Twin Pregnancy Log – Weeks 33 through 36

Week 33: For Father’s Day (Sunday, June 18th) Travis spent the entire day shopping for the last few baby items we need for the twins. We went to Buy Buy Baby to get our 10% discount off of registry items and bought the big Uppababy Vista double stroller, plus a new Clek Foonf car seat, a baby carrier, and a few other necessities. We also went to the Subaru dealership to look at buying a car. We haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but are planning to get an Outback and just cram three car seats in the back seat. It is possible. We measured. The new car seat we bought is Canadian and supposed to be the thinnest available. I am a little worried about needing more car space, but we also have to worry about fitting the car in our tiny Brooklyn driveway and garage, and driving it all over the crowded city. It is stressful.

shopping on fahter's day

I am giant. My hands and feet are nearly always swollen now, and I really think my face and legs are, too… but maybe that is just an excuse for looking so bloated. I am still gaining weight and have well surpassed my previous pregnancy max. I know it is totally expected, but it is still hard. The babies could still gain 3 lbs each before they are born! And that is just the babies. I will still probably only gain 40-45 lbs for the whole pregnancy, which really isn’t bad. I am at about 33 lbs gained now (Tuesday, June 20th) but gaining two pounds per week. It all depends on when I deliver…

This is probably TMI, but my milk (colostrum) is coming in. I also have a very, very slight “linea nigra,” the dark line that runs down a pregnant belly. I didn’t get one at all with Ken’s pregnancy, so I guess that the extra hormones from carrying two babies is affecting everything. I also feel like any dark spots on my skin are a lot worse, and I am collecting new ones. I think I have some on my face that would count as chloasma. Sensitive skin and dark spots are all common for pregnancy, but it is new for me. I hope it all fades after I deliver…

32.8 weeks

I’ll officially be 33 weeks pregnant with twins tomorrow, Saturday, June 24th. Feeling really good to have made it this far and still be going (somewhat) strong. But it is difficult to get a photo that accurately captures how bonkers my belly has gotten… it is huge! And it sticks straight out, which I guess says something good about my ab strength hanging in there? Maybe. Even my roomiest regular t-shirts are no longer up to the task of covering it! And even some of my maternity clothes are getting too small. I am definitely waddling now. My appetite is pretty robust. And the swelling in my hands and feet is really bad some days. But it is feeling much better today (I can make a fist!) and Kenneth and I are both about to lay down for our afternoon naps… so all is good!

33 weeks

Week 34: All pregnancy all the time over here! I had an ultrasound and doctor appointment today, Monday, June 26th. The twins look great, head down and big! 5 pounds each! Eek. I have 10 pounds of baby humans inside my body. So bizarre. I am truly huge. My photos don’t accurately show how giant my belly has gotten. It literally shocks people. I’m feeling fine, but mobility is getting harder and harder. And the swelling in my hands and feet can be pretty bad. I don’t like it. Oh, and my weight is spiking. And I think I still have at least three more weeks to go… these babies seem pretty comfortable. Oh well, all I can do is embrace it.

33.5 weeks

If/when we ever leave NYC, I think that my experiences of being pregnant in the city will be some of my most enduring memories. Getting myself to midtown for all my appointments, walking/waddling the hot (or freezing) city streets between doctor offices, talking to all sorts of strangers who have something to say about my belly. Subways, buses, taxi services. It is not easy and definitely not how I originally pictured pregnancy, but it has been a great adventure!

34 weeks

You won’t like hearing this, but I find myself thinking about dying during childbirth. I know that I won’t — I am healthy, the pregnancy has been optimal, I have top tier doctors and am delivering at an excellent hospital — but I guess when your body feels so uncomfortable and so out of your control, it is less of a mental leap to consider the possibility that it could actually fail you. I’m not dwelling on it, I just feel like it would be dishonest to not mention it at all. Pregnancy is not a sickness or disease, but it is very demanding on a woman’s body. I am not going to get too political here, but it is hard for me to handle that so many in our current government are so dismissive and disrespectful when it comes to women’s health. If we as a society do not value healthy, empowered women (and in turn, healthy babies) what do we value?

34 weeks flattering

On a more positive note, Travis has been an incredible husband and father throughout the final stretch of this pregnancy. A lot of extra responsibility has fallen on him since I have not been able to keep up with as much of the chores, cooking, and Kenneth wrangling as I usually do. Travis has been cooking breakfast and dinner most days, and he puts Ken to bed every night. He has also been helping me finish setting up the house, despite the fact that he doesn’t find hanging framed photos and baby decorations as critically imperative as I do at this point.

twins' nursery corner

On Friday, June 30th, we finally got our new KING SIZE bed delivered and we went and picked up our brand new Subaru Outback! Buying a car is terrible — everyone lies! — but it feels good to have 100% access to a car now that the babies could come at any time. A car that can fit three car seats in the back and also fit in our tiny Brooklyn garage!

new Subaru

Week 35: Practice contractions have definitely picked up and some of them have been pretty intense. It is hard to know whether these two babies are going to come tomorrow or wait another whole month! I still feel that they will come between 36 and 38 weeks… which is soon!

34.5 weeks

On Monday, July 3rd, I had a biophysical profile ultrasound. I will have one every week from here on out because of my “advanced maternal age” and the fact that I am carrying twins. They check to make sure both babies’ hearts are beating, that they are moving, and that they are practicing their breathing moves. Both babies passed the test this week (despite being a little sleepy) and the ultrasound tech said that they have a lot of hair! There is an old pregnancy myth that says the more heartburn you have, the more hair the baby will have. Apparently it actually has some scientific credibility! I certainly have had plenty of heartburn!

I’ve officially gained 40 pounds, which is what I had hoped to gain for the entire pregnancy. If the babies hang on for another month, who knows how much I will have gained. Ugh. I am trying not to be dramatic or waste time worrying too much about my looks, but man, this pregnancy surpassed my previous singleton pregnancy weeks ago in terms of how much it has destroyed my body and how uncomfortable it is. At 30 weeks, I thought everything would be ok and manageable. Now, my body feels completely out of control and beyond the realm of total recovery. The stretch marks are really getting bad and are all over my stomach. The pressure on my pelvic floor is scary. The swelling in my hands and feet (and numbness) is so bad that I can no longer wear any of my shoes! Or make fists! And the weight gain just feels so daunting and horrible. I know that I will (mostly) recover eventually… but there is a lot of trauma, work, blood, sweat, and tears in between then and now. Oof. It feels overwhelming.

34 weeks manhattan bridge

Today (Thursday, July 6th) is my very last day taking care of Kenneth on my own. After this, either Travis will be working from home or we will have family in town to help. I do need it and I am so grateful to my family for coming to my rescue. I really can’t get on the floor with him, lift him much, or go up and down the stairs endlessly, but it makes me a little sad. Ken and I have done everything together since he was born. I have taken care of him almost exclusively and I hate that his care has suffered because of this pregnancy. It also breaks my heart that it won’t just be me and him anymore. I know that he will enjoy having siblings and that I can’t just spoil him forever, but he will always be my first baby. I love him so much and am worried about changing his life so drastically.

