Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sunday help

John and I were able to enjoy a nice relaxing Sunday, filled with sleep, rest and even a little tv watching. Of course feeding and playing with babies was in there too! We were able to take this mini-in-home vacation because Grandma came over to help with household stuff. She spend most of the day here cleaning, doing laundry and dishes. What a wonderful help! All our clothes are clean and boy did we have a pile going! She brought us a few suppers too. No-Peak Stew and Spaghetti with Meatballs. Thanks Grandma!

Today the girls are 10 days old. I can't believe it. Sometimes (especially at 3am) it feels like we've had them forever! And sometimes it seems like just yesterday I was complaining my tummy couldn't hold them any longer! Of course I miss them being in my tummy. Last night I had them bundled up next to me in the co-sleeper and I had my hand on their legs. They were squirming around and it felt just like when they were inside me. Everyone told me I'd miss being pregnant, and they sure were right. You forget really really fast the uncomfortable parts and only remember the sweet little kicks. And this is after 10 days! Although I am excited they are here. They are so precious, and I'm finally starting to be able to tell them apart.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Just an average Saturday




Our average Saturdays will forever be different. Actually is today even Saturday? Our life has been broken down into 3 hour chunks since the girls were born. We can't remember the day of the week much less the date! But we are loving it. Today I got out the bouncies that Grandma bought and let the girls try them out. They are still to young for too much stimulation so we just sat in them, with no vibration. The girls were so content that I was finally able to get their little bracelets on that I had made them. Izzie's is pink and Maddie's is purple. Now we just have to hope they stay on! We spent about 20 minutes in the bouncies, mostly sleeping.

We got a report back from the doc yesterday about the jaundice levels. Madeline's has gotten slightly better! But Izzie's was a tiny bit worse. The doc isn't worried, we are just supposed to sit in a window for about an hour a day, soaking up the rays. We have a little space heater to keep us extra warm during that time.

Daddy is holding Maddie in the first picture. Izzie is in the middle and Maddie is on the bottom.

Friday, December 28, 2007

First doctor's appointment




Today was our first doctors appointment. It was also the girls first trip out of the house. Both the doctors visit and the trip went beautifully. We had a 10:15 appointment so right after our 9:00 feeding session we bundled Izzie and Maddie up and left for the doc's. Now I'm really glad we chose a doctor that is only 5 minutes down the road! Their weight is up from when we were discharged from the hospital. They are only about 3oz from their birth weight, which is right on schedule. We are checking their jaundice levels too, but the results haven't come in yet. Now the girls are sleeping soundly after their busy morning. They did not like having their feet pricked. They cried and cried. I had a hard time not taking them away. A mommy doesn't like hearing her baby cry from pain! We all survived though. We go back next Wed for their 2 week check up where I hear there is even more heel pricking.

(Daddy is holding Maddie in the first picture. Izzie is in the second picture and Maddie is in the third picture.)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

One week old today!




The girls are one week old today! Tomorrow they go to the doctor for their first check up. We hope their jaundice levels are better. They were just slightly jaundiced when they left the hospital. We also hope the weight loss has turned around and that maybe they've started gaining weight. They sure are eating well. They are eating close to 2 oz at time now! They have been on breastmilk exclusively since they left the hospital, and they seem to be doing very well with it. Today they had another bath. It isn't one of their favorite things in the world to do, but they sure do smell sweet afterwards!

Yesterday their Mema and Pepaw came to visit from College Station. Here are some pictures my mom took. Maddie is in the white wrap and Izzie is in the pink wrap.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Schedules

I always thought I'd feed my baby by demand, but with twins a schedule is definitely in the works. We are being flexible with it though. For instance our goal is to have our next feeding at noon, but if they show hunger signs before or after we go with that. We do have to be careful not to go too long, because preemies sometimes sleep so hard they don't give hunger cues. And we need our girls to grow big and strong! Actually both Maddie and Izzie are pretty good at letting us know when they are hungry. But part of the scheduling is, if one is hungry then the other eats too. If we didn't keep them eating together life would just not work. It takes both John and I to get through a feeding "session."

