Wednesday, September 22, 2010

We Suck

I know, I know, I know. We really are the worst bloggers in existence.

I am FINALLY breaking radio silence to say that we will no longer be posting to this blog. The truth is that keeping up two blogs is just not possible for me anymore so I am retreating back to the safety of my main blog.

If any of you amazing ladies are still bothering to keep up with our shenanigans at this point, we invite you to continue to come along for the ride with us at:

This is my photography blog - but it is also where I do a lot of personal writing and will continue to update the blogosphere (and my mom) with all things pregnancy, birth and eventually the raising of monster twins.

If this is your first time here......WELCOME! This is our story of beating infertility after cancer back with a funny stick, one round of IVF with ICSI and some magical socks.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Twin Mom's "Top 15" Questions

I have no idea who wrote this......but it is hilarious.

I love humanity.


15. "I could never do it."
Oh really. What would you do? Would you put them on the curb with signs around their necks that say, "Free to a good home. My mom can't do it."?

14. "Do they have different personalities?"
No. They are the same human being divided into several parts.

13. Said by a stranger, "They're identical, right?" Mom answers, "No. They're fraternal." Stranger response, "They are NOT!"
OK. You're right. I have no idea what I'm talking about. These are not my children. I thought it would be fun to borrow them from a mom down at Baby Gap. It's been more than an hour. I guess I should return them.

12. "Are they 'paternal' twins?"
Yes. They have a father. There was only one virgin birth.

11. "Just wait till they're older. It only gets harder."
Thank you. I woke up this morning hoping I'd receive a word of discouragement while pushing a cart of preschoolers down the cereal aisle.

10. "When one cries, does he wake the others?"
No. Multiples cannot hear each other's cries because they all communicate with their special telepathic language only.

9. From a perfect stranger: "Were they in the same sac?"
Hello. Nice to meet you, too. Will you be sharing your gynecological history with me as well?

8. "Are they developmentally behind?"
Well, let's see. They're 3 years old and thus far, all their graduate school applications have been denied. We'll get back with you on that.

7. "How do you do it?"
Haven't you seen the Nike commercials?

6. "Are they natural?"
Nope, their arms and legs are made of silicone.

5. "You must be SO busy."
Are you volunteering to clean my house?

4. "Did you take drugs?"
Well, there was this one time in college....

3. "What do you do when they all cry at the same time?"
Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I go to Starbucks.

2. Said to a mom of boy/girl twins: "Are they identical?"
Uh. Not exactly.

And No. 1. Drum roll please. . . .

1. After a stranger had been informed that the toddler boys were twins, she asked a simple question:

"Are they brothers?"
Enough said.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The 1st far

Here ye! Here ye!

Come one and come all!

We've successfully made it to the tenth week!! What does this mean? It means that we're ABOUT to enter the second trimester and Jade can finally get her A off the couch and back to cleaning and cooking.

What's with these pregnant chicks, anyhow? You give em an inch (or six, el-oh-el) and they take a mile. They want BACK RUBS and they want LOTION rubbed on their bellies and it's wah-wah-wah, I'm sick, I'm gonna puke, boo hoo.

Honestly, I've been debating just locking her in the bathroom with a portable DVD player and a family bucket of KFC for the next few weeks but I have a feeling that it would someday come back to haunt me.

That said, we've been working on a fancy time lapse photography video and have decided to post the first few photos in photo fashion, as seen below.

It's funny. We thought that with twins she would be REALLY showing by now but.....well, it seems that the room has actually changed more than she has.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Womb for Two

We caved.

It's true.

We had the ultrasound done.

Like prisoners being tortured at Guantanamo, we blasted them with loud music at point blank range. While it was happening I kept saying in my head, "Ignore the noise....keep your cells together. Don't explode. you even have ears?"

After discussing our distrust of all things ultrasound with our doctor she highly recommended that we have this first one done just to make sure there wasn't a life threatening ectopic pregnancy in the works. An ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg implants itself in the fallopian tube rather than in the lining of the uterus. The baby grows and grows and grows and, unlike a goldfish in a little bowl, does not stop. Cletus the Fetus will quickly smash through his fleshy, pink cage, leaving you upset and bleeding to death, wondering, "Where did I go wrong?"

Our doctor let us know that, after this sneak peek, we wouldn't have to take a gander again if we didn't want to. We nodded and said, "Stop stallin'! Lube up that magic wand and show us the hearts!"

