Sunday, September 15, 2013
That was a crazy run-on sentence, but it summarizes nicely the past two months. It has been crazy here and super stressful at times, but I am so happy!!
I just wanted to post really quickly while I had some time before dinner! The kids turn one in a matter of weeks and I'm trying to figure out if I'm going to keep posting or just keep following along. Good luck to all of you still trying. I'm rooting for you and I'm so sorry that you have to go through this (whatever your this is.) For those of you who have your miracle and angel babies, congratulations!!
Here's what's up with the babies. They both have teeth...two for baby boy and three for baby girl. They are mostly sleeping through the night, except when they are sick. They are drinking 5 x 4 ounce bottle/day of breastmilk or formula and eating 3 "meals" and 2 snacks a day. They are walking with holding hands and saying mama and dada and babbling. They love baths and even like hanging out in the bathroom whenever they get a chance to stare at the tub and smile/laugh at their bath toys. They are pretty much amazing and I really feel like these were the children I was meant to have and I'm so so thankful for them.
Now, its time to figure out dinner and evening playtime!! I hope you all had a good weekend!!
Sunday, July 14, 2013
There is one thing I know...there will be no more cooking in our house here in Virginia. We are going or getting takeout and I'm definitely excited about that.
Saturday, July 6, 2013
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
I was off during the day so I got to hang out with them in the afternoon and it was wonderful. I love them so much. I'm back at work now and getting settled in for another long night.
On a side note, we are watching West Wing right now and I'm hooked!!
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Way back when...when I was 18-23 years old, every June meant the same thing...The Start of Summer Camp!! I was a camp counselor and director and I loved, loved, loved my time at camp. It really helped shape the person I am today.
Then, I went to medical school and Junes meant the end of a year of medical school and advancing to the next year from the classroom lectures to the clinical rotations in the hospital. I never did see a 4th June in medical school since I graduated in May.
On to Internship and Residency and this is where the story gets interesting.
June 2009. Fresh out of medical school. Starting residency. So excited and so nervous and happy. Living in a new apartment in Virginia, just CJ and me. That summer we also celebrated our 1st year wedding anniversary.
June 2010. Finish Intern year. Great year that flew by. Have lots of new friends. Decide to start trying after a ski trip in March. Not successful our first month. AF arrives early in June, but it's still so early in the game. Little did we know that this was the month that we conceived our angel baby. Still so happy and naive. Life is good. It gets even better in July when we find out that we are pregnant. Then, it gets way, way worse when we have a missed miscarriage and two D&Cs at the end of August/beginning of September.
June 2011. Still not pregnant, but trying so so hard. Guess who is pregnant though and already out of the 1st trimester, my sister. About to move on to a RE for the first time after 3 failed cycles of clomid. Complete a mindfulness course that starts to help the healing process. So sad, frustrated, angry, sad, sad, sad.
June 2012. Pregnant with twins!! What a difference a year makes. After our first IVF cycle in January. We are expecting a boy and a girl in September/October. We cross the viability threshold this month. I continue to have frequent contractions at work, but my cervix stays long and closed. I'm nervous about the babies, but so happy and grateful and loving feeling their kicks and hearing their heartbeats and seeing my ever-expanding belly. Little did we know what we were in for this fall when we delivered our little eagles at 38 weeks and 1 day by c-section. Our lives were forever changed that day. We have been falling in love with them ever since.
June 2013. I am a few weeks shy of completing my residency and as I type this my babies are sleeping in the nursery next door. I am so in love with my little eagles and couldn't be happier. They have helped me to heal and for my heart to expand. I am a better person for knowing them. Life is so so so good. And I am so thankful for my wonderful husband who is nothing short of amazing.
What an amazing journey so far!!
Here's the linkup to PAIL. Here!!
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
This month's topic is Decisions. This is the post I wrote a year and a half ago about the rather quick decision we made to pursue IVF.
The day after that post, I went in for my CD3 ultrasound and talked to my RE about IVF. She was wonderful and after a short talk with her, I realized that CJ and I had made the best decision already. My RE talked about a study in which women were given either clomid for three months or went straight to IVF and the women who went on to IVF first, got pregnant faster and ultimately spent less money.
In the days and weeks following that post, I remained very excited about IVF and hopeful. The anticipation really did help keep depression at bay for over the holiday season. I also continued to see my therapist frequently and that provided a whole new layer of support.
Our IVF cycle started in January and by February we found out that we were pregnant with twins who were born on October 3, 2012.
By Thanksgiving of this year, we were celebrating with our new babies and it was a Happy, Happy Thanksgiving indeed!
The decision to do IVF came up all of a sudden. Throughout the fall, CJ had said that we would do 2 IUI's and then take a break for awhile. When AF arrived after IUI #2, I was devastated and desperate. I so, so badly wanted to be pregnant. I also wanted to be efficient and I knew that I wasn't getting any younger. Armed with statistics and the financial info, I approached CJ and brought up the topic of IVF. My argument for was basically go big or go home and our clinic had fantastic numbers for someone my age and we could do the guarantee program which gave us 4 fresh cycles + all of the frozen cycles that we could do and we either had a baby at the end or we got our money back. I was worried that if we waited until I finished residency and fellowship that I would be 32 and the statistics were not as good. My other money-saving argument in favor was that if I did get pregnant and we had a baby while I was in residency, then all of my prenatal appointments and hospitalizations with delivery would be 100% covered...and that would save us a ton of money. I don't really know why CJ gave in so readily, but I am forever thankful that he did. Maybe I'll even get him to write about how he made this decision some day. Overall, I think it was one of the most important decisions that we have ever made and I am so thankful. It brought us our twins, our little eagles!!
