Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Negative FFN! No Steroids Needed!

Well after not the greatest news at our appointment yesterday, the FFN test came back negative! Huge shock and awesome surprise. This means I have less than a 1% chance of delivering in the next two weeks. The doctor is going to keep me on bed rest for now and continue the home monitoring, but I won't need the steroids. Huge sigh of relief!

Barr babies are trying to give their mommy gray hair through a series of mini panic attacks. Glad we bought some time though!


What a Negative Test Result Means

A negative test result means you have a less than 1% chance of giving birth in the next two weeks,1 which can give you peace of mind and can help you avoid unnecessary drug treatment, bed rest, and hospitalization. This knowledge can provide reassurance so you can get on with your current activities without worry and you don't need to cancel plans unnecessarily.

  • The vast majority of women will get a negative test result, indicating that no fetal fibronectin is "leaking" into the vagina
  • A negative test result gives you 99.2% assurance that you will not deliver in the next two weeks

What you can do next

After the test, if you still have symptoms or concerns, talk to your doctor — the test can be repeated as often as every two weeks from weeks 22 to 35 of your pregnancy. Also, be sure that you know the symptoms of premature labor and what to watch for.

Monday, April 29, 2013

29 week check up

Saw the doctor again today. Appointment was okay.

I am 1 cm dilated and 60 percent effaced (cervix is thinning). This isn't great news, but you can stay at 1 cm dilated for a while before delivery. As a precaution though, I am going to get steroid shots tomorrow and Wednesday to help develop and mature the babies' lungs. The doctor said its very possible I could still make it to 35 or 36 weeks, or I could deliver sooner. The unknown factor makes me so nervous!

Again, for now my goal is 32 weeks. I'm still on bed rest and drinking lots of fluids. If I can make it to 34 weeks, the chance of any long term problems for the babies would basically be non existent and its possible they wouldn't have any (or a lot) of NICU time. Before that though, the doctor said plan on them staying in the NICU until their due date (which is July 13!) Trying not to think about that though.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

29 week twin belly

Babies are the size of butternut squashes!

So happy to make it another week. Hanging in there but so sick of bed rest and worrying. We'll find out more at the doctor's office on Monday.
29 week twin belly

twin belly pics

Friday, April 26, 2013

Bed Rest Blues

Today makes two weeks of modified bed rest. My overall opinion of bed rest is that I do not like it.

I am so bored. There is only so much TV a girl can watch. I have almost finished the first season of Lost. I know I am about ten years behind the times, but hey. Here are my thoughts: What's up with the hatch? And those numbers? Is there a T-rex on the island? Is Charlie going to discover the heroin and relapse? What's up with Claire's baby? Why is the Korean husband guy (Jin?) such a jerk? How come Lock can walk now? Are Kate and Jack going to hook it up or what? So many questions.

It's also hard b/c there is so much that needs to be done before the babies come. I can't even go to the store to return a few things. And I need to find a diaper bag and pick out a nursing bra and tank. Obviously I am a big fan of online shopping but some things you need to be able to see in the store.

I've been able to at least sort and wash the baby items. Every day I prepare a load for Darren and then he brings them upstairs after they are washed. I've been sorting everything into bins by age group and I have all the blankets, bibs, burp cloths, slings, car seat covers, sheets, etc. washed. So that's something.

So it's been exactly two weeks since the positive FFN test. From what I've read online, a positive means you have a 30 to 50% chance of going into labor in the two weeks following a positive. Luckily we are now at that two week mark and no labor. I'm not really sure what that means then moving forward. Guess we'll find out when we see the doctor on Monday. For now, I keep hooking up to the monitor twice a day. I usually have one to three contractions in an hour, though I did have seven once (I had to drink water, lay down, and re-test, and the second test only showed one luckily.). The goal is to stay under four an hour.

Being a hormonal pregnant women (times two) and having to worry every day about going into early labor is tough emotionally. I am just so scared and nervous every single day and freaking out over every little sensation in my body. At least the girls are moving a lot. I've been doing kick counts where you track how many times you feel movement. The goal is to feel ten kicks in an hour. I usually feel ten kicks in less then fifteen minutes, one time it only took a minute and a half. So they are good and active.

29 weeks tomorrow. If I could make it to 32, I would be so happy. 35 would be better though. And 37 would be even better than that. I just don't want my little ones to have to be in the NICU for weeks on end.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Baby shower!

Diaper cake made by my mother in law!
My baby shower was this Sunday. And yes the doctor gave me permission to come off bed rest and attend, I just had to stay seated for most of it. It was such a nice shower and people were so generous!

My sister was in charge and did a great job of getting everything together. She got a lot of help from the rest of the family with the decorations and food so it was a group effort!

There were so many cute little girl outfits from everyone. It makes me so excited for the girls to get here and dress them up.
The food table (sans food).

