Saturday, May 30, 2009

Crossing things off the list

We went to book my bed at the hospital last week and fill in all the forms.

I really feel like hospitals complicate things for no reason whatsoever. We filled in the exact same information on at least 3 different forms.

Why can't they have one form and photocopy it or let us complete it in triplicate?

Anyway, while I was completing forms in the maternity unit, I happened to look up and see this above me.
Not what you want to see when you're trusting them to take care of your and your babies' health!

While we were there, we asked for a quick tour of the facilities.

The nurses looked extremely competent which is always a little scary for me (Sergeant Majorish :)) because I know nothing. Seriously nothing.

I told them that I'm expecting twins which they were VERY excited about. That's good :)

I decided on a general ward because I need the people contact and they only have two really short visiting hours every day:

3 - 4pm - for family and friends - this time is in the middle of the day and people are working so I don't think anyone's going to come visit

7 - 8pm - for the babies' grandparents and the dad

The dad can actually visit from 7am to 8pm.

I've had not one, but TWO laparotomies (plus the two laparoscopies) so my uterus has been cut and I can't take the chance that it ruptures, so I'm having a Caesar.

Which means I stay for 3 nights.

Someone asked me the other day if I'm scared of having a Caesar. Hell no, I'm an old hand at this. The first laparotomy was the worst because I didn't know what to expect. Second one was much, much better.

Although after those two ops, all I had to focus on was getting well and this time around, I'll have two little babies depending on me to take care of them. Eeeekkkk!

How does it work in your part of the world? When do you book your hospital bed? Are you having natural birth or a Caesar?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Just for fun & 25-week belly pics

My 30-week pregnant friend told me her bump measures 26cm.

Well, do you want to guess what my bump measures?

I measured yesterday at 26 weeks and these pics are at 25 weeks but they're just to give you an idea.

Will be back later to tell you the answer.

Also, when does the 3rd trimester actually start? I read some places that it's 24 weeks, some say 26 weeks, when??????

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The power of prayer

I had lunch today with a friend who's also pregnant, 4 weeks ahead of me.

Before you're wondering, I ordered in and she came to my house so I was still resting.

Well, do you know what she told me?

Her Bible Study group prayed for me last night - for peace, and for everything to go well with the babies.

And it worked.

When I wrote the last post, I'd really got to the stage like these are God's babies. We are their earthly parents but He's in control.

He has been in control of this entire "getting pregnant" thing and I know He will take care of the babies right up until they have to be born.

I do honestly have peace about that.

Although it is very nice when your friend says, "you look very calm about all this" and you can smile all Zen-like (which is not normally me) :)

P.S. The bleeding has totally stopped.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More bleeding = bed rest

Girls, I’m on strict bed rest.

Yesterday when I got home from work I went to the loo as I normally do and what do you know? There was a surprise for me.

Brown blood. Just a smear but still. Blood.

I went into my usual denial state, blocked it all out, coached my two clients on the phone and then went to check again.

Still a bit there.

Now here's the funny part.

I felt my belly because I like these babies to move when I'm panicky. And it felt like the boy had this heartbeat. I know intellectually I'm not supposed to be able to feel the heartbeat through my belly but still, that's what it felt like.

So I called my hubby and he was totally freaked out. Immediately wanted to call the doctor which is fine by me.

I made him make the call because I was quickly emerging from the denial because of his reaction.

Well, the doctor says, "that's the baby hiccupping" - we both felt like real idiots :)

But he immediately says if anything changes from the usual (red blood/ no movement/ cramping/ pain) to call but otherwise he wants to see me first thing in the morning. And I'm booked off work.

I'm thinking it's all precautionary and am in la la land.

So we go to the doc this morning and he is serious like I've never seen him before. No chit-chat and jokes like we usually have - straight to scan me.

Fortunately both babies were fine with nice strong heartbeats. And they’ve moved positions again (which I think may be what caused the “haemorrage”) - they're now transverse.

After I heard they're fine, I didn’t hear very well because I’m afraid I was in shock the whole time.

He also checked my cervix – fine for now - the bleeding is not from there but is something to do with the placenta.

Later I asked my hubby what the doctor said. Apparently my belly is big and he thinks some of it is swelling due to bleeding inside. Eek.

He booked me off for the week because he wants the placenta to heal up properly as this is a “crucial time” because I’m 25w 6 days today and from 26 weeks, they are viable (have 33% chance of surviving outside the womb).

