Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"I am just amazed..."

Today I saw the doctor and had a big ultrasound to measure the babies. I am thrilled to report that my doctor's first comment was "I am just amazed at how well these babies are growing and how well you are doing."

Now that's what you want to hear!

At 26 weeks, the babies measure 1 lb. 15 oz., 1 lb. 14 oz, and 1 lb. 14 oz. We are thrilled to see those sizes and also excited that the babies are all the same size still. As singletons they would be in about the 45 percentile for weight, so for triplets they are doing fantastic. Remember that the average birth weight for triplets is 3.5 lbs.

I've gained 31 lbs., which is a little less than they want, but as the doctor says, the babies are growing fine so it's hard to argue with my weight gain. Blood pressure was great (108/70) and I'm holding up well, so my doctor told me to keep doing whatever I'm doing. Yay! Jeff and I are very excited by all of this good news.

Everything looked great, and we did capture profile pics of each baby. That probably won't happen again, as they are getting big enough that it's hard to measure and to see all the parts of each baby. We'll try to get those scanned in and posted.

We are rapidly approaching 28 weeks -- another important milestone, where viability will be up to 90 percent and the risk of long-term complications starts to diminish rapidly. At my next visit in two weeks I'll do the gestational diabetes test, and we'll have another ultrasound in a month unless something changes that warrants another close look at the babies.

I'm still hoping to carry to 36 weeks and have nice big babies, though it's definitely getting harder to carry all of them around already. But at the same time, as it gets harder I also have less time to carry them, too.

I know many of you have been praying for us during this journey. We appreciate every whisper in God's ear, and ask that you keep praying for us and the babies.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Just Another Ordinary Day...

Here I sit on a Tuesday evening, taking my vitamins and minerals and drinking lots and lots of water, per the doctor's recommendation. Unlike in my first, singleton pregnancy, I don't take a prenatal vitamin. Instead I take a whole regimen of vitamins and minerals designed to make sure that there are plenty of nutrients for Mommy and babies both.

Here's what I take daily (from Dr. Luke's book for multiple pregnancy):
  • 2 vitamin-only multivitamins at non-pregnancy RDA level
  • 9 calcium/magnesium/zinc (333 mg/133 mg/5 mg)
  • 1000 mg vitamin C
  • 400 IU vitamin E

Calcium has been shown to help reduce high blood pressure, and it helps relieve the heartburn. Magnesium helps keep the uterus from contracting, helps with heartburn and may offer some protection for the babies' developing nervous systems. So, even if they are born early, problems may be less severe. Zinc is vital for the development of the babies' nervous systems, and it lowers the chance of infection and preterm premature rupture of membranes. Vitamins C and E help reduce the risk of preeclampsia. I also take an omega-3 supplement that I took when I was pregnant with Amelia. It is supposed to support brain and eye development.

That makes a grand total of 15 pills a day. Add to that the eight 16-ounce glasses of water I drink. Sometimes I feel like a camel. But the water prevents dehydration, which can lead to contractions, helps guard against urinary-tract infections that can lead to premature labor, and helps my body dissipate some of the heat this mega-pregnancy generates.

Hopefully this regimen, eating right, carefully watching my activity but not being inactive, and getting plenty of rest will help me carry these babies safely to at least the 32-week mark.

Tomorrow I see the doctor again, and I have a mega ultrasound to measure everyone and see how they are growing. Send up a prayer that we see healthy babies who are growing well and a healthy mama!

Keep those name suggestions coming! You've added several to the pool that weren't on our original list.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

26 Weeks: Update and Photos

Here we are at 26 weeks, and still doing well. Hopefully the doctors will say the same after Wednesday's visit and ultrasound.

We're getting a lot of kicking action these days. It's like I swallowed an octopus! My belly button hurts -- I'm sure it's from the growing, but I have this image in my head of the babies playing tether ball with my belly button, though I know that's physiologically impossible. Here's the latest belly watch picture. Yes, I'm getting big now!

