Tuesday, June 26, 2012

31 Weeks, No Drama...We'll Keep It That Way!

So....31 weeks. Not much new to write about, but I thought that I should update since inquiring minds WANT TO KNOW!

I was supposed to go see the hematologist on Monday. As I was driving Georgia to my parents house at 8 something in the morning (for those of you that don't know, I don't really get up before then these days and I'm never showered, dressed and driving somewhere unless I have to be) Nolan calls me and lets me know that Dr Walling (the hematologist) was sick and would not be in the office-we would have to reschedule my appointment. Ugh! I get a call at 8 something for my 9:00am appointment. Gotta love MDs that call in at the last minute. Been there, done that. Remember I used to work for doctors and I was the one who got to call their patients and let them know that they were not coming into the office. Two of the MDs I worked for didn't do this too often so it wasn't a big deal and usually their patients didn't get too upset. The other MD, well, she did it all the time and her patients were always yelling at me on the phone because she couldn't get her rear into the office. Anyway, I got off subject a little bit...sorry! Georgia still wanted to go to my mom's house for the morning, so I drove her out there...it was going to give me a little alone time so I was all for it. I would have to call back and reschedule my appointment a little bit later. Well, I called back that afternoon and had to leave a message....no one called me back. Grr!

Today I went in to my OB's office for an ultrasound and NST (non stress test). I always do the ultrasound first. Vicki was my tech once again. She took Georgia and I back to the room and we got to see the babies again. Both had great heartbeats (Baby A 136 and Baby B 130). Georgia loves to hear the heartbeats. She was able to measure the blood flow through the umbilical cord with no problem for each baby. Both babies wiggled at the beginning of the ultrasound, but went back to sleep shortly after things started. Now, since they went back to sleep, they didn't really do their breathing exercises. This is what she was looking for last week and they didn't do them for a full 30 seconds like she wanted. Well it was the same thing this time. Both girls did the exercises, but not for 30 seconds. I told her that they were both more active in the afternoon and at night. Next week my appointment is in the afternoon so hopefully that will help. She also told me to eat lunch right before I come! Vicki did remind me that this wasn't a big deal right now, that the babies do this so randomly at this stage that it can be hard to catch them in the act if they aren't wide awake and active. They are still small, so as they get bigger, they should be doing these breathing exercises most of the time to prepare for life outside. I did forget to ask if Baby B was head up or down today and Vicki didn't tell me. That's ok, I'll find out next Tuesday. 

Then I was off for my NST. Beatrice took me and Georgie back to the room with the recliner and TV. She was able to get both babies on the heartbeat monitor so she strapped me in and I was relaxed and pushing the little button for every kick. Baby A didn't wiggle too much and was able to stay on the monitor. Baby B did better than last week, but there were still times when she was rolling around and her heartbeat would fade in and out. Towards the end of the test I had to press the monitor into my tummy so that it would pick up her heartbeat. She was just wiggling too much. Georgia liked hearing the heartbeats again and towards the end I would tell her when the babies kicked and she got to push the button and we watched that kick count number go up and up! We thought that we might make it to 100 kicks in the hour we were there, but we fell a little short....we ended up at 95. Ha! These babies just are on the move, aren't they! My OB looked at the results and said that everything looks fantastic! YEAH!

While I was having my NST done, I got a visit from another nurse, Dana. She was there to tell me all about the new diet that I have to follow since I FAILED my fasting glucose test. Waaaa! My results for the test were fasting blood draw 80 (it's supposed to be under 90....good work Fletcher!), 1 hour blood draw 175 (this was supposed to be under 170, so a little high but if that was the only high result they would not have worried about it), 2 hour blood draw 165 (this was the kicker, it was supposed to be under 150 OUCH!), and 3 hour blood draw 120 (it was supposed to be under 130, again good work Fletcher). So I don't have to really change too much about my diet. I have to take my blood sugar 4 times a day, first thing in the AM (fasting) and then 1 hour after every meal. I just need to mostly watch what foods trigger a blood sugar spike and either avoid those or have a smaller portion. Nothing was restricted for me, but she did give me some guidelines to follow for watching my carb intake. Also she wants me to make sure that I'm eating every two hours. I'm supposed to have breakfast, AM snack, lunch, PM snack, dinner and before bedtime snack. I asked her if she realized how much more food this is than what I've been eating. That maybe part of my problem.....I'm not eating enough and then my blood sugar spikes when I do eat and then crashes again until I decide to eat again. It's really just the snacks that I'm missing. And it's not all the time. I do usually have something in the afternoons, but I can't say that I do it every day. But I'm going to make an effort to eat more often. I am going to start tomorrow with all my testing. I have to turn in my testing sheet every week so they can make sure that things are going in the right direction. Dana also told me that the more recent research has found that gestational diabetes is caused by your body producing too many hormones, probably because of your placenta. And for some women, it doesn't matter what they eat, they just have high blood glucose until the baby and placenta are born. Well, this makes sense that women who are carrying multiple babies would be more likely to have gestational diabetes since there is more than one placenta. Just an interesting little tid bit of information. 

So after 2 1/2 hours at the OB's office, I was headed home!!! 

After I got home from the OB office, I called the hematologist back. I told them the situation and gal that answered the phone said that she could schedule me for July 9! JULY 9! REALLY! I could have babies by then! I asked if there was anything sooner because I was sure that my OB would not want me waiting that long for an appointment. I had already waited two weeks for the first appointment, then she canceled on me. I really didn't think that it was fair for me to have to wait another two weeks to see her when it wasn't my fault that the appointment was missed in the first place. Anyway, the receptionist would have to call me back. Later in the afternoon I got a call back saying that they could get me in tomorrow afternoon sometime, but I would have to wait. Really, that's what I want to do more of, sitting around in a medical office waiting on appointments.....because I don't do enough of that already....see above....2 1/2 hours today and that is my short appointment. Or she could schedule me for next Monday at 9:30. I took the Monday at 9:30 so that Nolan would be able to come with me. He can't just take off work and sit with me for who knows how long at the doctor's office. That is just insane! But it's taken care of and we will see what Dr Walling has to say about my hemoglobin and my iron count! Fingers crossed that the iron supplements are working wonders for my body and I won't need any further treatment!!!

