Saturday, December 14, 2013

Feliz Navidad!

It's the first Christmas since my babies were born, the first Christmas I've been looking forward to for MANY years, the first one I'm not counting how old I am and bemoaning that I'm STILL waiting for OUR turn, and the first Christmas I'm not shunning all things holiday-ish, and what happens?

December 14th, just got our tree decorated and stockings hung. Only two weeks to actually enjoy it!!!

(I'm the girl who usually cuts down her tree the day after Thanksgiving and doesn't take it down until the Epiphany).

Untold numbers of Christmas knicknacks are STILL sitting in their boxes in the hallway, and I just told L to forget it. This house is full of enough stuff this year (a play yard that has taken over my house and holds them in baby jail), jumpers that line the hallway, that adding any more might put me over the edge.

Not at all how I pictured it. And yet, so awesome. I ordered new stockings for us this year, so they no longer read Ducky and L, but 'Mom' and 'Dad' and of course the girls have their names on them. They came and I cried.

This Grinch's heart has certainly grown.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

And then, he's gone.

This week I received news that my first RE, Dr. H, the one who did IVFs 1 and 2 for us, the one who "accused" me of doing something to make my E2 levels drop from nearly 1400 to around 350 in 2 days, died. He was apparently diagnosed with some rare cancer earlier this year, had surgery, put his practice on hold, but unfortunately never recovered and died a few days ago. I am so sorry for his loss, and so sorry for all the families that he won't be able to help. He was the only doctor at this practice so I don't know exactly what will happen to it.

This has stirred up a lot of feelings...

Sunday, September 29, 2013

8 months

8 months old! We started the new daycare September 1st. They are a little weird, but I absolutely love the care they are getting there, it's actually a lot better than the other place. It's very educational - they read books to them, they have a theme of the season (when we went to check out the place it was watermelon and now that it's fall, it is apples, where they do "activities" and read books about apples. They go outside twice a day, and I think they went outside about 3 times total in the 6 weeks at the other place.

Still this place is a lot more expensive, and just a hassle to get to, so I think we'll still switch to the other toddler daycare we loved when they are 18 months old - we'll save $100 a WEEK!

I am thinking their motor skills are a little delayed, as they're still not sitting up by themselves. I can sit them up and they'll stay up for a little while, but inevitably will do something that shakes their balance and they end up down again.

Still, N is rocking back and forth and starting to make a tiny bit of progress in crawling. M has just started doing the rocking back and forth (whereas N has been doing it for about a month) so she's behind N in that.


They are finally able (with a pillow) to sit in a restaurant high chair. They are so tiny that it's huge on them, hence why the pillow is needed but it's very cute :) We go on vacation for a week with friends next month so I'm excited to see how they do!

One year ago this weekend was our gender reveal party!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Back in the swing of things, mostly!

It's been one month since the girls started daycare and two weeks since I went back to work! This poor blog is getting so neglected. It's so hard to find the time to write but I really want to...just not sure what to say most of the time.


The four day work week is helping, as Fridays are my day I get to catch up with the house ( a mis-nomer - I get a little bit done, but never enough!). It's nice to relax a bit though after a whole week of go go go.

Daycare has been pretty good so far. I was so nervous about it because I chose them so quickly (since I had no other choice) and they (the daycare teachers) are all REALLY young over there. But they seem to love the girls and they send me pics of the girls throughout the day quite often, in addition to me seeing every time they change, feed or nap. I'm addicted to that app.

But unfortunately, L's office is moving about 30 minutes away in November, and it will be really out of the way for us, so, in order not to be caught without a daycare like we were initially, we started looking a couple of weeks ago. First I called the daycare I wanted from the beginning because it has such a good reputation, but they once again were so snotty to me. I don't understand. I PAID an application fee over a year ago now and they told me I would able to start around the time I wanted. Not only do they still not have any spots, when I asked them when they thought they might be able to take the girls they were like, "Um...November, maybe December. Maybe not. And even then, there might be only 1 spot available." WTF did I pay $ for? I'm so angry about it.

So I googled around looking for other day cares and found a toddler daycare (starts at 18 months) nearby where L's office will be moving to. And while the girls couldn't start there till next August, I wanted to check it out to get on the list now and make sure I was definitely able to start when I wanted to. Even if we had to stay with the daycare that's out of the way for awhile, at some point we'd be able to switch over.

It was great. We loved it so much, and we talked to the director and were assured (without putting any money down) that they will call US and we are definitely in next year.

I called a few other places close to his work and got info, but didn't find glowing reviews about anyplace else except for this one in the federal building. I called and they said their waiting list was until about March 2014. Ugh. But I decided to fill out an application anyway since it was free (ahem, NO application fee!) and I wrote a note with it saying I had twins and was desperate to find a spot in the next few months since my husband's job was moving.

Long shot, but the very next day after I mailed it they called me and said they had two spots opening in September. Whoa! Now really, September is a little bit earlier than we need, but beggars can't be choosers. L and I went and visited it and liked it very much. I think the commute is going to be a bit rough for me for awhile as I'll be the one dropping off and picking up and L is the one who does that right now but hopefully it'll be ok.

But it's so funny how when you have choices all of a sudden you want to stay where you area. I really don't want to give up this app, and our new daycare is not as tech friendly and does the normal "paper at the end of the day" but that's it.

So we went back and forth but finally decided to go with the new daycare. The teachers are more well established (have been there over 10 years!!) and there's a big educational component to it. The girls at our current place are very nice and care for them adequately but there isn't the educational component. Other pluses: they will make bottles for us (no more having to make 8 bottles the night before to bring!), and when they start drinking cows milk around a year, they get their milk from a local dairy!

Still I am going to miss where they are and the constant updates! This will definitely take a little getting used to!

Oh, and just because this is awesome: :)


Friday, July 12, 2013

Almost Daycare Time!

Last day home alone with the babies!! I think a little picture of today is appropriate to post here! :)


Not the best quality photo (darn iPhone!) but I still love it. M is grabbing onto N who is smiling at me :) I'm going to hold it in my heart next week while they're away.

I don't go back to work myself for another 2.5 weeks but we had a huge mix up with daycare and this was the best we could do. I'm not sure if I ever wrote about it here. Last year while "pregnant" (seriously this was at about 8 weeks) I checked out a few daycares and decided upon one. Filled out and paid the application fee and everything. Of course I was nervous because I needed room for TWO babies, not just one!

Fast forward to early June and I still hadn't heard about them starting daycare in August, which is what I had wanted. I call to double check and they tell me I'm still on a waiting list. What waiting list? There hadn't been any when I originally signed up. Well apparently they had a lot of sibling births inbetween, which I COMPLETELY understand but what I didn't understand is why they didn't let me know? What is the purpose of the application fee if they just get to ignore me forever? So the 1 year I thought I had on everyone else disappeared and I was completely without a daycare when I went back to work. So I called around and just luckily found a daycare that could take the both of them but they had to start mid-July instead of August. I was just so lucky to get a place where they both could go (instead of having to drive to two different ones) so quickly.  We went and checked them out and they were fine so we put down our deposit. It's really close to L's job which is great but L's job will be moving in late fall so hopefully our first place will open up by then. Also the first place is a little cheaper than the new place, and I did like it better (they teach the babies sign language!) but this place will be fine for awhile.

In a way I am grateful I have a few weeks before I have to go back to work because A) I REALLY need to clean my house which has been severely neglected over the last 5+ months and B) I won't feel as guilty because I'll be at home and close by instead of at work and harder to leave if necessary. Of course I'm not grateful for having to pay for another few weeks :)




Friday, June 28, 2013

5 Months Old and the finished nursery!

5 months old today! My little monkeys are currently on the playmat while I type. M is 90% of the way turning over from back to front while in her cloth diaper (she can do it in disposables but cloth is so much bulkier) and N has her first tooth already! Growing up so fast! I'll be putting up pics on my other site soon.

