Dec 10, 2008
more new studies

Immune changes implicated in endometriosis

High levels of psychologic distress in infertile couples
(Normally I can't stand Sarah Palin, but I think we would agree on this one - this study was a waste of money)

Embryo cryopreservation time does not affect pregnancy outcome

As always feel free to use my login info to read these articles:

un: lisachu
pw: fertility

 

Posted at 05:15 am by lisachu
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Nov 21, 2008
You know you're a mom when...

You know you're a mom when...

... your coworkers are laughing at you because, during a Webex while you were sharing your desktop, you left the search words "green baby poop" in your Google toolbar.

 

Posted at 05:21 pm by lisachu
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Nov 6, 2008
The twins are here!

The blog continues    

It's been awhile!  Though I am of course blissfully happy with my two beautiful daughters, it's been exhausting.  Exhausting is the understatement of the century.  I haven't left the house but three or four times, and I miss everyone and the outside world in general.

I was going to discontinue this blog since we've created a new family blog, but I think I'll keep this one going to write down my personal thoughts about parenting twins.  It's certainly a challenge!  I know several parents expecting twins soon (congratulations again!) and who knows, maybe they will find this blog somewhat helpful.

The Birth Story - Our Twins are Born!



Leigh and Lucy were born without complications on August 5th, 2008 by planned c/s.  The girls had no respiratory issues whatsoever, and were about 6.5 lbs each, fairly large for twins.  Neither Steve nor I could see them when they came out, since there was a curtain up, but we could hear them crying. You've heard of love at first sight - for me, it was love at first sound!  I started crying the second I heard Leigh's tiny wail.  Until that moment, I hadn't realized how terrified I'd been of something going wrong and the worst happening.  But, she was perfect in every way.  Then came Lucy, whose cry was even louder (she is definitely Daddy's girl!).  I already loved those girls like I've never loved anyone or anything before - I never thought it could happen so quickly, or that I would fall so hard.  I didn't know babies could be so beautiful!

I held them briefly, then was wheeled into the recovery room.  After that things become a blur.  It was time for the babies' first bath, I remember, but I'd started to get nauseous from the anesthesia, and I spent the next several hours hugging a washbasin instead of my babies.  I don't remember how long.  Eight hours?  Twelve?  

I remember the chaos of doctors, nurses and visitors.  But finally, Steve and I were alone with our daughters.  We put them into one bassinet - they were so small they both fit! - and the girls were reunited for the first time out of the womb.  They were so beautiful and perfect in every way.  We knew we were truly blessed to be a family at last!


The C-section

The c/s was very easy.  It alleviated a lot of my worries, as there were fewer unknowns.  I'd heard getting the spinal was painful, but for me it was nothing at all.  The numbing went slowly, which was scary - I'd just seen that "Deliver Me" episode with the woman who felt the doctor's scalpel during her C-section! - but I ended up not feeling a thing during my surgery.  I couldn't even tell when my babies were born.  Perfect!  I didn't want to see, or hear, anything, except for healthy crying babies.

Recovery from the c/s was also easy, thanks to Vicodin.  For the first 2-3 days, I was thinking to myself, this c/s was a piece of cake!  I don't know what all those other ladies are complaining about... then, I stopped taking the Vicodin because of the girls' jaundice (bad for their livers)... whoa.  It felt like someone had sliced me open, rooted around and then sewed me up again.  Wait, that's actually what happened.  But recovery went quickly; the only tricky part was trying to sit up in bed, which was painful for a few weeks.  

However the worst part of the c/s was the nausea after, since I was too sick to hold the girls or breastfeed.  I even missed their first bath.  We had a lot of visitors come and go, all of whom saw me dry-heaving into a plastic basin.  A true Kodak moment.


Jaundice

Unfortunately, both girls had jaundice and had to spend 48 hours under bright "bili lights" to help break down the extra bilirubin in their systems.  This was a total nightmare.

