Week 17: Les Deux Aren't a Secret Anymore!

How far along? 17 weeks
Total weight gain: +11 lbs (in 4 weeks), very happy with this!
Maternity clothes? Not yet, but pants are starting to feel a bit tight. We'll see how many weeks I have before I have to pop a button!
Best moment this week: Sharing the news with friends and family... separate post to come with all the details.
Feeling: Great! So happy after sharing the news and definitely feeling the holiday spirit by decorating our place for Christmas.
Movement: Same as last week, nothing concrete, still don't feel 'fluttering' but more like a pulsing occasionally.
Food cravings: Nothing new here, although I do feel like my appetite has increased. Even though I'm still eating every couple hours, there are occasions when I'm actually starting to feel hungry, so I eat again :)
Symptoms:  Luckily the sharp pain near my tailbone went away after pilates last week, but I've still had a dull pain in the same area, nothing as bad as what I had before though. I laughed when I read 'Week 17 Pregnancy Tip: Snoring'; yes, it seems that my evening congestion arrived just on schedule. I just got a humidifier so hopefully that will help. Luckily, it doesn't bother Dave at all. While he did point it out, he can sleep through anything. Good I didn't hear myself!
Gender Prediction: I just took a silly gender prediction test and it says 'boy', but I don't think I'm the best candidate for these tests as I don't really have any strong pregnancy preferences and haven't noticed any major changes. So questions like do I prefer sweet or sour now don't really help as I don't have a craving or aversion to either. I guess we'll just have to wait and see!
Looking forward to: Hosting a pre-party to Dave's Yahoo holiday party at our place this weekend (which meant we actually got to get a Christmas tree and I got to decorate the place a bit!) and the Book of Mormon play.

Thankful for: In addition to spending time with friends and family all weekend, I am so thankful for Dave. I can't give him enough credit for being so helpful and patient lately. Lucky for me he's always this way, but while I'm running around non-stop (by choice and for my own stuff like cooking and crafting), he's continued to step in and help with annoying little things that I know are the last thing he wants to be doing. It's really made a difference.

Week 16: Thankful for my Two Little Avocados

How far along? 16 weeks
Total weight gain: +7 lbs. Never been so happy to see the scale going up!
Maternity clothes? Not yet, trying to get one more wear out of the tighter fitting clothes that won't be a possibility in a few weeks. Luckily, most of my jeans have some stretch to them so hoping I still have a while with those.
Best moment this week: I was in the elevator at our hotel in Atlantic City with a mom and her preteen daughter, who asked me if I was there for the Twin Convention. When I said no, she sounded disappointed when she asked, 'you don't have a twin??'. I said no, but that I was pregnant with twins and her face lit up and asked if they were boys or girls. We're not sure yet, but it was the strangest thing to be staying at the hotel holding the annual Twin Convention for New Jersey moms.
Feeling: Anxious to get through the work week, get to the doctors appointment tomorrow and finally get to share the big news. Dave and I can hardly wait!
Movement: Potentially... still not sure, but sometimes I almost feel a pulse or something beating down there.
Food cravings: Still nothing specific, but have been sticking to my balanced diet and eating about every 2 hours. I'm never really hungry, but if Les Deux are getting everything they need, then it's worth it.
Symptoms: I've had a sharp pain near my tailbone for the last few days, which from my research, can happen during pregnancy. Luckily after pilates it actually started feeling better. The doctor says it's normal and can come and go.
Gender Prediction: Dave thinks two girls, which leads me to think it must be two boys.
Looking forward to: Hopefully hearing the heartbeats at tomorrow's appointment. Excited to share the big news with everyone this week!!!

Week 15: Les Deux are Each the Size of an Orange

How far along? 15 weeks
Total weight gain: Will find out at the dietitian tomorrow
Best moment this week: Finding the baby bag I had my eye on, on sale, at the Kate Spade outlet. And the 49er game, even though they tied(?!).
Feeling: Was exhausted after the weekend, literally was running around from after work on Friday until about 10:30pm Sunday. Slept great on Sunday night so am otherwise feeling great.
Movement: Nothing yet, but apparently they're moving around in there.
Food cravings: None. Still trying to eat as much as possible, but looking forward to getting a clearer plan from the dietitian.
Symptoms: A bump is definitely starting to show, although I can still control how big or how small it is (Dave's not a fan of this) :) I'm far from 'sucking in' to a flat stomach though. Otherwise, no signs.
Looking forward to: A long weekend away in Philly and Atlantic City!

