Thursday, December 6, 2012

My Everythings

Hi!

Remember me?

I'm Tippy. This is my blog. I write here.

Clearly not much, lately.

I suppose that's what happens when you are a working mom of twins.

First things first. The babies are amazing. Hectic, fussy sometimes, not the best sleepers, but absolutely amazing. Each day I love them more and more. They will be 6 months next week. I can not believe it. This half year has gone warp speed, yet we seem to have come so far. I know you understand. Life changes affect your life at warp speed.

I feel like having the twins caused my life to go from zero to 60, heck zero to 100 in like 1.1 seconds and then adding back in the full time work gig, well that accelerated it even more. I spent so much time in those first few months in a heightened state of function. go go go go go.

And then something clicked. I finally relaxed into this. I found my groove with the babies and the house and the husband and I just let go. I let go of the feeling of always having to accomplish something each day, like cooking a meal, or getting to the grocery store, or sorting through their clothes that they have outgrown quickly. I let go and realized that that feeling wasn't how I wanted to be around them. I wanted to simply enjoy them and look back on this year with a sense of peace and joy that I was able to soak it in as best I could. Especially since with being a working mom, my week day time with them is so limited.

I miss them immensely during the day. Immensely. I don't think they will ever know how deeply I wish that it was me who was helping them navigate through these young years. I fantasize in the car on my commute to work about being able to go into my boss and say, "Tidy and I have talked about it and we decided that he was going back to work and I am going to stay home... indefinitely". I know it's not all roses, and I'm sure that there would be many days where I wish that I was back at work, but I wish I could give it a try.

I do my best to "own" my role (wink wink.. that's for you Tidy) and do a good job. I try hard not to bring home the stress that I feel from my work right now. I try hard to switch it off and come home and just soak in the 2 hours or so I get with my babies during the work days. I try hard to just have that be enough on those days.

It not enough though.  It's never enough...

But I have to learn how to let it be enough for now.

-----------------------

So what's up with those sweet babies, you ask? Oh man... so very much. They are close to sitting up on their own, they are teething (drooling like mad, feet and hands in their mouth at all times, a bit fussy here and there), they are starting to acknowledge eachother and want to reach out, they reach out to me and to their favorite toys, they laugh when I make silly face at them and play peek-a-boo, they sit in their high chairs when we are eating dinner and they watch us and want to be a part of it, they are so just open to the world... its amazing. When we take them new places, they are the stars of the show. They open their eyes and look around and soak it in and smile and coo at everything new.

This openness reminds me that I need to be open too... open to the life that I have right now and not the life that I want... once again, the world's gentle way of telling me to just... be... here, because as a wise woman once said (in a book I am reading called Momma Zen)... "here is everything and everything is here"

So here is a picture of my everything...



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A resolution and little dancing hands

Writing my last post really helped me free some of the frustration I was feeling and re-focus my energy.

I've resolve to do the following:

  1. I will stop reading about everyone else's "perfect" kids on the internet and how they got there. I don't need to get anywhere. I am here.
  2. I will stop asking for advice since everyone has some and they usually feel very strongly about it. I don't need advice. Every kid and family is different.
  3. I will trust my instincts... I will take the time to listen to them.
I can now let go of the fact that my babies aren't sleeping exactly like babycenter.com says they should be and just focus on them. I can be comfortable in the uncomfort, in the unpredictable-ness of their ever changing patterns and I can be hopeful in the trends that we are starting to see. But mostly, and I say this because this is hard for me, the analytical, process following, predictable natured mathematician... mostly I can just let go and really really just enjoy these babies and their ever changing natures.

They are absolutely fascinating. Truly. Every day I see them again after work, or when I wake in the morning on my days off, I am in utter awe of their inquisitiveness, of their seeming growth over the night, of their sweet sweet souls. And I am in love... deep deep love. 

Here's an example of the moments with them that I want to absorb, relish, dive into and just experience: 

My little M&M and I have developed a dance we do with our hands when she nurses, especially at at night. She is a very delicate nurser, light in my arms and quiet at my breast. Her hands explore and reach out for mine. She's only 4.5 months old and yet she seems to want to grab and move and caress my own hands, exploring the space between my fingers and pulling and pushing my fingers in various directions as she nourishes herself. Eventually, deep in the night, her little fingers slow down and she rests my finger on her chest, her sucking slows and I gently persuade her back to her bed. But as I do this, I think to myself, burn these memories into your brain, Tippy, because this too shall pass... 


It's a very tender time in my mind, since during the day, she's so alert and attentive to the environment and goings on around her that her attention darts from place to place. Once in a while she will sit on my lap and look at me, smile and coo and coo and coo, telling me about her day. These moments shoot me forward a few years into when she will be talking. I envision myself coming home from work and she greeting me, babbling excitedly about her day, wanting to tell me every little detail of the new things she saw and learned. But for now, I hold on dear to those little sweet hands when they reach out for mine and hope at some level, she always wants to hold my hand.

(a post on the bean burrito yet to come...)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Big Girl Pants

No, my 4 month old daughter is not potty trained...

I'm referring to me.

I've used this expression a lot lately, even though maybe I just made it up in my head. I intend it to mean that I just need to suck it up and "put on my big girl pants" and go do what I need to do instead of worrying about other things that I can not control at the moment.

I'm 7 weeks back into being a working mom and it is really the most challenging thing that I have done as of late. I feel like I've lost all of my good coping skills that I had learned when going through years of infertility. Somehow, I can't seem to translate those skills to this new environment. Maybe the sleep deprivation has something to do with it.

Here are the issues:
  1. Our babies suck at sleep, ie, the wake every 2-3 hours in the middle of the night. BabyCenter tells me that they should be sleeping much better. (Fuck you Baby Center)
  2. Our babies suck at GOING to sleep. It takes us a few hours of pacifier replacements and rocking and some feeding to get them to sleep at night. (PLEASE do not tell me to cry it out, do not tell me that I need to put them to bed earlier, or later or in a different room... blah blah blah. Just please refrain from telling me what to do. I've heard it all and I don't need your advice. I'm cranky because of the sleep deprivation, so hearing others advice might just make me even crankier. Thanks... No offense)
  3. Our babies are sleeping in their car seats... still. And every time we try to get them to sleep in their cribs, it fails. (Again, PLEASE.. no advice... we are trying)
  4. I'm working and at work I have way too much on my team's plate and we have some very near deadlines and I don't feel comfortable with everything that we have to get done.
  5. Tidy's at home with the babies where I would rather be. He's doing a great job. I'm proud of him. But he's not doing the job exactly the way I would be doing it. I know that me trying to micro manage his parenting and stay at home dad groove is NOT the direction we need to go in for the health of both of our minds and our marriage, but it just makes me wish that I was home with them too.
  6. Tidy's a stay at home dad and he doesn't outwardly seem as excited about it as I THINK that I would feel if I was staying at home. (Notice the word Think.... I can not truly say how I would feel since I don't do it.)
  7. I'm tired.. have I mentioned that?
Because of these issues, I feel like I'm not living the best life that I can be right now.When I'm at work thinking about how  my babies are doing and what I would be doing with them if I were there. When I'm at home, I'm worrying about the work my team has to accomplish and if I am motivating them enough to do the best job or communicating with them enough to give them knowledge they need to do their jobs.

And then on top of that, I realize that I am cranky a lot and I do not want to look back on this time with that haze around it. I don't want to regret missing things or not just being present when I am with my children.

Parenting is hard (No shit, you say...). Parenting twins is hard (Again, no shit). But what is even harder, in my opinion, is to stop the anger, resentment, frustration and negativity in my brain, put on my big girl pants and just accept this working mom thing as the role that I have to play in my life and play it well.

Playing it well means then that I am present at work when I am at work and present at home when I am at home. Playing it well means not getting frustrated at Tidy or at the lack of sleep I am getting and just acknowledge the two beautiful lives that are present in ours and enjoy them. Playing it well means not getting anxious that they aren't sleeping the way the "Internet" says they should be sleeping and just gently try to work towards getting there... because we will get there.... right?

