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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Work and Child Care and Playing Dress Up, oh my!

Well, I went back to work on Monday Sept 17th. I haven't had much time to write about it before. So here goes. I cried my eyes out the weekend before I had to go back. I was a wreck. I told Eric that we needed to just sell our house immediately and live in a one bedroom apartment so that I didn't have to work and I could just stay home with my kids. My wonderful husband took my breakdown in stride and totally supported me and just said "Ok, we can sell the house, but it's Friday. We probably won't be able to get this done by the time you need to go to work on Monday."

So that Monday I went to work and ya know what, holy crap was it the easiest day I've had in 5 months! I just was able to sit at my desk, listen to my ipod, get some breakfast, run some errands at lunch, and all of it by myself! Now, I couldn't wait to leave work that day to go get them, but I really did appreciate the time that I spent there. And I realized that it was all ok. I was actually going to enjoy being at work. And I'm lucky that for the next few months, it's only parttime. I work Mon, Tues and Thurs and I'm off Wed and Friday. It's great. So now that I knew I was going to be ok, how were the kids going to be??

So my cousin Christina is taking the twins in for me and watching them. Christina has 4 1/2 year old triplets (that actually share a birthday with my twins!). Her kids go to school 3 mornings a week, and she decided to be my daycare. Which is a wonderful feeling for me, because I love knowing that my family is watching my kids. But I was also worried that maybe her kids wouldn't love this whole arrangement. I didn't know if they would be annoyed by the presence of these new babies. Ya know, the babies need to eat on a schedule and nap, and what if the kids wanted to go somewhere and the twins needed to eat, and I don't know. I was just worried they would resent them. Well, I couldn't have been more off base. First of all, the triplets LOVE the twins. Everyday when my husband drops the kids off, the triplets run out and want to help carry things in. They get so excited to see them, and actually want to come visit the twins on the days that I have them because they miss them! One of the trips, Vinny is IN LOVE with Hailey. When I went to pick up the kids on Tuesday, he was crying, because appartently he is the ONLY one allowed to feed Hailey, or rock Hailey or play with Hailey. And I guess one of his siblings made the monumental error of trying to play with Hailey. hehe.

It's SO reassuring and wonderful how much they enjoy the twins and look forward to playing with them. The other day the twins were doing tummy time, so all the kids had to get on their tummy's and lay on the floor! So while I was off today, I got a call from Christina that Vinny NEEDED to come over and see Hailey, so they all came over to visit. I just feel so happy about the fact that they are giving my kids so much love and taking such good care of them. It's something that I can't even put into words. Here's some pics of the kids with the kids. First Vinny with Hailey, then Joey with Jake, and then Gianna with her mom, because she doesn't get a lot of baby time, because her brother's hog them!

Vinny and HaileyJoey and Jake

Christina and Gianna

Oh, so remember that cute outfit I bought for Hailey and mentioned in my last post? Well here it is on her! It's an easy way to compliment myself! haha ... In case you can't read it, it says "Don't ya wish your Mommy was hot like mine?" and on the butt it says "Don't Ya?" ... LOVE IT!

HaileyButt Shot

We went to a birthday party this weekend for our friends 2 year old daughter which was a bunch of fun. Then Sunday me and my mom and sister went into NYC to see a play for my sister's birthday. We saw Spring Awakenings and I thought it was good. Really good music. My wonderful DH was on baby duty all day and he had fun running around with them. I love how capable and hands on he is.

Ok, I guess that's my update. I am going to leave you with 2 more pics of the kids. I did a little fashion show with them today, and I just can't get over how grownup they look in these outfits. Grandma bought them these little outfits. Eric says that Hailey looks like a French Baker. I think Jake looks like a thug! Funny right?


Erica and Eric

Monday, September 17, 2007


I was a jerk about this whole IVF thing at the beginning. When Eric and I found out that we needed to go through IVF, we only shared it with a few people. I told my family and Eric's family, and I shared it with one of my friends. That was it. And the reason that I didn't share it with a lot of people was because I was ashamed and embarrassed. I felt like I didn't want to share with all these people the problems we were having, kind of like my body was a failure and I was embarrassed to admit it. Also, it seemed like everyone I knew was trying to get pregnant, and it was easier for me to say "Oh, we aren't even trying!" then to tell everyone about all of our problems.

But then it worked, and that's where it got weird. If we had ended up pregnant with a singleton, I don't think one person would have asked us how we got pregnant. But almost everyone in the world asked "Oh, do twins run in your family?". Uh, no. And then some people point blank asked "Was it natural or fertility?". Which made me REALLY uncomfortable. Some of my closest friends in the world didn't know yet, was I going to tell a random stranger? So I lied. I lied to a lot of people and said "Oh, it was just a total surprise!". Ugh.

