Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Co-Captains of my Heart

It’s a whirlwind here. I barely have any time to log on the internet and it takes me about a week or two to respond to emails (or even read them). The babies keep me quite busy. I live my life in short increments. Apparently, an 8 week old’s attention span is about 4 seconds, which explains how the babies can manically go from smiling (finally!) and cooing to screeching at the top of their lungs in less time than it takes to change the channel. It is hard, living through a day in ten-second chunks.

The babies are okay for most of the day. Nanny Annie and I divide and conquer them, which seems to work. When they both sleep I slip into my gym clothes and rush off for a quick workout. We take them for Bjornwalks in the afternoon. And then when the sleep later in the afternoon I run out to do errands (dry cleaners, grocery store, drug store, etc.). In between, there is the day-to-day tasks that need to be accomplished.

Today, Annie and I had the babies smiling and cooing in their little seats while we sat at the table flipping though catalogs and talking with them. It was a blissful respite from the walking and bouncing and soothing and carrying that we normally do. Then Nicole came home, Annie left and the babies switched into Psycho Mode. I kept saying they won’t be like this all night and, well, not all night but for three hours it was rough.

I managed to make dinner while Nicole soothed a savage Maddie. I had Avery and she was quiet as long as I talked to her. By quiet, I mean she moaned, but a soft moan that I could dominate with a shrilly high voice. So I narrated what I was doing (making a big salad) but you begin to feel like you are dancing on the fringe of sanity when you start saying things like “Now I am chopping up carrots. Hi carrots! How are you doing? Welcome to our salad! These are orange. Isn’t orange a fun color? I like orange. The carrots are good to eat. Rabbits eat carrots. Now I am cutting up a tomato. Hi Tomato! How are you today? Do you mind that I am cutting you up?” You get the picture. And if my kids end up talking with vegetables we will know why.

Nicole and I spent some alone time on Sunday while Nanny Annie and Nanny Nan babysat (Nancy will be taking over Annie’s job in mid August). Of course it was pouring rain, but that was okay. It was great to be out, and alone, and in white pants, which apparently turn transparent when wet. I’m too tired to care.

Actually, I’m still tired but I feel more energetic than I did a month ago. My body is still adjusting to everything, but I had a massage and that did wonders to work some big knots out of my shoulders and back and calves. And as long as I can have my ice cream at the end of the day, it was a good day.

This past week Nicole’s mom stayed with us so it was a much easier than normal week. Not only does she help a ton with the babies she also cooks! We had a full week of home-cooked meals. If only she could stay for another 51 weeks, then I might feel like I will be able to do this whole mother thing. This morning, for that brief two hours I am alone with them, during the chasm between Nicole leaving and Annie arriving, the had two meltdowns and one hungry fit. I finally got them to sleep (in separate rooms) and they woke up at the same time. By the time Annie arrived I felt like I lived a thousand lives.

This week I discovered that basil lemonade is a delicious alternative to water. And that if I don’t make a list of things that have to be done, it won’t get done. My capacity to forget details is alarming. And I never used to be that way. Nicole called me when she was on her way home and asked me to turn on the espresso machine (it needs to heat up before it is used) so that she can make herself a latte as soon as she walked in the door (because waiting even three minute for a caffeine fix is Out of the Question). I promptly said yes, hung up, and promptly forgot.

Pictured above are Captain von Fussypants (Maddie), who is called Pretty Princess by her other mother, and Captain von Wigglesworth (Avery), who is also know as Sniffles the Flat-eaded, White-Tongued clown. I’ll just start the therapy funds now.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Seven Weeks

I can't believe they are 7 weeks old. Here they are, aclimating to their Scandinavian Crib of Fire and to each other.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

More Whine

Both babies are sleeping and I am drunk with (temporary) freedom.

Here’s how whine-y I am: I complain about being overwhelmed and I have help almost 24 hours a day. Nanny Annie is here during the day and stays until Nicole gets home from work. Nicole’s mother will be here all next week, day and night. My sister-in-law is here twice a week usually. And there is an endless stream of friends who stop by, willing to hold and feed a baby or two. The only time I am alone with the babies is from when Nicole leaves for work until when Annie arrives (around 7 am till 10 am). And that just happens to be when the babies are off the wall.

