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?