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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Over 100ml

I managed to pump over 100ml at the 330am session today *thrilled.

It took a long time to get here (11 days from when the twins were born) and breastmilk feeding has reminded me of an invaluable life lesson but more on that later. Need to get some shut eye now as the next round is in 2 and a half hours time!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Nesting - less than the fingers on 1 hand

We will be meeting the twins very soon and both my CEB and I are in full nesting mode.

He got his car cleaned today, unpacked the remaining car seat and 1 stroller and set both up (seriously thank The Lord for my CEB being really fast and good with fixing stuff), and we both slaved to pack up our room and the hall. Everything looks much neater now in preparation for  the arrival of the twins. 

I won't deny that while I am apprehensive  , I am really looking forward to getting my body back. I am now wracked with insomnia and vomiting every morning and evening. I used to be able to hold down breakfast but now even that is a lost cause. :( Last night I met my law school friends for a fab buffet dinner at Orchard Central and I couldn't eat v much - my stomach is so mashed that there is no room to expand. My baby pouncy was very active and awake throughout the dinner and kept squirming around, prodding me or sticking out her head as far as my skin would stretch. 1 of my friends who is a mother of a 4yr old girl patted and stroked her and she really reveled in the attention. Within a couple of hours, I was so wiped out I could barely drive home. To compound matters, I had to vomit and so there I was driving with a bag of vomit in my lap, heaving into it at least 4 times while driving back. I went straight to bed but was plagued by insomnia and lay there till 2pm, enjoying the squirming, lurching, poking and hiccuping going on by high babies. Oh dear, they really are preparing for life outside the womb and I hope they are good good girls when they are out, the kind that just feed, sleep and coo.

As for myself, I want my old body back, my appetite, my ability to eat and enjoy food - I want to be able to stop retching and vomiting and feeling so sick, nauseous and achy. I am so close, this close to reaching the end that I am literally dancing in anticipation of a restored body and life. Just a bit more, I keep telling myself. 

Whatever the outcome, our lives as we know it will forever be irrevocably changed in a matter of just a few days. In the meantime, I am going to treasure each moment with the twins still in me.

Now all that is left are the pumps and bottles.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Hanging on

Barely. Have been vomiting every single day since 1 week back and for the past 3 days back, explosive vomiting in the morning. That used to be just once a day and in the evening mostly.

I am waking up later and later too although I sleep about the same time. And I need to lie down in the afternoon after the least bit of exertion - like opening letters. It's not funny. I'm feeling so damn sick and weak that going out is a major accomplishment in itself, and so is washing my hair which I haven't done in days. 

The maid is still not here but will be soon enough so this is the last weekend on our own. I deliver next week. I'm really terrified of going under the knife - telling me so many have done it is zero consolation - I still have to face the pain and recovery. A mother would do anything for their child right! Including losing her life so as the twins mother, I must do whatever it takes to deliver them safe and sound. I would be happy to lose my life for them but I had envisioned that to be painless, not this gutting open, being sewn and stapled back together again across my middle.

The twins have been stepping up on the activity level esp Twin A who is heavy enough to go bump bump at my crotch area and when she presses on my bladder, the pain is just intense and sharp and sleepy as I am, I have to roll myself up and get to the toilet. I don't know what else she is rolling on but I have a tremendous amount of gas these days too and the need to move my bowels more than once a day. She is lying so low that when I curl up on my right side to sleep (not the left anymore cos Twin B's legs are there and she kicks me hard repeatedly until I get off lying on my left side), I feel Twin A moving against my thigh. If the ultrasound is accurate, she is a full sized baby indeed.

Twin B, my baby Pouncy has been worrying me of late as she is less active than before, than her sister. She doesn't squirm as much as before but remains a morning and evening creature when she is most active and disturbs me by either poking at me from the inside with her hard little elbow or fist or shoulder or sticking out her little head as far as my skin will allow. After caressing her little head gently and talking to her, the little one will then relax and sink into the recesses of my belly. The only thing is that she is so far up my belly just under my breasts that I have difficulty breathing and my ribs hurt so bad as she is pressing up on them, having run out of space. 

