After years of infertility and IVF, we've finally seen light from the other side. I knew it could happen, but certainly didn't think it would be us ... our new life with twins. Gulp.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Where's Olive?

It has been a looooong time since I have seen such a hilarious movie. So funny that I repeatedly hit J. over and over as I laughed. So funny my feet and legs were constantly moving up and down, up and down. The anticipation of an ending that I knew would be good, but I had no idea would be this good! You must go see.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Leading the Way

An interesting article in Newsw*ek about a female infertility researcher, who herself has had experiences with infertility and adoption.

"What causes infertility? Why do some people make few or poor quality reproductive cells? It's a genetic black box. If you look at the controversy surrounding human embryonic-stem-cell research, so much of it is because we don't understand what life is."

Isn't that the truth. A nd if we did "understand" what life is, from a scientific viewpoint, could we, from a societal persepective, ever decide where/when life begins?

"This subject matters to me so much. I see infertility as a major health problem, not a minor inconvenience. It greatly impacts a couple's entire quality of life."

I like that she uses the term "inconvenience," because that really is how most others (regular fertile people, the medical and insurance industries) seem to view it.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Shameless Photo Op

I've never posted pics of the babes here, for a few reasons. First, I'm deathly afraid of being outed to the real world. The blog world is a totally different place from my real world. And second, when the babes were new and very young, they looked like preemies. They were gaunt and skinny, and while beautiful to me, I didn't want any pity or "Oh, aren't they teeny!" I get that enough in real life.

These babies blow me away by every little thing they do, by how they grow, and by the cool developments they make every day. They're making sweet noises now, are so full of smiles I can't get them to eat, and are getting better about holding their heads up (although they still HATE tummy time.)

So with that, I present to you a few shameless photos. Feel free to ooohhh and ahhhh to your heart's content. It's never too much for me. But I am going to take the pictures down in a few days. Enjoy.

( photos removed )

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Nervous Jitters

I was nervous as I got in the car, nervous as I parked, and still so as I approached the hospital. I was headed to my hospital, our hospital, for a meeting this evening. Although I've been back twice to drop off/pick up things, I knew that tonight, I'd have to walk through the lobby where I spent so many hours killing time and waiting to meet family and freiends, wind through the halls that I'd seen at all hours of days and night, pass by the cafeteria and vending machines where I half-heartedly nourished myself during the five weeks of misery, while my babies grew and slept in the NICU.

I'm not sure why I was nervous, perhaps at the anticipation of memories I hoped I'd moved past. Not wanting to be sad. For me, that hospital does not bring feelings of joy and delight. It brings dread and anxiousness.

As I walked down the hall where my meeting was held, a trio of women in scrubs and white coats stood at the end. A smile immediatly filled my face, and I impatiently stood in line to sign in, etc., just waiting to move past, towards that trio.

It was the NICU director, the neonatologist who discharged my babes, and by far, my favorite NICU nurse. (They were there to give a presentation.) This is the nurse who helped me breastfeed the babies long before the doctors gave the official okay. The one who took pictures of my babies taking their first "bucket baths" to use in her in-service presentation. The one who gently reminded J that Mother's Day was coming up, and that it was important that he celebrate it with me (and coached him on a wonderful gift.)

I approached them, only intending to tell them thank you, for the care with which they treated J and me, and for the tender care they gave my children. I didn't expect them to remember me. But I was so delighted when they did. They greeted me with smiles and hugs (well, a handshake from the doctor...she was never so warm and fuzzy!), questions about the babies, and about us. I did tell them thank you, and how much their service meant to me. It felt good. It felt like closure and joy, all wrapped up into one.

The NICU is celebrating a big anniversary, and is having a "reunion" this weekend. I was wishy-washy about going, but now, I think we must. The ladies insisted.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Cheezy Goodness

Bet you thought this post would be some sappy goodness about my gorgeous babes. You would be wrong, although they continue to be fabulous!

While, and right before, I was pregnant, I really got into cooking. For a number of reasons: I had a fairly new (recently renovated) kitchen, and I realized I needed to USE it. I thought "I'm going to have a kid someday, so I should learn how to whip up some food!" I got tired of J's cooking (although he's quite good). It was an excuse to buy more magazines.