As for how I'm doing....pretty good. I've got some aches and pain, but you'll have that with any pregnancy. I am burning a path to the bathroom because Baby A is sitting on top of my bladder. My biggest complaint is that my tummy itches like crazy. The beauty of pregnancy...take it or leave it. If it means seeing two healthy beautiful girls in a few weeks, I'll take it. 

Stay tuned for more adventures next week when I turn 32 weeks!!!!! By the way, most twins are born between 32 and 37 weeks.....we could have babies REAL soon!

Dearest Nolan

It's Tuesday again folks, and you know what that means right.......well not only does it mean that I have doctor's appointments that last for HOURS, but also it's time again for ToT! I know, you are all trying to contain your excitement!

This week's topic is to write a letter to your spouse or significant other. It doesn't have to be lovey dovey. It can be anything you want to tell them. So, here is my letter to Nolan........

Dear Nolan,

Summers usually make me think of our first summer after we started dating. We would stay up way to late, you would come over for dinner and would stay with me until the last absolute minute before I had to go work the night shift, I would come over to your house early in the mornings after I got off work just to see you for a little bit before you went to work, sometimes we met for lunch, we would take day trips to Chicago, we watched fireworks on the 4th of July and talked about the future. Sometimes we even talked about our future. 

It seemed like life was just starting, like our life together was just starting. It was then that I first started thinking about just where this relationship was going.....was it going to fizzle, was I going to find out something about you I didn't like, were we going to start fighting over little things or was I going to start falling deeply in love with sweet Nolan? Well, if you remember correctly, I fell head over heels in love with you. Sure there were some fights, there were times when things fizzled a bit and there were things about you that I didn't like but mostly I just kept falling in love with you. 

Those days seemed so carefree. I wasn't sure where life was leading us, but I sure as heck knew that I wanted us to be together. I couldn't imagine not being together. I couldn't imagine finding someone that was a better fit for me than you. There was no way the grass could be greener. But that also made me a bit insecure. I was ready to put myself out there, but I wasn't sure that you were. Sometimes you were hard to read, sometimes you made me doubt that our relationship was a good thing....like maybe I was just making it up or it was just good for me.  But you weren't going anywhere. And after that summer, I knew that we were going to get married. Even though you ventured off to Atlanta before proposing....I knew one day you would get around to it, and you did. 

So now, we are far from carefree days. We have things to worry about....mostly kids to worry about. Georgia is almost in kindergarten, can you even believe she is that big? And here is the kicker, she's going to keep growing. She is such a wonderful, charming little girl. I love seeing you in her as well as myself. She really is a good mix of each of us. And as we are teaching her, she is always teaching us as well. She is teaching us patience, love, and understanding. It's been such a joy to share this with you and watch you change from just Nolan to the most important role that you will ever have....Daddy. 

And TWINS! I still can't believe that we are having two babies in a few short weeks.We have two cribs set up.  I see them once a week via ultrasound. I hear their heartbeats. I feel them moving. But I don't think that it has sunk in my mind. I don't think it will until I see two babies coming home with us from the hospital. I think it's the same for you too. I can't wait to see what they will look like, what they will sound like, what their personalities will be like. 

And then there is Violet. I can't think of a single person that I would have wanted by my side more than you. While I wish that things would have happened differently, I feel that our relationship grew more because of her death. We drew closer together instead of further apart. They (who ever "they" are) say that situations like ours sometimes make couples go in opposite directions. He is grieving one way and she is grieving another and they don't understand the other person. Therefore, fights happen and the relationship was not what it once was and will take a lot of work to get it back.  I was NOT going to let that happen. I had it set in my head that I was not going to make a big deal about how you were grieving the loss of our daughter. I was going to let you do it your own way. And if I needed something from you to help me with my grieving, I was going to tell you. I was not going to sit there in silence and then become resentful because you didn't know my every need. What I needed most was to be close to you and that is what you gave me....your support, love, strength and all the hugs I needed.....even in the wee hours of the morning when I couldn't sleep. 

My how times have changed. We've gone from carefree days to worrying about kids, money, cars, a house and so much more. Do I wish that some things were different about our lives...you betcha! Do I want to walk this road with anyone else, are you outta your mind? No way Jose! 


Here are some things that I love/admire/find ridiculous about my husband......

1. You fall asleep so quickly...it doesn't matter the location or time of day. You are second only to my father for your speed.
2. Georgia loves her Daddy more than anyone else. While she loves me too, she and Nolan share a special relationship, at least for now. And I cherish watching their relationship form.
3. I love how it's no big thang for you to go out and run three miles without training a bit.....and faster than any of my three mile runs, even when I was training.
4. You have so many board games it's insane. And I secretly love that you have SOMETHING that you like to collect.
5. You make sure to water our violet every Sunday, pretty much without fail. I love that.
6. You watch more baseball than anyone I know besides your dad. It can be pretty much any team, you may not care who wins, but you just want to see the game.
7. I love that you try to appreciate the things that I love....it maybe musical theater or it maybe Grey's Anatomy (ok the last one is kind of a stretch, but you will watch it with me).
8. Your love for ice cream and coffee are surpassed by only your love for me and our kids...I'm pretty sure.
9. I love it when you starting laughing so hard you can't stop. The look on your face is priceless. This usually happens when we have stayed up way to late.
10. I love it that you ALWAYS take care of the animals. And that when you ask them to get out of your way you usually say please and thank you....you are so polite.

Even with a Movember 'stach I still love him!

The list could go on, but I'll stop at 10....my hubby is one of the best guys I know. I'm glad that I picked up on the secret before some other chick did!

Remember to check out with the other ToT gals and what their letters say......

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Day In The Life Of......

Today's TOT blog is all about us.....you know this group of fantastic ladies that seem so glamorous and put together. Well, not all of us know each other so we are going to talk about ourselves today, not only to give us a little bit more insight about each other, but so you too can know us just a little better.