It was pretty amazing, sitting there, staring at a black and white television set that looked broken, playing back static. I tried to make out shapes - maybe a fist, perhaps a smile or a fetal back flip. I felt ten years old again, trying to catch shapes on my scrambled HBO and achieving nearly the same results.

I saw nothing.

The doctor points and says, "You see that?" Her finger lands on an inkblot, an irregular mole, a booger in a kleenex and says, "That's your baby".

It's a formless monster.

She tells us it's the size of a lentil bean. I say, "Delicious" and then, "We don't want to know the sex...just in case you were thinking about telling us, we don't want to know". She says she doesn't know at this point and she says it like I should know this already. "Stupid boy doesn't know six week old lentil beans don't have penises. Laymen".

She shifts the magic wand and a small white blob appears. It pulsates, grows and shrinks, grows and shrinks. Thumb-bump-thumb-bump-thumb-bump. She shifts the wand and shows us another pulsating ball of light. She says, "Those.....are the hearts". The first thing I think is, "My wife has three hearts in her body. That's pretty messed up."

And then I went about my day.


And then, eight hours later, after work, walking to my car, it suddenly hit me. There were two HUMANS living inside my wife. There were TWO of them....and they were coming OUT HERE very, very soon. I sat down in the driver's seat and thought about it.

My brain exploded.

Sitting here now, I hope we made the right decision about the ultrasound; I hope we didn't screw up their lives already, as I know there'll be plenty of time to do that in the years to come through practiced neglect, repeated discouragement and general verbal dissatisfaction

I wonder if this is what parenthood is all about...........a million simple decisions that leave you lying awake at night, wondering if you've just monumentally messed up your offspring...

So, that all said, let me show you two pictures of the broken TV in the doctor's office. Maybe if you put on your 3D glasses, you'll see a crying lentil bean.

If you happen to see a penis, you'd better not say jack.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

To Scan or Not To Scan

That is the question.

Me and the built in baby carriage went in for our follow up beta check this morning and came back with an astonishing 7018 (which is ironic because that's the year a psychic named Xena predicted I would die...) Everything seems to be going grand, great and wonderful. The Wonder Twins are doing what they're supposed to be doing and all is good.


Oh, speaking of my womb, we have a question for all you IVF bloggerinos....

Next week we are scheduled for The Big Show: The Heartbeat Ultrasound! So, here is our delicious dilemma.....first, a little anecdote.....

When I was in college, I planted some bonsai seeds. I wanted to grow bonsai plants and trim them and prune them and have people believe me zen. They would ask me questions regarding life and love and morality. I would snip-snip-snip, pause, breathe and answer in very few words and usually in the form of another question.

This never happened.

Five days after planting the seeds I grew impatient that the seedlings had not yet sprouted. On the sixth day I told myself I would give them until noon and if they hadn't shown up I was going in after them. Short story shorter, I ended up waiting two more hours before digging in with a chopstick , delicately scooping away clumps of soil until I found...........the plant, about ready to break through the surface. Perhaps another day, perhaps two and I would have had my patience rewarded. I smiled devilishly and dumped the dirt back on the sprouting sapling.

My zen dream was going to come true....

Only it never did. I killed it. I killed my baby plant. I was no wise yogi. I was Yogi Bear.

Now I stand about five days away from hearing our babies heartbeats. Thump-thump-thump (or, as the hitch hiker's heartbeat goes, thumb-thumb-thumb) and we're excited about it. In fact, we're REALLY excited about it. It's an experience all of our friends have said, "...really just brings it home". That said, I feel a little like Yogi Bear again, standing above the developing seed, holding an ultrasound wand in my hand instead of a chopstick and getting ready to start digging around in some soil that would be better off undisturbed.

I'm not worried about killing our "seeds" but what I AM just a weeee bit concerned about is autism or other neurological disorders. BUT WAIT!!! Don't write me off as a cooky hippie just yet. Let me run my case. I promise I'll make it short....

First off, here's a link to an article about an experiment a Yale laboratory did on mice. They exposed pregnant mice to an ultrasound and studied the mini-meeces brains once they were born. The study concluded that neurological disorders were present in them.

If you don't want to read the article, that's fine. It pretty much says what I just did but they sound REALLY smart. It's quite impressive, all the big words they use.

Secondly, I KNOW that everyone says "There is no conclusive evidence that suggests ultrasounds and autism are linked" and I understand that it just because there isn't proper research? "Not conclusive" means incomplete. It doesn't mean "Completed and results are negative".

Remember, "There is no conclusive evidence that links tobacco use to lung cancer".

