Thursday, July 31, 2008

I Don't Want To Know, But I Can't See Anything Anyway!

From the "Looking Back" Series...

From my experience with carrying twins, I had more than my fair share of ultrasounds throughout the entire pregnancy. I had three just during the first trimester and few more during the second trimester and then an ultrasound every other week after 27 weeks until I delivered. Yeah, I was scanned a ton!!
So with all these ultrasounds bring up a big question...did I want to find out what I was having? I certainly had the opportunity a million times to ask the ultrasound tech to take a peek and let us know. I knew that they knew and they knew that I knew that they knew. But every time we had to remind them and the doctors and nurses, "We don't want to know." And it didn't matter if we even tried to peek to see what we were having, who can really see what is going on on the screen anyway? I mean, my husband actually admitted looking and said he had no clue what was going on. Once in a while you can make out a head or an arm..or is that a leg...who knows.
Many people thought we were crazy for not finding out. Certainly there are advantages for finding out the sex of a baby. I know many people who decided to find out so they could plan for the arrival with gender specific clothing, deciding on a name and decorating the nursery. There has to be comfort in talking to the little one still in the belly and calling them by their new name.
Possibly there is a comfort in knowing the sex of the baby simply for preparing for that particular sex. I suppose if someone had 5 daughters and then found out they were having a boy, this would change things up a bit. And of course instead of having either a boy or a girl, we had three possible outcomes since we were having twins. So people were astounded when they would ask what we were having and I would simply say, "We are having twins." Many people would wait for elaboration, but I wouldn't give it. Because I didn't know. At least I had an answer, right? But when anyone found out that we chose not to have this information released to us, they would look at us like we were insane. "You don't know? I would just have to know!"
Why? I mean, really, why? I listed the possible advantages above for finding out, but really who cares about that stuff? For us it was a personal decision to not find out and I don't put down anyone who decides to go for it. But those things just didn't justify for us taking a peek early on.
There are so many things in this world that come to us instantaneously - the Internet is a good example. If I need to know something right now, I Google it. Bam, there is my answer. My husband and I wanted to be surprised. We decided that waiting until our little ones came into the world was the perfect time to find out what we were having. And I can honestly tell you that I wouldn't have done it any other way. If we are ever blessed with more children, I wouldn't find out with them either. The moment I saw my babies was special by all means, but discovering that we had two little girls when they entered the world, well, that was amazing, surreal and the most awestruck I have ever been. Try it out sometime, it is worth the wait, I promise!
So when all the "planners" out in the world ask me how we could prepare for the arrival of twins without knowing what they were, this is my answer: Yellow, green, red, white and orange are all colors too. Little girls can wear blue and well, little boys can wear pink at home when Dad isn't there. So, don't worry about clothing! Most people I know when they had baby showers or received gifts prior to the arrival of the baby always say they receive clothing up to 6 months and don't have much at all in larger sizes. So, never fear. You will be shopping for your little one before you know and can buy the frilly dresses or dinosaur T-shirts until your heart's content. Additionally, remember that after having the little ones, people will want to come see them and many people will bring a gift and that gift you can bet will be the pink or blue that fits your family.
When looking back at the times I laid on the ultrasound table, having my belly covered in goop and squinting at the party going on in my belly, I am proud that we held out. It could have been so easy to find out...well, kind of, we would have had to ask though.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

In Between Clothes, Smoothies and Such

From the "Looking Back" Series...

