Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Boys Are Here!!!

I'm trying to post this from the hospital Internet access, but I will be able to do this announcement better justice from home, but it is a very odd, but short birth story. They came so fast and furious there was nothing anyone could do. But the boys are in the NICU and doing well. They were born at 31 weeks 5 days gestation on 5/29/2009. I will post their names and information (no comments on names unless you like them, LOL):

Baby A: Thomas Michael III born at 2:09 AM
Weight - 3 lbs, 15 1/2 oz
Length - 18 inches

Baby B: Liam Jonathan born at 2:20 AM
Weight - 4 lbs, 1.4 oz
Length - 17 1/4 inches long

Just a word on their health, Thomas's breathing is doing well and he did not need any help in that area so far. I had two steroid shots from when I was admitted until before they were born, so I think that helped. Liam was intubated and given surfactant when he arrived in the NICU and is now on CPAP, although he can't stand having the tubes in his nose. Both are under the bili-lights starting today. Thomas is taking some feeds through a feeding tube, but Liam is still on IV only. The doctor's are estimating 3-4 weeks for them to be here in the hospital. I'm getting discharged tomorrow afternoon. We don't live very far from the hospital, about 30 minutes, so we'll be back and forth a lot. Please keep our boys in your prayers.

BTW, on the belly shot, I was a bit nervous with using the bikini shot, but I figured what the heck. I will say I wasn't brave enough to wear it outside the bedroom where we took all our pregnancy photos, but we used the bikini to hide my privates while showing the full belly. I got the idea from a friend that also had twins.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

PG - 31 Weeks 3 Days - Belly Shot As Promised

As promised, I looked through the pregnancy shots Leo has been taking of me, and here is a belly shot from 28 weeks, which was the first week of May. I know we need to work on some more recent photos. Especially since I'm sure it will show how the babies are lower than they used to be. The only unfortunate thing is I think they spread back out up top and starting yesterday, I'm not that interested in eating again. Oh well. I guess eating is over-rated.

Monday, May 25, 2009

PG - 31 Weeks 1 Day - Babies Dropped

It's official, I can tell the babies dropped sometime on Saturday. Since then I've had an easier time driving, eating in the evenings and I can breathe again!!! But it is hard to do dishes as I have to try to bend over the sink and walking is hysterical. My hips are hurting a lot more again and my lower belly is really sore if I stand for a few minutes. Lying down is really good these days.

But I have some energy right now and I have a lot of things I need to get done today. I have some planting I want to do, thank you cards to write, laundry to get done and hopefully, I can find some shorts around here I can fit into. The weather has gotten warmer (into the 80s) and really sunny. It's a beautiful day for a Memorial Day off work. So I'm off to get some things done today and hopefully get some more photos I can upload today.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Phoebe First Communion Pics

I'm going to get caught up - hopefully very quickly - on posting of new pics. Here are the ones from Phoebe's First Communion, which was the weekend of May 3rd. You'll have to excuse Phoebe if she looks tired in any of the photos. We go to 8 AM mass, so the pics at the house were done at 7AM!!!! Please note that her First Communion dress and veil have been in Leo's family for 35 years. His mom made it for their first daughter's communion and then all 5 of their girls have ended up wearing it. Phoebe is the 4th grand-daughter to wear it on their side of the family. It's really neat for me since I've been to all the cousin's First Communions (except 1 in Wisconsin) so I've seen it worn many times and then pics of all his sisters. The last pic here is with her Aunt Nicole, who is her godmother as well as the SIL that is coming to stay with us and help with "the boys". She was also the main conspirator with my friends to throw my baby shower. She's awesome!!!!!

Enjoy! Next I'll be trying to do a belly pic today and download pics from the baby shower.