The major victory this week was a trip to the zoo on Saturday. I'm sure it will be my last for the summer. I walked even less than last time, and I still hurt on Sunday. I just can't recover like I used to. But, it was worth it to enjoy the dolphin show and the penguins with Amelia one more time.

Don't forget to play the name game and give us your suggestions for what to name the trio!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Name Game

Here's your big chance, triplet fans, to share your ideas on what we should name the trio. Remember, we don't know what we are having, so we need lots of names.

We have a few naming rules ourselves, but I'm leaving the playing field wide open for all of you so you'll have plenty of room for commenting.

Here is some info that might be helpful to you:

Mommy's family names

  • Mommy: Christina Ruth
  • Grandma: Alice Jean
  • Grandpa: Ernest Laverne
  • Aunts & Uncles: Dave & Sheryl, Dan & Karen, Dennis & Teresa, Judy & Virgil, Paul & Staci, Mary & Kyle, Cathleen & Mike

Daddy's family names:

  • Daddy: Jeffry Wayne
  • Grandma: Carol Elaine
  • Grandpa: Wayne Elphage
  • Aunts & Uncles: Amy & Dave, Suzanne (Susie) & Andy, Allison, Jacob

Big Sister: Amelia Katherine

Whether you like traditional names, rhyming names, popular names, old-fashioned names ... or even want to put your own name in the hat (though that may cost you), share your ideas.

Outlandish and silly suggestions are welcome, too. We'll post some of our favorite suggestions in a week or so, giving their authors BIG bragging rights, if nothing else! :-)

Have fun!

Christy, Jeff, Amelia & ?, ?, ?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Calling All Readers

All right, I know we have lots of faithful readers out there, but not many of you comment. C'mon, you can do it! Just click that comment button below a post and share your thoughts--especially those of you who send me comments in email instead of posting.

Check back tomorrow for a post that will beg to be commented on... We may even give prizes!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

7 p.m. and Bedtime

When I say a 7 p.m. bedtime, I'm talking about me, not Amelia! It's just after 7 p.m. and I'm waiting for Jeff to come home so I can go to bed for the night. I'm not ashamed to be going to bed an hour before Amelia. If he were home this evening I probably would have gone to bed sooner. Only my need for supper has kept me awake this long...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lady of Leisure...Yeah, Right!

If it weren't for the massive belly I'm resting my laptop on, I could almost feel like a lady of leisure today. I saw the massage therapist this morning, though I consider that a necessity, not a luxury. If it weren't for her work (painful at times!) on my back and legs, I don't know if I'd still be on my feet.

It's not exactly a leisure day, as I've been working from home. But, telecommuting does afford me the luxury of indulging my need for a nap. One hour over lunch makes the whole world a better place. Even though Amelia has been sleeping well the last couple of nights, I've been getting more tired and tired faster. So that nap is really becoming more than a luxury. I was asleep before my head hit the pillow and didn't wake up once until the alarm rang an hour later. Ahhhh.

But what really makes me feel like a lady of leisure is a wonderful young college student named Becky. Becky comes once a week to do whatever needs to be done to keep the house from caving in on itself. This week it's picking up Amelia's room, doing some laundry, wiping down the bathrooms, vacuuming and cleaning the kitchen. I can smell the clean from here. I always feel better after she's been here to help conquer some of the chaos.

Becky's putting her earnings toward her college education, so I guess that makes a fifth college tuition I'm going to pay for!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Things That Aren't in the Parenting Books

Miss Amelia was up Sunday night crying that her ear hurt, so Monday Jeff took her to the chiropractor.

For more information on chiropractic care for treatment of ear infections, check out Under "Chiropractic for Kids" you'll find a "Research and Articles" section that has good information. Because many ear infections are caused by viruses, they will not respond to antibiotics anyway. And, because we have a great pediatrician, he recommends analgesics for pain control, but refuses to treat ear infections at the first sign. So, we always try chiropractic first, and we've had great results.

