Category Archives: Third Trimester

Mucous Plug is Out!

Day: 40+3

Before we headed to bed, the babies were moving soooo actively, that I had a hard time falling asleep. But nothing happened during the night,  I was really thirsty and drank so much water, at 2:30am I woke up and almost finished half a watermelon. When I got up this morning, I was pretty tired, however, the rain cooled the temperature down drastically and it was so comfortable that Michael and I decided to take a walk. After the walk we went to Apex to have the oil change on the car, then I felt like I couldn’t keep my eyes open any more, I barely finished my breakfast and went straight to bed since my back was really achy. When I woke up around 11:30am, I thought I had a big leak but it turned out to be the mucous plug!

We were very excited, and called Audrey, she said usually labor would start within 24 hours after the plug is out…it was indeed good news. We will meet up with her for dinner tonight and talk more about the details! Mom, Michael and I went to Lowe’s and got a brand new filer that takes our allergen including pet dander (dust and dander are the main cause of infant allergy), then we went to La Shish for lunch. The waitress there we met before had her baby after 42 weeks, her doc wanted to induce her but she waited…her baby girl turned out to be 7 lbs 8 oz, I guess she was not big enough to come out at 40 weeks – there’s always a reason! My body felt so heavy and my back felt so achy, I could barely walk (I bet I look funny to other people) – how amazing our body reacts!!!

7 Comments

Filed under Third Trimester

Decision Making Drives Us Crazy

Day: 40+2

Slept through the night again and there was still small amount of amniotic fluid, so I guess my sac didn’t seal up. Michael and I got up early in the morning and took a lovely walk, we sat by the pool, listening to the birds in the shades, the weather was beautiful with a breeze, it was quite enjoyable and peaceful.

Thanks, our friends, for emailing us and being so supportive, I know everyone is anxious to ask the question, we feel the same way! But everything has its time and the boys are still kicking:) Kathy wrote me this morning and reminded me to take my temperature often to make sure I don’t have an infection myself (it’s 98.2F this morning), which is a great tip and if we do decide to get induced later on, we could try the foley bulb before using the Pitocin. These are advice that are so precious…I’ve never heard of foley bulb so I will talk to Audrey about it. It makes sense to use it to dilate the cervix than using medication.

Michael called Triangle OBGYN this morning and we were able to set up the next appointment with no hassle, that’s good. Dr. V is coming back to the office on Friday (I will be 40+5 that day) so if I don’t go into labor spontaneously by then we will feel more comfortable talking with him about our options. We really like him because he’s laid back and very open to our ideas. We just don’t get the same vibe from anyone else like we have with him.

Michael and I took the second walk after lunch after he searched for studies posted online on amniotic fluid leak, actually there was no solid evidence showing that infection is that huge of a risk. We weren’t sure if the test they performed was the fern test (which is true water break) was positive either.   In the afternoon, Luci, one of the nurse-midwives called and said they are not going to change their position so Friday we can go straight to the hospital, we respectfully acknowledged their advice and told her that we decided to wait till Friday. And we would like to go in again to check the fluid level, since Luci said the babies are lack of fluid (but they haven’t done any test on that). We couldn’t believe they refused to see us in the office but only at the hospital, and made it clear that they are unwilling to see us for the test (then why make a claim that I am lack of fluid???) So our decision remains the same – to stay home and wait for spontaneous labor and put a deadline to go in on Friday, since by then it will be a week since the water leaked. Michael and I, as patients, believe that we have the ultimate decision-making power, if we are not getting solid, scientific proof, intuitively we do not want to get in, the babies deserve a chance to start the onset of labor. The risk of infection is there but if we continue to monitor the temperature and leaks, it should be okay and the fluid level can be managed through drinking plenty of water (every three hours the amniotic fluid replenishes), we will try to manage the problem to our best knowledge.

