Week 29: Les Deux are the Size of Acorn Squash

How far along? 29 weeks
Total weight gain: +33lbs. I gained 5lbs in the last month, but only one pound in the last 2 weeks, so not sure if I'm plateauing or if the food poisoning affected my weight gain.
Maternity clothes: Pretty much the rotation of pregnancy tops and about 4 pairs of pants.
Stretch Marks: Nothing yet.
Best moment this week: Definitely the baby shower! My friends did such an amazing job, everything looked so cute and they really thought of everything. It went by so fast, so I enjoyed re-reading the cards, looking at the gifts and I can't wait to see photos of everything. I'm so grateful for such thoughtful friends and family. Photos of the shower to follow.
Feeling: It felt so great to get out of the house and sit outside for several hours at my shower. It was a definite mood-lifter as well, but I was exhausted later that night. After the good news we got on Thursday and Friday, I think both Dave and I are really feeling positive, but we don't want to get ahead of ourselves either.
Sleep: I had a few nights last week where I didn't sleep very well, waking up when it was still dark and only sort of falling back asleep. Last night I got a good 8 or so hours, but I still can't sleep much past 7:30 or 8am, even on weekends. I'll take what I can get though - I've read of other twin moms-to-be who have to wake up every couple of hours to go to the bathroom, even at this stage, so hoping I can avoid that for a while longer.
Movement: It's ridiculous now, I don't just feel kicks, I feel a whole body moving a lot of the time. You can see so much of it, even though my clothes. I think it's already tight quarters in there so I can't imagine what a few more weeks will do. I tell Dave that we'll probably see a full hand or foot in a couple of weeks!
Food cravings: I was just thrilled to get back to my normal eating habits after being sick last week. I enjoyed great food at the shower and had the best chocolate cupcake ever - Annie knows what I like :)
Labor Signs: Same as they've been in recent weeks, luckily not increasing in frequency so still not a concern.
Belly button: Varies, but mostly half-out
Rings on or off?: Still fit, but rarely wear them.
Our boys
Miss anything?:
Driving to the shower I passed Target -- I totally wanted to stop on the way home, but knew that was out of the question. I'm lucky that so much can be purchased online, including stuff from Target, but sometimes you just want to go to the store to pick stuff out.
Looking forward to: We're holding off on dinner until Saturday night this week, but I'm really excited for our first parenting class, 'Expecting Twins' on Wednesday night. I can't wait to see other twin moms-to-be and I think it will help Dave and I to transition from this pregnancy phase to the oh-my-gosh-they're-really-gonna-be-here-soon-what-do-we-do phase.

Happy Friday!

Just a quick update about our big doctors appointment yesterday. This was the monthly appointment at the Perinatal center that does the full ultrasound measuring the babies, as well as my cervical length and then I meet with Dr. Katz. Everything looked great - babies are still growing ahead of schedule with baby A coming in at 2lbs13oz and baby B at a full 3 lbs. Baby A was tucked really low so it was hard to get an accurate measurement on him, so the doctor thinks he might be a bit bigger. Regardless, a 3oz difference is still great and nothing to be concerned about. Further good news, my cervix was measuring 2.8cm, so just slightly more than last time. The important thing is that it's not shortening. Dr. Katz is really happy with how things are looking and is slowly easing up -- he said if he sees me in a month, at 32 weeks, and things are still looking good, he'll let me get out for 2 dinners a week, woohoo! I asked him about an overnight trip to somewhere close like Napa, and he said he'd consider, again, if we reach that next milestone.

We still had to wait until today to get the test results of the fFn and luckily they were negative again! Dr Katz said that he's seen 3 negative tests in a row lead to deliveries at 36 weeks or later in 80% of patients, so let's hope I fall into this category.

We're thrilled with the latest good news. My shower is tomorrow and I was sure that if anything was going to go wrong, it would be in time for the shower. We'll continue to take it 2 weeks at a time and just keep praying for more negative fFns.

Week 28: Finally the Third Trimester!

