Wednesday, October 28, 2009

21 Weeks and Learning about GD

Officially 21 weeks yesterday! Every week when we take the belly pic I always think to myself "there's no way my belly will look bigger than last week's pic". Then I compare the two pics and see I have grown! It's so crazy! I have noticed that when I need to sit up from laying down, it's like I have no abdominal muscles! It will be very interesting getting back into shape eventually...

Last week after I wrote the blog, I got a message from the Diabetes and Pregnancy Clinic informing me I have a class to attend and until then "eat healthy". I thought to myself "Ok.....". Still not really any information. I did end up calling a nurse so I could find out my actual number after the one hour glucose challenge, which was 146. My dad said "Oh that's not too bad". I did some reading about gestational diabetes this past week and it scared me silly! Limiting my carbs- even the good carbs!? I could care less if I had to only give up sweets like cake, cookies, and candy, but to limit how much bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes? AND FRUIT AND CEREAL!? I was feeling pretty defeated but knew I'd wait until the class to see if I really was in a lot of trouble. My main concern was, how will I get enough calories to support a quad pregnancy while limiting carbs?

The "class" was actually a one-on-one info session with a nurse certified to educate in diabetes. The other women were together but I think I was separate because my case is a little unique. Plus they let me lay in bed the whole time since I am on bed-rest. First, she showed me how to use the blood glucose monitor. Yes, I get to stick myself with a needle... Actually that doesn't bother me at all, and I think it's really interesting keeping track of blood glucose levels. I'm supposed to collect my blood glucose in the morning before any meal, then after the three main meals. I need to be under 140 at one hour after all the meals. She told me I still can eat carbs, just limit how much at each snack and meal. The nurse also said that I can experiment with how many carbs my body can handle before I go to high, which I am pleased about. I'm supposed to eat every two hours (carbs are part of each meal/snack) but if I'm hungry in-between I can have as much protein or veggies as I want. I need to think of good protein ideas- my favorites right now are cheese, nuts, and meat (but meat isn't as convenient). Anyone have any good ideas, keeping in mind that I don't like peanut butter and artificial sweeteners? Anything that has more than 4 or 5 grams of carbs on the nutrition label will count as a "carb choice", so steer clear!

I cheated yesterday...well, not on purpose, but before the info session we had to fill out a questionnaire. It said to list any pregnancy concerns and I wrote that lately I haven't been feeling the monos as much as baby B (baby A is still hard to feel very often). I thought it was weird I don't feel them that much because they were the first ones I felt. This wasn't a lie but I wasn't necessarily that worried. The nurses and doctors always tell me to say anything minor that I have been thinking about. Anyways, after the info session a nurse (and another nurse watching) did a quick ultrasound to check out all the heartbeats. I got to see my babies!! I think the nurses were just as excited as I was because they don't get to see quad ultrasounds very often. Now just one week till I get to see them next! The doctor told me after the u/s that at 21 weeks, they're still not strong enough to feel regularly, so that put me at ease also.

Hope everyone's weeks are going well. I'm jealous of everyone doing fun things this Saturday for Halloween. I get to at least see some trick-or-treaters!

One other thing: if anyone knows someone or is someone that is good at customizing blogpot blogs let me know! I need to spice mine up and find something else besides the templates they provide!

UPDATE: I was a little worried about taking my blood glucose after my morning meal. Everything I read about GD said that the morning meal is the hardest to control because your blood sugar skyrockets with not that many carbs. This morning I had a big bowl of oatmeal, carrots, and some cheese, thinking I was probably eating too much oatmeal. The number just came back as 120, so YAY! Tomorrow I'm going to see what happens with cereal (supposedly bad, especially with adding milk). It could be that adding the carrots and cheese helped balance out my carbs.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

20 Weeks- Bed Rest but Healthy!

Hello! I went in for my 20 week appointment this morning. The babies are still looking great! Unfortunately the tech didn't print off that many great pictures. We did get one of each but they're not really worth putting up. Two of the pics were just of the stomachs, one was a profile (but blurry), and the other one was of I don't even know what! The tech did quick measurements of the bellies for growth and Baby B was still the biggest (20 weeks 3 days). The other three were pretty much the same at 19 weeks 4 or 5 days. We didn't get any weight estimates. I guess next time they will check more thoroughly for growth. My cervix was measuring 3.7 cm, which is still good! I found out that I have gained 27 pounds so far! The nurse said I'm on track...

