Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Salt Lake Temple Visitor's Center

After our harrowing drive to Utah, we spent our first night with Dallas' dad. He lives super close to the temple, so the next morning, we took all the kids to the Visitor's Center there. We got the whole tour, which was neat. I love the Christus statue there.

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Jaq's house

Over Christmas break, we stayed a lot of nights at Blake and Lauryn's house. They were so nice to put all of us up, even though that meant our kids taking over their kids' room. The kids love playing with Jaq, but I think Sophie actually spent the most time with him. She kind of liked to take care of him. It was fun.

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Sophie loves playing Spore on the computer. It is a game (not intended for kids as young as Sophie) where you start out as a single celled creature and then evolve. She loves it! She actually does pretty well, all things considered. An explanation of the last picture: Sophie has Barbie and the Twelve Dancing Princesses that is a book and a CD. Zach and Aubrey, our friends, were over and so she did a story time with them, showing them the pictures. I thought it was so cute, and all her idea.

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A style all of her own

Penelope has so much personality. She loves to choose her own outfits. Sometimes I have to fight her to wear what I want her to wear, and sometimes, I just don't have the time or the energy. If nothing else, I am sure it gives her preschool teachers something to giggle about.

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Good thing Gabe is getting a brother!

In all honesty, Gabe is actually more boyish than I would have guessed he would be considering both of his sisters are super girly. He prefers swords and action figures, but who can blame him if he can't pass up a little dress up party now and then? I sure miss my kids!

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Dallas!

I am almost a month late on this post, but Dallas hit the big 3-0 this year! We had a little family party. The kids had fun making him a card and helping to pick out a cake (oreo icecream cake). We are all so thankful for him and everything he does for our family. And Dallas, you don't look a day over 20, so don't worry about it! Happy Birthday!!

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34 weeks

Here I am at at 34 weeks. I have no new news on what is going to happen. Just waiting for the ultrasound on Wednesday. I am big.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Another update...

In current Heaton family news, the kids actually didn't go to Utah. Instead, Whitney, Dallas' sister came to us. My friend Janae filled in until she was able to fly in late Wednesday night with her two kids, Sesaly and Hadley. She has been so great. Dallas was doing an amazing job keeping everything clean and the kids taken care of, but it is so great to have Whitney now so he can carry on with his school and work responsibilities. So far as I hear, the kids are having a ton of fun with their cousins, and Whitney is working miracles. Someday I hope we can return all the many favors the Bytheway's have done for us.

Dallas is digging right back into school and will be getting busier, especially next week. He is considering applying for a summer program with the Metropolitan opera. We will see how that all works out. He definely proved himself as a very capable dad, as he was pretty much on his own with the kids for a week. He was able to juggle everything and still keep the house cleaner than I ever do. Amazing. And the kids always look bright and happy. I am very proud of him and his willingness to make so many sacrifices for our family. Thanks Dallas.

So, there hasn't been a ton of news as far as me and the twins are concerned. I am still on bed rest and will continue to be here until next Wednesday.

On Wed. (Jan 27th) they will do another ultrasound to determine the growth of the babies. If both babies have gained at least a half of a pound AND the discordance is less than 20%, I am free to go home and just wait until I go into labor like normal. This would mean that both babies have to grow, but especially the little girl needs to really grow so the gap between them isn't so big. As of my last ultrasound it was somewhere between 30 and 35%. I have asked the likeliness of this, and the doctor told me that it can happen, but that I need to prepare myself in case it doesn't.

So, if these criteria are not met they will perform an amniocentesis on the boy to check for lung maturity. Unknown to me, usually the bigger babies are the ones that struggle more after their born, apparently because the smaller ones have had more stress hormones which help them develop and give them more drive to start eating and stuff like that after birth. The fat ones are too comfortable in the womb to worry about surviving outside.

So anyway, if his lungs are developed sufficiently, they will either induce my labor or perform a c-section that day. Yeah, I know, that means we could have 5 kids in less than a week. Scary. If they deem his lungs too immature, and the discordance has increased to even a greater gap, they will give me another shot of Celestone, which is the steroid that aids babies in lung development. (I received my first dose of that last Friday, and then another on Saturday.) At that point they will wait a few days and then deliver the babies. At this point they said that they won't stop me if I go into labor, and actually would prefer if I did early next week. But, I am having fewer contractions since being on bed rest, so I don't know if that will happen.

On Monday I will be 34 weeks, which is kind of a milestone for premature babies. Though they would still probably have a while in the NICU, usually the problems are really minor and have no long term effect. At that point they may struggle with eating and keeping their body temps stable.

