Sunday, June 27, 2010

3 weeks old and done

Ahhh, a moment to my very self! Weee!
What to say? The babes are amazing and lovely little sleep deprivation specialists. We considered turning them in to the feds because they really belong on the terrorist watch list with these tactics. They are that good at it. That's the first time I've used italics!

A few breakdowns. Occasional swearing. Lots of breastmilk and cuteness. Their poo doesn't smell bad yet.

I knew when I started this blog that I did not really want to be a mommy blogger. I like reading them, but I'm not into being one. So, that being said, this is it: My final entry. I've loved the experience of reporting about myself. When I started, I didn't know how long we would pursue parenthood or if we would be successful or what and I really can't believe where we are right now. Anyway, thank you for reading, you really helped me through infertility and pregnancy. Your support was priceless. I hope I've helped someone in some way by writing this, although I did it for purely selfish reasons (namely, an attempt to maintain my sanity.)

I got to share my story over at stress free infertility... http://stressfreeinfertilityblog.com/
and I thank Krissi for that opportunity! So neat, this internet thingy they've got now.

Also, I wanted to share one last cool experience...
A friend of a friend is a budding family photographer and needed a set of twins to photograph for her portfolio. She was amazing and so are the photos. I wanted to share a few and share her website: www.wrendaslaymakerphotography.com

So, here are our boys...





Peace!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The New Road Home


We've been home for one short week. More on that later. I want to share our birth story, and I have to type fast because a baby will surely wake soon.

On the night before our scheduled c-section, we called the unit as instructed to obtain our official arrival time. We were told to arrive at 8 am. I said, "arrive at 8 am?" , "yes, arrive at 8 am" was the reply. "Arrive at 8 am?" I said again. "Yes".

Of course I was up at 3 am. I thought to myself, "self, you know damn well that that nurse is wrong and you should call back". I ignored me and let destiny be our guide.

They told me not to eat anything but I had an ensure and a glass of water just in case we were there at the wrong time and our section had to be moved to the afternoon.

With fifteen minutes to go before we had to leave the house for the 45 minute drive to the hospital, Gregg was eating breakfast and making coffee and hadn't showered yet. I got a little testy. He downloaded some stuff from the internet to the iphone. I got testier. I knew we had the wrong time anyway, but I wanted to be on time for the wrong time anyway. He pulled it off. Made coffee, ate, showered, packed the car and downloaded the iphone all in 15 minutes. We left.

We arrived. We were the only couple there! No one in labor, no other scheduled c-sections. Just a giant team of doctors and nurses standing around looking like they were waiting for something…

"Uh, when did they tell you to arrive?". "Uh, 8 am". "Uh, we had it mind to do the section at 8 am". "Well…". "No biggie! We're not busy today! And at least you are on time for the wrong time!". (I was glad they noticed this).

So, no biggie.

We were worked up. Waiting on lab work. Gregg and I were separated for about 40 minutes while they prepped me and got me numb. The spinal anesthesia was awesome. It didn't hurt going in and worked well. Everyone was incredibly nice and made me feel very safe. There were students everywhere.

Eventually, it was time. I panicked a little because Gregg was still not in the room and he told me later that he was panicking too. They brought him in at the last possible moment and they began. Lots of pushing and pulling later, Giles was born. He went to be assessed. Lots more pushing later, actually so much pushing that I thought they were going to hurt the baby, Moss was born. Splash! went amniotic fluid and associated gore and goop on the floor.

Apgars 8/9 on each. No help needed.



Impossible love, I felt it instantly.

Dr. R had a student and began making commentary and quizzing about my particular uterus at which time I learned that I had a couple of tiny fibroids, no biggie. However, I also learned something else about my fallopian tubes, the source of my infertility. Dr. R was not the one who worked up my infertility, it was a regular gynecologist who, looking back, did not adequately explain what he thought of my tubes after both the failed tube flush procedure thing and the exploratory lap. Dr. R said, "your tubes…", "yes?", "your tubes are very tiny". Ah! I was told they were small muscular and narrow and maybe they were, but now they are just tiny. I didn't expect to learn more about my infertility at this moment, guts splayed out. Actually, if I had been thinking about it, I would have asked specifically for his opinion.

I sort of suspected all along that what was wrong with my tubes was really a congenital defect, and he said I could be correct. I mean, I never had pelvic inflammatory disease or any STDs, so the only thing I could think of that would make my tubes not work was a defect. (oh how infertility makes one feel defective)!

Anyway, on to recovery. They brought the babies within the hour to breastfeed. My lactation peeps had made a fuss. I don't recall the experience of the first time at breast, but there are photos to prove it happened.

Because everyone was so stable (no NICU!!)(No NICU bill!!!), we got to go to the new hospital building. The mother/baby suite was better than many hotels I've stayed in.

We spent 3 sleepless days and nights gawking and breastfeeding.

We experienced the impossible beauty that every new parent must experience. or most anyway…or some!

The pain was bearable, requiring only ibuprofen and that I consciously empty my bladder every 2 hours. My bladder seemed to have forgotten how respond to large amounts of urine. I was really overloaded with IV fluid and the pictures of me are bizarre.

Our nurses were absolute pros. Breastfeeding went, and has gone, perfectly from the start. We gave pacies on the 3rd night.

We had a surprise visit from our wacky Turkish reproductive endocrinologist who just happened to see our names on the docket. This visit, as you can imagine, made us both cry. Closure. We took his picture.

Then, it was time to go home. I decided to drive and Gregg sat in the back with the babies. I was so full of wonder and love that I didn't recognize the road home. I knew how to get home, but everything seemed so…new and beautiful. The world seemed so lovely. On the highway, I began to weep. My beautiful babies in this enormously beautiful and dangerous world. I suddenly realized our impossible responsibility on this new road home and just wept.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Home At Last!

This will be brief...I will write a longer blog in the next few days...but Big Daddy G actually wrote one on Old Wire Road, so if you'd like, check it out via the link at right. One quick tidbit: we were late to our birth day appointment...hmmm...


Giles, zen master, weighing in at 7 lbs on the nose



Moss, rocket man, weighing in at 7 lbs 15 ounces


Impossible Love


Sunday, June 6, 2010

38 weeks 4 days, T-1 day

A long post. A 2-for, even.


The day before our lives change forever…


Blueberry pancakes and bacon and coffee! Installing carseats! (An expletive inducing experience like you read about. I mean, who knew that all of those carseat installation stories were true!! Tools like an industrial winch and a PhD would have been helpful and Gregg required a couple of bandaids afterward, but it got done.)


Yesterday, aka the day before the day before our lives change forever, we bought a small pool that will help us and our guests with this Florida heat. Well, Gregg went and bought it with telephone guidance from me. It was during this mundane experience that I had a moment of profound clarity. First of all, we had to get the pool at Wally World, a place whose true name is a forbidden in our household, where we try to never go because it's soul sucking in so many ways including that there are way too many of our patients there. We do end up there about once a year to buy beach gear though, and it's always hard, even if we're only there for 15 minutes. It's hard because it is so overstimulating and so ugly, that it induces panic. I felt really bad that I had to send Gregg in there alone. So when one is in a panic, it's really hard to think straight. The pool options were overwhelming, even though we had prepared in advance. As we spoke on the phone, I could hear the rising anxiety in Gregg's voice. I could hear that the next thing that was going to happen was that Gregg was going to run out of there screaming and that I wouldn't have the stupid little pool I've desired for the past couple of weeks and now couldn't imagine going without this summer. And then it happened. Gregg said, "you know, if we want to go swimming we can just go to the springs!". These words rang out into the universe with a cinematic echo like you hear about, and I was just silent.


