Thursday, June 22, 2017

Twins at Frank Slide in June

This week my brother Mark made a stopover here in Crowsnest Pass to visit the boys and us on his way through to Vernon, BC. And since it's just down the road, we of course visited the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre. It's just what we do when Uncles come to visit.

It was a little windy up top, so we took the path down into the slide.

There are a few things that are crystal clear from this sequence of photos. First, it is painfully difficult to get one year old twins to both look at the camera at the same time.

Second, my boys hate socks and shoes, but we really need to work on that.

Third, yes they need a hair cut. Like really badly now. But that'll happen this July in Calgary.... for sure.

Twins with Uncle Mark.

And with mommy.

Afterwards we came home to find someone new has taken up residence in our yard.

Seriously, since the boys were born last June, there have been deer in our yards, all of the time.

So since we decided that maybe we shouldn't carry the boys past the deer to get into our house, we'd go for beer and poutine instead.

Oh yeah.... look! I wrote on my blog! it's been more than just a while. Maybe I'll get into the habbit of this again now that the boys have been 1 for almost a month...... or maybe it'll be another 6 or so months before I post again... no promises.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

It's time to start writing about life with twins.

Tuesday was my first day home alone with the boys, who are now 3 weeks old.

And it was a long one.

And a lonely one.

No scrap that, it wasn't lonely, because I can happily noozle my little boys all day long and not feel lonely. But it was an isolated one, I don't think I've ever been so happy to see Kevin come through the door at the end of his work day.

So I guess for the time being, I'm a stay at home mom.

Which probably means I should take to the internet, and write about it. Share my experiences. And dive into the mommy blogging community so maybe I don't go completely stir crazy here at home all day.

Dominic and Alexander certainly think that's a good idea!

So here's to mommy blogging, and getting back to writing in general.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Mono-Di Twins.... or why I get to have ultrasounds and OB appointments every two weeks.

I wrote this post about a month ago... and then decided I wanted to make a video before I uploaded it. So that's where I've been. I'm up to 6 ultrasounds now, with many many more in our future. Twins are healthy and growing, and my baby bump is growing with them.

That's me at 20 weeks and I'm 21 and a half now! Anyways, on to the post!

This past week has been a whirl wind for sure. We drove across Canada last weekend.

No small feat for a girl 16 and a half weeks pregnant with twins. All I can say to that is thank goodness the second trimester has meant the end of all those pesky 1st T symptoms.

I got back to work full time (and then some) in the lab and with teaching.

And I had an appointment to see my GP on Tuesday, my OB on Wednesday, and for an Ultrasound on Thursday.

My 4th ultrasound to be exact.

That's right... I'm only 17 weeks along, and I've had 4 ultrasounds already. Keep in mind, the average pregnant woman (here in Canada at least) will usually get 2, maybe 3 ultrasounds. I'm referring to official ones, done at a radiology clinic, some OB's have portable ultrasound devices in their office and will take a peek at your babies at each visit.

So as for the 2-3 US you typically get booked in for

1) a dating ultrasound - if you have any reason to be uncertain about your dates, probably done between 6 and 11 weeks

2) a first trimester screening ultrasound - also called the Nuchal Translucency ultrasound - done between 12 and 14 weeks - optional, but combined with a blood test, its a non-invasive way to determine your baby's risk for Down Syndrome and a couple other chromosomal disorders

3) a detailed anatomy scan - usually done between 18 and 21 weeks, this is the one where most people will find out the sex of their baby, but more importantly, they will take detailed measurements of just about all parts of your baby's anatomy to make sure everything is developing ok

So why have I had 4 ultrasounds already? And why do I have them scheduled every two weeks until the babies arrive?

Because I am carrying Mono/Di twins.

And I wanted to take a moment to explain what that means. And the best way I could think to do that was to put together a little video. So please take a minute to watch and learn a little bit more about twins.

So yeah... I'm having medium risky, Mono-di twins... who have been practicing sharing since they embedded in my uterus and grew only one single placenta.

And as wonderful and exciting as it is to get to see my little peanuts so often, watching them grow, it's also a bit of a worrisome roller coaster for me. After each ultrasound I am so happy to see how far they've come, but as I approach the next one I begin to worry if this time they might not be growing on track, or if there may be signs that they aren't sharing as well as they should be. I won't go into specific risks, because google-ing while pregnant is a terrible idea, but Kevin and I are both involved in medicine enough to know more about those risks than we want to.

