Friday, December 29, 2006


My sisters and I have sometimes referred to each other as kanga-rhews. Being pregnant, I feel more like a kanga than ever before. Carrying these two in my belly, I wonder how those marsupials manage. My back is killing me! I know this is perfectly normal. There’s a whole bunch of extra weight in front of me and my spine isn’t used to it. I don’t have the greatest posture to begin with (thanks to years of accordion practice), but now I’m fighting to straighten my shoulders. I’d really love to have my back cracked, but bending over is out of the question. Even lying on the couch has gotten uncomfortable. I can’t find a comfy position that lasts very long.

I’m also out of room. Even though I’ve got a license to eat whatever I want, I don’t have the room! How unfair is that? I’ve got a 2lb box of See’s Candies, a 3ft long box of Trader Joes Chocolate Mosaics, brownies, gingerbread cookies, swiss almond cookies and a slice of Doughboy’s red velvet cake (my favorite!) all sitting in my kitchen but I have no desire to eat of it. The acid reflux doesn’t help matters any. Instead of the awesome holiday treats, I’m loving my TUMS. My nurse who came to administer my shot today told me my internal organs are crammed up high. They’re all squished together. Imagine that?!?!

I hope I don’t sound too whiney. This is my outlet and my blog so I can say whatever I want and feel. And since these feelings are at the foremost of my thought, you get to read all about it. What else have I been up to? Netflix, one of the greatest services around has been a life saver. So far I’ve watched ‘The Break-Up’ – thought it would be funnier, didn’t think it was all that. ‘’Devil Wears Prada’ – also thought it was mediocre. Its saving grace was the DVD included a gag reel, my favorite part of the movie. ‘X3’ – good two hour distraction. And lastly, ‘DaVinci Code’ – it was good, although it felt like I was watching the Cliff Notes version of the book. Movies are great; I get caught up and forget I’m pregnant. Even after the movie is over, I tend to replay scenes in my head and dwell on them. My sisters are great to discuss movie details, but Mike’s over it the moment we hit the eject button. I figure I should watch as many movies as possible, before I’m subjected to Baby Einstein and Sponge Bob. Thank goodness Barney seems to be over (it is, isn’t it?).

Thursday, December 28, 2006

31 weeks

31 weeks today! My initial goal of 32 weeks is nearly there. As I mentioned, we had a doctor’s appointment yesterday. The reality of bringing home the babies is sinking in and I’m slightly freaking out over it. I’ve been so concerned with keeping the babies inside; I haven’t given much thought to when they get here. The farthest I’ve allowed myself to think is planning the nursery and we all know that’s just really an excuse to shop. Btw, I’ve officially bought our first item for the babies. BabyUniverse is very cool. I placed the order 12/26 late afternoon and it arrived this morning. Plus, they’re affiliates of Ebates, so I got free shipping and a cash rebate. Having to double up on most things, I’ll definitely be scrimping and saving where possible.

Back to my freak out, the doctor said the babies could arrive any moment. If they came now, we’d have some time to prepare since they’d be in the NICU for several weeks. However, at 36 weeks (5 weeks from today!), they’d most likely come home with us. Of course, I desperately want them to come home with us. I pray none of you will ever know what it’s like to leave a hospital without your babies after delivering them. The emptiness and sadness is like no other. It’s unbearable. Obviously, leaving your babies in the capable hands of a medical team while they grow or get better is a completely different matter, but we’d much rather be buckling them in our cars and bringing them home with us.

But how do we prepare? Should I be reading Dr Sears? Dr Spock? Dr Seuss? What exactly do I need to have before they come home? Am I supposed to bring the breastfeeding pillow with me to the hospital? Are they supposed to have special going home outfits? Do I bring my brand-spanking new diaper bag to the hospital? If so, what goes inside? When do we decide whether or not we’re going to snip our boy? How long will it take to heal from a c section? What will I be able to do after the surgery? Will I be more mobile than now?

Sometimes the birth seems so far away, I think I’ve got plenty of time. But then some sites I’ve visited say items may take 5-6 weeks to arrive. Yikes, then I realize it’s not so far away.

It’s also weird to realize our lives are going to change irrevocably. No going back now. Mike and I won’t have ‘our time’ for the next 20 years or so. But then we realize we are ready for the next phase of our lives, we have been for quite awhile. We’ve lived away from our family, lived in a foreign country and traveled abroad. We’re prepared to share our lives, to teach the little ones and become kids ourselves once again. We’re looking forward to the joy they’ll bring us and our families (especially the grandparents).

I can’t wait for Mike to become a father, he’ll be awesome. He’s one of the most patient and compassionate people I’ve ever met (if he wasn’t before, he’s gotten plenty of practice being married to me). Mike had a pretty cool upbringing; there are a lot of traditions from his family we’d like to pass onto our kids.

Ok, I think I’m ready to do this now ;-)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Post holiday

I hope everyone had a good holiday. I was so looking forward to it, it’s a little depressing now that it’s over. I had a bit of a shaky start before the weekend. Last Friday my mild tummy ache turned into full blown stomach ache. My entire lower abdomen hurt. I was in a lot of pain and couldn’t get comfortable no matter which position I chose. My sleep was fitful, I woke up every hour or two. Saturday morning I felt terrible. I had a couple of bouts of diarrhea (sorry, TMI), had chills and slept all day. Sleeping all day was a bad idea because I couldn’t sleep Saturday night. When I weighed myself Sunday morning, I had lost almost 2 ½ lbs! Not a good thing when trying to feed and grow 2 additional little peeps. Luckily, I felt much better on Sunday and we had some family visit for Christmas Eve. It was lovely to see everyone, I finally got to meet my little nephew (actually, he’s not so little at a hefty 16lbs at only 4 months old!)