In this silence, what to me was the loudest silence I've ever heard, this is exactly what was happening in my brain: BONNGGGG!! Have we any idea what's about to happen to us? Just. go. to. the. springs. I don't think we're "just going" anywhere in the next few weeks. And on which day would you like to take our new babies? The 99 degree day or the 95 degree day? When they're 2 weeks old or 4 weeks? Maybe YOU can JUST GO SWIMMING, but I'll be here in my stupid wally world pool, babies safe and cool here at home until I'm comfortable taking them to the springs. Also, I have not been able to be outside comfortably in weeks. Also, I have only left our property once a week for the past 7 weeks. There is no question that I feel cooped up and am eager to get out to anywhere, but "just"?. I was in a state of complete amazement. JUST go swimming…ha!


I'm convinced that Gregg felt this in the silence because about 3 milliseconds thereafter, he pulled it together faster than ever, bought the dumb pool and came home. I paced around saying "just. go. swimming…just go swimming, ha! " for about 15 minutes before he arrived. Hugs all around, poor thing, spending so much time taking care of me and other stuff, no time to contemplate the potential shenanigans likely to ensue beginning like, tomorrow. Also, probably a dash of denial. He's a deal with it as it happens kind of guy for reals.


Of course we'll figure out how to go places with babies. I am not afraid. I just want to try to prepare for some ease and comfort for we caregivers in the first few weeks of what might be total chaos. If it's not total chaos, great! Plus, I just want to be outside for more than 5 minutes at a time.


So, what else is there to say on this day before the day of days?


A few years ago, we decided to raise chickens. Mostly we wanted their eggs but we were open to occasionally having one for dinner too. We started out with 26 birds and about 10 of them turned out to be roosters. A flock of 16 hens only needs 1-2 roosters around. So, as they reached the correct age and size for eating, we knew we had to act and cull the flock. We gathered our equipment and an experienced friend to show us how to slaughter a chicken and pluck it and stuff. We set the stage.


I was raised for about half of my life in a city and the other half in a sort of suburbia/tourist destinationy kind of place, so killing chickens seemed like a huge deal to me. So, being on the contemplative side I thought that the occasion of slaughtering one's first self-raised animals warranted words of some kind or another. A speech. So, as we all stood around the roosters chosen to be killed by our very hands and specially purchased instruments, I tried to think of something really awesome to say. Everyone was waiting. The silence was weighty.


I looked into the cage of victims and finally figured out what it was I should say. It was something that captured my complex internal feelings about the situation (a mixture of glee, guilt and something primal) perfectly. I took a deep breath, grimaced in my special way and said, "Well! Sorry dudes!". Deep, no? I was not prepared for the laughter.


Yeah, so here I am on the eve of the birth of our children. Is there a more poignant moment? A moment more worthy of weighty words and well thought out sentiments? Not to me there isn't. Not today anyway. I considered "sorry dudes", because I'm not sure we shouldn't apologize to the children we bring into this world, but it's not the sentiment I'm going for. It doesn't portray my joy or excitement at all.


So what do I say? How do I feel? It's indescribable really. I'm awestruck, nervous. Anxious, happy. I want to sing and dance and cry. Love. Joy. Terror. The roller coaster is cranking up the incline and tomorrow? Whoosh! Weeee!


The only phrases I can think to say are "holy sh*t" and "bon voyage!". There really should be a single word or phrase for all of this emotion. There probably is one of those do-it-yourself German words. The only English word I can think of is, "wow". How poetic. Whatever.


Anyway. Here we go. Away we go.


Wow.

Holy Sh*t.

Bon Voyage.




Thursday, June 3, 2010

38 weeks!!!

38 weeks! Full term for singletons! Neat-o! The stats say 50% of twin pregnancies get to term but I thought for sure we'd be in the pre-term category. Go team!


I thought I'd list the "damage" for posterity.

I've gained about 80#

I've gained a distinct and slightly disturbing afternoon TV habit, but I like it.

Super puffy hands and feet with the occasional cankle

Really achey hands, wrists and insteps

A super nice staring out of the window habit

My stretch marks arrived yesterday. YESTERDAY!!!

Severe heartburn arrived yesterday. There isn't enough calcium in the world to soothe it.

and the good

No hemhorrhoids! YAY!

No constipation

Time to read


The only physical side effect of pregnancy that I was dreading was hemorrhoids. I'm glad I don't have them, but considering what has shown up in the past few days, I'm not assuming that they still won't show up. Just a few days ago I thought I was getting out of this without stretch marks. I had dared not speak it until this week and blammo! There they are. So if I wake up with a hemorrhoid tomorrow, I have only myself to blame. I don't mind having the stretch marks, I just thought I had weaseled my way out, and to get them in the last week of pregnancy is sort of mean don't you think? Gregg, sweet thing, "can't see them". The heartburn is freaking epic. How's about a razor blade cocktail with a boiling vinegar chaser? Luckily it's not constant, but it has woken me up a couple of times and once or twice i thought I was going to hurl. Cereal is my main food group now and that keeps it under some control.


Ahhh! 4 days to go.




Tuesday, June 1, 2010

37 weeks 6 days

Woah! My mood is swinging all over the place. Normally, I'm super stable. Creepily stable. For the past few days though I've been either on the dark side or on the edge of it. I'm trying to remain open to the mood, knowing that if I try to shove it down, it will not pass. I am trying to pinpoint its origins though and this is what I've come up with so far:

1) I think I've been at home by myself a bit too long. I was ready for about 4 weeks of home alone time, but I got 7. The 3 extra weeks have affected me more than I thought. I look at my date book and it says things like, "get those shape-up shoes". This is the extent of my plans, because I have no idea what it's going to be like when the twins come home. I'm preparing for total insanity, but I just. don't. know.
2) Ummm...Impending parenthood anyone??!? Transition is crisis, I know, I know.
3) The realization that no matter how much we have prepared, we are not prepared and cannot be.
4) I think I have some residual grief about needing IVF. I think the feelings are about spontaneity or something, about which Gregg would (and will) say, "eff that!" and would (and will) be correct.

Ah! I feel better for having made a list. Lists make me feel better.

So, we went to our pre-op appointment today and everything went fine. Actually it was sweet. We got a lot of "see you in 6 weeks" comments and good wishes from the clinic staff. Poetically, in the hall we saw our IVF Doc (Dr. B) for the first time since we were turned over from the IVF folks (practically perfect in every way) to the OB folks (less than perfect, ahem). He remembered us and seemed excited for the impending delivery, which made me excited.

The plan is this: c-section Monday, first case of the day. Spinal anesthesia. Sutures not staples. No narcotics. If everything is good, breastfeeding within 90 minutes. Gregg can stay with the babies to make sure no one gives them formula. I spoke to my lactation peeps who assured me they have my back. They encouraged me and Gregg to brag about our qualifications shamelessly to get what we want.

I'm good with it.

