So, I finally got round to taking this picture below. They've been sticking around (kekeke pun intended) the bathroom for ages. Decided to finally take the pic, and throw them away. So these were what started it all. We were trying for a baby, and Dr Ang told us to use the ovulation sticks this time round.
Basically, I have to count the days after my menses, and pee on the ovulation stick till I get a positive - which in the case of the sticks we bought (the one above, in the pic below), it's 2 lines. So, finally we got the two lines, and quickly got into action.Then there is the other stick - the pregnancy test kit stick. kekeke... You see, the last time with Isaac we took a picture of the pregnancy test positive - so this time also... must be fair, right? As best as we can! :)
So roughly 33 weeks after the pregnancy test kit went positive... after completing 37 weeks of pregnancy... this is how I looked like, the night before we went into hospital to do our selective c-section to have the kidzes taken out.
Look at the huge melon I was carrying. I measured my waistline (to satisfy PT's question coz I was sure she would defnitely ask me about it) it was 52 inches. I am happy to say that I only have a 52 inch waist coz I am like PREGNANT and with twins to boot. Gosh I pray and hope that I will never again have a 52 inch waist (or anywhere near that!) - unless I am pregnant with a multiple birth again. Yes, I'd much rather be pregnant with a multiple birth again than to ever have a 52 inch waist again. HAHAHHA...
Now I look at the pictures, I don't think I look very big. I mean, yes, it's huge, but - they're twins in there what, right? But then maybe I got used to seeing myself like that. I do recall feeling very very heavy though. Was having trouble walking, standing, moving, actually, by that time.
Look at the big bolla. hahahaa... I couldn't even stand long enough to take a few more pix. I had to sit. It came to be that where there were no chairs, I had stools all around the house for me to sit. There was a plastic one in the toilet for me to sit and bathe. Another one here at the wardrobe for me to sit and wear my clothes. And when I wanted to search for something in the kitchen cabinets, I lugged a stool in there for me to sit on as well...I had orignally (like when I first got pregnant and knew it was twins) wanted to go all the way to 38 weeks, if I could. But by the time I was at 34 weeks, it was such a strain, that now I know that Dr Ang was wise to have suggested 37 weeks to deliver. She said:"37 weeks for twins is very good already - don't tempt fate! Especially since they're already at a good size..." For at 34 weeks, the twins were at about 2.5kg each already. which I suppose was already a good size for twins.
Also, since Shawna was breeched (head-up, instead of head-down), it was clear that it was going to be a ceasarean right from the start. No argument about that. Well, Dr Ang said most multiples were delivered via c-section anyway, as it was safer, and had less complications that way. I was all for the "less complications" so I didn't insist otherwise.
Still, up till the end of the 37th week, I was still sitting on the floor to play with Isaac. And I could do most things he wanted me to. I couldn't carry him while I was standing. But I could sit, and carry him onto my lap. I could swing him from his pram down to the floor, when we wanted me to take him out of it. I could get up fine from the floor, or from our 'platform bed' which was essentially a mattress on the floor... I was still kinda... agile, as Dr Ang liked to put it.
All thanks to my darling Isaac :) He's what made me more fit this pregnancy, I feel. Better than the 3 times a week 15 laps that I used to swim when I was pregnant with him! hahahaa... So coz of this, I put on a mere 12kg for this pregnancy - compared to the 21kg I put on for Isaac. Though, I am 10kg heavier to begin with this time round. So ironically, I am back at the same weight (more or less) at the time of delivery! hahahaha...This here above is me before the op. The op was scheduled at 8am, but we had to 'check in' by 6am. We got there by about 6.30am and the nurses quickly had me preped for the op. I got dressed in one of the wards, they made me bathe with some special antiseptic soap or something. Inserted a catheter into me. And wheeled me to the operating theatre itself. I had to be separated from hubbs at the door, where they'd told him to wait. Guess they had to give him his togs below and prepare him as well.
This above is hubbs before he entered the operating theatre. I opted for local anaesthesia (epidural), which is why hubbs could go in. But I was pretty knocked out by the epidural, and was for the most part barely conscious of anything at all after the epidural kicked in.
Before I was knocked out by the epidural, it struck me how scary an operating theatre really looked, with the lights and equipment and all. Not at all like the delivery room in which we delivered Isaac. That was nice and cosy, had a tv for hubbs and we could bring our own CD player to play music which we waited for me to dilate enough to deliver Isaac.
Hubbs too, was kinda disappointed with the process as he did not get to cheer and egg me on as he did with Isaac's natural birth. In fact, he was told to "sit down" the moment he entered the operating theatre. Also, they started the op before he went into the theatre, so he had just entered for only a few minutes and the kidzes were born already. Compared to the 15 hours labour we went through with Isaac, this time round was certainly very different!
