My Twin Pregnancy Log, Week by Week

(Note: I wrote this entire post in my shorthand because that is exactly how I would be writing in my personal journal, as this particular post was designed to be viewed.)

Also, I feel that before reading this it’s important to know why I was convinced for so long I could not actually be pregnant, and just how much it meant to me to be blessed with babies!

Week 6

Week One

  • Bloated.  Start to notice how tummy won’t seem to lay flat, even when I’m on my back.
  • Hormones.  I am naturally an emotional gal, but my raging hormones had me thinking there was something seriously wrong with me before I realized. 🙂  I called a Christian counselor to help get my head straightened out.
Week Two (This is the week when everything starts going crazy)
  • Tired.
  • Headaches.
  • Super Senses.  Start to ask students in the speech room at school, “Do you smell that?  It smells awful in here.”

Tuesday of Week Two

  • Pregnancy Brain.  Attend an apartment viewing with a completely absent mind, not saying anything, and not able to think about it at all.
  • Nausea.  Start to feel really sick on the way home from the apartment viewing-chalk it up to stress, and potentially…car sickness??
  • Food aversions. When we get home from apartment viewing, I ask D to make me a pizza but NOT the way we had been making it with pesto on it because that sounds dreadfully awful.
  • Exhaustion.  Go to bed that night at 8pm.  Wake up at 8am.  Feel cranky and tired.  Not normal.
Week 3:

  • Bladder.  At work, start to notice, ‘Gosh, I sure am starting to have to walk to the ladies room a lot.
  • Spotting.  But, still just think it’s Aunt Flo showing up.

Week 3, Friday May 24th, 2013

  • Late.  4 days late.  I’m often 1-2 days late.  Not 4.  Start to review the past 2 weeks on my calendar, and think about everything that’s been happening.  Start to look up 1st signs of pregnancy on the web.  Realize I have 50-75% of all the “1st signs.”  Decide to go running after work to still continue my marathon training.  Get a PR for the 1st mile.  1.5 miles in….start to feel like vomiting and am also light headed…..but that’s just because I ran the 1st mile so hard, right?  Decide to call D at work, and tell him to meet me at home.  Stop by the store after work.  Pick up test.  $20.  Contemplate saving it for another day because so expensive, and this probably isn’t real, right?  Go home.  Meet D.  Take the 2 different tests provided.  Both say positive.  Still not 100% convinced.  This was supposed to be impossible.  Immediately call OBGYN.  Too late to get in an appointment.  D and I go to Safeway.  Pick up some prenatal vitamins, chicken “sushi,” and pizza ingredients. 🙂  Come home.
  • Clumsy.  Try to make chocolate milk.  Literally push cup of chocolate milk over with my own hand while stirring, and chocolate milk goes all over the carpet.  Think, ‘Oh boy….here we go.”
  • Responsibility.  The realization of huge life changes and new life-time responsibilities settle in.  D’s life flashes before his eyes.  He asks me if my life is also flashing before my eyes.  We process differently. 🙂
  • Protective Father.  The next day we were supposed to go hiking.  D packs up both our bags.  Spends a good amount of time filtering water for my camelbak.  Then he hands me my pack, and I realize the ONLY thing he’s put into my pack is my water.  He has found a way to pack in both sleeping bags, the tent, all the food, all the clothes, and everything else into his pack. 🙂

Week 4, Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

  • OB Apt. Find a way to get in early for our 1st OB apt to confirm.  Nerves!  What will she (the Dr. ) be able to tell us?  Are we really having a baby?  The Dr. sat down in our room, and the first thing she said was, “So, you took my advice!”  She was so happy.  I was confused.  “Am I actually pregnant?”  She confirmed. 🙂
Week 5
  • Pregnancy Brain.  Out to eat with friends, I see D fill his water glass with the water vase on the table.  I realize I need more water, so I proceed to empty the water D has just poured into his glass, into my glass. Aye yai yai…

