Friday, February 27, 2009

How Did We Get This Lucky?

My mom took me on a quickie trip to Babies R Us this afternoon (wheelchair, of course) to grab a diaper bag & baby sling. I still have the hardest time picking this stuff out... I know we're getting close, but it all still seems hypothetical to me. Yes, there are 2 little dudes rolling around inside me right now, & I know in an abstract sort of way that they're growing & have fingernails & hair (we even saw baby B's hair on the ultrasound on Wednesday!), but I still can't quite imagine actually holding them, looking in their eyes, feeding them, even changing diapers seems less than concrete right now. I'm so excited to meet them, but I can't quite wrap my head around the idea that N & I will be parents. Of children. Who are coming home. Wow.... is it really real? Maybe some one should pinch me...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pregnancy as Competition

My apologies ahead of time to any one this rant might offend, it's not directed at any one person in particular, but rather an attitude I just can't stand.

Lately I've noticed alot of women seem to regard their preggo sufferings as part of some bizzarre competition. ("I've been sick for 12 weeks" "Oh yeah, well I've been sick for 15!" etc...) I know I've briefly visited this topic before when talking about the annoying relative at our baby shower, but it really drives me nuts. Especially coming from other moms-to-be who have struggled to get &/or stay pregnant. I know I'm occasionally guilty of this kind of thinking too, (for example: my rants about women who complain about their discomfort at 36 weeks, when I'm only 31 weeks & measuring 42), but I try not to give voice to that kind of thought on pregnancy boards, since I think the boards are supposed to be a place of support. A girl should be able to vent without hearing "you think you have it bad? well, listen to this..."

Even more annoying that this kind of competition is the "we had a worse time getting pregnant, so I should get more attention/sympathy/medical care." (No, no one says that explicitly, but the ideology is unfortunately all over pregnancy loss & infertility sites.) Who is to how much suffering is enough? If X has lost 4 children, and Y has "only" lost one or 2, are Y's fears & concerns any less valid than those of X? Is Y any less deserving of excellent medical care? It really irks me to hear, "Y gets more ultrasounds than I do, & I've had a worse pregnancy or had more losses or whatever..." Statements like that assume that the extra ultrasounds (or whatever) are unneccessary, & assume that Y has disclosed all her medical conditions, etc., that would explain the extra treatment. Assumptions are NEVER a good idea, & imply that Y is somehow less "worthy" of a higher level of care because she has suffered less. My other gripe about this kind of complaint is that no one is in charge of your medical care but YOU. If you don't like your doctor, or want more ultrasounds, or visits, or whatever, to a large extent it is up to YOU to make it happen. (Yes, I understand some people have financial or insurance related limitations, but then your complaints should be directed at your insurance company, not other moms.)

Everyone needs to vent sometimes, & sometimes we all need a good "why me?" rant. I'm not disputing the need to complain, I'm just annoyed at the choice of venue. Suffering & loss cannot be quantified. Pregnancy is not a competition to see who's had it worse or suffered more, & there are no prizes for being the most miserable. If you need to rant and whine about the treatment other moms recieve, find an appropriate audience. Women who have suffered loss should not be made to feel guilty by one of their own for not having "suffered enough."


i feel like i should post something of substance soon since i've only been thinking babies lately, but i am so tired i just want to sleep & sleep. i can't seem to get enough sleep no mattter what i do & i can't seem to eat enough, no matter how often i chow. i think the boys are taking every ounce of energy i can produce. i'm not complaining, just apologizing for being so boring the past week or so. & sorry too for the bikini pic yesterday... it was the only pre-preggo belly pic i could find (& one of the few shots of me in a bathing suit... altho now i'm thinking i should have taken more, if only to remember what my abs once looked like!) i swear i wasn't fishing for compliments, but thanks ladies for sending them & for giving me a good laugh over my "creepy" belly... i think it looks funny too.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Our BIG Boys!

We had our 30week growth scan today, & everything looks great. (Except my stupid cervix, which is still shortening, but not dramatically enough to call for a change in treatment. So fingers crossed that bed rest & drugs keep things moving slow enough for us to hit 35 weeks!!!)

Anyways, the important news is that the dudes are HUGE! Even allowing for the u/s margin of error, they're still big boys. They're both measuring close to 34 weeks (!!!) & while they're supposed to be around 3lbs right now, they're both way over-- baby A is at 3lbs 14 oz & baby B is at 4lbs 2oz! :) that's 8lbs of baby I'm lugging around right now-- small wonder i can't breathe & feel so tired & crappy all the time! All worth it though to give our dudes the best shot we can at being healthy babies & coming home with us.

Now for some fun with pictures:

For comparison purposes only-- this is (was) my pre-pregnancy self. (yeah, I know... we look like we're in a trimspa commercial... sorry....)

This is me at 30 weeks pg with the boys. Note the swollen face & belly leaning a bit to the left. (This is because baby A's feet & baby B's head are jammed into my left side, just under my ribs. good times!)

And from the side. Geez, I look tired in these pictures... N still looks as good as he does in the first pic (of course! lucky guy...)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Freaking Out

Lately a lot of the girls I went through the TTC/pg journey with on the boards have been having their little ones (which is great) & talking about their new mom experiences (also great). But I have to be honest... they're freaking me out!!! Every time I hear about their completely sleepless nights, hysterical babies & everyday newborn struggles, I smile or cry with them (whatever is appropriate given mom's mental state), but can't help but think-- "you only have ONE newborn!" What on God's green earth am I going to do with TWO? Will I be able to handle the guilt that comes with knowing I can't possibly meet both babies needs at the same time all the time? If a mom of 1 baby only gets 3 hrs of sleep a night, what on earth is going to happen to me? Will I be able to find 10 minutes a day to spend time with my critters? (that may seem silly to some of you, but they're an important part of my life & I don't want to neglect our non-human family either.) Will N & I ever get to have sex again? (sorry if that's a little TMI...) Will I be able to handle breastfeeding twins? Will we be able to hold on to our sanity long enough to survive 2 newborns? What if (God forbid!) they get colic?

In short, I'm freaking out....

(Yes, I know we will figure all this out & be fine eventually... we will make it work because that is our only option, but dammit-- I'm allowed to have some paranoid fears & freak out once in while, right?)

