Thursday, December 7, 2017

28 & 29 Weeks

Thursday, November 23 - 28 weeks
Happy Thanksgiving! I am beyond thankful to be having such a normal, easy, healthy pregnancy this time around! I'm so excited to officially be in the third trimester now -- you'll be here before we know it!
Today was a busy, but productive day. Daddy finished the ceiling in your bedroom and hung your ceiling fan. Tomorrow I'm hoping he'll clear out the room so we can finally paint the walls! We also started putting up our Christmas decorations around the house today. I'd love to get a tree soon so we can put the presents around it, since they've been wrapped since Halloween. This year we have six stockings hanging along the mantel. Mommy, Daddy, Anna, Baby A, Baby B and yours. :) It was a little sad seeing their little stockings and name plates from last year, but I plan to keep them up in memory of your brothers.

Sunday, November 26 - 28w, 3d
Back to the daily grind tomorrow and finally another ultrasound! We had a great, relaxing yet productive weekend. I always look forward to this weekend because we get to spend so much time together as a family. Its the longest weekend we typically have off together all year.

I'm really looking forward to your ultrasound tomorrow because it's been six weeks since you've been measured and about a month since we've had an ultrasound. I'm sure you're going to look so much bigger! I just hope you're not getting too big.

Tuesday, November 28 - 28w, 5d
I had your appointment yesterday and everything went very well. You are definitely not too big, in fact, measured small-normal at around the 13th percentile. At first this concerned me a bit because the last time you were measured, you were in the 45th percentile, so that seemed like a big drop to me, but the nurse assured me that they aren't worried at all. She said you could have been going through a growth spurt the last time you were measured.

Needless to say, I don't think we're going to have any issues with you getting too big by the end of this pregnancy. I think we're actually going to be more aware that you're not too small...just like we did with Anna. Your estimated weight was about 2lbs 7oz which is right on track according to the nurse and my apps, so that's really good. I thought you looked so big in there, and completely squished. You were moving all around while the tech was measuring you and had your legs in front of your face pretty much the whole time. Every now and then you'd peek out between your legs and we'd see your nose and lips. You were also clapping the bottoms of your feet together at one point which was pretty funny. We also saw you practicing your breathing, which is excellent that you're doing that already.

I'll go back in two weeks for just a regular check-up, no ultrasound. And then after that, I go back right after Christmas and I'll be 32 weeks, so that's when the appointments will start happening twice weekly because of the gestational diabetes. Speaking of, my sugars have been better - although, not the best when we eat out at Chinese or Culver's! But, for right now, they are not increasing my insulin since overall the numbers seem to be getting better, so I was happy about that. Yesterday, I also got the whopping cough vaccine, so that I can pass some of it on to you before you're born.

Monday, December 4 - 29w, 4d
Wow, December already - that means you'll be here in just two short months! I'm so excited! I can't wait to snuggle your little squishy self! Although, it's going to be a long two months because the last few days my discomfort has really kicked in. I've been having a hard time getting comfortable when sleeping, standing/walking for too long makes me hurt, and standing after sitting or laying is not fun either. I don't know how I'm going to make it another two months - lots of sitting.
A coworker made the comment yesterday, "you better watch it because that's how it all started last time". I didn't even think of that, but she's right. I was getting really uncomfortable like this a few weeks before I had the boys. But somehow, this feels different. This feels like normal pregnancy progression discomfort. I'm not having any leaking or discharge and Brother is moving around all the time, which is really reassuring. I go back to the doctor a week from today, so we'll see how I feel then and I'll definitely be bringing it up if I become concerned.
In other news, we are still completely stuck on what to name you! I thought we had it narrowed down to a couple choices, but then we look at lists again and add/change things. I really hope we can choose soon because it's driving me crazy! I had a dream the other night that we had you home from the hospital for a week and you still didn't have a name. Your name is going to end up just being Brother! Ha!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

26 & 27 Weeks

Thursday, November 9 - 26 weeks
Good morning from Milwaukee, Brother! We'll be spending the next three days here learning about teaching science with several of my coworkers. I'm really happy that I'm feeling well enough to walk all over for the next few days - there would have been NO way I could make this trip when I was pregnant with your brothers.

