Happy Anniversary, Denmark!

This month marks my fifth anniversary of my move to Denmark!  The last five years have been filled with unimaginable change, growth, and setbacks.  I have been at the end of my rope, my wit’s end, and on cloud nine.

Adapting to life in a new country is hard, no matter how committed or prepared one is.  And I have had my challenges.  I survived a lonely first couple of years, being pregnant and then having baby Theo, while finishing up Danish classes, and becoming fluent.  I drudged through unemployment, and every single frustration and insecurity that goes with it.  I started some classes for an associate’s degree, and totally crushed it–I was more proud of my perfect scores, and praise from my professors on my oral exams (taken in Danish) than I was when I graduated with my bachelor’s degree.  I landed an internship, and struggled through the first six months of it (while being pregnant with TWINS) before my maternity leave, and where I am now.

When I think about those first few months, compared to my life now, I have to admit I am really, really proud of myself.  When we first arrived, I could not leave my apartment without Andreas.  I couldn’t go to the store by myself.  After a couple of months, I managed to use public transport alone, to get to my Danish class (whilst sweating profusely).  I clearly remember calling my doctor to make that first appointment for my pregnancy with Theo–sitting on the edge of the bed, shaking, speaking Danish on the phone for the first time.

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Right there, facing the window, was where I made the call

Every day that I have been here, I have pushed my limits.  I have been on a roller coaster of highs (“I am so awesome for doing these things that are hard!”) and lows (“Oh my God, I can’t do these things that are hard anymore…not even one more time.”).

On Friday, I had a busy day.  I had a doctor’s appointment in the morning, so I packed up the girls, drove to the doctor, and had my appointment.  Afterwards, I got a call from the police station saying that my temporary visa was ready to be picked up, so I buckled the girls into the car, and drove 20 minutes (on the highway for the first time) in our van (with manual gearshift), parked, picked up my visa, and drove home, picked up Theo, and went home.  Feeling lazy on a Friday evening, we decided we’d pick up frozen pizza for dinner, so once Andreas came home, I took Theo to the store to grab some, and back home for dinner, bedtime with the kids, and cozy time with Andreas.

For some, this does not sound like a big deal.  For me, it was a huge deal.  My anxiety is ever-present, but the fact that I can overcome it, to do things that are really hard to me is amazing.  I am a nervous driver, but there was an errand that needed to be done, and I did it.  I spoke on the phone in Danish, like it was no big deal.  I have learned, in the last few months (while having infant twins) how to drive a stick shift.  I go to the store on my own, the doctor on my own, the police station–on my own.  I’ve even made some friends, and after 3 years living in the same apartment, am feeling more settled than ever.

These five years have been a series of challenges, and I expect nothing less of the next five–but I hope I continue to grow, I hope I can be as proud of myself in 2022 as I am today.  And despite the uphill climb, I am always grateful to have had the opportunity to live here, and have never second-guessed our decision to settle in Denmark (despite the weather).

We may have work to do on our relationship, but…I love you, Denmark!

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5-month Update–Oona and Beatrix

I knew I would fall behind with these at some point, but I am not giving up!  I want to do these as much for myself as for all of you–so I have something to look back on when I get all teary and nostalgic in a few years.

I am also nostalgic right now.  Nostalgic for those first few weeks when the babies would fall asleep in our arms, and sleep for hours.  Nostalgic for when they used to wake up once a night to eat and go back to sleep.  Nostalgic for when I felt like I was doing it right.

I thought month four was a doozy, but month five showed it up.

Sleep is just going downhill.  First it was naps.  The naps were 30 minutes, on the dot, and they would fight them, crying, as I sat between them with one hand on each baby, rocking them to sleep as I stared out into nothing and tried not to go crazy.  It didn’t work.  So we began sleep training, like we did for Theo–some kind of adapted-Ferber-controlled crying method.  It has worked, although not quite as well as I had hoped.  And then the night sleeping has worsened.  They go down alright around 6, then are up a few times in the evening, around 10-11 to eat, then around 2 to eat again, and then soooooometimes they sleep until six-thirty with no more fuss.  While this doesn’t look so bad when I type it out, it is really tough.  I need all the sleep and energy I can get to get through the day, and I am struggling.

