Green Eyed

This post is an attempt to work through some issues with infertility that I am still (yes, still) dealing with.  I guess you could call it a New Year’s Resolution, but I’m working on letting go of all of this…

I’m jealous that you got what I so desperately wanted without blinking an eye.  I’m jealous that without even trying, you created a miracle.  That you didn’t have surgery or hormone injections.  That you didn’t have blood work and ultrasounds every other day.  That it didn’t cost you thousands of dollars.  I’m jealous.

I’m jealous that your pregnancy was so easy and lovely.  I’m jealous that you went to Zumba while I could barely walk up the stairs.  That you didn’t have constant, nerve-wracking, high-risk monitoring.  That you didn’t have gestational diabetes and could eat whatever you wanted.  That you didn’t have preterm labor and non-stop contractions for over a month.  I’m jealous.

I’m jealous that you had the birth you wanted.  I’m jealous that you got to follow through with the birth plan you pictured in your head, the plan you planned for.  That you didn’t have to have major surgery in order to give birth.  That you got to be an active participant in bringing your child into this world.  I’m jealous.

I’m jealous that you got to take your baby home with you.  I’m jealous that the first time you held your baby was right after you gave birth.  That you got to change diapers without nurses standing over you.  That you never had to leave your baby behind.  That you aren’t still paying the medical bills.  I’m jealous.

I’m jealous that you get to nurse your baby.  I’m jealous that you never have to worry about supply.  That your nipples aren’t cracked and bloody.  That you don’t spend half your day hooked up to a breast pump.  That breastfeeding means baby snuggles and not hard plastic.  I’m jealous.

Mostly, though, I’m jealous that you’ll get to do this all again.  That when you put away your baby clothes, you are saving them for next time.  That it will be such a simple decision to try again.  That you’ll be successful at building your family.

I’m jealous.

2010 Photo Recap

It would be really nice if I wrote an actual post, but that’s just not going to happen.  Instead, you can watch our year progress in way too many photos.  Wishing you and yours the very best in 2011!

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

(Insert non-existent picture of Stephanie and I at her wedding here.)

August

September

October

November

December

I definitely think we’ve had enough fun and excitement to last for one year.  Bring on 2011!

Introducing…

Evelyn Marie

“Baby A”

Born September 11, 2010 at 1:08 p.m.

4 pounds, 12 ounces

17 inches

Charlotte May

“Baby B”

Born September 11, 2010 at 1:07 p.m.

5 pounds, 1 ounce

17 inches

To My Darling Little Girls

It’s been a long time since I’ve written to you.  In fact, the only letter I’ve ever written to you was before I knew you had been conceived…before there were two you…before I knew you were girls…

It is so hard to believe that you will be here soon!  Some days, I still have a hard time believing that I’m pregnant, despite the fact that I can barely move.  It’s so amazing to think that in a few days or a few weeks that you will both be here!  Your daddy and I have been busy getting everything ready for you to come home with us.  We are both so anxious for you to get here!

Even though I have been really uncomfortable and completely crabby, I wouldn’t trade a minute of this pregnancy for anything in the world.  I hope you always know what miracles you both are to your daddy and I.  Even when you are kicking my cervix and wedging yourselves up under my ribs, my heart is completely bursting with love for you.  I never knew it was possible to have so much love for people you have never met.

Your daddy has been such a great job taking care of all of us, and I know he can’t wait to meet you.  He made you a beautiful nursery, picked out your stroller, and bought you a whole library of books that we are excited to read to you.  He likes to feel you move and to talk to you at bedtime.  You are so lucky to have such a wonderful daddy.

You also have 6 grandparents who are so excited to meet you and watch you grow up.  You will be very, very spoiled, I’m sure.  My dad has been so excited about you from the moment he heard that you were coming.  He texts me every single day to check on how you are doing even though he is so sick right now.  I am so, so happy that he will get to meet you, and I honestly believe that he is holding on just to see your sweet little faces.  I don’t know if you will ever remember him, but I know that you have already been such a light in his life and that he loves you very much.

We have all been waiting for you for so long, and you are special to so many people.  I hope that I can be a great mommy to you both.  I hope that you will always know how loved you are.  I hope that your daddy and I can give you remarkable lives.  I cannot wait to start our lives together!