So I told my lie and got an ultrasound, but it didn't go as expected. As soon as he told me he was doing the ultrasound he said, "but we'll forgo the measurements". I nearly burst out laughing because that's what I do when I'm in the middle of a half truth. I can't help it. Half truths rarely work out. They really are not concerned about the weights. He expects that they're both going to be gigantic, so he's happy. Therefore, I must trust. I'm okay with this. No choice. All I saw on the screen was a big pile of chubby limbs. All of the limbs looked fat and healthy, so I feel okay about the babies again.

The last post generated some really amazing emails from friends and family about their experiences with OB care. Gregg's mom had a similar experience nearly 40 (yup, almost 40 sweetie!) years ago when she was pregnant with him...never the same clinician, people who didn't seem to be doing their job to their best ability, the brush off. It seems to be really common which is comforting yet completely disconcerting and enraging at the same time. I know a lot has been written about this topic, so I won't go on. A side note though...I would not recommend watching "The Business of Being Born" during pregnancy. We made the mistake of watching it early on the pregnancy and I became semi-distraught and had some contractions. Gregg at one point turned it off because he got really PO'd. A very informative film though.

So anyway. I'm feeling fine. Babies on Monday. Who's babies? Our babies. Fat healthy babies.

I'm going to gorge myself on chocolate and omega 3's for the next few days. The mood will lift. It's lifting already. Thanks for listening.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

37 weeks 4 days

Just a quickie. Yeah, no, not really.

I would really recommend reading all three parts of Murgdan's birth story over at Conceive This! (link at right). It is remarkable. I'm writing this in a semi-rage.

Her story made me want to post about some things I've been avoiding writing about. It's the way that I feel that I've been treated as a patient at my clinic. Why have I been hesitant to discuss it? Because I have this hang up about whining. I mean my own whining, not the whining of others, which I usually feel is totally justified. I feel guilty about complaining about any aspect of this experience because I worked so hard to get here. And then there's the guilt about those that had to work even harder to get here. The guilt about those who never do. There are worse experiences in life.

I do realize that I am more critical than the typical patient because I am a nurse practitioner. I practice in a different specialty, but I know how patients should be treated. While my annoyances have been minor, after reading Murgdan's tale, I now see what the potential consequences of my "easy-going" personality, and I cannot let this put me or my family at risk. I also realize that "easy-going" for me actually means "afraid to ask for what I want or need because I don't want to make people angry". Screw that!

We've known for a while that the boys would have to be delivered via c-section because of their positions, whether planned or unplanned. I've come to terms with the reality that I will not likely experience a natural birth ever, ever. This is fine. I am content, and frankly, knowing the exact days of conception and birth is a control freak's wet dream. I'm glad to know it will most likely go smoothly. I really expect it to be a mellow, calm affair. However, one phrase from nursing school keeps ringing in my mind: "forget the birth plan, because it sets patients up for failure". So here I am, with what appears to be a simple plan, with that phrase ringing in my ears and with my subtle distrust of my care providers...what's a girl to do? All of that and knowing that c-sections aren't great for anyone unless they are needed...and I'm in the category that needs one...arrrgghhh. It makes me want to cry.

So what's been so annoying? Trivial stuff. They've forgotten that I'm a healthcare provider. They've forgotten that I had IVF at their very clinic. I've only seen my assigned doctor 3 times. I only saw him the 3rd time because I politely said to the nurse, who is another issue, "am I seeing Dr. R today?" I'm scheduled to see him and then someone else always walks in. I'm considered a high risk patient, but things have been going so well that I have been treated like the boring patient that I really, and thankfully, am. I know this is okay from a clinical perspective, but from a patient care perspective, it sucks. I should not have been assigned to the high risk clinic automatically. Also, they should have told me every time that I wasn't seeing the provider I was scheduled with. We do this at our clinic, and I'm really proud. I have been tested for syphilis 4 times in the past 2 years. Ready? I don't have syphilis!!! Save the system some freakin' money! They use the wrong sized blood pressure cuff. The nurse calls me "cinnamon" which makes me think she can't read. When she calls it out into a crowded waiting room, I say loudly for all to hear, "that's NOT my name". Patients will find a way to get back at you... She put my 12 weeks pregnant weight as my pre-pregnancy weight, which makes me worried that no one cares that I've gained 80 pounds. The due date is off by 3 days (they have one that is 3 days later) which I've brought up several times because I'm worried that they are going to wait too long to take them out. The boys' weight discrepancy doesn't seem to be an issue for them, but they should have noticed that it is for me because I've asked about it so many times. None of these things is that important, right? But it makes me distrustful, and that is important.

So, I've been practicing not expecting too much and trying not to fear these people. I know, as a clinician, that they can get babies out and help them if they need it. As a clinician I have access to more information than a typical patient, so I know that there is no reason to take healthy twins prior to 38 weeks, even though a quick Goog search would lead you to believe otherwise. (it lead me to believe it all this time, until I delved deeper when I was in an insomniac panic about them being inside of me too long because no one would listen to me about the due date and I read the actual studies). The other lie that the Goog tells is that twins are "more mature" at earlier gestational ages, there is no evidence to back this up. It was disproven. Premies are premies, near-termers are near-termers. I just want them here for selfish reasons. I figured out that the docs don't care that I will be 38 weeks 5 days, just that I will be in my 38th week. As a lactation consultant, I want 38 weekers, because 37 weekers often have trouble at breast. So, I hang onto these things to make myself trust.

So what is the consequence of feeling a little distrustful? I'm going to lie to get another ultrasound. I've suggested and requested and have been rejected for what I feel are inadequate reasons. I really want another growth scan. My research says it's warranted and I'm tired of them doing things to me that are really not needed in spite of me saying no, yet not getting things that may be needed because I'm just a patient making a suggestion (as a healthcare provider, I know these games go on all of the time, the ignore and pat the patient on the back game)(I've been told that patients like me because I explain everything to them, pros, cons, sometimes taking their suggestions, sometimes not, but always telling them why and never treating them like they don't know what they are talking about even when they really, really don't and I'm glad). It's really frustrating to be treated like you don't know anything when you have the same degree that your provider does. So at our non-stress test on Tuesday, I'm going to tell them that I think baby A turned head down...and hey! Why don't we check their estimated weights while we're at it? I think it will work. Sick, but I need to know if smaller twin is okay to make it to June 7 because I am his mother.

Courtesy. Reading the chart. Treating patients like individuals. Making sure patients never feel brushed off. Notice the patient or at least pretend to. Make sure at least one person in the clinic knows the patient's entire story and that the patient knows you talk to that person. Simple lessons I've taken to heart.

What other lesson? I'll be polite when I have to, but not when I don't have to. Politeness for politeness sake? Bah! No one has to like me.

Now I will wallow in the guilt of complaining. Bah!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

37 weeks

My thighs don't move when I walk. I'm walking from the knees down.

I'm using a wooden spoon to scratch my itchy calves and feet because I break out into a sweat with the effort of trying to reach them. Want to come over for dinner?

My cervix isn't open, probably never was. My blood pressure is 110/60.

I'm comfortable. The babies are comfy too. I'm content.




Sunday, May 23, 2010

36 weeks 4 days

I have come to acceptance. The boys will just remain living in my belly for eternity. It's too bad really because hamburgers and rainbows are both really good things that I think they should experience. People who just live inside their mama's bellies, kicking and hiccuping, don't get to experience these things. They just get heartbeats, gas bubbles, muffled Beck and kicks in the rear from their womb-mate. Boys, I assure you, you will still get to experience these things when and if you come out.