So that is about it. Surprisingly, I am losing weight here. I figure it must all be muscle mass because I all I do is sit and eat pretty much. I don't think they are too concerned about it right now (I am only down about 5 lbs) but they are keeping an eye on it. I guess other than that, I did have a slightly higher level of protein in my urine, but not to a worrisome level, and since my blood pressure is actually low, they aren't worried about preeclampsia.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

One more day down.... ? more to go.

So today was a pretty good day, but probably my hardest yet. I had to say goodbye to the kids, who are now on their way to Utah with Dallas. It is so hard to have them so far away and I hate not knowing when I will be able to see them again. But I know they are going to have a blast with Dallas' family. They probably won't even want to come home when this is all over and done with. There are never enough hugs and kisses when it is time to say goodbye. I can't wait to see them again.

Not a whole lot of new news on my end, which is good. The babies are still active and have strong heartbeats. I had a little scare last night with some crampy contractions, but they were able to calm them down with an IV. They checked my cervix and I am only 1 cm dilated and 80% effaced, and something like -3 posterior, which means I am not in dangerous territory, as long as I don't start contracting again.

I have still been blessed so much with love and help through all of this. I have had absolutely wonderful nurses who have been so eager to do anything for me, whether it be to talk for an hour or print me off crossword puzzles. They have made such a difference. And my amazing Relief Society President showed up again today with a huge bag of snacks, a body pillow and two other pillows, 2 comfy outfits/pajamas, lotion, and two meals. I can't believe how wonderful she has been.

I also got a room upgrade! So yipee for that. My new room is huge! There is even a little fridge, so I can store all my snacks. It used to be a shared room with two beds, so I have two closets and plenty of space for all the stuff I can't help but seem to be collecting. My shower is bigger. The TV is a flatscreen. I am chalking it up to my good behavior!

So, anyhow, since I did change rooms, I have a new phone number, so leave a comment if you want it and I will email it to you, or something. Dallas took our only cell phone with him, so I don't have the luxury of calling long distance anymore. At least I still have the internet.

But thanks everyone for your prayers and support. I hope life is good for everyone!

Friday, January 15, 2010

A quick update-a-roo

So for those of you who don't know, I am currently in the hospital on bedrest. I went in Wednesday for a routine ultrasound where they told me there is 'twin discordance' or something like that. Basically our baby boy is getting nice and fat (he is approximately 5 lbs 4 oz, which is like two weeks ahead of where an average baby is at 32 weeks) and our baby girl is not growing like they would like to see (she is around 3 lbs 10 oz and in the 20th percentile.) So that in and of itself is a bit of a worry, but even more so is the fact that her stomach circumference is only in the 7th percentile. They tell me that this is an important time for babies to store fat in their stomachs, so they worry something isn't going well with her. This may be due to a poorly functioning placenta, but they aren't entirely sure. There is also an excess amount of fluid in her amniotic sac, which I am not sure totally what that means or why it is bad.

So, the theory is, though from what i have read, it is not been well-researched, if I am on strict bedrest, all the blood and calories that would normally go to the muscles when I am up and active, will instead have a greater chance of being focused on the babies. Why the hospital? Honestly, I don't think they trust me, especially since I have other kids, to be really diligent about staying down all day (I don't totally blame them.) That and they are keeping a really close eye on the babies' heartrates so if something bad starts to happen, they can get them out quickly.

I am not having pre-term labor. In fact I only a have a handful of contractions a day now, versus the many I was having before bedrest.

So, since I have been here, they have:

  • monitored the babies' heartrates every eight hours for 20 minutes. The babies, though not always cooperative in holding still for the monitors, appear to have good accelerations (meaning if they do start dancing or fighting or doing whatever twins do in the womb) they're heartrates go up, like it should. Then it goes back down to what is normal for them. (The boy's resting heartrate is consistently slower than hers, but both are within the healthy, normal limits.)
  • done a blood glucose screen on me to once again rule out gestational diabetes. I took the normal 1 hour one back at 27 weeks and passed, but they wanted to do the more intense 3 hour one this time, just to be sure. I guess the excess fluid around the girl is what brought this on. Somehow there is a link between GD and excess fluid, and I plan on doing more research to find out what the link is. I passed with flying colors with the test, they tell me, so they ruled out GD.
  • gathered a full 24 hours of my urine. (I kind of love the hospital ice, so I filled more than one! Sorry if that is too much information...) I guess to make sure I don't have protein or anything else in my urine that would cause alarm. I actually don't get the results from that test until tomorrow morning, but the nurses say it is pretty precautionary, as my blood pressure is great and I have no swelling (another thanks to bedrest, I guess.)
  • done another ultrasound on the babies (that was just today) that assessed their general well-being. It is called a Bio Physical Profile (BPP) and they are basically given points for different things they do well. Sort of like some weird fetal game, I guess. The get one point for general fetal movement, but two more points if they move their fingers or toes. Other points are given if they are practicing breathing, and if their heartrates are good, and stuff like that. Good news, though! Both babies scored ALL points possible. They are probably little gamers in the making.
  • done other various blood tests on me, none of which I remember, but all of which I passed. Maybe I am a bit of a gamer myself.....
  • given me a steroid shot to help the lung development of the babies if they need to be delivered soon. As I said, I am not neccesarily at risk for going into labor right now. But, if it is true that our little girl's placenta isn't doing its job, things could get bad very quickly for her, and at that point the harsh world still might be safer for her.