I love you both so very, very much.

Love,

Mama

34 Weeks

Warning: I am really cranky, and I’m going to whine about it.  For those of you who are still waiting to be pregnant, I know how irritating crabby pregnant people can be.  Please feel free to skip this post.  For the rest of you, I swear one of these days I’ll write a post that isn’t about being pregnant, but it’s basically all I do right now!

I don’t have any cute pictures to post for you this week because I’m too scummy and lazy to take any.  However, feel free to check out a preview of the maternity photos I had taken last week by Allie from Avei Photo.

So, I’ve made it to 34 weeks.  Yay me!  Unfortunately, I’m so uncomfortable I feel like I could die.  I can’t sit up comfortably, and I can’t lie down comfortably.  I can’t stand up or walk around too much without my feet and ankles swelling.  If you tell me how small my belly is, I will actually rip your head off.  I know I’m not gigantic, but I feel like I’m being slowly suffocated from the inside out.  I’m hungry all the time, but I still have to follow this stupid gestational diabetes diet.  I can’t sleep for more than an hour at a time.  I’m tired of waking up at 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. every morning to take a pill for my contractions.  Plus, I have to get up 3-4 other times during the night to pee.  I’d love to nap during the day, but I am almost always less than an hour away from either having to take a pill, needing to check my glucose levels, or needing to eat a snack.  Please don’t tell me to save up my sleep or to sleep while I can.  Who can sleep???  Also, I can’t poop.  Well, I can, but it takes about 40 trips to the bathroom before I actually accomplish it.  I’m bored, and I’m tired of being home alone with my crazy dogs.  My house is messy, and it’s driving me nuts, but there’s nothing I can do about it.  I could go on and on.

In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m super, super cranky about every little thing.  I have to try really hard not to bite heads off.  I’ll take this opportunity to ask that you please not give me any advice on how to solve any of my “problems”.  I’ve had enough advice, and I really just want to vent.

How Far Along: 34 Weeks, 2 Days.  About 50% of twins are born around 34 weeks.  If I wasn’t on medication to control my contractions, I think we’d be in that club.  I’ll stop taking my medication at 35 weeks, so it’s just a matter of time now.  I’m so ready.

How Big are the Babies: At their growth scan last week, Baby A weighed in at 4 pounds, and Baby B weighed in at 4 pounds, 3 ounces.  This week, they will have gained about another half pound each.  They each weigh about as much as a cantaloupe, and are 17.75 inches long.

Total Weight Gain: Last week, I weighed in at 150 at my OB on Monday, and 151.7 at MFM on Tuesday.  So, who knows?  Who cares?

Maternity Clothes: Only when I get dressed, which is never.  I am one sloppy looking pregnant woman.  I no longer care about being clean or looking cute.

Stretch Marks: I’m actually starting to get a tiny little stretch mark right off of my navel piercing scar.  I wonder if that even counts since it’s just like a continuation of an already existing scar?

Sleep: Hahahahahahahaha.

Movement: These girls like to move!  At our growth scan last week, the ultrasound tech asked if I could feel it when they kick my bladder.  Ummmm, yeah, I can.  It’s such a pleasant sensation.  Of course, I really do love to feel them moving around.  It keeps me from worrying too much about them.

Food Cravings: I’m just starving all the time.  I don’t even care what I eat.  Though, if one more person tweets about Pumpkin Spice Lattes, I might lose my shit.  I don’t even really like them all that much, but the fact that I can’t have one is killing me.

What I Miss: I miss snuggling with Ted at night.  Right now, I sleep between two giant body pillows in order to be “comfortable.”  I miss being able to be close to Ted while we sleep.

What I’m Looking Forward To: I am just dying to meet my girls at this point.  I cannot wait for them to be here!  I’m also really looking forward to drinking something besides water.

Milestones: I had my first non-stress test last week.  A non-stress test just involves getting hooked up to 3 monitors — one for each baby and one to monitor uterine activity.  They watch the girl’s heartbeats to make sure things are all good.  It’s really quite boring.  I get to have them every week until 36 weeks, and then I go twice a week.  Of course, I don’t think I’ll make it that far!