So in the afternoon, we stopped by Nicole and John’s and picked up their heart rate monitor, just for a few days we can listen to the babies’ heart rate to reassure  that they are doing fine. Tomorrow we will meet up with Audrey and talk about the game plan. It’s been a roller-coaster-like day emotionally, but at the end of the day, we agreed on what we want to do and felt comfortable with our decision, we went to Grand Asian for dinner and ran into Nora! On the way back, there was a beautiful rainbow (it was so needed) and we took Kathy’s advice to cuddle and relax at night, to get rid of the stress hormone and let the oxytocin kick in.

Leave a comment

Filed under Third Trimester

The Challenging 41st Week – Amniotic Fluid Leak

Day: 40+1

During today’s OB visit, I mentioned that I have been having tiny leaks since Friday night, although the leaks only happened at night, when I got up and used the restroom, the size is about that  of a quarter on the sheet so I wasn’t sure if it was just leak of urine or amniotic fluid. The NST still looked great but it did turn out that the leak was positive for amniotic fluid after a check under the microscope. Neither of Dr. Grana or Dr. V were in the office today so the nurse-midwife Kim talked to us and suggested that we go to the hospital, get antibiotics and get induced right away. The reason behind it is there’s a risk of infection. Although Michael and I intuitively didn’t think that’s an emergency that requires induction right away, even though we do understand the risks of having the infection. Certain things Kim said didn’t make sense, such as induction won’t affect the timing of the milk coming in, and Pitocin doesn’t have anything to do with the use of epidural (this for a fact we know is not true, Pitocin makes labor much more painful and women who get induced usually end up using epidural because its really hard to handle the induced labor pain).

So we decided to head home and get second and third opinion before we make our decision. Dr. Gil asked about the details and made sure that since the start of leak we didn’t make love (a common way to speed up the labor by increasing prostaglanins) which could have increased the risk of infection, he’s concerned about the antibiotics and Pitocin like we do, and mentioned that sometimes the membrane will seal back up (that’s what I read about too!). Audrey was on her way back but she called back and said she had dealt with this situation and since the leak is so small and I am GBS negative, there’s no reason to be induced yet, however, we do need to closely monitor the leak and hopefully the spontaneous labor will start soon. Its also good to know that most likely I am not going to have a gush which could result in cord prolapse which is a true obstetric emergency that requires a C-section.

We called Dr. Grana and left her a message to let her know that she doesn’t need to expect us at the hospital. We were disappointed about how Kim handled the communication though, instead of explaining to us about the risks subjectively, she painted a picture of “twins fighting for their lives because of infection”, we didn’t quite like the approach of scaring the patients with possible worst outcome, even though we understand that could happen. She worked at the hospital NICU as a nurse and I finally realized the difference between CNM and a lay midwife. Instead of discussing the risks in great details, we were given an order. Also, certain things she should have talked to us about is that the infection usually occurs upward, for example: intercourse or cervix check so as long as there’s no disturbance, the risk is very small for a tiny rupture.

Since there’s a slight rupture of the membrane, Kim didn’t do a cervix check (that’s one of the top risks for infection) but she looked into the cervix and said it’s ripe and ready, the mucous plus is still in. I have been feeling tremendous pressure as well so we think the babies will be coming very soon, the fact that the leak is so tiny is probably because Baby A is fully engaged. So we ate eggplant, had dinner at S-Mart (I had spicy tofu stew which some believe the spicy food will trigger labor as well) and walked around and we prayed to the God of Pineapple (planning on eating half of it tonight), for it’s power of sour and fighting infection, lol…

This is an unexpected change of plan, however, we do expect something unexpected will take place, after weighing the risks and making our decision, we felt at ease again. I am glad Mom is supportive of our decision as well, she isn’t worried either. And virtually any action we take in life carries some risks, and only time can tell whether we’ve made the right decision for our boys we as far as this particular most challenging decision so far during the pregnancy, we are both comfortable with and responsible for it though.

