Tuesday, May 31, 2011

35 weeks 1 day - May 31, 2011 "Prego Side Effects..."

Your mommy is starting to get antsy about your arrival. Mommy had another appointment today in Burlington and Grandma Leanne came with me because Daddy had to work. The appointment went well and you both cooperated so well for our NST and the BPP. Mommy and Grandma indulged in my favorite "pregnancy lunch" in Burlington at Al's Frys and then had to go back to the hospital for an appointment with Dr. Young. I told Dr. Young that I think you girls will be coming this week and he says he hopes we can make it one more week. I don't know...I think you're coming this week. In fact, the two days that I picked for you to arrive are tomorrow, June 1 or Friday, June 3 so we'll see. I've just got a 6th sense that you girls won't be waiting much longer. Frankly, I can't wait to meet you. I'm getting to be pretty heavy and it is making it hard for me to get around at this point, so I'm excited about losing the extra weight and meeting my babies!

It's been a long and interesting weekend leading up to today. We had a long weekend because it was Memorial Day, and Aunt Ashley and Uncle Dawson decided to throw a BBQ last night which was a lot of fun but slightly tolling on my body. See, there are many things that you hear about during pregnancy...side effects and such. My pregnancy has been very smooth and I've been lucky enough to not have a lot of negative "pregnancy side effects." People always ask me if my back hurts or if my feet have swollen, etc and I have been able to say no through this whole pregnancy...that is until now.

In the past few weeks, I've put on almost 15-20 lbs. This week alone I've put on close to 10 lbs and I think it's all water weight. My legs and feet are completely swollen and I can feel the skin starting to stretch. The doctors say it's Pitting Edema and at this point there is no cause for concern, but I haven't seen my ankles in over 2 weeks and my feet are so swollen, my big gardening Crocs won't even fit! Pregnancy is starting to take a toll and it definitely has its embarrassing and funny moments, too. The other day, Aunt Juli and I were working at Daddy's shop trying to get a few things finished when all of a sudden I stood up out of my chair and just started peeing everywhere! I couldn't believe it...I had no warning and didn't even realize I had to go, but the moment I stood up, it was running down my leg. I didn't dare say anything in front of Daddy and Jonathan, so I just told Aunt Juli that we have to go to the house NOW! When we got outside I told her I peed my pants and she started laughing. It was quite funny after it was over.

I'm so excited to see when you girls will be joining us and completing our little family and I'm definitely ready to start losing this weight and getting back to "me" again. Hopefully we get to meet soon!


Monday, May 23, 2011

34 weeks 0 days - May 23, 2011

34 weeks
Belly Measures: 43 inches
Weight: 175.6 lbs
Sophie & Stella,
So it's been 2 weeks exactly since the last time I wrote you girls. I am in deed writing from the comfort of our couch and have been enjoying every last minute of being home! Let me recap the past two weeks for you...

My 11 bed pillows!
Our last day at the hospital, two weeks ago today we had a growth ultrasound up on Labor & Delivery. The ultrasound went well but mommy couldn't really make anything out! You girls are getting so big that both your heads won't fit within the ultrasound screen anymore. The sonographer had a hard time getting measurements of Sophie's head because she is SO LOW that we couldn't really get it. The tech did all the measurements of both you girls and determined that Stella weighs about 4lbs 5oz and Sophie weighs 3 lbs 7oz. Because Sophie is trailing quite a bit behind Stella, they are a little worried about whether or not she is getting enough blood, etc. so they've issued Umbilical Cord doppler screenings weekly to make sure she is getting enough blood and is just a little smaller in nature. Mommy got released from the hospital that Monday afternoon and was so excited! There was another woman from Lake Placid (Janis Curtis Atkinson) checking in to Shep 5 when I was leaving. She is having Mono/Mono twins which means that her twins are in the same sac and share a placenta. These types are very high risk because they can entangle their cords, so she had to check in at 28 weeks and gets monitored every 8 hours to make sure the babies are safe and sound.

