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Saturday, March 29, 2008

March of Dimes, March for Babies

I know that I got lucky with my twins. They were born at 36w3d, no NICU time. I fully expected them to have to spend time in the NICU, but they didn't. And for that I am eternally grateful.

But a lot of moms are not so lucky. A lot of moms have to deal with their new babies spending days, weeks, months in the NICU. And it's not just the loss of that "perfect experience" of giving birth, spending time with the babies and all coming home together 2-4 days later. It's the scares that go along with the NICU. The highs and lows. The one step forward, two steps back that they deal with daily.

For this reason I want to ask you , beg you all, to go support the March for Babies. Melissa is the HBIC (Head Blogger in Charge) if you will, of this crazy online infertile community. She has created this amazing supportive community. In the past few weeks, there have been some horrible losses in our community, and Melissa is walking in honor of not only her twins (who spent 3 weeks in the NICU), but in honor of Zoe and Lennox, who are no longer with us.

I can't imagine the heartbreak of losing a child, but I know that I want to support anything that helps children fight to stay alive. So I'm donating to Melissa's team for the March of Dimes. You should too. Look at your kids, see how beautiful and lucky you are, and then click below and give a few dollars. It can be $1, $5 or $1 million dollars. It doesn't matter how much. Just support. I feel lucky that my kids never had to see the NICU for more than a few minutes, but I sure as shit want to support all the amazing good the NICU does, and all that babies that have had to spend time there, especially in honor of the babies that are no longer with us.

Team On the Road

Why You Should Donate to Team On the Road (and join the team yourself)


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter ... and a whole slew of other stuff ...

I know, I've been a bad blogger. Works been crazy, and the nights have been lazy, and I just haven't felt like writing. Plus, I didn't have much to say.

Well, things have changed a bit. Here is a fantastic story for you.

So, Saturday night we were all just home. It was around 630pm and we just finished changing the twins into their pjs. I was getting bottles, and the kids were playing in the family room. Eric was with them. Hailey LOVES our phone. Just loves it. She's always holding it and carrying it around with her. So she was doing that, same as always. So I warm up the bottles and bring them in. Just as we were setting up to give them bottles, the phone rings. I answer it. They say "Hello, this is 911 dispatch. We just received a 911 call from this number."


Hailey called 911. Are you kidding me??? I apologized profusely to the operator, and said my daughter was holding the phone and must have accidentally dialed it. The operator was just like "Ok." and that was it. But that WASN'T it!

Five minutes later, as we are feeding them, there is a knock on the door. You HAVE to be kidding me. Eric gets up to answer it, it's a policeman. He needed to come and check up to make sure I wasn't like getting beaten by Eric. It was SO mortifying. He stayed for like 10 minutes and was chit-chatting with us about the twins, but he was TOTALLY staying to see if maybe I was like being abused and it was actually me that called 911, and then got cold feet. The whole thing was just insane. So finally the cop left, and now Eric thinks that the cops in our town thing he is an abusive husband. hehe.

So, needless to say, there will be no more kids touching phones in our house.

What else??

We went to get our picture taken with the Easter Bunny yesterday. That was fun. It was like a 1 hour wait, and then the picture wasn't even good. The kids were SO not into it, and basically just wanted to get out of there. Also, there was a fan blowing on the bunny to keep him cool, so the kids hair is blowing up in the air. But, my brother works at the stand, so we got everything for free. So I don't really care that it wasn't a great picture. If you click on the picture and enlarge it, you can see Jake's hair flying up the air from the fan ... it just looks crazy!
Twins with the Easter Bunny

The kids ate like little PIGGIES this weekend. After seeing the bunny on Saturday, we took them to this Italian place for lunch and they loved the macaroni, and meat sauce, and Jake was loving Aunt Chrissy's sausage. It was so funny to watch them. We took these pics, and Eric said they look like vampires.
Messy Hailey
Messy Jake

We had a nice Easter today. Originally my mom was going to host Easter and just have us, my sister and her husband and my brother. But then I said "Hey, why don't you still go ahead and cook everything, but we'll do it at my house!" And that's what we did. Since we were hosting, we also had Eric's parents, and his sister and her two kids. Really, I didn't have to do much. My sister did the antipasto and salad, my mom made all the food, and my in-laws brought dessert. Fabulous! So we had lots of yummy food, lots of good conversation, and our entire families together. You can't ask for more than that!!