The second trimester...ahhhh...the time period during the pregnancy when I finally started to show and stopped looking like I just had a beer gut. Everyone knew about the pregnancy, so I didn't have to make up excuses about doctors' appointments and why I was suddenly forgetting things. (Okay, I have always been like this, but it got much worse after I got pregnant.)
I started feeling a little bit better after the first trimester. During the first trimester, I experienced extreme fatigue and slight nausea. (I was so lucky with morning sickness really. I stayed tired pretty much the entire pregnancy and never had the opportunity to sleep through the night because I had to pee every few hours, but I never threw up or was unable to eat.) Many women have told me their experiences and everyone is so completely different when it comes to morning sickness. Also, a woman can have several pregnancies and all of them carry out differently. Go figure. No way to predict what is going to happen, just gotta go with it.
My husband and I decided that I would not be very active throughout the entire pregnancy since I had some trouble early on and being high risk. The doctors by this point had encouraged me to take it easy, so I followed their advice. This meant that I went to work, came home and laid around. That was my world. My husband did everything in the house - cooked, cleaned, laundry, errands, shopping, dog walking, everything! I watched him do it and enjoyed my time to just relax. Since I had been a mad person for the past couple years trying to get pregnant, I figure this was a good time to "chill". So that is what I did.
The second trimester spanned over the fall months and once we entered this time of year, I noticed that my regular clothes were fitting snug around the middle. In the beginning of the second trimester, I wasn't noticeably showing, but I was definitely plumping around the middle, so I ventured out to get a few pairs of pants that had the elastic waistbands. My husband and I commonly referred to maternity pants as "stretchy pants" like Jack Black says in the movie "Nacho Libre". After I got some stretchy pants, I noticed that my normal shirts though still fitting were now unable to cover the elastic panel on the top of the pants. I didn't want to just go out and buy maternity tops (I wasn't showing really), so I searched for regular tops that were a little longer and fuller. These became known as my "in between clothes" - I was too thick in the middle for regular clothes and not full enough for maternity clothes.
The holidays are a busy time with get togethers and gifts and also a lot of food. I decided earlier in my pregnancy that I wouldn't allow this time in my life to be a food free-for-all. It was more important than ever for me to eat healthy, nutritious food because I was supporting the development of two human beings. Pregnancy is not a time to chow down on junk! Eat plenty of healthy food throughout the entire day. I made sure that I consumed a sufficient amount of protein, too. Eating protein first thing in the morning helped me to feel better if I felt a little sick to my stomach. Sometimes I heard to try eating carbohydrates such as saltines or toast. For me this made me feel sicker and also didn't satisfy my hunger either. So, good sources of protein were very helpful. One possible breakfast meal can be: Eggs, fruit or veggies (tomatoes are kind of yummy in the morning if you like them) and a slice of whole grain toast. This will give you a balance of protein, carbs and vitamins and minerals. If eggs don't cut if for you, then try a protein shake. One suggestion is a strawberry banana smoothie. Here is how I make them:

Ice Cubes - use one side of a tray of ice
3-4 frozen strawberries
1 medium sized banana
1/2 to 1 scoop of whey protein powder (follow directions for desired amount of protein)

1. Get yourself a really good blender. I recommend a Cuisinart, but a Kitchen Aid or equivalent is good, too.
2. Use the ice crush feature to crush up ice.
3. Stick strawberries in the microwave for 30 seconds.
4. Add banana, strawberries and protein powder to blender and blend until smooth.
5. May need to use the pulse button to smooth out larger chunks.
6. This will make one large glassful. Enjoy!

Variation: You can add 1% milk if desired.

My large water thermos was my best friend during those days, too. I kept it filled while I was working and was constantly drinking water. This only added to the time I spent in the bathroom, but I was honestly thirsty all the time. I committed myself to drinking 100 ounces of water a day, but the minimum amount of water consumed should be 64 ounces. So 64 ounces or more is good.

Healthy food - check, water - plenty, comfortable clothes - well, comfortable...the second trimester was shaping up to be a time of figuring out this pregnancy thing. Waiting on my little ones, waiting on my little ones...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pins and Needles

From the "Looking Back" Series...

Since my husband and I had been through infertility issues and a miscarriage, we were definitely on pins and needles about this pregnancy. When we found out that I was carrying twins and I was now part of the elite group of patients called the "high risk" group needless to say this didn't make it any easier. Our intial appointment with the doctor after confirming the twins at the ultrasound pretty much went like this...

"What do you do for a living?" I'm in marketing, I sit at a desk.

"Okay, that is all right, you can continue doing that...well, we have many patients in the practice that are having twins right now. We have to tell you that sometimes one of the twins may not grow, known as Vanishing Twin Syndrome, and so we will be carefully monitoring their development." Okay, can I exercise?

"Yes for now. But no strenuous exercise and I want you on pelvic rest." Okay...what is pelvic rest?

"No tampons, douching or sex." Oh, okay...