People rarely believe that Maddie and the Aviator can get so crank-because they tend to put their best face forward in the presence of company. Our friends Jon and Tim were just over and of course the babies were little angels. They tend to be angels during the day. They like to look around and play on their acid trip mat (one of those play mats) and, of course, eat. Where they experience the most difficulty, I think, is during transitional times. So when night becomes day (from 6ish to 10ish) and when day becomes night (coincidentally, from 6ish till 10ish again) the babies get quite fussy. I think they sense the change. In the morning, they hear Nicole get up and sense the sunlight that slips in through the blinds and hears the noise on the street. And at night, I think they sense the sun going down and notice that we dim the lights. It’s as if night is coming and they think in their little baby brains “I’m not ready for this!!!” I could be WAY off, but that’s my theory and I am sticking to it.

Last night, from 6ish until 10ish, both babies insisted on being held and collapsed into meltdowns if we even thought about stopping walking/bouncing. They eventually fell into an exhausted sleep. Avery then slept for four hours straight and Maddie a little less than that. Honestly, the night wakings don’t bother me so much anymore. They wake, we feed them and we all go back to bed. It is those crazy transitional times that make life really hard.

It is just all so difficult, with or without help. I agree with all of you who tell me I need to let go of the image of how I thought things we supposed to be…release that image of the uber mom. We all just do the best that we can. And it is ridiculously hard. There is NO preparation: You go from a me me me life to a completely different on in a mere day. Or even in mere moments.

I am okay with the fact that life changes with children. It is a sacrifice, yes, but one that we wanted. And in the end we can’t just go and do whatever we want to go and do anymore. This weekend, the aforementioned friends are hosting a charity event at their house on Fire Island (hosted by Whoopi Goldbe*rg!) and we can’t go. Well, we could but I can’t imagine how it would work. It is way too much effort with newborns. A month down the road, it would be much easier. But now, no way. And I really want to go, to get out of the city and to walk by the ocean and just relax. I would settle to see a movie. Or a dinner out. Having a little alone time is key. At this point, even a solo trip to the dry cleaner is restorative. But having couple time is key-er. That statistic that the average couple only engages in 15 minutes of meaningful conversation a day is frightening. And very close to being true, since our evenings are hijacked these days.

I do have something to look forward to: I am going to Blis*s Spa on Monday. Nicole has the day off and Nicole’s mom is coming up to stay with us for the week, so with two sets of hands to take care of the babies I feel like I can have an afternoon off. I am so excited and spend hours browsing the treatments with one hand while breastfeeding the babies. I need to book today, or run the chance of not being able to get in. And that CAN’T happen. I feel guilty for even wanting a mini break but I know in the end it is better for everyone if I am relaxed.

And, more important, I *think* the babies are starting to smile. It may not be gas smiles anymore. It is still too soon to tell, but both babies are getting happy little smiles on their chubby little faces. Maybe. And tears. they both are getting their tears now. That is going to be SO hard when those tears are working at full force.

Today I ate pretzels, a pickle and half a Pop Tart. I am so hungry. How do people with newborns eat?

The natives are getting restless....how is it in separate rooms they both started to stir at the same time?? This twin thing is kind of spooky sometimes.

Pictured above is us on Fire Island last year and a picture of their pool, where I won’t be relaxing by this weekend. But the thought of being there in August might help me get through a few rough patches…

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hello Faiure Feelings, My Old Friend

It was not the best day but I have difficulties writing about it because I feel like to admit to difficulties equals admitting failure. And why is it that so few people talk about/write about/admit to some of the challenges of parenting? People have slipped things here and there (I hear a lot of “I would NEVER do it, but I TOTALLY understand why some people abuse kids…”) but I can’t seem to find the dialogue.

It is frustrating because while I know how lucky we are to have these babies and I am so grateful that they have joined our lives and that I can stay home with them, I still have moments when I lose sight of all that. Sometimes I feel like I am barely staying afloat. It is so hard. And everyone says it will get easier but, wow, that doesn’t help in the moment.

I had this image of the kind of mother I would be. I had years to flesh out the details. And I am struggling to just fulfill a modicum of that image.

I stepped in a puddle today, which renewed my Get Me Out Of Here attitude. It will happen some day. Nicole has officially pulled out of the interview process (no weekend trip!) so we won’t be moving next month. This was a great opportunity but it really is the wrong time. Adjusting to these babies is hard enough…dealing with a move to a new place and all of the hell that goes with that is just too much right now. And we need to be around the people we know. Because as loathe as I am to admit I need help. Even though I have Nanny Annie all day and Nicole at night, that short period of time between when Nicole leaves for week and Annie comes (a mere few hours) is enough to send me over the edge.

