Monday, April 20, 2015

Twin Shock #3 -- 27-Weeks Along

Say hello to that big ol' belly!

Today I'm 27-weeks.  Although I'm over three-fourths of the way through a twin pregnancy, the possibility of ten or more weeks sounds like a lifetime!  At my 25-week appointment I was measuring at 38-weeks gestation for a normal, singleton pregnancy.  Um, yikes!  And I'm definitely feeling it, haha.  Oh my gosh, am I feeling it!  Who knew my body could stretch out like this?  It's insanity.

The dreaded belly itch has begun.  When I was pregnant with George, I spent the last three weeks with the itchiest belly in the world that HAD to be scratched, but it hurt like poo to scratch it.  It was fun times, let me tell you.  I basically bawled while I was scratching because it felt so good and yet hurt so bad at the same time.  Awkward.

Starting at 24-weeks, my appointments have been weekly.  I have ultrasounds every week in my doctor's office at Alta View, but recently I began having regular ultrasound appointments with the high-tech equipment with Maternal Fetal Medicine; these happen every four weeks.  These appointments are to measure the girls, check for consistent growth, measure fluid levels, and to basically make sure all of their innards are doing okay!

So far these girls are a dream.  Both appointments so far have been incredibly reassuring as the techs and the doctor have only said repeatedly how "perfect" everything is so far.  Perfect growth, perfect fluid levels, perfect placenta placement (nowhere near my c-section incision, which is seriously awesome news), perfect organs, perfect heartbeats--"perfect" is my favorite word to hear at these appointments, haha!

The appointments start out with a tech doing measurements and such, and then the doctor comes in to double check the health and well-being of the girls.  We've seen two different doctors and techs, all of which have been incredibly awesome.  This last week, at our second appointment at MFM, we had a doctor who was actually an identical twin.  One question I've had on my mind for a while was whether or not we could know which twin was going to be born first (then I could call them by their respective names rather than "Twin A" and "Twin B", haha), and the doctor said yes!  We now know that Sofia is on my left side (if you were facing towards me she'd be on your right), and Maren in on my right side (so, your left if you were looking at me).

We also learned that the twin that's referred to as "Twin A" is called the presenting twin.  This twin, after twenty weeks (which is when you get your first ultrasound and really get the twins labeled "A" and "B"), will be the firstborn no matter what way they come out.  She told us the story about how all growing up she had believed that if her sister hadn't been facing the wrong way, that she would've been the firstborn.  This is funny because Brad and his parents were made to believe the same thing--that if Ben hadn't been breech, then Brad would've been born first.  The doctor said that only once she became an OB did she learn that this was incorrect, that the presiding twin will always been first out, no matter the circumstances, which is why they are labeled "Twin A" throughout the last half of the pregnancy.  That was pretty cool to know!

Going back a few weeks, just after 22-weeks the pelvic pain I've been experiencing since before 10-weeks along had gotten even worse.  I seriously felt like I was holding a boulder in my crotch (horribly imagery, lo siento), it hurt that bad!  I wore my belly support band all day long and it helped manage it quite a bit, but once I took it off for a nap or bedtime the pain was awful.  I also couldn't sleep on my left side, it was literally suffocating; if I rolled to that side, I couldn't breathe.  It was so random.  It felt unbearable.  I spent a lot of time crying at night to Brad.  I didn't know how I was supposed to deal with the pain for the next 14-ish-weeks as I got larger and larger, which meant it'd only get invariably worse.

Around 25-weeks I realized that I didn't hurt as much.  I wasn't wearing my belly support band and wasn't in horrible pain.  That week I was back at MFM and it turned out that these girls, who have been happy snuggling together, both head down in my pelvis, had switched it up.  While Sofia was still head down, Maren had flipped head up.  And I felt WONDERFUL.  Hopefully Sofia doesn't miss her sister and flip head up as well.  My poor ribs.  And hopefully Maren is happy and stays where she is.

The same time that my pelvis pain chilled out I ended up catching a cold from George (who caught it from Brad's work, woops, poor kid).  Normally a cold is no big deal for me.  It's basically like having allergies, which I have like... all the time.  Yeah, I found out that colds are very different when you're pregnant.  As in much, much worse.  It started with a sore throat Friday morning and by that afternoon I was dying.  The same thing had happened to George two days prior, and I definitely sympathized with him.  It was awful.  It felt like the flu because my body felt like it was going to cave in on itself, but I knew that it wasn't just from general symptoms.  It took a whole Saturday and Sunday of sleeping, but by Monday I felt a LOT better.  I'm just grateful that the girls gave me a break on the pelvic pain, that would've sucked to not be able to sleep!

Overall things are going so much better than they were the first 22-weeks of this pregnancy.  I did throw up last week because of phlegm in my throat, but other than that things have been fairly straight forward.  I have a lot of food aversions to strong meat smells, especially deli meat, which bites the big one because my dad has been cutting fresh, thinly sliced meats all week.  I can eat the chicken, though, so that's be heavenly!  I craved corn dogs for a straight week.  I would eat like two or more a day.  It was magic.  Speaking of magic, I magically didn't gained any weight these last two appointments.  I'm waiting to step on the scale this Wednesday to find out I gained ten pounds or something, haha, but I'm hoping that it'll plateau a bit since I gained so much the first trimester.

In other random news, my parents have begun warming up their pool and I've been going out to check the temperature to see when Brad and George can start swimming again.  The random part is that I've figured out the smell of the pool house is for some reason extremely addicting for me.  Like, it's crack.  I could sit in there and huff it all day.  It smells so amazing.  I just want to go out and sniff it over and over again, it smells SO GOOD.  I've never had weird pregnancy symptoms like that before, so that's been fun!