The red stretch marks all over my belly are horrific and depressing. I have tried not to think how I am going to look with a deflated balloon of a stomach and all these marks. It is too depressing to even go there. And forget maternity shots - I feel and look so terrible daily that I don't have energy to go there. In bed all day except to eat(which I wouldn't bother if not for the twins), and to conserve whatever energy I have to do the bare basics / necessities.

I guess I am blogging more than ever because after their arrival, I doubt I will have time to write. Recovery, latching, breast pumping, feeding, changing diapers, patting to sleep...this is IT. The new chapter. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Throwing down the gauntlet.

I can't believe I'm done with all the pregnancy check ups and the next time I see my doc will be for the delivery.

The final checkup, the doctor measured each twin and for the first time, there is a weight diff of 200gm. While he wasn't too concerned, I was and have been thoroughly miserable and angry that all my efforts to nourish the twins have failed , that all the good food I have been eating have failed to fatten my babies up, that despite my size, my babies are not going to be big fat jolly rotund babies. I researched a bit when I got home and found that the last month of a multiples pregnancy is diff from that of a singleton pregnancy - growth restriction etc. All this just points to one inevitable conclusion - the benefits of keeping them longer in my body is lesser than delivering them where at least they can receive the necessary intervention. So it's time to put on the big girls pants and get prepared for surgery and their arrival.

I am also coming to the realization that the welfare of the twins mean more to me than anything else, more than any relationship. Any relationship that will cause more harm to them than benefit them, I will not hesitate to end. The value of a person to me now is measured by how that person relates to/treats my babies. The twins have such a hold on my heart that I will not stand for, will not tolerate anyone or anything that threatens their wellbeing, health, safety or happiness. I will use all means, including those provided by the law, to defend them, to obtain what is best for them. Because I am their mother, because if I do not speak up for them, fight for them, keep them safe, who will? 

And of course having the financial means, and knowledge and access to the various channels of support necessary to do what I must means that I  do not have to put up with less than what the twins deserve. Not less than what I expect, not less than what I want, but less than what is right. 

A person can be self centered, thoughtless, lazy, stupid, stingy and cheap. A person can choose to waste time and money on things and people who don't know him/her from a hole in the ground, who will not benefit his/her life in anyway, on him or herself, a person can choose to stagnate, fall behind, fritter away the years of his/her life. And I would not care. I am not his/her parent. His/her failings reflect on his/her upbringing/parents, neither which I had a part to play.

But, BUT, let all these affect my life or worse, impact upon my twins, and I will give hell back. Make me miserable, I'll make sure your life is no stroll in the park. Make the twins suffer in anyway because of who and what you choose to be - be it cheap or lazy - I will make your life hell. You might see some bits coming, you might not see the rest. But be assured I do not forget and I do not forgive. Esp not when it comes to the twins.

I did not put my body through all this suffering for them to receive less than what I think is their rightful due. I did not wash the vomit off my clothes, my hair, the floor, the car, to tolerate their being subject to all sorts of baseless beliefs and practices. I did not lie in bed for months, wracked with bone breaking back, chest, ribs and privates pain, so that I can bear children which I am told what to do with. I did not put myself through everything I have to get the twins so far, only to have to bow down to the views of someone else who never suffered as I did for them. I did not give up my social life, my beloved fishing, control of my body, digestive system so as to bring 2 little beings into the world to suffer a hard life and being deprived of the basics like a good education and healthy diet.

And I definitely did not sign up for being gutted open 10cm wide across my abdomen, my skin, tissue, muscle and organ, and then be dependent on pain killers with a catheter inserted, just so I can watch my views, my dreams, my plans for my babies being overridden in place of someone else's damn beliefs. Beliefs which have neither basis on science, modern medicine or logic. 

Yes, take this as a warning, take this as a challenge. Prepare your arms, prepare your pocket. Because I am ready. Because I have the means. Because I stand ready to be judged. I welcome being judged for wanting to protect my twins, for wanting to ensure the best I can for them. Judge my decisions which are based on hours of research, backed by studies or experts in the relevant fields  , backed by even the law. If what you want for or claim with respect to my babies is based on what so and so said to you, or what you read on the net on a social networking site, or some one-off distinguishable experience, or worse, your own belief system, then I ask you to kindly shut your mouth and not take up my bandwidth with your drivel. Look at and fix your own damn life before interfering with mine or my babies. 

