Wednesday, December 31, 2008

OB Appt

My husband finally got to join me at an OB appointment! He's working 1:30p to midnight tonight, so I at least got to see him this morning. Anyway, the doctor said no UTI (yay), and there is some yeast, but it's not a ton. She also said that if you look at any pregnant woman, there's going to be some yeast. She gave me a prescription that I can take if I really want to, but she's not worried.

My fundal height measured 31cm today (which would correspond to 31 weeks if I were having just one baby). So I'm basically huge compared with the number of weeks I am. :-) But I only grew 1cm per week for the last 3 weeks, so that's not too bad. As the babies put on more weight at a faster rate, I'll probably get bigger faster. Eek!

I know you're all dying to hear about my weight too. I gained 2lbs in 3 weeks, and I ate breakfast (and drank about 10oz of water) right before my appt, so my weight gain was probably only about a pound or 1 1/2 lbs. I was actually aiming for 3lbs. I swear I'm not dieting either! I eat when I'm hungry, but I try not to eat anything that's really bad (like candy, cake or chips). I do have a popcorn addiction, but I eat Smart Pop, which doesn't have too much fat or too many calories. And it's much better to eat a bag of popcorn than to eat a bag of cookies. :-) My hubby knows not to bring junk into the house, because if it's here, I'm going to eat it. So, I'm doing great! Once the babies start gaining a 1/2 lb a week (around 32 weeks), my goal will up from 1lb a week gain to 2lbs a week in order to accommodate appropriately. My overall goal is to be between 170 and 180 when I deliver (aiming for a 36 or 37 week delivery). That would be a 30-40lb total weight gain from my pre-pregnancy weight, and because I started my pregnancy about 35lbs overweight, that is a perfect goal (according to my OB).

I did forget to take my picture last night, so I did it today and posted it as well.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Big Day

Well, we made it! 24 weeks! For those who don't know, this is when doctors have determined "official" viability--and babies born now have more than a 50% chance of survival (although I read somewhere that with intervention it's closer to 90%, but I think that's being a bit optimistic...)

My memory is starting to slip, though. Yesterday I put eggs on the stove to boil and forgot about them for over a 1/2 hour. Luckily, eggs don't overcook so easily and they turned out fine. Today, though, I left a bag of popcorn in the microwave for a full 5 minutes. It's kinda burnt, but not inedible. :-) Just so you know, my microwave is not that powerful and it generally takes about 3.5 to 4 mins to cook a bag, not the 2.5 it tells you to leave it in for. There were also still some unpopped kernels at the bottom of the bag, so you'll never get them all to pop no matter what. lol

Will update tomorrow with the report from the OB, although there probably won't be much to report. I think I may have a yeast infection from the antibiotics I took earlier in the month for my UTI, so we'll see if I'm right (or if I have another UTI ick).

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Totally Uneventful

There is absolutely nothing going on here. I spent Friday preparing for Shabbos and then reading. Saturday was Shabbos, so I spent most of the day reading and napping. Today I slept in far too late and then spent my day on the computer. Man, I must be the biggest bore ever! lol

Oh, one thing I did! I watched the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" for the first time. I have NEVER cried so hard at the end of a movie...ever. I was really bawling. See, I started crying when all of the people were coming in to give money, but I completely lost it when Zuzu made her comment about bells ringing and angels getting wings. Oh man, that just did it. "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory" (the Johnny Depp version) was on twice in the last few weeks, but I only caught the last hour or so both times. I did see it in the theaters, so it's quite all right. "The Sound of Music" is on right now, but I tuned in somewhere in the middle. This one I haven't seen in its entirety before, so it's too bad I didn't catch it earlier. I was too busy watching Million Dollar Password with Regis Philbin. :-) My mother just discovered that I've never seen the movie "Casablanca," which is basically a crime in our family. So I have a feeling she's going to make me watch it next time she comes to visit. Problem is, she's not planning to come until the twins are born, so who knows if I'll have the time (or the brains) to watch it then.

My next OB appt is Wednesday (when I'll be 24 weeks)! I don't expect anything interesting to happen, although she may schedule me to do my GTT (glucose tolerance test) for Gestational Diabetes. Then I have a parenting multiples class next Sunday and my birthing class starts the next day!! Holy cow...only 1 more week until my birthing class starts. Luckily, I consider myself to be a birthing expert, so I'm really just going for my hubby's benefit. Should be interesting to see if I do learn anything new. It will also be helpful because I believe they give tours of the facility and maybe tell a bit about specific birthing procedures at the hospital.

That's all for now! I hope everyone had a Happy Chanukkah or Merry Christmas (or whatever you might celebrate).

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Challah Baking

I'm setting up a special challah baking for a friend of mine. It is a segulah for 40 women to all bake challah on the same day (generally a Friday) and to keep a person (or persons) in mind. The segulah could be to find a shidduch, to fully recover from an illness, to have children, or really any outcome you desire. In this case, my friend has been married for almost 7 years and does not have children yet. A group of women did this for me back last April, and now I'm due in April, so I hope that this will have the same effect for her!

For any Jewish women out there who read my blog and bake challah, if you can bake any time from Thursday night until Shabbos, please let me know so I can give you their Hebrew names (and instructions, if you need them). Thanks!

Click HERE for more Hebrew & Yiddish word definitions

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Outfit

Nancy asked a really good question on her last comment, and I was going to respond just to her but then realized that many of my bloggy readers might be wondering the same thing. Sooooo.... I wear the same outfit for all of my belly pics because I won't do bare belly pics (for religious reasons) and it would be harder to see the growth accurately if I was wearing many different outfits. For my head covering in the pictures I'm wearing a snood, which is basically a large cloth sock that fits over my head and covers my hair. This I wear for religious reasons also--and now I get to explain! :-)

In Orthodox Judaism, married women cover their hair, because it's considered not tznius in the same way that going around in shorts and a tank top would be. Before marriage, having hair uncovered is fine. Anyways, many women cover their hair with shaytels, some cover with snoods or scarves, and some with hats. Some cover their hair differently depending on the occasion or just what they feel like. I use a snood for the pictures because it's easy to throw on. If I were to go out to someone's house for a Shabbos meal, however, I would most likely wear a shaytel.

P.S. I was not offended by the question at all. :-)
P.P.S. I am also not offended by non-Jews dressing in shorts & tank tops as the laws of tznius only apply to Jews. So I didn't want anyone thinking I was being snooty or anything.

Click HERE for more Hebrew & Yiddish word definitions

Cervix Update

I had another cervix check ultrasound today. It's still closed! :-) It also looked like it was lengthening a bit past the cerclage stitch and was measuring 1.8cm or so, which is excellent. The twinners look good too, but no measurements or good pictures today. Sorry!

In other news, I'm 23 weeks today!! So our viability survival rate has now increased to 13%-42% (mind you that's survival rate and has nothing to do with quality of life, so either way we want the twins to stay put for awhile longer).

Monday, December 22, 2008

Your Blog is Fabulous Award



Thanks to Margelina for giving my blog this award!

The rules for this one is to admit my 5 addictions and then pass it onto another 5 blogs…

1. My computer...games, internet, email, shopping, you name it.

2. Control...I am a 100% control freak.

3. TV...I have the TV on nearly all the time when I'm at home, even if it's just background noise and I'm REALLY not watching what's playing.

4. Pregnancy/childbirth/pregnant women...I think I went over this in my last award/tag, or maybe my previous post about birthing class. In any case, I'm more obsessed than addicted, but it's close enough.

5. Sleep...I'm a night owl, so I could stay up till 3am and then sleep till noon. At least I could before getting pregnant...

I'm passing this onto:

WiseGuy @ Woman Anyone?
tryingtoconceive @ Infertility Bites
sushilover @ Life after D&C
Nancy @ TheNewLifeOfNancy
Peeveme @ Bellyaching and Benedictions

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Adam Sandler's Chanukkah Song

In honor of this wonderful holiday, everyone needs to listen to this song. So, press play and enjoy. I'll even give you the lyrics to help. :-)

HAPPY CHANUKKAH!



Okay...
This is a song that uhh..
There's a lot of Christmas songs out there and uhh..
Not too many Chanukkah songs.
So uhh..
I wrote a song for all those nice little Jewish kids who don't get to hear any Chanukkah songs.
Here we go...

