Tuesday, December 30, 2008

30wks, 1day

Well, I'm past the 30 week mark! Requests have again been made for pictures, and requests to my husband to figure out how to use the darn webcam have again gone ignored. So I will try to figure out how to take pictures myself like I did last time. No guarantee on the quality.

A few details/clarifications/thoughts on the baby stuff:

At the time of the birth, there are a few things we will need to have already. Those are a place to sleep the babies and a way to transport them home from the hospital.

Ideally, I would like to buy cribs and co-sleep both babies in one crib till they're old enough/big enough to need to sleep separately. My reasons for doing so, instead of using bassinet, are threefold. 1) Space. Since we'll need two cribs anyways, and will likely be buying them both at the same time as a part of a package from the store, we save room by using them, or t least one of them, right away, instead of having two cribs plus two bassinets around. 2) I know I can fit two babies in one crib, I can't be sure I'll be able to fit two babies in one bassinet. Likelihood is I will, at first, but they'll outgrow it fairly quickly. 3) I want them to co-sleep. They're close together now, I want them to remain close. I don't want to co-sleep with them in our bed; neither Shawn nor myself are small people, so that doesn't leave a whole lot of room, plus we tend to smother ourselves with pillows and blankets and it does not create a safe environment for two infants. But I want them to have the benefits of co-sleeping with each other for as long as possible.

As for car seats, well, obviously we need a way to get them home from the hospital.

So that's what we need right away and will have to work out before the birth. Despite not being big on the bassinet idea, I will be going to Yad Sarah tomorrow to look into borrowing a couple.

The ironic thing is that even though we need the car seats before the birth, we don't need to worry about buying them till after we figure out the other furniture. The reason for that is that it takes 30 business days to order the cribs and dresser, whereas other things are kept in stock and can be bought on-the-spot. That's why we can hold off on those decisions yet have to order the cribs and dresser very soon.

What I think we will do is go in next week and order the furniture, so it'll be ready for the birth, but ask them to hold off on delivery till we call them. That way they'll have the 30 business days necessary to build them or whatever they do, then we can call right after the babies are born and ask them to do the actual delivery in time for our homecoming/not long after. As for everything else, we'll make a list of what we need/want (car seats, swing, bouncer, bath, etc.) and ask them to hold on to it, and direct any friends/family who ask about buying us gifts to the store and they can buy what they want off the list. When it comes closer to the birth itself we will go in and buy the car seats ourselves if no one has bought them yet. That way, we will at least have the car seats and the Yad Sarah bassinets in time for the birth.

If any of you are curious, yes there are a few things we want that we don't think we can buy here and would appreciate receiving from the States/Canada. I will post those shortly.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

29wks, 6days

Today we finally had our house warming party. Shawn and I woke up at 9 and began five hours of preparation before guests were due to start showing up between 2-7. I had to cook (pizza, sufganiyot, popcorn, and cookies) plus clean the kitchen. He had to scrape up the dripped paint from last week's painting extravaganza (he and a friend got together and painted out living room, entrance area, and hallway, yay!). We had to return all the furniture to its rightful position, clear off excess crap from several book shelves, toss all the random stuff into what will be the nursery, including clearing a lot of stuff from our office (which is currently my SIL's bedroom), and try to clear up enough in our room so that it would be showable to guests (which eventually consisted of just tossing the piles of clothes on the far side of the bed and making the bed itself).

I made six pizzas (crust and sauce from scratch, mind you), two batches of popcorn, and tons of strawberry jelly-filled sufganiyot, plus Shawn made chocolate chip cookies (I was too busy with the pizza and passed the job off to him since he was the one who requested cookies in the first place). Shawn also cleaned the bathrooms and our porch (all of this was done with tons of help from Esther, my sister-in-law, who also ran a shopping trip and wrote a beautiful dvar torah).

My brother brought home made beers and apfelwein, my mother baked delicious zucchini bread, and my father took pictures to document the event. all in all, over a dozen friends and family showed up at various points throughout the day, though unfortunately not a single neighbor came by. I'm quite bummed about that, since they were really the reason we felt compelled to do this in the first place. Oh well, hopefully they all at least acknowledged the invitation and appreciated the fact that we had invited them into our home, even if they decided not to attend.

Oh, and since this really is a baby blog I suppose I should post something about the twins. As of Thursday morning at least they had both settled into a head down position! I'm not really sure they stayed there, since then I've felt kicking but also a ton of the rumbling movement I feel when they're rolling around in there. But I have another ultrasound this coming Thursday so I'll see if they're still in the same position. If they are, and they stay there, chances increase for a vaginal birth, which i would like very much.