I figured that my mom and Dan's mom should each get a chance to see an ultrasound. It worked out that Dan's mom, Deb, could make it to this ultrasound, so that was fun to have someone else there. She was so happy to see her grandchildren! Hopefully my mom can come to the next one.

During the OB portion of the visit, the nurse had me drink the sugary, syrupy drink in order to do a 1 hour glucose check. It tasted like overly sweet 7-up and I would never drink it voluntarily! Anyways, after an hour she took my blood to test both my blood sugar and my hemoglobin. The nurse called me this afternoon and she told me my hemoglobin was fine, but my blood sugar levels are "very suspicious". This means I may have gestational diabetes. :( I thought I would pass the test with flying colors because there haven't been any road blocks yet and was used to only hearing good news. Gestational diabetes is a lot more likely with multiples, especially higher-order multiples. The nurse referred me to a diabetes pregnancy clinic to decide how to approach this. I don't have the clear diagnosis yet- I'm sure there will be more testing. The good thing is if I do have gestational diabetes, at least we are catching it nice and early.

I started bed-rest yesterday. I didn't know how strict it was, so I was pretty much laying at an incline all day. It was comfortable at first, but after awhile my back was getting achy. I got up to let Odin outside, to get food, to shower and use the bathroom. Today I talked to the doctor about how strict I should be. He said to just stay off my feet as much as I can, but I can be sitting up or laying down. It is such a difference to be sitting up! This will make it much more bearable! When it does become more strict, we will be sending Odin up to Duluth.

On my last blog entry I mentioned that Dan and I were going to the UMD football game because Dan's great-grandfather, Lloyd Peterson was honored. If you want to read about this man, check out this write-up. We got to sit in the VIP suite and enjoy some food. The Bulldogs crushed St. Cloud State and it was such a fun game to watch! The picture below shows Dan's grandfather holding the plaque standing with his four sisters. They were presented with the plaque during half-time. It was pretty cool! This weekend we are, surprise, staying in town. Hope everyone has a good week/weekend!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

19 Weeks - One Week of Freedom Left!

19 weeks- wow! Time is flying by! It seems like there is a lot to do this week before I am bed-ridden. The relief is that I have family and friends that have offered to help out- run errands or cook. No matter what, I'll figure out how to make do with this whole bed-rest business.

Last night Dan and I started our car search. This makes me feel like a real adult! We have to find a car big enough for 4 car seats, plus enough cargo room to fit belongings for get-aways AND Odin's house of a kennel. For even a weekend away we have to think about how much stuff we have to tote along with us that we didn't have to think about before. Portable cribs? Mounds of diapers, wipes, and clothes? Scary! I'm so used to buzzing around in either a Civic or a hatch-back Subaru. All of a sudden I'm going to have to learn how to parallel park a semi!? Well, we won't need one that big, but a whole lot bigger than what I'm used to. We probably won't buy a car until they are born or close to it, but since I'll be on bed-rest soon, I want to see these options in person.

So far I've gained more than 20 pounds and my belly is almost, but not quite cumbersome. It's still in the cute pregnant belly category although sooner rather than later I may start to get uncomfortable! I'm lucky so far though. I have been reading posts on a "Multiples due in March" forum on, and some of the women as far along as me are complaining of things like carpal tunnel syndrome, water retention, bad heartburn, and just plain discomfort. I want to avoid all that as long as possible!