Saturday, June 8, 2013
Not really sure what brought this on or what really lies ahead for us.
I do know that I love the little eagles and CJ and our little family has filled me to the brim.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Going on vacation with twins is exhausting but totally great. The babies love the pool and we go every night just before bedtime and its great. Baby boy really likes the beach. He loves playing in the waves and eating sand. Baby girl needs to be held more and doesn't like wearing her hat but I'm hoping she warms up to it. It has also been great taking lots of long walks with my mom and sister and the kids. We've been making dinners every night except for going out to pizza on the first night and going out for seafood for our first lunch so it's been nice and relaxed. I'm still breastfeeding and at any moment you might find me offering my babies some boob juice strait from the source...at the beach, sure why not...on the couch with everyone else running around, definitely...in our bedroom trying to get them back to sleep, only as a last resort ( and don't tell CJ.)
Okay we'll we're off to the beach now.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
I come from a family of women who have had c-sections. My mom had an emergency c-section with my twin sister and I with a classical incision and then had to have 2 repeat c-sections with my brother and sister. My twin sister had an urgent c-section with her first baby because on follow-up ultrasound her placenta looked awful at 36 weeks and her baby was breech. She has since had 2 elective c-sections with my nephew and niece. With each of her c-sections, her recovery time has gotten faster and pain less. Seriously, after my nephew was born, my sister was up and walking around with us in the hospital and even went home a day early. That about sums up my family's experience with c-sections.
As a doctor, I have experience with labor and delivery and have read some of the studies on c-section vs vaginal delivery. Based on my personal experiences and my professional ones, I do not understand why people are so anti-cesarean. I think we have cultivated this ideal of the natural childbirth has being the best and healthiest way to bring babies into the world and we have turned on cesarean deliveries as the evil twin with all these horrible side effects and dangers. The reality seems to be (and the data seems to show) that cesarean deliveries under controlled situations are safe for mom and baby. Vaginal deliveries also seem to be safe for mom and baby, but there are risks involved, serious risks, that I think we may forget about as we try to reach the ideal of a natural childbirth with a vaginal delivery.
I'm going to publish this post now for fear that I may not get back to it soon, but I'm going to do a literature search during my pumping breaks at work and try to come up with some data to support my ideas. I'm not sure what the real reason for my post it, but I know how hard it can be to not reach that ideal of a vaginal delivery and the feelings of failure that are associated with it, but maybe, just maybe a cesarean section should not be thought of as the mom failing, but instead as mother bringing her baby or babies into the world in the safest way possible.
Friday, May 17, 2013
So, recently I've been working the night shift, which means that I get to hang out with the babies in the morning, but I miss putting them to bed at night. CJ is doing a fantastic job, but it's hard not kissing the babies good night and putting them to bed or hanging out with CJ in the evenings. I'm on nights this week and then evenings again the week after labor day and then it's back to days!!
We left the babies with my in-laws last weekend so that we could go to Atlanta and try to find a house for next year. We were unsuccessful so far on the housing front, but we did stay in a 5-start hotel and really enjoy our one-on-one adult time aka sleeping in until 9am in the hotel!! I actually spent my first mothers day sans babies looking for houses in Atlanta. Come to think of it...I didn't even get a mother's day gift from "the babies." I guess that's what I get for ditching them for the weekend.
Just when we think that we have the babies figured out and we are getting more sleep, they throw us for a wrench. This time, it was in the form of a very high fever 104+ for baby girl starting on Sunday through Wednesday with 2 trips to the pediatrician, lots of Tylenol, urine and blood cultures, lots and lots of tears, and very little sleep as well as very high fever 104+ for baby boy starting on Wednesday through today with lots of fussiness. Baby girl went back to day care today and was feeling better, but baby boy still has the fever. We are doing our best to keep them happy and hydrated, but I sure hope that they are healthy and sleeping again soon!! I kind of broke down last night because I've been working crazy long hours and then I'm not getting much sleep and the babies are so sick and I just want to heal them or at least make them feel better. Thankfully, today was a better day, but man, sick twins is rough!!
Alright that's all. Only another 11.5 hours until my shift ends and I can go home to hubby and the babies!!
What fun plans do you have for the weekend?!?
Friday, May 3, 2013
Dropping them off is another story for me. For the babies, it's a good thing. They are very happy at school. The teachers are awesome and take wonderful care of my babies and the babies get to do lots of fun and different activities then they would at home. For me, it's hard. I have to take them out of their car seats give them kisses and say goodbye. I miss them with an aching, yearning kind of pain. I guess that's what makes picking them up so special.
