Sunday, June 28, 2009

Oh my word - 30 weeks already

Not that I had much to start off with but look! No more b**bs!

Look at that belly - in this pic I'm showing the maternity pants so you can see how hard they're working, stretching over my belly. I remember just a mere 12 weeks ago when I first started wearing these how I used to fold over the stretchy bit because it was too big. Now I know why they make it that big :)

Hello gorgeous babies (that's how I focus so I don't obsess about the Belly)

We had our 30-week scan on Tuesday morning at 29 weeks 6 days.

The girl is 1.355 kg and the boy is 1.475 kg – a total of 2.830 kg! This is equivalent to a 37-week pregnant mother of a singleton. No wonder I'm gigantic!

Whereas they were growing fast and measuring ahead before, they’ve slowed down a bit and are now measuring perfectly for how old they are. He did say to me previously that twins grow like single babies up to about 24 weeks and then slow down because there’s just no space.

I've felt that they were in a growth spurt because I’ve been getting hungrier and having to eat just a bit more, waking up starving, etc.

The boy has turned again! His head is down now (or, as the doc says, the right way up) and the girl is still breech. 13 days ago, they were both breech. If this is an indication of his movements when he’s out, I’m going to be THIN running around after him. I'm not exaggerating but every time we have an appt, he's moved position.

My blood pressure was normal (for me) at 105/65 and my urine is also perfect – no protein. The babies’ heartbeats were both around 145 bpm. She had hiccups so you’d hear this heartbeat punctuated by a little hiccup – too sweet!

My cervix is at least 3.5cm. He couldn’t get an accurate measurement because my bladder wasn’t full – I don’t know how I’m supposed to provide a “sample” and keep a full bladder for the scan, but next time I’ll be more prepared and drink more water, because all I’d had that morning was a really small glass of orange juice.

Have still only put on 10.2 kg (22 pounds). Yesss!

How are you all doing?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Baby shower 2 - the work one

The work baby shower happened on Monday morning at 9am. Apparently it was the only time they could get our entire team together.

The good thing about the work one is that it was scheduled like a meeting so it's got to be short and to the point, we invite the boys so there's no funny business and there are a lot more people so everyone can get on with it and entertain one another :)

So this is what it looked like when I arrived: balloons, food and presents

Then we got down to the serious business of opening the gifts. My colleague, P, was assigned the task of writing down what each person had given.

I only read the tag on the scrapbook album properly when I got home and in addition to this, K also gifted me with a night nurse for one night and 3 meals. Do you know how exciting that is for us? We are super-excited! And it's clutter-free :)

All the gifts in the boot (trunk) of my car

Of course I took some balloons home with me - that's my ceiling. We live in an old house with these pressed ceilings and wooden floors.

Just to give you an idea of stuff we got - are those little slippers not the cutest things ever?!

We also got some cash and a gift voucher from two of the guys so I can get things we really need but don't have.

Do you think it's weird to use my boss's money for a breast pump? I don't think there's anything wrong with it but my hubby says that's just too weird.

I spent yesterday afternoon writing out 16 thank-you cards and I did it! Sore hand afterwards but all done! Some were really very long, like the ones for the two organisers.

My one colleague was up until midnight making those chocolate party favours and apparently on Friday, they had to wait for me to leave work (I was late because I like clearing my entire inbox on a Friday - I hate coming back to "old" work on a Monday morning - drives me nuts!) to package everything beautifully.

That really, really touched me because it was all done for ME!

I'm so glad those are over so I can make my list of items still outstanding that we actually need, and go get them.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Baby shower 1 - the personal one

Well, my emotions were very mixed with this whole baby shower thing.

First of all, I don't have very many close friends and no family here (which is great - no family drama!) so I only had a list of about 14 people to invite, 5 of which were from the infertility support group.

So we were going to be 10 altogether (that includes the hostess and me) but on the day I had 4 cancellations because of sickness (it's winter here so 3 of my friends had the flu and one had a family thing).

I was seriously dreading it at this point for many reasons:
  • Tried to focus on the positive which for me was seeing old friends (said old friends were no longer there)
  • My friend, A, got in so much food and I felt bad for her
  • There is just more pressure socially the fewer people there are
So here am I just before we left...

