Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Very Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

It's been a long time since I have been excited for Christmas.  This year I have so much to celebrate and I couldn't be happier. Last year I couldn't even begin to imagine that we would be celebrating Christmas with, not one, but two miracles.

We're having a pretty low key day. My mom is here and we are all going out to dinner instead of cooking. My in-laws will be here over New Year's. It's been a nice first Christmas. It makes me excited for next year when the girls will understand presents and toys. This year there is a lot of indifference on their part. Oh well. It's been fun for us to dress them up in silly Santa themed clothes.

Best presents ever!

   
Paige does not appreciate having to do tummy time on Christmas








Monday, December 23, 2013

3 months

Ok, it's really more like 3 months and 1 week, but...close enough. The passage of time is a very weird thing right now. We are basically living our life in 3-hour increments.  Everything we do revolves around feeding the babies and what we can do between feedings (shower? groceries? nap? cleaning?). Sometimes, I can't believe they are 3 months old already. Other times I wonder how they can only be 3 months. Being in the hospital feels like a lifetime ago.

Having preemies is a challenge as far as developmental milestones. They should be hitting all the milestones based on their due date and not their birth date, which puts them 7 weeks behind. I am trying not to google or read any parenting books to see where a "normal" 3 month old should be. I have a vague idea of what they should be doing, but I am trying not to stress too much about it. Our pediatrician will ask us at our appointments if they are doing certain things (smiling, cooing, etc) and usually we say no, but within a couple weeks they do it. So, it seems like they are behind the curve as far as birth date and ahead of it based on due date. The really hard part is we essentially had a very extended newborn phase. In the last couple weeks, they finally started cooing and smiling and responding to us and it is so amazing. It was a very one sided relationship up until then, which at times, could be frustrating. Especially when we are up at all hours. Don't get me wrong, newborns are sweet and snuggly and adorable, but after 2 months I needed something back from them. Why is it so gratifying to get a baby to smile at you?

They pretty much hate tummy time. Especially Paige. With a passion. I think she gets her dislike of exercise from me. She will tolerate it for about a minute before she starts fussing. I try to let her work it out for awhile, but then she just starts screaming and burying her face in the blanket. Then it takes a good 20 minutes to calm her down again. I end up not giving them enough tummy time because of that. They do a little better when we lay them on our chests. They are still managing to get stronger as far as holding up their heads, though.

Riley is having bad problems with reflux. Sometimes, it seems like she is spitting up everything she eats and she is doing it all over our couch. I feel like I need a hazmat suit to sit on the couch now. She is definitely in pain for a lot of her feedings and we have to struggle to get her to eat 2 ounces while Paige consistently eats 3 1/2 - 4 ounces each time. We thought there was no way she gained enough weight between her 2 and 3 month appointments. But, she surprised us and gained over 2 pounds! I don't know how it's possible. At their 2 month appointment, they both weighed 8lb2oz (they were also the same length. crazy, right?) and weren't even on the growth chart. At their 3 month appointment, Riley weighed 10lb6oz and is in the 6th percentile and Paige weighed 10lb13oz and is in the 10th percentile. Rock stars! So, obviously the reflux isn't hurting her growth so we got some zantac to help her with the pain. Unfortunately, she hates it because it is peppermint flavored. The pharmacy tried to cover it up with grape but it's still really minty. I can't imagine any baby would like peppermint, but who knows. She has only been taking it for a few days so we don't know yet if it's working.

Sleep is getting a little better. We now get about 5 solid hours a night. The sleep from about 1am - 6 or 7. It's fantastic. I sleep so deeply now. I used to not sleep very well at all.  I would toss and turn and wake up throughout the night. Now I am dead asleep the second my head hits the pillow and I don't move all night. I actually went to brush my hair the other morning and didn't even need to. Not a single tangle since I didn't move all night. I am hoping we can soon get rid of the midnight/1am feeding and get them sleeping all night.  That will be positively dreamy. They are still sleeping in our room in the rock n plays. I'm not sure when or how we will transition them to their cribs, but I know we probably need to do it soon.

Our biggest problem right now is their heads are getting flat. They both favor their right and always lay with their heads turned to the right. Riley has a flat spot on the right side of her head that we hope can be fixed with just repositioning her head. She isn't really that bad. Paige also has the flat spot on the right, but also the back of her head seems really flat. Her head is in much worse shape. Our pediatrician recommended a moon pillow so I bought that and a noggin nest to see if those help. She wants us to give it one more month of using the pillow and keeping them off their heads before we try anything more drastic. I really hope this works because I would hate for either of them to need to wear the helmet.

That's basically where we are at 3 months. It's been amazing, wonderful, exciting and pure bliss. It's also been exhausting, frustrating, overwhelming and scary. I find myself in this weird place of being excited to watch them grow and discover new things, but sad that they are growing up and won't be little babies for very long. They finally got too big for their newborn clothes and it made me a little sad to clear all those clothes out and bring out the 3-6 month wardrobe. It's crazy that just a couple months ago the newborn clothes were way too big for their tiny little bodies.

Also, I'm not gonna lie - I sometimes miss my old life. I miss being able to be spontaneous. I miss deciding we want to go out to eat and leaving the house 5 minutes later. I miss being able to watch a tv show or movie without having to pause it to tend to a fussing baby. I miss sleep. But, I wouldn't go back. I wouldn't change anything.

Here are some pictures from 1 to 3 months. Riley is on the left and Paige is on the right. People always ask us how we tell them apart. SH tells them that Paige is blond and Riley has darker hair. I just tell people it isn't an issue because they don't actually look anything alike. At least, I don't think so.




So tiny!
Synchronized baby squirming
Yeah! We made it onto the growth chart!



Multitasking. SH just took this picture of me writing this post.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Blogiversary

Last week was my 1 year blogiversary.

It seems appropriate that I am posting about this a week late. That's how I operate with this blog. I am not a writer and I have a hard time opening up to people - even anonymously on the internet. I was/am constantly thinking of things to write about and spend a lot of time composing blog posts in my head. And then they never happen. Or they happen weeks later. I have good intentions and somehow just never get around to writing out more than the title of the post. Sigh. It's the procrastinator in me.

Despite that, I am so happy I started this blog and found all of you. I only wish I had started it sooner! I could have really used you guys during my first two rounds on IVF. It took me a while to get into reading blogs, actually. It seemed like at first, every new blog I found had just gotten a BFP or was going in for their first ultrasound. That was, of course, great news and very hopeful, but it wasn't where I was at in my journey.  Then I finally started finding people who were in the same place I was and had the same problems I did. I wanted to talk to all of you because I finally found people who got it. The only way to do that was to start my own blog. So here I am. And I actually have followers. What? I am more surprised than anyone that there are people - strangers! -who are actually interested in what I have to say. It baffles me, to be honest. Thanks to all of you who continue to read my babbling and for all your comments. I appreciate them more than you can know.

I'm still in a little bit of shock at how different my life is one year later. It is, of course, what I was wishing for but didn't really believe would happen. I had essentially given up hope. And then to be blessed with two? It still feels very surreal. I don't know what's going to happen to this blog. I don't really think I have it in me to be a mommy blogger. At the same time, I don't want to leave this space just yet. I am too invested in all of you and your stories and I want to see you all be successful. So, for now I'll continue to write the occasional post and share the occasional baby picture. I'll definitely be reading all of your blogs and commenting when I can.

Cheers!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Regrets

I have a terrible tendency to dwell on the past. I question my decisions. I wish I had said something else. I wish I had done something differently. I think about it all the time. To the point where I don't always appreciate the present because I am worried about what already happened instead of what is happening. I feel like I am not fully engaged in the present and that just gives me more to look back on and regret.

When I finally got pregnant, I wished I had handled infertility differently. I wished I had gone to an RE sooner. I wished I had found this blogging community and started this blog before my first IVF and not my third. I regretted not going to the support group sooner so I could have actually connected with people going through the same hell I was. Instead, I just kept withdrawing further into myself. I felt sorry for myself and very alone. I shut people out which only made the situation worse. I was completely emotionally detached by the time I started my 3rd round of IVF. I couldn't handle any more disappointment so I just shut down. I think I am still clawing my way out of that place and trying to connect with people and the world again. I got really used to keeping people at arm's length and I'm not sure how to let them back in again.

