Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Parent Trap" Redux?

Do you remember the movie The Parent Trap? Not the Lindsey Lohan version, but the older, Hayley Mills version. I adored Hayley Mills as a kid, especially that movie (and Moonspinners, which fewer people know). Twin girls, separated at a very young age by their divorced parents, meet up accidentally at summer camp and conspire to get their parents back together. They switch identities, shenanigans occur, and by the end Maureen O'Hara is swooning for her ex-husband. Great movie! I used to fantasize about being a twin, or having twins when I got older.

Oh my! You look like me!
And here we are. I guess this means it's all my fault, right? Except we were almost positive they're fraternal, because they are what's referred to as "di-di." This means they are dichorionic (separate placentas, or "bubbles" as I like to call them) and diamniotic (separate amniotic sacs). Di-di, get it? Other possibilities are mono-di and mono-mono, which is the riskiest type (60 percent survival rate -- yikes!). Di-di are the lowest risk, which is great news for us.

However, today on a twins online board, I read in someone's post that 20 to 30 percent of di-di twins are identical. That range seemed a bit high, so I did a little research (slow day at work). The actual fact is that 20 to 30 percent of identical twins are di-di. And about 33 percent of all twins are identical, which gives us an actual rate of about 10 identical sets for every 100 di-di twin sets. Roughly.

So it turns out we have a 10 percent chance of having identicals. Crazy!! This only happens when the egg splits within three days of fertilization. But it does happen! I find this both cool and terrifying. Those girls switched on their parents so easily in the movie! I know they say parents always know, but the twin board has led me to believe it's quite otherwise. One woman even had to bring her identical boys to the doctor to have him figure out which was which (they were very young at the time so the boys couldn't tell her).

And the only way we'll know--if they are the same gender--is by a DNA test. Crazy! Of course, if they are boy-girl, we'll know immediately that they are fraternal.

But this could be our future:

Imagine waking up to that in the middle of the night!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Maternity Fashion

Gone are the days of mumus and oversized t-shirts. Maternity fashion is IN in recent years, and there are lots of options out there.

With the help of Old Navy, Motherhood, and my mother (who insisted on buying me some maternity shirts--thanks Mom!), I think I'm in for a very fashionable pregnancy. Probably more fashionable than I was before. Actually, definitely more fashionable than I was before.

Today, I feel like Audrey Hepburn.

Just a larger, less perfectly made up version.

capris: Old Navy, $23; shirt: Old Navy, $26.94 (talk about random pricing)

I am positively in LOVE with these capris. I think I will have to buy a non-maternity version for next summer, because I just feel so freaking adorable. I might even buy them in white. I can walk the city with confidence, knowing I don't look like a totally bedraggled, shapeless, pregnant woman. I might even call myself a cute pregnant woman.

I even have a bump now!

P.S. I love the shadow on the wall that makes me look 9 months pregnant already.

Yeah, babies! Starting to make mommy look preggo instead of just a McNugget addict! Way to go!

I think someone on the subway even let me have a seat that opened up because of it. Either that or I just looked REALLY tired at 7:45am. Whatever the case, I'll take it!

Now, time for a wine and cheese party at work at which I will drink no wine and hoard as much cheese as I possibly can. Bon appetit!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

NT Scan Ultrasound

Last Friday we had our Nuchal Translucency scan, where they do some measurements and compare to the babies' length and gestational age and from that can tell if you are at a higher risk of your babies having Downs Syndrome.

I wasn't too worried about that being a possibility, and I knew we'd love our babies even if they did have Downs, so I was mainly excited to see the babies for an extended length of time. It took about fifteen minutes, far less time than we'd thought, but it was an action packed fifteen minutes!

At first, for the briefest of moments, one of the babies (can't remember which) looked like a stereotypical alien. Then it seemed to realize we were watching and soon looked more human. It was an odd, startling moment that both Blue and I caught. We laughed that we are having alien babies. It looked something like this:
Both babies were very active, jumping around, waving to us, and just generally putting on a good show. I blame the huge glass of OJ I had before the appointment. Sugar high!

Baby B really liked to wave. He/she also didn't want to face the right way. He/she was facing us directly, so the ultrasound tech had to jiggle my stomach a bit to get him/her to turn and show us their profile, which he/she did (not knowing genders is going to get old...). Maybe he/she was giving us the finger and not just waving...

Baby A was enjoying what room he/she had while he/she had it. Legs fully stretched out, one arm up by the head, and seeming to suck on the other hand's thumb. It's like he/she knows space will soon be very limited as they get bigger.

So there they are. They tested within normal limits, and a phone call today just confirmed that the bloodwork also came back normal, so we are looking at two healthy babies! I go back in four weeks for more bloodwork and probably another ultrasound, and then a Level II ultrasound at 20 weeks for more testing stuff. But I'm not worried. I'm feeling oddly zenlike that all is going to turn out well.