I had also hoped that having them fall asleep on their own would lead to longer naps, but so far, it hasn’t, really.  This is also quite draining, as Bea usually falls asleep first, Oona will take another 15-20 minutes to fall asleep, and then Bea is up 10 minutes after Oona falls asleep.  10 minutes is not many minutes when you just. need. a. break.

They are still nursing, although we have started solids, and I think they are finally actually eating rather than just tasting, so I think we’ll move up to twice daily. I am really, really thankful that I have been able to nurse them for so long!  I am hoping now that I can keep it going until at least around the one-year mark.

They are still not moving much more than they were last month–no real rolling, although Oona especially has been getting super interested in toys, especially the ones her sister is holding.  Oona has gotten one bottom tooth, and Beatrix is definitely working on some.  The teething is, I think, a major contributor to the sleep troubles…hoping they get some releif soon!

They both are absolutely infatuated with Theo.  The moment they can see his face, they actually giggle with joy, if he’s playing with them or not.  He is their favorite person in the world.

I think they are still on track, size-wise.  Oona is moving up to 6-9 month clothes, and Trixie is not far behind.  I still have to bring them, in their carseats, down to the car at least once a day, and it is getting heavy.  I actually weighed it all yesterday, and I am hauling 50+ pounds up and down two flights of stairs.  That is many pounds.  Some days, I feel super strong, and others, I am pretty sure I might not make those last few steps to our door.

The girls’ favorite things are definitely being sung to, and being read to.  They light up, even if they are quite grumpy.

I know I have painted quite a grim picture, and things are realistically very, very hard right now, but it is still such a delight sometimes, when they both smile up at you, and you just can’t handle the love.  The girls really are so, so sweet, and no matter how hard it is, I am so grateful to have them both!

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4-month Update – Oona and Beatrix

The twins’ fourth month of life was a bit of a doozy–for Mama anyway.

Oona and Trixie are still sleeping well at night.  For a while, there were shorter stretches, but recently (probably thanks to the real, large swaddle blankets we recently bought) they have been back to waking up only once for nursing in the middle of the night, and a couple nights ago, they slept all the way through–from around 7:30 pm to 7 am!  Naps are sometimes good, and sometimes not so successful.  Usually I can count on a longer one in the morning but unfortunately, this is also when we are out and about if we have mother’s group, etc.  Their afternoon naps are a little sporadic, because sometime around 3 pm, I have to go pick up Theo from preschool.

Both girls are right on track length- and weight-wise.  Oona weighs a good two pounds more than her sister, but they are still in their own percentiles, so the difference will probably only get bigger during the first year.  They’re also still both being exclusively breastfed, which I am thankful for every day!

They both are wanting more interaction and attention these days, so it is harder to be productive, and there is more fussiness than before.  I am definitely looking forward to the day when they can sit up on their own, so they can play more easily.  We still make sure to have plenty of playtime, on their tummies, and on their backs.

The biggest deal over the past month was that Andreas returned to work.  I was slightly shocked at how much work it was to be alone with the babies.  Double the stairs, double the carrying, double the time to get out the door.  I have found the transition really physically demanding.  I got sick twice and had two episodes of a pinched nerve in my neck during  the first week and a half alone, and I am dead tired by the end of the day.

The first couple of weeks, I was feeling so drained.  Since then, I have been making a really big effort to practice self-care.  So I try to make sure I get some rest during the day, and I eat two breakfasts, a huge salad with all sorts of veggies, another lunch, and then a snack before dinner (and after, of course 😉 )  This has been sustaining me, and helping with my milk supply, I think, and I have been feeling better since I started this.  But it does make it hard to find balance during the day, since I am either running around frantically caring for babies, making food, or sitting down and eating the second the babies are settled into a nap.

Andreas is still dropping Theo off at preschool in the mornings before work.  This is awesome for me in that I don’t have to stress about getting all three kids out the door in the morning, but less awesome in that Andreas doesn’t get home until 5:30 pm, which is when we eat dinner, so I have two to three hours alone with twins who don’t really want to nap anymore, and a four-year-old that I want to spend quality time with, and I also have to make dinner!

Overall, it’s going much better right now than it was a month ago.  I am learning to be a twin-mom, and am trying to focus as much as I can on living in the present.  Those adorable faces melt my heart multiple times a day, and 95% of the time, I am still so, so glad that I got to be the lucky Mama of twins!

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Theo is Four!