How far along? 28 weeks
Total weight gain: Won't be able to check until next Thu
Maternity clothes: Definitely, loving my new selection of tops that actually fit over my bump.
Stretch Marks: Nothing yet.
Best moment this week: Had lots of visitors this week. It's always fun to have people come over to catch up in person and I love to hear what they're up to since I don't have many exciting stories of my own at this point. I also can't believe that I've just reached the third trimester. The second one was definitely a long one. It's a relief to be here, but also a reminder of how far I still need to make it for them to be big and healthy. 10 more weeks is as long as the doctor would let them go. Our next goal is to make it 4 more weeks, to 32 weeks, so we're praying to make it there and then we'll set further goals.
Feeling: While I was looking forward to the extra-long weekend, I was already sort of bummed. Normally any 3-day weekend I would be taking full advantage of with plenty of fun activities, if not a trip, planned. Regardless, I planned to finish a scrapbook, do some sewing and in general get some projects finished, but it turned out none of that was a possibility. I woke up about 4am on Saturday with what i thought was the worse case of acid reflux I had experienced yet. I tried to fall back asleep sitting upright, but nothing was helping. Finally went online to read about some homemade remedies so made a cup of hot water with fresh ginger (in place of ginger tea) and quickly after was in the bathroom. Definitely wasn't acid reflux but instead food poisoning. We went out to dinner to a French place the night before and I had boullibaise, escargots and duck. Nothing tasted out of the ordinary, but since I never leave the house otherwise, can't imagine I would have picked up a stomach bug somewhere. Saturday was rough, even after I was keeping liquids down, I felt achy and had a stomach ache the rest of the day. Luckily I was able to sleep well that night and by Sunday the aches were gone, but still wasn't feeling normal and while I could eat a bit more, really not much. Now Monday morning, I was bummed to wake up again not feeling normal. I feel okay, but definitely don't think I'll be eating much again today. Crazy to go from eating as much as possible to a few crackers, jello and some chicken broth. I was worried about the babies on Saturday, but the nurse reassured me that they're not sick and as long as I'm staying hydrated, I don't need to worry so much about solids.
Sleep: Sleep is definitely getting tougher, even without being sick, but overall, I can't complain yet. The acid reflux seems to be the biggest issue so I try to sleep somewhat upright as my throat burns, even just a little, and makes it difficult to sleep. Usually once I'm asleep, I can sleep through the night, although it's been frustrating to wake up and still have that feeling in my throat 8 hours later -- this may be lingering from the food poisoning though.
Movement: Tons this week. I pull up my shirt and watch my stomach dance and while the movement tends to be concentrated on one side, there are still times where both sides will be moving together.
Food cravings: Ugh, nothing. Saltines have been about as adventurous as I've been over the last few days.
Labor Signs: Contractions are continuing as normal, randomly throughout the day, but still not frequently enough to be alarmed.
Belly button: Currently in, it definitely pops out with eating so much, but the lack of food the last few days has flattened it out a bit.
Rings on or off?: Still fit, but rarely wear them.
Our boys
Miss anything?:
It's funny, having felt how I have the past few days, I just want to feel 'pregnancy normal' and most importantly get my appetite back.
Looking forward to: My baby shower on Saturday! Also hoping for good news at the big doctor's appt. on Thursday.

