Thursday, September 30, 2010

24 Weeks

I had an appointment yesterday with Dr. Biter. No ultrasound - just measurements and heartbeats. All is well. I'm 24 weeks but measuring 29 weeks. I've gained about 24 pounds making my current weight 154. Blood pressure is good. At 28 weeks I will have another lengthy ultrasound and will get some pictures to post! :-)

Baby Boy was lying high up right beneath my ribs but I had an early drop which I noticed on Tuesday. Now my uterus is not quite so vertical and there is more belly to the front. This has helped with my nighttime heartburn. :-) Of course, that won't last long. They will continue to grow and take up every bit of space available up under my ribs. Baby Boy is now lying slightly behind his sister, still in transverse. Dr. Biter says this is a good position for labor and delivery. At 28 weeks they will probably be in their final positions as there will not be room enough to change.

I was wondering where exactly all of our insards go when the uterus takes over the abdomen. Here is a diagram showing normal and pregnant.

Notice the location of the intestines and the squished stomach.


Now for the TMI (Too Much Information). When you're pregnant, you'll find it easier to poop if you lean forward to take that pregnant uterine pressure OFF of the squished intestine.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Prenatal Cradle - Review

I bought the Prenatal Cradle this afternoon and I am not impressed. According to the package I have the correct size, size Small, but the only part that feels snug and supportive is the belly band portion. The elastic which goes over the shoulders is too stretchy and thin to help support any weight, and the whole thing chafes against my bare skin. I suppose I could wear a bra, and then a tank top, and then the support, and then put on my shirt, but that would be an awful lot of layers!

They have the right idea with this Prenatal Cradle, dispersing weight to the shoulders, but at $63 it is poorly done. I can't recommend this product. :-( We might be better off with a regular belly belt style with the addition of suspenders.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I've learned some things...

Be ye warned: this is one of my longer posts.

For several nights I was plagued by terrible heartburn, a relentless gassy heat in my throat that persisted in every possible position and made falling asleep a long uncomfortable ordeal. I've used TUMS with past pregnancies (heartburn is a typical pregnancy complaint for me, usually in the third trimester) but the problem with TUMS (for me) is that it relieved the heartburn for just a couple of hours before returning and waking me up.

In my third pregnancy I learned to eat my dinner 4 hours before bed and drink my last bit of water 3 hours before bed. Just a small sip of water before bed would give me heartburn, but obeying these rules I found I could avoid it.

Not so this time. :-(

Not wanting to begin the TUMS cycle of repeated night-waking I tried to just tough it out until finally falling asleep. Ugh! A couple of nights ago I was ready to give in to the TUMS, but I don't have any in the house! I did have a bottle of Mylanta, cherry flavor, which I have never tried. Oh... Wow! It really works! And I didn't wake up in the middle of the night! It's been two nights in a row now and although I don't like to take any sort of medications I'm thankful to have found a way to sleep comfortably. You KNOW I need my rest.... 3 kids and pregnant with twins!

Lesson Learned: Mylanta WORKS!

My next Ah-ha! moment was after a couple of mornings of terrible back pain. I woke up stiff, sore, and feeling like the best place for me was on the couch for the day -- not possible of course. Why did my back hurt SO bad!?

I thought it might be because I now have to sleep on my side and I'm not used to it. But then I took a closer look at my posture (common cause of back pain) and realized that with my belly suddenly huge I was not carrying myself well. The tendency is to let the belly hang forward and down and lean back with a little extra arch in the lower back. Bad!

I paid attention to my posture for a day -- using my abdominal muscles to hold my belly up and in, keeping my back vertical and my shoulders relaxed... and guess what? Next day NO back pain, despite sleeping on my side.

Lesson Learned: Bad posture = back pain; Good posture = extra energy

Because I'm carrying twins I'll be purchasing my first belly support belt when I'm in Encinitas next week. The standard kind that just velcroes around the belly is not a very good support. I'll be getting one with shoulder straps that takes some of the weight off of the lower back. Here's one.

Dr. Biter is a partner of a boutique in Encinitas that caters to moms-to-be and their babies. They offer birthing classes and prenatal yoga, I think they have Mommy-and-me classes, etc. It's called Babies By The Sea. I haven't been in there yet and I'm interested in seeing it next week. He tells me that his store carries the over-the-shoulder style maternity support; so far I haven't been able to find one anywhere else and I've only seen a couple of them online.

I just measured the belly and my circumference is 38.5" with muscles relaxed (hanging out there) and 37" with abdominal muscle support. At 23 weeks, I've gained about 12 inches from pre-pregnancy!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ultrasound Review

I saw Dr. Biter yesterday to review the ultrasound scans. No surprises. The babies' weights are nearly identical and they weigh just over a pound each.

My fundal height is now measuring at 25 weeks (I'm 21 weeks pregnant) which is a big increase since my 17 week measurement. Dr. Biter says that with twins the measurements are pretty much the same as singleton pregnancies, up until around 20 weeks.

Our next appointment is in three weeks, and then I'll get a lab order for gestational diabetes screening.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ultrasound - Anatomy Exam

Both babies look fantastic and perfect in every way. It is one boy and one girl. The girl is positioned to be born first; she is head-down and low. The boy is up above her and lying transverse. Both babies are just the right size and their heartrates are 130 and 131.

This was a long ultrasound and every part of the babies' anatomy was examined and measured including the umbilical cords and placentas. The girl's placenta is positioned very close to my cervix but not touching so this should not be a concern. Usually a placenta gradually moves up as the uterus expands.

So. All good things!

Friday, September 3, 2010

20 weeks

We are 20 weeks along now and I'm measuring right around 20-21 weeks (fundal height is at my belly button or just above). Tomorrow morning I have an appointment with an ultrasound tech for a long ultrasound, followed by a Wednesday appointment with Dr. Biter to review the scans.

I've reached that point in pregnancy when my abdominal muscles don't have enough leverage to bring my body from lying down to sitting up without rolling sideways and using an elbow to push up. I've started doing squat exercises because I know that sooner or later I'll be too heavy to lift myself from the floor to standing without help. I'm hoping that with muscle-strengthening exercise I'll be able to postpone the inevitable. :-)

It may seem like pregnancy brings about so many difficulties that it can't possibly be enjoyable -- I celebrate all these pregnancy changes because they are all part of the experience of growing a little miracle, or in this case... 2!