Here's my friend, A, who hosted the baby shower

What it looked like:
I LOVE BALLOONS - they instantly make me smile

This was my favourite gift because I'm a bag person and this nappy (diaper) bag had a gazillion pockets :) Got this one from my MIL (that's her in the background)

This is my friend, C, who has gorgeous twin girls

Opening up presents - look at that slope - no more b**bs, just belly!

Something that completely overwhelmed me (but I didn't cry*) was people's generosity!

There was a lady there (I'm not posting the rest of the people because I don't know if they want their pics all over the internet!) who I hadn't seen for about 2 - 3 years. When she heard I was pregnant and having twins, she was so excited and said she wanted to come. She bought a gift bag full of stuff for each of the children!

People bought tons of things for each child - it's amazing to me that other people care so much about my children and I suppose I also feel guilty because I haven't been to baby showers for at least 4 years, probably longer, and I feel like I don't deserve to be blessed with such great gifts.

So this is my brainwave - how to remember who gave which gifts.

I laid each gift out on a butler's tray and took pics like this. I'm still going through the pics and saving them by person's name. Isn't that a good idea?

So aside from there only being 6 of us, it was lovely. Low-key, no funny business and a nice time of food and friends :)

But when I got home, I don't know what happened and I got all emotional and started crying. It was crazy.

I think it started because my husband told me no-one introduced themselves to my friend, C, and I didn't either. I felt SO BAD because I'm normally very good at making sure everyone gets on and knows one another. Well, that set me off! Of course, when I apologised to her, she didn't have any problems with it but still!

I put it down to the pregnancy hormones even though this is only the 5th time I've cried since I've been pregnant. Cry 1 & 2, Cry 3, Cry 4 :)

Wrote out all the thank-you cards for this shower and two other people who gave their gifts beforehand so I felt like a rock star :)

Wordless Wednesday - 27 weeks 3 days

My husband decided to take these to show that from the back, you'd never guess I had such a huge bump...

until I turn around :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The doctors actually know what they're talking about!

Seriously, who would have thought that more rest would be so good for me?

After a week of now working half days, I am feeling GREAT. I can bend easier, get my leg onto my other knee to put on shoes and am generally just a lot more flexible.

I'm fascinated at how quickly I got used to it though. I'm very focussed at work normally, but since I'm there only 5 hours a day, I've had to be even more focussed, so I get to it and am ultra productive, which is a win-win situation all round.

And now, behold the 29-week belly shots :)

Oh, P.S. we are decided on the babies' names! I can't believe it's been this easy. So we'll just look at them when they're taken out and make sure they look like a ________ and a ________, and then that's that.

I actually asked God to show me if these names were the right ones for the babies, and the very next book I read (no, I'm not telling you!), that was the guy's name and someone emailed me about something (i know, lovely and vague) and her daughter's called what we want to name the girl. We are good to go!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Dreading the baby showers

My baby shower is tomorrow - I think there will be 10 of us altogether - and then I have a gigantic one at work on Monday with about 30 people. Actually, I've read about really big ones of 80 - 100 people but 30 is gigantic for me.

I've never enjoyed baby showers because the way they do them in South Africa is they dress the woman up like an idiot a baby, complete with nappy (diaper), etc. and play stupid games (guess the present and if you guess wrong, you have to do a "forfeit" like eat a horrible concoction). Ughhh. I shudder at the thought.

I'm not very frivolous so once I decided that I actually hate these things, I just started saying, "thanks very much but I don't go to baby showers; however, I'll drop off a gift with ________ afterwards" which was working beautifully. Even if people thought I was strange - that really doesn't bother me in the least.

Then of course I was infertile so in addition to the stupidity, I also felt a physical stab in the heart whenever I heard about baby showers, wondering if I'd ever have a baby of my own.

I don't think much has changed because I still feel infertile.

But now, of course, I'm having two babies which definitely means baby showers.

When my friend asked me if she could host one for me (knowing how I feel!), I told her yes, but only on my terms. So there'll be no dressing up, no surprises and no weird games. Just open up presents, eat food and talk.

We do the work ones like meetings so there's no time for faffing around with games and what-not (thank God) but they do like the surprise thing. So I jumped in and told the person most likely to organise it that I want NO surprises as I don't want to go into premature labour just because some people want to have a bit of fun.