Put on your yarmulke
Here comes Chanukkah
So much funukah
To celebrate Chanukkah
Chanukkah is the festival of lights
Instead of one day of presents, we have eight crazy nights

When you feel like the only kid in town without a Christmas tree
Here's a list of people who are Jewish just like you and me
David Lee Roth lights the menorah
So do James Caan, Kirk Douglas, and the late Dinah Shore-ah

Guess who eats together at the Carnegie Deli
Bowser from Sha Na Na and Arthur Fonzerelli
Paul Newman's half Jewish, Goldie Hawn's half too
Put them together, what a fine lookin' Jew

You don't need deck the halls or jingle bell rock
'Cause you can spin a dreidel with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock - both Jewish

Put on your yarmulke
It's time for Chanukkah
The owner of the Seattle Supersonicahs
Celebrates Chanukkah

O.J. Simpson, not a Jew
But guess who is? hall of famer Rod Carew -- he converted
We got Ann Landers and her sister Dear Abby
Harrison Ford's a quarter Jewish- not too shabby

Some people think that Ebenezer Scrooge is
Well he's not, but guess who is
All Three Stooges
So many Jews are in showbiz
Tom Cruise isn't, but I heard his agent is

Tell your friend Veronica
It's time to celebrate Chanukkah
I hope I get a harmonicah
Oh this lovely, lovely Chanukkah
So drink your gin and tonicah
And smoke your marijuanikah
If you really, really wannakah
Have a happy, happy, happy, happy Chanukkah
Happy Chanukkah

Grosgrain Sugar Cookie Frock

Isn't this the most adorable outfit? I can't wait until my daughter is born IY"H and big enough to wear something cute like this!

Grosgrain Sugar Cookie Frock

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mazal Tov and Chanukkah

My friend had a baby boy!! I don't know if he was born on Wed night or Thurs morning, but I'm sure I'll find out eventually. They are having a shalom zachor tonight, but I'm not 100% sure if I'm going to let my hubby go. We're expecting this gigantic snow storm, and even though it's not a particularly far walk (and he will have already walked to and from shul earlier on), I really don't want him to slip and fall--he already did that once today and the snow hasn't even started yet. :-)

One of our friends brought over food for Shabbos, but my hubby is making a cholent for Shabbos lunch just in case there isn't enough for two meals. Yum!

In other news, I'm having SO much trouble sleeping. Insomnia, back pain, can't get comfortable, mind racing, can hear heartbeat while lying down, etc. It takes forever to fall asleep and then I keep waking up. I have no idea how much sleep I got last night...I laid down around 11pm and woke up officially around 9:45am, but that doesn't mean I got more than 5 or 6 hours. lol

Chanukkah starts Sunday night! A pyromaniac's favorite holiday...get to light one more candle every night. Just so everyone knows, Chanukkah has nothing to do with Christmas and is not one of Judaisms most important holidays. Basically, Antiocus IV (king of the Seleucids) outlawed Judaism and desicrated the Beis Hamikdosh. We defeated them and re-dedicated the Beis Hamikdosh around 165 BCE. There are two miracles that are celebrated at Chanukkah. Firstly, we defeated the Seleucids with a MUCH, MUCH smaller army, and secondly, when we went to re-dedicate the Beis HaMikdosh we only found enough oil to light the Menorah in the Beis HaMikdosh for one day. The oil used for this purpose is very special oil, so we were lucky to even find that amount, but it was going to take much longer to produce more. The oil, however, lasted for 8 days, which gave us time to make more. So, we light candles on a Chanukiyah every night of the holiday--starting with one for the first night, two on the second night, etc. There is also one candle that lights the others, so it is always lit first. There are other traditions of eating a rediculous amount of fried foods--latkes and in Israel they make special jelly donuts called sufganiyot--to celebrate the oil. mmmmm Fried happiness... Happy Chanukkah!

Click HERE for my list of Hebrew & Yiddish word definitions

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

22 Weeks

Yay! I made it to 22 weeks! For most this isn't a milestone, but for me it means my babies start having *some* viability. Of course, being born at 22 weeks is a very bad idea and the babies would have less than a 10% chance of survival, but less than 10% is better than 0%. And they each weigh about a pound (maybe a teensy bit more), which is excellent.

Speaking of weight, I think I gain all my weight in one day a week. I'll be going steady at 157 for a good solid 5 days and then BAM 159. It's rediculous! After watching the Biggest Loser finale last night, I was having visions of me at 200lbs and it ain't a pretty sight. But if I go on gaining 2lbs a week (or 3), by 32 weeks I'll be at 180+. And that's with the babies each gaining about 3oz a week till 28 weeks. After that, they start gaining more than 5oz a week until about 32 weeks. Then, it's about a half a pound a week until the end. So if the babies are gaining more weight, mommy's going to gain more weight. Ewww. As much as I want them to be born at 37 weeks, the fat girl part of my brain is going "dude, I want 'em out before I blow up like a blimp." :-) I seriously wish I could do something about my appetite. If I could be satisfied with three meals a day, I'd be fine. But right now I get hungry so often it turns out to be more like five meals--plus snacks. Oatmeal w/ banana & raisins for breakfast, a yogurt for lunch, maybe a bag of microwave popcorn for a snack, maybe some celery w/ peanut butter for another snack, maybe some tomatoes or an apple, a "Tasty Bite" Indian meal for supper, some chicken w/ kugel for dinner... It doesn't sound too bad on paper, but when you're getting no exercise and enjoy having a cookie or two for dessert, it's too much.

Anyways, enough of the weight complaints. I had a dr's appt today and so far so good. My fundal height is 28cm and growing (as you can see by the new belly pic I posted yesterday). I have an ultrasound scheduled for next week, so we'll get to see how my cervix is holding up. I'll be having my gestational diabetes test in a few weeks and possibly a fetal fibronectin test as well to see if I'm at risk for actually going into labor.

Speaking of going into labor, one of my IRL friends is! :-) She's been in the hospital for a few months (not pregnancy related), so we hope that giving birth will help her and maybe she'll get to go home soon! I can't wait to find out if the baby is a boy or a girl and how her labor went. I'll let you know when I know.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hebrew & Yiddish Words

A"H - stands for alav ha-shalom or aleha ha-shalom, which means "may peace be upon him/her" and only refers to someone who has passed away

aliyah/aliyos - literally means "ascent" or "going up," can refer to two different things; 1) a man being called up to the Torah to read the blessings; 2) a person immigrating to Israel

aravah - literally means "willow tree branch," generally refers to one of the four species that we shake on Sukkos

Ashkenaz(i) - Jews descended from Eastern Europe & Russia

Avos - forefathers; Abraham, Isaac & Jacob

B"H - stands for Baruch Hashem, which means "bless G-d"; generally used to mean "thank G-d"

b'sha'a tova - literally means "at a good time," generally used instead of mazal tov to congratulate someone on being pregnant

ba'al koreh - literally means "the one in charge of reading," generally refers to the man who reads the portion of the Torah for the congregation

Bamidbar - literally means "in the desert," generally refers to the book of Numbers in the Hebrew Bible


Bas Kohen - a woman whose father is a Kohen

Bas Levi - a woman whose father is a Levi

bedeken - literallly means "veiling," generally refers to the groom lowering his bride's veil immediately before the wedding ceremony; in an Orthodox Jewish wedding, this is the first time the bride & groom see each other after a week apart

Beis HaMikdosh - the Holy Temple in Jerusalem; currently only the Kosel (Western Wall) is still standing

blech - a piece of metal used on Shabbos that sits over stove burners and gets warm when one or more of the burners is on underneath

bracha/brocha/brachos - blessing(s)

bris - literally means "covenant," generally refers to male circumcision

challah - braided bread; traditionally eaten on Shabbos and Yom Tov

Chanukiyah - the nine-branched candelabrum used during Chanukkah

Chanukkah - the "Festival of Lights"; usually occurs in December and celebrates the re-dedication of the Beis HaMikdosh after its desecration by the Seleucids around 165 BCE

cholent - a stew that is generally eaten at Shabbos lunch; usually consists of barley, beans, meat, & potatoes

chupah - literally means "a canopy" or "a covering," generally refers to a white cloth, sheet or tallis supported by 4 poles which the bride and groom stand under during the wedding ceremony

CV"S - stands for chas v'shalom, generally used to mean "G-d forbid"

esrog - literally means "a yellow citron," generally refers to one of the four species that we shake on Sukkos

fleishig - anything made with meat or poultry (fish is NOT included)

frum - very Orthodox Jewish

gefilte fish - poached fish patties or balls made from a mixture of ground, de-boned fish; mostly common carp

hadass - literally means "a myrtle tree branch," generally refers to one of the four species that we shake on Sukkos

Hashem - G-d

Imahos - foremothers; Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel & Leah

IY"H - stands for Im Yirtzeh Hashem, which means "if it is G-d's will"

kashrus/kosher - Jewish dietary laws


kippa - Traditional head covering worn by a man; also called a yarmulke or skull cap