A year and 3 days ago I found out Gabby was pregnant. I can't believe it was all a year ago - doesn't feel that long! We were on vacation with friends in Maine the whole week before and I had told her to test if she wanted. She had tested but didn't tell me! I was so nervous the whole week and really wish she would have because I was working myself into a tizzy that it hadn't worked since she hadn't given me any news. I figured it was because she was getting BFNs and didn't want to ruin my vacation - but I almost ruined it for myself thinking this! When I was back in the office on Monday the 25th I begged her to let me know if she'd tested and what the answer was as a way to prepare myself for the beta on the 26th. I didn't want the news to come from an overworked and cranky nurse. And then she said she'd been getting positives for awhile!! Whee!

Tomorrow is their baptism and I just hope everything goes well. We ordered catered food from a local restaurant and so far haven't been able to pay for it (wouldn't you think they'd be all over that?). Every time I try to call and pay it's almost like I'm bothering them! I'm trying to come up with a back up plan but I'm just really annoyed about it. Also, the priest doing our baptism seems to be all over the place and forget about us one day to the next. When we met with him during baptism class, he forgot about a funeral!! So yea, I'm worried about him remembering about us too.

I finally took pictures of the finished nursery! Only took me 5 months to remember to take them! I'm going to submit them to Apartment Therapy even though I don't take great pictures. I love this room!














Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Year of Firsts

A year of first is upon us...starting with tomorrow. June 10, 2012 I had my egg retrieval that resulted in my two beautiful little girls napping in their cribs right now.

One year ago today, I wrote this post, lamenting the fact that once again, my IVF cycle was not going as planned. My E2 went up to 1839 and then dropped precipitously, to 1474.

We ended up with 8 eggs retrieved, 6 mature, and only 3 fertilized. No one has ever been able to tell me why my E2 drops like that when my eggs are pretty clearly "good."

We went downstate yesterday to take our Catholic baptism class. I actually enjoyed it very much! It was given by one of the deacons and was very practical, I appreciated it. Afterwards my parents invited my inlaws and my brother and SIL and her parents came over for lunch. Long day, and the girls didn't nap a lot. But they are so well-behaved. I'm so proud and I'm pretty sure we don't have anything to do with it. I watched my brother trying to get his 10 week old son to sleep for well over an hour and am so grateful my two girls are such great sleepers - seriously, like 5 minutes to get them to sleep 95% of the time.

This morning, we dropped the girls off at the church daycare and went to the protestant church again, then took a tour of the church for people who want to be new members. This church is so open, I really love it, but I really miss my Catholic church sometimes...if nothing else because it's familiar. Yesterday at the class I saw a pamphlet on "Easy Catholic questions" and learned that Catholics really must go to church really only ONE time per year, the Easter service. That's not really true, since I'm pretty sure not going to mass is a sin (or so I was taught) but I started thinking today, maybe we could join BOTH churches - go to the Protestant church regularly, but go to the Catholic church at least once a year (although I love midnight masses, so maybe twice). Then my kids could get the benefit of both. I don't think I have the guts to tell either one of them (the churches) though. I asked L if he would be ok with that, and he said yes, and that it might be nice because they could benefit from the diversity of knowing both. So that might be the plan. A weird one, but nonetheless something that would make me happy :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hidy Ho

I am amazed at how much my blogging time has been curtailed lately. The first 4-6 weeks I was like, "I can do this, no problem!" and now I think "Oh I want to write about that," and then in never happens.

The girls are 4 months now and doing great. N is a little squealer - she doesn't laugh, but she gives these squealy shrieks of happiness. I love it. M is starting to become quite the babbler. She smiles, not as often as N who just grins, and is definitely the "quieter" of the two, no laughing or squealing from her, but she loves to talk, mostly to herself. And blow bubbles.

N had quite the growth spurt a few weeks ago where my pediatrician's office suggested starting her on solids because she was drinking so much, but I really don't want to go there before 6 months. I had a talk with my actual pediatrician (as opposed to the phone nurses) and have a bit better idea that I'll just "know" when it's time, and I feel more comfortable about it, even if it's before 6 months.

I was in Target yesterday because we were in desperate need of more bibs (N goes through a lot!) and I came across those rubber coated spoons and the thought of starting solids just thrilled me. So I went and took a look at all the options out there. "Baby's First Carrots" and all the jars and pouches there are. So much fun! And I was so filled with happiness I almost wanted to cry (why or why am I always so emotional?). Because there's always going to be something new to look forward to with these girls. Solids, and sitting up (unassisted) and crawling, and walking, saying words, etc. etc. A whole new world, hell a whole new life has opened up. Finally, I have it. It's so exciting.

And L and I were talking about this Thanksgiving and we realized the girls will actually be able to have some sweet potatoes and maybe a tiny bit of mushed/very cut up turkey. There's just so much to look forward to!

We are baptizing them at the end of this month in the Catholic church, back in my hometown. But we are looking for a church up here where we live and I'm not sure we will stay with Catholic. We checked out a Protestant church here Sunday that we liked very much. They have free daycare during church! I guess churches are starting to do this now because it certainly wasn't available when I was little! So we dropped them off there and then had a peaceful hour in church together, just the two of us. After the hour was over we went back to get them and the childcare people didn't want to give them up :)

AF is late again this month (after a couple of very on time months). I actually thought I might be pregnant - good timing for DTD (even though we didn't do that with the intention of TTC), sore boobs, even got sick the other day after dinner which was very random, so I took a test this morning and total BFN. It wouldn't be the ideal time anyway AND I'd probably miscarry again anyway, but I admit I was still hopeful. Sheesh. I really need to get on and take my Metformin regularly and I've been really bad about it. I'll take it on time for a few days but then forget and only take it 1x a day or go a few days without it altogether. Because my eating schedule is all over the place and because I'm supposed to take it with meals, it's really not regular.

2 more months of maternity leave and then back to work. I can't believe I've been out over 4 months already! I wish I could work part time - I'm ready to get out a bit more but the thought of trying to juggle everything and a FT job scares me!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

On This Mother's Day

One of the best things I've ever read on infertility and Mother's Day. From http://inconceivablebook.com/blog/ivf/dear-infertile-friend-my-mothers-day-gift-for-you/

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Dear Infertile Friend,

I wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you this Mother’s Day. Of course, I think of you every day, but on this day, which I know is particularly difficult for you, I want you to know that you’re in my heart.  I imagine,  at times, it may seem that I’m oblivious to your struggles.   As if somehow I’ve forgotten what it was like to stand in your shoes.  I assure you, I haven’t.  In fact, I’ll never, ever forget what it was like to walk the very lonely and scary path of infertility.  I acutely remember when Mother’s Day was a reminder of everything I wasn’t, instead of a celebration of everything I ever wanted to be.

In honor of Mother’s Day I want to give you a gift.  A gift I hope you’ll treasure.   It’s not a magic bullet.  I don’t have one of those.  Instead, it’s a promise—actually a few promises.  Promises that I hope will sustain you through your journey.

I promise not to give you unsolicited advice about conceiving.  I know you are relaxing.  That stress isn’t the problem and a vacation isn’t the answer.  I’m also very aware that how it finally worked for me (or my cousin or my neighbor or my grandma’s friend’s great-niece) probably isn’t the cure for you.  I’ll never assume I have the answer to your prayers…I promise.

I promise not to complain about my kids in front of you.  We all know that raising children is challenging.  I’m also aware you’d give your left arm to be knee deep in messy diapers and snotty noses.  There’ll be no child-related venting to you…I promise.

I promise to include you in our family related activities and understand when you decline.  I know you love my family.  I also understand being around little ones can be hard for you right now.  I’ll be sad that you’re not there, so I’ll continue to pray fervently for your miracle…I promise.

Most importantly, I promise to be here when you need me.  I’ll listen empathetically and squeeze your hand for encouragement.  Lean on me when you need to—my shoulders will hold you up and my love for you will catch your tears.  I’ll walk through this with you, admiring your bravery every step of the way…I promise.  

