Wednesday, April 28, 2010

new blog address

Here's my new blog address:

I hope you'll follow me over to this blog :-)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Last post...

Yep, you've read correctly. This will be my last post. Well, not last post ever...but my last post on the "Jennifer's IVF and Adventures in Pregnancy" blog. Since I am no longer going through IVF or pregnancy, I thought it appropriate to finish up this blog and start fresh. It's time to let go of my infertility and enjoy the wonderful blessings in my life. SO, I will be starting a new blog in the next week or so. I will of course put a link on this blog so anyone that wants to keep following the girls or just the Wilson family in general can get to the new blog and I will leave this blog up for awhile, so anyone going through IVF can read about my experience if they would like. Check back for that link :-)

I was trying to think of how to end this blog. I wish I was the kind of person who could sum all of my experiences up into a neat little package with parting words that are not only wise, but meaningful and touching...however, that's just not me. So here's what I want to say:

Infertility sucks! It sucks so bad that you can't possibly explain how badly it sucks. Only those who go through it can truly understand the turmoil it can bring to your life. It's been a long road that I hope to never travel again. I would like to say that it made me stronger and in some ways, maybe it did. But mostly it made me bitter (at times), heartbroken (at times) and eventually filled with joy at the final outcome.

We are coming to a point where we are going to need to decide what to do with our leftover embryos. We have 8. They are left from my second IVF cycle so this month they will have been stored for a year. What to do, what to do...I know this is controversial. Our options are to use them, donate to another couple, to dispose of them, or to possibly donate them to scientific research (although this option isn't available in some states and I am not to sure how this would work). We aren't sure what we are going to do and frankly, having the babies is still so new it seems premature to make such a big decision right now. SO, we are going to pay to store them one more year (a hefty price tag for that, I might add). This will give us some time to think about what we are going to do.

Also, I still have my "tub o fun" under my bathroom sink. There is nothing of value in this tub. Some expired meds, needles, alchohol swabs, etc. But for some reason, I can't bring myself to clean it out. What the heck am I holding onto? It's not like I'm a won't see me on some TLC show, but still...I just can't seem to bring myself to face that tub just yet. So, it looks like that will stay, as is, under my sink for awhile.

Do I still consider myself infertile even though I made it successfully through a pregnancy? You betcha. I wear my battle wounds with pride and will gladly talk to anyone about my experience with infertility. A pregnancy doesn't erase all that I have been through, even if it does lessen the sting a bit. It seems sort of fitting that it was 7 years ago in February that we started this whole thing and February is when our girls were born, ending it. 7 long years. Are we done having kids? I don't think so, but maybe. Will we try to get pregnant again? I don't think so, but maybe. Will we adopt again? It's always a possibility. As of right now, we are going to enjoy our kids and the life we have. Time will tell what happens beyond that.

So, for anyone that wants to follow the Wilson family, check back in the next week or so for the link to the new page (there will be an update on the girls and some pics). For those of you that are done following...thanks for the support and for always rooting for our success. We appreciate it :-)


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

One month

My babies are one month old. Seriously? Already 1 month? Where does the time go? I knew it would go by fast. This isn't my first go-a-round being a mommy you know. But still. Wow. 1 month.

Things have been a bit chaotic at our house. The girls are pretty good - they have their moments though, when I wonder what happened to my sweet little babies. I think I've been lucky as far as the nights go. I've had a couple bad nights where I needed to call Bobby in for reinforcements, but have mostly figured out how to get the girls fed, changed, and back to bed in under an hour and a half (with two, that is pretty good if you ask me). However....last night was not one of the "good" nights. Nope. Last night can only be described as a "what the hell kind of sick joke is it to give someone two screaming babies at one time" kind-of-night. Yep, my darling angels had had enough. They slept good for the first half of the night, but then they woke up at the same time to be fed. This scenario is never good because Briar is still not latching so I have to nurse Emma and feed Briar with a bottle. Sometimes I can do this simultaneously, but last night the girls were beyond pissed by the time I got to them, and each was demanding strict one-on-one mommy time. This means that while feeding one, I had the other one, purple faced, screaming at the top of her lungs, impatiently waiting her turn. There is nothing in the world that will make you feel more helpless than that. I joke that I feel like I am working in triage. Always accessing who needs me the most at that exact moment. It really is a matter of the squeaky wheel getting the oil.
I finally did get them both fed, burped, and changed. I even managed to have quieted them down and put them back in their crib. I slowly slipped into the twin bed in their room that I've been "sleeping" in and just as my weary head hit he pillow, they were at it again. Crying. In stereo. It was a little something like this, but lots louder with more urgency and red faces.

