Wednesday, December 21, 2005

December 21, 2005

Four more days, four more days...

It's been an interesting 24 hours in the Pruetz house. Yesterday started like any other -- I went to work, left to get some stuff done and picked up Devin at noon. We came home, played for a little while and then we both took naps.

ZZ brought Addy and Presley over while she took her twins to the doctor. While she was gone, I noticed that I had started spotting. Now I spotted a little on Thanksgiving day and it was no big deal. But this was significantly more and now that twins are in the mix, it could mean any number of things. The night before, too, I had had some cramping, which I'd thought nothing of. Now, suddenly, it took on new meaning.

ZZ promptly returned for her kids and I told her about my discovery. She urged me to call my doctor and sure enough, as she predicted, they asked me to come in to be checked out.

Z agreed to take Devin and I called Todd to let him know what was going on. Todd came home, gathered us up and we dropped Devin off at the Mylar house.

We got to the doctor's office and they got us in pretty quickly. Then we waited and waited and waited in the exam room. Finally, Dr. Troy (one of Dr. Casiano's partners) came in and did an exam. No bleeding from the cervix, everything looked a-okay.

So he suggested a sonogram, just to make sure that there were still two heartbeats.

Sure enough, I laid on the table and he squirted the jelly on my tummy (why can't they make that stuff WARM? I mean, come on, we can put a man on the moon, but...). He started the ultrasound and lo and behold, there they were. Two babies, two heartbeats. It was awesome.

It had only been 11 days since our last sonogram, but the little dots we saw on the screen on December 9 looked like little humans this time! We saw heads, arms, legs, torsos, etc. And boy, were they moving! Todd has now taken to calling them the jumping beans. They were squirming all over the place. I can only imagine what it's going to feel like come 20 weeks or so...

So all looked fine. Two strong heartbeats and two well-developing babies. We breathed a sigh of relief and enjoyed the opportunity to get to see our little ones, especially now that they look like little ones and not like blobs. And there was still no sign of two sacs, lending credence to the argument that we're having identical twins.

I have to admit that since our last ultrasound I have been thinking to myself, "Maybe there was a mistake. Maybe it's NOT twins." While I love the idea of having twins, I am definitely scared and this was my version of denial. No way, though...there were definitely two people growing inside me.

We are eternally grateful that God heard our prayers and kept our babies safe. We were preparing for the worst news, but instead got the best. We are very lucky.

If I don't post again before Christmas, blessings to you and your families this holiday and throughout 2006.

Peace on Earth.

Monday, December 19, 2005

December 19, 2005

Only six days until Christmas! I just LOVE this time of year and now that Devin has a vague understanding of Santa Claus and that presents will be left under the tree for him on Christmas morning, the season has taken on a whole new meaning. It's so fun to see the excitement on his face as he approaches the fireplace, peers up the chimney and yells, "Santa! Are you coming?"

The only damper that has been put on this wonderful holiday is morning sickness. What idiot came up with that name, anyway? Obviously, it was a man. There is nothing morning about morning sickness. It lasts all day! I'm still trotting off to drive the porcelain Porsche at 10:00 at night. It's way worse this time around -- I only hurled a few times with Devin, but am prone to puking a half dozen times each day. My abs are getting really tight...

Todd and I have decided to switch doctors. ZZ, mother of twins, urged me to call the doctor who delivered Brendan and Kaelin because she felt like she got very good care from Dr. Harden during her pregnancy. Dr. Harden has a lot of experience in multiple births and has a lot of connections with specialists around San Antonio. Also, when Dr. Harden delivers babies at Methodist Hospital which has a Level 3 Neo-natal ICU (NICU). Apparently, it's one of the best in the state.

So we mulled over the idea of switching doctors for awhile. My doctor, Victor Casiano, has been with me for four years. He delivered Devin, did my laparascopic surgery and is very, very near to our home. It was hard to decide on making the switch.

Until Friday, December 16.

I went in for my 3:45 appointment. I was left sitting in the waiting room for about 35 minutes when I was finally called back. My weight was taken (I actually lost weight, but apparently, this is no big deal) and then I was stuck in another waiting room for ten minutes. Then to the exam room where I waited another 20. If you're doing the math, it's now 4:50.

Dr. Casiano finally comes in and says, "Well, you're 9.5 weeks which means it's too early to hear a heartbeat. Do you have any questions? If not, you're free to leave if you're ready. How are you feeling?"

