Friday, January 30, 2009

34wks, 4days

Shawn and a couple of great friends (Thank you so much Shear and Yehuda!!!) were up late last night painting the nursery. It's pretty much done, except for the small details (while not exactly a mural, I am going to be painting a design on the walls. I'll take some pictures to share once I'm done). The majority of the work is done though and it looks fantastic.

Today Shawn is picking up ceiling fans for the nursery and office (we already got one for our bedroom) and early next week we'll get an electrician out here to install those and a wall-mounted electric heating unit we got for the nursery, since our radiators aren't effectual enough to keep that room as warm as it needs to be for babies.

I don't know if this is quite what one would call "nesting instinct" kicking in, but it has become a huge priority to me to get that room done. I know the chances of early labor and I don't want to come home from the hospital to a half-finished room.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

34wks, 1day

Picture day again! More stretch marks galore including side and front views. Babies and mommy are doing well, they're kicking, though it's getting more and more cramped in there. I'm trying to eat, drink, and sleep enough, all of which are difficult but manageable. I'm still working and plan to keep going pretty much till my water breaks. I hope to get the nursery painted this week so it'll be about as prepped as possible before the furniture arrives (we'll call the store as soon as they're born and they deliver it while I'm still in the hospital, so we'll come home to a ready room). My wonderful, incredibly, amazing in-laws got a terrific stroller and will be bringing it in with them after the birth. Friends and family have been helping us get the various necessities so we're slowly collecting baby stuff, though we have nothing in the apartment yet. Unfortunately, due to my limited mobility and Shawn's busy schedule, our home has been pretty much ignored. But thankfully we don't have to worry about baby proofing much for a bit at least, so right now all my energy goes into growing these two parasites residing inside me into viable forms of independent human life.

Anyhow, enjoy the belly!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

33wks, 1day

Belly pic time! I just took two pictures, one version with my stomach safely covered for your comfort, the other showing all the glory of skin and stretch marks. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

32wks, 6days

Today was an exciting day. We had a doctor's appointment (to follow up on some tests we've been doing lately to keep an eye on the aforementioned slight problems with one of the before, I do not care to go into any further detail so please don't ask). During the regular pre-appointment check-up with the nurses, my blood pressure (which is usually, and has been throughout the pregnancy, absolutely perfect) was quite high. I thought it was just nerves since I wanted to talk with the doctor about the test results, so I offered to come back after the doctor's appointment for a re-check. After the doctor, I had to get a blood test and only then remembered to pop back in, and my blood pressure was still high. The nurse sent me back to the doctor, who decided to send me to the hospital to make sure it had nothing to do with the babies.

Of course, the moment I got to the hospital and they checked my blood pressure, it was 120/78. They ran a fetal heart monitor on both babies for an hour and it was fine. They sent me for an ultrasound and it showed nothing new, other than they had both grown since the last ultrasound on Thursday and were both still head down (thank God!). They checked my urine and blood (for which they put in an IV needle in the back of my hand in case I had to be admitted (damn those hurt!!), both of which came back fine. They checked my blood pressure a couple of more times throughout the day and it stayed perfect.

In the end, they decided to release me but want me to be closely monitored. Regular ultrasounds, fetal heart monitoring, blood pressure checks, and doctors appointments...all in all, not that different from what I've been doing so far.

It was exhausting, but thank God nothing was actually really wrong. Shawn and I got to spend the day together (his pleasant observation), I got out of work for the day, we got to see and hear the kids plenty, and I got to meet some of the staff at the hospital where I'm registered to give birth and they are all really, really nice!

It did make me decide to get my hospital bag ready, though. The pharmacy sold small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and soap that was cheaper than buying their empty containers and filling it with my own soaps. I picked up a new pair of crocs on sale to have as hospital slippers since I have no other slippers, especially any that can just as easily function as regular shoes (and since I wore my last pair of crocs down, literally, till I wore a hole through the sole, I figured it was a justifiable expense). I'm going to collect a few other things too since really, the birth is not that far away...

Monday, January 12, 2009


Two posts in one day!

I'm in the process of trying to organize all the paperwork necessary for my maternity leave as well as what is required to get the kids registered as US and Canadian citizens and to get them those passports after the birth. It is a complicated process. there should be no actual problems, but it's a good thing I am trying to deal with this in advance. It can take a horribly long time to get an appointment with the US Consulate to register the births and in order to validate their claim for US citizenship I must prove I was in the US for at least two years after the age of 14. It's not that difficult to prove but I do need to get an official transcript from my college to do so and that could take a couple of weeks. There are other such minor details that need to be handled that I really lack the energy for but best to get it all done before the birth, for afterwards I will have even less energy I know.

At least getting them registered with the Israeli government won't be as big of a hassle, other than the horrendously long lines at the Ministry of the Interior. But I am dreading dealing with the National Insurance Institute again...but at least those evil bastards will be paying my hospital fees, maternity leave, and be giving me a decent-sized chuck of cash just for giving birth.


We had our first childbirth class last night. It was really interesting! It's only us and one other couple, in English, run privately in the woman's home. We went with her since she has had twins herself and is the only person we found who can help us with details specifically applicable to multiple births. The other couple is having a singleton but she incorporates the twin information seamlessly. We have a session a week for three weeks, each one lasting two and a half hours, and then a session or two post-birth, one of which is a twins-specific session.

