35 and 36 Weeks

At my 35 week BPP and NST, I found out that both babies are now vertex (head down). My doctor was surprised that the babies still have enough room to turn at this point. They seem pretty comfortable in there, though, and are still very active babies! Vertex/vertex is the best case scenario for delivering both babies vaginally (and not having a combination vaginal delivery for Baby A and c-section with Baby B). I was 1 centimeter dilated at this appointment, but people can be less than 3 centimeters dilated for quite some time. As I had not had any painful contractions or fluid discharge, my doctor was fairly confident that I would make it to my 36 week appointment. I opted to have my Tdap vaccine and Group B strep test at this appointment just in case, though.

36 weeks

This week, 36 weeks, was another big milestone, as the babies will hopefully be big and healthy enough to avoid the NICU, whenever they decide to grace us with their presence. Thus far it seems like our little ones are good at listening, and we hope they keep that quality! My mom convinced them to both turn head down, and Derek and I convinced them to wait until September to be born.

At my 36 week appointment, we had a growth ultrasound and of course a BPP and NST. Norah and Naomi are both still vertex/vertex. Twin A’s head is pretty far down in my pelvis, and it looks like she wanted to make sure that she got to be the first one out! The babies were 5 pounds 10 ounces and 5 pounds 11 ounces. The growth percentiles went down, but my doctor didn’t even tell me what they were because she wasn’t concerned and was just glad they are still in there, still growing, and similar in size.

I told my doctor that we have decided that to try for a vaginal delivery, and she was excited and supportive. I need to have a little chat with Twin B (Naomi) about not changing positions, dropping her BP, or getting wrapped up in her cord after Norah is delivered. If she changes positions, the OB on duty will have to decide if she wants to deliver Naomi breech, try to turn her, or go in for a c-section. My 38 week scheduled c-section will be changed to an induction. The official date is TBD, though. It will be around that 38 week mark still, as the uterus can only stretch so much, and it becomes risky for twins to wait until longer than after that because there is a risk of insufficient nutrients, more risk of high BP, more risk of cord issues, etc. As we are now past 36 weeks, if I got into labor, I will get to go through early labor at home, following the 5-1-1 rule (5 contractions of one minute or more in an hour). Prior to this point, even if I was having a vaginal delivery, I was to head to the hospital as soon as I had 4 painful contractions in an hour.

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Westport Light State Park

On Labor Day, we decided to try to tempt fate by driving 2.5 hours to the beach. At 36 weeks + 3 days, we are ready to meet these babies! No luck, but the puppies seemed to enjoy being back at the beach. Yes, I have officially outgrown all of my shirts and sweatshirts, all non-stretchy pants and shorts, and a lot of dresses. I should have grabbed one of Derek’s t-shirts, so my belly wasn’t hanging out…

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34 Week Pregnancy Reflection

34 week baby bump.jpg

Well, the babies will be delivered by c-section whenever they decide it is their time! The doctor is glad that we made it to 34 weeks without having to try to stop labor. It’s hard to believe that after months of waiting, the babies can now come at any time in the next 3.5 weeks! Since we are so close, I decided to take some time to reflect on our pregnancy and go back through my pregnancy journal.

First Trimester:

  • Looking back now, it was obvious I was pregnant, but I didn’t know the signs of early pregnancy. When Derek and I moved from San Jose to Seattle, I was begging him to stop every hour so I could use the restroom. Normally I have a decent bladder, so we were both frustrated. Then, soon after moving here, Derek and I went for a short couple mile run that had a hill. I couldn’t make it up the hill! I started crying not sure why I felt so out of shape!
  • To tell Derek we were expecting, I gave him the things I could no longer have –  the cat litter bags (risk of toxoplasmosis) and Dr. Pepper 10 (aspartame). I also gave him an apple seed (the size of the babies at 5 weeks) and because I still hadn’t made it obvious – the pregnancy test. I should also mention I was so excited to pick him up from work and tell him that I got pulled over for speeding. Oops…
  • Once we found out we were having twins, we oscillated between being excited and nervous.
  • Twins moms often have trouble gaining the recommended pregnancy weight – 35-45 pounds (25-35 for singletons). Maybe this is because with higher pregnancy hormones they tend to have morning sickness. I lost weight the first trimester and struggled with trouble sleeping, digestive issues, bloating, nausea, and dizziness. I usually only threw up first thing in the morning, but I did have one embarrassing moment when I threw up in the middle of my fingerprint appointment. Twin moms might also struggle with the weight gain because they feel full earlier with all the baby in their belly (a twin uterus at 32 weeks is about the size of a singleton uterus at 40 weeks). If I were to do it again, I would worry less about healthy eating and portion sizes at the beginning. I made a big deal of eating the serving size of snacks. Girl needs her Smartfood white cheddar popcorn, Cheez-its, and Oreos in whatever quantity she is hungry for if she is going to gain weight!