Monday, May 18, 2009

PG - 30 Weeks 1 Day - Level II Ultrasound Day

We had another Level II ultrasound today and everything is looking great. Stats are as follows:

Baby 1 - not presenting first, head down, heart rate 142, estimated weight 3lbs, 5 oz

Baby 2 - presenting first, head down, heart rate 138, estimated weight 3lbs, 8 oz

Basically, I'm carrying almost 7 lbs of baby, confirming that I'm about as big as I was when Phoebe was delivered as she was a little over 7 lbs.

I also had an OB appointment on Friday and things were going well there too. My blood pressure is starting to be elevated, so she wants to keep an eye on it. It was only 130/78, so not too high yet and to be expected. Both places want to see me in 2 weeks and then after that I have weekly appointments. So my next doctor's appointment is 5/29. I'll try to publish some more pics soon, but I've been so tired when I get home from work (or even when I work from home) that I don't get around to it. But I have some great pics from Phoebe's Communion and the Baby Shower there's lots to share.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

PG - 29 Weeks 4 Days - Pregnancy Brain/Momnesia

I've had a lot of interesting moments of pregnancy brain, but this week I had one that takes the cake. It was so funny I'm still laughing at how confused I get sometimes. We're Catholic and as I mentioned before our daughter received First Communion two weeks ago (I promise to get those pics out there. They are so cute!). She also has what they call CYFF classes every Tuesday night from September to mid-May. This started in 1st Grade and she'll continue until 6th Grade when she receives Confirmation. The last CYFF class of every year is not really a class, but a May Procession Mass. This is where they have an abbreviated mass with all they CYFF kids and their families and other church members and the First Communion and Confirmation kids come in their fancy dress outfits they wore for the occasion. After the mass is over, everyone processes outside and the "May Queen" (a little girl picked from the Communion class) crowns the statue of Mary outside with a crown of roses.

Well, of course I didn't pay attention that the date of this mass was Wednesday, instead of her usual night of Tuesday for CYFF class. So Tuesday night, Phoebe had to get all cleaned up after dinner, put on her dress, do her hair and hustle to the church. We show up 15 minutes early, but still expect to see people there. There was no one! Then I realize it's Tuesday and this thing is probably on Wednesday. We go to Rita's for water ice (of course!) and I let Phoebe slip out of her Communion dress and put on my fleece pullover so she won't get anything on her dress while she ate her water ice. I got home and double-checked the church calendar online and sure enough, it's the next night. We were 24 hours early!!!

We did it all over again last night and this time we were successful at getting the right night. Another funny thing that happened is that when we were all kneeling during Communion, I had to lean back on the seat because I can't kneel for so long with these big boys adding to my weight. I went to a Catholic school for a few years in my elementary school days and I was conditioned to kneel straight and not lean back on the pew. As soon as I leaned back because my knees were hurting, I felt like someone was going to come and tap my behind to remind me to stay straight! It felt very weird.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

PG - 29 Weeks 2 Days - More Blogging Therapy

Wow, was yesterday's writing ever therapeutic. But like most relationships, the one with my mom cannot just be boiled down to the few paragraphs I put down. That post was our issues. I really can't say though that I have a bad mom. There are so many things I love about her and the influence she had on my life, so I feel that I need to post this side of our relationship too. It's just that as my mother has gotten older - and BTW, she's not that old, she's only 17 years older than me, so that makes her 55? I don't pay attention to exact age, because I think it's just a number and that's one of the things my mother taught me when I was younger. A lot of my personality was developed by things I learned from my mom. Here's a comprehensive list
1. Go to college - have a career, be able to support yourself and don't rely on anyone else to support you. My mom was a child of the 60s and brought me up in the 70s with the whole women's lib thing. I've embraced it totally. I went to college and got a great degree because of her influence. So it was tough when I got to college not to feel her support, because I was just doing what she taught me to do. I love my work, I work really really hard (including some calls on weekends) but I make sure I balance it with parenting and being a wife. Remember the Anjali perfume commercials? I joke that that's me. Not to start a working mom/stay at home/work at home mom debate. This is just what I was raised to be. My mom got married at 16, had me at 17. She went back and got her GED and decided to go to nursing school when I was in 4th grade. When she graduated before I started 7th grade, I was so proud of her and her accomplishment. She did it to make our lives better financially and it was awesome.