So they eventually told me the date and time :)

But still...I am feeling the dread.

On the other hand, though, I can't wait for these to be over so I know what I can go buy because my poor babies' room still looks like this... and I need to cross some things off my to-do and to-buy lists while I still have some energy left.

So, do you all love baby showers or what? How do they do them in your part of the world?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Updates & 29 weeks today

I don't know if I ever told you about the 4am parties?

Well, the babies went through a patch a couple of weeks ago where they'd kick me so hard at 4am in the morning that I'd actually wake up. This is in itself rare for me because I sleep like a log.

It didn't bother me so much but one night I was facing my husband and his hand was near when the 4am party started and he woke.

Well, after a couple of days of this, he had a talk with the young 'uns and told them to stop waking us up - we need our sleep.

And do you know they've stopped? They now wait for me to wake in the mornings and then we have ourselves a little love fest. They do their thing, I talk to them and just enjoy all the movements - it's LOVELY and also the reason I'm late almost every day for work!


My theory on the bleeding is that it's the boy's fault :)

Example 1
We had a scan and he was positioned one way, I had the bleeding and then at a second scan a week later, he'd totally flipped around.

Example 2
After bleeding episode number 2, we found that they'd both moved again.

So since then, I've told both of them that they can move but not too much too soon - I don't want to see any blood!


Another good thing about the big bump is that I don't seem to be as constipated anymore. It's actually wonderful to just go!

I wonder if it's the pressure of the bump or what it is. But whatever, I'm not questioning it; I'm just very very grateful.

Although now something else has started happening. I've never been great spatially but at least I had a sense of my personal space.

Well, I still haven't got my head around the fact that I'm so big because I don't open the shower door wide enough and bump the bump, think I can still squeeze into small spaces, etc.

It is CRAZY!


Oh and the eating.

First off, I can't hold anything on my lap and even when I'm at work, I'm sitting so far away from my desk because there's just not enough space with the bump.

But aside from that, I've started feeling really hungry again like I MUST EAT NOW. So have taken to carrying loads of food with me again.

I'm eating a bit more at lunch time and slightly more at supper - that seems to do it for the babies and me.


And of course, we're officially 29 weeks today! Yes!!!

By the way, there are 7 pregnant girls in our infertility support group - 7!!!! And guess how many babies? 11 :)

God is so good! If you're reading and haven't seen those two lines yet, hang in there - I have NO DOUBT that it'll be your turn soon.

Monday, June 15, 2009

28-week appointment & a milestone reached

When I was downloading these pictures off the camera, I said to my husband, "could this belly get any bigger?"

He says, "Yes! Given half a chance"


So here I am, gigantic. Remember this measurement? It's now 44cm!

Well, the babies are doing well even though the girl is a bit skinny so we are watching that…

Girl – 1.021 kg
Boy – 1.250 kg

Total 2.271kg of baby – equivalent to a singleton 34-week pregnancy (yes, that scares me too)

My cervix is over 4cm long – great – my weight is still perfect (have now put on 9.5kg - 21 pounds - as you can see, all in the belly), my BP was rocking at 120/70 (normally it’s very very low 90/50 so I think it was a bit higher because I was cross with him).

Cross because he told me I have to slow down even MORE! Then he says, "I know you're a Type A personality so that's going to be hard for you" Grrrr! He is right!

I spoke to my boss the minute I got back from my appt so I went onto half days the very next day. Of course, for me, it just means, I'm focussing and working really hard so I still get the day's work in!

My urine was "perfect" so that's good. Of course, I can't see what I'm doing down there anymore....TMI, sorry!

My thyroid looked swollen (never had any problems with that before!) so I was sent to get some blood tests. The blood tests were all normal because nobody phoned me - that's how it works: if there's a problem, they phone, otherwise, you can assume it's all normal.

I have to stop Preggi Bellies (just to be safe because of the two bleeding incidents) but he said we can have “normal, old people’s s*x”

Apparently we have now reached a milestone (because the babies are 1kg each & we've reached 28 weeks); next milestone is 33 weeks, and then 36 weeks.

7 weeks to the goal!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


So, the names thing.

