Friday, April 17, 2015

The Day We Found Out Baby Charlies' Genders

Proud Parents-to-Be!
(PS The lady sitting behind us with the glasses is Carrie, who filmed the video)

In case you didn't see the video: 
(Caution: may cause tears)
Justin & Sara's Twins - We tell you the genders! from Pixel Hawk on Vimeo.

Monday after we finished our ultrasound and appointment with the doctor, our technician Jessica came out with two sealed manila envelopes marked "Twin A" & "Twin B". I stuck them in my journal and stuffed it into my black and red chicken tote bag. Dr. Brass came out as we were about to leave and asked us our guesses. We scheduled our next appointment with her and headed out the door. Everyone was is so sweet to us in perinatology. Like a bunch of old friends.

We had a carload of errands to do: Home Depot, Powell's Books, UPS, New Seasons. Stopping in the rain here and there along the way as we drove north back to our house to check each item off the list, it took a while to get home.

Molly texted me at about 4:00PM while we were in the car: "So are you celebrating? :)" I told her we hadn't looked yet. She said, "When are you crazies going to look?!?"

Delayed gratification. It is an art. Justin and I are pretty good at it.

Truthfully part of it was that we were both nervous about opening the envelopes. It's good to know but then there's no turning back. I was definitely scared to find out. We had both hoping for one of each.

Originally, we'd thought we'd get a coffee or treat after the appointment and go up to the top of Mount Tabor or to our bench under the trees in Fernhill (the park that we live on), but water kept falling from the sky, and the cool air wasn't too inviting.

"Maybe we should just do it at home," I said.

Justin's idea: "I think we should go to Cha Ba Thai." Which is not a fancy place at all, but it is the place we always go to, maybe about twenty blocks from our house. The wait staff already knew us. It was kind of like home.

Around 7:30, we hopped into my car, carrying Justin's good camera and the little manila envelopes. I sped there and got a spot in front of the door. We dressed nice (for us) for the occasion. Since I'm already starting to have difficulty fitting into a lot of my normal clothes, I had a limited selection. Justin put on my favorite shirt of his. We were ready for some life changing news.

"Sit wherever you like," the cute Asian guy at the door told us.

The air was a little loud with conversation in there, and we wondered if it was the right place to be. We chose the wall where it seemed most quiet. And because we liked the barn-looking backdrop.

We sat down and Justin put our little "The Charlies" Valentine's card at the table next to us and the two envelopes sitting out between us. We ordered dinner- red curry duck for Justin and red curry tofu for me.

After the food was ordered, we thought maybe that was the time to do the deed. Who could record it for us? Justin thought the waitstaff but they seemed too busy. I thought maybe the two ladies behind us. We hmmed and hawed. I went over and asked the ladies if they could film us and told them what we were doing. One woman said she could not work a camera, but the other woman with shoulder-length grey hair and aqua glasses thought she could. Justin showed her the basics. Her name was Carrie.

Our moment was here.

We didn't have a plan. But we decided to shuffle and pick. I got Twin A and had to go first.

Opening that envelope felt like jumping off a huge scary cliff. My heart was racing. I was holding my breath and biting my lower lip.

When I saw A was a boy I was thinking, Oh my God, we're going to have two boys. It was a panicked feeling. I truthfully really wanted one boy. But I didn't really want two. It was probably just because I grew up with all girls.

Justin has more practice in being on camera, and using dramatic pause. He took his time opening his envelope. I was so surprised when he said "B is a girl". I really couldn't believe it.

After it was done, we were both so relieved. We both were a little scared of a house full of barbie girls or rowdy boys. One of each seemed like unbelievable good luck.

Our next ultrasound is on April 28th. They couldn't quite get all the views of the heart and spine that they needed. Justin will be in North Carolina, so my sister Carrie is going to go with me and see the twins in action.

So here we go along the way. What an amazing journey already.

A: Sweet Little Baby Boy Charlie
B: Sweet Little Baby Girl Charlie

Monday, April 13, 2015

Ultrasound #4: Feet and Heads and Two Healthy STUBBORN Little Charlies!


Apparently the mostly vegetarian diet is still working. (I have added fish to help with the protein.) The babies are thriving, growing, moving a lot and right on schedule.