Now that I'm not pregnant anymore, I find myself looking back and wishing I had handled pregnancy differently. I felt really disconnected from my pregnancy a lot of the time. I wouldn't say I was afraid. Sure, I was painfully aware of how many things could go wrong, but I think I was strangely confident that it was going to work out. I held my breath a little at the beginning of each ultrasound until I saw both heartbeats, but I wouldn't say I was overly anxious. Or maybe I was and I just dealt with it by continuing to be a little (a lot?) detached. I wish I would have been as excited for myself as other people were for me. Why didn't I take weekly bump pictures like I planned? I wish I hadn't been so hesitant to talk about my pregnancy with the people who were constantly asking me about it. I wish I had blogged more so I would have a record of it all.

I have been desperately trying to remember how it felt to be pregnant. How it felt to carry around that huge bump. How it felt when the girls moved. But, I can't. I can't bring up the physical memory and that makes me a little sad. (I'm sure that's nature's way of ensuring the continuation of the species. I probably wouldn't feel nostalgic for pregnancy if I actually could remember how it felt.) It feels like such a distant memory now. Yet, instead of letting it go and moving on to the next phase, I dwell. I can't let it go.

I need to stop this pattern. I want to live in the present with my girls. I don't want to look back and regret that I wasn't fully present. I already feel myself starting to think of things I can regret (why didn't I get newborn photos taken? did I try hard enough to make breastfeeding work?). I am making a conscious effort to stop worrying about the past or the housework that needs to be done or how we are going to manage teenage girls and social media. I am trying to stop and enjoy this time. It's a crazy, exhausting whirlwind but it's going to be over before I know it and I don't want to miss any of it. I want to be the mother that they deserve.

I can't change the past no matter how many times I replay it in my head. I can only learn from it and try not to make the same mistakes. The fact is, everything that has happened to me and all the decisions I have made (both good and bad) have led me to where I am today. While my life is far from perfect, I have SH and my miracle baby girls, and I wouldn't change that for anything. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

How cool is this?

You can send a request to the White House and get this...



I got one for each of the girls. 

I'm glad they happened to be born in a year where the President is someone I voted for.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"Do you need birth control?"

That's what my OB asked at my appointment yesterday.

Um....

Obviously, it's a question he has to ask, but it was all I could do to keep from laughing. I told him it probably wasn't necessary considering how long it took for me to get pregnant this time. He didn't try to convince me otherwise, but he did say "You never know". Then he cautioned me against getting pregnant too soon. Again, trying not to laugh. I am assuming it's not wise to get pregnant while your uterus is still healing from major surgery. I understand his concern, but I think my body needs a break from all the hormones. I also don't want to mess with my milk supply. I just told him I'd let him know when I need it.

I'm not really worried that I am going to get pregnant again. My eggs haven't gotten any younger over the last year and SH's sperm hasn't gotten any faster. But, there is a delusional part of my brain that is thinking it could happen and maybe I should be careful. I could get that miracle post-infertility "oops" pregnancy. I'm happy with two kids so it's not even like I'm looking to get pregnant again. I certainly won't do any sort of treatment again. I would be at least 40 for any future pregnancy. Despite everything, I guess I still have that hope of just getting pregnant like a normal person. I think I just want to know what that feels like.

Sigh.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Full term

Last Saturday was my due date. November 2nd. The girls are officially full term now.

Now I can finally stop obsessing everyday how I should still be pregnant.

Obviously, I never expected to make it to 40 weeks. I did, however, assume I would make it anywhere from 36 to 38 weeks.  I was having such a complication-free pregnancy that it didn't really occur to me that these babies would be born before October. I mean, it occured to me, but I thought I was in the clear. With both girls being head down I was actually and unbelievably on my way to a vaginal birth with twins who wouldn't need to be in the NICU.

So naive.

I have to be honest. I was aware of preeclampsia as something bad that could happen in pregnancy. I didn't really know details or how bad it could be or that I was at high risk for it. I certainly didn't know what symptoms to look out for. I think after all the trips to Dr. Google during IVF I just couldn't do it anymore. I skimmed pregnancy books and read up on symptoms of pregnancy, but didn't really get into possible complications. I was already in so much disbelief that I was pregnant and I think I didn't want to live in constant fear. This wasn't a conscious decision. That's just sort of how it went. I left it up to my OB to let me know if something was wrong instead of anticipating the worst the whole time.  Knowing what to look for wouldn't have made a difference anyway. I was in the hospital 3 days before this all went down and my blood pressure was normal. No real signs of preeclampsia. Or at least nothing that couldn't be considered a normal 3rd trimester symptom. It seems like overnight I went from ok to severe.

I was really sad and angry about my pregnancy ending so early and abruptly. Then I felt guilty because Paige and Riley were here and healthy, so why was I sad? I just wasn't ready for them to be here. I was supppsed to have October babies not September babies. I was still in that place where I was nesting and anticipating. I was enjoying feeling them move and wondering what they were going to look like. I was really physically uncomfortable, but I didn't want them out yet. This was probably my only pregnancy (I am 39 and it took me 3 rounds of IVF so unless some miracle happens this was it for me) and I felt cheated, once again, out of the normal experience. I didn't get to go into labor. I didn't get to hold my babies in the moments after they were 
born. I had to set an alarm to wake up in the middle of the night to pump instead of being woken up by baby cries. I didn't get the obligatory picture of me holding them in my hospital bed to text out to all my friends to announce their arrival. In fact, it took me about a week to tell most people they were born because it was such a crazy time. It just all felt so unfair. Once again, the universe was pissing all over my parade.

I cried a lot during those first few weeks.  I mean, A LOT. So much that I started googling post partum depression. Thankfully, it seemed that I was still within the normal range of post partum emotions. I started getting jealous of pregnant women again. Not because they were pregnant and I wasn't, but because they would probably have the "normal" birth experience I had wanted. I was jealous of them getting to their due date and and getting to wait anxiously to go into labor. Then I was reading a book about preemie babies and it described that most mothers feel exactly how I was feeling when they have preemies. I was so happy to realize I wasn't crazy. I had to mourn the loss of my pregnancy and all those things that come with a normal delivery. It's a grieving process. It made perfect sense. I am gradually getting better. By the time I got to what would have been 38 weeks, I stopped obsessing over what it would be like if I were still pregnant and the fact that I should be pregnant. I stopped crying every day. Now that I am past my due date I can go days without thinking about it. But, it's still there and probably always will be. Just like infertility. 

Now I look at my beautiful girls and remind myself that it doesn't matter how they got here. All that matters is that they are finally here. 










Thursday, October 31, 2013

I should charge admission

I expected that being out with twin babies would attract attention and comments. I sort of get it. Twins are interesting. Personally, I have never gotten especially excited when I saw twins out in the world, but I did notice them. Maybe being married to an identical twin takes some of the novelty out of it. Who knows.

What I didn't expect was just how much attention we would get. I have to be honest, I didn't get the attention and unsolicited belly rubs from strangers that I was told to expect when I was pregnant so I sort of thought maybe the twin attention thing was more talk than reality.

I couldn't have been more wrong!!

Yesterday we ventured out to The Grove/Farmer's Market for lunch and to take my computer to the apple store (to make sure I didn't ruin it by spilling breast milk on it). This is a very popular and touristy place in LA so it's always pretty crowded. We live in walking distance so it's a nice easy way to get out of the house with the babies without the hassle of getting them in and out of the car. As we sat eating at some outdoor tables, I think about 90% of the people who walked by made some sort of comment about twins. "Look twin babies...awwww". Some actually stopped to talk to us (and not just about us) and ask questions. It's really weird to hear everyone who walks by make comments about you. One older woman just stood behind me and stared into the stroller at them. One woman with 6 year old twins told us it really does get easier. SH said he saw a Japanese tourist take a picture of us. (Really? That is just weird). 