35 weeks

As I get closer to the end of week 35, things just keep getting harder and harder. This is definitely the worst my body has ever felt, especially for an extended period of time. I have a lot of pain (like in my pubic bone and hips), heartburn, and discomfort, and it is just really hard to move around and get sleep. I still have better days and worse days, and I can generally get some stuff done in the morning, but by evening I am a mess. I know I only have a few weeks left, so I am trying to stay positive and just rest as much as possible… but it still feels completely bonkers that women have gone through all of this for each and every human who has ever existed. Thank you, Mom.

last pedicure

Week 36: My belly seems to have dropped down. It sort of slopes toward the ground instead of sticking straight out. I have more room for my lungs, but a ton of pressure on my pelvic floor. This should be a good sign that the babies will be coming soon, but it is no guarantee of when. I am super uncomfortable at night and can barely move around. It is getting painful. I don’t really sleep for more than an hour at a time. And my weight keeps rising (I’ve gained 45 pounds) but at this point I am just trying to survive, so I barely have the energy to worry about it anymore. My belly is just all stretch marks now and the swelling in my hands and feet never relents. I have basically just gotten used to having numb, tingly hands, but they do make me more clumsy. (I have a super sore left thumb related to the swelling, which is pretty annoying.)

35.5 weeks - scary belly

The good news: On Monday, July 10th, I had another biophysical profile ultrasound and the babies look good: moving, hearts beating, practicing breathing, with good fluid levels. And on Tuesday, my mom arrived to help out with Ken for the week – yay for Grandma! It has been going well, but I have barely left the house except for doctor appointments.

35.5 weeks - doctor appointment and hospital

On Thursday, July 13th, I had my weekly prenatal doctor appointment… and there was bad news. My blood pressure was up to 140/100. Eek. I made them take it many times just to be sure. Then my doctor had a hard time finding baby girl’s heartbeat, which scared me a little. Thankfully, my mom had come to the appointment with me because my doctor made me go get admitted at Labor & Delivery (in the same hospital as the doctor’s office) to be monitored. As soon as I got into the hospital bed with the monitors all on me, my blood pressure started to drop. I was slightly nervous that the babies might be coming very soon, but I was discharged within a few hours and told to monitor my blood pressure three times a day. Travis and Ken were out together at his work field day and were able to come pick us up from the hospital in the car.

discharged from the hospital

The end of this pregnancy has gotten very difficult. I can’t really even flip over in bed and I am so swollen that even my roomiest maternity clothes and maxi dresses are nearly not fitting. My mom thought the blood pressure scare was a sign that I was in early labor, but she and my grandmother both went full term with their twins, so it is hard to know when they might arrive… we’ll just have to wait and see…

36 weeks

To be continued…

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Read more of my Twin Pregnancy Log:

My first trimester
Weeks 15 – 20
Weeks 21 – 28
and Weeks 29 – 32

Twin Pregnancy Log – Weeks 29 through 32

Week 29: I am feeling very happy and fortunate. I had a really good ultrasound on Friday, May 26th, to check on the twins’ growth. They are doing wonderfully! Boy is about 3 lb 3 oz, and girl is 2 lb 14 oz. Big and thriving by all accounts! I am very thankful. Both babies have also now rotated into a head down position, which I think I am even more happy about. I was worrying (somewhat irrationally) that they would stay transverse forever. Head down means that I am still a great candidate for a vaginal birth, which is what I am hoping for. (But also realizing that anything can happen with a twin birth, so I am staying open minded.) I celebrated by getting some fried chicken for lunch! I have been craving fried chicken all pregnancy but tried to stay away… it hit the spot. The babies DO need a lot of fat and protein at this point!

Week 30: Our new home is starting to come together. Travis spent his Memorial Day weekend hanging curtains, shelves, art, and mirrors, but we still have a lot to do. We have an obscene number of framed photos to hang! I am definitely nesting at this point, which makes me feel more stressed than necessary over all the things we still need to hang, organize, buy, and wash before the twins get here. But all we can do is our best.

That is me and the twins that you see in the mirror below at almost 30 weeks pregnant…

The belly is unbelievable! It is sticking out like a shelf now. Up until now I could sort of wear some of my roomier regular clothes, but that is no longer possible. Only maternity clothes work now. And I only have a few pieces — two dresses, some black tights, one pair of jeans, one pair of shorts, and a few t-shirts and tanks — but I am just going to stick it out and keep them in heavy rotation. I don’t want to buy any new maternity stuff at this point.

Before hitting 30 weeks, I felt like a relatively “cute” pregnant lady with a baby bump… now, I am just huge. People look at me in shock. I was feeling embarrassed about it all — having your personal, physical business out there for all to see and judge — but now that I am getting closer to the end, I am feeling a little more ok with being the obviously pregnant lady. I probably won’t ever be pregnant again, so even though it is tough, I am also trying to enjoy/absorb/appreciate the experience.

We’ve had some visitors over the past few weeks. Grandpa (Ken’s grandpa, my dad) was here two weeks ago and my brother Seth and his new wife, Celestine, are in town this week. I was a little worried about having people stay in a house we haven’t quite set up fully yet, but it has all gone smoothly. It has been especially nice to have a few extra people around to play with Kenneth. I can’t do as much sight seeing as I would like, but I did manage to do the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday. (At exactly 30 weeks pregnant!)

Week 31: Some venting: I’m almost 31 weeks pregnant with twins and it is getting REAL. I know I’ve already talked about this pregnancy being harder than my singleton, but I’ve just got to vent a bit more… Previously, this pregnancy has been harder in comparison, but still manageable in a being-able-to-function-day-to-day way. This week it has hit the unmanageable stage. I am maybe a pound or two away from hitting my max weight from my pregnancy with Kenneth. My belly is definitely bigger. I physically cannot bend over or twist my body. And not in some cute “I can’t tie my shoes” pregnant lady way. Like, it is physically impossible to reach the ground or lean forward very far. Heartburn is back with a vengeance. I wake up every hour to pee. My brain is seriously not working it’s best. And I am nearly always out of breath. I think I might be at about 25% capacity for what I can accomplish each day, which frustrates me to no end. It is all really making me think hard about the privilege that able-bodied folks have and how I should never take it for granted.

Now, of course, I know that technically my body is doing great. It is just in the process of making two more bodies… but it is difficult for me as a normally active person to be so restricted. The babies are moving around a ton and by all measures are thriving, so I am very very grateful for that. Worrying about whether your kids are healthy is the scariest, hardest part of pregnancy, so I know that all these other complaints and discomforts are pretty inconsequential.

But you guys, I still have TWO MONTHS until my due date! I think this twin pregnancy already qualifies as the hardest thing I’ve ever done… and I have a feeling it is just getting started… but I do get to eat a lot of ice cream!

