17 weeks; it was finally my next appointment! I went in with a lists of questions and ended with a handful of answers. I quickly found that the nurses and doctor were more interested in clamoring around the pictures of twins “holding hands” on the mini-ultrasound machine, than addressing my concerns. Of my questions I was told that our boys were probably “momo,” and that I didn’t need to see a specialist until at the earliest 24 weeks. While google had not been my friend in the start, it did at least provide me with some good information. Namely how WRONG this doctor was.
I talked with Scott, we re-read some of the studies on identical twins “momo” as well as “modi” (monochorionic diamniotic) and decided it was time to find a new OB. I was now in panic mode…I again went to work trying to find an OB I liked but this time I was also trying to find a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist “MFM”. 3 weeks of research and I found a specialist, downside, he was in Milwaukee(almost 2hours away), only worked M-W-F and was booked for 4 weeks! Not wanting to waste any more time, I called OB’s that I knew worked with him and took first available appointment.
At 20 weeks I went in and met with the new OB; she only had a chance to scan my file and I filled her in on what they had said to me. She asked who the MFM I was seeing was to get the rest of my files…silence, I was so angry… I think she could tell because she cringed with the next statement. I needed to have a few more tests done…for what you might ask…?? cervical cancer. YUUUP. My first OB had failed to tell me she’d done the test, let alone that it came back abnormal. I sat in the chair for a moment, it must be a mistake, I said lets just redo the test and moved on.
I told her I wanted Wigton as my MFM; that I realized the long wait time to see him but he was who I wanted. With the understanding that I would be admitted at 24 weeks as per hospital policy to have constant monitoring for “momo” twins, she filled out a form, told me to take it two suites to the left and make my next appointments. I scheduled an appointment with the OB for retesting in 3 days and a recheck “the day after the soonest available appointment with Wigton.” Her form ended up being a “special request” to get me in sooner, so I was scheduled to see the MFM at 22 weeks and the OB 4 days later.
At this point Scott and I were forced to announce even though we were still really unsure of what any of this meant for us. After asking all of our coworkers, friends and family if they wanted to meet their new nephew, cousin, grandbaby etc. We would pause, when they stopped with their excitement, then we would ask if they wanted to meet his brother. Most-excited-to-get-the-news went to Scotts Uncle Mike, Scott said he was surprised he didn’t drop the phone!
This was probably one of the more stressful waiting times for me during pregnancy, I had to wait 2 weeks to find out if I had one of the most risky twin pregnancies and if I would be on hospitalized bed rest at 24 weeks and if I would deliver at 32 weeks!
Here are some links to studies and sites I found helpful at this point in my twin pregnancy
*not all are informative but sometimes its nice to read other peoples experiences http://www.twin-pregnancy-and-beyond.com, http://monoamniotic.org/public/welcome.html, http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(97)70012-7/abstract, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-0528.2001.00216.x/full, http://www.acog.org/
and the best book by far was What to expect when you’re expecting twins triplets or quads! It had proper nutrition, tips, stories and links for even more info! find it here http://www.drbarbaraluke.com/books/Expecting.aspx
We left off at our 13 week ultrasound, after finding out it was Identical twin boys. On our drive home we told a few close family members but decided not to “announce” until I had passed 20 ish weeks. I was so glad to have waited so Scott could be with me plus at that point he had to drive home;) Of course when I got home I frantically googled everything the tech said to me. Identical twins, mono amniotic mono chlorionic(momo), facts/statistics….WORST.CHOICE.EVER… I wasnt prepared to see the risks associated with twin pregnancy, let alone “momo”. This partially spurred our decision to wait to make an official announcement. I went back to my regular OB who was less than enthusiastic about my demanding to see her before my next scheduled appointment(it wasn’t for another month). But I got in 4 days after my “unveiling ultrasound” only to find a doc whos nonchalance bordered on disinterested. It seemed to me that I was the only one concerned that I would be on hospitalized bed rest at 24 weeks, that I would deliver at 32 weeks, and that this is one of the most dangerous types of twin pregnancy?! I voiced my concerns but felt silly for even asking after how she scoffed them off “a specialist?!…why would you need to see one now!?” Etc etc….I went home and told Scott what had happened, we agreed to give her another chance, after all, I wasn’t a doctor. What did I know?
