Dec 26, 2012

Week 31

Marination Time:
30w6d
 
Baby Size:
The Bump tells us that Pip and Pop are each as big as a pineapple and gives an average weight range of 2.5-3.8lbs for this month. BabyCenter compares the boys weight to four large navel oranges, with average weight of 3.3lbs and an average length of over 16 inches. His Boys Can Swim says Ps are each as big as the front tire of a kids tricycle.
 
Baby Milestones:
Pip and Pop are have five fully developed senses! This week they are going through major brain and nerve development and getting smarter every day. The boys can now turn their little heads from side to side (woohoo neck muscles!). Their arms, legs, and body are continuing to plump out as fat accumulates, so they are losing more and more wrinkles. The Ps are moving a lot, which is a sign that they are active and healthy. They can get enough strength behind their kicks, punches, and rolls that my stomach visibly moves!
 
Symptoms:
Contractions. Tiny Bladder (Seriously. Every. 90. Minutes.) Trouble bending over - as in it doesn't happen. Shortness of breath and easily winded. Bruised and tender uterus causing make me cry levels of pain. Nausea with contractions. Mild indigestion.
 
How I'm Changing:
My shape has changed again. Pip has dropped very low in my uterus with his head near my cervix. At L&D they found his heartbeat on the underside of my belly. Pop on the other hand has moved a bit higher towards my ribs. They seem to be each claiming their own space!
 
What I'm Eating:
Odwalla Chocolate Protein Monsters (they stay down!). Applesauce. Greek yogurt (Fage with strawberries). I'm really eating anything that sounds good because I'm really not hungry and when I do eat, there is not a ton of space.
 
Annoyances:
Yet another L&D trip! Ugh. (Details coming soon. Rest assured, I've been released and the babies are okay.)
If you have to spend the night at L&D for Christmas, you might as well be cheerful about it!
 
Sleep:
My sleep stretches have been getting shorter (this tiny bladder thing is getting old!). But the night after L&D I got a 5hr stretch of uninterrupted sleep. You have no idea how awesome that was!
 
Missing:
I am not a huge fan of lunch meat and never really have been, but watching folks eat leftover Christmas ham makes me really wish I could have some! I have to microwave or cook mine.
 
Belly Button Watch:
My flattie lives on.
 
What I'm most excited about:
Our new carpet has been installed!
Top Left: Carpet pad laid in the nursery.
Bottom Left: Old carpet and pad hauled off in the hallway.
Right: New carpet going in the hallway.
And we partially assembled the cribs in the room to start working on floor plans for the room.
 
I also finally caught up on all of Casey's and my laundry and so the next load of laundry I do will be baby laundry! Tiny clothes, socks, and hats. Adorable sheets. And little cloth diapers. That laundry just sounds so much more fun than a load of Casey's white undershirts.
 
Previous Weekly Updates:
Week 30
Week 29
Week 28
Week 27
Week 26
Week 25
Week 24
Week 23
Week 22
Week 21
Week 20
Week 19
Week 18
Week 17
Week 16
Week 15
Week 14
Week 13
Week 12
Week 11
Week 10
Week 9
Week 8
Week 7
Week 6
 

Dec 25, 2012

Merry Christmas Y'all -- Our Christmas Card

And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Luke 1: 31-33

Now it came to pass in those days, there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to enroll themselves, every one to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David; to enroll himself with Mary, who was betrothed to him, being great with child. And it came to pass, while they were there, the days were fulfilled that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son; and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds in the same country abiding in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock. And an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people: for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this is the sign unto you; Ye shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased.

Luke 2: 1-15

 
Merry Christmas!
 

Dec 21, 2012

Fragments for Friday: The Day the World Didn't End


 
Sometimes things happen throughout the week that are interesting and blog-worthy, but they just aren't a full post. Fragments for Friday to the rescue! All of those random thoughts collected over the week can go in one place: Fragments for Friday.
 
