Thursday, December 31, 2009

31 Weeks

K is still doing amazingly well! Today at 31wks she's measuring 43wks. Her blood pressure is great and swelling minimal. Both boys had heart rates in the 140s and appear to be growing based on K's ever expanding belly. We didn't have an ultrasound today, so we'll have to wait until 1/15 to see them.

K has been having contractions periodically, but mainly seem to come after she's been standing all day at work. Even these are few and far between and don't seem to be anything to worry about. Yesterday was the first day that K was a little worried about contractions. Liam is still breech and kicks down on her cervix hard. While kicking down yesterday he was causing some painful contractions that spread upwards from the cervix. Fortunately Liam settled down and so did the contractions. The ob said that this often happens when the uterus becomes irritable from the direct kicks to the cervix and didn't seem slightly phased by this news. He did mention that he can probably schedule the c-section for 38wks, which would be 2/19, but doesn't seem too optimistic that she'll get to that point because according to the ob over half of of twins are born by 37wks.

The ob does feel quite confident that the boys won't come before 34wks, which is encouraging to us! If they do come before 34wks, K will be transferred to a different hospital with a Level III NICU. I asked to have her transferred to a different hospital than the one where I delivered Myles--too many memories. I think the NICU care Myles received was wonderful, but I just don't want to go back to that place. The ob and K understood and were fine with that. We're feeling confident that this won't even be an issue because these boys are going to bake for at least 3 more weeks! Keep your fingers crossed for us! It seems surreal for me to think that in a month I could have two babies! WOW, WOW, WOW!! It makes me teary to even think about. K you are AMAZING and my angel on Earth!

Happy New Year's Eve! I can't wait for 2010 ... it's going to be an AMAZING year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Nursery

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lactation Induction: Pumping Day 1

Yesterday I picked up the Med.ela Symphony pump I'm renting from one of the local hospitals. The lactation consultant who helped me was fabulous! She was thrilled to hear that I was able to get Domperi.done and that I'm using it to induce lactation. Apparently it's difficult to get a prescription for the meds from local docs, so she said to consider myself lucky. We discussed my previous experience pumping and she mentioned that new research suggests that PCOS causes low milk supply, which they think has something to do with failure to develop mammary tissue early on in development, but the supply troubles can range from mild to severe. The lactation consultant palpated my breasts to feel for mammary tissue and she indicated that I have a "good amount", so she doesn't think that should be an issue. However, I didn't produce a ton of milk while I was pumping for Myles, but there were so many factors (prematurity, magnesium sulfate, preeclampsia) that could've affected my supply. I'm going into this realistically and am aware that I will likely have to supplement with formula, particularly because I'll be feeding two, but I'm going to do my best to produce what I can.

When I pumped for Myles I used the Med.ela Lactina and the standard in the NICU, but decided to rent the Symphony because it's extremely quiet and has a new two-phase expression (starts fast and then slows), which is supposed to simulate the natural sucking of a baby. Being that I hadn't used this pump the lactation consultant asked me if I wanted to try it in front of her, so I did. Within a couple of seconds I already had milk droplets pooling on my nipples. I can't tell you how excited I was to see that and the lactation consultant was just giddy!

Today I officially began the pumping phase of the lactation induction protocol. I pumped for 15 minutes and will do that every 3 hours. It went well and again I produced several droplets of milk from each breast. I didn't really have anything to collect, so I just rubbed the milk into my skin as suggested by the consultant. I've read that I should start to see the my milk supply come in and increase over the next few weeks. I'm hoping this is true because it's going to be tough pumping all the time if I'm not seeing any results. I will just have to remind myself that it will get better when the boys come and that I'm doing this for them!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Something Fun

I just bought a set of 12 of these stickers called Picky Sticky that you put on your baby's onsie each month to chronicle their growth through photos. My friend, J, recommended them, and I thought they were so adorable that I had to buy them! I think they will make for some cute scrapbook pages! I ordered a set for each of the boys (Watch me Grow - Mister Fister) and a girly set (Watch me Grow - Missy Fissy) for a friend who's expecting a little girl around the same time the boys are due (if you are reading this S.H. don't go buying yourself any because yours are on their way!).

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thinking ahead ...

On Friday night we picked up the 2nd crib and mattress in addition to the two extra car seat bases, so we officially have all the big stuff now. Although we probably won't use both cribs right away, we're going to put it up sometime this week. Once the 2nd crib is up I'll hang the names above the cribs along with the custom paintings that match the bedding. At that point the nursery will be completely done and I'll take some photos.

Tonight I made a list of things I still need to get to be ready for the arrival of these boys. I just need a few small things like cloth diapers to use as burp rags, two extra mattress pads, a couple of extra crib sheets, butt paste, baby laundry detergent, a big can of formula, and a stockpile of diapers (NB and Size 1) and unscented wipes. I also made an Ex.cel spreadsheet to use as a daily log for each baby's feeding and diapering. This chart includes columns for the following: date, time, nursing (right), nursing (left), breast milk (oz), formula (oz), pee, poop, and comments. Is there anything else I should add to it?

