Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Are we done yet?

This is a topic of recent conversations between DH and me.  Are we done trying to expand our family? We have 3 healthy, beautiful girls who we love like crazy.  Our family feels complete, I think.

If we didn't have SIX frozen embryos from our DE cycle, I'd say we were done.  We definitely don't want to go through another fresh DE cycle.  For starters, the cost is more than we can handle.  But we have six embryos left and the cost of a frozen embryo cycle is significantly less expensive.  Do we try for another sibling and even out our "odd-number" family?  If the embryos don't make the thaw, at least we could say we tried and we do get refunded the cycle costs (minus $150).

Infertility sucks even when you have children. Let's say I didn't have Premature Ovarian Insufficiency/Failure.  Would we try for another baby? Both DH and I agree on this--of course, we would try for one more. First, it's fun trying to have another (when you know you can actually conceive another).  Second, there's minimal costs (no medications needed, no cycle fee, etc).  Third, if you're fertile, you don't have to be disappointed with the time, money and heartache that an IVF cycle can put you only have no baby in the end.  :( So, yes, infertility sucks even when you have children.  Going through another cycle is a reminder that my body is broken in the embryo-making department.

So, the question is: do we go through a frozen embryo cycle?  Especially knowing that the success rate isn't as high as a fresh cycle.  The thought of injections and pumping my body of estrogen again is not very appealing.

I don't know the answer right now.  I'm sure DH would say let's be happy with what we have now...which I'm sure many would agree.  But what about our remaining embryos???  Here's a chance at another child that if I was not infertile we would definitely want.

I'm looking for a sign...something that jumps out at me and gives me the direction I need on this decision.  I'm feeling lost.  Please don't get me wrong, I love my family as it is, but if there's a chance for another, do you leap forward and embrace the opportunity? Or do you donate the embryos to science (which is our decision if we don't use them) and hopefully be at peace with the decision you made?

Monday, July 15, 2013

18 Month Update

The girls just had their 18 month check up today and they did awesome.  No shots today, so I'm sure they were happy about that.  I was definitely happy about screaming or crying.  My older daughter came with us, which was a first.  She kept wanting to tell the doctor facts about the girls. (i.e. Matilda likes to give me hugs, Sera doesn't suck her fingers, she sucks her THUMB, etc.)  Just a little background on my 7 year old: she didn't talk much when she was young. I swear she only said a few words at 2 and I did get a little worried when she was 3 and I really couldn't understand her.  At 7, this girl can TALK.  Sometimes, I can't get her to stop talking and her vocabulary is amazing.  Who would have thought?!?  Ok, back to the thing is for sure: THEY ARE GROWING!

Weight/Height: Sera is 32.5 inches, 25 lbs even and Matilda is 34.5 inches, 25 lbs even.  This is a first where they are actually the same weight exactly. I think Sera's head was half an inch larger.

Eating:  We been switching meal time around a bit due to their naps.  They eat breakfast in the morning and then have an early lunch/snack at 11am.  They will eat again after their nap and have dinner around 5/5:30pm.  They always seem to have appetites. If they see us eat, they typically have to eat.  They also want to eat what we are eating.

Foods They Like:  FRUIT (peaches, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, blueberries) is their favorite.  However, cantaloupe and melon didn't go over well.  Eggo frozen blueberry waffles--sometimes they'll even it them frozen.  Cinnamon graham crackers, oatmeal squares cereal, sausage, goldfish crackers, green beans, mac n cheese--to name a few well-liked foods.

Foods They Don't:  Lately, they haven't been liking chicken.  They are okay with breaded chicken, but  they don't seem to like chicken that is grilled or marinated.  They will try it and have a couple pieces, but they won't finish what's on their plates.