In unrelated news, Shawn and I spent the weekend at a beautiful hotel at the Dead Sea (we found ourselves a great Chanukka deal). Just to make you all jealous, we spent December 26th swimming in the Dead Sea then laying in beach chairs under a cloudless sky, enjoying the hot sun and a slight breeze.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

29wks, 2days

I went baby shopping (not that the closet will match any of the baby furniture that I chose, but whatever)! Well, price-shopping, at least. I haven't yet actually bought anything. I had to get a complete lesson on cribs, dressers, mattresses, car seats, etc. Me being the savvy shopper that I am I made the guy helping me, the manager, and the owner completely nuts. But I wasn't about to leave before I found a deal that worked for me. Getting everything I need for two babies is hard enough, working out the prices is a different story altogether.

Basically, they have these packages that are pretty good deals, but they include some things don't need and don't include other things I do need (a typical package includes a crib, a dresser/changing table, a single stroller, a baby bath, mattress, sheets, plus various odds and ends like baby shampoo, a digital thermometer, a room thermometer, burp cloths, etc.). So I needed to find a package that included the cheapest cribs available (obviously meeting safety standards), a changing table low enough to make changing a diaper comfortable for short lil me but not too uncomfortable for my taller husband, with a dresser large enough to store diapers and clothes for two babies. I certainly didn't need the stroller since I've already chosen the double stroller I want (which they sell there too).

So I negotiated the price for the same deal, without the stroller, with a second crib and mattress instead. Of course it comes out to a bit more, but getting a double deal wouldn't be worthwhile since we don't need two of much of the little things included, and we certainly don't need two dressers. It leaves plenty of small things friends might want to buy us, like extra sheets, swaddling blankets, burp cloths, etc. It leaves other bigger things, like the car seats, a double nursing pillow, baby swing, bouncer, pack 'n plays, floor mats, and eventual purchases like high chairs for us/someone else to buy later. But we don't need most of those things at first. Meanwhile it can take 30 business days to get the nursery stuff set up and they generally recommend purchasing it all 1 1/2 months before the birth. I don't know how these things work with the whole custom of not stocking up on baby stuff early, but we will need some things, at least a crib, before they arrive.

Anyhow, I now have a much better understanding of these things. That doesn't make it any easier to spend such obscene amounts of money on it, but the good news is most of these things are a one-time purchase. Plus, we can sell the extra stuff further down the line. But what we have to spend money on, I want it to last. That's why we chose the stroller we did, since it'll last for five years or so. The cribs, which convert into toddler beds, will last a good long time as well.

Right now Shawn and a friend are getting the apartment painted. Within the next couple of weeks I hope we can do the nursery. The closet I ordered (for storage, not baby stuff) is due to be delivered within the next month and then I guess the baby furniture we'll aim for being delivered some time in early February-ish?

I'm getting a little freaked out about money, considering how much this is all going to cost us. But we have been planning and saving for it so it's not unexpected. Meanwhile reality hit my mother as she was wandering the baby store with me. Yup, ready or not, two kids are on their way!!

Monday, December 22, 2008


I'm getting complaints that I'm not updating enough, nor am I posting enough pictures. Well, here's a post at least. Pictures will follow if Shawn ever figures out how to take a picture properly with our webcam since I had to find some solution myself last time and I was not happy with it.

I'm doing well, getting bigger of course but still very active. The babies are growing nicely and are kicking the $h*t out of me. Today Joey and Esther (my brother and my sister-in-law) had their hands on my stomach and got to feel a couple of kicks so strong they made me jump.

After getting sound advice from our OB (who I am glad we stuck with) on which hospital would be best equipped to handle any potential complications, Shawn and I went on a tour of the maternity wards at Hadassah Mount Scopus today. It's a small hospital, and much older than the other Hadassah, but it has a better NICU. I'm not really in this for my own comfort so I don't care if the birthing rooms haven't been remodeled...if they serve the purpose they're meant to, that's all that matters. I got some good info on the hospital's policies (no acting against the wishes of the mother unless they think mother or baby are in danger, no induced births unless deemed absolutely necessary, no standard pitocin injection until after birth to help expel the placenta, the availability of birthing balls and birthing stools, allowing mothers to give birth in whatever position found most comfortable, no standard episiotomies, no standard enemas, only occasional monitoring unless signs of fetal distress are displayed or unless using a pain medication that can effect the fetus, allowing women in labor who aren’t hooked up to a monitor constantly to move and walk around, the availability of various alternative pain “medication” such as a TENS machine and the option of sterile water papules, etc.).