A day in the life of me. Hmmm. This blog might be short. Now, if you have been reading up on my blog I might seem like that glamorous, put together person that I was talking about (feel free to laugh) but really, I'm boring. At least I think that I'm boring, but boring is kind of what I like. I like routine, I like things to stay the same. I'm not one of those people who could just pick up out of the blue and dash off for a week for vacation. I need my vacation planned out well in advance. I don't do a lot of spur of the moment stuff. While spur of the moment is fun now and then, I typically like for plans to be made and written on my calendar. So,  I hope that this blog entry doesn't leave you snoozing. Here goes nothin'!

It seems that lately my life is much different than it was a year ago. Maybe that's because I'm pregnant with twins (for those of you who didn't know....oh wait, you all probably know). Maybe that is because Georgia has grown up a bit. Maybe its because I'm staying at home more than working outside the home these days. It's probably all of the above.

If it's Mon-Fri, Nolan is the first one up since he has to go into the office. And usually Georgia is up second. I've never been an early riser, but since I've been on my own as an adult, I don't like to sleep in. I feel like half the day has vanished before I've even gotten out of bed. But I'm sleeping in a little bit more these days since I'm up pretty much every hour during the night to visit the my friend the bathroom. Nolan usually sets Georgia up with some breakfast and turns on some cartoons so Mama can rest a bit longer. He leaves the house around 8 and always comes to tell me bye and give me a smooch before leaving. So I generally have some idea what time it is at this point. I'll lay there for a little while longer, but most days I'm up by 9. (I know for some of you that either go to work outside the house or those that stay at home with their kiddos, 9 am is pretty late) I have meds to take in the AM for the babies so I down those with some OJ and try to find some breakfast. Usually I'm not super hungry so I grab something small and zone out on the couch for a little bit.  Some mornings I will edit photos from a recent shoot or get a package ready to drop off to a client from their recent photo shoot. I try to work while Georgia is preoccupied and the best time for that is in the AM. She has a few favorite shows that she watches and then comes the dreaded time of the day when the TV must go off because no one needs to watch that much TV in one day.....or at least my 4 1/2 year old doesn't need to watch that much TV in one day. Most of the time, I give her a warning so she knows that at the end of this show, there will be no more TV for the day. Most days she is fine with that and other days she throws a fit. And I'll admit that some days I want to leave the TV on too. I don't want to have to be a mom and clean the house and make lunch...lets just lay around in our PJs and watch the boob tube all day.

After showering and getting dressed Georgia usually goes up stairs to play. Shes great at playing alone. I can hear her making up stories for her dolls. Sometimes she is singing to them (it could be a song she knows or makes up). It's fun to listen to her.

These days most of my chores revolve around getting ready for the babies. We are kind of living in organized chaos. There is stuff everywhere. We have been switching rooms around (we moved Georgia out of her downstairs room to the loft upstairs, Nolan's office was in the loft and now it has been moved to the small front bedroom and we are putting the twins in Georgia's old downstairs room. WHEW!) There is also a ton of stuff that we are in the midst of going through and deciding if we are keeping, donating or trying to sell in a garage sale we are planning to have in a couple of weeks. We have also pulled all of Georgia's baby things that we stored in my parents attic. So there are plastic tubs sitting around our house too. They are full of clothes, toys, bottles, blankets, pacifiers and anything else that you can imagine a baby would want or need. Since they have been stored in an attic, we are washing them and trying to get things put away. So really, it is organized chaos around here.

Sometimes in the afternoons, Georgia and I will make a trip to Target. We love Target. We do 80% of our shopping there. We grocery shop as well as shop there for all of our other needs. We even have a Target card that gives us 5% off with every purchase....it was worth it since we shop there so often. It's always a fun time when we know that a Target trip is in plans for the afternoon.

Other things that we do in the afternoon are.....Georgia is involved in swim lessons. So we head over the YMCA and hit the outdoor pool for a bit of swim time. She goes every Monday and Wednesday. She loves being in the water and hanging out with other kids. Also, Georgia has had a few play dates this summer with some dear friends. Right now, I'm just too tired to have the play dates here so I'm glad that she can get out with her peeps. And we are going to try to start going to the free movies at the library this summer too. We've missed one week, but we are going to try and make it to the rest. Different area libraries offer different dates and times so it makes it easy to find one at some point during the week. Even if we don't see a movie at the library, she and I both love to go and check out the books and movies. We like to see if anything sparks our fancy.

I do feel bad that I haven't taken her out to the park more often. I'm just so tired and just don't feel up to it. I guess this is the summer of staying at home.

Georgia also gets Mamaw day every week. I take her to my mom's house for some one on one time. She stays pretty much all day and I get to have the rest of the day to myself. I get to do whatever I want and most of that is going to the doctor. How could I forget about the doctor's appointments. Right now I'm going to the OB every Tuesday (except yesterday, I had to go on a Monday) for at least 2 hours. Sounds like a dream come true, right? And then next Monday I get to go the the hematologist.....hopefully I don't have to visit that office too many times. I will also try and get my hair cut or run some errands while she is at my mom's. It really is a great thing to have family close by and it's also really great that Georgia loves to go over there and hang out with her Mamaw!

By the time that we get the phone call that Daddy is on his way home we are usually pooped. Or at least I am. We either make dinner at home or go out. Lately we have been going out more than eating at home because I'm too tired to cook and Nolan has been at work all day and doesn't want to cook either.

After dinner, its usually time to start winding down for the day. Georgia gets ready for bed and Nolan and I start to relax for a while. After a few bedtime stories we both tuck Georgia in and say prayers with her. Sometimes she is not ready for bed, but she is very good about laying down until she falls asleep. Sometimes she sings to herself and sometimes she talks to her stuffed animals who are snuggling with her. We are fine with this...at least bedtime isn't a fight most nights.

After Georgia is in bed, Nolan and I might watch some TV. There are a few shows that I watch regularly but most of them are off the air until fall. In the summer we usually end up watching baseball. We have been watching the NBA play offs this season. We started out watching because of the Pacers actually being in the play offs and doing pretty well. Then we kept watching to see if anyone can beat the Heat. We are routing for Oklahoma City! And regardless if the TV is on or not, we both are on our lap tops. He is reading about stuff and I am editing photos usually. We also talk to each other about our day or our complaints or our joys. We've been doing a lot of belly watching during this time of the night too. Sometimes my belly just starts shaking back and forth because both babies are moving at the same time. Other times we watch one baby roll around. Sometimes we get a little freaked out by the rolling around or the elbow or foot sticking out. It is a bit weird.

