. He pushed his bum up against my skin, which transformed my stomach into an oddly shaped torpedo. He then decided to remain in that position (which was painful for me) until I literally pushed his bottom back down. Gross. Seriously gross. Baby B, who usually plays nice, decided to join in on the action and was ramming his head repeatedly into my side. Why?? !

Well, enough complaining. I should probably name something I am grateful for to counter the angst of this post. Hmm...I am grateful for cheese and a husband who refills my water bottle every time I yell for him (I need a bell or something). That excuses my negativity, right?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Are We There Yet?

If I had to describe how I feel in one word, it would be tired.

I am so tired.

Today,  total exhaustion has overwhelmed my body.  My ribs and back are so sore that it hurts to lay down, but I am too tired to even sit up. If I didn't have to worry about eating so much, I would probably just sleep the entire day. I'm nauseated, aching, and feeling very pregnant. Constant kicks remind me that my body isn't entirely my own. And while feeling the boys move can be comforting, their nonstop movement has become quite ridiculous. If I lay on my left side, Baby B kicks and complains. If I lay on my right side, Baby A has a fit. If I lay on my back, I can't breathe. So really, there is no good solution to the problem.

My mother called earlier tonight, and I could barely give her an update on my current condition. I think I managed to say, "I'm just so tired."

She knowingly said, "I know you are ready for this to be over." I immediately responded, "No. Not really...because this being over means two more babies, and they need to grow as long as they possibly can. Also, we don't have any diapers yet."

Every day, we are a step closer to having three children. That is triple the current number of our offspring (math is so weird and when I think about it like that, I begin to freak out a little). I know I am tired now, but I assume I will be tired a month from today when we have two more little ones.

Selfishly, I am excited to have my own body back. I'm currently measuring 35 weeks pregnant, which may not sound huge to many of you. However, like I said earlier, I was never this big with Eliza. I can't sit up or get out of bed without assistance. Additionally, I finally reached the stage where I find it impossible to dress myself. How does that happen!? My hands are swollen, and I had to take off my wedding ring yesterday (another first). I feel huge, but I am amazed that my body has done so well considering the circumstances.

25 days and counting!  I know Nathan will be happy to have his wife back, and Eliza will enjoy actually playing with me, rather than only watching television together.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Weird Dreams

I know crazy dreams can often be a symptom of pregnancy. Perhaps it is the hormones or the stress, but my dreams the past few days have been so vivid that I wake up confused. I find myself thinking, "Wait. Did that happen?"

A few nights ago, I dreamed we actually had triplets rather than twins. Last night, I dreamed we had twin daughters and that my mother lost one of the babies when she was helping me watch them. She couldn't remember which room she had left the baby in, so I was frantically running throughout the house, searching for my child. Strange, right?

The most interesting element to many of these dreams is that they involve two little girls. There is no doubt we are having sons, so why do I never dream about little boys? I mostly blame my dreams at the beginning of this pregnancy. Remember when I said I was psychic? Before we found out we were having twins, I dreamed Nathan and I had twin daughters.  Funny enough, Nathan also had a similar dream the night before the big ultrasound. That's why I jokingly asked, "Are you sure there is only one?" when we went in for our first ultrasound. Nathan also felt like we were having little girls, so imagine our surprise when we discovered we were having two little boys. Obviously, I am terrible at discerning the gender of my children. 

That being said, Nathan and I are ecstatic we're having two little boys. The look on Nathan's face when I asked the ultrasound technician to confirm the undeniable truth of us having two boys was priceless. I felt surprise and then immense happiness and peace. Eliza can remain the only little princess, and I have always wanted baby boys; it's the best of both worlds! 

So, even though I don't actually believe I am psychic, Nathan and I are hesitant to press our luck. What if we had another set of twins? That would be awesome, but it sounds like a whole lot of craziness! I think three children sounds like a perfect number.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

32 Weeks

Today marks 32 weeks, which is a huge milestone in the twin pregnancy world. I gained 5 pounds this week (success!), and I can definitely feel the extra weight on my joints, back, sides, ribs...everywhere.

Yesterday, I proudly told my sister my current weight. She gasped and said, "What!? No way!" Obviously, this nonstop eating is helping and all three of us are growing just fine.
Less than 30 days until we meet our little boys!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

How Exciting!

For the past few months, Nathan and I have heard the exclamation, "How exciting!" dozens of times. Everyone is so happy for us to have twins-- family, friends, and even complete strangers (we're excited, too).

And although it seems like everyone knows someone who has twins or is pregnant with twins, people are always fascinated by multiple births.  I find myself constantly answering the same set of questions.

The conversations usually go something like this:

"Twins? How exciting! How far along are you?"

"(Insert number) weeks."

"Do you know if you are having boys or girls?"

"We're having two boys."

"Are they identical?"


"How can they tell that!?"

"Well, the doctors can see the babies are sharing a placenta, so that means they have to be identical."