The doctors released me and said to "Take it Easy." I was put on modified bed-rest and was told I could walk around "within reason." Not quite sure what "within reason" means but I take it as I can walk around as much as I need to until I get tired! Probably not what they mean, but it is quite an ambiguous doctor's order. We got home Monday night and I was so excited to see Desmo and Ohlins and they were excited to see mommy. They did not leave my side for the rest of the night! On Tuesday, I went back to work. I'm working from home 4 hours each morning trying to keep up with the daily office tasks and transitioning my accounts over to my boss. The first week I was home, the weather was absolutely beautiful so I couldn't wait to get outside after work each day. My "bedrest" occurred outside on the deck in a bikini. I've gotten some decent color now which is great because I was so busy last summer I pretty much missed it. 

Last week - 33 weeks 0 days, we had another doctor's appointment. We will start having them every week now until you girls are born. Our NST went well and then we had a Bio-Physical Profile (BPP) Ultrasound. This is a 30 minute "test" for each baby. You both need to pass a handful of tests that include heartbeat, measurement of amniotic fluid, 3 rapid movements and breathing. The breathing is neat because you're basically "practicing" breathing by breathing amniotic fluid in and out; it's really tricky to catch though. If you don't pass the BPP or your NST is not great, they send you back up to Labor & Delivery for additional testing. Sophie passed with flying colors in under 9 minutes and Stella decided to sleep through the entire test until the last minute and a half when she woke up, started breathing and moving. Mommy was SO happy that we passed everything! Also, Sophie's doppler was done and seems to be fine; she is getting plenty of blood flow through her umbilical cord.

Changing Table from Tobin & Annie

This past week it has been raining a lot. 
The weather has been warm and humid but we've had rain most every day. I've kept my afternoons busy by working on the nursery getting it all ready for you girls. Mommy built your changing table, re-organized the closet, and washed & put away all your baby clothes. I'm a little OCD when it comes to organization, so all the drawers, shelves, and hanging rods have labels so that we know what size everything is. I can't wait to see you wearing all the cute clothes that you've received from friends and family.

Daddy and I got your car seats finally and tried them out with the stroller frame that Jacki & Eric Smith got us for our baby shower. We also put together the Pack 'n Play that you girls will be sleeping in when you come home. Funny though, Desmo and Ohlins love the Pack 'n Play and always beg to get in and lay down in the bassinets! It is so cute to watch them but hopefully we don't have any trouble with them when you take the bassinets over. 

The Pups taking over the Bassinets!

Personalized Blankets for Sophie & Stella!

I also finished your baby blankets. I had bought this beautiful houndstooth fabric and a really soft white fabric to make the blankets. I had started them before I went into the hospital but finally finished them the other day and personalized them with your names tonight. I am completely in love with them and I hope you like them as much as me. I'm now working on the crib comforters and bumper pads.

So Mommy and Daddy had another appointment today. You both passed your NST and BPP and everything seems to be going fine. Mommy is starting to get lots of fluid in my legs and feet. They are getting quite large and start hurting if I've been on them for a long period of time. The doctor says not to worry about it and to keep my feet up as much as possible. I'm very lucky though since this is the only "weight gain" i've noticed outside of the belly area. It is quite crazy to see the rapid weight gain I've experienced in the past two weeks. At 33 weeks I weighed 169 lbs, gaining 5 lbs since week 32 and now I've gained another 6 lbs since last week! I'm starting to really feel my weight and get tired pretty easily. When we left our appointment today, the nurse handed us our appointment schedule through the end of June. When she gave it to me she said, "here are all your appointments, but frankly we don't think you'll make it to your appointments next week!" Let's see what happens. Daddy chose June 4 and I chose either June 1 or June 3 as when you will be born. Uncle Tim thinks you'll be born on June 2, so we'll see if any of us are even close. 

I cannot wait to meet you girls and it seems to be the only thing I can think of now. I have funny dreams about your deliveries. Everything from having to be life-flighted to Denver, CO ( don't ask) to just standing there and you both pop out without me even noticing. Crazy dreams...but I'm excited to see how everything will actually go. Right now, you are both head down and facing my spine which is ideal. Hopefully that does not change as it is rare to have twins both in the ideal position for a natural birth. 

