Monday, April 30, 2007

My cups overfloweth

And my hips. And my t-shirts are too tight and too short.

So I went shopping.

Did you know that I was "saved" but the current fashion trend? Good grief! First time in my life that I can buy something that's "trendy" and yet not feel like a sellout wearing it!

T-shirts are long this year and extremely stretchy. Also, because I no longer work for The Man, wearing yoga pants or exercise capris on a daily basis is totally OK! But I've gotta tell ya, buying brand new bras (and underwear!) as a stop gap measure is irritating. Most likely, these will only be wearable while I'm actually pregnant. Once the twins show up and the breastfeeding marathons start, I'll have to switch up to nursing bras. Then, when the nursing thing is all over and I'm back to "normal" I probably won't even fit these larger bras anymore. I've gotta tell you, compared to my normal ones, these suckers are huuuuge! They don't call 'em "over the shoulder boulder holders" for nuthin'! I can't even imagine how large Misty's must be. Aieeee!

So here I am with a pile of new, very stretchy ostensibly "medium" sized t-shirts. They're perfect! And they didn't cost an arm and a leg because they don't have a tag inside that says "Maternity". A few extra inches of material does not warrant an extra 20 dollars to the price, in my opinion! I've also learned to love yoga pants. How is it that I can be this huge and yet still "fit" a medium? Stretchy materials rock!

Now if only my feet stay the same size....I find I may have to pick up some super supportive sandals, though - my feet are hot! Any recommendations?

A few visuals of me at 16 weeks.

Remember me at 12 weeks? I could still see my feet in the view from above. Not anymore.

The blurry bit is my baby filled gut. Goodbye toes!

Remember my bump? I'm way past that now.

Now I look 7 months pregnant and yet I still have 5 months to go!

I think I may yet give Misty and Oliver a run for their belly money! I'm thinking about investing in a belly belt thingy. I've also determined why pregnant women don't jog. OW!

Hmm. Time to go eat something. Ciao!

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Guessing Game

Today is, as you're probably aware, Friday. The official End of The Week.

Ordinarily I wouldn't point this out to you. However, per a short but interesting discussion on Tuesday, we were told to expect a phone call today about some preliminary results. Including determining the sex of the twins.

Now is your chance to guess.

  • Girl/Girl
  • Girl/Boy
  • Boy/Boy

What do you think?

And healthy. You're all to guess healthy.

I've been busy telling myself that since I'm not cramping, bleeding, or otherwise experiencing bad side effects of the amniocentesis, that everyone is fine. I'm really glad I took the time to lay down for two days, though. I felt pretty bruised. Today I just feel itchy. Last night, baby B did one of those big horizontal to vertical turns again, so I know that B is OK. A is a lot tougher to feel, being way down low. One day I might even be grateful for that, but right now, I'm just a wee bit paranoid. I have, however, appreciated how all of the moms at Caitlin's school have all regaled me with their stories about their amnios and how everything turned out just fine.

I had no idea that so many of them were of advanced maternal age!

Updated: It's both a BOY AND A GIRL!
And everything is just fine.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Gap toothed grins

The tooth fairy came some time in the night and left 75 cents! It was amazing and incredible! Caitlin was singing about receiving 75 cents.

Boy, I wish I could get excited about 75 cents!

Here she is in all her gap-toothed glory!

OK, the second shot is just Caitlin being wacky, with toast. When were you last acting wacky while eating toast? So long ago that you can't even remember?! Get out there and get wacky!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Caitlin loses her first tooth!

It's a milestone, folks!

Caitlin officially lost her very first tooth today after two weeks of being loose, while at school. I'll get a gap-toothed photo tomorrow.

Here's a card she made for us after it came out.

The front cover:

The inside:

It reads: I was wiggling inside my mouth! My tooth (arrow to picture of tooth) is out. Caitlin
The end!

Now we await the coming of the Tooth Fairy!

The Hatchet Jurist Strikes Again!

Since I'm on self-imposed bed rest, I'm not outside pulling weeds. Today would be a good day for it, too, after all that rain came down yesterday! My plants look pretty happy. However, I feel a little bruised and skittish. If I'm a double high risk pregnancy and if amnios are supposed to be somewhat risky, I'll hang for a day or so and take it easy. Weeds will still be there in another day.

That's my theory and I'm stickin' with it!

So! Jury duty! As I mentioned last Monday, I was selected. Heck, I was called up in the very first batch of folks for voir dire. Looks like I'm just not offensive enough in any particular area to chuck me off the jury, either. I keep thinking when they hear my husband is a lawyer that will end it, but nope! Maybe if he was a Personal Injury lawyer?

The case is Civil, a car accident. In this accident, the plaintiff was going straight and the defendant was turning left.

According to the letter of the law that makes him automatically negligent. There's so much more involved, though, that you know it's not going to be black and white. If it was, they wouldn't be in court, they'd have settled. And let me tell you, from what I saw, they should have settled.