Did you know that 30 years ago autism affected 1 / 10,000 children and today it affects 1 / 100? SOMETHING is going on. Is it ultrasounds? Is it vaccines? Is it microwaves? Plastics? Is it the internet? Did Al Gore invent autism?

I realize that the article specifies that this should not discourage pregnant women from having medically necessary ultrasounds, but the crucial wording there is "medically necessary". John and I have decided not to find out the sex of the baby/ies or undergo any genetic abnormalities testing (as it would not change the outcome of the pregnancy for us). So, is this a medical necessity ultrasound or just something of convenience and/or parental entertainment? What did they do back in the day before this new technology? (Besides smoke cigarettes and knock back a few celebratory drinks).

We've discussed our concerns with our doctor and she has assured us that there is no risk whatsoever to prenatal ultrasounds. I LOVE our doctor and trust her hugely but I can't help but think that most doctors also said bloodletting, mercury, lobotomies, radium water, Bendectin and bacon were totally harmless too - and look how well those all turned out.

ps. Bendectin is an anti-morning sickness pill that was pulled from the shelves in '83 after they discovered it was causing birth defects.

pps. Bacon is delicious.

ppss. Damn you, bacon.

Point is, science seems to change it's mind a LOT. What's great for us one minute turns out to be terrible for us 50 years later.

There's no disputing that there is a huge rise happening in autism now and I can't help but wonder if some of the neurological problems are partly cropping up because of the rise in ultrasounds. I'm NOT saying that it's ALL because of ultrasounds.........but is it a potentially contributing factor????????

So...........what are your thoughts? Does any of this make you a nervous-pervous?

Finally.....and not that I think any of you lovelies would do this......but nice and no e-fighting. This is just a friendly exchange of thoughts. There is no condemnation here no matter what your stupid, personal opinion is.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's Officially Official

WE'RE PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Beta level on Monday was 99 and as of this morning we're sitting pretty at 270.

We've heard whispers of twins....................

Friday, May 7, 2010

Pregnant until Proven Otherwise

With the current success of the egg retrieval one week behind us, Jade and I have been patiently (anxiously) sitting by our big red phone, waiting for the call from the reproductive endocrinologist (pooty doctor) with what we hope will be good news noose (Freudian slip) regarding our fertilization report (bun in the oven).

Here's how our stats break down:

They harvested 33 eggs from Mother Hen, 21 of which were mature enough to proceed to the next step - FERTILIZATION!!

Of the 21 fertilized, 18 eggs were a success!! I immediately began formulating my plans to make a baseball team, a family band and my own personal entourage when Jade informed me that we'd only be implanting 2. BLAST! I immediately began reconstructing my plan. I'd form a tandem bicycling team, a small vaudeville act and a slightly smaller and more intimate version of my previous entourage. SUCCESS!!

Because we had so many successfully fertilize, our embryologist recommended that we freeze 10 and let the remaining 8 continue to develop for a five day transfer. We both casually nodded our heads, completely oblivious to what she was talking about. Personally, I couldn't get the phrase, "Doctor Lady say smart thing. We do. Baby, fun, soft, pink." out of my head.

She told us to show up on Monday.

While we drove home, I spaced out (these new cars pretty much run themselves, anyway) thinking that, somewhere out there, somewhere behind me, there were these little things...they were part Jade and they were part me and they were sort of neither of us. I started thinking about how making babies is like macaroni and cheese. Yes, the crunchy noodles are good when eaten plain. Yes, the powdered cheese is a little dusty but oh so tasty. Yes, they're each good individually but doesn't the the real magic come from the perfect union of the two substances coming together in a near divine concoction of pasta that you want to curl up with and snuggle?

We had, for all intents and purposes, reproduced.


Alas, Monday morning arrives and we show up at nine bells, ready and willing to be impregnated.

Based on previous discussions with us, they had already prepped our two grade As - no sense turning my wife's sausage storage into a clown car. The embryologist (who was standing behind this weird Mr. Ed type door, staring down Jade's wazoo) said our little chicklet babies were "textbook" and were ranked 8AB - the highest grade she gives. I could tell that Jade was already gushing with maternal pride when the lady turned to me and said, "These are great eggs. GREAT eggs. That's no offense to the sperm, but these are GREAT eggs". I just smiled and laughed but thought, "I'd like to see you do what you do without me, lady".

That said, without further ado.........behold........our blastocyte spawns and a weird looking penis shape!

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Now join with us, won't you, and cross every part of the body you can - fingers, toes, eyes - and believe that Jezuz-Pleazuz, we will see a miracle.

Monday is the big day!