Before you know it, it's after 11pm and way past our bedtime. I have to take more meds for the babies before bed so I do that and then head off to my night of uninterrupted slumber. HA! My babies and my bladder are laughing at that right now.

Now this is just a typical day, the weekends are different. We try to get home projects done. We visit family. We love to get together with friends. I sometimes have photo shoots on Saturdays or Sundays and sometimes Nolan and Georgia join me and other times they stay at home. It all just depends. Most of all, we like to be together as a family. We enjoy each other and try to grab onto every precious moment of that. Before we know it our little family of three is going to be a large family of 5. Nolan and I are going to be out numbered by the girls. Georgia's world of herself, mom and dad is going to be totally rocked. I want her to get in as much mommy and daddy time as possible before everything changes. And it while it will be a change for the better (we want more kids, Georgia wants siblings) it will still be a huge adjustment for us all.

And you know what we really love to do on weekends? This is something really special, we LOVE it when we have NO PLANS! Zero, none, nothing! Oh those are some of the best weekends. We don't have to run on someone else's time table. We can do those spur of the moment things if we choose. We can even sneak in a nap! Love it!

So there it is....exciting stuff for sure! Now make sure to check into A Day In The Life Of.......DanielleMichelleCharlotteSarahTishLeah and Erica

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tales from 30 Weeks Pregnant

30 weeks.....I'm in the home stretch now....now the babies just have to stay in their safety nets until they put on more fat....nothing bad can happen  now that I've reached 30 weeks right? We're all in the clear!

Well, that might have been my take on things if my baby had not died at 26 1/2 weeks. I would not think about stories that I've heard from others who have shared loosing a baby at 33 weeks, 35 weeks and even 38 weeks. But when I think about those stories, I have to remind myself that the reason behind Violet's death was a chromosome problem that neither of these babies have. I have to remind myself that while I had a baby die late in pregnancy, I also had a very healthy and normal pregnancy with Georgia. I have to remind myself that my OB is watching me very closely. She is doing her best to make sure that I leave the hospital with two babies instead of empty arms and a broken heart. Usually, I do a great job at reminding myself and I don't let things bother me too much, because if I did let them bother me, I would go crazy with worry.

Today, I was tested a bit. Things are fine, but in the midst of it all I was a little scared. Today I went for my 30 week ultrasound, non stress test and OB appointment. I also had to do a 3 hour fasting glucose test since I didn't pass the one hour glucose test from two weeks ago. And now, here is the my story.....

I showed up for my appointment right on time and after checking in headed back to the lab. I had to be fasting for this test so I made sure to I had nothing but water before I left the house. I had to get a blood draw first, then drink that terrible syrup stuff again. YUCK! After that I went back for my ultrasound, but I had to be back at the lab in 1 hour to have my labs drawn again......yes I was going to have my blood drawn 3 more times that day for a grand total of 4! Yea!

My ultrasound started off as normal. Vicki (her name is always easy for me to remember since my mom-in-law is a Vicki as well) showed me both babies and their beating hearts, as normal. We started off with Baby A. She is still in the head down position-good work Baby A. She is still the shy one with her head turned toward my back. Baby A is now up to 3lbs 3oz! Way to go, putting on some fat. Baby A's heartbeat was normal...I can't remember what it was exactly but it was a little bit lower than it usually is, but still in the normal range. I'm sure that both babies were a little out of sorts since I was fasting.

Onto Baby B. Baby B is a little stinker. She has flipped back into a breech position. But other than that, she is also doing just fine. Baby B is weighing in at 3lbs 5oz and her heartbeat was about the same as Baby A's.

She checked on my cervix and it was good. I was at 4.3cm, which is above average still. Vicki made sure to let me know that this is rare with twins. As Nolan says, things are sealed up tighter than Ft Knox in there. Oh the humor! Glad there is a comedian in the house!

Vicki also checked the blood flow in an artery of the umbilical cord. That was normal on both babies. She watches their movement, again that was normal. Another thing that she was looking for was if they were doing breathing exercises. Did you know that babies breathe in the womb? Well, it's not really breathing, but they inhale the amniotic fluid and this helps prepare their lungs for life outside the womb. They normally should do this every 30 minutes or so and they have to do this exercise for 30 seconds consecutively. Well neither baby did it. Vicki kept going back and forth between Baby A and Baby B because she didn't want to miss something. She would start to see some of the movements she was looking for, but it wouldn't last for 30 seconds. Sometimes it was just the movement of their chest going up and down, like we do when we breathe and other times she would see them hiccup (I guess hiccups count as breathing exercises). Vicki gave them the 30 minute time limit and nothing. So they failed that part of their screening. Vicki was reassuring me that sometimes this happens, while it's a little rare that both babies failed this part. I was fine with that, I was given no real reason to be concerned.

I was out of my ultrasound just in time to get my second blood draw done. And boy, was I feeling sick by this time. I was shaky and felt like I was going to lose my lunch at any moment, not that I had any lunch to lose though. I just kept telling myself to hold it together, that in just a few hours I would be able to eat something and would be feeling better. The lab tech told me that the first hour after drinking the syrup is the worst and that I should start to feel a bit better. She got me some cold water after my blood draw. She sat me in a waiting area close to where I would be having my non stress test done.....that was nice because there was no one else in that waiting area. I didn't have to deal with feeling like I was going to get sick and being around other people. The lab tech even offered me a bed to rest until it was time for my non stress test. She was very sweet.

A while later I was put in a room with a recliner and a TV to do my non stress test. Of course, Baby A was just fine. She didn't move around too much so her heartbeat was pretty consistent. Baby B was kicking and rolling around so her heartbeat was a little difficult to find in the first place. Beatrice, the medical assistant performing the test, was looking for Baby B way over on my right side. I told her that I think that she is more in the middle, but she really didn't listen to me and I figured that she did this a gazillon times a day so what the heck did I know, right? Anyway, Baby B's heart rate was all over the place. After 45 minutes of being hooked up to the machine, Beatrice took the reading to the nurser practitioner that I was seeing (Dr Voelkel is on vacation this week....I bet she went somewhere amazing). Oh and the lab tech came and found me and took my blood again....three down, one more to go.

