our stork was lost, but we found him!!!!…

infertility + 4 rounds of artificial insemination + in-vitro fertilization FINALLY = TWIN BOYS!!!!

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It still gets to me, and probably always will

March 7, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Nothing like jumping back into the blogging world with a nice, heated, gosh-I-wish-I-could-cuss-but-my-parents-put-my-blog-link-on-their-Christmas-letter conversation about the infertility world.  It was sparked by a Facebook post by one of my friend’s Facebook friends (got that?).  Said friend has adorable 12 month old spontaneous triplet girls, and we met through the NICU support group that Jeff and I started at Swedish Medical Center here in Denver.  She posted a cute link to a blog post where she talks about going to the park with her girls, and meeting another set of triplets (is it still a “set” if it’s a trio?).  And the comment that got me all fired up was one of her friends asking if she knew if those other triplets were a product of fertility treatments or if they were natural.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.  

Natural?!?!?!?!?!? 

I hate loathe despise abhor when people refer to spontaneous twins/triplets/quads as “natural”, and I know I’m not alone here.  It’s super annoying.  And uneducated.  And honestly, it’s a kick in the face when you worked your ass off to get the child(ren) you have.  Do you ever hear anyone talking about whether or not a singleton is “natural”?  Nope.  At least I never do.  Yet there are tens of thousands of singletons born each year as a result of fertility treatments.  I’m guessing that those nosy people who feel it necessary to ask if Max and Wes are “natural” twins just think that (a) it’s okay to ask someone about their sex life (which is basically what it is- when is the last time you asked a random parent of one if they had sex to get their little boy or girl?), (b) are just really intrigued by the whole multiples thing, or (c) want to jump down my/our throat about how it’s going against “God’s plan” to do something so drastic to become a parent.

Alternately, I’m sure it’s super duper annoying for my friend to be asked time and time again if her girls are the product of fertility treatments.  I mean seriously – whose freaking business is that?!?!  I will admit that since becoming a parent of twins, I often find myself wondering if other sets of twins or triplets were conceived via fertility treatments, or if their parents just got really lucky.  But I think that’s normal, right?  Either way, I obviously have no problem talking about how our boys were conceived.  I’m not ashamed of it, I’m certainly proud, and so very thankful that the science exists.  I’m actually going to be featured talking about our infertility journey, and about infertility in general on a podcast this Wednesday (my first ever!) on a great “Mom” blog, (over)thinkingmom, so look for the podcast, and subsequent podpost, later this week.

Just like I will never forget what we went through with the early delivery of our boys, and everything that happened afterwards with their NICU stay, my PPD/PTSD, and our marriage issues, I don’t think I will ever forget the pain and heartache and sadness we felt leading up to that point.  Infertility is a bitch.  A dirty little bitch (sorry Mom).  And shame on people who automatically assume that we went against nature or “God’s plan”, or whatever, just because we were “selfish” and we did something that couples decide to do every single day – have their own biological baby (or babies).

Oh, and one day I *will* catch up with December, January, and February (including Christmas, new niece, and 2nd birthday photos!) posts…just not today.

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November month-in-review

January 9, 2011 at 12:40 am

November was fairly uneventful…lots of growing up and more *real* talking from Max and Wes.  Just when I was starting to worry, November started a massive word explosion with Wes, and I think Max is right behind him.  I’m not one (nor do I really have the time) to count how many words Wes is saying right now, but I will say that as much as I hate admitting it, I totally think that watching Yo Gabba Gabba (their favorite cartoon, along with Sesame Street) is helping their vocabulary/manners/overall behavior.  Without prompting, Wes now says “please” (“peesh”), “thank you” (“anck ooh”), “you’re welcome” (“elle come”), and “excuse me” (which is the CUTEST – “cues me”) all.the.time.  He’s been grouping several words together, forming “sentences” for awhile now, too, which is super exciting.  I know I’ll want the sweet sound of silence soon, but for now we’re just really enjoying watching our little guy grow and learn.  Max is right behind him – he still babbles and rambles on and on and on…it’s just completely indecipherable…for now.  I think that this is probably a “normal” thing for twins – one talks a lot at first, while the other one quietly observes.  And that’s Max in a nutshell right now – the quiet observer – always making sure all is right in the world, and always one to figure things out before moving on to the next task at hand.