In the mean time our name search was on… we slowly realized we had to pick not one or two names….but 4!
top on our list
*Callen(with different spelling)
*Adeon(no not a typo)
16weeks pregnant with ID twin boys
We also scheduled a 3D ultrasound at baby’s debut to get extra pictures(looking back though,its not like we needed it)
In the last few weeks I have managed time to cross off some of my “projects” from the DIY list. Our first DIY project and most noteworthy creation? Eco-friendly and family safe cleaner! We made from a few simple ingredients, vinegar and orange peels, vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks. Since it takes about a month to “ferment” we made a large enough batch to have around for a little while. (ie 5 bags of oranges worth of peels, 10 cinnamon sticks and 5 vanilla beans) The first batch is still out for review from the ladies at work, and we have just wrapped up making our second batch. The second batch we ended up doubling, since you can use the orange peels for two batches before throwing them away. Now that its all strained (we just used diaper cloth that wasn’t pre folded), we put it into canning jars to store it and some in a squirt bottle in the kitchen. our second DIY project was yogurt. The between the boys and Scott its hard to keep it in the fridge:0 Plus we get the organic, so the price adds up! Anyhow, after a quick recipe check we found that all it took a gallon of milk, 1/2c of yogurt and a few kitchen items, a thermometer, pot, strainer and bowl. After boiling the milk (any kind you want) and letting the temperature come back down to 100*F, then mix in your room temperature 1/2c of plain yogurt. Leave over night(approx. 8 hours) in the oven with the oven light on. In the morning, line the strainer with diaper cloth(this stuff is handy) and place the strainer over a bowl to catch the whey that will drain out. Depending on the thickness of yogurt you want leave it drain for more(thicker) or less time(runnier). We added fresh fruit and organic oats to round this out as a snack for the boys, we were also able to freeze them into yogurt drops…and yes they work wonders for our endless-teething-phase. our third DIY project was a fort made out of an old sheet for the boys! It was a queen size sheet and I cut it into 4 sections, sewing them all together to make one very long piece that is 4 feet wide. I then gathered the fabric to attach it to the “roof” of the fort which we attached with Velcro since the boys like to pull things down to their level. The “roof” has a serving tray from target in it and is connected with left over sheet cut into strips. Hanging it up from the ceiling we made a little rainy day hideaway with plushies and a mattress:)
strong>our fourth DIY project was cloth diaper cleaning or “stripping.” It basically just means washing/rinsing out all of the build-up and grime. We already cloth diaper with our and have since the twins were 5 months, they’re now 15 months…so its time. (yes I’ll do a segment later on our choice to Cloth Diaper) our fifth DIY project was to make our own deodorant! Way cheaper and it uses Coconut oil! I made a small batch from 5TBS of coconut oil, 1/4c corn starch and 1/4c baking soda (plus a few drops of whatever essential oils you like). Plus while its still warm you can pour it into your old deodorant container to re-use it! Plus, it really works:) <
Scott and I are really happy to be finding healthier and cheaper ways to live. Stay tuned as we try more DIY like, home made bug repellant, sensory play with the boys, a few new food recipes!
From day one day one the options and possibilities are endless. From store brand to organics you can find just about every food mashed and liquefied into nice little pouches or jars. Bringing me to my dilemma… I pause for a minute, getting slightly confused thinking about the organic baby food that stores for months with no refrigeration needed. Decision made! We will make our own food. Our reasons were simple 1) with twins, it cheaper to make it myself 2) the food will be fresh/not processed. Whatever your reasons are, understand that baby food makin is time consuming, tedious and messy, if those things aren’t for you I suggest you buy your baby food. We have now been making the boys food (mostly organic and from scratch) since they started eating solids at about 6m, and we use a Beaba Babycook to make our foods. Anyhow, after a few trips to the market last week we have tons of fruit that probably will go bad before we get to it. Solution, puree it down and freeze it, making easy smoothies, and baby popsicles among other things. Let the messes begin…..