We had more family on Christmas Day; it was great to interact with people once again. I have to admit, I got up a lot more than I’m used to but it all seemed ok.

I had another doctor’s appointment this morning. We were looking forward to seeing the babies, so we were a little let down when the sonographer only did a quick swipe of my belly. I guess the main purpose was to check the cervical length. Good news is that it’s hardly changed, actually it was longer than before but since the readings aren’t exact we assume it just hasn’t changed. No growth measurements on the babes, but we did see them move around and they’re also both head down now. They’ve been pretty active and I can feel specific limbs (although I don’t know which ones). Unlike other people I’ve talked to, the jabs, movements and kicks don’t hurt. The only ones that are uncomfortable are when they roll directly over my bladder.

Everything looks good. The doctor did say they could arrive any day, you just never know with my history. We’re still shooting for 36 weeks, so hopefully I have 5 more weeks with them. My fundal height measured 40 weeks, which means my belly is measuring what a singleton pregnancy is at 40 weeks.

The only thing the nurse commented was my 1lb weight gain in the past 2 weeks (remember, I lost 2 ½ lbs the other day). It has gotten really hard to have an appetite. I had lunch yesterday and never got hungry again. I forced a ½ bagel down at 10pm last night because I felt I should have eaten something. Even my sweet tooth has abandoned me as well as my junk food cravings. I’m running out of room. Instead I like to concentrate on breathing which I don’t take for granted any more. Everything is squished upwards to make room. It’s hard to take a breath sometimes. And forget about getting up or rolling over. Mike and I have gotten very creative on how to get me up. Although if you watched us, you'd think you were watching an episode of 'I Love Lucy'.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Golden Pig

I’ve had a lot of internet problems lately. Time Warner/Adelphia/Road Runner can’t seem to get their act together. Sometimes the internet goes down 5 or 6 times a day. For someone on bed rest who relies on the internet heavily, this is extremely frustrating. I just got off the phone with the Time Warner rep who wanted me to do all sorts of crazy stuff (i.e. move the computer to get to the back, unplug cables, reset modems, router, computer, etc). Ok, it’s not really crazy but it’s a hardship to be standing and trying to get the back of the computer with my 45” belly in the way. Whew, I was out of breath!

I got a temporary fix, and told the guy that I’d have Mike call back if it was acting up again. He was really nice and told me he is a twin too. (I had explained why I was panting and out of breath.) Funny, I’ve come across several twins lately. The guys who painted our downstairs bedroom are identical twins, the cable rep is an identical twin and the other couple at the LLL meeting was carrying twins too. I watched Jimmy Kimmel the other night and he had Giovanni Ribisi (great actor and brother-in-law to Beck!) who’s a twin (has a sister) and Adam Corolla who just had twins.

Switching gears - my mom and aunt are really excited at the fact the babies will be born next year. Next year, 2007, in Korea and China, is the year of the Golden Pig, which only comes around every 600 years. People believe children born in this year will be blessed with luck for great financial wealth. The wedding halls have been bustling this year in Korea, and the hospitals are already booking up their maternity wards for next year! They are worried there won't be enough room for everybody giving birth. Even though I’m not really into astrology, I’m kind of excited. After all, it’s only once every 600 years! Regardless of whether it's just malarkey or not, it is going to have quite an impact on the society there. I don’t know so much about China, but it’ll be good for Korea. Apparently, the birth rate has declined considerably like Japan. The government is worried there won’t be enough people to sustain the economy (or something like that). So the Golden Pig may be a lot of hype to get people busy making babies, but people are buying into it.

I wouldn’t mind snagging some Golden Pig clothes and tchotkes, I think it’ll be cool for the kids to have memory keepsakes of the year they were born.

Btw, my sister tells me the official Chinese New Year isn’t until February 18th (I highly doubt I’ll still be pregnant at 38 weeks). Therefore, technically our babies won’t be little piglets, but my mom is adamant the New Year starts January 1st, at least for Koreans and I am Korean...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

30 weeks

Yay! 30 weeks today. I’m in my 30’s! According to the “baby's a bit more than 15 1/2 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds (we know they’ve surpassed this weight already). A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and fills out your uterus. Her eyes open and close, she's able to distinguish between light and dark, and she can even follow a light source back and forth. Once she's born, she'll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she'll respond to changes in light but will have a visual acuity of only 20/400 — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. ("Normal" vision in adults is 20/20.)”

I go back and forth thinking I’m going to make it to 36 then freak out that birth may be imminent. Even though I’ve been reassured the babies would survive without problems if they came now, I still freak out at the thought of them being born so early. It’s not the birth so much (although I’m sure that’s going to hit me too), but it’s the thought of seeing them so fragile, so little. I want them healthy and robust. I want them to come out wailing and chubby. I want the nurses to hand the babies to me rather than whisking them to the NICU. I want to hold them rather than peer through an isolette.

So far my doctor’s plan is to do an amniocentesis (amnio) at 36 weeks, which would be February 1, 2007. Earlier in the pregnancy, I am against having an amnio for fear of rupturing the babies’ membrane. Last year when I ruptured prematurely, we found a website for women who had PROM’d (Premature Rupture Of Membranes) It was a great meeting place for parents to get together and share stories, ask for prayers and even a list of what to do when PAP (Pregnant After Prom). I printed that list and brought it with me to all my doctor's visits. There were a lot of miraculous stories which gave me hope, I think that’s part of the reason we were able to hang onto Matty & Issy for an additional 3 weeks after I first ruptured. I met a couple of amazing people through the list. One who PROM’d after an amnio. Her story is heartbreaking. She was pregnant with twins (girl/girl), had an amnio at 17 weeks and then ruptured. One of the girls (PROM baby) passed away soon after birth at 26 weeks, the other was born with so many issues and difficulties. It must be so bittersweet to have one twin survive.

