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, August 21, 2007

Help with a Sensitive Issue

There is a tough issue going on in our world, and I could use any thoughts, advice, experience or guidance.

I have a dear old friend who is going through a horrible ordeal, and I'm not sure how to deal with it. She and her husband started trying to conceive not too long after J & I. After two IVFs, PGD, and who knows what else, they were lucky enough to conceive twins.

I found out recently that, due to a condition the parents didn't specify, one of the twins is not going to survive after birth. It will continue to grow in utero, though. They are approximately four months along.

I am devastated for them, and for this horrible trauma, surrounded by the joy of a much-wanted child, they will all have to endure. I cannot stop thinking about how parents deal with a pregnancy that will inevitably have such a sad outcome, while maintaining the excitement about bringing home a healthy child. How do they deal with well-wishers who have no idea? How do they deal with the daily conversations about the pregnancy? How can they create positive memories and have a meaningful experience surrounding the conception and birth, and death, of these children?

I could go on and on, I think about this constantly, and have a hard time speaking about it. I think how it could've been me, and how can someone bear such pain? More to my immediate point, though, is how I can be supportive.

I want to help her celebrate this pregnancy and these children, but I don't know how. I haven't spoken with her since this news, just a very brief email, but I want to be prepared when I do. Someone asked me recently about wanting to get her a gift for the baby, and I gently reminded them that there will be two babies. She will give birth to two babies. And only bring one home.

God, I can't even write this without crying ... I'm so sad for her...

Any thoughts or experiences? I don't want to avoid her out of my own discomfort, and she needs as much love as possible.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Naptimes: Two to One

I thought it would be so easy. So simple, more like when we switched from three naps to two. But this process has been a bit more difficult that I expected, probably because it's a bit too early for them to give up one nap, and because I haven't been as diligent as I should. We started on Monday, July 23, and I suspect we're almost finished with the transition ... one can hope!

Caroline asked for more information about the nap-switch, so I am happy to oblige.

On the two-nap schedule, the twins were waking up around 7 a.m., nap at 9 a.m., nap at 2 p.m., and bedtime around 7 p.m. My goal was to push the morning nap later and later, and shorten the afternoon nap shorter and shorter, until they meet in the middle, more or less (technique courtesy Moxie).

The first day went like this:

Out of bed: 8:00 (what crazy luck!)
Breakfast: 9:00
In bed for nap: 10:30 – 12 noon
Lunch: 12:15
Play, errands, snack, Children’s Museum
Nap in Car: 3:40-4:20
Dinner: 6:00
In bed: 7:30

A week later (July 30), here's how a day went:

Out of bed: 8:00
Breakfast: 8:30
Activity: B&N, pet store (a thwarted attempt at bookstore storytime ended up at the pet store)
Home & snack
In bed for nap: 11-12:30
Lunch: 12:45
Activity: play with grandmom & snack
Nap in bed: 3:45-4:45
Dinner : 5:30
In bed: 7:30

And here's how today (August 17) went:

Out of bed: 8:00
Breakfast: 8:30
Play: 9:00 - 11:30 (snack in their somewhere)
Lunch: 11:30
Nap: 12-2
Snack at 3:30
Dinner at 5:30
Bedtime at 7:30

I had a really hard time enforcing the very short early evening nap, because I so enjoyed the peaceful, quiet time to myself (or do get dinner ready!). I often let them sleep quite a while (4-5:30 or so), which is why I started out just driving them around in the car. That worked quite well when J was out of town for so long, but got old quickly, once someone was expecting an adult dinner!

Luckily, I had a babysitter this morning, who brought her toddler son over, so it helped to keep the kids awake and busy when they would normally be tired. I'm really hoping that today was the big hump they needed to get over it, and that perhaps we'll start having some of those long, luxurious afternoon naps I keep hearing about.

More to come soon: the exciting results of the 15 month checkup (which happened closer to 16 months), and thought about the big 'more babies?' question...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Faking It

Ever since J took his big trip (did I tell you where? That great northern state that is above Canada!), we've tried to take some solo-baby time. Meaning I take one child and he takes the other, and we go about our business. This is usually on the weekend, but occasionally in the late afternoon during the week if he's come home early.