Kohen/pl. Kohanim - literally means "priest," generally refers to a Jew who is in direct patrilineal descent from the Biblical Aaron, the older brother of Moses, grandson of Levi

kol ha'neorim - literally means "all of the children," generally refers to the aliyah on Simchas Torah when all of the children in shul participate

Kosel HaMa'aravi - Western Wall of the Beis HaMikdosh; usually just referred to as The Kosel

kugel - casserole; can be made out of potatoes, noodles, vegetables, etc.

latkes - potato pancakes fried in oil; generally eaten on Chanukkah

Levi/pl. Leviim - literally means a "Levite," generally refers to a Jew who is a member of the Hebrew tribe of Levi (a direct patrilinial descendant from the Biblical Levi, son of Jacob)

lulav - literally means "a date palm frond," generally refers to one of the four species that we shake on Sukkos

mazal tov - literally means "good luck," generally meant as "congratulations"

Megillas Esther - the "Book of Esther," which tells the story of Purim

Menorah - the seven-branched candelabrum that was used in the Beis HaMikdosh

Mishloach Manot - bags of goodies that are traditionally given on Purim to friends and family

Mishna - the written form of the Oral Torah

mitzvah - commandment (NOT good deed)

pasuk - verse

patchkerai - a Yiddish word meaning something that is very difficult to make (i.e. has a lot of ingredients or steps and takes a long time)

Pesach - Passover; usually occurs in April and celebrates the Jews' Exodus from Egypt

pidyon ha-ben - literally means "redemption of the son," generally refers to the redemption of a first-born son 30 days after birth

Purim - a holiday that usually occurs in March and celebrates our being saved from Haman's plot to kill the Jews, the full story can be found in Megillat Esther

pru urvu - the commandment to "be fruitful & multiply"

Rabbi - literally means "my master," generally refers to a teacher or the head of a congregation

Rebbetzin - the Rabbi's wife

refuah sheleyma - literally means "a full healing," generally means "a complete recovery"

Rosh Hashana - Jewish New Year

Sanhedrin - literally means "council," generally refers to the supreme court of Ancient Israel, but can also refer to one of ten tractates of the Nezikin section of the Mishna which deals with damages (i.e. civil and criminal proceedings)

seder - literally means "order," generally refers to the ritual meal on the first and second night of Pesach (first night only in Israel)

Sefardi(c) - Jews descended from Western Europe, Africa & the Middle East

segulah - Can mean a sign, symbol, treasure, or portent; generally used to mean an action or an object that can lead to a desired outcome (for example drinking "segulah wine" can lead to becoming married)

Shabbos - Sabbath

shadchan - matchmaker

shalom zachor - literally means "hello male," it is a celebration that happens the first Friday night after a baby boy is born

shalosh seudos - literally means the "third meal" that's eaten on Shabbos; almost like supper

shaytel - a wig worn by Orthodox Jewish women after marriage as a head covering

Shema - literally means "hear," generally refers to the prayer Shema Yisroel or "Hear, O Israel" which is said three times a day (morning, evening and before bed).

shidduch/shidduchim - a match/matches made by a shadchan

Shmini Atzeres - literally means "the Eighth [day] of Assembly," generally refers to the holiday that comes immediately following Sukkos.

shul - synagogue

simcha/simchos - literally means "joy" or "happiness," generally refers to a happy occasion such as a wedding or birth of a baby

Simchas Torah - literally means "Rejoicing with/of the Torah," generally refers to the holiday that comes immediately following Shmini Atzeres (outside of Israel) or at the same time as Shmini Atzeres (in Israel); during this holiday we finish reading the end of the Torah and then start reading back at the beginning, and we dance around the shul with Torah scrolls

sufganiyot - fried jelly donuts; generally eaten on Chanukkah

Sukkos - literally means "Feast of Booths/Tabernacles," generally refers to the 7-day holiday when Jews eat all of our meals in small, outdoor huts and shake the four species (lulav, aravah, hadass and esrog)

tallis - a prayer shawl

Talmud Bavli - Babylonian Talmud; Rabbinic commentaries from Babylon on the Mishnah

Talmud Yerushalmi - Jerusalem Talmud; Rabbinic commentaries from Jerusalem on the Mishnah

Tehillim - Psalms

Torah - Hebrew Bible; the Written Torah is the Five Books of Moses, the Oral Torah is the Mishna

tzitzes - technically refers to the actual fringes tied to each corner of a tallis; generally refers to a small version of a tallis which is worn under a man's clothes

tznius - modest; it is used to describe both a character trait and a group of laws pertaining to conduct in general and especially between the sexes; many times it refers to modesty in dress (long sleeves, long skirts, high necklines)

V'Ahavta - literally means "And you shall love," generally refers to the prayer said immediately after the Shema

Yom Tov - Jewish holiday

Yom Kippur - Day of Repentance

zara chaya v'kayama - literally means "living and surviving seed," generally refers to the blessing of children

zechus - merit

Dictionary

Thanks for the feedback on having a Hebrew/Yiddish "dictionary" post/sidebar. There are SO many words on the list, so putting them all on the sidebar would be a bit much. So, I think what I'll do is have a few words on the sidebar and change it depending on what words I've used in the past week or so. I will also have a post with all the words with a link to it on the sidebar. I'll also link to that post in any post where I use words that need defining.

Torah Academy Chinese Auction

Every year the frum (that means Jewish & very Orthodox) K-8 day school has a Chinese Auction for its big fundraiser. I really love going to this event, so I got outa bed and went. No worries, I stayed off my feet for nearly the whole time and any time I did get up, someone would tell me to sit back down lol. This included the Rebbetzin (that means the Rabbi's wife) of my shul (that means synagogue) telling me that she saw me up by the desserts, that I should really be sitting down and she'd get me anything I needed. Now this is a huge deal because I was actually reprimanded once (not by her) for asking her to pass me something. You just don't ask the Rebbetzin to do some menial task for you--it's like the equivalent of asking Mrs. Obama if she might please pass you a napkin--so I was a bit taken aback. Anyhoo, I had already eaten my piece of cake and wasn't planning to have another, so I politely declined her offer in any case.

I also had a lot of people come up to me and congratulate me on being pregnant. The actual words that are generally said are NOT mazal tov, becuase we Jews are quite superstitious and do not wish actual congratulations until babies are born. Instead, we use the expression b'sha'a tova, which means "at a good time". Translated into proper English, we are expressing our hope that the babies are born healthy and at the proper time (ie not at 22 weeks!) :-) Anyways, two people stood out to me with the best reactions of the night. First there was a woman who is in her 60's. We've had Shabbos meals with her and her husband several times since we were married and she is an absolute doll. She comes up to me and says "is it true?? Is it true??" And I replied "yep". Then she got all excited wishing me b'sha'a tova. Second was a woman who's probably in her 30's who actually found out I was pregnant pretty early on. I was at her house for shalosh seudos (this literally means the "third meal" that's eaten on Shabbos, so you can think of it almost like supper) and sat there not eating anything and drinking only water. I wasn't nauseous, just not hungry AT ALL. I was there with a friend of mine who told her that I was newly pregnant so she'd understand why I wasn't eating. Anyway, she came up to me and asked if there was anything I needed since I'll be on bed rest for a while. During our conversation she asked me if I was having two boys, and I said I was having one of each. Well, she just about flipped out. She was so excited she could hardly contain herself. It was very cute. Now, there is a reason for this. (Wow, you guys are really getting a lesson in Judaism today!) In Judaism, the first commandment that was given in the Torah was "pru urvu", which means "be fruitful & multiply". This is not to be confused with the first of the Ten Commandments--"I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery". Anyways, there are a few different ways that the Rabbis said this mitzvah (commandment) can be fulfilled. One set of rabbis says that you must have at least one boy and one girl GRANDCHILD in order to complete this mitzvah. Another set, however, says that you have fulfilled the mitzvah once you've had one boy and one girl CHILD. So this is why the woman was all excited--because according to that set of rabbis, my husband fulfills this mitzvah all in one shot. Pretty cool, eh?

