Category: Baby Bump

First Pregnancy vs. Second Pregnancy

Today I am exactly 27 weeks pregnant, which according to many experts (including the American Pregnancy Association) marks the beginning of my third trimester. WHAAAAT? When did THAT happen? This pregnancy has seriously flown by. That’s probably because it’s my second one, and I’m so focused on caring for the twins, I barely have time to think about being pregnant. We’ve also been running around like crazy trying to soak up every bit of Southern California before our upcoming move to the Washington, DC area in October. Add to that list working, trying to get this blog active again, and prepping for the move, and it’s no wonder this final stretch of pregnancy has snuck up on me.

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27 weeks pregnant!

 

 

So, that brings me here—more than six months into the pregnancy and writing only my second blog post about it. Seriously—in the past six months, I’ve only had time to write about this pregnancy twice. In contrast, I wrote 18 posts about my pregnancy with Matt and Nate. But then I also had time to nap when I was pregnant with them, so…

But that’s only one of the differences between this, my second pregnancy, and my first pregnancy with the twins. Here are some of the others:

1st pregnancy: I took my prenatal vitamins religiously, at around the same time each day.
2nd pregnancy: When’s the last time I took the vitamin? I think it was yesterday morning. Or maybe it was the day before. Shoot, I’d better go take one now. 

1st pregnancy: We painstakingly pored through baby-name books and websites, making comprehensive lists of boy and girl names we liked. By week 14, we had two first names and two middle names picked out for each gender.
2nd pregnancy: Questions of, “Have you chosen a name yet?” are usually met with blank stares and the panicked realization that, oh yeah, we actually have to name this child.

1st pregnancy: We knew exactly when all of our doctor appointments were.
2nd pregnancy: We’ll be sitting at dinner when it suddenly hits me that we haven’t seen the doctor in a while. “We just went, like, last week!” Keith will respond between bites of food. Then I’ll check my smartphone calendar and realize that we actually went four weeks ago and our next appointment is tomorrow at 9 a.m. Crap! Hope the nanny is free to watch the boys.

1st pregnancy: I followed every diet rule in the book—no soft cheeses, no lunch meat, etc.—and then panicked if I accidentally consumed a forbidden food.
2nd pregnancy: I’ve been known to shove entire slices of salami into my mouth in a ravenous fury, and I honestly don’t even remember the full list of food no-no’s. We had dinner at an Indian restaurant with a friend a couple of months ago who is pregnant for the first time (with twins), and she made sure to ask the waitress if the cheese in the saag paneer was pasteurized. It hadn’t even occurred to me to ask that question.

1st pregnancy: I bought a pregnancy journal and carefully filled it out each week throughout the pregnancy.
2nd pregnancy: I ordered a pregnancy journal in a melodramatic panic a couple of weeks ago because I don’t want my daughter to find Matt and Nate’s journal years from now and ask why she doesn’t have one. Now I’m going through it and struggling to figure out exactly how I felt each week, what I was doing, etc. Half the stuff I write in it probably won’t even be accurate. Oops.

1st pregnancy: Keith took photos of my growing belly on the same day each week—and I probably overshared them on social media.
2nd pregnancy: I’ve had several friends ask me, “Where are all the belly shots?” Ummm, I have some, but they were taken on the most random days, and I don’t even think I’ve sent any to my mother. Sorry, Mom.

1st pregnancy: Babies R Us was our second home. We were there about four times a week, including Friday nights.
2nd pregnancy: I think I’ve been in Babies R Us twice since learning I was pregnant, and that was to buy Pull-Ups for Matt.

1st pregnancy: We researched the heck out of baby gear, looking at user reviews and safety ratings.
2nd pregnancy: The boys’ old Exersaucer, swing, and bouncy seats are somewhere in the black hole that is our garage. We should probably dig them out at some point. Soon.

I could go on and on, but the more I list, the more guilty I feel about the lack of attention I’ve been paying to this baby. I mean, she won’t even have a nursery for her first two months of life! (Since we’re moving when she is only six weeks old, she will just sleep in our room until we get to the new house.)

But for everything that’s different about this pregnancy, there’s a lot that is the same. We love this baby girl just as much as we loved Matt and Nate when they were in my belly. Though we aren’t as consumed with preparation for her arrival, we—and our entire extended family—are just as excited to welcome her into her lives. Keith has made it to every single doctor appointment, just as he did the first time around, and he still makes time every night to talk to my belly.

Also, there are some things I’ve been more involved in than I was with the boys’ pregnancy. I managed to spend three entire afternoons (that I was supposed to be working) researching baby-girl nursery decor. And trust me, when we buy our new home, I am pulling out all the stops. This girl is gonna be living in style! (Crystal chandelier, anyone?) I’ve also been excitedly stocking up on things I never thought I’d get excited about, like flowery headbands and tutus.