My sister-in-law Chelsea was visiting this week and she was a HUGE help. She played with Ken a ton and even helped me do stuff around the house. We didn’t do much sight seeing, but did take the new Bay Ridge ferry to Ikea on Sunday in the heat. I did ok, but at one point I turned around in the store and people’s jaws dropped in shock at my belly. I totally understand. The belly is pretty shocking. Walking is getting tough. And my hands and feet are a little swollen, especially after being in the heat. (I have only been wearing Birkenstocks sandals, but my swollen feet are even busting out of those!) But otherwise, feeling pretty good and happy.

Week 32: Oh boy. Life with my giant belly is getting hard. My sleep is really suffering now, which makes it hard for me to be productive during the day. I am really worried about being a bad mom to Kenneth. We used to do everything together and now I can’t really get on the ground or run around playing with him. I know he and I aren’t going to have as much one-on-one time once the babies arrive and it is breaking my heart.

Thankfully, we have had a lot of family visiting who have played with Ken a lot. He had a blast with Aunt Chelsea. It was a huge help to me.

I’m still having swelling in my hands and feet. It is only mildly uncomfortable, but I don’t want it to get worse. My hands also go numb easily when my arms are bent while sleeping and even during the day. Oh and I also have sore joints! Eek. All of it combined has made it hard for me to grip things, like my tooth brush. I think it is similar to carpel tunnel, but I don’t know for sure.

My pregnancy limitations often cause my thoughts to wander to how much my mobility is going to decrease as I age… I hope this isn’t the beginning of the inevitable decline… but I had a prenatal check up appointment on Wednesday, June 14th, and the nurse practitioner was not concerned. I had joint issues with Ken’s pregnancy, too, and they resolved. The symptoms are just more intense with twins due to extra hormones, weight, blood volume, etc. I am trying to rest more, but it is hard to not get much done each day.

I also had another quick ultrasound on Wednesday. Both babies are still head down and are looking great! (Although, they are so big now that it is hard to get fantastic ultrasound pics.) I didn’t get an official growth estimate, but they are probably around 4 lbs each now. Strong heartbeats and lots of movement. Their movements are intense now. Not huge, but they put a lot of pressure on my internal organs (like bladder, intestines, stomach, lungs) and on my belly. Oof.

You can see the babies moving around a bit in this video:

My belly feels so stretched out! Sometimes it is painful. I got a few stretch marks on one side of my belly at the end of my first pregnancy… and those are definitely back and larger, plus more on the other side of my belly, and some really gnarly ones around my belly button. (I would totally post a photo of them, but don’t want to disturb more people than I already have. ha!) I’m not as stressed about them as I was the first time around, but it is hard not to wonder how destroyed my body will be after all of this… it’s not like I need to worry about being a super model post-pregnancy, but I don’t want to give up completely on my fitness and self confidence. I’m feeling really bloated and flabby. I’ve already gained 30 pounds, which is on target, but still feels incredibly daunting. I’m trying to keep things in perspective and not hate on my appearance too much… But I’m officially larger than my previous pregnancy now, so we are in uncharted territory!

The super good news is that 32 weeks marks a huge viability milestone! The babies can basically be born at any point now and have a great chance of being healthy. I think I will probably deliver at 36 or 37 weeks, but we’ll see… It is sort of nerve-wracking to officially be on “labor watch” now!

Travis (and Ken!) helped set up the new crib and a new dresser for the twins this week. We are also working on setting up two bassinets that we have borrowed from friends, and we are going to order a new stroller and car seat asap. Plus, we are working on buying a new car! eek. I still need to wash a lot of baby clothes and put up some of my “nursery” decor… even though the nursery is basically just the corner of our room for now. I guess I also really need to get my hospital bag ready!! It does feel good to be getting things ready for the twins’ arrival… I just hope we will be all ready in time!

Twin Pregnancy Log – Weeks 21 through 28

Week 21: I had my second anatomy ultrasound on March 28th, 2017. It took over 90 minutes! They checked all of the babies’ systems and bones. The ultrasound tech kept saying how beautiful they are, so I took that as a really good sign. The boy is approximately 14 ounces, and the girl is about 12 ounces. They are slightly big for their “age,” so they are growing just fine! The boy is head-down closer to the exit and the girl is a little higher up on my right, but they are still moving around a lot. My vitals are also very good — whew — but the weight gain has taken off. I am gaining about 1.5 pounds per week now, which is good and normal, but gah! I am going to gain a lot. The doctor said it is fine if I gain 60 pounds!! I am aiming for 40. (I’ve already gained about 10.) The doctor also said I really need to take it more easy and not worry about exercising. She was concerned with my uterine cramping and the tendency for twins to cause pre-term labor. She said I should try to NOT pick up Ken anymore, which will be hard. But if I don’t take care of myself, I could be put on bed rest!!

I can feel the babies’ movements really well now, which is mostly fun. There are still tougher days and easier days, but I’ve actually gotten some good sleep lately. And I’ve had a few days straight of NO HEARTBURN, so that is exciting! On the advice of a pregnant friend, I got some doTERRA DigestZen oil and I think it actually works to prevent heartburn. I need to keep testing it, but right now, I’d recommend it!

Week 22: I definitely have good days and bad days at this point. Sometimes I am up to tackling most of my usual activity — housework, walking all of Brooklyn, carrying Ken up the stairs, etc — but there are other times when I get out of breath just standing up. I’ve also had a few days of some cramping and pelvic pressure, so I have been trying not to push myself too hard. We had a really busy weekend with lots of fun with friends and I felt pretty good, so that is encouraging!

Week 23: This has been a pretty good week. My belly is definitely growing (and itching! I need to get some belly oil. Or just use all of the coconut oil I have on hand!) and the babies are moving around a lot! I had a quick ultrasound on Thursday and my cervix looks good. I had been worried because of my previous uterine cramping, but things seem to be progressing smoothly. The babies have moved positions slightly. The boy is still on the bottom, but he is slightly breech now, and the girl is laying transverse on the top with her back facing out. Neither would really cooperate for any good photos.

Week 24: I made it to the viability milestone! Hooray! That basically means that if the twins were born today (at 24 weeks), they would most likely survive. But of course, we want them to stay in for as long as possible. The doctors have just been very serious about pre-term labor, so it feels good to have at least made it this far.

I was really strict when I was pregnant with Kenneth and tried not to touch any type of caffeine. This time around I have been a little more lenient with tea and decaf coffee… but it isn’t worth it! It gives me so much heartburn! Especially anything from Starbucks. So, I am rededicating myself to abstaining as much as possible. It is hard. I have also been avoiding a lot of different foods (salads, deli meat, cold sandwiches, etc) because I am really scared of getting food poisoning ever since we caught those two big stomach bugs over the winter. It is a little irrational, but I just don’t want to get sick again. Barfing while pregnant is not fun. I am worried that my nutrition is not quite as stellar this time around.

