Archive for the ‘Multiples pregnancy’ Tag

Where oh where has the last year gone??   3 comments

37.5 weeks pregnant (1 week before the twins arrived) with 15lbs of baby in there... And yes, that reads 51 inches!!!

December 13th, 2009

Dec. 23, 2009

Dec. 23, 2009

Oh my goodness, where has a year gone??

 
On December 13, 2009, we tucked Bridget into bed, snuck downstairs just the two of us, and snapped one last belly photo… We were 36.5 weeks pregnant with the girls, and I was sooo excited to meet them. Well, excited and scared. And rightly so. This has been a scarily exciting year. As I’ve noted in previous posts, this year has challenged me in ways I never imagined, and in all of the ways I knew it would when I snapped this photo. Caring for two little people at once (and trying not to ignore their older sister TOO much!) is quite a job. Even celebrities like Celine Dion find it hard (I don’t know why that suprises me, but I figured when you can afford sixteen billion nannies, wouldn’t it be easier??) Read the rest of this entry »
Advertisements

November is Preemie-Awareness Month   7 comments

 

No, you didn’t miss something – the babies were not preemies, and I am not pregnant again. However, since we do have a miracle “micro-preemie” in our extended family, I thought it might be a good idea to blog about the March of Dimes’ Fight For Preemies campaign (www.marchofdimes.com).

When we found out we were having twins at just 11 weeks along, having the babies come too soon was one of my first thoughts. Okay, my truly first thought was “Holy crap, what are we going to do with TWO babies?” No, actually, when I really ponder it, my first thought was “Told ya so!”, directed mainly at my unbelieving husband. But my second (and first really legitimate) thought was panic. And then, joy, a warm yummy joy at seeing two beautiful little heartbeats, two little squirmy bodies, four hands, feet, and eyes (ok, those were actually creepy on ultrasound. But whatever).

 
Our first ultrasound at 11 weeks
Our first ultrasound at 11 weeks

And then… total and inalienable fear. I was afraid of EVERYTHING that could go wrong. Afraid of all the in utero complications that I knew of too well from 4 years of medical school. Afraid of the increased rate of loss with twin pregnancies. Afraid of major birth defects. Afraid of getting three little girls dressed, fed, and hair all done in time for daycare every morning. Afraid we’d never find 3 car seats that would fit across our backseat – or worse, what people would THINK when they saw 3 carseats across our backseat! But mostly, I was afraid of having the babies come too early – waaaay too early. I began to fixate on the really risky part of my pregnancy, between 26 and 32 weeks, where the babies would be considered “viable” even if they were born at less than the weight of a typical grapefruit. How can a little person survive born that small? And how could they possible survive and be healthy kids?

The thought of it swirled in my head, and every time a client would ask me if I should still be working, considering how intense and physically strenuous my job can be, I would smile and tell them everything was FINE, I was FINE, the babies were FINE, look at these child-birthing hips, I was born to have twins, ha ha ha! And then inside, I would shrivel up and die a micro death at the thought of doing anything that might increase the risk to my little peanuts. 

I remember the day that we hit 26 weeks. I watched the calendar crawl slowly through those 6 weeks. I was getting HUGE, and figured maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if the babies came now: this belly can’t possibly get any larger, right? And then I’d go for my bi-weekly ultrasounds, and their body weights would creep up: 1 lb, 1.5 lbs, 2lbs, 2.5 lbs, 3 lbs. When the babies hit 4 lbs a piece, I started to breathe a little more easily. I used to talk to them, say silly things like, “Come on, girls, let’s just cook a little longer… It’s not really so great out here that you need to rush anything…”

My Doctor was recommending medical leave from work, consdering how large I was getting and how stressed and tired I was at the end of a long day at the clinic. I was glad to slow down the frantic pace a little, and use the time to be on light bed rest for safety. And as most of you know, in the end, it was wonderful. The girls arrived on December 21st, full term at 37.5 weeks and HUGE at over 7lbs each. They were born in under 4 hours of labour and came home from hospital within 48 hours, nursing like stars and passing all their health checks.

Our girls at 7 days old

Our girls at 7 days old

But the day before we were induced at 37.5 weeks, we got the call that their cousin, little Kendra Molly had been born. Early. Reaaaaaly early. It was almost Christmas, and Kendra wasn’t due until April. She was only 26 weeks along, born at 1.01kg (2.2 lbs) at a smaller hospital in Barrie, north of Toronto.