I always seem to have lots of thoughts about being a working mom spiraling around in my head. I know that I not only want to continue to work, but I need to in order to pay off my loans and support my family (CJ is working too, but I am and will be the breadwinner in our family.) That being said, my career is definitely not my priority. I will always work really hard when I'm at work, but my priority is and will be my family. The nice is that in a couple of years I may have the option to drop down to 95% or 80% which would allow me a lot more time at home. The other really good thing that working does is it allows me to really enjoy and treasure the time that I do have at home with my family and it helps me to be more productive when I'm away from them or when the babies are sleeping so that I can maximize my time with them. I love mornings with the babies! Yes, the day does start out at 5am usually, but its filled with music (currently the babies like Philip Philips "Home," The Indigo Girls, Mumford and Sons, Zac Brown Band, and Taylor Swift, but sometimes I also let me husband picking out the morning Spotify station), lots of smiles, a big ole diaper change (they are in size 4's now,) getting them dressed (I pick out their outfits everyday,) nursing the twins, and playtime on the mat or in their jumpers. It's so fun and the babies are so happy!! It's great family time. Then, I run out to work. Evenings are also fun with walks or dinners out followed by bath time and my daughter nursing to sleep around 7-7:30 while my sons jumps and plays like crazy followed by my son nursing to sleep around 7:45-8:15. The days pass by in a blink of an eye!
In conclusion, it is hard being a working mom, but I know that it is equally hard being a stay at home mom. It's working for us right now. I don't feel like I'm missing out on my kids growing up since I feel like I'm there for all the important stuff, but I do really, really miss them during the days. I think it's something that I'm going to have to continue to re-evaluate and I like that I may have the option of working less in the future.
Those are just some of my rambling thoughts today. Speaking of today, the babies turn 7 months old today. How did that happen?? I will try to update on their overall growth and development later!! Maybe during my next pumping break. See you then!!
Thursday, May 2, 2013
The Little Eagles are registered for daycare in Atlanta for next year!! YEA!!!!
This is such a huge relief. I was losing tons of sleep and study time researching day cares, getting the twins on waiting lists, worrying about if they would get into a day care, worrying if we would be able to afford it, looking into hiring a nanny. Then, I got an email from a friend of a friend who child attends this particular day care in Atlanta and loves it. So, I emailed them and they have availability. So, I called in the reinforcements by way of my twin sister who lives near Atlanta. She headed over to the day care today and checked it out. She is a great judge of day cares and I think her criteria is even stronger than my own. The end result...
They have availability for the twins.
We can afford it.
It's in a great location! I can walk there from one of the hospitals that I will be working at. It's 0.3 miles away and an easy 7 minute walk.
My sister highly recommended it!! She would send her own kids there and she was with me when we toured other day cares and she thought this was the best one.
The twins had the last 2 spots, so if we wanted them then my sister had to register them today, which she did!!
It's official the twins are in!! It's actually a day school (not a day care) as their director informed me, so I guess the twins are going to school!! I'm so happy...and relieved!!
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Then, we did IVF and got pregnant with our twins. Throughout my pregnancy, I took it very easy until I was like 34 weeks pregnant and then I started walking again. Postpartum, I took frequent walks with the babies after I healed from my c-section.
Now, the twins are almost 7 months old. I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I'm really struggling with finding time to exercise besides taking the kids for walks. Part of me really wants to be an athletic mom who is in great shape. The other part of me is still so tired and still spending a lot of time nursing or pumping throughout the day. The question is then Do I just wait until I'm done breastfeeding to start exercising again or is there some way to fit it in now? How do you find time to be a mom and exercise? Oh yeah and work ridiculous hours in the hospital.
Any tips or tricks for getting back into shape and finding time to exercise while breastfeeding or just in general would be very much appreciated!!
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Here we go!
1. Saturday we had our 2nd set of professional photographs taken. This time, I picked out the photographer and with her help 4 cute outfits for the whole family (minus our puppy.) The photo shoot was outside. The setting and weather were beautiful and we all looked great!! I will post a picture as soon as we can them back. I think the kids knew how exciting and important this was for me because at 6:30pm they were super happy and smiley...until 7:30pm when the started to melt down. All in all, it was a great experience and I can't wait to see the results!!
2. Sunday brunch with our baby group was a huge success. Two of my friends from work had babies around the same time as I had the twins and we regularly hang out with our families for dinner, drinks, lunches. Sunday, we decided to try brunch. It was great...a little chaotic, but overall a great outing. The babies were all awake and super cute and we got to catch up and share advice and recommendations as well as eat some delicious food. I did have to share my toast with the little eagles, but that just made it more fun since I was able to give them real people food which the gummed and played with for a little while!! They really are getting big!
3. This one is about me real quick. I got out of work a little early on Tuesday, so I headed home to pump, study, and make some brownies. After I got the brownies in, I decided to lay down for like 15 minutes. Well, I never heard the timer go off and about an hour later I woke up to some very well done brownies. Oops. We have still been eating them this week and they taste like very crunchy chocolate cookies!!
4. The little eagles have a new favorite evening activity.
5. We also bought the babies a bubble maker this week and tried it out on our back patio. I think CJ may like it more than the babies and we didn't get any pictures because we were both holding babies, but we are looking forward to trying it out in the park this spring!! Here's the one we got.