Week 25: This pregnancy is getting hard! I know I have said that before and I know that it is only going to get harder, but man, it is starting to really affect my day to day life. I have some back pain and lots of heart burn. I pee all the time and don’t sleep great. Everything makes me out of breath, like standing, walking up hill, blow drying my hair, etc. And I have so much nasal congestion, which you would think would be the least of my problems, but only breathing out of your mouth for months at a time gets really gross and uncomfortable.

Want more unsolicited ranting?? Daily tasks (like picking ken up at school, shopping, walking up stairs) are getting very difficult and it feels like no one outside of myself has any concept of how difficult. I walk down the street with a giant belly, a 33 pound toddler in a stroller, a diaper bag, and bags of groceries, and there is like only a 25% chance that people will even move out of the way on the sidewalk ramps. I really feel like the attitude in NYC is that if you choose to have kids, you have to deal with it 100% your self. No mercy for the weak. I am a very independent person who is up for the task… but would it hurt the single young men without even a messenger bag to weigh them down to maybe let me have the right of way on the sidewalk ramp?!

Now, of course, there are always some very nice people out there holding doors and being patient with Ken. And certainly, I don’t know what is happening in the lives of those single guys, so I shouldn’t really judge their behavior. And my pregnancy is progressing so well and I know that is an extreme blessing. But PREGNANCY IS HARD. Not to mention twin pregnancy while wrangling a toddler. And did I mention Travis was out of town for three days this week? And I have no family support in town? And we are MOVING on Saturday? And child care costs anywhere from $15 to $100 an hour? I guess I am just feeling like no one is acknowledging how hard it is to grow, birth, and raise babies full-time… but isn’t that the unending, unheard complaint of women since the beginning of time?? My only choice is to suck it up and keep working. No one is coming to save me.

My weight is really spiking. It feels like my belly (and boobs) got considerably larger this week. But I am also afraid the rest of my body is getting fat. My weight gain is a month ahead of what it was during the last pregnancy and I think my belly is as big as it was right before Ken was born! Even if the rest of my body isn’t necessarily larger at this point, my body fat percentage is definitely higher. Which is very normal for pregnancy, but I just hate thinking about all the work it will take to get back in shape. Ugh. I am so worn out all of the time these days that even light exercise feels ridiculous. I did some squats and I nearly passed out.

I had an ultrasound and doctors appointment on Friday, April 28th. All looks good and the babies are laying transverse with their heads on the left. We were able to get a pretty cute 3D photo of baby girl, but baby boy wouldn’t quite cooperate. Baby boy weighs and estimated 1 lb 12 oz (64% percentile) and baby girl weighs 1 lb 8 oz (21% percentile). It is always fun to see them and be reassured that they are doing just fine in there.

Week 26: This was a tough week. We moved into our new (rental) house last weekend but didn’t have gas service all week. Which meant no cooking and no warm water. I had to go back to the doctor on Thursday for the second gestational diabetes glucose test. Bummer. (And I seriously almost passed out after the test while trying to do some shopping in the city. Turns out you need more than some almonds and water to eat after fasting for 18 hours and having four blood draws!) Then yesterday our basement flooded. Not great. All of it has set back our unpacking, so we are still living out of boxes and spending way too much on take out food. When I get stressed and tired my emotions sort of just settle on self-pity… so it hasn’t been easy to “cherish every moment” of this pregnancy lately… BUT the good news is the gas got turned back on tonight and I took my first real shower in a week!! So things are looking up!

Week 27: This week marks the end of the second trimester. (Or maybe next week? Depending on which pregnancy calendar you follow.) It is kind of mind blowing, but I also can’t believe I have so many weeks left. At this time during my first pregnancy I was still running! That seems completely inconceivable at this point in this twin pregnancy. My belly is huge. I think just as big as just before I delivered Ken. Stretch marks are starting to show up. Ugh. The good news is that I passed the second gestational diabetes test with totally normal numbers. Whew. Thank goodness because I am really craving a lot of sweets. Also trying my best to eat a lot of protein and fruits and veggies, don’t worry.

We have settled into the new house a bit more, which feels great. but we still have a lot of organizing to do. Of course, I want everything to be as ready and clean and organized as possible before the twins arrive…. but there is so much to do! And so many more things to buy! Ugh. Dressers, strollers, car seats, and oh ya, maybe a car?! We need to stay on task!

Week 28: Happy/scared to be officially into my third trimester. My body is definitely showing it! I had an ultrasound and doctors appointment on Tuesday, May 16th. The babies look “beautiful” as the techs and doctors keep saying (but we didn’t really get any good ultrasound pictures) and all my stats are looking good, too.

The girl is still positioned on top and the boy on the bottom. They are still transverse, but they flipped sides and now have their heads on my right. I am slightly nervous about them getting into birthing position (head down) but they are moving around a ton (sometimes it is pretty uncomfortable) and they still have lots of time to get ready. I am very thankful that this is basically turning out to be an optimal twin pregnancy, but man, it is getting REAL! The doctor measured my belly and it is just as large as a 39 week belly for a singleton pregnancy. And I have at least two more months to get so much bigger! I really can’t wrap my head around it. I already feel gigantic. They doctor is totally happy with my weight gain — I’ve gained about 22 pounds. Not bad really, but I also started a little heavier than I’d like. I’m probably going to gain 20 more pounds before this is all over. I am trying to be ok with it… but my rear end is getting fat! ugh.

I finished up week 28 by attending the wedding of our dear friends, Joel and Amanda. (Grandpa was in town for a half marathon and generously babysat Kenneth. Hooray!) It was a beautiful, fun event and it made me really happy to have such good and supportive friends. And I am glad that I am still somewhat capable of socializing late into the night… but oof, I was so sore just from standing for a few hours. There is a lot of pressure on my hips, pelvic floor, legs, feet, etc. I want to keep pushing myself to do as much as I can during this pregnancy, but it is getting more uncomfortable. And oh right, the doctor says I need to rest more, not pick up Ken, not worry about exercising, and even cut out too much walking. Oops. I am not good at any of those things.

Anyway, I am scared about what will happen to my body, but I also know that being pregnant with twins is a really unique experience that not many get to go through. I am trying to take it all in. Like a lot of things in life (like raising children?) I think the experience, despite its amazing parts, is just difficult enough to not really make you want to do it all again… but I also know we will look back on this as one of the most magical, wild, fun times of our lives. It is strange and wonderful how life works out. We couldn’t have planned it this way even if we had tried, but we are up for the adventure!