While there we registered for the birth so I have a little envelope with all my information I am supposed to carry around with me at all times. When I do go in to labor I can head strait to the maternity ward, I don’t have to check in or go to the emergency room. At the maternity ward they’ll monitor me and if they indeed discover I’m in labor they check me in right there.

In similar news we contacted a birthing coach who has twins herself and we will likely start childbirth classes with her in a few weeks.

Meanwhile we are both continuing with our regular schedules, though Hanukka has slowed work down a bit for me as I only work limited hours during the holiday. This weekend we are headed to the Dead Sea as we found a great little holiday deal at a nice hotel and are going to take advantage of the last time in a loooong time that the two of us will be able to get away alone together. We haven’t done anything like this since our “honeymoon” (two nights in a romantic cabin up north…nothing fancy though). This will be short and sweet but it’ll be much appreciated. Life is so overwhelming these days, it’ll be nice to get away and just be a couple, to forget about the rest of the world and even the babies for a weekend, to just be together. Plus, it’ll be the first time we’ll have gone to the Dead Sea together, which will be great (oh, and the spa is included!!).

Chag Sameach!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

28wks, 1day

I have officially entered my third trimester! It's amazing that there is (relatively) so little time left in this pregnancy. But of course this is, physically, the hardest stage. Were it not for all the emotional strain it'd have been very easy to ignore the pregnancy entirely the whole first half as I had no signs, symptoms, or problems really. But now everything (and I mean everything!) is a challenge. Who'd have known rolling over in bed could be so difficult!?

Things are, thank God, still looking good. I'm being monitored more closely by my doctor, which is natural at this stage of pregnancy, especially with twins. As far as belly, I'll try to get another pic up. I basically look full term. Some of my maternity shirts are already starting to ride up a bit in front...I hope I don't outgrow them!! Luckily, my parents brought me back a Bella Band from the States which I can wear to help hide tummy (of course, reading the label when putting it on I discovered they're made...guess where...you'll never guess...in Israel!).

On Friday my mom and I are going to start scouring the baby stores and perhaps start a registry for gifts since it's getting time to start thinking about how we'll take care of these two when they show up. My dad has been helping us assemble a storage closet in the nursery so we can start getting the room cleared of all the random crap currently in there in order to finally start setting it up properly. It's great having my parents back.

Friday, December 5, 2008

26wks, 4days

It's finally December! I'm glad for so many reasons. First and foremost, because my parents are coming home in just a few days. It has not been easy being so pregnant and being away from my mommy, and I'm really looking forward to being able to spend the weekend at my parents apartment in my old bedroom, to escape from being a grown, responsible adult with a mortgage and two kids on the way and spend a Shabbat being a kid myself, being taken care of by my parents.

I'm also happy because December means Chanukka, which means my first break from work since Succot. It's a long stretch of non-stop, full-time work and while thank God I'm able to keep up, each week it gets harder to muster up the energy so I am very grateful I am nearing a bit of a break (I work reduced hours during the holiday and take a day or two off entirely).

December also means my birthday, whcih is fun, though turning 29 feels a bit scary. It's my last birthday in my twenties...I am starting my thirtieth year of life. Wow.

But most importantly, it means the end of 2008, an amazing year in which I got pregnant, bought my first home, my sister got married...and the end of 2008 means the begining of 2009, the year my children will be born. The year I become a mommy myself. The year I make four amazing parents grandparents, and five siblings become aunts and uncles, four of them for the first time ever.

One of the greatest rewards of being pregnant is being able to share the joy, being able to reward our family and loved ones with new titles and new teeny tiny relatives to love and adore (and to shower with money and gifts *hint* *hint*).

Sunday, November 30, 2008

25wks, 6days

Awesome update: I saw my belly move!!

I've felt the kicks through the skin, as has Shawn. But yesterday they were kicking like crazy, all day, all over, and at one point I was sitting on a couch and I looked down at my stomach and saw my dress move as they kicked so hard it moved my belly. Later in the day I saw it happen again in another spot. Oh how exciting! I'm so excited to see that again.

Meanwhile I'm feeling great. We had a lovely weekend in Ramat Beit Shemesh with a bunch of friends. We're hoping to get a lot of work done on the apartment in time to finally have a housewarming party over Chanukkah. We have another photo session (ultrasound) with the kids in a week and hopefully will have a couple of fun pictures to share with everyone.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Here they are, finally! Forgive the poor quality, I had to use Skype to get the pictures...nothing else worked. Oh well. Enjoy!