Amidst all of the craziness of this summer, Theo has had a birthday.  His fourth.  Theo’s fourth year, was admittedly not an easy one–for any of us, but Theo has weathered it all with the grace of a three-year-old (which is a moderate amount of grace).  Having a mom starting work full-time, and then being basically incapacitated to some degree or another for the rest of the year was likely not easy.

This year, he was quite excited about his birthday, well in advance.  His party was wonderful, with friends and family, pancakes for breakfast, mac and cheese for lunch, pizza for dinner, and a pink and purple cheetah cake.

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Theo has grown in leaps and bounds, and when I look back on videos from a year ago (and shed a tear or two), I cannot believe it is our same Theo.  His speech–both in Danish and English has exploded.  He’s given up his pacifiers, and learned to ride a bona-fide bicycle.  He can write his name, and has graduated from only child to big-brother-of-two, of which he is enormously proud.

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Theo at four is independant.  He can do pretty much anything he needs on his own, but that does not mean that he wants to.  When he’s feeling helpful, he loves fetching me a glass of water, or a pacifier, or picking up his toys.  When he’s not–it’s life’s biggest struggle to get him to put on his own pants.

Theo at four is the biggest goof I know.  And that includes his father, which is saying a lot.  Theo at four is brave.  I can see the anxiety for new things creeping in, and my heart swells a little when I see him do something that I know isn’t easy for him.

Theo at four is loud.  His voice takes up space, and even if he turns down the volume, it still fills every crack and cranny of conversation in our home.  We have to remind him that Mama and Papa also need to get a word in edgewise every now and then.  It rather makes communicating with each other something that happens mostly after bedtime.

Out of all his birthday presents, the one Theo has loved the most is his very own game of UNO he got from his aunt (thanks!).  We play at least a few time a week, and if there weren’t two infants that suck a lot of energy, attention, and time, we’d play daily.  I LOVE that Theo is getting old enough to play games that are also fun for me 😉  He also loves reading books together, playing with small toy animals, and jumping around on the couch.

His favorite foods are enchiladas, pizza, pancakes, macaroni and cheese, and curry.  He eats terribly slowly, as eating is punctuated with long, drawn-out stories, and he goes through phases where he is not very gracious about what is being served for dinner, but he will generally at least try everything, and eats a pretty varied diet.

Naptime became a thing of the past around three-and-a-half years, and while I had always dreaded the disappearance of the nap, it was actually awesome!  No, we did not have a “break” in the middle of the day, but it is so freeing to be able to go anywhere, and not worry about being back in time for nap, or waiting until he wakes up to leave.  I really loved it!  Now, of course, we’re starting from scratch again, but…at least there aren’t three naps to take into consideration!

Parenting a four-year-old is a big mess of choosing your battles and trying to hold onto some semblance of balance.  I want to shower him with good attention so he doesn’t seek negative attention, but I also want to teach him that he cannot be center-stage ALL the time.  I want to let him make his own choices, but also learn when to respect our decisions as parents.  I want to answer all his questions about God and Abdu’l-Baha and the world (as best I can) but not right when I’ve tucked him into bed.

Four years in to becoming a parent, and I am still feeling the growing pains.  I am still learning to take it easy–to try and let go.  To sometimes let him steal all the pillows in the house to make  a fort, even though it is a pain to make sure they all find their way back when the game is done.  I’ll be the first to admit that when I am tired (which has been pretty much all of the time for the past year), I can be a grumpy, sensible, no-nonsense, boring parent, so I try to take time to smell the squashed-rose-hips that Theo asks me to smell, and to let the laundry stay unfolded so we can play UNO instead.

It is endlessly exciting and exhausting to see Theo growing up and becoming his own person with his own opinions.  It’s both scary and liberating to feel him growing a little more up and away every month, but–that’s parenthood!

3-month Update – Oona and Beatrix

Another month has come and gone, just as quick as the months before.  The girls are now officially three months old, and the summer is nearly over, which means Andreas’s paternity leave is also nearly over.

Besides the threat of impending alone-ness, things are still going great!  The girls are still sleeping well at night *frantically finds some wood to knock on* and growing well!  They usually eat about every 2 hours during the day, and wake up once to twice during the night for a little snack, and usually go right to sleep again.  Daytime naps are generally about an hour, although lately, they have slept a little more for their naps, and a little less during the night.