All pregnancies make for a big change for the body so depending on the person they may or may not be as active as they were prior to conceiving. In a healthy normal pregnancy, most mothers can fare well by continuing at the same activity level as they did prior to becoming pregnant. With multiple pregnancies, the amount of activity also depends on the person and I have heard of many mothers of twins being quite active for a long stretch of their pregnancy. But others aren't so lucky. For questions relating to this, consult your physician or midwife. Do not take my word for it!

Once I found out that I was having twins, I stuck with the doctors in the practice instead of seeing my midwife again. I should have asked to continue with her and just have the doctors consult throughout the pregnancy. I think I was so caught up in the "high risk" part of it, I thought I should just see the doctors since they were going to be involved anyway. (In my practice, I could have continued seeing my midwife and the doctors. I would have had the best of both worlds, but I didn't go with this option. I should have done this.)

When my husband and I left that appointment, we decided to wait telling anyone else until we were "out of the woods". "Out of the woods" for us was waiting until we were done with the first trimester. The first trimester is between one to twelve weeks. After week twelve, the statistical chances of having a miscarriage drops significantly so many people feel that after this week, it is best to begin telling people about the pregnancy. (And some women begin "showing" at this time, so it may be hard to hide, too.) This is a matter of personal choice. Every person reacts differently to their pregnancy news. Some women call everyone as soon as they see two lines on the pregnancy stick. Others wait until their first appointment or after blood work is confirmed. Still others set a personal date in their head when they think it is best to tell. While others like us decided that the beginning of the second trimester was the time. I did struggle with this a little bit because although we wanted to be sure that everything was going to progress, being a Christian we sure could of used the prayers early on.

Despite the ultrasound confirming that the babies were doing fine, I continued to spot throughout the first trimester. It seemed like every other week I was having a new round of spotting. For those who aren't completely familiar with what spotting is, I will give you the basic criteria I use to describe it. (Sorry, but you can't come to a site like this and not hear about bodily fluid, it is inevitable!) It is brownish, pinkish or red tinged fluid that is spotty or extremely light in flow. If you experience more of a red flow that is heavier than what cervical fluid is, this is commonly considered a period, but I have heard of instances where this is still considered spotting. Spotting is nothing to be taken lightly, so always call the doctor when you experience it, but also know that spotting is a tricky symptom at preventing outcomes. I spotted with my first pregnancy and it ended in a miscarriage. I spotted with my second pregnancy and it ended with two healthy little girls. Throughout my research on spotting, I have found this common statistic - 50% of the time spotting ends in miscarriage while 50% of the time spotting ends in a normal pregnancy. Wow, does that make you feel better?? I know I was certainly relieved! (I am being sarcastic here.) Here is what I surmise about spotting. If it happens, call your doctor giving them helpful information like what it looked like, how often and for how long. If you are very early on in the pregnancy (like just finding out), they may ask you to wait it out and take another pregnancy test later on to make sure the pregnancy isn't terminating. If you are little further along, they may bring you in for an ultrasound and check up.

I spotted until week 11. During those weeks of spotting one week and then not the other was grueling for me! I spent several hours in the doctor's office being checked each time I had an episode. I remember crying to one doctor because I was so scared and frustrated. (He ended up being the doctor that delivered Peanut & Jelly Bean.) But throughout that first trimester though it was scary I got several ultrasound pictures for my little ones and the first time I heard both of their heartbeats the reality of their existence became so much clearer. My little blobs were alive and growing. They were on their way. Think postive. Think positive.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I Just Knew

From the "Looking Back" Series...

The days after the positive pregnancy tests (commonly referred to on the Internet as BFP - big fat positive) were exciting and nerve-wracking. I was thrilled that I was pregnant again, but also leary having just been through the miscarriage three months prior. My husband and I decided to cautiously approach this pregnancy, not wanting to get our hopes up. I called the doctor's office the day after taking the tests and was able to get in for blood work. I had gone to my midwife for the first pregnancy, but ended going to one of the doctors for the testing. I really don't know completely why I switched. I know a doctor performed my D&C and gave me the second round of Clomid, too, so I guess I just thought I would go to the doctor intially and then switch back to my midwife.