During the actual auction part of everything, I actually won something too! For those of you who don't know what a Chinese auction is, I will give you a definition taken from wikipedia: "A Chinese auction is a type of raffle (actually a combination of raffle and auction) that is typically featured at charity, church festival and numerous other events...The difference between a raffle and a Chinese auction is that in a raffle with multiple prizes, there is one "hat" from which names are drawn, but in a Chinese auction each prize has its own "hat". This allows ticket buyers to choose which prize to focus on, as opposed to having a first, second, third, etc. prize." For more info, check out wikipedia. Anyhoo, I had put in for a few different prizes, but I only won one of them. The prize I won was called "Handyman" and included 2 hours of handyman work (including carpentry & electric), 2 free oil changes, and a gift certificate to Home Depot. Not bad, eh? So even though I didn't win the $250 gift card to Toys R Us or the $500 gift card to Target, I'm happy. :-)

P.S. Do you want me to create a post with definitions to my commonly used Hebrew & Yiddish words & phrases? That way I don't need to be defining them all the time and you can go back and forth to look. Let me know via comment and I'll do it asap!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tag-a-Roo

I've been tagged by WiseGuy @ Woman Anyone?!!

The rules are:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about you.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end, and include links to their blogs.

Okee dokee...here goes!

1. I always dreamed of having twins (a boy and a girl specifically) ever since I was a little girl. I would pretend to give birth to twins and was absolutely fascinated if someone on tv had twins (well, I was fascinated that they gave birth at all, but especially twins). Looks like G-d listens to EVERYTHING! heh

2. I also remember thinking that I really didn't want to have a baby until Bush is out of office. G-d apparently is listening to my thoughts too. Hopefully He'll remember that that means no babies until after Jan 21, because I'll be about 27 weeks at that point.

3. My husband makes the best darned scrambled eggs w/ mushrooms & cheese in the world.

4. My hubby and I both love animals--especially cats. Unfortuntaely, we can't get one cuz my hubby is allergic.

5. I cannot stand the sound of people chewing. It drives me soooo up the wall that I actually wear ear plugs at some meals (but usually no one can tell I'm wearing 'em).

6. My husband does all of the domestic stuff around the house--grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc. And I make sure the bills are paid. I live the good life.

7. Even though I'm Jewish and most things revolving around Christmas drive me crazy, I love commercials that play in December. Most notably the one with the Hershey's Kisses that play "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" (which I actually cried during the first time I saw it this season), the Folger's commercial where the son comes home, and the Campbell's commercial with the little boy that melts from a snowman into a boy eating hot soup.


Here are the lovely ladies that I am tagging:

Jewels @ Empty Nesting
Lisa @ A Day in the Life of Preachmans Wife
Peeveme @ Bellyaching and Benedictions
Bean @ Hoping for Another Lovebug
Nancy @ TheNewLifeOfNancy
The Captain's Wife @ Staying Above the Water
Monica @ The World According to Monica

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ultrasound Update

My cervix is looking decent. It's still funneled/shortened to about 1.5 cm, but it's not open any further than the cerclage stitch (which is good). I started progesterone suppositories last Monday evening, so hopefully my cervix will stay where it is (or even get longer!)

Here are some cute 3D pics of the twins. The pics a bit blurry cuz the twins are still pretty small, but they have cute faces anyway. :-)

This is Baby A's pudgy face


This is a front view of Baby A's face with her arm out front


This is Baby A with her arm out front


This is Baby B's adorable face


This is Baby B covering his face with his arm


Here it looks like Baby B is leaning on his arm


That's all for today. Still resting--or at least trying to! :-)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Baby Kicks

Last night the hubby finally felt one of the babies kick! (We think it was Baby A...) I was reclining on the bed watching "The Biggest Loser" and Shmuel was doing a live CE course online so he can renew his pharmacy license. I could feel her doing laps around my uterus, so I grabbed his hand and put it on my belly. She kicked him right away and he looked at me all surprised as if I was keeping an alien in there. lol She kicked a few more times before I let his hand go back to taking notes. :-)

I have my next cervix check & prenatal appointment tomorrow (back to back) and hopefully everything will look great. I'm going to ask them if I can have a copy of the picture from last week when my cervix was hanging open just so I can show all of you bloggy readers what a cervix is not supposed to look like at 20 weeks. :-) (And hopefully I'll get a copy of what it looks like now to show the difference) Wish me luck!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Funny Story

I have the most amusing husband on the planet. This past Shabbos (Sabbath) some of our friends made food for us so he wouldn't have to cook on Friday. He picked up some dishes from a friend and they told him that it was chicken, kugel, and some gefilte fish. Now for some background on heating food for Shabbos. Because of certain restrictions on Shabbos, we use a blech over our burners so that we can put food on and take food off of the stove. The blech is basically a piece of metal that sits over the burners and gets warm when one or more of the burners is on underneath. Ok, so the hubby gets home with the food and puts all of the dishes on the blech (besides the fish) without checking inside first. Fast forward to dinner... We take the foil off of one of the dishes and there are cut vegetables inside (cucumbers, red & green peppers, tomatoes, carrots, etc) and there is steam rising from the dish. I look at my hubby and say, "was this supposed to be heated or eaten as a salad?" He looks at the veggies and then answers, "probably a salad." Whoops!! Luckily veggies are ok to be eaten steaming hot and then they were just as good the next day straight out of the fridge. :-) I guess he learned to always look under the foil at what you're heating up before you heat it. hehehe

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Belly Pic etc.

Yep...I lied and put the pic up on Friday. I had some extra time before Shabbos (the Sabbath) started, so I figured I'd get it out of the way. Enjoy!

My hubby went shopping tonight and got me a breakfast-in-bed tray that I'm using for my laptop and can also use to eat on. It's AWESOME and cost less than $15. Go Bed, Bath & Beyond for being reasonable. And we had one of their 20% off coupons too, so it made it even sweeter.

Some friends of mine in the community came to visit me during Shabbos. It was actually at their house that my hubby and I first met. Our 3rd anniversary of meeting was Thanksgiving weekend, and we have a tradition now to go to this family's house for Shabbos dinner as close to Thanksgiving as we can make it. We had planned to go this week, but since I can't make the walk, we had to cancel. They made food for us and my hubby picked it up so we could have it that night. Then the mom and one of the daughters came to see me during the day today to see how I was and just hang out for a little while. It was great!

My friend Melanie will probably come over on Tuesday to cut up the pumpkin that my mom brought for Thanksgiving. (Mom actually dressed it to look like a turkey for a centerpiece...) Melanie and I plan to gut the pumpkin and roast the seeds. It should be an awesome time. If we have extra time afterwards we may even get to play some Heroes...now that would rock!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

I was released from the hospital this morning--YAY! So now I'm home and resting. My bed is sooo comfy and my snoogle body pillow can fold into interesting shapes so I can get comfy in many different reclining positions. My hubby brought in the TV and my laptop, so I won't have to leave the bed too much. I'm allowed to get up to go to the bathroom and I'll have to get my own food when my hubby is at work, so I'm not totally immobile. The doc is even letting me go to my scheduled Infant CPR & First Aid classes this month. I'll have to see what to do about the other various and sundry things I have scheduled (such as a baby shower for a friend...). Basically, as long as I've rested all day and will be sitting down during wherever I'm going (and I won't be gone for more than a few hours) the doctors are ok with it--for now. But no going to work, no shopping trips, no cooking, no cleaning, no going out for Shabbos, etc.

A few other tidbits:

#1) I thought I was going to have gained 10lbs while at the hospital because of the fatty food I was being fed and the total lack of exercise, but I weighed myself when I got home and I don't think I gained anything. WOO HOO I guess you burn mega calories while surfing the web. ;-)

#2) Get this baby off my bladder! I have the urge to pee constantly. As soon as I get off of the toilet, I feel as though I have to go again. It's getting a bit rediculous. :-)

#3) I will get a belly pic up hopefully tomorrow night even though I'm already 20 1/2 weeks. Oh well, not much I can do about it!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Out of Surgery

I had the cerclage put in this morning, and let me tell you--it was SO not fun. First, I really didn't enjoy having the spinal put in. It just felt like it took forever for them to do it. It wasn't particularly painful, just long. Then, the feeling of having half of your body go numb is just WEIRD! You know the feeling when you've been sitting on your legs and they feel "asleep"? Well that's what it felt like except times 100 because you can't acually move any part of you that feels "asleep". I could feel a teeny bit of tingling when they would touch my legs, but I didn't feel anything they were doing around my cervix...and happily enough I still don't! Right now it's been about 3 hours since they put the spinal in, and the only thing still a bit funky feeling is my butt. Unfortunately it means I still can't get up because that's the section of your body that holds you up when you're on your feet. Bleargh.

Secondly, right after they put the spinal in and put me on my back, I started to feel nauseous...and then more nauseous...and then I threw up. ICK. Not only that, but I was totally on my back, and it's quite uncomfortable to be throwing up when you're on your back. Luckily, it's for this reason that they make sure you don't eat or drink for 8 hours before the surgery, so there was nothing really to throw up except a little bit of stomach bile. Not too bad.