Second Trimester:

  • At the beginning, I still had morning sickness. Once that went away, I understood why people talk so highly about the second trimester! Some of my clothing no longer fit, and I was emotional. I experienced some round ligament pain, pelvic floor pain when I tried to run and hike, and a few bouts of food poisoning. However, overall, it was nice to feel like a person again!
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At 6 months pregnant, we hiked 8 miles with 1800 foot elevation gain to Poo Poo Point. 
  • My parents bought me prenatal yoga classes for my birthday and going to the classes made my body feel so much better! It was also nice to hang out with other pregnant ladies!
  • I began nannying for a 4 month old. Her parents have become close friends, and they are a great resource! I got to see baby toys and gear in use and ask a million questions about eating, sleeping, tummy time, etc. They were super supportive of my needs of working while pregnant and even passed along diapers, bottles, gear, and clothes.

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16 week ultrasound
16 week ultrasound
  • It was annoying that every stranger would tell me how small I was for being due in September and having twins.

Third Trimester:

  • I began feeling really pregnant this trimester and having trouble sleeping through the night. I would wake up every few hours because I needed to pee, had heartburn (no matter what I ate for dinner), back pain, etc. Unfortunately, I often couldn’t fall back asleep. I was lucky that I stopped working July 29, so after dropping Derek off at the bus stop every morning, I would go back to bed for 45-90 minutes.
  • Derek and I savored our last few months as a family of 2.

Rainier 2

Rainier
Mt. Rainier
  • Derek got to feel and see babies kick and began reading to the babies so they would recognize his voice once they are born.

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27 weeks pregnant
  • I am getting pretty tired of going to the doctor. Throughout the pregnancy, we had ultrasounds almost once a month because that is the only way to accurately track each babies’ growth. In the average singleton pregnancy, there are only 2 ultrasounds – one in the first trimester to confirm due date (around 6-10 weeks) and one to check anatomy and determine sex (around 18-20 weeks). Then, at doctor appointments the OB would measure baby growth through fundal height. However, in the case of multiples, a fundal height measurement would only tell the overall size of both babies, and it wouldn’t indicate if there was a large discrepancy in the two babies’ growths. My 33-38 week weekly doctor appointments are about 3 hours due to the BPP, NST, and doctor visit. That being said, we have had a pretty easy twin pregnancy, and I am grateful that with the many doctor visits, Derek has good insurance, and I set up a HSA when I worked in Florida.
  • Average gestation for twins is 36 weeks (full term is considered 37 weeks). 36 weeks would put our due date at Fri. Sept 2. Maybe we will have Labor Day babies, who share a birthday with my parents’ wedding anniversary (Sept. 5)!

32 Weeks

32 week baby bump.jpg

Derek got to come with me to my 32 week ultrasound and doctor appointment. Naomi is on my left side in the frank breech position, and we actually saw an image of her head and foot right next to each other! Maybe she is going to be a gymnast or diver?!  Norah was transverse with her head by Naomi’s (uh oh they are already plotting world domination!) and her body lying along the top of my uterus. Because they both are up top, it explains why my heartburn has been so bad, and I have felt so full! Because they are both still refusing to turn head down, there is now a pretty high likelihood that I will have a c-section, so we talked a lot about what happens if I go into labor before my scheduled c-section and more details about what the c-section would look like.brrechNaomi is also now in the 24th percentile (3 pounds 10 ounces) which is a drop from the 25th. Norah moved from the 32nd percentile to the 34th percentile (4 pounds). As Naomi is small and there is a 10% difference between the babies, we are going to maternal fetal medicine to get a 2nd opinion/more detailed ultrasound. In utero weights are all based on a formula (which includes femur length, head circumference, and abdomen circumference), so it’s not an exact science. Naomi’s size could be because she isn’t getting enough nutrients (and we could do a scan of the cord to see if the marginal cord insertion is the problem) or that she is just going to be a smaller person (or just is going to be a peanut at birth like her mama). If the maternal fetal medicine docs are concerned we may have more doctors appointments (2 a week starting at 34 weeks instead of 1 a week). Also, if the difference between the twins continues to grow, my doctor may decide to deliver the babies early so Naomi can get the nutrients outside the womb that she isn’t getting inside.