Twin Pregnancy Log – Weeks 15 through 20

Week 15: I started off my second trimester a little sick after a fun-filled trip to DisneyWorld with our sweet first-born. Being sick and pregnant is not fun. I hope this is my last illness for the duration, because it will only get harder! I feel like my baby bump became real this week. My normal jeans felt too tight last week, so I finally just broke out my maternity jeans. They are still too big, but I wanted to be comfortable. I already feel huge after eating meals, but I know that this is just the very beginning. I still haven’t really gained weight, but I think it will be coming soon. I have been drinking bone broth and trying to avoid too much sugar. I don’t have a lot of cravings, but fried chicken still sounds good. The nausea is pretty much gone, but I am getting heartburn a lot more frequently… which I know will just get worse. Overall, being pregnant with twins is difficult — I feel out of breath nearly all the time — but I know that I am still in the easy part.

Week 16: This week started off with really bad headaches and a lingering cold. I got a little worried. But I started feeling much better throughout the week. We also had awesome weather in Brooklyn, which helped. My baby bump is definitely showing now. I can still wear many of my normal pants, but I can’t really suck in my stomach and hide it these days. My appetite seems to have picked up a bit, but I still get full easily and have heartburn off and on.

Week 17: I started gaining weight this week. Ugh. I know that I have to gain 1-2 pounds a week, but I am still pretty stressed about how huge I am going to get.

February 28th, 2017: I had my first anatomy ultrasound today… and one of the babies is a girl!! I am so excited and happy. I really thought I would have all boys, so this is a really fun surprise. Perfect.

Week 18: Heartburn, nasal congestion, and a frequent need to pee are daily symptoms. I get up to pee most during most nights and it is daunting to think that I won’t have a full, uninterrupted night of sleep for a long time. I overdid it a few days this week walking all over Brooklyn. It takes me longer to recover from tiring days. And I’ve had some uterine cramping this week, which is slightly worrisome. But overall, I know I am doing well and feeling relatively good. My belly is definitely big and bold. I am wearing mostly maternity pants at this point. I am pretty freaked out about how big I’m going to get… I have a long way to go…

Week 19: I had a check up ultrasound on Thursday, March 17th, 2017, and all looks good. They were mostly checking out my cervix, but I got to see the babies, too. Two strong heartbeats, all the organs, and two very distinct genders! The twins are moving into positions more parallel to my body and are side by side, boy on my left, girl on my right. I’m feeling extremely fortunate, but also always slightly nervous about them coming too early. And also always terrified about how big I’m going to get!

I’ve been feeling indistinct “activity” from the twins for a couple weeks, but this week it has become a little more recognizable. I can’t really pinpoint which baby is moving or what they are doing, but there are definitely two different sides of movement. It is crazy to see them wiggling about on the ultrasound, happy to each be doing their thing.

Week 20: It feels good to be at the half way point of this pregnancy… but it is daunting to think I have 4-5 months left to get bigger and bigger!! Two babies definitely take up more space than one! I’ve been able to feel the twins moving around a lot and am overall feeling pretty good… except for, you know, constant heart burn, shortness of breath, muscle craps, and nasal congestion. Honestly, I am feeling really fine and I know that I am extremely fortunate to be progressing through this pregnancy healthily, so I don’t have any serious complaints…. only non-serious ones. Ha. In the mornings, when the babies are all tucked in and inactive, I feel great. Pregnancy is no big deal! But by the end of the day, when I have food in my system (and therefore heartburn), I’m sore and exhausted from too much walking and too many stairs, and the babies are all stretched out and pushing on everything, it all feels a lot more difficult. I really can’t believe I am only half way through this! But I try to keep in mind that it is not every day that a person is pregnant with twins, and it is a grand adventure! So, I’ll just try to appreciate the experience. It must be hormonal, but I have been really in love with Kenneth and Travis and even Crusher these days. I am just feeling so grateful for our little family and excited to be doing this all with them.

Twin Pregnancy Log – the first trimester

Wow! So by now you already know that Travis and I are expecting twins this summer. A major surprise! I didn’t keep as detailed a log as I did during my first pregnancy, but I wanted to publish some of my thoughts as a record of how we got here…

In the beginning… I ran the NYC Marathon with my dad on November 6th — fun! — and for TMI, I also happened to be on my period that weekend. My last period for a while, it turns out. Travis and I had already planned to start trying to expand our family after I finished the marathon, we just really didn’t expect it to all happen so fast. We were pregnant two weeks later!

Weeks 3-4: I really wasn’t expecting it, but in the week before I was supposed to have my next period I experienced three things that hadn’t happened since I was pregnant with Ken: 1. I had bad heartburn, 2. I had cramping in my lower ab muscles, 3. Crusher started sleeping with me in bed right by my belly every night. I thought, “hmm, that is weird, but even if I WAS pregnant, there is no way I would already have symptoms. It is too early.” (It was technically only week 3 at this point.) But I took the pregnancy test on December 2nd (a day before my expected period) and it was positive! Very exciting, but pretty baffling that it happened in basically one try!

Sidenote: I was trying to get into a new OB/Gyn practice (Downtown Women) and had made an appointment in early November. But the appointment was cancelled by their office and rescheduled twice. By the time I was rescheduling it the final time, I was pregnant… and THEY DON”T TAKE NEW PREGNANT CLIENTS! So… I am once again at NYU Langone OB/Gyn, and I actually couldn’t be happier. I really like Dr. Fanti and Dr. Conroy and have had a really positive experience at all of my visits so far. I just wish the hospital and offices were a little closer to home…

Weeks 5-9: Because of the holidays, I wasn’t able to schedule my first doctor appointment until January 11th. I didn’t want to let anyone (other than Travis) know about the pregnancy until after it was checked out — I am a little bit cautious/superstitious about that kind of thing — but I slipped and told a few close mom friends in December (only because they knew that we were trying). I felt really fatigued and nauseous in December, but it hit me hardest while we were in Kansas City visiting family for Christmas. Weeks 7 & 8 were brutal. I was so tired and really nauseous all the time. This pregnancy felt a lot harder than Ken’s, but it is difficult to tell how much is just in your head. BUT, I am trying to trust myself more and remind myself that I am objectively NOT a wimpy person and if something feels really tough, it probably is. So, I really did have a feeling that this pregnancy was different, and I was actively worried that it might be twins. This is a photo of me partying on New Year’s Eve…

We hadn’t planned to tell our families about the pregnancy over the holidays, but it couldn’t exactly be avoided. Many people noticed that I wasn’t running or drinking coffee or alcohol, and then my sweet in-laws gifted us a summer vacation for Christmas… and we had to let them know that I might not be able to travel. Everyone was excited, but I think also a little overwhelmed since there was already so much excitement happening over the holidays. Oh, and our whole family got a terrible stomach bug at the end of our trip and were barfing and super sick the first week we were back in Brooklyn in January. Not good. I was worried about the pregnancy when I was barfing and barfing, but it seemed unaffected.