Was all numb while at his rooms but it all hit me when I got home and I had a good cry.

Started getting into all the "why me" and "why can't I have an easy pregnancy?" but then realised that I'm actually pregnant and that is miracle enough.

I also decided God has been in control of our babies the entire time and He can handle this little setback too.

Of course I am being good and have hardly moved from the couch today - even had a two-hour nap.

Babies, remember I said no funny business before 36 weeks! I don't want to see tubes all over your bodies and I'm sure you don't want that too.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

24-week scan & doctor's visit

Thank goodness I'm now only one week behind with posting pics. Although I can't find our 23-week pics on the camera and yet I'm nearly 100% sure we took some...

Anyway, back to the appt.

Of course I was really excited to get to the doc because of the bleeding just to make sure that both babies were okay. They had been moving a lot so I didn't think something was wrong but you never know - on this infertility/ pregnancy journey, I'm well aware that things can change in a heartbeat.

The most exciting news is that my baby girl has caught up to her brother! She weighs 647g and he weighs 649g.

Also, the boy turned around totally and is also head down like his sister.

I have a theory about the bleeding.

I've been telling the girl to grow nicely, etc. so I think she told him, "listen, move it, I need more space to spread out" so he did this whole turning around thing quickly (definitely in 6 days because at the second opinion, he was still head up), she had space and now she's all caught up.

Isn't that exciting?

Also, my cervix is measuring 3.56cm (they don't want it below 1.5cm) so that is all good.

He is also happy with my weight and said he'd tell me if I need to stop with the apple danishes (I joked when I got on the scale that I wondered if all the apple danishes I'd had in Ireland would show up).

About 1kg was holiday weight because since I've been back I haven't gained anymore weight with some fluctuations down and then up.

Oh, now we're even less sure that the one's a girl "I wouldn't put any money on it" but I am still sure, for what my opinion's worth.

I finally got to pin him down as to when I should stop working. Hehehehe

And he said at 32 weeks. Because by that stage, I'll have 4kg of baby inside and a singleton mother would have delivered at that point. BUT these two will not have complete lung function until 36 weeks so we've got to slow down. Which I am very happy to do.

Only 7 weeks left at the office!

I need to write more about my intentions around maternity leave and all that....

Monday, May 18, 2009

Slowing down

I can't believe my wonderful energy burst is nearly gone!

I was exhausted during the first trimester but then at 11 weeks, I had a wonderful return of energy and felt "normal" again.

Last Friday (23w2d) I noticed I was yawning away at work (just like during the early days) so I think it’s getting to that stage where I need to start slowing down again.

When I saw the doctor this week he said to me, “are you finally going to start acting like a pregnant woman?” LOL This is, of course, after all the travelling... and you’ll be happy to know I said YES, I am so ready!

I'm not as tired as I was during the first trimester but I definitely feel the bulk of this big belly.

It's awkward to get out of bed, to change sides in bed and when I have to walk more than 100 or 200 metres.

I don't complain because I'm so, so grateful to be pregnant so my husband didn't even know until I let slip with something and said, "yes, it's always sore to change sides"

Which brings me to Preggi Bellies. I haven't been to a class since 21st April (before all the travels) so I need to go back this week.

I skipped two classes that I could have attended but one was right after I got back and the other was last week after the bleeding episode so that was a convenient excuse.

Apparently you can do Preggi Bellies until you have your babies but if you don't use up all your classes, you can use the remaining sessions after the babies are born, which I’ll have to do since I’ll never be able to squeeze in two classes a week right up until the end.

Weight gain
I’ve put on 8kg to date (3.6 pounds) and am determined not to get to more than 15kg.

I must say it's really useful having twins because they're useful to justify the weight! I don't care one iota but people keep saying, "when are you having the baby?" or "how far are you?" and look suitably horrified when they find out I'm only 24 weeks!

When I say, "well, they're twins" then they go, "oh, that's okay then" and yet it's only 8kg! I was a normal weight before pregnancy or maybe 2kg overweight but really, nothing major, so I don't know what all this fuss is about.