Friday, November 21, 2008

24wks, 4days

It's about 1:30am and I am still awake because the little monsters are kicking...and man do they pack a punch!

Thank God they are active, though. There was a quiet day last week and it almost scared me. Lately I think they're doing a lot of moving around, rolling over and whatnot, though they still seem to both be stubbornly keeping their legs down, since I feel most of the kicks in my lower pelvis. I do hope they decide to turn in time, I'd like at least a chance at a vaginal birth.

I'm slowly discovering my new limits. I'm managing to keep up with work though I take full advantage of any breaks I have and by the end of the week I'm pretty pooped. I made the mistake of doing what I now know is too large of a shopping trip to handle by myself and I had an awful time getting the groceries home and up the stairs. I'm very grateful our bed has wrought iron curlicues as a part of the headboard design because I desperately need them as handles to help me roll over or get out of bed. I feel like a beached whale!

Otherwise, all is well. I plan on figuring out how to snap photos of myself with our new webcam tomorrow so if that goes well there will be pictures up here before the end of the day.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

23wks, 3days

As if being pregnant isn't enough...

Tomorrow I have to go get a tetanus booster shot. And a flu shot, too. The flu shot because it's a good idea and I didn't get around to doing it yet. The booster because I sliced my pinky on a can of crushed tomatoes. Wasn't that smart of me? We got it cleaned and disinfected right away. It stings but it's not bad. I can move my finger and everything and with pressure applied it doesn't bleed much. But it's still quite deep and it's been eight years since my last tetanus shot.

Otherwise this momma in the making is doing well. Looks like we're going to be getting a webcam thanks to a generous donation by a dear loved one, so belly updates will be soon making a regular appearance.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

22wks, 6days

Please don't anyone take this the wrong way, but I find it absolutely hilarious and really wanted to share it with you all. Thank you baby-gaga for making my day!

From the Sarcastic Journalist (week 22):

There were four words that drove me nuts every time I heard them while pregnant: How do you feel?

I know, I know, seems simple enough. Someone wants to know how you are feeling! How nice! Those words, although simple enough, seem loaded during pregnancy.

How do I feel? HOW DO I FEEL? I’m pregnant, my belly is stretching, I have cravings for peanut butter at 3 o’clock in the morning and my husband has affectionately nicknamed me “Pudgy.” How the heck do you think I feel?

The people who asked me this question always did with such concern. They’d place a hand on my shoulder, lean in and utter those four little words, much like I’d expect a doctor to say “It is malignant” to a patient.

My pregnancy hormones usually had a role in the way I answered. I’d have to bite my tongue not to reply something horrible about how I really felt.

How do I feel? I feel like shoving my foot up your butt if you ask me that stupid question just one more time.

Also, week 22's cartoon:

pregnancy cartoon

Friday, November 7, 2008

22wks, 4days

We had an ultrasound yesterday. It was wonderful, as always, to see the kids. What's amazing is that I've been feeling them move so much lately, but on the scan they move around much less. I guess, as it gets more and more cramped in there, they have less room to roll around so more punches get absorbed by mommy.

Right now baby A is laying transverse, and baby B is legs down on top. There's no concern yet about what position they're in since that doesn't matter for about ten more weeks or so, by which time we hope baby A at least will be head down (I'd like to try to a vaginal birth, which can be done even if baby B is still breech, but not if baby A at least doesn't cooperate).

There is the possibility of a slight complication with baby B. Probably nothing serious, but we won't know more until my OB appointment next week. Please don't ask questions; if I had wanted to share the details, I would have. Overall though, both kids are looking good, growing big, and pack quite a kick.

Pictures as soon as Shawn reminds his dumb wife how to use the scanner.

Friday, October 31, 2008

21wks, 4days

I think, I can't be sure since this is obviously new to me, as a first time mother and all, but I think I am officially feeling individual kicks.

Or maybe punches?

Till now, I've just felt general rumblings as the kids toss and turn and move around. Every now and then I've felt an odd stab of slightly painful pressure than could have been a hard kick or just a ligament pain. But just now, sitting at the computer I started feeling something that is definitely different from anything I've felt before.

My babies are kicking me!!

21wks, 4days

I still have the cold, it's worse than ever since I've been working through it. But don't fret, overly-concerned-family-members, if it's still around on Sunday I'll take the day off. I can't work through this another week. Hopefully though a quiet weekend at home of hot one-pot meals (lentil soup tonight, vegetarian chollent tomorrow), water, and plenty of napping will be just what the doctor ordered.

