Sunday, December 26, 2010


It has been months. I'm sorry. I've been busy. And tired, and stressed, and now we're in Italy! Yay!

Actually, things aren't going well here, mostly because of sleep issues. Have you ever dealt with 9 hours of jetlag? When you already have issues with insomnia? Our babies, who are now 5.5 months, adjusted after a few days. Unfortunately, we've been here a week and Mama still hasn't adjusted. I think the problem is that when you can't sleep a few nights straight through on the new schedule, your body just things you're napping. So I wake up to feed a baby, and I don't get back to sleep because hey! According to my body, it's not actually bedtime yet. Even though it's 3:20 am and I've only slept from 11pm to midnight. Ugh.

I want to catch up on the last few months, but I don't want to overwhelm with a long post. Here are some bullet points of the last few months, the current situation, and more interesting differences between Italy and the states:

  • SIDS doesn't seem to be a blip on anyone's radar here. Babies sleep with little tiny pillows, sheets, blankets, etc. I keep wanting to tell people that they're not miniature adults, they're babies! They don't need miniature pillows.
  • No one here swaddles, apparently. My in-laws keeps complaining that we're putting Turtle in a straight-jacket, and when they are watching him, they don't do it (and he doesn't sleep well). I know he's a bit old at almost 6 months, but it really does help him sleep.
  • I'm worried I'm developing PPD. Can you develop it this late in the game? Actually, I think it's been coming on for a month or two now, exacerbated by some really shitty stuff that happened a little while back. I'll have to ask my hubby if he's ok with my posting it on the web, and then you'll see what I mean.
  • The babies are freaking adorable. I'm so in love with them, even after I've been alone with them for hours and am just dying to hear another adult voice.
  • Tadpole can roll over! And over and over and over. She's gone from a sweet, smiley little thing to a fireball of energy and attitude. She's still smiley, though.
  • Turtle is a little charming heartbreaker who actually does smile and even laugh now. He's also starting to grow some hair (ahead of his poor sis). Most of the time he can only roll back to front, but I've seen him occasionally go the other way, too.
  • The babies wake up a LOT at night still. It's frustrating. Especially for an insomniac.
  • I am supposed to go back to work in May ... I want to rethink my career before then. I thought I wanted to be a SAHM, but I'm not so sure anymore. I think I'd like a part time job so I can get out of the house and be part of the real world again. But I don't think I can go back to my old job. So I need to figure out what I want to do.
  • I'm having a very hard time maintaining friendships and making new friends. I feel very isolated, especially now that we're in the rainy season in California and I can't even get out of the house with two babies. I'm very lonely.
  • I miss exercising. It was a big part of my old identity ... I spent most of my time at work, cooking/baking, gardening, and doing sports. I don't do any of those things anymore. I don't do much of anything at all anymore.
Well, that's all for now, I guess. More later.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Now that both of my kids are smiling, life is so much better. Things are still hard (not that I'm not ALWAYS grateful to have them). My mother's helper/babysittier has become more and more unreliable until this week she was a no-show, but my in-laws are coming from Italy on Sunday! For two weeks!! Yay!

The babies are doing great. At just over 11 weeks, Tadpole is 12 pounds 2 ounces, and Turtle is 12 pounds 14 ounces. Turtle has started "talking" to us (when he's not screaming), and Tadpole still smiles up a storm constantly. It's wonderful. They're also sleeping at night, sometimes for stretches of 3-4 hours. REALLY wonderful. (Knock on wood). Not that they're on the same sleeping schedule. Or napping schedule. Or any kind of schedule, but we just go with it and hope that it'll settle into something schedule-like sometime soon.

The best thing we've done is hire a night nurse to come a couple times a week. It is saving our sanity. Since we're still in the middle of a huge remodel that is WAY behind schedule and dealing with two cranky babies while a lot of other stuff is going on in ours lives, getting regular sleep makes all the difference in the world.

Speaking of which - the night nurse is here and Mama and Papi are off to bed. Cheers!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

2 months

Time really does fly when you have babies. Everyone always told me it goes so fast! Actually, time doesn't seem to go any faster at all. I think what really happens is that the babies grow so quickly, they don't spend very long at each stage.

At two months, Tadpole is 10 pounds 15 ounces (up from 6 pounds 3 ounces at birth), and Turtle is 12 pounds 2 ounces (up from 6 pounds 13 ounces at birth, although that is an estimate since he was screaming and flailing on the scale).

Life is hard with twins. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. They keep me busy morning to night, and we still haven't figured very much out. We haven't figured out sleep/nap schedules or routines at all. I tried getting them to sleep early last night since I was a single mom for the evening, and they were up early this morning and didn't sleep well. Of course, there are always other complications, such as the fact that they had their 2-month shots yesterday, so who knows?

They are sweet babies. It's true that babies develop at their own rates, you can see it very well with fraternal twins. Tadpole started smiling three weeks ago and has been smiling up a storm ever since, charming everyone around. Turtle started smiling much more recently and is still very shy about it. He prefers to frown, pout, or scream. Not nearly as charming!

We gave up breastfeeding and pumping. It was very sad for me, and I'd like to write more about it, but I don't have time at the moment. Factors included lack of time, lack of sleep, and digestive issues. Like I said, twins are hard.

Speaking of twins being hard - one thing I want to write more about it how awesome I think it will be for them in a year or so, but how it kind of sucks for them right now. I can't pick them up every time they cry, because I can't handle two babies at once, especially now that they are bigger. The calmer, sweeter twin tends to get a lot less attention. It's hard on everyone, including mama and papi (pronounced Poppy).

I want to write about dealing with parents and in-laws, bilingualism, sleeping, babywearing, trying out cloth diapers (hopefully I'll start that today or tomorrow!), meeting other mothers, dealing with the public when you have twins and tons more.

I've learned a lot about guilt, about judging, about learning. This is such an amazing, difficult journey. But now there's at least one baby crying and it's time to get papi up, so I've got to go. Ciao!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

RE REdux

Things are going well here (knock on wood). It took us a while, but we're starting to settle into a bit of a schedule, and the babies are even figuring out that night time is for sleeping (and eating, but at least not for being awake for hours at a time). I have a lot of help (my mom comes one day a week, a mother's helper comes a few times, and now we have someone at night a few times a week for a couple months because we're exhausted). I can't complain. My babies are beautiful.

I was contacted by the RE's office a few weeks ago to find out how everything went in the end, and they invited me to come in and visit with the babies. I called to schedule it and they gave me an 11:45 appointment. I assumed that they gave me what was essentially a lunchtime appointment because there wouldn't be patients there who would get upset.

I was wrong.

Man I felt like shit. I pushed my double stroller in, trying not to make eye contact with anyone, and checked in at the front desk. In the meantime, a woman got up and went outside, leaving her purse behind on the chair, and stood with her back to the door. I wasn't sure at first, but it soon became obvious she was wiping her eyes and trying to pull herself together.

I felt bad for her. I felt bad for ME, too. I didn't want to hurt anyone, and now someone was outside crying, solely because of my presence. Man, what an awful feeling - a feeling I felt BECAUSE I am infertile and I know what it's like. A fertile person wouldn't have had a clue. I kept on not making eye contact with anyone and feeling terribly uncomfortable. A nurse went out to get her and she came back, grabbed her purse (also without making eye contact), and went through the door to the exam rooms, the nurse grabbing a box of tissues on the way. Sigh.

It was just weird. I know, everyone writes about feeling like they don't fit in anywhere (fertile world or infertile world), about wanting to be able to celebrate their pregnancies and children without feeling guilty, and so on. I felt all of that. I know I'm so, so, so lucky, even when I don't feel like it when I have one or two screaming babies in the middle of the night. I understand how that woman felt. And I understand how fertile women feel, when they offer to give their kids away, because although infertility sucks and isn't easy, quite honestly motherhood isn't easy either (but it doesn't suck like infertility does).

But I did choose motherhood for myself, and I would never hurt someone purposely. And so for yesterday, for those who are still going to the RE and who would have been horrified to see me show up with my double stroller and apparently nonchalant attitude, I'm very, very sorry.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Are you breastfeeding? Well, sort of ...

I am so tired taking care of two babies, there has been no time to post! This is a rare event where they're both sleeping and I just would rather write than catch up on stuff around the house (but who knows how long that will last?).

One of the first things I want to say is that pretty much since Day 1 (or rather Day -2 when the induction started?) I have become a MUCH less judgmental person. I didn't even realize how judgmental I was. I was going to have the perfect birth, I wasn't going to have an epidural or a c-section or possibly not even painkillers at all. And then I was going to breastfeed for at least a year, and use cloth diapers. Because I apparently am perfect. Hahahahaha.

Pretty much ALL of that has gone completely out the window. I'm exhausted. I never really knew what sleep deprivation was, and now I understand why it's such a great torture device. So forget all that and let's start from scratch.

If there is one thing I am starting to hate about parenthood, it's constantly being asked by everyone and their brother whether I am breastfeeding. And I don't actually even have a straight yes-or-no answer to that. No, I am not technically breastfeeding. However, I'm not really formula feeding either. (huh? what the hell are you talking about? <--- what most people probably think). I am pumping and managing to get 75-100% of the babies' calories that way (depending on the day), and supplementing with formula when necessary. And I'm getting really sick of explaining that to people. I am about to start saying "yes, I am breastfeeding!" although it might be a bit confusing when I then pull out a bottle.