When Beatrice came back into the room she was in a bit of a rush and said that the NP (nurse practitioner) wanted to see me right away and was sending me over to the hospital for further testing since neither baby passed either of their screenings this morning. WHAT? No one told me that they didn't pass their ultrasound screening! I told her that it was just the breathing exercises that she did not see. Beatrice told me that even if they miss one that means they don't pass and since the NST didn't go well they were sending me to the hospital. I was trying to keep my composure during all of this.

So as I was whisked away to an exam room, I started to get very anxious. I started to think about the babies being in distress. I started to think about what it would be like to deliver them today. The two people that I wanted with me at that moment to reassure me were Nolan and my OB, but neither were there. At least Nolan was a text message away. He said he was coming right over. My OB did not come back from her vacation to take care of me, so I was stuck with the NP that I don't have a ton of confidence in....the last time I saw her she didn't even know that I was having twins. Seriously lady, read up on your patients before you see them.

After waiting in the exam room, the NP came in and went over the results of both tests. She said that the reason she was so quick to send me to the hospital was because the on call OB taking care of Dr Voelkel's patients was doing a delivery at the time. She said that he was back and she would show the results to him and let him make the decision. So, here I was freaking out because Beatrice made me feel like it was some sort of emergency when it was just that the NP wanted to make sure that she wasn't missing anything. The NP told me that Vicki stated on her report from the ultrasound that she did see both babies doing breathing exercises, but just not for 30 seconds. I also let the NP know that Beatrice was trying to put the heart monitor for Baby B clear over on my right side. The NP gave me a real funny look and asked why she was trying to put the monitor there? Like I know! But talking with her made me feel a lot better and not so nervous about what was going on.

The NP left the room to check with Dr Wagner (the on call OB) about sending me to the hospital. He still wanted to send me over just to get check out. So off I went with a nurse to labor and delivery. I sent a text to Nolan telling him where I would be so he wouldn't have to search all over the hospital or go to my OB's office looking for me. I was checked in and put into a triage room. My nurse was super nice and she was able to find both babies heartbeats fairly quickly. And no Baby B's heartbeat was not found on my right side, it was pretty much on top of my belly where I told her she was laying!!!! Both heartbeats were a little low, but that was probably because it was after noon and I still had not had any food in my system. While she was getting all of this set up Nolan came and found me. He said that I sure know how to scare a guy by telling him I was at labor and delivery. Well.....I guess I wasn't thinking when I told him that. Sorry for scaring you babe!

Soon, Dr Wagner came in to check on me. He asked what went on that morning, so I gave him the run down. He said that both babies looked good for now and he was impressed with their weight (good job girls). He said that he wanted to monitor them a little while longer and hopefully I would be going home soon. The nurse gave me some apple juice to hopefully bring the babies heart rates up a little bit. I drank it, it did bring their heart rates up, but it also made my bladder full!

Both babies were moving around a bit, but had good heartbeats most of the time. After two hours of laying on my back (when your 30 weeks pregnant with twins, laying on your back is NEVER comfortable), I asked the nurse how much longer it would be. She called Dr Wagner for me and told him was the results were of the non stress test. He said that things looked good and sent me home. YEA! I asked if I needed to be watching out for anything and the nurse said no, just to monitor my kick counts. She said that they should be kicking about 10 times every two hours.....no problem there. I think they kick 10 times per minute sometimes!

So as we left the hospital at 2:30 (yes I had been there for 6 hours) we were both relieved that things looked good and very hungry! But we were mostly glad that our babies are healthy and they are not going anywhere anytime soon! We still need a few more weeks here at the Fletcher Lichti House to prepare for these little ones!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

29 weeks and all it's glory

So folks, as of Friday June 8, I am 29 weeks into this pregnancy. That means that I get to go to the OB every week. Every week I have an ultrasound and a non stress test (NST). Every other week, I see the OB in addition to the ultrasound and NST. This also means that I'm at the OB office FOREVER! Really, it's a minimum of 2 hours every week and some weeks longer.

Yesterday I went in for my weekly ultrasound and NST. I always get the ultrasound done first. This week they were just watching the babies movement and checking their heartbeats and the blood flow through the umbilical cord.

Once again Baby A had her head turned towards my back. We weren't able to see her face, sometimes I wonder if she will ever turn around. Baby B was facing us as normal. We were able to see her sweet little profile. Both babies had heartbeats of 143 and everything else looked great.

Next I was off for my NST. I've never had a NST done before so I really didn't know what to expect. I was put into a small room. Beatrice was my tech. She was a sweet African woman with a lovely accent. I failed to ask where she was from originally....I'll have to remember to do that next time. Anyway, Beatrice put the monitors on each baby. Baby A was easy to find. Baby B was also easy to find, but she kept moving around so the monitor didn't always pick up her heartbeat. I also had a monitor to see if I was having any contractions (I wasn't) and I had a button to press every time I felt one of the babies move. For those of you who have asked if I constantly have movement I pressed that button 45 times in 30 minutes. So yes, there is CONSTANT movement.

Now, one thing that was not apart of my appointment was that I got a call that morning from my OB's nurse. She was calling to let me know that I am anemic. My hemoglobin was at 8.something and I guess that is really low. She said that Dr Voelkel wanted me to start on an prescription iron supplement and I needed to get more blood work done to figure out why my hemoglobin was so low. It's probably just because of the pregnancy. She also said that they were going to start the process to refer me to a hematologist. If my levels don't go up, I may have to get a blood transfusion. As the babies grow, they are going to zap everything that they need from me. So if I do nothing, my hemoglobin will continue to go down. Hopefully the iron takes care of it and I don't have to do a transfusion. But if I do have to have a transfusion, Nolan and I have the same blood type, so he should be able to donate for me. It is kind of weird to think about someone else's blood flowing in your body, so it's a little bit better knowing that it would be from Nolan. But here's the thing about Nolan.....he HATES to give blood. In college we were giving blood and he passed out from the finger prick. He's also passed out after he's given blood. Needles are not his thing and it just makes him very nervous. So I'm really hoping that he doesn't have to do that for me. I know that there is nothing that he wouldn't do for me, but I also know that this would be difficult for him. So I hope he can avoid it.