Here are some things that I learned from this case, that I thought you, too, could benefit from:
  1. Never get in a car accident.
  2. If you are unable to avoid 1, then make sure it's just a simple fender-bender.
  3. If you are unable to avoid 2, then make sure you go to the hospital in the ambulance.
  4. Be certain that you follow your medical doctor's instructions to the letter. If he/she gives you a prescription to go see assorted therapists or counselors, do that right away.
  5. Juries (at least this one) have very little respect for/place value in alternative medicine. Especially if it's still not working months after your accident.
  6. It's your responsibility to mitigate damages to yourself by seeking appropriate medical care after an accident. To not do so, and then to sue the other party, makes you look like a flake. Or a gold digger. Neither of which increases jury sympathy for your plight.
  7. If your lawyer starts using big emotional phrases at the beginning, middle and end of the trial and never checks to see if it works with the jury, you are in a world of hurt. Your lawyer's actions will not instill a sense of sympathy in the jurists for you. They will instead begin to detest your lawyer.
  8. As part of voir dire, instead of taking time to ask a dumb-ass question about inconsequential issues, your lawyer should instead focus on the jury and their potential biases. For instance, if your lawyer doesn't establish that everyone in the box believes in the right to sue and recover damages, the biased jurist that you miss is probably going to be trouble for your side during deliberations.
  9. If your lawyer makes a point of saying, repeatedly, that he has hearing loss and expects this to be either a) funny to the jury or b) instill sympathy in them, then he'd be wrong.
  10. Jurists don't actually care how much expert witnesses are paid. That's their job.
  11. If your client is really into alternative medicine and you suspect that may not fly with a traditional jury, be sure to hire your owned damned expert medical witness. Someone that can take all of the fluffy data and turn it into serious data. Otherwise, the defense just has to have their experts poke a few holes in the fluffy data and watch all the credibility run out.
  12. The difference between probability and possibility is all the difference in the world to a civil case. You've got to make sure you paint a big clear picture for the jury, including drawing up a bloody timeline, if that's what it takes, to say that A connects with B and thus C. Expecting the jury to flip through hundreds and hundreds of pages of medical evidence and expecting them to make your case for you in deliberations is foolish.

In the end, after a week of testimony and 6 hours of deliberations, we found for the plaintiff but had substantially reduced what we would allow her to recover because they just hadn't drawn enough solid conclusions between her damages and the present car accident. There was a strong possibility that it was all related, but since we weren't all 51% convinced, their case was damaged. Because the plaintiff never seemed to consistently follow her medical doctor's advice, and never sought traditional medical help even though the alternative medicine didn't appear to be working blew huge holes in her case and all the sympathy and credibility leaked out.

So it went and it sucked. Having your life and medical history dragged out of mothballs to discredit you sucks. Being in a car accident sucks. Having a crappy lawyer sucks. Being damaged in a car accident sucks.

Let's all just avoid it and drive safe, OK? Keep your eyes on the road!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

14 ounces of babies

First the good news:

Hey! They're still in there! Alive and kicking and tumbling end over end. We even got treated to a shot of baby A pummeling baby B. Or maybe it was the other way around. Can't remember - but either way, it was tiny fists to tiny apricot sized head through the amniotic sac. Very funny. One day I'll be able to feel them wrestling inside and then when I get a foot in the ribs it won't be quite as funny, will it?

Anyway, they are 7 oz each, heart rates around 141 bpm, appearing to be 16 weeks 6 days and 16 weeks 5 days. Appear to be healthy with tiny spines, bladders, femurs, kidneys, brains and such. There was a great deal of measuring that took place in the ultrasound portion of the visit. It almost got to be boring. Eric developed a crick in his neck.

I said "almost" because I knew once the U/S portion was over it would then be time for the needles-in-the-belly portion and I'd been trying to not think about that part for the last 4 weeks.

This is the upsetting part.

Quick disclaimer: everything appears to be fine. We'll get preliminary results at the end of the week, final (detailed) results in 2 weeks.

Upsetting from the I really don't like needles point of view.

So, after reviewing the informed consent form, the doctor came in and we had the last minute chit chat.

"How are you?"
"Any questions?"
Mulling it over....About half a million but only a few you can actually answer. "How soon will we get results?" and "What are your numbers like on fetal demise?" Kinda late to be asking that question directly, I know!
"No where near 1 in 200." Blathering about testing and how unethical unbiased testing would be, offering services to those that need it and then having to refuse service to some percentage to act as a control group. Argh!

Then the poking and prodding began. Cleaning of my belly. I shut my eyes and tried the yoga breathing I remembered. Clung to Eric's hand, digging my nails in.

Fear. Fearfearfearfear!

I need to know. I will know. It will all be OK. It will all be over soon. I will never have to do this again. Don't throw up! Breathe! Breathebreathebreathebreathebreathe. Don't hyperventilate!

