Dressing for Mommy Success

Quick and easy outfits to look good on even the craziest of days.

 Packing for this trip has made me think about how people always seem shocked that I usually look rather put together while juggling 4 small kids. I guess it’s expected that I should be in yoga pants with a ponytail 24/7.

I think if anything the kids have forced me to be much better at choosing outfits quickly and working with what I’ve got.

After two twin pregnancies my figure is definitely a bit more curvy which actually works well with most vintage/classic styles (these styles can look attractive and feminine on almost any figure). I love my real vintage pieces but I’ve learned that taking care of toddlers will destroy those delicate fabrics quickly. I will keep them to wear again when the kids are older, but for now affordable reproductions work well.

I love dresses since there isn’t much that needs to be planned out, just throw on a cardigan and a belt and you are ready to go out on the town. Ballet flats for daytime and heels for nighttime and a scarf can do wonders to hide a bad hair day and really finish off the look. All super quick and easy.

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A-line dresses accentuate the good and hide the bad. They give the illusion that everyone has a perfect hour glass shape. Dark colors and patterns are also key for hiding a lot of the messes that happen when children are present (during the breastfeeding/bottle feeding stage light colors are preferred though).

Fabrics that do not need dry cleaning and ironing are also very helpful and keep the bills down. If you aren’t good at ironing (it’s definitely not one of my talents) most cotton tops and dresses can drip dry in the shower and still have a clean pressed look when needed.

I’m really into Capri pants and loose tops right now. Again classic, super easy and will look good on almost everyone.

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Being a single income family for now means our money is tight and EBay and Amazon have become my new best friends.

There are lots of China manufactures that make really cute stuff that’s super affordable (tops for under $5, dresses for $15+) just be careful with sizing since its way different than US or European sizes.

I find a lot of cute Jcrew on eBay for cheap and if I want to splurge the brand Lindy Bop ( http://www.lindybop.com ) has a lot of adorable dresses in a wide size range. Ok, I need to get back to packing for now…

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Must Have Snacks For Traveling With Toddlers

We are getting ready for a 4 day trip with the kids so I thought I would do a few travel survival posts. 

 There are 2 things that almost guarantee a meltdown with toddlers, hunger and not enough sleep. The second may be tricky but the first has a lot of quick solutions. The main thing I’ve learned is to never let their blood sugar get too low. Ideally fresh fruits and veggies are first choice snacks but the items below work in a pinch and are easy to pack and healthier than junk food.

Trader Joes is my favorite place to shop and they have lots of healthy kid friendly foods. Cereal bars, dried fruit, juice boxes, cheese sticks and slices, mini yogurts, apple sauce, crackers and more all pack great and do not take up a lot of space. The trip is at the end of the week so I’m starting to pack now. I will include a packing list in my next post….

Early Arrival

As I feared my body has decided once again to bring our children into the world too early.

I started having contractions early in the day on Sept 28. After attempts with two shots of terbutaline (Brethine) and an IV with Magnesium sulfate they were unable to stop the oncoming labor. At a little past midnight I had an emergency c-section. Our girls are both about 15″ long and 2.5lbs. They made it a week and one day further than the first two (28 weeks 5 days)

They are doing well so far but this is the beginning of what will be another long NICU journey, and we haven’t even decided on names yet…

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Bravely Returning….

Well this isn’t the best of starts 😦

I finally decided that it is safe to update this blog and after I write and correct all the text it does not save and I lose everything. Has anyone else had this problem? I saved the draft then clicked Publish. It showed up once then disappeared when I went back to my Dashboard…uhg

Let me try it again…

So out of fear of jinxing my current pregnancy I avoided this site for a bit. In the past two months I had three major bleeds and passed a blood clot that was bigger than one of the babies, scary times!

Today though, I am 18 week 2 days pregnant and the babies seem to be doing well. They are on target with weight and size. All genetic tests came back normal which was such a relief. I LOVE the MaterniT21 test, the results were good enough that I was able to pass on doing the CVS or Amniocentisis procedures….yeah no giant needles needed to go into my uterus this time around!!!!

I’m on very high monitoring to watch for any signs of pre-term labor, ultrasounds bi-weekly, meetings with my OB and Perinatologist, my cervix is being measured regularly and they have me taking daily progesterone suppositories. It’s been frustrating since there is not enough research on twin pregnancies so there is a lot of guess work involved on what may or may not help.

The MaterniT21 test also gave us the results on the gender of the babies. My husband was really hoping that at least one if not both were boys this time around but it looks as though God has other plans…We are expecting two more girls. He spent the next three days repeating over and over “I’m going to have 4 daughters”. I don’t think I realized just how important it was for him to have a son before. To pass the family name and traditions to, ect. I feel bad but I really want this to be our last pregnancy, I’m 39 and we have to provide for these 4 children…he’s hoping that an “accidental son” will happen before all this is through!!!