I may not be perfect nor may I always be right but I can live with my mistakes if I make any. What I cannot live with is guilt that I tolerated, accepted and endorsed what I knew was not right or less than what the twins deserved. 

So watch me, and do not say you have not been warned or informed. This,I can promise you - you will reap what you sow. Your efforts, or lack thereof will bring you your just rewards. Whether you like it or not, you will be held responsible and accountable for all you have chosen, chosen to do and chosen not to do.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Big Girl Pants

I need to pull on my big girl pants. If I had my way (hmmm, like I ever did this pregnancy), I would not choose a C sec. I haven't told anyone but I really am scared at the thought of being gutted open. Scared in a "pls pls don't make me do it"  kind of scared. Scared of the pain, the staples holding the mouth of the wound together, the possibility of infection and the catheter to help me pee on a bag. I really don't want that if possible. 

I am contemplating a GA so that I won't be awake but I don't want to miss out on seeing the twins as they emerge and spending the first few moments with them. If this option means no catheter which is unlikely, I would opt for it I think. Pain is such an unattractive option. This pregnancy, not only do I have to suffer the whole spectrum of morning sickness, but when it comes to delivery too, I can't catch a break. The only silver lining I can see is that I won't have the risk of tearing down there all the way to my ass. Other than that, nay, I have signed up for a world of pain and inconvenience with this pregnancy. 

Not sorry that it will be my last. My CEB doubts that but given our age, cost of living and the unpleasantness wrought by this one, it will be a long time before I change my mind. Our twins are enough!

Speaking of which, they have spent a good part of the morning prodding and poking about. And last night, I could feel Twin B's little fist pushing out against my upper chest so hard that it really hurt! I rubbed her fist (might be my imagination but I could feel her knuckles) hard and she stopped pushing. Think the little girl is cramped in there. 2 nights back, she stuck out her head again so far my tummy went lop sided and my CEB could feel the hard round bump her head made. We stroked her head for a while and then she went off back to the recesses of my tummy. 

Twin A gave me an unforgettable moment last night when she squirmed a bit and I placed a hand over her to calm her down. I exerted some force downwards, in my mind thinking that she was going to kick me back for that...and what do you know, I received a thudding kick from the usually gentle one as I has predicted. That made me laugh out loud with delight.

We are left with less than 10 days and I am cherishing every good moment of this pregnancy. I really could do without the bad moments but all things come in a parcel and I can't choose the good bits only. Nonetheless, I feel so blessed to be able to experience carrying a life, another little alive growing being (or rather 2 beings) inside of me. I don't and I won't regret this pregnancy.

And now I just need to find and put on my big girls' pants so we can get them out safe and sound!

Monday, May 13, 2013

23 (+) months together

I meant to write this entry on 26 April 2013, knowing full well then that I wouldn't be writing any more "2 of us monthiversaries" entries come May 2013 - Our little ones will be joining us before our second wedding anniversary and with their arrival, I doubt we will be celebrating any more "monthiversaries" in the near future given how full our hands will be then.

But since it's one of the rare times that I am on my laptop (and therefore can resize and upload pictures), I thought I'll complete this entry while the little ones are still in me and not demanding any time other than of course, rolling about and prodding/poking away merrily inside.

So, the past few months and weeks have been really tough with my functioning at 10% or less. My CEB has admirably, stepped up to the plate and picked up the slack from hanging up clothing to dry, ironing clothes and putting them away and cleaning the floor. He has also progressed to unpacking the groceries though I have to say I am amused that most of everything gets packed into the fridge, even the dark soy sauce I bought yesterday!

Most importantly, he has tried to keep the relationship happy with minimal quarrels, and we are trying to strike a balance between enjoying the last days of couplehood with staycations (the pic below was taken at Grand Mercure Hotel the first week of May where we cleared the last night of our complimentary stays), movies (we watched IronMan 3 and even Star Trek: Into Darkness, last evening) and, preparing for the little ones' arrival (my CEB assembled the 3 in 1 rocker over the weekend and I packed everything in their room - only thing left to do is (a) figuring out how to use the breast pump and washing the milk bottles and pump parts (b) pack the hospital bag properly and (c) filling out the forms to open their CDA bank accounts)).