When both babies cry and I can only attend to one at a time…it unhinges me. And then come those failure feelings again.

Pictured above is Maddie in a salad bowl and Maddie “sleeping.” She is merely resting up so she can go crazy from 6 to 10 pm. Notice how the little vampire shields out the sun from her little vampire eyes.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Not Seeing The Forest For The Trees

Well, I (we) were thisclose to leaving this forsaken city for greener pastures. A career opportunity in another state brought the whole moving issue front and center. But it looks like we are staying here for a while more.

I don’t know why this is happening now, but I very suddenly urgently and desperately need to move out of the city. And I’m not sure why. Maybe it was spending an afternoon at my friend Jen’s new house (land, trees, lawn, woods, swing sets and BBQ grills). Or it could just be the annual get-out-of-the-city urge, brought on by heat, which brings on the stink, which brings out the worst in people here in the city. But this desire is reaching a fevered pitch and becoming impossible to ignore.

I assumed we would eventually end up somewhere else, but NYC has a way of sucking you in and not letting you go. I have been here for 17 years, starting when I was 18 years old. And I love this life. But I also yearn for a different one: The kind of life that includes a house with a driveway (no more paying for parking or having to call the cantankerous man at the garage to tell him I will need my car at a certain time) and a porch with a porch swing and hanging plants and a mailbox that doesn’t require a key (oh the novelty of just opening a mailbox and getting mail). I want to shop in grocery stores that don’t charge nearly $8 a pound for chicken. I want to pull my car into a parking lot (again, the novelty) and buy more groceries than I can carry. I want trees and grass and most important several hydrangea bushes (blue, purple and pink preferable) and a semi-mature apple tree in the backyard (optional). A hammock. A fireplace would be nice. Built-in bookshelves for certain. It’s not too much to ask, is it?

Nicole was being head-hunted by a company in another state that I wouldn’t mind living in for a few years. There were several benefits to this particular position, but the main one was they were paying a ridiculous salary. We talked about what would happen if they made an official offer and we both decided, hey, why not move. We would rent out our apartment here and move there for a few years. And then we could come back. Or if we loved it there, we could stay. We were all about being flexible.

It isn’t an easy decision because we would be leaving behind some loved ones. But we figured we would be taking lots of weekend trips back up this way.

Well, then the tide turned. They wanted to fly (or train ride) Nicole in to interview with the final people. But Nicole told them she changed her mind. She said life is crazy with two new babies and even leaving for a night right now isn’t appealing to her. She told them good luck with their search and that if the position was still available in a few weeks to call her. She broke practically every interviewee rule in the book and they still wanted her. They told her they would WAIT for her. They wouldn’t take no for an answer. They then offered to put us all (babies too) up for the weekend n a nice hotel and show us just how great it is to live in their town. But it wasn’t moving that is the issue; it is more about a lot of change (babies, etc.) in a short period of time. I begged Nicole to let us at least do the weekend away. But she is way too ethical for my tastes and said it wouldn’t be right, unless she was seriously considering this position. We can’t just go on an all-expenses-paid weekend jaunt. Damn.

In the meantime, we are staying put. For now. I wonder how long we will last in the city, especially now with children. My brother gives us a year. Nicole and I think we have a good four years to go. I really don’t know. If we get a place to go to on the weekends, then I can imagine lasting here a very long time. But being in the city year-round, without any escape? I think I am over that.

And then the question: When is enough enough? Enough time living in the city? Enough money? Enough material possessions? Enough of the fast pace? Enough of paying almost $6 for a half gallon of orange juice?

Pictured above, my friend Jen’s backyard. You can hear the breeze swish through the trees. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

And Yet Another Night System

As soon as the babies were born, every single floorboard in the apartment became warped and distorted. They creak and groan if we so much as think of walking on them. And the babies—who sleep through the symphony of sirens and jackhammers and traffic and loud voices on the street—startle awake when they hear this (to them) deafening noise. So when the babies doze off in their swing or bouncy seat or on a couch, I feel like I can’t move until they wake up, which can be in 15 seconds or two and half hours. And walking a sleepy baby to our bedroom (their temporary sleeping quarters) to put down (hopefully) to sleep is always a risky endeavor. I just put Avery down for a second time and her little eyes popped open as soon as I took the first step toward the bedroom.