So our lovely sons, it’s time to come out now! Really soon, please.

4 Comments

Filed under Dig-In, Third Trimester

40 weeks – Lin and Li are full term babies!

Day: 40 weeks

Today is the due date – babies are still hanging out in their sacs, after 40 weeks apparently they are not sick of it! It’s another hot day – around 100 degrees – we decided to visit the Crabtree Valley Mall. My cousin in Shanghai asked me to get some Coach bags so it’s a good opportunity for us to get out and walk around a bit. I felt great today, climbing the stairs and walking around, it didn’t bother me too much, we tried some frozen yoghurt at the mall mixed with fruits but I couldn’t take the sugar in there, yuk!

I can never understand the fascination Chinese have towards Coach bags, this is probably the top brand which Chinese contribute to the US economy greatly. Every friend I know wants Coach bags, to me they kind of look dull and not unique at all, what’s more, they only want the new arrivals, which has no discount whatsoever. I have to say whatever the Coach marketing team did was genius, to get a whole country to go on the brand name shopping in Hong Kong, US and everywhere else just to bring back handbags that cost hundreds of dollars. The crazy thing is, after we spent over $1100 for three bags, we found out they are made in China, so Coach set the price in China, which is about double of that in the US, ship them all the way to the US, then the Chinese try to get them in the US then bring them all the way back to China. All for a bag that after couple of month that’s probably worth only $50. How irrational is that? It’s a waste of resources!!! To us, it is really crazy…but that’s what my cousin wanted so I still ended up buying them. The sales girls were giggling when they handed us the bags, they must be thrilled to get a nice commission out of it. Well, at least we got to walk around and have some fun shopping, without actually paying for them.

2 Comments

Filed under Third Trimester

Busy Day

Day: 39+6

What a busy day and a hot day! We did our routine farmer’s market visit and surprised bunch of vendors again, yay! Then Whole Foods, then we cleaned up the house a bit and got rid of a lot of books and stuff and made a trip to Goodwill. It really feels good to clean up, I wish I had more energy to continue but it’s a good start! The day ended with a nice meal at Olive Garden. Olive Garden must be one of the most successful chain restaurants in the US – we had to wait, although not for long, when we got there at 5:30, and when we left around 7pm, there were so many more people waiting. It gets a little uncomfortable walking past the line of people now since everyone was staring at my belly 🙂

Michael and I watched Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman’s “High Crimes” (2002) tonight, it was an excellent movie! We also enjoyed the movie “Green Zone” last night – even though it’s just a movie, it made us wonder if that’s what really happened for the US to go into Iraq. Anyway, both movies are very well made.

My appetite has decreased in the past few days but more rest room visits, feel that the babies are really using my bladder as a stepladder, I bet they are close to be fully engaged, if not yet. Even though my weight has not changed much, I feel that my belly has gotten so much heavier all of a sudden, and some walking around easily makes me out of breath, it could be the weather too!  We are so proud of them, they will be full term babies even if I go into labor tonight!

2 Comments

Filed under Third Trimester

Full Moon and Birth

Day: 39+5

The first time we heard about more babies are born on days with full moon was at the farmer’s market, I didn’t really pay too much attention since I didn’t think we would go this far. The upcoming full moon will be 11:30am, June 26th, which is tomorrow! David told us today a friend of his used to work in NICU and they always need more staff during the full moon for more patients.

I wonder anyone has done research on this particular topic. Here is one of some random search results on the internet. I guess the theory is the gravitational pull somehow affects the amniotic fluid in the sac to burst?