Thirdly, after I was done being sick, it was difficult to breathe. I had to keep asking them to hold my head up a bit. The numbness from the spinal was inching up my stomach and because I was on my back, the babies were sitting on my aorta. That coupled with the fact that I'm anemic (which causes me to be out of breath) made it very difficult to breathe, so I was starting to feel a bit dizzy and faint. I didn't faint, thank G-d, but I was just waiting until I could finally sit up straight so the blood would be able to flow properly and the numbness would leave my upper body.

So there you have it. Spinals are no fun at all, but at least the whole procedure took less than 1/2 an hour (even though to me it felt like ages longer). The doctor says that "nothing's coming out of that cervix" (lol), so that's a very good sign that the cerclage itself went well. Now, I would do anything to make sure these babies are born healthy and at the right time (many, many weeks from now), but I would rather never have to do that again. I think I'll skip the epidural during labor and pray like heck that I don't need a C-Section! :-D

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bed Rest & Cerclage

I went in for my cervix check ultrasound yesterday. They looked at the twins first, and then they went to look at my cervix. Holy cow. I took one look at the screen and was like "that's REALLY not supposed to look like that!!" Basically, instead of my cervix looking like a closed fist (the way it's supposed to), it looked like a funnel (ie half open). WHOOPS! So the doctor is putting me on progesterone suppositories and admitted me into the hospital for observation and a cerclage. So far I'm not contracting, which is excellent, but I do have to stay lying down most of the time. And I'm not going back to work either--it's modified bed rest for me. :-) At least I can get up to use the bathroom!!! Whew! Luckily the hospital has wireless internet, so my hubby brought me my laptop. Now I won't go crazy from boredom! I have books, tv and my computer; and the nurses bring me my meals...who needs to get out of bed?? :-D The main drawback is the fact that the bed is not *so* comfortable, so sleeping is a bit tough, but I have my earplugs and a face mask which helps immensely. I will keep everyone updated!

P.S. This also means that my 20 week bump picture is going to have to wait until I get out of the hospital. Oh well!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Anemia

My OB tested my blood for anemia at my last appointment (and at my own personal request). And, guess what, my hemoglobin is low! (Biiig shocker there lol) I've always been borderline anemic, so pregnancy is definitely taking a toll. She wants me to start taking iron twice a day, but I do need to check on dosing. When I asked how many milligrams, the nurse said "aren't they all the same?" Well, I checked and they're not all the same. So I'll be calling them tomorrow to find out. *sigh* My blogger friend Nancy has a post today about pooping while giving birth, but I won't have to worry about that if I'm on iron twice a day because I doubt I'll ever be able to poop again!!!! hehehehe Just kidding. I am allowed to take a stool softener, but who knows if it will work. I guess we'll see!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Not Much

Nothing really doing. My mom and her boyfriend were here for Thanksgiving and the weekend. Thanksgiving dinner went well even though there were nearly no carbs on the table. :-) They left a few hours ago, and I hope they are having a dry trip home.

Even with watching what I'm eating I still seem to be gaining too much weight and it's driving me batty. *sigh* What am I going to do? As much as I hate exercising, I wish the docs would let me do something because I'm sure as heck not burning enough calories. It doesn't really work to eat 2000 calories a day and be sedentary--even when you're pregnant with twins. Well, at least I'll be able to exercise when I'm breastfeeding and hopefully I'll be able to lose the baby weight (and thensome).

I must say this is really obnoxious, though. I thought I would be able to stop thinking about my weight when I got pregnant, and now it's all I think about because I'm terrified of gaining 75+ pounds during this pregnancy. It's just making me miserable!! :-(

Thursday, November 27, 2008

OB Appt

In all of my craziness, I forgot to tell everyone about the OB appointment from last Tuesday. I gained WAY too much weight--again--so the doc wants me to cut out carbs. No carbs? That means no pumpkin pie, no stuffing, no cookies, no fun. :-P But hey, I'd rather cut out carbs and not finish this pregnancy at 200+ lbs, you know? So it's gotta be protein, fruits, veggies, dairy, etc. Seriously, I want to go in two weeks from now and not have gained a pound (maybe even have lost a few). It's gotten waaaaay out of hand, so even though you're not supposed to diet while pregnant, seems like I have to diet anyway. lol

Now before you all jump on me and say "BUT YOU CAAAAN'T DO THAT!" let me remind you that from Sept 10 to Nov 25 I gained nearly 20 lbs. Yes, thats right--20. And for someone who was already 35 lbs overweight when she started this pregnancy, gaining 20 lbs at the beginning of 2nd trimester is unreal (and disgusting). The vaaaast majority of that is fat, not baby, not amniotic fluid, not uterus and not placenta. The babies weigh less than 1 lb each, so if you add up two babies with all their extras, they probably weigh a total of 4-5 lbs together. And even if you factor in a pound or so of extra blood volume, it still doesn't come close. I don't need the extra fat lol. So, I gotta get rid of some of it while still making sure the babies are well fed. Trust me, if I go back in for my next OB appt and am 2 lbs lighter, I don't think the doctor will frown at me.

Aside from the weight gain, both babies are doing great. Awesome heartbeats and a closed up cervix. Woo hoo! We have another ultrasound in a week and another doctor's appointment in two weeks, so we'll get more fun baby updates then. In the mean time, have a piece of pumpkin pie for me!!!! :-)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving

My mom and her boyfriend are coming to visit for Thanksgiving weekend...we waited until the last minute to buy food...turkey takes too long to thaw...so hubby bought chicken with no recipe in mind...so now he's going BACK out to the supermarket to buy something so we can make a chicken recipe (mind you it's almost 11pm). *sigh* While at the supermarket, he called to ask if I could find him a salmon recipe when he couldn't find turkey, but then he found turkey and I told him to call my mom to ask if she wanted us to make it. He didn't call me to even mention he was going to get chicken, and since NOTHING is open tomorrow, he stormed back out the door to get an ingredient we need for the chicken recipe. Honestly!! Why couldn't he have just called me to say he was getting chicken?? He does this all the time and it's starting to get on my nerves. He could save a lot of gas mileage by calling me right before he checks out so I know what he's bringing home. Since it's hard for me to walk, I can't always go shopping with him, but if it means he's going to have to go back (and cause us to both lose sleep), then I should just suck it up and go shopping with him. But when I go on bed rest, I won't be able to go shopping with him... Grumble.

Fast forward 10 minutes: Just got off the phone with the hubby. He actually called me from the supermarket to make 100% sure there was nothing else we needed. So we went through the menu and he even found some fruits that weren't at the first place he went to. So it shouldn't be a total loss. And he gets bonus points too--I just called him again to tell him to get several cans of stewed tomatoes (that's what he went back for) and he said "I've got 4". Heh...he's a smart man.

Now that that's settled, I can be thankful for things. :-)

1) Very thankful for my wonderful hubby who does go shopping and lets me stay home to relax. I'm so very glad that I married him.

2) Incredibly thankful to Hashem (that's G-d for those of you non-Jews out there) for giving me two miracles who are snuggled away in my tummy for the next few months.

3) Especially thankful for my family (mom, sister, mom-in-law, several sibling-in-laws, and of course Grandpa Irv) for always being supportive and loving.

4) Thankful that my husband and I actually have jobs in this stinky economy that allow us to pay our mortgage, buy groceries and pay various other bills.

5) Thankful that my family and I are all pretty healthy with no serious problems that would cause me to worry. (Grandpa Irv really needs to stop scaring us...I gotta save all my worry for the twins.) :-D

6) Ginormously thankful for my two best friends, David & Melanie, without whom I would just go crazy. David-because I can talk politics with him and not find myself in an argument. Because he always has and always will make me laugh with his antics. Melanie-because with her I can still play violent computer games (Heroes III & Baldur's Gate) and kill zombies whenever I want. Because she'll go see movies with me that no one else would (Prince Caspian, Wall-E, etc.). And because I can say whatever I want to either of them and not be worried about being offensive or crossing "the line".

7) Thankful for all of my other IRL (in real life) friends, bloggie friends, and alllll of my readers out there. Without you guys, I wouldn't know what to do with myself. And I certainly wouldn't have kept blogging if I didn't know someone was out there reading all of it.

8) Thankful that this holiday means I get a day off from work!!! W00t!

