Week 25: Les Deux are Almost 2 lbs Each

How far along? 25 weeks
Total weight gain: +28 lbs. Still gaining steadily but happy to hear this is translating to the babies as well - they're almost 2lbs each!
Maternity clothes? Rotating between the small maternity wardrobe I have, as well as a few pre-pregnancy pieces that are roomy enough.
Stretch Marks: Nothing yet.
Best moment this week: Seeing the babies again and hearing they're doing well. Also, while I guess I was hoping for even better news, happy we're still able to go out to dinner once a week. It was also awesome to get out of the house for London's first birthday party and catch up with people there.
Feeling: While in the back of my head I think I was hoping for better news, that nothing had changed and therefore I could ease up a bit on my bed rest, I'm still happy with the outcome. I'm feeling really good about the babies themselves and am thrilled to hear they're just about the same size and growing a week ahead of schedule. This is such good news. A bit worried about the contractions and risk of pre-term labor, but again, thrilled that the test for that came back negative. Other than that, I'm starting to feel the little things a bit more - acid reflux is a pretty common occurrence, my feet get tingly occasionally, my nose is constantly stuffed up (even outside this cold I think) and I still get a pain below my left ribs whenever I'm sitting upright for very long. Overall, nothing awful to complain about.
Sleep: Sleeping was a bit tougher this week. I'm still fairly comfortable which is nice, but I've had a cold all week so the last couple of nights I've been waking up really early, unable to go back to sleep, as I can't breath out of my nose, so my mouth gets really dry, I drink water, sort of fall back asleep and repeat the whole process 20 minutes later. I know colds need to run their course so I'm hoping this is the end of it.
Movement: Still feeling them move around, although I'm more focused on the contractions which I've noticed much more often than actual kicking.
Food cravings: Nothing new this week, still eating pretty steadily but maybe just slightly less than I've been able to in the past.
Labor Signs: Now that my doctor has pointed it out, I'm getting more familiar with what constitutes a contraction and I'm definitely having them throughout the day. I've been given a prescription for anti-contraction medication that I'm to start taking if I experience 5 or more contractions in one hour. So far, this hasn't been a problem. As the nurse said, they'll probably pick up more in the evening, but while sometimes I'm feeling them every 20 minutes, other times it will be an hour or more in between.
Belly button: Same as usual, which is sort of half out.
Gender: Our boys
Looking forward to: We don't have a lot going on this week. We had tentatively planned a trip up to Tahoe for Dave to snowboard and me to get some spa treatments and relax, but since things haven't necessarily improved with my condition, I didn't even bother asking the doctor if we could go. It's better just to take it as easy as possible for now. So we'll have dinner on Friday night, I'm hoping to start some sewing projects for the nursery with Dave's friend as my coach on Saturday and then Sunday is the Superbowl, can't wait!!

Latest Update

Dave and I have a love-hate relationship with going to the doctor. While we're always excited to see the babies and hear the heartbeats to make sure everything is okay, it seems like the list of potential problems that can arise with twin pregnancy keeps getting longer and we can never seem to escape without a curve ball thrown our way.

We went to the Perinatal office yesterday. That's where we go to get the full ultrasound which measures every aspect of the babies and since the cerclage procedure, this is where I also see the 'cervix whisperer', Dr. Katz. My biggest concern is always the babies growth as there's not much I can do about that. The great news is that they're actually growing a week ahead of schedule, measuring at 1 lb 14oz and 1 lb 13oz each. This is such great news that they're growing at just about the same pace and they're ahead of schedule. We'll take every ounce we can get before they come out. Everything else looks good too, as far as heartbeats, other measurements, etc.

Next up, I had to get an fFn test (Fetal Fibronectin test) which tests for the presence of fibronectin, a 'glue' the binds the fetal sac to the uterine lining. This is often present early in pregnancy and much later, around 34 weeks, as your body begins to prepare for delivery. With twin pregnancy, I'll be tested every 2 weeks from about 24 weeks for the next 8 weeks or so. If the test is negative, you have more than a 99% chance of not going into labor within the next 2 weeks. This is definitely what we want. On the flip side, if it's positive, it's not conclusive that you will go into labor soon, but often further activity restrictions will be put in place and you'll be more closely monitored as a precaution. Regardless, Dave and I were both nervously awaiting the results this morning, and we got good news, my test was negative.

After the fFn test yesterday, then my cervix was measured to see if there were any changes since the cerclage helped lengthen it to 3cm. Unfortunately it had shortened, to 2.6cm, still okay, but it's not great that even being on modified bedrest has led it to shorten. When meeting with Dr. Katz, he didn't seem too concerned with this amount of shortening, which he said was normal. A lot would depend on the fFn results - if they had come back positive, I would have been put on complete bedrest -- only getting up to use the bathroom. Since it was negative, I can continue to do modified, getting out of the house once per week and staying laying down at home as much as possible. I'll probably take it even easier than I was and avoid getting up if I can.

