Saturday, 31 December 2011

WK20:Day 6 - HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

I couldn't let today pass without sharing a few words for the man in my life.

Mart you are my rock and my shining star. We have been through so much in the short time we have been together, and I want to thank you for every moment we have shared! You are the best husband and an incredible father! I cant wait to experience the next chapter in our journey with you. I love you with all my heart and soul!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!

A little reminder of us in the days before children and early nights ;) We'll have our day again soon enough. 



XXXXXXXXXXXX

Thursday, 29 December 2011

WK20: Day 5 - This is Hard But I'm Happy!

I hope everyone is feeling full of yummy food and contentment after their Christmas festivities :) Mart, Luke and I had a lovely time at Granny and Grandpa even with the few hickups I had which saw me needing to go into Exeter hospital on Boxing Day. I had more bleeding on Saturday and again on Monday which although I tried to put down as nothing I couldn't stop worrying about. I wasn’t having any major abdominal pain or cramps but a few niggling pains which were enough to make me want to get checked over. They performed a full check of the babies, an internal and measured my cervix, thankfully everything seemed ok.   

Here’s a very happy Luke sitting on a farmers tractor. (Similar to one Granny and Grandpa gave him for Christmas!) I’ve never seen anyone so pleased with themselves :)  

Physically this last week has been quite up and down for me. The ups have been feeling all the boys moving, sometimes even turning completely around. They are really going for it now. Sometimes it’s just a little flutter but a lot of the time its a proper kick or movement that I can see on my belly. I’m starting to work out who’s doing the moving as well which is lovely. I won’t bore you with the downs, but for anyone reading my blog during their own multiple pregnancy, it’s more for your reference. I’ve been having a number of lower abdominal pains, leg and pelvic pains, constipation, heart burn and reflux. I have also been struggling with a lack of appetite and sleepless nights which I think are more down to stress and worry than any physical effects of the pregnancy. I have been prescribed Ranitidine for the heart burn which is working wonders. The rest it just the beginning of what I have been expecting which is likely to continue until my little stars are born. It’s not really surprising with the lack of space in there and the extra weight I’m carrying.

So we had our appointment with the specialists on Wednesday and overall everything is looking good. The boys have grown the right amount and are about size of a big banana now, their heads about the size of a clementine. Our
fetal medicine specialist performed the full standard 20 week anomaly scan which checks for a number of things now visible at this gestation period. They are;
  • The shape and structure of the baby's head. At this stage severe brain problems which happen very rarely, are visible.
  • Whether there is a sign of a cleft lip. Cleft palates inside a baby's mouth are hard to see and are not often picked up.
  • The baby's spine, both along its length and in cross section, to make sure that all the bones align and that the skin on its back covers the spine
  • The baby's abdominal wall, to make sure it covers all the internal organs at the front.
  • The baby's heart. The top two chambers (atria) and the bottom two chambers (ventricles) should be equal in size and that the valves open and close with each heartbeat.
  • The baby's stomach. Baby`s swallow some of the amniotic fluid that they lie in which is seen in the stomach as a black bubble.
  • The baby's kidneys. Whether there are two of them and that urine flows freely into its bladder. If the baby's bladder is empty, it should fill up during the scan and be easy to see. The baby has been doing a wee every half an hour or so for some months now!
  • The baby's arms, legs, hands and feet. The fingers and toes are also checked but not counted.
  • As well as this detailed look at how your baby is growing, the placenta, the umbilical cord and the amount of amniotic fluid around the baby are also checked.
  • (reference for above from http://www.babycentre.co.uk)
99% of the checks came out perfectly which is amazing! The only thing which is causing some concern is an increased amount of amniotic fluid around twin 2. We don’t know at this stage what it could be but they have decided that I will need closer monitoring. I will be going in for another check next Wednesday rather than my fortnightly appointments. I need to stay positive until we have a better idea of what’s going on.  Here are some pics of the boys, again being quite camera shy!

Baby 1 with his back to us. You can see his head and spine. 

 Baby 2 - this is the first twin with his back to us as well. 

Baby 3 - this is the second twin. You can see the profile of his head with his brother above him (back facing us)

Baby 4 - this is the side profile of baby 4. You can see his face and arm at the top of the pic.

Tomorrow is a very special day for me. Not only is it New Years Eve, but it’s also our wedding anniversary. I wish I was in a better condition to be able to spoil my gorgeous husband rotten, and paint the town red, but I’m not so instead it’s going to be a cozy night in with some delicious dinner and a mini bottle of champagne that I’ve treated myself to :)  HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!! I hope 2012 brings you much joy, happiness and fulfillment of all your goals and dreams.