I have to say that he has been a really patient and understanding husband - I'm so out of it these days that I can no longer crawl out of bed to make him breakfast like before, and when he tries to cuddle/hug me in bed, with all the aches and interrupted sleep (thanks to all the toilet trips), I end up shoving him away. Hard. I feel really bad about that, especially when he kisses me before he goes off to work, or when he pulls the blanket about me before he leaves. I can't even open my eyes to reciprocate or grunt something back. And when I open my eyes, it is about 10am and it takes me another 3-4 hours before I can actually haul myself out of bed and get started with the day. The day which ends about 8pm because I'm aching everywhere - back, shoulders and now, even my knees and my sides which feel like they are stretching painfully due to the extra weight. The twins' poking and sliding about hardly helps. Ugh. So yeah, I've not been very much of a wife, more like a lumbering whale that stays in bed 90% of the day and thank goodness my CEB has been an absolutely gem.

I love him even more than before, especially when he is so giving during this tough period. Truly a wonderful husband.  We have had great times traveling  together (from South America to Japan) through our dating period and first 1 and a 1/2 years of marriage, and although we will have 2 little ones to complete our family in x days time, I hope and pray that  our marriage will remain as loving and giving as ever.

Thank you all

I just wanted to thank each and every one of you who have, in some way, contributed to this.

It is the first time ever that I've received a cheque in connection with this blog and I have to say that I'm amazed.

Ever since late last year, I expected readership to drop drastically (which it did) given the direction this blog has taken, and the infrequency of the posts - unlike before when I was posting regularly and about various places, hotels, experiences etc instead of moaning and wallowing.

So, thank you for staying with me, reading and clicking those ads!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Waking up to & falling asleep with

I will miss waking up to the twins' stretching and rolling around in my tummy. I will miss falling asleep to their muffled kicks and squirming. I will miss their hiccuping.

I can no longer sleep on my back without it feeling like it is going to snap in two. I am also getting the most horrific backaches while walking or sitting and that scares me because it may be a sign of back labor. I still have zero appetite although we went to The Line yesterday for dinner for Mother's Day dinner with my in laws. Threw up about 3 times over dinner and once more in the car. I can't wait to stop this vomiting business which is so tiring and damaging. I can't wait for the fatigue to end so I can do everything I used to and plan to.

But I will miss the good bits of pregnancy - little feet drumming against my ribs, Twin B's head pushing outwards, Twin B flipping and stretching in my upper abdominal area, Twin B's hiccups, Twin B's light little tapping in me, Twin A's squirming against my pelvic bones, being able to feel her knobbly knees or feet against my hands through the skin of my lower abdominal area, her pushing against the seatbelt when I drive and her very strong muffled kicks towards my backbone although the rest of her actions are so gentle. I will esp miss her hiccuping which makes my pelvic area pulse to her beat. Oh golly, I really love our babies to a depth I never knew possible.

There is no answer as to whether they are safer in me than safer outside at this late stage of pregnancy. I want to keep our babies safe forever but there is no right answer or any point fighting their fate/destiny. So I go by medical advice on when is the most optimum time and what the most optimum way (for the twins) is when deciding to evict them without their consent. A natural labor and delivery would have been most ideal and the only way if medical science had not come this far, but since it has, my birth plan is simple - safest method to get the twins out followed by least stress and pain to babies and mother. Even if this means my being gutted at least 10cm across (like a fish) through my skin, flesh, muscle and organ.

Not thrilled with the idea of a C sec as I don't want the pain and the 2 months 
 recovery period, especially when my hips are wide enough and the twins are not oversized. But Twin A remains stubbornly breech - she is all curled up as Twin B is on top of her. There is just no space or chance for them to turn head down for a natural delivery. So the method of delivery has been decided by the little ones.

I have been fortunate to have a understanding and accommodating boss   Who has allowed me to work from home for the last 2 weeks of the pregnancy. I can barely get out and about now with the fatigue and aches and breathlessness. Not to mention the vomiting which has gone on the entire pregnancy.

