Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Twin Tuesday: 32 Weeks

How far along: 32 weeks (click here to see 32 weeks with Madi!)

Gender: Baby girls! Here is our gender reveal video.

Twins' Development:  Some babies have a full head of hair at this point while others just have peach fuzz. The babies have fingernails and toenails (which we plan to paint to tell them apart when they are little!). (Source: Baby Center Twins)

Sleep: Overall I've still been sleeping pretty well - just the usual waking to pee two or three times a night and a bit of waking and it taking me some time to change positions and get comfortable again. But still really good overall so I can't complain. :-)

Movement: Lots! Everyone asks if it feels different having two babies kicking, but honestly, it doesn't. When it was just one baby, the kicks could be anywhere and at anytime... it's basically the same. They don't often kick at the same time and the only real difference is that I just know which baby is moving since they are pretty locked into their positions at this point. 

Unglamorous body changes: Well... I suppose it was my due time... but I got my first set of stretch marks, one on each side of my lower abdomen. :-( I'd been using lotion and now I've upped using stretch mark creams/oils to try and prevent them from getting a lot worse. :-/

Maternity Clothes? Yep! And you may have noticed I have needed to add an undershirt to my non-maternity weekly photo outfit. Guess the shirt made it through one pregnancy, but it's got a long six more weeks to go with this one!

Showing: Yes! I think I am the same size I was full-term with Madi! I'm still being told I don't look like I'm carrying two babies... in fact I was told that three times yesterday. It's starting to get on my nerves a bit. :-/

Food cravings: Margarita. (This one may stay on the list until July! ;-) )

What I miss: Freely moving. I'm starting to get to the point where it's a bit hard to get comfortable and I can't turn and bend like I do non-pregnant. I'm also starting to feel things a bit more in my lower right back, but still nothing significant thanks to regular chiro and massage appointments. 

Anything making you queasy: Nope.

Strange experiences: I had a slightly panic attack when Jason assembled our double stroller and put two prams and then two car seats on it. I mean, we've had two cribs setup in Madi's room for a couple months, but something about seeing two car seats made this whole thing seem so crazy! Are we really having two babies in less than two months?!

Also, I started recognizing braxton-hicks contractions. I've noticed (and it was the same with Madi) that I often get them when I get up from a sitting or laying position and start walking immediately. Also, if I try to "rush" or walk in a hurried pace, I also get one. Time to slow it down I guess. ;-)

Best moment this month: Our 31 week appointment last week (see more below.)

Looking forward to: We still haven't gotten decorations hung in the nursery, but we are making progress. We bought a cutter in the US and have gotten the software installed and setup to start making the letters for the name blocks Jason is painting and the other decorations we are making ourselves. Also, my friend Joy is bringing us some of the personalized items we bought (with the girls' names on them) and I'm looking forward to seeing those and getting them hung. 

31 Week Appt: We found out the girls are still in the same positions they were at 28 weeks (which is an ideal vaginal delivery position!). The doctor also did an internal exam and I am showing no signs whatsoever of thinning or pre-term labor. I've definitely started having braxton-hicks contractions, but not in any frequency of concern at this point. 

Both girls were still measuring well at the appointment. Baby on the left (Baby A - the one who will  be born first) is measuring a bit small, -10%, but the doctor said she's moving so much and the measurements are so difficult to get accurately with two that she's not concerned. Baby on the right (Baby B - the second born) is measuring +10% right now and also moving lots. Overall, both babies are doing really fantastic along with their momma. The doctor believes that we have a very good chance of making it to 38 weeks with our little ladies and then it will be discussions with the hospital on whether or not they will let me go past that point or want to induce me. We are just continuing to pray for healthy babies and I am trying to be diligent to do whatever I can to help keep them growing and healthy these last weeks. 

It's getting harder to get pictures of the babies because of their size and how crowded things are getting. We got a picture of Baby A (but with the umbilical cord covering most of her face) and we weren't able to get one of Baby B. Baby B's face was downward and the doctor was able to get a view upwards toward her. We saw her face briefly with arms and legs criss-crossing in front of it! (And we have no idea which baby's arm and leg they were!) Things are tight in that space!! 

I'll start seeing the doctor more frequently now. I have an appointment at 33 weeks with my regular doctor and then an appointment at the hospital for 34 weeks. It's that appointment where the final position of the girls will be evaluated and delivery options discussed. After that appointment I may be able to see my regular doctor or I may have to see the hospital doctor at 36 weeks - it will just depend on how my and the babies are doing. 

Thank you everyone who's been praying for us and our little ones! We feel your prayers and we appreciate them more than you know. Please continue to pray for strong, healthy, full-term baby girls. Thank you!!


Monday, May 25, 2015

Weekly Wrap-up: Girl Fun and Downtown Fun

First accomplishment of the weekend... surviving! (I consider this a success at almost 32 weeks pregnant with twins!) When Jason decided to go on the Men's Retreat with our church this weekend, I knew I would need extra patience and energy to handle little Miss Madi. Fortunately, the Lord provided both and we had a fabulous time together!

Friday night is our traditional pizza night and we headed out to our favorite pizza place, Al Forno, and met up with Kirsten. We enjoyed delicious pizza and had a special treat of ice cream afterwards. 

Speaking of ice cream... one of Madi's favorite teachers sent us these priceless pictures from school. There were two birthdays this past week meaning that the kiddos got ice cream on two different days. Madi learned to drink her bowl from Daddy. ;-)

Back to our girl's weekend... there were lots of snuggles and movies. :-)

And since the weather Saturday afternoon was tolerable, we headed to the beach to build a sand castle!

Sunday afternoon we got Daddy back before heading to our church's evening service. Monday was a holiday here in Norway so we got to spend the day together playing. We headed to Mosvatnet to feed the ducks before heading downtown to play and have a coffee date. 

We ended the weekend by cruelly forcing our trouble cat to stay indoors while Madi and I watched Daddy mow the lawn. 


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Madi: 23 Months

Oh my Miss Madi! You are just all sorts of grown up these days (or at least think you are). It makes us smile and it makes us a little sad thinking about how quickly the time has flown by and that next month you will be turning two! You are going to be an amazing big sister and such a good little helper with the babies. :-)

Here are some special memories / milestones from this month -

- You finally have all four molars! You've had the bottom two and top right for awhile, but that darn top left side just seemed to take for-e-ver to come in. It's there now and we are glad to be done with teething for a little bit (until your sisters arrive!).
- We have magnetic locks on our cabinets and drawers in the kitchen where you have to hold a white magnet in front of a specific spot to pull open the cabinet or drawer. The other day you were playing in your kitchen and you took a white magnet from your fridge, held it over the handle to your fridge, and said "unlock" and pulled it open... so you have figured out the general idea of how to unlock the cabinets. Oh my word!
- You have all of a sudden taken a new interest in books again. You used to love to read, then for a long time (the past six or seven months) haven't wanted to sit read anything or be read to. That's all changed again and you are asking "one more story" before bed each night, asking for your devotional book regularly, and saying "amen" at the end of most books (like we do after the prayer in your devotional). It's precious and I am glad you are liking books again! Although to be honest, it would have been nicer to have the interest back during the rainy spring rather than the sunny summer. ;-)

- You have started "reading" letters (particularly your name) by saying "M", "D", "S" in that order. We've gone through the alphabet a few times, but you seem to love those letters the best.
- Your jumping and hopping skills have taken off and you are regularly getting off the ground! You are also climbing rope ladders with just Mommy and Daddy spotting you and it's amazing to see you good you are at climbing! (And to be honest, a little scary too since I know you will be instilling your knowledge onto your sisters!)
- You love jumping on the bed (our bed) holding our hands or just jumping on your own and landing on your bum. We all sit there laughing and tickling and it's one of our favorite things to do with you.
- You've been running for awhile, but are getting so fast! You often ask Daddy to run and chase you or have you chase him. We joke that we are going to have to get into shape soon to handle you!

- You have mastered counting 1-10.... with all the numbers! Yay! :-)
- You have been sitting on the potty almost every night before bed the past couple of weeks. We ask if you want to sit on it and try to go pee and if you say "no", then we skip it. Otherwise we will sit there with you and read the potty book 2-3 times. You still haven't gone in the potty and we aren't going to try pushing anything. We think it's great that you are even willing to sit on there at this point!
- You have a new favorite food... frozen carrots! So weird!!
- You have started singing and dancing so much more! And now your singing is somewhat discernible. ;-) I asked at barnehage if there was a song about a lamb because every time you would hold your sheep stuffed animal you were singing something distinct. They said one of the songs they often sing is "Bæ bæ lille lam" and we finally caught you on video singing it!


Monday, May 18, 2015

Weekly Wrap-up: Emily's Visit and 17 Mai

This past weekend my friend Emily came to visit from Aberdeen. She's been to Stavanger numerous times before and was happy to have a relaxing weekend just catching up and visiting. We stayed up Friday night chatting and enjoyed a relaxing Saturday morning before heading downtown.

We spent time shopping, playing, and having a lunch before heading home. That evening we grilled reindeer and whale steaks for a delicious meal!

Sunday was the Norwegian Constitution Day. We headed downtown for the big Children's parade before heading back to Tananger for games at the stadium right by our house. Madi got a life-sized doggie balloon and her first sucker - both of which she loved!!

It was a fabulous weekend and I'm so glad Emily could come visit us and join us for the celebrations! It was great to see her and have her help!!

And just for a blast from the past... here's a couple comparison pictures from our 17 Mai celebration last year! I can't believe how much Madi has grown!


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Twin Tuesday: Confessions from a TWIN Mom-to-Be

I did a post when I was pregnant with Madi called Confessions from a Mom-to-Be. It was a reassuring way for me to vent share my anxieties about becoming a mom. Since this time around I'm in a whole new ballgame, I thought I would do a similar post - Confessions from a TWIN Mom-to-Be, but this time at 30 weeks. :-)

So without further ado...

1. I am in shock and disbelief that I have no more than 8 weeks left before I get to meet my girls. And that's on the high end. I am 30 weeks today and Norway will not let you go past 38 weeks with twins, but there is always a chance they could come early...

2. I am still in denial that I am having twins. My mind cannot grasp how (or where) there are two babies inside me. I feel both of them kick, I see both of them on an ultrasound, but for some reason I still cannot wrap my mind around the fact that I will soon be a mother of three (and before I'm 30!).

3. A common question I get is "Does this pregnancy feel a lot different than your first?". All the books I have read say that it feels very different than a singleton pregnancy... Besides being a bit more tired and feeling that heaviness a bit earlier, the remainder has felt identical to Madi's pregnancy. I recognize that this is a huge blessing. But it also doesn't help with my denial in #2. ;-)

4. I have had trouble getting motivated to read books this time around. Jason and I were very enthusiastic about reading parenting books when I was pregnant with Madi. I'm not sure if this is a second baby thing or a twin thing, but I've had to force myself to read books about twins and twin scheduling, etc.

5. My first pregnancy I felt confident and sexy (call me naive), however, this pregnancy I have felt anything but... and it didn't help two weeks ago when I discovered my first stretch marks [insert whiny and crying emoticon here].

6. I am beyond thankful that we followed Baby Wise and Secrets of a Baby Whisperer and incorporated their techniques with Madi. She's an amazing sleeper and everything I've read and been given as advice from twin moms says that sleep training becomes imperative with two babies. Glad we practiced on numero uno.

7. Two babies to try and tandem breastfeed?!? It terrifies me. Enough said.

8. I truly want a vaginal delivery and know that it's completely up to these little ladies and how they choose to settle in. The idea of recovering from a C section with three kiddos sounds horrible. I feel very grateful that I am delivering in Norway, where it will be encouraged for me to try and deliver vaginally unless there is a strong, legitimate reason to schedule C section. In fact, the hospital told me that since it's my second delivery and there were no complications with the first, that they will recommend vaginal even if both babies are breech. They are trained for handling deliveries like that where the US is not so my chances of being able to deliver vaginally are much better here.

9. Hormones are soooo much worse with two little ladies! Bless Jason for his patience and endurance... he will need it for the next 18 years. ;-)

10. I feel physically prepared for the twins to arrive, but far from mentally prepared. We have the cribs and nursery all setup (minus hanging a few decorations), we have the car seats ready to install, and the stroller and prams setup. I had a slight panic attack looking at the stroller with two prams on it and thinking about there being two babies to take care of, but that aside, we are prepared for their arrival at any time in terms of equipment. I have not packed a hospital bag and one of the books said I should do that at 26 weeks. 26 weeks?!? But honestly, I should probably get on that since predictability of their arrival is out the window at this point.

11. I thought that I respected my body after carrying one baby. But now, after carrying these girls to 30 weeks, I feel significantly more respect for my body. It handles pregnancy very well and I feel extremely fortunate about that. It's a blessing to have made it this far and for things to be going so well for me and for the babies. We are thanking the Lord for keeping them safe and healthy and praying that I can make to 38 weeks.

12. It took me until 39-40 weeks with my first pregnancy before I got to the breaking point of being tired of being pregnant and ready to meet my baby girl... I think I will be reaching that point significantly sooner in this pregnancy!

13. Since I'm being totally honest here... I am still not 100% excited at the idea of having twins. I wasn't excited when we first heard the news and I still can't say that I'm really there now... the logical and practical part of me knows that this is going to be a huge challenge and therefore the emotional part of me that could be excited is out weighed. I am excited for baby snuggles, baby kisses, soft baby skin, and Madi to have two precious little sisters.

14. I know that moms of more than one kiddo say your heart instantaneously grows to love more kiddos. I know I will read this someday soon and think how silly it was of me to wonder how that happens, but it's just so incomprehensible to me to love another baby (much less two!) the same as I love Madi.

15. I feel undeservedly fortunate to be healthy and pregnant with two healthy baby girls. I have experienced more sadness and heartache this pregnancy with friends and acquaintances losing their little ones or having difficult pregnancies. It's not fair and it brings me to tears every time I think about it. I do not take for granted how fortunate we are.

And so with those confessions I leave you with my new motto once the twins arrive -


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Weekly Wrap-up: Mother's Day

Last year's Mother's Day was my first... and Jason was out of town and sent me the sweetest video ever!

This Mother's Day was my second... and I didn't get a single picture with my family! Whoops! But we did have a wonderful weekend all the same. Here are some pictures to capture our adventures.

Friday night we headed downtown to try a new pizza place, No 28. We enjoyed the nice weather and spent time walking around downtown and getting frozen yogurt. The flowers all around the city are gorgeous and Madi was a good sport posing in front of them.

And Madi enjoyed "walking" her balloon -

On Mother's Day, Jason let me sleep in (best present ever!) and made delicious pancakes. Jason bought me a book for my last birthday that he plans to use for holidays to have Madi write me a note or draw me a picture. Here's my fabulous Mother's Day picture for 2015. :-)

The weather was still gorgeous so we headed to one of our favorite spots, Stokka lake, to feed the ducks and walk around with my two favorites!

That afternoon Madi showed me she's going to be a great big sister and helper when the babies arrive... here she is changing baby Stella's diaper!

It was a wonderful and relaxing Mother's Day spent with two of my favorite people!

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