My bump has grown so much in the last couple of weeks! I’m seeing the physiotherapist next Friday and I’m hoping she’ll be able to give me a bump support as the weight is already starting to take it’s toll on my back and pelvis. What is quite funny is I keep getting asked by people when I’m due. To see the shock on their faces when I say that I’m not actually due until the 15th May, then having to explain I’m expecting quadruplets. There’s no doubt I’m going to be HUGE!  Here’s my bump at 20 weeks. 


20 weeks pregnant 

Saturday, 24 December 2011

WK19: Day 6 - Merry Christmas

After a long week I'm more than ready to set off for Grandpa and Granny Beks today! I'm looking forward to a cozy Christmas in the country with walks, fires, yummy food and lots of laughter.

We'll be back next Tuesday ready for our specialist appointment and scan on Wednesday. I had a bit of a scare last night with some light bleeding (it was only a very small amount, and stopped very soon after it started), so I'm waiting on this next scan quite anxiously to make sure that everything is OK. It's not been the best week overall so I'm glad that it's nearly over and look forward to focusing my energies on a better one next week. 

I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! I hope that you all have a fabulous day of fun and celebrations however you spend it. 

Lots of love Em, Mart and Luke xxx

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

WK19: Day 3 - I’ve Got the Christmas Bug

So I’m a little later than promised with this post, mainly due the fact that I completely wore myself into the ground on Monday through all that can be described as trying to cram too much Christmas into one day! My body has once again reminded me that I can`t do what I would consider as a non-strenuous normal days activities anymore. Mart and I had an amazing day in Bath doing some Christmas shopping and really enjoyed a day out together. By 2pm I was pretty exhausted so we split up and I came home for a nap while he went off to get Luke from Nursery. I literally got off the train and dragged myself home, but could have only had about 30mins sleep before the boys were back ready to go off to ‘Fabulous Christmas’ an evening of Christmas magic at Bristol Zoo. It was sadly not quite as fabulous as we had hoped. I don’t want to moan, but when you’re promised to feed Santa's reindeer (two very tired looking reindeer who had been feed all day I presume so weren't the slightest bit hungry) ice sculptures (one gorilla) & street performers (two scary snowflakes and what can only be described as a cross between a giant camel and reindeer) the magic I was expecting wasn’t exactly anything to write home about. Our night excursion completely finished me off, and I literally spent the whole day yesterday in bed emotionally and physically drained. I won’t be doing that again in a hurry!
 
Here are some pics of our evening

 Luke and Dad saying hello to the Christmas camel

 Mum and Luke 



Santas Reindeer

Monday’s exhaustion however is definitely not going to put a damper on my Christmas spirit, it’s safe to say i’ve got the bug this year! The tree has been up and decorated since Dec 1st, and I have adorned the walls with tinsel (or sparkley as Luke calls it). I think it’s all down to Luke and his new found excitement of for it all! My heart melted when he came home from nursery and asked me if we could write a letter to Santa asking for a green tractor because he’s been a good boy. Fast forward 3 years and you can only imagine what Christmas will be like in our household.

Not the best pic, but here’s a proud Luke by his newly decorated tree. 

Physically i’ve been struggling since my last post and have developed a very bad case of trapped wind and reflux which has kept me awake most of the night for the last couple of nights. To try and and get some sleep I have had to sleep on the sofa in an upright position to stop the reflux from waking me up. I read up about Dyspepsia in pregnancy and it mentions not eating for 3 hours before going to bed. I’m not sure how I’m going to manage that. Although with that said my appetite has completely disappeared. I am hoping that I’m just going through a bad patch and things will return to normal as I’m definitely not getting the right amount of food and nutrients to fully nourish the babies. If it doesn’t get any better then I’m going to invest in a blender or juicer to make myself super healthy smoothies.

Finally here’s bump at 19 weeks. 

19 weeks pregnant 

Sunday, 18 December 2011

WK18: Day 7 - Eenie, Meenie, Miney & Mo

We’ve spent quite a bit of time this week thinking about  names for the boys and I can confirm that it’s definitely as hard as you think it would be trying to choose 4 first names and 4 middles names. It has opened up a whole series of discussions around the task at hand and the whole ‘name’ selection process as whole.

I am currently reading a great book called Twins & Multiple Births by Dr Carol Cooper. Carol has written this book in association with Tamba and it has been an invaluable and interesting source of information and reference for me. They make some very interesting points on naming of multiples.  

A child’s name is an integral part of his individuality and personality and choosing names for multiples, while double or treble the fun, needs care. Names like Kirsten and Christine which sound very similar will be difficult. Try also to avoid rhyming names (Jenny and Penny), and two or more names with the same initial (Thomas and Theresa may find it hard at the same school).’ ‘Matching names like Jade and Amber, Holley and Ivy) sound witty at the time, but your children may not share the joke. Names which are very different in length (like Christopher and Luke) can seem a good idea, but sometimes pose problems with the children learning to write.’ ‘You may like to name your twins or triplets in reverse alphabetical order, so that the first born is called Natasha and the second born Andrew. Then at least Andrew will come first in something, which could count for a lot in later childhood.’