Favorite Things To Do:   Two months ago, I bought a used Little Tikes climber that was in excellent condition and they've been playing on it daily.  They climb up the slide part.  Sera goes head first down the slide and Matilda sits up with feet first down the slide.  They like to play with electronics (i.e. phones, blu-ray player, sister's ipod, tv remote controllers).  Music is still a favorite.  Matilda often sings with me at night.  They like to open kitchen drawers, slam drawers, move chairs across rooms, climb kitchen chairs to get on the table, and pull at anything in their reach.  Typical toddler right?!

Dislikes:  They dislike being hungry and tired.  They will probably never outgrow that (I know I haven't!)  They are not interested in tv.  Occasionally, they'll see their big sister watching tv and they might watch for 2 minutes.  They don't like to share much, so they often fight over toys (or Mommy).  Not a big fan of going to bed.  They don't like Mommy or Daddy telling them not to do something--especially when Daddy says it.  Mommy must be a pushover. (haha)

Their Accomplishments:  This is difficult to document.  They are accomplishing things daily, so it feels like it.  Matilda was counting to 3 the other day and singing songs.  Sera was using her utensils correctly. They each have their own unique qualities.  While Matilda seems to be talking more and catches on quickly to words, Sera is confident and more readily to say "hi" to another baby/kid at the playground. They really balance each other with their own strengths.  It's an amazing thing to watch.

Words:  Matilda repeats almost anything we say now.  Whether she remembers it, I don't know.  She likes to say "hey" when you take things away from her.  She is starting to form phrases such as: all gone, see dog, shoes on.  Sera appears to be a little behind with her verbal communications, which doesn't surprise me, knowing our 7 year old was similar when she was young.

Teeth:  They both have 4 bottom teeth and 4 top teeth and 2 year molars (all 4) are coming through.  

Sleep:  Bedtime is between 7 and 7:30 pm.  They typically sleep 11.5/12 hours.  Sometimes, I'm not sure when they get up--they talk nicely to each other in the morning.  Eventually, I hear one of them calling "mommy."  Matilda typically gets up once at night (her diaper is soaked and needs to be changed).  Luckily, she usually goes back to sleep right away.  Nap time is usually around 11:30am (for about 1.5 to 2 hours).  They've been napping together pretty well lately.  

Looking forward to:  Their vocabulary expanding and actually understanding what they are saying.

DE Mom musings:  For some reason, I've been thinking lately--I wish we could meet our donor once. Know her name, know what she looks like. I don't have regrets about using an anonymous donor.  I think it's more curiosity.  

Friday, July 5, 2013

Time - All I Need is Time

As usual, I don't know how my days slip away so quickly.  I need to find time to blog, so I don't forget all these precious memories that are being created.  Seriously, I admire those who blog at least weekly, and I want to know how you do it! :)

The girls just turned 18 months on July 2nd and I need to write an update, but it won't happen today.  I've been busy cleaning house as they nap, and I'm starting to hear one of them stir.  Maybe tomorrow...maybe next week...when my oldest is at camp.

Time, please slow down.

Just a quick photo...can you see the love?  They melt my heart.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

15 Month Update...A Little Late

Earlier this month, we had the girls 15 month check up.  Of course, with everything else in life, I've been playing catch up.  So, this is going to be a long post (just warning anyone who is reading!)  I'm writing this post for me since I can't seem to organize my thoughts/feelings and the girls' milestones anywhere else.

Weight/Height: Sera is 31 inches, 23 lbs 10 oz and Matilda is 32.5 inches, 23 lbs 12 oz.  They are so close in weight, but they definitely have a different build.  Sera is more petite and has more baby fat to her frame.  I love Sera's chunky thighs!  Matilda is tall (off the charts) and thin.

Eating:  One of many milestones achieved this month--NO MORE BOTTLES for the girls! The bedtime bottle was the biggest challenge, but we did it!  I say, WE, because it was difficult on me too.  I'm going to miss feeding the girls' their bottles, but those bottle feedings are now replaced with snuggles and hugs.  Their eating routine consists of breakfast, a snack, lunch, a snack and dinner.   

