The time is flying and so far everything is still looking A-OK!! Here's what we're dealing with:
Positioning: Baby A & B are both vertex i.e. head down.
Weights: Baby A is about 4 pounds 13 ounces, Baby B is about 4 pounds 9 ounces (she's had a growth spurt - now both are in the 30-35th percentile!), and I'm up 40 pounds, yikes!
Rings: Not experiencing swelling too bad but rings are off just in case.
Clothes: Growing out of my shirts one by one, most regular maternity shirts are simply not long enough to cover such an enormous belly!! I have 4 tank tops that are still plenty long, and a few more that are barely cutting it - I have to pull up the belly panel on my shorts so my skin isn't exposed.
Stretch Marks: Started arriving and multiplying around 30 weeks, all on the under belly so far. Ugh. Never got any with Kenzo who went to 40 weeks 2 days, but I'm stretching much more and much quicker this time.
Movement: TONS!!! Lots of kicking, stretching, and hiccuping. Occasionally uncomfortable, especially when they jab me in the ribs.
Sleep: Not fun. My Snoogle body pillow helps, but rolling over is a struggle, and I have to get up to pee about 3 times a night.
Signs of labor: None, other than frequent but irregular Braxton Hicks contractions, which are a bit uncomfortable but not too bad - just really tight with a lot of pressure, but not painful if I stay still.
Plans for labor: Hoping for an unmedicated vaginal delivery, but may beg for drugs, or may need a c-section in the end, it's totally up in the air!
Biggest challenge: Meeting the goal of 175 grams of protein a day. I'm so not even close to that.
Biggest worry: What's going to happen with our toddler when I go into labor. The hospital won't allow him with us, and my parents probably won't be able to make it up here from North Carolina in time, so I've come up with a list of mommy sitters to call on. Just hoping it's not in the middle of the night!!
What's gotten old: The increasing discomfort, which from what I hear from other twin moms is really small in comparison to what it can be. But if I make it to 37+ weeks, I think there's no avoiding being completely miserable.
What's not gotten old: People's reactions when they realize we're having twins. It usually goes something like this: Shop Clerk "Any day now huh?", Me "Well, hopefully another month.", Shop Clerk "Do you know what you're having?", Me "2 girls", Shop Clerk (polite smile, then after a second their mouth drops open as it hits them) "TWINS!?!?!?!" hahaha so fun!
Looking for an all-in-one maternity, nursing, and pumping bra? BeliBea to the rescue!
I recently got my hands on the Nourish by BeliBea and here's what I'm especially loving about it:
I only pumped a handful of times with my son, but this time around with twins I'm expecting to have to do it a lot more. Tandem feeding at home sounds hard enough, but trying to do it while we're out and about? Forget it! Feeding them one at a time? That would take forever!!! So, I expect I'll have to pump and bring bottles with us anytime we leave the house for more than a couple of hours. Le sigh. On the bright side, having an awesome bra like this one by BeliBea that allows me to pump hands free will be a major help!!!
Want to check it out yourself? Nourish by BeliBea retails for $49.95 on BeliBea's website and Amazon, and don't forget to follow BeliBea on Facebook and Twitter!
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
We had a wonderful twin birth and recovery at Methodist!! Read our positive twin birth story here and watch the video embedded at the end of this post!!
We gave birth to our first child naturally 2.5 years ago at Roosevelt's Birthing Center after 53 hours of unmedicated labor (see his birth story here). Other than being unbelievably painful, it was an amazing experience and the staff and facility absolutely blew me away.
This time around, I wasn't quite up for venturing into Manhattan for checkups with my toddler in tow, or risking labor being too quick to make it in the hospital in time, not to mention with twins I'm "high risk" and thus not even eligible to deliver at the Birthing Center. So... we went with the uber popular Guirguis practice here in Bay Ridge who only deliver at New York Methodist Hospital in Park Slope, Brooklyn (5 miles from our home).
Going to a whole new hospital with completely different standards and procedures had me quite concerned, so I was relieved to finally go on their labor and delivery tour last week (daddy and toddler came with). I went armed with a list of questions and thank goodness was pleasantly surprised by their answers!! Here are the basics of what you can expect:
So there you have it! I literally breathed a sigh of relieve after finishing the hospital tour. I've heard such horror stories about some hospitals being so super strict about some things, making you have an IV in place, feeding your baby formula in the nursery without your consent, stuff like that. I've heard great things about Methodist from friends, saying the nurses are amazing. One mentioned two of her nurses had had home births themselves, so I can imagine (hope) that they won't be pushing pain meds on me (I'll ask if I need them, thank you!!).
Well, hopefully we have another 5 or 6 weeks til we end up at Methodist, let's keep these girlies cooking!!!
We wanted to go on a big babymoon, but with a twin pregnancy it's just really not recommended (can you imagine going into preterm labor on a cruise or caribbean island and losing the babies because you couldn't get appropriate care in time??? SOOOO NOT worth it!) and I was advised against flying and long car rides. So, we decided to do a quick family vacation for 4th of July weekend. I researched for a family-friendly destination within 5 hours of NYC, easily accessible via mass transport, and that we hadn't been to yet and landed on Baltimore. In case you're looking for somewhere to go, here's the quick and dirty on what we did and recommend - feel free to copy it play by play!
