Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Today I went for a biophysical profile (which is a type of ultrasound), cervical length measurement, and a non-stress test (NST). The biophysical profile went well. The babies looked good.

The cervical length measurement was really what Andy and I were most concerned about, considering the last measurement went from 39mm to 24mm in a two week period. Only to add on the ultrasound tech thinking our babies were going to be born in two weeks. Eek! It has been a full week since the last measurement at 24mm. Today's measurement was 22mm!!! This was excellent news to my ears!!! I feared for worse. Only losing 2mm in a week is God looking out for the babies. I go for another biophysical profile and cervical length measurement in one week. I'll keep you posted on how many millimeters are lost next week. This is just so unpredictable. :)

The NST went well too. I don't enjoy these very much. I think because monitoring can take awhile and lying there becomes uncomfortable. Basically three monitors are strapped on to my stomach and the babies heart beats and any contractions are recorded on a print-out graph. Doctors are able to look at the print out over the time period the monitoring took place to see if the babies are good to go or if something else needs to be done or checked out. My NST was good, so I was done with testing for the day. I go for the next NST on Friday.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

Well, this is the final Christmas that Jennifer and I will be sharing before the twins arrive. We are very excited that our daughters will be arriving in the coming weeks. Jennifer has quite an appointment schedule coming up including a non-stress test tomorrow. I'm guessing she'll get a great parking spot the day after Christmas at 8am.

Anyways, Merry Christmas to everyone and thanks so much for all of your prayers and support. We (and the babies) appreciate it greatly.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Lots of News

Today I went for an ultrasound, non-stress test, and maternal fetal medicine doctor visit. The ultrasound went well. The ultrasound technician estimates that each girl is about 4 1/2 pounds. Both girls are now head down which would allow for a vaginal birth if all other criteria are met at delivery time. Looking at Baby B's profile (Abby), the tech commented that this baby looks like me. Andy commented, "she has a Nelson nose." She also mentioned cervical length was okay. It has definitely shortened. Two weeks ago it was at 39 mm. Today it was at 24 mm. I lost 15 mm in two weeks. If it was at 20 mm or lower, that would have been a different story. She thinks our babies will be born in two weeks, both weighing over 5 pounds.

The non-stress test was interesting. This is used to monitor heart rates and contractions. Everything seemed okay and no contractions were recorded. A clicker was handed to me to record when I felt movement during this testing time.

The maternal fetal medicine doctor thought everything was okay. He has in his mind, moved me from "low" high-risk to "moderate" high risk. I have been having my cervix checked every two weeks. At this appointment he moved it up to one week. He mentioned that if the cervix did seem to thin too quickly, I would be admitted to the hospital and given a steroid injection for the babies' lungs and other medicines if needed.

If the ultrasound technician is right about having the babies in two weeks, I'll be 34 1/2 weeks which is early. However, approximately half of twins are born before 37 weeks (full term). Time will tell. God isn't early or late. He's always on time and I'm trusting that when the babies are born, that is the time God has chosen for them.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Week 32

Today is the beginning of week 32. Both girls should weigh around 4 pounds a piece and are definitely starting to feel cramped. Sources say beyond this point, their weight gain will start to slow down because of the lack of room.

In terms of stretch marks...I have visible marks around my belly button and on the bottom/underneath section of my baby mountain. Yes, were past bump and moved to mountain.

Overall, I feel great. Maternal-fetal-medicine doctor said at the last appointment that we're trying for a 37 to 38 week pregnancy. I see him on Tuesday as well as have my first non stress test done.

Andy and family are very protective of me. They prefer me not to be out with the snow and ice; at least by myself. Falling wouldn't be good. They want me to take it easy and Andy is now doing our grocery shopping. They care. :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rachel and Abby's Mom

Jennifer Lee Nelson

Jennifer was born to William and Norma Nelson on August 18th, 1978 at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, Illinois. She entered the world at 3:45 a.m. weighing 7 pounds 3 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Rachel and Abby's Dad


Andy was born to Gary and Pat Swartz on March 10th, 1975 at Riverside Hospital in Kankakee, Illinois. He entered the world at 6:18 p.m. weighing 6 pounds 14 ounces and was 20 inches long.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Doctor Appointment

Today I had a doctor appointment/ultrasound. First, the ultrasound was done. Both babies looked good and cervical length was on target. Then, I had the doctor visit. Weight and blood pressure were good and he didn't seem concerned about anything. I asked about weights of the babies and he said that they're where they should be. On December 23rd, I start going to the doctor twice a week. I also start Non-stress Tests at that time too. Non-stress tests will monitor fetal heart rates.