We are also both very appreciative to be living in a part of the world (Canada) where we are receiving this very frequent screening. And without having to worry about health insurance costs. It's comforting to know that I have a great OB, and a wonderful team at the Maternal Fetal Medicine EFW clinic all on my side. To be in a city with a children's hospital and incredible NICU that hopefully we wont need. And to have loving support systems to help with some of those worries.

So, my little Mono-Di, identical peanuts. Keep on growing, keep on sharing, and mommy and daddy can't wait to meet you guys.

Well we can wait.

We can wait until June.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A big announcement! Finally!

So like I said, I've been keeping a secret.

Well really, Kevin and I have been keeping a secret.

Since November 6th to be exact.

Because that's the Friday we found out I was pregnant!

And although it was a big surprise for us, it was one we were thrilled about. Kevin immediately poured himself a glass of scotch, and I had a water and prenatal vitamin cocktail! We spent a beautiful weekend in Medicine Hat, enjoying each other's company, and probably the last real nice weather before winter. I laughed at the terrible names he promptly began suggesting, and I have to admit, I cried a little too (well because I am the kind of girl who cries at things). Then I headed back to my apartment in Calgary, feeling surreal about how much our lives were going to change.

And did they ever change quickly. By the next weekend, I had all kinds of great first trimester symptoms, which only worsened over the month (although certainly nothing horrible or unmanageable). I missed Kev terribly, but he was great, putting up with me through hour long phone calls every night, and driving in to Calgary every weekend. I watched every movie about pregnancy on Netflix, and binge watched a few pregnancy vlogs on YouTube too. And we celebrated the end of the month by flying down to the Dominican Republic, to celebrate a friend's wedding.

I'll take a moment to say, there is nothing worse than being on an all inclusive resort, surrounded by friends, all who are drinking amazing looking cocktails, and beers, and shots.... and not being able to drink any yourself.... and not being able to tell anyone why. I have never craved a beer or margarita so badly in my life!

But In all honesty, I had a great trip. Enjoyed some sun, the wedding was great, we shared our secret with Kevin's parents (who couldn't have been happier), and spent some really special moments together just the two of us.

We came back to Alberta, excitedly looking forward to our first ultrasound.... our first chance to take a look at our little peanut.

The ultrasound was scheduled for Tuesday, December 8th, in Medicine Hat, so Kevin could sneak away from the hospital to be there for it, and like a good pregnant lady, 2 hours before hand I started slugging waters. So with a quite uncomfortable bladder, I held Kevin's hand as the tech applied gel to my belly (no real baby bump yet). He was facing the monitor, which was turned so I couldn't see it.

And right away he must have seen the peanut on the display, because the look that came over his face was just amazing.

And then came the next surprise.

The ultrasound tech asked us:

"Do twins run in either of your families?"

And I sure am glad that I was still looking into Kevin's eyes at that moment, because I'm pretty sure I watched his brain explode.

So the first picture shows little Peanut A. And this second one shows little Peanut B.

There's a whole lot more to this story, and I just can't wait to finally share it with the world (I hate keeping secrets!)

But for now I'll just end this with, as of today, I'm nearly 16 weeks pregnant with twins. We had an ultrasound earlier today, and they are both healthy and growing well. We had the joy of sharing our news with our families and friends, in person, over our holidays together in Ontario. Most importantly I finally got to tell my mom, surprising her in person, because it just didn't seem right to do over the phone. And we both can't wait for all of the joys and adventures 2016 is going to bring us.

Things might get pretty crazy in the months (and years) ahead, but we couldn't be happier or more excited. Kevin and I know we have more than enough love to sustain us through it all, and we are glad to have the amazing support systems in the people who are dearest to us in our lives to give us the extra help we'll need.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

I've been keeping a secret...

I've been keeping a secret.

And I'm not ready to tell it yet.

But it's all I want to write and blog about, so it's just dying to come out.

And it's almost time to share it with you all.

But in the mean time, writing about anything else has just had no appeal for me.

So I'm just popping in to say a quick hello.

And let you know.