Oona and Trixie are still pretty generous with their smiles, even with strangers.  And the other day, they started smiling to each other!  They were on their playmat, and they didn’t even glance at the toys for about half an hour because they were so busy looking at each other.

Both girls are not very fussy–they get their fussiest if they are tired, and haven’t been put to bed on time, so we try to be aware of how long they’ve been awake so we can read their cues correctly.  Recently, Theo had a birthday party, and we had another busy day the next day, and I could tell that the two days put together was a bit much for them, but they just needed a bit more calm and sleep to recover, and they’ve been fine ever since.

We’re going in to get their 3-month vaccines on Friday (along with Theo and his 4-year booster) so that will probably be a little hard (not to mention loud).

Otherwise there is not too much to mention.  The twins are amazing babies, and I feel like we’re really settling into life as a family of five.  Of course, it’s all going to be shaken up now when Andreas starts work and I’m on my own a lot more, but we’ll figure it out.  I noticed that I haven’t written about them much individually as of yet.  I feel like their personalities are still quite similar.  Beatrix is fussier overall, but Oona needs a bit more sleep and gets agitated when she’s tired.  Beatrix has rolled a bit from front to back, but Oona hasn’t tried yet, and Oona has just started laughing whereas we’re still waiting for Trixie’s first giggles.

I still look at them sometimes and can’t believe that there are TWO of them.

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Update 2 Months into Twin-momdom 

I can’t believe it has been two months since the girls were born! (Said every mom ever.) But seriously, this is ridiculous.

Anyway, the girls and myself are doing great. When we came home from the hospital a few days after they were born, I was tandem-nursing them every three hours (we would wake them in the night if they slept longer than that) and supplementing with a bit of formula in a cup. This was a little bit draining, as tandem nursing is not my favorite (with newborn twins anyway) and it was quite a pain with making the formula as well, trying to cup-feed them, burping, getting them back to sleep, etc.  By the time we were done, there was rarely even two hours left until the next feeding was supposed to start!  When the health visitor came a couple of days after we came home, she noted that they had both gained well and were over their birthweight, so we were able to stop supplementing, and let them lead the way schedule-wise!

I mostly nurse them one at a time these days as it’s most comfortable, and the girls are champion breastfeeders–each feeding generally takes 5 minutes per baby! This makes it super easy to get out with them, as I know I can feed them standing/walking if I need to. They still mostly eat every three hours, though for a while they were going 6-7 hours for their first night stretch (between feedings, not 6-7 hours of sleeping–yet!) They go back to every 3 hours occasionally, but generally they are great sleepers.  We did go get them weighed last week, and they weren’t gaining quite as much as they were “supposed” to, but they had grown a great deal length-wise.  They advised us to start waking them again at night, but I’m going to try to get them to eat more during the day (and make sure they get the hind-milk) and see how it is again next week before I take such drastic measures 😉

During the day, the schedule is kind of erratic, but I am going to try to get into a little better of a rhythm/schedule in a few weeks.  I think I’ll have to make sure they wake up at around the same time, even if it means waking one twin.  When they aren’t synchronised, there is almost never a time when they are both asleep, and that can be a bit draining–especially when we aren’t three adults, like we currently are!

When they were only four weeks old, the girls got chicken pox!  Theo’s cousin got them while he was staying with them when we were at the hospital, and he gave it to them when he got them two weeks later.  Beatrix only got one (on her cheek) and Oona got five or six.  They probably don’t have immunity, since they were so little, but one can hope 😉

My mother’s group starts next week, which I am excited about, but my sister, who has been staying with us for all of July, goes home, which I am not excited about.  It has been so nice having her here, and the extra pair of arms has also been super helpful when there are two fussy girls!  Andreas goes back to work at the beginning of September, so at least they don’t both leave me at once!

I’m a little nervous for being alone with the girls when Andreas goes back to work–especially for the mornings when I have to get everyone ready and out the door so I can drop Theo off at preschool, but I am sure we will manage, and hopefully we will have a bit more of a schedule by then.

There’s so much more to say, but if I don’t get this posted now, I never will (the title has changed from Six weeks to Seven weeks to Eight weeks and now Two months, so I think it’s about time!)