We have Peaches, Nectarines, Kiwis, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Plums, Strawberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Pineapple, Cherries, ohhh and we threw in some spinach, cherry tomatoes and peppers for veggies. Phweeewh. To begin, I don’t cook the fruits, but I do clean them in a vinegar soak before I puree. I chop all fruits/veggies into chunks that can fit in the processor and then blend away…this takes less time than cooking but still is tedious because we make such large batches and the Beaba cooker barely hold 4 cups (yes we will be upgrading to the 2x soon). Then some pretty pictures…
and then freezing. We have some cute molds for the boys foods; caterpillars, brains, shark fins, octopus, you get the point, and each “flavor” of food gets a certain mold for that batch. We store them in the freezer in a large ice cube bin. Voila, homemade, organic baby food!
After a few days of trying to rearrange the schedule we are finally on track. Daily life, even as simple as what time to have lunch, is now chaotic. With twins some days everything seems chaotic though….BUT, were on target and were even getting a 3 hour nap in! Amazing, its given Scott and I plenty of time to pack, a luxury I didn’t have the last few times. Anyhow, we have been trying to occupy the boys when we do have to pack with them around so we ordered a play table…not just any play table a splash play table. Our little “merman” babies (think zoolander) love to stay in the tub for hours everyday splashing away and recently have found a second love in our pool. We decided to put it on the porch, which, we recently covered in bamboo grass to add a little privacy since the boys are frequently nakie :0 And…they LOVE it, every time they play by the glass patio now they try to open the door to get out there! So, MOVING TIP # 1 pack the things you don’t use on a daily basis early (2-4 weeks before you move depending on how much stuff you have) this will save you time in the long run. Be sure to clearly mark all boxes with contents and instructions on where they should be put. This way you pack early (less stress) and can throw away/sell things you wont move with. An added plus…the pets and kids aren’t alarmed by the slow process:)
Saturday night we decided to try the Drive in movie with the boys. Scott and I had never been either, so, we went to the one in Jefferson off Hwy 18…which was kinda far away. But, we packed up the car with some blankets having no clue what to expect….Well, when we got there around 7pm we realized we were the newbies-most people had huge set ups, camping chairs, air mattresses…BUG SPRAY. I hate to say it but, yes, we were totally unprepared. Anyhow, here’s the low down on our trip and what we will do better. For next time!
• Yes, get there early, you will get the best parking and food. Cars flooded in at around 8-9 at this place.
• When you park, DO park in the front row of where they will allow larger cars, trucks, SUV’s- this will give you the best view (and not of the truck in front of you blocking half of the screen)
• Make sure to look before you park! To get the best viewing I laid in the back with the boys while Scott parked to make sure we could see the movie screen easily while lying in the Tiguan.
• We only planned to stay for one movie, next time we will stay for both. Hey, we already paid! Plus, evidently everyone only planned to stay for one movie and traffic was a pain.
• Leave the car seats easily accessible and once the boys fall asleep buckle them in. This way we can easily reattach the seats for the drive home without waking the boys. Next, what to bring with you!
• Toys! Haha, yes, we forgot toys for the boys :0 but, we thought the moving would start sooner! So, next time we will bring things to occupy the boys until bed or the movie time.
• Seats or space specifically for the kids- we mistakenly thought the four of us could fit laying down in the back of the Tiguan.
• Bug Spray or netting! Self-explanatory
• More soft stuff. We brought 4 king size blankets and 2 king pillows, still not enough! (but I also LOVE blankets)
All in all our first drive in theatre movie experience was not too shabby! We saw Despicable Me 2…(for those of you that don’t want to know what happens don’t read this)….I was disappointed! The focus on how weird the female agent was supposed to be detracted rather than added, the plot was a little shaky and it definitely seemed like the sequel that wasn’t as good as the first, also, Despicable Me the original had much more adult humor. It was cute though, just wasn’t as impressed as I’d hoped to be.