People have been asking if we've decided on names and the truth is we are 95% there but we've decided to keep them a secret because most people do this...

  • I knew a boy called __________ and he was a horrible child, or
  • I went to school with a girl called _________ and she was so stuck-up/ mean/ any negative emotion

Now you know I'm straightforward and I'd just say, "Tough. We like the name and it's our child" but my husband is a lot nicer and will actually internalise all that stuff and it may sway him away from the names.

So no!

We are not telling anyone! Not even the parents.

The 95% thing is because the boy still needs a second name. Originally I'd said (well this was years ago before we knew about all the problems we'd have just getting to pregnant) I don't want second names for our children because nobody even uses theirs.

Then we decided on the girl's name and there is a second name that just goes beautifully with it, so she has two.

My husband wants to be fair (he's already a good daddy) so he said, if the one child has two names, the other one needs two too. Dear Lord.

So that's how we're 95% there - because we can't think of any suitable names.

Maybe you guys can help?

Please leave one-syllable boys' names in the comments and maybe we'll pick one of those :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

4D scan

Oh, I forgot to show you the pics from the 4D scan on 29 May.

My main goal going in was to find out if the girl really is a girl since the doctor's only 95% sure.

She is!

So I was happy.

Other than that, the girl was sleeping with her head on the placenta - sweet! and we couldn't see the boy properly at all.

Here are some shots though.

The girl

The boy's leg

the two heads in profile
All really bad pics, but there you go - hopefully these two behave much better when they're out because we love taking pics!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The good, the bad and the ugly

I was thinking about all the pregnancy symptoms and what-not and I thought I'd make a list :)

  • The Bump - still the best thing ever. I am still fascinated with mine and stare at it every day, so much so that I'm late every. single. day. Yes, really.
  • baby movements - I love, love, love getting to know them and their personalities through their movements. The boy is a typical boy and moves whenever but the girl only moves when I am still, either when I'm in bed or sitting at the computer or TV, being very quiet :)
  • no morning sickness - I realise more and more what a blessing this was. First of all, I don't do the vomiting thing very well. The last time I vomited was in 2004 before my second laparoscopy - had to drink some salty solution to get my stomach cleaned out for x-rays and I think I was totally empty at one point because I just started vomiting. Horrible!

  1. no symptoms in the beginning = paranoia
  2. constipation - oh the constipation. The doc told me what I could take but I really don't like using medication for what should happen naturally (i know, me, IVF girl!) so I've been eating grainy cereals, drinking lots of water, and having at least 3 fruits daily. Even so, I only go every 2 days.

incontinence. Dear Lord, where should I start? I'd had a few drips here and there so started wearing pantyliners. Problem solved, right? Wrong!

Then one day I wiped, pulled on my clothes, washed hands and started walking away. About 30 seconds later I feel a whoosh and think, "what was that?!" and lo and behold, it was a gush of pee. So fortunately I was at home so changed my clothes.

After it happened the second time, I realised this is here to stay. So now I'm wearing pads!!!! Pads! I thought once you're pregnant you stop wearing pads - how misguided can you be?!

So I feel like an old granny who can't keep it in. Of course I go the minute I feel any pressure just to make sure I'm doing my bit too.

Of course, I'm really not complaining because how can I? I've two precious babies inside me and not only that, but I really have had a very easy pregnancy.

What are your good, bad and ugly of pregnancy?

P.S. These are obviously old pics I found on the computer - 17 weeks, 4 days - I'm 28 weeks, 1 day today

Monday, June 08, 2009

Apparently I'm an ad for pregnancy

I've had a number of people tell me I look good pregnant, it suits me and I'm an ad for pregnancy.

This thrills me to no end.

Before I was pregnant I didn't care what I looked like because I just wanted to BE PREGNANT and then, when I was, for them to be healthy, but it is a really nice bonus not having a fat face, etc. :)

Here I am, 27 weeks pregnant. This is my attempt to do 27 with my fingers.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Now THIS is what I call progress :)

I'm very organised (usually) so people assume because I'm pregnant AND with twins, that I'm super-organised and everything is totally in order.