I can't wait to hold you both in my arms. At this point, I know you could come any minute. Me and Daddy are all ready for your arrival! We love you so much.


Monday, May 9, 2011

32 weeks 0 days - May 9, 2011: Mission Accomplished...

32 weeks 0 days
Fletcher Allen Hospital
Sophie & Stella,

Your mommy has made it to 32 weeks which is a huge accomplishment, seeing as you both thought about coming in to this world at 30 weeks. The last couple days have been fun filled with some visitors that stayed with mommy at the hospital, keeping her company along with a "mission" to be fulfilled!

Daddy came Tuesday night to stay with mommy through Wednesday night. It was so nice to see him and even though he had left Monday morning, it felt like an eternity since I had last seen him. We spent all day Wednesday together and had yummy Belgian waffles for breakfast, which were to die for! I have to say that the food here at Fletcher Allen is quite yummy. Daddy left Wednesday night to go back to Lake Placid because he had to work on Thursday and Friday, but not before we went through our baby registry and bought all the necessary things we still needed, like your car seats and pack 'n play. Mommy cannot wait to get home and see all the baby stuff that has been arriving. I want to get it all washed and put away so that we are prepared for when you make your grand entrance! Grammy Leanne came Wednesday night to keep mommy company for the evening. Daddy is so worried about leaving me alone at night, he tries to make sure someone is with me every night of the week. Grammy came Wednesday night and we had dinner downstairs and then hung out in my room. She brought a potted plant with 4 pretty yellow flowers representing mommy, daddy, and you girls. I will be sure to bring it home and plant it somewhere in the garden. They will be your first flowers in the garden!

Celebrating Mother's Day at the hospital!
Mommy and Grammy had so much fun on Wednesday night. We celebrated mother's day together a few days early and gabbed about everything under the sun. We played Gin Rummy until 12:30am. Mommy was beating Grammy so badly through the whole game and the last round, Grammy beat me by a lot of points and won the game! We stayed up talking until 1am like two little girls at a sleep over. We have not spent this much quality time together in a long time...it was very nice and I hope we get to do it again sometime!

Grammy left Thursday morning to go back to Lake Placid and mommy was left to herself until Friday evening. I like to keep myself busy throughout the day with a routine that keeps me going everyday and helps to pass the time. I usually get up and take a little walk down the hall and have some toast early in the morning. I come back to my room and my vitals are taken. After vitals I order breakfast from room service, eat and then have my NST (non-stress test) done. I've gotten pretty good at reading the NSTs since I've had so many of them in the past 2 weeks. After my NST, I usually take a shower, get dressed, straighten up my room, and blow dry my hair. By this time, it is close to lunch time and I'll usually order lunch and get my "office" set-up for the day. Adworkshop has been so great through this whole experience, allowing me to work from the hospital. Work helps to pass the time and it's definitely harder than I thought it would be for me to "turn it off" and stay away from work and email, etc. I've been able to put in a good 20 hours this past week which was great for me and keeps me busy!

Friday evening Aunt Ashley showed up and mommy was SO EXCITED!!!! By Friday, I had been in the hospital for 11 days and was going stir crazy. I had only been outside 3 days and was craving fresh air. All day Friday while I was waiting for Aunt Ashley, I had been scheming a plan to "break out" of the hospital for some real food. When Ashley got to the hospital, we hung out for a little while and then I said, "okay, get dressed. We're getting out of here and going to Koto's for sushi." Ashley freaked out and was like, "there is no way I'm taking you out of here. Taylor will kill me!" I said, "he's not going to know. I'm not telling him until I get out of the hospital."