Last night Izzie was a bit fussy, but she finally calmed down. I was telling John that they've been spoiling us since they aren't fussy babies in general. But after midnight Izzie decided she just needed some extra cuddle time. Which was fine, how can you turn down that cute little face? She was opening her eyes some and when she looks up at you, you can't help but melt.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

First bath



Today Maddie and Izzie had their very first bath at home. They did so well! Of course they didn't like being so cold, but we all got through it. Izzie went first, and I think she must have told her sister it wasn't very fun, because Maddie cried even louder! Dad took pictures and ran to get the towels and clean diapers. Luckily our first bath didn't include a dirty mess on the towel! Now they are tuckered out and taking another nap. (The first two pictures are Izzie, the last two are Maddie)

Made it through the first night



Whew we made it through getting discharged, the first afternoon home and our first night home. It went well. We were SO dog tired by the end of the evening that we hit the pillow and crashed. All our night feedings went so well. The girls sleep very soundly when their tummy is full.

When we got home, Mom and Chris had put balloons out front. That was so fun to drive up to!

John, Maddie, Izzie and I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas today!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Some baby pictures


Maddie & Izzie staring at each other.
Maddie & Izzie with Mommy.

Two days old

The girls are two days old today. They are doing so great! Even the doctors and nurses are commenting that they are surprised they are doing as well as they are for being born so early. They were born at 34 weeks 6 days which makes them preemies. But they are doing a great job of maintaining their body temperature and they are eating well. They are very happy content little babies. We are learning how preemies differ from full term babies. For instance, a full term baby can deal with being passed around and lots of people and noise, but preemies need things to be more like the womb. They need it to be a bit darker, quieter and very little stimulus. Our nurses keep reminding us that even though our girls didn't have to go to NICU, they are preemies. They are doing so well, it's easy to forget though!

Right now Izzie, Maddie and Daddy are all sound asleep. I just woke up from a nap. We've gotten in a pretty good routine here at the hospital. I'm feeling better from my surgery and am able to walk around the room a bit. Actually I even took a walk down to the nurses station and back! Woo hoo! LOL. I've got to get used to my weight distribution again. Since I don't have to waddle with 10lbs of baby in me any more!

We've been taking pictures, and as soon as I can, I'll upload some more.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The twins have arrived!!


Well imagine our surprise today when at what was to be a routine Dr. appointment, when the Dr. came into the room and said, "Feel like having some babies today?".

Well, a few hours later at 7:45 and 7:46 pm on December 20th, we welcomed Madeline Elizabeth and Isabelle Dawn Dittlinger into the world. Madeline weighed in at 5lbs 2ounces and was 18.5 inches long. Isabelle is 4lbs 14ounces and is 18inches long. Both babies and mom are doing very well. What a great Christmas present!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas cookie party

Dec. 18, 2007

Here I am getting ready for a Christmas Cookie Exchange that my neighbor is having. Bright red and festive!
Today was fun. I spent the morning relaxing and napping because I knew that I had a lot planned. I got my haircut this afternoon. Which absolutely thrilled me. I didn't go as short as I normally do, because I want to be able to grow it out enough to pull back in a pony tail. Something tells me that in the near future, pony tails will be the thing.

Anyway, John and I are about to eat dinner and then I'm headed across the street to Andrea's Cookie Exchange. John baked four dozen Caramel Pecan
Delights for me yesterday to take to the party. They look SO fancy. They are chocolate cookies, rolled in crushed pecans with a caramel center and then drizzled with chocolate. I'm sure they will be a hit.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

34 week picture

Here I am at 34 weeks about to head out to my doctors appointment. (This was on Friday, I'm just now getting around to putting the picture up!)

No wonder that belly is getting big, the doctor said that my girls are about 5 lbs each and growing great!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Out and about

Dec. 15, 2007
Today I went out of the house for something other than a doctors appointment! My mom has been living in her new house for about a month and half now and I haven't seen it since the time we looked at it with Nicole (mom's Realtor, my friend); before they bought the house. So John dropped me off at Mom's house this morning and I got to see it again. It really is a great house. We went to lunch in downtown Wylie at this cute cafe called LnL's. It was so fun to eat in a restaurant again. Afterwards we went back to her house and watched some tv and visited. She took me home and it was naptime for me! Now it's almost dinner time and John and I are going to go figure out what to eat.

Oh! I measured around my belly a bit ago. I gained 2 inches around my waist in 4 days! Unbelievable. I thought I was holding the tape measure wrong.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I'm free!