The last thing that we talked about was my 'excited' uterus as he called it. I hadn't noticed any contractions, but he spotted one right when i was sitting there that I didn't feel. He said twin moms often have a harder time noticing contractions (why does everything seem to be harder??) but tried to have me feel the difference of the padded table/chair I was sitting on, how you could push into it and then release, versus my stomach at that moment which was very firm. He said I needed to monitor this and if I have 5 contractions in an hour, I need to start a prescription he wrote for me to manage contractions. I guess the problem with having these contractions, even if they're not bothering me, is that they could shorten my cervix more quickly which could then lead to preterm labor.

So today I anxiously awaited the call from the nurse with my test results and was thrilled to hear that they're negative. Let's hope at least the next few will be as well. Now I'm most worried about determining what's a contraction and what's not. There are times I feel something the size of my fist protruding and literally you can see one side of my belly bigger than the other. The nurse seemed to think this was just baby movement, which is what I thought, and encouraged me to poke them and they should move, which would prove it was not a contraction. She was helpful in answering a few more questions, but reassured me that now that I know to look out for certain signs, I should get more familiar with what is a contraction and what isn't over the next few days. I don't want to start medication unnecessarily, but I also don't want to be missing contractions when I could be doing something about them. I got a contraction app on my phone now and am trying to pay close attention to my belly, which is pretty easy to do while laying around all day. I notice that when I get up, my stomach hardens, but as I'm not getting up more than once an hour, if that, I'm not even having more than one contraction an hour so that should be a good sign.

I'm almost to 25 weeks and the time can't pass fast enough. Every day, every week makes a difference and while we're at least at the point where they have a chance at surviving outside the womb, we want them to have many more weeks to grow. Even with these roadblocks, I'm still feeling positive. I feel so luckily that they're growing so well and keeping up with each other, that could prove to be a big problem if it weren't the case, and at least in the case of the contractions and the shortened cervix, these are things that I can manage through medication or diligent bed rest. Things can always be worse, and they may get worse, but for now, I'm just grateful and praying for the best.

Thought I'd share a photo of me in 'normal' clothes - it's rare to be wearing something other than yoga pants and a t-shirt and my weekly update photos are in my tight workout clothes, so here's one with the belly a bit more under wraps ;)

Week 24: Les Deux are the Size of Ears of Corn

How far along? 24 weeks
Total weight gain: +25 lbs!!! I can't believe I made my goal. When I found out I was having twins at 13 weeks and starting reading twin pregnancy books, the goal of gaining 24lbs by week 24 kept popping up, as it supposedly leads to higher birth weights of the babies and lowers the risk of pre-term labor. I was overwhelmed and had no idea how I'd gain 24lbs in 11 weeks. When meeting with my dietitian around week 14, she wasn't as concerned with what the scale said, and more with me eating the nutrients recommended. I've been following this religiously, but feel a bit more reassurance that I'm gaining sufficient weight as well. Of course, there are people out there who don't gain enough weight and have larger babies, and those who follow the guidelines to a T and have their babies early, so nothing is guaranteed, but I'm thrilled I was able to reach this milestone.
Maternity clothes? I'm still leaving the house only once to twice per week so not too concerned about looking cute, but as the belly has definitely grown, my non-maternity shirts are starting to ride up a bit (as in my 49er shirt in the photo above -- I promise, I wouldn't wear this out of the house). While I don't have a complete maternity wardrobe I could use for work, I have enough pieces for staying in every day and a few that are good for going out.
Stretch Marks: Nothing yet, but diligently using the belly cream.
Best moment this week: A fun dinner out with the girls on Friday night, it was so nice to get out of the house, see everyone and have a great meal. I actually had a great week full of visitors. But nothing tops that the 49ers are going to the Superbowl!!!!!!!!!!
Feeling: No complaints. I often get a slight pain on the my left side when sitting upright, but to be honest, I rarely sit upright at this point. Plus, the doctor confirmed that one baby is positioned up and down on my left side (the other is below, across my belly), so that must be why. In general, my outlook is positive. I'm just happy to make it another week and that's all I'm focusing on for now.
Sleep: I have been really lucky so far, and despite a few weeks in the first trimester where I would have to wake up early to go to the bathroom, I've had no issues sleeping. I fall asleep quickly and I guess am in the phase where there's not too much pressure on my bladder. I'm going to take advantage of it for as long as I can, as I know many woman pregnant with twins (and probably singles too) struggle with insomnia due to being uncomfortable and having to go to the bathroom so often.
Movement: Lots more movement this week, lots of kicks. Still feels sort of like bubbles popping, but I feel it a lot more frequently than I have in past weeks.
Food cravings: We finally went out for burgers last Sunday, I hadn't had one in forever and while I wouldn't say I was specifically craving one, I need a good burger every once in a while and it was definitely time. I'm still eating a lot, although have trouble eating quite as often in the morning.  
Labor Signs: Luckily nothing yet
Belly button: Depends, it's definitely not completely in, but sometimes it's out more than others.
Gender: Our boys
Looking forward to: Our doctors appointment on Thursday. That will mark 5 weeks on modified bed rest -- can't believe it's already been 5 weeks. I really can't complain. While it hasn't been fun to be homebound, it went by pretty fast. Just hoping for good news. Unfortunately at this point, we're going to be a bit on edge for every appointment as things can drastically change based on what the doctor sees. It's been a month since we've seen the boys though, so it will be crazy to see how much they've changed -- they certainly have grown a lot and from what I hear, I may not even be able to see them both in the same picture anymore.

