May 21, 2014

25 weeks and so much toilet paper. My list of things no one tells you about pregnancy!

Happy 25 Weeks! I am enjoying my first week off of work. Perhaps a little too much since I'm blogging in my jammies at 2 in the afternoon. But I'm exhausted and deserve a little down time. So, I'm going to start my list of things that no one ever tells you about pregnancy. There are a million of them out there already and yet still I learn something new all the time.  Today my big revelation was thanks to toilet paper. So here we go. My list of things no one tells you about pregnancy:

1) Buy stock in toilet paper - I seriously had no idea how much money I would spend on it over the course of my 8 month pregnancy and it's been a shock. I now know I can only buy Scott 1000 (everyone's favorite, right?) simply because it's cheap and it lasts longer than one day. Being home all day I'm going through way too much for anything else! (This may not be the case for everyone though, I have two babies in me and might have Gestational Diabetes).

2) Brace yourself for bladder kicks and stomps - I know this is common and if you ask a mom she will tell you about it but I don't think there is a way to actually prepare a woman for this feeling. I will never forget the first time I got a swift kick in a half-full bladder and had to high-tail it to the bathroom only to barely go at all. Or the middle of the night repositioning (see #3) that wakes you up actually in pain because you have to pee so bad. Totally surreal and annoying at the same time.

3) Speaking of kicks, they aren't all you feel! There are real movements too (or as I call them: Baby Yoga seshes) - Kicks, kicks, kicks. All anyone ever talks about is kicks. I feel kicks. Right now at 25 weeks I feel them every 2-3 hours, all over or concentrated on one side. But I also feel something else that no one warned me about. I get hard little butts and heads poking right out of my belly while the girls rotate positions. And they hurt! Much like the night of my first L&D visit, it feels like my uterus is contracting when really it's just Baby A sticking her butt out as far as she can while she flips over. Or Baby B trying to wedge her head under my ribcage. Ouch!

4) You will leak - I won't go in to too much detail about this but just know that some women leak. A lot. Sometimes a little extra after you pee, sometimes as discharge, sometimes for no reason at all you will just be a little damp down there. It's obnoxious and can cause issues with comfort and feeling clean. Again, buy stock in liners and stock up on inexpensive cotton undies. Also, don't freak out unless it's a lot of fluid. If you think it's more than normal, call your Dr.

5) You might get stretch marks on that old piercing hole - My mom was awesome and hated seeing me depressed one summer after a bad breakup so she brought me to get my belly button pierced for my 16th birthday present. We picked a tasteful and cute stone and I loved it for years and years. I finally took it out in my mid twenties and let it close up. Now, I have exactly one stretch mark at 25 weeks and of course it's right over my old piercing hole. It's been pulled and distorted so much that you can hardly see the hole but the tell-tale brown stretch marks are definitely there. Damn my ex who broke my heart that summer (and who always told me how much he belly button piercings).

To be continued...


May 19, 2014

Turning the page...

Well, Friday was my last day of work. And today I woke up for the first time with swollen, achy feet and nausea for the first time since the first trimester. Hm.

Leaving my beloved job was so bittersweet. Unlike the few times I have left a job in the past, this was not an easy or welcome change. I absolutely love what I do and I have been truly blessed to have been a part of this program that I helped start and operate for the last four years. Caring for children is truly my calling and although now I begin the chapter of caring for my own I will truly miss each and every one of my babies and their parents, as well as my incredible boss and assistant.

Long story, but here's how we got where we are. Just about 5 and a half years ago C (who as my live-in boyfriend back then) and I were living out in Syracuse, NY where we met after I graduated from Le Moyne College. He was working in sales and I was a Nanny for two amazing kids and their widowed marketing manager mom. I loved what I did, despite the long hours and sometimes crazy work. It was during these three years as a Nanny that I started to think I might want to be a SAHM someday. The kids, K and C, were 3 and 2 when I started and I left just as C entered full-day kindergarten.

They were the sweetest, brightest and most fun kids I had cared for up until that point. Every day was a new adventure and I truly felt like I was making a difference in this family's life. My boss, J, lost her husband when the kids were just 1 and 3 to cancer. Six months later her "Mary Poppins" nanny who had helped them through his death was moving to Boston and we found each other on a type website. I didn't know how in the hell I was going to fill those shoes but I quickly learned that what this family needed most was someone who truly cared and was just willing to be there for them.

I was 22, single and a recent college graduate but I knew enough about child development and grief from my psychology degree and a part of me felt like I could actually help these kids. And help I did. J referred to me as her right hand and her co-pilot in life. I became not only the Nanny but the household manager, taxi service, life organizer, grief counselor and more. It was the most rewarding and fulfilling thing I had ever done, just being there for these three people who needed me.

It wasn't an easy decision to leave but they were ready to transition to part-time care and I was ready to move back to my hometown. I felt like I was missing so much of my family and hubby was stuck in a dead-end job that was losing hours and pay. We decided if we found a place and had the support of our families, as well as my Nanny family, we would go. We fell in love with the first apartment we looked at and moved 2 months later. 

I was sad to leave the kids and J but we all felt like it was perfect timing for all of us. Her work had slowed down and with both kids in school full-time I just wasn't needed anymore. Keep in mind this was back in 2009, just about the time the recession started hitting us up here in NY.  We weren't sure what we'd do once we got here but we had each other so thought we'd be fine!

Well, it took 3 months for me to find work, another 3 for C to find even a part-time gig. It was the most trying time in our lives and looking back now I really have no idea how we did it. I babysat for family and we had help from our parents and grandparents but going from making over $60k/year combined to nothing was insanely difficult, especially since the bills did not diminish along with our income! We stretched $150 worth of groceries for a month, didn't drive anywhere unless we absolutely had to and spent day in and day out searching for work.

Finally in December I applied for a job at a very small daycare and was blessed to be offered the job in the middle of the interview. That's where I met H who would be my assistant and who would later welcome me to operate her home daycare with her. We clicked instantly, despite the fact that she was a devout Catholic and I hadn't been to church in years. Our boss told us were the best thing to ever happen to her little daycare.

Then, about a month after I started working, we received word that the daycare would be closing in June along with the Catholic school it was housed in. I was crushed and, once again, terrified of what we would do. That's when H informed me of her plans to open her own daycare and wanted me to join her.

We opened her daycare as ours closed and we have been together ever since. I have learned so much from her, not only about caring for kids but about life, love and friendship. She has the most amazing spirit and her heart is so full of light, it spills on to everything she does.  I have always believed that everything happens for a reason and this just solidified my belief. If I had gotten one of the hundred other jobs I applied for in those three months I would have never met her, I would have never had the chance to do what I truly love, I would have never been able to care for my niece once she arrived in November of 2011, and I would not have the knowledge, skills or memories that I cherish because of her. I truly believe it was meant to be that I left my Nanny job when I did and that I happened to be on craigslist that morning and was able to apply for the job with H as soon as it was posted.

Leaving for the last time on Friday was so hard, even though I know that I am doing the best thing for me and the babies. It's not that I won't see them again. H is one of my best friends, in fact we were other there Saturday for dinner and A, my assistant, is my cousin. It's that I know I will never again have the experience I've had these last four years. To go to work every day and truly love what you do, that's a blessing. To sleep well knowing you've actually made a difference in someone's life, no matter how small, that's a blessing.  For four years I lived every day to the fullest and had the time of my life. I know I will care for other children in the coming years but I will never forget those that I cared for at this job. Our mission from day one was to serve and teach and we truly did, to the best of our ability and to the joy of all of our families over the years.

Again, it's bittersweet but I know I am doing the best thing for my babies. As if I needed another reminder that everything happens for a reason I just find it so funny that I woke up this morning with feet so swollen and achy I couldn't even have imagined putting my sneakers on! So instead of heading in to work I curled up on the couch with my kitties, watched some Call the Midwife and looked at more baby names! Don't worry, I will be plenty busy these next two months prepping for my little loves to arrive, but I think I have earned a morning off after the last four years :)


May 14, 2014

24 Weeks!

I can't find my camera to take a bump pic and they always come out bad from my phone but I really don't think I've grown much anyway. It's been an unveventful few weeks. Except for one thing that is:

We made it to 24 weeks!!!

Yes, that does deserve some old school bold, italics and underline effects.

You see, 24 weeks is essentially the starting point of true viability in most pregnancies. Babies have a higher chance of survival,with intervention, from this point on, until about 37 weeks when you are technically, safely full-term. This is especially wonderful for mono-di twins who seem to have a crazy way of coming super early. This isn't to say a baby born at 22 or 23 weeks wouldn't survive, just that the odds go way up after the 24 week mark. I am feeling so good and so happy we can celebrate this milestone.

Next is 28 weeks, where we start to exit the red zone and enter the yellow. 32 weeks is the start of the green zone and 35 is the goal.  Here we go!

The girls weigh 1 lb. 7 and 1 lb. 8 oz each, fluids look great, CPCs are all but gone and my cervix is measuring well. Baby A is head down and Baby B is breech but Dr. M assured me she would most likely turn.

I have been craving olives, raisin bran and big salads with cheese, olives and Italian dressing. I'm feeling really great and getting ready for my last day of work this Friday. It will be bittersweet and emotional but it's time to hang up my teacher hat and wear my mom one.


May 5, 2014

22 Weeks!

I forgot to update last Wednesday when I hit 22 weeks. They were technically 1 lb. at our appointment at 21 weeks so they might be a bit bigger now but better late than never! They are kicking up a storm and actually woke me up from a dead sleep yesterday morning when it felt like they were trying to kick their way out! It's pretty cool that Dad and I both got to feel them kick at the same time. I missed out on some earlier movements due to the positioning of my placenta but now I know what the fuss was all about! Sometimes it feels like there's a soccer game going on in there!

I'm feeling great despite difficulty getting comfortable enough to sleep at night. Our bed looks like a fortress with all the pillows I have right now. I hope to get a body pillow asap. Thanks to this I have started having a small bit of coffee during the day just to make it through. Work is getting harder but only two more weeks left. As sad as I am to be leaving what I love so much I know it is best for me and the babies that I get as much rest and preparation done while I still can.