MicroblogMondays: One Month Old

We blinked (and have had many sleepless nights) and the twins are already one month old.

Time goes by fast when all you do is to feed the babies, rock the babies, change diapers, and figure out why they fuss.  The biggest thing last week was all about Okra.  In light of the feeding problems, he saw our pediatrician who told me that the formula the babies had been on is one of the most gas-inducing ones.  I brought the gas drop that someone bought us off the baby registry.  Dr. Easygoing gave him the right dosage and right away the gas seemed to have dissipated when he listened to Okra’s tummy.  So baby boy has been put on the sensitive version of the same formula the last few days.  Baby girl is also using the same formula because it’s just easier to switch them both.  The doctor said that since Okra gained over 2 pounds in three weeks, he’s doing really well health-wise, so he is not worried about the baby.  So off we went to switch formula.  The new kind seems a lot foamier and I still don’t know how suitable it is for them.  All you can do is to try, right?

Two days later, Okra all of a sudden developed this congestion.  The advice nurse on the phone told me to use saline nasal spray and the bulb syringe or Nosefrida to clear his nose.  Lo and behold, some huge snots came out two different times.  So I thought he was okay, but the next morning, he was again congested with some audible breathing when he was eating.  My mom instinct told me to make an appointment that day with the pediatrician’s office just so I would feel better.  At most we’d make a trip for nothing and waste our copayment, but I had to know if he was okay.  Dr. Easygoing checked his lungs and he was all clear.  He didn’t have an ear infection or a fever.  His O2 level was good.  Upon checking his nostrils, Dr. Easygoing said that his left one was good but the right one might have a bit of a cold.  And the breathing sound that resembles an 80-year-old man who had smoked for 60 years?  He said it wasn’t a cause of concern.  I was told to continue the saline nasal spray and bulb syringe, and separate him from his sister.  We originally had planned a family dinner at a Chinese restaurant for the babies’ one month celebration.  Since I really don’t want to expose him to any more germs, we postponed it to another week.  Poor boy, he has been having a hard time breathing at times, so he has been struggling with eating.  He screams his head off during the saline nasal spray but often looks and feels better after it is done.  Sleep has been tough, and poor baby girl has been mostly ignored in her rock and play because everyone has been tending to baby boy’s illness and neediness.

After an almost sleepless night and the accumulated sleep deprivation from the last few weeks, Bob and I reached an agreement to try out a night nanny for three nights per week.  One night nanny’s name keeps on coming up on the FB posts in our local parents of multiples group and many of the parents there vouch for her.  I sent her a text and she immediately called me back.  We discussed the details of her duties and the her rate.  I would say her rate is mid-range, which is fine by me.  She has 20 years of experience helping parents with twins, and many parents in the group gave her glowing reviews.  After a few hours of consideration, we decided to book her on a trial, week to week basis.  She is currently free for us to choose any nights.  The family that has booked her in the future was supposed to start November, but it seems like the babies may come earlier, as early as next weekend.  Since we are starting first, we have first dibs in choosing our nights.  Bob opted for Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday so we can sleep through the night every other night and he can go exercise on Monday, Wednesday, Friday mornings.  I will update you later on our experience with her.  I just feel tremendously blessed that we are in the financial position to do this.  Hopefully it helps with my sanity on a day to day basis, so I feel more productive during the day.  And maybe with the night time help, I will finally have the energy to work on our birth story?!

Here is a glimpse of them napping in their rock and play:

We will see how they do with weight and height at their one-month old check up today!