You were so squirmy this morning, as soon as I woke up. It was a nice thing to wake up to. :) I'm excited to see what Daddy and Anna get done at home, while I'm gone, on your room. Last week Daddy was able to put drywall on the ceiling, so now he just has to patch the hole in the wall between your room and the kitchen, then I'm hoping we can start painting before he does the wood on the ceiling.

Thursday, November 16 - 27 weeks
We made it to another "viability milestone" this week, according to my app, because your lungs "are developed enough". Your organ systems are mostly developed by now, so the rest of the time will be focused on developing your brain and growing some fat on your little body. The closer and closer we make it to your due date, the more excited I am about bringing you home, and the more it's becoming a reality. You still have lots of growing to do, so stay cozy in there for several more weeks, please.

As I get closer to my third trimester, and since I'm officially a gestational diabetic, they're going to be keeping a much closer eye on both me and Brother. Once I hit 32 weeks, I'll be seen twice a week! One of those days will be a non-stress test and the other will be an ultrasound. Since I'm now on insulin, which seems to be helping, they want to monitor Brother's growth and fluid level, especially as this pregnancy progresses. As long as he's not getting too big, he'll hopefully be able to stay in there for a long time.

I'm supposed to be starting a meal-time insulin (faster acting) with dinner, but I'm waiting on Walgreens (or, most likely, insurance) to tell me it's approved. The overnight insulin I'm on seems to be helping my fasting sugars, especially now since we increased the dose to 8 units before bed. Everyone involved in this process - CF doctor, CF dietician, high risk team, and high-risk OB dietician - have all been communicating really well with each other, keeping my CF in mind and Brother in mind. It's really nice to have support from all sides and I'm glad we're all finally on the same page about insulin. They all tell me that my sugars are basically going to get more uncontrollable as I continue to progress through this pregnancy, and that I'll probably have to continue to increase my insulin dose until Brother is born. It was frustrating at first to see my sugars all over the place, even after eating healthy meals, but I'm glad I'm not doing anything wrong. It's just a combination of baby growing, CF, and pregnancy.

This week, the waddle is in full-effect. Brother is sitting very low and sitting/standing for too long makes me uncomfortable - also, transitioning from sitting to standing, or the other way, is sometimes uncomfortable. I can only imagine what it's going to be like teaching in January with an even bigger baby to lug around, but I know I can handle it.

I'm looking forward to getting more done on Brother's room over Thanksgiving weekend. That's the one time of year where Tim and I have 4 days off together, and we are typically very productive. Brother's room needs a ceiling and some paint on his walls before we can start with the fun part - decorating! I can't wait to get his crib up, start arranging his furniture and washing/organizing his clothes!

Wednesday, November 22 - 27w, 6d
The ceiling coverage began last weekend and will hopefully finish tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to painting the walls in your room because it's going to start making it seem more like "your room" instead of the office still (or as Anna still calls it, my "treatments room").

I started a mealtime insulin on Friday night that seems to be helping. It feels really good to be able to eat what I want now without worrying too much about my sugars. I'm hoping that keeping them in better control will help keep you healthy when you're born. At my last OB appointment, they checked my A1C level and it was 4.6 which is actually lower than it was at the beginning of my pregnancy, so I was very pleased. I'm looking forward to your appointment on Monday because they're finally going to measure you again. I can't wait to see how big you're getting. Your big movements are getting more visible from the outside, and your smaller movements are getting more noticeable throughout the day, even when I'm standing, and you've even had the hiccups a couple times within the last week or two. :)

I just can't wait for you to be here - I can't wait to snuggle you! Bring on the third trimester and let's hope it goes by just as quickly as the last two have!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Anna - Age 3

Anna, Anna, Anna....
I've been updating this blog so much about your brothers and this current pregnancy, that I haven't mentioned too much about you. You've gone through a lot of changes this fall and you've been such a trooper about all of them!

First school picture - priceless!