6. Finally, both babies slept through the night last night! They do it off and on or one will sleep through and the other will wake up once, but I just want to celebrate that both babies were asleep by 8pm and we woke them up at 5am so that I could feed them before running to work.
Okay, that's all for now. I'm still at work, but hoping to get home to my little eagles and CJ soon.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope your week has been made up of some lovely little things as well!!
Friday, April 12, 2013
The little eagles are 6 months old (April 3rd)!! Wow, time sure does fly. Life with the little eagles is difficult at times, but so, so worth it. As we like to say in our house, "Twins are no joke."
It has been 6 months since the little eagles arrived and I am so thankful for them. I love being their mom and I love being the wife of their incredible father. It is so awesome to see CJ with them...and they sure do light up whenever they hear his voice. Here's what's going on with them in bullet points.
- They are eating solids and so far they like oatmeal and rice cereal as well as apples, pears, peaches, bananas, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, and peas. They eat twice a day at daycare and have been doing a great job.
-Baby Boy is starting to crawl. He's doing an army crawl now, but it won't be long before he's completely mobile.
-Baby Girl is sitting up on her own and loves her toes.
-They both like to babble and laugh and smile..and cry (when it's bedtime)
-Their mom (that's me!!) is back to her pre-pregnancy weight of 135lbs. I would like to get down to 125 if I can before I stop breastfeeding.
-We all took our first trips together to New York and Pittsburgh.
And so much more!!
I made it to my first goal of 6 months breastfeeding the twins. I also reached my pre-pregnancy, pre-IVF weight of 134. I would like to lose a little more weight and start to get in better shape. My goal is 125lbs with exercising more regularly and light weight lifting as well. I would also love to do Insanity again, but it's just not feasible while I'm nursing/pumping. People keep asking me how much longer I'm going to continue breastfeeding. I really don't know exactly, but I will need to be done and weaned by July 3rd (when the twins turn 9 months old) because I will not get breaks during the day to pump when I start my new job. So, 3 more months. I'm hoping by then the twins will have started to wean themselves too so that it can be pretty mutual. I know that I will definitely miss it. This has been an incredible experience that I'm only really starting to appreciate now that I'm thinking about weaning. That being said I have weaned down to 6 nursing/pumping sessions/day (since the twins are only eating 6 times/day now anyways). It's wonderful to be able to sleep through the night when the twins sleep through the night and not have to wake up and pump in the middle of the night anymore.
I'm on call today so that means lots of pumping and lots of missing the little eagles, but I have a full weekend off from work and home with them and CJ and I can't wait!! Happy Friday!!
Thursday, April 11, 2013
I'm so happy that spring is finally here and we can go outside regularly with our babies. This weekend, we are going to the park to try out the swings and we might have to pick up some bubbles for the babies to play with too!!
What fun things are you planning on doing now that it's finally spring?? Any suggestions for baby-friendly activities in the spring/summer?
Thursday, March 21, 2013
I'm dream-feeding my babies right now and just soaking in there closeness. It doesn't really matter that I just got home from work one hour ago and I have to go back to work in mess than 8 hours. I have my babies in my arms and all is right with the world.
Except for tonight, this had been a better week. I got to spend Monday morning, Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon with the twins. Wee took walks, took baths, and did lots of playing...and a little bit of napping!!
Thank you to everyone for your support after my last post. It's nice that I can come on here to vent when needed. It leaves me feeling so much lighter and happier.
Start tuned for a funny post about how not to store breast milk in your freezer, especially if space is an issue!
Thursday, March 14, 2013
I'm tired of working and the long hours.
I miss my babies, desperately at times
I miss my husband (although I have hung out with him in the evenings)
I'm post-call tomorrow and my plan was to spend the whole day with the babies, but now that I'm going to be working all night, I will probably have CJ bring them to day care so that I can sleep for a couple of hours and then I'll hurry over there and pick them up. Did I mention how tired I am??
I'm also pretty burnt out. I'm a little over 100 days away from completing my residency. Then I will be starting a fellowship, so the end is not really in sight yet and I'm just super, super sad that I don't have more time to hang out with CJ and the twins. I know that I choose this career path, but it's a long road with little reward at this point.
The bonus to be up at night at work is that I just pumped like 10+ ounces in about 10 minutes!! The twins are drinking a little less these days now that they are eating some solids so we have a surplus of milk. Seriously, most of our freezer is breast milk and I can't tell you how proud I am with every bag of milk that I freeze. CJ is so proud of me too, which makes it so awesome!!
And speaking of breastfeeding and pumping. I don't think that I'm going to be ready to be done at 6 months. No, I know that I will not be ready to stop at that point. I love nursing the twins in the mornings and for the dream feeds and on the weekends. It's such an awesome bonding experience.
That being said, I'm going to Florida for a conference at the beginning of April. If anyone has any tips on flying with breast milk, please share!! I will probably have about 120-130 ounces to transport back (I had 96 ounces from our ski weekend away in January and that was just Friday night until Sunday night and this will be Friday night until Monday night.) I'm going to just do it as a carry on with refrigerated milk, but I'm worried about keeping it cool and what kind of cooler should I use????
Okay, that was a lot. Back to work. Good night!
