Saturday, December 30, 2006

Project Sleep, Step 1: The universe laughs

Last night, after the kiddos unexpectedly went down and stayed down (for at least a couple of hours), we formulated a Plan. With routines and timetables and grand ideas of nappage and nursing and play all in neat order. You see where this is headed, right?

Yeah. We were off track from the start. B-Boy was up early (6:30), and got only mildly settled back down after nursing. MissM was stirring at 6:45. I decided not to fight it, and declared the day started at 7, much to J’s disappointment. We nursed at about 7:40, played for just a little while, and then put B-Boy down for a nap. Which went okay (read a story, pulled down the shade, put on the Lullaby CD, gave him his lovey). MissM was still wide awake and I didn’t want to force things*, so we kept her up for a bit longer then put her in the swing to nap. At which point B-Boy woke himself up by getting his foot stuck between the rails while attempting to roll over. J untangled him and left him in the crib for the full length one might expect of a nap (e.g. long enough for us to take turns with quick showers) and got him up when MissM woke after her own nap. So, one nap down, and it was just a bit past 9. And so it went. By mid-afternoon, B had three naps, each lasting 20-40 minutes. M had two naps, one 45 minutes, and the other about 35. Finally at about 3:30 I nursed them down for a long nap in my lap. And they did go down fairly smoothly at bedtime, which has been an issue lately.

The universe seems to be laughing at my grand notion of a Plan. “You think somehow you can magically convince your babies to take long naps, at the same time, for more than a few minutes, while neither on your lap nor in the car? HA ha ha.”

So, um, anyone have a nap routine to share? At some point we’re going to change things up, but for now we have a functioning bedtime routine (it involves nursing to sleep on my lap, which means I can’t put them down alone). I think the routine helps them settle - not always perfectly, but it’s a cue that it’s time to wind down. So it seems that a nap routine would be a good idea too. Maybe if we come up with a solid routine we can put them both down together. Or the universe could chuckle at my hubris. Either way...

We’ll revise and reattempt. Or something.

* This is all complicated by M’s latest bout with really bad gas - for a couple of weeks now. It wakes her up at night, and between the gas and the reflux she’s not too keen on being put down in the crib. Though she does sleep just fine lying flat in bed with us. So it’s not the position, exactly.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Where was I?

You know that feeling where you haven’t posted in a long time, and then every time you try to write something you feel like you have so much news to cover you can’t possibly get through it all and then you get overwhelmed and stop before you’ve even started?

Or is it just me?

I have had this post sitting here for over a week, just waiting for me to finish, but I seem to have little in the way of free time or brain power, so it’s been sitting and gathering computer dust. I’m going to do what I can and try to be better about posting more frequently, if only so I don’t have to try to remember what happened over Thanksgiving (the kiddos looked marvelous and had fun being fawned over by so many adoring relatives) or how the cross-country flying was (tiring, but surprisingly smooth, all things considered, and we brought bottles of watered down juice for them to suck as needed) or the status of the security blanket items (I bought these and these and we’ll see what they end up liking), or how their 4 month checkup went (they’re so big! but the shots sucked and threw them off for a couple of days, and I think they’re still in the middle of a month(s) long sleep regression or something).

So now that we have that out of the way... what’s next? Sleep, actually. Both because I’m headed to bed after this, and because that’s what’s coming up in future postings. Call it Project Sleep. Or Sleep Week (like Shark Week, but scarier). The kiddos have never been especially good nappers, but things have slipped even further, and even our nighttimes, which have always involved several night nursings but used to at least start smoothly - have gone belly up. (due to our Thanksgiving travels? a four month sleep regression? I have no idea.) So I think we’re gearing up for a couple of weeks of sleep training/coaching/practice/whatever. It will begin... soon. I don’t actually know when, because that would depend on my having had time to read through the sleep books I’ve been skimming* and formulate a plan, and I used to do my reading after the kids went to bed, which they’re not doing as smoothly these days, so....


* I read Weissbluth, and got some useful information out of it (it was the first place I read that we should be aiming for such an early first-nap), but can’t do the cry-it-out thing. I’m okay with them fussing a bit, but not full out crying. I’ve been reading The No-Cry Sleep Solution, which is nice in premise but a bit tough with twins, and the Sleep Lady book (Good Night, Sleep Tight) which seems a bit more do-able. So we’ll probably do some combination of methods. I’ll outline the plan once we have one.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

What a long strange trip...

From this (December 2, 2004)

to this (December 9, 2005)

to this

(December 9, 2006).

Yes, I know I’ve been gone awhile. Longer post with updates in the works.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

This is my life

I had a dream the other night that involved, among other things, putting the babies down for a nap and coming back to find them as toddlers running around. A few nights later I dreamed I was nursing one of them, except it (she?) was talking to me.* Do you think my subconscious thinks things are moving fast or something? :)

We have crossed the three month mark. MissM and B-Boy are blossoming, growing, changing. They are developing personalities, exploring, taking in the world. I put them on their fabulous floor quilts (made by a dear internet friend and greatly loved) and they kick and squirm and grin at me, at J, at the ceiling fan, at their favorite wall (black frames on a light wall - it’s captivated them from the very beginning). They are (slowly) learning to nap in their crib. They’re starting to notice each other. It’s beginning to seem real, like this is actually my life.

So, if this is my life, here are my latest questions:

Am I now a mommyblogger? And if I am, what does that mean to me?

Any tips on blankies or lovies? The kids seem to really like to grip fabric, but the blankets I initially offered are too big/heavy for them to maneuver (plus seem like too much to let them have when they're sleeping, ever). I know I can’t force them to pick a particular thing, but it would be good if the thing I offered had some potential, right?

Why does my MIL manage to find ways to be helpful when visiting more easily than my own mom does? How improbable.

How do the babies manage to sometimes sleep on totally different cycles, and other times wake up at exactly the same second?

Any advice for traveling with 4 month old twins? We’re heading cross country for Thanksgiving (though thankfully [ha!] flying outside of the major travel times. But still. If we’re not successful with the pumping/bottle routine by then, what do we do during takeoff and landing, since I can’t tandem nurse on the plane (and given that we bought seats for the kiddos, it seems like I shouldn’t be holding anyone during takeoff and landing anyway. So, if not bottles of pumped milk, what? Pacifiers? Bottles of water? Chamomile tea? (We’ll do formula if absolutely necessary, but the problem here isn’t the feeding so much as the sucking. Though given the seating configuration, and the fact that I can’t easily sit with both babies, feeding might be an issue at some point, too.)

*Also, I could see the milk as she sucked, like through a clear tube. I think my breast looked rather like a Podee.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The ubiquitous post-infertility breastfeeding post

When I was in elementary school, I had a friend with whom I had what we dubbed a love/hate relationship. Quite honestly, I remember very little else about our friendship except this. I’m afraid I’m going to develop the same sort of relationship with breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding challenge #1: I had always hoped to be able to BF the babies, but after everything else, I tried not to set myself up for supreme disappointment if I had problems (which I thought I might, given the whole PCOS thing). At about 18 weeks into the pregnancy, I started leaking colostrum. The first time I pumped in the hospital, I netted something like 40cc of colostrum. And then almost nothing. The attending ped had us start supplementing MissM with formula, because she was little and lost a lot of weight. At the time I freaked, but this ped had read my file, and listened to me, and told me she thought we’d be fine - that the trauma of delivery and the subsequent bloodloss had slowed my milk, but that given my history she didn’t expect problems with supply. And sure enough, probably as a result of the insane pumping at the beginning, I ended up with nothing less than an oversupply.

Breastfeeding challenge #2: Oversupply is not actually a good thing. At least not for the babies (though it does wonders for stocking the freezer). Oversupply is linked to overactive letdown (OAL), which can cause a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance, which means the baby gets full up on foremilk and never gets to the rich hindmilk. Most breastfeeding resources that address this suggest fixes that don’t make sense if you’re nursing twins, but thankfully I found a resource with some specific suggestions (most useful to me: give each kid a dedicated breast for a day or longer) and made it work.

Breastfeeding challenge #3: MissM developed silent reflux. This may or may not have been connected to the OAL. There’s nothing quite like latching your baby on only to have her scream and pull away in discomfort. It’s a particularly painful cry. I only slightly prefer the cry of disgust that she gives in response to her acid meds. (Whoever thought to make medicine for babies that tastes like menthol clearly never had to force it into their child’s mouth. Why, oh why can’t they make the stuff taste like sugar?)

Breastfeeding challenge #4: Neither kid has been particularly interested in bottles. Oh sure, there’s the occasional time when they’ll accept a bottle, but for the most part they’ve turned up their noses at the whole concept. We’ve tried 4 kinds. We’re probably not persistent enough with the bottles, or so we thought, until I tasted some of my stored breast milk. Eeesh, no wonder they don’t want the bottles. But here’s the thing. I’m just now ready to leave them for a few hours, after months of being unable to conceive of being away. And it’s now that I have no way to leave, or no way to leave them to be fed.

I’ve done the research, and we’re going to do a trial run with the scalding of the milk, but given that I’ve barely had time to pump lately, I’m not sure how I’m going to add another step to the pumping process. The far easier solution would be to give them formula when I need to be away. But for them to take bottles easily, they need to do so regularly - every day or two. It was one thing to think that we’d give them a bottle a day of breast milk. It’s quite another to think about giving them formula, especially if my breasts and I are actually around. And it’s the final straw for me in thinking that even in this my body sucks just a bit.

I do love some parts of breastfeeding. I love the look on B’s face when he’s in that firmly latched, comfortably zoned out state. I love that M has conquered her latching difficulties and even with her tiny little mouth can take what she needs. I love the way their hands grasp at my bra strap, how their whole bodies get caught up in nursing. I love the moments when I’m not supposed to be doing anything else but nursing. I love that I have the ability to comfort and soothe them. (I know it’s not the only way, but it’s the way that only I can offer.) I love that for the most part, breastfeeding is convenient and portable.