Not a Myrtle and I are so excited so offer you the chance to link up and share your Fragments for Friday. So jot your notes and link up with us!
  • First off, glad y'all all survived the end. Good that earth is still here! Just as May 21, 2011 wasn't the rapture, December 21, 2012 wasn't the end of the world.
  • Last night before bed, I looked at Casey and said "I certainly don't think the world is ending, but just in case, I love you and I will see you in heaven." He responded sweetly in kind, and then I ruined the tender moment: "When I get to heaven will I still be pregnant or will our boys be born, healthy, and praising God alongside us?" So, what's your answer? Not that it really matters since the Bible tells us we can't predict the time.
  • Said to me by multiple strangers this week: "Oh, you've dropped! That baby is coming soon." What does this mean? Is dropping even a thing with twins?
  • I have so very little in the way of fragments this week! I spent the entire week either sick or frantically cleaning and organizing. We had to get EVERYTHING off if the floor in our bedroom, the nursery, the guest room, and all the closets so we could get our new carpet installed! The carpet went in yesterday and we love it (better pictures coming soon!)
The hallway: new padding and a bit of the new carpet being installed.
  • On Sunday, Casey and I played the parts of Mary and Joseph at church for the D6 Munger program. I shared this picture in my pregnancy week by week post, but feel the need to post it again!
  • Our Christmas cards are in the mailbox to get sent today! I'll share them on Monday. I'm in love!
  • You've all seen this bullet before, but I really want more guesses! We set up an online guessing site to enter your expectations for Pip and Pop. We would LOVE for ALL of you to play along! Go to http://www.expectnet.com/games/CassBoys to enter your guesses. We are really excited to see your thoughts!
  • I had a check in with my OB this week and everything looked okay. It was a bit disappointing because it was my first appointment without an ultrasound so no new baby pictures or updates on their growth in the last two weeks. No ultrasound also meant I had to have a cervix check. In the interest of not getting TMI, I'll just say ouch.
  • I truly believe in the power of prayer and know that God listens and responds. He is all-powerful, all-wonderful, and all-capable. He is capable of infinitely more than infinitesimally more than we can even imagine (Ephesians 3:20). On my heart:
    • My sister-in-laws mom passed away Thursday evening. Prayers of comfort and peace for Amy and for my niece and nephew who lost their grandmother. Prayers for this family which has experienced so much loss the last few months.
    • I am finally over the nastiest stomach bug and feeling better!
    • Numerous twitter friends going through infertility treatments, pregnancy complications, bed rest, waiting for adoption or surrogacy, and the struggles of raising kids.
      • @suzschmooz got a BFP during an acupuncture cycle. They were preparing for IVF in January. However, her beta numbers have been low so prayers for a viable and healthy pregnancy.
      • Last week, @When20Meets30 lost her son, Cameron, born at 23w5d. His twin sister, Camden, remains in the NICU fighting.
      • @EndoJourney's son MB remains in the NICU and needs prayers for his eyesight. His doctors are considering eye surgery.
      • @RNPhotoGirl did not receive her Christmas miracle this year. FET was not a success. Offering her all the love and virtual hugs!

Write your own Fragments for Friday and link up with us!

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December Big Idea:

God's son came into the world as a child to offer me peace.

December Memory Verse: And a little child will lead them. Isaiah 11:6

 

Dec 17, 2012

Week 30

Marination Time:
29w4d
 
Baby Size:
The Bump tells us that Pip and Pop are as big as a cucumber. It also gives an average weight range of 2.5-3.8lbs, the same weight range given last week. BabyCenter compares the boys weight to a large cabbage, with average weight of 3lbs. They also give an average length of over 15 inches. His Boys Can Swim says Ps are each as big as the front tire of a kids tricycle.
 
Baby Milestones:
Pip and Pop are plumping up and losing their wrinkly skin. They are also getting stronger. In fact, they are now strong enough to grasp a finger! They also pack enough power in their kicks and punches to make my belly jut out visibly!
 
Symptoms:
Contractions. Dizziness (better, but not gone). Tiny Bladder (Seriously. Every. 90. Minutes.) Trouble bending over - as in it doesn't happen. Shortness of breath and easily winded. Bruised and tender uterus causing make me cry levels of pain. Nausea (from a stomach bug). Some indigestion (even of BRATY diet foods!).
 
How I'm Changing:
Bigger. My uterus is now big enough that during a contraction you can make out every edge of it and even see it move if I bump it. Odd sensation! Relatedly, I seem to get a contraction almost every time I stand up. Not sure what about standing leads to contractions.
Casey and I were Joseph and Mary for the D6 Munger program at church on Sunday.
Definitely a pregnancy album picture (if I ever make one!).
 
What I'm Eating:
Odwalla Chocolate Protein Monsters (they stay down!). Soups. Applesauce. Greek yogurt (Fage with strawberries). BRATY diet.
 
Annoyances:
I'm not thrilled that I STILL have this stomach bug and have spent a lot of time this week worried that I'm not getting enough nutrients to Pip and Pop. Luckily, I've been keeping enough down that my weight hasn't gone down! Depending on the time of day I get on the scale, it ranges from up two lbs to down three pounds, so basically flat. Huge relief!
 
 
Sleep:
Two hours at a time. Max. Typically more like 90 minutes. I have heard many women say they slept better on a recliner than in bad, so I attempted to sleep on the recliner this week when Casey was out of town. It didn't work for me. I felt very vulnerable and exposed in the living room alone with the big bay window near me and ended up going back to the bedroom.
 
Missing:
My Christmas Spirit.
 
Belly Button Watch:
Still feeling smug and victorious! My flattie continues!
 
What I'm most excited about:
Our new carpet is getting installed on Thursday! This means I will get to start organizing the boys closet, laying out the room, and putting up art soon! I'm so excited to see it all come together (and even more excited to see the Ps in it!). The cribs need stained and one piece of wood is on order, but construction is finished! (If this looks just like the post from last week, that's because it is!)
 
 
Previous Weekly Updates:
Week 29
Week 28
Week 27
Week 26
Week 25
Week 24
Week 23
Week 22
Week 21
Week 20
Week 19
Week 18
Week 17
Week 16
Week 15
Week 14
Week 13
Week 12
Week 11
Week 10
Week 9
Week 8
Week 7
Week 6
 

Dec 14, 2012

Fragment for Friday: December 14


 
Sometimes things happen throughout the week that are interesting and blog-worthy, but they just aren't a full post. Fragments for Friday to the rescue! All of those random thoughts collected over the week can go in one place: Fragments for Friday.
 