I told him I was fine, despite the typical morning sickness, but that I was pretty floored by the news.

"What news?"

"The news that it's twins."

"You're having twins???" He flips open my chart and says, "Well look at that -- you sure are. Congratulations. We'll have to monitor you a little more closely."

Does anyone else see a problem with this picture? Why did I have to tell my doctor that I'm having twins? And what's with this, "We'll have to monitor you a little more closely..." When Z was pregnant with twins she was monitored like she was the Queen of the World! Sonograms every week to make sure she wasn't dilating, blood work, checkups -- the works!

So, it was decided then and there -- I am switching to Dr. Harden where I feel like I will be more than just another patient who is bothering the doctor for his/her time.

So there.

Six more days... Six more days...

Keep Christ in Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2005

December 12, 2005

I'm still having a hard time coming to terms with this news. I spend a lot of time staring at the ultrasound photos. It's mind boggling.

Don't get me wrong -- Todd and I are thrilled by this blessing and are ecstatic that God has chosen US for this very special mission. But wow...

The more I ready about identical twins, the more I realize how unlikely it is that we have conceived them. It seems that the universal, rounded-off number is about four in every thousand births are identicals. But if you add in some extra variables, the number goes up.

1. White women are the least likely to conceived identicals. Women of African descent are the most likely.
2. Women starting in their mid-to-late 30s into their 40s are more likely to conceive identicals than women in their 20s and early 30s. I am 29 now and will be 30 when the twinkies are born
3. The more pregnancies you've had the more likely you are to get twins. I've had only one.
4. Women in the United States are pretty unlikely to conceive identical twins. There's some debate on who has the highest rate, but it's definitely not the good ol' US of A.

And, contrary to popular belief, identical twins do not run in families. There's nothing genetic about it.

Fraternal twins are genetic. You could have a genetic propensity to ovulate more than one egg in a cycle and conceive two unique babies.

But a zygote that freakishly decides to divide itself into two separate babies is a fluke and something that has nothing to do with the mother or the father's families.

So there's my lesson on identical twins. There is still a small chance these are fraternal twins, but according to Veronica, our sonographer, it's more than likely that it's identical. One embryonic sac = identical twins.


Friday, December 09, 2005

December 9, 2005

Oh my gosh. This will be one of those days I will never forget. There are really only a few of these days that I can honestly say I'll never forget.

1. September 29, 2001: My wedding day
2. November 15, 2002: The day I found out I was pregnant with Devin
3. July 11, 2003: The day Devin was born
4. November 7, 2005: The day I found out I was pregnant again
5. December 9, 2005: TODAY - The day I found out I was having twins.

That's right -- as of today, our future lives have changed again. Twice in a month. We went from saying, "Wow - we're having another baby," to saying, "Wow - we're having TWINS!"

It started out like any other day. We got up, Todd took Devin to school and I went to work. I was off at noon, picked up Devin and we both went home for our respective naps (hey -- I'm pregnant). I woke up around 2:30, got dressed and freshened up and woke Devin up. We drove over to Aunt Z's house and said our goodbyes.

I was running a little late, as was Todd, and we happened to walk into the doctor's office at almost the exact same time. We sat in the waiting room, expecting nothing but the norm: a strong heartbeat, a good, healthy pregnancy. The usual.

Actually, I have to amend that statement. I have had a weird feeling about this pregnancy since I found out on November 7. Something inside me just said, "There's something different." I even discussed it with my co-workers Connie and Polina and, of course, with Todd. I just assumed whatever it was was bad -- I mean, there was no chance of this being twins, so what else could it be? It had to be bad: an ectopic pregnancy, a weak heartbeat. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I knew it wouldn't be normal.

Well aren't I the prophetic one?

The sonographer called us in and led us to the sonography room. I got undressed and Todd stood behind the sonographer (Veronica -- I'm sure I'll never forget her name). I had a little screen right next to me and Todd got to look at the big screen.

Veronica started the sonogram and about 30 seconds into it, said, "Hmmmm...did you take any fertility drugs?" I am such an air-head. "No," I answered, not thinking twice about why she would ask that. I was just having a great time seeing parts of my body that I don't normally get to see. I mean, really, many times have YOU gotten a close up our YOUR ovaries?

Then Todd saw it. Or them, rather. He asked, "What is that? Is that TWO heartbeats?"

