3/30/2010

Twins at 15 or 16 weeks, depending on whether or not you're a doctor.

I thought I would do a Fetus and Fetus update (did that make anyone else think of "Marley and Marley" from A Muppet Christmas Carol?)

The title says 15 or 16 weeks, because by the first ultrasound, where they dated the pregnancy, I'm 15 weeks and 1 day. According to what I know, I'm pretty sure that I'm closer to 16 weeks. So here are what the twins looks like... kind of.

These twins are fraternal, and our twins are identical. The biggest differences are that our babies only have one placenta, and they're in the same sac with a thin dividing membrane rather than a thick sac around each one. Also, our babies have less space than this, but I only know that because of the ultrasound I had yesterday.

Yep, I had my last 4 week ultrasound yesterday! From now on they'll be every two weeks. The babies are still looking good, although they're not exactly the same size anymore. Baby A was about 4 ounces, and Baby B was 3 ounces, but their head sizes were measuring within a day of each other, and they're both still measuring bigger than 15 weeks. Plus, Baby A was dominating the view and Baby B was all stuck and tucked down in a corner so the ultrasound tech had a hard time getting a good view.

We couldn't get a peek at the gender, either, because of the way they were situated. 15 weeks is still a little early for that anyway. In 2 weeks we'll have a better shot :) It was kind of a funny appointment, though. The babies kept wiggling and kicking each other, and it looked like they were trying to hold hands through the membrane :) I thought it was pretty cute. Baby A was sitting on the placenta, and he/she kept bouncing up and down on it like a trampoline.

I'm carrying the twins really low like I did with Atticus, which partly accounts for them not having as much space. I'm pretty sure that in a week or two my uterus will remember all of that nice space that's currently occupied by my stomach and lungs and other, less necessary organs.

Developmentally, not a whole lot is happening right now. They're mostly getting bigger. Right now they're each about the size of an avocado, and growing toenails. Really. That's it. The rest of the weekly update is all about how I'm supposed to feel all glowy and full of energy, and how puking should be a thing of the past. Babycenter.com is full of hilarity!

I didn't get to take home any pictures this time, but honestly there weren't any good ones anyway. They were so mashed together in there it was pretty hard to tell what belonged to who. As they (and I) get bigger, we should be able to get some better pictures.

3/24/2010

Why on earth would you stick your baby in a bag?

I mentioned to a few people that I was getting a free Infantino Mei Tai carrier. This led to some questions like "Won't all infantino carriers will kill your baby?" or "What the heck is a Mei Tai?"

So I'm going to post this full explanation of why I'm getting a free Mei Tai, why I like babywearing, and why on earth would anyone put their baby in a bag. Okay, I'm not going to actually answer that last one because I have no idea.

When I was pregnant with Atticus, I read about babywearing and why some people carry their kids around in slings and wraps. It sounded pretty good to me, mostly because it meant I could keep a closer eye on Atticus, and because I feel like a dork pushing around a stroller by myself. Once I actually HAD Atticus, I liked it because I could discreetly nurse him in public, and because it was really easy to get him to fall asleep in it. Also, they're always recalling strollers for things like snapping off baby fingers or kids getting their heads stuck in them or babies falling out of them. And strollers are more expensive.

However, before I had him, I had no idea what kind of carrier I would like and what he would like, so I ended up with three styles of carriers: a back to front style where his legs hang out, a pouch (which is like a sling but without the confusing rings) and the Infantino baby bag.

The bag looked shifty to me from the beginning. It was all slouchy and bulky, and looked like it would fold a baby in half (and it turns out, it kind of does). Once I actually had practice with a newborn, and then a 4 month old, and then an 8 month old, it was pretty obvious to me that the Infantino bag carrier was unsafe, and I never used it. Not even once.

When I heard about the Infantino recall, it made sense. And being the kind of resourceful-mom-who-is-desperate-for-more-baby-stuff-since-she's-getting-two-more that I am, I wondered what kind of replacement products they were giving. And they're giving out Mei Tai carriers!! I love Mei Tai's! I just tried to make one, and even though it works well, it's ugly as sin! I could get a cute one! Yes. Now, what is a Mei Tai?

That is a Mei Tai carrier. A really cute one. It's like a soft cloth version of a baby backpack that can not only be worn front to back, but also on the hip. And speaking of the different ways to wear your baby, here are the only two safe options for a newborn baby.


image taken from Stand and Deliver

You should only carry your baby in positions that you would hold your baby. Upright, facing you, high on your chest, or in a cradle hold high on your chest. Not folded in half down by your waist.

Other holds become possible when your baby can sit up by themselves. Then you can face them out, so they can see what's going on, or if you have the right kind of carrier, you can put them high on your back (NOT down by your waist. It's unsafe, and hard on your back). When baby starts crawling, you can sit them on your hip. There's a PLETHORA of comfortable, safe ways to wear your baby.


image taken from Stand and Deliver

Honestly, does that really look alright to anyone? Anyway, if you're wondering, I have partly gotten over my aversion to strollers. With my belly getting bigger every day, and the weather getting nicer, I've had to pull the stroller out of the garage in order to get to the post office or park. I still feel like a dork when I'm pushing it down the street by myself, but after 5 months of being locked inside, our cabin fever has made it possible to ignore the feeling.

3/17/2010

10 months!