Not a Myrtle and I are so excited so offer you the chance to link up and share your Fragments for Friday. So jot your notes and link up with us!
  • Oh Dear God, we are a broken people. We are so in need of you and your son, Jesus Christ. Our hearts are desperate for you. I don't know how to pray in this situation. I don't know adequate words, but Father, you do. Let your Holy Spirit be around us and in us as we grieve with and for these Sandy Hook Elementary families. I am wishing peace for all those parents, many of whom don't know if their child is alive. I pray for the innocence of children. I pray for the little ones in Connecticut who lost that innocence today. Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care, and fit us for Heaven to live with Thee there.
  • Connecticut has some of strictest gun control laws in the nation. And still violence. So, let's talk about society where mental problems ignored and people don't get the help they need. We create people like this! Or as better stated by @lindsaygeist on twitter: "I don't think we create them. We just don't provide them with the tools they need and deserve to function at expected standards."
  • You've all seen this bullet before, but I really want more guesses! We set up an online guessing site to enter your expectations for Pip and Pop. We would LOVE for ALL of you to play along! Go to http://www.expectnet.com/games/CassBoys to enter your guesses. We are really excited to see your thoughts!
  • I got a really awesome package in the mail this week from @polkadotsandsun. How adorable are these hand crocheted dinosaurs! I left them on the kitchen table so Casey would see them when he got home from work. He picked them up off the table and walked ino the bedroom to show me "his dinosaurs." I'm going to have to figure out how to keep Casey away from Pip and Pop's things!
  • I spent Monday afternoon and evening at L&D. Again. This time with a stomach bug that left me dehydrated. No fun. The stomach bug still hasn't gone away. Less fun.
  • On Wednesday night we found a tick on our indoor city dog. In December! So so gross! We managed to get it off of her (thank goodness for google). She is now on all sorts of medications for an infection. Poor pup!
  • I am really behind on blog posts! I have all of these great post ideas, but no time to finish writing them. My drafts file is FULL of half written posts! Some of them I don't think I'll ever get back to.
    • Especially my remaining "Buying All The Things" posts. I don't think these will ever get posted. Unless someone specifically asks I write about my research on a product. And then I will. I have posts started for toys, crib mattresses, bassinets/cradles, and pack and plays. I intended to write about every baby purchase. They are my least read posts so any additional ones will have to be by request.
  • We had to delay our carpet installation until next week due to my stomach bug. I know it seems odd that a stomach bug means no carpet, but part of getting carpet installed is getting EVERYTHING off of the floor. Our house just wasn't ready and while sick I couldn't muster the energy to do it.
  • Over the weekend we went to eat in Dallas' Bishop Arts District at a restaurant it is difficult to get reservations at called Lucia. We ate some of the weirdest things! Rabbit meatballs? Chicken liver pâté? Bone marrow risotto? Just to name a few!
  • I got the results back from the cardiologist and my heart is funcitoning just fine. It is working hard supporting me, Pip, and Pop, but the EKG and 24 hour heart monitor didn't reveal any problems.
  • My Gestational Diabetes results also came back and I am free to keep eating cookies. Woohoo!
  • I truly believe in the power of prayer and know that God listens and responds. He is all-powerful, all-wonderful, and all-capable. He is capable of infinitely more than infinitesimally more than we can even imagine (Ephesians 3:20). On my heart:
    • I am fighting a nasty stomach bug and working really hard to stay hydrated. Prayers the boys are doing okay and continuing to grow and thrive, even though I'm not doing so well getting them nutrients.
    • Numerous twitter friends going through infertility treatments, pregnancy complications, bed rest, waiting for adoption or surrogacy, and the struggles of raising kids.
      • @BabyBumpAhead and her twin girls were released from the NICU and are now home and doing well.
      • A huge joy: @suzschmooz got a BFP during an acupuncture cycle. They were preparing for IVF in January. What a blessing and prayers for a healthy pregnancy and baby.
      • @When20Meets30 had a really hard week. She has been off twitter with her family. I am not going to divulge details, as it is her story to share, but please pray for her family.
      • @RNPhotoGirl is nearing the end of the two week wait. She finds out on Tuesday if FET worked.

Write your own Fragments for Friday and link up with us!




December Big Idea:

God's son came into the world as a child to offer me peace.

December Memory Verse: And a little child will lead them. Isaiah 11:6

 

Dec 13, 2012

Christmas Spiritless: Part One

Christmas isn't supposed to be about all the material things and traditions. It's about Christ. It's about a baby was born in a manger, but came to save the world. Advent is a season of anticipation and preparation for the coming Savior.

But, without all of the trappings and traditions it is easy to feel Christmas Spirit{less}. I know am really struggling to find my Christmas Spirit this year without the tree, the baking, the bustling, and the stockings. Maybe all of the trappings have become part of our heart's preparation?

Casey and I have babies on the brain and are using our time to prepare for their arrival instead of prepare for Christmas. So, we asked for your help! Share some of our Holiday Cheer with us! I'm sharing your gorgeously decorated houses and cute Christmas cards and the pictures of your kids with Santa. Email me your holiday spirit at lexyjill@gmail.com so I can include you in my Christmas Spiritless series!
 