Weeks 10 – 13: I already said it, but this pregnancy has just been HARD. I am out of breath basically whenever I do any activity. I ran a few times early on in the pregnancy, but by week 10 it just didn’t feel worth it to waste my energy. I have to save it to carry Ken up all the stairs to our apartment! I regret that I have not exercised much during this pregnancy at all, but I am staying active and walking a lot, chasing Ken around, plus trying to do some random strength exercises here and there. In addition to breathlessness, I also have a lot of nasal congestion and tons of heartburn. Ugh.

On January 11th, 2017 (during week 10), I had my first ultrasound and doctor’s appointment. Travis didn’t come because he was watching Ken, but I wish he could have been there. As soon as the tech put in the internal ultrasound wand, she said, “IT’S TWINS!” It was a fun/shocking/happy moment that I hope I always remember. I think I said something like, “Thank goodness I’m not crazy!” I just had a feeling it was twins all along. But it was still a mind-blowing moment to have it confirmed. (I should note here that my mom and my paternal grandmother also had fraternal twins, so it was on my radar.)

The day after we found out that we were having twins, we left for Bermuda! We had planned the trip over six months prior so that Travis could run the Bermuda Triangle Challenge. I ran/walked the 10k with him. It went really well, but I didn’t feel like pushing my body too hard. The trip was a lot of fun and felt like a mini babymoon. And the next weekend (Week 11) I went to DC with my friend Jessica for the Women’s March. It was another successful trip and I was able to walk many miles without much fatigue.

I had a second ultrasound and a meeting with a high risk doctor on January 31st (during week 13). The babies both looked great — moving around like crazy! — and I also checked out all good. I started this pregnancy 2-3 lbs heavier than my previous pregnancy, which of course irked me, but I guess it isn’t too bad. I lost a few lbs in the first trimester, but basically stayed pretty steady and was still wearing all normal pants and clothes at this point. The doctor emphasized how much more of a metabolic load growing two humans is and stressed that I may have trouble eating enough calories each day. (Up to 700 extra calories a day!) I scoffed. Eating enough is never my problem! But… with all the heartburn, fullness, and fatigue, it may actually get more difficult…

We ended week 13 by signing a lease on a new rental house in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. When we learned we were having twins we just knew we had to leave our fourth-floor walk-up apartment. The small size could be doable, but it is just too hard to climb the stairs while pregnant, not to mention with three kids! Despite being farther from the city, the house should be very nice (with a garage, yard, and basement!) but there have been a few delays with our move-in date. We hope to be in it by the end of April.

Week 14: When we found out we were pregnant, Travis and I couldn’t resist booking a trip to Disney World with Kenneth! We wanted to really spoil him and celebrate him for his second birthday before his siblings arrive. We had a wonderful trip with him! It was so fun to spend four days straight as a family, just making sure he was having a blast. I was feeling a little better nausea-wise at this point, so the trip was actually pretty easy. BUT it also seemed to be the week when my belly started to pop out. I had brought all normal pants and shorts and they were feeling tight! By the last day, I had to resort to stretchy pants! (Seen below.)

So… we are on our way to becoming a family of five! (Six if you don’t forget Crusher.) We are really excited and a little terrified. But mostly I feel very grateful that everything has gone smoothly so far. I am constantly aware that pre-term labor or other complications are more likely with multiples, so I am trying to be mindful about taking it easy and listening to my body. I will keep you updated on my progress in future logs… stay tuned!

BIG BROTHER!

Kenneth has a super big announcement….

He is going to be a BIG BROTHER! ……times TWO!

I am pregnant with twins!! It just might be the biggest surprise of our life. And we just found out at the ultrasound yesterday that we are having a boy and a girl! The babies are due in early August.

We are really happy and excited… and overwhelmed. This weekend we are moving to a bigger house in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. It has all been a whirlwind, but Kenneth is taking it in stride. We know he is going to be a wonderful big brother.

post pregnancy body update – 25 weeks out

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What to say? I still go through a lot of ups and downs when it comes to my body. Some days I feel like I am getting back to normal and feeling pretty good… other days, I still feel destroyed, sore, fat, and tired.

On good days (like after going to an inspiring SoulCycle class) I feel invincible. Ready to tackle the challenge of a less-than-perfect, aging, post-baby body with a positive attitude and lots of determination. I am doing this! Go me! On bad days, I get really overwhelmed by all of the pain and discomfort and I miss my old self.

Two quotes keep bouncing around in my head:

“Old age ain’t no place for sissies.”

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.”

Certainly, I am not in old age (and I know everyone older than 34 wants to shout: “You aint seen nothing yet!”) but knowing that it takes courage to live fully and happily as you age, gives me courage. Nothing and no one is perfect… but I can make the decision to be happy, grateful, and at peace with who I am and what my body can do. It is just going to keep getting more challenging, right? I like to believe I am more than strong enough to face the challenge! And the challenge will make me stronger. (I just have to keep that thought in the forefront of my mind, and let it drown out the fat, fat, fat, weak, weak, weak thoughts.)

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With all that being said… my update…

Weight Loss:

I think I’ve lost about five more pounds since my last body post. (So, 26 of the total 30 pregnancy pounds are gone.) Five pounds in the nine weeks since my last update is not exactly the weight loss pace I dream about, but I am getting really close to my pre-baby weight and I fit in most of my normal clothes at this point. (I actually weigh less than I did when Travis and I returned from Europe last May – that should get me pumped, right?! I still feel discouraged.)

Any weight loss is great (and needed) but I am feeling quite frustrated because Travis and I did 23 days of the no sugar, no grain, no dairy Whole30 program during June and it didn’t seem to do anything beneficial for me. It was quite intense to only eat fruit, veggies, meat, eggs, and nuts for more than three weeks and I thought for sure that I was going to lose quite a few pounds. Sadly, I only messed up my digestion and was in a bad mood for a month. Boo. I am back to eating normally and hope that I can continue to trim and tone up.

I’d love to lose 15 more pounds and be at my dream goal weight by October.

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Running:

Starting at the end of May, I began doing a few run/walk workouts. I started very slowly, walking for four minutes and running for one, then 3/1, then 3/2, and now I am doing 1/1 run/walk about two days a week. I did one good, long workout of 3.5 miles, but otherwise my progress is very slow going. My pelvic floor is definitely still not at 100% and it causes some discomfort. It takes me a day or two to recover from each run, with my back and hips still getting sore. But I am getting stronger. It is just taking a lot longer than I would like.

My goal is to run the Brooklyn Rock N Roll Half Marathon in October, and possibly, maybe, perhaps run the NYC Marathon in November… but we’ll see.

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Other fitness

In addition to 2-3 days of running and an occasional SoulCycle class, I am trying to fit in my physical therapy exercises and walking on most days. I have reduced my visits to Renew Physical Therapy to twice a month. I have also been a bit more relaxed about my PT exercises. I feel like they have certainly helped, but REST has also been a major healer. So, I am listening to my body and trying to give myself a break.