It is getting kind of late, so there might have been more, but I will fill you in with it later if there is. Today has been a wonderful day for me since I got to see Dallas and the kids for the first time since Wednesday! Due to my good behavior, I am allowed one hour a day to go for a wheelchair ride. Since it is flu season, the kids can't come up to my room, but we were able to meet up in the cafeteria. It was so refreshing to see them. I think when you get in a situation like this, you kind of take a step back and don't ever want to take those you love for granted. And, I can't lie, I just miss those crazy kids! Sophie had a lot of very loud questions, Penny brought her puppy and kitty, and Gabe talked in a really high voice the whole time, which I am pretty sure signified that he was a puppy. They are doing really well at home with Dallas, who has rearranged everything to be there for them. (So, maybe I could tell Sophie had done her own hair as she had a headband in and a lovely, huge, bow right up front.) Dallas has not only kept the kids happy, but I hear he cleaned the whole house. And, guys, it wasn't pretty. My last post was kind of depressing, but I haven't been doing housework like I should. Maybe I would have done more, if only I had known that I couldn't do it 'tomorrow' as I kept promising myself. So sorry, Dallas. You really are too good to be true.

At this point in time, the doctors want to keep me at the hospital for at least the next two weeks. At that point I will have another ultrasound to measure the growth of the babies. If, for some reason, the girl is doing remarkable, they might let me go home. Or, if she is is doing so great, they might assume it is due to bedrest and keep me here until I go into labor. If she is not doing well, they will either just keep me on bedrest, or if things have gotten worse, they will induce labor at that point and we will have our babies! I am excited to meet them, but I hope they can benefit from being in the womb for as long as possible. (Besides, I am not going to lie, I have absolutely nothing ready for them at home. All the baby stuff is still stuffed away.)

We have been so blessed by an outpouring of love from both families, friends, and our ward. Everyone is so willing to help wherever we need it. Right now we are still trying to work out all the logistics of how to make sure everyone in our family gets the care they need. It is times like this that I am so thankful that we both come from warm, loving, and BIG families! We have a seemingly endless amount of options regarding who can help out with the kids once Dallas is back in school on Tuesday. I have never been more thankful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have had several visits from the Relief Society President already (one of which she surprised me with a delicious meal from Panera Bread, and even something for Dallas, which the kids ate.) The compassionate service lady keeps calling to see if we need anything. I called up the RS pres. husband and he gathered the missionaries and gave me a blessing within twenty minutes of my call. The bishop and his wife came this evening.

I have been able to talk to so many of my sisters and Dallas' family. It is great. My sisters-in-law got me Netflix, which is so wonderful! I haven't gotten too bored or lonely yet! But that doesn't mean I won't, so don't hesitate to call or email or whatever!

We just want to get a little bit more information on my situation before we make any firm decisions. Dallas and I are planning to talk to one of the doctors tomorrow to get any tidbit of info he or she might have. I'll try to keep everyone updated, especially those who might be taking the kids!

I am so thankful for the peace I feel at this time of stress. I have a lot of hope for a great outcome. I appreciate everyone's love and concern for us. Even though I don't want to have any of these things to be happening, I feel blessings greater than misfortunes.

Sorry if this is getting sappy for everyone, but I am an emotional, crazy pregnant lady. So that is it for now. I will try to keep everyone on the up-and-up.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

LIfe as we know it.....

Yeah, I know I don't update my blog nearly enough. I also don't put away my laundry enough, either, as is evidenced by the 3 baskets sitting in my living room (and I won't even tell you how long one of them has been there.) So, today has just been one of those days. Oh, you know the kind: when you finally decide to stop worrying so much about the mess and the stress and just hold your kids and play, because it isn't that big of a deal how many fits they throw, or how many times they wet their pants, or how many bins of toys they have emptied and strewn about the house. Okay, I am still just trying to convince myself.