In fact, Monday night Amelia slept all night for the first time in at least a week. And, she slept through a raging thunderstorm that made both Jeff and I jump when it first boomed over the house at 1 a.m. It continued for more than two hours, and not a peep out of Amelia. Go figure!

The Web site above is for Dr. Nancy, who is our chiropractor. She is great with kids and pregnant women. I don't think I could get through this pregnancy without her!

Amelia did have a little rough stretch before bed Monday evening, complete with cramming play dough up her nose. Fortunately (or unfortunately) her nose has been running so much lately that it pretty much cleaned itself out, though the sight of fluorescent green and hot pink play dough running out was a little disturbing. Life was so boring before kids!

Monday, July 21, 2008

More Reasons to Love Being Triply Pregnant

  1. Casting a shadow with my belly button. (Does that mean six more weeks of pregnancy?)
  2. Sleep deprivation training for when the babies come.
  3. The ability to shift tides and alter planetary orbits just by rolling over in bed.
  4. The Great Stroller Debate of 2008.
  5. The Rubenesque look is in.
  6. It's an excuse to own the world's sexiest minivan.
  7. No need to agree on just one baby name.
  8. 30 tiny fingers and 30 tiny toes.
  9. Compared to this, I will always feel thin.
  10. Generous friends and family who are praying for us and willing to help out!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Uff Da!

Whew! These babies are really taking it out of me this week. The doctor says they should start to grow fast now, so it's probably a growth spurt on the way -- a very good thing, as we want big, healthy babies!

And as another plus, as they get bigger, they will have less room to haul back and kick mom with all their might. What are the doing in there? Playing World Cup soccer? Jeff can see my belly jump from across the room these days.

So today while I napped, Jeff and Amelia went to Costco. Jeff says it's her new favorite store. They sampled their way around the store and she had strawberry ice cream.

"Brr. Cold!"

"I yike it."

~Amelia on strawberry ice cream

Then she had a garlic chip with tzatziki (cucumber) dip, which she also liked. Then she had pizza, and topped it all off with animal crackers. I think we've found a way to feed the kids for free once a week! :-)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Amelia Bedelia

Our children challenge us mightily sometimes. Just when you are completely exasperated with them, they do things that are unbelievably sweet, cute or just plain funny. Somehow God knows when we need something to restore our sense of humor and balance. And a sense of humor is critical to good parenting!

The parenting challenge of the moment is that Amelia is officially turning into a vampire. Not only does she not sleep through the night, now she's started biting at daycare. In the last week, she has bitten twice, and was caught once just before she bit. WHAT? Where did my sweet girl go? What happened? The first time she bit, she wouldn't even admit she'd done it. ACK! That was almost worse than biting in the first place!

Just when we are at our wit's end with the girl, she shows her sweet personality and makes us laugh. It started last night. Well, technically, early this morning, at 2:30 a.m. She started to fuss a bit and then wound up yelling, "Dad! Dad! Daddy!" This was not the sound of a child who would be going back to sleep on her own. So Daddy, God bless him, got up.

When he got to her room Amelia said, "Blankie all wet. Bleagh! Put in dishwasher. Clean it up." He tried to talk her out of it, but she was insistent, repeating it over and over. I just lay in bed and laughed. Since I was already awake, I went into her room and just agreed with her. "Yes, the blankie is wet (it was a little sweaty). I'll go put it in the washer and clean it up." Then I gave her a clean blankie and she settled down to let Jeff rock her. I must admit, she comes by her OCD tendencies honestly -- from both sides.

Today when we picked Amelia up from daycare, she was trying to kiss one of the boys. Sheri reported that Amelia was trying to kiss all the boys today, as Amelia ran around us saying, "I kiss Owen." I am quite certain I actually saw hair leap off Jeff's head as his two-year-old daughter ran around him yelling about kissing the boys. Perhaps I'll get him a shotgun for his birthday this year.