Foods They Like:  They love meat (turkey, beef, chicken, ham), fruits (especially strawberries, bananas, oranges, pears, peaches, & grapes), and carbs (wheat bread, blueberry waffles, cheerios are a staple!)  Cheese is a favorite too, which they eat a lot of lately.  Since the bottles are gone, I've been worried about their calcium intake.  They are not as thrilled about milk in their sippy cups, but I can usually get them to drink milk with one or two meals.  They prefer water with their meals.  They like vegetables, but it's not one of their favorite things to eat.  They like the fruit & veggies grain puffs and eggs too.  They like to eat what I'm eating (even when spicy) and I will let them try my foods...they are so curious with foods and so willing to try anything.

Foods They Don't:  They really are great eaters.  They eat better than my 7 year old!  I can't think of anything that they absolutely dislike eating.  (If they don't like something, it's probably something I don't like--I typically don't make foods that I dislike).  Sera does not really like juice, least, not yet.

Favorite Things To Do:   They love to listen and dance to music. (Matilda dances on her toes--maybe a ballerina in the future?)  They like to play in their pottery barn chairs; they can now move them across the room and flip the chairs over. (thank goodness they are made of foam!)  They love to talk to each other in their cribs.  They like to hug and kiss their stuffed animals as well as us.  They are very affectionate towards us; it just melts my heart.  Lately, they seem to like car rides and like when I say, "let's go bye-bye's."

Dislikes:  They dislike being hungry and tired.  Matilda does not like her poopy diapers.  A first happened the other day: I heard her crying in her crib and when I checked on her, she had her sleeper  & DIAPER off (which was full of poop).  So happy she didn't make a mess with her poop!  Unfortunately, they do beat up on each other a bit.  Sera likes to pull Matilda's hair and Matilda likes to hit Sera, so who is ever getting the end of the deal is upset.  I hate seeing them pick on each other, but I hear from other twin moms that they experience similar experiences.  (On the positive end, I do see them hug each other too).

Their Accomplishments:  They are walking professionals! :)  In fact, they are starting to run.  They climb more than I'd like.  Matilda has an easier time climbing because she has the extra inch or two over Sera.  The climbing might be an accomplishment for them, but it sends me in panic mode when I see them standing on the very top of the couch looking out the window.  They have learned to get off the couch without just falling off.   They know how to turn on/off electronics and Matilda has managed to enter my password on my iphone and dial a number. Crazy, huh?!  I keep calling her the genius of the family.  They just started learning to climb the stairs (another scary milestone for this momma).  They are learning to use utensils, but I often find it less messy when they don't use them. The now wave their hands 'Hi' and 'Goodbye.'  They have changed so much in the past 3 months or so; it's so difficult to keep up with all their accomplishments.

Words:  Besides momma, dadda, hi, bye, hey, ouch, boo-boo, eyes, nose, diap (diaper), eat, eggs, cheese, "oh geez" ...and several words I can't quite make out yet.  They have their own vocabulary with each other.  They talk in their cribs in the morning and after their naps during the day. Matilda definitely talks more than Sera.

Teeth:  Sera has 4 bottom teeth and 3 top teeth.  Matilda has 2 bottom teeth and 4 top teeth.  

Sleep:  They are sleeping a little better now that we eliminated bottle feeding during the night.  Every now and then they would wake up, and we would give them a small bottle to get them to sleep. Our pediatrician suggested not doing this when they wake up or we'll be doing it for a long time. Instead, we just rub their backs (and usually pick them up for a minute or two) and put them down to sleep.  His suggestion seemed to work because we eliminated bottles at night and then they started to sleep through night again.  Matilda still wakes in the middle of night at least once, but she goes down after she's reassured that we are there for her.  Sera seems to be the better sleeper in general.  Occasionally, when Matilda actually sleeps through the night, Sera will get up once (go figure, Murphy's Law right?)  They are sleeping better though lately, so I can't complain. They usually wake around 7am, take a nap ~11am (nap about 1.5 hours), and down for the night ~7:30pm.  Sometimes, Sera will squeeze another late afternoon nap (~45min - 1 hr).  There are those days though where they don't take naps at the same time, which makes for a busy, exhausting day for me.