Dr. Seuss Thing 1 and Thing 2!
I was able to get (mostly) everything left on my registry after the shower with the gift cards I've gotten. Big delivery should be coming from Target/Babies R Us in the next few days! I guess we are pretty much ready for the babies? Except that the house looks like an episode of hoarders. The entire living/dining room is just covered with baby stuff. As soon as the nursery is done (painting is finished, just waiting on carpet! Dresses are painted too!) we'll be able to put most of it away and that will help. And by we'll, I mean Darren since the doctor said I'm not even allowed to climb stairs.

Dr. Seuss theme.

Twin facts, home made cake pops and baby bottle center piece.

Costco cake - so yummy!

Twin bassinet with my childhood Cabbage Patch twin dolls. They were a bit dirty, ha.

Chair for bed rest girl.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

28 week twin belly

28 week twin belly

Babies are the size of Chinese cabbage this week.

28 weeks was my second major goal (24 being the first). Next goal is 32 weeks!

So I've been on bed rest for a little over a week now and I am going a bit stir crazy. It is super boring and a little disheartening. I have to hook up to a home monitoring machine twice a day to check for uterine activity. I've had a few contractions but nothing major enough to go to the hospital. I guess its comforting every time they tell me it looks good. But it is still scary having to be monitored so closely!

Tomorrow is my shower and the doctor gave me permission to go, thankfully.She said as long as I stay seated for most of it and refrain from walking around.  Last week my co-workers had a surprise duel shower for me and the other Maggie who was 38 weeks pregnant. It was really nice with Pot Belly sandwiches, a milkshake and homemade cookies. We also got a very generous gift card to Babies R Us.

On Thursday night the doctor let me go to our birthing class which was a tour of Fairview Hospital as long as I used a wheel chair. I really like Fairview Hospital and the rooms seemed really big. Hopefully though we won't be delivering there too soon!

twin belly growth
Add caption

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bar of soap in sheets for leg cramps?

So a lot of pregnant women get awful leg cramps/charlie horses in the middle of the night. I've only had one really bad one but I read that regular exercise usually keeps them at bay. Which is comforting news until you get put on bed rest and your only exercise consists of getting up to pee 50 times a day.

My mom told me a trick she heard from my Aunt Phyllis who swears by this home remedy. Put a bar of soap between your mattress and your sheets and you won't have leg cramps anymore. Something about the magnesium in the soap. I was a little skeptical but if you Google anything about it, you'll find a ton of posts and articles. Even snopes.com said it can't determine if its true or not. So I've been sleeping with a bar of soap under my sheets for the past few days. No leg cramps yet....

Saturday, April 13, 2013

27 week twin belly

27 week twin bellyBabies are the size of a head of cauliflower.

This was a tough week. I feel super pregnant and giant and am pretty uncomfortable. I've been getting heart burn the last few weeks, my fingers and feet are starting to swell a little and my back is still hurting. Ugh. On top of all this, I am now on modified bed rest because of the FFN test. I was really bummed to miss my yoga class today. Going to focus on taking it easy this week.

On the upside, the girls are super active and doing really well. It is the weirdest feeling when they both move at the same time and I can see my belly stick out in two different places.

Ten more weeks till full term twin pregnancy. Since the doctor won't let me go longer than 38 weeks, they'll be here within 11 weeks (or sooner!). Really crazy thinking about that.
twin belly photos

Positive FFN Test

After such a good check up yesterday, I was surprised when my doctor called me at 3 pm to tell me the fetal fibronectin test (FFN) was positive. She told me I needed to go to the hospital immediately and they were going to monitor me for contractions. My first reaction was to cry and panic but I remembered in my birthing class them talking about how important it is not to freak out for the baby (or babies in my case) so I tried to chill out. I actually felt oddly calm.

Anyway, I went up to Fairview Hospital and they hooked me up to some machine to monitor both babies and to see if I was having any contractions. No contractions for an hour so they sent me home. My doctor wants to set up home monitoring (pending insurance approval) over the next two weeks to check for contractions and I got placed on modified bed rest. For modified bed rest, I'm still allowed to get up and out of bed/off the couch, just not a lot. I can still go to my shower, and even my pedicure appointment, as long as I am sitting down for most of the time. No more long walks, yoga or water aerobics though. The doctor also strongly recommended working from home so I'll have to check with my work and see what the policy is there.

But babies are still healthy and doing well and for the moment there doesn't seem to be any indication I'll go into preterm labor. Fingers crossed.

More info about FFN below.

From the March of Dimes website:

Fetal fibronectin (called fFN) is a protein that acts like a kind of glue. It helps the amniotic sac attach to the lining of your uterus (womb). The amniotic sac is inside the uterus. Its holds your baby and is filled with amniotic fluid.

