July 29, 2014

The Nursery!

We finally finished the nursery with only one day to spare. I have to say I'm so in love.  I think it's perfect!

The decals are a mix of a big set from Wal-Mart and a smaller one from Target. They aren't exactly what I wanted but since we rent I just went with the cheapest, but prettiest options. Each girl has an owl over the head of her crib, lots of animals and flowers to look at. I know they won't even know what it is but I can't wait for them to see it.

My mom handpainted the rocking chair for me when I was a toddler.

I created a little reading nook in the space between the closet and Viv's crib. Well, it's less of a reading nook and more of a show of things I want my girls to have from my life! The shelf on top is full of my favorite books from my own childhood, all that's missing is my Goodnight Moon which my mom still has.  On the bottom shelf we put the woodland forest decorations Heather and the daycare kids gave us, their books and toys and the wish upon a star box my mom painted me. I guess this area is more for me than them if I'm being honest. I have to utilize my pinterest addiction somehow!

I love the cribs and changing table we got. We didn't look too hard, I knew I wanted the modern look and we were so lucky to score the Baby Mod Modena set from Wal-Mart.  I was originally going to use an old, low dresser but it wouldn't fit in the room. This is perfect and beautiful

 And finally the closet I'm pretty proud of. With such limited space in our house I needed a way to keep the girls' things together and organized. The left side is full of future stuff (toys, clothes, my childcare books) and the right side has all our baby gear like blankets, diapers, wipes, wraps, and my cloth diaper stash.

I am just so happy with it and I cannot wait to see my little girls in their cribs or to change their cloth diapers on there!

How did you handle a small nursery (even better, how did you do with with twins!?)


July 28, 2014

Finishing touches and a final freak out...

We went in to the hospital for my pre-op blood work this morning then had a nice lunch at a local bistro. I've been feeling really good, actually sleeping a bit despite the thunderstorms that rolled through last night, and we're planning to finish up some things today. After we got home we decided to relax for a little while and all of a sudden it hit me like a ton of bricks. This insane sadness and fear just came up and it literally knocked the wind out of me. I started crying and heaving and couldn't get a grip to even tell poor C what was wrong. Finally I was able to eek out that I was scared. He guessed it was of the surgery, which yes part of it is, but mostly of what comes after. For eight months I've been happy and excited and yes, at times afraid, but this was the first time I felt real fear. Fear of failure, fear of looking like a fool, fear of not being able to handle it... fear of everything that could possibly go wrong. It was all-consuming and it came out of nowhere and thankfully C was able to help me come out of it but it really got me thinking.

When I was younger my father used to have to remind me that I had no crystal ball in which to see the future so it made no sense to worry about the what ifs or the mights or the maybes. I never understood how people could just go through life happily when so much bad stuff could happen at any time. I stressed so hard about all the bad things that could happen that I often convinced myself that the worst thing I could do was even try. Thank God I had parents who learned early on that if they catered to this I'd never leave. They helped me cope, taught me how to handle my fears and helped me see that just because something can go wrong doesn't mean it will. In this case, my fears start with the surgery and go on, I'd assume like most parents, to include every aspect of the next 18 years of our lives. Ever since I watched some stupid show when I was a kid I've been convinced I'm going to bleed out during childbirth. This might be part of the reason why I chose a c-section (although considering I was originally going to try a homebirth who knows..). That could happen, it's one possibility, or it could all go perfectly. For the last 8 months I've been afraid that they will need to go to the NICU. That could happen, or they could be fine. What if I can't breastfeed? What if I hate this? What if I go crazy and do something bad? There are so many things that can go wrong and if I let them, my fears could absolutely consume me.

So today I'm desperately trying to keep my dad's advice in my heart. I have no crystal ball. I have no idea what's going to happen. For all I know the surgery could go super smoothly and the babies will be perfect and I will magically be good at this parenting thing and all of this anxiety would be for nothing, like it always is anyway.

I need to remember to be positive. In all things. My inability to see the future just means that I need to put more energy in to drawing positivity towards it. If I focus on what could go wrong I may be welcoming that. So I need to choose to focus on the good things, no matter how much my brain wants me to worry. That's my natural inclination and old habits die hard for me. I need to choose positivity, light, happiness and goodness. The last thing I want is my kids' last days inside me to be filled with anxiety.