Both Steve and I were in superparent mode - meaning we were incredibly oveprotective - and we would panic when the little masks the girls wore would slip off, because then our newborns were staring directly into a light similar to what you get in a tanning booth.  In our defense, the doctors had given us reading materials on the bili lights which said the UV light was harmful to the eyes, so we (the parents) should not look directly at them.  Well, here were our newborn daughters staring directly into a UV light not a foot above their tiny little faces, with no eye protection!  Those slippery little masks were the bane of our existence for the next 24 hours.  We were up every five minutes - literally - for mask checks, because that's the amount of time it would take for them to come off. 

We were going crazy until Steve's sister Kathy, a former pedi nurse, said to use cloth tape.  It worked like a charm, and all the nurses in our wing were very happy that we made this "discovery" as it made their jobs a lot easier.  You would think someone before us would have come up with this, but apparently no.

Tape didn't necessarily make the girls happy - remember it had to come off every time they nursed, which was every 1 1/2 hours - so they had a little skin rash here and there, but for us that was much better than risking cataracts at an early age.


Breastfeeding Twins

Before the girls were born, I bought a book called "Oh Yes You CAN Breastfeed Twins!".  I had intended to follow every instruction to the letter, but it didn't turn out that way.  All I can say about the subject is, I think everyone's experience is probably very different, since people and babies are very different.  So I try to keep an open mind, and not get discouraged that my experience isn't going as smoothly as someone else's.

Starting out

Having twins is an interesting study of nature vs nurture.  Leigh is a great breastfeeder.  She latches instantly and perfectly every time.  She stays awake for the most part, nurses her share quickly then goes to sleep.  A breastfeeding mom's dream!  

Lucy, on the other hand, had real trouble in the beginning.  She didn't latch - or suck - well, even when I could wake her to nurse.  It would usually take an incredibly frustrating 20-30 minutes minimum of a wet washcloth to the face, feet, chest and neck to get her to wake up enough to latch.  Or, we would wait until after a diaper change, since that usually made her mad and woke her up (we called her our angry eater).  Then, it was a constant battle to keep her awake enough to nurse at least 15 minutes or so.  It soon became apparent that she also had a weak suck reflex, and she wasn't taking in enough milk (they determined this by weighing her before and after a feeding).  We had to supplement.

Supplementing.  It sounds so harmless, but what a nightmare that was in the beginning.  The hospital lactation consultants told us under no circumstances to use a bottle the first couple of weeks, because that could lead to nipple confusion (or as I like to think of it, bottle preference), and to use a syringe instead.  I hate syringes.  Not only is it incredibly slow, but the babies were frustrated, since they wanted to suck (at least, Leigh did - Lucy would just let it dribble out the side of her mouth as she snoozed) but there was nothing to suck, and they would cry and squirm.  Some of the milk ended up leaking out so we didn't know how much they were getting.  Every two-three hours we went through this, which took about an hour and a half when you factor in the nursing, leaving little time in between feedings.  

Needless to say, we got no sleep - not longer than a 20 minute nap at a time - until I decided to relent and try a bottle.  I held out for three weeks, which is when the pediatrician finally pushed a bottle on us.  I waited so long because was worried our babies would get nipple confusion and then my life really WOULD be hell.  Fortunately, that didn't happen.  My babies still prefer the breast to the bottle, so much so they sometimes cry and refuse the bottle to the breast!  

Our pedi recommended the Playtex wide-latch bottle, with the disposable liners.  Her reasoning was that the wide latch was more like the breast and would prevent nipple confusion; also, the liner collapsed and would cause less gas.  We tried it, but ended up using Medela bottles because we had already bought some before the babies were born, and they didn't leak everywhere like the Playtex bottles.

It's now ten weeks later, and I'm very comfortable breastfeeding.  It took about 6 weeks before I stopped being so sore (though I still hurt for a little while if the babies break their latches).  The first two weeks were especially bad, and it slowly got better from there.  But no matter how bad it got, never once did I want to quit breastfeeding!  There were times I chose pumping over nursing, and in the beginning Ibuprofen was my best friend, but stopping altogether never once entered my mind.  I remember my husband bringing it up once, when I was in tears from the pain.  I just looked at him!  Give up??  Never!