The one thing I’m really loving right now is just how DIFFERENT Max and Wes are right now.  They are soooo complete opposites, it’s insane.  In looks, in behavior, in temperament, in voice – they are just so insanely different.  But they are also so in synch with each other, and they love each other with wild abandon, and that just makes my heart melt all over the place.  They love to be touching…so much so that we had to split apart their cribs (they used to be side by side) because they were horsing around too much at naptime and bedtime.  They are constantly holding hands, hugging, and giving each other the most adorable little smiles and looks.  They just “get” each other…sometimes more than I think we “get” them.

At our last pediatrician visit, which was incidentally when we found out that Max had a possible shellfish allergy/intolerance, we weighed and measured both of them, and I was floored at the difference between the two of them.  This was about two months ago, and Max was an inch and a half taller than Wes, but he weighed over SIX pounds less than Wes did!  Wes was just over 28 pounds, and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Wes now weighs 30+ pounds – he’s a brute!  Max is built so slender – he has the longest legs and arms, and the most delicate little neck (supporting his giant melon head, LOL)…and you can see his ribcage through his back.  It’s definitely just the luck of the draw, because both Max and Wes eat.  A lot.  We’re very fortunate that they will pretty much eat anything we put in front of them, whether it’s paella (oops, this is where we discovered the shellfish thing, photo to follow), or brussels sprouts, or black olives (YUCK).  I’m terrified of what our grocery bill is going to look like in a few years, or worse yet, when they are in high school!

Max is very quiet.  Very astute and aware.  Very serious.  He will literally take a new toy that he doesn’t understand or know, and he will sit down with it, and quietly figure it out, whether it takes a few minutes, or a half hour.  It’s insane.  I’ve never seen a more serious 22 month old in my life.  And Wes is so different in this regard.  He’s loud.  And inquisitive.  And silly.  The kid makes more funny faces than I could ever come up with.  He likes to run up to me and poke me in the leg, and then when I look down there is always a new funny face to mimic.  He looooooves when I copy his funny face, and he laughs the deepest, most genuine laugh you have ever heard.  If he found a toy that he couldn’t figure out in a few seconds, he would simply toss it aside for another one.  He doesn’t have the time to figure stuff like that out.

Max has the most sweet, most subtle, most quiet little voice.  When he “talks”, sometimes it’s barely above a whisper, and it’s a little high-pitched, and very smooth, if that makes sense.  Wes has a loud voice (gee, wonder where he gets that), but it’s also very sweet.  He has the most adorable little lisp – he calls our nanny “Jesthiee” (Jessie) and calls cheese “cheethhh”.  He is very matter-of-fact when he talks, but I think that’s just because he talks all the time, so he really thinks he knows what he’s talking about, LOL!  The one thing that I love – that both boys say – is “seriously”.  It used to be “see-ish-lee”, and now it’s more of a lispy sounding, more flowy word “see-isss-lee”.  Either way, so freaking CUTE!

We spent Thanksgiving at our house this year – my aunt Jan, sister Kristy, and Mom and Dad were all at the house.  I was actually sick, which sucked, but I was glad that my family could spend that time together, and I always love seeing my parents with their grandsons – they love them so much.  Jeff was working nights at the time (long story, thank GOD we don’t have to deal with that anymore), which also sucked, so Kristy and I dropped off Thanksgiving dinner, complete with Mom’s famous apple pie, at his office on Thursday night, just before heading out to a chick flick.  We were worried/sad that Jeff wouldn’t be around for Christmas night either, but thankfully he was offered a new job with a new company at the beginning of December, and he started on December 21st.  He is now a Systems Engineer with United Dominion Realty, and so far he is absolutely loving it.  It was just the change we needed to get our family dynamic back on track, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s a great company, he has better hours, and makes more money.  We have so much to be thankful for this year. 

We also spent a lot of time outside with family and friends in November, thanks to the super mild weather we’ve been (and are still) having.  We live right down the street from a great park, so we’ve spent lots of time playing and running there – and we’ve been taking advantage of our zoo membership, which we don’t often get to do in the late fall/early winter months.  It’s been so much fun! 

Max's shellfish reaction (we had paella)

November started with this goose egg...ouchie

Tell me Wes doesn't have the pouty look down

Fun in the tub with a little creative hiding of the privates

Wes and I exchanging funny faces

Post-tubby hug

Fun at the zoo

"Look mom, I don't even need a coat!"

Wes was just a *little* apprehensive about the carousel

Asher was teaching Max how to be a big boy

Yes, we totally got suckered into buying the boys Yo Gabba Gabba Vans

My Daddy pushing the boys to the park

My Mommy helping Wes up the stairs to the slides

My cute little tiger

LOVE this photo of our kiddos with my parents

One of these days I’ll be caught up with this thing!