I can't come up with anything else, but I think you get the point. :-) Happy Turkey Day! Don't forget to have some stuffing for me!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Prematurity Awareness

Have you signed the March of Dimes' Petition for Preemies?? Go sign and tell everyone you know to do the same. Post on your blog and/or send out a mass email. This is sooooo important, so do it now!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Funny Story

I have a very funny story about the name we picked for our little boy. One of the people I told is my best guy friend from college. We talk online nearly every day and generally once a week on the phone. We never dated, but we're very close friends. In any case, my son's first name will probably be the same as my friend's, so I wanted to warn him not to be shocked when we name the baby. I explained why we chose that particular name and then told him the middle name as well. And my friend goes "So you're naming him after me?" I replied "Not quite...what's your middle name??" And of course he replies that it's the same as we picked for Baby B. Luckily he is honored and not offended, even though it was 100% by accident. I did know deep down in my subconscious what his middle name was, but it didn't occur to me until he said it. Heh So I guess my best friend and my first born son will have the same name. Go figure! :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

We Picked

We chose names for our twins, but they are always subject to change depending on our mood or if anything tragic (G-d forbid) happens between now and April. Sorry, but we're not telling. :-) It's another Jewish tradition that the names aren't publicized until the babies are officially named (at the boy's bris/circumcision and at the girl's naming). Obviously we'll fill out birth certificates before then, but no one except my immediate family (and one or two of my really best friends) will know the names. But I just wanted everyone to know that the controversy is over and everyone is happy. Yay for compromising!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Names

My hubby and I are in a quandry about what to name our twins. In Jewish (Ashkenaz) custom, we only name after people who have passed away, and although some people choose not to name after anyone, this is not what we would like to do. Our twins will have Hebrew names--possibly translating into English depending on the name. For example, my name is Elana in both Hebrew and English--there's no translation. But my husband's name is Shmuel in Hebrew, which translates to be Samuel in English. It all depends on the name picked. Anyhoo, both of our father's passed away in 2005, and we would like to name after both of them, but one of our babies is female and it wouldn't look nice naming her Isaac/Yitzchok or Daniel. Isaac doesn't have a female equivalent and I don't really like the names Danielle or Daniella. Thus, we are in a situation. We're trying to come up with possibilities, but if we want to keep the first letters the same, there aren't lots of choices. I came up with two female names beginning with the letter D and five that begin with Y...not all of them are great either lol. So this is what we're going to spend the next 4 months figuring out... :-) Maybe I should take my best friend's advice and name someone Baruch after our next president. HAHAHA Actually, I would use Baruch or Bracha as a name but only because it means blessed--and these babies are so much of a blessing for us that it is definitely in consideration, but only for that reason!!!

In other news, my doctor says I do not have UTI! YAY!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

100th Post!

I crammed a whole bunch of posts in the last few days so I could have my 100th post be really awesome. I had my BIG ultrasound today, so I'm posting pictures from that and we'll finally get to see actual genders. I also updated my belly pic, so you can check that out on the side bar as well.

The ultrasound went great--both babies have all necessary body parts (brain, nose, 2 arms, 2 legs, 2 hands, 2 feet, stomach, kidneys, etc.) and they're all looking good. Baby A's heartrate was 150bpm and Baby B's heartrate was 161bpm. Now for the pictures!!

First is Baby A's profile


Next is Baby B's profile


This is a cute picture of Baby B with his arms covering his face


This is a really neat photo of Baby B's right hand


And...what you've all been waiting for..."the goods"...

Baby A is
A GIRL!!!!

Baby B is
A BOY!!!!

So there you have it. I was right all along--it's one of each! :-D

Monday, November 17, 2008

Found It!

Thanks to some l33t google searching, I found a mathematical equation that gives twin premature survival rates. P(m) = (375 x P(s)) / (275 + P(s)) with P(m) being the survival rate for multiples and P(s) being the survival rate for a singleton pregnancy. As you will see, the rate of survival for multiples is very slightly higher than for singletons even though they may have a smaller birth weight. I will do the math for you and make a chart!

21 weeks or less: 0% single & multiple
22 weeks: 0-10% single / 0-13% multiple
23 weeks: 10-35% single / 13%-42% multiple
24 weeks: 40-70% single / 47%-76% multiple
25 weeks: 50-80% single / 57%-84% multiple
26 weeks: 80-90% single / 84%-92% multiple
27 weeks: > 90% single / > 92% multiple

These are all rounded down to the nearest percent. It is true that there have been babies born at 21 weeks and earlier that have survived, but the rate is so very low that it's not really measurable. This is why I have kept it at 0%. These rates also depend a lot on weight of the baby/babies at birth. A lower weight baby is going to have a far smaller chance of survival than a higher weight baby born at the same gestational age. They've also shown that female babies have a higher rate of survival than male babies born at the same gestational age. How far has science come!

Chart

As Nancy so aptly pointed out, the previous post is a chart for singleton births. I'm still searching for a twin chart and will post it when I find it. Btw, Nancy, did you know that if you google search "gestational age survival rate", your blog post is on the first page? :-)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Survival Rate by Gestational Age

My blogger friend Nancy posted this chart a while back, and I want to have it for my own records. It's a great chart and I encourage everyone to make a copy for themselves.

There are more detailed charts out there, but this one is nice and basic.

Advances in medical care have made it possible for many premature infants to survive and develop normally. However, whether or not a premature infant will survive is still intimately tied to his or her gestational age:

21 weeks or less: 0% survival rate
22 weeks: 0-10% survival rate
23 weeks: 10-35% survival rate
24 weeks: 40-70% survival rate
25 weeks: 50-80% survival rate
26 weeks: 80-90% survival rate
27 weeks: greater than 90% survival rate

(note: many charts simply list the first number. This one gives a better range.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I am the AWESOMEST

I do matchmaking for a website called SawYouAtSinai. For those of you who are not Jewish, let me explain. For many Orthodox Jews, people are still matched by parents, matchmakers and friends before going on dates. There are lots of Jewish dating websites out there, but this is the only one where a matchmaker has to set you up before you can see the other person's profile. There's no searching on your part--it's all 3rd party. I know that when most people hear "matchmaking" they're thinking Fiddler on the Roof and not meeting your spouse until the wedding day. That just doesn't happen in Judaism any more. People are set up, they go on dates, and if they're not compatible, they end it--if they are compatible, then they go on more dates. Some people date for a month and get engaged, some for three months, some for longer (generally, the more Orthodox you are, the less time you spend dating the person before getting engaged and the less time there is between engagement and the wedding). In any case, I just made my first official shidduch (match) on the website!! Oh, I've had many people go on dates since I first started matching with them 2 years ago, but no engagements--until now!! The man is a 40-year-old who has never been married before and the woman is a 30-year-old widow. I'm soooo happy for them and wish I could make it to the wedding. Unfortunately it's on a Tuesday night in December, and I don't have any more vacation days. Nor do I want to drive to NYC all by myself... Anyways, this makes me the awesomest!

No news back from the doctor on my possible UTI--but I will be calling them on Monday to get results and see what has to be done.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

ER

I went to the ER last night (sorry I didn't tell you when we were on the phone, Mom, but I didn't want you worrying needlessly on your birthday...) :-) Anyhoo, I'm fine, babies are fine. I went because I was having the most bizarre cervical pain. Like someone was pinching it. So I called the doc on call and he said that since it's twins that I should come in. So I did! My cervix was beautiful and so are the babies, but they checked my urine and think I have a UTI! We're still waiting for the cultures to come back with a definite "you are sick and need antibiotics" or "you're not sick and will be just fine". But in the mean time, I'm not in any danger nor do I have any awful UTI symptoms (THANK G-D!). I also want to give a big A+ to the doctors at St. Elizabeth's (where I plan to deliver). I was in and out of there in 2 1/2 hours, was treated with respect and the best bed-side manner I've ever seen.

While at the ER, though, I heard THE FUNNIEST LINE EVER!! So if you're pregnant and pee when you laugh (or sneeze...or breathe), please get a Depends pad ready. Right, so the guy in the room next to mine was having some problem with his foot and the nurse was asking him all sorts of questions. Finally, she asked him "has it been x-rayed"? And he replies "I've had so many x-rays, I'm surprised I don't glow in the dark!" Tee hee. I could just picture him glowing in the dark!!!

If I wasn't convinced that I was pregnant before, I'm definitely convinced now. I generally don't eat chicken. Not because I feel bad for them or anything, but because I just don't like the taste. I've been craving chicken for days. Unfortunately, kosher chicken is rediculously expensive so I can't possibly have it all the time. I bought some chicken to make Tuesday dinner (and give some to my friend who just had a baby) and ate a whole piece on Tuesday night and another whole piece on Wednesday night. For me this is huge...I almost NEVER eat a whole piece of chicken!! LOL Well, if all the ultrasounds and feeling baby movements wasn't convincing enough, this surely is. :-D

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Birthing Class

So here's where you get to know Elana more than you thought possible...

