Category: Pregnancy

Big Boys!

My latest growth ultrasound was on April 4 at my perinatologist’s office. And boy, did these twins grow. Matthew weighed 1 pound, 7 ounces, while Nathaniel weighed in at 1 pound, 11 ounces! That means Matt gained 5 ounces and Nate gained a whopping 11 ounces since March 18. Little porkers!!! Still, the doctor said their weights are right on target and that it’s normal for twins to grow at different rates and weigh different amounts. They are, after all, two individual babies!

I can see why Nate gained more, though. Matt has certainly been the more active twin. He likes to move from one side of my belly to the other, while Nate stays firmly planted on the right side. For the ultrasound, Matt had decided to get all up in his brother’s business and squish up next to Nate, belly to belly. But Nate didn’t seem to mind: He was just chilling out, sucking his thumb. Here he is:

I can definitely tell who’s going to be the more independent twin!

We could not get a good photo of Matt because he was too busy moving around and being uncooperative (hehe). However, so as not to seem as though I am playing favorites, I just have to include the fuzzy scan of his profile:

My mom will be here for the next ultrasound. Maybe the twins will both cooperate for Grandma!

Yummm … Sugary Goodness

On April 1, I went in for my glucose tolerance test to screen for gestational (pregnancy-related) diabetes. Due to the horror stories I’d heard from friends about the “disgusting drink” you have to choke down— and the boredom that ensues while you’re sitting there waiting for it to circulate through your system—I was pretty nervous about it.

According to mayoclinic.com, the drink is “a sweetened liquid (called Glucola), which contains 50 g. of glucose. The body absorbs this glucose rapidly, causing blood glucose levels to rise within 30 to 60 minutes. A blood sample will be taken … about 60 minutes after drinking the solution. The blood test measures how the glucose solution was metabolized (processed by the body).”

During the week leading up to the test, I tried to prepare diligently. As advised, I ate my usual diet, with fewer sweets (to counteract all the pasta, cake, and Carvel ice cream I’d consumed in New York the weekend prior). I ate sparingly at an event Keith’s battalion held at a favorite barbecue joint the night before the test. And that morning, I skipped breakfast and drank only water.

We arrived at the doctor’s office at 8:20 AM. Ten minutes later, a lab technician came into the waiting room and handed me a bottle of the dreaded drink. “You have five minutes to drink the whole thing. I’ll be back in an hour,” she instructed.

I untwisted the cap and steeled myself. Then, tentatively, I took my first sip. And to my surprise, I actually sort of … enjoyed it. Sure, it tasted like flat orange soda. But for someone who loves sweet stuff, all of that sugar was actually a welcome treat.

“This isn’t bad!” I proclaimed, as I took another gulp.

Keith cracked up laughing. “Ewwww!” he said, pointing to the top of the bottle. “Look at all the sugar that’s condensing!”

I couldn’t care less. I downed the Glucola in four minutes, then indulged in a gossip magazine for the next hour while Keith answered work emails. I didn’t have any of the physical reactions I’d been warned about, such as heartburn or dizziness.

When the lab technician and my regular physician’s assistant came to fetch me for the blood draw, I confessed that I’d actually liked the drink. The assistant, who has two small children of her own, looked at me as though I were nuts. The technician shook her head and said, “Well, I guess there are plenty of worse things we could have given you to drink.”

Since then, I’ve told many people about my experience—friends who’d been pregnant, my obstetrician, my perinatologist. They’ve all had the same reaction—a mixture of “You are so strange” and “Well, good for  you, I guess!” The important thing, though, is that I passed the test with flying colors.

The whole thing reminds me of an experience my dad had nearly six years ago, after he’d suffered from cardiac arrest while driving and got into a bad accident. He’d lost oxygen for several minutes before being resuscitated and hospitalized, and it left him with short-term memory loss and other, shall we say, odd behavior. My mom, brother, and I were visiting him in the hospital when a nurse came by and give him a large cup of some gross-looking substance to drink in preparation for a medical test.

