An unconventional journey through assisted reproductive technology (and hopefully pregnancy and parenthood.)

About Me

My photo
They say 30's are the new 20's. My wife and I have been together for over a decade now. We both work in the fast paced world of academia. Our state (and recently all others across the country) have finally allowed all marriage so we made that happen October 2014.

I'm a pretty big nerd, I'll be the first to admit. I love video games (yes, as a girl and yes, at my age). I have lots of other nerd hobbies and since I was unceremoniously banned from RuneScape, I've been playing Civilization and Skyrim. My real first nerd love is Magic the Gathering. 10,000 cards and growing, but that's an expensive hobby when you have two babies.

I have other grown-up interests too, especially reading. I like reading so much I have 3 Kindles and I also used to be a martial artist (one belt away from black belt. I'll finish someday.)

But now I've got twins and I have a feeling a lot of those hobbies are going to change.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Week 35 - Change is in the air

Officially 3 more weeks to go, but that's assuming we make it to 38 weeks.

At the growth scan last week the babies are measuring 5 pounds 6 ounces each. So that's almost 10.5 pounds of baby. They're past the point of needing preemie clothes so we threw them in a donation bag. They're at the point that if they were born now, they'd be fine even though they'd spend some time in the NIC-U. 38 weeks has always been the goal, but these little overachievers have been measuring ahead almost from the beginning. So there's a chance they could come even earlier.

At the last couple of appointments the doctors have hinted around to start watching contractions carefully and monitor movement even more. Everything is getting more uncomfortable, which partly comes with carrying the weight of twins. But at the same time, we are getting close.

If we make it to 38 weeks, then the date will likely be January 13, which I think would be a cool birthday since it would fall on Friday the 13th some years. We're going to try our darndest to keep them in that long. We are seeing doctors 3 times a week now. Today at the perinatologist the nurse suggested we have the O/B check her cervix next week just to see if anything is going on. Hopefully nothing is.

Our out-of-womb preparations are mostly done. The room is done and bags are mostly packed. We've got most of what we need to get them started in life and a bunch of people that are excited for them to come and meet them.

We bought baby books as well. They are really cool because they're customizable and come with extra pages. So we were able to take out the "Daddy" pages and put in extra "Mommy" pages. One of the pages asks us to write our hopes and dreams for the babies and it made me think about all the tragedies in the news recently with people being shot and killed. And it made me think "I hope my babies, especially my son, look white". I'm biracial (black and white) and the donor is white so I think they will. I was raised with the white side of my family so that's really what I identify with, but that's not how the rest of the world identifies me. This might sound sad, but I don't want my children to grow up fearing police and other people in positions of authority. But the fact is that racism is still a major problem and I feel if they look white, they'll have better opportunities in life.

Anyway, enough of that. It's Christmas and that's supposed to be time for peace on Earth and goodwill towards all men (and women). So I end on that note and wish you a happy holiday, whichever one you may celebrate. Or if you don't celebrate, then happy Thursday this week.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Week 32 - The Final Stretch

I write you today from a magical place called 'vacation'. You may have heard that this place is just a myth, but as someone who has seen the fabled land, I can attest that it does exist.

Last Wednesday was my last day of work for at least 5 weeks. I had been debating whether or not to tell my students I wouldn't likely be coming back and I thought I had settled on no, but at the last minute I decided to tell them after all. I have a really decent class this year and I haven't been able to say that for a while. I put up an ultrasound and asked if they knew what it was. They all gasped and raised their hands. After that I had to explain what a surrogate was and that I couldn't have babies of my own. But I didn't get into the lesbian stuff. They were all super excited so I'm glad I told them.

In all actuality, I probably will be back for a week after winter break. Things are going well and the doctors fully expect them to make it to the week of the 12th. I'm actually kind of glad because that first week back is our parent conferences and I can't have a sub do those. Plus that will give me some time to adjust them to the changes in the classroom that will come with having a sub for 12 weeks. At the end of March is spring break and then the two weeks after that is my second track break and then I'll be back for good.

In the meantime, we start monitoring twice a week this week. And we registered with the hospital and did the maternity tour. It was really interesting. The hospital we're having them at is a 'baby friendly' hospital. This basically means that they encourage breastfeeding and immediate skin-to-skin contact. And they don't have a central nursery, like you see on TV and movies. The babies stay with you in the room...all...the...time. They're of the mindset that welp...you made them, you deal with them. Not to say that they don't help you out, but it's not a week long vacation in the hospital like you might imagine. Actually, they said you stay 36 hours max for a vaginal delivery and 3-4 days for a c-section before they send you on your merry way.