Update: The girls are now three months old, and I rarely need to use formula.  Maybe once/day, if that.  The milk is starting to stock up in the fridge, and just tonight, I put 4 bottles in the freezer.  I hope I don't jinx anything by writing this, but I think we are past needing to supplement with formula at this point.  Hooray!

Engorgement

It took awhile for my milk to come in - about 4-5 days.  I saved every drop of colostrum and gave it to the girls.  I had bought a Medela double pump, one of the best available, because I'd heard some hospitals only had single pumps or worse yet, single manual pumps!  But it turns out the hospital-grade pumps were awesome, better than my Medela, so I wish I'd left my pump at home.  One of the many things I would do differently next time.

There were several lactation consultants at the hospital, which was great.  They showed me how to pump, how to hold the babies (trickier than I imagined!), what a correct latch looks like, how long to feed them, how to keep them awake etc.  I don't know what I would have done without them!  I can't tell you how nice it was to be able to pick up the phone, and within minutes a lac consultant would be by my side, and I didn't even need to get out of bed.

However, one frustrating thing about the lac consultants was that everyone gave conflicting advice, and some seemed to offer just plain bad advice.  For instance, when my milk came in, I became "moderately engorged" (I don't even want to imagine what "severely engorged" is like!).  My boobs went from an A to a DD, felt like rocks and hurt like hell.  Even a light brush against something was very painful, and yet the lac consultant told me to manually express milk to alleviate the pressure.  To demonstrate this, she grabbed my boob in her kung-fu grip and squeezed down like a vise.  A couple of drops of milk oozed out, after I nearly passed out from the pain.  She told me to keep doing this for 10-20 minutes, until the pressure was relieved. At two drops at a time, you can imagine how long this would take.

I remember standing in the shower, letting the hot water run over my chest, trying to squeeze my incredibly tender breasts and bawling my eyes out from the pain.  Really, it was like torture.  That is when I decided to try the pump instead.  15 minutes later, engorgement was relieved, painlessly!  What was that woman thinking?  

Tandem Nursing

Parents of twins have told me that tandem nursing is the way to go, otherwise your twins will tag-team you to death.  So this is what I was determined to learn, tandem nursing.  However, if I could do it over again, I would not have tried tandem nursing until I was COMPLETELY comfortable with breastfeeding and both twins were as well - maybe 6 to 8 weeks along.  

Then lac consultants showed me what a correct latch looks like, and different nursing positions, particularly the "double football" which is used for tandem nursing.  What I wish the lac consultants had told me is that it's probably not a good idea to try a double football hold until your breasts are ready for some serious tugging!  I definitely would not start off with a double football while learning to breastfeed, because it was incredibly painful and made me choose pumping or formula over breastfeeding when the pain was just too much.  Ten weeks later, I'm still not really fond of the football hold, since it's uncomfortable for me.

Pros:  Besides the obvious time-saver, I love having both babies in front of me and being able to cuddle them at the same time.  You don't have one baby crying for attention while the other is nursing, so there is no guilt of ignoring one baby while nursing the other.  You can sing and talk to them at the same time without any time pressure of finishing up so you can get to the other baby.

Cons:  If you have a very fussy eater who has to burp fairly often during feeding, tandem nursing is next to impossible.  But the main reason I don't like tandem nursing is that for me, it's painful.  It's hard enough to keep an eye on one baby's latch, let alone two at once.  My babies (and again, all babies are different!) are gassy, and when they feel a tummy bubble, they tend to thrash around and break their latch painfully.  Additionally, with the "double football" hold, there is the feeling of being pulled in two directions at once which also makes for more broken latches - possibly I'm not doing it right, but I'm doing exactly what the lac consultants at the hospital showed me.  It's an awkward position for the babies because the way my twin nursing pillow is designed, the babies' feet are pointing directly behind me, which means their heads have to either crane around to the front to be at the right angle, or my nipples have to twist out to the sides uncomfortably.  Someone should design a better twin nursing pillow!  I use the EZ2Nurse double, which besides being a bad angle, is firm with squared sides - leaving no room for the babies' "underneath" arm to comfortably rest.  My aunt invented a twin nursing pillow called the Nursing Nest, which would be great for most people but doesn't work for me.  I think you need to be, um, larger up top.

