MicroblogMondays: Labor and Delivery Tour and Nonstress Test

Last weekend, Bob left Annie’s town early and I stayed behind one more day to attend the first nonstress test with Annie.  Since I’d be in town, I scheduled a tour at the birth center where the twins will be born.  The nonstress test was scheduled for 11am.  I was going to ask for a tour afterwards.  The OB nurse manager there could only do it earlier, so we scheduled for 10am.  Good thing we did, because the one-hour time window for the nonstress test was a lie.

Let me talk about the tour at labor and delivery first.  The birth center was expanded about a year ago and looked fabulous.  It’s located on the first floor of the back side of the hospital.  While waiting for the nurse to meet us, Annie commented on the security of having the birth center on the first floor, since she had only been to labor and delivery on second or third floor.  I am quite sure that the place is very secured.  You cannot go in and out of the the unit unless you get buzzed in by a staff member.  There are secured doors everywhere that you can’t access to unless you’re being let in.  The OB nurse manager showed us around, and said that having it on the first floor was the only way to have all the space it needed.  Instead of sharing an operation room with the rest of the hospital like it used to be, here they have two operating rooms just for this birth center.  They can staff the OR themselves whenever they need to.  The OR’s back door opens to a hallway that connects to the neonatal intensive care unit, so any babies that need to go in there don’t have to travel far.  The place is huge and seems to be never-ending.

We discussed about the logistics and details of the birth.  Annie has been scheduled for a Cesarean-section on September 15th, which is 38 weeks 2 days.  The babies may come any time between now and then.  But if it is not an emergency C-section, it is very likely that Bob and I as well as Annie’s husband can all be in the OR.  Even the birth photographer that we booked may be able to be present.  Our photographer said she has done it twice in this hospital so I hope that it will happen for us as well.  The nurse manager said that it is not a guarantee, but they often try to accommodate the parents as much as possible.  So it is highly likely that we’ll be able to fit everyone in there.  My friend who used a surrogate there for her twins did it.  So I am hopeful.

After the birth, we’ll have immediate skin-to-skin, as this hospital is called a “baby friendly” hospital.  The babies will be placed on my chest and Bob’s chest if they are both healthy and don’t require additional medical attention.  This hospital also encourages nursing.  For the second time, the OB nurse manager asked me if I’d be doing “re-lactation”, as she already asked me on the phone a few weeks ago.  It’s interesting to use this term because it denotes a prior experience with lactation, which I didn’t have.  I told her that we will try to have Annie hand-express colostrum during her hospital stay, but we will start the babies on formula immediately.  The nurse manager said that the birth center provides donor breast milk if we desire, and all babies in the NICU are fed donor breast milk.  But she understands that this is an expensive endeavor when we return home so she fully supports us whatever decision that we make.  A lactation consultant is available to help with whatever we need 16 hours a day at the hospital.

Bob and I are going to be given a hospital room during our babies’ stay.  The babies will be in the room with us the whole time barring any need for the NICU.  Annie will be recovering in a room next door.  Typically she’ll be released from the hospital in 48 hours.  The babies could also be discharged in 48 hours if they both do well with everything.  I asked if I have to write down all the details for the hospital, but the nurse manager said that there is no need as they will take good care of us.

The visit there was very positive, and now I know exactly where to go and what to expect.  Things may not go exactly according to plan, but it is so good to have some idea of what may happen.  I am so glad that we made this special trip to Annie’s town so the tour could happen.