Oh, one other cool thing about the hospital is that all babies get tagged with a security bracelet so if they get anywhere near an exit, an alarm sounds. And we have to wear an ID bracelet for each baby. The maternity ward is locked down and visitors have to check in by video before they're allowed in.

We've been taking classes this past month. We did baby basics, which was interesting. The instructor complimented my swaddling. We also did breastfeeding, which wasn't exactly what I expected. That instructor was super preachy and anti-formula, but people sign up for that class with the intention of breastfeeding so I feel like she wasted a bunch of time telling us how great breastfeeding is instead of telling us how to do it. I figure we'll get some better help from the lactation consultants at the hospital. We are taking a childbirth class too, which might seem pointless as we're having a planned c-section. But the class goes over c-sections too and they teach you how to recognize early labor (just in case) and anyway, we're curious to learn new stuff. And we are getting the car seats installed by professionals so we know it's done correctly.

For a while we were super concerned with getting the hospital bags ready, but it turns out you really don't need to take much. They give you pretty much anything you need. And the hospital isn't too far from where we live so if there was anything we wanted or needed from home, it would be a half-hour trip at most. I plan to stay at the hospital except for when I need to go home and tend to the cats. And when I need to eat because apparently they don't feed me and I'm sure I'm far too picky an eater to eat hospital cafeteria food.

I actually do have stuff to do this first week of vacation. It's not going to be all Skyrim and picking my nose in my underwear just yet. I have a dentist appointment because I realized I hadn't been since we moved. I realized this when the appointment card was forwarded from the old address. I also have to get the rest of my vaccines and I actually do have to go to work one day because I didn't get my FML paperwork until the weekend and my principal has to sign it before I take it to the doctor. Other than that, I'm going to tidy up the joint and enjoy our new TV. We've never had one in the bedroom before but we figured that after the semester ends we'll be spending a lot of time resting in bed (and me prepping stuff for my sub). And eventually we'll move it to the loft anyway.

That's it for now. Lol, I know that's a lot and I say 'that's it' like it's a short little anecdote. Sorry, we don't have any good ultrasound pictures. The last few have been just the tops of their heads and I don't  know that they'll get any better as the babies get bigger and have less room to move and turn. We'll see, though.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Week 28 - Time Flies, Time Changes

So, as it turns out, I simply have less time to blog now that I'm at work. My weekdays are basically work, doctor's appointments, home, sleep. Maybe eat. Our weekends have been packed with a variety of activities, though those might be over now. The weather is getting colder and she's just getting too uncomfortable to go out much. We've been trying to take it easy. Last Saturday we spent literally the whole day in bed with the laptops. It was great.

Yesterday my mom and aunt threw our baby shower. The timing worked out great to have a Halloween themed party. It was pretty awesome. We invited all of the same people from my birthday and more, so it was quite the affair. My costume was probably the second best. I was the bad guy from the Cobra Kai Dojo in the old school Karate Kid movies. The best...my trainer dressed as an 80's aerobics instructor.





We got a lot of great stuff for the babies and a bunch of gift cards and cash for the other stuff we still need. And everyone had a really good time. There's still Christmas coming before they're born (hopefully) so we should be pretty well set. Well, at least for material things anyway. I've been working on baby laundry mountains this weekend and putting the rest of the nursery together with all of the stuff we got.

This weekend we had to go and have the glucose tolerance test. It's one of those things we had heard many different stories. "Oh, it's not that bad" or "You don't have to fast" and so on. Well, our doctor was clear that it is a fasting test and they confirmed that at the lab. Fasting is hard because she's used to eating first thing in the morning and gets sick if she doesn't. So we wanted to get it out of the way as early as possible. The first draw wasn't bad and she said the drink wasn't bad either. Lemon-lime, though it probably would have been better chilled. I thought we would be able to leave for the hour in between, but no. We had to sit in the lobby watching HGTV.

An hour passed and we went back for the second draw and it did not go well at all. They couldn't get anything from the arm vein and I don't know why they tried poking the same vein again. Anyway, they went to the hand and she started to get really sick and actually passed out. I've passed out from different things before but I've never seen anyone pass out and it was really scary. I was thinking I should call 911 but the lab tech didn't seem too worried. I guess they must see that a lot. She finally came back around and after a few minutes she told them to go ahead and do the draw so we don't have to do this again.

After that they let her lie down for the next hour and did the final draw laying down. It went better and we were finally able to get some food, go home and relax for the day. It was rough one.