From the top looking down, the belly does not look that bad but when I pass a mirror, that's when the full impact hits me :)

Kind of like this:

this is what my husband sees at night - not very attractive!

can you see the mark I'm pointing at? It's my laparoscopy scar and yes, look where it is now - miles away from its original location

can you see the weird shape on the right? That's my boy's bum - he pushes it out and my belly feels really hard

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I can't believe they're this small

That's my husband with a friend's son (6 weeks old) in Ireland. He was born at 34 weeks because his mum had HELLP.

look at these tiny little hands

and gorgeous little feet
Dear Lord, I'm going to have two of these in 12 weeks! How am I going to cope?

Thursday, May 14, 2009


On Friday last week my husband sat me down and we did a loose Project Plan for the babies.

If you're into project management, then I apologise but I think it's the most boring thing (after financial spreadsheets and reports) ever :)

Basically, we made a list of everything we had to do and prioritised it.

So on Saturday we set out and started tackling that list - we went to four baby shops all in the same mall and made decisions on...

  • cots (we want the ones that convert to toddler beds)
  • pram (Graca Duo Rider)
  • car seats
  • compactum (not sure if we'll have enough space with the 2 cots or even if we need it...but we'll see)
The main things!

And then, just when I start relaxing about this pregnancy, I went to the toilet at about 4:30 and what should I find?


Not red, but brown. Not a lot but a smear nonetheless.

I went totally numb and called my husband to come look.

We decided I should rest for an hour and if it was still the same, page the doctor.

So an hour later, off I went again and it was much the same.

Paged the doctor who phoned me back within minutes. Great fast service and amazingly he was all business and professional, not laid back and jokey like at our appointments.

He was glad it wasn't red and that I had no pain or cramping with the bleeding. I'd felt both babies move and that was a positive sign too.

He said to rest and not have sex but to phone again if there was any pain or cramping or if the babies stopped moving or if the blood went red. Apparently the brown blood was old and whatever happened would have happened a day or two prior.

Fortunately none of that happened. It was brown the whole of Sat evening but didn't increase.

Now here's the snag - I had to fly to Durban the next afternoon to organise a client's home office. She'd already paid me 50% and had paid the flights.

I hate letting people down but of course, the babies are most important and yet I was so conflicted that I started questioning WHY the conflict. Shouldn't it be clear? I should cancel the trip.

Anyway, I'd eventually decided if the bleeding hadn't stopped by the following morning, I'd phone her and cancel.

The next morning there was some dry overnight blood but nothing new - thank the Lord!

And there has been no bleeding since.

I had my trip - nothing heavy - I was assertive as anything as I just roped total strangers into hauling my suitcase off the luggage a nice way of course. The big belly has some benefits!

BUT this gave me a HELL of a shock and I'm realising things can change in a heartbeat and I need to slow down and take care of ME for the babies' sake.

P.S. The way the doctor responded on the phone totally reassured me and I'm entirely comforted by him now :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

The second opinion & 22 weeks pics

So we went for the second opinion last week at 23w1d. Our appointment was at 4:30 and his nurse phoned at around lunch time to check that I was still coming which was nice...and unusual for doctors' offices.

I got there just in time and my hubby was his usual 5 minutes late :) but we waited until about 5:30 to see him.

There was a girl waiting so I asked her what time her appt was. 4:00. Dear Lord - my face obviously showed my feelings because she said that he often runs late because of emergencies and so on. Apparently he gives you his cell phone number so you can phone him directly if there is ever anything wrong.

Anywayyyy, this guy was Greek with a really strong accent and I really battled to understand him at first. I kept looking at my husband to "translate" and eventually I got there.

He asked us who we'd been seeing and my husband just blurted it out before I could say my "I'd prefer not to say" prepared statement. I just knew they all know one another and sure enough he goes, "oh yes, GC, I do know him"

My main thing was the discrepancy in the babies' sizes and he said it was only a problem if they shared a placenta but since they each have their own, it is all okay. If the babies are more than 500g apart, then they'd start to worry. He even drew pictures for me and I was happy.

So then we got onto the fun bit - the scan. The (what I think is a) girl weighed 584g and the boy weighed 634g - both looked great, good heartbeats, movement, etc.

My blood pressure was 80/50 - as usual, very low!

He couldn't tell at all about their genders and asked me if that was really important to me. I said of course their health is the MOST important thing but yes, I do want to know the girl's sex for sure.

He recommended we see a fetal assessment specialist who would definitely be able to tell us. I made the appt but am not sure I'll keep it because I want to have my 4D scan before that and hopefully she can tell us.