I enrolled in a birthing class today. Now for the background story. :-) When I was a kid, I was always fascinated by pregnancy and childbirth, but also completely embarrased by it. I could watch the same footage of someone on a TV show giving birth (completely fake, of course) a zillion times, but I'd be rediculously embarrased if someone was watching with me or if someone "caught" me watching it. It's not like I was watching pornography, but it still felt weird. Anyhoo, if someone else was in the room, I couldn't even watch someone on TV in a birthing class without my face getting all red! So now you know how I feel about this. I'm terrified that I'm going to be all embarrased just being in a birthing class with my hubby! Heck, I'm terrified that I'm going to be embarrased giving birth in front of anyone--hubby, nurses, even the doctor. So I'm all excited to be going to a real birthing class (where I probably know all the info anyway from watching all those tv shows and reading everything in sight), but I'm also embarrased that I'm even signed up. lol Maybe I should just stay home and give birth by myself in the bathtub. :-) I'm a weirdo, but that's why you love me!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ebay Shopping Spree

I had some fun on Ebay and bought a few things for myself at much cheaper prices than I'd ever find in a store. There are two more things I have on my watch list, but these are the things I bought in the last few days...

First is a black skirt with sparkly gold stripes


Next is a pink and white blouse


This is a pretty black dress with some kind of flower design


And finally, this is a brown dress


All things with long sleeves, most with high necklines--and those with lower necklines can be worn with a shirt underneath, and the skirts safely below the knee!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Award

I got a bloggy award thanks to my good friend Blue @ Operation Offspring!! :-)

Answer the following questions with single word responses. Then pass on the award to 7 other bloggers:

1. Where is your cell phone? Next to me
2. Where is your significant other? Work
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? Rochester
5. Your father? Heaven
6. Your favorite thing? Sleep
7. Your dream last night? Bizarre
8. Your dream/goal? Motherhood
9. The room you’re in? Den
10. Your hobby? Reading
11. Your fear? Death
12. Where do you want to be in six years? Right here
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you’re not? Submissive
15. One of your wish list items? Baby
16. Where you grew up? Rochester
17. The last thing you did? Feed Guinea Pigs
18. What are you wearing? PJs
19. Your T.V.? Days of our Lives
20. Your pet? Guinea Pigs
21. Your computer? Ancient
22. Your mood? Happy
23. Missing someone? Pookie
24. Your car? Small
25. Something you’re not wearing? Shaytel
26. Favorite store? Wegmans
27. Your Summer? Too hot
28. Love someone? Absolutely
29. Your favorite color? Blue
30. When is the last time you laughed? Yesterday
31. Last time you cried? Don't remember

Right, so I didn't do so well on using single words, but it's difficult to do that! :-) Anyhoo, here are the people whose blogs I absolutely love (trying to avoid people who already have this award...)

1) Shauna @ Serendipity Lost
2) Sherry @ Sherry's World
3) Molly @ The Logical Mommy
4) Margelina @ What a Long Strange Trip I'm On
5) Cate @ Why is it Always So Cold Next to the Lake?
6) Murgdan @ Conceive This!
7) Fuentes @ Life at 335

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mazal Tov!

One of my IRL friends here had a baby girl on Friday!! She had been thinking it was a boy, but I had had a dream (waaay back before even I got pregnant) that I was playing with three babies--twin boy & girl, who were mine, and another baby girl, who I assumed to be my friend's. Well, I was right and she was wrong. :-D I believe both mother and baby are doing well and hope to see them within a day or so (they live about 5 houses down the street). The poor thing was in labor for 29 hours--half at home with a doula and the other half in the hospital so she could get an epidural. I know she wanted to go natural (as do I), but even I would be begging for something if my labor dragged on like that!

Other than that, nothing's been happening. My belly almost always feels like it's stretching...and it's totally unconfortable. For those non-preggo's and males out there, you know what it feels like after Thanksgiving dinner when you KNOW you've eaten WAAAY too much and your bellly feels like it's going to explode? Yeah, that's the feeling 24/7 over here. :-) Not complaining, as I'll take any symptom pregnancy brings me, just stating a fact. Also been having some trouble sleeping...like I just can't get comfortable on my left side and I REALLY want to sleep on my back. I tried to prop myself up a bit, but by the time I woke up in the morning, I think I'd been sleeping nearly flat on my back for hours. WHOOPS! Oh well, not much I can do about it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bed Rest

I had some questions about why I was talking about bed rest. Firstly, I am not currently on bed rest (although I wish I was confined to the house so I didn't have to go to work...) :-) Secondly, my OB as well as every Perinatologist I've seen have all told me that I will be going on bed rest at some point...most likely around 6 months. There are a few reasons why--#1) Because it's twins (duh) #2) Because it's an IVF pregnancy and therefore even higher risk than twins that occur naturally #3) Because I'm a small person and we don't know how my cervix is going to react to the double pressure of twin babies once we get further along. Rather than risk my cervix opening prematurely, they want me to be on bed rest in order to try to avoid it.

In other news, I'd go into the horrific day I had at work today, but I'd rather not talk about it...it just pisses me off. I am, however, very happy about Barack Obama being elected president, so that makes it a little better. :-)

I do believe I'm starting to feel little kicks as well as movements. This morning I woke up with my hubby's alarm for a bathroom break and felt a kick while I was on my way to the bathroom. I actually said "oof" out loud. lol I can't wait to feel more of them!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Belly Button and other things

When I was in high school, I was convinced that my belly button was "unfolding". Yes, I was a bizarre child, but I seriously thought it was just going to come apart. Now, I know it's not unfolding, but it's definitely getting shallower. :-)

I follow a lot of blogs, and today I read something that I really want to share. My blogger friend Nancy has one post today about childhood vaccinations and another about the flu shot. I think everyone should read them (especially those who are nervous about vaccinating their children or even themselves). Thank you Nancy!!

In other news, I'm 16 weeks today!! I'm just recharging the batteries for my digital camera and then I'll upload my newest belly pic. It's definitely getting bigger and sometimes I can feel it stretching, and BOY does it hurt! But I'll take it! I've also had some headaches for the last few days, so hopefully those will go away soon. I also voted today, and I hope everyone else has done the same!

I did go maternity shopping last Sunday and bought a winter jacket, a black blouse and 3 bras. Holy cow I'm so happy about those bras. I'd been wearing regular ones 24 hours a day and they were starting to get small. I don't actually think my boobs have gotten any bigger, but my ribcage/chest has. So I'm one size up for chest, but the same cup size. That makes a huge difference in comfort, though! I had actually given myself a sore under my boob and it hurt like mad! Now I have a bra that is specifically for sleeping and two other ones that I can wear during the day.

Today I had the second blood draw for my Sequential Screen, so I will hopefully find out the results of that next week at my OB appointment. And the Big Ultrasound is two weeks from today!!! My sister and brother-in-law are coming in for it, so I'm really psyched to see them too. Then, my mom and her boyfriend are probably coming to visit for Thanksgiving, so that will round out November nicely. I'm going to get spoiled seeing my family so much! But after November I probably won't see anyone again until the babies arrive, unless I get visitors while on bed rest.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Yikes!

Well, this has been a really dull week. It's already Saturday night and I haven't posted a thing since Tuesday. Whoops on me! So, here's the scoop.

One of my IRL (in real life) preggo friends is in the hospital--not pregnancy related, thank G-d. I won't go into any more detail than that because it's quite personal. She actually referred me to my current OB (who is AWESOME). I visited my friend on Wednesday evening and ran into my OB on my way out (she was on her way in to visit my friend). It was very funny. This friend also has a guinea pig who I am pig-sitting. I have 2 guinea pigs, so the humans in my household are currently outnumbered by guinea pigs...

I'm planning to go maternity clothes shopping tomorrow as I find that 4 outfits just don't work when there are 7 days in a week... I have a $100 gift card to Motherhood Maternity, so I'm psyched for a spree!! (Thank you mypoints.com)

I can't believe I'm going to be 16 weeks on Tuesday. I'm going in for the 2nd part of my sequential screen that day. The sequential screen is like the triple/quad screen except they test you twice...once at 12 weeks and once at 16 weeks. They then use those results combined with the neuchal translucency to give you the chances of your baby/babies having Down's Syndrome, Trisomy 13 or Trisomy 18. I'm not particularly worried seeing as the NT values for both babies were very low. (Both under 1mm) And my age works for me even though my husband's age is working against. And then I can go vote!! Man, Tuesday is going to be a big day.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I'm so boring

Sorry for the lack of posts, but I haven't done anything *so* interesting in the last few days. I had a doctor's appointment yesterday--I gained 7 pounds in the last 3 weeks ICK! I think it was due to the Jewish holidays and rediculous amounts of unhealthy, fattening food. But, what can you do. I just have to watch myself to gain weight, but not go overboard. My fundal height is 20cm, which is equivalent to about 20 weeks in a singleton pregnancy and is perfect for where I am in my twin pregnancy (15 weeks). The babies heartbeats are going strong, and I can definitely feel them moving around in there. It's kinda creepy, actually. lol

I also got a flu shot. If you are pregnant or TTC, PLEASE go get a flu shot!! Some doctors don't want you to get one during 1st trimester, which is why I suggest it to my TTCers as well. If you have some time to go before you hit 2nd tri, definitely ask the doc what you should do. The flu is NOT FUN and isn't good for your baby either. And the immunization is safe!!