Nights are slowly getting better, and by better I mean I don’t dream of throwing myself out the window so much anymore. We switched formulas AGAIN and gave this new one a few days to work, instead of letting them take three sips from a bottle then run screaming to the drugstore because nothing has changed. The babies are still getting up a lot: Maddie awakens every two hours like she is connected to an atomic clock and Avery, well, lovely little Avery thought she might try HOURLY feedings last night just because she knows she can.

Nicole and I have set up a de facto system: We each take charge of a baby at nighttime for the entire night. The system works because it takes the “Are you going to get up or should I?” conversation that happens in the middle of the night, which is a really bad time for negotiations. Nicole has Maddie and I have Avery. It worked out this way because a.) Maddie absolutely cannot sleep on a flat surface by herself ever (perish the thought) and needs to sleep in the arms of a soft person and b.) Maddie very much prefers Nicole over me. And Maddie can ONLY sleep at night in the crook of Nicole’s arm. We have created a sleeping nightmare!

If Nicole is holding Maddie and I try to lean in and kiss Maddie or even talk to her, she concentrates her gaze on Nicole and gives me the newborn version of fingers-in-her-ears- la-la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you. One time she even kicked me as I leaned in to her to kiss her mini forehead when she was nestled in Nicole’s arms. How dare I? I might be jealous if it weren’t so damn cute the way she cleaves to Nicole. Besides, it comes in handy: I managed to calm down a fussy Maddie one afternoon by letting her rest of one of Nicole’s shirts on my shoulder. And anything that calms down a baby is okay with me.

I am so tired and should be in bed with the sleeping Nicole, Maddie and Avery but who can turn off “Too Young To Marry,” a perfectly awful Lifet*ime movie about married teenagers. It’s Tivo’d but I feel like I MUST finish it right now, sleep be damned.

Pictured above is Avery wearing pants or the first time. She looks oh so intense, like she takes pants-wearing very seriously. She takes after her (other) mom.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


The other day Nicole and I were talking with some friends, who enquired about mutual friend. The other friend replied “She’s married and has two kids.” And it struck me how often we all use limiting labels like marital status and the total number of exiting occupants of their wombs to describe women. With men, it is always about career: He’s a doctor or he works at Blah or he just got a promotion. Sometimes it seems like we haven’t come so far in the area of Equal Rights as we think we have. Where did all the feminists go? And how do they describe themselves?

And yet, what is my blog all about? Trying to have (and then having) a baby (ies). Motherhood. Children. And my relationship (to a lesser extent, because a girl has to have some privacy, no? ). Do I not have any other interesting things in my life to talk about? Apparently not, at least not at the moment.

However, in my own defense, this whole blog started as an outlet for all of the pent-out frustrations and feelings associated with TTC. There is such an amazing community of women out there who have experienced/are experiencing the same thing, and it was important for me to reach out and feel like a part of that. I wish that I had found this community years ago, before all of the spectacular failures of IVF and IUIs.

But still I yearn for something else to write about.

Meanwhile, back at Casa de los Dos Babies con muchos Fits of Crying, we are experiencing the typical ups and downs. A baby “smiles”: Up. Another night of three hours of sleep: Down. Not having time to eat: Down. Eating ice cream bars while pumping: Up. Having a second ice cream bar just because I feel like it: Up up up.

I am trying so hard to be patient and calm, even in the face of extreme lethargy and sleep deprivation. I know it will get better, and I look forward to that time while also lamenting these days that part of me wishes away. It is just so hard to see things with the right perspective when you feel like you are going to collapse or walk into a wall.

I’m just so very tired.

When people tell you that the frequent bathroom trips at the end of pregnancy are nature’s way of preparing you for sleepless nights with a newborn, let me tell you the truth: NOTHING prepares you for sleepless nights with a newborn. All those trips to the bathroom to empty a quarter-thimble’s worth of pee from my bladder eight times a night in no way gave me a sneak peek at what sleep deprivation is like. And just because I could stay out all night in college doesn’t make this easier either. Because nights with newborns lack the alcohol/cigarette/random recreation drugs/dancing/coffee fuel that sustained me through college. I should have strapped two 10-pound bags of flour to me and practice bounce-walking around the apartment before the babies were born.