But breastfeeding twins is hard. It’s really really hard. It’s physically and emotionally draining even on the best days, and on days when my breastmilk causes one of my babies to cry in pain, it’s like a knife in my gut. When I’m exhausted, but I’m the only source of food. When I can’t leave, even for a minute.

I love breastfeeding, and sometimes I hate it. And in the end, I want to remember much more than that.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


I was planning to write a fun and exciting post about the babies and how fantastic they are and how we went to a pumpkin patch today and took cute pictures (well, I managed to squeeze that in, at least) but instead I’m busy researching my funky breastmilk and trying to decide if on top of everything else I’m going to scald the milk to neutralize the excess lipase, or if I’m just going to cave and use formula when someone else needs to feed the babies. And thinking that this might be the real reason that my kids are completely disinterested in bottles - maybe it’s not the method of delivery, but the contents. Having tasted the milk, I can safely say EEEUUCHHH.

I have a whole series of posts brewing, but since the only time I think of what I want to write is in my 5 minutes of shower time every-other-day-if-I’m-lucky, well, the list is all I can come up with right now. So, here are the things I’d write about, if I had the time*:

- my relationship with my post-partum body
- breastfeeding
- being the primary parent
- things people say to us about our twins
- meeting other moms
- the latest happenings at playgroup (the quick version: I just found out how many of the moms are newlyweds who got pregnant within a few months of getting married. It’s a lot. Ugh.)
- sleep routines
- hiring a nanny/babysitter

* I might one day have enough time to write (or just to scratch my ass in peace) if that last item works out. So far, no luck, but we’re interviewing someone tomorrow. The initial plan is that this person will work side by side with one of us, but will eventually be a solo-caregiver. Because aside from the lack of ass scratching, I could use some sleep, and a pair of pants that fit, and shoes. It’s normal that my feet are a different size now, right?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A whopper and a small fry

The whopper: B-Boy is now 12 pounds, 11 ounces
Small fry: Miss M is 9 pounds, 5 ounces

I shouldn’t categorize them like that, though. They’re both growing well. (But B-Boy jumped from the 20th to the 75th percentile, or something like that!) I’d have more details, but I was a bit traumatized by the injections. Three of them into each of my kids was a lot of needles. And I’m not sure if you remember, but I was a big old needle-phobe before launching into the world of fertility treatments. At playgroup last week* one of the moms consoled me about the shots, noting “I just nursed her right afterwards, and she was fine” and I crumpled a little. We went in with a strategy - make sure they weren’t hungry, then J got to comfort MissM, who likes to suck on his finger like she’s nursing, and then I could nurse B-Boy, who uses me as his own personal pacifier. It worked out okay, though still - those needles? They looked to be the same size I used for my own IM injections, and, um, I have a lot more muscle (and fat) in my ass than my wee babies do in their thighs. Man that sucked.

In other mundane news, we’ve been using the g-diapers everyone recommended. They’re not bad, though the size small doesn’t really fit my chunky boy, and having to take them to the bathroom to flush adds a step that requires both hands to be free. And they’re pretty expensive. So I think we’re going to go with a combination of cloth pocket diapers (Fuzzi Bunz, probably, though I have one other kind on order to try out) and ‘sposies, but we’ll use up the g-dipes we have first. We’ll see how that goes.

What else? The babies have both developed silent reflux (which means they’re not spitting up all the time, but they’re really REALLY fussy when they eat). So we’re working on that. And the big exhaustion of all of that determined that if we can swing it, we should hire some part-time help so that I can focus on feeding these babies and leave the rest of it to someone else as much as possible, at least for the next month until I no longer have to keep them upright while nursing and for 15+ minutes afterward. So we’re venturing into the world of hired child care. I’m sure I’ll have more on that once I dive in, but for now I’m just barely slipping my toes in.

* This time at playgroup, I learned that the other cool thing is a nursing cover called a Hooter Hider. What I don’t understand is how all these moms who haven’t met before know what’s cool. I mean, I’ll understand if there are even more Hooter Hiders next week, but at our first group meeting? It went well, otherwise. Still too big to be a playgroup, but I think people will slowly drop out. We’re the only twins in this group, so still quite the spectacle. And I’m not getting an infertile vibe from any of the others, not that I know what that vibe would be. I did put out some hints, though, in case there was another in the room.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Pickle Petuniabottom and her friends

Things I learned by attending the start-up meeting for a playgroup organized by the JCC:

  • The cool mom accessory in my area is a Petunia Picklebottom diaper bag. Man, are those things huge. Geez. I have two babies, and my diaper bag is smaller. And less flashy, but that’s another story.
  • There were four sets of Jewish twins born in July and August. Or at least, four sets that were on the list for the playgroups. Only one other came to the meeting (I brought J, she brought her mom).
  • My previous self-doubting post aside, I guess I’m doing well after all. The other twin mom also looked like she had it together, but she didn’t feel like she did. And her mom lives in the area, and they have a nanny/housekeeper/helper person during the week, and even then... So in comparison, I guess we’re doing well. This is not to play “who has it worse” or anything, but just to have ventured out to the meeting says something about how we’re doing, and then having other moms of babies the same age in a room leaves a huge window for comparisons.
  • Apparently, breastfeeding is impressive. I guess that’s the twin thing. Also the fact that they sometimes go 4 hours between feedings.
  • Little old ladies (in the lobby) find dads with twins to be insanely fascinating. And they think nothing of asking if I’m able to breastfeed them. Which is fine, but if I weren’t able to breastfeed them would that have felt rude or harsh or judgemental?
  • I have no good way of scoping out infertiles in a crowd like that, though I wanted to. Even with the other twin mom - mom of b/g twins, y’know. People ask me if twins run in the family all the time, yet I can’t come up with a good way to ask if twins run in her RE’s office or whatever. J suggested asking if people always ask her if twins run in her family - as one twin mom to another. Because I can’t just ask “so, spontaneous or assisted” - can I?

The first meeting of the actual playgroup is tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes. And I'm hoping we can put together the four sets of twins and form our own sub-group. Because while some stuff is the same, some things are Just So Different. I just have to restrain myself from thinking that everyone else has it easier with just one, though I've been thinking that a lot lately. With just one, even when they're being fussy you don't have to worry that you're going to have to put them down to tend to the other. Or that you can't do the thing that will calm them (nursing, or carrying them in one of my slowly accumulating carriers) because the other is hungry. Or having to put them down when they're napping on me because I have to be able to get to the other. I know it's hard for everyone at this age, and different for everyone, but just like Jenn said, it's hard not to contemplate what it would be like with just one at a time. Not that I can imagine life without both of them, but I do wonder.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Routines, or lack thereof

My children are somewhat dirty. Their clothes are clean, and their diapers get changed regularly, but we somehow can’t work regular baths into our routine. And by routine, I mean the haphazard way we’re currently running our lives. I’m not expecting that we’ll be able to come up with a schedule. I have no grand plans for each day to be meticulously planned and flawlessly executed. (If I did, you’d all be well within reason to bring me back to my senses through whatever means necessary.) But it seems like every day we’re just making it up. There’s no getting-up routine. No bedtime routine. No playtime routine. Sure, there are some things we’re starting to get the hang of - middle of the night feedings, to some extent, some days (not that they necessarily go smoothly, but I know what’s supposed to happen). Going out (it still takes forever to get out the door, but it usually doesn’t feel out of control). But for the most part we’re just letting the kids sleep when they sleep and working the rest of it around that.

Except that this feels totally out of control to me. As I said, I don’t expect any formal schedule, but in the sleep-addled early morning, I’d like to know that whenever the babies wake up (one of them, or both together) first we ____, then _____, then _____. Or for naps - where do they sleep? Lately they’ve been falling asleep while nursing, but waking up if I move them. So I spent several hours on Sunday with both babies asleep on my lap. Adorable, yes, and okay when J was around to bring me lunch or whatever, but not really the routine I’d like to establish.

And of course the baths. We had been doing bathtime whenever the babies seemed awake enough, generally midday, sometimes morning, sometimes afternoon. And not very regularly. Baths seem to get pushed aside - not because we don’t think they’re important, but because they’re a bit of a logistical challenge - the babies have to be awake, but not needing to eat nor having just eaten. And there have to be enough hands available. So we’re trying to work bathtime into our bedtime routine. That is, the bedtime routine we’re trying to create.

But then, our bedtime routine is sorely lacking in other respects, too, so it’s not surprising that we’re having trouble with bathtime logistics. I’d tell you what we do, except that it’s really not working at all. So instead, I’m looking forward to seeing what other people do. What are your routines? What works?

(I’m hoping the fact that this was the topic of Emmie’s most recent Twinkle Hack Tuesday means I’m right on time to get lots of useful advice. Or even just a little bit of only vaguely useful advice. Anything will help at this point, even if it’s “oh, I can’t see us doing it that way!”)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Slip sliding away

We’ve come so far. It’s not that things are settled, at all, but it’s starting to sink in that we’re here - we have these two wonderful babies, at home, with us. And yet it’s already slipping away. Part of that is good - I don’t actually need to remember the details of their delivery or our hospital stay.* But I’m also starting to forget what it was like in those first, precious days at home. And I’m scared that soon I’ll start to forget this - the grunts and snorts as they feel their bodies working, the furrowed brow as B-Boy studies the world, the switch from peaceful to so frustrated as MissM nurses. It’s not all perfect, but it’s all ours.

I’m trying to be better about jotting down notes (I think B-Boy smiled today and it looks like he’s going to have a dimple - MissM had some good tummy time) and taking pictures, but it’s not enough. Even as I’m experiencing it, it’s slipping away and we’re moving to a new stage. And that’s going to be wonderful too. But bittersweet.

People say having boy/girl twins is an instant family - now we’re all done. And I just don’t know. I can’t comprehend having any more kids now, obviously, but I’m not ready to say we won’t ever want them. The babies are outgrowing some of their tiniest clothes, and I’m boxing them up and putting them away. We might need them someday. And yet, we might not. This might be my only chance to experience these stages - to watch my babies discover the world. And I don’t want to miss it.