"So, do twins run in your family?"

"They do on my husband's side, but because our twins are identical, it means it has nothing to do with genetics. It's really a lucky coincidence." 

"Oh really (doesn't look convinced). So, are you having a c-section?"

"Hopefully not. It depends on the babies." 

"I just assumed all twins were born by c-section these days. So, did you and your husband plan on this? Were they natural?"

"Yes, we planned on having another baby. No, we didn't decide to have twins. And yes, they are natural." (followed by my awkward, uncomfortable laughter)

I think that covers the basics.

I realize conversations like these can be extremely annoying for many pregnant women, but I actually don't mind the questions. The only questions I try to avoid are the final ones I mentioned-- the ones about whether or not Nathan and I "planned" to get pregnant with twins and if they are natural. Not only are these question ridiculous, but it is awkward for obvious reasons. Other than that, though, I am more than happy to talk about our babies. They occupy my thoughts the majority of the day and growing them is my full-time job. I also realize I have been on the opposite side of the conversation.

Before my own twin pregnancy, I was fascinated by multiples. This infatuation began years ago when I was a little girl; I always wanted two baby dolls so I could pretend I had twins. Additionally, I was obsessed with Quints. Do you remember these?
When I called my grandmother and announced we were having twins, she happily exclaimed: "Oh, Cil! This is perfect for you. It's like your dream come true!"

And you know what? It is.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Behold, the Power of Words!

Just a few months ago, Nathan and I discussed how wonderful it would be once Eliza could voice her opinions and speak in full sentences. We would play the guessing game with her as she said words we couldn't quite discern. I found myself constantly asking her,  "Did you want this?,"or "Do you need that?"

I hated knowing Eliza was frustrated with her inability to effectively communicate. Thankfully, she learned a few baby signs and could tell us some basic needs (i.e. if she was hungry or thirsty). Eliza is particular about many things, though, so this didn't help us too much.

So, here we are today and Eliza is vocalizing every little thought and desire. Here are a few common phrases heard in our household lately:

"I want Gabba."
"I want more juice."
"I want chocolate milk... in a bottle."
"I want a hot dog."
"I want more ketchup."
"I want twinkle." (sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
"I want a pink marshmellow."
"I want a black cookie." (Oreo)
"I want a pancake." (she actually means a cupcake)
"I want to try again."

Now that she can actually verbalize her various wants, Eliza expects to receive everything she requests. If we ignore a plea for a certain something or tell her "no," she acts as though we didn't hear her the first time. For minutes, she will repeatedly say the same phrase over...and over...and over again. She will then look at us with a face that says: "Can't you hear me?! I know I said this right!"

Yesterday, after Eliza cried "I want more Gabba" for ages and then refused to eat dinner and begged for chocolate milk, Nathan looked at me and said, "I don't understand what is going on here. We've given her boundaries. We have a routine, and she knows she has to eat dinner.  She can't always have chocolate milk and watch television. Where is this coming from!?"

And then, with shame, I silently raised my hand. Nathan and I couldn't help but laugh because it is coming from me! She sees me drinking milk constantly throughout the day and knows I add Carnation Instant Breakfast in the morning and at night (i.e. chocolate milk). She also knows I am in bed the majority of the day, reading or watching television. For right now, I am not the best example.

Over the last few days, Eliza has made it well known that she would like a routine more similar to mine. Additionally, she no longer goes willingly to bed and fights with Nathan over taking naps. Even after she is in bed, we hear her asking for things she "wants." Last night, she woke up several times in the middle of the night.

She had one want: "Da-da." I think she cried his name twice before Nathan ran upstairs. As soon as she saw him, she said, "I want twinkle!" It's so hard to be upset with a cute little toddler.

While Eliza can be very opinionated and stubborn, Nathan is calm and possesses an inordinate amount of patience. I am impressed daily with his ability to negotiate with Eliza. He gives her opportunities to "try again" and "make good choices." I'm grateful for such a wonderful husband. It comes in handy...especially in these kinds of situations :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Curlers, Please

Eliza has recently started to express an interest in more "girly" things. For months, she has shunned baby dolls and bows and has instead opted to dig in the sand, play with trucks, and collect toy trains. Nathan and I have encouraged her to do what she wants, so she has amassed a rather large collection of matchbox cars and helicopters. I guess "boy" toys are much more exciting. I've saved the Polly Pockets and princess jewelry for someday when Eliza deems them worthy of her time (if that ever happens).

Over the past few weeks, though, she has suddenly decided it's okay to put on dresses and even requests to wear her "sparkle shoes" every day. She still isn't a fan of things in her hair, stuffed animals, or dolls, but does enjoy lip gloss and and the color pink.

Speaking of "things in her hair," Eliza's hair is out of control. I'm not sure what to do with it because cutting it will not solve the problem of it constantly being in her eyes (unless we give her bangs...which wouldn't really work with her curls). She allowed pig tails for a while, but is over that phase. Any bow, clip, or rubberband is promptly pulled out. So, imagine my surprise last night when Eliza requested curlers in her hair!