I realized that I have actually traversed the stages of grief (sort of) in the past week...
1) Denial: I can't believe that they're not here yet. It's less denial than amazement or disbelief, I guess.
2) Anger: What the hell are they waiting for???? Let's go!!! Get born!!! SHEESH!!! (This being said whilst trying to shake them out like ketchup from a bottle, Gregg laughing, because it was pretty funny. He laughs, and that's why I love him.)
3) Bargaining: If you come out in the next 24 hours, you can go to Toys-R-Us on your 6th birthday. And we'll get a pool. A good pool. And I'll buy you a car. But you have to share it.
4) Depression: I skipped this one, but had a mild sense of ennui and despondency which sort of counts I think.
5) Acceptance: What am I thinking? The longer they stay in the better (to a point). Also, this has an end date. It's June 7th. That's only 2 more weeks. Get over it and be grateful! SHEESH!!!

My uterus is a vault. I'd better not be one of those women who can carry 18 pounds of baby, because that is just...oh my God, I come from pilgrim, pioneer and slave stock. These boys are made of pilgrims, pioneers, slaves and Newfoundlanders. I should have known they would not be premature. In another time, I would be walking across the entire country or plowing a field or harpooning whales until they just fell out and I wouldn't be complaining. I mean, I did know at the outset that they could be premature, but what I didn't allow myself to consider was that they could be full term. That without intervention, they might be born at 40 weeks. I put together a "just in case they're premature" kit at some point during this pregnancy which included premie diapers and a medium-sized lot of used premie clothing that I won on Ebay. Today, I unpacked the premie clothes from the hospital bag and put the premie diapers into the store room for liquidation after they arrive, because they aren't gonna be needing 'em. Yaaay!!!

Listen to me rant...I'm only 36 weeks...they still are considered premature really...I'm just...
wow. Totally grateful, really. Nothing is happening. No contractions. No nothing. I'm going to have to revise my baby ticker, because I do not suspect they will actually be here in 4 days. Am I jinxing myself? I bet that my cervix is actually closed again.

Do you think we can apply for driver's licenses 16 years in advance? They're going to be driving us home from the hospital after they're born and I don't want them to break any laws. At first, I mean. After a couple of weeks, okay.

Ranting and raving lunatic.

(PS: I hope not to offend anyone whose babies are in NICUs with my whining. This could still happen to us. Even full termers end up in NICUs... and universe? I'm not looking for any lessons here, m'kay?)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

36 weeks

We made it to 36 weeks. Holy schmoly. Earlier this week, I hit a new level of discomfort, but that has suddenly passed. I couldn't breathe, eat, go to the bathroom or sleep on either side. It was teary jaw clenching discomfort. After about 2 days and nights of this, I was very cranky. I considered renting a lay-z-boy. I was all about desperation and irritability. I was irrational. I thought, hey! Gregg could just do a c-section the kitchen... Then...it just stopped. I can breathe, I'm even hungry again. I slept through the night (besides pee breaks every 90 minutes.) It sucked, but it's gone today and I am rejoicing and just trying to relax my jaw. The boys were already low, but they must have moved even lower.

We went to several appointments yesterday. The report is awesome. The boys' estimated weights are 7# and 6# (wowie!!!). The tech couldn't really get great measurements on the 6 pounder because he's more posterior, so she thinks he may actually be bigger. Apparetnly these measurements can be off by about 1/2# either way. They have dropped into my pelvis, but they're still breech as expected. My cervix is dilated 1 cm. Yippeeee!! Things are happening. I have contractions on my appointment days because of the activity and long ride, but not really when I'm at home. I'm spilling a little protein in my urine, but my blood pressure is fine, so no one is concerned. We were a little concerned about the size difference and hoped to get another growth check later this week, but we were reassured and no follow up scan was scheduled.

I tried my best to convince them that we could just schedule the c-section anytime now, but they saw me coming and said no way lady. Every patient tries this I'm sure. I tried to use the size difference as a reason. No. The protein? NO. The fact that they don't have the correct due date (it's 3 days later than the real one because of a charting error)? No, no, NO! They're going to let the babies tell us when they want to come, which I agree with in my normal state of mind, but we're so ready that I'm not rational. They did say that they didn't think I would last another whole week. This is exciting to hear, but the Goog says never to listen to that kind of prediction, so I'm trying not to. After the internal exam, I had some spotting. I got super excited about this, but nothing came of it. It feels strange hoping for contractions, cramping, spotting, a mucus plug, water breaking, swelling so bad that they have to take them out because they suspect pre-eclampsia. I have been warding these things off for so long. Now I'm looking for ways to induce labor. I'm drinking the raspberry leaf tea. I plan on taking an actual walk. I'm thinking I need to go for more rides down our washboard dirt road. We might even do IT. Yeah, that.

I invested in a couple of bedwetting pads to have under me in case my water breaks, which only happens to like 50% of women, but I'm hopeful. I figured we could use them for the boys for the inevitable bedwetting in their future. One is on the couch, one on the bed. It's very clinical, for such a monumental moment. Waiting for the primordial soup to make a big ol' primordial mess.

Our astrologer friend says go for the libra moon that's coming this weekend. If only I could control this...

Let's go babies! It's nice out here!

I wish we had a pool.


Friday, May 14, 2010

35 Weeks 2 Days

The other night, my insomnia returned. I was sitting up in bed 2 nights ago when the babies tried to turn over. They tried really hard, but I don't think they were successful. I think lower baby is now transverse and low in my pelvis because I can feel limbs thumping directly onto my hips and groin ligaments. He feels really snug in there. We won't see them until next Tuesday.

But that's not the big story...it's just a lead up. I think their attempts got things going a bit. The morning after their position change, my belly felt heavier and different. My back pain was gone, which could also be because I figured out how to sway my lower back more extremely when I walk. My belly felt tingly and magical...and then...contractions. Not that hard or that painful, but regular. They began at 1 pm, a tightening at the top of the belly moving in a wave to the bottom with occasional mild menstrual like cramps. I wasn't really doing anything active, just sitting there. I began counting and tracking, knowing that if I had 6 within an hour, I needed to go to labor and delivery to see if my cervix was dilating. I drank a bunch of water and got onto my side. I called Gregg when I hit 6 and we were off. We packed the car, I took a shower, he took a picture just in case these were my last pregnant moments. We were misty eyed and mad at the traffic. I had about 14 more on the way to the hospital. We got to L & D and I was hooked up... and then. And then? 3. I had 3 in 3 hours. False labor. Oh well...a great practice run. My cervix is still closed, but I'm 70% effaced. This means nothing and does not predict when true labor will start, but I like thinking we're almost there. The docs at the hospital were surprised that I have not been experiencing this for the entire pregnancy. Yeah, no. The best part of it was the Gatorade. Hospital Gatorade tastes a lot better than convenience store Gatorade. Maybe the University of Florida's Hospital gets the best Gatorade because they invented it. My back still feels good today. At our appointment the other day, they had me in a position that induced tears, and I hope I don't get that bad again because I'm walking well for the first time in 2 weeks.

As of today, we have arrived at the average delivery date for twins. 35 weeks 2 days. I asked the babies if they wanted to be born today or Saturday and to give me 1 thump for today, 2 for Saturday. I got two thumps, so we'll see.