And the other thing that the nurse wanted to tell me was that I failed my glucose test. Boo! Remember last week when I talked about drinking that awful stuff? Well now I have to go back to the office and do a fasting glucose test. So, nothing to eat that morning, drink that terrible stuff, and wait three hours and have my blood drawn to see how my body reacts to the sugary sweet drink. Luckily, I am able to do this test on a day that I'm already at the OB's office for at least 3 hours. I would hate to be at the office twice in one week for three  hours each time. Ugh. So fingers crossed that I pass the 3 hour test, otherwise I will have to start following a diabetic diet for the rest of my pregnancy and monitoring my sugar.

So, it's no wonder that I've been extremely tired lately. I just assumed it was because I am growing two humans, but part of it is the anemia.  Both gestational diabetes and being anemic are fairly common with a twin pregnancy. So, hopefully, we take care of things and I start feeling a bit better than I have been.

UPDATE: The hematologist's office just called to set up my appointment. So, if the iron doesn't work to bring my hemoglobin up, I will be going there June 25 for a consult. They will discuss the transfusion at that point and see if it is needed.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

ToT-The Music In Me

Is it Tuesday already? Noooo, it can't be.
Well, it really is Tuesday, I KNOW it came around way too soon, and it's time for another ToT blog. This week's topic is all about music. Those of you who know me well, and even those that don't know me well, know that I L-O-V-E music. So, without further ado, MUSIC.

I've told you before about my uncanny ability to memorize song lyrics. I can vividly remember sitting in my parent's Oldsmobile singing my heart out to every country song that came on the radio. Or listening to my mom sing old country songs or hymns while she was in the kitchen (she still does this by the way). I guess listening to music all the time, gave me the gift of memorizing lyrics in a short amount of time. Nolan is always amazed by all the songs that I know. He is even more amazed when it is some odd old song that I'm pretty sure no one else my age would ever know...Yep, I bet I know it.

Now I can memorize song lyrics, but ask me to read music. Nope. No way, no how. I took piano lessons, my parents twisted my arm and forced me into it, but if you gave me a sheet of music, it would take me a long time to figure out what the notes were and how to play it. When I took piano lessons, I got by (barely!) by memorizing the tune of the song. It would have been much easier if I would have learned to read music. My inability to read music has hindered me with upper level music opportunities that have come my way. I've been too nervous to audition for choirs in the area because I can't sight read. I hate that, but it's just the way it is. If something is played for me a couple of times, I've got it and I have no trouble singing it back. But don't ask me to sing something that I've never heard before. And really, right now, I just don't have the time to learn to read music. And I'm going to have even less time once these twins are born. Maybe someday I will learn.

I've also told you how music was a huge part of what made me happy when I was 10. Singing in my bedroom to NKOTB on my pink radio was a huge part of growing up for me. I loved pretending like I was giving my own concert.....sometimes I still like to pretend that I am giving my own concert. Sometimes Nolan is at home with me when this happens. He likes it.....really he does. Oh, his favorite is when I pretend to give my own concert on our road trips to Kansas.....trapped in a car with a loud singer must be AWESOME.

That love for putting on my own concerts lead me to audition for choir in high school. I was pretty much crushed that I didn't make it into a show choir my sophomore year of high school. I felt that I was good enough to be in one, but obviously my choir teachers did not. After a year of slumming it in a lower choir (just kidding, I had a great time with those gals) and taking voice lessons (yea, still didn't learn to read music when I took voice lessons either....I must of had some great piano and voice instructors) I auditioned for show choir again and got into the top choir at Warren, Connection,  as a junior. And I'll admit, I loved show choir. Now, it wasn't all like Glee, but there are a lot similarities. I loved preparing for the competitions. Learning the music and the dances. Seeing it all come together. Working hard as a group and seeing the hard work pay off.

And I've told you about my dreams to go to Broadway and sing on stage. That was when I was 18. I'm pretty sure that I don't want that anymore. But boy do I love a good musical. Ooo, that is one of my top things to do watch a good show. And it doesn't have to be musical theater. I love opera too. I love hearing all the beautiful songs telling a story. Those songs revealing emotions to the audience. They just draw me in and I feel like these stories are real. Those characters are real to me and I just get caught up in the whole thing. Ah, it's been too long since I've seen a good show. I believe that Nolan and I saw Wicked a few years ago and it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

I'm pretty sure that those Broadway dreams started when I got a part in the first musical that I auditioned for,  A Chorus Line. Now I was just apart of the chorus....but that's what the show was all about, right? There were a lot of long hours and a lot of work that went into making this production come together, but it was all worth it. And it was worth it when I was in The Wizard of Oz, Will Rogers Follies, The Who's TOMMY, Fiddler on the Roof, The Wizard of Oz (AGAIN), and Chicago. But then it all started to not be worth it when I wasn't getting to do things with my friends. It wasn't worth it when I realized that part of the way to get good parts was to play into all the politics of theater. None of that is me and that is part of the reason why I don't even participate in community theater. And I'm fine with that. I'm fine with just seeing shows. Do I sometimes wish that I would go and audition for a show....sure, every now and then I do, but not enough to get me out there. Not enough to make me leave my family every evening. While I love musical theater, I don't love it more than spending time with my hubby and my favorite girl.

Now a days, I love finding music that fits my taste that I can listen to with Georgia. Stuff that we can just have fun with. I listen to a lot of Jack Johnson. I love him. Nolan and I went to his concert a couple of summers ago and it was great. I also love Alison Krauss. I think that her voice is so pure and special. I could just listen to her all day.

There are plenty of other things that I like listening to, but my favorite is not on the radio. I love to hear Georgia sing. Her little voice just makes me all giddy and happy. I love when we can sing together and when she is upstairs playing and I can hear her singing to herself.  I love hearing her sing at church with the congregation. She loves the doxology. I love the doxology. Who doesn't when it's this beautiful?

