Saturday, March 28, 2009

Oh, Yeah, The Snoring

I forgot in the post, while focusing on how tired I am, how sleeping with twins is going.  I can assure you, Dave has not.

So, um, yeah.  I snore a bit now.  When we were first married, Dave said I snored like a kitten.  He was very much in love then.  Things have definitely changed.  

I woke up the other night and Dave was smothering himself with a pillow.  Actually, we was trying to sleep with a pillow on the top of his head because my snoring was so loud, it was waking him up.  The other night, he said he just started laughing because he had never heard such a loud sound coming from another human being.  Such a delicate flower of pregnancy, I am.  

I have also been having major pains in my hips while I sleep.  Then I figured out that's why they recommend pillows for pregnant women.  As long as I put my top leg on a pillow, I don't have pain.  No pillow, great pain.  Poor Dave is hanging on for his life on his side of the bed.  I try to move the pillows from one side to the other when I turn to give him more room, but there is a great deal of grunting involved.  I'm not sure that's a real improvement.

And the final sleep yucky part is the 1:30 to 2:00 am acid stomach. Oddly, when I roll over to my left side (the side you're supposed to sleep on when you're pregnant), my God(dess), the acid that comes up to my mouth.  Invariably, I lie there debating about whether to let acid burn in my throat or waddle downstairs and get the tums.  Usually, I waddle.  But I will be really happy to not have acid in my mouth every night.  It's not nearly as much fun as it sounds.  

I'm sure none of these issues have anything to do with the fatigue I feel throughout the day.  Not at all.  No sirree.  My less than ideal sleeping has nothing to do with my desire for 2 naps a day.  

Being Pregnant With Twins

A few people have asked me if this pregnancy is different from Conor's pregnancy.  The short answer is Hell to the Yes.  Actually, it's not that dramatic.  Except it sort of is. 

This is  qualitatively different than Conor's pregnancy, even though I'm doing really, really well as a twin gestator.  The main thing is that although I'm 6 months, I'm measuring 8 months, and I feel like I am 8 months.

First and foremost, I am tired.  Really, really tired.  And when I complain about how tired I am and people around me say, "Oh, yeah, I'm tired, too," I want to hit them.  There's a difference in feeling like you could use a cup of coffee and the utter fatigue I am feeling.  Case in point:  Conor and I went to Trader Joe's this morning. When we got home, I asked Dave to get the groceries from the car because I felt dizzy and tired.  I then lay down on the sofa and immediately fell asleep for about two hours.  This was 11:30 on a Saturday morning, when I'd (mostly) slept from 9 pm until 7 am the night before.  

The whole fatigue thing reminds me of last year's surgery.   At one point, after looking at my CAT scan, the doctor noted that most of the time, people are so much pain, he has the discussion about the surgery in the emergency room.  I thought to myself "I said it hurt."  Maybe what other think of as utter fatigue is my "need a cup of coffee", but when I say I'm tired, I mean, I'm tired.

I'm also very slow.  Walking around now is a lot more difficult than it ever was with Conor.  Walking up the stairs at the rental really winds me.  And whereas it used to take about 5-7 minutes to walk from the parking lot to my office, we're now looking at a good 15 minute shuffle.  And sometimes, I actually have to stop and rest!  While I'm *walking.*  I'm honestly not going to push it.  There will be plenty of time after the babies are born for me to set a personal record in the parking-lot-to-office commute.   But now, if my body says, "Dude, slow this shuffle down," I'm going to.  

Finally, one really good thing is that my belly is so big that my butt looks good.  It's amazing what (dis)proportion will do, but yeah.  My butt looks small and firm.  HA!!  HA! HA! HA!  Maybe the solution to our warped body images should be  a new fashion trend of sticking a basketball under our shirts so our butts and thighs look good!  

Of course, there are the other usual things (swollen feet, smaller brain, increased thirst and appetite) all of which are happening earlier than with Conor.  But those seem normal. The fatigue, the speed and the belly size just seem very, very different this time.   

In fact, even talking about this makes me think another nap this afternoon would be very nice!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kickin' Ass and Taking Names

Eventually, we will get to that portion of the blog, but first I have to talk about Conor, because it's been on my mind to blog about him.  I have been focusing a great deal on the house and on the pregnancy, but I don't want anyone for a second to think that he is not the light of my life.

