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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Until we have pictures of our own little ones in costumes, you'll have to settle for pictures of us dressed up when we were the little ones. These were taken when Brian was 5 and Allison and I were somewhere around 5:

Is he the cutest little football player, or what?

I'm the sweet princess on the left (with the cheesed out smile) and Allison is the (clearly very proud) evil witch on the right. Not too different from the roles we play today, huh, sis? Ha, kidding, of course... in reality we are both probably the witch :)

Hope everyone has a happy Halloween, full of cute trick-or-treaters and plenty of leftover chocolate!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Twin Vlog: The Trilogy

Allison came in town this past weekend for the memorial service for our uncle, and because the visit was somewhat unplanned, we found ourselves with some extra free time on Saturday evening. Lucky for you, we had the genius idea to use that time to make yet another twin vlog for your viewing pleasure, so enjoy:

(Spoiler alert: we are wearing matching outfits.)

Oh, and in case you missed the first two, be sure to go check out our first and second editions as well!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hormones galore

In case we aren’t facebook friends (or in case you aren’t diligently keeping up with my pregnancy timeline), then you might not be aware that as of Sunday, we have officially entered the second trimester! I’m starting to think that my body is having a delayed reaction to this whole pregnancy thing, because as I indicated last week, I seem to be feeling progressively worse rather than better, so that’s special. And to further prove my point, allow me to share with you the following list of things I can no longer seem to control:

- My emotions: Again, facebook friends are well aware that I recently cried about chicken salad. In my defense, it had been a long day and I was really hungry, and finding out that the chicken salad was made with pineapple proved more than I could handle without falling apart at the moment. There might have been some yelling in addition to the tears, which leads me to the next item on the list…

- My temper: It is no secret to those that know me that I have a bit of a quick temper. Let’s just say that pregnancy has seemed to kick that into overdrive. I currently have two modes: (1) content and (2) breathing fire with smoke coming out of my ears. Brian is unfortunately the most frequent victim, but I am sad to report that he is not the only one thus far.

- My sense of smell: I thought this would happen early on, but it hasn’t been an issue until recently. Smells that I find particularly offensive? Coffee, garbage (no surprise there), and the refrigerator at work. Other highly unenjoyable activities? Using public restrooms, riding on elevators with smokers, and being near people that wear a lot of perfume/cologne. Oh, and I also recently described an odor as smelling like my grandmother’s old sea shell collection, so apparently my sense of smell has also become very specific.

- (Still) My appetite: Ugh. There is nothing else to say about this. No food is safe—not even my beloved peanut butter sandwiches or macaroni and cheese. And yet I feel terrible if I don't eat... blah.

I would be remiss in not mentioning how well Brian is coping with my current “state.” I apologize for my behavior as often as I can, but it’s usually well after the damage is done. I just asked him to hold on and bear with me for another 6 months… at which point I will just become a different kind of crazy. Lord help him if there are two girls in there to add to the craziness!

I should also mention that on Saturday (after the chicken salad incident) when I asked him what we should do with the money we made from our garage sale that morning, he responded without hesitation that we should put it towards the nursery. I’m sure he really wanted to suggest putting it towards buying me a straightjacket, but very sweet of him to say otherwise, right?

Oh, and a big thank you to all of you for your feedback from my last post, although we admittedly got way more input on the childcare question than the babymoon question—ha, guess that shouldn’t surprise me!

While we have made pretty much no progress on the nanny search front, we DID decide on a babymoon location: New Orleans. This surprises some people because obviously we aren’t planning to spend our nights out on Bourbon Street, but there is a lot more to do (and eat) in New Orleans than go out to shady bars, and it’s supposed to be pretty at Christmas time, so there’s that. I’ll be sure to keep you posted!

In the meantime, I have yet another opportunity for you to provide feedback—lucky you! We would like to get a nicer camera before the babies are born, but we would prefer not to spend an arm and a leg on it. (Edited to add: I think for now we would just like to get a nicer digital point and shoot camera... not sure it's realistic for us to lug around or take the time to learn how to use the fancy pants digital SLR cameras!) Any suggestions?

Friday, October 19, 2012

RIP, appetite

Remember how I said that my goals were to eat better and get more exercise? Well I was successful at one of those endeavors.

Not only did I go to a prenatal yoga class with my pal, Beth, on Wednesday night, but last night I also went on a 45-ish minute walk with two of my other favorite pals, Katie & Kristen! The babies are probably really confused since they haven't exactly witnessed mom engaging in much physical activity since they came on the scene.