I about jumped off the table. What was he talking about? This isn't TWINS! I mean, how could HE see it before me? Preposterous. There's no way.

But then Veronica said it.

"Well, I didn't want to say anything too soon, but..."


This is when Veronica turned around and asked Todd if he was going to faint. He was fine -- just crying. So was I.

"Are you sure?"

"Yep -- look. Here's baby A and here's baby B."

She measured them (baby A is tracking at 8 weeks, 4 days and baby B is tracking at 8 weeks, 1 day. I was officially 8 weeks, 5 days today, so they're right on track) and we heard their two distinct heart beats. No doubt about it -- this is twins.

The rest of the sonogram went fine and we were asked to wait to see if Dr. Casiano wanted to see us. Veronica came back a few minutes later and announced that Dr. C was in surgery until 4:00, but that he would call us to talk about this. According to her, this is a high-risk pregnancy (for no reason other than it being twins) and special precautions will have to be taken.

So we left. That deer-in-the-headlights look all over again. Todd left to go to the store and I went to pick up Devin.

I called Dad and Jean along the way. First at home with no answer and then on Jean's cell phone. I happened to catch them together, in the car. I told Jean, "Well, we had our first sonogram today." "And...?" she asked. "And, you're not just expecting grandbaby #8, but grandbaby #9 too."


"Erin -- you're having twins?" "Yep!" (Jean, in a much louder voice) "TOM! ERIN'S HAVING TWINS!"

We spoke for a few minutes about Todd's and my mental states and then she passed the phone to my dad. He stuttered, "HUH? WHU? TWI? TWI? TWINS?????" I don't remember the last time I heard my dad be genuinely surprised. He's a pretty sly man (anyone who was at our wedding may remember his toast about being a "fox") and he is really hard to surprise. But this did it! I could tell that both Jean and Dad were very happy and that just warmed my heart.

I arrived at Z's house as she was getting Devin out her car (they'd taken a little excursion to Target together). I parked in the driveway and she was in the garage. I got out of my car and just stood there. She said, "Are you okay? What happened?" All I could do was hold up two fingers.

She ran to me and demanded to see the sonogram photos. She thought I was lying! But there it was in black and white: TWINS. Baby A and baby B. She cried too.

And that was it. When we got home, Todd and I proceeded to call and email as many people as we could. We finally put down the phone and said, "Let's just absorb it all." All of the others would have to wait until this weekend or later next week.

So that's it. I had to write it down ASAP so I wouldn't forget a single detail. This is a day I'll never, ever forget.

We're having twins.

Peace, x2

Monday, December 05, 2005

December 5, 2005

Apparently, according to my dear friend and OCD compadre Kristen Foster, I am not creating enough entries. Forget the fact that I work in the mornings and have to keep a two-year-old entertained in the afternoons, all-the-while trying to keep my house clean, my cats and dog fed, shop (and wrap) for the holidays and create life! Certainly there should be time for blogging in there, too, right?

Okay, Kristen, I'm only kidding. The truth of the matter is that I am a little wacky about personal blogs too (I'm the same as you, Lindsay). I've been checking co-worker Polina's personal blog now for months, but her most recent entry (which was only her SECOND entry) was Thursday, February 24, 2005. I'm starting to get antsy here, Polly.

As for me, life is good. I had a very weird experience last week in that I went to bed on Tuesday night with typical pregnancy symptoms ... nausea, extreme fatigue, achiness, etc. But I woke up on Wednesday feeling great. And again on Thursday. And Friday. And the whole weekend. I started to get a little worried and called my doctor, but the nurse said it's nothing to worry about. Some days are better than others. Well ain't that the truth? It just seemed strange that I went from operating at about 15% to operating at 99% in a few hours. I'm still a little uneasy about the whole thing, but I've got my first ultrasound on Friday and that should give us all of the information we need like heartbeat, size, etc. I have to admit -- I 'm looking forward to it.

I wish we could tell the sex of the baby this time around, but, unfortunately, it's too early. I'm convinced it's a girl. Since I was young, I've always had a gut instinct that I would have two kids -- a boy first and then a girl. I was 100% convinced that Devin was a boy and I feel the same confidence with this one as well.

Of course, watch me fall flat on my face. We'll find out the sex in March and I can just see me posting a blog that day: "Well, after spouting off for months and months about how I was POSITIVE that this would be a girl, it looks like we'll be decorating in blue."