Week 23: Les Deux are the Size of Grapefruits

How far along? 23 weeks
Total weight gain: Don't have a home scale, so probably won't find out for a few weeks. I feel bigger though so I'm hoping I've gained a few pounds.
Maternity clothes? While I'm still wearing plenty of regular clothes, I'm only doing so because I'm not leaving the house. The shirts are definitely riding up a bit more. Several maternity pieces I ordered online have arrived so I think I'll be rotating through those basics for at least the time being.
Best moment this week: More visitors! I had several friends come spend time with me this week, plus family came over on several different nights to make dinner. It's so appreciated. Dave and I also had a really nice dinner out on Friday night and were even able to walk next door for ice cream at Swensen's. 
Feeling: Still feeling good and while I don't feel massive yet (but am sure I will soon enough), I am starting to feel bigger. So often Dave would look at me in awe of how big I'm getting, but I really didn't feel big yet. That's starting to change.
Movement: I haven't gotten to the point where I'm feeling them constantly, but I feel them often enough to be reassured.
Food cravings: I wish I had something new and exciting to report here, but mostly eating the same as always, especially during the week. I did get American Grilled Cheese though, which is always sooo good.
Symptoms:  Belly is growing fast, but I also am feeling it more. I usually don't eat sitting fully upright, so when I do, there's a pulling on my side. It's weird, but just slightly uncomfortable, nothing more than that.
Belly button: Definitely on it's way out
Gender: Our boys
Looking forward to: The 49ers winning this weekend! And having a few friends over to watch the game. Our weekly dinner out tomorrow at a Moroccan place we've been wanting to try.

Gifts for Les Deux

Loving the twin gifts we've received:

Christmas ornament from Dave's parents

Twin onesies from Mariela

Week 22: Happy New Year!

How far along? 22 weeks
Total weight gain: Still +18 lbs, who knows if I haven't gained any weight or if the scales are off as I seem to have been on a different scale every week. But, my belly is measuring 26 weeks. In a singleton pregnancy, your belly growth should be in line with how many weeks pregnant you are. With twins there isn't a ratio, however it's normal to show 4-6 weeks ahead.
Maternity clothes? I can still fit in a lot of my regular clothes, well mostly because I'm not leaving the house. Some of my shirts that aren't long are definitely starting to ride up a bit so I'll probably be putting those away after this week. I've ordered a few more maternity things online, but trying not to stock up if I won't be leaving the house very often.
Best moment this week: Having visitors! My brother and his family came over for lunch on Saturday and then they took the kids swimming while I lounged by the pool. It was a surprisingly nice day up on the roof despite it being December. Dave and I also went out to dinner on Friday night for crab (it's crab season in SF!) and then to dinner for New Year's last night.
Feeling: Physically I'm feeling fine and overall I'm doing okay with having to lay around so much. But I'm not looking forward to the (at least) 25 more days of this.
Movement: I'm feeling kicks at various points throughout the day. Apparently they're getting to the stage where they may be receptive to my touch, so when I feel a kick, I try to push back to see if I get a response.
Food cravings: I wouldn't consider it a craving, but I feel like I've been eating more sweets in general. Maybe it's just because of the holidays and we have more of that stuff around than we normally do.
Symptoms:  Belly is definitely getting bigger.
Belly button: Not fully out, but sometimes more than others.
Gender Prediction: Now we know, 2 boys!!
Looking forward to: Actually seeing my obgyn on Thursday. I've seen other doctors most of my pregnancy for one reason or another, but I'm looking forward to getting some questions answered from her. Also looking forward to dinner on Friday, that will probably be the big event of the week :)