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(Still) Playing catch up

November 27, 2010 at 12:31 am

We kicked off the month of October by dropping the boys off at Jeff’s parent’s house and having a 24 hour date.  We stayed downtown (thanks to my sis and her many hotel points), saw a movie (the social network), went shopping (for ourselves – gasp!), and ate and drank – a lot.  We went restaurant-hopping, stopping at several different restaurants for various appetizers, cocktails, desserts, and the like.

 

It was just what the doctor ordered.  Literally. 

Jeff and I have been going to couples counseling since shortly after our 7th anniversary in August.  We needed it.  We have been through so much in the last several years that I’m honestly surprised that it took this long.  Jeff and I just weren’t communicating like a married couple (with children) should be, and that freaked us out.  We’ve seen far too many couples split up lately…and the thing that ultimately led to most of those breakups was communication, or lack thereof.  My sis was over one night and she could see that something wasn’t right with us.  She pulled me aside and told me that she believed that if she and her ex-husband would have had better communication around (or before) the time he decided to be unfaithful to her** that they may have been able to work things out.  That freaked me out.  I took their divorce a lot harder than I thought I would have, and couldn’t imagine going through that myself.  We finally had the family and the life we had always wanted, and I was fighting for it, dammit!

**I just want to add that him betraying their marriage vows had nothing to do with her not wanting better communication, he’s the jackass that wouldn’t go to couples counseling with her.  Idiot.  His loss. 

Thankfully, Jeff was 100% on board – we just wanted our marriage back.  We weren’t naive enough to think it’s ever going to be the same as it was before kids, before infertility, before any responsibility…we just wanted “us” back.  We didn’t want to end up being one of those couples who stays together for their kids, or because it’s “comfortable”, we just needed a little reminder as to why we fell in love and got married in the first place.   The good news is that it’s working!  We’ve been seeing our therapist every week or two since the beginning of September, and we’ve already made so much progress with our communication.  I would say we couldn’t be happier, but I know that’s not true – we can be happier…and we will be.  Soon.  I should add that our therapist tells us almost every time she sees us that we’re her “non-urgent” couple – meaning if we can’t get in to see her every two weeks, she’s certain we’ll be okay…unlike some of her more “urgent” couples.  I don’t know if this is bad or selfish or whatever, but that makes me feel good to hear.  =)

Mid-October we met up with some of our favorite people in the whole wide world.  You’ll remember Jenny and Brian’s twin boys from the pumpkin patch last year…

circa 2009 - Hudson, Miles, Max, & Wes

circa 2010 - Miles, Hudson, Max, & Wes

I think we’re going to have to make this a yearly thing.  One, because the boys are so.freaking.cute together, and two, because I seriously cannot get over the gawks and comments from complete strangers we get when the eight of us are out together.  

Wes & Miles - don't they look like they're plotting something here?

Safety first! Letting the kiddos play on railroad tracks

 

And for old time’s sake, a photo of our little pumpkin-heads…

We love the time we get to spend with Jenny, Brian, and their beautiful boys – it’s a shame that they live in northern Colorado…it’s far enough away to make it a production to get to and from there with two little monkeys, but at least they aren’t *too* far away.

The week after the pumpkin patch reunion, we celebrated my adorable nephew’s 3rd (yes, THIRD!) birthday. 

The birthday boy (he reallllly wanted to open presents here)

In keeping with tradition, I made Asher’s cake again this year – this time in the shape of a rocket ship.  It was soo much fun to make, and Ash loved it, so mission accomplished.

Asher’s birthday this year will be the last birthday we celebrate without the addition of his little SISTER, who will be arriving sometime late next month/early January.  We couldn’t be happier to finally be getting a little girl to spoil and love on – and it will be so nice to have a baby around again…because as much as I hate admitting it, our boys just aren’t babies anymore.

M&W playing in the mini-bouncy castle thanks to the mild fall weather

The day after Asher’s birthday party, I hopped on a plane and flew to New York City to participate in a Satellite Media Tour which focused on RSV and Prematurity Awareness.  It was a HUGE honor, as I was chosen out of a group of family (preemie) bloggers to conduct the interviews with one of the most prominent neonatologists in the country, Dr. Sergio Golombek.  It felt so great to spread the word about something I am obviously very passionate about, and Edelman (the PR firm that represents MedImmune, the manufacturer of Synagis, the RSV medication that Max and Wes were denied because of the new AAP guidelines) flew me out early so I also got to see my cousin and an old friend while I was in the city.