* I was sorting through the pictures J has sorted by week on his computer, and came across the folder from the first day - most of which were pictures I never saw. Pictures from the delivery room. Pictures of B-Boy all wapped up in the NICU. Pictures of J holding MissM in the NICU (where they kept her until I was stabilized). Pictures of the CPAP. Weird to see things in pictures I didn’t see firsthand. Very weird.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Things I never thought would be of concern:

  • Too much milk. Yeah, I seem to have a bit of an oversupply problem, which carries with it an overactive letdown (which floods the babies and makes them choke and sputter) and is connected to what we think is a foremilk hindmilk imbalance which is probably to blame for MissM’s green poo. * Maybe now that we recognize the cause we can do something about it. (Most of the recommendations out there for this don’t work for nursing twins, but I got some useful input from a twin-experienced LC who suggested nursing them each on one side for a full 24 hours, rather than switching between feedings. We’ll see if that helps, but I think it’s having an impact.)

  • My MIL is leaving soon. I never thought I’d want her here this long, and while it hasn’t all been perfect, we’ve found a routine and she will be missed. Which is weird, since I’ve certainly had my share of issues with her. Not sure how it happened, but she and I are actually getting along. Plus she takes the babies, and does laundry and grocery shopping and makes sure I have a snack to eat in the middle of the night. I don’t think what I do will be hugely different (though this post is made possible by her taking the fussy-shift), but the impact on J will be huge, since he’ll need to do much much more of the household and support work. Conveniently, I guess, he still doesn’t have a job, so he’ll be around for a while. He’s freelancing some of the time, but not back to a regular work schedule - bad for many reasons, but good for transitioning (since otherwise we’d go from having a grandma in the house, plus J, to me being all alone all of a sudden).

    On the cloth diapering front: When I first expressed interest in trying to CD, my mom and MIL both seemed shocked and concerned - especially since I planned to wash my own (both because it didn’t seem like that big a deal, and because there isn’t wasn’t a diaper service. And then someone started one. And now another. My city went from having no diaper service (which none of us could believe) to having two start up within a summer. Both had the same thought I did - “how is it possible that there’s no diaper service here???” So we signed up with the first one, though they’re still getting it together, and gave the CD thing a try. And so far, I’m not convinced. I still think I want to CD, but the service seems like more trouble than it’s worth, the kids don’t seem comfortable in cloth (because it feels so wet, I think), assembling them is a bit of a pain with two kids in different sizes, and having a week’s worth of diapers for two just sitting around seems like more of a pain than just doing laundry. But I’d ordered a multi-size pocket diaper a while back, and it seems really promising. As do FuzziBunz, though I’ve never used them. So I have an order in for one more of the multi-size (with smaller inserts better suited to smaller babies) and a couple of FB to try. We’ll see how that goes, but I think it’s where we’ll end up. Any other tips on CDing are most welcome, though.

    * Did I forget to mention that Dr. Dismissive suggested that the green poo was the result of bile? Yes, bile. And that it was fine and not related to anything else. Not so much, it seems. So nyah nyah nyah. Someone pointed out to me that the range of “normal” that some pediatricians expect is based on formula-fed babies, and is a completely different conception of “normal” than is found in breastfed babies. Which reminds me - that article about inequalities in terms of continued breastfeeding for working mothers? That’s some serious shit we should be doing something about. Seems more important than having a nurse-in at Vicky’s Secret (not that there isn’t some major irony there, and not that BFing in public should of course be accepted and why do I keep thinking about BFing in my car rather than in public? Oh, right, because there’s no place to do it). Maybe a pump-in?
  • Tuesday, August 29, 2006

    i have no time for titles

    Well, clearly I don’t make a good mommy blogger. Which is fine, but for how my identity has been completely consumed by this mommy-gig. And not necessarily in a bad way. It is tiring at times, snd intense, to be the sole source of food - and hence, everything - for two people. And yet totally wonderful. And apparently I’m not the only one. But I feel like I am breastfeeding with every cell in my body.

    When, oh when, will I stop with the bleeding? It’s not a lot, just enough that I’m forced to wear pads all the time. Even though I don’t bleed all the time, and when I do it’s not much. But pads suck, and I’m tired of having plastic wedged between my legs.

    Which makes me pity the babies, who have diapers on almost all of the time. And Miss M is so tiny (though she’s getting bigger every day!) that it seems like there’s just an overwhelming amount of diaper between her legs.* On the other hand, B-Boy has outgrown the newborn diapers and we’ve had to move him to size 1. Doesn’t sound like much, but he went from 6lb 13oz at birth to 9lb 4 or 5 oz (he was last weighed wearing clothes, so we’re guessing) in under 4 weeks. Including losing and then regaining his birthweight. And now he has fabulously pudgy baby thighs. Not to be left behind, Miss M seems to have grown chubbier cheeks and thighs somewhat overnight.

    * Of course, the bulk is even worse in the cloth diapers, which we’re trying out now. I expected cloth diaper butts, but these really are bulky. And a pain in the ass so far, what with the different sizes and different folds and adding the flushable liners the diaper service requires -- it’s just a lot of layers to keep together, and hard to prep and keep handy. So we’re looking into pocket diapers or all-in-ones to see if that’ll be easier at all. Here’s hoping.

    Tuesday, August 22, 2006

    green poo and baby goo

    (or, “oh shit I’m a mommy blogger”)

    It’s been too long since I’ve had annoying medical staff to blog about.

    We took Miss M & B-Boy to the pediatric clinic yesterday because B has a snuffly nose and M has green poo and weird eye gunk. None of which were of particular concern, but we’re crazy nervous first time parents, or something. (Actually, I called the triage nurse who concurred that we were already doing everything we were supposed to be doing, but that we might as well come in to be sure it wasn’t something more. The triage nurse was not the annoying medical staff - she was very nice and reassuring and exactly what you’d want her to be, especially if we’d been more frantic about whatever we were calling about.)

    Our pediatrician, whom we love so far - let’s call her Dr. Sweetie - didn’t have any more slots last night or this morning, so we got an appointment with another doctor in the group for last night. Now, I love that we can do that, but I won’t be taking my kids to see this doc again, ever, if I can help it. We’ll call him Dr. Dismissive. Dr.D said about what I’d expected (it’s normal, nothing else to be done, chill out) except without any of the reassuring features that should have been included. He looked in B’s ears, but not his nose. He listened to my description of M’s eyes, but didn’t even look at them. Even though she was lying right there on the exam table.

    Of course, I’m glad to hear confirmation that everything is okay, though I wish more could be done to help my snuffly boy breathe better at night (we’ve tried bringing him into the bathroom during showers to breathe the steam, and saline drops and the suction bulb thingy, which he hates, and keeping him upright as much as possible, and putting him to sleep on a slight incline - any other ideas?). But some doctors just seem like they’re in the wrong specialty. I mean, this guy didn’t have any of the features I’d expect in a pediatrician - like, for example, an interest in children.

    (This reminds me of the ob/gyn resident I kept encountering in the hospital who had no bedside manner, compassion, or interest in women or children’s health - she’d probably make a good surgeon, just not if she has to talk to the patients before or after. But whatever.)

    More to come.

    Sunday, August 13, 2006

    attempting the birthstory

    I’ve been trying to write up the complete birthstory, since it seemed like it should be the next post, and I am having the hardest time of it. Here’s the short version:

    Tuesday - sent to L&D for pre-eclampsia evaluation. Sceduled for c-sec the following AM, and kept overnight. Wednesday - Am 2nd c-sec of the AM. Also, am contracting strongly and regularly. Body clearly done with being pregnant. C-sec initially uneventful. Have fantastic doula to get me through spinal and other weirdnesses. J in smurf suit. Beautiful babies with apgars of 9/9 and 8/9. As we roll to recovery, I tell someone to take the baby I am holding before I pass out. Rest is fuzzy, but involves BP drop to 60/30, major hemmoraghing, several attempts at IV insertion and an arterial line, and 4 units of blood. Also involves babies being taken to NICU - one with breathing difficulties and the other just to clear the room. Still involves fantastic doula who stays at my head through the chaos. Finally better when room begins to clear of medical staff. Baby A is returned to the room. B is in NICU for 3 days on CPAP, with attempts at tenting and just oxygen. I don’t see him until Thursday afternoon - clearly the worst part of all. Babies are unnamed until I am able to meet B. Longest drug-hazed day, ever. And that’s the short version.

    Home for a couple of weeks now. Babies have grown and changed tremendously. Am scared I will miss it all in the fog of sleeplessness.

    Sometimes I think how much easier it must be to have one at a time, and then I look down at the two of them nursing (fairly well, all things considered) and I can’t imagine it any other way.

    Monday, July 31, 2006

    Two heads...

    ...are definitely better than one.

    And we're home. All of us. Together.

    Overwhelmed would be an understatement.
    So would tired.
    And enraptured.

    Details to follow.

    Tuesday, July 25, 2006

    Update #2

    J again. Cass is spending the night in the hospital for blood pressure monitoring in preparation for our 8am scheduled c-section tomorrow morning. Stay tuned to Bugs for updates during the 4-day hospital recovery period.


    J. here. Cass is waiting for some labs, then we're off to L&D for more testing. We're at 37 weeks today (or tomorrow, depending on who's counting), so it's a strong possibility that today is the day. Or that they'll send us home and have us come back next week. Bugs will try to keep everybody posted in case there's news.

    Tuesday, July 18, 2006

    All quiet on the baby front, or no news is no news

    A long time ago, in my first job out of college, I knew a woman pregnant with IVF twins - the first I’d knowingly encountered. The initial encounter was indicative of my well-intentioned but inexperienced younger self - I asked her if she was pregnant (since she looked it) when she was probably no more than 8 weeks along. She was gracious about it, telling me yes, but not very far along, and that she looked more pregnant than she was because of the medications. Later, when she had been on leave for a while, she came back into the office to take care of some loose ends, and I noted to myself (though not to her!) that she was, by far, the largest pregnant woman I had ever seen. Ever. And now that’s me.