Twin Stuff: The nursery is finished!  Thank you all for your lovely comments on the girls’ room.  I promise you, I am not a designer by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, I was fairly certain that their room was going to look all hodge podge and thrown together.  Ted did such an amazing job of putting everything together while I supervised.  He also brought home an entire library of board books for our little girls!

Dog Stuff: The poor dogs have just lost their little minds.  They know something is going on, and they are both pretty anxious and snuggly all the time.  Plus, any time anything happens outside, they both go insane.  I’m trying not to be frustrated with them, but the barking has been a lot to handle.  I wish there was a way to really communicate with them that everything is going to be all right.

Labor Watch: Even with medication, I’m still having contractions all day long.  They aren’t regular, and they generally aren’t painful, but they definitely don’t help my comfort level.  I’ll stop my medication on Saturday, and then we’ll see what happens from there.  It could be a very exciting weekend!  As far as delivery, I’m 99.9% certain that I’ll be having a c-section.  The girls haven’t turned even a little, and I doubt they will.  There is just no way that a vaginal delivery is possible with 2 transverse babies.  When I read other people’s birth stories, I do feel a little bit sad that I won’t get to do something so awesome as delivering my girls vaginally.  Then, I remember that I’m already doing something awesome.  I fought hard for these girls, and I’ve successfully carried my two girls to 34 weeks.  That is something pretty awesome in and of itself.

Oh, and THIS: My eyes are a watery, goopy mess.  I thought it was just my allergies, but apparently this is also a third trimester pregnancy symptom.  Fun!  Also?  I sweat buckets all night long.  Somehow, I don’t sweat when I nap in bed during the day, but as soon as it’s bed time, I start sweating like crazy.  Gross.

A Room of Their Own

I know you’ve all been eager to see the nursery, and I’m excited to say that it’s finally “done”.  At least, it’s as done as it’s going to get for now.  There are a few finishing touches that still need to go in, but I didn’t want to wait for the adorable switch plate covers that we ordered to come in on the chance that I’d give birth and you’d never get a proper nursery post.  My apologies in advance for the less than stellar photos.  I was going to be all artsy, but I don’t have the energy, and there is virtually no room to maneuver in the girls’ room!

Just to give you an idea of what we had to work with, here are a couple of photos of the room pre-makeover…

Not only was it the ugliest room you could possibly imagine, it was filled to the brim with everything we hadn’t wanted to deal with in the 3 years we’ve lived in this house.  Yikes!  So, you can see why it took us a bit to transform the room into this…

For those of you who will be painting a nursery (or any room) soon, we used the Olympic no-VOC paint, and it was wonderful.  Not only did it cover that hideous pink, but it really did not smell.

I got this amazing wall decal from Urban Walls on etsy.

The butterflies are from Target.

Ted also built this amazing closet for the girls, so here are a few shots of that as well…

Well, there you have it.  A pretty little room for our pretty little girls.  What do you think?

32 Weeks

That first picture is my 11 Week belly.  Remember when I thought that was a bump?  Things have changed a bit!

So, here we are at 32 weeks, and it seems like the countdown has begun.  While we are hopeful that with bed rest and medication that the girls will stay put for at least another month, we also are extremely aware that they could show up anytime now.  For both Ted and I, this pregnancy has gone from surreal to very real in just a few short days.  We are scrambling to make sure everything is set up and ready for the girls, and we also express the following sentiments quite frequently…

“Ummmm, we are going to have two babies.”

“So, the babies are going to live here.  Like, they are going to live in our house.

“Are you freaking out?  Because I’m freaking out a little.”

I just can’t believe that the girls are going to be here so soon.  I am so, so, so excited to meet them.  I’m also completely terrified.  Our lives are never going to be the same.  It’s a bit overwhelming!

How Far Along: 32 Weeks, 3 Days.  Most sets of twins are born around 34 weeks.  I just can’t believe how close we are to meeting these girls!