No, that is not our church singing. 

When Georgia was a baby, I would rock her and sing all sorts of songs to her. One song was I Know You from Sleeping Beauty. When she was about 2 (maybe a little younger) she would sing that song. Here is a little clip of that....

Ok, seriously cute, right?

So, I've blogged a lot about music since I started writing with the ToT group. Music influences me in so many ways...it can bring me to tears, make me laugh, brighten my day and make me reflect on fond memories. Music is special. It speaks to your heart, if you let it. 

Well, it's not even Tuesday anymore but make sure you check out what my fellow bloggers have to say about music. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

10 More Weeks, Are You Kidding Me?

This week I went for my 28 week OB appointment. After Violet died I remember reading that a baby born at 28 weeks has about an 95% chance of survival. Now these babies will have to spend significant time in the NICU, but most likely will end up coming home with mom and dad in several weeks. I remember thinking, "Why didn't you just hang on for a few more weeks?" Now I know that she had issues that would have made surviving past birth almost impossible, but back when I passed what would have been the 28 week mark with Violet, all I could think about was, "why didn't you make it?"

I had my normal routine visit at the OB, ultrasound and then OB visit. One thing that was different is that I had to do my glucose test. The glucose test that you have to do requires you to drink this nasty, sugary sweet beverage. It kind of tastes like those popsicles that come in the plastic tube, I believe they are called Flavor Ice. Anyway, you know how it melts a little bit and you always have the liquid left over to drink afterwards? That was always a favorite part for me. But now, drinking about 12 oz of that liquid makes you want to vomit. But, you can't vomit because if you do you will have to come back another day and do the test and drink that crap again. And after drinking this syrup, you have to wait for an hour to have your blood drawn. At least I had an ultrasound and a visit with my OB to keep me occupied while I waited for the hour to pass.

I was called back for my ultrasound. Georgia, my mom and my 2 nieces were along to see these little baby girls since Nolan couldn't get away from work. Vicki, the ultrasound tech that I always have, took us back to the room and we got ready to see the girls on the big screen. My biggest fear was that something was going to be wrong and Georgia and my nieces would find out right there with me and there would be no breaking it to them gently. But, as normal, Vicki showed me both babies and both beating hearts right away. Whew, sigh of relief. Now we just had to make sure that every one was growing properly.

We always start off with Baby A. She is the shy one. She is always facing towards my back and she was the one who was modest about showing off her girl parts. Anyway, Vicki took measurements and checked out Baby A's head, stomach, kidneys, and heart. We were able to hear her heartbeat, always reassuring, it was a strong 143 BPM. And then Vicki measured Baby A's femur, this is how they estimate how much the baby weighs. Baby A is a whopping 2lb 7oz. What a good little girl!!!!

Baby B was next. Baby B has always been willing to show off her cute little face and she let us know early on (like 16 weeks) that she was a girl (although the ultrasound tech wouldn't confirm that, she just said that she saw no boy parts). Vicki checked out the same organs and body parts on Baby B. Baby B's heartbeat was 143 BMP, just like her sister. And after measuring her femur Baby B weighs in at 2lb 9oz. Oh and Baby A is head down now too, just like her sister. Yea!!!

Also during this ultrasound, the amniotic fluid is checked. That looked great. An interesting thing that was done this time was that the blood flow through the umbilical cord was measured. So, Vicki had to find an artery on the umbilical cord and place the ultrasound wand in just the right spot all while these normally very wiggly babies held very still. I don't know how she did it, but she did. And my cervix is also checked out. Anything measuring over 3.5cm is really good. I have always measured way over that.....as long as 5cm. This week I measured 4cm. So these babies probably aren't going anywhere anytime soon. All good!

As for me, my weight is still great and well controlled (PTL) even though it feels like I'm as big as a house! My BP was normal and I am having very minimal swelling. The swelling that I do have is only when the days are really hot or I'm on my feet for a long time. My biggest complaints are just normal pregnancy aches and pains. It kind of reminds me of the way I felt when I was in the last days of my pregnancy with Georgia.....only I have like 10 more weeks to go. So, I'll just take it one day at a time right now. That's all I can do. I have figured out that taking a short hot bath every night helps me sleep so much better. Now, I am getting up to pee every hour (seriously, no joke EVERY HOUR) but I'm able to go right back to sleep. I think that I'm barely awake as I walk to the bathroom. It's a good thing that I don't have to take the stairs to get from the bedroom to the bathroom....it might be a little dangerous. I'm also continuing with my photography. The sessions usually make me tired, but for the most part I haven't been doing many that last more than an hour. I can handle that. I'm going to try and keep going until the end of June and then take a break and wait for these babies.

Nursery update....it was painted on Sunday by my fantastic husband, wonderful niece in law Samantha, and great friend Anna. Thank you all. I love the color. I am waiting for the mini cribs to come. They should be here soon. After they arrive, I will be sewing up a storm. I would like to make some curtains and crib skirts. Anyone with major sewing skills is invited to help me with one or both of these projects. They don't seem to difficult, and I think that I can handle it, but I just want to make sure they look good. So, I guess I can start washing all the baby clothes that were being stored in my parents attic and get those put away. Right now they are still in the plastic tubs sitting in the nursery floor. Maybe I'll get to that this weekend. Maybe!

Some other fantastic news that I found out yesterday was that my friend is also having twins. She and I went to college together, but I don't think that we ever spoke a single word to one another the entire time at Goshen. Anyway, she found out about Violet's death and reached out to me. You see, she lost her sweet baby girl just months before. She was such a HUGE help to me in those first weeks after Violet died. She let me know that I wasn't crazy for avoiding the baby section at Target and that it was OK for me to still be crying my eyes out weeks later and longing for my baby. She sent me little gifts at Christmas that were sweet and thoughtful. That's just the kind of person she is.I hate that we have become friends because of such terrible circumstances. And really, I've felt a little bit of guilt knowing that I was pregnant again so quickly after Violet's death and she was not. Just to know that someone wants something so badly and they are having trouble getting there is heartbreaking, especially when it's a baby and you know that person would be a wonderful parent. So last night when I found out that she is now expecting twins and things look good so far, I was just beside myself. I'm so happy for her. She has been on my mind constantly since I found out the news. I know the overwhelming feelings of fear and joy that conflict your mind. I still deal with that. After you have lost a baby in such a traumatic way, you just never get over those little thoughts that creep up in the back of your mind. But at the same time, you are so happy that you are ready to burst! So now I'm praying hard that this pregnancy is successful for her and that she gets to bring home two little bundles of joy in several months!