That brings us to November and daylight savings, which I find incredibly dumb but I am glad for the extra hour of sleep. November is going to fly by. Between staff development days, where we don't have students, Veteran's Day, which is a two-day holiday for me, and then Thanksgiving, I figure I only work about 8 days or something like that. And then I go on track break! I'm at a 12 month school so we go through the summer but we get 3 weeks of vacation 3 times throughout the year. My first break starts right after Thanksgiving and then runs into everyone's Winter break at the end of December. If these babies are born in early January I won't have to go back after Winter break. If they keep them in there as long as the doctors want, I might have to go back for a week or two.

I'm taking the full 12 weeks off and the way the calendar falls, that will take me to my second track break in April and then Spring break. So, my students likely won't see me from Thanksgiving until after Easter. That's a long time to be without their regular teacher, I know. But I've got to think about my new family. And I'll find them a decent sub.

Now, they don't have subs for college so the lady has a different situation. She only has 8 weeks of sick days, but her department chair worked out an awesome arrangement where she will actually get the entire semester off. So she won't have to go back until next August. He said he wants her to be able to spend time with her new family, which is pretty much the opposite of how they feel at my work. My boss didn't even acknowledge the babies until very recently. It's not that I'm looking for a ticker-tape parade or anything, but a simple 'congratulations' would  have been nice.

Although November is a short month, we've got a lot going on. Besides the usual appointments, we're also touring the hospital, I have a 5K and our Mothers of Multiples group is hosting the new MOM's tea. Plus Thanksgiving! She has really been looking forward to pregnant Thanksgiving. After all that, it's vacation time and the final baby countdown!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week 23 - Matching Shirts & Matching Bellies
Is this a commentary on my girlfriend's style
or my cat's fat stomach?
Wow, I hadn't realized it had been almost a month since my last entry. Not that I don't have anything to say, but I guess I've been busier than I thought.

The first weeks of work are always busy, but this year has been crazy because of all of the changes. It's teacher stuff and not particularly interesting to anyone else, but we're hoping it calms down after next week and the final staffing changes are made.

In the real world, things are going well with the babies. We're at 23 weeks now and at one of the last ultrasounds they were finally able to confirm the genders. We were pretty sure since we had PGD, but we wanted to be completely sure. It is a boy and a girl. And they're movers. They move so much that they have a hard time getting a heart rate. So I think we're in for a couple of handfulls. They also had their cardiology scans and everything looks good in their little hearts.

We will be meeting with the regular O/B every two weeks starting next month. I guess that means we're getting close. She asked us if we had thought about a pediatrician and in truth we had thought about it, but that's about it. We don't know anyone with babies in our part of town. All of the mothers at the multiples meetings live on the opposite side of town, and we'd rather have a doctor nearby. So the doctor gave us a list of ones they suggest. We'll probably go with one of them if our insurance covers them.

Before
I was thinking about how similar raising babies is going to be to raising cats. See, we let our cats do all sorts of things we find cute. And then they don't end up being so cute anymore. Take the bassinets, for example. We thought it was adorable when they jumped in there but not as adorable when they wouldn't get out. And even less so when Bailey started scratching the sides. But we've got his number now.

After


Cute
Not so cute
And the stroller. Cute when they sat in the seats, and Bailey really made himself at home. But not so cute when I realized it was getting covered with cat hair that I had to vacuum out and put a blanket on it because that can be washed easily. We make all these modifications and adjustments and try to get them to do what we want and I wonder how much of that will transfer to parenting.







I don't know. They'll probably find ways to do what they want anyway...just like the cats do.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Week 19 - Happy birthday to me

Well, happy late birthday here. It was actually on the 20th but I had to work. What's the point of having a summer birthday if you have to work? And I don't know how, but my birthday always seems to fall on the staff development days before school starts. So I usually spend my birthday-day listening to my principal read a 42 page meeting agenda. Ugh.

This year we had a party. Normally the family gets together and gets food from somewhere. We've found it's easier than going out to eat. This year we invited friends too, which is a big deal for us. We've never had a party this big, but we felt we were finally settled into the new house well enough to finally have people over. It was great. We had Olive Garden, they do party size trays of most of their dishes. And cake from Costco, which isn't as great as I remembered it. It was good, don't get me wrong. But it was a bit on the sweet side. And we played Cards Against Humanity. If you've never played, I highly suggest you find someone with a set. They're kind of hard to find though, but there is an online version too. It has the same rules as Apples to Apples, but the cards are random, offensive and just hilarious. It was a little weird because one of my friends brought her son and he's 12. It's an age where you know he knows what the cards mean, but it's weird to admit that you know. It made me think, would I let my son play in 12 years? Probably and he would probably get the "dem titties" card.