Reminder: less than a week till the next ultrasound!

Note: There is a slight chance Shawn might get a camera phone (if it really is free as the Cellcom -our cell phone company- ad seems to indicate), in which case, no more waiting for me to find my camera cord in order to provide those much-requested belly pics.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

21wks, 1day

I have a cold :(

Sunday, October 26, 2008

20wks, 6days

It has come to my attention that not everyone who should know about this blog, does. Both my sister and my sister-in-law only recently found out. I will send another mass email (not to force my rantings upon anyone, but since this is where all updates/pictures are/will be, family at least should know about it). If any of you know someone who is interested in following along with my updates, send them this way.

I have much-requested belly pics but am unable to locate my camera cord as half our belongings are still in boxes. But I'm taking the pictures so when I can upload them there will be several. In two weeks is the next ultrasound so you can expect so see those pictures, too.

For those of you who heard about our recent scare, please know everything is perfectly fine. For those who have no idea what I am talking about, last week I experienced stomach and back cramps and went to the ER to be on the safe side. It turned out to be nothing more than a stomach bug, which has since passed. We had two ultrasounds of the babies (no pictures, sorry) and the kids are looking great. They experienced no trauma or complications.

As for me, I'm feeling good but growing ever bigger. I feel like I have a two-headed octopus running rampant in my body which really is not that inaccurate of a description. I'm tired but eating well and am back at work, which I very much enjoy. Today I had a meeting with my bosses to discuss what will happen when I leave and when I return, and I feel very confident that they will look out for me and be flexible in finding an ideal solution for both me and the office.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

19wks, 3days

Just a quick update. We had a lovely holiday. We built a pretty little Succah on our porch and managed to fit nine people in it for lunch on Tuesday. Yesterday I did the first coat of paint on the office and meant to do the second today but am feeling way too tired. I don't think it's anything to worry about and of course if I start to suspect it is I will call my doctor. But my belly has been growing like mad this past week or so, so I suspect it's just exhaustion that must come with such a growth spurt. It reminds me of when I had mono; every small task seems enormous and I haven't got the energy to do much more than lay down and read or sit and watch TV. But luckily there is no reason whyI can not indulge in my exhaustion. While I really ought to get some painting, laundry, and dish-washing done, it's chol hamoed and nothing is really urgent, certainly nothing is as urgent as growing two babies that suck my life force from me...so I am taking it easy. While my husband is out earning the dough. How great it feels!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

18wks, 6days

It's looking like we might change doctors. No, nothing is wrong, really. We just don't feel like we're getting adequate care. My current doctor was not someone I necessarily chose, just the guy who happened to be available and was recommended for a high risk pregnancy when I tried to book an OB appointment through my health plan. He seemed to be doing a fine job and I had no complaints.

But there were little things. He failed to notice, during the first two appointments, that I was carrying twins (the whole reason I needed someone familiar with high-risk pregnancies). Indeed at just about every appointment I have to remind him. Plus till now I've expressed a lot of concern over my calcium and iron levels, since I'm a vegetarian (which I reiterate every time I ask). He finally gave me a blood test last time to check my hemoglobin and sure enough, it came out a bit low. Again though he seemed unworried. I checked my records and found out that in about five weeks I'm scheduled for another hemoglobin test and iron supplements if necessary and asked him again, should I possibly start sooner since I don't eat meat. At that he raised his head and looked at me (for the first time all session) and seemed surprised. I reminded him that I'm a vegetarian and he decided that yes, I should be on iron supplements (it's a good thing calcium supplements are easy enough to get through Tums and I've been taking it for a while, not relying on him to remember that I'm allergic to dairy and eat less than most people. I've also been taking flax seed oil for a while now).

Now Shawn and I are thinking it's time to get a little more involved and start searching for a doctor we feel more comfortable with. It's not that I distrust this guy, or think he will cause us any risk. In fact I like the fact that he is laid back and refuses to discuss possible problems without a test proving some sort of risk first. So far all tests have, thank God, been good. But when asking him how we will proceed further down the line, since I will be having fewer tests as the pregnancy progresses but no major increase in doctor sessions, he said there's no need for either if there are no problems. But I was very confused since I have a hard time understanding how we would detect any problems, if God forbid there were any, if I weren't having regular tests or doctors appointments. He sorta snapped back at me that, "we can't do an ultrasound every day!" Obviously that was not what I was talking about, but still, there needs to be some degree of observation. What if I needed to go on bed rest? A few days, and certainly a few weeks, can mean all the difference between a healthy, full-term birth and a premature one. With no tests and no doctors appointments how am I to know if bed rest is something I God forbid need to do?

