Sunday, April 30, 2006

Lovey Dovey Saturday

Where do I even begin? This Saturday was terrific!

My DW left at noon to drive to Minneapolis for a benefit for our 4-year-old nephew, Connor. He has leukemia and his local church was hosting a spaghetti feed, silent auction, and raffle. Of course, I couldn't be on the road atthis point, but my DW and two of his auties made a roadtrip to show some support. I hear the results of the benefit were terrific. Yay!

My mom took me out to my favorite local Italian restaurant for a Saturday lunch and I was able to talk her into a Bloody Mary. (I have to live vicariously through someone else once in a while.)After a wonderful meal, Mom took me to my baby shower, hosted by my sweet little sis and our dear friend, KariAnn. Everything there was absolutely wonderful and I came away feeling oh-so-loved! The decorations and the refreshments were fabulous and the turnout was great! I rarely noticed that half of my face wasn't working and for the first time in more than a week, I didn't feel self conscious about the strangeness of my face.

Our friends were so, so generous with gifts. These babies haven't even arrived yet and already they are spoiled! I'm getting more and more excited to meet them!

After the beautiful afternoon, my mom dropped me off at home with strict orders for a long nap. It was easy to follow her instructions and I fell asleep almost immediately. She then met up with my dad, sister, and brother-in-law and went out for a walleye dinner. After dining, she came back to keep me company some more - how nice! We sorted through all of the cloth baby items we have so far and put together our first load of laundry. Mom then washed and dried and let me help fold all of those adorable little goodies. It was such a rewarding experience to share!

DW arrived soon after Mom went back to my sister's house, so after a quick little visit, off to bed we went. I've missed seeing him lately and hope for more time together before these little ones arrive.

On the health end, I'm feeling ok. I think I'm getting a tiny little bit of muscle control back on my right side of my lips - I don't seem to be spilling as much when I sip water. I still look like something's definititely amiss, but at least it feels like there just might be a little bit of progress. My head still hurts and I only have one day of meds left, so I hope that everything will sort itself out. I go in for another BPP to check on the babies on Monday, and , of course, am looking forward to that.

Enjoy what's left of your weekend, all!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Finally Friday!

What a wonderful wrap-up it's been after a long week. My brother-in-law's girlfriend stopped in for a couple hours this afternoon to bring my doggies home for a little visit. I hadn't realized how much I missed Maddy and Tootsie until they were here, tails wagging away. Besides the pooches, Mandy also brought some homemade pasta salad and potato salad from my mother-in-law - two of my favorite summer dishes. Boy did those hit the spot! We had a lovely visit!

After she left, I took a snooze before my DW showed up from work. He quickly scooted off to help some friends move into their new home, so when my parents arrived, I was ready for some company. We relaxed and had a nice chat about all the exciting things happening. I think it did my mom a world of good to see that I'm not dying nor severely malfunctioning. She needed the visit more than anyone.

Once DW arrived from moving, my folks went to my sister and brother-in-law's house and we toddled off to bed. Terrific timing!

Friday, April 28, 2006

A Pleasant, Rainy Day

While most people don't seem to enjoy the rain that often comes in spring, I appreciate it today. It keeps the air cool and moist and I can only imagine how lovely our lawn will be once the sun comes back out.

My dear friend, Jessica, picked me up to take me in for my butt shot today. My blood pressure was good again (2 days in a row - yay!) so that was a relief.

Afterwards, Jessica, her cute 5-year old daughter, and I stopped in at McDonalds for soft drinks and a little play time. Jessica is expecting in August, so it was fun to be out and about with our big prego tummies. I took it easy, following my doctor's orders, and enjoyed getting out of the house a little. One little boy in the play area kept asking his mom why that lady with the big tummy had her eye bandaged. He was so sweet and his poor mother was so embarrassed. I kind of wanted to walk over and tell him it's ok, but at the same time, I didn't want to get up.

I'm getting more and more used to my face looking this way, and keep telling myself that it's only for another month at the most. It's been a fun adventure to figure out how to put eye makeup on my good eye without being able to see what I'm doing. Even though it's only half the makeup, it takes twice as long. I hope to master it yet.

My folks are coming to visit for the weekend and I'm really looking forward to having them here. I know from the frequency of their phone calls that they need some peace of mind by seeing me in person. I can only imagine what kind of strange nickname my dad will come up with for me. The last time I saw him, "Bulgo" popped out of his mouth. If it was anyone but my dad, I'd probably tell them to take a hike. But somehow, I know that Dad is the poster child for foot-in-mouth disease, and so it's easy to write it off as a non offense.