We have gotten comments and questions before when we have gone out, but yesterday I felt a little bit like a side show. It felt like everyone we passed was whispering about us. I really don't understand what all the fuss is about. I was sort of in shock. SH had to laugh and said "welcome to my world". He has been dealing with this his entire life and I am just now understanding that. His brother lives in another city so I don't witness them being out in public together all that often. I had only seen very little of how fascinated people can be with twins - especially identical twins. I am hoping because Paige and Riley are fraternal, and so far look quite different, that it won't be as bad for them as they are growing up. I want them to feel like individuals and not like some sort of attraction. I guess managing this is just an extra challenge to raising twins. I think it's definitely helpful that their father is a twin and can understand what they will deal with everyday.

This is all very new and weird for me, but it's not really a bad thing. It will be hard for me because I don't really like talking to strangers. I guess I'll have to learn to be better at that. Learning to be a little more open is probably good for me. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Breast feeding

Here's a problem I never considered having - I spilled breast milk on my laptop after pumping. It got into the keys so I am letting it dry out for a few days before attempting to turn it back on. I am really hoping I didn't ruin my computer. In the meantime, I  am writing this from my phone, so pay no attention to typos.

I fully expected breast feeding to be hard. In fact, I expected that I wouldn't be able to do it. (How's that for pessimism?) We researched formulas and were ok with either supplementing or just having to formula feed. I wanted to deal with that before the babies were born because I knew it would be to much to deal with while I was chock full of post partum hormones. Oh, how naive I was.

Turns out I was right - sort of. I am producing almost enough milk so we are supplementing one or two feedings a day with formula. This is fine because our NICU doctor actually wanted us to give them a higher calorie formula twice a day to help them put on weight (which it has. They have gained over 2 pounds since leaving the hospital a month ago. Yay.). The problem is the girls aren't latching correctly. I was using a nipple shield at first because the lactation consultant in the NICU recommended it. so they seemed to be latching fine. I thought at first the problem was they didn't have the energy to fully breast feed while they were still in the hospital. When my nipples started hurting, I thought they just had to "toughen up" a little. But the pain kept getting worse and I started to dread feeding time. I couldn't get them to latch without the nipple shield and if they did it was incredibly painful. Plus, neither one likes my right boob. It produces less milk and the "flow" doesn't seem as good. Did i mention that Paige does more of a chewing thing than sucking? yeah, that feels awesome. Breast feeding is really turning out to be even worse than my already low expectations (and that's saying something). 

So, last week I spent 2 hours with a lactation consultant to see if I could fix these problems. She checked for anatomical issues with the girls and they do have small palates, I think she said, so that can contribute to the pain. That will likely resolve itself as they get bigger. She showed me how they should be latching and when she got them on there correctly it did finally feel better (though still a tiny bit uncomfortable because my nipples feel so raw). I even got them both latched at the same time which was awesome. I finally had hope that I could do this. I was feeling pretty good about it, actually. 

Then I tried it on my own. I got a good latch a couple times but only after 10 excruciatingly painful "wrong" latches. I was frustrated and in tears and so was Riley. Paige just stops trying after I pull her off to relatch enough times. Even though I know it's possible to get it right, I'm not sure I can deal with the pain involved to get there. I have taken a few days off and am only pumping with the hope that my nipples heal a little. Then I will try again. Honestly? I think I am ok with just pumping and formula. I have cried a lot about it and feel more conflicted than I thought I would, but I have felt less anxious the last couple days knowing I wouldn't have to attempt breast feeding. But, I will give it one last shot before throwing in the towel. I'll probably try again tonight and see how it goes. I'm supposed to have a follow-up with the lactation consultant this week but I think I will cancel. As helpful as she was, she was also not understanding of any situation that didn't involve exclusive breast feeding. She wanted me to call my pediatrician right then and there to see if I could stop the formula feeding. Her goal for me is to even stop pumping and bottle feeding breast milk. That isn't my goal and isn't realistic for me. I'll have to go back to work eventually. I just felt there was a tiny bit of judgey-ness there. SH thinks I am reading to much into it and he didn't think she was judgey. But if I went back and told her I intended to only pump, I think she would spend an hour trying to talk me out of it instead of understanding my situation and working with it. She charges too much money for me to feel like that. 

I don't really know what to so at this point. If it were up to me (and I guess it is), I would probably give up on breast feeding and switch to pumping and supplementing with formula. SH really wants me to give it another try. He thinks I am giving up to easily and I probably am. He doesn't understand how painful the trial and error is, though. So for him, I will try again but I am not feeling very hopeful. 

Anyone have any tips or advice or words of wisdom to make me feel less guilty about giving up?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Life in the NICU

It's only been a few weeks, but already the whole NICU experience feels like it was a lifetime ago. It feels like it was a different world.

Now, where did I leave off? (Sorry, this will probably be a little rambling - I am trying to get it all out in the 20 minutes I am pumping)

While I was still being stitched up (thanks for putting my ab muscles back together, Dr. B!), the NICU teams (5 people for each baby!) took the babies from the OR. They asked SH if he wanted to go with them and he didn't know what to do. He didn't know whether to stay with me or go with them. I told him he had to go with the girls. Someone had to be with them. So off he went to get his first taste of the NICU.

Meanwhile, I was taken to a recovery room where I was put back on magnesium (to prevent a seizure) and could not get out of bed for 24 hours. That meant I couldn't go visit the babies, not even in a wheelchair. It broke my heart. Just another twist of the knife by the universe in the whole baby making journey, I guess. SH came back with reports on the girls. He also made sure to bring me pictures. Overall, they were healthy. They were 4lb7oz and 4lb8oz - probably the biggest babies in the NICU. They just needed to mature a little more. Both girls needed oxygen and I was so grateful I had the steroid shots a few days before so neither one needed to be on a ventilator. The nurses were waiting for me to pump before they fed the girls anything. They wanted the first thing they gave them to be colostrum from me. Even if it was just a drop (which it pretty much was).  Once I was taken to my room and got settled in, SH went back and forth to the NICU to deliver my pumped colostrum/milk and kept me posted on what was happening with them. When SH was in the NICU we would do Face Time so I could see them and the nurses could give me updates on how they were doing.

At this point, I was starting to see why they wouldn't let me out of bed. The magnesium is awful! I was so out of it. SH said I was slurring my words. I could barely keep my eyes open but I couldn't really sleep either. It felt like I would fall asleep and start dreaming, but I was also aware of being awake. It was really odd. I was really hot. I probably couldn't have stood up even if I wanted to.  I think I had some conversations with doctors and nurses that I don't really remember.  I'm not sure why anyone thought it was a good idea to ask me any questions during that time.

Finally, it was time to stop the magnesium and visit Paige and Riley. I think it was around midnight by the time I finally made it up to the NICU. I was exhausted and really overwhelmed by the whole thing. You have to scrub in before entering the NICU. Then there are just so many machines making so many noises and all sort of alarms are constantly going off. It's a little terrifying at first. Then I see my babies all hooked up to wires and IV's and all alone in their isolettes. I finally got to hold them, but honestly, at that point, I think I was too overwhelmed by everything to relax and just be with them. When we came back the next morning, they had put Paige on a CPAP to help her breathe easier. Her lungs still needed a little help so this was basically forcing air into her lungs. There was a huge tube going across her little face and when I saw her I just burst into tears (the beginning of lots of crying). Riley was still being given oxygen but that tube wasn't nearly as big and intimidating.  Thankfully, Paige only needed the CPAP for a couple days before her lungs figured out what they were supposed to be doing and she was back to just needing some oxygen.