 
From @femfoodie: apartment, pet, and baby-friendly Christmas Tree
high on a table where no one can touch it
 
Such a great looking family from @SuzSchmooz
(And Suz got her first BFP this week -- Congrats!)
 
A great baby's first Christmas ornament from Jill, Casey's cousin,
to celebrate Miss Parker who was born in October
And Jill's fully decorated baby friendly tree.
 
A cute Santa's Helper from @HasAPeanut
 
The Series:
Christmas Spiritless Explained
Christmas Spiritless: Part One
 

Christmas Spiritless

I am really struggling to find my Christmas Spirit this year.

Holiday music isn't all I want to listen to. I'm not snuggling up in front of a fire with hot cocoa. I'm not bustling to get gifts bought and wrapped. My Christmas cards haven't been mailed. And nothing in my house is decorated. I'm not baking Christmas cookies and breads and candy. And I don't think many of these things are going to happen this year.
 
Casey and I have babies on the brain and are using our time to prepare for their arrival instead of prepare for Christmas. We aren't putting up any trees (most years we do 3-4!). Our stockings won't get hung on the mantle. Our lights are still in the attic. Our at home advent devotional wreath isn't being used. I'm not doing holiday baking. And it's okay. I don't have to. I think the only thing we are doing is sending out a Christmas card, just as soon as they arrive and I can get them all addressed and stamped.
 
But, Christmas isn't supposed to be about all these material things and traditions. It's about Christ. It's about a baby was born in a manger, but came to save the world. Advent is a season of anticipation and preparation for the coming Savior.
 
So, what's wrong with me? Why am I not ‘feeling it’? Where’s my Christmas mojo? I know I'm not the only one struggling to find my Christmas Cheer during this abnormally warm December because I've received so few Christmas Cards and driving around at night I'm not seeing as many decorated houses as normal. Maybe all of the trappings have become part of our heart's preparation?
 
So, I'm bringing some holiday spirit to the blog! I'm sharing your gorgeously decorated houses and cute Christmas cards and the pictures of your kids with Santa. Email me your holiday spirit at lexyjill@gmail.com so I can include you in my Christmas Spiritless series!
 
 
The Series:
Christmas Spiritless Explained
Christmas Spiritless: Part One


 

Dec 12, 2012

Nursery Lighting

Our nursery is a really large room that was previously very poorly lit. It had a one lightbulb boob fixture to light the entire 14.5x13 room. Pathetic!
Not a great picture, but you can see the boob light at the very top.
(And a nice view of Casey's backside while he was laying out stripes!)
 
Last week, we bought this ceiling fan with a light kit to give better overhead lighting and really like the way it looks installed. We also put in this remote, which has a dimmer on it so that we can choose the brightness in the room during nighttime feedings.
Top: With the light off, you can really see the shape of the fan.
You also see one of Rory's favorite places to sit when he shutters are open.
Left: full brightness. Room is REALLY bright, even with shutters closed.
Right: dim-able light so we can do soft light too
 
 
Now that the overhead light is taken care of, we need accent lights. We have purchased and assembled this petrodactly light, which we think we will install over the changing table for some fun glow. It comes as a kit that you assemble yourself. It was NOT easy. So many little pieces! It took me almost two hours one morning. But it looks pretty awesome now that it's done. What little boy doesn't want a flying pterodactyl in their room? Biggest problem: getting Casey to give him up! He wants him flying in the office. Now he needs a name.... Pete maybe??

Source: gadget.brando.com via Alexis on Pinterest
 
 
 
 
We also have this adorable nightlight to plug in the outlet right by the door.
Source: etsy.com via Alexis on Pinterest
 
 
 
 
 
The only thing left is a new closet light (going to go with something basic, boring, and cheap) and a floor lamp to put near the recliner.
 
 
 
The floor lamp is causing me all sorts of trouble! I don't want to go with anything too cheap because I am NOT going for the dorm room leaning lamp look. I want something solid that can stand up to two toddlers. I realize no lamp is indestructible and toddlers can destroy anything, but I want something with some heft to it. I have found a few inspiration lamps I absolutely love for the nursery.
 
  1. Anthropolgie sells a Found & Treasured Floor Lamp which uses repurposed old parts to create the lamp. Seriously gorgeous! Seriously, overpriced. At $1,400 I will continue to admire it from afar.
  2. My next inspiration lamp isn't quite as aggregiously priced, but still WAY more than I am spending on a nursery lamp, even on sale. The Architect Floor Lamp from Ralph Lauren also gives off an industrial feel. The price is all wrong and the wood tone is too dark, but it is certainly inspiring me!
  3. This one from Restoration Hardware has incredible lines and looks like it MIGHT actually be indestructible. I love the aged metal and know it would match perfectly with our cribs. But it looks HUGE. And it is crazy expensive, even on sale. If someone wanted to donate this one, I would happily accept. Even huge, I think it is absolute perfection for the nursery.
So now that you've seen what I'm looking for, here are a few I am considering:
  • I like this one from Pottery Barn Teen (but too much).
  • This one from Ikea has a great shape and price (but nickel is the wrong metal and I'd rather not have to spray paint a brand new lamp)
  • This one from Ikea comes in black and has nice curves (but it looks a bit flimsy - anyone have experience with it?)
  • This one on Amazon might be a real contender (but I'm not sure of the color - our curtain rod and other metal accents are primarily Oil Rubbed Bronze and I can't tell from the image if it matches).
  • I think this one from JCPenney's might work (no idea if wood is right, but love the shape and can handle the price)
  • This one from World Market is pretty gosh darn good too (right price, but again not sure of the wood tone, great shape and lines).
None of these are "just right" though. They are good. They might work. But, I don't feel like I have found the one. So, does anyone have any suggestions on where I can find an industrial looking floor lamp? I would like to stay under $150 (well, I'd like to be under $100 but I haven't found anything I like for that price.)
 