How Big are the Babies: Ummm, huge.  At least, they feel huge.  My uterus is currently measuring at 39 weeks, and it basically goes from my cervix to right up under my breasts.  Don’t tell me how tiny it is because I literally can’t breath because it’s crushing my lungs!  This week, the girls are each the size of a large jicama.  I don’t even know what that means.  Basically, they each weigh about 3.75 pounds and are 16.7 inches long.  No wonder I can’t breath!  I have another growth scan next week to check their official weight.

Total Weight Gain: I weighed in at 151 pounds at the OB yesterday.  I’m up 23 pounds since we got pregnant.

Maternity Clothes: Yeah, I don’t even get dressed anymore.  I’m on bed rest here people.  I just wear the same ratty tank top and pajama shorts all day long.

Stretch Marks: Nope.

Sleep: Well, I certainly sleep better at home than I did in the hospital!  Still, I have to get up all night long to pee.  Plus, I have two alarms that go off at 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. so I can take my medication to keep my contractions under control.  Yuck.

Movement: LOTS of movement.  It’s actually becoming fairly uncomfortable.  The girls like to roll around on my bladder and kick my cervix.  Ouch.

Food Cravings: Lately, I really like to eat food in bar form.  I’m completely obsessed with NutriGrain bars…which I actually hated prior to my pregnancy.  I also adore Luna protein bars, Kashi bars, and Special K bars.  I’m still on a huge fruit kick as well, and I’m pretty sure I’ve eaten my weight in cherries this summer.

What I Miss: Right now, what I miss most is being at work.  After a very quiet summer, I was so looking forward to having some professional interactions before the girls came.  I also miss juice, which I’m not allowed to have due to my gestational diabetes.  I cannot wait to drink a giant glass of juice after the girls are born.

What I’m Looking Forward To: Meeting my girls!  I just cannot wait to see their little faces, to hold them, to smell them.  BUT, I don’t want to meet them just yet!  Let’s hang around a while longer, girls.  Remember, you are supposed to stay put for 2 more months!

Milestones: We had our first trip to Labor & Delivery last week!  That was…not really a whole lot of fun.  I’ve also reached that most wonderful right of passage for many twin pregnancies — bed rest.  I’m on modified bed rest, so I can still get up and move around the house.  I don’t have to lay in bed all day, but I do have to stay off of my feet.  Not horrible, but not a whole lot of fun either.

Twin Stuff: Ted is working hard to finish up the nursery for the girls.  Personally, I think it looks amazing!  I promise there will be pictures just as soon as it’s all finished.

Dog Stuff: The dogs also got to practice having a baby last week with us being gone for 2 nights.  Now, Kaya is even more glued to my side than ever.  I keep trying to explain to her that I’m fine, but she was a little freaked out about my absence!

Labor Watch: I spent two nights in the hospital last week for pre-term labor.  I was having contractions every 2-5 minutes, but my cervix remained closed.  I’m home now, on bed rest, and taking medication to control my contractions.  I am still having contractions throughout the day, but they are very sporadic.  My cervix remains high, long, thick, and closed.  All good things.  I can keep contracting for weeks as long as my cervix doesn’t change.  I have been blessed with an extremely awesome cervix!

Oh, and THIS: I feel like I had about 15 things to list here, but now I can’t remember any of them.  Oh well.  I need to get a nap in now, so I’ll just do that instead!

The First Day

Tomorrow should be my first day back at work after summer vacation, but it’s not.

Tomorrow I will be sitting at home, resting up with my girls.

Tomorrow I won’t get to put on a cute new outfit and see all the people I’ve missed all summer.

Tomorrow I won’t get to sit through boring meetings while being filled with excitement about my students’ starting next week.

Tomorrow I won’t get to call families and introduce myself or scramble to set up my room.

Tomorrow I will miss the first day of school.

Tomorrow I won’t get to be a teacher.

In case it’s not clear, I’m incredibly sad about this.  I love my job.  Really.  I psychotically love my job, and I’m a bit broken up about missing the start of the school year.  I have been looking forward to professional interactions, meeting families, and awkward little preschooler hugs all summer.  It just feels so strange to think that this year is starting without me.  I feel a bit like I’m stuck in time while the rest of the world keeps turning.  It’s odd.