Phew....

Thanks for letting me vent today. I needed it.

I also desperately need a hair cut. So I'm going to do that tonight instead of worry about how many times I need to go back in and put the pacifier in my sweet M&M's little mouth.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Concei-versary

One year ago from 10/6, yesterday, a very giving woman (who we coined Dotty 2.0), went into our fertility clinic and donated her eggs to us, 24 in fact. Tidy went in around the same time and within a few hours, the bean burrito and M&M were conceived.

It's crazy to think about that....

I just went back and read my post from that day. It was a somewhat sad post. I do remember feeling like I had no hand in that day, that so much excitement was going on but I had nothing to do with it. I also felt sad for the loss of my own genetics, but I'm lucky that I some wise friends to give me support.

A year later, as I know the result of those beautiful 24 eggs from our very generous donor, I jump for joy in what they brought us: And end to the pain of struggling, a new hope of some success, and 9 months later, the other best day of my life (other to my wedding day)... the birth of our children.

Children... I have 2! A son, a daughter. It's overwhelming to think this... mind blowing. And you know what? The fact that they are not genetically related to me rarely, if ever, crosses my mind. M&M and the Bean Burrito are my babies. Full stop.

(and Tidy's too, of course)

So yesterday, and over the next few days, I will relive these hopeful moments in my mind. The egg retrieval, our trip to watch Tidy run a marathon that Sunday. My sister L and I running around the course, me waiting anxiously daily for our embryo reports and then a few days later, the transfer of two perfect blasts... I'm feeling sentimental and grateful... so so grateful.

And for your viewing pleasure, here is a picture of our 2 miracles, one year from the day their were conceived. Heartbreakingly beautiful.


--------------------------------

As for us on the home front, things are going well. They are just shy of 17 weeks and moving right along. M&M is still pretty fussy. She's on reflux meds which are helping a lot, but she goes from 0-60 in seconds flat. Bean Burrito is a bit calmer, but his fussiness level has increased lately. It makes me think that the are both going through some major development changes. We are working on getting a schedule established. 7pm bed time, a few long naps during the day, but they seem to have 'regressed' a little on sleep. They wake up more often now than they did say a month ago. We put them to bed at 7 fairly easily but then they seem to wake up a half hour to an hour later not realizing that it's the time they should be taking their "long nap". They used to sleep through the night, but now they are waking up again every few hours. It's making for a very tired mamma and pappa, especially come 5:30 am when I have to get up and get ready for work.  I'm hoping this is just a developmental phase they are going through and that in a month or so they will go back to better sleeping. 

They have their 4 month shots this coming friday and then we are heading back to where both of our parents live next weekend for a family party with my relatives to meet the babies. My dad is calling it "Twin-palloza"... I'm really looking forward to it, but a bit anxious that it will over-stimulate them and we will have some major cranky babies to deal with. We'll do our best to swoop in and get them some naps during the party. Keep your fingers crossed!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Work Shmerk

I've survived 2 weeks of being a working mother with 3 month olds. It sucks.

Honestly, it really does.

I know people say it gets easier, and yes, the waking up and the routine does. But I don't like it one bit. I miss them so much throughout the day and want so badly to be there for them. I'm so grateful that they are with Tidy. It's the second best thing to me. But it hurts when they are not with me.

Is this unhealthy? I don't think so. I think it's just the honest emotion of this. I never really thought that I could be a full time stay at home mom. And I'm not sure that in the long run I could. But I do know that  if I had the choice, I would not be working right now. They are too young. And I feel like I am missing so much. I think I should have moved over seas...

Here's a few pics for now to tide you over until I get some time to actually write a meaningful post.

M&M w/ her Grandpa giving the all knowing look of "Yeah, I got him wrapped around my finger"

The Bean being a "fussy guss" in his fathers chest. The cry he has makes my heart melt. I want to fix them... every time.

3 month mug shot

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Back to the Grind

12 weeks seems like a long time in the beginning. When you think about all that has happened in those 12 weeks, it seems like we have lived an eternity.... Water breaking, babies being born, extended stay in the hospital, finally a homecoming, adapting to sleepless nights, adapting to breast feeding, adapting to cluster feeding and excessive crying, adapting to tandem feeding, adapting to being together 24 hours a day and making that work for almost 3 months solid, adapting a dog to babies, figuring out how to eat, sleep, brush your own teeth and take a shower in those early days, handling tons and tons of visitors, and mostly falling deeply and madly in love, like no other love I've ever experienced, with these two beings.

This past Tuesday was my first day back at work. I cried the night before thinking about not being with my babies constantly as I had been these last 12 weeks, thinking about not being able to help them whey they cry, worrying that they will forget me, and forget my smell and my hugs, my rocking...

But then I drove to work yesterday and thought about all of the drives I have done to work not having these babies, crying in my car over another failed cycle and another pregnancy announcement. I have my dream babies now, two in fact, and we are happy and healthy. I don't have to cry anymore. So I decided then and there that I would "own" this working mom thing. I would be the best provider for my family, in the monetary sense, that I could be and set an great example for my son and daughter (MY SON AND DAUGHTER!!!.. wow, is that amazing to see in print). I would put on my happy face and do my best to treasure the moments that I do have with them on a work day... the early morning feedings, the baths and bed time cuddles. I will make those moments my favorite moments and be present, wholly.

And that attitude worked for the first day. But then today, when I started to leave for work again, I got very sad. I think the inevitability, the permanence of not being with them every day set in.

In time this will get easier. But right now, I would give anything to be able to stay at home with them....

Dear Babies,

Mamma loves you so much. I don't even know how to describe it. I said I would never say this as a parent, but if you are parents some day, you will understand this love. I have just spent almost every waking moment of your last 12 weeks with you... feeding you, nurturing you, loving you, playing with you, changing your diapers, giving you baths, watching your first smile, watching you change from an infant to a baby, seeing some recognition in your face that you know me, and smile at ME... and it's honestly been the best 12 weeks of my life. Tidy and I are so in love with you and ever thankful that we were able to all be together as family for these first 12 weeks.

It's now time for me to go back to work and I do so with a heavy heart. I know that in the long run, you will hopefully think nothing of it. I'm sure you won't remember these days where I used to be there all of the time and now I am only there for a few hours at each end... As they say, it's harder on me than it is on you, but what I do hope is that as a working mom, I can set a great example for you of a balanced life, of one where you feel loved and supported by Tidy and me and of a great partnership in Tidy and me as we work in new roles to help raise you the best we can...

I will always treasure these first 12 weeks of your lives as one of the most simple and centered of my life. I love you with all of my heart and soul and still sometimes pinch myself that you are really finally here.

Love, Mamma... (aka Tippy)

M&M last week:



The Bean Burrito last weekend:


Monday, August 20, 2012

10 weeks

Weeks, days, hours, are flying by. Each day seems to go so fast, but when I look back on the day and the weeks, months, so much has seemed to happen. Kids change your perspective on time, huh?

The past few days have been up and down with my sweet little M&M. She has some fussy ones and then ones when she could sleep all day. I think there is so much going on in their little brains and they are changing at such a rapid pace that some days they just need to sleep and other days they need to fuss. We've started some reflux meds for her and also probiotics. Hopefully that and time will help her with her pain and sadness. We have had more happier moments lately and that has been nice. One interesting thing that she has started is a pout when she gets sad or is in pain and it just melts my heart. She's becoming so much more expressive and it makes me proud.

The Bean Burrito has been his ever steady mellow sweetie... I could snuggle with him all day. He's also very expressive and seems to look at me with adoring eyes, melting my heart yet again.