Let's try to keep this short and sweet (ok, that's not happening). Breastfeeding in the hospital didn't go that well. To revert to using nicknames (Tadpole is the girl, Turtle is the boy), Turtle was great at latching on (as far as I could tell without much help from the nurses, who were more about fixing things later than getting them started right), but he didn't seem to get enough to satisfy him and would feed for hours and hours and still be hungry and losing weight, while I didn't get any sleep. Tadpole couldn't seem to latch on at all. Her hands were always in the way, and then she couldn't do it right and I'd have to get her off and start over and she'd get more and more frustrated and in the process she was destroying my nipples. I was in pain, and then I'd get tense, which isn't good for the letdown reflex, and a vicious cycle would start. Pretty soon, it made it tough to breastfeed even Turtle, who had a good latch most of the time. Things weren't going well.

At a certain point, one of the babies (I'm assuming Tadpole, but I'm not sure) had lost more than 10% of their birth weight, and the nurses were concerned. I'm not going to go into every single thing we tried, or how some of them were such militant lactation consultants that they would not even consider formula or a breast pump. Let's just say that my poor husband woke up to all three of us crying one night. And we HAD to start supplementing, because the babies couldn't lose any more weight.

So anyway, when we got home we rented a pump (the hospital never even let me try to pump), and I really liked giving my nipples a chance to heal and not having the pain anymore. Yes, I missed the closeness of nursing my babies, but I couldn't relax, and they couldn't get enough milk. Pumping is working great - I have more time to spend with the babies, I have more time to take care of our house and our lives, my babies get most of the benefits of being breastfed, I get most of the benefits of breastfeeding, my husband gets to bond with the babies by bottle-feeding them, and we can have someone watch them at night once in a while, while we sleep (yes, I have to get up to pump, but it's 15 minutes and then back to sleep).

So. It works for us. It probably won't work forever, because the logistics will be difficult once we need to spend a very long day away from home, or travel to Italy. But it will work for at least a few months, and maybe a few more after that and then we'll see. I am trying to stop beating myself up about it, and I'm in the process of deciding that it's no one else's damn business. I have never felt so judged in my life, and I'm putting my foot down.

And by the way - all of the women who are judging me have never tried to breastfeed twins! I know it's possible, and it's probably wonderful, but it's also really freaking hard. Spending hours breastfeeding only to have your baby cry in hunger right afterward and immediately take a bottle of forumla, or have him or her refuse the breast in the first place - well, it's tough. As our pediatrician says, we need to worry about the babies, but also about ourselves and our own sanity, or else we can't take care of them. And it's true.

So. That is probably all that I will say about breastfeeding, I doubt I'll bring it up again. I went through a really tough time and cried quite a bit and felt like shit and let people make me feel like shit and I feel like I've come out of it with a plan and some success and I am happy. And that's what matters.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Birth story

I'm not sure where to start, but I definitely want to get this down before I start forgetting details.

I went to the birthing center for a non-stress test on Saturday, July 3, and the OB on call finally noticed my climbing blood pressure. Everything else looked good, but she ran a urine test and saw protein in my urine, so asked me to take home a jug and do a 24-hour urine test. If it was positive, there was a good chance we wouldn't be going home before the babies were born, so we frantically (and finally) finished packing our hospital bags and putting carseats in the car. I don't think we really believed that anything would happen, though.

We returned on July 4 at 11 and waited an hour with the babies on monitors. The OB came in and said my protein level was 5 times higher than normal, that I would be admitted, and that she recommended induction. We agreed (I had been starting to be pretty horrified by my blood pressure, because it's always been low). Some of the nurses were finally horrified by my swollen feet and legs, too, and they were doing relatively well that day!

They set us up in a labor and delivery room and started the pitocin, and by mid-afternoon I was finally feeling contractions. Nothing too bad, though, and I was disappointed to not really be dilating. I was hooked up to the baby monitor with a strap for each baby and a contraction monitor, and was having continuous blood pressure monitoring as well - a cuff that was set to automatically inflate every 10 minutes. We watched a few fireworks from our hospital room window, and we opted to try a foley bulb for the night to help with dilation.

Unfortunately, it only helped a bit, and the next day, Monday July 5, I was still not even 4 cm dilated. They started upping the pitocin, but it seemed that my body was getting used to it, because it took them half the day and large doses to get contractions going again. Finally, the doctor proposed breaking the amniotic sac, since I was dilated just enough. At that point, the contractions became strong and painful, but I could handle them pretty well while sitting up. Again unfortunately, when I sat up, my blood pressure would spike, and I was forced to stay lying in bed, where the contractions were unbearable. And still not dilating very quickly at all. After hours of this, and knowing there would still be hours left to go (despite nurses expecting July 5 babies), I finally opted for an epidural. I still feel that I could have tolerated the pain if I could use the pain techniques I had learned in class, but alas, I was stuck in bed flat on my back.

The epidural came at 7pm and was awesome, a huge breath of relief. Ironically, just sitting up to have the anesthesiologist put it in lessened the pain so much that I almost changed my mind, but I knew I'd have to lie back down again. I didn't feel any more contractions after that, it was strange to see them going on the monitor while my husband and I watched the Lord of the Rings. But still no progress in dilation until they really upped the pitocin. At least I was able to get some sleep.

My OB was on call that night and kept us company throughout the night. Finally, finally, at 4am on July 6, she pronounced that I was ready to start pushing. At some point they had switched Baby A to internal monitoring (they found it impossible to keep her heart rate on the monitors otherwise), and internal contraction monitoring, plus they put in a foley catheter, plus I now had the epidural tubes and pitocin IV, and the blood pressure cuff - I was attached to everything in sight, it was a mess. But I was so ready to see my babies!

The OB explained that I would start pushing and see how things went, and she expected that in 15-20 minutes we'd start moving to the OR, as is the standard procedure for delivering twins at my hospital. After an hour of pushing, and I mean REALLY pushing (which let me tell you is rather difficult when you can't feel the lower half of your body), I was started to get suspicious of why we were still in the labor and delivery room. The OB admitted that I wasn't making any progress, even though I was doing a great job. I was determined to get these babies out, after all those hours of labor and getting to that point. I pushed harder.

Another hour went by, and I asked again - any progress? Still ... nothing. Everyone could see Baby A's head appear when I pushed, but it would disappear again when I'd stop. And the contractions were still few and far between, which didn't help the pushing, either. After 2.5 hours, the doctor was concerned, and said it was time to make a decision. She recommended doing a C-section, but would let me keep pushing while the staff was called and the OR prepared, in case a miracle happened. I was still hoping for the miracle, and pushed some more. My husband told me he could see the veins standing out in my face. At 7am, I admitted defeat, which was in a way a bit of a relief. I had been through just about every intervention possible since being admitted to the hospital, I knew I had no control over this labor, and I was starting to believe there weren't really any babies in there and everyone had been lying to me the whole time. I just wanted to see my babies.

I was moved into the OR, the sweetest anesthesiologist in the world found some music I liked to play during the delivery, and everything was prepared. Finally, my husband was brought in and everything got crazy and busy!

Jose.p.hine was born at 8:20 am, weighing 6 pounds 3 ounces:

Her brother, Vin.ce.nzo, was born at 8:21 am, weighing 6 pounds 13 ounces:
It was so incredibly emotional. I cried. I couldn't believe that those two beautiful babies were really ours. Even though the last week has been incredibly hard, I am still so grateful for how blessed we have been.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Quick note to catch up ... big news!

Babies are here!!!! Actually, tomorrow they will be one week old. Birth story and photos to come as soon as I can catch my breath. Sorry for the silence - life is hectic! Now off to bed to try to get some sleep so tomorrow I can catch up.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


I was going to write about my OB appointment on Thursday, and how frustrating it was. The doctor is not the one I regularly see - he's the only man in the practice, and while I like certain things about him (he LOVES doing breech extractions for Baby B rather than C-sections, when it's necessary), he's also been very laid back. He wanted to just keep waiting to 39 or even 40 weeks and see what happens. He also wanted to measure the babies and do a cervical check, but figured we might as well wait until next week. I was a little demoralized at the thought of having to go three more weeks, unable to turn in bed, unable to fit into shoes, barely able to get up off a chair or get out of the car.

But then ... today I went into the birthing center for my morning NST, which went well. I had a high school friend's wedding this afternoon, about a 45-minute drive away. After the NST, the doctor came in, which has never happened before (usually I only see nurses), and started talking to us about my blood pressure and pre-eclampsia, which I was already suspecting a week or two ago, but no one seemed to notice before. She noticed my BP had gradually been getting higher, and she wanted to check it again while I was sitting up instead of relaxing in the bed. Bad news - it got much higher.

So they did a urine and blood test and had the machine automatically check my BP every 5 minutes for about an hour, and it just kept getting worse, and the urine came back with protein. They sent me home with jugs for a 24-hour urine collection test and an appointment to go back tomorrow for a follow-up NST and to check my urine. If it's not good, I'll be admitted and induced. If it's ok, I will get probably a 2-3 day reprieve, but I'll likely be induced by the end of the week.

So! Finally something is happening. I obviously don't want pre-eclampsia, and given the choice, I wish my body would just go into labor instead of having to be induced, but I have to say I'm relieved. Waiting indefinitely while things have gotten so much harder, and in fact starting to feel like I wasn't going to make it, that was getting tough.

So now I have less than 24 hours to get my hospital bag finished off and try to relax and take it easy on modified bed rest. Tomorrow just might be the big day! And if it's not, I still only have a few days to go. I'm about to work on the memory books a bit more, read a novel, and watch my kitty sleep in peace, while my husband installs the carseats and works a bit.