Your body makes fFN early in pregnancy (up to 22 weeks) and again at the end of pregnancy (about 1 to 3 weeks before labor starts).

The fFN test measures how much fFN is in the fluids of your vagina (birth canal) and cervix. The cervix is the opening to the uterus that sits at the top of the vagina.

What do the test results mean? 
If the fFN test shows you don’t have any fFN, you probably won’t have your baby for another 2 weeks. Even if the test shows you do have fFN in your fluid, it doesn't mean you’re going to have preterm labor or birth.

If you have fFN in your fluid, your provider also may use information from ultrasound or other tests to predict your chances of preterm labor. For example, if you’re between 24 and 34 weeks and have fFN in your fluid, you’re at increased risk for preterm labor. If you have symptoms of preterm labor, your provider may recommend taking it easy, taking medicines to help prevent preterm labor or getting corticosteroids for your baby. Corticosteroids are medicines that help speed up your baby’s lung development.

Friday, April 12, 2013

26 week check up

We saw both the regular OB and the specialist today.

Baby A is head down and on the right (all this time I thought Baby B was moving, it's been A). She weighs 2 lbs 2 oz (30.9 percentile) with a heart rate of 166.

Baby B is butt down (breached) on the left, weighing in at 2 lbs 3 oz (38th percentile) with a heart rate of 160.

Ultrasound #10, Baby B
There's still time for them to flip, but the doctor said its a good sign that Baby A is head down at this point. By the next specialist appointment (four weeks) we should have a better idea. If they stayed like this though, I could deliver vaginally as opposed to a c-section.

At our birthing class last night, we were talking about all the different medications and interventions they can give you during labor. I was talking to the nurse about our unique situation and what our options could be. The hospital really doesn't like it when a twin mom opts not to have a epidural in case they need to do an emergency c-section. The nurse suggested asking the doctor about the possibility of having the catheter placed in my back so I'm ready for the epidural, but waiting to turn the medicine on until I absolutely need it. This made me feel a lot better. I'm not against having an epidural - I've just always wanted to see how it goes and wait until I really needed it and try maybe to go without one. Anyway, my doctor said that was absolutely a possibility so we are going to try that (if I don't have a planned c-section).

My cervix is closed and long (3.5 cm) and they did another FFN test today which I am assuming will be negative. So everything is looking really good for now!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cribs, twin meeting and crazy dreams

Came home from work last night and saw two giant boxes from Target leaning against the garage. The Syracuse girls purchased two cribs for us! Super nice. Can't wait to see them set up in the finished nursery.

Graco Lauren Classic Crib from Target x2. Photo from Target.
Went to another meeting for the Westshore Mother of Twins Club last night. I was talking with a women who I met at the January meeting and was 20 some weeks pregnant. She delivered her girls at 31 weeks and they've been in the NICU for five weeks, with no release date in the near future. She said she had received a negative FFN test that very morning but than her water broke. I felt so bad for her, she looked super drained and exhausted.

I had a dream about going into early labor last night (which I worry about constantly), probably because of talking to the other twin mom. But of course it was a pregnancy hormone weirdo dream so the babies were gingerbread cookie people and not babies. And instead of going to the hospital, I delivered at home and then decorated the cookies with frosting and displayed them on plates. I also took pictures and posted them to Facebook. Then I put them into pink mittens to keep them warm and finally called the doctor who was not pleased that I took the time to put frosting all over them before calling her. I also kept having dreams last night that my teeth were breaking into pieces and I kept saving the pieces in napkins in the fridge. Somewhat a relief when the alarm went off at 6:40 am.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Best pregnancy apps

For those of you obsessed with your iphones and ipads (guilty), I am sure you'll want to download a million pregnancy apps.

Here are my favorites.

Pregnancy trackers:

    best pregnancy apps
  • What to expect when you're expecting (weekly update, daily updates)
  • Baby Center (weekly update, daily updates, community message boards)
  • Baby Bump (weekly update, daily updates)
  • Web MD Pregnancy (This is the only one that works for twins! You can add that you have two babies on the way and it will automatically tailor it towards multiples.)

Baby names:

  • Baby names by sevenlogics - search through top names by gender for different years, save your favorites
  • Baby names by Schatizsoft - not as good as other app, but also includes twin names and last name search

Pregnancy food no-nos:

  • I can never remember the rules about eating fish so this has been really helpful b/c I can pull it up on my phone at a restaurant or grocery store. It does have a few weird things on there to avoid like mayonnaise which I've never heard before (maybe homemade would be bad?)
Fertility tracking:
  • If you are trying to get pregnant, download fertility friend. It will help you track ovulation, temps, CM, etc and suggest your most fertile days based on your data/history.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

26 week twin belly

26 week twin bellyBabies are as long as an English hothouse cucumber, which means about 14 inches long and 1 3/4 to 1 2/3 pounds each (in case you aren't terribly familiar with English hothouse cucumbers).