It was after the first blood work was drawn that I started feeling kind of strange. Something felt different than the first pregnancy. I was feeling quite anxious lying awake in bed for hours in the middle of the night with my mind racing. I couldn't concentrate on anything at work or at home. I was completely exhausted and dragging throughout the entire day. I couldn't eat chicken or turkey anymore, the thought of it made me very nauseous. All of these symptoms were very early on in the pregnancy. I met my husband in the hallway the day before the second round of bloodwork was going to take place. "Things feel strange." I volunteered to him. "Like what?" He replied. "Well, this may sound crazy, but this pregnancy feels different. And it may be because the other pregnancy ended as a miscarriage, but this one feels...I don't know..." I could barely get out what I was going to say. He stood waiting for me to say it and then it finally hit me. "Like there is more than one baby." I couldn't believe what I had said and it felt so silly saying it. He quietly considered what I had said and didn't react in any way. He just said, "Okay." It was a surprising reaction because I think that he really believed me. That in itself was odd...

So the second round of bloodwork was finally drawn and when I called for the results it came back that the pregnancy was progressing. Progressing quite well actually. HcG levels are expected to double in about 2-3 days. Mine quadrupled in 2 days. That was strange. Now, I have read on several message boards that everyone has their own experiences with this, so quadrupling in 2 days does not always means twins, but with the feelings that I was having it seemed like another piece of the puzzle fitting into place.

With the bloodwork confirmed, we were relieved that everything looked like it was off to a good start. Now, we only had 35 weeks to go! (Finding out early makes for a very loooong pregnancy!) Our relief was short lived when one day I started spotting. I remember freaking out and bawling all the way to my husband who lead me to our bed and told me to think positive and lay down. The previous miscarriage began with spotting so I was completely terrified that it was happening again. I called the doctor who brought me in for a check up. After looking everything over, he said that everything appeared fine, but had me have an ultrasound a couple days later. Here we go again...

My pregnancy symptoms were still quite strong even though I was spotting. I tried to stay positive, but I wasn't completely successful at it. I was anxious to have the ultrasound done, but also dreading any bad news. To make it worse, my husband couldn't go with me due to work so I was faced to go alone to find out what was happening. When the day came, I laid on the ultrasound table and prayed that everything was going to be okay. I knew that my faith in Christ had gotten me through the last couple of years of trying and waiting and suffering with the miscarriage. The ultrasound tech started scanning me and found a little blob on the screen. She began searching for the little flicker that was called the heartbeat and there it was. She calmly pointed out the heartbeat and then began measuring everything. I remember asking if everything looked okay and she commented that so far everything looked fine. When she was starting to finish up the scan, I remember my heart kind of sinking. Only one? What about all my strange feelings? I remembered laying in bed in the middle of the night trying to come up with two names. Why two? So, as things began to wrap up, I let out my little confession to her, "This may sound crazy, but I really thought you were going to say there were two in there. But I am sure everyone wonders that, right?" The tech looked at me quickly saying "Not everyone" and immediately started scanning me again. Suddenly she let out a soft gasp and said, "I was wrong. There are two." "WHAT?" Her statement, though I felt like it was the truth, to hear it said by her was alarming. She began measuring my second little blob and I laid there my mind racing, my heart about to beat out of my chest and I felt so incredibly excited.

Second little blob's heartbeat looked good, too. The tech gave me pictures and I stepped out of her room into the busy hallway of the doctor's office where I ran into my midwife. She smiled and came over to see what was obviously ultrasound pictures in my hand. "Let me see your baby!" She exclaimed. There, it was the first time I got to say it, "I have two babies." She got excited and pointed to a young mother with a newborn walking down the hallway. "That is going to be you...times two!!"

When I got home, I sat studying the pictures of my little ones for a long time. I eagerly awaited my husband coming home for work. When I saw his vehicle pull up, I braced myself for how I was going to not only tell him that the pregnancy was fine, but that it was better than fine. He walked in and I calmly asked him to come sit on the couch. He looked nervous, so I immediately told him that everything looked good so far. That helped to calm him down and so I asked him if he wanted to see the pictures. He shook his head yes and so I put them out in front of him and said, "Meet your children. There are two." His face softened as he grabbed the pictures. He didn't say anything for a moment and then replied, "When I pulled up to the house, I had this thought that you were going to tell me that we were having twins...I guess after our conversation in the hallway, it got me thinking...You knew. How did you know?" He looked at me perplexed. I smiled and shook my head saying, "I don't know. I just knew."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

After Smiley Face Guy...