Please accept this Mother’s Day gift.  It’s a reminder that even though at times I may say or do the wrong thing, I know, in the depth of my soul, that you would make a terrific mother.  I can’t wait for the day when we can celebrate this occasion differently.  Until then, please remember you are not alone, my friend.  Whatever—whenever—just say the word.  I WILL be your biggest cheerleader…I promise.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Full Circle

I just took a look back at last year's posts around this time. I was just starting my lupron for the cycle that resulted in my two little beauties. I was completely anti-Mother's Day and so bitter I spent the day in bed.

The year before that I was pregnant with twins. I miscarried at the end of May.

The year before that I'd just had an M/C in April and was in a Clomid cycle.

The year before that (pre-blog) was a few months after my first ever M/C.

We just received a check back from the surrogacy agency for the amount of money left in the IOLTA fund. Gabby is fully compensated and all bills paid. We are DONE with surrogacy.

And in its wake, we have these girls, and I am a mom.

Full circle. In one year.

I know in this respect we've been extremely lucky. Lucky that it worked the first time, that my eggs were good enough that even though we only got 3 out of that last IVF cycle, it all was successful in the end.

It's amazing to think this journey is over.

The girls are almost 15 weeks now (really 14.5) and each week is getting easier. They are currently on their backs in the same crib staring at the mobile. (That is a feat in itself, they hate being on their backs in the crib unless it's bedtime. :)  I realize I treat them more like siblings that are the same age than "twins" - I don't know if I've ever put them in the same outfit even. My mom, who apparently always wanted twins so much she tried to dress me and my 8 year younger sister the same when I was 11(!!!) does not understand this and tries to buy everything the same, but to me they are so different. If they were identical that might make it easier to do so.

This week is the first week I thought I might be able to go to work. I really don't know how women do it at 6 weeks! I am glad I still have another 2 months to go - maybe I can enjoy the spring/early summer!!

I'll admit it, after years of hating Mother's Day, this year I am very excited for it. It feels like a victory lap.

But this is what I'll be posting on FB on Mother's Day.

http://messymiddle.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/an-open-letter-to-pastors-a-non-mom-speaks-about-mothers-day/

Sunday, May 5, 2013

International Bereaved Mother's Day


The first Sunday of every May is International Bereaved Mother's Day, for all the women of this world who hold some, if not all, of their children in their hearts and those who yearn to even just conceive a child. Sending out my love to all of you who this applies to. I know I have dreaded the coming Mother's Day for years.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston

Boston has become like a second hometown in the last 6 years. Monday's bombing shook me and like many, I felt so sad and sickened by people who could do this.

Before 2007, I had been to Boston one time, to visit a friend from high school at Boston University. I don't think we even did anything in Boston proper, but went to a college hockey game, that's it.

In 2007, my New York cardologist told me there was nothing more they could do for me. I asked for a second opinion, and she gave me the names of three adult congenital heart doctors, one in Philly (CHOP), one at the Mayo Clinic, and one at Boston Children's Hospital. Boston was closest so I decided to try there first, and then work out to the others (especially since Mayo seemed like the best place, just because it's the MAYO). But I never got to try any others out, because Dr. Mike at Boston Children's Adult Congenital Heart Clinic was just the most awesome person, and since then we have been through so much together.  He was there during my first pregnancy before my second open heart surgery when things didn't look good for me or the baby, and I remember him telling us he wished it wasn't professionally inappropriate to have us over his house because he knew the pain we were in.  He oversaw my 2009 second open heart surgery, promising me that they could "fix" this, even though Columbia Presbyterian had written me (and my life) off. He did three more of my heart catheterizations, putting stents in, until he was able to give me the green light to go and get pregnant again. I never managed to hang onto a pregnancy, but being able to try and get pregnant, even if not succeeding, was so much better than never been allowed to try at all.

For those not from the area, Boston Children's is attached (literally) to a number of other hospitals, via glass "bridges" - including Brigham and Women's, Dana Farber Institute, etc. So even though my surgery was at Boston Children's, my recovery was at Brigham and Women's, and Dr. Mike has privileges there as well (he is Harvard Med affiliated, so has a number of privileges, I assume), and he would visit me daily in the hospital. Brigham and Women's was as great as Boston Children's in their care of me was fantastic. It was why I knew I wanted a gestational carrier who would agree to give birth there, because it's such a fantastic place - not only a Level 1 Trauma Center, but a Level 3 NICU unit.

So in a way, Boston Children's and Brigham and Women's has given me 3 lives, my children's and my own. And I despite the tragedy of Monday, I was so glad those injured were so close to not only BWH and Boston Children's but all the hospitals of Boston that are so fantastic. And not that Dr. Mike would likely have much to do with trauma victims, but I know how much those doctors care about their patients. About 30 of the injured were sent to BWH and 8 injured children were sent to Boston Children's.

I was last in Boston about 11 weeks ago now, and it's not like I'm there all that often. But I have spent so much time in the Copley area whenever I am there (we would priceline hotels for the Copley area since we often went the night before an appointment since it was such a drive) so I feel so sad the site has become such a crime scene and I pray for those killed affected by such a cowardly person or people.
 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

On Money and Taxes

Ugh...taxes are due next week. Oh, I'm sure you all know that already. We are usually so ahead of the game; filing by March 1st is usually considered late for us! But not this year...this year we have 5 days to go and still haven't filed. Obviously we've been busy, but we really need to get it together. It's just taking us a long time because we have additional things to worry about.
As usual, filing for my little side business, which isn't anything much, but it's still additional paperwork.

Then, filing for adoption expenses. We never finalized (obviously) but we still put out some money towards it, so we can claim our 2011 expenses this year. That is going to be nice, since it's a credit. I asked for and got a letter from our agency detailing our expenses, just in case we are audited. It's almost $4K so I am very excited to get that back.

Finally, medical deductions. Ugh. So I've read lots of mixed things on claiming surrogacy expenses. Some people say yes, some people say no. Tax people. I'm not a tax person, but I am an attorney so I went looking for some case law on it. And from what I've found it seems like if you have "medical infertility" then you should be able to claim it. So we're going to try. Now, my ILs paid for a good portion of it (because we never would have been able to) but we probably paid about 1/3 of it ourselves. I went through all of our receipts and bank statements for the last year and added up our expenses. It makes me want to cringe. Almost $80K from beginning to end.

And honestly, that's pretty good for surrogacy. For that we have two children, and no unexpected expenses. One adoption would have cost us $32K so in reality it's not bad at all. But thank God for my inlaws without which we NEVER would have been able to do this. (even if I do complain about them a lot :)

But trying to sort out all this stuff has taken a lot of time. We even considered filing an amended return but I think we'll get it done on time.

Ugh, taxes. And money. I hate them both.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Mother's Helper

L and I have hired a mother's helper - really a friend of ours who is out of work right now. She's only going to come 2 days a week for 5 hours per day, and only until I can handle things a bit better, so I'm glad it's someone I know instead of hiring someone we don't know. Definitely more comfortable. She came for the first time today and it was awesome. I got so much done around the house and I think it was better for the girls too - they actually got more time being held and interacted with. Usually I change, feed, put back down quickly because I have to do the other one, and then if they are both "down" I have a few minutes to do something around the house, but it's so stressful and I've really felt bad that they don't have that much time with me.  Or anyone. But today I had time to sit with each one of them for awhile and have some girl talk, while A was holding the other one. It was great! And I had real adult conversation as well - win win :) Plus she's doing things exactly the way I want things done (I'm so anal) and I showed her my cloth diapering technique and it's all good!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I'm So Cranky

It's the lack of sleep getting to me. I can't wait to give these girls their last feeding tonight and go to bed.

Yesterday was the WORST day. It ended with me crying on the floor at midnight, which woke L up (who had only gone to bed the hour before).

The girls were fussy all day. Actually, fussy is putting it lightly, they cried, no, N SHRIEKED the entire day. I was at my wits end.

