Saturday, February 28, 2015

Picture this

I have been getting requests for baby ultrasound pics.
I go get an ultrasound about every 10-14 days, so needless to say I have a full photo album of these little guys already! 

Here are a few:

7 weeks, November 10th - first ultrasound - where we found out about the twins!
This is also where it was noticed that there was no membrane between the two babies. It was still questionable at this point but as we all know now - there was truly no membrane!

December 17th, the day we found out there was in fact, no membrane separating them. Here they are hanging out together. The doctor thought there was possibly still a chance that the membrane may be there (but not yet visible) but upon following the umbilical cords during the ultrasound, they found that they were tangled. So that solved the membrane mystery!

January 12th, HAPPY NEW YEAR! On this date, we were able to find out the sexes of the babies! Up until this point we both strongly believed they were girls. I have no reason why (except maybe because my mom is a twin, so I relate to girls and I believe the twins dad-to-be believed they were girls because well, karma... doesn't every guy think that?) We had girl names picked out and everything! Here is what dad to be saw on the screen before I could even turn around: 

Yup! Two boys. I have truly never seen someone smile as much as dad-to-be did that next 24 hours! I will never forget that look on his face when he realized he would be the dad to two boys who will carry on his name! He couldn't call people to spread the news fast enough! It took me a few minutes to readjust my mind set from what I thought was girls to the realization that they were boys and we have been trying to come up with names ever since! No luck yet....
They measured 6 oz at this appointment and I am happy to say they BOTH measured the same! And we learned that Baby A is a tad bit older. Very interesting and exciting! 

The next visit the photos turned into one baby per picture. That was a milestone! Now they can't fit in the same frame apparently! Measuring 9oz. and 10 oz., respectively! We were very pleased they were growing and at the same rate!
Here they are on January 30th:

On February 9th, we had some very active babies and a hard time getting photos but here is a snip it! 

As of February 23rd (our latest photos, no photos from February 26th appointment), they are now 1 pound 4 ounces EACH! So pleased they are growing at the same rate! (72 and 79 percentile! Not only growing well but right on target) and all of their fluids and growth progress is great. Everything is working as it should be!

We will have one more ultrasound before I am admitted for my two month stay at 'Hotel Hospital'! We are very excited to see their progress at that point as well. This week they have been incredibly active and moving around like the little wild warriors I know they are. 
As the fear of the future begins to really sink in, looking back at these photos brings things full circle and helps me remember just how far they have come in such a short amount of time. To see that they are growing so well, and fighting so hard inspires me to not lose faith and to keep confidence that we all can get through this struggle! 
They are an inspiration already.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Day one.... but not so much

I am currently 22 weeks pregnant.
And I already feel like a terrible mom. (Way to start off positive, eh?)

I feel terrible because I should have started this blog MONTHS ago. 
But I didn't, so here we are. Sadly this post will be super long because I have to play catch up....

Ok - so guilt trip aside.... let me clue you in on my current situation so you can see where this blog is headed.
(FYI, I give too many details, I talk too much and I give a back story to everything. Just a fair warning)

In early to mid 2014 I met the person I have been searching for years for. 
(enter sappy romantic music)

But seriously - if you haven't found that person yet, please keep looking. I looked and settled and looked and settled and forced situations in life to work even when they didn't. I formed myself to fit molds that were not who I was. I forced others to fit molds that were not who they were. Let me tell you - finding someone who lets you be YOU and is also someone you don't want to change at all---- there is nothing like it. Period. And when it happens to you, it will hit you like a ton of bricks and you will never wonder if they are the one for you, you will know, with your whole heart and your entire soul, that they are. 

Ok, so that being said, I found that person. In the most unexpected place. At the most unexpected time. And it very, very quickly brought me to where I am today.
(enter photo of a very unexpectedly pregnant me!)

In October of 2014 (yes, we move quickly around here) I found myself standing in the bathroom of my small, cozy, comfortable apartment,  with my cat and 6 positive pregnancy tests. Six because I had to be absolutely sure and apparently five was not enough. 

Finding out you are pregnant, while you and your partner have been together only a blink of time, while you are still learning about who each other is, while you are still both going through many things outside of your immediate relationship is not only terrifying but well, TERRIFYING, in capital letters. 

I had no doubt that the amazing person, who was soon to find out he was going to be a dad, would handle the information the same way he handles everything - perfectly.  Ok...... ok, so perfectly is a bit of stretch. But I knew it would all be OK. I hoped. And after he panicked a bit (and I handed him a very stiff drink) a smile crept across his face that will never be erased from my memory.
And in turn - caused me to smile as well (considering I was crying my eyes out in fear at that moment!)

