Wednesday, January 30, 2013

13.5 to go...

If the title had read "13.2 miles to go", you may think that I'm attempting a half marathon...bahahahahha. But, no, the 13.5 is the maximum amount of weeks we have left before these boys make their appearance. 23.5 weeks today. And feeling...tired, for sure, but better than I could have anticipated.

I had a friend come over today who has identical twin girls in there late 20's. It was really interesting talking with her. I thought it was shocking to find out about twins at 10.5 weeks after being told it was a singleton at 6 weeks? Guess when she found out about Baby #2? When she was crowning. Not kidding. Obviously, it was during a time when ultrasounds were less frequent and sophisticated, but she had even asked the doctor if he heard two hearts beats, and he said without hesitation "No.". They came on their own at 37 weeks and were healthy. She ended up having severe preeclampsia after giving birth (seizures and all) and spent 5-6 days in the hospital.

Her story got me thinking...I have been a out-of-control, nesting maniac lately. Too much. If I really listen to my body, I know I gotta get these feet up more. And then there's her story...also very well-prepared, but for a single baby.And another came out and everyone was fine without all the twin prep. I can lighten up. I know that. But so much easier said than done. It also made me realize that I do have an appreciation for modern medicine. Yeah, I'm scared to get preeclampsia again, but I know that I am being so closely monitored. If it happens, it is going to be detected early and all the precautions will be taken. I'm not as concern as one may think...thanks to modern medicine and my competent high-risk docs.

So here's the 23.5 week belly pic. Again, I'm fighting to keep my eyes open. Always more to write...but also always ready for more sleep. Good night!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Maternity pics...

Our session was fantastic - so much fun. The best part was watching Emmeline really get into it. She would position herself in the photos just right, she had fun "assisting" our photographer and at one point, she even got her camera and took pictures of our photographer taking pictures. We did the 2-hour session in our home, in our sun room. With the use of white sheets, it was transformed into a very comfortable studio.

So, I knew I wanted some bare-on-top shots. You know the ones, where there is no shirt and just the hands covering the most intimate parts. So we did that, and then our photographer realized how comfortable I was, so she suggested that I may want to try a couple of shots without pants, lounged about with just some white material draped as to draw the line between artsy maternity pics and something less classy. Sure. I did it. I think they'll come out nice, although I'm guessing those prints will be nicely our bedroom.

In other news, DH just left for a 5-day trip. Survival mode. But we have a couple of things planned - a play date, lunch with a friend and an afternoon trip to Target after nap. Yeehaw! Emmeline gets the biggest kick out of riding around in those red, stand-up things and eating popcorn. Today is a special Target trip because I told her she could pic out some new decals for her room. She currently has Sesame Street ones up, and frankly, I think she's over Sesame Street. So I bribed her to allow me to move those to the babies' room by saying that she could pick out new ones. Lots of negotiations going on these days...

Here's a little preview of our session. More to come...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Best part...

"...was listening to their hearts beating", says Emmeline tonight when she was talking about the appointment and I asked her about her "best part" (thank you, Dora the Explorer) during the appointment. She again mentioned how she did not like the "gooey stuff", but I think it was a positive experience overall - she apparently talked about it in preschool.

In other news...I worked from home yesterday. I foresee myself increasingly doing that more in these next few weeks.

That's it - that's all I got for tonight. I wanted to document Emmeline's "best part" comment and had intentions of a longer post, but I'm literally struggling to keep my eyes open. Sooo sleepy...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

22-week appointment and belly

As I said in my facebook post, "good babies, good fluid". What more can we ask for? Apparently, things looked so good today that the doc didn't even feel the need to see us. Emmeline got to come to this ultrasound. I think she was most excited about getting the "well" sticker at the check-in desk (given after you confirm that you are not sick). And she expressed that she did not like the "gooey" stuff on my stomach. Other than that, she looked a little traumatized through the quick scan. I get it - although I am not traumatized, it always is a lot to take in. Even at 22-weeks. Probably will always be a lot to take in.

Painted the pink closet in their bedroom yesterday - sky blue. Emmeline "helped". :-)

Here are the pics from today...things are getting cramped in there. The ultrasound tech made a comment that they are both about the length of a barbie doll. Whoa! In my head, they could still fit in the palm of my hand (length wise). For some reason, I've been feeling more tired since the barbie doll comment...