There! The kidzes!!! Officially known as Room 328 Twin 1 and Room 328 Twin 2, at the hospital. hahaha... Twin 1 is Asher, the boy, who came out a minute before his sister. It was naturally him that came out first as he was head down, and his head was near the "exit" kekeke... Shawna, the girl, was head up (her head was roughly at my right rib cage there), and so came out later.
So guess who's Asher and who's Shawna? :) Do they look alike to you? Or can you tell the difference? Well, Asher's the one with all the white goo still on his face and body. Shawna came out incredibly 'clean'. This pregnancy, I only managed to drink one coconut. The night before we checked in, I desperately wanted to drink another coconut.
But it was too late by the time hubbs came back from work, and all our usual coconut haunts were closed. "You see lah!" I told hubbs "if we'd managed to find another coconut last night - Asher would be as clean as Shawna!" hahahha... It's this old wives tale that drinking fresh coconut juice nearing delivery date (36 weeks onwards) would clear the vernix (the whitish substance on Asher. It serves to protect the baby's delicate skin from the amniotic fluid. Every baby has it but some shed it before being born and some don't) from the baby.
There, the kidzes below after they've been cleaned up in the nursery. Can you tell Asher from Shawna? Asher came out a minute earlier, but slightly lighter at 2.770kg. Shawna was 2.815kg at birth. Pretty decent for twins, everyone says. I was hoping for 3kg apiece, but 2.8kg's good too. Good job, kidzes!!! :)
Yes, for those of you who 'cheated', you can see the blue card for the baby on the left, which is Asher, and the pink card for the baby on the right, which is Shawna.
Asher (above) and Shawna (below) look quite different. Almost immediately, hubbs and I did not have any problem telling them apart. Asher looked like a miniature hubbs. He had less hair on the top, and had a nose like hubbs - one with higher nose bridge than Shawna's. Shawna, on the other hand, looked like Isaac when Isaac was born. She had more hair on top than Asher, a lower nose bridge (MIL says her nose like mine, Asher's nicer nose is like hubbs' she says :p), a bit of a protruding forehead (like mine and Isaac's!), and her eyes were more deepset.
Both the kidzes have double-eyelids, which the confinement nanny says is quite rare for babies to surface the double eyelids at such an early stage - so, she says it means that the double eyelids will be very 'deep'. I have double eyelids but hubbs doesn't. Isaac has them - but they're "internal" and hence it looks as though he doesn't have double eyelids.
Oh Asher has dimples! But the rest of us doesn't have any!He must have inherited them from my cellulite... KIDDING! hahahahhaa...
Here's hubbs pushing the babies to the room, with Isaac the big kor kor helping him :) Isaac has been taking to the babies well. He would always 'sayang' their head, though we have to be careful with him around coz he can unknowingly be rough with the kidzes, like using too much strength to stroke the kidz' heads or doing somersaults on the bed when the kidzes are there.
However, since we came home from the hospital, Isaac has been refusing to go to school. We never used to have this problem other than the time when he first started the school. So the only conclusion is - it must be coz of the kidzes. Every morning for the past 2 weeks, Isaac'd refuse to wear his uniform and keep cryin that he doesn't want to go to school. But once he gets to school, he's fine. Everyday hubbs would ask him if he has had fun in school that day ("Wenyuan, jing1 tian1 xue2 xiao4 hao3 bu4 hao3 wan2?) And he would always reply that it was fun ("hao3 wan2"). So hubbs would ask him if he wants to attend school the next day, to which Isaac would reply and say yes, he'd go to school the next day. But come the next day... he would refuse to go to school again.
I'd always been fond of teling Isaac that I loved him. I believe in subliminal messaging - I told him that I loved him even while he was asleep. But I also believe in direct messaging hahahhaa... I would tell that to him even when he was awake. However, since I got pregnant, I stepped up telling Isaac that hubbs and I love him very much. I would repeat it over and over again, and tell him that I would love Asher and Shawna, but I would still continue to love him.
And in the past week, I did this even more and more, and I would hold him and hug him many more times than before (which was already a lot!). And I would carry him in my arms on my lap, just like how I would cradle the babies. I would call him my Big Baby, and told him that I loved him very much, and more and more each day.
We had a breakthrough 2 days ago, when he finally agreed to wear his uniform and go to school. There was a sort of regression yesterday where he protested again, but this morning, he again agreed to dress in his uniform and go to school. We hope this continues to get better!
This is Natalie - my youngest niece, she is 3 months younger than Isaac. She's also one of Isaac's favourite playmate. Of course, they fight and snatch things with one another as well. but by and large Natalie loves Isaac and talks about him all the time when he's not around, and so does Isaac now. Natalie is also hubbs and mine God-daughter :) My mum jokes that if we go out with Isaac and Natalie, Asher and Shawna - people'd think we have 2 sets of twins!
Come... test you again, which above is Asher and which is Shawna? No peeking below before making your guess!!!
This is Shawna (one on the right)... :) And Asher's the one below (the one on the left). In my stomach, Asher was on my left and Shawna on my right as well.