I haven't talked much about it here, but I am inducing lactation. I have been on the meds (birth control pills and Dom.peridone) since around 10-12wks gestation and I'll begin pumping next week. The meds have been quite easy to take and the only thing I've noticed is an increase in my breast size and occasional tenderness. According the protocol I should start pumping 6 weeks prior to the EDD, but they advise expectant twin moms to begin pumping at 30wks instead of 34wks in case the babies come early, so technically Friday is my pump start date. However, I decided not to begin this process while I'm at the in-laws for the holidays (that would be uncomfortable not to mention stressful) and will actually start on 12/28. Although I pumped with Myles, I'm a little nervous to start the pumping phase of the protocol. I guess it's because I don't know what to expect with inducing and I'm a little worried about how it will go while I'm working. I'm supposed to pump every 3 hours, but won't be able to do that in the morning at work. I teach 1st through 4th periods, so I'll pump at 7am and then at 11:30am (lunch). It's not ideal, but there's not much I can do about it. Carrying the rented hospital grade pump (Med.ella Symphony) back and forth to work isn't going to be much fun either. I have to keep reminding myself that this is the one thing that my body can do for my babies and the bonding while breast feeding will be wonderful, so all the hard work will be worth it!

Last week I made two appointments with local pediatricians to "interview" them. We have to choose a doctor for the boys and wanted to find the perfect fit, so we are doing 20 minute "meet and greet" appointments with each one. Both of these doctors come highly recommended by friends and family, so I'm sure one will be the person to oversee our babies' care.

On the legal front we're moving forward as well. Our attorney will be going to court soon to obtain our pre-birth order (legal document to get our names on the birth certificate as soon as the boys arrive). We were fortunate enough to get the judge who's familar with surrogacy and open-minded. Next week our attorney is meeting with the judge to make sure she has everything she needs in order before the appearance in court. We're excited to have this important issue squared away!

**K are you happy now? ;) K was tired of logging onto the blog and seeing her beautiful pregnant self, so she wanted me to post something. Of course I'll happily do anything for K, so I posted something!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

28 wk Appointment

K is doing an amazing job all the while looking absolutely beautiful! K joked that I have to tell her that, but the ob agreed and said he doesn't have to say it. Everyone who sees K agrees that she wears pregnancy so well and even carrying twins she looks amazing! K's belly round and so big--she's measuring 40wks! Her blood pressure was great around 112/62 and her weight gain was right on track. K had the gestational diabetes test today and will find out the results in a couple of days. She now starts every other week appointments, but we won't have another scan until 32wks.

Both boys are doing great! They were practice breathing and both scored 8/8 on the biophysical profile (BPP). The boys are measuring on target for their gestational age! Liam (Baby A) is 2lb 7oz and is in the 39th percentile whereas Silas (Baby B) is 2lb 11oz and is in the 50th percentile. I was concerned that both aren't closer in weight and that Liam is no longer in the 50th percentile, but our ob reassured me that there is nothing to be concerned about. Once again he's very pleased with how everything is going with the boys and K.

Liam was cooperative right away and showed us his face in a 2D image, but when we wanted to get a 3D look at his face he wouldn't turn around (he's breech facing K's body).

Silas was extremely active during the scan and flipped from a transverse position to a head down position. Silas gave us a sneak peak look at his face in 3D, but kept his arm covering half of his face. I think he's absolutely adorable and so does K, but we are a bit partial! Silas' round nose is so cute! K says his lips are kissable and I couldn't agree more. I'd like to think Silas gets the lucious lips from his mommy!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sensationalism of Surrogacy

The NY Times posted yet another disheartening article about surrogacy, Building a Baby, With Few Ground Rules. I absolutely despise how the media treats infertility and surrogacy. Both are typically presented in such an extremly biased, one-sided, negative light and it's utterly maddening to me. Some of the stereotypes that the media likes to perpetuate include the following ... Infertiles are horrible people who should "just adopt" or aren't supposed to have children (natural selection). Surrogates are horrible women who "steal" other people's babies. Surrogates carry other people's babies for the money. Intended moms are depicted as women who don't want to lose their girlish figure by having a baby and/or are too career driven to take time to carry their own baby(ies). Intended parents are highly educated affluent members of society while surrogates are impoverished and uneducated. This is just a few of the horrible things that the media likes to use to grab reader's attention and make a few bucks. I find all of these stereotypes to be disgusting and extremely disappointing. I challenge members of the media to do a better job. I challenge them to present the positive aspects of both infertility and surrogacy.

I have been involved in a battle with infertility for 5 years and during this time I've met some of the kindest, most compassionate women I know. These women are waging their own war with infertility and are also going to great lengths to share their lives with a child. Along the way these women have likely encountered harsh criticism for their efforts not only from the media, but sometimes from family and friends too. Early in my war I dealt with this more often, but with every battle my skin thickened and I managed to better deal with the criticism. I decided that most of the critism I had encountered came from people's ignorance about the emotional, social, and financial struggles of infertility, which is why I became so vocal with my own struggle. I felt that if I could educate people using my experience they would be less likely to criticize others going through infertility and more likely to lend support and encouragement. I just wish that the media would follow suit.

