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.

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.