Week 27: Les Deux are the Size of Cauliflowers

How far along? 27 weeks
Total weight gain: +32 lbs. as of Thursday
Maternity clothes: Yes! Just stocked up on about 10 maternity shirts. All my others were definitely riding up. Some basics from Target and Gap are basically all I need while hanging around the house.
Stretch Marks: Nothing yet.
Best moment this week: Friday was such a great day as my previous post revealed -- obviously good news from the doctor tops everything else at this point. It was also a great week as I had numerous visitors, people making dinner, etc. I really am so grateful to the numerous people who have called, visited or made/brought over dinner. I've learned from other twin moms/those on bed rest, don't turn down any offers for help. Dave isn't as accepting, so I try to on his behalf to make it a bit easier on him. I'm just so thankful to my friends and family who have really made an extra effort to keep my spirits up. It means so much to me.
Feeling: I'm definitely starting to feel more pregnant -- the past week I felt the weight of my belly a lot more and in general am starting to get a bit more uncomfortable, mostly when sitting upright. This used to be the case only after an hour or so, now pretty much sitting upright for any amount of time isn't very comfortable. The only other issue is I'm still getting acid reflux, luckily only about twice a week, but it's definitely not fun.
Sleep: While I'm feeling the weight of my stomach more and I need to do a little maneuver to roll from side to side instead of just flipping, I'm so grateful that I'm still sleeping very well. I would say I'm still averaging 8-9 hours a night and I haven't had to use the body pillow yet, although probably soon.
Movement: Not as much movement as last week, or maybe I'm just not noticing it as much, but they're definitely still moving around. Still able to see my belly move when they kick too, which is fun.
Food cravings: I definitely seem to be eating more dessert than normal. I'm not sure if this is an actual craving or just the fact that I know I can use the extra calories so I let myself indulge.
Labor Signs: Still having contractions at times, but luckily not enough to cause concern, or to start taking the medication to stop them.
Belly button: The top part hangs out/shows through shirts.
Rings on or off?:  Apparently this week is when normal swelling starts to occur so I figured I'd add this question in. The rings still fit fine, although I have to admit, I don't put on my jewelry except for our weekly dinner out.
Gender: Our boys
Miss anything?: This is another question I've avoided on the list, mostly because once I was on bed rest, I figured it would be clear. But truly, I've survived the 7 weeks much better than I would have guessed. This last weekend though, it started feeling like a long time. I miss being able to do everything for myself, cooking full dinners, running errands, being able to go out whenever I want. I would not describe myself as a homebody, but like I said, I've managed for almost 2 months surprisingly well. It's just starting to get old. I've made a lot of progress on my scrapbooks (I'm now up to 2012!), have been able to do little projects for the nursery and am reading quite a bit, but I'm definitely getting bored of 'passing time', especially not knowing when exactly they will come. Of course, I've been trying to keep things in perspective and it is true that it could be worse, plus, it's this weird desire for this to last as long as possible as that means they're staying in longer.
Looking forward to: A long weekend will be nice, but I'm already feeling a little down that we can't really do much. Dave and I will have Valentine's Day at home and then go out to dinner on Friday night. Because of the long weekend, I may try to swing a lunch out on Sunday or Monday, but we'll see.

Great Day!

First of all it's Friday, which always makes me happy to have made it through another week with the boys still inside. It's also the night we get to go out to dinner, which means it's usually the only day I 'fully shower' meaning do my hair, put on make up etc. Plus, tonight we're meeting another couple for dinner so that will be fun.

I had my tests at my doctors appointment yesterday and was only expecting to be able to get the results of the fFn test back today, but luckily, they were able to get all test results back. My doctor knows me well and cuts straight to the chase -- 'I have good news' is always what I want to hear so when she said that, I was instantly relieved. I was even more thrilled to hear that that covered the fFn (which means it's 99.9% sure that I will NOT go into labor in the next 2 weeks), but also the glucose test (no sign of gestational diabetes despite it being more prevalent during twin pregancies) and an anemia test (which I didn't know I was having). Looks like all the steak I've been eating has been paying off as my iron levels look good.

To top it off, last night Dave say that he had a surprise arriving for me the next evening. I love surprises and this was a great one. Dave had a traveling manicurist come over to give me an at-home mani-pedi. It's been 6 weeks since I've been to the nail salon, and while I do keep up with grooming myself, a deep scrub, massage, and fresh mani-pedi were just what I needed. Plus, my US Weekly arrived today so it truly felt like a day at the spa.

Happy Friday!

Eating for Three

Any search on pregnancy diet and nutrition will quickly reveal that eating for two does not translate to eating twice as much as you normally do. It's stated that you should eat an extra 300 calories per baby, so in my case, an extra 600 calories per day to 'eat for three'. (Some sites recommend just 450 additional calories for twins).