Okay so what about the nonstress test?  We thought that it was going to be a relaxing time for Annie, but no… it was stressful!  Annie lay down on one of those recliners and got hooked up right away.  Baby A’s heartbeat was easy to find, but Baby B was nowhere to be found.  To say that I was nervous about it was an understatement.  I know that he/she is deeper inside so it will be hard to find him/her, but boy, I was anxious about anything being wrong with him/her.  It took 10 minutes and a second nurse to come in and finally find Baby B.  In the meantime, Annie continued to push that button whenever she felt them move, so she couldn’t just relax.  Those two heartbeat monitors were strapped on her and the nurses left.  After about 10 minutes, both of the babies went offline probably due to movements.  So Annie had to ring a bell for the nurses to return.  Baby A was again easy to find, but Baby B was moving around.  Dr. OB came in to check and said that Baby A was showing us what they wanted, which was for the heart rate to go up and down 15 beats three times.  But Baby B was having a more stable heart rate and had one spike at that point.  So Dr. OB ordered the nurse to use a buzzer to hopefully wake up Baby B.  After that, it was still hard to find Baby B.  Dr. OB eventually pulled in a bedside ultrasound to find the exact location of Baby B’s heart.  At least I got to see Baby B on the ultrasound!  This kiddo has been hiding his/her face from the machine for many weeks now.  The funny thing was, even though they could find the exact location of the heart, the monitor did not always pick it up at that one location.  After Dr. OB left, two nurses kneeled next to Annie, one holding the monitor for A and the other one for B.  I was told to use the buzzer one more time on Annie’s belly to wake up B.  Once that was done, Baby A was probably angry that we woke him/her up and started to react to the buzzer with a heart rate acceleration.  Baby B’s heart rate also started to go up, but took a very very long time for it to come back down to baseline.  Annie and the nurses were joking that I will have a baby who will stay angry for a very long time.  We needed Baby B’s heart rate to go up one more time, so all of us were cheering him/her on by saying “Come on baby!  You can do it!”  Two extra nurses came in to study the print out, and said that we just needed Baby B to perform one more spike.  The nurse who was holding Baby B’s monitor saw it on the screen that the heart rate did spike one more time.  We were so relieved!  It took one surrogate, one intended mom, four nurses, and one OB to finish this very stressful nonstress test.  The whole thing took one hour 45 minutes.

And this is only the beginning.  Annie returned last Thursday for a second nonstress test.  Later on she told us that both babies were doing well, and the test took “only” one hour 45 minutes, again!  I sure hope that it will get easier for Annie because she’ll have to do it twice a week until the day the babies come to this world.  She is such a rock star.  We feel very blessed to have her on our team.

We have at most four weeks four days to go.  Wow…

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MicroblogMondays: Movements

I am currently in Annie’s town.  Bob and I came to spend time with her and her family, and we took professional photos yesterday.  It has been such a lovely visit.  Annie has been doing very well, and we had a great time at the photo shoot.  I can’t wait to see how the photos turn out.  Today I will meet with the nurse practice manager at the hospital where Annie will give birth, and I will also attend Annie’s first non stress test today.  It has been a very eventful and enjoyable weekend.

One of the reasons we really wanted to make a trip here so close to delivery date was for the babies’ movements.  Ever since Annie started to feel them, I had wanted to come and see/feel them move as well.  I was a bit sad that I couldn’t do that because we weren’t planning on coming.  Well, everything fell into place and here I am now.  It has been so magical these past few days.  I sat next to Annie multiple times a day and had my hands on her baby bump.  She would tell me where to put my hands and all of a sudden I would feel a shake or a wave.  Sometimes it would take many many minutes before the babies moved again.  Now I can tell which movement is from which baby.  Baby A is currently in the anterior portion and lower on the right bottom of the belly.  Baby B is across behind Baby A.  So all the movements that are more obvious are from Baby A, and all the more subtle movements from the top portion of the belly are from Baby B.  In the afternoon Baby A was moving quite a lot.  After dinner and a walk, Baby A was super quiet, and Baby B started turning and moving like crazy.  The next morning Annie told us that Baby A woke up at 5am and just moved around and woke Annie up.  It looks like we have one early bird and one nigh owl.  It has been quite amazing to see the movements.  At church on Sunday, Annie tapped me on my shoulder and pointed at her belly.  We could see parts of her bump moving and bulging out quite a few times.  Baby B must have been really excited about the pastor’s sermon.  🙂

I feel very grateful that things have been going so well, and we finally got to see and feel the babies’ movements.  This great sense of gratitude is also mixed in with a bit of sadness, a bit of jealousy, and a bit of surreality.  The babies are doing so well, and being able to feel their movements just highlights to me how alive and well they are.  A year ago we wouldn’t have imagined being here today, feeling their movements, and taking maternity photos.  At the same time, I look at my own body and my not-so-flat tummy that isn’t growing any life inside of it, for a moment, I was overcome with a sense of loss.  This journey has been so complicated and there are so many complex emotions to sort through.  I am glad that I feel positive, joyful, excited, and full of anticipation most of the time.  But boy, when these sad feelings hit, there is no hiding.  Although I have felt some sadness, I wouldn’t trade these moments for anything else, because this is God’s path for us, and these are the babies that He has entrusted with us.  Without our struggles and my inability to carry, these particular babies wouldn’t be the ones that we will meet in the very near future. 