I'm really grateful to have made it this far and I cannot help but review in my mind the various thoughts I've had along the way. I can't believe there was only a 3% chance of us conceiving twins and that we did. I'm really grateful to have only gone through IVF once. I remember desperate Google searches for the odds of IVF working on the first try. I remember saying "anything but IVF". I remember the dawning realization that we couldn't get pregnant by ourselves. So many events. So many steps. So many more to go.

Last year at this time, we were trying to come to terms with a potentially childless life, and we were okay with it. Now I'm not, but I was then. I went to my local Mini dealer and told them I was about a year away from buying a new Mini Cooper. I told them this because if IVF didn't work, I was going to spend my way out of the inevitable mild depression that would accompany the failure (this in spite of being okay with childlessness.) Mini called me the other day and said they had a Mini I might like and reminded me that 1 year had passed. It was an amazing and startling reminder of my psychological state at that time. I said no thank you, we bought a station wagon.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

34 weeks

Meh. Grrrr. Ooomph. Gruuunt. That's me turning over in bed. Gregg actually saw me do it for the first time in a while and got this look on his face like he just couldn't believe it. "Can you do this?", he said sweetly as in "can you make it? can you go on?". Can I do this? I asked myself. I'm doing it. It's being done. I just want to make it 2 more weeks. They can stay in longer as desired, but I demand that they stay in at least 2 more weeks because I'm the mother and I say so, and that's all it takes right?

We went to the doc the other day for a how are you visit at which we were given their eviction date. June 7th, scheduled c-section if they are still in and still breech. This date seems so far away. I don't think I'll make it that far. That's 38 weeks and 5 days. While it would be great for them, I just can't imagine getting there. I'm almost praying for 36 weeks and 1 minute. One minute is past 36 weeks, right? Truth be told, I can see that I am one of those women who is going to beg for them to be out not much past 37 weeks. I had no idea I was one of those women and in the past I dared to have scorn. Ha! Dr. R actually said that my comfort level could determine an earlier date. Yippeee! I'm uncomfortable. My appointment was in the afternoon, so Dr. R got to see my back pain and inability to walk normally in full effect. He was like, "wow". I was like, "yeah". It's my sacrum and hips spreading under massive weight and pressure. Sometimes it hurts and sometimes it doesn't. More bed rest.

I'm anemic in spite of my best efforts to overdose on iron. So now I'm taking even more iron. I may have to gag down some liver. I actually like liver pate, just not the organ on the plate.

My dad, esoteric even during non-eventful times, told me he's been watching his dreams for our ancestors, and that I should be too, because they are watching now. He also reminded me that the moment of the birth of a child is the reason for the existence and actions of all previous generations. My dad, the mystic. I fall into a coma about 4 times a day and cannot seem to remember many of my dreams right now. Mostly they have featured old high school friends, which is probably because some of them are expecting right now or are parents of young children. I think my mind is getting ready to join the motherhood club. I cannot describe how much support I've gotten from other mothers in my life. It's been beautiful. I had no idea. I'm so grateful. I'm writing more mother's day cards than usual this year because now I get it.

My rear is numb because I weight too much for this hard chair. 75 pounds. I'm not worried about it, but it's an unexpected physical challenge, and I thought my butt had way more padding than it has turned out to have.

oomph.






Sunday, May 2, 2010

33 weeks

Well, I have suddenly become pretty uncomfortable. That's an understatement, but I really hate to complain and whine. I'm still not miserable, I keep telling myself…still not miserable, still not miserable, still not miserable. On Saturday I woke up unable to walk well. It just wouldn't happen. I was really, really slow and pretty weak. It just seemed as though my legs and hips had had enough. I continued about my already minimal activities of daily living in spite of this and was rewarded with serious hip and low back pain that made every step really difficult. Miraculously, at about 9 pm last night, I discovered that I can walk sideways and backwards without much pain. Ridiculous. I see the humor in this, but I'm uncomfortable so I can only muster a sarcastic chuckle. I've heard this can happen when the babies move lower into the pelvis, but I don't sense that that has happened. I think that the babies suddenly gained a bunch of weight and my body is rebelling. If I'm correct, then my body should adapt in a few days and I'll figure out how to bear the new weight and walk again. I'm hoping this isn't the final mutiny against the abuse my body has been put through over the last months. Luckily, I'm not having any uterine cramping or even many Braxton-Hicks. I have like one Braxton-Hicks a day at 7 pm. It's uncanny. That has been going on for weeks upon weeks though, probably due to some circadian rhythm related phenomenon or something.


I'm anxious about the physical deconditioning that is happening due to lack of ability to, well, move. I hope I have the physical stamina to labor, if that should be the way it goes. I keep thinking about the time I ran the Bay to Breakers without any training. I did it. When it comes to sports, I often do better not having trained. I'm hoping that would apply to labor too. Beginners luck. This could be a fantasy. Yeah, probably is.


I'm going back to bed now.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

32 weeks

First of all, it's 3:30 in the morning. I really though I would sleep well tonight because we actually managed a trip to the beach today, a field trip to nature that left me too energized.

We went to the doctor yesterday. The babies are estimated to be 4#15 ounces and 4#10 ounces. This is over 9 pounds of baby. The cervix is high thick and tightly shut, a reason to hope that nothing exciting will happen in the next 2 weeks. They are breathing in there. They have hair. The tech said in her hilariously dry way, "They have hair", then after a moment, "They have a lot of hair" then, "Oh, they're hippies." This made us chuckle in the room, and then hysterical in the car. Gregg says that the presence of hair makes them more real to him, and he got really excited about seeing it. We cannot tell if it is curly or straight. One was sucking his thumb.
We return in 2 weeks, then the appointments go to weekly non-stress testing/ biophysical profiles. They're both still breech and I cannot imagine either of them turning now. They seem locked into position, but we could be surprised. I'm not going to try any of the tricks to get them to turn, as I would feel awful in a headstand right now and really bad for putting ice on their heads. Although I sing James Taylor songs to them daily, they really like it when I listen to Beck.

Yesterday we also went to Toys-r-Us to exchange a gift. That is a scary place. The tantrums going on in there were frightening. It smelled awful. The lighting? Reprehensible. They sell some grocery items there, which I didn't know and now wish I could unknow. Strangely, in a fit of parental...something...we signed up for the rewards card the cashier offered us and vowed only to use it online and to bring the boys there never. Never, ever. I think in the future we might have to buy games and puzzles and dolls and balls and bikes and on and on and on, that's why the card. Frankly, they will mostly be required to learn to knit, sew, make stuff out of stuff around the house and generally choose their own adventure with the abundance of stuff already around the homestead, but who's going to supply the soccer ball? The whiffle ball set? Toys are stupid us. Unless someone around here decides to make a football from scratch, which wouldn't surprise me.

Oh, the rambly insomniac brain.

I've been home for about a week. I had an unexpected and blessedly brief identity crisis about 3 days in. It was of the "who am I? what category do I fit into?" variety that comes with a major imminent life change such as parenthood. My step mother said, "you're going to know exactly who you are in a few weeks." Wise words. I'm really glad I woke up the next day feeling relatively normal. I have the typical mini-panics about developmental delay, syndromes and disorders, sudden emergency, loss. I can talk myself down pretty quickly from this type now, because they've been occurring since conception. Frankly, there is nothing we could do about any of these things except manage them as they happen and all of these things are rare compared to rates of good outcomes.

We've been watching pregnancy and parenting related dramas and comedies lately. I was going to save my review for the end of the marathon, but I can't entirely wait because we saw one really great movie this week and one really terrible movie this week. The good one was as good as the bad one was bad. The good: "Away We Go". Best pregnancy movie ever. I identified with way too many aspects to list here. I watched it 3 times. I'm buying the soundtrack and the DVD. Loved it. The bad: "Motherhood". It made me suicidal in way too many aspects to list here. The premise that the "intellectual" main character had not done any examination of the potential trials and tribulations of parenthood prior to having babies makes me insane. This may be the pediatric primary care provider in me reacting. I guess I'm glad to know that parenthood is not all peachy and that it will require some evolution of my self.

Whatever. Blah, blah, blah.

I packed our bag. I'm going to put it into the car on the day of our next appointment. That will be 34 weeks. That's the gestational age that one of my friends who has twins went in and they said, "go over to the hospital, we're taking them now". AAAAAH! EEEEEK!!!

Last of all, now it's 4:30 am.





Thursday, April 15, 2010

31 weeks

I decided to stop working this week. I thought I could make it to May 1st, but no. The decision came in a sudden flash of insight after seeing a patient's mom who I thought was about 20 weeks pregnant but revealed that she was actually due in 10 days and "miserable". I thought, "self, what the hell are you doing here? Home with you!" as I realized I am about 3 times her size. I'm having a hard time walking, even though the babies are still riding high. I can't get dressed without a big to-do. I told my boss and my co-workers that I was done and I actually cried quite a bit. Even though I plan to return to work in the Fall, the me that returns will be much changed.

Gregg pointed out that I have been working pretty much non-stop since I was 14 years old. This will be my longest period of unemployment. Illegal underaged dishwasher, fast food girl, waitress, waitress, waitress, lab rat, library worker, donation solicitor, caviar quality control in Alaska, retail, retail, retail, CNA, CNA, RN, NP. Onward to the job of motherhood. He sweetly said he was very proud of me for making it this far and also pointed out that three or four twin moms we know from the clinic had bed rest from 24 weeks on. That would have stunk. I had a dream that night that I was running anchor for a relay team and almost winning when I looked down at my belly and realized that I was hugely pregnant. I finished, but I'm not sure if my team won or not. Last leg of the race. Cue tears.

Thankfully, I am not "miserable". I am not "sick of being pregnant". I am really grateful for not having these feelings right now, but I know they could come. Mostly, I want to stay pregnant for the next 5 weeks minimum.

I have my knitting, my birth hypnotherapy training, audiobooks, npr, the internet, slow trips to the patio and garden to sit in the sun, and thinking and hoping. I can only read sitting up, not lying on my side, which makes me want a kindle reader. I just discovered that I can watch tv on the iphone, which is probably not a good thing. I have a hard time reading on my side from the iphone because it flip flops from landscape to page view inconveniently.

Something happened that really made me so happy yesterday...maybe to much information, but as a lactation consultant, no one can really blame me for getting excited about it. My breasts began to leak colostrum. Just a little. No pads needed yet, but one can dream. I read that I might need a larger bra size! Having purchased my first real-ish bras only about 8 months ago, this is truly a dream come true.

Okay babies, we're in the home stretch. Please stay in for 35 more days at least.
Thanks! Love, your mum and dad.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

30 weeks


Oh the fog. When the last hour of my last full day of work arrived, I couldn't do it. I had to go upstairs and take a nap. Suddenly, I'm very, very tired. Blindingly tired. I thought it was some esoteric phase of late pregnancy, like a trance, as in "the maternal trance". Mais non. It is just fatigue. The half days are great, but I'm not sure I can stay upright with my eyes open and my brain functioning for 4 hours straight at this point. I saw one of my favorite families yesterday in the clinic. They have had 4 babies in 5 years. She took one look at me yesterday and said: I know where you are right now. (Except, we're in the south, and what she said verbatim was, "I know where yerrat"). Patients have actually stopped pumping me with questions. They finally have sympathy. The "conversation" is now down to about 5 a day and my retort to the statement "ohyou'repregnant!!!!" is now a curt, "yup", and people seem to sense not to go any further.

The shopping is done. Now it is just packages arriving and arranging stuff and putting away stuff and making sure smoke detectors work and everything. I've washed some newborn and preemie stuff and all of the linens.

I'm planning on packing a bag to leave in the car tomorrow, just in case. May 20- June 2 is my mantra, but we cannot ignore the potential for emergency (and tragedy as well).

I've put things in the living room that will be there when GG and Mo arrive. Actually, on this point: Gregg was all, "can we put that stuff away?" and I was all,"are you in denial of what's about to occur here?" (except I didn't say my part out loud). My thinking is for us to get used to the baby gear in the heretofore adult space. His thinking is probably, "we have to look at this junk for the next year, and then other junk for years on end, so why do it sooner than we have to?" I am of both minds, really. I'm a preparer, he's a deal-with-it-in-the-momenter.

Gregg is supposed to be reading about labor so that he can help me without passing out if we get to go naturally. I'm reading about sleep training twins. He asked me if I bought anything that we didn't need for years on end (he knows how far in advance my preparation can go), and I said no, but then I realized I did buy one thing...a book about how to raise emotionally intelligent children. It has about 2 paragraphs about infancy, but it really is focused on toddlers and up, obviously I guess.

There is a bluebird family nesting right outside of the nursery window, and when I lay down in bed, I can watch the mom and dad come and go endlessly preparing the nest. It's very poignant. We're the same, except we have packages from amazon in our beaks, not dog fur and dried grass. Although babies probably wouldn't mind a bed made of dog fur and hay.

The roses, wisteria and azaleas are in full bloom. It's all very beautiful.

Some pics, as promised...


Gregg's lovely wall hanging. It made me cry.

This makes me cry too.

This will be put away tomorrow. Or I'll cry.

The closet isn't so bad!

Bluebird house. They nest. We nest.

30 gigantic weeks.

I remember 18 weeks

Friday, April 2, 2010

29 weeks

I've been to Paris. Madrid. Vancouver. Boise. This week though, I had an experience that will forever remain a highlight of my existence...I got to drive the motorized cart thingy at Target. I wondered for a while why everyone was smiling at me on my trip through, but then I realized I had a big grin on my face the entire time. I took out a few end-of-the-aisle products, knocked into a few corners and walls, but luckily, no humans were injured. My sister was with me and she provided assistance that I didn't even realize I needed at this point. I recommend bringing an experienced parent, and I mean a parent with children under the age of 5, on baby shopping expeditions. They know everything. It was fun pointing at stuff and having someone else put it into a cart. That! That! That! Very fun. I'm not sure why I thought doing it all myself was a good idea.

Our baby shower was a hoot. We got a lot of clothing, but not many basics (hence the trip to Target). We played a game that consisted of having to guess which candy bar was melted in the diaper. This was hilarious. Melted chocolate in a diaper is an amazingly effective poo mimic. One was a Baby Ruth. Peanutty! My brother-in-law won that game. My Dad won the "how big is the belly" game by measuring his own. He is only 1 inch bigger circumference-wise. This reminds me that I'm not sure I will catch up to my Father-in-law's belly circumference, even with 8 weeks (+/-) to go. I'm at 44.5 inches, and the challenge is 52 inches.