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I found out I was carrying twins at my 13-week doctor appointment. At this point, I hadn't gained or lost any weight, which isn't necessarily uncommon. I didn't have any morning sickness, no food aversions and in general, no change in appetite. I wasn't eating any more and didn't find it necessary to as I figured I would start getting hungrier soon enough. Well, within about 24 hours of finding out I was having twins and staying up half the night reading Dr. Luke's When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads: Proven Guidelines on a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy, I quickly realized the importance of not only gaining enough weight, but gaining it before week 24. Dave ordered high protein/high calorie drinks (which have now been in our fridge for more than three months). I made an appointment with the dietitian at my Perinatal office to help me get on track.

The dietitian had me log a food journal for a few days before the appointment. When we met, we reviewed what I was eating, how often and then went through the recommended servings of key nutrients and how to work those into my diet. Overall, it seemed like I was off to a good start. But I definitely needed to be eating more frequently and spreading out the nutrients a bit more. She also gave me creative suggestions to get additional servings of certain nutrients. Most importantly, she told me not to worry so much about what the scale said, but more about making sure I was getting the required servings of everything each day - which was still a feat in itself. She said my body would handle the rest and would gain what it needs to gain. Here are the recommended servings for twin pregnancy:

Meats/Proteins: 3-4 servings
Milk Products: 4 or more servings
Breads, Grains, Starches, Cereals: 8-9 servings
Vitamin C Rich Foods: 1-2 servings
Vitamin A Rich Foods: 1 serving
Other Fruits and Vegetables: 3 or more servings
Fats: 2-4 servings

She said I needed to add in the Meats, Milk and Breads categories, otherwise I was looking pretty good.

I was still aiming for a 24-lb weight gain by week 24, but that was only 10 weeks away when I met with the dietitian and again, I hadn't gained any weight yet. I figured it wouldn't be possible, but I kept it in the back of my mind.

For the first few weeks, I was definitely forcing myself to eat more than I was hungry for. Slowly I fell into a routine and I don't know if it was my body adjusting to the amount of food I was giving it, or it actually needing/craving more, but I would say within a month, I was definitely much hungrier and needed to eat often.

Well, whatever I've been doing has been working, as I've now gained 32 lbs, and my doctor is happy with that progress. I should also mention that I've been on bedrest for the last 7 weeks so there has been zero physical activity which is a big change from my previous routine. Luckily I feel like I'm mostly belly which gives me confidence that the extra weight is going to the babies specifically. Regardless, I think it's been proven that healthy weight gain is so imperative to a longer multiples pregnancy/high birth rate of the babies, so the weight gain has been much more a source of pride than an emotional struggle.

I feel like I ate fairly healthy all along and even now, I don't restrict myself of indulgences. I would say the biggest changes are obviously eating more, but also eating full fat dairy products instead of nonfat. I've mentioned before that since I'm currently working from home, I fall into a good routine during the week and my food choices don't change all that much. On weekends, I find that I don't eat quite as often and therefore probably don't get the same amount of nutrients but it's still probably okay. So here's my typical diet on a week day:

8am: Small glass of calcium-enriched orange juice; Eggs, always one egg plus one egg white, but I change up how it's prepared:
-Scrambled eggs with ham, cheese and spinach and a piece of buttered toast
-Egg sandwich with fried eggs, bacon or ham, cheese and spinach on 2 pieces of toast
-Breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, ham, cheese, spinach, black beans and salsa in a flour tortilla
-I even made a fried egg with bacon, cheese, spinach and green onions over leftover grits from last week's shrimp and grits - so good. This works well with polenta too.
Bread: I definitely started reading a lot more labels after going to the dietitian and wanted to make sure everything I was eating was packed with as much goodness as possible. I've started eating Dave's Killer Bread exclusively, which per slice, is 110 calories, 22 carbs, 5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. It's definitely hearty, but tastes great too.

Other breakfast suggestions my dietitian made: a smoothie with tofu, milk and berries, oatmeal (which I do occasionally eat), breakfast quiche with lots of veggies, whole grain pancakes (occasionally make on the weekend).