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Cue google search for easy remedies for help with greasy hair. I came across a number of blog posts and articles about No 'pooing and I thought that I would give it a try. It definitely couldn't hurt and I already had all the ingredients.
Step 1: Mix baking soda with water (about 1 tablespoon in 1 cup of water) and massage into scalp after wetting hair in shower. This is like the shampoo step. It feels like just massaging water into your scalp. Rinse Hair.
Step 2: Mix apple cider vinegar with water (about 1/4 cup vinegar with 1 cup water) and pour on hair, mostly the ends, but a little on the scalp as well. This is like the conditioner step. Again, it just feels like dumping vinegar water onto your hair. Rinse hair well.
Step 3: Dry hair or let hair air dry. The key is that your hair may smell like vinegar while it is wet, but the smell completely goes away once your hair is dry.
The results: AMAZING!! Seriously, my hair felt lighter and looked healthy and shiny after even just one time, but it has continued to get better. I'm so happy that I tried this and will continue to use it. I don't always do this because there are some times when I'm in a hurry and just put a little conditioner in my hair ( I also have the Go Blonder Conditioner from John Frieda and I'm trying to get my hair back to a little blonder color without having to color it.) I highly recommend No 'Pooing!!
What hair remedies have you tried? Let me know if you try No 'Pooing and what your results are!! Any other tips for greasy hair??
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Breastfeeding and working
If you are nursing and back to work, how is it going? Do you feel truly supported?
It's going pretty good actually. I feel supported at work because there are a lot of new moms currently or women who have had babies in the past couple of years and their advice and support has been so helpful. There are days or weeks when it is hard and exhausting because all of my breaks are spent pumping, but other days I love the time that I get to pump and read blogs and think about my wonderful babies. My Attendings in the hospital have been great about giving breaks, but I have also had to advocate for myself as well.
Do you have adequate access to a room to pump in, is it comfortable, clean, secure?
I pump in one of the call rooms right near where I work in the hospital. It's clean, there is a computer and a TV, the door locks, and there is a bathroom right across the hall. It's pretty much ideal and I'm very thankful that we have this room.
Did you give up nursing because it was too hard to work and pump?
Nope and the babies are 5 months old now and I returned to work when they were not even 2 months old. Originally, I wanted to make it to 6 months, but I may continue on a little longer. We'll see.
Did you have access to a Lactation Consultant in the hospital? Did you have access after you left the hospital?
Yes, I did and I asked to see Lactation every day when I was in the hospital after my c-section. They were very helpful. I also went to see them once after I got out of the hospital since my milk came in late. They were a little over zealous (mainly the lactation pediatrician doctor) at that appointment and told me that I would basically be breastfeeding all day and not sleeping and I wanted to cry and quit. However, I had great support from my husband and we just supplemented a little bit of formula and my milk supply increased and I continued to breastfeed.
- Make sure you have a full water bottle when you sit down to pump!!
- The hands-free bra is key!!
- Keeping some snacks with your pump is also helpful in case you don't get another break to eat (which I don't...I pump throughout my lunch breaks and coffee breaks)
- Oatmeal and Fenugreek are great for increasing milk supply!! I also enjoy a dark beer occasionally in the evenings, which is rumored to help with milk supply as well.
- Even if I don't have a lot of time, pumping for 8-10 minutes is still better than going longer than 5 hours between pumping sessions.
- Wear comfortable clothes that are easy pull un-tuck and pull up and that you don't mind getting a little breast milk on. I am lucky enough to wear scrubs everyday, which is helpful so that I don't have to unbutton anything or worry about a breast milk stains.
- Be flexible. There are times when I don't make enough milk for the twins. We always give them one ounce of breast milk in each of their bottles at daycare followed by 4-5 ounces of breast milk depending on how much they are drinking. This allows me to not stress of my supply is a little lower one day or I missed a pumping session and on days when my supply is great, it allows me to freeze some milk. I have a huge supply in my freezer that will help extend how much breast milk they get when I start weaning.
Friday, February 22, 2013
In August 2010, I suffered a missed miscarriage at 10 weeks after seeing the heartbeat 4 weeks earlier. Then, I had to have 2 x D&C's within a week due to retained clot. I went on to have a year of irregular cycles and I started Clomid with my OBGYN and had one chemical pregnancy. After the chemical, we moved on to an RE and tried Clomid, Trigger shot, and timed intercourse. When that didn't work, we moved to a new clinic and started to pull out the bigger guns. We did 2 femara IUI cycles that were not successful. At this point, since we were already spending quite a bit of money each month, we decided to go big or go home. So, we moved on to IVF without delay. My RE actually told me about a study in which women with infertility were randomized to clomid (with IUI, I think) x 3 cycles and then IVF vs going straight to IVF (or something like that, I'm a little fuzzy on the details now) and the women who went straight to IVF got pregnant faster and spent less money overall.
Our 1st IVF cycle began in January 2012 and we were successful with twins!! My pregnancy was uneventful despite working until 38 weeks and I was induced at 38 weeks. Unfortunately, by that time I had developed preeclampsia and my induction stalled around 4cm. I had a c-section on October 3, 2012 and my beautiful little eagles entered the world. At this point, we passed Rainbowmaking 101 and are now working on parenting twins 101. It's totally crazy and totally wonderful.