So with all the good news yesterday, it was one of the best days I've had in a while. What a great day!

Sumner Family Photo Session

My friend Marcie lives down the street. She asked if I could photograph her family just around our neighborhood. You know, doing the things that they do on a normal basis...hanging out around the house and the neighborhood playground. So one Sunday evening, we headed outside and got some fun family photos.

It was a great time Sumner Family. Hope you enjoy your photos!

Rodman Family Photos

Back in November I was able to photograph sweet newborn Naomi......
she slept through the entire photo shoot

Well, the Rodman's asked me to photograph Naomi again and to get some family shots too! We had a beautiful morning at Holliday Park on the north side of Indy and we took full advantage. Here are some photos, check out how much Naomi has grown since November. 

Aren't they just an adorable family? We had a great time and I LOVE their photos. It's just so much fun to go to the park and capture family moments! Hope you enjoy your photos Rodman Family!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Forget Your Troubles Come On Get Happy!

We have a new blogger with us this week on ToT. Danielle, Sarah and I went to high school with Leah and she is Michelle's BFF. She is a very sweet gal who is doing more than I could ever imagine....she's got 3 kids UNDER 3 and works full time outside her home. Um, can we say super mom? Welcome to the group Leah!
Also, Tish will be blogging with us for the first time this week. Tish joined us way back when, and now that some technical difficulties are fixed she is able to officially join the fun. I personally don't know Tish, she is a friend of Charlotte's-who I also don't know. I'm sure she's fabulous and I can't wait to read her blog. Welcome Tish!

Well, now onto the topic at hand, today's ToT topic is.......According to The Happiness Project, some people theorize we are happiest doing what we loved when we were kids. What were you doing at age 10 that you LOVED? Are you doing that now? If so, how does that impact your daily happiness? If not, how can you bring some of that back into your life?

Hmmm, age 10. That was a long time ago. What was I doing at age 10? Sarah, what was I doing at age 10? She probably remembers....she has a better memory than me and we have been joined at the hip since Kindergarten. So, whatever I was doing at age 10, she was probably doing too!

Really, I have been thinking a lot about this topic. Age 10 is hard. I feel like that is a time when kids are starting that change into preteens. Sometimes girls get snotty at this age. Sometimes boys and girls start to notice each other in a different light at this age. Sometimes kids (girls especially) are starting to notice the change in their bodies and that can be difficult. Sometimes kids (again girls especially) are noticing that their bodies are NOT changing yet and that can be difficult. So, I feel like 10-18 are hard years of changing from a kid to an adult. And for a lot of people, remembering that time can also bring back a flood of terrible memories that make you not so happy.

But, as hard as it is starting that transition from kid to adult, there are also so many wonderful things about age 10. You still get to go out to the playground and run around like crazy with your friends. You are really starting to develop your own tastes and personality. You get to spend your summer break at home being lazy or running around with your friends. You are starting to get a taste for the independence that you crave. At 10 you are now double digits....and that, my friends, is a big deal. I have 2 nieces that are 10 and 11 and hitting double digits is a right of passage!

So back to what was I doing at 10 that made me happy........I can remember sunny days on the school playground and swinging. I loved the swings! I can remember summers and starting to sleep in and being lazy and watching TV all day. I can remember going to camp and meeting all sorts of kids my age and having a blast for an entire week. But, what I remember most of all is music. This was the first time I had really developed my own taste in music separate from my parents. And I'm not saying that I had good taste, but it was my own....I'll claim it! I remember "taping" songs from the radio, making sure that I listened to the "Hot 9 at 9" on the local station so I could hear my favorite songs. Also, this is a big one folks, I remember getting my first real tape-Hangin' Tough by New Kids on the Block. I'm pretty sure that I wore the tape out. I would sit on my floor with my pink radio and play certain songs over and over and over again and singing my little heart out. Those songs would make me happy when I had a bad day at school or a fight with my mom and dad. Those silly little songs, that had to drive my parents and my brother C-R-A-Z-Y, took me from my little pink bedroom with pink carpet in Indianapolis to playing concerts for millions of fans in some fantastic city.

Joey was my favorite. I still have my huge Joey button! What a hunk, right?

Last summer, I had the chance to go to a New Kids on the Block concert. It was amazing! I went with some girl friends, none of whom I knew at age 10, and we had a blast rocking out to those songs from so long ago. Remembering all the lyrics and dancing and hearing those oh so familiar tunes, just transported me back. Now some things were not the same.....you could tell that NKOTB knew their fan base was not 10 year olds, but 30 year olds. Some of their new dance moves were a little bit more adult. They made me blush! But all in all, I loved it. I would do it again. To remember what it was like to be so carefree and not have to worry about money, bills, health, politics, and social issues. To just enjoy the little things!

Now, while I don't listen to NKOTB much anymore, I do still find joy in music. My taste has changed.....thank goodness. I still rock out at home or in the car to music....just ask Nolan and Georgia! And I believe that my love for fun tunes has been passed on, Georgie rocks out in the back seat just as much as her Mama in the front seat.

And while I've studied vocal performance in college, I found that didn't make me happy. I loved learning the music, listening to the music and singing the music, but I just don't love performing the music in front of a room full of people. I let my nerves stand in the way. In my teens and 20s I tried to fight my nerves because frankly, I'm a good singer....not to toot my own horn or anything. But anyway, I finally gave up fighting the battle of my nerves and just moved on to enjoying music the way I want to enjoy it. And that is sometimes singing solos at church, singing with choirs, enjoying our congregational singing in harmony at church and rocking out in the car with my family!

Now check out what made SarahDanielleMichelleCharlotteLeah, and Tish happy when they were 10. I wonder if NKOTB made them as happy as they made me!!!!