10:30am: Melon and a yogurt parfait, plus some carbs
I try to get up as little as possible, so mid-morning I make myself some snacks, bring them back to the bedroom and usually am not done with the yogurt parfait until about noon. I used to have just the melon and yogurt parfait, but have been craving carbs at this time too, but usually it's just a handful of crackers.
-I'd estimate a cup and a half of cubed melon - cantaloupe and/or honeydew melon
-A bowl of 2% Fage Greek yogurt with at least a cup of berries - black, blue, raspberries, strawberries, sometimes pomegranate seeds as well. Topped with some chia seeds and a little high-fiber Flax granola and a drizzle of honey.
-Carbs - usually a handful of wheat thins, peanut butter-filled pretzels (Trader Joe's) goldfish or cheez-its (my guilty pleasure!). Lately I've been having a blueberry muffin after making a batch last weekend.

1:30ish: Lunch
To change the scenery, I try to eat my lunch on the couch instead of in the bedroom. 95% of the time lunch consists of dinner leftovers, which I love. I have a heaping bowl (sometimes two) of soup, one-pot meal, etc. Sometimes I'll need something sweet after this, so grapes, a cookie if we happen to have one, etc.

4:30/5pm: Pre-dinner snack (usually just one of the below)
-String cheese
-A bowl of wheat thins with cheese slices, grapes
-hummus and carrots
-handful of crackers or tortilla chips
-half a peanut butter sandwich on Dave's killer bread
-handful of dried fruit

7pm: Salad
I've been trying to maintain my modified bedrest, but I usually get up and sit at the counter to prep a salad and chop up any vegetables for our dinner so that when Dave gets home, he can just do the cooking instead of the prepping too. Our salad is pretty much the same every night:
-Big bowl of spinach for Dave and arugula for me, with tomatoes, red onion, crumbled feta for me, crumbled blue cheese or gorgonzola for Dave and pumpkin seeds. The pumpkin seeds were on a salad we had when we ate out one night back in fall, and I've been adding them ever since. So good and packed with protein and iron. We don't eat salad dressing, just a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper.
-Occasionally depending on what I have on hand, I'll add shelled edamame (high in fiber and protein), pomagrante seeds or a sliced cutie clementine.

8pm: Dinner
So all the cooking has fallen on Dave, or we've been very lucky and had my mom or my brother come over fairly regularly to make dinner as well. We very rarely have the same thing twice in even 4 months and I try to vary the protein so we have a mix each week. Here's a sample of dinners we've had over the past weeks. We also have fish once a week, but usually I serve that simply with vegetables and grain like pearl couscous or lentils and rarely follow a recipe.
-Pork chops, asparagus and rosti potatoes
-Shrimp and Grits
-Kale and Orzo Soup with Turkey Meatballs
-Black Bean and Quinoa Chili, added beef
-Chickpea Croquettes (vegetarian, but surprisingly good! somewhat like a burger)
-Thai Quinoa Fried Rice with Tofu, added shrimp as well
-Pasta, Sausage and Bean Soup
-Almond Tofu with Buckwheat Noodle and Snow Peas (this is the best tofu dish ever, so tasty!! You can find Almond butter at Trader Joe's)
-Mussels and Clams served over pasta
-Orecchiette with Chickpeas, wilted spinach and pimenton
-Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas, added pork
-Steak, broccolini and fries (freezer - don't usually buy these)

some ideas for next week:
-Chicken Tortilla Soup
-Ricotta and Chive Gnocchi
-Squash Mac and Cheese with Ham
-Tuscan Bean Soup with Shrimp

As you can see, I love the 1-pot meals, mostly because they make a lot and I can eat the leftovers for lunch the next day. I usually have 2 servings for dinner. My new thing is to put spinach in everything -- pasta, soup, eggs. I wasn't a big fan of cooked spinach before, but I've gotten used it now and it's a great way to add another serving of vegetables. I try to vary the meat and focus on high-fiber carbs like beans, whole grain pasta, lentils, etc. We so rarely eat potatoes, but have been eating more lately as I've tried to thrown in a few easy dinners for Dave to make - where he can just grill up a piece of meat and we can serve with potatoes and a vegetable. Another trick we were using for a while was to buy a rotisserie chicken at Safeway and then tear it up to be used in a dish. Both of us have gotten sick of that chicken though so we're taking a break for a while. It's a great time-saver though.