And then someone said to me in response to my "total surprise" lie that we were "so lucky". That damn word again. And I realized that it was stupid to lie. I realized that maybe one day I would be telling someone who was also battling infertility and was trying to get pregnant. Maybe it would totally ruin their day to hear how me and my husband just randomly got pregnant, with twins, no less! I just realized how bad I felt, how sad I felt, whenever someone told me about how they were pregnant. It felt like a constant reminder of all the people who could easily accomplish something that we couldn't. And I didn't want to be that to someone else. I wanted to be the person that this stranger turned to and said "really, you went through IVF? We might have to do that too. Can I ask you some questions?"

I feel like a schmuck for lying, and I feel even worse for feeling ashamed of what we went through. Now I almost wear it like a badge of honor. I'm so proud of what Eric and I went through to have our family. I'm so proud of my perfect little kids. Now I find myself telling all sorts of people. It's like a total flip on how I originally felt. Because it is nothing to be ashamed of. It's not like I chose infertility. And how can I get upset about all the people who make comments like "Oh, we just rolled over and she got pregnant!" if they don't know the hardships we were going through. People don't know to show a little sensitivity if they don't know that you are going through something hard.

I'm curious to hear if anyone else went through this. The feeling of just not wanting to share such a personal part of your life with everyone. And not wanting the fact that you are dealing with infertility be your identity. I didn't want to be "oh, that's Eric and Erica. They are dealing with 'infertility'" and have that be our identity. Or have everyone feel sorry for us. I don't know. Maybe now it's easier for me to be so open and honest about it because it was a success for us. Maybe if our first cycle had failed, I wouldn't have shared anything with anyone, and would still be going through this sharing it with limited people. I'm not really sure. I want to think that I would have come to my senses even if I hadn't ended up pregnant. I hope so.

On a side note, we went to a picnic at Eric's grandmother's housing place on Saturday and it was very fun to get all the kids together. Here are a few pictures from the event.
Jake and Daddy

Oh, and did I mention that I'm a psycho and bought Hailey the cutest thing ever! You can see it here. Yes, I did pay $60 for that!

Erica and Eric

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Primary vs Secondary.

I've been reading a lot of blogs lately that are discussing primary vs secondary infertility, and the measure of pain. Who's pain is worse? A primary infertile has no biological kids I think. I'm not sure how it works when someone adopts. I don't know if they are still considered primary. It's all very confusing. Secondary infertility is anyone that has biological children and is still dealing with infertility. I guess that now makes me a secondary, even though I have a hard time with that. Secondary infertility to me was someone who is NOW dealing with infertility after having no problem getting pregnant in the past. But hey, damned if I know all the rules.

Anyway, the question was, is it more painful to be a primary than a secondary? Should you be happy with the biological child you have, and not complain about the second baby you are having a hard time conceiving (or third, fourth, etc)?

I have no idea. People constantly tell me how lucky I am. I got pregnant on my first IVF. I had my first doctor's appt with my RE on April 5th. Exactly 1 year before my twins were born. And I had a boy and a girl. How much luckier does it get?

Well, I don't know. I'm thankful. That I will admit. Thankful for my family who paid for this, thankful for my doctors who in my mind are the true miracle workers and thankful for my amazing husband who walked this journey with me. But lucky? That I'm not so sure about. Lucky gets pregnant without paying for it. Lucky doesn't have to try for over a year with no success. Lucky doesn't have to give themselves 3 shots a day. Lucky doesn't cry every day thinking about the baby they aren't sure they are ever going to be able to have. Lucky doesn't get pregnant and spend the entire 8 months worrying that something bad is going to happen. Ah, to be fertile and naive and think that sex = pregnant = 9 month later you have a baby.

So back to the original question. I just think it's super different. Primary infertility is so hard, cause you want something so badly that you feel like you can't have. But with secondary, you KNOW how good it is, and you want MORE so badly! It sucks either way. But then I have to be honest, truly honest, and say it's worse to be a primary. Because you just haven't gotten there yet.

What sucks is that there are people out there popping out kids without a second thought (Nicole Richie, Britney, etc) and there are all these amazing women who would give anything for just one. And we have to watch these crazy drugged out celebs pop out babies for their nannies to raise.

But here's where the complications occur. So just say you eventually get pregnant through all your treatments and take home that elusive "baby". You have one, and become a secondary. But then you realize, that's not what you wanted your family to be. You wanted more than 1 child. And suddenly you are a secondary who isn't just appreciating the child they have. You are asking for more! Ah, the battle between primary and secondary. And it's so unfair because you shouldn't have to chose. If you want a family of 10 you shouldn't have to compromise that wish. But then the infertility curse shows up! Plans be damned!

So, things worked out well for me. But what if I wanted 3 kids, or 4 kids? Am I selfish for not being satisfied? I don't think so. I would ALWAYS appreciate the children I have. But just because I rolled the unlucky dice and turned up infertile doesn't mean I should have to compromise what I want. What if I had two boys, or two girls, and really wanted to try for the other sex? Is that selfish? I don't think so.