The kids made out like little bandits. Grandma bought them 2 Easter Buckets, along with two chickens that make noise. Yes, it sounds like a nightmare! But they were really cute. Her bucket says "Chicks Rule" and his says "Chick Magenet". There were Animal Crackers and Teddy Grahams and bubbles and they were very happy with them. Here's their loot from Grandma.
Loot from Grandma

We also gave them Easter Baskets. They are so cute. We got them from We put Puffs, a bath toy, an Elmo rattle, some other cute stuffed things, and a Mets outfit in there baskets for each of them. As well as a pair of bunny ear. They also each got an Elmo book, but only one of them made it into the picture.
Loot from Mom and Dad

And here is a picture of the happy family on Easter Day. This picture was taken in the middle of too much chaos, and when they were way overdue for a nap! Oh well, we have many years of family pictures to come that will probably come out a bit better than this!!

Now, I would just like to add that just as I was about to end this post, Jake woke up and threw up all over his crib, himself, and once I picked him up, me as well. Oh well, I guess maybe too many rich foods for him today. We stripped his crib, dropped him in the bath, and now he's back to sleep. Did I ever mention it's tough being a mom??

So it's now like 130am, and I'm still awake. He's been dry-heaving and spitting up bile (I know, TMI) since like 10pm. So he's back to sleep again (after 1 bath, 2 changes of crib sheets and 3 changes of clothes) but there is no way I'm going to sleep. I'm a nervous wreck. So looks like momma will be up all night.

Fun times, my friends, fun times.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I've been a slacker ...

Sorry it's been a while. It was a sick pit in our house. The kids had ear infections, and I think Jake had a stomach bug, which he promptly gave to me, and I promptly gave to Eric. Good times, my friends, good times!

But WE ARE ALL HEALTHY! WOO HOO! I didn't think I would see the day!

So, what the hell else is going on? I have no idea. Work has been crazy. I've been traveling into NYC on both Tuesday and Wednesday, and it just makes it such a long day! It's like 2 hours door to door for me to go in. In some ways it's nice, because I get to read my books (for my book club) or do my Sudoku puzzles. It's just kinda nice to have that down time. Whatever. Work is what it is. I wish I was independently wealthy so that I could not work, but still afford a nanny a few days a week (for my sanity).

So, how 'bout them twins, you ask? Those twins are super cute and perfect. Hailey is still crawling and pulling up on everything and letting go and taking random steps, but then she usually just drops to her knees and crawls around at lightning speed. Mr Jake is also pulling up and cruising around and even starting to let go ... but he's not ready to try walking yet.

Besides that they are eating like little piggies, sleeping wonderfully and generally just being my little angels. I CAN NOT believe we are planning their first birthday party! What the hell happened, and where did the time go? I don't even feel like I have babies anymore! They are just so big. It's overwhelming to say the least.

We are throwing a big party for their first. My mom and sister are so great, seriously you have no idea. Eric and I kinda said we wanted to just have a small first birthday, mostly because having something too big would just be too expensive. And with the cost of daycare, and everything else, there just isn't extra money floating around. So my awesome mom and sis stepped up (totally on their own) and offered to help pay for the party. So somehow this small little party has morphed into a party with like 60 adults and 20 something kids! It's going to be so great, I hope the kids don't have a meltdown! hehe.

I'm tired. I want to go to bed now. But first, have you ever seen a cuter, sweeter face than this one??

Although this one is pretty damn cute too! Jakey with his favorite Aunt Chrissy ...


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Book Tour #10: Embryo Culture

Ok, we are back with another episode of the Barren Bitches Book Tour. This month, we read by Embryo Culture by Beth Kohl. This is another book about infertility. The book chronicled Beth's journey through the ups and downs of ART in order to have her beautiful family.

I found this books to be funny, in your face honest, and informational all at the same time. She wrote about so many things that I've been scared to even THINK about, and it definitely helped me to feel like I'm not crazy in the things I have thought going through the journey that lead to me to parenting, as well as the current journey of being a parent.

So, on to the questions that I choose to answer.

The author describes her journey through infertility both in terms of a faith journey and a process of scientific discovery. How has infertility impacted your faith journey and your views of science/technology?
Well, faith is not something I am strong in. I would not consider myself an atheist, more an agnostic. I was raised Roman Catholic, and went through everything from baptism to communion, getting married in a catholic church and having my twins baptized. I am not a practicing Catholic. I am a scientific person by nature. I need to know how things work. I want to touch and feel real things. So the idea of believing in God to me is no different than believing in Santa Claus. Ya know, this guy who can see you all the time, and watches over you all the time. So you better be good, or nothing good with come to you. Please don't be offended. I have no problem with other peoples beliefs, and hell, I could be wrong. But that being said, I know that according to the Catholic Church and the Docum Vitae, any medical act that replaces the marital act of conceiving is considering morally wrong and a sin.

