Thursday, August 31, 2006

It's the small things

I was lying awake in bed this morning thinking about the boys. It occured to me that there is a good chance that they could be here by Christmas time since twins don't usually go full term. I started to think how wonderful it would be if they were here by the holidays and then I thought of something made my heart soar. The stockings! I was so excited and happy with tears that I immediately called Kevin at work to remind him of the stockings. He shared my excitement and knew immediately what I was going to say before it even came out.

A few years ago, before we decided to start our family we bought Christmas stockings for ourselves. We returned to the store a few days later to buy 2 more stockings so that all 4 stockings would match when we had our family. Unfortunately when we were unable to become pregnant the stockings took on a different meaning. They became a cruel reminder each Christmas that we didn't have the family we had anticipated and didn't know if we ever would. I guess I didn't realize what affect longingly looking at those stockings each year, only to put them back in the box, has had on me until this morning. It may seem so insignificant to others but to us it means so, so much.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sianara Evangeline

I knew after hearing that we were expecting twins that things were going to be very expensive, BUT I don't think anything could prepare us for exactly how expensive things are going to get. Maybe it's because I'm still in sticker shock from our furniture purchase on Sunday but OH MY GOD! We purchased 2 cribs that convert into double beds, 2 five drawer dressers and 2 night stands and it cost a ton. Granted we did buy quality furniture that will last these boys till they move out, we just didn't see the point in purchasing 2 cribs that are only used for 2 years and then have to turn around and buy 2 new beds but still! That just seems insane! Here is what we got for that small fortune. It's just money right? I keep trying to convince myself of that.

We accomplished quite a bit this weekend. Not only do the boogers have their furniture but now they have names as well.....we think. We had previously picked out names for the twins if they were a boy and girl. We weren't sure if we'd be able to find another boy name to match the one we already had but I think we successfully did. Since the big secret is already out and everyone knows they are boys we will be keeping their names under lock and key. But if its any consolation if one of the babies had been a girl her name would have been Evangeline.

Friday, August 25, 2006

I've been seriously outnumbered

To save our children from future embarassment we won't reveal whose little dinky this is between the legs.
Baby B's profile
Baby A's (the thumbsucker) profile

Well, I guessed it right all along. I knew there was no way that Kevin could possibly produce anything remotely feminine. With his all consuming obbsession with sports and complete disregard for style and appearances it had to be TWO BOYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry Kevin my dreams of pig tails, french braids, and pink dresses have been squashed so I couldn't resist. In all seriousness both of us are thrilled. There was no mistaking that either baby was a boy, they had their goods out there for all to see.

More importantly though they both did great on the Level II ultrasound. This was the u/s where they measure the lengths of their extremities, count fingers and toes, check all of their vital organs, detail the structure of the heart, check for down syndrome, spina bifida, cleft palate, etc. Both boys looked wonderful and our dr. said he is very happy with their progress. They never stopped moving the whole time and one even sucked his thumb. We couldn't be happier!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Our Journey

There were two main reasons to start this blog. The first being we wanted to document every milestone in this pregnancy as a keepsake for our future children so that they would know how much they were loved and desperately wanted by us and the second was we were so estatic to finally be pregnant we wanted to shout it from the rooftops. I had kept a private blog during the almost 2 years of hell we endured trying to become pregnant so it seemed a natural progression to leave the pain and bitterness aside and replace it with a shall we say more optimistic outlook on the journey we have been on. I promised myself this blog would be a happy blog and that by creating it I could heal from the pain of our past. But on the eve of our "big" ultrasound I have realized that the pain still exsists and doesn't just disapear in light of all the recent wonderful events. It has engrained itself forever and has changed who we are as people and as a couple.

I have spent the better part of that two years desperately trying to keep our struggle with infertility private which I am finding out I failed at misearably. I suppose it is only natural when you confide in a VERY small inner circle of people that eventually that circle widens because it is human nature to assume one is doing no harm to another if they only tell just this one person. And then of course that one person tells another person which results in people,whom I never intended to share our struggles with, congratulating us and then letting us know they know how hard it was for us to get pregnant. I must admit it is hurtful that those whom we trusted shared our business with others but I must also admit that I am confident that I have violated others trust in the past as well. So with that being said this post isn't meant to crucify anyone but rather an opportunity for Kevin and I to tell our own story on our own terms.

Kevin and I always knew we wanted children. We've been discussing how many, what they'll look like, what their names will be since we met as teenagers. It was always important to us that we prepare for our children by making sure we were financially ready to take care of them in the way we wanted to. Almost two years ago we decided we had achieved the goals we had set financially and were ready to start our family. After some time we began to realize that there was a problem. When I was 19 I was diagnosed with mild endometriosis and I started to suspect that possibly that was why we weren't getting pregnant. Endometriosis is hereditary in my family and my mother suffered from it as well. It took her 4 years to become pregnant with me and she had to have a hysterectomy in her 20's because of it. I had all the classic symptoms so when I made a dr.'s appointment to discuss it with my dr. I was surprised yet relieved that he convinced me nothing was wrong. But he was wrong and unfortunately we didn't find that out till several months later.