We don't have the biting problem licked, but we're using nail polish ("pretty nails" says Amelia) as the incentive and punishment. If she doesn't bite, we'll paint her nails, which she loves. Grandma D. started that bit of girlishness! If she bites or even tries to at daycare, they remove the polish as part of her punishment. This does NOT make her happy. And it sticks with her. She told me, "Pretty nails all gone," when we picked her up today. And she knew why, too, so hopefully it is teaching her something.

Maybe she'll quit biting AND learn to sleep through the night at the same time. (sigh) A mama can dream, can't she?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Keep Smiling

In an attempt to improve my current attitude, here is a list of things I will miss about being pregnant, pregnant, pregnant:
  1. The excuse to take a nap anytime I want.
  2. The ability to eat 4000 calories a day without getting fat.
  3. The shocked look on people's faces when I say I'm expecting triplets.
  4. Baby kicks.
  5. All the ice cream I can eat.
  6. Knowing that, for the moment, my babies are safe from all the trials of the world.
  7. Tums. (I'm getting quite addicted to the tropical fruit flavored ones.)
  8. Dreaming about meeting my little ones for the first time.
  9. Choosing baby names.
  10. Participating with God in creating this miracle of life.

And now, at 8:10 p.m. it's time to sign off and try to get some sleep.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another day at the Doctor's Office...

Today was the 24 week checkup and everything still looks good. We have reached the minimum viability milestone (the Dr. gives the little ones a 50/50 chance if born today). The next big goal is 28 weeks, where the babies have a 90% survival rate, with a lower risk of long term complications.

Mommy is doing well - low blood pressure - and she is steadily catching up on the weight gain (29 lbs so far). I am, however, trying to not keep up on the weight gain, which is difficult with someone in the house that has a 4000 calorie per day diet! Today, Christy is measuring at 34 weeks and they expect that she will be measuring full term at her next appointment in two weeks. She is still going to the office 4 days a week and working from home once a week.

There are still a lot of things to do around the house - putting cribs together, cleaning out the spare room/nursery and getting the new floor for the previously flooded basement. It seems like we are quickly running out of time as the summer races to an end.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Celebration and a Play Day

Today we are celebrating reaching the 24-week mark in this pregnancy. That is viability for the babies, so a big milestone. Of course, we hope to go another 8-10 weeks at least, but this is a big day!

Since we had something to celebrate, mom was feeling good, and it was a beautiful morning here, we packed up and headed to the zoo. We saw the seals and sea lions perform, and then we went to Amelia's favorite zoo activity, the dolphin show.

To watch her clap and yell when the dolphins first came out -- she was absolutely beside herself with excitement. All Jeff and I could do was laugh. It was one of those moments that you can't do justice to with a photo or a video. You just have to live it, enjoy it, and lock it away in your heart because little girls grow up too fast.

Jeff took Amelia to feed the giraffe. Her report was that she fed the giraffe "orange." It was a sweet potato, but she's right, it was orange. She seemed more excited to tell me about washing her hands afterwards than actually feeding the giraffe.

We had a little lunch and then turned Amelia loose to play on the slides for a while. On the way out we stopped to see the penguins and the polar bear. The polar bear was sleeping, but the penguins were busy diving into the water and hopping back out again. Then they would shake their heads. Amelia was mimicking them, yelling "Shake a head!" and shaking her head.

Although she couldn't keep her eyes open in the car, Amelia was bouncing in her crib within 10 minutes of going down once we got home. She finally settled in about an hour later, so today's nap comes late and will be short. Makes me worry a bit about bedtime!

It's all worth it though, to hear her sing "Like to move it, move it," while she shows me how the dolphins danced! :-)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Over or Under?

WARNING: If you don't want to hear about clothing issues, then quit reading now.

I am entering the great debate of pregnant women and beer-bellied men everywhere -- over or under? Do I wear my underwear and pants way up to my chest, or down below the bulk?