  • You started preschool and you're doing so well!! 
You've been in school for a quarter and a half and I feel like you're already changing so much. You really seem to enjoy school and are always happy to go and have a smile on your face when I pick you up. Daddy and I had your first parent-teacher conference and your teacher had nothing but great things to say about you. You know almost all of your letters, can write your first name, know all of your colors and shapes, and can count objects correctly up to ten. You seem to have Daddy's personality at school - quiet and inquisitive, but that's okay with us. You're social when you're around your friends & cousins outside of school...just like Daddy. :) We're so proud of you and love watching you learn how to make friends and navigate your way through your first year of school. 
  • We've had three babysitter changes since the beginning of the school year.
Due to scheduling issues, we're now on your third babysitter for this school year. I think it was harder on Daddy and I than it was on you. We are really proud of the way you've handled all of the changes and are even more proud of your recent behavior. 
  • Your first haircut!
I trimmed your hair for the first time the other night! I was cutting Daddy's hair and we joked about cutting yours, too, and then we did. I just trimmed an inch or two off the very back and a less on the sides. It was your "first haircut" and you did really well - just sat there for the most part. You can't really tell that I cut it, but your ends were getting pretty nasty, so I'm glad I did it. 
  • I think you're going to be an excellent big sister! 
You've always loved playing with your baby dolls, but lately you've been playing with them a lot more and I think it's because we're talking so much about Brother coming. I can't wait to see the two of you interact together and see how much you love each other. You've been helping Daddy get his room ready and helping me organize his clothes. You love to go shopping for him and always want to pick out cute outfits or fun toys for him. I'm really looking forward to January/February! 

  • You've literally grown so much - you've already grown over an inch since your third birthday and gained over a pound. :)
  • You are slowly getting out of the tantrums and fits that you were having a few months ago....thank goodness! Bed time has been a lot better for you lately. 
  • You love being independent and doing things for yourself - brushing your own teeth, taking a shower by yourself, washing your hair, picking out your clothes every day, getting water from the fridge in your own cup, zipping and buttoning your coats/clothes, packing your lunch...
  • You love listening to the Sing! soundtrack every single day in the car. You love to dance, color, draw, write, and paint. 
  • You're in swimming again this session, but don't seem as into it as in session's passed. I don't know if it's because you have an older, male instructor, or if you really just hate going under water that much, but sometimes you just don't like to go. Typically once you're there, you love it and don't want to leave. Your teacher is wonderful with you, extremely gentle and patient, so I'm tempted to keep you in next session, too. I think it's really good for you, plus it gives you something to do each week. 
You started off three with some not-so-fun behaviors, but you seem to slowly be getting better. It's fun having conversations and playing with you. You're fun to be around and I love watching you grow! ~Love, Mommy (or "momma" as you've been calling me lately)

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

24 & 25 Weeks

Saturday, October 28 - 24w, 2d
We've made it to "viability" gestational age. I had my last cervical check on Thursday and everything looked good. Brother looked completely squished in there, but the tech assured me that he still has plenty of fluid and was just in a weird position. Even though Brother could be viable if he were born now, that thought is terrifying. He's still too little and has a lot more development to go. I feel like this entire pregnancy has been "one week at a time" and I'm still in that mentality. Although, as the weeks progress, I get a little bit more confident that we are going to be bringing this little guy home with us later this winter.

As you can tell from this week's picture Daddy is making progress on your bedroom. Two weekends ago he tore the ceiling out and then last weekend he put in new support beams. As soon as he gets the brakes fixed on the truck then he'll be able to go buy some drywall to patch the wall leading to the kitchen. Once the ceiling and walls are done, we'll be able to paint and then finally start decorating. :)

Monday, November 6 - 25w, 4d
You're so wiggly this week! Your movements have been getting stronger and a bit more noticeable from the outside when I'm laying down or reclining. It's fun to feel you stretch out, roll around, flip, and flail your arms and legs. You're getting bigger and heavier which is making me a little uncomfortable when I'm standing for a while or get up after sitting for long and I'm also noticing that I'm starting to waddle...

I started insulin last week - been on it a week now. I've been struggling to keep my post-dinner and fasting sugars in control, so I felt it was the best. The dietician at the OB's office told me it's basically going to be harder to control with diet the further I get in this pregnancy. Between my CF, your placenta growing, and my hormones, my sugars are going to continue to rise until you're born. In order to keep you safe, we all decided that I needed to start insulin at night. My CF doctor and CF dietician don't want me to cut carbs or anything out of my diet, so that I'm still getting the proper amount of calories, but I'm noticing that carbs really do make my sugars spike, so I'm trying to make a balance. It's been tough and I'm guessing my insulin need will also increase as the pregnancy progresses. It's all worth it though, whatever I can do to keep you safe and to keep my hunger satisfied -- I'm constantly hungry, still!