Not that I would mind another boy. I just adore being the mommy of a little boy. And as my neighbor Lisa (mother of two boys) said, "If you have a girl, you'll have a best friend. If you have a boy, Devin will have a best friend." What a perfect way to look at it -- it's a no-lose situation. I couldn't be more excited about little Max or little Delaney.

I guess that's all for now. Comments are welcome, even if it's a comment on how darned boring this blog is. I'll take what I can get.

Cheers (with non-alcoholic beverages, of course).


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

November 29, 2005

"Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday Brendan and Kaelin! Happy birthday to you!"

It's hard to believe the Mylar twins are one year old today! I just love those babies.

I'm trying fast and furiously to get the past three weeks all into a couple of posts. Hopefully there will not be daily entries into this blog, or we'll be here for eternity.

We returned from our Thanksgiving holiday on Sunday, November 27. We had a great time! We left on Wednesday for Yoakum where we spent Thanksgiving Day with Todd's parents, Jill and her boyfriend Tom. It was lots of fun, with much time spent by Devin looking at the coupe and the hot rod. I think he and Grandpa spent more time out in the garage than they did in the house!

Thanksgiving day gave us a little scare, when I woke up that morning with some spotting. I called my doctor and the on-call nurse gave me a call back. She said it was something that they see a lot of in the first trimester and to not be too worried about it. "Just take it easy and don't push yourself." Well...if there is one thing I'm good at, it's relaxing! Dorothy made sure of it, too. I wasn't allowed to lift a finger and even got in a good two hour nap that afternoon! Now that's what I call a good Thanksgiving!

ZZ picked me up on Friday and she and I (along with the four Mylar kids) drove to Houston to see my Aunt Peggy from Kentucky and the rest of the family. Todd and Devin stayed in Yoakum and I missed them so much!

While in Houston, we did a lot of lying around, doing nothing. Again, my favorite pastime.

Thankfully, the spotting stopped about as quickly as it started and I have been able to resume normal activities again. I'm working my usual 8a - 12p schedule and spending quality time with the munchkin in the afternoons. Life is good.

Todd and I made the difficult decision to leave LifeTeen, the high school youth program we've worked with for three-and-a-half years. It was a tough decision, but one that was necessary. We've had so many big changes in our lives in the past few years that have slowly been giving us less and less time to devote to the ministry. It's not fair to the teens if we can't give 100% and because we can't, we've stepped down. We'll miss it so much. This weekend will be our last LifeNight and more than a few tears have been shed over it.

Okay -- I think I'm pretty well caught up now. As things progress, I'll write more!


Monday, November 28, 2005

November 28, 2005

I have been considering keeping a blog of my pregnancy since we found out about our addition-to-come on November 7, 2005. It wasn't until Travis Beach was born, though, that I realized just how fun this could be! Only days after his birth, I got to go in, see life in the Beach house in the days prior to Travis' arrival and hear all about Travis' Apgar test, first bath, first meal, trip home, etc... I thought, "I'd better get off my butt and do this!"

I wish I had done this when I was pregnant with Devin. Can I make an excuse that blogs weren't around then, even though it was only three years ago? Let's go with that...

As I said before, we found out that we are pregnant on November 7, 2005. I was "late" as of the day before (Sunday) when we were traveling back to San Antonio from visiting Todd's sister, Jill, in Ames, Iowa. I was feeling out of sorts and even commented to Todd that I couldn't understand why I was so tired. Real-life foreshadowing, it seems.

I left work at noon on the 7th, and went to buy some dental floss. While I was there, I decided to pick up a pregnancy test -- just in case. I went home and took it. I couldn't believe my eyes. In fact, I was in such disbelief that I ran out and bought another one. PREGNANT? Are you kidding me? How did this happen???

Okay, I know how it happened. We won't go into that.

So that set everything in motion. We were going to have another baby. Ready or not, here she (or he) comes.

I wrapped up the positive pregnancy test (the first one I took) and put a note on the brightly colored box that said, "To Daddy with love from both of us." Todd saw it on the kitchen table when he got home from work and I said, "That's for you." He opened it and said, "What the heck is this... ARE YOU PREGNANT???" All I could do was nod.

There is still a lot to cover from the past few weeks, including the just-passed Thanksgiving holiday. But I'll save all of that for a later post. No need to bore you all with the details all at once!