I almost laughed when my pediatrician told me that I should work on keeping the babies alert more during the day. Ha. When these babies nap, I am making bottles and pumping and doing dishes and picking up the mess that accumulates so quickly in our home and writing thank you notes and trying to eat/bathe/brush my teeth/dress. I need that nap time to keep my home running just a little bit smooth.

The babies are now on Zanta*c. It is suspected that they are experiencing acid reflux. Though not my fault, I still wonder what I was doing the week that their digestive systems were forming. Maybe I could have done something different? Isn’t it ridiculous? If I weren’t so tired I would laugh at myself.

Pictured above, Maddie with me and without. Is it me or does she look happier when I am not holding her? I still contend that she very much prefers Nicole to me!

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Dreaded C-Word

Nothing has quite made me feel like a failure quite like motherhood. The babies are still pained and struggling with gas that contorts their little faces and makes their little bodies rigid and makes them writhe in pain. It is awful to watch. The fact that I can’t comfort them destroys me. They look at me with these sad eyes and it makes me want to cry. Maybe it is some sort of hormonal reaction, but I see their pain and want to absorb it or take it away. Give me the pain and let them be carefree and healthy. It makes me look at parents of chronically sick or terminally ill children in a whole new light.

The gas has made them quite fussy and colicky. I said it: The C word. I was hoping it was just random but I think we need to face the fact that they are crying at regular intervals for longer than they should. Their pattern seems to be meltdown every night between 9:00 pm and midnight. Then they fall into a troubled sleep in our arms only, not in their beds, which, apparently, is made of nails and fire. That makes for a tortured sleep for me because I am constantly worried that I will roll on the baby or knock her off the couch or bed. And then commences the tag-team all-night snackings/feedings.

They wake up around 6:00 for more food and then only partake in light naps for the next five hours or so. And not at the same time. One will sleep while the other fusses, and then the fusser will fall asleep and the previously out-cold baby will awaken. This pattern continues in an almost unbelievable/comical way.

One baby would be much more manageable, but with two…it is just overwhelming.

Nanny Annie during the day is a huge help. I can go to the gym, which serves me better than napping. I am the type that if I take a nap, I wake up feeling worse off. It is better for me to energize myself at the gym instead, and store up some strength for the day. Despite my huge concerns, I looked into a night nurse. They cost about $300 a night in NYC and they usually need to be booked way in advance. For $300 a night, I’d almost rather book a night at the Mandarin and have a sleepless night in understated modern elegance with great city views. I may be tired, but at least I’d be in fancy-ness. I still contend that I will get NO sleep if there is a stranger in my home. I will fear a Lifetime movie twist and awaken to find that the night nurse absconded with my babies while I was sleeping. Why take a chance?

But the sleep deprivation thing is ridiculous. And something has to change. Tonight’s plan: I am taking the babies out for a l-o-n-g walk around 9:00 p.m. They fuss less when moving in a stroller and Bjorn so we will see where that gets us tonight.

I feel like I don’t have the right to ever complain because I should realize how lucky I am to have these babies. And I DO realize how lucky we are. But that doesn’t mitigate the tough parts, and there are many tough parts. Mothering is a thankless job at this point: The babies are too little to respond or smile or even really acknowledge your presence. And yet they take up every minute of the day. Literally.

I have moments when I miss my “old” life. Naturally I glamorized it and paint a picture in my head of this blissful, idyllic, peaceful, romantic and perfect world. I lament that I can’t go to the movies when I want. Or shower when I want. Or go to the gym. But the thing is, I could have gone to the movies during my entire pregnancy and I didn’t. And I still manage to shower daily, just not in the morning, when I want to. And our life was considerable less busy, but we were ready for it to be about more than just ourselves. But it is easy to lose sight of that when you are operating on less-than-optimal sleep.

The trade-off is worth it. And I am sure I would appreciate it much more if I wasn’t drowning in a drunk-like state of sleeplessness and exhaustion.

This isn’t pity post, where I am fishing for people to say “You’re not a failure!” and “You are doing a great job!” I’m just overwhelmed and tired and overwhelmed and tired and I think I am repeating myself. I know it will get easier and I know I will get better at all of this, but that doesn’t do much for the here and now.

I should be resting now, since both babies are “sleeping.”