I do have to say that I absolutely love having twins. I couldn’t even imagine having just one baby, our first two are a little over a year and they are adorable and play with each other all day. The fact that they have an instant best friend/playmate to entertain each other with really helps me get more done in the house, and it’s not a lot of extra work. I’m a bit nervous about how I will handle 4 under the age of two but I’m just praying the next two are as sweet and easy going as these girls are. The joys and stresses of parenthood… 🙂

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The new girls

10w 2d….

I have to fight the fear of writing anything too positive in the risk that something goes wrong. Honestly it has been why I have been posting less frequently. I so envy the naive couples that get pregnant without even trying and then have a beautiful stress free pregnancy. Although I am beginning to wonder if that really exists or if it is some fairytale that everyone grows up believing but is actually far from reality…

10wI had my first OB apt on Monday. It was nice to see my doctor and favorite nurse again. It was just over a year ago that the girls were born. Crazy how time passes so quickly. We had a long (1.5hr) visit to discuss how we are going to handle this pregnancy since I am definitely considered high risk. Twins are always categorized as high risk to begin with, but it is even more of a concern since my girls came at 27.5 weeks. We want to do everything possible to not have such a traumatic birth this time around. He discussed possible weekly progesterone injections and frequent ultrasounds to measure my cervix. If they notice any shortening of the cervix they would do a cervical cerclage. My goal right now is to make it to Halloween (32w), anything after that is even better.

The genetic testing is the next big milestone. A new non-invasive test has been released called MaterniT21. It tests for the same chromosomal abnormalities as the CVS test, but it can be done through a simple blood test, instead of having  giant needles piercing through your uterus. I was so happy to hear of this test and I am going to do it tomorrow. The only problem with twins is that if something bad comes up I will still have to do CVS or Amnio to find out which baby has the problem. I’m really praying that the results come back good and we can relax and finally start to enjoy this pregnancy….

SCH – Subchorionic Hematoma

My knowledge on the complications of infertility and pregnancy continues…

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After my first bleeding incident and the trip to the ER, I had a second one on Thursday with more blood and some very large clots and a smaller one on Friday. I had an ultrasound on Wed and Thur and both showed healthy growing babies and strong heartbeats. This has been very terrifying. I stayed in bed most of the weekend and had my husband and a friend taking care of our twin girls.

I had one bleeding episode like this with my last pregnancy at about 6 weeks. After learning that I once again have a SCH I decided to do some research on it.

“A subchorionic hematoma is a type of blood clot found between the pregnancy membranes and the wall of the uterus. This occurs in just over l1% of pregnancies, and it appears that the bleeding occurs when small parts of the pregnancy membranes separate from the uterus.” (about.com)

The rest of my research is from many different web and blog sites. The general belief is that if your SCH happens in the first trimester and you make it to the 20th week you are usually ok. Some woman never actually bleed, it is only found out during an ultrasound exam and some woman have huge gushes and clots multiple times.

The biggest concern is when the clot is large, that is the most dangerous to the fetus. The comment about it only being 1% of pregnancies I believe to be very off. Every doctor and ultrasound tech I have met seemed very familiar with this condition and I also found tons of woman online going through it and some have had it with more than one of their pregnancies. It also seems to be more common in twin pregnancies.

The most frustrating thing about it is the different doctors approaches. There are doctors that tell their patients everything from change nothing in your daily life to ones that suggest full bedrest. How could there be such a huge mix of opinions on a matter that could mean life or death for your unborn child??? Doctors state that there is currently no proof yet that bedrest will help (no one has bothered to research and do studies on the condition), so they are hesitant to suggest it. Although I found that most woman said that shortly after bedrest the bleeding would stop.

It is an internal wound, why would you not give it a chance to heal? That’s like running a marathon with an open cut on your leg…it’s not going to heal and will probably get worse.

It really upset me to come across some of this misguided information. One woman was even told that she would definitely miscarry and should just get a D&C right away, even though her baby was still alive. She changed doctors and went on to have a healthy full-term baby!!!!

I in no way claim to be a medical expert, but the data and facts seem to definitely lead to some basic conclusions. If you have a SCH, get as much rest as you can, try to stay off your feet, drink lots of water (dehydration causes the uterus to contract), eat foods rich in iron, vitamin c and zinc and take an iron supplement if you are bleeding. My doctor also has me doing daily progesterone shots to hopefully help strengthen the uterus and stop the bleeding. I hope this helps others going through this scary condition…

A “Quick Trip To The ER”

Warning – Things got a bit ugly last night…

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I wasn’t feeling very well all day, sleepy, queasy, just off in general so I tried to take it easy. At around 9ish my stomach became really upset, I thought it was either really bad “evening sickness” or I had picked up my husbands cold. I usually seem to feel worse at night but not usually this bad. It eased up for a bit after that but then at around 10ish something felt off and I went to use the bathroom and I had a huge rush of blood and some small clots. I freaked out and called my husband who was sick and about to go to bed. We decided I should go to the hospital which luckily is only about 10 min away. After securing a babysitter to put the twins to bed we rushed in the car.