Atticus turned 10 months old this Monday! He's getting really good at a lot of things. Like dumping out his blocks. And then putting a few blocks back in the box, and then dumping them out again. He's also very skilled in the chewing on foam letters department, and he's practically an Olympian when it comes to pulling his dirty clothes out of the basket.



This mess has been made and approved by Atticus Butchart.


He's also pretty good at looking like a stud.



One area of achievement particularly worth noting is that he is getting pretty good at standing by himself!


... and then falling down.



video

Sorry it's sideways! If you tilt your head to the left, it's not so bad :)

3/08/2010

Open Letter to...


Dear Lady In Great Harvest,

When I went into Great Harvest tonight, it was no big deal, just a trip to get some bread. I had a buy two get one free coupon, so I was pretty excited to get some free pumpkin chocolate chip bread, but that was it. However, being in the store with you made me evening much more... interesting.

In case you don't remember, let me refresh your memory. I was the pregnant lady who walked in a few steps behind you. You were the woman in her 40's or 50's in the yellow sweater. There was no one else in the shop besides the smiley college aged employee. You walked up to the counter, with me right behind you, and proceeded to smack the counter with your hands when the employee asked how he could help you. You then started to yell. And things were just starting to get interesting.

I couldn't help but hear you, because of the previously stated yelling and because I was right behind you. I heard you berate this poor boy for not offering you a free slice of bread earlier. The boy, obviously in shock from being yelled at, seemed to speak without thinking when he said "But I did offer you a piece of bread! I remember!" At this point, you hit the counter more violently, smacking with both hands to accentuate each word: "NO. YOU. DID. NOT!" And then the whole story began to unfold. You had come in earlier with your son and his daughter, for a free slice of bread. There had been a few other customers in the store, so you grabbed the bread and knife and started to cut your own piece. The employee had then stopped you and told you that it was against store policy for customers to cut their own bread, but he would be glad to help you as soon as he was done helping another customer that he was already involved with. He quickly finished up and then asked you if you still wanted a free slice of bread as you stormed out huffily.

And then, for whatever reason, you saw fit to come back a few hours later, and yell and storm and hit counter tops with your hands. Because you didn't get a free slice of bread. And I got to witness all of this. I couldn't help stare at you (with my mouth open) and I nearly interceded on behalf of the employee, having worked with people like you before. Luckily, I think you saw the astonished look on my face and hopefully felt a little ashamed of yourself before storming out of the store again. The employee also wisely remained silent during the rest of your tirade after his first self-preservation instinct.

I realize that there are two sides to this story, but after witnessing your behavior, I am much more inclined to believe the employee. And I am so very grateful that I no longer work in the service industry.

I just wanted to thank you for the spice you gave to my night. Also for the opportunity to witness a full grown, well groomed and seemingly mentally stable woman throw a temper tantrum over a slice of bread that she didn't get for free.

Sincerely,
Michelle


3/01/2010

And Babies Make Five

Have you guessed it yet from the title? Probably. But just in case you haven't...


I'm pregnant again. With twins.


Yep. Identical twins, actually, but I'll get into all of that in a minute.

You may be surprised to hear that we're expecting again so soon... so were we. But that surprise was nothing compared to the moments we found out that two were coming our way. That's three babies in 15 or 16 months. You could even say that's like have triplets. While typing this out, I'm kind of re-living the shock of first realizing all of this.

Here are the basic questions answered:

How far along are you?
11 weeks exactly, although today the babies measured 11 weeks 5 days.

How long have you known?
We found out 4 weeks ago

So when are you due?
The actual due date is September 20th, but since they're twins they're likely to come at the end of August.

How did you find out?
At an early ultrasound, routinely done to date the pregnancy. Trevor says he knew when he saw the two yolk sacs and heard the midwife say "OH." I however, had tuned everything out because I was focused on seeing my baby for the first time. And then I saw two heartbeats. And most of me said "Holy cow, TWINS." The other, much smaller part me of me said "The baby has two hearts!!" Of course, it's twins.

What are they, identical or fraternal?
Identical.

How do you know?
There's only one placenta. This makes it a high risk pregnancy, but at least they're in two different amniotic sacs. If they were in the same sac, it would mean bad news bears.

How are you feeling?
Horrible. Really, I mean, before I even knew they were twins I knew I was way sicker than last time. Heartburn too, and trouble sleeping because my bladder is the size of a penny. But it goes with the territory, and I have Zofran for the nausea, and it means the babies are happy in there. So there are worse things.

Have you lost your mind?
Yes.

Did you get twins because of the fertility drugs you took to get pregnant with Atticus?
No. Those drugs left my system a long time ago, and besides, identical twins are just random chance. In my opinion, my ovaries are vengeful little things; so to get even for bullying them around last time they dropped an egg when it was least expected. And then to one-up me, it divided into two babies.

Any cravings?
Pineapple, lots of watermelon, and today chocolate cake. But that's probably because it's Trevor's birthday today. Happy birthday Trevor! I love you! You get two fetuses for your birthday, okay?

Can we see pictures?
Sure.



Taken today. Isn't that a great picture of his profile? You can see the little nose and lips. Aw. We even got to see the little fingers today, but we didn't get a picture of it.


Taken today, measuring 11 weeks and 5 days. They were dancing and jumping and kicking each other. Baby B's feet are right by Baby A's head, so hopefully Baby A doesn't come out with a concussion :)

Taken 4 weeks ago, when we first found out they were twins. They still look like dinosaurs here, but you can clearly see there are two babies, and one uterus.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!