Tonight, as Tidy made dinner for my mom and me, I put Bean & M in their two rock-n-play thingies and sang to them. They were both looking at me and smiling and responding with coos and various other expressions that I felt like it was the first time we were all communicating together... The warmth I felt as my family spent time together in my favorite room, the kitchen, fulfilled a long sought after dream. Hopefully a lifetime of family dinners sits before us.

These kids do something new each day that help me get over the interrupted sleep, fussy crying and being pooped and puked on...way over. They bring me so much joy, it's unexplainable.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Colic is the Devil

My sweet little M&M has developed colic over the past few weeks. I'd say it truly started around week 7. She's just over 9 weeks today. And this, my friends, is no "gassy" stomach...

What we are dealing with here is 3+ hours of on and off crying in the evening, most days of the week. Additionally, it has started to creep into our morning and afternoon as well. We have tried everything: probiotics, gripe water, the "5 S's" from the Happiest Baby on the Block book, wearing her, keeping her at the breast. We've even started reflux meds in hopes that this might be some of the cause.

But deep down inside, I do believe that this really has not much to do with reflux or the gas we hear coming from her from time to time... I think it's just her sweet little body is not quite ready to handle all the stimulation that she is so very interested in in this new world, and we just have to ride the wave and hope she grows out of it soon.

Tidy is in our "dark room" right now rocking her with white noise by her ear. (It's our office, that we've moved the baby swings into. It has the only light blocking shades in the house, so we use it as a place to help them nap... thus the "dark room"). He's better at consoling her than I am (Which also breaks my heart, on top of the already breaking heart from all of the crying. I think he has to really tune into her and figure out what she needs, where as I just use the breast... it's a magic weapon, sometimes.

But colic not only is sad for the baby, it is breaking our hearts, making our nerves frazzled, having us take precious time away from the Bean Burrito somewhat, or at least not be able to give him as much attention since M&M needs so much right now. I hope he will forgive me. He's such a sweet soul.. so happy and calm. I guess I'm quite thankful they are both not suffering from this.  She's such a sweet little soul too. She's got the most precious smile and she can break your heart in an instant. But the crying... the blood curdling crying...

Our nights are robbed of time together too. We go back and forth from helping to soothe her, communicating via text messages across the house. "I need a break"... "Can you bring me some water?"... "Will you make dinner?"

When will this end? 2ish weeks has seemed like an eternity. Yet another time that I want to scream at the "fair" keepers in the world (which I know don't exist). I want to say to them, "Why the fuck did this happen too? 5 years to get these babies, C-section infection and now a colic-y baby? Why can't we just enjoy this and have things go smoothly for once". Yes, I say that in my head a few times over and let it out. But I know we will get through this and I know that I am still blessed to have these beautiful lives in ours.

I'd better go relieve Tidy. He's been a trooper tonight, consoling not only M&M, but also me, the wife who is struggling not to cry right along with her.

Sigh.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A little reassurance goes a long way

I can't believe that 8 weeks has gone by since my water broke. It has seemed like ages and also like just a blink of the eye. So much has seemed to happen in such a short amount of time.

We went on our first weekend getaway and road trip.
(They did amazing!! Slept in their car seats both nights, but traveled well)

M&M at the resort

We took our first hike.
(We wore them in the Mo.by wraps and hiked up to a bluff to look over the river nearby. It was sunny and breezy and they got a lot of fresh air... tired them out, I think)

The Bean Burrito, Pog and Tidy on our hike

We went to our first farmers market.
(Momma got a big big cup of iced coffee and a pain au chocolat at the bakery... yum!)

My coffee, oh and the twins at the market

We've had our first purposeful smiles that I can now get to happen on a fairly regular basis.

We are also experiencing our first bout of fussiness, or excessive crying, which some might term "colic".

The other night, as I lie asleep and Tidy took the early "night shift" on the couch with the babies in swings (did I mention that we are creating monsters and letting them sleep in their swings at night right now? It's the only way we are getting sleep..), he wrote me this:

Tip, 
Just sitting here looking through your blog, the words, the pictures and at the babies swinging across from me. I hope you realize what a wonderful job you have done. Our journey had the potential, at many stops, to crush our will to continue. But here we are... parents to two amazing lives. Do not doubt yourself for a single minute. You are amazing. We will thrive in this journey together.

I love you, 
Idy

(Yes, we have shortened versions of Tippy and Tidy...)

I needed to hear that. This parenting thing is hard! Sometimes I feel like I'm not doing enough and I worry they are not getting the proper amount of stimulation, or attention, since I have to divide it between two. Do they feel loved? Do they feel comforted? Especially lately, with M&M, who is developing "colic"... I hate to see her cry and not be able to stop it immediately and consistently. Poor M&M!! (We are going to the Dr today to see if maybe it's reflux or gas or... or just fussiness that we hope she will grow out of soon).

I also worry about going back to work in just 4 short weeks. Are they going to miss me? Will they know how very much I love them? I'm going to miss so many firsts that Tidy will see (Yes, I am a slight bit jealous... ok... a lot).

In the end, I know we are doing a good job... hopefully a great job. It's just all so new that some days a little reassurance goes quite a long way. Maybe one day, a long time from now, I will hear from each of them individually, that I did a 'bang up job' as a mamma...

That will be a fine day.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Dear Babies,

I love watching you wake up... I love the stretches, the back arches, the lip smacks, the feet curls and the arm raises. All of it is so human and I can't believe is coming from a 7 week old infant.

I love seeing you look at the world with wonder...I love how your eyes peer out at our yard, see the sharp contrast of our big trees on the blue sky and how you turn your head when you hear the birds sing.

I love watching you feed... I love that I am the sole provider of this nourishment to you. It amazes me that my body can sustain you.

I love seeing you smile...I love that sometimes those smiles are, I think, actually intended for me.

I love hearing you use your voice... I love your grunts, your coos, your gurgles and your cries. Sometime I think I understand what you are trying to tell me.

I even love your poopy diapers, your middle of the night cries and feedings, your milky spit-ups and your fussy moments where I can't get you to be happy.

Love, Mom



Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Intensity of this Love

Almost 6 weeks old... almost half of my maternity leave over.

I need to learn to from myself and focus on these little babies and each day I have with them instead of the dwindling number of days left before I have to go back to the corporate machine.

As I write this, they are both sitting nearby in their respective 'rock n play's sleeping after their morning feed, cooing and grunting away. They continue to break my heart when I look at them and hold them. Last night, at about 10:30, during a particularly long nursing session (read: CLUSTER FEED!!!) I was looking at M&M and literally saw her life flash before my eyes... walking & talking, sending her of to school, dropping her of at college, watching Tidy walk her down the isle at her wedding...

Yes, I know, I'm getting WAY ahead of myself (AND I'm imagining a traditional life, which she may or may not have... but you get my point). Every time I hold them and look at them and hear them coo and see them change just a bit, while I want things to get a bit easier on the sleep front, I don't want them grow.

It's a weird position a parent is in with a newborn. They are 100% completely dependent on you..for everything. And somehow, even though they can not speak, you figure out how to respond to their crying and you give them love

What they give you back isn't a lot since at this point they still just think of me as that place the go to get that stuff that goes in their mouth that tastes good and stops them from crying... and oh maybe a warm chest to rest on too. But their coos and their warmth and their growing recognition of your face and of your presence and the little smiles that you think just MIGHT be in response to seeing you are more than enough to melt your heart to butter and make you miss them even when you put them down to go to the bathroom.

This love is intense.

----------

A few little tidbits that I want to remember:

The Bean Burrito is getting so big! We don't know their weights and won't until they go back to the Pediatrician for their 2 month check, but he looks so much more filled out and has the pudgiest little cheeks. He's awake more and more during the day and has a voracious appetite. He's a good eater but hasn't had much more than a 3 hour stretch of sleep yet.