The thing about blogging that has given me so much comfort over the years is that there is just so much hope. At any point, you can read some one's blog and things are not going well or they are in a dark place. I definitely was not in a good place when I started this blog. Then, you can fast forward a few months or years and their lives are different and they are happier whether they got pregnant or got a new job or went on a trip. It's a crazy chronicle of life and it really filled me with hope when I most needed it. I also love blogging anonymously and just getting to write about whatever I'm thinking about or what's happening in my life and get it out of head. It makes me feel lighter and less burdened.
Okay, well, my pump break is over, but thanks for reading!!
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
1. Moving woes!! We are moving over the summer to Atlanta. I'm super, super overwhelmed that we have to find a place to live, find a new daycare and I have to start my fellowship and take my medical boards while taking care of 2 x 9 month olds. I'm nervous about passing my boards and finding time to study in the midst of this huge move. I'm nervous about finding a great, reliable daycare. I'm nervous about finding a good place to live in a safe neighborhood near the hospital. I'm nervous about how much all of this is going to cost. That's a lot to be nervous about!! So far, I have started looking into daycare options. If anyone knows any good daycare places near Emory, please let me know. We are also trying to plan a weekend to go down and look at houses for sometime this spring. So much to do, so little time.
2. Friendships!! Recently, I have just felt lonely and in need of time with good friends. It all started when I was on Facebook. I saw that this woman who I invited to my baby shower (and she attended) and who invited me to her first baby shower, had a shower for her 2nd baby and I wasn't invited. I just felt left out. I don't really know why I care since we only hang out at work functions and we won't stay in touch after I move, but it still hurt a little bit. Then, it kinda made me question if I even had any good friends. Sometimes, I am still hurt by the fact that I don't keep in touch with my group of friends from medical school (even though 2 of the women were in my wedding and the rest were invited.) We just kinda lost touch (mostly because they were all in NYC for residency and I moved away), but it just makes me sad that I don't have any friends from that big part of my life. Even though, the reality was that I mostly hung out and became closer with my college friends who still lived in NYC while I was in medical school. Now here I am in residency and I have made a few really close friends who I will stay in touch with when we move, but sometimes I just feel out of it and lonely. I have always just craved the kind of group friendship that you see on TV in shows like How I Met Your Mother and Happy Endings. I plan to remedy these feelings by planning my upcoming trips to visit my best friends from college and my best friend from summer camp in March and April. I can't wait for them to meet my little ones.
3. My looks!! When I was pregnant, I (for the most part) loved how I looked. I had the mask of pregnancy which gave me these cute freckles and made me look tan, my skin kinda glowed, my hair was thicker, and my big belly was a sign that I was growing two big(ish) babies in there. Now, I'm just pale, my hair is limp and greasy looking, my belly (while much, much smaller) is pretty soft and squishy and I just still have a bunch of extra skin (and fat) around my mid-section. It's not terrible. I'm back in my pre-pregnancy clothes and I'm back to my pre-pregnancy, but post infertility/IVF weight of 140lbs. I just want to get back to 125-130 and toned again. I've started doing Insanity sporadically and its good that I'm able to do it again (kind of), but it's really hard to find the time. I was hoping that breastfeeding and pumping would help the weight come off a little easier cause now I'm scared to stop breastfeeding until I've lost all my weight and started eating healthier again. I'm doing better with more fruits and vegetables and salads, but I'm still having trouble with too many sweets!!
4. On Death and Dying. Sometimes when things are going really well (like right after my wedding and well, now) I can't help but think about what would happen if I lost my husband or now my babies. I don't really know why my mind goes there and I don't really dwell on it for the most part, but it's just something that has crossed my mind in the past couple of days and made me really sad at the same time that I am so happy. I think it's just that I can't believe how happy I am and how much I love my husband and babies that if they were taken away from me I can't even begin to imagine that pain. For this one, I pray that my husband and babies will stay safe and happy and healthy and I trust in God, but it still makes me sad. Part of it too is that as a doctor I see how fragile the human body is (on one hand) and I just never want any harm to befall my loved ones. This may seem very strange to some of you reading this. I debated about even posting about it because it's hard for me to articulate these thoughts, but it is kinda nice to get them out there. My husband teases me that I won't let our kids do anything activity-wise because I'll be afraid that they will get hurt. There is some truth to that. These are the activities that my husband is banned from = Skydiving (he already went twice before we were married), Bungee Jumping, Driving a Motorcycle, Text or doing anything on his cell phone in the car. My children will not play football or hockey. This is part of the reason why I'm not a better skier. I'm afraid to let me skis go downhill and go fast because I don't want to get hurt (because I've seen the broken bones and concussions, and brain injuries from ski accidents) and this is why my husband and I always ski with helmets on!!
Okay, I think that's it for now. I'm gonna try to get some sleep. It sure does feel good to get that off my chest!!
Saturday, February 9, 2013
It was perfect. Steel. Simple. Selection of colors. Easy to use. Great reviews. Regular old garbage bags, check.
The only problem. It was $80. So, being the practical, thrifty person that I am. I decided no, I would not spend $80 on a diaper pail. Back to going through all the diaper pails all over again. I even tried to find a steel trash can that would work (some of those were even more expensive though.)