Me with cousin Brook in Times Square

With my buddy, Robert

We did the interviews in the same studio where “Dan Rather Reports” used to shoot – how cool is that!?  I got to the studio at 6:15 Monday morning, and went straight to hair and makeup.  Kristin from Jersey did things to my hair and makeup that I could only dream of doing.  I didn’t have bags under my eyes for the first time in AGES…and she wouldn’t give up any of her secrets, dammit!  I will say that having makeup done for HDTV is weird – it was airbrushed on, and I felt like I had about an inch of makeup on, but I’ll be darned that it looked fantastic on camera.  She’s a professional for a reason, I guess!

Kristin and I

Dr. G and I

Me with Jonathan and Virginia from Edelman

After doing 27 interviews, both on TV and radio, I was spent and ready to get home to my little guys.  I took an earlier flight in hopes to make it home in time to read them their nighttime stories, but the wind in Chicago had other plans for me, and I didn’t make it home until late that night.  All in all it was an amazing experience, and has opened up other doors to speak about prematurity awareness, so I am very excited about that.  MedImmune has chosen us as their “spokesfamily” for an inter-company campaign called “Understanding the Payer and Enhancing Patient Access” which they will come shoot in the middle of next month.  This is a HUGE deal for us and preemie families everywhere, because it could very well be the start of some changes in patient access to Synagis.  More on that later, I won’t bore you with the details now.  =)

The weekend after I got back was Halloween.  And oh my gosh, the CUTENESS!  Max and Wes were so cute in their little costumes…even moreso than last year I think.  I’ll let you be the judge…

circa 2009 - Wes the peapod and Max the banana

circa 2010 - Max the lion & Wes the chicken

We “celebrated” Halloween by going to a Halloween celebration at Northfield Stapleton (a local mall) in the morning, and then “trick-or-treating” (to four of our neighbors’ houses) that night.  My parents were here, and they had so much fun out with their little lion and chicken! 

Aunt Kristy walking her little lion

Look at that cute little lion bottom!

Wes was a tiny bit overwhelmed during the "dance party"

Max doing the "Monster Mash"

Sleepy little chicken

(and after a looooooooooooooooong afternoon nap)

Ready to go ToT'ing for the first time!

Walking up Nancy's driveway

Max with Aunt Kristy and Grampy

In front of Ed and Christie's spooooky house

Wes leaving Jerry and Sonya's with Daddy and Gramps

Max going through all of his candy

That night, Max and Wes had their first taste of candy (ever), and of course, they loved it!  They split a Reese’s peanut butter cup, some Twizzlers, and a few peanut butter M&M’s.  I know they say the whole “sugar-high” thing is a myth, but oh my goodness…those little punks didn’t go to bed until nearly 9 that night!  It was such a fun time with our little guys, I just can’t wait until next year when they actually “get it” (and we can take them ToT’ing to more places, therefore gathering more candy for Jeff and I – it’s all part of our master plan).

And there’s October in a nutshell.  I hope you all enjoy the photos!

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Blogging for Preemies

November 17, 2010 at 9:00 pm

According to the March of Dimes report on premature births, nearly 13 million babies worldwide are born prematurely each year. This means about 9.6 percent of all babies born experience a preterm birth – one in eight babies. One in eight. Half a million of these premature births are in the United States. More than one million premature babies die each year, and those who are lucky enough to survive often face serious health challenges and risk lifelong disabilities.

Premature birth is the number one killer of newborns.

On Tuesday, November 17th, you can show your support for March of Dimes Fight for Preemies by blogging about a baby you love, or blogging about prematurity to help raise awareness about premature births. The Fight for Preemies is being organized by Bloggers Unite and the March of Dimes to raise awareness of the crisis of premature birth. Bloggers are invited to get involved by spreading the word about the Fight for Preemies and to post a blog on November 17th (remember that November is Prematurity Awareness Month). We invite and encourage everyone who reads our blog to either blog about a preemie today, or leave a comment in this post on how you’ve been touched by a preemie, whether it’s Max and Wes, or another precious baby (or babies).