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Oona at 2 months

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The Twins’ Birth Story – Beatrix and Oona

I wanted to share my birth story with the twins, just like I did Theodore’s!  Here goes:

As soon as I learned I was pregnant with twins, I started researching like crazy–about the birth among countless other things.  It seemed like in Denmark at least the protocol was that women carrying twins that share a placenta (as mine did) were generally induced/had a caesarean section planned for 38 weeks, as this type of pregnancy carries more risk than a singleton or fraternal twin pregnancy.  Most hospitals recommend a vaginal birth if at least the leading twin is head-down, and there are no other complications.  If the leading twin was breech, or there were other risk factors, a c-section was the recommendation.

For most of my pregnancy, I felt a bit in limbo, as I didn’t really know which type of birth I should be preparing for.  Finally, towards the end, it seemed that baby A was the leading twin, and both were head-down, so I was all set for a vaginal birth.

With my first pregnancy, I was induced at 42 weeks, so I wasn’t holding out much hope of going into labor on my own, even carrying twins (who are usually born early) although I have to admit, I was hoping a bit.  The experience of going into labor is one I had always looked forward to.

However, the weeks passed, and I finally reached the date of my induction, which, coincidentally was also my birthday!  We had left Theo with his cousins the night before, and walked into the hospital bright and early at 7:45.

20170523_080020I was checked (four centimeters, and completely effaced–hooray!), was put on monitors for a half an hour, and then was told to sit tight in the waiting room, as there would likely open up a room in the labor ward sometime that morning.

20170522_083649Hours passed, we took a walk around the hospital grounds (finding a four leaf clover!), and had coffee and ice cream at the hospital cafe.

Finally, around 2 pm when no labor room had opened up decided to hang out at the campgrounds nearby with Andreas’s parents who had come to meet the baby girls when they were born.

As a few more hours passed, we decided that 8 pm would be our cut-off.  I didn’t want to start an induction being already exhausted, so as no room opened by 8, we decided to stay in a little hut at the campgrounds rather than returning home for the night, with instructions to call again in the morning.  I guess the girls just weren’t destined to share my birthday.

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Luckily, after a night of traipsing up to the communal toilets several times, they told us to come in at 8 am, so Andreas’s dad drove us to the hospital!  They did the monitoring again as soon as I got there, and everything still looked great.  Then we got a room right away (hooray!), I was checked (5 centimeters this time) and they broke my water at 9:30 to try to get things going, with an agreement to start pitocin if things didn’t start on their own by 11:30.  Nothing happened, so after some yummy brunch at 11, they started pitocin (and strapped on those irritating monitors and put a port in my hand) at 11:30 and contractions started.  I rested through the first hour or so, and as the contractions grew stronger, I moved to the birthing ball, or stood and hung onto Andreas through contractions.

One funny thing–I had just read the book The Reluctant Midwife, in which one woman in labor sang through her contractions, so I thought I would try, since I like to sing.  I ended up more humming than singing, but it helped me so, so much to get through each contraction.  Only a couple of times, I faltered when I couldn’t think of a song quickly enough, and those contractions were much harder to get through.

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After a few hours, the midwives started noticing me making “pushy” noises, although I didn’t really register it myself.  They asked me to come up on the bed.  They checked me and I was at an eight.  Contractions were more difficult on the bed, and I can’t really remember why I didn’t get back up…maybe because they said I might be pushing soon?  I started using gas and air at this point, which really did help take the edge off, although it did make me “feel funny” as I couldn’t stop telling Andreas, haha!  The midwives had a shift change around here as well, which was a bit disappointing. I really loved the midwives I had (one midwife and one student midwife) and I think I would have done better towards the end and during pushing if they had still been with me.

After a while of not much happening, the midwife suggested I get up on my knees and lean against the back of the bed, which I did.  Here, things start getting a little fuzzy.  I started to lose control a bit.  Contractions were coming really, really fast, and they turned off the pitocin completely, but not before I was saying “I think an epidural is a good idea.  Yes.  Let’s do that.”  They told me they would check me again at 5 pm (it was about 4:30 when I changed position) and we could talk about it then.  Things started getting very, very painful, and at about 4:45 they said they would check me again, but as I was going from my knees to laying on the bed, my body did a HUGE push, and I think Oona was *right there.*

 

They called all of the extra people into the room–the head midwife, a doctor and student doctor, two pediatricians, a couple of anaesthesiologists, etc.  My body was doing its own thing at this point, and quite honestly I was sort of freaking out.  It was all happening so fast, and I had never had a natural birth before!  I remember feeling really annoyed, because it felt like the midwife was trying to push the baby back in, and I was trying to push her out, while really she was supporting my perineum, trying to prevent tearing.  They invited me to feel the baby’s head, and I reached down, expecting to feel her just starting to crown, but I felt her head about halfway out, and “Holy shit!” flew out of my mouth.  Oona arrived at 4:58 pm, and they tried to put her on my chest, but quickly whisked her away, as one of the midwives had to get a death grip on Beatrix in my belly to keep her from somersaulting her way into a breech position.