I have been fortunate to have my CEB as he has bent over backwards to ensure that we don't quarrel 95% of the pregnancy, taken on the household chores, participated in the pre natal courses, and doing everything that needs to be done, including getting a domestic helper (that was a lot of paper work), to prepare for the little ones arrival.

We have no illusions that it is going to be tough, that two squalling babies will be a huge challenge to us as individuals and to our marriage but we need to get through this period together, somehow. There is a lot of give, a lot of closing one eye, a lot of tolerance being practiced, but which relationship doesn't call for that?

 Esp one which the happiness and well being of the little ones which we knowingly and voluntarily brought into this world, depends on. Neither my CEB nor I could live with ourselves if we were to give the twins less than the best of us, less than the best we can afford. 

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Explosive vomiting and Faith

Happened again! I'm so near the end of this pregnancy yet I can't catch a break. It is not funny falling on your knees, tears running down uncontrollably, holding on to a toilet bowl and belching at the top of your voice as you choke out food and gas...all over the bowl, seat cover, seat. And then have to wash it all away.

The first trimester all over again save for my massive belly and back aches thrown in for good measure. Dinner is 90% a lost cause but when I can't keep down lunch without the explosive vomiting (controlled small portions vomiting in a few runs is normal), I know that I have lost all control over my digestive tract n my body.

The twins appear to be preparing for their arrival with their being far more active than before. Talk about constant squirming, drumming of little feet, hard kicks and strong hiccuping as they get ready to vacate the rent free premises they have been enjoying since last Sept. Please, little ones, stay in there safe n sound till your due date n time and then come screaming healthily into this world into our arms. And oh please Lord, let me have my digestive system back - I miss my appetite, I miss not vomiting after each meal, I miss the old me even if it wasn't a model perfect body (but it worked). Please let me recover quickly from the C-sec and have an easy time breastfeeding! 

I can't, I won't and I shan't put myself through this again. There are some things that money just can't buy and an easy pregnancy is one of those. I'm closing shop after this. Thank you God for giving us the twins as and when we planned for them - I feel so grateful that we didn't have to wait for months or years to bear children. Thank you God for keeping them safe and growing in me for 35 weeks. I wish, really wish that I didn't have to suffer quite so much this pregnancy - if You had wished it, You would have heard my prayers to be delivered from the misery - but I suppose this suffering was to make me appreciate them better when they are delivered instead if taking them for granted. And besides, I would rather it be me suffering than them.

I have never imagined loving someone I never even met or knew but my love for our unborn twins surpass all the feelings I have for any other. I can't wait for them to be in our arms, for us to start a new chapter as parents, for our lives to progress from husband and wife to mother and father.

I know of course that nothing is certain, that no pregnancy is ever guaranteed, that even as late as delivery or as early as the first few days, the unexpected may happen. Having come across a few blogs on this subject (while reading up on breastfeeding), I am well aware that what we expect or work for may not come to fruition. But I will still say that I have been blessed with this journey and gift of pregnancy, of being made a mother to two living souls in me all these months, and also that my twins are blessed no matter what happens, because their little souls are pure and they have only known and seen The Lord.

I know I'm far from a bible thumper or one that tries to evangelize/fervent church goer or even one that talks about God often if at all. But at the core of me, I believe. I have faith. And that, that is what sustains and has sustained me through my days.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Less than 20 days to go

So, here we are, almost at the finish line. The date n time has been set, the ward/bed has been booked n the hospital bag is 90% packed except for the stuff we still have to use daily like chargers, identity cards.

My belly is huge now, n I can't stand for more than 45mins without my legs aching madly. Thankfully I have been spared frequent leg cramps although I had one this morning. My back aches and my poor bladder is so squished that I keep going to the toilet to empty it, even the smallest trickle brings instant relief. My CEB suggested twice recently that I should consider buying adult diapers so I could sleep better without having to get up and out of bed - not an easy feat with two babies lying in the balloon attached to my tummy. I literally have to use my arms to propel myself from side to back to side while in bed. My legs are useless due to the terrible ache at the groin area - bloody muscles preparing for child birth which well, isn't going to happen since Twin A is breech n Twin B is transverse. Both seem to be v comfortable in me with no inclination of wanting to move out and I would be happy to keep them in there longer if it wasn't for the daily vomiting, lack of appetite, fatigue and now, inability to bend over. I'm getting to be quite the expert at using my toes to pick up stuff.