From the "Looking Back" Series...

It's hard to explain the waiting period to anyone who isn't actively trying to have a baby. Many women don't necessarily experience this part of the process. For those surprise pregnancies or those women who just black out after ovulation, this part may seem like nothing. But to the rest of us hopeful souls who desperately want to conceive this is the worst part of the "trying" game. You gave it your all. You did everything you knew you could do. You followed your doctor's advice. You tried every single suggestion thrown on a message board. When the moment came, you grabbed your husband and gave it your best performance. And when the moment had passed, you kept hips up and waited for his little guys to have a chance to swim upstream. Now there is nothing left for you to do, but wait. For, like, two weeks or so.


What happened to instant gratification? Don't we live in the generation where we have everything at our fingertips? Why can't we know now?? Hasn't science figured out a way? Maybe there is a light somewhere on my body that will come on the moment the sperm and egg meet. Well, science is apparently getting close because I see the commercials for that one brand all the time on TV telling me so. But until they figure it out, we wait. And waiting isn't a bad thing, really. Some miscarriages happen so early in the pregnancy that the woman doesn't even know she was pregnant to begin with. So, in essence, ignorance is bliss. Waiting until your missed period is really the right approach. Don't rush the test taking. If you test too early, you could just not have enough of an increase in hormone to get a positive result. It will save you from disappointment, frustration and wasted tests.

So, the following day after trying, I woke in the morning to take my temperature discovering that my temperature had spiked overnight. (I haven't discussed the process of taking and charting temperatures, but if someone has specific questions, I would be happy to answer any.) Basically when charting temperatures, you have to take your temperature first thing every morning at the same exact time. The temperture should stay consistent, but at ovulation will spike due to the increase of hormones. The following day I saw the spike. It had only been about eighteen hours or so since smiley face guy showed up. We got one try in. We were done for the month. I was pissed. I stomped into the kitchen where my husband was and announced the news in an annoyed voice, "Well, I ovulated." Again, he blankly stared at me wondering why I was upset. "Wasn't that what we wanted?" He cautiously replied. "Yeah, but I wanted to try a COUPLE of times. You know, to make sure it worked! Now it is all over with!" I remember he laughed like when you experience something anti-climactic. We were gearing up for it, it came and was over before you know it. (The only other type of experience that comes to mind is planning a wedding.) So, we both finally chuckled about it and went on our lives involved in all of our day to day commitments and really believe that? Remember, I was crazy, right? My husband went about his days, but I think it was always in the back of his mind. Perfectly normal. It was a big life deal that we were trying to accomplish. But me, well, it was always in the front of my mind. I went to work and tried to focus on what I was doing and who I was with. But all I could think about was every little ache, twinge, thought, desire and cervical fluid that appeared before me. (Yep, we are back to that.)

Because I was a temperature taking fiend, I knew that my luteal phase (the time period between ovulation and the first day of the next period) was eleven days. This means that eleven days after the day I ovulated, I should expect to get my period. This would be the earliest day that I should try to test. Every woman experience different pregnancy symptoms at different times within the pregnancy, so what I am about to tell you isn't for you to assume will happen to you. I noticed a couple things that happened to me while I was waiting to test that I can't attribute to a normal cycle. My nipples were very sore and I had to pee like the dickens. A couple days after ovulation, I noticed that I started having to get up in the middle of the night and use the restroom. Now, I was a person who could probably hibernate for the winter. So, when it became a ritual to get up everynight to use the bathroom, I thought that was quite odd. I was quite pumped, too, that something ODD was happening. About two in the morning my bladder would start screaming and I would awake, smile and go pee. Sweet abnormal bliss. When my nipples felt like they were going to fall off, I would pleasantly sigh. They hurt, but I was happy.

Day 10 Mission: Go to CVS after work and buy a 2 pack pregnancy tests. (BTW - the store brand work just as good as the expensive kind. Don't worry about buying the best. You are just going to pee on it.) Set alarm to get up to take test before getting ready for work. Try to not get up to pee in middle of night, need the best morning pee as possible....

Day 11 Mission: Get up and open up directions to test...why didn't I read the directions the night before? I can't hold my pee in any longer! Okay, they are all about the same. Just take the cap off and pee on the stick part....ahhh...much better...cap back on, sit on a flat surface and wait for results...still peeing...ooh, my breasts hurt even more today, cool...still peeing...