He has been absolutely adorable lately and this has to be some of the best times of childhood.  Because everyone has been asking, I will go on record saying that he is very excited about the babies.  He tells everyone we meet that we have twins, a boy and a girl, and he will point to my belly.  He likes to talk to them and tell them about his day ("it's cold here today") and last night, we wanted to read to them, an act that generally involved shouting CURIOUS at my belly, every time George was described in the book.  

School is going very well for him and he's taken to singing lots of songs in the backseat on the way home.  He loves to color and will spend up to an hour working on one picture in his coloring book.  He is "writing words" in a journal and will now take 3 or 4 books to bed with him after we've read to him so that he can "read" them while he goes to sleep.  

We've had some rough nights getting him to bed after daylight savings time started (coincidentally, the same weekend we moved).  Two nights ago, when he was starting to get all riled up again, I plainly told him that we'd had a lot of fights before bed recently and neither he nor I liked it.  I stopped talking and then he immediately started doing what I'd asked him to do earlier (pull the plug on his bath).  It is moments like those that I think he has got to be the most mature, empathetic 4 year old that has ever lived.  I didn't tell him he HAD to do something; I just pointed  out that we hadn't had a lot of fun at bedtime lately and implied his lack of following the bedtime routine had a little something to do with it.

The best part of all, though, is that Conor is still the same smoochie monkey he has always been.  When that changes, and it will eventually, I'm going to be crushed because I love his snuggles and kisses now.  I think he's going to be the best big brother in this whole entire world.  (Sorry, Scott!  You can be second!)  

So what's this about kickin' ass and taking names?  Well, we went to the maternal and fetal/ high risk pregnancy office today.  The babies are  growing really well. Baby A is at 51% weight and Baby B is at 67%.  Baby A is in head down position, so a vaginal birth is definitely an option now.  (We'll be more sure after the next visit in a month)  Baby B's head is pretty much resting on Baby A's booty, which I think is hysterical!  I'm so going to tease him about that when he's older.  Baby B's feet are near Baby A's head, so I worry that he is kicking her.  

It's amazing how squished they are in there.  There is not a lot of extra room for anyone there.  I feel guilty, but they are truly doing ok.

The BEST news is that it's looking very much like I should be able to go for full term for this pg without any bedrest.  They measure cervical length at this point.  And I had read an article previously about cervical link and premature labor/birth, but I couldn't remember what it was.  Fortunately, my doctor was one of the co-authors of the study.  (Who knew?!)  They found that a cervical length of 34 mm or more increases the probability of going all the way (defined as at least 34 weeks) to 95%.  It's the same risk as a singleton!  My cervix is 47 or 48 mm!!!  He definitely thinks I should be able to go to full term with these babies with no restriction in physical activity.  WOOHOOO!!

He also said if I was a boy, I'd brag about that length.  I told him I was going to brag about it anyway!  

We are actually thrilled here.  The babies look great and the carrier pod is looking great, too.   I have gained a boatload of weight, but I think there is a direct relationship between my double chin and my cervical length.  Ok, that sounds really weird, but you know what I mean.  

We're going all the way with these babies!  And if they keep up this weight gain, they will both be over 7 lbs when they are born---the same as Conor!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Dark Side

Well, despite that ominous heading, things are much, much better.  We spoke to W--- again at Citibank who assured us that all the information had been updated on Citibank's end last Friday.  Dave also contacted the president of Citibank Student Loans (so not kidding!) and has been working with someone in their office to resolve this problem.  As of this afternoon, the president's office had resent all of our corrected POSITIVE information to the credit bureaus and by this Friday, everything should be fixed.  Note: they resent our information specifically this afternoon to the bureaus.  Wow!!  Thanks, honey!! We also called Equifax and the information there is finally correct there and after yesterday's very frustrating call to Transunion, we're just going to wait until Friday to see if everything is ok.  


What a pain in our collective asses and what a relief that it's finally going to be resolved.