Ps…..were still accident free!!
Holiday recap, anniversary, free time, graduation and moving! Wow, well, were at it again! Moving that is packing up the apartment and off to…well not really sure yet, haha. Scott is stressing about the changes, big time, but I love it. I have him home with me, I’m done with school, its summer, we have reliable back up housing, and what’s best is Scott doesn’t have to work if he doesn’t really want to! Anyhow…more about that later
But here’s what I really wanted to get to…my parents were nice enough to take then boys again for an extended holiday since the holiday is also our anniversary! Scott and I got to spend the fourth together and baby-less anyhow, the cherry on top of all of this was that this morning when we went to get them we were told that in the last 2 ½ days they had only had one accident!!! And this was for grandma!!! We are amazed! Apparently, my parents had been able to reap the rewards of Scott and I spending a rough week with of diaper-less babies. So, if any of you were wondering if you wanted to attempt the 3 day method, see if it works, I would say Go for it! Looks like we’ll be taking things a little more seriously now!
After getting them in Milwaukee we went quickly and test drove a side by side stroller. It was one that I had ruled out early on in our stroller search because it didn’t have a twin model. Now it has a twin model or, because the boys are bigger (and this would be a second-stroller for us) we could get a single stroller and add a glider board for the other to stand on while we push. Since we still LOVE our city select and don’t plan on getting rid of it any time soon were in no rush to buy now but were definitely looking!
Changes galore coming up so stay tuned. Aug 2013 moving with twins from a seasoned pro …..three times and the boys aren’t even a year and a half yet!
So for those of you that aren’t familiar with our potty methods with the Mini Men, I’ll briefly explain. We have potty time every day at the same times so they have ample opportunity to go. Most times they use the opportunity, sometimes they don’t. That being said, we have been using this for about 6 months now without any epic fails. Well, this weekend we read about the “3 day method” and figured, what the hell, let’s give it a shot. Basically this method says, day one they spend diaper-less and you give them repeated breaks; if you “catch” them, you direct them toward the potty. Day two, you follow the same steps and arrange to leave the house for an hour (again diaper-less). Day three is the same diaper-less routine and going out for an hour in the a.m. and an hour in the p.m.. Obviously, this description is very condensed; to read more about the full method see http://3daypottytraining.com for the official website.
Our hope in doing this is that they will begin to take themselves to the potty, rather than us always putting them there. So…here we go….. Sunday
Day one potty training …….
The boys woke at 6:30 (way early and not a very good set-up), but we whisked them off to the potty and both went without problem, as per their norm. Well, then daddy took over and I went to take a shower. When I came back Scott revealed B pooped… on the PORCH…. hahah. Well, clearly he’s not shy. Aedon has always been really good about “potty time” and already goes days without accidents. But, put it this way, all bets were off when they got naked! All in all, we had 4 “accidents,” if we can even call them that. Not too shabby! But, we still have two more days to go.
Day two potty training…..
Again with the waking up at the crack of dawn! Bright, early, 6:30am and running 2 naked babies to the potty…hoping they don’t pee on you before you get there! Scott took over at 7 and I left for work….we shall see how this goes… On my way home I got the 411 and Scott definitely got peed on, though he’s not sure who did it :0 other than that no accidents! Then we did our hour outing, (we did ours in the afternoon since they tend to potty the most in the mornings) successfully taking the boys to the store and back without an accident! The second accident of the day was during mommy watch 😮 ….but in my defense, I was getting them out of their seats onto the potty, I took B first and went immediately back to grab A but he has already tinkled. At least the seats can come apart easily to be washed. 2 accidents on day two, doing pretty good still, but let’s see how day 3 goes!!
Day three potty training…
Scott has been a dream to have around lately and he’s even been letting me sleep in! But…sometimes it has its consequences and the only mess today was a ‘before daddy heard that they were up, Aedon pooped his pants,’ oopsy. That being said, I don’t think we will continue with this method. Why?
1) They put themselves on the potty maybe once a day, obviously this leaves the rest to be scrubbed out of carpet, washed off of babies and wiped from all the hidden crevasses. And I won’t even mention what this does to our Germ-phobia that the NICU drilled into us.