Kendra at birth - 26 weeks, 2.2lbs
Kendra at birth – 26 weeks, 2.2lbs
After being stabilized and assessed, she was flown by air ambulance to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, where she spent almost 3 months in NICU.

Kendra at Sick Kids
We kept abreast of wee Kendra’s progress thanks to her mom’s frequent posts and pictures on Facebook, along with calls from Jeff’s mom to keep us updated. While in the NICU, no one but the parents were allowed in, so even the grandparents didn’t meet or get to hold Kendra until she was a few months old. But it was so exciting to hear when Kendra hit a new weight goal, or they were able to remove one more support item. And then she was just in a regular incubator, no tubes or anything. So cool.
When she was released at 3 months old (just before real “due date”), Kendra had just hit 5 lbs.  But the weight piled on, and Kendra is a scrappy little fighter (like a few other little Stewart girls I know) and so she’s certainly caught up to her 2009 peers. Other than the big scar on her head from the surgery, I don’t think anyone would know Kendra was a micro-preemie.
Kendra at 10 months

Kendra at 10 months

At 10 months now, Kendra is HUGE, almost as big as her full term cousins, and doing great. But their road was rocky and included lots of tubes, meds, pneumonias, and even surgery to reduce fluid pressure on her brain. She is a miracle. And with all our twin-sanity around here, we haven’t even been able to make the 2 hour journey north to meet her yet. But hopefully at this year’s big family Christmas brunch, we can get some real pictures of all 3 cousins, born just 1 day and over 5 lbs apart, together at 1 year old.

Looking forward to it!

My Kids Are My Exercise   2 comments

When we found out it was twins we were elated/scared/thrilled. And of course, being the Type A that I am, the first thing I did was race out to grab some books on twin pregnancy. Not that there are many differences from a normal “singleton” pregnancy. But one area that I immediately fixated on was the book’s description of the increased caloric burn seen when growing and nursing two babies instead of one.

37.5 weeks pregnant (1 week before the twins arrived) with 15lbs of baby in there... And yes, that reads 51 inches!!!

37.5 weeks pregnant (1 week before the twins arrived) with 15lbs of baby in there... And yes, that reads 51 inches!!!

In the early days of growing sprogs, it doesn’t add up to much – maybe an extra yoghurt a day (or in my case, two extra!). But once you get into that third trimester, it sure sounds like you’ll be smokin’ along, burning calories like crazy building two babies, with little room left in your tummy to eat. And then the breastfeeding – wowee! According to the book, over a thousand calories a day, ripped from my body fat stores and drafted straight into lactation. Yowza!

Right. What they don’t mention is that your body also gets insanely good at digesting and absorbing calories in prep for these increased needs – disproportionately so. And you are hungry. No, starving. Constantly. As in the “I know I just finished eating that entire extra-large Supreme pizza, but I could really go for another…” kind of starving.

So I gained weight. A lot of weight. 65lbs to be exact. Which I’m told isn’t a massive amount for a twin mom. I had over 15lbs of baby in me! But to me, it seemed … ginormous. I came within 3 lbs of my 6’5 hubby. Now THAT’S humbling… In fact, we measured the circumference around my tummy just before the babies were born: 51 inches. That’s 4’3. I’m pretty sure with that mass and girth, I qualified for my own gravitational pull.

So that leads me to now. As of last week, I have officially lost the baby weight. All of it. Dum-de-da-dum! Hmm, you think. She doesn’t seem that happy. Why, pray tell?? Wasn’t it all true – the miracle of the double calorie burn??

Well, my friends, because I’m STILL stuck joining a gym. Yes, the weight is gone, but the proportions are gone too, the muscles have turned to goo and my core strength is a memory more distant than mix tapes. In fact, after taking one 12-class session of pilates, I’ve realized its going to take more than once a week to return to “looking great and feeling better”, or whatever such shlock convinced me to buy the membership in the first place.

So I am asking for your best bits of motivational advice. Now that I am a member, how do I make sure I actually go? And how often is enough weekly? Once? OK, even I know that’s likely insufficient. Will twice cut it?? Whaddya think?