Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ups, Downs & Kung-Fu Fighting

Today has been a bittersweet day. C left early this morning for North Carolina, where he is going to be in a wedding. On the beach. I was supposed to go along, but Dr. Jazz (our high-risk OB, who always has jazz music playing in his office) didn't feel comfortable clearing me to travel when we first asked him. This was before the pre-term labor incident, so we didn't bother to ask again. Truthfully, I don't think I could have handled such a long road trip anyway - even if there was a free stay in a gorgeous beach-front mansion awaiting me on the other end. So, as C drove off for a week of awesomeness with a carload of really fun people, I sat upstairs all alone, wallowing in self-pity.

It's a tribute to the potency of pregnancy hormones that it hadn't even occurred to me that C was off to the beach - which just so happens to be my favorite place in all of creation - while I remained landlocked in the dreary Midwest. I didn't consider in the least that I should be envious of his ocean getaway. No, I was too fixated on C's absence to take note of these things. I had been dreading this moment since we decided I would stay at home, and I started crying the moment the door closed. Only later did I realize how out of character this is for me. I'm self-sufficient, task-oriented, and not overly emotional. Regular Jennifer would have found something to do right away - reading, working, scrapbooking. (Ok, maybe not the scrapbooking. But someday, I really will put all those wedding photos in a nice album. Really.) Pregnant Jennifer bawled for four hours, ate a pint of ice cream, and cried some more.

Then I had a flash of brilliance. I put on the IHOP prayer room's live stream and just let it play in the background for a while. (Did you think pancakes? You did, didn't you? Maybe it's the pregnancy - but even though I know it stands for International House of Prayer, I always think pancakes, too.) It never ceases to amaze me how music that worships and glorifies God can break me out of the most depressed and self-indulgent of moods. So, no more crying - for now, at least. I'm actually pretty joyful at the moment. When I stop to take note of those I care about, I see that God is doing wonderful things right now. My bloggy friend Kim of Thoughts by Kim fame may be a mommy this time next month! On the heels of much heartbreak, she and her husband have been chosen by another birth mom. My sister Mary (Threefold Blessings) and her family are expecting to receive their travel dates in a few days, to travel to the Ukraine to pick up my two new precious nieces and my new handsome nephew. Personally, I have a lot to be thankful for, too - and I can think of no better reason to be sitting in Ohio right now than the two ultimate cage fighters in my belly.

We got to see them again yesterday, which always makes for a red-letter day. Dr. Jazz was pleased to note that no further cervical changes were observed. I was quite happy about that too; cervical length ultrasounds always leave me chanting, "No Whammy! No Whammy! No Whammy!", just like the old game show. He is quite sure that reducing my activity and stress levels has kept us out of the danger zone, and he encouraged me to continue to rest. It was good news all around: the babies are doing really well, too. Baby A (the boy) weighs 1 lb 4 oz, and Baby B (the girl) is close behind him at 1 lb 3 oz. Both landed smack dab in the middle of the growth chart - not too big, not too small.

The best part of the ultrasound was when the sonographer was doing Baby A's growth scan. The poor little guy was squished in the pike position, with his toes touching his face. We were looking at his little legs when Chris realized that Baby B's head was also in the shot. As we watched, A drew back his tiny foot, bent his knee, and then let 'er rip. The little rascal kicked his sister in the head. (My dad freaked out when I told him this - even though I explained that they are both in separate sacs, and B was not harmed in any way.) The moment of contact is above, for your viewing pleasure.

One more thing I wanted to write about - and then I will close the longest post EVER - is what we've chosen for the babies' names. Joy (When Does Daddy Come Home), who not only likes Red but enjoys Stargate too (how much cooler can anyone be?), asked about that; while I would love to share, C has asked that we keep them to ourselves until the babies arrive. It's the only thing he's felt strongly about during this pregnancy, and I am doing my best to honor that (it's so hard!). But I did want to say that I am very excited about what we've chosen. I wanted names that reflect how these babies are gifts from God, and that they are set apart for Him, and I'm really happy with what we've agreed on. And I can't wait until they are here, and I can tell!

So I guess this is what happens when I don't blog for months on end - I write a giant missive worthy of Tolstoy. Hopefully it's not been as boring. It's getting late, so I'm off to bed, but I am looking forward to catching up on my blog reading (and commenting) over the next few days! Thanks everyone for all of your encouragement - I really appreciate you. :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Gender Update

Baby A is a boy and Baby B is a girl! We found out about A first, since he's a wiggler and doesn't have any modesty issues. B, on the other hand, refused to uncross her legs for several weeks in a row. We actually found out her gender when we least expected - it was at a routine (non-ultrasound) appointment with the regular OB. They weren't sure if the doppler was picking up both babies' heartbeats, or if they were hearing an echo of the same baby's heart. (Their heart rates were exactly the same, for a while.) So the doctor did a quick ultrasound to verify visually what they were hearing - lo and behold, there was Baby B with her girl parts for all to see! I promptly told her that she could go back to crossing her legs for the next thirty years. :)

We've gotten to see some amazing pictures of our babies recently. I have appointments with the high risk OB every two weeks (and lately, weekly, but more on that later), and those always include an ultrasound. We watched as A (who tends to lay horizontally toward the bottom of my uterus) reached out to hit his sister's bottom, in an effort to get her to give him more room. We've seen B wave her hands when the ultrasound probe was hovering near her face (she really doesn't like it). Last week, we saw A using my bladder as a chair - which, incidentally, explains a lot!

We did have a bit of a scare last week, when my cervix began to shorten. The next evening, we ended up at the hospital with pre-term labor. The contractions were painless, more of a tingly sensation really, and so I didn't recognize them for what they were at first. When I finally thought to time them, they were between seven and nine minutes apart, for over an hour. Thankfully they began to ease on their own, and by the time the nurse got the monitor on me they had mostly stopped. I did learn, though, that the stabbing pain I usually associate with round ligament pain is actually a contraction. Boo.

After a week of bedrest, my cervix seems to be holding and I am allowed to resume "normal" life - with some restrictions. I still need to take it easy, and get lots of rest. We are at 22 weeks, 4 days - so those babies still have a while to bake!