How long can you stay "neutral" without pissing people off?

So far, in our marriage, I have always taken a hands-off approach to N's family politics. His family & mine are quite different in their attitudes, & from the start I told him with his family, I'd follow his lead as long as I saw no negative impact on our kids (of course back then they were only hypothetical kids). I think it's been a good decision-- N always discusses the "why" behind his choices with me & has been really patient & understanding as I flail about & try to figure out what the h*** is going on with everyone. (Conversely, we take the same approach in reverse with my family, it's just turned out to be less of an issue since my dad got sober.) Basically, each of us supports the other's decisions regarding their "own" family as long as those choices don't impact our family-- me, N & our boys. & it's a policy that seems to be working for us.

Anyways, with N's family, we generally keep quiet & try to stay as far away as possible from any & all family drama. We listen & nod sympathetically & try to keep out of the mess. However, lately I'm beginning to feel like I'm walking a tightrope. I'm trying to be faithful to what I believe is right without offending any of N's family & it's getting increasingly difficult. It's a position N has been in for 20+ years, but it's all still new & bewildering to me. For better or worse, I tend to assume the best of people & their motives until proven otherwise, & I'm not so sure it's an attitude that works with these people. I don't want to turn into some kind of harsh, angry cynic, but I also hate hearing hurtful comments about our little family. I know nasty gossip like that typically has more to do with the person/people spreading the gossip than it does the people the gossip is about, but no matter how rationally I approach it, it still hurts to hear.

For now, I don't know that there is anything to do about the situation other than keep my head down & bite my tongue, but I have a feeling that regardless of our "We are Switzerland" policy of neutrality, at some point this will all reach a breaking point.

In other news-- we have a growth scan for the little dudes tomorrow. Fingers crossed for good growth & healthy babies!!! Oh, & N & I are finally healthy again... thank goodness! That whole flu thing was really miserable...

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I have the flu. N has the flu. This sucks... we can't even help take care of each other. I haven't broken down & called my mom yet, but it could happen. ugh....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I am an upside-down turtle.

I just tried to sit up to yell at Chunk the cat, & found that I could not move. I literally couldn't sit up. I managed to roll to my side and scrunch my way up to a semi-sitting position. By this time yelling at the cat was useless, as he had stopped eating my plants to watch me struggle instead, so I gave up & collapsed (gracefully, I'm sure) back onto the couch.

I could be really upset about this whole non-mobile thing (& I'm sure one of these days I will be) but today all I could do was laugh. In a few weeks I'm going to need a fork lift to just to get off the couch.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What NOT to Say to Parents-to-be of Twins

10. "Did you do IVF?" We hear this one ALOT. It's not that we're ashamed of any fertility treatments we did, it's that we've already told everyone we wanted to know & who we knew would be supportive, so if we haven't told you-- butt out! This is especially true if you are a stranger in the supermarket.

9. "Twins? But you look so tiny!" For paranoid moms like me, this immediately starts a worry-spiral... "are the babies ok? have I gained enough weight?" etc. Conversely, you should also never say--

8. "Geez, you're enormous!" The only appropriate comment to make to a pregnant woman about her appearance is how great she looks. period.

7. "Do twins run in your family?" Again, for strangers, this is in the none-of your-business category.

6. "Better you than me." If you're stupid enough to make this statement, then you better believe we're rude enough to agree with you-- we're glad it's not you too!

5. "You're never going to sleep again." Duh. You don't need to rub it in.

4. "I hated being a twin." Please don't share your traumatic childhood memories of matching pink jumpers with future parents of twins. We have enough to deal with without hearing about your mental problems. (& yes, someone actually said this to us.)

3. Please do not tell us about every twin you've ever met. I don't understand why this seems to be a compulsion for so many people, but we don't want to hear it. If we want advice, we'll ask.

2. Please do not touch my belly without permission. I am not a lamp, there are no genies inside, please refrain from rubbing my belly. The word "twins" is NOT an open invitation to fondle my stomach.

1. "Did you have sex twice?" I don't even know where to start with this one. (& yes, someone actually asked us this.) Apparently this person slept through high school health.

and one more, just for fun--

(to my husband) "How could you do that to your wife?" Because apparently being blessed with two perfect little boys is a punishment of some sort. Also, I have to point out that these people (oh yeah, more than one has thrown this little gem at N!) must have been in the same health class as the doink who said #1... honestly, how do you get to be 30 years old & know so little about the human reproductive system?


I woke up this morning to 2 little dudes kicking the snot out of me at 5:30am. Yup, it hurt (I never knew how hard such little critters could kick!) & yup, I'm still tired, but those guys must have known mom needed her a** kicked, because somehow I feel more like myself again. (or at least less whiny...) Bedrest be d***ned, I am NOT ready to give up. Me & this couch have at least a few weeks left in us!

To everyone who sent me a "hang on & cheer up" note yesterday, thanks guys! :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rambling Rant Re: #3

I am exhausted. Not normal exhausted, but the kind of exhausted that creeps into every ounce of your being until even rolling over becomes an incredible feat of endurance. I've been through similar bouts before, & they usually only last a week or so, but they just keep getting worse. If the contrax didn't hurt so darn bad today maybe I could nap, but it's just not working today. So instead I'm laying on the couch "resting."

All of this is fine & pretty normal for a twins pregnancy, but it's really freaking out N. I would like to "try again" in a few years (if its still possible for me to get pregnant then, of course) but N is so worried about my health he's getting less & less willing. Which is driving me nuts. I know this hasn't been an easy pregnancy, but it's multiples for Pete's sake! & I started this pregnancy pretty tiny (I only weighed about 100lbs). I think with a singleton, this would be a different situation. (Not that I blame the boys-- I don't at all & am thrilled to be having twins!!) I just want N to keep an open mind... & I have this sneaking suspicion that if we were having 2 girls, he would be more willing to think about a third. Before things got dicey with this pregnancy, he was totally on board with trying again. I get that he's worried, but I am SO sick of people worrying over me & fussing over me. I am FINE. My only worry is the boys, & if (knock wood) we can bring them into the world safe & sound, why shouldn't we stick to the plan & try for #3? Or at least consider it?