This past Sunday I spent all day with my friend Melanie--first playing an awesome computer game and then watching "Iron Man" with her and her family. Movie was ok, but I would rather have spent those 2 1/2 hours playing more of the computer game. lol I'm such a NERD!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Grosgrain Mini Store

While wandering around blog-land, I discovered Grosgrain Mini Store. This person does giveaways and is opening an online clothing store for children. Best part is, her stuff is tznius (modest) and could be worn (in a few years) if I have a daughter!!! I LOVE IT! Go check them out!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ultrasound

The ultrasound today went very well. They didn't take CRL measurements because the ultrasound was mainly to check my cervix, but I did get good pictures of the twins. :-)

This is a picture of Baby A


This is one of Baby B's profile


Here you can see Baby A from a side view--check out that arm! (You can even see the little one's right ear if you look closely!)


Here baby A is covering his/her ear with his/her hand


Here you can see Baby A sucking his/her thumb


Here's a front shot of Baby B...his hand is near his mouth, or maybe wiping his nose haha


And here you can also see Baby B sucking his thumb


In case you didn't notice my captions, we did find out that Baby B is a boy!! The jury is still out about Baby A, but I personally think it's a girl--because we just didn't see the same...errr...appendage on Baby A. :-)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

14 weeks!

Sorry that I've been so out of touch, but there were more Jewish holidays! From Monday night to Tuesday night was Shmini Atzeres and Tuesday night to Wednesday night was Simchas Torah. I won't go into details, but it basically meant I couldn't post updates. :-) In any case, I did just update my belly pic and tomorrow I have another ultrasound, so hopefully I'll get pictures from that to post as well.

One thing I forgot to tell you about my ultrasound from last Friday is that they found that Baby A's placenta is previa. Only the very edge of it is covering the cervix, which means that as the babies and my uterus grows, Baby A's placenta should move up higher in the uterus and not be covering the cervix at all by the time they are ready to be born.

I have definitely been feeling the twins the last few days (which shows me that I am right in saying I've been feeling them since 12 weeks, because it's the same feeling except more often and with other feelings as well). One of them was dancing around last night while I was at synagogue watching the men dance and sing, so I guess that baby felt a bit left out and wanted to dance. This morning they were both active during the Torah reading, which was very cute. :-)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

2nd Trimester

The most conservative opinion as to when 2nd trimester begins is 13w 4d (today). So, I am now 100% officially in 2nd trimester (even though I've been assuming 2nd trimester status since 12 weeks lol)!!! WOO HOO!

I had an impromptu ultrasound yesterday, because I felt some pressure on my cervix and wanted to get it checked out pronto. Because it was impromptu, I didn't get any pictures or official measurements. All I can say is that my cervix is beautiful--not thinning nor opening and the babies are growing beautifully. Baby A is measuring a day behind (as he/she has been pretty much the whole time, so no surprise there) and Baby B is measuring 5 days ahead (yeesh). I've decided that Baby A has my genes and Baby B has my hubby's...I'm only 4'11", so the baby who's measuring ahead can't possibly be taking after me. lol

And the funny comment of the day was made by me during my ultrasound yesterday. I was looking at the screen and wondering why there was this HUGE bulge that seemed to be squishing one of the twins. So I nervously asked the ultrasound tech what on earth was bulging in my uterus, fearing there was something horrible in there...her answer? The baby's placenta. :-) Heh whoops! Guess I'd better stick to my day job.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Give Some Love

Please head over and give my friend Blue some love. She just found out that one of her twins stopped growing around 11 weeks (she's now about 13 weeks). Thank G-d the other twin is healthy, but it is still a loss and still very sad.

In other news, I think I'm starting to feel the twins bouncing around in there. Every few days (starting around 12 weeks) I feel this buzzing or vibrating sensation inside my belly/pelvis. I wasn't sure the first few times, but after asking women who've been pregnant before (and of course the fact that it's now happened at least 4 times...), I'm pretty sure it must be the babies. :-)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Belly Pics

I finally found the cable for my digital camera, so I uploaded my 12 week picture. You can see it under the baby widgets on the right-hand side of this page. If you click on the picture, it will take you to a webpage with progressive pictures--although right now it only has the one picture. :-) Enjoy!!!

P.S. Thank you to Margelina for specifically requesting this. It got me off of my tush to go looking for the cable this morning.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ultrasound Pics

I actually got my scanner to work!!! So here are the pictures of Peanut Butter and Jelly for all to see...

First is a picture of Baby A's measurement (perfect for 12 weeks)


Next is, of course, Baby B's measurement (measuring ahead at 12w 4d)


This is a cute 3D picture of Baby A. You can see the head towards the middle of the picture and a hand right below it.


This is an even better 3D picture of Baby B. You can see the whole face, although it's covered by his/her hands! :-)


Here I am speculating about Baby A's gender. Baby A is the one on the right, and I believe it's looking right at the butt with his/her legs in the air. If so, I don't see any evidence of "boy parts" in between this baby's legs...


And now we can speculate about Baby B's privates. :-) Baby B is the one on the bottom. And you can clearly see this baby's face, so we know we're looking right between the legs. Do you see what I see??? Baby B has something that Baby A doesn't... Possibly "boy parts"??


In other news, my mom, her boyfriend and I went to Babies R Us to start registering for stuff for the twins, so I'll add a link to the registry on the right side of the page. More (less expensive) stuff will be added soon, but we concentrated on the "big stuff" today.

My mom also had the strangest thing happen, that I really must relate to you all. There is an amazing woman that lives in Rochester. Her husband is Rabbi H, one of the teachers at Hebrew School I went to and I always LOVED his classes. Mrs. H says tehillim (Psalms) every day for people who are sick, looking for a spouse, trying to have children, etc. She also is know to have a direct connection to G-d. Now I always thought this was a bit of a joke, but I'm convinced of it now. She knew that we had been trying to get pregnant and she had been saying tehillim for me for a while. She left my mother a message on her answering machine the other day that basically said "Elana's going to get pregnant and she's going to have twins". Now, there is no way that she would have gotten this information from any human...she doesn't have much contact with anyone except G-d! And you have to be really, really positive to leave that kind of message for someone. My mother called her back and basically said "Well, Mrs. H, you're right!" lol How spooky?!?!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Yom Kippur

Today was Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Repentance. It's a day when people generally spend the entirety of it at the synagogue praying for forgiveness and promising full repentance for all of their sins. Besides this, you are required to fast for the entire day...25 hours total. This isn't something that I can do even when I'm not pregnant, and especially not now that I am pregnant. So I asked the Rabbi what to do--seeing as my doctor basically told me that I'm not allowed to fast, but the punishment from G-d for not fasting the whole day is basically death. Now, there are allowances for people who are sick--because G-d really doesn't want you to die from fasting. If you seriously think you will die, you are allowed to eat without punishment from G-d. But most of the time, people do not become deathly ill from fasting for 25 hours. Women who have recently given birth (from beginning of labor until a week after the baby is born) are completely excused from the fast. Pregnant women, however, generally aren't. In any case, there are ways to get around the Jewish definition of "eating" (provided you have permission from your Rabbi to do this...). If you eat less than 1 oz. of food at least 9 minutes apart, you technically didn't eat. If you drink less than half a mouthful of liquid at least 9 minutes apart, you technically didn't drink anything. You can do this all day (as I did), never get hungry or thirsty and make sure that the babies are well nourished. I still got a headache, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been, and I don't have to worry that I was starving the twins. :-) So, I stayed home all day instead of going to the synagogue, and my husband did the praying. According to the Rabbis, fasting on Yom Kippur is way more important than going to synagogue and praying, so the fact that I could make it through the whole day without technically eating or drinking, meant that I did the right thing. Had I tried to fast, gone to synagogue, and then had to break it in the middle, that would have been much, much less preferable. I made it!!