2. Marry for love, not for money. Money can go away. My grandmother (her mom) used to always tell me, "It's as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor man." My response back was always "I'm going to college, get a career and I can marry any poor fool I want." I'm sure this influence came from my mom. Even though her and my dad divorced a few years ago, I always knew (and still know) that they love each other a lot. They just have a hard time living together, LOL. And yes, I married for love. I adore my husband more than words can say and I'm so glad I found him.

3. "Act like you know." - It was a saying someone she worked with had, and we loved this as our life's motto. Not that you need to fib your way through things, but that confidence is extremely important in life and you should be confident in what you do know and confident to ask the questions to keep knowing. People always say that I seem like such an upbeat positive person and it's mostly because I just always feel like not matter what the challenge, I can figure it out. My mom was always like this and I admire this in her.

4. Embrace diversity and tolerance for others. Very important considering I grew up in a town that didn't have any minorities in it until I moved and was in college. It is directly because of her influence that I have no issues with embracing diversity every day and valuing the differences of others. My mother used to tell me when I was growing up, "I don't care if you marry someone that is black, white or purple. As long as they love you and treat you well." It's a shame that when I was in college and got into a relationship that tested that statement that she didn't stand behind it anymore, but in the long run it didn't matter as we didn't get married, but it had nothing to do with his ethnic background. I actually blame his being Sagittarius, which is the same sign as my mother, go figure. I've found I can be best friends with a Sagittarius person, but they will never really "get me" and I can't live with them.

So the other thing I've been thinking about lately is things I would like my mother to understand about me that I don't think she does, but are extremely important to me. I'd love for her to celebrate these with me:

1. I'm a much stronger person than she thinks I am. I am sensitive to smells and am a little OCD about some things (closing cabinets that are left open, cold feet, etc.), but I have a high tolerance for pain and I can get through anything. Hence, the 21 hours of labor I went through with Phoebe with no pain meds or epidural, and getting through college on my own two feet, going through infertility treatments and sticking with it to get my objectives, being able to balance my daughter's commitments, my husband's traveling work schedule, running a home, and working full time.

2. I'm not the same person I was in college. Heck, I'm not the same person I was 5 years ago, maybe even a year ago. I keep changing and growing, which I value in myself. Mentioning what I was like when I was in high school or who I dated back then is extremely frustrating because I have moved on from there.

3. I have earned everything I have. Do not compare me to family relations that have possibly married for money, because I have worked very hard for my home and the financial stability I currently have (not that anyone is really that stable right now). We make trade offs just like everyone else does. Yes, I can sometimes buy designer pieces, but I still buy off the sale rack and we don't really go on extravant vacations, because we've spent the past several years focusing on my husband's MBA, building our new house and infertility treatments. I do meal plan and have "leftover surprise" for dinner weekly to keep expenses in check.

Monday, May 11, 2009

PG- 29 Weeks 1 Day - Family Stresses

I’ve been wondering whether or not to write about this here, especially since my mother does read my blog, but my mother and I don’t seem to be getting along again. I say again, as we’ve had a strained relationship for many, many years. Definitely since my college days, but a bit when I was in high school. I know in her mind she thinks I “just don’t get it”, but I don’t understand what “it” is that I don’t get. Personally, I think she just doesn’t get “it” but I can explain exactly what that is. I’ve felt for most of my life that my mother doesn’t support me and my decisions or really love me, which is very difficult coming off Mother’s Day and being successfully pregnant for the second time.