"Mission Accomplished" - Escape to Koto's
The problem with me and your Aunt Ashley, is when we get together sometimes we can do some pretty funny things. Usually, I come up with some cockamamie plan and Ashley can't resist doing it because I force her to go along with me! I had to be back by 8:30 for vitals, so we signed me out at 6:30 saying we were just going outside for a bit. We took the wheelchair and went to the lobby, where we ditched the chair and walked to the parking garage elevators. I was hiding my patient bands and was really nervous we'd get caught by someone. Ashley asked if the band had any type of "tracking" in it, and I was like, "there is NO way." The first "heart attack" came when we got into the elevators and they starting beeping. I jumped, but someone said they always do that. Then we got down to the parking garage doors and I literally had one foot out the door when my phone starting ringing. I grabbed my phone and caller ID said, "FLETCHER ALLEN HOSPITAL." I jumped out of my skin and started backing away from the door. I couldn't answer the phone, I just kept looking at it completely dumbfounded. Could it be possible that they knew I was leaving the hospital? It's impossible! Ashley and I were so nervous. Finally my phone said I had a voicemail. I reluctantly dialed "1" to listen to my voicemail. "Hello, this is Fletcher Allen Hospital reminding Kari that she has an appointment on Tuesday, May 10..." I was finally able to breathe when I listened to the voicemail; it was my appointment reminder. I looked at Ashley and started laughing. Could the timing have been any more perfect? The experience in itself to this point had almost put me back into labor! We finally gathered our composure and ran out of the hospital to the parking garage and into Aunt Ashley's car. Out we went and in to the free world! Now, all we had to do was get through dinner without seeing any of my doctors or nurses and then back to the hospital safe and sound we would go.

Rocking my Hospital Bands outside of Koto's
We made it to Koto's and had a nice dinner with some sushi and sides. We didn't linger at all because I think the stress of the night had made my back start hurting again. Dinner was pretty uneventful but yummy and worth all the craziness. Mommy loves her sushi and when she wants it, she's got to have it! We got back into the car, but not before mommy got her picture taken outside of Koto's sporting her hospital bands for proof! Safe and sound we made it back to the hospital and back to my room to enjoy a quiet night. Aunt Ashley and I had quite a few laughs about the whole ordeal! It is something I'll never forget and I'm sure we'll tell the story over and over again for years to come!

Aunt Ashley left on Saturday afternoon and then Daddy came Saturday night. It was so good seeing him and knowing that we would be able to spend the whole weekend together! Yesterday, we went for a walk outside and mommy got a little sunburn on her legs, which felt really nice. We then got to watch World Superbike in our room. It is awesome that I get SPEED TV at the hospital! We had more sushi for dinner last night and then both of us passed out for the evening.

Today has been kind of a crazy day. I woke up after tossing and turning all night. See, today we reached 32 weeks and there is a possibility that I can go home today. There are a few criteria that have to be met before they will give me the "okay" to be discharged. One is that my cervix has not changed and the other is that my ultrasound comes back okay. I had my NST this morning and contracted more than normal. I think it is because I am very nervous about my exams today and scared to hear what the doctor's have to say. I really want to go home but I have to mentally prepare for the news that they are going to keep me. I want nothing more than to go back home and rest in my own bed with Desmo and Ohlins. I had my cervical exam this morning also and that came back clear. I've actually shrunk which is great and proves that the little bit of walking around I've done is not progressing my labor. So, now daddy and I are just waiting for an opening up in Labor and Delivery to do our ultrasound. Unfortunately, L&D is very busy today and we are in a waiting game hoping that it will be sooner rather than later that they can get us in.

Hopefully, my next post to you girls will be from the comfort of our own home. I love you so much and hope you cooperate this afternoon so mommy can go home and relax for a few more weeks! Keep your fingers crossed.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

31 weeks 1 day - May 3, 2011

31 weeks 1 day

Yay!! Mommy has made it to 31 weeks. This past week has been a little scary but the past fews days have been pretty good!

On Sunday, Mommy's whole family came over to see me and daddy (grammy, Aunt Ashley, Aunt Juli, and Uncle Tony) and the doctor's cleared me for "wheel chair privileges" so I could go out and spend some time with all of them together. When they come to visit in your room, you can only have 3 people at a time and no one under the age of 12...which meant Tony could not come in my room. Mommy got all dressed and put on some make-up and got in a wheel chair and daddy wheeled her out of the Maternity floor and out the front door of the hospital to the garden. I cried so much when we got outside. I had not felt fresh air or the sun in 6 days and I was just so happy to be outside. We all sat in the garden for about an hour, talking and laughing about all sorts of things until I had to go back to my room for vitals. After vitals, we all had lunch and then went back outside for another hour or two before everyone had to leave to head back to Lake Placid. When I got to my room, I noticed that I had a little sunburn on my arm...it made mommy smile so much to see her sun kissed shoulders! Daddy stayed over on Sunday and had to leave on Monday morning so he could go back to work. Mommy realized that the cot was more comfortable for her than the hospital bed, so daddy offered to sleep in the hospital bed. It definitely throws the Maternity nurses for a loop when they walk in to check on a pregnant lady and find a man sleeping in the hospital bed!