My work BFF (we no longer work together but this is how I identify her) has given us tons of her frozen breastmilk that she saved for us from when she was pumping last year. It's been great, and the girls have been gaining a ton on it. We used the Months 2-6 (age of her daughter at the time she pumped this milk) no problem, in fact the girls loved it. But it ran out and we recently got Months 7-9 from her, and the girls, N in particular, are just so much more fussy on it. I don't know why. They say that any breast milk, even if it's later in age than your actual baby can be considered better than formula (in terms of immunities - it's the same in terms of nutrition). But something in this milk was really bugging them. M was doing ok, but N seemed to be getting more and more fussy by the day, culminating in yesterday. So I dealt with her all day screaming, then L comes home from work and of course helps out a bit,  but he has to go to bed early (it wasn't even early yesterday because he was helping me so much because I was so frustrated even before he went to bed) so I'm up with them till the early morning hours.

He's in bed and N again is screaming, and the thought of having to deal with her for the next few hours AND doing it all again in the morning just put me over the edge and I went into meltdown mode. It's at times like these that I get so so negative and start thinking about certain people (ahem, my MIL) who never offered help (not like she'd ever be there at midnight anyway even if she did so heaven knows why I go there in my thoughts) ...and I just started crying. L wakes up and finds me crying on the couch with Natalie who is still screaming and then I just felt so guilty on top of it, the boy needs to be up by 5am to do the morning shift with the girls while I sleep till he leaves for work and he's up at midnight. He can't get her to stop crying so he tells me to get M and we'll put them in the car and go for a ride (supposedly the best thing to do for a colicky baby). But of course, it's almost time for M's feeding so I can't go so he takes N by himself. I feed M the breast milk and she's fine with it (for being the smaller baby at birth her stomach seems to be able to handle a lot more than N's) and then put her bed and she falls asleep no problem.

At that point I say screw it in terms of the milk. I make up a pitcher of formula because it's at least consistent and I just have this feeling there's something in the breast milk bothering her.

L comes back about a half hour later with a quiet N, thank God! He goes back to bed. But she's totally awake and she soon starts crying again - I figure she's hungry I feed her the bottle of formula. For the first time all day she's totally quiet after I finish feeding her. I put her to bed and she's still quiet. OMG!

We had a bunch of breastmilk still thawing in the fridge so I gave it to M all day who tolerated it just fine and kept N on the formula. Today was a totally different day! Happy babies, babies who napped, I got stuff done (including starting cloth diapering again, I guess that's another post) ...it was wonderful! I totally felt like I could handle the world! I think N was fussy for about 1 hour and I felt my mood drop so much for that one hour - it's crazy how much it goes up and down! Then she was "good" again and I felt I could do this for weeks on end with no break if it kept up like this. Craziness.

We still have some more 9 month milk in the freezer downstairs but I think we're going to keep it there until they're closer to 9 months. I don't know what could have changed in my work BFF's diet in those few months but obviously something was different. It can't be a dairy intolerance because the formula is cow-based...it's so weird.

Now poor L ends up getting about 3 hours of sleep because M woke up at 3:30am and he's morning shift (I had just gone to bed the hour before) so I feel horrible. So today I made him go to bed as early as possible - seriously, he still hung on until 10pm. I really hope they will both stay asleep until 5am tomorrow (today)!

The lack of sleep is catching up with me as well and as I already said, I can't wait to finish up the feedings and go to bed.

But today I've:
  • done laundry
  • taken a shower
  • given the girls a bath
  • organized cloth diapering stuff
  • cleaned out dresser drawer (it had turned into a "junk drawer" where we kept piling papers)
  • paid bills
  • wrote out a few more thank you cards/given a donation online/sympathy card
  • done 16 feedings
  • changed 20 diapers
  • ordered stay dry liners for cloth diapers
  • washed I don't know how many bottles
  • requested birth certificates (just realized I had to send in a form and payment!)
I am sure to the uninitiated (i.e. person who works who doesn't have newborns/kids) this sounds like a very easy day - but this is a rock star day for me now!

I hope tomorrow is a good day too. I could use a few in a row.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

2 Month Birthday

It's been a whirlwind of a week - it's L's birthday today and we just got word that my SIL (the other one, my brother's wife) is in labor and probably pushing RIGHT now. She's due April 10th with her first so this seems early for a first (but not so early that it's scary).  ETA: He's here!

Tuesday to Wednesday L and I left the girls with my parents for our first overnight without them and went to NYC. L has a conference in NYC for work twice a year and I usually am working so I don't go with him. But it was a good excuse for a break and my parents encouraged me to take one. I really enjoyed it. Not having to be at the girls' beck and call every 3 hours, actually sleeping in bed with L (I've felt like two ships passing in the night for awhile now) and "sleeping in" (the bed and pillows were actually not very comfortable and unfortunately i really didn't sleep well) were all great. I actually didn't see L much until 8pm but I met up with an old college friend who played hooky from work once he found out I was in the city and we went to the Museum of Natural History and saw an Imax movie. I LOVE Imax movies - but I was so tired I actually fell asleep halfway through it- haha.

I got to the museum about 15 minutes early and since it was a beautiful day I hung around by the cast iron fence on the corner drinking in the sun and letting myself gaze upon Central Park right across the street.


It was almost exactly 7 years ago (March 25, 2006) that the hubby fooled me into thinking we were going to the Museum of Natural History (one of my favorite places) and then brought me across the street to the Park and proposed. So much has happened since then, and most of it so tough, but the other day as I basked in the nice weather and looked at the park and realized we finally had our babies I could finally breathe. It was beautiful.

My friend J and I walked so much around the museum that by the time I got back to the hotel I was DEAD. Haven't done that much walking in forever! I couldn't even move to go get dinner (I was on my own because L had to go with work). So after debating it with a friend, I justified room service to myself (it actually wasn't that much more expensive than a meal in NYC anyway) as my friend said, "You can justify room service. You wait on 2 totally dependent people all day. Let someone wait on you." Sounded good to me!

Dinner was great and L finally got back around 9pm. When we checked into the hotel the front desk guy noticed it was L's birthday soon so he had given us two free drink tickets for the rooftop bar of the hotel and so we checked it out. Beautiful view! We sat on these huge cushions and relaxed and had a couple of good drinks before we headed back to our room for the night - completely exhausted.

View of the Empire State Building from the 19th floor!
We got back around 7pm last night and the girls were so fussy. They were off schedule and my parents hadn't put the nipples on our Avent bottles correctly, so I think they had sucked in a lot of air everytime they had a bottle. Ugh.  Then this morning was their 2 month birthday! And we celebrated by them getting their two month vaccinations. At 8am. Who's bright idea was that? So the girls were miserable the rest of the day and I did NOTHING special for L, poor guy. First time ever. Last year I surprised him with a trip to Vermont and we went brewery hopping. This year he's lucky he got a card. :(

They got Tylenol the rest of the day and are doing better now, thank goodness. I am not looking forward to this again in 2 months!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Not Exactly What I Was Thinking

So my experiment to blog mostly about the girls at my other blog is sort of falling through. Sort of. And that's because I can't be fully honest there. Because my parents and my inlaws know about it and I can't really say everything I always want to say. It's sort of why I set up this place to begin with - to not have to worry about hurting the feelings of people I knew and yet I could be brutally honest. My place to vent. So I think I'm going to write more here about things BUT all pictures and stuff will be there and I'll only refer to initals and such here. Sorry to be such a PITA about it.

I blogged for so long about things and I feel like I haven't written much in the last 8 weeks, and that stinks. I'm never going to have this time again and I'll forget how I felt if I don't write it down.

I love my girls so much. They are just so perfect to me. I know every mom says that :) M is such a quiet, pensive little girl who just looks around and is curious. N is a diva, complaining about everything and loves to cuddle. Ha, I feel so bad writing that - I actually think she has colic, or a very sensitive stomach, because many times she's inconsolable and I can here the tummy rumbling.

In about half an hour, my girls will be 8 weeks old. 8 weeks ago I will have been in that delivery room watching them being born. When I was little on every birthday, my mom used to say, "8 years ago today I was sitting in our apartment and your father and uncle were packing it up (they were in the middle of moving my parents) when I said, we have to go to the hospital..." -giving me the birth story and I ate it up when I was little. I won't be able to say it in the same way but it's still so nice to think about.