We’ve had difficulties since college, but I always racked those up to the usual issues women have with their mothers as they become independent. Especially since I am a very independent creature. I will listen to the opinions of others, but I make up my mind based on what I think is best for me. I’ve been on my own since I left for college, paying my own way for tuition, books, housing, food, etc. Thankfully, my parents don’t make much money, so I was able to get good financial aid, but I filled out all that paperwork myself. If I wasn’t so determined to make something of myself, I don’t know if I would’ve given up at some time and never finished college, but I did and got a BS in Electrical Engineering from a very good university in Philadelphia, PA. During that time, I also gained a lot of good work experience and this helped me find a job after I graduated. I met my husband there and we got engaged the year after he graduated and I was in my senior year. This is where things got really sticky with my mom. She didn’t seem to want me to get married. I couldn’t understand why, as he’s the most wonderful, handsome, smart, terrific man in the whole world. We’re still married after 15 years and while we’ve had our ups and downs, we both mean the world to each other. I would’ve thought that she would’ve been happy for me, but she didn’t seem it, and even refused to help pay for the catering of our wedding, which was quite a reasonable cost. We ended up borrowing the money from my in-laws and paid them back right away with the money we received from the wedding cards. This said, our idea of a honeymoon was driving to Florida and having a vacation on the cheap. Considering that we were young and romantic it was still wonderful.

There were other things over the years that have happened, but my real issues have been since my “Momma Bear” instincts have taken over when we had Phoebe. It took us over 5 years to have Phoebe, including surgery and ovulation induction/IUI. My mom was there for the surgery, and I thought that things would be great between us now that I was having the first grandchild, but after awhile things started going south again. I know I wouldn’t let my mom into the delivery room, but I was never able to explain to her that the reason why is that I was trying to keep a positive tone at the end of a very nerve-wracking pregnancy. We knew that there was something was wrong with her right lung even before the delivery and we were very scared. I wanted to have a natural delivery with no drugs, so I could be there for Phoebe immediately without waiting for an epidural to wear off. Plus I am kind of a crunchy granola type of girl and wanted to do with as little medical intervention as possible. My mom is a registered nurse and she gets this nervous look on her face all the time like something is going to go wrong. I could not look at her while trying to be so upbeat for Phoebe. I had to believe that everything would be OK. I know this hurt her feelings, but I had to do what was best for me.

During Phoebe’s infancy and toddler years, things were great. We all visited a lot and I thought she agreed that Phoebe was an amazing creature. But then things got weird when the visits became just her annual birthday party and one year she didn’t even come, having an excuse that she was visiting a friend in Oklahoma and had gotten a great plane ticket rate for that weekend. I think it was either her third or fourth birthday, I just know that Phoebe remembered, because she asked the next year if Nana was coming to her party, because she didn’t come last year. I was thrown off by that question, because I don’t bring up my issues with my mom and try to keep thing light with Phoebe, so she doesn’t get the wrong impression.

Since then we’ve had quite a few issues with my mom thinking I should come visit her more often, even though we’ve had a dog that we would have had to kennel to go away for the weekend and trying to fit it around Phoebe’s weekend activities – and Phoebe is in no way an overscheduled kind of girl. So she ended up doing what she hated her father for doing, not understanding that she’d like visits from him instead of forcing them the other way around. For the past few years, she’s only visited us once a year for Phoebe’s birthday party and we’ve only gone up to visit right after Christmas. But we seemed to have a kind of truce. I don’t see any point in arguing, because I know it’s not going to get me anywhere except frustration.

But things have really come to a head recently. My mom told me when my surprise baby shower is for the twins and she didn’t come. She called me last Saturday to tell me that she wouldn’t be able to make my baby shower next Saturday, because she needed to buy her mother a Mother’s Day gift. And also that it didn’t matter if she showed up because “I was going to get what I was going to get whether she was here or not”. Great attitude, eh? Personally for me having my friends throw me a baby shower was not about what I’m going to get, but a celebration of overcoming 8 years of infertility and finally finishing building our family. You’d think she’d be happy for me. Granted she did tell me a few weeks ago that my SIL was calling her about the baby shower, but she didn’t tell me when it was and when I asked Leo about it, he didn’t tell me when either, as we decided to try to keep some surprise to it. I found out that my SIL and friends were throwing it and that they were calling my mother for contact info for my side of the family. I gave Leo the information on my family and had him lie and say that he found my address book.