2) The messes cause stresses. Though the boys are probably able to learn this way if we kept at it, it has been pretty taxing just for us.
3) Two to the Loo-I think that is self-explanatory, you are catching two, following two and staring at two(I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time looking at a penis).
4) Overall- I think if it weren’t for Scott being home, I wouldn’t have tried this. I think we will modify this and do shorter more broken up diaper-less times during our days and weeks. Gradually, we will increase the amount and frequency of diaper-less time until we can go all day.
5) My recommend that if you do use this method for twins do one at a time or, have someone who can help you!
Product of the day has to be the Bissell Spot Bot, its a must have for kids and pets!!
So after a lot of dreary weather around the Madison area we haven’t gotten out in what seems like weeks. But, as were waiting for the weather to pick up a bit I’ll fill ya in on our most recent activity, The Shedd Aquarium! We went on a Monday morning foolishly thinking that it would be slow….its Chicago, it’s never “slow”….that being said we kinda set ourselves up badly. The Sunday before my mom & stepdad were nice enough to take to boys so that we could have a day and night off (SRSLY YAY!!) but this meant I had to drive back to Milwaukee at 4am on Monday to get the boys before my parents had to leave for work, yes you read that right 4am! And of course, when we got to Milwaukee Scott accidentally woke the boys, so while he napped I showered got myself and the boys ready and packed up the car. We got on the road to Chicago at about 9 and got to The Shedd at 11ish. So after waiting in line in the baking sun we got the “pass” rather than doing general admission because it included a Sting Ray touching exhibit! I think I was more excited about this than the boys and Scott combined. Anyway, I talked Scott into doing that before the boys were too tired and cranky. We made our way to the opposite end of the museum and finally saw the sting ray pools a huge kidney bean shaped pool with a trickling three tiered rock waterfall on one end. And with… get this….less than 15 people around it!! So, no getting elbowed out by other peoples kids or pictures with creepy strangers. B went first…and he LOVED it! Stuck his hand right in and even got to touch a few Rays! Aedon on the other hand was less than amused. He was instantly uncomfortable on his stomach and almost started crying (this coming from the kid who constantly says “go” and loves exploring, he must have been sooooo tired). Scott and I let them nap as we finished touring, he said he liked the penguins best, but I think the Rays were the highlight by far!!
So I thought I’d do throwback Thursdays to catch people up on our twin journey! We will start from the beginning and every Thursday I will add more to the story. So, starting from the moment we found out we were having TWO!!
I had been putting off going into have my first ultrasound done, I really wanted to push it back, mainly because the closer it was to 16 weeks the better I thought our chances were to find out gender… plus it had to be a time that Scott was available. We were sent to a hospital in Janesville and by the time we went I was 13 weeks and 1 day (the nurses at the hospital said I couldn’t wait anymore). After filling out the tedious insurance paperwork and what now seems like a very surreal moment to me; sitting in the waiting area of the radiology department, oblivious to the bombshell that would be dropped in 5 minutes. The Tech called our name, we followed her down the tan corridor, my bladder bursting she took one look at my stance and said wait until after it, is easier to get a good view. I settled in on the exam table and glanced up at the screen as she placed the wand on my stomach. A Blur of white and she pulled the wand back, I looked at Scott, taken aback by the amount of white on that screen.
I thought most ultrasound images were black….
She put the wand back angling it a little differently and showing perfectly clear two white blobs.
Turning back to look at us with the announcement of “TWINS!” she didn’t even get the word out of her mouth when I said “OHHH SHITTT” my eyes locking onto Scotts. My dreams had literally come true, more than 2 months earlier I had asked Scott what he thought of having twins. His abrupt “No” ended that conversation before it even began, but that never stopped my twin dreams.
The tech scanned and scanned calling on another doctor to make sure they didn’t need more images; she asked if we wanted to know gender guesses (of COURSE we did!! I was really hoping for B/G) well…next shocker… she guessed they were MoMo Boys.