23 weeks!

I’ve been doing such a good job at not being paranoid and not reading Google – until now. But first, a new picture. I feel that during this past week, while on school vacation, I “popped”. Granted, I had already grown a nice goose egg up until this point, as can be seen in the first picture, taken at 21.5 weeks. A week and a half later, and woah – that is a belly.

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So that was a week and a half ago. Today, I’ve got this:

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Yes, I’ve grown. And since I didn’t feel any differently otherwise upon waking up, today I did 3 loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen and bathroom, and went to CVS, the grocery store, and Target. Mind you, none of this was done all at once. It was spread out throughout the day. But still, my couch time was basically non-existent. After my last errand, when I realized how exhausted I was, and how heavy my stomach was, I finally sat on the couch, only to notice my stomach harden (like it does alllll the time), but for a minute at a time and then lessen up. Many times. While doing nothing. So cue slight paranoia.

Of course, this also happened at the same time I was reading the book “Juggling Twins” – where I read, and not for the first time, that the two things I can do that are in my control to push away preterm labor are eat more, and do less. More rest. Cue guilt.

Now that I’ve eaten dinner and chugged some water, the hardening seems to have stopped. Therefore, I am coming to the conclusion that they were Braxton Hicks. It’s so hard to tell! My stomach is hard all time and has been for weeks. It is very rarely squishy. That said, I could see that the tightening kept coming and going, which worried me. I started getting worried about preterm labor, which is a worry never far from the front of my brain. But I have no other symptoms. So I’m going to keep chugging water and try not to worry. Obviously if something else happens, I’ll call the doctor on duty. I do think I overdid it today, and it caused the BH.

The thing is, and I’ve talked about this before – I don’t know how to do less. I say this because I thought I WAS doing less! I don’t exercise a lick, I do basic cleaning rather than real cleaning, I don’t make dinner, when I sit I do put my feet up, and I go to bed early.

And what’s my husband doing? He is completely redoing our entire house. As it is, he cooks all my meals, walks the dogs, vacuums, etc. But prior to being pregnant, we started redoing everything – every room in this house is or has gotten new paint, new moulding, new doors, new wood floors, new carpet…you get the idea. And now that we are kind of in a time crunch, he spends all his free time working on these projects. I can’t ask him to do literally everything else too.

And I’m not worried about letting some major chores go. But dishes in the sink do need to be taken care of. Dogs need to be fed. I don’t know. I keep reminding myself to do less and sit more, and then I legitimately forget. Like I said, it’s not like I go to the gym. These are basics. Should I put a chair in the shower, for Pete’s sake?

Anyway, I do want to rest. I truly do. I just can’t seem to tell when I’ve done too much until it’s too late. And now that I’m going back to school on Monday, I REALLY need to learn this lesson. Keeping the babies cooking is my number one priority, and sometimes I forget that it’s different with twins. It’s a higher risk. Just slow down already!!

I’ll try again tomorrow. I’ve got three more loads of laundry on my list – comforter, sheets, and dog blankets. Maybe I’ll just look past the inches of dog fur…

22 weeks, weight gain and “tough” decisions

Today is 22 weeks and every Saturday, I’m just glad to have made it another week. Bug and Goat, as they’ve been determined to be called, continue to cook away. I feel lots of movement with both of them, though I still relate it to gas bubbles. It seems like most people, when they first feel movement, are in awe of the feeling. To me,  they feel familiar. I suppose that means prior to being pregnant I’ve had a lot of gas…

My husband has been able to feel it a couple of times, but usually when there’s all types of bubbling going on in there, as soon as his hand finds my stomach, it stops. Isn’t that just the way. In addition, for the first time a few days ago when I was by myself, I actually watched my stomach move without having to touch it. So that is cool.

I’ve been feeling large, which is fine with me. It probably has a lot to do with the heaviness of my stomach, as I’ve talked about before. When I recline or sit back, my stomach feels like a heavy set of bricks, threatening to crush me and limit my breathing. When I stand up, it feels like it’s going to fall off and I need to hold on to it. In those moments, the only position is sitting straight up. We got brand-new, comfy couches you can sink into – and those aren’t helping at the moment. So I sit propped up with a pillow.

But interestingly enough, those who see me every day view me as “small”. I think it’s a compliment, as apparently pregnant women don’t want to be called “big”. Someone who is not normally in my building found out I was pregnant the other day, and when I ran into her in the bathroom, she said, “I had no idea you were pregnant – you can’t tell at all!” She wasn’t being polite, she was genuinely shocked. Um, really?

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What does that look like, then? I just ate a Big Mac? To her defense, I was wearing a black sweater – I guess that can be deceiving if you’re not looking at me from the side. But still.