So today I choose to look forward with my head high, no tears in my eyes and my heart full of hope for the future. I'm glad I don't have a crystal ball because I can't wait to actually experience all that this new chapter of my life has to offer. I'm going to finish the nursery, get those car seats in the car finally and maybe even start the letters to the girls I've been meaning to write. I can't promise I won't be heaving some sighs and pushing the bad thoughts away but I am going to try my hardest not to let the dark clouds in. No matter what, at the end of the day, this is absolutely a magical moment in our lives and I won't let myself ruin it! And if I find myself slipping I just remind myself of my own advice: fake it 'til you make it!

Were you a nervous wreck in the final days of your pregnancy? Any freakouts like me?


July 25, 2014

FIAO 1.3 - Transporting The Twins

We got our carseats and strollers at the shower and I finally got around to getting them all out of the boxes. The stroller we chose - Graco Fast Action Fold Double - was pretty easy to put together and I was surprised at how light it is. I have a hard time opening it but I'm not trying too hard while I'm pregnant. I also worry about how hard it is to get the seats in when I'm by myself but again, not stressing it too much right now. All in all I'm pleased with it, although a little worried it won't fit through a lot of doors!  People say it's generally not a problem but we will see just how practical it is.

The carseats are great, super light and easy to install and adjust. I have quite a bit of carseat knowledge and C has none but he was able to figure out how to adjust the straps and it's super easy to use (just click and go) so I have faith he will get it. We haven't installed the bases in our cars yet I'm getting on him to do that tomorrow though.

I am a little plastic wary of the equipment, probably because I drive a japanese car that just breaks so easily so I don't have a lot of faith in plastic. It just seems like everything is that cheapy type of plastic, but what did I expect when looking for something budget friendly. I have no doubt they will keep our girls safe and that the stroller will at least enable me to leave the house at some point.

We still need to get mirrors for the backseats but I'm looking online for those.

One thing is for sure - that first drive home is going to be one of the most terrifying moments of our lives! C joked that he will drive less than 50 on the highway and flip out on any asshole drivers. I feel safe in his car so hopefully there are no issues with our first few rides!

Final review of our choices coming up after we've had a chance to use everything a few times!


July 24, 2014

34 Weeks!

In less than one week we will officially be parents.

Wow is really all either of us can say these days. Although we've had nearly 8 months to prepare I don't think it really hit until this week that there will be two new tiny humans living with us. Our tiny humans. It's so bizarre for me to think about. I always wanted to be a mom and knew I would someday but I had no idea it would happen like this. I'm not like those twin moms who swear they had been praying for twins since 3rd grade or who even *just knew* there were two babies in there. Six months ago I laid on a table and just hoped to see a heartbeat and five minutes later there it was, our insta-family.

I started this blog with the aim of documenting my mono-di twin pregnancy, our journey into parenthood and life with identical twins. I thought I would have written more about the actual pregnancy but it's been so uneventful (although there are still three as yet unpublished posts about my visit to labor and delivery, our experience with the choroid plexus cysts and Baby A's kidney). I just hope I keep writing after they are here. I have a tendency to start things and then quickly forget about them when something more interesting comes along. I've started 3 other blogs, began writing 2 novels and read only four books in 2014 that are all 1/3 of the way finished. I also glamorize the idea of reliving memories but so rarely do it. I'm horrible at keeping a journal, remembering to take pictures of special moments and documenting important events. Hopefully this blog will make it easier for me to capture the memories while I work through the ups and downs of multiple parenthood.

Anyway, I can officially say the sleep deprivation might begin early for me. Although I am so exhausted I am also too anxious to fall asleep before two most nights. I keep reading I should be stocking up on sleep but I've never been able to get a good night before something changes. Every first day of school, job interview, even vacation I am lucky to get an hour or two in the night before. I knew the day I found out that I probably wouldn't sleep for the week before my due date. At least I get plenty of rest doing nothing all day!

We had our last appointments with Dr. M and Dr. K today and they are both thrilled. My second Non-stress test went beautifully. The girls measured about 5 lbs. each and Dr. M says they should be about 5 lbs. 6 oz. on Wednesday when we go in. Dr. K said this means they may not need to leave us. I've been preparing the whole time for at least a week of NICU time so to have them with us and come home with us would be amazing. I'm still not thrilled about delivering at 35 weeks but at this point I'm just ready to be done and I know they will be fine!