So I would never have an invasive procedure done and risk the health of the babies. But at 36 weeks, I’m ok with it. The doctor’s plan is to check and make sure the lungs have fully developed and if they have, she will schedule the c section soon after. It’s so hard to believe the end of the pregnancy is near. It may be nearer than I think, but I’ll continue taking one day at a time.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The List

First, I want to thank Lisa Amore for her comment yesterday. I knew you were a triplet, but I didn't know your weeks of gestation or your birth weight. Reading your comment yesterday was inifinitely reassuring, especially having met you. You're so tall and normal looking (I hope that doesn't sound weird), I would've never guessed you were 3 lbs! I, on the other hand, am relatively short and was almost 11 lbs at birth. I hope to make it to at least 35 weeks as well!

A website I frequently peruse is They send me weekly pregnancy updates which are fun to read. They also have message threads which I check out daily. I found them last year when I was pregnant the first time, and then I went to the Grief & Loss board. They also have a TTC (trying to conceive) thread and now I check out the birth clubs and multiples threads. It’s reassuring to read posts from other women that are going through the same thing you are at the same time. I’ve also posted a question or two myself and received numerous answers and advice. The most informative entry I’ve recently come across is the list below. For those who don’t know me very well may not know I’m a list person. I love lists. I have lists for everything. I love Excel so I can type up my lists and then organize it however which way. So imagine my delight when I came across this posting. A complete list for parents expecting twins. There are several different lists from what to pack for the hospital to what Mike would need to what the babies would need -

Slippers and socks
Nursing bra, pads, and cream
Toothbrush, toothpaste
Shampoo, conditioner
Makeup, moisturizer
Going home clothes
Blank journal/laptop
Hair clips
Pillow (non-white pillowcase)
Eye mask
Ear plugs
Squirt bottle
Flushable wipes/soft TP

Going home outfits (2 each)
Diaper bag
Diapers and wipes
Car seats
Hand sanitizer
Baby books (footprints)

List of phone #’s
Video camera, tapes, charger
Camera, film, and batteries
Cell phone and charger
Change of clothes
Toothbrush and deodorant
Deck of cards
Phone card

2 car seats
1 double stroller
1 crib (or 2)
1 crib mattress (or 2)
Diaper bag
1 swing
1 bouncy chair
1 changing table (optional)
1 front carrier
2 sunshades for car
1 lamp

8-12 receiving blankets (some mom’s recommend 20)
4-6 one-piece outfits
8-10 one-piece gowns or PJ’s
4-6 shirts until cord falls off
4-6 socks/booties
2-4 fleece outfits/sweaters
2-4 bonnets/caps
2 mittens
Diapers 4-12 packs in various sizes
Diaper cream/ointment
Sealable trash can/diaper pail

Nursing pillow
8-12 bibs
1 breastpump and breastmilk storage bags
1 twin nursing pillow
2 podee bottles
14 bottles and nipples (1-2 for breastfeeding moms)
1 bottle brush
1 quart jug to mix formula batches
Newborn tub
8 washcloths
20 burp cloths
Soaps and lotions
4 towels
2 highchairs

2-4 pacifiers (different kinds, not too many)
1 waterproof crib mattress liner (or 2)
2 sheet savers
4-8 fitted crib sheets
2 baby quilts for floor laying
Baby monitor
Smoke alarm

KY Jelly
Triple Antibiotic Ointment
Bandage pads (different sizes)
First aid tape
Cotton swabs
Digital thermometer
Nail clippers
Emery boards
Alcohol wipes
Nasal aspirator (the hospital will usually give you 2)
Medicine dropper and spoon
Temperature tester
Mylicon drops
Saline spray
Diaper rash ointment
Latex gloves

Nursing bras
Breast pads
Breast shields
Cream for nipples
Panty liners/pads
1 camera and lots of film

Baby wipe warmer
Pack n play
Rocking chair
Play mat
Dome playmate
Big calendar to record milestones for baby book

Ok, now my initial excitement at having found this list has worn off and now I’m left with – are you serious?!?!?! Do we need all that? Remember, we haven’t started any shopping and don’t know when we’ll be able to.

Since I’ve been to L&D a couple times, I wonder if I should have a hospital bag ready. If the babies come early, I’ll have extra time to put together a diaper bag since they won’t come home right away. Btw, any good diaper bag recommendations? I like the Skip Hop Duo Double, but wonder if it might be too big? Another poster mentioned she likes the Lands End Diaper bag. It opens like a doctor’s bag which could be handy. Prior to pregnancy, I’ve always been a big bag gal and know the frustrations at trying to find something in a huge bag with a small zippered opening. But will it be big enough for both babies? For those of you that are pros at the parenting thing, which items are the ones that I must absolutely have? Please email me or leave a comment with your recommendations! Thanks!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Under the weather

I love the holidays, but sadly it’s also a time when people get sick. My sister-in-law and I have been trying to figure out a day for her to visit with my niece and nephew. It hasn’t happened yet because the entire family came down with a nasty bug. We’ve postponed the visit several times already and now we’ll just play it by ear.

In my condition, I can’t afford to get sick. I’m afraid of additional pressure to my uterus. Heck, I don’t like to blow my nose while standing up! It feels like I’d push the babies right out. So if I caught a cold/flu, I’d be afraid of placing added stress to my already burdened belly. That coupled with possible infections make me cautious.

Regrettably, I missed my other sister-in-law’s visit. Apparently, she's caught something too. Mike’s youngest sister was in town for the holidays. Since she’s working Christmas, she came down from Northern CA for a few days beforehand. We were hoping to see her last night. Unbeknownst to her, she was going to help Mike pick out our Christmas tree. I’m not kidding when I say Mike’s all over the place, doing everything! Getting a tree has been on the list for weeks, but he just hasn’t had a chance to get one. Now we’ve got less than a week to go, but to make up for it we’ll be one of those annoying people and keep it well into the New Year. Better still, we’ll hang onto it until the babies arrive!

