Wednesday 31 March 2010

34 and a half weeks

The twins moving inside!

Monday 29 March 2010

34 ½ weeks - this week I have been mostly...

…trying to keep calm!
Yes, I am getting very close now, and have had a bit of a wobbly weekend. Realised that I have generally been pretty ungrateful when people tell me I’m looking well because I don’t really feel like it means anything, what do they expect me to look like? But that’s a bit mean really, it’s nice to have people compliment you, especially when you feel dreadful.
I am nervous about the following, in no particular order…

  • I will have a medical team that I have never met (and it will be a team, as there’ll be 2 of everyone!)
  • that the babies will arrive before I feel ready (but quite how I ever think I’ll be ready, I don’t know) My friend who was due with twins 2 days before me (ie 5 May) gave birth at about 32 weeks
  • that the babies won’t arrive on time, which means induction, which I don’t want. I have to keep an open mind though, to both induction and c section as I am “high risk”
  • giving birth lying on my back. All the books I have been reading about pain management techniques talk about how lucky we are that the dark ages of giving birth on your back are over. Clearly, they have never been to Hong Kong. Induction = “strapped to the bed” according to the midwife.

…feeling the strain…
The boys are just over 2kg each now, so what with two placentas, a giant uterus and 50% more blood I am getting heavy, and it’s blinking painful. I am not amused when people say “Wow, you’re getting huge!” a) I know and b) I’m not sure that is an acceptable thing to say to anyone ever! While I am obviously not dieting or anything, “huge” kind of equals “unhealthy” in my brain, which I don’t like. I have also been having a lot of trouble sleeping, mostly because I have lost muscle tone and fat from my thighs, so my hip joints don’t have so much padding as I sleep on my side. I have a folded up blanket under the sheet, which helps a bit. I am slightly concerned though that this is spreading across my pelvis and down my thighs. One to ask the doc about today!

…having my last scan, thank God!
Last week was the last one, yay! It lasted about 1hr 20 mins, and was probably the most painful yet. Now that I have met a few other twin mums, I know that I am not alone in finding this really painful. Again, I feel ungrateful because we have been lucky to have so many really. For a singleton, people generally get a scan at 12 weeks, and one at 20 (same as the UK I think) We got a fantastic look at Lee’s face, because he was just in the right position (which is precisely the wrong position for measuring the circumference of his head!) They are both head down now, and Bruce is “very engaged”. While this doesn’t necessarily mean anything’s happening soon, it does mean they are good to go! Surely no space to turn around now boys?!

…touring the obs unit…
This was good, the midwife was nice and friendly, and it was great to see where it’ll all happen and what the process is. I will not move into the delivery suite til I’m 3cm dilated, so I will be without Ross until that point, as he’s not allowed on the ward, only in the delivery suite. Having said that, you have to be in the delivery suite for an epidural to be administered, which is likely to happen relatively early for me (again, because of the twin thing). I was well impressed to hear that they have a tens machine and a birthing ball! Very 21st century. No shower / bath / birthing pool though.

…wandering about work…
I’m at work another 2 weeks, and I really don't know if I will make it. I will be so angry if I go home one evening and give birth! The way that I feel at the moment, I need a couple of days at least to rest before the fun begins. My last day is April 12th so I’ll be working till 36 + 3. The doc has said that I will most likely be induced at 38 weeks, and average natural gestation for twins is 37. You can see my concern! For mat leave they have offered me 10 weeks (the standard) +all my annual leave (15 days) + 4 weeks unpaid. Not quite the 4 months that I asked for….

…getting a helper…again
We are in the process of hiring Lynette, which is a relief. Unfortunately because the whole malarkey has taken so long, she probably won’t start till mid-May or so, but I’m sure we can cope until then. My mum will be here for a while during that time, so I am trying to convince myself that it’ll be ok. I am strangely worried about eating, as if cooking and washing up are two tasks that we just can’t manage…weird.

Saturday 20 March 2010

Growing by the day

Sarah has been continuing to grow our 2 babies. I think they're both pretty good sizes still even for singletons. I think she looks about ready to go into labour now, but we've still got 7 weeks in theory... Here's our latest picture:
We're still searching for a helper, but have had a second interview with a helper just today which we went very well. Just a couple more to see this weekend - but we're beginning to feel confident that we'll get the kind of person that we want. Whether they'll be able to start in time is another matter - but I'm sure we'll manage for a few weeks on our own. Maybe. Gulp.