As we go through this wild ride we are on, things get crazier by the moment. 
I'll begin with the first ultrasound (which I was able to get at 7 weeks due to some 'odd' things happening that we don't have to get in to).
Let me build the scene:
You are sitting in a dark room with no pants on and a stranger at your right and your new-ish boyfriend at your left. You are staring at the ceiling just wondering what the technician is seeing on that screen. You attempt to make everyone (who all are clearly uncomfortable), comfortable by talking. At that moment, the technician says "can you please hold your breath" resulting in more uncomfortableness. The technician turns the screen to you and dad to be and starts explaining what we are seeing. You hear the words "twins" and immediately start swearing. (causing embarrassing uncomfortableness for everyone). You turn to your new-ish boyfriend who is currently the color of a well bleached white sheet and all you can say is "I'm sorry" with what you later find out is the BIGGEST smile on your face. The technician goes on to explain bits and pieces and remarks that this is a "high risk" pregnancy. You think "of course it is - I am a ripe ancient age of 36 years old and I am carrying two babies" but at this point - you don't even know the half of it..... you can't possibly prepare for the information you are soon to receive. 

That was my first, of very many, ultrasounds. That was my first glance at our two baby boys (we didn't know they were boys yet - that was a whole different surprise). Not being a doctor or an ultrasound tech (although it was previously an occupation I investigated) or an expert on twins (my experience limited to the two coolest twins I knew - my mom and aunt!) I had no clue what I was in for. My (I should say OUR) sleepless nights were brought on by financial concerns, space concerns, etc. My sleepless nights were brought on by the wild fear of conjoined twins - thanks to a little show known as American Horror Story of which I quickly stopped watching. 

Two days later we were given the surprising news (that we were not only having twins) that we were having what is called "mono/mono" identical twins. I did not hear much more of what my doctor said during that appointment because although I knew nothing about mono/mono twins, I knew this was not an ideal scenario. I was scheduled for a high resolution ultrasound at one of the states best hospitals for December. Too long for a crazy, obsessive person to wait. I freaked out every day. I could not possibly bring my brain to stop thinking about it. I was sick with the typical (times two) pregnancy sicknesses which was only a slight distraction. I did my best not to Google anything, after one attempt to learn more. Stopping research was the BEST thing I did. Positive information is NOT the thing that comes up on the first page of that Google search.

The December appointments finally arrived and confirmed that in fact our babies were sharing an amnio sac and placenta. I have a little notebook full of the notes I took through my tears at that appointment. They make no sense. I returned home in a blur. We both walked around the house aimlessly not really sure what to do next. Dad-to-be started researching and giving me bits of information, positive information and hope. That night I went to bed thankful for all I have in this life and not knowing what the next day would bring.

I quickly found out what the next day would bring. And it surprised even me. As I awoke that morning, I can't tell you just exactly what, but something had changed with in me. No- not physically, but mentally. I immediately realized that this situation, (that a mere 12 hours earlier felt like the end of the world) was one that could not be more perfect for me. You see, I am insane. No seriously, I am out of my god forsaken mind. I am obsessive, I worry to a degree that is INCREDIBLY unhealthy. I fixate on things that I have zero control over, I rehash the past that I can never change, I obsess about the future as if I have some way to control it, I have no faith in anything, I trust nothing and no one, my brain consists of almost 100% downright, catastrophic thoughts and I do not sleep. It is a sickness, it is exhausting and it is something I have worked all my life to control. So one might think "how is this situation, where you are prompted to worry even more so than usual, at all a good thing for a person of this type?" 

Here is why: I am FORCED, literally forced - by nature, to stop. I can NOT control this situation. I can not fix it, I can not help it, I can not do anything about it. I can find faith (in the universe, God, or what ever the case may be) that everything will be ok. That is it. I can stay positive and create a happy, positive environment for my little miracles to grow in. I can surround myself with positive energy and let the doctors advise my next move and trust that they know what they are doing (because I sure as hell don't!). That is all I can do. 
For once, in my life, I realize that I am out of control and it is OKAY. 

This situation will not only make me a better person, a better friend, a better employee, a better partner - it will make me a better mother. Do I think it will make me perfect? Of course not. Do I still lose my sense of peace often? Absolutely. 

But all in all at the end of the day, when I recap the long, long list of the people and things I am thankful for in this life, these rare twins are thanked twice. And then I thank them again, for teaching more than they can imagine before they even arrive here in this world.

So this is my journey. This is where I am today but also where I plan to go. Lessons like this aren't temporary. These are the type of lessons you learn for your whole life. Learning to trust in the people you love and learning to trust the universe to get you what you need, are lessons I needed for life. And hopefully, if this journey can help, even one terrified mom-to-be in the same situation as me, then I know they are lessons well worth learning for more than just me. 

So..........Welcome to the Womb Mates! we are running out of space, so get comfortable, it's gonna be a hell of a ride