The test was positive. I decided to be cool about it, but I wanted to scream. So, I finished peeing, finished up and went to find my husband. I met him in the hallway. Remember it was early and he was half asleep. I felt like a little girl waking up early on Christmas morning to see what Santa had left for me. I told him the news. He was pleased, but told me to take another one tomorrow. Hmm...Why would he tell me to do that?

I think that he was a little gun shy after our miscarriage. I don't think that I truly understood how important it was for him to be pregnant, too. He hurt just like me and was hopeful just like me. Now, he was asking me to be sure because his heart couldn't take it if it were wrong. Those words never left his mouth, but that is what I believe he was feeling. And I think that he was wise, too, to know me well enough to know that my heart couldn't take it either. So, I took two more in the following days and both were positive, too. It was time to call the doctor to get that bloodwork done and to find out some very important news.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Doing It Like It is Your Job

From the "Looking Back" Series...

Well, I never set out to get pregnant with twins. Let me say that first. We tried the old fashioned way thinking that in a couple months we would have a positive pregnancy test and all would be well. It didn't happen that way. We went a year without birth control never trying to be careful. If it would have happened during this time we would have been happy, but we weren't "actively" trying. Try asking a couple if they are going to have a baby. You will probably hear, "Yes, we want one, but we aren't "actively" trying. " One definition of actively trying is that we have decided this is the time to have a baby and now we are fooling around with a goal instead of just fooling around. Well, once we decided that we were ready to start actively trying, things changed. My version of actively trying is we have decided this is the time to have a baby and now I am charting my temperature, peeing on ovulation test sticks, abstaining from alcohol, caffeine and anything else that could be dangerous just in case I am pregnant, taking prenatal vitamins and obsessing over the multiple ways that cervical fluid could look throughout the month. I read a million websites and postings from other TTC-ers (Trying To Conceivers) and even paid money on one website to enter my morning temperature so that a pretty graph would spit out so I could take it to the doctor with me. (I do know how to use Excel, but what the heck, right?) It was my job. I would READ my journal of temperatures, scouring over every number trying to figure out a pattern to them like I was trying to unlock a secret code into the world of motherhood. After months of doing this and having no luck and very sporadic periods every three to four months, we needed help...we needed to bring a third person into this process.

I went to my midwife with my charts in hand ready to show all the work that I had put into it. I took three months of temperature readings with me, knew when my last period was and how long we had been trying. (If you are trying to get pregnant and are having problems, having this information with you when you go to the doctor is extremely helpful to them.) My midwife in the spirit of midwifery and all things natural (I love her) suggested we wait a couple more months. Sounded like a plan. So, I went home and resumed my job of obsessing over fertilization. After a few more months of nothing, we went back in to the office and one of the doctor's in the practice suggested we try Clomid. Oh no, the "C" word! Doesn't this stuff make you crazy? I want to do things natural. Maybe just a few more months and then I will figure out the algorithm to my menstrual cycle...

We decided to go for it. I went on the lowest dosage of Clomid which is 50 mcg for the first month. Most doctors will start their patients on this dosage and continue to increase if needed by 50 mcg. I used it on days 5-9 of my menstrual cycle (day one is the first day of your period) and then stopped. I noticed that I had a few mild hotflashes, but really nothing else. I certainly didn't feel crazy, but maybe my heightened level of craziness over the past year cancelled it out. I took ovulation tests and it took several weeks for a positive test to show up. Once we had a positive ovulation test, we tried. And we were successful.

We were overjoyed a couple weeks later to find out we were pregnant. It had been a long time coming and we couldn't believe it was finally here. But our joy didn't last too long. A couple days after my positive pregnancy test, I started spotting. I called my midwife to find out what we should do and they brought me in that day to take blood work. When they take blood work, they are looking for an increase in the hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) level. It should double every two to three days. Once I took the blood test, I went in for a second blood test 48 hours later. My levels didn't look good, so they performed an ultrasound. Two ultrasounds later, there was no heartbeat. It was called a blighted ovum. A blighted ovum is when there is a gestational sac, but no embryo. It has been explained as possibly being caused by chromosomal issues. My midwife suggested a D & C (dilatation & curettage) and so we had that done and waited three months before trying again.