So we're looking into other options.

Oh, but test results from last blood test and ultrasound meet the doctor's approval. Next ultrasound is in three and a half weeks, next doctors appointment (unless we switch first) is a few days after that.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

18wks, 2days

Here are the long-awaited latest ultrasound pictures. We don't have great pictures of their whole bodies since the doctor didn't really go out of his way to get good snapshots as it was a scan with a purpose (to make a bunch of fetal measurements, not just to see the kids). I think next time though we'll ask for some better pictures to share. But here are their heads at least (really cool brain image on one) and their current stats. They're looking good.

Gmar chatima tova and a meaningful fast to those who are fasting (yes, I'll be drinking, at least! Don't worry about me).

Sunday, October 5, 2008

17wks, 6days

In his own blog, Shawn recently wrote about the baby books we've been reading. We're mostly reading up on pregnancy stuff, not so much the actual baby stuff, since I find all that incredibly frustrating since of course there are going to be a million different conflicting opinions on what is best for you and your baby and frankly, we'd rather just learn ourselves what's best for us. After all, every family and every baby is unique.

Sure we bought a baby 911 book, to have a reference guide in case of emergencies, and actually one or two of the twin books we got are incredibly helpful with some advice since there are certain things only other twin mommies can help you with (and it's not the stuff the other books have like feeding and changing info that I care about, it's the practical stuff like how to run errands with a double stroller).

As for the pregnancy books themselves, we bought a bunch as soon as I knew I was pregnant. Unfortunately we didn't wait long enough to find out about the double trouble bundles of joy. Once you find out you have two (or more) babies on board, pretty much all the advice that pregnancy books have to offer goes out the window. Sure it's helpful for all pregnant women to know worsening eye sight, bleeding gums, and dizziness as you accommodate to a new center of gravity are to be expected, but I don't match the week-by-week schedules at all.

Unfortunately I also can't seem to find a Twins Club in Israel (anyone know of one?) so it seems I am largely on my own. Not that I've ever had a regular, singleton pregnancy, but it's incredible how much already seems to be different from a "normal" pregnancy, and I can only begin to imagine how different child rearing will be.

On a final note, as of tomorrow I'll be at week 18. Since twins are considered term at 36.5 weeks, I am just about at the halfway point!

Oh, ultrasound pics to be up later tonight or tomorrow.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

17wks, 3days

I've been feeling what I assume is round ligament pains lately, nothing major but I feel it when I exert myself, and the list of things my body considered exerting is steadily growing, though it depends of the day. Some days exertion means getting out of bed, which can leave me breathless. Walking long distances is definitely tiring, and running, even short distances such as to catch the bus, is long a thing of the past.

I'm not feeling the same exhaustion I was experiencing the first trimester, but I do feel another kind of tiredness. I just seem to need a lot more sleep in order to be well rested, though I don't need to nap in the middle of the day or even just lay in bed for an hour after work as I used to.

None of these things bother me really, I feel more like I am a scientist, approaching this experience of pregnancy with an open mind and carefully keeping track of the changes and how I have been feeling. I find it curious and interesting. I think Shawn gets frustrated at times when I seem so surprised at having to get up for the third time in one night to pee, or when I discover yet another shirt that doesn't fit. Yes none of these things really surprises me, I know what pregnancy does and what to expect, but at the same time watching it unfold, feeling it happening inside me is such a new, strange thing. I think I am also hyper aware because nothing in life really prepared me for a twin pregnancy (though I think in some small way I was expecting it). With twins much of what the pregnancy books have to say is useless. I'm in my fifth month and so should be urinating less frequently? HAH! I spend more time in the bathroom than in my bedroom. I probably won't "pop" till week 20 since this is my first pregnancy? Hah, I wore a maternity dress to my sister's wedding and that was almost three weeks ago.

Anyhow, it's pushing 9:30 and I am exhausted so I am going to sign off and go to bed (don't have a heart attack mom! My days of staying up till 2am are long gone).

Monday, September 29, 2008


Wow, long time no write!

As all, or most of you at least, are aware, I was recently in the States for two weeks. Shawn and I flew in for my sister's wedding, which was absolutely incredible. Unfortunately, the day before we were scheduled to leave, my grandmother died. We were able to delay our return tickets and my marvelous husband found a way for him to get in to Minneapolis from Toronto, for me to get in from Boston (since we were in different cities for the weekend) and for us both to leave together on a flight to New York from whence, several hours later, we were due to fly back home.