For now, we are enjoying our last few days of peace and quiet, talking a lot about those first few weeks at home, running diaper changing and bottle making trial runs. Their room is pretty much done and the house is ready as it will ever be. We're happy and ready and cannot wait to meet our girls!


July 21, 2014

FIAO 5.2 - Feeding The Twins

So I found out a few months ago that thanks to the ACA (ObamaCare) your health insurance company will cover a breast pump for you. This really took a huge chunk of worry for me out of breastfeeding and I've decided I'm definitely going to try my hardest to do it. Even if it's only for as long as I can handle. I've heard it gets better as you go so maybe I'll get over any initial bumps and be able to successfully do it for a year even. I know, I know, I said before that the idea of basically being a cow is horrifying to me but I really think if I'm able to pump and tandem nurse in the beginning and then establish a routine and produce enough to keep pumping (possibly leading to exclusively pumping) it might be doable in the long term. I'd really like to start caring for kids/working by November so it would definitely be best for me to have nursing sessions as infrequently as possible but still be able to feed my kids!  We will see how it goes, I'm actually pretty excited to try.

I ordered the Medela Pump In Style Double from Edgepark Medical Supply. The supplier themselves get mixed reviews but the pump is one of the best and I didn't have to wait to get a ride to the store to get it. I know the hospital has some Medelas too so I'm hoping to get a few lessons on that while I'm there.

We've started talking about the kinds of foods we want to feed when it's time to introduce solids. I always thought I would make my own baby food but then I discovered Baby Led Weaning. As much as I love the idea of it I feel like I'm one of those parents who will be too neurotic to actually feed my children anything so I'll just end up using purees anyway, but who knows? Maybe the girls will be naturally good at gumming and swallowing that I won't have to worry. I am also trying to decide if I will introduce oatmeal cereal at any point in the first year (no rice cereal here - here's why). I know a lot of people end up adding it to bottles to keep them fuller longer and knowing us we may fall prey to that temptation. I guess like everything else in this dance I'm keeping all my options open until it's time to decide.

We did end up finally getting some bottles though. I took my sister's advice and bought the Born Free classic bottles. They're a pain in the ass to handwash as there are 6 pieces to each bottle. I didn't really realize this because at the daycare we just threw all my niece's bottles in the dishwasher and put them together as needed. I would have preferred something with a few less parts but I also loved how they seemed to keep my niece's reflux at bay and helped with burping too. I can't wait to try them out (or for daddy to try at first of course!)

Just a few more days!


July 16, 2014

33 Weeks!

Excellent appointment this week at Dr. M. Girls are between 4 lbs 4 oz. and 4 and a half lbs. He is having a really hard time getting accurate measurements as they are very much running out of room!

I had a Non-Stress Test after my appointment because I explained that I wasn't feeling Baby B as much as I thought I should. Their heartbeats were great, they were both super active and although I had a few Braxton Hicks they said those were nothing to worry about. My sugars have been excellent as well. And the nurse told me that we were very lucky to have had quite the "uneventful" twin pregnancy! I feel very blessed.  It's getting hard to walk, sit or stand for very long and I'm up to two naps a day despite not doing anything. Sleeping is getting a little ridiculous, but I'm so thankful for my snoogle pillow which allows me to get at least a few hours of comfortable rest.  All in all it's just a typical twin pregnancy! 

Happy, Happy birthday to my Mom today. We went out to dinner to celebrate and once again I ate too much. Too much being about half of what I would have eaten a few months ago. I am so running out of room in there!  Just going to spend the next two weeks enjoying the peace and quiet, resting as much as I can and keeping these babies in as long as I can. Bets are coming in and a lot of people seem to think I won't make it one more week but I'm determined to have Leo babies so I hope will go until at least the 22nd! I had a feeling I might go on the 16th in honor of their Nova's birthday but so far nothing! Fingers crossed for a great two weeks!


July 14, 2014

FIAO 2.3 Diapering The Twins - What have I gotten myself into!?

Updated Stash Shot! This gives me so many feels (wow, did I really just write that?) Especially when I consider how little it has cost me to start! This is $400 worth of diapers that I've paid just over $180 myself for, thanks to help from family and friends!

I have this tendency to jump head first into things. I make decisions on impulse and almost all the time end up realizing, after the fact, that I've either forgotten about something I needed to consider or gotten in over my head. I tend to commit to things before fully understanding what it is I'm getting into. Sometimes this makes me regret a decision - like the times I waffle over buying something only to end up buying the wrong size or color or something, making the purchase worthless in the end, as it most often would have been anyway. I really don't feel that way about cloth diapering. Yet. But I am wondering what the hell I've gotten myself into...

It's kind of funny too because I've changed about a million diapers in my life. I know diapers. Disposable diapers (aka "sposies" in the CD community), that is. I know which brands work and what the faults are of most brands. I cringe at the sight of characters, unless it's Sesame Street. Minnie and Mickey are ok sometimes and same thing with the purple monkey, but it usually depends on the size and diet of the kid. I can out a dollar store diaper in a second. Despite these differences, you know what to do with a disposable, no matter what. And at the end of the day, they all have one purpose, way of prep, use and disposal.

 But I am a little overwhelmed and worried about whether or not this is really possible to do with twins. I know there are super mama's out there (tons of them!) who swear it's doable and so worth it and they give me hope that I can do it too. But the girls aren't even here yet and I'm already worried about a few things:

  1. My first concern is that there are so many types of diapers that come with all these rules to follow and tales of caution and... omg what if I cannot figure this out and I ruin everything?!! Seriously. I've got ~$150 of my own invested in this and just prepping them I'm totally freaked that I'm going to screw it all up before the girls are even here! I can honestly say that learning how to cloth diaper, possibly because of my knowledge of disposables, is like trying to teach yourself Chinese. My brain has no road map for this yet and it's taking me a bit to fully get it.  This is especially true when it comes to prepping, my next concern...
  2. Figuring out the "right" way to prep is nearly impossible thanks to the vast experiences shared on the internet. In the last two weeks I must have googled how to prep prefolds at least a dozen times. Despite reading not to on a few sites, I ended up just putting them all together in the machine, throwing in a little detergent and washing them on hot, twice, then in the dryer on hot. I did this a few times with my cotton prefolds and am going to do my bamboo ones tomorrow. I have no idea if the hemp ones were already prepped as they were free from a consignment sale. So far, everything is absorbing the water from my sink so yay?  Or maybe I just destroyed $50 worth of prefolds and inserts? And I just threw all my pockets, AIOs and covers in together and did a load on hot with a good amount of detergent and then laid them all out to air dry. Nothing seems ruined but again I won't know until I start using them! I'm hoping that in the end they will just hold some pee. Which leads us to...
  3. My main worry! What if they don't work or I can't figure them all out and it's all a waste!? I'm looking at my AIOs and they just don't seem like they won't leak on me. I have some AI2s (Tidy Tots) and I am positive the insert will not contain pee.  Don't even get me started on the prefolds. I've been practicing folds on a bear and they're just so big and bulky and don't seem like they'll ever actually fit my kids. At least not for the first year. I seriously wonder how so many people have such success! I guess that was why I bought I have every type you can have and yet I'm so afraid I won't be able to make any of it work.
So tonight, in an effort to make myself feel better, I organized everything to teach myself how to put them together and to get a feel for their sizes, ability and whatever. First things first, even without folding the prefolds and putting them in the covers it took me over an hour to get them all ready. Granted, I have 36 of them and I snapped every diaper to the smallest rise and closure. I won't do every time I just wanted a cute picture. I was still surprised at how long it took. I realized just how hard snaps are to do when you're not sure what goes where, especially with my poor GD pricked fingers! I can so see hubs or my mom just guessing and ending up with leaks.  Taking the time to prep, fluff, stuff and snap (and then organize into a rainbow of course) has taught me a few things though:
  • Pockets: I know they're wildly popular but I already hate stuffing them. It's a learning curve, I'm sure, but it's gonna drive me nuts unless I get a huuuuge supply of them to the point where I'm not doing laundry and stuffing them every single night. I also don't love the microfiber inserts (it feels weird on my fingers!) but I learned you can use a prefold to stuff the pocket, it's just a little bulkier. We will see.
  • AIOs: They really are the easiest but they also take the longest to dry and they kind of need to go in the dryer or they end up super stiff. The only AIOs I have though are newborn to get us eased in and a few One Sizes which I will be use for when other caregivers need to deal with it. This way they just take it off, put it in the bag and put a new one on.
  • AI2s: They seemed like the best choice to me but now I'm not so sure. It takes a bit to snap in the insert and the ones I have are aplix (velcro) which I'm not a huge fan of as I don't have much faith in it lasting very long. I also wonder if I will really be able to just snap out the insert and use another one. I will probably end up having two in rotation a day per baby, just like with the covers and prefolds.
  • Covers & Prefolds: My original go-to choice and they still are, although the prefolds and covers were a NIGHTMARE to prep!!! There are so many rules and ways to do the prep that I was terrified I'd ruin them somehow. They seem to have survived the prep though and now I am getting a hang of the folding and stuffing them. Just keeping my fingers crossed that they work!
  • Fitteds: I have four hemp fitteds that  I plan on using for overnight when the girls are a little older. They're a little bulkier than I thought they would be and the crotch area seems really wide but supposedly they're super soakers and will be worth it! They are getting bleached tomorrow and washed with some clothes after.
So there you have it. My worries so far and what I've managed to learn. Once again, we shall see where this journey takes us. Who knows, we may end up with family buying stock in pampers by the time we're done, because lord knows it's going to cost us a fortune (on our measly budget) to diaper two! I'm committed to making this work though so send me some good vibes and any advice!


July 10, 2014

32 Weeks!

I can't believe we've only got 3 weeks left before our little girls are here!! This pregnancy has absolutely flown by. It's helped that it's been a dream of a pregnancy. I feel truly blessed that I have had such an easy time, especially considering there's two of them in there! I have only gained 32 lbs. as of last Thursday, I never had a lick of morning sickness nor any of the complications that usually arise with multiples. I'm still up and moving about and able to finish all the prep work. I feel fantastic and have since day one. Naturally I'm tired but I've given up caffeine completely the whole pregnancy (with the exception of a few 1/2 cups here and there while I was still working) after drinking at least 3 cups a day pre-pregnancy. I don't have the hip problems or back problems or swelling yet that so many women have to deal with as early as the 2nd trimester. The girls always look great aside from the CPC scare and Baby A's distended kidney which our MFM is convinced will fix itself. Although I did develop gestational diabetes it has been easy to manage by just watching what I eat and counting carbs. I am truly one of the lucky ones and I know it. Now I laugh when people ask if we'll have more... all I can think is why would I want to jinx myself? I've had the perfect pregnancy with TWINS, I'm sure next time around I won't be so lucky!

We're working on middle names now, finishing up the nursery prep and getting all of the baby gear organized. I washed and prepped all my cloth diapers this week (which is easily becoming an addiction for me!! I need to start earning more money to support my habit)! The house is getting in shape really well, although we still have a few things to get rid of to make room. Today I was able to guilt my landlord into giving me a new dryer by having a mini panic attack when he suggested I would be responsible for repairs when it broke. It's been going for a while and last night it just stopped getting hot. He said it wasn't his to fix, as per the lease. I actually said, "You can't tell me I'm going to have two babies here in 3 weeks and no dryer. I absolutely refuse to pay what we pay for rent if that's the case." I think he realized that it was not smart to mess with an expecting mama!

Our Doctor's appts have all been fantastic. Dr. K checked to see if I was dilated (I'm not, yay!) last week as Baby A is really low. He said she could go at any time so to take it as easy as I can and keep my eyes out for any signs of labor. Dr. M is thrilled with their sizes and fluids and even he can't believe that we're already at the 32 week mark. We have officially made it into the green zone! That means 100% viability if I go and minimal NICU time for the girls (he said 3-4 weeks max at 32 weeks and it goes down weekly from here on out). I'm getting so excited! I just can't wait to see what they look like and to hear them!


July 2, 2014

31 Weeks! *Updated*

31 Weeks!  Only a month to go until our girls are here! We have our c-section scheduled for July 30th. I can't believe it's only a month away. It feels like we just found out. The nursery is coming along nicely, I can't wait to get the changing table in and the decals and shelves up. Even though they won't use it for a while I'd like to have it ready for when they're ready to move in. 

We have an appt. with Dr. K tomorrow and hopefully all will be great. 

Happy Birthday to my Dad today too!

So I had my appointment with Dr. K today and everything looks great. He was a little worried about me possibly being dilated because Baby A is so low. That explains the pressure and pain I've been feeling. After doing an exam though he said everything is fine, no dilation and cervix is still closed! He did tell me that if anything happens this weekend Dr. B will be on call all weekend and he will be on vacation.  I hope nothing happens but I have a good feeling that these girls want to stay in at least a little bit longer. We will see how things look at my next ultrasound with Dr. M on Tuesday.