Pictured above, the baby sling, which worked for a while at quieting the fussy baby. But now I need to pull some new tricks out of my bag.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Tale of Two Doctors

I’m officially in my mid-thirties. And I ushered in this auspicious era with My first Migraine. Of course, I didn’t think it was a migraine: I was certain it was an aneurysm and I needed to go to the ER right away. My head was throbbing, and just on the left side. It hurt to blink. Nicole insisted I wait it out (isn’t that how people die?!) and blamed lack of sleep, lack of drinking water, and lack of food as the culprit. So I spent a chunk of my birthday (a rainy-ish, dreary day) laying in bed with a washcloth over my eyes.

Nicole was right and it did subside. But still an ER trip wouldn’t have been so bad? Why take chances? I don’t want to come this far in life and then succumb to an exploding blood vessel in my brain. OK, enough of the drama.

Now: For the commenter who asked about why we switched doctors, here is the story. It is worth repeating.

I had no idea that it would take me so long to get pregnant. Like most women, I thought I was in charge of my own fertility (Ha!) and that when I wanted to get pregnant, I would (double Ha!). We started the journey with my ob/gyn, who did four IUIs with no success. We thought we better move onto a full-fledge fertility clinic so we signed up with one of the top clinics in the city even though we would be paying out of pocket because they didn’t accept my insurance. I got pregnant on my second IUI (money justified!) but then I had a m/c.

It occurred to us that we might be in this fertility race for the long haul, so we looked around for another clinic. We picked a clinic that not only accepted our insurance, but also had excellent success rates: In fact, they had slightly BETTER success rates than the fancy top clinic. I was certain that I would get pregnant because, according to all of the doctors I had been to, there was no reason why I couldn’t get and stay pregnant (lovely unexplained infertility, fertility’s cop-out). And I did get pregnant, on my second IUI there. And then I had another m/c. Our doctor said our best chances for success would be IVF. We did two IVFs with this clinic: With the first, we transferred three blasts and with the second we transferred four blasts. And we got nothing.

I went in for follow-up blood work after the second failed IVF and, sad and desperate, I asked the nurse if she had ever seen anyone with my history (two m/c’s, two failed IVFs, tons of IUIs) get and stay pregnant. I told her after the in total seven live embryos that my uterus rejected. She asked me, kind of nonchalantly but not non chalantly enough, who did my transfers. I told her it was Doctor X, and she sighed.

Thus ensued the greatest test of my journalism interviewing skills. Why the sigh? I asked her if she thought that Dr. X didn’t do transfers well, and she blanched. She wasn’t going to say anything too blasphemous. I asked her what Dr. X’s success rate was, and she didn’t answer. I kept fishing till I found the magic questions: I asked her if some doctors have better success rates than others when it comes to transfers and she said yes. Then I asked her if I made the best choice of doctors for my transfers and she said “I think Dr. Y is great.” Dr. Y was not my doctor. We randomly chose Dr. X.

Dr. Y is apparently the superstar. I did a little google work and it turns out that I am not the only person to have discovered this. I immediately called the practice and said I wanted to switch doctors but the practice refused to let me do that. So I switched practices. Their stupid policy cost them 15K.

We went back to the fancy top clinic, knowing we would pay out of pocket, and embarked on IVF number three. They put three embryos in me and I got pregnant—and stayed pregnant—with the twins. This is why I am a firm believer in switching practices. If you have had a couple of failed IVFs or IUIs I think it s worth trying another doctor/practice/approach. There are so many variables to IVF and IUI, especially, I’ve learned, in creating embryos. And you really want a top-notch embryologist.

There is something to be said for staying with one doctor and trying different strategies, but that becomes less important since medical records are transferable (though Dr. X charged me a dollar a page (!) for my medical records, which amounted to over a hundred dollars!)

Pictured above: The two little princesses. In the first picture, Avery looks like a Volcan or Klingon or whatever those Star Trek people are. She looks more like herself in the bottom picture (with the white milk tongue!) Madeline looks nonplused. She isn’t sure what to make of this creature who lives with her. They continue to be ambivalent toward each other.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

378 DPO

It is 11:00 pm on July 3rd, my birthday eve, and I wish I were sleeping.

Last year, July 4th was 13DPO for me on our second IVF. We aggressively transferred four excellent-looking blasts, as recommended by our previous doctor. Four. We could have had quads or triplets. I was certain it would work. At least one had to stick. I was so pumped up that I took a HPT on July 3rd. What a great birthday gift, I thought, if it was positive. But the pregnancy test was negative again and instantly I sunk. The next day was the worst birthday ever. It involved strewn backgammon pieces and some door damage, among other things. To this day it still hurts to think about how awful that time was.