Good thing, too, since it really feels like the babies are trying to break out my either popping a few ribs or breaking through my skin. I can't wait! Will update either way whenever I can.


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

37 long weeks

Here I am, 37 weeks. Technically full term, but you wouldn't know it by hanging out with me. Babies are still active, and doing great at their NSTs, but no signs whatsoever of impending labor. Yet my feet are still giant marshmallows, and now my ankles and calves are included. I dread seeing the scale at the OB tomorrow.

Life in general is good, though. While it has been TWO MONTHS and the damn contractors STILL haven't finished the bathroom, at least they've made enough progress so that I can tell that it's looking good. They still have to put on the cabinet doors and hardware, finish tiling around the edges (the "baseboard"), grout, install the shower and sink faucets and the toilet, put up the glass shower doors, install the mirror, install the light fixtures, and I guess install towel bars, which no one has talked to me about, so I don't know what's going on with that. That's a lot of stuff, considering that first they were supposed to be done last Wednesday, then by the end of this week (and all along they've assured us it would be done by the end of June). I am starting to wonder if we'll have a kitchen in time for Christmas, and I've completely given up on the idea of having Thanksgiving here.

My mother's helper has been coming almost full-time (which is actually part-time, since we hired her for 20 hours per week). It was great for helping with unpacking and cleaning and getting our old apartment straightened out and such, but I've started running out of things for her to do. These days I'm having her mow the lawn and plant ground-cover, and might have her clean the garage. I feel bad, but I know she needs the work and the money, and until the babies come I am just a stay-at-home wife who doesn't have that much to do. I'm also not all that comfortable having someone around just to help me, although I admit it has been a blessing for anything involving hard labor or heavy lifting.

And now here I am, waiting and twiddling my thumbs and swimming and not sleeping and trying to fit into some of my regular clothes because I'm SO SICK of my maternity clothes and I'm not going to buy anything new at 37 weeks. The nurse today told me that hospital protocol is much better for 38-weekers than for 37-weekers, so my current goal is to get to July 7 (or 9, since the 8th is my mom's birthday) and at least that way I have a date to aim for. And then I want my body back. Got it, babies? They are incredibly stubborn, just like their father. And still strong, too - their kicks and movements are unbelievable and sometimes painful. Well, only a week to go! Please!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Belated 36 weeks!

No theme this week - all the usual ones continue, especially the insomnia and the swelling.

We moved into our house last Sunday! And I didn't really sleep for the first two nights, and there are contractors here all day drilling and sawing so it's impossible to nap. So then I started taking Ben.adryl, and I don't know if it was the reason, but I've been sleeping all night and only getting up once or twice to pee. It's glorious. Except for waking up at 5:30 this morning, my first chance to sleep in for about two weeks.

I'm so swollen. I had two NSTs this week and an OB visit with u/s. The first NST was a pain - baby B would not sit still, and they kept coming in every 10-15 minutes to adjust the monitor and start over again. I ended up taking a 45-minute nap (heavenly!) when they finally got him to stay put. Then yesterday the doctor decided to order a urine test for protein at the OB appointment, and they had trouble with both babies at the NST. My blood pressure was also high during the NST, so I am going back tomorrow for another NST and blood pressure check. I'm wondering if they're suspecting preeclampsia.

In the meantime, I'm swimming laps. It seems to help a tiny bit for my swollen feet, as long a I swim over 500 yards (any less doesn't do much). I've worked my way back up to 800 yards and hoping to keep going. Especially since I'm really hoping the babies are born around 37 weeks, which is only a few more days away. Since we'll start talking induction as we near 38 weeks, I'd much prefer to get labor started on its own this coming week. Also, my mother will be out of town, and that's one less stressor around for me when the babies are born. She can come back and see them when things have settled down and the babies are a few days old.

The house is coming along. The contractors are behind schedule in finishing our bathroom, and I'm doubting they'll even meet their new and improved deadline for this week. Also, they haven't done things the way we agreed, and I don't know if it's worth asking them to make changes since it will create even more delays. Remodeling is the most frustrating thing.

I'm feeling a bit stressed and unsettled, and have a bit of the blues. My entire life has been turned upside down in the last few weeks, and waiting for the babies makes me realize that whatever normalcy is still here will shortly be gone. In the space of a few weeks, I've left the job that I've been at for three years (and therefore all the friends that I saw on a day-to-day basis), left the apartment where my husband and I first moved in together and have lived for over five years, and am now dealing with contractors who are much older and more experienced than me and yet seem to need constant supervision and correction, which I am a little uncomfortable with.

Our mother's helper also started working for me, and that is going well, but it's weird to have someone around all the time when sometimes I just want some alone time. I'm constantly having to find things for her to do (not that there's any lack of things that need doing, but at this point, I need to be involved very closely since she just started) and it's exhausting. I've just spent a week unpacking and organizing and cleaning and I'm tired. I even found time to squeeze in a few "fun" projects, like pulling out some major overgrown bushes and planting flowers and herbs instead. But even still I have that unsettled feeling of being in a new place and being all alone (or rather surrounded by strangers) and I'm looking forward to life feeling more normal again. Ha! At least I have two days to spend with my husband and no contractors or mother's helpers around.

The best thing right now is knowing that soon, I will get to see and hold my babies. I'm so curious to know what they will look like, these little creatures that have been beating me up from inside for so long now. And along with that, I'll get my ankles and feet back, and I'll be able to start exercising again (eventually) and I just know that things will get better and I'll have a beautiful family that I've been wanting for so long. And in another ten years when the contractors finish, I might have a house worth living in, too. I have so much to look forward to, I just have to shake this malaise that's settling for the moment.

I think I'll start with going back to bed.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Getting closer

Yesterday's appointment at the dr. went well. First to the hospital for a non-stress test (NST). That was pretty cool - they strapped three monitors around me - one for each baby and one for contractions, and then left for 30 minutes while I read a book and hung out. The babies did well, and there was a lot of movement, which showed up as sharp peaks on the screen that sort of interrupted the more regular heart-beat charting. That was pretty cool. The nurse came back and took a look and said "Two happy babies!"

Then I had to wait forever for the doctor because she was on call. I read a couple entire magazines before finding a really interesting article on childbirth, when of course she came in. She did an ultrasound to check the fluid, although she didn't do any measurements so I have no idea of how big the babies are. She also did a Group B Strep test, which was more painful than I expected, and asked if I wanted a cervical check (yes!) which was less painful than I expected. My cervix is down to about 1 cm, and she felt that it was thinning out and ripening as well. While she wouldn't guarantee it, she said she wouldn't be surprised if I went into labor in the next week or two.

OMG! I could have babies in the next week or two! That would put me at right around 36-37 weeks, which is perfect.

In other news, our new house is coming along, but s...l...o...w...l...y. Nonetheless, we are moving in tomorrow. We need to be ready for babies. The bathroom that they have been remodeling is at least starting to look like a bathroom, but I can't see how they will even come close to meeting their estimated "almost finish date" of 3.5 weeks (we hit 3 weeks yesterday). So far, they have textured and painted the walls, and tiled the floor of the shower. They still have to tile everything else, install the cabinet, sinks, faucets, lighting, etc. In a few days! Based on past performance, I'd guess it will be at least another week, and probably two. We haven't even picked out sink faucets or lighting yet.

I know we are still missing a few things for the babies and the nursery, but at this point, it's getting to be a bit much. We have all the basic necessary stuff, I think, and we'll figure out the rest as we go.

So I am about to start a crazy busy weekend of packing, unpacking, directing friends to different parts of my under-construction house, and cleaning my old apartment. Luckily, I've been pretty on top of things and have almost everything done (except cleaning, ugh), so yay me! At this point, the rest is getting thrown into boxes and hastily labeled, and I will sort it out when it gets there (or after the babies come).

Wow, we're going to have babies soon!!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

35 weeks, celebrating and still not sleeping

I missed my 35-week post by a few hours. I'm also up in the middle of the night unable to sleep. Which REALLY sucks because we are at a conference for my husband's work and we have to check out of the hotel tomorrow, so I won't be able to take a nap.

The celebration is because Wednesday was our 3-year wedding anniversary! Yay! It was not the most exciting anniversary ever, but it was still a great day because I was spending it with the love of my life. I watched him give an excellent presentation, spent some time reading and relaxing, took a nap in the afternoon, and we went out for a nice dinner. The last 3 years have been the best of my life, along with the 3 years before that (when we were dating), and I would not exchange them for anything. I'm so excited to see the children we've made together.

Then tonight I couldn't sleep, and I got super-hot and the babies have been kicking the crap out of me for the last few days, but hey, things could be worse. I don't know if I'm noticing their kicks more because I'm sort of "on vacation" at this conference and don't have much to do, but it seems like they have been very active and beating me up in the last few days. And they are really trying to stretch out when they move, I can't believe how far they push out my skin. They're strong little buggers.

My feet are still permanently swollen, and my wrists and fingers still ache and are stiff. Typing is getting hard, and writing is almost impossible. It's not so much fun, but I know it won't last forever. 35 weeks is a big milestone, and I'm ready for the babies to come almost any time, hopefully in about 2-3 weeks. So far no real signs of labor, aside from what I think are Braxton-Hicks contractions (no pain, my belly just gets really hard for a little while).

So yeah - sleep is still eluding me, and while I now treasure nights when I sleep a good 6-8 hours, I dread nights like these, when I've slept only 2-3 hours and it appears that I may be up for the long haul, or will only get a few more hours at most (since the alarm is going off in two hours, and I don't feel sleepy yet). I know this will be my life in a few weeks, but goodness, can't I enjoy a few last weeks of decent sleep before it is banished for a couple years?