My doctor really wants the babies to make it to 34 weeks (August 19). If I go into labor in the next week then they will try to stop labor and give me steroids to beef up the babies’  lungs. Any time after 34 weeks, we can go to the hospital and they will do an “urgent c-section” (not considered an emergency c-section). I am hoping for 36 weeks (Sept. 2) because then they will have good school birthdays (Sept. 1 is the cutoff here), and they will probably not have to spend any time in the NICU.

30 Weeks!

So even though 30 weeks isn’t a new month, it still seems like a big deal. Maybe it is because the babies will arrive at 30 something weeks or because we start seeing the doctor a lot more. I saw the doctor at 28 weeks, today was a 30 week check up, and I will be back for a 32 week checkup. Then at 34 weeks, we start going twice a week. My OB said that the hospital bag should be packed by 32 weeks, which also makes me feel like the babies could arrive any time!

I had my glucose tolerance test yesterday. I had to fast starting at 10pm the night before. Before drinking the glucola, they drew my blood to determine my fasting blood glucose level. This time I got to pick if I wanted lime, orange, or fruit punch glucola. I opted for the fruit punch again. It was a little harder to drink on an empty stomach, and again I only had 5 minutes to drink it. After an hour of feeling nauseous and lightheaded, I got my 2nd blood draw. The second hour, I had a headache and just felt tired (guess it was the sugar crash). This draw came out of my other arm. The final hour wasn’t too bad, but I was ready to eat. This last blood draw came from the original arm, which was already starting to bruise. The good news is that 5 hours later, I found out that my tests came back normal, and I do not have gestational diabetes. I just wish the original glucose screening was more reliable, so I didn’t have to do the “3 hour torture test,” as my doctor so aptly put it!

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At my doctor’s visit, she did a quick ultrasound to look at the babies’ positions, movements, and heart beats (not the longer growth ultrasound or really long non-stress test which will start at 34 weeks). It looked like Norah might have turned head down, so we might be able to avoid a c-section after all! I gained another 5 pounds, so my total weight gain is up to 24 pounds. If we keep on this pattern, I will have gained 45 pounds by 38 weeks! This would put me in the normal overall weight gain for twins. I think the real indication of how far along we are, how big my bump is, and how much weight I have gained is that I think today may be the last day of either wearing socks or getting them on myself!

32 week baby bump

28 Week Baby Bump, Appointment, & Names

28 week baby bump

We (the babies and I) spent 3 hours in the medical complex yesterday. We had another growth ultrasound, which unfortunately was at the imaging center and not my doctor. This means that I didn’t get any fun pictures, and I had to drink 16 ounces of water before the ultrasound and then hold it for the next hour and 45 minutes. This is not a nice thing to do to a pregnant lady! The little ones were 2 pounds 11 ounces and 2 pounds 12 ounces. My doctor was happy that they are still so close in size. She didn’t seem worried that they are now in the 25th and 32nd percentile (instead of 40th). My mom told me that I was in the 5th percentile when I was born and the doctor was excited when I hit the 10th percentile at my 1st birthday, so it sounds like genetics may be at play! Both babies were still breach, so their consistent breech positions are leading my doctor to believe that I might end up having a c-section. We scheduled a “just in case” c-section for Fri. Sept. 16 at 7:30am. If the babies decides to wait that long, it would be full term (37 weeks is considered full term in all pregnancies, even though 40 weeks is what due dates are calculated to) and exactly 38 weeks.

Yesterday I also had my glucose screening, Barbacoa lettuce wraps.JPGwhich identifies women who are at risk for
gestational diabetes. My doctor recommended that I try not to eat simple carbs and high sugar foods the meal before, so I had barbacoa lettuce wraps for lunch. The glucola tasted like a thicker fruit punch Gatorade. You have 5 minutes to drink it, and then you can only have sips of water for the next hour. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. After that hour, they drew my blood. Unfortunately, I got a call today saying that I am one of the 15-23% of moms who show elevated blood sugar (mine was in the 160s when normal is 130 or 140). This means I have to do a 3 hour glucose tolerance test. I will have to fast for it, and it requires 3 blood draws (one every hour). The crazy thing is that 2/3 of women who take the glucose tolerance test, test negative for gestational diabetes.

Finally, I had the pleasure of getting a RhoGAM shot in the butt. My blood type is A- (thanks Dad), so this is a preventative measure in case one of the babies has a positive Rh. The shot ensure that my body won’t produce antibodies if any baby positive Rh blood enters my system (which usually happens during delivery). While this would not be a problem for this pregnancy, it could have negative consequences for future pregnancies. This shot hurt! I could feel the whole muscle contract! I have the pleasure of getting another RhoGAM shot within 72 hours of the babies’ birth.

I gained another 8 pounds these last 4.5 weeks, so that brings my weight gain total to 19 pounds. It seems like I am catching up! People keep telling me how small I am, though. I can see a huge difference between the 24 week and 28 week baby bumps! Part of it is probably that during the 3rd trimester, babies more than triple their weight! Weeks 27 and 28 I was really tired and taking almost daily naps, but I have felt better since then. Still getting round ligament pain when I stand up or roll over. Some backaches and trouble getting comfortable when sitting. Without lumbar support, it feels like my ribs are digging into my stomach. So basically the normal pregnancy stuff! Derek said last night when my belly was up against his back, one of the babies kicked so hard, he felt it!

Derek and I have been calling the babies by their names for the past few months. We wanted to make sure that we liked them and felt they fit before we shared. We we are excited to finally share with you: Twin A is Norah Louise Drayer and Twin B is Naomi Ann Drayer. Louise was Donna’s (Derek’s mom) middle name and is his sister’s middle name. It was also Donna’s maternal grandmother’s middle name. Ann is the middle name shared by Michelle’s mom (Patricia), Aunt Katherine, Aunt Margaret, and Grandma. Grandma said that her parents gave her the middle name Ann because they needed a short name since Marguerite Goodendorf was already so many letters!

24 Week Baby Bump & Appointment

24 week baby bump

Overall, we had a positive 24 week ultrasound and doctor appointment. The doctor was glad to hear that we have been feeling kicks for the past 3 weeks. I don’t think I have had any Braxton Hicks contractions yet. Someone described it as your belly becoming so tight that it seems like you could bounce a quarter off of it. While my belly does feel hard, I think it is just because there are two babies in there! Sometimes my lower belly or under my ribs will feel uncomfortable because of the babies’ positions.

As there are not scales in my womb to measure the babies, the doctor uses a formula, combining the femur length, head circumference, and abdomen circumference to figure out weight. Twin A is 1 pound 8 ounces. Twin B is 1 pound 7 ounces. There is only a 4% difference between the babies, which is positive news. This weight keeps them in the 40th percentile (which includes singleton pregnancies), which is the same as at 20 weeks. Based on these measurements, my OB wasn’t worried about the 2 things that came up at the 20 week anatomy ultrasound: my weight gain (I gained 5 pounds in the past 4 weeks) or the marginal cord insertion. My cervix length was shorter today, which can be an indicator for pre-term labor. The doctor said CL shortening tends to happen with twins, so we are just going to stop measuring it and not worry about it. Nothing we can do about it anyway! Both babies were breach today, which made the ultrasound pictures a little less fun. Instead of cute profile pics, we saw skeleton looking pics. The doctor said that the babies still have time to move around, so no guaranteed c-section yet. If at 32 weeks they are still breech, they will probably stay that way, though.

Crazy to think that we are about two thirds of the way through this pregnancy. Depending on the source, the third trimester begins between 24 and 27 weeks, so I suppose we are in the home stretch! On Sunday, we did the Chirico Trail to Poo Poo Point. The point has a gorgeous view of Lake Sammamish and is a take off point for paraglider and hang gliders. The trail was an 8 mile hike with 1800 ft elevation gain. Based on how my pelvic floor felt during the descent and my gastrointestinal troubles following the hike, I think I probably didn’t drink enough and this was a little too strenuous for 24 weeks pregnant. We asked the doctor about the feasibility of going on a 2 day/1 night backpacking trip. She said while she wouldn’t ban it, she also wouldn’t recommend it. Her biggest concern was that twins tend to come early, and if something happened, how hard would it be to get to a hospital quickly. I guess the Drayers need to start taking it a little easier!

20 Week Baby Bump


I feel like the babies are really making some progress! The past few weeks It seems like my bump has visibly grown week by week. Our little ones are now the size of a small cantaloupe, pomegranate, or mango (about 6.5 inches), and they have more than doubled in weight (10 ounces now!). We have been counting down to the 20 week mark because we finally have the anatomy ultrasound and find out the genders! This is also an exciting month because we should be able to start feeling the babies moving around!

13 Week Baby Bump

13 wk - baby bump

We are officially out of the first trimester! I really felt like I got a baby bump this week (and not just from bloating). I took my first baby bump pic, but I think that people who don’t know me well would think that it is just my belly. Our little ones are currently about the size of peaches – 3 inches long – and their heads are about half the size of their bodies. It is amazing how much growing they have done in the past few weeks!