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

About Me

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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, 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 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 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!