Looking forward to:  Seeing them interact more with each other and using more and more words.  I'm looking forward to BOTH of them sleeping consistently through the night.

DE Mom musings:  I'm just so grateful for our donor.  She helped us create these amazing little girls. 

Note (if you are still reading): This post took me ALL day long to write...between feeding and playing with the girls and painting a room in our home ...I never get a solid block of time to myself (5 minutes here or there). :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Twins Look Nothing Like You

Those are the words from my 10 year old nephew! This was several months ago during our move.  These words were never forgotten.  This moment was never forgotten, but truthfully, I really wasn't ready to blog about it.  A part of me was really hurt by these words.  At the time, I was mad at my nephew for saying it.  I knew I needed time to just think it over and in a sense, get over it.  Of course, my mind was pre-occupied with our move and just being a mom to my 3 girls.

Unfortunately, I probably will never forget these words from my nephew.  (You have to love the "brutally" honest remarks of children...I know my oldest daughter has said a few things that make my jaw drop).  My nephew will probably never know how brutal those words were to me, and I'd like to leave it that way.  I'm not angry at him.  Though the remark has got me wondering.  Did my sister-in-law (who shouldn't know we used DE) state something similar around her son or did he come up with the idea on his own?  It's not like they see the twins that often...maybe once every 2 or 3 months.  Do the girls really look that different from me??? We all have blue eyes. Matilda's hair color matches mine.

I guess, I'm wondering, does our family and our friends think the same? Do they think the twins look nothing like me?  Do they talk about "it" amongst themselves?  That would bother me and I really hope they aren't engaging in such petty talk (so that's what I call it).  Who gives a SH*T who they look like?!?   They were built and nurtured inside me and I (we) love them like crazy.

Sometimes, I wish I could have blurted out to my nephew: Yes, I know they don't have my facial features.  Yes, we used an egg donor.  Yes, they are my children.  End of story.

Instead, I just said, "really, you think so?"  Wow, real profound, right?  I was stunned and hurt.  Stunned that someone would actually say that to me (whether it's the truth or not).  Hurt because it is true (they will never look like me) and I'm reminded of our painful path of infertility.  I moved on that day though because we were literally moving into our new home.  I'm glad we were busy.

Looking back, I know it's better I acted like I did.  If confronted with the same words again: "The twins look nothing like you," how will I respond?  Probably the same way, I'm guessing.  I'm not ready to divulge their conception story to everyone I know.  As of now, I'm thinking I'll wait for them to be old enough to understand, and they can make that decision on their own whether they want others to know.

Do the words still hurt? Sure they do, but I'd like to think I won't be caught off guard next time.  If someone asks about their conception, I'm perfectly happy to say: "None of your business."  If someone states something about their looks, so be it.  I'm their mother and it really doesn't matter what they look like.  After all, I really don't think I look like my biological Mother--I have a lot of my Dad's features.

On a positive note, strangers often come up to me and tell me the girls are beautiful.  Can't argue there!

Friday, January 18, 2013

One Year Checkup

The girls had their one year check up yesterday.  They did AMAZING!  I was so proud of them.  This was their first visit with a new doctor since we moved.  No tears, no screaming until the end of the appointment...the dreaded shots!  Three of them!

Weight/Height: My peanut, Sera, weighted 21 lb 2 oz and was 29.5" tall.  Matilda weighed 22 lb and was 31.25" tall (97th percentile for height!)
Eating:  They love their bottles, but their doctor said they should be weaned from their bottles by 15 months.  It will be difficult since I can't get them to drink from a sippy cup yet.  They are down to about 4 bottles a day (4/6oz bottles at a time).  They have been eating solids at least 4 times a day.  They are little snackers.  Matilda loves to feed herself and eat what we eat.  Sera has had difficulty lately with eating finger food...she stuffs her mouth and I think she expects it to dissolve like her rice puffs.  