And not a moment too soon.  Here is where we're giving in to the dark side.  As a graduate student, as a new faculty member (PAYING OFF ENORMOUS STUDENT LOANS, ahem), and then as a newlywed in a modest house in the city of Charlotte, I am used to living small.  I love our house, the one we are remodeling.  It is cute and old and very, very small.  But we figure that we're used to city living, so it's not that big a deal.

Well, this new house is not that much bigger.  However, our friends gutted it several years ago and remodeled the attic into the master suite.  The downstairs bedrooms are still small, typical of our 'hood.  But the living room and dining room are enormous.  And the kitchen was designed with a cook in mind.  And the upstairs master bedroom.  Oh. My. Lord.  

Space!  We have space!!! In our bedroom!!!!  Our bed is finally proportionate to the room. And all of our bedroom furniture is in our bedroom.  And there are Two. Walk. In. Closets.  

I feel so guilty.  After years of convincing ourselves and others that small is absolutely fine, I am finding that I like to be able to twirl around the bedroom and avoid the furniture and the walls and the husband and the cat and the dog. 

And this street!  When we moved to the neighborhood, our street was a good street.  It wasn't as good as a few other streets, but it was certainly fine.  Then about 3 or 4 years ago, the developers started remodeling this street.  The houses are so cute now.  And they are close together.  And while some folks might think that's a bad thing, we notice that everyone is walking up and down the sidewalks.  We've already met 4 different neighbors,  all of whom are really nice and similar in many ways to us.  Even our neighbor from our old street stopped by and we marveled together about how friendly and nice this street is.  

Our old street has big lots and so there is a lot of spaces between houses, at least, "big lots" and "a lot of space" for the city. 

The other funny part about living here is how well we can see our back yard.  We need to work on our back yard a wee bit more.  Ok, not a wee bit more, a helluva lot more.  This house has a better view of our back yard than we do.  (Which makes me think the evil renters probably *did* see me flip a double bird at them on more than one occassion)  In any case, we can even see our old neighbor (and good friend's) backyard better now than we ever did at the old house.  Yikes!! 

So there.  This is what we have learned about our old and our new houses in one week.  We are still madly in love with our old house.  But we are really looking forward to the remodel and a much expanded bedroom.  I also think we'll have some better ideas about how to use the space downstairs that isn't being expanded to make it more user friendly.  

In any case, the outcome of today is that we are actually going to be able to get the mortgage for the remodel.  And what the heckity heck, we've got the organizational strength of Citibank student loans behind us to help.  Who woudda thunk?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Annoyed and Annoying

I had no intention of starting this blog with this level of crankiness.  We've moved into the rental and truly love it.  It's cute; it's bigger; it's on a cool street with lots of young families.  We're getting some ideas for our remodel (like the closet under the stairs).  Generally, the move has gone well.  


We are STILL having problems with the effing credit reports.  Despite Citibank's assurance that the problems were fixed and the new improved info should be at the credit bureaus in a few days, my calls to two of the credit bureaus still showed the same problems.   We've now started disputes of the disputes  and some of  these people (ok, one in particular) thinks that I'm lying when I say that Citibank was supposed to have fixed it already.   I have a call into W--- to see if she can help us out again or give us advice.  

Can I just say that some folks are better customer service agents than others?  Well, trust me.  It is true.  And I am CRANKY lately.  I mean cranky.  I am ready to open up a can of twin pregnancy whoop ass without much provocation at all.  I even mouthed an angry FUCK YOU to a colleague who, upon observing me wheezing after climbing a flight of stairs, condescendingly told me that walking is good for me.  

RIGHT, jerk.  That's why all my twin pregnancy books explicitly say that twin gestators should NOT take the stairs.

So, um, yeah!

I am a joy to be around.  It doesn't help that I often long for a nap by the middle of the day.  And unpacking is a sure fire way to start up a series of Braxton Hicks.  This morning's call to the nurse revealed that using my stomach muscles can irritate my ute enough to start the Braxton Hicks.  So I can't really bend over much any more without ending up on the sofa on my left side constantly poking my belly to see if is hard or soft.  