Of course, this is all hypothetical & any time N brings it up, I say we shouldn't make any permanent decisions (like him getting "snipped") until the boys are older. Then we can re-assess & make an informed choice neither of us will regret. So technically, I suppose I'm venting over nothing. He won't explicitly agree, but I don't think he'd do something that drastic without talking to me about it first either.
It's just that the amount of fear I see in N's eyes & in my family's faces every time I seem less than perfectly happy & comfortable irks me. Why do they bother worrying about me? Yeah, yeah, it's very nice of them & all, but mostly it just stresses me out. I hate to worry people, and honestly as long as the boys are healthy I will deal with whatever I have to to keep them that way.

Or maybe this whole rambling rant is just a result of my overtired mind resorting to extreme crankiness & narcissistic paranoia.

In other randomness, here's a not-so-recent pic of a not-very-pregnant me laying on the couch with Digger. Picture me much larger & this is pretty much where (& how) I spend my days.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Escape from Jail! (subtitle: "Kate Leaves the Couch")

I made N look at the wall clings with me & he humored me by helping to pick some for the boys' room. We decided on a "woodlands" & a "safari" from the wee gallery collection. & I even went ahead & ordered them! This is a big deal for us, as we've had a really hard time buying anything baby-related & have shoved all our gifts into the spare bedroom.

On top of that, we actually went baby shopping today. (Yes, me too! I got special permission to get off my couch as long as it was a brief trip & I stayed in the wheelchair. Honestly, I would have laid on a gurney just to get out of the house!) I've been kind of down about not preparing for the boys, & bummed I can't participate & be blissfully excited like a normal first-time-mom, so actually going shopping & picking out things like a baby bathtub was beyond awesome for me. 1) because I got out of the house to go somewhere other than the hospital, 2) because I actually got to help with some sort of baby-preparation activity, & 3) because we're finally reaching a point mentally & emotionally where we can shop & plan for the boys to come home. Although as I typed that last one, I got nervous... I'm so afraid something might happen, & while I know it's silly to think that anything I do could jinx us, I can't shake the fears.

I'm totally wiped out now (seriously, speaking long sentences makes me lose my breath, so I am exhausted after my brief foray away from my couch) & N put on Shrek for me to zone out to, so I'm going to lay here & try to think happy thoughts.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Nursery Fun

I know I just posted, but this is SOOOOO cool I have to share! :)

So our boys' room (when we finally out it together) will be pretty much all black & white with some spots of bright colors. (I've mentioned how much we hate pastels, right? Nothing against any one who likes them, its just not "us".) Anyways, the walls will be staying white & I wanted some cool wall clings to use as decoration & just found the most awesome stuff online here--

I am in love with the threadless & wee gallery ones.... now I just have to choose!

Woe is Michigan

I know it's bad everywhere, but seriously.. what is going on with my state?

Again, before I begin, a disclaimer: I really do love it here. The lakes are amazing, the UP is one of the most beautiful places ever, the hunting & fishing are great (this is very important to N), we have great sports teams (except for the Lions, but no one counts them anymore), & we have some amazing bits of architecture & history (important to a preservation dork like me). N & I are really committed to our home state (especially since N actually works for the state).

But here's the thing-- this state is corrupt. Not corrupt in a "we can make it work" Chicago kind of way, but in a "f*** you, what can I get out of this" non-functioning kind of way. Detroit is sinking absurdly fast. No area has had more people leave it in the past 5 years other than the neighborhoods affected by hurricane Katrina. The decimation of Michigan's biggest city is only slightly better than a massive natural disaster the size of which hasn't been seen in this country in nearly 100 yrs. Ouch. Kwame Kilpatrick (who first embarrassed us by wearing enormous diamond earrings & lime green suits on national TV after his election as mayor of Detroit) was just released from jail. Not only did the man admit to lying to federal investigators, but he stole money from an already severely impoverished city, gave plumb jobs to his high school buddies & family members, and is also under investigation for allegedly killing a hooker. (Did I mention he threw million dollar parties involving all kinds of hookers & craziness at the Manoogian mansion? Yeah...) Oh, & Kwame's mistress is also serving time for her role in a Whistle blower cover-up that deprived some of the few honest cops left in Detroit of their retirement & pay. & far too many city council members (including the council president) are under federal investigation for accepting bribes from a city contractor. You just can't make this stuff up... it's like some kind of horrid true-life soap opera.

We're also in horrible debt. We have the largest state legislature in the country. Yup, it's not California, it's not New York, it's Michigan. & they're one of the highest paid legislatures (clearly they deserve it for doing such a fabulous job.... or maybe they deserve it just for hoodwinking the citizens of the state into thinking we needed such a d***n big legislature.) We have the worst unemployment rate in the nation. People with 20 years experience line up by the hundreds for part time jobs with no benefits. We have the highest per capita violent crime rate in the nation & our governor keeps talking about further cuts to our state police. Almost every other house on our street is in foreclosure, & we’re considered to be in pretty good shape compared to other areas.

Despite all this, it seems like as long as the people at the top are getting paid, no one gives a sh**. Yeah, the governor & legislature just gave themselves a 10% pay cut (after consistently voting for pay raises prior to this), but when you make well over 6 figures, how bad is that 10% really going to hurt you? & they want to extend the cut to all state employees, most of whom make far less. When you make 50k a year & they chop off 10%, it hurts. A lot.

What gives? Why are we allowing this to happen?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Couch + Kate + Boredom + Crappy TV = Too Many Blog Posts

N is sick & knocked himself out with NyQuil around 8:30... I can't sleep (surprise, surprise) & am extremely bored. I am not enjoying watching the Red Wings lose & am some how being slowly pushed to the edge of my couch by my 8 lb. cat. Ah, the trials of a bored preggo!

Anyone else think the babies in the countdown widget are kind of bizarre looking?