M&M is also growing but her face is changing in a different way. She had very full cheeks when born, but her head seems to be elongating a bit and so it appears her face is thinning out. She is also growing like a weed, but I suspect that the Bean Burrito will out weigh her at their 2 month check up even though she was bigger at birth. She is also much more aware and looks around her environment at ton. She's particularly fond of the light colored wall hanging we have on a dark wall in our living room.


(And we are seriously using this room literally as a living room right now. We spend 99% of our day here, with one of us sleeping on the couch most nights since they are sleeping in their rock n plays instead of their minicrib... we'll get there... ) She is also smiling a bit and it seems that it is in response to our faces smiling back at her. I think she smiled at Tidy this morning with a purpose 3 times. She is sleeping a bit longer at night and 2 nights ago slept almost 5 hours straight! It was AMAZING!!!

They both must be going through growth spurts as they are cluster feeding like champs. Last night it was me, my double breast feeding pillow (which is a lifesaver by the way), my iphone, my water bottle and a very attentive husband from about 6pm to 10pm as they nursed, and nursed and nursed. This has been going on and off for about a week now. I get a bit anxious about being tied to my couch, but then I remind myself that I want to exclusively breast feed my babies as long as I can and I know that I will miss this closeness when it is gone, and relax.

Finally, Tidy is amazing. We get snippy at each other from time to time and I think I am doing a pretty good job of not micromanaging him, but there are moments when I tell him to "do this" or "don't do that." He hates to be told what to do, so we usually have some sharp words here and there. But overall, we are working very well together as a team and he is such an amazing dad. I am grateful for his partnership in this.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Month 1 - Time Warp!

Before I start this post, just as quick reminder to VOTE in the Hope Award for Best Blog!! (Mine is a nomination. See the picture on the right...)

I think I'm in some sort of a time warp... or maybe that's just what parenting and sleep deprivation does to you. I can not believe that my babies are 1 month old already but at the same time it feels like they have been here forever.

Here's a picture of them from this past Friday when I tried to get them to sit up next to each other, without crying. M&M is on the left and the Bean Burrito is on the right:


They crack me up... Already they have very distinct personalities.

M&M is our little drama queen. She's very peaceful most of the time, but when she wants something, say like a diaper change or some time at the breast, she goes from a little whimper to a wail very quickly.  Here's her peaceful face. Don't get sucked in, it's deceiving:



The Bean Burrito is a little less likely to get very worked up, but he makes TONS of noises. Lots of grunts and coos and gurgles. Oh, and the facial expressions on him are PRICELESS! He always looks as if there's a lot going on in his head, as if he's really analyzing the world in front of him. Here's one of my favorites:



They are both eating very well and I'm quite thankful that breast feeding is sustaining them right now. They eat every 2 or so hours during the day, mostly because we have started waking them up every 2 hours during the day if they are asleep, in hopes of shifting their longer sleeps into the evening. I know this takes some time to do, but last night we actually got some good results. They both slept for almost 6 hours! This did, however, come after a MARATHON cluster feed from 8pm to midnight last night. Almost 4 hours of continuous feeding!

I spent a lot of time on KellyMom and La Leche League websites trying to understand if there was something wrong, of if this was just some type of phase that they go through and it seems that this cluster feeding is all very normal. So, for now, I'll just resign myself to being a milk pimp for as long as I need. Hopefully the long feed will the result in more consistent longer sleeps, as happened last night.

I think I'm going to have to sign up for Net.Flix to get some good things to watch on my iPad as I spend the evening hours tied to a couch with my double breast feeding pillow and babies in tow...

As for Tidy and I, we are doing well. He is an amazing father. I simply can not say how much more my love for him has grown seeing him be a parent. He has jumped in full force, changing diapers, swaddling, rocking, trying to coddle them and letting me nap or shower. It's been a true partnership and I am very thankful.

On the healing front, I'm finally at a place where I can mostly resume normal activity. They don't want me to run quite yet, but yoga, walking, and even swimming are back on the table! The c-section wound, that was re-open due to infection is getting better each and every day. I won't go into details here of how I have had to take care of it,  but as of now, I can treat it as just a superficial wound... YAY! I will have my 6 week check with my OB a week from Tuesday and hopefully get the all clear to start some type of more vigorous exercise too (when I find time, of course... Ha!)

The exercise will also help me get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, hopefully. As of last week I had lost 25 of the 45 I gained. So only about 20 left to go. I think breast feeding twins is helping too because each day my stomach looks a little smaller... Toned? Not so much...But at least getting back to a more "non pregnant" shape.

That's about all I have right now. My sleep deprived brain is not allowing me to come up with much in the way of whit, so this post ended up being just an update of sorts, but I hope at least you enjoy the pictures.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

(Shameless Plug) VOTE FOR ME!!

I'm so very excited! I was nominated this year for the "Best Blog" for Resolve's Hope Award.



The Best Blog award is given to a blog written by someone living with infertility and whose post raises awareness about what life is like when faced with infertility. Each year, during National Infertility Awareness week, bloggers were asked to participate in the "Don't Ignore..." Blogger's unite project.

I submitted this entry, entitled:  Don't Ignore the Ignorance... Educate!  about a suburban town's debate over building a fertility clinic in their bustling main street area, near a school and a church. It was a heated debate and I tried to keep my thoughts away from the religious point of view (which was part of the protestor's arguments), but more so on a comment that one made relating children from fertility treatments as commodities...

It was a heartfelt post, especially during the later stages of my pregnancy when I was getting ready to meet my two beautiful, hard fought for, babies.

Please take some time to visit RESOLVE's website and read all of the entries for this year's Hope Award and place your votes!

I'm honored to be nominated with these other wonderful bloggers! May the best post win!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Full Circle

We took our babies yesterday to the fertility clinic where they were conceived to show them off. It was much more emotional than I thought it would be. I always felt close to my RE and when I saw her again for the first time since our 7 week ultrasound way back in early November, we hugged and I let out a few tears of joy and relief. 

I don't think it solidly hit me until we entered the clinic again with babies in our arms that we have finally achieved our dream... we have our take home babies. And this group of doctors, nurses and staff played such a monumental role in helping us see that dream come true. With out them, M&M and the Bean Burrito would not be a part of our lives.

I emailed them after we left and told them all that although our road to these beautiful babies was long and bumpy, I honestly would not have traded a single second of it for these two. M&M and the Bean Burrito are most definitely the babies that we were meant to have. 

Each time I look at them, I get a deep feeling of love and pain. It's very very striking how these two emotions fit so well together. I finally understand the statement of "I love you so much it hurts". Truly... I love them so much that my heart breaks ever time I stare at their eyes, or put their sweet faces up to mine to feel their soft skin, or hold them to my chest as they curl up and nuzzle in, or nourish them with my own body and hear them drink away at my breast. 

I am truly and utterly in love.

I am also eternally grateful to our doctors for their skill and support for all of these years. It will be strange to not really be in contact with the wonderful people in our clinic who helped us finally achieve our dream. 

Yesterday we say our journey come full circle and although it is cliche, while one door closed a whole new world has opened.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Detour...

... so, as I said in our birth story post, all was going well. Babies were born very healthy and ready for this world. We spent our 3 nights in the hospital from our c-section and decided to take the extra 4th that they offered, just for one more night of sleep. On the 3rd night however, I spiked a fever. They took a look at my incision and noticed there was more redness and swelling there than there should be at this point. I also had a ton of rash like areas on my back and abdomen and everywhere else they had put adhesive tape during the surgery. I was a mess.

After an evaluation by the attending OB, they decided to start me on a triple cocktail of IV antibiotics to help the infection. I would be monitored for the next 24 hours and hope that this helped decrease my temperature and redness. The babies and Tidy were still in my room and would stay there until we decided differently.

Unfortunately, after 2 days of monitoring, my fever wasn't staying down, as I would spike a little one somewhere around 101 degrees ever 24 hours or so. Additionally, the wound wasn't getting better. The OB resident decided to bring the attending back in for a consult and also involve the Infections Disease (ID) attending at that time. They came up with a plan: Switch up the IV antibiotics and open up the wound to let it drain and hopefully heal better.