I took the girls in for flu shots today. I had to take them out of school for it, which is kind of a big deal because Sophie's school has a really strict absence policy. I am basically being watched like a hawk because I took Sophie out of school for a few days so she could go on a family vacation. I promise the secretary that I will get a doctor's note when I bring her back. Of course when Sophie comes crying into the office (thanks to the secretary saying over the intercom that "Sophie's mom is here to take her to get a flu shot.") I can't help but notice that she is wearing capris. Not quite the pants I sent her in this morning. I quickly look in her bag and next to her unopened, mandatory bag of season-appropriate extra clothes is a note from the nurse letting me know that she had had an accident. Poor kid. So I take the kids out to the car, the freezing wind whipping at Sophie's bare legs and quickly change her into the long pants that are in that bag. She is still sobbing away at the impending shot, and Penny starts panicking because at this point she realizes that she is getting one too. So we happily drive to the doctor's office, with Gabe actually really happy because he got his yesterday. We get there and hurry into the office, dodging the people who are staring at me, huge and pregnant and with 3 kids, two of which are hysterical, because I know they will say the inevitable: "You've got your hands full!" (Gosh, they don't even know I am pregnant with twins.) I realize once we are in the office (in a back corner of the hospital) that I forgot to bring Sophie's makeup work for the things she is missing for this appointment. Kindergarten these days.... I make the decision to forget about it and have her do it after the appointment. Luckily the wait is short. We are taken to a room and the girls both hide under the chairs out of fear. Gabe thinks this is great fun, and pretty soon even the girls have forgotten about the shots and all 3 kids are climbing around like monkeys while I try to listen to the doctor. There is a PA student there learning and observing and I am feeling like I have absolutely no control over my kids. We end up being there forever because the student is doing all the weighing and measuring and blood pressure, and is obviously nervous about it all. But eventually we are done and the shots are over with. (They do have to call in an extra nurse to hold Penny due to her unnatural strength.) The doctor sends us to a lab with a cup for Sophie's urine, because he suspects her recent trend of accidents might be linked to a UTI. (Collecting is an adventure that I will keep private for Sophie's sake, not that I probably haven't already over-stepped my bounds.) We wait at the lab for close to an hour, disturbing an older couple as Gabe continues his monkey act, even when I hold him in my lap. Okay, well finally we are done. Time for Sophie to quickly do her worksheets while the rest of wait and then back to school. Except that I forgot that stinkin' doctor's note. Grr. Back up to the pediatritian's office. We get the note and are off to school. I get everyone out of the car, when somehow, that little piece of paper, that silly doctor's note, somehow flies right out of my hand and under the car parked next to mine. I heave myself onto the mucky, snowy parking lot to look for it. Out of reach. Wow. I try for a few minutes to get it, even get the kids to say a prayer, and then decide that I will just see if the school can call the doctor's office to prove that I wasn't just taking Sophie out for fun. When we get inside the school I notice the janitor is cleaning the cafeteria floor. I forgot about lunch. I talk to the secretary, sheepishly telling her how I lost the doctor's note I had promised her (and as I tell her the story, I almost feel like I am lying to her.) I ask if I can just take her home for the day, since it is only 1.5 hours until school is out and she hasn't eaten lunch. "Oh, no! She can still get a good hour and a half of learning today!" So she rounds up a lunch of fruit loops, string cheese, mashed potatoes and carrots, and has us all sit in the school entry way while she eats it. She takes her sweet time, sharing bites with Gabe and Penny, and everyone seems to enjoy this messy, weird lunch situation. I take her back to the office and they sign her in, and the secretary whispers that she already marked her as excused. Thank you Arnett Elementary secretary! I take the other kids home, feed them, and take them back to get Sophie. The car in which kept the note out of reach is gone and I salvage the note, muddy and sopping wet. I can't help but laugh out loud.

Now that I have taken so much of your time, don't forget to look at my next post. I don't want to steal the glory from Gabe's birthday.

Happy Birthday Gabriel!!

Posted by PicasaSo, yeah, Gabe is 3 years old! I can't believe that my baby is getting so old. And believe it or not, he still seems like my baby. I guess that all might change once his brother and sister are born, but for now I will keep holding on to his baby-ness. It is so odd to me that Sophie was 6 months younger than him when he was born. She didn't seem nearly so young! Gabe is in a stage of craziness right now. He loves the foam swords he got for Christmas, and attacks me pretty much all day long. He is slowly refusing to take naps (which is super frustrating, because I was hoping at least he would nap once the twins are born.). He took a short break from being obsessed with Spiderman, but his obsession seems back in full swing, except he seems to like GI Joes ('Geejyjoes') just as much. And he is really into all the tools he got for his birhtday. Where he learned to like all these boy toys is beyond me. (Don't get me wrong, he will play barbies, ponies, and pet shops too.) He is always trying to get us to laugh, and I am pretty sure he gets his sense of humor from Dallas' side! He sends each of us to the jungle regularly. He is a character! We love him and we are so thankful to have him in our family.