This afternoon we had our fourth ultrasound, which was for the full anatomical scan and also for gender determination. We arrived at Kaiser Sunnyside Hospital to meet up with the perinatology department, and ended up with the same sweet ultrasound tech, Jessica, and our great doctor, Elizabeth Brass. Our last appointment was on the westside, so it was cool to see the same faces in a different location.

We were also fortunate enough to have the patient experience of "not getting checked in". We'd been there for thirty minutes waiting when I started to wonder. No one really ever runs twenty minutes late at Kaiser without letting you know. Kicking myself for not wearing my badge (which would have let me in the door), I was about to phone the desk upstairs when one of the MAs came out and called my name, and said I hadn't been checked in.

The anatomical exam was mostly successful, though not everything was visualized as our doctor wanted- so we have to go back in two weeks for a second ultrasound for more views of the heart in A and more of the spine in B.

We also decided we'd come home with envelopes telling us what the genders were. Justin had the idea that we should put them in separate envelopes and each of us open one.

This morning in bed we made our guesses:
  • Sara: A: boy, B: girl  (though I have had SIX dreams that I had two girls-- I think it's just because I grew up with all girls.
  • Justin: A: girl, B: boy.
Little Charlies A & B were very stubborn and neither wanted to be pigeonholed into a gender category for most of the exam. (Apparently they take after their mom & dad!) Fortunately our ultrasound tech, Jessica was also very stubborn and kept trying. We helped move things along by threatening to name them Pat Jean & Kim Terry. Finally they succumbed to the pressure and Jessica got their photos while we kept our eyes closed tight. She printed them out and hid them in labeled matching manila envelopes.


After the ultrasound, we had an appointment with Dr. Brass. She said everything looked great. They were right on target for size. Good amniotic fluid for both babies. We will be 19 weeks on Wednesday, so technically today we were 18 weeks 5 days today. Head sizes were normal for age.
  • A: measuring 19 weeks, 1 day, breech presentation, laying right under my belly button
  • B: measuring 18 weeks, 6 days, transverse presentation, laying above my belly button, almost under my ribs. 
(NO WONDER I FELT LIKE THEY WERE TAKING UP A TON OF SPACE! I thought they were way up there near my sternum and all the way down to my lady flower-- I was right!)

Cutest Lil Feet!
Charlie A always gets the better photo, but I think it's because Charlie B is up under my ribs almost.

Good news: I weighed in today at 154 (with clothes). Starting weight was 139 (without clothes). I am finally going up. I found a great online website,, which I've been using to been to track my calorie and protein intake and am actually doing a lot better than I thought I was. The goal is 100-120 g of protein per day for twins, and I'm pretty close. Since we're into the second trimester, I'm trying to be more careful about getting the right food in. I'm still never hungry but I eat anyway, and am getting at least 2,000 calories per day- a lot more than I used to eat- I'm just naturally a crazy fruit and veggie lady, but the three of us are doing pretty well. One of of the mamas on my natural birth twins group pointed out that being pregnant with twins puts your body in nutritional distress. Which is about the way it feels. But we are doing fine. The Charlies are a strong and stubborn family! :)

Extra Protein-- I'm a BODY BUILDER now. A Double Body Builder!
I never dreamed I'd be eating protein bars!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

18 Weeks Today Short Update

In five days we have our next ultrasound and OB appointment. I've amassed a plethora of questions for the OB, gathered through contact with friends and the forces of the internet. I found an awesome closed group on Facebook called "Birthing Multiples Naturally" which is full of great information, goodwill, photos, and positive stories. Even when things go not as planned, the outcomes are still healthy babies. It's an inspiration with moms from all over the world.

The genders should be known to us soon if A&B are agreeable at the next appointment, but we're not going to be spreading the word until we are back to see our families around the 3rd of May. As well this next ultrasound is the really intense one where they look for any anatomical irregularities. It will be nice to have that appointment done.


With all the research I've done, I'm feeling more hopeful for a non-medicated birth if things are situated okay with Baby A and Baby B. We will just have to go along and see how things go.

As of today:

Weight Gain: 11 lbs
Activities: Yoga, Biking, Walking, Hiking
Food: Vegetarian plus fish for the babes and prenatals
Mood: Relaxed and healthy, though I can tell I'm starting to walk differently
Clothes: Some still fit. The pants are getting a little more tricky. Ordered maternity clothes and regular fold down yoga pants for the coming weeks.

Onward and upward!! :)