God works in amazing ways, and these babies are a testament to that.

Update: 32 Weeks

32 weeks today!

We had our growth scan on Monday at 31 weeks 5 days.  I was still a tiny bit nervous like usual.  Maybe I won’t be able to breathe more easily until the day our twins are safely in our arms.  Every time there is a scan, I feel mostly confident that things will be fine, but there is still a small part of me that is anxious.  Bob is so funny.  He dons his Batman T-shirt and his red underwear for good luck on every single scan day.

This time I didn’t get to watch the ultrasound.  Annie went by herself and tried to video-conference me, but the connection was so slow that I could barely see anything.  We chatted on the phone instead.  She sporadically reported to me the babies’ stats.  While we were waiting for the technician to check on the babies, we chatted about her boys and her life.  She was telling me that she started feeling sad because in weeks time the babies will be born. Although this pregnancy has been a lot harder for her than her previous singleton pregnancies, she has enjoyed every single minute of it.  She said she would really miss carrying the babies and feeling them move.  I was quite touched by what she said.  I know that the babies are well loved, and it is so important for them to be loved by their carrier as well.  She also told me that her bump is now about two inches away from the steering wheel.  We will probably have to figure out a way to get her to the nonstress test two times a week in the future if her bump is too big for driving.

Back to the twins.  Here are the numbers.  Baby A’s heart rate was 141.  He/She was 4 lbs 3 oz measuring at 32 weeks 1 day.  Baby B had a heart rate of 147 and was 4 lbs 4 oz, which made him/her 32 weeks 2 days.  Annie’s cervix was measuring at 5.1cm.  The babies’ heads were together again.  This time they were like an upside down L.  Baby A’s head was on Annie’s right side and lying across.  Baby B’s head was next to Baby A’s head with his/her feet down.  I find it so cute that every time there is a scan, the babies’ heads are always together.  It seems like they just attract each other.  Apparently since Baby B is in the posterior position of the placenta, it has been very hard to get a good profile photo of him/her.  We again couldn’t get one this time.  I don’t know what is up with that kiddo… he/she is hiding all the time!  I was planning on using their ultrasound photos for the maternity photos this Sunday.  It looks like I’ll have to use Baby A’s profile and Baby B’s alien looking photo.

I didn’t even ask to speak with Dr. OB because there was really nothing for me to ask about.  About 30 minutes later, Annie sent me a text saying that the visit with Dr. OB went well and everything was good with her and the babies.  This weekend Bob and I are going to fly there to spend some time with Annie and her husband.  Maternity photos will be on Sunday.  Bob is going to come home on Sunday.  I will stay for another day to go check out Labor and Delivery at the hospital as well as to attend Annie’s first non-stress test.  She asked Dr. OB if I could sneak a peek at the babies next Monday at the appointment.  He told her that he would definitely look at the babies (and let me look at them) if he is around on Monday.

I joke that Bob now has to figure out a way to keep his Batman T-shirt and red underwear clean because he’ll have to wear them twice a week from next week on for all the nonstress tests.

MicroblogMondays: Baby Shower

We are 31 weeks 5 days today.  We had the most amazing baby shower on Saturday.

First of all, my dearest blog friend Maddie flew all the way from the east coast to attend the shower.  It was our first time meeting each other face-to-face, but we had been talking to each other on a regular basis (weekly if not daily) for at least the last three years.  I can’t begin to tell you how touched and thankful I am that she took a couple of days off to come all the way here to celebrate our twins and witness this important milestone with us.  We had the most wonderful time hanging out.  She and our other dear blog friend Jane Allen also met face-to-face for the first time.  This mini blogger get-together was so precious.

The shower itself was phenomenal.  It was everything that I had hoped for in a shower. My sister-in-law and our pastor’s wife were the hosts. The shower took place at my pastor’s house.  The home decor matched the colors of our nursery and the theme of the baby shower: yellow and gray, which made the whole baby shower look very harmonious.  At the entrance of the house, there was a station where our babies’ ultrasound photos were displayed in picture frames.  On the other side, there were pieces of very pretty paper in gray and yellow patterns on little clipboards for guests to write any advice or prayers for us.  The living room was decorated with yellow flowers.  The dining room table had a beautiful three-layered white cake with gray stripes and polka dots, and lots of onesies’ on the other side for guests to decorate.  On the kitchen counter were snacks with little yellow flags as labels.  Everything was just so pretty.  The hosts did a fantastic job decorating.