I like to pretend sometimes that I only have one child.

There, I said it. I feel bad for saying it, but it's true. And it's kind of fun - to pretend to live like everyone else does. Like my friends do. Oh, I have fifteen errands to run, but it's no big deal because my ONE BABY is really easy and happy, and I can just pop him/her out of the car seat and go into a store without a stroller! (If I did go in with a double stroller and just one child, it might look kinda funny, right?)

So last week I was determined to Get Stuff Done Outside The House. With a child. Which is something I don't usually try to do, because between food, schedules, strollers, and gear, it can be fairly overwhelming.

I first took MyBoy out for errand time. He was wonderful - peaceful and happy, always smiling and looking around, pointing and grunting as he does. And we got so much done, but by the end, I was lagging. That child is heavy, waaaaay heavy, and he doesn't hold on with his legs, so it's basically like toting a bag of lard around on your hip.

The next time, I took MyGirl, thinking hey, this chick is tiny and light, with the grip of a vice. And she was equally as delightful, plus more. The girl was so happy to be out alone with me, and was entranced with everything she saw, everyone that paid attention to her, pretty much everything. And she wanted to touch it, feel it, eat it, pull it, or poke it.

On our girl's day, I was out to look for a few cute new outfits to take on my upcoming Girl's Weekend. We went from boutique to boutique and I had more and more trouble trying to keep her contained, especially in the dressing room. We ended up exiting all the cute stores rather quickly, and guess where we ended up?

The regular backup shopping excursion...Target. Might as well have had both babes with me!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A Very Long Two-Week Wait

I’m feeling victorious.

Three weeks ago, I was full of dread and angst as my husband began packing for a two-week adventure. Without me. Without the twins.

Which of course means that we would be left here to fend for ourselves. Now, I’m used to taking care of the kids by myself during the day, but I really look forward to the evening when J comes home and plays with the kids while I make dinner. And, obviously, the adult companionship and such.

It was a hard two weeks, but we managed by doing things that were different and keeping busy. We went to a friend’s house for dinner, visited practically every park in the area, and went to the zoo. Surprisingly, it was a fairly solitary few weeks in that visits from my mom were noticeably absent, our regular playgroup was cancelled, and lots of friends seemed to be out of town. However, I did manage to get a sitter a few times to have a girl’s night out and attend a few meetings. Oh, and we made it to church.

I was surprised at how little I actually got accomplished, for myself. My time was simply spent maintaining the existing atmosphere as opposed to starting/completing new projects. More time cleaning, doing laundry, cooking, and stuff like that. I fell into bed exhausted, and quite early, each and every night.

I did read a few books, which I haven’t been able to do lately, and have semi-accomplished a big task for the twins.

They are starting a two-morning-a-week preschool in the fall, and I’ve been paranoid about their naptime. They don’t adapt well to schedule changes, so I know that can’t just show up in September and expect them to be fine without a morning nap.

So my goal while J was gone was to start the transition to one nap a day. Previously, naps were at 9 & 2, each for about 1 ½ - 2 hours. I’ve gradually started pushing that morning nap further and further, and now they’re going down at 11. As that first nap started getting later and later, the second nap was to get shorter and shorter. So my plan was to exhaust them during the afternoon (hence all the playground/park trips) and then let them have a 30-40 minute nap around 4:00 or so. Since we were usually out and about, I just let them have that nap in the car as we drove home or just drove around listening to music.

It was going really well, until J got home. Now, they’re still going down for nap at 11, but the afternoons have been really quite horrible and I can’t figure out why. Yesterday, they wouldn’t take an afternoon nap, stayed up happily at a friend’s house until 9:00 p.m. (unheard of!), and still woke up at 7:00 a.m.!! Luckily, we’ve still got about three weeks to get it all worked out before school starts … I really think it’ll be fine.

It was, all in all, a really challenging two weeks, and I thought often about the women for whom this is just a fact of life, not a blip in their schedule. We women are strong, aren’t we? I wonder how men would handle being alone with two children for 14 days straight?

J won’t have the chance for two full weeks, but will get to try his hand at it this weekend, as I take off for a much-anticipated girl’s weekend!