I'm free, I'm free, hallelujah, I'm free! Today is the first day that I'm officially off bed rest. I'm 34 weeks pregnant today. Yipee! My babies are now safe to be born, if they decide to make an appearance this early. You think I'd wake up and come downstairs right away, but I know how weak I am, and I have to pace myself. So I ate breakfast in bed again, watched some tv, took a shower and then came downstairs. I'm now typing on my own computer, which I missed dearly. It feels like I have a brand new monitor after using the tiny laptop monitor for so long.

Being downstairs in general feels a bit strange. I feel like I'm breaking the rules. I got to pet Ripley, but he was more interested in sleeping than talking to me. I think it's going to take a few days to get reoriented to a world outside of my bedroom. Now I just have to take it easy and not over do it.

The first thing I want to do today is cook. I miss cooking so bad! I've been craving my version of Chicken Tortilla Soup, which is fairly simple to make so that's what I'm going to do today!

***UPDATE***
Went to see the doctor today. The babies look healthy and are measuring at about 5 lbs each!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Last day of bed rest

Dec. 13, 2007
Yay! Today is my last official day of bed rest! I thought this day would never come. It's good for so many reasons. First of all being that I made it to 34 weeks (or will have come tomorrow)! When Dr. Watkins put me on bed rest at 25 and half weeks I was terrified that I was going to have two preemies that were going to have to spend a lot of time in NICU and potentially have long term effects from being born early. But if they are born now, there is very little chance of NICU time at all! Team Dittlinger Twins... we did it! The rest is just gravy. I know I said it before, but I really am appreciative of all the help that I received and how the whole family and my friends came together. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I guess it takes the village to get them here sometimes too! I've heard so many stories about people on bed rest with no help. I realize how much I am loved, and how much these girls are going to be loved. Okay... enough, I'm starting to cry! :) At least I have hormones as an excuse.

I'm sure Ripley will be glad to see me. Since he lives downstairs, I've only seen him a handful of times during the past 8.5 weeks. I think he may have forgotten me by now. Tomorrow I'm pretty much going to take it very easy. Probably just spend most of the day at the couch. I have an appointment with Dr. Albert, my perinatalist. He should be doing another weight estimate on the girls. Three weeks ago they were each 4lbs. It'll be fun to see how much they've grown since then! I know my belly sure has.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

No sleep

Dec. 12, 2007
I've been having trouble sleeping lately. It's getting so hard to find a comfortable position. The other day, before I really thought about it, I said to Mom, "I can't wait to have these girls so I can get some sleep." As soon as I said it I burst out laughing. Like having two babies is a solution for a good nights sleep! I decided that the sleep I was getting now will be remembered fondly in a few weeks!

Now, last night was an exception. I don't think I'll ever remember it fondly. (Except for how wonderful John was!) Yikes was I in some pain. Apparently when you get pregnant your pelvic bones start to separate. For some women this is mild discomfort, for others it's more of a slight pain. For a select few of us, it can bring tears. I had a sharp pain in my hip last night that I can't even begin to explain. I knew it wasn't contractions, so I didn't call the doctor. I didn't think anyone could do anything about it. John was awesome. He kept giving me massages and talking to me to try to get me to relax and breathe. We played Go Fish at about one in the morning. Anything to keep me distracted. Finally around 2:30am I realized that when I sat up in the chair instead of laying down, the pain would subside. I spent the rest of the night sitting in my rocking chair. I was so sleepy, I actually fell asleep sitting up. I woke up this morning feeling much better, and I can even lay down again. I sure hope this isn't a reoccurring incident!

I spent the morning sleeping and the afternoon playing with the Nintendo DS. John bought a game called Brain Age that is supposed to make you smarter. It's pretty fun. It's been a rainy day, perfect for just taking it easy and getting an extra nap in. John came home from work a little early today and crashed on the couch for a bit. We are both pretty tired. I guess pregnancy is like mini-practice for what's to come. So far it's taught me patience, endurance, how to rely on others and more patience.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The day we found out...