So my question is, who is sinning in God's eyes? Me, because I chose to under IVF? What about my babies? Are they just screwed from the get go? I just can't imagine giving my faith, love, or time (or money for that matter) to a establishment that thinks my babies should not exist. So, in doing research on infertility, I did realize that the church I grew up as a member of is a joke, in my opinion.

So if there is a God, I choose to believe that this entity would not smite my children for the way they came into this world. He would not banish the entire population of this world that ISN'T Catholic to hell. It's just not something I choose to believe. It's seems crazy to me.

As far as science and technology goes, I am thankful for them both, every single day when I wake up and look at my amazingly beautiful children.

The author also talks about how many embryos should be transferred at any given cycle. Should there be a limit?
Ugh. This is a very hard question. I feel like there are so many factors that come into place. Age of the woman, age of the eggs, which are not always the same, how many attempts, quality of the embryos. It's crazy to me to say that flat across the board 1 embryo transferred for under 35 etc. I also thinks it is unfair of limits on embryos when the couple is paying out of pocket. I will be honest and say that I was HOPING for twins. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have minded a singleton, but hey, it's you are going to reach, reach for the stars! We had to pay out of pocket, and the thought of finding that money to do this again would have just been so hard. I think that when the insurance companies will cover unlimited attempts, then can mandate how many can be transferred. But when I am paying out of my own pocket, please don't tell me what I can do. I can say ok if they said because of your age your can't transfer 4. But I would never have stood for just transferring one. Because I wanted better odds. Whether it works that way or not, I don't care. I am happy we did two.

The author mentions that going through infertility and IVF made her think differently with abortion? Has this changed anyone's position on abortion or did IVF change the way you thought about it?
Not really. I have always been pro-choice, and I still am. I think that going through this made me even more pro-choice in a way. I believe that NO ONE has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body. If we take the right away from woman who want to terminate a pregnancy, how long before the government decides its morally wrong to create a pregnancy in a lab, and decides that IVF should be illegal. If you want the freedom, you need to have it on both sides. I had the overwhelming desire to be a parent, and I'm glad my dream was fulfilled. But I don't think anyone should be FORCED to have a child or be a parent. It has to be the woman's right to choose.

Beth Kohl discusses her fears about how IVF may lead to increased health problems for her children, and she thinks about this in the context of her daughter's surgeries for cysts on her bladder. Do you ever worry that IVF or other ART could compromise the health of your children created through the process? How has that affected your decision to pursue treatment?
Of course. How could you not? I remember during the stimulation phase, thinking, "how could all these drugs NOT fuck up these kids?" but I persevered. I guess knowing many people that went through it and all the healthy and wonderful children they had had helped. But of course I worried, still do. But babies that are conceived "normally" can have problems too, and it was a risk I was willing to take, to have my own children.

Throughout the book, Beth references different ways of how religion plays into her thoughts and some people's beliefs on infertility. I, for one, did not think of religion and God too much as far as my decisions of how far to take ART but I know people understandable do. However, as I do believe in God though not very religious, I often thought my infertility was a punishment handed to me by the higher powers. Even though the issue is MFIF, I felt as though I was the one being punished because of some things I had done in my earlier years. Beth talks of the possibly of this punishment in the last paragraph on page 49: "Or is He a puritanical smiter, my infertility a pox upon me . . ." My question is: have you thought in terms of your infertility as a punishment, some divine destiny that you should maybe not try to change, or not? And why or why not? And how did/does it affect your decisions? As I would probably not give specifics, I am not meaning for you to, but I felt much comfort knowing I was not the only one who questioned if it was a punishment and am curious as to how other people have related religion and punishment to their IF journey.
Again, more on the religious issue. And how could I have been raised Roman Catholic and not end up with a whole lot of guilt? It's the basis of almost any religion. Of course I looked back on my life and said "What did I do to deserve this? Was it the time I shoplifted in 7th grade? What about when I stole $20 from a friend? Maybe it's the pre-marital sex? Or the living in sin thing? Hell, with all this sinning, did I even deserve to be a mother??" Yeah, it's easy to look back over the years of your life and pinpoint all the many things you have done wrong. But I guess it all comes back to what kind of God you believe in. I don't really believe in one. But if there is one, I don't think he is that kind of guy. Because if he is, we would all fall pretty far under his expectations. There are many wonderful wonderful people that have horrible things happen to them, and horrible people that seem to live a cakewalk of a life. I don't think God is handing out babies to the "deserved". So although I still have what I call "leftover Catholic guilt" I do my best to shake it off and realize that I am NOT paying for some bad decisions I made earlier in life.

Final thought, I enjoyed this book a lot. There are so many things I want to add, but my fingers are tired, and so are my eyes. So I gotta wrap this up.

Hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at You can also sign up for the next book on this online book club: The Mistress's Daughter by A.M. Homes (with author participation!)