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Playing catch up

November 6, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Boy, when people tell you children are going to change your life you never really know just how much life really is going to change until you’re in the thick of it.  Now that Max and Wes are fully mobile and keeping us on our toes for all of their waking hours, there just hasn’t been free time to blog.  In fact, I have no idea where on earth busy moms and dads find the time to blog every day…I think I need some of their help with time management (suggestions welcome)!  I’ve really been struggling with making a decision to either continue our blog (and post when I can), or just thank everyone for their support and shut it down (so to speak).  I’ve grown so much in the last couple of years – as a friend, a wife, a mother, and a contributing member of society in general.  I think that I still have a lot to say about life that may benefit our friends and family…or total strangers for that matter, with regards to juggling everything going on in our lives.  I also want to appease our adoring public (umm yeah, basically my parents, great-aunt Ruthie, and a few friends who still check in every once and a while), so I figured, “why not keep going?”.  So here it goes:

Since I last blogged in early August, we celebrated Max & Wes’s Conception-a-versary (on August 4th).  So, as tradition will continue for years to come, I’ll share the last three years on that very date.  To say our lives have changed for the better is a massive understatement.  Who would have thought that a little bit of science and a whole lotta hope would result in two of the coolest little people we know?

August 4, 2008

August 4, 2009

August 4, 2010

And another one where Max doesn't look so grumps

In late August, the night before our 7th wedding anniversary, we celebrated the engagement of Jeff’s BFF, Josh, and his gorgeous girlfriend, Peyton.  My parents came out to watch their grandsons for the night so we could go to their engagement party (and after-party downtown).  We couldn’t be happier for our friends, and cannot WAIT for their upcoming nuptials in MEXICO in February 2012!!!

The happy couple and P's friend, Kalli

Just a FYI - there was alcohol involved in this photo

The Besties

My beautiful sis and I

September brought not only a slight change of climate (and fall crispness to the air – love it), but my Grampy to the Mile High City.  He hadn’t seen his great-grandsons since Christmas 2009, so needless to say he was very surprised at how much they have changed.  He told me over and over and over how wonderful a mother I am, and how great Jeff and I were with the boys – I was beaming the whole weekend.  It means so much to me when he comes to visit, as he’s my only living grandparent, and we just can’t wait to see him again (hopefully soon)!

Grampy with M&W

LOVE this photo of Grampy and Wes

Yes, our kids wear Crocs...big whoop

Brotherly love

Big Dub and Aunt Kristy

Max, always fearless, running after the geese

Grampy and my mommy

We had the Swedish Hospital NICU reunion on September 11th, the same day my Mom celebrated her 63rd birthday.  It was so great to see all of the nurses we don’t see on a weekly basis (at our weekly NICU support group meetings), and Max and Wes enjoyed playing with all of their old “roommates”.

How cool is this? An incubator for the ambulance - I'd never seen that before!

Us with the boys' daytime primary care nurse, Debbie - we heart her

Debbie with Max, Mandie with Wes

Running down the halls of the hospital wore all three of them out!

The night of the reunion, I had a girl’s night out with 3 of our friends we met through the NICU, complete with dinner, (lots of) drinks, and a night in a downtown hotel.  Fellow twin mamas Meghan and Heather, and triplet mama, Staci.  It was so.much.fun – but boy, I sure can’t party like I used to!  I’ll spare you the incriminating photos, and just show you this one…

Me with Heather, Staci, and Meghan

We celebrated Jeff’s 32nd birthday on September 16th by taking a photo of him and the boys…

"Happy birthday, daddy!"

The weekend after Jeff’s birthday, my Mom came back to the city – this time with my Dad, who hadn’t seen Max and Wes since right after they started walking.  He was also floored at how much they’ve changed, and how much fun they were.  We took advantage of the beautiful weekend to explore the Denver Botanic Garden’s Mordecai Children’s Gardens for the first time (and second time – we went both Saturday AND Sunday!), and the boys loved it so much that we are now members!

Saturday…

Reflecting in the reflection pond at the Botanic Gardens

Our little family

Like grandfather, like grandson

Grammy and Wes building with cut up tree trunks (genius, by the way)

Max jumping to Daddy

Sunday…

I think Max must've run up and down this "bridge" 100 times

Max & Wes exploring the tunnels

The stream - the boys loved this!

Splish splashin' around

Wes taking it all in

Taking a snack break with grammy and grampy

Two of my favorite dudes

And there we have it.  August and September wrapped up in a few words and a few more photos.  I’ll be back soon to recap October and November thus far, and talk more about my new passion for baking, trying out new recipes for Max and Wes, and my big trip to New York City to raise awareness for prematurity and RSV.

Until then, it’s good to be “back”.

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Ahhhhhhh, beep beep!

August 2, 2010 at 1:09 pm

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