Finally, I just decided that it was worth it to me to spend the $80 on this diaper pail that I loved.
The end result...I'm still totally in love with The Ubbi. It is perfect. It looks awesome in the nursery. It holds a ton of diapers. I can just drop diapers in, I don't need to push them through. Our garbage bags work great!! No smell at all outside of the can. Absolutely no complaints except for the price. I've even been tempted to get a 2nd one for our living room next to the changing tables so that we don't have to carry the dirty diapers into the kitchen, but so far I've held off. I would say it is totally worth the money. I love how it looks and it just works perfectly in our nursery. I bet you didn't know anyone could get so excited about a diaper pail...or spend so much money.
What baby-related purchases did you splurge on?? Have you loved it or been disappointed??
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Chase is now 14lbs 7oz and Cassidy is 13lbs 12oz and they are doing great!!
Some of their new tricks involving rolling over (Chase, Cass will roll on her side), talking a lot, putting their hands in their mouths, batting at toys, sitting up assisted, and lots of smiling!! We made the change from swing and vibrating chair to jumperoo and exersaucer and they love their new pieces of equipment!! We also tried giving them some rice cereal which they did not like so much. I am still breastfeeding in the early AM (5-5:30AM) feed and evening and/or dreamfeed (6-700PM and 10-11PM). They are getting mostly pumped milk at daycare as well as a little formula so that I can continue to build up my freezer supply.
At their doctor's appointment on Monday, our pediatrician thought that they looked great. She also offered some advice re sleep training. It seems she is a proponent of CIO. She basically told us that at their age and weights the twins should definitely be able to go between 6-10 hours without eating. She recommended that we continue with our 7:30(ish) bedtime, dreamfeed at 10-11pm, and then not go in their rooms until after 5am. She said one that will help is that we can try taking away their pacifiers so that they can learn to fall asleep on their own without any sleep props at all. Then, she said we could think about slowly dropping the dreamfeed in a few weeks once they are reliably going to bed and staying asleep until after 5am.
It's nice to have a pediatrician recommending some sleep training and I know that the twins will be better served in the long run if they learn how to sleep well now, but it is so hard to hear them cry. We have started by taking their pacifiers away (which I miss also because the little wannanubs were so cute!!). They have been doing well falling asleep without them with just a little bit of fussing. The real test comes at 1-3am when one of the babies wakes up and starts crying. We let them cry last night and it was terrible (for me). I think it was about 25-30 minutes of crying for each of them, but they were staggered so it was a total of an hour of crying (as soon as Chase fell asleep, Cass woke up) and CJ and I both woke up feeling terrible. As soon as they work up again at 5:05 this morning, I fed them both and you know what, they were super smiley and happy...and a little tired (because they didn't get a large chunk of straight sleep time). Overall, it wasn't too bad and I'm hoping for a lot less crying tonight!!
I'm on board with the CIO because our pediatrician, who we love and trust, recommends it and I've seen the difference in children and parents between no sleep training and solid sleep training. My sister who is an amazing mom, has never done any sleep training and her son constantly climbs back into bed with them and wakes them up and her 14 months old is still getting up at least once in the middle of the night and it takes quite awhile to get her to go to bed (lots of rocking and soothing). I love cuddling my kids, but I also want to give them the skills now to be good sleepers!! One of my best friends, followed Babywise strictly and her child is very happy and sleeps for about 12 hours/night. The benefits of nighttime sleep are for the babies as well as for CJ and I so that we can have time to continue to enjoy our relationship and some adult time in the evenings.
We'll see how it goes!!
Sunday, February 3, 2013
. My sister is an amazing mom. She has given me so much advice and helpful tips! One of the best and most useful is her strategy for cleaning poopy clothes. She puts the dirty clothes in a white plastic bin, fills it with hot water, adds a scoop of Oxi-Clean, and lets it soak. When the babies came, she brought me my own white plastic bin and some Oxi-clean. It's perfect. We leave the bin in the bathroom and whenever the twins have a blowout we throw the clothes in the bin, add some Oxi-clean and water and leave it to soak until the stains are out or we are ready to do a load of laundry. There is not a single stain that we have not been able to defeat!! We are going on our 2nd box of Oxi-clean now but it's totally worth it, especially since the twins have blowouts at daycare almost everyday!!
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Wow, I can't believe the twins will be in high chairs soon and eating baby cereal and food!! It's kinda crazy!!
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Anyway, breastfeeding and pumping is going well so far. Here are just some random thoughts on pumping.
Pumping makes me ridiculously thirsty. I know that it's hormonal, but it's kinda crazy. I get like painfully thirsty. However, since I'm not thirsty before I start pumping I often forget to get water. If I'm at home, CJ will bring it to me even though I do the same thing every time and when I'm at work, I just suffer. Seriously though, how hard can it be to remember to have my water bottle filled up and ready when I sit down to pump.
Pumping at work is exhausting. Basically, my daily schedule goes something like this.
1. Feed the twins when they wake up between 5:15-5:30 until 5:45. Then, diapers and clothes changed and the twins play in one crib together while I get ready. Meanwhile, CJ is prepping the bottles for daycare.