Annoying Pregnant People & Other Random Thoughts

  • Most of the girls I know here are from the webmd TTCAL & PAL boards (although I do lurk on PAIF occasionally). After some removed posts today I finally figured out that we aren't allowed to talk sh** about other boards, no matter how well deserved. The posts in question dealt with the very annoying 1st tri board. (well, very annoying to anyone who is not a total novice or a total idiot when it comes to getting KU.) I think I'm beginning to see why Kim left for cafemom!! Although I don't think I can abandon webmd, as most of my favorite ladies are still there...
  • My apologies to anyone offended by this next rant, but it's a topic that's been driving me nuts lately. I get that once you pass a certain point in pregnancy, you are miserable. You are uncomfortable at the best & in pain at the worst. You're sick of being huge & swollen & grumpy, & ready to meet your kid already. I also understand that even women who struggled to get & stay pregnant need to complain. Even when you're incredibly grateful to be miserable, you're still miserable & it helps to vent. That said, I am fed up with whining about being 36 weeks pregnant (I'm picking an arbitrary date. really I mean anytime from 35 weeks on) & still pregnant. I just don't' get it-- why rush the kid? Pregnancy lasts 40 weeks for a reason. The babies need the time to bake, so let them have it dammit. I am 29 weeks with twins who are large for their age. I am measuring 40 weeks. I am in pain all the time. I have been on bedrest since November. I absolutely understand how miserable it is to be this huge & pregnant & immobile. That said, I wouldn't trade this for anything. I am beyond grateful to still be pregnant & hope to get even more pregnant & more miserable over the next 6 weeks. Why on earth after working so d***n hard to be pregnant would you want to put your little one at risk by pushing for an induction before your doctor recommends one? (I will further qualify this by saying I do not include in this category medically necessary inductions or multiples, or any other high risk category that might require a more supervised & structured birth.) I just wish these women who seem to spend all their energy in their last few weeks of pregnancy b*****ing with all they're worth take a moment to put things in perspective. Is a NICU stay for your child worth your physical comfort? Take a minute to remember how badly you wanted this pregnancy in the first place. I don't ask for zero b****ing, but for Pete's sake-- in moderation please! There are so many women who would give their right arm to be as miserable as you are right now, & so many more (like me) who are desperate to stay pregnant as long as you have, so before launching into yet another rant about how much your life sucks, look for some perspective. (or at least a different audience.)
  • I am super addicted to Top Chef, but I have to admit, I am a bit disappointed in the food this season. It's getting better, & I think the final 4 are pretty decent, but I think the show hit its high point during the season with Hung & Casey. Although Fabio & Stefan crack me up, so I can't complain too much. N is getting very annoyed with all the Top Chef knock-offs (a la Chopped, etc), but I secretly don't mind them... I just really like Iron Chef-style cooking shows.
  • My birds have spent the last hour in the hidey-tube in Cooper's house. (It's this big, plush, green tube hanging from the ceiling.) They're laying on their sides & preening & chewing on each other's toes, & generally having a fabulous time. Scout is even blowing kisses to her Coopy. Sometimes I am a little jealous of the charmed life they lead. As I typed this, Coop peeked out just long enough to peek at me & whistle to make sure I'm still here, then ducked back in. It's a bird's life! :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Our TTC Saga, Part II

No answers, lots of tests. I was terrified of losing another baby. I felt like a failure as a human. I was scared N would resent me, wonder what he'd gotten into, & leave. I cried constantly when I was alone & tried to fake cheer when I had company so I wouldn't upset anyone. Out of fear of losing N, I became obsessed with being the perfect wife.
Until one day N came home to find me sitting on the couch shredding "What to Expect When You're Expecting." I just couldn't hold together all the broken little pieces of myself anymore & let everything fall. As it turns out, it was the best thing I could have done. N slowly convinced me that he had married ME, & would be here even if it were just the two of us forever. I still have a hard time admitting to anyone else how dark things were for me, but N knows & is still here.
After that, I threw myself into adoption research. Not having a family was not an option for me, but I wasn't sure I could face losing another child. N backed all my schemes, & we went to adoption meeting after adoption meeting while we continued with the recurrent miscarriage testing.
Around this time, our ob sets up an appointment with us & tells us that there is no reason why we can't TTC again. I'm healed from the infection, neither of us carry any genetic disorders, & structurally my uterus is normal. They couldn't find anything significant enough in my blood work to explain what had happened. He also told us that our little boy was "genetically normal." I heard him say those words out loud, but in my mind what that meant was "Your baby was perfect. It was you that killed him." I know rationally in my head that it's not my fault, & yet.... I can't believe that with 100% of myself. I feel guilty. I am guilty. Thank god I believe in heaven, or I don't think I could face this.
They told us that it was likely the bleed that caused the miscarriage. They think it got so big that it detached the placenta.
Somehow, & I'm still not sure how, N convinced me to TTC one more time. This time nothing goes smoothly. I can't get my period regularly. They give me drugs to induce it. We try & try & the end of every month breaks my heart all over again. Each negative somehow feels like another loss. Not on the same scale, but it brings back all the same feelings of failure & hopelessness.
We go see our ob, & I start temping & charting religiously (I had previously avoided this in an attempt to preserve my sanity). They put me on progesterone after "O" each month & it drives me crazy. I get depressed, my moods swing all over the map. I don't know anyone tolerated my presence during all this.
We find out I'm not ovulating, & our doc prescribes clomid. Our first cycle on clomid was this past August. We had 1 follicle we thought was mature. I was hopeful, but convinced it wouldn't work right away.
& then we got pregnant.
The first test was so faint, we didn't believe it. I retested every day for a week & then we started to believe. A week later, I had horrible pains & they had me come in to rule out an ectopic. & we found twins. Twins.
We didn't tell anyone until we were 15 weeks.
We faced losing them early on due to another bleed, & again at 26 weeks when we had a preterm labor scare. I've been on bedrest since November & drugs since New Years day to stop the contractions & keep my cervix from shortening anymore. We're now approaching 29 weeks & are more grateful than I can express to get another chance to be parents. I am more in love with our little dudes than I can explain, & yet not a day goes by that I don't miss our lost little ones. As loved as these boys are & will be, there is no replacement for the children we lost.

I don't know why it all happened. I've met so many amazing women who've been down the same or similar paths, & none of us deserved what happened. We deserve happiness. We deserve to hope. But does "deserve" really have anything to do with it? I have to believe that things will somehow work out for all of us. One way or another, we will be ok. We will be parents. I have to trust the blind faith that tells me this all happened for a reason. I have to, so that I can believe that I'm bringing my sons into a world where hope exists.