Week 14: Les Deux McDowells are the size of lemons

How far along? 14 weeks (November 6)
Total weight gain: Haven't been able to check yet, but hopefully a few pounds!
Best moment this week: Sharing the news with my mom, so fun to see her shocked!!
Feeling: Had a bad cold that kept me in bed for a few days, which meant I got to read all about twin pregnancy. Feeling a bit nervous about eating enough so that the babies are born at a good weight, and also worries about bed rest, preterm labor, etc. But overall, so excited!
Movement: Nothing yet 
Food cravings: None - in fact, I don't think I've even been hungry since I found out as I'm forcing myself to eat every 2 hours.
Symptoms: Nothing noticeable, although still have to wake up early to go to the bathroom.
Looking forward to:
Sharing the news! A few weeks to go. Oh and of course the 49er game on Sunday!!

Week 13: WE'RE the size of a plum

If you haven't noticed, we've been 'proceeding with caution' during this pregnancy and didn't want to jinx anything. Therefore we didn't take any bump photos until after the 13-week appointment. Not that we missed much; I hadn't gained any weight, barely had a sign of a bump and didn't really have any changing symptoms or cravings to report. So Week 13 (October 30, although we were a few days late on the photo) is a good place to start.

How far along? 13 weeks (October 30)
Total weight gain:
Best moment this week:  Ummm... finding out 'you' means TWO!  
Feeling: A rollercoaster of emotions. Thrilled to hear a heartbeat, shocked to see that there are 2 babies, worried about gaining enough weight to have 2 healthy babies. 
Movement: Nothing yet 
Food cravings: None 
Symptoms: Figured out that if I don't drink liquids after 8pm, I'm able to sleep through until my alarm clock. Never had this problem before!
Looking forward to:
Learning more about twin pregnancy and getting my head around having 2 babies.

Trick or Treat?

Dave and I were feeling positive after two promising appointments at the obgyn office. So on Halloween morning as we headed over to the Perinatal center, we were overall feeling good and just praying nothing bad showed up in the tests. There were so many people out, even at 8am, as it was the day of the Giants Victory Parade down Market Street -- World Series Champs for the second time in three years!

The ultrasound technician came to get us right on time and before I knew it, I was on the table with (warm) goo on my belly. Before the technician said anything, this image appeared on the wall monitor.

It instantly looked odd to me, but I was more worried that something was wrong that I was convincing myself, 'don't worry/don't try to analyze until she says more'. Dave said he knew instantly, but he didn't say anything. Then the technician asked, 'when did you have your first ultrasound?', '9 1/2-10 weeks', I stuttered, immediately thinking that there had been a mistake at our previous two appointments and something was wrong. Then she said what will forever change our lives, so much more than just finding out you're pregnant... 'do you know there's two in there?'.  No, I most certainly did not.

I was obviously shocked, but as she scrolled over to display both babies, I just started crying. Dave was happy-shocked, although I couldn't even look over at him. That would make it real. While it's sad to admit, my first thoughts were of me being the obnoxious woman pushing a double-wide stroller through the crowded farmers market, the fact that while Dave and I would have attempted going out to dinner with a baby, taking two would be out of the question, and finally, there would be no chance of us getting on a plane with 2 babies any time soon. Ultimately, I just couldn't believe it. How did this happen to us? Twins scared me and now I'm going to have them?! The technician gave us (me) a minute to calm down. Luckily Dave was immediately positive and enthusiastic. We continued on with the assessment and were just happy to hear that both babies looked good. They each were in their own sac, with their own placenta, measuring about the same size and had strong, almost equal heartbeats.

The doctor then came in and did another check and talked to us a bit more. I don't really remember what about. He asked if we had any questions, my mind was a blank. We then met with a genetic counselor and again were relieved to hear that everything looked great and we had nothing to worry about. As Dave and I left the building, I was just in disbelief that we were having twins.

Needless to say, I wasn't terribly productive at work that day, searching everything I could about having twins. I did leave for an hour to watch the Giants parade and for the first time in my pregnancy, I felt lightheaded. I don't know if it was the crowd, the pregnancy or the big news.

From what I've read, my reaction is similar to the majority of women. You go into your pregnancy with this idea of the 'perfect pregnancy' and while ultimately all you ever want is for your baby to be okay, finding out you're going to have two babies at the same time, and everything that entails, is extremely overwhelming. You're forever going to be the 'mom of twins'. I'm happy to report that those initial thoughts of all the stuff I wouldn't be able to do with two babies (that would probably even be a struggle with one baby) quickly turned into an excited disbelief. Yes, it was crazy and yes, it would be hard, but how lucky are we?! It's amazing that within hours of finding out, I went from being terrified to truly being overjoyed.