See, carrying twins, I don’t want to be small. I want to be appropriately large, because I want appropriately large, healthy babies. I’d rather look like an elephant and have twins with healthy birth weights, rather than be small. I wasn’t thinking I was looking small, until a few people said I did.

This all leads me to weight gain. Prior to being pregnant, with a few years of thyroid problems, fertility drugs and an inability to motivate myself, I gained probably 10-15 pounds. Yuck. Still within the “normal” BMI, but not where I wanted to be to feel good. Then, when the nausea kicked in big-time at 5 and a half weeks, I lost 7 pounds. So, once the weight started to go back on, I considered that my starting point.

One of the things I see recommended a lot for those carrying multiples is to gain a lot of weight. That seems to be the number one most important thing you can do. 24 pounds by 24 weeks, or something like that. Well, I was doing okay. A week ago at 21 weeks, I had gained 15 pounds. Not quite there but on my way. Then over the weekend, I got the stomach bug. (Sidebar – I’ve now had one of the worst head colds in memory and a very unpleasant stomach bug. Do pregnant people get sick more often?) I lost 5 pounds. At this point, I was at a 10 pound weight gain overall, at 21 weeks. So far I’ve gained a few of those pounds back.

So overall, let’s say in 22 weeks, I’ve gained 13-14 pounds. I feel like I should be gaining more weight, and I know that the best way to do that is to eat! Aren’t pregnant women supposed to be all-day feeding machines? You know, an appetite of a 10-year old boy? Well, it’s really not that way.

In fact, the bigger I get, the less I can eat in one sitting, because nothing fits in there. If I shove too much in, I pay for it later with heartburn and discomfort. The late night snack that is recommended? Can’t do it – too close to bedtime, resulting in….heartburn. So I’m not eating that much, really. Not to mention, I need to make sure some of what I eat everyday is produce to…help with digestion. I’m certainly not going to gain weight from my daily apple, banana, pear, and cantaloupe. So it’s a bit of a struggle – I need lots of fruits and veggies, but they don’t help me gain weight. I’m always full after my main meals, and I don’t want a nighttime snack. This is a weird position to be in, for sure.

These thoughts are similar to what I was thinking about last week, with overdoing it at work. I look “small”, and I’ve recently put WAY too much on my plate job-wise, and I come home and again think, I’m doing too much. But it doesn’t look that way at the time, while at work, because I’m in the zone and doing my thing. I don’t know how to “take it down a notch” as an elementary school teacher. I feel like the only way I could is with a doctor’s order. Otherwise, in the moment, I’m doing my job.

Finally, recently I’ve been struggling with decisions that could only be put into the category of “pregnant women problems”. Are they really problems? Not really. But they’re there. We had made some decisions – names, colors, certain things for the registry. And in the past week, we’re questioning EVERYTHING. We’re back to the drawing board on names – we still like the ideas we had, but I think we’ve said them so many times that they’re losing their effect – making us wonder if they’re the right names at all. The same goes for nursery ideas, colors, etc. We do know we’re going with a nice yellow color for the walls, which is different from our original mint green. It’s a cornsilk yellow. The furniture will be cherry, so kind of dark, making the other main color dark brown. Earthy, which is fine. But yellow and brown? Do I need to be thinking about decorations, adding more colors, etc? Do I need a theme? Like, jungle animals or something? I’m not really a theme type of person, at least not for a child’s room.

It doesn’t matter what I’m talking about – I can’t make a decision on anything all of a sudden. It’s like when you go into a Yankee Candle store – after the 20th scent, your nose goes numb and that’s it, you’re done. It’s frustrating. I know we have time, but I want the decisions made because I can then do things with the decisions that make me happy. But in reflection, these “problems” are pretty good to have. Last fall, I couldn’t have imagined even getting to this point.

As a side note, here are some new pictures of Riley and Sadie. Before Bug and Goat arrive, these dogs (who wake up promptly at 6:00 am, no matter what time they go to bed) are my babies.

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Taking it easy

…or not. Every once in a while I stumble across an online forum (which I probably should stay away from, but sometimes they can actually be helpful!) where the topic of taking it easy comes up.

In fact, the question posed on the forum I read last night asked if she, at 11 weeks pregnant with twins, should plan for leaving work by a specific time period. About 50 people answered her, and the majority of them had received timelines by their doctors. Most of these timelines suggested that if you were working an on-the-go, on-your-feet job, you should consider taking a leave around 24-28 weeks. Um, really?

Of course, I have been very, very lucky during this pregnancy and I’m aware of that. No issues with the babies, no cervix or placenta problems – all my appointments have been textbook, short and sweet. I’ve never been told a single thing about taking it easy in the weeks to come,  nor have I thought to bring it up and ask. Then again, I’m not sure they know I’m an elementary school teacher.