I am always surprised by how much more they move each week. Every five to ten minutes now I feel one of them move, and its getting a lot stronger. It's pretty easy now for Darren or other people to feel them move. I can't tell for sure, but it seems like Baby B moves around a lot more than Baby A. She's always been on the right side at every ultrasound, and I feel the most movement in the upper right part of my belly.

We had another birthing class Thursday night. We watched an actual labor video in this class. Pretty gross. The last half hour we did breathing exercises and birthing positions while our support person rubbed our shoulders and backs. The teacher also had the men pinch us again to simulate contractions. I am not a big fan of that.

I *think* I may have felt my first Braxton Hicks contraction Friday night. I panicked for a moment wondering if I was going into super early labor. But it went away after I chugged a glass of water.

I'm getting pretty uncomfortable now. Bending over to pick things up off the floor is starting to be a challenge  and today was the first day my yoga class was pretty hard. Some of the moves are difficult with a giant belly in the way. I just keep telling myself, 9 more weeks (based on average twin pregnancy length of 35 weeks). I polled the girls in my twin group on facebook and most delivered around 35 to 37 (with a few super early deliveries around 26 or 28 weeks, and a few that went to 39 or even 40) and it seems about half of the babies spent time in the NICU. Hoping we get lucky and bipass that!

Remember 21 weeks ago when I looked like this?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Craigslist Steals

I am now a professional Craigslist shopper. I had never bought anything before this pregnancy (much to the horror/amusement of my cousin Anne who helped walk me through my first purchase! She is a huge bargain shopper/fashionista, check out her fashion blog.) but now I've bought a few things. Basically any baby thing you need can be found on craigslist. My sister in law Shannon is also a pro-Craigslist shopper so she's been helping me find some good deals.

So far, we got a second swing for $40 (looks brand new, retails at $179.99 at Babies R Us) and two Graco car seat bases for Darren's truck ($20 each, retails new around $50 each).

This week, I bought all the toys below for $50:

From the same seller, I also bought a huge bag of girls clothes 3 to 6 months and girls clothes 6 to 9 months. Here's a picture of the girls clothes 6 to 9 months. Each bag was $60.

Monday, April 1, 2013


People have been asking me about what my cravings have been. For the most part, I wouldn't really say I've had anything super weird or really intense. The first trimester was all about carbs. Pasta, pizza, bread, etc. It was all delicious. Here are a few of the other things I've been craving off and on:

  • Pineapple -- Sometimes when Darren is at band practice, I open a can and eat the entire thing in one sitting. Sometimes I eat half of it after opening the can while standing in the kitchen. 
  • Mango -- I think I ate mango everyday for about three weeks, so good! Thankfully they've kept them in stock all winter long at the grocery store so I've been having it at least a few times a week.
  • Papaya -- When the grocery store had only two mangos the other day, I bought a giant papaya and have been so excited about it. I'm not sure
    Pregnancy cravings.
    Photo from Target. Graham crackers not sold online.
    I've ever had this fruit before but when I eat it the girls seem to go crazy kicking around so they must like it too. 
  • Graham Crackers -- Yesterday on Easter I made Darren go to Walgreen at 9 pm to get me Graham Crackers. This might be the first weird thing that I've actually felt compelled to send the husband out in the middle of the night to purchase.
  • Yogurt shakes -- Milk, fruit, yogurt, peanut butter, flax seed, honey, etc.
  • Eggs -- Two a day for breakfast usually.
  • Sandwiches -- Roast beef with melted cheese and tons of veggies.
  • Tortillas -- We've been having a lot of these for dinners with meat/cheese/lettuce/veggies/beans/etc wrapped inside. 
  • Milk -- I just want a giant glass of milk all the time.
  • Hot fudge sundae/milkshake -- I haven't been too obsessed with ice cream but anytime its offered, I certainly don't pass it up. There have been some definite ice cream moments though. If anyone has been craving ice cream, its been Darren. And if he's getting a milk shake, well I'm getting one too! Sympathy cravings! 
  • Cereal -- Multi-grain cheerios mostly. 
  • Peanut butter with celery -- I could eat this snack every day.  
  • Cheese -- I've been buying bars of cheddar and monterrey jack.  
  • Mac cheese -- I almost never let myself eat Kraft macaroni and cheese b/c its so bad for you, but I've had it a few times (okay several times) during my pregnancy with a can of tuna mixed into it. Tuna is healthy though, so I guess that sort of balances it, right?
  • Chocolate -- Well duh, of course I want chocolate. But I love chocolate whether I'm pregnant or not so this isn't a huge shocker. 
Looking over this giant list, I guess I am just craving everything! And for the record, I think pickles are disgusting and would never dip them in ice cream.