Only having seen two of the possible doctors that might deliver our babies, I inquired about the "on-call" schedule. During week 36, Dr. Johnson is on-call. Andy and I have never met this doctor. During week 37 (full-term), Dr. Foggie is on-call. We have met her. She is young and newer to the group. We like her very much. I didn't ask for a doctor name for week 38, just figuring I probably will not go that long.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Miscellaneous Info

This past Saturday, I spent time putting all the shower gifts away. I didn't think it would take that long. I was wrong. Our girls received so many things! Andy, myself, and the girls are blessed because of the generosity of so many. These girls are stocked up with clothes, diapers, wipes, toys, bath supplies, etc.

I am 30 weeks and 3 days and have gained 36 pounds. My weight when I found out I was pregnant was 134 pounds. Today I am 170 pounds. I weigh almost as much as the average man! This is a good thing though. :)

Tomorrow I go to the perinatologist. It has been two weeks since I've seen him. Hopefully he will have all good things to say. I'll blog after the appointment and let you know what I find out.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Rash Progress

Well, it's been two weeks now since I noticed that I had developed a rash on my stomach which gradually spread as time went on. I used the calamine lotion like the primary care recommended. I never took the benadryl though. When I saw the doctor on Friday, she was glad the rash was getting much better. She said it wasn't infectious to others or the babies. Therefore, she did not make any referral to a dermatologist. Since Friday, I have been using Dial Hypo-allergenic soap and Gold Bold Ultimate Healing Lotion with Aloe. I must say it appears the rash is going away. My stomach, chest, neck, and arms look great. My legs are on their way to being healed as well. I don't have the intense itching that I was experiencing. The itching in general is practically gone. I am so thankful. I don't know if I had an allergic reaction to something or if the Lord healed me. Either way, I'll take it and I'm grateful.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Perinatologist, Primary Care, and Dermatologist

Yesterday I had a doctor appointment with the perinatologist. A perinatologist is an obstetrician that has received extra training and is board certified in the specialty of maternal-fetal medicine. He himself is not one of the multiple doctors that could potentially deliver the babies (depending on which doctor is on call when I go into labor). He acts as a consultant with the group of obstetricians about our situation. Andy and I like him and we will be seeing him more often as the pregnancy progresses.

The appointment with him went well. The babies looked good and their heart rates were normal. Cervical length is still on track. My blood pressure was good. He seemed to think things were okay and to come back in two weeks. He mentioned in three weeks (at 32 weeks) that they would start monitoring me twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays to watch for pre-term labor and preeclampsia. The perinatologist did want me to see a dermatologist about my skin rash to receive the best care for that since he is not a skin specialist. About the skin rash: I developed this rash on my stomach over a week ago. It has spread to my arms, chest, legs, and rear. Yes, you read that right. Due to our insurance being an HMO, I have to go through my primary care doctor to get a referral to see a dermatologist.

Now on to the referral for the dermatologist. I went to see the primary care doctor yesterday too! She asked if I had been around a cat or anyone with thrush, or taken any medicines, etc. All of which are "no". She decided to have me try calamine lotion and benadryl and see her this Friday before referring me to a dermatologist. I'll keep you informed.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Taste of What's to Come

On Sunday, Jennifer's mom and sister gave the babies an awesome shower. We are so blessed by the outpouring we received and are very thankful. An interesting side note is that Howie, our miniature schnauzer, has discovered that a whole lot of new stuff appeared in the house this weekend. He also got visits from almost all of his grandparents on the same day.