It took me a few days to feel a little more relaxed and know what was going on. I learned to tune out most of the noise and know what different alarms meant and what all the numbers on their monitors were. I was able to hold them and do skin-to-skin without feeling like I was going to break them or pull some sort of wire off of them. We helped with taking their temps and changing their diapers before feeding them. SH learned to be a master swaddler (I still struggle with getting a good swaddle) I started trying to breastfeed them but it still took too much energy for them to do it for a full feeding so we still had to give them bottles of pumped milk. They were getting almost all breast milk by now with only an occasional supplement of formula. They made improvements everyday, though sometimes there were setbacks. All preemies have what they called Brady's (bradycardia - slow heart rate) and they aren't a big deal as long as they are able to self correct without intervention, but Riley was having more than usual so she had to have an EKG. So for about a day we were worried that Riley might have some sort of heart problem. Thankfully, it turned out to be nothing. The doctors thought maybe it was just happening because of the magnesium I was getting before delivery.

At first, no one would give us any sort of time frame for when they might go home. All they would say is they usually go home by their due date. They were born 7 weeks early! I couldn't even think about the possibility of them being there for 7 weeks. We were really hoping they would be able to leave the hospital once I was discharged. Because my blood pressure was still high from the preeclampsia, I stayed in the hospital for 6 days.  Unfortunately, that didn't happen. I had to go home without them. Leaving that hospital without my babies was, without a doubt, the hardest thing I have ever had to do. As we drove away, I just cried. I looked over at SH and he was crying, too. I couldn't believe that after everything we went through to have these girls that I still had to wait for our family to all be together.  I knew they were in good hands, but they should have been going home with us.

It was in that first day or two after I was discharged that the NICU doctor started talking discharge for the girls. And possibly by the end of that week. Both girls were able to maintain their oxygen levels and were taken off of oxygen. They were both able to take all their feedings by mouth so their feeding tubes were removed. Every time we got to the NICU and saw some sort of tube removed was cause for celebration. The best day was the morning we got there and Paige was in an open bassinet. Being in an open bassinet and maintaining their body temp was the last step to going home. We had started calling the isolette the glass case of emotion so it was great to see them get out of it.


So, after only 10 days in the NICU Paige and Riley were discharged and they were going home together. The first few nights at home were nervewracking. I'm sure every new parent worries about if their baby is still breathing, but after seeing their oxygen levels fall and heart rates slow on the hospital monitors, we were especially freaked out. How would we know if something was wrong? I think we spent most of those first nights constantly checking on them and just watching to make sure they were breathing. We have relaxed a little now, but still watch them for awhile once we put them down to sleep. I suppose that worry will always be there.

We are grateful that our girls were never really in any danger. Nothing was wrong with them - they just needed to cook a little longer. It was a stressful situation, but I always knew both girls would be going home with us. There was a baby next to us that was really tiny and had been there for at least a month. She had toys and pictures and even a mini ipod in her isolette. She was definitely there for the long haul. We saw her parents there more than any others, though we never talked to them. This baby did not seem to be doing well. We would hear the doctors discussing her case if we were there during rounds, but couldn't understand any of the medical jargon. One day, SH asked one of our nurses about her. She was apparently born at around 24 weeks and her prognosis was not good. The nurse said she didn't think she would make it. I really hope the nurse is wrong and that little girl pulls through. I think about that family sometimes and wonder how they are. Then I look at my two healthy babies and realize that, despite everything we had to go through, we really are very lucky.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The long version

Wow. It's been 3 weeks now since the girls were born and I am finally getting around to posting the full story. I have been thinking about it a lot and just haven't been able to concentrate long enough to write it out. I will try to make this as coherent as possible, but I make no promises.

Last time I posted I was in the hospital for possible preterm labor. I ended up being there for 2 nights. Since nothing changed or advanced in those 48 hours, my OB finally agreed to let me be on bed rest at home. That was a Friday. My OB wanted me to make it to 34 weeks and I was pretty confident I would make it. I had a week to go!

I made it through the weekend without anything changing. I was pretty uncomfortable and to make it worse, while I was on IV fluids in the hospital the swelling spread from my feet to my legs. I had tree trunks for legs. I actually gained 15 pounds in water weight during my 2 days in the hospital.  I also went from peeing every half hour to only a few times during the whole day and that seemed pretty odd to me.

Then early Monday morning I woke up with a really bad headache. I didn't think too much of it. Mostly I was annoyed I couldn't take advil because I knew tylenol wouldn't do anything for it. Then I started throwing up. At this point I started to get a little worried. SH consulted Dr. Google and those things came up as symptoms of preeclampsia. My blood pressure was completely normal just 2 days before in the hospital so we were hoping all these other symptoms could be normal. SH decided to email our OB. We figured we should let him know, but didn't actually think it would be a big deal. We didn't hear back from him all day so I figured it must not be anything urgent. He finally got back to us on Tuesday and wanted me to come in so they could check my blood pressure. It was really high. Somewhere in the range of 170/80. I also had protein in my urine. He told me I had to go back to the hospital. So, off we went. On our way there I told SH I didn't think I would be leaving the hospital before having these babies. He agreed. Although I think both of us thought it would be at least a few days before that happened.

I get to the hospital and they start pumping me full of magnesium (to prevent a seizure) and giving me all sorts of medication to lower my blood pressure. At this point it was clear I had preeclampsia and they were just trying to determine how severe it was and whether they could bring my blood pressure down to give the babies a few more days.  I was dealing with the nurses and residents and no one was really telling me anything other than the babies would be born soon - maybe that night or maybe in a couple days. The NICU doctor came to talk to us within an hour of us being there and told us they were ready anytime the babies came.  She seemed confident the girls would be fine. She said they would probably be the biggest babies there. I was still managing to stay calm somehow. I thought this could all be controlled and maybe we could get to 34 weeks. Then they told me they had a room ready for me and were moving me. They wheeled me into a delivery room (bonus - it was one of the rooms with huge windows overlooking the hollywood hills - one of the rooms I was hoping to get. Sadly I would not be in there for long).  This is about when I started to realize this was really happening and I was having these babies whether I was ready or not. I had already made it clear I was hoping for a vaginal birth. Looking back, I think they were getting ready for possibly inducing me. They did an ultrasound to make sure they were both still head down (they were) and checked my cervix to see if I had dilated more since my last visit (I did not). That's about when my OB showed up. He said my platelet count was low and I was not responding at all to the 4 doses of blood pressure medication they had given me. He said I had to have a c-section and we were doing it in the next 15 minutes. What?!?!?! He said we didn't have time to wait for me to have a vaginal delivery. The babies were fine and not in any danger, but I was and they had to get the babies out ASAP. Did I mention that SH had run home at this point to feed the animals and give keys to our neighbors so they could take care of our dog? He was gone for maybe a half hour. When he left it was safe to assume nothing was going to happen immediately. (Seriously, it never failed that doctors only showed up with important information during the times he left the hospital).

Now I really started to freak out. I was shaking. Like full body shaking I was so scared. I think I may have started to cry at one point, too. My OB was awesome, though. He tried to keep me calm through the whole thing.  He apologized because he knew this wasn't what I wanted. So, SH got back and put on his fancy outfit for the OR and off we went. I think I may have asked at some point if I could be put out completely. I seriously did not think I could handle feeling them pulling and tugging babies out of me while I was awake. Remember, I pass out when I get blood drawn. Thankfully, the first thing the anesthesiologist did was give me something to calm me down and I finally stopped shaking. He did the epidural and it was a piece of cake. My OB and one of the nurses did an awesome job of talking to me and keeping me distracted. (I'm pretty sure I was telling them I was supposed to be home watching the finale of Dexter and now I would have to watch it with the babies and that didn't seem like an appropriate show for them to watch). As with most things, the c-section wasn't anywhere near as bad as I anticipated. I could feel tugging and pulling but it didn't bother me. It was really an odd feeling, actually. He pulled the babies out and I heard them cry and I was so glad I was awake for that. (SH took pictures of the surgery, but I haven't looked at them yet. I am a little afraid to.) They brought Riley over to me so I could see her, but Paige needed oxygen so I didn't get to see her before they took them both to the NICU. 

This was all such a whirlwind. I think I showed up at the hospital around 3:30pm and the girls were born at 8:30pm. I certainly never anticipated this happening. It wasn't until days later that I began to understand how serious it was for me. Mostly because of how alarmed the nurses were each time they took my blood pressure in the following days. I am still battling the high blood pressure which may not get better for weeks still.  I think everyone was trying to keep me calm so didn't really tell me anything more than they needed to. I am just so grateful we all came out of this safe and healthy.