And my belly:

Monday, January 21, 2013

Perhaps the sweetest. thing. ever.

My best friend's son had a birthday party today. A little context: his mom has been my best friend for 30+ years and her son(s) are like nephews; cousins to Emmeline. There was a house full of people and kids. He could have wished for endless material things or sport outcomes. But after he blew out the candle and cake was getting passed out, he came up to me and whispered in my ear, "When I blew out the candle, I wished for your babies to come out safely.". Yeah - sweetest. thing. ever. And to think that these boys (my bff has three of them) will be highly influential in my boys' lives. I'm a lucky girl.

In other news: maternity pics on Friday morning, followed by a small babymoon (most likely in our hometown). We are getting the pictures done in our house by this amazing photographer who lives down the street and took random, beautiful pictures of my DH and Emmeline this fall. Despite begging to pay her, she is once again doing the session for free because she hasn't done maternity pics and wants to build her portfolio. The good news for her is that I see her being our long-term photographer and with twins, well, she'll make some bucks down the road.

22-week appointment today. A brief glimpse of the boys - just checking out fluid and cervix. We are bringing Emmeline for the first time, thinking that a shorter ultrasound may be more appropriate. I am anticipating that she will ask the ultrasound tech to take a look at her babies also...

So here's a pic of that sweet boy and his cuz - taken today...he's always been loved, but today is a day that I got to see his beautiful soul with a new clarity.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The "perfect" family...

So like I said in an earlier post, this is often the reaction I get when I tell people that we are expecting identical twin boys and we have a 3-year-old daughter. And like I said, the comment always causes me to pause.


First of all, what causes this comment?...I think there is some overall idea that having a both boy and girl genders is nice. I think a lot of people, for whatever reason, think three is a nice number. Our daughter will be 3 1/2 when they are born, and I agree - that's a nice spread. And finally, I think the idea of identical twins is just intriguing to some people.

But never, not once, have I ever thought that these elements somehow constitute a "perfect" family. I have never said "I want this or that gender". I have never put a number on how many children I want. I sure as heck didn't think of "ideal age spreads" ...and identical twins? Are you kidding? With a something like a 3/4000 chance...yeah, that one was never a thought either.

The only thing I ever found myself wishing for was a child. One. And that wish didn't even become strong force until we realized that it may not happen.

And then it did happen. And to me, I had it - I had the perfect family.

I even said those words to my husband about a month before we got pregnant with the twins. I could see how our situation may not be "perfect" for some...I could see how people could fantasize for something different. But for us, for our situation, from our perspective, "perfect" was the word I used in our conversation.

And here we are.

And the bottom line is that for whatever reason, people see our current situation as more "perfect" than our past situation.

And I get it. I understand why it's nice to raise both genders and have more children...when the oldest is becoming more and more independent. And yeah, it's going to be a unique trip raising identical twins.

I'm sure once they are here, I will agree that it is the "perfect" family.

But the three of us were perfect too. And I venture to say that at some point, maybe farther down the road, there would have been perfection in the two of us if Emmeline never came into our world.

If there is one I've learned through this crazy process of infertility to natural twins, it's that if you are lucky enough to be somewhat stable and have a burning love for life, you will adapt. You will plow through your struggles and surprises and in the end, find the perfection in the situation you've been handed...regardless of anyone else's definition of "perfect".

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

21-week pregnancy pic

I didn't really plan on taking a 21-week belly pic, but when I donned this nighty (one that was suppose to be saved for the hospital...but couldn't be saved because none of my other pajamas fit), with the red satin bow laying across my belly like the gift that it is, I couldn't resist.

And then, in the process of having a photo shoot in my bathroom, I noticed this ducky sitting on the side of the tub. Oh, the story behind this ducky...It was either 2006 or 2007, I think. We weren't too far into our "trying" months. Alex had an overnight in New York City and I had the evening and next day off - and I was ovulating. So I hopped on a plane, went to NYC for a total of 12 hours, yada, yada, yada...bought this little ducky in the airport on the way home because I was "sure" that that would be the month we would get pregnant. Two, three years, $35,000 and an IVF and FET later, we have the baby that I was sure would have been conceived during that rendezvous in NYC. As I stood there, taking the pic while staring at my twin belly and seeing this ducky out of the corner of my eye, I was once again in disbelief. As much as you want to know, as much as you want to be in control, you really have no clue what life is going to hand you.