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I was equally annoyed at everyone as I pushed Beatrix out–she arrived at 5:09, and she came up on my chest for a few minutes so I could admire her, as purply-whitish as she was.

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However, they were quite anxious to get the placenta out, as I had some retained placenta after my first birth which caused me to bleed.  They upped the pitocin to max, and had me pushing–I remember it was stuck about halfway out, and–guys, that thing was HUGE.  I never got to see it all the way, but halfway was enough. (I have a picture of this, but I will graciously not post it here.)

The placenta came out in one piece, but I was still bleeding a LOT–my uterus had been so stretched that it couldn’t shrink down on its own, so while one midwife or nurse or someone smashed my stomach down, the doctor was (what felt like) shoving sponges inside.  This was 100% the most painful time.  They started to wheel me away, and I remember telling Andreas it would be okay, but I was terrified.  I became more and more frantic as I was wheeled down the hall to an operating room.  I remember they had an oxygen mask on me, and I felt like I couldn’t breath at all–I was flailing and screaming, asking to go to sleep.  I thought I might die.  Eventually they were able to put me under, get the bleeding under control, and give me a few portions of blood.

I started to come to, but it took a lot of tries before I could open my eyes.  When I finally did, Andreas was just arriving–he told me the girls were fine and offered to show me a picture, but I didn’t want the first time I saw them to be a picture, so I decided to wait. Finally, about four hours after they were born, I was wheeled into the girls’ room in the neonatal unit and saw them for the first time.

Oona had had a C-pap for a little while after she was born, as she had inhaled a bit of amniotic fluid, and they both had a feeding tube, as the staff didn’t know when I would be able to come and nurse them.

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Oona’s C-pap was off before I even got there, and the girls both pulled out their feedings tubes in the course of the night, and we were moved to the mother-and-baby unit in the morning where we stayed for a few days to get breastfeeding going and recover a bit more.  Our time staying at the hospital was nice (when isn’t it nice to not have to cook any meals?!) and we got to show the girls off to Andreas’s family and to Theodore, who we missed so much while we were away.

The girls were born on a Tuesday, and we were on our way home Friday morning.

The Twins are Here!

Well, okay…the twins were here a month ago.  But apparently writing blog posts takes even longer after you have twins–who knew?

Actually, to be fair, I could have written a long time ago, but it took us the entire month to finalise the girls’ names.  For some reason, naming twins is much more than twice as difficult as naming one baby, and I wanted to wait until we knew what to call them before we presented them to the world.  So here it is:

“Baby A” Oona Elizabeth born 6 lbs 9 oz, 20 inches

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“Baby B” Beatrix Mai born 6 lbs, 19.5 inches

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We are all doing well–we came home from the hospital when the girls were three days old, and everything has been going great 🙂 I’ll start working on my birth story soon, and a one-month recap (or maybe I should just be realistic and write a two-month recap, haha!)

The Last Few Days

My countdown has reached counting *days* until the girls get here.  Days.  So I thought I would do one last (also the second…) pregnancy update!

How far along?  37 weeks!  This is a big deal–some singleton babies are born in this week, and I am so excited to have made it this far!

About how big are the babies? I haven’t had a scan in two weeks (I have one in a couple of days) so I’m not sure, but based on the last scan, they are probably both around 6 pounds?

Buy anything? We pretty much have everything now!  My boss (who had twins three years ago) is coming by later with the last couple of things we’re buying (twin nursing pillow and second bouncy seat).  Other than that, the only thing we haven’t bought is a baby monitor, which I think I haven’t bought because it is not cute or exciting to pick out 😉  Andreas can probably pick a good one, so maybe I’ll leave that to him, haha!