Then the first needle, to numb the area. Ow. OW! I could feel it going all the way in. Vomitrocious feelings in response. Not a good time to throw up: laying on your back, on a table, with a needle in your gut. Then the first needle and burning numbing medicine is gone and she's talking me through the next one.

I had to interrupt and ask her NOT to narrate what she was doing. There are plenty of things in my life that I like narration in. This was not one of them. "I'm going in now. Now I'm going into the uterus...."

It wasn't the pain that was so bad, really. It was the fear of the pain. The fear of complications. The fear of what if something is wrong. The fear of what if something goes wrong. The pain can't compare with, for example, giving non-medicated vaginal birth to an 11 lb 6 oz baby boy. It's not that kind of pain, but it does hurt and it's disturbing that you can feel a needle sliding into you and piercing your uterus.

Well, if you have one. For those of you without, you'll just have to trust me on this one.

And then the waiting to make sure baby B wasn't going to get in the way. They do an ultrasound simultaneously to make sure everything is where it's supposed to be. Then they draw the fluid off. They said about 2 tablespoons, but when I saw the filled hypos afterward (straw yellow colored liquid), it looked like more than that to me, but what do I know? Then, after learning how bad it was going to be on one side, we had to do it again, on the other side for baby A.

Remember how baby A was the "difficult" baby during the Nuchal translucency? Yeah well, that repeated here. After the numbing shot, when the collecting needle was mostly inserted, the baby changed position and everyone froze. Then the baby wouldn't move again. So I'm laying there, waiting, in pain, with a needle in my gut and an U/S device pressed hard in my lower abdomen/groin.

Trying not to vomit.
Being asked how I felt.
Wanting it to be over.
Feeling cold and tingly, followed by distant, followed by hot and sweating and in desperate need of a cup of water. However, everyone's hands were full and I certainly wasn't going anywhere!

The baby didn't want to move and it wasn't safe to proceed, so the doctor relocated to another baby-free section and OWWWWW! went the needle again, through all the layers. Collecting was over soonish (felt like forever at the moment) and I tried not to gnaw Eric's fingers off, even though I really wanted to.

Finally it was over and they cleaned off my belly and checked the heart rates again. Everyone seemed fine. I was shaky and tearful (Don't get me wrong, I cried some in the beginning, but you can't haul off and cry in that situation, just like you can't throw up. [British accent:] Bad form!) and glad it was over. Got my water. Didn't move for a good while, just to be certain I wouldn't pass out or throw up.

Finally, we were ready to go and headed off to get Caitlin from her extended play date and get me into bed. Bed rest, in this form, isn't so bad. I self-prescribed it. I think it's a good idea. I can run around another day.

By the way, I'm not ever doing that again.


Update: Forgot to mention the dye. In order to make sure they know their getting fluid from a separate sac, they fill the first one with a cc of green dye. They tell you that your body will flush it out of the sac and you'll pee green for a bit, so no big deal to the baby. I was teasing Eric when I said, "If baby B turns out to be a girl, and the green doesn't wear off, we'll have to call her Emerald."

You know I feel better when I start crackin' jokes!

Updated even later to add:


Baby A.

Baby B was being difficult in the end and we only got this spine shot. What a cute spine! Err...something like that.

They're stacked in there - one is laying horizontally on top of the other, with A on the bottom of the pile. Think that will say anything about them after they're born?

Are you ready to start guessing what their sexes are?

Monday, April 23, 2007


After an exhausting week on jury duty (I'll get to that later - it's a long story.), 9-5, Monday through Friday, sitting upright with no where to rest my feet, and visiting with relatives afterwards, I went to bed at midnight on Friday night and woke up at 5 am on Saturday in order to get myself and my first 70 plants down to the Farmer's Market.

All of the work I'd planned on getting done during the week was shot to hell by jury service. However, I squeezed in as much last minute work as I could Friday night. Eric helped tremendously, running last minute errands for me and washing off plants we unearthed from the raised bed via light from a rapidly dimming flashlight.

We tried to look as professional as we could, but were somewhat unprepared. Fortunately, there's plenty of room for improvement as the summer wears on and we get the hang of slinging all of our gear into one vehicle in a more organized manner. We showed up just past 7 am at the market and started setting up.

The fabulous (and somewhat expensive) professional sign I'd designed and ordered was done, but not available to me since I was trapped in deliberations all day on Friday until 5:30 pm. They called Eric at home at 3:30 to tell him the sign was ready and could he be there by 4? Well, that didn't work out, since Eric was off playing with Caitlin and never got the call. Also? Half an hour to whip into the local city and pick it up before they closed? Crazy. Oh well. We'll have it for next time we go to market. It's gonna look great! It's purple. Really REALLY purple, with white lettering and is two sided to take advantage of the fact that we'll have our backs to a local street. Eye catching!