Ok, I'll talk about the NICU and finally holding my babies later. SH is on his way back from the airport with his mom who will be staying with us for 2 weeks. This should be interesting.

In the meantime, here is a picture:
Riley is on the top and Paige is on the bottom

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

We have babies!

Riley Ann and Paige Hope made their arrival last night at 33 weeks 3 days. They are, of course, in the NICU but are doing great. Riley weighed 4lb7oz and Paige came in at 4lb8oz.
* I'll post pics once I can write a proper post from my laptop*

Short story:
I ended up with preeclampsia so had to have an emergency C-section. It all actually happened quite fast. Because of the preeclampsia I have to be on magnesium for 24 hours after delivery to prevent seizures. I  am not allowed out of bed while on magnesium. So, I have not yet held my babies!! It's killing me. SH goes to the NICU and we are able to do FaceTime so I can see how they are doing. I am currently about 3 hours from finally getting to hold them. Finally. 

I'll update with more details soon.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

An unexpected day

This morning I had a routine appointment with my OB and had no reason to believe anything unusual was going on. I was planning on talking to him about delivery and epidurals and all that. Not really a birth plan - just wanting to know all the possibilities since my needle phobia makes me slightly more afraid of getting an epidural than birthing twins drug-free.  He did a quick ultrasound just to check on them (he does one every office visit and I love that about him) and seemed concerned that Baby A was really low. That, of course, started to make me worried. He checked my cervix after that and it turns out I am 2-3cm dilated.  Say what?!?!? I have been having contractions but they never hurt and I have been feeling them for months. I had told him about the contractions and he just said to call if I have more than 5 in an hour. A far as I know, I haven't had that many but they never hurt so maybe I didn't always notice.

Anyway, he said he would like me to go to L&D to be monitored for 24 hours. I asked "Right now?" (as if I could schedule it for a more convenient time). So here I am spending the night in the hospital. I am so happy we already took the hospital tour! Made getting here and checking in much less stressful. I am hooked up to monitors. They gave me the first of two steroid shots that will help develop the lungs in case these babies decide they can't wait any longer. They started to give me magnesium to reduce the "uterine activity" then switched to something else. Whatever it is, is working. I am feeling less contractions than when I first got here. I am also getting antibiotics since infection can apparently trigger preterm labor. I am just being pumped full of all sorts of things.

At this point, I have no idea how long I will be here. I am hoping my OB thinks I can be on bed rest at home. He did say 24 hours, after all. He wants me to make it at least another 2 weeks and I really can't imagine being in the hospital on bed rest for that long.

I am actually surprisingly calm about the whole thing. I have (obviously) never been in labor or had a baby, but somehow I just don't feel like these babies are coming right now. They will certainly be here earlier than I thought, but not right now.  We aren't totally ready for their immediate arrival but we're close enough and we'll figure it out. We have no other choice, right?

Some good things:

-I have a private room with wifi

-Both babies are still head down so it's looking likely that I will at least get to try a vaginal delivery

-I can lay down and get an epidural. The only way I am able to manage the physical reaction I have to needles is to lay down whenever I get an injection or blood draw. It was freaking me out that I would have to be sitting up for the epidural. I was sure I would pass out and that can't be good while you're in labor. I have been reassured by my OB and the nurses that I can lay on my side for this. Yay!

I'll keep y'all posted!

Monday, September 9, 2013

32 weeks

On Saturday, I hit 32 weeks. That's insane. Where did the time go? These babies are going to be here before I know it (though hopefully not for at least another 4 weeks).  While I can't wait to meet them, I am also not quite ready for them. In addition to what feels like a never ending list of things still to do, I haven't even found a pediatrician yet. Time needs to slow the fuck down.


Needless to say, it's been a whirlwind since I got back to LA.

First was our baby shower. My aunt hosted it at her house and, as I knew she would, went completely over the top with the whole thing. The decorations, the catering, the party favors.... all just so great. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures and I think the only pictures other people took were of us opening presents. Total fail. I was so overwhelmed by it all that I just didn't have time to worry about taking pictures. Also, I was supposed to show up early but because of traffic showed up at 2:00 when it was supposed to start. I thought I would still have time to look around and take it all in but people started showing up immediately. I didn't even have time to put my purse down before a stream of people started walking in.  Everyone was so generous and it was so great to have so many friends and family there. I have a really hard time being the center of attention so the day was also a challenge for me. The gift opening portion of the party was the hardest for me, but I made it through. I also feel like I didn't really have a chance to talk to everyone as much as I would have liked, but I guess that's the nature of these kinds of things. Overall, it was a good and exhausting day.

My mother and my in-laws came into town for the party. My mom stayed with us and that is a challenge that deserves it's own post at some point. Basically, our relationship is not the greatest right now and on the day of my shower she wanted to talk about it. I calmly told her that I didn't want to have that discussion. Not right before my baby shower. Seriously? Worst time ever for that. She got all upset about it and threatened to go home because she wouldn't be able to enjoy herself at the party. Started packing her bag and everything. SH managed to distract her and convince her to stay. Everything about these babies she makes about her and she keeps telling me how much I will need her help. When I told her I was pregnant, I think she was happier for herself finally getting to be a grandmother than she was for me. She is planning on moving back to LA after the babies are here, but wants to stay with us indefinitely while she looks for a place to live and helps us with the babies. We can barely get along when she is here for 3 days so I am not sure why she thinks practically moving in would be a good idea - especially since we no longer have a guest room. I know having 2 babies is going to be hard and everyone tells us to accept all the help we can, but I don't think that someone living on my couch in my relatively small apartment is really the answer. It sounds like a disaster if you ask me. Ugh. Okay - rant over.

Since the shower, it has just been non-stop baby prep. We took a couple classes on parenting and breastfeeding twins. We are trying to get the nursery finished. We start interviewing pediatricians this week. It's all baby prep all the time. Since we were in Michigan all summer, we weren't able to do any of this stuff so we feel like we are trying to catch up.  Maybe we need to slow down and go see some movies while we still can.

In baby news, they are both doing great. Measuring right on track and both still head down. The only bad thing is even though I technically passed the glucose test, I was apparently borderline. Once I saw my OB in LA and he saw the results, he put me on a diabetic diet. Less carbs, more protein. I am still going to splurge and have some ice cream every once in awhile (since I don't actually have diabetes) but otherwise I am being good and following the diet.  Considering my stomach is super squished and I barely seem to eat anything, it shouldn't be too hard.

I think that's enough rambling for now. I really need to try and post more often.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Memory foam feet




Because the indent stays for several seconds when you poke them, we are affectionately calling them my memory foam feet.

I hear cankles are all the rage this fall.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Well,  mostly sweet.

Unfortunately, there have been a few bumps since I got back on Saturday.