Dec. 11, 2007
I figured I should write about the day we found out we were having twins. It's one of those days I don't think we will ever forget. I was 12 and half weeks along. The day was July 19, 2007. I was scheduled to have an appointment with Dr. Watkins. Since she was just setting up her new location and didn't have an ultrasound machine yet, she had me get an appointment with Dr. Albert across the hall for earlier that day. Well his office called and he was out sick. I was disappointed because I was looking forward to our first ultrasound. I went to my appointment with Dr. Watkins that afternoon. She was using the doppler machine to try to find the baby's heartbeat and was having a hard time. I was scheduled to go to San Jose in a few days and didn't want to spend my vacation worrying about not hearing the heartbeat. So she called a friend of hers and got me an appointment with him. The only thing was, he was about a 40 minute drive from where I was and he said he could see me if I got there in 30 minutes. Yikes!

So I jump in the car and call John. He really wanted to be there for the ultrasound. He'd just walked in the door at home. His truck was on empty and he was about 40 minutes away from Dr. Weiss's office too! He said he'd do what he could to get there. We both made it in time. Then the doctor hands me a stack of papers to fill out. I was so exasperated. I just wanted to know if my "baby" was okay!! Finally we get back to the room and I get on the table for the ultrasound. He picks up the wand, places it on my belly and two babies showed up on the screen. I gave a little nervous laugh. I was thinking to myself, "Is that REALLY two babies? Or am I not reading the machine correctly?"

Dr. Weiss then says, "Well we don't have one heartbeat, we have two!" John and I didn't say anything at first. I kept asking if he was sure. Then I asked if he could tell if they were identical or fraternal. They were too little to find out the sex, but he did say they were identical. I was SO excited. I'd always wanted twins. I couldn't believe it. John was super excited too. We both were in shock and stayed that way for at least two weeks following the news.

When we left the docs office we immediately started calling friends and family. John's parents were out of town and we had a hard time reaching them. My mom just started screaming she was so excited. Finally when we got a hold of Jackie and Tom, we forgot to ask if they were driving... oops! Tom took a wrong exit he was so distracted! All in all, it was a terrific day.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Wow

Dec. 10, 2007
I finally got around to taking my 33 week picture. So, it's actually 33 weeks and 3 days. But compared to my 32 week picture, I got a whole lot bigger. No wonder it's so hard to roll over in bed these days!

3 and half more days

Dec. 10, 2007
I get off bed rest in 3 and half more days! I can't wait until I can go downstairs and eat at a table again! I wish I could go shopping. But even though I'll be off bed rest, I won't be able to cook, clean or drive. I'm not sure I'd even fit behind a steering wheel these days!

I've definitely got that nesting instinct going through me though. I want everything just perfect for when the girls arrive! I keep thinking that if things don't get done before the girls are born, then they won't ever get done. Which of course, isn't true. And so what if we don't have a diaper pail right now. We can make do with an old fashioned trash can for awhile. No changing pad! What did people ever do before changing pads? We've got the basics. We've got clothes, blankets, diapers and itty bitty socks. Of course we have the car seats. They won't let us take them home without the car seats. That was my very first baby purchase months ago. They'll be fine until we can flesh out the rest of the stuff we need. Plus, we'll learn what we really need and don't.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Sweet nursery for two



It's so exciting seeing the nursery start to come together! It started a few months ago when I saw a show on HGTV. They did a paint job similar to what I chose. I absolutely loved it and the next day I was off to pick out paint colors. We didn't know the sex of the babies yet, but I wasn't going to let that stop me! Finally I decided to wait just a little bit, because if they were going to be girls, I wanted some pink in there. So instead I started taping off the walls. That was a project in itself. By the time I was finished taping, we knew that we were having girls! So I got to pick out paint colors.

The crib was next. I decided to go with white to match the white stripes, although I was looking at black furniture for awhile. Mom bought the cribs for the girls. Right now we have one downstairs. We are going to use this for nap times until they get big enough to sleep in their own cribs. Mema bought the dresser. It is so pretty! I think the girls will grow into it pretty good. Once we started putting baby stuff in the room, it all started to seem so real! Now it needs a few more decorations and some occupants.

Friday, December 7, 2007

What a morning

Well today didn't go like planned. You see, I had all these exciting plans. Videoing the kitties, trying on my baby sling and finishing up the last of my Christmas cards. That isn't what happened. My fingers were so swollen this morning they looked like little sausages and my face was all puffy too. Since it was Friday, I decided to call the Dr. I was worried because I'd read on the internet that if you get puffy too fast it could be high blood pressure. I didn't want to spend my whole weekend worrying about it.