One more con - at least it is for me - it's difficult to tandem nurse without help from someone else putting the babies on/taking them off.  I haven't mastered how to lean over to pick up the second baby while all strapped into the pillow with another baby already on.  It feels dangerous, and takes forever to set up.  For these reasons, I tend not to tandem nurse unless I have help, and both babies are crying at once.  Otherwise, my favorite nursing position is in bed, lying on my side.  That way we can both take a nap after!

Troubleshooting our problem eater

One baby is a fussy eater.  She started off being the sleepy one who I could barely wake up to nurse and would sleep through feedings if I let her.  She soon grew out of the sleepy phase and straight into a fussy one - now she screams bloody murder during feedings, bottle or breast, and gulps air.  It took me a long time to figure out why, and at times I'm still perplexed that she screams and cries when there is seemingly nothing wrong.  I started off by calling the pediatrician, who prescribed Zantac for GIRD.  This didn't work, and Lucy hated the medicine adding to the tears.  Then I took her to our "newborn clinic", where they weigh the babies before and after feedings to see how much milk they take in and also offer helpful breastfeeding advice.  All the nurses and doctors stood around amused as little Lucy screamed her head off, between sucks.  At least someone thought it was funny!

They concluded I have a fast let down, and Lucy can't swallow fast enough so she gets upset (and as a result, swallows air).  The more upset she gets, the more she screams, even after the initial let down has slowed - because by then, she's frustrated and desperate to nurse.  The answer?  Try to pump a little to relieve the pressure before feeding her, and if she screams anyway, then be patient and try to let her nurse (and scream!) for as long as she will, taking 5-10 second breaks as necessary, then burp her once after five minutes and start again (the general rule of thumb being, try not to burp until at least five minutes has gone by if possible).  Nerve-wracking, but at least she is eating.  They say she will grow out of this phase by the third month.  (Updated to add - it's now three months, and she has grown out of this phase!)

Steve and I are SO glad we have one non-fussy eater, because if they'd both been fussy like Lucy, we would have felt like total failures.  At least we know it's the baby, and not something we're doing wrong.

Milk quantity

In my case, I don't make quite enough milk, so we have to supplement.  I think the reason is that I have Hashimoto's disease; apparently people with Hashimoto's often have problems with milk supply.  Maybe if I pumped more... but when??  I have one fussy feeder with a weak suck, so she takes a long time to eat the right amount.  Since I don't have much milk, both babies nurse for a long time.  Put it all together, and this means that by the time one is finished, often the other one is ready to start, leaving no time for pumping... or eating... or sleeping... or showering..!  I usually pump once or twice during the day if there is time, and a couple of times at night since the babies are sleeping for longer periods now.

The doctor recommended Fenugreek, which I take religiously.  It does seem to help.  Slowly I'm making more milk, but not enough for two.  Maybe enough for one and a half babies.  According to my doctor, this is pretty good, since almost all moms with twins have to supplement sometimes.  My babies were pretty big when they were born, so I didn't have any time lapse before they started demanding large quantities of milk.  At three months, they are up to about 3-4 oz per feeding, every 2 hours.  They're huge!


Surviving the First Eight Weeks

Really I don't know how we did this.  I didn't sleep more than 20 minutes at a time, which I don't consider sleep (more napping).  My OB told me to try and get a minimum of 4 uninterrupted hours of sleep/day, because sleep deprivation is actually a form of torture (she wasn't kidding).  No way did I get anywhere near four hours.  Heck, one hour would have been nice.  

That lasted about a month.  It was a combination of things - having so much extra laundry/dishes to do, having to breastfeed, stressing out over my milk supply, having to pump after each feeding, getting a system down, getting familiar with changing diapers (I'm down to 30 seconds now, but in the beginning, it took me forever!).  I also was in "super mom" mode - the slightest whimper or stirring made me look up.  Then, if they were too silent I'd have to check on them to make sure they were still breathing.  I just couldn't sleep!

But slowly, things have gotten better.  The main change is that recently, the girls have started sleeping through the night!  It happened suddenly.  One day they were waking up every two hours, the next Lucy slept 6 hours straight on Daddy's chest while he snoozed on the couch.  After that, she was sleeping 8-10 hours straight!  Leigh wakes up more frequently but twice now she has slept 8+ hours.  Usually she wakes up once or twice in the night, but she eats and goes straight back to sleep. 

I think the only bad part about having twins is that each doesn't get enough individual attention.  For instance, a lot of women "wear" their babies to bond with them, and so the baby isn't sitting alone while the mom is out of the room to do chores.  With twins, it's really tricky.  I could technically do this, but I havent' been able to do chores or even work at the computer wearing two.  You can't sit down with twins, unless your chair doesn't have arms on it.  You can't bend down to pick up something low.  You have to watch walking through doorways.  All around it's impractical, for me at least.

Then there is the crying.  When both girls need my attention, it pulls my heart in half.  Which one do I ignore so I can comfort the other?  It's awful!  Especially now that both girls are rejecting the bottle because they want to breastfeed, and want to cuddle.  I can't do that with two unless I tandem nurse, and that just doesn't happen when I'm by myself.

The upside is, when they're older, they'll have a built in playmate!  I can't wait!  Ok I can wait, my little girls are growing up much too quickly for me!

I couldn't have asked for better babies.  What's sad is that I was so sleep deprived the first 8-10 weeks, I didn't take any video of the babies while they were still tiny!  Now they're big - outgrowing even their 3-6 month clothes - and my skinny little chickens are gone forever.  If I could give any new moms advice, it's to remember to enjoy every minute, even the sleepy ones!  & to take lots of pictures! (Fortunately we had a great photographer take pictures of the girls while they were still newborns, so we will always have those to remember those precious first weeks!)


Cute stuff

The girls are smiling!  Both smile big, all the time, and even laugh a little.  Leigh loves to talk - she says "AINYA AINYA AINYA" when she's hungry & hungry NOW!  LOL  Lucy says "gee" (like "ghee") in her tiny little voice.  Gee, I'm happy, and gee, I'm cute, and GEE, I'm mad.  They both babble other things, but these are the recurring themes.

Lucy used to grab her hair, pull and cry.  She's always had more of a startle reflex than Leigh, so she reaches out and grabs the nearest handy object.  Sometimes, it's her hair!  Poor baby!  It's so funny, though.

Lucy has curls on the top of her head that stick straight up, so that she looks like Cindy Loo Who, the littlest Who in Whoville.  Or maybe Alfalfa.  Soooo cute!  Leigh's hair is spiky, and sticks straight up.  Very much like her uncle Kevin's hair, lol.

Leigh is our talker.  She will sit and talk to us, to no one, to the ceiling. Oh, and she LOVES the ceiling fan.  She'll look at the ceiling and talk to the fan, and if we turn it on, she gives a great big smile!  Steve calls it her first boyfriend.  

Leigh is also an inappropriate smiler. She smiles when Lucy starts crying.  And the other day, I put them too close together and Lucy started kicking Leigh in the head (in revenge, probably).  Guess who was smiling as she was getting kicked!

Both girls smile, but Lucy smiles much more frequently. She starts off by smiling on the right corner of her mouth, then the whole right side of her face, then the left follows so her smiles are lopsided! Sooooo cute!  Leigh's smile appearances are somewhat more rare, and what is especially cute is when she smiles, then goes right back to solemn face... and one time, right back to sleep. Hilarious!

Love my girls!  I heart being a mommy!


Posted at 03:41 pm by lisachu
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Aug 2, 2008
maternity leave blues

Yesterday was my last day at work. It feels so strange to not be working anymore! I feel useless & cut off. But I guess that will all change once the twins are here!

In 12 weeks I go back, as a WAHM, so hopefully the transition will be easy on the girls.

Steve's last shift for 8 weeks is today. He seems to be taking it better than I am, though. ::lol::


Posted at 07:44 am by lisachu
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Jul 30, 2008
last appt!

Today was my last NST & appt with my peri. The nurse couldn't find the babies' heartbeats after looking for 10 minutes (which made me a little nervous) so she did an ultrasound... and sure enough, the babies have moved again! Last week they were both transverse, now one is vertex and the other is transverse, but on a diagonal with head slanting down. So I have no idea what is going to happen next week. The one thing I do know is I have two squirmy troublemakers in there! They had great heart tracings & my peri says we are good to go for 8/5.

Steve and I are still trying to wrap our minds around the fact that we will be PARENTS this time next week! Only 6 days now! After all that's happened it's a lot to take in... knock on wood that everything will be ok... hooray for the girls making it full-term!


Posted at 03:01 pm by lisachu
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Jul 28, 2008
belly pics & Olympic champions

Due to my ignorance of modern technology, I haven't yet figured out how to extract the still pics from our video camera of our 36 week belly & ultrasound pics, but here are the 37 week! Our girls are now officially full-term. Steve took lots of pictures, including a 360-view. Lovely.

In case you were wondering, Steve brought home a silver medal from the California firefighter olympics! (golf) Hooray!















9 days until D-day (delivery day) :)



Posted at 09:13 am by lisachu
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Jul 21, 2008
Change of plans!

I had what I think is our last ultrasound today (36 weeks). Here are the "stats":

Baby A - 5 lbs 14 oz, 47th percentile

Baby B - 6 lbs 6 oz, 67th percentile

Both girls are practicing their "breathing" and look just perfect. BUT, they have decided to be difficult and have both turned sideways! Wouldn't you know it - they've been v/v the entire pgcy until now.  I had a feeling, because lately when one hiccups I can feel it all the way across.  The u/s tech said that twins turning back again this late in pgcy is not likely, but still it could happen.  I guess we'll find out soon enough.  She also said turning them manually is not an option.  :( I was telling Steve about the hiccups on the way to the doctor, and he said maybe they were holding hands practicing the wave-hiccup. :)

Baby A is turned face-down (facing dorsally) while Baby B is facing front (ventrally). This is new as well, since they used to be facing each other. So, we couldn't get any pics of Baby A's face - just the back of her head - but we did get two VERY cute pics of Baby B.

We are two weeks, one day away from meeting our girls!


Profile, hands to mouth


One eye, one chubby cheek!  The rest of the face is blurry.  (head is turned toward the camera)
 
 


Posted at 05:17 pm by lisachu
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Jul 20, 2008
I made it!!!!

36 weeks today... this was my ultimate goal! Knowing the babies could come today & likely be completely fine... it's huge... I can't put it into words.

Hooray for our baby girls! Tomorrow I have an ultrasound, it will be nice to see them again!

I'll update this later with a belly pic... but unless you want a naked belly pic I can't do one now until the one maternity shirt that still fits is done drying. :)



Posted at 12:43 pm by lisachu
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Jul 17, 2008
Appt update

Yesterday was my first weekly appt, 35+ weeks. Unfortunately I didn't get my primary OB, though I did see her briefly after just to talk.

They did an NST as well - the girls were doing fine, though Baby A's heartrate was on the low side of normal. If I started talking or pushing on my belly, she'd "wake up" & her heartrate would increase. So she was probably just sleepy. The kick counts were more than adequate (I knew they would be!!) I barely had any contractions.

I'm not sure I like the OB I saw. She seems nice enough, but not very helpful or informative. She was biased and patronizing, too. Examples:

Lisa: I've been told by friends that having a high-risk pgcy, I'd automatically deliver in an operating room so that if anything were to go wrong, I'd have a c/s in the same room. Is this what happens at Kaiser?

OB: No, the OR is an 8-minute trip from the delivery rooms - if you decide to do a vaginal birth, you would be in a labor & delivery room.

Lisa's mom: My sister-in-law had a c/s for medical reasons, and the doctors told her it's a good thing she did because the cord was wrapped around the baby's neck, and the baby could have died otherwise. Should Lisa take this into consideration when making the decision between v and c/s?

OB: Worrying about a cord around the neck is like worrying about an earthquake during the delivery... it's an act of God and there's nothing you can do in a case like that. (Hello - c/s???) Then she went on to tell us how she was in the middle of a delivery during the big '89 earthquake and never got around to answering her question.

Lisa: Should I take into consideration the fact I've been on bed rest for so long I'm completely out of shape, and may not be able to get through a v delivery?