That this time next week, I'm going to let my secret out.

Hope the first 7 days of the new year have been treating you all well. I just know 2016 is going to be a wild and exciting year for me, and I just can't wait for all that's on its way!

Also I realize you might see this picture and think that the "I'm his" means we're engaged... that's not the secret, we aren't yet. But I am his, all the same!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I'm bad at posting every day... I blame Kevin.

Crap! I was supposed to have been writing blog posts every day this month. Then I went to Medicine Hat on Thursday for the weekend to visit Kevin, and suddenly, no more posts.

Totally all his fault.

Or maybe it's because I usually write posts when I'm bored in the lab, and I tend not to be bored when I'm not in the lab.

Oh well, here I am again, back from the Hat, back in the Lab, and back on the blog.

Some random things.

I've had my lego Delorean and Marty McFly in the lab next to my microscope since Back to the Future Day last month. Today Marty decided to help out a little.

This weekend we had one day of plus 15 weather and one day of snow on my car. WTF. Get your act together Alberta. I feel like if you could just pick one and stay with it, I could get accustomed to the idea of winter. But you keep teasing me into believing I don't need a jacket when I leave the house in the morning.

Someone stole my mail I think...or just through it out. To be fair I probably only check it every 2 weeks, but yesterday morning I went to check it, and the box was unlocked and empty. Pretty sure only one bill and a pile of fliers are missing. But still.

For are my Calgary readers, have you seen any of 'COWTOWN' on YouTube yet?

COWTOWN is a sketch comedy YouTube show based in Calgary, and it's pretty funny. I really can't believe they only have 133 subscribers, really all of Calgary should be watching. The above video is 'the NDP buy a used car'. Here's another one about mayor Nenshi.

Not all of their sketches are Calgary specific tho, so really anyone would probably enjoy them.

That's all I've got for now. I'll be back posting for the days I missed over the weekend, since we did get a lot of stuff done.

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

9 Reasons I got my flu shot today.

Now that we have frost on the ground in the morning, I'd say it's just about cold and flu season. And so this year I went and got my flu shot.

Here's 9 good reasons why I got my flu shot today.

1) It was free, and I could get it right outside the doors of my lab. The University of Calgary does a pretty good job trying to get all of their students and staff vaccinated. If you can't get your vaccine at work like me, you can get it from many pharmacies and clinics throughout Calgary. Check out this link for more info.

2) On average, 12,500 Canadians are hospitalized with influenza each year, and 3,500 of them will die from it. While I'm not in a particularly high risk group myself, by getting vaccinated I contribute to heard immunity and am doing my part to protect those people who at at risk.

3) Influenza is a virus, so if I did come down with it, no amount of antibiotics (which target bacterial infections) will help me.

4) You get a lot of bang for your buck, especially since I didn't pay for it. This year's vaccine is targeted against 3 flu strains, the mutated variant of last years H3N1, a new form of H1N1 and B/Phuket.

5) Side effects are minimal, and risk is low. Basically you can expect to have some soreness at the injection site and that's about it. Even flu-like symptoms and fever associated with the vaccine are very rare. Some (not all) studies found a risk for Guillain-Barre Syndrome, but this was literally 1-2 in a million. Also you're much more likely to get it from the flu itself.

6) Even if you hate needles, you can opt to get vaccinated with a nasal spray, although they usually reserve this for children.

7) Although last year's vaccine was a miss, that's no reason to skip out on this years, which is predicted to be particularly effective. And again with little to no side-effects, there's only gains to be had here. And those gains are coming through the flu season intact.

8) My lab is located in a building connected to Foothills Hospital in Calgary. Plus my boyfriend is a Doctor, I am literally surrounded by potential contamination with flu virus.

9) Since development of an influenza vaccine, deaths from the flu have dropped by 99%. Very few things in medicine are as effective as vaccinations at saving lives.

So go out and get your vaccine, the government of Canada has ordered 12 million doses, so you shouldn't have any problem getting your hands on one.

Oh and speaking of hands, just because you're vaccinated against a couple strains of Influenza, it's still definitely best to keep on washing your hands. Just saying!

You can read/learn more about the seasonal flu vaccine here (gov Canada resourse) and here (Center for Disease Control).

Still not convinced? Maybe BuzzFeed can convince you.