Dec 11, 2012

L&D: The Second Edition

After a weekend of nausea and other GI issues, I was hit with vomiting on Sunday night. Fun, right? I was feeling pretty weeny and "off" so ended up at my OBs office yesterday. I saw one of the midwives at the practice who determined I was dehydrated from the stomach bug, so sent me to Labor & Delivery for IV fluids and anti-nausea meds.
 
Basically, vomiting can lead to dehydration can lead to contractions, and contractions were making me nauseous which can lead to vomiting. They wanted to end this ugly cycle! Sadly, this meant my second trip to L&D of this pregnancy.
 
I have no idea how I could possibly have been dehydrated - I drink a minimum of 100oz of water a day! But, after just the first liter of saline I did feel a bit better. The contractions weren't as painful and I could feel the boys moving more. The anti-nausea meds also seemed to be helping a lot.
 
Casey and my mom both came to sit with me and keep me company while I was there. I am so thankful they were there with me to keep me calm! Even though I knew (in my heart and head) everything was okay, it was really hard being in a delivery room in the hospital hooked up to so many machines! I had an IV, obviously, a continual blood pressure monitor, a heart monitor, and on my stomach I had a contraction monitor and heart monitors for both Pip and Pop. All of those wires and contraptions hooked up to me were pretty emotional in a way I really didn't expect. (For more on the crazy emotions, don't miss this post.)
 
 
While I was there, they did a fetal fibronectin test. This is a swab that tests for the presence of fetal fibronectin. It has a high incidence of false positives, but if it is negative, delivery within the next two weeks is unlikely. My L&D nurse said a negative test result gives a 90%+ chance that labor will not occur within two weeks. Wikipedia says a negative means a 95% chance of continued baby cooking for the next two weeks.
 
So, my negative result means two worry free weeks! I left the hospital feeling so optimistic and relieved. It is so liberating to know these boys will keep on cooking through at least 30w and make it until Christmas!
 
Casey and I in the L&D room. Check out the snazzy Baylor gown!
 
Then, I started spotting. Bright red. It was just from the cervical exam and has already stopped, but it certainly threw me back down to reality. Even with a 90-95% chance all was well, I still took the spotting hard. It was quite the curveball!
 
Apparently I should just get used to worrying.
 
 

Week 29

Marination Time:
28w5d
 
Baby Size:

The Bump tells us that Pip and Pop are as big as an acorn squash. It also gives an average weight range of 2.5-3.8lbs which is much higher than than the numbers used by my OB or any other fetal weight charts I can find. BabyCenter compares the boys weight to a butternut squash, with average weight of 2.5lbs. They also give an average length of 15 inches. These numbers are more in line with the information from my OB. His Boys Can Swim now says Ps are each as big as the front tire of a kids tricycle. We had a growth scan on Thursday at 28w0d and Pip and Pop are both doing great!
 
Baby Milestones:
Pip and Pop are starting to get cramped because they are growing so fast, but they still have a lot of growing to do. They are getting white fat deposits on their skin now, which give them more energy (the better for kicking me with!) and will help them temperature regulate after birth. They continue to grow stronger and chubbier this week. This week Pip and Pop each require a minimum of 250mg of calcium per day to help their growing bones.
 
Symptoms:
Contractions. Dizziness (told at L&D I'm still anemic so I guess we know why this is back!). Tiny Bladder (Seriously. Every. Two. Hours.) Trouble bending over - as in it doesn't happen. Shortness of breath and easily winded. Bruised and tender uterus. Nausea (apparently a stomach bug not pregnancy related.)
 
How I'm Changing:
Bigger.
 
What I'm Eating:
Odwalla Chocolate Protein Monsters (they are finally back in stock at Target). Milk. Red meat.
 
Annoyances:
I went on a bit of an emotional rant on Twitter on Sunday night. I was a hormonal mess and really mourning everything this experience hasn't been instead of celebrating the joy of two healthy boys.
 
The Emotional Rant:
(It has a few edits from the twitter original for formatting and correct grammar.)
Really emotional tonight. Lots of tears. Nothing about having a kid is going the way I wanted it to. Absolutely nothing.
I always dreamed we'd get married, buy a house, and fill it with babies. Infertility wasn't the plan.
I always thought we'd be able to smile at each other and remember the conception of our baby. Another man in the room during an IVF procedure wasn't the plan.
I always dreamed I'd get pregnant and have a beautiful glow and love every minute of it. First trimester bedrest wasn't the plan.
I always dreamed of decorating a nursery, the perfect space for my baby to grow up in. Constant exhaustion and an inability to accomplish anything wasn't the plan.
I always dreamed Casey and I would fall in love with a name and just know. Having lots of "likes" but no "loves" we agree on and so having to compromise my child's name wasn't the plan.
I always dreamed of the excitement and anticipation of welcoming my baby home. Spending my third trimester constantly on edge that everything and anything could be labor and it is too early wasn't the plan.
I know I should be so grateful that I am carrying two healthy baby boys. So many would be happy to be where I am. But tonight I am just really hurting for everything that wasn't.

 
I now have a bit more perspective than I did on Sunday (read: I'm not feeling quite as hormonal) but I still know that I am hurting and mourning what wasn't. I also know that none of these worries or changes came as a surprise to God. I didn't see any of this coming and none of it went the way I wanted it to in my head. But, God knew. He knows how it will all play out and the very moment each thing will happen. God has a plan for me, for Casey, for Pip and for Pop. We may not know His plan or understand His ways. But we can trust that He has a plan. God says: "I have a plan for you. It's gonna be wild! It's gonna be great! It's gonna be full of Me!"(From Come Away With Me by Jesus Culture)
 
 
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” -- Jeremiah 29:11
 
Sleep:
Two hours at a time. Max.
 
Missing:
I still really miss my feet. In related news, I still miss wearing socks.
 
Belly Button Watch:
Still an innie/flattie. The dreaded pop hasn't happened. Feeling smug and victorious!
 
What I'm most excited about:
Our new carpet is getting installed on Friday! This means I will get to start organizing the boys closet, laying out the room, and putting up art soon! I'm so excited to see it all come together (and even more excited to see the Ps in it!)
 
Pre-posting edit: Due to my trip to L&D, we are going to have to delay the carpet installation. To get carpet put in, everything must be off the floor and off the bottom hanging racks in our closets. Losing a day of work pretty much ensures I can't do it all in time.
 
 
Previous Weekly Updates:
Week 28
Week 27
Week 26
Week 25
Week 24
Week 23
Week 22
Week 21
Week 20
Week 19
Week 18
Week 17
Week 16
Week 15
Week 14
Week 13
Week 12
Week 11
Week 10
Week 9
Week 8
Week 7
Week 6
 

Dec 8, 2012

Pip and Pop Growth Update

Pip and Pop are still HUGE babies, each weighing over 3lbs and measuring 12 days ahead!
 
At Thursday's ultrasound the babies gestational age (time spent marinating) was 28w0d. The typical size for a baby in week 29 is approximately 1,153g or 2lb8oz (2.5lb).
 
Pip is up over a pound from our last growth scan to 3lb5oz or 1,519g. This is an increase of 486g or 47% in just 20 days. Pop also grew really well this week, gaining a pound as well, and is now 3lb2oz or 1,433g. He is up 477g or 50% in the same 20 day period. They are 96th percentile and 89th percentile, respectively. Big, healthy babies!! (Look at this BabyCenter chart for more information on average fetal weights to see just how big these babies are!)
 
 

Pip

(Baby A)

Pop

(Baby B)

PositionHead Down
Head Down
LocationLeft of my belly buttonRight of my belly button
Placenta Anterior
(in front of baby)
Posterior
(behind baby)
Weight3lb5oz
(1,519g)
3lb2oz
(1,433g)
Average Ultrasound Age
(Gestational Age is 28w0d)
29w5d29w5d
Size Percentile95.91%88.71%
 
With all of this new information, feel free to update your expectnet guesses, or if you haven't entered go enter your guesses now. The site says you have to register, but it only asks you for an email address and password (no personal information) so that you can go back later and change your guess and so we can contact you if you win! Click here to go over to the game site.
 
 
And now a wee bit about me:
 
I had my Gestational Diabetes test on Thursday at the appointment as well. I am waiting on results from both that test and from the cardiologist. Both should come in sometime middle of next week. I am expecting all to be well, but the waiting is hard!
 
I saw a different OB for this appointment. She was fine, but certainly not Dr. H. Luckily, seeing this new OB was a one time thing. The practice wants all patients to meet the other doctors before delivery, just in case your primary OB isn't available when you go into labor.
 
 
And now the fun part

baby pictures:

28w0d
 

Dec 7, 2012

Fragments for Friday: December 7


 
Sometimes things happen throughout the week that are interesting and blog-worthy, but they just aren't a full post. Fragments for Friday to the rescue! All of those random thoughts collected over the week can go in one place: Fragments for Friday.
 