Sure enough, Dr. Watkins wanted me to come in and get checked out. I also told her that the girls weren't moving as vigorously as usual. So she wanted to have them monitored too. Well, my blood pressure is fine, yay! Everything else checked out good for me too. So I went across the hall to Dr. Albert's office and he did a sonogram to check everything out. The girls are doing beautifully. He didn't do a weight approximation because it was too close to my last visit. Then they hooked me up to the heartbeat monitors and I sat with them on for about 10 minutes. Again, everything was normal. So now I can have a nice weekend without worrying that I'm going to explode from high blood pressure. Although, I still feel like the marshmallow man.

Week 33

Week 33 is here today. One more week of full bed rest and then I'm free! I've been keeping busy in bed though. I've read several parenting and twin books. I've designed one issue of my community newsletter. I've completed two postcards for different clients. I worked my way through an entire word search book. I've made friendship bracelets for the girls. I wrote all my thank you notes for my baby shower. I've almost completed my Christmas cards. I've played a few computer games and watched a lot of tv. I've only watched one movie though.

I'm excited today, because John went and bought the video camera we picked out!!! I'm going to play around with it and see if I can get it to work. My subjects today will be my kitty cats, I told them to go to wardrobe to get ready. Travis is taking a bath, Jake is ignoring me.

Also, last night I got my baby sling in. (I wasn't supposed to open it until Christams... oops!) It's more of a wrap than a sling. It's a huge piece of cloth that wraps around you in a special way, and then you tuck your baby inside. I'm going to try it on today, but I'm not sure if it will work with a big belly sticking out. John asked if my test subject would be Jake, and I told him there was no way I'd let his claws get that close to me while trying to stuff him in a pocket next to my chest! I told him I'd use a baby doll.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Seven weeks of bed rest

Dec. 5, 2007
Today marks seven full weeks on bed rest. It's hard to reflect back on the time. Seven weeks ago, I thought I'd never make it this far. It's amazing what can be done when it has to be done. In one and half weeks Dr. Watkins will take me off bed rest. I'll be 34 weeks pregnant at that time and she says it's safe for the babies to come.

I'm looking forward to it, because I'd like to try and regain some of my energy back. Even the smallest thing wears me out lately. I won't be able to do much once I'm off bed rest, but it will be nice to be able to go downstairs and maybe even sit on the front porch on nice days.

I can't complain too much. I've had such wonderful support. I know that everyone is just as excited as me for these babies to arrive safely. It's been a team sport getting them here! I've had help and support from everyone in the family. By either cooking for us, cleaning, or just helping me pass some time by visiting, I know I couldn't have gotten through this without everyone's help. I know I'll look back at this time and it will seem like it passed in a blink of an eye.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Before they arrive

Dec 4, 2007
Today is my birthday. I'm 32 weeks 4 days pregnant with identical twin girls. (In the picture I'm 30 weeks.) I've had a pretty good pregnancy so far. I have been on bedrest for over 6 weeks though. I sometimes feel like I'm just sitting around waiting for the girls to arrive! I can't wait to meet them. The names we have chosen are Isabelle Dawn and Madeline Elizabeth. Their due date is January 25, 2008, but we all know they won't wait that long to get here!

Everyone is eagerly awaiting their arrival. Their Nana (my mom) bought a house in Dallas so she could be near her grandbabies. Their Grandma (John's mom) is buying them a ton of stuff already. Their Grandpa keeps telling her to wait until they get here to start spoiling them, but we know he's been buying stuff too! Their Daddy is very excited. He loves feeling them move and talking to them. He promises to teach them about football. I'm sure they can't wait.


About me and my blog

Well you found my little corner of the internet. I'm glad you stopped by. I hope you enjoy reading about my twin girls and the things we do. I started this blog when I was on bed rest with the girls. It has turned into my (almost) daily journal. I welcome and love comments, so stop and chat with me. I am turning my blog into books using Blurb. Please keep in mind that my ultimate audience is my girls so that they have something to read when they are having their own kids (in the very distant future!)

A little about me:
I'm 32 years old. I am married to a wonderful husband, John. I have identical twin girls, Madeline and Isabelle who were born Dec 20, 2007. I'm a stay at home mom and a freelance graphic artist. We are about to start a new chapter to our lives. My husband just got a job in Washington state so we are leaving Texas, the only state I've ever called home to start a new adventure in the Portland, Oregon area. I look forward to it!