Why is this child so stubborn?!

He was talking about getting all my blood results and whatnot from the other doctor which kind of freaked me out because it didn't feel right.

So I prayed while driving home and unbeknown to me at the time, so did D. We were in separate cars.

When we got home, he says to me, "I don't think it's right that we switch doctors." I also got that sense but wanted to hear his reasons :)

  • they were similar in their approach, in other words, non-paranoid :)
  • it seems infertility doctors are a lot more nitpicky because the stakes are higher
  • I felt more comfortable with the first doc after seeing this one
The next morning I phoned up the new doc to thank him very much for setting my mind at ease and to tell him that there was no need to get my blood results as I'd decided not to move doctors.

All very nice and civilised :)

And here are some pics from 22 weeks 1 day, taken in Wicklow, Ireland. Black really is slimming, isn't it?

But then have a look at the side view!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

21 weeks pics - yes, I'm waaay behind

This is the day we voted in our general elections.

My sister, her husband and son had come to visit and we squeezed in this photo shoot just before bedtime.

We took the family pics after my 21-week shots and my sister's two-year-old lifted his top because I'd done so - toooo cute!

If you're into Mother's Day, Happy Mother's Day - I still feel really weird about it and I'm not sure I'll feel better next year when I have live babies... but there you go, that's my issue!

Friday, May 08, 2009

So I'm back!

We had a lovely time in Dublin, Ireland but I am very, very happy to be home.

Are you like that too?

I LOVE going away and enjoy it tremendously wherever I am (provided it's not too hot) but I LOVE coming home too.

The minute I get to the airport and am checked in, I start thinking of home.

Anyway, Ireland.

It was lovely, grey, rainy, cold weather which simply delights me. All the South Africans think I'm weird because I love cold weather so much.

What is it about the cold that I love? The crispness of the air, everything feels cleaner outside, I can have lots of tea (!), dress warm, wear gloves, eat soup, etc, etc.

The one thing I will say is that a city holiday is not a place for a pregnant woman. And we consciously didn't do many walking-type activities, rode the bus/ LUAS as much as possible and still there was a lot of walking.

One morning we had to rush to meet our tour bus and I had to walk FAST. By the time I got there I was absolutely pooped and very teary - "what if I'm doing something to the babies by pushing myself this much?"

Had a bit of a cry on D's shoulder. He is an AMAZING man generally, and more so for putting up with me. Really!

Then I had a moment on the LUAS (tram) one evening. Those Irish people do not give a DAMN whether you are old, pregnant, a woman, etc.(very strange because in South Africa, we're taught to give up our seats - it's good manners :)) - they keep their seats. So frustrating when you see young, able-bodied men sitting and big, pregnant me hanging onto those poles for dear life.

I actually said to our friend, "good thing you're with us otherwise I would have been moaning and whinging some more" and I was not joking!

Oh! We had a bumper bashing one evening and I felt the one baby move very strongly (it felt like she was twisting) and then there was NOTHING for awhile. I was freaking out and told myself if I feel nothing by the morning, I'll have to suck it up and pay Euro to go see a doctor, but fortunately, the next morning she was doing her morning aerobics again and I was a happy mother!

It was lovely spending time with our friends but also a bit frustrating because they're unstructured and we're very structured (I didn't realise we were that structured until living with them) so in the evenings we had supper at 9:30 - 10:00 pm because it was "should we cook? should we go out?" every night! That frustrated me big-time. At home, we decide these things in advance and then just do it. And of course I have a menu plan so I don't have to do much thinking on the actual day.

The one night I actually just said I'm done with this - I'll make a toasted sandwich at home and you guys can go out. I am clearly led of God because D said they actually didn't eat anything until well after midnight!

The actual flights were not too bad. The Jhb legs of the trips were empty so I could stretch out over 4 seats and sleep - lovely, and the Dublin legs were understandably full, and full of noisy kids. I told mine they'd better be good travellers because I can't deal with all that screaming! Felt very taken care of by the air hostesses who kept bringing me extra pillows, water, etc. because I'm pregnant.

So that's our last pre-babies trip and I am happy to "retire" my suitcases for awhile. It just gets too stressful.

Well, I have an organising job in Durban on Monday and Tuesday next week so one last flight (only 45 minutes this time) and then, finally, I can relax and wait for the babies.


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