Tomorrow (Friday) is my first non-stress test - will update about that and how the rest of life is going soon.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

34 weeks and emotional

I wasn't sure what this week's theme would be until today. I've been gradually getting more and more emotional over the last week, and things are just not going well. I know this can be normal, and I'm not upset about it in and of itself - I'm more worried about post-partum depression.

All in all, things are good. I had my 34-week appointment today, and the babies look great. Now Tadpole is slightly bigger than Turtle, but since they are so close, it doesn't really matter. Tadpole is 4 pounds 12 ounces (up from 4 pounds 1 ounce), and Turtle is around 4 pounds 8 ounces (up from 4 pounds 4 ounces, which means he only gained 4 ounces in the last two weeks, while Tadpole gained 11 - hmmmmmm). The doctor was fine with it.

I start non-stress tests next Friday. I'm happy to be going in more often to make sure all is well. I'll be going twice a week after that. Next Wednesday is also my third wedding anniversary, and I'm really excited for that, as well. My wedding ranks as one of the best days of my life, right up there with meeting my husband, finding out I was pregnant, and then finding out I was having twins. Yep, those are probable the 4 best days of my life, and I'm looking forward to adding #5 - holding my babies for the first time.

My own health is decent - BP is good, weight is slightly high in my own mind but no one has mentioned it. My biggest problems are very swollen feet and hands, and insomnia. Last night I was awake for at least 4 hours. I'm exhausted, and I'm starting to dread what it's going to be like with two babies up all night. At least then I'll be holding the rewards in my arms (instead of having them kick the hell out of my ribs).

I'm trying to find some strength (which is hard, due to my insomnia). Incidentally, one of the biggest problems I'm dealing with is my mother. I think she has Borderline Personality Disorder, as she is a master manipulator, always has to be the center of attention, and has made me feel guilty my entire life. I've never been able to sustain any kind of defense against her, and I've always thought I needed help to learn to do that. Now that I'm about to have kids, I really want to learn to handle her. I don't want the kids using me as an example - I'm insecure, a people-pleaser, and not good at standing up for myself. I want them to be stronger than that, more like their father. I also don't want my mother affecting the kids directly, through even more guilt and manipulation. I have no idea what to do though - do I find a therapist? How? Can anyone offer any advice on how to learn to deal with destructive, manipulative people?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

33 weeks and swollen

I guess each week will have a theme. This week is definitely "swollen". My feet are big puffy pillows. I can only fit into one pair of sandals, the ones that adjust with velcro. I can't even wear flip flops, b/c my feet won't go into them. My hands don't really LOOK swollen, but my wedding ring was stuck on for several days and I only managed to squeeze it off last night. I wake up every morning with my fingers totally stiff and painful. I don't know if this is just a phase or if it will last up until delivery.

I have another check-up in one week, and then I start twice weekly monitoring at 35 weeks. I can't believe we're already almost there. 35 weeks is only 3 weeks away from being comfortably full term. 35 weeks is also my 3-year wedding anniversary with the best husband in the world. We hoped their birthday might coincide with our anniversary, but that is really too early to be born.

Our house is coming along, but very slowly. I could write a whole list of complaints about our contractor, but I won't. I now understand why everyone hates contractors. Things are just taking forever. The good news is that I've done a lot of work on the nursery. Besides painting it a nice peachy-orange color, I've moved in all the babies' stuff, and the husband and sister moved in our armoire, which is still in the middle of the room since the contractor hasn't put in baseboards yet (sigh). I got two crib mattresses, and cribs are on the way. We brought over our wonderful Peruvian wall hanging, which is perfect for a children's room, and also goes with the wall color. I'll put up some pictures as soon as we have baseboards and cribs.

In the meantime, I'm really enjoying having time off of work. I really hated working. I'm not used to spending my day alone, and having it so unstructured, but it's been so wonderful for catching up on naps and getting things done. I haven't exactly been bored!

More updates soon, and hopefully pics, too.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

32 weeks and tired

I'm hitting a wall. I finally have to really admit to myself that I don't have the energy I used to. I'm exhausted. My ticker says I have 56 days to go, and quite honestly, I'm hoping it's a bit sooner than that. I'm just so tired.

I had my 32-week visit today, and got to see the little ones on ultrasound. They are BOTH HEAD DOWN!!!!!! Hooray for small miracles. They looked great, and are weighing appropriately - I think Tadpole (girl, Baby A) was about 4 pounds 1 once, and Turtle was about 4 pounds 4 ounces. I go back in two weeks for another ultrasound, then I start going once or twice a week for monitoring at L&D. I have gained 40 pounds, a little more than I hoped, but still within the normal range and the doctor was happy. My blood pressure was great, too. No signs of preterm labor.

I've been having fun in the meantime. The last baby shower (I'll have to write a separate post about it) was great, and we got almost everything we needed, including the arm's reach cosleeper and twin nursing pillow. I painted the nursery a peachy-orange color on Monday (took me all day and completely wore me out, pics to come soon!), and moved a bunch of baby clothes and boxes in there yesterday. Still waiting for the baseboards to be installed.

I don't know if my planned furniture set-up will work - I set up a small bookshelf near the doorway for, well, books and whatever else, there will be a large armoire for holding extraneous clothing, diapers, supplies, etc., my cedar chest for blankets, linens, stuffed animals and so on, and some wire shelving in the closet for the daily clothing needs including hats, socks, shoes, onesies, and pajamas. I also have a few of the nicer outfits hanging in the closet. I'm planning to get one crib tomorrow, and possibly two, but I guess we'll need to order those and have them delivered. There isn't going to really be space for a rocking chair or swing or anything, so I guess that will go in the office or the (rather crowded) kitchen/living room. It will be nice when the house is done and we have more space.

I think the only things we still really need at this point are a second carseat, a crib (or two), and diapers. I put together the snap'n'go stroller, which was a bit misleading for the chicco carseats we picked - they just sit in the frame rather than snapping in, and you use a safety strap to sort of hold them in place. It seems stable enough, as long as you don't hit a huge bump or a curb or something. Hopefully it'll be better than it seems.

Just a funny side note - I think it's always funny when people offer me advice about having two diaper-changing stations, one for each floor of the house. I guess there must be parts of the country where there aren't any one-story houses? Here in sunny, spacious California, we have a lot of one-story houses, including mine! But don't let that stop you from giving me advice! I need all the advice I can get! I just think learning about the differences in different parts of the country (or world) is really interesting.

Oh, and the insomnia is ... still sucking on occasion, but now that I'm on maternity leave, I've been napping away. It's great. Still, I'd rather have my energy than have time to nap. I miss my energy. In the meantime, the chores keep piling up - got to get this stuff done before the babies arrive in about 3-6 weeks!!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Last day at work!

I should be working. I should be frantically getting stuff done. But OMG, I'm so ready to leave. I have senioritis big time (remember that from high school?). I'll be coming back to finish cleaning off my desk, and to visit, but man, am I so done with working.

The house is coming along ... slowly. I'm a little disappointed by how little they've done (I almost cried yesterday), but at least starting Monday I'll be around to nag them and keep them accountable. It's been a week, and they still haven't finished laying our wood floors. It's three (relatively small) bedrooms and a hallway. I totally thought they'd be done by now. I think they'll be done today, but since they're gluing it down, we can't walk on it for a day or two.

I was originally planning to paint the babies' room (now that we actually have one), and do a cool faux finish, since the white walls are so dingy, but then I was talked out of it, since we'll eventually do a renovation and have to redo it again anyway. But now I've decided screw it. I don't have to do the fancy wall treatment I had in mind. There's not much paintable wall space - I can get a single can of cute paint and get it done in a morning and at least it will be presentable and cheerful instead of kinda depressing. I'm thinking a peachy-tangerine color. I have a few friends who will help. So yay! I'm SO excited to have something to do which will make such a big difference.

Then, the rest of the week I'll move some basic furniture in, set up the clothes, get the washing machine delivered and start doing laundry, and finally have a little nursery going. Since I'm only a few weeks from the beginning of the "birth window". It's about time!

Our double snap'n'go stroller, which my coworkers so thoughtfully got us, arrived yesterday, and I'm going to put that together as well. My last baby shower, with girlfriends and family, is tomorrow - it was supposed to be outdoors on the lawn at my mom's house, but it's going to be cooler with a chance of rain, so we might have to move indoors. I think it's going to be fun, and I'm so excited to see high school, college, and other friends, some of whom I haven't seen in months or years. And then I can get the rest of the stuff we need, which isn't actually too much at this point - another carseat, primarily, a crib or two, diapers ...

So things are moving along, despite the contractor. I'm in a great mood today, hope it will last for a while!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

31 weeks and 2nd baby shower

And ... almost done with work! Thank GOODNESS. I can't stand this place anymore. Actually, I realized from my baby shower yesterday, I can't stand management, but I'm actually quite sad to be leaving so many people who I like and care about a lot, including some good friends I've made over the last few years.

I'm not actually sure how many people came to the shower yesterday - 30? 35? Something like that. I got a ton of gifts, including lots and lots of baby clothes, some books, the snap n go double stroller frame, a diaper bag, and an ergo baby carrier. We also had a delicious salad potluck and played a few games. I was so grateful and humbled by how many people came and brought gifts, and now I'm getting emotional thinking about how I'm going to miss them.