Got to love the advice from my sister-in-law: Let them eat dirt and crayons!  But the rest of her advice is so heart-felt and to the point.  This is just one example of the advice that we got.  We have a jar-full of prayers and advice from our guests.  I have read every single one of them twice.  I am sure I will read them over and over again and learn from all of our friends’ wisdom.

The highlight of the day was being able to visit with every single one of our guests.  We hadn’t seen some of them in a really long time.  It was lovely to spend some time with them.  Since it was a non-traditional shower, we decided to go co-ed and invited many of Bob’s friends.  It was so much fun to have the guys there as well.  And it was extra special to have Maddie and Jane there with me as they have walked this journey with me from the beginning.  Everyone seemed to have had a great time.  Some spent time to write down prayers and advice.  Others decorated the onesies.  We had some very talented people in our midst.  We had cats, giraffes, flowers, bunny, Hello Kitty, elephant, dogs, Superman logo, turtle, etc.



About an hour into the shower, we met Annie on video chat.  Our guests got to meet her, say hi, and see the bump.  It was special to share this moment with Annie.  After that, we opened presents.  Our friends and family are so generous with us.  The gifts were amazing.  After opening all the presents, we had cake.  The cake flavors were my favorites: chocolate and red velvet.


My very talented friend Jo took all of these incredible pictures for us.

The fact that we have come to this point of our journey is nothing short of amazing.  When we were in the throes of the infertility journey, it was very difficult to imagine being able to celebrate our bab(ies) with our loved ones at an event like we had on Saturday.  We just feel so loved.  We can’t wait to meet the babies, and can’t wait for the babies to meet all of our friends and family.

We have a growth scan today.  Hopefully 6.5 more weeks to go!

MicroblogMondays: Babymoon Number Two, Playing By Myself

Here I am, in Honolulu.  Bob has been busy going to his work conference from 8am til almost 6pm.  Me?  It’s been so much fun to walk around doing whatever I want to do.  This is (hopefully) my very last time roaming around all by myself before the babies come.  I am savoring every moment as it has been a long journey to finally have this “last”.

Since I’ve been trying to figure out the logistics of transporting the twins home once they are born, it was extra interesting to watch parents travel with their babies and toddlers on the plane.  I was moving around quickly through the security check points and terminals, and can’t help but notice all the strollers and babywearing moms and dads with their bags and how slowly they were moving.  Many of these little angels started to scream during takeoff.  There were these dads who circled around with their toddlers over and over and over again in the cabin.  I can imagine that this will be my life and Bob’s life in the future.  Pregnant women with toddlers and older kids are everywhere as well.  I guess “paradise” is a great babymoon destination?

When Bob first booked the hotel room, he was debating if he should go with partial ocean view or none.  Honestly, the little bit of the extra cost for a partial ocean view makes no difference to his company.  So he went with partial ocean view.  When he checked in, he got upgraded to the complete ocean view.  I mean, we can still see the building across the street but when you lie on the bed, the ocean is right in front of you.

The room itself is quite nice and spacious.

I’ve been here since Friday.  And I haven’t gone to the beach (which is just across the street from us) or for a swim at the pool yet.  Since day one, I have just been doing whatever I feel like doing.  Going swimming hasn’t been one of them.  I set my own rule, right?  Who says that you have to go to the beach or go swimming in Hawaii?  I will eventually go.  The first day I arrived, I just walked around looking for good food to eat.  There was one udon place with a crazy long line.  I was too hungry to wait, so I was determined to have it for breakfast the next day.  Seriously, it was the best udon I had ever had.

 The noodle itself had an appropriate amount of chew in it.  I am usually a ramen fan instead of udon fan, but that seriously was one fantastic bowl of noodles.  I was so full at 9 in the  morning that I had to walk to make myself feel less full.  I walked more than a mile and  reached a huge shopping mall.  I had an idea to go to the MAC counter at Nor.dstrom.  You see, we will get our maternity photos done in a couple of weeks.  When I get professional photos done, I usually just get my makeup done for free at a MAC counter.  However, logistically that doesn’t work in Annie’s town.  I usually don’t wear makeup so the makeup that I have at home is very old.  I thought that it was a good time to update my makeup inventory.  Plus, I hadn’t had the time and probably won’t have the time to do that when I am home.  Going there on vacation seemed like the best way to use my time.