    I’m 36 weeks today, or tomorrow, depending on who does the counting. Baby A has flipped back to a head-up position, which explains all the kicking I’ve been feeling down below. BP is holding steady. I don’t seem to be spilling protein, though he had the lab run a full urine culture rather than just the normal office dip - not sure what was up with that. We also did our regular NST. Baby A was more cooperative than usual about getting on the monitor, at least for a while, but I think that was because it was naptime. So we were still there for ages trying to keep the baby on the monitor through accelerations. And then I had to schedule next week’s NSTs, and an appointment with Dr. Academic in 2 weeks. Yes, 2 weeks. Apparently, unless I start to develop pre-eclampsia or something comes up in the NSTs (or if I go into labor all on my own) he’s going to hold off on scheduling a c-section until 38.5 weeks. That would be well into August. That would be insane. So for now we’re just playing a waiting game, and every time we go out in public I realize that someone is thinking, “wow, that is the largest pregnant woman I have ever seen.”

    Monday, July 17, 2006

    in the middle of the night...

    As uncomfortable as I am, with the heat and the hugeness and the itching, I’m going to miss this. Right now I have them all to myself - and I know I’m doing what I need to take care of them. And every kick and squirm and weird undulation is reassurance that things are fine in there. I like that J can feel them too, but I love lying in bed and feeling them inside of me. For now, I am everything to them, and I am doing well for them.

    At other times, I think how much I’m looking forward to bringing them out into the world. How I’d like to let someone else hold them and care for them even for a few minutes. I know that they are mine - ours - and that is something I am looking forward to with all my heart. We talk to them, now, telling them about the world, and how we’re looking forward to sharing it with them, and sharing ourselves with them.

    I can no longer watch the news. Not that I have for some time, but I look at the world, and I wonder if it’s really good to bring children into this place where people fight, and destroy each other, and destroy the planet. My hope is that in some small way, my children might contribute to fixing the broken world we are bringing them into. I don’t expect them to broker world peace, universal understanding, an end to global warming. But if more people smile, or laugh, or are inspired, perhaps that is how change will happen.

    For now, I curl on my side, cradled by my many pillows, next to their sleeping, snoring father, and feel the hope and promise wiggling and squirming inside. I can’t wait to meet them, and yet I want to savor this just a bit longer.

    Tuesday, July 11, 2006

    35 weeks and hanging on

    I have nothing major to report, which is, at this point, something fairly major. I am still huge (though I seem to have lost a few pounds in the past couple of weeks) and still itchy (the PUPPPs has spread to arms and legs - oh joy) and still pregnant. Babies are doing fine. We watched them through a couple of contractions on the NST monitors, and they tolerated them well. And of course, it was good to see Dr. Academic, who confirmed that based on positions we’re looking at a c-section, which will either be when I start to develop pre-eclampsia (my BP is creeping up, so they’re watching carefully) or when the babes decide it's time. So, unless the labs he ran today suggest something to the contrary, we’re just on a BP watch for the most part. He’s going to be out of town during my 37th week, so I’m rather hoping that we end up doing this next week, though he did say if they continue to be stable and my BP stays steady we could hold off for a while yet. I’m not so sure about that, though of course I want them inside as long as possible. But damn, I’m huge. And itchy. And it’s hard to think about being even more huge and itchy in the coming weeks, since delivering these babies is the only solution to both discomforts. But then I think - this is the least I can do for them. And I shift positions and rub on yet another anti-itch lotion and hang on a bit longer.

    Tuesday, July 04, 2006

    Minivan Mama?

    34 week update: As expected, they had trouble getting Baby A on the monitor again at the NST today (making the whole experience a bit more stressful - and really uncomfortable - at least for me). Thankfully, once the nurse got a good position (and stood there the whole time holding the monitor in place) the babies were cooperative and looked good. My BP was up just a hair and apparently I have traces of protein in my urine, but they’re not worried yet. So today’s status - so far, so good, and holding steady. Yay.

    My in-laws were here for a few days this weekend (a spur-of-the moment trip to help get things in order before the babies). J and his dad and brother got a lot done around the house (only some of it baby-related), though now we have to finish cleaning up from all of their projects. And MIL was quite happy to be sent on an errand to get a couple of things from BRU, and went a bit overboard as I expected. It made her happy, and we have a bit more stuff now, so it was a good deal all around. But having that many people in the house? Tiring. And I wasn’t doing any of the work.

    One of the tasks that was accomplished over the weekend was installing the car seats in my car (since mine has those LATCH anchor things). They got them installed without too much fuss (or at least, I didn’t have to see what fuss there might have been) but we’ve now realized that my car is really not big enough for twins. The car that I bought 5 years ago and just finished paying off. The car that I chose partially because I thought it would be a good, safe, comfortable choice for our first kid. Serves me right for being so presumptuous.

    I did think, even back then, that I’d need a bigger car by the time hypothetical child number two came along, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised now to see how tight it is with two carseats. But still. So this afternoon we went to a couple of car places to look at, um, minivans. Yeah, minivans. Because we could get a car big enough for both carseats, but there still wouldn’t be a place for another adult to sit. And while we don’t often drive around with extra adults, there are all of these grandparents who will be visiting... So, we’re looking at minivans. Yipes. Not that we can buy anything yet, since I can’t tell how I’ll fit behind the wheel (since right now I just don’t fit at all). But we figured we should take advantage of the kid-free time (what little we have left) and start the search. (The first car salesman seemed fascinated by the concept of twins, and even moreso by the size and appearance of my twin-carrying body. And commented on it several times. Really endearing. If we buy from them, he won’t get the sale.)

    Thursday, June 29, 2006

    What we know now

    • I am 33w2d (as of Thursday).
    • The itchy belly responds somewhat well to the new meds, and to the new air conditioner we put in the bedroom window.
    • When asked about the visit they had me reschedule for my 37th week, Dr. Academic (or whatever his nickname is these days) agreed that he didn’t think it would really be an issue.
    • I am going to have these babies in the next 3+ weeks.
    • A little bit of ice cream does not fuck up my blood sugars.
    • I don’t think I’m really diabetic after all.
    • I am going to have these babies in the next 3+ weeks.
    • Tomorrow is my last official day of work, so I’m making a brief appearance in the office.
    • Tomorrow is also my first non-stress test.
    • The bands on the monitors have to stretch across my itchy belly - thank goodness for the new meds and air conditioning, hopefully.
    • My mother thinks we’re unprepared for the babies.
    • My in-laws are coming for three days this weekend to help with the preparations.
    • I am working on ways to mostly ignore them, lest they spike my blood pressure and force the babies out early.
    • I am fighting to make it to 34 weeks.
    • The babies are nestled with their heads together, and a foot in between.
    • Babies are mighty flexible.
    • Their heads are together, and nowhere near my cervix.
    • I am going to have these babies, probably by c-section, in the next 3 weeks.
    • We are unprepared.

    Friday update:

    • One of the babies has flipped back to head down.
    • I don’t see how that was possible, given how snug things are in there.
    • That same baby is very hard to get on a monitor.
    • Non-stress testing is rather stressful when a squirmy baby refuses to stay on a monitor.
    • Hopefully I get to do this several more times anyway.

    Wednesday, June 28, 2006

    Strange World

    So I ventured onto a baby names message board, and wow - those people are weird. It’s like smug fertiles run amok in there - people who are trying (or not yet even trying) and are debating naming combinations. People who have just had a baby who are contemplating what they should name the next. And do you really want naming advice from “14 and not trying” or “Future Mommy of 3”??

    I will retreat back to the much calmer world of books, where I can browse the naming combinations all on my own. Because I think if “14 and not trying” likes the name I’ll have to dump it anyway, just on general principles.

    Tuesday, June 27, 2006

    Writing from within a drugged fog

    I guess it was just a matter of time before I ended up in L&D. No babies yet, so no worries. Just the insane itch that has been diagnosed as PUPPP. PUPPP is an itchy rash that only occurs during pregnancy (and sometimes postpartum) and starts - at least in my case - as intense itching in the stretch marks themselves. It’s slightly more common in multiple gestation pregnancies (probably just due to the extreme stretching) and in my case it’s more pronounced in a spot where I’ve had a lot of baby activity and stretching. It’s also, somewhat mysteriously, potentially linked to having a male fetus. (Something about having found male fetal DNA in the skin irritation. Not sure how it would get there, but that’s what I read.) There’s no treatment that makes it go away, just attempts to stop - or at least reduce - the itching.

    However, since I was getting checked out at L&D I was hooked up to all the regular monitors, which showed that I was having fairly frequent contractions. So then they did the whole pre-term labor routine on me - including the most uncomfortable speculum exam I think I’ve ever had (was that because she was checking my cervix? She had mediocre skills at calming patients, which was most noticable in her inability to tell me what the heck she was doing down there. Not cool, I say.), an ultrasound to check cervical length (interesting, since NotMyDoc seemed to think there was no point anymore...) and a fluid check. Lots of ultrasounds, lots of time on the monitors. Oh, the monitors. Which they had a hard time getting in place for Baby A (the same babe that is generally camera shy at our ultrasounds) and which, when secured, were stretched directly across my itchy belly with scratchy elastic bands. Fun. Plus, we didn’t have a room, just triage, so I had to go up the hall to pee. Several times. Ugh.

    After all this time and fuss in L&D (which got me thinking quite a bit about hospitals and hospital policy and what I really want out of a delivery - more on that later) they finally came to the same conclusion I’d reached on my own at home. PUPPP, not the rarer (and more concerning) ICP, and despite the contractions, my cervix is fine - long and closed and hanging in there. So, that’s the update.

    Not very poetic of me, today. I blame the Benadryl, which does take the itch off for a couple of hours, but also takes the sharpness out of my brain. I have a prescription for another antihistamine which I suspect will do the same - we’ll see what works better for me. And of course, I think I can only be on these meds for something like 10 days, so we’ll see how much longer I can make it after that.