Total weight gain/loss? I’ve gained about 14-15 kilos now, which makes sense.  I’m also retaining a lot more water now that the weather has warmed up a tiny bit, so that was a couple of kilos that came really quickly!  I’m still eating pretty normally, though I’ve noticed that if I don’t eat either two breakfasts or two lunches, that I get “the shakes” and really need to eat something extra.

Symptoms? Just being is slightly painful at this point.  Sleeping is difficult some nights, and I wake up with very sore hips, and especially really stiff and sore finger joints.  My heartburn is slightly less, which I am attributing to the babies dropping a little bit.  I am also easily worn out, but the past week or so, I have been more willing to exhaust myself, as I’m not so worried about going into early labor, since now, it’s just labor!

How are those clothes fitting? Just dresses fit, and really only with leggings, otherwise it can get inappropriate 😉

Stretch marks?The network of stretch marks has expanded a bit, but there were already so many, that I’m rather not bothered.

Baby knitting? The blankets are pretty much finished!  They are both knitted completely (I’ll embroider the names and birthdays on afterwards), I crocheted the edging, and I (mostly) sewed the fleece on the back of one–I plan to get the other one finished today.  Then I have done absolutely as much as I possibly can before the girls arrive!  I also knitted tiny baby hats that I am hoping fit them when they are first born.  If they don’t make their arrival by tomorrow, then I’ll probably start on some sweaters or something 😛

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How’s the sleep? It’s alright, considering how far along I am, I think.  I feel like I have been having/remembering more dreams lately again, which is kind of fun.  Strangely enough, I don’t know if I have had a single baby-dream this entire pregnancy 😮

Best moment this week? Sunday (also, coincidentally Mothers’ Day) was really nice, in a low-key way.  We didn’t do anything special, but Theo was remarkably well-behaved the entire day, we had really nice family time, and lots of laughs and cuddles and fun.  I know everything is going to be upside-down very soon, so I was so happy to have such a nice, normal, fun day.

Movement? Yep.  Some days not as much as others, and I feel them punching around really low some days more than kicking.  We have a few ridiculous videos of movement, though most of the really crazy stuff happens off-camera.  Yesterday, it was so crazy that I was legitimately creeped out by how far out of my belly they can “reach”

Biggest change in your body besides belly?  Probably my ankles, which are puffy.  Otherwise, there’s not so much.  My whole body is a bit swollen, though honestly not nearly as much as I had feared.

Food cravings? Not too much, although yesterday I wanted American take-out pizza SO badly.  Luckily we at least had a frozen pizza in the fridge onto which I layered lots (and lots) of extra cheese, and that pretty much hit the spot.

Sex of the babies?  Still girls, not expecting that to change 😛

What are you missing?  At this point, I’m not really missing much of anything.  If anything, I am prematurely missing being pregnant!  This has been a really, really hard pregnancy, but here at the end, I guess I have a case of Graduation Goggles, and I will miss this enormous belly.

What are you looking forward to? Meeting the girls!  I am a little apprehensive about the birth, especially considering that it will likely be an induction again, but I am so excited to see them and meet them, and especially to see Theo as a big brother!!

Milestones? 37 weeks–that’s term for most babies, and full-term for twins! Whoo!

Have you taken a birthing class? No…  But I did watch lots of twin birth stories on Youtube, and read lots of twin birth stories on various blogs, so that sort of counts, right?

Type of delivery you’re planning on? The girls are both head down, so we will go in for a normal, vaginal delivery!  This is really great news, and I am excited.  What I’m not as excited about is the induction.  We have one scheduled for next week at 38 weeks.  However, even though I’m nervous about that, and I don’t enjoy being induced, I do believe it is best, as the girls are sharing a placenta, which can get riskier and riskier as the pregnancy goes on.  So I am quite confident we’re doing the right thing.  I am rather hoping to go into labor any day now though 😉

Labor Signs? Just all of the normal early pre-labor things–lots of Braxton-Hicks, pressure in places one normally doesn’t blog about, etc.

Belly Button in or out? Just flat.

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Twin Pregnancy Update – week 31

So I did promise that I would update soon about the pregnancy, and everything along with that.  To be 100% honest, it’s a tough pregnancy, so to save you from paragraphs of venting, I thought I would stick to a template 😉

How far along?  31 weeks!

About how big are the babies? I had a scan yesterday, where baby 1 is just over four pounds, and baby 2 is just under, so just about the equivalent of one full-grown baby in there!