I picked up Briar because she was crying louder, which only irked Emma and elevated her volume of crying to a whole new level. The next hour and a half was spent holding both babies, putting one in the crib and soothing the other, only to have the calm baby start crying the moment I put her back in the crib. I tried the bouncy chair, I tried the swing, I tried putting them in bed with me, and then I did what all good mothers of twins do at one time or another. I gently lifted them onto my lap...looked at their little beet-red, screaming faces....and I joined in. Yep, I cried. I just sat there and cried. Not because I was frustrated really, but I was exhausted and at my wit's end. And if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

We cried like that for about 15 minutes. Then I told myself to "get it together". We obviously were done sleeping for the night and there was no point in pretending that I would get them to drift off dreamily in cribs at this point. So, change in plans. I went to Bobby's man's room, got lots of warm snuggly blankets, turned on the tv (volume up to an obnoxious level to drown out the crying) and just held the girls while watching tv until they finally gave up (about another half hour later, which at this point was 4:45am). Did I rock them while watching tv? No. Did I shush them or sing them wonderful little baby songs? Nadda. Did I maintain my sanity and eventually have 2 sleeping babies? You betcha. I don't feel good about letting them's a horrible feeling. But at least I was holding them and they knew that I was there with them. At my level of exhaustion, I think that's pretty darn good.

I know some of you are thinking that I should have dragged Bobby out of bed and made him help, and I did consider waking him up. But honestly, he needs his sleep because I need him to be not sleepy when he gets home from work so he can take over while I take a nap (plus he didn't get much sleep when we had Connor and that resulted in an epileptic event that I would rather not happen again). It's probably not a perfect system, but it's our system and I know that I can always count on him if I needed him to get up.

Anywho, Connor is still totally in love with his sisters. Too cute. And he is a genius...he has been moved up to the 4 and 5 year old worksheets in preschool because the 3 year old ones were too easy. We were planning on putting him in Kindergarten when he's six, but now we're not so sure. Maybe we should put him in at age 5. I would love advice on this one :-)
We got the girls pictures taken yesterday. Or, rather we got their individual pics taken yesterday. We have to try again tomorrow for their joint pics. Someone should have told me that if you can't get their pics taken in the first week and a half of their lives (when they are really sleepy all the time) then you should just forget it because it is nearly impossible to get 2 babies to be cute and quiet at the exact same time. We did get some great pics though, and I am going to see if I can get permission to post a couple on my blog. So hopefully I can share those with all of you next week sometime.

Oh, and we did venture out of the house. Bobby and I took all the kids to Walmart and then we got really brave and decided we had just enough time before the girls needed fed to go to a restaurant. A sit-down restaurant. Yes, we are crazy. But we went and all the kids were great. No meltdowns or crying, and Bobby and I actually got to food...together. And there was an actual conversation between us...with words, not just tired grunts to one another (lol). All in all, I would say our first family outing was a success!
Ok, better get going. I have attached a few pics for your viewing pleasure :-)

I just love this one because they are like little mirror images when they sleep sometimes.
What a typical guy. Used the last of the tp and didn't replace it. Also, totally fine hanging in the bathroom reading his toy magazine.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Due Date!

Today is the day I was due to have my girls. I can't believe that instead of heading to the hospital to deliver what probably would have been a couple of 9 lb babies, I am sitting here watching my almost 3 week old little ones sleep. Wow!

So, today started off with me putting on my sweatshirt - it was next to the bed because I had taken it off in the middle of the night...only to discover that inside my sweatshirt was what can only be described as a cold, nasty lump of regurgitated cat food. Ugh! If that was going to set the tone for this day, then I want to go back to bed please. Hopefully, that will be the worst, or at least the grossest thing, that will happen today. But those of you with newborns, or better yet...newborn twins, knows that it's possible that was just the beginning.