The next day, a team of 3 doctors came in to assess the wound and my situation. They took some blood and asked me if I wanted some pain meds for the procedure. I opted for just gritting my teeth as I had had way too many pain meds the first few days of my C-section recovery and they make me feel like ass. I was dry-heaving and drowsy when on them. I wanted so baldy to be free of those meds... so acetaminophen and ibuprofen were all that I took. They proceeded with the wound opening by taking out the first two layers of stitches in my incision and letting all of the infection drain. The pain of the procedure was not too bad, just like bee-stings. Luckily the other deeper layers of the incision looked clean and were healing well. So no need to do anything further. They packed the wound with gauze and put a light air-flowing dressing on the top.

It's amazing to me how they let these wounds heal. It's not how you would think... They don't re-stitch it back up. They leave those layers open, and have it be packed and unpacked with gauze to help stimulate better blood flow and healing to the area.  It's called "open wound care". I won't go into too many more details here, but I never thought I would be doing something like this to my body. Very strange.


We were on the path to healing. The opening of the wound helped a lot, my fevers had subsided a bit and they switched me to 1 IV antibiotic instead of the 3. The babies had also been discharged at this point from the hospital since they were healthy and they really didn't need the nursing care anymore. But we decided to keep them in the room with us because we wanted to continue the family bonding and breast feeding. This discharge was good news, but also bad because it meant that we couldn't use the nursery at night anymore to help us get a bit of sleep.  On top of that, I was having my vitals checked 4x a day. Rest was very hard to come by.

The next day, after my blood test results came back, ended up being one of the worst days of my stay there. Apparently, my white blood cell count levels were way too high, that they were on par with that of a leukemia patient... higher than expected given the infection. So the team of OBs, ID and now a general surgeon attending, had me going from one test to another. I had 2 cat scans, a chest x-ray, a pelvic and leg ultrasound and numerous swabs and cultures taken. The goal of all of these was to rule out any sort of other deeper infection that they couldn't see just on the surface with the wound infection. The day was pure hell. I woke up at 6:30am and didn't have more than 15 minutes alone with my babies and my husband until about 3pm. During that time were all the tests and the consults with the doctors. There was talk of possible uterine infections from left over placenta, a gall bladder infection that might need to be operated on, other abscess of infection deeper in my peritoneal cavity... Thankfully all of these tests came back negative and there was nothing else causing such a high wbc other than the wound infection.

This confused the team however, and with 5 different doctors (between the various areas and residents and attendings) they couldn't come up with a good plan to get me out of the hospital, especially because I was till running a little temperature every 36 hours or so. And, once that happened, the protocol of the hospital was that I couldn't leave until I was 48 hours with out a fever. As you can imagine, taking my temperature was a very nerve wrecking thing, especially when a temp meant at least another few days before we could go home.

This was all occurring during the week of June 17th. Also a point to note, my OB, the one who saw me through my blissfully easy pregnancy, was out of town and unaware of all of this.

On Thursday, June 22nd, he was in the hospital for a c-section and stopped by my room. I looked at him and began to cry immediately. I could tell he felt badly for me and was frustrated that I was still there. He was not the attending on call that day, and he was still learning more about my case, so he couldn't take much action that day, but I could tell he wanted to take matters into his own hands. The hospital machine is a funny thing... after having so many different doctors opine on my infection and care, it was very hard to really understand who was responsible for what. What were we really waiting on to determine if I could go home? The wbc count to come down? The fevers to stop? The infection to look better? It's so hard to say, especially when you can't get one straight answer out of anyone.

Additionally, at this point, they decided it was best for me to be moved to a surgical wing instead of the post-natal suites we were in since the nursing staff was better equipped to handle my case in that unit. The new rooms were a MAJOR downgrade from the hotel like suites we had been for over a week. Adding this into the extended stay along with  little to no sleep proved to be a very depressing few days for me.

While I was showing sings of improvement over the next few days, not all of the measures were going together. So no one was saying when I could go home. I began to get very very sad and wanted so badly just to be in my own bed with my own food, nurturing my babies in a proper environment, unhooked from IVs and such.

Finally, on Sunday, June 24th, my OB was back on call as the attending that day and he stopped in. In my mind, I was hoping for a Monday or Tuesday release, but when he came in, he said, "Let's get you outta here today" we all brightened up! My mom & dad were in the room as well and they were very impressed with his thought process. Basically he said, although things weren't prefect, there is no reason that I couldn't be doing this healing at home. None of the interventions that they had me hooked up to right now couldn't be adapted to be done at home. I could do the wound care on my own with an out-patient clinic and I could move over to oral antibiotics.  Tidy and I looked at him and said,"Um!! These are the things we've been trying tell the other docs all along! AND I can guarantee that I will heal faster at my home rather than in this depressing place".

So, within about 2 hour, we had our discharge papers signed and a prescription for an oral antibiotic. We had our bags packed and our babies loaded up into the double stroller. And even though I still had a fever, I could already feel a healing wave wash over me. There is something truly to be said for the environment in which you are healing.

Since my release, you will be happy to know that the infection is clearing up, the wound is healing, I have not spiked any fevers, I am breathing beautiful fresh air, I am sleeping (as much as one can with twins) in my own bed, I am nursing my babies and I am resting whenever I can so that my body heals quickly.  We are on the mend and making up for the lost time in the hospital.

One thing I do know, is that I will never ever take for granted the road that we took to get these babies home. They are what kept me going trough the seemingly endless day/nights at the hospital that blurred into one long hellish event.

I know my story could be worse. I know that I am blessed to have two beautiful healthy babies. I know that we have a lot to be grateful for and not everyone gets their take home babies. So I will focus on that... on these two little lives that struggled so hard to get here, to our home... and take all of the strength that I can from this experience and turn it into strength to parent these two amazing babies.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tippy & Tidy's Twins Birth Story

I've been wanting to write this for a while, but our hospital detour has kept me from having time to sit down... oh and I guess twins will do that to...

Here is how our M&M and the Bean Burrito entered the world on June 12th, 2012:

Sunday, June 10th, I was feeling rather gaseous, and a bit achy, so I went to our gym and got in the pool for a swim. After a half mile of moving my body back and forth in the gravity defying water, I felt rejuvinated and relaxed. I headed home to get ready for the work week, because after all... I was still about 16 days away from my due date and 8 days from my schedule C-section, so of course I was still going to work this week...

Monday, June 11th, I went to work and got a few of the things off my to do list that had been hanging over my head. I left my computer at work at the end of that day instead of lugging it back home with me because I truly felt that I would be coming back to work the next day. Just goes to show, you never know.  In the evening, I went home, took a little nap, ate dinner and then went to my prenatal yoga class. It's been a very wonderful staple in my second and third trimester. And one of the funny things about it is that the instructor often boasts that for those who are ready for labor, the night after people attend her class, they often have their water break or contractions start soon thereafter. I went to bed that night thinking I would surely see the next week's class..

Tuesday, June 12th, 4:45 am. I woke up to a feeling of needing to use the bathroom. But then I laid there thinking... hm... I think I just DID use the bathroom... my bed...I was groggy and not quite sure what the sensation was but somehow roused myself up and walked the 8 steps from my bed to the bathroom. Just as I sat down on the toilet, a warm bunch of water came out. I wouldn't say trickle, but I also wouldn't say gush... I looked down at my underwear and saw that it was soaked through as well. So of course I did what anyone else would do... I smelled it! And it didn't smell like pee. 

At that moment I knew that we were going to meet our babies that day. 

I called to Tidy from the bathroom and said, "Tidy, my water broke. We are going to meet our babies today". From dreamland, he sat up sluggishly and said, "Really? Huh... Wait, Really? Are you kidding?"

It was so surreal.. and matter of fact. Calm, just normal, like this was how we knew how to operate in this moment... like we had known it all along. 

So I called my OB's clinic and explained the situation to the on-call doctor: I was 37w5d pregnant with twins, the presenting twin (originally baby B) was breech, and we had a scheduled c-section in a week and a few days, my water broke, but I was not yet contracting. He said, "Well, you'd better come in then.. We'll get your c-section in this morning"

Guess what, though, me... the type A planner... still had not packed a bag. Tidy, the fly by the seat of your pants guy, had packed his bag a few weeks ago! At least I had a list of things I wanted to put into the bag. So, we packed my bag, walked the dog, I cleaned the bathroom sinks because I thought they were gross, we got in the car, stopped for a coffee and a breakfast sandwich for Tidy ( I couldn't eat because of that whole anesthesia thing...) and arrived at the hospital around 7:30am. 

We got settled in our prep room and talked with the OB who was to perform the c-section (not my OB, but a partner of his. My OB was out of the office all that week... this will be an important point in my next blog post, so keep it in mind for now). 

I met the Anesthesiologist and his CRNA, sat down on the OR table and they placed the spinal. It was strange, warm-ish feeling, that rushed from my toes up to my lower chest. They tested various spots on my body to see how the numbing was working and within a few minutes, the curtain was up and Tidy had entered the room clothed in scrubs and a mask. I asked him to tell me a story as I laied on the table waiting for our babies to arrive. We had asked that if possible, Tidy to be able to announce the gender of our babies. In less than 5 minutes from when he entered the room, the OB asked him to peak across the screen and said, "Dad, what is it?" At that moment I heard the most beautiful cry I've ever heard in my life and Tidy said, "Its a girl!!!" and looked at me with tears in his eyes. I looked back with the same wet eyes. 

Not one minute later, Tidy announced, "And...It's a boy!!" as the sound of our second born emerged. 

A boy and a girl.

A family of 4.

Just like that.

It took a bit of time to get the feeling back in the lower half of my body. During the recovery period, M&M and the Bean Burrito were brought to me and they immediately took to nursing. It was absolutely astounding to see them root on my chest right away. I must say that I was fearful that they c-section would disturb the breast feeding process, but it did not. I'm very grateful. 

These two little lives are just so amazing to me! I can not even begin to tell you what a perfect fit they are into our family. It was most definitely meant to be. And for those of you who wonder, no... I did not once think of the fact that they are not genetically related to me... Not once. They are most certainly Tidy and my babies. End of story :-) 

Here's a few pics to tide you over until I get around to my next post discussing why we were delayed in our journey home... (stay tuned).

The Bean Burrito, our International Man of Mystery 
(Being in the hospital for almost 2 weeks alloted us a to of time for crazy nick names)

Sleeping together, after a tandem feeding session. M&M on the left, the Bean Burrito on the right.

M&M, Smiling. She melts your heart, no???


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Detour on Our Way Home

I owe you all a beautiful birth story of my little M&M (baby girl, baby B) and the Bean Burrito (baby boy, baby A) I hope to write this saga soon. For know, here are the facts: M&M and the Bean Burrito are amazing and healthy and have won our hearts 10-fold or more!!! I am still in the hospital recovering from an epic surgical incision infection. Seriously, this is one for their books, they keep saying. The babies and Tidy have been with me sine they ere born so we could continue bonding and breast feeding. The hospital has been very considerate that way. Hoping to have a better idea on when we can get back home. I'm so ready to be in my house with these babies to my home and eat my own food. And have visitors to help us take care of our babies Tidy is surely the strongest man I know. My love

Thursday, June 14, 2012

And Then There Were Four

We interrupt this regularly scheduled C section with the breaking news... well, water breaking that is... Our beautiful perfect healthy babies were born yesterday, 6/12/12 via C-section, around 10am. 1 girl, 5 lbs 14 oz. 1 boy, 5 lbs 4 oz. We are in love, in awe and in gratitude. More to come in the next few days.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Let the Countdown Begin

We had our final OB appointment this past Friday and set a date for our C-section.

We aren't sharing the date...

But we basically know we will have our babies on or before that date. If I go into labor before then, we will head to the hospital, assess the babies' positions and if they are still breech, will prep for the C-section  then.

I can NOT believe it's almost here. That THEY are almost here. I keep trying to envision what that day will be like and I simply can't. I think it's going to blow my mind.

It's OK though, because it helps me stay focused, here in the moment, and not freak out too much about my surgery... the surgery that will bring my babies into this world.

So I guess I don't have a whole lot to share other than this pregnancy is coming to an end in the near future and a big brand new chapter in our lives is going to begin... becoming parents... and I really truly don't have words right now to sum up the anticipation and excitement in my head. So instead I fall back to just staying in the present moment and enjoying this quiet peaceful time with Tidy & the Pog.


---------------------------

And now the stats

Status: 37w3d

Weight Gain: At 37w1d, I was 44 lbs up.

Symptoms:  Carpel tunnel is there but manageable. More intense Braxton-Hicks and after talking with my OB on Friday, confirming that I must have lost my mucus plug. Other than that, still feeling pretty normal.

Cravings: None to speak of

Aversions: None to speak of

Exercise:  Weekly prenatal yoga and prenatal pilates

Best Moment of the Week: My Saturday with Tidy: Cleaning and putting stuff away in the house, and hour and a half nap, cooking dinner, laughing together, and snuggling with the Pog.

What I Look Forward to: First and foremost, my babies!! But I have started to think past the birth a bit and been getting excited about running again and beer!!! BEER!!!!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

37 weeks

Today marks the end of our 37th week. We are officially full term. I am so so very thankful to have made it this far with these babies. We go to see our OB tomorrow to make final "plans" for either a C-section, or induction. I have many questions for him but mostly I want to thank him for helping me get through this pregnancy with some sanity... and of course encourage him to help us bring these babies into the outside world in the safest way possible.

For now, I will leave you with a comparison of my belly today and one about 31 weeks ago...  Hilarious!

 \

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dear Babies

I've been wanting to write a letter to you for a while, but didn't quite know how to begin. The day of your arrival is getting ever closer, so I thought I would just start writing and hope what comes out makes sense.

Tidy and I have been waiting for you for years... 5 to be exact. We are so very thrilled that you are almost here. I don't think words can explain our feelings right now.

For the last nine months you have gone with me wherever I go. You come to work with me every day and keep me company as I sit in my meetings and at my desk. You bounce around in there, get hiccups and sometimes even kick me in the ribs, but I smile every time I feel you. This experience of growing you has been the most amazing experience I have had in my life. I have honestly loved every minute of it and am ever grateful for our ability to finally journey down this path. I still sometimes have to pinch myself that this is really real. While I can not wait to meet you both and learn who you are, I will miss having you with me every minute of the day.

Now, Tidy and I are eagerly anticipating you arrival. We have made improvements to our home, decorated your nursery, froze some food for those first few weeks and have talked endlessly to the Pog to help her understand how good of a big dog-sister she is going to be. We are ready for you to arrive (well, if you could just wait until after Friday, that would be perfect. It's 8th grade graduation at Tidy's school and he would like be there for that event... but any time after that is just fine).

I hope that as we learn how to be a family together, we are good parents to you both. We aren't going to be perfect at this and at times are a bit scared for all of the change that is to come, but we are waiting  with open arms to hold and comfort and guide you... and open hearts to love and listen to you... and open minds to learn from you.

Please know that at this moment, I want nothing more than to hear you make your first cries as you enter into this world, hold you both in my arms, look into your faces and know that you are finally our take home babies...

All my love,

Mom






Saturday, June 2, 2012

What I Haven't Learned

After all of these years struggling with infertility, you would think that I would have learned better to roll with the punches, to "stay in the moment" and appreciate all of the good.