Plus, their heads are now only about a third of the length of their bodies. They are much more proportional, weigh almost a full ounce, and are almost 3 inches long. Crazy! They are now about the size of a peach!

And now I am on to the second trimester! 188 days to go (roughly)!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Twin Shots!

I realize I promised you a post about our ultrasound/NT scan that we had on Friday, but I stupidly forgot the photos at home, and what ultrasound post is complete without new photos of the little ones? So I hope to do that post later tonight.

For now, however, I want to bring your attention to some of the cutest newborn photos on Pinterest---twin shots! These make me so excited for this fall when we do our own newborn twin photos! Here are some samples:

Holy crap, we're having twins...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Crappy Mommy

If you want a good laugh, check out A mom hilariously documents her life with her husband (Crappy Daddy) and two sons through crappy stick figure drawings. One of my favorites is this one. I'll give you a frame just to whet your appetite.

Those are her kids in the bathtub singing a song about, yup, "Penis penis." Maybe because pizza is being delivered, but I imagine it being like Little Caesar's "Pizza Pizza." Anyways. Check it out. She's pretty funny.

Tomorrow I'll hopefully have an update for you on the babies. We're having our Nuchal Translucency scan at 9am (they measure stuff and it can let you know your risk of Down's) and I hope to get some good ultrasound shots of them. They should be looking pretty human and awesome by this point.

In other news, I'm wearing maternity pants today. I got sick of the rubber-band-through-the-button-hole trick, so while they are a little big, my bella band is holding them up. And I feel like I look more put together than I have in a while, probably because I've been wearing the same two pairs of pants to work for the last two weeks and there's only so many outfits that work with them. So I got to wear something new and pretty today. Score.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Having a baby is like...

The book Babyproofing Your Marriage says having a baby is like throwing a grenade into your marriage.

Family and friends have said there's just no way to ever be "ready."

But my favorite came from a coworker, who described having a baby as follows:

The best analogy that I have been able to come up with to describe the first two months is Battlestar Galactica. You remember the episode “33”? It is kind of like that. But after that it just gradually keeps getting better.

For those of you unfamiliar with BSG, it's about what's left of the human race trying to outrun and survive an attack by a group of robotic creatures called Cylons. In the episode my coworker mentioned, the humans keep doing FTL (faster than light) jumps to try to escape, but within 33 minutes the Cylons have found them, and the humans have to jump again. There is no sleep. There is no downtime, no time to eat or sit or relax. And obviously tensions rise and arguments happen. 

Look at those scruffy, tired faces

I can so see this as the perfect way to describe having a baby. Maybe we'll get an hour between crises, maybe it will be only 33 minutes or even less. But at least now we'll be able to look to BSG as an example and know that eventually they DID outrun the Cylons long enough to eat and sleep, and that things did get better(ish). So there's hope that we might find Earth (sleep) at the end of the journey after all.

By the way, if you have any liking of sci-fi or just good human drama, go watch BSG, starting with the mini-series. It's an excellent show.

And yes, we are nerds, and we are hoping to raise two very nerdy children.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Photographer Moms

I don't know about you, but I love photography. I like to think I'm okay, but then I find blogs like this one that make me realize I'm just an amateur. The woman at is just amazing, although she is helped along by having some pretty adorable kids. She's a professional photographer, which gives her a major edge, too, of course.

I like to think that if I had her camera, a Canon 5D Mark II, I'd be able to take photos like this (hint to Blue). I guess what I really need is practice. And some kiddos to photograph, of course.

I find her blog to be an inspiration. It makes me want to just play with my camera all day. Or take a more advanced photography class. Visit her site and check it out. She's pretty amazing.

Plus she designs templates if you want to make photo books of your kids year by year or cards and invitations using photos. Check those out here. And for an example:

I'm so excited to take photos of our two babies when they get here. Although I'll be seeking professional help for their newborn photos from Katie Slater Photography. She shot our wedding and engagement session, and did a family session for my sister-in-law and her family. She is also amazing (and a mom herself), and basically I just want her to photograph my life from here on out.  I've pretty much unofficially lined her up for this fall for our little ones, whenever they decide to arrive. A sample of her work:

As she says on her site, she photographs love. I want to be able to do that too.

Happy Friday, whoever actually is reading this!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Week 11 Doctor's Appointment

I've gained three pounds! Huzzah! It's hard to believe that with how much I've been eating that's all I've gained, but I suppose two little babies growing would use up a lot of energy. And I'm sure I'll be gaining much more very soon, as the babies will be doubling in size over the next three weeks. They are currently the size of limes:

By week fourteen, they will be the size of lemons:

I never really thought about a lemon being twice the size of a lime, so I might have to hit up the grocery store to see for myself. But they will go from about 1.75 inches long to 3.5 inches long. And hopefully by then I will look pregnant and not just fat, and so then I will get the best seats on the subway.