An evening snack is also recommended, but as we eat late enough as it is, I knew this wasn't going to fit into my routine.

I'm not a huge dessert person and definitely don't have it every night, but have been eating it more frequently than normal. We were trying to clean out the fridge, so I finished some vanilla ice cream and added fresh berries on top (that counts as a serving of dairy and a serving of fruit!). I also made a pound cake a couple weeks ago and would have a slice of that with fresh berries and whipped cream. The pumpkin ice cream from October was on it's last legs too, so I had to finish that up this week (I love that ice cream but usually end up eating about 2 servings of it, then having it sit in the freezer for several months before tossing it). We usually share a dessert when we go out to dinner.

Water: I don't go anywhere without my purple water bottle, and luckily was very good about drinking water before I was pregnant as well. I fill up the 26oz bottle on average 4x per day -- this has also been a big change, we've had to up the deliveries of water as we're going through 3 5-gallons, plus a case of 1 liter bottles of sparkling water every 3 weeks now that I'm home all day.
Milk: I haven't been as good at this lately, but I was trying to drink a glass of whole milk every day.

So there you have it. I'm not a calorie-counter so I'm not sure what that adds up to, but I think I'm getting what I need and I'm certainly gaining weight. I don't take any supplements and only take Prenatal and DHA vitamins (these never gave me any nausea). It's supposed to get more difficult to eat as much as the babies grow and take up more space in my belly, so I may need to resort to the high-calorie/high-protein drinks we bought months ago. I asked my dietitian about these and she said they had to drink one in order to pass their final test to become a Dietitian... apparently it's that good. Hopefully I won't have to find out.

Week 26: Heartbroken 49er Fans

How far along? 26 weeks
Total weight gain: I'd guess about 32lbs by now, but I won't find out until my doctor's appt on Thu.
Maternity clothes? Haven't ordered anything new yet, but definitely need to invest in a few more maternity shirts, my normal ones are riding up quite a bit.
Stretch Marks: Nothing yet.
Best moment this week: Our weekly dinner out is always a highlight, and my sewing lesson with Sang yesterday was fairly successful - one changing pad cover complete! (separate nursery update to come soon)

Feeling: Yes, that's a forced smile for this week's photo. So sad about the 49er loss. I was really hoping they'd be able to win. I have to admit, I was about to cry at half-time, but it felt better that they made it a much closer game. A close loss is always tough too, but they really came back and that was exciting (well, more nerve-wracking). The 49ers won the Superbowl in my birth year and I felt it was only fitting that they would in my sons', but oh well, maybe next year. Otherwise, I've been feeling pretty good, contractions haven't gotten any more frequent, my acid reflux only occasionally makes an appearance and my side pain is still only present when I've been sitting upright for a bit.
Sleep: Luckily sleep was back to normal this week, so I can blame the poor sleep of last week on my cold. I'm still able to sleep a bit on my back, although I always try to fall asleep on my left side. Shifting positions is still okay and I'm getting about 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Can't complain!
Movement: So much movement this week, although this was also the first week that I could actually see my stomach moving when they kicked, crazy!
Food cravings: I should just remove this category as I haven't had any fun pregnancy cravings. Still much of the normal routine during the week and a good dinner that yields lots of leftovers for my subsequent lunches. Dave made the most amazing shrimp and grits the other night, with my coaching :)
Labor Signs: Thankfully nothing new to report. Still having contractions, but not too often and definitely not often enough to have to start taking medication.
Belly button: Same as usual, which is sort of half out.
Gender: Our boys
Looking forward to: Family dinner at my house tomorrow night with my little sister and her fiance in town for a doctor's appointment. My brother and his family will come over too. Otherwise dinner out on Friday night and a prenatal massage on Saturday -- that's probably as much activity as I'm allowed for one week!