MicroblogMondays: Getting Back To Normal


Ever since I returned from the Maui trip, I had felt like I had a hard time getting back on my routines.  We did have a mini “staycation” on Sunday when we did nothing.  Not even going to church.  I knew that it was a wise decision because I was still recovering from my cold so I just wanted to sleep in.  Plus Mother’s Day and baby dedication at church were going to be too much for me to handle.  Bob and I are usually greeters on the second Sunday of the month, which Mother’s day always falls on.  For the last few years I put on a brave face and did my duty.  It was usually okay.  But this year was different.  Ever since we were told that I may not ever get to carry my own baby, the idea of greeting on Mother’s Day at church became too much for me to handle.  One way to show yourself some grace is to know our own limits.  This time, I knew not to force myself.  So my wonderful husband arranged for us to take a day off from church duties.  We just chilled and rested at home.  However, that was still not enough.  My mid-night coughing from the postnasal drip and stuffy nose made it hard to sleep through the night.  I had such a hard time waking up in the morning at my usual time for a few days.  This fatigue carried on throughout the day.  When my body was not feeling well, my mind was not in the right place.  Life feels more grim when one does not feel well physically.  I felt like I had a cloud hanging over my head because I knew that we had to eventually make a decision about our next steps.  However, I didn’t have the mental capacity to think about the future.

My cold and cough had cleared up a great deal by Wednesday.  That was when I started to think about our future.  I was and am still feeling quite confused about this whole situation.  There are many possibilities and it is hard to see how it will play out.  What I didn’t write about a couple of weeks ago was that Dr. No Nonsense, my RE, contacted me by phone one night.  It was quite late at night but he couldn’t get a hold of me during the day.  Since I didn’t expect his phone call, I didn’t prepare myself with questions.  It was unfortunately a short phone call.  He said that there are no data to support that surgery makes a difference in pregnancy outcome.  To him, Lupron does not hurt, so we could try Lupron for three months and attempt a transfer.  When I asked about adenomyosis and the risks of pregnancy, he seemed to be annoyed that I had gone to Dr. E to get a second opinion.  I forgot exactly what he said but that was the impression that I got.  Then he told me that he had to go, but he promised to call me back the next day.  That was more than two weeks ago.  He never called me again.  I started to get sick on that day and I didn’t have enough time and energy to track him down.  So we haven’t talked since we left the conversation.  After speaking to him, I felt more confused.  So finally, Bob and I decided to try Lupron for three months and transfer, and at the same time look into surrogacy.

I wrote Dr. Gentle, my surgeon, about doing Lupron for three months and scheduling scans to check if the mass has shrunk in order to get ready for a transfer.  Her email back to me made it sound like she does not approve of our plans of just using Lupron.  This is her email:

I would discuss this plan with your fertility specialist first to make sure they agree with it. Your MRI shows that you have a large fibroid or adenomyoma that has a large endometrial component. Most of your uterus appears abnormal. Even if it shrinks, it is very likely to continue to have a significant endometrial component. This would make your uterus ineligible for embryo transfer as it would increase your miscarriage rate. The Lupron would still be helpful in shrinking the fibroid and treating any adenomyosis, and it can help to facilitate surgery, but it is unlikely to render your uterine cavity normal. You may still try to conceive if your cavity is not normal, but most clinics will not do embryo transfers into an abnormal cavity.”

So does it mean that we shouldn’t even pursue a transfer into me?  I am left even more confused than ever.  I wrote Dr. E this really long email asking for her opinion since she should have received the CD that contained my MRI images.  She wrote back quickly and said that she’d share her thought with me soon.

In the mean time, our donor is in the process of the cycle that is prior to ours.  So hopefully it will be our turn soon. Dr. E did share with me that our donor’s most recent complete cycle had excellent results.  All eight out of the eight blastcysts that were tested are all genetically normal.  At least that’s a piece of good news for us.

I also feel good enough to start to learn about the surrogacy process from wonderful ladies in this community who are caring enough to share their knowledge with me.  Lovely Dreaming Of Diapers spent so much time with me telling me about her experiences working with her sister as her gestational carrier.  Another friend of a friend who had a ruptured uterus and loss her baby at 32 weeks is now expecting her baby via surrogate to be born in the next two weeks.  She also spent a significant amount of time going over the steps, the process, and the cost with me.  I am forever grateful for them because the more we know about the process, the more the mystery is lifted, and it does not seem like a huge beast anymore.  My dear friend behind Dreaming of Diapers shared her wisdom with me, that if we go down this path, we will get tested, but it is totally worth it.  She tells me to put one foot in front of the other then we’ll get there.

