Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Doctor & Diet

Today I had my first of two appointments this week.
Unfortunately, Dr. Eck was not able to be there.
I wasn't mad about it though.
She had 2 deliveries and an emergency c-section today
so she was at the hospital.
Great reason not to be at the clinic.
And, it reassured me that if I had any emergencies,
that she would be there to help me out.
I can easily reschedule.
Those other mamas needed her help.

But, I wasn't going to give up the chance to hear Herbs and Puckett.

Nurse found both heartbeats pretty quickly.
Then both varied between 152 and 159,
which are great rates.
And, it's great that they go up and down when she was checking.
That's what we want.
I rescheduled for next week, after my appointment with the MFM tomorrow.

Some people have been curious about the diet that I've been on.
Diet isn't the right term.
Gluttony may work better.
Stuffing my face works, too.
But, I am willing to sacrifice for the good of the family.
Really, I'm sacrificing my body for science.
You're welcome.

So, basically, the diet comes from a book written by Dr. Barbara Luke out of Michigan State University (the book is When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads).
It was a suggestion by several people to read this,
as this lady is kind of a big deal
(as are most people from MSU, right Uncle Russ? :) )
And she kind of knows her stuff about pregnancy with lots o' babies.

So, I haven't read the whole book, as I'm taking it one step at a time.
Right now, I am focusing on the "growing-the-babies-so-they-survive-and-they-don't-have-to-go-to-the-NICU" part.
I will admit, I had a dichotomy of feelings after reading her book.
I was excited after reading all that I needed to eat (and didn't need to feel guilty about).
But I was also overwhelmed.
Because, working full-time, being pregnant, and cooking/eating well-rounded meals is difficult.

So, anyways, she says that after all of her research, her patients have been shown to have a much higher success rate of healthy twin delivery.  They are born bigger and healthier than those who do not follow the plan.  In fact, each baby (in a twin, triplet, or quad pregnancy) has the make-up to grow to be born at the same weight as a singleton baby.  We just have to give them the environment to allow that to happen.
Yes, that means I will be full of baby if I do this right.
It means that I will probably be a bit rotund, if you will.
Yes, that is a bit overwhelming and scary
when I think about birth
and recovery
and everything else.
But, if that means that they don't have to spend as much time in the hospital
or that they do not struggle with life,
I'm great with that.
And I'd much rather be overwhelmed now
than overwhelmed because they can't breathe
or I can't hold them.

Onto her magical plan...

  • I should gain about 40-50 pounds throughout the pregnancy.  The most important weight gain is until 28 weeks. Meaning, I should focus most on gaining weight earlier in my pregnancy, not later.
  • I need to eat every 2-3 hours.
  • 3,500 calories a day.  At first I was like, "Yay!" And then, when I tried it, I was like, "Seriously?"  And the 3,500 calories should not come from one visit to Old Country Buffet.  I still need a pumping heart, afterall.
  • My goal should be 176 grams of protein a day, 350 grams of carbohydrates, and 155 grams of fat.  
  • Per day, I should try to have 
    • 8 servings of dairy (ice cream is included as a dairy! bam!)
    • 4 servings of veggies
    • 7 servings of fruit
    • 10 servings of grains
    • 6 servings of fats/oils/nuts
    • 2 servings of eggs
    • 3 servings of meat/fish/poultry
    • 2 servings of red meat.  
    • A day.
  • In addition, to the smorgasbord of superfluous amounts of food, I need to drink 128 ounces of water a day.  Which, magically equals out to a gallon of water a day.  Hello, water buffalo.
  • And then there are the vitamins.  I take about 11-12 a night and 1-2 in the morning.
So, there is no.freaking.way that I can eat all of that.  
That's just a load of food that cannot fit in my belly.
Also, having access to all of that food is difficult, too.  
I am doing the best I can--making sure that I eat frequently and making sure that what I eat is healthy and not just crappy calories. But, my tummy hurts from eating that much (I know, it's such a bad problem to have- first world problems, right?).

Also, I have not quite figured out how I am going to continue to eat and drink that much (and then visit the lavatory) while teaching and not leaving the class unattended and not teaching with my mouth full of protein bar and pudding.  

She also suggested taking 2 or 3 20-30 minute rests/naps throughout the day.  I kind of laughed out loud at that.  Because my break is in the morning.  And, then I get a 20-30 minute lunch and then the kids are back.  Which is why I want that roller scooter thing.  

At first when I read about this, I thought the lady was nuts.  
Because, a lot of what she was saying was going against what I had read or heard from the others about eating and pregnancy.   
Here's the dealio, though--this is not a singleton pregnancy.  
All the babycenter and bump and websites are focused on singleton pregnancies.  
They rarely, if ever, discuss multiple pregnancies.  
And, what they do say is just stupid.  
Like, "Your belly will be bigger" and "You will see the doctor more frequently."

So, here's why I need to eat so much.  
Later on in the pregnancy, I will not physically be able to eat as much as I need to.  
In fact, I will not be able to intake as many calories as both babies need to live and keep growing. 
 My belly will be too full of baby goodness.  
Therefore, I need to pack on the pounds now. 
I need to get a "reserve" going so that later on, when I cannot eat, and they still need to grow, they will have an Old Country Buffet o' Fat to help themselves too. 
I will probably start to drop some pounds but they will be able to continue to gain weight from what I have stored up for winter (I am, in fact, like a bear going in for hibernation).  
That is why so many twins are born small. 
Because mothers cannot provide the amount of calories the that the 3 (or more) people need to live.

So, if you are pregnant with multiples, 
read this book (it's even available for Kindles).
It is so much more helpful than googling "Twin Pregnancy."
(Because inevitably you get the photos and
wonder how it is physically possible to have your belly hold that much).

More in the next day or two on Herbie and Puckett's anatomy scans.

P.S.  How many of you just went to google "twin pregnancy" so you could see those larger-than-life bellies?  Shame on you.


  1. so hard to eat that much. i remember. and drink that much! i sometimes only got 100oz and the dr kept trying to push me to drinking more. not only was i peeing ever 15 minutes, i was going to float away! it's a lot, but you can do it, and you have the right focus. it's for them. all about them. can't wait to hear if they are boys/girls/or both!

  2. I have the book on my kindle! It's awesome and I totally agree that googling anything about twin pregnancy was not helpful. Plus my doctors have never really commented on weight gain or activity restrictions, so I'm just using Dr. Luke's book and her recommendations. I had to work really hard to gain 20lbs by 20 weeks, but it was totally worth it because my twins continue to measure big for singletons. I'm not up 35lbs at 30 weeks and feeling pretty good about things, but it is definitely harder to eat a lot these days. It sounds like you are doing great!!

  3. Glad that there are others out there who are also using "the book." It's like the multiple birth bible. I thought her stuff was kind of out there too, but I did it anyway, and I'm so glad that I did.....38 weeks with twins as of tomorrow! Tuesday we will see how they've grown, it could be close to 7lbs by now. And really, it's all thanks to Dr Luke. Glad you read the book Rach!


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