After a year of trying I went to see a specialist who within about 30 seconds of my exam told me I had a huge mass on my right side and he was 99% sure that endometriosis was why we couldn't get pregnant. An ultrsound revealed a baseball size cyst and 5-7 smaller ones on both of my ovaries. I had emergency surgery a few days later and woke up from the anthestic to hear the worst possible news. I had advanced Stage 4 endometriosis and getting pregnant would be virtually impossible.

One who has never experienced infertility cannot even begin to imagine what that feels like. Suddenly your body becomes a stranger to you and lose all trust in its ability. Your relationship with God changes, I suppose for some it grows stronger but for myself it was weakened. After all I had done all that God and the church had asked of me. I didn't believe in sex before marriage, I never took birth control, went to church religously and this was the big payoff? What a farce, I felt so foolish. All of things I thought were so important and mattered so much didn't mean a damn at this point. Not only was my dream of being a mother being taken away but now I was responsible for crushing Kevin's dreams as well. Not to mention his parent's dreams of becoming grandparents. The strain of carrying around that burden crushed my spirit. I became a different person, suddenly a life filled with endless opportunities turned dark. I could see no future if there were no children. I think this feeling is best expressed from another infertility blog that I came across, she speaks of the feelings of isolation that ran so deeply in my heart.

"When I'm at home, I can manage fairly well. I can keep the television turned off, and I can lose myself in a game of Rummy with my husband, or in the fabrics I'm considering for the window treatments in our master bath. I can make the executive decision to turn the space that was to be our nursery into a guest room.
But outside -- beyond the stronghold of the quiet walls I am working to construct -- the earth is loud with a joy I cannot have. In this, the "normal" world, no one is sick. Women have the children they want, when they want, and under the circumstances they want. Mostly, when I'm out in this world, I don't feel like a part of it. Instead, it orbits around me, placing me at its axis in a way I never wanted."

In the months following my surgery I underwent aggressive treatment with horomone drugs to try and combat the endometriosis that had attacked my entire pelvis. Every part of my lower extremity was affected, bladder, ovaries, tubes, uterus, bowels, ect. After a second surgery we found out the treatment had all been in vain. 3 months later the endo and cysts had returned and were spreading like wildfire. That surgery required the removal of my right ovary and tube. We went to more dr.'s to find out more bad news. I wrote about it in my former blog:

"So it isn't bad enough that I have stage 4 endometriosis and was stripped of an ovary and tube. Now on top of that I was told today by Dr. A that I tested postive for some autoimmune disorders. But not to worry too much...they only MIGHT cause miscarriage and implantation failure. And on the bright side the ones I tested postitive for are the least serious of the autoimmune disorders. Lucky me. I suppose I should be grateful, well fuck that. I'm not grateful. I don't care if it could be worse. To me this whole situation couldn't get any worse."

One phrase I've come to despise over the past 2 years is "everything happens for a reason". I've pondered over what the reason could be that I've had to suffer physically and emotionally over the past 2 years while irresponsible teens get pregnant everyday. Perhaps their situation "happened for a reason". After the surgeries and an additional diagnosis that complicated matters even more, Kevin and I were able to concieve with the help of our doctors. I don't care to relive or chronicle that part of the journey as I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy. It is a part of my life I'd soon rather forget.

Despite my cynical views I do always try to remember that there are others who have been dealt far worse hands than the two of us have. In talking with others that silently suffer through infertilty I know that we were not alone. We are some of the lucky few that were able to escape its hold. We are extremeley grateful that we had diligent dr.'s that didn't give up on our situation and gave us hope when we thought there wasn't any. So for now this story has a happy ending but I still struggle with the fear that at any moment the rug could be pulled out from underneath us. There is nothing about this pregnancy that we take for granted. And for all those in our lives that are experiencing the same struggle we did please know you are not alone.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The fun stuff

Our latest "fun stuff" from the McBride Family

Today was my last day of babysitting this summer for my nephew, Grant, and my niece, Claire. I have babysat for them during the summer months for the past few years. As a special thank you the kids, my sister Tina and our brother-in-law Kevin got us these great gifts! There are 2 little froggy hooded towels for bathtime, 2 super soft blankets, and two teddy bears that have Grant and Claire's voices recorded on them so when you squeeze them they tell the twins they love them. So a huge thanks to the McBride Family for sharing in our excitement! Love you guys!

Only 2 more days till the big ultrasound!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Dad To Be...Warning:Sappy Post!!!!

Kevin, Claire and Grant constructing Hillbilly Horseshoes.

I have to brag, I think Kevin is going to be an outstanding father! Yesterday Grant and Claire came over for a visit while their parents were getting crazy in Vegas on a well deserved vacation. The kids helped Kevin construct Hillbilly Horseshoes. It's some wierd game with golfballs on a string that one hopes to wrap around the plastic pipe structure seen above. The kids loved every minute of it and really enjoyed the time spent with their uncle. This was just another example, one of many, of how great of a dad Kevin will be to our twins. I can't wait to see him carrying around two little babies, one in each arm. And one thing I anticipate the most is the excitement and laughter they'll have everyday when their daddy comes home from work and walks through the door. Can you tell I think the world of my husband?