For the most part I think I have. I let much of the small stuff slide off, well, except for this morning when I was really really excited for a creamy cup of decaf coffee but 1) the half and half was nearly gone and 2) all of the decaf was already combined withe the caffeinated coffee (Tidy drinks half decaf) in the container so my morning was foiled... GRRR.

Ok, anyways..  back to my story.

At our 30 week ultrasound, when we thought the growth of the babies was diverging and my OB predicted a high chance of a C-section, we also learned that baby B was presenting (closest to the exit) and was breech and baby A was fundal (further at the top of the uterus) and transverse.  Here's a picture of what they kind of look like.


So I've spent much of my time these past few weeks trying to understand how likely it is that baby B will flip vertex, or maybe baby A will nudge baby B away from the exit and move in for the save. (I've also spent much of my time inverted, using moxa sticks, doing acupuncture and chiropractic care )... But it seems that if the twins haven't moved by 36 weeks, it's very very highly unlikely that they will after that. And a few days ago we passed our 36 week mark and also had an ultrasound, which confirmed the babies were still in the same unfavorable-for-a-vaginal-delivery position.

On the very very bright side, the babies are doing great. Both are estimated to be just shy of 6 lbs each, and we got to see that they both are practicing breathing. Their lungs are moving to get ready for the world outside. Cool, huh?

But I must say that I had gotten my hopes up that baby B, the breech one, had flipped... you see, I have a heart beat monitor at home that I use from time to time just to check in. And I had been used to hearing both of the heat tones near my belly button... but then early last weekend, I checked again and baby B's heart tone had moved way down to near the exit. This of course got my mind spinning that my baby B had actually spun!! So I was all proud of my babies for listening to my wishes and hopeful that when we went into to see them early this week we would see that one to be head down.

No dice though.

And then with that, I had to re-grieve this sense of loss I feel about not being able to have a vaginal birth. It was quicker this time than the last discussion with my OB. More so, however, I was mad at myself for 1) getting my hopes up and 2) allowing that disappointment to cloud my thoughts for a few days.

I mean, come on Tippy, things are going great! You are 36 + weeks with twins who are thriving feeling little to nothing to complain about. You are going to finally hold these babies in your hands in the very near future... the babies you have longed for for 5 years. This C-section business is just a blip in the road. Yes, it's ok to feel the disappointment, and have wanted it to go differently, but it is not ok to let it taint these last few weeks of anticipation as you meet your babies.

So I woke up a few mornings ago after a day of sadness, with the intention of trying to just stay focused on the present moment and the positive healthy babies that we will get to meet soon.

Isn't this cycle of disappointment though, similar to those feelings of failure with a negative cycle, or a 2nd or 3rd chemical pregnancy? It's not the SAME disappointment, but just a similar cycle of thought. So apparently I still have some learning/growing to do in my ability to roll with the punches.

---------------------------

And now the stats

Status: 36w2d

Weight Gain: I'll weigh in again this coming Friday.

Symptoms:  Carpel tunnel is still around. Hormone swings are annoying too. I also had more (TMI) mucus this morning... so maybe that mucus plug is starting to thing out.

Cravings: None to speak of

Aversions: None to speak of

Exercise:  Still doing my once a week prenatal yoga and once a week prenatal pilates. Also went to the gym last night for a swim. It felt SOO good. I swam and kicked a half mile. The pool is amazing for taking all of that baby weight off of your body. It feels like I'm not pregnant at all.

Best Moment of the Week: Seeing the twins again at the ultrasound and hearing that they have some hair on their heads and also seeing their lungs move to a rhythm to help prepare them for the outside world. Yay babies!

What I Look Forward to: Similar to last week, I think all of my forward looking thoughts are to holding these babies and to nuzzling with them. It's going to be here soon and I want to really really appreciate these last few days/weeks and know that we were joyful in their anticipation.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Nursery - After

The nursery is mostly finished, except for a few small details, so I thought I would share some pictures. First, though, go refresh your memory here on the"Nursery - Before" post.

This is a nursing/reading couch, from World Market, that also folds down into a single bed, if needed. 

This is our changing corner. Dresser and light are from Ikea and the framed letter press is from Etsy. The detail on the letter press is below.



This is the closet and some bookshelves on the right. Eventually we'll put the doors back on the closet but they still need to be painted. Hoping to get this done before they arrive, but if not, before they start to crawl.... I've got a few months, right?

This is where the two cribs will go once we get them. We've decided to buy some used cribs from a friend of our family who also had twins. They will also turn into toddler beds. But we are going to have the twins in our room for the first few months, so we aren't in a rush to get those set up. Right now, it's just a place holder for a few random things I don't know where to store. The wall hanging is apiece of fabric I found on Etsy and wrapped around a stretcher frame.

This is the mini crib the twins will share for the first few months that is sitting next to our bed. I can't wait to see it filled with all that squishiness. 

---------------------------
And now the stats

Status: 35w4d

Weight Gain: I'll weigh in again in just over a week.

Symptoms:  Carpel tunnel is there, but mild and the hormone ups and downs are definitely there, more so than they have been at any other time. Warning TMI: I also had a little thicker yellow mucus when I wiped a few times yesterday. I wonder if this is the start of the mucus plug starting to come out? Who knows. What I DO know is to not read to much into it right now. A good friend has been in "pre-labor" for over a week now and I can tell she is getting very frustrated hoping that it will happen at any moment... Hang in there, C!!

Cravings: None to speak of. I think my stomach is a bit crowded, so I don't feel very hungry, but I am forcing myself to get food in!

Aversions: None to speak of

Exercise:  Still doing my once a week prenatal yoga and once a week prenatal pilates. I think I'll start walking a bit more this week. I feel a bit sluggish.

Best Moment of the Week: Tidy and I had a date last night. We went to see the Hunger Games in the theater and then got Thai take out and sat at home. It's nice to be able to spend some quiet times with him. I do really like this guy. I hope he knows that, especially when I am frantically trying to get things 'finished' up at home, ie, nesting is in FULL effect!

What I Look Forward to: I am at the point now where what I really really look forward to is meeting these two beautiful babies. I am ready. I mean, each day that passes, I can still find things to do, to finish, to cook and freeze, to make lists... but I just want to meet them. As scared and nervous as I am for them to arrive and change our lives forever, I welcome it with open arms.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Dear Tidy, I Promise..

I've had a lot of friends who suffer from post-partum issues. These issues are common, and they range from mild anxiety, nervousness to serious deep depression. I've known women with all variations. As I have also said in prior posts, my mom suffers from bi-polar disorder which I believe was worsened or triggered by post-partum issues.

Because of this, especially because of my mom's history, I have always had a deep fear of suffering from post-partum mood disorders and it is a deep enough fear that, for a long time I didn't even want to have kids. I feared that if I did, I would turn into my mom's disease. 

Right now, Tidy and I are in a grove. We communicate well, we let each other have independence when we need it, we share responsibilities in our house in a pretty equal manner, and we actually like hanging out together. We're a great team and I am grateful for that. I must be honest, however, that I worry this may change with the arrival of our twins. Twins that we have wanted for so long, and worked so hard to get to, but will be life changing nonetheless.

I've heard people say it to me 10 million times, "Oh Tippy, you have NO idea...  Life is going to be SOOO different. You will be so tired and out of it that you won't know which end is up." Yeah, I get it. It's gonna be hard, and life changing. Thanks. I'm not sure how that helps me now, but....

...what I do feel is that Tidy and I are strong and we can get through this, together. Yes, we have no idea what we are in for, but we will work through this, in our own way, as a team. This is what I want, and hope for this new part of our lives.

But then my fear of post-partum issues takes over and I worry what if I slip into some type of anxiety or depression and I don't team with Tidy well? And he can't convince me to get help? And we fall apart... and and and... 