Week 6

  • Stress and Mood. Unfortunately, seem to find myself yelling a lot, and I really hate it.  Still trying to figure out how to control this new and unexpected evil side of myself, and put her away for good.  Eventually, will learn to control her by eating and sleeping more, and also talking less, haha.  But she also starts disappearing on her own more after week 6 (A.K.A. The Tahoe Wedding Week).
Week 7
  • All day sickness. Find out the truth about “morning sickness” only being a name, and not exactly a real time.  Should be called “all day sickness.”  But, not complaining because extremely fortunately in my case, the bulk of “all day sickness” only lasts during week 7.  I am very blessed!
  • Eat or die. I start to experience hunger in a new way for the first time.  Hunger no longer feels like when you skip a meal, and later say, “I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse.”  Hunger now feels like an emergent medical need that could pop up at any time, but you never know when, and if I don’t eat right now, I’ll crash.
  • Crashing.  Crashing was this scary phase where if I didn’t eat immediately, I started to feel like I was slowly dying.  First I would get a serious headache.  Then nausea.  Then it became harder to move.  Pretty soon, I could barely think.  To combat this, we bought lots of snacks to keep with us at all times, but then I was going through another stage…
  •  EXTREME food aversions. A terrible little phase lasting about only 2 weeks for me where only one food in the entire world would sound good at a time, and the sound of any other food made me want to puke.  Even saltines sounded awful at times.  The weird thing was most of the time, the one food that sounded good was Arby’s, which was also the only food I ever wanted when I was on chemotherapy.  I had all but forgotten about that until Arby’s came back into my life during week 7.  Note: Arby’s restaurants are a lot more scarce on the west coast than in the mid west.  (Which made combatting “crashing” extremely difficult.)
Week 8, Wednesday June 26th, 2013
  • Ultrasound.  1st ultrasound!  Excitement!  But also….a little fear.  This is when we get to see and hear the baby for the first time.  It’s supposed to be harder for me to carry a baby to term.  Will everything be okay?
  • TWINS!!: My Grandma has told me my whole life I was going to have twins because there have been twins in every single generation in her family, and I was her only granddaughter.  When I started dating D, I found out he has twin cousins, as I do.  I started to think maybe my Grandma would be right.  As D and I were heading in to the OB apt for the ultrasound, he said something about “the baby,” and smiling, I said, “You mean ‘they?'”  I just knew it was a strong possibility.  As we sat down for the ultrasound, D looked a little pale.  I asked him, “Are you nervous?”  He answered, “Well, now!  It probably IS twins!”  As soon as the Dr. put the ultrasound on me, I could see multiple babies on the screen.  I couldn’t believe it.  Everything we thought would be hard to happen was happening!  But then, I started to freak out a little in my head!  Was there more than two?!  At this point, D could only see fuzz on the screen.  Then the Dr. says, “Uh oh….how many babies are there……???”  D starts to panic as well in his head, “Please not more than two!”  The Dr. counts 2 babies.  I make her re-check.  She confirms, “I am checking from every angle…only two.”
  • Family reactions. We called our parents right after the ultrasound (well, after picking up some pregnancy Arby’s).  My mom seemed to have dropped the phone and then screamed for about 5 minutes straight.  Then she had people running in to her room to make sure she was okay, and she was screaming at them about the twins.  We couldn’t understand the rest of the conversation.
Week 9
Week 10

  • Ligament stretching.  I start to experience horrible and terrifying cramps that leave me unable to walk or move.  If I lay still in one position with a hot rice bag on my belly, I can handle them.  I call the OB to make sure nothing bad is happening.  She assures me this is known as “ligament stretching,” and that in fact, I’m going to feel it worse than a “singleton” pregnancy because my uterus knows it has to stretch out to make room for 2 babies. 🙂  I think this was when my belly really started to change for the first time.  It wasn’t as flat before, but now it was starting to expand and harden.  D and I could see the difference, but you still won’t be able to tell over the clothes for quite a few weeks yet.  Note:  We didn’t have any hot rice or bean bags to ease the pain so D filled his biggest and thickest sock with rice from our pantry, and put it in the microwave.  It worked like a charm. 🙂

Week 12:
7/22/13

  • Nursery.  D says “nursery” for the first time when we get the keys to our 1st apartment for just the two of us.  “This room will be perfect for a nursery.” 🙂 🙂 🙂  I love him!
Week 13-14
  • 2nd trimester.  As the 1st trimester comes to a close, a few things start to come back in to my life, which make both D and I very happy.  Energy is higher, appetite is better because any sickness is all but vanished; and with sickness gone, aversion to other activities is out the window as well. 😉
Week 18, 4 1/2 months
  • Skin Stretching.  I know.  Gross, right?  Up until now, I have mostly gotten away with not looking pregnant, and definitely not needing new clothes yet.  But huge changes are happening to my body like…right now.  I’m convinced it’s all going down this week.  A couple days ago, my body started to itch all over, but mostly confined to the areas that are definitely going to stretch.  At first, I was handling it with lotion, but it got worse.  Yesterday morning, I actually sent an email to my OB about the itching that ended with, “Help me!”  Clothes and sun made the itching worse, so I avoided both.  Then the Dr. called me in the afternoon and told me some better lotions to get, (Bio Oil is very good), and also wrote me prescriptions for antihistamines and a steroid cream, both of which I haven’t felt compelled to use quite yet, as she acted like they were only for a last resort.  Also this week, I have started to notice a difference in the way my regular pants fit for the 1st time.  They are starting to feel tighter, which isn’t too bad yet, but I’m afraid it’s not good for the babies to wear constricting pants, so I’m turning to skirts and dresses until I can replace my pant wardrobe with new, comfortable, maternity pants! 🙂  My dad actually bought me my 1st pair of maternity jeans a couple of weeks ago, so those will be a good start. 🙂  I have this feeling that next week I’ll be double the size I am right now, and be confused as to how that happened so fast!
Week 20
  • BOYS!  We go to get our “anatomy ultrasound” at a special lab, and they first tell us Baby A is a…….BOY!
Baby A