Here's a snapshot I took of all the gifts (and I've gotten some more today, too):

And today marks 31 weeks. I've read in various places that 50% of twins are born by week 36 or 37 - so on average, we have only 5-6 weeks to go (and in reality, the window is probably 4-7 weeks to go).
I am losing track of what we have and what we need - I REALLY need to set up the nursery, and see what I get at my third and final baby shower this weekend. Then I can take stock and go shopping for last-minute stuff. Our house is finally coming along - in the last two days they've laid about 1/2 of the hardwood floors (or maybe 2/3?), and I really hope they're finishing today, so I hope to be able to walk on them by Sunday. Monday, I want to go to Home Depot to learn about plastering/painting/faux finishes, and try to get the nursery painted within the following day or two, and then I can get organized! And order a crib!
Sometimes I'm just freaking out by how much has to be done. But then I'm really happy to be so busy - I hate being bored!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

First baby shower

My husband's company gave us our first baby shower on Friday (right before my midwife appointment). I feel so blessed to have so many people care about us. It was kind of funny, though, since most of his company is young single guys, many from Italy (it's a tech start-up).

I was kind of wondering what they would get us, since at that point, almost nothing was bought off the registry. Turns out that they pooled their money and asked my sister what they could get us that was BIG. I didn't register for anything over about $150-$200 (car seats and the cosleeper), and I guess they had a lot more than that. So she told them that we really wanted a jogging stroller that converts to a bike trailer, and they bought us the nicest, most expensive one they could find. It was a wonderful surprise, and I can't wait to use it, although it will be at least 7 months until we get our first opportunity.

In the last few days, quite a few things have been purchased for us, including most of our expensive stuff. My husband's business partner and his wife bought us a car seat, and I'm thinking we should make sure it fits in the car this weekend before someone buys us the other one. I'm really looking forward to the next two baby showers now, except that I don't really like being the center of attention. Ah well, it's the price to pay for being pregnant. With twins.

The other price to pay is continued insomnia. It's been days since I've slept through the night, but for the most part I can eventually get back to sleep and on the weekends sleep in until I get 8 hours. I've been trying various alternative remedies, but nothing seems to work. The husband is pushing for me to try meditation, which I've never been particularly good at.

Working is getting much, much tougher, because it's rather hard to do on 4-6 hours of sleep per night. Also, I was told (after a year of being promised otherwise) that I will not be considered for promotion "until I return from my maternity leave" (while everyone else at my level, and with less education and time at the job, has been promoted). I'm sure there's something illegal in that, but I don't know if I care anymore. I only have 5 workdays left, including my baby shower. I definitely plan to not go back to that particular job.

And our house! It's finally coming along! We got our wood floors delivered, and they will start installing them on Monday!!! I'm so excited about that. Especially because I can finally start moving stuff in and setting up a nursery. Actually, the room I was thinking of for the babies' room is uglier than I realized/remembered. The wood floor will make a huge difference, and I think trimming back the plants in front of the windows will, too. The walls are stark white - I'm thinking of painting them sage green, and wish I had thought of it earlier, but now I'll have to paint after the floors are in, maybe next weekend. And one wall is covered in that 70's style grass-cloth, with relatively ugly sconces, but I might leave all that for now (especially since our remodeling plan will eventually call for putting a closet opening in that wall). It will look much better with colored walls than white ones.

They've also demolished the bathroom completely and have just gotten started on rebuilding it. I'm hoping that it will be done a couple weeks after the floors, but perhaps I'm being too optimistic. We don't really want to go live there until that bathroom is done, although we theoretically could. Either way, we're going to start moving boxes, books, extra furniture, baby stuff, etc. I can't wait! Taking care of the yard and pool will be so much more manageable when we're living there.

Well, it is 5am, and I've been up since 3:30. Seems like a good point to try to go back to sleep. Hope all's well and that everyone's having a good weekend!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

30 weeks!

I wouldn't exactly say that time is flying (at least, not when I'm at work!), but I do feel like the end of this pregnancy is finally in sight. I think I've had a relatively easy pregnancy (at least for twins), and it's still been pretty rough, at least lately. Next Friday is my last day of work, in theory (if anyone ever bothers to take care of my paperwork), and then I really want to start trying to swim to get a minimum amount of exercise. For someone who has done triathlons, ski mountaineering, rock climbing, and lots of hiking in the last few years, I've done an awful lot of nothing these past 9 months since my knee surgery. I think probably the one thing I miss the most, and am looking forward to the most after having these babies, is getting back to my exercise routine.

Coming up in the next two weeks we have:

First baby shower for my husband's office on Friday
Midwife appointment on Friday after the shower
Second baby shower for my office next Tuesday
Third baby shower for family and friends next Saturday

It's going to be a busy few weeks, and I have to say - almost none of the things on my registry have been purchased. It makes me wonder if people are waiting til the last minute or just buying whatever they want.

On the house front - it's coming along. The bathroom has been gutted, and I'm excited to see what happens as they start rebuilding it. Our hardwood floors should arrive next week, and I'm hoping they will pause from the bathroom to install them so I can start moving stuff over there. All else is good - the weather has kept me from taking care of the yard (lots of rain in California, yes, it really does rain here!), and the pool has another layer of algae on the bottom. This will be another weekend of pool vacuuming and lawn-mowing, in addition to packing.

Packing! OMG, this is the longest I have lived in one place since elementary school, and the first time I've cohabited with someone else (besides a roommate). Packing is going to be a nightmare. Just ... wish me luck, that's all I can say. I know we'll come out of this more organized in the end, but I'm really struggling right now.

In the meantime, I'm grateful that my pregnancy problems are limited to acid reflux, insomnia, backache, and swollen feet. It could be much worse. Here's to the next 5-8 weeks, and finally getting to see my beautiful babies.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Chugging along

I REALLY can't believe how crazy life gets when one is pregnant with twins, remodeling, packing/moving, AND working full time. I wish I was on maternity leave already.

Mother's Day was ... well, I'm just going to say it sucked, mostly as per usual (although much more in many ways). Here is a sample of how my day went with my mother:

Scene: My mom and sister are dropping me off at the train station at the end of the day, so I can make it back home in time for my childbirth class.

Me: Happy Mother's Day!
Mom: Did you realize that's the first time you've said that all day?
Me: Um, yes, I guess so.
Mom: So you DO realize that?
Me: Well, yes.
Mom: Did you do that on purpose?

Well, fuck me. What a bitch. I am sorry my kids are going to have to deal with this, and watch me deal with it, too. I am seriously thinking I need some therapy to learn how to handle this better before it affects my kids.


Last childbirth class last night - it was very, very helpful and useful. I learned all about C-sections and anything that makes a labor and delivery non-natural (sorry if I'm misusing that term). Pain meds, narcotics, inducements, epidurals and spinals, vacuum assist, baby monitoring, and so on. It was so informative.

They gave us a pretty handy fill-in-the-blank birth plan to use, but I'm not sure what applies to twin births or not, so I'm going to fill it out now and take it with me to my midwife appointment on Friday to have her review it.

Baby stuff is starting to trickle in. I'm having a lot of people offer me stuff that I didn't particularly want nor register for (b/c it's huge, not really necessary, etc.), but it's hard to turn down free stuff that might turn out to be useful. It will be nice to finally have a nursery to put some of this stuff in - soon! As soon as we can pick our wood floors and get them ordered. We might have a room to start working on in a week or two, I can only hope.

It's pretty crazy to think that in 5-8 weeks, we will probably be parents.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

29 weeks

29 weeks and things are good, though I am rapidly getting more tired and achy and grumpy. I am now taking prenatals, folic acid (when I remember), iron supplements, Tums for the reflux, and hydroxyzine to try to help me sleep (despite my husband's attempts to ruin my sleep life with his watch alarm, cell phone, etc., and despite my whiny cat). I have a series of baby showers coming up (husband's office, my office, and then friends and family) which I'm really excited about. I'm surprised I am excited, because I normally hate baby showers. Childbirth classes are going well, too, only one left.

What I really want to write about is that I've had some rather strange, twilight-zone-like infertility experiences lately.

First, when I went to sign the papers for my new homeowner's insurance, the agent I met with was a pretty young woman who was enthusiastic about my pregnancy. She confessed she just had a little boy in November and was so happy about it. A bit later, she mentioned (for reasons I can't remember, I think we were talking about car insurance and fitting carseats in cars) that she had fostered children, and it turned out to be good practice for having her own child. I took note, but still didn't think much of it. Then, when she found out I was having twins, she said that she was pregnant with twins once, but that was before she knew she couldn't get pregnant on her own. I could only conclude at that point that she had suffered a pregnancy loss, fostered children perhaps in the hope of adoption, and then got pregnant either miraculously on her own or through infertility treatment. But I didn't know how or if I should mention infertility, or if perhaps any of my assumptions were wrong. I didn't know what to do, so I did nothing.

Then at work a few days ago, I was talking with a couple coworkers. Most of my coworkers, although not all, assume my twin pregnancy is natural, because I am a twin, my MIL is a twin, and I have several other sets of twins in my family - but no one has come right out and said it, they just say something like "oh, you were destined to have twins!" This coworker started talking about how lucky I was to have twins naturally, and there are so many twins around these days, but you never know who has them naturally because of fertility treatments. I was SO uncomfortable. I again had no idea what to do or say. She's not even someone I know that well, so it's not like I would normally be talking to her about my doctor's appointments or anything. So again ... sigh.