Infertility doesn't leave you just because you have a child or children. I still get bitter when I see a pregnant woman. When someone tells me how they got pregnant the first month they tried, I still have to bite my tongue. Having Jake and Hailey didn't take all that away for me. I wish they had. But I feel like once it's there, it always is. It's not that I'm not happy for other people, of course I am. But it feels very unfair for something to come so easily for one person, and so hard for someone else. So again, it's hard for me to consider myself "lucky".

I do have two beautiful kids. And for that I will be forever thankful. I just hope that all those women out there who are primaries get there too. Whether you have a biological or adoptive child, if you want to be a mom, you should be able to be a mom. And for all your secondaries, keep it up! If you want 5 kids, go get them! Have them, or adopt them, or whatever you need to do. Don't feel like you have to change what you want in life because of the crap infertility hand we got dealt.

Hang in there guys.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I'm losing my mind ...

As I type this, Jake is screaming his head off in the nursery. He is just refusing to nap and I'm losing it. They are so fighting taking naps, and it's the most annoying thing, because it is making them crabby, cranky babies when they are awake. Hailey is actually fast asleep. And as of this moment, there is blissful silence. So Jake finally dozed off, which means Hailey should start screaming any minute!

We had a nice weekend here in the Dunn house. Saturday we went to visit our friend's Bill and Jen who had their first child, Bridget, in May. She's so cute, it was fun to introduce her to the twins.

Then on Sunday we just had a family day when we all hung out. The kids were VERY excited for the Giants and wore all of their Giant's paraphenalia to cheer them on. And although they were already in bed and asleep by the time the game started, their luck did not hold up. boo hoo, Giants lost, but aren't my kids cute? Hailey always makes a fist and looks like she is going to punch someone out!


Didn't I tell you all just a few lines ago? Hailey is starting to cry and whimper ... Just as one falls asleep, the other is up to torment me!

Did I mention that I'm going back to work next Monday?? Did I mention how much I can't wait???

Ah, I make it sound so bad. It is. Nah, just kidding. Actually on Sunday I cried when I was rocking Jake because I just love them so much. It's such an amazing thing. Sometimes I just look at their bald little heads, and I'm just so overwhelmed by love that all I can do is cry. The other day I was watching A Baby Story on TLC, and they showed a water birth (ewww!) but when the mom and dad held the baby for the first time, I just started crying so hard. And Hailey was looking at me giving me these huge smiles, and it just made me cry harder. Those damn TLC shows!

Eric and I took some naked pics of the kids, because I am truly obsessed with their butts and feet! Does that make me weird?? whatever ... Jakey's got a big ole butt, oh yeah!

And Hailey is a bit more on the petite side ... She's watching her weight, as she is on the road to being America's Next Top Model...

Erica and Eric

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

5 Months old!

Can you believe it! 5 months old! And driving me up the wall. The kids have decided they don't want to nap anymore. Yeah, that's REALLY fun for me. It's to the point where I'm driving around during the day just to get them to sleep. Yeah, it kinda sucks. I'm hoping that this is just some sort of phase that ends really really quickly. Like tomorrow.

Things have been fun over at the Dunn house. We had a nice, busy Labor Day weekend. Saturday we took the kids to New Hope, PA for the day and had lunch outside and just wandered around and went into some shops. It's not a super child-friendly town, only because the sidewalks were narrow so it was hard to maneuver around with the stroller. Also a lot of the stores were a few steps up from the street, so we had to take turns going into places. But the weather was SO beautiful that it was just nice to be outside. Also, we got two naps in! One driving there, one driving back! hehe.

Sunday our friends Ashley and Andrew came to visit with their son Alec who just turned 1. It was fun to see them and get the kids together. But REALLY SCARY! Alec is crawling all over, and just a minute away from walking, and I can see that if you take your eyes off a mobile baby for a second, they can move quickly! And all I kept thinking was "I'm scared of twins that can move!" ... ugh ... but let's not get ahead of ourselves yet ...

Then on Monday, we went to my friend Michele's and went to a local fair with her and her husband and son, my sis and her hubbie and my friend Jen. Yummy Yummy food, and we just kinda wandered around and ate. Makes for a good night! The twins were good and just hung out in the stroller. Eric commented that twins are a "chick magnet". He was hanging out in one area of the fair while I was in the "drinking section" finishing my beer (yeah, I know, I'm a good mom). And he said like a bunch of women came up to him gushing over the babies. I asked him if he tried the line "Yeah, it's hard to take care of my kids now that my wife is dead." Ha ha ... Thankfully he did not.

What else ... we gave the twins prunes. Everyone said I was horrible for making that their first baby food, but Jake has bad constipation, so you gotta do what you gotta do. We have some funny pics from that.

So OF COURSE, no post is complete without pics! First of all, how cute are the shirts that Aunt Lori got the twins ... LOVE LOVE LOVE them! Click on the pic to see lots more!

Erica and Eric