Our TTC Saga, Part I

Our TTC journey started with an "oops" pregnancy. We weren't trying, we weren't married, I still lived in Chicago, & yet...... once we knew there was never a question of what we'd do. We were planning on getting married anyways, so we'd have the baby & just consider it a jump start on the life we wanted.
& then I lost the baby. I was in my apartment by myself & went into labor. N was in Michigan at the time, & my mom was in Michigan with my dad, who was going through a very painful detox at the time, so I was alone. I tried to stay stoic through the next week at work, & when I got a chance to go home again a week later, all I could do when I saw N was cry & apologize for killing his baby. We never told anyone.
Our next pregnancy came 3 months after we were married. All the statistics say that after 1 miscarriage your chances of a healthy pregnancy are as good as someone who'd never miscarried. We convinced ourselves that it was a fluke.
We saw a beautiful, strong heartbeat at 6 weeks, and a perfect wiggly baby-in-the-making at 8 weeks. I had horrible morning sickness & daydreamed about our life as parents. We were having a boy and on cloud 9. We told our families when we thought we were "safe".
& then I started bleeding. Not a lot, & not bright red. (I love how people always assume that brown spotting is "old blood" & perfectly safe. Sometimes I correct them, but mostly I say nothing. No one likes to be the harbinger of doom.)
I called our doctor's office, & an ob other than ours agreed to see us that day. At the ultrasound we saw no heartbeat. There was also a huge bleed behind the placenta, but they told me that later. I saw & heard nothing after the words "no heartbeat". They scheduled a D&C for the next day.
The D&C did not go well. I bled for 6 weeks & got sicker & sicker & was in more & more pain. Finally, after a "follow-up" appointment our ob found "retained products of conception" were left in my uterus. We tried methotrexate, which other than making me feel like sh**, did nothing. So they scheduled a 2nd D&C & found I had a uterine infection. Eventually I actually recovered this time. At least physically.
In reality, I was a completely shattered person. It's hard for me to talk about how broken I was then. The facts are much easier. We went through loads of testing. Some of it simple, some of it more invasive, & none of it gave us answers.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

To cheer myself up....

I'm sick of dwelling on the insanity of our respective siblings for now, so instead of anything of substance I'm just going to post some pics of our kitty boys that make me happy.

This is our cat Digger shortly after we got him last year. I've never met a one-person cat before, but this kitty is all mine & I love it. He's lying next to me as I type, & will be here until I leave the couch (which, since I'm on bedrest, rarely happens.) He's a CH kitty, meaning he has cerebellar hypoplaysia, which affects his balance & motor skills. Its passed to kittens by mothers who've never been vaccinated for distemper, so it usually only affects strays (like Digger & his mom). He was in a shelter in OH & was scheduled to be put down. He couldn't walk since he'd been kept caged since he was born & they thought no one would want him. A very nice lady who worked for a cat rescue stepped in to foster him, & we found him a few months later at a local adoption fair in Ann Arbor. I fell in love at first sight, but N thought we had enough animals & was hesitant. He finally convinced me to put Digger (formerly "Corky") back in his cage, & we were standing there while I plead my case. He was (& is) a very cute kitten, so a crowd had gathered behind him to oo & aw over the cute kittens, & Digger chose that moment to take a massive dump & then proceeded to kick it all over the cooing bystanders behind him. Everyone ran for cover & no one thought he was very cute any more, except for yours truly. N looked at me & said "We don't need another cat" & my response was "But he needs us." After all, who wants a poop-throwing kitty? Except us, of course. I tease N all the time that it was the poop incident that sold him on Digger, & for all his tough guy attitude, I know that's what finally got him. :) So we adopted the little guy & with a few special adjustments to his litter box, the poop throwing stopped, & I am proud to say that Digs RUNS up & down stairs & can make the jump to our couch like its nothing. The little guy just needed a chance to run & be a normal cat. His balance is still a bit wonky, but he is an awesome kitty & wonderful company to this lonely girl stuck on bedrest!

This is N & Rafter (aka Chunk). He picked up Chunky in Grand Rapids when he was looking for company to take with him to Ypsi after the academy, & chose Chunk because he was yowling & clearly miserable in the shelter (& older cats rarely gets adopted... everyone wants a kitten.) Once they got home, it took Chunk 3 days to come out from under N's bed, but as soon as he figured out he was safe, he turned into the biggest lover I've ever met. He's more dog than cat & completely spoiled. My mom is a huge contributor to this, as she seems convinced that no one can possibly hold him or carry him or feed him as well as she can. & Chunk works it-- his special talent is finding the biggest sucker in the room & moving in for some love. He's also quite fat (hence the nickname Chunk), & the cat who taught me to like cats. I'm actually allergic to them, but fell so in love with N's boys that instead of getting rid of the cats, we (or N, actually) gives them baths every week.
You can see how much they LOOOVE the baths here. This is my favorite ever pic of our 3rd kitty, Felon. Right after I took it, he made a run for it across the counter of our old apartment, drenching N. So funny!! Felon was also out of the Grand Rapids shelter, & was one of a group of barn cats that came in & would likely have been put down if N hadn't been looking for a friend for Chunk. So Felon (aka "the Fatness") joined Chunk & N in their bachelor pad until I moved in with my crazy birds & we moved the whole crew to a much nicer house. Fats is the only cat we have who isn't 100% about getting pets. Felon snuggles only on his own terms, & usually prefers a "proximity" snug (laying near you without touching you). At night, he turns unto a cuddler however, & oozes his way into your lap without you noticing until he's already ensconced & purring.
I'm sure this post has been totally tedious for anyone who's not in love with my cats, but I feel cheerier. I'll save the birds' sagas for the next time I'm feeling especially blue. :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Alcohol & Questions

Boys' update, for the folks interested in my little ones-- they are night owls. They wake me up every night, & there is no option to go back to sleep until they chill, because they now kick pretty hard & seem to really like playing kung fu babies at 4am. It's cool, I can deal with anything they need to do to grow & be healthy, but geez am I tired. Between the battle babies, peeing every hour & horrible pain every time I move that's caused by all the craziness going on with my pelvic bones (this has a name, I just can't seem to remember it), I am exhausted. It's ok though-- grow boys grow!!