My research revealed that we had a 3% chance of conceiving twins, since we don't have any family history of twins and hadn't use fertility drugs.

I took the disc they had given us earlier that day and printed out the photos that most prominently displayed Baby A and Baby B. I couldn't stop looking. I had trouble sleeping that night, but as I write this a week after that trick or treat, I'm confident that we are so blessed and this is the ultimate treat.

Although we're both bursting at the seams to share the news, we're only a few weeks away from Thanksgiving and I won't trade in the opportunity to share the surprise(s) with each of our families in person. We're just getting creative on how to do that...

The Blessing and the Curse of the Geilhufe Stomach

It's crazy how long you have to wait for your first doctors appointment. Luckily we had a trip to Kauai for my birthday that helped pass the time, then one more week back at work before we finally had our first appointment in early October. It's clear I've been blessed with the 'Geilhufe stomach' as I've felt completely normal. No nausea, no morning sickness, no fatigue, no food aversions, normal appetite, just like my older sister. The only potential sign that something was off was that I couldn't drink the same amount of liquid at night without having to wake up early to go to the bathroom. Oh, and I think I did nap with Dave one afternoon which never happens.

To all of you who would like to tell me to shut up right now, I'm not bragging. What I don't think people realize is that not having any signs or symptoms is really scary. You have no idea what's going on and although it's no use worrying, by the time I walked into the doctors office that afternoon, I was the most anxious I've ever been in my life. Forget a speech in front of the my combined 6th grade class of 70 kids, or giving a presentation to executives at work; this was totally different. When the nurse went to take my blood pressure, Dave joked, 'I don't think you'll get an accurate reading right now.' Luckily my doctor understood and cut out the small talk, or really any talk, and immediately did the ultrasound. Relieved doesn't even begin to capture how Dave and I felt when she said, 'everything looks great.' Still, it was early, about 9 1/2 weeks, so we weren't in the clear yet.

With no changes in my symptoms and still no sign of a bump, I was still nervous for the next appointment at 13 weeks, but overall feeling so much better than that initial check-up. Poor Dave got minorly side-swiped on his way to pick me up for the appointment, but luckily the doctor was running late and he made it just in time to hear the heartbeat for the first time. Again, everything looked great. We couldn't be more thrilled. Not to mention I had conveniently scheduled the appointment on the same day as a monthly full moon hike to a lighthouse just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, something I knew Dave would never be able to make it to on a weeknight otherwise.

We still knew we wanted to keep the news to ourselves for a bit longer. A few days later we were headed into the Perinatal center for the routine first trimester testing and the full ultrasound so we wanted to make sure everything was okay there first.

Me and My Tandem Bike (and Life) Partner

After passing our 4th anniversary, I'm sure people were wondering (and at least most were nice enough not to ask), 'when are you going to have kids??' I feel so lucky to have spent 4 years dating Dave, before moving abroad and then spending the first 2 years of our marriage just he and I, literally. When we moved to Switzerland, I worked from home and met very few people. Dave had a few work friends but as we chose to spend the majority of our free time exploring Europe, that left little time to really make friends. Sure, there was a downside to not having more social outlets, but still, it was a really special time and an ideal way to build a strong foundation for a marriage.

So the short answer is really that I was still having too much fun with just Dave and wasn't ready to give that up just yet. Even after moving back home, I wanted time to get settled back into my job here, get set up in our new place (once we finally moved to SF!), take advantage of living in the city and hanging out with friends, and of course, I couldn't be pregnant for my big 30th birthday! Even as that came and went, I still wasn't convinced to take the leap, but finally we decided to see what would happen. So on August 31st, with no pregnancy signs except a missed period, I was thrilled to see the 'pregnant'. I wasn't surprised or shocked, I was more relieved that it had happened, at least to this point. While I felt so blessed to have conceived, I still quickly learned that you can control very little in the pregnancy process and not to get invested too soon. You never know what will happen, so while we were so grateful to be at that point, we were cautiously optimistic, avoiding any planning and keeping the news to ourselves. Thus my first blog post being now.

Luckily we were off to Southern California for Labor Day weekend and had the best time seeing my family, having brunch in Malibu and exploring Ojai (by tandem bike - cross it off the bucket list!).