And I’m sorry to say, my super-hero husband has succumbed to sickness too. We’re now sleeping in separate rooms. After being separated for 3 weeks when we first moved, I thought we were done with that. Not surprisingly, I didn’t sleep well last night.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Date Night

Saturday night was supposed to be our date night (at home). Notice I said ‘supposed to be’, unless you count an evening in the hospital, it was definitely not what we had in mind. Since Mike’s been working so hard all week and all weekend, we were looking forward to a night of take out and watching X Men 3. Well we got our Thai take out, but then headed over to Labor & Delivery.

I've had a 'tummy ache' for the past week, just a dull ache across my lower belly. After researching online on what could be causing it, I came across several mentions of menstrual-like cramping which is an indication of preterm labor. That made me rethink my tummy ache might be dull cramping. Plus, my need to pee has increased as well (I also feel the babies roll directly on my bladder which really makes me want to go!). That could be an indication of a urinary tract infection (UTI). However when I go, it's barely a trickle. Anyway, I read several women post that something didn't feel right before they gave birth. They strongly suggested to readers not to wait and get it checked out.

So to be safe than sorry, we went in. I didn't care for the resident on duty. It didn't seem like she was comprehending what I was saying. She kept insisting the ache was my uterus tightening (contractions), but I kept telling her that my stomach wasn't tightening. She did a speculum exam for Fetal fibronectin (fFN)* which was very very painful.

She was also trying to visually see my cerclage, to which Mike and I both shouted at her that it was too far up for her to see (I was in a lot of pain at this time, so was Mike since I was clenching his hand). She then wanted to manually check my cervix which we shot down. They ended up doing a vaginal ultrasound to get the length and it hadn't changed since my last checkup which was good.

Anyway, waiting for the fFN results took forever. Instead of waiting any longer (it was already past midnight), we decided to call in the morning. I got a shot of terbutaline again which didn't help the aching and the contractions I was having were pretty mild to begin with. The great news is the fFN is negative, so I've got a 2 week pass (hopefully). My last 2 peris won't do the fFN unless my cervix shows signs of changing, but I'm glad they did it anyway. So that was our romantic date!

Earlier that day, Mike and I exchanged our Christmas gift (sort of). We hired a cleaning service to clean the house. It was my gift because they got into all the nooks and cranny and it was Mike’s gift because he didn’t have to do it himself! All in all, I think both of us really liked our present.

Btw, Mike totally came through on Friday night. Remember how bummed I was at missing the dessert bar at his company’s Christmas party? Well, here’s a photo of what he brought home (minus what I had already eaten). There was tiramisu, berry pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie, gingerbread cookie, some kind of nutty/chocolate/caramel/toffee concoction (my favorite) and a bunch of others. Apparently, he was helped by a couple of co-workers and a really nice employee from the hotel. Me and kids were very happy that night!

*Fetal fibronectin (fFN) is a protein produced during pregnancy and functions as a biological glue, attaching the fetal sac to the uterine lining. During the first trimester and for about half of the second trimester, fFN is normally present in the cervico-vaginal secretions. In most pregnancies, after 22 weeks, this protein is no longer detected until the end of the last trimester (one to three weeks before labor).

The presence of fFN in the cervico-vaginal secretions of pregnant women during weeks 24 - 34 indicates an increased risk of preterm delivery. However, if the fFN is negative then it’s a much more reliable predictor, indicating that the pregnancy is likely to continue for at least another two weeks.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Stir crazy

Yesterday was rough. I know my posting sounded upbeat and that’s because I was at the time. However, as the day wore on I got really aggro & stir crazy.

It started with our house. Since we don’t know OC at all, we’re renting. It didn’t make sense to buy; we don’t know any of the cities, much less neighborhoods. Not to mention with the market slowing down (and our house not selling), we didn’t want to jump into owning 2 houses at the same time. So we’re renting. Our major criteria was to be near the doctor my Sac peri recommended. We didn’t want to be more than 20 minutes away in case something happened.

We found a pretty nice house that would be able to accommodate all of us (including my parents and the babies). However, when we moved in the house wasn’t ready. The landlord had promised to paint and replace the carpet of the downstairs bedroom that was their work-out room. Since I can’t go upstairs, this downstairs room is my bedroom until the babies arrive. Those who know me (well), know that I’m a clean freak. But really, this room was nasty. Stains all over the carpet and walls. Do sweat drops stain yellow? Ugh, the thought makes me shudder. But I soldiered on and lived in this room for the past several weeks (barefeet never touching the carpet). 5 ½ weeks later, we moved the bed into the living room and the bedroom was finally painted. 4 days after that, the carpet was finally replaced. (We slept in the living room for a week.) Even though I was happy the carpet was being replaced, I got really aggravated. We were told it would be quick (an hour or less), afterall it was only one small bedroom. However, it took five hours! It seemed neverending. Part of the reason I was so anxious is because there’s only one bathroom downstairs and it’s joined to the bedroom. Did I mention it feels like I have to go all the time?

In the end, it finally got done and the installer did a good job. But my mood had already gone downhill. This is what was going through my mind -

  • My ever patient mom, who feeds me and waits on me, was really getting on my nerves.
    I was tired of eating Korean food, twice a day, every day.
  • All my prime time shows are on hiatus and there’s nothing good saved on Tivo.
  • Oliver, who had spent the past 2 hours outside, needed to be let out as soon as he was brought in (paws wiped already).
  • I really wanted donuts.
  • I was completely bored out of my mind. I wanted to scream.