So here's whats really weighing on my mind today... is there something inherently damaging about being the child of an alcoholic? (or any addict, I suppose. Alcohol is just the substance I know best.) I have to preface this by saying that the alcoholics I'm discussing are all wonderful, loving people & are currently sober. They were "good providers" & never let their drinking interfere with their ability to take care of their family's physical needs. They were present in our lives, camping, soccer games, etc. That said, they (& we) were also subject to all the rages, lightning quick shifts in mood & casual cruelty that seem to be a common thread among alcoholics.
My brother & I are children of an alcoholic father, N & his sisters are the children of alcoholic parents... how much damage did it do? Can you outgrow it/ move past it? Does it explain what's wrong with all of us, or is that a cop-out, an excuse for adult children unhappy with some aspect of their lives?
I feel like N & I have moved on; we have good relationships with our parents & have stayed close to both families. We support their sobriety & do our best to help each other cope with the aftershocks (which get further & further apart, but never really disappear). I've tried to let go of blame (an apology from my dad helped allot with that) & move forward with the life I want. But I still wonder if somehow I'm "damaged goods." I know I can forgive, but I also know I'll never be able to forget. So knowing that, can you ever really get beyond your past?
Why do people react so differently to growing up in the same environment? Why did N & I stay & fight & forgive? (I won't presume to speak for N, but I know why I did, I just have to ask the question anyways.) Why did our siblings take such drastically different paths? Does it hurt some kids more than others? Are they determined to hurt the people who hurt them until it all seems "fair"?

I know this is a lot of questions & not allot of answers, but I've been watching people we love struggle & lash out recently, & I can't help but wonder if, in our otherwise thoroughly normal lives, this is what made the difference. Then again, what family doesn't have a few skeletons in the closet, right? Everyone has their own demons...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Drama at the Babies' Shower

You'd think a girl stuck on bedrest 24/7 couldn't find much drama in her life, but it was an eventful weekend, so I figure I'll cover it all here. (& honestly, what else do I have to do?)

Our Shower
We had our babies shower on Saturday. It looked great-- my mom is a martha stewart (except cool) & did an amazing job with decorations, & my best friend & her mom always go overboard as well, so the place looked like it had been professionally decorated, the food was great, & the games were actually really cute (& the prizes were great-- they really did a wonderful job planning it all!) More people than we thought showed up, I got to see my friend Laura, (who I haven't seen in ages), & her adorable son Dominick, tease my cousin about getting her nose pierced, & generally catch up in family gossip, which was wonderful! Being stuck in the house constantly can leave you feeling very isolated, even with phone calls & visits, so I loved being out of the house. People were also very generous with gifts, which we're grateful for.

(Warning, here comes a vent that might make me sound like an ungrateful brat!) BUT-- many people veered way off our registry because they thought they "knew better". This drives me nuts. The reason we didn't register for bath towels & washcloths, for instance, is because we already have a ton that we received as gifts prior to the shower. Some one noticed this glaring absence on our registry, & felt it necessary to get us a ton MORE towels & washcloths. Honestly, how often do you wash a baby? & they didn't include a gift receipt, so we'll have to wing it & try to return them without one. We got zero crib sheets, no changing pads, no bouncy seats (we've been told over & over these are a must for twins), & the list could go on. Instead of what we registered for, we got scads of newborn size white & pastel onesies. yes, i realize we'll need allot of these, but we have close to 50. No joke. Seriously people, we do have a washing machine & are aware how to use it-- 50 onesies seems a bit excessive. (Again, this is something we did not register for, as N & I prefer to pick out our own baby clothes, since our tastes run more towards skulls & crossbones & "I heart boobies" shirts than Winnie the Pooh & pastels.) We're grateful for the gifts, but PLEASE-- stick to the d**** registry & include a gift receipt!!!! Poor N has a bunch of returns to make now (in addition to the stuff off the "T" registry that we never wanted in the first place) & we still need about $900 worth of baby gear. (This doesn't include the stroller we want & still need, either!)
Neither N nor my mom believed it was that much, but I am a compulsive list maker & did a spreadsheet (I know, I'm a super bored dork!) listing what we got, what we need & the cost, & it adds up to just over $900 worth of stuff. N even checked my math. & its essential stuff that we're missing. sigh.... I know babies are expensive, & twins are even more so, but it just makes me all the more frustrated that N's family can't seem to stick to a registry to save their lives. They did the same thing at our wedding & it drove me nuts then too.

The other big annoyance at our shower was that since I was stuck on a couch the whole time, I was an easy target for the most annoying relatives we have. Don't get me wrong, I really do like these people! They are kind & funny & great... in SMALL doses. One relative in particular parked near me & kept up a never-ending stream of "mommy" advice. I hate unasked for advice. Honestly, the best advice we've gotten was from a dad of twins who works with N, who told us "Take all the advice you get & throw it away. You'll figure out what works best for you guys on your own." I almost mentioned this to the overly-helpful relative, but bit my tongue, since I knew I was cranky & I really didn't want to hurt the poor lady's feelings.
I was feeling less generous later on, when my aunt came to ask how I was "really" doing (we didn't tell everyone about our preterm labor scares & ongoing medical saga). Anyways, I barely open my mouth, when the same relative jumps in with how awful her pregnancies were. Excuse me, but she had singletons. & only dealt with high blood pressure at the very end, when it was safe to deliver. & was never on bedrest. & no one had asked about her in the first place! Pregnancy complications are NOT a competition, & if they were I would gladly let her win. It's terrifying, & no one who had ever actually faced the fact that their children could be born at 26 weeks would "brag" about their difficult pregnancy. At that point I was so fed up, I abandoned the couch & ran for it (ok, waddled for it, but same concept). Poor N then got all worried about me being up & the aunts kept giving me chairs, but every time I sat down, the same annoying relative would reappear & I'd run for it again. Good times!

I'm making the shower sound worse than it was... it was actually very nice & we got great stuff & it was wonderful to see the family, I just had to b**** about the annoying parts & get it out of my system.