4 painfully long hours later we had news…Both babies are still alive, they both had a hb of 132, they are sized appropriately for their age (7w 3d, 7w 4d) and my HCG was over 158,000. The blood is coming from a clot (SCH) which is from one of the placentas partially detaching. It is 1.2cm cyst on the left corpus luteum. This will either resolve or end the pregnancy, there is nothing that can really be done.

It’s so strange how this pregnancy is perfectly matching my last one. At about 6 weeks last time I had the same thing but I honestly do not remember seeing so much blood the last time. My doctor said to just rest today and I will go in for another ultrasound tomorrow. It’s all so scary…

The Roller-Coaster Ride Continues

On April 16 it was confirmed…Twins again! I think I was in a state of shock when I left the office. I should have been happy but I started to panic. How am I going to take care of 4 babies under the age of 2 with no family living close by? Were we insane? I texted my husband the ultrasound picture, he was very happy. He had been hoping for this news. I felt guilty for not being more excited. I was definitely relieved that it had worked and that it will hopefully be the last IVF cycle I will have to do. No more shots!!!! But reality was setting in. I had convinced myself that this cycle didn’t work, and now not only did it work, it worked X’s 2!

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After a few days and my husband convincing me that he would make sure I had some help with the little ones I began to calm down and really start to process it all. I do really like having our girls as twins. They were born with an instant playmate and now that they are getting a little older watching them play with each other is adorable. They also are much better at self-entertaining which helps me get things done around the house…

On April 23 I was considered 6w 1d, time for the heartbeat ultrasound. This is the next big step in the pregnancy and I know there are many more from my rocky first experience. The doctor was able to see 2 heartbeats, but paused to tell me one looked slow. This could mean one of two things, it’s either a day behind the other developmentally or that it would not survive. Not the best of news…all we can do is wait and see now.

Since around the 4w mark I have had pink spotting and brown discharge (sorry if that is tmi) which has concerned me, but the doctor said it could be caused by the progesterone suppositories and not to worry. Then on April 25 I saw red, which now full on scared me. I was afraid I might be losing the slower baby, red is never a good sign. I called my doctor panicked and he said to come in for an ultrasound the next day since it was not heavy bleeding. I went back on full bed-rest that night to be safe.

Next day both babies were still there and had grown and heartbeats looked similar. No clue as to what the bleeding is from. So now we just count down the days until the next ultrasound (this Thursday). I was really praying for a less stressful pregnancy this time around, I guess it’s going to be a very long year…

Yes I Did Lose My Mind For A Few Days…

The 2WW was an emotional roller coaster. My period usually comes at 26 days and Saturday would have been that day. I felt like my worst period to date was coming. Cramps, hot flashes, constant hunger, a full acne breakout…every time I went to pee I expected to see blood. This was how I felt for the entire weekend all the way to Monday.

On Monday I had a glimmer of hope since I had not started bleeding yet so I took a pregnancy test just to check. (On the progesterone shots I knew that they stopped my period from coming until I stopped using them, but usually the suppositories didn’t prevent it from starting.)

The last two times I was pregnant, on day 14 I had very strong lines that confirmed I was pregnant. This time it was an extremely light blue line, and knowing that blue tests usually have evaporation lines I believed that this was a negative and it was all over…I became really depressed and told my husband I believe it did not work this time. We were both bummed all night and I was dreading going through all this again. That night I tried 2 cheap tests from the 99cent store to double check but the results were the same.

The next day I called the doctors office to get the details on what would happen if the cycle failed. The next try would be in June. About midday since my period had not shown its ugly head yet I decided to try the last two cheap tests I had. This time they were still faint but a little darker…

Now I felt like it was a maybe. I came across some Internet sites that had mentioned using OPT kits to check for pregnancy since LH and HCG are very close and the results should register with both kinds of tests.

I dug up two tests that I had from a two years ago and decided to try it out, what did I have to lose? It was better then buying more tests and my official blood test would be the next day anyway. Both tests came up positive, which made me feel a bit more positive.

I woke up this morning and rushed to the doctors office to get the official test. And because I was officially insane at this point I picked up a digital test on the way in to try out while I was waiting for my blood work. I wanted to be the first to know either way and I knew the digital tests were the easiest to get solid results from…So yes there in the bathroom of my doctors office I sat and killed the 3 minutes to find out. The word pregnant popped up and I relaxed for the first time in days. With a smile on my face I walked over to the blood draw chair and let the nurse do her business.

At about 3:00 this afternoon I got the call to confirm it, yes I was pregnant and my HCG level was very good (478). I need to go back on Friday to do a second blood test.

With the twins I was 430 on the same day, is there any chance it could be triplets? I pray that it’s not. The risk is less than 5% for triplets, 40% for twins and 55% for a singleton. I’m praying for one, multiples really scare me after the NICU experience with my girls. New worries….

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