And THEN. Yesterday at the personnel appointment to help me fill out my maternity leave paperwork, the guy started talking about octomom and how she didn't expect all the embryos to implant and how stupid she was because everyone only puts back one embryo because of course it will implant, and how she decided to transfer all of them beacuse she couldn't afford the storage fees. It would have taken an hour to straighten this guy out, at the very least, and he was clearly quite prejudiced (although I think that even if he understood infertility and IVF, he still would have criticized this woman's particular decisions, and I can't say I blame him). I did correct him a few times, pointing out that most people actually transfer 2-3 embryos (hence the likelihood of twins), and that she had other options like embryo donation. But mostly I kept my mouth shut again.

I'm realizing that even after the babies are born - maybe especially after the babies are born - these issues will keep coming up, and I'm going to have to decide how to handle it. Most people really don't know anything about fertility diagnoses, or the differences between IUI and IVF, or the nuanced choices a couple has to make every step of the way. They won't understand our failed IVF attempt, our salvaged IUI, our THREE previous IUIs that failed as well. They probably won't understand that unexplained infertility is still infertility, and that there isn't exactly a straight answer to the question "did you do IVF?" (Well, no, but we tried, and it didn't work out, and yet we still had to go through most of the crappiness of it, and we ended up with twins anyway, and ... ugh, never mind).

There are so many times I want to stand up for myself and the infertile community and explain things, and tell people to walk a mile in my shoes before they make judgments or say what they would do. I'd tell them my own thoughts and feelings changed dramatically over the course of two years of ttc. That I always thought adoption was cool, too, but that faced with adoption as a matter of necessity rather than choice was not as cool as I thought, and that learning the realities of adoption made it a much more complicated decision - well, again, don't judge until you walk a mile in someone else's shoes.

But then I remember having these types of arguments on other issues. Without getting too political, I have strong stances on several current political issuse including the environment, health care, and immigration (PLEASE no comments on any of these things, unless it's to declare that health care should cover infertility treatments =), and I have always found myself leaving these conversations angry, frustrated, and hurt. I am not a great orator (I'm a much better writer, actually), and I feel I do a disservice to the infertile community with my sad, easily-defeated attempts to illuminate those who do not wish, under any circumstances, to learn the other side. It's not so much a matter of embarassment about my situation as a wish to avoid hurting myself and making the situation worse. While I would love to seek out and destroy ignorance and enlighten others and have them gratefully admit that now they understand my point of view, I am fully aware that what would actually happen is I would piss people off, put myself on the defensive, and retreat, sputtering with indignance but unable to voice what exactly my problem is.

So! There you have it. Despite the fact that so far I have been successful in beating my infertility, it follows me like a shadow wherever I go, and I need to start deciding on my coping mechanisms. Seeing that my current ones are a bit wanting.

What would you do?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

28-week appointment

Well! I finally had a great OBGYN appointment with a doctor who took a lot of time and answered most of our questions. It was great!

First, despite my paranoia, the babies are great and now I think I understand why I feel kicking mostly on one side (on the right, just under my ribs). Baby A, Tadpole (the girl), is head-down on my right side with her feet up under my ribs. Which is awesome, if she stays that way, because I'll get to attempt a birth! Yay!

Baby B, Turtle (the boy), is breech on the left, with his head also up under my ribs (sort of between Tadpole's feet), and his feet down near my cervix/left hip. Which might explain why my hip hurts (probably not), but probably does explain why sometimes I feel like there's a baby stomping on my cervix.

They're both 2.5 pounds, which is ahead according to some websites I visit, but the doctor didn't tell us their lengths. They should be around 14-15 inches, which sounds pretty big to me.

As for me, I have gained about 33 pounds, which is a little ahead of where I'd like to be, but not too bad at all. Everyone tells me that I look small for carrying twins, that I am only gaining in my belly, and that from the back you can't even tell that I am pregnant. I'm guessing none of that would be true if they saw me in a swimsuit, but still, it's nice for people to think that. If I gain about 1.5 pounds per week (as predicted for twins) and this pregnancy lasts only about 8 more weeks, then I'll be right on target.

I want to start my maternity leave on June 1, which is actually a bit later than I hoped. The doctor said a reasonable time to expect the babies would be around June 27-July 4, and that they would probably consider induction around 38 weeks, if not sooner (July 7). So I can look forward to only about two more months of pregnancy, not bad!

I have two baby showers planned so far, the one my sister is throwing for friends and family on May 22, and the one my office is throwing for me a few days earlier. My husband's office is considering doing a baby shower too, I've heard, since a few of them can't make it to my other showers, so I might have three! But that's only 1.5 per baby =)

We do have their names picked out, and I might share them, pending my husband's ok.

Work is the only really negative thing in my life, and I'm so happy to be leaving. I am actually considering filing a grievance with the union, but since I'm leaving, I'm not sure if there would be a point. Suffice to say that my boss, and all those above her, and being bitches and adding so much to my stress level that I am now thinking I will move up my end date by at least a week. She's now making her approval of my time off for doctor's appointments (or just schedule changes for doctor's appointments without any actual time off) contingent upon doing certain things for which she has given me almost no instructions. Is that even legal? So maybe I'll be out of here early. Which means I have at most four more weeks left! Yay!

Sorry, no belly pic today - we really have to do that, though. Hope all's well in the blogosphere!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Pretty soon, I'll be the same number of weeks pregnant as my age. Huh. That's an interesting thought.

I'm so amazingly happy to have reached 28 weeks. I feel like it's the last really big milestone, and while it probably won't be smooth sailing from here, I hope to be less worried (ha!). I have a doctor's appointment today, so of course I feel great. I always feel so fantastic the week of doctor's appointments, I'm looking forward to scheduling them more often now!

Seriously - I've barely had heartburn, I've slept well for several nights, my hip stopped aching for a couple days, even my severe rib pain seems to have eased up. Lying in bed when my alarm went off this morning, I almost felt like I wasn't pregnant. Until I rolled over. But hey - I rolled over! I haven't been able to do that in weeks, if not months, because of my hip.

News on the new house - apparently, some of the pool equipment doesn't work, which no one (including the pool inspector) told us about. We arrived last week to find the pool completely green (the sellers had apparently also stopped putting in chlorine). I have spent days going to the pool store, learning to check the chemicals, adding chlorine, brushing the surface, cleaning out leaves, adding more chlorine, only to discover that the filter never turns on automatically, and when I turn it on manually, it does not appear to work. After five days of chemicals and cleaning, it might be one lighter shade of green.

The yard was also completely overgrown by the time we got the keys. Amazing how you let the sellers do a rent-back for two weeks, and they let the place fall apart. We got my mom's old lawn mower running after about 15 years of neglect, and cut the grass and mowed down a bunch of weeds. And went to about 6 different stores and bought tools and supplies and other crap. My back was aching at the end of the weekend.

We are struggling with our moving options. Want to weigh in? I'm not actually sure we'll have a choice, but here's the situation:

1. We already have the keys to our new house, but we wanted to remodel the kitchen, bathroom, living room, and entry, plus replace the bedroom flooring before moving in. That will take probably 12-14 weeks, and it would be faster and easier if we did it before moving in. If we could just get started already, we'd be done sometime in August. But the contractor is not getting back to us.

2. Our current lease is up June 30. We have been great tenants - we fix most problems ourselves, have been there long term (over five years!), kept the place in great shape, and we actually took over the previous renter's lease, preventing our landlord from having to force them to pay when they moved out early. Now he doesn't want to give us an additional month or two on our lease because he doesn't want to rent to students, and it will be the typical student turnover time in our college town. So we may not have a place to live in two months - he's still deciding.

3. The babies are due July 21, but since twins can come early (let's say 36-38 weeks, if not earlier), that puts their adjusted due date smack in the middle of the time when we will have to move out and construction will be going on at the new place. OMG!!!! Can you imagine having to move on June 30 and going to the hospital June 29 to deliver twins?! The thought is making me hyperventilate a bit. What will we do?! And if the damn contractor doesn't get back to us, we will be weeks behind on getting someone else to get started, and it will definitely be too late.

So there you have it. We're just sort of screwed. Even one extra month at our old place will make all the difference, so even though both my husband and I are really pissed at the old arsehole, I hope he'll give us that one month. In the meantime, I installed a lock on the garage at the new place and I'm starting to try to move a few boxes per day over there after work to get us started. It keeps me from panicking.

I KNOW that in 6 months things will be great - we'll have a beautiful remodeled house, two beautiful babies, and we will have hopefully mostly unpacked and moved in. But thinking about the next three months is a little overwhelming.

I'll post an update tonight or tomorrow after my appointment and maybe a belly pic, too.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The big 27

27 weeks. My in-laws have been visiting, so I've been really busy. Hopefully they fly out today. I don't mean hopefully b/c I want them to leave, but rather because they really need to get back and flights to Europe haven't exactly been easy the last week. I don't want them to get stuck at a random airport somewhere, unable to get home.

I got some sleeping medication to help deal with the insomnia. It was nice, but awful. It made me sleepy ALL THE TIME. I didn't see the point in sleeping 8 hours per night if I was going to be sleepy all day anyway. Plus, perhaps it was my own paranoia, but it seemed like I felt the babies moving a lot less in the few days when I was taking the meds. So I stopped. Sleep has been a bit hit or miss since then.

I feel humongous these days. I think I've probably gained around 28 pounds, give or take. Maybe more like 30. I don't have a scale at home, so I rely on doctor's visits, which are somewhat few and far between.

My in-laws brought some cool stuff with them from Italy. In addition to the cheese (OMG, the cheese!), they brought hand-crocheted baby blankets, crib sheets with the babies' names cross-stitched on them, adorable little outfits with matching shoes, and more. It's nice to finally have some baby stuff around. I'm also having two showers next month - one with friends and family, and one at work.