So I had a great time at my baby shower, and I’ll post more about it, but I’m not feeling the love from my mother and I’m not sure why she’s acting the way she is. I hope that it’s not a jealousy of what I’ve achieved in life. Yes, I have a nice house, job, husband, etc., but I have my own stresses too. But I always have an attitude of gratitude for the stresses in my life, because one goes with the other. So maybe that is why some might think my life is all roses and no thorns because I’m generally an optimistic person.

But I’m sure I’ll let this roll off my back sometime soon. I’m not sure what I could do to make my mother realize the pain she causes me. I’m not sure she really cares. I thank those who have read all this. I think this is my longest post ever. There’s so much more about this situation that I could go into, but it’s past history that I’ve tried to forget, but find it hard to as more and more things come up.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

PG 28 Weeks 4 Days - "People Eat at Rita's"...

So I have the Rita's Water Ice commercial (I think this is only a Philly area franchise) running through my head as we went there last night for a snack/craving. Mmmmmmm. Mango water ice. I was craving it before we left for Phoebe's ice skating class. I'm so proud of her too! She officially passed both the Delta levels during this session and is now officially in the Freestyle levels. In the big leagues now! So happy for her! She worked so hard in ice skating over the past few months. I talked to Leo about going to Rita's after her class and he was gratefully on board. I'm so uncomfortable and cranky this week, I think he just wants to make me happy. We didn't tell Phoebe until we pulled into the parking lot and I was in heaven eating my mango water ice. Phoebe even commented on how I went from totally cranky to "so happy I'm singing commercials and practically dancing". Phoebe was having commitment issues and kept going back and forth from eating her vanilla soft-serve ice cream cone and trading with her Aunt Niki for her mango water ice. I tucked her into bed and she was complaining about her stomach aching. I told her that I didn't think it was a good idea to eat ice cream and water ice at the same sitting and that's what probably caused it. But she was so cute. Her response was "But they were both so good!!!"

The weather here is miserable. I'm sick of rain. I already want to sleep all the time and the dreary skies and rain aren't helping. It doesn't look like it'll be changing until Mother's Day rolls around.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

PG - 28 Weeks 3 Days - Congratulations in Order

I've been in tears several times today. I'm a happy crier and I could only be happier on the day our boys are born. My dear friend, Merlot, and her husband have now become parents. Merlot is my online friend, but she only lives 40 minutes away from us and we have met in real life a few times. We share a love of wine as well as our desire for children. Her and her husband have been through the wringer on this journey to parenthood. I'm not sure her current blog goes through all the issues they've had, but it's been long and painful. God definitely owes them some easier times. She's recently posted that they've been picked by as adoptive parents in their current domestic adoption pursuits. It sounds like it was very sudden, and she doesn't have all the details posted, but they are in Florida and have their daughter with them now. Please go and congratulate them on their new addition!!!

On my status, I'm officially uncomfortable all the time. I'm also officially in the 3rd trimester (woo hoo!). When I drive or do anything where I can't recline too much, the bottom of my ribs hurt. My lower back is a bit sore to the point where my right leg doesn't like to be picked up too much. I know which yoga postures would help this, but my body can't get in that position anymore, LOL. The rash on my lower legs and arms is still there, but the doctor confirmed it's not the liver bile issue that it could be, so she recommended taking benedryl. Considering how much I would love to sleep these days, that's not a great idea. A three hour nap in the afternoon has been done a few times and it was amazingly refreshing. And I still went to bed at a decent time. But I know every day I hang in there they are getting bigger, healthier and more ready to come out. So I'm just physically trying to hang in there as long as I can.