And the babies are moving around tons (yay!!!) but there is some position they take that puts a lot of pressure and pain on my pubic symphysis. I had this problem with Conor so I know what it feels like.  But essentially, the joint over my hooha hurts.  There's nothing bad for the twins or for me in this.  But one never really enjoys a painful hooha joint, so there.    

So there you go.  There have been a lot of emotional ups and downs lately.  I know it's going to work out in the end, but the day to day can be annoying.  Just in case you are wondering, I still believe that remodeling (like life) is a trek from Point A to Point B.  And just like life, the journey is not straightforward.  

I feel better!  Thanks for letting me turn this blog entry into a bitch and moan session.  Now it's time for my nap.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


God(dess) bless W--- at Citibank for immediately correcting the reporting problem on my student loan.  There is no problem, there was no problem and she is giving me direct access to her to help us get our remodel mortgage approved.  In fact, she said "when we get your information, we can investigate it and can correct it immediately."  Then she pulled up my account and said "Oh, there is no problem.  I've fixed it now."  I made her repeat it three times before I finally believed her.   

Hooray for W---!!  There is (at least) one wonderful competent person working there!!  And I know who she is!!!

What an emotional day!!  


Hi to everyone who heard me on Charlotte Talks today or who is now following me on twitter!

That was a really fun show!  They are hoping to do more of them in the future, so let WFAE know how much you enjoyed it!  Also, check out our Organizational Science PhD program 
and the UNC Charlotte Psychology Department for more information on how we are doing studies like the ones we discussed on Charlotte Talks.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 05, 2009


It has been an emotionally up and down week again, focusing fortunately only on the remodel.  In fact, the only effect this has had on the twins is that I'm too worked up to get to sleep early enough at night and as a result POOPED.  That would explain why yesterday, I went to bed at 8 and got up around 6.  In all honesty, I've been doing that about once or twice a week since about 16 weeks.

Anyhoo, this week's glitches came because our contractor's estimate did NOT decrease as much as we'd thought from cutting off 300 square feet off the plans and from my stupid Citibank Student Loans, from grad school, which I'VE PAID OFF!!!

First, the bigger issue: the contractor's estimate was still about $30,000 more than we can afford.  Again, $5,000 or $6,000, we can deal with.  $30k is  a deal breaker.  I pretty much decided we couldn't do the remodel or we'd just do the first floor and have a very small family room on the deck.  Dave, Kumbaya Boy, was still holding out hope that the contractor could bring the $30k down to a number we could deal with.

Foreshadowing what would happen, I told Dave that if this deal did work out then he could lord his Kumbaya-ness over me forever.  And indeed, 24 hours later, the contractor came back with an estimate only $6,000 over our budget, a number we could afford with some of the savings we've squirreled away. So, Kumbaya, oh lord, kumbaya.

The second glitch is in actuality minor but in reality could be a real problem.  My credit report came back will multiple disputes on it with my Citibank Student Loans.  Considering 1) I was never late with a payment,  2) that these loans are all paid off and 3) this has never shown up on my credit reports before (including the ones for our current mortgage), I was not amused.  When I called up the Citibank Loan services, the service representative quickly new what the problem was:  there is no problem with my account.  Instead, the credit bureaus often "misunderstand" what Citibank  reports and put down that there is a dispute when, in actuality, there is not.  

W. T. F.  

Maybe Citibank should change what they report to the credit bureaus so that this is not such a common  issue!!!  I faxed my info requesting the problems be corrected on Tuesday morning and just called and they "still haven't received the fax."  I put that in quotes because Dave, my calm and Kumbaya husband, called bullshit on that one.  I'm calling back tomorrow and at that point, Dave told me I need start getting nasty.  I'm pregnant with twins:  I can do it!!!  The distance between calmly hanging out and raging bitch is pretty short!!  

So tonight I continue packing.  I actually stopped on Monday because we weren't sure the remodel was going through.  We thought we'd pay the first month's rent and give our 30 day notice.  Now we're actually going through with this!  Of course, we have still not resolved the second glitch, which annoys me to no end.  One possibility is that we go ahead with just Dave to qualify for the loan, but that would mean that although I'd be on the deed, I wouldn't be on the loan, and I have to be perfectly honest with you:  it makes me feel like less of a partner.  I don't like it.  