Besides that, this baby girl has something Matt and Nate did not—the love and excitement of two older siblings who can’t wait to meet her! Last night, as I was lying on the couch with my burgeoning belly exposed, the boys climbed up on either side of me and said, “Hi, Baby! I love you!” Then they started rubbing and kissing my belly. It was truly priceless.

I am still feeling great and have lots of energy. There is a ton to do in these waning weeks of pregnancy, but I’ll try my best to do better at keeping you all updated. Oh, and Matt and Nate turn 3 next week. Time to get back to planning their big superhero birthday bash!

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These little superheroes turn 3 next week!

 

Working Hard – and Having a Blast!

Well, I am now three days shy of 34 weeks pregnant! Seeing as how my OB said, “I’d be very happy if you make it to 36 weeks,” time is quickly winding down! I, on the other hand, am not.

I never realized how much of a workaholic I am until I began to freelance full-time. Now, assignments are like crack to me. I can’t bear to turn down a project—and the money that comes with it. I suppose it’s good to work as much as I can until the twins arrive, after which I’ll definitely take a couple of months “off.” On the other hand, it’s been quite difficult to work so much, AND prepare for twins, AND prepare for a deployment, AND get ready for a mini move back to New York while Keith is away. People can have nervous breakdowns doing just one of those things at a given time. Doing all four at once will turn you into the frenzied mom-to-be that I’ve become.

Not that I am looking for sympathy. Plenty of women have done it before me and come out the other side with smiles on their faces. I am so proud of them—and of myself! At my May 31 appointment, my doctor told me, “There’s no doubt in my mind that your great attitude is the reason you and your babies are doing so well.” Granted, she hasn’t seen me frantically sterilizing baby bottles at 11 PM while crying about looming deadlines and reminding my poor husband that he’s got to sign us up for recycling pick-up before he deploys. But she is right—despite all of the stress, I do feel deliriously happy and excited about what’s to come. After all, I have two baby boys on the way and the best husband ever. What more could a girl ask for?

Well, I suppose I could ask for more dates with said husband before I don’t see him for about 10 months—dates that don’t involve trips to Babies ‘R Us or filling out paperwork to add the babies to our wills. I suppose I could ask for more time to soak up the sun at the community pool and to lunch with pals before my days are consumed with feeding and burping and diaper changing.

But you know what? I’m not too concerned about what I’ve been missing. I’m just focused on what these challenges have unexpectedly added to my life. Last night, for instance, we were going to plop down on the couch and watch the Rockies/Dodgers game. Instead, we had a blast spending way too much time at the store picking out a musical stuffed panda for Keith to take with him to Afghanistan. That way, he can play it for the boys on Skype all the time, and they will begin to associate the toy—and pandas—with Daddy. (I apologize to any of Keith’s comrades who have to listen to this thing.)

And on Sunday, we left the park on a gorgeous, sunny, 85-degree day to go buy a towel rack (yes, a towel rack) to match the boys’ bathroom. But then, while at the store, Keith found a Nerf basketball game for the boys that will thrill him for years to come.

And finally, let’s not forget all of the comedy that being eight months pregnant with twins brings about. I have gained 25 pounds during the pregnancy. Yes, that’s very little weight—but every single one of these pounds is in my stomach. My belly enters a room about five minutes before I do. When I waddle down the sidewalk, I’m like a zoo exhibit—drivers break their necks to get a closer look. I’m pretty sure I’m going to cause an accident soon.

33 weeks pregnant — This thing is HUGE!

And then there was Sunday evening, following the towel rack-buying excursion. Keith pulled the truck into the left side of the garage, like always. Our Acura was parked in its usual spot on the right side. I opened the passenger-side door to get out of the car, like I always have. Except this time, I got wedged between the open truck door and the Acura. I tried to move away so I could close the door, but quickly realized I was not going anywhere. I was officially stuck—too huge to fit between the cars. Keith burst out laughing, which prompted me to start laughing, and pretty soon we were in tears. I had to get back into the truck to free myself. Now, every time Keith pulls the cars in, he goes as close to the walls of the garage as he can, so his whale of a wife will be able to get out. If you can’t laugh about these things, what can you laugh at?

We're still smiling!

And finally, another sign that everything’s going to be OK: Yesterday evening while having dinner on our deck, we noticed two identical robins (or were they sparrows?) sitting in our tree, watching us. They stayed there throughout the whole meal.

We imagined they were there to remind us of what all of our hard work and preparation is for—Matthew and Nathaniel, our two precious twin boys. They beat fancy dinners, cocktails, and swimming pools any day!

The Nursery!

For months, I was sort of bitter about having to move my nice, cozy office down to the basement to make room for the twins’ nursery. I was quite happy working in that bright room, with the sun streaming in every afternoon and Cheyenne Mountain outside the window.

Then we made the switch. And now I can’t imagine that room being anything other than Matt and Nate’s nursery. I am absolutely in love with it! I find myself going in there several times a day for no reason other than to simply look at it.