After a little bit of wait, the makeup artist there put makeup on my face and taught me how to do it myself.  I was looking very pretty on that day.  I also bought a bunch of makeup so that I can do it myself on the photo shoot day.  Since I was looking pretty, we didn’t waste it and had a very nice meal at one of our favorite restaurants.  We really like this restaurant in San Francisco especially the butterfish dish.  So we decided to try its original location.  I called and was able to secure a last minute reservation.  The food was so delicious and it was a great to have a date night looking pretty and spending quality time with my husband.  We had a blast!

The butterfish was so flaky and it just melted in my mouth.  It was heavenly and exactly how I remembered it.


The chocolate soufflé was the highlight as usual.  The chocolate was oozing out from the center.  It was one decadent goodness.


The beauty of going around by myself is that I don’t have to answer to anybody.  The next morning, Bob left for his conference and I decided to head to Diamond Head for a hike. Before that, I walked to a popular place for some musubi.  If you have never had it, it’s grilled spam on top of a piece of rice.  I went at 8 and the line was already long.  I am telling you.  There is a line everywhere from the airport to restaurants to hotel.  I don’t think Bob would have the patience to wait in line with me.  But since I had all the time in the world, I just waited.  And had rice balls with chicken and salmon/salmon roe, and bacon egg musubi and eel egg musubi:

The Diamond Head Crater hiking trail was extremely crowded.  I know it was the weekend in the summer.  But really, it was crazy to be up there with so many people.  The hike itself wasn’t too bad.  It was going up and up and up, but it was short.  Only 0.8 miles to the summit.  Many tourists just had flip flops and sandals on.  Those would be very uncomfortable shoes to walk up to the summit even if it was just less than a mile.  I had on my sunscreen and hat, and kept on sipping my water because it was getting hot.

You see all the people going up to the summit? Those little dots on going up and up?  They were all people that looked like ants, and I was one of them.  This has been the theme so far.  Honolulu is full of people, especially Japanese.  I think other than being in Japan, I had never seen so many Japanese in one place in my life.  Anyways, I made it to the summit after climbing a lot of stairs.

The view at the top was great, but it was very very crowded.  It was hard to avoid people, and there was almost no room to stand.


So my honest view of Diamond Head?  I’m from California and am very used to the spectacular ocean view.  While the view on the summit was great, it didn’t wow me like many reviews talked about.  Don’t get me wrong. I am very glad I went up, and had a fantastic time, but the view itself was nothing out of the ordinary for me.  I thought that the sunrise on Haleakala last year on Maui was a lot more impressive.

I am always up for good food.  I had a very good bowl of ramen inside a Japanese supermarket.

A few poke dishes:

And few cocktails.  Look at this $5 pina colada at happy hour.  It was such a steal.

At our hotel poolside, there was no happy hour on Sunday, but we had some very yummy cocktails:

Last night I had a 90-minute massage that was quite good.  Today I am going to join a tour to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.  I am super excited about the food tour I’ll take on Tuesday.  It will take me to the North Shore of the island trying a few different dishes at a few different places.  Since we didn’t rent a car, I thought that this would be a great way to see the other side of the island and try some Hawaiian dishes.

So this is my visit to Honolulu so far!  I hope that today Bob gets to get off a bit earlier so we can do something together. Two more days before I go back to reality, and five more days until our baby shower!

MicroblogMondays: Cribs!