Today is better. I felt bad for being a spoiled brat yesterday so I’m very nice to my mom who’s helping us out so much. Plus it’s Friday and I’ll be able to spend some time with Mike (provided he gets everything done on the list in time). I am bummed, though, because tonight is Mike’s company Christmas Party at The Fairmont Hotel. I’ve stayed at the Fairmont in San Francisco and Washington DC and it’s a very nice. I suggested renting a wheel chair to I can attend, but he shot it down. I can only imagine what type of food and dessert they’re going to have tonight. I’ve threatened Mike not to bother coming home unless he brings me home some sweet stuff. I guess he’s taking it seriously, he just IM’d me that he’s enlisted some help to accomplish his mission!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

29 weeks

Wow, 29 weeks down, 7 more to go. Since things are going pretty well, I’ve upped my goal to 36 weeks. At 36 weeks, they may be able to come home with us and not need any NICU stay at all. Here’s what says about their progress right now, “Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (remember ours are 2lb15oz and 3lb4oz!) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to accommodate his brain — which is busy developing billions of neurons.”

Yesterday, my doctor was answering questions and easing my concerns. She told me that if the babies were to come now, they had a 95% of being fine. No blindess, no major problems that would stay with them permanently. Of course, they’re still too young and its best if they stay put. My belly feels heavier than usual and I’m beginning to have some leg pains at night. And the heartburn, don’t get me started on the heartburn. I’ve never enjoyed my tropical flavored TUMS more as I do now. Also, my fundal height measured at 38 weeks if it were a singleton. Sometimes I look in the mirror and think I’m not that big, then other times I feel positively huge.

In addition to the babies’ update, we got some additional good news yesterday. We have an offer on our Sac house. Unfortunately the market is bad and it’s a pretty low ball offer, but our agent is quite savvy and I think she’s going to be able to convince them of our counter offer. It’ll be such a relief to have that crossed off our list. Right now we’re paying 2 house payments which is financially taxing. As it is, we’ve asked our families to skip the gift exchange this Christmas. One, I can’t shop and two, we’re strapped from the move, the double house payments and the impending arrivals of our pea pods.

We’ll still have a nice Christmas. I think our families will come visit us now that we’re only an hour away as opposed to 6 hours. My sister’s daughter, Audrey, is 16 mos old. Even though she’s pretty young, she’s caught a glimpse or two of her Christmas gifts. It’s going to be fun watching her open presents. I also have another niece, Maggie, who’s 3 ½ that I hope to see more often now that we’re in So Cal. She has a 4 months old brother whom I still haven’t met – Ryan, my nephew! I was close to my cousins when I was growing up and hope the same for our kids.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ultrasound appointment

We had a really great doctor’s appointment this morning. The growth ultrasound showed the babies doing well. Baby A measured at 2lbs 15oz and Baby B is 3lbs 4oz. Surprisingly, the girl weighs more even though, initially, her brother was bigger. Btw, there’s no doubt that Baby A is a boy. We were given a pic with his wee-wee in plain view. Needless to say, Mike’s quite the proud papa.

My cervix hadn’t changed either which was a relief. Last weekend, I had round ligament pains all day. Normally I have a couple of them here and there, but this was all day. Since there weren’t any other symptoms with the pains, I didn’t call the doctor. Sure enough, the pains hadn’t affected my cervix.

As usual, I had a whole host of questions for the peri and was reassured on all of them. Since it looks like we’re out of the woods (for the most part), the reality of bringing home the babies is settling in. Apart from a mild panic, we’re very, very happy. Too bad my request to go nursery shopping was shot down. Maybe in about 3-4 weeks in a wheelchair is what I was told. A small price to pay to bring home healthy babies with hopefully a short stay in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit).

Last night we attended the Le Leche League meeting I wrote about. It was informative, but not what I expected. I thought there would be more instructions on how to breastfeed, but instead it was a Q&A on whatever we felt like asking. There was only one other couple in attendance and they’re having twins too. Basically it sounds like most everyone can breastfeed. If you’re having a hard time, it maybe because you’re not doing it right. You just need to seek help with someone who’s educated/accredited. My challenge is to tandem feed (both at the same time). The EZ-2 Nurse pillow I mentioned yesterday was brought up again last night. I kind of wish I could try it out before getting it. And is the foam pillow better than the inflatable one?

There was some new-agey vibe to the meeting. They didn’t totally frown upon my c-section birth plan, but it didn’t sound like it met with complete approval either. It’s not my fault due to a previous surgery, my uterine walls are weak and I won’t be able to push for a vaginal delivery. I almost wanted to ask if it was preferable for my uterus to burst and have the babies’ mother die on the table? (Hormones talking now, not me.) I also know it’s important for the babies to bond with the mother soon after birth, but what if the babies are early and have to be whisked off to the NICU? The LLL leader kept saying I can insist on having things my way, but I’m not the medically trained professional here. How do I know if my insistence isn’t at the risk of the babies’ health? So much to think about. I’ve been so focused on keeping the babies inside me that I haven’t given much thought to what happens when they come out. Oh my gosh, we're having babies!?!?!?!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I’m going out tonight and I’m looking forward to it! If only it was an exciting outing, but at this rate I’ll take anything. I’m going to a La Leche League meeting. La Leche League is an international nonprofit, organization providing education, information, support, and encouragement to women who want to breastfeed. It’s a pretty huge organization and they’ve been around for a long time.

I decided to seek help in advance because I’ve heard horror stories about trying to breastfeed and I really want to give it a try. My sisters and I were all formula fed because 1) my mom didn’t have anyone to help her or give her support and 2) she went back to work straightaway. My sister had a really tough time breastfeeding, so she pumped and then fed my niece (which sounds like it took twice as long as opposed to feeding her directly). Also, my MIL (mother-in-law) Sharon, said the only assistance she had breastfeeding Mike was a La Leche handbook given to her. It worked for her; at one point her doctor said she was overfeeding him!