I love Motherhood Maternity's new "secret fit belly," which goes over the belly, even though I don't normally like to have a lot over my belly. The fabric they use is very stretchy and breathes well, so it's comfortable and stays put. When I first bought a few secret fit belly items, the belly came all the way up to my bra, because I'm pretty short. But, as my belly has grown (rapidly!) they already have crept down by a couple of inches. I wouldn't bet on it, but I'm hoping that they will stretch enough to get me through this entire pregnancy, though the high waist will probably be down to my belly button by the end!

Now underwear are a different matter. I can't wear the granny panties that come all the way up. Ugh! Too much on my belly, and even at this size, a girl has to have a little pride! But, the slope of my belly has become so great that any underwear rolls down until they rest, quite uncomfortably, in my C-section scar. So now I'm trying some rather expensive microfiber undies that are guaranteed not to roll and will stretch in all sorts of unbelievable ways, according to my panel of triplet mom experts. We'll see!

I did break down and buy two pairs of shorts today. I hate to spend money on clothes that I won't wear for long, but no price is too much for comfort. And I've already outgrown the shorts I had from the last time around.

Anyone got a good muumuu pattern? I may need it by the time these babies come!

Friday, July 11, 2008

We Get By with a Little Help from Our Friends

Tonight friends came to rip the carpet out of the basement, and they are coming back next weekend to help paint. Thanks Jeannie, Brian and Christy! You are a blessing, and we thank God for good friends like you!

The new floor goes in the week of the 21st, hopefully, and shortly after that we'll get a slew of people coming to reorganize the furniture to make the family room into "baby central," get things that belong in the basement back into the basement, and turn our previously rarely-used formal living room into the TV room. I'm afraid of the dust bunnies that will appear when all the furniture gets moved!

While the guys are doing all that, I'm hoping we ladies can sort some baby clothes, start putting them away in the nursery, set up the changing tables, etc... I'll feel a little more prepared once the house is in order for the new arrivals -- just in time for the start of Week 27.

Why is it that every pregnancy is too long, and yet not long enough?

Night Out with the Triplet Moms

Last night I went to a Mothers Night Out with the local multiples -- triplets and more -- group. I had a great time getting to know more of the moms. I sat next to a mom who carried to 36 weeks, never went on bed rest, and brought home babies about week later. WOW! I told her she's my role model for this pregnancy.

It was inspiring and comforting to realize that not all higher order multiple (HOM) pregnancies are complicated. Some really do go quite smoothly and others, no matter what you do, just don't. I thought one mom put it well when she said, "When your body is done, it's done. And you can't control that." Ah, no control -- one of many lessons this pregnancy is teaching me!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Good for a Laugh

One of the things Jeff and I are doing to get ready for the triplets is cleaning out the basement and building in some storage. (Of course, when I say "we" I mean he's lugging all the boxes and I'm going through a few things here and there.) We're pitching some things, and getting a kick out of going through boxes of memorabilia from high school and college.

For those of you who don't know Jeff and me well, we met when we were 15 and our first date was junior prom. We found our prom pictures, and they were certainly good for a laugh. In our senior prom photo, Jeff is sporting a cast. He broke his foot about a week before senior prom, which limited his dance moves even more than usual.

I also found a ticket stub from a show I saw in college with my friend, Kari. I forget what show it was, but Barry Williams (AKA Greg Brady) was the star of the show, and she made me stand in line afterwards to get his autograph. I knew she got her ticket signed, but had blocked out the fact that I did, too!

While we're pretty motivated to pitch things right now, we're trying to hang on to some of the things we think our kids will enjoy laughing at years from now...but not those that will give them too much cause to mock us!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Feeling Elephantine

Today some very kind person told me that I was glowing. Because she was so sincere, I didn't share the thought that immediately popped into my head: It's not glow. It's sweat.

It's sweat from the effort of carrying these babies around. Last night I just ached everywhere and was uncomfortable, plain and simple. I realize I don't have much to complain about as I am more than halfway through this pregnancy and other than a few aches and pains and a little heartburn I haven't had any difficulties. But, some days are easier than others.