I hope that this coming week my body can feel 100% well so that my mind can be cleared up even more for making these important decisions.  I have been praying for wisdom and a clear path to emerge.  My hope is that with Dr. E’s opinion and Dr. NN’s opinion (if I can ever get a hold of him), we can move forward with whatever that we need to do to bring our baby home.

Glad this week is over

Somehow this was a more difficult week than usual.

I had had a headache throughout the day on Wednesday.  My day started out with a speech-language evaluation with a difficult-to-test three-year-old.  He totally refused to talk despite the many tricks that I used with him.  The headache started right at that moment.

I thought that my chiropractic visit would ease the headache.  Somehow it made it worst.  I took two Femara at 8pm that night and went on to eat my dinner.  In those two hours, I also took eight pills of various supplements and drank a glass of orange juice mixing in with powdered wheatgrass.  I made a wrong decision of eating the last bit of pot roast just because I couldn’t fit all the leftovers in the Tupperware for lunch for the next day.  By bed time, I was feeling very sick.  I lay in bed with a huge headache.  After getting ready for bed, I could not even lie down without feeling dizzy and nauseous.  Something wasn’t sitting right in my stomach.  It didn’t matter how I stacked up the pillows and sat up.  Whenever I leaned my head back a little, a pang of dizziness and nausea came over me.  I knew that I could try to puke to make myself feel better.  However, I was very very reluctant to throw up the Femara so I tried to hold everything in.  I felt so violently sick that no position was comfortable for me.  After an hour of torture, I finally decided to just do it.  What came out was not pretty but boy, I felt so much better afterwards.  I had moved my pillows and made myself the bed in the spare bedroom so that Bob wasn’t disturbed by my moving around and puking.  I finally fell asleep and woke up at 3am pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t dizzy or nauseous anymore.  I dragged my pillows back to my own bedroom and my hubby didn’t even notice I was out of there!  I woke up worried about the Femara so I emailed my RE.  She instructed me to take an extra Femara just in case I did throw up the ones the night before.

My headache was gone but I was out of sorts on Thursday because of the bad night of sleep.  I was trying to get my busy day started.  Five minutes before my appointment with my first client, my boss came in and told me that the father from my speech-language evaluation called to complain about me.  So he basically accused me of barely speaking with him and only speaking to his ex-wife most of the time.  He said that I gave her the business card instead of handing one to him.  He complained that he observed the same thing at his pediatrician’s office and wrote a bad Yelp review to complain about that office.  He said that his ex-wife told him not to come to the next appointment.  I am fortunate that I’ve been doing this for a while and know who I am.  I am confident in what I do and I know exactly how professional I was during the evaluation.  To me, this guy has more issues than his complaints about me.  He is making it about himself and not about the child.  And he probably has doubts about his ability as a father as he expressed to my boss that he is “a good father” and “a good provider”.  Although I am confident in my ability, it’s still unsettling to start my day with negative feedback, especially after I tried so hard to help this particular child the day before.

Good thing the Femara hasn’t made me sick since that crazy night.  I have only done one injection so far; the human growth hormone.  This is so much more low key than what we did before.  Bob mixed the HGH at ease and drew 25 IU of it.  I injected it in no time.  We were out the door for dinner within ten minutes.  It was so unlike my last cycle with four vials of Menopur and the HGH.  Since I am doing minimal injections, I keep wondering if any follicle is growing.  My motto this cycle is to take it one day at a time.  I am trying and I think I am doing fine.  I just have to trust that my RE is right about her protocol.  I am grateful for the chance at trying for our own baby with a great doctor and insurance.  I am just very happy that this week is over and I hope and pray for a better week next week.