I'll probably get the EZ-2 Nurse pillow. Does anyone have any personal experience with this pillow? Foam sounds better than the inflatable. I've heard suggestions to get 2 of them especially if you have a 2 story house. Unfortunately, with this pillow and tandem nursing 2 babies, I probably won't be able to get the much desired glider rocker. Oh, those rockers felt so nice but I doubt we'll all be able to fit :-(

My only concern about tonight is being comfortable. My contractions usually happen in the evenings when the uterus is tired and the babies are more active. Plus, I may be sitting on a hard folding chair as opposed to lying down on the couch surrounded by pillows. I’ll let you know how it goes. And in the meantime, if you have any stories to share or wisdom to impart on a newbie like me, please send me an email, leave a comment or call. Since the babies are most likely going to be a bit (or a lot) premature, breast milk will really help their development and growth. Plus, formula is expensive! And remember, I have to double up on many items. Yes, I’m notoriously frugal but in this case breastfeeding would be a win/win situation.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Fur Baby

I couldn’t go much longer without mentioning another very important member of our family, Oliver. O-dog is pretty great. If you’ve met him, you know he’s super affectionate and friendly. He’s a licker, not a fighter. He can tame the scariest Pit Bulls or hang out with the biggest Great Danes. He goes right up to them and says, “Hi, I’m Oliver. Wanna play? Wanna play?”

Oliver came into our lives when we were pretty fragile. He’s a rescue dog from the animal shelter, although I’m not sure who rescued who. We were lucky he had been brought in within the past hour. If you’re not familiar with pound procedure, you put your name on a waiting list. There’s a one week waiting period for the owner to claim the dog if he’s a runaway. You have to show up promptly on the day they become available. If you’re not there, the opportunity to adopt the dog goes to the next person on the list. Fortunately, we were the first ones on the list. Fortunately for Oliver, there were 5 other people that showed up hoping to get Oliver as well. Oliver came home with us on November 4, 2005. One day after the original due date of Matthew & Isabel.

We estimate Oliver was born July 05. We still call him ‘puppy’ due to his size. He’s definitely a mutt. If we had to guess, he’s got some Dachshund (he’s long like a hot dog), maybe some American Staffordshire Terrier (broad shoulders and a white chest), possibly Pug (he’s got an impossibly cute wrinkly face and semi curled tail) and most likely some Chihuahua (his smallness). Initially I wanted a Pug or a Puggle (Pug and Beagle mix), but I’m so glad we went to the pound. There are so many dogs and cats in need of a home, it broke my heart not to be able to take them all.

The move has been an adjustment for Oliver. In Sac, he had lot of friends and was taken to the park almost every night (it was literally at the end of the cul de sac from where lived). We met good friends through Oliver. Here’s one of my favorite pictures of Oliver and his best friend, Poquita. Her parents, Monica & Alvarro, had some amazing bbq’s. Mmmmm, I could go for Alvarro’s short ribs right now.

But in O.C., it’s a different story. No one walks their dogs at night. There's not even any sidewalks! The dog park isn’t all that, there’s hardly any grass. And sadly, we’ve (or Mike has) been so busy Oliver hasn’t been able to go out very much. Hopefully soon once all the boxes are unpacked, we’ll be able to give him more attention, especially before the babies arrive.

Lastly, here’s a picture of my belly from this weekend. Every Saturday, we take pictures. It’s really cool to see how much my belly has grown. I remember thinking I was initially out of shape, but compared to now I was positively fit back then!

Friday, December 8, 2006

Preventative measure

So how did I make it to 28 weeks? There are a number of factors which we contribute it to. Whether or not they were (all) needed, we’ll never know. Our tragic loss last year will never be determined. You can’t imagine how frustrating that is.

We’ve been proactive since Day 1. In fact, our initial Perinatologist group was a nightmare because they wanted to adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach for the pregnancy. Our thought was, ‘wait for something to go wrong, and then it’s too late?’ That was not acceptable, especially since this was the same group we saw last year. They’re horrible and cold. I suppose you have to be given their line of work. They weren’t proactive last year and I can’t help but wonder if our outcome would’ve been different had we had another doctor.

Some of our preventative measures have included the aforementioned cerclage. We saw the best doctor for cerclages - Dr K in San Francisco. He spent 3 hours with us at our initial consultation. He wasn’t trying to convince us one way or the other, but just presented the facts. Many OBs perform 3 or 4 cerclages during their entire career. Most Peris will perform 3-4 a year. Dr K does between 80-100 a year! He has said, it’s his thing. In fact, he’s modified the standard McDonald cerclage to his own. Since his office is 2 hours from where we used to live, I couldn’t see him on a regular basis. I’ve seen 4 other Peris since and every one of them have been very impressed with Dr K’s cerclage because of its uniqueness. Seeing Dr K was one of the best decisions we made for our babies.

Dr K also prescribed Acid Jelly which has been helpful. For guys reading this blog, this will be TMI. But, you guys can appreciate what we have to go through. Acid Jelly keeps the Ph balance in the vagina. When pregnant, the hormones are all over the place making the vagina susceptible to infections, most commonly yeast infections. Not only am I one of these lucky ones, but last year’s lab results showed I had a high presence of Group B Strep (GBS). Simply put, GBS is kind of like E Coli. It’s bad, but you have it in your system. If you have too much, then that’s really bad. But it’s a part of you and not harmful if kept in check. GBS is only harmful when you are delivering vaginally and then it could be fatal to the baby if they’re exposed to it in the birth canal. Nonetheless, GBS is an infection and we don’t know if GBS contributed to the rupture of Matthew’s placenta. There are different opinions on what to do with GBS. Some doctors think it should be treated with antibiotics. Other doctors (including Dr K) believe it should be left alone and by administering antibiotics it could do more harm in the long run (i.e. developing a tolerance which may make treatment of other infections more difficult). All this to say, the Acid Jelly has kept me free of infections (both yeast and GBS) during this pregnancy.

