Friday, January 30, 2009

10 days and counting....

Hey there everyone. Well, my doctor FINALLY booked my C-section. We'll be having these babies Monday, February 9th... that's 10 days from now. And it doesn't look like they'll be making an appearance any earlier than that, for my check-up today basically showed there's absolutely no signs of my body preparing for labor. These babies are more than happy hanging out in there, and apparently my body is more than happy letting them. I tried to convince my doctor to do the C-section tomorrow... but she wasn't feeling as rushed. So they'll be 37.5 weeks at birth. She measured my uterus today and it's a massive 48 cms (which is equivalent to 8 weeks post term for a singleton pregnancy). So all you ladies out there... remember how uncomfortable you were at full term? Now imagine waiting another 8 weeks to deliver. She said the biggest uterus she's ever seen was 50 cm... and that was for triplets. So that means the babies must be growing in leaps and bounds, which is good for them and horrendous for my collection of stretch marks. Anyways, I'm feeling really encouraged today and excited that I have a date now that signifies the end. It's also convenient that my mother flies in from Canada the day before my C-section, which is fabulous! Keep us in your prayers over the next 10 days!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

And just when you thought I couldn't get bigger...

Hey everyone! Well tomorrow marks the next big landmark in this pregnancy... 36 weeks! That was my goal. And now... they can come out. Now. Anyway, here's the latest profile picture. Yes, I'm big. No, I don't fit in a restaurant booth. Trust me... I've heard every comment you can think of.

At 36 weeks, babies on average weigh around 6 pounds. We figure based on past weeks that Garrett is probably a little more than that and Paige is probably a little less, which means I'm carrying 12 pounds of baby. The diagram below is from and shows twins at 36 weeks.

I'm pretty immobile now, which has been compounded by a recent ankle injury. Yesterday I missed seeing a step (it was hiding under my belly) and twisted my ankle. If I keep it wrapped I can still walk on it which is good. It's just given me another excuse to stay off my feet. Not like I can go far anyways. My amniotic fluid levels are still pretty low, but stable (they're hovering around 2cm). The stress tests seem to be going alright, although today they had some concern because both babies had heart rates that were consistently over 180 and 190 (sometimes up to 200)! But they were both pretty active, and after consulting with my doctor they all agreed that the heart accelerations seemed to be linked with the aerobics they were doing in there. On Friday my doctor said we'll come up with a "plan", which means she'll FINALLY book my C-section. Whoo whoo! The end is in sight! Yay!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Quick update...

Just wanted to let everyone know that I started the ante-natal monitoring today. It was basically an ultrasound and non-stress testing which monitors heart rates, movements and contractions. My amniotic fluid levels were a little better, potentially due to the mass quantities of water I've been drinking. And both babies were active and showing no signs of stress. It's always nice to hear there's nothing to worry about, but they still will continue the bi-weekly monitoring (Tuesdays and Fridays) until the babies are born. I'm 35 weeks pregnant now so if they can stay in there for one more week I'll be happy! Anyways, thanks for all your prayers and support!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Quick prayer request...

I got a call from my doctor today. Yesterday's ultrasound showed a couple of potential "issues". Firstly, my amniotic fluid levels are measuring quite low which could be potentially stressful for the babies, and may indicate a problem. But then again, it may not be an issue at all! Secondly, although the babies have been the same size through the entire pregnancy, Paige is now measuring much smaller than Garrett. He's at 5 lbs 6 oz and she's at 4 lbs 12 oz - yet they were the same size 4 weeks ago. Once again, it could mean nothing at all... or it could mean that she's under stress. Soooooo, they are going to start me on anti-partum testing twice a week which is basically a combination of ultrasound and and fetal heart monitoring.

Just a quick request that you keep them (and us) in prayer and that these little anomalies prove to be nothing at all. I appreciate my doctor being proactive and she basically said that if they notice any issues that could compromise the babies they'll just take the babies via C-section, especially since Baby A (Paige) is still breach. I have a lot of peace right now and I'm just taking it really easy to put as little stress on them as possible. But we appreciate your prayers!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Twin update...

Hi everyone! I just wanted to give a quick update on the twins. We're at 34-weeks now, which is a milestone for a couple of reasons. First of all, after 34-weeks if we go into labor they will take minimal measures to stop it because the babies are getting to be a good size. They also shouldn't have any long term health problems if born now. As well, it just happens to be this week that Kaiser opened it's new Women and Children Center, with a fancy shmancy labor and delivery ward. This place is like the Hilton of birthing centers and we're pretty excited about getting to deliver there! My next benchmark goal is 36-weeks, at which point I'm not too worried if we go into labor.

First off... a couple of pictures. The first picture in the red shirt is my current 34-week profile (taken 5 minutes ago). The second photo is a picture of me 34-weeks pregnant with Molly. You can see the difference between carrying one baby versus two! My uterus is measuring the same size as someone who's 43-44 weeks pregnant (which is obviously much bigger than a 40-week full term pregnancy with one baby).

I had another ultrasound today, but the technician refused to give up any information, which is always annoying. But they've been staying right around the 50th percentile in size, which would put them at around 5 pounds now. Also, Baby Paige (twin A) is still breach, so it's still looking like there's a C-section in my future. Here's a diagram of twins at 32-weeks from, which for me was two weeks ago. Not much room left in there for my organs, which explains my wicked heartburn.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Belly Dancing...

Well... I don't know how well you'll be able to see this video at such a small size, but I had to at least try. People often ask me what it feels like to be carrying twins, and I often liken it to having an alien octopus squirming around inside there. I tried to catch some video clips of my belly moving all on its own and spliced them together. Hopefully at this small size you'll still be able to see my "belly dancing"! Ironically... this is subtle movement compared to other times...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A fun shower!

This weekend, my friend's Paige, Suzanne and Jenny threw a baby shower for me and the twins. They did an AMAZING job and I was extremely spoiled!

It was so touching to see my friends and family all gathered together and it was super special that my mother-in-law was able to come up from southern California for the weekend. Yay!

It was extremely overwhelming to see the level of love and support that people have shown us. Not to mention that the food and the cake were out of this world! Yum! Can you believe that Jenny made that cake you see below? Talk about impressive!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Starting the New Year with drama...

Well... 2009 started off with a little drama for the van Riessens. On New Year's Eve we were hanging out with our friend's the Gallardos. I started having contractions and when we timed them, they were coming consistently about 7 minutes apart. So after an hour I called Labor and Delivery and they asked that I come in to get checked out. It just happened that I had a set of pajamas with me for Molly, so the Gallardos offered to take her for the night so we could go to the hospital. It was Isabelle and Molly's first sleepover, and as you can tell by DeAnna's pictures below, they had a great time! Thanks so much Dee and Freddie! Anyways, when we got to the hospital, they hooked me up to all the monitors, ran some tests, and within the hour the contractions stopped. So I got to go home with nothing more than a lecture about taking it easy.

Then on Friday, Molly came down with a horrible virus. She couldn't keep anything down, had a temperature of 103.2F, layed limp on the couch in and out of sleep, and refused to eat anything. It was by far the sickest I've ever seen her. Thankfully it seemed to be short lived and within 24 hours her energy was better and she seems to be just left with chest and sinus congestion. But as you can tell from the pictures, she was in rough shape at first. Thankfully Steve was able to take a half day off to help keep me and the twins from getting her bug.

Anyway, hopefully the rest of 2009 will be a little less dramatic. Here's to an uneventful end to this pregnancy!