I still feel infertile and I've been scared something will go wrong so I've done virtually nothing for the babies. Well, except for taking care of myself so they get all the food they need :)

So when people ask me if the room is done, I laugh like a maniac and say, well...
  • the room is painted
  • the curtains are washed and (as of two weeks ago)
  • the cots have been ordered
I feel like I'm a super organised rock star for having done those three things :)

Although when I see Mandy's baby's room and the Babbs' girls' room, I feel like such a bad mother. My poor kids have some nappies (purely because they were on special), and a few toiletries, so they'll have clean bodies and covered bums. That's it!

Okay, how far are you with your baby's room? Are you having a baby shower?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Good things about having a big bump

  1. My bum looks smaller for once in my life :)
  2. I know my babies are growing nicely
  3. I get to justify it by saying "they're twins"
  4. There's not much fat elsewhere...
  5. I get people letting me go through doors first, etc. They may be scared I'm going to pop because I live in Joburg and we're not known for courtesy here!

this white belly band keeps these jeans up because they're borrowed from a friend who's bigger than I am

this tummy is rock hard

These were all taken last week - 26 weeks pregnant

Monday, June 01, 2009

Bed rest, maternity leave and beyond

These pictures were taken last week when I got back from Preggi Bellies. 25 weeks, 1 day.

I know you think I'm knee-deep in denial (I probably am) but I still don't feel as big as I am. I mean, this is GIGANTIC. I still do a double-take when I walk past a mirror or window.

On the bright side, I'm carrying enough baby to equal someone else's 33-week singleton pregnancy.

I don't mind being big because they're my beloved babies but I am scared of looking like this.

Anyway, back to what I actually want to talk about...


We've known that my goal is to get to 36 weeks but I wanted to know from the doctor about when to stop work, etc, etc.

This was all before the bed rest episode this week.

He said he’d recommend I stop work at 32 weeks which is 4 weeks before the babies come…or at least work from home and not go in for meetings or anything like that.

This is because I'll have over 4kg of baby and could go into premature labour if I'm too active.

My job is not really active but I do have lots of meetings and since the building is huge, that's a lot of walking. Even going to the toilet (bathroom/ loo :)) is a walk from one end of the building to the other.

In South Africa, we get 30 days' sick leave for every 3 years worked. And you can't accumulate it. If you haven't used up your sick leave and you start a new 3-year cycle, the old leave all falls away.

I had 11 days' sick leave before these 4 days of bed rest (but I will only put in for 4 half days since I've been working a bit from home - thank God for technology). The remaining 9 days has to last me until April 2011! It's because I had those two laparotomies with 4 weeks' sick leave each time. Good thing I only took 3 weeks to recover from the last op!

So basically using up the sick leave is not an option...

Now the maternity leave - in South Africa everyone is entitled to 4 months' leave BUT your company does not have to pay you while you're on maternity leave.

My company pays 100% of salary which is great and usually what people do is they add on any annual leave they've accumulated to increase those 4 months to 5.

Of course I don't think about the future - if I need a holiday, I take my leave. Hence Ireland :)

All that to say this...

I spoke to my boss and he is totally fine with me working from home from 32 weeks (we'll see if I actually make it to 32 weeks because this week has thrown things out in my mind...) and then when I want to go on "actual maternity leave", I just phone in and he will activate it. Very nice.

I've done some planning and I'm thinking to start my leave the last week of July and then my maternity leave ends about 2 days before the end of November.

If I then add up all my accumulated annual leave, I should be able to almost make it to the end of December. I may take the last 3 days as unpaid leave so that I start in January, or else I'll just go back then.

It will be dead quiet anyway (I'm in financial services) which is always a good time to catch up on things and start getting used to leaving the babies in the mornings.

Now afterwards (from January), I haven't quite decided if I'm going to go back full-time or only work a half day.

We can do it because my coaching business will be able to supplement my half-day salary...but I'm still not sure. I like lots of cushioning, finance-wise, and am just not sure if this is the best way to go.

Because obviously our monthly expenses will go up with the full-time nanny, all the disposable nappies (diapers), formula (if there's a problem breastfeeding), doctor's bills, etc.

So what do you think I should do?

If you're pregnant, what do you intend to do? How much time will you take off and from when?

And if you're not pregnant YET, have you thought about what you'll do when you do fall pregnant and have your baby/ies?


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