I got pretty decent, and now feel quite comfortable preparing a meal for the two of us. I can do a dinner party, but prefer to have help from J. with that. I have a few good dishes in my back pocket that I can whip up with ease. And now I have shelves and shelves of cooking magazines. Love them.

Obviously, as soon as I went on bedrest, cooking went out the window. And I've not picked it up again until now. In the early baby days, we had enough frozen and fresh meals brought over by friends to last for quite a while. A few folks gave us weeks of prepared meals from a chef service (we still have one week left!) Then I was so busy with not sleeping, breastfeeding, pumping, not sleeping, etc. that J. just took over kitchen duties. He was so good to me - I would've eaten nothing if not for him (that was a double negative ... so sorry!) And it's just carried over, and I realized I miss cooking. I seem to have more manageable pockets of time now, so I'm determined to figure it out.

I told J. that after church today, I needed some time on my own (read: You take care of the babies) to run some baby-free errands, including the grocery store. It's hard to shop for groceries with two babies in your cart. Trust me on that one.

When I returned, I set to work in the kitchen. Cheddar, gruyere, yummy delishiousness. A friend made this for us in post-baby haze, and I've been dying to make it. It lived up. It's a huge recipe ... now I've got lots in the freezer. But I'm not sharing.


On a side note, fertility related. I bumped into a friend while out running my errands. I'd spoken to her husband last week while she was out of town, and he told me they were (10 weeks) expecting (second child). When I relayed my congrats, she told me she had a miscarriage. I was horrified ... here we were in a very public place, and I felt so out of sorts.

I think that I acted appropriatly, and quickly told her how sorry I was. She didn't seem outwardly upset, perhaps because she's dealt with it, or is good at faking. I don't think they had any troubles with the first one, not that it really matters). She made a funny comment about trying again is always the fun part (yea, for some of you, I wanted to say ... just teasingly of course). But I still left feeling badly. Partially for her, partially for me, somehow not just knowing that something bad had happened.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Update from the World of Infertility

I got exciting news last night. One of the dearest, most caring people I know has a 13-year old son, product of their second IVF attempt. For years, they have had four frozen embryos, and have been conflicted about what to do with them. I suspect a bit of a back and forth between the desire to have more children and questioning the morality of not using the frozen embryos.

She is 41 years old, and has decided that now is the time. If it works, fabulous and scary things await, and if it doesn't, she's at peace with the fact that she's done the right thing, and can be content with her family as is. I am so proud of her for making a scary decision, and so excited at the prospect.

* * * * * * *

About a month back, I got a letter from Dr. Pleasant, the RE, congratulating me on the birth of the babes. I meant to save it to post here, but can't seem to put my hands on it (go figure!)

He told me, at my last visit, to please let him know when the babies are born. "How sweet," I thought. "He cares!" He then went on to explain that it's very important for them to track the live births of those conceived in their clinic. For the statistics, you know.

So I sent him a baby announcement and photo. Because I wanted my babies to be part of the pile that he shares with prospective parents in their consult. When he says, "And of course, you know that many, many people who conceive using IVF will end up with multiples." As he holds up a photo of someone's gorgeous, drool-inducing babies. Mine?

Anyway, the letter. I can't remember the exact wording, but I was surprised at the sappiness of it all, and it ended with an invitation to please bring the babies around to visit the office. Oh, and to please contact them if they can be of any additional service (more babies, perhaps? Not anytime soon.)

While it's lovely to express an interest, I just thought it kind of odd for then to invite us to the office. There is nothing more I would have hated, as a patient, than to see a momma stroll on in with her babies, the objects of my obsession and ultimate desire; a reminder of what I didn't have. I never did see any babies, over all of my many visits.

How about a baby-reunion open house, instead?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

We were WRONGED, I tell you!

I sit here trying to catch up on my blog reading, and MyBoy and MyGirl are the height of cheap entertainment.

MyGirl is trying hard, between farts, to flip herself from back to belly. This is a feat that she has been hard at work on for a few weeks now, and many a times, we will find her in the morning, rotated around in a rather contorted and arched-back position that tells us, yes, she tried, but didn't quite make it over. Presently, she works hard, gets about three-quarters of the way over, and stops for respite breathing and hand sucking.

MyBoy is looking quite hip in his boy-striped onsie with khaki cargo shorts. It's getting a bit cooler, so I'm taking that as an excuse to put the babes in real clothes ... actual tops and bottoms. I love them just a little bit more when they are dressed cutely. Is that bad of me? Anyway, he sucks contentedly on his pacifier, and pretends to twirls his non-existent hair. This is a trait picked up from his father, who has even less hair than he, but still makes that twisty motion on his own head, and if I'm lucky, on mine.

Oh! oh! she's almost over ... hips over ... wait for it ... face smushed against blanket ... grunts and cries...and she rests. Oh well. I just want to push her over, and say "Hurrah! Look what you did!!" I see this being a problem in my future.

Do you perhaps remember an oh-so-cool dance move entitled "The sprinkler," wherein the groovy one puts one arm bent, hand on head, and the other extended out to her side? She then makes a pulsing movement, thus imitating a lawn-watering apparatus? MyBoy does this with great style ... more than his drunken-at-a-frat-party-mom ever did.

Anyway, I was reading a post over at OvaGirl's and it reminded me of a recent incident over which I am still fuming!!!

J and I are brunch kind of people. Before babes, during the making of babes, and most certainly, after babes. They are still small enough to be portable, and can sleep long enough to allow us to finish a meal, if the timing is precise. We are also church-going folks, so we usually hit the brunch spots at their most crowded, or once the crowds have gone home. We are good customers ... we are polite, we eat a lot, and we tip well.

A few weeks ago, we come home from church, change, feed the babes to ensure an optimal mood, strap on the Bjorns, and head out for a neighborhood restaurant. A restaurant that we have had both bad, and good, experiences at. And one that we have taken the babies to previously. With no problems.

We enter with delight, seeing that there are about three empty tables. After noone speaks to us for a few moments (and this is a 12-table restaurant ... not big, people), we head towards the bar. Where biaatch-hostess looks us over and says, "Yeees?" with disdain.

"Ummm, we'd like a table. To eat. Brunch, you know."

"Ohhh," she says. "Yea, we just took our last few reservations, so those tables are taken. And we're not taking any more walk-ins."

We were stunned and walked out without any of the snappy retorts that we came up with a few blocks later. First, they don't take brunch reservations. Or they certainly never did before. And who is to say that just because we have gorgeous, well-fed and well-behaved babies strapped to our chests, does that not mean that our money is not as good as everyone elses, and our bellys as growly?

Mind you, I would never take children that can talk, move on their own, or be upwardly mobile, to this restaurant. It's not that kind of place, and I totally respect that it's an "adult" kind of cafe. But come on! Sleeping infants? Without a cumbersome stroller? Give me a break.

So, we hoofed it five blocks over to a great Tex-Mex place that was more than happy to seat us in their non-smoking room, and while brunch was fine, it just wasn't the same, and we were left with a bad taste in our mouths.

I then proceeded to tell a group of girlfriends, who promised they they too, would show up at the cafe with their babies in tow, and see what kind of reception they got. Hummmph.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Please Cover the Offending Belly

I actually went to the gym yesterday. And the day before. And I did okay. I expected to have absoluly no cardiovascular strength at all, since it's been six months since my last visit, but I did okay. I guess all the trips up and down our very steep steps with two babies, umpteen times a day, has worked in my favor. But not the point of my entry today ...

Two machines down is a fit, pregnant woman, working away on the eliptical trainer. It's hot, she's hot (who isn't during pregnancy during August?), and she lifts up her baggy tank top to allow some air to hit her belly. It feels good, so she leaves it up, and keeps on moving.

A sixty-some woman, walking through the gym on her way to the tennis court mind you - not even working out, comes over, and proceeds to tell Mom-to-Be that it's entirely inappropriate for her to be exposing herself like that. It's offensive, etc., etc., etc. To which MTB replies that, number one, she's hot, and isn't it great that she's trying to keep herself fit and heathy for her baby, and number two, it's a gym, it's not like she's in a restaurant or anything. And noone else seems to be offended. To which we all smile and roll our eyes at her.

The very polite, but fueled, back-and-forth continues, MTB pulls down her shirt to get the damn lady to leave. And a few minutes later, after we've all discussed it and sided with her, she pulls her shirt back up. It's hot.

I wore tight shirts to the gym when I was pregnant ... they were more comfortable. There are plenty of very fit and well-endowed women who simply wear sports bras. No complaints here. It's a gym - a place that exists solely for the betterment of the human body. What gives?