I think I might be starting to have Braxton-Hicks contractions, although I'm not really sure. I sometimes feel like my stomach muscles are involuntarily contracting, and my stomach is a little less squishy, but that's about it.

We got our housekeys last week, and even though we STILL haven't settled on our remodeling plans, I'm realizing there's going to be a lot of work involved. The pool is already dirty (reminder to self to find someone to clean it), the lawn will need to be mowed pretty soon, and we need to pick up the mail regularly. I also haven't done any of the more recent paperwork for it. I wish we could move in now and get things set up before the babies come. I'm worried about what's going to happen in the meantime. I'm at least grateful that it's been raining, so I don't have to worry about the watering system!

In short, all is well, I'm excited to be 27 weeks, and even MORE excited to get to 28 weeks next week. And MOST excited to be able to stop working soon!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Big numbers and childbirth class

A lot of big numbers around here this week.

Tomorrow is 26 weeks!
Yesterday, my ticker showed only 100 days until the babies arrive, and today it dropped into the double digits at 99 days! (Of course, it's likely the babies will be early)
And, I'm almost to 200 posts! (Maybe I should wait to celebrate that when I get there)

I also wanted to write about my childbirth class. It's ... interesting. I actually found the first class quite informative, even if it did duplicate most of the reading I've done. It was a meet-and-greet, an overview of the birth process, and a tour of the birthing center, which is supposed to be the best one in Northern California. Every room is private and has either a shower or a tub, plus a window that looks out onto a private garden and is tinted so no one can see in. The postpartum rooms are all private as well (although they are SMALL! How are they going to fit two babies plus two parents in there?), and have TVs, mini-fridges, and other amenities.

The second class was a bit long and repetitive, and it started with a visit from the person who manages the birth center (she's a nurse, maybe?), who told us and the other twin-parents-to-be that mothers of twins may labor in the L&D rooms, but must deliver in the OR. Um ... news to me! Someone couldn't tell us that BEFORE our tour? I know I may not get what I want, but I had been imagining giving birth in one of those beautiful spacious rooms with a window on a private garden. Not in a sterile windowless operating room!

It brought up a lot of questions I haven't had answered yet - will my husband have to change into scrubs to go into the OR? When will he do that? (They said we don't have to move into there until right before the actual delivery). They said they'd bring me over there in a normal bed - will I have to deliver in bed? How is this going to limit my other options?

I know none of this will matter in the least if I end up having to schedule a C-section, or if I have an emergency C-section. I am completely committed to doing what is best for the babies, and keeping them safe, and I'm not too upset about this policy. I think mostly I just wish I had known to not have such high expectations in the first place, and I wish someone would have told me earlier.

In the meantime, things are progressing well. I'm getting huge, my hip still aches, I have insomnia every night, and I have occasional heartburn/reflux. Honestly, compared to what I could be dealing with, I have it pretty easy, and I'm grateful.

My in-laws arrive in a few days from Italy! I'm excited to see them and wish they were staying longer.

Here's a question for all you twin moms and moms-to-be out there (and singletons too, really) - what do I need to register for? I'm at a complete loss. So far I've got some clothes, a few toys/rattles/etc., baby books, a cosleeper and sheets, two carseats, bibs, socks, hats, waterproof changing pads, a twin breast-feeding pillow, bottles, diapers, stroller frames for the car seats, one or two other odds and ends, and a Moby wrap baby carrier. I feel like I must be missing something. I also already have or will be given a baby bathtub, bouncy chair, in-bed cosleeper, boppy, cribs (from my mom) and bath towels. ANd I picked up some receiving blankets and crib sheets at a sale.

What else do I need?

OMG, I'm so excited, I can't wait for the shower! It's the first time in my life I've ever been excited about a shower (even pre-IF, I always hated baby showers).

Sunday, April 11, 2010


It really is mid-weekend right now - 4:40am on Sunday morning. Insomnia strikes again! My husband, who has nagged me incessantly (and rightly so) to make a doctor's appointment, finally won, and on Tuesday I go see a family doctor to ask why this keeps happening to me (and who hopefully will listen when I say this was a pre-pregnancy phenomenon and therefore not caused by the pregnancy, even if that's exacerbating things).

I am finally accumulating a few baby things. I may have already mentioned the baby books I bought, which I'm hoping my husband will help fill out (I think it would be nice if the pages about his family and history are in Italian, for one thing). I had a few things from the RE that they gave us in our congratulatory bag - two cute onesies, a horrible plastic rattle (I'm not a fan of mixing babies and plastic), and an extremely strong-smelling baby lotion (not sure if I should keep this or not - it's SO strong, I can't imagine babies liking it).

Now I have a few things from friends or coworkers - a baby bathtub, a little cosleeper thing (which would also work on a couch to keep one baby from rolling off), and a bouncy chair with lights, music, and vibration.

And today, I dragged my poor husband out of bed early (for a Saturday) to go to a Mothers of Multiples Club sale about 30-45 minutes away. Unfortunately, apparently you need to get there before it even starts to have a chance at the good stuff (like double-strollers), so all I got was two crib sheets and some receiving blankets. Still, now I feel like I'm finally starting to prepare.

Tomorrow is birthing class #2 (or I guess it's actually later today). I'm excited! And, I'm going to try to go to our hazardous waste drop-off and finally get rid of all my used (and unused) needles, before my in-laws arrive from Italy on Thursday.

Which brings up an interesting point - I still have a few things infertility related. I was going to give them to a friend who was about to start IVF, and then she got pregnant on her own, and now I don't know what to do with the stuff. It includes a vial of Follistim, several vials of PIO, a Follistim pen, and a bunch of supplies like needles, alcohol wipes, etc. Mostly, I don't know what to do with the meds - and I don't know if/how to ship the Follistim if I give it away, since it needs to stay refrigerated (and I guess I need to check the expiration too). Any advice?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

25 weeks

I keep writing posts and then not posting them. I don't know why.

I'm struggling these past few days with worse-than-usual insomnia. It sucks. I wake up at 2 or 3 or 4, and I may or may not get back to sleep, after an hour or two. This morning it was 4, so I decided to just get up and go to work around 5:45. Now I'm not sure I'm going to be able to function today, and I'm supposed to be training my coworkers this afternoon. Yikes.

I'm still paranoid. I feel a lot more kicking on the right side than on the left, which I know doesn't really mean anything, but there you have it. It worries me. I need something to worry about no matter what, I guess.

I want to post about my first childbirth class on Sunday, before I get to my NEXT childbirth class next weekend. Also, my in-laws are coming from Italy next week, a sort of last-minute surprise visit that I'm excited about (and desperately hoping the insomnia eases up by then).

But for now, I'm thrilled I made it to 25 weeks, and even though I'm sometimes ready to evict these babies at the earliest reasonable date (like yesterday when my hip pain was unbearable and I was shuffling around like an old lady), I'm so excited to carry them for as long as reasonably possible and meet them in about three months.

Wish me luck with staying awake today. Cheers!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Feeling sick but TGIF!

I've been feeling sick lately, although thank goodness today was much better. Probably because I made a Dr. appointment today to see what was up. That always makes me feel better, of course. I had a terrible headache Monday and Tuesday, and on Tuesday also started having a stomach ache that came and went. It didn't really feel like cramps, so I didn't worry, but after it didn't go away by Thursday morning, I made an appointment with the OB for today. All week I've felt nauseous in the morning as well.

And of course, today I feel fine. Not only has my stomach felt fine, my hip even feels fine. It's ... weird. The appointment went really great. Turtle and Tadpole were super active, and I got a quick glimpse of them on the ultrasound. My cervix was long and closed, and there were no signs of contractions or preterm labor. The doctor suspected that if anything was wrong, it could be a bladder or kidney infection, or possibly something viral. I suspect some sort of digestive distress.

Unfortunately, she was appalled that I am still biking, so I guess I am done with that =( Time to put the bike away for the rest of the spring, now that the weather is getting beautiful. Sigh. Also, swimming is great, but not the serious laps I was considering doing. So I guess I will go to open swim and try to swim some slow, relaxing laps instead of attending a workout. And I guess I will start looking into prenatal yoga and other things specifically for "disabled" women like me.

A few other bits and pieces - I can plan to stop working by the end of May, and possibly sooner (yay for sooner!). My hip pain is normal and I can expect it to get worse (boo). And I haven't gained as much weight as I feared - I am up about 24 pounds from my normal pre-pregnancy weight (about 28 from my actual pre-pregnancy, post-surgery weight). I thought it might be much more than that with the way I've been eating. Time to eat healthier and continue with the appropriate weight gain. Only 17 weeks to go until term (and probably more like 13-14 - yikes!).

Monday, March 22, 2010

I'm having a hard time knowing what to write about. My emotions are all over the place these days, and I'm not always happy and sunny and thrilled about everything. I wrote a long post about that, but I think I'll spare you.

Let's just say that between the knee surgery and the twin pregnancy, my usual activities have been pretty much cut back to nothing and while I was consciously aware of what I was getting myself into, the emotional drag it has turned out to be is much harder than I expected. I am so, so, so happy to be pregnant with twins and would not give it up for anything. Sometimes I wish I could just take a break for a day or a week, though.

My job is sucking. I am already mentally on maternity leave, I've given up on my stupid promotion, and I'm tentatively planning on not coming back. Which means my days feel like long stretches of empty meaninglessness. Considering how much time I spend at work, it's not a very uplifting way to be preparing for the arrival of my little beans.