So there we were, setting up, a little cold and I was scared. Scared of The Public. Would they want our plants? Would we look like a reputable outfit? Would they scoff at our prices? Would they be disappointed in our measly offering of 70 plants? It is early spring, after all. I'll have hundreds of different plants in June. Right now, I just have the bunches that I'd heeled in last fall.

Watching the market get set up is rather like being behind the scenes at the circus - food vendors wheeling up their carts, tents being assembled, tables wiped down, signs erected. It was cool! Then the waiting, until the first customer approached.

Speaking of which, Heather had the gall to walk off and leave me to go get coffee and hot chocolate when that very first customer showed up. I had to make the very first $2 sale all on my own! (I'm just teasing, in case you're wondering - although I was nervous.) Strangely enough, it wasn't all that hard to take a $5 and make $3 change.

Our first sale!

The rest of our time was spent chatting up everyone that stopped to peek at our offerings. Some bought, some didn't. Some clearly just wanted to talk to two young women for ages. Old men. Surprise! It wasn't so bad. It was very like training and project management, though - you have to be on all the time. Chatty, perky, cheerful. Knowledgeable. And man! I owned that plant information! I surprised myself from time to time with how I sounded. I sounded like someone that knew what she was doing and that you could trust. Awesome!

I even directed one couple away from purchasing my plants when they mentioned recently buying a home at 8500'. I suggested they talk to their local nursery and discuss plants acclimated for their elevation and purchase them there. I was up front about the fact that while I didn't want to give their money away to someone else, it would be the most prudent thing to do - find out which plants thrived that high up and were already hardened off. I'd like to think they appreciated my candor and I certainly established my credentials at the same time.

Oh and Heather? Heather rocks. She knows everyone at the market and they all seem to love her. She chatted up customer after customer and helped me get into the groove. Yay Heather!

So, for our very first day, we made $98 and a hamburger.

What? The hamburger was in trade for two small $2 plants that a young boy (food vendor) was getting for his mom. It all works out in the end!

Now it's just a matter of growing my potential 872+ plants on, pricking out plants outside and growing them on for sale.

I'm officially a farmer!


Early in the dark this morning, I woke up with a cat stomping on me. I don't know why they like the darkest hours before the dawn to stomp on me, but they do. I don't sleep as heavily as I used to, because you never know when your bladder will protest lack of attention.

While I was laying there, partly on my side and partly on my back, I felt a distinct shift taking place in my gut.

It was clearly not my intestines.

It was clearly not by my actions - I was laying perfectly still.

Baby B went from what felt like a horizontal to a vertical position. And that was it.

I've been waiting and waiting and waiting to feel something. Anything. To give me clues that everything is still OK in there. I thought, from time to time, that I was feeling something, but since early movements often feel like gas bubbles, it's hard to be certain.

Now I'm certain.

Tomorrow is the next milestone: amniocentesises. Amniocentesi? Two amnios.

I've been reassured by women coming out of the woodwork telling me that they aren't all that bad, really and over very quickly. As a bonus, there will be yet another ultrasound to guide the needle in.

Wish us luck!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Return of The Hatchet Jurist

There's apparently just something about me that makes the lawyers like me.

I've been chosen again to be on a jury, this time in County court. So I'll be gone all day, every day for 4.5 days, listening, starving and trying not to fall asleep. Oh, and my ankles will be swelling.

Can't talk to you about it until it's over, just like last time except that it's a Civil case about a car accident and I am one of 6 jurists. There had been a 7th, but he somehow managed to beg, cajole or threaten his way out of serving. Now there's no alternate, so I guess no one had better get sick!

County court is very different from the Federal court. Much more casual, if that term applies to a very formal process!

I'll let you know how it goes on Friday!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

My furry alarm clock

went off at 5:30am this morning.

And it doesn't have a snooze button.

It wanted to play.

Domino stomped all over me at 5:30 this morning, a time when I've (recently) been getting up into order to pee and eat early First Breakfast. Today, however, I just wanted to sleep, so he decided to start playing with the ties on my pajama bottoms. While fun for him, it was mostly irritating to me. Blearily, I pushed his paws away, but that didn't work. Then I tucked the ties away and that helped. Petting him wasn't enough attention, he said.

I've learned over the years how to pet cats while still 90% asleep. It's a Ninja Cat Owning Move. It's either that or chuck them from the bed and I'm not the chucking type. Eric is. (And he wonders why the cats love me more?!)

So Domino jumps off the bed and jingles off down the stairs, his tags tinkling together. Then I heard it: click, draaaaaag, clackitah-clackitah-clack, coming up the stairs. He jumped back into the bed and dropped his Squirrel On a Stick in my lap.

Insistent little bugger!

Now that I was more awake and had had my bladder jumped on repeatedly, I had to get up. I did and took the toy with me into the bathroom. I wiggled it a little and then left it behind when I returned to bed and caught a few more zzzzz's before it was time to wake up and feed the ravenous twins.

Five thirty is way too early for cat toys!

Friday, April 13, 2007


Sebastian - kicked to the curb!