Foods They Like:  They love ground beef and cheese.  We tried raisins and peaches (not together) for the first time today and they loved them!  They like scrambled eggs, yogurt, waffles and peas.

Foods They Don't:  Matilda is past pureed food--she's done with baby food!  Sera pretty much eats everything and anything.

Favorite Things:   Their big sister--they love playing with her.  Big sister loves playing with them more now since they actually "play" now.  Grandma bought them PB everywhere chairs for their birthday and they love them.  They sit in them, crawl over them and stand on them.  They still love music.

Favorite toy:  They like their LeapFrog activity table (a birthday gift from a relative).

Dislikes:  Bedtime--they never really want to go to bed, especially Matilda.  Sera doesn't like laying on her back (probably because she can't flip over yet!)  They aren't big fans of sharing yet.

Their Accomplishments:  They officially can walk now on their own!!! Sera started taking several steps at their birthday party on January 5th, and she walks like a pro now!  Matilda just started walking about 3 days ago.  She walked across the room today!  They get so happy and clap when they see each other walk.  I love seeing them interact!

New words:  I think Sera said her big sister's name the other day.   Matilda says Ou-ch.  Sera points and says That.  

Teeth:  Sera has 4 teeth (2 bottom, 2 top) now.  Matilda looks like she'll have all 4 top teeth come at the same time...they are just poking through now.

Sleep:  Sera is starting to sleep through the night again!  Usually a good 10 hours but I think Matilda usually wakes her up early.  Matilda still wakes up once during the night--I'm thinking part of it is due to teething.  However, last night they both went to bed at 8pm, woke at 5:15 for a bottle and back to bed and then woke at 8am.  They usually take one morning nap together and the afternoon nap is sometimes staggered between them.  Matilda gives up the afternoon nap occasionally.

Looking forward to:  watching them grow and interact more with each other.  I just love each day with them.  

DE Mom musings:  I'm so grateful for our donor.  Sometimes, I wish I could meet her just once and thank her personally.  She has given me the most wonderful gifts.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday!!!

I remember a year ago so clearly.  Getting up early (after little sleep) for my planned c-section.  The weather was horrible.  We made it on time though.  Our nurse was late.  She was so calm for just driving 2 hours to get there...I liked her already.  Her name was Diane (or maybe Diana...ok, the memory is a little fuzzy).  She did an amazing job with my IV.  Dr.C came in the room to greet us...friendly and happy as usual.  I felt like I was in good hands...and I truly was!

We have the girls' birth on video, so I will always remember the sounds, the reactions, and the pure beauty of our newborns.  I was so in love from the minute they entered this world, and I feel so truly blessed.  I feel like I won the lottery with our girls.  They make me smile on my worst days and make the good days even better.

Happy FIRST Birthday to my precious baby girls!  You are so loved!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Strange Start to the New Year

It's the eve of our daughters' 1st birthday and guess what arrived this morning!?!  The unthinkable has arrived and when you have POI/POF (especially for as long as I have), you really don't think one will actually arrive naturally EVER again.  Without taking my Prometrium, my period has arrived!!!  My first since 2005!!!  (I've been on HRT for so long, my periods come within days of taking surprises!)  However, today was a HUGE surprise.  I had some mild cramping last night, but I didn't expect my period.

Questions arise now.  Can I actually ovulate on my own?  What would cause me to ovulate this past month?  Is it possible to ovulate again?  I can't help but feel a little excited.

Definitely an interesting start to 2013!  On another good note, after 2 weeks of flu symptoms in our household, we are all on the mend.  Not too shabby for the start of the year.

Off to party planning for the girls' birthday party this coming Saturday!  Can't believe they will be ONE tomorrow!