And 8 weeks ago? It feels simultaneously like 8 days or 8 years! January feels like SO long ago. I can't believe it's almost April. And yet, I can't believe it's already April! It's a mess of contradictions.

I don't have to go back for awhile, but I am nervous about going back to work. There's so much work right now here with the girls, how the heck will I juggle all of that AND work?

My mom has been a godsend with the girls. She had been so excited throughout the 9 months of Gabby's pregnancy and knowing her, I was really afraid that she'd either be there every day in the very beginning and then get tired of it (I do live 2.5 hours away) OR she'd try to take over and make me do things her way. I have been so pleasantly surprised. She has come up and continues to come up whenever she is able, even driving the whole way by herself (she NEVER did that before they were born - in fact, I would see her about 4 times a year - and 3 of those times would be us driving down there!) and she has gone out of her way to do things the way I want them.

My MIL on the other hand...not much. She and my FIL actually came twice to Boston the week the girls were born and still in the hospital and I was flabbergasted, and thought maybe things would change, but then they came up once in February and once yesterday, for L's birthday. It makes me sad. But there's nothing I can do except continue to invite them and try not to care too much when they don't.

In the meantime, I definitely think I'm going to need some help. I'm alone with the girls 95% of the time and starting to go crazy with the wash, rinse repeat of feeding and changing. Especially when N is crying uncontrollably, which now sets M off. It can go on all day and makes me want to cry too at times. But amazingly enough, I have not done the thing that all my friends (who didn't experience infertility) told me I would do - Cry and wonder why I wanted this. No, it has never even crossed my mind. I wanted this. I wanted to not take a shower for 3 days and attempt to console and unconsolable baby. To change one baby's outfit 4 times in one day because she keeps peeing all over herself whenever I change her. To be a mom.

So I've cried, but more because I wish I had family who lived closer and could help. But I think we may look into getting a mother's helper for a few hours a day a few days a week. Would be awesome if I could get some cleaning done, or a load of laundry, or even run out to Tar.get to get some wipes if needed instead of loading them up and spending 3x as long, trying to get back in time so I don't ruin my schedule. It would be wonderful.

But either way, I am the happiest I think I've ever been in my life. And AF came yesterday, at 34 days, so that's a pretty good cycle for me! My back is hanging in there surprisingly and hopefully with the nicer weather coming I will be able to exercise more.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Journey Goes On

I'm still here.

Not posting as much as I thought I would. I'm currently waiting for AF to start. I don't know if I ever wrote about getting a prescription for Metformin right before the girls were born. Of all doctors, it was the dermatologist I saw the week before they were induced that told me I should talk to my endocrinologist about it. I called her up and we discussed it and she agreed with my symptoms (that I can't think of specifically now, I'm so tired) that I should probably be on it. So I got it filled before they came and I have been so bad taking it one day here, forgetting the next day, since they came. I am hoping it would help stabilize my cycle a bit, but I can't expect that if I am not good at taking it. Ugh, it's hard to remember.

Today is CD 31, which for me is nothing. After a great cycle (for no discernible reason) that ended in January (it was like textbook perfect 31 days for me) last month it was 37 days again. Still, nothing like the 49 days (and higher) I've had before. So even though I'm not taking the Metformin as much as I should be, I'm kind of hoping it will still help a bit. I guess we'll see how late AF comes.

You would think having two (especially at one time) would put any thought of other babies completely out of my head, and yet it's the opposite. I think I'm partially sad that this will be the only time I get to experience this, which is pathetic because once I would have given my right arm to have the OPPORTUNITY to experience this just once. Ugh...you get a little bit and always want more, I guess.

But instead of thinking about my cycles, now would be the PERFECT time to get on a weight loss program. Because even if I were to magically get pregnant, my weight is hideous and I am very unhealthy. And since I don't want kids 10 months apart, there's no "pressure" right now to get pregnant. I wish I could get it together. I keep googling easy fitness plans on Pinterest and Google but just can't seem to get the motivation.

And even though N was particularly difficult today (she seems to have colic and was screaming much of the day), she was only happy/sleeping cuddling with me and my heart just melted. They may not have been in me for 9 months, but they know who mom is.

Friday, March 1, 2013

One Month Old

One month old today. I can't believe we've made it. I mean, obviously "making it" is a given, otherwise CPS would be banging down our doors, but I'm just in shock that I'm (we're) doing it. I haven't broken them (yet).

I've never been so happy in my entire life. How can I go from being so depressed to being so happy? I didn't know it would be possible.

Poor Gabby is still fighting her rash. She is debating having her tubes tied or a hysterectomy  (!!!) because getting your period makes it worse, she says. OMG, poor poor girl. I feel so bad that she got it, it's such a rare thing to get - of course it would happen to us.

Has anyone used Human Milk 4 Human Babies? I put up a request on the local chapter and got a few offers which is AWESOME but now I'm starting to regret it. L and even Gabby are telling me you don't really know the women donating, not that they'd do anything malicious, but they might not know they have an infection, or they might smoke pot, not thinking it's a big deal. I don't know. I really want to use breast milk but I feel like maybe I shouldn't have asked.

I know they have an "informed consent" thing but I feel like the only thing that would make me feel better would be to see their medical records and I think that's going a bit too far. I don't know, ugh...I wish I hadn't asked now.

I'm exhausted today! Can't wait to give them their late night feeding and go to bed!





Sunday, February 17, 2013

Paranoia Forever

One of the girls has a stuffy nose and it sounds occasionally like she's snoring, and I'm nervous as heck something is going to happen, like she's going to stop breathing. I keep checking her rib cage area to see if she's breathing hard, putting up the cool-mist humidifier, and googling to see if there's anything I should be doing. No, it seems pretty standard, and yet all of a sudden, I'm totally paranoid. Over a stuffy nose. Good God.

So after all the paranoia of hoping my babies would make it home, it's still there, praying nothing happens. Ha, it never ends.  :)


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A New Spot

I've finally made a spot for a post-IF journey blog. I meant to do it ahead of time, but the last few weeks things got crazy all of a sudden. Still, I've always been a big journaler (I STILL keep a real diary, though I blog much more than I actually write nowadays) and I definitely want to chronicle the girls' lives, in a protected way. So even though the other blog is public, all baby posts will be password protected. Please email me if you'd like the URL and password, and if you are not a total stranger ;) I will give it to you. I've kept this blog pretty anonymous (although I'm sure with details I've given people who know me could figure it out) and the new place will be anything but!

I still will be posting here occasionally, but will save the baby posts for the other blog. I think feelings related to IF will be my reason for continuing to come back, because honestly, I don't see it going away.

However, while we were in the hospital, apparently we got a new application form for the adoption agency for this year (you're required to reregister every year - of course, with a new application FEE as well). It was so nice to be able to put it away for the year...I may (probably will) want more children, but for this year at least, I can wholly enjoy the fruits of our "labor."

I am so excited to see what this year will bring!!

duckii926 at gmail dot com


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Home!

We're home! We got home very very late Friday night/very very early Saturday morning, after a 7 hour trip from Boston that normally takes us 3!

What an ordeal the week was. Especially for babies that were very very healthy!

The joy of the week was a little marred by feeling a little like a second class "mother" when it came to the care the hospital took of me for the babies, if that makes any sense. It's something I would like to speak up about and hopefully get changed at the hospital in the future, and also make other intended parents aware of, because while I was overjoyed with my babies, at other times it was hard.

I asked to speak to the social worker at one point because I was so upset. The hospital the girls were born at is one of the biggest and best in the country and she agreed with me, that the hospital has done SO much to modernize itself in many ways, but surrogacy is one thing they need to take a look at.

A little bit of it also had to do with my agency. They said they did everything that can, but I think I expected more in the end. I barely bothered them the entire two months, but as time wound down, I felt they started to drop the ball. For instance, the whole wait for the pre-birth order/parentage petition, which we finally got ahead of time, and it literally made it to the hospital the week before Gabby gave birth. And then, my questions about how we, the intended parents would be handled at the hospital. I asked questions about what we should expect weeks in advance, and they told me someone from the hospital would be in touch with me, but she never was. I was waiting and waiting, and I'd asked again, and they would say, "next week" until we got the news they were inducing in 3 days and we hadn't heard from her. And we never did.