Now on we go to the family drama--
N's folks had told us they weren't coming down for the shower. They live up north & have horses, so they can't just run off whenever they feel like it, & in all honesty, his mom (stepmom, but raised him) doesn't like parties or leaving her farm. So they almost never come down here, & we did not expect to see them this weekend. Needless to say, when they walked in, we were shocked (I actually burst into tears, because I knew how much it meant to N to see his dad). It was adorable to see his dad playing with all the little ones running around at the shower, & to see how excited he got to hear about how well our boys are doing. His mom was also happy to hear about the boys, but was obviously feeling out of place & awkward at the party. It's just how she is, & doesn't worry me anymore, but kind of miffed my mom.
Anyways, the real drama is that N's little sister is abandoning her school, her friends & her family to run off to Wyoming with her 30-something boyfriend. We all thought it was a vacation to Wyoming, but apparently its a permanent move & she didn't bother to tell her folks until she was already on the road there. They're also engaged (an announcement they still haven't made to the family) & it looks like they're planning to elope. We have no idea whether the boyfriend is taking his 9 yr. old daughter with them, if little sister is going back to school, or if either of them has a job. She doesn't have the best track record with boyfriends, & I know this decision scares the crap out of N & his dad. Her mom can't stand the boyfriend, & is heartbroken. After the loss of N's older sister (she abandoned the family 2 years ago at the wishes of an abusive husband no one could separate her from), the prospect of going through that loss again with their other daughter is devastating. I have no idea what's going to happen with the situation, but I feel like my role in this is to support N. My heart breaks for his folks, & I hope for the best for little sister, but I think all I can & should do is support my husband, so that's my plan.

After being up all weekend, my hips & "pelvic girdle", as my doc would call it, are super sore. So I'm spending the day being perfectly still & bumming on the computer with Digger the cat as company. I think that's all the news I have, & I can't believe what a long post this was! Feels better to have vented though, even to a blog.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows...

I am feeling just about ecstatically happy today. Like Kim said in her post under "Cheaters"
we hit 28 weeks this week!!! 28!!! 2 weeks ago we didn't think we'd be able to make it this far, & I feel so blessed to still be pregnant with 2 healthy little dudes. I haven't had any cervical changes in a week and a half, & the boys are doing wonderfully-- I couldn't be happier. I'm still having contractions, but the new drugs really seem to be helping, so we're counting our blessings & hoping for the best!
I even got ok'd to attend our shower tomorrow, which I am really looking forward to. I don't know if I'll get a chance to do this whole pregnancy thing again (although I would LOVE to), so I want to make the most of this one. Plus, it's a great time to celebrate-- we reached a huge milestone this week, & I am so excited to share that with our family & best buds.
Nolan is out getting shelving for the boys' closet right now.... it's all just starting to feel very real. Like in a few weeks (hopefully not too soon) we really will be bringing 2 little boys home... I'm think I'm still in disbelief. I try to picture them all curled up inside me, & can barely imagine actually holding these little guys. I love watching Nolan get ready for them to come home & can't stop daydreaming about him as a dad. I know I'm pry romanticizing the whole newborn experience, but like I said, we may only get one shot at this, so I'm going to enjoy my little fantasies as long as I can!! Besides, as ready as we can make ourselves, I'm sure there is no way you can ever really be prepared, right?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

25 Random Things

Yup, I snagged this from facebook.

1. i never knew how much it was possible to love another person until i met my husband. i've always considered myself independent, but i honestly don't even like to travel without him. life is just that much poorer when he's not around.

2. despite nolan's unwavering support, i still feel guilty for leaving the "big money" job.

3. i "fell in love" for the first time in italy.

4. i have a very hard time letting go. I HAVE to get to the bottom of things & understand the "why" behind everything, even things that are none of my business. this drives my very patient husband nuts.

5. i think loyalty is the single most important quality in a friends & family, & for me, its absence is the only unforgivable sin.

6. i am a better catholic than i usually admit to being.

7. after we lost our second pregnancy, i almost lost my mind. there is no approrpiate time period for grieving the loss of a child. even now, expecting 2 beautiful boys, i still miss our lost little ones. it has made me incredibly sensitive to issues of infertiltiy & loss, & i am consistently amazed by kindness from people we didn't expect it from, as well as the casual cruelty we've faced at the hands of people we thought were good friends.

8. along the same lines as #7, people who complain about being pregnant when they've had notihng but peaceful, easy pregnancies really piss me off.

9. i love birds. i think they are totally amazing creatures & love sharing my house with them. i'm also a devoted bird watcher. weird, right?

10. i am actually looking forward to being a stay at home mom while i finish school. (for the 3rd time. i just like to collect degrees.)

11. i had a fantastic time in law school. i didn't need to study much to do well, & spent most of the time drunk. this should have been a sign to me that law was not the right profession for me.

12. i regret every single guy i dated prior to 2002.

13. i am a board game junkie. nolan & i actually think its fun to stay in & play scrabble.

14. when it comes to my own life, i have a hard time with secrets. i believe that if you're living your life well, there is no need to hide anything from anyone.

15. living in italy taught me that i really was a capable & competent human being.

16. it's taken me a long time to learn that i can't compensate for holes in anyone's life by being the perfect daughter, sister, or friend.

17. i absolutely adore having a big extended family & wish i got to see them more.

18. i miss my brother & it makes me sad that my sons won't see him much.

19. i don't believe that love strikes twice & i know that my husband is the only person in the world for me.

20. my best friends all live in difference states.

21. i worry about whether i'll able to be a good mom & a good wife & a good friend all at the same time.

22. i love mma (mixed martial arts, for those who don't know) & it drives me nuts that guys assume i don't understand the sport bc i'm not a dude.

23. substance abuse has touched our family too many times, & the aftershocks still have the power to chip away pieces of my heart.

24. i actually have a blog. (another thing i swore i'd never do. amazing what months of boredom will do to a girl's resolve.)