On a less emotional/hormonal note, there isn't much to report about the pregnancy this past week. Things have been most uneventful and that is exactly how we hope to keep them. I'm impatiently waiting for those infamous "butterflies" in your stomach or just an all out kick but so far nada. No movement to report.

Something to look forward to: Only one week left till the big ultrasound!
Something to run from: Only 11 days left till I turn into a pumpkin and have to go back to the real world.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I got a pregnancy tatoo!

So not too long ago Jared (my cousin) said to me "I hope you don't get one of those line things down your stomach, those are so wierd." I emphatically agreed thinking foolishly I might be one of the few lucky ones to escape it. Well no sooner than a couple of days later I began to notice the slightest of lines on my stomach but I quickly dismissed it as being "all in my head".
Well there is no denying it now, the linea negra has made its mark. It's been confirmed by at least 3 people. It's almost like a pregnancy tatoo. Another oddly strange yet endearing part of pregnancy. Kevin dutifully tells me how beautiful I am daily so that helps as my body starts to become unrecognizable and sends me into a temporary panic.

Well one week down and 2 more long weeks to go till the gender ultrasound. I keep reminding myself that it is entirely possible that the babies won't cooperate and we might not get to find out on the 25th what they are. I'll be so bummed but worse case scenario we'll have another routine ultrasound 2 weeks later and find out then. As soon as we find out the shopping spree begins!

I already started to do some preliminary registering on-line for the no-brainer stuff but I'll definitely need to call on my sis's experience to help me with the things I would never think of. We'll be ordering the furniture once we know as well. That's a big bill I'm not looking forward to! 2 cribs that convert into double beds, 2 matresses, 2 dressers, 2 hutches,
2 nightstands....yikes! Not to mention 2 carseats, 2 bassinets, 2 high chairs, okay I'll stop now, I feel another temporary panic coming on again. Kevin says the twins need to arrive by Dec. 31st then their tax credit will pay part of their own way. And I thought I was the cheap one in the relationship!

The good news is that it will all be counter-acted with two toothless smiles among many other double blessings I know they will bring!

Friday, August 04, 2006

15 week update

Books from Jason and Heather

Onsies from Tracey and Scott

Twins Magazine subscription and books from Grandma and Grandpa Edgar

15 week belly picture

As you can see we recieved more generous gifts from family and friends. Kevin and I appreciate it very much! I already had to clear out the closet of our stuff in the babies new nursery to replace it with their stuff.

Today's Dr.'s appointment went great! We talked about the risks of pre-term labor with twins and the Dr. suggested I start a weekly injection of hydroxyprogesterone. It is the same form of progesterone that the placenta already makes on its own and studies have proven that it can reduce your chances for pre-term labor by 30-40 percent and there are no side effects so we agreed.

We also discussed the possibililty of bedrest and the dr. says it is inevitable. I will probably stop working around 24 weeks (Beginning of October) depending on how things go and a majority of my day will be spent on the couch. I gained 6 lbs. in the past 2 weeks, the dr. thought it was a nurse's mistake on my chart, but it wasn't! My total weight gain so far has been about 18 lbs and he said that is great.

After discussing all our concerns the dr. gave us an ultrasound. He said both babies are the correct size and the amount of fluid surrounding them is good. In his words everything looked "perfect" so we were very happy to hear that.

The big day to find out what sexes the babies are will be on August 25th. So the 3 week countdown begins.....we can't wait!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Bladders, baby showers and Halloween

Not too much happening lately. My nausea is starting to subside but I still have days that border miserable. Sleeping is starting to become a challenge, apparently these babies save up their contribution to my bladder for evening hours. I make it a point of not drinking after 8 p.m. so when I'm up every other hour I know it is not from me but instead from these two. Sorry if that's TMI for anyone, but my mother was right once you become pregnant all modesty goes out the window. Our next appointment is on Friday and I'm excited for that. Seems wierd to be excited about a dr. appointment but the reassurance I feel from seeing the babies or hearing their heartbeats helps to keep me relaxed about things.

Two weekends ago we went with our mothers to place a deposit on a venue for the shower. I didn't think planning a shower would be necessary so soon but when talking to other pregnant friends I found out that many places they called were already booked for November. And since it is around the holidays there was even more reason to be on the ball. We ended up choosing Greystone Golfcourse and Banquet Center . It is located on 32 mile road and Mound in Romeo. Fall, particulary Halloween, is my favorite time of the year so I'm excited that it will be at a place where all the fall colors can be seen.

The shower will be on Sunday, October 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the menu is a brunch buffet. I'm personally promising everyone that we won't torture you for that long. 4 hours of baby shower games and gifts is too much to ask of anyone. I promise to open gifts in record speed, although I'll admit it would be fun to torture Kevin by doing it slowly.

More to come after Friday's appointment. Keeping our fingers crossed that all will be well.