We had a lot of help bringing the boys’ room to life. Two weekends ago, Keith’s brother Ken was in town. He, Keith, and their friends Willie and Ben spent Saturday afternoon moving and arranging all of the office furniture downstairs, putting together the cribs, and setting up the baby furniture. They were a well-oiled machine, and we truly thank them for all of their help!

The following weekend, our friend Amanda came over to help us decorate the nursery. She has a great eye for decor, so she helped us make the room look amazing! Bless her heart—she even put the sheets on the cribs and tied all of the bumpers on, then helped Keith hang pictures and the boys’ names on the walls. All this, while I sat my big butt in the glider and threw out orders.

Here are some photos of the finished product!

Keith has a new favorite chair!

Thank you, Amanda, for all of your help!

Now we’ll just add a few things here and there as we find them, like a big animal-themed picture on the wall between their cribs. But we already think the boys will love their new room. Thank you to everyone who bought us furniture, bedding, and decor for the nursery!

And, finally, to give you all an idea of how big my belly has gotten, here is a photo of me from two weeks ago at 30 weeks pregnant:

And here I am a few days ago, at 32 weeks!

I feel like I’m about to tip over!

Professional Pregnancy Photo Shoot

A rite of passage for many expecting couples is the professional pregnancy photo shoot. So naturally, Keith and I scheduled one with the best photographer we know—my brother, Dan, of Marino Photography. As a mom-to-be, I am in awe of my own growing belly and I wanted to document it forever. Plus, I think the twins will get a kick out of seeing photos of how large Mommy was when they were in her tummy!

On March 26, the morning of my baby shower, Dan turned my parents’ living room into a makeshift photo studio. A black backdrop, huge lights, and all sorts of crazy paraphernalia filled the room as Mom and Dad rushed back and forth, getting ready and loading the car for the shower. When looking at the finished product, though, you’d never guess what was going on behind the scenes! Below are some of our favorite shots from the shoot. My only regret is forgetting to get photos with the cameraman himself!

 

Me with my mom
Outtake!

Dan is available to shoot kids, families, events…pretty much anything! Check him out at danmarinophoto.com!

A Visit From Auntie Christine!

Whoa! It’s been way too long since I’ve posted, but I’ve had a very busy—and very fun—few weeks. I’ll do my best to fill you in on everything in the next several blog posts.

From March 18-23, my best friend, Christine—Auntie Christine to the twins—came to Colorado for a visit. Despite my being unable to drink, hike, or do many of the other activities people like to engage in when they visit, we still managed to pack a lot of fun into her time here!

The weather was in the 70s and sunny throughout Christine’s stay. Garden of the Gods was, as always, a highlight of the trip. Keith and I were thrilled to see lots of parents pushing their babies in strollers or hiking with them in backpacks. It reassured us that we’ll be able to maintain our active lifestyle even with two little ones in tow!

Christine listening for the babies!
We can't wait to take the boys here when they are born!

We also enjoyed a DELICIOUS brunch at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort, at which I think I ate more than Christine and Keith put together (but sadly had to skip the mimosa). Here I am on the resort’s patio at exactly 23 weeks pregnant:

23 weeks!

And with Daddy!

Only about 14 weeks to go!

Seven Falls was also loads of fun:

Even Flat Stanley had to show the baby bump some love!

Flat Stanley and the twins!

Auntie Christine and her nephews also enjoyed their first visits to the Olympic Training Center, the Broadmoor, and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

The night after Christine left, Keith and I took a red-eye to New York for my baby shower. It was my last plane ride until after the babies are born, which is strange for someone so used to being able to hop a flight on a moment’s notice. Guess that’s just another change I’ll have to get used to when I become a mommy. Stay tuned for photos from the baby shower weekend!

Holy Baby Bump!

On Sunday I hit my official 22-week mark! That means if all goes as planned, the boys will be here in about 15 weeks. Whoa!

It seems my belly is getting larger by the day—but ONLY my belly. My perinatologist joked that I may stand up one morning and tip forward. Due to my clumsiness of late, he may be right!

Here I am at 22 weeks pregnant:

March 13, 2011

And, since Keith had a little something to do with the babies’ existence (teehee), here is a shot of the Mommy- and Daddy-to-be:

Lately, we’ve been trying to come up with ways to keep Keith connected to the boys while he is deployed. We want to get them used to his face and his voice right away. So yesterday, we went to Hallmark and picked out two recordable storybooks. That way, even though Mommy will be turning the pages, it will be Daddy’s voice reading the stories! Keith took his story selections very seriously, and those who know him well will not be surprised by his pick on the left. Here are the books he chose:

I promised Keith I’d stay out of his way while he records the books so as not to give him performance anxiety! We’d also love to hear your ideas for some other things we can do to give Nate and Matt a piece of Daddy while Keith is away. If anyone has any suggestions, please post them below!