In his place...Damon!

Da-who? you ask, confused.

Damon. The Angry Young Man.

OMG!?!!! Whaaaaaat?!

Color me gob-smacked, people, it's true. Turns out that Sebastian blew his chances with one of the finest 5 year olds in Colorado by accusing her of cheating at a race. Well! That blackguard! That...that...brat!

When asked about it (neutrally, mind you) Caitlin says she wasn't cheating and that she believes he just said that to upset her. When I asked, "Why Damon?" she said that he didn't accuse her of cheating. I had to point out that surely lots of other boys also didn't accuse her of cheating, so what was working in Damon's favor?

Well! He said that he wishes he was a grown up so that he could marry her.

Cue the "Awwwwwwww!".

It's true! Aaaaand, even better, we had a neutral 3rd party confirm that Damon is nicer to Caitlin than to anyone else in school and always wants to sit next to her and share. Ooooh! I asked if he's doing better now and the answer was "Mostly." Maybe Caitlin can get him to be nicer? The love of a good...girl and all that, you know. This does explain the sudden up-tick in requests to have play dates with him and his constant need to get her attention whenever we're picking her up or dropping her off.

Man! Is this a harbinger of things to come? Interested in bad boys already?!

I've gotta tell you this, though - while we're willing to condone a crush on the class bad boy (semi-reformed) at age 5, there ain't no way this will fly at 15!

The Human Barometer

I spent most of the day yesterday, lazing about in bed. Ahhh!

Clutching my pounding skull in my hands and wishing I were able to take heavier doses of pain killers! AAAAH!

Need to know if the weather is about to change? Ask my head! Is the pain fierce and throbbing, just beneath migraine level? Why, yes! The weather is about to take a turn for the worse! Excuse me while I go drug myself into a coma, would you?

I never need to look out the window to find out if we're about to go abruptly from spring-like weather back into the depths of winter. Nope! No window necessary. Just take one look at my face, the blood drained out, a sickly pallor falling across my features and you'll know!

Ayup, looks like we're in for some weather!

The bright side? Now that I'm on thyroid medication, the headaches stay headaches and don't turn into migraines. Yay!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I'm sooooo pregnant!

Did I mention that I currently look like someone who is 6 months pregnant?

Did I?

Did I mention that by the time I'm 8 months along, I'll look and feel like TEN MONTHS?! And that I'll have part of a whole 'nother month to go through?!

Did I mention that part?

In case you lost track, I'm currently at the beginning of 4 months. Oy!

So let's talk about food! I have noticed a difference in my crazy hunger level now that I'm drinking more water. It has helped a lot. Imagine that! Now I need to eat correctly and that takes more effort than just pouring out a bowl of Peanut Butter Bumpers. Loads of sugar, ain't much else except crunch! Of course, I like the crunch....

Just to give you an idea of just how much food I should be eating, here's a sample menu for twins pregnancy from the Multiples book.

2 scrambled eggs
1 oz Canadian bacon
2 slices whole wheat toast
1 oz cheddar cheese
1 banana

2nd Breakfast (OK, they call it "Mid-morning", but we know what they really mean!):
2 slices whole wheat toast
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 apple
1 cup milk

2 oz tuna (Can't stand the thought of it!)
2 sliced toasted rye (Not ever! Ew!)
1 small Lettuce/tomato salad
1/2 cup potato salad
1 cup ice cream
1 cup milk

Tea time (Or "Mid-afternoon"):
4 Ritz crackers (Um, bleah!)
1 oz liver pate (Double bleah!)
1/2 cup fresh grapes

5 oz broiled steak
1 small baked potato
1 tbsp sour cream
1 small Caesar salad
1 dinner roll
1 cup milk
1 cup tapioca pudding (Ugh!)
1/2 cup sliced strawberries

1 cup ice cream

3/4 cup Cereal
1 cup milk
1/2 cup fruit

--p. 258-9

Are you scared yet? I am!

By the way, if eating that much sounds like fun to you, you can carry the twins! I'm not sure how I can choke down that much food, really, but if I want two 6 lb babies (that's my current infant goal weight), I need to.

On the bright side, I picked up some Canadian bacon and Mmm mmm! It's good! I've also stopped eating the ridiculous cereals and am now making myself take the extra few minutes to make hot oatmeal (with dried cranberries or cherries and nuts!). Whole grains, baby! Err...babies! I've also picked up several ingredients for the recipes in the back of the book and will start cooking away. (Now that I'm more awake, I can help out more with the cooking. I even made Eric breakfast today. I rock!) Some look pretty good. One in particular looks revolting: French toast with ham and cheese. Cinnamon raisin bread made into ham and cheese sandwiches, soaked in eggs, then toasted. Bleaaarrgh!

But maybe that's just me.