Saturday, October 28, 2017


Last weekend, Katrina, Isaac, Tim, Anna and I attended our first SHARE Walk together to remember and honor our twin boys who were born prematurely in February.

We got there a little too early, because I wanted to make sure we could get the "Veitengruber Twins" added to the list of babies names that they would read aloud during the ceremony. They were first on that list...and then we had about a two hour wait until the ceremony and walk actually started. Luckily, the weather held out for us so Isaac and Anna were able to run around to burn lots of energy. They had so much fun and even did a silly little photo shoot together.

There was a huge crowd there that day supporting each other. It was a very unique environment - one of sadness, but also the hope and love of everyone coming together. They started off by saying a few words, thanking everyone for coming, reading a couple poems and a couple of women shared a beautiful song. I would guess probably over 200 babies' names read at the beginning of the ceremony. Most people were very respectful and quiet during the reading of the names. Each family raised their pinwheels, released balloons, or showed their support any time their baby's name(s) was read. It was a humbling experience - some families had several babies' names read aloud, one family had 5! I couldn't even imagine!

After all of the babies' names had been read, they did a dove release that was really cool. Then we finally were able to all walk together. We chose the one mile route since we had already been there for an extra two hours. Anna and Isaac did a wonderful job and were such troopers all morning.

After the SHARE Walk, we walked to the little down town area where we found a pub to eat in - we were all starving! We even walked through a little historical scavenger hunt that was....interesting. Anna and Isaac had a lot of fun together, and I'm really glad our families were able to spend the day with each other. I look forward to making this a nice tradition for us every year.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

22 & 23 Weeks

Friday, October 13 - 22w, 1d
We had your anatomy scan yesterday and everything went very well. My cervix is staying long and thick, no signs of any issues. You looked wonderful! You're measuring right on track, 45th percentile, and weighing about 1lb, 1oz. You were moving a ton during the scan - we saw you grab your toes, kick them above your head, and you had your hands by your face a lot, but we were still able to get a few really cute pictures of your face.

In two weeks, I'll go for my last cervical check. I'll be 24 weeks and that's when they stop checking my cervix unless they absolutely have to (having negative symptoms) because technically you'll be "viable" if something were to happen, but you need to stay in there for a long, long time still. Over the last month or so, I was worried to stop these cervical checks because it has brought a lot of peace of mind for me, but to see that you're doing so well and that my body is still hanging in there, I'm feeling better. Soon, I'll be far enough along where I'll be back to getting more frequent ultrasounds anyway, so skipping one or two might not be that big of a deal. I'm sure, if for some reason I'm really stressed about it, I'm guessing they'll do one for me.

One issue I've been having has been my fasting blood sugar in the morning. I talked with the nurse practitioner about it yesterday, and about the possibility of going on insulin in the evenings. She set me up with an appointment with their dietician at the end of the month, and in the meantime wants me to really control my diet, especially in the evenings to see if that helps. I haven't been doing the best about laying off the carbs in the evening, so I'm going to really try to up my protein intake to help fill me up after school and after dinner to help keep my post-dinner sugar lower, and then my fasting sugar lower. As much as I don't want to have to go on insulin, I feel like it might make things a lot easier, especially as I get further along. We'll see how the next few weeks pan out. Right now, Little Brother is not showing any signs of being affected by my sugars, so that is reassuring.

Wednesday, October 18 - 22w, 6d
Daddy felt you move for the first time last night. We were laying in bed and you were moving a ton, so I asked him to feel and you gave several big movements for him. It was really cool! Other than that, this week has been pretty uneventful. I'm starting to notice your movements more throughout the day, but the most I feel you is usually after I'm done with my Vest in the evening.