I included a picture from this past weekend up at Dan's cabin (outside of Cotton- north of Duluth). It's kinda cool to see the snow, the yellow fall leaves, and an open lake. None of us expected to wake up with snow on the ground! I knew it was in the forecast, but it was still surprising. Apparently the snow reached all the way south to Iowa! Then we got a blanket in the cities earlier this week. That has melted since, but wow! This is the earliest I've ever seen snow! I wonder if we'll get back to normal fall weather before true winter hits. I'm sure we will- I'll be optimistic! It's so odd that we basically went from 80's to 40-50's. Whatever happened to the 60's (my favorite fall weather!)?

This weekend is my last trip to Duluth before the babies come! We are going to the UMD football game because they are honoring Dan's great-grandfather, Lloyd Peterson. He was a former player for the U of MN football team and then coached UMD, basically turning around the whole program. It will be fun to be at that game! I know Dan is very proud of his great-grandfather.
Well, have a great rest of the week and weekend! I'll update after my appointment a week from today!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

18 Weeks and Healthy!

I went in for my Level II Ultrasound today- "the big one", where they measured everything from kidney blood flow to the size of their noses (and everything in-between). They didn't miss a thing! I found out that all of the babies are growing just as they should. All the news was good! I was surprised how much bigger my belly was than last week when I compared them side by side. Geez!

Baby A was fun to watch- she was pushing her legs straight and then would bend them again- over and over again! She also got the hiccups. I haven't been able to feel those yet. Her weight was estimated at 7 ounces and she ended up measuring 18 weeks and 1 day, which is exactly on track. This two vessel cord isn't slowing her down yet. :) I was a little worried about A before because I've read that 2 vessel cords are associated with an increased risk of other issues like kidney and heart problems, and chromosomal abnormalities. The doctor cleared us of all those other potential problems! Yay!Baby B was another entertainer. He was swallowing the fluid like there was no tomorrow. Then, of course, he got the hiccups! He was the big one of the group today. He was ahead of the curve, weighing 9 ounces and his size was 18 weeks and 5 days. Big boy! The tech said his stomach was bigger than normal but it was probably from all of that fluid he was drinking. The doctor said he was fine with the bigger stomach.Baby C (which could be a different baby than last week's C) was right on track as well. She was 18 weeks and 2 days and she was about 8 ounces. Nothing much to report except she's doing fine!

Baby D was a hair smaller, weighing about 7 ounces. She was shy of 18 weeks, but still within a very normal range. They can expect one of the monos to be smaller like any set of identical twins. Baby C and Baby D's cords were all in one lump during the ultrasound. The doctor didn't say this means the cords are tangled but he didn't say they weren't. I think it's safe to say that the cords will undoubtedly be tangled at some point, but so far this hasn't caused any interferences.

The doctor was pleased with how all of them are growing and how smoothly the pregnancy is progressing, but we obviously need to keep watching the monoamniotic twins. Viability is only 6 weeks away, which seems too far in the future, but the weeks are flying by. So far, I've gained 20 pounds- only 60 to go (hah! only!?) Two more weeks until bedrest! Here comes Netflix! Friends are sure welcome to visit, as I will be bored silly!

As a side story, Dan and I were able to get tickets for the Twins tie-breaker game against Detroit. I really wasn't going to post any pics if they lost, but they came through in 12 innings! Sure was a nail-biter... Dan's parents and grandparents came, as well as Dan's brother Pete and some of our friends. We were up in the cheap seats but we hardly noticed because the atmosphere was wild! I was a little worried about all of the standing I had to do, but I promised myself that I would have a relaxing day today to make up for it. What a crazy couple of days for Minnesota sports! The video below is the game winning play that Dan caught on the camera. He didn't zoom in at all because he wanted to catch the whole field. I loved when the players stormed the field! The fans couldn't have been happier or louder, too!

This weekend, we're going up north for a family reunion on Dan's side of the family. We'll be able to see Lara (Dan's sister), Charlie (brother-in-law), and Dane (nephew), who we don't get to see too often. I'm excited to see the beautiful fall colors, especially since the colors in the twin cities this fall are on the lame side because of the drought and high temps earlier. Have a great week and thanks for reading!