25. i would wear t-shirts, jeans & flipflops every day if it were possbile.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Since our ob said if he'll pry deliver us by 37 weeks (April 11) if that's really the case & we make it to term, we only have 65 days at the most til we meet the boys!!!! :D

On a non-baby topic, I am really frustrated with all the BS surrounding the GSP- Penn fight last weekend. (which we couldn't watch because Comcast sucks balls!) Georges legitimately defended his belt & did it soundly, & is arguable the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, & all of that is tainted now because of the Vaseline issue. Supposedly his trainer rubbed Vaseline on Georges' back between rounds. What it looks like in the photos is that the guy greased his face & then started rubbing Georges' shoulders-- residual Vaseline at best, right? But Chuck Liddell saw the Vaseline (allegedly) from the audience, alerted the commission guy who was there, who went up & toweled off Georges. End of story, or at least it should be. The trainer is being disciplined, which is the right thing to do, now let's all let it go!! Rashad Evans didn't have nearly this much fuss when his trainer was accused of doing the same thing. But noooo, BJ has to file a complaint & claim the copious amounts of Vaseline are why he lost the fight, when in fact he clearly just got his ass beat. Should the Vaseline have happened? No, of course not. Is it why GSP won? No, of course not. Is BJ looking for an excuse? Yes, of course. (Don't get me wrong-- I think Penn is a great fighter & loads of fun to watch. But he is a whiner & a big mouth & always has been.) I guess what it comes down to is that I hate excuses, & don't like to see our heroes trashed. A la Obama & his atrocious cabinet choices-- seriously, what does his vetting process involve? Are they looking for people who owe at least $100K in taxes? sigh.... I really like this President & I don't want to see him trashed any more than I want to see our favorite fighter dragged through the mud. Keep it clean, guys!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Registry drama resolved

I think (at least I hope) our registry issues with "T" have been resolved. My dad went back to do battle with the store manager again today, & once again, the manager refused to acknowledge any mistakes by the store. (At this point, I'd like to remind everyone of the milk that appeared on my registry.) Long story short, my dad is super stubborn, can be incredibly obnoxious (especially when he's in a rightious battle for "what is right") & eventually made the manager bend. So we got a written statement signed by the store manager saying that we can return EVERYTHING, including the crap I removed frm the registry before I knew that wasn't allowed, ("T" will only allow you to return things that are actualy on your registry, & will only accept a very limited amount of items to be returned in the first place. This is something they do not tell you before you register.) & he got us $31 in gift certificates. I personally feel this should have been much higher, but it's better than nothing (& probably not entirely unfair). Either way, my dad rocks & "T" totally blows. At least it's over though, right?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Weights, Boobs & Titles

Second growth scan at our perinatologist's today-- the boys are 2lbs 10oz each!!! No cervical changes this visit, boys are healthy, life is good!! Both of them were snoozing, they're both transverse, laying head to feet (probably so they can kick each other easier). Baby B still wouldn't show us his face. We got the top of his head, more butt & business shots, & he finally totally rolled over so we were looking at his back. Little stinker. A gave us his usual sleeping pose & some really cute pics of his profile. They aren't even born yet, & I already think they're the coolest kids. I'm probably going to be one of those awful moms who thinks everything her kids do is the best thing ever...

We also had our breastfeeding class today, with a very nice la leche league lady. She's also a lactation consultant at the hospital where we plan to deliver. I'm sure we'll get the info all over again at the hospital, but being the control freak I am, I like to feel prepared. Besides, I think it was good for N to hear it all. I really want him to be as involved as possible, so hopefully the classes will make him feel more confident too.

On a non-baby topic, I thought an explanation for this blog's title might be in order... everytime I ask N has had a less than stellar day & I ask how his day was, he always answers "Another day, living the dream." It's his stock answer for crappy days. So even though he's totally sarcastic when he says it, I'm using it as a reminder to myself that even when things suck, we really are pretty damn close to living our dream. I know, it's cheesy. Deal with it.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

My first foray into blogging.... registry woes!

Since I've already spent over a month on bedrest & the prospect of more fun-filled months on the couch is looming ahead of me, a blog seemed like a fun way to pass the time. I'm sure more of our story will trickle out as I keep writing, but for now I'm writing about the thing that is most occupying my mind today & that is.... our stupid registry at a certain store whose symbol is a big red bull's eye.
To start with, registering for stuff is not my favorite thing... yes, it's totally necessary & definitely needed, but I just find it super annoying. (Although to be fair, I do love the gifts....) Anyways, N (the hubby) & I registered for a few thing at this store (let's call it "T") strictly because some of his family live way in the boonies & that is the closest thing to them. When we try to register in-store, way back when, the gun didn't work, nothing was available & the customer service was just generally crappy. I get grounded to bedrest soon after this, so I end up registering online. As soon as the registry goes up, mysterious things start appearing on it. PINK things. Girlie things. Things we did NOT register for. What's worse, our guests (all of whom have been told we're having 2 BOYS) start buying things in pink. Even worse, they're getting 2 of everything. Did I mention this stuff is PINK? Sigh....
Since I can't get off my duff to go yell at "T" personally, I send my mom to sort out the mess. "T" insists that I have somehow made a mistake & actually registered for all this crap, & tell her that I have to leave the pink things on my registry because if they come off, we won't be able to return the stuff. So we're suppose to continue to let our confused guests buy pink stuff we don't want? Um, NO. I get on the phone, & after some wrangling, get them to agree to let us return the stuff even after it has been removed from the registry. being optimistic, I think this is the end of the drama.
Fast forward to today, when I go to spy on our registries & discover that MORE crap has been added to our registry at "T". Today, it's bibs galore (seriously, like 40 bibs!) & several gallons of milk & assorted dairy products. Yup, DAIRY PRODUCTS. I am furious, & this time I send my dad to do battle with the evil "T". (N is working, investigating an arson, & I am stuck on the couch. yay bedrest!)
My dad is generally a nice dude, but can get very obnoxious & is great at getting his way in situations like this. He spends several hours there, during which time they try to get him to talk to technical service reps in India. He hands the phone to a "T" employee, who gets so frustrated he hangs up on his own tech support. At this point, the "T" reps finally admit that no one would ever register for dairy products & offer my dad $6 in gift coupons. SIX dollars. woo-hoo. They tell my dad they aren't authorized to offer us any more than that. My poor dad finally gets fed up & makes an appointment to meet with the store manager tomorrow.
Hopefully it will be handled tomorrow, but this has been incredibly annoying & if anyone shows up at our shower with gallons of milk, they will be in serious danger of receiving a milk shower before they leave!