Grace and Hope

Grace and Hope
Wait for God. Wait with hope. Hope now; hope always! Pslam 131:3

Saturday, June 25, 2011

And the Good News Continues to Roll...

Jay and I were very much looking forward to our appointment yesterday, at the 16 week mark. We are so blessed that we get to see our precious little babies on ultrasound at least every 2 weeks (most people have only had one ultrasound by this point!). Needless to say, we are pretty spoiled. The babies are getting BIG!! No longer is A nestled on one side and B nestled on the they stretch all the way across! The doctor did a "gross anatomy scan" which looks at the major organs. We were able to see two kidneys, a stomach, a bladder, a spine, all four chambers of the heart and parts of the brain on both babies. He measured all their long bones as well and the babies are perfect-Thank you Jesus! The good news just seemed to continue to get better and better!! I wanted to share with you some pictures from our last appointment...make sure you see all of them!!!

16 Weeks

Baby A (still face up): 

Baby B (still face down):

And the news we have been waiting for...

Note: Click on the last two pictures individually and you will be able to read the signs better!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Oh Avocados…How I Love You So Much Already!

This week the babies are size of avocados, measuring 4-5 inches and weighing in at a whopping 3-5 ounces!! It is amazing how much I love these precious little babies already. I find myself looking at the ultrasound pictures from two weeks ago on a daily basis and counting down the time when I can see them next on ultrasound (Friday—yes tomorrow!!). These babies are already very spoiled with love and prayersJ
This week the babies continue to grow and finer details continue to evolve. These details include the development of eyelashes and eyebrows, formation of the scalp (which will determine just how the hair will grow), lengthening and hardening of bones, movement of the eyes (although still shut), grasping his/her thumb to make a fist, and the heart is busy pumping 25 quarts of blood every day. It is amazing that God is concerned about all these little details that become so important to the big picture!
In other news…I am a free woman for almost 48 hours now. I am trialing being off the Zofran pump, which was a continuous infusion of medicine into my leg for the nausea and vomiting (more importantly!). I always had to carry around a fanny-pack type carrier that transported the medicine, pump, and supplies for emergencies. So it is very nice not to have to tote….or should I say, lug that around these days. So far I’m hanging in there. I have started to become somewhat symptomatic again, but I’m hoping I can battle it with the pill form instead of the pump. I’m also trying to adjust to the change in dose which causes severe migraine-like headaches (anyone who has been on Zofran for a period of time can relate!), and I’m hoping over the next few days that should improve too. I’m moving in the right direction…it just is taking a lot of patience to get over this hump.
Tomorrow afternoon we will have another ultrasound (the highlight of my week!). This weekend is a busy weekend, so I hope to post pictures over the weekend, but didn’t want to delay a post, so I thought I would post a little early. Stay tuned for updated ultrasound pictures, maybe a belly picture (hmmm?!), and if the babies cooperate and spread their little thighs we might even find out their sexes! So very excited!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Comparing Apples and Oranges…

This week our babies are each the size of an apple or a small navel orange, measuring about 4 ½ inches in length (1 inch longer than last week!) and weighing between 2-3 ounces each. At our appointment last week, both A and B were measuring right on target, with A, just a tiny bit bigger, measuring one day bigger than dates…so we have one apple and one orange…does that mean we have one boy and one girl…two girls, or two boys?? The timing of our appointment last week was just at the cusp where they can start to define boy versus girl, but it was yet too early to make the final prediction. We anxiously await out appointment next week to see what the sex of each baby is…so excited!!
Our little pieces of fruit that we love so much are starting to develop their own personality at this point. Now, they are able to make different facial expressions (and last week we learned that they were learning how to smile and suck their thumb). We already know that Baby A is going to either be some sort of gymnast or sports player because on ultrasound that baby is always moving (since as early as week 8-9!). Baby B takes after Jason more, definitely more laid back….with a type B personality! In other news, the brains of each baby have completely developed structurally, and from this point on, the brain mass will just continue to increase. The ears have moved into their final position on the sides of the head and the eyes are almost in the correct position at this point too. One of the neat things (although I can’t say I have tried it yet…but it is giving me all sorts of ideas!) is that the babies can now sense light, even with their eyelids still being fused. If I was to hold a flashlight to my tummy, the babies would move away from the light. Movement…well, I have been feeling movement from both babies about once a day for almost a week and a half now. The movements are subtle, but there is no doubt about it. I can’t wait until they really start to shake, rattle and roll!! I’ve been fortunate enough at work to listen to the babies heartbeats (by Doppler). When I started around 12-13 weeks it would take some time to find the heartbeats because the babies were so much smaller. Oh the difference a few weeks will make! The heartbeats are so much louder now and you can actually detect them moving all around because of where I can trace their heartbeat! It has become the best thing about coming to work—listening to the baby’s heartbeat…it just makes me grin from ear to ear.J
After a very rough start to the week in terms of nausea and vomiting, it ended on a great note! I even felt well enough to make some banana bread yesterday-what a treat! I’m still on the pump, but I am trying to wean it again (which failed before, but hoping this time it will work), to start to make progress to hopefully get off the Zofran pump sometime in the near future. My hubby and I will be going on a “babymoon” (a weekend getaway to a nice resort) in late July, so I have to be off by then because the pump is not waterproof and I plan on spending the entire weekend in the pool. So I have a goal in mind and I will do everything I can to get off this pump for more than one reason these days! Have a great week and I’ll see you next week!