So I wanted to write to you, Tidy, some words of promise that we can both come back to after our babies are born and we are both sleep deprived, and anxiously trying to figure out how to care for twins: 

Dear Tidy, 

Here are my promises to you as we anticipate our entry into the world of parenthood: 
  • I promise to be your partner in raising our children and I promise to let you be mine
  • I promise to try not to micromanage your parenting (Notice I said "try" here, as we both know this will be a challenge for me, but if I can learn how to not micromanage you in the kitchen, then there is hope I can in parenthood as well... ;-) ) 
  • I promise to listen to you if you have concerns about my emotional well being and consider your thoughts on how to improve my health
  • I promise to find time for you each day, to look you in the eye and say "hello" and "I love you", even if it is for just 2 minutes, and we both want just crash on the couch and sleep for a week
I am scared, and excited, and hopeful, and have so many different emotions right now. But mostly I know that we will enter into this new stage as a team, as one... I have faith in you, in me and in us. I love you more today than I have ever loved you and I can only imagine seeing you as a father will deepen this.

You Just NEVER Know...

... when and where your success stories will come from.

In the past 48 hours, I have watched as one of my dear dear infertility friends receive the most amazing life changing news. If you want to jump for joy for someone, you MUST go read her latest entry at : From IF to When.

Before you do, here's a very quick and dirty play by play on her story:

  • 5 years of infertility treatments... nada
  • Moved on to International adoption in Korea
  • Korean program is closing down and decided to delay their application by at least one more year
  • Grieved this loss, regrouped and moved on to a China program 
  • Waiting for  paperwork and home studies to begin for China
  • Got a phone call 2 days ago....
And then you'll have to read more

Sometimes you just have to wonder how this stuff happens...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Donor Anniversary

One year ago today, we turned a corner and never looked back. We signed on the dotted line and entered the world of Donor Egg IVF.

Our first donor, Dotty, didn't quite work out, because she didn't respond very well to the meds, but it is very significant to me because we committed to moving onto a new option to find our babies.

Little did we know, that that choice would bring us here today, a day shy of 35 weeks pregnant with twins.

I am ever grateful for this opportunity. I'm not sure where we would be today if we did not make this choice. I hope that we will always keep with us the sense of gratitude.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Anticipation of Change

The anticipation of the arrival of these babies has been making me a bit unstable lately. Our "to-do" list still has a few things on it and I think both Tidy and I are sensing this big change coming and reacting in our own ways, which are not always concordant.

I really want this last month (or less) to be a time when we can relax a bit, enjoy each others company and relish in the last remaining freedom and quite time that we have while we wait, excited and hopeful to finally meet these babies we have so longed for.

Because we react differently to these types of situations, we sometimes butt heads. My natural tendency is to organize, make lists, and want to get things done A.S.A.P, so we can then sit back and breath, while Tidy's nature is to not....Although, he has really been fantastic lately at getting some stuff done that I haven't even thought of, like getting Pog to the vet to get her current on her shots and making sure that the new doors we ordered are in and the guys we have can come over to install them.

I also think that some of these late pregnancy hormone changes has been making me shorter tempered and quicker to react. Either way, the blissful balance I have seemed to maintain thus far is starting to falter. I think I need more yoga :-)

Last night, we went to a friend's house for dinner and just stopped for a bit to sit around and talk and eat. It was nice and a good reminder that I can get what I want to get done and also still make time to enjoy the present moments.

I know, deep down, Tidy and I are both terribly excited about the change to come, but with any change, even one that you have been waiting for, for what seems like an eternity, there is always some part of you that wants to hang on to the present, because that is what is known. Make sense? I hope so. I don't mean for anyone to interpret that we do not 100% want this amazing gift we have been given, it's just the reality of the moment. Change is coming, a big, beautiful glorious change, but it's still change and with that, comes just a slight bit of anxiety.

------------------

On the baby and mamma health front, we are all doing great. I went to my OB this past Wednesday to check in after our ultrasound a 2 weeks ago. He's very pleased with their growth and the fact that they are growing the same. Baby A was estimated at 4 lbs 3 oz and Baby B is 4 lbs 7 oz. We couldn't be happier.

Position wise however, that's another story. Baby A, the one who used to be head down and 'presenting' is now transverse and also higher up in my uterus. Baby B is closer to the exit and breech. At 34 weeks with twins, there is not much hope that they will turn head down, but rest assured I will be doing all that I can in these next few weeks to encourage them to turn. I started some Chiropractic care this week and I've been seeing my Acupuncturist. I've also found a fantastic website called: spinningbabies.com. Has anyone had luck with any of these methods? If a C-section is in my future, I know that I will come to accept it and focus on the positive of having our babies, but I am still very scared and sad at this possibility. I know some of you readers out there feel very strongly that I should just accept this fate and be happy for what I do have going well. And honestly, I will get there. But it's not a switch that I can just flip, I think it's more of a gradual grieving process.

Health wise, I am doing well too... no signs of increased blood pressure yet or major swelling, although we are expected to have a warm week starting today, so we'll see how that goes. I am looking at my toes right now and they could definitely use a pedicure... hmmm... maybe I'll have to do that on my way to Target this morning for the last round of returns from our showers.

-------------


And now the stats & a belly pic (34w0d):


Status: 34w2d


Weight Gain: At the OB this past Wednesday, I was up 39 lbs. 

Symptoms:  I still have a bit of carpel tunnel,  but the braces that I wear to bed at night are helping a bit. And so are Tidy's comments about my "bowling wrist guards" and how he hopes it helps me pick up that "7-10 split"...  Also helping is the moxa stick that I use to encourage vertex positioning. It also seems to help clear out some of the fluid retention in my wrists. Also, this past week I've been a bit more "hormonal" that I have in the past, crying easily and getting a bit worked up over small things. I hope this passes.

Cravings: None to speak of

Aversions: None to speak of

Exercise:  Still doing my once a week prenatal yoga and once a week prenatal pilates. I hope to make to the pool this weekend to do a little light swimming too, just to get the blood flowing and help with the minimal fluid retention.

Best Moment of the Week: At my OB appointment this past week, my doctor looked at me with a bit smile at the end of the appointment and said, "We're getting there! Things are going really well. 34 weeks is a fantastic milestone. I'm very happy with how well nature has been working here for you." And it just made me happy and realize that we really really have a big chance that these babies are going to be in our arms, healthy and thriving very soon. I still have to pinch myself that this is really happening.

What I Look Forward to: Hearing that one of my close blogger and IRL friends had a healthy labor and delivery of her much awaited for baby. She texted me yesterday saying she was starting to see signs of labor. I am on baited breath waiting until I get the phone call or text saying they are heading to the hospital. Sending her tons and tons of strength and hope for the delivery she has dreamed of for so long.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Can't Quite Get There

I can't get there... I don't feel it today.

For so many years, Mother's day has been a day of sadness for me. I have tried to focus on my mother but have also felt that my family didn't really understand why this day was so hard from me. I wanted for them to reach out to me, unasked, and say that they are sorry that I am still struggling.

Now, that I am pregnant and expecting twins very soon, many people have reached out to wish me well on this day. They are happy for me and excited and very sweet to say something. Even Tidy brought me my morning cup of tea in a mug a friend's mom got for me that says "New Mommy".

I cringed a bit, thinking, oh no! I don't want to jinx this. I don't have my babies in my arms...

Mother's day is hard for so many of us who have struggled or are still struggling to become mothers. It is also hard for those who have lost their mothers. They are reminded that they are not there yet or of what they have lost. Many years, I would just sit inside the house and cry on this day. I don't intend to do that today, but I also just can't feel that feeling I had expected to feel. Maybe I will feel it next year, when I am chasing my 11 month old babies around the house. Maybe I won't though. Infertility leaves scars, and this might just be one of mine.

I might, however, use this belly to go get my free custard at one of the local frozen custard shops they give out to "mothers" on this day. This is how I put my toes into the water on this day that I had so longed to be a part of.

To all of you out there, still struggling to become a mother in the traditional sense, or for those who have lost mothers and are grieving, I wish you peace and strength today.