Buy anything? In the past week, we have bought both a van and a double stroller, which were the two big purchases that I have been stressing about.  I feel a lot calmer now, and feel like we’re really not missing much–just need to get a carseat, but that’s actually for Theo!  And sadly the van doesn’t come until right after the girls will be born, but it’s nice to have the stress of choosing and researching done!

Total weight gain/loss? About 8 kilos now–weight gain was slow in the beginning, but I feel like it’s pretty steady now, although I have a lot more swelling the past week, so that might be some of the more recent weight gain.  The babies are doing great, though, and I am trying to eat as much as I can, because I can definitely feel them sucking all of the nutrition out of my body.

Symptoms? You don’t want to know.  Haha! Too bad, I’m going to tell you anyway!  Really the worst are fatigue, heartburn, trouble sleeping, and just being BIG.  I am just so big that it is difficult to get out of bed, to stand up, to bend over, etc.  I have to sit down and take a break mid-way through towelling off after a shower.  I think I have given up the bike for good after last week.  I only had to pick up Theo two of the days, and each day I wept a bit when we got home, because it was just too hard on me.

How are those clothes fitting? Not very well…Soon I think the only clothes that fit me will be loose dresses with leggings, because most of my maternity shirts are no longer willing to cover the whole belly…

Stretch marks? Still just leftover from Theo, maybe a couple of small new purple ones now that I look…

Baby knitting? The knitting is going great since I’m off work–I have 5 rows of patterns on the one baby blanket finished (probably about three to go until I have to stop until they’re born, so I can knit the name and birthday on) so I will be starting the second one in not too long!  I feel like the second one might be noticeably better than the first, because I’m learning as I go, but…that’s just how it will be!

How’s the sleep? Not very good.  Heartburn is difficult to sleep through, I often wake up early, and I either have a lot of trouble falling asleep at night, OR if I fall asleep right away, I have to wake up more often to pee, so…

Best moment this week? The weekend at Andreas’s parents’ was really nice, relaxing, and fun!  It always feels good to get away, and not worry so much about the daily stuff.

Movement? Yes.  Definitely.  The past few days especially have been almost non-stop with elbows and knees just nearly popping out of my stomach.  They are ridiculous.  They’re getting really big, and it’s honestly pretty uncomfortable, but still really fun to watch and feel.  The scans don’t go very well sometimes because of how active the girls are, so I’ve had to come in every week sometimes, just so they can try to get accurate measurements of flow/amniotic fluid/growth.

Biggest change in your body besides belly?  Pretty much just the belly, really… When people say I’m “all belly” I actually think they’re right, although I guess all my aches and pains and tiredness are also technically changes in my body 😛

Food cravings? I was on a chocolate milk kick for a little while lately, but I also have been having a certain non-food craving…  I hesitate to share, because it’s a bit weird, but I really, really, really want to suck/chew wet rags.  Like…really want to.

Sex of the babies?  They’re girls!  We’ve been to enough scans now that I am pretty darn sure.

What are you missing?  Walking, biking, cooking, baking, being independent…a lot of things.  It’s hard for me to not be able to do anything, and hard to depend on others for so much, but I am also so, so thankful for having people in my life from whom I can ask for help.

What are you looking forward to? Nice weather!  The weather is starting to warm up, and it’s been a little sunnier, and that has been awesome, and saves my mood a lot.

Milestones? It felt like a big deal to get past 30 weeks.  Now I’ve set my eyes on 34, and will be pretty excited when we get there!

Have you taken a birthing class? No…I was thinking of doing the big auditorium-like one that our hospital offers, just for a refresher, and to learn what this particular hospital offers (it’s not the same one as Theo was born at) but we’ll see.  I think I will have an appointment soon with an OB to talk about the birth and what to expect.

Type of delivery you’re planning on? I am hoping to do a vaginal delivery with both girls–and this will be possible as long as the “leading” twin (the one furthest down) is head-down, which at the moment is the case.  They’ll keep an eye on it the next few weeks, and we’ll see, but I am also well aware that birth with twins (who share a placenta) can be something different, and I am more okay with the thought of a c-section than I normally would be.

Labor Signs? Just a billion Braxton Hicks, and one the other day that really was quite painful, but nothing to worry about yet!

Belly Button in or out? Just flat.

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This was a couple of weeks ago, but if I wait for a recent picture, this will never go up 😉