This is a topic for a whole other blog post, but caring for a baby 24/7 is HARD, you guys! ha. Am I the first person to ever come to this realization? Kenneth is always on my mind, and even when I am away from him, I always feel distracted and low-level worried. I don’t think I have actually gone into a deep sleep since long before he was born. I certainly haven’t slept for more than four hours straight. It is catching up with me. My immune system is not as strong as I always assumed it was. And I can’t recover as quickly as I used to. Not good. And I don’t feel like there is much of a solution. But I will try to get more sleep. I promise.

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Breastfeeding:

Oof. It had gotten so much better and easier, but just last week I was hit with clogged ducts and now mastitis. It is so painful. I spent most of last weekend sick in bed and in pain. Now I am on an antibiotic prescription, but this whole ordeal makes me reconsider continuing to breastfeed. It is not my favorite thing and after the pain of thrush and mastitis, I just don’t think I can face the possibility of another infection. I don’t know where to start with weaning, but the thought of less pain, smaller breasts, and convenient bottle feeding sounds really nice at this point…

And without further ado, my progress pics…

Which I feel are necessary even if totally embarrassing. You can always beat yourself up in front of the mirror, no matter your progress, but photos don’t (always) lie. And I think I do notice an improvement since my last set. Hooray! (Hint: new Top Speed Crops from Lululemon have been a big confidence booster.)

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Read my previous post-baby body posts: Update 1 | Update 2 | Update 3

post pregnancy body update – 16 weeks out

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In some ways there is a lot to report, but in others, I feel like a body update might be premature…

The good news is that breast feeding has gotten SO MUCH BETTER! We had Kenneth’s tongue and lip tie treated two weeks ago. That, in combination with a prescription medication to treat thrush, has resolved the breast feeding pain. Thank goodness. Amazingly, I am already starting to forget how much pain I was in. (“It wasn’t so bad.” ha!) Sticking with breast feeding for a year feels much more doable now. Plus, not having to deal with pain constantly has really made me more relaxed and more able to focus on other things, like falling even more in love with my sweet baby… and also my physical therapy and exercise.

Physical therapy is going quite well. My hips are getting stronger and I feel more comfortable while walking and doing daily activity. I am still going to a PT appointment in the city at Renew once a week where the therapist does some external and internal massage, assesses my progress and strength, and adjusts my daily exercise routine. I have been pretty diligent about sticking to my daily exercises. My only complaint is that my hip pain seems to have migrated into my lower back. But… it is probably mostly from using the baby carrier too much. Last Thursday I carried Ken around Manhattan in it for seven hours! That was a mistake. I know I push myself too hard, but that is basically the story of my life.

I am still not running. My doctor told me that I do NOT need to avoid high impact activity or running, but my physical therapist has recommended that I continue to hold off until I get a little stronger. My hope is to start the process of trying to run at the end of May. I have started to get my hopes up about training for the NYC Marathon this fall… but I still don’t know if it would be smart. We’ll see…

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My exercise routine these days mostly consists of my PT exercises (core, pelvic floor, and hips) and lots of walking. (Walking to the park often, as seen above, now that the weather is so much better.) I have also added in a few strength training video workouts (with lots of squats!) and on Tuesday I went to a SoulCycle class, which was great. I am hoping to continue taking a cycling class once or twice a week. I also want to get back to Baby & Me Yoga with Ken!

As for food, I have given up calorie counting. When I was dealing with so much pain, tracking every baby feeding, all my PT exercises, and all of the food I was eating got to be way too much to handle. In an uncharacteristically logical move of self acceptance, I decided that calorie counting was one thing I needed to drop. I am still trying to eat more healthy, whole foods and less sugary treats.

Because I am a crazy person who expects immediate, impressive results, I am not thrilled with my weight loss progress. I gained 30 lbs during pregnancy. So far, I’ve lost about 21 lbs. Over the last six weeks since my last update, I’ve lost about 5 lbs. I know that any loss is definitely better than nothing, but I am impatient and daunted by the fact that I still have so much to lose. I know that comparison is completely unproductive and immature, but it is still hard to ignore all the success stories online of women dropping their baby weight in record time. Ugh. I’d love to lose 15+ more lbs, but I will try my best to be patient about it. I may start up calorie counting again at some point, but for now I am trying to be more relaxed and see where it takes me.

These mirror pics are embarrassing and difficult to post (maybe I shouldn’t have shared them! gah! my mirror is filthy!) but hopefully they will be a way (other than weight) to track my progress. I also took my hip, waist, and bust measurements, but I am not brave enough to share them. My goal is to lose 2-3 inches in each area.

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These body posts feel quite self-centered and a little obsessive. But it also feels good to attempt to stay on course and be proactive about getting fit and healthy. It is helpful to write out my thoughts and track my progress. Body image issues have been one of my biggest, life-long, mental challenges and one of the things that scared me most about pregnancy… which I know may be quite vain and ridiculous, but it is the truth. I feel like I am making progress in accepting myself and valuing my body for its health and what it can accomplish… but I still struggle. (I want to do MORE! Get MORE accomplished! Lose MORE weight!) My hope is to stay motivated to continue to shape the body I want, while staying relaxed and patient with my progress. I’ll keep you updated!

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Catch up on my progress with my first post pregnancy body post and my 10 week body update.

post pregnancy body update – 10 weeks out

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So… this is a little hard to talk about, but I have been so honest on this blog up until this point. I don’t want to stop now and give the impression that everything is just going smoothly and easily…

You already know that I am working to lose weight and get fit after baby, and just last week I posted that things were going well… I got the Ok from my doctor to start exercising at six weeks postpartum and I was very excited to get started. I specifically asked my doctor about running and training for a half marathon in May. She said to go for it. I was thrilled to get back to working out! I did strength videos, walked, and tried to run three times. I felt like I was easing myself back into activity gently… but I guess I was wrong. Since starting back to exercise, I’ve experienced some major hip and pelvic weakness. It is preventing me from being as active as I want, but most of all it has scared me into taking a few steps back in this entire fitness process.

Gosh, I thought I was so enlightened and informed going into my pregnancy. I was aware of pelvic floor concerns and thought I was being proactive about strengthening my core and hips. I went to yoga. I did my kegels. I did squats. I sat on my exercise ball. I went to a pelvic floor workshop, for goodness sake! I guess I just assumed I was fit and that my body would stay strong for me, but thinking you are strong is not the same as being strong in the right ways.

I am not a talented runner or athlete, but I always assumed that willpower was my biggest weakness. If I could just force myself to do more, to run longer, to push through discomfort, I would get better. Get skinnier. Running distance races was so fun, but I now think I ran too many prior to pregnancy. And I was so determined to stay active during pregnancy that I didn’t listen to my body. I think I ran too much and too late into my pregnancy. I pushed through discomfort — a smashed bladder, sore pelvic floor, modified gait. I wanted so much to be the modern, fit, pregnant lady! And when I tried running over the last few weeks, my gait was entirely wrong and I was in pain. I shouldn’t have pushed it.

The lesson I’ve learned through this experience is an easy thing to say, but a bit harder to really follow: You MUST listen to your body.