Feeling ok. More nesting. More being a mom. More work. More of the same. Yet, I find myself relishing in sameness as I realize that before I know it, things are going to be oh so very different.

Friday, January 11, 2013

20-week appointment

Well, this will be a short post because...because everything is fine. Better than fine. As good as it could possibly get at this point. Both babies not only measuring near exactly the same, but also in the 90+ percent for size (obviously unsustainable, but good for now). Fluid is the same in both sacs, which means not a trace of TTTS yet. Oh, and true to my overachieving nature, I gained 3 lbs in a week and a half.

The ultrasound was fun. We caught glimpses of both boys sucking their thumbs. Below is a pic of Baby A in the act.

So my big question for the doctor was can I feel some relief in the moment only or does all this good news at 20 weeks decrease our chances for TTTS and other complications? And the answer was yes - we can be hopeful about the future based on where things are at now. Not that it takes the risk of everything to zero, but still, it is trending down.

A couple of future blog posts I have circulating in my of which is about how often I get the response of "that's the perfect family" when I tell someone that we have a three-year old daughter and are expecting identical twin boys. Maybe it's my infertility experience or my own disbelief in our situation or both, but there is something about that comment that triggers something inside of me. Not necessarily good or bad...but just kind of stops me in my tracks for some reason. More later.

Also, concerns about my job and these babes...all three of them. My concern being that I still think of myself as a stay-at-home-mom who works a little. Teaching is just the thing I do on occasion to have some adult interaction. This mindset worked when I was an adjunct, but now, as full-time faculty, I realize it is unsustainable. I need to think of myself as mom and professor - both roles requiring dedication and attention. I find it challenging now...what's that going to be like with two more babes?

Ok...mind racing. Time for bed. I have my first committee meeting in the morning followed by a trip to Babies R refresh my memory and wipe off the cobwebs. Just like riding a bike, right?

Update: Babies R Us trip was fun - bottles, hangars and a couple of rattles for fun. Yeah, I should be set.

Baby A:

Baby B:

My baby with her babies:

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Nesting complications...

For the last two weeks, I've been in pretty serious nesting mode - organizing, re-organizing, moving furniture, sorting bags of clothes, etc.. Pretty straight forward stuff. Then tonight, we went on an evening outing at IKEA and looked at some cribs and high chairs. And then things got complicated.

With Emmeline, I was very confident at this point (20 weeks) that I would be bringing a baby home. There was no reservations putting up a crib, getting a high chair, getting everything and anything I felt would make her arrival and those first 6 months easier. And it worked out well. We were well set up. I feel like all the preparation and over-preparation saved some stressed. Again, I find myself very confident that we will be bringing a baby home...and, as of now, the chance of two babies coming home is looking pretty good. But good enough to get everything set up for two? Not quite yet. I think it will be another 6-8 weeks before I will allow myself to fully prepare for two.

And who knows...could things actually be okay with not as much preparation? With a few needed last minute trips to baby store? Could I be okay with being under prepared? I don't know. It's never happened. Perhaps this is my of millions of life lessons this experience has and will most likely continue to bring me.

I did just order 50 baby hangars from Amazon. I had some extras in the basement that I gave away for free about 7 months ago or know, because when your not having anymore kids, why would you need a basket full of baby hangars? ;-)

Friday, January 4, 2013

18 week belly

Made my first in-real-life connection with a mom currently pregnant with twins...with a sales associate at the Coach store. Actually, the first time I have ever been in a Coach store. She commented on my belly, I told her there was two, and she squealed with excitement "Me too! I'm 12-weeks.". Her's are fraternal, IVF babes...which of course led to further conversation - "my first was an IVF babe too - these are natural twins.". She told me how everyone keeps telling her those kind of stories. We exchanged emails. Oh, and we discovered that we have the same high risk doc.

In other news - starting back up at school next week. Curious to see how it goes. I am getting more and more tired as the belly grows and grows and grows. See below for evidence: