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.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

So Long, Farewell ...

Auf weidersehen, goodbye...

I'm off on Friday for a week's vacation with J and two friends. Am currently most excited about the hours of peace on the airplane ride, just J and I. Once that excitement has subsided, I will commence being thrilled about meeting our friends at our final destination (it's a two part journey), enjoying our accomodations, eating in fabulous restaurants, and lolling about on the beach.

But for now, just one thing at a time.

A small, but oh-so-coveted gift card to Tar*get for the first person to guess the correct location, based on the photo below:

Saturday, February 24, 2007

"The Baby Who's Not Supposed to Be Alive"

An update to the post about baby Amillia, the 22 week preemie.

The article states that the mother initially messed up in reporting her conception dates at her first prenatal visit, therefore the doctor assumed that the baby was about 24 weeks when delivered.

I don't know about you, but I knew the date and time, practically to the minute, each and every step of the IVF path. I'm a little surprised that the woman and her OB didn't get all the facts straight. But who knows, in the flush of excitement over a much-desired pregnancy, I could see how things could get mixed up a bit. It might be a good thing if OBs could confirm basic facts with the RE before things get going. Can't hurt to double check the calculations.

Delightful, anyway, that baby Amillie is meeting her developmental milestones, and appears to be doing well.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Can I Interest Anyone in a Stuffed Animal?

It never fails. No matter what educational, interesting or informative playthings I provide for the babies' amusement (and I consider myself rather picky and sparse in the toy department - I hate plastic!), it's the everyday "stuff" that wins the popularity contest.

To point:

As I write, MyGirl is dragging around a brown chenille throw that is simply covered in cat hair. At the same time, she is chewing on a purple bulb syringe, that is glistening with the snot of colds past.

MyBoy is confused about why a tall, slick, plastic trashcan is not the ideal piece of furniture on which to pull himself up. Sliiiiippp.....sqqeeeeaaak....thud. Oh, and then there is my nasty old brown clog. Mmmm...looks appetizing.

And both of them are so pround of themselves right now. Big smiles all around.

Why bother buying toys?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

So I Know This Girl...

A few years back, a woman with whom I was friendly shared that she and her new husband were trying to get pregnant. It was right around the same time that we began trying, and we were both unsuccesful. We bonded over the angst of infertility.

We had a falling out soon after -- actually, she had a falling out with me, as I stood by shellshocked and surprised by her undeserved (in my opinion) anger with me. The friendship was over, and I was very hurt, but determined not to let it upset me any further. We have mutual friends, and in the beginning, she would simply ignore me should we all be in the same room or event.

Time passed, and obviously infertility continued for us both. When in a group setting, she began to acknowledge my presence, and I was glad. I thought there must be some serious pain in her life, and perhaps her blowup at me was a manifestation of something much bigger.

I have never thought that our friendship would be rekindeled, and that's okay with me, although I wouldn't push her away -- I think she's a genuinly kind person with a lot of good qualities. More time passed, and I became pregnant with our first IVF attempt. She has remained cordial during the few times I've seen her, and I know that must be hard, as they are still in the throes of fertility treatments. I don't know anything for certain, but I suspect they have done quite a few IVF cycles, and might have experienced some losses.

She is having a transfer on Friday. I was included in an email that had previously included correspondance with her husband, in which he mentioned the event. In receipt of this knowledge, I wanted to do something. I didn't know what, but I hated to know that they would be going through yet another trying ordeal. And I wanted her to know that I know, and that I was hoping for the best.

I knew I couldn't call her ... that would be a ridiculously awkward thing for both of us. So I sent a card, a simple "thinking of you" sentiment in which I wrote a short note that I would be keeping her in my mind on Friday, and wishing for good things.

I had a hard time finding a card that was just right. Most were too sappy, and too presumptuous for a tentative non-relationship like this. Or they were too clinical, referring to medical illnesses and such. I think that something like this really does have a place in our world.

With butterflies making a nest in my belly, I sent the card off yesterday, and anticipate that she'll get it today or tomorrow. I'm nervous that I did the wrong thing. I came by the information by accident, and know that it's none of my business. But reaching out just felt like the right thing to do.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Scary Days and Miracles

My experience pales in comparison to this one, and to those of so many other mothers of preemies, but the fear and dread that I felt going into labor with twins at 29 weeks, and then delivering at 31 weeks, still brings me to tears ten months later.

All those days spent sitting at the incubators, peering inside, wondering if today is the day that I'll be able to hold my babies. If today is the day they won't flinch when I stroke their sensitive skin. If today is the day they will eat just a few ccs more than yesterday. Watching a baby develop, as they do within the womb, in the outside world is an amazing experience. When the twins were born, their little nipples were barely visible. One of the nurses told us that nipples are one of the last things to visibly develop ... we saw it.

Imagine the fear and dread of the parents of a 21 week-old preemie. "Neonatologists who cared for Amillia say she is the first baby known to survive after a gestation period of fewer than 23 weeks," reads the article.

She was an IVF baby. I'm frightened that I keep hearing stories of IVF babies being sicker, more frequently premature, riskier, etc. I remember when we sat down with the RE, Dr. Pleasant, and he said that many people think IVF babies are less healthy, but that there was no proof. I didn't give it another thought, but now I feel like I am overwhelmed with evidence to the opposite.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


We went away for the evening last night, the first time we'd left the twins overnight, together (J and I together. Not the twins. Duh.) And I didn't really miss them.

J has been away a number of times, right many times (No, no, I'm not jealous. Not me. All those boys weekends ...), and I went on one weekend trip. Each time, we've left the kids in the care of each other.

We are going on our first real vacation next month, a week in a warm, warm place with another couple. My parents will come to take care of the kids, which makes me a wee bit nervous, for many reasons, but all in all they are wonderfully capable and loving.

So when we had the opportunity to join some friends in a neighboring city for a wonderful dinner and overnight, we thought it a great time to host an overnight "tryout" for my parents.

I honestly didn't think about the kids until one of the friends asked, this morning, if we'd called to check in on them. We looked at each other, shrugged sheepishly, and responded in the negative.

And didn't really feel guity at all. But that was 18 hours total. I'm nervous that I'll feel differently when an ocean away.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Always a Bridesmaid...

She actually was a bride once. Practically a child bride, but a bonafide in love-idealistic-happygolucky bride. The marriage lasted for four years, the whole relationship about ten years. It ended for the best, but there was much hurt and betrayal that I know she's not over. There were no children, but I suspect that now, six years later and still single and childless, she wishes that there had been.

She has "moved on" in her life, both literally moving far across the country, and figuratively by switching careers, dating other men, and the like. But she's still stuck. No one has emerged as Mr. Right, and she hasn't found the satisfaction in love, career, and family that she has been hoping and praying for. She's still in her mid-thirties, and holds much hope for her future. She has a faith in herself, that all will turn out right, that I admire and envy.

But she's starting to think. What if ... he never comes along? The perfect career move never happens? I end up alone?

She's asked me to go to an information session on international adoption with her, and I am thrilled and delighted. If she goes this route, I want to help her, to travel the path at her side. To support her and encourage her.

She is a strong, beautiful woman. She is my sister.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Grass is Always Greener

I love my husband. I love my husband. I love my husband. I love my husband. I love my husband. I love my husband. I love my husband. I love my husband. I love my husband. I love my husband. I love my husband. I love my husband. I love my husband. I love my husband. I love my husband. I love my husband.

But I want to just yank his hair (of course I can't, because the damn (*R$^#*$(&# is bald), and scream "What do you do while I'm gone?? Anything?? At all?"

Lovely day, he comes home early from work*, at about 4:30. I'm in the midst of thinking about what to make for dinner, starting to prepare stuff. We have the regular chit chat, blah blah, and he asks "So, you're just working on dinner?" To which I reply that, yes, I am, but if he doesn't mind, I'd like to run an errand before hand, and that it'll just take a minute. The rug rats are playing on the kitchen floor, just minutes away from early evening meltdown, and I know it's a good time to escape.

"Sure," he says. "Just let me send a few emails, and then I'll take the babes."

A few emails turns into a computer that doesn't work right, and he's never seen from again, until I tell him dinner is ready. It's early tonight, since I have a meeting at 7:00.

We sit the babies at the table with us, for the first time. Honestly, we don't eat at the table much. We normally sit at the island, and we normally have dinner after they've gone to bed. But we have fun, as the babies work on some tiny cooked carrot pieces, making a completely vulgar mess of it all.

After dinner, I get most of the dishes cleaned up, load the dishwasher, and leave the bigger pots and pans sitting stacked right next to the sink. We give the babies their last bottle and take them up to bed. At which time my exit for my meeting. Lovely, the babies are asleep, it's not like I'm putting anyone out at all. For my once every two weeks meeting that I thoroughly enjoy.

I get home at 9:30, on a feel-good high, just very contented about the world, my world, etc. It's lovely when a meeting also includes wine, isn't it? But either way, a few hours with some friends, away from the grind of daily life is refreshing.

As soon as the key turns in the lock, MyBoy starts screaming. He's been asleep for two hours, not a peep while I'm gone, and now, he starts screaming. I walk back to find J lolling on the couch.

The bottles from the feeding are still sitting where I left them. The baby's toys are scattered where they fell earlier in the evening. The dinner pans are still stacked neatly by the sink. Where I left them. The formula is not made for tomorrow. And the baby is still screaming.

I head towards the stairs, and J asks me "Don't you just want to let him work it out himself?" To which I growl, and head over to the sink, where I start washing dishes, and putting things away. Rather noisily, of course. He finally asks me if something is wrong.

Are you kidding??

For God's sake. I get this one night out, twice a month, and he can't do a goddamn thing while I'm gone. More and more, I sense him falling into the Me Work You Clean House caveman attitude. We've always been a couple that splits duties, filling in where the other can't. I do stuff around the house, I pay the bills, he does his own laundry, takes care of the children, etc. We've never been tied to labels and roles, and I fear that this is the path he is headed down. And I'm not following.

I can't not do the work (excuse the double negative, a pet peeve of mine), because I hate to wake up to a house full of the previous evening's mess, but I don't want to be a nag on him. I've tried, and it simply doesn't work for him. But he's gone much of the day, and it doesn't bother him. But I refuse to be his maid.

Or his mother.

* Since just previous to the birth of the babes, J has worked at home. It has been an arrangement that suited well while trying to deal with this new life. But more and more lately, more of the childcare has fallen to me, which is okay. Someone needs to be the primary caretaker for the children, and I'd prefer it be me. Splitting it is too hard. And too often, he'd be up in his office while I'm desperately dealing with two screaming babies, and my anger towards him grows, for being there but not helping me. Because he's working. We decided that he'd start working more at his office (nearby, and he can come and go as he pleases). This allows me to "run things" more as I prefer, i.e. not picking the babies up from a nap when they start crying after 3o minutes when I know they'll really sleep more, etc. But now I'm really feeling the effects of being a true stay at home mom, alone with my kids all day.