    The nursery has finally taken shape, and with it seemed to come my ability to contemplate the babies actually being here. Of course I want them inside for as long as possible, but if I can make it 10 more days with meds we’ll have passed the 34 week mark, which is a good place to be. (I’m still trying for 36+ but I just can’t think that far ahead - right now I’m thinking about making it to 34, and when I do I can work on making it to 36. One milestone at a time.) Oh, and we bought diapers. So this is starting to seem real.

    Monday, June 19, 2006

    Feel my snatch

    There was a news story from a few days ago, featuring a local acupuncturist who specializes in fertility treatments (J actually sees a guy in the same practice, so we TiVo’ed it). The story itself was mediocre at best (highlights included their report that an insemination or IVF could cost $15,000 per procedure, an interview with an RE from one of the lesser-rated clinics in the area, and an interview with a woman who got pregnant on her 3rd IVF after finally incorporating acupuncuture - complete with fuzzy ultrasound pictures), but the teaser at the beginning of the news show was all about how stress reduction must have a lot to do with getting pregnant, and how you always hear about those people who give up trying and go to adopt and then, of course, get pregnant, and so it must be stress related. Yes, because the obnoxious second-rate hosts of the 4:00 news show are such fertility experts. Riiight.

    My peri is out of town this week (squeezing in a vacation before it’s July and all hands on deck at the teaching hospital) so I saw another peri in the group. Dr. NotMyDoc was fine, though much quicker and less sociable than my regular peri (which you’d think would explain why my peri is always running like an hour late, except so was NotMyDoc, so who knows?). Anyway, he did a cursory u/s of the babies, listened to their hearts, attempted to oblige my request for a picture (we got one of their two heads together, but otherwise they seem to have passed the point of pretty pictures), and quickly answered my questions: yes, the weird patch on my belly is stretch marks that have coalesced; yes, it’s normal for one foot to be more swollen than the other; no, my lingering cough is not a cause for concern, since he was sick last week with a virus and there’s just something going around. What he didn’t do was a cervical check (despite my standard waist-down disrobing). Apparently, NotMyDoc thinks it’s unnecessary at this point - I’m almost 32 weeks and if I go into labor then I just do. Or something. That part was a little bit freaky, since I’m certainly not feeling ready to have these babies and would like them to stay put for another month. And then he was gone.

    Oh, and someone found my blog by searching for feel my snatch - where I am currently the top result. I’m just so proud.

    Friday, June 16, 2006

    Long and random miscellany

    I’m beginning to dig myself out from the sea of slime my body has been producing. Yuck. The cold has mostly vacated my head (except for my left ear which is almost completely clogged) and has taken up residence in my lungs, which is especially nice since there was just SO much room there already what with the babies pressing upward. So not fun.

    I ordered a changing table online, and it arrived yesterday, followed a couple of hours later by an email telling us it had shipped. Not sure how they managed to deliver it before shipping it, but I’m not complaining. It’s still in the box, though, since the painting is ongoing (though the bulk of it is done, the room will stay empty and paint-masked so J can paint the chair rail we’re installing and a couple pieces of furniture/accessories that were other colors in their previous lives). So for now, there’s an unassembled changing table leaning on the wall in the living room.

    What else?

    Cloth diapers: I’m deep in the throes of researching cloth diapers. I’d originally thought we’d just wait to CD until the babes would fit in the normal “newborn” or “small” size diapers, but I’m starting to wonder if that’s too long to wait given that I expect them to be on the small side when they’re born (this notwithstanding, especially since I’m not much over 5 feet tall). But if they start off at 5ish pounds, then it seems it might be okay to invest in some of the preemie sized diapers that will carry them through for a while - even if we just do a combination of cloth and ‘sposies in the beginning. (Not the first couple of weeks, probably, but I’m not loving the idea of delaying for months, either.) So I’ve been looking at preemie cloth diapers - and the choices are limited. So far, I’ve found some decent looking Bummis (preemie size fits 4-8 pounds) that aren’t too expensive, or FuzziBunz (the preemie/XS size fits 4-10 pounds, which would last a while) but are more expensive. And since I’m not scared of the diaper+cover routine, it seems silly to buy a whole bunch of FB. Though I do rather covet them. And of course, all of this was taking into account that there was no diaper service in our city (ridiculous, no?) except that someone JUST started one. Just, like in the past two weeks. So that makes things more interesting. (Of course, I don’t think they stock the preemie sizes, either, so I’m not sure where that leaves us except waiting for them to return my call.)

    Nursery: As I mentioned, the painting is so close to being done, and I’m thrilled. I came up with this whole plan while sitting here, and felt bad for concocting something fairly complicated to execute and being unable to help make it happen, but with the help of J’s fabulous cousin, things are looking good. Not that we have cribs, or anything. Really, we have not much. We registered, but no one has bought anything off the registries yet. I guess the problem with having no shower is having no impetus for people to go shopping. Not that I’m stuff-crazy or anything (oh, shut up) but there are some things we’ll need soon that I hadn’t just bought myself because my mom pushed hard for giving people a chance. Which is fine except that we have no onesies. Or receiving blankets. And I feel like maybe we need them. (We do have one package of the tiny side-snap shirts, because I ordered them at the same time as something for me, but t-shirts do not keep babies particularly warm.) So we’ll see how that all turns out. To her credit, my mother took it upon herself to notify many many people of our news, and to point them to our registry. Seems creepy, but on the other hand, it would be nice if people would start getting stuff, y’know? (Okay, so I’m a little bit stuff-crazy...)

    Okay, enough miscellany for now. Going to drink more water now (since it’s too hot for tea).

    Saturday, June 10, 2006

    Lesson #27: Gloating about progress inevitably results in a bit of backlash.

    So, for example, I got lots done and felt very accomplished, and now I’m sick. Riiight. At least I was already planning to sit around doing nothing yesterday. And today. And tomorrow. But still, blech.

    I’m a touch worried that J is getting sick, too. Which would suck on many many levels. Not the least of which is my ever increasing dependence on him. (Plus he’s working all weekend, and of course I don’t want him to be sick. And someplace in there, he’s going to start painting the nursery.)

    Wednesday, June 07, 2006

    Progress Report

    I’m still doing the laying-around bedrest thing, and I’m tired and achy and all that, but things are on the upswing in other ways, which is good.

    1. My mom came to visit this weekend, and we organized the closet in the nursery, so now there are drawers with stuff in them, and places for more stuff. It’s not a lot, but it makes me feel just a bit more prepared.

    2. We registered. Finally. Which was an adventure in itself - J pushed me around BRU in a wheelchair as we tried to do everything all at once. If I could have, I think I’d have done it in two shifts, just to break up the experience, but I felt like this was really my only chance. We also took a trip to Target, where I used an electric cart instead of a wheelchair. We weren’t able to register in the store, since the system was down (which was incredibly frustrating) but we looked at some of the things we still needed to discuss, and did a bit of shopping (a robe, slippers, some super-pads -- and baby tylenol, mylicon, and, um, baby wipes) and then I started the registry online.

    3. We interviewed a pediatrician. And liked her. A lot. She’s an infertility veteran (PCOS, failed IVF, got pregnant on Glucophage), and she’s kind and compassionate, and comfortable with the level of research we’d done before asking her questions. And even though the office is part of the Evil HMO, it’s in a new facility with bright, spacious waiting areas (room for the double stroller, even) and a lactation clinic (with a LC who specializes in twins and preemies, apparently, and who is said - by the pediatrician, at least - to be fantastic). So that’s a relief.

    4. There’s a plan for painting the nursery. It’s not painted yet, but there’s a plan.

    So, things are happening. Progress, if you will. And the fact that as of yesterday my cervix was still long and closed and earning much praise from the peri (no hand gestures this time, but he was mighty pleased with me and my cervix) and the babies were transverse (meaning no one is putting too much pressure on my cervix) led me to think, for the first time, that I might actually carry to 36 or 37 weeks. Maybe.

    Growth scan on Friday, so we’ll see how things are shaping up at that point.

    Tuesday, May 30, 2006

    Something to Hold Onto

    I spent the earlier parts of this pregnancy hoping fervently that it would continue, and carefully - very carefully - trying to avoid tempting the fates. In some ways it’s a Jewish superstition thing - like flaunting something before you have it will tempt the evil eye. In some ways, it’s just me being afraid to publicly announce this fabulous thing for fear that it all falls apart and I’m left with good wishes for something that isn’t any longer.

    And so I rejected offers of baby showers. “No thank you,” said I, “We’re not planning to have a shower before the babies are born.” We’ll wait, we thought. We don’t need so much stuff before the babies are born. We have a few things, it will be fine.

    And yet...

    And yet...

    The room - the, um, nursery - has not yet been painted and needs a carpet. We don’t have a changing table or cribs. (We have a mini-crib that will go in our room for the first bit of time, so I’m not actually worried about the cribs, but still...) We have some outfits - mostly bought at garage sales and consignment stores, with a few absolutely irresistable things from Old Navy (and a shipment from Children’s Place on the way). We have yet to register (though I have lists - oh, do I have lists).

    I feel a weird combination of thrill and guilt when I try to move forward on the plans and preparations. And it’s mixed with something else - a kind of sadness. I was afraid to take these steps too soon, and now I can’t do much of anything, and I’m so sad. I feel like after all this craziness, I’m losing the opportunity to stand quietly in the nursery (no “um” here) and fondle the cute things and fantasize about what it’s going to be like. And it’s my own fault for being afraid to act sooner.

    We have plans to go register this week - special dispensation if I do it in a wheelchair and try not to be up and out too long. And I know family and friends will send stuff, even without the official occasion of a shower (which we’d started to reconsider right before the bedrest hit). But I’m so scared that if we don’t get it together REALLY soon that I’m going to miss this, too. I’m not so much worried about the babies right now (at least, not in this particular momentary freak-out), but I’m terrified that something will happen that will land me on medicated, full, mind-numbing, no-outings bedrest, and I won’t get to put clothes in drawers. And it makes me so sad.