So, we'd heard from the agency the week before that we wouldn't be getting a hospital room like we'd heard at some point beforehand. I don't remember who that was who told us that we'd be getting one - either the doctor at the hospital when we did our IVF cycle, or our agency contact months ago - but they told us the policy was changed, and we'd have to get a hotel. That was kind of sad in its own way. We obviously would have to sleep, so we really wouldn't be able to spend all our time with our babies. But then after birth, we were informed we would get a "family" room on the same floor as the nursery our girls were in for the duration of our stay. Awesome! It wasn't a hospital room, but had chair/beds, with a bathroom and tv.

But at some point during the stay, we were "kicked out" of the room, which is really what made me upset. We, obviously, were never patients at the hospital, just our babies. But our babies, as late pretermers, they were watched for a longer period of time before they were allowed to be discharged. They were called "boarder babies" as opposed to the babies of the mom in Room 1017 (for example). So we were there longer than typical babies are, but they weren't NICU babies. So we were told they wanted our family room for a mom/family who'd been discharged from from the hospital but whose baby was still in the nursery, because she was breastfeeding her baby. Well you know what, I would have loved to breastfeed my babies, but it just wasn't possible - so I was not as important as this woman was? I told the social worker, so I don't get to carry my babies for 9 months, I don't get to breastfeed, the bonding experience that is so so important I wasn't getting for the first few days. And they really really pushed "skin-to-skin" time, but without a room, I had no private space to do that. I was really really upset. Eventually they got me a room on the 9th floor, but the babies were still on the 10th floor nursery and apparently they don't change nurseries because they want "consistency of care." Whatever that means, I don't know. It seemed like just about every other day there was a different nurse on for the day/night - so how consistent was the care really? And of course, due to security protocols, I couldn't take the babies from the 10th floor nursery to my room on the 9th floor, basically enabling me no privacy with them for skin-to-skin time. Like I said, it was really upsetting - especially because we never ever heard from that person who was supposed to call from the hospital before we were even supposed to go in. I informed the social worker of that, because that is just not cool.

I'm trying not to let it mar the whole experience, but obviously the birth experience is really important. And that was with a birth order in place. If you're gestational carrier is giving birth in a state that doesn't even recognize birth order/parentage petitions, it's even worse. You won't even be recognized as the mom. Gabby was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday, and I was sad to see her leave, but from then on there wasn't anymore confusion about who was the mom. They were very very good about treating me as such, though of course at times there was some confusion. And I got so many compliments from random people about how good I looked for giving birth to twins 2 days earlier! :)

The girls did really well the whole week, everyone was amazed. M had a slightly low glucose level in the beginning but it came to normal within 24 hours. Then N's bilirubin levels rose and she had jaundice and was under the blue UV lights for 24 hours, but that corrected itself quickly too. Other than that, we were just waiting for their birth weights to start to go back up, and they had to pass their car seat tests.

Oh! There was some "drama" surrounding that too - because we found out our carseats didn't hold less than 5lbs! We were told to either buy new carseats that went to 4lbs or a car bed- neither option was ideal as to spend $200+ for half a pound of weight just stinks! But Gabby came through for us! In one day she contacted 2 friends who had car seats that went to 4 lbs and my ILs picked them up (plus some more breast milk from her) on their way to visiting us in the hospital. So awesome! They had their car seat tests overnight (they had to be able to sit in it upright for 90 minutes and maintain their airway) and they passed, so we were able to leave Friday evening!

Before Gabby left, we were able to give her our gifts - her husband got to open the gift certificate for the hotel and she of course, opened the necklace. I think they loved both gifts, and her husband mentioned that the necklace was totally her type of jewelry - yeah! I never got to write that long thank you I intended, because of the rush when being told we were inducing in 3 days, but a day later I received an email from Gabby that sounded like a "goodbye" email to me. Saying how happy she was for us, etc....I don't want to put it here but I really thought she was saying, "Thanks for everything, this was great, have a nice life." And I was really sad. I wrote her back late one night while in the hospital, with tears pouring from my eyes as I typed from the inner part of my soul.

I wrote to her how a million thanks would never be enough for what she did for us, and for the first time, I told her in detail about our journey. I mean, she knew the basics of course, but I poured out my heart and told her how it felt that I walked in darkness for so long before this.

"So you didn't only give L and I a family," I wrote, "you also gave part of myself back to me." I wrote more..."I had lost all hope, and you gave it back."

I was sobbing by the time it was done, because if she was really saying goodbye, I needed her to know that.

So I was touched when I got an email back from her the next day saying that's not at all what she was saying, that even though we'd only known each other a year, it was one of the most intimate relationships she'd ever had and she hoped to be my friend forever. What a relief! I'd been worried about it for so long, and I wonder if she'd been worried about my feelings on the subject as well - because ever since then, things have been easier and "looser" between us. We text regularly and easily - and she's gone out of her way for us regarding breast milk. It's just all so awesome.

A few pictures from when we were in the hospital to finish this extremely long post.

Blue-light diva N!


Going home outfits
The 4lb carseats are so big on them!







Wednesday, January 30, 2013

They're here!

My two beauties have arrived! What a whirlwind the last few days have been! It's going by so fast and yet it doesn't feel like we're doing all that much! M & N were born at 12:26am and 12:30am on Mon. 1/28 via vaginal birth! We got there at 9am Sunday morning and it felt like it took forever to get things started. They began with a pitocin "test" at around 11:40am to see if the girls would do ok or if they needed to switch to a c-section plan, but they handled it just fine, so they started a regular drip of pitocin and kept raising it.

Gabby, her husband, L and I spent the whole day hanging out in her room. There was a chair/bed in the room that I got to lie down on and straighten my back occasionally (and I took a nap because I barely slept the night before) but it was nice to spend so much time together. My parents and my inlaws arrived at 2pm (we totally thought she would have given birth by then given how quickly she's given birth previously) but it was still around 1-2 at that time. They had to sit in the public waiting room the whole time which must have been so boring. We would go down every few hours to let them know what was happening, which wasn't much.

Around 7pm she was 4-5 cm dilated, and they were planning to break her water. She kept debating whether to get an epidural or wait till after her water was broken, but we convinced her to get it sooner rather than later. We thought once her water was broken things would stop happening, but not...

The wait continued...and continued...and around 10:30pm we began debating if the girls would even come on Sunday, and of course we kind of hoped one would come just before midnight and one after! But around 11:30pm we knew it wasn't going to happen. She was still only about 5 cm dilated.

Finally, around 12:15am I told L to tell the parents they should just leave or get a hotel room because who knew when it was going to happen, and they'd been sitting down there for so long. But right after L left, all of a sudden Gabby was like, "Ok, this is happening, I think we need to go." She called the team in and they checked her and she was 10 cm. L came walking in and I told him to quickly call the parents to let them know because they were about to leave. He did and then we were rushed into the OR (just in case we had to switch to a c-section, but we didn't) and they were telling her to not push because she really wanted to. It all of a sudden happened so fast!

There were three teams in the OR - so many people! There was a team for each of the girls, and one for Gabby as well. There were two chairs set up behind the table, it was sort of weird and I felt a little sad, like we were such spectators when everyone else had a role. Gabby's husband was with her the whole time, holding her hand and talking to her (he is so sweet) and we were behind them sitting (because of my back) for a bit, not able to see anything behind all the people standing around her.

We started to stand up, and Gabby pushed ONCE and Baby M came shooting out! They grabbed her and worked SO fast, cutting the cord (we thought L would be doing that) and getting her over to her team.  L went over to her and I stayed because I wanted to see Baby N come out. Gabby wanted to push again and the team was trying to tell her not to. People were reaching up and I think something was happening that wasn't great because someone had their hand way up there in her - so either Baby N was starting to turn the wrong way or the cord was wrapped around her, I'm not sure. Even though it felt like a long time it was only 4 minutes apparently, and Gabby got permission to push again, and BOOM, N was out. Same thing happened with N being passed quickly to her team and L was with M so I went over to N. I saw L trimming M's cord, and I just stood by N's team. I almost felt lost, but incredibly happy. They were still working on Gabby and I wanted to go to both N and M, and then felt bad that I was ignoring Gabby. I kept turning to her, because it felt like, now that the girls were out, I was just going to forget about her? It didn't feel right, but Gabby caught my eyes and said, "it's fine! Go to your girls," so I did.