  • I was locked out of my apartment when I first got here. We had let a friend borrow one of our cars while we were away and instead of just giving him the car keys, SH gave him my whole set of keys. Friend was supposed to drop the car off Saturday morning and leave the keys under the mat. Well, the car was parked out front and the keys were nowhere to be found.  (Did I mention I flew home alone? SH was driving back from Michigan and was probably somewhere in Nebraska at the time.) I called the neighbors who had been watching our cats and had keys to our apartment. They weren't home but probably would be within the hour.  Meanwhile, I really had to pee and had no way of getting to a bathroom. I couldn't drive my car without a key and I didn't want to leave my luggage sitting in front of my door while I walked over to Starbucks. Thankfully, I walked around back and saw the landlord's handyman was doing some work at our building. I asked him if he had keys. He didn't but said he could break into my apartment since my windows were open. He didn't have a ladder tall enough so he backed his truck under my balcony, put a table in the bed of the truck, then put a ladder on top of that and leaned it against my balcony. This did not seem at all like a good idea. At all. He managed to climb up safely, climbed through my window and opened the back door. Phew. I was in (and trying not to think of how easy it is for someone to break into my apartment when the windows are all left open during the summer). Turns out Friend left the car key in the house. But not the rest of the keys. I am not sure why because he obviously had my house keys to come in and leave the car key.  Anyway, the neighbors showed up not long after that and gave me their set of keys (and as a bonus cleaned the kitty litter one last time since they were worried about me doing it).
  • Though not entirely unexpected, my apartment was a kitty disaster zone. I swear there was an inch thick layer of cat hair covering all surfaces. Not to mention the various poo and vomit gifts they left throughout the apartment.  It's always fun to have to immediately clean when you get home from a long trip. I have made it through the first layer of fur and dust and will do a more thorough cleaning once SH is here and can help.
  • Once I got a handle on the fur and picked up enough groceries to get me through the next few days, I was ready to relax on the couch and start catching up on some shows on my DVR. Or just watch any channel besides the 10 I had in my hotel (5 of which were ESPN).  Then the TV wouldn't turn on. Our one and only TV. I called SH so he could help me troubleshoot. I tried everything we could think of, but obviously something is broken inside the TV. So here it is, Saturday evening, and there is no possibility of me getting a hold of any sort of repair person until Monday. My plans of doing nothing but being a couch potato (and not feeling guilty about it) were shot. I'm not gonna lie, I started crying. A lot. Over a broken TV. I know it's not the end of the world, but it's just one more expense we really don't need right now. I don't think it's going to be cheap to fix but I also don't have time to research and shop for a new TV so a repair will have to do.
  • Despite not being able to watch bad TV, I have managed to relax and get ready for the craziness of the next couple weeks. My mom and SH's mom and siblings (along with their families) will be here in a few days for our shower on Saturday. SH's sister and our niece are helping us with the nursery so there will be a lot of painting happening. I basically told them what I liked, what colors I wanted and a general theme and they are designing it from there. Part of me is happy about that because I do not have the interior designer gene, but part of me really hates giving up control and I'm afraid I'll hate it and have to live with it because I won't want to hurt their feelings. They both love to decorate, but I have to admit, their style is very different from mine.  SH stopped to see them on his cross country drive and picked up all the stuff they bought to decorate so I will get to see it in a few hours when he gets home.   He says they got some good stuff and he thinks I will like it.
So now I am just waiting for SH to get through LA rush hour traffic and get home. It will be nice to have the family back together again. The dog and the cats will be very happy to see him. Speaking of dog and cats, it must be dinner time since they are all hovering around and staring at me. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Defying gravity

*Belly shot ahead. You have been warned*


I must have had a growth spurt a couple weeks ago. Last week at work, so many people were telling me how I suddenly looked hugely pregnant. I mean, they couldn't get over it.  I guess I went from cute baby bump to "holy crap" practically overnight. 

Now that I am suddenly huge, SH just looks at me and constantly asks how I am not tipping over. I have to say, after seeing this picture, I can see why he is concerned. Yet somehow I manage to stay upright.


28 weeks 3 days

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Where am I? What day is it?

I apologize. I have been a very negligent blogger lately. My life has, quite literally, been taken over by alien robots (um, that is a huge clue to the movie I am working on).

Work has been incredibly busy. I am working 12 hour days and still feel so behind on all the work I have to do. I.am.exhausted. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel - I only have 2 more weeks of work and then I get to go back to LA. Yay! As much as I like the paycheck, I am ready to go home, sleep in my own bed and hang out with my pets. Also, I really miss my DVR. I have so much TV to catch up on when I get home.

SH has been in Michigan with me and I even managed to get him a job on the movie. It's worked out very well, actually. It's not a job he normally does, but the hours are easy so he's getting to go play golf after work since it stays light so late here and he is loving that.  We have tried to do some sightseeing but have been limited because I just don't have the stamina I normally do. We spent an afternoon in Ann Arbor, went to a Tigers game, took a tour of Motown (one of my favorite things we did), and did the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.  Last weekend we topped it off with a weekend trip to Niagara Falls. I had never been and it's only a few hours away so off we went. My plan was to buy some cu.ban cigars while we were in Canada for when the babies get here, but SH chickened out and was worried about crossing the border.  So, all I got to bring back was some maple syrup. There are some more things we could do, but I feel like I need to start taking it easy now. I have a lot to do when we get home so I feel like I need to rest up in preparation for that. I don't want to overdo it.

Now, the baby update...

This weekend I am 27 weeks, which puts me in the 3rd trimester. That is completely unbelievable to me. The 2nd trimester (and this summer) completely flew by. I have so much to do to get ready for these babies that I hope the 3rd trimester doesn't go by as fast. I think the brief "honeymoon" period I have had for the past 8 weeks or so are coming to an end.  I am getting more and more tired, my ankles are starting to swell, and it's just in general getting harder to move around easily. I am definitely waddling instead of walking now.  Oh, and the heartburn. Can't forget the heartburn. As tough as pregnancy (and a twin pregnancy) can be, I am still so grateful and amazed that I am actually here. I get surprised sometimes when I walk by a mirror and see my huge belly. It still feels so surreal to me. When I run into co-workers in the hall that I don't know, they'll ask me when I'm due and I always think they are asking "What do you do?" Like, what department are you in on the movie. I don't know why it seems to take a minute to register when people ask me a question about my pregnancy. I guess it goes back to me still not always believing that this is actually real and happening.

I had my last OB appointment at 25 weeks 4 days. I was measuring 31 weeks. I think I have only gained about 25 pounds and it's still all belly (thanks, mom, for the good genes). The babies are right on track. Baby A is measuring a few days behind Baby B, but nothing to worry about. I told SH that, of course Baby A is smaller. She is definitely the more active of the two so she is burning off all those calories. The best news is they both turned and are no longer breech. They are both (finally!) head down and I am really, really hoping they stay that way. They move around a lot. I think they probably get each other going. Sometimes it feels like a dance party in there. The weirdest part is that I can see them move. I can just watch my belly move around. It's cool and amazing and  a little creepy all at the same time.

I also had my 1-hour glucose test at that appointment. I failed. Ugh. So I had to go back for the 3-hour test. I felt awful during the one hour test from the sugary drink you have to have. I actually almost passed out. And I was able to eat before that test. For the 3-hour test I would have to fast and the drink would have twice as much glucose. Add in 4 blood draws in 3 hours and I was just a ball of anxiety in the days leading up to the test. I was honestly more worried about the test than I was about having gestational diabetes. For someone who has a needle phobia, this seemed like the ultimate form of torture. If I was ever taken prisoner, all they would have to do is threaten to torture me by sticking a needle in me every hour and I would talk. I would spill all the secrets. All of them. In the end, it wasn't as bad as I anticipated. For some reason, while I didn't feel great, I didn't get as sick from the drink this time and I made it through all the blood draws just fine. And I passed! No GD for me. So happy and relieved.

Now I need to get caught up on reading all of your posts. Slowly getting there.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Twin-a-palooza

Fun fact: Between my husband, friends, coworkers and neighbors, I know 7 people who are twins who I see on a regular basis. Four of them are identical.

That seems like a lot to me.

I have always known these people are twins, but I never really thought much about it. Now, of course, I am hyper-aware of all things twin related and it really hit me this weekend. Over the course of the weekend, SH and I hung out with 2 different couples. All of them are twins. Except for the fact that I come with a set of twins in my belly, I was odd man out.  I think I asked SH at one point if this was the start of their diabolical plan for world domination.

(On a side note, the most interesting twins are the identical male twins where one is gay and one is straight. I find that completely fascinating. I feel like they should be part of a scientific study or something.)

I am almost starting to think that having twins was always my fate. Although, I don't know that I necessarily believe in destiny or fate. As an only child, I always wanted a sibling. I often asked my (single) mom for one. (See, spoiled only child thought she could get anything she wanted no matter how unreasonable.) At one point, I remember thinking, because I am a gemini, that I was supposed to have a twin and I was somehow cheated out of that. I really believed that for awhile.

Then I married a twin.

Now I am growing twins.

Seems a little like a theme.