    Thursday, May 25, 2006

    Knowing and Telling

    28 week update: Apparently, my cervix is back to it’s normal, lengthy self. The peri actually spent some time pointing out how nice it was (though without all those flattering adjectives), and why he was pleased, and illustrated with his hands (how when I bear down, my cervix compresses, but doesn’t open). So, all’s well on the cervical front. I’m still on bedrest, but I have permission for a weekly outing (”as long as you’re not going on a 4 mile walk,” he said. Ha!). So that’s good news all around.


    While we were in the waiting room (because the peri was running 45 minutes late - not unusual) another patient came in who was huge - bigger than I am. Turns out, she’s the surrogate for our new friends G & V. Which we learned because G walked in to the waiting room just after huge-preggo-woman. So we chatted with the two of them for a while (they had the appointment after mine, so it was going to be a while...)

    We were talking with G about various childbirth and prep classes (since last time we saw them was at the infant CPR class) and it occured to me that in a room of pregnant women, she regularly introduces herself as “expecting twins by way of a surrogate.” Now, the other day I had a long conversation with my mom about “telling” and about which people get which information (ranging from the fact that we’re having twins, to due dates, to the vague mention that we had some help, to more detailed info about IVF). What I have, in contrast to G, is the luxury of privacy. (At least when my mom isn’t telling people whatever she’s telling them...) I can choose to tell people as much or as little about how these twins came to be as I want. And I do. Mostly, I don’t bring up the IVF. People ask if twins run in the family, and I answer (not really, though there are some). But unless it seems like the person might be going through infertility or have some other knowledge of the topic, I don’t generally expand on our methods of conception. As I said to my mom, for the most part, you wouldn’t tell people what position you were in if you conceived the “old fashioned” way (if you even knew), so why would it automatically be anyone’s business how we conceived?

    On the other hand, it’s not something I’m hiding. When I think it’s appropriate, I share varying degrees of information. One example: When J told people at work that we were expecting, and expecting twins, mostly they gave the standard responses (Do you know the genders? Do twins run in the family? Oh my god, twins!). But one woman asked if we’d been trying long. See, there’s a flag - that she thought to ask meant she had a clue. So he told her, yes. And yes, we had help. And they had a chat about this woman’s secondary infertility and how she only has one child (which we knew - he’s 17 or 18 now). Another example: The other day I was sitting in my neighbor’s kitchen chatting with her when her DIL and the DIL’s sister came over to drop off the grandson for the night. And they mentioned that they knew someone who had just had twins - with an egg donor. And it seemed like the next step in the conversation was how lucky we were not to have done that or something. So I said something vague about having had some help. No details for them, but I didn’t want them to have the mistaken notion that this was an easily achieved pregnancy.

    I don’t know who else knows, really. Most of my school colleagues don’t, except for one who also did IVF. (More people know about hers, but then, she’s single so people were going to know there was some intervention there anyway. Plus she needed more support during the cycle. My hats are off to people who do IVF on their own - I can’t even imagine. But I digress.) My work colleagues don’t, except for one who has 10 year old B/G twins, and when I told her I was having twins, she told me about her pregnancy complications and the fact that she’d done IVF. So she knows. Some of my mom’s friends know. And of course, I have no idea who else my in-laws or my parents have told, or who has pieced it together. I mean, I wasn’t being vocal about it, but nor was it this huge secret. It just was.

    So what’s the point of all this? I don’t know, really. I think on the one hand that infertility is this taboo subject, and I wish more people could/would talk openly about it (coughJuliaRobertscough. And on the other hand, how I conceived my children isn’t necessarily a topic of public conversation. So at times I feel like I’m walking a fine line between being too open and too secretive - between having my own private life, and being an ambassador for those that can’t speak out for whatever reason.

    I would have thought this would end with the pregnancy, but I suspect that walking around with non-identical twins will continue to elicit (likely obnoxious and ill-informed) questions and comments, both about the twins in general, and about how I “got” them. And I don’t know what I’m going to say.

    Sunday, May 21, 2006

    Neither here nor there

    I meant to post something profound on Mother’s Day, something about how it’s different this year, or not, or whatever. And I just couldn’t do it. In some ways it IS different. At our family gathering, people gave me Mother’s Day cards. (J, thankfully, saved his for a more private time.) I wasn’t the one doing the setup/cleanup as I have been in years past.

    Maybe this is the source of my ambivalence: one time, several years ago, after my mother and my aunt were the primary worker-bees while some new, young, non-mom extended-family-members just sat around, my mom made a request that the non-moms be responsible for Mother’s Day. Which made sense at the time, sorta, though every year that I was again a non-mom through no choice of my own it sucked more. Especially last year when we decided to just skip Mother’s Day all together. But this year I wanted to see my mom and my grandma, and so we went.

    And it felt weird. Weird to be considered a mom. I mean, I feel a sense of protectiveness toward the babies, and I do think of them as my babies, but that’s an internal, private sort of motherhood - not the kind you get a Hallmark card for.

    Maybe it was all too much. At Monday’s ultrasound, the radiologist who reviewed the u/s shots said my cervix was “dynamic” - which sounds so positive and energetic, but really means that the length changed during the course of my wanding, which concerned them a bit. If I weren’t already on bedrest, I think that would have put me here. (In fact, the on-call doc was concerned enough to call my peri and consult with him about what they wanted me to do, which was the scariest part of the whole thing.)

    Personally, I’m blaming the u/s tech, who had a very weird insertion technique for the transvag wand. As in, she sorta aimed for the wrong spot. I never thought I’d miss the people who asked me to self-insert, but after this I’d be tempted to offer.

    More updates from bedrest-land to come...

    Friday, May 12, 2006

    It’s not that I’m pessimistic...

    I’m just not surprised.

    I ‘failed’ the 3 hour glucose tolerance test (and what a fun experience that was, let me tell you. Actually, let me not.) So I’m on bedrest and now I have gestational diabetes. And a whole new set of things to google. Like, what the hell can I eat for the next few days until the Diabetes in Pregnancy class? (The nurse faxed me a brief intro to the food plan, but since I can’t go to the grocery store and J is working a lot, well, I’m not really sure what to eat.)

    Thursday, May 11, 2006

    Just like a Boy Scout

    Be prepared. That’s the Boy Scout motto, right? So I’m working on getting prepared.

    Over the weekend, we took the hospital’s L&D tour, which was surprisingly less surreal than I’d expected. Of course, it was also less useful than I’d hoped because except for learning where we’re supposed to go (which WAS useful) it was a bunch of information that probably doesn’t apply to us. We did stay after at the end to ask a bunch of our twin-specific questions (after being the ones wanting to know where the NICU is and how soon you can go visit if the babies are in the NICU, I decided to hold back on some of my more specific questions to avoid freaking out the normal people). I’ll skip the specifics, except to say that her information contrasted with some of what I’ve been told (both by other practitioners, and by the internets), so I don’t really know what to believe. On the other hand, my inability to trust the people in the know is a bit of a liability, and I should probably work on that.*

    I had a slightly better experience at the breastfeeding class last night, though I knew much of what she was saying, and was somewhat frustrated by her lack of mention of other resources for breastfeeding - like kellymom or Dr. Whatshisname in Canada - both of whom have incredibly useful web presences. (Or even the La Leche League - I guess they’re too far “out there”?) Plus there was no mention of herbs or drugs to increase milk supply, how to build a support network, or really much of anything beyond latching and why breastfeeding is a good idea. Oh, and information about pumps for people going back to work - which was probably useful (how often do you get to examine various pumps up close to get used to the idea), but I missed some of it because I had to pee. I’m hoping to trust the ‘expert’ teaching the childbirth class on Monday (should be taught by a L&D nurse, and has the potential to be the most useful, since it will hopefully be information specific to our hospital), at least long enough to get something out of it. After that, I can go back to my general mistrust. Except for my peri, whom I actually trust quite a lot. (Partially because he’s always happy to explain why he recommends whatever he’s recommending, and because they’re almost always recommendations and not edicts, as if he recognizes that I’ve got a brain in my head that is not completely fried by this whole pregnancy thing, and so it’s really my choice if I take his advice or not. So refreshing, isn’t it?)

    * I had an encounter with the midwife the other day that was basically the equivalent of the nurse at an RE’s office talking about “implanting” embryos or something. Really inspires a lot of trust right there, doesn’t it?

    Tuesday, May 09, 2006

    Welcome to bedrest. Population: me.

    Well, it’s official. I’ve joined the ranks of the bedresting (bedresters?). Sorta. Nothing major has happened, and I’m still allowed up a bit (I was allowed to keep two already-scheduled meetings today, in fact, hence the “sorta”). And thankfully, I’m still allowed to go to the breastfeeding class tomorrow night, and the quickie childbirth class next week. Unfortunately, I’m also being allowed forced to take the 3 hour glucose tolerance test tomorrow. Oh the fun.

    I suspected this would happen, I just thought I’d have a few more weeks to wrap things up at work. And home. And psych myself up for it (or wind down, or something). So this takes a bit of adjusting.

    More after I process it all.

    Saturday, May 06, 2006

    Note to self:

    It is far preferable to stay hydrated throughout the day than to have to drink 60 oz of water all at once to stop the Braxton Hicks contractions, and then spend the next hour peeing every five minutes.

    Thursday, April 27, 2006

    In the middle of the night...

    I woke up in the middle of the night (nothing strange there) feeling hot (also not unusual). I rolled over to look at the clock, which said 350, and I thought, “well, that’s why I feel hot.” And then I woke up a touch more and realized where I was. And then it was 3:51.

    Other than my ridiculously interrupted sleep (and bizarre dreams) pregnancy is mostly going well. I have perhaps more than my fair share of aches and pains, but the babies are growing nicely (and doing their fair share of kicking) and my perinatologist told me I have a fantastic cervix. Really. So far, it seems despite what it took to get to this point, my body is doing surprisingly well at this whole pregnancy thing. Except for how uncomfortable I am. And the heartburn. Oh, the heartburn. But that’s me, and not the babies, so I’m counting myself lucky. 24+ weeks and counting.