Accommodation: Baltimore Harbor Hotel
There are tons of great hotels to choose from. My requirements were being within walking distance of the Inner Harbor (basically tourist and activity central for Baltimore), having an outdoor pool (though it ended up being not warm enough for us to swim, boo!!), having breakfast included, and being under $200 per night. We went with Baltimore Harbor Hotel and couldn't have been happier. It was in a nice area, about a 10 minute walk to Inner Harbor, nicely managed and decorated, and the breakfast was pretty good - even had a make your own waffle station!
We don't have a car and by the time I got around to booking tickets, Amtrak was charging an arm and a leg. So, we did what anybody on a tight budget would do... booked the Chinatown bus!! There are a ton of companies to choose from and we ended up booking with GoToBus online. For 3 people roundtrip on the direct bus between NYC and Baltimore was all of $105. WOW!! It's certainly not luxurious, but it's pretty much the cheapest way between NYC and any nearby cities! We considered bringing a car seat but it turns out the bus didn't even have seat belts! Whoops!!
Once in Baltimore, we took a cab from the bus station to our hotel (and again back to the bus for the return trip). We just didn't feel like navigating the city bus with a stroller and luggage.
We were advised by an employee at Top of the World that there is a FREE bus in Baltimore. We never did end up using it, but it seems like an amazing service!! The Charm City Circular has several different routes to choose from and is completely free. Check it out if you'll be visiting Baltimore!
I'm not surprised this place is ranked one of the top 5 children's museums in the country... it is AMAZING!!! We went just after they opened on Sunday and it was completely empty (I imagine later in the day it might become somewhat of a zoo). We had to rush through it in an hour, and somehow managed to see everything (very quickly), but we easily could have spent an entire day there, I kid you not!
My personal favorite was the physical fitness room - they had a few of those dance machines and I had a little dance-off with my hubby (probably not something a 7 month preggo lady should be doing in flip flops no less, but it was so much fun and our toddler couldn't stop laughing at us). My son loved the jungle gym areas, the water play room, the Lego displays, heck, he even loved the tots room!! Seriously, it was painful having to rush him through (we had a bus back to NYC to catch), he could not have been more in love with that place!
I know, a science center doesn't exactly scream toddler friendly, but this one really is!! They start you off with hands-on activities and shows going on right in the lobby. We saw one where they were filling up balloons (with gasses other than air) and then blowing them up (see video below) - I don't know who was more excited by that, us or our kid!! They have a large hands-on dinosaur area, and the complete winner for our son was the Kids Room which was like a mini Children's Museum! From Legos to water play to a fun little "fishing" area, it was really cool. There's an IMAX as well but I don't know if I would recommend that for small children - we attempted to watch one about tornados but Kenzo lasted all of 10 minutes before we had to do the hustle of shame out of the theater.
I was on the fence about this one because it's very pricey ($39.95 for adults, children under 3 are free - phew!) and many people told us it's not worth it. But we went anyway because I love aquariums and I love air-conditioned activities in summer! We decided to risk the crowds and go on Friday night during their half-price hours. We purchased tickets online in advance and only had to wait in line about 10 minutes. And you know what? It wasn't terribly crowded and we LOVED it!!
The layout is very interesting - a series of escalators connecting each level which makes it architecturally quite intriguing. They have sharks, dolphin shows, jelly fish and other sea creatures to touch, you name it! We all had a great time and were able to see it all in the 2 hours we were there from 6-8pm (though, all the shows and feeding times are finished by then). You should know that they do not allow strollers - you can check yours for free and they'll keep it for you, and if you want they'll lend you one of those hiking backpack carriers, also for no charge!
Believe it or not, despite there being a location of this chain right here in NYC, we'd never been! I guess I thought it was just some cheesy tourist trap, but it definitely was not. It was jam packed with things from around the world - the gross, the amazing, and the truly unbelievable. There were lots of hands on exhibits and even a few interactive ones where you could play games or dance using cool projection technology (my son was especially into those and gave us a good show!). There were a few images and sounds that could be considered frightening for small children, mine wasn't bothered one bit, but keep that in mind before taking yours if they're very sensitive. It was stroller friendly (elevator and all).
Despite how much fun our toddler had there, I kinda wish we could have gone without him. There were so many things I wanted to read and learn more about, but he just didn't have the attention span and was always running off to the next thing. Maybe we'll get a babysitter one of these days and check out the location in NYC sans kiddos.
If you're a sucker for observation towers, don't miss this one. At only $6 per adult (3 and under free) it's definitely the cheapest I've seen, and on a clear day I'm told you can see 30 miles in each direction! Unfortunately the morning we went it was rainy, but we still got a decent view and it's a great place to start your Baltimore trip out so you can get a lay of the land so to speak. They also have some great knowledgeable guides walking around who can educate you about Baltimore's history. For example, did you know the Star Spangled Banner was written here at Fort McHenry during one of the battles in the War of 1812?? I sure didn't!
Located on the 27th floor, this observation deck is all indoors with and a vast wide open layout. It was empty when we went, probably thanks to the weather, and our toddler had a field day running too and fro.
That's all we had time for in our 2 days in Baltimore, but I highly recommend visiting each and every one of these! If time allows, some other ones that seem worth a venture include the B&O Railroad Museum, the Maryland Zoo, Historic Ships in Baltimore, the Jewish Museum of Maryland, and the Baltimore Museum of Art.
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!