The girls are getting into a rhythm and really are pretty good babies. They have some fussy times, but we can go most of the day without crying or crabbiness, so I consider that a victory. And I am happy to say I had a dream last night. Which means....I slept long enough to get into a REM cycle. I haven't had a dream since I was in the hospital, so I was practically giddy about this. Granted this "big sleep" I had was about 3 and a half hours long, but that feels like a lot in the middle of the night.

Ok, short post I know. But the little ladies are taking a siesta, so I am going to enjoy a cup of coffee goodness and read the paper.

Till next time....

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Life with twins and a preschooler!

Wow - things are super busy at out house! I was so lucky to have had my dad here to take care of Connor while I was in the hospital and my mom here for the first 2 weeks home with the girls. But now it's just us. My little family. And we are slowly but surely navigating our way through this crazy time of newborn twins and a very active preschooler.

Connor has been a dream child when it comes to his sisters. He is my diaper and burping helper and just loves his sisters so much that sometimes it's actually a little too much. We have to remind him to back away from the babies because he is always in their faces, kissing them and holding their little hands. I thought the "new" would wear off, but the amount of love that he has for the girls is out of this world. I was worried that he would feel left out or a little jealous, but the only thing that he's said so far is that he doesn't want me to leave again (when I was in the hospital) because it made him feel sad and he thought maybe I wouldn't come back. - Break your heart, right? I assured him that I wouldn't leave like that again and then he was off to other things.

The girls are growing so fast. I can't believe that they are almost 3 weeks old. My original due date was March 9th, which is Tuesday. I think we will do something to mark the occasion, but not sure just what that will be.

Ok, so I know a lot of you have been asking what the babies are like, so this blog will be mostly about that.

Emma and Briar are complete opposites of one another. Emma loves to be swaddled, Briar...not so much. Briar is a sympathetic crier. Emma could care less if Briar is crying. This is interesting because if Emma starts crying, I need to get it under control in a quick manner or I'll have two sad babies. I think Briar is just a little more sensitive that way. Emma will go to sleep if you put her to bed. Briar needs to be held to go to sleep. The list goes on and on. I know that they are individuals and all that, but I just really wasn't expecting them to be this different. It's amazing to see their little personalities forming and while I am loving every minute of them being babies, I find myself getting excited for future milestones - having twins is one of the hardest but most awesome things I think I've ever done.

Sleep. Um, yeah...we aren't getting much of that around here. I know this is a temporary thing, but I think I am almost to that point where I just want to cry because it seems like I will never sleep again - ever. Sad.

Breastfeeding. I'm still going with this. I never in a million years thought I would be someone that would like doing this, but I kind of do and am just not ready to give it up yet. We are having our struggles though. Briar is finicky and rarely nurses. So feeding the girls is very time consuming - I feel like I should just walk around topless to expedite the process. I nurse Emma for about 1/2 hour, then I feed Briar a bottle of breast milk, then I pump to try to keep up my milk supply. I am producing enough milk but just barely. If for some reason I need to give both girls a bottle then I end up using all the breast milk I have in the fridge and the following feeding for Briar has to be formula. Oh and they are on a 3 hour feeding schedule, so this process takes about half of that time. Sometimes in the middle of the night I'll get lucky and can tandem feed them, but it all depends on Briar's mood. I think I need to meet with a lactation consultant. It's exhausting...and yet, I just don't want to stop quite yet.

Me. My c-section incision has healed quite nicely and I doubt the scar will be noticeable at all. I am off the pain meds and feeling really good. I can drive again and can go for walks with the girls, but have to wait one more month before I can exercise. That's ok with me. I want to start exercising, but seriously...when do I have the time right now? Oh, and I'm back on the caffeine. Yep, I have given in to the sweet alertness that it provides me. Oh, and I am super hormonal. Like, cry at the drop of a hat, hormonal. Bobby thinks it's funny. I think it's annoying. I can't wait for my body to sort through all the hormones and regulate itself again.

My follow up dr. appt went well. Blood pressure is close to normal, but I need to stay on the bp medicine for awhile. My doc brought up the topic that makes us laugh...birth control. She asked what we were planning on using. We told her nothing, but she advised we reconsider because she's seen infertile people get pregnant right after having a baby. We are considering it, but honestly...birth control? I absolutely refuse to get back on the pill. I am done loading my body full of hormones. Trust me, I don't want to be pregnant with new babies in the house, but the chances of that are so minimal (pretty much non-existent) that I think we are just going to risk it. My doctor really advises against this, but I think we've made up our minds.