Yesterday, Jennifer and I caught Howie in the girls' room looking through the bags of clothes, toys, etc. and he came upon a "diaper" cake that our friend Tracy made. On top of it was two stuffed bears. Howie, of course, loving toys was fairly convinced that those were for him. So, this is what we have to expect for the upcoming arrival of the girls:

  • A constant battle between Howie and babies as to ownership of all toys in the house
  • The potential of finding toys and stuffed animals hidden throughout the house. We've recently found toys behind the couch. Apparently when Howie decides he needs to jump up on the couch to check out the neighborhood he does so with any stuffed animals in his mouth and as soon as his first bark comes out, out comes the stuffed animal on to the floor
  • We will also probably know from Howie which girl needs "attention"
So, the bottom line is that there will be some interesting jealousy issues in the near future but I'm confident all will be well.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Third Trimester

As of yesterday, I entered the third trimester. I am now 28 weeks and 31.5 pounds heavier. Just think, in two months our babies will be here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Baby A and Baby B named

Some people have asked if we have names for our girls yet. The answer is yes! We were pretty sure on first names, but still not set in stone on middle names until recently. We have finally decided what each one will be named. Some may know the names already and some may be seeing the names for the first time.

Baby A is Rachel Ann. She is on my left side. Baby B is Abigail Jean. She is lying transverse and is on my right side.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Just wanted to let everyone know that I just spoke with the nurse about my lab results. Everything came back okay!!! Thank you for praying!!! The babies and I send you all lots of love!

Friday, November 14, 2008

27 weeks

Today, I am 27 weeks. 10 weeks until the babies are full term. Time goes by so fast. I have gained 29 pounds total. The girls seem to be doing well. They move around here and there. Other then that, I have no other news to report.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fun Test :)

Yesterday, I went with my paperwork to a testing lab to see what I needed to do for the urinalysis. The doctor ordered a 24 hour urine creatinine clearance, total protein count, and culture. I found out 24 hours literally means 24 hours of collecting urine. The woman at the testing lab explained that I should start at 7 or 8 a.m. on Tuesday (today) and collect all urine through 7 or 8 a.m. on Wednesday. After I have collected all the urine, I am suppose to bring it to the lab and have blood drawn also. These labs hopefully will help explain why my urine dipsticks are turned darker than they should be. I am thankful that I have doctors that care and want the babies and I to be safe. So collecting urine is my job until 8 a.m. tomorrow. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Four pounds of baby

Today's ultrasound went well. Both girls are now two pounds each. Baby A has turned herself from the breech position to head down. Baby B is still lying transverse. Both girls look great and are doing well!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Proteins and Cribs

Four weeks ago, I reported that my urine dipstick test showed a darker green than it should have. It was thought that maybe I kept the stick in the sample a few seconds too long. This past Friday, I was asked to do a urine test again at this doctor visit. (I do this for every doctor appointment.) My urine dipstick once again turned a darker green raising some flags. The doctor is sending me for a 24 hour urinalysis to check my proteins and to see if I have an infection. I am doing the urinalysis this Monday and Tuesday. My sugar level in the urine was also elevated. However, my gestational diabetes test came back normal. :) Hopefully everything with the urinalysis comes back good and that I am reading way too in to this protein level thing. (I research way too much!)

On a better note, my mom and step-dad assembled both baby cribs today and rearranged the room! It's starting to look like a nursery now instead of a storage area for boxes. :) The girls will like their new room! Thanks mom and Dan. Also, thanks Grandma and Grandpa Berwer for the mattresses!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Today the cribs were picked up at the Carson's Furniture Warehouse in Naperville. They are in boxes in the babies' room. Still a little too early to put together. :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hospital Tour

On Monday night, Andy and I took a tour of Christ Hospital where our babies will be born. We saw a birthing room, the nursery, NICU, and an after-birth recovery room. An operating room wasn't shown to us, but they are also available for moms having c-sections. Christ Hospital delivers around 4,000 babies every year. That averages about 11 babies a day!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Gestational Diabetes