So I wonder to myself, as here I am at 21 weeks – am I going to make it through the school year? Am I going to make it through the next month? Hmm..I start pondering all the things that are going on at school I would miss, or at the very least, what my classroom needs are. I’m in charge of my school’s first-ever talent show, with rehearsals coming up in a few weeks and the show at the end of May. There are field trips, our “graduation” ceremony at the end of June (my students go on to middle school next year), parties, assemblies. Things I help to run. In my classroom, nothing at all has been taken down for summer (as we’ve still got 3 months left). And my students – what a crappy way for them to end their year, with the teacher all of a sudden gone, with no warning (if I was put on emergency bed rest).

I’m not in a panic whatsoever. I know that if I need to stop working, everything at school will be handled, and other people will step up to the plate and help me out. It’s not like things won’t be handled. So that’s not the issue. It’s just that taking a leave from your job (especially when you’re a teacher) affects so many people. I would get help, and everyone would have to deal, but that’s a lot to ask. So, in the coming weeks, while I’m not yet waddling or panting like a buffalo, it might be smart of me to at least – clean up my room. Put away things that are no longer needed. Organize my files. I have a whole shelf of my personal things – a scrapbook, pictures, notes from past students – I don’t want a sub, or worse, my students, trying to clean all that up for me. Obviously I can’t take down things like my calendar (oh, but so many little pieces that can get lost!), but what I can straighten up, I guess I should.

From the outside, I just look like someone who’s pregnant with one baby. Noticeably pregnant. And so I think people assume I feel like I’m just pregnant with one baby. Considering I’ve never been pregnant before, I can’t say for sure that they are wrong. I’m not sure how uncomfortable singleton pregnancies are at 21 weeks – they’re not too comfy for twins. However, from what I’ve read, if I haven’t started feeling like I’m carrying twins yet, I surely will soon. Isn’t it true that at 30 weeks, you’re full-term sized if you had one baby? AKA – the size of someone carrying one at 40 weeks? Well, 30 weeks is the beginning of June. We’ll still have 2.5 or 3 more weeks of school to go. If I were pregnant with one baby and 40 weeks, would I still be teaching?

I doubt it.

So I have this feeling the end of June will be quite interesting. Granted, I’m not due until the end of July. If there are no other problems and the doctor just wants me off my feet, I wonder if, once the school year ends, I could get up and at least somewhat enjoy the summer. Poolside.

None of this is in my control, and that may be the bottom line. Teachers don’t like when things aren’t in our control, but I’ve fully accepted that whatever happens in terms of bed rest, happens. However…

To what degree should I be “taking it easy” now? I teach sitting down, so there’s that. But between subjects, it’s up and down, answer the phone, help kids on their projects, moving all around all the time. To the copy machine. To the bathroom.  Last week, we held talent show tryouts, and I was up and down many times, hooking up kids’ iPods into the speakers, helping students with the microphone, and then I even got down on the gym mat to hold it down for a kid doing flips. At the time, I didn’t feel as if I was straining myself. It felt physically right, otherwise I wouldn’t have done it. But yeah, I was super tired that night. And wondering – did I overdo it?

When I run errands, or when I pick up my 22 pound dogs from the driveway into the car, or from the floor to the bed, am I overdoing it? We’ve been walking the dogs, albeit slowly, around the neighborhood. Is that too much?  I’m not exercising, so that’s not an issue.

Are there any activities that I should not be doing, even if I feel like I can, to help prevent bed rest or taking a leave from work? I guess I just don’t know. I won’t be checked on again until the end of April, so until then, I really want to work as long as possible. I also want to cook these babies as long as possible, and that really is my first and top priority. What should I do now to help both of those things happen, as much as what’s in my control?

My super heavy belly

Okay friends, I think my blog reader has been acting funny so I’m missing many of your posts, and I’m not sure who is missing mine. That said, I’ve got a first-time preggo question for you, whether you’ve had one, two, or more babies at once.

I’ve actually mentioned it before, many weeks ago, but it kind of went away.

My stomach is FULL, TIGHT, and HEAVY. Emphasis on the heavy. All. Day. Long.

I’m not worried something is wrong, but I do want to be able to know if these are Braxton Hicks or a twin thing, or something else altogether.

I don’t know if I’ve ever had BH, but I always thought that when I had one, I’d know it. Isn’t BH when your whole stomach goes rock hard for a few minutes, you feel a weird pressure, and then it goes away?

This isn’t that. This starts at about 10 in the morning and lasts all day, only getting worse as the day goes on. When I stand up, my stomach feels so heavy I just feel this need to hold it from the bottom and get myself in a chair immediately. When I sit, my stomach feels like it’s a pile of bricks piling on top of each other, so that’s not comfortable either. When I recline, my back kind of hurts and I have a little shortness of breath. Therefore, there is no comfortable position. Laying on my left side at night on my Snoogle is about the only thing that feels okay. Forget bending over – I can’t even tie my shoes!