Both apgars were 9, and M was 4lbs3oz. - quite a bit higher than the 3lbs11oz. they were concerned about that led to this induction! N was a little lower than they'd estimated, 4lbs9oz vs. the 4lbs13oz they'd previously estimated. And they were so perfect! In fact, they were doing so well that we got to have the girls their first two hours of life before we had to send them up to NICU. Finally both sets of parents got to come up and they melted. I was grinning ear to ear.

They did so well in NICU they were released after the minimum amount of time - 18 hours, and they came to the well-baby nursery last night at 6:30pm. They're keeping up their heat, their blood sugar levels are great, and they're nursing champs. They're just small. So we're hoping to get their weights up so they can go home soon!

I am head over heels for these girls already. They are so laid back, I don't know how they were born to me! :) And L is so in love as well.

A nurse said to me yesterday, "These girls were worth all the pain, weren't they?" (everyone knows our story as we're the only surrogate birth there right now)...and I stopped and thought, because I've heard other people say after their babies were born (IFers who've had hard times too) how worth it all it was and I really have been so bitter that I thought I would never ever be able to think that - that I would love my girls and be so grateful for them but not be able to say, I'm glad for the pain I had. And honestly, all of a sudden, I am. It has been SO MUCH pain, and me of all people can say it was all worth it.

Here are my burrito babies less than 2 hours after birth. Perfect little girls.




More later, when I get a chance!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Waiting Game

These girls are taking their sweet time! We've been here since 9am, they started with a pitocin "test" around 11:40 to see how the babies would handle it to make sure they would be ok for a vaginal delivery. They passed with flying colors and they've upped the pitocin ever since and reached a maximum level of 20 (because they're twins they said) several hours ago now.

Contractions are now about 3 minutes apart , but still pretty short and not super intense, although they are starting to get stronger now.

The nurse pulled out one of those layout chair/beds for me and I've been alternating between that and a a regular chair all day. It's not an ideal situation but we're making do. My back is at least a little better than yesterday or Friday.

Resident just came in and she's now 3 cm. Gabby's debating whether to get her epidural now or wait longer. They're planning to break her water after the shift change in a few minutes.

C'mon girls!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

This Can't Be Happening Right Now

It looks like all the work I've been doing the last few weeks caught up to me. I was in so much pain yesterday I couldn't even stand. L took me to the ER where they gave me per.coset and a muscle relaxer. Then I threw up all night from the per.coset. Never ever touching that again. Today pain is better but I still can't stand. OMG what am I going to do? I'm going to be in a hotel tonight and in L&D tomorrow. How can this be happening to me?

Watch this: i bet Gabby is going to waltz into L&D tomorrow and I'm going to come in a wheelchair. How ironic.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Holy Crap on a Cracker

I'm going to be a mom on Sunday.

At today's U/S we learned that Baby M is not growing very well anymore. Only 2 oz. in the last two weeks. They've been doing doppler ultrasounds of the placentas and BPPs and everything has looked good for both babies, but obviously something is going on and they think Baby M will be better out than in. She's only 3lbs11oz at almost 35 weeks! However, Baby N is doing fantastically, 4lbs13oz. and would have no need to come out if not for her sister.

So they gave Gabby a steroid shot today and she'll get another one tomorrow. Originally they were going to start induction Saturday night but since Gabby gives birth so quickly she told them Sunday morning was better. So that's it! They'll start at 8:30am Sunday morning and I imagine it'll take a few hours but I pray everything goes well and we'll have our baby girls that day!

Of course, they'll be in NICU, but the MFM said only as "feeders and growers." They were both doing great breathing movements and he's not really worried about them immediately, but just thinks it's time.

I found this out at about 1pm today, and by 6:30 was done preparing everything for work. I could go in tomorrow but I am so not prepared for Sunday. Thank God I got to have my shower because I just sterilized some bottles tonight! I have to wash blankets tomorrow! So much to do, and my house is a total WRECK.

So, I'll leave you with - AHH!!!!!! I can't believe we're almost there! Please send good thoughts/prayers for my girls - we just have one more hill to climb!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Babies Shower

If you're new to my blog during ICLW week, here's January's ICLW post.


My whole weekend was amazing. Friends arrived at my house after work to help make my shower favors, which I had agreed to make for my mom. We had decided on snowflake cookies. I didn't do much though besides ordering ingredients- one friend had pre-made the majority of the cookies the night before and arrived with a bowl of dough to make some more- which she promptly rolled out and baked in my oven. Another friend measured out and whipped up the "hard frosting" for the cookies- and then we split into frosting and "sprinkle" teams. It was hilarious! I got kicked off pretty quickly for clumping my sprinkles-I couldn't do it evenly! My BFF was moved to the icing team after dousing a cookie in so many sprinkles it looked like something an exotic dancer would wear! I became a "supervisor" and we just chatted and joked.




After letting the cookies dry, we packaged them up in cellophane bags and ribbon that my mon had bought that said "Ducky's Baby Shower" and the date. They looked great!




We stayed up late chatting and it was hard to let them go at midnight (although one friend slept over) even though I was going to see them the next day!

SATURDAY! Up bright and early to get to the restaurant on time to decorate! The shower started at 12 and I live about 45 minutes away. My friend and I arrived and I wasn't allowed into the room, which I thought pretty silly bc I just had to sit in the hall upstairs and twiddle my thumbs! Finally I was allowed in and it looked so pretty. There was a roaring fire in the room (I didn't get any pictures of it, oh no!) and my mom and friends did a great job decorating.

Unfortunately since I don't want to post pictures of me or anyone I know on this blog I can't give you the fun pics of me opening presents. But here's a few of the decorations!





Instead of a wishing well, and because the theme of my shower was winter (my invite started with "Baby It's Cold Outside!" my mom asked everyone to bring hats and mittens of different sizes for a winter clothesline which she hung up across from the fireplace. It looked great and I don't think we have to buy the girls hats or gloves until they're 13!

I had been so afraid I would have anything to open, but there was so much I started thinking the gift opening was taking way too long. People were more generous than I ever could have imagined. And only one person (my mom, of course) gave me disposable diapers! The decoration in the picture below is from a diaper wreath she had made!

 
 
My friends saved the best gift for last. It was a sign my mom had told me she bought for the room last October. I opened it, held it above my head because everyone wanted to see, and it felt like I was raising a trophy in victory above my head.
 
 
 
 
F.U. infertility! You tried to keep babies away and we found a way to beat you!!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Last ICLW

Writing about a shower is probably not a good first day ICLW post so I should probably hold off. It was seriously one of the most amazing days of my life though. I will hold it in my heart forever.

Welcome to my little anonymous corner of the web if you are dropping by for ICLW for the first time! Hubby and I are expecting our girls in a few weeks via our fantabulous gestational carrier Gabby. For the last 5 years (yeah, ignore my little card blurb that said otherwise down below) we have been trying for babies. We've done umpteen TI cycles, Clomid cycles, IUIs, IVFs, and 1 FET. I've carried singletons and even twins once (that was the farthest I've gotten on my own). I've lost them all before 12 weeks, 6 losses. We were in the midst of the adoption process for almost 2 years when we decided to try with a gestational surrogate at the end of 2011 thanks to the generosity of my inlaws (who I bitch about more than I should, given their generosity for this financially) worked with an agency who introduced us to Gabby in January 2012. We immediately decided to work together, and I did my (hopefully) final IVF cycle in May 2012 and transferred embryos in June to Gabby. She became pregnant and did not lose my babies! (which pretty much confirms something is wrong with me, although we are totally unexplained) and we are now nearing the end of our journey together as we're expecting our girls the second week of February.