Not a Myrtle and I are so excited so offer you the chance to link up and share your Fragments for Friday. So jot your notes and link up with us!
  • We took maternity pictures on Sunday with our friend David Tran. We have been able to see quite a few of them and they are seriously amazing!! I'll do a full post with pictures soon (after I pick which ones go on our Christmas card!) but I have posted sneak peeks here and here. And one more for good measure:
27w4d.
Look at Casey's HUGE we're having twins grin!
It isn't the best photo of me, but Casey looks so good; how could I not share!
  • Casey and I are so blessed to know so many really awesome people. We had two baby shower this week and are just so thankful for all of y'all! I've got a post written about the showers - just need to get the pictures off of the camera. (So probably posting Saturday. Maybe Monday.
  • Casey's Dad is seriously a rock star! I shared the picture of the trim he made earlier this week (I'm still in awe!). Now, he has started putting together the sides to see how it all goes together. I can't even describe how pretty they are! Casey will be out working Saturday and Sunday trying to get construction finished.
One crib short side.
  • Insurance companies work really hard to make life difficult. In total, I spent 5.5 hours on the phone with my insurance company this week trying to learn how our coverage will change with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act on January 1. The act requires that companies cover lactation support and counseling, including the cost of a breast pump.
    • Seems easy enough. I called to find out which local lactation consualtants will be covered. I had to educate THEM that lactation consultants are covered (they didn't know!). Four supervisors later, my LC will be covered as long I use one who is affiliated with and bills through a covered facility. So I can at least get coverage to use the LC at the hospital! And, this may have just helped me choose a pediatrician. One of the practices on my list has two LCs on staff.
    • I also called for information on how to go about getting a breast pump. Seriously complicated! They will EITHER cover renting a hospital grade pump OR buying a store grade pump. BUT you must buy/rent though one of their preferred suppliers. All of the suppliers are super slow. So I can't order until Janursy 1 when our new coverage begins and they take up to 10w for processing and shipping. Seriously! My babies are coming in 9w! Grrrr.
  • We set up an online guessing site to enter your expectations for Pip and Pop. We would LOVE for ALL of you to play along! Go to http://www.expectnet.com/games/CassBoys to enter your guesses. We are really excited to see your thoughts!
  • We got the ceiling fan hung in the nursery this week! Things are coming together. I am so excited to have good lighting in their now. The old light fixture had just one bulb and wasn't bright enough for the 14.5x13 room. The new one has four bulbs and is on a dimmer so we can decide how bright the room needs to be. I'm thinking this will be really helpful late at night!
  • On Saturday I had my EKG (echocardiogram) and finished up my 24hour heart monitor. Wearing the heart monitor was uncomfortable! It left my skin all red and the stickers gave me hives. Fun. I should get the results back next week, but I'm not overly concerned as my OB and cardiologist both said this was precautionary.
  • 27w3d.
    Three of the probes are visible above my shirt's neckline.
    The other two are covered.
    In the bottom left you can see the small recorder that captured all of the information.
    • I truly believe in the power of prayer and know that God listens and responds. He is all-powerful, all-wonderful, and all-capable. He is capable of infinitely more than infinitesimally more than we can even imagine (Ephesians 3:20). On my heart:
      • My brother finally got results back from his repeat MRI. He is now going for a second opinion. Continued prayers for him, his wife, and their two little girls.
      • A friend (my best friend's SIL) lost a baby to vanishing twin syndrome this week. I can't imagine how hard this must be for her. She lost her son's twin early in pregnancy last year as well.
      • On Thursday, I had my Gestational Diabetes test. I will learn the results sometime next week. Prayers I am healthy! I also had another growth scan of the babies so be on the lookout for an update soon!
      • Numerous twitter friends going through infertility treatments, pregnancy complications, bed rest, waiting for adoption or surrogacy, and the struggles of raising kids.
        • @BabyBumpAhead had her twin girls this week. They are in the NICU but doing well!
        • @EndoJourney's son MB remains in the NICU but is making a lot of progress.
        • @RNPhotoGirl had her FET last week. After all of her heartache, I am praying so hard that she gets her Christmas Miracle. The two week wait can be so hard, so if you are on twitter go offer some words of encouragement!

Write your own Fragments for Friday and link up with us!

 
 
 

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December Big Idea:

God's son came into the world as a child to offer me peace.

December Memory Verse: And a little child will lead them. Isaiah 11:6
 
 

Dec 6, 2012

Dear Pip and Pop

Dear Pip and Pop,
 
We have made it to the third trimester and are now in the homestretch. It feels like just yesterday we were sitting in the doctors office praying our first ultrasound would show a healthy baby and a heartbeat. We had no idea we would be blessed with two! When we saw your two healthy heartbeats beating side by side my heart "grew two sizes that day." So, not only is my stomach larger, but my heart is too. It has grown exponentially in order to hold all the love I have for both of you, and this is before I have even met you!
 
Another sneak peek from our maternity shoot with David Tran
 
I pray that I have done a good job helping you grow, providing you a great home, and protecting you over the past months and that I’ve given you all you need to come into this world healthy and strong. While I have absolutely loved being pregnant (and pray I stay pregnant until you are full term at 37 weeks! Are you listening? No early arrivals boys!), I am eager to meet you both. I want to know everything about you. I know that time will come soon enough and you will make your debut into this world, so, until thlen, I have truly loved this pregnancy and I cherish each moment of it. I love feeling your wiggles and kicks. I love having you close to me and protecting you at all times. I love our private afternoon dance parties. I love knowing that my body is helping you grow and keeping you safe and warm. These months have been such a wonderful blessing and I am so very grateful for every single day. I am so eager to know each of you as the amazing individuals you are, but I know that I will miss this time with you inside of me.
 
I just can't even imagine how much you two are going to change my life when you come. I know that things will be different. I know things will be hard. But, above all, I know things are going to be wonderful. I dream about kissing your little fingers and toes. I think about looking into your little eyes and wonder if they will look more like your Daddy's or mine (or maybe one of you will resemble Daddy and one will look like me!). I want to breathe your baby scent. I imagine hearing you cry and seeing you smile. I want to be there when you get all mad and red. I want to hold you and bond with you for the first time. I imagine the sweet babies you will both be, the active boys you’ll turn into and the trouble you will find, the strength of character you will develop, and the strong confident men you will one day become.
 