OB: You're going to be exhausted no matter what... even asking yourself that question means you're probably not going to get through labor. They don't call it "labor" without a reason! Ha ha. (again, no statistics, didn't answer my question, quite patronizing, of course I know labor is exhausting, what I need to know specifically is how many women on bed rest for 12+ weeks get through it)

Lisa: If I end up having a c/s on 8/5 because I'm not dilated, will this affect my ability to breastfeed, in your experience?

OB: Yes because the pain of the incision of a c/s will prevent your milk from coming in - any stress will prevent your milk from coming in - so you are setting yourself up to fail at breastfeeding if you have a c/s. (and here I thought she was all about thinking positive)

Then she admitted she was biased and would always recommend v over c/s. And really I am OK with whichever is safest for the babies, but not delivering in the same room I'd have the c/s if I needed it is too much for me. So if my peri confirms the 8-minute OR trip, then I'm going to opt for c/s whether I'm in labor or not.


Posted at 07:31 am by lisachu
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Jul 14, 2008
35 week update

All is still well with the girls!  I had a checkup on Friday 7/11.  My peri did an ultrasound just to see the babies' heartbeats, which are normal.  She said things are beginning to progress - my cervix is beginning to soften, but is still closed.  I was so used to having no changes at each appointment, this was kind of a shock!  The girls are really on their way.  She checked my legs for blood clots since they are puffing up like crazy - much more so than a typical singleton pgcy, but normal for twins. No blood clots, just tree-trunk-like cankles. Absolutely NONE of my shoes fit anymore, which is depressing. Even flip flops!  The nurse who took my vitals took one look at my belly and said there is no way I'm making it to 38 weeks. But, who knows really. 

Then my peri dropped the bomb - I don't have to have a C-section!  I thought I did because of the reduction.  Apparently she thought I'd had a different type of surgery that would preclude a vaginal birth.  The girls are both head-down, and will likely be around 7 lbs if I make it to 38 weeks.  But, I've been mentally preparing for a C-section, and haven't been to any birthing classes.  I doubt I could sit through one now!  I asked my peri what she recommends.  This is (part of) what she just emailed me:

At this point, I would look at it the following ways:
1) I would think that if you were to go into labor and come to the hospital and your cervix were found to be dilated and the girls heart rate testing was reassuring on the monitor and they were still V/V then vaginal delivery might be something that you consider.
2) If by 8/5 your cervix is not dilated then induction of labor would be long and likely unsuccessful, and I think c/s would be in your best interest. Or
3) If your cervix becomes dilated but you are not in labor then we can talk about the possibility of induction vs c/s on 8/5 and I would stay until you delivered - but if you want a primary c/s, I am fine with that as well.

The advantage to a planned cesarean is that you may labor and need one anyway - and a c/s before labor is safer for you. The babies will be safe either way. Your risk of having a c/s with the twins is about 30%.  

She also said that being on bed rest for so long puts me at further risk of c/s, since I'm out of shape.

This is a hard decision!  Hopefully I won't go into labor before 8/5 and will go with her recommendation for a c/s. 

Steve always jokes, the girls aren't allowed to come until after the Firefighter Olympics.  He's trying to win the gold this year for San Jose & has been practicing hard.  I told him I'll do my best.  :)  Wish him luck!  His first round is tomorrow, last one is Thursday.

Here are our 35 week belly pics (and two of Bat just because).  I swear I see my belly growing every day.  Yesterday I was wearing a shirt that fit; today I put it on and it's too snug.  The girls are growing fast!  Steve helped with the belly pics; he said to do a 180-view, LOL.  The girls are starting to take a lot out of me.  I'm really tired all the time, but excited that they're almost here!


double thumbs-up for double the trouble :)


I'm not just big, I'm creepy-big!  It's not cute anymore when your maternity clothes don't fit


Frontal view - see how the left side is bigger?  (my left is also your left looking at the pic since I'm in the mirror)  That is the 84th percentile baby.


My right side - you can see how pointy I am because the right side is smaller


Bat in a hat


Bat helping me sort mail

 

Posted at 08:16 pm by lisachu
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