We've both gone back to work now. My year has started off well. I was scheduled for 25 kids. 20 showed up and one told me on the first day they were moving out of zone the next week. Then on Friday another told me it was her last day. My school is in a highly transient area and so around the end of any given month when people's leases are up, we see a lot of movement. So I'm down to 18, which is unheard of for a fifth grade class here. Of course, we always expect a lot of new ones after Labor day so I doubt it will stay that low. But if it does, it's possible we could lose a position at count day. It wouldn't be me as I have the most seniority, but it's not something anyone wants to deal with. She has had a good first week too, though it has been tiring. But fortunately she only has classes Monday through Thursday so she gets to just rest on Fridays.

We both found out about our maternity leave options. I asked our office manager and she said FML will send me a packet 30 days before the birth. I fill it out, send it back and they verify my eligibility. I'm not worried about it as I have over 150 sick days accumulated so I should be able to take the full 12 weeks. I think I have a sub lined up too. She only has about 8 weeks accumulated and they said she could take unpaid time too, but we just can't afford that. They don't exactly have substitutes in college so they just cancel her classes for the semester. Then when her sick days are up, they give her administrative work to do for the rest of the semester. Hopefully it's something she can mostly do from home. After both of our time is up, I don't know. Day care is really expensive for little ones that young and you don't get a discount for having more than one.

18 Weeks
We've seen the doctor, I think three times since I last posted. Twice with the perinatologist and once with the regular O/B. Everything is fine. The babies are growing and moving around a lot now. At the next visit with the perinatologist they'll do the cardiology scan to make sure all the chambers of their heart are developing correctly. The O/B said we need to be up to date on our vaccinations, which is something I hadn't considered. I had shots for school, of course. And I had to be up to date for college, but that was like 15 years ago and vaccines do expire. And I have to get a flu shot, which I usually don't do. You would think I would, being around kids and gross people all the time. But this year was the first time I ever got the flu as an adult so I think I have a decent tolerance against it. But if the doctor says I need it, I'll get it.

Lastly, we've made a pretty big baby related purchase. My girlfriend has driven a Toyota Yaris for the past 7 or so years. When we found out about the pregnancy she considered keeping it, though it is really small. But since it's twins, we knew it would have to go. There was no way two car seats would fit in the back of a two-door hatchback and the jogging stroller we picked was way too big for the trunk space it had, unless we put the back seats down. It's actually too big to fit easily in my car too. She's been looking at safety ratings and stuff and had her mind made up on a Mazda 3. We went down today to see what they had as far as Labor Day sales and ended up with the CX5. So now we have a pretty cool mom car.

Crazy how life changes. We were just talking about that, about what we would say to ourselves in 2002 if we had a way-back machine. Well, lottery numbers excluded anyway. Every year I've been writing a birthday letter to myself on Future Me. Maybe I'll write to myself in 10 years this time. If the next 10 years changes as much as the last, I have no idea what our lives will look like.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Week 16.5 - A beautiful cervix and luscious veins.

There has been much excitement this week. Today we saw the perinatologist for the level 2 ultrasound, also known as the anatomy scan.

The important thing is that we were able to see the genders. We were pretty sure what they were since we did PGD with the IVF, but there's always that chance (however slim, it's still a chance) that it might have been wrong. Baby B is for sure a boy. The tech could see his little dinker donger very clearly. Baby A was a little shy, but from what she could see, the tech was leaning towards it being a girl. So we're calling it at that. Now that we know for sure (pretty much), I'm happy to finally share the names we picked. We've had the boy's name picked for years because that's what we initially wanted. The girl's name was a little harder because we hadn't even considered having a girl and we couldn't agree for a while. But we are both thrilled with the names we picked. Allow me to introduce you to Baby A, now known as Charlotte Sue and Baby B, now known as Nathan Henry.

Like I said, we had Nathan picked for years. We both just loved the name from the beginning. We chose Henry for the middle name because it's a family name on both of our sides. We knew we wanted the girl's middle name to be Sue, after my mother. But the first name eluded us for a while. We considered Emily, Emma, Delilah, Hannah and some others but none of them seemed perfect. We had considered Charlotte but I realized that some family friends of ours have a boy and a girl, named Nathan and Charlotte. I thought it would be weird, but they were cool with it so we decided to go for it. We haven't had any second thoughts at all, so I think that's a sign that these are the perfect names.

Now, on the chance that A does turn out to be a boy after all, we have a second boy's name picked and that would be Noah Joseph. We don't need a second girl's name since we know for sure one is a boy.

They did some bloodwork today for the MSAFP test. This tests for elevated protein in the blood, which could indicate a problem. If there is a defect in the spinal cord or brain it could leak alpha-fetoprotein, which would show up in a blood test. The doctor did say they looked perfect on the ultrasound and they are growing well, but after all we've gone through to make these babies, we'd rather be on the safe side. He also said my girlfriend's cervix looked beautiful and the phlebotomist said her veins were luscious. So we're looking pretty good so far. We have two more appointments in two weeks. One with the regular O/B and another with the perinatologist.

We got some more exciting baby news. Not for us, of course. But for our friends that just moved into the neighborhood. I don't know if I've ever mentioned that. When we were buying our house, one of my friends that I work with kept seeing my pictures on Facebook and asking me about it. It's the guy that helped me pick up the baby dresser, actually. Anyway, one day he asked us to take him to the models. The next day he took his girlfriend out there. And shortly after that they had a picture on their Facebook of her putting the "Sold!" button on the map. They bought the same model as us on the next street over.

Well anyway, soon after we moved we did the embryo transfer and when it worked, his girlfriend told him it's time for them to start making a baby. So they did over the summer and it worked! She's about 10 weeks behind us, but our kids will be in the same grade in school and grow up together. This is really exciting for us because for one, we don't have many friends to begin with. I have very few at work because people come and go so frequently, I try not to get attached. But I really like this guy and now that we're neighbors we'll be friends even if one of us changes schools. And we have very few friends with young children. Most of our parent friends around our age started way before us so their kids are like in middle school. And I wouldn't really call the moms from the multiples group friends, at least not yet. But now we'll have parent friends with kids the same age as ours and in the same neighborhood. It worked out perfectly.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Week 15 - Our cat drinks out of the toilet

I was showering and I accidentally forgot to put the toilet seat down before I got in. I look over and I see him with his head and front paws in the toilet. Mind you, we give them filtered water because of Tyler's pee-pee issues. But this little asshole would rather drink out of the shitter.

Anyway, these past weeks we've been taking care of more legal business. We signed the wills and powers of attorney but we decided to meet with a family lawyer to get some real answers to what exactly our legal rights will be. Ideally we both should be able to sign the birth certificates and that is what the first attorney suggested should happen. This lawyer said the same thing. She said that more and more same-sex couples are having babies and we shouldn't have any trouble both signing the birth certificates. After they are born, we will file for adoption just to make it extra legal. She did have some concerns in making sure the donor is truly anonymous and can't come back and claim custody himself, but we have the paperwork and the sperm bank's policy on anonymous donors so we should be covered there.She said this is all very new legal ground and that makes things tricky. This lawyer is also going to elaborate on our wills and do HIPA forms for us. It's a lot going on, but I guess that comes with being an adult.

We saw the regular O/B and weren't expecting an ultrasound because they schedule those separately (they're billed separately to the insurance) but she wheeled in the old ass machine and did a quick one. Shit was so blurry we couldn't see much, but we did see two heartbeats so they're both still in there. The doctor said the goal is to get to 38 weeks but most of the moms we've talked with got to about 36-37 weeks with their twins, so that's what I'm mentally planning. The next appointment is with the perinatologist and they're doing the anatomy scans then, so we should find out the sexes for sure.

We got some more furniture, the dresser and attached changing station. The dresser was already assembled so we had to have a friend with a truck help us pick it up. Then we had to have my cousin help me get it up the stairs. It's always been really hard for me to ask people for help. But I read something recently, how when you have a baby you really have to adopt the "it takes a village" philosophy. And when you are having twins, that is doubly true. So I've been working on that and was proud that I asked for help. Anyway, the dresser is really nice. It's probably the nicest piece of furniture we own now. And it's for the babies, how funny. We figure when they get old enough to want their own rooms and stuff they can pick out new dressers and we will keep this one ourselves.

This week I'll be going back to work. School doesn't start until the 25th but I have several trainings in the next couple of weeks. I don't even know what most of them are for, just that they're paying me for them. I can't believe summer is almost over and it's basically my last summer for a while. My school is going year-round this year, so I've got to enjoy what's left of this summer before it's over.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Week 13 - Expect misery.

It has been another busy two weeks, especially considering we're supposed to be on summer vacation here.

We saw the perinatologist for the first time and got another ultrasound and some video of them bouncing around!
video

Their nuchal scan was perfect and they're measuring 13 weeks (on Friday), so they're still ahead by a few days. The doctor was really great. He was really honest and told us to literally "expect misery" after 30 weeks. But it wasn't in an asshole way. It was just a statement of truth and we appreciated that. Too often doctors sugar coat things. He was really thorough too and answered all of our questions. They're more familiar with IVF than at the regular O/B. I guess because so many multiples come from IVF. But it was nice to be able to explain to them how we got there and have them understand what we were talking about.

We've started getting some baby furniture. My mom's goal is to get one big piece a month until they're born, or until the nursery is furnished. This month was the bassinets. They're really cool and apparently the cats think so too because they totally made themselves comfortable the moment we put them together. We had been expecting this and had talked to the vet about it last time we were there. She said you have to let them explore the new stuff. You can't ban a cat from anything, but you can make it so they're not as interested. We now filled them with a bunch of backpacks and shoes and Guitar Hero stuff so when they jump in it's not comfortable and it's their decision to jump out. It worked and neither of them has tried to jump in for days now.

I also painted the babies' room. We were going to go with yellow, but decided on mint green instead. It will look great with the dark brown furniture. We don't have much in the way of decoration decided yet, but my lady did make this cute button rainbow to hang on the wall.

One of the biggest things we did this week was to see a lawyer. We've never had any kind of legal documents made before, mostly because we've never really had anything worth protecting before. But now we've got the house and two kids on the way. While we do have the domestic partnership, we found out that it's basically toilet paper, legally. It really doesn't give us any kind of rights. The lawyer is going to do estate planning for us, which basically is our wills and declaring each other power of attorney (and a secondary should some misfortune befall both of us at the same time) for medical and financial decisions. She is also going to set up a trust and appoint my brother and sister-in-law power of attorney secondary and custodian if we both go before the kids turn 18. And lastly she is going to look into how we stand with parental rights legally. She was really interested in our situation but she wasn't familiar with the legality so she said she is going to look into it. Ideally we both want to be able to sign the birth certificate, but we don't know if that is an option. If not, we might have to do a second parent adoption after they're born.

We went to our second Mothers of Multiples meeting. There were a lot more moms than last month's meeting and some brought their babies. One had a 2-week-old. She slept the whole time (the baby, not the mom). I like that in a baby. Another had 10-week-old identical twin girls and they were adorable too. It's still too intimidating for me to hold other peoples babies, but I was very interested in just observing them.

We don't have quite so much planned for the next two weeks, but things have a habit of popping up, so who knows.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Week 11 - This Is Really Happening
10 weeks, 5 days
We saw the doctor again on Thursday and we went armed with a notebook full of questions. But first we had an ultrasound. Normally we wouldn't have had one since we just had one last month, but you know...twins.

The ultrasound tech is so nice and bubbly, but not in an annoying, fake way. She seems really, genuinely happy. She must have the best job, showing people their babies all day. She got lots of good pictures for us. Heart rates and gestational development are perfect, a couple of days ahead actually. They're really moving around in there now. Baby B was bouncing around so much she had a hard time getting a good heart rate measure. But she got a super cute picture of his little feet.

We got some clarification from the doctor on some things. The fertility doctor had her on a lot of medication and restrictions. She takes a very cautious approach since her patients are typically there because of problems getting or staying pregnant. Some of the restrictions are no baths or swimming, no lifting more than 12 pounds and no woohoo. The OB said we can swim and take body temperature baths, and lift no more than 20 pounds. So our orange cat Bailey is good, but Tyler is still too fat (tipping the scales at about 22 pounds). We'll be done with the medication at week 12. She is also sending us to a perinatologist, which is an OB that specializes in high risk pregnancies, which twins automatically is. We'll be seeing them both alternately and they'll be doing more ultrasounds than with a single pregnancy. It gives is peace of mind, really. It was hard waiting a month between appointments because it gives you time to develop all kinds of worries. Now we only have two weeks to freak ourselves out between appointments.

We visited with my mom for the 4th of July. It was a really nice day. We took advantage of the swimming thing and the water was perfect. Then we went to lunch and Babies R Us and picked our furniture. We decided that although we have the room, the babies are going to share a bedroom. So we picked out two cribs (they're both the same),

a dresser with a changing station,
 
and two bassinets (also, both the same) for the first weeks (or months) in our bedroom and they convert to mini-playpen like things as the babies grow.
We also got most of the registry done there and online later. The time is going to go pretty quickly. My mom and aunt are planning a Halloween baby shower, which I think is awesome. So many cute ideas for it and my lady found the most awesome shirt for it.
All this really makes me realize that this is happening for real. It's crazy, but pretty awesome. Two little babies. Who would have thought.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Week 9 - The Metamorphosis Begins

All my adult life I've heard how having kids changes you. But since we don't really have other friends that we've seen have kids, it's just been another cliche. Now we're experiencing some of the changes firsthand and our kids aren't even born yet.

First off, we got a Costco membership. We figured we're going to need twice as much of everything we needed before, so Costco seemed the obvious solution. Unfortunately, their diapers start at size 1 and ours won't be in those for a while. But they will need them eventually. And they will need a lot of them and lots of other stuff too. Formula, juice boxes, goldfish crackers, etc.