Eating is a different story. Let's just say that being pregnant during Halloween candy season is dangerous, particularly if nothing sounds or tastes appealing, causing you to shovel mini Twix bars and Reese's peanut butter cups in your face just to make the bad taste go away. Oh, and I should note that I'm still not craving normal "sweets," ie: cookies, cake, cupcakes, sugary candy, etc.

If it's possible, the number of foods that I can stomach has actually decreased in the last week or so, which is interesting since I'm allegedly supposed to start feeling better right about now. My beloved tortilla chips aren't even doing the trick, but considering that is the greatest tragedy going on in the pregnancy at the moment, I think it's safe to say things are going well.

Something else that is interesting: this is the first week that I haven't had any type of appointment to attend in 3 months. No bloodwork, no co-pay, no ultrasound, no needles, no nothing! I never thought this week would come, but lo and behold, it has, and it feels very refreshing, I must say.

And now is the part of my pregnancy blogging that likely won't come often (because I've found that pregnancy comes with enough advice even without asking!), but I'm going to go out on a limb and ask for your input:

1. Childcare: Nanny or daycare? Thoughts? Preferences? Really great recommendations in our immediate area for either one?

2. Babymoon: This has been consuming most of my free time this week, and I would love to hear your suggestions/thoughts!

Some things to keep in mind:

- In order to save up precious 2013 vacation time, we are planning to go in December, so we don't want to go somewhere that will be unbearably frigid (cold weather is ok, just not arctic tundra weather).
- We would like to go somewhere in the US where Southwest flies.
- We don't want to go anywhere that would require too much walking around, BUT we want to be somewhere with plenty of options of things to do. We would like to be able to relax but not get bored.

I realize that (a) those are a lot of stipulations, and (b) this is very much a first world problem, but if you could indulge me by giving some feedback, it would be greatly appreciated.

For now, I'm off to rummage through the pantry and see if anything sounds appealing before I resort to eating ice as a snack.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The promised bump

Allow me to introduce you to the beginning of the bump, aka: what my stomach always looks like after eating a meal:

See those two little pumpkins? They're symbolic of two other little pumpkins, in case you missed that. Props to Brian for suggesting they be in the picture... good thing I already have two little turkeys ready for next month's picture!

This picture was awkward to take for several reasons:

1. It's weird to pose alone in a picture.
2. I don't like to put my hand on my hip, but it was the only way to properly show off my stomach.
3. I think the bump is actually lower than this picture suggests. It is hard to accurately show it off at this point because I didn't want to suck in for the picture and downplay the bump, but it wouldn't have been realistic for me to completely stick my stomach out either, because then the bump would have been exaggerated by my normal fat*.

*I'm not saying that I am fat, just that I have stomach fat, so no need to argue :)

So there you go. I will probably post pictures every 4 weeks or so, so stay tuned for the 16 week bump post!

For those that were curious, graduation week ended well! My last acupuncture appointment was sufficiently relaxing (as in, I momentarily considered just staying there and napping for the next 2 hours before my doctor appointment, but opted to peruse the maternity section at Target instead).

The first OB appointment was also a success! The nurse and doctor were excited for us, and we were thankful to get another look at the babies. Sadly, the OB's ultrasound machine isn't quite as fancy as the one we were used to at the fertility clinic, but we were still able to see them wiggling around, and we got to see a pretty good shot of both of their brains and spinal cords, which were obviously also adorable- ha!

We didn't really talk about the long-term future of the pregnancy much, other than for him to say that I would come in more often than normal patients and probably have more ultrasounds (fine by me!). Our next appointment is at 16 weeks (November 9th), and he said we would be able to schedule the anatomy scan for 17 or 18 weeks, SO fingers crossed that we'll know what the babies are by Thanksgiving!

The doctor also mentioned that the latest they would let me go is 38 weeks, but he seemed to think it was unlikely that we'd make it that far. So if you keep that in mind, the babies are actually due in mid-April (the 14th, to be exact)- this is exciting because it means less time that we have to wait before meeting them. This is mildly terrifying because it means less time we have to prepare, but I suppose we wouldn't have been all that productive during those last 2 weeks anyway. 

So that's that. Not much else to report other than an all-consuming need to be productive (which is tricky since I lack the energy to actually do much), and a quick temper that has resulted in more tantrums than I care to admit. In case you think I'm exaggerating, then you should know that when Brian accidentally put a pair of my jeans in the dryer the other night, there was door slamming, yelling of choice words, and eventually there were even tears. Oops.