Full Moon, Gravitational Pull and Childbirth

I hope this is just an urban legend, because of the timing this weekend, especially the breaking of the sac. Plus our preferred doctor and midwife are both out of town. Last night before I went to bed, I had a pretty bad stomachache, probably from eating something bad…I wasn’t comfortable until I threw up. My energy level is definitely not as good today as usual…hopefully babies will hold out until Audrey comes back on Monday and even better, next Thursday when Dr. V is back in town. Poor kiddies, we’ve been giving them mixed messages: stay in, come out, stay in, and come out, lol…

Leave a comment

Filed under Third Trimester

A thought on the medical system

Day: 39+4

Now my appointment with the OB is twice a week, since Dr. V is out of town, we saw Dr. Grana today. The third cervix check still has the same result – .5 cm dilation, and 50% effacement (thinning of the uterus wall). So looks like babies are happy in the belly still. The non-stress test result came back great again, so Dr. Grana said there’s no reason to talk about induction until 42nd week, she said most twin moms feel miserable by 38th week and usually ask for an induction and she can’t recall any of her patient going this far with twins but she’s really amazed, which is encouraging to hear.  I guess I feel much better than most twin moms. My feet are not too swollen either, and there’s no real sign of labor yet, babies were moving quite actively at night still, so we are happy that they are happy staying in. After seeing Dr. Gil the other day, I feel much more at ease, Michael isn’t concerned either, and everyone sleeps much better at night without the anxiety, funny how our brains change our mood and behaviors. We do not want to subject ourselves to the norm, maybe twins are supposed to stay in just as long as singleton after all. Bunch of forums I checked on, moms get really worried once they go past 39 weeks, but in reality, only when you go past 42 weeks with singleton, it is technically considered postmature. We agreed with Dr. Grana, we don’t need to worry about until we have to cross that bridge. Everyone in the office was surprised and amazed in the same time, we really love the fact that the staff are so supportive at Triangle OBGYN, Michael and I have made the right decision switching to them, thanks to Audrey’s advice.

Over the years, I have dealt with so many health care providers, from the car accident in 2003 to this adventure of carrying twins, the medical doctors are very good at fixing our bodies by performing surgery but overall, this country really lacks of preventative care. Even though you may find the best surgeons in the US, there are so many sick people who do not realize their diet and lifestyle are killing them everyday. A chronic disease builds up and usually doesn’t present any major problem until later in life, and when that happens, it’s too late. What’s more, most people still don’t realize the cause or refuse to acknowledge what they have done wrong. I am sorry to say that in China, things are changing so fast and the Chinese are losing their valuable traditional medicine, and the medical reform is a copy of the US health care system, where people get tested for everything, and prescribed with expensive western medication, because that’s where the big money is, and it’s not difficult to predict how it is going to work out and who is going to benefit from it.  It’s sick that the societies promote such irresponsible system that’s not humane, wherever there’s money to be made, there’s sacrifice of lives. I am seriously considering learning about acupuncture when I return to China, since I am convinced my pregnancy benefit greatly from it and the care I receive with a holistic approach.

A good way to look at it is though, within each of us we still have the power to educate ourselves and search for the information to keep ourselves healthy, I always find the most difficult part is to be truly open-minded about our belief system, meaning not sticking to anything but making our decision based on the most factual information that’s out there, if we believe in one something (in the medical field, that will be the doctors), and refuse to look at other alternatives, the decision we made is almost guaranteed to be a bad one. Only when we do our homework and become well-informed, we can truly say to ourselves, this is the best decision we can possibly make at the time, with confidence.

3 Comments

Filed under Dig-In, Third Trimester

A Combination of Cloth and Disposable Diapers

Day: 39+3

This morning I woke up and had an idea…We got some gDiaper (small size) but not the flushable refills, and I was wondering if the maxi pad will fit in it. The result was it fits perfectly. With the equate (Walmart store brand) , maxi with flex-wings Dri-Soft Cotton-like Cover Super (medium size), you stick the flexi-wings to the waterproof liner of the gDiaper and makes it a perfect combination of a cloth and disposable diapers. This might be good for the transitional phase and traveling. Compared with the price of the disposable newborn diapers, maxi pads cost only half, and there’s less paper that goes into the landfill. I hope babies won’t mind it and its absorbent,  it looks pretty comfy to me!