These are the random thoughts of someone who didn't really get any sleep last night and is now ready for work too early and has time to kill.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Awkward moment



This weekend I got to see some of my extended family. I have an an uncle and a cousin (and now a new aunt) who live about 2 hours outside of Detroit. I have never visited them in Michigan because they come to CA at least once a year. So, getting to visit them was one of the perks of working in Michigan for these few months. This uncle actually got married over the weekend (hence the new aunt). Unfortunately, the wedding was on Friday so I couldn't make it to the ceremony but I was able to see him and some family who came in from CA on Saturday. It was great to see them and see where he lives. 

At one point I was standing in a parking lot with an aunt, uncle, a couple cousins and their kids when my aunt suddenly (and loudly) exclaims "Jennifer, you have breasts!"

*blushing*

I immediately thought of this...




Saturday, June 22, 2013

The latest

Today I am 21 weeks.

That seems crazy. The first trimester felt like an eternity with the nausea and constant anxiety. Now time seems to be flying by.

I'm feeling pretty good these days, much to my surprise. I'm still tired, but not falling asleep the minute I get home from work. Though, I'm still not sleeping very well. Most mornings I am awake before my alarm (sometimes as early as 5. ugh) I guess that's something I should get used to, but I thought I had a few months of sleep left. I am getting a lot of nosebleeds and they are getting worse. I sort of feel like my body just insists on bleeding and if I am not having a period it will find another orifice to bleed out of. Sometimes, it will start bleeding while I am in the shower and suddenly I feel like I am in the shower scene from Psycho. That's a fun way to start the morning.  I have round ligament pain off and on. Some days it's just a constant, dull ache that makes it hard to even lift my leg to get dressed. A new thing I just noticed when I got home from work last night is swollen ankles. They are better this morning, thankfully. Isn't it a little early for swollen ankles???

Last week I met my new (temporary) doctor here in Michigan. Did I mention I found him because he is the cousin of my OB back in LA? Pretty convenient. He seems nice. He's also very laid back about all the pregnancy restrictions. I told him I wake up a lot during the night and I'm always on my back despite going to sleep on my side. I keep reading dire warnings about never laying on your back, so of course this worries me. He said not to worry about it. It's really only an issue if there are complications or problems with blood flow.  He said if I am craving deli meat, I should have some. I can't say I ever crave deli meat, so I think I'll just continue to avoid it. I am a little worried I won't get as many ultrasounds with him. I was getting one at every appointment back in LA. This office only does them on Tuesdays and Thursdays and you have to be specifically scheduled for one. So, I won't be getting any at routine appointments anymore.

I did have my anatomy scan last week so I got to have a good long look at the babies. On my way to the appointment, out of nowhere, I suddenly realized I was going to vomit. Thankfully, I had a plastic bag in the car and was able to pull into the parking lot of some random office building. I had barely pulled into the driveway when I was puking up my bagel. I didn't feel at all sick before or after. I'm not sure where that came from. Enough of the grossness. The scan was good. The babies have all their parts and they are functioning properly. They are also both still girls. My only concern was the ultrasound tech. She seemed a little scattered. I am half convinced she measured the same baby twice.  At one point she even said she had been measuring "Twin 1" and had labeled her "Twin 2". Who knows how many times she did that. I'll just have to have faith that she knows what she is doing.  Normally, they always seem to be dancing around during an ultrasound, but this time they decided to nap. I had to get up and walk around a couple times to try and get them to move into a better position. I'm really just relieved that they are both healthy and growing.

That's about all that's going on with me. I work 10 or 11 hour days all week so I have just been relaxing on the weekends. Work has been pretty peaceful so far, but the craziness officially starts Monday. The cast and crew is here now and we start shooting in Detroit.  SH will be here on Thursday next week. I am so excited!!!! It's been almost a month since I have seen him. Once he gets here we will start exploring the Detroit area. So for now I'll take it easy while I still can.




Saturday, June 15, 2013

Another year older

Yesterday I turned 39.

39?!?

I certainly don't feel like I am now less than a year away from 40.  How is that even possible?

This birthday was very uneventful. Normally, my birthday is the one day a year I want attention. Despite getting older (and despite the loudly ticking clock the last few years) I have always liked my birthday. This year, I just didn't care. Mostly it's because I am away from home and SH isn't here yet.  My co-workers are nice but we aren't exactly hang out outside of work type friends. And they are the only people I know here in Michigan. Any other year this would really bother me, but this year...meh. It didn't really "feel" like my birthday so I am ok spending my weekend relaxing. 

I think I am also just so grateful for how different this year is from last year. I feel like asking for anything beyond what I have right now is just being greedy. Last year I started stims for my first IVF on my birthday. I thought it was a good omen and was pretty confident it was going to work. I hadn't yet discovered this blogging community and the one couple I knew who had done IVF were successful on their first try with mediocre embryos and none to freeze. So, as far as I was concerned IVF would just work. Little did I know the roller coaster I had just strapped myself into. When that IVF was such a miserable failure, I started to think I would never get pregnant. To be here, just one year later, is more than I ever expected.

I know there are risks associated with being of "advanced maternal age", the media doesn't let us forget it, so I thought I would find the good things about being an older mother:

- The children of older mothers may have improved health and development in the early years.
- Older mothers have taller, thinner kids (perhaps I have a couple of olympic volleyball players? Or supermodels?)

Ok, so it was hard to find places that discussed good things about being an older parent without also being a little judge-y about waiting so long. Really, age is just a number and doesn't determine whether someone will be a good parent or not. So, I will just enjoy this time being pregnant and having my babies and not worry about the big 4-0 breathing down my neck.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Epic Fail

I have had the same health insurance for about the last 12 years. My plan gives me the choice of a PPO, HMO or Kaiser. I have always had the PPO so I wasn't limited by only going to network providers and I have been happy with it for the most part.When I  first made that choice it didn't seem like there were many differences between the PPO and HMO and I never looked at them again. When open enrollment comes around every year I just stay with what I have.

Turns out this was a terrible mistake. I should have been looking in more detail at what is covered by each. I just found out a few days ago that the HMO covers infertility. I am completely shocked by this. Every doctor I have been to says my insurance doesn't cover it so I assumed that meant the umbrella plan I have, no matter which specific option I chose, just doesn't offer it. Plus, who would have thought an HMO had more coverage? Granted, I don't know exactly what it covers. It may not have helped me with IVF. But even if the testing and drugs were partially covered it would have been a huge help.

I am so mad at myself for not researching and talking to my insurance plan myself. I researched the hell out of everything else during this process. Why did I drop the ball on this part? Why did I just believe the doctor's office? I am trying not to beat myself up over it. What's done is done and can't be changed. Stressing about it isn't going to fix it.

Anyway. Lesson learned. I'm not sure why I always have to learn these things the hard way.



Sunday, June 9, 2013

Boobs!

I do not have big boobs. They are a B cup (although when I found out that 34B and 32C were the same size, I of course bought the 32C for vanity reasons) Generally, I am OK with this. They fit my frame. I can create a little cleavage when I want it. Also, everyone I know who has really big boobs hates them. So, I have never really worried all that much about their size.

That being said, I was really looking forward to big pregnancy boobs. I thought it would be a really fun perk. They got fuller right away, but not really bigger. I hoped I was just a late bloomer and not one of the few who really doesn't actually big boobs during pregnancy. SH insisted they were significantly bigger, but I didn't agree. They looked the same to me. Maybe my belly is just overshadowing them. But, I still don't think they are much bigger. At least not as big as I was expecting.  I mean, every picture I see of a baby breastfeeding, that boob is like twice the size of the baby's head. I am nowhere near that.  Unless my babies have super tiny heads. I guess even when showing breastfeeding in an effort to convince the squeamish that there is nothing sexual about seeing boobs in that context, they still only show women with porn star sized boobs. Sigh.