2. If the twins don't eat well, then I try to pump really quickly (like 10 minutes) before I leave for work.
3. Morning break from the OR (sometime between 8:30-10am) pump x 15 minutes.
4. Lunch break from OR (sometime between 11-1:30pm) pump x 20 minutes.
5. Afternoon break in OR (sometime between 2-5pm) pump x 15-20 minutes.
6. Head home and either feed the twins or pump (sometime between 5-6pm.)
7. Feed twins last evening nursing (sometime between 7-8:30pm.)
8. Pump x 10-20minutes (especially if twins don't nurse really well.)
9. Dreamfeed (sometime between 10-12pm.)
It's nice to have a schedule. Sometimes I even get in 4 pumping sessions at work. My supply is keeping up so that's good. The only reasons why I pump for #2 is in case I don't get a break in the OR until 10pm so that I can get another morning session in and for #8 because they don't always eat great during the dreamfeed and it helps me from getting engorged overnight and waking up in pain.
Alright, well I'm headed home from work soon to either pump or feed the twins!! Hopefully, I'll just be able to nurse them, which is one of my favorite things to do. Plus, CJ is going to need a break after watching the little eagles all day!!
What fun things are you up to this weekend? Anyone else have any crazy pumping at work stories? I'm hoping that my next post will describe some of the logistics of actually pumping at work.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
That's easy, I got to wake up to 2 crying and then smiling faces and help get them dressed and loaded in their car seats before hubby and the babies dropped me off at work. Then, after work, I got to go pick up the babies from daycare and was greeted once again by their smiling (Cassidy) and sleeping (Chase) faces. It was pretty incredible.
I came a long way in the past decade. From partying single college kid, to medical student with a serious boyfriend to married to my best friend to resident physician and no kids to mother of one furbaby and one angel baby and struggling with infertility to pregnant with twins!! to mother of twins and awesome family of five (furbaby included!!) Quite a remarkable journey so far.
I can't wait to see what the next decade brings!!
Friday, January 18, 2013
1. Convertible Double Stroller - we got the baby jogger city select with the conversion pieces for our Maxi Cosi car seats. We love the car seats and the stroller is just awesome and totally necessary. It wheels great on a variety of surfaces, the car seats snap in really easily, it folds down and opens up easily, it's small enough to fit in the trunk of my Mazda 3, it steers great and has a small turning radius. We use it to take the kids for walks, to the mall, grocery store, doctor's appointments, everywhere!!
2. Vibrating chair and swing - We didn't get 2 of anything and that turned out to be a good thing because my son really loved the vibrating chair while my daughter loved the swing. These 2 things saved our lives in the earlier days because the kiddos would take awesome naps there!!
3. Pack n Play with Changing Table - We got the Chico Lullaby LX. We set up the pack n play with its changing table down in our family room next to a book shelf laden with diapers, wipes, extra blankets, and changes of clothes and toys. This saved us many trips up stairs which was especially key while I was still recovering from my c-section.
4. Swaddle Me and Halo Sleepsacks - My husband got good at swaddling with a blanket, but I never did and these things are perfect to get a nice tight swaddle and keep the babies from having the blanket end up in their faces. We just upgraded to larger sizes now that the twins are getting so big. Both styles work for us.
5. Wannanubs - Possibly our favorite thing ever!! Each baby has his or her own. Baby girl has the monkey and baby boy has the giraffe. So awesome!!
6. Dr. Brown's bottles - Our kiddos drink really well out of these and they continue to nurse really well, so it's totally worth the extra pieces!! We recently had to buy a bunch of 8 oz bottles since the babies are now sometimes drinking 5-6 oz at a time at day care.
I'm gonna stop their for now since I'm done pumping for the moment...just got almost 11 oz...yea!! More to come later!!
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Friday, January 4, 2013
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Here are the bullet points from my week long Christmas vacation and the closing days of 2012.
Getting out of work early on Friday before Christmas to get packed up for our first week long trip away from home with the babies. Then, being all ready to go, but having to wait until UPS dropped off 2 final Christmas presents.
Spending the week at my parents house with CJ, the little eagles, my sister and her hubby and their 3 kids, my little brother, my little sister, my parents, my grandpa, and 3 dogs!!
Early mornings with the babies and my mom and sister...great bonding time!!
The babies first snow!!
Our first walk with the babies in their snowsuits and Bjorns!!
Lots of shopping trips with and without the babies to Kohls, Target, and more!!
Buying fun Christmas stuff for next year at great prices (Halloween outfits for the kiddos, Christmas placements and hand towels, a table runner)! My mom and sister and I are awesome at getting great things on sale!!
Christmas morning taking pictures on the stairs before opening presents all day!!
Opening secret santa presents on Christmas Eve...a new family tradition!!
The name game...girls vs boys...hilarious!!
Winning 2 games of Settlers of Catan after I spilled water over half the board and it took us almost an hour to dry off the pieces and resume play.
Eating lots of delicious food!!
Spending the whole week with my twins and getting to nurse them again without being tied to my pump!!
Spending the whole week with my twins!!
Spending the whole week with my husband!!
Getting our babies baptized with their cousin.
And so much more...I'll continue this list as soon as I can!!