Look, we found an outfit for one of our babies....

Friday, June 10, 2011

Second Trimester...Finally!!

Today marks the first day of the second trimester….whooohoooo!! Now at 14 weeks, the babies are the size of a lemon, measuring 3 ½ inches in length and a whopping 1.5 ounces. Believe it or not, the weight of each baby has increased almost 60% since just last week!
The major highlights in development are some of the finer details including the ability to squint, frown, grimace, pee, and possibly suck his or her thumb. Also, hair is growing on the head, for eye brows, and a very fine layer of hair, known as lanugo, is starting to cover the whole body. Last week was fingerprints, and this week is fingernails…pretty awesome!
I’m now off the IV fluids (Thank the Lord!) and feel much freer, as I’m no longer confined to an IV pole for at least 10 hours a day. I’ve asked the homecare company several times to pick up the IV pole and extra supplies, but they aren’t quite convinced this was a one-time stent…but I am! I’ll be on the Zofran pump probably for at least a month or so more. I am so happy to report that it has brought back some of my sanity and I feel a lot of relief. However, I still have rough days every 1-2 days, and actually just last night broke my “puke-free streak”…and unfortunately, I don’t do anything small, I sure went out with a bang!
I have an appointment late in the afternoon today, so I hope to post ultrasound pictures tonight or the weekend to this posting. I didn’t want to wait too long to post because I know quite a few of you are eager to read the updates on Fridays. More to come….

Baby A (face up):
Baby B (face down)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Baby Nicknames...

Talk about one heck of a week…I had my very lowest point of the pregnancy and some of my highest points of my pregnancy…yes, all in one week!! You know by now that I have had my fair share of “morning sickness,” which most pregnant women know is a very bogus term. Needless to say, I went from bad to worse in a week’s time and not only was struggling to keep any sort of food down, liquids as well.  After  I no longer could even keep down water, I knew that I had gone to the “dark side” of what some people experience in pregnancy, known as hyperemesis gravidarum. My doctor, who never uses a higher dose of Zofran (the medicine for nausea and vomiting) that what I was treated with, decided that I was in need of IV fluids and a pump for Zofran which continuously delivers this most precious medication and also gives me the option of giving a bolus, or extra dose, every three hours. At first, I thought it was overkill, but after realizing how severely dehydrated I was and how much better both the IV fluids and Zofran pump made me feel, I realized that I indeed did need to step it up a notch to treat this so called “morning sickness.” I can honestly say that I had the two worst days of not only my pregnancy, but the two worst days that I can remember in a very, very long time, yet in the same week, at times I feel better than I have the entire pregnancy!! Praise God, I’m finally being adequately treated for how sick I have been and it is amazing how great it feels to have your sanity back. Even though it stinks to be this sick, I’m so thankful that I’m turning the corner. I’ll be on the IV fluids through the weekend for a total of 10 days then I will try off the IV to see if I can remain hydrated. I will be on the Zofran pump probably for a few months, perhaps until the end of the pregnancy. The needles go in my upper portion of my legs and they get changed out on average about every 12 hours—between an IV in the arm, a needle in the leg, and a needle in the butt (did I really go there!) for other medicine, I’m seriously starting to turn into a pin cushion…but mark my words…It will be so worth it!!!
So, when I was feeling “slightly less than well” this past week, I was thinking of affectionate baby names for Baby A and B. When I was at my very worst, they got the sweet and loving baby names of “Nausea” and “Vomit.” As the Zofran started to save my life, they changed to “Zoe” and “Fran.” But now we are using the names originally created by Jason…”Double” and “Trouble!” I know as I continue to feel better, surely I will come up with more sweet motherly names…but until then, meet Double and Trouble!!
You will just be amazed at how far these babies have come over the past two weeks. Each baby is 3 inches long or the size of a peach (for some reason, I look like I’m carrying grapefruits—how does that happen?!). This week the intestines, which have since been developing in the umbilical cord, will be twisting and turning to move to its permanent location in the abdomen. Although this sounds fairly simple, let me assure you, this in and of itself, is very precise and an amazing detail of pregnancy. A simple turn the wrong direction and the baby will not be able to digest food…and is a common GI complication we see in the NICU. So every little detail counts! Talk about details….our babies now have fingerprints on their tiny little fingers…God thinks of everything! The babies are breathing in the amniotic fluid as they live in a fluid-filled environment. The kidneys are also excreting wastes which get transferred through the umbilical cord to be processed by my kidneys. The nose and lips are completely formed and the jaws are lined with tooth germs, which later become teeth. The vocal cords are also in the process of developing at this time, although they will not make sounds until air passes through the cords at birth. For any of you out there that think we have at least one girl, there are already 2 million eggs in her ovaries!! Personally I think we are having two boys, but we won’t know until later this month. Phew, I think that is enough for one week!!
Below is a picture of me at 12 weeks and 5 days.  I’ll probably post more 13 week pictures later this weekend or early next week. See you next week. 

12 weeks 5 days
13 weeks

Pretty soon, I'll be competing with this Texas Long Horn!