These few pix were taken in hospital. They were lying on my lap. after I had breastfed them. And yes, I can breastfeed them at the same time! hehehe... They are lying in this position coz I'd just breastfed them in a double football hold position.
There! That's us in action! My mum, whom I recall being all concerned about my modesty when I breastfed during Isaac's time, still is concerned this time. But I can tell she has relaxed her standards since she exclaimed "What a great t-shirt this is!" Which were my thoughts exactly, coz I wasn't exactly without modesty you know. Even though I thought those 52 inch tummy pix of mine looked cool, but my mum kept on going "Ah yoh! No shame!!!" when she saw them.
The tee is a nursing wear tee - but not all nursing wear is suitable for tandem nursing (nursing two babies at the same time). This one's perfect. The next night, I ordered 4 more pieces of this tee online. hahaha... I figured I'd be in them for quite awhile.
I used to think that a double football hold was the only way to breastfeed twins. But I was wrong. See below - it is me bf-ing Asher and Shawna with Asher (left/top) in a cradle hold, and Shawna (right/bottom) in a football hold.
It was Sister Kang, the lactation consultant from Mt Alvernia that taught me how to do the above. We had gone to see Sister Kang when we brought the kidzes to the paediatrician for their follow-up checkup 6 days after they were born. I was suffering from blocked ducts you see, and really needed Sister to help me clear them. I was in shear agony. [Guess who's that below?]
[Shawna!] Even though I had more than 2 years of breastfeeding experience with Isaac, starting to breastfeed again this time round (after weaning off Isaac completely a few months ago) has been nothing short of hellish for me. Perhaps coz I still remembered vividly what had taken place when I started to breastfeed Isaac 2 and a half years ago. The memory of the pain was enough to strike fear into my heart and bring tears into my eyes. I kid you not. [Who, below?]
[Asher!!!] Firstly, I had sore nipples from the kidzes not latching properly. They did not know how to open their mouths wide enough to take in both the nipple and part of the areola. Resulting in sore nipples for mummy me. And because they didn't take in the areola, they had trouble getting the milk out. Also, I think I had blocked ducts, which wasn't alleviated by incorrect suckling. So, the milk was all stuck inside!!! [Who's who?]
[Asher left, Shawna right!!!] Urgghh. So, I tried to pump out the milk. And guess what??? Classic, really classic - the same thing happened as what did the last time with Isaac - my pumping caused my already sore nipples, to bleed! Fantastic, strawberry milk within the first week of birth. Not good.
My neighbour Angie, has a good analogy to explain what sore nipples felt like to people who don't know (especially men) - she said:" It's like having a huge blister from wearing a new pair of shoes, but you still have to continue to wear this pair of shoes - and no plaster for your blister!" how apt a description, I thought! [Who's who, below? Surely, you should have gotten it by now...]
[Shawna left, Asher right!!!] On top of sore and bleeding nipples, I had blocked ducts and hence engorged breasts! OH the pain of it. I was not only in pain, but in fear. I was in pain from the engorged breasts, and in fear that the pain would worsen, for I had known it before - during Isaac's time! For even though I was in pain, I knew that it was only about half as bad as it was during Isaac's time. I knew I should be glad for small favours like that, but when you're in pain, you don't really think logically, you know. [Below???]
[Asher left, Shawna right!!!] To top everything off, I had cramps in my tummy from my womb contracting when the kidzes suckle. The pain is like labour pain, and there was no epidural this time. Dr Ang says I should be glad, that my womb is contracting - this way, she said, I'd get back my shape sooner. Trying to concentrate on this silver lining, I couldn't help but pray to God if I could still have the womb contracting without all this pain. The next day, the pain stopped. I wondered if God answered my prayer, or whether my womb had stopped contracting. The latter was too depressing a thought to entertain, so I think God answered my prayers. He always does, usually :) [Last test... for this post...]
[Shawna on left of picture, Asher on the right!] Well, I am glad to say the worst is over. My saviour was Sister Kang, who after administering a few short minutes of pure manual torture, massaged the blocked ducts out of the way. From that moment on, the milk could flow and the pain slowly went away. What a great vocation she is in, I thought to myself - her work literally enables pain to be taken away!pix taken between 6th January 2010 and 20th January 2010So today, I am fine, we're fine. We stopped supplementing the kidzes with formula milk a week after they're born - a day after my visit to Sister Kang. Thus, the kidzes have been fully breastfed by my milk for more than a week now. And I still have surplus to freeze! Hahahaha... though not as much as I did before with Isaac. But that's fine with me, I rather my milk is drunk rather than frozen.
Isaac @ 2 and a half years old
Asher @ 2 weeks old
Shawna @ 2 weeks old
Isaac @ 2 and a half years old
Asher @ 2 weeks old
Shawna @ 2 weeks old
So once again, after a rocky start, I'm back on The Milk Trial. Hehehehe... PamMI is back in action!