Oh, more good news from The Book.
  • Since I've already had a kid, my risk of delivering prior to 35 weeks is half that for a first timer.
  • Women over age 30 are significantly more likely to carry twins for at least 35 weeks than younger women. The age thing suddenly is to my advantage!
  • I don't currently have a high stress job. Good riddance, The Man!

Yay me!

So there it is. I'm feeling hopeful.

Less than two weeks to go for the amnios. More hope to come!

I'm learning a lot!

About pregnancy!

Yah, you'd think I'd have learned a lot the first time around, and I did. This time, however, I'm getting more history, which is very very cool.

I have two books that are distinctly different from one another and each one is calming me down more, but in different ways. From Misty, I have a copy of Birthing From Within, which is very touchy-feely and new age-y, but it talks about the history of obstetrics and mentions fun things like this:
"Until the late 1700's, women the world over labored and gave birth in the positions of their choice....Lying on a birth table was first [popularized in 1738] by Francois Mauriceau, physician to the queen, who proposed it as an alternative...because it facilitated his control of problematic delivery and the use of forceps.

Others say it all started with King Louis XIV of France. Women in that time often gave birth sitting on a birthing chair, revealing little since they remained dressed and often were covered by a sheet. King Louis engaged his court physician to convince the ladies of the court that childbirth would be easier and simpler if they reclined on a high table. This arrangement allowed King Louis to gain sexual gratification by secretly watching the births from behind a curtain."
--p. 141

Nice, huh?

I also learned about the very first successful cesarean section:
"The first record of a successful Caesarean [the mother also survived] comes...when in the year 1500 the wife of Jacob Nufer, a Swiss sow-gelder, went into labor and could not seem to deliver...In his desperation, Nufer at least knew where to begin.

Thirteen midwives (so the story goes) had tried and failed, at which point Jacob collected his tools of the trade and did the obvious. Is it possible he had the intuition to clean them first? To wash his hands? To protect his wife from the barnyard flies? We will simply never know. All that is apparent is that at the operation's close, both mother and child were doing well. In fact, Mom Nufer did very well indeed. In time she gave birth to six more children, including twins, all of whom she delivered normally. She lived to the fine age of seventy-seven."
--Nancy Caldwell Sorel
Ever Since Eve
-p. 150

Now, most of the book is clearly aimed at people that don't want medical intervention and jumps up and down at how unnatural it is to give birth in a hospital. Those parts, frankly, made me feel bad. However, I know from my personal experience that I wouldn't have survived Caitlin's birth without medical intervention. Caitlin might not have survived. My kid sister might have died, possibly Daniel as well. My sister-in-law may also have been on the list. My husband also had a difficult birth (Not to mention a crazy high fever and a double hernia later in infancy, and driving a car off a cliff as a teenager! Talk about lucky!) So while it may not be "natural" or ideal, it has its place and has value. Is the industry trying to push more expensive treatments on mothers? Very likely. Everyone likes to make money. However, it doesn't mean that hospital births don't have a time, place or value.

This is where education of the parents-to-be comes in. If you want a natural childbirth, without drugs or interventions, you need to get educated and learn the ins and outs of the system. Figure out if you're a good candidate for an at home birth and get a skilled mid-wife. Then go for it! Or do what Misty and Lee did, which is to find a hospital that is open to your ideal birth and do it in a hospital.

From the twin book, I'm learning that giving birth to twins is way more than What to Expect When You're Expecting ever led me to believe! They said you'd only need an additional 300 calories for the additional infant. Well, um...bullshit! The way I've been eating has been instinctual, but has been backed up by the research of Dr. Barbara Luke of the Multiples Clinic in Michigan and Florida. The book is When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads. The discussion is all about how to get your multiples born healthy, safely and full term.

Full term for twins appears to be 36-38 weeks. Yet, I'll look like a 40 week pregnancy by 32 weeks, which is why bed-rest came up already. Seems that once your uterus has reached what it deems to be full size, the party is over. The point behind bed-rest is to keep your physical stress low and give the babies more time to "cook". They give poignant examples of the physical difference between babies born at 32 weeks, 36 weeks and 40 weeks - head sizes and footprints. It's pretty scary, in a way. The main point of the book seems to be this:



Now, when I say that I've been eating a lot, it's almost nothing compared to the recommended amount by Dr. Luke. Frankly I'm terrified and can't figure out how to stuff that much food into me, but I'm going to try. My goal is full term, healthy twins and if it takes eating like a sumo-wrestler to get there, well, I guess I'll just pull up a fork and a chair.

Weight gain goal for twins: 40-56 lbs. for a normal weight woman.