My doctor ordered a gestational diabetes test for me to see how my body is handling sugar during the pregnancy. Many may know how this test is performed, but for those that don't, I'll explain. First, it's a good idea to fast for 10 to 12 hours. Then, after you arrive where the blood is being drawn, a bottle of sugary liquid is handed to you to drink. I was told it tastes like flat 7-up. This was pretty true and pretty sweet too. Some people actually vomit after drinking this solution and have to repeat the test a different day. Everything stayed down for me. :) After an hour, the blood is drawn. When I see my doctor next, she will let me know the results. If she is concerned, I am sent for another test where you drink the sugary liquid again and the blood is tested every hour for a 3 hour period. Only after these results test positive too, would the doctor give a diagnoses of gestational diabetes. Of course, I am praying against this disease.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Video of a twin c-section

This is a link to a twin c-section. The mother is having fraternal twins: one boy and one girl. For those that aren't into blood and guts...it's not gross to watch. :)


24 weeks

Nancy Bowers, author of The Multiple Pregnancy Sourcebook says, "With twins, you should try to gain twenty-four pounds by the first twenty-four weeks of your pregnancy, or about 1 pound every week." Today, I am twenty-four weeks and have gained twenty-two pounds.

Also, at twenty-four weeks the babies have reached viability. Because of medical advances, babies born after this point have a very good survival rate. However, Bowers notes, "Babies at greatest risk are those born before thirty weeks gestation. These extremely preterm babies are much more likely to have serious and lifelong complications." I'm still praying they stay in much longer. Thirty-seven weeks is full term for twins. We have thirteen weeks to go.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Breastfeeding Class

Tonight I attended a breastfeeding class. So much was covered: benefits of breastfeeding, how your baby should latch on, different positioning, what the baby's stool will look like, how to know if the baby is eating enough, selecting and using a breast pump, how to store breast milk, etc. I found the information to be very helpful and know it will come in handy.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cruising in style

This is the car seat style that was selected. The infant car seats will also be used as part of the girls' stroller while they're babies. The girls will love cruising around town come springtime. Thank you Gary and Pat for their car seats and stroller shell. Pretty in pink!

Monday, October 13, 2008

How are the girls?

Today's ultrasound appointment went well. Both girls look great. Baby A (the closest to my cervix) is in a breech position. Baby B is kind of lying in a transverse position. One baby is 1 lb 1 oz and the other is 1 lb 3 oz. My cervix looks good so I do not need another ultrasound until 4 more weeks.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Tomorrow is another ultrasound appointment. I get to see the babies again.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The doctor

Today's doctor appointment seemed to go well. She was a very nice lady. I would be very happy to have her deliver our babies. Only one thing seemed a little off. My urine dipstick was a darker green than it should have been. The nurse (or maybe she was a medical assistant) seemed to think maybe I didn't pull the dipstick out of the urine sample fast enough. My blood pressure was good - 110 over 80 and my feet weren't swollen. The babies' heartbeats were good and my stomach measured well. These are good things. Also, the doctor never mentioned the darker dipstick to me, so it must be okay.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Flu Shot

This is an article that talks about receiving the flu shot during pregnancy.


I will be sure to discuss this with my doctor tomorrow.

Doctor Appointment

Tomorrow we have a doctor appointment scheduled. The lady we will be seeing is possibly 1 of 4 doctors that could deliver our babies. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Last night my mom, Dan, and I went to Carson's Furniture Store to make the final decision about cribs and order them. We all decided on this style and we think the girls will love it. This particular crib converts from a crib, to a toddler bed, to a double bed. It's a "build to grow" crib.

This is the link if you'd like to see the style we chose:


Thank you Grandpa Bill and Grandma Lil Nelson for this purchase!!! We know the girls will love their beds! :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Baby at 21 weeks in the womb

This is what a 21 week old baby looks like in the womb.


At 21 weeks

Today I am 21 weeks pregnant. I have gained a total of 17.5 pounds. Doing good! :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A class and a tour

Today I registered with Christ Hospital for a couple of things. First, I will be taking a breastfeeding class. I really need this class so that I'm not confused and unsure trying to figure it all out after the babies are born. The second thing I signed up for was to have a tour of the Labor and Delivery Area where our babies will be born.