Well, over the last couple weeks even I had to admit that my bras were barely covering anymore and it was time to buy a couple new ones. I was not convinced of their growth but still hopeful I would need a bigger size. I finally went to Victoria's Secret yesterday. I was browsing styles when someone with a measuring tape asked me if I needed help and I told her I needed to be measured since I wasn't sure what size I need right now. So, she starts measuring me right there on the sales floor. (Awkward, right?) First she asked me what size bra I had on and I told her 32C. She finally finishes and tell me she measured me at 34C. Here's my reaction:




I told her that the band size is fine. I haven't outgrown that part (shocking considering I think I have gained about 20 pounds already). The problem is the cups are not covering my boobs. She says the measurements aren't very accurate so I should try a bigger size if I think that's needed. Um, then what was the point of you measuring me in front of the entire store then? I could have just grabbed some random sizes off the shelf without your help. So, I grab a few sizes and head to the dressing room.

In the end, I needed a 34D! My new reaction:







It's still just one measly cup size. At this point I'll take what I can get.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Greetings from suburbia!

I made it to Michigan and my temporary new home. Troy, to be exact.  I am living in suburbia, people! Don't get me wrong, it's very green and seems like a very nice, family community. But, I am a city girl. I like having places to walk and there is really nowhere for me to walk here. I could live with that if I had my own car, but I am sharing a car with two co-workers so it's going to take planning to get groceries or do anything. No just jumping in my car when I want something. No deciding at the last minute to see a movie or get a pedicure. Oh well. I did manage to get use of a car for most of the day yesterday. I was able to get some groceries and things to get myself settled in my place.

I also made it to my first prenatal yoga class. It was, strangely,  both the easiest and hardest yoga class I have ever done. Aside from walking my dog, that was the first exercise I had done in 4 months. The studio (or maybe just the teacher) is a little more new-agey than I like my yoga. (It was also more expensive than any yoga studio I have been to in LA. I thought things were supposed to be cheaper in the midwestern suburbs!) She had us all introduce ourselves and say how far along we are and how we are feeling. Then the last half hour was a guided meditation. I am not a fan of this and am pretty sure I fell asleep for part of it. I only hope I didn't start snoring! It was an hour and a half class and if there is only going to be exercise for the first hour than I would prefer to just be there for an hour. I will try the class again and see if it was something she does every once in awhile or if it's a weekly thing. I may just have to get a dvd. I did, however, have a moment while I was waiting for the class to start and I was looking around at the other very pregnant women and it felt so weird to be there and belong there and not have someone out me as an imposter. I admit, I started to tear up a little.

As for the baby update - I just hit 18 weeks (!) and am finally feeling better. The nausea is 95% gone. I still have my moments, but it's usually when I am really tired or haven't eaten. I can eat pretty much everything now even though nothing really sounds good. If you put food in front of me, I can eat it, just don't ask me what I want to eat. I did manage grocery shopping and fixing meals for my self this week. That's a huge step forward for me. I actually had a craving for an egg salad sandwich so decided to make that this weekend. I haven't eaten that in years so it was completely random. Can't deny myself in the rare times I actually want some sort of food these days. I also think I have a little more energy these days. Not a ton, but getting through the workday is getting easier.

The belly continues to grow and strangers now ask me when I'm due. Well, mostly people I don't know at work. So far actual strangers in public haven't really approached me. Not yet anyway. It always surprises me just a little. I mean, I look in the mirror and there is no denying this belly, but somehow I feel like no one else can see it. It's completely irrational.

Oh! I almost forgot the best part....I am starting to feel movement. It's still really light, kind of like bubbles are popping, but it's definitely baby moment. I feel it more some days than others but I am excited (and a little freaked out, to be honest) to feel more and stronger movements.

I think that covers it for the most part. My life gets pretty boring when I am working so I haven't really had much to update. I need to find some fun tourist-y things to do while I'm in the Detroit area. I have a friend who is a huuuuuuge Madonna fan (complete with tattoo of her on his back) and he really wants me to find her childhood home and take a picture for him. Other than that I really don't know what to do. I'm sure I'll figure out some way to fill my weekends. Anyone have any suggestions?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Just stuff

I keep thinking of things to post about, and even start writing it in my head, and then I just don't ever get around to typing it. I'm not sure why. I don't want to abandon my blog, but I also am not quite sure what to write about these days. I am still following along and reading all of your blogs and commenting when I can (for some reason I can't comment on blogger from my laptop since SH changed my internet security settings. I can only do it from my work computer). SH is adorable. He keeps checking with me to make sure I haven't abandoned my blog community. He could see how much having this blog and getting support from all of you amazing ladies helped me and he wants to make sure I am continuing to do the same for all of you. It's really very sweet.

So what's been gong on?


  • I have been back at work for about a month now. I haven't really talked about what I do. Basically, I work freelance on film productions. I'll leave it as general as that. It sounds much more glamorous if I don't tell you exactly what I do on said film production. I didn't work for about a year because of the current state of film production. Practically nothing shoots here in LA. It did when I started this, but over the last several years I have had to spend more and more time working on location which means I am away from home usually for 3-6 months at a time. I have worked in New Orleans, Berlin, Hawaii, Virginia, Kentucky, Chicago and North Carolina over the last few years. I am sure I am forgetting some location. Needless to say, this lifestyle isn't very conducive to baby making so I decided if I couldn't work at home, I just wouldn't work for awhile while we gave IVF a shot. SH works freelance, as well, so we both had to basically just take the year off. It ended up being worth it. We have used up our savings and now have a little lot more debt than we would like, but we can fix that. Because we want to try and stay together during my pregnancy, we decided that whoever got offered a job first would take it and we would both travel wherever we needed to go and I'll find a local OB. I drew the short straw on that one and in a couple of weeks we are headed to Detroit. Well, the greater Detroit area. Not exactly high on my list of places I want to spend 3 months (sorry if any of you live there or are from there) but work is work and now I won't lose my health insurance before I have these babies. My OB ok'd me to travel as long as I come home by about 28 weeks so that is what I am doing. Now we just have to figure out what to do with our pets while we are gone. 

  • On Saturday, I met, live and in person, Jenny aka Stupid Stork and Kharini of My Fertility Blog and we ate the most decadent red velvet pancake at a cafe full of cute young waiters and it was heaven. Just one pancake was needed because this pancake was bigger than my head. Thankfully, we were smart enough to order some protein to go with that or I would have been in a sugar coma for the rest of the afternoon. I really enjoyed meeting these two amazing, funny, and just really lovely ladies. It is so nice to sit and talk to people who get it and know what it's like. It's also fun to attach a face and real live person to a blog. Especially a blog that can be as personal as an IF blog.  My only concern is their insistence that, due to the size of my belly, I have a 3rd baby that they believe must be hiding behind a kidney or something and has so far not been noticed by my doctors.  I veto that idea. Veto.

  • Mother's Day. I haven't really celebrated Mother's Day in years because my mom doesn't live in the same city as me. I send a card and a gift and I call her, but there is no brunch or full day of activity celebrating mom. Because of that, I have managed to avoid feeling completely depressed every May because I pretty much just ignore that the day is happening. This year felt a little weird. I don't feel like I am yet entitled to really get a Mother's Day celebration and certainly didn't expect or want one, but I was more aware of it and aware of how different next year should will be. We ended up spending the day with my aunt and uncle who were never able to have children. She would have been such a great mother and instead became the aunt who spoils all of her nieces and nephews. She is throwing me a baby shower and it may be the shower to end all showers. Just our two families is already about 30 people and she told us we could invite as many friends as we want. It can be as big as we want. I could probably hand her a guest list of 100 people and she would say ok. (Sidenote: I do not have 100 people to invite nor do I want to invite 100 people to a baby shower). She brought us two baskets full of baby gifts and two really large boxes of newborn diapers. Plus, the card with the gift had a check in it that had an extra zero I was not expecting.  I am her first niece (she was only 12 when I was born) so I have a special place in her heart and she can't wait to spoil these babies. She also knew about our IVF as we were going through it so she was especially excited for us when it finally worked. My uncle even told me he was always happy when one of my cousins got pregnant but he is way more excited for us than he ever was for them. They know what it's like and they didn't get their happy ending and it breaks my heart. 

Well, I think that's all I can cover for now. I should probably get back to doing some work I am being paid for. At least I look busy with all this typing.