My goals for the next couple of weeks are to eat as well as possible and start adding in some more exercise. I'll be sure to report back with details!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Graduation week update

Please pardon my sudden disappearance after enthusiastically announcing graduation week!

Thankfully the appointment on Tuesday went well and I was officially released from the fertility clinic. There were no tears, but there were hugs and promises of staying in touch, so basically it was not all that different from an actual graduation.

I intended to post an update on Wednesday but somehow this week I have stumbled into a Jessie Spano-like state of panic and I am too busy fretting about cleaning out the future nursery, finding adequate childcare after we both go back to work, and not having to take out a second loan on our house to be able to afford the diapers, wipes, and probably eventually formula that two babies will require. Oh, and then there is the time I’ve spent worrying about not eating enough leafy greens or getting 30 minutes of exercise every week, let alone every day.

I am sure that it’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed at this point, and I’m sure that it will pass. Or at least I hope so for the sake of my friends and family so that they don’t commit me to a mental institution before the babies arrive. I’m hoping I will feel a little less overwhelmed after meeting with the OB tomorrow because then I’ll at least have a better idea of what to expect as far as doctor’s visits go and he’ll be able to answer some of my questions.

Anyway, enough about me, let’s talk about the little ones:

Baby A was pretty lazy at this week’s ultrasound. Minus one little flurry of movement, he/she was mostly just chilling out (maxing, relaxing, all cool) and making him/herself at home. His/her heart rate was 147 bpm. Here’s a picture of baby A, presumably facing away from the picture.

Baby B had apparently been inhaling pixy stix or auditioning for the 2028 Olympic gymnastics team because homeboy/girl would not quit doing somersaults long enough to be photographed. Which is why I told my family he/she looked a little more like a deformed donkey than a baby this week. See?

His/her heart rate was 174 bpm, which didn’t surprise me given the high amount of physical activity going on.

They were measuring right on track at 11 weeks, 2 days (as of Tuesday), and I believe they are both about 1.5-2 inches long at this point. The fact that they will each be around 10 times that large before they make their debut terrifies me slightly, as I’m not quite sure how my body is going to make room for them both, but I suppose it will figure out a way.

We’ll be 12 weeks on Sunday, so I’m thinking about taking my first bump picture to celebrate. However, if I feel like the picture makes me look awkward or just plain fat, then I reserve the right to wait until I’m further along. :)

PS- If you didn't already see it, be sure to check out Allison's recent outfit post for a good laugh. Also, if you aren't already an official follower of her blog, you should be. She just needs 21 more followers to reach her goal of 200!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Graduation week

After a fun weekend* in Austin helping Allison wrangle the cutest (and debatably the most active) 17-month-old around, I'm preparing to embark on a pretty big week:

1. On Tuesday, I have what will hopefully be my LAST appointment with the fertility clinic. I say hopefully because that's assuming that my bloodwork looks normal after stopping the meds and that the ultrasound goes well. I'm planning to bring chocolate chip pumpkin muffins as a little "thank you" for our wonderful nurses, so even if things are looking a little iffy, hopefully they will still clear me. HA, joking obviously- Lord willing, everything will go great and I'll be on my merry way!

2. On Friday, I have my last scheduled appointment with Needle Lady. I have been going weekly throughout the first trimester and although I have enjoyed (a) having at least 30 minutes of forced relaxation per week and (b) something to help deal with first trimester symptoms, it will be nice to have one less appointment to go to every week AND a little extra money in our pockets :) I will still go back throughout the pregnancy on an as needed basis, so this won't be "goodbye" so much as "see you once my back pain becomes unbearable!"

3. Also on Friday, we have our first appointment with my OB, whom I haven't seen or talked to since February. I'm a little nervous about the switch just because I have gotten used to so much personalized care and attention, but am hopeful that it will be a smooth transition.

So happy graduation week to all FOUR of us! We'll be sure to let you know how it goes, and maybe take a picture or two when we switch our tassels from one side of our caps to the other... oh, wait, wrong graduation tradition. Oops.

*Be sure to check out Allison's latest post for a recap of the weekend. I'm not sure I was much help to her in Wade's absence, but I had fun playing back-up mommy nonetheless :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Why I've decided that nurses are superior to doctors

We got to see the babies again yesterday and they said to tell you all "hey"... so "hey" from baby A and baby B! They also said to tell you that they were NOT pleased with the ultrasound experience. Because we hadn't seen Dr. H since our 2nd IUI didn't work/we decided to try IVF back in JUNE, the nurses wanted me to make sure and see him once before we were released to my normal OB.