The planner in me knows that taking these steps ahead of time is a good idea for me, the babies, and everyone that will be around me when the babies arrive. :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Do twins run in families?

This link shares insight into how identical and fraternal twins come about.


Friday, September 26, 2008

New Weigh In

At 20 weeks, I have gained a total of 14 pounds.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The big brother

For those of you that don't know, this is a picture of the twins' big brother. This is Howie our miniature schnauzer. He is now 7 years old and is very excited at the prospect of following around twin girls. I suspect he will be a little confused at first since he's had full reign over the house and our undivided attention.

We were once on a walk in a forest preserve and came across a nice couple and they had told us they had a dog before they had kids. They said they like to say their first kid had 4 legs. So, I think that's what we'll say too.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Weight Chart

This is a link to a chart that shows approximately what weight the babies should be at various weeks.


Just another day...

Nothing new to report at this time. The two girls are just growing and hanging out. :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Twins in the Bible

Probably the most known twins in the Bible are Jacob and Esau. It is obvious to me that they are fraternal twins based on the physical description the Word gives us. But did you know there is another set of twins in the Bible as well. Tamar and Judah had twins. Their twins were Perez and Zerah.

"When the time came for her (Tamar) to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb." Genesis 38:27

Friday, September 19, 2008

Keeping it in the family

Twins in my family:

Fraternal twins:

Bobby & Carol (Born 1940's) Born to my Great Aunt Marian. (Maternal Side)

Bobby & Billy (Born 1950's) Born to my Great Aunt Esther. (Maternal Side)

Identical twins:

Susan & Linda (Born 1950's) Born to my Great, Great, Aunt Ethel. (Paternal Side)

Brandon & Bryan (Born 1980's) Born to my first cousin once removed. (Maternal Side)

The ultrasound showed...

First, we want to thank everyone for praying for the health of the babies. That means so much to us. The babies look great. Each of them is 9 ounces. Also, thanks for voting in our poll. The results were interesting to see. The ultrasound showed...that we are having two girls. :) We are very happy with the outcome of today.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Level II

Tomorrow Andy and I go at 10:30 for our Level II ultrasound. It's also called Targeted Imaging for Fetal Anomalies (TIFFA). This is a very detailed ultrasound and could take up to two hours. The ultrasound specialist will probably look at nearly very internal organ of each baby. She will record detailed measurements like the circumference of each baby's head and the length of each baby's limbs. She'll look at the placentas, amniotic sacs, uterus, and cervix. Hopefully the babies are each in a good position so that we can share the sex of each baby with you tomorrow after our appointment. :) This visit will be exciting and scary at the same time. But, I trust in the Lord and know God is forming them and that they are safe.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What's the twin break down?

There are more fraternal than identical twins. Two-thirds of twins are fraternal. The other one-third are identical. Andy and I are having fraternal twins.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Weight Gain

At 18 weeks and 5 days, I have gained 12.5 pounds. For a healthy twin pregnancy, I should gain about 35 to 45 pounds by the time the babies are born.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Famous Twins

Famous Twins:

Paul and Morgan Hamm (Born 1982)
Olympic Gymnasts

Tiki and Ronde Barber (Born 1975)
National Football League

Jenna and Barbara Bush (Born 1981)
Daughters of President George Bush

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (Born 1986)

Mark and Scott Kelly (Born 1964)
NASA Astronauts

Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren (Born 1918)
Advice Columnists

Fraternal twins in the womb

See fraternal twins in the womb from Implantation to 36 weeks! It's amazing to see how two babies grow together inside their mother.


Halfway Through

A full term pregnancy for carrying twins is 37 weeks. Today I am 18 weeks and 4 days. I am halfway through a full term twin pregnancy. Time flies when your pregnant!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Twins at 13 weeks 6 days

Here are the twins at 13 weeks and 6 days. This ultrasound was taken on August 13th. The twins are now 18 weeks. Please check our poll question on the right side of this web site and vote what you think we will be having (2 boys, 2 girls, 1 boy 1 girl). We'll reveal what the next ultrasound says on Friday, September 19th.