Then they tell us all about Baby A.  Meanwhile I’m dying, and she finally says, “Oh , did you want to know what Baby B is?  Baby B is a…..BOY!

Baby B! (Each baby gets their own announcement)
Week 31

I changed a lot in size between weeks 20 & 31. 🙂

 

  • Nosebleeds
Week 32
  • Cervix is 80% effaced.  Pulled from work and modified bedrest.  Surprise!
Week 33
  • Still 80% effaced, and now 2 cm dilated.  Put on a more strict bedrest of only getting up to use the restroom and go back to the doctors.  Have been given 2 steroid shots in the past 2 days for lungs in case the boys are born within the next week.  Go on progesterone and nifedipine to keep those babies in there, which works for 4 WEEKS! 🙂
Week 37

  • Go in to the doctor, and he tells me since I made it to 37 weeks, and the babies are projected at well over 5 lbs, that I can be taken off bedrest, and do whatever I want.  So that day, I drive my Mom to a shoe store to get her a new pair of running shoes.  The moment we got back home, my water broke, and the twins were born 7 hours later!  Again, I know I am blessed!

 

Headed to the hospital!
1st ever family pic. 🙂
Week 38

 

Why To Run/How To Enjoy Yourself While Running

Here we have some standard jokes often seen on Facebook, imgur, or Pinterest concerning running.

I also often hear people ask the question, “Who actually LIKES running?!”  But I would like to ask the question, why is running such a horrifying hobby?  There are tons of blog posts already written and prepared for you about “How to Run” or “How to train for a 5k, 10k, Half-Marathon, or Marathon.”  This blog post is going to be about, Why to run,” and hopefully you can also glean from it some tips on “How To Enjoy Yourself While Running.”

 Why I Enjoy Running So Much

For my entire life running has been nothing but an enjoyable experience for me, and I guess I should be grateful that it has been.  As mentioned in the previous blog post, one of my earliest memories involves racing my dad and brother around our house.  My dad got my brother and me started with sprinting short distances and racing each other basically as soon as we could walk.  In addition, our grandpa started us on long-distance running very early in life.

My grandpa Monnin was a marathon runner.  As a side tangent, he has won more races than anyone I know.  He won 1st place in his age group for the Columbus marathon when he qualified for the Boston marathon.  If you should ever find yourself at his house, and it is your 1st time there (or 2nd, and then 3rd, like D), he will undoubtedly gesture towards the basement, and mutter, “Come on, I have somethin’ to show ya.”  He will then bring you downstairs into his trophy room and dazzle you with more trophies and medals than you have ever seen.  The truly amazing thing is he could sit there and tell you a story to go with every single medal and trophy; he remembers.  Seeing the trophy room has been an initiation for all significant others who have had the pleasure of coming over to Gma and Gpa’s house.

My cousins, dad, brother, and me running Grandpa’s very last Turkey Trot with him, when he was 81.  He placed 1st in his age group. 🙂

So, when I was about 6, making my brother about 9, my grandpa Monnin started training him for a 1 mile fun-run in Piqua, which all my cousins and I also ran for our very first race.  It was a sort of rite of passage with Gpa.  To help my brother train for this race Gpa came over to our house, drove 1/2 mile down the road, grabbed a gallon of orange paint, dumped a glob on the road, and told my brother to run to there and back.  I love when he does crazy things like that.  That glob of orange paint stayed on the road for a long time, and I remember also using it as a run marker.