Boys, your Daddy and I waited for you and prayed for you for a long time. I praise God and give Him thanks each and every day for bringing both of you into our lives. I am even grateful for the journey we took to get to you. From the pills and shots to the heartache and tears, I know each step of this journey is what brought us to the two of you. All of the things we went through have made your Daddy and I appreciate you even more Pip and Pop.
 
We will give you boys a gift: parents who truly love, desire, respect, and cherish one another. We will love and cherish you and raise you both to be warriors in Christ's name. Your Daddy and I have so much love to give you boys. We want to be examples of Christ's love for you. We promise to love you unconditionally. We promise to support you in all that you do. We promise to always be there cheering you on. We promise to teach you everything we know. We promise to be the best Mommy and Daddy we can be.
 
My darling baby boys, take advantage of these next 9 weeks and grow chubby, strong, and healthy. Your daddy and I are so ready to meet you and spoil you rotten. I love you more and more with each passing day and I know your daddy feels the same way. But, before you come, your daddy and I have a lot of work to do. We want everything to be ready for you, so take your time and keep on growing. Let's just enjoy these last two months together. I'll keep protecting you and giving you all the red meat and protein. You keep doing your baby calisthenics and karate kicks. I'll keep playing you Rockabye Baby on Pandora and you keep throwing baby dance parties. When it is time for you to get here, your daddy and I will be waiting. We will bring you both home and introduce you all the friends and family that have waited for you as long as your Daddy and I have. Your room will be ready to welcome you. Daddy and I will be ready to welcome you too! Little adored ones, I love you so much! I count the days till you are home and in our arms. Your Daddy and I will be the happiest proudest parents in the world. We will love you boys with everything in us. Until we meet, I will be loving you more and more every day.
 
I love you to the moon and back,
Mommy
 

Dec 4, 2012

Week 28

Marination Time:
27w5d
 
Baby Size:
The Bump tells us that Pip and Pop are as big as an eggplant! BabyCenter says the boys are as hefty as a chinese cabbage. His Boys Can Swim continues to say the Ps are each as long as a man's work boot (although next week it does change its comparison). We have a growth scan on Thursday so we can find out then how they compare.
 
Baby Milestones:
With their eyesight really developing, Pip and Pop might be able to see light filtering through the womb. I haven't tried it yet, but my baby books recommend shining a flashlight on your belly near where their heads are and seeing if it makes them dance. They continue to enjoy dancing and wiggling to the Rockabye Baby Pandora station. The boys are also continuing to develop millions of neurons in their brains and connecting more and more synapses. In preparation for life in this outside world, they are also adding more body fat and smoothing out their little wrinkles.
 
Symptoms:
Contractions - more frequent and now feeling them more. Dizziness. Tiny Bladder (Seriously. Every. Two. Hours.) Trouble bending over - as in it doesn't happen. Shortness of breath and VERY easily winded. Bruised uterus (thanks Pip).
 
How I'm Changing:
Sneak peek of our maternity shoot by David Tran. 27w3d
Bigger. Less round - lumpier and more assymetrical. More forgetful. Bruised uterus (seriously! This happens! Not from kicks, but from constant pressure of twins.) Inability to see my own toes.
 
What I'm Eating:
Odwalla Chocolate Protein Monsters (they are finally back in stock at Target). Milk. Yogurt.

Not much food at a time. I think the babies must be pushing on my stomach making it smaller. I just don't have room to eat much anymore! Lots of small snacks throughout the day.
 
Annoyances:
I am really starting to feel the "I want it NOWS" when it comes to the nursery. I am getting nervous about being the one to decorate. I know we have lots of amazing folks who would help if I get put on bedrest, but I really want to be the one to pick out the art and choose what goes on what wall. This means we need new carpet STAT, so that the furniture can go in, so that I can start hanging things!
 
Sleep:
Two hours at a time. Max.
 
Missing:
I still really miss my feet. In related news, I miss wearing socks. Luckily, I do really love my slippers.
 
Belly Button Watch:
The full transition to outtie-hood hasn't happened yet, but I think it's coming. My belly button was achy last night, which I've heard is common before it "pops." I'm hoping the pop never comes....
 
What I'm most excited about:
We went out on Sunday with friends and took maternity photos with the amazing David Tran and should get to see them soon. I am so excited to see how they turn out and know they are going to be amazing (my weekly picture this week is one of them!)
 
And, oh my word, the crib progress!!! I just can't even describe how awesome they look! Nothing is finished yet, but they have been dry fit (which means assembled together loosely to check fit and size) and are now getting trim. My husband and father-in-law couldn't find the perfect trim for them, so my father-in-law made the dental trim himself. These are two lucky little boys. They are so loved! How awesome does this look:
 
 
Previous Weekly Updates:
Week 27
Week 26
Week 25
Week 24
Week 23
Week 22
Week 21
Week 20
Week 19
Week 18
Week 17
Week 16
Week 15
Week 14
Week 13
Week 12
Week 11
Week 10
Week 9
Week 8
Week 7
Week 6