I've been really trying to eat better after school and at night. The problem is, even with eating frequently, I'm not feeling full. I'm used to eating a large meal at dinner, but I've been cautious about what I'm eating and I'm not filling up like usual. I hope I don't notice a decrease or slow down of my weight gain. If it does start to impact, then I'm going to continue to push for insulin.

Wednesday, October 25 - 23w, 6d
Not much to report, but I feel like I've been neglecting the blog lately. I don't remember the last time I've been this busy, holy cow! I feel like I never get a moment of free time lately. Tomorrow afternoon I have my last cervical check, then I have to pick up Anna from swimming, and we have to rush to get to her first parent-teacher conference. I hope you're a flexible little guy because it's going to be go, go, go all the time when you're born, too.

Daddy and I are still completely stuck on what we're going to name you. I thought we had it narrowed down to two choices, but after a long discussion about it this weekend, we can't agree and have added some more "maybes" to the list. Who least we still have some time, I suppose. Although, this pregnancy is flying by - which has been so nice.

Physically, I've been feeling really good. Last night you were shifting around my belly and laying diagonal - it was really obvious to feel (and Daddy could see) where you were laying, it was pretty funny. Anna isn't quite patient enough to feel you move - or maybe she just doesn't care! I know that there have been times where I've had her feel my belly while you move, but she always says, "Oh, I felt him!" at the wrong time...haha! Maybe when you're a bit bigger and she can actually see you moving around in there she'll be more interested.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day

The month of October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, where families from all over share their experiences of losing a baby during pregnancy or their child shortly after. Specifically, October 15th, is Remembrance Day.

After joining this community on February 5, 2017, I realized how large it really was, but at the same time, how little I had heard of it. Losing a child(ren) is not something that people speak about often because it tends to make others uncomfortable. But I'm lucky to have people in my life who embrace our twins as members of our family and talk with me about them sometimes.

Their footprints were about the size of a small paper clip.

I can't believe it's been over eight months since I gave birth to our twin boys. So much has happened since then, but not a day goes by that I don't think about them. Some days are harder than others, especially with being pregnant again, but I feel like I'm doing alright considering what a tragedy our family has been through. Losing our boys has made me appreciate what I have even more. When a family goes through a loss, it's unexplainable, but it puts in perspective how precious our family is to us and how quickly things can happen.

There are only three pictures I have of our little boys. I couldn't bring myself to take more in the moment at the hospital. I'm sad that we don't have more, but I'm happy that we have these.

Baby B on the left/top, Baby A on the bottom/right
They are extremely special to me and I'm very glad to have them.

I believe that Baby A's feet are on top of Baby B's feet
I am also very happy to have my tattoos of their footprints so that I can carry them with me forever.

I will never, ever forget the two little guys that were supposed to join our family in the summer of 2017. Instead they decided to make their arrival quite too soon at 19 weeks, 4 days, so we were unable to bring them home. It's weird, in a way though, if it weren't for their passing, we wouldn't have Little Brother growing right now.

I still am struggling with "everything happens for a reason". That used to be something I really thought was true, until this happened. I cannot think of a reason that this would happen to our family, but as much as it sucked, we have learned to accept it as part of our reality.

We love you so much, Baby A and Baby B. We promise to keep you in our hearts and memories forever! ~Mommy, Daddy, Anna and Little Brother

Friday, October 13, 2017

20 & 21 Weeks

Friday, September 29th - 20w, 1d
We made it to the half way mark and it feels so good!! Yesterday I had my appointment and the nurse practitioner said that my cervix "looks perfect" and neither of us have any current worries right now. I'm having no pain, no unusual discharge, no cramping, etc. I feel huge, and I'm clearly much bigger than I was with Anna at 20 weeks, but all that I care about is that Little Brother is growing well and my body is holding steady -- both of those things are happening, so I'm very happy.