We've also had a big delivery of furniture (not sure if Sarah has already mentioned that?), so anyone who has already seen our flat will barely recognise it now! I'll post some new pictures soon.

Thursday 4 March 2010

31 weeks - this week I have been mostly...

…having lots of appointments…
With mixed success. My hospital is a teaching hospital, so sometimes I get eager young students doing my scans. This time around I told her I needed to stop and have a rest on my side, she stopped for a minute, then just sneakily carried on, as if I wouldn’t notice! I objected though, and eventually the “real” dr finished the scan. Much better J Also she spoke to us in English - there’s nothing freakier than someone talking about your babies’ development in a language you don’t understand. Actually, for all I know, she was talking about the weather, but it’s the not knowing that’s weird.

The doc said this week that I will not go to 40 weeks - they will induce at 38, and if for some reason I have a C section it’ll be in week 38 or possibly 39. It’s mighty strange to have an absolute end date, seriously focuses the mind! So even with my maternity leave starting 4 weeks before my “due date”, I will only have 2 weeks. No update on the maternity leave situation…

…finding it easier to imagine them…
Lee is now transverse and face down, with his spine up against my ribs, and his head on my right. Bruce is head down, spine outwards on my left. It’s lovely to know where they are, and I definitely feel them move independently. The other day they both had hiccups at the same time!

…giving up on hypnobirthing…
I went to a breathing class last week, at which I nearly passed out twice. Too relaxed la! Anyway, the book that Katharine recommended + some visualizations = much more effective than hypno. I’m sure hypnobirthing is great for some people, but just didn’t seem to work for me. I tried to use it at stressful times, but it didn’t really seem to help.

…having our final ante-natal class…
Another corker! It was the nurse from the 1st class again, one of this week’s gems was “Don’t kill your baby!” (in relation to cutting the cord the wrong side of the clamp). She recommended that the boys go to the wet market and buy themselves some pig intestines to practice on. We also watched a heavily-edited video of someone giving birth too. Nobody fainted, which was good.

…getting stares….
I’m quite big now. The boys are 1.4kg each, and my friend just gave birth to her daughter who was 2.95kg. Even I can figure out the maths of that! So essentially I look full term already. People stare at me a lot, which I don’t like much. On the plus side, I may bitch and moan a lot about people being selfish here, but I always get a seat and a smile on the MTR these days.

…continuing the helper hunt….
The deal with Lorna fell through, on the very day that we were due to sign the contract. The agent, Joey called me that day (a Wednesday), here’s how the convo went:
Joey: “Lorna’s day off has changed, it’s not today, it’s Sunday this week. So are you interested in the 54 year old maid you met?”
Me: “um, well, no, we’re interested in Lorna. That’s ok, we can come and sign the contract on Sunday instead.”
Joey: “So you didn’t like the 54 year old maid? Because she is very interested in your job”
Me: “no, we would like Lorna to work with us” and so on…..
Essentially, Lorna’s current employer wants to take her with them to Singapore for the last week of her contract. This means that her contract (and therefore visa) will expire outside HK - we (and she) would have to pay a lot more, and wait around 2 months longer to process her as a “foreign worker”, because she will not be allowed back to HK without a visa. Anyway, I think there may be a way round…watch this space.

…meeting lots of people….
We went to meet someone the other day who Ross met at the parents-of-multiples thing he went to. They are called Simon and Caitlin, and they have 8 month-old twin boys, who are completely adorable and very smiley. If ours are like that, I will be super-chuffed! Lucky Caitlin gets 1 year off work, since she works for the Ozzie Consulate. They gave us some great tips about getting around in HK with twins, and the practicalities of getting taxis with 2 babies.

Also met someone who moved here from Cambridge a few months ago with 3 year old twin boys, and have been emailing someone who is expecting twins 2 days before me and is giving birth in the same hospital. She has already spent a night in the hosp under observation, and has been signed off work for a week because she’s so tired. Hmmm….it’s actually a bit nerve-wracking to have another twin pregnancy to compare my ever-accelerating growth with!