When I eat, it’s all the worse. I’m quickly realizing I physically can’t eat more than a few bites without feeling full.

Here’s the thing: I’m only 20 weeks! I’m probably showing somewhere between 24-26 weeks I’d guess. I know many, many people who, at 24-26 weeks, had a cute bump and went about their lives with little discomfort. I feel like I’m 500 weeks pregnant! Gosh, many pregnant women still go to the gym, and I can barely walk from the bedroom to the kitchen without holding my stomach and becoming winded!

Like I said, I don’t think this is BH. My stomach is tight and hard, but not rock hard. I can still push on my stomach and it gives a little. And the heaviness lasts all day. I’m big, but not that big.

Am I cooking up little hulk babies? Or is this a normal thing?

20 Weeks and Gender Reveal!

I am 20 weeks today, and we had our second trimester scan a few days ago. Both babies were healthy, cervix looked good, no issues! And now, for the big reveal, we are having……

a BOY and a GIRL!! I am SO. excited.

When I was younger, and just assumed I’d conceive and have babies like it was nobody’s business, I didn’t want to know the sex of my first baby. It seemed like a nice surprise in the moment of giving birth, no need for rushing a good surprise, and for some people, I think that’s accurate. My own opinion changed, though, for 2 reasons. First of all, because I’m having twins. I mean – I don’t know, having two girls versus two boys is quite different and for my Type A personality, I don’t know if I could handle not knowing two babies’ sexes. More than that, though, my opinion changed going through infertility. After all the “surprises” of negative tests and failed Clomid cycles, IUI’s, etc., this was one surprise I didn’t want to wait for anymore. I think I’ve been in a state of denial the past 20 weeks, though it’s been letting up slowly but surely. It was never a denial of, “This can’t be happening to me”, because it’s been the #1 thing I’ve wanted since I can remember, and I was fully aware that it was, in fact, happening. It was more like this fear that if I got too excited, I’d take it for granted that I actually was pregnant, and if I took it for granted, it might just all go away. Totally irrational, but I think that’s what it was.

So instead, I vowed not to take it for granted, and therefore spent every waking minute thinking about it, which 1) caused unnecessary worry quite often, and 2) filled me with this overwhelming feeling that I couldn’t handle, making me more introverted and slightly cranky. People wanted to talk about it and ask me questions and I found myself not even wanting to think about the answers because my brain could not process the whole idea. Now, 20 weeks in, I’ve processed the fact of my twin pregnancy more than I have yet, not that it’s 100%, but that may not happen until they’re born. Anyway, I knew finding out the sexes would be the smartest thing I could do for myself, because it makes it more real and allows me to picture my future family. This has worked, and since the scan, my worries have mostly gone out the window (for a limited time, I’m sure). I can’t stop looking at the pictures and checking their little 3-D faces (I swear boy looks like my husband).

Like I’m said, I’m still not 100% there. In my own head and with my husband, I’m in total baby mode and loving how that feels. Out loud, though, I’m still not totally ready to pour out my emotions to anyone. This poor coworker of mine – I kind of snapped at her the other day for no reason. Actually, that happens a lot lately and it feels my internal filter has stopped working and needs a deep cleansing (very sorry, friends!). But one person in particular made a comment to me as I was heading back to my classroom during an assembly to grab a snack. She said, “Go get some food – gotta feed those babies!” And that just didn’t feel comfortable – it felt weird, like my stomach is see-through and everyone focuses on just them, when they are still so small and not here yet. And also, eating is just not something I want to be…public. I don’t know. Don’t watch me eat. Don’t tell me to have another candy because I’m eating for 3. That wasn’t this coworker – lots of people have started in on those comments. Moving on…so I said, “Feed babies? I’m feeding ME!” (In my head I was muttering something along the lines of the babies being too young to enjoy my yogurt.) And in retrospect….that was unnecessary. I’m working on that. I’m very aware that people whom I don’t know THAT well (not friends and family) are just excited for me, and therefore want to know every answer to all their questions. They also stare at my stomach before they meet my eyes, which is creepy. The whole concept is still kind of weird. It’s like when guys stare at your chest before they look at your face, except my chest has never been more than a “nearly A” cup so that never happened to me. I’m not used to it. So, yeah, I’m not 100% there yet. But coming along.

With that said, I’m a horrible liar, and therefore feel this need to answer everyone’s questions honestly when really, I don’t need to do that. The question of names is being asked, and while I don’t mind my friends and family knowing where we stand, the idea of telling everyone I know bothers me and so, I’m not doing it. We think we have the names. But I have no idea what the next <20 weeks will bring, and I don’t want a name locked down out loud only for it to change, or for someone to make a comment, or whatever. But I don’t lie well, like I said. So I’ve mentioned what we think the names are, with the comment that it could and probably will change. The one thing I’m not comfortable doing is referring to the babies by the names we are thinking about. I feel like it’s way too early for that, and in addition, it just…again, makes me uncomfortable. When they’re out, that’s when they’ll have their names. Until then, they are a baby boy and a baby girl. My fear is that in telling people what we think the names will be, they will start calling them that. You know, “How are _____ and ______ doing?” If that happens, I might cringe and actually say, please don’t call them that. Which is rude, it’s just…I’m not there.