What a difference a year makes. We changed doctors, did another IVF and here I am, with 4 week plus old twins about to celebrate my 35th birthday.

Tonight Nicole and I went out to dinner and left the girls with Nanny Annie. It was our first time leaving the girls without one of us home. You would think we were about embark on a two-week African safari, the way we called and texted and fretted. We were going to see Sicko too, but Nicole had trepidation about being gone for so long. So a quick dinner and ice cream was all we did.

When we got home, Miss Maddie was in the middle of a gas attack, which meant she would be fine for a while then start wailing seemingly out of the blue for several seconds/minutes/twenty minutes. Her face got so red a couple of time that it looked purple. I of course thought I should jump into my clothes again and rush to the hospital with her. Nicole insisted she was fine, other than this horrific gas. Nicole eventually got her calmed done and made it to bed with her, where they are both sleeping for now. The Avery started acting up. Her gas kicked in (and so stinky too) and here I am, with a wide-awake and gassy baby.

For the record, I am SO sick of the gas and seeing my babies in pain. I am tired of trying all the new things we are trying. I am tired of being up all night (another up-to-five night last night). I am tired of averaging two hours of sleep a night (and not in a row). So the quest for the Magic Cure continues. We have done tea and bicycle kicks and gripe water and new formula and gas drops and massage and football holds and bouncing and shushing and pretty much everything. I kinda give up and think we need to just ride it out and pray it doesn’t last much longer.

For my birthday I want gas-free babies.

Pictured above is Miss Maddie in her bouncy chair that doesn’t work and Miss Avery doing bicycle kicks that don’t work at all on her gassy self. Sigh.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Babies Are Like Snowflakes

I went to bed last night at 5:00 a.m. I haven’t done that since college. But at least then, I probably had a good buzz and a belly full of pancakes or pizza or some other food choice that I might regret later when the bed stopped spinning.

Baby A and Baby B are still suffering from incredible gas, the kind that makes their bodies go rigid and the toes to get tense and their faces turn red. I read somewhere that the average baby farts 20 times a day. Avery farted seven times while I was feeding her. My little overachiever. They are not gas-tacular all day, thank goodness, but the worst stretches seem to be at night, when they should be sleeping.

Last night was just atrocious. I had to take Maddie out for a Bjornwalk at 10:00 p.m. Of course, she fell into a deep sleep, despite the sirens and cars on the city street and the loud passers-by and the sounds of music spilling out of bars. I bring her home a half hour later and she wakes up, of course. And proceeded to stay awake most of the night. Gassy and over stimulated and over tired.

Please explain how I am supposed to wake up after a mere three hours of sleep, from 5 until 8ish, and be a good mother? One that is patient and rested and sane? Sleep deprivation is pure torture.

This gassiness has been going on for a while and of course I asked the doctor about it. She assures me that this is normal and fine and temporary and suggested diluted chamomile tea. That didn’t work. So we are still on the frantic search for the Magic Cure. This has sent me to buy new formulas four times. And gas drops. And now, our latest hope/prayer is gripe water. Nicole is busy reading Healthy Babies, Healthy Sleep Habits or something like that while I am perusing again that book about the 5 s’s (swaddle and sssshhhh and side sleeping and sucking and something else). We will try anything to get these babies comfortable and sleeping well because we are well aware that that will translate into similar benefits for us. We will keep trying and trying and trying till we find out what works for our unique little babies…or till they grow out of it. Whichever comes first.

The idea of a night nurse is becoming more and more appealing. Except I hate the idea of anyone other than me or Nicole or our relatives/good friends taking care of my babies when we are home. It seems weird, stragers in my apartment, taking care of these precious babies. The babies are up and crying….and Matilda The Night Nurse is bonding with them by feeding them and cuddling them? No no and no.

Truth is, I am kinda ok with limited sleep, with pockets of extreme lethargy here and there. I started going back to the gym (doctors’ orders be damned…I’m taking control of my body back) and that helps me with energy during the day. But when you hit that wall, you REALY hit that wall.

It is 8:15 at night on Sunday and I am a bit terrified about what the night holds.

Pictured above, Miss Maddie, who should be sleeping NOT on her mommy’s shoulder.