So, daddy left early on Monday morning which gave mommy her first real day all by herself. This was going to be a big test to see how well I did being away from everyone and not knowing how I was going to feel. Things turned out pretty good though! My mornings tend to be quite busy with doctors and nurses coming in. They all seem to come in at separate times...I think because it's a learning hospital and some of the docs have to learn how to deal with patients one-on-one, so 2 or 3 docs will come in at separate time and ask me the same questions. Nurses come in the morning and do morning vitals. I usually order my breakfast after that and go take a shower. When I come back, my breakfast is waiting and then we do the daily Non-Stress Test (NST). I'm usually all done with everything and ready for the day by about 11am. Yesterday, I finally was able to log in to work and check my email...almost 500 emails had to be read through. So, that kept me busy for a while but then I get tired and have to take naps throughout the day. We also had a visitor yesterday, Anna Sengenberger came to visit. I work with her husband, Mike at Adworkshop. Anna had a doctor's appointment at Fletcher Allen, so she came to visit after her appointment and brought a really nice card and some yummy chocolates. It was really nice to see a familiar face. Anna and Mike are expecting a baby later this fall, so hopefully you'll have a playmate!

The NST today was really successful as was yesterdays and you girls were actually good and didn't give the nurses too hard of a time. Sophie's heartbeat averages in the 130s and Stella's has been averaging in the 140s. The past few NSTs have been so crazy and take forever...mostly because Sophie is squirming all over the place and never wants anyone to find her heartbeat. Mommy has gotten really good at locating your heartbeats for the nurses, though. I can pretty much point to a spot on my belly and it is almost spot on every time! The nurses here are so incredibly nice and helpful and keep mommy company when she needs it. Every day I have a new set of nurses throughout the day. You tend to spend a good 20 minutes with them every couple of hours, so I always ask them how long they've been a nurse and if they have any kids, etc. A lot of them have great stories and have seen lots of different types of people give birth here. They always make you feel special too, because they call my belly by the names of Sophie and Stella without me having to tell them! It feels really nice and I'm looking forward to seeing all these same nurses that have been taking such good care of me when I deliver you girls.

As scary as this journey has been over the last week, I am finding some solace in it. I've been getting lots of rest and lots of time to think about when daddy and I will get to hold you both. I'm learning lots from the nurses and get to see lots of little newborns every day. Daddy and I have got to spend some real quality time together which is nice and does not happen very often. I think this experience will better prepare me and daddy for when "The Day" arrives, too. We will know our ins and outs of the hospital and what to expect from the care, etc. I know what we need to pack and what we really don't need and how the whole operation works, so I'm trying to make this all into a big positive learning experience.

Today the doctor's told me that if there are no changes in my body come Monday, that I should be able to go home. I really hope that you two allow mommy to go home and rest in her own bed with the poocherinos! I can't wait for you to meet the two pups: Desmo and Ohlins. They are such good dogs and I think they will be very curious of you both. They miss mommy a lot and I miss them.

I'm going to wrap this up because Daddy is on his way from Lake Placid. He left early yesterday morning but it feels like it has been an eternity since I last saw him. I can't wait for him to arrive!!! He is going to stay here all day tomorrow and then leave tomorrow night so he can go back to work for a few days. I'm a little worried that he may not make it because Lake Champlain has been flooding like crazy and roads are being closed left and right. Hopefully he makes it over here and is able to make it back to Lake Placid tomorrow night.

Stay put Sophie & Stella. I'm being patient in meeting you...you'd better be patient in meeting the world!