The featured blogger this week is Melanie of Mel’s 2 Belles! Melanie is the proud MoM of 2 year old girls Katie and Lacey. I can pretty much guarantee that when you visit her blog and see the AC/DC-esque logo you will also have Hells Bells stuck in your head. Ok, maybe that’s just me.
What made you decided to start a blog?
I had quite a challenging pregnancy, so while on bed rest I decided to make a conception scrapbook to document all that occurred (and have a cute place to put all those ultrasound pictures). When I showed it to some friends and family they were really touched by it and said that I should start a blog. Since I was pretty bored I thought it was a good idea too! I also thought it was a great place to keep track of all that was going on and record information about the girls (once they were born).
You had a challenging pregnancy, can you discuss it and offer any tips for someone who may be going through the same thing?
My number one tip would be that if you feel that something is not right trust your instincts and get checked right away! Don’t let anyone discourage you – it is better to be safe then sorry when it comes to the safety of you and your children.
At nineteen weeks I had an appointment to see my doctor and get an ultrasound to confirm the gender of the twins. I had been feeling “peculiar” for the past few days so I was glad to be seeing my OB. That day I was especially having a lot of discomfort in my belly and back.
When I went in for the ultrasound it took forever because the girls were not cooperating and I was in a lot of discomfort. The ultrasound tech noted that I was having mild contractions and even though I thought this was quite odd she assured me that it was common. She took a few more measurements and then all of a sudden got pretty quiet and said she needed to go get my doctor and she’d be right back.
When my doctor came in he told me my cervix was funneling (basically getting too short) and that if I kept going at this pace I would go into premature labor and lose the girls. He said I had to go directly to the hospital and have a cerclage (a stitch on your cervix) placed and be on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy.
My husband and I started freaking out. It was one of the scariest things I have ever experienced and I just couldn’t believe that I might lose my babies. We rushed to the hospital next door and were admitted right away. We waited there a while before finally having the surgery and luckily it was successful.
The doctor that placed the cerclage was not very helpful though. We ended up calling her “Dr. Doom” because she painted such a horrible picture of our outcome. She said that I was fighting preterm labor because of my stretching uterus and said that if the babies were going to come there wasn’t much they could do about it.
Luckily she was wrong about that! They put me on all sorts of medicine to help keep the girls in and I strictly stuck to my bed rest. I laid on my left side pretty much all day long (except for meals) and never left the house other than our millions of doctor appointments. I also had to give myself daily Lovenox shots (blood thinner) because of the combination of being on bed rest and a clotting disorder that I have.
Those 16 weeks were pretty rough – especially in the beginning. My husband and I took out a calendar and marked off each day that we got through and also noted big milestones that we passed along the way (24 weeks gestation, 28, 32, etc).
I also ended up with gestational diabetes – not the most fun. Another bit of advice I would give is to be an advocate for you and your babies. While doctors know best in most cases, we certainly should feel able to share our opinions and concerns with them. When I was about 31 weeks they wanted to put me on medicine to help control the diabetes since I couldn’t use exercise to help keep my numbers low. I argued with them because I couldn’t stand the thought of putting one more drug in my system (my doctor had even referred to me as a human pharmacy). Luckily they agreed to let me try one more week, and after seeing that my numbers didn’t get any worse, let me continue to control it through diet alone.
Finally at 35 weeks and 1 day I went into labor. The delivery went well and everyone was deemed healthy. Lacey went straight into the newborn nursery and Kaitlyn had to go to the special care nursery for a week. She had a few complications due to low blood sugar, low weight, body temperature regulation, jaundice, and reflux but after all that ended up being okay! We are so blessed and I know every day of my bed rest was totally worth it!
What is the best piece of advice you received since having your twins?
The best advice I received was from my sister. She told me that it was okay to let babies cry every once and a while. If they are fed, clean and dry, and not tired sometimes they just needed to cry in order for Mommy to get stuff done! This is great advice for a mom of multiples because sometimes you can’t get to one child and there just isn’t anything you can do about it. Another thing she told me was in reference to keeping house and getting my “to do” list done. She said that no one on their death bed ever said, “Man, I wished I had cleaned my house more.” It is best to just enjoy every moment and do the best that you can – you are only human!
You seem to travel a lot with your twins, what’s a great sanity saving tip you can offer other parents of multiples for traveling with little ones?
When they were little it was best to travel during their nap times (if the trip was only a few hours). We would stop along the way if needed to feed them and then they would go back to sleep. I actually would advise people to travel while they are young and they still sleep all the time! Car trips are much harder when they are older and awake more. I now use a portable DVD player in the car and bring lots of toys and books that I can toss back to them. Snacks are helpful too if you can manage it. I actually avoid traveling during nap time now that the girls are older because it is too uncomfortable for them to sleep well in the car and it makes for cranky toddlers the rest of the day.
What are some of your favorite activities to do as a family?
I have to admit that I am not the bravest when it comes to doing activities by myself with the girls. When they were young I used to take them on walks around the neighborhood or park a lot. Now that they are older and no longer a fan of the stroller we focus on play dates with nearby friends, playing outside in the yard on our new swing set, or just dancing and singing around the house! When my husband is around, and especially on the weekends, we like to try to take the girls to fun places just to get us all out of the house a bit!
What question(s) do you have for the other families in the community?
How do you brave taking (mobile) multiples out to places by yourself??
What type of things do you do to emphasize individuality with your children??
What are some fun academic type activities you do to get them ready for preschool and kindergarten??
Be sure to leave your answer to Melanie’s questions in the comment section and then head over to Mel’s 2 Belles to leave some bloggy love!