This is probably my last ICLW for awhile as (I hope!) I will have my hands full for the next few months. I can't believe we're here - it is just nuts. This is really happening - to me - something I never thought would. How can something that is occurring simultaneously feel unfathomable? It's just unreal.

The experience of "pregnancy" when you're not pregnant is not ideal, but I know it will make no difference in the end. I often wish I was the one experiencing the changes in my body but I am so grateful to have been on this journey.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Let's Get This Party Started

Let the "Shower Weekend" commence!! When I get home tonight, one girl friend will already be there and three others will be arriving soon after to decorate cookies for tomorrow! One of them made the cookies last night and it will be an awesome night of bonding, sending L out for pizza for us and having so much fun!

Then tomorrow is the shower! I have been looking forward to this for so long I am SOOOOO excited! I hope the games aren't too cheesy and there's enough presents to open. We have about 30 people coming but it seems like a bunch of them have mailed the presents to me ahead of time. I've only heard of doing that when you're NOT coming. I am so excited to see so many people and put out the card we made! It looks great!

On the front of it is Gabby's picture - and it says Meet Our Gestational Carrier (First Name!) Inside is basic information, her age, occupation, husband's and kid's names, and why she wanted to be a GC and why her husband thought she'd make a great GC. Then on the other side is a little bit about gestational surrogacy and a blurb about our journey. That was really hard for me to write about so I ended up doing this instead.

6 losses
+ 5 adoption profilings
+ 4 years of struggle
+ 3 IVFs
+ 2 open heart surgeries
+ 1 gestational carrier

= Our happy ending!

I would venture to say most of the people going to my shower don't know half of what we've been through, so I was a little reluctant this would be TMI. Then I thought, whatever, it's MY journey and I want them to know. And I'll admit a little part of me wanted MIL to see this because she simply does not understand why we "can't get over" baby-related things (this was before Gabby).

Of course, now that I printed this out for the tables, I realize the "formula" is pretty wrong - I totally left out an IVF! (how the hell do you forget one of those?) Plus 3 IUIs, but L was squeamish about me putting that in there. He didn't mind IVF though. And it's been longer than 4 years too. Oh well, it didn't fit the countdown thing I tried to have. The card looks pretty good and I'm so grateful for the suggestion!! I forwarded it to Gabby and she loved it and forwarded it to her family.

There was also an u/s yesterday, but no measurements were taken. They did biophysical profiles though and both girls were 8/8! And best of all - BOTH were head down!! Gabby was so shocked she couldn't believe it. She thought the tech was a trainee and that he might have made a mistake, but I told her that even a trainee should know the difference between head and feet at least! :) I think she's geared herself up for a c-section, which is probably the smart thing to do but now she might be able to give birth vaginally. They say Baby M is not likely to turn again, but Baby N may still as she has more room. If she turns breech again then Gabby will just get a c-section because she doesn't want to take the chance of there being an issue halfway through and having an emergency c-section, but if not...they might induce 2/12 now, when the MFM is there! Since Baby N is the bigger baby, it'll all depend on her. I'm kind of hoping since she's the bigger baby the big ol' head will weight her in the right direction.

The Sunday we're heading over to MA to visit Gabby and the family! We were going last weekend but she had the flu and we were both with bad colds so this works out better (and we have off Monday). Can't wait to see her.

What a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wrapping the Gestational Carrier Journey Up

It's time to start sitting down an attempting to write the biggest thank you note of my life. To Gabby, and her husband, and it's hard to feel like you're writing something meaningful enough to convey the gratitude you have for someone who just made your dreams come true.

I just came across this post from This Journey Known as my Life. She is a gestational carrier who has carried multiple surrobabies for intended parents. And this part just brought tears to my eyes:

I wanted to find the truth so that I would know for myself why I love these families.

I thought about my love for these families that I helped to grow. I didn't start to love them at the end of our journey when they gave me a gift. I didn't start to love them when their child was born. I loved them way before then.

So I went back to the beginning. I thought of my first meeting with each couple. I thought of the words of their stories, the expressions on their faces as they explained to me why they were on the road to surrogacy. I watched the sorrow in their eyes when they spoke of their losses and the love in their eyes when they spoke about falling in love with their spouses. I listened to the passion in their voices as they shared their desire to become parents. I felt their sincerity in their heart, and I saw the light of hope alive in them when they spoke of the possibility that surrogacy would bring them a child.

In each case, I knew right away that I wanted to work with each couple. Why?

It is the human suffering they have endured. The grace with which they accept that they cannot control all things. The strength they have gained through their trials. The love they have for each other. The desire the have to become parents. The hope. I fall in love with these couples. The very first days I meet them. I see my brother and my sister in need, I see their humanity- the grief and the joy and the hope (always hope), and I want to walk with them awhile. I want to carry a child for my sister while she is unable, and I want to absorb some of their strength, and love, and hope, no, patience.

Every moment after that first meeting is just our friendship and our love growing. I do not believe that you can walk a spell with someone through such a personal and emotion riddled journey and not share a part of yourself. I do not think I could work with a couple that I did not feel love toward from that first moment.

That is what I should have told the counselor. That is what I should have told all my IPs.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

This wasn't written by Gabby, but when I write my thank you note, I will be responding to this.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

One Month From Today

One month from today I will (hopefully) have my babies in my arms! They will be small, so I think they will get some NICU time no matter what, but I pray it is very short!

Things are a whirlwind! My shower is this weekend! I just realized that L's extended family doesn't know that I'm not pregnant. You would think my MIL would have told them, but L doesn't believe she has and he and I don't talk to them except at family functions (like a baby shower! :)

So now I'm not sure what to do. It should be fairly obvious that I'm not carrying twins but I bet they will stare at my non-existent belly trying to figure things out OR ask me how I'm feeling. Which is "great!" but I don't think I should lead them on.

Any suggestions for what I should do? I talked to Gabby about putting her picture up so people could see/learn more about her (and also see my babies,  haha) - but it almost seems like a "memorial" and kind of strange! Likewise, making an announcement about it. A friend suggesting a posterboard talking about our journey to parenthood but that seems like it would be very depressing. Open heart surgery, engagement, marriage, adoption, miscarriage open heart surgery, IVF, chemical, miscarriage, etc....that's a joy to read about!

A "game" about my carrier seems like it would be a good idea...but I don't know. I should have thought about this sooner! I'm already so stretched for time this week!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

We Have a Date

Oh wow. We have a c-section date! At Thursday's ultrasound, c-section was scheduled for Friday, February 15th! 5 weeks from yesterday! Ahhh!!!!

Thursday's ultrasound went as well as could be. Baby M is now measuring in the 4th percentile but doc still isn't too concerned. She's being squished by Baby N who is right on top of her and he said that the percentiles are for singletons and don't really apply. He said that they just needed to grow 100g a week and she grew 300g so he's comfortable enough. Plus he did dopplers on both placentas again and everything looks perfect so they'll check back in another week. Baby M is measuring 3lbs9oz as of 32w4d.

Baby N grew 400g from last week and now weighs 4lb4oz. But it's hard to measure her as well as she's "U-shaped" - her legs are over her face! The doc believes it's likely she's a little bit lighter than that and Baby M is probably the same weight as estimate or a little more. 

So everything looks good and Gabby will go back next week again. Poor thing had the flu last week despite getting the flu shot in the fall! But she got Tamiflu and is feeling better. We were supposed to visit her today but pushed it off to next week because me and L have bad colds and don't want to get her sicker.

The Tiffany necklace came in a mail, but on Thursday I learned that Gabby had gotten an iPad for Christmas! Ack! Luckily I was able to still cancel the iPad mini as it hadn't shipped yet. Thank goodness because we had ordered engraving with it so there was no way we could have returned it! We've decided to just get them a weekend's hotel stay in Vermont - just pay for the hotel instead of the whole weekend like we originally thought about before realizing it was too much money for us. It'll come in the form of a gift certificate, so they can decide whether they want to go alone or bring the kids. It'll be a little bit more than we planned, especially with the Tiffany necklace, but not too over the top.

34 more days!