And it’s nice to have at least ONE secret. IVF was so public. My emotions were so public. I couldn’t hide being pregnant for long. I didn’t hide the sexes. So the names are the one thing I get to keep to myself, with my husband and I rattling around different names and ideas and knowing that we don’t have to share them with the world. I like that feeling. So, I don’t plan on referring to them by what we think their names will be, at least for quite a while, both in blog world and real life, and I’m just praying no one else does either. But “boy and girl” are boring, too. I’m reminded of Robin who affectionately called her babies in utero “Apple and Banana” for Baby A and Baby B, which I thought was super-cute. Belle calls her baby “Chicken” and Sunny calls hers “Bagel”.  So catchy! I’m trying to think of names that start with B and G.

Biscuit and Gravy? Blueberry and Grape? Beans and Granola? (Kidding…)

Ooh, or what about animals?

B – Bug, Bear, Bat, Badger, Boar, Beagle…. G – Goat, Goose, Goldfish, Gecko, Gopher… Hmmm… Badger and Gopher? Bug and Goat?

What do you think? I need two cute nicknames…

I still have moments of “panic” daily, usually along the lines of “What if….” and it’s something that I know I can’t control. Drink lots of water, put your feet up and rest, and that’s all you can do. I’m more than halfway there and am so excited about making it to the finish line.

Braxton hicks and irrational worries

It’s always something! I come here to ask my pregnancy questions because I seem to have so many! Every week, it’s something new. A lot of people I know who have been pregnant frequently say, “I never had that” symptom, so I wonder why I seem to be experiencing every single one! But I’m not complaining, as if this is just what happens, I’m good with that. The issue is more of a worry.

As an aside, worrying has been something I’ve taken to extremes in the past few weeks. I’ve always been a bit of a worrier, but found all that unnecessary anxiety drastically reduced when I stopped living with my parents and moved in with my husband, who doesn’t worry for anything. So I’m not thrilled to find this renewed and ridiculous anxiousness back in my life. Sure, random pregnancy pains and aches cause some of it – but I know I’ve lost my mind because the random worrying thoughts aren’t all pregnancy related! I find myself worrying about my husband driving to work, my dogs choking on treats, one dog in particular who has been throwing up most mornings right when she first gets up, I assume the worst. Someone doesn’t respond to my text right away – cue worry. Basically, with every little thing that happens, I’ve been blowing it up in my head as this huge disaster and worrying about it. This is not fun. This is also not normal for me. At least it hasn’t been in many years. I’m assuming these have something to do with pregnancy hormones and this is just what my brain is doing with them. Either way, I’m fully aware of how irrational the thoughts are, so there’s a lot of talking myself off the ledge.

Back to the pregnancy symptoms, because this is my first pregnancy and I’m also having twins, the renewed anxiousness doesn’t help matters. I’m working on it.

I believe I had my first Braxton Hicks in bed this morning. My stomach got super tight and hard right next to my belly button. I was feeling around and the tightness was not my whole stomach, but more like a ball. It did go away but not until getting out of bed and moving around. I know these are supposed to be normal but it still freaked me out a bit. I also know dehydration can cause them, and I hadn’t had anything to drink since last night. So that made sense. I also might be extra dehydrated because I’ve gotten my first “illness” while pregnant. Not a huge deal, but a super nasty cold and some aches and chills that come and go. Today is already a little better. Of course, there’s not much you can take while pregnant, so Tylenol has been it. Not being able to breathe through your nose, though, sucks, and I’m sure adds to dehydration. I wonder if blowing your nose too hard and too often can cause BH? :-p Finally, I’ve also officially experienced heartburn and that’s not fun either. Two nights ago I had to pace around the house for hours after eating and I really just wanted to sit down! It didn’t go away until I fell asleep. I think I ate too much, too fast. There are just so many rules! I frequently forget things like eating slower and less. Get more protein, drink more water, eat more veggies. These things are always in my head. See? Excess worrying.

In regards to a happy pregnancy symptom, I do believe I’ve felt the first flutterings in there. They are more like little popping bubbles or small taps. I always have to stop and think if they are gas related. But I think I can now tell the difference! So that’s exciting. Our big appointment is a week and a half away, and we are very excited about that as well. I’m still having these moments where I realize, again, this is actually happening, and these little pears are somehow going to exit my body and we are going to bring them home. The thought sometimes makes me feel nauseous/dizzy.

I do kind of wonder, do other pregnant people experience all these things and just don’t mention them? Or am I really that abnormal to be experiencing basically every pregnancy symptom possible?

17 weeks, pears and prunes

I have had so many random pregnancy-related thoughts rolling around recently that I decided it must be time for a new post. First, an update:

We had our normal OB checkup yesterday, which I was a bit anxious to have, because the last check-in I did was at 12.5 weeks, and here I am today at 17. Still had two heartbeats, though the doctor didn’t look at the bpm (just curious….as we’ve been following a pattern of one at 170 and the other at 140 this whole time!). This time, the heartbeats sounded much closer together in speed. I normally don’t buy old wives’ tales, but this one about the heart rates has stuck with me. We shall see – only 2.5 more weeks until the big appointment!

Otherwise, the check-up yesterday was again, pretty pointless. Tell me this – is that the point of these appointments? Just for you to read off your list of probably common questions, the doctor says something basic, like “drink more water” or, “keep doing what you’re doing” and you’re out the door? Because I mentioned the constipation, again. I rattled off what I’m currently doing: Miralax daily (not a full dose, it gives me pains), 4 Colace a day, 8ish prunes a day, lots of water, veggies and fruits, 2 probiotics a day…I think that covers it. And I had to do a third enema last week.

I’m just going to say – I don’t really mind enemas. I don’t use a whole bottle, first of all. But the act of having one is not an issue. Cleaning out the pipes is well worth examining the dog hair on our bathroom rug for a few minutes (we really should vacuum more). The rest of the night, though, I feel pretty crappy (pun intended). Funny story – after this last enema, I didn’t think I was – done, so I used a bit more. And nothing happened. Because I was, in fact, done. So, at the dinner table I found out what happens when you put in more water than you need. Let’s just say I had an emergency run to the bathroom, not in time, and my husband had a good laugh. And the trash was taken out. I’ve learned my lesson.

I’m not saying that the enema is the answer, because I know it’s not, and the doctors aren’t satisfied with that being my “solution”. However, I have tried everything they have suggested, and as someone who has IBS, I’m not exactly surprised I have an issue. The doctor yesterday suggested I maybe check out a gastro doctor. I’m not sure it’s necessary, but if it continues, I guess I may have to go that route. What will they do for me? There’s no magic solution, or I would’ve had it already. So the poop woes continue.

I almost wrote a post the other night and then decided to see what happens. I think, for two nights in a row, I experienced heartburn. Or acid reflux. What’s the difference? See, I’ve never had either one. But they both were after dinner, a little while after as I sat on the reclined couch. A big lump in my throat, a heaviness in my chest…it didn’t burn exactly. It felt like when you go running outside in the winter. You come back inside and your lungs hurt. That’s what it felt like. It was pretty miserable. I think that is what it was, and to avoid it, I’ve taken to not sitting on the couch after dinner. I’m trying to walk off the meal. And Tums and Zantac. But it was weird.

And I could probably go on and on, thinking up every little ache and pain I’ve experienced lately, more because I keep wanting to know, “Is this normal?” But I’m not going to do that. I imagine being pregnant a second time is a lot less worrisome and stressful, because you’ve felt the weird pains before and you know what’s what. Now, I just never know.

One thing I do know is that my chest has taken up a mind of its own. I was always an A cup size, and now…not so much. But I don’t exactly know what size I am, or how much bigger I will get, so I borrowed a friend’s bra, and this is how she had it for me the next day:

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(No, the kids hadn’t arrived yet.) It’s a C-cup and it was a little big. So I guess I’m not there yet. But goodness.

Speaking of school, it seems everyone I work with now knows, as I sort of let the rumor float around, rather than make a big announcement. I’m still happy with the way that went down. The weird things now are the people who come up to me to “confirm” the rumor who aren’t – happy for me. Well, they might be, but they are the people who want to know for gossip’s sake, and luckily I managed to hold them off so they were the last to know. You can totally tell the difference between someone who’s happy for you and someone who’s judging you. I don’t mind, it’s kind of funny. But one in particular seemed upset she was the last to know, even though I didn’t personally tell many people at all. She wasn’t even happy for me! She just wanted in on the gossip. Yuck. And the weird questions have started, and this one (from a relative!) – “Are you drinking?” Um, no. “Well I wasn’t sure, because you came in (to the party) carrying a bottle of wine. So I thought you might be drinking it.” I believe I said, “I’m not stupid, you know.” Nope – just carrying the bottle because my husband’s hands were full! I should’ve said, “Yes, I drink a bottle a night. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?”

I’ve been cranking on the registry and very happy with the choices I’ve made. My decisions start with research from the “Baby Bargains” book, and then for big ticket items, I further research them on Consumer Reports, and then check Amazon, as my registry is on there. So far, most big decisions have been made, including car seats, the stroller, high chairs, cribs, and that sort of thing. I do start to panic when I see these prices for 2. I’m not getting everything doubled, and after the shower I’ll try to buy used off ebay and Craigslist for the things I didn’t get – but not everything should be used. Many of those big expensive items should be new. I hate to be selfish but I hope I have a big shower.

One of my coworkers told me to eat “anything that starts with a ‘p'” to ward off digestion issues. So it’s time for my afternoon “pear and prune” snack.

Full moon?

Or something? Or something…I don’t know what’s been going on but it makes me want a vacation and a cold drink, neither of which are happening anytime soon.

It’s a stressful time, I guess, at this point in the year. First of all, my school is gearing up to give our yearly standardized tests, and the preparation behind this goes on for months, everyone is just a little on edge, and waiting for it all to be over. So I’m sure that has something to do with this, even though I didn’t think I was thinking too much about it. There’s been a lot of “Did you remember to -” oh shoot, nope. “Did you tell so and so about -” whoops, forgot that too. Too much on my plate at the moment! There are a few other stressful/irritating things going on at work as well, but they won’t be mentioned here. Put it this way – this time of year, I feel like I’m giving 150% of myself daily and it’s tiring.

Then my dogs have been acting weird. Sadie did get an eye infection after coming back from doggy camp a few weeks ago, but I don’t think that’s it. We got these new treats for them – nothing major, just a treat, and since the weekend, Sadie has choked once, gagged and coughed many times, thrown up and had vomit stuck up her nose, leading to wheezing, and then Riley this morning woke me at 6 (they come in our bed at 5am) with the sound of her throwing up UNDER the sheets. Luckily I threw her out just in time. Nothing like doggy vomit to get you out of bed quick. I don’t know if all this was due to the new treats, but they were both eating them. Regardless, I’ve kind of been on edge and nervous about them and promptly threw the cookies out. Hopefully that solves the problems.

So then, I told my students today that I was pregnant. I have a very challenging class of fifth graders this year, and I was kind of dreading telling them. I knew it would be uncomfortable. But see, I’m out of tops that “hide” this stomach. It’s not hide-able. So I figured I might as well get it over with. My big reveal went something like this: “Boys and girls, it’s 9:20, so put your whiteboards down, by the way I’m pregnant with twins, and line up for music.” Okay, so it wasn’t my best. I was very embarrassed for whatever reason. I’m sure I turned bright red. The kids’ first reaction was shock – no one said anything at all, and then I repeated myself, slower, and a few girls clapped and were totally appropriate, and everyone else – I don’t know. I heard one boy say, “That was random,” and another boy said to me, “Well, this is kind of awkward.” I knew it would be for them. I was just happy never to speak of it again. As the day went on, they kept staring at my stomach. I tried to suck it in. However, some kids came around in terms of their comfort level, and even though I told them it wasn’t up for discussion, I was asked if I knew if they were boys or girls, and if I would tell them when I knew. One boy suggested I put some names on the board and have a class vote. So it was a little better, with even a few girls saying they were happy for me. Until the end of the day, when one of my students apparently said to a few kids something along the lines of, “I knew she and her husband did it.” A girl told him he was nasty and then told me. Regardless, that was exactly what I didn’t want to happen. How can 10 year olds concentrate and learn when they are thinking/realizing how I came to be pregnant?? I don’t want to be seen in their eyes that way! Little do they know how wrong they are….

These stressors need a break. In happier pregnancy news, my nausea is pretty much gone, which is wonderful. The constipation issue has gone from an F to a C. A combo of so many prunes, veggies, fruits, colace, and a little bit of Miralax have helped. So I’ll take that.

However, what’s with the endless cold symptoms? Super dry, itchy skin, chapped lips that look terrible and gross, and never-ending sneezes, itchy ears, nose, throat, etc. I feel fine otherwise but it’s annoying. Or do you think it might have to do with the mold I discovered on my bedroom ceiling this morning? Yeah, not good. Add it to the list. It’s pretty extensive and needs to be taken care of ASAP. I certainly can’t bring two infants in the room that way. Also our heaters upstairs need to be fixed. I think my house is falling apart.

One of the underlying issues here is that, the more I talk about being pregnant, and the more people I tell, the more I realize, there’s not much I can keep to myself anymore. The secret is out and I’m very “public” (though not on Facebook), and it kind of makes me uncomfortable. I don’t like to be the talk of the town. I like my privacy. And I don’t want to jinx anything.

This is my picture, my first one. I don’t do smiley face stomach pictures. At least not yet. So instead you get to see my super sexy fleece cozy pants. That is a 14.5 week stomach, and I’m two days shy of 16 weeks. So I’ve only gotten bigger. And all my shirts are cotton and kind of tight. Hence why I shared my news today. I’m over-the-top excited about every little aspect of this. Except now I’ve shared it with a million people. I’m used to keeping my emotions in public at bay, but this thing is so personal and I am so incredibly excited, and it’s all a weird feeling.

Anyway, here you go! 16 weeks is almost here!

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It has to come out: A Poop Post

Warning: This post is about poop. I was really not going to go there, mostly because there are people who read this who know me in real life and that could be just plain awkward. But I’m desperate. So, I’m telling you now, if you don’t want to hear the details of my poop life or wouldn’t be able to look at me the same way again, I will not be offended if you just press “delete” right now. Seriously.

Still with me? I’m writing out of pain, misery and desperation. And you guys might have the answers. Help!

So let’s back up. In my last post I complained of a very tight and hard stomach. I thought it was just a growing gut. In fact, I looked more pregnant that day than I have yet. That was the day my staff figured out I was pregnant. No, they were not Braxton Hicks, though thank you for that comment, Robin! It wasn’t coming and going, just a permanent feeling of fullness and a hard stomach.

Well. That night, right before dinner, all of a sudden I thought I might have to go to the bathroom. Up until this point, going to the bathroom was never pretty, just a little bit here and there and very hard (sorry for the TMI, this is just the beginning). I was considering anything a success. To cut to the chase, I ended up sitting there with the most excruciating pain I’ve felt in – maybe years. It was all right there and it wouldn’t come out. I started feeling super nauseous, got the shakes, my hands got tingly – I was going to pass out from the pain. I did the most disgusting thing in the world, I had to go in and physically remove the pieces that were right there that hurt so bad. That’s freaking nasty. So then when I knew I wouldn’t pass out anymore, I went to the couch. I had a fleet enema on hand (a staple in everyone’s bathroom, right?) and after calling the doctor on call, used it. She recommended a Dulcolax suppository first as it is more gentle, but I had the enema in my house and decided to go for it. 20 minutes later, and weeks’ worth of backup was – helped. Gross. The pain was so bad that night I never ate dinner. The doctor on call was the same doctor who told me at my last appointment to drink lots of water to fix the problem. She was not helpful, but the enema was the right move that night. It was the worst.

The next day I called the office looking for some actual advice. The nurse I spoke to was more helpful – she told me to try stopping my fiber pills (6 psyllium husks a day) and to take more stool softeners (from one 3 times a day to two twice a day). She said after 3-4 days if I still hadn’t gone (like really gone) to take a Dulcolax pill and that should help.

Now it’s today, Saturday. I’ve stopped all fiber pills since Tuesday, taken two colace stool softeners twice a day, and since I hadn’t gone, took a Dulcolax last night. Today, I woke up with pains, lots of them as I imagine things were moving around in there, but nothing would come out. I had to do the enema, again. Now I’m flushed out, again, and frustrated. This is no way to live!

I will call the doctor again on Tuesday, but first I thought I’d ask you guys if you had any suggestions. First though, let me tell you what I’ve already tried:

-I have IBS (which is no doubt contributing to this), of which the old solution was psyllium husks (which comes in either pill form or is the same thing as Metamucil. Doesn’t work anymore.
-Miralax doesn’t work for me with the IBS, so that’s out. I used to try it often before being pregnant.
-I drink an insane amount of water. If that doctor tells me to drink more water one more time I’m going to pop her in the face. Bottle after bottle, all day long. It’s all I drink.
-Truth be told, I have not been consuming a ton of fruits and veggies lately, as the nausea wasn’t liking that. That said, I’ve been bringing it back, and with IBS, there’s a lot of pain and things moving around but that’s it.
-The stool softeners. Lots of them.
-Now the Dulcolax. Movement in there, nothing but pain comes out.
-tried a little caffeine in a little coffee. Nope.
-Hot tea
-lots of walking
-I’m about to try prunes but I’m thinking it won’t be a miracle worker.
– I already take probiotics.
-I don’t take the prenatal (doctor approved as long as I take folic acid), so it’s not iron.

I guess what it comes down to is this – in my opinion, this isn’t an ordinary case of constipation. It’s in my genes (my mother had Diverticulitis due to years of constipation and even now with very little colon left, she still has constipation), I have IBS, and I’m pregnant. The normal water and fruits and vegetables trick doesn’t make me satisfied. I need something more, something that helps this pain it causes. My mother tells me that when she was pregnant she did a hot water enema once a week the whole time. The doctor said the hot water wouldn’t work (I asked). As long as the enemas are safe, I guess I don’t mind. But it’s already been twice in less than a week, and in between those times, my stomach is hard, full, and in pain. Plus, enemas clean you out, but they don’t solve the problem. Yes, I suppose I’m officially complaining. But it is, for sure, the most painful side effect of being pregnant yet. Oh, happy second trimester to me! The best present would be….poop.

Any suggestions?