Wednesday, January 27, 2010

15 weeks

Like every week, I can’t believe where I am. I cannot believe I am three and a half months pregnant. Life is changing on an almost daily basis for me, and I am really excited even while I am missing some of my favorite things (like sushi!) in the meantime.

I have a definite belly bump now, although someone could still easily think I am just a bit overweight and carrying the extra in my belly. I think I have gained about 5 pounds. I still have some queasiness, but no more vomiting so far. My second cold of the season has faded to almost nothing and I’m crossing my fingers that I stay healthy now. A beautiful day of sunshine after two weeks of rain is doing a lot to improve my mood, too.

On the life front, things are mostly good. We’re looking at houses, and may have found one to make an offer on. It is next door to a park, but an inspection of go.ogl.e maps shows that part of the park, the part that shares a fence with the house, is parceled into a nice neat rectangle, and we’re wondering why. It would suck to buy a house on a park only to have an electric station or some other ugly thing go in next door. Otherwise, though, the house is beautiful and perfect for kids – 4 bedrooms and a huge loft, beautiful kitchen and living areas, plus a really nice yard. It’s ridiculously expensive, but we’re lucky that we can manage it. We could manage in our 2-bedroom apartment for a while, but it’s not very realistic – especially with no space to keep a stroller or anything else baby-related.

We’re looking at other purchases, although we won’t be actually buying anything for at least several months still. We’re guessing we’ll need a second car (in bike-friendly Davis, we’ve managed just fine sharing a car up until now), but I still want to get a jogging stroller that converts to a bike trailer for some of our jaunts downtown. Once we figure out where we’ll be living, we’ll have to start thinking about baby furniture, too. I haven’t thought much father than that, though – I don’t want to even think of buying any baby stuff until 20 weeks, and preferably not until after 24.

In two more weeks, we have an ultrasound at the OB. They don’t have a great machine, but I’m really hoping we can find out the genders. Then we can finally start having some real discussions about names and other plans. I’m very, very excited.

And tomorrow I leave for a four-day work conference, and I'll hopefully find out why I haven't been promoted yet, and if I ever will be. And if not - well, February just might be my last month at work.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

14 weeks and NT scan pics

I'm 14 weeks today! According to our ip.od pregnancy application, the babies will double in length from about 3 inches to 6 inches in the next few weeks - I'm going to be getting huge pretty soon.

A few quick pics of my NT scan last week. I still don't have results because I didn't know I was supposed to get my blood drawn earlier, and I couldn't have anyway since I had just returned from Italy. However, they did say that the ultrasound portion of the test looked very good.

Here's a pic of the two little beans together. It was amazing, on the screen we could see them kicking each other, their little legs flailing wildly. I guess it was a preview of what is to come.
This is a pic of Baby A (I think - how do you keep track of which is which?), sort of sucking his or her thumb. I couldn't believe how well-formed the fingers were. Baby A was very mellow, just hanging out and letting the tech get lots of pics. We have some great profile pics. To get all the measurements, the tech had to jiggle the transducer pretty hard against my stomach to get the baby to turn. And here is a pic of Baby B, our little acrobat. This one would not sit still for a moment, the tech was waving the transducer all over the place trying to catch up with this little tadpole. We got some decent pictures of the arms and legs, but nothing great of the whole baby since Tadpole wouldn't stop zooming around. I love this pic, though. Everyone who has seen this pic is convinced that this one is a girl.
And that is my post on the NT scan. The scan itself took about 30 wonderful, magical minutes, and then we met with a genetic counselor who took our family history and advised us on which blood tests we may want to do. I just wished we already had the blood test results so we could have found out our risk levels that day.

So far, though, everything is looking good! I am starting to let out my breath a bit and believe that things might go well up to the end. It's a really nice feeling.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mish mash

I feel like I have so much to write about, and at the same time I don't know what to write about. A lot of little blurbs and bits, and I know I have my NT pictures to post - I'll try to do that tomorrow.

I'm feeling very, very sad about Haiti. I don't know what to think about it. I hate that I am a "rich American" and feel like I am helping by throwing money at the problem - but on the other hand, I have no idea what else I could do. I read a book a while back about Dr. Paul Farmer, who has worked for years to alleviate suffering in many poor places in the world, but whose special focus was Haiti. The book is Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. The organization Dr. Farmer co-founded is Partners in Health, and they are accepting donations for Haiti - so if you want to make a donation but don't know which aid organizations are reputable, I would vouch for this one. And because they have been in Haiti for years, they already have the basic infrastructure to provide aid, so you know your donation will be well-used.

On the home front, I am doing well. The nausea has subsided for at least a few days, and I am trying to eat a lot. I even made it to the gym today, which I NEED to do to complete my knee surgery rehab. It's also a nice place to weigh myself, since I don't have a scale at home.

And that's how I know that at 14 weeks (minus one day) I STILL haven't really gained any weight - I'm up about 2-3 pounds, but my weight generally fluctuates and I'm not over the upper limit I usually set for my non-pregnant self.

Are there any women out there who are pregnant with twins or who have given birth to twins who can tell me if this is normal? Dr. Luke doesn't think so at all. I eat two breakfasts, lunch, and dinner, and at least one small afternoon snack. I never let myself get hungry (and if I do happen to get hungry, I eat right away). I haven't been working out, although I'm starting a low-level exercise routine for my knee and my cardiovascular health.