We have named our children, but, for now, the most I'm going to post is "GG" and "Mo". These would be their real nicknames if we go that route. I'm not exactly sure why I'm not yet posting their true names. It feels complicated emotionally. We have shared the names with family and friends and I have even started telling strangers and patients. The only negative commentary I received was from a 5 year old patient with a speech-impediment who said "weeod". (To which the mother corrected, "it's 'weird' honey. and they're not weird, they're different".) I of course am bound by law not to reveal his dumb ol' name. For reals though, I didn't mind the comment. It was just funny. And we're quite sure people are leveling some heavy name critique out of earshot. Luckily, they're our babies and we don't care. Yay!

We are in between computers right now, the new one is not fully online but it has all of our most recent pictures on it, so no pictures this week, but probably next! I'll do my best.

This weekend is the semi-semi-final nursery set up. It looks like a mountain of presents with a crib in it right now. I'm not sure what we would have done if we had just started setting up the nursery. It takes a long time, a lot of effort and an incredible amount of dough. I've enjoyed every minute of it. Gregg made an incredibly beautiful and sweet wall hanging that I can't wait to post. What a guy.

The babies were 3 pounds each at their last ultrasound, measuring in the 72nd percentile and 1 week ahead of their gestational age. This seems good. They looked downright plump, but I know how scrawny they still are. Next one is not for a few more weeks.

I'm feeling the end. Today is my last full day at work. Then 4 weeks of 1/2 days, if I can stay on my feet. It's hard hauling around 195 pounds. I'm very, very slow.

I think there is at least one more big Target trip in my future. My shiny red motorized chariot awaits. Gregg will have to come with to do my bidding. Hark! Is that an obnoxious beeping sound? Oh, back up beep...I long for thee.

I used the back up function gratuitously just to hear the beep. I admit it. Yeah, whole aisles. Repeatedly.



Saturday, March 20, 2010

27 weeks

Ah the harness(es). Yes. I now have 2 belly harnesses. The first one served me well from 17 weeks until now, but it just couldn't hold the 27 week twin belly on its own any longer. The first contraption (made by Loving Comfort) did a really good job of redistributing the weight of the belly from my abdomen to my stronger lower back. I don't think I could have stayed on my feet as long as I have without it. I got the "Prenatal Cradle" harness last week. It uses my shoulders to hold up the belly. When I'm at work, I wear both. It's a semi-freakish scene underneath my clothing, but I really can't go without them. At home, I try to stay off of my feet, but if I have to do something, I wear the over the shoulder belly holder. Speaking of clothing...It's not going well. I cannot really even fit into my maternity clothes. I am now wearing my comfy stretchy pants to work and trying to pass them off as "business casual". No one seems to notice, luckily. I have 8 more full time days left, then it's down to half time.

The sleeping situation is getting rougher. I have not been able to sleep in the same bed with big daddy G for about 4 weeks because we have this really awesome organic cotton and wool futon mattress that, when I gained 40 pounds, felt like hell on my hips and gave me mild bursitis. The guest room has been a godsend for that reason alone, but in the past week, G's been grateful that I'm not in his bed for a few other reasons...(1) the tossing and turning (2) the grunting (3) the 4 nightly trips to the pee pot (4) the 2 nightly trips for water because I'm as thirsty as can be (5) the once nightly trip for half a block of cheese and an apple. Yup, I am up 4-7 times a night. I can fall rapidly back to sleep about 4 out of 7 nights, but the other three I have to read or obsess or something else through the wee hours.

The dropping of things is just ridiculous. When G sees the kitchen after I've been in there, there is just silent resignation. 1/2 a gallon of orange juice on its side in front of the fridge? Guess who?

There is almost no driving. I can barely fit into a restaurant booth. I can't reach my plate comfortably anyway. A feed bag might really be easier. An attendant who could just feed me would be another viable option.

9 weeks to go. I mean, that is the amount of time I hope passes before the boys make their appearance. That would be 36 weeks gestational age. Although 37-38 weeks is optimal, 36 is really good too. 36 weekers go home with their parents in the same time frame that full term babies do, usually. Anytime prior to that could mean NICU time, and I'm not too into that.

We're trying not to buy anything else until the baby shower that work is throwing me next Sunday. I'm really excited about this because my sister is flying out from Cali, and my other sister and parents are coming. It will be the first time that my bio family and my work family will mingle. It will be at our house because of some scheduling snafu with the person who initially offered. We ordered our cakes last night. 2 super cute baby buggies!

Yeah, we're trying not to buy anything...except, through the magic of fiscal relativism, we just "had to" buy a new computer. It hasn't arrived yet. This one is on it's last legs and is more frustrating every day. We just narrowly escaped a $8,000-$18,000 HVAC replacement, so we figured "hey, a new computer is cheaper than that!" Dumb. (The first estimate, by Sears I don't mind revealing because it was so ridiculous, was about 18G. The second and third were for about 8G and the fourth guy actually did his job and fixed the thing for $75 bucks.) The HVAC failure happened during a week of hard freezes in Florida, but we managed. We would not be able to manage through a Summer without AC though. Not with 2 newborns.

Not with 2 newborns who will please not arrive until 36 weeks gestation or later thank you very much.

Spring is springing. I love this time of year here. Love it love it love it!

I've started to cook freezable meals to have on hand for the first 2 weeks of parenthood.

Ultrasound next Thursday.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

26ish

"Wow! You're expecting? I didn't know you were expecting! Do you know what your having? Twins boys??!! God bless you, that's gonna be double the trouble!"

I have to participate in the above conversation approximately 47 times every day. This is not an exaggeration. This is troof. I tried so hard not to get bitchy about this, because I am very happy to be in this position. However, I have to admit that it's beginning to wear on my sanity. I am going to analyze this conversation as a way of purging and coping, providing the answers I wish I could give:
a) "I didn't know you were expecting??!!" yeah, amazingly, I didn't call all of my patients to let them know. and by the way, you have not even been in the office in over a year, and also, we're not friends or family, soooo...
b) " Twin boys....double trouble" umm, 3 of your children are using the exam room as a jungle gym while your giving mountain dew to your 10 month old and you clearly have not followed the advice given by Andy Kaufman to use a bar of soap to, ummm, wash your body, and you think I might have some trouble?

okay. purged. grateful. I just never really liked attention.

Usually an attempt is made to expand the conversation to about 15 minutes, which I cannot allow. I have thus far refrained from yelling, "please! please! don't you know I have this conversation 47 times a day and I have 3 other patients waiting for me? PLEASE!!! STFU!"
So I've developed a technique to head it off at the start. It is curt and often causes some confusion...I just walk in the room, or, if I'm in the hall and I see someone with a look in their eye like they are about to accost me with THE CONVERSATION, I just say,

"Yuppregnant!twinboysdueattheendofMaynowedon'tknowtheirnameswhatcanIhelpyouwith"

If I remember to use the technique before 3pm, I bet I could reduce THE CONVERSATION to about 20 times a day. Tolerable.

I would recommend this phrase, with adaptations as desired, to anyone pregnant person dealing with large volumes of people on a daily basis.

Anywho...
I'm getting big. This, for some reason, continues to amaze me and everyone around me. I mean, this is what is supposed to happen. I was at the grocery store today and saw another pregnant lady, and we had a chat...she seemed slightly smaller in the belly than me and I was inwardly shocked to find out that she was 36 weeks pregnant. I'm a bit bigger and only 26 weeks. Yikes and yipes. I went to the OB right after for what big daddy G has dubbed "the meet and greet" (at which they say, "hi, you good? bye!"). I'm measuring 34 weeks. I know, twins...but, ummmm...I'm so big. I'm so big. 183 pounds. This is a 45 pound weight gain. Big.
We get to see the babies again on the 25th.