When I started putting the baby registries together, I decided that we wouldn’t order fancy cribs.  Just something with simple design and a nice color.  I didn’t want to buy those convertible cribs that would turn into a twin bed.  Who knows what we would like to do in the future with the twins’ sleeping situation, right?  I didn’t want to commit ourselves to 4-in-1 expensive cribs.  One of the websites that is devoted to baby stuff recommended this particular crib.  I liked its color and its simplicity.  So I just added the cribs on the registry fully expecting ourselves to be buying them after the baby shower with the completion discount.  Little did I know that my brother and sister-in-law considered buying the cribs for us.  They looked one night and became tired, so they decided to look the next day again before they ordered them for us.  When they went back to look, it was too late!  Someone else already bought them for us!  This lady from our church is super nice and love babies.  She wasn’t originally on the guest list for the baby shower.  She hunted down my sister-in-law at church one day and asked about our baby shower.  She expressed her desire to come and offered to bring food.  She was so excited about being able to babysit for us in the future!  (She lives five minutes away from us.)  Of course we added her on the list because she was just super sweet about it.  She bought us the cribs the next day.  It was such a surprise that she was so generous with us and bought us these big ticket items.  A dear friend of ours offered a long time ago to help us put together furniture and do any childproof/home improvement projects before the babies arrive.  This past weekend, he came by and helped Bob put together these for the babies:

They are now lying on the floor sideways to save room.  My dear blog friend Maddie is going to come all the way from another state to attend our baby shower in a couple of weeks. (Can’t wait to meet her!  Exciting!)  After her stay in the babies’ room, we will set up the cribs and purchase an 8-drawer dresser from Ik.ea.

I can’t wait to see the babies sleep in their cribs!

Pediatrician

I’ve been really busy the past few days but I feel I should write an update on this topic.

Finding a good pediatrician for the twins has been on my list.  I just don’t want to wait until the last minute to scramble when we return home with the babies.  So I took some time to think about what I would like in a pediatrician.  My work place is about half an hour from home.  I don’t know my childcare plan after my maternity leave, but I would probably prefer a daycare close to home.  So then I’d prefer a pediatrician close to home rather than close to work.  All my coworkers with kids live in the city so no one can give me a good recommendation for a pediatrician in my hood in the suburbs.  I searched for all the pediatricians within 10 minutes of my house and looked each one of them up online to find reviews about them.  There is one particular practice that is 8 minutes from home and it belongs to one of the biggest hospital systems in the area that is non-Kaiser.  One of the doctors there has the most 5-star reviews.  But that kind of turns me off because it means he is very busy and he doesn’t look exactly young, so he may retire some time soon.  He is also the only one who does not accept new patients except for newborns.  And he is the only one in that practice who does not have an option to make an appointment online.  So given his popularity, I would pass.  The reviews on another doctor in that same practice attracted me.  He seems experienced and has very positive reviews from parents.  They all praise him for being compassionate, caring, willing to listen, quick but not rushed, and being responsive to emails.  I had been putting off contacting anyone but on my birthday on Monday I just felt like it was the right time to call.  The representative who answered was going to schedule a meet and greet appointment for me.  When she heard that I wanted to schedule with this particular doctor, she said she’d have to talk to his team and have someone call me back.  I left her with my contact information and patiently waited.

Bob and I were taking an online class to learn about taking care of twins Monday evening when my phone rang.  I don’t usually pick up the phone from an unfamiliar number anymore.  But I quickly did an online search on the phone number and found that it was associated with the pediatrician that I was trying to schedule!  It was indeed the doctor himself who was calling me back after hours to try to schedule a time with me for meet and greet.  I mean, that is enough to impress me.  What doctor would call you back himself these days?  His voice message was nice and welcoming.  He said that schedule wise it has been a busy month for him for meet and greet but since we are expecting twins, he’d accommodate me any way we need. After the online class, I called his number back and he promptly picked up the phone.  It sounded like he was driving home from work.  We had a nice chat.  He asked me for my schedule so he could accommodate me. I asked him what he had available.  He then mentioned about the next day at 5pm he had a cancellation as the woman who was scheduled at that time just gave birth so she could no longer come to that appointment.  I was happy that he could see me so soon, but I couldn’t make it at 5pm.  He was so accommodating.  We scheduled a time at 5:30pm so I could just leave work at the regular time to meet him there.

The next day I was super busy at work.  Right before I left, I printed out a list of questions online to ask the doctor.  The clinic’s location is convenient enough for us.  It is exactly 8 minutes from home.  The building looks very new.  I walked into the waiting room and saw on the left side that there was an area for newborn only.  First impression was good.  The front desk lady was very friendly.  I was led to an exam room by the pediatrician’s nurse who took down some information from me.  And the the doctor came in.