The weight is also front loaded - the more you gain in the beginning of the pregnancy, the better off the twins will be. Check this out.
  • Weight gain by 20 weeks: 25 lbs
  • Weight gain by 28 weeks: 38 lbs
  • Total weight gain: 40-56 lbs.
  • Average length of gestation: 36 weeks

So I don't have 40 weeks to gain weight and plump up the twins. I've got to get it on while the gettin' is good. While there's still room between the twins and my stomach. Just so you know, the average multiples born to women that follow the advice of Dr. Luke?
  • Twins are generally born 20 percent heavier than the average twins delivered at the same gestational age.
  • Sixty percent of our mothers of twins deliver at 36 weeks or later, compared to only about 40 percent of twin moms nationwide.
  • Infants born to patients in our program go home sooner than the average multiple-birth baby, spending only half as much time in the hospital.
-p. 3
Now that's what I'm talkin' about!

There are a thousand other cool things about this book, and I'll probably get into them later. Right now, all is well. I'm getting used to the idea of twins and now I just want them to be healthy.

So if you see me, I should probably be eating. Or drinking water.


Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy Birthday, Oliver!

Oliver is born!

At last!

11 lb 6 oz. Congrats to Misty, Lee and Marlena!

No details, just got the phone call.

Updated: Misty did get to have her water birth and did it without drugs. Let's wrap our minds around that one - eleven pounds and 6 ounces without drugs. Everyone is doing fine.

Misty ROCKS!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Your mission

Should you choose to accept it is thus:

  1. Go rent or purchase The Karate Kid (currently on sale at CostCo for ~$6.95!).
  2. Watch the movie.
  3. Snicker at the 1980s. You know you want to! Look at those sunglasses! Aiee!
  4. Then, watch this.

No really. I'll wait for you to watch The Karate Kid. The video will make sense once you've refreshed your Karate Kid memories!

Brought to you by Eric's bizarre desire to see The Karate Kid on Saturday night. Now, try to get "Sweep the Leg, Johnny" out of your head.

By the way, that really is the male half of the cast from the movie. Down to Daniel in the car at the very end.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Caitlin's tooth is loose!

Her very first loose tooth!

It's in the middle of the bottom row, on the left.

Holy cow! My baby is growing up and her teeth are escaping her head!

Must be time to break out a Tooth Fairy or something. What's the going rate?

Friday, April 06, 2007

Watching Misty

If we all continue to watch Misty, will she never come to a "boil"?

When I was at my doctor's appointment on Wednesday, the doc mentioned bed rest as something that usually occurs for twin births around 32-36 weeks. The reason for this, she explained, was that "The uterus is stupid." It has no idea how many babies are in there, so it goes to a certain size and then yells, "Ding! Everybody out!" and ejects the contents. I don't know how likely this is to happen to me, since I've already had one child. One could posit that my uterus has already been stretched and maybe I'll have a little more leeway.

On the other hand, I had to ask about Misty. Now Misty has already had a previous birth and Marlena weighed in at 9lbs. So, pretty stretchy. Oliver, on the other hand, is looking to weigh in around 11 or 12 lbs (OUCH! Sorry, Misty!). Why hasn't she gone into labor yet? "Well," replied my doctor, "Like I said, the uterus is stupid and sometimes it goes the other way and won't let go at all."


We can't win for losing around here in Pregnancy Land. All of these rules apply, at least until they suddenly don't. You know, things like
  1. You show faster during your second pregnancy.
  2. You gain weight faster during your second pregnancy.
  3. Every pregnancy is different.
  4. Many people experience morning sickness with girls (except, of course, when they experience it with boys).
  5. Swelling is normal!

You know, except for when it isn't. Like when you're having twins.

Or when your son has set up permanent residency in your gut.

I'm sorry, Misty! Out Oliver! Out!

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Eric caught the boys napping together last week and thought he should capture the moment. They're so sweet together! I'm glad that whole thing worked out. Buying a kitten for a kitten is sort of a gamble, but these guys, they came up Aces.

Caitlin wanted in on the snuggly cat action, as well as into the picture.

You have to watch out for the three of them in your bed, though. They'll all knock you out with kitty and kid snooze vibes! Pow! Four hours later you're wondering why you haven't gotten anything done....

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Just a little peek!

Went the the regularly scheduled doctor's appointment today.

I am double trouble! High risk for twins and age! Yay me!

Oh and I need to drink a lot more water. Two liters. Every day. ACK! How?! I'll do my best.

Terms like bedrest and early labor got bandied about. Disconcerting, yes, but not unexpected. We even got a little heart doppler action, although she was only able to find the heart beat to one baby (Twin B again!) and sent me off for a quick scan. Oh, she also told me that I'm going to see them a lot more often and get ultrasounds more often for them to track the twins' development.

They want to make sure that one isn't making off with more nutrients than the other. Just what they would intend on doing should such an occurrence take place, I've no idea. Send in extra shakes and fries? Grounding the offender?

The upshot is that, yes, there are still two in there and they both appear to be fine with heart rates tripping along (They sound like tiny trains: choo choo choo choo!) at 137 and 146 bpm and no there's no way you can tell the sexes apart by heart rate. Just thought I'd get that one out of the way early! I'll find out during the amnio what combination of girl/girl (25%), boy/boy (25%), girl/boy (50%) I am carrying around. Until then, guess all you want. Don't remember your Mendelian inheritance? Same reason why Caitlin has slate blue eyes while both Eric and I have brown eyes.
Twin B is on the left, Twin A is on the right. Sorry it's so small! They're still moving and shaking in there, even if I can't feel them yet.