    A while ago, I wrote about the weird experience of going to the Moms Parents of Twins club. Last week, we went to our first prenatal education class, which was also weird. This was actually an Infant CPR class, and a very small group - one other couple, plus a single woman. I puzzled over the other couple - clearly not pregnant (actually, I don’t think the single woman was, either, but that was less clear initially), fairly established looking, and strangely familiar. After studing them across the table for a minute, it came to me. The woman, G, was one of the moms I met at the Twins club meeting - she’s the one expecting twins via a surrogate. We didn’t talk much during the class itself, though she and I both reacted to the initial training video (horribly anxiety producing), the somewhat creepy training doll (it had replaceable faces that pulled off for each couple), and the confusing steps we had to practice (is the child responsive or not? blocked airway? is the chest rising?). After the class, we chatted with them for a bit - J stayed with her husband, and she and I headed to the ladies’ room. “We’re doing the expectant moms going to the bathroom thing,” I said, and she smiled. What? She’s an expectant mom too. (I suspect that’s not obvious to a lot of people, though.) While we were gone, the guys apparently had a nice chat. Her hubby, V, shared that they used IVF, obviously (uh, yeah, actually it is obvious) and J noted that we did too. So we’re all on the same page there. They’re a bit older, and perhaps more financially stable (though after who knows how many attempts at IVF and finally a surrogacy, well, who knows?). In any case, we have our first set of twin-parent-couple-friends. I hope. I didn’t get their info or anything, but I’m sure we’ll see them at a twin club event at some point or another.

    (I meant to write more about the Infant CPR class itself - it really was quite bizarre. It started with this video that was really terrifying - like, here are some examples of frightening situations you may or may not be able to do anything about, but we’re going to show you what you can try anyway, just for kicks. The training doll not only had a peel off face, but a peel-open chest -- so you could see the ribcage. And the practice routine depended largely on how focused the instructor was at any given moment. Still worthwhile, I think. But not what I expected.)

    Wednesday, April 26, 2006

    Mum's the Word

    I’ve been a bad blogger. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, though actually stringing together words is sometimes more complicated than it should be. I think I just don’t know how to talk about this part of it. The part with the plans and preparations and fears and excitements. And I know that sounds silly. It’s not so much the “infertile writing about pregnancy” issue, though I do think that’s part of it. It’s just that I don’t really know what to say. Only that’s not true - I have lots to say, I think. I just don’t quite know how.

    I think maybe it’s an identity problem. Writing about pregnancy and preparations and fear and trepidation is to assume a pregnant identity. I’m doing okay with that out here, sorta, maybe, but I’m not sure yet how that translates here. Plus, I have so many little things floating around that I want to share or work through or whatever, and I don’t even know where to start.

    I guess I’ll take it one post at a time.
    Starting tomorrow.
    I hope.

    Monday, April 10, 2006

    Miscellany and mush

    My mother, who recently decided she didn’t want to be called “Grandma” because it seemed too old (something I’m not holding against her in the least - she can try to have them call her whatever she wants. It’s not like they won’t make up their own word, anyway) went shopping last weekend while on vacation, and apparently bought a boatload of baby stuff. Despite her disavowal of the label, she’s sure acting like a grandma :)


    In other news, my brain has turned to mush. Really. My memory is shot. I have trouble remembering what I set out to do when I get up, or go to another room, or open up a web browser. I can’t do basic math (not that my arithmetic skills were ever all that hot, but still - adding 2 + 3? Not the stuff of geniuses). It’s a good thing I’m a list maker, or I don’t think I’d get anything done. And as it is, I still have to remember (1) where I put the list and (2) to check what’s on the list.


    Best of all: I recently updated my blogroll and got to add a second star to two dear friends.


    Did I mention mushbrain? Because that might explain how I drafted this post a couple of days ago and then, somehow, didn’t post it. Um, yeah. And on that note, I’d better track down my list again and see what else I thought I’d already done.

    Thursday, March 30, 2006

    The Voice of Experience

    News about the twins has spread to people I don’t frequently see, both in my department and at work.* Actually, often it’s just news of the pregnancy, and then people are shocked when they hear how far along I am** and relieved when they hear I’m carrying twins.

    In any case, one of these exchanges led to the tidbit that a woman at work (someone I have a lot of respect for, though we don’t actually work together at all - she’s one of those people who exudes good energy, y’know?) is the mother of boy/girl twins. So I saw this woman today, and confirmed that she has twins, and then told her about mine. Her kids are 10 now, and the result of IVF followed by an incredibly scary and complicated pregnancy. (Which is to say, she really gets it.) And she’s got it all together now (or at least makes it look like she does). She didn’t sugar coat things. She said, basically, the first year will be hell. But it’s all worth it, and they’re fantastic now, and they get along really well and their personalities complement each other and who knows what will happen when they get out of elementary school, but right now they are each others’ best friends.

    Mostly, I’m busy amassing advice on dealing with the here and now - what do we need to get and do? How are we going to manage the early days? Will I be able to breastfeed? What classes should we take? Etc. etc. Talking to someone who is so far removed from the baby days was really reassuring. I know there will be new questions and new challenges (hell, I’m stressing about those already, too - How will they get along? When do we separate them in school? How do we ensure they’re able to have a sense of themselves as individuals and not just “the twins”?) but it was nice to see that it won’t always be like this - stuck deep in the unknown, buried under a pile of questions.

    * However, news has yet to spread to many of our friends, because J and I both find it really awkward to send an email out of the blue announcing the pregnancy news. It’s something we have to work up to, I think. So everyone who sees me walking down the street knows I’m pregnant, but many of our friends who aren’t in the area don’t have a clue. We’re working on that, though.

    ** Because I am, apparently, huge. Or something. More politely, one friend told me I was about as big at 20 weeks as she was at 30+.

    Tuesday, March 21, 2006

    Heads and Shoulders, Knees and Toes

    On Friday we went for our anatomy scan, where they measure and count and do lots of things that look mostly unintelligible to the untrained eye. As I settled down on the incredibly flat table (seriously, they think this is confortable bearable for pregnant people??), the tech looked through my file and said, “So, this is an IVF/ICSI pregnancy?” And I thought, Oh, no. Here we go. Critique or commentary or something I don’t want to deal with right now.

    “Yes,” I said, “it is.”

    “Where did you do it?” she asked. I told her the clinic, and she confirmed which doctor, and I thought, This isn’t so bad. I guess she sees a lot of these and it makes for good small talk.

    “I’m seeing him, too,” she said.

    Oh,” I said. “He’s very good - we liked him a lot.” And then she asked about how long we’d been trying, and I told her what we’d done before that, and she asked about the ICSI, and we told her why we did it and what we thought of it.

    “So, this job must be hard sometimes,” I said. “Looking at pregnancy all day.”

    “Sometimes,” she said. “And sometimes it’s encouraging.”

    Over the course of the rest of the scan, we’d occasionally talk about other aspects of the process, or what we thought of it, what meds, what procedures. We joked about my ease with the transvag ultrasound. Mostly she asked questions and we answered them. I wasn’t sure how much to ask her, so I didn’t ask much. In the end, I think I wished her good luck.

    I can’t imagine how difficult and poignant that must be, to do ultrasounds on pregnant women all day every day while going through an IVF. Lots of people come through there for routine scans, I know, but she must also see the worst-case scenarios plenty. She must know that getting sperm and egg together and settled is only part of the challenge. And she’s doing it, now, while she lubes and scans other people’s pregnant bellies. I just can’t imagine.

    (On the other hand, I can imagine the secret thrill at the possibility of having ready access to an ultrasound machine. Stim scans? Easy. Early ultrasounds? No problem. Though I think the machine is probably pretty hard to operate while lying on the terrible table.)


    The babies are fine. Measuring one day apart and right on target. My cervix is long (longer than my peri’s last scan, actually) and closed. The babies seem to have all the right parts in the right places. The tech (and the supervising MD who came in later) were having trouble visualizing all the angles of Baby A’s heart (at first due to the baby’s position, and later due to too much motion) but the consulting peri who came in at the end was really reassuring about it all. There’s also a potential issue with one of the umbilical cords potentially being attached more toward the side than the center of the placenta, but the peri didn’t seem too concerned about that, either. So far, one placenta is anterior and one is posterior, and neither is too close to the cervix. I tried to count fingers and toes, but the tech was more concerned with blood flow and heart rates and bone length (all very important, but not so meaningful to my untrained eye).

    Current status: so far so good, and holding steady. 19 weeks today.

    Friday, March 17, 2006

    Negotiating a New Identity

    So, we went to our first Parents of Twins group meeting this week. (It’s actually Mothers of Twins, but since J came too I’ve been trying to be inclusive.) It was a weird experience. There were several other pregnant women - I was actually the least pregnant by several weeks. Except for the woman who is expecting twins via a surrogate, it wasn’t clear to me that any of the rest had any trouble getting there or that this was anything but a surprise. Maybe I’m just so used to being open to that and they’re busy moving on or redefining their identities. Or maybe infertiles don’t join the group.

    It was another version of the “do I still consider myself infertile now that I’m pregnant” question. And apprently, the answer was yes, sort of. I felt more comfortable with the slightly older pregnant woman who might have been through treatments to get there. I couldn’t completely shake the journey that brought me there, nor could I ignore the other women’s situations. But at the same time, I was trying to make sense of my new identity - mom of twins.

    I generally dislike it when women define themselves solely in their capacity as mothers. Don’t get me wrong, I think mothering is incredibly important, but those women on message boards who use names like “Britney’s Mom” or whatever just bug me a little. I’m not planning to give up my name when I have these kids. I’ll still be me. I hope. But I do understand that a huge part of my identity will shift has already begun to shift.


    On another note, what the heck are receiving blankets used for? Apparently I’m supposed to get a boatload of them, and I’m not sure why. Anyone?

    Sunday, March 12, 2006

    In which I ramble about planning and preparation

    (mostly pregnancy related, and probably pretty boring, so be warned)

    Thank you all so so much for the words of encouragement (especially from Suz - OMG she had time to read AND post? Maybe this is do-able after all!) I have started to take some action to quell the freak-out. I’ve got the contact info for one of the local Moms of Multiples groups - they have a meeting on Monday and I’m trying to get up the courage to go. I’m not usually shy, exactly, but I don’t like walking blindly into new situations with no idea of what to expect. It makes me nervous. So now I’m trying to bring myself to email them so I’ve made contact before the meeting. Does anyone know if Dads of Multiples are generally welcome at these things? Because I think he’d like to come.