Let’s call him Dr. Easygoing.  He is truly friendly.  He introduced himself to me by his first name.  The whole time, he looked me in my eyes and chatted with me about everything, just like a new friend trying to get to know me.  He asked me questions about me, my background, and Bob’s upbringing.  He told me a bit about himself.  He joked that he is the “newbie” in that practice as he was the last hire.  But he has been there for 21 years, so doctors there stay for a long time.  He said I might wonder if my babies would be able to stay under his care for a while.  He is in his early 50s and started a family in his 40s.  He joked that his kids are still young and he is not going anywhere.  He still needs to take care of them.  Dr. Easygoing has many twins under his care.  He said it was by accident.  About six years ago, some twins were referred to him.  After that, he started to see a steady stream of twins.  Later on he met a fellow pediatrician whose last time resembled his.  This pediatrician said he used to have a lot of twin patients, but the referrals started dwindling at the same time Dr. Easygoing started getting the twin referrals.  So it seems like the nurses who made the referrals mixed up the two doctors’ names!

We talked about bit about the practice.  This is a brand new clinic that has been there for a couple of years.  It’s about 10,000 square foot big.  There are 7 doctors in the practice.  The doctor who started the practice is the super popular one.  He’s probably not taking new patients because he’s in his 70s now.  The clinic’s hours are from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday.  On Saturday and Sunday, there are clinic hours from 8am to 5pm at another location that is about 15 minutes away from home.  He said that if we choose him as a pediatrician, the twins will most likely see him at every visit even at sick visits.  They provide same day visits for sick kids.  All I will have to do is to write him an email and he will respond promptly and get us in.  This is unlike my friends’ experience at bigger practices where they’d see different doctors every time.  When the babies are born, we will schedule an appointment with him for them to be seen at around 5 to 6 days old provided that we go home right away.  He told me that one of us can check in while the other person stays with the babies outside.  Once checked in, we can take the babies in the exam room directly to avoid being in the waiting room.  This is a practice with 99% of the patients getting vaccinated on scheduled, which is important to me.

Dr. Easygoing is really easygoing.  He said that he hopes we consider choosing his practice.  But if we decide to go somewhere else, he will have no hard feelings. And in the future if we choose to go with another pediatrician in the same practice after seeing him for a while, no hard feelings either.  He is just very friendly and nice.

He asked me about the donor egg and surrogacy experience.  So I told him briefly about what happened.  At one point, he mentioned about Annie by saying “the mom”, and he caught himself and self-corrected right away, saying that “I shouldn’t call her the mom because you are the mom.  She is the surrogate.”  Thank you doctor for catching yourself!

I asked him about the whole question about colostrum at birth vs. going directly to formula.  He told me that he’s seen so many babies in his life. It really makes no difference.  So if Annie is willing to pump the colostrum, let her do it. But if I feel better going directly to formula, no problem either.  As long as the babies are fed and loved, that’s all that matters.  I asked him about skin-to-skin right after the C-section before the babies get cleaned up.  He said it doesn’t make a huge difference either.  If we would like to bond with the babies immediately after birth, by all means ask for skin-to-skin before clean up.  But the other way is great as well.  The key is to consider what I want and not to feel bad or guilty about not choosing the other option.  The babies will be loved no matter what.  When the babies come home, he said that we will forget what they ate at the hospital as we will be focusing on their life at home.  Then the most important thing would be to have them on the same schedule to sleep well and be fed well.  Other things that did or didn’t happen at the hospital won’t matter much anymore.

After we chatted, Dr. Easygoing showed me around this huge clinic.  He showed me all the exam rooms and where he stores the vaccines.  He told me that he does all the shots himself because he wants the continuity and consistency.  There was an x-ray room and a room for doing stitches and stuff.  They also do in-house lab as well.  I asked him about formula and he gave me a bunch of samples so we can try with the babies once we get home.  When we said goodbye, he gave me his business card and told me to give him a call on his cell phone any time from now until the babies are born if I have any questions.  I looked at my watch when I got out of the building.  Dr. Easygoing spent a whole hour with me.  I didn’t expect that at all because I have read that pediatricians usually spend about 10 minutes at meet and greet.  I was thoroughly impressed.

So it seems like we’ve found the winner!  Dr. Easygoing will be our twins’ pediatrician.  I firmly believe that the babies will be well taken care of under his care.  I am so happy to be able to cross one more thing off my to-do list!