I received a call from my office today, and the people there are so wonderful. I'm anxious to really dive into work with them, but will have to be patient until later this summer. In the meantime, they're generously giving me some "homework" that I can do at my own pace, without having to deal with conference calls or client relations or deadlines just yet. Which is good, as I still sound a little tipsy with my mouth not working quite right.

On my personal end of business, I have nearly every outstanding freelance project wrapped up now, so that when I do have these babies, there won't be anything to worry about on that front. Although I'll miss the paychecks that a full schedule provides, I think it's worth it to be taking it easier for the meantime. For the first time ever, I passed a magazine writing project onto a friend and fellow writer, and I feel pretty good about it. That's my favorite type of writing, and feels more like fun than work, but the timing just won't work for me. I think my friend will enjoy getting her foot in the door for magazine features and I'll enjoy not having to try to write about a house I can't see in person.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A Couple Photos from St. Maarten

Here are a couple of photos from our trip to the lovely island of St. Maarten in February. These were taken on a sailboat our last night there.

Update on Babies A & B

I just returned from my 33-week checkup today. We had an ultrasound (U/S) and biophysical profile (BPP), then meeting with our OB/GYN. My DW and sweet sister both accompanied me to the U/S, and it was great to have them both there. I know my sister really enjoyed seeing one for the first time. Both babies were quite active and got great scores for the BPP, which is where they measure movements, heart beats, and watch the babies practice breathing.

The U/S tech says it looks like 2 placentas, which contradicts everything we've seen/heard up til now. As far back as our 10-week U/S, they saw just one placenta with two separate sacks inside. Even the doc is baffled by the U/S tech's notes today. That would imply that the probability of identical twins isn't as high, but neither my doc, my DW, nor I are buying into the two placentas thing. At this point, though, we'll probably have to wait until birth to find out.

Baby A is measuring 33 weeks and Baby B is at 30 weeks, with all body parts in proportion. A month ago, they measured 3 weeks apart, too. At least they're both growing at the same rate. Strange, though, that they're a full 3 weeks apart. Baby A weighs approx. 4 lbs., 6 oz. and Baby B is still in the high 3 lbs.

So, the doc gave me a steroid shot for lung development and plans to give me a second one tomorrow - just in case we end up going early. Though the babies are both looking great, we both have intuition that says we'll go a little earlier than my 38-week scheduled C-section. In the meantime, she says I still need to take it easy and not go into the office. No official bedrest, but just taking it easy - whew! And, I get to go to my shower this weekend. Yay!

My doc's been in OB for 10 years and I'm her first ever patient who's had Bell's Palsy come on, so that's interesting for both of us. My pregnancy has been wonderful, but this last week with the Bell's has really been awful.

The good news is that my blood pressure was good - 142/84, and the babies are looking great! If my blood pressure was running high, though, my doctor said she'd consider hospitalizing me for a few days to see how things go. Talk about incentive to keep my BP low - I don't want these babies to come out quite yet. Not until Baby B hits 4 lbs. anyway.

So, tomorrow I go in for another shot in my butt. The next two Mondays and Thursdays I'll get BPPs, and then Thursday afternoons, I'll get another visit with my doc. Two weeks from now, we'll do another U/S to monitor growth. This is getting so exciting!

I'm anxious to see what the next couple of weeks bring...

Pain, Pain, Go Away

What an adventure! Once I finished my steroids for the Bell's Palsy, you'd never imagine how much pain I was in. Monday and Tuesday night, I barely got any sleep - and what little I did get was on our upstairs couch. It felt like I'd been struck in the face with a softball - it hurt to wash my face with a soft washcloth. It hurt to run a wide-toothed comb through my hair. Heck, even just the weight of my hair was causing me pain. I seriously considered chopping it off two different times yesterday morning, and finally I decided to call my doctor.

She prescribed a baby-safe narcotic that has provided such relief! I still have a lot of pain, but at least I can function a little better now. And sleep, glorious sleep! I slept for two 3-hour periods last night - what relief! I'm noticing that I'm getting a little better - I can now spit out my toothpaste and not get it on my chin. I'm still not graceful or lovely by any means, but I think there's a little glimmer of progress.

I would never wish Bell's Palsy on anyone - ever.