    Also, though they’re not on the blogroll over there --> yet, I’ve started reading a few moms of multiples blogs. So far, most of them are useful and encouraging and inspiring, which I think I really needed. If you know of any (or are one) please let me know so I can add them to the list. Please?

    Other action-taking: I’m working on following Moxie’s advice and starting to line up plans and support. It turns out that I am much less interested in the details of a birth-plan than I ever thought I’d be (mostly because it feels like a bit of a waste of energy - it’s all well and good to say that I’d like the baby placed on my tummy or that I’d like J to be the one to cut the cord, but I’m pretty sure that none of that will really be an option. I mean, I guess it’s always possible, but it just seems so irrelevant in the grand scheme of things now.) However, I’ve been thinking that I might like to have an AFTER-birth plan (not for the afterbirth - ewww - but for after all of that). I don’t know if this is silly or practical or what, and I feel like I’m way ahead of myself with it. But I want to breastfeed, even if the babies are early and in the NICU, and I think that means I need to work on that in advance. For now, I think it means researching the LC options at the hospital where I’ll be, and elsewhere in the area.

    I’ve also been deep into the list-making. My mom has offered to come down for a couple of days to help do stuff around the house, and then a couple of weeks later my in-laws will be here for much the same purpose. So we’re trying to think through the things that need to be done that they can help with. I think J and his brother and father will be working on condensing our various storage areas to make room for the things that need to be moved out of the, um, spare bedroom so it can become the, um, nursery. My mother, bless her little disorganized heart, also wants to help - so I’m trying to figure out what she can do (given that organizing and sorting and cleaning really aren’t her strongest attributes). I think maybe we’ll work on the craft room, which is also a storage room, so that when my FIL finds things that belong in there, I’ll have someplace to put them. So that’s a whole heck of a lot of organizing.

    There’s more, but I think I’ll spare you all the details. Let’s just say that I’m channeling all of my anxiety into planning and organizing and hoping that will help a bit.

    Sunday, March 05, 2006

    Insecurities rising

    Every time we have a fight, or even a non-fight -- a pesky disagreement, a mutual out-of-sorts moment -- every time, I worry about how we’re going to do this. How are we going to make it through the ridiculous ordeal of twins? We tell people, and they ask if our families are nearby. No, actually, they’re not that close. Mine are about 3 hours away. His are across the country. We have friends who are excited and want to come play with the babies, but not necessarily the kind that are going to organize meal rotations or come over to do laundry. We have fantastic neighbors who will be happy to do some occasional grocery shopping, but other than all that we’re mostly on our own. And I’m scared. I’m scared that we can’t even take care of ourselves right now. We can’t get the house clean, or organized. We can’t figure out what to have for dinner. I can barely make it off the couch much of the time. And yes, some of that is due to the pregnancy itself - it’s changed my appetite and my energy levels, among many other things. But some of it is just us. Maybe we’re really not ready for this. Maybe we can’t do it. Maybe we shouldn’t have tried so hard to get here. I’m trying really hard not to go down the “meant to be” path, because I don’t actually believe that at all, but tonight in the midst of it all I just don’t know how we’re going to do it.

    Wednesday, March 01, 2006


    Sometimes I feel like a bit of a fraud.

    When, upon telling someone of the pregnancy, I don't follow it with a cautious note or a worried frown.

    When I rest my hand on my growing midsection (for comfort or to clarify that this is not just my fat getting the better of me).

    When I make plans for the future that involve paint swatches, or furniture arrangements, or being on maternity leave.

    The normalcy of the actions is so foreign to me I feel I must be masquerading - I don't really deserve to plan a nursery, or look at strollers, or joke about how my exhaustion now is just preparation for later sleep deprivation.  (Actually, I find the last one annoying - fraud or no.) 

    Yesterday, someone who had just learned of the pregnancy asked if she could touch my belly - it's my first random belly touch.  At least she asked (!) but I couldn't figure out how to say no, politely.  I think as it becomes more frequent (see, there I am assuming it will become more frequent) I'll get better at asking people NOT to touch.  But right now it's all just so foreign that I feel like I'm making it up, bit by bit, as I go along.  Or reciting some script I've heard before, complete with a laugh track.

    I had meant to write about telling, and I will, especially since I'm getting to the point where it's hard to avoid.  Meanwhile, J has managed to tell only a few people at work.  In some ways, I want him to tell more so he gets to experience the weird pseudo-normalcy (and brief thrill) of other people's excitement.  But every time another person finds out, it's one more boundary that has fallen and one more mask I have to put on.  No one wants to hear "Yes, I'm pregnant with twins.  At least for now." or "Well, we expect them in July, assuming I can make it that far."  So I bite my tounge, and try to act like I actually believe this is happening.

    Wednesday, February 22, 2006

    E. coli in my snatch

    So, apparently I’m harboring a huge colony of e.coli in my snatch (or at least someplace in my urinary tract). They ran the urine culture three different times to be sure it wasn’t just contamination (because apparently if you don’t, um, clean yourself properly before peeing all over your hands in a cup, then the results can be flawed). But the nurse who gave me the most recent results chuckled at the notion that it was contamination, so even though my doctor is out of town, I’m being placed on good old fashioned antibiotics. They’ve reassured me that this is totally safe for the babies, so off I go to fill the prescription. In theory this will make me feel better, though since I had no symptoms I knew of, I don’t know if I’ll really feel the difference. I mean, sure, I had the whole frequent urination thing, but I kind of attributed that to, you know, the pregnancy.

    In other news, we’ve been venturing out into the world of normal people, just a bit. We took our first trip to the baby superstore, where J actually had the energy and the focus to look at cribs and strollers and pack-n-plays and swings and the whole nine yards. I’ve been collecting ideas of what I might want for the abstract case of actually getting that far for a couple of years now, so it was nice to look at stuff with some semblance of actual purchasing possibility. Except that I was insanely jealous of all the normal people who had a much bigger selection of, well, everything, because they don’t need to fit two cribs into one room, or two kids into one stroller, or two carseats into one car. (I know some of that isn’t actually true, since there were a fair number of people clearly working on baby #2, perfectly spaced about 2 years behind the first.)

    I also went to my first prenatal yoga class, which was full of the cutest pregnant women ever. We went around the room at the beginning with name, how far along, and one thing we’re looking forward to after the baby, and all of these 24-32 weeks and looking smaller than me women were a little nauseating. I know part of it is that I wasn’t remotely skinny to begin with, plus I’m short so I just look round all over, especially when I’m sitting crosslegged on the floor, but c’mon. It was still a nice class, though. Short, but both a little bit of a stretch and at the same time relaxing.


    I’m working on a longer and more thoughtful post about telling and who gets to know what and who thinks to ask. Basically, the number of people who just think this is super cool and peachy keen and are totally not clued in either to the possibility that it was a long road to get here or that it might be a long road from this point forward. It’s just really weird. But more on that later.

    Sunday, February 12, 2006

    Show(ing) and Tell(ing)

    For once in my life, I appear to be somewhat normal. At least in comparison to those worth comparing myself to.

    Ambivalence about pregnancy? Check. Ambivalence over telling people? Check. Trying to figure out who to tell what? Check. Guilt over the twins? Check. Fear of how we’re going to do this? Double check.

    I’ve also started showing. I’ve been, um, snug in the waist for several weeks now, and bought my first pair of stretchy-waist jeans a while ago, but with the right shirt, I didn’t look all that different from my former non-skinny self. Maybe even less-skinny than usual, but not definitively pregnant. But in the past week, I think I’ve ‘popped’ (or whatever people call it - though not into a cute little ‘bump’). I’m still not huge or anything (though the phlebotomoist who drew my blood the other day* said “13 weeks? You’re just 13 weeks? Are you sure?” and when I told her it was twins, she said “Oh, that explains why you’re so big.” Hmmm.

    Here’s the thing: I’m glad to be showing. It makes it a bit more real -- believable -- tangible. It also makes it significantly more public. I told my boss a couple of weeks ago, because I thought that was necessary. I’ve let the news trickle out bit by bit at school and work. (Apparently not slowly enough, since when J met my work colleagues at an event last week, every one said something to the effect of “Nice to meet you - and congratulations!” which I think he found a bit disconcerting.) And my mom was a bit hurt since I had made her promise not to tell anyone, and just released her a few days ago. (My dad took the release much more as I’d hoped - he’s glad not to have to keep it a secret, but he’s not going out of his way to tell people. When it comes up, or seems like the right moment, I’m sure he’ll tell my sibs and my uncle and whomever else. And that’s fine. Plus, we had a rather bizarre conversation about how far along I am, and why they count based on LMP instead of conception, and so how far am I really. It was kinda cute.)

    Point being, the secret is slowly trickling out into the world. Or, if I’m in a cab with my MIL (we’re in Vegas with the in-laws this weekend - which is its own kind of fun), it’s streaming out to strangers right and left. But whatever.

    In other news, on Thursday night my right boob started leaking clear fluid. I know it’s normal, but damn was it weird.

    * One of my perinatologists - I have two because we’re deciding between two clinics still - ordered the full panel of bloodwork for clotting disorders. His reasoning is that I’ve been on baby aspirin and things have been fine, and it would be better to find out if that’s because it’s helping something clotting-related BEFORE I go off it. It’s a good rationale, and in theory the tests will be covered now in a way they would not have been had the RE ordered them before. So I guess that’s good. I have a long post pending on how to pick a doctor and a clinic (a strange revisitation of my debate about fertility clinics, in some ways) but that will have to wait for another day, as I have a room service breakfast to order to use the last of the hotel credit I earned by pouting about how long it was taking the front desk to fix a basic problem. I hate to whine, but, well, I guess not when it gets me free room service, right?