I also get weekly injections of 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (known as 17P or P17). It’s been shown to reduce the risk of preterm delivery and controlling an irritable uterus (which I seem to have). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been pricked and poked for this pregnancy. Just last week alone, I had the 3 hour glucose test where they drew blood 4 times in 3 hours! I have a huge bruise on my arm from the IV they inserted last week in addition to the shot of terbutaline to stop the contractions. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but I still get squeamish and can’t look when they’re inserting the needle.

To top it off, I have a yogurt smoothie every morning and a whey protein shake every evening, for the past 197 days. Whew, that’s most of it. There are a few more items I haven’t included but you get the gist of it. I hope this doesn’t put anyone off from trying to have a baby. Most people I know have sailed through their pregnancies. I don’t know why we had to lose Matthew and Isabel, but I know we’re extremely blessed to be pregnant again.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

28 weeks!

Another milestone accomplished! 28 weeks a/k/a 7 months a/k/a 3rd trimester! It eases my mind a bit to have it made this far. 32 weeks is still where I’d like to be, but one of my nurses told me that at 28 weeks the babies have a 90% survivability. Although, a doctor told me last week that babies over 2 lbs have the same statistics. No matter, I’m just glad for each additional day I’m gestating. My next goal is to make it to the 30’s, then 32 weeks. (It’s easier to have the goals more attainable i.e. 2 weeks, than 4 weeks.)

The babies are kicking a lot. It’s not painful, just feels like a lot of stomach rumbling. They’re also sticking out a lot in the front. I wonder if it’s because I have an anterior placenta as opposed to posterior. This indicates where the fertilized eggs first embedded itself into the wall of the uterus. The front wall of the uterus is called the anterior wall; the back wall is the posterior wall. As far as I know, having an anterior placenta isn’t harmful to me or the babies. Last I checked, my waist measured at 45”. I hope I get to 50” or more. I tease Mike and tell him I’m about to catch up to him!

Speaking of my wonderful husband, he walked to the store late last night to get me some ice cream and cookies. Its ok he didn’t get me the right flavor ice cream as I was more into the cookies. It was my first ‘sweet’ since passing the glucose test and I was really looking forward to it. We normally get Nestle Tollhouse refrigerated cookie dough. It comes as one big square but you can break off little squares, stick it on the cookie sheet and bake. When it’s baking, the cookies flatten out and become a nice round gooey chocolately delight. However, last night it never flattened out. Instead, it remained a square and the bottom burned. Since it had been so long, I was glad to have anything that was warm and chocolatey but it was kind of a disappointment (sorry, babe). I wish I could’ve had Tom’s cookies which my friend, Kelly, turned me onto but they don’t carry it at our local market. Geez, do I sound like an ingrate or what?

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Bed rest

I started off on modified bed rest at 16 weeks. I was able to get up and do stuff around the house but rested whenever I could. After contractions started at 20 weeks, my bed rest became stricter. I’d say I’m laying down 85-90% of the time. I get up for meals and sit at the table and take showers but not much else. Last year after I PROM’d (Premature Rupture of the Membranes), I was completely horizontal all the time, including eating lying down. Talk about major heartburn! At least this time I’m sitting up. However, I did cut my hair significantly to shorten my time in the shower. I have to lie down because every time I’m up, I have tightening (contractions) in my belly and the babies’ weight feels enormous. It could be because I’m not used to the weight, but given what happened last year, I’m not taking any chances. Already, I’ve had some funneling/beaking above my cerclage. Any change to the cervix before the babies are full term is not good.

I used to romanticize bed rest. Doesn’t it bring up images of being in front of the TV, remote control in one hand and bon bons in the other? But that’s not the case. Bed rest is lying down; preferably on your left side (circulation is better for the babies rather than flat on your back or on your right). There’s not much you can do in that position. Remember, it’s lying down not sitting up. You can’t drink without a straw or a sports top bottle. You can’t read a newspaper. You can’t write. You always forget something that you need near you. And the space around you is limited. I currently have my glasses, cell phone, home phone, water bottle, pencils (pens don’t work when you’re laying down), note pad, book and calculator.

Bed rest hasn’t been easy. I moved into a house that I’ve never seen before because Mike had to make the decision on his own. I don’t know what the new neighborhood looks like because I arrived lying down in the backseat of the car. I don’t know what the second floor of the house looks like because I’m not allowed to climb stairs (although I cheated and snuck a peak). I can’t give out directions to the cable guy because I don’t know what the nearest cross streets are or land marks.

Sometimes I go days without stepping foot outside. Usually my days consist of getting up, having breakfast, going to the living room and lying on the couch with the laptop, then lunch. I’ll go back to the living room and stay there until it gets dark, then I move to the family room, lay on the couch and watch TV for a bit until dinner is ready or Mike gets home. That is my day. My only outings are for doctors appointment. Mike’s company Christmas party is coming up, but I won’t be able to go. I can only imagine what kind of desserts they’ll be serving! Maybe I can persuade Mike to sneak me back something (pretty please)?

I’m very lucky I have great support. Mike’s been awesome, offering to go to the store in the middle of the night to get me ice cream or helping me get up from the couch or doing all the unpacking from the move. My parents have also been incredibly helpful, waiting on me hand and foot. Initially, I stayed with them at their house, but now since we’re in O.C. they live here part time with us. Either my Mom or Dad is always with me during the week while Mike’s at work.