But just like the contractor estimate worked out, this is going to work out.  And if I need to let my pregnancy freak flag fly to get this done, by jove and by golly, I will.  

We're switching internet from the old to the new house tomorrow, so I may not be available.  I'm sure this weekend, I'll be able to update what is going on as we move into our interim new house.  WOW!!!

Monday, March 02, 2009

20.5 Weeks

Today was a quick trip back to the OB for my 20 1/2 week appointment.  Although I am only 20 1/2 weeks, I am measuring 27 1/2 weeks.  Yeah, that's about typical for twins and basically confirms that I am enormous.

The doctor kindly said my blood pressure, protein in my urine, and weight gain were "perfect", which made me feel less like the  calmly peeing whale I have become.  

On the other hand, I remain exhausted.  So exhausted , that I cannot think of anything else clever to say for this post. 

So there.  I am done. It is 7:15 and time for me to go to bed.

ETA:  For comparison, this is a picture of me when I was 7 months pregnant with Conor.  I am about 5 months pregnant now. 

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Oh, Lots of Things

We're packing up and moving into the new house.  It's really nice, especially now that we've painted the black S&M bondage room into a happy, light blue, little boy appropriate color.  Being that we lived in Los Angeles for 10 years, I also went over and smudged the whole house this afternoon. I smell like pot now, but what the hey.  I get a natural high off of smelling my own hands.  

I have felt guilty for not blogging much about Conor lately.  He is still the apple of my eye and the joy in my heart, and I guess I've been selfishly focusing on my body and our upcoming move.  But he continues to be as adorable and smoochie as ever.  

And continuing in this selfish vein, I will now blog about Conor's opinions about the twins ("It's awesome!") and his questions about their upcoming birth both a month ago ("Mommy, how are the babies going to come out of you?") and more recently ("Mommy, where is your pagina?").  He loves to say "Hi" to them and gives them lots of kisses.  I had to ix-nay the high fives he wanted to give them, but overall he knows he needs to be gentle.  He cannot wait to officially be a big brother and likes to tell everyone we meet about the boy and girl twins in my belly.  

He's also excited about the new house we're going to be moving into ("I can't wait to play there!!"), which is impressive considering that his daycare just moved campuses and he is handling that well, too.  I don't know if this is the correct parenting strategy or not, but with all these changes, I try to be as straightforward as possible about what is happening and when and what will be easy and what could be hard.  I don't think it's fair to say "Everything will be butterflies and warm cookies" when we are likely to encounter some over-cooked and under-seasoned spinach on this path.

That said, can I just say how much we still like having Conor end up in the Big bed about 2 or 3 nights a week?  Maybe it's because we're a working couple, but those middle of the night and early morning snuggles are the whipped cream on the top of our spicy hot chocolates.  Yes, it's crowded.  But the cuddles and snuggles and sleepy "I love you"s are worth every funky twist and turn.  Besides, you know I'm not sleeping anyways.  I might as well get a little snuggle out of it.  

How big is my belly?  It is pressed up against the desk as I sit in my normally comfortable spot on this computer.  It is big.  

But in not so big news, we went to the mothers of multiples sale on Friday night and OH MY GOODNESS!!!!  For $180, we got a double snap n go,  a duoglider stroller,  a purple bumbo with an activity tray, an arm's reach co-sleeper, a my brest friend nursing pillow for twins, and a new baby monitor.  I'm just saying, that much baby paraphenalia for that prices sounds pretty dang good to me!

What's freaking me out though is that every time I look at that double stroller, I think to myself "HOLY CRAP! WE ARE HAVING TWINS!!!" just like that and in all caps.  

Well, I'm missing blogging because I'm thinking up posts daily.  But the eyelids get really heavy after dinner and I'm really trying to focus during the day on getting my school work done.  I'm just over 20 weeks now, so we're over half-way there.  

And in exciting news, we're expecting a big snow storm (for us) tonight:  4 to 8 inches.  School will be closed for at least one day.  I don't know if I have any warm clothes to wear out, but I am looking forward to hopefully having some good snow play time with Conor after this storm.

I should pack some more boxes, but I'd really rather go eat a snack.  I wonder whether my obligation will beat my desire?