That said, if I am already measuring full term, does this count as more than one pregnancy?

Oh well, at least I have the elephant beat. That poor beast has to carry for 22 months!

A Lesson in Being Cautious

I am part of a group of parents who have triplets or more, and they have been a great resource and support. This came in an email update the other day, and it shows just how quickly these higher order multiple pregnancies can change:

Just wanted to update everyone on one of our newest couples...Their triplets will be 22 weeks gestation this Wednesday....[mom] up until recently has had little complications with her pregnancy. Unfortunately, as many of us have discovered, carrying triplets takes a toll on the body and it can happen pretty quickly. At her appointment last week they found out her cervix had shortened from 4.5 to 2.5 over the course of two weeks. She does have a cerclage, but [her doctor] is concerned and has put her on modified bedrest. She has also been put on Procardia.

This email was a good reminder of just how hard my body is working and how careful I need to be. The most important thing I can do right now is keep incubating these babies!

We are grateful for every day that things continue to go smoothly. Please keep praying that my body can stay strong and that things continue to go well.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Swimmin' Fun!

Today we took Amelia to the water park, which required that I put on a maternity swimsuit. This is something you will only brave if you already have a child. There will be no pictures of me in the suit -- well, possibly for the price of a college education for one of the triplets, but otherwise, no way. My sister, Mary, gave me the suit. It's a glamorous, black number with yards of fabric. I'm sure even it won't fit me in another month!

Amelia loves the water, so she had a blast! Daddy did most of the chasing while I watched from my lawn chair or the side of the pool. I joined in some of the fun, but I'm always trying to be careful not to overdo it. Amelia didn't want to go down the little slide today, but jumped from the edge of the pool into the water a few hundred times!

We took a ride on the Lazy River, too. When I got in to my inner tube, the black suit and the pregnant belly gave a great Shamu effect. Getting IN to the tube wasn't so bad, but getting back OUT was a little tricky, like popping a cork out of a bottle. We only did that once!

We brought home an exhausted Amelia, so we're hoping she'll sleep all night. If she sleeps, then Mommy and Daddy certainly will too!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Summer Means Sweet Corn

We had sweet corn for supper one night last week, and Amelia wasn't interested in trying it. Tonight, she must have been hungry, because she took her first bite when she was helping Daddy husk the corn.

"I no yike it."

We told her it was better after it was cooked, and she gave it another try.

"I yike it corn! Yum!"

Then she ate a whole ear!

Creating a Sanity Zone

Today Jeff and I picked out flooring for the basement sanity zone, AKA playroom. After the basement flooded twice in 11 days, we are over the carpet. Concrete isn't an option unless we want to pay for emergency room visits and stitches. So, we've settled on a product called fiber floor. It's water resistant, has some cushion to it and comes in a zillion patterns. We chose this one by Tarkett called Bubble Fun (it is for the kids after all) in blues and greens.

I got the paint for the walls to go on after the carpet comes out, hopefully next weekend. Now all we'll need to do is soundproof the ceiling and we'll be in business!

Like everyone else, the salesmen at the paint store asked when I was due. The look on people's faces when I say "November," is priceless. One guy said that he and his wife have twins, so I let them off the hook by telling them it was triplets. That leads to some of the oddest conversations at times. This was one of those times.

"Do you have the see the doctor a lot?"

"Yes, every two weeks."

"Do they do lots of ultrasounds?"


"Do you have to eat a lot?"


Then the one guy tells me that they see a lot of pregnant women in their store picking out wallpaper and paint colors. He said, "There are good pregnant women and miserable ones. You know, some see it as a gift and others see it as an excuse to complain for nine months. You seem like a good pregnant person."

Well, thanks. This is still an odd conversation to be having with two total strangers, and men at that, but thanks.