Anyways, back to the doctor. She used the doppler to find their heartbeats. One she found right away, the other took a little more searching. We'll pretend it was baby B (Blip? still undecided) hiding. I can just tell that one is going to be the troublemaker. So that was cool.

Then she decided she wanted to see them, as she had missed my last ultrasound to go to a conference. So she wheeled in a little ultrasound machine, gooped me up, and started trying to squish the babies to death with her little magic wand. Except, obviously, she did not. Again, one was trying to hide -- Blip, again (maybe). Baby A, Bit, was much more cooperative. And looked much more babylike than even the ultrasound two weeks ago.

It's just insane how quickly they develop. By this point, all of their major organs are formed, and now they are just growing and forming new synapses and brain goo. And in a few weeks, their heads will be more proportional to their bodies. At the moment, their heads are half their length.

So, at the moment, it appears that Bit and Blip are having a slumber party in bunkbeds, as they are right on top of each other, chilling, probably chatting it up all night instead of sleeping (because, really, who actually sleeps at a sleepover?).

I have another, "real," ultrasound next Friday, but until then, I will leave you with my ultrasound from week nine. In this one you can see little arm nubs, which makes me think of this guy from Meet the Robinsons (which is actually a better flick than you might expect):

9 weeks, 4 days:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Let the Countdown Begin

You may have heard of a little website called Pinterest. It's an addicting wonderland of images of things ranging from recipes to DIY projects to photography tips to, yes, nursery and baby ideas. You create "pinboards" full of things that you like, are inspired by, and/or want to try yourself.

I started pinning almost a year ago in boredom, which has left me somewhat prepared for planning our nursery and coming up with baby announcement ideas. It's also shown me that documenting my growing size can be done in many, many, many ways.

Exhibit A:

This obviously requires a lot of thought each week and some creative penmanship skills. And a chalkboard. This path is not for me.

Exhibit B:

This one requires Photoshop (not a problem) and notable cravings and aversions. All I'd be able to write is that I get near-migraines on an almost daily basis and come home from work exhausted and useless. Also, I'd need some sexy black clothes, which I'm just not feeling right now. (P.S. She is so much further along than 12 weeks, right?)

Exhibit C:

This one is by the blogger at She also makes and sells them. I should have just bought one instead of trying to make my own in my own lazy way. DIY is not my forte (someday ask to see my Halloween 2011 crafts). But I gave it a go freehand with some fabric markers, and this is the result.

Week 6:

It's not pretty, folks. But it'll have to do. Maybe  I'll switch to the sexy black outfit idea when I have more energy. Or maybe just putting on some makeup would help. But for now...

Week 11

I'm not sure if that's baby belly or just all the food I've been allowing myself to eat over the past two months...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Nursery Rhyme

I picture a nursery in yellow and grey,
On the wall a poem--don't take my sunshine away.
A rocker, stuffed animals, hot air balloon,
These babies are coming far too soon!

So much to do before they arrive,
I'm not sure how Blue and I will survive.
Hardwood floors to put down, and paint for the wall,
There is simply no way that we can do it all.

Thank god for family coming to the rescue,
They'll know exactly what we have to do,
To make this a home for our bundles of joy,
Whether they are girls, one of each, or two bouncing boys!

Where to begin?

Well, about a month ago we found out we were having twins during my first ultrasound when my doctor gasped and said, "Oh no!"

Helpful, right? I immediately started thinking the baby had no heartbeat or some other abnormality and that all our hopes and dreams for the little bugger, which we had taken to calling "Bit," were down the tubes.

Thankfully that was not the case. The doctor continued:

"Here's baby A. And here's baby B."

And that's when the panicked nervous laughter began. It continued as we drove away. It continued as we stopped at McDonald's for a bite to eat and a small half-caf coffee for me. It continued as Blue pretended to get back to work and as I pretended to care about gardening. And it really got going that night when I called my mom and told her the news. I heard the laughter in the background from my stepdad, but his laugh wasn't nervous or panicked.

His laugh somehow conveyed "they are so screwed" and "this is going to be awesome" all in one guffaw.

And that pretty much sums up how we are feeling now. Nervous, excited, overwhelmed, but overall, very lucky. Plus, gotta love the efficiency, right?

So, without further ado, here is our first ultrasound photo from week 6:

Now we just need to come up with a name for the second baby. Maybe Bit and Blip? Blue wants to collectively call them Two Bits. We'll see what sticks.