I always assumed I had a low tolerance for pain, and that I was a slow runner because I didn’t push myself hard enough. But after getting through labor and a vaginal childbirth drug free, I am revising my opinion of myself. I am strong and my body can do amazing things. Perhaps I actually have too high of a tolerance for discomfort…

Now, I am probably beating myself up too much over how much I’ve run recently and throughout my life. Distance running is hard on everyone’s pelvic floor, but it may or may not have contributed to the weakness I am experiencing now. (If you are a runner, I don’t mean to scare you. You may be able to handle running before, during, and after pregnancy without trouble.) Most likely, my current weakness is due in larger part to my birth experience. Ken was born in a compound presentation position with his hand up by his head. And I pushed for two hours and fifteen minutes. Those two factors put a lot of strain on my pelvic structures.

So… not much I can do about that now… where do I go from here?

  • I am taking a break from all high impact exercise (running, aerobics, etc) for at least another month.
  • I went to visit Renew Physical Therapy yesterday. My PT has put me on a daily program to help strengthen my entire hip, pelvis, and core region. I plan to be diligent with my PT exercises and go in for a visit once a week. It isn’t cheap, though! And it is only partially covered by insurance.
  • I’ve started this 12-week, online Mutu System. It is a postpartum exercise program that focuses on core strength.
  • I am walking outside every day.
  • I hope to fit in some swimming, cycling, and yoga as often as possible.
  • I am eating healthy, whole foods and keeping my daily calorie count under 2000.

Sadly, I can’t say that I have noticed much positive change in the last few weeks… I know it is still early, but I’ve only lost about 2 pounds since my initial post and I am not feeling much better about myself. Boo. It is hard not to mourn the loss of your old body. It sucks that it is going to take so much work (and money) to try to feel strong and confident again. But I am committed to doing the work. Because this is the scary part: If I can’t sufficiently strengthen my core and pelvic floor, I may never be able to run again. The prognosis will probably not be that dire. But I MUST get stronger before I attempt any long distance training and/or IF I want to tackle a second pregnancy and birth.

If I was only dealing with the vanity aspects of my postpartum body — extra weight, stretch marks, sagging, etc — that would be hard enough. But those things pale in comparison to a body that is not working correctly. It is scary to have health issues. And it feels unfair to have worked so hard to stay as healthy as possible, only to be punished for having a baby with a body that can’t do the things you want to do. But, life is unfair. Plus, I was also rewarded with a perfect, healthy baby boy. I’d take on any health challenge to ensure his continued health and happiness. So, I’ll do the work and hope for the best. And I’ll report back on my progress!

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If you want to learn more about strengthening your core before, during, and after pregnancy, this website has a lot of good info: Maternal Goddess

my post pregnancy body

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So… I had a baby. It has been eight weeks since Kenneth’s birth and I have started to try to “get my body back” in earnest now. I thought I should write an initial “before” post so that I (and you) can track my (hopeful) progress.

I feel like I was prepared for a change in my body and was ready to accept the downsides of growing a human inside my abdomen along with the awesome miracle of it. In my rational, positive brain I know that even though my body is not where I would like it to be, it isn’t so bad, and with hard work and patience I can definitely lose weight and get to a place where I feel good about myself again. BUT, in my tired, illogical, overwhelmed brain I am freaking out. I hate the way I look! My clothes don’t fit! Everything jiggles! Stretch marks! How will I ever lose all this weight?! Sometimes I feel utterly destroyed and really sad that I will never have my old self back.

The weight facts: I gained 30 lbs during my pregnancy. I was proud to have stayed within the 25-35 lb weight gain recommendation and I believe I ate extremely healthy. (Despite craving donuts constantly, I really only had like 4 of them all pregnancy. I swear!) Not a terrible weight gain, but after all of the fertility issues over the previous year and our trip to Europe, I started the pregnancy at a higher weight than I would have liked. I lost 14 lbs after the delivery and within the first week. I have NOT lost anything else since then! And at six weeks postpartum, despite exclusive breast feeding and constant hunger, I was on the precipice of starting to GAIN weight. Breast feeding has not meant easy weight loss for me.

I need to lose about 16 lbs to get to my pre-pregnancy weight. And I’d like to lose another 10-15 lbs to get to my dream weight. This seems daunting.

The exercise facts: I exercised throughout my pregnancy. I ran up until about 28 weeks. I went to pre-natal yoga 1-2 times a week, I did pilates, swimming, and I walked a lot. The last few weeks of pregnancy were tough, but I made sure to walk Crusher at least once a day. I think I did a good job staying active. Post-pregnancy is a different story. Leaving the hospital they tell you not to start exercising until you get your doctor’s ok at six weeks postpartum. I followed the rules because I didn’t want to hinder my body’s healing process or cause any additional problems for my pelvic floor. I was also worn out and focused on caring for my baby 24/7. So… I spent about six weeks sitting on the couch. In addition to just having a baby, I am downright out of shape. But, now I’ve gotten my doctor’s permission to start being active again! woohoo!

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The plan:

  • Workout Videos – Currently I am trying out this Moms Into Fitness 30-Day Postnatal Slimdown Challenge. It is free on YouTube and seems really smart about easing back into abdominal work.
  • Running & Walking – I know that I need to be patient and that recovery from pregnancy and birth is ongoing… but when it comes to running, I am so frustrated and disappointed. My hips are really messed up. They are weak, and loose, and wonky. After running a mile, I can barely walk. So… I am going to try my best to ease in slowly. In the meantime, I am trying to walk Crusher every day with Ken in the baby carrier.
  • Postnatal Baby & Me Yoga – I am trying to attend this class with Kenneth at Bend & Bloom once a week. It isn’t a strenuous workout, but it feels good to move and see other new moms. Plus, it is good to expose Ken to new things and baby friends!
  • Calorie Counting – Most lactation resources recommend avoiding extreme dieting while breastfeeding. They tell you to “eat to hunger and appetite,” which is what I have basically been doing since Ken was born, but if I truly ate to my appetite?? I’d be eating a dozen donuts a day washed down with eight cups of coffee and a chocolate bar. So… I need to watch what I eat. I am aiming for less than 2000 calories a day, with extra calorie allowances added depending on my activity level each day. Nothing drastic. I’m using the Lose It app to record my food and exercise. Travis and I have a goal of eating four dinner salads a week… so far, success!

Looks are not important. Especially at this point in my life, no matter what I do, a super-model body is not in my future. If you think about all of the people in your life that you care about, what impact do their looks have on your love? Probably zero. So, I know that being a mom is my top, best priority and Ken will love me no matter my jean size or how many miles I can run… BUT I’d love to wear my old clothes again. And, I want to stay healthy and feel fit. So, I am going to work hard to get back in shape and stay within a healthy weight range. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

This cute face will help keep me motivated…

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Have you had success losing the “baby weight” recently? What are your tips?