For the rest of the cloth diapers we have – BumGenius, BabyKicks, FuzzyBuns, etc. – some do not have the waterproof liner so we are going to use the home-made refills. Mom dug out the cotton shirts I was going to donate to Goodwill and cut them into the proper size, Lijuan’s mom sewed them and they sure look great!

Leave a comment

Filed under Dig-In, Third Trimester

Nature knows the best

Day: 39+2

It’s been such a busy day, we visited Dr. Gil this morning and it was very kind of him to gift us with a month-long herb for postpartum care. Of all the people, he’s really the only person who’s not surprised at me going into 40th week. From the very beginning, he knew I would be having a healthy pregnancy, with good nutritional plan, exercise and everything else. I guess that’s the reason we love seeing him, it is the holistic approach rather than isolating problems and using trial and error a typical doctor would do. He also reassures us with the belief that the babies will come out right on time, whenever that is.

We ended up having lunch at Whole Foods and 7 people came up and talked to us about how big I am – a few of them are guys and they know I am carrying twins – usually guys can’t tell! I guess I am drawing some attention now 🙂 After lunch, Michael had a small Gelato (double chocolate) and I had an all natural, banana fruit bar with no sugar. We truly enjoyed the sweets, and Michael has been so good so he deserves a treat after months of not touching anything with sugar. I am amazed at how determined he is, if I grew up with sweets I don’t think I would be doing so well like he is now. It is so hot today, we did some shopping and came home. Lijuan and her mom stopped by and her mom has sewed all the diaper refills for us already, they are going on an east coast trip tomorrow, and it was great chatting with them for a while. Nicole, John, Danielle, Paul and Kelly came later in the afternoon and it was great seeing them as well – Nicole and John gave us a whole box of newborn clothes that Tyler already grew out of – looks like the twins will have plenty of supply!

Today is the first day of Cancer, I still can’t believe the twins missed the Gemini! But I guess they are comfortable where they are, and I feel much more relieved now letting them stay as long as they need to (I don’t think I will go a month over anyway), nature knows the best!

Leave a comment

Filed under Third Trimester

Hurry Baby Hurry

Day: 39+1

Going into the 40th week today! Our visit with Dr. V was as pleasant as usual, and we ran into Margaret and Elliot at the office, I am glad they switched and hopefully they are getting more support with Triangle for the birth they desire. They thought for sure that we’d delivered by now! Luci was really funny, she joked that the babies might be in my belly forever, they are too comfortable. We had another EFM today, I sat in a very comfy La-Z-Boy, what a difference! There were more contractions this time than last time, and the babies reacted to the irregular contractions really well, according to Jessica, one of the midwives at Triangle.

So there’s not much progress on the dilation, still half a centimeter, and Baby A is at -1 station (fully engaged is at 0 station). Dr. V did a quick ultrasound scan to confirm they are head down, and it turned out they are not only both head down, their heads are next to each other – maybe that’s the reason I don’t have much dilation? He joked it’s not going to be like the World Cup, only one of them can win the race. Dr. V will be out of town this Thursday till next Wednesday, so I might end up having a different doctor at birth, so hopefully I can make it before Thursday! We expressed our feelings towards not getting induced and he was okay with it – that’s really awesome. Audrey will be out of town this weekend as well, so I am really hoping that the babies will come soon, otherwise Jamie will attend the birth as a backup.

So I’ve eaten a whole pineapple and plenty of eggplant, Michael and I went on a long walk this evening at Lake Pine, I hope Michele is right, maybe the labor will start during a walk. We both had some pain in the stomach but after the walk we both felt a lot better. Although I got scratched by a cat on the road so we had to turn back and clean the wound right away, it’s a Maine Coon cat looks like Bonnie with more fur but she was pretty mean!

6 Comments

Filed under Third Trimester