Till next time...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Water retention is almost gone!

Woo hoo! Check this feet are almost back to normal. Hallelujah!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

On the road to recovery

So there I was, healing in the hospital. Bobby just ended up stayed with me for all of the days and nights after the babies were born (poor guy stayed in the hospital almost as long as I did). It was sort of an endless stream of feeding the babies, sleeping, trying to walk around as best I could. We had all of our nurses stop by for a visit at one time of another. Turns out, I was the longest patient there at the time, and I think they developed a special fondness for my girls. It was a little sad saying good-bye to all those wonderful people.

Anyway, so we are thinking "whew" - We had made it through. Everything was looking great. Until my blood pressure was checked when I got off the magnesium sulfate. It was through the roof! I mean really high. Higher than it has ever been. Plus, I was retaining so much water it felt like my feet would bust open. I couldn't even bend my ankles at one point - ouch! Here is a little visual for you all:

They decided to monitor my bp at more regular intervals and informed me that if it didn't go down, I wouldn't be released as planned. What!?! I swear I thought there was a conspiracy to keep me at that darn hospital. They wanted me to make minimum movements - so basically back to bed rest and to keep the lights low and basically try to remain stress free. Uh, I just gave birth to 2, count them, 2 babies. Yep, stress free was gonna be easy.
Needless to say, my bp just kept rising and rising. They did keep us an extra day and finally agreed to let me go home, with a prescription of bp medicine and a promise that I would have my bp checked by my local dr 2 days later. I agreed, and I did have it checked...still high. This is something that I will have to talk to my doc about up my follow up appt this week.
Anywho, the girls did great on their Apgar, hearing tests, and jaundice tests. Emma was given a fully clean bill of health. Briar on the other hand had a little heart murmur. In fact there were 3 issues with her heart. The first two were heart murmurs. One that should clear up within 72 hours and the other was something that normally cleared up on it's own within a couple of weeks. Last checked it looked like both of these had cleared up.
The third thing was a little different. It's called Ventricular septal defect (vsd) and basically Briar has 3 teeny tiny holes between 2 of her heart chambers. They saw these on an ekg. Sometimes this clears up on it's own (here's hoping!). Otherwise they will monitor it and may possibly have to go in through a vein in her leg, up to her heart and patch it. If it gets worse (unlikely) then she may have to have actual surgery. The dr. used the term "open heart surgery" which frankly I think should never be used around new parents, even if the possibility of it is not likely. That's just a scary thing to hear. So, right now we just watch it. She has an appointment with a cardiologist in about 5 weeks and hopefully the little holes will have healed.
That's about it for the birth story. They finally let us leave the hospital, and we made the 2 hour trek home. I had been gone for 25 days and was thrilled to get back to my house. My mom has been here helping us out (thank goodness), and my dad was given a reprieve from taking care of Connor for the past 3 weeks.
The nights have been long, and the girls seem to like to tag team their crying, but we are figuring each other out slowly but surely. Breastfeeding started off pretty great, but the girls had lost weight so we had to supplement with formula and now we are having all kinds of issues. Half the time I am tempted to throw in the towel and go to formula, and half the time I feel inspired to see it through. It takes a lot more of a commitment than I realized and I'm not sure what I will end up doing.
Things with me are slowly going back to normal. I am losing weight at a pretty good pace - almost back to my pre-prego weight. Now I just need to get down to my pre-IVF weight and then my pre-infertility weight. (looks like I have a ways to go). I still look 5 months pregnant regardless of the weight loss, and I am not loving what I've been told is called "twin skin". You see, when I was pregnant my skin was stretched so tight that now it just kind of hangs around my middle. Oh and to make things a little more cruel, spots where I never saw stretch marks are showing stretch marks - how the heck did that happen?
Bobby keeps reminding me that it was only a week and a half ago that we had these babies and to give it time. But when you have put your body through all I have these past 7 years, you kind of forget what you used to look like, and then you get a little anxious to get back to that place.
Alright, I suppose that just about sums it all up.
Till next time.....