So trying to take some of these points into consideration while at the same time listening and speaking to other people you find that everyone seems to have their own set of rules or criteria around how they have chosen or would choose their children's names. Most of them are quite reasonable and make sense, but can you really consider all these things when you have 8 names to choose? Here are some of the topics we have considered or just laughed about during the hunt. Oh and in case you were wondering about the title of my post this was the suggestion made by my loving father for the boys :) Thanks Dad!

Meaning
Does the meaning of a name really matter? I think to some extent it does, but it’s definitely not a deal breaker. Just so long as it’s not completely fatal for your child's reputation, or will see them being bullied. Being South African and I was teased quite a bit at school for my name, as in Afrikaans an ‘Emmer’ is a bucket. Nothing which has damaged my ego I must add.

Popularity
Does it matter that the name was in the top 10 most popular names of the last two years? This is a hard one as under normal circumstances I would have said yes. I would like to think that we would choose original and unique names for our children but I don't think this one’s going to as easy as I'd hoped and brings me onto the the next topic...

Unusual vs Traditional?
As well as not wanting my boys to be one of many ‘Jacks’ or ‘Oliver's’ in their peer group I would have also liked them to have slightly interesting or unusual names. This has stumped me again though, as I keep on thinking maybe the fact that there’s four of them they’re ‘unusual’ enough, so we should go with more traditional names?

We certainly wouldn't go down the road of some of the most unfortunate names parents have ‘lovingly’ bestowed upon their children. Here are some good ones...

Anyone hungry?

  • Mayo Head
  • Mustard M. Mustard
  • Bread White
  • Fish & Chips (twins)

The sinner baby

  • Sloth Washton
  • Wrath Gordon
  • Envy Burger
  • Greed McGrew
Association?
Does it really matter that you know someone with a name that you actually quite like but they’re not the most ‘desirable’ of characters. Or you couldn't possibly use a name as it was one of your pets! For me this is probably more of a `no go` than others, stupidly I think. If I know more than two people with the same name who aren’t very nice, then I have it in my head that ‘Scott’ for example isn’t a nice name.  

Well it’s probably safe to say that we wont be taking any of the above too seriously when it comes to naming our boys.  If you have any suggestions please leave us a comment as we’d love to hear them.

Otherwise mentally and physically I've been feeling OK the rest of the week. The only things which have bothered  me is my tiredness and my itchy and sore belly from all the rapid stretching my skin is doing. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is. I know that you shouldn’t scratch as it stimulates the histamine in the skin which just makes it worse, but you just try and not scratch...I challenge you ;) I’m continuing with my daily bio oil routine in the hope that I am saved from the stretch marks, but if the midwife I saw at the hospital on Wednesday is correct nothing you do will make any difference to whether you get them or not. You either will or you wont. Even if this is true I'm not going to take the chance as it ‘worked' for me with my first pregnancy!
 
I finished work on Friday for a two week break! what a relief to know that I don’t have to do anything for the next two weeks. YAY!!! Tomorrow Mart and I are dropping Luke at Nursery and then we’re heading off for a day together in Bath to do some Christmas shopping at the market. I can’t wait. In the evening we’re taking Luke to the Zoo to feed Santa's reindeer, so expect some Christmasy pics in my post tomorrow  :) 

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Thanks to All My Readers

I just want to thank everyone who has come onto my blog since its been live. I am overwhelmed by the incredible support and feedback. Please feel free to follow the blog ('join this site' button on the right above the blog archive) and leave comments as I would love to hear from you. All the love and support really makes the journey a lot easier.

Em xxx

WK18: Day 3 - Five Down, Five to Go!

Wow, now that’s a scary thought! I've only got another 5 scans before my little boys are born... eeek! If we’re lucky then it could be one or two more. The goal that we’re aiming for is 32 weeks gestation, so fingers crossed we can make it!

So we had a scan today and I'm incredibly happy to report that everything was fine. There is no sign of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (amazing!) and all the boys are looking strong and fit. They have grown the right amount in the last couple of weeks, and are currently sitting exactly on the 50th percentile for a singleton (for those who don’t know, this just means they are exactly average in size in comparison to the medical guideline growth charts). They still look like they have some room to move around in there which wont last much longer. It’s really difficult for our sonographer to scan me and it normally takes about 40mins to check all four. I felt quite sorry for him today as it seems like a struggle to make sure he is measuring the right baby part. I have some scans which didn’t come out that well as by the end both the sonographer and the babies had had enough :) I will post them as soon as I have scanned them in. Just to give you an idea of where we are in the pregnancy; they are all about 14cm long and can now hear the sound of my heart beat and a few other external sounds. It’s time to start clearing the throat for some singing. I hope they all like the same music :) We also had 100% confirmation that we are expecting 4 boys. I know there were a few people who still thought there might be a chance of a girl. Not any more!