It was a full circle of life experience, especially since my mother, despite being in a state of mourning, managed to happily tell every visitor that walked through the door how I was pregnant with twins. Marriage, death, birth...all encompassed in this one little trip. The wedding was great, the funeral was very sad (but I was really comforted by being able to be present at it and the first few days of shiva), and all in all it prepared us to return home (to our messy, unpacked, unpainted new apartment) and prepare for what the upcoming year will bring.

So, in accordance with such preparations, yesterday I had a doctor's appointment and an ultrasound. It was an early internal screening of the babies' organs and bones to make sure everything looked like it was progressing well. They're still small so there was only a limited amount of detail we were able to see, which is okay since we have a more advanced version of the same test due in five weeks. But we could see their little hearts, kidneys, stomachs, and bladders. They're heads had perfectly formed, albeit small human skulls..it was really amazing! They're growing well, laying one on top of the other, the lower one being the slightly bigger of the two which the doctor says is normal. Their weight is good which I was very relieved to hear since I started this pregnancy losing 20lbs and since my last checkup a month ago I've only gained 650 grams. My stomach though is definitely getting bigger, many of my old shirts no longer fit well but fortunately my aunt took me maternity shopping while I was in the States and I now have a selection of outfits to wear as I continue to grow.

Tonight is Rosh Hashana and despite only having guests for one meal I am cooking up a decent-sized meal. Shawn loves having a turkey for the holiday so once I am already doing that it's not hard to throw together some other holiday favorites. If I'm feeling really industrious I'll even make a cabbage kulebiaka, since I need to do something with cabbage anyway for our Rosh Hashana Seder (no heads of fish or lambs in this household...a head of cabbage will have to suffice).

As the new year approaches I of course can't avoid thinking about how many wonderful changes this coming year will bring the Yonah family. We are about to double in size. Seeing our babies yesterday made the reality of one day bringing them home from the hospital all that much more absolute. Studying their little arms and legs so intensively through the blurry ultrasound makes me think of how soon enough I will know every inch of their skin my heart. I will be bathing and dressing these life forms that are growing inside of me. It is an overwhelming concept, but it feels so right in so many ways. This new year will bring me my children.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

14wks, 1day

Tonight we're leaving for the States (well, technically tomorrow morning). We have a nice long layover in Amsterdam and plan on leaving the airport ti visit the city a bit. Being in my present condition I'm not at liberty to, how shall I put it, partake in one of Amsterdam's most popular pastimes. But it is of no great loss as obviously I would much rather be pregnant and there is so much we plan on doing as is. I found a canal museum tour, a hop-on-hop-off tour of the city going past the major museums with a discount on admission, so likely we'll do that.

I'm feeling good. Tired, but not nearly as exhausted as I was a month ago. Most of all I am very excited for this trip. It serves as a wonderful culmination of all the happy events that have been going on this summer. My sister is finally getting married, Shawn and I are home owners, and I finally get to share the pregnancy with extended family members. It feels great to be off work for two weeks and when I get back the holidays hit so, while it's not great on the wallet, I'll have an irregular schedule till after Succot (which is another vacation since the office is closed during chol hamoed) which will be a nice opportunity to relax.

However, at the moment, we are T minus three hours and twenty minutes away from when our ride to the airport picks us up, and have not yet packed, so there is much I ought to be doing rather than posting here.

Looking forward to seeing many of you soon! Oh, for whom it concerns, we're bringing the ultrasound photos we have to date with us. I'll send them to Toronto with Shawn to show folks there.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

13wks, 6days

I just found out there is a tipat chalav (well-baby clinic) a mere five minutes from my front door. In fact, it is the one first lady Laura Bush visited on her recent trip to Israel. Very cool. I thought the closest one was going to be the one in Baka (about a fifteen+ minute walk away). This one on the other hand I pass daily on my way to catch the bus to work.

In other news, I finally got travel insurance today. It was very difficult to do so since most plans don't cover pregnancy with twins. It cost more than double what Shawn's regular travel insurance cost, but at least I'm covered in case of emergency (which, of course, there won't be one since I long ago decided this will be a perfectly healthy pregnancy).