Next, we joined a moms group. Actually, it's a moms of multiples group. As I mentioned above, we don't have a lot of friends with kids. The ones that do, have older kids, like middle school age. So it's not likely that they'll want to go on play dates with our little ones. We heard about this group and went to our first meeting last week. At first it was really intimidating because we don't socialize much and the lady that was hosting the meeting lived in a really fancy area. But once we got to talking, everyone was really nice and we had a really good time. Plus we realized that we can learn a lot from them.

Time to trade in the cute little 2-door hatchback for a more family friendly car.

Getting up at 6:30 on a Sunday is now the equivalent of sleeping in.

And who knows what else is to come. We've got to take the cat to the vet. You know, the one that was acting nuts after the transfer? Well, he's still acting nuts and it isn't so cute anymore. I think we're going to have to put him on some long-term anxiety medication. He's driving himself crazy and now he's starting to get the other cat all wound up and normally he's very chill. If this is his way of getting us ready for the babies, then point taken. But if he's just having a hard time adjusting to pregnancy hormones, he's in for a hell of a time when the babies actually come. So we've got to get him calmed down.

We have our next baby appointment next week. They're going to do another ultrasound, which normally they wouldn't but because we're in a special situation, we get to see the babies again :)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Week 7 - 30 more to go...

Long gone are the days when pregnancy was a 9 month deal. Now we know it's measured by weeks, 40 to be precise. However with twins, they're considered full term at 37 weeks. So although the official due date is January 25, they'll probably schedule the delivery sometime around 2nd instead. I'd love to go a day earlier and have New Year's babies, but since it'll be scheduled I guess that'll be up to the doctor.

Up to this point the pregnancy symptoms have been typical. Nausea, boob changes, cramps, etc. I expected those, but I wasn't really prepared for the hormonal waterworks. I'm not an emotional person, myself. At least I don't show emotion well. She's always been the opposite but now, it's a whole new game.

As we were driving home from the grocery store today, listening to the radio as we always do, "Home" by Phillip Phillips comes on. You know, the one they used for the gymnasts at the last Olympics. Nice song, whatever. But then I hear in a choked voice "I think this song is going to make me cry!" So I look over and I'm like what? And she was seriously tearing up and was like "We're going home and I'm making myself a home for the babies!" but then she started laughing, so I ask "Are you fucking with me?" And she laughs and says no, but then we both start laughing. Ah, well. It was a sweet moment.

Friday, June 6, 2014

How are babbies formed?

I guess I might need to change the name of the blog since there are babbies instead of just babby. Yep, twins.


Crazy stuff. After all these years of no babies, now we have two. If everything went correctly during the transfer, it should be a boy and a girl. But you know nothing is 100%.

So far they are right on developmental schedule at 6 weeks 5 days. Size and heartbeats were perfect. First babies in the family in 24 years. Everyone is really excited.

They said a twins pregnancy is pretty much like a single pregnancy until a little later. Then it gets interesting. And now we pretty much know she'll have to have a c-section, which we didn't want but that's pretty much the standard for multiples. Next appointment is July 3.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Cautiously Optimistic

Has medical science suddenly cured me of my infertility? Well, no but here I am again. Why?

If you read back, you may recall that we were considering trying again with the uteruses reversed and using my leftover embryos. Well, we decided to give it a go. And what do you know? It worked. Yeah. 'Tis quite the story that follows.

We met with the doctor in October to see what our options were and she said that we could try the next month in November if we wanted to. It was tempting, but my lady had been training for almost a year to run a half-marathon that happened to be in November. The doctor said to give them a call with the first period after that. That was sometime in December.

The marathon was great, by the way. I didn't run the marathon myself. Distance just isn't my thing.

Now, around this time I noticed that the fertility clinic was having a contest where clients and potential clients could make a 1 minute video of how they're getting ready for their baby. The winner would receive 50% off the next treatment cycle, which is no small chunk of change. We decided to give it a shot and made three pretty hilarious videos. I don't think my girlfriend would want me to post them here, but trust me. They were great. Anyway, we didn't win but we did get sort of an honorable mention and got $500 off. I think it was a pity prize because when they called they said something like "Now, we didn't announce other prizes but we are giving you $500 for second place!" I really think there were originally no other prizes, but I feel like we've been there so long and everyone there knows us, they felt they had to give us something. Whatever. I'll take a pity prize.

The doctor wanted to try a natural cycle but put her on birth control for a month to regulate her period. That was a rough month. Everyone reacts to hormones differently and well...this particular birth control did not agree with her. But after that we were ready for a transfer. This was January.

