21 weeks 

Babies

The three of us are doing well. I have another cervical scan this Wednesday but I’m feeling quietly confident that my cervical ‘helmet’ is doing its job. Things feel pretty calm down there. Yes, I have started self diagnosing my own plumbing. No, I haven’t been to med school.

I had my 20 week anomaly scan last week and it was good to see that both babies have the requisite number of arms, brains, legs, noses and heart ventricles. 

Big Val still has plenty of room and is in a rather comfortable feet down position. Check her out – she even has a pillow. She’s doing the uterine equivalent of ‘Netflix and chill’:


Richie McCaw though…..is not a Richie McCaw after all! The sonographer is pretty sure that he’s actually another girl. It’s hard to tell because he’s tucked away behind his sister and he’s rather squashed and mysterious. He’s head down and we saw Big Val kick him in the face live on (scan) TV. Poor little guy/girl. Anyway I guess we need to come up with a new name as she probably won’t be the captain of the All Black rugby team in real life anymore. Here she is – cute nose:


Bump

I have given up on wearing trousers unless they are of the elasticated waist variety. I bought 2 maternity dresses in Topshop as I can’t really go to work in sweat pants. There is a lot of terrible maternity wear out there ladies ….plenty of florals and wrap around tops (think Kate Middleton in pastels). Topshop, COS and Asos are still good. Anyway, my belly is expanding and people keep moving their hands towards me to touch it. In the words of Missy Elliott, keep your hands off my ba bump ba bump bump:


General Zen

Overall I’m feeling good. We have some stressful stuff going on related to husband’s job situation but I am trying not to wallow in it too much. In the meantime I’m saving as much as possible and figuring out ways to squeeze the maximum amount of ££ from my rather stingy (by British standards) maternity leave allocation. It’s tough – living in London is expensive. Luckily my mum is retiring soon and has offered to come and help us once the babies are born. I’m hoping to take 6 months off work…which I know must seem like loads to American readers. It’s easy to get bogged down in negative thoughts at the moment – probably a combination of hormones, anxiety and weird nesting instinct. Sleep is interrupted by midnight worries about money, jobs and if we have room in this flat for the minimum amount of baby stuff. So I keep reminding myself that:

  • I am bloody lucky to be pregnant after all the years of trying
  • Plenty of families in London manage every day in much worse circumstances than us
  • I could be living in a mud hut in Africa with no water, sanitation and certainly no maternity leave
  • Nobody likes a moaner
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19+3 weeks – Hungry and Cervical Helmets

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Here’s a 19 week update from twin pregnancy towers – London branch.

I’m growing. I’m growing BIG. Some of this is related  to the two 6 inch humans resident inside me and some is related the amount of food I am eating (or thinking about eating….all….day…..long). It’s ridiculous. I’ve never been so hungry in my life. When I’m eating I’m thinking about what to eat next. There is nothing I will not eat. Nothing! Mmm, now I’m thinking about food again. Some toast would be nice. Lovely, lovely hot buttered toast. Yay for food.

I haven’t weighed myself so I have no idea how much I’ve stacked on but I can tell you that my waist was 27 inches in December. That waist has now completely disappeared and been replaced by a 38 inch road bump.

In the words of Mike Myers, GET IN MAH BELLY!

What else is happening? Well, my cervix is a bit short. It was 35mm two weeks ago and it was 32mm on Monday. That’s not a great number, particularly for a relatively small person who is only 19 weeks pregnant. Anything under 35mm is worrisome and can point towards pre-term delivery. However the good news is that my fibronectin number is very low, only 1/500. This is a very good sign, despite the shortening cervix.

So… my doctor decided to err on the side of caution and insert an ‘arabin pessary’ to help keep my cervix closed. Sounds exotic doesn’t it? It isn’t. He described it as a ‘lot like an old fashioned diaphragm’. I nodded wisely, picturing (for some reason) a rolled up condom. Fact is, I’m a 38 year old modern-day person living in 2016 so I have no idea what a diaphragm looks like. So, I was a little shocked when he produced a bright blue rubber ring that looked like the end of a plunger –  about 10cm across and 5cm deep. Yeah…not really like a rolled up condom.

Anyway he kindly let me know that he would ‘fold it in half’ before ‘popping it up there’, which I thought was nice.

He popped it up there and it was fine. I can’t feel it. It needs to stay in until I deliver the babies. The magic number is 28 weeks (when early babies have the best chance of survival), but I am determined to bake them until 37 weeks. Come on cervix, you can do it!! Especially now you have your arabin hard hat on!!

pessary 3

2 free hours in Amsterdam – in pictures

I’m in Amsterdam on a business trip.  I had a couple of hours spare this afternoon so what did I do? Well I…. ate chips, saw some tulips, checked out Nintjie (aka Miffy), blew some Euros on unnecessary but cute baby stuff and put my feet up for 10 minutes. I’m getting cankles by the way.

Tomorrow – Munich!