I wish that the media would present some of the positive stories that exist in the world of infertility and surrogacy. I wish they would see some of the faces of the 10% of US women who have difficulty getting and/or staying pregnant. There are about 6 million of us out here, so it's likely that most people know someone who's been waging their own war against infertility (often alone in secrecy). I challenge newspapers, magazines, and news programs to focus on the women behind those statistics and show the goodness in them.

I also challenge the media to present one of the beautiful, surrogacy journies that exist. There are plenty of them to choose from. I would even volunteer to share ours and K's story. Our story is one of love, compassion, generosity, and gratitude. We have a wonderful relationship that grows stronger with each day. The two little boys who are going to enter this world in February because of K have an amazing life story to tell and will be the luckiest boys on the planet. Without K our boys wouldn't have a future story to tell and we wouldn't be able to experience parenthood with a living child. Surrogates offer up themselves to help loving people become parents who otherwise couldn't. Many form life-long bonds with their intended parents and get to watch the babies they brought into this world grow up. Surrogacy creates families and to me there isn't anything more beautiful than that. This should be what the media shares with the world about surrogacy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Feeling Anxious

Today I had a snow day and I spent the entire day writing my sub plans. I plan to take the rest of the school year off, so I had to do plans for almost an entire semester for two different courses. It's a ton of work to say the least, but its done now and I feel great about it! On another good note I found a great long-term sub, so I won't worry about my students for a second while I'm gone (not that I'll have time to).

Tonight I've started worrying about K having the babies early. I don't really have any reason to worry about this (no contractions, pain or anything), but I'm still worrying. I am hoping for at least 6 more weeks of baby baking!

All of a sudden I'm starting to feel very anxious about becoming a mommy to twins. I feel like there's so much I don't know about babies and I worry that I won't be a very good mommy to them. I worry that with two of them and only one of me things are going to be very tough. I worry that they'll both need me at the same time and I won't be able to do what I need to for them both at once. I asked one of my close friends how to hold two newborns at once and she said "I don't know. You'll have to tell me." This makes me nervous that none of my closest friends will be able to provide any advice because they haven't had twins. I love these boys so much already, so I'm not worried about not bonding or anything like that. I simply worry that I'll do something (or more likely many things) wrong that will somehow hurt them. I guess the logistics of two babies and my ignorance of babies/baby stuff are really causing me anxiety right now. I wonder if this is normal for expecting moms? I didn't get to this point in my pregnancy with Myles, so I didn't ever feel this way. And when he was born I had a whole different set of worries. Please tell me if you felt any of these things.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Baby Showered

This weekend was a weekend of baby showers. On Friday night my STELLA girls hosted a quaint shower for me that was tons of fun! The monkey theme started with the adorable invitation continued to diapering the stuffed monkey and ended with yummy banana splits for dessert. I had a fantastic time and think everyone else did as well! We had many laughs, ate great food, and thoroughly enjoyed each other's company. The only thing missing from this STELLA event was the scrapbooking! Thanks D, A, B, J, and M--you girls rock!

Today I had another baby shower. This one was hosted by my two long-time friends, J and L. L and I have been friends since we were in kindergarten and we've both been friends with J since 6th grade. I love J and L dearly and can't thank them enough for working so hard (with my Mom's help) to make the day very special. I was so pleased that a couple of my friends from out of town were able to make it today (so good to see you M and S) and although two of my close out of state friends couldn't make they sent gifts to let me know that they were there in spirit (thanks B & Dr. E). Today's baby shower was the biggest one I've had, yet it was still personal and tons of fun.

I really am one lucky girl! The boys'nursery is overflowing with baby gear, their closet is full of adorable clothes, and I couldn't be happier. I am so thankful for K, her amazing gift, and for all of my wonderful friends and family! Thank you to everyone for sharing in our excitement! We are truly blessed!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Today's Nursery Project: Crib #1

Tonight J and I assembled the above crib--we made a good team and had it together in about an hour. This crib is a baby shower gift from my two best friends, L and J(the mattress is a baby shower gift from their moms). J and L are hosting the "big" baby shower (#5) this coming Sunday at my parent's house. They figured it was easier to deliver the crib to our house rather than taking it to my parent's for me to bring back to my house with all of the other gifts I'll have. I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends and can't thank them enough for such a generous gift! L and J you both know I love you dearly!

I was excited all day to put the crib together and couldn't stop staring at it when it was done. I immediately put the bedding on the crib to get the full effect. Unfortunately, my matching mobile doesn't fit on the crib, so I won't be able to use it. The crib is beautiful and very sturdy. After the showers this weekend we will order the other crib even though we could probably get along with just one for awhile. I like to have everything in order, so I want to get ther other one now too. The boys are really going to love them!