I was devastated and it took a lot out of me. But a strange thing happened during those three months while we weren't trying. I got to take a break. I mean, I stopped reading my temperature journal, didn't pee on any sticks and enjoyed my husband for the man that I love him to be and not the sperm donor that I was starting to see him as. And he is great...I mean, I was CRAZY and he stuck with it. He was going through the same thing that I was and he stayed strong for me. He encouraged us and he stayed positive when I was weak. So, finally, I got to enjoy him again.

Three months came and went. I called the doctor ready to get back to work...I need another round of Clomid, here is my temperature chart from the last month I took Clomid, it took awhile to ovulate on 50 mcg, should I try 100 mcg?...The doctor prescribed the 100 mcg and off I went. I took it days 5-9 of my cycle and this time, whoa the the hotflashes, but again there were no other symptoms. I had read that Clomid can dry you up (back to the cervical fluid), but one suggestion was to drink green tea before ovulation. I did this and I have to say it worked for me. No kidding. Plus I decided to go high tech this time. I bought a digital ovulation test kit so instead of comparing lines, I would see a smiley face. I was ready.

One Saturday I was going through my usual routine of ovulation testing. I had been testing that week and was close to running out of tests. I took the test and went about doing housework waiting for the results. When I went it to check, it was blank. Nothing. There wasn't even a circle where the smiley face lived. I was quite frustrated because as you recall I was running quite low on these, so angrily I smacked the side of the test with my hand and suddenly the little smiley face guy appeared. I remember running in and telling my husband, "I got a smiley face! I got a smiley face!" Puzzled looking, my husband stared at me wondering what I was talking about so I added, "I am getting ready to ovulate! We have to try now!" "Right now?" he asked. "Yes!!" I remember being frantic as if I was going to miss the bus or something. So we dropped what we were doing and tried again.

This time we hit the jackpot. Twice.

How It All Got Started

As you can see, my girls are 17 months old. That means, 17 months have passed since their entry into this world and you are probably wondering...great, you will tell me about what 17 month olds are doing, but my twins are cooking right now! What about twin pregnancies? What about newborns? I need answers!"

Never fear. I can go back in my time machine and recall all of the information that I can possibly spit out of my fried brain. For some reason, it has been permanently imprinted into my mind. So, sit back and let me tell you about the "trying" part and over the next couple of weeks we will take each stage in order and I will relive it. Yeah....I must really love you all. :)

Let's Get Acquainted

Seventeen months ago, my life changed. Everything I knew about this world and who I was as a person completely went out the window. The so-called stress of my days prior to this was a joke. Spending time with my husband - grabbing our keys and rushing out the door for a spontaneous dinner or movie, having "quality" time together, opening a bottle of wine after work and dreaming about our future - that is now called "the past". We now currently live in the "the present". The present is called "life with twins."

My husband and I were blessed in February 2007 with the arrival of twin baby girls. Probably from the opening of this blog, you might of suspected I would have entered the word "cursed" instead of "blessed", but they are blessings. Because although life completely changed for us, the change was one of amazing love, challenge, adventure, beauty, laughter, tears, exhaustion and the best moments of my life so far. I am exhausted by the time the girls go to bed at night, but shortly after they are asleep, I have to stop myself from wanting to scoop them up and hold them all night.

Twins are amazing. Twins scare outsiders. I often hear "How do you do it?" or "I couldn't imagine!" I smile and politely say something like, "It's hard work, but I love it." And that is the truth. It isn't easy at all. But when you are faced with two little human beings who both need you desperately for love, hugs and kisses, direction, food, diaper changings, clothing changings, baths, etc. there is only one thing to do. Love them, hug them, kiss them, guide them, feed them, change them, bath them...

How in the world can all of this be done? Well, I am glad you asked! I have created this blog to chronicle my family's journey with bringing up twins (and of course sharing the adorable stories of my amazing little girls), but I also want to help other soon-to-be parents of twins find the information they need for caring for their little miracles in the womb and in the world. I hope other twin parents and parents of two or more small children (I think that if you have 2 or more in diapers, you can completely relate to what parents of multiple children go through) will gain ideas, insight and support.

So, enjoy reading about my Peanut and Jelly Bean and many blessings to all.