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.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

1 Month

The babies are healthy and doing well. Charlotte is now 7lbs 5oz and Nathan is 7lbs 1oz. They are still on the small side, but that is to be expected being a month early. They've met their weight milestones and Nathan survived his circumcision. They've had their first shots, first baths at home and made it through their first month of life.

They already have very distinct and very different personalities. Nathan is very calm and patient, but he is super strong and determined. He holds his head up during tummy time like a champ already. He also has my love for sleep. Charlotte earned the nickname "princess" in the hospital. On the second night she would not sleep and wouldn't stop crying unless someone was holding her. This might not have been so bad but we had another baby to take care of also. Anyway, sometime during the night the nurse came to check on us and we were all in tears, She took pity on us and took Charlotte to the nurses station for a few hours, even though their policy is that the babies stay in the room.

I thought we had a pretty good idea of what we were getting into, but this month has been about 10 times harder than either of us imagined. As much as we tried to prepare, talk to people, go to classes, very little has gone the way we had hoped it would.

As I mentioned before, a c-section recovery is terrible. Combine that with newborn twins and it's a real shit show. I don't think I can really get into some details because they're pretty personal, but believe me when I say it was rough for both of us.

We had a lot of visitors when we went home and our cousin stayed with us for a week, which was great. She helped us get into a routine and it was nice to see her for so long since she lives in Denver and we usually only get her on holidays. It took a few days before she could get up and down the stairs comfortably so we stayed downstairs. We're in the bedroom now but we're getting some furniture for the loft and that will probably be where we set up permanently. It's hard living in a bedroom.

The babies are sleeping in the room with us in bassinets. We know the rules about not having anything in the cribs, but they simply won't sleep at night in anything but their Podsters. So they sleep in their Podsters in the bassinets. When they sleep, that is. Mostly they sleep during the day and they would sleep upside down on the hood of the car and nothing would wake them. Night though, they just don't want to settle. They're too young to know the difference between night and day and newborns are nocturnal so we've just got to deal. It's been hard not sleeping, though. And I haven't been able to do the whole "sleep when the baby sleeps" thing during the day. More on that later.

One thing other mom was looking forward to was breastfeeding but that hasn't gone well either. The babies were so young they couldn't latch. After a lot of work she finally got Charlotte to do it sometimes but Nathan just won't. We've been told by several nurses that it's harder for boys and after all this time we think he may never get the hang of it. So she's pumping and we're giving them about 50/50 breast milk and formula.

After she was feeling a little better we were able to start going out with the babies and doing things. We've been able to go to Target and to dinner in addition to our doctor's appointments. I never anticipated how much attention they would draw. Before we could have been gum on the sidewalk for as much as people paid attention to us, but now random people come talk to us wherever we are. For me, this is just about my worst nightmare. I'm a woman of few words to those who know me well and to strangers they're lucky to get a grunt and a nod to most questions. Fortunately for me my other half is the opposite so she's been doing the talking. But man, I don't get it. If I saw some poor new mother at Target with her hands clearly full with twins, I might pass and smile but I would never think to go bother her and strike up a conversation. Maybe that's just me.

So, this month has been pretty rough. Everyone keeps telling us we're doing well, but they really only see the best of us and the babies. Alone it's very different. Just to speak to myself, I've been having a lot of really bad feelings and I'm not sleeping or eating well at all. For a variety of reasons there's not much I can do about it right now so I've been trying to just accept that this is life now and try to pass the time until it gets better, Everyone also says that these times will just fly but maybe that's just in retrospect because this past month has felt like 10 years and I think it's aged me that much as well. I'm trying to look for things to enjoy but it's just so much work that fun is just not there for me. I also got shafted on my leave at work and I actually have to go back in a week instead of in April like I thought. It's a long story and it sucks, but it is what it is.

Here's to month 2.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Birth Story

Sunday December 28, 2014 started off like pretty much any other day we had been having. She felt miserable, but having been told by the doctor several times that misery was to be expected, we didn't think much of it. I went to the grocery store and we spent the day in bed watching football and me writing lesson plans.

We watched the Patriots get embarrassed by the Bills and settled in to watch the Broncos/Raiders. She is a Broncos fan. Well, she's a fan of Emanuel Sanders anyway. She had just laid down and commented that she had finally found a comfortable position. I went on with my work and a few minutes later she said her water broke. I asked if she was sure and after seeing the sheets, we were both sure.

We had the bag mostly packed and threw in a few last minute things, fed the cats and we were off. We're not too far from the hospital so it didn't take too long. We got there and they took us up to labor & delivery. We didn't even go through triage since she was still leaking so they knew the babies were coming.

Our regular O/B wasn't on call so we had a different guy. He was nice enough, I guess. They gave me disposable scrubs to wear and took us to the operating room. Both babies were still breech so there was no chance of a vaginal delivery, but we already knew that. I wasn't allowed in while they prepped her and did the spinal, but she said it actually wasn't bad. When I finally did get to go in, they told me not to touch anything blue since it was sterile. I wasn't about to touch anything anyway. But as I sat down, I noticed music was playing. I had heard it in the hall but I didn't pay much attention since I thought it was just hospital hall music. But no, they pipe in music in the operating room! And what songs were my children delivered to, you ask? "You're the One That I Want" from Grease and "Shake, Shake, Shake...Shake Your Booty". I kid you not. It was really bizarre and hilarious, especially when the nurses started singing.

They said I could watch the operation if I wanted, but I wasn't particularly interested. Not that it grossed me out, I just didn't care to see it. It was surprisingly short. They were born a minute apart. Since she wasn't quite 36 weeks yet, they took them to the NICU. But they said they hoped it was just for transition and that they wouldn't have to stay long. See, before we got there triplets were born and the level 3 NICU was full. So if ours needed to stay, they would have had to transfer them to the hospital across town.

I'm not sure what I thought it would look like, but it was a bunch of baby beds and monitors. And ours weren't in beds near each other so I stayed with Charlotte for a while and then went to Nathan. I took some pictures and took them back to the recovery room. She was doing well and told me to go back to the babies. Both babies sugar was a little low so they fed them and watched them. A few hours later they were cleared to leave the NICU and we went back to the recovery room.

By this time it was getting late so we didn't have any visitors. The nurses showed us where everything was and basically left us. There is no central nursery and all the babies "room in". They basically slept for a while and every hour the nurses came to check on us. They told us newborn babies are sleepy and have to be woken to eat, and they did mostly sleep. Sometime around 2:00 in the morning a nurse came and gave them a bath and the next morning we were moved out of the recovery room and into a regular room.

We stayed in the hospital for 3 days and would have stayed longer if they let us. We had no idea how hard a c-section recovery would be. I would have to devote a whole other post just to everything that entails. But on New Years Eve we cleaned up and packed them up to go home. What was really cool was that it was snowing and we rarely get snow. It just doesn't happen here, but it made the trip home memorable.

It's been 4 weeks today and what we've done and learned in that time can fill a post on its own too.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Couple of Late Christmas Presents

(left) Charlotte Sue              (right) Nathan Henry
Born: 12/28/14, 4:02 PM       Born 12/28/14, 4:03 PM
5 lbs 15 oz, 18 inches           5 lbs 3 oz, 19 inches

A little earlier than expected, but they're here. Both are healthy and everyone is doing well. We spent the full 3 days allowed in the hospital but are home now. I will write more about their birth story later. Can't believe they are real and actually here.

Happy New Year, everyone!