I wear compression hose, and I love them. They work. I love my harness too, but I had to get another kind that will go over my shoulders, because the under belly thing is not going to do much longer. I got a new bathrobe for the hospital.

Our baby shower is scheduled and things are being bought for us. This is so nice. One set of grandparents bought the stroller and the other the car seats. They have not arrived yet, but I'm beside myself with anticipation. We chose Maxi Cosi car seats, one in orange, one in blue. We did this because these are the University of Florida colors. Since the babies were conceived there, and will be born there, they are real baby gators, and we felt compelled to be campy in this way. I went to our local cloth diaper lady and bought a set of gently used, really cheap all-in-one cloth diapers of varying brands. I'm knitting my hands off.

I can no longer lounge on the couch comfortably. I grunt like the elderly.




Friday, February 26, 2010

24 weeks

A plague has visited our happy home. Gastroenteritis. The pukes and the poops. I and the babies survived it, but Big Daddy G just got started. I have to stay home to rest for a few days longer than I would if I were not pregnant, but I'm okay. I never even had a fever and never lost weight. We were supposed to have a fun weekend with company, but we had to modify that plan because this is really contagious. Yuck. We work in the cesspool otherwise known as pediatrics, so this happens occasionally. I'm just glad it wasn't too serious for me. We're disappointed about the weekend plan change, but it's the right thing to do.

I had my ultrasound yesterday and finally got some really cute profile pictures, but my scanner will not cooperate, and G is down for the count. I will post them ASAP...They weigh 1.5 pounds each. Twice as much as a few weeks ago.
One baby (Baby A/Lower baby) has my profile and the other (Baby B/Upper baby) has Gregg's. This amazes me probably more than it should. Of course we can't know who will have whose hair or freckles. Gregg's face, with red curly hair? My face with thinner brown hair? I can't wait to see. They really seem to have distinct personalities...Baby A seems very busy in there, while Baby B seems pretty mellow. These are our personalities too...Gregg is non-stop and I am non-go. If they really are like this, and one really looks like me and one like dad, they would have the opposite personalities that we do...little me would be busy and baby G would be calm. I wonder...

They really like it when I talk and sing and listen to music. That is, if movement means "like". It could mean, "please god stop". This reminds me that G and I had a fight about a month back about what kind of music the kids should be exposed to. I said, "everything, let them decide" while Gregg wants it tightly controlled to "protect them from sh*t". The fight started when a piece came on NPR about "good, listenable children's music" which went on to highlight some totally annoying stuff, but stuff I thought kids might get into. I said as much and Gregg went off, thoroughly disgusted. We fought. The only thing we could agree on in the end was that NPR almost never features anything we really like on its music reviews. They really work too hard not to offend anyone and include everyone and highlight technically good musicians at the expense of , well, enjoyment. Anyway, one can see how this argument between parents to be can devolve into one about the details of how to influence children to be...and I'm really glad we're not religious, or of different religions...because that must be a really great argument. Luckily, we didn't go there. Are we supposed to go there? That's too deep...

Well, last night I discovered some children's music that will probably please both of us. It's not wonderful, but it's a compromise...The Rockabye Baby series...slow music box lullaby versions of some of the music we're into...The Ramones, Radiohead, The Beach Boys...on and on...It will suffice for calming baby music...that, plus some classical and some folk vocals, Phoebe Snow, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, and so much else... That should get us through the first 6 months...

I also finally got a baby ticker widget thing. At first, I put 10 babies in it to be funny, but Gregg though we might have some confused relatives and the media calling. Plus, I put in our 37 week date, because that seems more realistic to me than 40 weeks. I didn't get one before because the images of the early fetal stage made me oddly queasy. Now the image is of a well formed little human...apparently more acceptable to my primitive brain. Weird.

90 days to go. That's nothing.



Sunday, February 21, 2010

23-24 weeks

A beautiful thing happened last week. Well, mostly super nice and sort of beautiful. Let me start from the beginning...
Our friends were going to move from California to within hours of us and almost made it when...a job fell through. We were a bit down about it, but feel happy to still have a free place to stay in San Francisco when next we go. The bonus about them moving nearby was that they recently had a baby boy and we were going to get some of their loot. We're still getting some, just not the big stuff. One of the things was an arm's reach co-sleeper. We decided that since they're not coming we were going to buy one. So, during lunch time at work the other day, I was looking them up online and saw that they were on sale, and said, "oh, I'm going to buy this tonight while it's on sale". The next thing I know, a credit card is placed next to the keyboard. It's my boss's. He said, "this is what my family is getting you for the babies and I don't want you to argue" in his broken chinese/tagalog accented english. I cried on the spot, because I'm a crier. What a sweetie. The environment of loving kindness at work in the past 2 months has been so refreshing.

Actually, something crazy is happening at work...we're having a twin boom, just like you read about. I've worked there for 6 years now and in that time we only had 2 sets of twins born. In the past 6 months we've had 7 sets. 7 sets not including ours. They just keep coming. It is totally insane. About 3 out of the 7 sets are a result of IVF, but 4 are naturally occurring. Most have been born at about 36 weeks. I'm in charge of 2 of the sets right now, both naturally conceived fraternal boys. Gregg is in charge of 1 of the sets. Neither of my moms had bedrest and only 1 out of the 4 babies had NICU time and all were born at more than 4.5 pounds. I quiz them extensively, way beyond my clinical needs. The families don't seem to mind it given our similar situation, which I divulge instantly. Most of the sets were born via c-section. Some are breastfeeding, some are not.
Interestingly, the parents of the twins in the practice present themselves as more capable than a lot of the singleton parents I've cared for. I don't think I'm projecting my desire to be confident when our babies arrive...I thought about that possibility. They just seem more prepared. They seem battle-ready and really confident. One of my sets only had extra help and hubby home for a week and was like, "I was ready to do this on my own within 4 days!". I was like...ummm...I've never even heard a singleton mom say that. I think our practice needs a twins club. I saw one of the sets of twins born last summer recently for a sick visit, and quizzed mom about her stroller choice. She said that they had a 50 pound twin stroller that wouldn't even fit into their new minivan. She couldn't even lift it anyway. They returned it. I don't remember which one it was...but I'm feeeling glad that I don't have my heart set on one of the 40+ pound strollers. They traded the monster for a svelte 29 pound model.

I try to read about childbirth, but it makes me crazy and nervous. I'm not going to be able to take any classes...I've been to some as a clinician, and have attended several births, so I think I might be alright. I think that the books would be sufficient if I could get through them without panicking. With twins, if the baby closest to the exit is head down, you can try for a vaginal delivery, but run the risk of having a c-section anyway if the other baby isn't head down or has trouble of some kind. That could mean one baby vaginally, then the other c-sec. I'm not opposed to this yet, but might be at the time. We shall see. I had a dream early in my pregnancy that I was in the delivery room and the nurse yelled out "they're vertex/vertex!!!", and hope it was a premonition. ("vertex" sort of means "head down").

Ultrasound Thursday. Also 24 weeks Thursday..."viability" day...wow.

Dear babies, please stay in for 13 more weeks!