Yay ultrasounds!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My new baby

Not the getting bigger every day in my gut babies, this baby!

Beautiful, ain't it? That's the birthday present I talked about here. Thank you!

Here are some sample pictures I took this evening.

My feet! Goodbye feet! Thought I'd get one shot for posterity. Look! Veins! And tendons! And toes that look like toes and not Vienna sausages! And they're two-toned! Aren't I the coolest? That's my left over tan from last year, the paler part is my "winter" color. Darned sandals! This year? Barefoot and pregnant? Who knows!
Baby bump! This is me at 12 weeks. Gaaaah! I'm already big. I look like most women at 5 months. Eek!

Bump with my left hand. Notice anything awry? My wedding bands are gone! I took them off in Crested Butte this weekend while I had the chance. I didn't want a repeat of last time. Last time, I waited so long I couldn't get my 4 3/4 size wedding band off and it had to be cut off! I absolutely bawled. Now it's a size 5, but was tough to get off. Good thing it was cold!

Officially, my first shot with the new lens was of Eric, right before I ran out the front door with it, cackling, but I was too excited and my hands were shaking so that shot of him is all blurry. Instead, here's a nice picture of these two.
Thanks for helping me clean up the front yard, Heather! Hi Jessie!

Yay! New lens! It focuses smoothly. Like buttah! And silently! Like ninja! And fast! Like cheetah!

It's a butter covered ninja cheetah lens!

Care Package!

I received a care package from my older sister (via my younger brother) last night. Yay!

In it were a pair of cans of Ackee*, a pair of spice buns, a can of some very odd processed cheese food object (apparently fabulous on the spice bun, but I have a strange dread of cheese in a can!), a pair of cans of Milo (I can't explain it too well - malted chocolate energy drink from our youth), salted cod (to go with the ackee) and three loaves of Hard-Dough bread. Yummmm!

I immediately climbed into the spice bread and Milo. Added a slice of cheddar cheese with the spice bread and ahhhh! Cheers all around.

Unfortunately I didn't notice a small detail about the Hard-Dough bread - it had gone moldy.


My brother drove all the way to NYC, saw my sister, got fresh made bread, drove back and then didn't stick it in the freezer until he saw me. Argh! My bread! Manna from Jamaica via NYC - ruined!

I could've wept. Instead, I sprung (sproinged? lumbered?) into action - I called my sister. I'm not ashamed to say that I begged. No, not me! The power that is hard-dough bread....If you tasted it, you would know. If you tasted it fresh and still warm from the oven, you'd be a slave for life!

Dawn promised to Fed-Ex me some fresh loaves in exchange for the Jamaican breakfast recipe. The one from our mother that involves saltfish and ackees.

Dawn: here it is.

Ackee and Saltfish (Traditional Jamaican Breakfast)
  1. Soak salted cod overnight.
  2. Pour off the water and boil cod in fresh water until tender.
  3. Drain and tear into bite sized pieces.
  4. Cook 2-3 slices of bacon, crumble and set aside.
  5. Open 1 can of ackees, strain into colander, rinse with cold water and let drain.
  6. Saute 1 large onion, garlic to taste and chopped tomatoes in olive oil.
  7. Add black pepper, 3 Allspice seeds (or if ground, use 1/8th tsp), thyme (sprinkle to taste).
  8. Add bacon crumbles, saltfish and ackee to sauted onion mixture and heat through. Do not over cook or the ackee will go oily.

Enjoy with fresh hard-dough bread, fried breadfruit, fried green plantains or fried bammy.

Toast? Toast is for pansies!

P.S. Hey Dawn, while you're at it, send some tamarind balls and guava jelly! Yeeha!

* If terms like ackee, bammy, plantains, breadfruit, tamarind and saltfish leave you scratching your head, have a look here or here.

Monday, April 02, 2007

If I feel good something must be wrong with me

For one short moment earlier today, I felt...good. Normal. Non-pregnant. I was neither hungry nor thirsty, nauseated or tired, weepy or psychotically mad.

You know how I immediately responded? By thinking something had happened to the twins.

Awww man!

I feel good for one half hour period and my brain immediately starts bringing on the Worst Case Scenario book. What the heck?!

Clearly I am insane. However, it is also perfectly normal according to many different pregnancy books. Feeling "not pregnant" and then panicking is normal. Great! Or something.

I'm still waiting to feel them start moving deep inside. Occasionally I think I've felt something, but since there's so much going on with my intestines as they move out of the way, that I wind up discounting it as gas. Of which, I am full. Thank you. Never fear! I will keep you updated with the thrill of official movement reports.

I wonder if they'll duke it out when they get big enough to interfere with one another?
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