Grandma was rolling her hair, and Eliza thought it would be a good idea for her to join in on the fun. She was dismayed that we only gave her one curler and insisted, "More curlers, please!"
Grandma came to the rescue.

Eliza was happy, but a little embarrassed of her new look. She kept the curlers in for over an hour, though! 
Now, if I could only think of a way to convince her to keep other things in her hair....She's especially cute when you can see her little face!

(We should also work more on the baby doll issue. We found her repeatedly slamming her doll on the floor after I pretended it was "mommy's baby." She loves kids, but doesn't quite understand babies or what the point of a baby doll is. Hopefully, she adjusts well to two her new brothers).

Halloween Night

On Halloween night, Nathan and I decided we wouldn't take Eliza door to door trick-or-treating. She had already received an excessive amount of candy at trunk-or-treat, so we didn't think it was really necessary. Besides, it was cold and dark, which didn't seem like great conditions for a two year old.

Despite all of these reasons (or excuses?), I was feeling a little guilty for not taking her out. Nathan and I were at an appointment in the Tri-Cities until 6:30 and were surprised to see a happy little princess handing out candy at our front door when we arrived home.
Grandma added fairy wings and a wand because Eliza liked them :)
Apparently, for Eliza, it is much better to give than to receive. Anytime the doorbell rang, she excitedly ran to the door and yelled, "Trick-or Treat!" She then proceeded to give each child a piece of candy and thank them for coming. She did this for over two hours and it never got old to her.

So yes, we have it confirmed. Eliza is an extrovert. She loves being around other children, which will hopefully be a wonderful thing once her twin brothers arrive. Brace yourself, Eliza!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Change in Plans

After meeting with Dr. Miu in Othello, we thought we had a solid birthing plan. We planned on having the babies at the smaller, community hospital as long as I made it safely to 36 weeks. If anything appeared to be amiss, we would immediately be taken to Spokane or the Tri-Cities for better care.

However, as I began reading various articles and doing research on premature twins, a number of red flags went up in my mind.  I knew I needed more information in order to feel peace about our decision. Nathan and I decided to speak with our perinatologist, Dr. Halverson, and to then discuss the issue with Dr. Miu again in order to alleviate any fears.

When we asked, "What is the safest plan for us to have the boys? Where should we deliver?," Dr. Halverson recommended we meet with the local pediatrician who would tend to the babies once born. Dr. Miu reiterated this suggestion, so Nathan made an appointment to speak with the doctor.

He received some surprising news, and our plans definitively changed. As luck would have it, Dr. Anwon, the pediatrician, will be out of town from December 2nd - December 10th. I will be induced on December 4th if I haven't already gone into labor naturally, so this is obviously a problem. While there will of course be another doctor on call, Dr. Anwon explained the hospital would not have the necessary staffing or equipment to deal with two premature babies at once. Each baby would require its own medical team and the hospital cannot offer that in her absence. And, if I were to go into labor before December 2nd, Dr. Anwon stated the hospital could not provide the care needed for two premature infants, even if she was available.

She explained that premature boy babies "misbehave" more than premature girl babies. Eliza was 5 weeks premature and was a healthy 6 pounds at birth. She had no complications and came home two days later. Unfortunately, boys usually require more support if born early. With this fact in mind, she let us know that having our children in Othello was out of the question.

Cue me freaking out.

There is a hospital four doors down from my house, and it is essentially useless? Well, I guess that isn't even a question. Yes, the hospital is useless as it cannot help me or my children. This means that the closest hospital with capable staff and equipment is an hour away.

With that in mind, this is our new plan: Ty and Jenny, Nathan's brother and my lovely sister-in-law, live in the Tri-Cities. I asked if I could stay with them once I reach 35 weeks in order to be closer to the hospital. If anything happens before 35 weeks, Nathan and I will go to the hospital down the street and hope they can quickly fly/drive us somewhere.

I'm not really worried about going into labor before 36 weeks, though.  At my appointment yesterday, everything looked wonderful. I have no signs of contractions and the doctor said nothing indicates an early delivery.  I'm telling my body to go into labor at 35 weeks 6 days, so I don't have to be induced. It's going to work, too (at least that is what I am telling myself).

Our plans have changed, but I think it is for the best. We will be at a much better hospital, which makes me feel incredibly better about the entire situation. We will also be switching doctors yet again. Dr. Miu recommended someone in the Tri-Cities, and I meet with him on the 14th. I hope he is excited to take on a new patient who is 34 weeks pregnant with twins!

Overall, this entire experience has shown me what a blessing it is to live close to nice hospitals and civilization. When we lived in Provo, I took the capable hospitals and doctors for granted. We had options when it came to medicine, and that just isn't the case here. As long as our babies are taken care of, though, I am fine with being an hour away from home.