I’m not complaining, or I’m trying not to. This is a temporary situation that we’re doing for the babies. It is incredibly boring; the days are long and run into each other. Sometimes I forget what day of the week it is. I also wonder about my ability to rejoin the civilized world. I feel like I’ve been on my own for so long, I won’t know how to interact with others. Will I be able to pick up where I left off? The more time passes, the harder it seems to be. I want to see friends, yet I don’t. I’m afraid to make plans and then have something go wrong.

I know I’ll get over this. After this week, I only have 4 more weeks of strict bed rest. I don’t know how much activity I’ll be able to resume after resting for so long, but it’ll be better. Like I’ve mentioned, this blog is also a diary for me. I know a year from now when the twins are crawling/running all over the place and I’m meeting a friend for tea or doing errands, I’ll find it hard to believe I was feeling this way or maybe I’ll be nostalgic to when I was laying down bored out of my mind.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Good News

Yay! Mary just called and gave me great news. I don’t have Gestational Diabetes! I was so worried I would. As it is, I had already adjusted my diet for the past month. I had cut back on sugar and carbs. I felt like I was on the Atkins Diet. More on that in a moment. I was so excited about my new blog, I started my second entry last night so I’ll pick up where I left off -

Most of you know now we have moved from Northern CA to Orange County. That in itself was quite challenging and stressful, especially when you’re pregnant and on bed rest. (Devi and I were trying to figure out who had it worse – us versus her moving to London from SF with a 5 month old baby) Poor Mike had to do everything, including picking out the house. Granted, I found the house online, but I gave him a long list of other homes to check out. I trust his judgment; he has excellent taste (after all he helped me pick out my wedding dress!). He’s been amazing doing everything. Our friend, Monica, told me that he has never complained no matter how tired he was. Apart from a few more boxes that have to be unpacked, most of its done. Now, if only our house will sell…

We moved me at the end of October and I stayed with my parents for several weeks while Mike got the house ready. Since I was in between Perinatologists (basically an OB specialist for high risk pregnancies), I found one in the San Fernando Valley that could see me (even if it was for only two visits). I just wanted to make sure my cervix was staying closed. Every twinge or pain worries me that something is wrong so I have it checked out. It doesn’t help either that I started having contractions at 20 weeks, so sometimes my fears are justified. *Sigh* I’ll never be able to enjoy my pregnancy without any concerns. But on the bright side, the interim doctor I saw had a 3D ultrasound machine. Check out the cool pics of the babies at 23 weeks or you can go here to check out the nifty page Mike made

Of course, nothing goes smoothly when it comes to our pregnancy. During the ultrasound, the sonographer noticed Twin B’s (girl) fluid level was high. It was in the normal range, but on the higher end. Our next visit showed her fluid level to be twice that of her brother’s. With our last pregnancy, the concern was Matthew not having any fluid and now girl twin had too much! The doctor suggested at this point that I cut back on my carbs and sugar.

I guess since then the fluid level has normalized and now I’ve passed the Glucose Screening test. So, I can resume my normal diet. I’m definitely all about the starches and my sweets. Some stuff I’ve been dreaming about – Winchell’s Strawberry or Maple Cruellers, In-N-Out cheeseburgers (with grilled onions), fries & chocolate shake, See’s Candies (my choice of chocolates), Indian food with lots of naan bread, Rite Aid/Thrifty’s Pistachio ice cream, Baskin Robbins banana split, Cold Stone Creamery Mud Pie Mojo, pasta, pasta, pasta, red velvet cake, mash potatoes, baked potato, curly fries, hash brown, pancake, freshly baked baguette (with brie), garlic bread, sesame toasted bagel with cream cheese, buttered biscuits with honey, Starbucks maple scones, oh maybe it’s time for Starbucks cranberry bliss bars!, Nestles freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, and I should stop right now before I get too carried away :-). There’s still the concern about girl twin’s fluid level, but for now I can eat without restrictions and fatten them up! I kinda feel like the wicked witch in Hansel & Gretel.


If you haven't guessed, we're having boy/girl twins again. How do we know? Here's the proof -

Monday, December 4, 2006

Very first entry

The past couple of days have been quite eventful. Last Thursday, 11/30, I had just made it to 27 weeks. I was pleased. I had a doctor's appointment the day before and the babies were 2lb 3oz and 2lb and 7oz. The doctor said the babies had a 90% survivability rate if they were to come out now. Of course, they would still have some major issues, but it was reassuring news nonetheless.

But on Thursday, I got a call saying I failed my Glucose Screening test. I scored 157, the cutoff being 140. That means I have to retake the test, ugh! Then later that evening, around 5pm, I noticed my underwear was wet. I got a bad flash back to when my water broke last year. I called Mike and then called my doctor's office. They told me to go to Labor & Delivery (L&D). Mike left work early and picked me up.

At the hospital, they have 3 tests to determine if its amniotic fluid. Fortunately, all 3 tests came back negative for amniotic fluid, but I was having contractions they were concerned about. Initially, they put in an IV drip (hydration helps reduce contractions). I felt better, but apparently I was still having the contractions so they gave me a shot of terbutaline. That worked, but the downside is that it makes my heart beat much faster and gets me agitated. The doctor monitored me for a while before I got the green light to go home. I was there for about 4 hours, but I was really glad to come home.

I had a pretty uneventful weekend and now it's Monday. I had to be at the doctor's office at 8am for my second Glucose Screening test. This one is the icky one. Like last time, I had to drink a glucose drink (cola flavored this time), but I had to have 4 blood draws! I only have 2 arms! I'll find out the result tomorrow. My nurse, Mary, is a sweetheart. She's going to call me first thing in the morning so I know whether or not I can try out the new Carl's Jr Mint Chocolate Chip shake. Oh man, I really hope I pass!