They matched my floor sample in about two minutes and one of them carried my two gallons of paint to the car without my asking, so odd conversation aside, the service was great!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July

Our 4th of July got off to a great start--Amelia slept through the night and didn't get up until 7:30 a.m.! She's still not a great sleeper, so a full night's sleep and a late rising is a real treat.

Since it was rainy here (again!), we stayed close to home today. Amelia helped Mom and Dad organize the baby gifts from the shower this morning, which involved moving about three dozen plastic baby spoons from the floor to the table to the couch to the chair to the floor... At least it kept her busy.

This afternoon the rain stopped for a while and we were able to get out the baby pool and play for a while. Then Amelia "helped" Daddy clean out the garage. She is her father's daughter, as she really, really wanted to play with his golf clubs.

Now Amelia is sound asleep and Daddy's on an ice cream run--gotta keep putting that weight on to grow those babies! We'll probably catch a few neighborhood fireworks from our backyard before an early bedtime. Hope everyone has had a happy 4th!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Celebrating Marriage

In and amongst the stomach bug we had last week and everything else that's been going on, Jeff and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary on June 25. We have a regular sitter who comes Tuesday evenings -- she used to come so we could go work out, but we gave that up months ago! Since Tuesday was the 24th, we considered going out to celebrate with dinner, but neither of us really felt up to that since stomachs were still pretty delicate.

So, the day passed without much fanfare, which is actually a good thing in our house. I had to chuckle when I opened Jeff's card though. It said, "I think we will look back on these past 14 years as ... quiet." Truer words were likely never spoken!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Three pounds, two ounces of babies

We had another doctor's visit today, this one with an ultrasound to measure the babies' growth. Two of the babies weigh 1 lb. each and the third one weighs 1 lb. 2 oz. All of them measure bigger than their gestational age. All great news! It is particularly important that they all be about the same size and growing at the same rate. If one starts to fall behind you have to decide how long you watch that baby not growing well to give the others the benefit of some extra days in the womb. Pray that we don't have to enter into that debate!

We brought home ultrasound pictures of the babies today, so I'll try to get those posted soon.

My doctor, who is a very laid-back guy, was practically giddy at everything he saw today. Giddy on him looks like a smile, and that's about it. He said the babies are the same size he'd expect to see if I were only carrying one. Everything with mom looks great, too. Alleluia!

I've only gained three pounds since my last visit, which is less than they want to see, but considering I had a little stomach bug for a few days, it's not surprising. These little ones demand a lot of nutrition and even missing a few days of eating can have an impact.

So far no signs of bed rest on the horizon, just the usual warning to not overdo it, to listen to my body and to call if anything seems at all odd. I can do that!

At this point the doctor and I are cautiously optimistic that I can carry to at least 34 weeks. But as a first step, 24 weeks and viability is right around the corner, so keep praying!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Creating Miracles

Erma Bombeck, humorist and newspaper columnist, once wrote a column called "If I Had My Life to Live Over." I read it years ago, but one of her pieces of wisdom stuck with me, long before I ever had thoughts of becoming a mom.

She wrote, "Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle."

Yes, pregnancy means aches and pains, swollen ankles, stretch marks and weight gain. It means days of saying, "Yes, I'm still pregnant," when you are overdue, and hours in labor and delivery. But the beginnings of life are a miracle that belongs to women and women alone.

Fathers can share in the joyous announcement of a pregnancy, but mothers get the honor of truly being the first to know.

Fathers can watch in amazement as an ultrasound shows their little ones waving their arms and kicking their legs. But only mothers have the privilege of helping that little one grow strong enough to come into this world.

Fathers can put their hands on mom's stomach and feel the baby kick, but those first sweet flutters of life -- and the giant kicks that come later (are they playing soccer in there?) -- belong to mothers alone.

On days like today when my ribs ache from the addition someone's building, I've been to the bathroom so many times I can't begin to count, and no matter what I do, I can't get comfortable, pregnancy can feel less than miraculous.

But every day I try to remind myself that together, God and I are doing something amazing--times three!