Shawn and I were both surprised at how much more we knew than the other couple though of course we still have tons to learn. I guess it was because we have both done so much reading during the pregnancy that terms like VBAC, mucus plug, kegal exercises, etc. have already become a part of our vocabulary. It's interesting since I'm not so much into the idea of reading child-rearing books (I don't feel like anyone else can teach me how to parent) but I have been very into reading pregnancy books, especially multiples material.

Anyhow, the class was informative and fun, and I look forward to the rest of the sessions.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

31wks, 5days

On Friday we placed the order for baby furniture. We bought two cribs (both of which convert into toddler beds) as well as two mattresses of course, a large dresser/changing table, and it came as part of a package that included one set of sheets (a fitted sheet, blanket, and bumper), a bottle, two pacifiers, a brush/comb set, a formula divider, a bottle drying rack, a baby bath on a stand with a plastic seat-like insert, cotton and flannel diaper/burp cloths, three each infant tops and leggings, digital, room, and bath thermometers, nail scissors, baby q-tips, a pack of wet wipes, baby soap, and probably a few other odds and ends I'm forgetting. Not enough of all the various things we'll need of course, but it was a nice little package to get us started. The store is assembling the furniture and after I give birth we just call them up and they send it over, so by the time I come home from the hospital the nursery will be ready.

We've also been able to better assess all the other items we will need/want, most of which we plan on holding off on buying for now in order to see first what we receive as gifts.

I don't mean to be presumptuous, but I am posting this here since several people have asked: There are a bunch of things people can get for us if they are thinking of buying baby items as a gift. If you are abroad we would prefer money, as it is very costly to ship items to Israel (it also costs us a lot in customs and taxes to pick up a package). If, however, you or someone you know is coming in to Israel and can bring items with them, that is very much appreciated (in fact, there are quite a few smaller items I would like to order online if anyone from the US or Canada is coming to Israel before the birth and can bring things with them for us). Otherwise, the best option is financial gifts which you are of course free to direct towards a specific purchase.

Among the things we would need/like, there are those that are small, lesser expensive items (sheets, clothes, etc.). There are those that are larger purchases of which we would need only one each (bouncer, swing, play mat, double stroller, etc.) and there are larger items of which we would need two (car seat/infant carriers, baby carriers, pack 'n plays, etc.).

We have already received generous offers from friends and family for several of these items so if anyone is curious as to what we still need, please ask.

I feel like this is so rude of me but I know many of you are interested in giving us gifts and we appreciate it so much. Since the situation is a unique one, with friends and family spread around the world, I'm just being very blunt and up-front here in order to make things as uncomplicated as possible. I'm past the point of shame anyways, since it's astounding the number of things we need for two children and Shawn and I are fully aware that there's no way we could do all of this on our own.

Meanwhile we are working on preparing the room that will be the nursery. As I mentioned above the furniture won't be coming till after the birth but currently the room is a messy storage room so we're trying to clear it out and get it painted. We bought a wall-mounted electric heater for the room and will probably be getting a ceiling fan/light fixture installed so we want to get the painting done first then have an electrician come over and install those. Everything is starting to feel much more real but hey, the kicks are getting more vicious and the calender is rolling forward. In less than two months we will be welcoming two new members into our family. Tomorrow we start childbirth classes. Ready or not, here they come! So, we're just trying to get ready :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

31wks, 1day

Okay, the quality and lighting isn't great but it's something. I'll try to get others up here, too (Esther, when you get yours loaded, send me copies, please).

As for a health update, stretch marks are, well, stretching. It's not too bad but there are more every day. I need extra rest and aim for 9-10 hours a night. I eat a lot but thanks to my mom's help and all the delicious fruits and vegetables that are in season now (artichoke, avocado, citrus, etc.) I eat pretty healthily (well, other than the instant soups I drink at work...but at least that counts towards my daily liquid ingestion and boy, do I drink a lot of water a day!). I haven't been having much in the way of back or leg pain lately, though my body is more tense than usual from the effort of carrying around all of this. My weight gain lately has been a steady pound a week and the twins are on perfect target weight and size-wise for their gestational age. My blood pressure continues to be great. I try to stay as active as possible which gets harder day by day but still allows me to take short walks and of course I climb the stairs to my apartment every day, sometimes twice a day. I still go to work every day and have no intention of stopping that any time soon, though I do get worn out more easily by the end of the day. I've been experiencing some swelling in my hands and feet lately but that's pretty much to be expected. One side effect is carpal tunnel which isn't fun but isn't all that awful.

As for plans, we've registered at Hadassah Mount Scopus hospital for the birth. Our childbirth classes start on Sunday. This afternoon we're going to the baby supply store to make a final selection on some of the things we'll be ordering and getting the nursery set up (well, at least getting rid of all the crap that's currently being haphazardly stored in there, at least enough so that we can paint) is our next big home improvement job, along with getting security bars installed on the porch door.

So that's the update. Enjoy the pictures!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

30wks, 6days

Three things:

1) Shawn has finally figured out how to use the webcam so hopefully there will be a photo shoot tonight. Mom (in-law): Esther has lots of pictures of me on her camera for you to see when she gets home.

2) I have pregnancy carpal tunnel. Not one of the wonderful joys one is usually warned about, but I'm glad at least that the numbness in my fingers is not a circulation problem.

3) Mac and cheese mixed with veggie "ground beef" is a wonderful lazy (wo)man's dinner on nights one's husband is working late.