I was sailing through the pregnancy feeling pretty comfortable and safe, and then things got weird. I stupidly ate a few things I wasn't really supposed to eat, and drank a bit of wine, and then freaked out. I was sure I wasn't feeling the babies move anymore. I woke up in the middle of the night having a mild panic attack. I figured that even though I was still feeling some kicks, I had killed one of the babies. I read stories of people losing their twins to preterm labor, or losing one baby to SIDS. I was sure it would be me. I realized the awesome weight of my responsibilities in carrying these children, and I really wished someone could share it with me. That if something went wrong, it wouldn't have to be all my fault. I feel like I have learned a lesson and will no longer be taking stupid risks with the children I have waited so long and given up so much to have.

I think I'm over it now. I'm about 9 days from viability, even if I am still around 4 months from the end. I'm trying to help my sister plan my baby shower, and I even ordered baby memory books so I can start filling them out before I have no more time.

In the meantime, I'll try to write more, and comment more. 23 weeks on Wednesday. Deep breaths.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

20-week ultrasound pics

Today is 21 weeks, and I am celebrating by posting pics from last week's level 2 ultrasound. Life is crazy right now while I deal with pregnancy, poison oak, our new mortgage paperwork, the title company, the contractor for our remodel, our house inspections, finding homeowner's insurance, our taxes, my full-time job, and extra work for my husband's company. Life is nuts right now!

I'm sorry to say this, but the 3D images sort of make me think of Vo.ldem.ort from the Harry Po.t.ter movie. Still, it was really cool to see. Here are my favorites from our pics - enjoy:

Tadpole's beautiful face

Tadpole's legs - knees at the top, feet at the bottom:
Turtle's face - not sure what he's doing. Holding his nose?
Turtle doing yoga - that's his leg up in front of his face. Not sure why he couldn't just take a normal picture. I'm seeing a lot of interesting family photos in our future.
Turtle's arm. I love how clearly you can see his elbow and fingers.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Busy bee

I cannot believe how fast last week went by. Time is speeding up, and I am getting so far behind in just about everything.

First point - the results of last week's bike ride

I think my last post was ... last Monday? We had a busy weekend, signing the counteroffer from the sellers of our (hopefully) future house, and going on a 20-mile bike ride. Yeah, that bike ride, it was LOVELY! I don't think I really mentioned it (it actually was very beautiful), or how badly I had to pee pretty much the whole time. Or how I got off my bike after 15 miles and ran behind some bushes to pee. Or how on Tuesday I started breaking out with ... POISON OAK.

OMG, my friends, I don't know if you've ever had poison oak. I have. I have had it many times, and I always have it really badly, sometimes requiring steroids to get it under control and help my body fight back. After one particularly serious bout, I wasn't sure that the skin on my legs was going to grow back normally, and I thought I'd be left with hideous scars. And I'm talking about the skin on about 3/4 of my legs, not dainty little patches. I always end up having to wash everything I touch, including sometimes my hiking boots, the steering wheel in my car, and anything else I can think of.

This time I'm a bit luckier - I have several huge spots of oozing, weeping mess (the biggest one about 6 inches in diameter, I guess?) - on both hips, my left quad, two on the side of my right thigh, my right shin, and my right ankle. I'm miserable. I spend my days rubbing on various anti-itch remedies, and bandaging up my legs so I don't make a mess of my clothing (with little success - hello, laundry!). Luckily, after a few nights, I am able to sleep again. I'm hoping this clears up by the end of the week. And I will never again assume that I won't get poison oak from road biking. I'm clearly talented enough to pick it up anywhere.

Second point - my level 2 ultrasound!

Perhaps this should have been the first point, but poison oak has taken over my life and overshadowed just about everything else.

The ultrasound went really well - the babies looked fantastic, except for one thing. I don't know if I should worry. They both had cysts on their brains. Should I worry? The doctor came and spoke with us and said it was relatively common, and that they would expect them to disappear by around 24 weeks, or else sometime during the third trimester, and we should follow up to check on them. And that was it. I'm trying not to worry too much, but any advice or experience would be much appreciated in the comments.

Otherwise, it was great. They are beautiful. First, they confirmed for us that Baby A (Tadpole) is a girl and Baby B (Turtle) is a boy. They had also switched sides, I guess, but Tadpole was still the "lower" twin and Turtle was the "upper twin". We think we have names picked out, but I'm not sure if we've finalized them yet. The ultrasound tech also completely surprised us by switching to 3D in the middle and showing us their faces! We got some great pics, which I'll have to post later this week.

Third point - life in general

Everything else right now is gravy. The house we're buying is looking great, the inspections went well, but it needs a new roof. Which is actually a good thing, because the current roof is hideous and we were going to replace it anyway, and now the sellers have to pay for it (it is a not-quite-flat tar and gravel roof). My architect sister is busy drawing up floor plans and making virtual 3D models for us to make our renovation decisions, and we'll meet with a contractor hopefully quite soon. I'm not sure we'll be able to pull this off before the babies are born, but I am hoping that maybe we can manage somehow.

My husband is also sick, again. He never gets sick, so I was shocked to come home from my book club meeting yesterday and discover him on the couch with a fever, for the second time this season. I am a little worried about him, and also hope that I don't get it too - I really don't need a fever while pregnant (and while having poison oak).

I'm keeping in shape by biking and using the rowing machine at the gym - I'm hoping to keep it up as long as possible.

So that's my life - there's so much more going on, but I don't want to write a novel.

PLEASE - if you have anything to add about brain cysts seen in ultrasounds, I would love to hear about it! Thanks!!!

Hope all's well for all of you.

Monday, March 1, 2010

We bought a house!!!!!!

I can't believe it! Our first house! It's on a beautiful lot in a great location, it just needs a lot of work to bring it up to date since the last updates seem to have been made in 1970 (and the original stuff is from the fifties).

And now I'm COMPLETELY overwhelmed with how much work there is going to be. We only have 15 days left for inspections, and we want to start drawing up our remodeling plans to see what we should try to do before we move in and what can wait until later. In the meantime, I need to start packing some stuff, just to get it ready to go. I know that I'll want to clean stuff out as I go, so better to get started sooner rather than later.

It's also a big week for pregnancy. I have an OB appointment on Wednesday, and our 20-week ultrasound on Friday. Halfway there! We'll hopefully get a verification of Baby A's sex, too.

Life is changing in other ways, too. According to my friend's scale, I've gained 18 pounds, which is right on track, but I've gained the last 8 or so really quickly, so I think I need to cut back a little and also start eating healthier. No problem - I'm a little tired of the junk food anyway.

My back and hips are hurting more, although I DID manage to do a 20-mile bike ride yesterday. After that I did two loads of laundry (including carrying them up and down the stairs) and I made two lasagnes, one for dinner sometime this week, and one to freeze for when I'm not feeling up to cooking. After that, my back was killing me.

I am feeling the babies all the time now. It doesn't feel anything like what I expected. It's much more gentle, I guess. It's awesome. It's like my daily reminder of why I'm going through all the difficulties of being pregnant with twins - it totally makes up for all that.

I am so grateful and happy for this pregnancy and these babies - I hope we have a house that's not completely under construction for them when they're born!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

19 weeks

All right, here is my 18-week belly pic; I think we actually took this around 18w3d. And sorry, these pictures really aren't very good (you can blame my husband).

And here is 16 weeks; again, I don't think it was exactly 16 weeks, but I don't remember which day we took it:

And before that, we didn't take any pics, but I didn't really start showing until somewhere between 13 and 15 weeks, so there wasn't much to see.

I'm very anxious for my scan next week - I always get more nervous as I'm approaching an ultrasound. I've been feeling the babies move a little bit lately, though. I guess I've been feeling them a bit for a week or two, but it was so sporadic and rare (like every few days) that I didn't think much of it. Now I usually feel those weird little flutters at least once a day, sometimes more, and I'm no longer questioning if 1. I even felt it at all and 2. whether it was the babies or not.

Since we don't have a scale at home and I haven't really been going to the gym (gulp), I don't know how much weight I've gained. Despite my mother's insistence that I'm going to be HUGE EVERYWHERE (usually said with a not-so-nice smile and cackle), I don't seem to be getting bigger anywhere else. My mother gained a LOT of weight after having her kids, so sometimes I wonder if she hopes it will happen to me, too, and she'll feel vindicated. Nice.

Anyway, something else I thought I'd mention is the uncomfortableness of not having everyone know that we did fertility treatments. Many of my friends know, and of course my immediate family, but that's it. It's not common knowledge at work or among extended family or friends. And I get a LOT of comments about the twins, especially because some people know that I myself am a twin.

And on top of that, twins actually do run in my family - besides me and my sister (and we're identical), I have identical twin nephews and fraternal twin cousins. AND my husband's mother (my mother-in-law) is a fraternal twin. So twins are all over the place in our family. People ask me about twins running in our families, and most people don't know that idential twinning is random. It's been so easy to just tell people that twins DO run in our families and never bring up ART at all, and we're not even lying. But I FEEL like I'm lying, and I feel a little uncomfortable. I don't know what to do about it. If anything.

So - belly pics, a bit of movement, and lots of twin questions. Yup, that's life right now.

Oh, and house-hunting (or offer-making). I guess our realtor would have to actually call us back before we can make an offer. Are we crazy to be trying to buy a fixer-upper 4 months before our babies are due (meaning we can only start fixing-up/moving in 2.5 months before they're due)? I'm starting to freak out about that a little, even though I know it will be worth it in the long run. Yikes.