The only joy I derive from this experience ( pregnancy) is feeling the babies in me. Even as I type this entry on my iPhone, Twin Bis merrily hiccuping away while Twin A rubbed her foot against my hand. And when I was frying eggs for dinner, , Twin B started moving around madly in me because of the heat of the stove bring so close to my belly. She is just so active this little one, reacting to stuff I drink or eat and I can't help but rub her through my belly skin n talk to her. Now, as I type, it's Twin A's turn to get a round of strong thudding hiccups. I just know she's going to be my good little girl when she is out unlike Twin B. At this stage, we have nicknames for them - my CEB calls Twin A, Stacy, as she stays placid most of the time and Twin B is called Pouncy as she is like a prancing little kitten all day!

I have been blessed so far in that the twins have not come early like most twins and they are if fairly decent weight at this stage. I am trying to fatten them up as much as I can with daily consumption of maternal milk, Essence of chicken, bird nest and fish.

My boobs are sore n painful and truth be told, I am not looking forward to breastfeeding. Nevertheless, let it not be said that I didn't even try so I have bought an expensive breast pump to give this breastfeeding a go. Breastfeeding is just not attractive to me as I still have to watch what I eat, how my temperament is cos that gets imparted to baby. If I eat junk, my breast milk is worse than formula. It's troublesome too - requiring me to wage every 2-3hours to pump. And I run the risk of engorgement, cracked n bleeding nipples etc. But here I bow to parental pressure - my mil expects me to at least express and my mother, I know that a refusal on my end to do so would result in my being blamed if the twins fall short in anyway!

I'm just afraid not to breastfeed. If I was v certain that formula milk is just as good, I would just do that n save myself the trials n tribulations that come w breastfeeding l.

As it is, I think I'm in for the dog house for another 6 months even after I deliver! Talk about life changing events!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Strap that bag of rice around your tummy

I move at the speed of a snail and it isn't just due to the ache at the unmentionables. At the scan yesterday, each baby weighed 2.1kg. So I'm carrying around at least 5kg around my middle given the amniotic fluid n the placentas. Try picking up a packet of rice that weighs 5kg n strapping it around your middle - that's what I am lugging around internally.

What is more distressing though is the effect this weight has on my bladder. I ended up wetting my jeans when I vomited in a standing position yesterday, not just my undies but my jeans legs. And I am exhausted every morning because I wake up every single hour in the night to go pee despite taking the anti nausea pill which used to knock me right out. What joy.

So, the twins. They appear to have had a quarrel of sorts because they are no longer facing each other. Previously, Twin A was lying breech but face upwards while Twin B on top of her and traverse was lying face down ie imagine the number 7 which is the position they are lying in me. I had felt a woosh feeling some time back which felt like Twin B was making a big movement and the ultrasound showed that her head is now on the right side of my body next to Twin A and for the first time in the pregnancy she had flipped to face upwards. She is the twin closest to my heart literally and has pushed my stomach to the left side of my body where her feet are. I don't think she causes the daily vomiting though - its more the acid reflux but she certainly causes the breathlessness because her elbow is right smack in my diaphragm. She is very high up just under my breasts and has a tendency to stick her head outwards which causes a hard round bulge just under my skin. When we tried to take a photo of her face yesterday, she put her hand up to her face to block then squirmed to face away from the wand.
Twin A has flipped to turn downwards for the first time which surprised me as she has always been the stable placid one. She's so low that her body is at my bikini line and squirms from her make me afraid because the skin is so thin there. She's getting in on the action these days too and keeps me company in the late night hours, mama's little night owl.

My mum who was with me at the doctors yesterday wanted to go to the nurseries to see the new born babies and we had a chance to peek at several babies who were all swaddled up. So small like little kittens! Babies are indeed made to be loved. I must thank God and my CEB for making me a mother this Mother's Day 2013, a mother to these two little ones inside me now but whom we are ready to bring into the world and share the beauty of life with.

I'm afraid (of all the changes that are to come) but for the twins, I must step up to the challenges and be their mama first n foremost before everything else.