I was up at the hospital yesterday to have my cervix measured, and that all looked good too! no sign that anything drastic will be needed to be done at this stage, PHEW!. We also chatted about my lack of energy and heaviness, and as I thought it’s just the way it’s going to be with so much more weight and strain on my body. Apparently my body is at the stage a of 7 month singleton pregnancy. I just need to take it as easy as possible and listen to my body, meaning try and be less stubborn and relax!

Monday, 12 December 2011

WK18: Day 1 - It’s Been to Long

Where has the last week gone! It’s been a whole 8 days since I was able to sit down and write a diary entry... I’ve become so fond of this precious quiet time when I can shut the door and put down my thoughts and feelings on paper. It’s something that I’ve not done before and I can now see why people enjoy it so much, I’ve definitely missed it!

Work consumed all of my time last week and completely knackered me out. I was in London on Wed for an all day client debrief meeting and in hindsight I probably should have taken the suggestion from most people in my office to dial in rather than travel. I’m still in the mindset that I can do as much as I could a month ago, but the reality is sadly far from that. A 5:30 start and 8pm arrival home saw me completely finished off for the rest of the week. The worst bit of it was having to pretty much sit in the exact same position for 8 hours of the day, I just can’t do that any more. I find getting comfortable in most positions pretty much impossible. I have about a 10 min threshold and then I need to move about. I can’t work out why I am feeling so much more uncomfortable than I was at a similar size when I was pregnant with Luke. Maybe having more placentas means more weight on the pelvis or something. That’s definitely a question for my specialist when I see her tomorrow. I was looking at some of my pregnant pictures at 9 months with Luke earlier, which I’ll share at some point. It’s quite amazing how different I feel in comparison. At 8 ½ months I was as fit as a anything, doing all the household chores and even mowing the lawn, hehe! I couldn't image doing that now at 4 ½ months, I just don't have the physical strength or energy, even though I was in exactly the same condition to start off with.
 
I had a midwife appointment last Friday which went well. I think both my midwife and I are feeling a lot more comfortable with each other so I’m not expecting to much and she seems to have gained the confidence to listen in to the heart beats and discuss things with me in more detail. We heard all their little hearts loud and clear which was great. I also weighed myself and I’m now weighing 70kg which is good. I started at 57kg and should aim to put on about 24kg in total so we’re heading in the right direction. The little guys have also been moving quite a lot. They started about two weeks ago but last week I could really feel them squirming around, and at some points had a hard bit stick quite prominently into the side of my belly. This is another crazy feeling in comparison to Luke, as with him just a few movements in the centre of my belly have now turned into movements from all sides. I can only imagine how this is going to increase in the weeks to come. 

I think all my tiredness came out in a ball of hormonal tears on Fri and Sat! It really wasn’t pretty! I wish these damn hormones would give you some kind of warning, but oh no... one minute you’re fine and the next your having it out with a loved one about something so trivial or you see something which triggers a memory or a feeling that your life is over and you’re never going to have any enjoyment out of it ever again! Thank goodness for supportive friends and loving husbands. I ended up sleeping pretty much the whole of Sunday which was probably a side tactic to make sure that I didn’t break down into one of my hormonal messes again. Joking aside though, the strength of my hormones at the moment is quite incredible and it’s hard to know when they are going to hit.

On the positive side my morning sickness is well and truly on the way out. I still get minor pangs of it but they never last to long or are to strong.

So as I didn’t post yesterday, you'll now have a WK:18 - Day 1 Monday pic instead of a WK:17 - Day 7 Sunday pic. Not really much change, although it doesn't feel like that. 


18 weeks pregnant

Sunday, 4 December 2011

WK16: Day 7 - Fun Times

I've had such a good weekend! Hooray for friends, yummy food and giggles :) Dinner on Friday for one of my closest friends birthday was amazing. It was pretty rubbish not being able to enjoy all the merryment with everyone else, but just being in the company of such lovely people and seeing friends I haven't seen for ages was great! I didn't last very long, was in a taxi home by 12:30, hehe! I then spent the rest of the weekend with another of my dearest friends and godmummy to Luke. I came away from the weekend with a the warm feeling you get when you get then chance to properly relax and chat with people you love. Otherwise the rest of this week has been a good one, not much other baby news to report. I'm still getting my head around the fact that we're having 4 boys! The more I think about it the more I realise that practically it makes lots of sense that they are all the same sex, sharing rooms, toys, clothes etc!

Here's my weekly bump pic. 

16 weeks pregnant