Other than that, the pregnancy seems to be going well. I'm getting lots of weird pains and cramps and stretching and pulling, but nothing that I'd consider a big deal. I have back-aches and pain that feels like sciatica, but thankfully it comes and goes quickly. I'm getting a bit more of a belly, especially after a big meal, but no one at work has noticed at all.

The other big exciting news in my life is that we're looking for a house. Which we've BEEN doing for about 3 years, but now at least we have a reason to need a house and a goal and even a sort of deadline, so we're feeling more motivated. Unfortunately, I live in one of the worst places for house-hunting and there's not much on the market at all, let alone something nice for a reasonable price. Considering my due date of July, the likelihood of babies arriving by the end of June, the need to move at least a month or two before that (April-May), and the need to put in an offer at least a month before that (March), we don't have a lot of time. I hope some stuff comes on the market in February!

So to recap - please consider helping the Haitians, pregnancy is going well except for weight gain, and we are hoping to find a house in a really unlikely market. Busy times!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Back to life, back to reality

I wrote this on Monday, but for some reason didn't post it. Will catch up to date this weekend. Just a note - NT scan went well.

I’m back in the US, and things are rough. I had terrible morning sickness the last 3-4 days in Italy, and it snowed pretty much non-stop the whole time. After several days of vomiting, we had a 24-hour trip to get home. Here is a brief overview of the trip:

5am – get up and vomit
5:15 – start driving to airport in the snow
8:30 – arrive at airport and discover that our flights are not cancelled (yay!)
9am – vomit again at airport
11am – board plane and fly to London
12:30 – land in London, go through security, eat a little, hang out
2pm – go through extra security since we’re flying to the US
3:30 – plane finally leaves an hour late

Next ten hours – UGH – airplane food, turbulence, seat-kicker behind me, nausea – luckily no vomiting

6:30pm – (now on Pacific time) – arrive in US, go through immigration, get bags, go through customs, get shuttle, get car
8pm – finally arrive home and turn on heat (note – this is 5am Italian time – exactly 24 hours)
8:15pm – vomit and nosebleed
8:18pm – wonder why the heat hasn’t turned on – hey – the heater’s broken! Luckily it’s not THAT cold in the apartment, must have just broken recently
9pm – eat a can of tuna with mayo (thanks darling husband) and go to bed
4am – wake up squashed between husband and cat – very cute, but I’m very tired

Now I am at work preparing a presentation that I have to give TOMORROW

So here I am, almost 13 weeks, and the morning sickness is getting much worse. Is this normal?

Tomorrow is my NT scan, so I will write a brief update on how it went. I’m starting to get nervous that something could be wrong.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rambling 12-week post

It's another beautiful day in the Alps. I'm 12 weeks today, which I find almost impossible to believe. How in he world did we get here? It's been three weeks since I've seen the babies, and as the time passes, I get a little more nervous. I will be so relieved to see them at the ultrasound next Tuesday.

Italy has been nice. I eat a lot. The custom here is to eat a small breakfast, a pretty big lunch, and a decent dinner (unless we go out or to a friend's, which is usually the case, and dinner can be many, many courses), with no snacking in between, but I find I am hungry all the time. I keep some cheese in the fridge and a loaf of bread from the panetteria on the counter so I can snack whenever I feel like it, but when I'm starving 30 minutes before a delicious home-made meal, I have a hard time knowing what to do. I know, I know, the world has much bigger problems than my deciding what and when I should eat.

One of the funny things about Italy is that everyone has their own ideas about what a pregnant woman should and should not do, and it's very different than what I expected. For example, they are all completely shocked that I am not drinking (and in fact I really miss my nebbiolo). Some even tell me that beer and wine will help me make milk. Yet, they're horrified when I pet a cat because of toxiplasmosis, and they can't believe I am cross-country skiing, which I am nervous about only because of my knee surgery. It's interesting to see the way different cultures react to pregnancy.

In the meantime, I'm starting to grow a little belly. The average person on the street would not guess that I am pregnant, but my husband and I are beginning to see the changes. Actually, I just sort of look a bit rounder than usual. Since I tend to exercise and stay in decent shape, it is probably more obvious to me because my stomach isn't as flat anymore, even if it doesn't look like a real bump yet. I can tell my attitude towards my body is going to need some adjusting, which is something I will probably have to work at. Luckily, my husband is the most supportive guy in the world and always makes me feel beautiful, so I know I will have some back-up.

I apparently have not gained any weight, according to my in-laws' scale, which gave me an amount in kilos that I converted into pounds. I am nervous about gaining too much weight, but now I'm worried that I'm not gaining enough - shouldn't I have gained at least a few pounds in the first trimester, with twins? Oy. I'm hoping I can find a delicate balance between gaining enough for the babies (obviously priority #1) and not gaining so much that it will be hard to recover after the birth.

I've also started looking into things we'll eventually need to buy, and I am overwhelmed. I like to think I buy less stuff than average, and my husband is pretty anti-consumerism, but it is awfully hard for people without a clue to figure out what we really need and what is just extra fluff. The obvious stuff is at least obvious - crib, carseats, basic clothing, and diapers - but then there is a TON of other stuff, and then there are tons of variations on all that stuff. I'm hoping maybe the childbirth class I take will help? How do people figure this out?

Only a few more days here in Italy, then I'll be home before I know it. Back to work, unfortunately, but also ready for my week 13 NT scan. Woohoo! Can't wait to see the babies!