Oh, and our last MFM appointment the doctor did a quick 3D ultrasound of the girls' faces and it was SO CUTE.  Maren was hiding most of the time, but we got really great shots of Sofia snuggled up against her placenta and it was DARLING.  We about died.  They both look so much like George, it was so incredibly cool to see them!  Sofia was measuring 1-pound, 15-ounces (so basically 2-pounds) and Maren weighed in at 2-pounds, 2-ounces.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The True Story of the Explosion in Our Bedroom

It was March 13, 2015.  After Brad got home from work, I went over to my sister's house to watch that week's Pretty Little Liars episode (yeah, we got suckered in--you can judge, don't worry).  As we were finishing up--after pausing and/or rewinding a million times to discuss something--I received a panicked call from Brad.  "You need to come home," he said.  "There's stuff all over our bedroom!  Seriously, it's everywhere!"

When Alix and I got there, we walked into mine and Brad's bedroom to see what looked like a brutal crime scene.  It was everywhere.

On the carpet.

On the walls.

It was even all over the ceiling.

And it wasn't just one side of the room, it was completely from one wall to the other, all over our side of the bedroom.  No joke,  It had even made it's way out into the hallway.  It was insane.  It was everywhere, it was the biggest mess I've ever seen... was grape juice.

To put some history to this mishap, early pregnancy for me was rampant with very, very narrow and specific cravings.  As in, I didn't just crave it, it was all that I could eat or drink.  For about four weeks it was grape juice.  It could be any variety of grape juice, "grape" just had to be in the name or I'd be more sick than if I had just listened to what these two girls had demanded for.  Very suddenly, however, grape juice became something that made me just as sick as any other drink.  Soon I figured out that the new "it" thing was orange soda.  I then proceeded to only be able to drink orange soda for six weeks.

In that transition period, a half-drunk gallon of Welch's Grape Juice had been forgotten by my night stand.  And thus, there it sat, for probably that entire six weeks that orange soda was my kick.  As it sat there, the air that had been trapped inside from it being previously opened began to ferment the grape juice... for six weeks.  On that night, when I was just about to hit 22-weeks along, it happened.  The air built up from the fermentation was too much for that plastic gallon bottle and it exploded--straight through the bottom of the bottle.

I was so grateful that Alix had decided to come home with me because, oh man, we needed the extra set of hands!  The weirdest feeling is seeing this giant mess (seriously, the pictures don't do it justice--it was bad and it was everywhere) is not knowing where in the world you're supposed to even begin to clean it up.  It was so nuts.

We eventually decided that we should start with the carpet first as we were most afraid of it being stained.  Ironically, the carpet was the easiest part!  Let me just take this moment to tell you the best carpet cleaner in the world comes from the dollar store, of all places.  It's called LA's Totally Awesome Carpet Spot and Stain Remover, and you can get it at your local Dollar Tree or on the Dollar website here (the one I buy at my Dollar Tree actually has a blue bottle, but it's the same brand and name).

That stuff is seriously the biggest boss in the world!  I've been using it for a long time to clean up really, really old stains left in my parent's basement by my siblings and I and our friends from when we were careless teens and it's done beautifully on those spots.  I was happy to see that it works on grape juice stains as well.  Even the parts of the carpet that got hit the worst where the grape juice spray originated are perfectly clean now.  Don't waste your money on other cleaners, go spend a buck on this magical stuff.  You won't regret it!

Now, cleaning the walls was a different story.  My parents have off-white walls with greige trim.  The trim cleaned off just fine, but the walls had been literally stained by the grape juice--something we definitely did not think could ever happen.  We tried every method possible and it just would not come off, there was always some ghostly shadow of grape juice spray.  Luckily my sister is a smart one and suggested watered down bleach to finally get rid of it so we wouldn't need to repaint the entire room.

The work was tedious as we had such a large area to wipe down, and it made our bedroom smell like either a swimming pool or otherwise a crime scene wipe-down, but it worked and that's what mattered in the end!  We had all the walls and the floor cleaned up by the end of the night that Friday the explosion occurred.  Brad and I ended up sleeping in George's room on a futon because our room was pretty dang fumed-up.

Saturday morning we faced the big task--the ceiling.  Please note that this basement bedroom my parent's have so graciously invited us to stay in for these past years isn't your typical basement bedroom.  It's at least double (if not triple) the size you'd expect it to be.  So when I say one-third of the ceiling was splattered with grape juice, imagine it pretty much covering the entire ceiling of the room size you'd expect it to be.  The square footage this bottle exploded all over was just massive.  And that ceiling?  Poor Brad had to clean it all by himself because I was too pregnant to stand on a ladder and scrub.

We used the same method as the walls, bleach, but the ceiling proved even more challenging both from the horizontal angle and from the stamping.  We are forever grateful it wasn't a popcorn ceiling (the horror, that would've be awful), but it is a textured ceiling and thus the raised bumps meant extra scrubbing for Brad to have to do.  In the end, we weren't able to completely rid the ceiling of 100% of the grape juice stains, but Brad did a pretty freaking good job considering how much ceiling needed cleaning and the way in which he had to do it.

Luckily my parents are not materialistic by any means, nor freaks about pretty much anything, and are understanding of their pregnant daughter's accident, so even they agreed that it was absolutely good enough for the people we date, haha.

But yeah.  Did we ever think that we'd be one day scrubbing walls and a ceiling?  Not-so-much.  Although we did joke that our bedroom is probably the cleanest bedroom in the house, so that's a nice thought, right?