Now, obviously, I am very happy to stay home and do what is best for my girls.  I hope it’s understood that I’m not implying in any way that I’d rather risk their health than stay home.  My girls are my number one priority…but that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel sad about missing out on something I’m so passionate about.

My Night in 140 Characters

Since I literally slept for maybe an hour cumulatively last night, you can just read my tweets to get caught up on the events of the past night…

Looks like it’s contraction time again. Time to lay down for a bit. (No, I’m not in labor.)

Ugh. Still having contractions. Looks like I’m calling the doctor.

I’m totally going to end up having to go to the hospital, which means I will miss having Chinese food with my dad tonight. Grrrrrr.

Off to the hospital we go. Don’t get excited…I am not in labor. Just one of the joys of carrying multiples.

Settled in. Waiting for doctor. Drugs stopped contractions. Sucks here.

Spending the night at the hospital. Suck fest.

Literally every appendage I have is hooked up to a machine. Plus three monitors on my belly.

Oh, and I have two blown veins that hurt like a bitch. Isn’t this fun?

I am very cranky. I hate being here.

It is impossible to sleep in a hospital.

Awake again. I cannot get comfortable at all.

Twitter is not very exciting at 4 am.

Watching Harry Potter while Ted sleeps. So glad there is a DVD player here.

Also, I think someone should buy me an iPad. Just sayin…

Finally fell asleep for 20 minutes and had to be woken up to check my blood sugar. Mean.

Been having contractions all night long.  This does not bode well for me going home.

So, there you have it.  Yes, I’m in the hospital.  Yes, I’m having contractions.  No, I’m not dilated…at least I wasn’t last night.  I will update this post as I have more news, so if you want news, check here or Twitter.

———-

Update at 10:30 a.m. — I am still having contractions every 2-5 minutes.  They are not painful, just uncomfortable.  My cervix is still completely closed.  I saw my OB this morning, and he is not really concerned.  At this point in a twin pregnancy, regular contractions are to be expected.  So long as the contractions are not productive, I just get to live with them.  I will also be seeing maternal-fetal medicine sometime today.  They will give more input on whether or not I can go home tonight and what the bed rest situation will be from here on out.  The earliest I will get to leave the hospital is 9 p.m. tonight after I get my second steroid shot to mature the girls’ lungs.

Update on Thursday 3/19, 10:00 a.m. — Well, I finally get to go home!  I did manage to get a bit of sleep last night thanks to taking a sleeping pill.  I managed to go my whole pregnancy without taking anything besides my thyroid meds and prenatal vitamins…and now I’m chock full of all sorts of drugs.  Still, I get to go home, my babies are healthy, so I don’t care.  I’m still having some contractions, but they are irregular and have slowed down significantly.  They are not painful, just noticeable.  I will continue to take medications to keep the contractions under control until about 35 weeks.  I’m on modified bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy…so no going back to work for me.  I can still get up and move around the house and I’m allowed to do things like go out to dinner.  I just need to spend the majority of my time off of my feet.  That’s all the news for now.  Thank you all for your thoughts and well-wishes.  I probably won’t be responding to comments on this post because I really need to catch up on my rest, but I want you to know that your support really made a crappy situation so much better!

The Face of (in)Fertility

Exactly one year ago today, I posted this photo…

While I had already starting writing a bit about our infertility journey, this was my first foray into posting about the horrific, painful, and raw emotions that often accompany infertility.  I posted the picture because I just couldn’t get the words out.  Describing that kind of emotion isn’t easy.  Still, it was a definitely a turning point for my blog and for myself.  It was the point when I decided that I wasn’t going to keep quiet about what I was going through.  Sure, it might be ugly.  Sure, it would make some people uncomfortable.  But I needed to talk about it.  And so it began.

There was infertility testing, surgery, drugs and injections, four IUIs, and then two babies.  I wrote about it all, and I kept taking pictures.  I came to find that being open about my infertility was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Now here we are, exactly one year later, dealing with a whole new set of often indescribable emotions.  Some of those painful infertility feelings still pop up from time to time.  I’m honestly not sure they will ever completely go away…and I’m not sure that I really want them to.  Still, anticipating the arrival of our two baby girls, the picture has changed quite a bit.