“This is not going to taste good,” she warned him, “But I’m sorry—you have to drink it.”

My dad then proceeded to slurp down the entire drink as though it were a smoothie, even offering all of us a taste. We all laughed uncontrollably, much to the dismay of medical staff passing by. I thought my dad was seriously crazy then, but who knows? Maybe this strange palate runs in our family.

Moms: Please comment and share your experiences with the glucose tolerance test. Is there anyone else out there who, like me, did not find the Glucola to be so bad? Or, am I seriously crazy?

Photos From A Great Day!

As promised, here is a gallery of photos of some of the wonderful ladies who came to my baby shower to help me celebrate the twins. I took about 100 pictures, so naturally I needed to edit them and post only those that came out good (leaving out the ones in which the subjects think they don’t look nice). I apologize to anyone I left out!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Showers of Love

Keith and I have some extremely generous friends and family. That much we have always known. But we are still so surprised and touched by all of the wonderful presents people have sent us, brought to our shower, etc.

So many people took the time to log on to our registries to buy the twins items they will need: double strollers, cribs, high chairs, car seats, swings, bedding, bottles, etc. They picked out adorable, coordinating outfits for the boys. They sent the boys favorite books from their own childhoods, or toys their own babies loved.

What Keith and I didn’t realize was that we also have a ton of super creative friends! Thanks to them, the twins will have some homemade and personal items to cherish. Here are just a few:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The greatest gift of all, though, is all of the love that Matt and Nate will receive from so many people. That love was evident at my baby shower. Stay tuned for a slideshow of photos from the shower!

The Double Duty Baby Shower

Usually, throwing a baby shower is a somewhat straightforward task. You pick a date a month or so before the baby’s due. You choose a local spot and invite relatives and friends. Everyone oohs and aahs as the mom-to-be opens her gifts. Then the expectant mother hauls home her presents, sets up the nursery, and waits happily for her little bundle to arrive.

Not so when Mom-to-Be lives 1,600 miles away, is expecting twins, and will be splitting her time between two locations while Dad-to-Be goes off to war. Here’s what planning my baby shower entailed:

1. Because carrying twins comes with a higher risk of preterm labor, I was cut off from flying at 24 weeks pregnant. That meant my mom had to plan my shower super quickly for a weekend 3 1/2 months before my actual due date. It also meant she couldn’t surprise me—though finding out I was having twins was enough of a surprise to last a lifetime.

2. Two babies need lots of stuff. When those babies will be living in two places, the amount of stuff needed doubles. Consider this: Two nurseries means four cribs, two changing tables, etc. What I struggled with was what exactly I would need in each place. This made setting up a baby registry unusually challenging.

3. Then there was the minor issue of exactly how to get the things I’d need here in Colorado, back to Colorado.

Ultimately, none of that mattered thanks to my wonderful and resourceful mother, my extremely thoughtful friends and family, and a husband with packing skills that can’t be matched.

The baby shower took place on Saturday, March 26 at the Greenhouse Cafe, a delicious Italian restaurant in Brooklyn. About 40 of my closest friends and family members came from far and near to help me celebrate. My sisters-in-law even flew from Michigan and Ohio to be there! The afternoon was full of love and laughter, and really, that was all I needed.

My mom did an amazing job with the planning. She created a safari theme to match the theme of the twins’ future nurseries, pulled together by adorable diaper cakes made by Jennifer Esposito of Little Madam Tutu. Here’s one of them:

Jennifer even included a yellow ribbon at the bottom in honor of Keith!

Here I am with Mom, the hostess :

And with Keith before the shower:

And here are the boys’ gifts, most of which Keith managed to stuff into four suitcases that we took home with us. The twins are so spoiled already!

All in all, I could not have asked for a better baby shower or for more amazing friends and family. Thank you so much to my mom for doing such a great job, and thank you to all of the wonderful ladies who came to help me celebrate. Keith and I so appreciate everyone’s generosity and thoughtfulness!

Stay tuned for a slideshow of photos from the shower, as well as one of some of the wildly creative gifts the boys received!

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!