This was all fine and good even though it meant a trip into the medical center (versus the office I normally visit which is approximately 5 minutes from my office). I had visions of the doctor spending a decent amount of time answering all of our questions and then performing a very thorough and drawn-out ultrasound, during which we would get to see the twins from every possible angle.

What really happened, however, is that he walked in, shook our hands, got the ultrasound started, saw baby A and said, "This one looks good and so does the heartbeat," moved onto baby B and said, "This one also looks good and so does the heartbeat," printed off an unrecognizable picture, asked me what meds I was on (um, shouldn't you already know that?), asked if we were excited to have twins (um, does anyone answer this question with a "no" in your office?), and left. This exchange literally lasted a maximum of 3 minutes.

I know we have been spoiled with our frequent ultrasounds and focused attention from the nurses, but come on! We did not take time off from work, drive all the way into town, pay a $35 co-pay (and not to mention how much we paid for IVF!), just for you to treat me like a one-night stand! Argh!

Ok that is the end of my ranting, I promise. I know he is a busy man and he has other couples to help get pregnant. The good news is that the babies look good and everything is on track. The also good news is that my labs looked good and I was given permission to (wait for it) (are you ready for this?) (it's pretty amazing) STOP TAKING THE PROGESTERONE AND ESTROGEN! Exciting, isn't it?


Not sure I have shared this with you all, but the progesterone comes in a suppository form. And let's just say that it doesn't go in the same place that a baby's suppository would go. For more information, go here.


Anyway, I am pretty pumped. I even toyed with the idea of throwing a party, and my friend, Brittnie, had the excellent idea of burning all of my leftover medicine as part of the celebration! Realistically, however, I will probably just celebrate by clearing all of the medicine off of my bathroom counter and trying not to fret about whether or not my body will continue doing what it's supposed to without the assistance of the medicine (prayers appreciated). Sounds like a blast, I know.

Anyway, that's all I've got. I'm 10 weeks and 4 days along as of today, and I have my (hopefully) LAST appointment with the fertility clinic next Tuesday before our first OB appointment next Friday. We are moving on up in the world (and yet still not through the first trimester - ha!).

Hope you're all having a great week!

Oh, and PS- I am feeling much better now. Thanks for all of the suggestions!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Thoughts from the other person having twins

Remember that cold I mentioned last week? It seems to have graduated into a sinus infection. Congratulations on this major milestone, cold, and thank you for continuing to make me miserable!

All that to say, I was not feeling up to the task of coming up with a blog post for today, so I was very relieved when Brian agreed to do a guest post and give you a little bit of his perspective on the pregnancy thus far. Enjoy!

1. I would like to claim that I was first to think we were going to have twins and eventually see that we were having twins. What I mean by that is on our first ultrasound appointment after the transfer, I saw a dark spot that I thought was a second baby, but that thought was dismissed by the nurse. On our second appointment when I saw the screen, I remember it sort of like this:

Brian: "Wait... are there two?"
Nurse: "Looks like it!"
Brian: "Holy crap."
Amanda "Are you serious?!"

What followed that exchange was a blur of emotions and thoughts ranging from "holy crap" to "this is awesome," to "what am I going to do," and finally - "this will be great!"

2. I am continuing to pressure Amanda into "requesting" food. A couple of victories include chicken strips from Whataburger, and some tortilla chips from the grocery store that resulted in a Sonic drink for me. I will continue to be ready at a moment's notice for anything she needs to consume.

3. When I share the news that we are having twins with people, their first reaction is usually something along the lines of, "That's great! You better start sleeping now because once they come you won't get to for a long time. Good luck!" Honestly, when I hear those things all I can do is laugh nervously because part of me knows they are speaking some truth, and a different part of me thinks that I can do this, and with the help of my wonderful wife it won't be nearly as hard as they are making it out to be.

4. Lastly, I know that most of this is all very new, but the one emotion that I can honestly say that I can't get over is how blessed I feel. I know that 3 years isn't the longest period of time to be trying for a child, but it sure did feel like it sometimes. I can't remember the first time the "what if..." about having twins came up between me and Amanda, but I remember thinking about that possibility of twins and knowing that if that were to happen it would be a huge blessing. And I still feel that way.

I'm sure I will get convinced to post again on here in the future, but maybe next time we can do one of those posts where you all ask the questions. I liked that last time because I didn't really have to figure out what to write since you all told me what you wanted to hear. 

Anyway, thanks for reading and since I am writing this while Arnold Schwarzenegger is being interviewed, there is no better way to end this other than saying "I'll be back."