However, towards the middle of January my lady started to feel ill. Turns out it was the fucking flu and we were both down for over a week. I, myself, had to take three days off from work and I never take time for being sick. Time off to play Civilization and pick my nose, sure. But not for actual illness. Anyway, this week happened to coincide with the week we would have done the transfer so that was put on hold.


New Home Sweet Home
Oh and hey, did I mention that right smack in the middle of all this we decided to sell our old house and buy a new one? Call us gluttons for stress, I guess. But it all worked out. We ended up closing on the new house just a few weeks before the old house sold.

So, back to the babby. Well, as you know in this process when there is a delay, it's usually 2 months or more. So we weren't able to try again until around March. Got all medicated up and went in for ultrasounds after day 3. Things were looking good but after a couple of ultrasounds, the doctor couldn't find the follicle she had been watching for ovulation. See, with a natural cycle you have to transfer pretty close to when you actually ovulate. The bloodwork later confirmed that we had indeed missed the window and had to wait for another cycle.

But this time the doctor wanted to do a more controlled cycle. Not Lupron controlled like I was on, but more birth control in addition to estrogen and progesterone. Started that up at the beginning of April and we were ready for a transfer at the beginning of May.

May 9th rolls around and we head back in to the IVF room. She in her spa wrap, I in my hairnet. This time I was able to look around. When you're on the table there's not much to see, but it's pretty interesting in there. I got to see the embryos when they put them under the microscope before the suck them into the transfer catheter. I also got to see them go in on the ultrasound.

Before the transfer, the doctor said this has to work so she can take us off of her bucket list. Lol.

Anyway, we went home for the long, agonizing wait. The first few days were whatever, just a lot of resting and stuff. But then she started feeling really crampy. Could have been period cramps, though. Then she started having boob pain. Again, could have been a period coming. I get pretty bad boob pain myself. But the one symptom that couldn't be explained by an oncoming period or medication side effect was the cat. Tyler.

Guess that shit isn't getting graded today.
Now, he's a little neurotic anyway. He's a rescue cat and has had issues with anxiety and other things since he was a young cat after a bad experience at the vet. I could write a whole blog just about him and what he's put us through. Anyway, he started acting very peculiar, even for him. He would follow her around the house, circle her legs and yowl at her constantly. He wandered around yowling. He was driving himself so nuts that we had to give him a Valium. Seriously, he has kitty Valium prescribed to him. Anyway, he was just not acting like himself and we are pretty sure it's because he knew. I've read that animals can sense pregnancy hormones. Call him our little First Response.

I left the pee soaked end out of
the image. You're welcome.
The first two blood tests looked good. On the first one her progesterone was already 6 and mine never got anywhere near that, even after increasing the disgusting progesterone cream. The second one was the one I was worried about because that was usually when my levels would take a dive. But hers went up. Final blood test was on the 21st. But before that, she decided to take a pee test. I kind of didn't want her to because I have very bad feelings associated with them and because I thought it was too early anyway. But she peed on it the morning of the 19th. The little hourglass came up for about a minute and then said "pregnant". We both looked at it and at each other and couldn't really believe what we were seeing. I went to work in shock.

After we thought about it more, we thought the test might have been expired and it turned out it was. So on my way home I picked up a new one and she peed on that when I got home. The test said to wait 3 minutes, but you could see the second line almost immediately. This put any doubt out of our minds. After this the blood test on the 21st was just a formality and it was positive as well. The doctor ordered one more blood test to make sure the levels were still increasing and all is well.

Normally the doctor likes to keep people on for about 11 weeks and do the first ultrasounds herself. But our insurance covers none of her services so she is releasing us to our regular OB, which our insurance will pay for completely, minus the copay. We have our first prenatal appointment June 6. They'll do the first ultrasound and hopefully we'll be able to see if one or both of these little things took. Based on the last bloodwork, it seems like the both might have, which is a little scary, not going to lie.

So that's where we are now, which brings me back to the question of why I'm writing again. When I started this I intended it to be a record of my journey to get pregnant and eventually the pregnancy. When that dream was destroyed, I didn't see the point since my journey was over. But one of the things I've been working on with my therapist is that my journey is not over. I'm still part of the journey, just in a different capacity. So I've decided to write again.

I'll try to keep it positive and interesting to read, but you've got to understand I still have a lot of issues to work out so you're probably going to get glimpses of that here and there. For now, I'm still in shock and disbelief. But in a good way, I think. If all works out, this little bundle will be born late January 2015. Or if it is two little bundles, early January.

Thanks for reading again. See you on the 6th.