My brother and my cousins in their 1st races with Grandpa.  I was too young yet. 🙂

Then in 6th grade, something happened that had a huge impact on why I run today.  Our science teacher, probably my favorite 6th grade teacher, had us playing a game of ‘2 truths and lie.’  As a truth, I threw in that I was running a mile a day with my grandpa.  Our 6th grade science teacher was the high school and junior high cross-country coach.  When my statement was revealed as a truth, he immediately recruited me for his cross-country team.  I figured if this guy could make science fun, he could probably make running pretty fun too.  Plus, I just wanted to be a runner like grandpa.  Though nothing contributive came out of that recruitment for the coach, I am forever grateful I ran cross-country for 6 years.  There were obviously the serious runners and then there were the “social” runners, which was the category in which I immediately and happily placed myself.  Every practice for me was a chance for a great conversation with another one of the more “social” runners.  Anyone who knows me well would understand my feeling of, “how could I not love that?!”  Running with the CC team taught me 3 things: Endurance, pacing, and lastly and most importantly, that running can be an enjoyable experience.  Not only did I have awesome and entertaining teammates, but also an AMAZING coach who made every practice new, fun, and adventurous…for 6 years.

All through college, I used running as a way to make new friends, catch up with friends, and of course attempt to knock off the freshmen 15.  Fast forward eight more years, and now I live in California!  What is different about running in California?  It is always running weather!!!  In Ohio, some might say (except for Grandpa, of course) that running is contingent on weather or treadmill access, but for the past two years I’ve lived in San Jose, it has not yet been too cold, too wet, or too icy to go running!  Granted, the last few weeks of summer have brought rather hot days, where one would prefer to run at night, but it is never nearly as hot as it was when I left Cincinnati.

Another thing different about running in California, for me, are the running trails.  You can usually reach a paved running trail from wherever you live, which is shaded and not cement, so it’s amazing, but occasionally we’ll drive out to do some trail running at a place called, “Rancho San Antonio.”  You basically run up a mountain, and then back down again, but if you have an amazing husband who will agree to push and pull you up the mountain like mine does, then it’s really not that bad. 🙂  Also, when you get to the top, you get to see amazing views of the Bay Area.

Sean took this picture of D and I at the top of Rancho in March of 2012.

This picture marks the beginning of my half-marathon training for the Cincinnati Flying Pig.  My brother told me at Christmastime if I wanted to fun (whoops, Freudian writing) the half, he would run it with me.  Then, D started running ridiculous distances to train for Tough Mudder, and I didn’t want to be left in the dust when I showed up in Cali, so I would try to run however far D told me he ran. Pretty soon into doing so, I realized I might as well keep it up, and start training for the Cincinnati half.  So, I called my brother and took him up on his offer.  Training with my brother was probably one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had running.  Now, I’m usually known to be behind the times, and I had refused for the longest time to listen to music using ear buds because I learned in all my audiology courses how ridiculously terrible ear buds are for your hearing long-term.  But then I discovered early into my half-marathon training that running with music actually changes the entire experience.  Music gives me the power to run twice the distance I was planning to run, in faster times!  Plus, I figured out pretty fast that if you run somewhere where you’re not bothering other people, you can just listen to the music via your phone speakers and not destroy your hearing.  I love listening to music so much that sometimes I find it hard to get out of my car because the radio DJ is doing an incredible job playing my favorite songs back to back.  Well it turns out, if I take those same songs and put them on my phone to listen to while I’m running, I then find myself wanting to run longer and longer just to keep listening to my playlist!  It rocks!  So my brother and I would meet once a week for our long run and listen to running playlists that ranged from Lion King to Disturbed.  The whole time we ran we would be singing and dancing along with the songs.  Not only was it the most fun running ever, but it also had to have improved our lung capacities.

On Sunday May 6th at 6:30am, my brother and I ran the Cincinnati Flying Pig Half Marathon.  There was entertainment at every mile marker, and we could hear music almost the whole way.  Needless to say, it was SO. MUCH. FUN!!!  There were people cheering along the entire course as well.  Talk about encouragement!  They had some really great signs, “You’ve been running longer than Kim Kardashian’s marriage!”  “There’s free beer and lower taxes at the end!”  My brother and I ended up accomplishing our goal of running an average pace in under 10-minute-miles, and thanks to my brothers’ patience, we got to finish together. 🙂

My brother and I after our 13.1 🙂

To summarize “why to run,” I think a good reason to run is because it has the power to be an enjoyable experience, and also provides a good chance to bond with people.  If the word, “run,” is too daunting, then why not walk?  Now “how to enjoy yourself” during this process is to find your best friend, your significant other, or someone you’ve been meaning to catch up with for a long time, and ask them if they might want to go for a run or walk.  Find your favorite music that gets you pumped, and just let loose.  I do not run for the reasons most people assume one would run.  I do not run because I am in some kind of amazing shape that classifies me as “a runner.”  I do NOT have a “runner’s body.”  I was built short and stout.  I run because I always have fun, I always feel incredibly pumped while doing so, and I always get to have the feeling that I accomplished something after every run.

My grandpa, husband, me, dad, and my twins getting to run their 1st and only 5K with their Great-Grandpa! 🙂  🙂