Monday, April 24, 2006

What the Hell's with Bell's?

Well, it's been a long week since my last post. I didn't imagine I'd have this kind of week, but oh well.

Wednesday night was a tough night. I was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy in the ER. Thankfully, it's the kind that comes from babies pulling on the nerve that affects the right side of my face. Some people get this condition from a bacterial or viral infection.

I guess that after having such an easy pregnancy, I was due for a little bad luck. The babies are doing great - still moving around a lot and still getting bigger. Their momma is just looking a little freaky.

My right eye doesn't blink, so I have to keep a lubricating ointment in it and wear a pirate patch. Sexy! And my lips don't seal when I drink, so I've been sticking to water so that I don't stain my shirts. Nice. I sound like I have cotton balls in my cheek - or like I'm a bit tipsy. My poor DW. Not only is his wife big and out of breath most of the time, now she's half deformed. And yet, he's truly been an angel. So sweet. So comforting. And so silly.

Thankfully, my odds are looking good for a total recovery. Since we caught it right away and were able to start steroids immediately, that's good. It looks like 98% of BP patients have a full recovery. The only bad part is that I probably won't have relief until the babies are born. And that shouldn't be for more than a month still. Unless they move significantly enough to release the pressure on the nerve, but I doubt that will happen. At least this didn't come on in my first trimester or sometime early. What's a month of freak show, right?

Nevertheless, I've wound up on partial bedrest and am trying to adjust to the idea of losing some of my independence. My sister came over yesterday afternoon and was sweeter than sweet. Not only did she bring ice cream, but she also checked my blood pressure and then cleaned her little heart out. We sat out in the sun for a while and enjoyed the gorgeous weather, and she kept me company with her positive attitude. I am so thankful - she didn't make me ask for help - she just did it. What a doll.

Well, the longer I keep my eye on the screen, the more tired it gets. So, I'm signing out for today.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Still no names

Last night, I met with two dear friends for a visit over knitting at a local knitting cafe. What a great reminder of how much I treasure having positive, strong women in my life! We chatted about work and families, a little about faith and attitudes, and of course, home-related projects. With each of us, the ideas for improving our homes seem to be endless. We decided that next week, we'll meet at the house of one of these ladies. Then, we'll not only be able to visit in comfort, but we'll also get to see her new living room. Should be good!

When I returned to my house, my DW (hubby - aka Darling Wacko) greeted me warmly. He said that as my pregnancy progresses, he thinks I should take it much easier - and that includes less time out knitting with the girls. Of course, he was kidding about the stress of knitting, but it was a sweet way to let me know that he'd missed me. We visited a bit about our day, talked about work, and mapped out game plans for the rest of the week. It seems like there's so much to do, and I just know that once these babies arrive, everything will change and it may be quite a while (if ever!) before we get back on track with some of our plans.

DW and I still haven't come up with a good solution for baby names. Our tastes are just so different. I've made a little list of my top 10 boys and top 10 girls names. DW told me that he was talking with a client yesterday and had told them some of the names I'd picked and that the client didn't like them either. I was so mad at him! I asked if he'd even come up with a list yet, and he just smiled and said, "Not really." I asked, "Yes or no?" He just smiled. Lucky for him, I was sitting down. He knew it would have taken me a couple minutes just to get up and smack him. So, we're still not any closer to figuring out what to call these little people. I just hope we can agree on something before they're incubating in the hospital so they don't stay Baby A and Baby B forever.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Tired with twins

What a week! I'm officially 32 weeks pregnant with twins and have had a wonderful pregnancy so far. No strange side effects, no icky stories so far. Though I'm not "due" until June 12, my doctor still says we're delivering by Memorial Day. The countdown is on and all is still great!

But I am getting tired. The more I continue to go go go, the sleepier I get. Yesterday afternoon, I even took a 1/2-hour nap. I'd asked my Darling Wacko (DW, aka darling husband) to wake me in 15 minutes and he thought I was insane. Thirty minutes later he came to check on me and was surprised to see that I'd just woken up, slightly more refreshed, and of course, hungry. Apparently, his idea of a nap is at least a couple hours.

Our twins are growing along nicely, and that means they're not just getting bigger, but also stronger. The way my stomach morphs when they really stretch is more bizarre than any movie graphics I've seen. Absolutely amazing - and amusing!

That all said, I've hit that key time of day. Time to head home for a nice little nap before starting on my article that's due tomorrow.