Oh, also one final bit...not that this is terribly pleasant, but it is pretty cool. I think the kids are leaving up against my intestines today. Every now and then I feel pressure there and while it feels like a bathroom thing, it's not. The pressure lasts for a minute or so then goes away, but comes back every now and then. As I said, not pleasant, but cool.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

13wks, 5days

Okay, I will make one teensy, weensy complaint...getting up three times a night to pee is getting to be a pain in the tuchas!! I know it won't compare to getting up even more often to feed the babies, but I was hoping to at least have a few months to sleep before they come and keep me awake 24/7. All the books say the frequent urination is supposed to be slowing down in the second trimester...well, obviously those books are not talking about twins!

Otherwise, Shabbat was great. Lots of relaxing, lots of sleeping (or attempts to do so) and settling in to our new digs.

Friday, September 5, 2008

13wks, 4days

A lot of people have been asking me how I have been feeling. The truth is I've been feeling pretty great. I've been tired much of the time, but the intense insane exhaustion from the first trimester seems to have, for the most part, passed (either that or it's just the adrenaline rush from moving and the upcoming trip that are keeping me going). But even before, when I was so tired, it just made me sleep in (nothing new there. What was new was that I was actually going to bed before midnight). I still managed to keep up with work and packing so I guess it really could have been worse.

As for morning sickness, I suppose I must have been one of those lucky few who avoided it. Sure I got the occasional mild bout of nausea, and I hardly ate much for a couple of months and I hear lack of appetite can be a mild form of morning sickness. I ended up losing 20lbs but as my doctor loved to point out, the fetuses are parasites and will take what they need from me, even if I'm not eating much.

These days though my appetite seems to have returned. I can't eat much in any one sitting but I've learned to carry a snack on me because when I feel hungry, albeit it being satisfied by a mere apple or a couple of crackers, I get ravenous. I also find I feel a lot better when I stay ridiculously well hydrated.

I've had, thank God, no bleeding nor any major cramping. As far as I can tell (and this is just to make you mothers out there insanely jealous) I've been having a pretty great pregnancy. Or maybe I'm just one not to complain, I don't know. What I do know is that I want these babies so badly, there's no point in complaining too much about what is necessary to have them; I expect pregnancy to have its discomforts. I know things will get harder further down the road (do you have any idea how large a twin belly gets?!?! It's like Godzilla!!) so who knows how much complaining I'll do later. But for now I feel pretty darn good.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

13wks, 2days

As of last night we are officially "out" about our big news. Being pregnant itself doesn't seems to come as much of a surprise to people and I'm not shocked by that. After all, we recently celebrated our second anniversary, have just bought a three-bedroom apartment, and Shawn is about to start actually working at the hospital as a student nurse in addition to his studies.

But what is a surprise is how every now and then an extra sperm meets an extra egg and before you know it there are two heartbeats in the ultrasound and you find yourself incredibly grateful you planned for a big family when you bought your home (I know three bedrooms doesn't sound very big to the Americans and Canadians who are reading this, but in Israel it's quite common to have two or three kids -or more if you're haredi- per bedroom, and the rooms at our new place are a very nice size by Israeli standards).

Anyhow, I have created this blog as a way to update friends and family who care to be updated, especially useful since all parental units (soon to be grand-parental units) are currently abroad and would, no doubt, like regular updates. I'll post ultrasound pictures and belly pics too I guess.

In short, a quick recap of the last three months for those who weren't "in the know" till now:

Due date: Supposedly March 9th, however as twins are considered term at 37 weeks, we're expecting February babies (see, dad?! I do listen to your requests!).
First ultrasound (5wks,1d): Saw two tiny sacs, no yolk sacs yet.
Second u/s (6wks, 1d): Saw two tiny yolk sacs, fetal poles, and, best of all, heartbeats!!! (Also, for the record, the same day we signed the contract on our new apartment)
Third u/s (9wks, 3d): Saw the babies move! Not really recognizable as humans yet, but definitely rocking around a bit, heartbeats still going strong.
Fourth u/s (12wks, 6d): Nuchal scan (a test to check for fluid in the back of the neck that could indicate Down's syndrome) - All clear! Risk less than 1: 6,600. Got to see the babys' heartbeats, spinal cords, brains, and, cutest of all, fingers and toes!! They're at the alien stage, where any angle of their face really looks like something strait out of Roswell. Nonetheless, their bodies are magnificently formed minatures of real human beings.
Next u/s ( 23.9.08 - 16wks, 1d): An early comprehensive scan to check out all the internal organs and make sure everything is looking good.

Yes, it's more scans, and more OB appointments, than most women get, but with double the fun there's double the risks, so the Dr.'s are doing a good job at keeping a close eye on me.

That's it for now, more later!