In two weeks, Tim and I will go in for Little Brother's "big" scan, where they do a nice, long ultrasound to examine every little inch of his body. The twins were born the day before their big scan, so I'm a little nervous as we approach this time, too.
As I'm learning, the anxiety never fully goes away, it's just presenting itself in different ways. At the beginning of my pregnancy, I was terrified to be excited or get attached to the idea of another baby. I was sure that we would going to lose the pregnancy and I didn't want to get my hopes up. Once we knew things were progressing well, I was having anxiety in between and up to each new doctor appointment. I was afraid that I'd get to an appointment and there wouldn't be a heart beat anymore. Recently, I needed to get past the 19+4 mark, and now that we're there, I still can't fully let my guard down. Although everything about this pregnancy has been extremely normal so far, I am too afraid to get my hopes up completely. Of course I'm still embracing this pregnancy - we're still buying little outfits for him, thinking of how to get his room together (clearly from the pictures, that's still a major work in progress), thinking of names, etc., but something in my mind won't let me 100% relax about this pregnancy, but I'm not surprised. Just because we hit 20 weeks, doesn't mean that he can't be born at 22, 23 or 24 weeks. Who's to say he's not going to come early in the 30s?! Heck, I might need to be induced because he won't come out on his own (I'd be okay with that!), but we just never know. I am happy to say that I am much more relaxed during this pregnancy than I expected to be, but there's always going to be something for me to worry about until he is here safely in my arms - IN FEBRUARY and not any sooner!

Monday, October 2nd - 20w, 4d
Baby movements!! You started moving around noticeably at the Cardinals game Friday night that Daddy and I went to. Since then, I've even been able to feel several little bumps outside of my belly with my hands! This is what I had been waiting for! What a sigh of relief every single time I feel a nudge! It's like you're telling me, "Hey mom, I'm still in here and I'm doing well." :) I can't wait for them to get a bit more noticeable so that Daddy and Anna can feel them, too!

This weekend was a good one, but had it's moments. Daddy and I had our first night out together in a long time. We went to the Cardinals game Friday night and spent the night in St. Louis. We picked up Anna to find out that she has an ear infection. After that first dose of medicine, you would never know it! She's back to her ornery old self again, but is a bit more tired than usual. I also got my flu shot on Saturday while we were picking up Anna's antibiotics...'tis the season for germs....

I worry about having you in the middle of flu season. I'm going to be very protective of you (and myself) when you're born. I don't want anyone coming to visit you in the hospital and will probably limit the amount of people that see you right after you're born, too because I'm worried that one or both of us will get sick. We were bringing Anna everywhere with us right after she was born, but in the middle of winter with sick people everywhere, I definitely think we're going to be staying home quite a bit more with you.

Anyway, the rest of the weekend was spent shopping more for your room - I think we finally settled on a color scheme of gray and dull navy blue - and then working on homework for me. Things are super slowly coming along for your room, but we're getting there. We are getting ideas down, it's now up to finding the time for Daddy to get the work done. Hopefully he'll make some good progress this month - can't believe we're in October already! November and December will fly by because of the holidays, and then it'll be a month before you're here already!! This pregnancy really is flying by! :)

Friday, October 6 - 21w, 1d
Your movements are slowly getting stronger and more noticeable throughout the day and I love it! I've had Anna try and feel a couple times, but of course you always stop. I think you're going through another growth spurt because of how big I'm getting. I'm really looking forward to your anatomy scan next week!

This week has been exhausting for me, work-wise. Yesterday I feel like I just hit a wall. After school I was trying to get work done and my head was just pounding, to the point where I laid my head down at my desk and closed my eyes for a little while until I was able to find someone in the building with some Tylenol. I don't know if it's all just catching up with me, or if I was just overtired yesterday, but it sucked. I ended up coming home after getting Anna and laying in bed for a little while, forced myself to complete my master's homework in my room with the lights off, ate dinner and went to bed (I even skipped my treatments because the thought of vibrating with a massive headache did not sound so appealing). Of course now I'm kicking myself this morning for skipping my treatments, but I know that one time is not the end of the world. There's always just so much to do between work, being evaluated this year, working on my master's, keeping up with housework, planning Little Brother's room....I just feel like I can't ever get a break!

I know I shouldn't complain. I'm very lucky to be in the situation I'm in. I'm so lucky to be healthy enough to be pregnant again. I've come across an amazing opportunity to get my master's done over the next year or so. I really do love my job and my family. But I think it's starting to hit me how much I really got myself into this semester! :) I'm about halfway done with my master's classes, so we're starting to get into the bigger papers/projects now which just feels like more busy-work. But, that's life and I know I'll be really happy when this part is over and done!